Wednesday 9 August 2017

Wednesday 9th August

The White-winged Black Tern was watched in the morning and evening, ranging across the lower half of the estuary, associating with masses of small gull and tern flocks foraging on shoals in shallow waters.  For one lucky observer it flew around The Bight and landed on Finger Point for a few minutes c.09:45, sheltering from the stiff northerly breeze, before returning to favoured areas over Cockle Sands, Exmouth and off Powderham.

                             White-winged Black Tern with Common Terns (Lee Collins)

Counts of waterbirds in the estuary during both the morning and evening high tides periods were c.750 Oystercatcher, 315 Curlew, 220 Redshank (highest count of the year so far), c.150 Sandwich Tern, 107 Canada Goose, 55 Dunlin, 53 Ringed Plover, 29 Bar-tailed Godwit, 23 Sanderling, 23 Mute Swan, 21 Mediterranean Gull (yet another notable count here), 13 Grey Plover, 10+ Common Tern, 9+ Whimbrel, four Black-tailed Godwit and Little Egret, three each of Shelduck, Greenshank and Knot, two Grey Heron and the resident Slavonian Grebe.

An adult and a juv Roseate Tern were offshore early evening. Low of the estuary at dusk was a flock of 32 Swallow and a House Martin; two Swift flew over.

With effort today concentrated on the estuary, landbirds were poorly recorded, but a Sparrowhawk made its presence known by landing on the head of one observer stood motionless staring at bird leg rings. 

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