Saturday 30 November 2013

Black Brant

No sustained birding today. Saturdays are now dominated by Joel's football but a flying early morning visit to Orcombe Point was possible and I was pleased to see the black brant feeding with 56 dark-bellied brent goose and 7+ turnstone on Maer Rocks. Unfortunately it took off with part of the flock and headed back towards the Warren before I could try and photograph it. No sign of any purple sandpipers today and the top fields were notable only for 7+ song thrush, 1 grey wagtail, c20+ meadow pipit, c30+ linnet, c40+ skylark and 5 snipe.
This rock pipit was feeding beside the leisure centre carpark.

Friday 29 November 2013

Autumn summary - shouldn't take too long!

Autumn was ultimately a bit disappointing. I put the hours in, when work and family life would permit, but it lacked a really good find and some major county rarities weren't accessible. The Warren did well and Torbay did superbly. It's always tough when the very sites you can see from Orcombe enjoy good spells of birds. I concentrated most of my effort around the top fields that border Gore Lane. The main field has been left as stubble but has tonnes of vegetation in it providing cover for larks, finches and pipits. My highlights were richard's pipit, siberian chiffchaff, lapland bunting, 2+ turtle dove, and juv white-fronted goose. Other decent birds included 3+ purple sandpiper on Maer Rocks, 2 adult little gull, marsh harrier, merlin, firecrest, black redstart and jack snipe. I did ok for spotted flycatcher (6), whinchat (8+) and yellow wagtail (60+) but I couln't find grasshopper warbler for love nor money and species such as woodpigeon, redpoll, brambling, siskin and reed bunting have been noticeably thin on the ground.
                                possible 'Nordic' jackdaw - 14/10
                                sibe chiffchaff - 10/11
                                juv european white-fronted goose
                                lap bunt- my only record this autumn

                                gull sp- 27/9

Winter birding is now on the menu. I'm going to concentrate efforts on Mudbank, Hayes Barton pig farm and the East Devon Commons.