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.