Sunday 19 January 2020


Sundog over the Exe on yesterday's afternoon dog-walk.

It has been a cold but still and beautiful weekend, with ice under foot in the mornings and blue sky dawn 'til dusk.
Maer Rocks first thing, in flat-calm conditions, produced 36 Brent Geese, 9 Purple Sandpiper, 4+ Turnstone and 48 Curlew over to feed in Maer Valley. Nearby on Orcombe Point - the female Cirl Bunting, 20+ Skylark, c20/30+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Linnet - the latter my first in Exmouth this year and a strong indication, along with an increase in Skylark and Meadow Pipit, that the cold weather has forced a few species to move. Really nice to meet John and Sally this morning.
The Littleham stubble fields held 25+ Snipe, 6 Skylark and c20+ Redwing.
There was a good number of waders on show today - totals from both Mudbank and Shelly Beach today included 98+ Grey Plover, 1 Greenshank, 45+ Turnstone, between 500 and 1000 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 16+ Sanderling, 6 Redshank, c80 Curlew and, best of all, a lone Lapwing! Also off Mudbank - 5 Goldeneye (2 males), 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Kingfisher and 60+ Shelduck.
At least three Firecrest were found along Madeira Walk this afternoon and the two Black Redstarts showed well in the Shelly Beach area.
Yesterday I found a flock of at least 15 Lesser Redpoll feeding with 4 Bullfinch on the Bystock reserve. Also 1 Snipe, 1 Firecrest and 3 Moorhen.
Off Mudbank yesterday - 8 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 male Goldeneye, 1 Greenshank, 38 Common Gull, 7 Grey Plover, 3 Redshank, 1 Peregrine, 8 Wigeon and 37 Mallard.
A last-ditch evening look at Woodbury Common yesterday revealed just 1 Brambling amongst several Chaffinch flying over to roost.

One of at least 15 Lesser Redpoll at Bystock yesterday. A pale-rumped individual but note the orange-buff wash to face. Pointed tail feathers indicate first-winter.

One of at least three Firecrests - Madeira Walk.

Black Redstart - Shelly Beach - the two birds again present this afternoon. If you want to see these birds you can't beat sunny, still conditions!

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