August 2005

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Wednesday 31st:


Large numbers of waders remain around the Bight at high tide with 700+ Dunlin, 300+ Ringed Plover, 25 Knot, 10 Greenshank, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Little Ringed Plover. The highlight though was a count of 62 Curlew Sandpiper on the afternoon tide. These, the best numbers since 1988 and third highest count for the recording area, were obviously dropped in by the afternoon thunder storms as only four were present in the morning. Also in the estuary an Osprey was seen twice, before heading back upriver towards Haldon. Elsewhere two Arctic Skua were offshore, whilst migrants included two Whinchat in Greenland Lake, six Wheatear, 10 Blackcap, six Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler. Overhead there were two Collared Dove with two Yellow and one Grey Wagtail.



Tuesday 30th:


The only news reported for today was a single Ruff, the first of the year, in front of the hide with the Oystercatcher.



Monday 29th:


Similar to yesterday but with fewer birds and more people! There were still large numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover in the Bight over high tide and with them were at least six Curlew Sandpiper, eight Knot, 21 Sanderling and 395 Oystercatcher. On the Railway Saltmarsh there were 290+ Curlew, 141 Redshank, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, five Whimbrel and two Greenshank. Also there 25 Little Egret, seven Grey Heron and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Other records included 100+ Swallow and a Sand Martin east along the Dune ridge, 67+ Sandwich and two Common Tern, a Kingfisher in the estuary and in the Bight two Wheatear and a White Wagtail.



Sunday 28th:


Two Yellow Wagtail in the Bight were the highlight on a quiet day birdwise, although the good weather brought in many other visitors. Also in the Bight 10 Curlew Sandpiper were amongst the commoner waders with an Arctic Skua, 10 Little Egret, two Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Tern and five Whitethroat the only other reports received.



Saturday 27th:


There was an increase in the numbers of waders over high tide with 800 Dunlin and 463 Ringed Plover in the Bight with at least nine Curlew Sandpiper, 24 Knot and seven Black-tailed Godwit the pick of the other species. Offshore single Balearic Shearwater and Arctic Skua passed south with six Common and an Arctic Tern, two juvenile Little Gull and a Black Tern flew in off the sea and upriver whilst two Fulmar moved in the opposite direction. Migrants were limited to single Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail overhead with five Whitethroat, three Wheatear and a single Garden Warbler. Elsewhere the Marsh Tit was seen again near the Main Pond, 10 Little Egret were on the Railway Saltmarsh with a flock of Canada Goose which contained one Egyptian Goose, one Greylag and three white "farmyard types".



Friday 26th:


The highlight was the first Tawny Owl of the year, heard calling around the Back Meadow early morning. A slight increase in migrants was recorded with c15 Blackcap, four Whitethroat, three Wheatear, three Garden Warbler and a Reed Warbler all onsite. Overhead there was one Yellow Wagtail, four Collared Dove, a Raven and the first Grey Wagtail of the autumn. An immature Little Gull, flying in off the sea and upriver was also the first of the autumn, also offshore a Great-crested Grebe and 40 Common Scoter. Over the high tide there were still six Curlew Sandpiper with the Dunlin as well as 431 Ringed Plover, 25 Sanderling, 20 Knot, 18 Turnstone, a Greenshank and an juvenile Black-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Wigeon were in Shutterton Creek, a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond, nine Little Egret were on the Railway Saltmarsh and 47+ Sandwich Tern were present around the reserve.


Thursday 25th:


Much of the same as far as waders were concerned, although there are now 15 Curlew Sandpiper present, with 500+ Dunlin, 300 Ringed Plover and 20+ Sanderling. Elsewhere the Elders by the Tractor Compound held two Garden Warbler and four Blackcap, a Sparrowhawk flew low over the dune ridge ambushing a Blackbird and six Raven, the first for several months, flew over the Buffer Zone.


Wednesday 24th:

With the strong westerly winds and heavy rain, seawatching was productive. During the morning a Storm Petrel, only the second record of the year, eight Arctic, five Great and a single Pomarine Skua, the first of the year, one Balearic and four Manx Shearwater, 14 Common and 57 Sandwich Tern, 50 Fulmar, 80+ Kittiwake, three Sand Martin and two Black-tailed Godwit were all seen heading south.  Also offshore over 60 Common Scoter, single Black and Arctic Tern were seen to head towards the river mouth and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull sat just off the sea wall. In the afternoon another Great Skua and two Common Tern flew south, whilst a Curlew Sandpiper was in the Bight with the usual waders. Elsewhere eight Blackcap and a Garden Warbler were present, mainly by Tractor Compound, 30 House Martin were over the Visitor Centre and the immature Peregrine was also circling around. In the evening another Balearic Shearwater flew south across the bay, viewed from Orcombe Point.

Tuesday 23rd:

There was no sign of either the Wryneck or Kentish Plover today, but migrants included single Sedge and Reed Warbler in Dead Dolphin Wood with five Blackcap, a Sand Martin flying east and on Warren Point a Whitethroat, another Sedge Warbler and a Sparrowhawk.  The Peregrine continues to harass the wader population  on the beach, which consisted of 500 Dunlin, 200 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling and 10 Curlew Sandpiper. On the Railway Saltmarsh there were 400+ Curlew, eight Bar-tailed Godwit and 14 Little Egret with 33 others visible in Powderham Park.


Monday 22nd:

The early morning rain brought an increase in bird numbers offshore but there was little other change. During the morning a Balearic Shearwater, three Black Tern, a Grey Heron, 98 Common Tern and three Arctic Skua flew south with two other Arctic Skua lingering in the estuary mouth with the Sandwich Tern, also offshore 105 Common Scoter. Wader numbers remained much the same as yesterday, but a juvenile Little Stint was a new arrival. The Kentish Plover and eight Curlew Sandpiper were again on the beach over high tide with 300+ Ringed Plover,  600 Dunlin, 30+ Sanderling, 10 Turnstone and two Knot. The Wryneck was again present around the Wryneck Path and Greenland Lake area. Other migrants were again thin on the ground with a Tree Pipit the highlight. Other records included the immature Peregrine again hunting along the beach, the Marsh Tit by the Tractor Compound and 15 Little Egret on the Railway Saltmarsh.


Kentish Plover 22nd August 2005 Lee Collins

Wryneck 22nd August 2005 Lee Collins

Sunday 21st:

The Kentish Plover remained on site with large numbers of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, with them were at least eight Curlew Sandpiper, six Knot, a Grey Plover and on the beach an immature Little Ringed Plover. A Nuthatch was seen again flying from Dead Dolphin Wood, along the Dune Ridge before landing in Sycamores for a few minutes and then heading back. This is presumably the same bird seen previously this month, on an erratic feeding circuit from the mainland. The highlight for most though was a Wryneck, found early morning along the Dune Ridge, it was eventually relocated along the Wryneck Path and remained around there and Greenland Lake until mid-afternoon at least. Other migrants were in short supply with only three Wheatear, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler and a White Wagtail.    Elsewhere three Arctic Skua were sat offshore, the first Water Rail of the autumn was on the Main Pond, two Greylag Geese flew in off the sea, a Kestrel was on Warren Point, a Sparrowhawk was in Greenland Lake, an immature Peregrine hunted along the beach, a Buzzard flew east, 50+ Swallow flew through and the Marsh Tit was still present.


Little Ringed Plover 21 August 2005                                                                        Wryneck 21/8/05 Alan Keatley



Saturday 20th:


Offshore 150 Manx Shearwater passed south with good numbers of Fulmar, five Common Tern, three Arctic Skua and a Balearic Shearwater. Also offshore c80 Common Scoter and flying into the estuary, a Black Tern, 11 Teal and the first three Wigeon of the autumn. Over high tide the immature Kentish Plover and Curlew Sandpiper were again present but no other wader counts were received. Other records included three adult Mediterranean Gull on Bull Hill and four Wheatear onsite.



Friday 19th:


The immature Kentish Plover was again present, eventually being found on the beach with two Ringed Plover a couple of hours after high tide. The waders were spread out over the beach at high tide, before moving into the Bight as the waters receded, 500+ Dunlin and 300+ Ringed Plover made up the majority of the smaller waders, but with them was the first Curlew Sandpiper of the year, an immature, 23 Sanderling, eight Turnstone, three summer plumaged Grey Plover and a Knot. Other waders included single Common Sandpiper, Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwit, 197 Redshank and 10+ Whimbrel. Also in the estuary 12 Little Egret and 108 Sandwich Tern were on the Railway Saltmarsh and six Teal were in the Bight. Elsewhere the Marsh Tit was by the First Pond, 68+ Gannet were feeding close inshore early morning, six Wheatear were on site, with two Collared Dove, two Kestrel and seven Sand Martin flying through.



Thursday 18th:


An immature Kentish Plover in the Bight on the rising tide was the second record of the year and the first in autumn for several years.  Several hundred Dunlin and Ringed Plover were also present with 23 Bar-tailed Godwit, 14+ Whimbrel, a Greenshank and a Knot. Other records included an adult winter Mediterranean Gull in Shutterton Creek with 300+ roosting Black-headed Gull, a Wheatear by the hide and 250+ Great Black-backed Gull and 80+ Sandwich Tern roosting on Finger Point



Wednesday 17th:


The highlight was another Nuthatch, only the 12th record but the third this month! It was in Dead Dolphin Wood for 10 minutes before flying off towards Warren Point. Other woodland species recorded today included the Marsh Tit, two Sparrowhawk and a flock of 20 Long-tailed Tit. Migrants included a Spotted Flycatcher in Dead Dolphin Wood, 20+ Swallow overhead early morning, six Blackcap and two Garden Warbler. In the estuary the Little Stint is still present with 5-600 Dunlin, 268 Great Black-backed Gull, 200+ Ringed Plover, 80 Sandwich Tern and two Greenshank. Elsewhere a Peregrine and four Whimbrel were on the beach, 120+ Linnet were on Warren Point and 40 Common Scoter were offshore.


Tuesday 16th:


A Spotted Flycatcher near the Dune Pond was the pick of the few migrants, also recorded a Wheatear, three Garden and three Willow Warbler. Single Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker were around the wooded areas and the Marsh Tit is still present.


Monday 15th:


No news was received for today.


Sunday 14th:


The highlights were both flyovers, a Hobby and a Yellow Wagtail.  Four Wheatear were on site with a Sedge Warbler and four Blackcap in Greenland Lake with both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler also there.  Offshore Kittiwake numbers continued to increase as the morning progressed with 200+ being logged moving south along with two Common Tern and three distant shearwater sp, one probably a Sooty. Over high tide the Little Stint continued to show in the Bight with 340 Ringed Plover, 306 Dunlin, 11 Sanderling and one of two Peregrine which were continually panicking the waders. Elsewhere the Marsh Tit was still present and 17 House Martin and smaller numbers of Swallow were moving through the Reserve.


Saturday 13th:


Migrants were thin on the ground with only three Willow Warbler but at least 10 Blackcap were recorded along with two Lesser Whitethroat, two Garden and a Sedge Warbler. Also around the bushes the Marsh Tit, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker and a family party of Bullfinch. Overhead there was a light passage of 15 House Martin and three Swift. In the estuary wader numbers were similar to yesterday with 278 Ringed Plover, 256 Dunlin, c15 Whimbrel, 10+ Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Sanderling, two Greenshank, a Turnstone and the Little Stint put in a reappearance. Also present 110+ Great Black-backed Gull, 90+ Sandwich and two Common Tern, a Red-breasted Merganser and an immature Peregrine. Offshore there were 20 Common Scoter and a Teal flew in off.



Friday 12th:


There was an increase in waders with 305 Ringed Plover, 300 Dunlin and 20 Sanderling in the Bight on the rising tide, also there the first three Teal of the autumn. On the Railway Saltmarsh there were 827 Curlew, 90 Sandwich Tern and 21 Little Egret. A feeding group of 205 Shag were also in the estuary. Apart from a Kestrel in off the sea and a single Cockatiel, five Willow Warbler were the only migrants noted.



Thursday 11th:


Migrants included a Yellow Wagtail, four Wheatear, two Swift and a single Garden Warbler. A Snipe in front of the hide was the first of the autumn. Two Common Sandpiper were heard over night with Dunlin and Sandwich Tern also moving through. The Marsh Tit was again seen.



Wednesday 10th:


More signs of autumn migration today with at least 12 Blackcap and a single Garden Warbler present around Dead Dolphin Wood. The first Sedge Warbler of the autumn was behind the Main Pond with a single Grasshopper Warbler, a rare autumn record. The Marsh Tit was also still present in this area. Elsewhere a Little Stint was again in the Bight, 60 Common Scoter were offshore and in the estuary 19 Little Egret, 80 Sandwich and six Common Tern.



Tuesday 9th:


53 Common Scoter were offshore with four Common Tern.  339 Curlew were on the Railway Saltmarsh with 11 Little Egret and 71 Redshank.  The Curlew were relocated by a canoeist who thought it might be fun to flush them from in front of the hide as well.  164 Ringed Plover were in the Bight with 2 Wheatear by the hide, 81 Sandwich Tern were on Finger Point.  On the foreshore 281 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling and 6 Whimbrel were on show.  The pressure from the public on the birds in this NNR continues to increase with the holiday season in full flow.  On a lighter note there was a small movement of Swallow through the reserve.  Few migrant passerines were noted, although a Weaver sp. was on Warren Point.



Monday 8th:


The highlight was a mobile Nuthatch first seen near the Main Pond, then heading along the Dune Ridge towards Warren Point before being seen briefly back at Dead Dolphin Wood, the 11th site record or possibly the same bird as seen last week.  Also onsite a few more migrants with 10 Blackcap, eight Whitethroat, six Willow Warbler, three Garden Warbler and two Lesser WhitethroatRinged Plover numbers are on the up with 241 between the Bight and the foreshore, 250 Dunlin and a Little Stint were also on show in the Bight with single summer plumaged Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit. Also in the estuary 100 Sandwich and 10 Common Tern in front of the hide, two Greenshank on Finger Point and 360 Curlew and 14 Little Egret on the Railway Saltmarsh. Elsewhere the Marsh Tit was by the First Pond, 95 Common Scoter were offshore and on the Main Pond a Kingfisher, a Grey Heron and a Little Egret.



Sunday 7th:


There was a slight increase in migrants on site with at least 13 Whitethroat, 10 Blackcap, single Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat along the Back Path with three Wheatear on Warren Point. The highlight though was a juvenile Yellow Wagtail on Warren Point and the Bight. Overhead there was a light passage of hirundines, with c50 Swallow, six Sand and a single House Martin. In the estuary wader numbers were similar to the last few days with estimates of 180 Dunlin, 110 Sandwich Tern, 100 Ringed Plover, 90 Redshank, 30 Sanderling and 10 Whimbrel. Also present were 10 Little Egret, four Common Tern, two Turnstone, one Grey Plover, a Greenshank and on Finger Point a Red-breasted Merganser. The Marsh Tit was seen again around the Back Meadow, also in wooded areas both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker. Elsewhere a second winter Mediterranean Gull flew along the beach, c60 Common Scoter were still offshore, a Sparrowhawk was on Warren Point and a Rook flew east.



Saturday 6th:


There was no sign of the Little Stint amongst the waders this morning, but c250 Dunlin, 100 Ringed Plover and 40 Sanderling were still present with 10 Whimbrel, three Turnstone and two Grey Plover, whilst overhead two Greenshank flew high south calling. There were also a few terns moving with 14 Common Tern in two groups coming in off the sea and landing briefly in the Bight before continuing north, an Arctic Tern with was the second group, 150+ Sandwich Tern are still around the site. Offshore a lone Shoveler was a surprise with a flock of c60 Common Scoter and five Manx Shearwater flew west a long way out. Elsewhere the first Garden Warbler of the autumn was in Dead Dolphin Wood, two Wheatear, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a female Sparrowhawk were also present.



Friday 5th:


An adult Little Stint was with 250 Dunlin and 100+ Ringed Plover on the beach, in the estuary 165 Sandwich Tern were present along with 100 Redshank, 18 Whimbrel and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Offshore there were 80 Common Scoter and two immature Great-crested Grebe. Elsewhere a male Sparrowhawk was in Greenland Lake, a Wheatear was by the car park with a second in front of the hide and four Blackcap were near the First Pond. A second brood of Stonechat has fledged near the Wryneck Path and there were at least six young Pheasant in Greenland Lake.



Thursday 4th:


No news was received for today.



Wednesday 3rd:


On a low tide 67 Sandwich Tern were in the Bight with a single Common Tern. 530 Curlew were in the Shutterton Creek area with 100+ Dunlin, 80+
Sanderling, 80 Redshank, 51 Ringed Plover, 23 Whimbrel, three Bar-tailed Godwit, two Greenshank and 13 Little Egret. 30 Swallow flew east over the Dune Ridge.



Tuesday 2nd:


Tern numbers remain disappointingly low with only 85 Sandwich and three Common Tern on the Railway Saltmarsh. In the estuary there were 97 Sanderling, 66 Ringed Plover with the Dunlin and a single Black-tailed Godwit. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in Shutterton Creek with 100 Black-headed Gull, 450 Herring Gull and 71 Great Black-backed Gull were on site. Offshore 45 Common Scoter and 37 Shag were present. On the land 10 Whitethroat, eight Chiffchaff and five Willow Warbler were between Greenland Lake and the Dune Ridge with the highlight a Pied Flycatcher by the Visitor Centre. A Kingfisher was on the Main Pond.



Monday 1st:


An unexpected highlight was a Nuthatch on Warren Point, found early morning moving between the Sycamores. This was only the tenth record for the recording area and like all the others it was a short stayer. Other records included a Great-spotted Woodpecker near the Main Pond, a loose flock of c120 Swift high over the reserve feeding on ants, 110+ Sanderling along the beach and offshore two Arctic Skua and 160+ Common Scoter. In the estuary there were again 300+ Dunlin, 150+ Ringed Plover, 20+ Whimbrel and 18 Little Egret.


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