Sunday 29 November 2020

Black Redstart

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.

Black Redstart

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


Some good numbers of birds on the estuary this morning following a very high tide just before dawn. Totals included 296 Oystercatchers, 79 Curlew, 18 Turnstones (11 at Teignmouth and seven at Flow Point), nine Greenshanks, eight Ringed Plovers, four Dunlin, three Common Sandpipers, 34 Mute Swans, 26 Shelducks, 12 Mallards, one Wigeon, one Great Crested Grebe, five Little Grebes, 15 Cormorants, 14 Shags, 13 Little Egrets, eight Common Gulls and two Kingfishers. On Thursday Laurie recorded c.70 Redshanks, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers and four Lapwings

Red-breasted Merganser

Sunday 8 November 2020

Hackney Marshes

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

Woodpigeon movement

Looking north from Bundle Head from dawn and with excellent visibility, great clouds of Woodpigeons soon started to appear from the direction of the Pebblehead Heaths, following the coast towards Teignmouth. Unexpectedly, the majority of birds then turned inland or followed the line of the estuary west, although some continued south where a couple of Peregrines were on the hunt and caused the flocks to swirl like murmurations of starlings. Overall, an estimated 30,000 Woodpigeons were recorded between 07:00 and 08:00 before passage abruptly tailed off. Few other birds were on the move overhead with just small numbers of finches and a couple of unidentified bunting-like passerines, and a thorough check of the Ness and northern end of the golf course failed to produce anything of note.

Sunday 1 November 2020

Diver fest

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.

Red-throated Diver

Great Northern Diver