Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Wednesday 18th April

Another day of Pale-bellied Brent Goose migration with 100+ passing south or arriving in off the sea during the morning and a flock of 26 still present in the estuary in the evening. One flock took 29 minutes to arrive having earlier past Seaton in east Devon. Other migrants were however thin on the ground with just five Swallow, four Wheatear and single Blackcap and Willow Warbler.

Elsewhere counts from the estuary included 64 Turnstone, 19 Sanderling, 16 Redshank, 14 Grey Plover, nine Whimbrel and a Dunlin  whilst three Red-throated Diver and an Eider were offshore.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Tuesday 17th April

Seawatching early morning was productive with 600+ Manx Shearwater, 30 Fulmar, seven Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver south along with single Purple Sandpiper and Merlin, both new for the year. Also offshore 51 Pale-bellied Brent Geese that flew into the estuary having past sites further east along the coast, 30 Sandwich and a Little Tern, at least one Tufted Duck and an Eider. During the evening 11 Common Tern, a Great Skua and three Gadwall flew south.

Elsewhere at least 235 Whimbrel passed through during the day, other counts from the estuary included 52 Turnstone, 41 Dunlin, 20 Grey and 14 Ringed Plover, 14 Sanderling, 12 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, nine Redshank, five Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, the Slavonian Grebe and a Ruff. Migrants were limited to two Wheatear and a Cuckoo, first heard yesterday evening.

 Black-tailed Godwit - Lee Collins
Bar-tailed Godwit - Lee Collins

Monday, 16 April 2018

Monday 16th April

Passage offshore continued early morning with 250+ Manx Shearwater south along with two Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver, 30+ Kittiwake and 20 Gannet. Also offshore an Arctic Tern with two Eider, a Common and six Sandwich Tern.

Elsewhere at least nine Wheatear were on site, the highest count this Spring, and counts from the estuary included 24 Redshank, 21 Grey Plover, 21 Shelduck, 20 Whimbrel, two Ringed Plover and two Dunlin.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Sunday 15th April

A day of heavy rain, sunshine and showers with a constant strong southerly wind. This produced ideal seawatching conditions, especially early morning. The highlight was a site record count of 3579 Manx Shearwater south during the day, most in the evening but with 200+ south in less than 10 minutes as the rain stopped mid morning. This is over twice the previous record from April 2009.

Also passing south an Osprey, a Puffin, 10+ Arctic Tern, two Great and an Arctic Skua, three Great Northern, two Red-throated and 13 Diver sp, 191 Common Scoter, 144 Kittiwake, 92 Gannet, 63 Common Gull, 39 Sandwich Tern, 13 Fulmar and a pair of Gadwall.

Elsewhere a send winter Little Gull was in front of the hide early morning, two Arctic Skua were harassing Kittiwake offshore late evening, migrants were limited to five Willow Warbler and four Blackcap, 23 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in the estuary with other counts of 42 Turnstone, 28 Redshank, 20 Grey Plover, 15 Sanderling, 13 Whimbrel, four Dunlin and two Red-breasted Merganser.

Wildlife News: In the few sunny periods the Sand Crocus was attempting to flower and a couple of Peacock were on the wing.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Saturday 14th April

A foggy day and despite the south easterly breeze there was little sign of continuing migration with just two Swallow and a Yellow Wagtail flying through, four Blackcap and three Willow Warbler remaining in the bushes, six Sandwich Tern offshore and three Whimbrel in the estuary. Other records included 21 Grey Plover, 18 Turnstone and four Dunlin in the estuary and a Shoveler on the Main Pond.
 
Wildlife News: Despite the conditions the Sand Crocus was attempting to flower, a few Sand Lizard were along the Dune Ridge and insects on the wing included Tree Bumblebee, Fluffy Dronefly (Eristalis intricarius) and Dark-edge Beefly. In Greenland Lake three Snake's-head Fritillary were in flower.
 
Eristalis intricarius - Alan Keatley

Friday, 13 April 2018

Friday 13th April

Migrants continue to arrive but a slow rather than steady trickle. Two Sedge Warbler early morning and a smart male Redstart this evening were new for the year but with the exception of two Wheatear, two Willow Warbler and a Goldcrest there were few other arrivals. Elsewhere 12 Great-crested Grebe and an Eider were offshore and six Whimbrel were in the Bight.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Thursday 12th April

Despite the Spring weather migration remains slow although the year's first Whitethroat was in the car park with three Willow Warbler and three Blackcap on site but no sign of the Garganey.

Elsewhere a distant Manx Shearwater, an Eider and seven Sandwich Tern were offshore and counts from the estuary included c20 Sanderling, 12 Ringed Plover, six Redshank, four Whimbrel, three Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe.

Wildlife News: The sunshine meant good numbers of Sand Crocus were in flower and also brought out the first two Speckled Wood of the year along with Peacock and Comma. Other insects included good numbers of hoverflies, a Dark-edged Beefly and several solitary bee species.

 Dark-edged Beefly - Alan Keatley

Speckled Wood - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Wednesday 11th April

A seemingly quiet morning was enlivened by the presence of a drake Garganey on the Main Pond which remained all day but was elusive at times. As the day warmed a few more migrants appeared with at last six Blackcap, five Willow Warbler and the year's first Reed Warbler. Overhead two Tree Pipit and a Yellow Wagtail were also new for the year.

A Little Ringed Plover was in the Bight with counts from the estuary including 29 Ringed Plover, 24 Dunlin, eight Sanderling and singles of Slavonian Grebe, Eider, Whimbrel, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a second Eider and six Sandwich Tern were offshore and a Common Sandpiper was on the Main Pond.

Garganey - Lee Collins
 
Garganey - Luke Harman
 
Wildlife News: The sunny weather brought out the Sand Crocus again across parts of the site.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Tuesday 10th April

The continuing foggy, wet and dank conditions seem to have put a halt on migration with just half a dozen Chiffchaff in the bushes this evening, the same weather though may have delayed the Osprey which was seen again over the estuary late on. Also in the estuary at low tide 81+ Turnstone, 33 Ringed Plover, 14 Redshank, two Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and the Slavonian Grebe, with a Scandinavian Rock Pipit by the hide. Earlier offshore there were 13 Sandwich Tern and two Great Northern Diver.

Wildlife News: The Grey Seal remains in the estuary.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Sunday 8th April

An Osprey over the estuary early evening was the pick of the day's sightings. Also in the estuary 94 Turnstone, six Sandwich Tern, two Whimbrel, two Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere migrants were limited to five Willow Warbler in the bushes and 12 Siskin overhead, whilst offshore there were five Eider, 22 Great-crested Grebe, five Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver.

Wildlife News: With some lengthy sunny spells the Sand Crocus finally emerged in numbers today. The Grey Seal was in the estuary and two Harbour Porpoise were offshore.

  Sand Crocus - Alan Keatley