Sunday, 19 November 2017

Selected Counts

Guillemot - Maer Rocks
Maer Rocks - 1 Eider, 10 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Guillemot, 7 Turnstone, 7 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling and 1 Rock Pipit.
Mudbank - a high count of 23+ Great Crested Grebe, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Goldeneye, c60+ Redshank, 13 Black-tailed Godwit, 140+ Shelduck, 2 Teal, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Goose and good numbers of Wigeon, Brent Goose and Pintail.


Common Gull

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Today's Stuff

Tufted Duck - Mudbank
A few quick looks at places today - Mudbank - Tufted Duck, Long-tailed Duck (well upriver this afternoon), 6 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 10+ Red-breasted Merganser, c10+ Great Crested Grebe, 2 Peregrine, 25+ Redshank, 5+ Black-tailed Godwit and c2/300+ Dunlin.
Off Maer Rocks - 15 Common Scoter with a female-type Eider and off Shelly Beach - 1 Great Northern Diver with 6 Long-tailed Tits high over north-west.

Three of six Long-tailed Tits heading high across the river.
Terrible shot of yesterday's Firecrest

Friday, 17 November 2017

Firecrest and LTD

A Firecrest by the Mudbank viewing screen this evening. Also off there the Long-tailed Duck and 5 Red-breasted Merganser with the usual stuff. The only other minor oddity was a female Teal.
Yesterday I stood in the back garden for 10 minutes, before work, and noted my first Fieldfare, along with c25+ Redwing and 1 Siskin. The Long-tailed Duck was scoped along with 6 Black-tailed Godwit.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


Moorhen - Bystock
The female-type Long-tailed Duck was again off Mudbank this afternoon, along with my first returning Goldeneyes of the autumn - 2 female types actively diving mid-river. Also off Mudbank - 40+ Dunlin and 20+ Ringed Plover, with 4 Meadow Pipit over.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Long-tailed Duck

In the absence of LTD photo here's a Wigeon from Saturday.
Just a 5 minute look off Mudbank this evening. One Long-tailed Duck distantly off there, with 10 Red-breasted Merganser. Also 10 Ringed Plover roosting below the railway line. Maisie's 15th birthday today. No idea where the last 15 years have gone! Happy Birthday Maisie!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Italian Sparrow and Goosanders

Male Italian-type Sparrow (right) with House Sparrow - East Budleigh.
I didn't drop everything and rush to see this bird but I suppose deep down I was quite keen to see it all the same. It's one of those birds that's always there in the back of my mind (admittedly some way behind Spanish Sparrow) when I search through House Sparrow flocks, but I'm a reluctant twitcher and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to justify leaving my beloved Exmouth for stuff. Anyway I'm glad I've seen it, and it was great to meet Tom and see Steve Young, despite the freezing northerly, driving rain and stinging hail!
I'll leave the decision about whether it is one or not to those that know far more than me but it has to be said that plumage-wise there's not a lot wrong with it! The BBRC however have currently taken a stance that leaves little possibility of one ever being accepted. A big thank you to Chris for putting the news out and organising viewing. Great work!
At dawn I did Orcombe in a last ditch attempt to see some migration in action this autumn. In clear skies and a cold northerly I logged (all heading west) c120+ Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 1 Redpoll, 10+ Goldfinch, 2+ Linnet, 4+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2+ Siskin, 1 Starling and c50+ Finch sp (too high to suss). My sixth Cirl Bunting on Orcombe, this year, sang briefly from deep in a hedge before heading west and a Yellowhammer went over north. Also recorded - 3+ Goldcrest, 2+ Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 1+ Bullfinch and a Kestrel.
Only a couple quick looks off Mudbank today. Conditions were far from ideal but I still managed 2 Gadwall, 1 Teal and 1 Shoveler amongst the usual stuff. Best off all were 6 redhead Goosander that did a close fly-past before heading upriver - the first I've seen in Exmouth for a while, following a blank year last year.

This male Italian Sparrow was photographed in Corsica in July 2011. It won't add anything to the debate!
Whilst digging out the Italian Sparrow photo I came across this photo of Mediterranean Flycatcher - M.tyrrhenica, alongside a Cirl. Another species that has generated much recent discussion.
Pintail - Mudbank

An obliging Rock Pipit - Exmouth seafront. I stopped to photograph this beauty whilst we were on a family dog walk. Annoying for my family.


Saturday, 11 November 2017


Gadwall pair - Mudbank
Can't think of a more imaginative title. Best birds today were a pair of Gadwall off Mudbank and 6 Eider off Orcombe Point. It's really good to see that the Purple Sandpiper count on Maer Rocks has already risen to eleven birds - that's 3 more than last winter's maximum. Also on Maer Rocks c5/6+ Turnstone and 6 Common Scoter off there.
Off Mudbank - 21+ Turnstone, c60+ Redshank, 2 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover, 8+ Black-tailed Godwit, c100+ Pintail, c1000+ Wigeon, c6/700+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose and c10+ Pale-bellied Brent Goose, though these weren't given much attention in terrible visibility. Also an adult Mediterranean Gull off there.

White-cheeked Pintail