Thursday 2 January 2014
Jan 1st - 2nd
Yesterday I walked the dog from the lifeboat station to Sandy Bay. The weather was horrendous but the miserable conditions meant I pretty much had the beach to myself. This group of dark-bellied brents were the only birds of note although there was a decent gathering of large gulls spread along the beach. Terry Smith fared better with a bonxie along the seafront.
Birding is usually more productive in the aftermath of a storm so I spent the first couple of hours of daylight this morning at Orcombe Point with totals as follows: 1 razorbill, 2 red-throated diver, 3 common scoter, 9 diver sp, 6 auk sp, 1 great crested grebe, 1+ curlew, c40/50+ skylark, c40+ linnet, c10/20+ meadow pipit, 18+ snipe, 1 jack snipe, 1+ turnstone, 2 great northern diver, 2 eider and 1 pied wagtail. I'm always pleased to see jack snipe. This morning's bird was in the top fields on private land. It is a species that I now expect annually though I've had more autumn than winter records presumably because I don't do Orcombe much in the winter. The fields are obviously pretty wet at the moment so I'm hoping for more.
Late this afternoon I nipped down to Exmouth Docks and was pleased to pick up the long-staying adult bonaparte's gull. It was with a couple black-headed gulls on Bull Hill so it was distant. The last time I saw this particular bird was on Exmouth beach on July 18th 2011! It was initially found by Chris Townend on the Otter estuary on April 13th 2011.