Saturday, 8 January 2011


A single Spoonbill on the Tamar this p.m. Best viewed from the back of Ernesettle sewage works.
Also here were thirty Avocets, forty one Teal, twenty four Wigeon and thirty six Dunlin.
Nearby at Tamerton Creek a Spotted Redshank was seen in flight.
Not much on the Plym at low tide this morning; the two Coot are still here but the Gadwall are down to one pair. The only other birds of note were two pair of Teal and three Snipe.

Start Point

The large feeding frenzy of Gannets (1000+) was also off Start Point feeding in the race, in three large groups with 8+ Harbour Porpoise under one group. Also a Great Northern Diver. Good numbers of auks moving NE around Start Pt into Start Bay.


1pm - 3pm. About 20 cirl buntings and 5 reed buntings in the car park. Off beach, 1 ringed plover on rocks, 88 great crested grebe, 2 black necked grebe, 23 razorbill, 1 drake red breasted merganser. A large flock of gulls and a few gannets was feeding off Elberry cove.


Exeter; 15 Waxwings still on Marsh Barton estate by Vospers early afternoon.

Exminster Marshes; 7 White-fronted Geese, south of the bridge down towards Turf. Hen Harrier, ringtail towards motorway bridge, mid-afternoon.

Turf; Redhead Smew on canal by lagoon viewing platform, 15.30, so possibly different bird to that on Bowling Green Marsh.

Exe Estuary Environs

No sign of the Waxwings opposite Vospers in Marsh Barton this morning during an hour. Not many berries left.

A flooded track at Exminster Marshes hampered proceedings there. Not much of note seen from railway bridge.

The redhead Smew was showing well at Bowling Green Marsh at three this afternoon though as was a Water Pipit.

Avocets on the estuary backlit by an amber sunset rounded it off nicely as did King Kenny coming back to Anfield.
Otter Estuary and Colaton Raleigh Common
A look on the Otter this afternoon produced the following highlights:
4 Black-tailed Godwit, 380+ Wigeon, 5 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler with 4 RT Divers on the sea.
A dusk visit looking over Colaton Raleigh Common was well worth it as 2 Hen Harriers (male and ringtail) hunted over the south-east side visible from near Stowford.

bit of an 'Auk-Fest' in Start Bay today: 800+ Razorbill, 50+ Guillemot, 1000 Gannet feeding over the 'Skerries Banks'!! 7 Red Throated Diver, Grt Northern Diver, 8 Slavonian Grebe, Red Necked Grebe, (group of 7 Slav's + the Red necked together late a.m. off Beesands) Grt Crested Grebe 8 in the Bay. Grey Seal. AFD EW
Oh! the 2 Velvet Scoter still Beesands

Preston Seafront

2 Slavonian Grebe present at 1130hrs looking toward Torquay. Moving toward the middle of the bay on my departure. Male Common Scoter still present.
Also a couple of Black-necked Grebe of Paignton Seafront

Friday, 7 January 2011

Axe Estuary

No sign of the recent Bittern during a vigil from the 'farm gate' (Axmouth) late this afternoon, but five adult Med Gulls flew down river amongst the flocks of Black-headed and Common Gulls. Also a female-type Goosander on the river.

Thurlestone Bay

After reading MD's post thinking of renaming the Bay -Aukless Bay. Spent an hour late aft and managed 1 Gannet & the first Fulmer of the year both going east

Influx of duck -Thurlestone Marsh held 65 Wigeon , 4 Shoveler , 40 Teal.

South Huish marsh 195 Wigeon, 16 Gadwall, 50 Teal & 1 f Tufted Duck

St. Budeaux, Plymouth

A 1st. winter male Black Redstart, seen this afternoon, on and off between 14:10hrs. and 15:30hrs. It was frequenting the Communal Gardens and car park area behind the three storey flats on the north side of Kathleaven Street, at the west end junction with Victoria Road, St.Budeaux, Plymouth.

[from Richard Smith]


Possibly of local interest, two drake Tufted Ducks on the rising chocolate coloured River Exe in Tiverton just downstream of Angel Hill bridge.

Local birds for local people, arrr!

Berry Head

Seawatch 10:00-14:00. Quite an impressive seabird passage, the best birds being 2 Pomarine Skuas south, at 10:35 and 11:12. Both these birds still had their spoons despite being in adult winter plumage! Massive movement of auks (80-90% Razorbills) with c12,800 south (best hour 11:00-12:00 with 5,600) - biggest count I've had here! Otherwise 1 Great Skua, 7 Red-throated Divers, 320 Gannets, 550 Kittiwakes. Off the headland 3 Eider and 4+ Harbour Porpoise.

Great Grey Shrike

One showing well on south Dartmoor near Cold East Cross ( nr. Ashburton ) this afternoon. It was about 600 metres on from Cold East Cross on the Ponsworthy road at Grid Ref SX 736745.

Marsh Barton - yesterday 6/1

One of the Marsh Barton Waxwings - photograph by Charlie Fleming.


A flock of 60+ Siskins feeding on alder cones along the Tarka trail near the Tesco footbridge this morning. Grey Wagtail near the weir.
Nearby still 3 Pochard and 2 Tufted Duck on Wrafton pond.

Bursdon Moor - Thursday

Thursday late afternoon until dusk at Bursdon Moor. Quiet and rather dull but not too cold and visibility was good.
A ringtail Hen Harrier came in close to the watching point and pitched in on the moor for a few minutes, then took off and hunted prior to going to roost. Then, for the first time for at least four years two Short eared Owls appeared low over the moor, showing very well. They headed down into the valley on the northern edge of the moor and presumably went to roost.
No sign of the Great Grey Shrike at Trew.
(Harvey Kendall)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Red Kite

Red Kite between Marldon and Berry Pomeroy at 3pm this afternoon.

[from Chris Noakes]

Thurlestone Bay

Very wet morn. -On Thurlestone Marsh- 50 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 70+ Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Black Tailed Godwit. 10 Reed Buntings still coming to my feeders,

South Huish marsh 2pm -4pm

145 Wigeon, 40 TEal, 25 Snipe, 1 Tufted Duck ( only 3rd record in last 4 years ) 9 Gadwall c 100 Fieldfare , 110+ Redwiong. 25 lapwing.

In the Bay 1 Slavonian Grebe, 2 Turnstone

Charleton marsh

Stopped off at Beesands where 7 Red head Goosanders remain and 2 Velvet Scoters on sea, close in for a change! In a field nearby were c. 360 Lapwing along with 200+ Redwing.
At Charleton, 4 f. Scaup out in the bay together with 2 Black necked Grebes and 3 Mergansers. Struggled to count the Wigeon, around 440 and 102 Teal. Dunlin numbered about 320, 22 Grey Plover and 7 Knot.
More Cirl Buntings in East Devon!
After a male cirl bunting was seen in Exmouth during the snow (see entry for 22nd December) , a pair are now present near the coast between Ladram Bay and Brandy Head, east of Budleigh Salterton. On checking out a "report" of a female cirl bunting, two birds was a great surprise.
This is very exciting news, particularly as birds rarely like to cross the Exe and tend not to travel more than 2Km between breeding and wintering sites. Presumably, these birds were forced to move further than usual due to the prolonged snow cover. It is well worth keeping an eye out for other birds "out of range" - If so, please do contact the RSPB Exeter Office 01392 432691.
Let's hope they stick around and help expand the already vulnerable range.


4 Bramblings ringed at the Velator reserve this morning. At least two others were seen with a mobile Finch flock. 2 Tawny Owls present, being mobbed by aforementioned Finches.

Nearby 2 Tufted Duck and 3 Pochard on Wrafton Pond.

Exminster canal

The stretch of canal north of the Turf hotel provided some dramatic bird watching at lunch time today. It began with a cormorant struggling with a very large eel. The diameter of the eel was at least twice that of the cormorant's neck. And it was long enough to wrap itself around the bird's neck twice. Eventually after repeated dives, to loosen the eel's grip, the fish slipped from the bird's bill and swam away.

As this finished hundreds of birds rose from the marshes. Lapwings, black-tailed godwits and wigeon flew in tight groups. Expecting a peregrine I found instead the ring-tailed hen harrier being pursued by two large peregrines. As the falcons kept up an aerial bombardment for over five minutes all three flew south towards the Turf. The harrier occasionally flipped on to its back and presented its talons to the descending peregrines. Although I failed to see any actual contact the efforts to escape by the harrier were quite spectacular. Eventually the peregrines lost interest and the harrier flew high out over the estuary. Slowly turning north it flew towards the reed beds south of the motorway bridge and was lost to view.

The white-fronted geese were reported to be with Canada geese close to the railway.


From above Maer Rocks early afternoon:

14 Red-throated Divers (some on the sea), one Black-throated Diver south-west, distant female Surf Scoter and Velvet Scoter, female Eider, one Razorbill, a couple of Great Crested Grebes and several Gannets close inshore.

Westward Ho!

A very smart male Black Redstart was at Westward Ho! sea front this morning. It was around the beach huts, and going on to the beach between the two new blocks of flats.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Thurlestone Bay

Morning wet & windy with poor vis.- In 2.5 hrs 1 Red t Diver -east, 1 Kittiwake & 5 Gannet -east.

In the Bay a female Goosander.

South Huish Marsh- 100+ Wigeon, 40 Teal, 12 Gadwall, 15 Snipe, 50+ Redwing, 30 Fieldfare.
Rec'd a call at 14.45 to say a Bittern on the northern end of the marsh. Spent 2 hrs but did not show. 10 Brent Goose flew west & 1 Curlew over. The interesting birdwas a biscuit brown coloured Starling , however the bill was dark & it had a dark breast. Took some poor photo's and came to the conclusion it was a leucistic Starling . .

South Milton Ley -2 Grey Wagtail, 5 Chiffchaffs ( inc 1 very light grey )

THurlestone Marsh 5 Shoveler, 20 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 15 Snipe

Babbacombe and Oddicombe bays

In cloudy wet conditions this morning, with limited visibility at sea, a group of 55 Great Crested Grebes offshore,plus a Redthroated Diver which flew off south. A flock of 40 Kittiwakes dropped in and there were about 12 Razorbill, plus a Guillemot, strung across the bay.

Wilmington area

Red Kite watched c11.00am this morning circling near the Trout Farm.
(E Harris)


I did get distant shot of yesterdays Black-throated Diver and decided it probably was worth posting today!

Bowling Green and Exminster - yesterday 4/1

Bowling Green Marsh: The redhead Smew was present 10 am at least

Exminster Marshes: male Merlin on a distant gatepost approx level with canalside car park at c4.20pm and a ringtail Hen Harrier on a fence post up by the M5 bridge at 4.30pm, then quartering briefly.

[from Julian Thomas]

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Today at noon 9 Goosanders still on Ley. In Start Bay 50+ Gannets feeding also a solitary Slavonian Grebe.

Axe Estuary

A Bittern enjoyed by 4 observers at Black Hole Marsh this afternoon before disappearing into cover was watched going to roost in the Axe Marsh reedbed at 4:25pm. This is viewable from the farm gate that overlooks the estuary just north of Axmouth village.


Still at least one Brambling in the reserve this morning, and a calling Little Grebe (bit early?)

Environment Agency staff strimming around Wrafton Pond so only 3 Shoveler.

Ide and Exeter

One Hawfinch still present briefly near West Town Farm, Ide this morning at 10.00.

22 Waxwings in Exeter at the junction of Maryfield Avenue and Union Road at 10.40.

[from Will Salmon]

Erme Estuary - yesterday 3/1

Slavonian Grebe on sea at mouth of estuary yesterday.

[from Steve Cox]

Corbyn Head, Torquay

Two Black-necked Grebes at lunch time.

[from Steve Cox]


This Red Kite was sitting in a tree outside my studio window at 11am. It stayed for about 10 minutes and then flew east.

[from John Gale]

Hartland - yesterday 3/1

great grey shrike seen yesterday from country club entrance [malcolm shakespeare]

Weare Gifford - yesterday 3/1

adult whooper swan still present with 2mute swans, 10 canada geese, in field below church and farm yesterday .

[from Dave Churchill]

Grand Western Canal

A slow walk distracted by lichens and ferns from Halberton to Tiverton along the canal produced a male Blackcap, three Treecreepers, a Goldcrest, twenty Redwings, just one Fieldfare, two Mistle Thrushes, a Reed Bunting, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, twenty two Stock Doves, three Marsh Tits a Sparrowhawk and a Woodcock.

Dawlish Warren/Exminster Marsh/Ludwell Valley

A good day at these sites today, with over 40 Red Throated Diver at the Warren either on the sea or flying west,also here 29 Eider, distant views of the Surf Scoter and Velvet Scoter 1 Black Necked Grebe 2 Slavonian Grebe 1 Sanderling 1 cracking Male Black Redstart30+ Great Crested Grebe 6 Common Scoter,also Kingfisher at Cockwood, 20+ Red Legged Partridge at Kenton, the Female Smew was on the Canal at Exminster Marsh before flying towards B G Marsh,and on the leat at Ludwell valley 2 Dipper and 1Green Sandpiper.

Waxwings, Marsh Barton, Exeter - Update

There were 30 Waxwings late afternoon in tree opposite Bristol Street Motors. They are feeding on 2 very small Rowan Trees, but the berries are disappearing fast.

Thurlestone Bay

09.45- South Huish marsh- 130 Wigeon, 25 Teal, 1m Gadwall,15 Snipe ,Lapwing 2 on marsh&25 over.

Aveton Gifford -noon- 2 Common Sandpiper,8 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin ,3 Redshank, , 1 Little Grebe, 120+ Wigeon, 1 Nuthatch.

Langstone Cross ( on road to Kingston )- there is a grain store ,good mixed flock of finches - 60+ Chaffinch, 55 Yellowhammer 2 Brambling, 30 House Sparrow.

Marsh Barton-Exeter

Now 28 Waxwing opposite Bristol Street Motors by the road junction this afternoon and showing well.

Powderham and Exminster marshes

Although I should be back to work today I could not resist a quick visit to the marshes over lunch. Between the showers it was quite pleasant and there were far fewer people about. On the RSPB's Powderham land there were still small flocks of chaffinches (totalling about 100), fifty or so bramblings and 20 linnets. 63 skylarks seemed to be continually in the air and just as I was leaving I realised why - a merlin flew along one hedge. At the same time two peregrines flew overhead but they were more interested in each other than in the 500 lapwings and 200 black-tailed godwits they disturbed. I have now seen on the marshes 7 species of raptor since the New Year.

As I walked over the railway bridge onto Exminster marshes there were 6 or possibly 7 white-fronted geese to the north, close to a large flock of Canada geese. However the white-fronts were not there when I returned at about 2.30.

About 100 coots are still on the canal but only 4 gadwall. A further 360 black-tailed godwits were feeding close to the lane and these were, in turn, disturbed by the two peregrines - still squabbling. Apart from a few snipe there were no other waders. In the lane a small flock of 7 long-tailed tits were accompanied by a single goldcrest. After checking the usual sites I realised I had not seen or heard a Cettis warbler or stonechat this year. Let's hope they were displaced rather than destroyed. On a brighter note I did see over 12 song thrushes, heard two water rails and saw 3 kestrels.


1 Black-throated Diver close in off headland, 4 Black-necked Grebes, 31 Great crested Grebes, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Eider, 47 Razorbills 60+ Gannets sat on sea.

Waxwings, Marsh Barton, Exeter

3 Waxwings still at Marsh Barton, Exeter opposite Vospers Garage late morning

Goosey Pool in Northam Burrows

A short walk 1100 today 

c160 Wigeon, 2 Bar Tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe, 5 Redshank, 7 Dunlin, c20 Lapwing, 2 Curlew, 1 Med Gull usually found away from  the other seabirds, plus the usual residents

Marsh Barton - yesterday 3/1

3 Waxwing on the Marsh Barton Trading Estate this morning .
[from Dave Stone]

Monday, 3 January 2011

Thurlestone Marsh

On the marsh today- 47 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 1f Pintail (flew thru) 80 Lapwing, 15 Snipe, 1 Water Pipit.

In the village this morn 2 Coal Tit & a Goldcrest.

Starling roost -dispersal at 8am 15k , at 16.15 at least 20k.

Wistlandpound Reservoir

Tufted Duck 8
Wigeon 17
Teal 10
Gadwall 2
Pochard 3

Start Bay

Just started to drive along the 'line' when a Bittern rose from the reeds and flew towards top of marsh.
 Intently scanning the sea at Torcross when startled by the stern voice of a traffic warden....turned out to be Perry, - so same report as his for here! Moved on to Prawle, and at Horsely cove, Water pipit, Ringed plover, 2 Grey plover, 2 Redshank, 8 Turnstone, 7 Oystercatcher, a pair of Mallard and a Red head Goosander. Other species taking advantage of, presumably the invertebrates in the seaweed, were varying numbers of Rock pipits Pied wagtails Starlings Robins and Blackbirds. c. 300 Gannets plunge diving into Start race, 20 or 30 at a time - spectacular. Good views through the scope' of the Grey plovers picking winkles off the rocks and downing them whole.
Kingsbridge Est
Scaup 4 (fem + 1W male) Slav Grebe, Avocet 2 (curlew drive) Tufted Duck 25 Goldeneye 21 Goosander 2 fem Chiffchaff 1 (sewage works) Shoveler 8


Broadsands-Churston Cove
90+ Great Crested Grebes on the sea between Broadsands and Churston Cove, as well as 2-3 Black-necked Grebes, a single female Eider, 3 Red-throated Divers and about 70-80 Razorbill. A single drake Wigeon worked his way round from Churston to Broadsands. One Firecrest at Elberry Cove. Two Grey Seals in the bay as well. Edit: I forgot 5 Common Scoter off Churston.

A cursory look at the field behind the carpark at Broadsands yielded about a dozen Cirl Bunting, a single Reed Bunting and a handful of Linnet and Skylark.

14 Purple Sands and three Turnstone present, but nothing else of note.

Paignton and Roundham

Two Black-throated Divers swimming south off the headland late morning, a Red-throated Diver flew past towards Berry Head , nine Common Scoter were on the sea plus a single Black-necked Grebe. The Long-tailed Duck was near Paignton Pier.

Berry Head

A brief (cold) watch 12:30-14:30: 2 Eider off the platform. Lots of birds moving out in Lyme Bay, a Black-throated Diver (south), all other divers seen were Red-throated with 4 north and 3 south and 2 unidentified Divers north (prob Red-throats). Lots (100s) of auks moving both north and south making counting hard, but mainly Razorbills, however, in one large group heading south was a Puffin which landed on the sea.

Up to 6 Harbour Porpoises feeding off the head, but more unusually a lone Common Dolphin was feeding with them for a few minutes, before heading off south.
Eider and Harbour Porpoise surfing
It seems that the sightings of Sooty Shearwaters at Prawle and Torbay on the 1st January (amazingly) may have been different birds. The Prawle bird appearing to look more typical Sooty with silvery underwing. While the Torbay bird lacked this feature and also had strange pale patches on the uppering (not seen on the Prawle bird).

Torbay Area

Following on from a report of Waxwing in St Margaret's Avenue, 3 Waxwing were seen ealy afternoon on Westhill Road and in the grounds of Homelands Primary School.

Nearby at Preston, 5 Black-Necked Grebes, 5 Common Scoter (a flock of 4 and the usual male), the Long-Tailed Duck , 1 Purple Sandpiper on the rocks and a Brent Goose flying around. 2 Red-Necked Grebes were also reported.

At Broadsands, the Siberian Chiffchaff still present in the marsh, the Ringed Plover on the rocks and large numbers of Gannets and Razorbills were feeding offshore.

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.

Goosey Pool in Northam Burrows & Skern

Goosey Pool in Northam Burrows to Skern and back 0930 to 1200

c160 Widgeon, 1 Bar Tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe, 4 Dunlin, 140 Lapwing, 5 Curlew,  2 Buzzard,
2 Grey Wagtails, c20 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit

Skern 11.30 - very low tide

Shelducks & Redshanks plus 3 Ravens high overhead


A quick look around the bay from car/child friendly locations wiith not a great deal of time to check.
At Goodrington at least 90 Great-crested Grebe (more birds towards Broadsands) also 3 Black-necked Grebes.
From Preston Seafront 5 Black-necked Grebes and the Common Scoter still present as well as a few more Great-crested Grebes.
There seemed to be alot of birds moving in and around Berry Head so maybe someone watching from there may have done quite well today?
Also Black Redstart on my feeders today. There are at least 3 birds now at Sharkham Village, Brixham. 1 male and 2 females that have been resident for at least the last 2 months. They are mobile around the site and can be viewed easily from the paths.

Waxwings in Exeter

18 Waxwings in Exeter on TV aerial northside of Union Road, close to the junction of Maryfield Avenue early afternoon today.

At 13:15 they flew to Lower Kings Avenue where they are now feeding on berries

[from Kev G]


In the pouring rain this morning, 4 Blackcaps as follows:
male in back Garden, Cedar Close + male and 2 females in lane at Knappe Cross.
A female Brambling with Chaffinches in Gorse Lane (off from Dinan Way) and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker there.

Goosander fest

Now 9 Goosanders (all redheads) on Beesands Ley this morning. Also 30 Pochard, 10 Gadwall but just a couple Tufted Duck. On the sea a Velvet Scoter flew north and there were also a couple each of Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe.
Went around to Slapton Ley and looking at Ireland Bay from the mid-way car park saw another 9 Goosanders, definatly not the Beesands birds following me as one was a male. Just had time for a quick look at Start Bay from Torcross and in half an a hour 25 Common Scoter flew north and 11 unidentified divers ( including a flock of 8 ) heading south.

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Axe Estuary
2 adult Med Gulls on the estuary mid morning, and a Ruff in the flooded field opposite Axe Football Club.

7+ Purple Sandpipers on rocks at the south west end of Sidmouth beach late morning. 

Bowling Green Marsh/Topsham
The redhead Smew was on the main pool at 13:00 having moved from the canal. Slavonian Grebe off the Goatwalk. 2 Common Sands and a Spotted Redshank between the playing fields and M5 bridge, plus a female Brambling in a private garden.

Exminster Marshes
The 7 White-fronted Geese flew south towards Powderham shortly after 15:00.

Prawle +

Seawatch first thing produced 3 Great Northern, 4 Black-throated and 5 Red-throated Divers, (also 2 unidentified which were probably Black-throated), 341 Gannets, 2 Fulmar, 26 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, Common Scoter, 2 Med Gulls and 2510 Auks. Nearly all of these were Razorbills early on, but more Guillemots passed towards the end of the watch - estimated breakdown 2300 Razorbills, 210 Guillemots.

Other birds; 2 Goosanders (flew east), 2 Curlew, 2 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 3 Redshank, Ringed Plover, 13 Turnstone, 12 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Woodcock, 21 Song Thrush, 60+ Redwing, 165+ Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Water Pipit and 2 Chiffchaff.

Rained off mid-afternoon so came home via Beesands, by which time there were 8 Goosanders, and Start Bay, with 1 Black-necked Grebe off the monument car-park. (Seems likely the Prawle Goosanders were heading back to Beesands?)

Seaton area

The Bewick swan is still present between Boshill cross and musbury with the main Mute swan flock but elusisive.
8 Velvet scoter off the yacht club with 30+common scoter.

Exminster Marshes

The ringtail hen harrier on the Exe appears to be roosting regularly at a location near to Exminster Marshes, and entered this roost today at about 1615.

Also of interest, amongst the large numbers of wildfowl and waders using the Marshes since the snow melt is a colour-ringed Icelandic black-tailed godwit originally marked as an adult on the Wash in 1996 and now visiting the Exe for at least its 15th consecutive winter!

More around North Devon

The Whooper Swan is still at Weare Giffard this afternoon - in the field below the church with 12 Canada Geese and 2 Mute Swans.

At the Skern, a few Knot with the other waders, which included a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits. Several Pintail too.

Five Spoonbill at Isley Marsh, and 2 Great-crested Grebes on the river, with several hundred Wigeon.

Fremington Pill had 2 Black-tailed Godwits with about 40 Redshank.

As Maurice has said Gadwall, Wigeon and Teal on Bradiford reserve, and most of the waders were roosting on the concrete embankment at Pottington as the tide was in when I got there.

Coast Path west of Westward Ho! and fields near Cornborough.

0900 to 1200 low level cloud

1 Cormorant, 1 Fulmar,  1 Raven, 12 Curlew, c160 Lapwing, c30 Redwing


The Long-tailed Duck was again off Mudbank Lane at 1500hrs, but fairly distant.

First thing this morning there were c. 20 Eider and 2 Common Scoter off the seafront (viewing from near the Old Lifeboat station).

A quick trudge round High Land of Orcombe at midday only produced 3 Common Snipe, c.250 Skylark and a pair of Kestrels.


Late morning 5 redhead Goosander present on the Ley (Bob Burridge had a sixth later) and two Velvet Scoter were on the sea although hard to watch in rough conditions .
At midday a Greenshank and Kingfisher at the head of Bowcombe Creek.

Passage House - Teign

An increase in wader numbers at Passage today - this morning at low tide a Golden Plover was in with 170 Lapwing roosting on the mudflats. Late afternoon there were 83 Dunlin, 8 Avocet, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey plover and 3 Snipe.

Exe Valley flood relief channel

1 Green sand
3 Redshank
2 Dunlin

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

10:40 to 12:00.

A stroll down the Tarka Trail from the Taw Bridge to Bradiford Water/Reserve produced good numbers of Lapwing; Oystercatcher; Mallard; Redshank; Shelduck; Herring, Common, Black-headed and Lesser-black backed Gulls.

Approx 120 Carrion Crows were on the sand and mud banks just downstream of the bridge.

5 Little Grebe were feeding near the Swing Bridge by the Civic Centre.

Just off Pottington a female Goldeneye floated down river but soon took flight and flew back up the river towards Barnstaple.

There were 6 Gadwall on the pond in Bradiford Reserve plus c12 Wigeon and 8 Teal.

Between Pottington and Penhill Marsh were at least 500-600 Dunlin; c1000 Lapwing; 22 Sanderling; 4 Bar-tailed Godwit; 43 Grey Plover and 20 Dark-bellied Brent.

Out and about

Now 6 Waxwing, (including at least 1 adult), just south of Dawlish Town late morning for 20 minutes. From Dawlish town, take the coast road towards Teignmouth up the hill and park in Coronation Avenue (the first right hand road). Continue walking for about 100 yards towards Teignmouth and the birds were feeding in an apple tree right by the main road and using the trees around the open grass area between the houses and the road. The birds flew off over the estate at 11.15am.

Nearby 7 White-Fronted Geese (2 ads) showing well at Exminster Marsh north of the railway bridge, and a Green Sandpiper on Matford Pool.

Also today the female Long-Tailed Duck and drake Common Scoter still in Torbay between Preston seafront and Paignton Pier.

Also today in the Exminster Marsh area, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Bittern, 10 Woodlark and the Smew (which apparently flew off mid morning and relocated to Bowling Green early afternoon) all reportedly still present.

Down End

A couple of Eider off Saunton Down this morning.