A quiet day to end the month with exception of counts of 3330 Wood Pigeon and a minimum of 151 Stock Dove going east to west over Exmouth and the estuary. The clear skies had little else, only five Chaffinch, two Raven, two Lapwing, a Song Thrush and a handful of commoner migrants. In the estuary there were 35 Black-tailed Godwit and six Greenshank.
Heavy mist and low cloud curtailed any overhead movement, but several groups of thrushes dropped into Greenland Lake at first light, these included 70+ Redwing, 25+ Blackbird, 20+ Song Thrush, a Mistle Thrush and a Fieldfare, most moved on fairly quickly. Also around Greenland Lake there were two Cirl Bunting in a mixed flock of 200+ finches, mainly Greenfinch. Overhead there were two small groups of Stock Dove totalling 22 birds, 13 Siskin and a Golden Plover. Elsewhere three Little Grebe and a Kingfisher were on the Main Pond and a Treecreeper in the entrance bushes was the first since January 2005.
A single Fieldfare overhead was the first for the year, but generally 'vis mig' was stop-start this morning. Counts included 340 Wood Pigeon, 201 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 137 Chaffinch, 120 Skylark, 105 Meadow Pipit and 81 Stock Dove. Amongst these there were smaller numbers of Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet and at least 18 Reed Bunting, with birds regularly joining a mixed flock of c100 birds in Greenland Lake during the day. Also passing overhead were nine Siskin, eight Jackdaw, four Rook, four Grey Wagtail, three Redwing, two Bullfinch, a Brambling and a Kestrel. In the estuary the two Spoonbill were still present with 57 Ringed Plover and 53 Dunlin with 30 Golden Plover circling over the reserve and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere ten Sandwich Tern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore and three Chiffchaff were in the bushes.
The highlight was a Yellowhammer west over Greenland Lake, the first of the year, there was very little else overhead though, with just 15 Chaffinch, two Redpoll, two Redwing and a Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere two Cirl Bunting, a male and immature were in Greenland Lake, with a Wheatear, the two Spoonbill and 25 Greenshank, the highest count for 40 years, were in the estuary, single Great Northern and Black-throated Diver, both the first of the autumn, flew south offshore and the bushes held 26 Long-tailed Tit, a good count, five Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.
The two Spoonbill were roosting on Finger Point at high tide, although they did fly south over Langstone Rock early morning before returning. The Osprey was also present early morning in the estuary along with 300+ Brent Geese, three Greenshank, four Sandwich and a very late Common Tern, a Pintail and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose. The weather was good for 'vis mig' but the lack of low cloud meant many birds must have gone undetected, minimum counts included 105 Wood Pigeon, 85 Skylark, 30 Goldfinch, 30 Pied Wagtail, 22 Jackdaw, 10 Rook, nine Siskin, two Redwing and single Buzzard, Redpoll, Grey Wagtail and Collared Dove. Elsewhere there were 12 Reed Bunting on site, at least four Sparrowhawk, with one high west, two male Cirl Bunting in the Buffer Zone, a Merlin was over the Bight, a Wheatear in Greenland Lake, two Mute Swan south far offshore, the Tawny Owl again by the First Pond and a Water Rail there with at least two on the Main pond.
Three Merlin were
on site today, passing through with c.250 Skylark. The juvenile
Osprey was roaming between the Railway
Saltmarsh and The Bight at high tide this morning with the two
Spoonbill again roosting on Finger
Point. A Short-eared Owl was flushed
on Warren Point before being ferociously driven off site by 30+
Carrion Crow. Offshore there were 30+ Common Scoter and two Eider with
Ringed and 17 Grey Plover, eight
Sanderling and five Knot on the beach. Elsewhere on site four
Redwing flew over the car park with five more over the dunes, the first of
the year, six Chiffchaff and a Sparrowhawk were around the ponds
and seven Reed Bunting included four on Warren Point.
A Merlin flew northwest over the dune ridge. The two Spoonbill were sheltering at finger point with 62 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Turnstone, eight Lesser Black-backed Gull, six Knot and four Sandwich Tern. The Railway Saltmarsh held 15 Little Egret and there were 400 Wigeon and 219 Brent Goose in the estuary. Elsewhere two Arctic Skua were offshore and eight Long-tailed Tit were by the First Pond along with five Goldcrest and three Chiffchaff.
Long-tailed Tit © John Lee
After much searching, the Yellow-browed Warbler was finally relocated mid-afternoon; first by the Main Pond then later by the First Pond, where the late Reed Warbler was still present and a Tawny Owl was found roosting in the same spot as last autumn. Over high tide the two juvenile Spoonbill were present once again on Finger Point, with a Little Stint on the beach with 45 Dunlin, 33 Ringed Plover and three Sanderling. Also in the estuary 139 Brent Geese in the Bight, a Pintail and Shoveler in Shutterton Creek and two Osprey were overhead, with one flying north over the reserve and another heading south. The first Short-eared Owl of the autumn was on Warren Point with four Reed Bunting and a Chiffchaff. Offshore there were 60+ Kittiwake, c50 Gannet, 11 Sandwich Tern and a Great Skua flew south. Elsewhere on site the first Mistle Thrush of the year was opposite the Visitors Centre, 14 Mallard, a Grey Heron, a Grey Wagtail and a calling Water Rail were on the Main Pond and the Greenland Lake held nine Goldcrest, three Chiffchaff, three Song Thrush, two Blackcap and a Wheatear.
Tawny Owl 24/10/06 © Andrew Cunningham
The highlight was a Yellow-browed Warbler, the fifth site record, around the Main Pond with at least five Chiffchaff, other grounded migrants included 12 Reed Bunting, 10 Stonechat, a Reed Warbler at the First Pond, the latest site record, and a Blackcap. Overhead there was little passage with 92 Skylark, 20+ Pied Wagtail, eight Chaffinch, two Swallow, two Rook, a Stock Dove, a Siskin and a Golden Plover. The two juvenile Spoonbill were still in the estuary along with 49 Dunlin, 46 Bar-tailed Godwit, 29 Ringed Plover and single Whimbrel, Turnstone, Grey Plover, Greenshank and Little Grebe. Offshore there were 134 Shag, 15 Common Scoter and three Sandwich Tern.
The immature Osprey was again in the estuary this morning before flying off south along the coast, other raptors on site included a female Merlin over the Bight, the first Peregrine for a while and a Sparrowhawk in the saltmarsh. The two juvenile Spoonbill were still in the estuary along with 1200 Wigeon, 258 Brent Geese, nine Sandwich Tern, seven Lapwing, a Greenshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere 400 Starling roosted in the Golf Course pond and a Manx Shearwater was offshore.
An immature Osprey was around the Bight and saltmarsh midmorning, a late record, also in the estuary the two Spoonbill are still present. The Cirl Bunting continues to frequent the area, singing in the Buffer Zone this morning. Overhead 'vis mig' remains quiet, with little movement except 18 Jackdaw and two Rook. Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail were also passing over, no counts were taken but exceptionally high numbers were not involved.
The juvenile Spoonbill was still present today, joined by a second individual. This bird had also stopped off on the Axe estuary on its way to the Warren. The only other news was the continued presence of the male Cirl Bunting.
A male Cirl Bunting was found today singing near the end of the car park but Apart from the Spoonbill, no other news was received.
A Firecrest at Greenland Lake was the first site record for two years but apart from the Spoonbill in Shutterton Creek it was a quiet day. Two Golden Plover were mobile around the site with two adult Mediterranean Gull in the saltmarsh. There were few birds overhead, including several Skylark, 15 Meadow Pipit and a Grey Wagtail. Two Sandwich Tern were offshore and single Kingfisher perched on new Sand Martin Bank in the Main Pond.
The only news received for today was of Balearic Shearwater and Arctic Skua flying south offshore.
No news was received.
Two firsts for the year were on site, a Black Redstart in front of the hide and a Dartford Warbler on Warren Point. The only other news recieved was the continued presence of the Spoonbill in the estuary.
The only news today was of the juvenile Spoonbill which was still present on site.
The juvenile Spoonbill was still present in the Bight and a Merlin showed well on the beach this morning but visible migration was reduced. Overhead there were 150 Meadow Pipit, 35 Skylark, 25 Pied/White Wagtail, 13 Rook, 13 Chaffinch, six Reed Bunting, three Song Thrush and two Siskin. Elsewhere 17 Grey Plover and a Lapwing were present over the high tide.
The highlight today was the first Spoonbill of the year. It flew in over the Visitor Centre and circled the estuary before settling on Finger Point, a juvenile, it is probably the bird previously recorded on the Axe estuary. Overhead there was good visible migration with prior to 11.30am 285+ Meadow Pipit, 262+ Skylark and 165+ Pied/White Wagtail heading west, with them were 38 Goldfinch, similar numbers of Linnet and Greenfinch, 27 Jackdaw, 15 Chaffinch, eight Rook, eight Reed Bunting, two Rock Pipit and two Siskin. Offshore there remain good numbers of birds feeding with 60+ Common Scoter, 25+ Sandwich Tern, 16 Razorbill, three Common Tern, one Guillemot, a Great-crested Grebe and a Red-throated Diver. At least five Arctic Skua are also still present showing well, often chasing terns over the Bight. Over high tide there were 471 Wigeon, 287 Redshank, 46 Teal, 12 Little Egret, two Greenshank and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull in Shutterton Creek with just 63 Ringed Plover, five Dunlin and a Sanderling on the beach. Elsewhere a Merlin was around the Bight, seven Chiffchaff and five Goldcrest was an improvement on recent days, a Great-spotted Woodpecker flew around site and four Sparrowhawk included one in off the sea.
Offshore there remained good numbers of seabirds with 100+ Gannet, 10+ Arctic and one Great Skua, one possible Pomarine Skua and loads of Kittiwake being battered by the skuas. Also offshore, 60+ Common Scoter, 10 Eider and eight Razorbill. In the Estuary, there were 65 Brent Geese, 12 Greenshank and two Common Sandpiper, a scarce bird here in October.
The only news received for today was of a Common Sandpiper in the Estuary from the Railway Crossing with eight Sandwich Tern, six Eider and three Arctic Skua offshore. Overhead, 13 'alba' Wagtail flew over.
Seawatching this morning produced 10+ Arctic, at least three Great and a Pomarine Skua but, apart from a single Siskin overhead, the first of the autumn, no other news was received.
Reed Bunting 08/10/06 © John Lee
Seawatching early morning produced four Balearic Shearwater, 200 Gannet, 40+ Sandwich Tern, 10+ Arctic and two Great Skua with a possible Long-tailed Skua. A Merlin also flew south along with many small passerines including 40+ Pied Wagtail. In the estuary there were 1250 Wigeon, 160 Redshank, 101 Dunlin, 80 Teal, 30 Brent Geese, four Black-tailed Godwit, two Greenshank and a Whimbrel. Also present a very late Little Tern, three Common Tern and two adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a Buzzard flew over and a Wheatear was on the golf course.
Stolen Property: A digital Camcorder went missing from the hide today, if found please contact the Visitor Centre on 01626 863980, Many thanks.
In Shutterton Creek there were 731 Wigeon, 50 Teal, two Red-breasted Merganser and a Stock Dove . 76 Dunlin, 50 Ringed Plover and three Sanderling were on the beach at high tide, a Merlin flew south offshore where there was an Arctic Skua with five Eider, 35 Sandwich, five Common and an Arctic Tern. Elsewhere several hundred Meadow Pipit flew over with a Wheatear on the golf course. Four Pintail flew in off the sea.
Offshore today there were 1000+ Gannet feeding around the industrial trawlers in the bay, a new site record, also there 50+ Kittiwake, 10+ Arctic, three Great and a Pomarine Skua. Also offshore a Red-throated Diver, four Common and two Arctic Tern. Waders at the high tide included 62 Dunlin, 21 Grey Plover, three Knot, three Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel.
Large numbers of birds remain feeding offshore including 500+ Gannet, 64 Common Scoter, 60+ Sandwich and four Common Tern, two Pomarine and eight Arctic Skua and a Balearic Shearwater. Also offshore a Purple Sandpiper flew south, the first of the year.
Migrants today included 10 Chiffchaff, four Blackcap and a Garden Warbler. Elsewhere on site, 97 Canada and 38 Brent Geese were in the Bight along with three wading Pheasant. On the beach were 67 Dunlin, 31 Ringed and nine Grey Plover, 11 Sanderling and four Knot. 365+ Gannet were feeding offshore, also 40 Sandwich and 11 Common Tern and single Arctic Skua. Also on site there were 84 Swallow, 12 Long-tailed Tit, 13 Stonechat, three House Martin, eight Meadow Pipit and three Reed Bunting, two Skylark and approx 100 Linnet. Single Little Grebe was on the Main Pond in the evening and 101 Starling were in the evening roost.
No news was received for today.
The only news received today was of seven Brent Goose in the Bight, a Whinchat and five Wheatear on the golf course and single Stonechat by the visitor centre. Three Common Scoter were offshore while, elsewhere on site, there were a single male Peregrine and a female Kestrel.
Stonechat 02/10/06 © Darren Maynard
Seawatching early morning produced two Sooty Shearwater, with three more in the afternoon, six Balearic Shearwater, five Arctic and three Great Skua, a distant petrel sp. 250+ Gannet, a Fulmar, 90+ Sandwich and an Arctic Tern. The waders roosting on the beach at high tide were regularly disturbed by dogs but counts included 70 Ringed Plover, 30+ Dunlin and 12 Sanderling with two Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint. A Black Tern, a juvenile Little and an adult Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary with a Red-breasted Merganser, 23 Bar-tailed and ten Black-tailed Godwit, 600+ Great and 15+ Lesser Black-backed Gull, including two intermedius.
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