Sunday 30 June 2024

Sunday 30th June

Counts from the estuary on a low high tide included 202 Curlew93 Black-headed Gull, including the first two juveniles, 13 Redshank, eight Mediterranean Gull, the six Eider and five Dunlin

Mediterranean Gull - Dave Jewell

Elsewhere seven Great Northern Diver, five immatures and two adults in breeding plumage, were offshore with 18 Common Scoter and a Sandwich Tern114 Swift flew WSW early morning and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was on site.

Other Wildlife: A bull Grey Seal was offshore.

Saturday 29 June 2024

Saturday 29 June

An early passage of Mediterranean Gull, with at least 40 recorded today, mostly adults and passing SW, but some also flew in off the sea and up the estuary. With them over 150 Black-headed Gull, 33 Sandwich and eight Common Tern. Also offshore 10 Common Scoter and five Great Northern Diver.

Counts from the estuary included 191 Curlew18 Redshank, the six Eider, two Greenshank, two Dunlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Elsewhere a Kingfisher and a pair of Teal were on the Main Pond and newly fledged species included Cirl Bunting, Skylark and Swallow.

Other Wildlife: Another Marbled White was the highlight amongst low numbers of butterflies. 

Marbled White - Lee Collins

The sunny conditions did encourage bees and wasps with the first Little Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata and Beewolf Philanthus triangulum on the wing with the migrant White-clubbed Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri on the Dune Ridge.


Friday 28 June 2024

Friday 28th June

Three Great Northern Diver were offshore along with four Common Scoter, two Sandwich Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull. A flock of 12 Black-tailed Godwit were on Pole Sands until pushed off by the rising tide.

Counts from the estuary included 217 Curlew43 Black-headed and three adult Mediterranean Gull25 Whimbrel, the six Eider, three Greenshank, two Redshank and a Bar-tailed Godwit

Thursday 27 June 2024

Thursday 27th June

With no news from offshore or the estuary, there was little to report aside from the breeding species. Of these the Sparrowhawk are increasingly vocal, with several Bullfinch in the Entrance Bushes and, at the Main Pond, three independent Little Grebe chicks, at least two of which are yet to fully fledge. 

Other Wildlife: A welcome increase in insect activity including a number of species new for the year including Four-banded Bee-grabber Conops quadrifasciatusStriped Slender Robberfly Leptogaster cylindricathe hoverflies Bolete Blacklet Cheilosia scutellata and Glass-winged Syrphus S. vitripennis and a Small Shaggy Bee Panurgus calcaratus.

Four-banded Bee-grabber Conops quadrifasciatus - Alan Keatley

Glass-winged Syrphus S. vitripennis - Alan Keatley

Small Shaggy Bee Panurgus calcaratus - Alan Keatley

The dune grassland is now looking parched, but the wet spring has lead to a profusion of flowering species in the damper areas, with Skullcap and Selfheal two of the species benefitting. A third is Purple Loosestrife, which in turn benefits the Loosestrife Weevil Nanophyes marmoratus, clocking in at a whopping 2mm, and plentiful on flowering plants.

Loosestrife Weevil Nanophyes marmoratus - Alan Keatley

Selfheal - Kevin Rylands

Small Red-eyed Damselfly have also emerged and wasted no time in ovipositing with several pairs on the Main Pond. They were joined by Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Broad-bodied Chaser and a couple of Black-tailed Skimmer

Elsewhere more Small Skipper and Gatekeeper are now on the wing with a couple of Large Skipper, a Holly Blue and a Marbled White. Moths noted included Six-spot BurnetDingy Shell, Dusky Marble Orthotaenia undulana and Willow Tortrix Epinotia cruciana.

Willow Tortrix Epinotia cruciana - Kevin Rylands

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Tuesday 25th June

Counts over the high tide included 155 Curlew22 Whimbrel12 Redshank, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank, with 10 Sandwich Tern dropping into The Bight and the six Eider on Finger Point.

Elsewhere 19 Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe were off the seawall.

Other Wildlife: Butterflies today included an increase in Meadow Brown along with four Small Copper, three Small Skipper and two Gatekeeper

Small Skipper - Dean Hall

Other insects recorded today included Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus by the Dune Pond, a few Black-and-yellow Longhorn Rutpela maculata, and on Warren Point, a Narrow-bodied Cuckoo Wasp Chrysis angustula.

Lesser Stag Beetle - Alan Keatley

Narrow-bodied Cuckoo Wasp Chrysis angustula - Alan Keatley

Monday 24 June 2024

Monday 24th June

The first Mistle Thrush of the year headed E across the estuary, before circling back and landing  in the parkland trees of Eastdon House. More firmly on site 211 Starling were around the seawall, with plenty of birds in song reclaiming their territories for another go at breeding including several Cirl Bunting, warblers and Skylark in full voice.

A raft of four Great Northern Diver were off Langstone Rock, two immatures and two in partial breeding plumage, also offshore 23 Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe with gull numbers again reduced although 34 Black-headed and three Mediterranean Gull (two ad, 2cy), three Sandwich and two Common Tern were present. 

Counts from the estuary included 300 Oystercatcher131 Curlew10 Whimbrel, six Dunlin, the six Eider and two Bar-tailed Godwit.

Year list addition:

155. Mistle Thrush

Other Wildlife: The first Gatekeeper of the year was in the Back Meadow, a slightly later emergence than last year following a cool start to the month. Also new for the year, Pearl Lacewing Chrysopa perlaCream-spot Ladybird, Pimpla rufipes, an ichneumon wasp and Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva.

Gatekeeper - Alan Keatley

Cream-spot Ladybird - Alan Keatley

Pearl Lacewing Chrysopa perla - Alan Keatley

Several Crossocerus quadrimaculatus wasps were on Sycamores along the Back Path with  Crossocerus podagricus found nesting in old beetle holes in a dead Elder stump. 

Crossocerus quadrimaculatus - Alan Keatley

A variety of true Bugs included two new to the Recording Area, a bramble leafhopper Ribautiana tenerrina and Mealy Cabbage Aphid Brevicoryne brassicae, species 5569 & 5570 for the Warren. 

Deraeocoris ruber nymph - Kevin Rylands

Elsewhere single Grey Seal and Harbour Porpoise were offshore, Marsh Helleborine are beginning to flower in the dune slacks and Twiggy Mullein was found on the Golf Course a further new species for the Warren. 

Wild Onion - Kevin Rylands

Sunday 23 June 2024

Sunday 23rd June

Still a concentration of food offshore attracting c320 Herring and 51 Black-headed Gull, 10 Kittiwake, eight Manx Shearwaterfour Sandwich Tern and two Mediterranean Gull (ad & 2cy). Also offshore 23 Common Scoter and, circling the bay mid morning, a breeding plumaged Great Northern Diver

Counts from the estuary included the six Eider106 Curlew15 Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwit, two Knot and single Redshank and Turnstone.

Other Wildlife: The first Marbled White of the year was on the wing, single Common Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise were offshore and, on Warren Point, two Pyramidal Orchid remain from the colony though swept away by the sea.

Pyramidal Orchid - Alan Keatley

Saturday 22 June 2024

Saturday 22nd June

At least 100 Black-headed Gull were foraging offshore along with two Sandwich Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull. A partial breeding plumage Great Northern Diver was on the sea with a second heading SW, as did a flock of six Turnstone.

Other wader records all came from the estuary with 114 Curlew17 Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwit and single Dunlin and Ringed Plover. At least five Eider were on Finger Point at high tide. 

Elsewhere a flock of seven Stock Dove were in Soft Sand Bay, with 21 Long-tailed Tit and a family of Reed Warbler around the edge of Greenland Lake.

Other Wildlife: Disappointing for butterflies again with just a few Meadow Brown and Common Blue noted on the wing as it warmed up. Other insects also became more active with sand hollows and small rabbit scrapes soon occupied by numbers of Common Spiny Digger Wasp Oxybelus uniglumis and Minute Digger Wasp Diodontus minutus.

Common Spiny Digger Wasp Oxybelus uniglumis - Alan Keatley

Minute Digger Wasp Diodontus minutus - Alan Keatley

Four Common Dolphin, including a calf, and a Harbour Porpoise were feeding offshore. 

Nysius huttoni - Alan Keatley

Medetera jacula, a woodpecker fly - Alan Keatley

Friday 21 June 2024

Friday 21st June

As if to mark Midsummer's Day autumn migration shifted up a gear with wader numbers and variety increasing. Counts included 356 Oystercatcher94 Curlew, seven Whimbrel, four Black and a Bar-tailed Godwit, four Redshanktwos of DunlinSanderling and Turnstone and a Greenshank.

Gull numbers also increased with 241 Black-headed and eight (four 2cy, three ad, 3cy) Mediterranean Gull foraging offshore, with eight Sandwich and two Common Tern. Also offshore three Great Northern Diver circled the bay before heading SW.

The first post-breeding Kingfisher was at the Main Pond, with a mobile Coal Tit in the bushes. Numbers of fledged birds are increasing with three broods of Reed Warbler as well as Linnet, Lesser Whitethroat and Stonechat. The presence of a single young Pheasant around the Bight with the polygynous ♂ and two ♀, confirmed breeding, a rare occurrence fortunately for the Sand Lizard population.

Other Wildlife: Water Vole was at the Main Pond along with Emperor Dragonfly and Broad-bodied Chaser. A Small Skipper was on the wing and a third Pyramidal Orchid has appeared on the Dune Ridge.

Thursday 20 June 2024

Thursday 20th June

Large numbers of birds again foraging offshore including 128 Black-headed and two 2cy Mediterranean Gull, seven Manx Shearwater, five Common and two Sandwich Tern.

A substantial increase to 76 Curlew roosting in the saltmarsh with 18 Whimbrel, nine Redshank, five Dunlin and a Knot also present over high tide. The six Eider were on Finger Point with a family of Canada Geese having arrived from elsewhere, with no breeding this year.

A Rock Pipit in The Bight and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were other dispersing juveniles, with the family of Lesser Whitethroat still around Dead Dolphin Wood. 

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Wednesday 19th June

A large foraging flock of 580 Herring Gull was joined by 52 Black-headed and three Mediterranean Gull (two 3cy & 2cy), five Manx Shearwater and two Sandwich Tern.

Eight Redshank were new arrivals in the estuary with 67 Curlew, 20 Whimbrel, three Ringed Plover and a pair of Teal also present. 

Other Wildlife: A new weevil for the Recording Area was found at Langstone Rock, the widespread clover weevil Protapion apricans

Protapion apricans - Alan Keatley

A second Recording Area first was also discovered by the railway station, the well marked spider Textrix denticulata. Other spiders recorded included a second Zelotes electus, this time on the edge of The Bight.

Textrix denticulata - Alan Keatley

Small Skipper, a Peacock and a few Common Blue were on the wing along with the wasps Small Shieldbug Stalker Dryudella pinguis and White-lipped Digger Wasp Lindenius albilabris.

Dryudella pinguis - Alan Keatley

Tuesday 18 June 2024

Tuesday 18th June

An immature Great Spotted Woodpecker in Dead Dolphin Wood was a post-breeding migrant from elsewhere, with at least one fledged Lesser Whitethroat being fed nearby. Seven Swift were feeding overhead and four Stock Dove were onsite, an increasing occurrence this summer.

Other Wildlife: Some additional images from yesterday.

Bare-saddled Colletes C. similis - Alan Keatley

Minute Digger Wasp Diodontus minutus - Alan Keatley

Crepidodera fulvicornis - Alan Keatley

Ischnocoris angustulus (nymph) - Alan Keatley

Monday 17 June 2024

Monday 17th June

Eight Great Northern Diver were present in two rafts of four offshore, a mix of immatures and breeding plumaged birds, also foraging offshore four Common and two Sandwich Tern, with 13 Common Scoter flying SW.

A 2cy Mediterranean Gull was in the estuary with the six Eider on Finger Point and wader counts including 39 Curlew17 Whimbrel, four Ringed Plover, two Sanderling and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Other Wildlife: Despite the apparent absence of Clegs for a third year, other horsefly are presumably doing better with another new species for the Recording Area, Large Marsh Horsefly Tabanus autumnalis discovered.

Large Marsh Horsefly Tabanus autumnalis - Alan Keatley

Common Darter basking on the edge of the Dune Pond was the first for the year, as were Bare-saddled Colletes C. similis, the wood nesting Black-horned Wasp Passaloecus corniger and the moths Thistle Ermine and Clouded Border.

Common Darter - Alan Keatley

Thistle Ermine - Alan Keatley

Clouded Border - Alan Keatley

A Grey Seal was again off Langstone Rock.

Sunday 16 June 2024

Sunday 16th June

The first two Coal Tit of the year were recorded, both dispersing juveniles; one briefly on Langstone Rock before returning to the mainland and another in the Entrance Bushes. 

Three breeding plumage Black-tailed Godwit in the estuary were new arrivals, with 31 Curlew13 Whimbrel, the six Eider, four Bar-tailed Godwit and three Sanderling also present at high tide. Elsewhere two Great Northern Diver and a Common Scoter were offshore.

Year list addition: 

154. Coal Tit

Moorhen - Martin Overy

Saturday 15 June 2024

Saturday 15th June

Early morning 17 Manx Shearwater flew SW during 1hr 30m hour seawatch, along with 10 Common Scoter and a Curlew. Also offshore two lingering Arctic Skua, seven Great Northern Diver (four in breeding plumage), five Common and three Sandwich Tern.

Elsewhere the Lesser Whitethroat pair were still around Dead Dolphin Wood, the usual three immature ♂ and three ♀ Eider were on Finger Point with estuary counts from the high tide including 31 Curlew, 12 Whimbrel and two Dunlin.

Friday 14 June 2024

Friday 14th June

Early morning 29 Common Scoter and 11 Manx Shearwater flew SW during 1 hour seawatch with a moulting immature Great Northern Diver close inshore and a pair of Eider and a Sandwich Tern flew into the bay. 

The regular six Eider were on Finger Point, with 15 Curlew, eight Whimbrel, five Ringed Plover, two Dunlin and a Sanderling also in the estuary.

Other Wildlife: A Grey Seal was close inshore off Langstone Rock and two Pyramidal Orchid are in flower, by the Visitor Centre and in Greenland Lake. 

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Wednesday 12th June

The Lesser Whitethroat pair were still busy around Dead Dolphin Wood, with both pairs of Little Grebe with second brood chicks on the Main Pond. Also feeding their second brood the Rock Pipit pair at Langstone Rock, the lone Shelduck stood atop may also indicate a breeding attempt. 

Elsewhere the six Eider were in the estuary, 26 Sanderling were on the beach, up to 14 Sandwich Tern were offshore and an immature Great Northern Diver was off Langstone Rock.

Other Wildlife: With the sun still shining a few more new species emerged for the year, a Band-eyed Brown Horsefly Tabanus bromius was in the Skipper Meadow with a pair of Red-legged Spider Wasp Episyron rufipes and a Crossocerus quadrimaculatus digger wasp along the Back Path.

Band-eyed Brown Horsefly Tabanus bromius - Alan Keatley

Red-legged Spider Wasp Episyron rufipes - Alan Keatley

Also in Skipper Meadow a male Broad-bodied Chaser and, appropriately, a Large Skipper.

Large Skipper - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere a female Spot-headed Spider Wasp Agenioideus cinctelus was taking a captured Copper Sun-jumper Heliophanus cupreus to a nest chamber on the Dune Ridge, Silvery Leafcutter have now emerged in numbers by the Dune Pond and a small influx of Marmalade Hoverfly was evident.

Spot-headed Spider Wasp Agenioideus cinctelus and Copper Sun-jumper Heliophanus cupreus - Alan Keatley

Silvery Leafcutter Megachile leachella - Alan Keatley

Larger fauna included an early migrant Grey Squirrel in the Entrance Bushes, a Bank Vole in the Buffer Zone and a male Sand Lizard on Warren Point.

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Tuesday 11th June

The Lesser Whitethroat pair were busy collecting food and the male Tufted Duck made an appearance on the Main Pond, but aside from these scarce breeders there was little else noted. 

Other Wildlife: The cool weather wasn't favourable for dragonflies so the appearance of a female Black-tailed Skimmer in Skipper Meadow was a nice surprise.

Black-tailed Skimmer - Alan Keatley

Other new insects for 2024 included Pouting Woodlouse Fly Rhinophora lepida, the snipeflies Rhagio tringarius and R. lineola, and the soft-winged flower beetle Cordylepherus viridis.

Rhagio lineola - Alan Keatley

Cordylepherus viridis - Alan Keatley

Hunting wasps included Red-banded Grasshopper Grabber Tachysphex pompiliformis seeking out the increasing numbers of grasshopper nymphs and Vertical Spider Wasp Agenioideus cinctellus hunting jumping spiders.

Tachysphex pompiliformis - Alan Keatley

Monday 10 June 2024

Monday 10th June

The highlight was again a confirmed breeding record, this time Lesser Whitethroatpair, more secretive than the Tufted Ducks, carrying food to a nest near Dead Dolphin Wood. 

Dwindling counts in the estuary with 39 Sanderling12 Ringed Plover, five Dunlin and a Knot around The Bight at high tide, when the six Eider were loafing on Finger Point. 

Offshore 26 Swift flew W early morning, 22 Manx Shearwater distantly foraging and a summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver close in off the seawall. 

Sunday 9 June 2024

Sunday 9th June

The highlight was confirmation of the first breeding record of Tufted Duck for the Warren, the  appearing with two small chicks on the Main Pond. Elsewhere the first fledged Whitethroat was on the wing.

Tufted Duck - David Flack

An Osprey hunted over The Bight and estuary corner late morning , before returning back towards Powderham, where it has been since Friday. Also in the estuary the six Eider and counts of 70 Sanderling, eight Ringed Plover, six Dunlin and three Bar-tailed Godwit.

A summer plumaged Great Northern Diver was offshore, with five Manx Shearwater, four Sandwich Tern and a Great Crested Grebe; and a Cuckoo was again on Warren Point, this time a ♀.

Cuckoo - David Flack

Other Wildlife: A bull Grey Seal was close in to seawall and a Fox cub trotted around the edge of The Bight, being harried by a Magpie.

Saturday 8 June 2024

Saturday 8th June

Still a few waders pausing their northward journeys with counts of 78 Sanderling12 Dunlin12 Ringed Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a Knot in the Bight. In contrast a count of 40 Curlew in the saltmarsh indicates early returning failed breeding birds. Also in the estuary, the six Eider and 16 Whimbrel.

Elsewhere 28 Swift, a House Martin and a Yellow Wagtail were overhead and 60+ Manx Shearwater were circling distantly offshore, with three Great Northern Diver, a dark phase immature Arctic Skua and single Common ScoterSandwich and Common Tern.

Other Wildlife: Insects became more active during sunnier spells early afternoon, new hymenopteran emergences for the year included Large Sharp-tailed Bee Coelioxys conoidea and Three-spotted Digger Wasp Nysson trimaculatus, alongside increased numbers of Leaden Spider Wasp Pompilus cinereus and Common Spiny Digger Wasp Oxybelus uniglumis.

Large Sharp-tailed Bee Coelioxys conoidea - Alan Keatley

Three-spotted Digger Wasp Nysson trimaculatus - Alan Keatley

A third Wharf Borer of the week was seen, this time under driftwood, with other beetles recorded including Dune Scarab Aegialia arenaria, Dune Chafer Anomala dubia, the large rove Philonthus politus and a tumbling flower beetle Anaspis maculata.

Dune Chafer Anomala dubia - Kevin Rylands

Anaspis maculata - Alan Keatley

Hercostomus nigriplantis - Alan Keatley

Sieve-winged Snailkiller Coremacera marginata - Kevin Rylands