A set of distinctively blobby and dinosaur-sized prints along a path in the sand confirmed as being on site yesterday's reports from golf course staff of a "peacock", or Indian Peafowl to use its modern vernacular. This raises the Dawlish Warren recording area total of Category D and E species to 28 or 29 species. Rumours of the recent release of another six individuals in the village, including males, to supplement the two females present there over the past few years, to some this might seem delightful, but the deliberate release of non-native species into the open natural environment (without a licence) is illegal, for good ecological reasons, and those responsible risk prosecution.
Back to normality, the morning high spring tide was buffeted by a strong north-westerly and roosting waterbirds hunkered down around The Bight and on the Railway Saltmarsh. These included 230 Oystercatcher, 27 Sanderling, 27 Black-headed Gull, 12 Curlew, 11 Ringed Plover, seven Shelduck, seven Dunlin, five Great Black-backed Gull, just two each of Little Egret and Cormorant, and singles of Grey Plover, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, plus the solitary Golden Plover again roosted on the island. A flock of six Sandwich Tern flew in off the sea.
The dunes, bushes, woodlands and ponds all continued to support birds engaged in the peak of the breeding season with some parent passerines already carrying food to nestlings following successful fledging of first broods. Also of note, eight Swift flew west, a male Kestrel and two Raven.
Wildlife news: unusually, first sightings of both Small Skipper and Large Skipper occurred on the same day today. Other butterflies seen were a Red Admiral, a few Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood.