Wednesday 28 February 2024

Siberian Chiffchaff

Rackerhayes delivered this morning with a Siberian Chiffchaff that showed extremely well by the main pond. Also three Blackcaps (one in song), six Tufted Ducks, five Great Crested Grebes and the Bar-headed Goose.

Monday 26 February 2024

Spot Red pinned down

Since its arrival the wintering Spotted Redshank has proved difficult to catch up with, making sporadic appearances at Passage House and Flow Point at high tide only. Its favoured foraging areas had remained a mystery, but earlier this month it was seen between Coombe Cellars and Shaldon, feeding around the old oyster beds. On Saturday Mark Bailey located it on the south side of the estuary east of Arch Brook, where it showed well (both photos below are Mark's). It has been known to roost just west of Arch Brook Bridge from time to time, so this is likely the best area to try and see it as the tide rises or falls (there's a small car park at SX909720).

Monday 12 February 2024

WeBS, Mergansers, Egyptian Geese

With the ongoing decline on the Exe Estuary, the Teign Estuary is now probably the most important wintering site for Red-breasted Mergansers in Devon, with numbers relatively stable and peaking in the high 20s in recent years. At least 28 continued to grace the estuary on Sunday morning, with 26 fishing together off Flow Point and two near Passage House. Gull numbers are beginning to rise with at least 43 Common Gulls and and six Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the upper estuary a sure sign that spring is on its way. Numbers of other species were generally disappointing, perhaps attributable to the mild weather: 271 Oystercatchers, 41 Turnstones, 28 Curlew, 25+ Redshanks, 20 Dunlin, five Greenshanks, three Ringed Plovers, two Avocets, one Common Sandpiper, 51 Shelducks, 17 Mallards, seven Teal, six Mute Swans, two Wigeon, two Little Grebes, eight Cormorants, four Shags, seven Little Egrets, five Grey Herons, one Kingfisher and one Great Northern Diver.

A brief wander round Rackerhayes revealed a/the Bar-headed Goose in with the Canadas, and a massive female Peregrine flew low overhead.

Late news for 1 February - two Egyptian Geese were at Passage House.


Lesser Black-backed Gull

Bar-headed Goose