Monday, 3 January 2011

Taw estuary

Cycled from Barnstaple back home to Braunton again today. Started well with a male Sparrowhawk before I'd even got to the Tarka Trail!

The tide was out, so birds out feeding on the sandbanks - plenty of Dunlin, a few Grey Plover and Godwits, only one Little Egret. The Gadwall were still in the Bradiford reserve with Wigeon and Teal.

Over on the Penhill saltmarsh side, at least 185 Brent Geese - they often get up here at low tide. 2 Pintail over there too. A bit further on, some Sanderling and Ringed Plovers at Ashford and a male Peregrine perched out on the sandbank, which later flew off down the estuary and was joined by a second bird in the air. There was an oddly out-of-place male Tufted Duck over the river too.

Unfortunately no sign of yesterday's Goldeneye, or last week's Smew, or the Avocet seen at Heanton a few days ago.

A Jay crossed the track at Chivenor, where there was a big flock of 300+ Chaffinches in a weedy field, (no Bramblings).

Wrafton Pond has 3 Pochard and 2 Tufted Duck. In the Velator reserve I found a single male Brambling. Finally just got back on the Tarka Trail at the Tesco roundabout when 6 or 7 Siskins flew into the first Alder tree.