Sunday 14 January 2024


Plenty to see on the estuary this morning, aided by a very high spring tide shortly after sunrise. The wintering Spotted Redshank popped up on Flow Point but only allowed brief views while foraging around the fringes of the the submerged saltmarsh. The flock of Avocets, now up to 24 birds, roosting at Passage House was a welcome sight after no records at the tail end of 2023, and Turnstones continue to increase with 56 at Teignmouth, six on Flow Point and one at Passage House. Oystercatcher numbers were down (249) but this was probably due to them vacating their usual roost location on the estuary wall. Other totals included 69 Curlew, 40+ Redshanks, 11 Greenshanks, 41 Dunlin, five Ringed Plovers, two Black-tailed Godwits, one Common Sandpiper, 14 Little Egrets, 34 Shelducks, 29 Red-breasted Mergansers, 20 Mallards, 12 Mute Swans, six Teal, two Wigeon, two Little Grebes, one Kingfisher and one Great Northern Diver (by Shaldon bridge).

A brief check of the sea off Teignmouth revealed a party of five Red-throated Divers, three Great Northern Divers and at least eight Fulmars on the cliffs towards Holcombe.

Friday 12 January 2024

Newton pit-stops

 A visit to Newton on Monday 8th allowed for quick checks of Decoy and Passage House. At Decoy, pairs of Shoveler and Teal were notable, as for the opposite reason, were just three Coot and two Tufted Duck. A flock of 20 Avocet were unexpected at Passage House.

Back east, up to six Great Northern Diver have been in the estuary off Teignmouth.

Saturday 6 January 2024

Cirl Buntings

A late morning visit to RSPB land east of Bishopsteignton under a cloudless sky produced c.20 Cirl Buntings, 30+ Skylarks and 20+ Linnets on the winter stubbles, with four Buzzards, two Peregrines and two Ravens overhead enjoying the conditions. Earlier in Kingsteignton a Firecrest had given incredibly close views near the entrance to Hackney Marshes.

Monday 1 January 2024

New Year's Day

A respectable 74 species to start the year despite the arrival of yet more rain by midday. First stop was Rackerhayes where the woodland delivered Marsh Tit, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Stock Dove, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers although the standout sighting was a Weasel by the boardwalk. The ponds themselves held 10 Tufted Ducks and four Great Crested Grebes, and back in Kingsteignton a male Blackcap was near the church. Switching to the estuary, a Rock Pipit was on Flow Point and 29 Red-breased Mergansers and 21 Dunlin were in the vicinity of Arch Brook. Poor visibility hampered a brief lunchtime seawatch off Teignmouth although single Kittiwake, Gannet and Great Northern Diver were noted, two Ravens flew over and a party of Turnstones was on the Salty. Water Rail, Little Grebe and Lapwing were later added at Passage House and a pair of Stonechats was on the racecourse. 

Rock Pipit

Marsh Tit