It was sunny and cold but not too busy and from The Ride I saw the usual birds along the estuary although there was no sign of any little grebes or greenshanks along the stretch of river I could view. A nice surprise were a flock of around 20 dunlin feeding on the mudflats on the outgoing tide, a rare sight these days on the Plym (a total of 52 birds were reported on the DBWPS website that evening).
The grassy fields in Saltram Park held a large flock of Canada geese, a goose species I didn't see in Suffolk or Scotland, and 2 redwing with 10 song thrush were a nice find feeding together in the grass.
Canada Geese, Saltram Park
Redwing with Woodpigeon, Saltram Park
Friday 9th December and there was a report of a yellow browed warbler in Beaumont Park, right on my doorstep, and having missed the bird found in the park last November I decided to have a look for it the next morning. It was grey and damp with heavy rain forecasted for later but within 10 minutes of wandering around the park I found the yellow browed warbler feeding in the lower branches of a tree before it moved up higher until I lost sight of it. It was loosely associating with a group of long tailed tits which moved on too and as I carried on walking around the park to refind them I saw a nuthatch, a goldcrest, a coal tit, goldfinches, blue and great tits, robins, wrens and blackbirds and a chiffchaff.
I heard the yellow browed warbler calling and refound it in the low branches of a tree where it gave some nice views and then I seemed to hear it in stereo - a second bird had begun calling nearby which eventually I found in a different tree. Both birds called noisily before the first bird I saw moved off and then both became silent again although the second bird gave some very good views before also moving away. The rain then duly arrived and so I decided to call it a day, hopefully I'll get a chance for another look at them soon.
Sunday 11th December and I headed off to Exminster Marsh for the day but on the train journey I was a little concerned at the dense fog patches that were dotted here and there despite the sunny weather. Dawlish was bathed in sunshine but The Warren and the mouth of the Exe were shrouded in fog and when I arrived by bus at Exminster Marsh it was totally enveloped in fog too.
Black Swan with Cygnets at Dawlish, doing well since I saw them 3 weeks ago
Brent Geese in the Gloom, Exminster Marsh
Dark Bellied Brent Goose
Brent Geese in a brief respite from the mist
Pale Bellied Brent Goose
Pale Bellied Brent Goose with Dark Bellied
Topsham Ferry before the mist returned
Topsham Rec - the best view I got
Long Tailed Tit, Exminster Marsh
Mediterranean Gull, Dawlish