Tuesday 31 October 2017

Tuesday 31st October

Despite similar conditions there was much less moving overhead this morning with tallies of 2450 Wood Pigeon, 110 Goldfinch, 30 Jackdaw, 30 Chaffinch, 12 Stock Dove, seven Redwing, two Bullfinch, two Siskin and a Redpoll.

Monday 30 October 2017

Monday 30th October

Vis mig during the morning saw 11,055 Wood Pigeon heading high west in the blue skies with a minimum of 28 Stock Dove, 138 Jackdaw and 100 Starling. The lack of cloud cover meant smaller species were harder to pick up with tallies of 44 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch, 12 Bullfinch, five Siskin, three Redpoll, two Brambling and two Golden Plover. Elsewhere seven Lapwing and 20+ Black-tailed Godwit, along with thousands of waders and wildfowl were flushed from the estuary and the Cetti's Warbler was again calling from the Main Pond.

Sunday 29 October 2017

Sunday 29th October

The good run on site continued but it was quality rather than quantity today with a lone Yellowhammer that dropped in briefly by the Main Pond the Vis Mig highlight. Totals included 1025 Wood Pigeon and 15 Stock Dove west, 22 Chaffinch, 16 Greenfinch, 14 Redwing, nine Bullfinch, eight Siskin, five Swallow, four Redpoll, three Brambling, two Golden Plover and a Mistle Thrush.

In the estuary the Brent Goose flock came over from Exmouth bringing with them the Black Brant and a freshly arrived Barnacle Goose. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull flew past groyne seven, a drake Pochard was offshore with nine Eider before flying around the bay and heading south and a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes.

Saturday 28 October 2017

Saturday 28th October

A remarkable day with plenty of surprises amongst a total of 96 species recorded. Vis Mig provided the bulk of the highlights but plenty of wildfowl and gulls continued the excitement. Overhead the Wood Pigeon movement beat the previous site record with 53,690 counted mainly going south/south-west offshore in long lines, the largest flock 7450 strong; with them at least 73 Stock Dove but this was a significant under estimate. The surprises started with a Red Kite south at 9.10, closely followed by two juvenile White-fronted Geese at 10.15, and then the seventh Great White Egret for the recording area flew in off the sea and up the estuary at 10:50 (the same bird flew west past Abbotsbury, Dorset at 9.25). Other species included a very late Turtle Dove, 101 Jackdaw, 72 Skylark, 41 Chaffinch, 15 Bullfinch, six Mistle Thrush, four Redpoll and four Siskin.

Offshore a large feeding congregation attracted three adult Little Gull, two Arctic Skua, 110 Common Scoter, 95 Kittiwake, 35 Razorbill, 11 Eider, three Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver, a drake Tufted Duck and an immature Velvet Scoter. Counts from the estuary included 1150 Wigeon, 260 Teal, 210 Black-tailed Godwit, 159 Redshank, 48 Turnstone, 35 Dunlin, six Mediterranean Gull, three Pale-bellied Brent and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull was offshore briefly before heading into the estuary, a Coal Tit was on site and a Cirl  Bunting was singing along the Back Path.

Cirl Bunting - Alan Keatley

Friday 27 October 2017

Friday 27th October

Vis mig went up a notch today but there was just one observer on site and they report that a lack of 360 degree vision meant many birds were missed. Wood Pigeon were the predominate species with 9100 moving SW in large flocks over land and sea with finches going in opposite direction at the same time. Amongst these the stand out was the long awaited first Hawfinch of this autumn's influx but 64 Bullfinch, the second highest site count, were more unexpected, with largest flocks of 16 and 12. Other counts included 85 Goldfinch, 73 Linnet, 55 Skylark, 51 Lesser Black-backed Gull (S), 35 Chaffinch, 12 Greenfinch, nine Siskin, four Redwing, a Mistle Thrush and a Merlin.

Elsewhere the Recording Area's sixth Great White Egret was distantly in the Railway Saltmarsh.

 Record shot of the Great White Egret - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Several queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee were on the wing along with a Migrant Hawker and a couple of Common Darter.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Wednesday 25th October

A Cetti's Warbler calling and even singing occasionally at the Main Pond was the highlight, elsewhere a Common Whitethroat presumably the from earlier in the month was again in scrub near the dune pond this morning, the second latest site record and several large flocks of Wood Pigeon went SW in mid-late morning, not counted but must have been well over 1000 in total. 

Monday 23 October 2017

Monday 23rd October

Seawatching saw a Leach's Petrel heading south mid morning pursued closely by a Herring Gull, also moving a Golden Plover, 59 Lesser Black-backed and a first winter Yellow-legged Gull, an Arctic Skua, five Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere eight Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary with 41 Grey Plover, 34 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 17 Shelduck, five Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

Sunday 22 October 2017

Sunday 22nd October

Counts from the estuary included 307 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 271 Redshank, 171 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Pale-bellied Brent, eight Mediterranean Gull, seven Knot, three Greenshank and a Pintail. With the new roost site now covered in fencing the small waders avoided the Warren but 330 Dunlin roosted on the seawall outside the Recording area.

Elsewhere a Jack Snipe was flushed from Dead Dolphin Wood, vis mig saw 1500 Wood Pigeon, 55 Goldfinch, 22 Swallow, 21 Chaffinch, three Redpoll, two Siskin, a Stock Dove and a Budgerigar head SW. Offshore the calm after the storm saw a single Great Skua with two Great Northern Diver but just 10 Gannet. 

Saturday 21 October 2017

Saturday 21st October

Storm Brian was the talk of the day with seawatching in the morning producing 350 Gannet, 50 auk sp, 25 Kittiwake, two Arctic Skua, three Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver south along with two Leach's Petrel, the first Long-tailed Skua of the year and an immature Long-tailed Duck. Elsewhere 311 Great Black-backed Gull sheltered in the estuary along with 40 Grey Plover and 26 Pale-bellied Brent Geese.

Pale-bellied Brent - Dave Jewell

Friday 20 October 2017

Friday 20th October

A Ruff was in the Bight with the Slavonian Grebe also in the estuary with the usual mix of species but no counts were received. Elsewhere a Great Northern Diver was offshore and late migrants included single Swallow and Wheatear.

Wheatear - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Although it was a sunny and warm day it definitely had a end of season feel about it for insects. Ivy bees have all but disappeared, leaving a few social wasps and some flies on the Ivy, including this Noon Fly Mesembrina meridiana. Still plenty of Red Admiral passing through along with a couple of Migrant Hawker, a Southern Hawker and a few Common Darter.

 Noon Fly - Alan Keatley

Thursday 19 October 2017

Thursday 19th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler remained behind the Main Pond with six Goldcrest, four Chiffchaff and a Wheatear on site. Records from the estuary included 10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, five Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Merlin was on Warren Point and a Red-throated Diver was offshore.

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Wednesday 18th October

Counts from the estuary included 2200 Wigeon, 402 Curlew, 190 Dunlin, 80 Turnstone, 61 Grey and 20 Ringed Plover, eight Mediterranean Gull, four Greenshank, a Lapwing, a Golden Plover and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere the Yellow-browed Warbler was by the Back Meadow and the Whitethroat remains by the Dune Pond with nine Goldcrest, eight Chiffchaff, four Blackcap and a Wheatear on site.

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Tuesday 17th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff were still in the bushes with at least five Goldcrest but there was little else to report with 43 Skylark and a Siskin overhead and two Cirl Bunting around Greenland Lake.

Monday 16 October 2017

Monday 16th October

The weather was the main talking point today but despite the conditions and a lot of attention paid to the sea there was little passing offshore. Counts included two Balearic Shearwater, 300+ Gannet, just nine Kittiwake, a Great Skua, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver but the highlight was the first Short-eared Owl of the year that flew in off.

Elsewhere two Firecrest and a Siberian Chiffchaff were in the bushes and counts from the estuary included 330 Great Black-backed Gull, 35 Dunlin, 26 Grey Plover, 10 Black-tailed Godwit,10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, eight Mediterranean Gull and a Little Stint.

Wildlife News: Portuguese Man O'war continue to be washed ashore on what remains of the beach.

Ringing News: A total of 14 ringed Great Black-backed Gull were recorded in the Bight with nine from France (six from the same Normandy scheme), two from Norway and the UK and a single from the Channel Islands.

Sunday 15 October 2017

Sunday 15th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler resurfaced as did the Whitethroat but new arrivals were thin on the ground and the Warren missed out on the record Firecrest influx. Overhead another miss as little could be done with a bunting flying through with a soft tic, but the first Brambling of the year was recorded along with 361 Linnet, 131 Meadow Pipit, 54 alba Wagtail, 29 Skylark, six Swallow and a Grey Wagtail.

Elsewhere counts from the estuary included 1598 Oystercatcher, 463 Curlew, 276 Teal, 120 Dark-bellied and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 54 Black and 31 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Ringed Plover, five Sanderling, a Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe. Offshore two Great Northern Diver.

Wildlife News: At least ten Portuguese Man O'War on the beach, possibly only the second site record.

Portuguese Man O'War - James Marshall

Saturday 14 October 2017

Saturday 14th October

The Bonaparte's Gull reappeared off groyne seven mid morning before flying to the estuary and feeding briefly with Black-headed and three Mediterranean Gull. Also in the estuary 211 Teal, a Sandwich Tern, 76 Great Black-backed Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Offshore three summer plumaged Great Northern Diver were on the sea, a Red-throated Diver flew south and a drake Tufted Duck, the first of the year, flew around. Elsewhere a late Sand Martin, c100 Linnet, 80 Meadow Pipit, 40 Pied Wagtail, four Chaffinch, three Reed Bunting and a Siskin were overhead and a Firecrest, a Coal Tit, five Goldcrest, four Chiffchaff and two Blackcap were in the bushes.

Kestrel - Alan Keatley

Friday 13 October 2017

Friday 13th October

Seawatching early morning was hampered by the lack of visibility with six Great and four Arctic Skua, 60 Common Scoter and a Merlin south along with three skua sp and two shearwater sp (prob Sooty & Balearic). Elsewhere the second Golden Plover of the year and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in the Bight with 470 Curlew, 65 Black and 32 Bar-tailed Godwit and 10 Greenshank in the Railway Saltmarsh and the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood.

Thursday 12 October 2017

Thursday 12th October

The first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was briefly behind the Visitor Centre mid morning with a late Reed Warbler, 13 Chiffchaff, four Blackcap and a Wheatear other new arrivals. Overhead 34 Skylark, eight Siskin and a couple of Chaffinch.

Counts in the estuary included a high of 153 Black-tailed Godwit, presumably disturbed by the ongoing work in Topsham; 391 Curlew, 265 Redshank, 65 Dark and three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 36 Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Grey Plover, 11 Knot, five Sanderling, just three Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe.

 Chiffchaff - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The fine weather means good numbers of insects are still on the wing including three very late Emperor dragonfly, at least 10 Common Darter and six Migrant Hawker.

Migrant Hawker - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Wednesday 11th October

Seawatching saw at least 400 Gannet head south in four hours but the movement continued through the day, also moving two Balearic Shearwater, nine Arctic and five Great Skua, 80 Common Scoter, just seven Kittiwake, a Great Northern Diver and a late juvenile Hobby.

Elsewhere a Merlin made a couple of hunting attempts around the Bight and Warren Point before heading high off towards Exmouth, with summer migrants dwindling to four Swallow and single Chiffchaff and Wheatear. Counts from the estuary included 1930 Wigeon, 431 Curlew, 261 Great Black-backed Gull, 201 Redshank, 185 Dunlin, 145 Dark-bellied and 19 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 93 Black-tailed and 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, 32 Grey Plover, 10 Knot, nine Mediterranean Gull, a Little Stint and the Slavonian Grebe.

Merlin - Lee Collins

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Tuesday 10th October

A quieter day although Wigeon numbers continue to build with 1530 in Shutterton Creek, along with 154 Teal, 80 Dark-bellied and 22 Pale-belled Brent Geese. Also in the estuary counts of 381 Curlew, 200 Redshank, 32 Dunlin, 26 Grey Plover, 25 Black and 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Mediterranean Gull, six Greenshank, three Sandwich Tern, a Snipe and the Slavonian Grebe.

Monday 9 October 2017

Monday 9th October

Counts from the estuary included 1220 Wigeon, 368 Curlew, 190 Dark-bellied and 23 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 186 Redshank, 104 Teal, 14 Turnstone, 11 Mediterranean Gull, seven Greenshank, four Knot, just two Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere three immature Velvet Scoter briefly dropped in offshore with 30 Common Scoter, three Mistle Thrush and three Siskin were overhead, a Coal Tit was around the Main Pond, nine Blackcap, eight Chiffchaff, a Wheatear and the late Whitethroat were on site.

Sunday 8 October 2017

Sunday 8th October

Once again clear skies reduced the hoped for vismig but 63 Skylark, 59 Meadow Pipit, 12 Greenfinch, 11 Siskin, nine Swallow, four Reed Bunting, a Grey Wagtail and a lone Redpoll did pass overhead. In the estuary a large increase to c1300 Wigeon but these were flushed by a paraglider mid morning and only c250 returned, also present the Slavonian Grebe, seven Pintail, a Ruff, a Little Stint and the first Red-breasted Merganser of the winter. Elsewhere a late Whitethroat, three Blackcap and a couple of Wheatear.

Wildlife News: The second Vagrant Emperor for the recording area ranging over Warren Point early afternoon was the undoubted highlight, small numbers of Red Admiral and Large White heading west and several Silver Y and Rush Veneer other evidence of insect migration.

Saturday 7 October 2017

Saturday 7th October

Seawatching early morning was productive with two Balearic Shearwater, 140+ Gannet, 138 Common Scoter, three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Great and an Arctic Skua south, with two Great Northern Diver on the sea, an immature Velvet Scoter that arrived from the south and a Merlin crossing the bay; the latter the first for the year.

Elsewhere a Little Stint remained with 149 Dunlin in the Bight with other counts in the estuary including 480 Wigeon, 218 Teal, 130 Redshank, 29 Grey Plover, 11 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 11 Mediterranean Gull, 10 Knot, five Sanderling, a Pintail, the Slavonian Grebe and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. The bushes remained quiet but 36 Swallow passed overhead.

Pale-bellied Brent Geese - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A Harbour Porpoise was offshore, a Weasel was by the Main Pond and insects included late Emperor and Golden-ringed Dragonfly, a dozen Red Admiral and a Comma.

Friday 6 October 2017

Friday 6th October

A clear morning meant the vismig elsewhere passed too high to be recorded at the Warren but 72 Skylark were large and audible enough to be heard at sea level with 26 Meadow Pipit, five Siskin and three Mistle Thrush also overhead. Counts from the estuary included 795 Wigeon, 378 Curlew, 216 Redshank, 193 Dunlin, 29 Grey Plover, eight Mediterranean Gull, four Knot, three Greenshank, three Little Stint and a Ruff, only the second sighting of the year.

Grey Wagtail - Dave Jewell

Thursday 5 October 2017

Thursday 5th October

Counts from the estuary included 670 Wigeon, 97 Teal, 70 Redshank, 10 Mediterranean Gull, three Sandwich Tern, a Greenshank and a Kingfisher. Elsewhere the bushes were quiet with six Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest and three Siskin and three Swallow were overhead.

Wildlife News: Numerous butterflies species on show once the early weather cleared with Small Copper, Small & Large White, Comma, Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Red Admiral, with at least 20 of the latter with individuals on almost every ivy bush.

Common Carder bumblebees are still out in good number with a few Buff-tailed also still foraging. There were at least five Migrant Hawker hunting around the wooded edges, and double figures of Common Darter. Adding to the mix was a Silver Y and finally a late sand wasp Ammophila sabulosa.

 Common Darter - Alan Keatley

Ammophila sabulosa - Alan Keatley

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Tuesday 3rd October

The first two Golden Plover of the year were present over the high tide along with a Little Stint and a juvenile Great-crested Grebe.

Wildlife News: A late Emperor was around the Main Pond.

Emperor Dragonfly - Dave Smallshire

Sunday 1 October 2017

Sunday 1st October

The Bonaparte's Gull was in the estuary early afternoon, feeding in the main channel on the rising tide. Also from the hide 475 Wigeon, 172 Great Black-backed Gull, 116 Dark-bellied and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 72 Dunlin, 33 Bar-tailed Godwit, 28 Grey Plover, 20 Knot, eight Mediterranean Gull, five Greenshank and a Little Stint.

Elsewhere two Balearic Shearwater and 527 Gannet flew south in the first hour of light; 155 Meadow Pipit and a Yellow Wagtail were overhead; 10 Blackcap, six Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, three Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail were on site; with 180 Goldfinch feeding on Evening Primrose in Greenland Lake and 155 Linnet in the Bight.

Wildlife News: Narrow-leaved Ragwort was discovered on Warren Point, only the 3rd Devon record of this increasing species.