Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year!!

Final day of 2016, so Hannah & myself decided to take a day trip down into Devon to so some birding and see the Desert Wheatear which has been lingering for several weeks at Thurlestone. A superb day's birding with mega views of the 1st winter DESERT WHEATEAR showing down to a few feet on Leas Foot Beach alongside 1 Black Redstart, several Rock Pipit & Pied Wagtails. A stunning bird in a beautiful part of Devon. After watching the Wheatear for few hours we headed off back north towards Exeter stopping off at various locations on route.

Journey back towards Exeter, we stopped off a Broadsands to search for some Cirl Buntings near the car park & beach huts. Broadsands is a renowned hotspot for Cirl Buntings in winter. Upon arrival there was a flock of 20+ Buntings feeding quite close on some of the grain & seed provided during winter months for the birds. We had some stunning birds of at least 20 Cirl Buntings with 10+ more in nearby Hedgerows along the coast path. My best views ever of this very rare bunting in Britian. My first sightings were 10 birds at Shaldon in 2010. Other previous records I've seen include 2 at Wembury in 2012, 5+ at Wembury 2014, single male in 2015 and female this august at Dawlish Warren.

After Broadsands, a short stop off at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB along the Exe River produced 100+ Wigeon, 50+ Avocet, 100+ Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Greylag Geese, 3 Little Egret, 8 Snipe, 2 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher and a Spotted Redshank on Goosemoor marsh from the viewing screens. 
Female Wigeon showing paler head pattern and overall pale plumage

Flock of Wigeon
Continental type Blackbird

A fantastic day to finish off 2016!! Looking forward to 2017. Wishing all my friends & family, fellow birders and blog followers a very Happy New Year and all the best for a birding filled 2017!!

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