Monday 31 August 2015

Monday 31st August

Migration continues in full swing with tern numbers continuing to drop but waders on the increase through the day. A single adult Roseate Tern offshore was the morning's highlight with three Black Tern also present, neither species was present in the evening with roost counts saw 163 Sandwich, 127 Common, nine Arctic and a Little Tern. Also offshore in the evening four Balearic Shearwater and two Pomarine Skua. Amongst the waders two juvenile Little Ringed Plover were the most notable, with counts of 169 Ringed Plover, 135 Dunlin, 35 Turnstone, 32 Sanderling, 27 Knot, five Snipe and four Greenshank. Also in the estuary 30 Wigeon, six Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere the overnight rain grounded two Whinchat, 11 Wheatear, three Sedge and a Garden Warbler with three Yellow Wagtail and the first Tree Pipit of the year overhead.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was close in offshore on the evening tide.

Sunday 30 August 2015

Sunday 30th August

Tern numbers remain higher than usual but have dropped off considerably with 248 Common Tern and 195 Sandwich Tern roosting in the estuary along with 12 Black and 16 Arctic Tern. Also offshore 15 Balearic Shearwater heading east, two Arctic Skua, 20 Common Scoter and a Great-crested Grebe. Wader counts from the hide included 471 Curlew, 223 Redshank, 87+ Dunlin, 47 Sanderling, 42 Ringed Plover, 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 19 Turnstone, 11 Whimbrel, 10 Knot and two Greenshank. Also in the estuary 22 Teal, eight Wigeon, eight Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Arctic Tern (juv) - Lee Collins

Saturday 29 August 2015

Saturday 29th August

Another good day with the late evening estuary-bound movement of terns again being a highlight involving 940 Common Tern, 24 Arctic Tern, a juv Roseate Tern, 20 Black Tern, 125 Sandwich Tern, a Little Tern and the second-winter Little Gull.  Both spring high tides were covered and produced the resident Slavonian Grebe, 161 Canada Goose, 54 Mallard, 54 Ringed Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Knot, 209+ Dunlin, 41 Sanderling, 5 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 179 Redshank and 2 Mediterranean Gull. At sea, 9 Balearic Shearwater, 3, Fulmar, 12 Common Scoter.  Other site interest, two Stock Dove, a Jay, a Garden Warbler, the Treecreeper still, 3 Wheatear; and overhead, two Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail.
 Dunlin - Dave Jewell

Little Gull - Dave Jewell
Wildlife News: This Convolvulus Hawkmoth was on the Dune Ridge. A scarce migrant to the Warren, most previous records are of caterpillars on Sea Bindweed.

Convolvulus Hawkmoth - Miriam Guard

Friday 28 August 2015

Friday 28th August

Terns were again the feature of the day with the evening roost count comprising 1807 Common, c120 Sandwich, 12 Black, 11 Arctic and seven Little Tern. The spectacle of these gathering offshore attracted in a pale phase adult Pomarine Skua briefly along with four Arctic Skua although these remained distant, also passing south 60+ Kittiwake and  a close flock of 11 Balearic Shearwater with a later single. Wader counts included 376 Curlew, 229 Dunlin, 51 Ringed Plover, 43 Sanderling, 14 Whimbrel, 12 Knot, 10 Black and three Bar-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank, five Grey Plover and a Common Sandpiper. Also in the estuary seven Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere the first Goldcrest of the autumn was in the bushes with 18 Blackcap and 10 Whitethroat with three Grey and a Yellow Wagtail overhead.

Wildlife News: The Common Seal was on Bull Hill.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Thursday 27th August

Terns were again the order of the day with 250+ Common Tern on Bull Hill in the morning, however this and yesterday's counts were eclipsed in the evening. Stationed at John's Watch a new site record count of 2484 Common Tern were recorded heading into the estuary to roost, an incredible spectacle. The previous record count of 2000 was set 70 years ago in August 1945. This is also a new Devon record with c2000 also being recorded on the Exe in August 1956. Picked out amongst these flocks were at 11 Black, nine Little and at least three Arctic Tern. Other records from the estuary included a Ruff in the Bight, the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood and counts of 240+ Dunlin, 120+ Ringed Plover, 60+ Sanderling and five Mediterranean Gull.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was on Bull Hill and Autumn Ladies Tresses are having a good year with hundreds of flowering spikes around areas of fixed grassland.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Wednesday 26th August

A look off Cockwood Steps in the evening revealed large numbers of terns heading into the estuary to roost with 800+ Common Tern eventually settling on sandbars off Mudbank Lane, Exmouth. With them were 80+ Sandwich and at least two Black Tern. Also in the estuary 157+ Great Black-backed Gull, five Common Sandpiper and four adult Mediterranean Gull, with two Swift overhead.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Tuesday 25th August

The only news came from an hour long seawatch before the rain set in around 10.30. A single Sooty Shearwater that flew east was the first of the year but apart from a distant Balearic Shearwater heading south there was little else moving with just 25 Gannet, 14 Fulmar and three Common Tern noted along with the first returning Great-crested Grebe on the sea.

Monday 24 August 2015

Monday 24th August

A juvenile Roseate Tern was in the Bight with 115 Sandwich and 19 Common Tern over high tide. Also from the hide after the rain passed through a single Ruff, 302+ Dunlin, 140+ Ringed Plover, 52 Great Black-backed Gull, 40+ Sanderling, a Knot and an adult Little Gull. Elsewhere a Garden Warbler was in the Entrance Bushes, a Black Tern flew in off the sea and 13 Greenshank flew high south.

Sunday 23 August 2015

Sunday 23rd August

The wet weather cleared  midmorning to reveal birds across the site with terns and waders constantly on the move during the first few hours. Simple numbers fail to convey the spectacle from the hide but 13 Black, seven Little and at least three Arctic Tern dropped in amongst 175+ Sandwich and 70+ Common Tern whilst a moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper, a juvenile Little Stint and a Ruff were with 476 Ringed Plover, 430 Dunlin, 100+ Sanderling and 59 Turnstone. Also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, 15+ Bar and nine Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Greenshank, three Mediterranean Gull, a Snipe and a Knot. Elsewhere the first Whinchat of the year was in Greenland Lake and a Spotted Flycatcher was around the Main Pond, an adult Little Gull was offshore, a juvenile Osprey hunted around the estuary mouth having flown north from Teignmouth and two Swift were overhead.

 Little Tern - Lee Collins

 Black Tern - Lee Collins

Osprey - Simon Thurgood

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow and several Silver Y were on Warren Point. Elsewhere Autumn Ladies Tresses are now starting to flower across the site and a Common Seal was on Bull Hill. The Emperor photographed below with an Oak Eggar caught but the moth but because of it's weight couldn't fly very far, so it came down to grass level, cut off wings and flew off back to the trees with the body to feed.

Emperor - Simon Thurgood

Saturday 22 August 2015

Saturday 22nd August

Despite the fog and overnight rain there were very few migrants on site with just single figure counts of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat in the bushes and a single Grey Wagtail overhead. Also in the bushes the first Coal Tit of the year and the long-staying Treecreeper. In the estuary wader counts included 443 Dunlin, 227 Ringed Plover, seven Turnstone and a Knot with 107+ Sandwich, 10 Common and a juvenile Arctic Tern also in front of the hide. Elsewhere at least 50 Common Tern were offshore in the evening.

Friday 21 August 2015

Friday 21st August

Another flush of waders with 300+ Dunlin in the Bight plus 200+ Ringed Plover, 18 Sanderling, 15 Turnstone and single Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and Common Sandpiper. Also in the estuary 94+ Great Black-backed Gull, 40 Sandwich and 10 Common Tern.

Ringing News: The 31st Sandwich Tern ring read of the autumn was made from the hide today; Red KAH a bird ringed on the Dyfi Estuary in mid Wales in 2013 and seen here in three consecutive years now. A full report will follow once all ringing information is available.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Thursday 20th August

Wader counts in the day long wet mizzle included 258 Redshank, 200+ Ringed Plover, 128+ Dunlin, 12 Sanderling, seven Turnstone, three Greenshank, three Knot and a Common Sandpiper. Also in the estuary on the evening tide, 84+ Great Black-backed Gull, 61 Sandwich and 43+ Common Tern, two Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere an Arctic Skua was offshore and other migrants were limited to two Wheatear and a Willow Warbler.

Common Sandpiper - Dave Jewell

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Wednesday 19th August

An evening visit saw 220+ Ringed Plover, 198 Redshank, c100 Dunlin, 29 Whimbrel, four Turnstone, three Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit in the Bight with a Mediterranean Gull and a Slavonian Grebe in the estuary and a dark phase Arctic Skua chasing a Sandwich Tern over the spit.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Tuesday 18th August

No bird news for today but a pod of 12 Common Dolphin were seen from a Marinelife/RSPB survey boat offshore - only the second record for the recording area.

Monday 17 August 2015

Monday 17th August

Counts over the evening high tide included 1448 Oystercatcher, 95 Ringed Plover, 83 Dunlin, 18 Whimbrel, a Knot and a Sanderling. Also in the estuary seven Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Sunday 16th August

Wader numbers had dropped overnight but new arrivals in the estuary included a juvenile Little Gull, a Little Ringed Plover and a Snipe as well as the first Wigeon of the autumn. Counts included 522 Curlew, c270 Dunlin, 209 Redshank, 136 Ringed Plover, 20+ Sanderling, 13 Whimbrel, 11 Turnstone, nine Knot, four Greenshank and four Grey Plover. Also in the estuary 40 Sandwich, 27 Common and three Little Tern, six Mediterranean Gull, a Kingfisher, the Slavonian Grebe and a Teal. Elsewhere passerine migrants had also departed overnight with just two Willow Warbler and single Wheatear on site, single Yellow and Grey Wagtail overhead and three Balearic Shearwater were offshore.

Wildlife News: Migrant insects included several Rush Veneer and the hoverflies Scaeva pyrastri and Episyrphus balteatus.

Saturday 15 August 2015

Saturday 15th August

High wader numbers continue to be a feature over the high tides although the scarcer species moved on overnight. Minimum counts included 396 Dunlin, 258 Ringed Plover and 80 Sanderling with six Common Sandpiper, four Greenshank, three Grey Plover and on the evening tide a single Ruff. Also in the estuary 80+ Sandwich, seven Little and a Black Tern and three Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a Nightjar was flushed in the Buffer Zone with other migrants including four Sedge and a Garden Warbler, 17 Blackcap, 12 Willow Warbler, five Whitethroat and three Wheatear. Single Nuthatch and Treecreeper were presumably more local migrants.

Wildlife News: A Grayling on Warren Point was the first recording area record since at least 1960. Other butterflies on the wing included Brown Argus, Comma, Wall Brown and Holly Blue.

Grayling - Lee Collins

 Brown Argus - Lee Collins

Friday 14 August 2015

Friday 14th August

The morning rain dropped in large numbers of waders with birds spread around the site. Highlights included the first Little Stint of the autumn, a juvenile, three Ruff, seven Curlew Sandpiper and a Golden Plover. Other counts included 300+ Dunlin, 210+ Ringed Plover, 120+ Sanderling, 21 Whimbrel, 20 Knot, five Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, four Grey Plover, two Greenshank and a Snipe. Also brought into the Bight by the weather 89 Common and 13 Little Tern. Elsewhere a single Swift flew through and the Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood.

 Ruff - Lee Collins

Curlew Sandpiper - Lee Collins

Thursday 13 August 2015

Thursday 13th August

In wet weather this evening good numbers of waders remained around the Bight including four Grey Plover and a Knot.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Wednesday 12th August

A quick evening visit saw three Wheatear, three Willow and a Garden Warbler on site, this suggests more would have ben found had anyone been recording earlier in the day. Counts over the evening high tide also showed an arrival with minimum totals of 220 Dunlin, 205 Redshank, 80 Ringed Plover, 23 Whimbrel and 15 Sanderling, also present in the estuary at least five Mediterranean Gull, three Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and the Slavonian Grebe. Offshore there were four Common Scoter, a dark phase Arctic Skua and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

Sunday 9 August 2015

Sunday 9th August

Today's highlight was a Treecreeper in the Entrance Bushes but other migrants were in short supply although a couple of Swift were overhead. Counts from the estuary included 967 Oystercatcher, 305 Curlew, 117 Ringed Plover, 58 Dunlin, 17 Sanderling, four Greenshank, two Common Sandpiper and the Slavonian Grebe. Offshore an Arctic Skua was harrying some of the 174 Sandwich and seven Common Tern.

Ringing News: Three of the 117 Ringed Plover in the Bight today were colour-ringed, one each from Iceland, Norway and Germany.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Saturday 8th August

Early morning saw a noticeable increase in activity amongst the bushes with counts of 15 Blackcap, 11 Willow and 10 Reed Warbler, 10 Whitethroat and nine Chiffchaff. With these were a couple of Sedge and a Garden Warbler but it was a Nuthatch that takes top billing. As always this species didn't linger being seen briefly at John's Watch and then on Warren Point.  The Slavonian Grebe remains in the estuary with counts included 154+ Sandwich and eight Common Tern, 379 Curlew, 92 Dunlin, 66 Ringed Plover, 26 Sanderling, five Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit. Also present a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull in Shutterton Creek and at least seven Mediterranean Gull hawking ants overhead.

Nuthatch - Alan Keatley
Wildlife News: The first Jersey Tiger of the year was along the Dune Ridge.

Friday 7 August 2015

Friday 7th August

Wader counts on a low high tide included 65 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 29 Sanderling and seven Whimbrel. Also in the estuary 105 Sandwich and seven Common Tern with a single Sedge Warbler in the bushes evidence of some southbound passerine migration.

Thursday 6 August 2015

Thursday 6th August

Waders and terns are on the move even if other species are notable by their absence. Counts from the estuary included 130+ Sandwich and seven Common Tern, 91 Ringed Plover, 82 Dunlin, five Mediterranean Gull and single Turnstone, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit.

 Black-tailed Godwit - Dave Jewell

Common Tern - Dave Jewell

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Tuesday 4th August

A single Roseate Tern was on Finger Point with 100 Sandwich and 10 Common Tern, including three juveniles, in front of the hide. Wader counts included 137 Ringed Plover, a significant increase, and 12 Dunlin were feeding in the Bight with 20 Sanderling on the beach. Elsewhere two Wheatear were on Warren Point and a Willow Warbler was in the Entrance Bushes.

Wildlife News: Eleven species of butterfly were on the wing along with good numbers of Six-spot Burnet, Common Darter and the first Southern Hawker of the year.

Southern Hawker - Simon Thurgood

Monday 3 August 2015

Monday 3rd August

Seawatching early morning saw two Balearic Shearwater and a dark phase Arctic Skua fly south whilst many of the 180+ Sandwich and five Common Tern fed offshore. In the estuary wader counts included 161+ Redshank, 68 Ringed Plover, 36 Sanderling, c35 Dunlin, 41 Whimbrel, three Greenshank, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a Grey Plover. Also present at least 12 Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Mediterranean Gull (juv) & Sandwich Terns - Lee Collins

Sunday 2 August 2015

Sunday 2nd August

A first summer Roseate Tern was in front of the hide on the morning tide with 144 Sandwich and five Common Tern. The wader highlight was a German Ringed Plover with 56 others, also 369 Curlew, 144 Redshank, 44 Dunlin, 34 Sanderling, three Turnstone, two each of Greenshank, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit and single Knot and Grey Plover. Also in the estuary four Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Balearic Shearwater was offshore with 16 Manx Shearwater and 70+ Common Scoter.

Roseate Tern - Lee Collins
 Ringed Plover - Lee Collins

Saturday 1 August 2015

Saturday 1st August

Again today, both spring high tides were covered and produced the Slavonian Grebe, 22 Mute Swan, 37 Canada Goose, 7 Little Egret, 3 Grey Heron, 3-fig count Oystercatcher, 31 Ringed Plover, 348 Curlew, 4 Whimbrel, 7 Turnstone, 26 Sanderling, 56 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 208 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 162 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, c300 Black-headed Gull, 4 Mediterranean Gull (3 ad, 1 fs), 11 Common Gull and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Early evening sunshine and flying ants attracted a dozen Swift, c20 Swallow and gulls.   The first returning Garden Warbler was noted in the bushes and fledged Stonechat were still present on dune brambles.

Yellow-legged Gull - Alan Keatley