Saturday 8 October 2016

White-speck, YBW, Eiders and Garganey

White-speck - an immigrant species and a long-awaited first for me. It's a 'Wainscot' which is my favourite group of moths so I was especially happy to find it in the trap, under the cover of darkness, at 6am this morning. The only other immigrant species were a couple Silver Y, 4 Rusty-dot Pearl, 1 Diamond-back and a single Olive-tree Pearl (Palpita vitrealis).
It's been an uncharacteristically productive day today. Before taking Joel to football in Feniton I hammered around the Orcombe patch (0700 - 0900). The highlight was a Yellow-browed Warbler that I picked up on call in scrub at the bottom of the Bristol Schools camp (it would have been audible and visible from the public footpath out to the Geoneedle). It showed briefly a couple times before vanishing. Also recorded - 3+ Goldcrest, 10+ Chiffchaff, 3+ Song Thrush, c20+ 'alba' Wagtails, 1 Kestrel, 5+ Stonechats, 1+ Siskin, 8+ Skylarks, 3 Starlings, 2 Wheatears, 4+ Blackcaps and 1 Grey Wagtail.
Joel's team comfortably beat Feniton and once home it was a quick lunch before dropping him at a  friend's party - an afternoon of 'Foot Golf' followed by a Mickey D's. Parties were never that good when I was a kid.
This afternoon I had a quick look off Mudbank. The wildfowl numbers off there are really impressive, which makes it a bit of a mission to sift through them all. I would estimate c2000+ Wigeon with c100+ Pintail mixed in, along with the odd Teal. Brent Geese must number 1000+ but there was no way I was going to try and count them. I did however manage to find a Garganey which is always a difficult bird to catch up with in Exmouth (no freshwater). I once had a spring pair fly in and land on the sea off the seafront, and I've had a couple autumn juveniles off Mudbank, but that's about it.
Also off Mudbank - 21+ Redshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 120+ Turnstones and 20+ Little Egrets.
Later on this afternoon I had another quick look at Orcombe. The Yellow-browed Warbler was seen again in scrub on the left where the footpath to the Geoneedle starts. There were 4 Turnstones on Maer Rocks and 16 Common Scoters offshore. Two female-type Eiders off the point were the first I've seen in ages. Let's hope they stay to winter!

Really good numbers of wildfowl off Mudbank at the moment. This is just a fraction of the flock.

Female-type Garganey. A very difficult species to catch up with in Exmouth.

Stonechat - at least 5 recorded today despite all hedgerows having been 'flailed' to death. Depressing stuff. The flail is indiscriminate. A large number of trees on Orcombe have literally been smashed to pieces. There should be laws against it. The photo below shows how the lower limbs of the trees are destroyed. Are there any agricultural gains to be made by this? There are certainly no environmental advantages. I would imagine this type of 'butchery' encourages disease.

Most bloggers would never dream of posting such a dreadful shot of a YBW but most bloggers have decent cameras! Believe it or not this is only the fourth YBW I've seen in Exmouth and only the second on Orcombe Point. I guess that tells you how good a headland it really is. Hard work.

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