October  2010

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Sunday 31st:


The first Purple Sandpiper on site since September 2008, a confiding individual on the beach early afternoon was easily the highlight, with seawatching producing just 10 Gannet and a Kittiwake in two hours first thing. Also offshore the Velvet Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and an adult Mediterranean Gull. In the estuary a Little Gull flew south into Shutterton Creek, the Slavonian Grebe was still present and counts included 2180 Oystercatcher, 300+ Brent Geese, 57 Grey and 44 Ringed Plover, 40+ Turnstone, 36 Shelduck and a Greenshank. Elsewhere a Firecrest was in the Entrance Bushes with 19 Long-tailed Tit,  three Goldcrest, a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff on site.



Saturday 30th:


The Velvet Scoter remains offshore with a Black-necked Grebe also off the seawall before flying south. Elsewhere a Long-tailed Duck flew into the estuary, the Slavonian Grebe was still present, two Yellowhammer passed through and three Goldcrest, a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff were on site.



Friday 29th:


Seawatching during the morning produced three juvenile Pomarine Skua south along one Arctic Skua, c140 Gannet, 70 Kittiwake and a Great Northern Diver. Elsewhere a Slavonian Grebe was on the sea and the usual waders and wildfowl were in the estuary including 250+ Curlew, c100 Brent Geese, 70+ Grey Plover, 46 Turnstone, 45 Ringed Plover and 10 Shelduck.


Wigeon, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew & Oystercatcher 29/10/10 Simon Thurgood



Thursday 28th:


The Velvet Scoter was off Langstone Rock but no other news was received.



Wednesday 27th:


No news was received.


Turnstone 27/10/10 Simon Thurgood



Tuesday 26th:


Counts from the estuary today included 1710 Oystercatcher, 1430 Wigeon, 386 Dunlin, 172 Teal, 169 Brent Geese, 152 Redshank, a good total of 54 Turnstone, 18 Red-breasted Merganser, seven Shelduck, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Great Skua was offshore and six Stonechat were on site.



Monday 25th:


No news was received for today.



Sunday 24th:


Two Cirl Bunting were the pick of the sightings on another sunny late autumn day, a male was singing near Dead Dolphin Wood with a juvenile long the Back Path. Also on site the two Jay and Treecreeper remain with a Wheatear again on the Golf Course. Elsewhere 45 Jackdaw flew through with 66 Skylark and 10 Siskin also overhead, the Velvet Scoter was off the seawall and 29 Turnstone were at Langstone Rock.



Saturday 23rd:


A real end of autumn feel to the day with numbers of the regular wintering species being to build. Counts from the estuary included c800 Wigeon, c700 Dunlin and c300 Teal with seven Shelduck, five Greenshank, an adult Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe.  Elsewhere a Wheatear was on the Golf Course, the Velvet Scoter was offshore with 30+ Common Scoter and two Great-crested Grebe with 63 Jackdaw overhead along with six Siskin and a Grey Wagtail



Friday 22nd:


A Yellowhammer to the NW and the first Fieldfare of the autumn over the Car Park were the pick of the movement with 38 Jackdaw, 36 Skylark, 27 Goldfinch and six Siskin also overhead. Elsewhere a Coal Tit was on site and the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary. As predicted the American Golden Plover was found elsewhere on the estuary, being seen to fly in from the south and feed on the mudflats off the Turf. 



Thursday 21st:


The Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe were off Cockwood, with 16 Red-breasted Merganser and a Golden Plover also in the estuary. Elsewhere a juvenile Cirl Bunting was along the Back Path.



Wednesday 20th:


The Dartford Warbler was still present along with the Treecreeper and just two Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff. Overhead movement was, with the exception of 97 Jackdaw,  almost non existent with five Raven, four Siskin and a Redpoll noted alongside single figures of other regular species. Elsewhere 25 Red-breasted Merganser, a Whimbrel and an adult Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary. There was no sign of the American Golden Plover - the higher tides perhaps causing it to seek an alternative roost site on the estuary.



Tuesday 19th:


The first Dartford Warbler since Feb 2009 was on the Golf course, also on site a Cirl Bunting on Warren Point, two Jay, a Coal Tit and a Tawny Owl. Counts from the estuary included 1830 Oystercatcher, 345 Brent Goose, 16 Red-breasted Merganser, 10 Greenshank and a Whimbrel. Elsewhere the Velvet Scoter was off the seawall with c60 Common Scoter and the AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was still in an area with no general access.



Monday 18th:


Vig mig was slow with the exception of 178 Jackdaw high to the north west, other counts included 96 Goldfinch, 41 Chaffinch, 31 Greenfinch, 28 Skylark, six Stock Dove, six Golden Plover, five Swallow, four Siskin, four Great-spotted Woodpecker, four Gadwall, two Redpoll, an ater Coal Tit. Elsewhere a Velvet Scoter was off the seawall with 35 Common Scoter and two Red-throated Diver and the AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was again in an area with no general access.



Sunday 17th:


The AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was seen in flight over the estuary during the morning and then located on the ground later in the day, but unfortunately in an area with no general access. Large numbers of wildfowl were present over the high tide with 1218 Wigeon, 527 Teal, 125 Brent Geese, 14 Pintail and a Shoveler in Shutterton Creek, many no doubt escaping disturbance at Mudbank Lane, Exmouth. At the Warren they had to cope with the attentions of a low flying microlight, whilst the waders were flushed by people around the hide and dogs along the beach. Wader counts included 505 Dunlin, 491 Curlew, 410 Redshank, 96 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Grey Plover, seven Greenshank, three Lapwing and a Whimbrel. Vig mig early morning produced the first two Crossbill of the year along with 278 Goldfinch, 96 Skylark, 78 Chaffinch, 42 Siskin, 40 Starling, a flock of six Coal Tit, three Redpoll, two Mistle Thrush. Elsewhere the Treecreeper and two Jay were on site and drake Tufted Duck, a Sandwich Tern and a Red-throated Diver were offshore.


American Golden Plover 17/10/10



Saturday 16th:


No sign yesterday's plover over high tide with a Little Stint the only notable wader present. Vis mig numbers improved with a single Woodlark the highlight along with the first Mistle Thrush of autumn and a new site record eight Great-spotted Woodpecker. Other figures included 161 Goldfinch, 111 Skylark, 87 Chaffinch, 62 Jackdaw, 55 Linnet, 50 Meadow Pipit, 42 alba Wagtail, 23 Siskin, 18 Reed Bunting, 14 Swallow, seven Coal Tit, four Redpoll, three Bullfinch, a Grey Wagtail, a Snipe and the latest ever Tree Pipit. Elsewhere the Treecreeper was still by the First Pond and two Wheatear were on site.



Friday 15th:


Another day, another short staying first for the recording area, this time an AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER. It flew into the Bight with a few Dunlin mid afternoon, before presumably leaving on the dropping tide as there was no sign later in the day. Other records included the site's eighth Lapland Bunting and a Yellowhammer overhead with much lower numbers of visible migrants including c40 Goldfinch, 30+ Siskin, eight Swallow and three Reed Bunting. Elsewhere the Treecreeper was still by the First Pond and a late Whitethroat was present.



Thursday 14th:


Vis mig to the NE continued early morning, counts included 402 Goldfinch, a site record 265 Siskin, 119 Meadow Pipit, 70 Swallow, 52 Chaffinch, 25 Linnet, 12 Reed Bunting, seven Song Thrush, a Redpoll and the first Redwing of the autumn. Elsewhere the five Greenshank were in the estuary, the Treecreeper was by the First Pond and five Blackcap and three Chiffchaff were on site.



Wednesday 13th:


Vis mig to the NE continued early morning but again many birds were too high to record. Counts included 412 Goldfinch, 221 Meadow Pipit, 110 Siskin, 87 Chaffinch, 62 Linnet, 31 Greenfinch, 23 Swallow, 12 Skylark, four Rook and one Jackdaw. The Slavonian Grebe remains in the estuary with counts of 326 Teal, 304 Redshank, five Greenshank and a Whimbrel. Elsewhere three drake Tufted Duck flew east and the Jay and Treecreeper were on site with three Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and a Wheatear



Tuesday 12th:


Movement overhead to the NE was difficult to record as the forecast cloud cover never arrived but those that passed low enough to see included 303 Goldfinch, 197 Meadow Pipit, c100 Linnet, 97 Chaffinch, 87 Siskin, 32 Greenfinch, 23 Skylark, 12 Swallow, five Rook, two Jackdaw, two House Martin and a Redpoll. Quality was provided by two Woodlark,  the first of the year, they attempted to land in Greenland Lake but were flushed - one was reported later on Warren Point, a late Tree Pipit and seven Coal Tit. Elsewhere three Great-spotted Woodpecker were on site along with a Jay, the Treecreeper and two Wheatear with at least two Water Rail at the Main Pond.



Monday 11th:


The all too brief highlight was the first PENDULINE TIT for the recording area, calling at the Main Pond before heading off high SW. Other migrants on site were limited to a Firecrest in Dead Dolphin Wood, four Chiffchaff and a Wheatear. Overhead despite the wind there was a steady eastwards passage of of finches with 439 Goldfinch, 129 Linnet, 53 Chaffinch, seven Siskin, two Redpoll and two House Sparrow, additionally 52 Skylark, four Swallow, four Rook, two Jackdaw and a Buzzard headed over. In the estuary a high count of 436 Black-tailed Godwit roosted on the Railway Saltmarsh, a Little Stint was still with the Dunlin, the first Avocet of the year flew in off the sea and landed by the hide and the Slavonian Grebe was still present. Elsewhere the Treecreeper was still by the First Pond and three Eider remain offshore.



Sunday 10th:


The first Goldeneye of the autumn was offshore with a probable adult female Surf Scoter, presumably the returning bird. Also offshore three Balearic Shearwater, three Eider and a Great Skua. In the estuary there were 510+ Dunlin, 250+ Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Little Egret, four Greenshank, two Lapwing, the Slavonian Grebe, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a female Ruff and a Little Stint. There was some movement overhead with 370 Goldfinch, 163 Linnet, 60+ alba Wagtail, 49 Siskin, 47 Swallow, 44 Skylark, 22 Chaffinch, six House Martin, three Rook, a Brambling and a Stock Dove. Elsewhere a Sedge Warbler and two Wheatear were on Warren Point, a Firecrest was by the windmill and in the bushes there were just four Goldcrest and three Chiffchaff with two Jay and the Treecreeper.



Saturday 9th:


The Red-breasted Goose was again present in front of the hide with Brent Geese. It was seen to be colour-ringed so is not the bird from last winter, but another escape which was seen with Brent Geese on the Solent last week. Presumably the same bird ended the day with Greylags on Exminster Marshes. Proper birds in the estuary included the Osprey early morning, a juvenile male Ruff and a Little Stint with the Dunlin, an adult Mediterranean Gull, the Slavonian and Little Grebe and five Red-breasted Merganser. Overhead a juvenile Hobby was over Warren Neck, presumably following the 105+ House and one Sand Martin and c65 Swallow that flew through along with the first Brambling of the autumn, a Redpoll and 37 Siskin. Elsewhere three Eider were offshore (with 44 Kitesurfers!) and eight Wheatear were on site with other new arrivals including a Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler and at least 47 Robin.



Friday 8th:


The Red-breasted Goose was in the Bight over high tide with 87 Brent Geese, 25 of which were juveniles, other counts from the estuary included 303 Great Black-backed Gull, 250+ Dunlin, 200+ Black and c100 Bar-tailed Godwit, three Greenshank, two Little Stint and single Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Slavonian Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser and a drake Tufted Duck.  Elsewhere four Arctic Skua, three Eider and a first winter Mediterranean Gull were offshore, 35+ Skylark, eight Swallow and three Jackdaw were overhead, a Whinchat and three Wheatear were new migrants with a Whitethroat, four Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest and the Treecreeper also recorded in the blown out conditions.



Thursday 7th:


In the estuary 300+ Black-tailed Godwit roosted in the Railway Saltmarsh and 35+ Brent Goose were in Shutterton Creek with three Eider, a Sandwich Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull offshore.



Wednesday 6th:


The Slavonian Grebe and Osprey were in the estuary with 415 Wigeon, 23 Grey Plover, eight Brent Goose, two Sandwich Tern, a Little Stint and a Whimbrel. A Red-breasted Goose was reported from in front of the hide, but the news did not come out until after dark. This is presumably the returning escapee from last winter. Elsewhere two Wheatear were on site with two Great-spotted Woodpecker and single Jay and Coal Tit.



Tuesday 5th:


Both the Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe remain in the estuary with the Osprey again present mid morning. Over the evening tide 780 Wigeon were in Shutterton Creek, with 200+ Black-tailed Godwit and two Whimbrel in the Railway Saltmarsh and 280 Black-headed and 36 Common Gull at roost. Overhead passage included 113 alba wagtail, 112 Meadow Pipit, single Grey and Yellow Wagtail heading SW with two Siskin NE. Elsewhere the Tawny Owl was in Dead Dolphin Wood, the Treecreeper and the two now seemingly resident Jay were around the First Pond, the first Pheasant for several months was on site, a Coot was back on the Main Pond with two Snipe and three Eider were still offshore.


Ringing news: An adult Great Black-backed Gull (Yellow OJ4) present in the Bight on 3rd October was ringed on the nest on the west coast of Sark in the Channel Islands on 30/05/09. This is the first sighting since ringing. Thanks to Paul Veron for this information. http://www.guernseygulls.blogspot.com/



Monday 4th:


A Tawny Owl was in the entrance bushes, along with the Treecreeper, a Coal Tit and a Great-spotted Woodpecker. Migrants on site included the Whitethroat, 12+ Chiffchaff , nine Blackcap and two Wheatear. Overhead 50+ House Martin headed NW early morning along with four Swallow; 12 Siskin, four Chaffinch, two Rook and two Jackdaw headed east.



Sunday 3rd:


A morning seawatch produced tow new birds for the year, a Sooty Shearwater south and a juvenile Sabine's Gull east along the beach, also seen six Great, five Arctic and four unidentified Skua, 99 Gannet, 26 Kittiwake and two Common Tern, a Storm Petrel was also picked up exhausted on the Dune Ridge. In the estuary there were single Black-necked, Slavonian and Little Grebe, a Coot, two Little Stint, an Osprey and outside the recording area - a female Scaup off Starcross. Counts included 900+ Wigeon, 755 Great Black-backed Gull, 426 Black-tailed Godwit, both very good site counts, 292 Redshank, 290 Curlew, 240 Teal, 111 Bar-tailed Godwit, 37 Brent Geese, 37 Knot, 19 Turnstone, 11 Greenshank and two Whimbrel. Elsewhere the Wryneck was along the Dune Ridge, before being flushed by a dog walker, the Treecreeper was by the First Pond, other migrants included 10+ Blackcap and Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest and single Wheatear, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. An adult Grey Phalarope in front of the hide was unfortunately suppressed by the wardens.



Saturday 2nd:


A Wryneck was found along the Dune Ridge, probably a second individual, other migrants on site included 10 Chiffchaff, five Blackcap, three Wheatear, two Goldcrest and a Whitethroat, with the Treecreeper again by the First Pond. A juvenile Hobby offshore early afternoon was the pick of the birds passing through, but earlier movement had included 101 Meadow Pipit, 41 alba and a Yellow Wagtail, 12 Swallow, six Chaffinch, five Lesser Redpoll, four Rook and three Siskin. In the estuary there were 660 Wigeon, 452 Dunlin, 87 Ringed Plover, c20 Sanderling, 17 Sandwich and an Arctic Tern, 13 Brent Geese, 11 Grey Plover, four Greenshank, three Knot, two Little Stint, a Whimbrel and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere a Balearic Shearwater, 70+ Common Scoter and the three Eider were offshore.



Friday 1st:


A morning seawatch,  in murky conditions, produced the first Grey Phalarope of the year, south at 8am, along with 150 Gannet, 41 Kittiwake, 19 Sandwich and a Common Tern, three Arctic Skua and single Red-throated Diver and Tufted Duck. Elsewhere a Merlin showed well on the shore of the Bight.




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