Thursday 27 January 2022

Back in Black

The overdue first Black Redstart of the winter, a smart male, was on roofs around the Point carpark and pier in Teignmouth. 

Monday 24 January 2022


 A somewhat frustrating count yesterday with many birds scattered about the estuary and not in the usual high tide roosts - perhaps a sign of disturbance the previous day. Nevertheless, totals included 260 Oystercatchers, 73 Curlew, 20 Redshanks (almost certainly an undercount), 10 Greenshanks (on south side east of Coombe Cellars), 17 Turnstones, two Common Sandpipers, 62 Shelducks, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 10 Mallards, eight Mute Swans, five Little Grebes, four Wigeon, eight Cormorants, four Shags and singles of Avocet, Kingfisher and Great Crested Grebe.

Sunday 16 January 2022

Weekend Summary

An afternoon visit to Passage House saw the regular Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher with four Greenshank, three Wigeon and most surprisingly two female Pintail, a rare visitor to the estuary. 

A look at Decoy Lake saw a pair of Mandarin outcompeting the Mallard for bread but no Tufted Duck or grebes. 

On Saturday the immature Spoonbill around Teignmouth with all three regular divers off the mouth of the estuary and a Firecrest at Shaldon. On Friday a Cattle Egret was reported in Bishopsteignton, with 23 Avocet, Common Sandpiper, c30 Curlew, 10+ Snipe, c10 Redshank and a Kingfisher were at Passage House on the afternoon high tide. 

Sunday 9 January 2022

Razorbill in estuary

Great Northern Diver was the most abundant species off Teignmouth mid-morning today, even though numbers were down compared with New Year's Day, with seven present along with five Guillemots, a Razorbill and a male Common Scoter. From Polly Steps a huddle of Turnstones on the port quay numbered at least 41 birds, a particularly high count, but more unusual was a Razorbill diving just a few metres away from the quay. Finally a check of the railway wall between Flow Point and Salcombe Dip revealed the roost of the estuary's tiny wintering population of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, with six and five present respectively.

Saturday 1 January 2022

New Year's Day

A four hour (10:30 - 14:30), 10km walk from home in Kingsteignton produced a below-par 57 species, although the late start and low tide conditions combined with the absurdly mild weather did not help the total. Hackney Marshes was pretty quiet bird-wise although it was nice to hear two Song Thrushes in full voice and a Nuthatch showed well. Passage House produced three Lapwings, two Wigeon, a Kingfisher, a Common Sandpiper and a distant group of Red-breasted Mergansers. Waterfowl at Rackerhayes included singles of Gadwall and Shoveler, four Great Crested Grebes but just 10 Tufted Ducks, and the surrounding woodland held Chiffchaff, Redwing, Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

At the other end of the patch, Keith Birchall recorded an impressive 18 Great Northern Divers off Teignmouth along with two Red-throated Divers, a single Brent Goose and small numbers of Gannets, Guillemots and Common Gulls.

Great Northern Diver (Alan Ford)