Thursday 3 November 2022

Probs and YBW

A frustrating day of  'probable' sightings today, starting with a flock of c15/20 egrets, distantly over Maer Valley early on, that I'm pretty sure were Cattle Egrets. A little later I'm pretty sure I had a Tree Sparrow go north over Orcombe Point, at 1008, and at around 1240, two (or possibly 3) hirundines flashed between apartment blocks, on Exmouth quay, and out over the river, towards the Warren. My gut feeling was that they were Red-rumped Swallows. They were always flying away from me, gaining height, but they looked cream-buff underneath and not quite right for Swallow. I phoned Kev but they had no sign of them at the Warren.

Despite the disappointments, Orcombe produced 2 Dartford Warblers (together in the turnip field), 1 Yellowhammer, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 7 Redwings, 1 Fieldfare, 300+ Woodpigeons, 1 Reed Bunting, 14 Siskins, 1 Snipe, 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 11+ Stonechats, c30 Goldfinches, 25 Jackdaws, 10+ Blackbirds, c10 Song Thrushes, c10 Chaffinches, c50+ Skylarks, 3 Curlews and 6 Ring-necked Parakeets. A small movement of c50 Meadow Pipits went west first thing and offshore - 7 Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver. A number of Common Dolphins were feeding off Straight Point.
I went for a long walk this afternoon and was rewarded with a male Black Redstart in the Shelly Beach area (along with the aforementioned hirundines), 6 Stock Doves, 1 Peregrine, small numbers of Woodpigeon and, in willows bordering the Maer long-stay carpark - 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 1 Nuthatch, 1+ Goldcrest and 3 or 4 Chiffchaffs.
Off Mudbank - selected counts - 52 Redshank, c200 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Greenshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Dunlin and 1 Kingfisher. Also 1 Siskin over and a Bullfinch in the scrub.

Believe it or not, today's Yellow-browed Warbler showed quite well at times, but here's the only shot (if you can call it that) that I got of it. There's a worrying trend of my YBW photos getting progressively worse! On the plus side it was lovely to catch up with Keith this afternoon. We watched the YBW until 3pm at least. It clearly moves around the area but seems to return to the largest willow clump at the edge of the carpark.

Yellowhammer - Orcombe Point.

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