Sunday 30 April 2017


Seawatching from 07:00 - 11:00: The first hour saw the majority of passage, with four Great Northern Divers, two diver sp. (possibly Black-throated Divers) and a Great Skua flying south. A possible Sabine's Gull was picked up fairly distantly offshore at 7:20, before flying in a direct line out to sea. It was smaller than nearby Kittiwakes, having a bouyant tern-like flight style, but lacked the agility and wingbeat speed of Little Gull. An immature pale morph Pomarine Skua later flew south at 9:10, followed by a dark morph Arctic Skua at 10:40. Four Manx Shearwaters were also seen distantly on the horizon.

Other counts included; three Eider (one immature male and two females), 30+ Sandwich Tern, 29 Common Scoter, two Dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Great Crested Grebe, one male Red-breasted Merganser, 200+ auks, 5+ Fulmar, 40+ Kittiwake , three Common Gulls and 24 Black-headed Gull.

With lack of any seawatching photos, here are some Green-winged Orchids just off patch at Labrador Bay yesterday.

Monday 24 April 2017

More migrants

Three female Wheatears were on the racecourse yesterday morning, visible from the path on the southern side. Nearby Hackney Marshes produced six Reed Warblers but still no Sedge Warblers. In the evening the first three Swifts of the year flew over my house in Kingsteignton along with five House Martins.

Saturday 22 April 2017

Grasshopper Warbler

An early morning walk around Bundle Head was initially quiet with just two Willow Warblers and 10 Blackcaps noted in the bushes, and three Sandwich Tern out at sea. That was until walking back along the golf course, when five Wheatears seemed to drop out of the sky, remaining very flighty until moving off north a few minutes later. After walking a few more metres across the golf course, a Grasshopper Warbler started to reel from the hedge bordering the road, remaining stubbornly hidden deep within cover. It stayed until at least 11am when Will and Kev both found it in the same hedge, with the first Yellow Wagtail of the year also flying over.

Cirl Bunting

Saturday 15 April 2017


A quiet morning on the estuary with the best birds being four Whimbrel - two at Passage House and two at Flow Point, with the former joining the latter at high tide. Other counts included five Common Sandpipers, 74 Oystercatchers, three Redshanks, one Greenshank, 12 Little Egrets, 15 Mute Swans, 18 Shelducks and five Sandwich Terns. Despite the overnight cloud and rain few passerine migrants were evident with Laurie reporting just two Willow Warblers at Bundle Head.

The first Reed Warbler of the year appeared at Hackney Marshes on 12th April, when three House Martins were just outside the patch at Sandygate and 50+ Sand Martins were at Teigngrace the previous day (thanks Cilla Ingram). 

Saturday 8 April 2017

Cattle Egrets remain

Despite the warm temperatures and sunshine of recent days the Teigngrace Cattle Egrets don't seem to be in any hurry to move on; four were still present at noon today, the first time I've seen them without any Little Egrets for company. Also three Stock Doves and c.20 Sand Martins.

The past week has been pretty quiet with just a handful of Willow Warblers at Hackney Marshes on a couple of mornings and two late Fieldfares over Netherton Park cricket ground on Thursday evening. Another Osprey was reported off Coombe Cellars yesterday afternoon.