Wednesday 4 November 2020

Wednesday 4th November

A significant change in the weather with the first frost overnight under clear skies in a dominant high pressure (1038 mb and climbing); and the calm condition allowed the first estuarine fog to develop. As predicted, overhead passage was heavy with 37,575 Woodpigeon that flew WSW from 07:10 to 11:25. This the fourth largest count here ever and all previous 5-figure counts have been since 2007, underlining what is a growing awesome annual spectacle. There were also 5-figure counts reported today elsewhere in south Devon (here). Relatively few compared to some movements in the past, 38 Stock Dove represented only 0.1% of pigeons on the move.

The following counts also include birds that spent some time in Greenland Lake, or flew NE up the spit and double-backed - 184 Skylark (W), 124 Chaffinch (NE), 60+ Goldfinch, 30+ Greenfinch, 30 Siskin (NE), 28 Meadow Pipit (N), 26 Linnet (NE), 20 Jackdaw (WSW), seven alba wagtail plus a White Wagtail (WSW), five Song Thrush (WSW), four Bullfinch (double-backed), three Rook, three Brambling (NE, one landed briefly in The Spinney), three Lesser Redpoll, three Grey Wagtail, two Fieldfare (NE), two Great Northern Diver (looped over the spit), two Reed Bunting, a Buzzard, a Coal Tit (NE; britannicus), a Mistle Thrush (W), a sw Mediterranean Gull (N), a Golden Plover (N) and a male Yellowhammer, perhaps yesterday's bird.

In the woodlands, 13 Long-tailed Tit and a few other tits, at least five each of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, and one observer heard a Firecrest, perhaps yesterday's bird. One of the three Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared exhausted and grounded in Marram-grass toward Warren Point, which could have been a migrant.  Late morning, a small pipit that called a couple of times and briefly landed in Greenland Lake before it flew off NE was considered to be just a Tree Pipit. This is the latest date ever here and beats the previous late date record of 25 Oct 1958.

On the Main Pond, a few Water Rail, Moorhen, a pair of Little Grebe and the drake Shoveler.  The morning high tide was missed to concentrate on 'vis-mig'. At low tide, 23 Cattle Egret perched on the wreck.  A brief look offshore revealed a flock of 20 Common Scoter and a couple of Gannet. An impressive 83 species were recorded on site today.

Wildlife news: a late Clouded Yellow and one or two Red Admiral, Common Darter and Migrant Hawker were on the wing in the sunshine. Water Vole was present on the Main Pond.

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