Saturday, 24 April 2021

Skuas and Waders

Hairy Tare

Given the short time-span, today's two brief looks at the sea were quite productive. Following a dawn bird survey in Exeter, I got to the raised beach huts to watch a fabulous, fully-spooned, pale-phase Pomarine Skua beat its way purposefully eastwards (0758). A dark Arctic Skua was clearly Lee's bird from yesterday, sporting an odd pale patch on the right forewing at least. Also noted were 12 Common Scoter, 15 Sandwich Tern, 5 Fulmar and a Swallow. A similarly short look at 5pm, before picking Maisie up from work, produced 12 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Sandwich Terns and a pale-phase skua, seen only briefly and back-on before it rounded Orcombe Point - almost certainly an Arctic.
Orcombe Point itself yielded just 1 Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Swallows and 4 Whitethroats.
Off Mudbank - 90+ Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover, c30 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1 first-summer Mediterranean Gull and 14 Sandwich Terns.
Yesterday off Mudbank, before work - a flock of 64 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Dunlin, 16 Whimbrel, 2 or 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 3 Dark-bellied Brent Geese.

Hundreds of Green-winged Orchids now in flower on Orcombe - a wonderful spectacle.

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