Thursday, 22 August 2019

Thursday 22nd August

Counts over a low high tide included 273 Dunlin, 136 Ringed Plover, 45 Sandwich Tern, 26 Sanderling, five Turnstone, two juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a Whinchat was on the Point, with 12 Blackcap, six Whitethroat, two Willow and a Sedge Warbler also on site and a Yellow Wagtail overhead.

Wildlife News: Sea Daffodil is again in flower on Warren Point; the Warren one of just a handful of locations in the UK for this plant. 

Sea Daffodil - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere at least 20 Painted Lady were on site with two Red Admiral also new arrivals. Six Small Red-eyed Damselfly were on the Main Pond and good numbers of Yellow-legged Mining Bee Andrena flavipes and their cuckoo Painted Nomad Bee Nomada fucata.

 Yellow-legged Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

Painted Nomad Bee - Alan Keatley

Monday, 19 August 2019

Monday 19th August

A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was on Finger Point, a colour-ringed bird from the Atlantic coast of France that has been at Exmouth recently. Also present over the high tide 260 Sandwich, four Common and a juvenile Arctic Tern and seven Mediterranean Gull. Wader counts included 322 Redshank, 310 Dunlin, 250 Ringed Plover, 31 Sanderling, 25 Knot, eight Whimbrel, seven Common Sandpiper, five Greenshank, and single Bar and Black-tailed Godwit.

 Yellow-legged Gull - Lee Collins

Elsewhere a single Swift was overhead with a dozen House Martin, a Wheatear was in the Bight and a Ring-necked Parakeet added some colour. Blue phase birds are only known from captivity not feral or wild populations. This may be an escape or one of an increasing number of illegally released birds in Devon.

Ring-necked Parakeet - Lee Collins
 
Wildlife News: At least two of the nationally rare cranefly Geranomyia bezzi were recorded in the Bight, the first sighting since the sea defence work. The Warren is the only regular UK site for this species.
 
 

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Sunday 18th August

A juvenile Arctic Tern was the highlight over high tide in with 171 Sandwich and four Common Tern. Also in the estuary 395 Dunlin, 279 Curlew, 232 Redshank, 203 Ringed Plover, 29 Sanderling, 19 Whimbrel, 14 Knot, 13 Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, two Black and Bar-tailed Godwit and the Slavonian Grebe.
 
Elsewhere 112 Gannet and 80 Kittiwake were offshore, two Swift were overhead with 11 Swallow, five Sand and a House Martin with four Willow Warbler, two Wheatear, a Coal Tit and a Green Woodpecker on site.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Saturday 17th August

Seawatching first thing saw four Balearic Shearwater head south out of the bay with 190 Kittiwake, 75 Gannet and 65 Common Tern but the numbers soon dropped off. Small numbers of Common Tern remained over high tide with 160 Sandwich Tern, with wader counts including 385 Dunlin, 268 Curlew, 239 Ringed Plover, 178 Redshank, 42 Sanderling, including the first juvenile, seven Knot, six Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwit and two Greenshank. Also in the estuary 10 Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Whitethroat - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere the first Grey Wagtail and two Meadow Pipit of the autumn were overhead with a Wheatear on Warren Point and a Treecreeper and Coal Tit were with the Long-tailed Tit flock in the Entrance Bushes.

Wildlife News: A Black Mining Bee Andrena pilipes by the Entrance Bushes was the highlight. This nationally rare species likes later-flowering umbellifers and brambles, nesting in banks of bare sand.

Black Mining Bee Andrena pilipes - Alan Keatley 
 
Other invertebrates recorded included several Beewolf Philanthus triangulum and Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonariaSmall Red-eyed Damselfly, Dark-winged Flesh Fly Nyctia halterata and the nationally scarce weevil Sibinia arenariae, the latter both new to the recording area. Butterflies were also present in numbers with 13 species recorded including Brown Argus, Wall, Holly Blue and numerous Painted Lady.
 
 Hornet Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Dark-winged Flesh Fly - Alan Keatley
 

 

Friday, 16 August 2019

Friday 16th August

A wet and windy day but seawatching was disappointing with just four Manx Shearwater far enough into the bay to identify but 110 Kittiwake and 20 Gannet did also pass south. The conditions did however bring good numbers of terns to the estuary the highlight being a juvenile Roseate Tern along with 270 Sandwich, 94 Common, two Arctic and a juvenile Little Tern. Wader counts included 302 Dunlin, 170 Ringed Plover, 15 Knot, eight Greenshank and four Grey Plover, including three smart summer plumaged birds.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Thursday 15th August

Small wader numbers had declined overnight, with counts of 220 Dunlin, 58 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling and a Turnstone. Other counts included 810 Oystercatcher, 322 Curlew, 243 Redshank, 182 Sandwich and three Common Tern, 19 Whimbrel and six Greenshank. Other migrants included two juvenile Willow Warbler and a Wheatear.

Wildlife News: There were double figures of Painted Lady on the wing with several Common Blue, Large and Small White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood alongside two Red Admiral, a Wall and a Brown Argus.

Wall - Alan Keatley

Over a dozen hoverfly species were on the wing; predominantly Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea, Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax and Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, with lesser numbers of Tapered Dronefly Eristalis pertinax, Stripe-faced Dronefly Eristalis nemorum and Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta. Others included Common Spotted Eupeodes Eupeodes luniger, Large Pied Hoverfly Volucella pellucens, Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria, Thick-legged Hoverfly Syritta pipiens, Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus, Slender Melanostoma Melanostoma scalare and Small Spotty-eyed Hoverfly Eristalinus sepulchralis.

Long-winged Conehead - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Wednesday 14th August

A juvenile Wood Sandpiper in front of the hide early morning was the highlight on another busy day. Counts from the estuary included 461 Dunlin, 330 Ringed Plover, 208 Sandwich Tern, 16 Sanderling, 15 Common Tern, 10 Mediterranean Gull, eight Knot, six Greenshank, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, an Arctic Tern and the Slavonian Grebe.

Yellow-legged Gull - Lee Collins

Offshore a mixed feeding party of shearwaters included nine Balearic and five Manx with 130 Kittiwake and at least two Arctic Skua also present.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Monday 12th August

The high tide continued to impress with large flocks of waders including 329 Dunlin, 143 Ringed Plover, eight Whimbrel, three Knot, two Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Also in the estuary 221 Sandwich, 10 Common and a Little Tern, 10 Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Sunday 11th August

The mid-afternoon high tide waterbird roosts were studiously  counted and the results were 771 Oystercatcher, 445 Dunlin, 364 Redshank, 320 Ringed Plover (including the German/ Danish ringed bird), 286 Curlew, 196 Sandwich Tern, 51 Sanderling, 39 Whimbrel, 26 Turnstone (15 juvs), 23 Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Cormorant, 15 Common Tern, 14 Mute Swan, 14 Canada Goose, eight Little Egret, five Greenshank, four Mediterranean Gull, four Bar-tailed Godwit, three Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Sandpiper, two Knot, single Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Common GullLesser Black-backed Gull and 'Herbert' the resident Slavonian Grebe  The presence of two Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine made them all a little jumpy.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Saturday 10th August

The storm passed last night, the barometer sprung back up 18 mb (in 24 hours), the rain stopped and the wind shifted southwest. To catch any seabirds that had sheltered overnight in the relative calm of the bay before heading out into Lyme Bay, seawatching was underway from first light.  Reasonable numbers of Kittiwake, Gannet and Fulmar passed through, but overall the sea was a bit disappointing with just single Manx Shearwater and a shearwater sp.  Highlights were eight Arctic Skua, two Storm Petrel, an adult Little Tern.

Around The Bight, in front of the hide and along the beach on the neap, early afternoon high tide, selected counts were 300+ Dunlin, 232+ Ringed Plover, 63+ Sanderling, 15+ Common Tern, four juvenile Mediterranean Gull, three Whimbrel, a single Knot, a juvenile Black Tern and an adult Arctic Tern.  A Willow Warbler was heard in the bushes. 

Wildlife news: despite the breezy conditions, 15+ species of hoverfly were found in sheltered spots, including Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea, the hornet mimic Volucella zonaria and Hook-banded Wasp Hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum.  Also noted a bee-wolf, Jersey Tiger and a few Painted Lady and Red Admiral

 Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea - Alan Keatley

 Hook-banded Wasp hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum - Alan Keatley

Jersey Tiger - Alan Keatley

Friday, 9 August 2019

Friday 9th August

The much anticipated unseasonably low 981 mb depression centered on southern Ireland produced strong south-southeasterly winds and heavy showers.  Lengthy hours of seawatching didn't produce anything unexpected with only a light dribble of Gannet and Kittiwake through all day and counts of c.40 Common Scoter, 38 Balearic Shearwater, 36 Manx Shearwater and 22 unidentified shearwaters, a testament to the distances and conditions that are often involved in seawatching from this site; also 22 Fulmar, 17 Arctic Skua and three Great Skua.  Small numbers of various waders were also moving south-southwest. 

Overall counts of birds offshore, in the estuary, and in the case of five species of wader that utilised the sodden fairways of the golf course to forage, included 274 Curlew, 264 Dunlin, 211 Sandwich Tern, 209 Ringed Plover, 87 Bar-tailed Godwit, 86 Redshank, c.50 Sanderling, 39 Common Tern, 23 Cormorant, ten Turnstone, six Black-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank, five each of Grey Plover, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, and a Knot.  Highlights from the hide were the adult Roseate Tern, and also reported the juv Black Tern and an Arctic Tern

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Thursday 8th August

Both levels of the hide were packed out with visitors during the lunchtime high tide period and the murky inclement conditions grounded many migrants for everyone to see with increases shown as 269 Dunlin, 192 Ringed Plover, 40+ Sanderling and 13 Common Sandpiper.  Also in the estuary and The Bight, counts included 225 Sandwich Tern, 22 Common Tern, 12+ Mediterranean Gull, five Turnstone, two Grey Plover, a Knot, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.  

The juv Black Tern continued its stay and a new adult (single metal ringed) Roseate Tern rested for spells among other terns in front of the hide between foraging sorties.  Sandwich Terns ringed in Belgium, Netherlands, Wales and Farne Islands were present, including one bird that has lingered here for nearly four weeks.  Terns continued to bring in 'whitebait' to feed their semi-dependent young, which stand about on in the estuary waiting to be fed. Neither Sandwich Tern nor Common Tern breed in Devon and the bond between parent and young clearly remains strong during their long journeys over hundreds of miles during autumn migration. 

Offshore, a dozen Common Scoter, two Arctic Skua and a Great Skua.  The bushes continued to hold a Coal Tit and yesterday's Treecreeper, loosely associated with a mixed tit and warbler flock. Overall totals included 13 Long-tailed Tit, 18 Blackcap, 13 Chiffchaff and four Whitethroat. With these birds and the finch flocks about, the sighting again of the female Sparrowhawk was unsurprising. 

Wildlife news: despite the conditions, a few invertebrates were found with European Beewolf Philanthus triangulum the highlight.

European Beewolf - Alan Keatley
  

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Wednesday 7th August

Lots of visitors gravitated to the hide today to watch the spectacle of birds gathered for the lunchtime high tide roost, and for the chance of seeing any of the more unusual tern species seen recently.  Whilst most small terns in the estuary today seemed to be foraging over Cockle Sands and The Ridge, including two Little Tern and 30+ Common Tern, the juv Black Tern eventually came over and spent time perched on a distant buoy.  

Also present during the high tide period, 785 Oystercatcher, c510 Black-headed Gull, 321 Curlew, 238 Sandwich Tern, 181 Dunlin, 135 Ringed Plover, 22 Whimbrel, 21 Mediterranean Gull, 17 Cormorant, 16 Common Tern, 15 Mute Swan, 10 Common Gull, eight Great Black-backed Gull, five Black-tailed Godwit, four each of Grey Heron, Little Egret and Turnstone, three Bar-tailed Godwit, three Sanderling and single Grey Plover, Knot, Common Sandpiper, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and the Slavonian Grebe. No counts of 'tringas' today.  Multiple Welsh and Dutch-ringed Sandwich Terns were again present today.    Two Wheatear were around The Bight.

A few Swallow, an immature Kestrel and a lone House Martin, so far very scarce this autumn, flew south west.  On and in bramble patches and wooded areas, the family (of 4) plus a pair of Stonechat; also eight Blackcap, four Chiffchaff, two Whitethroat, two Willow Warbler, a Coal Tit and the usual tit flocks and finches.

Wildlife news: a few Small Red-eyed Damselfly in tandem were on the Main Pond.  One or two Emperor Dragonfly and Common Darter also present.  Butterflies were still plentiful with a light sprinkle of Painted Lady and Red Admiral, lots of Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Common Blue still, and a few Speckled Wood, Small White and Green-veined White.  Two Jersey Tiger, one of which flew over the car park, and can be met with throughout the site in the right conditions and singles have been seen over the past few days. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Tuesday 6th August

With a fresh southwesterly and heavy showers coinciding with the late morning high tide, hopes were raised for an influx of birds taking shelter in The Bight and estuary. In the event, numbers were on a par with recent days though by collecting close in front of the hide, visitors were treated to some great views and of fascinating insight of their lives as revealed by their uniquely colour-coded and metal rings.

Present were 700+ Oystercatcher, 383 Curlew, 246 Sandwich Tern, 217 Redshank, 193 Dunlin, 147 Ringed Plover, 57 Canada Goose, 29 Whimbrel, 24 Mediterranean Gull (17 adult, 1 ss, 3 fs, 3 juv), 16 Common Tern, 13 Cormorant, 11 Common Gull, six Great Black-backed Gull, five Mute Swan, four Little Egret, three each of Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling and Greenshank, two Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper again on the island, the juv Black Tern present for its 3rd day, and the resident Slavonian Grebe.

Among these was a 2nd-calendar year metal-ringed Ringed Plover, the third recorded at this site from Germany, near the Denmark border.  These are of the nominate race hiaticula, the same as those that nest in the UK; a multi colour-ringed Dunlin from Wales (as a migrant there); a number of coded red-ringed Sandwich Tern from Wales, two coded yellow-ringed birds from the Netherlands, and metal-ringed Sandwich Terns from Germany and one from Lady's Island Lake, Co. Wexford, which was ringed as a pullus there in June 1993, making it over 26 years old! This is its 3rd autumn seen here.  The oldest ever recorded Sandwich Tern is 30 years 9 months old. 


Sandwich Terns (middle bird 'KJC' was ringed in Wales) - Lee Collins

Sandwich Tern ('T87' was ringed in the Netherlands) - Lee Collins

Not breezy enough for this site, nothing of note was seen at sea.  Eleven Swift dodged the showers heading south.  A Treecreeper in the Entrance Bushes was new for the year, where also found were two Coal Tit and two Willow Warbler. A Wheatear was the only other obvious migrant. 

Wildlife news; a few Painted Lady still.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Monday 5th August

The clouds of gulls and terns present in the estuary over the past few days had largely dispersed and the site had a more sedate feel about it today. Despite overnight movement, interest could still be found during the late morning high tide with the presence of two Little Tern (adult & juv) and the juv Black Tern among terns roosting on Finger Point and in front of the tide, totaling 221 Sandwich Tern and 11 Common Tern.  Of the Sandwich Tern, at least two were Dutch; yellow colour-ringed 'T87' was ringed as a pullus in 'Utopia', Texel, Holland in 2015 and was seen at Dawlish Warren a few times that autumn and in 2017.  Other sightings of it have been at Salcombe, south Devon and Namibia in Nov 2016. 

Other counts included 326 Curlew, 195 Dunlin, 98 Ringed Plover, nine Mediterranean Gull, three Bar-tailed Godwit, two Grey Plover, and single summer-plumage Knot, juv Black-tailed Godwit, and juv Common Sandpiper.

Common Sandpiper - Dave Jewell

Nothing of particular note at sea, nor overhead, nor in the bushes, just the Coal Tit again and a Collared Dove.

Wildlife news: Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirpites was spotted near the Back Meadow; an Emperor quartered the Main Pond and scattered around the site were a few Painted Lady, Red Admiral and Silver Y

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Sunday 4th August

The advantage of long hours of daylight was again taken and both spring tides were covered as numbers of waterbirds continue to rise, today producing 773 Oystercatcher, 288 Redshank, 286 Dunlin, 246 Sandwich Tern, 139 Ringed Plover, 32 Sanderling, 27 Mediterranean Gull (various ages), 16 Canada Goose, 12 Mute Swan, 12 Cormorant, eight Little Egret, eight Great Black-backed Gull, seven Greenshank, six each of Common Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull, five Shelduck, four Bar-tailed Godwit, three Grey Heron, two Grey Plover, the first two Knot of the autumn, two Turnstone, a mobile noisy juv Little Ringed Plover, one Black-tailed Godwit, and 'Herbert', the resident Slavonian Grebe.  

juv Little Ringed Plover - Lee Collins


Highlights were an adult (unringed) Roseate Tern and the juv Black Tern, both at times close in front of the hide.  One of the South Africa ringed Sandwich Tern was also present again.  

Roseate Tern (note quite extensive red at bill base on this individual) - Lee Collins

A juv Peregrine put everything up briefly.  And the 'Tunes In The Castle' concert at Powderham, even at two miles away, was absurdly loud enough to get some visitors' hackles up, though attributing increased alertness of waterbirds in response to this additional potential source of disturbance was less straightforward.   

On the Main Pond, the first two Water Rail of the autumn squealed from the reedbeds where also heard were Reed Warbler continuing to feed their young and a Sedge Warbler 'tcheked' and popped out after a bit of 'spishing'. 

Offshore, rafts of c20 Shag, 15 Common Scoter and just single figures of Gannet and Kittiwake, plus a single Great Crested Grebe.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Saturday 3rd August

Another humid day with an onshore easterly breeze in the morning coinciding with a spring tide and plentiful shoals attracted big numbers of gulls and terns to the lower estuary with year-max counts including c.750 Black-headed Gull, 256 Sandwich Tern and 38 Common Tern, joined by a single adult Arctic Tern at times with a juv Black Tern.


juv Black Tern - Lee Collins

The evening tide was also covered and counts for the day included 632 Oystercatcher, including the returning partial albino bird, 329 Redshank (a year-max), 317+ Curlew, 117 Dunlin, 84 Ringed Plover (a year-max), 48 Whimbrel, 30 Canada Goose, 29 Mediterranean Gull (16 adult, 2 ss, 3 fs, 8 juv); 28 Cormorant (2 juvs), 27 Sanderling, nine Mute Swan, nine Great Black-backed Gull, six Greenshank, five each of Little Egret, Turnstone, Common Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull, three Grey Heron, two Mallard, two Grey Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwit, the first Teal of the autumn, a mobile juv Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit flew north, a juv Yellow-legged Gull and the resident Slavonian Grebe.

The juv Kittiwake was again on Finger Point. Alas no sign of yesterday's Stone-Curlew. A couple of Arctic Skua floated together offshore in the morning, but the biggest surprise of the day was a flock of four pale phase Arctic Skua in the estuary over Cockle Sands, likely attracted in by a huge cloud of terns and gulls there, which they chased around, creating quite a commotion.  The loose flock of skuas then took height, soared around and drifted up the east side of the estuary.  This is highly unusual behaviour by this species.

Three generations of Moorhen again wandered the fairways at dusk and a Sedge Warbler was near the Main Pond earlier.  Single Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and 25+ Swallow overhead. The Marsh Tit was back again with a mixed tit and 'phylosc' flock, including Coal Tit again and two Willow Warbler, calling and mobile.  Two Collared Dove also in bushes and the male plus three juv Stonechat were again predictably around the 14th to hide area.  Modest-sized flocks of Linnet and Goldfinch continue to roam the site but 105+ House Sparrow pre-roost flock in scrub around the golf course outbuildings was another year-max.

Wildlife news: lots of active insects, images of two of the more showy species below are Sand-tailed Digger-wasp Cerceris arenaria and the parasitic wasp Gasteruption jaculator.

Sand-tailed Digger-wasp Cerceris arenaria - Alan Keatley

parasitic wasp Gasteruption jaculator - Alan Keatley

Friday, 2 August 2019

Friday 2nd August

A Stone-Curlew present all day and into the late evening was the main attraction.  It ranged from the golf course to the end of Warren Point.  This was the fourth bird since 2013 but only the eighth record since 1867.  It spent the morning high tide stood, incongruously, among the large and noisy mixed aggregation of Oystercatcher and Sandwich Tern on Finger Point.  It reigned a small circle of unfamiliar awe around it, though occasionally an Oystercatcher would walk up closer to inspect the interloper, before running off. For a brief time, things got stranger still when a juvenile Kittiwake, a scarce bird on Finger Point, got close enough for both species to eye each other.  One has to wonder how many times that's ever happened.


 Stone-Curlew - Lee Collins

Stone-Curlew - Lee Collins

Little else received attention today though a few counts of birds in the estuary were of 600+ Oystercatcher, 330 Curlew, 207 Sandwich Tern, 85 Dunlin, 50 Ringed Plover, 25 Sanderling, 27 Common Tern (7 juvs), 22 Whimbrel, 21 Canada Goose, eight Mute Swan, eight Greenshank, five Little Egret, five Mediterranean Gull, four Grey Plover, three Bar-tailed Godwit, two Turnstone, a Little Ringed Plover, a Grey Heron and the resident Slavonian Grebe
Little Ringed Plover - Lee Collins

Another huge find today was a Marsh Tit, seen and heard with a mixed tit flock, including a Coal Tit, a notable species this time of the year, moving up through the site.  Seems likely this is the same bird as one here on 16th June, though still constitutes only the 12th record for site.  Migrants in the bushes were two Willow Warbler, a Sedge Warbler and a Wheatear beside the hide.

Elsewhere, a trickle of Swallow passing through all day, plus a couple of Swift.  A small number of Mediterranean Gull joined other small gulls and hirundines anting overhead.  

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Thursday 1st August

Into a cycle of morning spring tides, counts were of 610 Oystercatcher (5 juvs), 145 Sandwich Tern, 41 Ringed Plover, 19 Whimbrel, 13 Sanderling, 12 Common Tern, two Shelduck (the first for some weeks), a juv Little Ringed Plover, a Roseate Ternand new for the year, a juv Ruff on Finger Point.  

At least 60 Swallow passed through but the bushes held no obvious migrants and the most noteworthy record there was of two Collared Dove still. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Tuesday 30th July

On this the second day of unsettled conditions, murk frustrated seawatching efforts early morning, though at least managed to produce three Arctic Skua, a Balearic Shearwater and a Roseate Tern.

Heavy showers persisted into the evening and birds continued to drop in and take refuge over the high tide with selected counts including 169 Redshank, 88 Dunlin, 49 Ringed Plover, 40+ Mediterranean Gull, 34 Sanderling, 27 Great Black-backed Gull (first two juvs of the year), 16 Turnstone, four each of Common Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Common Gull, the long-staying fs Grey Plover and the resident Slavonian Grebe.

The day belonged to the terns; four Little Tern (1 juv) of which two adults were colour-ringed, one from the Chesil Beach, Portland colony and the other from the large colony at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow (Ireland), our 4th bird from there.  Colour-rings were read on six of the 157 Sandwich Tern (42 juvs) from the hide.  Three were ringed in Wales with 'KDB' here from its 14th day and 'KAL' making its first appearance of the autumn, back for its 5th autumn in a row here.  Another was ringed on Inner Farnes and two new yellow-ringed birds were from Holland.  And an update on the Sandwich Tern here on 26th July, which was ringed on Firth of Clyde (W Scotland) as a chick (pullus) in 2016.  It was seen at Wagejot, Texel, Holland the next day, then was back again at Dawlish Warren on the day after that, plus yesterday! Long distance 'reverse' migration by this species has been recorded, as has the habit of young adult terns to travel extensively to explore new areas and colonies. 

Monday, 29 July 2019

Monday 29th July

Little reported today; c.80 Sandwich Tern were in front of the hide during the early evening high tide and a dozen Turnstone were on Finger Point.  Despite the change in weather in the afternoon with heavy showers and F5 easterly, seawatching was poor, producing only about a dozen Manx Shearwater, a few Gannet, a Fulmar and the day's highlight, a single Balearic Shearwater.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Sunday 28th July

The Bight and the wider estuary received most of the attention this afternoon where a comprehensive set of waterbird counts were c400 Oystercatcher, 375 Curlew, c250 Black-headed Gull, 110+ Redshank, c75 Sandwich Tern, 44 Dunlin, 21 Whimbrel, 17 each of Canada Goose, Mediterranean Gull and Common Tern, ten Great Black-backed Gull, nine Cormorant, four Little Egret, four Common Gull, three Mute Swan, three Sanderling, two Grey Heron, single Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and the resident Slavonian Grebe; only Herring Gull wasn't counted today.   

A Hobby flew in off the sea then coasted, hawking and looping around on its journey southwest at 15;50.  Ten Swallow and four Swift also passed overhead. 

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Saturday 27th July

Another hot sunny day with rather too much on show from some less prudish visitors to the site however, the appearance of two immature Lapwing in Greenland Lake was a sight to behold, the first July record here since 2013. 

Lapwing - Alan Keatley

The early afternoon neap tide was just high enough, and recreational boat traffic across the estuary certainly chaotic enough, to push into the sanctuary of the site hundreds of Curlew, 413 Oystercatcher, 3-figure count of Redshank, 70+ Sandwich Tern, 49 Dunlin, 21 Canada Goose, 18+ Whimbrel, 18 Mediterranean Gull (2 juv, 10 fs, 0 ss, 6 adults); seven Ringed Plover, four Sanderling, four Mute Swan, three Bar-tailed Godwit, three Black-tailed Godwit, single Greenshank, Grey Plover and the resident Slavonian Grebe.   

Gulls too assembled in The Bight and among these a Polish-ringed Black-headed Gull back for its fourth year, a German-ringed Mediterranean Gull, also a Welsh-ringed Sandwich Tern extended its stay of about a fortnight, plus a new arrival, ringed in Inner Farne, back for its third autumn.  Quite a number of adult colour-ringed Oystercatcher seen today, having returned from breeding grounds, plus a wasp-ringed bird trapped here back in 1989.

A steady passage 50+ Swallow and four Raven passed overhead. Just the regular, standard bird species in the bushes and dunes.

Wildlife News: Four Emperor Dragonfly, the first Migrant Hawker of the year, and a Black-tailed Skimmer on Warren Point.  Second brood Brown Argus were on the wing with several Red Admiral and Painted Lady and lots of the regular butterflies throughout.

 Migrant Hawker - Alan Keatley

 Brown Argus - Alan Keatley

Waisted Beegrabber Physocephala rufipes - Alan Keatley
 

Friday, 26 July 2019

Friday 26th July

An Osprey was over the estuary mid afternoon with the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood and 70 Sandwich and 11 Common Tern, seven Dunlin, two Mediterranean Gull, four Ringed and a Grey Plover.

Thursday 25th July

Counts from the estuary included 90 Sandwich Tern, 17 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling, seven Dunlin, four Turnstone, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a Whimbrel.

Wildlife News: Insects were very active with single Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes and a Black-thighed Epeolus Epeolus variegatus amongst many Silvery Leafcutter Megachile leachella and Green-eyed Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata. Elsewhere a Small Spotty-eyed Dronefly Eristalinus sepulchralis was by the Tractor Compound, all areas of scrub held large numbers of Gatekeeper, with good numbers of Small Copper, Common Blue and Meadow Brown. There were also a few Large and Small White and a couple of Peacock and Red Admiral.

 Pantaloon Bee - Alan Keatley

Black-thighed Epeolus - Alan Keatley
 

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Wednesday 24th July

The Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with 80+ Sandwich and three Common Tern, five Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, a summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit and a Rock Pipit.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Tuesday 23rd July

An immature Arctic Tern was in the estuary with 115 Sandwich and 12 Common Tern but there was no sign of any Roseates. Also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, 81 Dunlin, 24 Sanderling, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, six Ringed Plover, five Mediterranean Gull and a Grey Plover.

Arctic Tern (presumed 2nd summer) - Lee Collins