Birdwatching Trip Report – 23rd July 2023
The final event of The Natural Seaton Festival 2023 saw a two-hour birdwatching tram leave Seaton Station at 6pm. The weather could hardly have been better, with the sun shining on the tram and the beautiful Axe Valley for almost the entirety of the trip.
Multiple Kingfisher sightings were one of two main highlights of the evening, with at least three possibly four different birds seen. The sightings included some excellent flight views in the evening light, two together, and close views of birds perched. Luck was certainly on our side but well done to our driver for the night, Simon, for keeping tram noise to a minimum which really helped with our efforts.
It was also a thrill to see the Axe born and bred Avocets on Black Hole Marsh. Two adults nested on the marsh in June, which is the first time this species has ever nested in Devon, so it was a very special and somewhat momentous experience to watch the parents and their three chicks feeding on the lagoon at close quarters. It was brilliant to see the young, now a month old, looking so big and strong, with two of them even practising their wing flapping!
Other highlights included two close Whimbrel, three Greenshank, seven Common Sandpipers, several Lapwing and an early returning Teal. Amongst the gulls were singles of Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull to add further interest. Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins all showed well to the tram, with large flocks of House Sparrows, Goldfinches and Starlings all adding to the evening’s avian entertainment.
In total 50 species of birds were recorded during the two-hour trip (see below) as well as very close sightings of two Roe Deer and a Fox hunting Rabbits just north of Riverside.
Species List - 23/07/2023
Water Rail (heard only)
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Cetti's Warbler (heard only)
Wren (heard only)
Robin (heard only)