Monday 26 October 2020

Monday 26th October

An afternoon visit in pleasant weather conditions focused on the neap tide and counts were 295 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 269 Curlew, 171 Redshank, 141 Teal, 63 Turnstone, 32 Shelduck, 32 Knot, 31 Grey Plover, 19 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Mute Swan, 13 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 11 Cormorant, just nine Great Black-backed Gull, eight Greenshank, three Great Crested Grebe, two each of Canada Goose, Mallard, Red-breasted Merganser, Black-tailed Godwit and Common Snipe; and single Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Sanderling, Mediterranean Gull; the autumn's first intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull, Kingfisher and the Slavonian Grebe, which has now more-or-less moulted into its uniquely odd-looking non-breeding plumage. Not counted, four-figures of Wigeon and three-figures of Oystercatcher and Dunlin were also present.

The heron split was again a sign of changing times with three each of Grey Heron and Little Egret outnumbered by 31 Cattle Egret that assembled in the estuary corner before they flew north before dusk.  Some paused in Eastdon Fields around the cattle where a few more Little Egret were also foraging, then on their way presumably toward their roost site at Powderham.

Two Little Grebe were on the Main Pond where also were the regular squealing Water Rail, a few Moorhen, drake Shoveler and single Mallard. A roaming tit flock contained some of the nine Long-tailed Tit, nine Blue Tit, four Goldcrest, three Great Tit and two Chiffchaff found in wooded areas. A scattering of Stonechat and Cirl Bunting were present, as usual. And a glance offshore produced only a distant small raft of Common Scoter and a few Gannet.

Also noted, two Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a splendid male Green Woodpecker that gave a moment of joy to a young family out for a stroll in the sunshine as it took flight. A flock of ten Pied Wagtail headed NE and a single Grey Wagtail flew N at dusk, again presumably to roost sites.

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