Tuesday 31 October 2023

The tide is high

Sunday morning saw one of the highest spring tides in recent years, resulting in the usual estuary roosts becoming almost completely submerged. Consequently many of the waders were flighty and unsettled, especially the Redshanks which prevented an accurate count but a minimum of 100 were scattered about between Salcombe Dip and Passage House. Also noted 208 Oystercatchers, 28 Curlew, seven Ringed Plovers, six Greenshanks, five Dunlin, one Black-tailed Godwit, three Kingfishers, 21 Little Egrets, three Little Grebes, two Wigeon and a Teal. A flock of 16 Shags floating downriver was an odd sight, but the most unusual record of the morning was a Kestrel that flew over Passage House; this species is now very scarce locally away from the coast.

Sunday 22 October 2023

Happy hour

I could only manage 60 minutes on Bundle Head this morning but it proved to be an hour very well spent. In clear, calm conditions passerines were on the move before sunrise, with pigeons joining the party shortly afterwards. From 07:45 - 08:45 I logged 4,150 Woodpigeons, 210 Goldfinches, 169 Meadow Pipits, 95 Chaffinches, 91 Linnets, 53 Siskins, 19 Pied/White Wagtails, 17 Swallows, seven Stock Doves, six Bullfinches, three Song Thrushes and singles of Redpoll, Skylark and Great Spotted Woodpecker all heading south. The Woodpigeons attracted the attention of a couple of Peregrines which succeeded in splitting up several large flocks without reducing any in number. 

Elsewhere this afternoon Kev found a 1cy Caspian Gull on The Salty, and on Thursday a Little Gull showed well to several observers off the Point car park in Teignmouth.

Woodpigeons at Bundle Head (Hope's Nose in the background)

Monday 2 October 2023

Cattle Egret

Mild, murky conditions at Bundle Head first thing on Sunday morning were not conducive to overhead passage, but two Grey Wagtails and 11 Siskins went south along with c.150 hirundines (mainly House Martins). The bushes weren't much better although four Firecrests was a decent total, and a pair of Kestrels was lurking along the cliffs. 

Onto Flow Point, where a very high spring tide had submerged most of the saltmarsh and concentrated roosting birds on the far ridge. Quality was provided by a Cattle Egret in with the Little Egrets, the first patch Grey Plover for a couple of years, and a Spotted Redshank (possibly the returning bird from last winter). Also present 61 Curlew, 17 Redshanks, five Greenshanks, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Turnstone.

Cattle Egret