Spotted Flycatcher - one of two together in Maer Valley this afternoon.
Derek and I did Orcombe from 0530 until heavy rain set in around breakfast time - didn't note the exact time. I went back up mid-afternoon. It was definitely quieter than yesterday but the following species got pencilled in to the old notebook: 1 common tern, c20+ sandwich tern, 15+ great northern diver (between 0530 and 0650), 1 hobby, 2 common scoter, 6 swift, 1 manx shearwater, 1 guillemot, 5+ 'Greenland' wheatear, 2 house martin, several swallow, 1 whimbrel, 2 jay and 1 roseate tern (on an exposed sandbar, off the lifeboat station, with c15+sandwich tern mid-afternoon).
The hobby was picked up distantly, way offshore, and tracked as it flew low over the waves towards Dawlish. I estimated it was going to hit land somewhere near Dawlish Town but apparently it went right over Lee Collins' head as he watched from the sea wall at Dawlish Warren! I've seen a few hobbies on (or just off) Orcombe over the years but they always get the blood pumping.
This afternoon I checked a sheltered spot in Maer Valley, just beyond the 'official' patch boundary, and was pleased to find 2 more spotted flycatchers and a willow warbler. There is a map of the patch and its boundaries on the 'patch' tab at the top of this page.
'Greenland' Wheatear - Dung Field. The Dung Field always looks so promising. It is the one spot on Orcombe that is just left to grow a bit wild. It's only tiny but it's like a magnet to chats. The rarest bird I've ever found in there is yellow-browed warbler but one day I'm confident it will deliver something extra-special. Blind optimism!
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