Sunday 1 January 2017

Usual Suspects

First-winter male Scaup - back off Mudbank after a short trip to Exminster Marshes.

It was good to get out for a bit today after a late one last night, despite the horrible weather. I checked the usual sites and all the regular stuff was still loitering. The adult Bonaparte's Gull was in the river mouth off Warren Point at 1525 before flying into the estuary. There was also a Greenshank off Shelly Beach and the Little Grebe was in the marina.  The regular Black Redstart was in the 'Gut' between the Imperial recreation ground and Shelly Beach.
It was good to have the first-winter drake Scaup back off Mudbank today. First thing this morning it was really close in with Mallards. Also a couple male Teal off there with all the other usual stuff.
I could only find one Chiffchaff in the rain-soaked Foxholes sallows but the two Firecrests showed well in brambles behind the cricket club, alongside two Goldcrests.
This afternoon Lu and I walked the dog on the beach in heavy rain. We managed to avoid two horses that broke loose from their irresponsible owners before galloping full-tilt, first along the beach and then along the road. I also managed a quick check of Maer Rocks and was pleased to find 8 Purple Sandpipers. Numbers are still a little lower than we've been used to over the last couple of years but there's plenty of time this winter to get a higher count.

Interesting to see that in the week or so since it was last off Mudank it has attained more grey in the mantle, scaps and flanks. Nice bird.

One of 8 Purple Sandpipers on Maer Rocks this afternoon.


  1. Frustrating! We missed the Scaup yesterday - That could have made the big 100 species for the day! No surprise we missed the Purple Sands, but there were people all over the rocks yesterday afternoon, so not a great surprise.

  2. Hi Chris - pity you didn't make the big 100. The Scaup can go walkabouts but the Purple Sands are usually present on a low tide, often tolerating the people scrambling all over the place. It's often necessary to walk right out to the edge of the rocks but it's slippery! See you got the Firecrests. Apparently several people missed them that day.