Sunday 21 August 2022

Pied Fly, Gadwall

Today's Pied Flycatcher, my second of the autumn, wasn't in so much of a rush as the last one, and I enjoyed prolonged views as it fed quietly along the line of trees that border the Bristol Schools field.

Orcombe Point this morning - 1 Pied Flycatcher and 2 Tree Pipits were the only migrants I could find. Offshore - at least 3 Mediterranean Gulls and 8 Common Terns in with a large feeding flock of gulls and a few Sandwich Terns.
Off Mudbank - 3 Gadwall, 9 Wigeon, c230 Mallard, 23 Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plovers, 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1 juvenile Common Tern.
Orcombe Point yesterday - 4 Tree Pipits and 10 Swallows. Off the seafront - 3+ Balearic Shearwaters lingering, 4+ Mediterranean Gulls and 2 Tree Pipits over. Off Mudbank - 5 Wigeon, 21 Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Ringed Plovers, 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose and c200 Mallard.
On 19/8 - a Reed Warbler was the best sighting on Orcombe. Also - 4+ Willow Warbler

 Three Gadwall off Mudbank - always a good bird in Exmouth. Today's trio accompanied c230 Mallard and 9 Wigeon.

It won't be too long before the summering Dark-bellied Brent Goose rejoins its returning cousins...

This Small Heath was a surprise discovery in the Bristol Schools field. I can't recall seeing one on Orcombe before.

Copper Underwing. Quiet moth-wise over the last couple of nights. Three Dark Sword-grass, last night, indicated some ongoing immigration and there are stacks of Rush Veneers on Orcombe, kicked up with every other footstep in the longer grass.

The Mudbank Sea Aster has finally started to flower.

Juvenile Willow Warbler - Orcombe Point. One of at least four yesterday.


  1. Hi mate. It's getting better up Orcombe for you. I had a midday quick jaunt around there and managed 5 Yellow Wagtail but I think everything had moved on or not showing as was busy.

  2. Hi Spencer - yep it's slowly improving but no real numbers yet. Willow Warbler numbers surprisingly low and hirundines almost non-existent. A few more Yellow Wags up there today but not much else. All the best. Matt.

  3. Seems to have been a very good autumn passage for Pied Flycatcher, Matt. Quite a few being reported around London on most days over the last fortnight. After dipping 2 early last week in Hayes caught up with one in an Ealing park Friday morning. My first London bird!

    By contrast Gadwall pretty common here.

    Small Heaths seem to have had a bad year around here-I've seen no big numbers here & very few locally. I suspect next year will be bad for browns in general & the orange skippers as the grasses are so dried up. Hope to be wrong here!

  4. Hi Neil - yep a good spell for Pied Flys but I've tended to miss them here in Exmouth, even in good years. Probably need to search harder! Gadwall isn't terribly rare at the north end of the Exe but they're very infrequent in Exmouth. I get them most years but can easily envisage missing them in any given year. They never stick around. As for Small Heath - probably less on the local heaths than usual. Hope you're wrong too! Great to hear from you. Best wishes. Matt.