March 2006

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Report sightings



Friday 31st:


There were lower numbers of most species today with just 12 Sandwich Tern in the estuary along with five Black-tailed Godwit, five Teal, two Little Egret and a Goldeneye. Other waders were limited to nine Ringed Plover and three Dunlin flying around Finger Point with 20 Knot and 30 Sanderling. Elsewhere two Willow Warbler, the first of the year, were by the Main Pond, the first-winter Glaucous Gull was again at Langstone Rock, five Eider were still offshore with four Slavonian Grebe, three Wheatear were by the hide, 157 Brent Geese swam from the saltmarsh to the Bight and two Raven flew over Greenland Lake.


Thursday 30th:


Five Eider, two Slavonian Grebe and two Sandwich Tern offshore was the only news received for today.


Wednesday 29th:


The Glaucous Gull was again off Langstone Rock where there were also 25 Eider, seven Common Scoter, seven Kittiwake, five Slavonian Grebe and a Red-throated Diver. Nine Pale-bellied Brent showed well in front of the hide with 150 Dark-bellied Brent. On Finger Point there were 89 Sandwich Tern with 38 Curlew, 27 Turnstone, seven Grey Plover and four Sanderling.  41 Knot were on the Railway Saltmarsh with 10 Redshank, seven Teal and a Wigeon.  Elsewhere there were at least five Wheatear, a Sand Martin flew through the Bight, a Swallow flew in off the sea, a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull was on a sandbar offshore, a Chiffchaff was behind the hide and 27 Red-breasted Merganser were in the estuary.


Tuesday 28th:


There has a been a large arrival of Sandwich Tern with 55 counted today. Also present were 180 Brent Geese in the Bight with 29 Knot, 12 Ringed Plover and two Dunlin, 105 Curlew were on Finger Point and 20 Red-breasted Merganser were off Bull Hill with a single Goldeneye. Also present in the estuary nine Little Egret. Elsewhere there were at least six Wheatear, with five in front of the hide, a single Swallow and offshore there were 13 Slavonian Grebe and eight Eider.



Monday 27th:


The first Swallow of the year was the only news reported.



Sunday 26th:


Three Sandwich Tern were in the estuary with 18 Ringed Plover. At least one Water Rail remains in the saltmarsh by the hide, showing infrequently, the remains of another were found on the path to the hide.



Saturday 25th:


Highlight was the unexpected re-appearance of the first winter Glaucous Gull at Langstone Rock, as before it showed very well on the beach and breakwater, also around the rock 27 Turnstone and 23 Brent Geese. There was almost no movement over the sea except for a Sandwich Tern south early morning, with four more around the estuary mouth, also offshore a Black-throated Diver, only the second of the year, a single Red-throated Diver, eight Slavonian and eight Great-crested Grebe, 24 Common Scoter and seven Eider. Elsewhere there were at least five Wheatear on site, a Sparrowhawk flew east along the Dune Ridge and nine Teal were in Shutterton Creek.



Friday 24th:


 Wader numbers are still low, the Bight held 30 Turnstone, 25 Ringed Plover and only four Dunlin. A Water Rail showed well intermittently in the saltmarsh to the right of the hide. Little Egret appear to have increased with a single on Finger Point and five more on the Railway Saltmarsh. Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were with 270 Dark-bellied Brent Geese in Shutterton Creek along with six Teal.



Thursday 23rd:


A single Red-throated Diver flew south with seven Common Scoter,  whilst three Eider were offshore. Elsewhere 211 Brent Geese were in the Bight along with 33 Turnstone, 19 Knot, just eight Dunlin and four Ringed Plover. Two Wigeon were in Shutterton Creek with 17 Teal and 6 Black-tailed Godwit.



Wednesday 22nd:


At least six Slavonian Grebe remain offshore with two Eider and 10 Common Scoter flying east. On a low tide the Bight held 95 Dunlin, 36 Turnstone and 22 Sanderling with 141 Curlew on Bull Hill. Lesser Black-back Gull continue to move through the recording area in small numbers.



Tuesday 21st:


First day of spring saw at least 10 Wheatear on site split between Greenland Lake and Warren Point, the year's first Sand Martin were also recorded, with two flying northeast up the estuary. Offshore there were nine Slavonian Grebe with seven Eider, six Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver flew east. There were 190 Brent Geese in the Bight with 36 Knot, 21 Ringed Plover, 16 Sanderling, 12 Turnstone and 12 Lesser Black-back Gull. Also in the estuary 41 Red-breasted Merganser were between Finger Point and Shutterton Creek, where there were 36 Teal, four Pintail, and two Wigeon with six Black-tailed Godwit and 141 Curlew in the Railway Saltmarsh. Elsewhere a Snipe and a singing Reed Bunting and Little Grebe were at the Main Pond.


Wheatear 21/3/06 Darren Maynard


Monday 20th:


Highlight of the day was undoubtedly the Black-necked Grebe which was offshore by Groyne 11, this the the first site record since April 2004. Also offshore five Slavonian and Great-crested Grebe, 10 Eider, eight Common Scoter and a Pintail flying east. 28 Red-breasted Merganser were in the estuary with 74 Curlew, 47 Grey Plover and a Little Egret on Finger Point, 135 Brent Geese and 30 Redshank were on the Railway Saltmarsh and six Teal and a female Goldeneye were in Shutterton Creek. Elsewhere 200 Herring Gull were also present on the beach and the first Wheatear of the spring made a welcome appearance on the seawall.



Sunday 19th:


With the weather similar to recent days there was little change although a Chiffchaff by the First Pond and four Reed Bunting over Greenland Lake may well have been migrants. Offshore the choppy conditions made viewing difficult and only one Slavonian and one Great-crested Grebe were seen along with c20 Eider. Elsewhere a Goldeneye was in Shutterton Creek and 110 Grey Plover were in the Bight.



Saturday 18th:


The cold easterly wind continued today increasing during the afternoon with the added bonus of snow flurries early morning, despite the weather though the first Sandwich Tern of the year made a brief appearance offshore before heading into the shelter of the estuary, a day later than last year's first sighting. Also offshore the Velvet Scoter remained with 28 Common Scoter, 24 Eider, two Slavonian Grebe and two Kittiwake also noted. Wader numbers continue to drop with only 65 Dunlin at the high tide, with them were 160 Grey Plover, 117 Curlew, 37 Knot, 23 Ringed Plover, just seven Bar-tailed Godwit, the Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit. Increased counts of 34 Turnstone and 30 Sanderling suggest some birds may also be moving through. Also in the estuary there were 158 Brent Geese, five Goldeneye, including one drake, and nine Teal. Elsewhere a Water Rail showed very well on the Main Pond with a pair of Teal and a Kestrel was hunting near the car park.



Friday 17th:


The cold easterly wind and choppy sea made birding and viewing conditions difficult but the Velvet Scoter was still offshore with 25 Common Scoter, 20 Eider, four Slavonian Grebe, including one bird in summer plumage and three Great-crested Grebe with five Gannet and a Fulmar flying east. Over the high tide there were again c200 Grey Plover on Finger Point with 159 Curlew, 20 Knot, 15 Turnstone and a Black-tailed Godwit, whilst 84 Brent Geese and seven Shelduck were in the Bight. Elsewhere four Sanderling, three Skylark and two Pheasant were on Warren Point and a pair of Mute Swan have arrived at the Main Pond and started nest-building.


Thursday 16th:


Over high tide 200 Grey Plover were roosting on the beach with small numbers of Dunlin, 69 Brent Geese were in front of the hide with 34 Knot and 39 Turnstone with 148 Curlew on Finger Point. Elsewhere the first spring migrant in the form of a Chiffchaff appeared in brambles by the hide, 47 Common Gull were on the Railway Saltmarsh with three Little Egret and the Whimbrel; offshore there were eight Slavonian Grebe, 16 Eider and 15 Common Scoter.



Wednesday 15th:


The Velvet Scoter remains offshore with 12+ Eider and 3 Great-crested Grebe, two Gadwall were also offshore, seen flying towards the estuary. In the Bight there were c200 Grey Plover, 100+ Bar-tailed Godwit and 41 Ringed Plover, with 38 Curlew, 33 Redshank, 22 Shelduck, 16 Turnstone, 15 Red-breasted Merganser, a Greylag Goose with the albino Egyptian Goose and a Goldeneye. Elsewhere three Stonechat were on Warren Point with a Whimbrel, a Peregrine was over the car park and a Sparrowhawk flew towards Warren Point. Shutterton Creek held 18 Teal, three Little Egret, two Grey Heron, two Wigeon and a Greenshank. Three Snipe were in the Saltmarsh and the Water Rail again showed in front of the hide.



Tuesday 14th:


 The only news reported was of 15 Eider and four Slavonian Grebe offshore with three Goldeneye off Finger Point.



Monday 13th:


A Brambling calling over Greenland Lake was the first of the year, this is a rare spring migrant on the Warren. At the high tide this morning there were 70+ Grey Plover, 50+ Knot, a male Pintail plus four Sanderling and a similar number of Ringed Plover.  Also in the estuary there were 92 Brent Geese along with 19 Shag, 17 Cormorant and 15 Red-breasted Merganser.  30+ Common Gull in the Shutterton Creek area, with a good count of seven Goldeneye and a Slavonian Grebe off Finger Point. Elsewhere a Sparrowhawk flew over the tractor compound, 20+ Common Scoter, five Eider, a single Slavonian Grebe and the Velvet Scoter were offshore and a seawatch before 10am only produced seven Fulmar, seven Gannet and c20 Black-headed Gull. At least two colour ringed Brent Geese were present today (Green 2/Red 8 &  Red H Orange Y) Both these birds have a long association with the Exe.



Sunday 12th:


A miserable day with constant drizzle until mid afternoon and a cold south-easterly wind all day. Consequently there was little to report although there was a noticeable increase in Common Scoter with 80+ present offshore. Also offshore in a brief seawatch there was a light passage of Black-headed Gull south with a few Gannet and Fulmar also passing. Just off the reserve there were two Pale-bellied Brent Geese on the golf course at Cockwood.



Saturday 11th:


Still no sign of spring, except for a continuing passage of Common Gull, with 30+ today and an increase to six Goldcrest around the bushes. Wildfowl numbers continue to drop with 90 Brent Geese, 24 Shelduck, 24 Teal and only nine Wigeon. Amongst the waders, a Black-tailed Godwit was a scarce visitor to the Bight, and in the saltmarsh there were 13 Snipe along with a Jack Snipe, a Greenshank and the wintering Whimbrel. Offshore the Velvet Scoter remains with 34 Eider, 15 Great-crested Grebe, 12 Common Scoter and nine Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere four Goldeneye were in the estuary, a Sparrowhawk was on the golf course and a Water Rail was seen in front of the hide.



Friday 10th:


A frustrating day in the strong wind, the highlight should have been two grey geese, probably Bean, which flew in from the southwest and went north over Easton, possibly dropping on the estuary. They were however always too far away to confirm identification. Elsewhere the Velvet Scoter was still offshore with 10 Eider, four Slavonian Grebe and two Common Scoter. A Kestrel was watched coming in off the sea from the south, struggling for 20 mins against the wind and being harrassed by gulls, before making landfall.



Thursday 9th:


Two Goldeneye in the estuary was the only news received for today.


Wednesday 8th:


The Velvet Scoter was still offshore and two Peregrine were around the high tide roost.


Tuesday 7th:


No news was received for today.


Monday 6th:


The Estuary held 300+ Brent Geese, 60 Curlew, a female Goldeneye and an adult Mediterranean Gull with 50+ Common Gull. Six Black-tailed Godwit and 19 Wigeon in Shutterton Creek. Elsewhere two Raven performed well over Finger Point before being disturbed by dog walkers, the highlight though was two of the local Collared Dove, a pair briefly flew over the railway line and became the first recording area records of the year!


Sunday 5th:


More of the same today, although two Siskin overhead perhaps hinted at spring migration. The Velvet Scoter was off the seawall feeding with two Eider. Also offshore another 18 Eider, c50 Razorbill (am only), c12 Common Scoter, 16 Great-crested and eight Slavonian Grebe with two Red-throated Diver on the sea and another two flying east. Elsewhere five Black-tailed Godwit and an adult Mediterranean Gull were in Shutterton Creek.


Saturday 4th:


The Velvet Scoter was close in off the seawall this afternoon, feeding on its own. Also offshore 57 Common Scoter, 31 Eider, 10 Great-crested and eight Slavonian Grebe with a Red-throated and four Diver sp flying east. Elsewhere 33 Wigeon and four Black-tailed Godwit were in Shutterton Creek, a Peregrine preyed on the waders at high tide, two Reed Bunting were on the Dune Ridge, a Raven flew over heading west and the Chiloe Wigeon was on the Main Pond again in the evening.


Friday 3rd:


Offshore 10 Red-throated Diver flew south along with 30+ Auk sp.  Nine Slavonian Grebe were between the windmill and the seawall, along with 42 Eider, 8 Great-crested Grebe and seven Common Scoter. Roosting waders on the beach included 230 Bar-tailed Godwit, including one in summer plumage, and 222 Grey Plover. On the receding tide 90 Curlew, 43 Knot and 38 Ringed Plover were in the Bight with 45 Redshank, 25 Red-breasted Merganser, 25 Wigeon and 20 Teal in the Shutterton Creek area.


Thursday 2nd:


The Velvet Scoter remains offshore with 60+ Common Scoter, six Eider, at least six Slavonian Grebe and two Red-throated Diver.  In the Estuary 200 Brent Geese, 60 Common Gull , 23 Shelduck, four Goldeneye and an adult Mediterranean Gull were present, with 1500 Dunlin, 262 Curlew and 55 Grey Plover on Finger Point. Elsewhere three Little Grebe were on the Main Pond along with four Coot, two Buzzard displayed well overhead, a Peregrine was over the Tractor compound and a Rook flew northeast over the Bight.


Wednesday 1st:

High numbers of waders remain on site with 3808 Dunlin, 269 Grey Plover, 58 Knot, 48 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone and nine Sanderling roosting on the beach at high tide. Offshore from Dune Ridge there were five Eider, three Slavonian and a few Great-crested Grebe, with more birds off Langstone. Four Little Grebe were on the Main Pond.



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