Saturday 29 August 2020

Friday 28th August

During a visit in the afternoon to observe arrivals over the high tide, selected counts were 304 Dunlin, 142 Ringed Plover, 25 Sanderling, ten Greenshank, a juv Curlew Sandpiper and a Knot. Counts were interrupted at times by a hunting juvenile Peregrine.  Among the 51 Sandwich Tern present was a Spanish ringed bird not seen here for a number of weeks and a new individual ringed on the Farne Islands.  A glance off the seawall produced a Great Northern Diver and also noted on site three Wheatear

Timing of the visit was fortuitous to catch sight of the two Spoonbill as they left site and flew off south at 14:20. Initially it was assumed that these were the same two seen later from Berry Head, 15 km to the south of Dawlish Warren, in the "early afternoon", but subsequent inquiries revealed a more intriguing movement.  The sighting off Berry Head was of two Spoonbill heading strongly south at 12:36, so before the Dawlish Warren sighting.  Its not unreasonable for these birds to have simply changed their minds and returned instead of making a perilous journey over the open sea, theorising perhaps due to sensing a change in the weather conditions as rain did arrive in the region later the same day.  Clearest on one of the photos; see link (, both had black marks in the outer primaries, as did those at Dawlish Warren, but seemingly less black in those off Berry Head, so perhaps different birds; can't be certain. 

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