Sunday 31 October 2021

Sunday 31st October

The Barred Warbler remained all day attracting a steady stream of admirers, and at times quite obliging. It was watched feeding on small insects, wasps, rosehips, apples and Honeysuckle berries, so had no shortage of food.

Barred Warbler - both Dave Land

Other migrants were thin on the ground in the blustery conditions, with four Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest with 72 Redwing, 16 Skylark and two Stock Dove overhead.

Records from the estuary included a late Little Stint, eight Pintail and six Pale-bellied Brent Geese with counts including 509 Dunlin, 462 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, just one juvenile, 42 Shelduck, 37 Grey and Ringed Plover, 26 Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Greenshank, 10 Great-crested and a Little Grebe, eight Sanderling, three adult Mediterranean Gull, a Knot and a sinensis Cormorant

Offshore a Merlin S early morning with 263 Kittiwake, 80 Gannet, 13 Razorbill, 10 Guillemot and a Great Northern Diver.

Wildlife News: The recent rain has brought out an abundance of fungi, with large numbers of Blackening Waxcap and Cinnamon Navel in Greenland Lake, Blushing Milkcap by the Entrance Bushes and and Brown Birch Bolete by Main Pond show of the more distinctive species. Wood Mouse was sharing an apple tree with the Barred Warbler at one stage, with another hiding under a traffic cone in the Car Park. 

Saturday 30 October 2021

Saturday 30th October

A good late October both for birds and weather once the rain passed through early morning. A total of 80 species were recorded, with the highlight almost the last bird of the day, a Barred Warbler found in the bushes at the eastern end of the Buffer Zone. Other grounded migrants included seven Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, a Blackcap and a Bullfinch. Overhead 2,627 Wood Pigeon, 483 Jackdaw, 188 Starling, 57 Skylark, 54 Chaffinch, 16 Rook, eight Stock Dove, seven Siskin and a late Swallow.

Counts from the estuary included a new 2021 peak of 573 Black-tailed Godwit, 400 Wigeon, 400 Dunlin, 195 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 109 Turnstone, 90 Curlew, 80 Teal, 35 Ringed Plover, 23 Shelduck, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Pintail, eight Greenshank, six Sanderling, six Great-crested Grebe, four Red-breasted Merganser, three Mediterranean Gull, a Little Grebe and a Cattle Egret

Offshore 2022 Kittiwake S between 07:35 and 08:20 with 16 Gannet and five Common Scoter but it was quiet for the rest of the day. Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond and a Jay and a Buzzard were in the bushes. 

Wildlife News: A relative abundance of insects still on the wing with Red Admiral, Large White, Speckled Wood and an unexpected third brood Common Blue, a dozen Common Darter and two Migrant Hawker, an Ivy Bee, and several Buff-tailed Bumblebee and Common Carder Bee. At least 10 hoverflies were also on the wing including Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea and the migrant Common Spotted Field Syrph Eupeodes luniger

Batman Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Apechthis compunctor - Alan Keatley

Friday 29 October 2021

Friday 29th October

An afternoon visit on the dropping tide saw over 3000 birds spread across the mudflats, the majority being 1543 Wigeon but with 371 Black-tailed Godwit still favouring this end of the estuary and a count of 415 Dunlin showing new birds are arriving to overwinter each day. Also present 168 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, still no juveniles, 20 Shelduck, four Red-breasted Merganser, three Sanderling, two Knot and a Kingfisher

Elsewhere a Sandwich Tern was offshore with 40+ Goldfinch in Greenland Lake and four Chiffchaff in the bushes.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was hauled out on the Wreck and the calm, at times sunny, conditions saw Red Admiral and Speckled Wood on the wing along with just a single Ivy Bee

Thursday 28 October 2021

Thursday 28th October

A blustery start with rain increasing through the day, not ideal birding conditions, especially with little offshore. Counts from the estuary included 287 Dunlin, 98 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 43 Ringed and 24 Grey Plover, 31 Great Black-backed and a Mediterranean Gull, 24 Turnstone, 19 Shelduck, three Knot, three Sanderling and two Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere little showing in the bushes due to the conditions but a single Jay, seven Long-tailed Tit and four Chiffchaff were noted with a Grey Wagtail at the Main Pond.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Wednesday 27th October

The highlight was the year's first Short-eared Owl flying around the saltmarsh on the morning tide. Also in the estuary 200+ Black and 59 Bar-tailed Godwit, 42 Ringed and 31 Grey Plover, 40 Turnstone, 25 Great Black-backed and two Mediterranean Gull, 19 Shelduck, 11 Greenshank, six Great-crested Grebe, six Sanderling and a Knot.

Short-eared Owl - Lee Collins

Seawatching during the first hour of light saw 800+ Kittiwake and 200+ Gannet head south along with two Mediterranean Gull and singles of Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated and Great Northern Diver

Ringing News: Eight Dunlin and three Grey Plover from the recent DCWRG catch were recorded, with a Norwegian Great Black-backed Gull back for a fourth winter and a German Ringed Plover back for its third winter.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Tuesday 26th October

Counts from the estuary were hampered by a hunting Peregrine on arrival but once everything had settled down 611 Wigeon, 423 Teal, 81 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 22 Shelduck and a female Pintail were in Shutterton Creek. As the tide dropped wader counts included an exceptional 406 Black-tailed Godwit, 324 Redshank, 290 Dunlin, 79 Curlew, 61 Bar-tailed Godwit and a good count of 20 Greenshank. Also in the estuary a Red-breasted Merganser, five Great-crested Grebe and two Mediterranean Gull.

Movement overhead mid morning suggested earlier vismig had been missed with 88 Jackdaw through in two flocks, along with four Golden Plover and single figures of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Skylark. Elsewhere five Chiffchaff were on site, the Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond with two Water Rail, Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher and offshore seven Common Scoter and a Purple Sandpiper.

Wildlife News: A few hardy Great Green Bush Cricket continue to call at dusk but a male Grey Bush Cricket was unexpected this late in the year. 

Grey Bush-cricket 

Sunday 24 October 2021

Sunday 24th October

The Cetti's Warbler was still at the Main Pond, with two Water Rail, a Kingfisher and a Little Grebe. Six Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest were in the surrounding bushes. 

Wildlife News: Both Migrant Hawker and Common Darter remain on the wing.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Saturday 23rd October

Visible migration overhead was reduced from recent days with small numbers of Woodpigeon, six Rook, four Jackdaw, three Chaffinch, three Redwing and a Merlin. Grounded migrants included 103 Linnet, 23 Greenfinch, six Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest and a Blackcap.

Counts in the estuary over the large high tide included 1052 Oystercatcher, 900 Wigeon, 315 Redshank, 230 Teal, 165 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 120 Turnstone, 106 Dunlin, 55 Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Grey Plover, 20 Shelduck, 19 Greenshank and two Knot

Wildlife News: Largely overcast conditions limited invertebrate activity although Ivy Bee were still active and the soldierfly Twin-spot Centurion were in the Entrance Bushes. 

Twin-spot Centurion - Alan Keatley

Thursday 21 October 2021

Thursday 21st October

A Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond for its third day, only the 12th Warren record, although annual since 2017 in autumn/winter. Also at the Main Pond the first returning Little Grebe and two Kingfisher; elsewhere a Swallow and a Buzzard overhead, the latter perched up in Dead Dolphin Wood where there were three Goldcrest.

In the estuary the first three Red-breasted Merganser of the winter along with eight Greenshank and four Sandwich Tern and three Pale-bellied Brent Goose.

Wildlife News: The flowering Ivy remains a magnet for late insects, with a couple of Noon Fly Mesembrina meridiana amongst the numerous wasps and bluebottles an overdue first for the year. 

Noon Fly - Alan Keatley

Despite the sunshine the sharp drop in temperature means hoverfly numbers are reducing rapidly with Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax the only one still out in any number, with one or two Humming Syrphus Syrphus ribesii, Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus, Common Spotted Field Syrph Eupeodes luniger, Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta, Slender Melanstoma Melanostoma scalare, Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus and White-clubbed Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri.

Butterflies were restricted to a lone Meadow Brown and a couple of Peacock and Red Admiral with remaining dragonflies limited to a few Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and a Southern Hawker.

Southern Hawker - Alan Keatley

Sunday 17 October 2021

Sunday 17th October

No sign of Wryneck this morning 8:30 - 10:30, with seven Chiffchaff, five Blackcap and two Goldcrest in the bushes and overhead14 Skylark, eight Chaffinch, seven Siskin and a Redpoll

In the estuary the wildfowl and a Kingfisher were disturbed by boat traffic to Eels Dock with 113 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, all adults, 41 Ringed and 12 Grey Plover in the Bight along with 71 Great Black-backed and 17 Mediterranean Gull, mostly first winters, 10 Sandwich Tern and four Shelduck

Wildlife News: Singles of Small Copper, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral were on the wing, with at least three Migrant Hawker.

Saturday 16 October 2021

Saturday 16th October

If there was any overhead migration once the fog eventually lifted it was not reported and with just five Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and a Goldcrest it seemed new migrants on site were also absent. However a showy Wryneck between the Golf Course and the Main Pond proved otherwise. The third record this year, and like the others it soon proved elusive. 

Wryneck - doctorv64jr

A look at the estuary on the afternoon tide saw a good count of 1803 Wigeon with a female Pintail and the presumed Wigeon/Pintail hybrid both picked out from the flocks, at least 52 Cattle Egret roosting, split between the Saltmarsh and Wreck, a Kingfisher, and amongst the continuing flocks of feeding gulls, four Sandwich Tern and at least 46 Mediterranean Gull (36 ad, six first winter and four second winter), an exceptional count for this late in the year.

Wildlife News: A fresh Meadow Brown was the highlight wit a few Red Admiral and Speckled Wood still on the wing, along with double figures of both Common Darter and Migrant Hawker.

Common Darter

Friday 15 October 2021

Friday 15th October

Movement overhead was largely limited to Jackdaw with c400 heading W, along with five Stock Dove amongst a light Woodpigeon passage, five Siskin, three Swallow, a single Bullfinch dropped into Dead Dolphin Wood and two Redwing flew high south but turned around and flew back inland when they saw the English Channel in front of them.

Elsewhere 508 Teal and 188 Dark-bellied Brent Goose were in the estuary but a Wigeon count wasn't possible as they were spooked by distance shotgun fire from a Pheasant shoot and flew out to sea. Also offshore 19 Common Scoter, five Sandwich Tern and hundreds of Herring and Black-headed Gull in a noisy feeding frenzy close off Exmouth beach, probably feeding on whitebait. Many of these moved into the estuary at high tide and attracted the attention of three Arctic Skua

Thursday 14 October 2021

Thursday 14th October

A quick afternoon visit saw at least 20 Cattle Egret on the Wreck, large numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Curlew and Redshank in the estuary with counts of 57 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 11 Greenshank and 10 Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere two more Jay flew west.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Wednesday 13th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler remained in Dead Dolphin Wood with seven Chiffchaff and two Blackcap still on site. New migrants were only overhead with counts of 856 Jackdaw, 217 Woodpigeon, 120 Goldfinch, 52 Meadow Pipit , 31 Pied Wagtail, 23 Skylark, 11 Siskin, 10 Rook, eight Chaffinch, five Lesser Redpoll, three Swallow and a Golden Plover.

Kestrel - Alan Keatley

Records from the estuary included a Little Gull and 48 Cattle Egret, with counts of 575 Wigeon, 450 Teal, 430 Black-headed and 12 Mediterranean Gull, 309 Redshank, 271 Curlew, 61 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Ringed Plover, 10 Greenshank, seven Shelduck and two Knot.

Cattle Egret on the Wreck - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Good numbers of Ivy Bee remain on the wing along with a single Furry-claspered Furrow Bee Lasioglossum lativentre.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Tuesday 12th October

Records from the estuary included 52 Cattle Egret and the return of the Spotted Redshank, with counts including 632 Wigeon, 472 Teal, 293 Redshank, 73 Bar and Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Turnstone, 31 Sandwich Tern, seven Greenshank, four Pale- bellied Brent Geese and two Knot.

Elsewhere the Yellow-browed Warbler remained in Dead Dolphin Wood with 10 Chiffchaff and six Stonechat on site. 

Monday 11 October 2021

Monday 11th October

The Yellow-browed Warbler remained in Dead Dolphin Wood and four Egyptian Geese flew in off the sea but no other news was received. 


Sunday 10 October 2021

Sunday 10th October

Another excellent day on site with the Yellow-browed Warbler still present in Dead Dolphin Wood, the Cattle Egret count increasing to a site and Devon record 57 and new arrivals including a Great White Egret that flew east over Warren Point and continued over Exmouth and the first Dartford Warbler since 2016 also on Warren Point.

Selected WeBS counts included 855 Wigeon, 426 Teal, 355 Redshank, 44 Mute Swan, 11 Sandwich Tern, eight Greenshank, six Snipe, two Great-crested Grebe and a Kingfisher. A second Kingfisher was at Langstone Rock where a Purple Sandpiper flew past with a small group of Turnstone

Wildlife News: The calm conditions and low spring tide were ideal for a spot of rockpooling at Langstone Rock, with species to be found including Snakelocks, Strawberry and Beadlet Anemone, Brown Shrimp, Montagu's Furrowed Crab, a dead Spider Crab, several Common Blenny, the sponges Hymeniacidon perlevis and Halichondria panicea and the marine midge Clunio marinus. This species emerges on low tides and only survives as an adult between the tide cycles.

Saturday 9 October 2021

Saturday 9th October

Two stand out highlights found at opposite ends of the day, a Turtle Dove that flew west over Warren Point towards Exmouth at 9.30 and a vocal Yellow-browed Warbler in Dead Dolphin Wood at 16.30. There have been twice as many of the latter on site (16) than Turtle Dove (8) in the last 10 years.

Migrants during an afternoon visit included a late Whinchat, two Wheatear and at least 12 Stonechat with a Jay by the Main Pond presumably the temporary resident rather than one of yesterday migrants. In the estuary 10 Cattle Egret were on The Wreck mid afternoon, presumably having moved from fields north of Cockwood where over 50 have been present.  Wildfowl counts at low tide of 480 Teal, 100 Wigeon and 56 Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Elsewhere 11 Common Scoter and at least four Sandwich Tern were offshore.

Wildlife News: Over 40 Rusty-dot Pearl flushed from grassland areas during the afternoon was further evidence of migration. New species discovered today included Twin-spot Centurion Sargus bipunctatus and the uncommon barkfly Amphigerontia bifasciataHarlequin Ladybird have emerged in recent days with many searching out aphids on the Sycamores, whilst two Rosemary Beetle and several larvae were found. 

Friday 8 October 2021

Friday 8th October

Once again it was a familiar species that was the highlight was a site record 62 Jay recorded over the Recording Area, with another 90 passing off site. The previous site record was 47 on 21 Oct 1983. The main movement was N/NE north with a few SW , all in loose flocks, largest 29 and 27 both NE and then over estuary, all other flocks between 2 and 15. The first was at 9:30 with most between 10:00 and 10: 30, total movement 152. 

Other movement was limited with 28 Meadow Pipit, 17 Pied and three Grey Wagtail, five Swallow, five Rook and two Jackdaw, mostly NE. Grounded migrants included 30 Meadow Pipit, 14 Chiffchaff , four Blackcap, a Goldcrest and a Wheatear with 164 Goldfinch, 60 Linnet, 17 Greenfinch, 14 Long-tailed, 12 Blue and eight Great Tit also on site.

Attention in the estuary was focussed on a successful cannon-netting session with the Devon and Cornwall Wader Ringing Group, with c40 Oystercatcher, 20 Dunlin and four Grey Plover colour-ringed, please look out for them on the estuary.

Oystercatcher - This bird got a set of new rings today, replacing those first added at the Warren in Sep 1989!
Counts made included 56 Ringed Plover, 54 Bar-tailed Godwit, including a Norwegian ringed bird, 45 Mute Swan, 38 Sandwich Tern, 19 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 12 Mediterranean Gull, 10 Sanderling, three Pintail and a Whimbrel.

Wildlife News: The recent rain has brought out good numbers of fungi including the first Parasol Mushroom of the year along with Honey Fungus, various puffballs and Dune Conecap Conocybe dunensis. The cloudy conditions kept insects at a premium but a few Red Admiral and Ivy Bee were on the wing along with a single Meadow Eupeodes Eupeodes latifasciatus

Thursday 7 October 2021

Thursday 7th October

The day's highlight was expected, considering the numbers elsewhere, as 21 Jay, including a flock of 19 at 10.05, flew high west. This is the highest count since the 1983 influx, with only one double-fig count in the interim, 12 on 02/05/2013. Other migrants overhead included 30 Meadow Pipit, 13 Swallow, 11 House Martin, five Rook and two Jackdaw. On site there were seven Chiffchaff and two Blackcap with 80 Goldfinch and 40 Linnet.

There were few counts from the estuary but 20 Grey Plover, 14 Sandwich Tern, 10 Sanderling, three Mediterranean Gull and a Black-tailed Godwit were present.

Wildlife News: Although the Ivy is now out on flower there were very few Ivy Bee on the wing, hopefully they haven't emerged too much out of sync with their main nectar source. 

Ivy Bee - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Wednesday 6th October

Counts in the estuary on the dropping tide included 55 Dark and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese30+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Grey Plover and nine Sanderling. Elsewhere on site two Wheatear, 120+ Linnet, 30 Meadow Pipit and 18 Skylark.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Tuesday 5th October

The highlight on an otherwise typical October day was a pulse of 450+ House Martin heading south in just a 15 minute spell mid morning, a single Wheatear was the only other migrant reported.

Counts from the estuary included 860 Wigeon, 260 Curlew, 107 Dunlin, 35 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 27 Great Black-backed Gull, 24 Mute Swan and a Great-crested Grebe.

Sunday 3 October 2021

Sunday 3rd October

The Spotted Redshank returned to the estuary corner on the morning tide with counts including 775 Wigeon, 394 Teal, 348 Redshank, 143 Dunlin, 41 Ringed Plover, 35 Bar and eight Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Turnstone, 12 Greenshank, eight Grey Plover, eight Mediterranean Gull, seven Knot, five Dark-bellied Brent Geese, four Sandwich Tern, two Great-crested Grebe and a Whimbrel. A Bar-headed Goose was today's exotic with the Canada Geese.

Migrants on site included 14 Chiffchaff, eight Blackcap, two Goldcrest, a Wheatear and a Jay, whilst overhead there were 117 Meadow Pipit, 52 Swallow, a Grey Wagtail and the first Golden Plover of the autumn.

Wildlife News: The second Rosemary Beetle for the Recording Area was on planted Rosemary near the Crazy Golf. At least 25 Marsh Helleborine are still in flower but the Autumn Ladys-tresses are now mostly over. The majority of the Ivy is still not in flower so Ivy Bee remain scarce/difficult to find but a late Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria was amongst the regular late fly species. 

Rosemary Beetle

Saturday 2 October 2021

Saturday 2nd October

Seawatching was busy first thing but numbers dropped after 9,30 however a seven hour watch tallied a site record 1439 Kittiwake south (1127 in the first hour), the first Sooty Shearwater of the year, a Grey Phalarope, five Balearic and a Manx Shearwater, 1250 Black-headed Gull, 170 Gannet, 31 Sandwich Tern, 30 Mediterranean Gull, 12 Arctic and a Pomarine Skua, 18 Guillemot, 18 Common Gull, 14 Lesser Black-Backed Gull, nine Common Scoter, three Razorbill, two Grey Plover and single Great Northern and Red-throated Diver.

Counts from the estuary included 978 Wigeon, 273 Redshank, 200 Teal, 168 Dunlin, 97 Great Black-backed Gull, 52 Turnstone, 49 Mute Swan, 46 Ringed Plover, 19 Sandwich Tern, 19 Dark-bellied and a Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 14 Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Greenshank, 10 Mediterranean Gull, three Knot, two Kingfisher, the Snow Goose with 206 Canada Goose, a Whimbrel and a Great-crested Grebe.

Elsewhere at least eight Chiffchaff, two Blackcap, a Reed Warbler and a Wheatear were on the Golf Course and overhead 28 Swallow, 42 House and three Sand Martin.

Wildlife News: A couple of foot high Sunflower were discovered on Finger Point.

Friday 1 October 2021

Friday 1st October

A break in the weather revealed a fall of migrants, but variety was limited, a good count of 28 Chiffchaff, four Blackcap and a Goldcrest on site. The latter was in roaming flock of 12 Long-tailed Tit and 18 Chiffchaff

Counts from the estuary included 303 Curlew, 72 Brent Goose, 58 Turnstone, 57 Great Black-backed Gull, seven Greenshank, two Great-crested Grebe, two Grey Plover, two Mediterranean Gull and single Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel and Kingfisher.

Wildlife News: With the seasons changing fewer insects were on the wing despite the weather. The majority of the remaining hoverflies were Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax, with just a few Stripe-faced Dronefly Eristalis nemorum, Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta and Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus, a couple of Thick-legged Hoverfly Syritta pipiens and Humming Syrphus Syrphus ribesii. However the highlight were the first Meadow Field Syrph Eupeodes latifasciatus of the year with two on the Ivy, probably migrants given the late date.

Eupeodes latifasciatus - Alan Keatley

No obvious butterfly migration with a Comma and several Red Admiral content to nectar on Ivy instead of moving through.

The few umbellifers still in flower also hosted a few insects including a late digger wasp Ectemnius continuus.

Ectemnius continuus - Alan Keatley