Friday 2 March 2018

Woodlarks, Woodcock and the Struggle to Survive

Woodlark - one of 5 showing brilliantly on the beach. I didn't push them for photos though, because it's likely they're in desperate need of food, like  most other birds are at the moment.

Five Woodlark on Exmouth beach, near 'Ocean', were the clear highlight on an otherwise rather sad day. I've walked miles around Exmouth and everywhere I've been I've witnessed birds struggling to find food. Yesterday's powder snow, almost a foot deep in places, has frozen, so places like the beach and the edges of the estuary are attracting Lapwing, Golden Plover, Redwing, Fieldfare and Meadow Pipits, in big numbers. Great to see stuff up close but I'd swap the privilege in favour of them surviving.
Also today, of note - 3 Woodcock ( 1 Mudbank, 1 West Lodge and 1 Maer Valley), 10 Purple Sandpipers on Maer Rocks, 1 Blackcap, a handful of Skylark overhead, a Stonechat on the beach, several Snipe and a Kestrel at Maer Farm.

Stonechat - Exmouth Beach
The sight of this beautiful Golden Plover, moribund on the beach, reduced me to tears. Cold weather movement may be a spectacle, but this is the cold, hard reality of what it does to birds.
This Golden Plover plonked down on the cycle track at first light.
This one was one of a number looking knackered on Maer Rocks. Many more were on the beach and none looked healthy.
This one was one of a number at Mudbank. I've seen Golden Plovers everywhere today, including over the town centre and flying past, within feet of Joel's bedroom window.

Lapwings in the cold blue light of dawn - Mudbank

Photographed from the Mudbank viewing screen.

Snipe - Mudbank
Snipe - photographed from the house.

Grey Plover - Mudbank


Dunlin - Mudbank

Redshank - Mudbank

Purple Sandpiper - ten were feeding on Maer Rocks

Reed Bunting - Mudbank
Blackbird - Madeira Walk
Song Thrushes - Madeira Walk
Fieldfare - Madeira Walk
Mixed flock of stuff on seaweed by the Leisure Centre.

Looking back towards Lympstone from Mudbank

Orcombe Point from the lifeboat station

Maer Valley

Looking towards the river mouth and quay from Exmouth beach

Redwings were everywhere today - not all as perky looking as this chappie at Mudbank.

1 comment:

  1. As you say an amazing spectacle but so so sad to know that many will perish.