Friday 30 October 2020

Friday 30th October

With sunrise here at 07:02 and sunset at 16:51 GMT, and with Exmouth Docks high tides at 05:41 and 17:54, birding to cover both tides was still just about achievable today as daylight around this season continues to shorten by about 3 minutes per day.  A full set of waterbird counts was attempted, 1,675 Wigeon, 800+ Oystercatcher, 730+ Herring Gull, 412 Dunlin, 369 Teal, 227 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 214 Redshank, 168 Black-headed Gull, 158 Canada Goose that departed soon after dawn; 91 Turnstone, 66 Common Gull, 61 Grey Plover, 59 Great Black-backed Gull, 39 Bar-tailed Godwit, just 38 Curlew - most of the estuary's population may be on their Exminster Marshes roost site; also 35 Knot, 32 Shelduck, 21 Mute Swan, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Cormorant, 15 Shag perched on the wreck as they do in usually small numbers during unsettled conditions; eight Pale-bellied Brent Goose, five Lesser Black-backed Gull, five Red-breasted Merganser, four Great Crested Grebe, four Greenshank, four adult winter Mediterranean Gull, three Sanderling, two Grey Heron, two Little Egret, two Common Snipe and the Slavonian Grebe.  A small number of Yellow-legged Gull were also reported.  Added together, there was in the region of 5,300 waterbirds on site today.

A few Rock Pipit including a Scandinavian Rock Pipit called in the saltmarsh.  The Merlin was back again to buzz the small waders in the evening twilight and
earlier two Raven joined Carrion Crows to predate another unidentified wader in The Bight.

Battered for days by high winds, rain and smoked out by grass burning, wooded areas only held eight Long-tailed Tit, very few other tits; also two each of Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Chaffinch, and single Chiffchaff and Bullfinch. Only a few finches were present in Greenland Lake. On the Main Pond, three Mallard, two Little Grebe and a Grey Wagtail. And a Stock Dove flew into Turkey Oak Copse.

Wildlife news: single Red Admiral and Small Copper in brief sunny spells, and two each of Migrant Hawker and Common Darter, also a Water Vole happily munched a Common Reed stem stood next to the viewing platform at the Main Pond.

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