Saturday 10 March 2018


Red-necked Grebe - Beesands
Nick and I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours, from dawn, down in the South Hams. The lure of a nice close Red-necked Grebe and bonus Ring-necked Duck proving too strong.
We started at Beesands where the Red-necked Grebe performed admirably, despite the rain. The Ring-necked Duck wasn't there but 9 Pochard, c15+ Tufted Duck, 4+ Gadwall, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Great Crested Grebe were. It's been four years since I last saw Red-necked Grebe so the trip down was worth it for this bird alone.
Next stop Torcross and the drake Ring-necked Duck was picked up on the Ley almost immediately. I've a real soft spot for this species and although I've seen a fair few over the years, this one didn't disappoint - a beautiful and very characterful duck!
Nick picked up a smart Black-necked Grebe, that was almost in full summer plumage, so we walked a little way back along the road to get better views. A good decision as the Ring-necked Duck popped up in front of us too. Male and female Goldeneye were noted as well, along with c50+ Tufted Duck. No Pochard.
We wandered along the beach road to look at a decent-sized gull flock but couldn't find anything unusual. Storm Emma had dumped tonnes of rock material and debris along the Ley shore. It must have been some sight when the storm was at its peak.
We were back in Exmouth for 11am. A quick look off Mudbank revealed 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and c130+ Lapwing flying high south from Exminster way, before heading west.
Drake Ring-necked Duck - Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe - Slapton Ley

Two of three Pale-bellied Brent Geese off Mudbank.

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