Due to the significant erosion at Dawlish Warren, Teignbridge District Council is advising extreme caution when visiting. The dune path between groyne 10 – 18 is unsafe and a section of this path is completely closed with no access. Access to Warren Point and the bird hide is only possible via the beach with the risk of being cut off for a period either side of each high tide. The only access, up and back down, to these areas is along the beach at lower states of tide.
The continuing still, and at times, sunny weather saw a good start to the year with a total of 76 species recorded by dusk, the most notable absentees included Bar-tailed Godwit, Canada Goose and even Mallard.
Three Goldeneye off the seawall early morning were unusual as the species is rarely seen offshore, also on the sea 26 Great-crested Grebe, a single Common Scoter, a Great Northern and at least three Red-throated Diver, a further eight Red-throated Diver flew south.
On a low high tide wader counts from the estuary were much reduced around the hide with just 64 Grey Plover, 16 Knot and seven Sanderling amongst the Dunlin. a good total of 62 Turnstone were however feeding on the incoming tide, many eventually roosting in the Railway Saltmarsh. Also in the estuary 281 Wigeon, 103 Teal, 92 Brent Geese, 61 Common and a Mediterranean Gull, 29 Shelduck, seven Greenshank, three Eider, a Lapwing and the Slavonian Grebe.
Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler was mobile between the first and Main Pond, at least one Firecrest roosted in the Entrance Bushes with three Chiffchaff and a Coal Tit, five Shoveler were on the Main Pond and a single Golden Plover flew over.
Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary and a New Year Plant hunt saw a total of 34 species in flower including Sea Spurge, Sweet Violet and new for the Recording area, Winter Jasmine.