I adopted the 'sit and wait' strategy this afternoon and was rewarded with views of at least 7 purple sandpipers, down to less than 10 ft. I got them on Maer Rocks at low tide, despite the presence of lots of rock-pooling kids and dog walkers. This seems to be a well-established site now. Mark Bailey had 12 birds there 3 days ago, just 2 shy of my all-time highest count, and I've seen birds regularly there throughout the winter. Weird to think I only had my first there in November 2011. The novelty of seeing them still hasn't really worn off! Prior to that there had been a 20 year drought in purple sandpiper sightings in Exmouth, with the exception of a bird off Orcombe Point, seen by Terry Smith a few years back. They must be getting on rocks below Straight Point when Maer Rocks are covered. These are inaccessible and impossible to view unless you're on a boat.
There were a handful of turnstones on Maer Rocks this afternoon too, and a quick check of the cirl bunting site revealed at least 3 birds (including 2 males) along with c50+ chaffinch, c10+ reed bunting and 2+ yellowhammers.
Presumed juvenile on left - note fresh-looking white-fringed wing coverts.
Female Cirl Bunting.