Amorique Ferry and The Great and Little Mewstones at Wembury
There was a report on Birdguides of 116 Balearic shearwaters passing by Rame Head from 06:30 to 14:30, I never saw any other birder there while I was present and other than a brief and distant view of a probable Balearic shearwater and a probable sooty shearwater I never saw anything unusual (some of the Manxies I saw close to shore did show some dark markings in their armpits but otherwise had very white underparts).
The highlight was a pod of common dolphins moving west off the headland, distant views and very unobtrusive as they moved by very quickly and out of sight. Their location was given away by a swirling group of gannets overhead but other than the occasional fin at the surface and occasional leap out of the waves I would have missed them. I counted 6 at the surface together but there were more present and it was quite exciting (and difficult) to track them across the Bay.
Sunday 21st August and I decided to head off to Dawlish Warren in the morning before the forecasted rain arrived in the afternoon. I caught the train to Dawlish and walked to the hide at Dawlish Warren to catch the high tide roost, noting an adult winter plumage Mediterranean gull amongst the gulls roosting along the beach along the way.
The island in front of the hide had roosting oystercatchers, carrion crows, Sandwich terns, herring gulls and great black backed gulls but not much else. Small waders started to fly into The Bight as the tide receded and scanning through them I managed to find myself a nice juvenile curlew sandpiper amongst the ringed plover, dunlin, sanderling and turnstone. It stayed asleep for most of the time with its head tucked under its wings but it stood noticeable taller than the nearby dunlin and had a lovely peachy pink flush across its breast. Eventually it woke up and flew nearer to me and started to feed amongst the salt marsh before flying off and out of sight but I had some very nice views in my scope.
Oystercatchers in front of the hide
Curlew Sandpiper (top right) with Ringed Plovers
Curlew Sandpiper (top right) with Dunlin and Ringed Plovers
Juvenile Ringed Plover
Adult Ringed Plover
Heading back to the train station and I managed to find a gatekeeper, meadow browns, a green veined white, a large white, 2 male and a female common blue and a small copper along with a Pyrausta aurata, 6-spot burnets and 2 male yellow belles in the Greenland Lake area. Autumn ladies tresses were flowering and it was nice to see a pair of cirl buntings with 2 fledglings.
Male Yellow Belle
Male Yellow Belle - close up of antenna
Six Spot Burnets
Autumn Ladies Tresses
Autumn Ladies Tresses