Topsham Lock Cottage

Birdwatching


Wild birds on the Exe estuary (Photos: David J Glaves)

Topsham Lock Cottage occupies a unique location on the west bank of the estuary between two nature reserves — one operated by the Devon Wildlife Trust and the other by the RSPB.

The Exe Estuary is an important conservation area. It is reckoned that over 10,000 wild fowl and 20,000 waders spend the winter here, including the avocet, black-tailed godwit, dark bellied Brent goose, ringed plover and wigeon.

Some of the latest bird sightings in the area are listed below. Further sightings can be found at devonbirds.org.

LocationSightings
For the latest information, visit wildlifeindevon.org.uk and dawlishwarren.blogspot.co.uk.
Sunday 20th August 2017
Dawlish WarrenSea defence works along on the dune ridge continue to restrict access to the hide and Warren Point. The golf course is not a public right of way. Please follow signs and access guidance from staff. No works today so access was less restricted. The juv White-winged Black Tern was off Shelly Beach and Cockle Sands, Exmouth this morning, watched from Warren Point. It didn't venture within the recording area, but some of the assembled throng did with 553 Black-headed Gull feeding briefly along the main Exe channel.Peak counts on the ebbing morning tide and evening high tide were 1107 Oystercatcher, 413 Curlew, 269 Redshank, 209 Dunlin, 151 Ringed Plover, 50+ Sandwich Tern, 34 Great Black-backed Gull, 30+ Common Tern; 27 Mute Swan, 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Cormorant, 16 (2 summer-plumage) Grey Plover, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Sanderling, 12 Turnstone, 10 Mediterranean Gull (3 juv, 2 fs, ss, 4 adult), six Whimbrel, five Greenshank, three juv Shelduck, three Grey Heron and three Little Egret.A Whimbrel colour-ringed in mid-west Wales in 2015 spent a few weeks in both springs of 2016 and 2017 on the lower Exe Estuary, and then was seen here as a returning bird for the first time today.Calm conditions this morning before the remnants of 'Hurricane Gert' produced nothing of note, then as the SSW strengthen and the rain arrived, two Manx Shearwater and single Balearic Shearwater, Storm Petrel and the Great Northern Diver again offshore.Overhead, post-roost feeding low of the estuary and later moving ahead of the rain band, 50 Swallow, 15 House Martin, six Swift, a Sand Martin, a Grey Wagtail and a Yellow Wagtail. Largely abandoned compared to yesterday, the bushes supported only low single-figures of the regular warblers; a Sedge Warbler and a Wheatear were on the golf course. (More…)
Saturday 19th August 2017
Dawlish WarrenSea defence works along on the dune ridge continue to restrict access to the hide and Warren Point. The golf course is not a public right of way. Please follow signs and access guidance from staff. No works today so access was less restricted. A morning spent scouring the bushes produced 15 Blackcap, 13 Chiffchaff, 12 Whitethroat, four Willow Warbler, three Reed Warbler, and single Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and a Sparrowhawk. Finch flocks assembled between Greenland Lake and The Bight comprised of 55+ Linnet, 29 Goldfinch and six Greenfinch, the most since late-March. Also five Wheatear and four Skylark in the dunes and open areas.Close in front of the hide, examination of ‘wasp’, Darvic and metal rings on Oystercatchers revealed at least four ringed here in 1989 and one in 1990; ‘T24’ ringed in Aberdeenshire has returned for its fourth consecutive winter and ‘JA’, ringed in Iceland in spring 2016, also spent last winter here. The White-winged Black Tern was again in the estuary this evening, feeding with other terns and gulls over Cockle Sands, Exmouth and sometimes hawking high over the lower estuary, but not seen inside the recording area today, nor was an Arctic Tern. On site, 33 Sandwich Tern and 23 Common Tern.Between occasional showers in a freshening westerly breeze, overhead passed 26 Swallow, five House Martin, three Swift, three Meadow Pipit (first of the autumn), two Sand Martin, a Rook and a Kestrel.Highlights at sea were three Fulmar, a Manx Shearwater and again an unseasonal Great Northern Diver. Wildlife News: an abundance of flowering Autumn Lady’s-tresses across Greenland Lake, three Southern Hawker, a Grey Seal offshore and a Stoat. (More…)
Thursday 17th August 2017
Dawlish WarrenSea defence works along on the dune ridge continue to restrict access to the hide and Warren Point. The golf course is not a public right of way. Please follow signs and access guidance from staff.The juv White-winged Black Tern accompanied two Black Tern, though at times the Black Terns ventured far out to sea, the star bird remained north of Bull Hill inside the estuary this morning. Counts on Bull Hill were 52 Sandwich Tern and 30+ Great Black-backed Gull. A few Common Tern were still in evidence.On the rising tide, the usual wader species arrived with representative counts of 278 Dunlin and 165 Ringed Plover achieved early, enticed by the rain-soaked sands of The Bight. Apart from the Black Terns, quiet at sea with only an immature Great Northern Diver close offshore of interest. Small numbers of Swallow and 12 Swift headed south. A Sparrowhawk scattered a mixed flock of finches on the golf course fairways, which included 25 Goldfinch. The main areas of bushes were as expected with nine Blackcap, a flock of eight Long-tailed Tit, a few Chiffchaff, two Whitethroat, two Willow Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The unexpected surprise of the day was a Goldcrest in a Sycamore on Warren Point, the earliest post-breeding record since 2010. A Wheatear and a Rock Pipit were also up at Warren Point. Wildlife news: in the humid air and sunny spells, butterflies were plentiful, many Gatekeeper, a few Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Large White, two Red Admiral, one Small Copper and a Painted Lady. Day flying moths were also active, three Yellow Belle were in Greenland Lake and a Jersey Tiger also seen. Two families of Fox remain on site and a grown cub was spotted on Warren Point. Yellow Belle (Alan Keatley) Jersey Tiger (Alan Keatley) (More…)

©2010–2017 Vivianne Arendal, in partnership with Owners Direct | Powered by WordPress | Website by Philip Ronan | Admin