Saturday 18 March 2023


Things are still feeling very flat at the moment, there has been very little excitement on the birding front with sightings seeming very static and work has been an absolute nightmare since I returned from my weeks annual leave in the middle of February. 

I haven't felt like getting out much but I've had a few walks around Plymouth Hoe. I never refound the Black Guillemot I saw on March 6th and there has been no sign of any Purple Sandpipers either but I did find a female type Black Redstart again at Rusty Anchor on Saturday 11th March although it quickly disappeared when disturbed by a dog. 

Black Redstart, Rusty Anchor

The Little Grebe was also still present on Sutton Harbour on the 11th March, looking very smart having moulted into summer plumage, and a Chiffchaff was singing away in the trees outside Miller and Carter despite the grey skies and cold temperature. 

Little Grebe, Sutton Harbour

I had another Plymouth Hoe walk on Thursday 16th March which started well but quickly became a very wet affair when the forecasted heavy rain arrived but it was quite a productive walk despite the weather.

There was no sign of the Little Grebe on Sutton Harbour this time, not unusual as it often disappears but maybe it has finally moved on now that spring has arrived. 

An Eider had been reported in The Cattewater the previous day and I had a look for it from Duttons Cafe but with no luck. The rain had started to fall by the time I arrived at Rusty Anchor and so I abandoned my walk and headed into the city centre but while having a coffee in a cafe I checked the sightings pages and saw a report of a male Common Scoter having been seen in The Cattewater that morning and so I decided to go back for another look despite the rain. 

It was wet, misty and gloomy but I did eventually find a dark blob asleep out on the water amongst the buoys in The Cattewater and so I caught the ferry across to Mount Batten Pier for a closer look.

From Mount Batten the sleeping blob eventually awoke and revealed itself to be a male Common Scoter, my first for Plymouth. Unfortunately a large yacht then passed by and spooked it and it flew off upriver and was lost from sight but it was a nice sighting on a grotty day and something different for a change. 

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