Thursday 22 October 2020

Thursday 22nd October

In the calmness of a col and under a weak occluded front that occasionally produced a few spots of light rain between long spells of balmy sunshine, a reasonable selection of 81 bird species were seen today. 

Overhead passage was light and drawn out, and totals that include birds that paused to forage were 125+ Goldfinch (NE), 45+ Meadow Pipit (NE), 32 Greenfinch (NE), 23 Skylark (most W), 22 Woodpigeon (WSW), 20 Siskin (NE), 14 Linnet (NE), eight Pied Wagtail (WSW), seven Chaffinch (NE & N), four Rook, three Reed Bunting, two Swallow, two Lesser Redpoll (NE), a Grey Wagtail (NE), a Bullfinch (NE), a Song Thrush (SW), a Redwing and a Mistle Thrush NE). The highlight was seven Coal Tit, including four that flew NE and of two seen well enough these appeared to be 'intermediate' types.

On the Main Pond, 146 Starling flew out of their reed-bed roost; also present the drake Shoveler, a Kingfisher, a Mallard, a few Moorhen and a couple of Water Rail called.

Before yet again enveloped in a veil of smoke by TDC's questionable habitat management practices, wooded areas supported single figures of tits, five Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest, three Blackcap, another Bullfinch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Also noted, six Stonechat, six Cirl Bunting and single Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a Raven. An orangey 'Greenland' Wheatear postured on Warren Point.

On the 11:00 high tide, counts in the estuary and The Bight were hundreds of Oystercatcher, 279 Curlew, 249 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 229 Redshank, 206 Dunlin, 138 Teal, 61 Grey Plover, 57 Turnstone, 52 Bar-tailed Godwit, c.40 Canada Goose, 37 Knot, 29 Great Black-backed Gull, 21 Mute Swan, 19 Shelduck, 17 Cormorant, ten Common Gull, six Pale-bellied Brent Goose, five Greenshank, four Ringed Plover, three Little Egret, two adult-winter Mediterranean Gull, two Sandwich Tern, two more Mallard, another Kingfisher and the drake Eider roosted again on Finger Point; the Slavonian Grebe and a single Grey Heron. A Whimbrel in the estuary corner may winter. Rarely up until the early-2000s, singles have since wintered in the Exe Estuary in most winters since 2005/06.

On the ebbing tide, six Cattle Egret flew in from the north and dropped into a creek in the estuary corner.

Offshore, just single-figures of Common Scoter, Gannet, Shag and a Great Crested Grebe plus another in the estuary. A single Sanderling was only wader at high tide on what remains of the beach.

Wildlife news: one or two Red Admiral, Small White and Migrant Hawker.

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