Friday, 10 January 2014

That's more like it!

A much better return for my lunch-hour's birding today! I pulled up at the seafront in calm conditions (remember what those were like?) and immediately scoped the sea area in the high tide. I soon picked up the long-staying Bonaparte's Gull very distant off Dawlish Warren. A great bird to get, even if it was a long way off. After scanning the bay for a little longer I picked up the 5 Velvet Scoter off Langstone Rock, which were even further away. Luckily, one of the birds decided to raise its wings and I caught the white wing-flash (just!). Great - 2 Year ticks in 10 minutes! Just off the mouth of the Exe estuary was a Great Northern Diver, and a bit further east, my first Red-throated Diver of 2014. After checking there was nothing else of note (just a solitary Gannet), I trundled round to Shelly Beach where again in the calm conditions and with the aid of my 'scope, I was able to pick up the long-staying Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood, again my first of this species this year. Noticing that there seemed to be more duck rafts round at Mudbank Lane than so far this year (again obviously due to calm conditions), I quickly popped in on my return journey towards work. That's better! Reasonable numbers of Wigeon had returned to the usual area, as had several Pintail and a few Teal, the latter two species being my first in Exmouth this year. Didn't have time for anything else and bombed back to work, but much better birding today.......

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