Sunday 14 April 2019

Bitterly Cold Birding - pm edit


Sandwich Tern - Maer Rocks - ringed on left leg. Couldn't see details.
A sea-watch off Maer Rocks this morning produced 3 Dunlin, 22+ Sandwich Tern, 9 Common Scoter, 2 Black-headed Gull, 2+ Manx Shearwater (my first this year, heading east), 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Swallow and 1 extremely distant 'commic' tern which was probably Arctic. Orcombe was completely 'blown-out' in a biting easterly/south-easterly - thoroughly unpleasant!
Off Mudbank - 13 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 4 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1 Redshank, 1 Grey Plover, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 7 Whimbrel, 8+ Sandwich Tern and my first Common Tern of the year.

Common and Sandwich Tern - on clapping eyes on this tern I initially assumed it would be yesterday's Arctic. A closer look revealed too long a bill, head and neck and a diffuse grey edge to the outer primaries. It lacks the clean, translucent inner and outer primaries that yesterday's Arctic showed, even at range. After all these years of birding I still find this species pair a real challenge, although autumn juveniles are considerably easier given decent views.

Little Ringed Plover - Exminster Marshes. I had to drop Joel at a Rugby game in Topsham this afternoon, so nipped over to Exminster for a few minutes. Very little of note in the continuing raw wind, but LRP, 2 Greylag Geese, 2 Gadwall, 1 Sand Martin and 1 Swallow noted. I've still only ever had 1 LRP in Exmouth. Another would be hugely appreciated.

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