Sunday, 17 June 2018

Sunday 17th June

Wader counts included 86 Curlew, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, five Redshank, two Ringed Plover and single Dunlin, Whimbrel, Sanderling and Greenshank. Elsewhere a lone Siskin overhead was further evidence of the changing seasons.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Saturday 16th June

Returning waders continue to herald the end of summer with a Greenshank and four Redshank joining 71 Curlew and seven Whimbrel in the Railway Saltmarsh. Sadly arrivals at this time of year indicate failed breeding further north. Other waders over high tide included 16 Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Sanderling and two Dunlin. Elsewhere a Cuckoo was in Greenland Lake and 40 Common Scoter were offshore.

A rather hungry looking juvenile Stonechat - Alan Keatley

Friday, 15 June 2018

Friday 15th June

Counts over the evening tide included 231 Oystercatcher, 88 Curlew, 20 Sanderling, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, five Dunlin and a Whimbrel with a first summer Mediterranean Gull also in the estuary.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Thursday 14th June

A brief change in the weather with a stiff westerly early morning before the calmer brighter conditions returned. An unseasonal Osprey fishing in the river on the receding tide indicated a change in birds as well, also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, 59 Dunlin, 57 Curlew, 24 Sanderling, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and two Whimbrel. Elsewhere 45 Common Scoter and 17 Manx Shearwater flew south offshore and a Cuckoo flew through Warren Point, already on its return migration.

Wildlife News: A Golden-ringed Dragonfly, the first of the year was in Greenland Lake vying with an Emperor Dragonfly. Several Large Skipper were also on the wing.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Alan Keatley

 Emperor - Alan Keatley
Large Skipper - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Wednesday 13th June

The evening high tide saw 71 Curlew in the Railway Saltmarsh and 36 Dunlin, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Sanderling and two Ringed Plover in the Bight. The Curlew may already be returning failed breeding birds, one of the godwits is a ringed bird summering on the Exe and the Dunlin and Sanderling may still be heading north. Also in the estuary 10 Sandwich Tern and single first summer Mediterranean and Common Gull.

Elsewhere family parties of Stonechat, Whitethroat, Linnet, Blue Tit and Pied Wagtail amongst others were on site.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Tuesday 12th June

The Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood but no other news was received.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Saturday 9th June

A warm sunny summer Saturday with a low tide lived up to expectations with few birds on site. Counts from the estuary wee limited to 12 Dunlin, three Sanderling and a Ringed Plover whilst five Common Scoter were offshore and a Stock Dove was feeding in Greenland Lake.

Stock Dove - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Several Painted Lady and Red Admiral showed insect migration was ongoing whilst new emergences for the year included the Hornet-mimic hoverfly Volucella zonaria and Pyramidal Orchid, with this white flower amongst 13 normal coloured spikes.

 Volucella zonaria - Alan Keatley

Pyramidal Orchid - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Thursday 7th June

A Black-tailed Godwit was in the Bight with 24 Curlew, five Dunlin, three Grey Plover and two Sanderling. Elsewhere a Stock Dove in Greenland Lake was unexpected.

Pied Wagtail - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The highlight was a male Long-horned Bee Eucera longicornis in the Back Meadow, the first site record of this nationally declining species. It is a section 41 conservation priority species occurring at a handful of sites in Devon. Elsewhere butterfly numbers were restricted by the overcast conditions to a few Brown Argus, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood. At least seven Bee Orchid are now flowering near Dune Pond.

Long-horned Bee Eucera longicornis - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Tuesday 5th June

A summer plumaged Great Northern Diver was off the seawall with the Slavonian Grebe and two Bar-tailed Godwit in the estuary the only other news.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Monday 4th June

A quiet evening visit saw 20 Sanderling, 12 Ringed Plover and two Dunlin in the Bight with the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood and an Eider sat on the breakwater at Langstone Rock.

 Ringed Plover - Martin Overy  A partial ring read of 961 is not enough to get a recovery if anyone is up for a challenge!
Linnet - Martin Overy

Wildlife News: The first Large Skipper of the year was on the wing along with a second Meadow Brown.

 Large Skipper - Simon Thurgood

 Meadow Brown - Simon Thurgood

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Sunday 3rd June

A Willow Warbler singing in the Buffer Zone was a surprise new arrival with a Reed Warbler by the hide also a fresh migrant but it was otherwise quiet. In the estuary the Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood and wader counts included 37 Dunlin, 34 Sanderling, 15 Ringed Plover, six Bar-tailed Godwit, four Grey Plover, three Whimbrel and two Turnstone. Offshore a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver and a single Eider.

 Grey Plover - Dave Jewell

Sedge Warbler - Dave Jewell

Ringing News: An Oystercatcher ringed at St Ishmaels in Pembrokeshire in September 2016 was in front of the hide with at least eight Warren ringed birds. Also present the colour ringed Bar-tailed Godwit that has been present for over a week but details still awaited.

Wildlife News: A reduced number of migrant insects but a few Silver Y and Red Admiral remain on site with a single Pied Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri along the Dune Ridge. Also on the wing seven species of Bumblebee in order of abundance Buff-tailed, Red-tailedEarly, Common Carder, Heath, White-tailed and Tree.  Elsewhere a Broad-bodied Chaser and two Emperor Dragonfly were at the Dune Pond, at least seven Bee Orchid are in flower and two new fungi for the Recording Area were found: Melampsora lini, a rust on Fairy Flax and Microbotryum violaceum, Sea Campion Anther Smut.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Saturday 2nd June

Migration seems to have stopped overhead and in the bushes but waders continue to move in small numbers. Counts from the estuary included 60 Dunlin, 20 Ringed and two Grey Plover, four Sanderling, four Bar-tailed Godwit, three Whimbrel and three Knot. Also present three first summer Mediterranean Gull but just a single Sandwich Tern.

Wildlife News: The sunny conditions saw lots of invertebrate activity, although dragonflies remain conspicuous by their absence. Several Painted Lady and Red Admiral showed ongoing insect migration with a Green Hairstreak found in Greenland Lake. Bees on the wing included several Heath Bumblebee and the first Silvery Leaf-cutter (Megachile leachella) of the year along with Ashy, Buffish, Grey-patched and Sandpit Mining Bee.

 Ashy Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

 Grey-patched Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

 Buffish Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

Green Hairstreak - Alan Keatley

Friday, 1 June 2018

Friday 1st June

The was no sign of the Rose-coloured Starling this morning but a Cuckoo heard calling around Greenland Lake was a new arrival. Elsewhere several Ringed Plover, Dunlin and a Sanderling were feeding around the Bight, seven Whimbrel were on posts in front of the hide, with the Sedge Warbler, two Whitethroat and several Linnet behind the hide.

Wildlife News: The soliderfly Ornate Brigadier Odontomyia ornata was recorded on site for the third year in a row. The Warren is one of very few Devon sites for this scarce species.

Ornate Brigadier Odontomyia ornate - Steve Fuller

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Thursday 31st May

The highlight was a smart adult Rose-coloured Starling, the ninth site but first Spring record. The bird was mobile around site but settled down in bushes behind the hide late afternoon and evening. It appeared to roost with c25 Starling in the Golf Course Pond. Elsewhere counts from the estuary included 164 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling, 30 Ringed Plover, 23 Curlew, 10 Whimbrel and a Knot.

Rose-coloured Starling - Simon Thurgood

Wildlife News: A Wall Brown along the Dune Ridge was a welcome record, with the first Meadow Brown also on the wing. Also flying the first Giant Pied Hoverfly (Volucella pelluscens) of the year and large numbers of Silver Y and Diamondback Moth.

 Giant Pied Hoverfly (Volucella pelluscens) - Alan Keatley

Silver Y - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Wednesday 30th May

A wet and misty day with conditions lasting into the evening when visit over the high tide was rewarded by the first sizeable wader passage of the Spring, many of them in full breeding plumage. Minimum counts around the Bight included 135 Dunlin, 102 Sanderling, 23 Ringed Plover, 11 Whimbrel, six Grey Plover, four Knot, three Turnstone and three Bar-tailed Godwit, in addition at least 50 other small waders headed north in small flocks. Other records were limited to just a single Sandwich Tern and the first fledged Pied Wagtail of the year.

Wildlife News: Half a dozen Diamondback Moth were seen this evening, the first of the year but in smaller numbers compared to other locations.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Tuesday 29th May

Counts over the evening high tide were limited to 23 Curlew, eight Whimbrel, five Bar-tailed Godwit, four Grey Plover, three Sanderling, two Dunlin and a Ringed Plover.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Monday 28th May

A hot summer's day once the cold morning fog burnt off. Counts from the estuary included just 29 Dunlin, 17 Sanderling, 13 Ringed Plover, eight Whimbrel, three Knot and three Bar-tailed Godwit; one of the godwit was colour-ringed showing some continuing turnover.

Elsewhere a Great Northern Diver circled the bay at height and fresh migrants included two new Reed Warbler, including one the Buffer Zone, with single Chiffchaff and Blackcap in new areas.

Wildlife News: A Green Hairstreak near the Crocus Compound was the highlight, the first record of this elusive resident for a number of years. At least eight other butterfly species were on the wing including Brown Argus and Red Admiral. An Emperor over the Main Pond was the first true dragonfly of the year.    

Green Hairstreak

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Sunday 27th May

The weather promised much but failed to deliver with an almost total lack of new arrivals. Wader counts over high tide included 91 Dunlin, 40 Sanderling, 27 Ringed Plover, 25 Black and 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 17 Curlew, three Whimbrel, three Turnstone, two Knot and two Grey Plover; with the Slavonian Grebe, four Sandwich and a Common Tern also in the estuary.

Wildlife News: Increasing numbers of Marmalade Hoverfly were on site today, a sign of continuing immigration.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Saturday 26th May

The first Spotted Flycatcher of the year pitched into the Cuckoo's Nest briefly before continuing northwards. Also on the move 42 House Martin, 39 Swift, 14 Swallow and a Sand Martin, the first two were worryingly the highest counts so far this Spring.

The thundery weather also dropped in some waders, most notably a flock of 54 Black-tailed Godwit, other counts included 328 Oystercatcher, 81 Sanderling, 61 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, seven Whimbrel, seven Bar-tailed Godwit and two Grey Plover. Elsewhere a single Little Tern was offshore with 10 Sandwich and three Common Tern, 10 Common Scoter and the two Eider.

Sedge Warbler - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Despite the overcast conditions several hoverflies were on the wing including the migrants Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus and Eupeodes luniger; Fluffy Dronefly Eristalis intricaria, Bumblebee Hoverfly Volucella bombylans, Baccha elongata and new for the Recording Area Epistrophe eligans.

Fluffy Dronefly Eristalis intricaria - Alan Keatley

Furry-claspered Furrow-bee Lasioglossum lativentre - Alan Keatley


Friday, 25 May 2018

Friday 25th May

A Little Ringed Plover that flew over early morning was an unexpected highlight, other migrant waders included 86 Dunlin, 27 Ringed Plover, five Bar-tailed Godwit, three Knot and just two Sanderling. Also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe and six Sandwich Tern. Elsewhere the two Eider were offshore with a Common Tern and 10 Great-crested Grebe, the Sedge Warbler remains at the Golf Course pond and new fledgers included Great Tit and Magpie.

Wildlife News: Southern Marsh Orchid is now coming into flower across Greenland Lake with many of them having missed the recent mowing, large swathes of Meadowsweet, Cuckoo Flower and other species were not so fortunate. A single Red Admiral was perhaps a fresh migrant.

Southern Marsh Orchid - Simon Thurgood

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Thursday 24th May

Offshore a flock of 24 Common Scoter, eight Great-crested Grebe and two Eider were present this evening with 20+ Manx Shearwater milling about in the bay. Elsewhere six Sanderling were on the beach and five Ringed Plover and a Dunlin were in the estuary at low tide.

Wildlife News: Despite the overcast conditions insects were out in force with the first Hummingbird Hawkmoth and Cinnabar of the year with a couple of Buff-tip and a Pebble Hooktip also on the wing. In the Buffer Zone several Grey-patched Mining Bee Andrena nitida were noted, another new species for the Recording Area.

 Buff-tip - Alan Keatley
 Pebble Hooktip - Alan Keatley

Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida) - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Tuesday 22nd May

A single Wheatear and a couple of House Martin revealed some continuing passage, but the arrival of a pair of Shoveler on the Main Pond was a better indicator of the season. These are presumably failed breeders from an unknown site nearby.  Elsewhere the summer plumaged resident Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood, and seven Great-crested Grebe and the two Eider were offshore.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sunday 20th May

Coastal fog didn't lift until mid morning but revealed little change on site. The summer plumaged Knot remained in the estuary along with 10 Sanderling, seven Dunlin, two Grey and a Ringed Plover, a Turnstone and a Bar-tailed Godwit, whilst offshore there were two Eider and five Sandwich Tern. Overhead 22 Swallow, five Swift and three House Martin showed some continuing movement.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Saturday 19th May

A Greenshank was the pick of the waders over the high tide with other counts including 33 Dunlin, 16 Sanderling, !0 Ringed Plover, four Whimbrel, three Grey Plover and the summer plumaged Knot. Elsewhere a lone Wheatear was on site and the two Eider remain offshore with a single Great Northern Diver.

Stonechat - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The first Brown Argus and Common Blue of the year were on the wing and a Silver Y was in the Back Meadow.

 Common Blue - Alan Keatley
Xanthogramma pedissequum (a hoverfly) - Alan Keatley

Friday, 18 May 2018

Friday 18th May

A splash of colour was added to proceedings today with the arrival of a summer plumaged Knot on Finger Point over high tide. Also present two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 33 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, eight Ringed and three Grey Plover. Offshore two Eider, 10 Common Scoter and seven Great-crested Grebe.

 Dunnock - Simon Thurgood

Whitethroat - Simon Thurgood
Wildlife News: Good numbers of the introduced Sand Lizard are to be found on the original sections of the Dune Ridge.

Sand Lizard - Simon Thurgood

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Thursday 17th May

A continuing midsummer feel to proceedings. A Little Tern was offshore with 10 Sandwich Tern and a single Fulmar. In the estuary wader numbers were down with 190 Oystercatcher, 12 Dunlin, 12 Sanderling, nine Curlew, five Ringed and two Grey Plover, a Turnstone and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

 Skylark - Dave Jewell

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Wednesday 16th May

Seawatching first thing was relatively quiet with three Great Northern Diver south along with 16 Kittiwake, five Manx Shearwater and two Common Tern. Also offshore the two moulting Eider and a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver.  Elsewhere a single Wheatear was on site and on the falling tide there were 42 Dunlin, 15 Sanderling, nine Ringed Plover, eight Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Grey Plover were feeding avidly in the Bight.

Wildlife News: A female Beautiful Demoiselle was near the Crocus compound early morning. There have been less than ten records of this species at the Warren and this was the first since 2010. Also on the wing the first Blue-tailed Damselfly of the year and increasing numbers of Azure Damselfly.

 Beautiful Demoiselle - Alan Keatley

 Blue-tailed Damselfly - Alan Keatley

Azure Damselfly - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Tuesday 15th May

A Scandinavian Rock Pipit around the shore of the Bight was a surprise migrant on another quiet morning. Also in the estuary 25 Dunlin, 12 Sanderling, five Whimbrel, three Bar-tailed Godwit, two Grey and two Ringed Plover.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Monday 14th May

The highlight of an evening visit was the weather with little new in the way of birdlife. Offshore the two Eider were still present but Sandwich Tern were outnumbered by paragliders (7 to 6). Elsewhere 21 Dunlin, seven Whimbrel and six Sanderling were in the estuary and offsite a Red Kite over Powderham was the closest the record Devon influx got to the Warren.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was offshore, a Fox caused consternation amongst the Oystercatcher on Finger Point and butterflies included further sightings of Holly Blue.

 Holly Blue - Simon Thurgood

Green-veined White - Simon Thurgood

Small Copper - Simon Thurgood

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Sunday 13th May

The highlight was a total of 10 Red Kite over the recording area, two that drifted over from the Easdon Ridge before heading back west at 10am and a dispersed group of eight birds that came in from the east circled very high in a thermal and headed off WSW at 11.30am. Also passing overhead 78 Swallow, seven House Martin, four Swift and a Grey Heron.  

Other migrants were limited to a single Wheatear on Warren Point and new single Chiffchaff and Whitethroat. Elsewhere the two Eider, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and counts from the estuary included 32 Whimbrel, 21 Dunlin, six Sanderling and a Ringed Plover.

Wildlife News: The first Small White and Azure Damselfly of the year were on the wing.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Saturday 12th May

Any thoughts of doing an early morning sea watch was thwarted by fog. The same weather affected the chance of any grounded migrants, leaving just a few passing hirundines overhead after the fog had lifted. A couple of Reed Warbler and Blackcap were probably new arrivals but Whitethroat numbers remained the same and the lone Sedge Warbler remained in good voice around the Golf Course pond. Overhead single Yellow Wagtail, Swift and Sand Martin and 33 Swallow, the second highest count this Spring!

Elsewhere a Little and three Common Tern were briefly offshore with two Eider, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver on the sea, whilst counts from the estuary were limited to 26 Dunlin, 16 Sanderling, 12 Whimbrel, a Turnstone and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was offshore. Weather conditions were not ideal for insect viewing but good numbers of Sandpit Mining Bee Andrena barbilabris remain on the wing, a few longhorn moths Adela reaumurella were flying low down over Bramble and Celery Fly Euleia heraclei became the 500th Dipteran species for the Recording Area. 

 Sandpit Mining Bee (female) - Alan Keatley

 Sandpit Mining Bee (male) - Alan Keatley

 Adela reaumurella - Alan Keatley

Celery Fly (pair) - Alan Keatley

Friday, 11 May 2018

Friday 11th May

A change in the weather brought a change in the birds. Seawatching during the morning was productive but contrary to sites further south the afternoon numbers were disappointing. Totals for the day included 495 Manx Shearwater, 260+ auks - all those close enough to identify were Guillemot, 131 Gannet, 85 Kittiwake and 13 Fulmar. Scarcer species included the first Black-throated Diver of the year, eight Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, an Arctic Tern, five Arctic and a Great Skua; on the sea a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver and an Eider.

Elsewhere migrants were again in short supply with just four Swallow through all day and counts from the estuary included 25+ Sandwich Tern, 13 Dunlin, 11 Whimbrel, seven Ringed Plover, five Sanderling and two Bar-tailed Godwit.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Thursday 10th May

Wildlife news: A Wall Brown was seen at the eastern end of Greenland Lake, a welcome first record of the year after a blank autumn in 2017.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wednesday 9th May

A return to the more routine fare with, as expected, no sign of the Shrike but also no Cuckoo, or other migrants. Four Common Tern were offshore with at least 30 Sandwich Tern and counts from the estuary included 20 Whimbrel, 17 Dunlin and 10 Sanderling.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Tuesday 8th May

After an almost complete absence of migrants over the Bank holiday weekend the discovery of a stunning male Red-backed Shrike in bushes around the Cuckoo's Nest was unexpected to say the least. It later moved to Greenland Lake where it showed well all day. Only the third Warren record in the last 20 years and the first male since May 1989. Other news was limited but the rare didn't quite travel alone with a partial hepatic Cuckoo and a single Wheatear other overnight arrivals.

Red-backed Shrike - Lee Collins

Some video and further pictures can be found here, here & here.

Thanks goes to Steve Edwards (one of the reserve rangers) for finding the shrike and releasing the news quickly, allowing many people to enjoy this spectacular bird throughout the day.