Thursday 13 August 2015

Wood Sand and Black Terns

Wood Sandpiper - honestly!
Mudbank was great this afternoon. A pity the same can't be said about the weather! I spent a couple hours watching as the tide slowly crept in and was rewarded, at 4pm, with my first Exmouth Wood Sandpiper. At first I could hear it calling out over the mudflats - a clear, repeated but subtle 'chiff iff iff'. I was frustrated not to be able to see it and when the calling stopped I assumed it had gone. A little while later however, it started again and I was relieved to pick it up stood out in the shallows - too distant for a photo though. It then flew off calling and I couldn't pick it up. Again I thought it had gone but at 1633 the calling started again and the bird was overhead. I snatched the above photo and watched it take an easterly line that would have sent it directly over our house. Would have liked that one on the house list!
At about 5pm, as the rain became more incessant, I picked up 4 Black Terns with a handful of Sandwich Terns and c10+ Common Tern, sitting on what little mud remained out in the river. Visibility was by now dreadful though. Also off Mudbank this afternoon - 8 Mediterranean Gulls, 134 Mallard, 2 Teal, 9 Redshank, 24+ Ringed Plover, 30+ Sanderling, 18+ Dunlin, 25+ Whimbrel, 11 Turnstone, 1 Knot and 1 Grey Wagtail.
Last night I added Green Sandpiper to the house list with one flying over calling as I checked the moth trap, and this morning on/from Orcombe there was 1 Yellow Wagtail, c10+ Willow Warbler, 1+ Ringed Plover, 2+ Chiffchaff, 1 Whitethroat, 3 Wheatear, c10+ Common Tern, 1 Whimbrel, c30+ Common Scoter, 2+ Blackcap and 2 Mediterranean Gull.
On the beach, near the Lifeboat Station, were 7 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and 3 Sanderling.

Sallow Kitten

Small Mottled Willow. Two Silver Y, 3 Rusty Dot Pearl and 1 Rush Veneer were the only other immigrants trapped last night.

Small Square Spot

Cloaked Minor

Marbled Conch - Eupoecilia angustana

 Bud Moth

Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix



  1. Sounds like a good afternoon Matt - Wood Sand is always a great patch bird in the SW.

  2. Hi Chris - a difficult one in Exmouth because there are no freshwater marshy bits. It headed east so may be somewhere on the Otter. Good to see you yesterday. Cheers, Matt