Thursday 3 January 2019

Countess Wear and the Sawmills

Little Egret - Maer Rocks
Good to see an improvement in Purple Sandpiper numbers yesterday morning, with seven present on Maer Rocks early on. Also 2 Turnstone, 1 Little Egret, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 11+ Brent Goose and 3+ Red-throated Diver.
Today I did Countess Wear and Powderham Sawmills. A number of species recorded at the sludge beds included at least 6 Cetti's Warbler, 5+ (probably more) Chiffchaff, 1 Stonechat, 2 Common Sandpiper, 18+ Teal, 17+ Gadwall and 2 Water Rail.
The Yellow-browed Warbler was hard work at Powderham Sawmills, but eventually gave reasonable views in the large sallow clump alongside the lane. A Marsh Tit was a lovely surprise sighting there, otherwise a couple Bullfinch,  Kingfisher, 2 Siskin, 1 Raven and a couple Great Spotted Woodpeckers were all that was logged. Great to see Mark, Bob and Chris there too.
A quick look off Mudbank late afternoon produced 35 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Goldeneye (including a 'new' drake, first noted yesterday).

One of a pair of Bullfinch seen at the sludge beds. Two more were in the sallow clump at Powderham Sawmills.

Looking north from the tow path, with Exeter Canal on the left and the Exe Reed Beds (and Topsham) on the right. Countess Wear sludge beds run beneath the M5 road bridge just a few hundred yards north of where I was stood to take this photo. At least 3 Cetti's Warblers showed well in this area but were way too fidgety for a photo.

One of two Common Sandpipers on the Exe beside the sewage works.

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