Saturday, 18 September 2021

Saturday 18th September

The highlight, and probably bird of the year, was a juvenile Dotterel in the Bight over the evening tide. The last Warren record was seen briefly in Sep 1961 and before that one was seen in Jun 1867 with three other undated Victorian records. It was found on the mudflats with Ringed Plover and Dunlin before roosting with them around the shore of the Bight. 

Dotterel - Lee Collins

Also in the estuary the first five Dark-bellied Brent Geese of the winter and a Curlew Sandpiper with minimum counts of 348 Dunlin and 112 Ringed Plover, others left throughout the morning, 344 Redshank, 134 Teal, including one with distinctive white primaries, 22 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Greenshank, seven Knot, seven Sandwich and a Common Tern, four Grey Plover, three Wigeon and three Mediterranean Gull.

Elsewhere 25 Sanderling were on the beach, 11 Common Scoter were offshore and 100+ Linnet and at least three Wheatear on site.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Friday 17th September

Two Yellow Wagtail overhead were the pick of the few migrants with five Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and a Willow Warbler. Also onsite 110 Linnet and 80 Goldfinch.

There were no reports from the high tide but 12 Sanderling were on the beach with 55 Great Black-backed Gull, 10 Turnstone and two Sandwich Tern in the estuary.

Wildlife News: Not much change on the insect front  with a couple of Comma the pick of the butterflies, and several Migrant Hawker in and around the edges of the meadows.

Comma - Alan Keatley

Migrant Hawker - Alan Keatley

Phytocoris varipes - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Thursday 16th September

The Spotted Redshank was again in the estuary on an evening visit on the dropping tide, with 331 Redshank, 74 Teal, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Knot, six Greenshank, just five Sandwich Tern, three Whimbrel and two Wigeon. Also on site at least two Wheatear and over 100 Linnet.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Wednesday 15th September

Two Spotted Flycatcher on Warren Point were making the most of the supply of insects around the Sycamores, constantly feeding for at least two hours. Other migrants included 13 Chiffchaff, nine Willow Warbler, five Blackcap and single Wheatear, Whitethroat and Reed Warbler


Spotted Flycatcher - both Alan Keatley

Counts from the estuary included 403
Curlew, 256 Dunlin, 49 Ringed Plover, 37 Great Black-backed Gull, 35 Sanderling, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Sandwich Tern, three Mediterranean Gull, two Knot and a Snipe.

Wildlife News: The Japanese Knotweed by the crazy golf, continues to provide an unexpectedly valuable nectar source. Today several individuals of three species of solitary bee present; Common Yellow-faced Bee Hylaeus communis, Green Lasioglossum morio and Common Furrow Bee Lasioglossum calceatum (both black and red forms). 


Common Furrow Bee - both Alan Keatley

Apart from the bees, drone flies and Helophilus hoverflies are still present in large numbers but other species are now fewer in numbers such as Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea, Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria, White-footed Hoverfly Platycheirus albimanus and Migrant Hoverfly Eupeodes corollae.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Tuesday 14th September

Records today included a Wheatear and 300+ mixed Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderling in the Bight, with 40+ Mute Swan and just five Sandwich Tern in the estuary. Elsewhere a Kingfisher showed well on the Main Pond.

Wheatear - Dean Hall

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Sunday 12th September

WeBS count tallies included 1100 Oystercatcher, 290 Curlew, 290 Redshank, 260 Dunlin, 149 Ringed Plover, 38 Sanderling, 32 Mute Swan, 16 Knot, 11 Greenshank, eight Mediterranean Gull, three Whimbrel and single Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe

Elsewhere nine Swallow and eight House Martin were present pre-roost and migrants included a Whitethroat and the autumn's first Goldcrest.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Saturday 11th September

The Spotted Redshank was still in the estuary with the second winter Little Gull, a Curlew Sandpiper and four Little Tern. The Wryneck made a couple of appearances mid afternoon along the Back Path above Greenland Lake but was generally very elusive. Other migrants included at least three Wheatear and a Reed Warbler

Spotted Redshank with Greenshank - Lee Collins

Wildlife News: A Beautiful Demoiselle was in Dead Dolphin Wood, only the second record since 2010. Elsewhere a Water Vole showed well on the Main Pond, at least a dozen Common Lizard including several juveniles were noted and a Red Underwing was found at roost. Late news however concerns an underwing of a different colour with the site's first Clifden Nonpareil caught during the week, the 705th moth species for the Recording Area.

Red Underwing - Alan Keatley

Friday, 10 September 2021

Friday 10th September

The elusive Wryneck reappeared briefly behind the hide, there remains no general access to this area. Other migrants included over 130 Linnet, 17 Wheatear, two Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler with 22 Swallow and two Swift overhead.

Wryneck - Luke Harman

The two Spoonbill (adult and juvenile) that have been on the Exe since the 19th August flew north up river before returning to Bowling Green. In the estuary the Spotted Redshank remained with counts of 406 Curlew, 300 Dunlin, 93 Ringed Plover, 86 Sandwich, four Little, an Arctic and a Black Tern, 51 Sanderling, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, seven Greenshank, seven Knot, three Mediterranean and the second winter Little Gull.

Spoonbill - Luke Harman

Offshore 286 Common Tern flew south in just 20 minutes early morning with over 500 Common Tern still on site, and these flocks attracted two Arctic Skua.

Sanderling - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: Two Vestal were flushed from the Golf Course. 

Vestal - Luke Harman

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Thursday 9th September

The Spotted Redshank remained in the estuary seen on both tides along with a single Ruff and 292 Redshank. Also in the estuary 50 Teal, 47 Great Black-backed Gull, 41 Bar-tailed Godwit, 29 Knot, 11 Greenshank, seven Turnstone and a Common Sandpiper.

Elsewhere at least 200 Common, a juvenile Little and 98 Sandwich Tern were offshore with a single Balearic Shearwater, the second winter Little Gull, four Mediterranean Gull and a Great Northern Diver.

Wildlife News: At least 20 Silver Y and a Rush Veneer were seen during the day. Moth-trapping was curtailed before midnight due to persistent drizzle with just 34 species recorded. This however included no less than three new species for the Recording Area; Pale Eggar, Centre-barred Sallow and Dusky Thorn. Also recorded a battered Old Lady, a late Jersey Tiger, Archer's Dart, eight Silver Y and, also new for the Warren, the Shore Sexton Beetle Necrodes littoralis.

Centre-barred Sallow - Luke Harman

Pale Eggar - Luke Harman

Dusky Thorn - Luke Harman

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Tuesday 7th September

In the estuary the juvenile Spotted Redshank was still present over the high tide in the Railway Saltmarsh with 320 Redshank, 236 Curlew, 23 Wigeon, 20 Teal, nine Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper, with the Snow Goose again present with 263 Canada Goose


Greenshank - Lee Collins

In the Bight a second winter Little Gull was present on the morning tide only, with the juvenile Little Stint still present with 407 Dunlin, 154 Ringed Plover, 23 Knot, 19 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, two Mediterranean Gull and two Whimbrel.

Little Gull - Lee Collins

Elsewhere a Wryneck seen in flight around the Bight and onto the Golf Course was a surprise arrival with the only other migrants noted two White Wagtail and Wheatearseven Balearic Shearwater were offshore, six Sanderling and a Turnstone were along the beach and the evening tern spectacle continues with 445 Common and 27 Sandwich Tern arriving from presumed feeding grounds out in Lyme Bay to roost in the estuary.

Bar-tailed Godwit - Lee Collins

Monday, 6 September 2021

Monday 6th September

The Little Stint remained over the evening tide with 360+ Dunlin, 230 Redshank, 189 Ringed Plover, 40+ Sanderling, 28 Knot, 17 Wigeon, 16 Bar and three Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Greenshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull

Also this evening two Arctic Skua were harrying upwards of 120 Common Tern offshore with three Wheatear and single Sedge and Willow Warbler noted. 

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Sunday 5th September

An adult Spoonbill was a brief visitor from Exminster Marshes on the morning tide with the first 11 Avocet of the autumn pausing before they settle at the top of the estuary. A Spotted Redshank was however the highlight, only the second site record since 2014, and also 'borrowed' from the north end. 

Spoonbill - Lee Collins

Avocet - Lee Collins

Also in the estuary single Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper, two Ruff556 Dunlin339 Curlew, 298 Redshank267 Ringed Plover, 28 Knot, 27 Sanderling, 19 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, eight Greenshank, five Grey Plover, five Teal, four Mediterranean Gull, four Turnstone, two Wigeon, two Shelduck and with 80+ Canada Goose, the second site record of Snow Goose, the same bird as last year and an Exe Estuary resident. 

Terns remained in high numbers with 447 Common, two Black and an Arctic Tern in the morning with 980 Common and a singe Black Tern returning to roost in the evening.

Elsewhere migrants included single Grasshopper Warbler and Redstart , three Whitethroat, Reed and Willow Warbler, two Sedge Warbler and two Wheatear. Overhead single Tree Pipit, Yellow and Grey Wagtail, 48 Swallow and eight House Martin. Offshore two Balearic Shearwater in the evening and a Tufted Duck south early morning.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Saturday 4th September

The first Little Stint of the autumn was in the Bight over the evening high tide, with 240+ Dunlin, 217 Ringed Plover, 29 Knot, eight Bar-tailed Godwit and a Turnstone. Also in the estuary six Greenshank, three Whimbrel, two Wigeon, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher

Seawatching early morning saw five Balearic Shearwater head south with at least 295 Common Tern, a juvenile Black Tern, 30 Gannet, 30 Kittiwake, 26 Sandwich Tern, five Shelduck (two juvs turning back north), and single Arctic Skua and Red-throated Diver.

Elsewhere two Grey Wagtail, two Meadow Pipit, 56 Swallow and 15 House Martin passed overhead, three Wheatear and two Sedge Warbler were on site and 125 Sandwich Tern were roosting on Bull Hull at low tide.

Wildlife News: A Grayling butterfly was on Warren Point, the first record since 2015 and only the second since at least 1960.

Grayling - Guy Freeman

Friday, 3 September 2021

Friday 3rd September

Seven Balearic Shearwater were lingering the bay early morning with 19 Sandwich and four Common Tern also offshore. Elsewhere 21 Sanderling and nine Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach, a Whitethroat on site and a Grey Wagtail overhead.

Wildlife News: A total of 17 hoverfly species were recorded but the dipteran highlight was an Ectophasia crassipennis, a tachinid fly that parasitises shieldbugs. This species was first recorded in the UK in 2019 and this is the first Warren record. 


Ectophasia crassipennis - both Alan Keatley

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Thursday 2nd September

Terns were again the main feature of the day with at least 280 Common Tern heading out of the estuary early morning, these were counted from Exmouth, interestingly only two flocks totalling 61 were recorded from the seawall. Also offshore before 8am, 46 Balearic Shearwater and a Great Skua flew east.

An evening watch from the seawall saw 466+ Common Tern return to the estuary to roost between 6.30-8pm. At least 150 Common Tern were in the estuary by 5.30pm so even allowing for the hour uncounted over 600 were again present. Also offshore at least three Arctic Tern were picked out amongst the flocks and nine Balearic Shearwater flew east.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Wednesday 1st September

The highlight was a large movement of Common Tern with a minimum of 645 birds counted into the estuary, with them at least seven Arctic and 17 Sandwich Tern. This is only the 3rd year in 45 that there has a count of >500, and is the highest September count since 1961. Interestingly of a sample of 338 birds, 90% were juveniles. 

Also from the seawall, the first Black Tern since Aug 2019 headed east early afternoon, up to nine Balearic Shearwater, two Arctic Skua, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a Great Northern Diver

Elsewhere a juvenile Purple Sandpiper on the beach with 33 Sanderling was a good find and counts from the estuary, on a very low high tide, included 42 Sandwich Tern, 37 Ringed Plover, 21 Knot (20 juveniles) and 19  Black-tailed Godwit all juveniles


Purple Sandpiper - both Lee Collins