August 2007

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Report sightings





Friday 31st:

Over the evening high tide there were at least 600 Dunlin in the Bight with two Curlew Sandpiper, the Little Stint, 260 Ringed Plover, 30+ Knot, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, two Greenshank, Grey Plover and a Whimbrel. In Shutterton Creek there were eight Teal and a Wigeon and a site record 389 Canada Geese came into roost with one white 'farmyard' type and four hybrid Greylag.  Also in the estuary 30 Common and an Arctic Tern, two adult Mediterranean Gull and 10 Grey Heron in the Railway Saltmarsh. Elsewhere at least one White Wagtail was on the beach and a Garden Warbler was along the Wryneck path.



Thursday 30th:

Waders numbers continue to increase with 1010 Dunlin in the Bight on the rising tide with 62 Knot and singles of Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper still present. Elsewhere four Arctic Tern were found in with at least 39 Common Tern, 1063 Curlew were in the Railway Saltmarsh. Passerine migrants were limited to two Whinchat, at least three Wheatear and two Whitethroat.



Wednesday 29th:

There are still well over 500 Dunlin on site with 250+ Ringed Plover, 74 Knot, 20+ Sanderling, 10 Turnstone, three Bar-tailed Godwit, a Grey Plover and the Little Stint. Over the high tide waders were present in small groups all along the beach back as far as groyne five. Elsewhere c40 Common Scoter and two Great-crested Grebe were on the sea, with 10 Common Tern also offshore, two White Wagtail were on the beach and a Wheatear was in Greenland Lake with the family group of Stonechat.


Stonechat 28/08/07 Simon Thurgood 


Tuesday 28th:

Offshore there were three Balearic Shearwater feeding close in before flying off south after being disturbed by water-skiers, also feeding offshore three Arctic Tern and two Arctic Skua with 31 Common Scoter on the sea. The Little Stint was still present with just one Curlew Sandpiper, other waders present around the Bight included at least 61 Knot, 24+ Sanderling, a Whimbrel and a Grey Plover with around 1000 Ringed Plover and Dunlin, roughly a 3:7 split. The flocks were spread out and frequently flushed by a combination of people, crows, a Grey Heron and a juvenile Peregrine. Elsewhere 104 adult Kittiwake flew into the estuary to roost, 11 Teal where in Shutterton Creek, the first of the autumn, 18 Mute Swan and a Red-breasted Merganser were in the estuary, at least three White Wagtail were on the beach with a first winter Mediterranean Gull, a Whinchat was on Warren Point and other migrants included a Garden Warbler, six Whitethroat, eight Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler.


Little Stint 28/08/07 Simon Thurgood

White Wagtail
28/08/07 Simon Thurgood

Curlew Sandpiper 28/08/07
Brian Heasman


Monday 27th:

There was no sign of the Wryneck today and many of the other migrants had cleared out, but there were at least 12 Whitethroat, 10 Chiffchaff, eight Blackcap, four Reed and two Willow Warbler on site with single Garden and Sedge Warbler, the latter at the Main Pond were the Kingfisher was still present. Overhead there was a light passage with four Yellow and two Grey Wagtail along with c10 Pied/White Wagtail, also over two Rook, two Raven and two Collared Dove. In the estuary the Little Stint and at least two Curlew Sandpiper remained with single Grey Plover, Snipe and Greenshank, Dunlin numbers had increased to c740. Elsewhere the Black Tern was present offshore with 15 Common Tern, a Buzzard in the Entrance Bushes was a very rare grounded migrant for the reserve, two Wheatear and a White Wagtail was on the Golf Course and 18 Wigeon were in Shutterton Creek.



Sunday 26th:

The waders were again dispersed around the Bight so were very hard to count, but numbers seemed similar to yesterday. The Little Stint was still present, along with a juvenile and two adult Curlew Sandpiper. Counts included 256 Ringed Plover, 75 Redshank, c60 Knot and a single Grey Plover dropped in briefly. Migrants on site included a Jay in the entrance bushes, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Cuckoo, a Garden Warbler, the first Tree Pipit of the year, seven Wheatear and two Whinchat, the highlight though was a Wryneck in Greenland Lake, although it was elusive at times. Elsewhere two Osprey flew over during the day, a Black Tern was hawking insects over the Dune Ridge amongst Black-headed Gull with two Mediterranean Gull and three Common Tern, a single Wigeon was in the estuary, a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond and overhead there were 100+ Swallow, three House and a Sand Martin along with two Raven.


Wheatear 26/08/07 Lee Collins



Saturday 25th:

The Little Stint was still present in the Bight over the high tide with an adult Curlew Sandpiper, 340 Dunlin, 320 Ringed Plover, 60 Knot, 20 Sanderling and eight Turnstone. Offshore there were three Arctic Skua, 20 Common Tern, 13 Common Scoter and a Great-crested Grebe. Migrants on site included a single Whinchat, seven Wheatear, eight Chiffchaff, eight Whitethroat, six Blackcap and four Willow Warbler.


Whinchat 25/08/07 Lee Collins



Friday 24th:

The only news received today was of a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, and a Little Stint, the first of the autumn, over the high tide.


Oystercatcher 25/08/07 Lee Collins



Thursday 23rd:

A Black Tern was offshore mid evening with 21 Common Tern, 40 Gannet and 26 Common Scoter. Earlier the first Kingfisher of the autumn and only second of the year was on the Main Pond. Elsewhere three Whimbrel were on the beach and migrants on site were limited to the first Goldcrest of the autumn, a Garden Warbler and three Blackcap.



Wednesday 22nd:

Over the high tide there were 153 Sandwich Tern in front of the hide with at least six Common Tern. Also present the white-headed Oystercatcher, 16 Knot, 16 Sanderling, four Bar-tailed Godwit and two Whimbrel. A young Peregrine toyed with the wader roost and even teased some Great Black-backed Gull. Elsewhere a Wheatear was in Greenland Lake and two Arctic Skua harassed the terns out at sea.



Tuesday 21st:

The Curlew Sandpiper was still present over the high tide with 450+ Ringed Plover, 40 Knot, four Whimbrel, four Black-tailed and a Bar-tailed Godwit present with the usual Dunlin and Sanderling. Offshore there were three Wigeon, the first returning birds of the autumn, and a juvenile Kittiwake. A boat trip to the Straight Point on Monday night saw at least 20 juvenile Kittiwake on the cliffs, so this bird was presumably from that colony.


Monday 20th:

There were again good numbers of Ringed Plover and Dunlin over the high tide with them was the Curlew Sandpiper and a flock of 31 Knot feeding in Bight but the highlight was a group of four Ruff, the first for the year and the highest count since 1992. Also in the estuary c240 Great Black-backed Gull on Bull Hill, a flock of 21 Kittiwake over Shutterton Creek, a Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Common Tern and a white headed Oystercatcher which stood out from the flock.



Sunday 19th:


The waders were again difficult to count today but there were at least 300 Ringed Plover and 150 Dunlin with the Curlew Sandpiper and 14 Knot on the receding tide. Also in the estuary 120+ Sandwich and two Common Tern, an adult Mediterranean Gull and an Osprey fishing in Shutterton Creek. In strong northwesterlies the sea was very quiet with only two Great-crested Grebe and 30+ Common Scoter noted.



Saturday 18th:


The Curlew Sandpiper was again present in the Bight on the morning high tide with 350+ Ringed Plover, 150+ Dunlin, 30+ Turnstone, 25+ Sanderling, 20+ Whimbrel, six Knot and five Black-tailed Godwit. The waders were widely dispersed around the site making accurate counting difficult. Also in the estuary two juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, two Mediterranean Gull, an adult and a second winter, 22 Little Egret and a Greenshank. Seawatching produced two Balearic Shearwater and a Black Tern south early morning with two more Black Tern, three Manx Shearwater, a Great Skua and five Arctic Skua later on. The main passage was however terns with 140+ Sandwich, 130+ Common, 110+ "commic" and at least six Arctic Tern south along with 220+ Kittiwake and 60+ Gannet during the day. Also on site 50+ Common Scoter and three Great-crested Grebe offshore, at least five Wheatear and three Reed Warbler.



Friday 17th:


The Curlew Sandpiper remained over the morning high tide. Also on site five Chiffchaff, two Reed Warbler, a Blackcap and a Willow Warbler.


Ringed Plover 17/08/07   Darren Maynard



Thursday 16th:


Wader counts over the evening high tide included 372+ Ringed Plover and 160+ Dunlin in the Bight with 20 Whimbrel, nine Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Knot, two Turnstone and the first Curlew Sandpiper of the autumn.  Also in the estuary 530 Curlew on the Railway Saltmarsh, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, a juvenile Shelduck and two Common Sandpiper in Shutterton Creek and a Greenshank over. Elsewhere a Dartford Warbler was reported, the earliest ever autumn record for the reserve.



Wednesday 15th:


Waders had increased over the high tide with around 300 Ringed Plover and 150+ Dunlin. Also in the estuary three adult Mediterranean Gull on the Railway Saltmarsh with 20 Common Gull. Elsewhere three Wheatear were in front of the hide.



Tuesday 14th:


Two Great Skua south were only the second record of the year, also offshore a Little Tern.



Monday 13th:


Counts over high tide included 147 Ringed Plover, 16 Dunlin, seven Whimbrel, seven Knot, three Sanderling and three Turnstone. Also around the reserve three Common Tern, a Wheatear on the beach, and four Sand Martin through.


Sunday 12th:


Three Black Tern and a juvenile Little Gull were offshore this morning, with a single Roseate Tern heading south mid evening. On the sea there were 15 Common Scoter and two Great-crested Grebe. In the estuary the first Snipe of the autumn was in front of the hide with other waders including 114 Ringed Plover, 80+ Dunlin, 12 Whimbrel, a Knot and a Greenshank. Elsewhere a Wheatear was on Warren Point and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull was on the beach.



Saturday 11th:


No news was received for today.



Friday 10th:


Good numbers of Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Sanderling were present over the evening high tide, but attempts to count and check through them were regularly curtailed by a juvenile Peregrine patrolling the Bight. A Common Sandpiper was on Finger Point and a Swift was feeding over Greenland lake.



Thursday 9th:


There was a noticeable increase in migrants with two Garden Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, 12 Blackcap, 12 Willow Warbler, eight Chiffchaff, two Cuckoo and a Wheatear on site. In the estuary there were 272 Sandwich and c15 Common Tern, 115 Ringed Plover, 94 Dunlin, 18 Sanderling, 14 Whimbrel, eight Turnstone and a Knot. Large numbers of gulls were feeding over the reserve on flying ants with them were at least five Common Tern, 15 Swift and at least five Mediterranean Gull, three adult & two plus second winter. Elsewhere three juvenile Little Tern were feeding offshore but the only noticeable passage was the southerly movement of the remains of the MSC Napoli.


The remains of the MSC Napoli - up to 24,000 birds oiled - an "environmental catastrophe avoided" !!?



Wednesday 8th:


A Roseate Tern was a new arrival in with about 20 Common Tern, also in the estuary 112 Ringed Plover, three Greenshank and a Knot. Elsewhere the juvenile Cuckoo was seen again, this time perched on groynes along the beach. An Osprey was in the estuary mid evening  showing from the hide.



Tuesday 7th:


A evening visit to the railway crossing at Cockwood produced an adult Mediterranean Gull on the mudflats along with 56 Sandwich Tern, 30+ Ringed Plover, seven Whimbrel and seven Bar-tailed Godwit. A Red-breasted Merganser was by the wreck, 16 Mute Swan were in the entrance to Cockwood Harbour and 137 Great Black-backed Gull were on Bull Hill.



Monday 6th:


No news was received for today.



Sunday 5th:


The highlight was a Green Sandpiper, the first of the year for this scarce site visitor, also on the mudflats during the evening a good count of three Common Sandpiper along with 80+ Sandwich Tern, 74 Redshank, 12 Little Egret, at least seven Whimbrel and five Bar-tailed Godwit. Also this evening a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was in Shutterton Creek and large numbers of Black-headed Gull were feeding in the estuary with at least four Mediterranean Gull, three adult and a second winter.



Saturday 4th:


Over the high tide counts included 41 Ringed Plover, at least nine Whimbrel, eight Dunlin and eight Sanderling. Offshore there were c50 Sandwich and at least five Common Tern, with two juvenile Mediterranean Gull flying going south early morning. Elsewhere on site there were two Wheatear and the fledged Sparrowhawk continue to make a lot of noise around Dead Dolphin Wood.


Friday 3rd:


A juvenile Cuckoo was on the golf course and the Osprey was seen again fishing in the Estuary.  Just offsite a first-summer Laughing Gull was on the beach at Exmouth but once again eluded observers this side of the river.



Thursday 2nd:


Over 200 Sandwich and 14 Common Tern remain on site with 37 Ringed Plover, 25 Dunlin, 22 Little Egret and 15 Whimbrel also in the estuary. Elsewhere a juvenile Cuckoo was around the Bight and 11 Common Scoter remain offshore.



Wednesday 1st:


A migrant Wheatear was the only news reported for today.




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