Sunday 29 January 2023

Hooded Crow, Black-throated Diver

The discovery of a Hooded Crow on The Salty this morning by Rob Murphy was an unexpected but welcome addition to the patch list. It had the courtesy to stick around until mid-afternoon giving me a chance to catch up with it (and let Kev add it to his house list). Unfortunately it remained distant from Polly Steps; hopefully somebody on the Back Beach or elsewhere managed to get better shots than those below. 

Yesterday a Black-throated Diver was on the sea between Teignmouth and Holcombe from 11:30 - 12:00 at least; this was even more distant than the crow but the calm sea enabled reasonably good views. Also one Red-throated Diver, five Great Northern Divers, three Great Crested Grebes and eight Razorbills. Prior to this a visit to Wear Farm produced three Chiffchaffs, two Ravens and c.50 Redwings, and elsewhere a female Mandarin was on the river at Teigngrace.

Hooded Crow

Black-throated Diver

Sunday 22 January 2023


A high tide well before sunrise on core count day didn't make for ideal counting conditions, and numbers of some species (larger waders in particular) were down this morning compared with what are expected for January, although there was a reasonable variety on show. Totals included 297 Oystercatchers, 24 Curlew, 23 Turnstones, 22 Avocets, c.50 Redshanks, three Greenshanks, 16 Dunlin, 10 Snipe, two Ringed Plovers, two Lapwings, one Common Sandpiper, 33 Shelducks, 17 Red-breasted Mergansers, eight Teal, four Mute Swans, 22 Little Egrets, two Grey Herons, two Great Crested Grebes, four Little Grebes, 12 Common Gulls, one Lesser Black-backed Gulls and one Kingfisher. A very brief look off Teignmouth seafront revealed four Razorbills and another Great Crested Grebe offshore with six Fulmars back on the cliffs at Holcombe.

Monday 2 January 2023

New Year's Day

A 3.5hr morning walk taking in various Kingsteignton sites, plus a lunchtime scan from Teignmouth seafront, produced a healthy 71 species to start the year. Hackney Marshes provided a Firecrest, two Buzzards, a female Bullfinch and close views of a Water Rail. Three Kingfishers were present in the Passage House area, where 17 Avocets were feeding and a Chiffchaff called from the reeds. Rackerhayes was quieter than expected but did hold three Mandarins, 26 Tufted Ducks and various woodland species including Sparrowhawk, Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Off Teignmouth, 6+ Great Northern Divers (with a probable Black-throated Diver reported), several Gannets, Razorbills and single Kittiwake and Fulmar. Twelve Turnstones were roosting on a boat off Polly Steps.