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

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Saturday 14th May

An overnight arrival of waders saw the year's first Little Stint in with 69 Sanderling, 51 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, five Bar-tailed Godwit and two Little Ringed Plover. Also in the estuary 41 Curlew, 17 Whimbrel, 16 Turnstone and a domestic Swan Goose, a first for the Recording Area. 

Little Stint & Dunlin - Lee Collins

Little Ringed Plover - Lee Collins

Elsewhere a Greenland Wheatear was on the Golf Course and offshore 14 Great Northern Diver, including a flock of nine, 62 Shag, 16 Manx Shearwater, just three Sandwich Tern, two distant Arctic Skua and a Red-throated Diver.

Ringing News: At least 12 Exe ringed Oystercatcher were recorded over high tide, all first summers. These will likely be present until Spring next year, when they will head off to find breeding territories. A recent resighting gives an indication of where some might end up.

Wildlife News: The first Broad-bodied Chaser of the year emerged from a pond on the Golf Course with other new records including a Cinnabar moth and the first nymph Grey Bush-cricket

Friday, 13 May 2022

Friday 13th May

A Sedge Warbler was at the Main Pond, a Willow Warbler was in the Entrance Bushes and 12 Sanderling and two Turnstone on the beach.

Wildlife News: A Meadow Long-horn Cauchas rufimitrella was found nectaring in the Buffer Zone on Hemlock Water Dropwort; a first for the Recording Area, the larvae feed on Cuckoo-flower

Meadow Long-horn - Kevin Rylands

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Thursday 12th May

A brief Turtle Dove in Greenland Lake was the highlight, the first spring record since 2017 for this much declined species. Other migrants were however noticeable by their absence.

Elsewhere a Common Sandpiper was on the seawall early morning, with it or another on the Main Pond in the evening, nine Turnstone were on Langstone Rock and 35 Whimbrel and seven Bar-tailed Godwit were in the estuary. Offshore eight Great Northern Diver, six Common Scoter, six Manx Shearwater and two Sandwich Tern

Wildlife News: The first record of Flavous Nomad Bee Nomada flava was found on Warren Point, with first 2022 records of several species including Thick-thighed Pollen Beetle Oedemera nobilisRed-banded Sand Wasp Ammophila sabulosaKite-tailed Robberfly Tolmerus atricapillus and the tachinid Thelaria nigripes.


Flavous Nomad Bee - both Alan Keatley

Kite-tailed Robberfly - Alan Keatley

Thelaria nigripes - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Wednesday 11th May

Counts from the afternoon tide included estuary 127 Oystercatcher, 49 Dunlin, 18 Ringed Plover, 15 Shelduck, 13 Curlew, eight Whimbrel, six Sanderling and three Bar-tailed Godwit.

A dark phase Arctic Skua harried the Sandwich Tern, a couple of Herring Gull and even a Gannet at one point. Also offshore 20 Gannet, seven Sandwich Tern, two Manx Shearwater, two Razorbill and a Guillemot.

Elsewhere a Wheatear was on the Golf Course with seven Swallow, five Swift and two House Martin overhead.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Tuesday 10th May

In the evening10 Gannet and four Sandwich Tern were feeding offshore with five Swallow and a Swift flew south. 

Monday, 9 May 2022

Monday 9th May

Aside from the breeding species it was quiet on site, with a single Wheatear on the Golf Course and a single Swift overhead. Elsewhere five Sandwich Tern and a first summer Mediterranean Gull were offshore and 17 Sanderling were on the beach. 


Saturday, 7 May 2022

Saturday 7th May

No news was received from high tide but 12 Whimbrel were on the mudflats at low tide with six Turnstone on the seawall. Offshore three Great Northern Diver, including one in summer plumage, five Common Scoter, a Great-crested Grebe and 680 Herring Gull.

Wildlife News: Holly Blue and Small Tortoiseshell were the pick of the butterflies with good numbers of insects including many Hairy Shieldbug and the first Warren records of Brassica Shieldbug. Also new for the Recording Area the distinctive galls of Cottonwool Gall Wasp Andricus quercusramuli.

Cotton Wool Wasp gall - Kevin Rylands

Drinker Moth caterpillar - Kevin Rylands

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Thursday 5th May

An immature Black Guillemot which flew across the bay before pitching distantly offshore was an obvious highlight the first since May 2018 and only the 12th site record, although the fourth in May. Otherwise it was relatively quiet offshore with two Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver through and a handful of Sandwich Tern feeding. 

Wader numbers have largely dropped off although 95 Bar-tailed Godwit remain along with 36 Dunlin, 18 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling and a Knot. A Common Sandpiper on the beach was a new arrival as were single Wheatear and Sedge Warbler

Ringing News: A Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach had been rung at Terschelling, Holland on 6th May 2019, and was recorded there again in Spring 2020. This is the first sighting away from there, perhaps its next stop on the way to Russian breeding grounds.

Bar-tailed Godwit - Lee Collins

Wildlife News: The fine weather brought out a good number if insects including Dark Bush Cricket nymphs, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly, Wasp Beetle, the striking Cinnamon Bug Corizus hyoscyami, Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea, Small Spotty-eyed Dronefly Eristalinus sepulchralis and Early Mason-wasp Ancistrocerus nigricornis, all new for the year. 

Batman Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

In addition a further overlooked(?) new Warren species was discovered, the widespread Downlooker Snipefly Rhagio scolopaceus. These took the annual biodiversity audit to over 1000 species, with 5083 species now seen in the Recording Area. 

Downlooker Snipefly - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Tuesday 3rd May

Counts from the estuary included 228 Oystercatcher, 186 Dunlin, 140 Bar-tailed Godwit, 110 Whimbrel, 59 Ringed and two Grey Plover, 23 Turnstone, seven Sanderling and a Knot. Numbers on the morning tide were largely the same as yesterday suggesting no overnight arrivals, but numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Ringed Plover were much lower on the evening tide. 

Bar-tailed Godwit - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere five Sandwich Tern and a first summer Mediterranean Gull were offshore and 17 Swallow, a House Martin and a Buzzard passed overhead.

Reed Warbler - Dean Hall

Ringing News: Amongst the roosting Whimbrel this evening was D63, first recorded here in 2016 and stopping off on the Exe for at least it's sixth Spring migration. 

Wildlife News: A few more insect species, if not numbers, are beginning to emerge with Cocksfoot Moth new for the year along with Red-legged Spider Wasp Epsilon rufipes, the longhorn beetle Grammoptera ruficornis and Superb Ant-hill Hoverfly Xanthogramma pedissequum.

Cocksfoot Moth - Alan Keatley

Common Grammoptera - Alan Keatley