Monday, 28 December 2020
Monday, 21 December 2020
A Dark-bellied Brent Goose mingling with 27 Shelducks on Flow Point was the highlight of yesterday's count. Wader totals were mixed, with 291 Oystercatchers, 63 Curlew and 27 Redshanks and just one Lapwing all below par for the time of year but 26+ Turnstones, 14 Dunlin, seven Ringed Plovers, seven Greenshanks, seven Avocets and two Common Sandpipers being around or slightly above average. Other totals included 26 Red-breasted Mergansers, 18 Mute Swans, 16 Mallards, three Wigeon, three Little Grebes and one Kingfisher.
Saturday, 12 December 2020
Sunday, 6 December 2020
The Teign's usual handful of wintering Avocets has arrived, with seven roosting at Passage House this morning alongside c.50 Redshanks, three Greenshanks and 10 Little Egrets, with 28 Mute Swans and six Little Grebes in the channels. A check of Rackerhayes produced 18 Tufted Ducks, two Pochards, two Gadwalls, two Shovelers and two Great Crested Grebes.
Sunday, 29 November 2020
A female/first-winter Black Redstart was playing a game of cat and mouse with me at Teignmouth Port this morning, allowing just three brief views (and one photo opportunity) in almost ninety minutes. It seemed to favour buildings to the east of the weighbridge.
Earlier, a check of several locations along the southern side of the estuary was fruitful. Passage House held eight Lapwings, six Dunlin, five Little Grebes, three Common Sandpipers and a Greenshank. Arch Brook (opposite Flow Point) yielded a further 11 Dunlin, two Greenshanks, three Wigeon (Laurie had five later at Passage House) and a female Teal. Farmland around Combeinteignhead contained 28 Linnets, half a dozen Skylarks and a couple of singing Cirl Buntings.
Lastly, four Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver and a handful of Guillemots were off Teignmouth at midday.
Sunday, 15 November 2020
Sunday, 8 November 2020
A first visit to Hackney Marshes since the last day of May yesterday produced plenty of crests with one Firecrest and 12 Goldcrests dotted around, along with three Chiffchaffs, a male Blackcap, four Grey Wagtails, three Siskins, a Kingfisher, two Fieldfares and c.100 Redwings.
This morning there was a bit of movement over a misty Bundle Head with 68 Chaffinches, 54 Goldfinches, 22 Meadow Pipits, five Siskins and three Redpolls noted between 07:15 and 08:00. Two Firecrests and two Chiffchaffs were around the Ness, with three Great Northern Divers on the sea near the mouth of the estuary.
From the viewing screen at Hackney Marshes this afternoon, a pair of Mandarins and two showy Water Rails.
Wednesday, 4 November 2020
Sunday, 1 November 2020
Teignmouth seawatching with Laurie this morning from 07:05 - 08:20 (when the sun glare became too strong) failed to produce any storm-driven seabirds but was surprisingly excellent for divers, with a remarkable 26 Great Northern Divers on the sea and flying south, including several summer-plumaged birds; 14 distant unidentified divers (most probably Great Northern) and three Red-throated Divers (including one calling bird close to shore). There was little else of note other than a male Common Scoter and a steady southbound trickle of Kittiwakes and Common Gulls.
|Great Northern Diver|
Sunday, 25 October 2020
Fewer birds were on the move between squally showers at Bundle Head this morning, but did include seven Crossbills south at 07:14 along with 82 Goldfinches, 38 Meadow Pipits, 36 Chaffinches, 26 Linnets, eight Siskins, two Redpolls and a Redwing between 06:50 -07:40. A check of The Ness shortly afterwards turned up three Firecrests, two Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap.
Friday, 23 October 2020
Sunday, 18 October 2020
A notable movement of 26 Crossbills (22 N, 4 S) was the highlight of another Bundle Head vis mig watch yesterday morning between 07:50 - 08:40, which also produced 77 Goldfinches, 23 Meadow Pipits, 20 Pied/White Wagtails, 11 Chaffinches, nine Siskins, eight Swallows, two Skylarks, two Song Thrushes and a Redpoll. Later in the morning Laurie had another couple of Crossbills fly over The Ness, which contained two Firecrests, 12 Goldcrests and three Chiffchaffs.
Counts from the upper and middle estuary yesterday included 357 Oystercatchers, 72 Curlew, 67 Redshanks, 14 Dunlin, five Ringed Plovers, three Greenshanks, one Lapwing, 34 Mute Swans, 16 Shelducks, 10 Teal, three Wigeon, one Red-breasted Merganser, 31 Little Egrets, 14 Cormorants, seven Shags and a Kingfisher. Alan Ford recorded 20 Turnstones and another couple of Cormorants on the lower estuary this morning.
On Thursday a Great White Egret was reported opposite Coombe Cellars; this was possibly the same bird seen at Powderham the following day.
Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Yesterday morning there was a fair bit of movement going on over Bundle Head first thing; totals from 07:30 - 08:30 comprised 185 Goldfinches, 141 Meadow Pipits, 55 Linnets, 29 Siskins, 16 Chaffinches, 35 Swallows and 22 Pied/White Wagtails, mostly heading south. Two Peregrines were seen working together to take down a Woodpigeon just offshore. Today was quieter in terms of numbers although there was a bit more variety with another Crossbill, a House Martin and a couple of Grey Wagtails overhead. The bushes held very little except for a good total of three Firecrests; two in hedgerows at Bundle Head and one in The Ness.
Friday, 9 October 2020
An enjoyable couple of hours between Bundle Head and The Ness this morning produced one Crossbill (over the conifer plantation just inland), one Firecrest (possibly Laurie's bird from Wednesday in The Ness), one Stonechat, 10 Blackcaps, seven Chiffchaffs, seven Goldcrests, nine Swallows and a House Martin. Overhead, small numbers of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Siskins and Linnets were on the move and butterflies still on the wing included Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood.
Wednesday, 7 October 2020
Wednesday, 30 September 2020
A belated count between Passage House and Salcombe Dip on Sunday afternoon was fairly productive with totals including 350 Black-headed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, 23 Mute Swans, three Wigeon, 32 Little Egrets, 12 Cormorants, three Shags, 355 Oystercatchers, 32 Curlew (probably an underestimate), nine Ringed Plovers, nine Greenshanks, four Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers and a Grey Plover. The Med Gull and Wigeon were off Passage House and the Grey Plover was associating with Ringed Plovers roosting up against the railway east of Flow Point.
Saturday, 26 September 2020
There was a fair bit of audible migration going on overhead at Bundle Head this morning, although it was almost impossible to pick most birds out against the clear blue skies. Redpolls were heard on at least half a dozen occasions and were joined by by regular movements of Linnet, Siskin, Meadow Pipit and Chaffinch, plus two Swallows. In the bushes was fairly typical late September fare - 17 Chiffchaffs, 10 Blackcaps, five Goldcrests, four Song Thrushes and single Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Monday, 7 September 2020
Sunday, 30 August 2020
Early morning visits to Bundle Head both yesterday and today in sunny conditions with a gentle northerly breeze revealed a few birds in the bushes and hedgerows. The highlights came today, with a Spotted Flycatcher in an ash tree briefly, and a Tree Pipit flushed from long grass. Around 15 Chiffchaffs were seen on both mornings, many of which were following a roving Long-tailed Tit flock. Other counts included one Willow Warbler, two Whitethroat and seven Blackcap. Very little passed overhead, however singles of Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail were recorded today with a trickle of Swallows.
|Bundle Head in morning sunshine with recent scrub clearance|
Sunday, 23 August 2020
Saturday, 25 July 2020
This gull caught my eye when it took flight:
The dark wings, inner primaries, and pale white rump looked spot on for Yellow-legged Gull, however, when it landed, the notched tertials and speckling in greater coverts, as well as the rather 'soft' look suddenly left it looking like 'just' a Herring Gull. I'd be grateful for any opinions.
Monday, 13 July 2020
Sunday, 12 July 2020
As the tide rose, Mediterranean Gulls kept appearing in the Black-headed Gull flock, with a total of nine (3 ad., 2 2S, 3 1S and 3 juv.) eventually being seen.
A juvenile Water Rail also busily fed on the edge of the reedbed.
|Dunlin and Little Ringed Plover|
|Mediterranean Gull and Little Egret|
Monday, 6 July 2020
Saturday, 4 July 2020
Sunday, 7 June 2020
A visit to Rackerhayes last Monday for the first time since pre-lockdown produced three Tufted Ducks, five Sand Martins, a Kingfisher, numerous Coots with chicks and a pair of Mute Swans with seven young.
Just before midnight a vocal Bar-tailed Godwit was flying over the Salty at Teignmouth, presumably a new arrival as not picked up on the count.
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
More surprises followed after dark when in the space of 15 minutes a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover and a Greenshank flew over after 10pm.
Monday, 18 May 2020
On 12th May Alan Ford remarkably heard a Cuckoo calling from the middle of Teignmouth. Although regularly recorded only a few miles away, it is an exceptionally scarce bird around the estuary.
Sunday, 10 May 2020
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
Friday, 1 May 2020
Monday, 27 April 2020
Shortly after a single Yellow Wagtail flew north, perhaps flushed off the rugby pitch. Another garden first, two in an hour after three in two years - and my first two tick day since September 2013. 123 for the garden, 72 for the year and 65 during lockdown.
Sunday, 26 April 2020
Recent days have seen up to half a dozen Sandwich Tern around the estuary mouth, a distant Jay in Shaldon and a pair of breeding Swallow back around the Rugby Club. Although reported in Teignmouth no Swifts overhead yet.
Saturday, 25 April 2020
Some photos from this week:
Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Saturday, 18 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 2020
Back at home the local gulls raised the alarm again at 13:50 and I managed to get on to an Osprey gliding eastwards in the direction of the estuary; unfortunately there was no time for a photo. A Whitethroat was a surprise find in the front garden hedge, which (although native and mainly hawthorn) was only planted in December 2018.
Sunday, 12 April 2020
Butterflies on the wing today included Holly Blue, Orange-tip and Peacock (photo).
Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Monday, 6 April 2020
Friday, 3 April 2020
The window lockdown list is currently on 41 with Guillemot added today. Yesterday a late Red-breasted Merganser was the highlight but two scoter included a probable Velvet but too distant to confirm. Two black dots remain at Labrador Bay today so both rare scoter are presumably still present with a separate flock of 75 Common Scoter off Holcombe.
Wednesday, 1 April 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 2020
Tuesday, 17 March 2020
Elsewhere, the pair of Mandarins were still on Decoy Lake yesterday morning and today just three Tufted Ducks remained on Rackerhayes, where the pair of Great Crested Grebes were busy nest-building. The Surf Scoter and Velvet Scoter continue to be reported from Labrador Bay.
Sunday, 15 March 2020
No sign of yesterday's Grey Plovers at Passage House, but 25 Common Gulls and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls indicated a bit of migration.
At Teigngrace, three Teal were on the marsh and 19 Little Egrets were in a field amoungst some cattle.
Saturday, 14 March 2020
It's interesting to note that these birds formed a flock of their own, with the wintering flock of 50 or so Common Scoters only a little way to the north off Teignmouth. Will and I both managed to scope them from The Ness in order to get them on the patch list.
|Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter and Surf Scoter|
Earlier in the day on the rising tide, Will had two Grey Plovers at Passage House, although these soon flew in to roost with the Curlew and were obscured from view by vegetation. This is the first record for a couple of years.
Friday, 13 March 2020
Sunday, 8 March 2020
I've recently returned from a trip to The Gambia. If you're interested, I've written a trip report here.
Monday, 2 March 2020
Sunday, 23 February 2020
At the opposite end of the estuary three Great Northern Diver and 30 roosting Red-breasted Merganser were offshore from Teignmouth.
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Sunday, 9 February 2020
On Friday the Scaup was still on Rackerhayes with 29 Tufted Ducks, and a Firecrest was around the Hackney Marshes car park.
Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Sunday, 2 February 2020
At flow point, a pair of Teal flew up on arrival and eight Ringed Plover roosted with the Oystercatchers.
No sign of the Scaup on Decoy now, where Tufted Ducks numbered just nine; likely as a consequence of the boating that was taking place on the lake.
Saturday, 25 January 2020
Monday, 20 January 2020
Friday, 10 January 2020
The drake Scaup was reported as still present on Decoy Lake.
Wednesday, 1 January 2020
First off, a walk around Decoy produced the male Scaup, a Firecrest showing excellently in a bush around the far side, a couple of Marsh Tits and a Treecreeper.
A Water Rail and Reed Bunting were heard calling from Hackney Marshes, a Chiffchaff was seen in the bushes and a Siskin flew over. The low cloud and drizzle made observing birds on the estuary very difficult over the high tide, but the 10 Avocet were roosting on the islands at Passage House and four Dunlin flew in from further down river.
On to Teigngrace, and three Green Sandpiper were on the flooded fields to the north-west of the Exeter Road along with large numbers of Pied Wagtails and a Little Egret. A Stonechat was on nearby fenceposts and a Kingfisher perched over the small stream that runs through the fields.
Two Dippers and a Grey Wagtail were on the River Lemon running through Newton Abbot.
A quick look in at Rackerhayes fishing lakes gave three useful additions to the day's tally; a male Shoveler, six Gadwall (scarce elsewhere on patch of late), and two Great Crested Grebe.
The next stop was Teignmouth where at least 34 Common Scoter were offshore. Close inspection of the flock revealed a male Wigeon which was surprisingly inconspicuous until the scoters dived. Three Great Northern Divers were also offshore with two 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls in a distant flock of Kittiwakes, and 17 Fulmars flew around the cliffs off to the north. A final stop off at Passage House saw 10 Snipe flying around and a Common Sandpiper.