Saturday 31 May 2014

Saturday 31st May

An unexpected highlight was the first Black Stork for the recording area which flew high WSW at 10.50. Its presence was given away by the roosting Oystercatcher and gulls behaving as though a raptor was overhead but the expected Osprey turned out to be much rarer! It circled for around five minutes before being lost to view over Haldon Ridge. Before this counts from the estuary included 166 Sanderling, 42 Dunlin, 33 Ringed Plover, seven Bar-tailed Godwit, two Turnstone and a summer plumaged Knot, with a Greylag Goose, two first summer Mediterranean and a first summer Little Gull also present. Elsewhere a late Wheatear was on Warren Point, a Great Northern Diver and 45+ Common Scoter were on the sea with another c90 Common Scoter heading south and a Lapwing on the beach and then on Warren Point was a very unusual site record for the time of year.

Wildlife News: A new plant for the recording area, albeit an exotic seeding from nearby flowerbeds, was found in the Car Park, Red Hot Poker Kniphofia uvaria. Other exotic in flower include large numbers of Evening Promrise through the site and Blue-eyed Grass in Greenland Lake. Elsewhere a Golden-ringed Dragonfly was behind the hide with a Common Seal in the estuary and a Grey Seal offshore.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tuesday 27th May

The first Black Tern of the year flew in off the sea in the evening and headed upriver, also offshore two Roseate, a single Arctic and 28+ Sandwich Tern. Wader numbers had increased with 60+ Sanderling, 42+ Ringed Plover, 15+ Dunlin, two Grey Plover and two Whimbrel over the evening tide. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary and new fledgers included Blue Tit and Magpie with increasing numbers of Starling also foraging around site.

Monday 26 May 2014

Monday 26th May

Spring seems to be over with the bushes occupied by breeding species only with no migrants again noted. Things have slowed down in the estuary as well with 27 Canada Geese and 19 Shelduck the only increased counts - perhaps indicative of failed breeding elsewhere. Other counts include 12 Dunlin, four Turnstone and singles of Whimbrel, Ringed and Grey Plover. Offshore there were 40 Common Scoter, an Arctic Skua, a first summer Little Gull, a Red-throated Diver, 20 Sandwich and two Common Tern. Elsewhere an Osprey was again in the estuary and 22 Swallow and 11 Swift passed overhead.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Sunday 25th May

Despite the lack of rain and constant distant horizon, seawatching proved rewarding with two Pomarine, a Great and five Arctic Skua, at least two Storm Petrel, an Arctic Tern, 140 Kittiwake, c40 Manx Shearwater, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver during the day. Elsewhere wader counts included 132 Sanderling, 23 Dunlin, seven Whimbrel and five Ringed Plover, whilst an Osprey was again in the estuary and a Hobby flew west.

Sanderling Lee Collins

Saturday 24 May 2014

Saturday 24th May

The first Storm Petrel of the year were offshore early evening with at least three birds lingering, also offshore during the day an Arctic Skua, a single Little Tern, 95+ Kittiwake, 90+ Manx Shearwater, 12 Common Scoter and a Great Northern Diver. Wader counts over high tide included 271 Oystercatcher, 154 Sanderling, 46+ Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, four Whimbrel, three Turnstone and two Grey Plover. Also in the estuary the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe and two Brent Geese. Other records included two different Osprey, eight Swift and a late Sand Martin.

Wildlife News: A single Pyramidal Orchid found flowering on the edge of the Golf Course, only the second Warren record in the last 60 years.  A Painted Lady along the Dune Ridge.

Friday 23 May 2014

Friday 23rd May

Single Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler showed signs of continued migration but away from the estuary they were lone arrivals. Estuary counts included 190 Sanderling, 74+ Dunlin, 62 Ringed Plover, nine Turnstone, nine Whimbrel, seven Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere  the first summer Little Gull, 78+ Kittiwake, 29+ Sandwich Tern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Thursday 22nd May

A Hobby briefly in trees by the Main Pond early morning was a rarity, most Warren records are just birds passing overhead. Other migrants were virtually absent with an Osprey over the Bight late morning and a flyover Yellow Wagtail the exception. Elsewhere four Great Northern Diver and 25+ Sandwich Tern were offshore and wader counts over high tide were limited to nine Ringed Plover, four Bar-tailed Godwit and single Sanderling and Dunlin.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Wednesday 21st May

A dark phase Arctic Skua was offshore late evening with 40+ Sandwich Tern and a first summer Little Gull. The only other news received was of 154 Sanderling present over the morning tide and a Shelduck briefly on the Main Pond.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Tuesday 20th May

An upturn in migration today with a summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper the pick of the sightings. Also in the estuary 42 Sanderling, 23 Dunlin, 19 Turnstone, nine Ringed and four Grey Plover, eight Whimbrel, two Brent Geese and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Offshore two Roseate Tern were  a welcome sight in what has been a poor spring for terns, feeding with them were 27 Sandwich and six Common Tern. Also offshore a first summer Little Gull, 80+ Kittiwake, 50+ Manx Shearwater and a Great Northern Diver. Migrants were notable by their absence but  a flock of 14 Swallow, 11 House and a Sand Martin were forced down during a heavy shower and even landed briefly in the Bight.
Whimbrel Dave Jewell

Monday 19 May 2014

Monday 19th May

A juvenile Mistle Thrush which flew in from Exmouth was the highlight of another quiet day, taking the title of the first autumn migrant of the year! In the estuary wader counts included 38 Sanderling, 26 Whimbrel, 23 Turnstone, 18 Dunlin, five Ringed and three Grey Plover, two Curlew and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a Great Northern Diver was offshore with c25 Sandwich and 11 'commic' Tern whilst three Jackdaw and a Rook were overhead.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Sunday 18th May

Another mid summer like day with nothing bar breeding residents and increasing numbers of fledgers around the bushes. In the estuary wader numbers continue to vary with each tide with counts including 443 Oystercatcher, 56 Sanderling, 38 Dunlin, 18 Curlew, hopefully migrants not failed breeders, 17 Ringed Plover, 14 Whimbrel, three Turnstone and two Grey Plover. Overhead there were 58 Swallow, seven Jackdaw, two House Martin, a Swift and a Rook.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Saturday 17th May

Another hot cloudless day that was more midsummer than mid May. Waders numbers included 104 Dunlin, 41 Sanderling, 36 Whimbrel, 23 Ringed Plover, nine Curlew and two Grey Plover. Also in the estuary a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 11 Shelduck and just five Sandwich Tern. Elsewhere a single Yellow Wagtail passed overhead with 44 Swallow, two House Martin and 12 Goldfinch.

Wildlife News: A pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphin was offshore early morning. The first Hairy Dragonfly of the year was over the Main Pond.

Friday 16 May 2014

Friday 16th May

The day's highlight was another random sighting with a flock of 11 Pochard east just offshore along the spit, only the second ever May record and the largest flock on site outside of extreme cold weather movements. Also offshore a pale phase Arctic Skua, four Red-throated Diver and 35+ Common Scoter. Wader counts continue to vary on every tide with peak counts for the day 310+ Oystercatcher, 152 Dunlin, 121 Sanderling, 31 Ringed Plover, nine Whimbrel, four Turnstone, two Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere migrants were limited to a single Yellow Wagtail overhead and following the first Starling fledglings yesterday the first immature Linnet were out of the nest today.

Wildlife News: The first Brown Argus of the year were on the wing in Greenland Lake.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Thursday 15th May

The first Firecrest of the year was completely unexpected as it moved along the Back Path mid morning. This is only the second May record for the Warren following one on 1st May 2004. Other migrants today included a Sedge Warbler by the car park, two Yellow Wagtail and two Wheatear. Waders are also continuing to pass through with the third Kentish Plover of the year, a male, which flew through calling with a small flock of waders early evening but didn't stop, also on site 146 Sanderling, 54 Dunlin, 26 Ringed Plover, 19 Whimbrel, four Turnstone, two Grey Plover and two Bar-tailed Godwit.  Elsewhere the first Stock Dove of the year was recorded, two Jackdaw flew overhead and two Brent Geese remain in the estuary.

Wildlife News: The first Common Blue of the year was on Warren Point.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Wednesday 14th May

A Curlew Sandpiper was with the Dunlin and Sanderling flock this evening again this evening. Elsewhere a Whinchat, only the second of the spring, was on the golf course near the Dune Pond but no other news was received.

Small Adder's-tongue (Greenland Lake)  Debs Redden

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Tuesday 13th May

Wader counts over the morning tide included 169 Dunlin, 75+ Whimbrel and 67 Sanderling. Elsewhere two Wheatear were in Greenland Lake.

Wildlife News: Several Barrel Jellyfish have been washed up on the beach in recent days.

Monday 12 May 2014

Monday 12th May

The long awaited first two Pomarine Skua of the spring head east midmoring after resting on the sea for a short while, also offshore a single Great Northern Diver and 25 Sandwich Tern. Waders continued to pass through with counts of 60+ Sanderling, 40+ Dunlin, 28 Whimbrel, 15 Turnstone, seven Ringed and a Grey Plover, a Curlew and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary and a Cuckoo was in Dead Dolphin Wood with three Wheatear and a Willow Warbler the only other migrants.

Ringing News: A Turnstone in front of the hide on Saturday had been ringed at O Con, Moaña (Pontevedra), Spain in Dec 2011. It was recorded again in the same area of northern Spain in Jan and Aug 2012.This is the first sighting since and the first overseas recovery from the project who have so far ringed 76 Turnstone. This is also only the second ever Spanish Turnstone to be recorded in the UK.

View Turnstone 10-05-2014 in a larger map

Sunday 11 May 2014

Sunday 11th May

Waders continue to feature with the Curlew Sandpiper still present early morning but not the evening tide, both colour-ringed birds also seemed to have moved through. Counts included 160 Dunlin, 35 Sanderling, 60+ Whimbrel, 15 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, nine Ringed and a Grey Plover all roosting on the beach. Elsewhere 10+ Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and at least seven Wheatear were on site.

Ringing News: Details of yesterday's Sanderling have already been received. It was ringed on the breeding grounds at Karupelv Valley on Trail Island, eastern Greenland in July 2013 and has also been seen on autumn passage in France (September 2013) and in northern Spain in December 2013 and March 2014.

View Sanderling 10-05-2014 in a larger map
A Sanderling on the nest Trail Island, Greenland © Johannes Lang
Wildlife News: Small Adder's Tongue is out in Greenland Lake, the only mainland site in Devon for this rare fern. The first Azure Damselfly of the year was on the wing.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Saturday 10th May

Seawatching during the day produced single Great and dark phase Arctic Skua, six Arctic, five Common and a Little Tern, 10 Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver, c100 Gannet, 60+ Kittiwake and 50+ Manx Shearwater. On a low high tide good numbers gathered in front of the hide with counts of 167 Dunlin, 27 Whimbrel, 14 Turnstone, seven Ringed and a Grey Plover, a Curlew and the third Curlew Sandpiper of the spring. One of the Turnstone was colour ringed and is the first recovery of this species for the Warren. Also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe and Dark-bellied Brent Goose. With a total of 74 Sanderling around the Warren on World Migratory Bird Day it was apt that another colour-ringed individual was also recorded. This bird also had a geolocater attached so hopefully it will be retrapped and its entire migratory travels will be available for researchers. Elsewhere the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was in Dead Dolphin Wood, five Wheatear were on site and a Little Egret was a rare visitor to the Main Pond.

Sanderling © Lee Collins

Wildlife News: The first Southern Marsh Orchid were in flower in Greenland Lake.

Friday 9 May 2014

Friday 9th May

No one was on site early enough to see the Pomarine Skua and Roseate Terns that were off Exmouth early morning, later on just a single Common and 25+ Sandwich Tern were offshore. Elsewhere 31 Dunlin, 21 Whimbrel, 13 Sanderling and two Ringed Plover were in the estuary with 10 Swift overhead.

Ringing News: The Sanderling seen on Wednesday evening had been ringed on 18 May 2011 at Siglingamerki, Sandgerði in south east Iceland  This was the first sighting since ringing. Thanks to Jeroen Reneerkens at the IWSG Sanderling Project for this information.

View Sanderling in a larger map

Thursday 8 May 2014

Thursday 8th May

An decent arrival of waders saw a flock of 362 Dunlin and 27 Sanderling (not including the ringed bird) in front of the hide with at least three Common Sandpiper and the Slavonian Grebe also in the estuary. Elsewhere a single Little Tern was offshore.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Wednesday 7th May

A quiet spring day with the first colour-ringed 'Sanderbling' of the year on the beach in the evening with 18 other Sanderling, also on the beach a Black-tailed Godwit and a Dunlin. Elsewhere an Arctic Tern was offshore with c50 Common Scoter, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver; eight Whimbrel and a Grey Plover were in the estuary and two Wheatear were in Greenland Lake.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Tuesday 6th May

Terns were on the move today with at least eight Little Tern off John's Watch mid afternoon following one early morning and with three still present late evening. The evening also saw a flock of 16 Arctic Tern arrive from the south before spiraling high and heading off inland up the estuary, when too high to see with the naked eye they were joined from somewhere by six other 'commic' terns. Also offshore a Great Northern Diver and 15 Manx Shearwater. Elsewhere 72 Dunlin, 59+ Whimbrel, four Grey Plover, three Bar-tailed Godwit, two Curlew and the Slavonian Grebe were in the estuary and migrants included six Wheatear, a Willow Warbler and a Swift.

Monday 5 May 2014

Monday 5th May

With the windy conditions seawatching was the order of the day but, despite the numbers seen elsewhere, this corner of Lyme Bay remained a Pom Skua free zone. A Great Skua did head south late morning, with a pale morph Arctic Skua offshore late evening, also in the evening two Roseate Tern off the seawall with at least five off Dawlish. Other counts offshore during the day included 320+ Manx Shearwater, c100 auk sp, 40+ Kittiwake, 30+ Sandwich and two Common Tern. The lone Dark-bellied Brent Goose remains in the estuary where wader counts included 69 Dunlin, 40+ Whimbrel, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Ringed Plover, four Sanderling and four Grey Plover. Elsewhere the bushes were blown out and migrants were limited to three Wheatear late evening.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Sunday 4th May

The first Cuckoo of the year was the highlight with other migrants limited to a Garden Warbler by the Main Pond and 10 Wheatear scattered around site. Overhead 96 Swallow slowly trickled east during the mornng along with two Goldfinch, two Swift, a House Martin and a Yellow Wagtail. Wader counts included 48 Whimbrel, 25 Dunlin, 17 Sanderling, four Bar-tailed Godwit, two Grey Plover and Knot with single Dark and Pale-bellied Brent Goose also in the estuary.  Elsewhere 32+ Sandwich Tern and two Shoveler were offshore.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Saturday 3rd May

The female Kentish Plover remained around the Bight and beach until 9.30 when a paraglider flushed all the waders over high tide. Counts beforehand included 68 Whimbrel, 20 Dunlin, 13 Ringed Plover, eight Turnstone, six Bar-tailed Godwit, three Sanderling, three Knot and two Grey Plover. Also around the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, 17 Shelduck and two Dark-bellied Brent Geese with 77 Black-headed Gull, 12 Mute Swan and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese passing through. Elsewhere feeding offshore there were 54 Sandwich, five Common, an Arctic and a Little Tern, whilst overhead there were 22 Swift and two Yellow Wagtail and on the ground five Wheatear.

Wildlife News: The first Wall Brown of the year was along what remains of the Dune Ridge.

Friday 2 May 2014

Friday 2nd May

The second Kentish Plover of the spring, this time a female, was the day's highlight. It was on the beach with two Sanderling for most of the day but moved to the estuary in front of the hide late on. Other wader counts included 40+ Whimbrel, 18 Ringed Plover, 12+ Dunlin, 10 Turnstone, three Knot and two Grey Plover. Offshore there were two Little and two Arctic Tern, single Arctic and Great Skua, two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Elsewhere a Lesser Whitethroat was new for the year with other migrants including 11+ Wheatear and a Sedge Warbler.

Kentish Plover © Lee Collins

Thursday 1 May 2014

Thursday 1st May

A drake Garganey found late in the day on the Main Pond was the highlight, the site's 29th record, but the first on the Main Pond since 1993. Earlier in the day two Roseate Tern were feeding offshore with 20+ Sandwich, six Common and an Arctic Tern. Also offshore 60+ Common Scoter, two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Wader numbers increased overnight 600+ Oystercatcher, 90+ Whimbrel, 53 Dunlin, 31 Turnstone, 11 Ringed Plover, 10 Sanderling four Grey Plover and single Bar and Black-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere migrants were limited to three Wheatear and a new Reed Warbler.

Garganey © Dave Jewell