Sunday 28 October 2018

Returning waterfowl

In a bitterly cold northerly wind this morning, the sheltered southern side of the Ness still held two Firecrests but the bushes between there and Bundle Head were blown out and very little was moving overhead bar a few finches. A scan of the estuary towards Flow Point from Salcombe Dip layby at high tide produced four female Red-breasted Mergansers, four Wigeon and 23 Shelducks - all recent arrivals - plus at least 274 Oystercatchers and 31 Redshanks roosting up against the railway.

Friday 19 October 2018

Yellow-browed Warbler

A Yellow-browed Warbler was around the fringes of Shaldon golf course this morning, initially heard in the hedge by the road before moving to sycamores on the north side where it showed well on and off. Also at least 5,000 Woodpigeons flew south though no doubt I missed more whilst tracking the YBW.

Monday 15 October 2018

WeBS, Firecrests and Spoonbill

An early morning visit to the Ness today produced at least two Firecrests on the south side with a couple of Blackcaps and Goldcrests.

Some respectable counts from the estuary this morning although Oystercatchers were again conspicuous by their near-absence. Totals between Passage House and Salcombe Dip included 17 Little Egrets, 10 Shags, four Cormorants, 25 Mute Swans, 38 Mallards, five Little Grebes, 78 Curlew, 21 Oystercatchers, 39 Redshanks, 11 Greenshanks, eight Ringed Plovers, eight Dunlin, three Black-tailed Godwits, two Common Sandpipers and singles of Wigeon, Snipe and Kingfisher. At Flow Point, two Rock Pipits had returned and there was a light northbound passage of Swallows and Meadow Pipits.

Elsewhere yesterday seven Turnstones were on the lower estuary and a Spoonbill was seen at Rackerhayes; unfortunately this is an area with no public access so hopefully it will relocate to the estuary. Finally a Green Sandpiper appeared on the floods at Teigngrace on Friday afternoon.

Friday 5 October 2018

Decoy Country Park

A mid-morning wander around Decoy yesterday produced seven Tufted Ducks, three Swallows, a Great Crested Grebe, a Grey Heron and a Sparrowhawk. The expected woodland species showed well including several each of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Jay. A possible Firecrest was heard among a loose group of Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits.