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.
The SEPTEMBER review has been posted and I have transferred the SEPTEMBER sightings to the archive 2016 section .
Photos of RUFF and PEC SANDPIPER taken by Alan Doidge Sept 2016
THURS 20 OCT
A clear morning with plenty of sunshine only a light N wind .
An hours viz mig watch from my garden at 07.35 produced 28 species inc - 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 1 SONG THRUSH, 1 GREEN WOODY, 1 SISKIN, 11 CHAFFINCH, 1 REED BUNTING,2 CIRL BUNTING, 9 PIED WAG,
11 SKYLARK., 1 CHIFFY
On the Ley by the footbridge - a male TUFTED DUCK.1 SISKIN., 1 REED BUNTING, 1 WATER RAIL, 3 STONECHAT .
On South Huish Marsh - 20 TEAL, 3 WIGEON, 2 LITTLE GREBE,
2 GREY WAG, 6 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN, 1 WHEATEAR.
Offshore only 5 GANNET until 12.10 when a feeding flock of 150+ picked up. 15 COMMON SCOTER flew east,. At 12.00 picked up a small Auk flying into the Bay from east , landed on the sea - a PUFFIN ( my first autumn record )
At Aveton Gifford Eric reported a YELLOW BROWED WARBLER calling several times near his garden
YELLOW BROWED WARBLER at South Milton Ley 19 Oct
WED 19 OCT
Managed to get out this morning, overcast with a light NW wind .
Offshore a few GANNET and 4 COMMON SCOTER flew west.
On the rocks 8 RINGED PLOVER, 2 DUNLIN , 2 TURNSTONE, a PEREGRINE flew through
Some viz mig - 50+ MIPIT, 15 ALBA WAGTAIL, 42 GOLDFINCH,
5 SKYLARK and 30 LINNET.
On South Huish marsh - 580 CANADA GOOSE, 15 TEAL, 3 WIGEON, 1 KINGFISHER , 1 GREY WAGTAIL. At 12.30 2 LAPWING flew in but had to move on up the valley as the Canada's had taken all the space .
An interesting ringing session this morning with Roger Helen and Alan - Another YELLOW BROWED WARBLER, 9 CHIFFY,
5 GOLDCREST, 6 SONG THRUSH, 1 BULLFINCH and a GREAT SP WOODY . Also on site 2 year ticks - 1 RING OUZEL (188) and a LITTLE OWL ( 189 ) both of these are scarce and not even annual
On 14 OCT Alan ringed 26 CHIFFY, 3 CETTIS WARBLER.
On SUN 16 OCT Eric had in his village gardens 2 YELLOW BROWED WARBLER, 1 FIRECREST whilst Rod Bone on the north marsh had an OSPREY and a GREEN SANDPIPER
TUES 18 OCT
Went for a walk through the avenue of trees behind the hotel managed to find -
20+ AZURE WINGED MAGPIE, 8 SARDINIAN WARBLER, 2 CHIFFY, 1 SEDGE WARBLER ( 102 ), 5 WAXBILL, 2 HOOPOE, 8 ROBIN and 30+ SPOTLESS STARLING .
MON 17 OCT
Last day with the car -
Around the Hotel - 5 WAXBILL, 1 Sardinian warbler, 2 SERIN, 12 AZURE WINGED MAGPIE, 1 LITTLE OWL ( road casualty )
Drove over to Isla Cantella - this was where we stayed 3 years ago , 20 SERIN, 5 SARDINIAN WARBLER, 3 WAXBILL, 1 WHITETHROAT,
2 HOOPOE ( 1 feeding only 20 feet from us )10 SWALLOW, 3 RED RUMPED SWALLOW, 2 HOUSE MARTIN, 1juv WHINCHAT, 1 MIPIT,
1TREE PIPIT, 1 WILLOW WARBLER , 1 OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
. On the marsh 12 SPOONBILL, 20+ OYSTERCATCHER.
After lunch decided to drive inland to San Silvestre De Guzam in the hope of findingSOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE , a trip of 20 miles produced good views of 3 and a BUZZARD and a KESTREL.
Trip list now up to 101.
Whist we don't leave until late afternoon unlikely to add any more to this total .Birding has been great , pity the Hotel food has been so bad !
Looking forward to getting out back on the patch late Wed
SUN 16 OCT - ISLANTILLA SPAIN
Around the hotel an IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, in local fields 20 CATTLE EGRET .
Another visit to the ODIEL MARSHES , similar species of Duck and Waders although no detailed counts made , 2 OSPREY, 1m MARSH HARRIER, 13 SPOONBILL, 35 SANDWICH TERN, 2 CASPIAN TERN, 2 LITTLE TERN , By the visitor center is a walk around some dried up reed beds - SONG THRUSH, WILLOW WARBLER, 3 TREE SPARROW, 20 SPANISH SPARROW, a male white spot BLUETHROAT, along the dunes 10 WHEATEAR, 5 CRESTED LARK, 1 MIPIT.
3 WHITE STORK still standing on nest sites .
On Netherlands way back stopped off at El Portillo - 1 MISTLETOE THRUSH, 4 KENTISH PLOVER, 3 RINGED PLOVER, 10 LITTLE STINT, 1 SANDERLING , 20 DUNLIN, 20 BLACK WINGED STILT , 1 SNIPE,
70 TEAL .
Trip list now at 90
THURS , FRI SAT -13-15 OCT
2 MORNINGS OF LOCAL WALKS PRODUCED -
7 PIED FLYCATCHER, 3 HOOPOE, 7 SARDINIAN WARBLER,1 GREAT TIT, 1 GREY WAGTAIL, , 4 WAXBILL, 2 SERIN, 1M BLACKCAP, 4 ROBIN,. 2 AVOCET FLEW SOUTH
Picked up the hire car Sat morning , set out on what turned out to be a fabulous days birding !
Started at El Portillo pools - almost dried up , but did see30 BLACK WINGED STILT ,50 TEAL, 20 DUNLIN, 1 CURLEW SANDPIPER, 2 MOORHEN , 2 CETTIS WBLR, 2 CATTLE EGRET, 1 CRESTED LARK
Another 30 min driving and arrived at the visitor center for the
Marismas Del Odiel - an extensive salt marshland covering many square miles with lots of footpaths and hides . Spent the next 4 hours just enthralled by the range of Birds , talking ( well trying to )
a local birder he was complaining it was quiet!
As the tide rose so the waders made for the salt marshes , must have been in excess of 5000- I logged
1000+ REDSHANK, 8 GREENSHANK, 750+ GREY PLOVER, 300+ CURLEW, 2 WHIMBREL, 2000+ DUNLIN, 200+ RINGED PLOVER
5KENTISH PLOVER , 1 RUFF.
15+ CURLEW SANDPIPER , 10 LITTLE STINT, 8 BLACK T GODWIT,
8 TURNSTONE, 15 COMMON SANDPIPER, , 5 KNOT, 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 15 BLACK WINGED STILT. Not that many duck but still -150MALLARD ,50 TEAL,. 50 GADWALL, 30SHOVELER,10 COOT, 15 MOORHEN, 1 LITTLE GREBE. 3 CASPIAN TERN, 50 SANDWICH TERN, 5 COMMON TERN, 5 GREY HERON, 10 WHITE STORK, 15 SPOONBILL, 30+ LITTLE EGRET, 5 CATTLE EGRET,, 5 GREAT WHITE EGRET,
2 MARSH HARRIER, 1 OSPREY, 1 KESTREL. 10 CRESTED LARK, 2 THEKLA LARK, 3 WHEATEAR, 5 LINNET, 20 SPANISH SPARROW, 1 HOOPOE, 1 SWALLOW, 10 AZURE WINGED MAGPIE , 20 COMMON MAGPIE, 30 SPOTLESS STARLING , 2 GOLDFINCH, 1 ROBIN, WHITE WAGTAIL 2 DARTFORD WARBLER, 3 SARDINIAN WARBLER and over 500 FLAMINGO with 1 CHILEAN FLAMINGO .
Cant wait for Sunday
Haven't worked out what the trip specie list is yet - off for a red wine
Before leaving for Spain did a 40min garden watch on Tues morning from 07.50 managed 40 species ( highest total for some time ) inc-GREEN WOODY,1 WATER RAIL, 11 SISKIN, 1JAY, 2Goldcrest, 6 LONG T TIT ,1 REED BUNTING , 20 SWALLOW, 1 SAND MARTIN,
25 STOCK DOVE .
Also a quick visit to South Efford Marsh to catch up with all the news from Shetland with Eric - on the marsh 3 REDSHANK, 1 GREENSHANK ,1 COMMON SANDPIPER, CURLEW , 1 KINGFISHER
only 5 Teal .
Arrived in Islantilla at 01.15 , an area os S W Spain 30 miles over the border from Portugal . Big surprise this morning was the weather cloudy and cool , F4/5 increasing 6 Nw wind . Hotel overlooks the sea so should get some sea watching in from the balcony . This morning went for a long walk along the coast most common bird after HOUSE SPARROW was AZURE WINGED MAGPIE OVER 50 , compared with only 2 MAGPIE , 3 SWALLOW, 7 SERIN,
3 CETTIS WARBLER, 2 CHIFFY , PLENTY OF YELLOW L GULL & LESSER B B GULL , on the beach 5 SANDERLING , 1 TURNSTONE .INthe hotel grounds a WAXBILL, 2 ROBIN .
An hours sea watch from 17.00 produced , 2CORMORANT , 7 GANNET, 10 SANDWICH TERN, 1 COMMON TERN, 2ad MED GULL,
2 ARCTIC SKUA , 7 BONXIE .
MON 10 OCT
A cold morning with a F4 /5 E wind , clear skies early.
Did a viz mig watch from the high ground at the back of the Church - bird of the day flew over the Golf Course at 08.20 calling before landing in a bush - a nice ORTALON BUNTING ( 187 ) . Good views of the moustachal pale yellow stripe , light cloured bill and legs , buffish white eyering . My second patch record after a flyover in 2013.In 90mins from 07.45 also recorded -
23 SKYLARK, 57 MIPIT, 21 LINNET, 6 GOLDFINCH, 14 SISKIN,
9 CHAFFINCH, 9 SWALLOW, 1 PEREGRINE, 27 ALBA WAGTAIL,
1 WHEATEAR, 5 CHIFFY, 2 BLACKCAP, 4 STONECHAT, 2 RAVEN.
Ringing totals for Sunday were - 1 YELLOW B WARBLER, 1 CETTIS WARBLER, 1 REED WARBLER, 32 CHIFFY, 7 BLACKCAP,
2 STONECHAT, 6 GOLDCREST, 2 SONG THRUSH.
Report posted on Devon Birds of 2 CATTLE EGRET, 1 LITTLE STINT and 3 DUNLIN on South Huish Marsh on SAT afternoon .
SUN 9 OCT
Another very good day on the patch .Started off with joining up with Roger & Helen and team at South Milton Ley at 08.00, whilst iwas there they ringed - 1 YELLOW BROWED WARBLER, 1 CETTIS WARBLER, 1 REED WARBLER, 2 BLACKCAP, , 3 SONG THRUSH . Also on site - 1 BARN OWL, 3 REDWING ( first of the autumn )3 SISKIN, GREEN and GREAT WOODY, 3 BULLFINCH, 1 SPARROWHAWK.. Full ringing report to follow .
At South Huish Marsh - 9 DUNLIN, 1 MED GULL 1 WIGEON, 20 TEAL, 155 SWALLOW, 455 HOUSE MARTIN, 2 LITTLE GREBE, 2 WHINCHAT.
In the Bay / rocks - 3 TURNSTONE, 1juv COMMON GULL, 3 BRENT GOOSE flew west
At South Efford Marsh Eric ( back from a very great trip to Shetlands , try and meet up with him in the hide to get the full report ) found - 2 RUFF, 2 GREENSHANK, 6 COMMON SANDPIPER, OSPREY ,
SAT 8 OCT
Another new year tick this morning - Alan Pomroy ringing at South Milton Ley heard a YELLOW BROWED WARBLER ( 186 ) at 08.00, could not be relocated . He ringed - 19 CHIFFY,
6 GOLDCREST, 2 BLACKCAP , also on site , SPARROWHAWK, BULLFINCH, 2 WATER RAIL , 1 SISKIN ( over )
At South Huish Marsh Bob reported a MERLIN, 530+ CANADA GOOSE ( site record )and by the footbridge a WATER RAIL
I started with a 35min Garden Watch from 07.55 - 25 species recorded inc - 1 GREEN WOODY, 4 CHIFFY, 5 PIED WAGH, 1 GREY WAG, 1 RAVEN, 1 REED BUNTING, 1 SNIPE, 6 LONG T TIT ,
30 GOLDFINCH .
Spent the reainder of the morning walking the valley from Bolberry to Soar Mill Cove - 2 RING OUZEL ( at the bottom of the valley ) , 14 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 WHITETHROAT,6 BLACKCAP,
9 ROBIN, 35 LINNET, 1 WHEATEAR, 2 CIRL BUNTING,
1 YELLOWHAMMER, 3 SONG THRUSH, 3 REDWING, 15 STONECHAT
Almost continuous passage of Hirundines - 85 SWALLOW,
310 HOUSE MARTIN
FRI 7 OCT
Another cloudy day with some heavy showers late morning , although wind still SE no more than a F2/3
Firstly an update from Thurs - Roger Backway found a CATTLE EGRET (185 ) at South Efford Marsh at 12.45 , he has sent me a photo which I will post later .As I walked past the same field less than 15 mins before him I am going to Specsavers !. It got even worse today- Terry G and I left the marsh at 12.55, reports on Rare Bird alert of first 1 at 13.01 and then 2 At 13.05, was back by 13.45 but no trace .
Also on the Marsh today - 3 GREENSHANK, 2 BLACK T GODWIT singles of RUFF, GREEN SANDPIPER and COMMON SANDPIPER ,
2 DUNLIN, 3 SNIPE
Earlier this morning at South Huish Marsh -45 TEAL,
1juv PINTAIL, 2 WIGEON, 10 DUNLIN, 2 LAPWING, 1 GREY WAGTAIL:, 7 CHIFFY, 1f REED BUNTING, 2 WHEATEAR,. On the rocks a GREY PLOVER and a RINGED PLOVER.
A Common Sandpiper was by the footbridge .
At 10.15 a passage of Hiundines commenced - in the next 30 mins before I left I logged - 420 HOUSE MARTIN, 80 SWALLOW and
15 SAND MARTIN
CATTLE and LITTLE EGRET South Efford Marsh 6 Oct 2016
Photo take by Roger backway
THURS 6 OCT
A cloudy morning with an increasing F4-6 ESE wind.
Started in the carpark at 08.00, nothing offshore , best of a light viz mig was a m YELLOW WAGTAIL. Moved on to my main viz mig site behind the Chuch , in just over an hour logged -
70 MIPIT, 15 GOLDFINCH, 6 CHAFFINCH, 30 SKYLARK, 35 ALBA WAGTAIL, 2 STONECHAT, 5 LINNET, 1 RAVEN, 1 WHEATEAR,
2 GOLDCREST. Only 5 SWALLOW but one flock of 80+ HOUSE MARTIN
Went to South Efford Marsh - no sign of the WOODCHAT SHRIKE, did see - 6 GREENSHANK, 5 BLACK T GODWIT, 2 REDSHANK,
7 DUNLIN, 60 TEAL
This morning Nick had on the beach - 1 GREY PLOVER,
3 SANDERLING, 3 DUNLIN, 12 RINGED PLOVER . Near South Miton Village he had a RED KITE ( 184 ) flying up the valley and 10 STARLING.
This morningBob reports 6 BRENT GOOSEat South Huish Marsh also 20 HOUSE MARTIN , 30 SWALLOW, 1 SAND MATIN and a juv COMMON GULL
This evening over my garden a JAY and 6 STARLING
WED 5 OCT
Another very interesting day on the patch. Whist mostly overcast viz offshore still good wind F5/6 ESE.
Decided to have an earlier start, seawatching from 07.40 until 10.10 followed by a walk around the marsh , beach/rocks -
Sightings from Bob's car park -
235 GANNET, 55 GREAT B B GULL, 10 AUKS, 3 COMMON SCOTER,
30 TEAL ( spent the morning on the sea ), 3 db BRENT GOOSE ( flew west @08.50 ) 1 MED GULL, at 09.20 picked up a juv BLACK TERN (183 ) flying close inshore ,did not linger continued east.
A MERLIN watched flying in off the sea at 09.26 - seen later by the Marsh at 10.40.Sparrowhawk flew along the cliffs .4 Raven also flew in off the sea .
Viz Mig - 125 MIPIT, 25 ALBA WAGTAIL, 2 GREY WAGTAIL,
12 LINNET, 1 SISKIN, 77 HOUSE MARTIN, 45 SWALLOW ,
12 SAND MARTIN .
Waders on the beach /rocks - 3 GREY PLOVER ( first of the autumn ) 40 RINGED PLOVER, 15 DUNLIN, 1 SANDERLING,
On South Huish Marsh - 60 TEAL, 6 WIGEON, 1 SNIPE and
Met Rob Hubble who had been to South Efford Marsh and had good views of the juv WOODCHAT SHRIKE, also 8 GREENSHANK,
1 RUFF, 2 REDSHANKand 2 DUNLIN.
Winds o/night forecast tobe E F7, easing down to F6 at 09.00, , more cloud with possibility of some light showers upto 13.00.
TUES 4 OCT
A strong F6 SE wind raised expectations for an interesting mornings seawatch . Results were better than expected . Weather was overcast but the Eddystone Lighthouse could be seen in the distance . Logged in a period of 3.5 hours from 09.00 viewing from Bobs car park were -
280 GANNET, 10 WIGEON, 12 COMMON SCOTER, 10 PINTAIL,
20 TEAL,1ad SHELDUCK, 1 GREAT N DIVER ( first of the autumn )
13 MALLARD, 140 CANADA GOOSE, 3 SANDWICH TERN, 1 COMMON TERN, 1 MED GULL, 19 LESSER B B GULL, 48 GREAT B B GULL,
1 RAZORBILL - apart from the COMMON TERN everything flew east .
Also 11 ALBA WAGTAIL, 25 MIPIT, 20 LINNET, 23 SWALLOW.
Waders - 2 BLACK T GODWIT ( in off ) On the beach 14 RINGED PLOVER, 2 DUNLIN , 2 SANDERLING.
Over my garden - 40 MIPIT, 1 JAY, 1 SNIPE
Looking forward to Wed with winds increasing overnight will this bring any Skuas ?
MON 3 OCT
Have just rec'd a photo from Dave Pakes of the juv WOODCHAT SHRIKE he refound at South Efford Marsh late morning . have spoken to Eric & Alan who are in Shetland looking at a Lanceolated Warbler , we all agree it is the same bird as Eric found on the 24 Sept. Also on the Marsh 5 BLACK T GODWIT,
1 RUFF, 2 GREENSHANK.
My day started very well with a BARN OWL over T'stone 'marsh' at 06.30 and a GREEN WOODY over the garden . Did a 2hr Viz Mig watch from the high ground at the back of the Golf Course from 07.40 some good movement observed -
365 MIPIT , 34 SKYLARK, 65 ALBA WAGTAIL - east plus a further 80 feeding on the greens , 40 SWALLOW, 12 SAND MARTIN,
3 HOUSE MARTIN , 2 STOCK DOVE, 55 LINNET, 4 CHAFFINCH,
31 GOLDFINCH, 1 GREENFINCH, 8 SISKIN, 1 WHEATEAR,
1 WHINCHAT, 1 GREAT SP WOODY -N , 15 WIGEON - S, 2 CHIFFY,
1 MISTLE THRUSH.
Bob reports from South Huish Marsh / Beach and South Milton Ley - 60 HOUSE MARTIN, 50 SWALLOW, 1 SAND MARTIN, 1 SISKIN,
3 SONG THRUSH, 10 DUNLIN, 2 RINGED PLOVER, 2 SANDERLING
SUN 2 OCT
A sunny still morning , warm for Oct
An hours Garden Watch from 07.30 was the best of the autumn , day total of 36 species included a year tick - at 08.25 a WOODLARK( (182) flew over up the valley - last year the only sighting was on the 1st Oct flying up the valley .Also at least 6 CHIFFY, 1 HOBBY, 8 LONG T TIT, at 13.00 4 RED L PARTRIDGE ( in field) and at 15.00 a REDSHANK flew west calling
Joined on tour of the patch by Bob and Chris - 1 WHEATEAR, 2 GREY wag, 20+ PIED WAG, 1 WHITE WAG, 11 SKYLARK, 30 MIPIT, 1 REED BUNTING, 1 REED WARBLER, 2 SEDGE WARBLER, 15 SWALLOW -east,
2 GREAT SP WOODY, a KINGFISHER flew under the footbridge, 3 CHIFFY and 4 in the gardens , 1 SONG THRUSH.
On the marsh - 1 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN, 1 RINGED PLOVER ( over ) ,
1 WHEATEAR, On the rocks a COMMON SANDPIPER
At South Milton LEY Bob had 3 WATER RAIL , BULLFINCH and a JAY
A good start to the month 82 species recorded in the first 2 days .
SAT 1 OCT
Overnight strong winds and thunder storms gave way to a morning of sunny periods but still a F6 /7 WNW wind
Started the month with a 40 min Garden watch from 07.55 - 30 species recorded including - 85 MIPIT, 8 PIED WAG, 1 GREY WAG ,
8 GOLDFINCH, 2 RAVEN, 20 SISKIN, 1 SWALLOW, 2 STOCK DOVE
Offshore - 15 GANNET, 1 AUK, .
Very little duck on South Huish Marsh - 3 TEAL, 3 MALLARD, 2 WIGEON, flying over / in the fields - 45 MIPIT, 2 WHEATEAR, 3 STONECHAT,
16 LINNET, 23 GOLDFINCH, 1 PEREGRINE, 5 SWALLOW, 1 HOUSE MARTIN, 1 DUNLIN,
An 1.5 hour visit to South Efford Marsh produced - 2 GREENSHANK,
2 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 BAR T GODWIT, 1 RUFF, 1GREEN SANDPIPER,
1 COMMON SANDPIPER, CURLEW, 150+ TEAL.
Cyprus 15 - 22 May
Anne and I managed to get a late booking back to one of our favourite islands of Cyprus . Managed to hire a car for 3 days and visited a few of the main sites . Saw a total of 70 species inc 3 ticks - GULL BILLED TERN SPOTTED REDSHANK and OYSTERCATCHER. Will write up a full report during the week
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