Sunday 30 July 2017

Sunday 30th July

Work is progressing on the Dune Ridge, but there remains no access to the hide or Warren Point. Two adult Roseate Tern were in the estuary today with 80+ Sandwich and 28 Common Tern. Wader numbers increased after the overnight rain with counts including 128 Dunlin, 68 Ringed Plover, 39 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Sanderling, four Greenshank and single Black-tailed Godwit and Knot.

Saturday 29 July 2017

Saturday 29th July

Work is progressing on the Dune Ridge, but there remains no access to the hide or Warren Point. Seawatching early morning was quiet but 27 Common Tern flew south early morning with another nine south late afternoon, along with a single Arctic Skua. In the estuary a brief Roseate Tern was with a few Common and 80 Sandwich Tern, the Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood and wader counts included the first three Black-tailed Godwit of the autumn, 454 Curlew, 140 Redshank, 66 Dunlin, 36 Bar-tailed Godwit, 27 Whimbrel, 24 Ringed Plover, eight Sanderling and two Greenshank. Elsewhere a single Wheatear was in Greenland Lake and 22 Shelduck flew in off into the estuary.  

Friday 28 July 2017

Friday 28th July

Work is progressing on the Dune Ridge, but there remains no access to the hide or Warren Point. Five Balearic Shearwater flew south in a single flock early afternoon with 15 Common Scoter and three Manx Shearwater also offshore. Elsewhere 66 Sandwich and 11 Common Tern were in the estuary with counts of 142 Redshank, 45 Dunlin, 23 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Turnstone, 15 Ringed Plover and six Greenshank.

Common Scoter - Alan Keatley

Thursday 27 July 2017

Thursday 27th July

Work is progressing on the Dune Ridge, but there remains no access to the hide or Warren Point. Wader counts from the estuary included a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 394 Curlew, 142 Redshank, 62 Dunlin, 56 Whimbrel - a high autumn count, 34 Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Ringed Plover, nine Sanderling, six Greenshank and two Knot. Also in the river a Roseate, 125+ Sandwich and 15 Common Tern, the Slavonian Grebe, five Mediterranean and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. Elsewhere five Willow Warbler were in the bushes and a couple of Swift were overhead.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Tuesday 25th July

Again no bird news was received but butterflies were much in evidence, with plenty of second generation Brown Argus, Common Blue, Peacock, Small Copper and Speckled Wood, along with Gatekeeper, Small Skipper and migrant Red Admiral and Large White. Also on the wing several Silver Y and Six-spot Burnet moths.

Monday 24 July 2017

Monday 24th July

No bird news was received for today but this Southern Hawker was in the Entrance Bushes.

Southern Hawker - Simon Thurgood

Sunday 23 July 2017

Sunday 23rd July

Wader counts over both high tides were 424 Curlew, 393 Oystercatcher, including returning adults ringed here in 1989 and 2000; 142 Redshank, 93 Dunlin, 37 Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Ringed Plover, 18 Whimbrel, 12 Grey Plover, six Greenshank, two Sanderling and a Common Sandpiper. About a third of the c.115 Sandwich Tern present were juveniles and of the adults, three were ringed at Lady’s Island, Co Wexford and one from Wales.  Yesterday’s Roseate Tern again graced both tides, 7 Common Tern, including 2 or 3 ‘first-summers’ and 5 Mediterranean Gull.  A juvenile Black-headed Gull was the first recovery on site of a bird ringed in Belgium.

At sea, two Arctic Skua chased Kittiwakes and terns, and a Shoveler in off was the first to return.  Overhead, six Swallow, five Swift and a single Sand Martin.

Migrants elsewhere were two Willow Warbler, two Wheatear and a single Sedge Warbler.

Wildlife news: plenty of Brown Argus still on the wing and two Red Admiral.

Saturday 22 July 2017

Saturday 22nd July

Those who set their alarm to 03:45 hoping to relive the events of yesterday were not so well rewarded today.  At sea, 34 Manx Shearwater and one Arctic Skua were the only highlights.  

Both high tides were covered with wader totals of 416 Oystercatcher, 388 Curlew, 151 Dunlin, c.110 Redshank, 24 Ringed Plover, 20 Sanderling, 15 Turnstone, 12 Grey Plover, five Greenshank and single Knot and Common Sandpiper. A double-metal ringed Roseate Tern was different to that present yesterday; an adult Common Tern with its two metal-ringed young and the adults of 80+ Sandwich Terns commuting in and out of The Bight all day to feed their young, were reminders of the site's importance to migrating families of terns from further afield.  The Welsh-ringed adult Sandwich Tern was seen again,  23 Mediterranean Gull and a juv Yellow-legged Gull passed through.  

A juv Green Woodpecker was the first on site since early-Mar.  Small post-breeding flocks of Goldfinch, Linnet and Starling continue to roam the fairways and bushes.  A Wheatear paused on the seawall. 

Friday 21 July 2017

Friday 21st July 2017

We do what we do to live for days like today, by far the best summer sea-watch here ever.  An unseasonal 993mb depression centred over southern Ireland produced 40 kt SSW winds all morning.  Apart from 3-4 hours during the heaviest downpours, sea-watching spanned 05:30 - 20:30 and the few resilient observers that remained were well rewarded with 33 Cory’s Shearwater (15 before 07:00), eight Great Shearwater (3 before 07:00) and three large shearwaters; a Sooty Shearwater, a Balearic Shearwater and 802 Manx Shearwater - the first time the site has recorded the five regular shearwaters in one day.  The two previous records for each of the two large shearwaters involving one or two birds were well eclipsed by today’s events.

A flock of six Pomarine Skua (some spooned) flew S distantly in the evening. Also through the day four Arctic Skua, three Great Skua, a juv Yellow-legged Gull, eight Mediterranean Gull (ss, fs, 6 juv), 120 Sandwich Tern (including a bird ringed in Wales) and a Roseate Tern, which was in the estuary at dawn then periodically seen to make repeated but failed attempts to disperse S during the morning; it was later re-found on Finger Point resting.

The moulting Red-throated Diver remained close offshore; 36 Fulmar, four Storm Petrel, 248 Gannet, 156 Common Scoter, one flock joined by an unseasonal Teal, 12 Whimbrel, two Curlew and a Swift were at sea.

During the evening high tide, counts were 11 Grey Plover, 14 Ringed Plover, another 19 Whimbrel, another 300 Curlew, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 29 Turnstone,  two Knot, four Sanderling, a noticeable increase of 194 Dunlin, 89 Redshank, five Greenshank and in the corner seen from the train, a Kingfisher.

Sunday 16 July 2017

Sunday 16th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. The Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with high tide counts including 341 Curlew, 285 Oystercatcher, 143 Redshank,  40 Sandwich Tern - a welcome increase, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Whimbrel, 15 Dunlin, six Greenshank, five Mediterranean Gull and a Little Ringed Plover. Elsewhere the first Kingfisher of the autumn was in the saltmarsh and 73 Swift were overhead.  

Saturday 15 July 2017

Saturday 15th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. A Storm Petrel lingering off the seawall was an unexpected highlight with 60 Common Scoter, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and the first returning Great-crested Grebe also offshore. In the estuary the Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood with counts including 234 Curlew, 33 Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Whimbrel, six Mediterranean Gull, two Greenshank, two Sanderling and a Dunlin. Elsewhere 30+ Swift were feeding overhead late afternoon and a Willow Warbler was in the Buffer Zone.

Slavonian Grebe - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: 13 species of butterfly were on the wing today including a Marbled White around the Entrance Bushes and at least half a dozen Red Admiral. Elsewhere a Beewolf colony was found in the Buffer Zone.

Thursday 13 July 2017

Thursday 13th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. At least 22 Mediterranean Gull remain in the estuary, 17 adult, three juvenile and single first and second summers, with 290 Curlew, 54 Turnstone, 25 Dunlin, 24 Bar-tailed Godwit, still just 15 Sandwich Tern, six Sanderling, three Greenshank, two Knot and the Slavonian Grebe.
 Turnstone - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Butterflies included many Gatekeeper, several RingletSpeckled Wood, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Large and Green-veined White and Meadow Brown, but only a few Small Skipper and Small Copper. Dragonflies remains scarce with only one each of Common Darter, Blue-tailed Damselfly and Emperor.
 Silvery Leafcutter Megachile leachella - Alan Keatley

Volucella bombylans, a bumblebee mimic - Alan Keatley


Wednesday 12 July 2017

Wednesday 12th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. The Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with 200+ Curlew, 20+ Dunlin, eight Common Sandpiper, five Bar-tailed Godwit and four Greenshank.

Monday 10 July 2017

Monday 10th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. The first Willow Warbler of the autumn was present along with a single Wheatear with a dozen Swift overhead. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood, nine Mediterranean Gull were in the Railway Saltmarsh with 303 Curlew, 56 Redshank, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, three Whimbrel and two Greenshank.

Sunday 9 July 2017

Sunday 9th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. Mediterranean Gull continued to move through with a minimum of 43 birds today, most however flew south rather than heading into the estuary as on previous days. Also offshore two Balearic Shearwater, 99 Shag, 40 Common Scoter, 20+ Sandwich Tern and a Skua sp. In the estuary there were 76 Redshank, 24 Bar-tailed Godwit, nine Common Sandpiper, three Greenshank, three Dunlin, a Knot and the Little Ringed Plover. Elsewhere the first Wheatear of the autumn was in Greenland Lake and 15 Swift and three Sand Martin were overhead.

Wildlife News: A presumed Dark Green Fritillary was briefly around the Entrance Bushes, only the 2nd record in the last 50 years. Elsewhere good numbers of other species including the a second brood of Brown Argus.   

Saturday 8 July 2017

Saturday 8th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. The day's highlight was again Mediterranean Gull with an incredible 76 birds recorded through the day, eclipsing the previous site record of 27 set only yesterday. There were 67 in the morning, with nine new birds in evening. Birds were coming in off sea all morning, mostly from the east, with the largest flock comprising 10 birds. The breakdown was 31 juveniles, 31 adults, eight second summer and six first summer.

Other records included 357 Manx Shearwater, 117 Common Scoter, three Little Tern, two Yellow-legged Gull and a Common Tern offshore whilst counts from the estuary included 333 Curlew, 63 Redshank, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, nine Dunlin, three Common Sandpiper, two Greenshank, the Slavonian Grebe and a Little Ringed Plover. Overhead 83 Sand Martin and 61 Swift flew through and good numbers of juvenile birds were present including a family group of Cirl Bunting.

Blackcap (juvenile) - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The first Large Skipper and Marbled White of the year were on the wing and three Bottle-nosed Dolphin were offshore. Several species of solitary bees & wasps are on the wing including Little Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata, Beewolf Philanthus triangulum and Black-thighed Epeolus Epeolus variegatus.

Black-thighed Epeolus - Alan Keatley

Friday 7 July 2017

Friday 7th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. The highlight was a site record count of 27 Mediterranean Gull, continuing the late summer influxes of recent years; 24 of these came in off the sea in just three flocks. The breakdown was 14 adult, seven second-summer, two first-summer and four juveniles. Other counts included 297 Curlew, 65 Redshank, eight Bar-tailed Godwit, six Whimbrel and singles of Little Ringed and Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Knot and Greenshank.

Wildlife News: Good numbers of Six-spot Burnet moth are now flying around Greenland Lake.

Six-spot Burnet - James Marshall

Thursday 6 July 2017

Thursday 6th July

There is no access to the hide or Warren Point for the next couple of weeks. Wader diversity and numbers increased with single Little Ringed and Ringed Plover, Greenshank and Common Sandpiper; counts included 297 Oystercatcher, 272 Curlew, 51 Redshank, 11 Grey Plover, four Dunlin and two Knot. Other records included three Mediterranean Gull, 67 Kittiwake, 27 Sandwich Tern and the Slavonian Grebe.   

Wildlife News: A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was along the Back Path with good numbers of butterflies on the wing, especially Gatekeeper and Small Skipper, also Comma, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Large, Small and Green-veined White.

 Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Alan Keatley

Gatekeeper - Alan Keatley

Monday 3 July 2017

Monday 3rd July

The Slavonian Grebe was still off Cockwood and 11 Sandwich Tern were in the estuary but no other news was received.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Sunday 2nd July

Four redhead Goosander that flew south along the beach early afternoon were an unexpected highlight on a very quiet summer day. Other records were limited to a summer plumaged Grey Plover and two Dunlin in the estuary and a couple of Cirl Bunting continuing to sing through the day despite the temperatures.

Wildlife News: The first Gatekeeper of the year were on the wing with good numbers of Small Skipper.

Saturday 1 July 2017

Saturday 1st July

Counts from the estuary included 225 Curlew, 15 Sandwich Tern, 11 Redshank, a Knot, a Sanderling, a second summer Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 39 Swift and a Sand Martin were overhead and 25 Common Scoter were offshore.