Birdwatching Trip Report – 17th October 2021

Stonechat - Seaton Tramway
Steve Waite

A calm dawn saw an enjoyable two-hour trip up the Axe Valley under mostly overcast but bright skies. It was one of those mornings that everyone on board could have stayed out for the entire day.

Star bird was a Water Rail, a species often heard during our trips, but very rarely seen. One bucked the trend however and remained in view for about a minute as it unobtrusively crept along a bank just 40 feet from the tram at Black Hole Marsh. The two Kingfishers that were seen during the trip weren’t quite as obliging, offering just flight views.

Many of the usual wintering species were on show, with wildfowl represented by over 70 Wigeon, 40 Teal, ten Shelduck, and two Shoveler. Likewise wading birds were plentiful, with good numbers of Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank, seven Dunlin and singles of Greenshank and Common Sandpiper. Five species of gulls included Great and Lesser Black-backed, as well a single Common Gull.

The bushes alongside the track were full of activity, Stonechats were present along the whole length of the track, with almost every patch of shrub holding a migrant Chiffchaff. It was an unusually good trip for corvids too! Although the Jay was heard-only, Magpie, Raven, Jackdaw, Crow, and Rook were all seen allowing for some excellent comparisons.

In total 61 different species of bird were recorded during the trip, please find the full list below:

SPECIES LIST - 17/10/2021
Pheasant                                              Kestrel
Canada Goose                                     Magpie
Mute Swan                                           Jay (heard only)
Shelduck                                              Jackdaw
Mallard                                                 Rook
Teal                                                      Carrion Crow
Wigeon                                                 Raven
Shoveler                                               Blue Tit
Woodpigeon                                         Coal Tit
Water Rail                                            Long-tailed Tit (heard only)
Moorhen                                               Chiffchaff
Oystercatcher                                       Cetti's Warbler (heard only)
Little Grebe                                           Wren (heard only)
Lapwing                                                Starling
Curlew                                                  Skylark
Black-tailed Godwit                              Blackbird
Dunlin                                                   Song Thrush
Common Sandpiper                             Robin
Redshank                                             Stonechat
Greenshank                                          House Sparrow
Snipe                                                    Dunnock
Black-headed Gull                                Pied Wagtail
Common Gull                                       Grey Wagtail
Great Black-backed Gull                      Meadow Pipit

- Birdwatcher, Steve Waite.

If you would like to book onto our next Birdwatching Trip - 30 October - click here


gull 1 gull 2
18th October, 2021
by Seaton Tramway

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