Tuesday 31 January 2023


Lu and I are both off work with Covid at the moment. Lu has the added pleasure of Shingles to contend with, so the house doesn't feel very healthy at the moment. As I write this, Joel is out in the kitchen, blowing his nose and coughing, so it's likely he's coming down with it too. After lunch, Lu and I wrapped up warm and took the dog round the block, in order to get some much-needed fresh air. I was a bit stunned to glance up (at 1338) and see a Short-eared Owl flying downriver, as we headed along the cycle path. I completely fluffed getting the camera out and switched on and, by the time I had, it had gone over Mudbank and was drifting towards town. I managed just a couple distant record shots as it was mobbed by crows, but at least you can see what it is. I failed to see SEO in Exmouth at all last year and I'm not aware of any birds locally, so goodness only knows where it's come from, or where it's going to! Otherwise off Mudbank - a quick scan revealed 1 Mediterranean Gull and 28 Wigeon.
Yesterday off Mudbank - selected counts included 15 Great Crested Grebes, the female Scaup, 10 Red-breasted Mergansers and 1 Siskin over. Three Eider were distantly off the seafront.

Comfortably the 'beefiest' Mediterranean Gull I've seen in a long while.

Little Egret - Mudbank.


  1. Nice spot with the SEO! After a Norfolk weekend also taking in Nene Washes & Frampton managed to see all the regular owls apart from SEO. Particularly pleased to see LEO. Think our group total reached 119 species.

    Isn't this your second time with Covid, Matt. I'm sure (?) I remember you talking about having it before. Hope you both get over it soon!

  2. Hi Neil - glad your trip went well. Norfolk is a wonderful place. Not familiar with Frampton or Nene Washes. LEO is an incredible species. Just the one record here in Exmouth, which will never be forgotten! It feels like SEOs are thin on the ground this year, which makes today's bird all the more surprising. I'm annoyed I didn't get better photos.
    It is indeed the second time with Covid. I've work colleagues on their 4th dose so don't feel I'm doing too badly. The first time was much worse. This is just like a heavy cold with an annoying tickly cough, along with headache, the shivers and a general lack of energy. Looking forward to feeling normal again. All the best. Matt.