We decided to take the southerly route home to try for a bird that we missed out on seeing when driving down at the beginning of our trip. First stop was Portpean where we eventually picked up a Velvet Scoter (White-winged Scoter to my American friends) in amongst some Common Scoter. After a brief stop at Sibleyback lake to tick off Lesser Scaup, we then made our way eastwards into south Devon to a place called Ernesettle just north of Plymouth. On our previous visit here we apparently missed seeing the Lesser Yellowlegs (an American wader) by just 5 minutes as it disappeared down a gully at low tide on the estuary. This time we were successful, but only after some wait. It's always nice to see your target bird after having had to work for it! It was too far away for a photo unfortunately.
Next stop was Broadsands near Peignton. This is a reliable site for the locally scarce Cirl Bunting. We soon heard one male singing, but keeping out of sight low down in the hedgerow. After giving it some time though I caught up with a more obliging male singing at the top of the hedge. The sun was not in the best position, but I managed a couple of ok shots.
From there we headed north to Topsham and a date with an American Wigeon. He's here in the photo below hiding in amongst hundreds of our Eurasian Wigeon (on the right hand side, click photo to enlarge if you want to try and find him). (-:
It was then time to head further north and home. It had been a successful end to a wonderful winter trip to Devon and Cornwall.