Saturday 15 October 2016

YBW and High Teal Count

Yellow-browed Warbler - the best of my paltry efforts to capture an image.
Paul Gosling and I were stood pitch-side early this morning, up at the archery club, when a Yellow-browed Warbler started calling. It was in a sunlit corner of the small  mixed copse that borders the archery club carpark, and we soon located it despite the imminent 'kick-off' of our sons' football match. It was a particularly vocal individual so it was easy pin down, but it kept in the tops of the trees so it wasn't easy to see or photograph. The archery club is on the edge of Exmouth, up high along the top edge of Withycombe Raleigh Common, so a fair way inland. There must be hundreds in little patches of suitable woodland around the country.
I headed out after the rain this afternoon to look at the wildfowl off Mudbank. Again, huge numbers were present but it was Teal that stole the show with a high count of 375+ easily the most I've ever seen in Exmouth. Also recorded, despite poor light conditions, were 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose amongst several hundred Dark-bellied Brents, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Knot, 1 Greenshank and 7+ Redshank. I couldn't face attempting to count the Wigeon and Pintail that were strung out in dense flocks across a large part of the estuary.
Finally - decent counts of 60 Pied Wagtails and 40+ Common Scoters were made on the cricket pitch and off the seafront respectively.

Blackcap - Mudbank. Small numbers present along with small numbers of Chiffchaffs in the scrub belt between Mudbank and the train station.


  1. Hi Matt,
    Had a look with Dick Andrews on Tuesday lunchtime for the YBW, but neither sight nor sound - there was too much wind really. Nice sight of 2 Mistle Thrushes and a fly past by a Sparrowhawk.

    The wildfowl off Mudbank are a superb sight. That Swan flock is getting bigger each year. We set a WEBS count record for Wigeon 2 & 3 years ago with a count in excess of 4000 (+ then the other sections of the Exe); it was queried! I did a very rough and ready count about 2 weeks ago, and came up with a figure of c3,500 inc. all species.

  2. Hi Rupert. Sorry the YBW didn't show. The wildfowl are indeed superb. I take my hat off to you for even attempting to count them. It feels like there are more birds present than ever. They're getting big numbers over at the Warren too. Had my highest Teal count the other day. 375+. Pretty sure there were more. See you soon. Matt