September 2007

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Report sightings




Sunday 30th:


Two Balearic Shearwater were offshore along with 11 Little Gull, 100 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver. A single Ruff remained at the high tide along with 250 Dunlin, 70 Knot and 10 Turnstone. Also in the estuary two adult Mediterranean Gull, three Common Tern and four Shelduck.



Saturday 29th:


Another day of continuous hirundine passage with at least 2485 Swallow through the reserve, also passing overhead 103 Goldfinch, 41 Meadow Pipit, 35 House Martin, eight Rook, five Golden Plover, five Grey Wagtail, four Sand Martin, three Siskin, three Skylark and two Jackdaw. Offshore a Balearic Shearwater and a Great Skua flew south with 75 Common Scoter and two Red-throated Diver on the sea. At the high tide three Ruff were unexpected along with a good count of 16 Greenshank and the Spotted Redshank. Also there three Curlew Sandpiper, three Shoveler, 300 Dunlin, 20 Grey Plover and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a Whitethroat was the pick of the few grounded migrants.



Friday 28th:


Seawatching early morning produced a drake Scaup, the first of the year, 12 Little Gull, two Arctic Skua and a second year Mediterranean Gull along with 100+ Gannet. Also offshore a Great Northern Diver, 150 Common Scoter, two Eider, two Razorbill and a Red-throated Diver. In the estuary a Curlew Sandpiper, with an injured leg, remained over the high tide with 3500 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, six Sanderling, four Turnstone, two Golden Plover and a Greenshank. Also in the estuary 530+ Wigeon, 200 Teal, 16 Brent Geese, nine Shoveler and a Pintail. Overhead passage included 1226 Swallow, 328 Goldfinch, 221 House Martin, 161 Linnet, 86 Meadow Pipit, 19 Sand Martin, six Grey Wagtail, five Rook, two Siskin, a Chaffinch and a Tree Pipit.


Thursday 27th:


Overhead passage in the morning included 300 Swallow, 112 House Martin, 110 Linnet, 96 Goldfinch, 25 Meadow Pipit, 24 Skylark, four Grey Wagtail and two Jackdaw. Another 238 Swallow passed through in the evening heading North along the spit. Grounded migrants included 10 of both Blackcap and Chiffchaff.  In the estuary there were still two Curlew Sandpiper with 250 Dunlin, 60 Knot, two Golden Plover and a Lapwing, also there four Shoveler, 60 Sandwich and two Common Tern. Offshore there were two Red-throated Diver, two Arctic Skua an adult Mediterranean Gull and a first year Little Gull.



Wednesday 26th:

A quieter day than recently, but overhead passage was still noticeable with 450 Swallow, 60 Meadow Pipit, 14 House Martin, seven alba, six Grey and a Yellow Wagtail, five Skylark, four Rook, four Grey Heron in off the sea, a Golden Plover and a Siskin. Grounded migrants included three Wheatear and half a dozen of both Blackcap & Chiffchaff. A Pintail was a new arrival in the estuary with two Curlew Sandpiper, two Brent Geese and an adult Mediterranean Gull also there. A single Great Skua and a movement of c50 Black-headed Gull south was the only interest offshore.



Tuesday 25th:

Large numbers of seabirds remained offshore during the first half of the day with 300+ Kittiwake, 200+ Gannet, 20+ Arctic, three Great and a Pomarine Skua. Also offshore, two Manx Shearwater and a Red-throated Diver south, a single Shoveler in with a group of 12 Common Scoter. Overhead there was a noticeable passage with, prior to 11am, 675 Meadow Pipit, 18 Grey Wagtail, 17 'alba' Wagtail, 12 Goldfinch, 10 Siskin, six Rook, five Sand Martin, three Jackdaw, two Golden Plover, two Raven, two Chaffinch and singles of Snipe, Grey Heron, and Merlin. Elsewhere a Curlew Sandpiper, 40 Knot, five Turnstone and a Whimbrel were in the Bight, three Golden Plover were on the beach and three Shoveler were in Shutterton Creek with 240 Wigeon and 134 Teal. Migrants in the bushes were limited to a single Whitethroat and four Chiffchaff.



Monday 24th:

Seawatching early morning produced at least one Sooty Shearwater, and the first Long-tailed Skua of the year with 19+ Arctic and at least two Great Skua, all going south. Three Siskin overhead were the first of the autumn, other records included a good overhead passage of Meadow Pipit and Swallow with a Merlin, the first of the year, and Sparrowhawk in off the sea. In the estuary there were 240 Wigeon and a Whimbrel. Late afternoon at least 18 Arctic Skua were offshore, perhaps roosting in the bay, along with three Balearic Shearwater, 50+ Kittiwake and a Red-throated Diver.



Sunday 23rd:

Seawatching until 1pm produced 11 Sooty Shearwater south, a site record and almost double the previous best of six in September 2000. Also passing south during the morning 500+ Kittiwake, 400+ Gannet, c40 Common Scoter, 10 Razorbill, seven Balearic Shearwater, five Arctic and a Pomarine Skua, two Common, two Arctic and a Black Tern, a Peregrine and an adult Mediterranean Gull. During the evening at least three Balearic Shearwater were present with a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver, another 12 Arctic Skua,  300+ Kittiwake and 150+ Gannet south. In the estuary the highlight was a Spotted Redshank in the Bight with three Greenshank, also there 1370 Oystercatcher and 303 Great Black-backed Gull. The small waders did not appear until right on high tide with the WeBS count figures being 620 Dunlin, 35 Ringed Plover, seven Turnstone, six Curlew Sandpiper and four Sanderling. Other records included 196 Wigeon, 19 Mute Swan, four Common and three Arctic Tern and a second winter Mediterranean Gull in the estuary, five Wheatear on site, a Great Northern Diver on the sea and overhead six House and a Sand Martin with two Grey and a Yellow Wagtail.



Saturday 22nd:

Migrants on site were limited to a Garden Warbler in the entrance bushes and 11 Wheatear, with the Great-spotted Woodpecker again in Dead Dolphin Wood. Wader numbers however increased with at least 150 Dunlin and a Curlew Sandpiper in the Bight along with the regular flock of 70+ Knot. Also in the estuary 100+ Sandwich, six Common and two Arctic Tern, with 47 Teal and eight Brent Geese. Offshore there were 110+ Kittiwake and an Arctic Skua.   


Wheatear 22/09/07 Simon Thurgood    



Friday 21st:

Still very little to report with two Common Tern south offshore and a couple of Wheatear the only news.



Thursday 20th:

Despite good numbers elsewhere there were few seabirds pushed close into the warren with a single Black Tern and a shearwater sp the only birds of note passing south. Elsewhere there were no small waders over the tide and migrants were limited to four Wheatear.



Wednesday 19th:

The highlight today was a group of three Roseate Tern, two adults and a juvenile, they fed offshore for a while before heading into the estuary. Juveniles of this species are very scarce here as are records this late in the year. Also offshore there were c20 Sandwich Tern and five Arctic Skua with an Arctic Tern in the estuary. Elsewhere small waders were again limited to two Dunlin and seven Sanderling and a Wheatear was the only migrant reported.



Tuesday 18th:

Small wader numbers plummeted overnight with just two Dunlin and seven Sanderling present over the high tide. Other waders still present included a Greenshank and 70+ Knot.



Monday 17th:

In the estuary this evening there were 188 Redshank, 68 Wigeon, 49 Teal, three Shelduck and a Black-tailed Godwit with a large group of Ringed Plover flying high south over Greenland Lake. A Great-crested Grebe and five Common Scoter offshore was the only other news received.



Sunday 16th:

The highlight was a juvenile Spotted Redshank in Shutterton Creek, this was the first reserve record since January 2005. Also there over high tide 174 Redshank, 91 Knot, 53 Bar-tailed Godwit, 51 Wigeon, 45 Mallard, 33 Teal, 20 Little Egret, three Shelduck, two Black-tailed Godwit, two Greenshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Around the Beach and Bight there were again good numbers of waders but these were continually harassed by a juvenile Peregrine and by the time the tide dropped only c300 Dunlin, c100 Ringed Plover and three Curlew Sandpiper came into the Bight. Also in the estuary there was a juvenile Little Tern, a Red-breasted Merganser and offsite an Osprey off Powderham. Offshore a single Arctic Skua harried c40 Sandwich and an Arctic Tern, whilst a Grey Heron and c40 Common Scoter flew west. Migrants on site included c70 House Martin over, 18 Chiffchaff, three Wheatear, three Grey Wagtail over with single Whitethroat, Willow, Garden and Sedge Warbler.



Saturday 15th:

The three immature Spoonbill were still present early morning before flying up the estuary at 8am. Birds that did remain over high tide included at least 21, possibly as many as 27, Curlew Sandpiper in with c800 Dunlin and 150 Ringed Plover. Also in the estuary 1300 Oystercatcher, 42 Wigeon, 24 Little Egret, two Teal, two Black-tailed Godwit, a Red-breasted Merganser and an Arctic Tern. Offshore there was a single Common Tern and 14 Common Scoter. Migrants totals on site included 23 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap, six Whitethroat, three Wheatear, two Redstart and a Lesser Whitethroat. Overhead there were 70+ Meadow Pipit, five Grey and two Yellow Wagtail, a Buzzard and a Grey Heron high west. Elsewhere a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond.



Friday 14th:

Three immature Spoonbill on Finger Point early morning were a welcome first for the year. they roosted over the high tide before moving to feed in the estuary and where still present mid evening. One of the birds is colour ringed and initial research suggests it may have come from Spain, more details hopefully to follow. Also over the high tide this morning still at least nine Curlew Sandpiper with 626 Curlew, 206 Redshank, 90 Knot and two Golden Plover over south. Elsewhere a Hobby flying along the Railway was a good site record, two Little Grebe, including an immature, were on the Main Pond, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was in the Entrance Bushes, two Redstart were along the Back Path and other migrants included a Garden Warbler and two Wheatear.


Spoonbills 14/09/07 Brian Heasman



Thursday 13th:

The morning high tide produced a count of 20 Curlew Sandpiper in with 750 Dunlin, 150 Ringed Plover and 90 Knot. Also in the estuary c90 Wigeon and the first four Brent Geese of the autumn. Elsewhere a White Wagtail and two Rock Pipit were on the beach and overhead there were 117 Meadow Pipit and a Grey Wagtail.



Wednesday 12th:

Despite unpromising conditions there was a major fall overnight - unfortunately it was almost all Blackcap with at least 40 on the reserve, a site record. Other migrants included a Lesser Whitethroat in the entrance Bushes, an immature male Redstart along the back path, 12 Chiffchaff and single Whitethroat, Garden and Reed Warbler. Elsewhere three Grey Wagtail passed overhead. Elsewhere a female Shoveler was a surprise offshore in a flock of 88 Common Scoter.



Tuesday 11th:

Five Curlew Sandpiper were again present over the evening high tide with 50+ Knot and good numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Offshore there were two Eider, the first of the autumn, along with an Arctic Skua, at least three Common Tern, a Great-crested Grebe and 12 Common Scoter. Elsewhere a Redstart was seen along the Back Path, a Jay was by the First Pond, two Wheatear were by the hide, two Mediterranean Gull, first and second winters, and two White Wagtail were on the beach.



Monday 10th:

At least five Curlew Sandpiper remained with the waders overnight and at least five tundrae race Ringed Plover, showing where many of the autumn passage birds come from. Those Ringed Plover that winter at the Warren come from further south with ringing recoveries including birds from southern Sweden and Norfolk. Over the evening tide a Golden Plover in the Bight was the first of the year. also there a Little Ringed Plover and a juvenile Little Gull. Offshore there were two Balearic Shearwater, one of which showed well as it passed by mid distance, three Arctic Skua and a Manx Shearwater all south. The highlight passed overhead with a ringtail Harrier seen coming in off the sea before heading west over Langstone, also over a flock of 13 House Martin, 12 Meadow Pipit and three Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere there were just 30 Sandwich and three Common Tern.


tundrae Ringed Plover 09/09/07 Lee Collins                                          Curlew Sandpiper 09/09/07 Lee Collins 



Sunday 9th:

An unexpected highlight came in the form of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, which was present in the Bight for just 45 minutes on the rising evening tide. This is only the seventh recording area record, but the third in five years. Also in the Bight at least eight Curlew Sandpiper, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, five Turnstone and three Whimbrel with minimum counts of 337 Dunlin, 174 Ringed Plover and 60 Knot. Migrant numbers had picked up overnight with a Redstart and two Whinchat in Greenland Lake along with two Sedge Warbler, single Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. Elsewhere a Yellow Wagtail over, a Wheatear on Warren Point, an adult Mediterranean Gull flew over the Visitor centre, two White Wagtail were on the beach and two Common Tern and two Red-throated Diver were offshore.


Buff-breasted Sandpiper 09/09/07                                              Curlew Sandpiper 09/09/07


Buff-breasted Sandpiper 09/09/07 - constantly moving!!




Saturday 8th:

A quiet day on site with few migrants, bird of the day being a Sedge Warbler in the Main Pond. Elsewhere there was a single Whitethroat, two Blackcap with a few Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. Overhead there were two Grey Wagtail, two Buzzard and a House Martin overhead, the Great-spotted Woodpecker in Dead Dolphin Wood, a White Wagtail in the Bight, and two Mediterranean Gull, an adult and a second winter on the beach.



Friday 7th:

A Redstart along the Back Path was the first of the autumn. Offshore there were two Red-Throated Diver and two Arctic Skua.



Thursday 6th:

The highlight today was the first Nuthatch of the year in Dead Dolphin Wood. The 19th record for the recording area, this species has gone from extreme rarity to annual migrant in the last three years. The Red-throated Diver was again offshore where there were also two Arctic Skua, 42 Common Scoter and three Great-crested Grebe. Elsewhere wader numbers continue to drop, seven Turnstone and a Wheatear were by the hide and two Kingfisher and a Grey Heron were on the Main Pond.


Grey Heron 06/09/07                              Kingfisher 06/09/07 Both Simon Thurgood    



Wednesday 5th:

No news was received for today.



Tuesday 4th:

A small fall of migrants occurred overnight with at least 10 Chiffchaff, nine Blackcap, five Willow Warbler, a Garden Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat around the Dead Dolphin Wood and Back Path area. The highlight however was not found until the evening when a Nightjar, only the reserve's tenth record, was flushed from it's roosting place on a log in a clearing along the Back Path. Elsewhere a Yellow Wagtail flew over late evening, presumably to roost somewhere locally. A Tawny Owl reported by the First Pond was the first for the year.



Monday 3rd:

Wader numbers were again down, but the flocks were constantly on the move due to the attentions of a juvenile Peregrine, at least one Curlew Sandpiper and a Whimbrel were present, with 12 Black-tailed Godwit in off the sea. Offshore the highlight was a Black Tern in with Common and a single Arctic Tern. The bushes were quiet with few migrants except a handful of Blackcap and the Great-spotted Woodpecker still onsite. Elsewhere four Wheatear were in Greenland Lake and two Grey Wagtail, 30 Swallow and three House Martin flew over.

Wheatear 03/09/07 Dave Stone                                                     Whimbrel 03/09/07 Dave Stone  



Sunday 2nd:

The first Red-throated Diver of the autumn, a bird in summer plumage, was offshore with 285 Shag, 17 Common Scoter, 25 Common and an Arctic Tern. Wader numbers had dropped overnight with only c200 Dunlin, 120 Ringed Plover and 74 Knot in the Bight along with the Grey Plover and Little Stint. Also in the estuary, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Greenshank, seven Teal and in the Railway Saltmarsh, 26 Little Egret and 13 Grey Heron. Elsewhere there was a Spotted Flycatcher and a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the entrance bushes with a Wheatear by the hide, a White Wagtail and Kestrel around the Bight, three Sand Martin flew through, three Yellow and two Grey Wagtail flew over with 10 Blackcap, three Whitethroat and two Reed Warbler also on site.


  Little Stint 02/09/07 Lee Collins



 Common Tern 02/09/07 Simon Thurgood                                                    Knot 02/09/07 Lee Collins



Saturday 1st:

The highlight was the first Hobby of the year, an adult in off the sea early afternoon before circling over the Bight and heading west. Other raptors seen today were a Buzzard also in off the sea then west over the Bight, a Kestrel hunting over the burnt area on Warren Point and two juvenile Peregrine preying on the wader roost. Other overhead passage included two Grey Wagtail, 250+ Swallow, 100+ House and five Sand Martin all east. The majority of the hirundines came through in about ten minutes around the front of a weather system. Grounded migrants were limited to single Wheatear and White Wagtail on the beach, with five Blackcap, five Chiffchaff, four Whitethroat, three Reed and two Willow Warbler around the reserve. Elsewhere over 600 Dunlin were still present in the Bight with 88 Knot, the Grey Plover, two juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and the Little Stint, 48 Cormorant were on Finger Point, 18 Little Egret and 12 Grey Heron were in the Railway Saltmarsh and two Kingfisher were on the Main Pond. Offshore there were two juvenile Arctic Tern with 25 Common Tern.


Curlew Sandpiper (with Dunlin) 01/09/07 Lee Collins                                       Sanderling 01/09/07 Lee Collins


Dunlin 01/09/07 Lee Collins 




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