UK Bird Sightings
A comprehensive round-up of birds seen on your patch during February
The main rare bird news story for the region was the discovery of a ‘new’ Pacific Diver at Broadsands, Devon, on 16 February (and still showing intermittently into March) . Unlike the regularly wintering bird off the Penzance area (Cornwall), which is now at least ten years old (if it is indeed the same individual), the Devon bird was a juvenile. Favourites such as the Devon Desert Wheatear and Cornwall Hudsonian Whimbrel stayed throughout.
HIGHLIGHTS: Fifteen Waxwings remained in Bradley Stoke, with others in Bath and Bristol. Two Cattle Egrets were at Doynton throughout. PORTISHEAD AND CLEVEDON: There was a Brent Goose (4th), with two (12th) and a Great White Egret (12th). Goosanders on the Blind Yeo at Clevedon peaked at 34. Two Black Redstarts remained. SEVERNSIDE: Waders around New Passage/ Northwick Warth included 122 Oystercatchers, 300 Black-tailed Godwits, 1,120 Knot and 3,000 Dunlin, with similar counts at Oldbury. A few Jack Snipe were at each site. The Water Pipit stayed at Pilning Wetlands (to 4th). Oldbury Power Station had a Black Redstart throughout. THE RESERVOIRS: A storm-driven Gannet was at Chew (5th), where a Great White Egret dropped in (26th). Eight Bewick’s Swans commuted between Chew and Blagdon (to 16th). Eighteen Scaup were at Chew, with a Common Scoter there throughout, a Ring-necked Duck (to 7th), 85 Goldeneyes and 15 Goosanders. There were four Black-necked Grebes (to 19th), three Jack Snipe (18th-26th), two Ring-billed Gulls, two Yellow-legged Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls and a Water Pipit (5th-10th). The Long-tailed Duck remained at Barrow Gurney. WESTON-SUPER-MARE: An Eider remained at the Marine Lake. Seawatching at Anchor Head, Weston (23rd) produced two Fulmars, four Gannets and 25 Kittiwakes. There was a Woodcock (25th), seven Waxwings (11th-13th) and two Black Redstarts throughout. Uphill still held four Short-eared Owls. A Dartford Warbler was at Sand Bay (4th and 8th). OTHER SITES: A Mandarin was at Saltford on five dates. Goosanders at Newton Park near Bath peaked at 21. Red Kites were seen regularly around north Avon. A Goshawk was at Marshfield (8th), where Golden Plovers peaked at 500. A Tree Sparrow at Nailsea Moor (18th) constitutes a rarity these days. Jane Cumming CHANNEL ISLANDS JERSEY: Le Pulec held a Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Black Redstarts, Rock Pipits, 20 Curlews, returning Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Shags, Cormorants, Fulmars and Gannets. St Helier had a Black Redstart and a pair of Peregrines. Beaumont Marsh had an Iceland Gull, 40 pale-bellied Brent Geese and 400 dark-bellied birds. Pontac held 40 Mediterranean Gulls, 40 Yellow-legged Gulls, a Caspian Gull, Shelducks and Brent Geese. St Ouen’s Bay held a Glaucous Gull, a few hundred Herring Gulls, 50 Great Black-backed Gulls and 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. La Rocque logged a Black Brant with pale- and dark-bellied Brent Geese, 18 Cattle Egrets, 20 Herons, 200 Little Egrets, Slavonian, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes, Great Northern Divers, Common Scoters and 50 Red-breasted Mergansers. Gorey had ten Common Gulls, ten Mediterranean Gulls and a few Sandwich Terns. A Little Bunting was at Grouville Marsh. The Spoonbill remained on Icho Tower rocks. Petit Port had three Purple Sandpipers. Ravens were at Crabbe and Choughs at Ronez near Sorel. The Wetland Centre had 20 Marsh Harriers, a Bittern, Water Pipits, 150 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, 20 Lapwings and four Little Grebes. Bertram Bree
HIGHLIGHTS: Last month’s American Wigeon remained on the Tamar Estuary (to 11th). The Green-winged Teal remained on the Hayle Estuary (to 19th). The Lesser Scaup was on Dozmary all month. Two Long-tailed Ducks were at St John’s Lake for most of the month, with another off Portscatho (1st-15th). A few Velvet Scoters were in the Carrick Roads and Mounts Bay. The Pacific Diver was last reported (22nd). A Bittern was at Marazion (1st-15th). Cattle Egrets were widespread and included 16 at Looe Pool (19th-21st). A Great White Egret was at Bude (8th). Four Spoonbills were around the Tamar Estuary (1st-28th). Two were on the Camel and at Walmsley (4th-16th), and the Hayle bird remained all month. The Hudsonian Whimbrel was present all month at Perranuthnoe. Little Gulls were at Porthpean (2nd) and Marazion (28th). Ring-billed Gulls were on the Gannel (3rd-23rd) and Hayle (4th-18th). Caspian Gulls were at Hayle (10th-13th) and Mousehole (12th). Iceland Gulls were noted countywide, with four at Polgigga (18th-19th). A Kumlien’s Gull was at Mousehole (3rd and 12th). A few Glaucous Gulls were on both coasts. Waxwings were at Devoran (9th), Bodmin (11th) and Goss Moor (11th). A few Yellow-browed Warblers, Water Pipits and Black Redstarts were present throughout the County. The Eastern Black Redstart was at Mousehole (1st-4th). Lapland Buntings were at several sites, including 84 at Trevose (4th). A Little Bunting was at Nanjizal (1st-18th). Sara Mcmahon (01752 242 823)
NORTH DEVON: Ilfracombe logged an Iceland Gull, eight Purple Sandpipers, two Great Skuas and 200 Fulmars. Bursdon Moor had two Goshawks, a Hen Harrier and Merlin. The Bucks Mills area held 3,500 Lapwings and 800 Golden Plovers. A Firecrest, Water Pipit and two Mediterranean Gulls were at Braunton. Five Spoonbills were on the Taw Estuary, with six at Wrafton. Hartland Point had a Hen Harrier. A Black Redstart was at Instow. Northam had two Siberian Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests. A kayaking trip on the Taw logged 30 Dippers, 26 Goosanders, 16 Kingfishers, five Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers. Westward Ho! had a Great Skua and seven Little Auks. A Long-tailed Duck was at Ashford. Four Purple Sandpipers were at Capstone. Roadford Reservoir had a Great Northern Diver, Glaucous Gull and Iceland Gull. SOUTH DEVON: Slapton had two Great Northern Divers, seven Goldeneyes, three Scaup, two Firecrests, a Marsh Harrier, Black-necked Grebe, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Gull, Mediterranean Gull and Iceland Gull. Twelve Waxwings were at both Newton Abbot and Heathfield. Teigngrace had five Cattle Egrets. Starcross had a Mediterranean Gull. South Efford Marsh had two Water Pipits and a Yellow-browed Warbler. A Kumlien’s Gull was at Prawle Point. Torbay had five Velvet Scoters, six Black-necked Grebes, six Long-tailed Ducks, ten Eiders, two Black-throated Divers, five Great Northern Divers, a Mediterranean Gull, Red-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Pacific Diver, 140 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Cirl Buntings, six Purple Sandpipers, 1,000 Guillemots, 29 Common Scoters and two Firecrests. The Plym Estuary had 21 Turnstones, a Common Sandpiper, three Jack Snipe, four Mandarins and five Greenshanks. West Charleton Marsh had a Siberian Chiffchaff and Bittern. Bowling Green Marsh logged a Scaup, 400 Avocets, a Kittiwake, Yellow-browed Warbler and Spotted Sandpiper. Six Long-tailed Ducks were in Labrador Bay. Saltram had a Glaucous Gull, Common Sandpiper and Mediterranean Gull. Staverton had three Yellow-browed Warblers, a Firecrest and Siberian Chiffchaff. East Soar held a White Wagtail. Teignmouth and estuary had 12 Eiders, five Great Northern Divers, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers, five Avocets and 80 Great Crested Grebes. Yarner Wood logged 40 Redpolls and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. The Exe Estuary had a Bonaparte’s Gull, two Slavonian Grebes, 500 Avocets, 50 Knot, a Spotted Redshank, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 130 Pintails, six Goldeneyes, 30 Red-breasted Mergansers, 100 Grey Plovers, 400 Golden Plovers, 15 Sanderling, two Greenshanks, two Long-tailed Ducks and an American Wigeon. Topsham had a Mediterranean Gull. Exmouth had a Black Redstart and Greenshank. Dawlish had an Iceland Gull and Black Redstart. Dawlish Warren had 200 Grey Plovers, 200 Dunlin and 28 Knot. Kingsbridge had a Siberian Chiffchaff and Slavonian Grebe. Three Great Northern Divers were off Plymouth. Tamerton Foliot held 12 Cattle Egrets, three Common Sandpipers, a Firecrest, two Mediterranean Gulls and six Avocets. Exminster had a Red-throated Diver and American Wigeon. The Axe Estuary had a Red Kite and Iceland Gull. Trinity Hill, Axminster had a Little Bunting and five Cattle Egrets. The Great Grey Shrike remained at Soussons, Dartmoor. A Snow Bunting was at Holdstone Down. Seven Purple Sandpipers were at Brixham. Totnes had six Cattle Egrets. Ludwell had a Green Sandpiper. Buckfastleigh had 15 Mandarins. The Otter Estuary had two Red-throated Divers. THURLESTONE BAY: The Desert Wheatear continued to show very well to the increasing number of visitors to Leasfoot Beach – having been recorded on the 3rd March it became the longest UK stayer at 116 days. Two Whitefronted Geese of the Russian species were present (3rd-28th at least). A Barnacle Goose was with Canadas at Aveton Gifford (5th-28th at least). An Egyptian Goose was on the Avon from 2nd. Four dark-bellied Brent Geese landed on the sea (15th). Wildfowl maxima included four Shelducks on South Huish Marsh all month, 160 Wigeon on South Huish Marsh (16th), a male Gadwall on South Huish Marsh (from 8th), 70 Teal on South Efford Marsh (14th), a pair of Shovelers on South Huish Marsh (from 7th), and 25 Common Scoters heading east (9th). There were two Red-throated Divers (12th) and one (15th), one Black-throated Diver (10th) and two (15th), and one Great Northern Diver (12th) and three (15th & 19th). Gannets showed daily, with 145-plus heading east (15th), and four Fulmars flew east (15th). Up to eight Little Egrets were on the marshes, and a barren kale field with cattle near Horswell House saw Cattle Egret numbers build up from two (5th), to five (26th), a site record. Four Water Rails were at South Milton Ley (9th). A female Marsh Harrier was at South Milton Ley (23rd), there were two Peregrines, Sparrowhawks at four sites, and Barn Owls at Aveton Gifford and South Milton Ley. Waders included 26 Oystercatchers (27th), eight Ringed Plovers (7th), 200-plus Golden Plovers at South Huish Marsh (7th), 150 Lapwings at South Huish Marsh (7th), a Dunlin there (26th), three Black-tailed Godwits there and two at South Efford Marsh all month, two Jack Snipe at South Huish Marsh (10th), 100-plus Snipe there (12th) and 76 at North Marsh (7th), two Common Sandpipers on the Avon all month, 30 Curlew on the Avon all month, a Green Sandpiper on North Marsh (12th), three Greenshanks on the Avon all month, five Redshanks at South Efford Marsh (15th), and 19 Turnstones (27th). Fourteen Kittiwakes flew east (15th), a first-winter Little Gull flew close inshore (15th), there were four adult Med Gulls (7th), with three (15th) and two (23rd), and a second-winter Iceland Gull briefly on South Huish Marsh (7th) and a first-winter (20th & 26th). A Grey Partridge walked along the road at South Milton Ley (10th). Kingfishers were at South Huish Marsh and South Milton Ley, Goldcrests were at four sites at least, a Firecrest was at South Milton Ley, and a first-winter male Black Redstart was on the rocks throughout. There were at least 50 Chiffchaffs at South Milton Ley (9th), plus three Siberian Chiffchaffs. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at South Efford Marsh, and a Cetti’s Warbler sang on North Marsh. A Water Pipit was on South Huish Marsh all month. Throughout the month a flock in stubble fields at Huxton Cross included 300 Linnets, 200 Chaffinches, four Cirl Buntings, 30-plus Goldfinches, Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, at least one Brambling, and 20-plus Sky Larks. Harvey Kendall, Mike Passman, thurlestonebaybirds.co.uk
HIGHLIGHTS: Cattle Egrets were at several sites, including 11 (4th) and nine (7th) roosting at Radipole Lake. Great White Egrets included three at Longham Lakes. The Lesser Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal remained at Lytchett Fields. Another Green-winged Teal was seen twice at Abbotsbury, with a Red-crested Pochard there (16th) and two Richard’s Pipits (11th-28th). Holes Bay held a Smew. A Hume’s Leaf Warbler was on Portland (5th-26th). A Rose-coloured Starling was in Dorchester. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers were at Upton CP (6th) and Corfe River Valley (8th). Great Grey Shrikes were at three sites and Waxwings at five. Snow Buntings were seen three times. Canford Heath had a Long-eared Owl (6th). Iceland Gulls were at Abbotsbury Swannery (21st), Sherborne (27th), Lodmoor and Radipole Lake. A Kumlien’s Gull was at Culverwell (23rd). Lytchett Bay produced a Ring-billed Gull (26th-27th). Two Sand Martins were at Radipole Lake (26th). Two Grey Partridges were at Clandon Farm (28th).