Saturday, 26 November 2016

Two Scaups, Pochard and Firecrest

Fortunately Shovelers are identifiable in near darkness! This pair was off Mudbank on the evening of the 24th, following a single off there the day before.
Thanks to a call from Lee I saw both Scaup and Pochard in Exmouth today. The Pochard, a drake, was amongst c50+ Common Scoters off the seafront this morning, and the Scaup, a female-type was viewed from Shelly Beach as it dived off Cockwood alongside a Slavonian Grebe. Also a Goldeneye off there.
The last Scaup I saw in Exmouth was off Maer Rocks on 8/2/2014 and the last Pochard was off Orcombe on 24/4/2011. Rare birds!
Shortly after 1pm this afternoon I located a second female-type Scaup upriver towards West Lodge. It was still present late afternoon. Definitely a second bird as Lee was still watching his while I was watching mine. Also off Mudbank this afternoon - 2 Goldeneyes, 40+ Teal, 4 Gadwall, 80+ Mallard, 6+ Red-breasted Mergansers, c50+ Pintail, c100+ Wigeon, c100+ Brent Geese, 75+ Dunlin, c30+ Redshank, 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Grey Plovers, c50+ Turnstones and 4+ Great Crested Grebes.
A Firecrest was seen briefly down at Mudbank this afternoon, close to the viewing screen. I can't recall ever seeing one in that area of scrub before.
Earlier in the week there was a Shoveler off Mudbank, late in the afternoon on the 23rd. The following evening there was a pair off there. Infrequent visitors to this corner of the estuary.
Goldfinches - Warren View playing fields

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