Saturday 7 November 2020

Saturday 7th November

Some observers rued the egregious decision to first look offshore briefly at dawn where only low single-figures of Gannet, Razorbill, Kittiwake and Common Scoter passed. Meanwhile, 'vis-mig' was of high quality if not matched by volume. The highlight was a Richard's Pipit that was seen and heard as it flew NE at 07:10. This neatly follows the extraordinary find of three Richard's Pipit at Orcombe Point yesterday afternoon (reported here), the imposing headland 1.75 miles east of the site Then a Short-eared Owl chased by Carrion Crows was lost from view over the golf course. Most action was noted within the first hour of daylight except for a large mixed pipit and finch flock that lingered around the Greenland Lake and Back Path area. Totals were (all flew NE unless otherwise stated) 91 Goldfinch, only 48 Woodpigeon, c.47 Greenfinch, 46 Redwing, 32 Meadow Pipit, 25 Chaffinch, 20+ Linnet, four Siskin, three Lesser Redpoll, three Stock Dove, three Fieldfare, a Golden Plover, a Song Thrush and a Great Northern Diver high north up the estuary. Also, in addition to those on the estuary, three new three immature Mute Swan flew N through the site.

The mid-morning, mid-height tide pushed into The Bight area the big Oystercatcher flock, 929 Dunlin, most of the 130 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 97 Bar-tailed Godwit, 86 Grey Plover, 52 Shelduck, 48 Knot (including 20 that flew S), 34 Ringed Plover, 27 Cormorant, 13 Sanderling, 12 Great Black-backed Gull, ten Greenshank, a year max count of eight Lapwing; eight Lesser Black-backed Gull, the usual drake Eider and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

drake Eider in front of hide area - Lee Collins

Adult Yellow-legged Gull on Finger Point - Lee Collins

Around and in the estuary corner and Railway Saltmarsh, 1,044 Wigeon, 182 Teal, 115 Redshank, many of the 70 Turnstone, 38 Common Gull, most of the five Curlew, three Great Crested Grebe, three Common Snipe, two Black-tailed Godwit, two Little Egret, and a Gadwall, a Kingfisher, a Little Grebe and the Slavonian Grebe. Another dozen or so Little Egret wandered Eastdon Fields, just outside the recording area, and these birds are often around the cattle.

On the Main Pond, five Shoveler, five Moorhen, a couple of Water Rail and a domestic Mallard departed at dawn. Aware to avoid potential duplication of counts of dinky passerines that ventured as far up the site as The Spinney and Dune Pond area, there were at least 18 Blue Tit, 11 Long-tailed Tit, eight Goldcrest, six Chiffchaff, four Great Tit, one Great Spotted Woodpecker and possibly the same elusive Firecrest of recent days buried itself inside an Ivy covered bush.

Also today, 65 Starling around the shops, eight Cirl Bunting, six Stonechat, three Bullfinch, two Sparrowhawk and two Raven. Today's day-list of 88 species is the site's new November record.

Wildlife news: two Migrant Hawker, one was over the Main Pond.

Other news: access to the hide area was re-established yesterday after storm damage to the dune cliff had recently washed away another section of the dune ridge path. As it has always been, the hide area is a dead-end and the only public access back to the car park and village is back along the same route you came. The golf course has no public access; Warren Golf Club management has reiterated this as remaining the case during the nation's 'soft lockdown' period. Those individuals whom have been granted access can continue to do so. If visitors see staff and persons on the course, please don't follow them!

re-established access to hide area - photo by Ivan Lakin

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