October 2007

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Wednesday 31st:


The low cloud and light winds suggested that another day of visible migration was on the cards, but numbers of finches especially were disappointing. Leading the way once again were Wood Pigeon with 3365 over west, good numbers but only a tenth of yesterday! With them were 33 Stock Dove and another five lost Racing/Feral Pigeon. Also overhead 119 Jackdaw, c.60 Greenfinch, c.45 Goldfinch,  c.40 Meadow Pipit, c.35 Linnet, 25 Rook, c.20 Skylark, c.20 Chaffinch, six Reed Bunting, four Siskin, two Brambling and single Bullfinch, Swallow and Redpoll. A Short-eared Owl appeared to come in off the sea over Greenland Lake and a mobile male Cirl Bunting, the first of the year was seen on several occasions. Offshore there were 260 Shag, 12 Common Scoter and seven Great-crested Grebe. Elsewhere three Lapwing and a Golden Plover were in the Bight, six Rook and a Snipe were on Warren Point, the Long-tailed Duck was in the estuary, just north of the recording area and in the bushes there were just five Chiffchaff, four Goldcrest and a Blackcap.


Tuesday 30th:


Despite the clear blue skies, visible migration was again the order of the day with the total of 31835 Wood Pigeon moving WSW, totally eclipsing the previous site record, set only yesterday. Also with them 75+ Stock Dove, five Feral/Racing Pigeon, 334 Jackdaw, c.150 Rook, c.150 Skylark, c.70 Linnet, 55 Starling, 50+ Meadow Pipit, c.30 Goldfinch, c.10 Chaffinch, c.10 alba Wagtail, three Redpoll, two Fieldfare, a Grey Wagtail, a Sparrowhawk and a Yellowhammer circled Greenland Lake. However once again most passerine movement was far too high to be picked up. Elsewhere at least two Peregrine again attacked the flocks, there was a Short-eared Owl on Warren Point, two Dartford Warbler in Greenland Lake, with a Slavonian Grebe offshore and 10 Pintail south.



Monday 29th:


Visible migration produced the first big pigeon movement of the year along with smaller numbers of other species, although the wind, sun and lack of cloud meant many more birds passed over to high to identify. The flocks overhead totalled a new site record of 10191 Wood Pigeon (give or take a few!) with a minimum of 22 Stock Dove, although there were probably more in the distant flocks.  Also overhead 92 Skylark, 88 Chaffinch, 46 Goldfinch, 35 Siskin, 27 Meadow Pipit, 26 Greenfinch, 15 Linnet, 13 Pied Wagtail, nine Jackdaw, five Starling and singles of Fieldfare, Rook and Reed Bunting. The highlight though was a Red Kite which headed north east over the Visitor Centre at lunchtime, only the fourth site record. Elsewhere at least three Peregrine were hunting the pigeon flocks along with a Sparrowhawk, a Water Rail was seen on the Main Pond and the Long-tailed Duck and a late Arctic Tern were reported off Cockwood.



Sunday 28th:


The change in the weather saw c60 Gannet south offshore along with a Red-Throated Diver and two skua sp also south. On the sea there were 25 Common Scoter and two drake Eider. In the estuary there were 800 Wigeon, 250 Dunlin and about half a dozen Black-tailed Godwit. A Short-eared Owl was present on Warren Point. Elsewhere the bushes were quiet with a nothing more than a couple of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.



Saturday 27th:


The day's highlight was a male Ring Ouzel on Warren Point, one of the few birds on the point! Other migrants included a Firecrest around the Entrance Bushes and two Bullfinch in Dead Dolphin Wood, the latter only the third record of the year.  Elsewhere there were c10 Goldcrest, four Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and two Great-spotted Woodpecker. In the estuary there were counts of 670 Wigeon, 270 Curlew, 210 Teal, 11 Little Egret, 10 Rock Pipit (in the saltmarsh) and five Black-tailed Godwit, whilst offshore there was an adult Mediterranean Gull and just eight Common Scoter.



Friday 26th:


A quiet day but with three notable records. The Long-tailed Duck was in the estuary and was nearly joined by six Greylag Geese, the first of the year, but they decided against landing and headed north upriver. The highlight however was a long overdue first for the reserve, an adult Common Crane which flew low south over the Visitor Centre at 12.40, later being seen over Slapton.



Thursday 25th:


The only news received today was of the continued presence of the drake Long-tailed Duck, joined by the first Slavonian Grebe of the winter and 85 Red-breasted Merganser.



Wednesday 24th:


The drake Long-tailed Duck remained around Shutterton Creek and the wreck all day with 15 Greenshank, seven Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel also in the estuary. Overhead there were 180+ Goldfinch, 30+ Chaffinch, 30+ Skylark, 15 Siskin, three Redpoll and a Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere a Water Rail was on the Main Pond and a Firecrest by the First Pond was by far the pick of the few birds in the bushes.


Long-tailed Duck 24/10/07 Dave Stone



Tuesday 23rd:


The only news received for today was of a drake Long-tailed Duck in Shutterton Creek, the first record of the year for this increasingly scarce visitor, and a Short-eared Owl flushed from the Wryneck path.



Monday 22nd:


An Arctic Tern was in the Bight with 500+ Wigeon, 300 Teal and two adult Mediterranean Gull also in the estuary. A single Wheatear was by the hide.



Sunday 21st:


The anticipated visible migration failed to happen this morning with one exception, a site record 704 Jackdaw flew west before 10am. Other species overhead included 320 Wood Pigeon, 13 Rook, very low double figure counts of Skylark, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch, three Stock Dove, three Siskin, three Lapwing, two Grey Wagtail, two Redpoll, two Redwing and a Mistle Thrush. Elsewhere 500+ Starling left their roost early morning, a Tawny Owl was roosting near the First Pond, four Chiffchaff and a Wheatear were on site and a first winter Mediterranean Gull flew south. The continuing low numbers of waders were emphasised by the monthly WeBS count with counts around the Bight only 950 Oystercatcher, 13 Turnstone and a single Dunlin. Also there 285 Brent Geese, of which only 10 were juveniles, and 245 Great Black-backed Gull.


Wigeon 21/10/07 Simon Thurgood 



Saturday 20th:


Visible migration this morning produced the first serious movement of Wood Pigeon, the counts totalled 1550 birds with single largest group 740. However these were mostly upriver and high far away, so the few Stock Dove probably present were not counted, many flocks must have also gone by unnoticed. Chaffinch again remained steady, with a count of 170, also 135 Goldfinch, c. 70 Meadow Pipit, 52 Lesser Black-backed Gull, c.30 alba Wagtail, 26 Skylark, 26 Redwing, 18 Siskin, nine Fieldfare, nine Song Thrush, eight Jackdaw, eight Rook, eight Redpoll, four Grey Wagtail, four Swallow and two Merlin. Elsewhere a Spotted Redshank was in the estuary, an Arctic Tern was in the Bight and a Short-eared Owl was over the Back meadow before heading back out to sea at 1pm.



Friday 19th:


A Great-spotted Woodpecker was in the Entrance Bushes along with two Chiffchaff and a Blackcap whilst two Redpoll flew over.



Thursday 18th:


The only news received was of a good count of 12 Stonechat.



Wednesday 17th:


The highlight was the first Red-necked Grebe of the autumn offshore, although a Ruff briefly in front of the hide and a Dartford Warbler in Greenland Lake were also good site birds. Elsewhere there were 10 Black-tailed Godwit, four Greenshank and 220 Great Black-backed Gull in the estuary, with 12 Siskin and a Buzzard overhead.



Tuesday 16th:


A single Lapwing was in Shutterton Creek with four Black-tailed Godwit and seven Greenshank. Elsewhere two Eider were offshore, a Wheatear was in Greenland Lake and six Rook flew over.



Monday 15th:


A single Curlew Sandpiper was in the Bight today, while, offshore there were one Velvet and c50 Common Scoter, adult Little Gull, 54 Skylark, c30 Gannet, 21 Alba Wagtail, 16 Meadow Pipit and six Sandwich Tern.  Elsewhere, Mediterranean Gull in Shutterton Creek, single Wheatear on Greenland Lake.



Sunday 14th:


45+ Common Scoter from Langstone Rock this morning and two Pomarine Skua which flew past and around the Estuary mouth off towards Orcombe Point. Also, three Sandwich Tern and 741 Brent Goose were on the Estuary.



Saturday 13th:


A quiet day with good passage of Meadow Pipit and 27 Swallow overhead.  In the estuary, still three Sandwich Tern and apart from the regular Dunlin, Ringed and Grey Plover no other news was received.



Friday 12th:


No news was received for today.



Thursday 11th:


Thick fog hampered viewing early morning but some birds were still passing overhead before 10am with 30+ Meadow Pipit, 20+ Chaffinch and Goldfinch, 15+ Alba wagtail, three Redpoll, three Grey Wagtail, two Reed Bunting and two Skylark. The bushes held at least six Chiffchaff, two Blackcap and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.


Turnstone 11/10/07 Simon Thurgood 



Wednesday 10th:


Conditions looked promising for visible migration but little passage occurred. There was an increase in Chaffinch numbers with 31 through prior to 10am, also overhead 54 Goldfinch, 22 Meadow Pipit, with twice that number on site, 19 Alba Wagtail, 17 Linnet, 13 Greenfinch, seven Siskin, seven Lesser Black-backed Gull and single Reed Bunting, Buzzard and Golden Plover.



Tuesday 9th:


The only news received for today was of a Pochard, the first of the year, in Shutterton Creek with the Wigeon and a single Shoveler.



Monday 8th:


The highlight today was the first Short-eared Owl of the year on Warren Point. Visible migration before 10am included 130 Goldfinch, 125 Linnet, 83 alba Wagtail, 52 Meadow Pipit, 22 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 14 Chaffinch, five Grey Wagtail, four Siskin, three Redpoll, three Golden Plover, three Reed Bunting, another two Yellowhammer, usually less than annual here, two Rook and a single Redwing. Elsewhere a Wheatear was in Greenland Lake.



Sunday 7th:


Visible migration this morning included the first eight Redwing of the autumn along with 551 Goldfinch, 173 Meadow Pipit, 124 alba wagtail, 123 Linnet, 105 Siskin, a site record, 86 House Martin, 31 Chaffinch, 31 Greenfinch, 11 Swallow, six Redpoll, five Skylark, four Grey Wagtail, three Golden Plover, three Rook, a Jackdaw and a Yellowhammer. Over the high tide there were 1420 Wigeon in Shutterton Creek along with four Shoveler, a Chiloe Wigeon  and 142 Brent Geese - all adults. Waders included 87 Ringed Plover, 11 Grey Plover, eight Black-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank, a Golden Plover, a Lapwing and a Curlew Sandpiper. Elsewhere migrants included six Chiffchaff, five Blackcap, two Wheatear and a Reed Warbler. Two Great-spotted Woodpecker were also in the bushes with 42 Common Scoter offshore.


Lapwing 07/10/07                                                     Kestrel 07/10/07 Simon Thurgood 



Saturday 6th:


Visible migration was the order of the day with the highlight being an immature Ring Ouzel, only the 13th reserve record, along with the first two Redpoll (presumed Lesser) of the year. Other counts included 177 Goldfinch, 162 Meadow Pipit, 141 Greenfinch, 91 alba Wagtail,  73 Linnet, 50 Chaffinch, 42 Swallow, 37 House Martin, 29 Skylark, 24 Wood Pigeon, 11 Siskin, seven Jackdaw, five Grey Wagtail, four Rook, three Reed Bunting and a Merlin. On the ground there were just five each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff with a single Wheatear. Elsewhere a Golden Plover, a Greenshank and 46 Brent Geese were in the estuary and a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond.



Friday 5th:


There was no sign of the Kentish Plover today with just 31 Ringed Plover counted, also in the estuary just a single Curlew Sandpiper, 700+ Wigeon, 100+ Teal, six Greenshank and a Golden Plover. Migrants included the first Firecrest of the year along with just two Wheatear and 60+ Goldfinch overhead.


Curlew 05/10/07 Simon Thurgood 



Thursday 4th:


An immature Kentish Plover was an unexpected highlight with 109 Ringed Plover, a slight increase. Other arrivals in the estuary included four Curlew Sandpiper, two Black-tailed Godwit and 51 Brent Geese. A record count of 45+ Chiffchaff were around the reserve with 16 Stonechat -another site record, with these influxes there were 20+ Blackcap, two Great-spotted Woodpecker, the first Water Rail of the autumn, at the Dune Pond, five Wheatear and the late Whitethroat. Elsewhere the highlight was two Yellowhammer overhead - the first of the year.



Wednesday 3rd:


The highlight was a single Jay on the reserve with other reports limited to 40+ Sandwich Tern, four Wheatear, a Whitethroat and a Kingfisher.



Tuesday 2nd:


A Merlin again flew through the reserve with an overhead passage of 200+ Swallow, 50+ Meadow Pipit, two Rook and a late Yellow Wagtail. In the estuary there were 85 Ringed and 25 Grey Plover with 21 Brent Geese and two Greenshank. Elsewhere two Red-throated Diver, two Eider and 30 Common Scoter were offshore and migrants included six Chiffchaff, four Blackcap, two Wheatear and two Goldcrest.



Monday 1st:


Wildfowl numbers continue to increase with  520 Wigeon, 160 Teal, 15 Brent Geese and six Shelduck in Shutterton creek over high tide. Wader numbers consisted of  850 Oystercatcher, 470 Dunlin, 452 Curlew, 130 Redshank, 82 Bar-tailed Godwit, 45 Knot, 36 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone, nine Sanderling,  five Greenshank, two Lapwing, two Little Stint, two Grey Plover and singles of Snipe and Whimbrel. Also in the estuary 500 Great-Black-backed Gull, 38 Cormorant, 21 Little Egret, 12 Sandwich Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Overhead passage included a Merlin, 600+ Swallow, 60 House Martin and 45 Meadow Pipit with grounded migrants including an immature Redstart along the Back Path, a Whitethroat by the Dune Pond, three Blackcap, two Wheatear and a Chiffchaff. Elsewhere two Eider were offshore and 15 Rock Pipit in the Saltmarsh was a high count and presumably included some migrants.



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