Sunday 31 March 2024

Sunday 31st March

A one hour seawatch first thing saw c25 Manx Shearwater head east with 11 Common Scoter and six Red-throated Diver flew SW and 47 Common Gull in off and up the estuary.

Counts from the estuary included 74 Curlew, 25 Dark and eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 13 Sandwich Tern, 10 Grey and two Ringed Plover, eight Knot, seven Eider, six Teal, three Greenshank, two Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a ♂ Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere the Red-legged Partridge was again on the Golf Course, a Great Northern Diver was offshore, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit was in the saltmarsh and nine Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and a Willow Warbler were on site.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Saturday 30th March

A clear sunny day brought some overhead movement including single Red Kite and Buzzard east late morning with six Rook, two Meadow Pipit and a Jackdaw also over. 

In the estuary an increase to 24 Sandwich Tern with other counts including 76 Curlew, 26 Turnstone, 14 Dark and 13 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 13 Redshank, 10 Grey and two Ringed Plover, nine Eider, six Teal, five Greenshank, three Red-breasted Merganser, two Sanderling and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Elsewhere a Red-throated Diver flew SW and nine Chiffchaff, three Blackcap and two Willow Warbler were on site.

Ringing News: A familiar and welcome sight, although more typical in autumn, was Sandwich Tern 'Red KDB'. This bird was ringed on passage at Ynyslas on the Dyfi Estuary in Wales on 13 Sep 2015. this is the ninth year in arow it has been recorded at the warren, first seen in 2016. it's breeding grounds remain unknown but it has been recorded wintering at Walvis Bay in Namibia. 

A second regular bird, a Turnstone was also recorded. This metal-ringed bird was ringed at Halland, Nidingen in Sweden on 22 Aug 21 and is still present during at least its third winter on site.

Other Wildlife: A Grey Seal was hauled out on the new pontoon in the estuary. The sunshine saw a good emergence of Sand Crocus with some plants even still flowering after 3pm. The strength of the wind however reduced insect activity but the first Early Bumblebee queen of the year was on the wing. Also nectaring, largely on sallows or Alexanders, Common Carder Bee, a worker Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Hairy-footed Flower Bee and Yellow-legged Mining Bee with four species of hoverfly and an emergence of Bibio lanigerus.

Spotted Meliscaeva M. auricollis egg-laying on Tree Lupin, an important aphid source - Kevin Rylands

Sheltering under driftwood and stones a wide range of species including a flat backed millipede Polydesmus angustus, Ant Woodlouse Platyarthrus hoffmannseggii and Sea Beet Weevil Lixus scabricollis.

Ant Woodlouse - Kevin Rylands

Friday 29 March 2024

Friday 29th March

A Great Skua was a welcome surprise heading SW during an otherwise uneventful early morning seawatch with three Great Northern Diver and three Great Crested Grebe on the sea and a 3cy Mediterranean Gull offshore.

Counts from the estuary included 223 Oystercatcher, 52 Curlew, 36 Turnstone, 36 Dark and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 13 Grey and two Ringed Plover, 11 Sandwich Tern, nine Eider (six ♀ & three immature ♂), five Redshank, pairs of Red-breasted Merganser and Teal, two Sanderling and a Dunlin.

Elsewhere a Willow Warbler was in the Entrance Bushes, with nine Chiffchaff, four Wheatear and a Blackcap on site with three Jackdaw and three Rook overhead.

Year list addition:

123. Great Skua

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Wednesday 27th March

An unexpected highlight was a probable Semipalmated Sandpiper briefly on the dropping tide late morning before flying up the estuary with five Dunlin. There was no sign on the evening tide. Although palmations (and feet) were not visible the bird was either a Semipalmated or Western Sandpiper, the short bill suggesting the former.  The third record for the Warren, and although unseasonal the 2009 presumed Western Sandpiper arrived on 8th April. 

Grey Plovers, Dunlin & probable Semipalmated Sandpiper - Lee Collins

Also in the estuary 54 Turnstone, 52 Dark and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 47 Curlew, 34 Redshank, 13 Teal, 12 Grey and a Ringed Plover, nine Eider, including a new 2cy male, eight Red-breasted Merganser, seven Greenshank, five Sandwich Tern, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a Knot.

Elsewhere an hour seawatch saw 67 Kittiwake, 57 Gannet, eight Common Scoter, two Red-throated Diver and a 3cy Mediterranean Gull flew SW, a Great Northern Diver was off Warren Point and two Wheatear were in the Bight.

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Tuesday 26th March

The first Willow Warbler of the year was singing briefly by the Tractor Compound before quickly moving on. The half dozen Chiffchaff and a Blackcap on the other hand were more concerned in establishing territories. 

Wintering waders are continuing to drop in number, with 60 Curlew, 36 Turnstone, five Sanderling and three Ringed Plover noted. Also in the estuary 31 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, the nine Eider and a Sandwich Tern. A flock on Pale-bellied Brent Geese were on a offshore sand bank, with single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver on the sea. 

Year list addition:

121. Willow Warbler

Other Wildlife: The sunshine brought out a Common Lizard and a few Speckled Wood and Peacock butterflies, with Common Carder Bee, Yellow-legged and Small Sallow Mining Bee also on the wing. 

Common Carder Bee - Alan Keatley

New for the year were the ground beetle Harpalus affinis (missing a wing case) and the spear-winged fly Lonchoptera bifurcata were around the edge of The Bight.

Harpalus affinis - Alan Keatley

Lonchoptera bifurcata - Alan Keatley

Monday 25 March 2024

Monday 25th March

An immature Black-throated Diver was the highlight of a two hour 30 min seawatch this morning, the first confirmed record since oct 2018. It flew in from the east before landing close in off seawall, lingering for 10-15 minutes before it took off continuing SW, accompanying one of the morning's 23 Red-throated Diver.

Also heading SW, 468 Kittiwake, 378 Gannet, 48 auk sp, 34 Guillemot, 21 Razorbill, the first 12 Manx Shearwater of the year, 10 Common Scoter, eight Fulmar and four Sandwich Tern with two Great Northern Diver on the sea. 

Counts from the morning high tide included 106 Oystercatcher, 56 Dark and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 34 Redshank, 26 Curlew, 13 Knot, eight Eider, seven Teal, six Ringed and five Grey Plover, three Bar-tailed Godwit, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser, two Greenshank and a Dunlin.

Elsewhere the Water Pipit was in the saltmarsh, a summer plumaged Scandinavian Rock Pipit was in The Bight and five  Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest were in the blown out bushes. 

Year list additions

119. Black-throated Diver
120. Manx Shearwater

Sunday 24 March 2024

Sunday 24th March

Counts from the estuary included 291 Oystercatcher, 139 Curlew, 76 Dark and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 47 Turnstone, 41 Bar-tailed Godwit, 33 Redshank, 16 Teal, 13 Grey and four Ringed Plover, 13 Knot, eight Eider, seven Greenshank, six Sanderling, four Red-breasted Merganser and two Dunlin.

Elsewhere nine Great Crested Grebe, eight Sandwich Tern, three Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver were offshore, two Sand Martin and two Meadow Pipit were overhead, a Water Pipit was in the saltmarsh, with nine Chiffchaff and a Wheatear on site.

Other Wildlife: Three Peacock and a Speckled Wood were on the wing. 

Saturday 23 March 2024

Saturday 23rd March

Some light overhead N-NE passage this morning with 27 Black-headed, 10 Common and a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 21 Woodpigeon, a flock of 20 Sand Martin, 12 Rook, 10 Carrion Crow, five Chaffinch, three Meadow Pipit and single Pied Wagtail and Jackdaw. Also moving four immature Mute Swan flew SW down coast.

Counts from the estuary included 94 Curlew, 79 Dark and six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 55 Redshank, 46 Turnstone, 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Oystercatcher, 12 Teal, 11 Knot, eight Eider, five Sanderling, five Grey Plover, five Greenshank, four Red-breasted Merganser and just three Dunlin.

Elsewhere eight Sandwich Tern, seven Great Crested Grebe, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore, a Cetti's Warbler was in brambles beside the Back Path at end of Dead Dolphin Wood, presumably the same elusive bird last recorded on 1st February, seven Chiffchaff were on site and two Wheatear were in The Bight.

Other Wildlife: A torpid Speckled Wood was warmed up and eventually took to the wing during a sunny spell.

Friday 22 March 2024

Friday 22nd March

A ♂ Wheatear was newly arrived on the Dune Ridge, with a ♂ Blackcap in Dead Dolphin Wood and eight Chiffchaff on site. The first Red-legged Partridge of the year was flushed up from Dune Ridge before gliding across Greenland Lake, right in the 'migration' period for this species on site. 

A singing Meadow Pipit on Warren Point was hopefully not a migrant unlike the two over SW, also heading SW, two Grey Heron, one far offshore, another overland early morning.

Counts from the estuary included 209 Oystercatcher, 122 Curlew, 93 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 59 Turnstone, 27 Redshank, 12 Teal, 11 Greenshank, the nine Eider, eight Bar-tailed Godwit, six Sanderling, four Red-breasted Merganser, a Ringed Plover and no Dunlin.

Offshore two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver flew SW with four Sandwich Tern in the bay and three Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, three Great Crested Grebe and two Common Scoter on the sea.

Year list addition:

118. Red-legged Partridge

Thursday 21 March 2024

Thursday 21st March

A low tide afternoon visit, reflected by low bird numbers in the estuary, although two Sandwich Tern were present. Offshore was more productive with four Great Northern Diver and 10 Great Crested Grebe in flat calm conditions.

Elsewhere four Chiffchaff were on site with three Teal still on the Main Pond, alongside breeding Little Grebe and Moorhen and prospecting Canada Geese and Mute Swan

Other Wildlife: The bright warm weather encouraged more insects to make their first appearance of the year including a Comma on the Dune Ridge, with three Peacock and a Speckled Wood also on the wing.

Comma - Alan Keatley

Bumblebees are also emerging from their winter hibernation with queen Common Carder Bee and Red-tailed Bumblebee in the Buffer Zone alongside several Buff-tailed Bumblebee. One of the few furrow bees to appear in March, a Shaggy Furrow Bee Lasioglossum villosulum was nectaring on a Dandelion. Several male Hairy-footed Flower Bee were busy around the planted Rosemary near the crazy golf. 

Shaggy Furrow Bee - Alan Keatley

Hairy-footed Flower Bee - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere it was just about sunny enough for a few Sand Crocus to make an appearance and a Common Groundhopper was a welcome find amongst the Marram on the Dune Ridge, the first record for several years.

Sand Crocus, an unusually dark flower - Alan Keatley

Common Groundhopper - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Wednesday 20th March

The year's first Yellow-legged Gull, a 4cy, was in the estuary with 13 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and four Eider

Elsewhere nine Common Scoter, four Sandwich Tern and three Great Northern Diver were offshore and two Blackcap and a Wheatear were on site.

Year List update:

117. Yellow-legged Gull

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Tuesday 19th March

As spring progresses three Wheatear were on site, two in Greenland Lake and one in The Bight, a Sandwich Tern offshore and a Scandinavian Rock Pipit on the beach. Also offshore two Great Crested Grebe, a close in Fulmar and single Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver.

Wheatear - Dean Hall

Great Northern Diver - Dean Hall

Elsewhere a pair of Buzzard were joined by a third, flight displaying over the estuary and a flock of 40 Bar-tailed Godwit flock flew into Railway Saltmarsh at low tide.

Other Wildlife: Not as sunny as yesterday and fewer flying insects with no butterflies or mining bees, but it was compensated by a few notable beetles, the best being a Bloody-nosed Beetle stranded on the beach. 

Bloody-nosed Beetle - Alan Keatley

Also recorded Black Marram Weevil Otiorhynchus atroapterus clambering back up a geotube and a 22-spot Ladybird on the Dune Ridge.

Black Marram Weevil - Alan Keatley

Monday 18 March 2024

Monday 18th March

A 1 hr 15min seawatch saw four Common Scoter and three Red-throated Diver head SW, with two Sandwich Tern, seven Great Crested Grebe, two Great Northern and Red-throated Diver offshore.

Records from the estuary included the nine Eider and a 2cy Mediterranean Gull on Bull Hill with counts including 55 Turnstone, 36 Oystercatcher, 21 Teal, 21 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 13 Redshank, eight Greenshank and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere a Sand Martin flew north, six immature Mute Swan flew SW out of estuary and a Chiffchaff on Warren Point was one of five on site. 

Other Wildlife: The second day of spring sunshine saw the first emergence of the Warren (Sand) Crocus, with at least 15 plants in flower.

The same weather encouraged a couple of basking Common Lizard and the first Speckled Wood of the year along the Back Path, with two Peacock again on the wing. 

Speckled Wood - Alan Keatley

Various other insects also made their first appearance of the year, including Small Sallow Mining Bee Andrena praecox, Common Green Furrow Bee Lasioglossum morio and a couple of male Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes busy nectaring and an early Plain-faced Dronefly Eristalis arbustorum basking in the warm sunshine. 

Common Green Furrow Bee - Alan Keatley

Other firsts for the year the weevil Euophryum confine and the  nationally scarce Dune Jumper Marpissa nivoyi and Sand-bear Spider Arctosa perita.

Euophryum confine - Alan Keatley

Dune Jumper Marpissa nivoyi - Alan Keatley

Sand-bear Spider Arctosa perita - Alan Keatley

Sunday 17 March 2024

Sunday 17th March

More signs of migration today with nine Wheatear on site, the first three Sand Martin of the year overhead, a ♂ White Wagtail along the Dune Ridge and a Firecrest behind the Main Pond. Also on site seven Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and a Siskin.

A White-tailed Eagle, presumed a 4cy from the IoW reintroduction, flew NNW at 12:30 before being lost behind Cofton ridge. presumably the same bird flew over Paignton at 11:58. The fourth site record, the previous all being between 21st-27th March. 

Counts from the estuary included 124 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 105 Dunlin, 58 Turnstone, 57 Oystercatcher, 37 Bar-tailed Godwit, 23 Redshank, 20 Curlew, 17 Sanderling, 16 Teal, nine Eider, seven Greenshank, four Knot, a Grey Plover and a Sandwich Tern.

Elsewhere seven Great Crested Grebe and a Great Northern Diver were offshore with two Red-breasted Merganser and two Red-throated Diver SW during a 1hr 15 min seawatch.

Year list addition:

116. Sand Martin
White-tailed Eagle
White Wagtail

Other Wildlife: Two Peacock were on the wing in the spring conditions with it mild enough for the first Common Pipistrelle of the year to emerge early evening. 

Beosus maritimus - Kevin Rylands

On Warren Point the continued rapid erosion of the dunes has reduced the remaining populations of the nationally scarce dog lichen Peltigera neckeri. A new species for the Recording Area was found whilst checking the losses, the lichenicolous fungi Corticifraga fuckelii on Peltigera canina

Peltigera neckeri - Kevin Rylands

Saturday 16 March 2024

Saturday 16th March

Despite the grey, drizzly weather there were signs of spring movement with three Sandwich Tern, the first of the year, in the bay, a smart ♂ Wheatear on Warren Point and seven Chiffchaff in the bushes. Overhead a Red Kite, one of three loosely together, drifted SW over the corner of the Recording Area, with single Skylark, Siskin and Meadow Pipit overhead.

The breeding season is also arriving with the pair of Mute Swan returning to the Main Pond for another season with Blue and Great Tit prospecting nestboxes.

Mute Swan - Alan Keatley

Counts from the estuary included 97 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 96 Dunlin, 85 Oystercatcher, 50 Turnstone, 38 Curlew, 26 Teal, 25 Sanderling, 24 Grey and five Ringed Plover, the usual nine Eider, two Greenshank, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Eider (immature male) - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere two Great Northern Diver and four Great Crested Grebe were offshore with six Common Scoter and three Red-throated Diver SW during a 1h 30 min seawatch.

Year list addition

115. Sandwich Tern

Other Wildlife: The resident Grey Squirrel remains in the Entrance Bushes.

Friday 15 March 2024

Friday 15th March

An hour seawatch early morning saw a Kestrel head SW along with three Wigeon, 20 Gannet, 11 Kittiwake, six Common Scoter, four Fulmar and two Red-throated Diver.

Another high tide with waders again roosting on groynes, counts included 152 Dunlin, 97 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 34 Turnstone, 27 Sanderling, 26 Bar-tailed Godwit circling The Bight briefly, 21 Teal, seven Eider, five Grey Plover, four Oystercatcher, a Knot and a ♂  Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere eight Great Crested Grebe were offshore, two Rook flew SW and four Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and a Siskin were in the bushes.

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Wednesday 13th March

The high spring tide meant again meant roosting space for waders was at a premium, some were using the beach and groynes with others packed tightly around the shore of The Bight. Counts reflect that many birds roosted elsewhere, with 140 Dunlin, 27 Grey and a Ringed Plover, 26 Turnstone, 20 Curlew, 15 Oystercatcher and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Also on the estuary, 123 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and nine Eider.

Elsewhere 10 Common Scoter were off the seawall early morning, one of at least five Little Grebe at the Main Pond was carrying nesting material, two Chiffchaff were on territory and a Pheasant was on Warren Point. 

Other Wildlife: A new ant for the Recording Area was a good find on Warren Point. Attention was drawn to it, a Myrmica ruginodis, as it tenaciously tried to drag an unfortunate Bibio johannis back to its nest.

Myrmica ruginodis with Bibio johannis - Alan Keatley

Paradromius linearis - Alan Keatley

Monday 11 March 2024

Monday 11th March

A morning of notable spring migration with c360 Woodpigeon heading NNE, the largest spring passage count on site, Also passing the first Stock Dove of the year in one of the pigeon flocks, 48 Jackdaw, 40 Siskin, 14 Carrion Crow, 12 Rook and a Chaffinch. Also overhead a Red Kite which headed north up the W side of estuary at 13:00. Grounded migrants where limited to five Chiffchaff and a single Wheatear

Sparrowhawk - Alan Keatley

Over the extreme high tide waders were largely restricted to the exposed groynes with counts of 431 Dunlin, 56 Grey Plover, 25 Sanderling, three Knot and just three Oystercatcher. Counts from the dropping tide included 304 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 49 Turnstone, 40 Redshank, 30 Teal, the nine Eider, five Greenshank and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser.

Two Great Northern Diver and seven Great Crested Grebe were offshore, with seven Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver flying SW.

Year list addition,

114. Stock Dove

Other Wildlife: A Peacock was on the wing in the sunshine along with two new hoverflies for the year, a Grey-spotted Boxer Platycheirus albimanus and a Slender Melanstoma M. scalare.

Grey-spotted Boxer - Alan Keatley

Beetles below the geotubes included the first Hypocaccus dimidiatus, a clown beetle, since 2017, two more Prasocuris phellandrii and a Strawberry Seed Beetle Harpalus rufipes

Hypocaccus dimidiatus - Alan Keatley

Harpalus rufipes - Alan Keatley

A series of prints around Soft Sand Bay on Warren Point appear to belong to a Feral Cat, an unwelcome potential addition to the Recording Area's fauna. 

Sunday 10 March 2024

Sunday 10th March

The first Wheatear of the year made landfall, a ♂ moving between the Golf Course and The Bight, also arriving at least nine Chiffchaff on site and 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull heading north.

In the estuary 493 Dark and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese sheltered behind the Golf Course overnight with other counts on a flooded tide including 68 Grey and 13 Ringed Plover, 28 Teal, 26 Sanderling and the nine Eider. Offshore two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver with a flock of nine Red-throated Diver flying SW.

Year List addition

113. Wheatear

Saturday 9 March 2024

Saturday 9th March

Spring migrants were largely limited to northward movements of gulls up the estuary with 21 Lesser Black-backed Gull during the day along with 30+ Common and Black-headed Gull. Also overhead four Rook with two Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff in the bushes. 

Elsewhere two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and counts from the estuary included 416 Oystercatcher, 292 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 61 Redshank, 44 Teal, 37 Grey and two Ringed Plover, 37 Turnstone, 37 Knot, eight Eider (six ♀ & two imm ♂), four Greenshank, two Sanderling and two Red-breasted Merganser.

Friday 8 March 2024

Friday 8th March

Increasing tides saw a return of species diversity in the estuary, but numbers continue to decline as birds depart north. Counts included 850+ Dunlin, 429 Oystercatcher, 227 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 124 Curlew, 57 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Teal, 32 Redshank, 27 Grey and nine Ringed Plover, 24 Knot, nine Sanderling, the nine Eider, three Greenshank and a pair of  Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore, four Shoveler were on the Main Pond and four Goldcrest, three Chiffchaff and two Siskin were on site. 

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Wednesday 6th March

Aside from an increasing in birds sing on territory, not much to report on birds. The bushes were quiet apart from a hunting Sparrowhawk, with three half grown Mallard chicks surviving on the Main Pond, having hidden away in flooded areas for a several weeks. Nothing to report from offshore or in the estuary on the low tide.

Mallard - Alan Keatley

Other Wildlife: It was good day for insects in the spring sunshine with three Peacock butterflies, a Chocolate Mining Bee Andrena scotica, male and female Yellow-legged Mining Bee A. flavipes and the first worker Buff-tailed Bumblebee of the year were all nectaring on emerging spring flowers.

Peacock - Alan Keatley

Chocolate Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

On the beach was the leaf beetle Prasocuris phellandrii, new for the Recording Area and the groundbug Trapezonotus arenarius. A Common Lizard was basking on the Golf Course.

Prasocuris phellandrii - Alan Keatley

Trapezonotus arenaris - Alan Keatley

Common Lizard - Alan Keatley

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Tuesday 5th March

A low neap tide didn't bring in many waders to The Bight, with 163 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, seven Eider, two Red-breasted Merganser and a Greenshank in the estuary.

A large flock of at least 90 Siskin were again feeding in the Alders, 19 Cirl Bunting were on site, three Shoveler at the Main Pond and at least four Chiffchaff were catching small flies in sheltered areas.

Chiffchaff - Dean Hall

Robin - Dean Hall

Other Wildlife: A sunny day, but flying insect activity was hampered by the low temperature with no butterflies venturing out. However, the year's second Yellow-legged Mining Bee Andrena flavipes made an appearance, a fortnight after the first. Numbers should start to pick up with sallows and Blackthorn beginning to flower.

Yellow-legged Mining Bee - Alan Keatley

Dorytomus taeniatus - Alan Keatley

Monday 4 March 2024

Monday 4th March

An 1 hr 30m seawatch early morning saw 181 Gannet head SW along with 151 auk sp, those identified all being Guillemot, 14 Common Scoter, four Fulmar, four Red-throated Diver and a ♀ Kestrel.

On the neap tide 536 Dunlin were in The Bight; aside from a few Oystercatcher, the only waders to come across from Cockle Sands, also in the estuary, 240 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, five Eider and three Greenshank.

Sunday 3 March 2024

Sunday 3rd March

Further signs of spring today with five Chiffchaff, including three along the Dune Ridge, and three Goldcrest on site, with two pairs of Shoveler on the Main Pond, five Siskin in Dead Dolphin Wood and single Buzzard and Rook overhead. 

Very few waders in the estuary on a neap tide, counts included 65 Redshank, 41 Turnstone, 21 Sanderling and four Greenshank. Also present, 279 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 57 Teal and five Red-breasted Merganser. The nine Eider were offshore with 21 Great Crested Grebe and a Red-throated Diver.

Saturday 2 March 2024

Saturday 2nd March

The immature Peregrine again caused havoc at high tide with most waders elsewhere, counts included 482 Dunlin, 180 Oystercatcher, 155 Curlew, 51 Redshank, 47 Turnstone, 17 Ringed Plover, five Sanderling and four Greenshank. Also in the estuary, 182 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 53 Teal, the nine Eider and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere five Shoveler were on the Main Pond, three Buzzard were overhead with a fourth bird in the Entrance Bushes, 12 Great Crested Grebe, a Water Pipit and a moulting Scandinavian Rock Pipit were in the saltmarsh, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and a pair of Jackdaw were around the Boathouse. 

Other Wildlife: Despite the sunny weather the cold wild kept insect numbers number but Common and Tapered Dronefly could be found in sheltered areas, where the year's first Common Lizard was also found searching out some warmth. 

Friday 1 March 2024

Friday 1st March

Despite the passage of a front overnight and continuing showers a 1hr 45m seawatch was uneventful, with the notable exception of a Storm Petrel close in heading SW at 07:10. This is the first Warren record for the period between 11 Jan and 30 Apr. It is also the first March record for Devon, there is also only one February record. 

Also passing SW, 82 Gannet, 45 Kittiwake, three Red-throated Diver and a Common Scoter, with two Great Northern Diver close inshore to seawall.

In the estuary the wader roost was again largely unused with an immature Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk hunting the flocks. Counts included c450 Dunlin, 217+ Black and 50+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 50+ Knot, just 30 Oystercatcher, 15 Sanderling. 11 Ringed Plover and three Greenshank. Also present 158 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 54 Teal, nine Eider, three Red-breasted Merganser and the 2cy presumed Glaucous x Herring Gull on Bull Hill amongst a pre-roost gathering of large gulls on Bull Hill. 

Elsewhere two Rook, a Jackdaw and a Siskin were overhead, three Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff were in the bushes and at least 18 Cirl Bunting were on site.

Year list addition:

112. Storm Petrel

Other Wildlife: The wet weather has been good for some species with the underside of wet logs revealing several hoverfly larvae and two new species for the Recording Area, both common and widespread; Hairy Snail Trochulus hispidus and Marsh Slug Deroceras laeve

The first day of spring - Kevin Rylands