Monday 9 January 2023

Curlew Count

You can just about make out the Curlew flock in the above photo. Maer Valley is a nice spot for the time being but the ever-expanding edges of the town are creeping closer and closer. This Curlew flock has been utilising the valley for years. Fingers crossed it continues.

Had some time today so checked some very muddy sites around Exmouth. A stroll around Maer Valley produced 101 Curlew, c30 Redwings, c20 Meadow Pipits, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Grey Wagtails, c140 Starling (feeding in cattle fields with c300+ Black-headed Gulls), 2 Ring-necked Parakeets and 2 Mistle Thrushes. Nearby, on Orcombe Point - 1 Cirl Bunting near the dung heap still.
A blasting westerly meant it was very difficult to look off Mudbank but the female Scaup was still present and 36 Common Gulls were counted, which is a marked increase. A flock of 110 Dark-bellied Brent Geese was on the Imperial rugby pitch.
The afternoon was spent mooching around heathland within the Exmouth parish boundary. A strong wind and some sunshine encouraged 3 Goshawk to perform, and other species logged included c10/20+ Coal Tits, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 10+ Siskins, at least 3 Firecrests, 4 Goldcrests, 1+ Nuthatch,  1+ Treecreeper, 1 or 2 Sparrowhawks and a Dartford Warbler.

Part of the 101-strong Curlew flock.

I could only find 2 Ring-necked Parakeets this morning. This pair (male above, female below) were at Prattshayes Farm - a pretty reliable site for them. The eight birds that were frequenting the Maer long-stay carpark seemed to have moved. I've checked it two or three times recently without seeing them.

Starlings and Black-headed Gulls - Maer Valley.

One of today's three Goshawks. Conditions were clearly ideal today.

Firecrest. I'd love to know how many birds are wintering in Exmouth. It's got to be pretty big numbers as I'm bumping into them all over the place.


  1. Hi, A couple of days ago we saw the Parakeets roosting in the tree behind the closed toilet block on Maer :) Clare

  2. Hi Clare - was that the eight birds? Will take a look next time I'm that way. All the best. Matt.

    1. hi has their been any sightings of the parakeets paid a visit but had no joy