Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tuesday 28th February

Signs of Spring continue with a good count of 92 Common Gull in the estuary and small numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gull heading north overhead. Counts from the estuary included 760 Dunlin, 69 Grey Plover, 64 Knot, 43 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Sanderling and a Greenshank with 22 Great-crested Grebe and a Red-throated Diver offshore. Elsewhere the first two Pheasant on the year were sparring on the Golf Course, a Buzzard was overhead and a Cirl Bunting remains in song around the Buffer Zone.

Wildlife News: A Red Admiral was on the wing behind the Visitor Centre.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Saturday 25th February

Offshore a Long-tailed Duck, 65 Common Scoter and two Red-throated Diver flew south with auks still going through but in lesser numbers than Thursday. Elsewhere 105 Common Gull were in the estuary, a noticeable increase, there was also a large gathering of Herring Gull feeding offshore in shallows but no white wingers amongst them.

Wildlife News: Early Meadow-grass is now out in flower. It can be found in areas of short well walked turf around the Buffer Zone, Back Path and Warren Point. The pale, washed out green colour is a useful aid to identification.

Early Meadow-grass - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Thursday 23rd February

As expected from a winter storm like Doris, there was a strong auk passage. During two 30 minute counts, between 8:00 and 8:30 from sea wall and 9:50 and 10:20 from John's Watch, an average of 180 per 30 minutes passed by. Most birds were too far out to identify to species, but between 1000-1500 birds must have passed during the morning. Also offshore 65 Gannet, 25 Kittiwake, 16 Fulmar, just two Red-throated Diver and a Common Scoter.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Tuesday 21st February

The very low high tide again saw few waders with 147 Oystercatcher, 23 Ringed Plover, 19 Turnstone, 10 Dunlin, eight Knot and two Redshank, also in the estuary 53 Brent Geese and two Red-breasted Merganser.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sunday 19th February

The February WeBS count today with low count off just 212 Oystercatcher, 100 Dunlin, 62 Brent Geese, 32 Grey Plover, 27 Knot, 23 Ringed Plover and 11 Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere eight Great-crested Grebe and three Common Scoter were offshore and a Raven was overhead. The selection of WeBS count times before high tide on one of the lowest tides each month has seen a steady decline in WeBS wader totals at the Warren. Overall numbers on the estuary-wide count however are not being influenced by this choice of tide, with c3000 Dunlin reported from the north end of the estuary today.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Friday 17th February

Despite the date the warmer weather suggested Spring was already here; the reduction in wader and wildfowl numbers and the increase in birdsong supported this impression. Offshore the flat calm conditions saw an increase in diver and grebe numbers with eight Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver and 23 Great-crested Grebe. counts from the estuary included 700 Dunlin, 128 Grey Plover, 64 Knot, 25 Sanderling and 16 Red-breasted Merganser. Elsewhere a Cirl Bunting was singing from the golf course, four Snipe and two Shoveler were on the Main Pond and three Goldcrest were in the Entrance Bushes.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wednesday 15th February

The Bonaparte's Gull was again off Cockwood today with two Slavonian Grebe and a female Goldeneye with an near adult summer Mediterranean Gull also in the estuary. elsewhere a Great Northern Diver was off Warren Point, 15+ Great-crested Grebe and just four Common Scoter were offshore, a second Mediterranean Gull was off the seawall and two Shoveler and a Snipe were on the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: Two Harbour Seal were hauled out on Bull Hill

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Sunday 12th February

An adult Iceland Gull was off Langstone Rock late afternoon but no other news was received. Pictures at Devon Bird News

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Saturday 11th February

The two Slavonian Grebe and two Goldeneye were off Cockwood but no other news was received.

Wildlife News: A Common Seal was off Warren Point.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Thursday 9th February

Different day, same birds despite the change to colder weather. In the estuary the Bonaparte's Gull appeared on cue at low tide in the main channel, with the two Slavonian Grebe close by. Elsewhere the first Jackdaw of the year was overhead, a Shoveler was on the Main Pond and there was little offshore with just single Red-throated Diver, Common Scoter and Eider.

Turnstone - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wednesday 8th February

The Bonaparte's Gull remains in the estuary being seen off Warren Point mid morning before flying towards Shelly Beach, Exmouth. Elsewhere a Great Northern Diver was offshore and the two Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sunday 5th February

The Bonaparte's Gull was in Shutterton Creek this afternoon with two Slavonian Grebe but no other news was received.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Saturday 4th February

A benign morning weather-wise after the last couple of days but bird numbers offshore remain low. The site is almost deserted of Common Scoter and Great-crested Grebe at the moment with the main flocks further south, only four of each were present today; also offshore single Eider and Great Northern Diver. In the estuary the Bonaparte's Gull was still off Cockwood and counts included a site record 131 Shelduck.

Wildlife News: A Common Seal was hauled out on Warren Point this morning.

Common Seal - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Thursday 2nd February

As forecast strong gale force south/southeasterly winds throughout,  with showers for the first two hours then dry. Sea watching from sea wall for 45 minutes from dawn saw six Long-tailed Duck heading south, presumably the birds from Labrador Bay, with 30 Gannet and seven Kittiwake; a later watch at 13:00 did not produce anything. The big high tide saw large numbers of waders roosting with counts of 243 Grey Plover, 144 Knot, 31 Sanderling, 26 Turnstone but just four Bar-tailed Godwit. Also in the estuary 114 Brent Geese, 89 Shelduck, a Goldeneye and an adult Mediterranean Gull with Herbert, the Slavonian Grebe, in the Bight.