Sunday, 6 September 2020

Sunday 6th September

This, the 250th day of the calendar year, was noteworthy for a series of scarcer bird sightings that was assisted by a larger than usual contingent of birdwatchers to the site today.  A Wryneck flushed from a path at 08:50 just beyond Dune Pond promptly disappeared and when later re-discovered near the middle of Greenland Lake, it was mobile and soon made its way along bushes beside the Back Path, unusually sometimes perched atop to look around, then lost behind Dead Dolphin Wood and unfortunately for those that twitched it, was not seen again.  This was approximately the 27th individual here since 2001 (elusive long-stayers the pop up days between sightings complicate the estimate) with 2004 & 2009 the last blank years.  With three Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker  present, this was a 'three woodpecker day'; [Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has never been recorded on site].

This was not the main target for everyone that twitched the site; a Nuthatch that repeatedly called from trees behind Crocus Compound was, again unfortunately for others that twitched it, also not seen or heard again.  Less than annual, there have possibly been fewer individuals here than Wryneck (individuals that periodically return to site from the mainland complicate the estimate) and since 2001 there have been five blank years. Most records here occur between late-April to mid-October.

Its appearance coincided with the arrival of a large mixed roaming flock of c.20 Blue Tit, c.14 Long-tailed Tit, two Great Tit and some warblers, with site totals of those being eight Chiffchaff, five Whitethroat, three Blackcap, and a Sedge Warbler.  There were also roaming flocks of 107 Starling, 70+ Linnet, 31 Goldfinch, 20+ Greenfinch; also present eight Stonechat, four Cirl Bunting, a Wheatear and a White Wagtail with the Pied Wagtails.

A flock of 13 Pale-bellied Brent Goose briefly in The Bight, later seen off Powderham, were the first of the autumn. A flock of 54 Wigeon flew in off the sea but other than single figures of Gannet and Common Scoter, nothing else of note was offshore.

On the high tide, the best of WeBS and other available counts were 750+ Oystercatcher, 335 Redshank, 332 Dunlin, 132 Ringed Plover, 27 Knot, 24 Mute Swan, 24 Great Black-backed Gull, 23 Cormorant, 13 Little Egret, nine Greenshank and also nine each of Turnstone and Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach where also 20 Sanderling ran about on the dropping tide; also seven Sandwich Tern, a Whimbrel, and the Slavonian Grebe.

A Hobby passed straight through west; up to 45 Swallow, six Grey Wagtail, three Meadow Pipit, two House Martin flew northeast; and a Yellow Wagtail flew southwest.

On the Main Pond, seven Teal, seven Mallard, some Moorhen and a Little Grebe.

Wildlife news: single figures of Common Darter, Migrant Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly and brief views of what were likely to be Blue-tailed Damselfly.  Another Wall flew along the dune ridge, one Red Admiral and the usual range of regular species were on the wing between the heavy downpours. 

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