Monday 20 December 2021

Just Off Patch

Brambling. I reckon I saw at least twenty today but, due to the frequency of calls coming from overhead, I suspect there are many more present, moving between game cover crops around the pig farm and surroundings.

I neglected Exmouth today and spent a few hours birding just beyond the parish boundary. At Hayes Barton, Yettington I recorded c20+ Brambling, c20/30+ Chaffinches, 3+ Lesser Redpoll, 1 Bullfinch, 3+ Reed Bunting, Chiffchaff, Mediterranean Gull and at least 5 Red-legged Partridges
A quick look at the Otter, principally for the 34 Russian White-fronted Geese that turned up two days ago, produced 1 drake Pochard, 5 Pintail, c150+ Teal, 2 Chiffchaffs and 6 Little Grebes.
Finally a late afternoon squiz at Blackhill Quarry produced 7 Goosanders, 1 Dartford Warbler and a Peregrine
My only look off Mudbank was very brief but did reveal 3 Goldeneye and the juvenile Spoonbill.

Low light levels hampered photography efforts today. Not that I normally take good photos...

All thirty-four of the Russian White-fronts are in this photo. Not something we're used to seeing in Devon.

Drake Pochard - a scarce visitor to the Otter.

Five of the seven Goosanders that I saw at Blackhill Quarry this evening. Apparently, up to sixteen have been coming into roost of late. Good to see Roger, Liz, Rupert and Derek this afternoon.


  1. Some great shots of the Brambling! Been a while since I saw one so envious of those. A few Whitefronts turned up around London but not as many as you & we had at the start of the year.

    Have a great Xmas, Matt & look forward to seeing your photos next year. Let's hope 2022 is a better one for us & for the wildlife!

  2. Hi Neil - many thanks and thank you for all your comments over the years. Have a really good Christmas and New Year. Hope you get some birding in. I see you've got wintering Little Bunting and Dusky Warbler your way. It's amazing what can turn up in unexpected places. Take care. Matt.

  3. I did go for the Dusky Warbler but didn't see it. My previous one was less than a mile from here by the reservoir.

    Haven't been for the Little Bunting as I have seen a few of them. Not the easiest location for me without a car but may be tempted in the New Year if it hangs around. Interestingly my last Little Bunting was also at Walthamstow about 3 years back.