Friday 22 January 2021


Drake Goldeneye - Duckpond. Lovely close views of this stunning duck. I watched it with a sense of melancholy though, as with numbers down to just three or four birds at this end of the river, it's possible it will become a real rarity within the next decade. 

I think this is Sweet Violet (blunt sepals and small hairs on leaves) but I'm not sure. Does anyone know if I can rule out a related garden escape?

 Kestrel - Orcombe Point. A quick look late this afternoon revealed just 4 Stonechat, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Curlew, 5 Snipe and c20+ Meadow Pipits.


  1. Hi Matt

    looks like Sweet Violet to me.

    Sadly won't be long until the Exe goes the same way as the Teign for regular Goldeneye. One in winter 18/19 was the first since Jan 2013.


    1. Thanks Kev - I'm looking forward to finding some more flowers that weren't out in the summer...
      Interesting and very sad to hear about the scarcity of Teign Goldeneyes. I understand there are considerably more Red-breasted Mergansers on the Teign than on the Exe now. I think 11 is the most I've seen in Exmouth this winter. All the best. Matt

  2. Goldeneye seem to have declined as winter visitors in the London area too, though interestingly there have been at least 2 attempted breeding records for the first time in the last 3-4 years. Sadly I think all the young predated.

  3. Forgot to add-yes Viola odorata.

  4. Hi Neil - many thanks. Find it really surprising to hear about the attempted breeding! Had no idea. Hope you're surviving the current lockdown - rubbish times! All the best. Matt