Sunday 30 September 2018

Sunday 30th September

Counts from the estuary included 288 Curlew, 266 Redshank, 74 Teal, 72 Dunlin, 24 Ringed Plover, 23 Knot, six Mediterranean Gull, six Sandwich Tern, five Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere two juvenile Great Northern Diver offshore were the first of autumn with at least one Eider still present off Langstone Rock, migrants were limited to a Spotted Flycatcher near the Crocus Compound, a Willow Warbler on Warren Point and in the Entrance Bushes six Siskin, a Goldcrest and a Jay.

Saturday 29 September 2018

Saturday 29th September

A cold start with no cloud cover limited visible movement overhead but 18 Siskin were recorded heading east with another 14 in the Entrance bushes, 26 House Martin, 20+ Meadow Pipit, 11 Skylark and single Golden Plover, Yellow and Grey Wagtail also came low enough to be noted. On the ground migrants included the first Goldcrest of the autumn, late Sedge and Willow Warbler, 16 Chiffchaff, seven Blackcap, three Wheatear and single Coal Tit and Jay.

Elsewhere the two Eider were off Langstone Rock and counts from the estuary included 380 Wigeon, 130 Dunlin, 28 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, nine Grey Plover, four Pintail, two Kingfisher, a Whimbrel and the Slavonian Grebe.

Kingfisher - Lee Collins

Wildlife News: At least three Clouded Yellow were on site along with half a dozen Red Admiral and Silver Y. The first few Ivy flowers were being well attended by Ivy Bee but many were still foraging elsewhere.

Ivy Bee - Alan Keatley 

Red Admiral - Alan Keatley 

Friday 28 September 2018

Friday 28th September

A juvenile Marsh Harrier that flew downriver and continued SW late evening was the highlight with other records from the estuary including 43 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 180 Dunlin, 41 Knot, 11 Sandwich Tern, three Black-tailed Godwit and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper.

Elsewhere a Whinchat was along the Back Path, 110 Linnet were in the Bight and a Red-throated Diver was off the sea wall. Nine Pheasant was an unwanted new site record, a sign of increased local releases?

Thursday 27 September 2018

Thursday 27th September

The first Short-eared Owl of the year flew in off the sea early morning and lingered on site for a couple of hours. Other migrants included single Whinchat, three Wheatear, 15 Blackcap and eight Chiffchaff.

Sparrowhawk - Simon Thurgood

Elsewhere counts from the estuary included 31 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, just 110 Wigeon, 95 Dunlin, 55 Sandwich and five Common Tern, c30 Sanderling, 22 Knot, 15 Ringed Plover and 11 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Sandwich Tern and Black-headed Gull - Simon Thurgood
Common Tern - Simon Thurgood
Wildlife News: Insects on the move included a steady southernly flow of Red Admiral reaching well into double figures, with a few migrant Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta also on the wing.
Long Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Wednesday 26th September

A large melee of feeding birds off Cockwood this evening included eight Mediterranean Gull, 25+ Sandwich and three Common Tern. Also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, 35+ Sanderling, four Greenshank, a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper.

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Tuesday 25th September

The three Dark-bellied Brent Geese remained in the estuary with 345 Wigeon, 69 Dunlin, 31 Sanderling, 23 Sandwich and a Common Tern, 13 Ringed and nine Grey Plover, seven Mediterranean Gull and three Black-tailed Godwit.

Elsewhere 50 Common Scoter and the Red-throated Diver were offshore, a Coal Tit was in the bushes with 18 Chiffchaff and 13 Blackcap, and overhead 17 Meadow Pipit, two Grey and Yellow Wagtail.

Wildlife News: Again lots of insects about in the warm weather with good numbers of hoverflies including Dasysyrphus albostriatus which was new for the recording area and the more familiar 'Batman hover' Myathropa florea. Also new for the recording area was a conopid fly, Ivy Wastgrabber Leopoldius signatus.

Plenty of Ivy Bee were also on the Ivy searching the yet to bloom flowers. Butterflies included at least 20 Small Copper and single Wall Brown, Peacock and Painted Lady with
a couple of Migrant Hawker and several Common Darter representing the dragonflies.

Monday 24 September 2018

Monday 24th September

Following the switch to northerly winds yesterday the first three Brent Geese of the autumn duly arrived in the estuary. Other counts included 11 Avocet that briefly came in from up river, 310 Wigeon, 1337 Oystercatcher, 278 Redshank, 260 Curlew, 260 Dunlin, 13 Grey and 12 Ringed Plover, eight Knot, three Greenshank, two Snipe and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere a juvenile Little Gull, two Arctic Skua, 30 Sandwich, three Common and a Black Tern were feeding off the seawall with 180 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and a Pintail in a flock of 100+ Wigeon and Teal.

With a clear sky there was no noticeable movement of note overhead and migrants were limited but included a good count of three Whinchat on site and c200 Swallow feeding over the estuary.

 Whinchat - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: Insects were again obvious in sheltered areas.

Peacock - Dave Jewell

Sunday 23 September 2018

Sunday 23rd September

A day of two halves with rain and strong winds early morning but bright sunshine in the afternoon and quite warm in sheltered spots. These areas held a couple of Spotted Flycatcher, two Wheatear and a Whitethroat along with several Chiffchaff but numbers were seemingly down on yesterday.

Spotted Flycatcher - Simon Thurgood

In the estuary counts included 325 Wigeon, c200 Dunlin, 46 Knot, 27 Teal, 20 Sanderling and 10 Grey Plover with 38 Sandwich and a juvenile Arctic Tern offshore and a single Golden Plover in off at the seawall.

Grey Heron - Simon Thurgood

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow was the pick of the numerous insects that emerged to make the most of the first warm sunny conditions for a couple of days.

Clouded Yellow - Simon Thurgood

Saturday 22 September 2018

Saturday 22nd September

Weather conditions with rain starting pre dawn and continuing throughout the day delivered good numbers of migrants with minimum counts of 32 Blackcap and 21 Chiffchaff with  single Whinchat, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Willow and Garden Warbler also on site. The warblers were actively feeding in bushes and even on open ground throughout the reserve. The weather also brought down 40+ Swallow and 11 House Martin to ground level with 40+ Meadow Pipit grounded, especially in the Bight and along the Dune Ridge.

Meadow Pipit - Alan Keatley

Counts from the estuary included 330 Wigeon, 328 Redshank, 282 Dunlin, 39 Ringed Plover, 37 Sandwich and four Common Tern, 32 Turnstone, 29 Knot, 20 Bar and six Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Grey Plover, seven Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a pair of Tufted Duck were offshore early morning and single Manx and Balearic Shearwater flew east mid afternoon.

Bar-tailed Godwit - Lee Collins
The bird of the left had been ringed in Belguim

Friday 21 September 2018

Friday 21st September

The stormy weather again past long before daybreak but two Storm Petrel flew south with five egret sp, 68 Sandwich and three Arctic Tern whilst a summer Red-throated Diver and an Eider were on the sea. Overhead the first Skylark of the autumn and c40 Meadow Pipit.

Elsewhere at least 14 Chiffchaff were in the bushes, 1060 Oystercatcher, seven Bar and six Black-tailed Godwit, three Whimbrel and a Knot were in the estuary but a marauding Peregrine prevented a count of the smaller waders.

 Sanderling - Lee Collins

Thursday 20 September 2018

Thursday 20th September

Four Balearic Shearwater flew south with 175 Gannet, most in the first hour of the day,  52 Common Scoter, 24 Kittiwake, three Great Skua and a diver sp with the two Eider and a juvenile Arctic Tern lingering off the seawall.

In the estuary counts over the evening tide included 151 Dunlin, 136 Teal, 106 Ringed Plover, 56 Sandwich and two Common Tern, 43 Wigeon, 29 Sanderling, 10 Black and seven Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Knot, two Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 47 Swallow flew through and single Wheatear and Whitethroat were on site with 110 Goldfinch and 73 Linnet.

Rock Pipit - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: As the seasons turn the insects are beginning to reduce in number, and today were confined to sheltered areas. Just a few Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and a Small White amongst the butterflies, with several Common Darter and a couple of Migrant Hawker also on the wing. Hoverflies included Stripe-faced Dronefly Eristalis nemorum and Stripe-eyed Dronefly Eristalis tenax.

 Eristalis nemorum - Alan Keatley

Common Darter - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Wednesday 19th September

The two Eider were still off the seawall but no other news was received.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Tuesday 18th September

Seawatching early morning saw five Balearic Shearwater head south before 9am with 210 Gannet, 43 Sandwich and two Black Tern, seven Kittiwake and two Fulmar. Elsewhere an Eider was off the seawall and in the evening the Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with 110 Redshank, 96 Great black-backed Gull, 10 Turnstone, two adult Mediterranean Gull and single Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit and Greenshank.

Monday 17 September 2018

Monday 17th September

An Osprey was eating its catch on Bull Hill mid-afternoon before being chased off by several Carrion Crow. Elsewhere 118 Goldfinch were in Greenland Lake.

Sunday 16 September 2018

Sunday 16th September

A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper appeared in the Bight on the dropping tide with 170 Dunlin, 37 Ringed Plover, 16 Knot, 12 Sanderling, 12 Grey Plover and five Turnstone. Also in the estuary 322 Curlew, 10 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Wigeon, six Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Offsite two Osprey were hunting up river. Offshore a juvenile Little Gull and 36 Common Scoter.

The Wryneck remained on site, but eluded most who made the trek to Warren Point, other migrants included a Whinchat in the Car Park, three White Wagtail, two Whitethroat and overhead just two Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere a site record 162 House Sparrow emerged from the roost by the Tractor Compound. 

Saturday 15 September 2018

Saturday 15th September

The pick of the migrants may not have travelled far with single Nuthatch and Jay mobile around the recording area during the morning with 14 Chiffchaff, 14 Blackcap, three Whitethroat, three Wheatear, two Reed Warbler and the Wryneck also present. Overhead 32 Meadow Pipit, four Grey and a Yellow Wagtail, two Jackdaw and single Golden Plover, Rook, Sand and House Martin.

In the estuary counts included 277 Redshank, 234 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, just 20 Wigeon, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Sanderling, five Whimbrel, two Knot, a Kingfisher and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 110+ Goldfinch were feeding around Greenland Lake and at least four Pheasant were seeking refuge on site.

Dunlin & Ringed Plover - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary with at least eight Red Admiral along the Dune Ridge with a single Wall Brown also present. A single Rush Veneer was in Greenland Lake.

Friday 14 September 2018

Friday 14th September

The Wryneck made a brief reappearance on Warren Point on a day with few other migrants. A juvenile Osprey was in the estuary on the receding tide, flushing many of the waders before full counts were possible but totals included 131+ Dunlin, 27 Sandwich Tern, 16 Sanderling, 15 Ringed Plover, five Whimbrel and two Black-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere 40 Swallow and 10 House Martin flew through and a Snipe flew in off the sea before landing amongst scrub on Warren Point.

 Whimbrel, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit - Simon Thurgood

White Wagtail - Simon Thurgood

Thursday 13 September 2018

Thursday 13th September

A flock of 11 Avocet circling the Bight at high tide were a sign of the changing seasons, also in the estuary 430 Dunlin, 240 Redshank, 60 Wigeon, just 23 Ringed Plover, 22 Sandwich Tern, 14 Sanderling, nine Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, eight Shelduck, six Turnstone, five Knot, three Greenshank, a Kingfisher and the Slavonian Grebe.
Elsewhere migration was also in evidence with two Whinchat, five Wheatear, two Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler the pick of the grounded migrants. Overhead 40+ Meadow Pipit, four Raven, four Grey Wagtail, 40 House Martin and 15 Swallow.

White Wagtail - Alan Keatley
Wildlife News: Single Common and Grey Seal were in the estuary. The sunny weather brought out the insects including a Wall Brown on the Dune Ridge, a Holly Blue in the car park and Brown Argus in Greenland lake. Also on the wing Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Large White, Small Copper, 15 Common Darter and half a dozen Migrant Hawker.

Garden Orb Weaver Araneus diadematus - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Wednesday 12th September

A quick look early morning saw 60 House Martin, three Grey Wagtail and three Meadow Pipit overhead with a flock of 85 Goldfinch and 11 Greenfinch feeding in Greenland Lake.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Tuesday 11th September

Seawatching early morning saw 63 Common Scoter offshore with 62 Gannet, 10 Kittiwake, two Fulmar and two Manx Shearwater south. The windier weather though may have brought the second winter Little Gull in the estuary late evening, the second of the year. Elsewhere a Wryneck was reported but with no further details, a Yellow Wagtail was on the Golf Course and counts from the estuary included 230 Redshank, 51 Ringed Plover, 42 Dunlin, seven Black and three Bar-tailed Godwit, four Grey Plover, four Whimbrel, two Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

Wildlife News: The mild weather resulted in a good cricket chorus this evening, with Great Green, Grey and Dark Bush-cricket all in good voice.

Monday 10 September 2018

Monday 10th September

Apart from the third Spotted Flycatcher of the year in the Entrance Bushes there were very few grounded migrants with just 24 Swallow, seven Meadow Pipit and three Grey Wagtail overhead. wader numbers had also dropped off with 77 Dunlin and 45 Ringed Plover in the Bight with nine Bar-tailed Godwit, three Sanderling, three Grey Plover, two Greenshank and a Knot. Also in the estuary 84 Wigeon, 12 Teal and two Sandwich Tern. The latest update from the Exe Oystercatcher project is available here.

 Mute Swan - Simon Thurgood

Bar-tailed Godwit & Knot - Alan Keatley

White Wagtail - Simon Thurgood

Wildlife News: The first Ivy Bee of the year were foraging on hawkbits in Greenland Lake, as the Ivy has yet to flower locally. Also on the wing several Southern and Migrant Hawker.

Ivy Bee - Alan Keatley

Sunday 9 September 2018

Sunday 9th September

In the estuary selected counts included 289 Redshank, 277 Curlew, 211 Dunlin, 52 Wigeon, 12 Knot, 11 Grey Plover, 10 Teal, eight Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, seven Whimbrel, five Mediterranean Gull, five Sanderling, two Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

No sign of the Wryneck today with migrants limited to half a dozen Chiffchaff and Blackcap in the bushes with three Rook, two Jackdaw and single Sand Martin, Yellow and Grey Wagtail overhead. Elsewhere the two Eider were off Langstone Rock and the first Coal Tit of the year was seen in the Entrance Bushes accompanied by a Great Tit being an excellent Coal & Long-tailed Tit mimic.

Bar-tailed Godwit - Lee Collins
This bird has summered at the Warren. Ringing information is still awaited but it is thought to be French.

Saturday 8 September 2018

Saturday 8th September

A Wryneck on Warren Point was a welcome surprise considering the relative lack of other migrants on site, although 17 Chiffchaff, three Reed and a Willow Warbler were in the bushes and 70 House Martin, 42 Swallow and four Grey Wagtail were overhead.
Elsewhere a flock of seven Balearic Shearwater flew south and the two Eider were off the seawall whilst counts in the estuary included 50+ Wigeon, 16 Sanderling, 13 Knot, 11 Grey Plover and six Greenshank.
Wildlife News: Fewer butterflies and dragonflies on the wing in over cast conditions but this Phantom Cranefly was in the Entrance Bushes.

 Ptychoptera contaminata - Alan Keatley

Friday 7 September 2018

Friday 7th September

Counts from the estuary on the evening tide included 325 Dunlin, 266 Redshank, 221 Curlew, 120 Ringed Plover, 118 Wigeon, 14 Sanderling, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Teal, 10 Sandwich Tern, four Knot, four Greenshank, a Grey Plover and a Curlew Sandpiper.

Thursday 6 September 2018

Thursday 6th September

A Balearic Shearwater was offshore early evening with single Black and Common Tern, 14 Common Scoter, eight Manx Shearwater, three Mediterranean Gull and two Eider. Elsewhere 447 Dunlin, 144 Ringed Plover, seven Sanderling, four Whimbrel, three Turnstone and single Knot, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit were in the estuary.

Wildlife News: A Grey Bush-cricket on Warren Point was a notable sighting with migrant hoverflies including Scaeva pyrastri and Helophilus trivittatus.

Grey Bush-cricket - Dave Cawthraw

Helophilus trivattus- Dave Cawthraw

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Wednesday 5th September

An autumnal feel this morning with a decent fall of grounded migrants including at least 25 Wheatear, a Redstart and a Grasshopper Warbler with 28 Meadow Pipit, 27 Swallow, six Grey and a Yellow Wagtail overhead.

 Redstart - Alan Keatley

Wheatear - Dave Jewell

Elsewhere 87 Wigeon were in Shutterton Creek, but with unsuccessful forays from Kestrel, Peregrine and two Sparrowhawk wader numbers in the Bight were much reduced. Counts included 904 Oystercatcher, 39 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstone nine Sanderling and a Bar-tailed Godwit returned to feed up as the tide dropped. The undoubted highlight was the Osprey that caught a fish before promptly gaining height and flying south out of the recording area.

Sparrowhawk - Dave Jewell
The abundance of fencing around the Bight provides plenty of opportunities for hunting raptors

Monday 3 September 2018

Monday 3rd September

A few migrants on the move overhead with eight Grey and five Yellow Wagtail early morning along with 94 Swallow, eight Meadow Pipit, three House Martin and a Chaffinch. On the deck the Whinchat remained on Warren Point but new arrivals included 11 Whitethroat, three Wheatear, a Garden, six Reed, three Willow and a Sedge Warbler.

In the estuary wildfowl numbers increased with 80+ Wigeon and 20 Teal in Shutterton Creek, 410 Curlew, seven Bar and four Black-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank and a Knot were on the Railway Saltmarsh, 200+ Dunlin, 130+ Ringed Plover and 12 Sanderling were being targeted by Peregrine and Sparrowhawk in the Bight. Also present 62 Great Black-backed Gull and 37 Sandwich Tern on Bull Hill, a Kingfisher off Exmouth and the Slavonian Grebe.

 Whinchat - Alan Keatley

Sedge Warbler - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Two Grey Seal were present, one offshore and one on Bull Hill.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Sunday 2nd September

A repeat of yesterday but with some light overhead movement including four Yellow Wagtail, a couple of Tree Pipit, 45 Swallow and a House Martin. Grounded migrants included the Whinchat on Warren Point, four Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler.

Counts from the estuary included 300+ Dunlin, 220 Ringed Plover, 60 Sandwich and a Common Tern, 43 Wigeon, 18 Sanderling, six Greenshank, three Whimbrel, two Black-tailed Godwit and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere two Eider were off Langstone Rock and a Kingfisher was at the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: The Water Vole was still present at the Main Pond and at least two Bottle-nosed Dolphin were distantly off the seawall.

Saturday 1 September 2018

Saturday 1st September

A Whinchat on Warren Point was the pick of the few migrants with eight White Wagtail, two Wheatear, two Willow and a Sedge Warbler also on site. In the estuary 32 Wigeon were new arrivals with other counts over the high tide including 425 Dunlin, 229 Ringed Plover, 120 Sandwich and a single Common Tern, 14 Sanderling, nine Greenshank, three Black-tailed Godwit and a Common Sandpiper. Elsewhere two Eider were close in off the seawall with 18 Common Scoter further out.

Wildlife News: The discovery of Alder Buckthorn growing in the car park provided another new plant for the recording area. At the Main Pond a single Water Vole was watched feasting on Mare's-tail, a welcome sight and the first record since the building of the new seawall in late 2014.