Saturday 29 February 2020

Saturday 29th February

Counts from the estuary included 405 Dunlin, 134 Common Gull, 72 Bar-tailed Godwit, 37 Shelduck, 26 Curlew, the wintering Whimbrel, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 22 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and a migrant Chiffchaff was singing in Dead Dolphin Wood.

Thursday 27 February 2020

Thursday 27th February

Two Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver were off the seawall with the Slavonian Grebe, 17 Ringed Plover and a Greenshank in the estuary.

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Wednesday 26th February

An evening visit saw the female Eider, 14 Great-crested Grebe, four Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver offshore but these were almost outnumbered by the nine trawlers spread across the bay. 

Elsewhere 449 Brent Geese and the Slavonian Grebe were in the estuary and eight Meadow Pipit in Greenland Lake hinted at the start of Spring migration.

Sunday 23 February 2020

Sunday 23rd February

Records from the estuary included 230 Brent Geese, 75 Grey Plover, 40 Turnstone, 40 Shelduck, two Wigeon and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere an elusive Water Pipit was again in the saltmarsh, a pair of Shoveler were on the Main Pond and the female Eider and a Great Northern Diver were offshore. 

Saturday 22 February 2020

Saturday 22nd February

Counts from the estuary included 553 Oystercatcher,  173 Common and two Mediterranean Gull, 158 Brent Geese, 57 Bar-tailed Godwit, 53 Turnstone, 40 Shelduck, 25 Teal, three Goldeneye and a WigeonElsewhere a Great Northern Diver and the female Eider were offshore, a Rook was foraging in the Bight and three Raven were overhead. 

Wildlife News: A rare bout of sunshine saw the first butterfly of the year, a Red Admiral moving through, with several Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax and single Marmalade Hoverfly and Buff-tailed Bumblebee on the wing. Elsewhere a Stoat was seen in Greenland Lake and a bull Grey Seal was on the mussel barge.

 Grey Seal - Alan Keatley

Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus  - Alan Keatley

Friday 21 February 2020

Friday 21st February

Numbers over the evening tide were limited with many waders remaining on the uncovered sandbars elsewhere in the estuary. Counts included 568 Oystercatcher, 161 Brent Geese, 153 Common and two Mediterranean Gull, 84 Knot, 73 Redshank, 51 Grey Plover, 42 Shelduck, 26 Sanderling, 12 Teal, five Greenshank, three Goldeneye and the Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere a drake Shoveler was on the Main Pond and 11 Great-crested Grebe were offshore.

Wildlife News: Two Grey Seal were on the mussel barge. 

Thursday 20 February 2020

Thursday 20th February

Counts from the estuary late afternoon included 161 Common Gull, 156 Dark and four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 151 Knot, 15 Ringed Plover and two Greenshank. Elsewhere single Green Woodpecker, at least three Cirl Bunting and 30 Linnet

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Wednesday 19th February

The Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with 150+ Knot and Grey Plover, 25 Ringed Plover and 16 Sanderling also in the estuary but a male Peregrine hampered any further counts. Elsewhere two Great Northern Diver and the Eider were offshore in choppy conditions.

Peregrine - Lee Collins

Monday 17 February 2020

Monday 17th February

Five Great Northern Diver and 12 Great-crested Grebe were off Langstone Rock but no other news was received. 

Sunday 16 February 2020

Sunday 16th February

The weather eased off by early afternoon but left little change in its wake, although beach levels dropped by up to a foot overnight. Waders remain dispersed around the estuary with few on the dropping tide but 41 Redshank and four Greenshank were present. Also in the river 200+ Brent Geese, 16 Great-crested and the Slavonian Grebe, nine Red-breasted Merganser and three Goldeneye.

Elsewhere the first 10 Pintail of the year flew high into the estuary arriving from east of Orcombe Point with 11 Great-crested Grebe and single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver offshore.

Saturday 15 February 2020

Saturday 15th February

A very wet and windy day with extensive flooding on the golf course meaning many waders were feeding on the empty fairways. Counts from the estuary included a winter high of 391 Brent Geese, presumably feeding areas elsewhere were underwater, 181 Knot, 158 Grey Plover, 23 Sanderling and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Water Pipit was on the Golf Course and offshore eight Tufted Duck flew south along with four Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver, 30 Gannet and 20 Fulmar.

Friday 14 February 2020

Friday 14th February

A wet and windy day ahead off the storm still managed to deliver a few signs of Spring with Cirl Bunting singing away and continuing drop in waders and wildfowl. Counts from the estuary included 900 Dunlin, 195 Grey Plover, 153 Knot, 60 Brent Geese, 37 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 28 Sanderling, 17 Ringed Plover, three Greenshank and two Mediterranean Gull.

 Dunlin - Lee Collins. Ringed at Dawlish Warren in November 2019

Grey Plover - Lee Collins. Ringed on Exminster Marshes last month
Both these birds were ringed by the Devon & Cornwall Wader Ringing Group

Ringing News: In addition to the local birds above, this adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was also recorded. It was ringed as a pullus on Alderney in July 2009.

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Alan Keatley

Erosion continues

This images show the continuing erosion of the reshaped Dune Ridge this winter. Large areas of sand are also being lost across the estuary mouth at Orcombe. Storm Dennis may well cause further damage...

 Lee Collins

Sunday 9 February 2020

Sunday 9th February

As is often the case in the midst of a storm at the Warren there was virtually nothing noted passing offshore and there were few signs of any windblown influxes although a high count of 133 Turnstone feeding on the mudflats suggested their usual feeding areas were fairly inhospitable. 

Other counts from the estuary included 472 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 170 Common Gull, 142 Knot, 67 Great and 11 Lesser Black-backed Gull, including a Danish ringed bird, 52 Teal, two Greenshank, two Mediterranean Gull, a lone Golden Plover and the Slavonian Grebe. 

Saturday 8 February 2020

Saturday 8th February

The Red-necked and Slavonian Grebe both remained on their respective sides of the estuary with counts over the late afternoon tide including 302 Dark and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 151 Common Gull, 131 Knot, 103 Curlew, 90 Snipe, 52 Grey Plover, 46 Shelduck, 42 Teal, 21 Sanderling and just five Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere the Firecrest was again in the Entrances Bushes, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was drumming away and a pair of Green Woodpecker were also on site. 

 Great-spotted Woodpecker - Alan Keatley

Green Woodpecker - Alan Keatley

Friday 7 February 2020

Friday 7th February

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

Thursday 6 February 2020

Thursday 6th February

Four Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore with the female Eider with an increase in bird song in the bushes and a nesting Collared Dove reflecting the warm winter. 

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Sunday 2 February 2020

Sunday 2nd February

The Red-necked Grebe was again in the estuary with counts of 263 Common and a first winter Mediterranean Gull, 166 Grey Plover, 99 Knot, 94 Curlew, 45 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Sanderling, five Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe

Elsewhere two Red-throated Diver and the female Eider were offshore, single Rook and the first Jackdaw of the year flew and three Shoveler remained on the Main Pond. 

Grey Plover - Lee Collins This bird was ringed the previous night at a roost on Exminster Marshes.

Saturday 1 February 2020

Saturday 1st February

The Red-necked Grebe remained in the estuary, again drifting into the Recording Area on the dropping tide, with three Great-crested and the Slavonian Grebe also present. Counts over the high tide included 2200 Dunlin, 214 Knot, 204 Grey Plover, 192 Common Gull, 153 Brent Geese, 130 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Mediterranean Gull and a metal ringed Finnish Black-headed Gull.

Elsewhere a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes, two Rook flew over, four Red-throated Diver and an Eider were offshore and three Shoveler were on the Main Pond.