Monday, 5 January 2009

Friday 2nd January 2009

More Laidback Yearlisting!

This morning I dropped my wife off at work, returned home, had a leisurely breakfast, then nipped down to Shelly beach in Exmouth. It was sunny but there was a cold north-east wind. I had the Red-necked Grebe again, fairly close in, and managed to put local Exeter birder Dave Stone on to the bird. A Rook flew over providing ME with a yeartick! I then hunted for the female Black Redstart around the gaudy new appartment blocks. Grovelling around in a tiny area of sparse bushes was my first Song Thrush of the year. I met Doug Cullen from Otterton, who had also come over for the grebe. After a while, I decided to wander off round to the seafront. I was ambling along the path by the seawall, when a wet, bedraggled little bird hopped on to the seawall just by my elbow! The female Black Redstart! She had obviously decided that all those hordes of people out for Christmas/New Year strolls around HER Shelly beach was too much. She had been out on the rocks at the west end of Exmouth seafront and had endured a little saltspray in the process! Well Miss Black Redstart saw me and promptly dived into the gardens of the flats on the seafront that are Moreton Crescent. If you know me then you will sympathise with her actions. A quick look late morning at Mudbank Lane yielded the Spotted Redshank, another bird I had missed yesterday.
This afternoon, after a quick snack and picking up Mrs Smith from work, I drove my wife, my son and his girlfriend in to Exeter to go sales shopping. Me - I headed in the opposite direction towards good birding areas! I visited Matford Pools, which luckily were only partially iced over. Here I added another half dozen yearticks before I moved round the corner to Countess Wear and the Riverside Country Park, alongside the Exeter Canal. Best bird here was a Water Rail. Finally I turned up at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, where I knew I could get a few more yearticks. The tide was out, so not a good time to visit, but I got a few more birds here and there, by also looking over the Clyst Estuary from the viewing platform.
Here are the birds I saw today that were new for 2009 in order:
Rook, Song Thrush, Black Redstart, Turnstone, Spotted Redshank, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Kestrel, Buzzard, Teal, Stock Dove, Shoveler, Common Snipe, Coot, Fieldfare, Water Rail, Canada Goose, Lapwing, Moorhen, Jay, Pochard, Little Grebe, Avocet, Meadow Pipit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Golden Plover and Greylag Goose.

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