I did a sea-watch from about 0625 this morning. Conditions were pretty good but sitting in a bitterly cold south-easterly couldn't be described as a comfortable experience. The raised beach huts offered some shelter but after about an hour I'd had enough! A few birds were noted. I picked up a 'horizon-hugging' Great Skua heading south, and whilst watching it a much closer individual lumbered in to my scope view. These were the first I've seen this year. About 20 minutes later I picked up another skua. It was getting whisked into the bay by the wind, with high towering shears. Initially I assumed it was going to be an Arctic but its more Bonxie-like structure pointed to it being a Pomarine Skua. I struggled to get plumage features on it but its biscuit-brown underparts and lack of spoons pointed to it being an immature bird - undoubtedly the same bird seen by Lee at the Warren a short while later. Also noted, before I started to feel hypothermic, were 3 Diver sp, 4 Fulmar, 4 Manx Shearwater, 2+ Common Scoter, c10+ Sandwich Tern, several Kittiwake and 3 Auk sp.
Around lunch time, a text from Kev had me scooting down to the Docks to see the male Kentish Plover that Lee had found earlier on. I had tried to see it earlier but it was chaos down at Exmouth seafront. The wind was causing serious 'scope shake' and part of the Esplanade had been closed off, with massive waves crashing over the sea wall on an exceptionally high tide. Anyway, with some kind help from Kev, I was able to scope the Kentish Plover from the docks. Many thanks for all your help Kev and thanks too, of course, to Lee. Kentish Plover now sits neatly on my Exmouth list. The rules for me are simple - if my feet are firmly planted on Exmouth soil I can count it! Let's face it, Warren Point is a hell of a lot closer to Exmouth than Dawlish!
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