Sunday 31 October 2021

Spot Red Back

 Good to see the return of the Spotted Redshank today.

Orcombe was blown out this morning but 1 Great Skua and lots of auks and Kittiwakes passed first thing and 2 Goldcrests, c300 Woodpigeons, 8 Pied Wagtails, 2 Song Thrushes, 20+ Starlings, 3 Chaffinches, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Chiffchaff and at least one Redwing also snuck into the notebook.
Off Mudbank - 1 Spotted Redshank, 18 Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 15 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 Turnstone, 5 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 200+ Pintail, 222 Shelduck, a first-winter Kittiwake and a few Pale-bellied Brent Geese amongst the usual numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Geese and Wigeon.
I didn't get up to Orcombe 'til late morning yesterday but recorded well over 1000 Woodpigeons heading west along with 40+ Chaffinches and at least 1 Brambling. A single Brambling was also recorded late in the afternoon, over Shelly beach.
Belated news for the 29th - 1 Red-throated Diver off the seafront and a good count of 30 Great Crested Grebes off Mudbank.

First-winter Kittiwake - Mudbank.

The first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was again in the coastal recycling depot behind the Imperial - feeding around the skips.

Peacock on Orcombe yesterday. Painted Lady also seen.

Friday 29 October 2021


Good to see Edrick and Sarah this afternoon. Quiet on the bird front.

Common Darters.

 Marsh Tit.

Thursday 28 October 2021


Pale and Dark-bellied Brent Geese off Mudbank yesterday.

A look at the sea this morning, in a decent south-westerly, produced 460 Kittiwakes south, plenty of Gannets, several auks, 2 shearwater sp (Manx or Balearic), 1 diver sp, 21 Common Scoters, 1+ Mediterranean Gull, 1 Arctic Skua and 1 Red-throated Diver. The first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was on the Imperial rugby ground and 220 Shelducks, 27+ Turnstones, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Red-breasted Merganser were off Mudbank.


Second-winter Great Black-back and the resident first-winter Yellow-legged Gull.

Adult and second-winter Great Black-backed Gulls.

First-winter Great Black-backed Gull.

Reed Buntings - Woodbury Common 27/10/21.

Meadow Pipit - Woodbury Common.

Tuesday 26 October 2021


A flock of 250+ Black-tailed Godwits off Mudbank contained this stand-out, oddly plain-mantled juvenile, but it's presumably just a result of wear - I don't look at Black-tailed Godwits very often. Note the bird to the left is sporting a black and white ring.

Early morning Orcombe - a possible Red-throated Pipit heard just once at 0815 - a distant but distinctive, forceful 'Pzzzz' - to my ear too strong and drawn out for Tree Pipit. I searched the top fields for a while but no joy. Otherwise it was a bit of an odd morning with many birds moving high (despite the low cloud) and silently. I suspect they were mostly Chaffinches. Totals logged included 3 Bramblings, c20 Pied Wagtails, c120 Chaffinches, 1 Redpoll, c20 Siskins, 1 Reed Bunting, 60+ Redwings, C30 Meadow Pipits and 40 Jackdaws. A flock of 7 Common Scoters was offshore.

The first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was again on the Imperial rugby ground and 220 Shelducks were roosting on Cockle Sands. Off Mudbank - 250+ Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Teal and 17 Great Crested Grebes with 2 Mistle Thrushes, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Song Thrushes, 11 Siskins and 10 Chaffinches over.

There don't seem to be many juvenile Brents amongst the flock but here are three of them.

One of at least a dozen Pale-bellied Brent Geese that have been with the Dark-bellied flock for some time now.

Monday 25 October 2021


Today's star bird was this Ruff which dropped in at Mudbank just as the tide was dropping. It was with c300 Black-tailed Godwits which is, I believe, my highest ever Exmouth count. Ruff is one of those birds that I can easily go without seeing in Exmouth in any given year. I photographed this one from the cycle track, opposite Lower Halsdon Farm. Also off Mudbank - 4 Redshank, 10+ Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 12 Great Crested Grebes and the obligatory first-winter Yellow-legged Gull. I was pleased with a high count of 211 Shelducks on Cockle Sands and it was good to see Rupert as always.

A spell on Orcombe from 0735-1040 produced some good overhead migration with 5000+ Woodpigeons, 14+ Stock Doves, 210+ Jackdaws, 100+ Chaffinches, 5 Brambling, 1+ Redpoll, 19+ Siskins, 1 Yellowhammer, 3 Reed Buntings, 1 Bullfinch, 20+ Linnets, 60+ Goldfinches, 6+ Greenfinches, 27+ Pied Wagtails, 50+ Meadow Pipits, 4 Jays, 58+ Starlings, 85+ Redwings, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtails and 30+ Skylarks making the notebook. The majority of birds were heading west/north-west. Additionally a late Wheatear, 16 Blackbirds, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Goldcrest, 6 Song Thrushes and 2 Stonechats were recorded.

I think this gorgeous Kestrel was so focused on the Skylark and Meadow Pipit activity around it that it didn't notice me stood behind it. I hadn't noticed it either until I arrived at a gateway that it was using as a perch.

Looking down towards Orcombe Point from the cliff path, with rain approaching across Dawlish Bay.

Woodpigeons heading west across the bay.

Some decent-sized flocks of Woodpigeons passed over this morning but the big, big numbers usually get going on clear, bright mornings in early November.

Lu and I walked the dog along the beach to Sandy Bay this afternoon. Large numbers of flies in the corner of the beach  attracted 3 Rock Pipits, this Grey Wagtail and a couple Pied Wagtails, but not the hoped-for Black Redstart.