Saturday 5 August 2023

Saturday 5th August

Seawatching for 3.5 hours from first light produced totals of 523 Kittiwake, 390 Gannet,  229 Sandwich Tern, 37 Manx Shearwater, 36 Common Scoter, 33 Common Tern, nine Arctic and four Pomarine Skua, eight Fulmar, three Storm Petrel, two Arctic Tern (ad + juv) and single juvenile Mediterranean Gull, Bar-tailed Godwit and Razorbill all head south. 

Soon after a count of 88 Sandwich Tern was made in the Bight, suggesting a total in excess of 300 for the day, although the max count later from the Bight of 231 (37 juvs) was very close to the seawatch total. There were only three Common Tern in the Bight later on but the juvenile Arctic Tern did also return. 

Also present in the estuary; 367 Curlew, 207 Redshank, 63 Dunlin, 62 Ringed Plover, 37 Whimbrel, 26 Sanderling, 11 Mediterranean Gull, nine Greenshank, two Bar-tailed Godwit, two Common Sandpiper, the long-staying summer plumaged Knot and the even longer staying Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Ringing News: The highlight was the return of the South African ringed Sandwich Tern 4H18572, ringed at Rufane Beach, Port Alfred in Dec 2007 and first recorded here in 2019. This is one of only five South African ringed Sandwich Tern recorded in Britain. It was also been recorded at Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour in May 2008 & 2011. As it was ringed as an adult, it is at least 17 years old and has probably flown over a quarter of a million miles in its lifetime!

Another notable recovery was of a DCWRG Dunlin A3, ringed here in Oct 2021, it was last seen on 27 Oct 2021. The lack of other records and its reappearance suggests it uses the Exe on passage rather than wintering.

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