Friday, 2 May 2014
Early this afternoon, I visited Orcombe Point, the top birding spot within Exmouth parish. I go there a lot. It's brilliant for birds. OK, so this spring has been pretty crappy so far, by Orcombe standards. Just a handful of Wheatears, one Little Tern and one lone Common Redstart recorded by yours truly. But you have to keep grilling the place to get rewards. I ambled along towards the geoneedle ( it's a big pointy thing that locals like to pee up against). I bumped into Dave Hopkins who had seen very little. We chatted as birders do, about the birds we'd seen lately, or rather, what we'd not seen lately! I mentioned the paucity of good birds here, and cursed the fact that I'd yet to see Arctic Skua (indeed any bleddy skua this spring), Swift or House Martin in Exmouth this year. No sooner than I'd had a good cuss to Dave, when I picked out a bird moving with vigour off the point. It had a go at a Sandwich Tern revaling itself to be, yes you've guessed, an Arctic Skua! Shortly afterwards a Swift flew in/off providing me with my first in Exmouth this year. Dave jokingly remarked that perhaps I should have mentioned Roller or Bee-eater! On arrival home later this afternoon I picked out my first Exmouth House Martins of 2014 from my kitchen window, the latest arrival date I've ever recorded for this species around home. 8 birds though certainly gave me hope that the usual numbers have managed to get back!