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 SEPTEMBER review has been posted and I have transferred the SEPTEMBER sightings to the archive 2017 section .
FRI 20 OCT
Have just received an email from James Keith a sighting at Bolt Tail this morning of a SHORT EARED OWL - This is the 200th specie this year - fantastic news
Alsoin the area a Merlin and 3 FIRECREST.
ON 18 Oct a report of a YELLOW BROWED WARBLER in South Milton Village
TUES 17 OCT
A memorable mornings garden watch 1hr 15 min from 08.00 patch life tick - at 08.10 2 HAWFINCH flew south out of the copse only 30 feet from me , a few moments later picked up 2 FIRECREST. A total of 38 species which inc - 1 MERLIN ( flew south @ 08.25 ) ,
1 SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD , 25 GOLDFINCH, 4 CHAFFINCH,
2 BULLFINCH, 8 GREENFINCH, 12 STARLING, 1 STONECHAT,
8+ BLACKBIRD ,1 SONG THRUSH, 16 SKYLARK , 1f REED BUNTING, 20+ MIPIT , LINNET, GREAT SP WOODY, 1 JAY, 4 PIED WAGTAIL.
Fantastic morning to sign off , next update 29 Oct
MON 16 OCT
A cloudy morning clearing by 10.30 wind SSE increasing to F8 as the remnants of storm Ophelia moved through.
On South Huish Marsh only 2 BLACK T GODWIT, 2 LITTLE GREBE , 14 TEAL, a 1stw MED GULL . This afternoon Julia had a FIRECREST by the shed
A good mornings seawatch from the flats - just after 09.00 the GANNET started moving through by 11.30 the total was 420 . Also 2 BONXIE ( 09.20 ) , 7 BALEARIC SHEARWATER ( 3 @ 09.15 , 4 @. 09.50 ), single SOOTY SHEARWATER at 09.25 and 10.16 , 2 COMMON SCOTER , 40 + Auks ( mostly GUILLEMOT ), 13 KITTIWAKE - all going E .
James at Hope Cove had most of the above plus at 11.00 an
ARCTIC SKUA He also had another BONXIE off Bolt Tail at 15.30
SUN 15 OCT
A cloudy mild morning with a light SSW wind .
Started with a 50 min Garden Watch from 07.50, only 24 species but did include - 1 juv BLACK REDSTART ( FEEDING UNDER SOLAR PANELS OF A BUNGALOW ), 1 MERLIN , KESTREL, BUZZARD , PEREGRINE , 1juv STONECHAT, 1 CHIFFY and 16 STARLING ( flew NW).
On the rocks / Bay - 1ad MED GULL, 2 SANDWICH TERNS ( first for Oct ),7 RINGED PLOVER, 6 TURNSTONE ,
By the footbridge 150+ GOLDFINCH, 1 REED BUNTING ,
3 STONECHAT, 3 RAVEN - NW .
On South Huish Marsh- 2 BLACK T GODWIT , 21 TEAL, 2 LITTLE GREBE .2ad 1 1stw MED GULL , 16 SWALLOW , 1 GREY WAGTAIL .
In the gardens of the houses in the lane a flock of birds which contained- 10 LONG T TIT , 5 FIRECREST ( a patch day record )
2 GOLDCREST. , 2 CHIFFY and 3 REED BUNTING , 1 SONG THRUSH
At South Efford Marsh ERic reports - 4 MED GULL ( 3 1st w , 1ad )
32 CURLEW , 6. GREENSHANK , 4 REDSHANK , 1 BLACK T GODWIT , 2 COMMON SANDPIPER, 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 2 STONECHAT,
1 FIRECREST and the first returning WATER PIPIT
Some interesting weather on Mon and even stronger winds later in the week
SAT 14 OCT
A cloudy morning with a light S breeze
On South Huish Marsh - the CATTLE EGRET, 21 TEAL, 2 LITTLE GREBE , 60+ GOLDFINCH , 2 f REED BUNTING
On the rocks - 9 RINGED PLOVER, 7 TURNSTONE , 1 GREY WAGTAIL .
At 14.15 - 2 GOLDCREST through my garden .
On South Efford Marsh Dave P reports - KINGFISHER,
4 REDSHANK, 7 GREENSHANK, 1 BAR T GODWIT , 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 25 CURLEW , 80+ TEAL, 2 CHIFFY
THURS 12 OCT
Cloudy morning with a F 4/5 WNW wind .
Little to report - at South Huish Marsh - 10 TEAL, 1LITTLE GREBE , 2 BLACK T GODWIT , 3 SNIPE , THE LITTLE EGRET
ON THE ROCKS - 3 RINGED PLOVER , 1 TURNSTONE
Visited Huxton Cross , no sign of any winter Thrushes yet but did have - 2 YELLOWHAMMER , 1 GREY WAGTAIL ,8 SWALLOW ,1 CHIFFY
At South Milton Ley Alan Ringed 31 birds inc - 2 BLACKCAP, 1BULLFINCH, 6 CHIFFY, 7 GOLDCREST , 7MIPIT .
Also on site - 2 WATER RAIL , 2 TAWNY OWL , 1 CIRL BUNTING , 5 SISKIN
WED 11 OCT
Another cloudy morning with some light showers. Wind F7 SW with rough seas
Late start, arrived at South Huish Marsh for 10.45 - only birds recorded - 2 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 LITTLE GREBE , 10 TEAL
An hours seawatch produced - 55 GANNET, 2 BALEARIC SHEARWATER ( flew W at 12.00 ) 10 KITTIWAKE , 2 ad MED GULL , 4 COMMON SCOTER - E , 1 GUILLEMOT and 3 AUKS - E
On the rocks - 3 RINGED PLOVER, 1 TURNSTONE
TUES 10 OCT
A cloudy start quickly followed by mist and rain not clearing until 11.00. A brisk F4/5 W wind
Started with a viz mig watch at the high ground behind the Church from 07.55- 09.25 , because of the poor weather coditions little passage , however i logged 32 species inc -
1m CIRL BUNTING , 26 GOLDFINCH, 13 CHAFFINCH, 8 LINNET,
1 STONECHAT , 14 MIPIT , 55 PIED WAGTAIL ( mostly flying N / NE )3 SKYLARK , 30+ HOUSE SPARROW ( in stubble field )
4 STARLING ( first this side of the patch for some weeks ). a covey of 20 RED L PARTRIDGE ( released birds ), 7 BLACKBIRD ,
1 SONG THRUSH
On South Huish marsh - 18 TEAL, 2 LITTLE GREBE , 1m MALLARD ( first on the marsh for some days ) 1 BLACK T GODWIT,
30 + MIPIT
On the rocks 4 RINGED PLOVER, offshore 12 AUKS flew E
MON 9 OCT
A morning of cloud clearing to one of sunny periods , a brisk F4/5 W wind . Joined by Graham today .
Offshore 120 GANNET, 30 G B B GULL , 29 CORMORANT , 2 SHAG, 8 COMMON SCOTER - E , 42 WIGEON - E ( 2 flocks 28 & 14 )
2 AUK - E , 1 GUILLEMOT on sea , 2 COMMON GULL .
On South Huish Marsh - 3 BLACK T GODWIT ., 22 TEAL , 1 LITTLE GREBE , the CATTLE EGRET, 4 LITTLE EGRET, flying over -
4 STONECHAT , 30 + GOLDFINCH, 5 SKYLARK , 1 WHEATEAR, ,
1 SWALLOW , 1 STOCK DOVE , 5 PIED WAGTAIL, 88 MIPIT
On the rocks - 5 RINGED PLOVER, 1 TURNSTONE . A MERLIN flew east at 12.00
Report of a BARN OWL near South Milton Ley
SUN 8 OCT
Back to a nice sunny day with only a very light NW breeze
At 08.30 a 15 min Garden Watch produced 30 species ( should have got out a lot earlier ) inc - SISKIN , GREY WAGTAIL, RAVEN, CHIFFY, LONG T TIT . At 17.15 this evening a flock of 45 PIED WAGTAIL flew over to roost
On South Huish Marsh - 17 TEAL, 2 LITTLE GREBE, the CATTLE EGRET, 2 MED GULL, 1 RINGED PLOVER ( over ) .
On the rocks 39 OYSTERCATCHER, A passage of SWALLOW flying W over the sea totalled 150 + , 65 GOLDFINCH , 2 SKYLARK and 35 MIPIT flew W
A report of a RUFF on the marsh
At South efford Marsh Eric reports - 2 GREENSHANK, 1 REDSHANK
1 COMMON SANDPIPER , 1 BAR T GODWIT , 1 BLACK T GODWIT , still 80 + TEAL
SAT 7 OCT
Only time for a brief visit this morning - heavy rain at times with a F6/7 NW wind- very little to report
Offshore 80 + GANNET. On South Huish Marsh - The CATTLE EGRET, TEAL, 1 BLACK T GODWIT , 1ad MED GULL, 2 LITTLE GREBE
Hope Sunday is better !
FRI 6 OCT
A very nice autumnal day plenty of sunshine and only a light NW breeze.
On the rocks - 4 RINGED PLOVER, 3 TURNSTONE , 1 DUNLIN .
On South Huish Marsh - 17 TEAL, 2 LITTLE GREBE , 1 BLACK T GODWIT , 4 SNIPE, 1 CATTLE EGRET, 1juv WHINCHAT, 1 SONG THRUSH, 1 GREY WAGTAIL, 3 CHIFFY . 15 SWALLOW
Alan ringed 50 birds at South Milton Ley this morning , inc -
26 CHIFFY, 10 MIPIT, 2 BLACKCAP, 2 GOLDCREST, 2 BULLFINCH , . Also on site 4 SISKIN and 2 WATER RAIL
At South Efford Marsh Eric had the best morning for a while - By the entrance gate - 15 LONG T TIT , 4 GOLDCREST and a FIRECREST
On the Marsh - 6 WHEATEAR , 1juv WHINCHAT, 8 DUNLIN,
11 RINGED PLOVER, 2 CURLEW SANDPIPER, 2 LITTLE STINT,
5 GREENSHANK , 4 REDSHANK, 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 BAR T GODWIT, 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 80 + TEAL, a SPARROWHAWK and 5 SWALLOW over
THURS 5 OCT
A cloudy morning with light rain giving way to some sunny periods . A NNW F6 wind reducing to F3
Offshore another day with a large feeding flock of GANNET at least 275 . A seawatch for 1hour from 10.50 produced - 1dp ARCTIC SKUA ( W at 10.55 ), 1 BALEARIC SHEARWATER ( W at 11.05 )
1 GREAT N DIVER ( E at 11.50 )
On the rocks 3 RINGED PLOVER. On South Huish Marsh only 16 TEAL and 2 LITTLE GREBE
Viz mig passing over - 35 MIPIT, 19 SKYLARK, 100 GOLDFINCH, 38 SWALLOW , 3 HOUSE MARTIN , 4 ALBA WAGTAIL and 1 GREY WAGTAIL
Dave Pakes reports from the tidal road at Aveton Gifford -
4 REDSHANK, 5 GREENSHANK, 4 COMMON SANDPIPER,
1 BAR T GODWIT, 7 DUNLIN , 2 CURLEW SANDPIPER and a LITTLE GREBE
CATTLE EGRET AND WHEATEAR around South Huish Marsh Oct 2017
WED 4 OCT
A day away from the patch with Eric . Started out at Wembury but the RED BACKED SHRIKE could not be located . Next stop was a very cold and windy Daidstow Airfield - only took 10 mins to locate the small flock of Waders which included DUNLIN , RINGED PLOVER and our target BUFF BREASTED SANDPIPER- very good views .
Finished off at Roadford Reservoir - very little to be seen best were 8 GREAT C GREBE , 12 TEAL and 3 WIGEON
Back on the patch on Thurs .
TUES 3 OCT
A fine sunny morning with a light WNW breeze.
A 75 min Garden watch from 07.05 produced 30 species inc -
3 RAVEN, 5 CHIFFY, 2 GOLDCREST, 2 SONG THRUSH , GREEN &GREAT SP WOODY, 1 REED BUNTING
Offshore a feeding flock of over 250 GANNET ( fantastic diving displays ),5 KITTIWAKE . 11 SKYLARK and 50 + MIPIT and a SPARROWHAWK flew NW , 1 GREY WAGTAIL by the footbridge .
Little on South HUISH MARSH - 18 TEAL, 2 L GREBE , 2 WHINCHAT, 4 STONECHAT , 1f REED BUNTING, 4 WHEATEAR,
1 GREAT SP WOODY, 3 CHIFFY , 2 WHITE WAGTAIL, 1f BLACKCAP
15 SWALLOW over.
On the rocks 10 RINGED PLOVER.
The CATTLE EGRET feeding amongst the large herd of cattle
late update -
Alan P Ringed 28 birds this morning inc -13 CHIFFY, 1 CETTIS WARBLER ( first for a while ) 1 REED BUNTING , 2 GOLDCREST , also on site TAWNY OWL , PEREGRINE ,SPRAWK , 8 BULLFINCH
JAMES K had a HEN HARRIER ( 199 ) off Bolt Tail at 17.50
MON 2 OCT
A morning with some sunny periods but a brisk WNW F 5+ wind
On the Rocks - 26 RINGED PLOVER, 3 DUNLIN, 3 TURNSTONE , offshore 150+ GANNET
Viz mig over the beach - 65+ MIPIT, 16 ALBA WAGTAIL,
1 SWALLOW , 2 SKYLARK - all NW
On South Huish Marsh - 1 CATTLE EGRET, 2 CURLEW SANDPIPER, 1 BAR T GODWIT , 2 LITTLE GREBE , 3 WHEATEAR, 1 HOBBY over, 20 TEAL, along the lane towards South Milton a single flock of 250+ LINNET.
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports - 6 GREENSHANK, 4 DUNLIN, 12 CURLEW, 70+ TEAL, 1 WIGEON
Over my garden at 17.30 35+ SWALLOW and a F BLACKCAP in the garden
SUN 1 OCT
What a miserable morning for the start of a new month - 100% cloud , rain and poor viz , F3 W wind
Started with a 50 min garden watch at 07.30 - 30 species inc-
1 GREAT SP WOODY, 5 CHIFFY, 4 LB B GULL, KESTREL, 5 LONG T TIT
On the beach - 14 RINGED PLOVER, 3 DUNLIN, 3 TURNSTONE ,
On South Huish marsh - TEAL, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 1 BLACK T GODWIT , 2 BAR T GODWIT , 1 LITTLE STINT . , 1 SNIPE . Amongst the 65 BLACK H GULL were 1ad, 1 1stw, 1 2w MED GULL
I drove along the tidal road whilst Dave P visited South Efford Marsh- between us we had - 5 GREENSHANK , 4 REDSHANK ,
6 COMMON SANDPIPER, 16 CURLEW , 6 DUNLIN, 2 CURLEW SANDPIPER, 1 KINGFISHER , 1ad MED GULL .60+ TEAL
By the bottom car park area i found a MARSH TIT , this is a scarce bird on the patch ( only 2nd record this year )
A total of 61 species recorded
2ad MED GULL ON SOUTH HUISH MARSH 30,Sept 2017
SPOONBILL- South Huish Marsh 27 Sept 2017
CURLEW SANDPIPER, BAR TAILED GODWIT, LITTLE STINT All on South Huish Marsh 26 Sept 2017
A Wasp Spider and egg sac at South Efford Marsh 23 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
Photos from James K of - REDSHANK, RUFF and DUNLIN at South Huish Marsh 24 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 - 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
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
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