February is usually pretty quiet for us. Sometimes produces the worst weather of the winter but spring is getting ever closer, ( very rarely an early Wheatear or even Hoopoe can turn up in late February ). Storm force gales or cold weather movements can make things interesting but usually a quiet month.
Very quiet, only highlights the wintering Whooper Swan on the River Avon and a Hen Harrier at East Soar on the 18th, the same day 22 Goldeneyes were at Slapton Ley.
Another quiet one. The wintering Surf Scoter on the Kingsbridge Estuary the best bird. A Whooper Swan was at Slapton all month and there were 3 Long-tailed Ducks there on 5th.
A Bittern was seen at Slapton on 22nd and a Smew was present from 8th - 12th. On the beach 2 Snow Buntings remained from January. Elsewhere 7 Bewick's Swans remained at Aveton Gifford from the previous month and on the Kingsbridge Estuary Scaup were down to 12 from their January peak of 26. Water Pipits used to be a familiar sight on Charleton Marsh and 4 or 5 were seen through the month.
The big rarity was the Little Bunting that remained at South Milton Ley all month having been ringed there in January. The other main rarity of the month was a Taiga Bean Goose at Beesands Ley from 23rd-25th. Also at Beesands at least one Smew remained from January and an adult Iceland Gull showed on the 15th ( maybe the same bird at Slapton on 20th ). Elsewhere 6 Scaup were on the Kingsbridge Estuary and unseasonal Great Skuas were seen off Prawle Point on 19th with a dead bird found at Thurlestone on 26th and nearby an oiled individual at South Milton on 28th.
Extremly quiet, just a Red-necked Grebe in Start Bay and an Iceland Gull seen intermittently through the month on the Kingsbridge Estuary.
What of this February ? The strongest winds so far this winter are forecast and could mix things up a little this coming weekend if they arrive. It would be great if a few Waxwings ( which have got as near as Buckfastleigh and Plymstock so far this winter ) turned up and hung around but it will not help if the weather gets mild.