Monday 31 August 2020


Female Tufted Duck with Wigeon. A train passed just as I'd started counting the ducks off Mudbank this morning. The majority flushed but I reckon I had 46 Wigeon and 9 Pintail amongst the Mallard and Canada Geese.
A dawn stroll around Orcombe revealed the following: 3+ Tree Pipit, 4 Meadow Pipit, 6 Wheatear, c30/40+ Yellow Wagtail, 16 Starling, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Stonechat, 11 House Martin, 2 Siskin, 2+ Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Whitethroat, 5+ Chiffchaff and 28+ Swallow.
Mudbank wasn't as good as yesterday but a Kestrel flying low down the middle of the river this afternoon was odd. Also - 1 Wheatear, 8 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 46 Wigeon, 1 Tufted Duck and the autumn's first 9 Pintail.

Three of nine Pintail - Mudbank

Some nice pallid-looking Wheatear on Orcombe today.

Yellow Belle - Orcombe Point. Other insects noted today include Painted Lady, Common Blue, Red Admiral and Silver Y.

This lovely fresh-plumaged, juvenile Buzzard is often perched beside the slurry pit.

Common Darter - Mudbank

Lots of Sea Aster in bloom at Mudbank.

Sunday 30 August 2020

Curlew Sand

My first Meadow Pipit of the autumn obligingly fed in the road on Orcombe Point. A Tree Pipit was flushed from a field very close-by.
Orcombe Point today - 9+ Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 6+ Chiffchaff, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, c30/40+ Yellow Wagtail, c20+ Swallow, small numbers of House Martin and a Swift.
The stand-out highlight from a couple looks off Mudbank was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper but I also recorded 5 Dunlin, 3 Greenshank, 8 Redshank, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Turnstone, 5 Whimbrel, c20+ Sandwich Tern, 1 Kingfisher, 1+ Yellow Wagtail and 34 Wigeon - a leap up from yesterday's eleven.

If only the light had been behind me! One of an estimated 30-40+ Yellow Wagtails present along Gore Lane today, attracting quite a few visitors.

Today's star bird was this juvenile Curlew Sandpiper - present for some time this afternoon off Mudbank and my first in Exmouth since September 2016.
An increase in Sandwich Tern numbers off Mudbank today, but I couldn't get an accurate count with the highest numbers present late evening, looking right in to the light. Probably 20+ birds.

Saturday 29 August 2020

Mudbank and Y Wags

 Black-tailed Godwit  - this lovely juvenile bird was off Mudbank yesterday, joined briefly by a Bar-tailed Godwit. This is only my third in Exmouth this year following two birds six days ago.
Off Mudbank this afternoon - 1 Osprey, 3 Greenshank, 11 Redshank, 6 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 3 Knot, 5 Whimbrel, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 240 Oystercatcher, 11 Wigeon and an impressive 81 Mute Swan (again no juveniles). A quick look at the top fields of Orcombe Point produced 8 Wheatear, c10/20+ Swallow, c5/10+ House Martin, 1+ Sand Martin, 1 Snipe and at least 30 Yellow Wagtail in with cattle.
Yesterday off Mudbank - 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Redshank, 11 Wigeon, 1 Sparrowhawk and 5 Whimbrel.
On the 27/8 - 7 Wigeon, 1 Turnstone, 1 Greenshank, 3 Redshank, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Teal, 5 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern and 9 juvenile Shelduck.

A sizeable Yellow Wagtail flock was feeding amongst three separate cattle herds on Orcombe Point this afternoon. I had a minimum of thirty birds in the air at any one time but I'm certain there were more birds present. Photographing them was very difficult but hopefully, as in previous years, birds will linger and present further photographic opportunities.

This Osprey appeared from nowhere at around 1350, and fished close off Mudbank as the tide crept in, quickly succeeding and heading off across the river.

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Juv Caspian Gull

This beautiful Caspian Gull was off Mudbank this afternoon. My first ever juvenile (although on the cusp of being more accurately referred to as a first-winter) and only my third in Exmouth, the last being a second-winter in November 2018.
Maer Rocks early morning - 1 Great Skua, several Kittiwake, 1+ juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a number of small groups of wader consisting of Ringed Plover, Dunlin and at least 1 Sanderling.
Mudbank this afternoon - juvenile Caspian Gull, Osprey, 8+ Sandwich Tern and 2 juvenile/first-winter Mediterranean Gull.
Yesterday - Mudbank - 7 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Turnstone, 3 Knot, 1 juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 18 Sandwich Tern, 6 Common Tern and a juvenile Peregrine.
23/8 - Mudbank - 7 Sandwich Tern, 1 Greenshank, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Redshank, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Black-tailed Godwit, which were, unbelievably, my first in Exmouth this year.


Juvenile Sandwich Tern. One of four 'sarnies' close off Mudbank yesterday.

A horrific photo but a Bonxie resting on Maer Rocks just had to be captured for the record. Near darkness, torrential rain and gale-force wind didn't make life easy.

Two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were with a large gull flock resting on Exmouth cricket pitch. Twenty-two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were with same flock along with a handful of juveniles.

Osprey again present off Mudbank a couple times this afternoon but focus was on the Caspian Gull.

Saturday 22 August 2020


Osprey - Mudbank - the second of what was surely 2 birds on the Exe this afternoon.
At least one, almost certainly two, Osprey off Mudbank this afternoon. The first caught a fish at 1335 and flew in to Powderham Park. The second was fishing the river just half an hour later at 1410. Otherwise off there today - 1 Greenshank, 1 Redshank, 21+ Whimbrel, 1 Knot, 4 Wigeon, 1 Snipe, 5 Turnstone, 5 Raven, 1 Kestrel, 13 House Martin, 35 Mute Swan, 61 Canada Goose and 1 Snow Goose. Earlier, off Maer Rocks - 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Sandwich Tern.
Yesterday off Mudbank - 22 Whimbrel, 4 Knot, 3 Turnstone, 3+ Wigeon, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Sandwich Tern, 6 Teal, 3 Wigeon and 1 Redshank.
Orcombe Point - yesterday afternoon - 2 Wheatear, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 4 Common Scoter.
20/8 - Mudbank - 8 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Sandwich Tern and a Kestrel.
19/8 - Mudbank - 45 Mute Swan, 2 juvenile Greenshank, 22 Teal, 3 Common Tern, 4 Sandwich Tern and a Mediterranean Gull.

Mediterranean Gulls - Mudbank 18/8.

Part of the 45-strong Mute Swan flock off Mudbank on 19/8 - no sign of any juveniles.

Juvenile Shelduck.

The Snow Goose was with Canada Geese off Mudbank this morning. The first time I've seen it in Exmouth.

Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull - Mudbank. There's been a noticeable increase in Lesser Black-backs over the last few days - mostly adults but reasonable numbers of juveniles too.

Monday 17 August 2020

Painted Lady

Painted Lady
A quick mid-afternoon trip to the top fields on Orcombe, following torrential rain, produced 3 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail, c50+ Swallow and a Tree Pipit.
Off Mudbank - 2 Greenshank, 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 4 Wigeon, 6 Teal and 2 Mediterranean Gull.

Juvenile Greenshank - Mudbank