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.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Saturday 3rd October

No news today other than the site reported by one observer as quiet with little interest.

Friday 2 October 2015

Friday 2nd October

Bright sunshine, no rain and a keen north to east quarter wind for over a week now.  Good coverage this morning.  The Ridgway's Cackling Goose was again off Mudbank Lane, Exmouth today with Brent Geese, but not with the 115 Brent Geese within the recording area of the estuary, where also were 18 Mute Swan, 1086 Wigeon, 344 Teal, a Mallard, 2 Pintail, 49 Cormorant, 9 Little Egret, 6 Grey Heron, (no Oystercatcher count), 14 Grey Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 307 Curlew, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, a more expected count of 22 Turnstone (cf. Wednesday), a Knot, 35 Dunlin, 341 Redshank, 6 Greenshank, a Snipe, two Sandwich Tern, and two sw Mediterranean Gull among 228 Black-headed Gull.

A Pectoral Sandpiper flew low past the hide at 10:55 and continued NE, gained height towards Exmouth and unfortunately was not seen again.  A Kingfisher flew across the estuary.

Light passage overhead, mostly NE included ten Meadow Pipit, single-figures of Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Skylark, Chaffinch, Lesser Redpoll and Siskin.  

On the Main Pond, a squealing Water Rail and two Moorhen. The sea was too glary to observe.

In and over the bushes, a Sparrowhawk, a KestrelGreat Spotted Woodpeckersix Stonechat, three Wheatear, 11 Blackcap, two Whitethroat, five Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest3 Reed Buntingusual numbers of tits, except for at least nine Coal Tit, with a flock of five through; race uncertain.  The brambles continue to attract, with 26 Greenfinch and c40 Goldfinch; c70 Linnet were mostly on Warren Point and near the hide   

Wildlife News: Hot at times, on the wing were Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Common Darter and Migrant Hawker.