Sunday, 14 October 2012

Wembury, 10th October 2012

Arriving by bus at Wembury I very nearly got back on it to return to Plymouth as the weather was foul - misty and cool with heavy showery outbursts - but I persevered and was very glad I did.

The weather did eventually improve, the mist cleared and the rain stopped and as I was heading back to the bus stop at the end of the walk it became quite warm and humid. As a result insect activity suddenly increased and I saw a large white, a comma and 3 red admirals fly by while bees appeared on the ivy flowers. At the bus stop while eating my pasty I could see lots of small flies quite high up and as if on cue a small flock of around 10 silent house martins and and 10 swallows appeared heading East and busily feeding. The swallows appeared to be juveniles with short tail streamers and some of the house martins had the duskier underparts of juvenile plumage too.

The toilet block held 2 snout (1 very faded) and a new for Wembury Tachystola acroxantha.

Tachystola acroxantha

The coastpath was a mud bath and by the end of the walk I was wet and muddy but it had been well worth getting so mucky. Best bird was a very smart and confiding yellow wagtail feeding in the horse field amongst the horses with pied wagtails and meadow pipits , a rock pipit (unusual) and a juvenile wheatear.

 Yellow Wagtail with Pied Wagtail and horse turd
Juvenile Wheatear

A feeding flock of long tailed and blue tits contained a male blackcap and 2 chiffchaffs, with 1 chiffchaff being very aggressive towards the blackcap. 2 Sandwich terns silently flew East along the shoreline before disappearing from view and only a single adult gannet was seen offshore in the mist.

At Wembury Point a little egret was roosting on the rocks amongst the oystercatchers and at least 4 curlew  - it was hard to see them hunkered down amongst the rocks in the rain. A ringed plover was disturbed by walkers along the beach and 3 adult lesser black backed gulls were roosting on the sea amongst a flock of herring gulls. 2 very smart Mediterranean gulls were roosting on the rocks amongst some black headed gulls before flying off West.

Adult Winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull with 2 Black Headed Gulls

In the stubble field 43 male and 26 female mallards were roosting with 2 males and 2 females seen feeding along the beach, my highest count of mallards at Wembury. Later small groups were seen flying over the sea towards Noss Mayo.

A jay was seen flying high West as I headed up the valley to the bus stop, my first Wembury sighting and part of the national influx the UK is experiencing at the moment due to the failure of the acorn crop in Scandanavia.

Surprise of the day especially considering the weather was an adder I nearly stood on at Wembury Point, it was sat right on the footpath despite the heavy rain before it slithered off in to the grass, my first adder sighting at Wembury.



A very confiding Dunnock

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