Thursday, 22 January 2009


17th-18th January.

Another weekend of somewhat twitchy birding, to take us to well over the hundred species for the year. Pathetic. Saturday required (aargh) time spent shoppng in Exeter, which was well balanced with a trip to Dawlish Warren. Three scoter, one of each species, off the seawall were a good start to the walk, along with more Red-throated Diver than I remember seeing here for years. A couple of confiding Slavonian (or Horned, if you prefer) Grebes were feeding energetically just offshore near the hide path, with another in the river. A Great Northern Diver in the river was also very nice to see. The usual selection of waders and ducks backed it all up. Our route back took us through Powderham, where we bumped into a couple of Cattle Egret feeding, for once, amongst cattle.

Sunday was more colourful. The forecast was for utter crud, so we decided to head down to the Living Coast at Torquay, where we would be guaranteed some decent species to look at, even if they aren't wild! In the event, the weather was fan-bloody-tastic, so we wandered around the exhibit, then spent time sunning ourselves on the seafront,
The Guillemots were starting to come into breeding plumage...

But the Tufted Puffins were a bit less advanced. You can just see a wee bit of crazy yellow eyebrow starting to show through.

Yes please. Wouldn't that look good on the local patch?

Finally we headed off for a look at the Penduline Tit which has been lurking in Paignton for a week or so now. This eventually showed itself off in the reeds of the middle pond, well enough even for me to take a couple of ganky pictures, which I've amalgamated here:

Given the wind direction we've had recently, I've added in a link to the Ivory Gull satellite tracking project on the right - would be great to see another, and to have one in Devon would be even better. Here's hoping...

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