Tuesday 30 April 2024

Arctic Skua

A fairly productive seawatch (by Teignmouth spring standards) from 07:30 - 08:30 this morning, although there was a sense that a lot more was passing just beyond view. Auks were constantly streaming south in loose flocks, with around 250 recorded in total; those close enough to identify were all Guillemots. Kittiwakes also just about made three figures, with a couple being harassed by a dark phase Arctic Skua. Also noted 50+ Gannets, 21 Manx Shearwaters, five Great Northern Divers, four Red-throated Divers, four diver sp., nine Fulmars, five Common Scoters and three Whimbrel

Sunday 14 April 2024

Birds of prey

Bundle Head was largely devoid of passage migrants on Saturday morning, but four species of raptor were noted including Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and this male Kestrel; also c.15 Linnets, a Willow Warbler, a Green Woodpecker and a Stock Dove. Not much at Passage House either with high tide approaching but six Common Sandpipers were on the spit. Later in the afternoon a Red Kite flew low over my house in Kingsteignton, the first of the year and making it a rare five-raptor day on patch.

Sunday 7 April 2024


Totals from around the estuary this morning included 105 Oystercatchers, 45 Turnstones, 11 Redshanks, two Greenshanks, two Common Sandpipers, one Black-tailed Godwit, just one Curlew, 22 Shelducks, 10 Mute Swans, seven Red-breasted Mergansers, one Great Crested Grebe, eight Little Egrets, 10 Great Black-backed Gulls and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The blustery conditions encouraged Sandwich Terns into the estuary, with at least eight noted including two as far up as Passage House. A couple of Swallows and Sand Martins were also seen battling the headwind up river.

Elsewhere a 45-minute seawatch from Teignmouth produced seven Fulmars (probable local breeders), two Great Northern Divers (one in full summer plumage), one Red-throated Diver, five Common Scoters, five Guillemots, three Sandwich Terns, one Great Crested Grebe and a couple of dozen Gannets and Kittiwakes. There had clearly been a bit of a fall of Willow Warblers at Rackerhayes with seven singing birds present, and at last a Wheatear (a male) was on the racecourse.

Turnstones (Alan Ford)