A Golden Plover flew over the Dune Ridge early morning with other overhead passage including 95 House Martin, 50+ Meadow Pipit, 40+ Pied/White Wagtail, 25 Swallow, three Grey and a Yellow Wagtail. The Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood and also in the estuary there were 376 Wigeon, 353 Curlew, 74 Teal, c40 Bar-tailed Godwit, c30 Dunlin, 16 Knot, eight Dark and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese.
The highlight was the third site record of Tawny Pipit which flew SW down the Dune Ridge at 11am, also overhead this morning 100+ Meadow Pipit, 20+ Skylark, nine Rook, six Reed Bunting, five Jackdaw, two Grey Wagtail, two Siskin and single Chaffinch and Redpoll. Other finches were also moving with 159 Goldfinch and 25 Greenfinch, many of which dropped into Greenland Lake to feed on Evening Primrose. Counts from the estuary included 234 Redshank, 85+ Teal, 50+ Dunlin, 49 Sanderling, 19 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 13 Ringed and 12 Grey Plover, four Mediterranean Gull, three Knot, a Common Sandpiper and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere six Balearic Shearwater flew east, and grounded migrants included 28 Chiffchaff, 14 Blackcap, five Goldcrest, three Reed Warbler, a Coal Tit and a Wheatear.
The Slavonian Grebe remains in the estuary with 230 Wigeon, 25 Sandwich and four Common Tern, 42 Sanderling, 17 Black and 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Grey Plover and two Mediterranean Gull.
Three Scaup (wo drakes) were offshore mid afternoon, the third earliest autumn arrival, also offshore two Balearic Shearwater and an Arctic Skua. Counts from the estuary included 230+ Wigeon, 29 Sandwich Tern, 15 Ringed and nine Grey Plover, 10 Dunlin, six Common Tern and a Knot.
No news was received.
An Osprey was over Bull Hill mid morning before heading back up river, also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe, 502 Curlew, 174 Great and 17 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 130+ Wigeon, 31 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 15 Common, two Arctic and two Little Tern, 10 Dunlin,10 Ringed and seven Grey Plover. Elsewhere seven Chiffchaff, four Blackcap, three Goldcrest and a Reed Warbler were on site with 57 Meadow Pipit, a Siskin, a Chaffinch and a Grey Wagtail overhead.
Arctic and Common Tern 25/09/12 © Lee Collins
No news was received.
The weather changed things around a little with wildfowl in particular arriving on site, with 240+ Wigeon, seven Shoveler and two Pintail in Shutterton Creek and 55 Brent Geese including at least three Pale-bellied, across the river at Cockle Sands. Other counts from the estuary included 1137 Oystercatcher, c370 Great Black-backed Gull, 60+ Sandwich, 51+ Common and three Arctic Tern, 38 Knot,14 Dunlin, 14 Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel. A probable first winter Caspian Gull was on Finger Point briefly but this overdue first for the site unfortunately didn't linger and could not be clinched. Seawatching was a case of quality not quantity with few birds passing but over six hours two Sooty Shearwater, five Black Tern, five Great, three Arctic and three unidentified Skua headed north.
Late news - council sponsored suppression this week included the 25th site record of Nuthatch, a Redstart and the first Osprey and Lapwing of the autumn.
Two Tree Pipit flew over this morning with 50+ Meadow Pipit, whilst on the deck there were a juvenile Whinchat, 12 Chiffchaff, six Wheatear, four Blackcap and two Jay. Elsewhere 17 Sanderling were present but again there were virtually no other smaller waders, also in the estuary 14 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
A Ruff dropped in front of the hide briefly with counts over the high tide including only 10 Ringed Plover and a single Dunlin, with c160 Redshank, 153 Great Black-backed Gull, 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Sanderling, 15 Wigeon,12 Turnstone, two Pale-bellied Brent Geese and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere migrants were limited to 14 Chiffchaff, five Blackcap and a Reed Warbler, with 25+ Meadow Pipit, four Siskin and three Grey Wagtail overhead.
Ruff 21/09/12 © Lee Collins
A juvenile Spoonbill flying south over the spit early morning was the highlight with 200+ House Martin, 25+ Swallow and two Grey Wagtail also overhead.
The second Spotted Redshank of the year was in Shutterton Creek early morning with 17 Pale-bellied and five Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 25+ Teal and seven Wigeon. Elsewhere three Arctic Skua were offshore, a Whinchat was in Greenland Lake, also on site two Coal Tit, a Reed Warbler and a Wheatear with a Redpoll overhead.
A Nightjar was found roosting in the Entrance Bushes early morning and remained in situ until flushed by a photographer mid afternoon. This fate has befallen the last three Nightjar on site, why can't these people keep their cameras in their pants? The bird was showing very well (see here for image from a responsible photographer) so there was no need for such a close approach. It was the second site record this year but only the 15th overall, the only other migrant noted was single Wheatear. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary with 33 Teal, 19 Ringed Plover, four Dunlin, two Sanderling and a Knot.
Counts from the estuary included c1450 Oystercatcher, c170 Redshank, 42 Teal, 26 Dunlin, 22 Sanderling, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Ringed Plover, 11 Wigeon, seven Shelduck, five Mediterranean Gull, four Knot, two Whimbrel, a Golden Plover and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 18 Chiffchaff, 11 Blackcap, four Goldcrest, three Whitethroat, three Wheatear, two Reed Bunting, two Jay, two White Wagtail, a Reed Warbler and a Coal Tit were on site with 86 Swallow, 79 House and a Sand Martin, 76 Meadow Pipit and eight Grey Wagtail overhead.
Wader numbers increased with the autumn's first two juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint joining 108 Dunlin and 24 Sanderling. Also in the estuary 437 Curlew, 175 Great Black-backed Gull, 139 Redshank, five Mediterranean Gull and the Slavonian Grebe. Migrants included 27 Chiffchaff, 16 Blackcap and two Whitethroat with15 Meadow Pipit, four Grey Wagtail and a Siskin overhead. Elsewhere 331 Shag were offshore.
The first real pulse of autumn passage overhead with 130+ Meadow Pipit, seven Pied and five Grey Wagtail, also c60 House Martin, 30+ Swallow and a Hobby. Grounded migrants included 15 Chiffchaff, 14 Blackcap, two Wheatear, a Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler and the first Goldcrest of the season, with five Coal Tit, three Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Jay perhaps of a more local origin. In the estuary wildfowl numbers are building with 79 Wigeon, 61 Teal, five Pale-bellied and the first four Dark-bellied Brent Geese of the autumn, also present 457 Curlew, 25 Ringed Plover, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Dunlin, six Sanderling and five Knot. Elsewhere three Arctic Skua and four Mediterranean Gull were offshore.
Thursday - Friday 13-14th:
No news was received.
The Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary but no other news was received.
No news was received.
The main news received was of 36 Balearic Shearwater south in just 20 minutes around midday, part of a larger movement off the south coast today. Also on site 51 Sandwich and five Common Tern on Bull Hill and two Wheatear around the Bight. A colour-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull seen yesterday was a breeding bird from Burhou, Alderney. This bird has been seen mainly around Alderney and Guernsey but was in NW Spain last winter and was again on Alderney on Saturday.
Wader counts included 452 Curlew, 135 Ringed Plover, 123 Dunlin, 27 Sanderling, two Knot and a Whimbrel, also in the estuary 235 Great Black-backed Gull, 31 Sandwich and four Common Tern, two Shelduck and two Wigeon. Elsewhere 47 House Martin flew through, a Wheatear was in Greenland Lake and an Arctic Skua was offshore.
A quiet early autumn day with migrants limited to two White Wagtail, two Willow Warbler and a Wheatear. Wader counts included 105 Ringed Plover, 65 Dunlin, 25 Sanderling, 18 Knot and a Greenshank.
The first Redpoll of the autumn was overhead but the only other movement were single Sand Martin and Yellow Wagtail. Records from the estuary included 86+ Dunlin, 82+ Ringed Plover, 38 Sanderling, 20 Turnstone, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, six Whimbrel, three Knot, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere an Arctic Skua and 148 Shag were offshore, migrants included 14 Blackcap, six Chiffchaff, three Whitethroat, two Willow Warbler, two Wheatear and a Coal Tit.
The second Spoonbill of the year was in the estuary with 134 Great Black-backed Gull, 60+ Dunlin, 25 Black and 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, six Whimbrel, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere two Arctic Skua were offshore, migrants included two Whinchat, two Wheatear and three Whitethroat with six Meadow Pipit and two each of Grey and Yellow Wagtail overhead.
A small fall of migrants included a Spotted Flycatcher, two Whitethroat, a Wheatear, a White Wagtail and a Garden Warbler, whilst overhead there were three Tree and a Meadow Pipit, two Grey and a Yellow Wagtail. Counts from the estuary included 214 Curlew, 135 Great Black-backed Gull, 12 Turnstone, five Knot, three Whimbrel and a Greenshank.
Wader counts over the evening tide included 238 Redshank, 169 Ringed Plover, 74 Dunlin, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, six Whimbrel and a Knot.
Pale-bellied Brent Goose 02/09/12 © Simon Thurgood
These birds were the joint earliest ever arrivals at the Warren and were an overshoot of a massive unprecedented early movement of birds into Strangford Lough - with at least 5,000 birds which must have by-passed Iceland on their way in. The colour-ringed bird that accompanied this flock suggested these were birds that normally winter in western Ireland.
An adult Lanner x Peregrine hybrid was around the Bight in evening flushing the smaller waders before accurate counts could be made but over the morning tide there were 209 Ringed Plover and 105 Dunlin present along with 216 Redshank, c20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Whimbrel and single Black-tailed Godwit and Knot. Also in the estuary six Teal, three Wigeon, the Slavonian Grebe and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Elsewhere a juvenile Redstart was in the Back Meadow and other migrants included three Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail.
The travels of a Great Black-backed Gull ringed as a chick on the island of Odd in southern Norway in July 2008
A fem/imm Merlin sat by the Hide in the evening was the first record of the year, also in the estuary the Slavonian Grebe with c185 Ringed Plover, 167 Redshank, 131 Dunlin, 42 Sanderling, 14 Bar and 12 Black-tailed Godwit, eight Teal, six Whimbrel, five Knot, four Wigeon, three Mediterranean Gull and a Greenshank. Elsewhere four Avocet flew south far offshore mid morning with five Arctic Skua, and overhead single Yellow and Grey Wagtail.
Counts from the estuary included 439 Curlew, c430 Canada Geese, 218 Ringed Plover, 217 Redshank, 129 Dunlin, 126 Mallard, 30 Sanderling, 27 Turnstone, 13+ Bar and two Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 11 Teal, eight Knot, five Wigeon, four Common Tern, four Whimbrel, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe and a drake Common Scoter. Grounded migrants included seven Whitethroat, three Wheatear, two Willow and a Sedge Warbler, with three Yellow and a Grey Wagtail. Elsewhere 311 Shag, c70 Manx Shearwater, five Great-crested Grebe, three Arctic Skua, an Arctic and a Black Tern were offshore.
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