Friday 17 September 2021


Sunday 12th September was overcast and muggy and with the high tide being around 10am I headed out to Warleigh Point at the mouth of the River Tavy to look for Ospreys.

On arriving I had a quick scan around and immediately found an Osprey flying up the Tavy but it was quite distant and by the time I had set my scope up I lost track of it amongst the melee of Corvids it had spooked.

A short time later some paddle boarders along the Tavy flushed an Osprey which had been roosting unseen in trees by the waters edge and as it soared higher and higher over the water it was briefly joined by a second bird before they flew off in separate directions and out of sight.

Time was marching on and a hoped for final view looked less and less likely but just as I was about to pack up and leave an Osprey appeared at the mouth of the Tavy where it had a few attempts at catching fish before resting on the railway bridge. The Carrion Crows were not happy with its presence though and regularly hassled it before it flew off upriver and out of sight.





While waiting for the Ospreys to show I regularly scanned across the river and estuary and a feeding frenzy of Black-headed Gulls out in the River Tamar caught my attention along with the sound of 2 Sandwich Terns calling amongst them. I soon picked them up amongst the swirling mass of birds before they headed downriver towards Saltash but I also picked out a Little Tern amongst the Gulls, tiny looking and regularly hovering above the water, my first for Plymouth. A Peregrine, a Greenshank, 3 Stock Doves and 6 Great Crested Grebe were also noted.

Tuesday 14th September and I took a walk at Wembury for a look about. It was very quiet with Whitethroat, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Wheatear and 2 Swallow noted along with Kestrel, 3 Cirl Bunting, the usual Stonechats and 3 Meadow Pipit flying over calling.

The high tide roost at The Point held 3 Curlew, 6 Little Egret, 78 Oystercatcher and 30 Mediterranean Gulls (13 1st winter, 15 adult winter and 2 2nd winter). A 1st winter bird was leg ringed (Green R6ET) and subsequent enquiries have revealed it was ringed in France in July. An adult bird was also ringed (Yellow 2L14), apparently a UK ringed bird but details are still awaited. 

A big surprise was a Convolvulus Hawkmoth resting on a fence post in almost the exact same place I saw one 4 weeks ago. It was a little worn and possibly the same one I saw before. 

Convolvulus Hawkmoth 

Convolvulus Hawkmoth 

Convolvulus Hawkmoth 

Also seen were a Painted Lady, a Wall and a Comma along with many Red Admiral, Large White and Small White, an Angle Shades and Silver Y's. Long-winged Coneheads and Common Lizards were basking on the fences too in the weak and occasional sunny spells and a Common Darter was also seen basking on the footpath. 

Long-winged Coneheads 

Common Darter

The Ivy flowers were in bloom and the bushes were covered in assorted Bees and Hover flies including my first Ivy Bees of the year. 

Ivy Bee

On checking my phone while on the bus ride back to Plymouth a Little Stint had been reported from the River Plym and so I stepped off the bus at Laira Bridge for the walk along the Plym to Blaxton Meadow and back.  The tide was heading out and there was no sign of the Stint but I did see a Common Sandpiper, 9 Greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 8 Oystercatcher and 10 juvenile Shelduck with Curlews and Redshanks. 


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