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.

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.

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.