Friday, 28 February 2014

Friday 28th February

An afternoon visit saw the first migrant Sandwich Tern of the year offshore with 20+ Red-throated and eight Great Northern Diver, three Velvet Scoter, two Long-tailed Duck, Slavonian and Red-necked Grebe. Elsewhere the Black Brant was in the Bight with 340 Dark-bellied Brent Geese whilst other counts from the estuary included 138 Curlew, 23 Teal, 19 Sanderling, 16 Knot, 14 Grey Plover and two Wigeon.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wednesday 26th February

The Bonaparte's Gull was off Langstone Rock with three Velvet Scoter also offshore. Elsewhere the Black Brant was in the estuary off Cockwood.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Monday, 24 February 2014

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sunday 23rd February

A stormy but thankfully dry day saw most attention directed offshore, with five hours of seawatching on and off during the day. Counts included 525 Kittiwake, 280+ auk species, some in poor condition, of these 130+ Guillemot and at least seven Razorbill were close enough to identify; 61 Gannet, 20+ Red-throated Diver, 20 Fulmar and two adult Little Gull, all heading south with 68 Common and four Velvet Scoter, four Great Northern Diver and two Long-tailed Duck also still present. Despite the low high tide wader numbers recovered from previous days with totals including 1552 Oystercatcher, 1508 Dunlin, 178 Grey Plover, 153 Curlew, 96 Redshank, 85 Bar-tailed Godwit and 46 Knot. Also in the estuary the Black Brant with 300+ Brent Geese, 155+ Common Gull, a first winter Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was briefly off the seawall late afternoon and a Water Pipit was in front of the hide.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Saturday 22nd February

The majority of interest remained offshore where totals included 49 Red-throated and six Great Northern Diver, three Velvet and 72 Common Scoter, 100+ Kittiwake, two Long-tailed Duck, two Eider and single Slavonian and Red-necked Grebe. In the estuary there were still 220+ Brent Geese, 140+ Common Gull, a Great Northern Diver and the Slavonian Grebe but wader numbers were very low with 420 Dunlin, 19 Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover but just one Grey Plover and no Knot or Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a female Cirl Bunting was in Greenland Lake, a pair of Shoveler were on the Main Pond and overhead there were four Rook, a Jackdaw and a Raven.

Wildlife News: The long awaited first butterfly of the year was on the wing, a Red Admiral in the Bight.

House Sparrow ©  Simon Thurgood

Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday 21st February

Offshore the flat calm conditions saw at least three Velvet Scoter, two Long-tailed Duck and two Eider still present with a Slavonian Grebe, 40 Common Scoter, 14 Red-throated and five Great Northern Diver and an adult Little Gull. In the estuary there were 190+ Brent Geese, 169+ Common Gull, 100+ Redshank, 47 Knot, two Mediterranean Gull and the resident Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Cirl Bunting was in Greenland Lake and a tristis Chiffchaff was by the windmill.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wednesday 19th February

The welcome spell of calm dry weather produced another great day at the Warren with an almost full house of this winter's scarcities. Offshore the Bonaparte's Gull was again hanging around the beach, the Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck were off Warren Point and also present at least nine Great Northern and six Red-throated Diver, 15+ Great-crested and a Slavonian Grebe, 32 Common and four Velvet Scoter and last but not least the two female Eider. Counts from the estuary included 350+ Brent Geese, 200+ Black and 23 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Sanderling, 10 Shelduck, nine Wigeon, three Greenshank, the resident Slavonian Grebe and the Black Brant. Elsewhere 128 Common and two Mediterranean Gull were in the Railway Saltmarsh and a site record seven Little Grebe were on the Main Pond.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tuesday 18th February

Offshore there were at least nine Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, along with the immature male Long-tailed Duck and the Red-necked Grebe. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was in front of the hide with three Mediterranean Gull and a Norwegian ringed Common Gull.

Common Gull rung 9th April 2006 at Kongsgård, Kristiansand, Vest-Agder

View Common Gull 18 February 2014 in a larger map

Monday, 17 February 2014

Monday 17th February

Seawatching before 9.30 am saw an adult Little Gull, 127 Kittiwake, 31 Red-throated Diver, 27 Guillemot, 11 Fulmar and just seven Gannet south.On the sea there were at least three Velvet Scoter, two Great Northern Diver and a Long-tailed Duck. Elsewhere the resident Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary off Cockwood and 40+ Great Black-backed Gull were on Bull Hill.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday 16th February

The highlight of the day, a first winter Glaucous Gull roosting on Warren Point, was only seen from the Exmouth side of the river! Further searches drew a blank but with 1300+ Herring Gull offshore and at least as many again in Sandy Bay there were plenty to look through. Aside from the Glauc and a probable Puffin flying south, birding was very much as you were with six Velvet Scoter, two Eider, the Red-necked Grebe, seven Red-throated and four Great Northern Diver offshore. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was off Langstone Rock early morning, nine Avocet roosted in the Bight, two Slavonian Grebe were in the estuary and counts included 300+ Brent Geese, 188 Curlew, 112 Redshank, 47 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Ringed Plover, 21 Teal and just four Wigeon.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Saturday 15th February

The overnight storms again saw damage to the dune ridge with another foot of sand lost along much of its length. More sand was again lost from the beach; the first groyne has now joined most of the others in taking on a significant lean. Bird wise the highlight were the first Avocet of the year with 13 pushed down river by the floodwater, also in the estuary the Bonaparte's Gull in the Railway Saltmarsh with three Mediterranean Gull. Offshore there were at least two adult Little Gull, four Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver headed south with 200+ auks and on the sea there were another two Great Northern Diver, the two Long-tailed Duck and six Velvet Scoter.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Friday 14th February

A very wet and windy day but gaps in the weather did allow for some records with an adult Little Gull in the estuary, with 30+ Kittiwake, six Razorbill, a Guillemot and two Red-throated Diver offshore.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thursday 13th February

A Long-tailed Duck was off Warren Point, this time the male, also offshore five Velvet and 24 Common Scoter, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, a Slavonian and 17 Great-crested Grebe and two Eider. Elsewhere 159 Brent Geese were counted in the estuary, three presumed littoralis Rock Pipit were in Greenland Lake and single Bullfinch and Siskin flew over.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wednesday 12th February

Counts from an afternoon visit included 128 Bar-tailed Godwit, 103 Great Black-backed Gull, 54 Knot and a Great Northern Diver.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Tuesday 11th February

The Bonaparte's Gull was reported on line very late evening again but no other news was received.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Monday 10th February

Offshore a Slavonian Grebe was a new arrival with 22 Red-throated Diver heading south; the six Velvet Scoter, two Eider and female Long-tailed Duck were still present and the Bonaparte's Gull was feeding distantly towards Orcombe. Outside the recording area an adult Glaucous Gull was viewable distantly on a sandbar in the estuary off Mudbank Lane, Exmouth before relocating to Oak Meadow, Starcross. It was later also reported off the Warren.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday 9th February

A rare performance of blue sky and sunshine produced an enviable cast on site with most of the wintering rarities recorded. Offshore the Red-necked Grebe and female Long-tailed Duck were off John's Watch with five Great Northern Diver, whilt six Velvet Scoter were off the seawall. The Siberian Chiffchaff was in the Entrance Bushes with another possible in Dead Dolphin Wood and three Chiffchaff also on site. Off site a first winter Kumlien's Gull was viewable distantly on a sandbar off Mudbank Lane before flying over the estuary mouth towards Exmouth beach, the record for the Exe. Elsewhere the Black Brant was on the Golf Course with c180 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and the Bonaparte's Gull was in the estuary with the Slavonian Grebe, a drake Goldeneye and 21 Sanderling.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Saturday 8th February

The strong winds saw 180+ Kittiwake, 53 Fulmar and 40+ Gannet south during the morning with two female type Scaup, the first of the year, four Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Also offshore there were four Velvet Scoter and another two Great Northern Diver on the sea. Elsewhere counts from the estuary included 217 Bar-tailed Godwit, 185 Grey Plover, 118 Brent Geese, 90+ Great Black-backed Gull, 47 Knot, 33 Sanderling, 19 Teal, 17 Wigeon, 14 Ringed Plover, two Mediterranean Gull and a Goldeneye.

Peregrine © Lee Collins

Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday 7th February

Taking advantage of a hiatus between storms a brief look from the seawall revealed five Velvet Scoter, two Little Gull (ad & fw) and three Great Northern Diver offshore. Also present for a second day c2000 Herring Gull on sandbars at the mouth of the estuary.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Thursday 6th February

Storm driven birds were limited to an adult Little Gull on flooded grassland near the Amusements, an oiled Guillemot picked up near the Visitor Centre and a dead Fulmar on the Golf Course. Elsewhere the only news was of an adult Mediterranean Gull offshore and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary.

Little Gull © Lee Collins

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday 5th February

Two brief visits in very poor weather failed to produce any notable records. There has been considerable damage to the groynes, with a lot of sand lost from the dunes and beach with reports of a breach in the sandspit. Please keep away from the beach and pay attention to the warning notices.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Tuesday 4th February

The weather continued to make birding challenging with the two Long-tailed Duck and a Great Northern Diver offshore and a Mediterranean Gull and several migrant Lesser Black-backed Gull amongst a large build up of gulls.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (from the Channel Islands) © Lee Collins

Monday, 3 February 2014

Monday 3rd February

The Bonaparte's Gull was again off Langstone Rock this morning, but apart from a Great Northern Diver heading south out of the estuary no other news was received today.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sunday 2nd February

Blue skies and a lack of rain was the biggest surprise of the day and the springlike conditions encouraged the reappearance of the two Siberian Chffchaff with at least two Chiffchaff also present. Many of the resident species were in song and/or paired up including Little Grebe and Great-spotted Woodpecker. The Bonaparte's Gull showed on and off during the day, off the seawall first thing, then feeding distantly offshore late morning and in the estuary late afternoon. Also present offshore six Red-throated and three Great Northern Diver, the six Velvet Scoter, two Eider and two Long-tailed Duck, however numbers of the commoner species remain very low. Elsewhere the resident Slavonian Grebe remains in the estuary along with counts of 202 Grey Plover, 89 Knot, 42 Bar-tailed Godwit, 14 Ringed Plover and two Greenshank, a Water Pipit was briefly on the Golf Course and at least six Water Rail were present, including one in front of the hide.

Green Woodpecker © Lee Collins

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was on Bull Hill and a couple of queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee were on the wing.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Saturday 1st February

The month started in a similar vein with the Bonaparte's Gull, six Velvet Scoter, two Long-tailed Duck and two Great Northern Diver offshore, although only a single Red-throated Diver was present.  Elsewhere the Water Pipit was on the Golf Course, with 77 Knot, five Goldeneye, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary.