March 2008

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Monday 31st:


The Surf Scoter remains off groyne 12 with a single Slavonian and 10 Great-crested Grebe, also offshore five Red-throated Diver flew south. Elsewhere two Wheatear and a Stonechat by the hide were the only new migrants.


Sunday 30th:


Seawatching from the seawall before 9 am produced a light southerly passage of quality if not quantity. The highlights were one Balearic Shearwater, three Great Skua and two Black-throated Diver south. Other counts included 80+ Kittiwake, 30+ Fulmar, 13+ Red-throated Diver, 12 Manx Shearwater and six Common Scoter. Also offshore a flock of six Pochard, five Sandwich Tern and the Surf Scoter off groyne 11 all morning.  In the estuary there were 30 Red-breasted Merganser, just 27 Brent Geese, 18 Ringed Plover, 17 Redshank, 11 Turnstone, five Sanderling, three Teal, a Greenshank, and the Whimbrel. Elsewhere nine Chiffchaff, two Peregrine and a Great-spotted Woodpecker were around the reserve, c20 Lesser Black-backed Gull flew north, at least five Buzzard drifted over, probably all local birds, and a Jackdaw flew west.


Coot 30/03/08 Simon Thurgood                                                                             Great-crested Grebe 30/03/08 Simon Thurgood   



Saturday 29th:


Seawatching from the seawall between 6-10.30 am and 2 and 3 pm produced two year ticks in the form of 101 Manx Shearwater and three Great Skua south. Other counts, mostly south, included a site record 206 Fulmar, two Balearic Shearwater, 700 Kittiwake (c50% immatures), 218 Gannet, 18 Red-throated Diver, 14 of which during first 30 mins, 79 Razorbill, three Guillemot, two Common Scoter, a Great Northern Diver and a skua sp east, probably Pomarine. Elsewhere the Surf Scoter was off the windmill,  In the estuary Sandwich Tern numbers had climbed to 13, whilst from the hide there were 230 Oystercatcher, 70 Bar-tailed Godwit, 59 Brent Geese, 48 Knot, 26 Kittiwake (18 imm), 24 Grey Plover, 23 Turnstone, 18 Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Ringed Plover, eight Teal, five Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Greenshank, a Whimbrel and a Pale-bellied Brent.


Friday 28th:


Five Pale-bellied Brent were in the estuary with five Sandwich Tern, 25 Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Teal and a Greenshank  Elsewhere two male Wheatear were in Greenland Lake.



Thursday 27th:


The Surf Scoter was again off Langstone Rock mid morning with three Sandwich Tern. Elsewhere 27 Brent Geese were on the sandbars offshore, 16 Red-breasted Merganser were around the reserve and a pair of Bullfinch were in the Entrance Bushes.5 sand tern, greenshank,12 teal, 25 rbmerg, 5 pale b brent but on cockle sands, 2 male wheatears GL


Rock Pipit 27/03/08   Andrew Cunningham



Wednesday 26th:


The Surf Scoter was off Langstone Rock. Elsewhere a Wheatear by the Visitor Centre, four singing Chiffchaff and four Sandwich Tern offshore suggested in was spring. Another indication came from the declining wader numbers with just 200 Dunlin, 50 Knot,  24 Turnstone, 15 Ringed Plover, nine Bar-tailed Godwit and seven Sanderling in the Bight.


Tuesday 25th:


The Surf Scoter was off Langstone Rock mid morning with five Sandwich Tern also offshore.  Four Buzzard displaying over the Visitor centre were the only other sightings received.



Monday 24th:


Little change with the Surf Scoter remaining offshore along with eight Great-crested and a Slavonian Grebe, two Common Scoter, single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver with a second Great Northern in the estuary. Counts from the high tide included 725 Oystercatcher, 106 Curlew, 89 Dunlin, 78 Brent Geese, 71 Knot, 35 Redshank, 32 Grey Plover, 24 Turnstone, 11 Sanderling, nine Ringed Plover, nine Bar-tailed and four Black-tailed Godwit. Overhead there were three Buzzard along with four Meadow Pipit, three Chaffinch, three Reed Bunting and a Raven. Elsewhere two Wheatear and six Chiffchaff were onsite, a Pale-bellied Brent was on the sandbars and a Water Rail was at the Main Pond.



Sunday 23rd:


The wintering Surf Scoter, 13 Great-crested Grebe and a diver sp were offshore. Elsewhere the Whimbrel was in the estuary, a Buzzard flew high north, eight Chiffchaff were in the bushes, a Song Thrush was singing from Dead Dolphin Wood and a Wheatear was on the beach.



Saturday 22nd:


Two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore, a Buzzard came in off the sea and a Wheatear was on the beach.


Starling 21/03/08



Friday 21st:


Offshore there was little passing in the strong north-westerly wind, but in an hour a Black-throated Diver went south, with 19 Fulmar and five Red-throated Diver. On the sea the immature Surf Scoter was still off the sea wall, though distant, also there a Great Northern Diver, five Great-crested Grebe and two Sandwich Tern. In the estuary there were six Pale-bellied Brent Geese with c.410 Oystercatcher, 170+ Dunlin, 47 Bar-tailed Godwit, 42 Knot and four Sanderling. Elsewhere the first Merlin of the year flew south over the Dune Ridge, 12 Turnstone and an immature Peregrine were around Langstone Rock, a Stonechat, the first for several weeks, was in the Buffer Zone and at least five Chiffchaff were around the reserve. 

Pale-bellied Brent Goose 21/03/08   Lee Collins 

Thursday 20th:


The only news came from offshore where there were 12 Razorbill, six Common Scoter and a few Great-crested Grebe on the sea with a Red-throated Diver south.



Wednesday 19th:


The highlight was an overhead passage of Chaffinch moving north east with 1132 counted between 09.00am and 12.30pm, a record site count, following the record numbers last autumn. Some flocks included the occasional Brambling, the first records of the year, with at least ten in total, a record spring count. In the calm conditions Buzzard were displaying all around the reserve with some drifting over, but three also appeared to come in off the sea. Also overhead a pair of Sparrowhawk displaying, three Raven, two Rook and two Jackdaw. Other migrants were limited to a Sand Martin through, a single Wheatear and six Chiffchaff. Elsewhere the Surf Scoter was reported offshore and in the Bight there were just six Ringed Plover, with three Knot, two Dunlin, two Sanderling and single Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit.



Tuesday 18th:


Amazingly, the highlight of the day was the site's sixth record of Red Kite which flew over the car park heading north. The Surf Scoter was still showing offshore along with five Slavonian Grebe.  Elsewhere on site, six Sand Martin passed through going east and the woods held four Chiffchaff.



Monday 17th:


A quite day was enlivened when a Red Kite, the fifth site record, disturbed birds in Shutterton Creek.  It gained height to fly over the estuary, but then soared over Eastdon for some time then headed south and was later seen at Teignmouth.  Elsewhere a Water Rail was at the First Pond, with a few Chiffchaff the only migrants.  From the hide there were only six Grey Plover, two Dunlin, one Knot, one Greenshank, 148 Brent plus the juvenile Pale-bellied Brent Goose.  Offshore three Slavonian Grebe.



Sunday 16th:


Two Greylag Geese that flew in of the sea and up the estuary were the first for the year and presumably migrants. Other arrivals included at least nine Wheatear around the hide, 35+ Chaffinch east, five Sand Martin through, 10+ Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest around the Main Pond. Offshore there was again very little movement but five Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew east with the Surf Scoter, two Common Scoter, three Slavonian Grebe, a Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver also offshore. In the estuary there were 131 Dark-bellied Brent and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese.


Simon Thurgood 


Saturday 15th:


The first Wheatear of the year finally put in an appearance, with one by the sea wall and two around the Bight, other migrants included the first four Sand Martin of the year east over the estuary, at least six Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest. Offshore there was very little movement but eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 43 Black-headed Gull flew east with around 35 Common Scoter, a female teal sp, at least 10 Razorbill and six Guillemot. Also offshore two Slavonian Grebe, two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. In the estuary a Golden Plover was in the Bight with 75 Knot, 32 Turnstone and 20 Sanderling, with six Little Egret, two Greenshank, two Teal, a Wigeon and a Whimbrel in Shutterton Creek. Two Pale-bellied Brent were on the Golf Course.



Friday 14th:


The Surf Scoter was still off the windmill with nine Great-crested and five Slavonian Grebe, also offshore four Common Scoter, two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. In the estuary there were 700 Dunlin, 170 Grey Plover, 68 Knot and six Sanderling. A Water Rail was on the First Pond.



Thursday 13th:


No news was received for today.



Wednesday 12th:


The Surf Scoter was again off the windmill with three Slavonian Grebe. A seawatch early morning produced little except 31 Fulmar, Peregrine and two Great Northern Diver south, with a third on sea with a Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere the Pale-bellied Brent was in the Bight.



Tuesday 11th:


The Surf Scoter was off groyne 12 with five Common Scoter and two Great Northern Diver off Langstone Rock..



Monday 10th:


The stormy weather meant seawatching was the order of the day, but it seems March is not the best month for a major blow. Early morning there was little movement with few auks and a few Kittiwake and Gannet, but nothing exceptional. As the morning day progressed Fulmar numbers increased, with 32 birds present on one scan, no actual counts were made but over 200 probably passed south, which would have been a site record. The only surprises were the first Arctic Skua of the year, heading east at 9.50, and the first ever March record of a Pomarine Skua, south at 10.20, with three Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver also flying south. In the choppy conditions the Surf Scoter was still off Langstone Rock with five Slavonian Grebe. 



Sunday 9th:


The Surf Scoter was off Langstone Rock with seven Slavonian and six Great-crested Grebe, three Common Scoter and two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Elsewhere the pair of Great-spotted Woodpecker were again by the First Pond.



Saturday 8th:


A Sandwich Tern was around the estuary mouth but the only other migrants were single figures of alba Wagtail and Meadow Pipit in off the sea, and a Goldcrest by the Main Pond. The first winter female Surf Scoter remains off Langstone Rock with five Slavonian Grebe, 40+ Gannet, 25 Razorbill, 13 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver also offshore. Counts from the estuary included 171 Grey Plover, 22 Ringed Plover, 11 Sanderling and four Knot. Elsewhere two Lesser Redpoll were in Dead Dolphin Wood and a Peregrine was seen offshore.



Friday 7th:


The Surf Scoter remains off Langstone Rock with four Slavonian Grebe, nine Common Scoter, Red-throated and Great Northern Diver. Elsewhere 163 Brent Geese were in the estuary, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was by the First Pond and 1000+ Herring Gull and 85 Red-breasted Merganser roosted offshore.



Thursday 6th:


The Surf Scoter remains off Langstone Rock with nine Common Scoter, five Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Also offshore five Slavonian and 12+ Great-crested Grebe, five Razorbill, a roost of 60+ Red-breasted Merganser and 1000+ large gulls including 11 Lesser Black-backed Gull. Elsewhere a juvenile Pale-bellied Brent Goose was in the Bight with three Goldeneye, two Little Egret and a Greenshank in the estuary. At dusk a drake Chiloe Wigeon was on the Main Pond with two Little Grebe.


Wednesday 5th:


The Surf Scoter was still off Langstone Rock with a single Common Scoter, four Red-throated Diver and three Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a pair of Great-spotted Woodpecker were near the First Pond and a Greenshank was in Shutterton Creek.



Tuesday 4th:


No news was received for today.



Monday 3rd:


The long staying Surf Scoter was still offshore but no other news was received for today.



Sunday 2nd:


The first two Sandwich Tern of the year were off the seawall early morning, but the only other migrants were six Meadow Pipit, a Grey Wagtail and a Buzzard in off the sea during the day. The Surf Scoter was off Langstone Rock along with 18+ Great-crested and a Slavonian Grebe. Also offshore four Common Scoter, four Red-throated and two Great Northern Diver. In the estuary there were 74 Red-breasted Merganser, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gull, of varying shades, seven Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank.



Saturday 1st:


The Surf Scoter was again offshore today with c50 Gannet. In the estuary there were 35 Red-breasted Merganser and 23 Ringed Plover, with one Rook east. Three Sandwich Tern were in Dawlish Bay.




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