Monday 30 September 2019

Monday 30th September

The day started calm with noticeable overhead movement south west including 450+ Meadow Pipit, 130 Swallow, 45 Skylark, 11 Raven, in a loose flock, three Chaffinch, three House and a Sand Martin. The same conditions meant it was quiet offshore but single Balearic Shearwater and Arctic Tern did fly south.

Elsewhere five Wheatear were on site and counts from the estuary included 310 Curlew, 65 Ringed Plover, 44 Dunlin, 36 Sandwich Tern, 25 Turnstone, 12 Knot, 10 Grey Plover, seven Greenshank, five Mediterranean Gull and a Slavonian Grebe.

Sunday 29 September 2019

Sunday 29th September

Seawatching was again the order of the day with significant passage before 9am. The highlight was the first Little Gull of the year, an immature in a small Kittiwake flock, but the most welcome site was the high number of Arctic Skua with a minimum of 45 heading south, along with 12 Great Skua, seven Balearic Shearwater, 700 Gannet, 70 Kittiwake, 30 Sandwich Tern, a Great Northern Diver and a Golden Plover. Also on the move over the waves small numbers of Swallow and Meadow Pipit.

The juvenile Curlew Sandpiper remained in the Bight with 83 Ringed Plover, 82 Dunlin, 34 Turnstone, 30 Sanderling and nine Grey Plover. Also in the estuary 34 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, five Mediterranean Gull, two Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere just the third Garden Warbler of the year was in Dead Dolphin Wood, the first Goldcrest of the autumn was by the First Pond and at least six Wheatear were on site.

Southern Hawker - Luke Harman

The combination of gales and a large high tide removed all of the sand that had built up on the top of the beach this summer meaning the beach is again no longer passable at high tide. The erosion was not restricted to the beach with 4-5 feet of sand also lost from the Dune Ridge. This revealed some hidden structures and a fossilised Dalek.

Saturday 28 September 2019

Saturday 28th September

The first Pintail of the autumn was with 350 Wigeon in the estuary with 43 Sandwich and six Common Tern, 14 Knot and the Slavonian Grebe. The first Mistle Thrush of the autumn was overhead along with a Tree and 40 Meadow Pipit, 45 Swallow and 10 Skylark, whilst grounded migrants included 12 Blackcap, five Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat and a Wheatear.

Seawatching saw 960 Gannet and four Arctic Skua head south early morning with 103 Kittiwake and two Arctic Skua passing during the evening.

Wildlife News: A few fresh looking Painted Lady were on the wing, probably a new generation, also third generation Wall and Common Blue in the Crocus Compound.

 Painted Lady - Alan Keatley

Wall - Alan Keatley

Common Blue - Luke Harman

Thursday 26 September 2019

Thursday 26th September

Seawatching for the first two hours saw 75 Balearic Shearwater head south, a great count for this critically endangered seabird, also moving south 2160 Gannet, nearly doubling the previous site record, 18 Arctic and single Pomarine and Great Skua, 60 Kittiwake and 12 Manx Shearwater. A fem/imm Tufted Duck also circled the bay a few times. A quick look late evening saw two more Balearic Shearwater south and at least four Arctic Skua lingering.

Also on the move today c500 Meadow Pipit overhead with the first three Siskin of the autumn, 120 Swallow and a Yellow Wagtail whilst two Whitethroat arrived on Warren Point. The Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with 503 Wigeon, 293 Redshank, 181 Teal, 27 Brent Geese, 25 Sandwich Tern, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Grey Plover and two Greenshank.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Wednesday 25th September

The two Curlew Sandpiper remained in the Bight on the high tide with 128 Ringed Plover, 91 Dunlin, 12 Turnstone and a Grey Plover. Also in the estuary 112 Teal, 88 Wigeon, 43 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 12 Sandwich Tern and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 38 Sanderling were along the beach and five Wheatear were on site.

Wildlife News: A Belladonna Lily was still in flower on Warren Point, the only Devon location for this garden escapee.

Belladonna Lily - Lee Collins

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Tuesday 24th September

Seawatching between 7-9am saw 619 Gannet head south, the vast majority before 8.30am. Also going south 33 Kittiwake, two Mediterranean Gull, two Arctic and a Great Skua. Elsewhere two Wheatear were in front of the hide and records from the estuary included two Curlew Sandpiper, 36 Sanderling, 14 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 11 Sandwich Tern, seven Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

Monday 23 September 2019

Monday 23rd September

Seawatching during the morning saw a distant Sooty Shearwater heading south along with two possible Long-tailed Skua although little else was passing. The evening may have been more productive but no one was present. Elsewhere 41 Sandwich Tern and 15 Brent Geese were in the estuary and migrants included just the fifth Spotted Flycatcher of the year and a single Whitethroat.

Sunday 22 September 2019

Sunday 22nd September

The change in weather brought hopes of filling in the only gap in the Recording Area's September day by day rarity table, but it was not to be with the bushes blown out and seemingly quiet. New arrivals were present in the estuary though with 183 Wigeon and 88 Teal counted along with 1420 Oystercatcher, 526 Curlew, 322 Redshank, 141 Ringed Plover, 90+ Dunlin, 37 Sandwich Tern, 30 Turnstone, 10 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, six Greenshank, four Snipe and the Slavonian Grebe.

Wildlife News: A single Rush Veneer was on Warren Point and a Yellow-barred Peat Hoverfly Sericomyia silentis, the second site record was in the Back Meadow.

Yellow-barred Peat Hoverfly Sericomyia silentis

Saturday 21 September 2019

Saturday 21st September

A distinctly autumnal feel to the day with the first 35 Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the estuary, along with counts of 92 Great Black-backed Gull, 91 Dunlin, 77 Ringed Plover, 48 Wigeon, 36 Sandwich Tern, 29 Sanderling, 21 Knot, 17 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, a Grey Plover, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe.

 Knot - Alan Keatley

Brent Geese and Wigeon - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere a Great-crested Grebe was offshore, a Whinchat was along the Back Path and overhead 30 Swallow, 14 House Martin and a Grey Wagtail.

Thursday 19 September 2019

Thursday 19th September

A Lesser Whitethroat was the pick of migrants, arriving with an influx of at least 21 Blackcap, also on site nine Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat and a Wheatear, with three Grey and a Yellow Wagtail overhead. Elsewhere an Osprey was hunting in the estuary with 82 Ringed Plover, 26 Sandwich Tern, 25 Wigeon, 21 Sanderling, 15 Dunlin, three Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit and the Slavonian Grebe.

Black (front) & Bar-tailed Godwit - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A Comma was the pick of eight butterfly species recorded, with a similar number hoverfly species still on the wing. The number of Ivy Bee continue to increase although most of the Ivy is still to flower.

Dumpy Melanostoma Melanostoma mellinum - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Wednesday 18th September

The wandering White Stork avoided the Recording Area with just a handful of Meadow Pipit and Swallow overhead and grounded migrants limited to two Wheatear and a Willow Warbler. Elsewhere 21 Sanderling, 20 of these were juveniles, were on the beach and counts from the estuary included 49 Ringed Plover, 42 Knot, 37 Teal, 23 Wigeon, 20 Dunlin, five Greenshank, two Grey Plover and a Whimbrel.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Tuesday 17th September

No sign of the Wryneck today, but the Whinchat remained in Greenland Lake and 12 Wheatear were new arrivals. Overhead 150+ Swallow all heading west, 35 Meadow Pipit, three House Martin and the first two Skylark of the autumn.

Elsewhere a Grey Wagtail dropped in at the First Pond, 44 Sanderling were on the beach and counts from the estuary included 67 Knot, 38 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, seven Grey Plover, four Mediterranean Gull and a Whimbrel.

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow was along the Back Path.

Monday 16 September 2019

Monday 16th September

A Wryneck on Warren Point was a surprise highlight as other grounded migrants were limited to single Whinchat and Wheatear, three Whitethroat, nine Blackcap and six Chiffchaff. Over a single Tree Pipit amongst 50 Meadow Pipit, 40 House Martin, five Swallow, three Yellow and three Grey Wagtail.

Elsewhere 110 Ringed Plover, 68 Dunlin, 42 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Knot, four Mediterranean Gull, three Sandwich Tern, three Greenshank and a Slavonian Grebe were in the estuary.

Sunday 15 September 2019

Sunday 15th September

The highlight was the second Recording Area record of Quail, a bird flushed from the Dune Ridge before seeming to land on the Golf Course but there was no further sign. The only previous record was found moribund on 17th May 1967. Numbers of other migrants had dropped with just 10 Blackcap, two Whitethroat and a Wheatear. Overhead 25 Meadow Pipit, three Grey and a Yellow Wagtail, 15 Swallow and a House Martin.

Counts from the estuary included two Curlew Sandpiper, 1418 Oystercatcher, 315 Redshank, 139 Ringed Plover, 50 Knot, 44 Dunlin, 41 Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Sanderling, 12 Mediterranean Gull, seven Sandwich Tern, seven Grey Plover and a Whimbrel.

Wildlife News: A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was only the second of the year, there was also a noticeable arrival of Migrant Hawker.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Saturday 14th September

A Whinchat in Greenland Lake and a Sedge Warbler on Warren Point were the pick of the migrants with 20 Blackcap, five Whitethroat and three Wheatear also on site with 25 Meadow Pipit, six Grey and two Yellow Wagtail overhead.

 Sedge Warbler - Alan Keatley

An Osprey was feeding upriver early morning with two Curlew Sandpiper amongst 113 Ringed Plover, 70 Knot, 62 Dunlin and 39 Sanderling. Also in the estuary 31 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 326 Redshank, 38 Teal, 30 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Sandwich Tern and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 255 Linnet were around the Bight, a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond and a Coal Tit was in Dead Dolphin Wood.

Wildlife News: A Yellow-barred Peat Hoverfly Sericomyia silentis in the Entrance Bushes was a surprise first for the Recording Area. Also nectaring on the remaining Water Mint and Gypsywort, several Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria and a Beewolf Philanthus triangulum. Also on the wing two Clouded Yellow, 20+ Painted Lady and a lone Small Tortoiseshell.

Yellow-barred Peat Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Friday 13 September 2019

Friday 13th September

A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper remained in the Bight with 70 Dunlin, 62 Ringed Plover, 45 Sanderling, 43 Knot and seven Grey Plover. Also in the estuary 33 Teal, 16 Sandwich Tern, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe

Elsewhere 50 Swallow, 15 House Martin, 15 Meadow Pipit, three Raven and two Grey Wagtail were overhead with six Wheatear and a Whitethroat on site.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Wednesday 11th September

A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was in the Bight on the evening tide with counts from the estuary including 1302 Oystercatcher, 98 Ringed Plover, 81 Teal, 78 Dunlin, 67 Knot, 27 Sandwich Tern, 22 Sanderling, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Wigeon, five Grey Plover and two Greenshank. Other records included 146 Linnet and five Wheatear on site and 534 Canada Geese in to roost.

Wildlife News: The Autumn Ladies Tresses are starting to go over for the season, a Fox was on Warren Point and five Migrant Hawker and four Common Darter were hunting along the Back Path.


Tuesday 10 September 2019

Tuesday 10th September

The Slavonian Grebe remains off Cockwood but no other news was received.

Monday 9 September 2019

Monday 9th September

An small influx of wildfowl included the first Garganey of the year, the first autumn record since 2013. It was present in the saltmarsh with 41 Teal, nine Wigeon and two Shoveler. The Purple Sandpiper was still present on the dropping tide with 69 Ringed Plover, 50+ Dunlin and four Sanderling.

Also in the estuary an adult Yellow-legged and 51 Great Black-backed Gull, 26 Sandwich Tern, 13 Bar and four Black-tailed Godwit, nine Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Whinchat was on the Golf Course.

Sunday 8 September 2019

Sunday 8th September

A juvenile Purple Sandpiper in the Bight was the first for the year, it was roosting with 94 Ringed Plover, 64 Dunlin, 39 Knot, 14 Sanderling and the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper. Also in the estuary 411 Curlew, 332 Redshank, 55 Sandwich Tern, 16 Mediterranean Gull, 12 Teal, six Greenshank, five Snipe, including on the Bull Hill sandbar, three Wigeon and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere the summer plumaged Red-throated Diver remained off the seawall, 16 Chiffchaff, 15 Blackcap, three Willow Warbler and two Wheatear were on site and 95 Swallow, four Sand and two House Martin, a Grey Wagtail and the first Chaffinch of the autumn passed overhead.

Saturday 7 September 2019

Saturday 7th September

A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was in the Bight with 110 Ringed Plover, 76 Dunlin and 18 Knot over the high tide. Also in the estuary 26 Sandwich Tern, 11 Mediterranean Gull, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Red-throated Diver was offshore and migrants included 80 Swallow, 50 House Martin, 19 Meadow Pipit, a Yellow Wagtail and a Buzzard overhead and seven Wheatear, seven Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler in the bushes.
Curlew Sandpiper - Alan Keatley
Wildlife News: Two Clouded Yellow were on the wing with the first Ivy Bee Colletes hederea of the year, a Phantom Cranefly Ptychoptera contaminata and at least 14 hoverfly species including Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria, Hook-banded Wasp Hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum,  Common Spotted Eupeodes Eupeodes luniger and Superb Ant-hill Hoverfly Xanthogramma pedissequum.

Hook-banded Wasp Hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum - Alan Keatley

 Ivy Bee Colletes hederea - Alan Keatley

Phantom Cranefly Ptychoptera contaminata - Alan Keatley

Friday 6 September 2019

Friday 6th September

An early visit saw 30 House Martin overhead with 14 Meadow Pipit and two Grey Wagtail with a feeding group of 104 Gannet offshore. The bushes held nine Blackcap, nine Chiffchaff and three Whitethroat with a Wheatear and the first two of this year's nearby Pheasant releases.

Thursday 5 September 2019

Thursday 5th September

Two Teal on the Main Pond were a further sign of autumn with 30 Swallow, eight House Martin, single Grey Wagtail and Meadow Pipit overhead, grounded migrants included eight Wheatear and three Willow Warbler.  Counts from the high tide were made difficult due to regular forays of hunting Peregrine and Sparrowhawk, but 90 Dunlin, 60 Ringed Plover and eight Sanderling were in the Bight with 19 Mediterranean Gull and six Sandwich Tern in the Railway Saltmarsh.

Wildlife News: An autumnal feel amongst the invertebrates as well with just a few Common Darter and Emperor on the wing along with a few Red Admiral and Painted Lady. Hoverflies were largely composed of drone fly species but also a Marsh Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus hybridus.

Stripe-winged Dronefly Eristalis horticola - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Wednesday 4th September

Two Whitethroat were in Greenland Lake with 100+ House Martin and five Raven overhead but no other news was received.

Monday 2 September 2019

Monday 2nd September

A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper remained in the Bight with a juvenile Little, two Common and 50 Sandwich Tern.

Sunday 1 September 2019

Sunday 1st September

The change of month saw a distinct change in season with the first five Wigeon of the autumn flying in off the sea, along with a flock of 16 Shelduck and a handful of Meadow Pipit. Other arrivals were however limited to nine Wheatear and a couple of Reed Warbler.

In the estuary two juvenile Curlew Sandpiper were in the Bight with 216 Dunlin, 71 Ringed Plover, 19 Knot, seven Sanderling and a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit. Counts from the Railway Saltmarsh included 514 Curlew, 212 Redshank, 13 Mediterranean Gull, five Bar-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrel and a Greenshank. Also in the estuary 43 Sandwich Tern and the Slavonian Grebe.