Sunday 1 November 2020

Sunday 1st November

Force 5-7 southerlies overnight and heavy rain that stopped a little before dawn tempted another seawatch.  The passage of 23+ Great Northern Diver was the largest count since Dec 2017 and only exceeded here on about ten previous occasions. This tied in with a slightly larger count 4.25 miles SSW down the coast off Teignmouth (see Teign Birds). Otherwise the seawatch produced little of interest, just 39 Gannet, six auk sp. (probably Razorbill), two Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver.

Rafts of wildfowl floated on estuary waters and waders assembled in the saltmarshes and around The Bight. The American Wigeon stubbornly remained on the Exmouth side of the estuary and not among the 1,740+ Wigeon within the recording area. Other counts were 455 Dunlin, 329 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 221 Redshank, 58 Grey Plover, 54 Common Gull, just 39 Teal, 35 Shelduck, 33 Cormorant, 33 Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Great Black-backed Gull, 23 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 19 Mute Swan, only ten Curlew, seven Greenshank, six Mediterranean Gull (6 adult, 1 sw), five Little Egret and three Knot, three Sanderling; also two Canada Goose, two Grey Heron, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, and single Pintail, Red-breasted Merganser, the usual drake Eider, a Little Grebe and the Slavonian Grebe. A moulting juv Curlew Sandpiper was again with the Dunlin flock.

A Water Pipit, one or two petrosus Rock Pipit and a Scandinavian Rock Pipit foraged between The Bight and the golf course saltmarsh (no public access).

Similar to previous days, a roaming mixed flock in wooded areas comprised most of the 17 Long-tailed Tit, 13 Blue Tit, four Goldcrest, three Great Tit, two Chiffchaff and a British-race Coal Tit. Also single Great Spotted Woodpecker and Bullfinch. Mobile around the site were 14 Linnet, 11 Greenfinch, ten Goldfinch and six Meadow Pipit.  Usual residents scattered about were six Cirl Bunting and a few Stonechat.

The long-staying drake Shoveler was paired up with a female, and a pair of Little Grebe trilled on the Main Pond where there was also a single female Mallard, Water Rail and a few Moorhen.

A few singles of Skylark, Chaffinch and single Jackdaw and Siskin past overhead.

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