May 2009

Click here for 2009 Year List






Report sightings




Presumed Western Sandpiper May 2009 John Fortey



Sunday 31st:


The only waders present over high tide were 14 Ringed Plover, 11 Sanderling, four Dunlin and a Grey Plover. Offshore there were two adult summer Mediterranean Gull, eight Sandwich and three 'commic' Tern and four Common Scoter



Saturday 30th:


With the return of lower neap tides there was no sign of the presumed Western Sandpiper today, with just 14 Ringed Plover, four Dunlin, three Grey Plover and three Sanderling over high tide. With bright sunshine and a brisk easterly there was little else of note except four Mediterranean Gull, two adults and two first summers heading south over the Dune Ridge mid afternoon. 



Friday 29th:


The presumed Western Sandpiper was again present but with just 11 Sanderling and six Dunlin. The only other news concerned an Arctic Skua offshore, although the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary just north of the recording area.


Presumed Western Sandpiper 29/05/09 Lee Collins



Thursday 28th:


The presumed Western Sandpiper was again over the both tides with a summer plumaged Little Stint, 80+ Dunlin, 60 Sanderling and two Grey Plover. Other records included another Red Kite over at 15.30, the 12th site record but sixth this month,  also overhead a Hobby and five Buzzard.


Presumed Western Sandpiper 28/05/09 both John Fortey



Wednesday 27th:


The probable Western Sandpiper was again over the both tides with a summer plumaged Little Stint, a different bird to yesterday, 80+ Dunlin, 30+ Sanderling, 14 Turnstone, four Whimbrel and three Ringed Plover. Elsewhere 40+ Manx Shearwater flew south and c60 were feeding Gannet offshore and the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe was again in the estuary off Cockwood.


Little Stint 27/05/09 Stan Stanbury



Tuesday 26th:


The only news came from the high tides with a smart summer plumaged Little Stint, the first record for the year. The probable Western Sandpiper proved elusive in the morning but was present in front of the hide on the rising tide, before again roosting on the beach. Other waders included 73 Dunlin, c30 Sanderling, six Ringed Plover and a Turnstone. Elsewhere there were 80+ Kittiwake feeding offshore in the evening.



Monday 25th:


The probable Western Sandpiper was again present at the high tide at both ends of the day, on Warren Point early morning and in front of the hide on the rising tide in the evening. Other waders were limited to 65+ Dunlin, 40+ Sanderling, five Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel. Offshore the highlight was a summer plumaged Black Guillemot, only the seventh site record, it was however always distant, also offshore three Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver, four Manx Shearwater and an Arctic Skua. Another highlight was a total of four Red Kite over during the day, two together at 12.30, and singles at 15.30 and 15.55. There have only been eight previous records! Also overhead during the day 60+ Swift, 40+ Swallow, 25+ House and two Sand Martin, with a single Yellow Wagtail, at least one Hobby and up to six Buzzard, presumed local birds.



Sunday 24th:


The probable Western Sandpiper was on the beach at the far eastern end of Warren Point early morning before being flushed by paddle boarders. It was then relocated on the north side of Warren Point and showed well before heading out onto the mudflats at 10.30am. It reappeared on the evening tide being seen on the beach until 9 pm. The waders numbers were similar to yesterday with 50+ Sanderling, 35+ Dunlin and two Whimbrel. Seawatching during the evening produced a Long-tailed and two Arctic Skua south along with eight Manx Shearwater. The first summer Mediterranean Gull again roosted on the sea. Elsewhere ten Kittiwake and four Sandwich Tern were in the estuary with 10 Swift, six Swallow, a House Martin and a Rook overhead.



Saturday 23rd:


The probable Western Sandpiper was again on the beach over the evening high tide, present until 8.30pm at least. Other waders present included 50+ Sanderling, 35+ Dunlin, two Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel. Both the first summer Little and Mediterranean Gull were offshore mid evening with just 10 Sandwich Tern, six Common Scoter and four Manx Shearwater. Elsewhere a Wheatear  was the only migrant and 300+ Starling were feeding in Greenland Lake, the first large gathering of family groups.


Starling 23/05/09 Simon Thurgood



Friday 22nd:


Over the high tide there were 49 Sanderling on the beach with 10 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover. Also on site two Spotted Flycatcher, one in Dead Dolphin Wood and one by the First Pond, 12 Long-tailed Tit, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and offshore nine Great-crested Grebe.



Thursday 21st:


Again no sign of probable Western Sandpiper, with the only 42 Sanderling, 11 Dunlin and seven Ringed Plover, also in the estuary 43 Curlew, 12 Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit. A Spotted Flycatcher in Dead Dolphin Wood and four Wheatear were typical late migrants. Elsewhere just 20 Kittiwake and a single Sandwich Tern were offshore with seven Common Scoter. The first fledged Starling were around the Buffer Zone.


Whitethroat  09/05/09 John Lee



Wednesday 20th:


There was no sign of probable Western Sandpiper over the high tide. A half hour seawatch this evening saw 32 Gannet, 13 Manx Shearwater, eight Kittiwake, three Fulmar, two Swift and a House Martin heading south. Elsewhere 50 Sanderling, six Ringed Plover and five Dunlin were on the beach, two Rook flew east and Little Grebe have young on the Main Pond.



Tuesday 19th:


This morning saw probably the best ever spring seawatch at the Warren, between 06.50 and 10.50 one possibly two adult Long-tailed Skua and at least five Puffin flew south along with three Pomarine and seven Arctic Skua, two Storm Petrel, 500+ Manx Shearwater, 250+ Gannet, 40 Common Scoter, 20 Sandwich and a Little Tern and four Great Northern and a Black-throated Diver. The only other news was of the probable Western Sandpiper again in the Bight before flying to the beach, presumably to roost, mid afternoon.



Monday 18th:


No news was received for today.



Sunday 17th:


The probable Western Sandpiper made another appearance in the Bight this afternoon, floodwater upriver presumably forcing it to roost on site. Other waders were limited to 52 Dunlin, c20 Sanderling, 15 Ringed Plover, a Knot and a Grey Plover. Offshore intermittent seawatching through the day produced two Pomarine and at least nine Arctic Skua, six Great Northern and a Black-throated Diver, two Storm Petrel, two Arctic Tern, a first summer Little Gull, 220+ Manx Shearwater, 180+ Gannet, 150+ Kittiwake and 90+ Fulmar.


Probable Western Sandpiper 17/05/09 all Ivan Lakin



Saturday 16th:


Weather conditions ruled the viewing options with nine hours of seawatching the only viable choice! This delivered in quantity with a site record 245 Fulmar, 832 Manx Shearwater, 601 Gannet, 409 Kittiwake, 36 auk sp, 15 Sandwich Tern and eight Razorbill all heading south. The quality was however sparse, the highlight being the first Storm Petrel of the year and a lingering Pomarine Skua, along with two Arctic Skua, three skua sp, two Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere a Collared Dove was on the Golf Course and a Greenshank was present over high tide with c100 Dunlin, 52 Sanderling, 29 Ringed Plover, 10 Whimbrel and Turnstone.



Friday 15th:


Three Little Tern were in front of the hide with several hundred Dunlin, 100+ Sanderling, 32 Ringed Plover, four Bar-tailed Godwit and two Knot. Offshore at least 165 Manx Shearwater flew south with 25 Sandwich and three Common Tern, also a very distant skua sp - possibly Long-tailed. Elsewhere a Wheatear sat in Dead Dolphin Wood was the only migrant.


Thursday 14th:


Today's highlight was the seventh and eighth reserve record of Red Kite, singles north at 10am and 2.30pm. The Kentish Plover was still present with minimum wader counts of 280 Dunlin, 146 Sanderling, 91 Ringed Plover and 20+ Whimbrel. Grounded migrants were limited to the long overdue first Garden Warbler of the year, by the First Pond with a Sedge Warbler in Dead Dolphin Wood, a Spotted Flycatcher in the Back Meadow and a White Wagtail on the beach. Elsewhere 31 Common Scoter were offshore and a Great-spotted Woodpecker was again foraging on site.


Kentish Plover 13/05/09 Dave Stone   



Wednesday 13th:


The highlight was the first Kentish Plover since Oct 2007 in the Bight early morning. It was still present, but elusive, on the beach until 8.30pm at least. On a day of wader passage there were minimum counts of 450 Dunlin, 135 Sanderling, 79 Ringed Plover, six Grey Plover and five Knot, but flocks were moving through all day. Other wader counts included 25+ Whimbrel, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Turnstone and a Common Sandpiper. Offshore 70+ 'commic' Tern flew south with at least 15 Common, a Roseate and the first Black Tern of the year. There were also  20+ Common Scoter, eight Manx Shearwater and six Great-crested Grebe. Overhead a Hobby flew west, 80+ Swallow, c40 Swift, 15+ House and two Sand Martin also flew through. Elsewhere at least three Spotted Flycatcher were around the First Pond, with at least two new Willow and Reed Warbler also on site and the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary.


Spotted flycatcher 13/05/09 Lee Collins                                            Kentish Plover 13/05/09 Dave Stone   



Tuesday 12th:


The first Hobby of the year flew along the Dune Ridge before heading upriver, it was no doubt associated with the ongoing hirundine passage; between 8.30 and midday 94 Swift, 79 House Martin and 70 Swallow flew through. Elsewhere a Puffin flying south was the only record of note offshore and over the high tide there were just 26 Sanderling and eight Dunlin.


Monday 11th:


Wader numbers over high tide included 59 Sanderling, 48 Curlew, 14 Dunlin, 13 Whimbrel and three Turnstone. Overhead there was a decent passage of hirundines with 222 Swallow, 59 Swift and 20 House Martin, plus two tardy Goldfinch. Elsewhere 100+ Manx Shearwater were offshore.


Canada Goose (one of  10 goslings on site) 09/05/09 John Lee



Sunday 10th:


There was no sign of the peep today on either tide, with waders numbers consisting of c40 Dunlin, 35 Curlew, 30+ Whimbrel, 22 Sanderling, six Turnstone, four Bar-tailed Godwit, four Ringed Plover and a Knot. Offshore the first two Pomarine Skua of the year flew east, also offshore the first summer Little Gull, 171 Manx Shearwater, 100+ Black-headed Gull, c50 Kittiwake, c25 Gannet, 20 Sandwich and eight Common Tern, nine Common Scoter, nine Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver with four diver sp to distant to identify. Overhead passage included 75 Swallow, five House and a single Sand Martin, four Goldfinch, two Swift, two Jackdaw, a Rook and a Yellow Wagtail. Elsewhere the first Cuckoo of the year was briefly in Greenland Lake and both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker were in the Entrance Bushes. The Bar-headed Goose made another early morning appearance on the Main Pond.


Dunlin 09/05/09 John Lee                                                                 Sanderling 09/05/09 John Lee


Saturday 9th:


The Western/Semi-palmated Sandpiper was again rooting on the beach this morning until 9am when it flew up river. Other records included 11 Great Northern Diver offshore, including a group of five that headed high north up the estuary, also offshore single Roseate and Arctic Tern. A Spotted Flycatcher was in Dead Dolphin Wood, with a single Wheatear the only other migrant.



 Wheatear 09/05/09 Simon Thurgood



Friday 8th:


The Western/Semi-palmated Sandpiper was again on the beach this morning until 9am when it flew up river. Also on the beach 80 Dunlin, seven Sanderling, six Ringed and two Grey Plover and a Turnstone. Offshore a single Puffin flew south at 8.30 with two Great Northern Diver also south. Feeding birds included 60+ Gannet, 30+ Kittiwake, eight Common Scoter and five Great-crested Grebe. An evening seawatch saw 18 Manx Shearwater south, the first summer Little Gull was still present and a pale phase skua sp was sat distantly offshore. Elsewhere a Collared Dove was over the car park, a Little Egret was in the Dune Pond, three Wheatear were on the reserve, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was in the Entrance Bushes and overhead there were c10 Swallow and four Swift.



Thursday 7th:

Wader numbers had dropped to 40+ Dunlin, 30 Sanderling, 30 Whimbrel, 15 Ringed Plover, two Turnstone and a Grey Plover. There was no sign of the peep, but it was again off Turf late afternoon. The first decent migrant in a while was a Turtle Dove, the first and perhaps only record of the year, which came in off the sea and appeared to land in the Entrance Bushes, although there was no further sign. Elsewhere seven Wheatear were around the reserve and 60 Swallow, 30+ Swift, six Sand and three House Martin made up the rest of the migrants. Offshore there were at least 35 Sandwich and three Common Tern, with two Little Tern in the estuary, also offshore with 40 Manx Shearwater, 25 Gannet, seven Fulmar, a Great Northern Diver, the first Arctic Skua of the year, 145 Black-headed Gull, 30+ Kittiwake and single first summer Common, Mediterranean and Little Gull. The Samuel Beckett bridge remains offshore, again roosting in the bay.



Wednesday 6th:

The Western/Semi-palmated Sandpiper made a welcome return to the Warren, being seen in the estuary at low tide, before roosting on the beach over the evening high tide. It was very flighty with the waders being regularly disturbed by a sailing competition coming too close to the shoreline and even landing, hunting Sparrowhawk and Peregrine didn't help either! The bird had earlier been off the Turf Inn, Exminster. Wader counts included 225 Dunlin, 60+ Whimbrel, 40+ Sanderling, 30+ Ringed Plover, two Turnstone and a Common Sandpiper.  A Little Ringed Plover, the first of the year was present briefly early morning before flying north up the estuary. Offshore there were at least 12 Common and a Roseate Tern, along with a first summer Mediterranean Gull, eight Common Scoter and four Great-crested Grebe. Also offshore the Samuel Beckett bridge was slowly heading east towards Dublin, but could be roosting in the bay. Elsewhere five Wheatear were around the reserve and 10+ Swift and a Yellow Wagtail flew over.



Western/Semi-palmated Sandpiper 06/05/09 all Ivan Lakin



Tuesday 5th:

The first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was along the Back Path, but there were few other migrants with just three Swift overhead. Offshore a Little Tern was present with  three Common Tern. Waders numbers increased with c400 Dunlin and 100 Ringed Plover over the evening tide.



Monday 4th:

The highlight was the first Red-rumped Swallow for the reserve which flew through SW at 10.30, part of the first decent hirundine passage of the spring, with 100+ Swallow, 40+ Swift, seven House and a Sand Martin. One Roseate Tern remained offshore with at least four Common Tern, the first summer Little Gull, two Red-throated Diver and six Great-crested Grebe. Only 40+ Whimbrel were noted coming in off sea, with 24 Dunlin, eight Ringed Plover and a single Bar-tailed Godwit over the high tide.


Sunday 3rd:

One Roseate Tern was again offshore late afternoon with single Arctic and Common Tern and the first summer Little Gull. Also offshore two Great Northern Diver flew south early morning, with a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver, 40 Kittiwake, 14 Common Scoter and five Great-crested Grebe on the sea. The main feature of the day was the constant arrival of Whimbrel with a record total of 805 counted coming in off the sea during the day, many of which remained in the estuary over high tide. Other waders included the first Golden Plover of the year, briefly on the beach, c45 Dunlin, 25+ Sanderling and a Common Sandpiper. Also passing through the day were 60+ Swallow, 10 House Martin, three Swift, two Buzzard, two Kestrel, two Goldfinch and a Sand Martin. Elsewhere the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary with two Dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Great-spotted Woodpecker was behind the crocus compound. Birds holding territory between the Buffer Zone and the windmill included 12 Whitethroat, five Chiffchaff, three Blackcap, two Reed Warbler and single Willow Warbler and Reed Bunting.



Saturday 2nd:

The first two Roseate Tern of the year were offshore with single Common and Arctic Tern, four Red-throated Diver, four Great-crested Grebe and 60 Kittiwake.  Waders over the low high tide were limited to c20 Whimbrel, 14 Sanderling and 12 Dunlin. Elsewhere seven Wheatear and a single Willow Warbler, were the only grounded migrants with c20 Swallow, an alba wagtail, a Goldfinch and a Buzzard overhead. On the Main Pond the first Coot and Canada Geese young have hatched.



Friday 1st:
A flock of seven 'commic' tern were offshore, at least three of which, probably all, were Arctic Tern, also 70 Kittiwake, 50 Gannet and 30+ Sandwich Tern. In the estuary there were  30 Whimbrel, 16 Bar-tailed Godwit and three Sanderling.



Back | April 2009 | Home