Monday, 7 January 2008

Weekend birding - Jan 5th-6th

More Exe-based pottering this weekend, though it doesn't count as patch-based work, as I visit many sites around the river. Saturday morning was spent watching the Lapland Bunting (Longspur, if you prefer) at Orcombe Point, Exmouth. Only the second I've seen in the county, it was lurking in the midst of a reasonably large flock of Skylark - about 150 birds - with a couple of Woodlark and a good smattering of alba wagtails, Linnet, Meadow Pipits and Chaffinch. The birds were fairly flightly, in part due to the attentions of a female Sparrowhawk, which pitched into the flock a couple of times.

Moving on, I managed a quick Slav Grebe at the river mouth, then half a dozen colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit were found at Bowling Green Marsh - the dowitcher wasn't evident though, as the tide was still rather too low.

Final birding was a repeat visit to Exminster Marshes, where up to 5 Water Pipit were skulking around a couple of ponds on-site. Nice birds, and good to be getting my eye back in on winter birds...

Sunday's birding was pretty much a repeat trip with Judith & her dog, though we failed to see a great deal - the Surf Scoter off the mouth of the Exe and a single Water Pipit being the scarce bird highlight. We did manage to pull 9 colour-marked Brent Geese out of a flock of c.200 birds feeding on Exminster, one of which was ringed on the Taimyr peninsula a few years back. A Green Sandpiper on Bowling Green was also interesting; we don't have too many of them through the winter.

Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus; one I photographed earlier

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