Went to Slapton Ley this morning and it was raw with a fresh easterly coming right in off Start Bay. There was little on the sea, one Great Northern Diver off the Memorial Car Park and 10 Common Scoter and an unidentified diver flew south in about 30 minutes. The walk around to Ireland Bay was nice and sheltered but there was nothing tearing birdwise. A Greylag Goose was near the pillbox. Probably just about annual at Slapton but not a bird to quicken my pulse, bit better than a Canada Goose I guess. Elsewhere just 9 Little Grebes and 5 Goldeneyes including 3 males throwing their heads back in display, great birds. The walk along the boardwalk was quiet as it has been every time i've been lately, not even a Chiffchaff or 'crest this time just a Grey Wagtail and a handful of Redwings. I drove down to Torcross and walked a couple hundred metres up the line. Saw a male Scaup on the ley in front of the car park hide but little else. Few gulls around which is disappointing considering the easterly wind which sometimes brings a few in.
Greylag Geese by no means regular locally...yet.
After Slapton went around to Beesands. Started off by having a look at the sea from the village and it was great that a flock of about 50 Common Scoter were present. Flocks of these are hard to find in Start Bay these days. I have been a bit envious of the Scoter fest around the coast off Mansands. Perhaps they are 50 short, would have been great if the Surf Scoter came around, even just for one day. The ley still has a load of Mute Swans, I counted 66 today with 55 Canada Geese, great. There was just a lone Coot ( Coot are argumentative birds, this one will probably end up fighting itself ), 2 Shovelers and 2 Teals. The highlight were 3 Goldeneyes, a male and 2 females. From memory I have only seen a handful of Goldeneye here before so three is a very good record.
Mute Swans are loving something about Beesands Ley this winter, 66 counted today.
3 Goldeneyes may be a record count for Beesands.