Sunday 12 February 2023

Local Wildlife

With the weather on my week off work continuing to be dry, mostly sunny and with lovely frosty mornings we headed off to St.Ives for the day on the train on Wednesday 8th February. It did eventually cloud over but did stay dry and we had an enjoyable time wandering around the town.

With a Humpback Whale being seen in the area recently I kept a good eye out for it but was out of luck. However there were good numbers of Common Dolphin feeding around the bay in 3 distinct pods, mostly distant but a few did come in closer to shore and quite a few were seen leaping out of the water at times. A few Grey Seal were also seen in the water but were constantly diving and at the surface very briefly.

A single Gannet was seen offshore along with distant Auks with those closer to shore being Guillemots. A single Great Northern Diver was also seen out on the water with 3 Oystercatcher seen feeding on the rocks below the Coastguard Station. Surprisingly only 1 Turnstone was seen around The Harbour. 

Thursday 9th February was cool and mostly cloudy and so we headed to Stover for a walk. Its been over 2 years since we last visited here and it was interesting to see a lot of regeneration work going on to improve the habitat.

Tufted Duck and Mallard were very showy, coming to bread and seed with Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Black-headed Gull and Herring Gull. A female Wigeon feeding on pond weed out on the lake was a surprise and 2 male Goosander showed briefly, flying in for a few minutes of quick preening before flying off. The best ducks though were 2 male Pochard which were constantly diving together out on the lake, something of a Devon rarity these days and a bird I didn't even see last year!

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

The feeding station was busy and amongst the usual Chaffinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Coal Tit were 2 Stock Dove, a male Siskin, a male Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Nuthatch and 2 Marsh Tit.

Coal Tit


Stock Dove

A Water Rail feeding by the lake shore before dashing into cover, a Jay coming down to seed, Siskins twittering away in the tree tops and at least 8 tame and plump looking Grey Squirrels were also seen and one of the Mute Swans came out of the water and revealed a silver ring on its left leg, presumably a locally ringed bird.

Ringed Mute Swan 

Friday 10th February was sunny and cool again and so we headed out to Stoke Point for a walk. The forecast was for the skies to cloud over and indeed by the time we left The Ship Inn at Moss Mayo after having some lunch it was grey and a little mizzley but we had an enjoyable walk anyway.

It was very quiet bird wise but a Firecrest with 3 Goldcrest in the woods at Moss Mayo was the highlight. Other sightings of note were a pair of Stonechat, 2 Raven, a male Kestrel, 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Linnet along the coast path and a further 2 Chiffchaff in the woods at Stoke Point.

Saturday 11th February was earmarked for Goshawks but on waking up in the morning the skies were overcast and so I switched plans and headed over to Torpoint instead. High tide was at around 9:00 and when I arrived at around 11:00 the tide was heading out. 

I scanned around and only found 4 Little Grebes, 9 Great Crested Grebes and 1 Black-necked Grebe out on the water along with 2 male Red-breasted Mergansers, unfortunately there was no sign of Great Northern Divers nor Red-necked or Slavonian Grebes. Also the Black-necked Grebe was quite distant and very difficult to track between dives but I had an enjoyable couple of hours trying to keep up with it and hoping it might come closer.

The Brent Geese were present again, 17 dark-bellied birds and 2 pale-bellied birds (1 ringed), and there were 8 Ringed Plover with the Turnstones and Dunlins. An adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull was roosting out on the mudflats with the Common, Black-headed, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls and a lone Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwit were feeding with the Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatcher. Also 14 Grey Plover were roosting on an old barge before flying down to feed on the mud when the tide receded.

Brent Geese


A very pleasant birding morning as my week off work draws to an end and the hell of half term school holiday begins. And again some interesting wildlife sightings not that far from home. 

No comments:

Post a Comment