Saturday 31 December 2016

Saturday 31st December

The Bonaparte's Gull was offshore later afternoon feeding with a small group of Black-headed Gull, earlier 22 Red-throated Diver and 59 Great-crested Grebe were also offshore. Elsewhere in the estuary counts included 135 Bar-tailed Godwit, 106 Knot and 17 Ringed Plover, three Shoveler were on the Main Pond and four Chiffchaff were around the Entrance Bushes.

Wildlife News: Three Harbour Porpoise were offshore for several hours this morning, with perhaps the same individuals being seen off Teignmouth this afternoon.  

Friday 30 December 2016

Friday 30th December

An early start saw a female Pintail in front of the hide with most of the regular species also in the estuary, but no counts were possible as the fog rolled in soon after first light and stayed put all day.

Thursday 29 December 2016

Thursday 29th December

A first winter Caspian Gull roosting on Bull Hill was an unexpected highlight, only the third Warren record but all in the last three years. Also on Bull Hill the adult Bonaparte's and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere just six Red-throated Diver were offshore, the two Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood, the tristis Chiffchaff was in the Entrance Bushes and five Shoveler and a pair of Gadwall were on the Main Pond.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Tuesday 27th December

Numbers of divers continue to rise offshore with a minimum of 45 Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver off the seawall with 15+ Great-crested Grebe also present. In the estuary the Bonaparte's Gull could be seen distantly towards Exmouth and a pair of Peregrine were hunting the roosting waders.

Monday 26 December 2016

Monday 26th December

The only news came from the seawall where 30 Red-throated Diver and 21 Great-crested Grebe were offshore.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Sunday 25th December

A quick look offshore showed an adult Mediterranean Gull, 31 Great-crested Grebe, 11 Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. A look from Cockwood Steps revealed 30+ Shag and six Red-breasted Merganser in the estuary but no sign of any Slavonian Grebe.

Saturday 24 December 2016

Saturday 24th December

Calm conditions offshore saw counts of 34 Great-crested Grebe, 11 Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver but seaduck numbers have dropped with just 32 Common Scoter present. Elsewhere five Chiffchaff and a Lesser Redpoll were on site and counts from the estuary included 140+ Wigeon, 86 Knot, 46 Turnstone, 42 Shelduck, 32 Sanderling, five Greenshank, five Lapwing and two Slavonian Grebe.

Friday 23 December 2016

Friday 23rd December

The two Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood mid afternoon but no other news was received.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Thursday 22nd December

The fem/imm Black Redstart was still at Langstone Rock, with four Chiffchaff and four Goldcrest on site. Elsewhere the two Slavonian Grebe were in the estuary and offshore there were five Red-throated Diver and 24 Great-crested Grebe.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Wednesday 21st December

The two Slavonian Grebe were in the estuary but no other news was received.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Tuesday 20th December

Some counts from the hide included 100+ Grey and 29 Ringed Plover, whilst the family group of Carrion Crow continue to disturb and flush the roosting waders.

 Grey Plover - Simon Thurgood
Ringed Plover - Simon Thurgood

Monday 19 December 2016

Monday 19th December

With the fog lifting and flat calm conditions offshore two Velvet Scoter were visible from John's Watch with eight Eider (five female and three fw male), 41 Great-crested Grebe and 13 Red-throated Diver also present. In the estuary counts included 195 Grey Plover, 141 Knot, c130 Bar-tailed Godwit, 31 Sanderling, 17 Ringed Plover and two Shoveler.

Ringing News: Details have come back on the Pale-bellied Brent Goose seen last Friday; it was ringed in Iceland at Álftanes on 16 May 2014 and is a well travelled and well tracked individual.

Pale-bellied Brent - Lee Collins
It was at Strangford Lough, Co Down, Northern Ireland in Sep-Nov 2014, before being seen on the Fleet in Dorset in Nov-Dec 2014, returning north to Iceland by Apr 2015 via Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire in Jan 2015 & Dundalk Bay, Co Louth, Eire in Feb 2015.
It bred in Iceland in the summer of 2015 raising a single juvenile and repeated the same migration being at Strangford Lough in Sep-Oct 2015, The Fleet in Dec 2015 and Milford Haven in Dec 2015 before being recorded back in Iceland in May 2016.

This autumn it did it all over again and was at Strangford Lough on 23 Oct, on the Fleet on 26 Nov, at the Warren on 16 Dec and then in Pembrokeshire the next day!

The increasingly early return north is interesting and matches what is happening with Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Dungeness where birds have started moving back east the last four Decembers.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Sunday 18th December

Fog failed to lift all day so no counts were possible in the estuary and the continued presence of offshore had to be assumed. In the bushes the Siberian Chiffchaff was still around the First Pond, a Jay was in Dead Dolphin Wood and singing Little Grebe and drumming Great-spotted Woodpecker hinted at Spring.

Saturday 17 December 2016

Saturday 17th December

Three Velvet Scoter flew into the bay mid afternoon, also offshore just 28 Common Scoter, a good count of 25 Red-throated Diver, a drake Gadwall and a Great Northern Diver. Counts from the estuary included 165 Grey Plover, 138 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 127 Bar-tailed Godwit, 120 Knot, 22 Ringed Plover, 22 Sanderling, 14 Greenshank and the two Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere a Siberian Chiffchaff was in the Entrance Bushes, a fem/imm Black Redstart was on Langstone Rock, the Dartford Warbler was on Warren Point, an adult Mediterranean Gull flew south and two Snipe and a Shoveler were on the Main Pond.

Black Redstart - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: A pod of 20 Common Dolphin were off the seawall early morning, only the third site record.

Friday 16 December 2016

Friday 16th December

Six Pale-bellied Brent Geese in the estuary were new arrivals, one of them was ringed so we should soon know where they arrived from. Also in the estuary counts of 2300 Dunlin, 235 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 195 Grey Plover, 148 Redshank, 117 Bar-tailed Godwit, 66 Shelduck, 57 Knot and the two Slavonian Grebe. The roosting Dunlin were continually harassed and scattered by several Carrion Crow, one was eventually chased down in flight and was killed in front of the hide. Elsewhere a Dartford Warbler was on Warren Point, two Shoveler were on the Main Pond and single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver were offshore.

Pale-bellied Brent Geese - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A Peacock along the Dune Ridge was not unexpected given the unseasonal weather.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Wednesday 14th December

The two Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood but no other news was received.

Monday 12 December 2016

Monday 12th December

No news from today but the Shoveler were probably still on the Main Pond and no doubt several Blackbird were still around the apple tree along the back path.

Blackbird - Simon Thurgood

Shoveler - Lee Collins

Sunday 11 December 2016

Sunday 11th December

The two Velvet Scoter were again offshore with 66 Common Scoter, 27 Great-crested Grebe and 18 Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere counts from the estuary included the first Jack Snipe of the winter, 1400 Dunlin, 1168 Oystercatcher, 388 Brent Geese, 101 Grey and three Golden Plover, 34 Turnstone, five Greenshank, two Lapwing and the two Slavonian Grebe.

 Lapwing - Lee Collins

Redshank - Simon Thurgood

Saturday 10 December 2016

Saturday 10th December

Counts from the estuary included 395 Brent Geese, 150 Grey Plover, 81 Knot, 21 Sanderling, four Greenshank, the two Slavonian Grebe, a Goldeneye, a Lapwing and a female Eider. Elsewhere five Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore with just 35 Common Scoter, a Dartford Warbler was reported and five Chiffchaff remained in the Entrance Bushes.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Thursday 8th December

A Water Pipit on Woodhenge was a new arrival on an otherwise fairly typical winter day. Also from the hide there were counts of 1100 Dunlin, 156 Brent Geese, 21 Ringed Plover, 16 Sanderling and just six Knot. Elsewhere the two Velvet Scoter were still offshore with 90 Common Scoter, two Red-throated Diver and two Eider, two Shoveler were on the Main Pond and a Cirl Bunting in full song on the golf course was ignoring the season. 

Water Pipit - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Wednesday 7th December

The Siberian Chiffchaff was still in the Entrance Bushes, but there was no news on the Yellow-browed Warbler. Counts from the estuary included 1000+ Dunlin, 73 Grey and 18 Ringed Plover, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit and eight Red-breasted Merganser. Elsewhere a Red-throated Diver and a flock of 10 Eider were off John's Watch, presumably the birds recently off Teignmouth, and two Shoveler and two drake Teal were on the Main Pond.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Tuesday 6th December

The Yellow-browed Warbler remains on site favouring the Back Meadow and Main Pond area today, with the Siberian Chiffchaff still in the Entrance Bushes. The flat conditions offshore allowed for counts of  23 Great-crested Grebe, 12 Red-throated Diver and the two Velvet Scoter.

Monday 5 December 2016

Monday 5th December

The Yellow-browed Warbler was still vocal around the Entrance Bushes this morning with two Velvet Scoter and a Great Northern Diver remaining offshore. A Black-necked Grebe off the saltmarsh was a new arrival with 147 Grey Plover, 106 Knot, eight Greenshank and the two Slavonian Grebe also in the estuary.

Sunday 4 December 2016

Sunday 4th December

The fifth Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was a surprise arrival, although a new bird was also found in Exmouth today. It was vocal and mobile around the Entrance Bushes where there were also four Chiffchaff and the Siberian Chiffchaff. Elsewhere the two Velvet Scoter were still offshore with five Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver whilst wader counts from the estuary increased slightly with 1600 Dunlin, 157 Grey Plover, 144 Bar-tailed Godwit, 81 Knot and six Greenshank with the two Slavonian Grebe also still present.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Saturday 3rd December

Offshore there were five Velvet Scoter, three mobile and two within the raft of 90 Common Scoter, with 580+ Guillemot, six Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver flying south. elsewhere a tristis Chiffchaff was in the Entrance Bushes, a Fieldfare remains along the Back Path, three Shoveler were on the Main Pond, the Bonaparte's Gull was off Warren Point and counts from the estuary included 307 Wigeon, 198 Brent Geese, 195 Teal, 115 Grey Plover, 88 Knot, 60+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 23 Ringed Plover, two Slavonian Grebe and a Pintail.

Friday 2 December 2016

Friday 2nd December

Two Velvet Scoter were off John's Watch, presumed to be the same birds that were present briefly last weekend.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Thursday 1st December

The two Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood but no other news was received.