Saturday 3 September 2016

Curlew Sand, YLG, Osprey and P-b Brents - pm Edit

First-winter Yellow-legged Gull
A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was a nice surprise in fields on Orcombe this morning. I don't think I've ever had one up there before - they're always on (or off) the beach. I'm a bit gutted that I couldn't manage better photos, but when I tried to relocate it on the seafront I bumped into a large flock of small waders that included 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper (a very difficult species to get in Exmouth), 88+ Ringed Plover, 135+ Dunlin and 20+ Sanderling. Counting them was really difficult because the flock was repeatedly flushed by people on the beach. It's very unusual to get flocks like this on Exmouth beach for obvious reasons, so this morning's flock was a real treat.
Otherwise Derek, Dave and I recorded 3 Grey Wagtails, 4 Phyllosc sp, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Starling, 2+ Yellow Wagtail and 1 Chiffchaff.
Derek had the first Jay of the autumn this morning.
Late morning, off Mudbank, there were 9 Pale-bellied Brent Geese - the first of the autumn, and around midday, a sea-watch from the raised beach huts produced c20+ Sandwich Terns, 2+ Balearic Shearwaters, 5+ Manx Shearwaters, 4 Shearwater sp (one of which was probably Sooty) and a Common Scoter.
Late afternoon off Mudbank - Osprey, 9 Pale-bellied Brent Geese still, 230+ Mallard, 48 Wigeon, 50+ Teal, 6 Pintail, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Mediterranean Gulls.

A really lovely looking bird that just wouldn't allow a close approach. The gloomy early morning light conditions didn't help either.

Obligatory flight shots.

All four species of small wader in this terrible photo. Juv Curlew Sand in the middle.


  1. Hi Matt, hard to be sure but looks like your Orcombe mick is not the same as mine from Topsham Rec yesterday - seems they're still passing through. cheers, Tim

  2. Hi Tim - definitely different birds. Really hoping to get one or two more before the season ends. Can never see enough!