Monday, 16 July 2018

Monday 16th July

Tern numbers are at last starting to build with at least 78 Sandwich and a Little Tern around the Bight at high tide this morning. Also in the estuary at least nine Mediterranean Gull (five juvs, three ads & a first summer), 365+ Curlew, just three Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere three Sand Martin and a juvenile Willow Warbler were heading south and a female Eider was offshore.

Wildlife News: A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was in the Entrance Bushes and at least half a dozen Silver Y were disturbed from grassland. Late news from 5th July; the 3rd site record of Locust Blowfly Stomorhina lunata a rare North African migrant.

Locust Blowfly Stomorhina lunata - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Sunday 15th July

A female Eider was reported offshore with 34 Sandwich Tern and four Dunlin around the hide.  Elsewhere two juvenile Mediterranean Gull were off Cockwood.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Saturday 14th July

Three Teal off John's Watch were a sign of the changing seasons with 43 Sandwich Tern and three Mediterranean Gull also offshore. Counts over the high tide included 349 Curlew, 19 Redshank, eight Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, six Dunlin and two Whimbrel.

Swallow - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A good mix of butterflies with 14 species present: Speckled Wood, Small and Large White, Small and Large Skipper, Comma, Small Copper, Common Blue, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Ringlet, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Elsewhere a few Blue-tailed Damselfly and three Emperor Dragonfly. The highlight though was a lone Toadlet, these have been very scarce the last few years.

 Common Toad - Alan Keatley

A Thick-headed fly Physocephala rufipes - Alan Keatley

Friday, 13 July 2018

Friday 13th July

A Sedge Warbler by the hide briefly was an early autumn migrant whilst 200+ Curlew, 17 Redshank, a Greenshank and two Stock Dove were in the Railway Saltmarsh. Also in the estuary Finger Point held 14 Sandwich Tern with three Common Tern in the Bight and Mediterranean Gull were again on show with and adult, two second summers and two juveniles in front of the hide with others coming and going during the morning.
 Mediterranean Gull juveniles - Dave Jewell

Mediterranean Gull adult - Dave Jewell

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Thursday 12th July

Counts over the high tide included 300+ Black-headed Gull, 241 Curlew, 215 Oystercatcher, 19 Sandwich Tern and just single Sanderling and Ringed Plover. Elsewhere 21 Swallow were feeding along the Dune Ridge and two Stock Dove were in the Railway Saltmarsh.

Wildlife News: Good news on the butterfly front with a Wall Brown along the Dune Ridge, only the third record of the year. Apart from that, just a couple of Ringlet and Peacock of note, and only two Emperor representing the dragonflies.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wednesday 11th July

Over the evening high tide 18 Sandwich Tern (inc four juvs), five Dunlin, three Whimbrel and a Curlew were in front of the hide with the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood and a second brood of five juvenile Pied Wagtail in the Bight.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Monday 9th July

An evening look from Cockwood saw the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year on Bull Hill with the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe, 10 Mediterranean Gull, eight adults, a first summer and a juvenile; just nine Sandwich Tern, 16 Redshank, two Whimbrel and a Greenshank also in the estuary.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Saturday 7th July

Three Mediterranean Gull, two adults and a first summer, flew over the spit and upriver with 120+ Black-headed Gull feeding in the beach. Elsewhere there were just eight Sandwich Tern with several species now feeding second broods, including Whitethroat and Moorhen.

Whitethroat - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A male Banded Demoiselle was briefly at the Main Pond, only the fifth site record. Elsewhere good numbers of solitary bees and wasps were on the wing with 14 species of butterfly including several Red Admiral and at least eight Ringlet, a new site high count.

 Coastal Leafcutter Megachile maritima - Alan Keatley

Ferruginous Bee-grabber Sicus ferrugineus - Alan Keatley

Friday, 6 July 2018

Friday 6th July

Wildlife News: The first Warren and third Devon record of Roesel's Bush-cricket, a long-winged individual, was reported today.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Thursday 5th July

The first Roseate Tern of the year was offshore this morning with Sandwich Tern, five Manx Shearwater and 17 Common Scoter. Elsewhere a juvenile Little Ringed Plover joined the adult in the Bight with 15 Dunlin, eight Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper.  

Little Ringed Plover - Lee Collins
Wildlife News: Large numbers of Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta were on site part of continuing insect migration also evidenced by an increase in Red Admiral.

Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Wednesday 4th July

A change in weather with showers early morning and with them a few new arrivals in the estuary at least. Wader highlights included the first Green Sandpiper of the year and an adult Little Ringed Plover with counts of 282 Oystercatcher, 19 Dunlin, eight Ringed Plover, six Whimbrel, two Turnstone and a juvenile Redshank. Also from the hide 20+ Sandwich Tern, including the first couple of juveniles, three Common Tern, an intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a flock of 60+ Swift and 30 House Martin were hawking over the Dune Ridge.

Ringing News: The Oystercatcher flock included at least four returning colour-ringed Dawlish Warren birds. These have been absent all summer so are recent post breeding arrivals from sites unknown.

Lesser Black-backed Gull ssp intermedius - Dave Jewell

Monday, 2 July 2018

Monday 2nd July

Wildlife News: A Large Tortoiseshell was photographed on the path to the Visitor Centre today, the third for the Recording Area. Also on the wing several Green-eyed Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata and the first few Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes of the year.

Large Tortoiseshell - David Cawthraw

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Sunday 1st July

WeBS count totals included 333 Curlew, 32 Redshank, nine Ringed Plover, eight Bar-tailed Godwit, four Whimbrel, four Sandwich Tern, three Dunlin, two Sanderling and a Knot and the Slavonian Grebe.

Wildlife News: A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was on Red Valerian near the seawall.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Saturday 30th June

The birding has little chance of keeping up with the weather with the resident Slavonian Grebe being the highlight. Also in the estuary 218 Curlew, seven Redshank, four Sandwich Tern, a Dunlin and a summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere the first Willow Warbler of the autumn was in the Entrance Bushes and six Shoveler flew over.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was hauled out on Bull Hill. A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was in Greenland Lake and at least 12 species of butterfly were on the wing with a single Ringlet near Dead Dolphin Wood the highlight. In Greenland Lake Marsh Helleborine is out in abundance and the first Great Green Bush-cricket of the year were heard calling.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Friday 29th June

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

Monday, 25 June 2018

Monday 25th June

Wildlife News: A Silver-washed Fritillary by the First Pond was only the third site record and one of 11 butterfly species on the wing today. These included the first Gatekeeper of the year, Common Blue, Red Admiral and Comma.

 Comma - Simon Thurgood

Gatekeeper - Simon Thurgood

Meadow Brown - Simon Thurgood

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sunday 24th June

The Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood in full summer plumage but no other news was received.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Saturday 23rd June

In the estuary there were 12 Sandwich Tern to search through along with 145 Oystercatcher, 80 Curlew, 16 Dunlin, eight Redshank and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Thursday 21st June

A hot and quiet summer day with counts from the estuary including 98 Curlew, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Sanderling, two Dunlin, two Redshank and a Whimbrel. Just two Sandwich Tern were present. Elsewhere good number of young birds have fledged but the Moorhen and Little Grebe chicks on the Main Pond are still running the Grey Heron gauntlet.

Grey Heron - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Midsummer day saw the first Marbled White, Ringlet and Small Skipper of the year on the wing, along with Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Common Darter and Beewolf.  Also flying Broad-bodied ChaserEmperor Dragonfly, Red Admiral, Small WhiteLarge Skipper, Small Copper, Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood. As well as the Beewolf other hymenoptera included Yellow-legged and Sandpit Mining Bee, Silvery Leafcutter and several Sharp-tailed Bee.

 Marbled White - Alan Keatley

Ringlet - Alan Keatley

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