Friday, 27 May 2022

Friday 27th May

Aside from a couple of Gannet offshore and a dozen Swallow overhead it was a day to enjoy breeding species with several family groups of Starling and Stonechat across the site.

Wildlife News: Unlike the birds it was a day of unexpected visitors. First to appear was a Grey Squirrel running around the Go-cart track, luckily it was closed. 

Grey Squirrel - Alan Keatley

Second up was a Greater Bulb Fly Merodon equestris, also near the go-carts, and like the squirrel a visitor from the 'mainland', the first for at least five years.

Great Bulb Fly - Alan Keatley

The last unexpected visitor was a male Red-veined Darter, which came in off the sea near to the exposed geotubes, landed on top of the Marram for a minute and then few inland. More expected new sightings for the year included a Large Pied Hoverfly Volucella pelluscens, Emperor Dragonfly and Silvery Leafcutter Megachile leachella.

Large Pied Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Thursday 26th May

The second Cuckoo of the year was enjoying the abundance of Brown-tail moth caterpillars on Warren Point. This may well be the first autumn migrant, the BTO tracking study has the earliest UK departure date as 3rd June.

Elsewhere 30 Ringed Plover, 18 Dunlin and a Sanderling were in the Bight with three Sandwich Tern offshore and 30 Swallow and a Swift overhead.

Little Grebe - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: A Bordered Straw was nectaring in Greenland Lake with numbers of both Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly on the wing.

Bordered Straw - Dave Jewell

Wasp Beetle - Dave Jewell

Reticulate Blood Bee Sphecodes reticulatus - Alan Keatley

Alder Sawfly Eriocampa ovata - Alan Keatley

Monday, 23 May 2022

Monday 23rd May

Two notable reports today both from observers offsite, during the morning 17 Red Kite flew west over the Recording Area and caravan parks, including a flock of 13 having presumably kettled further east. Early afternoon the first Great White Egret of the year flew along Exmouth beach and into the estuary and Recording Area.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Sunday 22nd May

Counts from the estuary and beach included 145 Oystercatcher, 28 Curlew, 24 Sanderling, 17 Whimbrel, 15 Shelduck, nine Ringed Plover, six Turnstone, five Dunlin and single Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-headed Gull.

Elsewhere three Great Northern Diver, six Sandwich Tern and four Common Scoter were offshore, late migrants included three Wheatear on Warren Point and a singing Willow Warbler in Dead Dolphin Wood with a mobile flock of 31 Long-tailed Tit showing a good breeding season locally. 

Wildlife News: The highlight was the first site record of the day flying moth Mother Shipton in the Back Meadow, with other species seen during the day including Cinnabar, Clouded Border, Common Carpet, Common Marble, Garden Grass-veneer, Straw Dot, Triple-striped Piercer and Yellow Shell.

The fine weather saw the first 10 butterfly species day of 2022; three Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Green-veined and Small White, Orange-tipSmall Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Speckled Wood and three Meadow Brown.

Also on the wing the Warren's first Hairy Yellow-faced Bee Hylaeus hyalinatus, Blue-tailed and Azure
DamselflyGossamer Hoverfly Baccha elongataCommon Red-legged Robberfly Dioctria rufipes and Small Semaphore Fly Rivellia syngenesiae.

Small Semaphore Fly - Kevin Rylands

The first Badger for at least five years has been active in the Skipper Meadow, three Common Shrew were in the Education area and a Sand Lizard was along the Dune Ridge.

Red-headed Cardinal Beetle - Kevin Rylands

Yellow Rattle - Kevin Rylands

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Saturday 21st May

Most waders seem to have passed through but Sanderling are traditionally late and 64 were on the beach with two Turnstone. In the estuary counts included 163 Oystercatcher, 13 Shelduck, 10 Whimbrel, two Ringed Plover and single Mediterranean Gull, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit and Fulmar.

Elsewhere six Great Northern Diver were offshore with nine Sandwich Tern and six Manx Shearwater, two Wheatear were on site, 12 Swallow and two Swift flew threw and another brood of at least seven Mallard duckling will try to avoid the Grey Heron on the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: The first Painted Lady of the year was on the Golf Course along with workers of both Heath and Early Bumblebee. Also new for the year the first Great Green Bush-cricket and Long-winged Conehead nymphs. The garden escape Love-in-a-Mist Nigella damascena was found on the Golf Course, a new species for the Recording Area as was the soldier beetle Rhagonycha lignosa.

Some more images from Thursday night.

Great Prominent - Kevin Rylands

Pebble Hooktip - Kevin Rylands

Marbled Minor agg - Kevin Rylands

Iron Prominent - Kevin Rylands

Friday, 20 May 2022

Friday 20th May

Wildlife News: Light trapping overnight saw a total of 65 moth species recorded for National Moth Night with several Cockchafer and a Shore Sexton Beetle Necrodes littoralis also to the bulb.

Alder Kitten - Luke Harman

Maiden's Blush - Kevin Rylands

Two new species for the Recording Area were noted, Alder Kitten and Mottled Pug, plus the first confirmed records of Maiden's Blush. Other highlights included four Portland Ribbon Wave, two Great Prominent, Cream-spot Tiger, Iron and Pebble Prominent, Pale Tussock, Yellow Belle, Gold Spot and the migrants Bordered Straw, Rush Veneer, Rusty-dot Pearl and Diamond-back Moth

Great Prominent - Luke Harman

Portland Ribbon Wave - Luke Harman

Gold Spot - Luke Harman

Peach Blossom - Luke Harman

Bordered Straw - Luke Harman

Away from the traps, moths were particularly active nectaring around the flowering Tree Lupin and Sycamore. The non natives providing essential nutrients at a quiet time of year before many native species flower.

Angle Shades - Kevin Rylands

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Thursday 19th May

There were no small waders present in the estuary over the high tides, but 27 Sanderling and seven Whimbrel were on the beach with 13 Curlew in the Bight. On site the Canada Goose pair from the Main Pond still have their three goslings and at least two pairs of Stonechat are feeding well grown fledged young. A single Bar-tailed Godwit and a flock of Sanderling were heard overhead at night and a Tawny Owl was calling from Dead Dolphin Wood.

Wildlife News: The first Meadow Brown of the year was on the wing in Greenland Lake with other new emergences including Red Mason Bee Osmia bicornisStripe-faced Hoverfly Eristalis nemorum, Bumblebee Blacklet Cheilosia illustrata and Stripe-legged Robberfly Dioctria baumhaueri.

Small Spotty-eyed Dronefly Eristalinus sepulchralis - Alan Keatley

Empis stercoria - Alan Keatley

Red Mason Bee - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Wednesday 18th May

The first summer Bonaparte's Gull was at Cockle Sands, Exmouth early morning but flew into the Recording Area mid morning before circling over Eastdon with the Black-headed Gull flock and heading back towards Cockle Sands. The seventh site record but the first since the regular returning adult was last seen in Feb 2018. 

Also in the estuary 12 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, nine Sanderling, five Little Egret, two Dunlin and single Bar-tailed Godwit and Greenshank.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Tuesday 17th May

Two highlights were seen distantly offsite at Mudbank, Exmouth; a first summer Bonaparte's Gull seen from Warren Point and two Goosander seen from Cockwood Steps. The Warren however wasn't without its own rewards with two Hobby, one of which sat on a fence along the Dune Ridge, a very rare grounded record for site, whilst offshore there was another Puffin with a handful of Guillemot and Razorbill, 30 Gannet, 23 Common Scoter, seven Manx Shearwater and an Arctic Skua

Hobby - Lee Collins

Counts from the estuary included 36 Turnstone, 33 Sanderling, 27 Whimbrel, 12 Sandwich Tern, three first summer Mediterranean Gull, three Dunlin, two Ringed and a Little Ringed Plover. Elsewhere 22 Swallow and a Swift flew through with two Wheatear and a smart summer plumaged Scandinavian Rock Pipit the only grounded migrants.

Whitethroat - Dave Jewell

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Sunday 15th May

Seawatching from first light was rewarding following the first substantial rain for a while; with at least two Balearic Shearwater offshore stopping to feed occasionally with 56 Manx Shearwater. Also passing a dark phase spooned Pomarine Skua, a pale phase Arctic Skua and two distant pale phase skua sp, that were likely also Pomarine; 83 Common Scoter, nine Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver. A good auk passage included a single Puffin with 360+ auk sp, those close enough to identify were roughly 2:1 Guillemot : Razorbill.

Sanderling - Lee Collins

Counts from the estuary had dropped overnight, with 28 Dunlin, 27 Sanderling, 15 Turnstone, 12 Whimbrel, three Ringed and a Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose.

Whimbrel - Dave Jewell

Elsewhere a Roseate Tern was feeding off John's Watch with four Sandwich and a Common Tern early morning, a welcome sight after a blank spring in 2021, a first summer Mediterranean Gull was also present. No obvious grounded migrants but single Swift and Sand Martin flew through with 16 Swallow and three House Martin. A Red Kite flew across the estuary late morning but just north of the Recording Area.

Wildlife News: Despite the largely overcast conditions a few insects were on the wing including the first Red Admiral for several weeks. Some diurnal mothing recorded the nationally rare Alexanders Conch Aethes deaurana for a second year, Common Tubic Alabonia geoffrella, Yellow Shell and a Common Swift

Aethes deaurana - Kevin Rylands

Common Tubic - Alan Keatley

Common Swift - Kevin Rylands

Three sawfly species were also recorded Macrophya annulata, Tenthredo arculata and Turnip Sawfly Athalia rosae

Macrophya annulata - Alan Keatley

Tenthredo arculata - Alan Keatley

Turnip Sawfly - Kevin Rylands