Thursday 31 December 2015

Thursday 31st December

Two Slavonian Grebe remain in the estuary with 163 Grey Plover, 94 Shelduck, 50+ Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, a Greenshank and a Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and a Firecrest was in Dead Dolphin Wood.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Tuesday 29th December

The only news received suggests an early April date not late winter. A single Swallow was, not unexpectedly, the latest ever site record and just outside the Recording Area a Painted Lady was in the village.

 Goldcrest - Simon Thurgood

Redshank - Dave Jewell

Monday 28 December 2015

Monday 28th December

Counts from the estuary included 163 Grey Plover, 80 Shelduck, 76 Bar-tailed Godwit, 70 Common Gull, 50 Knot and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere the Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes and four Red-throated Diver were offshore.

Sunday 27 December 2015

Sunday 27th December

Seawatching early morning saw four Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver head south with 72 Gannet, 27 Kittiwake and a Fulmar. In the estuary counts included 135 Grey Plover, 56 Knot and 26 Sanderling with the resident Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood. Elsewhere the Firecrest, Treecreeper and Coal Tit were in the Entrance Bushes with three Chiffchaff.

Great Northern Diver - Dave Jewell

Saturday 26 December 2015

Saturday 26th December

A Purple Sandpiper on the seawall was the day's highlight with single Great Northern and Red-throated Diver offshore. In the estuary two Slavonian Grebe were present along with six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 70+ Shag, 70+ Common and a Mediterranean Gull, 21 Red-breasted Merganser and a Goldeneye with the Water Pipit was in front of the hide.

Wildlife News: A Common Darter reported in a sheltered area of Greenland Lake is by far the latest dragonfly record for the Recording area.

Friday 25 December 2015

Friday 25th December

A wet and windy Christmas saw Firecrest and Treecreeper sheltering in the Entrance Bushes, a couple of Red-throated Diver offshore and an adult Mediterranean Gull in the estuary.

Wildlife News: A total of 33 plant species were recorded in flower today, as well as expected species such as Gorse and Winter Heliotrope, unseasonal surprises included Bush Vetch and Sea Bindweed.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Thursday 24th December

A seawatch as the rain passed through saw five Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver south with 50 Gannet and four Kittiwake in the bay, with two more Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver on the sea. Elsewhere a Coal Tit and a Treecreeper were around the Entrance Bushes and two Slavonian Grebe and an eighth Great Northern Diver were in the estuary.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Wednesday 23rd December

The dry weather encouraged the Yellow-browed Warbler to make another appearance by the First Pond mid morning. Elsewhere a quick look offshore gave single Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver heading south, the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary and at least 64 Pied Wagtail were in a pre-roost gathering on the Golf Course.

Ringing News: A metal ringed Brent Goose on the Golf Course was a Russian ringed individual returning for at least it's third winter on the Warren. More info can be found here

Wildlife News: A Painted Lady was still on the wing today.

Monday 21 December 2015

Monday 21st December

In poor weather an adult Little Gull was in the estuary this morning, also from the hide the Water Pipit and a good count of 89 Shelduck and a good number of ring recoveries including a Norwegian ringed Great Black-backed Gull.

Brent Goose - Simon Thurgood

Sunday 20 December 2015

Sunday 20th December

A Black-throated Diver and a Great Skua flew south early morning but no other news was received.

 Redshank - Dave Jewell

Shag - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: A Painted Lady was in Greenland Lake and a dead Bottle-nosed Dolphin was washed ashore on the beach near groyne 6.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Saturday 19th December

Counts from the estuary included 421 Brent Geese, 160 Grey Plover, 98 Great Black-backed and 65 Common Gull, 59 Bar-tailed Godwit, 49 Knot, 29 Sanderling, 24 Ringed Plover, four Greenshank and a Kingfisher, also from the hide the wintering Water Pipit, a Sandwich Tern, the third different individual this week, and a flyover Golden Plover. Elsewhere the wet and windy weather meant there was little showing in the bushes but it was also quiet offshore with nine Pintail arriving from the south and three Red-throated Diver passing the only sightings of note.

Sandwich Tern - Lee Collins

Friday 18 December 2015

Friday 18th December

The Water Pipit was back in front of the hide today with other counts from the estuary including 326 Wigeon, 108 Grey Plover, 85 Teal, 80 Bar-tailed Godwit, 64 Shelduck, 50 Knot, 21 Sanderling, five Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 15 Long-tailed Tit, 11 Goldcrest, seven Chiffchaff and a Coal Tit were in the bushes.

Wildlife News: A young Grey Seal pup was washed up on the beach this morning, origin unknown as there are no known breeding sites on the south coast.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Wednesday 16th December

The Yellow-browed Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff remained around the Entrance Bushes with two other non calling tristis-types new arrivals. Also around the bushes 20 Goldfinch, nine Goldcrest, seven Chiffchaff and two Cirl Bunting. Counts from the estuary included 235 Wigeon, 145 Brent Geese, 123 Grey Plover, 62 Shelduck, 31 Turnstone and the resident Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere single Great Northern and Red-throated Diver were offshore and a Mistle Thrush flew over.

Monday 14 December 2015

Monday 14th December

A Slavonian Grebe in Shutterton Creek was the first winter arrival joining up with the resident bird, other records from the estuary included 317 Brent Geese, 178 Teal, 164 Wigeon, 45 Shelduck and a Greenshank. Elsewhere three Velvet Scoter and a Great Northern Diver flew offshore, the two Firecrest, two Coal Tit and five Chiffchaff were in the Bushes and a Purple Sandpiper was reported from the seawall.

Sunday 13 December 2015

Sunday 13th December

A Black-throated Diver was close in offshore early morning before drifting out on the dropping tide, also on the sea at least three Great Northern and three Red-throated Diver, with another 12 Red-throated and three Great Northern Diver heading south. The calmer conditions saw six Chiffchaff around site, Cirl Bunting again singing in the Buffer Zone, the Yellow-browed Warbler, two Firecrest and the Siberian Chiffchaff all still present around the Entrance Bushes and single Brambling, Blackcap and Lesser Redpoll all new arrivals. Elsewhere two Sandwich Tern were in the estuary before heading offshore and the Bonaparte's Gull was feeding around sandbars at low tide.

Wildlife News: A pod of at least eight Bottle-nosed Dolphin were offshore mid-morning. With the continuing mild temperatures many plants are still in flower, despite this it was still surprising to see one of the willows coming into leaf alongside this year's leaves that had yet to fall.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Saturday 12th December

A grey overcast day with little news to report but two Firecrest remained in the Entrance Bushes, a Great Northern Diver was offshore and the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary with 102 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Wildlife News: A Devon Bryophyte Group meeting on site recorded 40+ species including the rare liverworts Petalwort and Weedy Frillwort along with other great named species such as Greasewort, Frizzled Pincushion, Knieff's Hook-moss and Lesser Bird's-claw Beard-moss. Some more species and images from Paul Bowyer can be found on this link

Thursday 10 December 2015

Thursday 10th December

The Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood but no other news was received.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Wednesday 9th December

The Yellow-browed Warbler was still around the First Pond this morning in the spring-like conditions. Also making the most of the mild weather the Siberian Chiffchaff, a Coal Tit and six Chiffchaff in the Entrance Bushes and at least two Cirl Bunting were around site.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Tuesday 8th December

A Yellow-browed Warbler was reported around the Entrance Bushes but there was no sign mid-afternoon, however the Siberian Chiffchaff was still present with two Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and the Treecreeper. Elsewhere a Grey Wagtail was around the car park and six Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore.

Monday 7 December 2015

Monday 7th December

There was little movement offshore this morning with 30+ Kittiwake, 12 Gannet and a Great Northern Diver heading south whilst single Great Northern Diver, Razorbill and Guillemot were on the sea. Elsewhere two Firecrest were around the Entrance Bushes, a Cirl Bunting was singing in the Buffer Zone and a Chiffchaff was feeding in the gardens around the seawall.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Sunday 6th December

Three Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver were offshore this morning with another Red-throated Diver and 48 Shelduck in the estuary but no other news was reported.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary off Cockwood.

Saturday 5 December 2015

Saturday 5th December

A strong southwest wind increased through the day to exceed 50 mph and during about three hours of seawatching a total of 38 Great Northern Diver was the second highest count ever here; also three diver sp and two Red-throated Diver.  Other counts were 180 Gannet, four Fulmar, eight Common Scoter, a drake Velvet Scoter, which had earlier passed Sidmouth, 52 Kittiwake and 20 auk sp.

In the estuary on a neap high tide, 345 Brent Goose, 43 Shelduck, 379 Wigeon, 134 Teal, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, two Little Egret, four Grey Heron and the Slavonian Grebe.  Of the waders, 15 Ringed Plover, 45 Turnstone and 27 Sanderling were noted; also c.95 Great Black-backed Gull including a few south at sea.

Two Redwing flew over; c.40 Starling in off and a Grey Wagtail again on the seawall.

Mostly blown out, interest in the bushes was a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Treecreeper, four Goldcrest, two Chiffchaff, plus what was thought to be last weekend's Siberian Chiffchaff again; and single-figures of Chaffinch, Bullfinch and Goldfinch.

Friday 4th December

A short early seawatch saw 9 Great Northern Diver, a Common Scoter, 8 Gannet, 10 Kittiwake and 7 Razorbill fly south.  A Grey Wagtail was again on the seawall. In the bushes, 3 Chiffchaff, 24 Long-tailed Tit, six Goldcrest, 4 Bullfinch and 32 Goldfinch feeding high in the Alders.

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Tuesday 1st December

On the dropping tide there were counts of 1540 Dunlin, 179 Brent Geese, 51 Grey Plover and 15 Shelduck with 820 Oystercatcher, 22 Cormorant and 18 Turnstone roosting on Finger Point and the regular Water Pipit made a brief appearance in front of the hide. Elsewhere two Great Northern Diver and four Great-crested Grebe were offshore, three Shoveler were on the Main Pond, a Cirl Bunting was around the bushes and a Short-eared Owl was sadly found dead.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Sunday 29th November

Seawatching during the morning saw a Great Skua, 10 Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver south from the seawall along with 130+ Gannet and 90 Kittiwake. The same windy conditions made birding the bushes difficult although two Chiffchaff and the Treecreeper were still present by the First Pond and three Cirl Bunting were behind the hide. In the estuary the Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood and counts included 1050 Dunlin, 875 Oystercatcher, 313 Teal, 270 Wigeon, 251 Brent Geese, 114 Grey Plover, 92 Great Black-backed Gull, 50 Shelduck, 30 Knot and 11 Sanderling.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Saturday 28th November

A vocal Siberian Chiffchaff was a new arrival in the Entrance Bushes, where two Firecrest and a Treecreeper were also amongst the resident tit flocks. Other arrivals were in the estuary where Dunlin numbers have risen to c1300, other counts included 366 Wigeon, 290 Teal, 247 Brent Geese, 161 Redshank, 119 Curlew, 109 Grey Plover, 50 Shelduck, 36 Bar-tailed Godwit, 36 Turnstone and 26 Knot. Also in the estuary a good count of 19 Greenshank, four Red-breasted Merganser, a Shoveler and the Bonaparte's Gull.

Elsewhere a Short-eared Owl was on Warren Point, the Water Pipit was in front of the hide, four Cirl Bunting were in the Buffer Zone and three Red-throated Diver and 15 Great-crested Grebe were offshore.

Friday 27 November 2015

Friday 27th November

Two Firecrest were reported in the Entrance Bushes but no other news was received.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Wednesday 25th November

A quick look from the seawall early morning showed the Bonaparte's and an adult Mediterranean Gull just to the south of Langstone Rock with three Great Northern Diver, nine Great-crested Grebe, 25 Razorbill and six Common Scoter also offshore. Elsewhere two Cirl Bunting were in song, at the Station & Cuckoo's Nest respectively, but no other news was received.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Tuesday 24th November

An hour at the seawall early morning saw some southward movement offshore with the highlight a single Little Auk just before 9am, also 30+ Gannet, 15 Razorbill, 30+ auk sp (most if not all probably Razorbill) and 10 Kittiwake. On the sea there were two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, nine Great-crested Grebe and five Common Scoter.

Monday 23 November 2015

Monday 23rd November

Hopes for more Wood Pigeon migration were dashed despite seemingly ideal conditions with light winds, clear skies and the first ground frost of the winter. Despite the large numbers still moving further east fewer than 150 were overhead this morning, also overhead a couple of Stock Dove and a handful of Chaffinch and Goldfinch. Elsewhere at least one Chiffchaff remained in the entrance bushes, a pair of Gadwall and six Great-crested Grebe were offshore and the Bonaparte's Gull was reported.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Sunday 22nd November

In clear and calmer conditions, overhead movement was again heavy this morning with 23,170 Woodpigeon and 21 Stock Dove heading WSW with many Starling and single Redwing, Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush.  Waders and wildfowl were on the move all morning with birds in off and passing at sea with highlights of a Goldeneye, pair Gadwall, 20 Shoveler, 3 Pintail, seven Tufted Duck, four Pale-bellied Brent and a sw Little Gull. Also at sea, two Red-throated Diver, four Great Northern Diver, three Great Crested Grebe, two Goldeneye and over fifty Common Scoter.

A/the late Swallow flew along the beach, a Cirl Bunting sang from the Buffer Zone (two present) and also among bushes, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Jay, four Goldcrest, two Chiffchaff, pair Stonechat, c.30 Goldfinch and a pair Bullfinch.

On the rising tide in the estuary, The Bight and as rafts at sea, 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 342 Wigeon, 172 Teal, 22 Shelduck, 270 Brent Goose; also 12 Grey Plover, 114 Curlew, 16 Knot, c.450 Dunlin,  13 Sanderling, four Bar-tailed Godwit, 93 Redshank, six Greenshank and 28 Turnstone.  Four Rock Pipit and c.60 Linnet were on the Bight shoreline.

Wildlife News: a late Migrant Hawker on the Main Pond and a presumed Red Admiral heading south at sea.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Saturday 21st November

In clear skies and a strong northerly, the much anticipated migration spectacle did not disappoint with a total of 58,870 Woodpigeon streaming through all morning heading SW/ W, breaking the site record set just over a year ago; 42+ Stock Dove and 3 racing pigeon were noted among the clouds of birds.  Also on the move 3 Little Egret, two Buzzard, a Peregrine, two Lapwing, a Swallow, 15 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 27 Redwing, 12 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 160 Starling, two Chaffinch and a Reed Bunting.
At sea, a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, two Great Crested Grebe, six Common Scoter, a pair of Gadwall landed inshore, only c.10 Gannet, a sw Mediterranean Gull and a trickle of Dunlin in off all morning. The adult Bonaparte's Gull flew over the spit and into the estuary early afternoon.
In the estuary and on the high tide, 249 Brent Goose, 30 Shelduck, 1466 Oystercatcher, 15+ Grey Plover, a Ringed Plover, two Knot, 10 Sanderling, 110 Curlew and an unseasonal Whimbrel, 20+ Turnstone.  In the Bight, 40+ Linnet and the regular Water Pipit with Rock Pipits.
Sheltered sides of the bushes supported little interest, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, four Stonechat, a Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch.  An immature Black Redstart on the seawall was different to yesterday's bird.

Whimbrel - David Boult

Friday 20 November 2015

Friday 20th November

Offshore a Black-throated Diver flew south early morning with four Great Northern Diver, four Great-crested Grebe and just a single Common Scoter. Elsewhere a Black Redstart was a new arrival on the seawall, a flock of 400 Wood Pigeon flew west, a Kingfisher was in Shutterton Creek and the Slavonian  Grebe was also in the estuary. 

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Wednesday 18th November

Seawatching before 9am produced 100+ Gannet and 80+ Kittiwake south with only a single Razorbill to break the monopoly. The same conditions reduced overhead passage with just 400 Wood Pigeon heading northwest after the large numbers along the south coast the previous day. Elsewhere two Great Northern Diver were close in front of the hide where the Water Pipit was seeking shelter  Counts included 378 Wigeon, 285 Dunlin, 238 Brent Geese, 30 Grey Plover, 11 Sanderling and six Shelduck with the Slavonian Grebe still present.

Skylark - Dave Jewell

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Tuesday 17th November

The Great Northern Diver was present in the Bight at high tide but the only other news received was of two female Pintail with Wigeon in Shutterton Creek.

Great Northern Diver - Lee Collins

Monday 16 November 2015

Monday 16th November

Another day of pigeon migration; in two hours from 8.15am a minimum of 11,700 Wood Pigeon flew west, but again few other species were involved. The only other news received was on the continued presence of the first winter Great Northern Diver in the estuary.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Sunday 15th November

The strong winds didn't deliver the hoped for influx of seabirds but watches from the seawall did produce seven Great Northern Diver and 130+ Gannet but just single figures of Razorbill and Kittiwake. Another Great Northern Diver remained in the estuary with the Slavonian Grebe and two Mediterranean Gull. Counts included 1070 Oystercatcher, 668 Dunlin, 199 Curlew, 166 Brent Geese, 156 Teal, 50+ Shag, 37 Turnstone, 27 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling, two Greenshank and two Pintail. Elsewhere a late Wheatear was on the seawall, a Jay was in the Railway Saltmarsh and six Chiffchaff were on site and at least three Cirl Bunting were in the Buffer Zone.

Wildlife News: A Small Tortoiseshell flew west across the estuary late morning.

Saturday 14 November 2015

Saturday 14th November

The wintering adult Bonaparte's Gull made one of its increasingly random appearances today, showing well off the seawall for around five minutes early morning before heading south into Dawlish Bay. Also offshore a male Velvet Scoter with a small group of Common Scoter and a Great Northern Diver. Counts from the estuary included 700+ Dunlin, 424 Wigeon, 259 Teal, 50 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Knot, eight Sanderling and a Greenshank with a second year Yellow-legged Gull on Bull Hill and the Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe still present. Elsewhere a Short-eared Owl and Cirl Bunting were in Greenland Lake, the Water Pipit was in the Bight, two Redpoll were in Dead Dolphin Wood and a Shoveler was on the Main Pond.

Friday 13 November 2015

Friday 13th November

A total of at least 8550 Wood Pigeon flew west across a broad front this morning with many of the largest flocks offshore. Other movement overhead was either minimal or too high to notice but amongst the few Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Skylark were at least four Fieldfare.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Thursday 12th November

The increasing wind and continuous mizzle meant the hoped for vismig didn't happen over the Warren, but 55+ Goldfinch, 30+ Greenfinch and at least two Siskin were grounded in Greenland Lake. Elsewhere the Cirl Bunting was still in song despite the weather, the Great Northern Diver and the first Goldeneye of the winter was in the estuary and at least three Chiffchaff were in the bushes.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Wednesday 11th November

Counts from Shutterton Creek included just 527 Wigeon (perhaps the continued disturbance from Eels Dock has caused numbers to drop?), 251 Brent Geese and a Bar-headed Goose with 36 Canada Geese. From the hide there were 285 Dunlin, 156 Curlew, 10 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, seven Grey Plover and a Sanderling were in the Bight with six Rock and the Water Pipit. Elsewhere a Cirl Bunting was in bushes behind the hide with three Redpoll and a Dartford Warbler in Greenland Lake.

Monday 9 November 2015

Monday 9th November

The only news received was this stunning Short-eared Owl that flew in and then roosted by the hide late afternoon.

 Images by Lee Collins

Sunday 8 November 2015

Sunday 8th November

A fem/imm Long-tailed Duck in the mouth of the estuary was the pick of the days sightings with a winter plumage Great Northern Diver and the Slavonian Grebe also in the river. Counts from the hide included 1010 Oystercatcher, 436 Brent Geese, 231 Dunlin, 170 Redshank, 111 Great Black-backed Gull, 58 Bar-tailed Godwit, 28 Grey Plover, 13 Sanderling, 12 Ringed Plover and three Knot. Elsewhere a Water Pipit was in front of the hide, 105 Kittiwake and 40+ Gannet were offshore and 55 Common and six Mediterranean Gull were in the roost.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Saturday 7th November

The overnight wind and rain lasted most of the morning but despite the conditions it remained quiet offshore with just 50 Gannet, seven Kittiwake and two Fulmar passing, although a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver was a new arrival. In the estuary a good count of 470+ Great Black-backed Gull was no doubt weather related, also present single Slavonian, Little and Great-crested Grebe, 330 Brent Geese, 47+ Turnstone, 23 Ringed Plover, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit and nine Greenshank.

Friday 6 November 2015

Friday 6th November

Stormy wet conditions restricted observations this afternoon to the high tide and among the 270 Great Black-backed Gull roosting on Finger Point was a first-winter Caspian Gull, only the second record for the recording area.  Also present in the estuary, a Great Northern Diver, 13 Shelduck, 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 20 Grey Plover, 31 Turnstone, 13 Sanderling, c.490 Dunlin, a Greenshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Of the Great Black-backed Gulls, only 3.6% were 'first-winters'.

first-winter Caspian Gull (Lee Collins)

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Wednesday 4th November

A gloomy morning later with rain saw no discernible overhead migration.  In the bushes and dunes, a Short-eared Owl, two Dartford Warbler, seven Stonechat, 50+ Meadow Pipit, only one Chaffinch, c.40 Greenfinch, c.70 Goldfinch, c.30 Linnet, a singing male and an immature Cirl Bunting. The sea was again exceptionally quiet and offered only three Gannet and two Great Crested Grebe.  A lone Tufted Duck on the estuary flew off north (only the second.record of 2015). An intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull stood with Great Black-backed Gulls on Bull Hill until pushed off by the rising tide.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Tuesday 3rd November

Light visible migration, most heading NE, plus foraging birds produced totals of 27 Woodpigeon, a Fieldfare, ten Redwing, fewer Meadow Pipit and Skylark, 44 Chaffinch, 27 Greenfinch, 85 Goldfinch and 33 Siskin.  Also in the bushes, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Goldcrest, a Coal Tit, 21 Long-tailed Tit (the highest count this year), 3 Chiffchaff, four Song Thrush and a Bullfinch. Two Golden Plover flew south. A Shoveler was with the hundreds of Wigeon roosting in the estuary beside the railway.

Monday 2 November 2015

Monday 2nd November

Visible migration continued overhead this morning but despite the cloud the numbers passing at sea level remained lower than at other coastal sites. Numbers included 448 Redwing, 422 Chaffinch, 53 Goldfinch, 35 Siskin, 24 Fieldfare, four Brambling, three Bullfinch and a Redpoll. Counts from the estuary included 930 Wigeon, 246 Dunlin, 122 Brent Geese, 65 Teal, 45 Grey Plover and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Green Sandpiper over the Saltmarsh corner was only the third ever November record, a Water Pipit was in the Bight, a Firecrest flew along the Dune ridge and a Dartford Warbler and a Short-eared Owl were on Warren Point.

Sunday 1 November 2015

Sunday 1st November

An overcast day but the fog held off allowing some excellent visible migration throughout the morning. Thrushes were the main species on the move with c4,500 Redwing and 130+ Fieldfare heading north or east over the spit. The majority of the Redwing came through in half an hour after 8 o'clock but the largest Fieldfare flock wasn't until after 11 o'clock. Also overhead 100+ Chaffinch, 80 Siskin (mostly in two flocks), seven Redpoll, four Snipe, two Brambling, a Mistle Thrush, a Golden Plover and a Swallow. On the deck a Yellow-browed Warbler was again elusive in the Entrance Bushes, with two Firecrest and two Dartford Warbler also on site. Elsewhere 1375 Wigeon and two Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary.

Wildlife News: Red Admiral, Common Darter and Southern Hawker all made it into November.

Saturday 31 October 2015

Saturday 31st October

A fine autumn day on the Warren, the one downside being the lack of cloud cover which meant any overhead migrants passed too high to register. A Black Redstart along the seawall early morning was the first of autumn but other new migrants were at a premium. The Yellow-browed Warbler was again present, although elusive, by the First Pond; with it or another in Dead Dolphin Wood late morning. Also in the bushes the Firecrest, 12 Goldcrest, six Chiffchaff, five Siskin, three Blackcap, two Redwing and two Treecreeper. In the estuary a Purple Sandpiper with 384 Dunlin in front of the hide was the first of the year of this barely annual visitor, a Pintail was with the Wigeon flock, the Slavonian Grebe was in Shutterton Creek and the Pale-bellied Brent was in the Bight. Elsewhere two Short-eared Owl and a Dartford Warbler were on Warren Point, three Mistle Thrush, two late Swallow and a Brambling were overhead with two Red-throated Diver and the Bonaparte's Gull off the seawall.

 Purple Sandpiper - Lee Collins

Kingfisher - Lee Collins

Ringing News: The yellow-flagged Norwegian Ringed Plover was again the Bight. This has now stayed on site for at least two weeks and if a late passage bird it is obviously still feeding up after a long migration or perhaps undergoing a moult before moving on. It may of course also be set to remain for the winter. Only future observations will tell.

Ringed Plover - Lee Collins

Wildlife News: Both Common Darter and Southern Hawker were on the wing today along with at least one Peacock butterfly.

Southern Hawker - Lee Collins

Friday 30 October 2015

Friday 30th October

A frustrating day all round with the second first for the recording area within the week but this one didn't play ball. A probable Pallas's Warbler was glimpsed early morning by the Back Meadow but never showed well, although was probably still present later on. To add to the day's frustrations a Swift species flew over Dead Dolphin Wood mid afternoon but clear views weren't possible. Also around the bushes today the first Firecrest of the autumn, 12 Goldcrest, three Chiffchaff, two Redpoll and a Brambling.   Elsewhere a Short-eared Owl and Dartford Warbler on Warren Point.

Thursday 29 October 2015

Thursday 29th October

Poor weather hampered birding early morning but 205 Brent Geese and 20 Grey Plover were in the Bight with counts of 35 Mute Swan and 28 Shelduck both notable increases. Elsewhere two Dartford Warbler were again on Warren Point with eight Song Thrush, eight Goldcrest, six Chiffchaff, three Blackcap and a Redwing in the bushes.

Grey Plover - Lee Collins

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Wednesday 28th October

No news was received yesterday but if the Warren was anything like other south coast locations a site record for Goldcrest was probably missed at the very least. Today the bushes still held at least eight Goldcrest, four Chiffchaff and three Blackcap but the highlight was the first Yellow-browed Warbler of the year around the First Pond. Other migrants included an immature female Ring Ouzel on Warren Point and later Greenland Lake, a rarer bird than Yellow-browed on site, a couple of Redpoll overhead and a late Swallow. Elsewhere a drake Pintail was in the estuary with the Wigeon, a single Pale-bellied Brent was with the Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 299 Dunlin, 33 Grey Plover, nine Sanderling and single Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit were in the Bight and two Dartford Warbler were on Warren Point.

Ring Ouzel - Simon Thurgood

Monday 26 October 2015

Monday 26th October

Seawatching between 7.50-9.10 produced two Pomarine and a Great Skua south along with a small Skua sp, c120 Gannet, c70 Kittiwake, c50 auk sp and nine Mediterranean Gull.

Sunday 25 October 2015

Sunday 25th October

Vismig early morning didn't really get going with a lack of cloud but at least 15 Redpoll, three Bullfinch, three Great-spotted Woodpecker, two Siskin and a Brambling flew over. In the estuary the Bonaparte's Gull was in the Railway Saltmarsh before relocating to Groyne 4, whilst counts included 800+ Teal, 260 Dark-bellied and a Pale-bellied Brent, 27 Grey Plover, four Greenshank and a Pintail. Elsewhere the overdue first Tufted Duck of the year, two drakes, were off the seawall early afternoon with a single Red-throated Diver, a late Wheatear was along the beach and a Dartford Warbler was on the Point with two Cirl Bunting.

Wildlife News: A fresh Meadow Brown was the highlight, the third recent record of a second generation on the Warren. Also on the wing Common Darter, Emperor dragonfly, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood.

Saturday 24 October 2015

Saturday 24th October

The Great Grey Shrike was still present on Warren Point early morning but flew off high north at 8.35am; the Dartford Warbler and Short-eared Owl were also on the Point. In the estuary counts included 414 Brent Geese, 124 Great Black-backed Gull, 86 Dunlin, 21 Turnstone, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, eight Sanderling and single Knot and Greenshank.

Peregrine - Dave Jewell
Ringing News: This Ringed Plover was at the Warren on 17-18 October. It was ringed at Makkevika, Norway on 6 September 2015, just 41 days prior to its discovery in the Bight. This is the sixth different ringed Ringed Plover recorded at the Warren this year and the third to come from this scheme in the last 12 months with others seen in Oct 2014 & Aug 2015.
The Recording Group takes a proactive approach to looking for ringed birds and so far during 2015 over 300 reads have been made, involving 16 different species and over 160 different individuals.

It is valuable and enlightening work which we feel important to promote. If anybody who does visit the site and is fortunate to make a positive ring read we would ask that as well as submitting details to the ringer and the BTO any such news be kindly passed on to for inclusion on our database.


Friday 23 October 2015

Friday 23rd October

Undoubted highlight was the finding of a Great Grey Shrike on Warren Point, shortly after the finding of a dead Blue Tit speared on an Elder bush! The first record for both the Warren and the Exe it remained until dusk showing well at times. Also on the Point a Short-eared Owl and a Dartford Warbler. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was again off John's Watch, 136 Shag (67 juvs) and a Great Northern Diver were offshore, overhead a single Crossbill, 17 Siskin, seven Redpoll and three Swallow and counts from the estuary included 255 Brent Geese (only one juvenile), 156 Dunlin, 23 Ringed Plover, eight Sanderling, six Grey Plover, six Red-breasted Merganser and the Slavonian Grebe.

 Great Grey Shrike (with hint of Blue Tit) - Lee Collins

Bonaparte's Gull - Dave Jewell

Thursday 22 October 2015

Thursday 22 October

Overhead, a sw Mediterranean Gull, nine Rook, a Raven, three Swallowa Grey Wagtail and including those grounded, 22 Skylark60 Meadow Pipit4 Chaffinch, c45 Greenfinch, five Redpoll, a Crossbill, c45 Goldfinch and 17 Siskin. In the bushes, four Stonechat,  three Goldcrest, two Coal Tit, 7 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, A briefly staying male Cirl Bunting uttered a few bursts of song.  Later in the day a Great Northern Diver was off Langstone Rock.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Tueday 20th October

Neap tides, so 3 Lapwing and 5 Black-tailed Godwit the only interest found there.  Most focus was on the skies and bushes for migrants, but numbers were generally light, totals being two Swallow, 15 Skylark, 27 Meadow Pipit, a Redwing, a Wheatear, 11 Pied Wagtail, two Coal Tit, two Blackcap, four Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest, three Jackdaw, 12 Rook, eight Chaffinch,  c30 Greenfinch,  82 Linnet, three Redpoll, 150 Goldfinch, a Siskin a juv Cirl Bunting and five Reed Bunting.  

Monday 19 October 2015

Monday 19th October

Vismig continued with Goldfinch again the main species to feature with 160+ heading east along with 12 Siskin, just six Chaffinch, two more Crossbill, a Redpoll and the first Fieldfare and Yellowhammer of the year. Eight Coal Tit also moved east but along the ridge rather than high overhead. Elsewhere a Short-eared Owl and a Dartford Warbler were on Warren Point, the Bonaparte's Gull flew in from the south around 9am and the Slavonian Grebe and eight Red-breasted Merganser were in the estuary.

Sunday 18 October 2015

Sunday 18th October

A drop in the wind and some cloud cover saw some light visible migration overhead with 120+ Goldfinch, 41 Siskin, 30+ Chaffinch, 19 Redwing, eight Swallow, four Redpoll, four Bullfinch and a Mistle Thrush all heading east along with the first Crossbill and Brambling of the year. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull reappeared offshore with perhaps the last two Sandwich Tern of the summer whilst the first five Red-breasted Merganser of the winter were in the estuary with 116 Brent Geese, 42 Dunlin, 26 Ringed and 19 Grey Plover.

Friday 9 October 2015

Friday 9th October

A Red-throated Diver was again in the estuary visible from Cockwood along with the Slavonian Grebe. From the hide counts included c1500 Oystercatcher, c1200 Wigeon, c300 Curlew, c110 Brent Geese, c30 Dunlin, c30 Turnstone, 15 Ringed Plover, five Sandwich Tern and a Grey Plover.
Wildlife News:  The Common Seal was again on Bull Hill.

Thursday 8 October 2015

Thursday 8th October

The first Short-eared Owl of the year was on Warren Point but no other news was received.

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Wednesday 7th October

An evening walk saw 30+ Gannet fishing offshore, hundreds of wildfowl whistling in the estuary and a Tawny Owl calling in the Entrance Bushes.

Tuesday 6th October

A Red-throated Diver was with the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary with two Little Grebe. Offsite the Bonaparte's Gull was feeding on the outfall at Dawlish so is still in the area.

Monday 5 October 2015

Monday 5th October

Seawatching early morning was slow going despite the promising weather; two Red-throated Diver flew south with 40 Gannet, 17 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Scoter and a Manx Shearwater. In the estuary 205+ Great Black-backed Gull were sheltering from the weather with 84 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 30 Dunlin, 22 Ringed and four Grey Plover in the Bight.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Sunday 4th October

Little to report from seven hours of birding despite chilling fog suddenly giving way to clearer conditions in a warm southerly breeze late morning.

The Ridgway's Cackling Goose was scoped at distance from Warren Point loitering with Brent Geese over Cockle Sands, off Exmouth.  The flock of Wigeon and Teal in the estuary corner on site numbered well into four-figures; one Pintail was noted.  Also in the estuary around high tide, 18 Mute Swan, 37 Cormorant, 5 Little Egret, 5+ Ringed Plover, 34 Dunlin, 5 Greenshank, 21 Turnstone (including 8 seawall),  2 Mediterranean Gull, 70 Great Black-backed Gull, two Sandwich Tern; no counts today of the roosting flocks of Oystercatcher, Redshank or Curlew.

Such was the soporific feel of the bushes, species that typically receive less attention were counted and produced a site record of 25 Wren and the second-highest ever count of 57 Robin, the latter being a noticeable influx today; also a Treecreeper, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 29 Dunnock, 12 Blackbird, 6 Song Thrush (influx), 5 Stonechat, 25 Greenfinch, 66 Goldfinch, 41 Linnet and a Kingfisher flew over the Buffer Zone.  A Stock Dove flushed from dunes at Warren Point was particularly unusual there. 

Overhead, 29 Meadow Pipit17 Siskin, also only one or two each of SkylarkSwallow, Rook, Jackdaw, Lesser Redpoll and Chaffinch.  

The sea was nearly birdless, just 8 Gannet and 5 Sandwich Tern.  A Little Grebe had found the recently cleared Main Pond.