Friday, 1 January 2010

What A Start!

Firstly.... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

So 2009 is over, and my patch total was 185, not bad, but far from the 198 I was after! I would write a post about the past year, but I've spent the last two days writing the review of the year for the 2009 patch bird report so have kinda lost the will!

2010 will not be a listing year for me, though I have had a SUPERB start! I really have missed birding, I've virtually had no time in the field during the last month due to work and other commitments, so today I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed myself :-)

I started today surveying my bit of woodland near Colyton. Overall it was actually very quiet, but twelve Woodcock was an excellent total. After this I spent most of the next four hours out and about, I'll start with the sea off Seaton Hole....

This is where one of the big surprises of the day was, sat on the sea with eight Great Crested Grebes were six Tufted Ducks! I think this is the biggest single flock ever recorded on patch!? Three drakes (one adult) and three females...

This is certainly a 'record shot!'

Also here, the first-winter drake Eider, a species which can be tricky to see in a given year here.

Opposite Stedcombe, at first only the Bewick's Swan was present, but late morning the Whooper came flying down the valley and joined the fun. Around the fields here today there's been excellent numbers of Lapwings and winter thrushes, I was surprised that I didn't find a Golden Plover.

A sweep of the estuary gave my ears a treat, with the atmospheric calls of Brent Geese ringing out. I soon found them at Coronation Corner, a nice group of eight (three juvs). I presume this is the Seaton Marsh family of five plus three new ones. Otherwise the river produced just the usual Blackwits, two Dunlin, a single adult Med Gull, etc....

The final treat of the day came when I was shuffling around in fields between Axmouth and Rousdon... nine Woodlark! They came out of field stuffed full of Yellowhammers and thrushes and gave some lovely flight views as they 'tu-lued' past me and landed in a neighbouring field. Cracking stuff!!!! The fields around Farway were much quieter, but I did see a nice flock of 35 Stock Doves.

I look forward to 2010, and one can only wonder what treats we are going to get....


  1. Great post Steve. Your enthusiasm really comes across. As an ex-pat Brit (Mum is still in Plymouth) I feel a real conection to your blog and know all the sites you mention. Keep up the good work!!

  2. Thanks for the nice comments Tony. I'm glad my enthusiasm comes through. Happy New Year to you :-)