Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Bumper Review

It's that time again where I quite enjoy putting a 'full stop' at the end of the year, with my annual review. I appreciate that it's way more than most people want to read but it's useful for me to have a summary of the year, to save trawling back through the many blog posts, so here we go......
The year can best be summed up, bird-wise, as being slow-going until August, when Exmouth experienced a mini purple patch. Things quietened down in September and for most of October, but then the end of October (half-term week) and early November were surprisingly productive, with a succession of good Exmouth birds. The year ended quietly though not without interest.
Yet again it was the general lack of common migrants that was noticeable during both migration periods, but that's normal now, and wildfowl numbers in the autumn were noticeably down on previous years. Wigeon numbers in particular took a tumble, with a maximum of c1500+ down about 50% from last year's 3000+. Juvenile Brent Geese were pretty much non-existent amongst the adult birds, but numbers of Brents were probably on a par with previous years.
I lucked out with all the best sea-watching days - just bad timing really and the small matter of having to go to work. 
My 'Devon self-found' list increased by just 2 (White-winged Black Tern and Barnacle Goose) but the house list shot up by a whopping 7 species compared to none last year.

 The star bird of 2017 was this dinky juvenile White-winged Black Tern which I found on August 7th. It spent 15 days on the river. Photo - Lee Collins.
I recorded 173 species within the Exmouth boundary this year, and highlights included a late winter/early spring singing Yellow-browed Warbler outside our front door,  the discovery of a pair of breeding Firecrests (on the Exmouth boundary), a record-breaking day tally of 48 Red Kites, in May, and my first Exmouth White-winged Black Tern and Hoopoe. Other notable sighting included Bonaparte's Gull, Scaup, Black-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, 8 Egyptian Geese, 6 Cirl Bunting, Blue-headed Wagtail, several Black Tern, a Ring-necked Parakeet, Cattle Egret, Black Brant, Short-eared Owl, Great White Egret, Barnacle Goose, Glaucous Gull and Richard's Pipit.
Notable absences included Siberian Chiffchaff, Velvet Scoter, Crossbill, Avocet and Water Rail, and I've still yet to see a Marsh Tit or Barn Owl in Exmouth, although an individual of the latter species was present for a few weeks at a private site in Exmouth, before being picked up dead.
I spent more time on insects this year and finally caught up with many long-anticipated moth species.
Many thanks to everybody who reads this blog and a big thank you to Lee, Kev, Terry, Spencer and Mark for all their info. As always it was an absolute pleasure birding and searching for insects with Nick but I missed Derek's company this year, as he was off on his travels!
Finally a massive thank you to Martin for all the new moth species. I'm happy I was able to find a few new ones for him too!
The first-winter drake Scaup off Mudbank
Unsurprisingly the new year started in much the same vane as 2016 ended. A whiz round on the first revealed the continuing presence of the Bonaparte's Gull, the first-winter drake Scaup and the two wintering Firecrests behind the cricket club. Eight Purple Sandpipers were on Maer Rocks and eight was to be the peak winter count - down four on last year's twelve. A female Black Redstart remained in the 'Gut'.
A Long-tailed Duck was off the seafront on the 8th and a Black-necked Grebe was off there on the 17th, having been noted off the Warren for a couple of days previously.
Nine Goldeneye, including three drakes, were off Mudbank on the 27th and on the 29th there was a flock of 90+ Common Scoter off the seafront.
February started well when the Bonaparte's Gull was discovered with Black-headed Gulls off Mudbank, affording more prolonged views than usual and undoubtedly displaced as a result of stormy weather. Off the seafront an immature drake Eider battled the hostile conditions.
On the 13th a sea-watch from he raised beach huts produced 3+ Great Northern Divers, 12+ Red-throated Divers and, best of all, an immature Pomarine Skua. Two Black Redstarts  were in the Shelly Beach area.
The 16th was a good day. It started with fabulous views of 2 Slavonian Grebes between Mudbank and West Lodge. A Long-tailed Duck was also present with 6 Goldeneye. Later in the morning Rupert Ormerod, Dick Andrews and I birded some farmland on the fringes of Exmouth where the highlight was the discovery of at least 4 Woodcock.
A twitch for the Torbay Pacific Diver on the 17th was followed by a fly-by Black-throated Diver on the 25th, off Maer Rocks, and a trip down to Slapton, with the family, to see the much celebrated Humpback Whale.
The 26th sprung a surprise in the shape of an Egyptian Goose which made its way rather awkwardly south past Orcombe Point - a touch of the exotic and an Exmouth tick no less!
The month ended well with the discovery of a wintering Yellow-browed Warbler at the end of our road, brightening up the normally mundane walk to work.

The adult Bonaparte's Gull made a rare trip across the river to Mudbank on February 3rd. It's normally seen off Shelly Beach and/or the Warren.

First-winter Black Redstart - photographed on February 15th and one of two birds that wintered around the Shelly Beach area.
Slavonian Grebes - photographed between Mudbank and West Lodge on February 16th.
The first decent day in March was the 11th when I recorded a Long-tailed Duck,  an adult summer-plumaged Mediterranean Gull, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a first-winter Little Gull.
The following day there was a Golden Plover on Orcombe Point and my first 3 Sand Martins raced upriver past Warren Point.
On the 13th I recorded my first Sandwich Tern off the seafront and on the 18th I discovered a Jack Snipe on the edge of some local heathland.
My first Osprey of the spring was upriver on the 21st and on the 23rd both Long-tailed Duck and Little Gull were off the Imperial.
It took until the 24th to get an Exmouth Wheatear. Thanks to a text from Terry I enjoyed watching at least 8 individuals on Orcombe Point - all bounding with energy and itching to get on to their breeding grounds.
The 25th was notable for being the first day of the Yellow-browed Warbler's residency in our neighbours' garden. It remained faithful to two small trees until April 14th, often singing but rarely easy to see.
The first Willow Warbler was on Orcombe on the 26th and the second Osprey of the spring headed upriver on the 27th.
Eleven Pale-bellied Brent Geese on the 30th were the first of the spring for me.

Yellow-browed Warbler - first noted briefly in gardens at the end of Belle Vue Road on February 28th, this bird turned up again in our neighbour's garden on March 25th. It was then noted almost daily until April 14th, often singing and remaining faithful to two red-leaved trees. None were found in the autumn.
April began with a singing male Cirl Bunting on Orcombe - a typically brief encounter and one that is by no guaranteed in any given year in Emouth.
Both Red Kite and Osprey were recorded from the house on the 7th and the 10th was a reasonable migrant day on Orcombe, with 24 Wheatear and a Reed Warbler amongst a few other bits and pieces.
Both Red Kite and Osprey were again recorded on the 11th and another Red Kite was seen on the 12th - the same day that I recorded a fly-over Greylag Goose on Orcombe Point.
A further Red Kite was over the river on the 13th and my first spring Yellow Wagtail was over Orcombe on the 16th. The following day there were 6 Little Tern on the river.
The 18th was a decent migrant day on Orcombe with 3 reeling Grasshopper Warblers, at least 4 Redstart and c50+ Willow Warbler. In the evening there were c25+ Pale-bellied Brent Goose on the river.
Another Grasshopper Warbler was found on Orcombe on the 20th and the following day I discovered my first Lesser Whitethroat of the year - a singing male.
On the 22nd my fifth reeling Grasshopper Warbler of the spring was on Orcombe and 70+ Whimbrel were counted off Mudbank, along with the spring's first White Wagtail. The Whimbrel count had risen to 90+ on the 23rd and the spring's sixth and final Grasshopper Warbler was reeling on Orcombe.
Fifty-two plus Pale-bellied Brent Goose were on the river on the 28th but the spring's highest count was 90+ past Orcombe on the 29th when the spring's first Sedge Warbler was discovered.
The 30th was the best day of the month, with wet and windy conditions producing c20+ Sandwich Tern, 7+ Common Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, 6 Little Tern, 1 Black Tern, an immature drake Eider, 9 Great Northern Diver and a Great Skua.
Common Sandpiper - Maer Rocks 17/4/17 - spring Common Sands are the exception, not the rule in Exmouth.
May was pretty lousy for migrants and terns, skuas and divers were generally in short supply. Just nine Great Northern Divers were recorded all month, along with a handful of Arctic Skuas. On May 1st there was a Redstart on Orcombe and the following day my second Cirl Bunting of the spring flew low east along the clifftops.
The 3rd produced another Redstart, a Reed Warbler and the spring's first Whinchat on Orcombe. My first spring Swift flew over Carter Park the same day.
The fourth produced my first spring Garden Warbler and on the 5th a Pomarine Skua lingered off Orcombe, where a Great Skua was also recorded. Another Whinchat was present but migrant passerine numbers were generally very low.
Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat and a Yellowhammer were on Orcombe on the 6th and on the 8th I recorded a Blue-headed Wagtail, my first spring Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Redstart and a Greenshank. Pretty good going for Orcombe.
On the 11th a short sea-watch produced two surprises in the shape of a drake Pintail and a summer-plumaged Black-throated Diver.
On the 14th I ventured over to the Warren to twitch a very smart Eastern Subalpine Warbler. Got to keep the old Devon list ticking along!
A quiet spell mid-month was punctuated on the 25th by Red Kites. I had a flock of 13 wheeling low over Mudbank, early in the morning, and by the end of the day I had recorded 48, mostly from the back garden. A further seven were recorded on the 27th.

Female Blue-headed Wagtail - Orcombe Point. This was a pleasant surprise in an otherwise poor spring for Yellow Wagtails. It was discovered late afternoon associating with a party of 6 Wheatears.

May was fantastic for Red Kites. A record 48 were seen on the 25th and the month's total reached 57 birds.

June was typically very quiet but the beginning of the month produced some half-decent sea-watching. On the 7th I recorded 4+ Storm Petrel past Orcombe Point, late in the evening, and on the 8th a ninety minute sea-watch produced 16+ Storm Petrel, a Balearic Shearwater, 118+ Manx Shearwater and a Little Tern, alongside a few other bits and pieces. The rest of the month was so quiet bird-wise that it's probably best forgotten, but 35 Bar-tailed Godwit recorded off Mudbank on the 25th was noteworthy. With so little happening with the birds I was able to spend more time looking at insects, which was great!
July was almost as uninspiring as June. My first 2 Common Sandpiper of the autumn were on Maer Rocks on the 2nd and the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the summer was off Mudbank on the 7th. I didn't do so well for this species this summer but I was probably channelling too much energy into moths and other insects. In July I recorded a modest total of just 8 juveniles, with four of those coming on the 27th.
It was with some relief to finally see a Roseate Tern on the 23rd - a bird that was first noted off the Warren on the 21st. None were recorded in the spring which is highly unusual.
The 25th was uncharacteristically good in such fine weather, with 3 Arctic Skua, c70+ rafting Manx Shearwater, 1+ Balearic shearwater, 7 Common Tern and 27 Common Scoter making the note book.
On the 26th my first autumn passerine migrant - a Grasshopper Warbler showed only occasionally on Orcombe point.
At the end of the month we jetted off to Croatia and Venice for a family holiday.
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull - Exmouth beach 21/7/17 - one of eight recorded in Exmouth in July.
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull - Mudbank 27/7/17 - one of four seen in the estuary on this date.
The start of August marked the beginning of a little purple patch, and not before time.
The 7th was a contender for best birding day of the year. It kicked off with 8 Pomarine Skua off the seafront and concluded with an escaped but very smart White-cheeked Pintail, a Little Tern and a Roseate Tern off Mudbank. A tantalisingly brief 'marsh tern' seen only very distantly, three times late in the afternoon, ultimately turned out to be what I'd expected (and hoped for) - a juvenile White-winged Black Tern that was to put in a fifteen day stretch on the lower reaches of the Exe.
The 8th produced the regular Slavonian Grebe, 160+ Sandwich Tern and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull off Shelly Beach, along with the now more obliging White-winged Black Tern.
A juvenile Arctic Tern on the 9th was followed by a Little Tern on the 10th and a Cirl Bunting, on Orcombe, on the 11th . The latter presumably a dispersing juvenile.
On the 15th the White-winged Black Tern was joined by a juvenile Black Tern and both were joined by a second individual on the 17th.
The 18th was the day I clapped eyes on my first Exmouth Hoopoe. Initially found by Marie Wilson on the 17th in her Foxholes garden, it stayed until the 21st but favoured fields adjacent to Maer Farm.
The Mudbank Mallard and Mediterranean Gull counts reached 370+ and 13 respectively on the 20th, when 2 Arctic Skuas were off the seafront.
Another Little Tern was on the river on the 24th and on the 25th I found my first 2 White Wagtails of the autumn, on Exmouth beach.
 Some settled high pressure conditions in the latter half of the month supplied a trickle of migrants on/over Orcombe Point. My counts over that two week period totalled 47+ Tree Pipit, 19+ Meadow Pipit, 56+ Wheatear, 168+ Yellow Wagtail, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 11+ Sand Martin, 3 Whinchat, 17+ Willow Warbler, 20+ Grey Wagtail, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, c100+ House Martin, 2 Siskin, 1 Redstart, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank.

Juvenile White-winged Black Tern. I was chuffed to find this bird on the river on August 7th but I couldn't confirm its identity until I re-found it late on the 8th. A period of intense frustration followed by relief and elation! This photograph was taken on the morning of the 13th as it rested off the seafront, on Pole Sands.

Hoopoe - Foxholes 18/8/17. This bird was found by Marie Wilson in her back garden on Foxholes on the 17th. She and her husband John very kindly invited me into their home when it reappeared on the 18th and I enjoyed fabulous views of it from their living room. Thankfully it was 'pinned down' for a wider audience at Maer Farm a couple days later, and was last seen on the 21st.


Two of three August Whinchats

White Wagtail - Orcombe Point 30/8/17

Yellow Wagtail - Orcombe Point 28/8/17 - one of 168+ logged during August. A further 42 birds were recorded during September taking the autumn total to 210+ birds. The Tree Pipit autumn total reached 56+ birds.
Spotted Flycatcher - Orcombe Point 31/8/17 - one of 7 seen in Exmouth in 2017 - just one of those in the spring, although a couple additional pairs were discovered breeding on the Exmouth parish boundary.
 Willow Warbler - Orcombe Point 31/8/17
September was a complete anti-climax after the excitement of August.
On the 3rd there was a Balearic Shearwater off Orcombe and a couple Black Tern off the seafront. Black Terns were to feature heavily over the next few days with 3 on the 7th and 8th and four on the 10th, along with a juvenile Arctic Tern. Two Black Terns were still present on the 11th and 12th and a single bird was still present on the 13th.
On the 8th a juvenile/first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was off the docks and Wigeon numbers reached 40 off Mudbank.
The following day I recorded only my second Nuthatch on Orcombe Point.
On the 10th there were two Kestrel on Orcombe Point. A juvenile settled down for the remainder of the month and the other headed out across the bay.
The 17th was particularly good for hirundines on Orcombe. Large numbers moved east, early in the morning, with 180+ House Martin being notable. Also on the 17th - a juvenile Arctic Tern performed well off Mudbank and 2 Snipe off there were the first of the autumn.
On the 19th the first two returning Dark-bellied Brent Geese were off Mudbank along with 125 Wigeon, 27 Pintail, 2 Shoveler and the juvenile Arctic Tern.
The Dark-bellied Brent Goose count had risen to 39 on the 23rd and 435+ on the 30th.
Migrant totals for September were poor. I recorded just over 1000 Meadow Pipit, 42 Yellow Wagtail, 34 Grey Wagtail, 7 Willow Warbler, 11 Wheatear, 9 Tree Pipit, 4 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat and 1 Garden Warbler. Pretty crap really! 
Juvenile Black Tern - Exmouth Docks 10/9/17

Common and Sandwich Terns - Maer Rocks.

October started with 4 juvenile Ruff off Mudbank and a Hobby west over the cricket pitch on the 1st.
On the 6th I caught up with a raucous Ring-necked Parakeet that had been frequenting gardens in Douglas Avenue for a while. The same day a flock of 25 Pale-bellied Brent Geese was off Mudbank. Twelve of the twenty-five were juvenile birds.
The first Redpoll of the autumn, 4 birds, flew over Orcombe on the 14th. The same day the first 2 Red-breasted Merganser were off Mudbank.
On the 17th I discovered the presumed returning Black Brant (which remained all month) off Mudbank and the following day a Firecrest was by the viewing screen.
The autumn's first Redwing was heard as I was checking the moth trap early on the 19th, and on the 20th  there were 2 Golden Plover off Mudbank.
My first Merlin arrived in off the sea on the 21st, during storm Brian, but 3 Great Northern Divers were the only other noteworthy birds for me. The following day another Merlin headed high north over Orcombe, accompanying the first autumn movement of Woodpigeons - at least  1500 birds moving in under an hour. My first Brambling flew over too.
On the 24th, whilst watching the Black Brant off Mudbank, I was delighted to pick up a Cattle Egret cavorting with a small flock of Little Egrets out on the river - my first in Exmouth since 2008.
On the 25th a pair of Cirl Buntings was on Orcombe Point and a Firecrest was in the Maer long-stay carpark.
On the 26th a late juvenile Whinchat was discovered on Orcombe Point and late in the afternoon my efforts to see a Hawfinch paid off when I found at least three birds at Woodbury Fort, accompanying a mixed Chaffinch and Brambling flock.
On the 27th a flock of 7 Egyptian Geese flew in and pitched down on the river off Mudbank. A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was found and a Short-eared Owl quartered the top fields late in the afternoon.
On the 28th I witnessed an estimated 35,000+ Woodpigeon head west over Orcombe and when I got home I watched a Great White Egret heading upriver, from the back garden. At least 3 Firecrest were located in Holly bushes in Bystock.
On the 29th, the last day of the half term break, I was delighted to find a Barnacle Goose with the Brent flock, off Mudbank, and a drake Pochard with Common Scoters and 9 Eider off Orcombe Point. A Firecrest was on Orcombe Point early in the morning.
On the 31st 2 drake Pochard, off Mudbank, sealed an uncharacteristically busy month.

Ring-necked Parakeet - Rolle Playing Fields 6/10/17. This bird was also seen on Orcombe Point on the 26th and was the presumably the bird noted in Betjeman Drive towards the end of the year.

Black Brant - Mudbank 23/10 - the presumed returning adult, first noted on October 17th but not seen after November 4th.
Cirl Bunting - this male was present with a female on October 25th. A total of 6 birds were seen within the Exmouth boundary during 2017, making it the best year for this species for me. At the end of the year a record 8+ birds were seen at a site just outside of Exmouth.

A late juvenile Whinchat on Orcombe Point - October 26th
Just outside the Exmouth boundary - this Hawfinch was one of at least 3 discovered at Woodbury Fort on October 26th.

Short-eared Owl - Orcombe Point 27/10/17

Two drake Pochard off Mudbank on 31/10/17
On November 5th I found only my second ever Orcombe Richard's Pipit - a bird that headed west early in the morning. The following day the first Purple Sandpiper was back on Maer Rocks and the day after that, on the 7th, the number had jumped to 7 birds when there were also 2 Golden Plover in the top fields on Orcombe.
On the 11th the Purple Sandpiper count had risen to 11 when there were 6 Eider off Orcombe and a pair of Gadwall off Mudbank.
On the 12th my sixth Cirl Bunting on Orcombe this year sang briefly from cover, flying off west just seconds before a Yellowhammer flew over. Later the same day I embarked on an unexpected local twitch for a potential Italian Sparrow in East Budleigh. That was followed by 6 Goosander flying past Mudbank the same afternoon.
On the 14th a female-type Long-tailed Duck was off Mudbank (and still present on Dec 28th at least). It was joined the following day by my first 2 Goldeneye of the autumn.
On the 17th a Firecrest was by the viewing screen and I recorded my first Fieldfare of the autumn, over the house.
A Tufted Duck was off Mudbank on the 18th and a female-type Eider was off Maer Rocks.
The month fizzled a bit towards the end but 130+ Redshank off Mudbank on the 26th was a good count. On this date both the Eider and Long-tailed Duck were still present and I was pleased to discover a good-sized Brambling flock at Woodbury Fort, totalling an estimated 200+ birds.
Richard's Pipit - Orcombe Point 5/11/17
December was a quiet month with the wildfowl numbers dropping off and no sign of any Black Redstarts in the usual spots. The first couple of weekends in the month were spent trying, unsuccessfully, to pin down some Crossbills on Bicton Common. The Crossbills proved difficult but the same can't be said about other finch species with Brambling seemingly everywhere I went, and Redpoll numbers impressive too.
On the 9th I counted 230+ Pintail off Mudbank and on the 13th a visit to the local Cirl Bunting site revealed 8 birds along with a good showing of c20+ Yellowhammer.
The Long-tailed Duck was still off Mudbank on the 17th and 2 Eider were off Maer Rocks.
December's best day was the 22nd when a Pomarine Skua was off the seafront and a juvenile Glaucous Gull flew from the Warren over to Exmouth. The Long-tailed Duck was still off Mudbank and 50+ Grey Plover were off there along with a couple Knot.
On Boxing day a Great Skua was lingering off the seafront and on the 28th the 3 Eider and the Long-tailed Duck were still present offshore.
Some stormy weather on the 29th and 30th saw the continued presence of at least 1 immature Pomarine Skua off the seafront along with good numbers of Gannet in a big feeding flock.
The final day of the year yielded a splendid Great Skua off Maer Rocks, the 3 Eider, 10 Great Northern Divers and 10 Red-throated Divers.
Redwing - Belle Vue Road 11/12/17
 Purple Sandpiper - Maer Rocks 17/12/17. The first winter period saw a maximum of 8 birds overwintering on the rocks. The second winter period, to the end of December at least, saw a maximum of 11 recorded.

 Juvenile Glaucous Gull - 22/12/17
So that was 2017. Previous Bumper Reviews can be read by clicking on the 2016, 2015 and 2014 sightings in the margin. I always publish them on December 31st so it's relatively simple to draw comparisons. Have a very Happy New Year!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Pom(s) and ringed Meds

At least 1 Pomarine Skua seen off the seafront today and yesterday. I've only ever seen one at a time but the Warren had 2 birds, of the same age, yesterday and going on my numerous sightings today and yesterday, 2 birds would make a lot of sense.

A sea-watch from the raised beach huts, from 0805 to 0905, resulted in 35 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 5 Turnstone, 8+ Purple Sandpiper, 3 Eider, 9 Common Scoter, 6 Diver sp, 9+ Red-throated Diver, 2+ Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1+ Pomarine Skua. Gannet numbers were very difficult to judge but I'd say somewhere in the region of c8/900+ would seem reasonable, with a huge feeding flock off Dawlish, and a constant stream of birds in to the bay.
Off Mudbank today - 2 adult Mediterranean Gull (both ringed), 4 Goldeneye, c350+ Wigeon, 6 Pintail, 90+ Shelduck, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Sparrowhawk.
Yesterday a similar selection of species - Maer Rocks - 6+ Purple Sandpiper, 1 Turnstone, 40+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 3 Eider, 9+ Common Scoter, 5+ Red-throated Diver, 4+ Great Northern Diver, 1+ Pomarine Skua and c3/400+ Gannet.

Ringed adult Med Gull - white Darvic - right leg - 34K4?
Ringed adult Med - red Darvic left leg - no further details noted.

The Kingfisher continues to perform really well off Mudbank.
An interesting gull sp (flying bird) seen yesterday off Mudbank - unfortunately too distant and too brief to do anything with. Some Caspian features but more than likely just a fw Lesser Black-back.

Thursday, 28 December 2017


Off Maer Rocks first thing this morning - 3 Eider, 63 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 11 Purple Sandpiper, 7 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Little Egret. Off the Grove - 1 Long-tailed Duck and 3 Great Northern Diver.
Off Mudbank - 4 Goldeneye, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Rock Pipit and 1 Reed Bunting.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Wind Chill

Meadow Pipit - Mudbank
A freezing start this morning with an unpleasant wind chill factor. Nick and I found some shelter beneath the raised beach huts and logged the regular 3 Eider, 9 Common Scoter, 2 Pintail, 35 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1 Turnstone, 1 Guillemot and Red-throated Diver. A decent-sized flock of c150+ Gannet were feeding offshore and several auks were bombing around.
Off the Grove we had the regular 2 or 3 Great Northern Divers as well as three Red-breasted Merganser.
All I could find off Mudbank were the 4 Goldeneye (including the drake) and 12 Red-breasted Mergansers.
Yesterday the highlight was a Great Skua lingering off the seafront. Also present - 3 Eider, c25 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1 Common Scoter, 3 Great Northern Diver, 1 Long-tailed Duck and 3 Sanderling.
Off Mudbank - 120+ Mallard, 2 Goldeneye and c220+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose.
On the 24th - a quick look off the seafront produced 6 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Eider and the Pomarine Skua.
 'Sinensis' Cormorant - Mudbank