Sunday 21 February 2021



This Shag has, unusually, been fishing the river at Passage House for the last month. They are normally only seen in the lower half of the estuary.

The Grey Plover was still around the roost islands at Passage House today, with 40+ Redshanks, 12 Dunlin, five Avocets, nine Lapwing, 82 Curlew, four Greenshanks, a Common Sandpiper, and two Kingfishers, one being at Hackney Marshes. A total of 45 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 12 Common Gulls were in the gull flock. It felt distinctly spring-like with Skylarks singing over the racecourse and waking up to the sound of my first singing Chiffchaff of the year.

Grey Plover

Saturday 20 February 2021

Teignmouth update

A few recent records from Teignmouth include up to six Great Northern Diver offshore, a couple of adult Mediterranean Gull, three Knot on the 12th and a vocal Black-tailed Godwit over on the night of the 15th. Continuing the scarce wader theme a Grey Plover was at Passage House on 18th.

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Displaced Golden Plovers and Dunlin

I braved the bitterly cold weather this afternoon, with the temperature just above freezing, and the easterly wind gusting over 50mph. A very good count of 86 Dunlin were foraging along the northern side of the estuary just to the east of Passage House; clearly displaced birds escaping freezing conditions further east. Ten Avocets were still around with six Wigeon. A count of 28 Red-breasted Mergansers was a surprisingly high count given the choppy conditions. I think they must have been seeking the comparatively calm waters of the western end of the estuary. Six Golden Plovers then suddenly appeared on the mudflats, which I'm sure must have flown in as I was scanning elsewhere. Surprisingly, given the displacement of other species, there were still only three Lapwing present. In the gull flock, there were approximately ten Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 20 Common Gulls. Kev has had 2-3000 gulls on The Salty the last few days, and reports a Mediterranean Gull today. A Black Redstart was also around his house yesterday.

On another check of an empty Decoy Lake, a single Lesser Redpoll flew over calling before landing nearby in a silver birch.

Golden Plover

Sunday 7 February 2021

LBB Gull

As Laurie's previous post indicated, Lesser Black-backed Gull numbers typically increase on the estuary in late winter and early spring although they're generally scarce elsewhere on patch, so an individual on the racecourse yesterday morning was noteworthy. In frosty conditions there was little else about except two Stonechats, and there was no sign of the Yellow-browed Warbler at its favoured spot nearby; I'm not aware of any sightings since I managed to catch up with it last Saturday, although there's a good chance it's still in the area.

Lesser Black-backed Gull