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.

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