Monday 29 February 2016

Monday 29th February

The Bonaparte's Gull was in the estuary again mid afternoon, visible from the hide and also seen from Cockwood. Also from the hide 790 Oystercatcher, 163 Grey Plover, 159 Brent Geese, 67 Knot, 54 Turnstone, 41 Teal, 16 Sanderling and four Pintail. Elsewhere the first Jay of the year was by the First Pond with a Treecreeper also still in the Entrance Bushes.

Pintail - Dave Jewell

Sunday 28 February 2016

Sunday 28th February

The Firecrest remains in the Entrance Bushes with a couple of Goldcrest, a pair of Bullfinch and nest-building pair of Long-tailed Tit. Elsewhere 85 Brent Geese, two Greenshank and two Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary and two Cirl Bunting are holding territory.

Saturday 27 February 2016

Saturday 27th February

The Bonaparte's Gull was again in the estuary on the dropping tide, also from the hide 910 Dunlin, 239 Oystercatcher, 193 Curlew, 171 Grey Plover, 76 Bar-tailed Godwit, 71 Brent Geese, 33 Shelduck, 27 Knot, a second winter Mediterranean Gull and a Goldeneye. Elsewhere 44 Common Scoter were offshore, the Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes and a single Rook was overhead.

Thursday 25 February 2016

Thursday 25th February

The only news received today was of the first Dartford Warbler of the year on the Golf Course, a spring migrant or a hidden winterer?

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Wednesday 24th February

Counts from the estuary on another glorious early spring day included 850 Oystercatcher, 825 Dunlin, 157 Curlew, 152 Bar-tailed Godwit, 144 Grey Plover, 53 Redshank, 45 Teal, 30 Shelduck, 29 Knot, two Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere three Red-throated Diver were offshore, a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes with two Siskin.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Tuesday 23rd February

The Bonaparte's Gull was again present in the estuary along with the Slavonian Grebe, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 12 Red-breasted Merganser, a Goldeneye and a Greenshank. Elsewhere 45 Great-crested Grebe and four Red-throated Diver were offshore and two Cirl Bunting were on site.

Sunday 21 February 2016

Sunday 21st February

Just enough daylight to cover both tides for the first time this year, 2180 Dunlin, a good count and again included the Polish-ringed bird; 910 Oystercatcher, 168 Bar-tailed Godwit, 102 Grey Plover, 66 Knot, 48 Curlew, 46 Redshank, 45 Turnstone, 18 Sanderling, 15 Ringed Plover, 12 Common Snipe and two Greenshank.  A male Peregrine stooped at the waders at dusk but was unsuccessful.   Gull estimates were again gathered, c.200 Black-headed Gull, 120 Common Gull, both good counts; c.70 Herring Gull, 12 Great Black-backed Gull, four Mediterranean Gull, which included a Polish-ringed adult; two Lesser Black-backed Gull and the adult Bonaparte's Gull was on show all afternoon in the estuary.

An arrival from Oak Meadow Golf Course, bolstered numbers to 341 Brent Goose on site.  In the estuary corner, 27 Teal, 12 Wigeon, a female Goldeneye and the Slavonian Grebe.

Thoughts about the state of bird interest at sea were not printable.  The bushes were left unsearched today; a pair Stonechat were on the 7th tee, a Reed Bunting was singing in the golf course pond and a Cirl Bunting was singing at dusk along the Back Path.

Saturday 20th February

Gull numbers, counted at various states of tide, were back to pre-storm influx levels with c.90 Herring Gull, c.80 Black-headed Gull, 34 Common Gull, at least ten Great Black-backed Gull, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Mediterranean Gull and the adult winter Bonaparte's Gull.  In the estuary, a female Goldeneye and the Slavonian Grebe.  The few representative waders counts obtained were 87 Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Curlew and 30 Sanderling.  Still quite flooded, the golf course hosted 270 Brent Goose, many Oystercatchers, some of the 14 Meadow Pipit, 10 Pied Wagtail and three Rock Pipit.

The sea was again disappointing with only seven Great Crested Grebe, three Gannet, two Kittiwake, one Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver

Standard fayre in the bushes, with 20 Greenfinch, 10 Linnet, nine Blue Tit, eight Goldfinch, four Great Tit, three  Goldcrest, two each of Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff and Chaffinch and singles of StonechatTreecreeper and Bullfinch.  A singing Cirl Bunting again. 

Friday 19th February

A brief search of the sea from the seawall in the morning saw 18 Great Crested Grebe, two Gannet, one Red-throated Diver and one Kittiwake.  On the Main Pond, two Water Rail squealed, two Little Grebe trilled, two pairs of Canada Goose honked and a Reed Bunting also made its presence known.

At low tide, 189 Black-headed Gull and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull were out on the flats.   On the rising tide, the adult Bonaparte's Gull foraged along the estuary channel and on the afternoon high tide, rather modest counts included 87 Knot, 76 Grey Plover, 43 Curlew, 36 Bar-tailed Godwit and 21 Sanderling. The resident Slavonian Grebe was in attendance. 
The female  Firecrest was again in brambles beside the Back Path; also in the bushes were 18 Greenfinch, 8 Linnet, single Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Siskin and Goldcrest.  Two singing male Cirl Bunting roamed widely.  Two different pairs of Magpie were each seen carrying twigs to nests.

Thursday 18 February 2016

Thursday 18th February

At sea 24 Great-crested Grebe, male and female Common Scoter and a distant diver sp. From hide 18 Red-breasted Merganser and the two Slavonian Grebe. On a low tide only two Knot and no Sanderling or Godwit were with the Oystercatcher, Redshank, Turnstone, Dunlin and Grey Plover.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Wednesday 17th February

An hour's sea-watch as the weather descended produced 54 auks, 22 Common Scoter, 13 Red-throated Diver and a diver sp., 11 Gannet, seven Kittiwake, three Great Crested Grebe and two Fulmar; a reasonable return compared to numbers of recent weeks.  

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Tuesday 16th February

A brief morning visit saw four Great Crested Grebe and a Great Northern Diver close offshore.  In the estuary corner, 28 Teal and four Wigeon.  Six Snipe and four Meadow Pipit flew up from Greenland Lake. A Chiffchaff momentarily stood on the ice covered path through the Butterfly Ride; a male Pheasant strutted beside the Main Pond and a Siskin with six Goldfinch noisily fed among the alders.

Monday 15 February 2016

Monday 15th February

On the late morning tide, counts included c.480 Dunlin, 105+ Grey Plover, 71 Knot, 34 Curlew, 30 Sanderling, 1 Greenshank, and the wildfowl, 152 Brent Goose, c.50 Shelduck, 27 Teal and  8 Wigeon.  The sea was again below par with only four Great Crested Grebe and two Red-throated Diver.  The adult Bonaparte’s Gull flew by the seawall, across the estuary and towards Exmouth c.08:30.  In the bushes, a Coal Tit, a Siskin and a Cirl Bunting. 

Cirl Bunting - Dave Jewell

Sunday 14 February 2016

Sunday 14th February

During the high tide, combined BTO WeBS and other counts produced up to 1,450 Oystercatcher, 658 Dunlin, 129 Grey Plover, 97 Knot, 53 Bar-tailed Godwit, 36 Turnstone, 22 Sanderling, 22 Redshank, 18 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 40 Shelduck, and in the estuary 11 Red-breasted Merganser and the resident Slavonian Grebe.

The adult Bonaparte’s Gull quartered the main channel north of Warren Point on the dropping tide.  Two Great Northern Diver and a Great Crested Grebe were all that could be salvaged from the sea.  A Siskin was with 14 Goldfinch in the bushes and a male Reed Bunting appeared by the hide.

Déjà vu interest was provided by the re-discovery of a Darvic-ringed Dunlin and a metal-ringed Grey Plover, both last seen here together on 06 March 2015, and both assumed to be returning over-wintering birds.  The Grey Plover was ringed in Sep 2006 in Norway and the Dunlin in Jul 2014 in Poland.  And adding to the cosmopolitan feel of the waterbird assemblage, a metal-ringed Brent Goose was with us for its fourth consecutive winter, ringed Pyasina River, north Russia; see map below of ring origins.

Record shot of wader flock and Polish Darvic-ringed Dunlin from hide - Lee Collins

Saturday 13 February 2016

Saturday 13th February

Precious little to show for coverage of the site nearly all day with a Great Northern Diver close inshore, a Slavonian Grebe offshore plus the resident bird in the estuary.  Two Common Scoter, one Kittiwake and zero Gannet were all else there was at sea.   Two Great Crested Grebe were in the estuary and a Kingfisher was by the hide, but the waders did not avail themselves for counts during the spring high tide.

The bushes faired a little better with the welcome return of one of the wintering Firecrest in the Entrance Bushes.  Also present, 20 Greenfinch, 19 Linnet, five Chaffinch, five Skylark, four Siskin, four Meadow Pipit, three Stonechat, two Chiffchaff with one at Warren Point, and singles of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Bullfinch and the regular female Kestrel.

Friday 12 February 2016

Friday 12th February

Counts from the estuary included 520+ Dunlin, 161 Grey Plover, 125 Bar-tailed Godwit, 77 Knot, five Ringed Plover and five Sanderling. Elsewhere two Great Northern Diver were offshore.

Thursday 11 February 2016

Thursday 11th February

The Cirl Bunting was still in song in the Buffer Zone and a Pheasant was the first record of the year, elsewhere just four Great-crested Grebe and two Kittiwake off the seawall and counts from the estuary included 51 Redshank and 17 Snipe.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Tuesday 9th February

A Great Northern Diver remains in the estuary mouth and the two Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood.

Monday 8 February 2016

Monday 8th February

Two Slavonian Grebe and two Goldeneye (ad male & female) were in the estuary off Cockwood but no other news was received.

Sunday 7 February 2016

Sunday 7th February

The Bonaparte's Gull was in the estuary briefly at low tide seen flying past the hide, also in the estuary a Great Northern Diver, two Slavonian Grebe, two Goldeneye (female & fw male) and a Greenshank. Elsewhere a drake Velvet Scoter was again off the Sea Wall and a Great Northern Diver was off John's Watch.

Wildlife News: The Common Seal was on Bull Hull late morning.

Saturday 6 February 2016

Saturday 6th February

Those who braved the weather no doubt felt their efforts went largely unrewarded; seawatching early morning before the rain really set in saw 128 Kittiwake, 41 Gannet, 19 Fulmar and a Common Scoter head south and counts from the shelter of the hide included 365 Dunlin, two Greenshank and eight Mediterranean Gull.

Friday 5 February 2016

Friday 5th February

The Bonaparte's Gull put in another appearance today being seen flying south past the seawall mid morning and then again in the estuary on the rising tide. Also in the estuary two Slavonian Grebe and a Great Northern Diver, 75+ Knot, 39 Turnstone and 15 Sanderling. Elsewhere four Shoveler were on the Main Pond and a Red-throated Diver was offshore.

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Tuesday 2nd February

Single Great Northern and Red-throated Diver were off the seawall with 35 Great-crested Grebe this morning. Elsewhere waders were in short supply on a neap tide but two Slavonian Grebe and a second Great Northern Diver were in the estuary.

Monday 1 February 2016

Monday 1st February

The first Black-throated Diver of the year was close in off the seawall midmorning. also offshore a drake Velvet Scoter flew south. Elsewhere 77 Common and two Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary and the pair of Gadwall were on the Main Pond.