Wednesday 30 November 2022

Wednesday 30th November

A pleasant day with both bird and insect interest. A smart male Eider was in the estuary, with good numbers of waders at roosts around the Bight, although many Oystercatcher are currently preferring to roost on the estuary wall north of Cockwood. Counts included 1200 Dunlin, 140 Grey and 44 Ringed Plover, 135 Bar-tailed Godwit, 95 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 56 Knot, 55 Turnstone, 40 Shelduck and 21 Sanderling.

Eider - Alan Keatley

The usual mix of species in the bushes with four Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest with the Cetti's Warbler at the Main Pond where a drake Shoveler has hopefully returned for the winter. Offshore a flock of five Red-throated Diver and 28 Common Scoter flew south early morning with a female Pintail offshore with a small flock of five Great Crested Grebe.

Wildlife News: Insects on the wing included a Slender Melanostoma M. scalare and two Opomyzid flies: Geomyza subnigra and G. tripunctata.

Slender Melanostoma - Alan Keatley

Geomyza subnigra - Alan Keatley

Geomyza tripunctata - Alan Keatley

Sunday 27 November 2022

Sunday 27th November

The calm weather revealed the continuing presence of the wintering warblers, namely a Dartford Warbler on the Golf Course and the two Cetti's Warbler one at the Main Pond and one roaming, today it was in the Buffer Zone. Also in the bushes, a Siberian Chiffchaff and a Blackcap  along with a few Song Thrush were new in, with a Firecrest, six Goldcrest, two Bullfinch, a Chiffchaff and a Siskin, with four others overhead. 

Elsewhere the Spotted Redshank and 10 Cattle Egret were in the estuary with counts including 422 Wigeon, 131 Curlew, 104 Bar-tailed Godwit, 38 Teal and four Greenshank; three Great Northern Diver, two Common Scoter and a Mediterranean Gull were offshore and a year's high 43 Mallard roosted on the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: A Devon Fungus Group foray turned up at least 60 species including Poisonpie Hebeloma crustuliniforme, Bark Bonnet Mycena speirea, Smoked Oysterling Resupinatus applicatusGirdled Knight Tricholoma cingulatum, Parrot Waxcap Gliophorus psittacinus and Tawny Funnel Lepista flaccida

Tawny Funnel

Dasyscyphella nivea - Alan Keatley

Saturday 26 November 2022

Saturday 26th November

Seawatching was rewarding either end of an overcast and windy day, with heavy rain coming in late afternoon. Combined totals included 629 Kittiwake (a rough 50/50 split), 250 auk sp and 154 Gannet (both mostly am), with eight Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver, four (1 & 3) late Manx and a Balearic Shearwater (pm), an adult Little Gull and a juv Arctic Skua (both pm).

Sanderling - Alan Keatley

Over the high tide a lone, vocal Barnacle Goose was in the estuary with counts including 480 Wigeon, 219 Dark-bellied and a Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 178 Black-headed, 65 Common, nine Lesser Black-backed and three Mediterranean Gull, 125 Grey and 25 Ringed Plover, 98 Redshank, 90 Bar-tailed Godwit, 72 Teal, 69 Turnstone, 48 Knot, 10 Sanderling, four Greenshank and four Red-breasted Merganser.

Turnstone - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere a Mistle Thrush flew over, a Jack Snipe was in Greenland Lake, a Cetti's Warbler was at the Main Pond, 21 Long-tailed Tit emerged from their roost, with five Goldcrest, three Chiffchaff and a Firecrest in the bushes. 

Friday 25 November 2022

Friday 25th November

A single Storm Petrel and a Great Northern Diver flew south first thing but it was otherwise quiet offshore. Counts from the estuary included 646 Wigeon, 345 Dark-bellied and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 173 Snipe, 83 Grey and Ringed Plover, 19 Sanderling and 10 Greenshank.

Knot - Lee Collins

Thursday 24 November 2022

Thursday 24th November

Attention over the early morning high tide was focussed on legs rather than counts with 12 colour-ringed Dunlin present, along with several of the 200+ Oystercatcher previously recorded this autumn. The regular wader and wildfowl species were all present with a first winter Caspian Gull amongst the Great Black-backed Gull on Finger Point, and two adult Mediterranean Gull amongst 68 Common Gull in the estuary. The Caspian Gull was only the 15th site record, but the eighth this year.

After the tide dropped attention turned to the sea around 10.30; in a hour from the seawall 120+ Kittiwake flew south along with a fem/imm Eider, a Red-throated Diver and an Arctic Skua. The highlight however was the first Leach's Petrel since Oct 2017, lingering offshore for at least 20 minutes. 

Another watch from the seawall between 3 - 4pm saw very few birds moving with just a handful of Kittiwake and Gannet, mostly at distance, but a few storm driven birds were either lingering or making their way slowly south, the highlight was a Grey Phalarope that appeared from the estuary mouth and moved across the bay over the course of 5-10 minutes, regularly pitching on the sea, also five adult Little Gull, four lingering briefly and two Storm Petrel, only the seventh record in the last four years. Much rarer than Leach's at this time of the year, only the third November record for the Warren.

Wildlife News: A single Thorn-apple was discovered growing on the edge of the Buffer Zone, only the third Recording Area record after appearances in 1994 and 2006. 

Thorn-apple - Kevin Rylands

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Tuesday 22nd November

Counts over the high tide were prevented due to a persistent kayaker who ignored the exclusion zone buoys and managed to illegally flush all the wildfowl and two of the three wader roosts, only Finger Point was spared. The final species to flush were Snipe with at least 90 coming out of the saltmarsh. 

No wildfowl returned to roost but 224 Dark-bellied Brent Geese arrived from Starcross, including the leucistic juvenile. Also roosting six Great Crested Grebe, 170 Black-headed, 48 Common and two adult Mediterranean Gull.

Elsewhere two Water Rail, a Kingfisher and a Little Grebe were at the Main Pond, the bushes were quiet with just three Goldcrest and two Chiffchaff, two Buzzard flew west and 45 Gannet were offshore.

Little Grebe (& Roach) - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Despite the sunny spells very few insects were on the wing with some Common Wasp, Yellow Dung-fly and a Marmalade Hoverfly the sum total. A Feathered Thorn was by clubhouse security light with the tenth Devon record of the non-native harvestman Opilio canestrinii nearby, the same wall as the fifth record two years ago. 

Opilio canestrinii - Kevin Rylands

Sunday 20 November 2022

Sunday 20th November

The only news received today came from the monthly WeBS count in the estuary, the highlight were 2810 Dunlin, the highest count for several years, clearly a large overnight arrival, 1773 Oystercatcher were also the highest numbers this year. 

Other counts included 650 Wigeon, 228 Dark-bellied Brent Geese (19 juvs), 147 Redshank, 108 Teal, 78 Shelduck, 75 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Grey and 22 Ringed Plover, 40 Knot, 21 Cattle Egret, 15 Sanderling, 10 Greenshank, the Spotted Redshank and a lone Red-breasted Merganser.

Ringed Plover - Lee Collins

Saturday 19 November 2022

Saturday 19th November

A late start meant any Woodpigeon movement overhead went unreported with just 380 W after 9.15am, blue skies kept passerines high but at least 20 Skylark, 15 Chaffinch, two Redpoll and a Siskin also went through, with 70 Linnet, 25 Greenfinch and two Bullfinch also on site. Around the bushes six Chiffchaff and three Goldcrest with five Water Rail, singing Little Grebe, a Kingfisher and a Cetti's Warbler at the Main Pond.

Counts over the afternoon high tide included 1450 Dunlin, with at least six new colour-ringed arrivals, 829 Wigeon, 248 Dark-bellied and three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 155 Teal, 67 Bar-tailed Godwit, 62 Great Black-backed Gull, 55+ Turnstone, 54 Grey and 39 Ringed Plover, 28 Knot, 10 Sanderling, seven Greenshank and singles of Cattle Egret, Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher, Red-breasted Merganser, Pintail and Lapwing, the latter only the fourth record this year. 

Pintail - Lee Collins

Despite the flat sea very little to be seen offshore with just two Eider off Exmouth and at least 31 Common Scoter in the bay.

Wildlife News: Three Grey Seal in the estuary, with the male's 'song' carrying across the water. 

Thursday 17 November 2022

Thursday 17th November

The first hour of light saw 1800 Woodpigeon head west, along with a single Mistle Thrush, whilst 70 Goldfinch and 42 Greenfinch were on site. The Fieldfare was still in the Entrance Bushes with four Chiffchaff and three Goldcrest.

Elsewhere a female Pintail and a Red-breasted Merganser were in the estuary with two Eider and two Great Northern Diver offshore, one in partial summer plumage.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Wednesday 16th November

A visit over the morning tide saw counts of 1100 Dunlin, 610 Wigeon, 223 Brent Geese, 146 Redshank, 66 Bar-tailed Godwit, 46 Shelduck, 43 Ringed and 41 Grey Plover, 10 Greenshank, eight Sanderling and three Red-breasted Merganser from the estuary.

Elsewhere four Chiffchaff, single Fieldfare and a male Blackcap were in the bushes.

Wildlife News: Very few insects on the wing but a Diamond-back Moth showed some migrants are still present. 

Diamond-back - Alan Keatley

Sunday 13 November 2022

Sunday 13th November

Despite the abundance of cloud locally, once again the Warren was blessed/cursed with blue skies. Early morning 4,360 Woodpigeon headed west with at least 23 Stock Dove able to be counted amongst them, other passage was limited with 10 Chaffinch, two Fieldfare, two Jackdaw and single Rook, Buzzard and Lesser Redpoll.

Counts from the estuary included 1003 Dunlin, 593 Wigeon, 313 Brent Geese, 246 Redshank, 209 Curlew, 186 Teal, 66 Grey, seven Ringed and three Golden Plover, 60 Turnstone, 50 Black and 31 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Greenshank, seven Knot, four Sanderling, three Red-breasted Merganser and a first winter Mediterranean Gull.

Elsewhere the Yellow-browed Warbler was still present but was heard only, with the Siberian Chiffchaff, seven Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, the two Cetti's Warbler and a Blackcap also around the bushes. At least four Water Rail were at the Main Pond with a Kingfisher and 1050 Starling leaving the roost, a Dartford Warbler was on the Golf Course, 12 Cirl Bunting were on site and two Red-throated Diver were offshore. 

Wildlife News: A Feathered Thorn around security lights on the Golf Course was the 2,000th species to be recorded on the Warren this year. Two Grey Seal were in the estuary, with a Hornet and a Common Darter on the wing. Turning over logs was productive with two new species for the Recording Area, the Winter Semi-slug Vitrina pellucida and the globular springtail Dicyrtomina minuta.

Dicyrtomina minuta (above) & D. fusca - Kevin Rylands

Winter Semi-slug - Kevin Rylands

Saturday 12 November 2022

Saturday 12th November

The elusive Yellow-browed Warbler was in Dead Dolphin Wood briefly with a Siberian Chiffchaff, two Cetti's Warbler, 14 Long-tailed Tit, eight Chiffchaff, seven Goldcrest, four Water Rail and a Redwing around the Main Pond. Also on site the Dartford Warbler on the Golf Course with five Redwing and a Siskin overhead and a Merlin through. 

Counts from the estuary included 965 Dunlin, 903 Oystercatcher, 528 Wigeon262 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 200 Redshank, 166 Teal, 157 Curlew, 110 Black and 60 Bar-tailed Godwit, 94 Turnstone, 57 Grey and 11 Ringed Plover, 14 Sanderling, 10 Greenshank, three Shoveler and three Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere five Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore with 70 Gannet, 53 Kittiwake and five Common Scoter.

Wildlife News: Evidence of insect migration with the first Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus for several weeks. A couple of Common Darter were at the Main Pond and a Common Seal was in the estuary. Turning over tideline debris revealed a new beetle for the Recording Area, Harpalus latus, a common ground beetle of sand dunes.

Harpalus latus - Alan Keatley

Friday 11 November 2022

Friday 11th November

First light saw some passage off the seawall with a Pomarine Skua south along with four Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver

Over high tide a third year and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were on Finger Point, with counts of 70 Common Gull, 48 Bar and 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 38 Grey and 21 Ringed Plover and 10 Knot.

Thursday 10 November 2022

Thursday 10th November

Counts from the estuary included 561 Wigeon, 370 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 208 Redshank, 205 Black-tailed Godwit, 160 Black-headed, 42 Common and two Mediterranean Gull, 72 Turnstone, 50 Shelduck, 31 Teal, eight Knot and six Greenshank.

Elsewhere two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore, a flock of 110 Woodpigeon and eight Stock Dove flew W and a Siberian Chiffchaff was by the Main Pond.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Wednesday 9th November

A calm, warm day after the recent storms, which have further reduced the beach levels, even causing Groyne 17 on Warren Point to break away. The lack of wind saw little passing offshore with two Arctic Skua and a Red-throated Diver south before the sun restricted viewing.

The clear weather saw some movement overhead with 6,370 Woodpigeon, 38 Jackdaw, nine Siskin, five Fieldfare, four Redwing, two Mistle Thrush, two Rook, two Lesser Redpoll and the first Yellowhammer of the year.

Counts from estuary included 1000+ Dunlin, 771 Wigeon, 373 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 170 Black-tailed Godwit, 107 Turnstone, 42 Shelduck, five Great Crested and a Little Grebe, 12 Greenshank, two Kingfisher and singles of Egyptian Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank and Mediterranean Gull.

Elsewhere a Jack Snipe was in Greenland Lake, five Water Rail, two Cetti's Warbler, a Kingfisher and a singing Little Grebe were at the Main Pond with eight Goldcrest and six Chiffchaff.

Wildlife News: The exceptionally warm weather encouraged a Southern Hawker and six Common Darter on the wing, together with three Red Admiral

Southern Hawker - Alan Keatley

Several Honey Bee and Buff-tailed Bumblebee are still active on ornamental shrubs with a couple of Humming Syrphus S.ribesii hoverflies.

A Hairy Shieldbug was in the Skipper Meadow and the first Turtle Shieldbug Podops inuncta since May 1984 was on the Golf Course.

Turtle Shieldbug - Alan Keatley

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Tuesday 8th November

A quick look from the seawall late afternoon saw 228 Kittiwake head south in just 40 minutes but little else with single figures of Gannet and Razorbill also passing.

At the Main Pond a Cetti's Warbler, 500+ Starling to roost, a Sparrowhawk and two Reed Bunting

Monday 7 November 2022

Monday 7th November

The Yellow-browed Warbler and a Firecrest were around the Main Pond but no other news was received.

Sunday 6 November 2022

Sunday 6th November

Another largely grey and wet day but bookmarked with dry periods. Much attention was focussed around the Main Pond where a Penduline Tit flew in from the north calling, dropping straight into the reedbed just after 9am, unfortunately it was not seen for the rest of the day.

Also around the Main Pond and adjacent scrub, a Siberian Chiffchaff, the two Cetti's Warbler, six Goldcrest, five Chiffchaff, four Water Rail, two Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Reed Bunting, single Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk and Kingfisher, and a roost of 590 Starling at dusk.

Counts from the estuary included 986 Wigeon, 650 Dunlin, 523 Black and 47 Bar-tailed Godwit, 352 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 180 Redshank, 114 Teal, 102 Turnstone, 45 Shelduck, 41 Grey Plover, 11 Greenshank, seven Knot, seven Sanderling and a Kingfisher.

Elsewhere 10 Skylark, four Redwing, four Siskin and a Lesser Redpoll were overhead and offshore 182 Gannet, 31 Kittiwake, three Red-breasted Merganser, three Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver.

Wildlife News: A Common Darter was in Greenland Lake.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Saturday 5th November

A grey and often wet day, with little movement offshore or overhead, but still over 80 species were recorded. The Yellow-browed Warbler remained elusive around the Main Pond and Dead Dolphin Wood with the Willow Warbler still present as well as the two Cetti's Warbler, six Goldcrest and four Chiffchaff

Also on site a Short-Eared Owl on Warren Point, 45 Greenfinch and a Grey Wagtail, and at the Main Pond, two Water Rail, a Kingfisher, the first returning Little Grebe and a Wigeon. Overhead two each of Redwing and Siskin.

Offshore little movement but five Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver56 Kittiwake, 39 Gannet and 10 Common Scoter were mobile around the bay.

Counts from the estuary included 1485 Wigeon, 771 Dunlin362 Dark-bellied Brent Geese229 Redshank173 Curlew, 121 Great Black-backed Gull95 Black and 55 Bar-tailed Godwit, 50 Grey Plover49 Shelduck, 35 Turnstone17 Greenshank, eight Knot and four Red-breasted Merganser.

Wildlife News: Six Common Dolphin were close inshore early morning with a single distant Bottle-nosed Dolphin. Two late Migrant Hawker were around Greenland Lake. 

Friday 4 November 2022

Friday 4th November

Another excellent day in the field with over 80 species recorded, the only downside the lack of cloud cover meaning most passerine migrants no doubt passed high overhead unheard and unseen. The clear skies did however mean pigeons were on the move, with at least 34,500 Woodpigeon over west during the day, with most (27,000) before 9am. The vast majority headed across the bay with distant dense flocks and lines looking like wisps of smoke with the naked eye.

Also overhead two Marsh Harrier, a 1st yr male at 8.30 and a 3rd yr male at 9.10, continuing the record year for the species, 300 Starling, 70 Skylark, 20 Chaffinch, 15 Rook, nine Jackdaw, five Lapwing, four Mistle Thrush, four Lesser Redpoll, two Siskin and single Golden Plover, Buzzard, Fieldfare and Redwing

In the bushes, the Yellow-browed and Willow Warbler remained around the Main Pond, the former remaining very elusive, two Cetti's Warbler and a Kingfisher also there, a Wheatear on the beach and 75 Linnet in the Bight.

Counts from the estuary included 570 Dunlin, 252 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 214 Redshank, 118 Teal, 110 Curlew, 47 Shelduck, 39 Ringed and 23 Grey Plover, 31 Bar and four Black-tailed Godwit, 28 Cattle Egret, 10 Greenshank, eight Knot and single Pale-bellied Brent Goose and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Wildlife News: A late Small Copper was on the wing with a Painted Lady, three Common Darter, two Red Admiral, a Peacock and a Hornet.

Painted Lady - Andrew Thorpe

Thursday 3 November 2022

Thursday 3rd November

A vocal Yellow-browed Warbler in the Entrance Bushes and later, by the Main Pond was the highlight, the 24th site record, with the latest ever Willow Warbler, and the first ever November record, another surprise. Previous latest date was 29 Oct 1995. Also in the bushes, seven Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest and two Cetti's Warbler, with a Firecrest on Warren Point.  

In the estuary two Curlew Sandpiper remain with counts including 500+ Dunlin, 269 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 188 Black-tailed Godwit, 61 Ringed and 48 Grey Plover, 51 Shelduck, 18 Sanderling, 15 Greenshank, two Knot and single Little GrebeRed-breasted Merganser, Mediterranean Gull and Kingfisher.

Elsewhere 70+ Linnet and four Rock Pipit were in the Bight, a Great Northern Diver flew south offshore, and overhead 450 Woodpigeon in three flocks, nine Jackdaw, a Mistle Thrush and a handful of high finches including at least one Siskin. The one that got away though were two probable Red-rumped Swallow, that flew over Exmouth Quay and were lost to view over Warren Point.

Wildlife News: The sunny conditions saw two Red Admiral head south and a Common Darter in Greenland Lake. In the estuary a bull Grey Seal was unsuccessfully trying to woo two females, the song being heard over a long distance.

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Tuesday 1st November

A visit to cover the morning tide showed three Curlew Sandpiper in the estuary with counts of 2110 Wigeon, 734 Dunlin, 282 Redshank, 196 Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Grey and 20+ Ringed Plover, 45 Great Black-backed Gull, five Greenshank, two Knot and two Kingfisher. Elsewhere a pale phase Arctic Skua was offshore.

Wildlife News: Late news from yesterday of another rare migrant moth, the first Spoladea recurvalis (Maize Moth) for the Recording Area, flushed near the Main Pond.

Maize Moth Spoladea recurvalis - Sam Gray