Thursday, 22 August 2019

Thursday 22nd August

Counts over a low high tide included 273 Dunlin, 136 Ringed Plover, 45 Sandwich Tern, 26 Sanderling, five Turnstone, two juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a Whinchat was on the Point, with 12 Blackcap, six Whitethroat, two Willow and a Sedge Warbler also on site and a Yellow Wagtail overhead.

Wildlife News: Sea Daffodil is again in flower on Warren Point; the Warren one of just a handful of locations in the UK for this plant. 

Sea Daffodil - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere at least 20 Painted Lady were on site with two Red Admiral also new arrivals. Six Small Red-eyed Damselfly were on the Main Pond and good numbers of Yellow-legged Mining Bee Andrena flavipes and their cuckoo Painted Nomad Bee Nomada fucata.

 Yellow-legged Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

Painted Nomad Bee - Alan Keatley

Monday, 19 August 2019

Monday 19th August

A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was on Finger Point, a colour-ringed bird from the Atlantic coast of France that has been at Exmouth recently. Also present over the high tide 260 Sandwich, four Common and a juvenile Arctic Tern and seven Mediterranean Gull. Wader counts included 322 Redshank, 310 Dunlin, 250 Ringed Plover, 31 Sanderling, 25 Knot, eight Whimbrel, seven Common Sandpiper, five Greenshank, and single Bar and Black-tailed Godwit.

 Yellow-legged Gull - Lee Collins

Elsewhere a single Swift was overhead with a dozen House Martin, a Wheatear was in the Bight and a Ring-necked Parakeet added some colour. Blue phase birds are only known from captivity not feral or wild populations. This may be an escape or one of an increasing number of illegally released birds in Devon.

Ring-necked Parakeet - Lee Collins
Wildlife News: At least two of the nationally rare cranefly Geranomyia bezzi were recorded in the Bight, the first sighting since the sea defence work. The Warren is the only regular UK site for this species.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Sunday 18th August

A juvenile Arctic Tern was the highlight over high tide in with 171 Sandwich and four Common Tern. Also in the estuary 395 Dunlin, 279 Curlew, 232 Redshank, 203 Ringed Plover, 29 Sanderling, 19 Whimbrel, 14 Knot, 13 Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, two Black and Bar-tailed Godwit and the Slavonian Grebe.
Elsewhere 112 Gannet and 80 Kittiwake were offshore, two Swift were overhead with 11 Swallow, five Sand and a House Martin with four Willow Warbler, two Wheatear, a Coal Tit and a Green Woodpecker on site.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Saturday 17th August

Seawatching first thing saw four Balearic Shearwater head south out of the bay with 190 Kittiwake, 75 Gannet and 65 Common Tern but the numbers soon dropped off. Small numbers of Common Tern remained over high tide with 160 Sandwich Tern, with wader counts including 385 Dunlin, 268 Curlew, 239 Ringed Plover, 178 Redshank, 42 Sanderling, including the first juvenile, seven Knot, six Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwit and two Greenshank. Also in the estuary 10 Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Whitethroat - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere the first Grey Wagtail and two Meadow Pipit of the autumn were overhead with a Wheatear on Warren Point and a Treecreeper and Coal Tit were with the Long-tailed Tit flock in the Entrance Bushes.

Wildlife News: A Black Mining Bee Andrena pilipes by the Entrance Bushes was the highlight. This nationally rare species likes later-flowering umbellifers and brambles, nesting in banks of bare sand.

Black Mining Bee Andrena pilipes - Alan Keatley 
Other invertebrates recorded included several Beewolf Philanthus triangulum and Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonariaSmall Red-eyed Damselfly, Dark-winged Flesh Fly Nyctia halterata and the nationally scarce weevil Sibinia arenariae, the latter both new to the recording area. Butterflies were also present in numbers with 13 species recorded including Brown Argus, Wall, Holly Blue and numerous Painted Lady.
 Hornet Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Dark-winged Flesh Fly - Alan Keatley


Friday, 16 August 2019

Friday 16th August

A wet and windy day but seawatching was disappointing with just four Manx Shearwater far enough into the bay to identify but 110 Kittiwake and 20 Gannet did also pass south. The conditions did however bring good numbers of terns to the estuary the highlight being a juvenile Roseate Tern along with 270 Sandwich, 94 Common, two Arctic and a juvenile Little Tern. Wader counts included 302 Dunlin, 170 Ringed Plover, 15 Knot, eight Greenshank and four Grey Plover, including three smart summer plumaged birds.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Thursday 15th August

Small wader numbers had declined overnight, with counts of 220 Dunlin, 58 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling and a Turnstone. Other counts included 810 Oystercatcher, 322 Curlew, 243 Redshank, 182 Sandwich and three Common Tern, 19 Whimbrel and six Greenshank. Other migrants included two juvenile Willow Warbler and a Wheatear.

Wildlife News: There were double figures of Painted Lady on the wing with several Common Blue, Large and Small White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood alongside two Red Admiral, a Wall and a Brown Argus.

Wall - Alan Keatley

Over a dozen hoverfly species were on the wing; predominantly Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea, Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax and Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, with lesser numbers of Tapered Dronefly Eristalis pertinax, Stripe-faced Dronefly Eristalis nemorum and Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta. Others included Common Spotted Eupeodes Eupeodes luniger, Large Pied Hoverfly Volucella pellucens, Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria, Thick-legged Hoverfly Syritta pipiens, Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus, Slender Melanostoma Melanostoma scalare and Small Spotty-eyed Hoverfly Eristalinus sepulchralis.

Long-winged Conehead - Alan Keatley

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Wednesday 14th August

A juvenile Wood Sandpiper in front of the hide early morning was the highlight on another busy day. Counts from the estuary included 461 Dunlin, 330 Ringed Plover, 208 Sandwich Tern, 16 Sanderling, 15 Common Tern, 10 Mediterranean Gull, eight Knot, six Greenshank, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, an Arctic Tern and the Slavonian Grebe.

Yellow-legged Gull - Lee Collins

Offshore a mixed feeding party of shearwaters included nine Balearic and five Manx with 130 Kittiwake and at least two Arctic Skua also present.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Monday 12th August

The high tide continued to impress with large flocks of waders including 329 Dunlin, 143 Ringed Plover, eight Whimbrel, three Knot, two Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Also in the estuary 221 Sandwich, 10 Common and a Little Tern, 10 Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Sunday 11th August

The mid-afternoon high tide waterbird roosts were studiously  counted and the results were 771 Oystercatcher, 445 Dunlin, 364 Redshank, 320 Ringed Plover (including the German/ Danish ringed bird), 286 Curlew, 196 Sandwich Tern, 51 Sanderling, 39 Whimbrel, 26 Turnstone (15 juvs), 23 Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Cormorant, 15 Common Tern, 14 Mute Swan, 14 Canada Goose, eight Little Egret, five Greenshank, four Mediterranean Gull, four Bar-tailed Godwit, three Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Sandpiper, two Knot, single Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Common GullLesser Black-backed Gull and 'Herbert' the resident Slavonian Grebe  The presence of two Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine made them all a little jumpy.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Saturday 10th August

The storm passed last night, the barometer sprung back up 18 mb (in 24 hours), the rain stopped and the wind shifted southwest. To catch any seabirds that had sheltered overnight in the relative calm of the bay before heading out into Lyme Bay, seawatching was underway from first light.  Reasonable numbers of Kittiwake, Gannet and Fulmar passed through, but overall the sea was a bit disappointing with just single Manx Shearwater and a shearwater sp.  Highlights were eight Arctic Skua, two Storm Petrel, an adult Little Tern.

Around The Bight, in front of the hide and along the beach on the neap, early afternoon high tide, selected counts were 300+ Dunlin, 232+ Ringed Plover, 63+ Sanderling, 15+ Common Tern, four juvenile Mediterranean Gull, three Whimbrel, a single Knot, a juvenile Black Tern and an adult Arctic Tern.  A Willow Warbler was heard in the bushes. 

Wildlife news: despite the breezy conditions, 15+ species of hoverfly were found in sheltered spots, including Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea, the hornet mimic Volucella zonaria and Hook-banded Wasp Hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum.  Also noted a bee-wolf, Jersey Tiger and a few Painted Lady and Red Admiral

 Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea - Alan Keatley

 Hook-banded Wasp hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum - Alan Keatley

Jersey Tiger - Alan Keatley