May 2007

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Thursday 31st:


The third male Kentish Plover of the spring was in the Bight along with a Curlew Sandpiper. The first Balearic Shearwater of the year was offshore along with 36 Manx Shearwater, two Arctic Skua and two Great Northern Diver.


Wednesday 30th:


A Pomarine and two Arctic Skua flew south.



Monday 28th - Tuesday 29th:


No news was received.



Sunday 27th:


Seawatching in strong easterlies produced  at least 21 Common Tern offshore with two Storm Petrel, 12+ Arctic Skua, including flock of seven, and a Great Northern Diver south, with 16 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver on the sea. The Curlew Sandpiper was again in Bight, with Dunlin numbers similar to yesterday, while Sanderling numbers seemed down, also present a Whimbrel and a dark-bellied Brent Goose.



Saturday 26th:


A Curlew Sandpiper was present over the high tide with 240 + Dunlin, 90 Sanderling, 18 Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel. Elsewhere a Lesser Whitethroat was in the Back Meadow, whilst on the sea there were three Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver, 11 Common Tern and a dark phase Arctic Skua.


Friday 25th:


Three Little Stint were in the Bight this morning and two Arctic Skua and two Great-crested Grebe remain offshore.



Thursday 24th:


Two Arctic Skua remain offshore, with a Great Northern Diver off Langstone Rock, whilst over the high tide there were 150+ Sanderling and 70+ Dunlin but no sign of any Little Stint. The breeding Oystercatcher have failed for a second year, this time a Carrion Crow was seen to take the eggs. A Hobby was seen from the car park but was outside the recording area.



Wednesday 23rd:


Two Little Stint were in the Bight over the morning high tide, the first of the year. A Great Northern Diver and an Arctic Skua were offshore.



Tuesday 22nd:


Offshore three Pomarine Skua lingered in the morning, two dark phase Arctic Skua were present all day. Roosting waders included 150 Sanderling, 150 Dunlin, 23 Ringed Plover and several Whimbrel.  There was no sign of yesterday's Kentish Plover.



Monday 21st:


At sea, today, were 200 Kittiwake, 30 Sandwich,  seven Common and one Arctic Tern, 20 Gannet, two Red-throated Diver, one dark phase Arctic Skua and one Common Scoter. Waders included 125 Dunlin, 55 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover and a few Whimbrel.  A Cuckoo was in the bushes.  Also reported a male Kentish Plover was in front of the hide this evening.



Sunday 20th:


Two Roseate Tern were offshore feeding with at least two Arctic and 12+ Common Tern, a dark phase Arctic Skua, 40+ Kittiwake and 80+ Shag. Also on the sea a Red-throated Diver, three Common Scoter and three Eider, the first for several weeks. In the estuary wader counts included 32 Curlew, 17 Whimbrel, 15+ Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, three Sanderling, two Turnstone and a Grey Plover, however a flock of c70 small waders probably Dunlin and Sanderling, was seen in flight several times. Elsewhere a Cuckoo was on Warren Point, two Lesser Whitethroat are on site, at least 10 Wheatear were still present and a Great-spotted Woodpecker was in the Entrance Bushes.



Saturday 19th:


Offshore there were just 20+ Sandwich and seven Common Tern today with 10 Kittiwake and a Red-throated Diver on the sea and 420 Herring Gull on the exposed sandbanks at low tide. Wader numbers had dropped in the estuary with just 40 Dunlin, 25 Whimbrel, six Ringed Plover and a Bar-trailed Godwit, along the beach however there had been a slight increase in Sanderling with at least 45 present. Passerine migrants included at least 16 Wheatear still present along with a Cuckoo, a Spotted Flycatcher by the First Pond and a singing Reed Warbler near the Tractor Compound. The Lesser Whitethroat was still around Dead Dolphin Wood and the Main Pond with possibly a second bird on the Golf Course.



Friday 18th:


Single Roseate and Arctic Tern were offshore this morning with at least one Arctic Skua, a Great Northern Diver also flew south. A Redshank in the estuary was an unseasonal record also there 45 Whimbrel, 45 Dunlin, 30+ Sanderling, 11 Ringed Plover and three Turnstone. Elsewhere there was a large fall of 29+ Wheatear but the only other migrant was the second Cuckoo of the year.



Thursday 17th:


Another day for terns with five species again, there were 30+ Sandwich, 15 Common, two Roseate and Arctic and a single Little Tern all offshore. In the estuary wader counts included 130 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, 17 Sanderling, 17 Turnstone and 15 Whimbrel.



Wednesday 16th:


Over the evening high tide there were at least three Roseate Tern offshore with 25 Common and an Arctic Tern, seven Common Scoter and two pale phase Arctic Skua. Roosting waders on the beach included 178+ Dunlin, 33 Sanderling, 22 Whimbrel, 19 Ringed Plover and a summer plumaged Knot. Elsewhere the Stonechat have fledged young in Greenland Lake and three Greenland Wheatear were on site.



Tuesday 15th:


The highlight was a flock of six Pomarine Skua, three fully spooned, that lingered offshore for half an hour in the evening before flying south, also offshore this evening 12 Manx Shearwater and a single Arctic Tern. Out to sea this morning there were eight Common and two Little Tern, six Great Northern Diver (one on the sea, two south & three together flew high up river), five Manx Shearwater south, three Red-throated Diver ( two on the sea & one south) and two Arctic Skua one pale, one dark phase, lingering. In the estuary the Curlew Sandpiper was present over the morning high tide with a count of 460+ Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover and two Whimbrel.  Over the evening tide the Curlew Sandpiper was still present but Dunlin numbers had dropped to 217 with a summer plumaged Knot and 15 Sanderling. There only migrants noted on site where a Spotted Flycatcher on Warren Point, a Lesser Whitethroat singing in Dead Dolphin Wood and four Wheatear.



Monday 14th:


Off the the seawall early morning there were four Roseate and two Arctic Tern along with an Arctic Skua. There were no sign of the terns in the evening when 50+ Sandwich Tern were in the estuary with 34 Sanderling, 15 Ringed Plover, six Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwit, two Grey Plover, a Knot and the Curlew Sandpiper. Apart from the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year near the Tractor Compound, six Wheatear were the only migrants reported.


Sunday 13th:


Another excellent day once the rain eventually stopped. The highlight was a male Hen Harrier which flew south close in offshore just after 4pm, this is only the 13th record for the reserve and not surprisingly the first in May. Up to eight Roseate Tern were feeding offshore with 80+ Common, 50+ Sandwich, five Little and at least three Arctic Tern, these feeding flocks attracted in four Arctic Skua and a first summer Little Gull. The first Black Tern of the year was also reported early afternoon. Most of the Roseate Tern had gone by late afternoon. Birds passing offshore included a dark phase Pomarine Skua, 12 Manx Shearwater, five Storm Petrel and four Black-throated Diver, the first of the year. One of the Black-throated Diver came in close and landed on the sea for a while, also there a Red-throated Diver, the third diver species was represented by a summer plumaged Great Northern which came in off the sea and headed north up the estuary. The monthly WeBS count included 1100 Dunlin, 275 Oystercatcher, 88 Sanderling, 49 Ringed Plover, 35 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew,  six Shelduck, four Turnstone, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Curlew Sandpiper, one yesterday's birds. Also in the estuary the first Common Sandpiper of the year was briefly on Finger Point, as was a Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser were in Shutterton Creek. Passerine migrants were limited to six Greenland Wheatear on the golf course and a Reed Warbler in the Dune Pond.



Saturday 12th:


An excellent day all round. Two Curlew Sandpiper, one in summer plumage, over the high tide were the first for the year. They were with at least 1900 Dunlin, a huge spring flock for the reserve and the largest since 1978. Other waders on site included 95+ Sanderling and 30+ Whimbrel. Offshore seawatching produced at least 19 Storm Petrel south during the day along with another adult Pomarine Skua, an Arctic Skua, c15 Common Scoter, single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver. At least five Roseate Tern were also offshore with a minimum of three Arctic, four Little and 30 Common Tern. Elsewhere a Peregrine buzzed the waders a couple of times and a Wheatear in Greenland Lake was the only passerine migrant reported.



Friday 11th:


During the morning 10 Great Northern Diver flew south with one Manx Shearwater, also offshore, and in the estuary, there were large numbers of terns. Around 75 Common Tern were present with 35+ Arctic, five Little and a Roseate Tern. Waders in the estuary included 131 Dunlin, 30 Whimbrel and 23 Sanderling. Elsewhere two Wheatear were the only migrants reported between the squally showers. The highlight however arrived in the evening when a fully spooned pale phase Pomarine Skua, the first for the year, came in from the east and lingered in the bay for 15 minutes before heading south. Also seen offshore before 7.30pm, 70+ distant 'commic' tern, 40 Manx Shearwater passing south, 30+ Common Tern, a minimum of four Roseate Tern, possibly up to nine, three Arctic and a Little Tern, two Arctic Skua and on the sea a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver.



Thursday 10th:


Little change from yesterday although tern numbers were slightly down with 43 Sandwich, 24 Common, two 2 Little and two Arctic Tern in the estuary with two more Arctic Tern offshore. Wader numbers held up overnight up with 300 Dunlin, 22 Ringed Plover (including an obvious tundrae race bird) and 21 Sanderling in the Bight.  Elsewhere 28 Bar-tailed Godwit came in off the sea, six Common Scoter were offshore, 92 Swallow and a House Martin flew west down the estuary in a one and a half hour period and four Wheatear were in front of the hide.



Wednesday 9th:


An increase in wader numbers today with 380 Dunlin, 360 Oystercatcher, 49 Sanderling, 31 Whimbrel, 27 Ringed Plover and two summer plumaged Turnstone over the evening high tide, most birds had arrived overnight, but a few came in during the day. Also in the estuary 11 Curlew and a single Grey Plover were in Shutterton Creek. More quality birds were offshore with 70+ Sandwich, 60+ Common, 30+ Arctic (a very good site count) and three Little Tern, 11 Manx Shearwater and two Storm Petrel all heading south.



Tuesday 8th:


Three Little Tern were offshore this evening with good numbers of Sandwich and a few Common Tern. On the beach 11 Sanderling were in with the Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Elsewhere two Reed Warbler continue to hold territory at the Main Pond.



Monday 7th:


Seawatching up to 9.30am produced the first Storm Petrel of the year heading south along with four summer plumaged Great Northern Diver, 59 Manx Shearwater, 110+ Kittiwake, 50+ Gannet, 17 Fulmar, 38 Dunlin, 10 Turnstone, seven Whimbrel, two Sanderling and four Razorbill. Also offshore at least 40 Sandwich, 20 Common and seven Little Tern, most of these later moved into the estuary where they were joined by a single Arctic Tern. Over the high tide there were 43 Dunlin, c30 Whimbrel. 25 Sanderling, 22 Ringed Plover and six Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere 150+ Swallow came in off the sea and headed north during the morning along with 15+ Swift and a Wheatear and on the Main Pond one of the pairs of Canada Geese have four young.


Sparrowhawk 06/05/07  Lee Collins



Sunday 6th:


The Roseate Tern was still present throughout the day, both in the estuary and offshore, with up to 70 Sandwich, 24 Common and two Little Tern. Also offshore two first summer Little Gull flew south along with five Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver, 20 Razorbill, a probable Puffin, four Common Scoter and 10 Manx Shearwater. Waders present over high tide included 28 Dunlin, 14 Ringed Plover, 12+ Whimbrel, six Sanderling, six Bar-tailed Godwit and a Turnstone. Elsewhere four Wheatear and around 20 Swallow flew in off the sea and eight Swift and three House Martin flew east.


Bar-tailed Godwit 06/05/07  Lee Collins



Saturday 5th:


A Roseate Tern was offshore during the evening with at least 15 Common and 70 Sandwich Tern. Also offshore a Red-throated Diver and three Great-crested Grebe. Earlier in the day an adult summer Little Gull flew out to sea over Warren Point, having been seen briefly at Topsham earlier, and a pale phase Arctic Skua flew into the estuary.  Counts over the morning high tide included 295 Oystercatcher, 36+ Whimbrel, 18 Dunlin, 16 Curlew, 11 Sanderling, six Ringed Plover, five Bar-tailed Godwit, two Grey Plover, two Brent Geese and a Turnstone. Migrants included a Whinchat near the Visitor centre and five Wheatear including three Greenland race birds.


Whimbrel 05/05/07  Lee Collins                                               Wheatear 05/05/07  Lee Collins



Friday 4th:


A quiet morning was considerably enlivened by the discovery of a first for the Recording area, an Ortolan Bunting. Unfortunately it was only seen in flight as it was flushed from the dunes and flew east over Warren Point calling, a thorough search failed to relocate the bird. Other migrants were thin on the ground, although the first Whinchat of the year was reported with a Sedge Warbler by the car park and a Garden Warbler in Greenland Lake, at least 12 Whitethroat were also on site. Overhead a Grey Wagtail east was a rare May record and also passing east there were 15 Swift, nine Swallow, a Sand and a House Martin.  Two Grey Plover were new arrivals in the estuary with 30 Whimbrel, seven Ringed Plover, five Dunlin, five Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a Great-crested Grebe was offshore, just four Sandwich Tern were present during the morning, with a Little Tern later on, a Kestrel was hunting over the Buffer zone and a brood of young Coot were on the Main Pond.



Thursday 3rd:


A Garden Warbler by the First Pond was a new arrival, along with around six more Whitethroat and a couple of Reed Warbler. Other migrants included a Yellow Wagtail flying east and a Wheatear in front of the hide. Over the evening high tide there were 26 Whimbrel, c15 Dunlin, eight Ringed Plover, seven Bar-tailed Godwit and four Turnstone. Offshore there were c30 Sandwich and seven Common Tern.



Wednesday 2nd:


A Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver were offshore with two Little Tern early morning, two Manx Shearwater and c20 Common Tern in the evening. In the estuary there were 90+ Whimbrel, 30+ Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Dunlin, with 650 Black-headed Gull. Elsewhere a Whimbrel was on the Main Pond and then again in Greenland Lake, a Wheatear was on the Golf Course, two Rook flew east, there was a steady passage of Swallow east during the day and 30+ Swift were feeding high over the estuary in the evening.



Tuesday 1st:


Over the morning high tide, there were 40 Dunlin in the Bight with 65 Bar-tailed Godwit, three Turnstone and a summer-plumaged Knot.  A single Brent Goose remains at Warren Point with at least 24 Common and a Little Tern offshore.




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