Thursday 4 September 2014

White Wags

Sunrise over Foxholes this morning.

Not much to report today but there was a nice selection of passerines on Exmouth beach this morning, comprising 1 wheatear, 3 yellow wagtail, 2+ white wagtail and c10+ pied wagtail. Another yellow wagtail, at least 1 grey wagtail and 1 tree pipit went over. Trying to get close to any of the wagtails was a complete waste of time but I do love white wags so I've included some record shots. There were loads of terns off the seafront but I simply didn't have time to attempt a count. 
A quick glance off Mudbank later this afternoon produced 105 wigeon, 15 pintail, 10 great crested grebe and 25 mute swan.

Juvenile White Wagtail - they always seem a bit bigger, leggier and much cleaner looking than our Pied Wags. Smart and bright as opposed to dingy and scruffy.

Above and below - White Wagtails.

  A scruffy 'yarrellii'.

Orcombe Point was a dead loss last night but I drove back via a reliable migrant 'trap' close to the entrance of Sandy Bay and found 2-3 Spotted Flycatchers. The bird above was photographed from the car as it sat on a branch overhanging the lane.

Colour-ringed first-summer Great Black-backed Gull off Mudbank - a Normandy-ringed bird (I think).

Black-tailed Godwits - Mudbank.

Pintail - Mudbank. There are 15 birds back already. Numbers will build and build now through the autumn. Mudbank is the best spot on the Exe for this species. Last winter I had counts of 200+ at times.

For some reason the Mute Swans are liking conditions off Mudbank at the moment. You often see Mute Swans from Mudbank but they are invariably visible only distantly on the other side of the river and way further up river.

Last night's gorgeous sunset.

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