Showing posts from February, 2024

Lower Otter Restoration Project

I've been busy with work or gardening for the last few weeks, and the weather has been foul. So, except for a quick look at a possible juvenile Kumlien's Gull off Mudbank, thanks to a call from Matt Knott, who had found it (see here for the link to his blog), I've not been out birding since earlier this month. Today was bright but windy, so I decided to walk around the Lower Otter restoration project. The marshy areas were pretty blown out, with many birds keeping low and out of the wind. There were many Teal , Shelduck , Wigeon and Mallard on the marsh, along with a handful of Shoveler and Pintail . A flock of Canada Geese on the Little Marsh accompanied by two Egyptian Geese of feral origin. Waders included a handful of Dunlin , several Redshank and 4+ Curlew . A couple of Little Egret were fishing, and there was a roost of 9+ Grey Heron . One Cettis Warbler was singing by the river, and a Sparrowhawk was hunting along the western edge of the project area. I scr


A quick visit to Topsham today in the 'sunny spells' or rather the rainy spells! Birds of note were two juvenile Spoonbills straight out from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh. It was low tide, so the waders were out on the estuary mud, but two Marsh Harriers (1m, 1f) made a brief visit, panicking the ducks and geese. There were two Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the marsh. Lots of Shoveler on the marsh, very noisy at times in their pre-breeding display. I picked out about 6 Snipe , including this bird that was washing. The Avocet flock was distributed over a wide area and birds were scythe  feeding in the liquid mud. The Golden Plover flock (300+) was between the Goat Walk and the Turf House Hotel. Thousands of other waders were spread over a wide area, and numbers were difficult to estimate, but Curlew , Grey Plover , Dunlin , Lapwing and large numbers of Redshank were seen.

Quick Visit

I had 45 minutes between swimming and meeting a friend for coffee this morning, so I took a quick walk to Shelly Beach via the Imperial Recreation ground. It was grey and drizzling. Of note were 3 Red-Breasted Mergansers (2f, 1m) off the Imperial recreation ground, a Chiffchaff there, too, in the weeds by the children's playground. I didn't see the Cirl Buntings, but I think they were present and calling (I was in a rush!). From Shelly Beach, 5 Cormorants were fishing in a group, and the Great Northern Diver was still present in the same small area between the buoys.