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.
Have posted an Annual Review for 2016 which can be accessed by clicking the link or via the appropriate heading in the Menu above
The JULY review has been posted and I have transferred the JULY sightings to the archive 2017 section .
MON 21 AUG
Initially a cloudy morning ,only a light breeze but with poor offshore viz .
At 08.20 on Leasfoot Beach - 30 RINGED PLOVER, 5 DUNLIN,
1 WHIMBREL. Off Warren Pt - 3 BALEARIC SHEARWATER ( flew W @ 08.55 ) a few GANNET, drifting with the tide a raft of
30+ AUKS - Mostly GUILLEMOT with a few RAZORBILL, on the headland 2 WHITETHROAT, 1 WHEATAER , 4 STONECHAT
On South Huish Marsh at 10.15 - 9 BLACK T GODWIT, 12 DUNLIN, 16 RINGED PLOVER, 1 SANDERLING , 2 RAVEN, 1 PEREGRINE ,
5 CHIFFY , 2 YELLOW WAGTAIL flew through
SUN 20 AUG
Very untypical summer day !- Cloudy with rain setting in from 09.45 .
First an update on the BLACK SWANS on the Avon Estuary tidal road . I rec'd an email from Matt Silk who was seawatching off the Lizard Point on Thursday when he had 4 Black Swan flying east . Were these the 4 that were recorded along the south coast last autumn , did show up at Slapton , thought to have been from Holland .
this morning very quiet - on South Huish Marshat 08.50-
3 BLACK T GODWIT , 4 DUNLIN, 2 RINGED PLOVER , 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 1 SAND MARTIN , 1 TEAL, , 6 CHIFFY , 1 WILLOW WARBLER .
OFFSHORE 25 GANNET AND 4 BALEARIC SHEARWATER SAT ON THE SEA
Evening update - With heavy rain and high tide decided to return to South Huish Marsh - joined by Alan & Terry , waders counts were -
200+ DUNLIN, 70+RINGED PLOVER , 1 GREEN SANDPIPER AND 8 BLACK T GODWIT .
NEAR Horswell House a very wet looking SPOTTED FLY
Record shots of BLACK SWAN ( lots of glare ) and LITTLE EGRET Avon Estuary 18 Aug 2017
FRI 18 AUG
A sunny morning with an increasing F5/6 W wind .
At 08.20 only 3 DUNLIN and a BLACK T GODWIT on South Huish Marsh , in the copse 6 CHIFFY and 3 WILLOW WARBLER .
Offshore around 20 GANNET .
On Leasfoot Beach 1 SANDERLING , 1WHIMBREL, 1COMMON SANDPIPER .
Went over to the tidal,road on the Avon Estuary - 6 COMMON SANDPIPER and asleep amongst the MUTE SWAN 4 BLACK SWAN
(191) a patch tick , record shot to follow .
THURS 17 AUG
Initially a cloudy early morning with suuny spells later , a F5 SW wind
On South Huish Marsh low count of waders - between 09.00-12.15 only 14 DUNLIN, 4 RINGED PLOVER, , 1 WHEATEAR, 2 SWIFT,
2 WHITE WAGTAIL, 5 CHIFFY , 2 WILLOW WARBLER.
On the rocks 4 TURNSTONE, 1 RINGED PLOVER, 1 1st s MED GULL , 12 OYSTERCATCHER,
Offshore - 60 GANNET, 2 COMMON TERN, 2 KITTIWAKE,
1 GUILLEMOT, 16 MANX SHEARWATER.
Alan Pomroy sent me details of an interesting retrap of a REED WARBLER - originally ringed as a bird of the year at South Milton Ley on 7 AUG 2010, retrapped at the same site on 17 July 2017 . Now 7 years old it has completed 7 return trips to winter quarters probably south of the Sahara . A remarkable bird
WED 16 AUG
An overcast morning , sunny periods later and an increasing S F4 wind .
A marauding PEREGRINE is spooking the waders - at 08.10 only 12 DUNLIN ,later increased to 120 along with 20 RINGED PLOVER,
1 BLACK T GODWIT ,at 09.30 a GREENSHANK flew onto the marsh only staying a few minutes , at the same time a WOOD SANDPIPER showed briefly , at 10.05 a GREEN SANDPIPER flew in . , both of these flew off by 10.25 again due to the PEREGRINE .
Offshore a few MANX SHEARWATER, 1 BALEARIC flew east at 09.00 , 50 + GANNET, 1 FULMAR.
In the copse 7 CHIFFY
Alan ringing at South Milton Ley caught 42 birds inc-
4 BLACKCAP, 3 BULLFINCH, 4 CHIFFY, 1 SEDGE WARBLER,
9 WILLOW WARBLER and 4 TREE PIPIT . Also on site 3 GREY WAGTAIL and a SPARROWHAWK
At South efford Marsh Eric reports - 2 GREENSHANK, 4 GREEN SANDPIPER, 4 COMMON SANDPIPER and 30 CURLEW
TUES 15 AUG
A sunny morning with clear skies and a light W breeze
At 08.05 off Warren Pt / Yarmer Beach - 10 RINGED PLOVER,
1 WHIMBREL, 1 TURNSTONE ( being attacked by a PEREGRINE )
20 KITTIWAKE - west, 25+ MANX SHEARWATER, 10 GANNET .
On South Huish Marsh - 225 DUNLIN ( record count for the site )
6 RINGED PLOVER, 7 BLACK T GODWIT, 4 SNIPE, 4 LITTLE EGRET, 2 WHEATEAR, . In the copse 4 CHIFFY and a report of a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER.
Note the reduction over the last few days in RINGED PLOVER. There is a report of 5 CATTLE EGRET flying over Exminster Marshes at 06.25 this morning - almsot certainly the birds we had yesterday- could these be new arrivals from France ?
MON 14 AUG
A cloudy morning with some light rain , very light breeze
At 08.50 the waders on South Huish Marsh were-
200+ DUNLIN, 32 RINGED PLOVER, 7 BLACK T GODWIT , at 10.40 managed to find the WOOD SANDPIPER which gave very good views on the front pool, earlier Paul B had a GREEN SANDPIPER . At 09.45 there were 5 CATTLE EGRET on the back pool - no sign of any breeding plumage but with orange bills , got spooked by a cow and flew off into a nearby field with cattle in .First sighting for over a week
Offshore 225 + MANX SHEARWATER flew east ,also 9 COMMON SCOTER , only 10 GANNET
James K is doing some seawatching from Bolt Tail yesterday he had a STORM PETREL fly across the at about the same time i was awtching 3 from Warren Pt . This morning he had another along with 350+ Manx and 6 BALEARIC SHEARWATER
Yesterday Alan P was ringing at South Milton Ley -72 birds inc -
3 TREE PIPIT, 1 GROPPA, 3 CHIFFY, 9 REED WARBLER, 13 SEDGE WARBLER, 23 WILLOW WARBLER, 4 WHITETHROAT and a KINGFISHER
One of the CHIFFY was a retrap first ringed on 13 Aug 2016 not seen again ( in a net ) until the same date in 2017 - Spooky !
SUN 13 AUG
Early morning start at -7.00 to count waders at South Huish Marsh, yesterday evening Paul B had a total of 211 DUNLIN -Arecord for the site.Today -180 DUNLIN., 25 RINGED PLOVER
5 BLACK T GODWIT another 2 flew in later and a GREEN SANDPIPER. Just been informed of a WOOD SANDPIPER which James found late morning
ON Yarmer Beachat 08.00- 26 DUNLIN, 25 RINGED PLOVER,
2 SANDERLING, 2 TURNSTONE , 1 WHEATEAR.
On Leasefoot Beach -4 RINGED PLOVER , 1 SANDERLING, 1 DUNLIN , 1 WHIMBREL
Offshore from Warren Pt a flock of 250 + MANX SHEARWATER,
3 STORM PETREL watched ''dancing" over the sea behind a day trawlerFY215, at 08.30a single CORY'S SHEARWATERFLEWWEST
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports-8 DUNLIN, 9 RINGED PLOVER, 3 GREENSHANK , 1 REDSHANK , 4 COMMON SANDPIPER, 30 CURLEW ,
A. HOBBY over North Marsh
SAT 12 AUG
Another good day for waders around the patch, mostly cloudy morning with a F4/5 W wind
Whilst I was counting the waders on Yarmer Beach , Terry and James were at South Huish Marsh.
Yarmer Beach - 60 RINGED PLOVER, 77 DUNLIN, 11 SANDERLING , 4 TURNSTONE, 1 REDSHANK, 1 WHIMBREL, 1 COMMON SANDPIPER , 40 OYSTERCATCHER.
On South Huish Marsh - 181 DUNLIN, 41 RINGED PLOVER,
1 SANDERLING , 5 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 CURLEW,
10 CANADA GOOSE ( first for a couple of months here ).
1 PEREGRINE, 1 SPARROWHAWK
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports - 8 DUNLIN, 9 RINGED PLOVER, 3 GREENSHANK, 1 REDSHANK, 32 CURLEW , 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 4 COMMON SANDPIPER, 1 LITTLE GREBE ( on river ) and a nice GROPPA.
12 species of Wader and some impressive totals of ,
110 RINGED PLOVER, 259 DUNLIN
FRI 11 AUG
A cloudy morning with rain setting in from 10.30, a brisk F 4/5 W wind
Numbers of waders on South Huish Marsh continue to increase - today highest totals for some years - at 08.00 - 11.30
180 DUNLIN, 41 RINGED PLOVER, 1 SANDERLING, 1 BLACK T GODWIT . At 08.20 3 GREENSHANK flew in , they were joined by a 4th at 09.25 , they all flew off west at 09.50 ( this could be a site record )
at 09.15 a small flock of 8 MEADOW PIPIT flew in together with a WOODLARK (190 ) good views of it feeding on the scrub area .
At South Efford Marsh Dave P had 3 GREEN SANDPIPER, on North Marsh, before they were disturbed by paddle boarders working their way up river
THURS 10 AUG
Nothing from today , info rec'd from other watchers - on Warren Pt 2 WHEATEAR, at South Milton Ley - 127 DUNLIN, 14 RINGED PLOVER, 5 BLACK T GODWIT .
Alan P ringing at South Milton Ley caught -4 BLACKCAP, 6 CHIFFY, 10 REED WARBLER, 18 SEDGE WARBLER, 23 WILLOW WARBLER
WED 9 AUG
A cloudy morning , no rain but a cool NW F 4/5 wind
2 visits to South Huish Marsh - at 08.45 on the beach 2 CURLEW SANDPIPER- soon moved off by dog walkers .On the marsh -
68 DUNLIN, 25 RINGED PLOVER, 8 BLACK T GODWIT ,
3 SAND MARTIN, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 4 LITTLE EGRET .
Evening visit at 17.15 - 72 DUNLIN, 1 RINGED PLOVER,
1 BLACK T GODWIT and a WHITETHROAT , everything spooked by a HOBBY at 17.25
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports 4 COMMON SANDPIPER, 3 GREENSHANK, 1 GREEN SANPIPER, 1 WHIMBREL
TUES 8 AUG
A surprisingly sunny morning with no rain , aF3/4 W wind
Started with an hours Garden Watch at 07.00-32 species inc -
3 COMMON SCOTER flew west , also picked up 20 GANNET and
3 MANX SHEARWATER , 60 + SWALLOW, BULLFINCH,
CIRL BUNTING ,GREEN WOODY, 2 BLACKCAP, 4 CHIFFY, LINNET flock reached 160+, a RED L PARTRIDGE walked through the garden
Offshore 40+ GANNET, 2 MANX SHEARWATER.
On South Huish Marsh a WOOD SANDPIPER ( 189 ) flew over calling left going towards the Avon Est at 10.30, ,
also - 12 DUNLIN, 6 RINGED PLOVER, 3 BLACK T GODWIT,
1 juv GREY WAGTAIL , 1 WHITETHROAT and 2 REED WARBLER
Evening update -At 17.30 waders on South Huish marsh were-
12 RINGED PLOVER , 73 DUNLIN , 4 BLACK T GODWIT at 17.50 a PEREGRINE flew through putting everything up , some DUNLIN and RINGED PLOVERreturned later
MON 7 AUG
A cloudy morning with a light shower, F3/4 W wind
Offshore watched 08.00-09.15
280 GANNET, 3 KITTIWAKE, 20 MANX SHEARWATER , 1 SOOTY SHEARWATER ( west @08.15 ), on the beach 5 SANDERLING,
2 RINGED PLOVER
On South Huish Marsh - 21 DUNLIN, 4 BLACK T GODWIT,
3juv YELLOW L GULL.20 SWALLOW
In an hour from 14.35 a noticeable passage of Hirundines and Swift - 60 HOUSE MARTIN , 2 SAND MARTIN , 180 SWALLOW and 115 SWIFT
On South Efford Marsh - Dave P had 3 GREEN SANDPIPER on North Marsh , Roger B had 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 COMMON SANDPIPER,
SUN 6 AUG
A sunny day with a F3/4 W wind
At South Huish marsh early - 15 DUNLIN, 9 BLACK T GODWIT until a PEREGRINE flew through at 09.10 , everything flew off , only 1 BLACK T GODWITand 2 DUNLIN returned . 1 CATTLE EGRET and a F SHOVELER on site . In the copse 1 GREAT SP WOODY, 4 CHIFFY , 2 WILLOW WARBLER
Ringing at South Milton Ley Alan P has - 2 CHIFFY, 3 WILLOW WARBLER, 12 SEDGE WARBLER, 6 REED WARBLER , and a KINGFISHER
Around my garden - 3 BLACKCAP, 2 WILLOW WARBLER, 3 CHIFFY, 1 GARDEN WARBLER , 8 SWIFT ( over )
SAT 5 AUG
A sunny morning with some high cloud.
An hours Garden watch from 07.30 produced 34 species -
3 BLACKCAP, 2 CHIFFY, 2 WILLOW WARBLER, 22 WHITETHROAT, 1 SEDGE WARBLER, 1f REED BUNTING , 2 CIRL BUNTING .,
2 GREAT SP WOODY, 3 SWIFT, also 2 young Stoat playing .
Decided to do a Wader watch at the car park at South Huish Marsh - watched from 10.00-12.30 and 13.45 - 15.45 . Numbers gradually built up to - 50 DUNLIN, 11 RINGED PLOVER, 5 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 COMMON SANDPIPER, also 2 WHEATEAR ( first returning birds )
1f SHOVELER, 1 SAND MARTIN, 1juv YELLOW L GULL
At South Efford Marsh - Dave P had 4 GREEN SANDPIPER ( on North Marsh ) whilst on South Efford Marsh Eric had -
2 GREENSHANK, 2 COMMON SANDPIPER, 27 CURLEW
FRI 4 AUG
Late post as Eric and I went over to Bowling Green marsh at Topsham to see the ad WHITE WINGED BLACK TERN (starting to moult ). very good views of this Devon rarity, also 2 WOOD SANDPIPER and a GREEN SANDPIPER
Earlier in the morningon South Huish Marsh 13 DUNLIN , 24 later in the afternoon, 6 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 1 REDSHANK , 1 GREENSHANK25 RINGED PLOVER , 1ad CATTLE EGRET, 1juv YELLW L GULL
THURS 3 AUG
An overcast morning with a F7 SW wind with rough seas . An early start seawatch at 07.20 only produced -
80 GANNET, 21 MANX SHEARWATER , 1 BALEARIC SHEARWATER, 2 SANDWICH TERN, 2 KITTIWAKE , 3 FULMAR.
Report of 3 WHIMBREL on the beach , also 3 RINGED PLOVER .
South Huish Marsh now full of water , no mud which meant no waders , late afternonn Dave Pakes had 4 DUNLIN ,. The ad CATTLE EGRET still there .
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports 4 RINGED PLOVER, 3 CURLEW , 25 SWIFT and a juv / F eclipse SHOVELER
WED 2 AUG
A stormy and very wet day
Went over to Beesands with Eric and joined by Terry, found some shelter from the driving rain , F 7/8 S/SSW wind , the expected seabird passage did not materialise , poor offshore viz - logged - 95 GANNET, 50 MANX SHEARWATER, 7 KITTIWAKE , 3 FULMAR,
2 COMMON TERN .
Arrived at South Huish Marsh at 12.15 , waders were- 30 DUNLIN, 2 RINGED PLOVER and a nice ad CURLEW SANDPIPER ( earliest autumn patch record . )
Following a call from Dave Pakes went back over at 15.45 to find a COMMON SANDPIPER , Dave also had a SNIPE .
At 16.35 another flock of waders flew in - 23 RINGED PLOVER and 3 sp TURNSTONE. Also a YELLOW WAGTAIL
TUES 1 AUG
Another sunny morning with a brisk F4/5 SW wind .
An early start at 06.15 from my garden certainly paid off - watched for 1 hour with 37 species recorded inc a number of maritime birds picked up through the scope -
50 MANX SHEARWATER flew west ( a garden tick ) 80 + GANNET , at 06.40 a lp ARCTIC SKUA attacking a KITTIWAKE, also an ad CATTLE EGRET , 2 BLACKCAP, 1 WILLOW WARBLER , 4 CHIFFY ,
flock of 70 + LINNET, 2 CIRL BUNTING , 2 BULLFINCH,
GREEN WOODY, 25 SWIFT , 1 SPARROWHAWK .
On South Huish Marsh Dave Pakes at 07.00 had the LITTLE STINT before it flew off , later in the morning the wader count was -
19 DUNLIN, 7 RINGED PLOVER, 2 SANDERLING ,
1 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 juv / eclipse SHOVELER. 1ad CATTLE EGRET
In the copse / gardens- 1 WHITETHROAT, 5 CHIFFY,
2 WILLOW WARBLER.
In the Bay - a MED GULL, 1m COMMON SCOTER
Alan P had the busiest morning ringing so far with 110 birds ringed inc - 1 BLACKCAP, 1 CHAFFINCH, 18 REED WARBLER ,
83 SEDGE WARBLER, 2 WILLOW WARBLER , also on site a SPARROWHAWK , GREEN WOODY.
Interesting weather system arriver overnight S winds up to F 8 and heavy rain by morning , hopefully a good seawatch beckons
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 - BARNACLE GOOSE at South Efford Marsh and a CATTLE EGRET in a field near Horswell House taken last weekend
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
Record shot of the PURPLE HERON on South Huish Marsh on 11 May 2017 - taken by James K
2 photos of CATTLE EGRETS at South Efford Marsh 13 July 2017
taken by Alan Doidge
MON 31 JULY
A sunny morning with a brisk F5 W wind
A 40 min Garden Watch from 07.30 produced 26 species inc. -
2 CHIFFY, 4 BLACKCAP, 1 WHITETHROAT, 2 PIED WAG, 1 GREAT SP WOODY, at 16.00 a SWIFT over
Offshore interest a juv YELLOW L GULL, 8 KITTIWAKE ,
1m COMMON SCOTER
On South Huish Marsh more mud produced more waders -
1 LITTLE STINT ( 3rd day ), 2 SANDERLING, 7 RINGED PLOVER,
19 DUNLIN,1ad CATTLE EGRET, 3 LITTLE EGRET, 1 YELLOW WAG
In the copse - 5 CHIFFY, 2 WILLOW WARBLER, 1 WHITETHROAT, 2 STONECHAT
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports - 3 REDSHANK, 2 GREENSHANK, 2 DUNLIN, 3 COMMON SANDPIPER and a F WIGEON
SUN 30 JULY
A sunny morning with a F5 SW wind
At 17.30 last night Alan had 32 DUNLIN on the Marsh , this morning there were 15 together with - 1 LITTLE STINT,
4 RINGED PLOVER, 8 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 1 WHIMBREL,
1ad CATTLE EGRET, 1 YELLOW WAGTAIL
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports - 2 GREENSHANK , 1 DUNLIN
SAT 29 JULY
An overcast morning with rain arriving by 09.00, light breeze .
Arrived at South Huish Marsh at 07.30 to check the mud areas for waders, my first July LITTLE STINT ( 188 )in amongst 3 DUNLIN , later they increased to 12, also 1 SANDERLING, 1 RINGED PLOVER and 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 1 YELLOW WAGTAILand an adult CATTLE EGRET ( still in breeding plumage ), REED WARBLER
on the rocks 3 WHIMBREL . Offshore afeeding flock of 25 + GANNET and 20 MANX SHEARWATER.
On South Efford Marsh Eric reports - 4 GREENSHANK, 3 REDSHANK
4 COMMON SANDPIPER, KINGFISHER
On North Marsh 2 GREEN SANDPIPER
Before the heavy rain Alan P was ringing at South Milton Ley - 2 BLACKCAP, 2 BULLFINCH, 1 CHIFFY, 7 REED WARBLER, 29 SEDGE WARBLER, 4 WILLOW WARBLER
FRI 28 JULY
Woke up to a cloudy morning with a strong F 6 SW wind and prospect of rain which started around 10.30 . Decided to go straight down to the car park , very good passage for 2hours from 08.00, when the GANNET 200 are moving usually so are others . 340 MANX SHEARWATER, 2 SOOTY SHEARWATER ( 1e @09.40 ,
1 landed on sea @ 10.00 ) 65 KITTIWAKE -E , 1ad MED GULL ,
1 SANDWICH TERN, 4 COMMIC TERN, 1 m COMMON SCOTER ( on sea ) 2 POMARINE SKUA ( chasing Kittiwakes @ 08.15 )
4 ARCTIC SKUA ( 3 together @ 08.30 , 1 E 08.35 )
After Nick dropped the drain level at SOUTH HUISH MARSH a good area of mud now which should prove attractive to waders -
9 DUNLIN flew in around 11.00 fed for 15mins then flew off south. , also 5 SWIFT , 2 SAND MARTIN , 30 HOUSE MARTIN , 3 LITTLE EGRET, 1 SPARROWHAWK
Went back down to South Huish Marsh at 16.30 with the wind increasing to F7/8 poor offshore viz , very rough seas with rain from 17.30 . On the marsh another 5 DUNLIN , 3 RINGED PLOVER, 1 GREENSHANK.
In 1.5 hours seawatching had the best July movement in the last 12 years, birds pouring through - estimated totals -
GANNET 390 , 680 MANX SHEARWATER, 21 BALEARIC SHEARWATER, 10 SOOTY SHEARWATER , 3 CORY'S SHEARWATER , 10 KITTIWAKE , 3 dp ARCTIC SKUA
The patch day totals are one of the best on record .
Pity the wind is going to calm down overnight .
THURS 27 JULY
Initially a cloudy morning with a F5/6 WSW wind .
An hours seawatch from the carpark from 08.45 produced -
145 GANNET, 210 MANX SHEARWATER, 1ad MED GULL,
4 KITTIWAKE , 1 LITTLE GULL ( flew west at 09.25 )
1 m COMMON SCOTER on the sea also 3 flew west
On South Huish Marsh - 4 LITTLE EGRET, 1 YELLOW WAGTAIL
Over at South Efford Marsh Eric had 2 juv CATTLE EGRET, ,
1 GREENSHANK , a GREEN SANDPIPER on north marsh
WED 26 JULY
With a forecast of strong winds and rain Eric and I decided to pay a visit to Start Point , weather conditions did not fit the forecast, thick fog until 10.00 , heavy rain and sea fog from 11.45 .
Offshore passage quite good - 100 GANNET, 135 MANX SHEARWATER , 1 BALEARIC SHEARWATER, 1 SANDWICH TERN ,
1 LITTLE TERN being harassed by 2 dp ARCTIC SKUA ,
5 KITTIWAKE 2 FULMAR 15 COMMON SCOTER ., 1 REDSHANK flew over calling .
Most interesting bird of the morning was a juv PIED FLYCATCHER
in the garden area along with 5 WILLOW WARBLER , 3 CHIFFY and 2 WHITETHROAT
At South Efford Marsh Dave P had 2 juv CATTLE EGRET( he had 4juv on Monday ) and a GREENSHANK
Yesterday Alan P ringing at South Miton Ley caught 44 new birds inc - 4 BLACKCAP, 6 CHIFFY, 1 GARDEN WARBLER, 10 REED WARBLER, 7 SEDGE WARBLER, 12 WILLOW WARBLER
TUES 25 JULY
Another sunny morning with a light WNW breeze.
Offshore from Warren Pt - 8 GANNET, 1 SANDWICH TERN ,
1 GUILLEMOT , 4 COMMON SCOTER, 1 ad MED GULL, 2 MUTE SWAN flew west, raft of 50+ MANX SHEARWATER on the sea ,
2 WHIMBREL with 15 OYSTERCATCHER on the rocks .
At South Huish Marsh an ad COMMON GULL, 4 LITTLE EGRET .
In the copse 4 WILLOW WARBLER , 3 CHIFFY , 2 STONECHAT in the field , 2 RINGED PLOVER flew through.
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports 2 juv CATTLE EGRET,
1 WHIMBREL, 1 GREENSHANK.
In an hour from 16.15 Hirundine passage over my garden -
125 + SWIFT , 115 SWALLOW, 30 HOUSE MARTIN.
A SPARROWHAWK over and a WILLOW WARBLER in the bushes
MON 24 JULY
A fine sunny and warm day with a brisk F4 NW wind
An hours Garden watch produced 32 species with a good range of Warblers - 5 BLACKCAP, 6 CHIFFY, 1juv WILLOW WARBLER, WHITETHROAT, REED WARBLER , also 1m REED BUNTING ,
2 CIRL BUNTING, 17 SWIFT, 10 SWALLOW , GREAT SP WOODY,
5 CHAFFINCH inc juv's, SPARROWHAWK , BUZZARD .
The quietest morning this year - offshore a feeding flock of 75 + GANNET and a FULMAR
Nothing on South Huish Marsh- looks as though the CATTLE EGRET have moved to South Efford Marsh
SUN 23 JULY
A sunny morning with a F3/4 WNW wind .
Offshore - 7 GANNET, 10 MANX SHEARWATER, 3 WHIMBREL flew over calling .
On South Huish Marsh - 1 YELLOW WAGTAIL, 3 m WIGEON - first July record apart from last year when a male over summered . At last evidence of breeding MOORHEN with a pair feeding 2 juv .
At South Efford Marsh Eric and Dave P had 2juv CATTLE EGRET, 3juv YELLOW WAGTAIL and 27 CURLEW
Alan P caught 46 new birds this morning, including -
2 BLACKBIRD , 7 BLACKCAP, 5 CHIFFY, 8 REED WARBLER,
9 SEDGE WARBLER, 7 WILLOW WARBLER , 1 REED BUNTING .
Also on site a SPARROWHAWK and a GREEN WOODY
FRI 21 JULY
After a stormy night started an expectant seawatch at 07.45 from Bob's carpark - rain early , SSE wind f6-8 poor viz , very rough seas .
Results were poor particularly compared with some of the main headland spots of Berry Head and Start Pt . Over 4hours totals were - 185 GANNET, 55 MANX SHEARWATER, 2 BALEARIC SHEARWATER, 2 FULMAR, 1 BONXIE. 2 large SHEAWATERs - 1 CORY'S (186 ) flew east at 10.25 , 1 probable GREAT ( 187 ) also east at 10.50 ( landed on the sea )
Returned for another 1.5 hours at 16.00 just as the rain stopped and the horizon cleared, almost no breeze- only 50 GANNET and
4 MANX SHEATWATER
THURS 20 JULY
A sunny morning with a brisk W F4/5 wind .
At 07.50 2 juv CATTLE EGRET flew over T'stone Marsh towards South Huish Marsh followed at 08.05 by the sub adult. At 09.30 they were on this Marsh along with 2 LITTLE EGRET and 3 HERON, 2 REED WARBLER and a WHITETHROAT
Offshore - 27 GANNET, 2 KITTIWAKE , 1 FULMAR , 1 juv YELLOW L GULL , 2 SANDWICH TERN . On the rocks 15 OYSTERCATCHER.
Some interesting weather for Friday .
WED 19 JULY
A cloudy morning with coastal mist and almost constant drizzle
Yesterday evening at 19.15 3 CATTLE EGRETS flew onto T'stone Marsh and landed in a dead tree 150 yards from my garden . Surprisingly they were still there at 07.15 this morning before flying off towards South Huish marsh
On South Huish marsh 5 BLACK TAILED GODWIT until 10.30 when
3 RINGED PLOVER and 2 DUNLIN flew south calling and followed them . A CURLEW also flew over . The 3 CATTLE EGRET still there - the sub adult flew off at 10.45 towards Bantham . 12 SWIFT flew south.
On the rocks 1ad MED GULL and a report of 5 SANDERLING on the beach .
TUES 18 JULY
A morning that started with sunshine , cloud gathered and by 12.00 Thunderstorms . A strong F 6/7 E wind .
First an update on the breeding of CATTLE EGRET - Last night Eric and Rod Bone visited the site on the Avon where we suspected the breeding took place- They found a full breeding plumage adult and 2 juv's , also at this site 25+ LITTLE EGRET inc Juvs .
Spent the morning sea watching from the car park from 08.15 - 12.40 , birds logged -
245 GANNET, 300 MANX SHEAWATER ( passage petered out at 11.15 ) 2 BALEARIC SHEARWATER ( flew east @ 09.05 ) ,
1 SOOTY SHEARWATER ( flew west @ 12.08 ) 1 FULMAR,
4 KITTIWAKE , 42 BLACK H GULL , 1ad MED GULL ,11 SANDWICH TERN, 28 DUNLIN ( flew in off thesea in small flocks ) 8 SWIFT
100 COMMON SCOTER ( flocks of 50, 10, 40 )
At 15.45 went over to South Huish Marsh - 3 CATTLE EGRET ( 2juv and the non breeding adult ) 4 LITTLE EGRET, 5 DUNLIN ,
3 SAND MARTIN
MON 17 JULY
A morning of sunny periods with a ENE F 3/4 wind
Offshore 6 COMMON SCOTER -E , 7 GANNET, 1ad MED GULL ,
30 BLACK H GULL . A RED L PARTRIDGE near the footbridge
On South Huish Marsh - a F YELLOW WAGTAIL flew over . There were 3 CATTLE EGRET - 2juv , 1 ad ( non breeding plumage ) The 2 ads on Sunday were different to this one .
At South Efford Marsh Eric had an ad MED GULL and 6 COMMON SANDPIPER
SUN 16 JULY
A very quiet morning with the only records being a family party of REED WARBLERand the 4 CATTLE EGRET at South HUISH MARSH .
The 2 adult EGRETS were in full breeding plumage including orange legs - they flew off towards Bantham at 11.30.
SAT 15 JULY - Juv CATTLE EGRET UPDATE
An hours seawatch from the carpark from 07.00- 40 GANNET ( inc 1 flock of 15 ads ), 1ad MED GULL , 24 BLACK H GULL ( 1 juv )
2 KITTIWAKE , 5 MANX SHEARWATER . Waders on the beach -
3 SANDERLING , 1 RINGED PLOVER
Watched South huish marsh for an hour from 08.15- 1 REDSHANK , 1 DUNLIN , 4 SWIFT , 5 SAND MARTIN , 1 COOT .
In the middle of the Marsh there were 2ad & 2 juv CATTLE EGRET definately a family party - adults still in full breeding plumage .
At 13.00 /13.30 Roger Blackway photographed 1 juv
At 14.25 2 CATTLE EGRET flew west over T'stone Marsh
THURS / FRI 13/14 JULY
Also on South Efford Marsh -1 WHIMBREL, 12 CURLEW ,
2 GRRENSHANK , 1 COMMON SANDPIPER
This morning on Warren Pt rocks 14 OYSTERCATCHER , 1 COMMON SANDPIPER
An hours Garden Watch from 07.15 produced 31 species inc -
5 juv BLACKCAP, 1juv WHITETHROAT, REED WARBLER, BULLFINCH, REED BUNTING , 2 SAND MARTIN 20 SWALLOW ,
16 SWIFT , 1 HOUSE MARTIN , 4 SONG THRUSH,
1 SPARROWHAWK .
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
RINGING at SOUTH MILTON LEY
Whilst I was in Majorca Alan held 3 rining sessions -
THURS 13 JULY
13 CHIFFY, 13 REED WARBLER, 4 SEDGE WARBLER,
The first returning WILLOW WARBLER was a retrap around the same date as last year
Both GREEN and GREAT SP. WOODY on site
SAT 8 JULY
2 BLACKCAP, 9 CHIFFY, 5 REED WARBLER, 6 SEDGE WARBLER, 1 SONG THRUSH
THURS 6 JULY
23 CIFFY, 7 REED WARBLER, 2 BLACKCAP
MAJORCA TRIP - 6-13 JULY
A brief report on our latest trip with Graham & Daphne Daw . Stayed at the Picafort park Hotel at C'an Picafort in the noth west of the island . Very hot all week above 34c . Hired a car for 3 days .
Managed a total of 82 species - highlights were -
WED 12 July - late afternoon walk Graham had 4 AUDOINS GULL and 2 CORY'S SHEARWATER in the Bay
TUES 11 JULY
Drove to the FORMENTOR area - 3 ELANORAS FALCON, 3 RAVEN, PEREGRINE , 3 CRAG MARTIN , PALLID SWIFT ,
At one of the large lakes near Alcudia 30 + COMMON TERN ,
1 MARSH HARRIER , 1 PURPLE HERON .
Near POLLENCA a m RED B SHRIKE
Afternoon visit to the Depudora Works at the back of Albufera Marsh -
4 WOOD SANDPIPER, 3 GREEN SANDPIPER, 2 COMMON SANDPIPER, 90 + BLACK WINGED STILT, 4 COMMON TERN,
10 YELLOW WAGTAIL, ,6 MARSH HARRIER , 1 OSPREY, 1 PURPLE SWAMPHEN, , 3 BEE EATER, 5 HOOPOE
MON 10 JULY
Drove to the Cuber Reservoir- at Sa Pobla a BOOTED EAGLE .
Around the Res - 10 BLACK VULTURE , 1 EGYPTION VULTURE ,
2 RAVEN , 2 SERIN
SUN 9 JULY
Drove to the SALINAS De LEVANTE in the south of the island - enroute 2 THELKLA LARK , 2 RED KITE
At the Salt Pans at least 200 + breeding AVOCET( we could only see 30% of the water , 25 BLACK W STILT, 50 KENTISH PLOVER,
4 REDSHANK , 1 RUFF , 1 CURLEW, 1 SPOONBILL , 1 OSPREY ,
At Porto Colom - 5 PALLID SWIFT
SAT 8 JULY - a morning visit to ALBUFERA MARSH , water levels very low but still interesting
2 RED C POCHARD , 1m GADWALL, a very active heronry contained - 10 SQUACCO HERON , 50+ LITTLE EGRET,35+ CATTLE EGRET, 3 NIGHT HERON , 6 GLOSSY IBIS , 1 PURPLE HERON , several GREY HERON . 10 PURPLE SWAMPHEN .
30 + BLACK W STILT , 1 STONE CURLEW , 1 WHIMBREL,
30 + KENTISH PLOVER , 10 LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, 5 AVOCET.
Warblers were - GREAT REED , MOUSTACHED , CETTIS ,NIGHTINGALE , CITTING ZISTICOLA
1 WOODCHAT SHRIKE , 5 BEE EATER, YELLOW WAGTAIL
Early evening atthe Hotel 300 + SWIFT , 4 AUDOINS GULL
FRI 7 JULY - around the Hotel and a small nearby lagoon -
1 LITTLE GREBE , BEE EATER , SARDINIAN WARBLER, HOOPOE , FIRECREST , SPOTTED FLY .
THURS 6 JULY
Another sunny morning with a light NE wind .
An hours Garden watch from 08.00 produced 32 species inc - JAY, SPARROWHAWK, HERON , 50 + LINNET, GREAT SP and GREEN WOODY , 4 BLACKCAP , 1 CHIFFY . 4 LONG T TIT
Noticeable Hirundine movement to NW - 85 SWALLOW, 7 HOUSE MARTIN and 66 SWIFT - no large flocks just steady parties of up to 5 birds
WED 5 JULY
A nice warm and sunny morning with a light E breeze .
A 45min Garden watch from 07.30 produced 28 species inc -
2 GREEN WOODY, 1 GREAT SP WOODY, REED BUNTING ,
6 BLACKCAP , 4 CHIFFY , 14 SWIFT
A short visit to South Huish Marsh - 1 CATTLE EGRET. 1ad MED GULL , 8 BLACK H GULL , 3 GANNET flew east
Along the tidal road at Aveton Gifford - 18 CURLEW , 3 COMMON SANDPIPER , 2 SPOTTED FLY , MISTLE THRUSH, NUTHATCH
Off on our travels on Thurs with Graham and Daphne Daw .
Next patch update will be 14 July
TUES 4 JULY
An early morning garden watch at 07.15 only lasted 45 mins due to mist and steady drizzle=- 23 species inc juv CIRL BUNTING ,
8 CHIFFY, 4 juv BLACKCAP, REED and SEDGE WARBLER, SONG THRUSH
Started at South Huish Marsh at 08.45 - 2 CATTLE EGRET,
2 DUNLIN, 20+ SWALLOW, 30+ HOUSE MARTIN, 5 SAND MARTIN,
4 SWIFT.At 11.30 a F YELLOW WAGTAIL flew over the Marsh
Settled down for a 2.5 hrs seawatch at 10.00 as the mist and light rain had moved on - very rewarding for early July -
3 ad MED GULL, 17 BLACK H GULL, 15 MANX SHEARWATER,
2 FULMAR, 3 LITTLE TERN ( flew west at 10.55 ) , 1 RINGED PLOVER, a mixed flock of 22 DUNLIN and SANDERLING flew through , 4 COMMON SCOTER - E and only 1 GANNET ,
MON 3 JULY
Whilst I was away at the Ampthill music festval last w/end reports rec'd were - South Huish Marsh - 2 CATTLE EGRET,
Eric - South Efford marsh - 8 CURLEW , 2 REDSHANK,
1 GREENSHANK, SPARROWHAWK, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH
Will be out on the patch in the morning .
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
FUERTEVENTURA TRIP 28 JAN - 4 FEB
Spent a week at the Jandia Princess Hotel at the very South end of the Island - our first visit. Hired a car for 2 days to visit some of the sites further north.
Disappointing total of only 45 species - although did manage to find some surprises.
Target birds were BLACK BELLIED SANDGROUSE - found a total of 17 at La Pared coming to an almost dry stream, and FURTEVENTURA CHAT this was difficult to find.
Over the Hotel - Offshore or flying over, SWALLOW, PALLID SWIFT, PLAIN SWIFT, RAVEN, SANDWICH TERN, many LESSER B.B. GULL, YELLOW LEGGED GULL. Several CORYS SHEARWATER, many trip reports only mention singles of GANNET ,seen daily (early evening) from Hotel Balcony max 30 including a single flock of 23.
On Thursday 2nd February a flock of 6 SACRED IBIS flew north only 50 feet above us - cannot find any reference to this specie in any visitor reports.
Whilst watching the SAND GROUSE found a female BLACK REDSTART again no comments in any previous reports.
Waders were disappointing only GREENSHANK, RINGED PLOVER, COMMON SANDPIPER, 10 BLACK WINGED STILT. Only 1 CATTLE EGRET at Risco Del Pasa where a flock of 25 SANDWICH TERN feeding offshore.
Near Los Molinos the only HOUBARA BUSTARD of the visit, a feral flock of 40+ MUSCOVEY DUCK. At the nearby reservoir
2 HOOPOE, 1 HERON, 150+ COOT, 40 + TEAL, 4 SHOVELER,
8 TUFTED DUCK, 11 LITTLE EGRET, 1 SPOONBILL, 60+ RUDDY SHELDUCK, 2 BLACK HEADED GULL.
Found plenty of BERTHELOTS PIPIT and at least 7 SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE.
Only raptors KESTREL and BUZZARD
Finally flying south with 2 SANDWICH TERN one evening a good candidate for LESSER CRESTED TERN.
Record shot of the CATTLE EGRET at SOUTH HUISH MARSH 23 JAN 2017 by Alan Doidge
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.
Photos below of the BEE-EATERS at Aymer Cove 30 MAY taken by Alan Doidge
Record shot of the GLOSSY IBIS taken at 16.00 Sat 27 Dec- Alan Doidge
Some cracking photos from Alan Doidge of the SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF and colour ringed ROCK PIPIT