Saturday 28 August 2021

Pintail Arrival

 Pintails. I saw my first of the autumn yesterday (27/8) but today saw a proper arrival with flocks of 14, 16 and 28 (from just before 9am to 10am).

Osprey - upriver (watched from the back garden) at 1120 on 27/8. Presumed to be the individual seen previous days. Still present today.

A catch-up over the last few days - currently stuck in isolation (and living in the loft), recovering from an unpleasant dose of Covid-19 which the kids brought back from the Boardmasters festival, Newquay. All the more annoying and frustrating as I'm double-jabbed. Surprised at how rough I felt. Lu has managed to avoid it, thank goodness. I've managed a few scans from the back garden. Today - 58 Pintail, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 15 House Martin, 1 Osprey (hunting off Mudbank at 1215) and 5 Sandwich Terns.
23/8 - Orcombe Point - 1 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Wheatears. Jacked it in early, feeling 'off' despite having had a negative PCR test. An Osprey flew over the town towards the river mouth, early in the evening.
24/8 - 1 Wigeon and a Mediterranean Gull during a brief look from the back garden.
25/8 - another spell from the back garden produced 4 Teal, 5 Sand Martin (south) and an Osprey which, judging by the lack of success with fishing, was presumed to be a juvenile.
26/8 - an Osprey again hunting the river in the afternoon. Possibly the previous day's bird?
27/8 - 1 Tree Pipit over the back garden, my first Pintail of the autumn, 1 or 2 'commic' terns, 1 Kestrel and, most unusually, a Fulmar.  Osprey upriver at 1120 am.

Pintails (28/8).

Buff Ermine caterpillar.

Yellow Wagtail - Orcombe Point 23/8/21. A stroll on Orcombe was curtailed after I started to feel unwell. Went home to isolate. Tested positive for Covid-19 shortly afterwards. Another flying around at the back of the house today (28/8).


  1. Sorry to hear you caught covid Matt, hope you feel better soon

  2. ... and thanks for the heads up on the osprey I shall be keeping my eyes on the sky

    1. Thank you Bay - feeling way better now and back out very soon. Good luck with the Osprey. I'm sure you'll see it if you put some time in at Mudbank. Probably best to scan the river from the viewing screen. All the best. Matt

  3. Just about to catch up on your recent posts. Sorry to hear you have Covid-it is very unpleasant. All my family have had it, though I've escaped, though had to isolate a few weeks back.

    Always love to see Pintail. Not that common around London, though the Wetland centre get a small number & Rainham a few dozen. Remember staying in Exmouth many years ago & seeing lots of Brent Geese, Wigeon & Pintail.

  4. Thanks Neil - yep surprisingly grim given the two jabs. Dread to think what it must be like without. Joel fared worst as he's 15 and un-jabbed. Maisie had it very mildly - she's 18 and between jabs. I can't wait to get my smell and taste back! Hope your family are all fully recovered and fingers crossed you remain clear. Exmouth is the best site in Devon for Pintail, and probably the south-west. We get 300+ most autumns but they disperse as winter progresses. Never tire of them. All the best. Matt