Sunday, 28 November 2021

Cattle Egrets

Dawn - Orcombe Point from the lifeboat station.

A look at Maer Rocks first thing was worth it for the sunrise alone but 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 diver sp, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Shelduck, 37 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Dunlin, 2 Turnstones and 8 Purple Sandpipers were logged.
Nearby on Orcombe - just 1 Snipe, 6+ Meadow Pipits and 20 Skylarks. The male Black Redstart was in the Shelly Beach area and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose was in with a group of Dark-bellied birds off there.
It was uncomfortably cold off Mudbank early on but c40 Redshank, 1 Knot, 4+ Grey Plovers, 1 or 2 Ringed Plovers and 110+ Teal were among the species logged. Later this afternoon my first returning Goldeneye was off there (a female type) with at least 6 Red-breasted Mergansers. Yesterday c200 Pintail were off there but I didn't count them today.
At least 1 Cattle Egret was inadvertently flushed from Maer Valley this afternoon and two were subsequently located in the cattle field that borders Maer Lane water treatment works. Hopefully they'll hang around. Also in Maer Valley - c80 Curlew, 3 Little Egrets, 3+ Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff and a Mistle Thrush.

Cattle Egret. I've seen a number of Cattle Egrets in Exmouth over the years but, believe it or not, today's pair were the first I've had in with cattle and the first for my Orcombe patch. Birds are frequently scoped across the river but birds within the parish boundary are far more highly prized.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose - Shelly Beach.

Black Redstart - the 'Gut'.

Large numbers of Dunlin have been off Mudbank the last couple of days.

I photographed this Purple Sandpiper on yesterday's dog-walk with Lu. It was one of eight birds, with 12 Turnstones, on rocks below Orcombe Point. Today all eight were on Maer Rocks.


  1. A pretty good day's birding there, Matt! Love the shot of the preening Pintail which shows all the detail of the speculum. Nice shots of the Pale-bellied Brents too.

    I'm still waiting for a local Cattle Egret though there's been up to 9 the other side of town at Rainham. I suspect it won't be too long!

  2. Hi Neil and thank you, as always, for your comments. I still get a bit excited when Cattle Egrets turn up, even though there are over 100 across the river. It's that whole local patch thing I guess. I'm sure you'll get a local one soon. All the best. Matt.