Lovely but cold down the seafront this evening. The Bonaparte's Gull was watched offshore with Black-headed Gulls, until 1610 at least, from the Octagon. Little else to report this week as I've had so little time out, but my brief checks of known Rose Hip sites produced just a single Bullfinch. I'm struggling to find berries or apples in Exmouth full stop. A few Hawthorn berries remain along the cycle track between Littleham and Budleigh.
Also of minor note this evening - a very dark first-winter Herring Gull that gave the initial impression of a bonxie. Intriguingly its rump appeared very dark brown and its tail extensively dark too. Unfortunately it was roosting a long way off on Bull Hill so there is nothing I can do with it, but I'd like to have seen it close-up. It was nothing special size-wise and although the underparts were dark its head appeared no paler (not that that's a problem this early in the winter). I couldn't work out what was going on with the undertail coverts. Worth keeping an eye out for but large gulls rarely play ball on the Exe.
I've noticed a few wheezy trumpet-like notes emanating from Bullfinches recently - from both Castle Lane and Littleham sites. I'm not suggesting for a moment that they're anything other than local birds but I'm a bit miffed as to why I've never noticed these calls before.
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