Tuesday 8 August 2017

Tuesday 8th August

Sea defence works along on the dune ridge continue to restrict access to the hide and Warren Point.  The golf course is not a public right of way.  Please follow signs and access guidance from staff.

A juv ‘marsh tern’ seen at distance in the estuary yesterday was present again and enough was seen on it in the evening’s dull overcast conditions to identify it as a White-winged Black Tern.  Spent most of its time over Cockle Sands and into Shelly Bay, Exmouth, but eventually returned inside recording area waters at 20:25 to roost on a bouy only to be spooked by a Common Tern and return to Exmouth in the twilight. 

This is the first confirmed record for the site.  A White-winged Black Tern ‘accepted’ in Aug 1994 was widely considered to be a Common Tern covered in a very dark industrial liquid creating the resemblance of the rarer species.  It was therefore rejected by the DWRG.

Counts in the estuary were unexceptional, 381 Curlew, 163 Redshank, 30 Ringed Plover, 26 Canada Goose, 24 Mute Swan, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 20+ Dunlin, 20 Whimbrel, 20 Great Black-backed Gull, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, c.15 Sanderling, six Little Egret, five Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, three Grey Heron, three Turnstone and the Slavonian Grebe followed the swans around.  Sandwich Terns and Common Terns were numerous but too mobile to estimate.

At sea, large rafts totaled 96 Shag, 42 Gannet dispersed by early morning and 26 Common Scoter rafted offshore.

Only cursory looks at the bushes walking through produced a Willow Warbler. Along the paths were two Wheatear and on the golf course a flock of 40 Linnet

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