Friday, 17 January 2014

Last three days

Ever onwards with the Year list, without travelling miles! Wednesday produced my first Fieldfares for the year, a nice flock of upwards of 100 birds with a few Redwings present. Thursday was to start very well with a small fox seen crossing the road in my car headlights at the bottom of Spiders Lane, Exmouth, whilst on my way to work at about 7am. Later on, I popped over to Exminster Marshes for the first time this year. This was still largely flooded but there were thousands of birds present. New for 2014 were c.150 Golden Plover and a single Barnacle Goose in with the large Canada flock. The latter bird had not been reported for a very long time to the best of my knowledge! Today I finally connected with the Water Pipit at Topsham recreation ground, another Year tick. I also had nice views of my second Black Redstart of the year here as well. With the afternoon only producing a couple of light showers, and the light being pretty good I decided to head down to the estuary at the Imperial Ground, Exmouth late afternoon. A few days ago, a 'white-winged' large gull which was thought to be probably a Glaucous was found by Matt Knott. It was also seen mid-afternoon two days ago off of Lympstone. The weather was not good enough to look for the bird on subsequent days in between, so this was the first reasonable chance to go and look for the bird flying in to roost. Of course, I couldn't see the gull despite giving the estuary a good grilling from my position, but luckily, Matt phoned me to tell me he had it sat on a sandbar off the fish quay! I zipped round and was soon scoping the very large Glaucous Gull sat on Great Bull Hill, the large sandbar just north of the warren. It was thought to be a very white first-winter bird on the views we had. Excellent!

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