Thursday, 23 March 2023

Wednesday 23rd March

The highlight was again offsite with two or three Alpine Swift stubbornly remaining over Eastdon Ridge despite the showers and strong westerly wind. On site the first singing Chaffinch for several years, with at least seven Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest in the blown out conditions, two Shoveler remain at the Main Pond, where a Teal showed off its diving skills to evade a Sparrowhawk.

Offshore from first light birds heading south included two Manx Shearwater, 70 Gannet, 62 Kittiwake, 15 Fulmar and a Red-throated Diver with nine Common Scoter, nine Great Crested Grebe, eight Red-breasted Merganser and eight Sandwich Tern also present. Elsewhere a second year Mediterranean Gull and a Greenshank were in the estuary and an early Little Ringed Plover flew north.

Wildlife News: Not great insect weather but a few Buff-tailed Bumblebee and Tapered Dronefly braved the conditions.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Tuesday 21st March

A mix of joy and frustration today, the joy of watching four Alpine Swift over the Eastdon ridge for several hours and the frustration of one getting as close as 400m from the Recording Area boundary! Off Cockwood Steps, whilst not watching swifts, the first Spotted Redshank of the year, presumably the Starcross bird getting itchy feet, was with 22 Redshank and three Greenshank, six Red-breasted Merganser were in the channel, 12 Sandwich Tern were offshore, two Mediterranean Gull and two Buzzard were overhead and the first Sand Martin of the year was over Shutterton Creek.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Sunday 19th March

Some overhead spring migration this morning with most birds heading N-E, including 233 Chaffinch, 120 Woodpigeon, 115 Starling, nine Jackdaw, five Meadow Pipit, four Buzzard, four Rook, two Sparrowhawk, two Raven, a Siskin and the first Stock Dove of the year. Also of note 13 Blue Tit heading east through site.

In the estuary peak counts were all outside the allotted WeBS hour with totals of 329 Oystercatcher, 280 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 136 Curlew, 74 Dunlin, 72 Bar-tailed Godwit, 41 Teal, 38 Redshank, 35 Turnstone 19 Grey and 13 Ringed Plover, 11 Sanderling, seven Knot, six Greenshank, six Shelduck and five Wigeon.

Elsewhere six Tufted Duck were offshore late afternoon, with earlier counts of 21 Great Crested Grebe, 11 Red-breasted Merganser, three Sandwich Tern and two Red-throated Diver, two Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Langstone Rock, 108 Linnet on the Golf Course and across the site three Wheatear, seven Chiffchaff and three Goldcrest.

Wildlife News: Two Common Dolphin were feeding distantly offshore, with Marmalade Hoverfly on the Alexanders, along with feeding signs of the rare micromoth Aethes deaurana. Cut-leaved Dead-nettle Lamium hybridum was rediscovered somewhere on site, the first record for over a decade when a patch along the Back Path was lost. 

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Saturday 18th March

The warm, sunny weather promised some spring migrants, with six Chiffchaff singing in the woods the most obvious arrivals, although a count of six Song Thrush probably included birds on the move. Also on site a single Goldcrest, and around the Main Pond four Little Grebe, two Shoveler and the Mallard x Wigeon hybrid. Overhead two Rook and single Jackdaw and Buzzard.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose - Alan Keatley

Along the beach the first two Pale-bellied Brent Geese of the year were feeding with 74 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, whilst seven Sandwich Tern were offshore with 21 Great Crested Grebe. Counts from the estuary on a low high tide included 54 Turnstone, 38 Teal, 10 Sanderling, nine Wigeon and four Red-breasted Merganser.

Wildlife News: It promised to be a good day for insects, but a heavy downpour literally put a dampener on proceedings. There was an increase in hoverflies with several Tapered Dronefly Eristalis tenax and Stripe-faced Dronefly E. pertinax along with the first Common Spotted Field Syrph Eupeodes luniger of the year. Also on the wing two Peacock and a Red Admiral.

Common Spotted Field Syrph - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Thursday 16th March

If any new migrants were on site they remained hidden during a damp late afternoon visit. In the estuary there were 86 Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the mudflats along with 32 Teal, including a male with white blaze on it's forehead, seven Wigeon, four displaying Little Egret and two Greenshank with two Red-breasted Merganser in Shutterton Creek and a Scandinavian Rock Pipit in the saltmarsh. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Wednesday 15th March

The first Wheatear of the year was a welcome sight, watched arriving over the sea, one of six that made landfall today. Also offshore six Great Northern and three Red-throated Diver, 25 Great Crested Grebe and the two immature drake Eider.

Wheatear - Lee Collins

Counts from the estuary included 350 Oystercatcher, 175 Dunlin, 77 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 42 Teal, 42 Redshank, nine Knot, five Sanderling, five Greenshank and two Sandwich Tern. 

Greenshank - Lee Collins

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Tuesday 14th March

Out of the cold north westerly, it felt quite pleasant in the early spring sunshine. With the high tide only 3 metres, waders were thin on the ground with most on Finger Point, although 170 Curlew were in the Railway Saltmarsh. Also present a Spoonbill was again on Finger Point with counts including 150 Dunlin, 117 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 36 Grey Plover and five Bar-tailed Godwit.

Elsewhere just six Great Crested Grebe were offshore with a female Eider a new arrival off groyne 12, four Shoveler remain on the Main Pond, a flock of 43 Linnet were feeding on the Golf Course and a Buzzard was over the Entrance Bushes.

Cirl Bunting - Dean Hall

Wildlife News: Insect numbers are slowly starting to increase, mainly showing on Alexanders as little esle is yet in flower, with a female Buffish Mining Bee Andrena nigroaena alongside a black and red squash bug Corizus hyoscyami and a female Bibio johannis. A Common Pollen Beetle Meligethes aeneus agg. had found one of the few open dandelions.

Common Pollen Beetle - Alan Keatley

Hoverflies were represented by several Stripe-faced Dronefly Eristalis tenax, a few Tapered Dronefly Eristalis pertinax and more Marmalade Hoverfly. A Peacock was the only butterfly to venture out, with just single Buff-tailed Bumblebee and Honey Bee on the willows. 

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Sunday 12th March

The Firecrest remained in Dead Dolphin Wood, with three Goldcrest, three first winter Song Thrush and a Redwing also likely migrants. Offshore 12 Red-breasted Merganser and eight Red-throated Diver with counts from the estuary including 625 Dunlin, 415 Oystercatcher, 296 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 70 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Curlew, 53 Grey and two Ringed Plover, 10 Knot, seven Wigeon, three Greenshank and a Mediterranean Gull.

Wildlife News: A dog Fox by the Tractor Compound was the first sighting of the year. Elsewhere a dung beetle Aphodious prodromus was on the dune ridge and despite the worsening weather a few flies were around the Alexanders, with Humming Syrphus S. ribesii, Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus and a Suillia variegata. Another hoverfly and a muscid fly fell victim to the predatory Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria.

Aphodious prodromus - Alan Keatley

Humming Syrphus - Alan Keatley

Yellow Dung Fly - Alan Keatley

As well as the wildlife a radiosonde (usually attached to the end of weather balloons to make measurements of temperature, humidity, and wind) was found washed up on the tideline. Investigations revealed that it had originally been launched from Camborne at approximately 23:30 on 7 March, before dropping into the sea around Sidmouth just under two hours later, at about 01:20 on 8 March.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Saturday 11th March

The Red-necked Grebe was still present off groyne 12 with a Great Northern Diver also offshore. In the estuary the first migrant Sandwich Tern of the year, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit and counts including 760 Dunlin, 339 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 98 Curlew, 97 Grey Plover, 68 Bar-tailed Godwit, 32 Teal, 25 Redshank, 15 Shelduck, 11 Sanderling, nine Wigeon and three Knot. The first Tawny Owl of the year called from the Entrance Bushes with a Firecrest in Dead Dolphin Wood. and a Pheasant foraging below Langstone Rock on the exposed reefs at low tide!

Wildlife News: A Shores of South Devon event explored the exposed rockpools below Langstone Rock, a habitat much neglected by the Recording Group, unless searching for a Purple Sandpiper! In addition to the Pheasant finds included a dead Plaice dropped by a Herring Gull, numerous species of seaweed including Bunny Ears (or more boringly Jointed Pod Weed) Lomentaria articulata and the tasty Pepper Dulse Osmundea pinnatifida, the soft rock boring mollusc Piddock Pholas dactylus and three species of anemone, Beadlet, Snakelocks and Strawberry

Honeycomb Worm Sabellaria alveolata reefs - Kevin Rylands

Snakelocks Anemone - Kevin Rylands

Strawberry Anemone - Kevin Rylands

Pepper Dulse - Kevin Rylands

Plaice - Kevin Rylands

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Thursday 9th March

A few subtle signs of spring despite the weather with a group of 16 Black-tailed Godwit perhaps new arrivals, along with two sinensis Cormorant and overhead two Rook and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

In the estuary 458 Dark-bellied Brent Geese arrived  after being flushed from Starcross GC, with other counts including 452 Dunlin and 38 Grey Plover, but hunting Peregrine and Sparrowhawk kept the flocks wary. Offshore in choppy conditions, 10 Great Crested Grebe and three Red-breasted Merganser, with four Shoveler, two Goldcrest and a Water Rail around the Main Pond.

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Tuesday 7th January

The Red-necked Grebe remains offshore, usually off groyne 12 towards Warren Point, also offshore 24 Great Crested Grebe, two Red-throated Diver, a Cormorant carrying nesting material, heading towards Dawlish and a single flock of Black-headed Gull that came in from south and headed into the estuary.

Elsewhere 78 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were in the estuary, the Glaucous Gull was reported, and despite having deserted the estuary, eight Teal remain around the Main Pond, with five Shoveler and a Goldcrest.

Wildlife News: Despite the cold, sunny spells in the afternoon encouraged several Buff-tailed Bumblebee out to collect willow pollen and the first Buffish Mining Bee Andrena nigroaenea to nectar on emerging Alexanders flowers near Langstone Rock.

Buffish Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

The highlight of the day was the rediscovery of the ground beetle Bemidion iricolor, the first record for over 40 years for this coastal specialist.

Bemidion iricolor - Alan Keatley

Monday, 6 March 2023

Monday 6th March

The highlight came late in the day with a first winter Glaucous Gull found on Bull Hill, having been last (& first) seen at Topsham on 26 February. Also present in the estuary, 76 Turnstone, a decent count of 41 Great Black-backed Gull, 10 Wigeon and two Red-breasted Merganser.

Counts from the estuary early morning included 331 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 171 Curlew, 130 Bar-tailed Godwit, 54 Grey and 16 Ringed Plover, 25 Sanderling and two Greenshank. Elsewhere 26 Magpie left their roost and headed towards the mainland first thing, with the Red-necked Grebe still present offshore as well as 32 Great Crested Grebe and two Red-throated Diver.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Sunday 5th March

The Red-necked Grebe remained offshore but no other news was reported. 

Saturday, 4 March 2023

Saturday 4th March

A short, morning visit saw little off the seawall first thing, but a flock of 20 Cirl Bunting were feeding in the car park, may be obtaining grit at the same time. They flew off towards the golf course, when disturbed by cars. Also on site a Sparrowhawk and around the Main Pond two prs of Little Grebe, three Shoveler and a Snipe

Cirl Bunting - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere 118 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and two Shelduck were in the estuary, five Turnstone were at Langstone Rock and offshore from groyne 12, the Red-necked Grebe, 25 Great Crested Grebe and nine Common Scoter.

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Wednesday 1st March

At meeting at the golf course allowed for a short visit early afternoon, with the first Firecrest of the year a welcome surprise along the railway line. Also present on site the Dartford Warbler, with 98 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 26 Wigeon, 12 Shelduck and two Greenshank in the estuary at low tide. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Tuesday 28th February

A quiet day for birds with the high tide leaving the Bight largely uncovered. The two juvenile Spoonbill paid another visit, initially on Finger Point, but with the low high tide not hindering feeding moved to feed in Shutterton Creek. The Linnet flock wandering Greenland Lake and Golf Course increased to at least 40. The bushes were otherwise noticeably quiet except for vocal tits in their pairs near nest boxes and single Grey Wagtail, Goldcrest and Redwing.

Wildlife News: The second bumblebee species of the year, Garden Bumblebee Bombus hortorum was near the Go-Karts.

Garden Bumblebee - Alan Keatley

Other records including a couple of 24-spot Ladybird, the click beetle Agriotes sputator, Glossy Groundbug Plinthisus brevipennis, the first Dock Bug of the year and under driftwood on Warren Point the coastal ground beetle, Harpalus latus.

Glossy Groundbug - Alan Keatley

Harpalus latus - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Sunday 26th February

The first Water Pipit of the year was feeding in the Bight on the rising tide with a Scandinavian Rock Pipit also present. Also in the estuary the two juvenile Spoonbill on Finger Point and counts of 1,350 Dunlin, 778 Oystercatcher, 120 Grey and 31 Ringed Plover, 114 Bar-tailed Godwit, 88 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 39 Teal, 31 Turnstone, 29 Redshank, 22 Wigeon and five Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere three Goldcrest were on site with five Shoveler on the Main Pond. 

Wildlife News: The first Tapered Dronefly Eristalis pertinax of the year was on the wing but there was little other invertebrate activity. On the more sheltered Dune Ridge the first Dune Scarab Aegialia arenarius of the year were also out, with a single Green Tortoise Beetle Cassida viridis, a new species for the Recording Area. 

Dune Scarab - Alan Keatley

Green Tortoise Beetle - Alan Keatley

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Saturday 25th February

A Red-necked Grebe was off the seawall early morning with 72 Common Scoter, 12 Great Crested Grebe and six Red-breasted Merganser also present in choppy conditions. 

Elsewhere 19 Cirl Bunting and a Redwing were on site, six Chaffinch and a Rook were overhead, with counts from the estuary including 735 Oystercatcher, 206 Curlew, 131 Grey and 25 Ringed Plover, 61 Turnstone, 45 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 42 Redshank, 24 Teal, 22 Wigeon, 20 Sanderling, 19 Knot and three Greenshank.

Friday, 24 February 2023

Friday 24th February

Offshore a lingering raft of 71 Common Scoter, with 17 Great Crested Grebe and a Red-breasted Merganser but no reports of any divers. Elsewhere two Green Woodpecker and a Grey Wagtail were around the Entrance Bushes with a pair of Mute Swan at the Main Pond, the male at least the regular breeding bird, also present, two pairs of Shoveler and vocal Little Grebe and Water Rail

Grey Wagtail - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The first flowering Lesser Celandine was further proof of the slow arrival of spring.

Lesser Celandine - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Thursday 23rd February

An afternoon meeting at the Golf Club allowed for a quick low tide visit. An unexpected highlight was a new site record 21 Cirl Bunting feeding with a single male Reed Bunting on the course. Elsewhere 22 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were at Langstone Rock, 18 Common Scoter were offshore, and a look from Cockwood Steps revealed 27 Teal, eight Shelduck, two Greenshank and a Grey Wagtail

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Wednesday 22nd February

The pair of Goldeneye reappeared, having spent much of the winter nearer Topsham, also in the estuary counts included 1,100+ Dunlin, 293 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 127 Curlew, 108 Grey Plover, 70 Common Gull, 53 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Teal, 17 Wigeon and six Red-breasted Merganser

Elsewhere the Dartford Warbler made one of its infrequent appearances along the Back Path, eight Jackdaw flew NW and offshore 26 Common Scoter, 23 Red-throated Diver and 23 Great Crested Grebe, with three Shoveler south with two of the Common Scoter.

Dartford Warbler - Lee Collins

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Tuesday 21st February

Flat calm conditions saw a winter high 72 Great Crested Grebe off the seawall along with six Red-throated and four Great Northern Diver, 16 Red-breasted Merganser, also a winter peak, and 12 Common Scoter.

Elsewhere a Chiffchaff was in song in the Entrance Bushes, Blue and Great Tit were squabbling over nest boxes and five Shoveler were on the Main Pond. Counts from the estuary included 1,050 Dunlin, 182 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 131 Common Gull, 126 Grey and 19 Ringed Plover, 112 Curlew, 101 Bar-tailed Godwit, 34 Teal, 20 Turnstone and 12 Wigeon.

Blue Tit - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: Few invertebrates about in the dull conditions but that didn't stop another first for the Recording Area being found, a European Chinchbug Ischnodemus sabuleti.

European Chichbug - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Sunday 19th February

The first Yellow-legged Gull of the year, an adult, was on Bull Hill on the dropping tide with counts from the estuary including 269 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 242 Curlew, 118 Common Gull, 114 Bar-tailed Godwit, 68 Redshank, 28 Wigeon, 16 Sanderling, two Greenshank and an Avocet

Overhead the second Buzzard of the year, along with seven Rook, seven Jackdaw and two Chaffinch, with a singing Chiffchaff and six Shoveler around the Main Pond. Offshore calm conditions saw 59 Great Crested Grebe, 15 Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver, 11 Red-breasted Merganser, four Common Scoter and a Razorbill.

Wildlife News: A Peacock became the second species and second sight of butterfly for the year with at least one Harbour Porpoise offshore.

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Saturday 18th February

Counts from the estuary included the two Avocet with 250 Curlew, 216 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 57 Turnstone, 56 Redshank, 38 Wigeon, 26 Sanderling and eight Black-tailed Godwit, the highest count this year. Also present 200 Common and a Mediterranean Gull with five Lesser Black-backed Gull including a continental intermedius bird.

Offshore 54 Great Crested Grebe, 45 Kittiwake, eight Red-throated Diver, five Red-breasted Merganser and three Common Scoter whilst 31 Linnet were on site with a pair of Bullfinch and single Redwing, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Bunting, Grey Wagtail and Sparrowhawk. At the Main Pond three Shoveler and two pairs of Little Grebe.

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Thursday 16th February

A quick low tide visit saw 65 Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the mudflats, 21 Great Crested Grebe offshore and three Shoveler on the Main Pond. In Greenland Lake, 25 Meadow Pipit were a welcome sign of the advancing season, backed up by many resident species now in song.

Linnet - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Tuesday 14th February

A visit on the dropping tide saw just 470 Dunlin feeding on the mudflats, the remainder having already departed to feeding areas further upriver, also present the two immature Spoonbill, 182 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 84 Common Gull, 47 Teal, 37 Wigeon, two Avocet and a Greenshank.

Elsewhere the two Eider and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and seven Shoveler were on the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: The rise in temperature together with a sunny afternoon prompted an increase in insect activity with two very early solitary bees - a Yellow-legged Mining Bee Andrena flavipes and a Furry-claspered Furrow Bee Lasioglossum lativentre sharing the one and only Dandelion in flower at Langstone Rock. February records are not unprecedented and are increasing as the climate changes. 

Yellow-legged Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

Other species emerging for the first time this year included 24-spot Ladybird, the ground bug Peritrechus geniculatus, Lined Froghopper Neophilaenus lineatus and the weevil Trichosirocalus troglodytes.

Lined Froghopper - Alan Keatley

Trichosirocalus troglodytes - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Sunday 12th February

WeBS count day for the Exe, so numbers were much reduced from yesterday with 56 Redshank, 28 Sanderling, five Greenshank and single Golden Plover and Black-tailed Godwit the more notable additions, along with the two immature Spoonbill again on Finger Point, but there was no sign of yesterday's bird. Other counts included 2,400 Dunlin (post WeBS), 196 Grey Plover, 185 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 118 Curlew, 70 Knot, 66 Bar-tailed Godwit, 42 Ringed Plover, 42 Teal, 37 Wigeon, four Red-breasted Merganser, two Avocet and a Peregrine.

Elsewhere much reduced numbers offshore with 14 Great Crested Grebe, nine Common Scoter, five Red-throated and four Great Northern Diver, two Redwing and two Goldcrest were in the bushes and the Shoveler count on the Main Pond climbed to nine, with five male and four female.

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Saturday 11th February

A grey, overcast day but at least the fog was gone by first light. The sea was like a millpond and for once there was some good feeding offshore with hundreds of birds present across the bay. The highlight was a Red-necked Grebe moulting into breeding plumage, arriving with a winter high count of 52 Great Crested Grebe. Also present at least 585 Razorbill, with two Guillemot, 58 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated and five Great Northern Diver, six Red-breasted Merganser and the two Eider

Spoonbill - Lee Collins

In the estuary a Spoonbill roosted around the Bight at high tide until being flushed by two circling paragliders, these also kept the waders airborne with many settling on the estuary wall north of Cockwood. Counts on the dropping tide included 2,290 Dunlin, 193 Grey Plover, 169 Bar-tailed Godwit, 145 Curlew, 89 Knot, 53 Teal, 42 Ringed Plover, an increase, 38 Wigeon, 37 Redshank, 23 Turnstone, 13 Sanderling, three Greenshank and two Avocet. Disturbance further upriver flushed 358 Dark-bellied Brent Geese from Oak Meadow, Starcross into the Recording Area, within the flock 63 juveniles, showing good overwinter survival.

Elsewhere five Rook overhead and two male Stonechat in Greenland Lake were signs of spring with 10 Cirl Bunting, three Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff on site.

Wildlife News: At least three Harbour Porpoise and a Common Seal were offshore with a Grey Seal in the estuary. Invertebrates remained well hidden with a few rove beetles and springtails recorded as well as the pseudoscorpion Moss Neobisiid Neobisium carcinoides, the second site record.

Moss Neobisiid Neobisium carcinoides - Alan Keatley

Thursday, 9 February 2023

Thursday 9th February

The first Red Kite of the year, the earliest ever, flew west over Warren Point just after 1pm, the late morning start missed the high tide waders, but the two Spoonbill back on Finger Point were more tardy, waiting till mid tide before departing north.

Spoonbill - Dean Hall

Elsewhere 93 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were feeding on the beach, a Red-throated Diver and 17 Great Crested Grebe were offshore, three Snipe were in Greenland Lake and three Shoveler and a Chiffchaff were at the Main Pond.

Chiffchaff - Elizabeth Mulgrew

Green Woodpecker - Dean Hall

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Wednesday 8th February

The first Short-eared Owl of the year was on Warren Point, with four Shoveler, three males and a female, at the Main Pond.

Shoveler (female) - Elizabeth Mulgrew

Mallard - Elizabeth Mulgrew

Wildlife News: The first Wood (aka Long-tailed Field) Mouse of the year was watched feeding on the nectar-rich Gorse blossom in the afternoon sun.

Wood Mouse - Elizabeth Mulgrew

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Tuesday 7th February

A day of two halves with dense freezing fog most of the morning, clearing to a bright sunny, if not warm, afternoon. By the time the fog had lifted the tide had gone out, so it was not possible to make any meaningful estuary counts although at least one Greenshank was particularly vocal.

Elsewhere 105 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were feeding on the beach at low tide, 19 Great Crested Grebe were offshore, four Shoveler were on the Main Pond and in Greenland Lake, 16 Skylark, three Redwing and a Snipe.

Wildlife News: Insects were more active than of late in the sunshine, with the first butterfly of the year on the wing, a Red Admiral. Other species new for the year included Seven-spot and Pine Ladybird, several Gorse Shieldbug, a Sea-spurrey weevil Hypera arator and new for the Recording Area, the rove beetle Actocharis readingii. This minute, flightless species, (less than 2mm) is confined to coastal areas of the south west so its presence here has presumably been long-overlooked.

Hypera arator - Alan Keatley

Gorse Shieldbug - Alan Keatley

Pine Ladybird - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Sunday 5th February

The Dartford Warbler reappeared by the Visitor Centre briefly with 11 Skylark and single Redwing, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk on site, four Teal, three Shoveler and two Little Grebe on the Main Pond and three Red-throated Diver and the two Eider offshore.

Skylark - Elizabeth Mulgrew