Sunday 3 December 2023

Sunday 3rd December

Three Velvet Scoter, a ♀ and later a pair, were the highlight of an early 1.5 hour seawatch, also passing SW; 44 Gannet and nine Kittiwake, with 18 Common Scoter, two Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver offshore and a flock of eight Eider off Warren Point (six ♀, two fw ♂).

Counts from the estuary included 159 Bar-tailed Godwit, 126 Knot, 70 Shelduck, 35 Sanderling, six Pintail, five Greenshank, three Red-breasted Merganser and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Other counts were similar to recent days e.g. 1660 Dunlin, 1074 Wigeon, 689 Teal and the two family parties of Pale-bellied Brent Geese.

Elsewhere two Water Pipit were around the Bight, with a couple of presumed littoralis Rock Pipit, 12 Skylark and just six Linnet. Around the bushes 49 Goldfinch, 15 Greenfinch, 12 Cirl and a Reed Bunting, nine Siskin, four Bullfinch, three Chiffchaff and three Goldcrest, with a single Siskin overhead and six Shoveler at the Main Pond (2 pairs; ♂, imm ♂).

Ringing News: Good viewing conditions the last couple of days have enabled field reads of over 80 Oystercatcher, 20 Dunlin and three Grey Plover from the DCWRG Exe study. A further 10 project Oystercatcher were also present but the colour-rings are no longer identifiable due to wear. Amongst these highlights included an Oystercatcher first ringed in 1989 and a Dunlin from the first catch in 2019. 

Other recoveries included a Welsh and a West Midlands ringed Oystercatcher, two Shelduck from the AERG and a Great Black-backed Gull (P:87B) ringed as a chick on Portland Breakwater in 2015 and recorded here for the 169th time.

Other Wildlife: Flying insects were largely limited to Scathophaga litorea, the Strandline Dung Fly, around washed up seaweed. Further up the remaining beach, a larvae of the ground beetle Broscus cephalotes under driftwood and a fine specimen of Dune Cup Peziza ammophila.

Broscus cephalotes - Kevin Rylands

Dune Cup - Kevin Rylands

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