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.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Saturday 23rd September

The moulting adult Bonaparte's Gull put in another brief appearance, flying south off the seawall early morning. Also offshore a Great Skua, 65 Common Scoter and two Red-throated Diver. In the estuary counts included 342 Oystercatcher, 227 Dunlin, 134 Redshank, 115 Great Black-backed Gull, 72 Sandwich and four Common Tern, 38 Ringed Plover, 22 Grey Plover, 12 Mediterranean Gull, eight Knot, seven Greenshank and a Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Elsewhere migrants were thin on the ground with three Goldcrest, nine Chiffchaff and five Blackcap in the bushes and the tailless Yellow Wagtail still around the Bight.

Sandwich Tern (Dutch ringed) - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A single Painted Lady and a dozen Red Admiral were the obvious migrants with Green-veined and Small White, Small Copper, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood also on the wing.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Thursday 21st September

Wildfowl are starting to build up in numbers with the first Brent Geese of the autumn today with 15 Dark-bellied in the morning and two Pale-bellied on the evening tide. In the saltmarsh were 490 Wigeon and 94 Teal although these were flushed by a boast doing a circuit from Eels Dock.  Wader counts included 140 Dunlin, 35 Ringed Plover, 26 Grey Plover, 22 Knot, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Greenshank and a Snipe although numbers dropped in the evening. Elsewhere 11 Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe were in the estuary and when the early morning rain moved through the offshore visibility improved to reveal four lingering Arctic Skua and a Black Tern.

 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday 17th September

Two Mistle Thrush briefly in Dead Dolphin Wood were the pick of the migrants, and the first of the year, with two Kestrel on Warren Point, four Wheatear, a Goldcrest, a Willow Warbler and a tailless Yellow Wagtail also on site. Overhead a second Yellow Wagtail, 30 Swallow and 20 Meadow Pipit.

Elsewhere the summer plumaged Red-throated Diver remains offshore and counts from the estuary included 30 Sandwich and two Common Tern, 30 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, five Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, two Grey Plover, a Whimbrel and the Slavonian Grebe. 

 Kestrel ( juvenile male) - Alan Keatley

Cirl Bunting (juvenile male) - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The population of Sand Lizard now confined to Warren Point, seemed to be easy pickings for the two Kestrel today.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Saturday 16th September

The northerly winds saw an arrival of wildfowl with 112 Teal, 41 Wigeon and the first Shoveler of the autumn, also in the estuary 1351 Oystercatcher, a good count of 414 Redshank, 333 Curlew, 71 Dunlin, 64 Ringed Plover, 19 Knot, seven Greenshank, a Snipe and the Slavonian Grebe. Offshore there were 135 Common Scoter, 35 Sandwich and an Arctic Tern.

Overhead a good easterly passage of hirundines included 350 Swallow, 300 House and 10 Sand Martin, with the first two Skylark of the autumn,  just 18 Meadow Pipit and three Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere the first two Greylag Geese of the year were with Canada Geese, a Yellow Wagtail was on the Golf Course with 17 Chiffchaff, three Wheatear, two Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler also on site.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Friday 15th September

The Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with 240 Redshank and two Greenshank. Elsewhere a new Little Stint was with Dunlin in the Bight.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Thursday 14th September

Back to standard fayre today with only small flock of small waders in the Bight on a low high tide, counts included 27 Dunlin, 23 Ringed Plover, seven Bar-tailed Godwit, two Knot and a Sanderling. Offshore 120 Gannet, 92 Sandwich and 20 Common Tern, a Red-throated Diver and a Great Skua.

Wildlife sightings: A pod of c6 Bottle-nosed Dolphin and a Grey Seal were offshore. A dozen Red Admiral were around brambles feeding on the blackberries, with other butterflies on the wing including a few Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Small White, Peacock and a couple of Common Blue. Worryingly still no second generation Wall, hopefully the works on the Dune Ridge haven't done too much damage to the site's declining population.  Around the Main Pond five Common Darter, two Southern Hawker and a Emperor.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wednesday 13th September

An evening seawatch was looking uneventful with just six Common Scoter and five Kittiwake on the sea but just after 7pm a single Storm Petrel flew south and in the next 45 minutes at least 270 Kittiwake, four Common, an Arctic and Black Tern, a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver, a second Storm Petrel and best of all a single Leach's Petrel flew south.

Off Cockwood earlier the Slavonian Grebe was still present with 240 Redshank, eight Bar and three Black-tailed Godwit, a Knot, a Greenshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Wildlife News: A single Porpoise was off the seawall.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Tuesday 12th September

The fourth site record of Red-rumped Swallow flew east over the Bight at 9.10am, the first since May 2012 and the first autumn record. Also moving through 12 Swallow, 40 House and a Sand Martin, two Yellow and a Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere the Little Stint remains in the estuary with 204 Redshank, 128 Dunlin, 36 Sandwich, two Common and a Black Tern.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Monday 11th September

The strong winds were a bit too westerly to produce birds this far up Lyme Bay but the first hour of daylight saw 200 Gannet, a couple of Manx Shearwater, a Great Skua and a single Storm Petrel before things went quiet. Later in the day 170+ Redshank, 37 Mute Swan, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit and the Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood and 30+ Sandwich and a Common Tern were offshore. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sunday 10th September

A Grey Phalarope around the Bight most of the morning was the highlight with other waders including the Little Stint, 137 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, six Sanderling, five Common Sandpiper, three Knot and a Whimbrel. Tern numbers increased with a mix of birds in the estuary and passing south offshore, counts included 75 Sandwich, 21 Common, eight Black and two Arctic Tern; also offshore 50+ Kittiwake, single Great and Arctic Skua.

Elsewhere 18 Mediterranean Gull was a good count, the Bonaparte's Gull was reported and overhead there were 20+ Meadow Pipit, four Grey and three Yellow Wagtail.


Grey Phalarope - both Ian Teague

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Saturday 9th September

The Bonaparte's Gull was on groyne seven early evening after no sign earlier in the day. Also still present on site the Little Stint but in a smaller flock of 128 Ringed Plover and 93 Dunlin. Also in the estuary three Black, an Arctic, 42 Sandwich and 10 Common Tern, nine Mediterranean Gull, the Slavonian Grebe and two Osprey. Wader counts included 352 Redshank, 294 Curlew, eight Common Sandpiper, six Greenshank, six Bar and three Black-tailed Godwit, three Knot and two Whimbrel.

Elsewhere a Spotted Flycatcher was in Dead Dolphin Wood, three Sedge Warbler were around the site with 30 Chiffchaff, 18 Blackcap, seven Whitethroat, three Wheatear, three Willow, a Reed and a Garden Warbler. Overhead 45 House and two Sand Martin, four Grey and a Yellow Wagtail, a Swift and a Barnacle Goose.

 Black & Sandwich Tern - Simon Thurgood

 Little Stint, Dunlin & Ringed Plover - Simon Thurgood

Arctic and Sandwich Tern - Simon Thurgood

Friday, 8 September 2017

Friday 8th September

A moulting adult Bonaparte's Gull was reported around groyne 1 this morning, presumably the regular bird returning for a sixth winter, but there was no sign late afternoon. From the hide the Little Stint remained in the Bight with wader counts including 335 Redshank, 302 Dunlin, 143 Ringed Plover, nine Knot and two Whimbrel. Also in the estuary three Black Tern, eight Mediterranean and a Yellow-legged Gull, 30 Teal, 15 Wigeon and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Lesser Whitethroat, only the second of the year, was near the Dune Pond.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Thursday 7th September

Six Black Tern were in the estuary early morning with 17 Sandwich and two Common Tern, whilst the Little Stint remained in the Bight. Wader counts included 236 Dunlin, 136 Ringed Plover, 148 Redshank, 16 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, six Knot, five Greenshank, two Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel. Other records included the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood, three Wheatear and a Whitethroat were on site and two Grey Wagtail and a Sand Martin flew through.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Wednesday 6th September

The Wryneck was seen briefly but remained very elusive, with five Wheatear, three Whitethroat and two White Wagtail around Greenland Lake. Overhead 105 House Martin flew east in front of a squall with 10 Meadow Pipit and three Grey Wagtail also on the move, four Swift however lingered over the site most of the day.

Over high tide the Little Stint was around the Bight with 209 Dunlin, 118 Ringed Plover and 10 Sanderling with 334 Curlew, 124 Redshank, five Knot, four Greenshank and two Whimbrel on the Railway Saltmarsh. Also in the estuary at least five Black Tern, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, five Mediterranean Gull, 29 Teal and the Slavonian Grebe.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Tuesday 5th September

The first Little Stint of the year was present this morning with 268 Dunlin, 166 Ringed Plover, 17 Grey Plover, 12 Sanderling, four Knot and four Greenshank.  A Wryneck around Wryneck Plain and the Dune Ridge late afternoon was the highlight, with a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher in the estuary.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Monday 4th September

A Green Sandpiper on flooded areas in the Buffer Zone early morning was the highlight with counts of 306 Dunlin and 16 Grey Plover also showing an overnight wader arrival. Other counts included 1176 Oystercatcher, 172 Redshank, 167 Ringed Plover, nine Greenshank, three Whimbrel, two Common Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit. Other records included a Balearic Shearwater offshore, two Swift and single Grey and Yellow Wagtail overhead with nine Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sunday 3rd September

An unpleasant autumn day with almost constant rain until late afternoon, but the weather did bring some good seawatching. Totals during the day include three Balearic Shearwater, two Pomarine and at least nine Arctic Skua, two Black Tern and a Storm Petrel. In the estuary at least six first winter Yellow-legged Gull arrived alongside 221 Great Black-backed Gull; also present 22 Common Tern, a Slavonian Grebe and 14 Wigeon. Wader counts included 134 Ringed Plover, 85 Dunlin, eight Sanderling, five Greenshank, three Knot and two Whimbrel.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Saturday 2nd September

Despite the warm and sunny conditions autumn continues to arrive with the first Osprey in the estuary this morning and two juvenile Curlew Sandpiper in the Bight this evening. Also arriving 33 Teal with wader counts of 536 Curlew, 340 Redshank, 154 Ringed Plover, 55 Dunlin, 20 Sanderling, 15 Bar and nine Black-tailed Godwit, nine Knot and seven Greenshank.

Elsewhere two Water Rail were on the Main Pond, with passerine migrants including two Goldcrest, 20 Chiffchaff, 10 Blackcap, nine Whitethroat, four Willow and single Sedge and Reed Warbler.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Friday 1st September

The Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood with seven Bar-tailed Godwit, five Knot, three Greenshank and two Whimbrel.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Wednesday 30th August

A look from Cockwood Steps this evening revealed the Slavonian Grebe along with four Greenshank, two Whimbrel, two Knot and a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit in with Redshank, Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Monday 28th August

On another blazing hot day, selected counts during the late morning high tide were c.510 Black-headed Gull, 437 Curlew, 287 Redshank, 131 Dunlin, 113 Ringed Plover, 55 Great Black-backed Gull, 48 Sandwich Tern, 30 Cormorant, 20 Mute Swan, 14 Common Tern, nine Bar-tailed Godwit, nine Sanderling, seven Little Egret, four Greenshank, three Knot, three Mediterranean Gull, two Grey Heron, two Wigeon (our first of the autumn), and single Teal, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit and a Stock Dove on the saltmarsh.  The Irish-ringed juv Little Tern was again present.  

A Black-headed Gull ringed near Wokingham, Berkshire in 2013 was at Dawlish Warren again today; seems to be regular with previous appearances in 2013 and annually since 2015. . 

The bushes, ponds and open areas were hard work, producing 15 Chiffchaff, 11 Whitethroat, six Blackcap, six Stonechat, three Reed Warbler, three Wheatear, two Greenfinch, two Cirl Bunting, single Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.  The total of 70 Goldfinch was the highest so far on site this year. 

Lighter passage overhead totaled 25+ Swallow, five Grey Wagtail, four Meadow Pipit, three Yellow Wagtail, two Rook and single Sand Martin, House Martin, Tree Pipit and a Buzzard.  Nothing of note at sea again today.

Wildlife News: three Red Admiral and a scattering of Common Darter, Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Emperor dragonflies.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sunday 27th August

The hot, calm and sunny weather drew the tourists to the sea and beaches in droves with some commenting on the day as the busiest in many years.  A combination of a high tide, season and seemingly profusions of marine and aerial food, the site was also packed with birds and played host to 1135+ Black-headed Gull, by far the highest count here ever in Aug; 1096 Oystercatcher, 381 Curlew, 235 Canada Goose departed the estuary roost early morning; 226 Redshank, 203 Dunlin, 120 Ringed Plover, 102 Sandwich Tern, 46 Great Black-backed Gull, 34 Turnstone, 31 Common Tern, 26 Cormorant, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12+ Mediterranean Gull, eight Little Egret, six Sanderling, six  Greenshank, four Black-tailed Godwit, three Grey Heron, three juv Little Ringed Plover, three Whimbrel, a Common Snipe flew over and a juv Little Tern.

The Little Tern sported a green Darvic ring, early indications are that it came from a colony in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, interestingly from where Dawlish Warren has hosted birds before. 

Clouds of gulls anting were joined by 85+ Swallow and seven Swift.  Overhead passage included c.10 Yellow Wagtail, four Sand Martin, three Tree Pipit, two Meadow Pipit, and single Grey Wagtail and Chaffinch.

Quieter than yesterday in the bushes, counts were 11 Chiffchaff, nine Whitethroat, four Blackcap and singles of Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Great Spotted Woodpecker.  In open areas, 25 Goldfinch, six Greenfinch and four Wheatear.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Saturday 26th August

A beautiful day; on the mid-morning high tide only 926 Oystercatcher, 416 Curlew, 201 Dunlin, 147 Canada Goose flew west in flocks to farmland from their overnight roost on the estuary; 135+ Redshank, 130 Ringed Plover, 26 Mute Swan, 24 Cormorant, some Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Little Egret, seven Whimbrel, three Greenshank, three Sanderling, two juv Knot, two Grey Heron, the resident Slavonian Grebe, a Teal and a Common Snipe flew in off and into the saltmarsh.  A juv Peregrine stooped into small waders flocks, unsuccessfully.  Also seen, two Kingfisher


Sanderling (Alan Keatley)

Of the c.250 Black-headed Gull, one with a white Darvic 'T7VE' was ringed in Poland as a pullus in 2012; it was seen at Dawlish Warren from Jun to Sep 2014, in Aug 2016 and now again in Aug 2017.  Of the 112 Sandwich Tern, some familiar ringed individuals.  Yellow 'T87', a pullus ringed in Holland in 2015 was regular here that autumn, then at Salcombe in Sep 2015 and then in Namibia in Nov 2016.  Remarkably, it was back here at Dawlish Warren in Jun and Aug 2017, but during the intervening period was twice seen in Texel, Holland; gosh!  Another interesting bird, red 'KAH' was ringed in mid west Wales in 2013 and since has been recorded annually (except 2014)  here at Dawlish Warren in autumn, so far this August it has stayed for 3 weeks.


ringed Sandwich Tern (Lee Collins)


Also in the estuary 14 Common Tern, nine Mediterranean Gull (mixed ages). nine Common Gull and highlights were single juv Yellow-legged Gull, Little Tern and a juv Roseate Tern flew out to sea.


juv Mediterranean Gull (Dave Jewell)

Among small gull flocks anting, c.40 Swallow, four Swift and a House Martin; at higher elevation two Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard soared around. A flock of four Raven flew north, only the fourth record of the year. Passage overhead, seven Yellow Wagtail, two Grey Wagtail and two Meadow Pipit.
A thorough search of the bushes, dunes and ponds revealed 16 Chiffchaff, six Blackcap, five Whitethroat, three Wheatear, three Reed Warbler in the reedbeds, two Sedge Warbler on Warren Point, two Willow Warbler and a again this year's max of nine Stonechat.  Counts of nine Long-tailed Tit, eight Blue Tit and five Great Tit were unremarkable.   Finch flocks in the Buffer Zone and Greenland Lake were made up of 36 Goldfinch and a similar number of Linnet

Wildlife news: a few Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Common Darter and an Emperor were widely distributed today. A Jersey Tiger was in the woods.  

Friday, 25 August 2017

Friday 25th August

A cold and foggy morning hampered birding and little was seen, nine Mediterranean Gull noted.  The highlight was a Sandwich Tern in front of the hide that was ringed at Lady's Island, Co. Wexford in 1993, so 24 years old ! (the British record is 30 years, 9 months old; BTO). It was also seen here in Aug last year.

By contract, a warm, humid and sunny evening was more favourable and on the rising tide at dusk selected counts were 1495 Oystercatcher, 279 Redshank, 27 Mute Swan, 22 Great Black-backed Gull, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, five Greenshank, two Knot, two Sanderling, and along the railway embankment, a Common Sandpiper

Feeding along the leeward side of the dune ridge, 23 Swallow, two Swift, a Sand Martin,  A party of 12 House Martin foraged over the saltmarsh corner at dusk.  A finch fell prey of a Sparrowhawk that buzzed a flock in Greenland Lake that contained 25+ Goldfinch, many Linnet and a Greenfinch.  A Wheatear was also seen.  

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Wednesday 23rd August

A quick check around the bushes this morning produced seven Blackcap, six Whitethroat, five Chiffchaff, two Willow Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher.  A Coal Tit, only the third record of the year, accompanied a tit flock comprising of nine Blue Tit, seven Great Tit and six Long-tailed Tit.  Other residents noted were some Stonechat, four Bullfinch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker

Overhead, 14 Swallow, four Swift, two Yellow Wagtail and a Meadow Pipit.  

A White Stork that drifted over east in the afternoon was only the third record for the site.  Presumably this was the same bird that had been touring north Devon and latterly south Devon since 15 August.  On Thursday 24th, it was seen again, drifting north over Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham at c.10:00.  Though its origins are unknown, it appeared to be unringed.  Note, a green-ringed White Stork of unknown original on Portland, Dorset on 25 & 26th August is a different bird, distinguished by its clearly different wing moult pattern.  

Monday, 21 August 2017

Monday 21st August

A Lesser Whitethroat north end of the Back Meadow was the first record of the year.  No other  news was received today..

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunday 20th August

Sea defence works along on the dune ridge continue to restrict access to the hide and Warren Point. The golf course is not a public right of way. Please follow signs and access guidance from staff. No works today so access was less restricted.

The juv White-winged Black Tern was off Shelly Beach and Cockle Sands, Exmouth this morning, watched from Warren Point. It didn't venture within the recording area, but some of the assembled throng did with 553 Black-headed Gull feeding briefly along the main Exe channel.

Peak counts on the ebbing morning tide and evening high tide were 1107 Oystercatcher, 413 Curlew, 269 Redshank, 209 Dunlin, 151 Ringed Plover, 50+ Sandwich Tern, 34 Great Black-backed Gull, 30+ Common Tern; 27 Mute Swan, 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Cormorant, 16 (2 summer-plumage) Grey Plover, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Sanderling, 12 Turnstone, 10 Mediterranean Gull (3 juv, 2 fs, ss, 4 adult), six Whimbrel, five Greenshank, three juv Shelduck, three Grey Heron and three Little Egret.

A Whimbrel colour-ringed in mid-west Wales in 2015 spent a few weeks in both springs of 2016 and 2017 on the lower Exe Estuary, and then was seen here as a returning bird for the first time today.

Black-tailed Godwit (Lee Collins)






















Calm conditions this morning before the remnants of 'Hurricane Gert' produced nothing of note, then as the SSW strengthen and the rain arrived, two Manx Shearwater and single Balearic ShearwaterStorm Petrel and the Great Northern Diver again offshore.

Overhead, post-roost feeding low of the estuary and later moving ahead of the rain band, 50 Swallow, 15 House Martin, six Swift, a Sand Martin, a Grey Wagtail and a Yellow Wagtail.  Largely abandoned compared to yesterday, the bushes supported only low single-figures of the regular warblers; a Sedge Warbler and a Wheatear were on the golf course.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Saturday 19th August

Sea defence works along on the dune ridge continue to restrict access to the hide and Warren Point. The golf course is not a public right of way. Please follow signs and access guidance from staff.  No works today so access was less restricted. 


A morning spent scouring the bushes produced 15 Blackcap, 13 Chiffchaff, 12 Whitethroat, four Willow Warbler, three Reed Warbler, and single Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and a Sparrowhawk.  Finch flocks assembled between Greenland Lake and The Bight comprised of 55+ Linnet, 29 Goldfinch  and six Greenfinch, the most since late-March.  Also five Wheatear and four Skylark in the dunes and open areas.

Sedge Warbler (Alan Keatley)

During the mid-evening high tide, 1032 Oystercatcher, 331 Curlew, 201 Redshank, 182 Dunlin, 119 Ringed Plover, 37 Great Black-backed Gull, 19 Mute Swan, 13 juv Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, nine Mediterranean Gull, eight Little Egret, five Sanderling, four Greenshank, three Grey Heron, two Whimbrel, a Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper and on the railway saltmarsh, a Stock Dove.

Close in front of the hide, examination of  ‘wasp’, Darvic and metal rings on Oystercatchers revealed at least four ringed here in 1989 and one in 1990; ‘T24’ ringed in Aberdeenshire has returned for its fourth consecutive winter and ‘JA’, ringed in Iceland in spring 2016, also spent last winter here. 


Oystercatchers with rings (Lee Collins)

The White-winged Black Tern was again in the estuary this evening, feeding with other terns and gulls over Cockle Sands, Exmouth and sometimes hawking high over the lower estuary, but not seen inside the recording area today, nor was an Arctic Tern. On site, 33 Sandwich Tern and 23 Common 
Tern.

Between occasional showers in a freshening westerly breeze, overhead passed 26 Swallow, five House Martin, three Swift, three Meadow Pipit (first of the autumn), two Sand Martin, a Rook and a Kestrel.

Highlights at sea were three Fulmar, a Manx Shearwater and again an unseasonal Great Northern Diver.


Autumn Lady's-tresses (Alan Keatley)

Wildlife News: an abundance of flowering Autumn Lady’s-tresses across Greenland Lake, three Southern Hawkera Grey Seal offshore and a Stoat