Thurlestone Bay is a bird rich area of the South Hams (part of Devon).
Having lost Thurlestone Marsh.earlier this year when it was drained agreed with Eric Wotton to redraw the patch boundry to include the Avon Estuary which will incorporate the very impressive South Efford Marsh.
The 2016 year list will be amended to include species recorded there which had not been seen on the old patch
Any comments you wish to make can be entered in the guestbook.
Some alterations to the format of the pages , the historical page will now provide access to the older trip reports and previous years records .
will be revamping the Photos page over the next few weeks
Some more images from our recent Cyprus trip added to the photos page , also from our visit to Albafura Marsh Mallorca in Oct 2017 , includes MARBLED TEAL - after the local ones
Have transferred the DEC records to the archive section , also the DEC monthly report has been posted
SUN 4 FEB
Updates on our Cyprus trip can be found on the page headed CYPRUS Feb 2018
SAT 3 FEB
NEWS RECEIVED - SPOONBILL on South Efford Marsh and a
GREAT CRESTED GREBE IN the Avon Estuary - Dave Pakes
FRI 2 FEB
Fine sunny morning with onlya light N breeze after a light frost at dawn .
offshore ,a 2 hour seawatch from 08.30 - 45 GANNET , 55 AUKS -W
15 on the sea , 1 FULMAR -W , 1M WIGEON - on the sea , 1 RED T DIVER - W @ 08.32 , 1BLACK T DIVER -W @10.15 .
On the rocks - 8 RINGED PLOVER , 6 TURNSTONE.
Only addition to the birds on South Huish Marsh was an ad
MED GULL .
IN WITH THE CATTLE I COULD ONLY FIND 6 CATTLE EGRET &
3 LITTLE EGRET
Along the tidal road at Aveton Gifford - 3 COMMON SANDPIPER ,
9 REDSHANK , 5 GREENSHANK , CURLEW , 2 LITTLE GREBE ,
1 NUTHATCH , 1 GREAT SP WOODY , COAL TIT.
ON NORTH MARSH 3 WATER PIPIT .
AT HUXTON CROSS - 35 FIELDFARE , 10 REDWING , SKYLARK .
A phone call from Dave Pakes made go to Beesands Ley this afternoon where he had found a M SCAUP , the RINGED NECKED DUCK still amongst the flock of TUFTED DUCK, also 7 GADWALL
THURS 1 FEB
A sunny morning with an F3/4 N wind
An hours garden watch from 07.35 produced 30 species inc -
2 CIRL BUNTING , 1M 3F REED BUNTING , 4 GREENFINCH 2 KESTREL
1 WATER RAIL , 2 REDWING , 1 SONG THRUSH , 3 STOCK DOVE .
At 20.30 A TAWNY OWL CALLING
On South Huish Marsh - 75 WIGEON , HYBRID , 40 TEAL , 6 SHELDUCK , 4 LAPWING , 1 SNIPE , 1 BLACK T GODWIT ,
7 CATTLE EGRET , 4 LITTLE EGRET , 1 MISTLE THRUSH , 6 STOCK DOVE, PEREGRINE & SPRAWK flew over .
On the rocks 6 RINGED PLOVER , Offshore a few AUKS , GANNET , KITTIWAKE , 1 FULMAR
A quick visit to South Milton Ley - 20+CHIFFY , 2 SIB CHIFFY ,
2 GOLDCREST, 1 FIRECREST , 1 GREY WAGTAIL , 4 LONG T TIT
A total of 68 species logged .
WED 31 JAN
A bitterly cold day with some heavy showers , visited various sites with Alan , Eric & Graham - a good days birding .
Started at Matford Pool where the ad M AMERICAN WIGEON showed well ( nice to compare with the hybrid that has been at South Huish Marsh all winter ) , 20+ SHOVELER , 2 TUFTED DUCK , 20 SNIPE .
Next stop Exminster Marshes - large numbers of WIGEON , TEAL , BRENT GOOSE ( at least 1 pale bellied ) 100 + SHOVELER , 4 PINTAIL , 1000+ LAPWING , 500 GOLDEN PLOVER , 150 BLACK T GODWIT .
Then on to Exwick Cemetery- Found 4 HAWFINCH ( possibly another 8 in flight ) , GREEN WOODY ,
Rest of the day spent at Exmouth - offshore , GREAT N DIVER ,
RED T DIVER , 3 EIDER, 6 COMMON SCOTER , 2 RED B MERGANSER ,
On Maer Rocks - 25 BRENT GOOSE , 6 PURPLE SANDPIPER ,
TUES 30 JAN
A cloudy morning , frost at dawn , calm conditions before rain and mist set in from 12.30 Joined by Graham this morning .
With a flat calm sea surprising to find only 5 GANNET and AUK offshore . On the rocks 5 TURNSTONE .
On South Huish Marsh - 87WIGEON, the Hybrid AMERICAN WIGEON /WIGEON , 35 TEAL , 1 SHELDUCK , 5 LAPWING , 2 SNIPE , 1 BLACK T GODWIT . 7 CATTLE EGRET & 4LITTLE EGRET moving between the Marsh and the cattle field . In the copse 2 SONG THRUSH , 1 GREAT SP WOODY . 5 STOCK DOVE flew over .
SUN 28 JAN
A cloudy morning with an F3 WNW wind .
Eric and I arrived at South Huish Marsh by 09.30 to find over 150 GULLS on the Marsh inc the 1W CASPIAN found by Alan yesterday , also an ad MED GULL , LITTLE GREBE STILL together with WIGEON & TEAL .
Went over to the Dartington Estate to look through the large finch flock in the stubble field by Warren Lane - Doug Stannard who now lives in Kent would have really enjoyed searching through this flock - at least 200+CHAFFINCH , 4+BRAMBLING , 2 YELLOWHAMMER,
A CIRL BUNTING , LINNET, GOLDFINCH . 10 REDWING in nearby trees
SAT 27 JAN
Only news rec'd was from Alan D who went down to South Huish Marsh this afternoon and rewarded with his first CASPIAN GULL -1W ( 117) also 2ad MED GULL
FRI 26 JAN -
At last a dry ,sunny day with only a light NW breeze .
On South Huish Marsh - 87 WIGEON , 22 TEAL , 1 BLACK T GODWIT
5 CATTLE EGRET , 4 LITTLE EGRET , 1 MISTLE THRUSH and a CHIFFY. 1 2W YELLOW L GULL (116 )
Offshore a large feeding flock of 100+ GANNET accompanied by
30 + KITTIWAKE , 2 COMMON GULL -W , both GUILLEMOT & RAZORBILLS on the sea . Main interest were Divers with 6 . separate sightings - on the sea 1 RED THROATED , 2 BLACK THROATED , whilst in flight through the Bay - 1 RED THROATED
( 10.15 - w )
BLACK THROATED- 1W (10.30 ) , 1W ( 11.20 )
Surprisingly no GREAT NORTHERN .
On South Efford Marsh Eric reports - 1 SPOONBILL , 70 LAPWING
100 WIGEON , 100 TEAL , 5 REDSHANK , 4 GREENSHANK , 2 COMMON SANDPIPER and a WATER PIPIT .
South Milton Ley - ringing - Alan trapped 47 birds this morning of which 21 were new - inc - 14 CHIFFY , 3 SIBERIAN CHIFFY ,
2 GOLDCREST .
RETRAPS WERE - 11 CHIFFY & 2 Controls , 4 FIRECRESTS .
Also on site at least 30 CHIFFY , 1M REED BUNTING , 3+ WATER RAIL , 1F SPRAWK , 1 GREY WAGTAIL
THURS 25 JAN
A day trip off the patch and into Cornwall . Started at Wacker Quay
where - 35 AVOCET , 120 SHELDUCK , 100 WIGEON , 30 TEAL ( the target bird - Green W Teal was further downriver )
Off Hannafore ( Looe ) 2 SLAVONIAN GREBE , 2 GREAT N DIVER , 1 RED T DIVER .
At Lower Porthpean 3 SURF SCOTER & a F VELVET SCOTER showed well together not too far offshore , along with 5 GREAT N , 2 BLACK T &a RED T DIVER . Lots of GANNET , FULMAR ., KITTIWAKE and AUKS in the Bay
Final visit was to Dozmary Pool where the mLESSER SCAUP was with 50 TUFTED DUCK , 10 POCHARD , 2 SHOVELER .
Only local news was of a GREEN SANDPIPER on North Marsh
WED 24 JAN
Yet another stormy night with heavy rain until 14.00
On Thurlestone Marsh @ 08.10 11 EGRETS- 8 CATTLE & 3 LITTLE
Brief visit this afternoon to South Huish Marsh - same Ducks as on Tues , in the cattle field were 7 CATTLE &3 LITTLE EGRET .
TUES 23 JAN
A morning of rain &drizzle with very poor offshore visibility.
Joined by Graham this morning . Offshore 60 GANNET , 1 FULMAR ,
on the sea a GREAT N DIVER @ 09.10 . Flying around the Bay for 15mins @ 09.00 3 BRENT GOOSE (114 & 115 as there were 2 Dark B & 1 Pale B )
On South Huish Marsh - 80 WIGEON , The Hybrid AM WIGEON / WIGEON , 35 TEAL ,1 LITTLE GREBE , 1 LAPWING , . IN THE GLOOM WE COULD ONLY FIND 7 CATTLE EGRET & 3 LITTLE EGRET .
This afternoon on T'stone Marsh - 20 Mallard , 8 TEAL , whilst in the garden a m GREEN WOODY , 2 REED BUNTING , 1 SPARROWHAWK
MON 22 JAN .
A cloudy start after another night of heavy rain , light W wind .
A 45min garden watch from 08.15 produced 29 species which included 2 year ticks and a garden life tick - a 1w m YELLOWHAMMER (112 - landed in top of nearby tree then flew off NW , my 160th garden tick ), followed by 2 LINNET flying NW ( 113 ) , also 3 REED BUNTING , 2 CIRL BUNTING ., 25 CHAFFINCH ,
25 MALLARD , 9 TEAL . At 09.00 a CATTLE EGRET FLEW IN .
Late morning at South Huish Marsh - 65 WIGEON , HYBRID AM W /W , 35 TEAL , 2 SHELDUCK , 5 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 LAPWING .in the field with the cattle were - 8 CATTLE EGRET & 5 LITTLE EGRET.
At South Milton Ley Dave P reports - 1 FIRECREST , 1 GOLDCREST , 20+ CHIFFY , 1 REDWING .
Afternoon visit to the Tidal Road - 4 REDSHANK , 2 GREENSHANK ,
3 COMMON SANDPIPER , 1 LITTLE GREBE . Viewed South Efford Marsh from top of Rock Hill - 100 + LAPWING , 175 WIGEON , 150 +TEAL , 2 MISTLE THRUSH , 60 + LINNET
SUN 21 JAN
A wet morning with low cloud and misty conditions .
At 08.00 on T'stone Marsh - 3CATTLE EGRET , 2 HERON , 8 SNIPE ,
10 TEAL ,22 MALLARD .
Bird of the month found by Terry Goddard on Beesands Ley late Sat afternoon - A male RING NECKED DUCK - showed well this morning amongst 70+ TUFTED DUCK , also 5M POCHARD , 1M GADWALL,
1 LITTLE GREBE .
PHOTOS OF THE MALE RING NECKED DUCK AT BEESANDS LEY 21 JAN
SAT 20 JAN
Another morning with showers .AT 08.10 on T'stone Marsh a flock of 7 CATTLE EGRET - flew off by 08.30 towards South Huish Marsh .
Also in my garden a FIRECREST , 2 REED BUNTING , with a Raven over .
Made my annual visit to Gara Bridge , found 3 DIPPER , 8 SISKIN , 2 NUTHATCH , 1 MARSH TIT .
Late afternoon on Stover C Park lake - 6m 21 f GOOSANDER , 1M
POCHARD , on the walkway a TREE CREEPER .
late news from Andy Smith - the SPOONBILL flew into South Huish Marsh late afternoon
FRI 19 JAN
A morning of sunny periods and showers with a WNW F6-8 wind .
A 90 min sea watch from 09.20 produced - 60 GANNET , 40 AUKS
( flying E the few which were identified were RAZORBILL )
21 KITTIWAKE , 2 FULMAR , 1 GREAT N DIVER -E@ 09.40 ,
1BLACK T DIVER -On sea then E @10.40. 2 SANDERLING (110 ) FLUSHED FROM THE BEACH
On South Huish Marsh- 70 Wigeon , 10 TEAL ,2 SHELDUCK, 1 L. GREBE , 5 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 LAPWING ..
Along the Tidal Rd - 3 GREENSHANK , 4 REDSHANK , 3 COMMON SANDPIPER, GREY WAGTAIL , NUTHATCH , JAY , GREAT SP WOODY ,
TREE CREEPER ( 111 ) calling , whilst on South Efford Marsh Eric had - 200 WIGEON , 120 TEAL ,
2 WATER PIPIT , 1 GREEN SANDPIPER.
THURS 18 JAN
Showery morning , F6W wind .Another surprise this morning at 08.00 on Thurlestone Marsh - 2CATTLE EGRET , 3 LITTLE EGRET ,
22 MALLARD , 5 TEAL .Around the garden-1m BLACKCAP , 1 GREAT SP WOODY , 1 KESTREL .
BIRDS on South Huish Marsh disturbed by a party of 6 shooters firing at the CANADA GOOSE flock in nearby fields( at least 1 dead corpse ) , all the duck and gulls took flight ,only a small number returned .Before the mass departure - 75 WIGEON , THE HYBRID , 40 TEAL , 5 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 LAPWING, 1 SNIPE , 2 WATER PIPIT. At 12.15 a disturbed flock of 11 EGRETS flew in - 10 CATTLE & 1LITTLE .
At Aveton Gifford Eric reports - 2 FIRECREST , 1M 1F BLACKCAP ,
FLOCK OF 32 LONG T TIT , 1 KINGFISHER ( 109 )
Seawatching from his house James logged 2RED T DIVER ,
1 FULMAR AND A FLOCK OF KITTIWAKE
Thurs 18 Jan - THURLESTONE MARSH 08.00
WED 17 JAN
After a cloudy start , some sunny periods with a F7/8 WNW wind .
On Thurlestone Marsh at 08.00 in addition to the spoonbill were -
2 HERON , 3 LITTLE EGRET , 12 MALLARD , 9 TEAL . Around the garden - 2 REED BUNTING , 1M CIRL BUNTING , 1M BLACKCAP
On South Huish Marsh - 75 WIGEON , THE Hybrid AMERICAN Wigeon/WIGEON, 35 TEAL , S1 SHELDUCK , 5 BLACK T GODWIT ,
3 SNIPE , 1 LAPWING , 1 WATER PIPIT , 1 GREY WAGTAIL ,
SPARROWHAWK ( over )
On the Marsh and nearby field 8 CATTLE EGRET & 8 LITTLE EGRET
A short sea watch only produced 3 GANNET , 2 KITTIWAKE and the first FULMAR ( 108 ) of the year .
LOOK WHAT WAS OUTSIDE MY BEDROOM WINDOW AT 08.00
TUES 16 JAN
Not a day for trying to use a scope - F8+ WNW wind, heavy showers .
On the small pool on Thurlestone Marsh @08.15 - 2LITTLE EGRET ,
10 MALLARD , 4 TEAL , on my feeders 2 REED BUNTING .
Offshore 23 GANNET flew W in 30 mins , whilst on South Huish Marsh - 75 WIGEON , 10 TEAL , 5 BLACK T GODWIT , 5 LAPWING , SPARROWHAWK ( flew over )
Along the tidal road at Averton Gifford - 3 REDSHANK , 2 GREENSHANK , 4 COMMON SANDPIPER , COAL TIT , NUTHATCH , JAY
At HuxtonCross 150+FILDFARE , along the lanes a GREEN WOODY
( 107 ) flew over
Nick had the SPOONBILL late afternoon on South Huish Marsh - by the time I arrived it had departed - still trying to catch up with it this year
MON 15 JAN
A MORNING OF HEAVY SHOWERS WITH A F8 W WIND - not a day for birding .
On South Huish Marsh - 35 WIGEON , THE HYBRID AMERICAN WIGEON / WIGEON , 30 + TEAL , 8 BLACK T GODWIT , 5 LAPWING , 6 SNIPE , 32 OYSTERCATCHER . A PEREGRINE FLEW THROUGH , CATTLE AND LITTLE EGRET STILL IN THE FIELD .
Images taken today of MARSH TIT , GOOSANDER , PINTAIL
A nice year garden tick , on the scrape behind my garden at 11.15
30 DEC , also 2 HERON &8MALLARD
A FITTING FESTIVE BIRD - A PARTRIDGE IN A -------
THESE WERE IN A FIELD AT HUXTON CROSS THIS MORNING
PAIR OF CIRL BUNTING ON MY FEEDERS TODAY - TAKEN FROM INSIDE OUR LOUNGE
Photos of the AMERICAN WIGEON / WIGEON AT South Huish Marsh 14 DEC
Record shots of the 4 CATTLE EGRET AT South Huish Marsh 13 Dec
Photos of -BLUE ROCK THRUSH , SPANISH SPARROW , LAUGHING DOVE , FERRUGINOUS DUCK , MARSH HARRIER , HOODED CROW , BLACK NECKED GREBE
LAPWING BEEN ON HIS OWN SINCE EARLY NOV AT SOUTH HUISH MARSH 27 NOV
RECORD SHOTS OF SANDERLING on the rocks 21 NOV 2017
SNIPE & LAPWING at SOUTH HUISH MARSH 10 NOV 2017
CATTLE EGRET AND WHEATEAR around South Huish Marsh Oct 2017
SPOONBILL- South Huish Marsh 27 Sept 2017
CURLEW SANDPIPER, BAR TAILED GODWIT, LITTLE STINT All on South Huish Marsh 26 Sept 2017
Photos taken 18 Sept 2017 at South Efford Marsh of
BAR T GODWIT, REDSHANK, GREENSHANK , CATTLE EGRET
Photos from my new P900 camera - GREY PHALAROPE at South Milton Sands and on South Huish Marsh on 12 Sept 2017
YELLOW WAGTAILS AT SOUTH HUISH MARSH 26 Aug 2017
Record shots of BLACK SWAN ( lots of glare ) and LITTLE EGRET Avon Estuary 18 Aug 2017
Have retained a lot of photos from the last 3 years at the at the bottom of this page
Photo of PEC SANDPIPER taken by Alan Doidge Sept 2016
Some more of the fab photos from Alan Doidge of the bird of the year for Thurlestone- they are superb
A nice record shot from James K of a BRAMBLING at Huxton Cross on 24 January 2017
2 more photos from Alan D of a WHITE FRONTED GOOSE and a 1w
ICELAND GULL taken at the end of Feb at South Huish Marsh
2 more photos of the GLAUCOUS GULL taken by Alan D at South Huish Marsh 3 APRIL 2017
Photos of the SPOONBILL and CATTLE EGRET from James K and SPOONBILL by Steve Hopper at South Huish Marsh on 5 April
2 photos of CATTLE EGRETS at South Efford Marsh 13 July 2017
taken by Alan Doidge
CATTLE EGRET - BREEDING IN DEVON ?
They have been on the patch all year , numbers dropped off with 2 regularly seen , sometimes 3 . Birds have been watched flying over T'stone Marsh to/from Bantham / Avon Est.
Visits to the LITTLE EGRET colony on the Avon Est found birds on site but no nest was located .
On 13 JULY Eric found a juv along with 2 adults on SOUTH EFFORD MARSH - hopefuuly I will be able to post photos fron Alan Doidge later.
This morning I had 2 adults flying over T'stone Marh at 07.45 towards Bantham , at 07.55 1 returned and landed on the back of a bullock , it was then joined by another . A visit to South Huish Marsh this morning 2 adults were feeding amongst the Highland Cattle
I am not aware of any other sites near us reporting them . Whilst we cannot provide conclusive evidence to prove they bred locally it must go down as probable
Nice shot of a Scandinavian Rock Pipit on South Milton beach 20 March 2017
Record shot of the GARGANEY on South Huish Marsh on 16 March
by Alan Doidge
A nice close up of the bill of the WHITE FRONTED GOOSE at South Huish Marsh taken by James K
Whist waiting for auditions for the remake of Last of the Summer Wine our photographic agent Steph Murphy took this publicity shot at Broadsands this morning of Eric Tony and myself
Photos of the DESERT WHEATEAR 13 Nov 2016 from Alan Doidge
YELLOW BROWED WARBLER at South Milton Ley 19 Oct
PURPLE HERON - Some more photos from Alan Doidge
PURPLE HERONS at South Huish Marsh
2 photos from Alan Doidge taken 24 April 2016
Some stunning photos of SQUACCO HERON by Alan Doidge
Consensus of opinion is there is at least 2 birds in the South Hams area . Confirmed by simultaneous sights last night of birds at Beesands Ley and at Prawle Point . Still one bird on the Scillies. Until comparison of photos can be made the jury will have to be out on whether the South Milton bird on Wed was another one !
WILLOW WARBLER and ACREDULA WARBLER
Not often in Devon that an opportunity arises to compare these 2 species .
ACREDULA is a sub specie of WILLOW breeding mostly in Scandanavia usually above 63o North , studies have confirmed that they winter in different habitats in Africa
Have received these photos from Roger and Helen of a bird ringed on the 11 August at South Milton Ley, whilst I missed this, I was fortunate to see one that Bob ringed a few years ago . You really do need to see them in the hand to appreciate them.