Sunday 5 March 2023

Deja Vu Wembury Walk

It was cold, overcast and still as I headed out to Wembury for a walk on Saturday 4th March. These weather conditions are pretty much what we have experienced for a while now as the UK continues to be stuck under the influence of a high pressure syetem with the resulting dry, cold, still and mostly cloudy conditions making birding feel very static. As a result it was again a Deja Vu walk at Wembury with the usual birds seen but again it was an interesting walk none the less. Unfortunately with it being a dry day and a Saturday it was very busy with walkers and dogs but it didnt spoil my visit too much despite the regular disturbance. 

The walk started off well with a Firecrest seen feeding in gardens on the walk down to the beach in almost the same spot I saw one earlier in the year. It really has been a Firecrest year so far with quite a few sightings already uploaded on to Birdtrack, I've certainly seen more this year than I usually do but whether that's because I am doing more "slow" birding than usual where I'm taking more time to just watch and wait or whether there are genuinely more around this winter I don't know.

The hedgerow at the back of the wheat field  had been flailed since my last visit, God knows why, but there were 2 Red-legged Partridge feeding along the field edge, my first here for the year.

It was low tide but a high low tide and out on the rocks were 2 Little Egrets, a Curlew, Oystercatchers and 3 pairs of Mallards. Surprisingly there were no small Gulls present, only Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls.

Offshore 3 adult Gannets were seen while Fulmars wheeled around The Mewstone or rested on the ledges. I had a brief view of 6 distant Common Scoters flying east before they disappeared past Stoke Point and later from the bus stop I had even more distant views of 10 flying west.

Along the beach there were 2 pairs of Stonechat, a Grey Wagtail and a Chiffchaff with the usual Pied Wagtails, Rock Pipits and Meadow Pipits and I was pleased to refind the Scandinavian Rock Pipit chasing off all other Rock Pipits from the seaweed mass by the sewage pipe. There was unfortunately no sign of the wintering Warer Pipit, I had hoped it would stay around into the spring so I could admire its moult into summer plumage but never mind.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit 

Scandinavian Rock Pipit 

Grey Wagtail


A very decomposed corpse of a presumed Common Dolphin was found washed up on the beach which was being scavenged by Carrion Crows and a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls, nicer mammal sightings were a Grey Squirrel in the valley to the beach and 3 Rabbits in the horse field, an adult and 2 very small and very cute looking young.

Common Dolphin? 

Common Dolphin? - Teeth missing from jaw

I had my first Wembury Chunk pasty of the year from the cafe and very tasty it was too and before heading back to the bus stop I had a wander up Churchwood Valley where I was pleased to find a skulky Jay in the undergrowth, not a bird I often see here at Wembury.

All in all a very enjoyable walk but again with the feeling of Spring just lurking around the corner, I just wish it would hurry up!

First Sloe Blossom of the year

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