A new year and a new year list to start - although this year I am not going to chase a big list.
A muddy walk at Wembury on 4th January was my first days birding of 2015 but it was very quiet with a few gannets offshore and fulmars around The Mewstone being the highlights along with 2 turnstones on the rocks as the tide came in, a rare sight at Wembury these days.
Monday 5th and a walk at Slapton Ley and Beesands Ley was very pleasent in the sunshine but again it was quiet birdwise. The tide was low and the footpath between Torcross and Beesands was very muddy so we walked along the beach where a great northern diver showed very close to the beach as it dived for food. Beesands Ley had quite a few gadwall amongst the coot, tufted duck and pochard but there were fewer ducks on Slapton Ley at the Torcross end. The Cricketers Arms at Beesands was closed as was the Start Bay Inn and Seabreeze cafe at Torcross and with The Boathouse cafe still closed after the fire we ended up at the pub in nearby Churchstow for lunch.
A trip to Newquay airport to drop off the Outlaws on the 6th and a surprise sight was a red legged partridge in the road near the airport along with quite a few pheasents including a few squashed on the road. From the airport car park I could here regular gun shots so I guess the pheasents and partridge were released birds for shooting.
A male black redstart hovering around the palm trees near the sundial in Plymouth city centre on the 7th was a nice surprise, its red tail a flash of colour on a very grey day.
Thursday 8th and I played hide and seek with a recently reported yellow browed warbler near Blagdons Meadow by the River Plym - I lost with neither sight nor sound of it in the 90 minutes I spent quietly searching for it. I did see 2 ringed plover and a common sandpiper along the Plym while a song thrush belted out its song in the sunshine. A flyover peregrine while walking along Plymouth Hoe rounded off the day and brought my year list up to 59, not a bad start.