Saturday, 1 October 2016

Saturday 1st October

Totals from the morning and evening high tides were c.1910 Wigeon, the Oystercatcher roost, 374 Dunlin, 237 Curlew, 226 Redshank, 217 Teal, 173 Black-headed Gull with 19 Common Gull and two adult Mediterranean Gull; also 135 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 90 Ringed Plover, 43 Grey Plover, 36 Knot, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Turnstone, seven Pintail, five Common Tern, single figures of Sanderling, a juv Curlew Sandpiper and single late Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper. A large, though reduced flock of Linnet remained in The Bight.

At sea, a raft of 28 Common Scoter, 25+ Gannet, 6 Sandwich Tern and five auk flew south. The summer-plumaged Red-throated Diver was again offshore and a Storm Petrel was glimpsed foraging far out.

Present for its seventh day, the Wryneck showed well for two observers, perched up in a small Sycamore along Warren Neck.

Wryneck (Alan Keatley) 

The bushes and dunes also held, c.70 Goldfinch, 18 Chiffchaff, 13 Blackcap, three Goldcrest, two Wheatear, four Greenfinch and a Jay with the odd habit of calling like a Buzzard. 

Chiffchaff (Alan Keatley) 

Lighter passage overhead, with 135 Meadow Pipit, six Pied Wagtail, four Swallow, two Sand Martin and single Grey Wagtail and Chaffinch. A Kingfisher was heard on the golf course pond.

Wildlife News: a Painted Lady. Work began to remove remains of the beached Fin Whale, located just south of Langstone Rock.

Painted Lady (Alan Keatley) 

Friday 30th September

In the estuary, 4-figure counts of Oystercatcher and Wigeon, hundreds of Teal, 348 Curlew, 318 Dunlin, 229 Redshank, 81 Ringed Plover, 77 Grey Plover, 36 Knot, 31 Bar-tailed Godwit, 17 Turnstone, five Sanderling, three juv Curlew Sandpiper, two juv Little Stint and a single Golden Plover circling The Bight at dusk. On the morning tide, waterbirds scattered as a Peregrine stooped repeatedly into The Bight area, a Dunlin was caught but dropped as another Peregrine fought over the kill, later neatly plucked from the water's surface by the first bird.

The sea livened up in the early evening with 23 Sandwich Tern, single Balearic Shearwater and Common Tern.

Unusually, overhead passage picked up from late morning, as the wind strengthened, the total of 470 Meadow Pipit highest count here since Sep 2007.  Also 100+ Linnet (plus c.90 still in The Bight), 60 Swallow, 21 Skylark, 12 Pied Wagtail, five Grey Wagtail, three Chaffinch and single Greenfinch and Buzzard, mostly passed WSW. 

The Wryneck showed twice in the morning and perched up in brambles along Warren Neck, In the bushes and dunes, 20 Chiffchaff, 18 Goldfinch, 9 Blackcap. all five resident Stonechat present; two Wheatear, two Jay, a Goldcrest, a Reed Bunting and a Coal Tit on Warren Point.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Thursday 29th September

Counts from the estuary included 499 Curlew, 226 Redshank, 222 Dunlin, 98 Brent Geese, 91 Ringed Plover, 84 Knot, 26 Turnstone, two Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint. Elsewhere 1235 Herring Gull were on site; nine Sandwich Tern, three Mediterranean Gull and 55 Common Scoter were offshore, a Sand Martin flew over and 230 Linnet and a Wheatear were in the Bight.

 Peregrine - Alan Keatley
Wildlife News: The dead whale came ashore overnight to the south of Langstone Rock; a 15m Fin Whale, an impressive but sad sight.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wednesday 28th September

The Wryneck remains amongst the soon to be removed scrub along the Dune Ridge, with other migrants including three Whitethroat, a Goldcrest and the first Mistle Thrush of autumn whilst 45+ Meadow Pipit, c40 Swallow and a couple of Rook passed overhead. In the estuary wildfowl continue to increase with 1920 Wigeon, 489 Teal and 113 Brent Geese; wader counts included 1760 Oystercatcher, 208 Dunlin, 91 Ringed Plover, 56 Knot, 54 Grey Plover and 51 Bar-tailed Godwit with a Little Stint, four Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe also in the estuary. Elsewhere a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver and nine Arctic Skua were offshore, two Jay were in Dead Dolphin Wood and 239 Linnet were feeding on Glasswort in the Bight.

Wildlife News: A large badly decomposing whale, apparently a Sperm Whale, was offshore in the evening, the morning tides will presumably decide whether it is Teignbridge or East Devon Council that receive the unexpected expense of removal.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Monday 26th September

Counts from the estuary included 1874 Wigeon, 519 Dunlin, 351 Teal, 145 Ringed Plover and 62 Brent Geese with 35 Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, six Mediterranean Gull, four Curlew Sandpiper, two Greenshank, a Ruff, a Little Stint and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere migrants were limited to 24 Blackcap and 20 Chiffchaff with 147 Linnet and 59 Goldfinch around the site.

Curlew Sandpiper - Dave Jewell

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sunday 25th September

The autumn's third Wryneck was the highlight but it was mobile and elusive along the Dune Ridge. other migrants included five Goldcrest, four Wheatear and a couple of Whitethroat. In the estuary wildfowl numbers continue to increase with 1935 Wigeon, 389 Teal and 174 Dark-bellied Brent Geese with wader counts including 1510 Oystercatcher, 488 Curlew, 189 Redshank, 116 Ringed Plover, 81 Knot, 39 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Sanderling, three Greenshank and a Curlew Sandpiper. Other records included two Pintail, the Slavonian Grebe, two Jay and a Coal Tit.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Saturday 24th September

An eventful day kicked off with a 3-hour sea-watch which produced totals of 215 Gannet, 55 Common Scoter, 29 Kittiwake, six Razorbill, five Sandwich Tern, three Common Tern, and two each of Sooty Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater and Manx Shearwater; all south  A Storm Petrel flew into the bay and a Black Tern showed well offshore for a while, before giving up its battle with the stiff southerly wind and disappeared north.  An inshore dark phase Arctic Skua was a rare sight in having commenced inner wing moult.

Too windy for bushes and overhead passage, noted were only three Swallow, two Rook, single Stock Dove, Raven, Grey Wagtail and a Goldcrest.

On the lunchtime neap high tide around, mostly around The Bight, totals were 517 Dunlin, 337 Curlew, 250+ Great Black-backed Gull, 82 Knot, 138 Ringed Plover, 54 Grey Plover, 49 Brent Goose, 35 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Sanderling, 15+ Lesser Black-backed Gull, four adult-winter Mediterranean Gull, four juv Curlew Sandpiper, three Black-tailed Godwit and single juv Little Stint and Greenshank.  A flock of 110 Linnet flitted among the roosting waders.  Spooked by incessant kite-surfer activity, displaced wildfowl swelled numbers sheltering in the estuary corner to 1,710 Wigeon, 344 Teal and four Pintail.

At 11:30, a juvenile presumed American Herring Gull flew low across The Bight with other gulls, over the spit and then coasted SW out of sight.  Despite it's distinctive appearance, with relatively short flight only views, identification could not be verified.  A gull of similar appearance on Bull Hill last Wednesday evening offers a glimmer of hope of a return.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Friday 23rd September

A Grasshopper Warbler showed well by the Dune Pond early morning but other migrants were limited to 18 Chiffchaff, 18 Blackcap, three Wheatear, a Reed Warbler and the first Goldcrest of the autumn. In the Bight four Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint remain with 398 Dunlin, 84 Ringed Plover, 70 Knot, 30 Grey Plover and 24 Sanderling, with an Osprey, 175 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Pintail and the Slavonian Grebe also in the estuary.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thursday 22nd September

Numbers of birds in the estuary continue to increase with 830 Wigeon, 81 Brent Geese and 57 Grey Plover, along with two Little Stint, single Curlew Sandpiper, 24 Sanderling, four Mediterranean Gull, a Common Sandpiper and a Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere migrants included 16 Chiffchaff, seven Blackcap and two Wheatear. More local migrants combined to produce a rare six corvid day on site with seven Raven, two Rook and two Jackdaw overhead and two very vocal Jay in Dead Dolphin Wood.

Grey Plover - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wednesday 21st September

Another evening look from Cockwood steps showed a Curlew Sandpiper, the Slavonian Grebe, 23 Brent Geese, a Greenshank, 170 Great Black-backed and a Mediterranean Gull.

Wildlife News: A Common Seal was on Bull Hill.