Birding in Devon

I had a holiday in Devon, house-sitting for friends and although I didnt go many places, I had a very enjoyable walk every morning along the beach to Otter Point and looked at birds on the sea-washed ledges and on the Otter estuary.

Otter estuary

As might be expected, there were lots of the main gulls, herring, great-black backed, black-headed and some lesser black-backed, and cormorants.  On the ledge there were about 12 oystercatchers on most days, and in the estuary, little egrets, grey heron, and mallard.  Rock pipits and pied wagtails skittered about, occasionally mixed in with linnet, chaffinch and meadow pipit.  Robin, wren and blackbird all called from the edges of the estuary, and chiffchaff were singing up until 5th October.

In the first week there were lots of swallows still, and occasional house and sand martin in the first few days only.  The second week was much wetter and somewhat stormy, so the number of widgeon increased steadily from 12 the first time I saw them to 50 by the end of the week.  A few tufted duck were in and also teal. Also after the storm were three common sandpiper, a ringed plover and a juvenile curlew.

I was disappointed not to see the peregrine that had taken up residence and bred on the cliffs this year, but such is life.

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