Tuesday 31 May 2016

Tuesday 31st May

A midsummer feel has settled on the Warren with a Cuckoo in Greenland Lake the only exception. Elsewhere wader counts included 11 Dunlin, seven Sanderling, six Ringed Plover and two Whimbrel with six Sandwich Tern and three Great-crested Grebe offshore.

Monday 30 May 2016

Monday 30th May

A summer plumaged Golden Plover was a surprise over high tide with 40 Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, five Whimbrel and three Bar-tailed Godwit also present. Elsewhere seven Sandwich Tern were offshore, and 11 Swallow, three House Martin and a couple of Swift flew through.

 Ringed Plover with yellow-flag 'UCT' and a red ring on the left tibia (not visible in this record shot) was ringed in Norway.

Golden Plover roosting in The Bight (Lee Collins)

Sunday 29 May 2016

Sunday 29th May

Waders continue to move through with 68 Sanderling on the beach, but the majority of the 171 Oystercatcher, 14 Curlew, 11 Whimbrel, six Dunlin and three Bar-tailed Godwit are probably on the Exe for the summer. Elsewhere two unseasonal Siskin were overhead with 40+ Swallow, 12 House Martin and eight Swift.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Thursday 26th May

A handful of passage waders continue to move through with 11 Sanderling and a couple of Dunlin on the beach and five Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit in the estuary. Elsewhere 30 Swallow and a House Martin flew through with two Sandwich Tern offshore and the Cuckoo still on Warren Point.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Wednesday 25th May

The Cuckoo remains on Warren Point upsetting the local Stonechats, but no other news was received.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Tuesday 24th May

A male Cuckoo on Warren Point was a surprise find with other migrants limited to 80-100 Sanderling on the beach with five Ringed Plover and a couple of Dunlin.

Sunday 22 May 2016

Sunday 22nd May

At least 170 Sanderling were along the beach with 18 Curlew, 10 Whimbrel and seven Shelduck in the estuary. Elsewhere three Great Northern Diver and 10 Great-crested Grebe were offshore.

Ringing News: The year's first Sanderbling was in the flocks on the beach. It had been ringed at Asenko village in Ghana in September 2012 and has been recorded 23 times over the intervening years, but all on it's wintering grounds in Ghana, so this is the first overseas recovery. Another recovery was the first summer Curlew which was ringed as a chick in Aberdeenshire last July and has been around the Exe estuary since October was again present on Finger Point.

Saturday 21 May 2016

Saturday 21st May

Seawatching today in between bouts of rain saw two dark phase Arctic Skua head east, two Great Skua, 55 Gannet, 51 Manx Shearwater, 30 Kittiwake and 16 Fulmar head south. Also offshore an Arctic and 17 Sandwich Tern, with two Great Northern Diver on the sea and a third flying south out of the estuary and over the spit. Elsewhere wader counts included at least 278 Sanderling, 74 Dunlin, 22 Curlew, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Ringed Plover and eight Whimbrel.

 Sandwich Tern - Dave Jewell

Pied Wagtail, a juvenile from a nest at The Boathouse - Alan Keatley

Friday 20 May 2016

Friday 20th May

A Spotted Flycatcher in the Entrance Bushes and a late Short-eared Owl on Warren Point were both new arrivals, although the owl is presumably the bird that has recently been seen at other sites around the estuary. Offshore a Great Northern Diver flew south early morning with three Great Skua doing likewise in the evening with 10 Great-crested Grebe on the sea and 37 Sandwich Tern feeding off John's Watch. Elsewhere wader counts included 97 Sanderling, 21 Curlew, including an Aberdeenshire ringed first summer, 11 Turnstone, six Dunlin, four Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwit and two Ringed Plover whilst 12 Swallow, three Swift and a House Martin flew through.

Wildlife News: The first Common Blue of the year were on the wing in Greenland Lake.

Common Blue - Dave Jewell

Thursday 19 May 2016

Thursday 19th May

A second summer Glaucous Gull was off John's Watch late afternoon, feeding behind a trawler with other gulls before heading off back into Lyme Bay, also offshore 14 Sandwich Tern, four Common Scoter and three Manx Shearwater. Counts over the high tide showed the regular late May movement of Sanderling with 144 on the beach, whilst in the estuary there were 33 Dunlin, 12 Curlew, five Whimbrel, three Ringed Plover and two Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a female Cuckoo around the Main Pond and Greenland Lake was an unexpected migrant and the first twitchable individual on site in three years.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Wednesday 18th May

The tide produced 148 Oystercatcher, 32 Dunlin, 15 Sanderling, seven Ringed Plover, five Whimbrel, two Curlew, the Pale-bellied Brent and single Bar-tailed Godwit and Turnstone; frustratingly a flock of c100 mixed small waders didn't settle so remained unchecked.  Feeding flocks continued to forage at sea with 32 Gannet, 26 Shag and 14 Sandwich Tern in the bay. Elsewhere seven Swift and four Swallow passed overhead and following on from new behaviour last year Jackdaw breeding in Dawlish Warren are again foraging on site.

Wildlife News: Several Barrel Jellyfish have washed up around Warren Point, following the first one on Saturday.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Tuesday 17th May

A brief visit to inspect the high tide found 179 Oystercatcher, 17 Sanderling, 16 Dunlin and five Whimbrel.  At sea, 24 Sandwich Tern, 11 Great Crested Grebe, nine Gannet and two Fulmar.  A Mallard still had six ducklings on the Main Pond and were briefly joined by the Little Grebe chick. Seven Swallow and three Swift passed overhead.  A flock of 60 Starling roamed Warren Point and a pair of mobile Cirl Bunting were seen.

Monday 16 May 2016

Monday 16th May

A Spotted Flycatcher by the First Pond was the first migrant in the bushes for over a week. Elsewhere three Great Northern Diver flew south, 11 Sandwich and a Common Tern were offshore and 26 Sanderling were along the beach.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Sunday 15th May

Counts over the high tide included 154 Oystercatcher, 96 Dunlin, 59 Sanderling, 14 Ringed Plover, 13 Whimbrel, five Curlew and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a Little Tern was offshore early morning with eight Sandwich and two Common Tern.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was again on Bull Hill and at least eight butterfly species were on the wing including Holly Blue, Red Admiral and Wall.  In Greenland Lake both Adder's-tongue and Small Adder's-tongue are now 'flowering' and the first sand wasp Ammophila sabulosa were along the Dune ridge.

Orange-Tip - Alan Keatley

Saturday 14 May 2016

Saturday 14th May

A midsummer feel in the bushes with no migrants and increasing numbers of recently fledged birds. Over the high tide 62 Dunlin, 21 Sanderling, 11 Whimbrel, nine Ringed Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit were in the estuary with 22 Sandwich and eight Common Tern offshore.

Wildlife News: The recent warm weather had brought out good numbers of insects with the first Wall butterfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly of the year reported, St Mark's Flies are out in number after a poor season last year, over a hundred of the micromoth Adela reaumurella were around a Sycamore on the Dune Ridge, and both the Sandpit Mining Bee Andrena barbilabris and the fly Coastal Silver-stiletto Acrosathe annulata can be seen around areas of bare sand. Elsewhere two Grey Seal were in the estuary.

Friday 13 May 2016

Friday 13th May

At least 200 Dunlin remained over the morning tide with 20 Sanderling, 18 Ringed Plover, four Knot, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a summer plumaged Grey Plover, also in the estuary the Pale-bellied Brent Goose. Elsewhere a Siskin and 11 Goldfinch flew over and a pair of Gadwall were offshore.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Thursday 12th May

A single Roseate Tern was off John's Watch with single Little and Common Tern and just five Sandwich Tern. Wader counts over the high tide included 281 Dunlin, 31 Ringed Plover, 22 Turnstone, 20 Sanderling and three Whimbrel. Elsewhere the Pale-bellied Brent was in the Bight and good numbers of fledged Starling are now feeding on site.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Wednesday 11th May

A large arrival of waders with birds moving through all day, peak counts included 302 Dunlin, 96 Sanderling, 31 Ringed Plover, 22 Turnstone, three Bar-tailed Godwit,10 Whimbrel, three Grey Plover, a Knot and a late Redshank. Elsewhere three Little and two Common Tern were offshore with 14 Sandwich Tern, the Pale-bellied Brent was in the estuary, two Great Northern Diver flew south, a Tree Pipit was overhead and the first couple of fledged Stonechat were by the Main Pond.

Whimbrel - Dave Jewell

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Tuesday 10th May

Another strangely quiet May day with no passerine migrants and only six Sandwich Tern around the Warren. A pair of Shoveler on the Main Pond were therefore surprising arrivals with the drake Teal also still present.  Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood, the Pale-bellied Brent was in the Bight and wader counts included 51 Sanderling, 47 Dunlin, 15 Whimbrel, three Ringed Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwit, a Grey Plover and a Knot.

Monday 9 May 2016

Monday 9th May

Despite seemingly ideal conditions (light rain, south easterlies and high tide) there were no terns present at all over the evening tide with just two Sandwich Tern earlier in the day. Wader counts increased during the day with peaks of 62 Dunlin, 35+ Whimbrel, 25 Sanderling, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, six Ringed Plover, two Grey Plover and a Knot. Elsewhere the Garden Warbler was still present but there were no new migrants and offshore two Great Northern Diver flew south.

Sunday 8 May 2016

Sunday 8th May

Another quiet spring day with a single Garden Warbler the only migrant in the bushes and just 21 Swallow and two House Martin overhead. In the estuary wader counts included 60 Dunlin, 26 Sanderling, 21 Whimbrel, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, six Ringed and two Grey Plover with the single Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a first summer Mediterranean Gull also present.

Saturday 7 May 2016

Saturday 7th May

Overnight rain and easterly winds once again failed to deliver a hoped for fall, but a Grasshopper Warbler reeled from the Back Path on and off during the day, a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Entrance Bushes and a Reed Warbler sang from an Elder on Warren Point.  Overhead 42 Swallow, six House Martin and three Swift flew through and a Red Kite was offsite over the estuary at Starcross.

Wader numbers included 215 Dunlin on the morning tide, with just 50 in the evening, 33 Whimbrel, 29 Sanderling, six Ringed and five Grey Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank. Other records included a Pale-bellied Brent Goose on Finger Point, the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary, two Little Tern and two Great Northern Diver were offshore and the first Stock Dove of the year was in Greenland Lake.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was hauled out on a barge in the estuary and butterflies included a Painted Lady along the Dune Ridge, an Orange-tip and a Small White by the First Pond and two Holly Blue on site - all new for the year.

Friday 6 May 2016

Friday 6th May

The first (and only?) Cuckoo of the year flew though the Entrance Bushes early morning with other migrants including the first two Spotted Flycatcher of the year, and two Yellow Wagtail overhead. Elsewhere a Pale-bellied Brent Goose was offshore and counts from the estuary included 55 Dunlin, 18 Whimbrel, 16 Turnstone, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Ringed and two Grey Plover.

Thursday 5 May 2016

Thursday 5th May

A Yellow Wagtail on Warren Point was a scarce bird on the deck for the Warren, other migrants included single Garden, Sedge and Willow Warbler. Elsewhere two Roseate Tern were offshore and nine Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in the estuary with 110 Dunlin, 28 Whimbrel, 18 Ringed Plover, 11 Sanderling and two Grey Plover.

Yellow Wagtail - Luke Harman

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Wednesday 4th May

A single Wheatear and an increase in Whitethroat were the only obvious signs of passerine migration today. Elsewhere 11 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 12 Whimbrel were in the estuary, eight Sanderling were on the beach and 17 Sandwich Tern were offshore.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose - Dave Jewell

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Tuesday 3rd May

Migrants included single Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler by the Main Pond with at least 12 Wheatear on site. Elsewhere two Roseate, four Little and 20+ Sandwich Tern were off John's Watch and counts from the estuary at low tide included 54 Whimbrel, 30+ Dunlin, eight Sanderling and a Ringed Plover.

Collared Dove - Alan Keatley
These two are the recently fledged young from a nest in the Entrance Bushes.

Monday 2 May 2016

Monday 2nd May

Seawatching during the day saw totals of 75 Pale-bellied Brent Geese (in groups of 2, 19 & 54), which were also seen at other south coast sites, three Tufted Duck, 54 Common Scoter, three Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver. Also offshore two Common and a Little Tern. Counts from the estuary included 236 Dunlin, 44 Whimbrel, 41 Ringed Plover, 11 Sanderling, two Redshank, a Knot and the Slavonian Grebe with three Common Sandpiper on the seawall. Elsewhere migrants included the first Garden Warbler of the year, 13 Wheatear, a Sedge Warbler, seven Swift and three House Martin.

Pale-bellied Brent Geese - Luke Harman
Wildlife News: A pod of 20+ Common Dolphin in the bay were only the third record for the recording area.

Sunday 1 May 2016

Sunday 1st May

Seawatching during the day produced two Great Skua south along with 98 Manx Shearwater, 15+ Kittiwake and eight Great Northern Diver, also offshore 79 Sandwich Tern. Elsewhere two other Great Northern Diver flew high inland up the estuary, two pair of Cirl Bunting were on site and passerine migrants were limited to a Wheatear an extra half dozen Blackcap and a couple of Willow Warbler.