September 2004




Thursday 30th:


Single Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff were present at the high tide , along with the juvenile Arctic Tern and 14 Little Egret. A Willow Warbler was the only notable passerine migrant.


Wednesday 29th:


A single Tree Pipit flying along the Dune Ridge was the highlight, other visible migration included 300 Swallow and 20 House Martin northwest over Warren Point in a short ten minute period. The only other migrant noted was a single Goldcrest with a flock of 11 Long-tailed Tit by the Main Pond. On the estuary there were two Little Stint with the waders along with 12 Little Egret, 40 Sandwich, five Common and a juvenile Arctic Tern. Wildfowl numbers have increased with 745 Wigeon and 200 Teal. Two Red-throated Diver were offshore, with a single Arctic Skua.


Sunday 26th – Tuesday 28th:


No news was reported.


Saturday 25th:


The summer plumaged Red-throated Diver remained offshore from the windmill, also present 30 Common Scoter and five Arctic Skua.


Friday 24th:


The only migrants reported today were two Blackcap and a Whitethroat. Offshore, a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver was the first of the autumn.


Thursday 23rd:


An increase today of Sandwich Tern with 200 offshore, along with three Common Tern. Two Arctic Skua were also present, often attacking the tern flock. The annual build up of Canada Goose is underway with 120+ on the mudflats this afternoon, with them was at least one Greylag with several hybrids and white “farmyard” types.


Wednesday 22nd:


Today’s highlight was the Rose-coloured Starling which was relocated in Greenland Lake, feeding with a few Starling and the Linnet flock, although it was again difficult to find. Other migrants were in short supply with a Spotted Flycatcher the only new arrival. Wader numbers have also dropped with only 76 Dunlin and 34 Ringed Plover at the high tide with 70 Sandwich and one Common Tern. At least one Arctic Skua was offshore.


Tuesday 21st:


A Curlew Sandpiper remains on site with two Arctic Skua offshore. An increase in migrants included single Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge and Willow Warbler. 


Monday 20th:


A Curlew Sandpiper and two Little Stint were still present, 13 Little Egret was the only other report.


Sunday 19th:


There was no sign of the Rose-coloured Starling today, but the two Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint were still present along with two Arctic Skua offshore.  Today there was noticeable overhead migration between 8.30 and 11am over 200 Meadow Pipit were noted along with a few Chaffinch, seven Grey and one Yellow Wagtail.  There was also a steady passage of hirundines, mainly House Martin.  The only grounded migrants of note were Sedge Warbler on the Dune Ridge and a Whitethroat on Warren Point.


Saturday 18th:


The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was still present around the car park and Buffer Zone, although it remains elusive at times. Few other migrants were on site with single Wheatear, Whitethroat and White Wagtail the highlights. Three Arctic Skua, a Manx Shearwater, 60+ Sandwich and a Common Tern were noted offshore along with 20 Common Scoter and one Eider. At the high tide there were two juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and two juvenile Little Stint amongst the Dunlin and Ringed Plover, but few other waders. Wildfowl included four Pintail with 295 Wigeon.


Friday 17th:


A Purple Sandpiper on the beach mid morning was only the eighth site record in the past ten years, other waders present included single Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. Offshore there were seven Arctic Skua, two Common and a single Arctic Tern. The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was again present around the car park.


Thursday 16th:


The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was again present around the car park, early morning at least. Single Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint remain on site, with 17 Black-tailed Godwit and five Brent Goose. Four Arctic Skua were offshore. A single Dunlin was on the Main Pond, the first record from here.



Rose-coloured Starling © Dave Stone                                    Rose-coloured Starling © Dave Stone


Wednesday 15th:


The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was still present, showing well around the car park and Buffer Zone. Three Little Stint  and a Curlew Sandpiper were present at the Bight, a Lapwing on Warren Point was only the third record this year!. Migrants included Reed Warbler, four Whitethroat and four Wheatear.


Tuesday 14th:


The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was seen again with Starling this morning, showing well around the car park and Buffer Zone, but it generally remained very elusive and was not seen again until late afternoon when it was present from 3.45 – 5.30pm. Other migrants included several Chiffchaff, three Wheatear and two White Wagtail. Offshore the strong winds brought good numbers of skuas, presumably some of the birds that had been around Torbay in recent days, 20 Arctic, two Pomarine and two Great Skua were recorded along with large numbers of Gannet and a single Common Tern. Two Little Stint remain around the Bight.


Monday 13th:


A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was seen flying over with Starling early morning, before being relocated on the Golf Course. At 8.30am it was seen flying towards the Buffer Zone, but could not be relocated. This is the fifth record for the site, all of which have been in the last three years! Aside from the Starling there were few other migrants present with four Wheatear, four Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler the best of the rest. Four Little Stint remained around the Bight, other waders included 19 Black-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and a Knot on the Golf Course with five Common Sandpiper and a Greenshank in front of the hide in the evening. Despite the strong winds there was little passing out at sea with only 70 Sandwich and four Common Tern being noted. A single Little Tern was seen in the estuary along with an Osprey, four adult Mediterranean Gull and 70 Common Gull (in Shutterton Creek at low tide).


Sunday 12th:


Five Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper were still present this morning.  Wigeon numbers had increased to 146 and three Brent Goose were present. A single Hobby was the only notable migrant.


Saturday 11th:


An hour’s sea watch, early morning, produced 158 Sandwich Tern, two Arctic Skua and a Balearic Shearwater all passing South.  Later on there were another 20+ Sandwich and a single Black Tern in the Estuary.  A wildfowl and wader count revealed the following totals: 60+ Canada Goose, 108 Mallard, 300 Teal, 46 Wigeon and single Shoveler, all in Shutterton Creek.  Also there, 256 Redshank and 12 Greenshank.  Around the Bight, there were at least 10 Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlin and Ringed Plover.  Four Whimbrel were on the Golf Course and at least 37 Sanderling were on the beach.  The waders were often harassed by two Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk.  There was little passage overhead with 20+ Swallow, four Sand Martin, 20+ Meadow and one Tree Pipit.  Other migrants included four Wheatear, a White Wagtail on Warren Point, plus single Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Goldcrest.


Friday 10th:


Waders continue to feature prominently with nine Little Stint again, along with a Curlew Sandpiper, 33 Knot, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, six Grey Plover and single Greenshank and Whimbrel.


Thursday 9th:


Little Stint numbers continue to increase, with nine present today, a Wood Sandpiper was reported from the Bight. 16 Black-tailed Godwit and two Pintail were in Shutterton Creek, along with two Brent Goose, the first of the autumn. Migrants included single Spotted Flycatcher with a White Wagtail on the beach.


Wednesday 8th:


An overnight increase in waders saw seven juvenile Little Stint and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper with the commoner species at the high tide. Also on site two Black Tern were reported in front of the hide and a dark phase Arctic Skua was offshore. Passerine migrants were in short supply with four Whitethroat, two Reed Warbler and a few Chiffchaff noted in the breezy conditions.


Tuesday 7th:


Three Little Stint and 24 Black-tailed Godwit were present with the commoner waders at the high tide. Off Warren Point a single Little Tern was present with 25 Sandwich Tern.


Monday 6th:


At least one Little Stint was still on site along with six Pintail and increasing numbers of Teal and Wigeon. The Garganey seen in Cockwood Harbour could not however be found in the recording area. Other species present included a Golden Plover and a flyover Jay, a scarce bird here.


Sunday 5th:


A Black Kite over Orcombe Point, Exmouth was a case of “what might have been”, it was seen flying in off the sea from the southwest and would have been visible from the Warren if there had been anyone seawatching at the time! Instead the highlight was the eighth record of Nightjar for the recording area, and the first in September. A female or immature it was seen around the car park and amusements at 8.15pm, presumably feeding on insects attracted to the lights. This may of course be the bird seen briefly on Thursday. At the high tide there were three Little Stint and the first Curlew Sandpiper of the autumn.


Saturday 4th:


There was no news reported for today.


Friday 3rd:


The juvenile Merlin was seen again along with a single Garden Warbler and seven Wheatear. Apart from 70+ House Martin nothing was moving overhead. The wader highlights were a Golden Plover, which flew north over Warren Point, a Ruff in front of the hide and a Little Stint with 724 Dunlin.


Thursday 2nd:


A probable Nightjar near the First Pond would have been the highlight if it had given more than fleeting views. This accolade was instead left to 13 Grey Heron which came in high off the sea at 11am, they circled the reserve for over 45 minutes before coming in to land, joining the nine birds present, with 10+ Little Egret, on the Railway Saltmarsh. This is the highest number ever recorded here, similar sightings are rare but in September 1960, 11 birds were recorded flying high to the southwest. Elsewhere on site a single Little Egret was recorded briefly on the Main Pond, four Grey Wagtail flew over early morning, and there was a light but steady passage of Swallow through the day. Yesterday’s Goldcrest was still present along with single Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. Amongst the commoner waders 18 Knot, 12 Black-tailed Godwit and seven Turnstone, a lone Shoveler was also at the high tide, with four Pintail, the earliest ever autumn record here. Off site two Osprey were seen, high on a thermal above Powderham.


Wednesday 1st:


Four Yellow Wagtail were again recorded flying over, this time early morning, a single juvenile Merlin also flew through early on. The two Treecreeper were again present along with the first Goldcrest of the autumn, other migrants included single Reed and Sedge Warbler with three Lesser Whitethroat. An Arctic Skua was offshore and six Black-tailed Godwit were at the high tide but it was otherwise quiet.





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