Saturday 22 June 2019

Saturday 22nd June

The 3.2 metre high tide was just high enough flood Cockle Sands and Bull Hill sandflats to bring over the welcome return of 206 Oystercatcher and among the few with colour-rings, the Icelandic bird ringed as a chick (pullus) nearly two years ago was seen, confirming its decision to over-summer on and around the Exe Estuary.  Briefly in front of the hide, the flock was spooked and evacuated the estuary again, flying off around Orcombe Point.  Also present 140 Curlew, 11 Shelduck, eight Cormorant, five Mute Swan, five Bar-tailed Godwit, four Canada Goose, three each of Little Egret, Dunlin and Great Black-backed Gull, single Grey Heron, Grey Plover and Redshank. 

Usual residents on the Main Pond were the Little Grebe pair with two chicks and a fledged bird, Moorhen chicks and eight Mallard.

Considerably more speedboats, jet-skis and general water traffic offshore than birds, where only two each of Gannet, Common Scoter and Sandwich Tern, and an adult Mediterranean Gull were seen.

A Stock Dove flushed up from Greenland Lake.  The usual Kestrel hovered over Warren Point.  Leaving south, c.20 Swift and a few Swallow. A flock of 28 Long-tailed Tit roamed the bushes and Great Tit were again busy feeding young inside the rear wall of the hide. Both fledged broods of Stonechat met on Warren Point where five were seen, plus a singing male near Dune Pond. 

singing male Blackcap - Alan Keatley

Wildlife news: from mid-morning, the strong mid-summer sun encouraged out less butterflies than hoped - a few Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Common Blue and Small Skipper, and one Green-veined White. Lots of bumblebees and other insects, including the black and yellow long-horned beetle Strangalia maculata, some stridulating Field Grasshopper and the first Six-spot Burnet on the year. 

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