Tuesday 31 July 2018

Tuesday 31st July

Two juvenile Common Tern and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull were with the Sandwich Tern flock in front of the hide with about 12 Ringed Plover and half a dozen Dunlin in the Bight. Elsewhere 10 Swift were over the Main Pond where a single juvenile Little Grebe remains along with one of the three second broods of Moorhen on site.

Wildlife News: A single fresh Painted Lady was a new arrival.

Monday 30 July 2018

Monday 30th July

A good mix of species present over the high tide with good numbers of Sandwich and a few Common Tern in front of the hide with a Common Sandpiper the pick of the waders.

 Common Sandpiper - Simon Thurgood

 Little Egret - Simon Thurgood

 Redshank & Dunlin - Simon Thurgood

Sunday 29 July 2018

Sunday 29th July

The change of weather was welcome but early morning seawatching was a washout with single Balearic Shearwater and an Arctic Skua the highlights along with the first few juvenile Gannet of the autumn. Conditions improved during later in the day and the first Sooty Shearwater of the year came through with a small group of Manx Shearwater. Also passing south during the afternoon a second Balearic Shearwater, 10 Storm Petrel, including a loose flock of nine, a Black Tern, two Great and two more Arctic Skua, 76 Mediterranean and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

With no-one on the Golf Course large numbers of birds sheltered and feed on the wet fairways through the day, including several tern flocks. Counts from the estuary included 120+ Sandwich and six Common Tern, 35+ Dunlin, 28 Turnstone, 22 Whimbrel, seven Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Sanderling, two Greenshank, a third juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, the first returning Great-crested Grebe of the autumn and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere at least three Willow Warbler were subsinging around the Main Pond but conditions were not ideal for searching out passerines.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary.

Saturday 28 July 2018

Saturday 28th July

Little change in species present on site but Mediterranean Gull continue to build with a minimum count of 96 present in the estuary late morning, a new site record. Also in the estuary the Osprey visited from the north end of the estuary, at least 180 Sandwich Tern including 66 juveniles, 48 Dunlin, 38 Ringed Plover, seven Whimbrel, four Greenshank, two Knot, two Common Tern and the Slavonian Grebe.
Elsewhere a dozen Willow Warbler were dropped in by the overnight rain, an Eider was on Langstone breakwater and 30+ Manx Shearwater and 12 Common Scoter were offshore.
 Knot - Lee Collins

Common Tern - Dave Jewell
Wildlife News: A Wall Brown was at the fire site in Dead Dolphin Wood and a couple of Painted Lady were new arrivals.

Friday 27 July 2018

Friday 27th July

The Nuthatch was still present in the Entrance Bushes with two Willow Warbler the only migrants. Counts from the estuary included 490 Black-headed Gull, 299 Curlew, 147 Redshank, 103 Sandwich Tern, 60 Dunlin, 36 Ringed Plover, 25 Mediterranean Gull,15 Whimbrel, three Bar-tailed Godwit, two Knot, two Greenshank and a Sanderling.

Also from the hide a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, the first juvenile Common Tern of the year and several ringed birds including an Irish ringed Sandwich Tern & a French ringed Mediterranean Gull. A juvenile Peregrine chased the small waders over the Bight. 

A French ringed Mediterranean Gull - Lee Collins

Thursday 26 July 2018

Thursday 26th July

A Nuthatch in the Entrance Bushes was the highlight, the first since August 2015, other migrants though were limited to the estuary. Over high tide a Ruff and five Little Ringed Plover were in the Bight with other counts including 263 Curlew, 70 Redshank, 52 Dunlin, 32 Ringed Plover, 12 Whimbrel, four Bar-tailed Godwit, two Knot, two Greenshank and an early Snipe. Also in the estuary six Mediterranean Gull, a Little Tern with a single Common and 50+ Sandwich Tern.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Wednesday 25th July

Another hot and sunny day. With both tides covered, interest again focused on the amassing assemblage of returning waterbirds and in particular, their colour rings.  The truly cosmopolitan sources of the gulls and terns that use this site as a staging post on their international migratory journeys was clearly in evidence today with reads of 12 rings on Mediterranean Gull, of the 70+ present, most were ringed in France and Belgium, also from Langstone Harbour, Hampshire and Germany.  A colour-ringed Black-headed Gull, also seen here in 2016, was ringed in Denmark in 2013. Of the six Great Black-backed Gull with rings, these were ringed in past years in N France and Dorset.  And of six Sandwich Tern reads, two with colour-rings were ringed in Wales and Scotland (details to follow on the others).
Oystercatcher numbers increased again and individuals colour-ringed here in Feb 2018, but absent over the summer, were among those being re-sighted today.  Also among those Oystercatchers returning (seen yesterday) were individuals from older ringing schemes here, ringed in 1997, 1992 and the oldest in 1989 – 29 years ago!  These are impressively long-lived birds. 

Other counts within the recording areas of the estuary included c.985 Black-headed Gull, 540 Oystercatcher, 272 Curlew, 153 Redshank, 78+ Sandwich Tern, 48 Dunlin, 25 Whimbrel, 22 Great Black-backed Gull, seven Ringed Plover, five Bar-tailed Godwit, four Common Gull, three each of Little Egret, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Knot, single Shelduck, Turnstone and Lesser Black-backed Gull, and the resident Slavonian Grebe.
In the evening, four Swift and c20 Swallow joined gulls and terns anting overhead.  A juv Peregrine flew through and from the largely ignored bushes two Willow Warbler were heard in passing.
A Belgian ringed Mediterranean Gull - Lee Collins

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Tuesday 24th July

Counts over the evening tide included 126 Sandwich Tern, 70+ Redshank, 28 Dunlin, 21+ Mediterranean Gull, 17 Ringed Plover, two Knot, a Turnstone and the Slavonian Grebe.

 Sandwich Tern & Oystercatcher - Simon Thurgood

Mediterranean Gull - Simon Thurgood

Monday 23 July 2018

Monday 23rd July

The first Balearic Shearwater of the autumn flew south late evening with 30 Manx Shearwater and several Mediterranean Gull. In the estuary at least 52 Mediterranean Gull were on Bull Hill mid morning with 34 there in the evening, the degree of turnover is not known. other counts from the estuary included 540 Oystercatcher, 96+ Sandwich and two Common Tern, 43 Dunlin, including the first juvenile, 20 Ringed Plover, five Black and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow flew in off the sea at John's Watch and continued north up the estuary. Two recent additions to the Warren species list. are depicted below the Hornet Beetle Leptura aurulenta, a dead wood specialist and the tachinid fly Dexiosoma caninum, a parasite of Cockchafer beetles. 

 Hornet beetle - Steven Fuller

Dexiosoma caninum - Alan Keatley

Sunday 22 July 2018

Sunday 22nd July

The highlight was a near site record of Mediterranean Gull with birds present all over site, but the majority were seen in the estuary dropping in from the east. The minimum total was estimated at 72 but many more were probably missed passing offshore. Other counts in the estuary included 451 Oystercatcher, 125 Sandwich Tern, 18 Dunlin, 17 Sanderling, 16 Ringed Plover, three Common Tern, two Common Sandpiper, a Turnstone, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.

Wildlife News: The Roesel's Bush Cricket remains in the Back Meadow.

Saturday 21 July 2018

Saturday 21st July

A Roseate Tern was present on the rising tide with a minimum of 117 Sandwich and three Common Tern also in the Bight. Also present in the estuary 344 Oystercatcher, 313 Curlew, 28 Dunlin, 17 Ringed Plover, 16 Sanderling, five Whimbrel, four Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit and a summer plumaged Knot. Elsewhere the overnight rain had dropped in two Willow and a Sedge Warbler with some of the Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and Blackcap perhaps alos migrants.

Wildlife News: The Roesel's Bush Cricket remained in the Back Meadow with two Jersey Tiger on Warren Point and Silver Y flushed with almost every step through Greenland Lake.

Friday 20 July 2018

Friday 20th July

With no change in the weather there was little change in the birds with 109 Sandwich Tern, minimum 47 juveniles, 23 Dunlin, 11 Mediterranean Gull and seven Ringed Plover in the estuary. Elsewhere a Swift, five Sand and a House Martin were overhead.

Wildlife News: The Roesel's Bush Cricket, only the third Devon record, remains in the Back Meadow with Long-winged Conehead, Great Green Bush Cricket, Meadow, Common Green and Field Grasshopper also part of the chorus. Elsewhere the first Southern Hawker of the year was around the Main Pond along with at least five Small Red-eyed Damselfly, the first reported sightings for several years.

Roesel's Bush Cricket - Debs Rylands

Thursday 19 July 2018

Thursday 19th July

A Garden Warbler was an early autumn migrant along with three Sand Martin but other non-breeding passerines were in short supply.  Counts from the estuary included 22 Dunlin, three Sanderling, two Ringed Plover, a Knot, a Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit.

Wildlife News: Good numbers of butterflies remain on the wing with 14 species seen in the continuing hot weather including Painted Lady and Brown Argus. The conditions will not however be so beneficial for numbers next year if rain doesn't arrive soon. The highlight was confirmation of breeding Holly Blue on site, previously suspected this is a first for the Recording Area. Also on the wing a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and the first Jersey Tiger of the year.

Painted Lady - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Wednesday 18th July

Counts over the high tide included 93 Sandwich and a Little Tern, 43 Dunlin, at least eight Mediterranean Gull, six Ringed Plover, two Common Sandpiper, a Sanderling, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

Monday 16 July 2018

Monday 16th July

Tern numbers are at last starting to build with at least 78 Sandwich and a Little Tern around the Bight at high tide this morning. Also in the estuary at least nine Mediterranean Gull (five juvs, three ads & a first summer), 365+ Curlew, just three Dunlin and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere three Sand Martin and a juvenile Willow Warbler were heading south and a female Eider was offshore.

Wildlife News: A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was in the Entrance Bushes and at least half a dozen Silver Y were disturbed from grassland. Late news from 5th July; the 3rd site record of Locust Blowfly Stomorhina lunata a rare North African migrant.

Locust Blowfly Stomorhina lunata - Alan Keatley

Sunday 15 July 2018

Sunday 15th July

A female Eider was reported offshore with 34 Sandwich Tern and four Dunlin around the hide.  Elsewhere two juvenile Mediterranean Gull were off Cockwood.

Saturday 14 July 2018

Saturday 14th July

Three Teal off John's Watch were a sign of the changing seasons with 43 Sandwich Tern and three Mediterranean Gull also offshore. Counts over the high tide included 349 Curlew, 19 Redshank, eight Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, six Dunlin and two Whimbrel.

Swallow - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A good mix of butterflies with 14 species present: Speckled Wood, Small and Large White, Small and Large Skipper, Comma, Small Copper, Common Blue, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Ringlet, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Elsewhere a few Blue-tailed Damselfly and three Emperor Dragonfly. The highlight though was a lone Toadlet, these have been very scarce the last few years.

 Common Toad - Alan Keatley

A Thick-headed fly Physocephala rufipes - Alan Keatley

Friday 13 July 2018

Friday 13th July

A Sedge Warbler by the hide briefly was an early autumn migrant whilst 200+ Curlew, 17 Redshank, a Greenshank and two Stock Dove were in the Railway Saltmarsh. Also in the estuary Finger Point held 14 Sandwich Tern with three Common Tern in the Bight and Mediterranean Gull were again on show with and adult, two second summers and two juveniles in front of the hide with others coming and going during the morning.
 Mediterranean Gull juveniles - Dave Jewell

Mediterranean Gull adult - Dave Jewell

Thursday 12 July 2018

Thursday 12th July

Counts over the high tide included 300+ Black-headed Gull, 241 Curlew, 215 Oystercatcher, 19 Sandwich Tern and just single Sanderling and Ringed Plover. Elsewhere 21 Swallow were feeding along the Dune Ridge and two Stock Dove were in the Railway Saltmarsh.

Wildlife News: Good news on the butterfly front with a Wall Brown along the Dune Ridge, only the third record of the year. Apart from that, just a couple of Ringlet and Peacock of note, and only two Emperor representing the dragonflies.

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Wednesday 11th July

Over the evening high tide 18 Sandwich Tern (inc four juvs), five Dunlin, three Whimbrel and a Curlew were in front of the hide with the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood and a second brood of five juvenile Pied Wagtail in the Bight.

Monday 9 July 2018

Monday 9th July

An evening look from Cockwood saw the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year on Bull Hill with the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe, 10 Mediterranean Gull, eight adults, a first summer and a juvenile; just nine Sandwich Tern, 16 Redshank, two Whimbrel and a Greenshank also in the estuary.

Saturday 7 July 2018

Saturday 7th July

Three Mediterranean Gull, two adults and a first summer, flew over the spit and upriver with 120+ Black-headed Gull feeding in the beach. Elsewhere there were just eight Sandwich Tern with several species now feeding second broods, including Whitethroat and Moorhen.

Whitethroat - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A male Banded Demoiselle was briefly at the Main Pond, only the fifth site record. Elsewhere good numbers of solitary bees and wasps were on the wing with 14 species of butterfly including several Red Admiral and at least eight Ringlet, a new site high count.

 Coastal Leafcutter Megachile maritima - Alan Keatley

Ferruginous Bee-grabber Sicus ferrugineus - Alan Keatley

Friday 6 July 2018

Friday 6th July

Wildlife News: The first Warren and third Devon record of Roesel's Bush-cricket, a long-winged individual, was reported today.

Thursday 5 July 2018

Thursday 5th July

The first Roseate Tern of the year was offshore this morning with Sandwich Tern, five Manx Shearwater and 17 Common Scoter. Elsewhere a juvenile Little Ringed Plover joined the adult in the Bight with 15 Dunlin, eight Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper.  

Little Ringed Plover - Lee Collins
Wildlife News: Large numbers of Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta were on site part of continuing insect migration also evidenced by an increase in Red Admiral.

Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Wednesday 4th July

A change in weather with showers early morning and with them a few new arrivals in the estuary at least. Wader highlights included the first Green Sandpiper of the year and an adult Little Ringed Plover with counts of 282 Oystercatcher, 19 Dunlin, eight Ringed Plover, six Whimbrel, two Turnstone and a juvenile Redshank. Also from the hide 20+ Sandwich Tern, including the first couple of juveniles, three Common Tern, an intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a flock of 60+ Swift and 30 House Martin were hawking over the Dune Ridge.

Ringing News: The Oystercatcher flock included at least four returning colour-ringed Dawlish Warren birds. These have been absent all summer so are recent post breeding arrivals from sites unknown.

Lesser Black-backed Gull ssp intermedius - Dave Jewell

Monday 2 July 2018

Monday 2nd July

Wildlife News: A Large Tortoiseshell was photographed on the path to the Visitor Centre today, the third for the Recording Area. Also on the wing several Green-eyed Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata and the first few Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes of the year.

Large Tortoiseshell - David Cawthraw

Sunday 1 July 2018

Sunday 1st July

WeBS count totals included 333 Curlew, 32 Redshank, nine Ringed Plover, eight Bar-tailed Godwit, four Whimbrel, four Sandwich Tern, three Dunlin, two Sanderling and a Knot and the Slavonian Grebe.

Wildlife News: A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was on Red Valerian near the seawall.