The good weather brought another reappearance from an elusive wintering bird today with the Dartford Warbler showing in Greenland Lake for the first time since New Year's Day. The only other news received was of two Collared Dove over the reserve, the first of the year.
Continuing calm conditions mean good counts of birds in the bay are possible and today there were 28 Red-throated and six Great Northern Diver offshore with 22 Great-crested and four Slavonian Grebe, five Eider and a Velvet Scoter with 72 auk sp flying east. Elsewhere the Cetti's Warbler continues to call intermittently from bramble on the east side of Greenland Lake, 38 Red-breasted Merganser and 342 Brent Geese were in the Shutterton Creek area and two Rook flew over.
Offshore from Langstone Rock there were 30+ Razorbill, 18 Red-throated Diver, 16 Great-crested Grebe, seven Great Northern Diver, seven Common Scoter, four Eider four Slavonian Grebe, with four more outside the recording area off Dawlish, and the Velvet Scoter. Elsewhere a Mediterranean Gull was in Shutterton Creek with 326 Brent Geese and the Chiloe Wigeon was with two Canada Geese and two Little Grebe on the Main Pond.
The surprise highlight was the return of the site's fifth Cetti's Warbler, after keeping quiet for a month it was again at the eastern end of Greenland Lake, calling occasionally but generally remaining very elusive. Offshore numbers of birds had dropped slightly with 12 Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver, 18 Great-crested and three Slavonian Grebe, nine Common Scoter, five Eider and the Velvet Scoter. Razorbill numbers had increased though with at least 50 in the bay along with just five Guillemot. Oiled birds included three Razorbill, two Guillemot and two Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere the first Rook of the year flew east over the Golf Course and in Shutterton Creek there were 23 Lapwing, eight Black-tailed Godwit and two adult Mediterranean Gull, with probably the same two gulls later roosting off Langstone Rock.
Continuing calm conditions offshore allowed a good count to be made of birds feeding in the bay, figures included 25+ Red-throated and seven Great Northern Diver, 20+ Great-crested and five Slavonian Grebe, 12 Razorbill, four Eider, four Common Scoter, three Guillemot and a Velvet Scoter. Oiled birds included all three Guillemot, with a dead one on the beach, a Great Northern Diver and a Great-crested Grebe. Elsewhere 10 Lapwing were in the estuary and the Chiloe Wigeon again roosted with the Mallard on the Main Pond.
A Red-necked Grebe was offshore with 13 Great-crested Grebe, nine Red-throated Diver, nine Common Scoter, five Slavonian Grebe, five Eider and a Great Northern Diver present in calm conditions. Unfortunately both the Red-necked Grebe and the Great Northern Diver were lightly oiled. In the estuary the Railway Saltmarsh held 130 Teal, 50 Redshank, 37 Lapwing and two Greenshank with 1680 Dunlin, 260 Brent Geese, 216 Grey Plover, 147 Bar-tailed Godwit, 82 Knot, 40 Ringed Plover, 15 Red-breasted Merganser, eight Sanderling and five Wigeon in front of the hide. Elsewhere eight Goldfinch along the Dune Ridge were the first of the year(!), three Little Grebe, two Water Rail and two Teal were in the Main Pond with two Reed Bunting, at least two Sparrowhawk were on site and 48 Carrion Crow were around the Bight.
An oiled Razorbill was offshore with two Slavonian Grebe and a Red-throated Diver off Warren Point. A Kingfisher in the estuary was the first for the year.
Offshore there were three Velvet Scoter along with three Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver, four Eider and two Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 270 Brent Geese, 102 Knot and 52 Shelduck were in the estuary with a Raven and Kestrel overhead.
over the Golf Course were the first for the year as was a single Buzzard
overhead. A Slavonian Grebe was offshore with another oiled Guillemot,
at least seven oiled Herring and two oiled Great Black-backed Gull
were also present, fortunately still low numbers compared to elsewhere around
Offshore a Great Skua
was the first for the year and there were three Slavonian Grebe, the
highest count so far this winter, also there eight Great-crested Grebe,
four Red-throated Diver, four Eider, the
Velvet Scoter and 30+ Razorbill.
Fortunately, compared to other areas, only three oiled birds were noted single
Guillemot, Kittiwake and Razorbill . A high tide count
produced the following totals in the estuary c2000 Dunlin, 232 Brent
Geese, 205 Grey Plover, 148 Bar-tailed Godwit, 94 Knot (an
increase), 76 Curlew, 54 Redshank, 45 Common Gull, 44
Shelduck, 43 Ringed Plover and 17 Turnstone. The
Whimbrel was again in the saltmarsh
along with 23 Wigeon, 13 Teal, nine Snipe and seven
Little Egret. Elsewhere two Raven were displaying over Greenland Lake
and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose was
with the Brent flock.
The immature Velvet Scoter was again offshore with five Common Scoter, four Eider, three Red-throated Diver and two Slavonian Grebe. A Red-necked Grebe was reported off Warren Point mid morning before being seen of Langstone Rock in the afternoon. and At least 30 Kittiwake and 20 Gannet flew south, mostly very distant, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver also flew south. Elsewhere 80+ Common Gull and a Greenshank were in the estuary and seven Snipe were in Greenland Lake.
An immature Velvet Scoter was offshore with two Slavonian and seven Great-crested Grebe, four Eider, three Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Wader counts over the high tide included 1326 Oystercatcher, 2002 Grey Plover, 116 Bar-tailed Godwit, 50 Ringed Plover and 18 Sanderling, the highest count this winter. Elsewhere a fourth Red-throated Diver and 210 Common Gull were in the estuary, a Greenshank and two adult Mediterranean Gull were in Shutterton Creek, a Peregrine took a Turnstone off Langstone Rock and the first Green Woodpecker of the year was calling on the Golf Course.
A Skylark was in song along the Dune Ridge and 55 Mallard roosted on the Main Pond.
Tuesday 16th - Thursday 18th:
No news was received.
A Kestrel, the first of the year, was the only news reported.
The WeBS count found the wintering Whimbrel on the Railway Saltmarsh with the Curlew flock, also in the estuary there were 59 Red-breasted Merganser, 51 Ringed Plover, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, three Greenshank and flushed from the saltmarsh 25 Snipe and a Jack Snipe. Other counts were very low, a reflection of the low high tide and the continuing mild weather. Elsewhere a Slavonian Grebe, four Eider and three Red-throated Diver were offshore with a Sparrowhawk around the Entrance Bushes.
Counts from the Bight on the falling tide included 178 Brent Geese, 78 Carrion Crow, 58 Knot, 51 Ringed Plover, 41 Shelduck and 11 Sanderling. In Shutterton Creek there were 128 Common Gull, 34 Black-tailed Godwit, c15 Lapwing, two Mediterranean Gull, an adult and a first winter, the first Peregrine of the year, a Kittiwake, a Greenshank and a Great-crested Grebe. Elsewhere a Slavonian Grebe, two Eider and five Razorbill were offshore with five Coot on the Main Pond and in the bushes, two Chiffchaff and the first Bullfinch of the year.
c200 Starling roosting at the Main Pond was the only news received for today.
Large numbers of Gannet
were still offshore in the strong winds with a few Kittiwake, on the sea
there was a single Slavonian and two Great-crested Grebe but the
choppy conditions made viewing difficult. Elsewhere a Lapwing was on the
Railway Saltmarsh and 79 Shelduck were in the Bight.
Six Great-crested Grebe were offshore with three
Great Northern Diver and two Eider, further out at least 40 Gannet
were feeding around several fishing boats. A fourth Great Northern Diver
was in the estuary with in addition to the usual waders and wildfowl a
Guillemot and Little Grebe. Elsewhere 24 Turnstone were
around Langstone Rock.
From the Dune Ridge there were singles of Great Northern
Diver, Great-crested Grebe and Eider. The highlight though was
a drake Goosander which flew south
from the estuary and a Velvet Scoter
flew north into the estuary, presumably the regular bird. There was little
else offshore apart from 11 Kittiwake, eight Gannet and five
Razorbill. Counts in the estuary included 860 Dunlin, c350
Oystercatcher, 150 Brent Geese, 134 Grey Plover, 102
Bar-tailed Godwit, 52 Shelduck, c30 Sanderling and 18 Knot.
A single exhausted Guillemot was also in the Bight, apparently stuck in
the mud on the receding tide.
Offshore there were 11 Great-crested Grebe, two Red-throated Diver, two Eider, two Razorbill and a Guillemot flew up the Estuary. In the estuary counts over high tide included 1700 Dunlin, 368 Brent Geese, 221 Grey Plover, 195 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Knot, 51 Ringed Plover, 46 Shelduck, 16 Turnstone, 13 Lapwing, eight Little Egret, four Greenshank, an adult Mediterranean Gull and the first Lesser Black-backed Gull of the year.
Good numbers of waders were present over the high tide, but no counts were taken. In Shutterton Creek there were 72 Common and an adult Mediterranean Gull with 16 Lapwing, nine Black-tailed Godwit and eight Little Egret. Elsewhere three Siskin flew east along the Dune Ridge, a Slavonian Grebe and two Eider were offshore and 87+ Canada Geese were on the Main Pond early morning.
The only reports for today were of a Slavonian Grebe, four Eider and a Great Northern Diver offshore.
The Velvet Scoter remains off Langstone Rock along with four Common Scoter, four Eider, three Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
No news was received for today.
Offshore today there were 30+ Great-crested and two Slavonian Grebe, the Velvet Scoter and a single Red-Throated Diver.
Single Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe were offshore with an Avocet and several Lapwing in Shutterton Creek.
A record start the year, despite the large thunderstorm which threatened to bring the day's birding to a premature close. The highlight was at the very end of the day when at least one White-fronted Goose was heard flying low over the Golf Course. The Velvet Scoter remained off Langstone Rock, with 15 Common Scoter, five Great-crested and two Slavonian Grebe, four Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, three Eider and an adult Mediterranean Gull also offshore. Good numbers of auks were still present mostly Razorbill, but at least two oiled Guillemot were seen - one of which was rescued from the Pirate's Cove Crazy Golf complex! In the estuary there were counts of 324 Brent Geese, 79 Shelduck and 22 Snipe, with two Greenshank, an Avocet and a Goldeneye in Shutterton Creek. Elsewhere the Dartford Warbler was again at the eastern end of Greenland Lake, the Treecreeper and Great-spotted Woodpecker were by the First Pond, a Raven flew west, two Pintail flew in off the sea and a Chiloe Wigeon was on the Main Pond.
In total 78 species were recorded on site today.
Great Northern Diver
Great Black-backed Gull
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