Thursday 20 October 2022

Orcombe Point

My first Black Redstart of the autumn was on Foxholes rooftops - traditionally the best place for them on Orcombe Point.

Some really enjoyable birding today, on Orcombe, with singles of Merlin, Black Redstart, Dartford Warbler, Whinchat, Snipe, Bullfinch, Grey Wagtail, Little Egret, Fieldfare, Blackcap, Coal Tit and Swallow. In seemingly unfavorable conditions (low cloud/rain) I was surprised to witness an early, easterly passage of Meadow Pipits, with c160 birds logged, along with 20+ Pied Wagtails. Also today - 2 Firecrests, 6+ Goldcrests, 7 Chiffchaffs, 15 Blackbirds, 28 Robins, 30 Redwings, 10+ Song Thrushes, 2 Reed Buntings, 7+ Stonechats, 50+ Skylarks, c6+ Long-tailed Tits, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 3 Turnstones, 1 Curlew, 16 Starlings, just 4 Chaffinches, c50/100+ Linnets, 1 Greenfinch and a handful of Goldfinches, but it clearly wasn't a 'finchy' kind of day!

Selected counts off Mudbank included 32 Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 1 Snipe, 100 Black-tailed Godwits, 32 Turnstones, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Dunlin, 2 Lapwing and 2 Shoveler.

A nice late Whinchat in the turnip field.

This rosy-flushed Vestal was disturbed from long grass, along with loads of Rush Veneers and a couple Silver Ys. Other signs of immigration included at least 3 Clouded Yellows and a number of Red Admirals. 

The Dartford Warbler is still shadowing Stonechats around the turnip field.

One of several Rush Veneers kicked up from the grass on Orcombe.

This Merlin flew high east after having a little dig at a local Peregrine. I saw one 'corkscrew' after a Meadow Pipit, a week ago on Lundy, but you can't beat one on your local patch.


  1. Great birding Matt, merlin, what s treat! I'm going to have to start following you around

  2. Hi Tom - thanks for your comment - Merlins are great aren't they. Usually get one or two a year in Exmouth but they're by no means guaranteed - very much a case of 'right time, right place' as they whiz through. All the best. Matt.