Thursday 31 August 2023

Thursday 31st August

Counts from the estuary over a wet morning high tide included 62 Ringed and seven Grey Plover, 51 Knot, 36 Mute Swan, 23 Sanderling, 15 Wigeon, nine Whimbrel, six Sandwich and four Common Tern, five Turnstone and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

A brief look offshore after the rain didn't turn up any seabird passage and the bushes were quiet, with migrants on site including 60 Goldfinch, four Blackcap, two Willow Warbler and single Whitethroat and Wheatear with eight Swallow and two House Martin passing through. 

Kestrel - Alan Keatley

A singing Cirl Bunting and the male Kestrel were along the Back Path.

Cirl Bunting - Alan Keatley

Other Wildlife: A surprise and unexpected find today, the Chalk Snail-killer Dichetophora obliterata. It can also be found in sand dunes despite its name, with few records from the southwest. 

Chalk Snail-killer - Alan Keatley

A bright spell into the afternoon turned up a few butterflies, mostly Small Copper and Small White, with at least four Migrant Hawker also on the wing.

Migrant Hawker - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Wednesday 30th August

A quick visit to the evening tide saw an Osprey far up river with counts from the Bight and estuary including 83 Ringed Plover, 64 Dunlin, 40 Mute Swan, 37 Knot, all juveniles, six Bar-tailed Godwit, four Sandwich Tern and three Turnstone

Tuesday 29 August 2023

Tuesday 29th August

The only news received was from a short afternoon visit, with the tide low the estuary was empty of waders. Two Wheatear were around the Bight and other migrants included four Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and two Reed Warbler. Elsewhere a female/imm Eider was a new arrival off Langstone Rock.

Other Wildlife: Insects were elusive with a single Emperor dragonfly and just five butterfly species recorded, but a few bright spells encouraged some activity on the emerging Michaelmas daisies including the presumed migrant Locust Blowfly in the Back Meadow.

Locust Blowfly - both Alan Keatley

Angle Shades - Alan Keatley

Birch Polypore - Alan Keatley

Sunday 27 August 2023

Sunday 27th August

No news was received from the high tide but an evening visit saw four Teal and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose on the mudflats with the regular waders dispersing with the tide, including Greenshank and Whimbrel

Elsewhere migrants included three Swift overhead with single Sedge and Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Wheatear also on site.

Other Wildlife: The highlight was the discovery of two new native plants for the Recording Area, the 761st & 762nd species recorded on the Warren, Wild Mignonette and Fool's Parsley. Both were taking advantage of the same area of bare ground.

Wild Mignonette - Kevin Rylands

Moths included Portland Ribbon Wave, Lesser Swallow Prominent and Waste Grass-veneer Pediasia contaminella around security lights, Marbled Conch Eupoecilia angustana and Dingy Drill Dichrorampha sedatana on their foodplants, leafmines of Silver-barred Alder Pigmy Stigmella alnetella and Common Slender Gracillaria syringella and caterpillars of Box-tree Moth and Buff-tip.

Portland Ribbon Wave - Kevin Rylands

Dingy Drill - Kevin Rylands

Common Slender leafmine - Kevin Rylands

Box-tree Moth - Kevin Rylands

Buff-tip - Kevin Rylands

Saturday 26 August 2023

Saturday 26th August

An Osprey was in the estuary just after high tide where counts from the Bight included 205 Dunlin, 162 Ringed Plover, 25 Sanderling (13 juv), nine Turnstone (three juv) and a lone Sandwich Tern with a juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach. 

Elsewhere a Teal was at the Main Pond and migrants included the year's second Lesser Whitethroat, eight Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and single Reed and Willow WarblerWhitethroat and Goldcrest.

Other Wildlife: Rush Veneer was on the Golf Course, where new sites for Autumn Ladies-tresses and Dark Mullein were discovered. 

Dark Mullein - Kevin Rylands

Poplar Bent-wing Phyllocnistis unipunctella leafmine - Kevin Rylands

Thecabius affinis gall (an aphid on Poplar) - Kevin Rylands

Thursday 24 August 2023

Thursday 24th August

An adult Osprey circled over the Golf Course mid morning before heading up estuary, this typically put up all the waders in the estuary mid count, but numbers that returned to the Bight included 109 Ringed Plover, 77 Dunlin, 18 Sanderling, seven Black-tailed Godwit and two Knot, with 35 Mute Swan, 19 Whimbrel and four Mediterranean Gull also present. Sandwich Tern were once again notable by their absence. 

Osprey - Alan Keatley

Other migrants were limited to 25 Swallow, five Willow and two Reed Warbler, three Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and a Wheatear. Elsewhere a record count of 16 Collared Dove leaving a night-time roost near the Station before making a brief incursion into the Recording Area as they circled around then headed inland in a single flock.

Cirl Bunting - Dean Hall

Other Wildlife: The show of  Autumn Ladies-tresses is at its peak in Greenland Lake and elsewhere with thousands of spikes in the dune turf.

Autumn Ladies-tresses - Dean Hall

Autumn Ladies-tresses - Alan Keatley

The butterfly peak has however passed, with the Gatekeeper season virtually over and with the exception of a new generation of Small Coppernotably fewer butterflies on the wing.

Small Copper - Dean Hall

A male Ectophasia crassipennis, a shieldbug hunting tachinid in the Back Meadow was the insect find of the day, this species first arrived in the UK but is already seemingly established on site.

Ectophasia crassipennis - Alan Keatley

Jersey Tiger - Dean Hall

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Wednesday 23rd August

The first Meadow Pipit of the autumn, a tardy Swift and 14 Lesser Black-backed Gull passed overhead with five Wheatear, five Whitethroat, two Reed and a Sedge Warbler further signs of the changing seasons.

Long-tailed Tit - Dave Jewell

In the estuary counts included 248 Redshank, 65 Ringed Plover, 13 Dunlin, nine Sanderling, eight Sandwich Tern, six Greenshank, six Knot, three Bar-tailed Godwit, two Mediterranean Gull, two Shelduck, a Common Sandpiper and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Southern Hawker - Dave Jewell

Common Carpet - Dave Jewell

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Tuesday 22nd August

A worrying sign of the times with no terns present over the high tide, with eight Black-tailed Godwit, seven Greenshank, four Ringed Plover and three Dunlin amongst the waders.

Elsewhere a Swift was overhead and counts across site included 30 Linnet, nine Chiffchaff, four Whitethroat, two Reed and two Willow Warbler

Wildlife News: Aside from the regular hoverfly and bee species, there was little in the way of other insects with just five butterfly species recorded. Two new records from the year were however discovered, a Small Birch Bell Epinotia ramella in Dead Dolphin Wood and the ground beetle Broscus cephalotes, typically under driftwood in the Bight.

Small Birch Bell - Alan Keatley

Broscus cephalotes - Alan Keatley

Sunday 20 August 2023

Sunday 20th August

Seawatching first thing saw four Balearic Shearwater, 68 Gannet, 31 Kittiwake and two Fulmar, with 26 Common Scoter on the sea. Overhead, 13 Swallow, a Swift and a Yellow Wagtail, with a Wheatear the only other migrant noted.

The highlight of the monthly WeBS count was a typically brief Green Sandpiper that circled calling, landed, but soon flew off SE. Other records included 1172 Oystercatcher, 244 Redshank, 138 Curlew, 125 Ringed Plover, 25 Dunlin, 16 Whimbrel, seven Greenshank, seven Mediterranean Gull, six Black and three Bar-tailed Godwit, just three Sandwich Tern, twos of Knot, Sanderling and Turnstone, and single Little Ringed and Grey Plover, an early Wigeon and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Saturday 19 August 2023

Saturday 19th August

Seawatching post Betty's mad dash through Lyme Bay overnight, saw counts of 177 Gannet, 81 Common, 60 Sandwich, three Arctic and three Little Tern (one juv) south along with 16 Kittiwake, three Shelduck, two Mediterranean Gull and an Arctic Skua. The terns had presumably roosted overnight as most were passing close inshore.

Elsewhere 15 Long-tailed Tit, four Chiffchaff, three Reed, two Garden and  Willow Warbler were in the Entrance Bushes, with a Teal on the Main Pond. No news was received from the estuary. 

Ringing News: A Sandwich Tern present here on 4-5 August (Red N43) was ringed earlier this year on 27 March, 4,000km away at La Langue de Barbarie in Senegal! 

The first Warren recovery from this west African republic, and interestingly ringed on a date when we also expect to see birds on site. 

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Wednesday 16th August

A Little Ringed Plover and nine Knot were new arrivals in the Bight but other wader counts reduced to 20 Dunlin, eight Sanderling, seven Ringed and two Grey Plover. Also in the estuary an Arctic Tern with 42 Sandwich and a Common Tern, 242 Redshank, 150+ Curlew, 32 Whimbrel and the recently absent Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Elsewhere a small fall of migrants overnight included at least nine Wheatear along with single Sedge and Willow Warbler.  

Other Wildlife: The unexpected highlight was a Six-belted Clearwing at Langstone Rock, the first for the Recording Area for 65 years. 

Six-belted Clearwing - Alan Keatley

Also present there, many Green Furrow Bee Lasioglossum morio, and a White-spotted Digger Wasp Harpactus tumidus, an uncommon species and the first for at least 20 years.

White-spotted Digger Wasp Harpactus tumidus - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere, after their recent rediscovery, Heather Colletes C. succinctus were once again on the wing, nine butterfly species included a good count of four Holly Blue and at the Main Pond at least three Small Red-eyed Damselfly and an ovipositing female Emperor.

Heather Colletes - Alan Keatley

Emperor - Alan Keatley

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Tuesday 15th August

A single Wheatear in the Bight and a Sedge Warbler on Warren Point were the best of the migrants, along with a few Willow Warbler around the Main Pond. A low tide visit meant no estuary counts were made, but 1200+ Herring Gull were gathered on the offshore sand bars.

Wheatear - Alan Keatley

Other Wildlife: The sunshine encouraged insects to nectar on the Water Mint and Common Fleabane in particular, hoverflies were represented by the three plumehorns, several Batman Myathropa florea and Compost Hoverfly Syritta pipiens. As summer progresses Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax numbers are starting to build and a male Stripe-faced Dronefly Eristalis nemorum was trying to mate with a Colletes bee! 

Stripe-faced Dronefly & Colletes sp - Alan Keatley

Trilobed Boxhead Wasp Crossocerus podagricus was new for the year and Mint Moth and Jersey Tiger joined the bees and hoverflies on Water Mint in Greenland Lake.

Jersey Tiger - Alan Keatley

Sunday 13 August 2023

Sunday 13th August

The highlight of an early morning seawatch was an unexpected juvenile Redstart which atypically landed briefly on the sea wall before flying onto the Warren, typically it could not be relocated. Passing offshore six Storm Petrel, 88 Gannet, 37 Kittiwake, four Fulmar and two Manx Shearwater with 24 Common Scoter on the sea.

Other migrants were limited to the usual species including  nine Whitethroat, three Willow and two Garden Warbler; overhead 15 House Martin and two Swift.

Counts from the Bight at high tide included 137 Ringed Plover, 82 Dunlin, 13 Sanderling, just four Sandwich Tern, four Mediterranean Gull, the four Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Other Wildlife: The warm conditions meant invertebrates were very active during the occasional sunny periods. Ten  butterfly species included a Small Tortoiseshell, two Holly Blue and two Brown Argus, with a Rush Veneer and two Hummingbird Hawkmoth also recorded, one of the latter was egg laying on Wild Madder

Hummingbird Hawkmoth - Kevin Rylands

Bees were well represented with Black Mining Bee Andrena pilipes, Common Furrow Bee Lasioglossum calceatum, Patchwork Leafcutter Megachile centuncularis and it's cuckoo Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Coelioxys inermis all active.

Patchwork Leafcutter - Kevin Rylands

Hoverflies noted included three species of Dronefly, three Plumehorns, Hornet, Pied and Wasp, Gossamer Baccha elongata and Batman Hoverfly Myathropa florea.

Wasp Plumehorn Volucella inanis - Kevin Rylands

Gossamer Hoverfly - Kevin Rylands

Offshore at least two Common Dolphin and a Grey Seal, with a Water Vole showing well at the Main Pond.

Great Green Bush-cricket - Kevin Rylands

Saturday 12 August 2023

Saturday 12th August

Seawatching early morning saw two Balearic Shearwater head south along with 185 Gannet, 25 Kittiwake and an Arctic Skua with 35 Common Scoter and the Great Northern Diver on the sea. 

Migrants on site included an early Goldcrest, six Whitethroat, three Willow and two Garden Warbler, a Wheatear and a Kingfisher at the Main Pond. Overhead at least six Swift.

Counts from the afternoon high tide included 997 Oystercatcher, 196 Redshank, 157 Ringed Plover, 105 Dunlin, 41 Whimbrel, 36 Great Black-backed and 17 Mediterranean Gull, 13 Sandwich and a Common Tern, 11 Greenshank, five Bar-tailed Godwit, five Sanderling, the four Grey Plover and two Turnstone.

Other Wildlife: A Wasp Spider in Greenland Lake was a welcome discovery after an apparent absence last year. Few insects were on the wing but both Migrant and Southern Hawker were at the Main Pond. Elsewhere a Grey Seal was in the estuary.

Wasp Spider - David Flack

Thursday 10 August 2023

Thursday 10th August

Although noticeably warmer, grey skies persisted well into the afternoon. The afternoon high tide was not covered however 93 Dunlin, 26 Ringed Plover and 21 Sanderling had started to gather in the Bight, with them were 25 Sandwich Tern, a Mediterranean Gull and a passing Wheatear. The only other migrant of note was a Sedge Warbler in the Back Meadow.

Whitethroat - Dean Hall

Other Wildlife: The/a Grey Squirrel may have taken up temporary residence in Dead Dolphin Wood following on from its first appearance on the 23rd June.

Grey Squirrel - Alan Keatley

Also making an appearance, a couple of new insects for the year, the mirid bug Orthops campestris and Waisted Beegrabber Physocephala rufipes. A Golden-ringed Dragonfly in Greenland Lake and on Warren Point, only one flowering Sea Daffodil reflecting the July weather, this Mediterranean plant thrives better in hot weather. 

Orthops campestris - Alan Keatley

Hemichroa australis - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Wednesday 9th August

Seawatching early morning was rewarded with three Storm Petrel, 30 Common Scoter, two Manx Shearwater, two Sanderling and single FulmarDunlin, Mute Swan and Shelduck.

The only other news received came from the high tide with 128 Dunlin (34 juvs), 126 Ringed Plover, 57 Sandwich Tern and the four summering Grey Plover. Offshore at least three Arctic Skua.

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Tuesday 8th August

An Irish ringed third cy Roseate Tern on Finger Point over high tide was the highlight, roosting amongst 57 Sandwich Tern, two Mediterranean Gull and a Common Tern

Also around the Bight; 55 Dunlin, 54 Ringed Plover, 15 Sanderling, five Turnstone, four Grey Plover, a Shelduck and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

An early morning seawatch saw two Storm Petrel off the seawall, with 30 Kittiwake, a Guillemot and a Great Crested Grebe.

After a dull morning a few warblers stated to appear as the day warmed up including a couple of Willow Warbler, with a passing Wheatear in the Bight.

Willow Warbler - Alan Keatley

Other Wildlife: Butterflies were in low numbers with no Red Admiral for the first time in a while. A Short-horned Yellow-face Bee Hylaeus brevicornis in Greenland Lake was the first of the year, with other species of note including Common Yellow-faced Bee H. communis, Gooden's Nomad Bee Nomada goodeniana and Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes.

Short-horned Yellow-face Bee - Alan Keatley

Also new for the year, the ground beetle Pterostitus niger and the moths Golden Argent Argyresthia goedartella and Common Slender Gracillaria syringella.

Common Slender - Alan Keatley

Sunday 6 August 2023

Sunday 6th August

Seawatching for a couple of hours from first light saw counts of 202 Sandwich Tern, 160 Kittiwake, 38 Common Tern, 31 Gannet and 20 Common Scoter south along with four Arctic Skua, two Storm Petrel, two Manx Shearwater and single Arctic and Little Tern with two Great Crested Grebe on the sea.

As the day warmed up, checking the sunny and sheltered side of the Entrance Bushes paid dividends with the discovery of an immature Pied Flycatcher, the first since April 2019 and only the 45th site record. It was accompanied by at least 13 Willow Warbler, all bar one juveniles, with plastic song from several of them. Other migrants included single Whinchat, Wheatear and Sedge Warbler, all on Warren Point.

In the estuary Sandwich Tern numbers peaked at 224, including 40 juvs, with the juvenile Arctic Tern also returning over high tide. Other counts included 717 Oystercatcher, 343 Curlew, 226 Redshank, 63 Ringed Plover, 62 Whimbrel, 33 Dunlin, 21 Sanderling, 10 Mediterranean Gull, eight Greenshank, five Bar-tailed Godwit, four Grey Plover, three Common Sandpiper and single Knot, Turnstone, 1cy Yellow-legged Gull and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

The majority of the birds were flushed around midday by a juvenile Marsh Harrier which flew low over the Bight from the east before circling high and heading SW. A juvenile Peregrine was considered less of a risk by the majority of Oystercatcher at least.

Marsh Harrier - Lee Collins

Other Wildlife: A good day for Orthoptera with a macropterous male Roesel's Bush Cricket, the fifth of the year, alongside several Mottled and Lesser Marsh Grasshopper along the estuary bank. A Mottled Grasshopper, caused some excitement, the worn white-tipped antenna suggesting Rufous Grasshopper, sadly it was not the first site record of the latter since 1881.

Mottled Grasshopper - Kevin Rylands

Other records included a Hairy Rove Beetle Creophilus maxillosus, new for the Warren, searching out fly larvae in the remains of a Herring Gull bird flu victim, several Pouting Woodlouse-fly Rhinophora lepida, a Brown Argus and several moths including Jersey Tiger, Brown-tail, Silver Y, Mullein Wave and Least Carpet.

Least Carpet - Kevin Rylands