Monday 6 December 2010

The Cold Weather Continues

There was one heck of a frost this morning - and in many places it never thawed! I see we have a few more days of this cold weather, then it's milder from Thursday. But that's not the last we're going to see of Jack Frost, it's set to go Arctic again next week!

The sea was 'steaming' all day, it just didn't clear. This really foiled my plans of adding Scaup to my patch list! Standing on the sea front first thing didn't prove a total waste of time though, as a red head Goosander flew west along the beach. Mid afternoon off Seaton Hole, two Eider, five Common Scoter and 16 Great Crested Grebes were close enough in to still be seen.

Seaton Marshes showed two Ruff feeding on grain by the lagoon, a male and a female. The female was a ring-less first-winter bird, so not the bird my grubby hands fondled a few days ago! Also here a Golden Plover flew north over the reserve and a Water Rail showed well near the parking area.

Had a look around Kilmington late morning, where one field boasted an impressive 130 Common Snipe, along with a single Jack Snipe - which was nice! I wasn't quick enough to get a shot of the Jack, so you will have to make do with a few poor quality Common Snipe pics...

A Great Snipe would have been nice!

Also here were a couple of Fieldfare, 30+ Redwing, 15 Lapwing and four Teal. I then had a look at Kilmington WTW where I was hoping for a grey Chiffchaff or two. In the end I only saw two Chiffchaffs of any description - they were both green. Two Water Pipits feeding on the filter beds were a bit of a surprise though, I've never seen one here before. A Goldcrest was working hard to find food nearby, flitting along fences, machinery, and even...

I was a worried it was going to electrocute itself!

I had a look for the Yellow Wag early afternoon, and it was showing on one of the smaller filter beds. It remained distant so there's nothing I can add today to help the ID debate.

A look along the Estuary at 13:30 revealed my best count of Med Gulls so far this winter, with six adults present all in the lower part of the Estuary. Three were ringed; one just a metal ring, one red colour-ringed which I couldn't read, and the third a white colour-ringed individual with '3N93'. This is a bird I think I've seen before - I've sent the details off and will post the response when I get it.

I had another look along the Estuary at 14:10, and saw not one Med Gull! I headed round to Seaton Hole and all six were present in the roost. Meds always seem to arrive at the Seaton Hole roost early, with few if any dropping in at or towards dusk.

My old man found a Waxwing today on the Otter, and there was another in Newton Abbott. I do hope we get one - it's a bird I'd love to see on the patch. We've got plenty of places for one to stuff itself full of juicy red berries, I just hope it's in a place where someone will find it!

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