Back in Exmouth - 3 Sandwich Terns off the lifeboat station - each on a yellow buoy.
Tuesday, 29 March 2022
Spring Spot Crake
Monday, 28 March 2022
Off Mudbank this evening - 1 Peregrine, 1 Greenshank, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Redshank and a drake Wigeon.
Sunday, 27 March 2022
Joel had a football match out the back this afternoon. With kick-off at 130pm, Lu and I walked down the road to watch, but just before we got to Warren View the gulls kicked off! I glanced up to see another White-tailed Eagle lazily circling, some way between Mudbank and Lympstone. It seemed to be drifting slightly north, upriver, but I didn't track it any further, keen to see Joel in action. Little else to report this weekend but it has been lovely weather-wise.
Nuthatch collecting mud to line nest hole.
Little Ringed Plover.
Friday, 25 March 2022
On Orcombe, after work this afternoon - just three Stonechats and 3 Chiffchaffs.
A Spoonbill off Mudbank this afternoon was presumably the (previously regular) juvenile bird.
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - Maer Rocks.
Tuesday, 22 March 2022
I popped home for lunch and checked my phone to see a text from Mark, about an Osprey off Turf at 12pm. Grabbing a cup of tea I went out into the garden, and after a couple scans, picked up a distant 'blob' with the unmistakable silhouette of White-tailed Eagle! I hoped it would head towards me but it moved off in a north-easterly (ish) direction, from somewhere way north of Lympstone. I needed to head back to work but fired off a text to Mark with words to the effect of 'no sign of an Osprey but a WTE going north-east'. I picked the bins back up and quickly picked the bird up again, this time heading back in a more south-easterly direction. Always too distant for a photo unfortunately (though of course I tried!), but it later transpired it had been seen going over the Warren at 120pm, and was over Beer at 330-430pm. It's one of the Isle of Wight release bird and it'll be interesting to find out its exact movements. If follows hot on the heels of an immature female I had almost exactly a year ago, over Blackhill Quarry - see here. With high pressure and clear conditions it's probably more productive to be looking skywards than for grounded migrants at the moment...
Monday, 21 March 2022
As the tide pushed in the birds got closer and, to my delight, started to display to a female Mallard. This involved lots of Corncrake-like 'rattling' and lots of rapid head-popping between short, excitable flights. I was gutted to have to leave for work but I understand a number of people got down to see them and photos were taken that put mine to shame. One drake disappeared, but one remained and was still present when I checked later this afternoon. Also off there - 9 Red-breasted Mergansers, 9 Mallard, 4 Pintail and 3 Wigeon.
Sunday, 20 March 2022
Herps Local Heath
Common Lizard - loads of these soaking up the early morning sunshine.
LRP. Not much birding today but a bit of 'herping' done. On Bystock - 2 Firecrest (including a singing male) and a singing Redwing. Fourteen Red-breasted Mergansers off Mudbank.
Saturday, 19 March 2022
Dawn over Straight Point, from just above Orcombe Point, in a nice, bracing easterly.
Off Mudbank - 2 Greenshank, 26 Turnstones, 5 Little Egrets, 1 Red Kite, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Wigeon, 6 Pintail, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 27 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 23 Common Gulls, 1 Redshank, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, c25+ Bar-tailed Godwits, and a nice, brown immature Peregrine. The Black-tailed Godwits were my first in Exmouth this year. I don't normally record them until August. Weird how they shun this corner of the estuary for months on end.
Otherwise it has been another quiet week with 4 Chiffchaffs on Orcombe on Tuesday (15/3) evening and the immature Spoonbill off Mudbank on Monday evening, along with 41 Wigeon and 18 Pintail.
Red Kite - this bird dropped down over Mudbank at 1110, from an easterly direction, before continuing upriver.
Eleven Tufted Ducks on Blackhill Quarry. Not a lot else on this afternoon's dog walk.
The immature Spoonbill put in another appearance at the beginning of the week.
Sunday, 13 March 2022
Saturday, 12 March 2022
Lu, Maisie and I walked the dog around the perimeter of Blackhill Quarry this afternoon. Two Chiffchaffs were singing but otherwise, just 4 Tufted Ducks and 3 Little Grebes recorded.
Yesterday evening - 50 Great Black-backed Gulls, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 180+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese off Shelly Beach, and on 8/3 - 1 adult summer-plumaged Mediterranean Gull off Mudbank, along with 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Adult summer Mediterranean Gull - Mudbank 8//3.
Sunday, 6 March 2022
Ring-necked Parakeets are full of the joys of spring, around Prattshayes Farm, at the moment.
Otherwise - a flock of c30 Pied Wagtails in cattle fields on Orcombe Point this morning, and off Mudbank - 18 Pintail, 3 Wigeon, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Great Crested Grebes and c50 Common Gulls.
Earlier in the week, on 2/3, a summer-plumaged Mediterranean Gull on Warren View playing fields, and on 3/3 - a female Blackcap in a garden at the end of our road and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull, 26 Pintail and c60 Common Gulls off Mudbank.
Buzzard - Maer Farm.
This big female Goshawk drew some unwanted attention from a couple Carrion Crows, but never appeared too perturbed. She appears to have a full crop...
It's true what they say - if you think you've seen a Goshawk, you probably haven't. Their flight silhouette is quite unlike that of Sparrowhawk.