Anticipated new birds for Dawlish Warren

The following list of 25 species was compiled by members of the Recording Group who had nothing better to do one evening than try and agree which bird species were most likely to be the next ‘firsts’ for the site. After much discussion this list was compiled, however we are not naïve enough to expect this bear any resemblance to what will actually happen in the real world (cf 26=!).

1. Red-breasted Flycatcher

10. Corn Bunting

19. Little Bittern

2. Pallas’s Warbler

11. Rose-coloured Starling

20. Black Kite

3. Red Kite     

12. Purple Heron         

21. Red-throated Pipit

4. Golden Oriole

13. Bee-eater

22. Great Reed Warbler

5. Ortolan Bunting

14. Crane        

23. Desert Wheatear

6. Marsh Warbler        

15. Great Grey Shrike

24. Semi-palmated Sandpiper

7. Bluethroat    

16. Pink-footed Goose

25. Forster’s Tern

8. Night Heron

17. Subalpine Warbler

26= Auduoin’s Gull

9. Cory’s Shearwater

18. Red-rumped Swallow         

26= Willet

Since this list was first published in 2000 there have been 36 new species for the Recording Area. The site list is now on 307.

From the list numbers 3-5, 9-12, 14-18, 20-22 and 24 have now been recorded. Red Kite is now a scarce annual migrant and there have been seven records of Rose-coloured Starling.

 Of the other 20 new species, four had been on or close to this list but were lost in the final decision making (honest).
These were Lesser Yellowlegs, Lesser Grey Shrike, Caspian Tern and Penduline Tit.

 The other 16 species were:

Great Shearwater, perhaps not to surprising since the recent increase in records from Torbay.

Radde’s Warbler, despite the increase in national records this was somewhat of a surprise being the first twitchable Devon record. Dawlish Warren has now recorded both Dusky and Radde’s Warblers but still no Pallas’s – possibly a unique state of affairs in the UK.

Elegant Tern, a true bolt from the blue, this species entertained and infuriated observers during the summer of 2002.

Mandarin, another omission, a bird with the Wigeon in November 2004 with six subsequent records.

Willow Tit, a rapidly declining species especially in south Devon and usually sedentary. The arrival of one in March 2005 was a definite surprise, as was the second record in April 2005 and a third in April 2016.

Laughing Gull, having missed out during the record influx in autumn and winter 2005, the Warren eventually caught up with a single bird in August 2006.

Long-billed Murrelet, even more surprising than the Elegant Tern, this first for Britain turned up in November 2006.

Cattle Egret, following on from the record invasion in winter 2007/8 - two finally turned up on site in late January 2008 with five subsequent records.

Red-footed Falcon, one part of a widespread UK invasion in early June 2008.

Common Redpoll, one, probably two, Mealies were recorded during excellent 'vis mig' in November 2008.

American Golden Plover, one in the Bight briefly and then in the Saltmarsh for a week in October 2010.

Waxwing, the combination of cold weather movement and an influx of this species saw one flyby in December 2010 with three subsequent records.

Short-toed Eagle, another unexpected extreme rarity, the second for Britain flew east in Oct 2011.

Glossy Ibis, part of a record winter influx in Feb 2012, with two further records.

Black Stork, one over in May 2014.

Long-billed Dowitcher, one visited briefly in October 2019 but otherwise remained at the top end of the estuary.


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