Tuesday 6 September 2022

Tuesday 6th September

Seawatching at various times during the day saw 17 Balearic and a large Shearwater, probably Cory's, head south with 45 Kittiwake, 12 Common Scoter, two first winter Mediterranean Gull, two Fulmar and a lingering Arctic Skua. Gannet numbers were difficult to estimate with up to 20 birds offshore circling the bay, numbers were much lower in the evening after at least 10 birds were found dead on the shoreline, the eventual fate of the one below. With crows and gulls scavenging the corpses the threat of this deadly poultry strain of Avian Flu grows each day.

Gannet - Alan Keatley

Also offshore 24 Sandwich, three Little and a Common Tern, with birds also visiting the Bight. 

Little Tern - Alan Keatley

In the estuary a group of 12 Curlew Sandpiper included five adults in various stages of moult, with counts of 374 Curlew, 307 Redshank, 186 Ringed Plover, 86 Dunlin, 83 Teal, 56 Great Black-backed Gull, 39 Bar and five Black-tailed Godwit, 26 Shag, 10 Greenshank, six Shelduck, six Knot, four Whimbrel, three Sanderling and single first winter Yellow-legged Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull, Turnstone and Snipe.

Passerine migrants were limited to four Chiffchaff  and in the Entrance Bushes, a single Reed Warbler.

Ringing News: The gathering of Great Black-backed Gull included three familiar birds; Black JT288, a regular Norwegian ringed winterer; White P:87B, a Portland ringed bird that is now only a winter visitor having been seen regularly on site before returning to Portland to breed, it was last seen there two days ago; and White L:AJ6 a Looe ringed bird that was recorded 71 times between Sep 2012 & Nov 2015, but apart from three sightings in Sep-Oct 2019, this was its first return visit.

Wildlife News: The first Ivy Bee Colletes hederae of the year was nectaring on Fennel on the Golf Course with sheltered areas also holding Vestal Cuckoo Bee, Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Common Carder Bee, Batman Hoverfly and the digger wasp Ectemnius cavifrons.

Ectemnius cavifrons - Alan Keatley

A worn second generation Holly Blue was the best of the butterflies with Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Large White also on the wing.

Holly Blue - Alan Keatley

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