Thursday, 8 August 2013

Summer Meets Winter

Within a few minutes this morning I saw four Wigeon and a Cuckoo!  Not two species that go together very often...

Obviously the star bird of the morning was the Cuckoo. I wanted to have a good count up of all the waders at high tide today (see below for totals), but this was interrupted when Ian Mc saw a Cuckoo at Black Hole Marsh. This is a species I thought I'd blown for the year list as I missed out on calling spring birds.

I spent about an hour looking for this bloody bird - but my back up plan worked in the end. It was last seen when Sue Smith saw it land in trees beside the tram way, but it immediately vanished. Knowing autumn Cuckoos are incredibly lazy I waited, and waited, and waited... for the first tram of the day to come up from Seaton.  Sure enough as the tram came through (the bright pink one too!) out popped the Cuckoo.  It flew from tree to tree in front of the tram, before flying across Colyford Common and landing (distantly) on some overhead wires...

An epic Patch Year Tick!

After a few minutes it took off and flew towards Stafford Marsh, when I lost it. As I write this it's not been seen again, but I wouldn't be surprised if it hangs around for a while - juv Cuckoos often do.

I've already mentioned the Wigeon, there were four of them on Black Hole Marsh with 6+ Teal.  We don't usually get Wigeon until late August/early September, so these can certainly be called early returners.

Now for the waders.  Black Hole Marsh is still superb for wading birds, but there were a few bits on Colyford Marsh too. Totals being; one Wood Sandpiper (Colyford), one Ruff, two Greenshank, three Little Ringed Plover (one BHM, two west over), ten Lapwing, 12 Green Sands, 20 Ringed Plover and 42 Dunlin.

Earlier today (at 5:45 to be precise!) I went up to Beer Head - I must be mad!!! Apart from half a dozen Willow Warblers my notebook remained empty, so here's another scenic shot...

My favourite one yet


  1. Looks like my prediction of 188 won't stand at all.

  2. Andrew it's early days yet, but 188 seems a long way away! I hope I make it, and beat it - but we are going to need a load of rares and come good sea watching...