Well it wasn't as cold as I was hoping this morning, with 8c on the garden thermometer. The wind has shifted though, with a light but chilly northerly wind. Because of this I thought I'd give the sea an hour...
The highlight of the sea watch was without doubt a dog walker. This dog walker had a whistle, and the pitch of the whistle was bang on for Common Sandpiper. The first time I heard this whistle he even blew it to the rhythm of a Common Sandpiper call! It sounded so good that I actually started scanning the edge of the beach and just offshore. But then he blew the whistle again.
The lowlight of the sea watch was without doubt another dog walker. She had five dogs, and they were all out of control! She spent her whole 'relaxing' dog walk screaming, shouting and whistling at her dogs - which weren't taking a blind bit of notice. I actually found her incredibly irritating! Oh dear - I'm sounding like my Dad.
All the birds I saw during this sea watch in excitment terms came in somewhere between these two episodes. I noted just eight Red-throated Diver (two of them sat on the sea), two Common Scoter (east), eight Shelduck and four Curlew.
Lots of birds on the Estuary, with the wintering Bar-tailed Godwit being the best. Opposite Axmouth FC a Green Sandpiper improved my year list by one. Wooooo! There was nothing of note at Lower Bruckland Ponds, except for a vocal Cetti's Warbler. My fifth this year on patch - which is absolutely tremendous news!
I then spent a good forty minutes by Bindon Barns - my life there are stacks of birds up here. Didn't seem to be quite as many thrushes today (only c500), but over 200 Skylark, 100 Chaffinch, 30 Meadow Pipit and ten Yellowhammer. I am going to keep checking on this field - the potential for something scarce/rare/a year tick has to be pretty good.
To complete my day's birding I went to Seaton Marshes. Twice. And didn't see any Redpolls. Again.