Sunday 22 March 2020

Sunday 22nd March

A sunny Sunday and the Warren was typically busy with people, at least the majority of visiting birders seemed to understand the concept of social distancing. The Kentish Plover was present in the Bight on both high tides with counts from the morning tide including 250 Oystercatcher, 149 Curlew, 55 Dark and three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 30 Grey and three Ringed Plover and the wintering Whimbrel.

Kentish Plover - Lee Collins

Elsewhere four Eider off Warren Point were new arrivals, with two Wheatear also fresh in, a sinensis Cormorant was on Finger Point and the male Teal continues to swim around the flooded Entrance Bushes.

Off site a Red Kite headed north over Dawlish at 10.50 but never made it to the Warren, presumably drifting inland.

Wildlife News: The Sand Crocus was putting on a good show in the sunshine, and this also encouraged three Comma and three Peacock onto the wing. 
Due to the significant ongoing erosion, Teignbridge District Council is advising extreme caution when visiting. The dune path between groyne 10 – 18 is unsafe and a section of this path has been washed away, so is completely closed with no access. Access to the Hide and Warren Point is only possible via the beach with the risk of being cut off for a period either side of any high tide. The only access to these areas is along the beach at lower states of tide.





Saturday 21 March 2020

Saturday 21st March

A sandblasted trip to the late afternoon tide was rewarded by the Warren's earliest ever Kentish Plover in the Bight, following one on 22/3/2001. A female, it was the first site record since April 2016 for this once annual visitor. 

Kentish Plover - Lee Collins

Also present over the high tide 221 Oystercatcher, 123 Curlew, 102 Dunlin, 69 Knot, 45 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 35 Grey and three Ringed Plover, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit and three Sanderling.

Friday 20 March 2020

Friday 20th March

The first official Spring morning saw five Chiffchaff as the only migrants with three Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver offshore. 

Wildlife News: Sand Crocus buds were on show but failed to open in the overcast conditions. 

Ringing News: A Pale-bellied Brent Goose that was one of 22 birds had been ringed in western Iceland on 15 May 2018; it has spent most of this winter in Normandy, France having been recorded passing through Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland last autumn. 

Thursday 19 March 2020

Thursday 19th March

Spring arrived in the form of four Wheatear along the beach, at least seven Chiffchaff on site and the second earliest ever Blackcap subsinging in Dead Dolphin Wood. Other migrants included a dozen Meadow Pipit overhead and a Goldcrest on Warren Point. Elsewhere the female Eider was offshore and the flooded area of Greenland Lake held 12 Snipe, six Teal and two Shoveler.

Wheatear - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The weather was however not spring like and insects were not on the wing but two Grey Seal were in the estuary. 

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Wednesday 18th March

Again little sign of migrants with just two Chiffchaff in the bushes early morning. Elsewhere the pair of Shoveler had moved to the flooded areas of Greenland Lake, Water Rail called from Dead Dolphin Wood and the female Eider was offshore. 

Wildlife News: The second Red Admiral of the year was on the wing until taken by a Robin.

Wood Mouse - John Gowland

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Tuesday 17th March

Pale-bellied Brent Geese were again shaping up to be the only migrants with 17 arriving in off the sea, but the first Sandwich Tern of the year made a belated appearance off the sea wall. Elsewhere the Eider was offshore, with 136 Oystercatcher, 38 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, four Greenshank, an adult winter Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe in the estuary. 

Monday 16 March 2020

Monday 16th March

The long-awaited first two Wheatear of the year were present this morning but soon moved through with two Chiffchaff the only remaining migrants early evening.

Wildlife News: A day of welcome sunshine saw the first Sand Crocus of the year in flower.

Sunday 15 March 2020

Sunday 15th March

Spring migrants were limited to 22 Pale-bellied Brent Geese with 141 Dark-bellied Brent Geese also present. Also in the estuary 125 Curlew, 80 Knot, 52 Grey Plover, 12 Teal, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere two Great Northern Diver and the female Eider were offshore, three Chiffchaff were on site and the male Teal remained in the flooded Entrance Bushes. 

Wildlife News: A Wood Mouse was foraging out in the open in Wryneck Plain. 

Saturday 14 March 2020

Saturday 14th March

Counts from the estuary included 374 Oystercatcher, 200 Dunlin, 196 Curlew, 146 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 81 Knot, 73 Bar-tailed Godwit, 63 Common Gull, 52 Grey Plover, 25 Turnstone and three Greenshank. Elsewhere four Chiffchaff were on site and 42 Common Scoter were offshore with six Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver.

 Teal - Alan Keatley

Ringed Plover - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: An early Plain-faced Dronefly Eristalis arbustorum was the pick of the few insects on the wing. 

Plain-faced Dronefly - Alan Keatley

Friday 13 March 2020

Friday 13th March

The Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary with 250 Oystercatcher, 110 Dunlin, 61 Bar-tailed Godwit, 48 Redshank, 41 Grey Plover, 25 Knot, 10 Teal, six Greenshank and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose. Elsewhere the female Eider was still offshore but migrants remain elusive. 

Thursday 12 March 2020

Thursday 12th March

Black-tailed Godwit continue to favour this end of the estuary for a change with 530 in the Railway Saltmarsh, the second ever highest count. Also in the estuary 90 Knot, 63 Bar-tailed Godwit, 62 Redshank, 61 Grey Plover, 55 Brent Geese and 48 Snipe.

Knot, Grey Plover, Sanderling & Dunlin - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere a Firecrest was in brambles along the Back Path. three Chiffchaff were on site and the female Eider was off John's Watch. 

Long-tailed Duck - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The warming Spring saw the first mining bee of the year around the car park, a male Buffish Mining Bee Andrena nigroaenea. Also new for the year two hoverflies Slender Melanostoma Melanostoma scalare and several male Tapered Dronefly Eristalis pertinax defending territory.

Tapered Dronefly - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 11 March 2020

Wednesday 11th March

A Pale-bellied Brent Goose was on the Golf Course with 306 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and a pair of Shoveler were on the Main Pond but no other news was received.

Monday 9 March 2020

Monday 9th March

Two Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver were offshore with 15 Great-crested Grebe but aside from the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood, no other news was received. 

Sunday 8 March 2020

Sunday 8th March

Counts from the estuary included an impressive 152 Snipe pushed into view on the edge of the Saltmarsh by the high tide along with 145 Brent Geese, 124 Black and 123 Bar-tailed Godwit, 104 Grey Plover, 77 Knot, 15 Teal, four Greenshank, three Goldeneye and two sinensis Cormorant

Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Dunlin & Sanderling - Lee Collins

Elsewhere two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore with 13 Great-crested Grebe and six Common Scoter, two Raven were a rare sight foraging in the Saltmarsh, 14 Meadow Pipit flew north with another displaying on Warren Point and two Mute Swan were in the flooded Greenland Lake. 

Saturday 7 March 2020

Saturday 7th March

Counts from the estuary included at least 159 Black-tailed Godwit on the Railway Saltmarsh, only the second record of the year, also with them 106 Curlew, at least 76 Bar-tailed Godwit and five Greenshank. Other counts included 505 Dunlin, 420 Oystercatcher, 156 Brent Geese, 140 Knot, 103 Grey and 14 Ringed Plover, 75 Snipe, the highest March count since 1987, 70 Teal, 15 Sanderling, 10 Red-breasted Merganser and a Jack Snipe

Elsewhere two Chiffchaff were singing in the bushes, a Red-throated Diver, 10 Common Scoter and the female Eider were offshore, a Raven was overhead and Little Grebe were nest building on the Main Pond. 

Chiffchaff - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Insects remain in short supply but at least five Buff-tailed Bumblebee queens were on the wing. A Grey Seal was again below Langstone Rock and Sand Lizard were along the Dune Ridge. 

Early Meadow-grass - Alan Keatley

Friday 6 March 2020

Friday 6th March

An evening visit saw 241 Brent Geese roosting in the estuary corner along with 32 Teal and a single Greenshank. Elsewhere a Red-throated Diver was offshore with a Chiffchaff in the bushes, 64 Carrion Crow around the Bight and 55 Linnet roosting in the Buffer Zone. 

Monday 2 March 2020

Monday 2nd March

Counts from the estuary included 160 Curlew, 146 Grey and 13 Ringed Plover, 111 Knot, 60 Brent Geese, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Red-throated Diver and the female Eider were offshore and a Firecrest was along the Back Path.

Firecrest - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Early Spring insects around the car park included a couple of Buff-tailed Bumblebee, several Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax, a Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus and a Dock Bug Coreus marginatus

Dock Bug - Alan Keatley

Several Scarlet Elfcup have emerged along the flooded path by the First Pond.

Scarlet Elfcup - Alan Keatley

Sunday 1 March 2020

Sunday 1st March

An immature Pomarine Skua harrying gulls around a distant trawler was the first of the year and presumably one of the birds that has wintered around Torbay. Also offshore two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver16 Great-crested Grebe, four Common Scoter and the female Eider

Elsewhere two Chiffchaff were on site, a Rook was a very rare sight on the 7th fairway and the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary.