Sunday, 10 December 2017

Sunday 10th December

A Pomarine Skua was offshore this afternoon with 80 Gannet feeding in the bay and 24 Great-crested Grebe, eight Great Northern and three Red-throated Diver and three Eider on the sea. A ninth Great Northern Diver was in the estuary with the Slavonian Grebe and counts of 720 Dunlin, 320 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 127 Great Black-backed Gull, 63 Grey and 11 Ringed Plover, 26 Sanderling and a Goldeneye. Elsewhere the four Shoveler were on the Main Pond and the Mistle Thrush was again in Dead Dolphin Wood.

Wildlife News: Buff-tailed Bumblebee remain active on the Hebe around the Boathouse.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Saturday 9th December

A Black-necked Grebe off the seawall early morning was only the second of the year, also present 84 Gannet, 26 Great-crested Grebe, three Eider, six Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver. Counts from the estuary remained low with 720 Dunlin, 131 Brent Geese, 128 Redshank, 94 Grey Plover, 74 Shelduck, 57 Turnstone, 51 Curlew, 22 Sanderling, six Knot, two Greenshank, two Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit.

Elsewhere a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes with four Chiffchaff, the Jack Snipe was on the Main Pond with four Shoveler and a Snipe, the Mistle Thrush was in Dead Dolphin Wood and a couple of Redwing flew over, the only sign of the cold weather. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Thursday 7th December

An early morning sea watch from 8:00 to 9:30, when the front when through and winds went round to north-westerly saw 960 Gannet head south, a longer watch may well have broken the site record. Also offshore 240 Kittiwake, nine Great Northern and four Red-throated Diver, eight Great-crested Grebe and just two Guillemot and a Common Scoter.

Counts from the estuary included 1250 Oystercatcher, 1100 Dunlin, 296 Dark and three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 161 Grey Plover, 105 Redshank, 86 Knot, 65 Shelduck, 46 Turnstone, 22 Sanderling and four Greenshank. Elsewhere four Shoveler were on the Main Pond, two Chiffchaff were in the bushes and a Mistle Thrush was in Greenland Lake.

Shoveler - Alan Keatley

Monday, 4 December 2017

Monday 4th December

An afternoon look off Cockwood Steps saw the Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe in the estuary with c240 Dark and three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Greenshank and a Kingfisher.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Sunday 3rd December

Two Eider were offshore this afternoon with two Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere three Shoveler were on the Main Pond, 1190 Oystercatcher, 237 Brent Geese, five Greenshank and a Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary and 81 Linnet roosted on the Golf Course.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Saturday 2nd December

Flat conditions offshore this evening saw five Great Northern and three Red-throated Diver from the seawall with 40 Great-crested Grebe and 18 Red-breasted Merganser roosting. Also present two Purple Sandpiper that flew across the bay, a Kingfisher on Groyne 1 and 450 Wigeon flushed from the estuary. Elsewhere three Shoveler were on the Main Pond and the Slavonian Grebe and a sixth Great Northern Diver were in the estuary.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was hauled out on the mussel barge.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Friday 1st December

A frosty start and cold northerly wind saw the Main Pond partly frozen but the two Shoveler remain along with the Jack Snipe. Nearby a Firecrest and two Mistle Thrush were in Dead Dolphin Wood with five Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff also in the bushes. Elsewhere a Red-throated Diver, 18 Great-crested Grebe and seven Pintail were offshore with 92 Shelduck in the estuary.

 Jack Snipe - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A lone Red Admiral and at least four Buff-tailed Bumblebee were still flying despite the temperatures.

Red Admiral - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Thursday 30th November

Two Red-throated Diver were close in off the seawall with a few Great-crested Grebe and Gannet. Elsewhere a Common Snipe and the pair of Shoveler were on the Main Pond with Bullfinch, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest in the Bushes.

Red-throated Diver - Martin Rooney

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Wednesday 29th November

The Jack Snipe was again on the Main Pond with a Common Snipe, a Little Grebe and the pair of Shoveler.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tuesday 28th November

The Bonaparte's Gull was briefly offshore this morning having arrived from the Dawlish direction, also offshore 15 Great-crested Grebe and five Red-throated Diver but most were probably outside the recording area. Elsewhere three Chiffchaff were on site with a Great Northern Diver, the Slavonian Grebe and 250+ Dark and 17 Pale-bellied Brent Geese in the estuary.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Saturday 25th November

A continuing winter feel today with a site record 13 Collared Dove an unexpected highlight. In the estuary the cold weather perhaps lead to some increased counts with 1270 Dunlin, 244 Dark and 27 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 81 Shelduck, 76 Grey Plover, 48 Knot, 22 Sanderling, four Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere single Great Northern and Red-throated Diver were offshore, a Firecrest was in Dead Dolphin Wood, two Shoveler were on the Main Pond and five Chiffchaff and a Redwing were in the Entrance Bushes.

Wildlife News: at least six Buff-tailed Bumblebee were around the Boathouse.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Thursday 23rd November

The first visitors since the weekend saw five Great Northern Diver fly south early morning but there was surprisingly little else moving after yesterday's weather. There were few new arrivals in the estuary but a female Goldeneye was the first of the winter. Counts from the hide included 840 Wigeon, 800 Dunlin, 347 Dark and 29 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 186 Teal, 107 Grey Plover, 65 Shelduck, 54 Common Gull, 18 Knot, five Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler remains at the Main Pond with two Chiffchaff, a Kingfisher and a Snipe.

Wildlife News: At least three Common Darter remain on the wing with a Common Banded Hoverfly Syrphus ribesii and a Honey Bee nectaring on flowering Gorse.

Syrphus ribesii - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sunday 19th November

A Black Redstart, a male and the first of the year, moved along the Dune Ridge past John's Watch but failed to linger. Other new arrivals were in the estuary with an increase to 1110 Dunlin over high tide along with 575 Wigeon, 378 Teal, 196 Dark and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 140 Redshank, 136 Black and 74 Bar-tailed Godwit, 95 Grey Plover, 53 Turnstone, 17 Sanderling and four Greenshank.

Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was around Langstone Rock early afternoon, three Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore and the pair of Shoveler remain on the Main Pond.

Ringing News: A Sandwich Tern seen here in four of the last five autumns was recently re-sighted in South Africa.

Wildlife News: In the sunny weather a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee was still on the wing.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Saturday 18th November

A crisp early winter day with a good mix of expected species. Counts from the estuary included 850 Wigeon, 785 Dunlin, 391 Teal, 160 Dark and 13 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 121 Redshank, 71 Grey Plover, 62 Shelduck, 15 Knot, seven Sanderling, four Greenshank, a Great Northern Diver and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere a second Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver were offshore with a female Eider  12 Common Scoter and 12 Great-crested Grebe, the Cetti's Warbler, Jack Snipe and a pair of Shoveler were still at the Main Pond and two Mistle Thrush were overhead.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Thursday 16th November

Another quiet low tide visit although with single Red-throated Diver offshore, the Great Northern Diver and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary and a late movement of at least 11 Bullfinch and three Redpoll overhead. Late afternoon the Bonaparte's Gull was in the estuary channel off Bull Hill, the first record since 29 October.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Tuesday 14th November

An early morning visit showed little in the way of movement as autumn draws to a close. The Cetti's Warbler was still at the Main Pond with a pair of Shoveler and a single visible Snipe. Elsewhere single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver were offshore, a second Great Northern Diver was in the estuary and a Cirl Bunting was in song along the Back Path.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Sunday 12th November

The WeBS count was over an hour before one of the lowest high tides of the month and the wader numbers, with a couple of exceptions, certainly reflect that. Counts included 1308 Oystercatcher, 313 Redshank, 155 Curlew, 84 Dunlin, 45 Turnstone, 22 Snipe, 16 Ringed and 13 Grey Plover, six Greenshank, four Black and three Bar-tailed Godwit, a Knot and a Sanderling.  Wildfowl numbers included 489 Wigeon, 358 Dark and four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 276 Teal and 76 Shelduck, also in the estuary a Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern.

Elsewhere a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes, three Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore and 40 Chaffinch, three Siskin and a Grey Wagtail were overhead.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Saturday 11th November

Counts from the estuary included 560 Dunlin, 266 Dark and 26 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 66 Shelduck, 54 Grey Plover and 16 Sanderling. Elsewhere a Merlin was on Warren Point, single Great Skua and Sandwich Tern were offshore and the Jack Snipe was on the Main Pond.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Friday 10th November

Counts in the Bight included 241 Dark-bellied and 28 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 67 Shelduck and 17 Sanderling but the majority of waders were sheltering from the strong wind in the Railway Saltmarsh. Elsewhere the Jack Snipe and Cetti's Warbler were almost equally elusive on the Main Pond with two Mistle Thrush and two Raven overhead.

Wildlife News: In sheltered sunny spots a few dragonfly were still on the wing with at least nine Common Darter and a Migrant Hawker.   

Common Darter - Lee Collins

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Thursday 9th November

There was no sign of the Black Brant early morning with just 60 Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the Bight. There was also a lack of movement overhead with just three Redpoll and a couple of Siskin outnumbering the Chaffinch. Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler was still present, two Firecrest were around the Main Pond, at least five Chiffchaff were on site and five Cirl Bunting were around Greenland Lake.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Wednesday 8th November

The Black Brant was again in the Bight with 290 Dark-bellied and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, also in the estuary 530 Dunlin, 270 Redshank, a Great Northern Diver and the Slavonian Grebe. A Jack Snipe at the Main Pond was presumably a returning bird, also there six Reed Bunting, two Snipe, the Cetti's Warbler and a Shoveler.

 Black Brant - Lee Collins

Elsewhere 22 Long-tailed and a Coal Tit were in the bushes and a Red-throated Diver was offshore, but the clear skies meant any movement overhead largely escaped detection but single Brambling and Redpoll flew low enough to make the list, unlike further west there was no pigeon movement today.

Jack Snipe (& two Snipe) It did show better than this at times! - Lee Collins

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Tuesday 7th November

The wet and windy conditions pushed the feeding groups in Lyme Bay closer inshore with 200+ Gannet and 160 Kittiwake in the first hour of light. Also offshore two Pomarine Skua (pale phase ad and pale headed juv) and single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver.

Counts from the hide included 200+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 176 Great Black-backed Gull and a fourth year Yellow-legged Gull (also sheltering from the weather), 90 Grey Plover, 68 Shelduck, 26 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, a Kingfisher on the wreck and the Slavonian Grebe.

Slavonian Grebe - Lee Collins
Ringing News: The Pale-bellied Brent below was ringed as a juvenile on Alftantes football pitch in Iceland on 11 May 2017, remaining there until the 22nd. This next sighting was at the Warren in October. Today's was the first record here since 23rd October.

 Pale-bellied Brent Goose - Lee Collins

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Monday 6th November

The pigeon tap turned on again with 15,280 Wood Pigeon heading west before 9am, also overhead a Jack Snipe with two Snipe, three Redpoll and 11 Jackdaw. Elsewhere a Coat Tit moved through the bushes, the Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond and a Red-throated Diver was offshore.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Sunday 5th November

Counts from the estuary included 390 Dunlin, 336 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 217 Redshank, 197 Black-tailed Godwit, 78 Grey Plover, 38 Shelduck, nine Greenshank, six Red-breasted Merganser, two Pale-bellied Brent Geese and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 500 Wood Pigeon were overhead and a Red-throated Diver and an Arctic Skua were offshore.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Saturday 4th November

A fem/imm Marsh Harrier that headed north up the estuary was the highlight but little else was on the move overhead. There was more activity offshore with large feeding flocks distantly in the bay and 210+ Kittiwake, 160 Razorbill and 100 Gannet moving south early morning, a Pomarine Skua was attracted to these flocks and a single Red-throated Diver was on the sea. 

Counts from the estuary included 380 Dunlin, 300 Black-tailed Godwit, 257 Dark and 16 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 45 Turnstone, 44 Shelduck, six Mediterranean Gull, four Red-breasted Merganser, a first winter Yellow-legged Gull, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler was still at the Main Pond but remained impossible to see.

Wildlife News: Several Common Darter and Red Admiral were still on the wing but a late Meadow Brown was the highlight. This is the fourth year in the last six that Meadow Brown has been on the wing after mid October, with December records in 2015.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Friday 3rd November

Ringing News: A quick evening visit allowed 13 Oystercatcher ring reads to be made from the hide. The highlight was an adult ringed at Vardheia, Rogaland in Norway on 2nd July this year. This is only the second Norwegian ringed Oystercatcher recorded here but Warren ringed birds have been recovered in Norway, including one from an Eagle Owl nest.

The other recoveries this evening included several birds previously rung here, notably two from 1989; and a bird ringed this year as a chick in Warwickshire.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Thursday 2nd November

Birds continued to move overhead in small numbers before the cloud cleared late morning. Highlights included two Brambling, 17 Bullfinch, eight Redpoll, seven Reed Bunting, six Mistle Thrush, four Redwing and two Siskin. Other counts included 1090 Wood Pigeon, 42 Chaffinch, 19 Skylark, 18 Jackdaw, eight Greenfinch and two Rook. Some of the Greenfinch and Redpoll dropped into Greenland Lake to join a mobile flock of 110 Goldfinch, these in turn attracted the attention of two Sparrowhawk. Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond and 50+ Black-tailed Godwit, 31 Shelduck and a Pintail were in the estuary.

 Lesser Redpoll - Alan Keatley
 Sparrowhawk - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The sunny weather during the afternoon brought out a few Red Admiral, four Common Darter and a Migrant Hawker with Buff-tailed Bumblebee and Honey Bee on the Gorse.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Wednesday 1st November

Still some limited movement overhead this morning with 21 Chaffinch, 19 Jackdaw, a flock of five Bullfinch, three Siskin, two Redpoll and a Brambling. Goldfinch were also passing with at least 80 counted in Greenland Lake but with birds seeming to drop in and move on with some regularity. Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler was calling at the Main Pond and in the estuary there were 120 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Greenshank, a Kingfisher on the wreck, a Red-breasted Merganser and the Slavonian Grebe.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Tuesday 31st October

Despite similar conditions there was much less moving overhead this morning with tallies of 2450 Wood Pigeon, 110 Goldfinch, 30 Jackdaw, 30 Chaffinch, 12 Stock Dove, seven Redwing, two Bullfinch, two Siskin and a Redpoll.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Monday 30th October

Vis mig during the morning saw 11,055 Wood Pigeon heading high west in the blue skies with a minimum of 28 Stock Dove, 138 Jackdaw and 100 Starling. The lack of cloud cover meant smaller species were harder to pick up with tallies of 44 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch, 12 Bullfinch, five Siskin, three Redpoll, two Brambling and two Golden Plover. Elsewhere seven Lapwing and 20+ Black-tailed Godwit, along with thousands of waders and wildfowl were flushed from the estuary and the Cetti's Warbler was again calling from the Main Pond.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sunday 29th October

The good run on site continued but it was quality rather than quantity today with a lone Yellowhammer that dropped in briefly by the Main Pond the Vis Mig highlight. Totals included 1025 Wood Pigeon and 15 Stock Dove west, 22 Chaffinch, 16 Greenfinch, 14 Redwing, nine Bullfinch, eight Siskin, five Swallow, four Redpoll, three Brambling, two Golden Plover and a Mistle Thrush.

In the estuary the Brent Goose flock came over from Exmouth bringing with them the Black Brant and a freshly arrived Barnacle Goose. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull flew past groyne seven, a drake Pochard was offshore with nine Eider before flying around the bay and heading south and a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Saturday 28th October

A remarkable day with plenty of surprises amongst a total of 96 species recorded. Vis Mig provided the bulk of the highlights but plenty of wildfowl and gulls continued the excitement. Overhead the Wood Pigeon movement beat the previous site record with 53,690 counted mainly going south/south-west offshore in long lines, the largest flock 7450 strong; with them at least 73 Stock Dove but this was a significant under estimate. The surprises started with a Red Kite south at 9.10, closely followed by two juvenile White-fronted Geese at 10.15, and then the seventh Great White Egret for the recording area flew in off the sea and up the estuary at 10:50 (the same bird flew west past Abbotsbury, Dorset at 9.25). Other species included a very late Turtle Dove, 101 Jackdaw, 72 Skylark, 41 Chaffinch, 15 Bullfinch, six Mistle Thrush, four Redpoll and four Siskin.

Offshore a large feeding congregation attracted three adult Little Gull, two Arctic Skua, 110 Common Scoter, 95 Kittiwake, 35 Razorbill, 11 Eider, three Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver, a drake Tufted Duck and an immature Velvet Scoter. Counts from the estuary included 1150 Wigeon, 260 Teal, 210 Black-tailed Godwit, 159 Redshank, 48 Turnstone, 35 Dunlin, six Mediterranean Gull, three Pale-bellied Brent and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was offshore briefly before heading into the estuary, a Coal Tit was on site and a Cirl  Bunting was singing along the Back Path.

Cirl Bunting - Alan Keatley

Friday, 27 October 2017

Friday 27th October

Vis mig went up a notch today but there was just one observer on site and they report that a lack of 360 degree vision meant many birds were missed. Wood Pigeon were the predominate species with 9100 moving SW in large flocks over land and sea with finches going in opposite direction at the same time. Amongst these the stand out was the long awaited first Hawfinch of this autumn's influx but 64 Bullfinch, the second highest site count, were more unexpected, with largest flocks of 16 and 12. Other counts included 85 Goldfinch, 73 Linnet, 55 Skylark, 51 Lesser Black-backed Gull (S), 35 Chaffinch, 12 Greenfinch, nine Siskin, four Redwing, a Mistle Thrush and a Merlin.

Elsewhere the Recording Area's sixth Great White Egret was distantly in the Railway Saltmarsh.

 Record shot of the Great White Egret - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Several queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee were on the wing along with a Migrant Hawker and a couple of Common Darter.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Wednesday 25th October

A Cetti's Warbler calling and even singing occasionally at the Main Pond was the highlight, elsewhere a Common Whitethroat presumably the from earlier in the month was again in scrub near the dune pond this morning, the second latest site record and several large flocks of Wood Pigeon went SW in mid-late morning, not counted but must have been well over 1000 in total. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Monday 23rd October

Seawatching saw a Leach's Petrel heading south mid morning pursued closely by a Herring Gull, also moving a Golden Plover, 59 Lesser Black-backed and a first winter Yellow-legged Gull, an Arctic Skua, five Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere eight Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary with 41 Grey Plover, 34 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 17 Shelduck, five Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sunday 22nd October

Counts from the estuary included 307 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 271 Redshank, 171 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Pale-bellied Brent, eight Mediterranean Gull, seven Knot, three Greenshank and a Pintail. With the new roost site now covered in fencing the small waders avoided the Warren but 330 Dunlin roosted on the seawall outside the Recording area.

Elsewhere a Jack Snipe was flushed from Dead Dolphin Wood, vis mig saw 1500 Wood Pigeon, 55 Goldfinch, 22 Swallow, 21 Chaffinch, three Redpoll, two Siskin, a Stock Dove and a Budgerigar head SW. Offshore the calm after the storm saw a single Great Skua with two Great Northern Diver but just 10 Gannet. 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Saturday 21st October

Storm Brian was the talk of the day with seawatching in the morning producing 350 Gannet, 50 auk sp, 25 Kittiwake, two Arctic Skua, three Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver south along with two Leach's Petrel, the first Long-tailed Skua of the year and an immature Long-tailed Duck. Elsewhere 311 Great Black-backed Gull sheltered in the estuary along with 40 Grey Plover and 26 Pale-bellied Brent Geese.

Pale-bellied Brent - Dave Jewell

Friday, 20 October 2017

Friday 20th October

A Ruff was in the Bight with the Slavonian Grebe also in the estuary with the usual mix of species but no counts were received. Elsewhere a Great Northern Diver was offshore and late migrants included single Swallow and Wheatear.

Wheatear - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Although it was a sunny and warm day it definitely had a end of season feel about it for insects. Ivy bees have all but disappeared, leaving a few social wasps and some flies on the Ivy, including this Noon Fly Mesembrina meridiana. Still plenty of Red Admiral passing through along with a couple of Migrant Hawker, a Southern Hawker and a few Common Darter.

 Noon Fly - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Thursday 19th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler remained behind the Main Pond with six Goldcrest, four Chiffchaff and a Wheatear on site. Records from the estuary included 10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, five Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Merlin was on Warren Point and a Red-throated Diver was offshore.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wednesday 18th October

Counts from the estuary included 2200 Wigeon, 402 Curlew, 190 Dunlin, 80 Turnstone, 61 Grey and 20 Ringed Plover, eight Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, a Lapwing, a Golden Plover and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere the Yellow-browed Warbler was by the Back Meadow and the Whitethroat remains by the Dune Pond with nine Goldcrest, eight Chiffchaff, four Blackcap and a Wheatear on site.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Tuesday 17th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff were still in the bushes with at least five Goldcrest but there was little else to report with 43 Skylark and a Siskin overhead and two Cirl Bunting around Greenland Lake.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Monday 16th October

The weather was the main talking point today but despite the conditions and a lot of attention paid to the sea there was little passing offshore. Counts included two Balearic Shearwater, 300+ Gannet, just nine Kittiwake, a Great Skua, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver but the highlight was the first Short-eared Owl of the year that flew in off.

Elsewhere two Firecrest and a Siberian Chiffchaff were in the bushes and counts from the estuary included 330 Great Black-backed Gull, 35 Dunlin, 26 Grey Plover, 10 Black-tailed Godwit,10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, eight Mediterranean Gull and a Little Stint.

Wildlife News: Portuguese Man O'war continue to be washed ashore on what remains of the beach.

Ringing News: A total of 14 ringed Great Black-backed Gull were recorded in the Bight with nine from France (six from the same Normandy scheme), two from Norway and the UK and a single from the Channel Islands.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday 15th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler resurfaced as did the Whitethroat but new arrivals were thin on the ground and the Warren missed out on the record Firecrest influx. Overhead another miss as little could be done with a bunting flying through with a soft tic, but the first Brambling of the year was recorded along with 361 Linnet, 131 Meadow Pipit, 54 alba Wagtail, 29 Skylark, six Swallow and a Grey Wagtail.

Elsewhere counts from the estuary included 1598 Oystercatcher, 463 Curlew, 276 Teal, 120 Dark-bellied and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 54 Black and 31 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Ringed Plover, five Sanderling, a Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe. Offshore two Great Northern Diver.

Wildlife News: At least ten Portuguese Man O'War on the beach, possibly only the second site record.

Portuguese Man O'War - James Marshall

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Saturday 14th October

The Bonaparte's Gull reappeared off groyne seven mid morning before flying to the estuary and feeding briefly with Black-headed and three Mediterranean Gull. Also in the estuary 211 Teal, a Sandwich Tern, 76 Great Black-backed Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Offshore three summer plumaged Great Northern Diver were on the sea, a Red-throated Diver flew south and a drake Tufted Duck, the first of the year, flew around. Elsewhere a late Sand Martin, c100 Linnet, 80 Meadow Pipit, 40 Pied Wagtail, four Chaffinch, three Reed Bunting and a Siskin were overhead and a Firecrest, a Coal Tit, five Goldcrest, four Chiffchaff and two Blackcap were in the bushes.

Kestrel - Alan Keatley

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday 13th October

Seawatching early morning was hampered by the lack of visibility with six Great and four Arctic Skua, 60 Common Scoter and a Merlin south along with three skua sp and two shearwater sp (prob Sooty & Balearic). Elsewhere the second Golden Plover of the year and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in the Bight with 470 Curlew, 65 Black and 32 Bar-tailed Godwit and 10 Greenshank in the Railway Saltmarsh and the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Thursday 12th October

The first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was briefly behind the Visitor Centre mid morning with a late Reed Warbler, 13 Chiffchaff, four Blackcap and a Wheatear other new arrivals. Overhead 34 Skylark, eight Siskin and a couple of Chaffinch.

Counts in the estuary included a high of 153 Black-tailed Godwit, presumably disturbed by the ongoing work in Topsham; 391 Curlew, 265 Redshank, 65 Dark and three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 36 Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Grey Plover, 11 Knot, five Sanderling, just three Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe.

 Chiffchaff - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The fine weather means good numbers of insects are still on the wing including three very late Emperor dragonfly, at least 10 Common Darter and six Migrant Hawker.

Migrant Hawker - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wednesday 11th October

Seawatching saw at least 400 Gannet head south in four hours but the movement continued through the day, also moving two Balearic Shearwater, nine Arctic and five Great Skua, 80 Common Scoter, just seven Kittiwake, a Great Northern Diver and a late juvenile Hobby.

Elsewhere a Merlin made a couple of hunting attempts around the Bight and Warren Point before heading high off towards Exmouth, with summer migrants dwindling to four Swallow and single Chiffchaff and Wheatear. Counts from the estuary included 1930 Wigeon, 431 Curlew, 261 Great Black-backed Gull, 201 Redshank, 185 Dunlin, 145 Dark-bellied and 19 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 93 Black-tailed and 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, 32 Grey Plover, 10 Knot, nine Mediterranean Gull, a Little Stint and the Slavonian Grebe.

Merlin - Lee Collins

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Tuesday 10th October

A quieter day although Wigeon numbers continue to build with 1530 in Shutterton Creek, along with 154 Teal, 80 Dark-bellied and 22 Pale-belled Brent Geese. Also in the estuary counts of 381 Curlew, 200 Redshank, 32 Dunlin, 26 Grey Plover, 25 Black and 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Mediterranean Gull, six Greenshank, three Sandwich Tern, a Snipe and the Slavonian Grebe.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Monday 9th October

Counts from the estuary included 1220 Wigeon, 368 Curlew, 190 Dark-bellied and 23 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 186 Redshank, 104 Teal, 14 Turnstone, 11 Mediterranean Gull, seven Greenshank, four Knot, just two Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere three immature Velvet Scoter briefly dropped in offshore with 30 Common Scoter, three Mistle Thrush and three Siskin were overhead, a Coal Tit was around the Main Pond, nine Blackcap, eight Chiffchaff, a Wheatear and the late Whitethroat were on site.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Sunday 8th October

Once again clear skies reduced the hoped for vismig but 63 Skylark, 59 Meadow Pipit, 12 Greenfinch, 11 Siskin, nine Swallow, four Reed Bunting, a Grey Wagtail and a lone Redpoll did pass overhead. In the estuary a large increase to c1300 Wigeon but these were flushed by a paraglider mid morning and only c250 returned, also present the Slavonian Grebe, seven Pintail, a Ruff, a Little Stint and the first Red-breasted Merganser of the winter. Elsewhere a late Whitethroat, three Blackcap and a couple of Wheatear.

Wildlife News: The second Vagrant Emperor for the recording area ranging over Warren Point early afternoon was the undoubted highlight, small numbers of Red Admiral and Large White heading west and several Silver Y and Rush Veneer other evidence of insect migration.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Saturday 7th October

Seawatching early morning was productive with two Balearic Shearwater, 140+ Gannet, 138 Common Scoter, three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Great and an Arctic Skua south, with two Great Northern Diver on the sea, an immature Velvet Scoter that arrived from the south and a Merlin crossing the bay; the latter the first for the year.

Elsewhere a Little Stint remained with 149 Dunlin in the Bight with other counts in the estuary including 480 Wigeon, 218 Teal, 130 Redshank, 29 Grey Plover, 11 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 11 Mediterranean Gull, 10 Knot, five Sanderling, a Pintail, the Slavonian Grebe and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. The bushes remained quiet but 36 Swallow passed overhead.

Pale-bellied Brent Geese - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A Harbour Porpoise was offshore, a Weasel was by the Main Pond and insects included late Emperor and Golden-ringed Dragonfly, a dozen Red Admiral and a Comma.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Friday 6th October

A clear morning meant the vismig elsewhere passed too high to be recorded at the Warren but 72 Skylark were large and audible enough to be heard at sea level with 26 Meadow Pipit, five Siskin and three Mistle Thrush also overhead. Counts from the estuary included 795 Wigeon, 378 Curlew, 216 Redshank, 193 Dunlin, 29 Grey Plover, eight Mediterranean Gull, four Knot, three Greenshank, three Little Stint and a Ruff, only the second sighting of the year.

Grey Wagtail - Dave Jewell

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Thursday 5th October

Counts from the estuary included 670 Wigeon, 97 Teal, 70 Redshank, 10 Mediterranean Gull, three Sandwich Tern, a Greenshank and a Kingfisher. Elsewhere the bushes were quiet with six Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest and three Siskin and three Swallow were overhead.

Wildlife News: Numerous butterflies species on show once the early weather cleared with Small Copper, Small & Large White, Comma, Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Red Admiral, with at least 20 of the latter with individuals on almost every ivy bush.

Common Carder bumblebees are still out in good number with a few Buff-tailed also still foraging. There were at least five Migrant Hawker hunting around the wooded edges, and double figures of Common Darter. Adding to the mix was a Silver Y and finally a late sand wasp Ammophila sabulosa.

 Common Darter - Alan Keatley

Ammophila sabulosa - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Tuesday 3rd October

The first two Golden Plover of the year were present over the high tide along with a Little Stint and a juvenile Great-crested Grebe.

Wildlife News: A late Emperor was around the Main Pond.

Emperor Dragonfly - Dave Smallshire

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Sunday 1st October

The Bonaparte's Gull was in the estuary early afternoon, feeding in the main channel on the rising tide. Also from the hide 475 Wigeon, 172 Great Black-backed Gull, 116 Dark-bellied and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 72 Dunlin, 33 Bar-tailed Godwit, 28 Grey Plover, 20 Knot, eight Mediterranean Gull, five Greenshank and a Little Stint.

Elsewhere two Balearic Shearwater and 527 Gannet flew south in the first hour of light; 155 Meadow Pipit and a Yellow Wagtail were overhead; 10 Blackcap, six Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, three Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail were on site; with 180 Goldfinch feeding on Evening Primrose in Greenland Lake and 155 Linnet in the Bight.

Wildlife News: Narrow-leaved Ragwort was discovered on Warren Point, only the 3rd Devon record of this increasing species.    

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Saturday 30th Septermber

A Firecrest near the Railway Station was the first record of the year with 14 Chiffchaff, eight Blackcap, three Wheatear and three Goldcrest the only other grounded migrants. Overhead there was a strong Linnet passage with 200+ heading west with 16 Meadow Pipit, 11 Swallow and a Grey Wagtail.

In the estuary there were 825 Wigeon, 407 Curlew, 87 Dunlin, 57 Dark-bellied and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 28 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Knot, seven Mediterranean Gull,  a Curlew Sandpiper and the Slavonian Grebe. Offshore three Balearic Shearwater flew south with 20 Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Skua.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Friday 29th September

Two Ruff in the Bight were the first of the year, other waders  included a Curlew Sandpiper, a couple of Little Stint, 11 Knot and six Greenshank. Also in the estuary 177 Great Black-backed Gull, 66 Dark-bellied and 19 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, six Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere the tailless Yellow Wagtail remains on the Golf Course, seven Goldcrest and three Wheatear were on site and 185 Goldfinch and 70 Linnet were feeding in Greenland Lake.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Thursday 28th September

Wildfowl numbers continue to highlight the arrival of autumn with 512 Wigeon, 121 Teal, 89 Dark-bellied and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese in the estuary. Wader counts included 461 Curlew, 354 Redshank, 119 Dunlin, 59 Ringed Plover, 14 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank, four Little Stint, three Grey Plover, two Sanderling and a Whimbrel. Also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, seven Sandwich Tern, 206 Great Black-backed and three Mediterranean Gull.  
Elsewhere eight Wheatear were on site with five Goldcrest and an increase up to 180 Goldfinch. Overhead single Grey and Yellow Wagtail, three Siskin and just two Swallow.  

 Little Stint - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Butterflies included a southern movement of Red Admiral during the day with an increasingly scarce Small Tortoiseshell the pick of the other species. Ivy Bee can now be seen foraging on an flowering Ivy on site.

Ivy Bee - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Wednesday 27th September

Four Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper, all juveniles, were present over the high tide with 140 Dunlin, 61 Ringed Plover, five Knot and five Sanderling. Also estuary 11 Dark-bellied and nine Pale-bellied Brent Geese in the Bight with 566 Wigeon and 124 Teal in Shutterton Creek.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Tuesday 26th September

There were three juvenile Little Stint present over the morning tide with 149 Dunlin, 61 Ringed Plover and three Sanderling. Also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, 11 Brent Geese and just two Sandwich Tern. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was off Langstone Rock in the morning, a Great Northern Diver was offshore and overhead there were 45 Meadow Pipit, four Grey Wagtail and a Siskin.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Monday 25th September

A Little Stint was present in the Bight over high tide with 139 Dunlin, 83 Ringed Plover and two Sanderling.  Counts from the estuary included 346 Wigeon, 295 Curlew, 246 Redshank, 69 Teal, 19 Knot, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, nine Mediterranean Gull, five Pintail, five Greenshank, four Brent Geese and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere an Arctic Skua was offshore and migrants included the Yellow Wagtail and three Wheatear.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sunday 24th September

A real autumnal feel to proceedings with wader passage especially evident. during the day several small flocks of Ringed Plover and Dunlin flew south with a single Knot and a flock of 33 Redshank also noted. Over the high tide at least one Curlew Sandpiper dropped in briefly into the Bight with 181 Dunlin, 83 Ringed Plover, 19 Knot, four Sanderling and a Common Sandpiper. Also in the estuary 484 Wigeon, 214 Redshank, 19 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, eight Sandwich and five Common Tern, a Pintail, two Kingfisher and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere six Pintail flew south and the first Redpoll of the autumn was overhead with two Siskin, three Grey Wagtail and a continuing trickle of Meadow Pipit. Two Yellow Wagtail were on the Golf Course and the bushes held 13 Chiffchaff, seven Blackcap and three GoldcrestOffshore an Arctic Skua and a Red-throated Diver. 

Wildlife News: A Common Seal was on Bull Hill.