Monday, 19 April 2021

Monday 19th April

The first Reed Warbler of the year was at the Main Pond along with the presumed long-staying and very elusive Siberian Chiffchaff and a second equally pale individual.

Siberian Chiffchaff - Dean Hall

More unexpected though was a Red-throated Diver late in the day. Although not looking in the best of health it was feeding on occasion; the Canada Geese took a dislike to it if it came too close and the two pairs of Little Grebe gave it a wide berth.

Red-throated Diver - Luke Harman

Elsewhere three Wheatear and two Whitethroat were on site and 70 Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew north up the estuary, with other counts including 170 Oystercatcher, four Whimbrel, three Sanderling and three Sandwich Tern

Wildlife News: Several Small Copper were on the wing and Water Vole were present at the Main Pond. A large number of Eyelash Fungi Scutellinia scutellata were found on rotting wood near Dead Dolphin Wood. 

Eyelash Fungi

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Sunday 18th April

Single Cuckoo and Redstart were the pick of the migrants although both were brief and soon moved through with seven Wheatear and seven Willow Warbler also on site. A fly by Little Ringed Plover and two Stock Dove were also new for the year.

Counts from the estuary included 48 Bar-tailed Godwit24 Whimbrel, six Dunlin and six Grey and six Ringed Plover.

Offshore there were 15 Sandwich Tern, two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver.

Willow Warbler - Lee Collins

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Saturday 17th April

The series of cold nights followed by sunny cloudless days continues with the site drying by the hour. Migrants were limited to nine Willow Warbler and two Wheatear on the Warren but there was more movement noticeable in the estuary. Counts included 43 Dunlin, 35 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Knot, 14 Turnstone, 13 Whimbrel and 12 Grey Plover

A Dark-bellied Brent Goose remained in the estuary and offshore there were just two Sandwich Tern with two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver.

Wildlife News: No fewer than four species were added to the Recording Area tally today including the willow sawfly Euura bergmanni and New Holm Oak Pigmy Ectoedemia heringella. First records for the year included the nationally rare Black Mining Bee Andrena pilipes and Garden and Early Bumblebee.

Euura bergmanni - Alan Keatley

Black Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Tuesday 13th April

A small arrival of migrants were greeted by a ground frost, something that was absent almost all winter. At least 10 Willow Warbler were on site early morning with three Wheatear but the highlight was a brief Grasshopper Warbler early evening, the 2nd earliest record, following one on 11th April 2004. Overhead a Yellow Wagtail, a Siskin and a few high flying Chaffinch.

Counts from the estuary included 12 Whimbrel, 22 Ringed and six Grey Plover, 21 Knot, nine Redshank, eight Sandwich Tern, seven Dunlin, seven Turnstone, two Bar-tailed Godwit and single Dark-bellied Brent Geese and Greenshank. Off site 44 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were on Cockle Sands, Exmouth in the evening. Elsewhere a pair of Gadwall, the first of the year, were on the Main Pond and a Red-throated Diver was offshore. 

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Sunday 11th April

The continuing cold spring kept migration to a minimum but a Whitethroat on Warren Point was a new arrival, with two Wheatear and two Willow Warbler also present and five Siskin, a Buzzard, two Swallow and a Sand Martin overhead.

Wheatear - Dave Jewell

Counts over the high tide included two Whimbrel, 225 Oystercatcher, 21 Ringed and nine Grey Plover, 17 Redshank, five Turnstone, three Dunlin, two Bar-tailed Godwit and single Knot, Greenshank and Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Elsewhere 10 Manx Shearwater flew east early morning with six Great-crested Grebe, two Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver also offshore.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Saturday 10th April

The highlight was a singing Siberian Chiffchaff at the Main Pond, presumably an elusive/unreported longstayer, as with the exception of 24 Siskin overhead, other migrants were noticeable by their absence. 

Counts from the estuary included the first three Whimbrel of the year, 260 Oystercatcher, 104 Curlew, 10 Sandwich Tern, 26 Redshank23 Ringed and 18 Grey Plovertwo Bar-tailed Godwit and a Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Wildlife News: The first Orange-tip and Small Copper of the year were on the wing with Comma, Speckled Wood and Peacock. Several solitary bee species were evident including Sandpit Mining Bee, Painted and Gooden’s Nomad Bee.

Painted Nomad Bee - Alan Keatley

Small Copper - Alan Keatley

Friday, 9 April 2021

Friday 9th April

Two Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver were offshore with nine Common Scoter, six Sandwich Tern and five Great-crested Grebe. Elsewhere six Dark-bellied and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in the estuary, four Wheatear and four Willow Warbler were on site and six Swallow flew through. 

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Thursday 8th April

Four Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver were offshore with 17 Sandwich Tern, 103 Gannet, eight Great-crested Grebe and three Common Scoter. Elsewhere migrants included three Willow Warbler and two Wheatear with 10 Swallow, six Sand Martin and two Siskin overhead.

Wildlife News: The early spring flora continue to flower during sunny periods with Sand Crocus, Shepherd's Cress and Upright Chickweed all on show. Insects included several Speckled Wood and single Peacock and Comma with Yellow-legged and Chocolate Mining Bee feeding on Alexanders and a Common Dolphin offshore. 

Monday, 5 April 2021

Monday 5th April

The cold northerlies failed to bring any snow to south Devon and migrants were in equally short supply, although Sandwich Tern had increased with 34 offshore, along with two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, 50 Gannet, six Common Scoter and four Guillemot

Elsewhere 12 Ringed Plover, two Greenshank and a Dunlin over high tide and passing through just 11 Sand Martin, eight Swallow, three Siskin and two Rock Pipit. A Willow Warbler was fresh in but the Chiffchaff and Blackcap are now largely birds on territory. Amongst the breeding birds the first pair of Little Grebe now have chicks on the Main Pond.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Sunday 4th April

Another clear sunny day, and with little wind, warmer than yesterday. The highlight came early morning when a Ruddy Shelduck was picked up heading S with two Shelduck, before circling back round into estuary. It was relocated in Shutterton Creek before flying N up the estuary an hour later. It was later relocated on Exminster Marshes. The British Ornithologist's Union is currently reviewing records of this species; depending on the outcome of this review this could be the second or third acceptable record for the Warren following one in July 1995 and five in off the sea on 7th Oct 2003. 

Ruddy Shelduck - David Flack

Also in the estuary 208 Curlew, 30 Knot, 28 Grey and 11 Ringed Plover, five Greenshank, five Dunlin, three Sanderling, three Pale-bellied and a Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Elsewhere three Sandwich Tern were offshore, a Snipe was on the Main Pond, two Red Kite flew NE over Exmouth and other migrants passing through included eight Swallow, eight Sand and two House Martin, six Siskin, two Buzzard and single Yellow and White Wagtail

Wildlife News: The Sand Crocus was out in numbers with Shepherd's Cress also having a good year. Butterflies included a single Red Admiral, Brown-tail caterpillars were emerging from their winter webs and Girdled Snail was another addition to the site's fauna.

Shepherd's Cress