Wednesday 30 September 2015

Wednesday 30th Septermber

The Ridgway's Cackling Goose was again off Mudbank Lane, Exmouth today and not with the 150+ Brent Geese within the recording area. Also in the estuary, 440+ Wigeon, 9 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 41 Cormorant, a Sandwich Tern, 5 Grey Plover, 332 Curlew, four Sanderling 100+ Dunlin, 184 Redshank and an exceptional count of 148 Turnstone, the largest count here since 5th January 1989.  These were most likely birds displaced from their usual roost on the wall at Starcross and instead took up temporary residence on various boats and buoys. A Kingfisher flew past the front of the hide.

Overhead, 72 Goldfinch flew NE, also 9 Swallow and a few Meadow Pipit; but an Osprey over Exmouth took centre stage.  Elsewhere, 8 Siskin near the VC, a few Stonechat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and finches in the bushes with 50+ Linnet commuting between the saltmarsh and Warren Point.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Tuesday 29th September

The only news today was of the Ridgway's Cackling Goose with Brent Geese at Dawlish Warren (noted at 09:53). This bird, of unknown origin, first appeared on the Exe Estuary with Brent Geese on Sunday 27th September, and has since accompanied this flock, which has usually favoured an area outside the recording boundary, off Exmouth. 

Sunday 27 September 2015

Sunday 27th September

On the dawn and dusk tides, 20 Mute Swan, the Slavonian Grebe, two Brent Goose, 744 Wigeon, 45 Teala Golden Plover circled around a while, two Grey Plover, no Ringed Plover, 481 Curlew, a Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Bar-tailed Godwit, two Knot, three Turnstone, five Sanderling, 83 Dunlin, a Curlew Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 231 Redshank, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 124 Great Black-backed Gull.  Glaring morning sunshine precluded seawatching, so only 18 Gannet and two Sandwich Tern were noted offshore.  Searches throughout scrubby and built-up areas failed to re-find the Rose-coloured Starling and efforts were only rewarded with single imm Green Woodpecker, three Coal Tit, ten Long-tailed Tit, four Stonechat, nine Chiffchaff, 14 Blackcap, five Goldcrest, a Chaffinch, c.40 Linnet, two Reed Bunting and 31 Starling.  Quiet overhead wth four Rook, a Mistle Thrush, five Lesser Redpoll, five Siskin, c.10 Meadow Pipit, three Grey Wagtail and 30 Goldfinch.

The Cackling Goose (minima-type) with 140 Dark-bellied and a Pale-bellied Brent were visible up estuary in the evening, but were way off outside the site's recording boundary.

Saturday 26th September

Good coverage today, though the best finds didn't linger in clear sunny conditions. Overhead passed by a Spoonbill before 09:00, presumably the bird from Bowling Green Marsh where it first appeared on 10th; and an Osprey flew through.  Other passage was light with five Jackdaw, c.30 Skylark, c.20 Swallow, 3 Mistle Thrush,  a Grey Wagtail, two Chaffinch, a Lesser Redpoll and c.50 Goldfinch

In the bushes, a juv Rose-coloured Starling was present for only a short time early afternoon in brambles and mobile around north side of Greenland Lake area, with Starlings.  More typical finds were single Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker, a Goldcrest, 15 Chiffchaff, 16 Blackcap, a Wheatear and two Bullfinch.  However, 16 Coal Tit, most passed along the dune ridge, were exceptional and only the fourth two-figure count on site. 

In the estuary, a Brent Goose, seven Grey Plover, eight Ringed Plover, one Black-tailed Godwit, three Bar-tailed Godwit, c.25 Turnstone, a Sanderling, 74+ Dunlin, 3 Greenshank,  

(Oystercatcher, Redshank and Curlew roosts not counted today); 74 Great Black-backed Gull and a Mediterranean Gull  

At sea, five Red-throated Diver, an equal record September count, last achieved in 1985; also seven Common Scoter, 38+ Sandwich Tern and three large auk sp.  During low tide, offshore sandbars supported 838 Herring Gull and five Lesser Black-backed Gull.


Friday 25 September 2015

Friday 25th September

The first news for several days saw nine Wheatear, a couple Coal Tit and a Jay on site along with 13 Swallow, four Grey Wagtail and a Lesser Redpoll overhead. In the estuary 354 Curlew and 21 Ringed Plover were present on a low tide.

 Blackcap - Dave Jewell

Wheatear - Dave Jewell

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Tuesday 22nd September

Today lived up to its billing as the quietest day of the autumn with just four Blackcap and four Chiffchaff in the bushes and a Coal Tit that moved through the site. Overhead Siskin, Meadow Pipit, Swallow and House Martin struggled into single figures. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary and 20 Sandwich Tern were offshore.

Monday 21 September 2015

Monday 21st September

A grey and windy start to the day didn't deliver much in the way of sightings, although 25+ Robin were vocal around site sharing the bushes with 12+ Blackcap, eight Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat. Elsewhere 50+ Swallow went through early morning, the Slavonian Grebe, three Greenshank and at least two Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary and c40 Sandwich Tern, 16 Common Scoter and two Razorbill were offshore.

Robin - Alan Keatley. This bird defended its chosen Elder bush from all comers.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Sunday 20th September

Thick fog hampered viewing until around 10.30 and the autumnal feel was enhanced by the first Water Rail of the winter in the Main Pond and a Lesser Redpoll in the Entrance Bushes. Overhead 70+ Swallow, 30+ House Martin, a Tree Pipit and a Yellow Wagtail were reminders of summer with 15+ Meadow Pipit, four Siskin and three Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere three Mute Swan flew in off from a long way offshore and counts from the estuary included two Curlew Sandpiper, 1690 Oystercatcher, 27 Turnstone, 18 Knot, 16 Dunlin, 12 Dark and six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 11 Ringed Plover and a Sanderling.

Sparrowhawk - Martin Overy

Saturday 19 September 2015

Saturday 19th September

The Bonaparte's Gull remained along the beach but other species remain on the move with wader numbers starting to decline before the wintering flocks arrive. Counts from the estuary included 127 Dunlin, 63 Ringed Plover, 23 Sanderling and 18 Knot. Also in the estuary 530+ Wigeon, 60 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose. Elsewhere 40 Goldfinch, 10 Siskin, eight Jackdaw and a Tree Pipit were overhead with 20 Chiffchaff on site with nine Blackcap, three Whitethroat, two Wheatear, two Jay and singles of Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Reed and Willow Warbler.

Friday 18 September 2015

Friday 18th September

A Barred Warbler near the Cuckoo's Nest early morning was the highlight but unfortunately it was even less co-operative than yesterday's Wryneck and was not seen later in the day. Other migrants included three Jay, three Whitethroat and single Goldcrest, Garden Warbler, Wheatear and Whinchat.  Counts from the estuary included 252 Dunlin, 86 Ringed Plover, 70 Dark-bellied and six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 24 Sanderling, 23 Knot and a Whimbrel. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was again along the beach and a Roseate Tern showed well off John's Watch with 69+ Sandwich Tern.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Thursday 17th September

A real autumn feel during the morning with the first Mistle Thrush and Redpoll of the season overhead along with 200+ Swallow, 30+ Meadow Pipit, five Siskin, five Grey and a Yellow Wagtail. The pick of the grounded migrants was a Wryneck along the Back Path with single WhitethroatReed and Garden Warbler amongst the dozen or so Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull reappeared along the beach for it's fourth winter, the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary and a mobile Coal Tit was on site.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Wednesday 16th September

Counts from the estuary included 550+ Wigeon, c280 Dunlin, 270+ Redshank, c90 Ringed Plover, 40+ Knot, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, five Mediterranean Gull, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper. Elsewhere three Balearic Shearwater and an Osprey flew south offshore, a flock of 28 Siskin flew east and a Whinchat was on the Golf Course.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Tuesday 15th September

The first Red-throated Diver of the autumn was offshore but the winds produced little else. In the estuary 20+ Pintail flew towards Exmouth with 667 Wigeon, five Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe in Shutterton Creek, 333 Curlew, 188+ Redshank, seven Greenshank and a Whimbrel were on the Railway Saltmarsh and 190 Dunlin, 13 Black-tailed Godwit and 15 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were in the Bight. Elsewhere the Pectoral Sandpiper was still present in an area with no general access, a Coal Tit was along the Dune Ridge and three Grey Wagtail and a Raven were overhead.

Coal Tit  (the first ever photographed on site) - Dave Jewell

Monday 14 September 2015

Monday 14th September

Wet and windy conditions continue but seawatching remained challenging with most birds too far out in the bay to identify, those that did come close enough included three Arctic Skua, a Balearic Shearwater, an Arctic and a Little Tern all heading south. In the estuary the Pectoral Sandpiper was seen again in the evening but in an area with no access, whilst in the Bight two Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint were with c400 Dunlin, c200 Ringed Plover, 99 Great Black-backed Gull, 30 Knot, seven Common Sandpiper and three Greenshank.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Sunday 13th September

The autumn weather delivered a couple of wader highlights to the Bight today with a Pectoral Sandpiper over both tides but it remained elusive. The evening tide saw a Grey Phalarope drop in briefly before heading into Shutterton Creek, a different bird to one at the top end of the estuary. Other waders included a Little Stint, 356 Dunlin, 352 Curlew, c150 Ringed Plover, 39 Knot, 23 Sanderling, 21 Turnstone and four Greenshank. Also in the estuary 650+ Wigeon, 612 Canada Geese, 101 Great Black-backed Gull, a possible adult Baltic Gull, 61 Sandwich Tern, 40+ Teal and the first 20 Dark-bellied Brent Geese of the autumn.

Offshore a single Great Skua and at least three Balearic Shearwater flew close enough to identify with another 30+ shearwater miles out. Elsewhere the Nuthatch was seen again, a Redstart was in Dead Dolphin Wood and other migrants included three Wheatear, two Goldcrest, two Reed and a Garden Warbler.

 Pectoral Sandpiper - both Lee Collins

Grey Phalarope - Lee Collins

Saturday 12 September 2015

Saturday 12th September

The overnight rain raised hopes but migrants remained thin on the ground with three Wheatear and a Whinchat the pick of the bunch. In the estuary wildfowl numbers did increase with 649 Wigeon and 122 Teal in Shutterton Creek; an adult Curlew Sandpiper was in the Bight with the Little Stint, 331 Dunlin, 68 Ringed Plover and 44 Knot.  Also in the estuary 75+ Sandwich Tern, five Greenshank, three Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere just a single Siskin was overhead, two Balearic Shearwater, two Arctic and a Great Skua were offshore, the Treecreeper was in the Entrance Bushes and two Osprey were seen offsite towards Mudbank Lane.

 Curlew Sandpiper - Lee Collins

Whinchat - Lee Collins

Friday 11 September 2015

Friday 11th September

Early morning there were at least 15 Balearic and a Manx Shearwater feeding offshore, with at least one present in the evening, also offshore two Arctic Skua, 23 Common Scoter, 13 Common and an Arctic Tern. In the estuary the Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood, a Little Stint was present over both tides with 382 Dunlin, 193 Ringed Plover, 38 Knot, 28 Sanderling, four Greenshank and a Ruff. Elsewhere two Whinchat and a Wheatear were in Greenland Lake.

Thursday 10 September 2015

Thursday 10th September

A check of the evening tide showed wildfowl had arrived on mass sometime over the last three days with 432 Wigeon in the estuary along with two Pintail and a Shoveler.  Also in the estuary 235+ Great Black-backed Gull, 37 Knot, three Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Wednesday 9th September

A quick look early morning showed the bushes to be empty of migrants but at least 36 Siskin passed overhead.

Monday 7 September 2015

Monday 7th September

A Nuthatch was the pick of the morning's sightings, this is the first time the species has occurred on consecutive dates in the recording area. Other migrants included six Siskin and five Grey Wagtail overhead and single Whinchat and Wheatear in Greenland Lake. In the bushes Blackcap numbers remained similar but Chiffchaff numbers had halved overnight. No one checked the high tide but two Grey Plover arriving from the south in the evening showed waders remain on the move. Late news of 21 Pale-bellied Brent Geese off Warren Point an early record.

Wildlife News: Feverfew was discovered growing in the Buffer Zone recently, the first in the recording area for over 25 years.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Sunday 6th September

Overhead vismig was noticeable for the first time this autumn with four Tree Pipit, 23 Siskin, seven Grey and a Yellow Wagtail all heading east. Things also picked up a little in the bushes with 23 Chiffchaff, 18 Blackcap, seven Whitethroat, three Reed and a Garden Warbler. The main interest, however, were more local migrants with single Nuthatch, Jay, Coal Tit and the long-staying Treecreeper all notable Warren records. Elsewhere the Whinchat remained in Greenland Lake and four Wheatear and at least four White Wagtail were on site.

In the estuary Wigeon numbers continue to slowly increase with 66 birds present, wader counts on World Shorebirds Day included 497 Curlew, 306 Dunlin, 169 Ringed Plover, 37 Knot and 29 Sanderling. A flock of 20 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in front of the hide and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper joined the Little Stint in the Bight. Offshore a Roseate Tern was feeding with c150 Sandwich and a Common Tern.

Wildlife News: The Common Seal was on Finger Point over high tide. Several Painted Lady and Red Admiral were noted around site.

Saturday 5 September 2015

Saturday 5th September

Migrants included the first two Siskin of autumn overhead with a couple of Meadow Pipit and a Grey Wagtail, whilst in the bushes there were single Garden and Sedge Warbler, with a Whinchat in Greenland Lake. In the estuary a Little Stint hid amongst the smaller waders, counts of which included 269 Dunlin, 123 Ringed Plover, 51 Sanderling and 29 Knot. Also from the hide 36 Wigeon, 21 Teal, seven Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 117 Shag and 74 Sandwich Tern were feeding offshore, a mobile Coal Tit was in the Buffer Zone and the Treecreeper was in Dead Dolphin Wood.

 Little Stint & Dunlin - Lee Collins

 Shag - Lee Collins
 Wheatear - Simon Thurgood

Whinchat - Dave Jewell

Friday 4 September 2015

Friday 4th September

A Lesser Whitethroat along the Back Path was the pick of the new migrants with five Whitethroat, three Wheatear and two Whinchat also present. In the estuary the Little Stint was still present with 280 Dunlin, 115 Ringed Plover, 44 Wigeon, 31 Sanderling, 10 Knot, three Greenshank and a Kingfisher.

Wildlife News: Autumn Lady's-tresses are out in record numbers with over 1000 flowering spikes in Greenland Lake this year. Conversely there have been low numbers of dragonflies reported this year, but Common Darter numbers are beginning to build.

 Autumn Lady's-tresses - Alan Keatley

Common Darter - Alan Keatley

Thursday 3 September 2015

Thursday 3rd September

The evening high tide was too late in the day for any meaningful wader counts but a Little Stint was with the Dunlin with 50+ Great Black-backed and four Mediterranean Gull, three Common Sandpiper and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary. Elsewhere 48 Sanderling were on the beach, a Whinchat was in Greenland Lake and a Tawny Owl was in the Entrance Bushes.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Wednesday 2nd September

Counts from the evening high tide included 271 Redshank, 145+ Ringed Plover, 95+ Sandwich Tern, 51 Knot, 20 Teal, 13 Wigeon, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Whimbrel, five Common Sandpiper and four Greenshank. Elsewhere a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond and three Wheatear were in Greenland Lake.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Tuesday 1st September

An quick evening visit showed a Whinchat and three Wheatear in Greenland Lake whilst on the rising tide the small waders were very mobile and difficult to count but there were at least 105 Ringed Plover, 80+ Dunlin and 27 Knot. Also present two Little Ringed Plover and a vocal Wood Sandpiper that circled high above the Bight before dropping in briefly.