Thursday 31 October 2013

Thursday 31st October

The Black Brant was again in the estuary on the dropping tide with 262 Brent Geese, also there at least five adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a few new migrants included at least seven Chiffchaff and five Blackcap with three Cirl Bunting, including a male, in Greenland Lake. Overhead there was a very light passage with c30 Skylark the most numerous species, a couple of Siskin and ,all in low double figures, Chaffinch, Linnet and Meadow Pipit.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Tuesday 29th October

The Black Brant was in the estuary at low tide this morning with 286 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, also present two Greenshank and a Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere the Red-legged Partridge was again on the Golf Course whilst the pick of some light vismig overhead included 45 Jackdaw, seven Rook, five Siskin, four Stock Dove and a Redpoll

Wildlife News: A Stoat showed well on the Railway embankment behind Pirate's Cove.

Monday 28 October 2013

Monday 28th October

The storm lived up to expectation rather than the hype with a first winter Little Gull in the estuary and a Great Northern Diver south offshore the only notable sightings. Other records included 1385 Wigeon, 357 Redshank, 171 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, nine Mediterranean Gull, two Greenshank, two Black-tailed Godwit and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary, a late Wheatear on site and two Siskin overhead.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Sunday 27th October

The SW winds continue to produce little offshore and generally hamper birding on site, despite this the day did produce a surprise, if underwhelming, year tick in the form a Red-legged Partridge on the Golf Course. Records from the estuary included a late Whimbrel, c2400 Oystercatcher, 236 Redshank, 151 Brent Geese (21 juveniles), 41 Ringed Plover, three Black-tailed Godwit, two Greenshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere two Redpoll and single Mistle Thrush and Siskin flew over and just four Goldcrest and two Chiffchaff were on site.

Red-legged Partridge
 Red-legged Partridge

Saturday 26 October 2013

Saturday 26th October

A relative lull in the weather saw some overhead movement and a corresponding increase in finches around Greenland Lake. Vismig totals included 110+ Meadow Pipit, 77 Goldfinch, 66 Linnet, 22 Siskin, 15 Chaffinch, 11 Raven, nine Redwing, nine Reed Bunting, four Redpoll, four Swallow, three Rook, a Brambling and a Merlin. On the deck the juvenile Cirl Bunting was in Greenland Lake and there was a site record count of Robin with a minimum of 64 equalling the total noted on 24/10/2012, counts of 43 Dunnock and 21 Wren were also record tallies, neatly illustrating these species aren't just residents, other migrants included six Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and a Wheatear. Elsewhere a first year Little Gull flew south early morning, the Slavonian Grebe, five Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, two Black-tailed Godwit and a Lapwing were in the estuary with other high tide counts including 290 Dunlin, 149 Redshank, 32 Ringed Plover, 17 Shelduck, 13 Grey Plover and five Sanderling. The Black Brant was reported in the afternoon, the first sighting on the Exe since 6th October.

Wildlife News: Both Migrant Hawker and Common Darter were still on the wing.

Friday 25 October 2013

Friday 25th October

A Merlin over the sea wall was the highlight with a handful of Chaffinch and two Mistle Thrush also overhead first thing with the juvenile Cirl Bunting again around Greenland Lake. Seawatching early morning produced the sum total of a Gannet and a Kittiwake south in half an hour, things obviously improved as two adult Little Gull were off the Warren, seen from Exmouth late afternoon.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Monday 21 October 2013

Monday 21st October

A washout out of a day with the only records coming from offshore where seawatching between 7.55- 9.45, showed 156 Gannet, four Grey Plover, three Arctic Skua and a single Fulmar flying south, a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver on the sea and two Mediterranean Gull lingering off the seawall.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Sunday 20th October

Two hours early morning seawatching produced a Pomarine Skua south also 490 Gannet, c20 Razorbill, nine Kittiwake, nine Sandwich Tern and two Mediterranean Gull.  Elsewhere there was very little to report with 37 Redwing, two Song Thrush and a Siskin overhead and just three Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest in the way of grounded migrants; as expected there was no sign of yesterday's unidentified reed warbler on Warren Point.

 © Dave Jewell
Ringing News: The Brent Goose above was ringed as an adult at Powderham in February 1996, so this bird is at least 17 years of age.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Saturday 19th October

An arrival of migrants overnight consisted mainly of Robin with a minimum of 44 counted on site, also present five Goldcrest and a Firecrest, the latter in the Entrance Bushes, and on Warren Point, an unstreaked Acrocephalus warbler, which despite several hours of occasional observation remains unidentified. Elsewhere a Merlin flew through Warren Point, seven Shoveler flew south and overhead there were 10 Chaffinch, three Reed Bunting, three Rook, two Jackdaw, two Siskin and a Mistle Thursh with three Red-breasted Merganser offshore.

Wildlife News: A Painted Lady was on the Dune Ridge.

Friday 18 October 2013

Friday 18th October

A quiet day at the Warren with the strong south easterly winds not helping matters. Seawtching was as earlier in the week largely uneventful with just c25 Gannet and four Razorbill, although a Balearic Shearwater did fly south later afternoon. Records from the estuary included the Slavonian Grebe, 349 Teal, 269 Brent Geese, c220 Dunlin, c180 Redshank, 169 Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Ringed Plover, 14 Bar and four Black-tailed Godwit, four Knot, three Red-breasted Merganser, a Mediterranean Gull and a Lapwing.

Ringing News: The 80th darvic ringed Great Black-backed Gull to be recorded at the Warren was noted today, amazingly it was alongside the first one ever to be noted on site. This individual, Green A42, was ringed on Chausey Island, Brittany in 2007 and was first seen at the Warren as a 1st summer in August 2008.

The map below shows another adult Great Black-backed Gull seen on the Warren on 11th October. It was ringed in Norway in May 2008 and was also seen on Guernsey in September 2010.

View Great Black-backed Gull in a larger map  

Thursday 17 October 2013

Thursday 17th October

Counts from the estuary included 2120 Wigeon, 297 Dunlin, 263 Curlew, 183 Teal, 139 Redshank, 20 Grey Plover, 18 Bar and seven Black-tailed Godwit. Also in the river the Slavonian Grebe and three Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a Lesser Whitethroat on the Point was only the second of the year,with other migrants limited to 12 Chiffchaff, four Wheatear, four Blackcap and two Goldcrest. Overhead there were 70+ Meadow Pipit, 45+ alba Wagtail, 40+ Goldfinch, 20 Skylark, eight Chaffinch and two Redpoll, this pulse of vis mig was short and sweet with most of the tallies before 9am.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Wednesday 16th October

Despite the promising conditions neither early morning seawatching or the bright dry weather that followed brought anything of note to the Warren, in contrast to elsewhere in south Devon. Totals from two hours looking out to sea revealed only 45 Gannet, 12 Sandwich Tern, a Razorbill and a Kittiwake heading south. Overhead the first Redwing of the autumn finally arrived but there were only seven of them, a single Mistle Thrush, 15 Meadow Pipit, a Chaffinch and a Reed Bunting also flew overhead. Elsewhere a Curlew Sandpiper was with c100 Dunlin in the estuary where there were also 270 Great Black-backed Gull, two Red-breasted Merganser and the resident Slavonian Grebe.

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow was on Warren Point and there has been a notable arrival of Harlequin Ladybird. Resident species still persisting included Migrant Hawker and Common Darter with Great Green Bush Cricket still calling, albeit not as vigorously as earlier in the year.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Tuesday 15th October

Visble migration continued to tick over but  there was little in the way of variety. Counts included 158 Linnet, 71 alba Wagtail, 61 Goldfinch, 51 Skylark, 42 Meadow Pipit, 23 Chaffinch, 12 Rook, seven Swallow, six Jackdaw, three Mistle Thrush, three Siskin, three Redpoll, three Rock Pipit, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Golden Plover. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary, three Red-throated Diver were offshore and 11 Chiffchaff and a Wheatear were on site.

Monday 14 October 2013

Monday 14th October 2013

The two Yellow-browed Warbler remained vocal but elusive around the Entrance Bushes with 11 Chiffchaff, seven Blackcap and a couple of Wheatear also on site. There was some movement overhead with 59 Swallow surprisingly the most numerous species also moving 48 Meadow Pipit, 33 Goldfinch, 30 Skylark, seven House Martin, six Reed Bunting and three Siskin. Elsewhere a Slavonian Grebe, two Red-throated Diver and 18 Sandwich Tern were offshore, a Greenshank and a Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary and a Kingfisher was at the Main Pond.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Sunday 13th October 2013

With lighter winds and some overnight rain anticipation was high early morning, birds were moving overhead from first light. Six Mistle Thrush was a decent tally for the Warren and a Great-spotted Woodpecker on visible migration is always of note but the passage, although promising, never really got going with tallies including 84 Meadow Pipit, 74 Goldfinch, 61 Pied Wagtail, 44 Skylark, 22 Siskin, 18 Chaffinch, eight Reed Bunting and four Grey Wagtail. In the estuary there was a welcome increase in wildfowl with 1180 Wigeon, 322 Teal and 172 Brent Geese, also present four Black-tailed Godwit, three Pintail, two Greenshank, the Slavonian Grebe and a Mediterranean Gull. The morning promise was finally realised early afternoon initially with two separate Merlin hunting offshore and then two vocal Yellow-browed Warbler mobile around the First Pond, one was presumably an elusive long stayer, the other the third individual of the autumn. Other records included the first Slavonian Grebe of the winter and two Red-throated Diver offshore with 22 Blackbird, 14 Song Thrush, nine Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and a Wheatear on site.

Wildlife News: Four Bottle-nosed Dolphin were showing well feeding offshore mid morning but soon disappeared after being illegally disturbed by a low flying Helicopter which came into to try and view them.

Saturday 12 October 2013

Saturday 12th October 2013

Four Greylag Geese that flew east offshore were the highlight, the conditions strongly suggesting these were birds of wild origin; other wildfowl movement offshore included three Shoveler and several small groups of Brent Geese, Wigeon and Teal through the day. Also offshore 50+ Common Scoter, 30+ Razorbill, 13 Sandwich Tern, three Red-throated Diver and two Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere the first three Red-breasted Merganser had returned to the estuary,two male Yellowhammer in Greenland Lake were notable, a Jay was on Langstone Rock, light passage overhead included 31 Swallow and five House Martin and the Slavonian Grebe remains in the estuary.

Friday 11 October 2013

Friday 11th October 2013

Highlight and main interest of the day was a flock of three Whooper Swan that flew in off the sea at 09:05, over the spit and landed with Mute Swan in the estuary, where they remained until 10:45, before flying north up the estuary.  The 12th site record, the last sighting being in Jan 2008.

Counts in the estuary produced 223 Teal, 144 Wigeon, 190 Canada Geese, 302 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 74 Dunlin, a Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 207 Black-headed Gull and 2 ad w Mediterranean Gull.

In a fresh northerly, a few Razorbill and Gannet, and 8 Common Scoter were all that there seen at sea, and the bushes and dunes were largely blown out, with no more than awareness that the odd Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Reed Bunting were hidden there.  Only singles of pipits and wagtails passed overhead.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Thursday 10th October 2013

Highlight of the day was a flyover Lapland Bunting, only the 11th site record. Other visible movement overhead was again hampered by the lack of cloud but totals included 116 Meadow Pipit, 62 Pied and a Grey Wagtail, 10 Skylark, eight Goldfinch, six Swallow, six Chaffinch, four Reed Bunting and a Redpoll. Grounded migrants included a late Whinchat, 15 Chiffchaff, five Stonechat, and four Wheatear. Elsewhere a Red-throated Diver was offshore, with 11 Shelduck and a Pintail in the estuary.

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow was on Warren Point with a third generation Wall Brown along the Dune Ridge.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Wednesday 9th October 2013

A Cirl Bunting around Greenland Lake before heading off high east was the highlight with other species on the move limited to 38 Meadow Pipit, c30 Pied Wagtail, 15 Linnet, nine Goldfinch, four Chaffinch, three Reed Bunting and a Swallow. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary with 269 Redshank, 23 Turnstone, 17 Grey Plover, just six Dunlin and no Brent Geese over the morning high tide.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Tuesday 8th October 2013

Counts from the estuary included 598 Curlew, 245 Redshank, 134 Teal, just 40 Brent Geese, 17 Bar-tailed and a Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Grey Plover, seven Sanderling and a Kingfisher. Elsewhere a Jay flew through the Entrance Bushes, 30 Common Scoter were offshore, 16 Chiffchaff, eight Blackcap and three Wheatear were on site whilst 90 Meadow Pipit, c40 Pied and seven Grey Wagtail, 12 Chaffinch and six Reed Bunting were overhead.

Monday 7 October 2013

Monday 7th October 2013

After two days hoping for low cloud, fog hampered vismig proceedings this morning with just 50+ Meadow Pipit, 26 alba Wagtail, six Goldfinch, two Siskin and a Chaffinch over in two hours from first light. The same conditions did however drop in the second Yellow-browed Warbler of the week which was elusive but vocal around the Entrance Bushes, other migrants included at least eight Chiffchaff and a couple of Blackcap. Elsewhere a Curlew Sandpiper was in the Bight with five adult Mediterraean Gull, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Sunday 6th October 2013

Another day of overhead passage, but again the lack of cloud cover meant many birds must have gone through undetected. Most birds were heading west with counts of 354 Meadow Pipit, 233 alba Wagtail (all those low enough to identify were Pied), c75 Linnet, 68 Skylark, 65 Goldfinch, 25 Swallow, 11 Jackdaw, six Rook and four Grey Wagtail. Also overhead a Great Northern Diver, four Mistle Thrush, three Siskin and a Tree Pipit. Elsewhere the Black Brant remained in the estuary with the Slavonian Grebe whilst a Little Stint was a new arrival and four Balearic Shearwater and a Red-throated Diver were offshore.

Black Brant © Lee Collins
Wildlife News: Despite there being no sightings of Clouded Yellow, nine species of butterfly were still recorded today: Comma, Large & Small White, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Copper and Speckled Wood.

Saturday 5 October 2013

Saturday 5th October 2013

A Yellow-browed Warbler that turned up in Dead Dolphin Wood eventually located to Warren Point were it showed well on occasion. Despite only being the eighth site record, and especially with the numbers elsewhere, this is becoming an expected autumn arrival. Another rarity highlight was the return of the Black Brant after a week's absence. It was found with 323 Brent Geese on Bull Hill mid afternoon, the flock having flown in from the east bank of the estuary, it remained on site with c100 Brent over the evening high tide. Also in the estuary 2600+ Wigeon, 238 Teal and 17 Pintail roosted in Shuterton Creek with three adult Mediterraean Gull, two Ruff and the Slavonian Grebe also present. Elsewhere other grounded migrants included 16 Chiffchaff, eight Stonechat, seven Blackcap, three Wheatear and a Spotted Flycatcher, whilst overhead a steady light passage included 250+ Meadow Pipit, 65+ Skylark, 20+ Swallow, 10 Rook, six Grey Wagtail, six Chaffinch, two Redpoll and two Jackdaw. Much of this was moving high across a broad front, with much more no doubt even higher out of view. This was highlighted when 70+ Meadow Pipit came through in just 15 minutes during a period of low cloud early afternoon.

Spotted Flycatcher © Lee Collins
Wildlife News: Migrant lepidoptera included at least three Clouded Yellow, two Painted Lady, a Vestal, good numbers of Red Admiral and smaller numbers of Rush Veneer, Large White and Silver Y. A Ruddy Darter along the Back Path was another immigrant.

Friday 4 October 2013

Friday 4th October 2013

A Hobby headed south mid morning but only a handful of hirundines were also on the move with single Yellow and Grey Wagtail overhead. Elsewhere 1700+ Wigeon and 68 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were in the estuary.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Wildfowl counts from the estuary included c2600 Wigeon, 243 Brent Geese, 150+ Teal and 18+ Pintail, the numbers again boosted due to disturbance at Mudbank Lane, Exmouth. Wader numbers included 420 Curlew, 360+ Dunlin, 200+ Redshank, 180+ Great Black-backed Gull, 86 Sandwich Tern, 80+ Ringed Plover, 13 Grey Plover, 12 Knot, five Greenshank and a Curlew Sandpiper.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Wednesday 2nd October 2013

Grounded migrants included single Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat with 10 Chiffchaff, four Wheatear, three Blackcap and a Sedge Warbler, whilst Linnet numbers have increased to 80. Overhead 35 Meadow Pipit, 15 Swallow and nine Skylark passed through with eight Pintail in the estuary.