Saturday 25 January 2020

Pochard Pair

A pair of Pochard was a nice surprise on Decoy Lake this morning, this species being an irregular visitor, the last record being a few winters ago I believe. The male Scaup was still with the Tufted Duck flock that seemed to have reduced in number to around 17, but an accurate count was not possible due to birds roosting behind cover.


Monday 20 January 2020

WeBS & Goldeneye

Counts from the estuary on a glorious winter's day on Sunday included 263 Oystercatchers, 93 Curlew, 71 Redshanks, 13 Avocets, nine Ringed Plovers, five Greenshanks, two Common Sandpipers, 42 Shelducks, 36 Red-breasted Mergansers, 10 Mute Swans, two Little Grebes, five Little Egrets and eight Cormorants (including one sinensis).

On Saturday afternoon a check of Rackerhayes produced a fine male Goldeneye along with nine Tufted Ducks, six Gadwalls, a Great Crested Grebe and at least one Marsh Tit.


Friday 10 January 2020

Nice Ice Baby

A first winter  Iceland Gull was a welcome find on The Salty this afternoon, arriving with other gulls pre-roost. Also from the window today at lest four male Blackcap in the garden and the Black Redstart put in one of it's intermittent appearances.  

The drake Scaup was reported as still present on Decoy Lake. 

Wednesday 1 January 2020

New Year's Day

Will and I were out all day on patch and managed to amass a very respectible total of 85 species.

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.


A male Blackcap and imm Black Redstart were present in a Teignmouth garden early morning.