Sunday 20 September 2015

Turtle Dove

Juvenile White Wagtail - Exmouth Cricket Pitch - note the clean grey rump in the above shot. Despite regularly checking Pied Wagtail flocks, this is the first White Wag I've found this autumn.
Nick and I covered a fog-engulfed Orcombe Point this morning. The conditions were not conducive for overhead passage but a few bits and bobs had been grounded, most notably a mini fall of c25+ Chiffchaff. Robin numbers were most definitely up again with at least 30 logged, many in song as the sun began to burn through. Also recorded this morning - 1+ Blackcap, 2 Turnstone, 1+ Goldcrest, 3 Grey Wagtail, 1 Stonechat and 1 Wheatear. Only tiny numbers of Swallow and Meadow Pipit this morning.
Mudbank produced just 3 Common Tern and 5 Pale-bellied Brent Goose of note, but the day's best bird came around 2pm this afternoon when I popped down to the Maer to check the Cricket Pitch for gulls. A small dark dove shot low across the road in front of me and banked around a line of trees to reveal rich orange upperparts - a Turtle Dove! I pulled into the Maer Long Stay Car Park and walked around the whole area, but was unable to relocate it. Hardly surprising given the level of disturbance down there. On the Cricket Pitch I found a juvenile White Wagtail, in with about half a dozen Pied Wagtails, and a lone Wheatear.

There was a clear arrival of Chiffchaffs along the cliff-top this morning. It was a year ago today that last year's biggest fall of Chiffies on Orcombe occured - an estimated 40+ birds. Interesting to note the timings.

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