Tuesday 28 November 2023

Tuesday 28th November

Attention was again focused on the Entrance Bushes, Buffer Zone and Car Park where the Pallas's Warbler remained for a third day. It was however again very elusive with no records after late morning; also present in the roving tit flock, two Firecrest.

Pallas's Warbler - Jim Summers

Offshore, good numbers of Great Crested Grebe, four Common Scoter and two Red-throated Diver.

Monday 27 November 2023

Monday 27th November

The Pallas's Warbler periodically showed well at times throughout the day, receiving a steady trickle of admirers, but was often 'missing' for long periods. It was again primarily around the Entrance Bushes but was seen as far as the Main Pond and Car Park, always associated with mixed tit, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest flock. 

Also present around the Entrance Bushes a Siberian Chiffchaff, two Water Rail and a Grey Wagtail.

Other Wildlife: The Grey Squirrel was again in the Entrance Bushes Alders.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Sunday 26th November

The long awaited first Pallas's Warbler for the Recording Area was discovered in the flooded Entrance Bushes mid morning and showed occasionally until disappearing early afternoon. It associated with a large mixed foraging flock of mixed tits, warblers and crests. 

Also around the scrub a Siberian Chiffchaff, at least one Firecrest, six Goldcrest, five Chiffchaff, three Bullfinch and a ♂ Blackcap

The tide was overlooked in favour of the Pallas's but a two hour seawatch early morning saw 168 Razorbill and 67 Kittiwake flew south with 25+ Great Crested Grebe, three Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver and a Red-breasted Merganser.

Other Wildlife: No flying insects in the damp. drizzly conditions but the Grey Squirrel was active in the Entrance Bushes.

Saturday 25 November 2023

Saturday 25th November

The first frost of the winter meant a cold start with rolling sea mist hampering viewing offshore until later in the day. A Purple Sandpiper briefly on the breakwater at Langstone Rock was an early highlight with a lone Velvet Scoter found off Groyne 12 late in the day. Also offshore 45 Great Crested Grebe, a significant increase, eight Red-throated and six Great Northern Diver, a ♂ Shoveler and an immature ♂ Eider.

In the estuary the Spotted Redshank was again present with counts including 1122 Wigeon, 321 Dark and 37 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 262 Teal, 165 Redshank, 113 Grey Plover, 86 Bar and three Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Knot, 53 Shelduck, 28 Ringed Plover, 17 Sanderling, eight Greenshank, three Red-breasted Merganser and single Little Grebe and Kingfisher.

Raven - Alan Keatley

A Siberian Chiffchaff was by the Main Pond, with seven Chiffchaff, six Goldcrest, four Song Thrush, two Bullfinch and a Redwing were on site with a lone Siskin overhead. Elsewhere 23 Skylark commuted between Warren Point and the Bight and a pair a Raven patrolled the site.

Skylark - Alan Keatley

Other Wildlife: A few hardy insects were active once the frost had dissipated, with several Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Common Dronefly and Marmalade Hoverfly milling around the ornamental Hebe.

Marmalade Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere four Red Admiral and three Common Darter were still on the wing and a Harbour Porpoise was offshore.

Red Admiral - Alan Keatley

Friday 24 November 2023

Friday 24th November

Two Red-throated Diver were close in from the seawall with c100 Razorbill S during 1 hour seawatch. Also offshore a feeding flock of c60 Kittiwake and 30 Gannet, seven Great Crested Grebe, two Common Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere 460 Dark and 39 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were feeding at low tide with 55 Shelduck and two adult Mediterranean Gull in the estuary and 10 Chiffchaff and four Goldcrest were on site.

Thursday 23 November 2023

Thursday 23rd November

A low tide visit saw 247 Dark and 44 Pale-bellied Brent Goose feeding on the mudflats, with three Common Scoter, four Great Northern and Red-throated Diver offshore in millpond conditions and a Firecrest and four Chiffchaff in the Entrances Bushes.

Other Wildlife: A warm, sunny afternoon was productive for late autumn insects, possibly the last records of the year for some. Heading the list were six Common Darter basking in the sunshine.

Common Darter - Alan Keatley

Potential migrants were four Marmalade Hoverfly and a Silver Y that flew in over the seawall. On the Hebe were several Common Dronefly and Buff-tailed Bumblebee, with Honey Bee and Common Wasp on Gorse.

Other active invertebrates included the leaf beetle Chrysolina banksii and a couple of Invisible Spider Drapetisca socialis

Invisible Spider - Alan Keatley

Chrysolina banksii - Alan Keatley

The Grey Squirrel was in trees by the First Pond.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Tuesday 21st November

A redhead Goosander south close offshore, before heading high inland near Langstone Rock, was the highlight, the first Warren record since Oct 2020. 

Elsewhere 260 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 23 Ringed and 16 Grey Plover were in the Bight, 25 Skylark foraged around the strandline, the lone Bar-tailed Godwit continued to feed on the beach; and a Great Northern Diver was off Warren Point.

Other Wildlife: A Rusty-dot Pearl at Langstone Rock showed continuing insect migration. 

Rusty-dot Pearl - Alan Keatley

Monday 20 November 2023

Monday 20th November

A Lapwing in the estuary was only the second record of the year, with a good count of 11 Rock Pipit, many showing littoralis characteristics, also showing new arrivals. Counts from the Bight at high tide included 2019 Dunlin, 222 Dark and 34 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 134 Curlew, 81 Bar-tailed Godwit, 77 Grey and 34 Ringed Plover, 28 Knot and 19 Sanderling. In Shutterton Creek, 1233 Wigeon, 162 Teal, 70 Shelduck and an adult Mediterranean Gull floated out high water.

Elsewhere a Firecrest was in Dead Dolphin Wood with nine Chiffchaff, six Goldcrest, three Siskin and two Lesser Redpoll in the scrub; and an hour seawatch first thing saw three Great Northern Diver offshore with 99 Gannet, 71 Kittiwake and 61 Razorbill south.

Other Wildlife: A pod of seven Common Dolphin headed south distantly offshore.

Sunday 19 November 2023

Sunday 19th November

An hour 15 m sea watch first thing saw some S passage with 367 Kittiwake, 284 Razorbill and 114 Gannet the main counts along with seven Guillemot, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, a Fulmar and a Wigeon.

Counts from the estuary included 1805 Dunlin, 1291 Wigeon, 938 Oystercatcher, 367 Dark and 22 Pale bellied Brent Geese, with 13 juv Dark-bellied, 229 Redshank, 166 Curlew, 165 Teal, 108 Bar-tailed Godwit, 82 Grey and 35 Ringed Plover, 77 Snipe, 75 Shelduck, 66 Common and two Mediterranean Gull, 47 Knot, 14 Sanderling, 14 Greenshank and a Little Grebe.

Elsewhere two Water Pipit were in the saltmarsh (no access),  two Redwing flew through ahead of a squall and just two Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest could be found in the blown out scrub. 

Saturday 18 November 2023

Saturday 18th November

Evidence of wildfowl movement offshore early morning with 13 Pintail and a ♂ Red-breasted Merganser into the estuary with a Tufted Duck, 10 Wigeon, and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser south. Also heading south 116 Kittiwake, 47 Dunlin, three Great Northern and three Red-throated Diver.

Counts over high tide included 960 Wigeon, 254 Dark and 44 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 144 Redshank, 102 Teal, 47 Bar-tailed Godwit and two Mediterranean Gull, with a Great Northern Diver close in off Warren Point.

A Siberian Chiffchaff around the Main Pond arrived with at least 11 Chiffchaff, six Goldcrest and two Firecrest also on site. The Cetti's Warbler perched up briefly in brambles beside Back Path and 16 Cirl Bunting were on the Golf Course.

Other Wildlife: The elusive Grey Squirrel was again in the Entrance Bushes, with two Stoat seen darting across dune paths. Offshore a feeding pod of at least three Common Dolphin.

Friday 17 November 2023

Friday 17th November

A bright start to the day and with a light westerly wind Woodpigeon were again on the move, although many were probably missed early on, the tally between 8:30 and 11.00 was just over 10,000 west, with a handful of Stock Dove and Skylark amongst the flocks.

On site there were a few Chiffchaff in the bushes with three Bullfinch, a pair of displaying Goldcrest, a male Blackcap was along the Back Path and a Stock Dove on Warren Point.

Goldcrest - Alan Keatley

At high tide counts from the Bight included 363 Dark and 24 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 181 Curlew, 66 Shelduck and 62 Bar-tailed Godwit. Offshore single Great Northern and Red-throated Diver with eight each of Common Scoter and Great Crested Grebe.

Sanderling - Alan Keatley

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Tuesday 14th November

A nice surprise was an early morning year tick with three Velvet Scoter south, close offshore with a single Common Scoter at 8.10am. Species 183 for the year - technical issues are currently preventing updates to the Recording Group website.  Also, offshore two Great Northern Diver south and a bird close in off groyne 15.

Great Northern Diver - Alan Keatley

Little to report from the estuary on a low tide visit, but 15 Skylark on Warren Point presumably indicate the arrival of the wintering flock, the Cetti's Warbler was by the Main Pond and two Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest were on site.

Other Wildlife: After a wet, showery start it eventually brightened up in the afternoon encouraging insects to appear on the wing; mostly on the flowering Hebe near the Boathouse. From now on this, the main concentration of winter nectar, will be the main refuge for wintering hoverflies and bumblebees.

Common Dronefly - Alan Keatley

Today's hoverflies included Humming Syrphus S. ribesii, Short Melanostoma M. mellinum, Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax, Common Spotted Field Syrph Eupeodes luniger and Migrant Field Syrph E. corollae. The two Eupeodes may have been migrants along with a Silver Y, a single Red Admiral NE along the ridge and several Harlequin Ladybird on the seawall.

Silver Y - Alan Keatley

Monday 13 November 2023

Monday 13th November

The first Grey Phalarope of the year flew SW close in past seawall early morning, with a 1.5 hour seawatch also producing a late Manx Shearwater and counts of 132 Gannet, 113 Kittiwake, five Great Northern and three Red-throated Diver. all SW. Two Great Northern Diver were also close inshore off Warren Point.

There was another big arrival in the estuary with 1788 Dunlin in Bight on the dropping tide and wildfowl in Shutterton Creek including 1237 Wigeon, 384 Dark and 50 Pale-bellied Brent Geese. Other counts included 167 Redshank, 51 Turnstone, 32 Grey and three Ringed Plover, 26 Knot, seven Greenshank, three adult Mediterranean and a Yellow-legged Gull.

Elsewhere a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes, seven Chiffchaff and four Goldcrest were on site and the Dartford Warbler was on the Golf Course.

Other Wildlife: A Southern Hawker was hunting over the Entrance Pond and flooded paths.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Sunday 12th November

An adult and a 1cy Little Gull were feeding offshore early morning, with two adult Mediterranean Gull, a Sandwich Tern, 36 Common Scoter, two ♂ Eider and five Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver.

Dunlin numbers rose noticeably with 960 around the Bight along with 55 Bar and five Black-tailed Godwit, 51 Turnstone, 42 Grey and four Ringed Plover, 17 Knot and 12 Sanderling. Also in the estuary, 702 Wigeon, 376 Dark and 47 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 139 Redshank, 91 Teal, eight Greenshank and single Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser and the Spotted Redshank on one of its infrequent visits to the Recording Area.

Elsewhere a Firecrest was in Dead Dolphin Wood, with eight Goldcrest and seven Chiffchaff, of varying hues and calls, present and at least three Redwing heard overhead in the murk at dawn.

Saturday 11 November 2023

Saturday 11th November

Most of the morning was spent looking overhead with two firsts for the year, single Yellowhammer and Fieldfare heading west pre dawn. These were followed by three different Great White Egret, high SW @08:35, low S @09:00 and circling over site before heading E @9.45, as well as the more expected species. 

Totals included 22260 Woodpigeon, 123 Stock Dove, 49 Starling, 38 Skylark, a flock of c35 Knot with an accompanying Golden Plover, 31 Chaffinch, 28 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 16 Meadow Pipit, 12 Goldfinch, three Snipe, three Rook, just one Jackdaw and a late Swallow.

Counts from the estuary included 1094 Oystercatcher, 794 Wigeon, c650 Dunlin, 206 Dark and 37 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 81 Teal, 38 Bar-tailed Godwit, 37 Grey and 35 Ringed Plover, 15 Greenshank, 12 Sanderling and two Knot.

Elsewhere 19 Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore in the mirror calm conditions, a pair of Black Swan flew in off before settling in the estuary, a Snipe was on Warren Point, four Chiffchaff, two Bullfinch and a Lesser Redpoll were in the bushes and the Cetti's Warbler was again recorded by the Main Pond.

Kestrel - Dave Jewell

Other Wildlife: A Grey Seal was in the estuary and two Red Admiral flew west through Warren Point. 

Thursday 9 November 2023

Thursday 9th November

Counts from the estuary included c700 Dunlin, 699 Wigeon, 292 Dark and 44 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 168 Redshank, 59 Bar-tailed Godwit, 33 Ringed and 27 Grey Plover, just 13 Teal and eight Sanderling.  

Elsewhere the ♂ & imm ♂  Eider were offshore with a Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern early morning, a Buzzard headed W with 22 Long-tailed Tit, four Goldcrest and three Chiffchaff.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Wednesday 8th November

The overnight wind and rain caught up a few seabirds still making their way back to the Atlantic following Storm Ciaran. Two, possibly three Leach's Petrel were the highlight of a 2.5hr seawatch first thing, along with a Sooty Shearwater, c15 Storm Petrel, 68 Gannet, seven Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver. Also offshore 24 Common Scoter and two Eider (ad & imm ♂).

A Short-eared Owl glided low around The Bight, at high tide spooking waders until they got used to it. Although it often settled, the crows didn't get used to it and repeatedly chased it off. Also around the estuary the 2cy Spoonbill, 576 Dunlin, 34 Ringed and 33 Grey Plover, 269 Dark and 26 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, three Pintail with the Wigeon and a Kingfisher.

Elsewhere 74 Linnet were in the Bight with just four Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff in the bushes but they were often in a record-equalling flock of 40 Long-tailed Tit, the previous peak was also a November record in 1985. A mating pair of Mallard at the Main Pond, were no doubt hoping for New Year ducklings.

Little Grebe - Alan Keatley

Other Wildlife: No insects on the wing in the conditions but a Grey Seal was offshore. 

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Tuesday 7th November

Early morning skywatching was rewarded by a juvenile Hen Harrier which flew low SW across from Exmouth and down length of the spit just after 8am. Only the 15th Warren record and the first since 3rd Nov 2010. Other passage closely mirrored that date with 4410 Woodpigeon, 56 Jackdaw, 18 Stock Dove and three Rook, also overhead 38 Goldfinch, 23 Chaffinch and 11 Siskin.

Bar-tailed Godwit - Dean Hall

The immature Spoonbill roosted on Finger Point, with 51 Shelduck also in the estuary, over counts were much lower on the neap tide. A juvenile Arctic Skua in The Bight before settling behind the Golf Course was unseasonal.

Elsewhere an immature ♂ Eider and a Great Northern Diver were offshore, with a roving flock of 19 Long-tailed Tit, occasionally held four Goldcrest and two Chiffchaff.

Other Wildlife: The late autumn duo of Red Admiral and Common Darter were joined by a Specked Wood and a Southern Hawker. Also noted were a few Marmalade and Long Hoverfly, Common Dronefly and Noon Fly.

Red Admiral - Alan Keatley

Common Darter - Alan Keatley

Noon Fly - Alan Keatley

Monday 6 November 2023

Monday 6th November

Another morning of overhead movement, with 6530 Woodpigeon WSW, although quite a condensed passage, with them 46 Starling, 17 Jackdaw, 15 Stock Dove and two Rook. With so much food on offer a ♂ Goshawk was active offsite, before circling over estuary.  The lack of low cloud meant smaller migrants passed unseen/heard with just 13 Chaffinch, four Lesser Redpoll and three Siskin.

Numbers in the estuary were lower over the neap tide with many birds sitting it out on Cockle Sands. The juvenile Spoonbill and Curlew Sandpiper were both still present and counts included 280+ Wigeon, 146 Redshank, 82 Dark and 36 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 38 Ringed Plover, 26 Teal, 20 Knot, six Great Crested Grebe, two adult Mediterranean Gull and a ♀ Pintail.

Elsewhere five Chiffchaff and four Goldcrest were on site with two Great Northern Diver and 22 Common Scoter offshore with a pair of Eider off Langstone Rock.

Other Wildlife: Six Red Admiral were seen moving east with three Common Darter sunning themselves on fencing around Skipper Meadow. Other flying insects were largely restricted to the few remaining Ivy flowers with two species of social wasp and three hoverflies amongst other various fungus and blowflies. 

Common Dronefly Eristalis tenax - Kevin Rylands

Sunday 5 November 2023

Sunday 5th November

An early morning seawatch was quiet but with an eclectic mix of species; a Balearic Shearwater east, 15 Common Scoter and the ♂ Eider on the sea and in off, a lone Barnacle Goose at 7am, 16 Knot and five Pintail.

Skywatching was equally rewarding with a spectacular passage of 18,360 Woodpigeon SW to WSW from dawn through to c.11:30, including a melanistic bird, following a partial leucistic individual yesterday. With them, 65 Jackdaw, at least 30 Stock Dove, six Rook and at one stage, a Golden Plover.

Passerine numbers also picked up with 296 Chaffinch, 169 Linnet, 90 Starling, 66 Goldfinch, 19 Meadow Pipit, 13 Greenfinch, 10 Siskin, two Lesser Redpoll and a Skylark all heading west.

Grounded migrants were thinner on the ground but included a late Wheatear with threes of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest whilst a Bullfinch was in Dead Dolphin Wood and the immature ♂ Dartford Warbler was still of the Golf Course.

In the estuary a Spoonbill on Finger Point, the Water Pipit in the saltmarsh and a late Curlew Sandpiper was amongst the 745 Dunlin. Other counts included 579 Wigeon, 332 Dark and 48 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 149 Redshank, 60 Turnstone, 55 Teal, 30 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, seven Greenshank and five additional Pintail.

Other Wildlife: Two Red Admiral and a Common Darter were still on the wing.

Saturday 4 November 2023

Saturday 4th November

An early morning seawatch saw a few birds reorientating after the storm with four Storm Petrel the most notable, along with 33 Gannet, seven Kittiwake, five Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver south in just over an hour.

Overhead there was some movement again during the showers with 7696 Wood Pigeon, 44 Jackdaw and at least 20 Stock Dove heading WSW. Also through single Golden Plover, Siskin and Swallow.

Elsewhere three Chiffchaff and a ♂ Blackcap were onsite with the three Spoonbill still in the estuary. Counts over high tide were reduced for many species with ample floodwater now present elsewhere; they included 690 Dunlin, 235 Dark and 17 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 62 Turnstone, 26 Teal, 19 Grey and two Ringed Plover, seven Sanderling and six Knot.

Other Wildlife: Two Red Admiral were still on the wing.

Friday 3 November 2023

Friday 3rd November

The three Spoonbill remain, roosting on Finger Point at high tide and feeding in Shutterton Creek during low water, also in the estuary, counts included 827 Wigeon, 700 Dunlin, 252 Dark and 27 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 41 Shelduck, 25 Grey and six Ringed Plover, just 18 Teal, seven Greenshank, two Sanderling, two Knot and the Whimbrel. A juvenile Common Tern was a new arrival and the latest since a long-stayer that remained until 3rd Dec 2006.

Overhead 2260 Woodpigeon flew WSW during gaps in showers with 56 Jackdaw, 44 Lesser Black-backed Gull, nine Stock Dove and seven Rook also passing through. Three Lesser Redpoll and a Bullfinch were the pick of the few passerines.

Elsewhere the Dartford Warbler remains on the Golf Course, five Chiffchaff and four Goldcrest were on site with a drake Eider and a Great Northern Diver off Warren Point.

Other Wildlife: A late Southern Hawker was still on the wing at the Main Pond, seven Red Admiral flew through and a Speckled Wood was in the Entrance Bushes.

Thursday 2 November 2023

Thursday 2nd November

Storm Ciaran blew through overnight and seemingly took all the birds with it, an hours seawatch only producing 23 Gannet and single Common Scoter and Kittiwake south. Elsewhere a Whitethroat was in the Buffer Zone, the first November record for the Warren, four Great Crested Grebe sheltering in the estuary, a drake Eider off Warren Point and two Kingfisher on site, one in the estuary and the other at the Main Pond.