Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wembury 28th February 2012

Today I headed out to Wembury on the bus despite feeling a little groggy after finishing my night shifts yesterday morning. It was overcast but very mild and the walk was full of bird song - song thrush, chaffinch, greenfinch, great and blue tit, rock pipit and dunnock along with a stonechat and 2 cirl buntings. A rook flew over carrying a beakful of twigs and catkins were opening on the trees. Various plants were flowering including celandines, periwinkles and three cornered leeks.


Celandine sp.

Three cornered Leek

I found a micro moth in the toilet block, I think it is a parsnip moth and I managed to get a crap photo of it in a pot as it was very feisty and would not stay still for a second.

Parsnip moth?

The highlight bird wise were 2 winter plumaged Slavonian grebes diving quite close to the shore at high tide, they were diving together before splitting up and moving further offshore where 3 summer plumaged great crested grebes were resting together. Also seen were a grey plover, curlew, oystercatcher, a pair of cirl buntings along with the 2 singing males, a little egret and a grey heron. 2 Canada geese were noisely flying around The Mewstone along with a pair of fulmars prospecting the cliffs. Amongst the rock pipits feeding on the seaweed mass on the beach was a bird that looked good for a Scandanavian race bird with its blue head and very pink flushed breast. I didn't find any turnstones along the beach today, they have been thin on the ground here this winter.

Mallard numbers have dropped to 6 males and 5 females along with the 2 feral type birds feeding together.
The 2 feral mallards feeding along Wembury beach

Interesting find of the day was what looked like an owl pellet on a fence post by the footpath along the old HMS Cambridge site. I wasn't sure if it was a pellet or a fox turd that somebody had placed on the fence as it had a tapered end but it didn't smell and I could see some bones in it so I potted it up and brought it home to dissect, finding a skull of some small rodent amongst all the fur and other small bones. I'm not sure what produced it, maybe a barn owl, and I think it is a field vole skull I found inside it.


Skull and jaw bone found in the pellet

Pellet skull

Pellet jaw bone


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