Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Tuesday 5th July

Counts from the estuary included 148 Black-headed and 30+ Mediterranean Gull, 32 Redshank, 21 Sandwich (four juvs) and four Common Tern, two Dunlin and two Greenshank

Elsewhere seven Common Sandpiper were on the beach and 50+ Swift were feeding overhead.

Wildlife News: The first Small Red-eyed Damselfly of the year were at the Main Pond, Six-spot Burnet were buzzing around Greenland Lake and 12 species of butterfly were on the wing including Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Comma and Red Admiral.

Monday, 4 July 2022

Monday 4th July

The first three juvenile Sandwich Tern were present with 12 other birds over high tide along with four adult Mediterranean Gull and a Whimbrel. Elsewhere Cirl Bunting still in song in Greenland Lake, six Swift feeding over the Main Pond and 10 Common Scoter offshore.

Sandwich Tern - Dean Hall

Mediterranean Gull - Dean Hall

Saturday, 2 July 2022

Saturday 2nd July

In the estuary an increase to 19 Mediterranean Gull (11 ad, two 2s, five 1s and the first juvenile), also present 12 Sandwich Tern and six Little Egret. Elsewhere 11 Manx Shearwater were offshore and four Swift and two Peregrine were overhead. 

Wildlife News: Marbled White and Ringlet were the pick of the few insects on the wing in overcast and breezy conditions.

Ringing News: A Dunlin ringed here on 8 Oct 2021 and still present on 1 Nov 2021 has been resighted in northern Iceland. A schizni race, which should have been wintering in West Africa. A late migrant, as it was not seen subsequently on site.

Friday, 1 July 2022

Friday 1st July

The year's first Treecreeper, presumably a dispersing juvenile, was by the Main Pond, with a juvenile Green Woodpecker on site and, overhead, 38 Swift

In the estuary 152 Black-headed and 11 Mediterranean Gull (10 ad & a 2s), six Sandwich and a Common Tern and two Greenshank.

Wildlife News: A large number of Common Toadlets were again obvious underfoot, many falling prey to the resident Pheasant. On the Golf Course two new areas for the nationally scare Dodder were located.

Dodder - Kevin Rylands

Despite the breezy and overcast conditions, no less than 10 new species for the Recording Area were discovered including Alder Signal Stathmopoda pedella and the leafmine of Brown Oak Slender Acrocercops brongniardella, leafmines of the flea weevils Orchestes hortorum and O.quercus, the caddisfly Limnephilus lunatus and the leafhopper Typhlocyba quercus.

Alder Signal - Kevin Rylands

Brown Oak Slender - Kevin Rylands

Orchestes quercus - Kevin Rylands

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Thursday 30 June

Counts from the estuary included 184 Curlew, 140 Oystercatcher, 121 Black-headed and eight Mediterranean Gull, 21 Redshank, six Sandwich Tern, four Bar-tailed Godwit, three Common Sandpiper, two Whimbrel and a Greenshank.

Elsewhere a Stock Dove was in the Railway Saltmarsh with 12 Swift, eight Swallow and a Sand Martin overhead.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Tuesday 28th June

A quick morning visit saw 94 Curlew, 89 Black-headed and four Mediterranean Gull in the estuary with single Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel and Greenshank.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Sunday 26th June

Records from the morning high tide included 216 Oystercatcher, 157 Curlew, 82 Black-headed Gull, 11 Redshank, eight Whimbrel, six Sandwich Tern, six Turnstone, four Bar-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank.

Offshore a Great Northern Diver, nine Manx Shearwater and three Mediterranean Gull, an adult and two second summer.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Saturday 25th June

Counts from the estuary continued to reveal the start of return wader passage with 207 Oystercatcher, 168 Curlew, 14 Redshank, four Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, three Dunlin,  two Whimbrel and two Greenshank. Also present 14 Sandwich Tern51 Black-headed and an adult Mediterranean Gull

Offshore 30 Gannet13 Manx Shearwater, two Common Scoter and a Common Tern.

Wildlife News: Morning showers and a blustery south-westerly reduced insect activity, even in the usual sheltered spots. However at least 10 butterfly species were seen battling the elements, including RingletSmall Tortoiseshella couple of fresh Comma and three migrant Painted Lady.

Comma - Alan Keatley

Also on the wing Red-legged Spider-wasp Episyron rufipes, Coastal Leafcutter Bee Megachile maritima and the hoverfly Broad-banded Epistrophe Epistrophe grossulariae.

Broad-banded Epistrophe - Alan Keatley

Red-legged Spider-wasp - Alan Keatley
Elsewhere a Fox was seen on the Golf Course early morning, a Sand Lizard was on the Dune Ridge and an Emperor Dragonfly was defending the Main Pond.

Friday, 24 June 2022

Friday 24th June

Counts from the estuary included 15 Mediterranean and 38 Black-headed Gull, including the first juvenile, 146 Curlew, 14 Redshank, 11 Sandwich Tern and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere 18 Manx Shearwater and a Common Tern were offshore.

Mediterranean Gull - Dave Jewell

Sandwich Tern & Black-headed Gull - Dave Jewell

Ringing News: Although numbers have increased slightly of late, the first returning ringed Oystercatcher was noted today, U3 now with a very worn ring. 

Another returning bird was Sandwich Tern Red KZA. Ringed on passage on Dyfi Estuary, Wales as a juvenile in 2020. It was first seen here between 5-15th July last year. This only the third June recovery for this species and indicates that KZA is probably still a mobile non-breeding immature hence the early date. 

Sandwich Tern KZA - Lee Collins

Wildlife News: A Large Skipper in Greenland Lake was one of the few butterfly species on the wing during breaks in the poor weather.

Large Skipper - Dave Jewell

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Wednesday 22nd June

No news from the high tide but non/failed breeding Curlew number continuing to build up on the Railway Saltmarsh, four Sandwich Tern were also in estuary, and on the reserve breeding activity continues with broods of juvenile Reed Warbler following adults for food, a pair of Stonechat collecting nesting material for a second brood and a couple of Chiffchaff and a Blackcap singing on their territories with a vocal Rock Pipit doing the same on Langstone Rock.

Wildlife News: A hot sunny day with the bees and wasps hyperactive, making any photos and identification difficult. Despite this the first Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes, Hairy-saddled Colletes Colletes fodiens and Slender-bodied Digger Wasp Crabro cribrarius of the year were on the wing. 

Crabro cribrarius - Alan Keatley

A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was also the first of the year and the nationally scarce Golden Keyhole Weevil Sibinia arenariae was at Langstone Rock.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Alan Keatley

Sibinia arenariae - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Tuesday 21st June

A Siskin was in the Alders by the First Pond but there was little else to report on a brief evening visit.

Wildlife News: The first Scarlet Tiger of the year was on the Golf Course along with the first Green-eyed Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata. Despite the poor year for flowering several Sand Crocus seedheads were located.

Sand Crocus - Kevin Rylands

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Sunday 19th June

The Cuckoo was again on Warren Point, with 45 Swift and four Swallow overhead; a Teal was a new arrival offshore along with 16 Sandwich and three Common Tern

Counts from the estuary included 193 Oystercatcher115 Curlew, five Whimbrel, four Redshank, three Bar-tailed Godwit and single Ringed Plover and Greenshank.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Saturday 18th June

The most unexpected sighting was a female Black Redstart at the expected location of the Go-karts early morning, not surprisingly the first June record. This was closely followed by the third Cuckoo of the year on Warren Point.

Black Redstart - Alan Keatley

Counts from the estuary included the first Greenshank of the autumn, 208 Oystercatcher, 98 Curlew, 12 Whimbrel, five Redshank, four Bar-tailed Godwit, two Grey and Ringed Plover, two Dunlin and, in the saltmarsh, two Stock Dove.

Elsewhere 70+ Swift were overhead, at least two broods of Whitethroat are on the wing and offshore 68 Manx Shearwater, 23 Sandwich Tern, six Common Scoter, four Mediterranean Gull and a Great Crested Grebe

Wildlife News: The nationally scarce Silver Spiny Digger Wasp Oxybelus argentatus was on the edge of Dead Dolphin Wood, the first site record for over 30 years. Other natoable hymenoptera on the wing included Coast Leafcutter Megachile maritima and Large Sharp-tailed Bee Coelioxys conoidea.

Silver Spiny Digger Wasp Oxybelus argentatus - Alan Keatley

Ten species of butterfly included the earliest ever Ringlet and the first Gatekeeper of the year along with several Painted Lady. Further signs of migration included large numbers of Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus and several White-clubbed Glasswing Scaeva pyrastri. Other species on the wing included Bumblebee Hoverfly Volucella bombylans, Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea and Broad-banded Epistrophe Epistrophe grossulariae.

Ringlet - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Thursday 16th June

A quiet day birdwise with four Common Tern offshore and the family of four Raven in the Bight the most notable sightings

Wildlife News: A Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Bee Coelioxys inermis was watched investigating holes in the Railway wall between the footbridge and Langstone Rock. The first site record since 2011. This species is a cuckoo of Patchwork Leafcutter Megachile centuncularis.

Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Bee Coelioxys inermis - both Alan Keatley

Other new hymenoptera for the year included another cuckoo bee Black-thighed Epeolus Epeolus variegatus and the Sand-tailed Digger Wasp Cerceris arenaria. Other sightings included 12 Pyramidal Orchid on Warren point, a Golden-tailed Hoverfly Xylota sylvarum in Dead Dolphin Wood and a Marbled White along the railway. 

Pyramidal Orchid - Alan Keatley

Marbled White - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Tuesday 14th June

Counts from the estuary over the evening tide included 146 Oystercatcher, 35 Curlew, 10 Sanderling, six Dunlin, five Grey and three Ringed Plover, five Mediterranean Gull (1 ad, 2 2nd s, 2 1st s), four Sandwich Tern and single Redshank and Whimbrel.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Sunday 12th June

Counts from the estuary included 201 Oystercatcher, 149 Black-headed Gull, 33 Curlew, 16 Turnstone, eight Dunlin, six Whimbrel, the first three returning Redshank, three Mediterranean Gull (two first & a second summer) and single Bar-tailed Godwit and Ringed Plover.

Elsewhere 180 Swift (102 between 7-8am) and 16 Swallow moved through, five Sandwich Tern were offshore and c180 Starling were in the Bight early morning. 

Wildlife News: Eleven species of butterfly were on the wing; Large SkipperMeadow BrownSpeckled WoodHolly Blue, Common BlueSmall Tortoiseshell, Painted LadyPeacock, Green-veined, Small and Large White. Still no sign of any Wall. Also on the wing Cinnabar, Yellow Shell and Straw Dot.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Saturday 11th June

At least 15 Black-headed Gull were around Langstone Rock but no other news was received.

Wildlife News: There was no sign of any Heath Potter Wasp around Langstone Rock but there was plenty of insect activity with the first Marbled White of the year, along with Alexanders Conch Aethes deauranaFork-tailed Flower Bee Anthophora furcata, several Red & Black Squashbug Corizus hyoscyami and Narcissus Fly Merodon equestris and Lesser Hornet Hoverfly Volucella inanis. The collection of garden exotica has increased with Asiatic Lily Lilium longiforum and Oriental Poppy Papaver orientale in bloom, alongside the spreading Russian Vine Fallopia baldschuanica and Hebe sp. 

Asiatic Lily - Alan Keatley

Friday, 10 June 2022

Friday 10th June

The seven Mute Swan cygnets remain on the Main Pond with two Canada Geese goslings, the adults trying to keep a wide berth of each other. Also at the pond Little Grebe, Moorhen and Reed Warbler

Wildlife News: Another nationally scarce insect was the highlight, a male Heath Potter Wasp Eumenes coarctatus near Langstone Rock. The second unexpected site record for this localised heathland species, after one in Aug 2018. 

Heath Potter Wasp - both Alan Keatley

Also on the wing this morning the first Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria of the year and a good number of at least six bumblebee species, including Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus vestalis, nectaring on the opening bramble flowers. 

Marmalade Hoverfly - Dean Hall

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Wednesday 8th June

The continuing midsummer lull saw little in addition to the regular breeding species, but two Common Scoter were offshore and counts from the estuary included 121 Oystercatcher, 11 Sandwich Tern, five Dunlin and single Ringed Plover and Black-headed Gull.

Wildlife News: A busy day with lots of interest and variety. Taking the top honour was the nationally rare Golden-haired Longhorn Leptura aurulenta. A deadwood species, it spends up to four years as a larvae, this is just the third record in the last ten years.

Golden-haired Longhorn (Hornet Beetle) - Alan Keatley

More expected was the nationally scarce Dune Spurge Bug Dicranocephalus agilis, also on Warren Point.

Dune Spurge Bug - Alan Keatley

Other notable sightings included a Giant Dark Horsefly Tabanus sudeticus, the heaviest fly in Europe; a smart male Sand Lizard on Warren Point, the first Small Skipper of the year, three Painted Lady, the migrant hoverfly White-clubbed Glasswing Scaeva pyrastri and a pod of at least 15 Common Dolphin

Sand Lizard - Alan Keatley

Intermediate Shield Wasp Crabro peltarius - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Sunday 5th June

Still some signs of northward wader passage with counts of 73 Dunlin, 28 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone and eight Sanderling from the estuary along with 164 Oystercatcher, 15 Shelduck, 11 Curlew, seven Whimbrel and two Bar-tailed Godwit.

Elsewhere 18 Swift were overhead and a Great Northern Diver was offshore with 10 Manx Shearwater, five Common Scoter, four Sandwich Tern, three Mediterranean Gull and a Great Crested Grebe

Wildlife News: Two Painted Lady, a Silver Y and increased numbers of Marmalade Hoverfly in particular showed continuing migration. At the Main Pond an emergence of Common Toad with a minimum of 440 toadlets counted and a first instar Puss Moth caterpillar was by the car park. 

Puss Moth larvae - Kevin Rylands

Saturday, 4 June 2022

Saturday 4th June

With rain in the channel there was some movement offshore early morning with a Hobby east and two Little Tern the highlights, also recorded a Great Northern Diver, nine Mediterranean Gull (six 1st summer, two 2nd summer and an adult), 16 Gannet, 15 Manx Shearwater, 10 Guillemot, eight Fulmar, four Sandwich Tern and three Common Scoter.

Elsewhere counts from the estuary included 168 Oystercatcher, 36 Dunlin, 17 Turnstone, seven Sanderling, three Ringed and a Grey Plover; 52 Swift, six House Martin, four Swallow and a Rook were overhead, a brief Yellow Wagtail was in the Bight with the first juvenile Pied Wagtail and a family party of Raven on Warren Point.

Wildlife News: A pack of three young Stoat were on the Golf Course and two Silver Y flew in off the sea.

Friday, 3 June 2022

Friday 3rd June

Counts from the estuary included 165 Oystercatcher, 15 Sanderling, 13 Sandwich Tern, 13 Curlew, nine Dunlin, five Whimbrel, four Ringed Plover, two Turnstone and single Bar-tailed Godwit and first summer Mediterranean Gull.

Elsewhere 11 Swift and eight Swallow overhead, a Great Crested Grebe was offshore and the first fledged Blackcap and Greenfinch were on the wing.

Wildlife News: Insect migration continues with five Silver Y seen along with single Red Admiral and Painted Lady.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Thursday 2nd June

Counts from the estuary and beach included 162 Oystercatcher, 46 Sanderling, 18 Dunlin, 14 Shelduck, 10 Curlew, six Whimbrel, four Turnstone, three Ringed Plover, three 1st summer Mediterranean Gull, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Common Tern. The latter have again been very scarce this Spring.

Elsewhere two distant Pomarine Skua flew east early morning, the first brood of Cirl Bunting have fledged and over a late Yellow Wagtail, nine Swallow, two Swift and a Buzzard

Wildlife News: The first Large Skipper of the year was on the with Brown Argus and Meadow Brown, along with Cinnabar and Cream-spot Tiger moths.

Cream-spot Tiger - David Flack

Also on the wing Fairy-ring and Spotted Longhorn, Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee, Thigh-legged Hoverfly Syritta pipiens and Ornate-tailed Digger Wasp Cerceris rybyensis.

Ornate-tailed Digger Wasp - Alan Keatley

Spotted Longhorn - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Tuesday 31st May

The morning high tide saw a welcome late arrival of migrant waders with 85 Sanderling, 76 Dunlin, 38 Ringed and a Grey Plover, six Whimbrel and three Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere just two Sandwich Tern were offshore.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Sunday 29th May

At least 73 Sanderling were feeding on the beach, including a Dutch ringed bird with counts from the estuary including 158 Oystercatcher, 34 Ringed Plover, 27 Dunlin, nine Curlew, nine Whimbrel, three first summer Mediterranean Gull and single Bar-tailed Godwit and Redshank. Highlight of the day was an adult summer-plumaged Continental Black-tailed Godwit which flew over and rapidly gained height as it headed up estuary, if accepted, the first Devon record.

Offshore four Great Northern Diver, 20 Black-headed Gull, 18 Common Scoter and five Sandwich Tern with 23 Canada Geese in off. Elsewhere 14 Swallow and six Swift were overhead with single Wheatear and Willow Warbler on site.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Saturday 28th May

Counts over the morning tide included 173 Oystercatcher, 101 Sanderling, 32 Shelduck, 14 Ringed Plover, 11 Curlew, 10 Dunlin, nine Whimbrel, seven Black-headed Gull and two Bar-tailed Godwit. Offshore seven Common Scoter and six Sandwich Tern.

Away from the estuary most of the action was on the Main Pond with nine Mallard ducklings, seven cygnets, five Moorhen chicks and three Little Grebe chicks.

Wildlife News: Eight species of butterfly, including Painted Lady and six Bumblebee species, including Tree, Garden and Early, were on the wing. Elsewhere two Water Vole were at the Main Pond, a Migrant Field Syrph Eupeodes corollae was by the seawall, a Broad-bodied Chaser was on the Golf Course and a Cream-streaked Ladybird and an Aethes deaurana were in the Buffer Zone. 

Ivy Broomrape - a rare species on site making sporadic appearances around the car park. 

Friday, 27 May 2022

Friday 27th May

Aside from a couple of Gannet offshore and a dozen Swallow overhead it was a day to enjoy breeding species with several family groups of Starling and Stonechat across the site.

Wildlife News: Unlike the birds it was a day of unexpected visitors. First to appear was a Grey Squirrel running around the Go-cart track, luckily it was closed. 

Grey Squirrel - Alan Keatley

Second up was a Greater Bulb Fly Merodon equestris, also near the go-carts, and like the squirrel a visitor from the 'mainland', the first for at least five years.

Great Bulb Fly - Alan Keatley

The last unexpected visitor was a male Red-veined Darter, which came in off the sea near to the exposed geotubes, landed on top of the Marram for a minute and then few inland. More expected new sightings for the year included a Large Pied Hoverfly Volucella pelluscens, Emperor Dragonfly and Silvery Leafcutter Megachile leachella.

Large Pied Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Thursday 26th May

The second Cuckoo of the year was enjoying the abundance of Brown-tail moth caterpillars on Warren Point. This may well be the first autumn migrant, the BTO tracking study has the earliest UK departure date as 3rd June.

Elsewhere 30 Ringed Plover, 18 Dunlin and a Sanderling were in the Bight with three Sandwich Tern offshore and 30 Swallow and a Swift overhead.

Little Grebe - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: A Bordered Straw was nectaring in Greenland Lake with numbers of both Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly on the wing.

Bordered Straw - Dave Jewell

Wasp Beetle - Dave Jewell

Reticulate Blood Bee Sphecodes reticulatus - Alan Keatley

Alder Sawfly Eriocampa ovata - Alan Keatley

Monday, 23 May 2022

Monday 23rd May

Two notable reports today both from observers offsite, during the morning 17 Red Kite flew west over the Recording Area and caravan parks, including a flock of 13 having presumably kettled further east. Early afternoon the first Great White Egret of the year flew along Exmouth beach and into the estuary and Recording Area.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Sunday 22nd May

Counts from the estuary and beach included 145 Oystercatcher, 28 Curlew, 24 Sanderling, 17 Whimbrel, 15 Shelduck, nine Ringed Plover, six Turnstone, five Dunlin and single Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-headed Gull.

Elsewhere three Great Northern Diver, six Sandwich Tern and four Common Scoter were offshore, late migrants included three Wheatear on Warren Point and a singing Willow Warbler in Dead Dolphin Wood with a mobile flock of 31 Long-tailed Tit showing a good breeding season locally. 

Wildlife News: The highlight was the first site record of the day flying moth Mother Shipton in the Back Meadow, with other species seen during the day including Cinnabar, Clouded Border, Common Carpet, Common Marble, Garden Grass-veneer, Straw Dot, Triple-striped Piercer and Yellow Shell.

The fine weather saw the first 10 butterfly species day of 2022; three Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Green-veined and Small White, Orange-tipSmall Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Speckled Wood and three Meadow Brown.

Also on the wing the Warren's first Hairy Yellow-faced Bee Hylaeus hyalinatus, Blue-tailed and Azure
DamselflyGossamer Hoverfly Baccha elongataCommon Red-legged Robberfly Dioctria rufipes and Small Semaphore Fly Rivellia syngenesiae.

Small Semaphore Fly - Kevin Rylands

The first Badger for at least five years has been active in the Skipper Meadow, three Common Shrew were in the Education area and a Sand Lizard was along the Dune Ridge.

Red-headed Cardinal Beetle - Kevin Rylands

Yellow Rattle - Kevin Rylands

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Saturday 21st May

Most waders seem to have passed through but Sanderling are traditionally late and 64 were on the beach with two Turnstone. In the estuary counts included 163 Oystercatcher, 13 Shelduck, 10 Whimbrel, two Ringed Plover and single Mediterranean Gull, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit and Fulmar.

Elsewhere six Great Northern Diver were offshore with nine Sandwich Tern and six Manx Shearwater, two Wheatear were on site, 12 Swallow and two Swift flew threw and another brood of at least seven Mallard duckling will try to avoid the Grey Heron on the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: The first Painted Lady of the year was on the Golf Course along with workers of both Heath and Early Bumblebee. Also new for the year the first Great Green Bush-cricket and Long-winged Conehead nymphs. The garden escape Love-in-a-Mist Nigella damascena was found on the Golf Course, a new species for the Recording Area as was the soldier beetle Rhagonycha lignosa.

Some more images from Thursday night.

Great Prominent - Kevin Rylands

Pebble Hooktip - Kevin Rylands

Marbled Minor agg - Kevin Rylands

Iron Prominent - Kevin Rylands