Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Tuesday 26th October

Counts from the estuary were hampered by a hunting Peregrine on arrival but once everything had settled down 611 Wigeon, 423 Teal, 81 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 22 Shelduck and a female Pintail were in Shutterton Creek. As the tide dropped wader counts included an exceptional 409 Black-tailed Godwit, 324 Redshank, 290 Dunlin, 79 Curlew, 61 Bar-tailed Godwit and a good count of 20 Greenshank. Also in the estuary a Red-breasted Merganser, five Great-crested Grebe and two Mediterranean Gull.

Movement overhead mid morning suggested earlier vismig had been missed with 88 Jackdaw through in two flocks, along with four Golden Plover, a Grey Wagtail and single figures of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Skylark. Elsewhere five Chiffchaff were on site, the Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond with two Water Rail and a Kingfisher and offshore seven Common Scoter and a Purple Sandpiper.

Wildlife News: A few hardy Great Green Bush Cricket continue to call at dusk but a male Grey Bush Cricket was unexpected this late in the year. 

Grey Bush-cricket 

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Sunday 24th October

The Cetti's Warbler was still at the Main Pond, with two Water Rail, a Kingfisher and a Little Grebe. Six Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest were in the surrounding bushes. 

Wildlife News: Both Migrant Hawker and Common Darter remain on the wing.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Saturday 23rd October

Visible migration overhead was reduced from recent days with small numbers of Woodpigeon, six Rook, four Jackdaw, three Chaffinch, three Redwing and a Merlin. Grounded migrants included 103 Linnet, 23 Greenfinch, six Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest and a Blackcap.

Counts in the estuary over the large high tide included 1052 Oystercatcher, 900 Wigeon, 315 Redshank, 230 Teal, 165 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 120 Turnstone, 106 Dunlin, 55 Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Grey Plover, 20 Shelduck, 19 Greenshank and two Knot

Wildlife News: Largely overcast conditions limited invertebrate activity although Ivy Bee were still active and the soldierfly Twin-spot Centurion were in the Entrance Bushes. 

Twin-spot Centurion - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Thursday 21 October

A Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond for its third day, only the 12th Warren record, although annual since 2017 in autumn/winter. Also at the Main Pond the first returning Little Grebe and two Kingfisher; elsewhere a Swallow and a Buzzard overhead, the latter perched up in Dead Dolphin Wood where there were three Goldcrest.

In the estuary the first three Red-breasted Merganser of the winter along with eight Greenshank and four Sandwich Tern and three Pale-bellied Brent Goose.

Wildlife News: The flowering Ivy remains a magnet for late insects, with a couple of Noon Fly Mesembrina meridiana amongst the numerous wasps and bluebottles an overdue first for the year. 

Noon Fly - Alan Keatley

Despite the sunshine the sharp drop in temperature means hoverfly numbers are reducing rapidly with Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax the only one still out in any number, with one or two Humming Syrphus Syrphus ribesii, Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus, Common Spotted Field Syrph Eupeodes luniger, Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta, Slender Melanstoma Melanostoma scalare, Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus and White-clubbed Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri.

Butterflies were restricted to a lone Meadow Brown and a couple of Peacock and Red Admiral with remaining dragonflies limited to a few Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and a Southern Hawker.

Southern Hawker - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Sunday 17th October

No sign of Wryneck this morning 8:30 - 10:30, with seven Chiffchaff, five Blackcap and two Goldcrest in the bushes and overhead14 Skylark, eight Chaffinch, seven Siskin and a Redpoll

In the estuary the wildfowl and a Kingfisher were disturbed by boat traffic to Eels Dock with 113 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, all adults, 41 Ringed and 12 Grey Plover in the Bight along with 71 Great Black-backed and 17 Mediterranean Gull, mostly first winters, 10 Sandwich Tern and four Shelduck

Wildlife News: Singles of Small Copper, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral were on the wing, with at least three Migrant Hawker.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Saturday 16th October

If there was any overhead migration once the fog eventually lifted it was not reported and with just five Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and a Goldcrest it seemed new migrants on site were also absent. However a showy Wryneck between the Golf Course and the Main Pond proved otherwise. The third record this year, and like the others it soon proved elusive. 

Wryneck - doctorv64jr

A look at the estuary on the afternoon tide saw a good count of 1803 Wigeon with a female Pintail and the presumed Wigeon/Pintail hybrid both picked out from the flocks, at least 52 Cattle Egret roosting, split between the Saltmarsh and Wreck, a Kingfisher, and amongst the continuing flocks of feeding gulls, four Sandwich Tern and at least 46 Mediterranean Gull (36 ad, six first winter and four second winter), an exceptional count for this late in the year.

Wildlife News: A fresh Meadow Brown was the highlight wit a few Red Admiral and Speckled Wood still on the wing, along with double figures of both Common Darter and Migrant Hawker.

Common Darter

Friday, 15 October 2021

Friday 15th October

Movement overhead was largely limited to Jackdaw with c400 heading W, along with five Stock Dove amongst a light Woodpigeon passage, five Siskin, three Swallow, a single Bullfinch dropped into Dead Dolphin Wood and two Redwing flew high south but turned around and flew back inland when they saw the English Channel in front of them.

Elsewhere 508 Teal and 188 Dark-bellied Brent Goose were in the estuary but a Wigeon count wasn't possible as they were spooked by distance shotgun fire from a Pheasant shoot and flew out to sea. Also offshore 19 Common Scoter, five Sandwich Tern and hundreds of Herring and Black-headed Gull in a noisy feeding frenzy close off Exmouth beach, probably feeding on whitebait. Many of these moved into the estuary at high tide and attracted the attention of three Arctic Skua

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Thursday 14th October

A quick afternoon visit saw at least 20 Cattle Egret on the Wreck, large numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Curlew and Redshank in the estuary with counts of 57 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 11 Greenshank and 10 Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere two more Jay flew west.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Wednesday 13th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler remained in Dead Dolphin Wood with seven Chiffchaff and two Blackcap still on site. New migrants were only overhead with counts of 856 Jackdaw, 217 Woodpigeon, 120 Goldfinch, 52 Meadow Pipit , 31 Pied Wagtail, 23 Skylark, 11 Siskin, 10 Rook, eight Chaffinch, five Lesser Redpoll, three Swallow and a Golden Plover.

Kestrel - Alan Keatley

Records from the estuary included a Little Gull and 48 Cattle Egret, with counts of 575 Wigeon, 450 Teal, 430 Black-headed and 12 Mediterranean Gull, 309 Redshank, 271 Curlew, 61 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Ringed Plover, 10 Greenshank, seven Shelduck and two Knot.

Cattle Egret on the Wreck - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Good numbers of Ivy Bee remain on the wing along with a single Furry-claspered Furrow Bee Lasioglossum lativentre.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Tuesday 12th October

Records from the estuary included 52 Cattle Egret and the return of the Spotted Redshank, with counts including 632 Wigeon, 472 Teal, 293 Redshank, 73 Bar and Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Turnstone, 31 Sandwich Tern, seven Greenshank, four Pale- bellied Brent Geese and two Knot.

Elsewhere the Yellow-browed Warbler remained in Dead Dolphin Wood with 10 Chiffchaff and six Stonechat on site.