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
WEST CHARLETON MARSH - REED CUTTING MON 29 JAN
A request from Chris Klee for helpers to join him for their annual Reed cutting maintenance work . Definitely a wellies job as well as gloves , if you can bring a brush cutter great , if not a rake and a pair of willing hands would be most welcome . Envisage a start of -9.30 and a finish of 13.00
SOUTH MILTON LEY REED CUTTING SUNDAY 21 JAN
Due to the weather forecast for Sunday Nick has decided to postpone until a date to be agreed in February , further information to follow
Have transferred the DEC records to the archive section , also the DEC monthly report has been posted
HAVE POSTED A FEW MORE SHOTS TAKEN THIS MORNING OF BIRDS ON THURLESTONE MARSH 17 /18 JAN - ON THE PHOTOS PAGE
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 , 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 .
SUN 14 JAN .
First news from Alan for Sat - on South Huish Marsh the SPOONBILL , also 3 Med Gull & CATTLE EGRETS .
This morning on South Huish Marsh - 8 BLACK T GODWIT , 10 SNIPE
2 LAPWING , 2 RINGED PLOVER , 45 TEAL , 35 WIGEON , 3AD 1 1W
MED GULL, 2 COMMON GULL , 8 CATTLE EGRET , 3 LITTLE EGRET. OF interest at least 10 SONG THRUSH around the copse / gardens
On my feeders at 12.30 - 1M1F CIRL BUNTING , 2M 2F REED BUNTING , 30 + MIPIT over the marsh .
At South Efford Marsh - reports from Eric , Dave & Rod - a flock of 200+ LAPWING ( largest flock on the patch for some years ) 1 WATER PIPIT , 2 FIELDFARE , 1 PEREGRINE (106 ), this afternoon the SPOONBILL ( last 2 sightings coincided with high water )
THURS 12 JAN
An overcast morning , slight frost early , cool NE breeze
Managed a garden watch for 45 min from 08.00 - 29 species recorded, inc - 2 CIRL BUNTING , 3 REED BUNTING , 8 REDWING ,
2 FIELDFARE , LITTLE EGRET , SONG THRUSH , KESTREL , GREAT SP WOODY .
On South Huish Marsh - 7 BLACK T GODWIT , 5 LAPWING , 20 SNIPE , 35 TEAL , 20 WIGEON , 3 MED GULL ( 2ad , 1 1w ) . CATTLE EGRET difficult to count - at least 8 with 4 LITTLE EGRET .
At Huxton Cross - 4 SKYLARK ( 103 )
Along the tidal road at Aveton Gifford - 4 REDSHANK , 3 GREENSHANK , 3 COMMON SANDPIPER . Around the pl acing fields a F BLACKCAP , FERAL PIGEON (104) 1m BULLFINCH . This afternoon Eric had 1m 3f SISKIN (105 ) on his feeders
WED 11 JAN
Another sunny morning with a cold NEwind F3/4 . Significant reduction in the number of Duck
Offshore - 4 WIGEON &a BLACK T DIVER , BOTH ON THE SEA .On the
e rocks - 8 TURNSTONE , 8 RINGED PLOVER
On South Huish Marsh - 45 TEAL , 25 WIGEON , 1 LITTLE GREBE ,
7 BLACK T GODWI T , 1 LAPWING , 10 SNIPE .
An increase in CATTLE EGRET to at least 10 ( could be 12 ) along with 4 LITTLE EGRET THEY ARE STILL IN THE FAR FIELD WITH THE CATTLE .Farmer has opened up another section of the kale field , this makes it more difficult to pick up all of them .
At Huxton Cross only a MISTLE THRUSSH , FIELDFARE &
2 RED L PARTRIDGE ( 102 )
on roof of my house @13.00 a F BLACK REDSTART
WED 10 JAN
A very pleasant day , lots of sun and very little wind . Not so many birds today ,joined by Graham & Dave this mo rning .
Offshore - 5 GREYLAG GOOSE ( flew E at 08.50 ) (100) , 20 KITTIWAKE , 20 GANNET,2 SHELDUCK -E , 6 WIGEON - ON SEA , 2 GREAT N DIVER - 1ON SEA , 1 W@11.27 .45 AUKS -E ,
On the rock s just 1 RINGED PLOVER .
On South Huish Marsh - 500+ BLACK H GULL , 350 + HERRING GULL , 2 MED GULL ( ad+ 1w ) 2 COMMON GULL & Afew L B B GULL -all the result of liquid manure being sprayed on local fields .Also -
60 TEAL , 20 WIGEON , 2 SHELDUCK. 4 LAPWING , 35 SNIPE , 8 BLACK T GODWIT , 7 CATTLE EGRET , 3 LITTLE EGRET, 1 FIRECREST & 1 CHIFFY in the copse .
At South Milton Ley Alan Ringed - 5 CHIFFY , 3 FIRECREST, 2 GOLDCREST , 1 REED BUNTING , also on site - 20CHIFFY , 1 SIB CHIFFY , 2 REDWING , 1 SPRAWK , 5 WATER RAIL , 1 TAWNY OWL , 1 GREAT SP WOODY .
In local gardens - 1f BLACK REDSTART , 1M CIRL BUNTING
TUES 9 JAN
SEwinds continue to provide a good selection of birds , today offshore.
Highlight of a 2.75 hour seawatch from 09.15 was a winter plumage BLACK GUILLEMOT (97 ) sat on the sea with AUKS , FIRST PICKED UP FROM BOBS CAR PARK and later behind the flats - a patch life tick .
Also a BONXIE PICKED UP AT 10.30 harassing 12 KITTIWAKE , LATER SAT ON THE SEA FOR 45 mins . 3GREAT N DIVER on the sea , also 1 flew W @ 09.15 , 3 RED T DIVER ( 98 - 2 E @ 10.10 and 1 w @10.30 ) ,1BLACK T DIVER ( 99 - flew E with the 2 Reds at 10.10 )
85 WIGEON ( on the sea ), 3 SHELDUCK , 45 AUKS -E , 22 RAZORBILL & 11 GUILLEMOT - ON THE SEA , 8 GANNET ,
38 KITTIWAKE .6 COMMON SCOTER -E
On the rocks - 9 RINGED PLOVER , 11 TURNSTONE .
On South Huish Marsh - 7 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 DUNLIN , 3 LAPWING , 60 TEAL , 20 WIGEON ., 7 CATTLE EGRET , 3 LITTLE EGRET . Amongst a large Gull flock Terry had 4 COMMON GULL & an Ad MED GULL
MON 8 JAN
A cloudy morning with a cold SE F 5/6 WIND . An interesting morning .
A 2.5 hour seawatch produced - on the sea - 4WIGEON , 22 TEAL ,
2 GADWALL(93) 2 COMMON SCOTER , 3 G N DIVER (91) , 1 GREAT C GREBE (92 ) , 35 GANNET , 8 KITTIWAKE , 7 RAZORBILL , 3 GUILLEMOT . Flying east - 1 G N DIVER , 1M 3F PINTAIL (94 )
On the rocks - 11 TURNSTONE , 9 RINGED PLOVER
Big increase in birds on South Huish Marsh - 160+ TEAL , 120 WIGEON , 2 SHOVELER , 1 SHELDUCK , 1F PINTAIL , 60 LAPWING ,
7 BLACK T GODWIT , 3 DUNLIN , SNIPE , 1 WATER PIPIT, 2 LITTLE EGRET , 7 CATTLE EGRET
At South Milton Ley Dave flushed a WOODCOCK ( 95 )
Early afternoon James K had a BONXIE (96 ) fly south across the bay , also another G N DIVER
Cold morning with F7/8 ENE WIND .
Before starting the Reed cutting , quick visit to South Huish Marsh
1m SHOVELER , 1M TUFTED DUCK ,WIGEON , TEAL , 6 SNIPE ,
2 DUNLIN , 2 LAPWING 7 CATTLE EGRET .
In Eric's garden FIRECREST, 1F BLACKCAP .
On the roof of my house at 09.00 a 1 w M BLACK REDSTART (90 )
SAT 6 JAN
A frosty start , plenty of sunshine , cold NE F 4 wind
Offshore 50+ GANNET , 10 RAZORBILL/GUILLEMOTS on the sea .
On South Huish Marsh - 9- WIGEON , 60 TEAL , 1M SHOVELER , 2 SHELDUCK ,5 BLACK T GODWIT , 1LAPWING , 2 WATER PIPIT ,
2 STOCK DOVE 2 SNIPE , 32 OYSTERCATCHER .
At South Milton Ley 1 MISTLE THRUSH , SOME REDWING .
At Aveton Gifford - COLLARD DOVE , NUTHATCH
Report of a GREEN SANDPIPER AT South Efford Marsh yesterday
Thanks to Eric & Dave for their information
Images taken today of MARSH TIT , GOOSANDER , PINTAIL
FRI 5 JAN
A morning of sunny interval s with heavy showers , W wind F6/7
South Huish Marsh duck totals up - 60 TEAL , 75 WIGEON ,
1M TUFTED DUCK , 26 OYSTERCATCHER , 6 BLACK T GODWIT ,
1 DUNLIN ( 81 ) , 1 LAPWING , 3 SNIPE , 7 CATTLE EGRET , 1 LITTLE EGRET , 1 WATER PIPIT . PAUL B had a FIRECREST (82) in the copse .
Went over to Bowling Green Marsh at 12.30 - 40 PINTAIL ( only 5 were F ) 4 SHOVELER , 1M POCHARD , BLACK T GODWIT , CURLEW , GREYLAG GOOSE , at the viewing platform , AVOCET , REDSHANK , DUNLIN , KNOT .
Stopped off at Stover C Park on the way home - always a good selection of birds - 20 GOOSANDER ( only 2 were ad males )
1m POCHARD , 6 TUFTED DUCK , 1 GREAT C GREBE , 2 MARSH TIT , 1M SISKIN , 1 TREE CREEPER, 3 NUTHATACH , JAY , GREEN WOODY
THURS 4 JAN
Another stormy and wet night , W wind increased during the morning to F9/10, blown sand was the main problem .
On South Huish Marsh - 45 TEAL , 40 WIGEON , 3 SHELDUCK ,
1M TUFTED DUCK , 4 BLACK T GODWIT , 3 RINGED PLOVER ,
20 OYSTERCATCHER , 5 CATTLE EGRET , 1 LITTLE EGRET , .
Amongst the Gulls sheltering were - 150 BLACK H GULL , 200 HERRING GULL , 20 GB B GULL , 5 LESSER B B GULL , 3 COMMON GULL , 1 KITTIWAKE ( not seen any on the marsh since the 2014 storms )
nothing offshore .
WED 3 JAN
After yet another stormy and very wet night did not get out until 14.00- nothing offshore , on South Huish Marsh -
WIGEON, TEAL, 1M TUFTED DUCK , 1 LITTLE GREBE , 100 CANADA GOOSE , 2 BLACK T GODWIT .
In my garden - 1M 1F CIRL BUNTING , 1 GREAT SP WOODY
TUES 2 JAN
RAIN MOST OF THE MORNING , F6/7 SW WIND , VERY POOR VISABLITY .
OFFSHORE 8 COMMON SCOTER ON THE SEA , A FEW GANNETS FLEW E BEFORE THE VISABILITY GOT WORSE .
On South Huish Marsh - little change from Monday - only 3 BLACK T GODWIT , 60+ TEAL . This afternoon Alan had the SPOONBILL at the back of the marsh
At Huxton Cross RAVEN , 25 CHAFFINCH , 35 FIELDFARE .
Drove along the tidal road at Aveton Gifford - 2 GREENSHANK ,
4 REDSHANK , 2 COMMON SANDPIPER , CURLEW , 3 SHELDUCK , 1GREY WAGTAIL , 2 JAY , GOLDCREST , COAL TIT , NUTHATCH ,
This afternoon took the opportunity to visit 2 sites off the patch - first Kingsbridge Est from the waterworks slipway - 80+BRENT GOOSE (DB ) also 4PB _-can't remember seeing any PB before here . 2 BLACK NECKED GREBE , 5 GREAT C GREBE , 4 RED B MERGANSER
100+DUNLIN PLENTY OF REDSHANK , CURLEW , SHELDUCK , WIGEON TEAL, 2 GREY PLOVER , 2 PINTAIL .
With the light fading a quick visit to Slapton Ley , where have all the Duck gone ? ONLY 60 TUFTED DUCK , 4M 1F GOLDENEYE , 200 COOT 2 GREAT C GREBE , 1 BLACK N GREBE . Nothing offshore ,
MON 1 JAN 2018
Heavy rain until 09.15 then a sunny day with a F8 WNW wind .
The early rain dampened the first garden watch of the year , an hour from 08.45 produced 27 species inc- 25 MALLARD , 3 HERON , 1M 2F CIRL BUNTING , 1F REED BUNTING , 30 MIPIT ,
2 STONECHAT, KESTREL , BULLFINCH .
On A FLOODED South Huish Marsh this afternoon - 80 WIGEON , THE HYBRID AMERICAN WIGEON / WIGEON , 30 TEAL , 1M TUFTED DUCK ,
3 SHELDUCK , 1 LITTLE GREBE , 26 OYSTERCATCHER , 1 LAPWING
5 SNIPE 6 BLACK T GODWIT
This morning Nick and Dave had a M GOOSANDER ( this could be a first for this site , need to check with Bob )
On the rocks -3 TURNSTONE , 4 RINGED PLOVER .
A quick visit to SouthMilton Ley in failing light found 10 CHIFFY , 1 SIBERIAN CHIFFY , 8 REDWING , GOLDCREST , SPARROWHAWK .
On a flooded South Efford Marsh - Eric reports - 12 CURLEW , 130 WIGEON , 100+TEAL , 2 WATER PIPIT , 2 COMMON GULL , 1AD MED GULL.Also a report from a large house in the village of 2 HAWFINCH
this morning .
A total of 67 species logged
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
BRENT GOOSE - DB ON SOUTH HUISH MARSH 11 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.