Saturday 18 March 2023

Pale Stonechat

I followed this pale female Stonechat around the top fields this morning, hoping to get a good look at the rump. Unfortunately it was always one step ahead of me. Disconcertingly peachy below, in flat light, but not so arresting in the early morning sunlight. I'm sure it's just a light Common Stonechat, but I guess a Stejneger's wouldn't look massively different, though presumably pale-throated?
Otherwise, Orcombe totals included 2 Wheatears, 3 Cirl Buntings, 8 Chiffchaffs, 1 Snipe and 10+ Meadow Pipits.
Mudbank - 1 Spoonbill, c90 Carrion Crows, 85 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 first-winter Mediterranean Gull, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 15 Common Gulls, 38 Wigeon, 40 Shelducks, 24+ Turnstones, 6 Ringed Plovers, 1 Greenshank, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 55+ Dunlin, 10 Redshank, 31 Bar-tailed Godwits and 1 Kingfisher. Nearby, off Shelly Beach - 2 Sandwich Terns.
A very quick off Mudbank yesterday afternoon produced 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese. It was great to catch up with Derek.
On the 16th, a late afternoon look at Orcombe Point produced 1 immature male Eider, 3 Chiffchaffs, 6 Linnets, 4+ Fieldfares, 1+ Redwing and 2 Stonechats.

Three Cirl Buntings on Orcombe Point this morning - a pair near the Geoneedle and a singing male in the top fields.

One of two Sandwich Terns off Shelly Beach this afternoon.

This lovely female Wheatear popped up beside the Geoneedle this morning. A male was in the top fields.


  1. Very nice to see the Cirl Buntings again Matt. Such smart birds.

    I did manage 4 Wheatears on one of my local patches last Saturday (day of this post) & another smart male today in Richmond Park. No Alpine Swifts yet, though believe there have been a couple of London sightings.

  2. Glad you're getting the Wheatears Neil. I haven't seen any since Saturday. I've had no luck with the Swifts. One apparently pretty much flew over the house whilst I was at work yesterday. Great! All the best. Matt.