May 2008

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Saturday 31st:

At least one Roseate Tern was still offshore with 27 Common Tern, also present two Balearic Shearwater, a Red-throated Diver and two Arctic Skua. Over the high tide there were 30+ Dunlin, 10 Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover, two Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit.



Friday 30th:

At least one Roseate Tern was still offshore whilst 50 Common Scoter and a Balearic Shearwater flew south.



Thursday 29th:

The feeding flocks offshore attracted two Balearic Shearwater and two Roseate Tern along with 200+ Kittiwake, two Arctic Skua, 23 Common Scoter, 35 Common, 30 Sandwich and a Little Tern. In the estuary there were 60 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling, 19 Ringed and 10 Grey Plover, four Bar-tailed Godwit and two Whimbrel. Elsewhere a Hobby flew through the Entrance Bushes early morning, a Jay was again in Dead Dolphin Wood, two Great-spotted Woodpecker and at least nine Reed Warbler were on site, single Collared Dove and Chaffinch flew east and two Peregrine harassed the waders.


Wednesday 28th:

The morning high tide saw 80 Common, 30 Sandwich, two Little and an Arctic Tern roosting in front of hide. Around the Bight several flighty wader flocks included 100 Sanderling , 40 Dunlin, seven Grey and five Ringed Plover, two Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Offshore c50 Common Scoter flew south with just four on the sea, tern numbers had dropped by evening but there were 20 Gannet, five Manx Shearwater and a Pomarine Skua.


Tuesday 27th:

A quiet day with three Reed Warbler being new arrivals and the wader counts from the high tide including 64 Sanderling, 36 Dunlin, 31 Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel. Offshore there were 10-15 Manx Shearwater and 11 distant Common Tern.  Elsewhere small numbers of Swallow and Swift continue to pass through and Whitethroat were feeding fledged young near the Dune Pond.



Monday 26th:

A Balearic Shearwater flew north early morning with it or another lingering in the afternoon, also offshore seven Common Scoter, six Manx Shearwater, an Arctic Skua, 65 Common and three Black Tern. The wader numbers dropped from yesterday with totals of 54 Dunlin, 24 Sanderling, 23 Ringed Plover, seven Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit.



Sunday 25th:

Large numbers of birds were still feeding offshore with 275 Manx Shearwater, 50+ Kittiwake, three Arctic Skua, 120+ Common (commic), an Arctic and a Little Tern. A pair of Tufted Duck in off the sea and up the estuary were unusual for the time if year. In the estuary an influx of waders overnight gave totals of 113 Dunlin, 42 Sanderling, 17 Ringed and 13 Grey Plover, two Knot and two Turnstone. Elsewhere a Great-spotted Woodpecker was again the Entrance Bushes and 18 House Martin were over Shutterton Creek.



Saturday 24th:

A Jay in Dead Dolphin Wood and then the Entrance Bushes was a surprise, the first record of the year. Offshore a large feeding flock included 350+ Kittiwake, 40+ Gannet, 23 Common Tern, 20+ Manx Shearwater and 20 Black-headed Gull. A first summer Little Gull, three Arctic Skua and a first summer commic tern were also present. Waders were limited to 513 Oystercatcher, 37 Curlew, 15 Dunlin and two Sanderling. A light passage overhead included 30+ Swallow, 27 Swift and two House Martin.



Friday 23rd:

The only news received for today was of 10 Turnstone and nine Sanderling.



Thursday 22nd:

The long overdue first Cuckoo of the year was seen in Greenland Lake during the afternoon. Over the high tide where there were 61 Sandwich and a Common Tern, 12 Black-headed Gull, 12 Grey Plover, eight Turnstone, eight Dunlin and a Ringed Plover in the estuary. Offshore 30+ Manx Shearwater were present in the evening.



Wednesday 21st:

A very quiet day with   only a handful of waders including 30 Sanderling, 12 Grey Plover, five Bar-tailed Godwit, three Whimbrel and three Dunlin. Offshore 10 Black-headed and a first summer Mediterranean Gull but no Common Tern.



Tuesday 20th:

An Arctic Skua was offshore in the evening along with c80 distant 'commic' Tern, a single Little Tern and at least five Manx Shearwater. Wader numbers were limited to the same flock of 36 Sanderling, plus single Dunlin and Ringed Plover



Monday 19th:

Terns were still present offshore in some numbers with one Roseate and c40 Common Tern in the morning but with c120 'commic' Tern in the evening including one Roseate and c40 Arctic Tern, a very high site count. Also offshore a pale phase Pomarine Skua headed south, 42 Common Scoter and five Manx Shearwater.  Wader numbers continue to drop with 36 Sanderling, c30 Dunlin, 11 Grey Plover and two Bar-tailed Godwit, plus single Knot, Whimbrel and Turnstone. Elsewhere the Cirl Bunting was again singing early morning, a first summer Mediterranean Gull on Finger Point was the first for over a month, a Peregrine was on a kill in the Bight early morning, 320 Herring Gull roosted on Finger Point with c500 more offshore.


Cirl Bunting



Sunday 18th:

Large numbers of birds were again feeding offshore during the day with at least three Roseate and an Arctic Tern with c290 Common (commic) and 40 Sandwich Tern. Also offshore a Puffin, the first of the year, flew south with two Razorbill at 7am, an Arctic Skua, 60 Manx Shearwater and c20 Common Scoter. Three Great Northern Diver were also recorded, these all came down the river & headed south, the first two, both in summer plumage came down together at just before 6am, the third bird, in winter plumage about an hour later. Migrants included a Spotted Flycatcher and a Garden Warbler with a small but steady early morning passage of Swift, Swallow and House Martin. Wader numbers again dropped with 44 Dunlin, 36 Sanderling and nine Turnstone.



Saturday 17th:

A Turtle Dove flushed from near the Main Pond was the first of the year for this increasingly rare visitor but the only other migrants found were three Wheatear on the beach. Wader numbers increased overnight with 346 Dunlin, including several arctica race, at the morning high tide, but many continued north through during the day with only 100+ were present come the evening, other counts included 42 Turnstone, 34 Sanderling, 12 Whimbrel, eight Bar-tailed Godwit, six Grey Plover and two Knot.

Large numbers of birds were again feeding offshore in the evening including five Roseate Tern with c200 Common, 16+ Arctic and four Little Tern. These flocks attracted in a fully spooned pale phase Pomarine Skua before it headed off south. Also offshore 40+ Manx Shearwater, 30+ Black-headed Gull and 15 Common Scoter. Elsewhere a Redshank was a first for the Main Pond and the pair of Red-breasted Merganser were in the estuary.



Friday 16th:

Wader passage continued with 234 Dunlin and 78 Sanderling in the estuary along with 308 Oystercatcher, 34 Curlew, 27 Ringed Plover, 16 Grey Plover, eight Bar-tailed Godwit, three Whimbrel and two Knot. Offshore a large feeding raft included 262 Gannet, 152 Kittiwake and 80+ Manx Shearwater, although tern numbers had dropped there were still  four Little and an Arctic Tern. Elsewhere the Cirl Bunting continued to hold territory, the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary, two Spotted Flycatcher were on site and a Collared Dove flew through.



Thursday 15th:

The overnight thunderstorms no doubt brought in the highlight - a Wood Warbler in trees behind the Crocus Compound, this is only the 12th reserve record and the first for 10 years. Three Spotted Flycatcher around the site were also firsts for the year, but there was nothing else in the bushes to suggest a fall of migrants, with a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the Entrance Bushes just a foraging bird from nearby. In the estuary however wader numbers had increased and continued to build during the day with evening counts of 214 Dunlin, 67 Turnstone, 44 Sanderling, 38 Ringed Plover, 18 Whimbrel, 17 Grey Plover, nine Bar-tailed Godwit, three Knot and a Greenshank. Also in the estuary a pair of Red-breasted Merganser and the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe. Offshore tern numbers also increased with c250 Common, at least 10 Arctic, six Little, six Black and two Roseate Tern along with 85+ Manx Shearwater and a distant diver sp. Elsewhere 12 Swift passed through with single figures of Swallow and two House Martin and five young Coot were on the Main Pond.


Wood Warbler 15/05/08 Ivan Lakin



Wednesday 14th:

The reappearance in the estuary of the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe was the highlight, the latest ever spring record, also in the estuary 38 Sanderling, six Dunlin, six Grey Plover,  four Bar-tailed Godwit, two Knot and two Whimbrel. Offshore a raft of 70 Manx Shearwater, 47 Common (commic) and at least one Arctic Tern.


Tuesday 13th:

A Greenshank in the estuary was the only obvious new migrant on site, other waders included just five Sanderling, four Bar-tailed Godwit and a Redshank. Offshore a feeding group of 200 Kittiwake and c20 Common Tern, but these were moved on by constant jet ski activity.



Monday 12th:

Another midsummer like day with the only reported received being two Arctic Skua and 40 Manx Shearwater south offshore and the surprise appearance on the Golf Course of the first Cirl Bunting of the year. This species is rare on the reserve during the breeding season.



Sunday 11th:

A hot cloudless and birdless day with viewing conditions not helping either! Offshore only seven Common (commic) Tern were present in the morning along with c20 Manx Shearwater and a Red-throated Diver. Wader counts had again dropped with only 21 Grey Plover, 16 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover.



Saturday 10th:

Offshore a single Roseate Tern remained with 150+ Common (commic) Tern. Also present a Velvet Scoter with 36 Common Scoter and single Great Northern and Red-throated Diver. Wader counts over the high tide included 36 Dunlin, 21 Grey Plover, 11 Turnstone, nine Knot, seven Sanderling, four Ringed Plover (inc one tundrae race), three Bar-tailed Godwit and a Redshank. Elsewhere a Sedge Warbler was by the First Pond.



Friday 9th:

The overnight conditions promised a fall of migrants but this seemingly only applied one species with the reserve's 11th, 12th and 13th records of Nightjar being found! The first, a male, was flushed from Dead Dolphin Wood and was later found roosting there in full view.  The second, a female, was seen several times mostly in flight round the First Pond and the third, another male, was seen flying and even heard churring over the Back Meadow mid evening, whilst the first bird was still roosting. Other migrants were limited to a Garden Warbler, two new Reed Warbler and three Collared Dove east with 230 Swallow and a Swift. Offshore there were 260 Common (commic), three Little, at least two Arctic and a Roseate Tern. Also offshore a raft of 140+ Manx Shearwater, an Arctic Skua and three Red-throated Diver. Wader counts over the high tide included 53 Dunlin, 39 Turnstone, 17 Sanderling, 12 Ringed Plover and a Redshank.

Nightjar 09/05/08 John Fortey




Thursday 8th:

Much of the interest remained offshore c80 Common Tern along with 60 Sandwich, at least two Arctic and singles of Roseate, Little and Black Tern. Also offshore 35+ Manx Shearwater, c40 Common Scoter and a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver. Wader counts over the high tide included 57 Whimbrel, 35 Dunlin, 21 Grey Plover, 13 Turnstone, 13 Ringed Plover, 10 Knot, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit and nine Sanderling.



Wednesday 7th:

Offshore early evening, there were at least 80 Common (or Commic) Tern feeding distantly along with several rafts totalling 96 Manx Shearwater and c20 Common Scoter. Wader counts over the high tide included 25 Grey Plover, 15 Whimbrel, 12 Dunlin, 11 Sanderling, six Knot, three Bar-tailed Godwit and two Turnstone. Elsewhere, a Common Sandpiper on the Beach was the first of the year and a single Rook flew east.

Tuesday 6th:

The only sightings reported for today were single Black and Roseate Tern offshore with c40 Common Tern.



Monday 5th:


The highlight of the day was the second reserve record of Purple Heron, a first summer which flew high east following the coast at 5.50pm. Otherwise attention was again focussed offshore with c250 Common Tern present during the morning with 40 Sandwich, at least 10 Arctic, four Black, two Roseate and two Little Tern. With them were 20+ Manx Shearwater, 73 Common and the drake Velvet Scoter, four Red-throated Diver and a Great-crested Grebe. Aside from the heron other birds passing east included a Hobby, four Collared Dove, four Yellow Wagtail, c200 Swallow, two Swift, five House and two Sand Martin. Counts from the estuary included 80 Dunlin, 25 Grey Plover, 20+ Whimbrel, nine Knot, seven Ringed Plover, four Sanderling, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a Redshank with a pair of Gadwall in Shutterton Creek a rare May record.



Sunday 4th:


Most of the interest remained offshore where, with peak counts in the evening, c280 Common Tern continued to feed with at least 15 Arctic, two Roseate and a Little Tern. With them were 30+ Manx Shearwater, upto 70 Common and a Velvet Scoter, three Red-throated Diver and five Great-crested Grebe, with an Arctic Skua making a brief appearance. Other birds passing through included 28 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, the first Hobby of the year and a drake Garganey close in to the east, before heading upriver. Counts from the morning high tide included 44 Dunlin, 24 Sanderling, 19 Grey Plover, 18 Turnstone, nine Knot, five Ringed Plover and two Bar-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere a Buzzard flew east, a Yellow Wagtail was flushed off the Main Pond and a second flew east late afternoon.



Saturday 3rd:


A single Wheatear in the Buffer Zone was the only grounded migrant, but overhead there were 141 Swift with 47 Swallow and 18 House Martin. Large numbers of birds were feeding offshore early morning included two first summer Little Gull, c75 Common and at least one Arctic Tern, c50 Common Scoter, 40+ Kittiwake and c20 Manx Shearwater. These feeding flocks were however soon dispersed by a record 39 Kite surfers off Exmouth.  By late afternoon the kite surfer numbers had dropped and the feeding flocks again appeared. These were very active, with some birds seeming to come in before continuing south, so counting was impossible with possibly up to 3-400 Common Tern, with a minimum count at least 120. With them were minimum counts of four Arctic, two Roseate, two Little and a single Black Tern, but numbers of all species were probably higher. Also offshore in the evening seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese. However surprisingly despite the numbers of terns there were no skuas present.  Also offshore three Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Elsewhere two Collared Dove were briefly over the car park, and in the estuary  23 Dunlin, 18 Grey Plover, eight Knot and four Ringed Plover.



Friday 2nd:


Overnight showers had dropped in a few migrants with a Lesser Whitethroat around the Back Meadow and three Sedge Warbler on site, along with a good count of 22 Whitethroat and four Wheatear. Three Collared Dove were flying around the Buffer Zone early morning but otherwise there were just two House Martin overhead with five Jackdaw and a single Rook. Elsewhere 39 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 38 Whimbrel were in the estuary, two Little Grebe were on the Main Pond, two Peregrine were sat on Warren Point, a Great Northern Diver flew south and a second bird, in summer plumage flew high north up the estuary, the fifth such record this spring.



Thursday 1st:


Seawatching during the morning produced the first two Pomarine Skua of the spring flying south along with six Manx and three Balearic Shearwater, single Arctic Skua, Red-throated Diver and Little Egret, a single Pochard in off was unseasonal. Also offshore c50 Common Scoter, a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver and 54 'commic' terns were feeding distantly. In the evening a single Arctic Tern was present with a close group of 41 Common Tern. A small arrival of migrants overnight was limited to a Yellow Wagtail over the Bight, three new Willow Warbler and a Wheatear, other migrants on site including 11 Whitethroat, five Chiffchaff and a Blackcap have been holding territory for over a week now. Elsewhere two Rook flew east, a Great Northern Diver was in the estuary and on a low tide there were just eight Dunlin, six Whimbrel, five Ringed Plover and two Little Egret.




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