Sunday 12 October 2014

Autumn Firsts and Lasts?

Meadow Pipit - Dung Field

Two visits to Orcombe today - a very chilly three hour stint from dawn, with Derek, Nick and Paul, and a quick visit later on by myself. The first merlin of the autumn was a highlight, picked up by Paul as it took a line straight out over the sea towards Berry Head. The first redpoll of the autumn went over too. Late migrants included a yellow wagtail, wheatear and whinchat. Also c100+ linnet, 2 siskin, c30/40+ goldfinch, c10/20+ chaffinch, c10+ greenfinch, 1+ bullfinch, 11+ reed bunting, 1 yellowhammer, c120+ 'alba' wagtail, c1/200+ meadow pipit, 26 dark-bellied brent goose, 2 song thrush, 10+ chiffchaff, c70+ jackdaw, c50+ rook, 4 stonechat, 1+ great spotted woodpecker, c50/60+ skylark, 4 swallow, 2 rock pipit, 5+ goldcrest, 2 blackcap, 1 kestrel and 4 turnstone (Maer Rocks).

Stonechat - Dung Field.

Juvenile Whinchat - by the slurry pit. Not the latest I've seen. That honour goes to a bird I found at Slapton Ley on October 31st 2003 - I remember it because I found a drake Ferruginous Duck on the Ley the same day.

Juvenile Shag and juvenile Cormorant - never noticed the difference in foot colour before!

Kestrel - the moment I was mistaken for a vole!

Turnip Moth - this seemed to just drop out of the sky as we walked along the track that links Gore Lane with the coast path. Common Marbled Carpet and Lunar Underwing were also found by an outside light in the Bristol Schools Camp. 


  1. Interesting Shag Matt - if it were paler in colour it shows some similarity to the desmarestii race. They always seem to have strikingly yellow feet too.....

  2. Hi Chris - have seen photos of paler birds - guess they're quite variable. Are you back in Budleigh now? Loved your Brazil and Azores photos.

  3. Hi Matt - was just thinking aloud really about your Shag photo. It just reminded me of juv birds in Lesvos with similar striking feet colour, but I have seen it on birds over here too. Anyway, yes back in Budleigh now and maybe time to catch up.....