Monday, 12 December 2016

Found it!

My first attempt at finding where the Cattle Egret is spending the daytime began at 07:30 this morning.  At 07:41 it flew out of roost in Axmouth, but it was still so dark and it flew upriver so surprisingly quickly that my plan of following it north just didn't work.

So this afternoon I drove around looking for cattle, and from a distance saw a bunch of egrets drop in near a farm in Colyton.  I soon realised it was the farm where the three Cattle Egret were back in January 2009, and a closer look showed these egrets to be 13 Little and the Cattle. Gotcha!

It's Colcombe Farm, but please don't drive down the farm track. View the egrets from the Colyton to Shute road. There's a bench on the left just after turning on to the Shute road from the Colyton to Whitford road, just before the upper track down to the farm and virtually opposite a lay-by.

I'd had a good morning as well. Was really pleased to see the Yellow-browed Warbler, Tufted Duck and Grey Plover all still waiting patiently for Jan 1st. And a wander around Colyford WTW showed there has been a sudden explosion in Chiffchaff numbers, with at least 45 feeding along the northern edge of the WTW and around the neighboring fields. 

Who said December was a quiet month?


  1. Good hunting, Steve.

    As an occasional visitor to your part of the world, it amazes me that Tufted Duck is scarce in east Devon. I can think of half a dozen places within 10 mins drive from home (south Birmingham) where I'd be guaranteed to see them all year round.

    Highlights of this week (I haven't been far!) - Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon and Stock Dove all under our feeders at the same time on Saturday lunchtime, alongside repeat visits from a female Blackcap, and Redwings in the oak tree at the bottom of the garden.

    1. Hi Rob, many thanks for the comment. As for Tufted Duck, we simply lack deep fresh water, Lower Bucklands is just about big enough to occasionally encourage the odd bird, but yeah sure if we had more suitable habitat no doubt we would see far more.

      Sometimes garden birding can be the best. When I lived at Mum and Dads I could spend hours watching the feeders!

      All the best, Steve

    2. ...and in replying, you've pointed out something I'd never realised before. I've seen many duck species on salt water, but never Tufted Duck. Obvious now I know!

    3. Yes they don't really like it at all. Just occasionally we see them on the sea or the Estuary but only very rarely and they are always brief!

    4. No Sibe chiffies with that number of chiffchaffs Steve?? Currently in Torbay 1 with 2 collybita at Broadsands and 1 with 5 or so Collybita at Clennon..

    5. I wish the same ratio applied here! A few of us have been through them now, one greyer bird but not ticking all (or many) of the tristis boxes at all. Sure there's at least one in there somewhere but it hasn't popped out yet.