Wednesday 31 August 2022

Wednesday 31st August

The juvenile Osprey was again present, but its appearance cleared the Bight of waders with just a few small waders returning to the high tide roost. A hunting female Sparrowhawk added to the nervousness and the year's first Short-eared Owl probably didn't help either. Only the third August record for the Warren

Osprey - Alan Keatley

Counts from the Bight included 60 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, five Sandwich Tern, two Greenshank and a SanderlingA circling White Stork was too high to disturb many waders, it drifted off high towards Mamhead. Presumably a Knepp bird, but Wolverhampton Zoo is also a possible source. 

Greenshank - Dean Hall

Elsewhere the bushes were quiet, 40 Swallow and two House Martin passed through, a Wheatear was on Warren Point, a White Wagtail was on the Golf Course and a Kingfisher paid a brief visit to the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: White-zoned Furrow Bee Lasioglossum leucozonium and Green-eyed Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata are still nectaring on the flowering Common Fleabane and Water-mint, although many of these flowers are starting to die off.

White-zoned Furrow Bee - Alan Keatley

The end of August signals the end of the season for many digger wasp species, however Field Digger Wasp Mellinus arvensis remains active well into autumn. 

Field Digger Wasp - Alan Keatley

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Tuesday 30th August

Counts from the Bight at high tide showed many small waders have moved on with 34 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover, three Turnstone, two Knot and single Sanderling, Sandwich Tern and Black-tailed Godwit present.

In bushes four Willow Warbler with the usual Blackcap and Chiffchaff with 40 Swallow moving through and the regular first year male Kestrel was still present.

Monday 29 August 2022

Monday 29th August

Highlight was a site record count of the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater, with 287 east after first light, between 6.30 - 7.45, along with 60 Gannet, five Common Scoter and two Fulmar. the previous record was 271 on 22 August last year.

A juvenile Osprey was again in the estuary flushing everything from the Bight, it disappeared for a bit but then came back setting everything up again before eventually landing on Finger Point, possibly the first grounded record on site. Its presence meant the Dunlin and Ringed Plover counts were incomplete. 

Osprey - David Flack

Roosting on the Railway Saltmarsh there were 421 Curlew, 305 Redshank, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank, five Whimbrel, two Knot and the Spotted Redshank. Also in the estuary 18 Sandwich Tern, seven Black-tailed Godwit on Bull Hill and two Mediterranean Gull.

Elsewhere three Grey and a Yellow Wagtail were overhead. a Kingfisher was at the Main Pond, and migrants included 13 Chiffchaff, six Blackcap, five Wheatear, three Whitethroat, three Reed, two Willow and a Sedge Warbler.

Wildlife News: A long overdue first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year was in Greenland Lake with over 20 Rush Veneer and a Clouded Yellow also present.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth - David Flack

Sunday 28 August 2022

Sunday 28th August

A good day on site with 80 species recorded even though it was quiet in the bushes and offshore. In the estuary the Spotted Redshank and one Curlew Sandpiper were still present with a juvenile Little Gull in the Bight and an Osprey making an appearance. 

Counts included 910 Black-headed and 11 Mediterranean Gull, 845 Oystercatcher, 359 Curlew, 296 Redshank, 169 Ringed Plover, 133 Dunlin, 37 Sandwich and 13 Common Tern, 19 Sanderling, 11 Bar and 11 Black-tailed Godwit, nine Wigeon, nine Shelduck, five Teal, five Turnstone, five Greenshank, three Whimbrel, three Kingfisher, two Knot and a Common Sandpiper

Also in the estuary the strange sight of an adult Gannet, occasionally diving, before being lost to view north of Powderham. It was later seen circling high over Lympstone before heading high NE inland. 

A pulse of hirundines early morning saw a late Swift head east with 150 Swallow, 25 House and seven Sand Martin, also seven Yellow and three Grey Wagtail. Grounded migrants were limited to five Wheatear and single Reed, Sedge and Willow Warbler with an increase to 85 Goldfinch.

Wildlife News: A Grey Seal was in the estuary and Rush Veneer remain underfoot.

Saturday 27 August 2022

Saturday 27th August

The Spotted Redshank was still present, the third record in the last two years, after six blank years. Also in the estuary three Curlew Sandpiper with counts of 867 Oystercatcher, 392 Curlew, 312 Redshank, 112 Ringed Plover, 87 Dunlin, 34 Mute Swan, 22 Teal, 17 Black and 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Common Tern, six Greenshank, six Mediterranean Gull, four Whimbrel, two Knot, two Wigeon, a Turnstone and a Kingfisher.

Common Gull - Lee Collins

Elsewhere 10 Balearic Shearwater flew east with 30 Gannet, 18 Common Scoter and four Shelduck also offshore, with 17 Sanderling on the beach. Passerine migrants included two Grey Wagtail overhead with a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wheatear, four Whitethroat, three Willow, two Reed and two Sedge Warbler on site.

Wildlife News: A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was on the Golf Course and a few Rush Veneer remain on site.

Friday 26 August 2022

Friday 26th August

Three immature Spoonbill were the highlight seen heading south over the Buffer Zone and out to sea just after 9am. Apart from that little overhead, except for a single flock of 55 House Martin and 40 Swallow. Five Grey Wagtail past Langstone Rock were notable, but returned soon after, so presumably local birds.

Avocet - Lee Collins

A flock of 17 Avocet that were first seen flying north off Mudbank, Exmouth this morning returned to the bottom end on the evening high tide, via a brief stay at Bowling Green Marsh. They circled the Warren and headed high west before returning. A flock of nine birds east offshore soon after were assumed to be part of the original flock, the first record of the year.

Sanderling - Alan Keatley

Also in the estuary single Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank were reported with counts of 136 Dunlin, 118 Ringed Plover, 40+ Sandwich and 10 Common Tern, 34 Mute Swan, 19 Sanderling on the beach, five Mediterranean and three Common Gull, including a smart juvenile, and a Turnstone.

Elsewhere at least five Balearic Shearwater and a dark phase Arctic Skua were offshore, 10 Chiffchaff, three Whitethroat and two Willow Warbler were in the bushes, 90 Linnet were on Warren Point, an immature Yellow Wagtail was around the Bight were 20 Swallow and a Sand Martin fed at high tide. 

Wildlife News: A Hook-barred Spearhorn Chrysotoxum festivum was the 48th hoverfly species recorded on site this year, also recorded for the first time in 2022 was the digger wasp Garden Ectemnius E. cavifrons.

Chrysotoxum festivum - Alan Keatley

Ectemnius cavifrons - Alan Keatley

Also on the wing a Clouded Yellow in Greenland Lake, several Migrant Hawker, Heather Colletes again with Hairy-saddled Colletes and a couple of late Silvery Leafcutter on Common Fleabane.

Clouded Yellow - Alan Keatley

Thursday 25 August 2022

Thursday 25th August

Records from the evening high tide included 78 Dunlin, 63 Ringed Plover, 52 Sandwich and two Common Tern, 22 (15 juv) Sanderling, five Bar and three juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, two Greenshank, two Shoveler on Finger Point, two Peregrine, one on a kill in the Bight and a juvenile Knot.

Wheatear - Lee Collins

Three Whinchat in Greenland Lake, the first of the autumn,  were the pick of the migrants with four Wheatear and single Garden, Willow and Reed Warbler also present. High overhead a juvenile Grey Heron flew in off the sea heading north. 

Wildlife News: Rush Veneer still present in grassy areas but numbers lower than of late. Autumn Ladies Tresses are flowering but in reduced numbers due to the lack of rain. 

Wednesday 24 August 2022

Wednesday 24th August

A juvenile Black Tern, the first of the year, was in the estuary with 50 Common Tern.

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Tuesday 23rd August

Counts from the estuary included 386 Curlew, 147 Ringed Plover, 77 Sandwich and five Common Tern, 41 Mute Swan, 27 Dunlin16 Whimbrel, eight Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, four Meditteranean Gull and two Grey Plover, with 26 Sanderling on the beach.

Mediterranean Gull - Alan Keatley

A Sedge Warbler in Greenland Lake and a Willow Warbler in the Entrance Bushes were the best of the migrants on a quiet day for migrants, with 70 Linnet and a Wheatear on Warren Point.

Wildlife News: A female Heather Colletes C.succinctus was found nectaring on Heather near the Crocus Compound. A new bee for the Recording Area, following likely records on the Golf Course last year and an a pre-1969 unconfirmed NBN record.

Heather Colletes - Alan Keatley

Also recorded today, for the first time in many years, a Wesmael's Digger Wasp Crossocerus wesmaeli.

Wesmael's Digger Wasp - Alan Keatley

There were more hoverflies than of late with a notable influx of Common Twist-tail Sphaerophoria scripta and increase of  Compost Syritta pipiens and Marmaldae Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus. Other hoverflies including Batman Myathropa florea, Hornet Volucella zonaria, Superb Ant-hill Xanthogramma pedissequum and Tiger Helophilus pendulus, along with Pied Plumehorn Volucella pellucens, Glass-winged Syrphus S.vitripennis and three dronefly species.

Butterflies included a fresh Painted Lady and the usual Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Common Blue and Small Copper, although there has been a notable drop off of in numbers of Gatekeeper.

Painted Lady - Alan Keatley

Monday 22 August 2022

Monday 22nd August

Counts from the afternoon tide included 280 Curlew, 86 Ringed Plover, 73 Sandwich and 15 Common Tern, 41 Mute Swan, 38 Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Whimbrel, 14 Dunlin, nine Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, eight Greenshank, six Sanderling, six Mediterranean and a first winter Yellow-legged Gull. Small flocks of waders regularly flew south having circled and gained height as the tide dropped.

Elsewhere a Reed Warbler in Dead Dolphin Wood was the pick of the migrants, but may have only travelled from the Main Pond. 

Wildlife News: Still good numbers of Rush Veneer in the grasslands with another 25+ recorded.

Sunday 21 August 2022

Sunday 21st August

Seawatching early morning saw three Balearic Shearwater and two Pomarine Skua south along with 49 Kittiwake and 13 Common Scoter. During quiet spells distractions were provided by a Common Sandpiper along the sea wall, a Kingfisher on the groynes and a Peregrine on Langstone Rock. 

Counts from the estuary included 386 Curlew, 307 Redshank, 56 Sandwich and 55 Common Tern, 26 Ringed Plover, 16 Sanderling, 12 Bar and eight Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Whimbrel, eight Greenshank, three Mediterranean Gull, a Turnstone and a summer plumaged Knot.

Swallow - Martin Overy

Around the bushes fewer migrants with a single Wheatear, three Whitethroat, two Willow and a Sedge Warbler, with 11 Cirl Bunting also present. Overhead 32 Swallow and Sand Martin.

Wildlife News: At least 25 Rush Veneer were flushed across the site along with three Painted Lady.

Saturday 20 August 2022

Saturday 20th August

Seawatching early morning saw 86 critically endangered Balearic Shearwater and three Storm Petrel south, the latter the first since Oct 2020, with 150 Gannet, 17 Kittiwake, eight Common Scoter, two Common Tern and a Fulmar

There was also movement in the bushes with a Spotted Flycatcher at the Main Pond, seven Willow, two Sedge and singe Reed and Garden Warbler were on site with five Whitethroat and a Wheatear

Counts from the estuary included 875 Oystercatcher, 387 Curlew, 262 Redshank, 85 Sandwich Tern, 44 Mute Swan, 24 Whimbrel, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, nine Mediterranean Gull, eight Greenshank and seven Sanderling.

Wildlife News: Single Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady were reported.

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Tuesday 16th August

A quick morning visit saw 14 Sandwich and two Common Tern offshore with an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere 20 Black-tailed Godwit were on Bull Hill, two Wheatear were on the beach, two Whitethroat were in the Entrance Bushes with a few Chiffchaff and Blackcap, a Sparrowhawk was hunting Linnet in Greenland Lake and a Kingfisher at the Main Pond.

Monday 15 August 2022

Monday 15th August

An autumnal feeling with a welcome change of weather and some resulting migrants. A smart Whinchat was on Warren Point with three Wheatear, elsewhere the bushes contained the usual warblers including three Whitethroat with two Willow and a Reed Warbler.

Little Stint - Alan Keatley

An adult Little Stint had also arrived in the Bight amongst 120 Ringed Plover, 47 Dunlin, 28 Mute Swan, 27 Sanderling, 27 Sandwich Tern, four Mediterranean Gull, two Grey Plover and a Turnstone.

Elsewhere a Kingfisher was at the Main Pond with 40 Swallow through.

Wildlife News: After the grey start insects started to appear as the sun came out, these included the hoverflies; Large Tiger Helophilus trivittatusLesser Hornet Volucella inanisMarmalade Episyrphus balteatus, Superb Ant-hill Xanthogramma pedissequum and Tiger H. pendulus. Also on the wing, Common Eristalis tenax and Small Spotty-eyed Dronefly Eristalinus sepulchralis and Common Paragus P. haemorrhous and Common Twist-tail Sphaerophoria scripta.

Large Tiger Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Dragonflies consisted of just one Common Darter, a couple of Emperor and several Migrant Hawker on the Main Pond, with a Common Sexton Beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides in Greenland Lake.

Common Sexton Beetle - Alan Keatley

Sunday 14 August 2022

Sunday 14th August

Despite the continuing high temperatures the first three Wigeon of the winter made their appearance in the estuary with 13 Black-tailed Godwit and two Grey Plover also new arrivals. 

Other counts from the estuary included 363 Curlew, 92 Sandwich and two Common Tern, 84 Ringed Plover, 68 Dunlin, 44 Whimbrel, 27 Sanderling, nine Mediterranean Gull, seven Greenshank, six Bar-tailed Godwit, four Great Crested Grebe, two Turnstone, two Stock Dove, a Kingfisher and a Common Sandpiper.

Elsewhere a Sedge Warbler was on Warren Point with three Whitethroat and a Song Thrush, with a Coal Tit  in the Entrance Bushes and counts across site of 13 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaff, two Willow and two Reed Warbler. Offshore two distant shearwater sp, a Hobby and a Peregrine

Late news: Whilst mothing, a Nightjar was watched hunting along the railway before heading out across the Golf Course, the 20th site record and earliest autumn sighting. Also at least seven Common Sandpiper present.

Wildlife News: During the day the first Magpie Moth of the year was noted along with an Oak Eggar and several Rush Veneer

Oak Eggar - David Flack

A second Magpie Moth came to light, one of 64 species recorded including the nationally scarce Shore WainscotWaste Grass-veneer Pediasia contaminella and Hook-tipped Grass-veneer Platytes alpinella, migrants included single Spindle Knot-horn Nephopterix angustella and Dark Sword-grass four Turnip and four Diamond-back Moth. Other species included Chamomile Conch Cochylidia implicitana, new to the Recording Area, and twos of Portland Ribbon Wave, now well established, Bordered Pug and Dusky Thorn.

Bordered Pug - Luke Harman

Shore Wainscot - Luke Harman

Saturday 13 August 2022

Saturday 13th August

The full moon has brought the inspected increase in waders with 119 Ringed Plover and 87 Dunlin in the Bight with 951 Oystercatcher, 321 Curlew, 262 Redshank, 45 Sanderling, 44 Whimbrel, 11 Greenshank and nine Bar-tailed Godwit also in the estuary. Also 71 Sandwich Tern, 12 Little Egret, 29 Mute Swan, 11 Mediterranean Gull (six juv, four ad & a 1s) and a juvenile Kittiwake.

Other migrants included a Spotted Flycatcher, 11 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, two Reed Warbler and single Whitethroat, Willow and Sedge Warbler. The later was at the Main Pond where there were also two Grey Heron, a Snipe and a Kingfisher, one of three that have been present recently.

Offshore six Balearic Shearwater flew south with 61 Gannet, 39 Kittiwake, nine Manx Shearwater and eight Common Scoter.

Thursday 11 August 2022

Thursday 11th August

The only news came from the estuary were there was a juvenile Arctic Tern with 60 Sandwich Tern.

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow was in Greenland Lake with other butterflies including Brown Argus on Warren Point, with Green-veined White, Common Blue, Small Copper, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. A Jersey Tiger was by the Amusements.

Clouded Yellow - Alan Keatley

Jersey Tiger - Alan Keatley

A colony of Common Spiny Digger Wasp Oxybelus uniglumis along the Dune Ridge was also hosting the parasitoid Dark-palped Shadow Fly Senotainia conica. They wait for a wasp with prey and lay its egg on the prey before the wasp enters the nest.

Dark-palped Shadow Fly - Alan Keatley

Common Spiny Digger Wasp - Alan Keatley

Other species included Glass-winged Syrphus S.vitripennis and Thick-legged Hoverfly Syritta pipiens amongst the few hoverflies, and Pantaloon Bee were on the wing with the other recent bee species.

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Tuesday 9th August

A juvenile Little Ringed Plover was on the beach with c50 Sanderling and 40 Dunlin.

Ringing News: This week has seen no less than four different species from Ynyslas, all ringed by Mid Wales Ringing Group. Regular species are Sandwich Tern and Dunlin, but single Curlew and Ringed Plover are also present.

Sunday 7 August 2022

Sunday 7th August

Early morning seawatching saw six Balearic Shearwater east at 06:23 (four light and two dark phase), 56 Common Scoter, 25 Kittiwake and a series of single birds; going east, a female Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe and a Mallard; coming in-off Mute Swan, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.

Migrants included a Wheatear in the Bight and a Sedge Warbler on Warren Point with 21 Blackcap, four Whitethroat, four Willow, two Garden and a Reed Warbler.

Counts from the estuary and beach included 722 Oystercatcher, including five new returning Warren ringed birds, 342 Curlew, 98 Sandwich Tern, 89 Ringed Plover, 47 Dunlin, 45 Sanderling, 40 Whimbrel, 16 Mediterranean Gull (nine ad, five juv, a 2s & a 1s), eight Bar-tailed Godwit, five Greenshank and a Turnstone. The oddest sighting of the day was four Great Crested Grebe that flew south down the estuary and over the Golf Course.

Wildlife News: Offshore a single Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (about 6ft in size) leapt clear out of the water (looked to be chasing another smaller fish) early morning. Elsewhere a Golden-ringed Dragonfly was on the Golf Course along with the first Large Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus trivittatus of the year.

Saturday 6 August 2022

Saturday 6th August

Counts from the estuary and beach included 365 Curlew, 265 Redshank, 72 Sandwich Tern, 54 Sanderling, 48 Dunlin, 43 Ringed Plover, 22 Whimbrel, 11 Little Egret, 10 Mediterranean Gull (six ad, two juv, a 2s & a 1s), seven Turnstone, six Bar-tailed Godwit, four Greenshank and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Dark-bellied Brent Goose - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere 15 Gannet and two Common Scoter were offshore with a Sedge Warbler on Warren Point, a Coal Tit in the Entrance Bushes and site counts of 17 Blackcap, 14 Chiffchaff, seven Whitethroat, five Willow and three Reed Warbler.

Willow Warbler - Dean Hall

Friday 5 August 2022

Friday 5th August

The first Bullfinch since January was the surprise highlight in the Entrance Bushes whilst other clear migrants included a Sedge Warbler in Skipper Meadow and a Willow Warbler along the Dune Ridge.

Long-tailed Tit - Dean Hall

Elsewhere a Common Sandpiper was on the beach with 34 Sanderling, 13 Dunlin and seven Ringed Plover.

Wildlife News: Two Painted Lady and a Clouded Yellow were amongst ten butterfly species recorded with good numbers of Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood and Green-veined White, with a single end of season Small Skipper in Greenland Lake.

Emperor - Alan Keatley

Other insects included four Emperor Dragonfly, a Black-tailed Skimmer and a Small Red-eyed Damselfly all away from the Main Pond, the latter allowing a close approach for once,

Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Alan Keatley

Several male Sandpit Blood Bee Sphecodes pellucidus were nectaring in the meadows, also now on the wing male Bronze Furrow Bee Halictus tumulorum, other species included Common Yellow-faced Bee Hylaeus communis plus the regular Coastal and Silvery Leafcutter, Hairy-saddled ColettesCommon Furrow and Green-eyed flower Bee.

Sandpit Blood Bee - Alan Keatley

Second generations of hoverflies are starting to appear with a Stripe-backed Fleckwing Dasysyrphus albostriatus and the first Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax in several weeks. Other species included just one Tiger Helophilus pendulus and a Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria.

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Wednesday 3rd August

Counts from the estuary included 264 Curlew, 57 Sandwich Tern, 30 Dunlin, 28 Sanderling, 21 Mediterranean Gull, 19 Mute Swan and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Elsewhere nine Cirl Bunting and single figures of the regular breeding warblers.

Hairy-saddled Colletes - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The second site record of Small Bee-grabber Thecophora atra was a highlight on Yellow Iris in Entrance Bushes. Solitary bee species this species is looking out for included Hairy-saddled Colettes, Coastal and Silvery Leafcutter, Green-eyed Flower Bee, Black-thighed Epeolus and White-zoned Furrow Bee Lasioglossum leucozonium.

Small Bee-grabber - Alan Keatley

Other insects noted included Shieldbug Digger Wasp Astata boops, the nationally scarce Slender-horned Leatherbug Ceraleptus lividus, a Bishops Mitre nymph and a Hairy Shieldbug.

Hairy Shieldbug - Alan Keatley