Thursday 1 October 2020

Thursday 1st October

From a cool start the day warmed and brightened with long periods of sunshine. The source of disturbance off Mudbank and Duckpond, Exmouth was unseen but whatever happened displaced large number of wildfowl to the recording area, which then hosted impressive counts of 918 Wigeon, 256 Dark-bellied Brent Goose with 22 Pale-bellied Brent Goose and 107 Shelduck, an extraordinary count and exceeds the previous October max count here of 39 in 2009. In fact, available records suggest this might be the highest October count ever for the entire Exe Estuary.

The single Snow Goose (Cat. E) was again present with 176 Canada Goose; and other wildfowl present were 99 Teal, 18 Mute Swan, six Pintail, three Mallard and the drake Eider.  Other waterbirds counted were 413 Curlew, 179 Redshank, 49 Great Black-backed Gull, 39 Knot, 28 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Turnstone, 12 Common Gull, 11 Sanderling, ten Grey Plover, seven Little Egret, six Sandwich Tern, four Greenshank, three Grey Heron, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, and single Great Crested Grebe and the Slavonian Grebe.  An arctica-type Dunlin was amongst the flock in The Bight. 

A Buzzard roosted and departed Dead Dolphin Wood early morning; and also in wooded areas seven Long-tailed Tit, five Chiffchaff and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  Mixed grounded and overhead migrants were 15 Siskin, a dozen Meadow Pipit, two Wheatear and a Jackdaw. Regular residents noted were some Stonechat, four Rock Pipit, two Cirl Bunting and single Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Raven.

Wildlife news: the site's 4th and 5th record of Locust Blowfly Stomorhina lunata, previously a rare migrant from Africa and recently has become more frequently recorded in the UK. Common insects attracted out into the sunshine were a few Large White, Speckled Wood and single Common Blue, Small Copper and Red Admiral. And as expected at this time of the year, a few Common Darter and Migrant Darter.

male and female Locust Blowfly Stomorhina lunata - Alan Keatley

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