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 NOVEMBER review has been posted and I have transferred the NOVEMBER sightings to the archive 2016 section .
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
SOUTH MILTON LEY- WORKING PARTY SAT 21 JAN
Volunteers needed to assist with the annual reed cutting by gathering the cut reeds and make them ready for burning.. If you can assist for a couple of hours you will be very welcome .
Please wrap up warm, wellingtons required together with some food and drink
Parking arrangements being made to use one of the top fields .
If you have a long handled rake please bring it with you .
WED 18 JAN
A nice winter day-sunshine and only a light E breeze .
Started off with a 45 min Garden Watch at 07.55- 30 species logged including - 8 SNIPE, 2 GOLDCREST, 2 SONG THRUSH,
1 REED BUNTING, 110 STARLING, 50 MIPIT, 2 STOCK DOVE .
The DESERT WHEATEAR is coping with the disturbance on Leasfoot Beach , seen very well at 09.20 and 10.30.
On the rocks off WARREN PT 6 OYSTERCATCHER, 1 TURNSTONE and 2 PURPLE SANDPIPER ( 104 )
Offshore - 120+ RAZORBILL, 5 GUILLEMOT ( all on the sea ) ,
2 COMMON SCOTER, 60+ GANNET. 2 SKYLARK singing over the Golf Course .
On South Huish marsh only change was now 3 BLACK T GODWIT.
On the rocks 1 TURNSTONE and 6 RINGED PLOVER .
Went to see Alan who was ringing at South Milton Ley- around 50 CHIFFY on site - he ringed 8 new also 5 retraps , also ringed 3 new SIB CHIFFY with 1 retrap.! male FIRECREST, On site - 10 STOCK DOVE, 22 REDWING, 1 WATER RAIL ( heard )
At Aveton Gifford in Eric's garden- 1 FIRECREST, 10 LONG T TIT , 1 m BLACKCAP, 1 NUTHATCH ( heard )
TUES 17 JAN
Back on the patch this morning after a long w/end looking at RED KITE at Wallingford . Yesterday on the way back stopped off at Marsfield ( Gloucestershire ) to see CORN BUNTING despite heavy rain and low cloud managed to locate 15 .
Some further work to protect Leasfoot Beach commenced this morning with the delivery of some boulders and associated machinery . However the DESERT WHEATEAR still showing well both on the beach , road and Golf Cousre at 09.30
Main movement offshore were flocks of AUKS both on the sea and flying east, a total of 245 of which 90% were RAZORBILL. , also 22 GANNET, 11 KITTIWAKE, 2 COMMON SCOTER ( west ) ,
1 GREAT N DIVER ( on sea )
On the rocks - 10 TURNSTONE, 7 RINGED PLOVER .1f BLACK REDSTART( by the flats )
On South Huish Marsh - 85 WIGEON,25 TEAL, 1 SHELDUCK,
1 LITTLE GREBE , 29 LAPWING, 23 SNIPE, 2 BLACK T GODWIT,
At Huxton Cross the finch flock contained - 250+ LINNET,
100+ CHAFFINCH, 8 YELLOWHAMMER, also 400+ STARLING, and 1200 CORVIDS . Best was a f MERLIN ( 102 )
In local gardens - 1 BLACK REDSTART, 1m CIRL BUNTING,
1 CHIFFY and a SONG THRUSH
Bird of the day picked up by Rob Macklin- a 1stw GLAUCOUS GULL ( 103) off Bolt Tail flying into the Bay
WED 11 JAN
A suuny morning with an increasing NW wind F7+ by 13.00.
At 09.15 the DESERT WHEATEAR was showing well on Leasfoot Beach.8 TURNSTONE feeding on the shoreline
On South Huish Marsh - 90 WIGEON, 25 TEAL, 2 SHOVELER,
16 LAPWING, 12 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN, 1 BLACK T GODWIT.
2 interesting GULLS on the Marsh both 1stW a YELLOW L GULL
( 101 ) and a KITTIWAKE ( first time on the marsh since 2014)
A quick visit to the tidal road at Aveton Gifford - 2 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 GREENSHANK, 1 COMMON SANDPIPER, 3 CHIFFY,
Next update will be on Tuesday.
TUES 10 JAN
A cloudy morning with occasional drizzle , a brisk NW f 4/5 wind
The DESERT WHEATEAR was elusive this morning , at 11.30 took me 20 mins to locate it - moved from the beach to the bunkers and green of the first hole on the golf course .On the beach
Offshore -1 RED T DIVER (west at 09.05 )2 GREAT N DIVER (100 )
( west at 11.25 ) , 30 GANNET, 12 AUKS , 1 KITTIWAKE and a 1st w COMMON GULL ( 99). on the shore a flock of 130+ BLACK H GULL
On South Huish Marsh - 70 WIGEON, 20 TEAL, 2 SHOVELER,
12 LAPWING, 12 SNIPE, 2 BLACK T GODWIT - yesterday pm Nick had 3.
Around the Huxton Cross area the finch flock contained -
100+ CHAFFINCH, 120 LINNET, 8 YELLOWHAMMER,
1m BULLFINCH,10 GOLDFINCH, also - 1 NUTHATCH ( in the wood ) 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 40 REDWING, 250+ STARLING, 25 SKYLARK, 8 STOCK DOVE with 500 WOOD PIGEON
MON 9 JAN
Heavy rain set in from 10.00, spent a couple of hours at Aveton Gifford- 2 MISTLE THRUSH, 4 REDSHANK, 1 GREENSHANK,
2 COMMON SANDPIPER, 1 LITTLE GREBE , 1 GREY WAGTAIL,
A short visit to Topsham Bridge produced a DIPPER, COAL TIT , MARSH TIT ( heard )
Dropped into Stover C Park at 15.30 - 6 MANDARIN, 5 POCHARD , TUFTED DUCK, 1 GREAT C GREBE, 4 NUTHATCH, 5 SISKIN ,
SUN 8 JAN
After a day around the EXE Est and DAWLISH Bay, back on the patch this morning , a cloudy one with only a light WNW breeze.
The DESERT WHEATEAR continues to show well to another stream of visitors on Leasfoot Beach
Bob had a MISTLE THRUSH ( 94 ) near the hotel along with 5 REDWING
Offshore - 10 GANNET, 50 + RAZORBILL, 5 GUILLEMOT,
2 COMMON SCOTER ( 95 ), 1 RED T DIVER, 20 TURNSTONE,
a f BLACK REDSTART on the roof of the flats
On South Huish Marsh - 1 SHELDUCK ( 96 ) , 65 WIGEON, 15 TEAL, 1 SHOVELER, 1 L GREBE, 1 2w MED GULL, 15 LAPWING,
45+ SNIPE, 1 GOLDCREST and a KESTREL ( 97 )
At Aveton Gifford sewage works Eric had a YELLOW B WARBLER (98 ), 3 CHIFFY, 1f BLACKCAP
Ringing at the Sewage Works Alan had - 15 CHIFFY, 1 SIB CHIFFY, 2 REED BUNTING, 1 GOLDCREST . There were another 15 CHIFFY and 1 SIB CHIFFY on site
FRI 6 JAN
A cloudy morning with a F3/4 S wind
The DESERT WHEATEAR still showing , did spend part of the morning in the bunkers on the 1st hole, if not seen on the beach worth looking on the course .
Nothing worthwhile reporting offshore or on South Huish marsh .
A short visit to the Sewage Works found 10 CHIFFY ,
1 SIB CHIFFY ( ringed )1 GREY WAGTAIL, 3 BULLFINCH and
The finch etc flock again the most interesting - Only 100 + CHAFFINCH, 40 GOLDFINCH,150+ LINNET, 1 REED BUNTING,
4 YELLOWHAMMER, 4 FIELDFARE, 400+ WOOD PIGEON and
At Aveton Gifford Rod Bone reports a singing CETTIS WARBLER, and SISKIN
THURS 5 JAN
A cloudy and cold morning but very little breeze
Yet again the DESERT WHEATEAR showing well to more visitors on Leasfoot Beach . Several people have commented that this is probably the easiest twitch for a B B rarity they have ever made , coupled with some superb views down to a few feet .
Offshore this morning the first Diver of the year - a RED THROATED, also 70 + GANNET ( inc a feeding frenzy flock of 60 ), 6 KITTIWAKE, 15 + AUKS and 7 RAZORBILL ( on sea ). Of interest there were 3 pods of DOLPHIN feeding with a total of at least 20 inc some young.
By the footbridge - a KINGFISHER, a CIRL BUNTING and a SONG THRUSH.
On South Huish Marsh - 11 LAPWING, 1 BLACK T GODWIT ,
1 DUNLIN, only 15 TEAL, 60+ WIGEON, the pair of GADWALL, the imm SHOVELER and a LITTLE GREBE . A few SNIPE and a WATER PIPIT were on the back marsh .Around the copse 9 SONG THRUSH and the f BLACK REDSTART by the flats
The Finch flock at Huxton Cross was 400+ with 90% CHAFFINCH, balance LINNET and GOLDFINCH , 1 REDWING
In Buckland Valley - a GREY WAGTAIL, GREAT Sp WOODY
This afternoon a visit to a few sites outside the patch area -
New Mill Bridge - a DIPPER
Topsham Bridge - one of the few sites in the South Hams where you can see all 5 TIT species together - inc several COAL TIT and a MARSH TIT , also 30 REDWING , 2 BULLFINCH
Gara Bridge - 3 NUTHATCH, GREAT Sp WOODY
Aveton Gifford Marsh and tidal road - 3 GREENSHANK, REDSHANK, CURLEW, WATER PIPIT, 1 f BLACK REDSTART,
1 NUTHATCH, 1 JAY, 20 + SONG THRUSH ( with 10 at S H Marsh a day total of 30 is probably a site winter record )
Eric rec'd a report of a BARN OWL hunting at 23.00 Tues.
WED 4 JAN
A cloudy day with only a light breeze .
At 09.00 the DESERT WHEATEAR showing well down to just a few feet at times, also on the beach 8 TURNSTONE , 8 RINGED PLOVER, 1 f BLACK REDSTART
Offshore - 70+ GANNET, 10 KITTIWAKE, 5 AUKS
On South Huish Marsh - 65 WIGEON, 17 TEAL, 2 GADWALL,
1 LITTLE GREBE , 8 LAPWING, 10 SNIPE ,1 DUNLIN, 1 WATER RAIL
At the sewage works Stuart Logan had a FIRECREST , also a report of TAWNY OWL for the last 2 nights
At Aveton Gifford Eric had a m BLACKCAP and a TREE CREEPER.
This afternoon went over to Slapton with Eric where we were joined by Terry , Stuart and the Hope Cove birders. On the Ley -
1 BLACK N GREBE, 3m 2f GOLDENEYE,3m 1f POCHARD,
1 imm M SCAUP , WATER RAIL, GREAT C GREBE , lots of TUFTED DUCK, GADWALL, WIGEON and COOT.
In the Bay ( from the Monument car park )- 1 GREAT N DIVER,
1 RED T DIVER, 1 BLACK N GREBE, 3 COMMON SCOTER
TUES 3 JAN
Another cold morning , frost, sunny and very light breeze .
DESERT WHEATEAR still showing well on Leasfoot Beach.
Interesting birds in/over my garden - CHIFFY., LESSER B B GULL, 1 GREEN WOODY.
Spent an hour this morning around the Kingsbridge Est-
From Bowcombe Bridge - 50+ BRENT GOOSE -db, 7 RED B MERGANSER , 70+ SHELDUCK .
At Blanksmill Bridge - 150+ GOLDEN PLOVER ( flew south ),
100+ CURLEW, lots of WIGEON, TEAL, 2 PINTAIL, 3 GREENSHANK, REDSHANK, 200+ DUNLIN, 12 GREY PLOVER, JAY.
At Huxton Cross - 100+ CHAFFINCH, 45 LINNET, 250+ STARLING, 15 SKYLARK, 2 YELLOWHAMMER, 1 REDWING, 5 FIELDFARE, PEREGRINE.
MON 2 JAN
Back to the fine sunny weather with a cold NEf5 wind. Many visitors today to year tick the DESERT WHEATEAR on Leasfoot Beach, also on site 2 f BLACK REDSTART
Offshore 30 + AUKS ( one flock of 20 ) 15 GANNET, 8 KITTIWAKE .
On South Huish Marsh - 97 WIGEON, 20 TEAL. 2 GADWALL,
1 imm SHOVELER, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 1 BLACK T GODWIT,
1 DUNLIN, 1 RINGED PLOVER , 30 SNIPE.
On the rocks a TURNSTONE, a PEREGRINE flew through.
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports -
3 BLACK T GODWIT, 4 REDSHANK, 35 CURLEW , 2 COMMON SANDPIPER, 120 WIGEON, 80+ TEAL, 2 LITTLE GREBE,
5 WATER PIPIT, 2 CHIFFY
In Nick's garden in South Milton a JAY
SUN 1 JAN 2017
After some very pleasant weather last week ,this morning saw a complete change- F6 WSW wind, 100% cloud, heavy showers . Only a limited time available - started with a cold Garden Watch at 08.00- 25 species recorded including - GOLDCREST, SPARROWHAWK, RAVEN ,SONG THRUSH and 4 RED L PARTRIDGE.
A quick visit to Leasfoot Beach at 10.00 confirmed the DESERT WHEATEAR still on site despite the conditions, offshore a few GANNET, 2 KITTIWAKE, on the rocks TURNSTONE
On South Huish Marsh- BLACK T GODWIT, DUNLIN, WIGEON , TEAL, SHOVELER, SNIPE, LAPWING, LITTLE GREBE , on the rocks a f BLACK REDSTART.
Couldn't resist a quick visit to Huxton Cross at 15.00- 16.00
175 + CHAFFINCH, 4 YELLOWHAMMER, 5 SKYLARK, 5 STOCK DOVE, 6 FIELDFARE, 1 REDWING ,500+ STARLING
Looking out from his flat at Avtn Gifford Eric had , COAL TIT
LONG T TIT and 12 REDWING, Paul Bouldon had - GREENSHANK COMMON SANDPIPER
Total species recorded was 62.
SAT 31 DEC
A fitting end to the year , the DESERT WHEATEAR showing well on Leasfoot Beach at 14.30, and Eric had a YELLOW BROWED WARBLER in the car park at AVETON GIFFORD at 14.00- not so long ago that would have been 2 B B rarities on the patch in one day
Off to enjoy a family celebration and our 51st wedding anniversary - here's looking forward to 2017
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you
FRI 30 DEC
The spell of calm and sunny weather just continues whilst many parts of Devon were foggy here in Thurlestone it was a beautiful day .
An hours Garden watch from 08.00 only produced 23 species but included - RAVEN , REED BUNTING, 5 SONG THRUSH, 3 LONG T TIT
Offshore around 20 GANNET, 30 AUKS ( on the sea ) 2 KITTIWAKE , 5 WIGEON flew east
South Huish Marsh very similar to yesterday - 2 LITTLE GREBE,
1 SHELDUCK, 7 SONG THRUSH , a PREREGRINE flew over,
a F BLACK REDSTART on one of the blocks of flats
A 14.00 on Leasfoot Beach the DESERT WHEATEAR still coping with the disturbace and showing well.Also , on the beach
By the village shop in Avtn Gifford Eric had a FIRECREST and a NUTHATCH.
Next update will be Jan 2 - meanwhile enjoy your New Year festivities ready for an action packed start to 2017
THURS 29 DEC
Another fantastic day for birding once the frost had gone, very light breeze from E. Sunny until after lunch .
Did a garden watch for 45min from 08.05 24 species recorded, best were - 1 GOLDCREST, 1 REED BUNTING, 2 SONG THRUSH,
5 LONG T TIT , 2 TEAL.
First stop was Leasfoot Beach at 09.20- The DESERT WHEATEAR still showing well, hopefully it will stay on its favourite portion of the beach , really has not moved for almost 6 weeks .
Offshore only a few GANNET and AUKS
On the rocks / beach - 6 RINGED PLOVER, 3 TURNSTONE .
On South Huish Marsh - 75 WIGEON, 40 TEAL, 2 GADWALL,
1imm SHOVELER, 5db BRENT GOOSE, 1 LITTLE GREBE,
8 LAPWING, 35 SNIPE , 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 RINGED PLOVER,and very good views of a WATER RAIL, around the copse 8 SONG THRUSH, 1 REDWING, 1 MISTLE THRUSH.
2 Visits to Huxton Cross proved very worthwhile- at 12.30 -
150 + CHAFFINCH, 35 LINNET, 30 GREENFINCH, 2m BRAMBLING, 1m YELLOWHAMMER, 15 STOCK DOVE, 3 REDWING, 1 FIELDFARE
Returning at 15.00 for 30 mins had a WOODCOCK fly over, amongst the finch flock at least 10 YELLOWHAMMER,
The usual winter SKYLARK flock ( can be 200+ ) is absent this winter , anyone else missing this bird ?
At South Efford Marsh Eric reports - 120 TEAL, 80 WIGEON, REDSHANK, GREENSHANK, COMMON SANDPIPER, 5 BULLFINCH,
5 WATER PIPIT
Have just completed a short review of the year, covering the scarce / rare species recorded on the patch , also details of 4 memorable days seawatching , will post this over the weekend
WED 28 DEC
A lovely sunny calm morning with only a light frost at dawn .
An hours seawatching from 09.15 based in the car park produved - A male VELVET SCOTER flying east ( only my 4th record in 10 years , although a visitor reported one on 8 Dec ), 4 db BRENT GOOSE flew east at 09.45 , 4 KITTIWAKE , At least 200 GANNET
( at one time 150+ were sat on the sea ), 90 AUKS either on the sea or flying east . By the rocks a f BLACK REDSTART
On South Huish marsh - 75 WIGEON, 35 TEAL, 1 LITTLE GREBE ,
2 GADWALL, 28 SNIPE, 8 LAPWING, 2 BLACK T GODWIT., 1 ad COMMON GULL . At 11.30 5 BRENT GOOSE dp flew in off the sea and landed on the marsh .
This afternoon 2 CHIFFY in my garden and a m BULLFINCH along the lanes
TUES 27 DEC
An overcast morning with light N breeze , a keen frost around dawn.
After spending Xmas with family at Wallingford - commonest bird - RED KITE, back on the patch this morning. First stop was Leasfoot Beach where the DESERT WHEATEAR was still showing well even with increased visitors on the beach , also 2 TURNSTONE
Offshore 20+ GANNET and 18 AUKS flying east . A pod of around
6 Harbour Porpoise feeding offshore.
On South Huish Marsh - 85 WIGEON, 45 TEAL, 2 SHELDUCK,
1 SHOVELER, 2 GADWALL, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 8 SNIPE, 7 LAPWING, 1 BLACK T GODWIT. In the copse 3 SONG THRUSH.
A quick visit to the sewage works produced 15+ CHIFFY .
At Huxton Cross the finch flock contained - 100+ CHAFFINCH, 30 LINNET, 1 YELLOWHAMMER and 1 SISKIN
Merry Xmas to all birders who log into the blog . Hope you have had a very enjoyable years birding, we certainly have in Thurlestone .
Only 8 more days to the start of 2017 when all the year lists start with plenty of enthusiasm.
Will try and post an update after 27 Dec ., meanwhile relax and enjoy the festive season
WED 21 DEC
100% cloud cover this morning with a F5 SW wind.
Offshore some GANNET, AUKS , 1 KITTIWAKE and at 10.10
2 GREAT N DIVER flew west .
On the rocks 11 TURNSTONE.
South Huish Marsh held - 72 WIGEON, 35 TEAL, 7 LAPWING ,
1 BLACK T GODWIT .
This afternoon a drive along the tidal road at Aveton Gifford with Eric produced - GREENSHANK, REDSHANK, COMMON SANDPIPER, BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH, TREE CREEPER , GOLDCREST and
TUES 20 DEC
An overcast morning after rain o/night with a light SE breeze.
At 09.15 the DESERT WHEATEAR showing well by the boat on Leasfoot Beach. It has now been on the patch for 43 days, will be interesting to see how it copes with the spell of gales and rain forcast for the Xmas w/end
Offshore this morning - 36 AUKS , 3 KITTIWAKE, 1 BLACK T DIVER ( flew east @ 09.50), 1m TEAL in off and 30 GANNET, at 11.50 picked up a feeding frenzy of 500+ GANNET well offshore .
On the rocks 7 TURNSTONE
On South Huish marsh - 60 WIGEON, 50+ TEAL, 1 SHOVELER,
2 BLACK T GODWIT,5 LAPWING, 3 SNIPE .
The finch and thrush flocks at Huxton X / Wood were - 120 FIELDFARE, 60+ REDWING, 1 JAY, 100+ CHAFFINCH, 30 LINNET and a MERLIN
Through my garden this morning - 4 LONG T TIT, 7 REDWING,
2 CHIFFY, 1 GREAT SP WOODY
In Eric's garden at 16.30 a TAWNY OWL calling
MON 19 DEC
Ringing at South Milton Ley on Sun Roger and Helen ringed -
9 CHIFFY, 1 GOLDCREST, 5 REDWING, 2 REED BUNTING,
3 GREENFINCH .
A couple of interesting controls to report -
A SEDGE WARBLER ringed 14 AUG 2016 at TEFI MARSH CEREDIGION controlled at S M Ley on 28 AUG 2016
A REED WARBLER ringed at UTRECHT Holland, on 21 JULY 2016 controlled at S M LEY on 23 AUG 2016 - an intersting post breeding dispersal.
A SEDGE WARBLER ringed on 8 AUG 2015 at DONGES LOIRE ATLANTIQUE FRANCE controlled at S M LEY on 23 AUG 2016 .
Today very cloudy , only a light breeze with a flat sea . Joined by Graham this morning
On South Huish Marsh - 62 WIGEON, 40 TEAL, 1imm SHOVELER,
1 LITTLE GREBE, 4 LAPWING, 3 BLACK T GODWIT, 11 SNIPE
The DESERT WHEATEAR reported on Leasfoot Beach at 09.10 .
On the rocks - 9 RINGED PLOVER, 15 TURNSTONE, 1f BLACK REDSTART
A 90 min seawatch produced 6 DIVERS - 1 GREAT N , 3 RED T,
1 BLACK T ( on sea ) and 1 DIVER Sp ( flew west -toofar out to ID ) 16 COMMON SCOTER, 48 AUKS, 32 GANNET, 1 KITTIWAKE
SAT 17 DEC
Alan Pomroy was ringing at South Milton Ley , trapped and ringed were - 7 CHIFFCHAFF, 2 SIBERIAN CHIFFY, 2 REED BUNTING . This now makes 4 SIBERIAN CHIFFY ringed this month , he also had 2 unringed birds on site today , a total of 6 in a month is a site record .Also on site this morning were 3 WATER RAIL and
20 REDWING .
Report also rec'd that the DESERT WHEATEAR and a BLACK REDSTART are still showing well on Leasfoot Beach .
THURS 15 DEC
An overcast and cloudy morning with a light shower, wind f3 SSE.
Some movement of birds offshore- 2hr seawatch from 09.30 from Rock flats- 7 Divers flew west between 10.08 and 10.45 - 3 single GREAT N DIVER, 2 BLACK T DIVER ( together ) and 1 RED T DIVER . A total of 82 AUKS logged ( most were GUILLEMOT ) , 41 GANNET, 21 KITTIWAKE ( inc 1 juv ), 2 FULMAR , 1 PEREGRINE flew east. On the rocks were 22 TURNSTONE, 7 RINGED PLOVER
On South Huish Marsh - 48 WIGEON, 45 TEAL, 2 GADWALL,
1 SHELDUCK, 2 LAPWING, 1 SNIPE
In Aveton Gifford village ( by the shop ) Eric had 25 SISKIN and
WED 14 DEC
Looking out of our bedroom window at 07.35 at a wonderful dawn surprised to watch a BITTERN (202 ) fly up the valley , first record for a few years will have to keep a lookout over the next few days to see if it reappears - typical BITTERN dawn flight off to a feeding site . Also the 5 RED L PARTRIDGE still in the field opposite .
On Leasfoot Beach the DESERT WHEATEAR still feeding around the upturned boat and posing for 2 photographers at 09.15
Offshore 25 + GANNET, 30 AUKS ( mostly flying east ), 1 GREAT N DIVER feeding only 30 feet off the shore .
On the rocks 7 RINGED PLOVER, 12 TURNSTONE and a F BLACK REDSTART
On South Huish Marsh little change from Monday .
In stubble fields near Huxton Cross the first big Finch flock of the winter - 150+ CHAFFINCH, 100+ LINNET, 10 YELLOWHAMMER
( highest count this year ) and 3 CIRL BUNTING
TUES 13 DEC
Only time for a short visit this morning - amongst the 85 BLACK H GULL on the rocks were an ad MED GULL and an ad COMMON GULL
MON 12 DEC
Very low cloud , showers and a brisk W wind . Joined by Graham this morning
The DESERT WHEATEAR showing well, even in the rain , on Leasfoot Beach
Offshore - 75+ GANNET, 2 KITTIWAKE, 2 COMMON SCOTER ( flew east ), 1 GREAT N DIVER on sea , another flew east at 11.50 ,
50 WIGEON on sea .
On South Huish Marsh - 50+ TEAL, 38 WIGEON, 1 imm SHOVELER, 2 GADWALL., 1 SHELDUCK flew up the valley , 2 LITTLE GREBE, 5 LAPWING, 35 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN, 1 BLACK T GODWIT . Most of the Duck and waders were spooked by a working party from Nat Trust who were replacing boundry fence posts . The Wigeon moved on to the sea and were joined by another small flock to total 50
In fields opposite my house 5 RED L PARTRIDGE
SUN 11 DEC
After yesterdays wet and dank conditions nice to find a sunny, almost windless day .
The DESERT WHEATEAR continued to pose for the photographers on Leasfoot Beach, also there 2 BLACK REDSTART( imm male , and a female )
Offshore only 15 GANNET, 4 AUKS, .On the rocks - 8 RINGED PLOVER, 15 TURNSTONE, a MERLIN flew through. By the flats an ad male and a female BLACK REDSTART.
On South Huish Marsh -80 TEAL, 25 WIGEON, 2 GADWALL,
1 LAPWING, 1 DUNLIN, 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 15 SNIPE, 1 GREY WAGTAIL, 1 WATER PIPIT, 1 PEREGRINE and a SPARROWHAWK over, .
At South Milton Ley Roger and Helen had a quiet morning - on site - 3 TAWNY OWL, 200 REDWING, 6 BULLFINCH, 20 CHIFFY , 1 CIRL BUNTING.
In my garden this pm 2 CHIFFY and 2 MISTLE THRUSH flew over .
Eric had the bird of the day on South Efford Marsh - 2 WHITE FRONTED GOOSE ( 201) flew from the marsh down the estuary, also 4 BLACK T GODWIT, 3 GREENSHANK, 3 REDSHANK,
2 COMMON SANDPIPER, 4 CHIFFY, 8 BULLFINCH, 20 LONG T TIT and a GOLDCREST.
FRI 9 DEC
A 40 min Garden watch from 07.50 only produced 24 species but did include - 1 NUTHATCH, 1m BLACKCAP, 4 CHIFFY.
On Leasfoot Beach at 09.10 the DESERT WHEATEAR was still showing well - mostly around the upturned boat . It has now been on the patch since the 8 OCT.
On South Huish marsh - 25 WIGEON, 65 TEAL, 2 MUTE SWAN,
2 LITTLE GREBE, 1 BLACK T GODWIT ,1 LAPWING, 1 DUNLIN, 9 OYSTERCATCHER. 40 GOLDFINCH, 10 GREENFINCH.
By the Flats 1 ad Male and 1 F BLACK REDSTART, on the rocks
22 TURNSTONE .
Offshore at least 150 GANNET, 2 AUKS flew east
At South Efford marsh Eric reports very little change over the last 2 weeks , up to 8 WATER PIPIT, 4 BLACK T GODWIT, 2 COMMON SANDPIPER, 3 GREENSHANK, 2 REDSHANK, 30 CURLEW, 1 LAPWING . Numbers of Wigeon and TEAL have reduced
THURS 8 DEC
The 200th specie was recorded today at 13.00 - a VELVET SCOTER. Anyone who follows this blog will be aware of my attempts to reach this toal having failed in the last 4 years only reaching 198 in 2011 and 2012. Still the rest of December to see if the total can be increased.
Whilst I was away some records received for the patch -
DESERT WHEATEAR -daily , up to 3 BLACK REDSTARTS ( inc an ad Male ), a MERLIN, .
Alan P held 2 ringing sessions - 1st Dec- 3 CETTIS WARBLER, 17 CHIFFY, 2 REED BUNTING, 2 BULLFINCH, 1 GREAT SP WOODY ,
6 DEC - 1 FIRECREST, 1 GOLDCREST, 9 CHIFFY, 2 SIB CHIFFY, 1 REED BUNTING, 2 BULLFINCH, also on site -3 MISTLE THRUSH, 58 LAPWING, 1 PEREGRINE
MON 5 DEC -LANZAROTE UPDATE 2
Only managed to add 2 new species - a pair of TUFTED DUCK flew onto the salt pan lake and a juv MARSH HARRIER flew over the scrub land at Soo.
waders at the salt pans on our last 2 visits much less numerous , BLACK WINGERD STILT up to 40, RUDDY SHELDUCK 13 , the BLACK NECKED GREBE FLOCK UP TO 50 .
Last day with the car saw us driving to the north of the island very few birds , one area described a few years ago as the best site on the island for waders was completely dried out. Finished up driving to the arrears of scrub and desert land around Soo, the site where we found the HOUBARAS was quiet apart from a flock of up to 20 BERTHELOTS PIPIT and a few SHORT TOED LARK . Next stop the area where the STONE CURLEW were, today a flock of 50 provided great views down to 25 feet.
Driving along one of the scrub tracks was where the MARSH HARRIER flew through, whilst watching it hunting it disturbed 2 HOUBARA BUSTARD which then flew over us at a height of 20 feet landing nearby, superb views of a pair both inflight and feeding on the ground . Over the next dune a flock of 7 CREAM COLOURED COURSER watched for 30 mins viewed at 30-50 yards
Whilst LANZAROTE will never produce a range of species to match other holiday trips it has been very rewarding , it may have taken several hours of scanning the scrubland but the results made it worthwhile .It is a long time since i had 4 life ticks in such a short time and still in Europe
SAT 3 DEC - LANZAROTE UPDATE
Local walks along the coast paths only produced 15 species by thursday , best of which was a SPOTTED SANDPIPER on the rocks .
Collected a car on Fri morning which transformed the week, first stop was the nearby Saltpans - a great site for waders -35 BLACK WINGED STILT, 8 REDSHANK, 2 GREENSHANK,3 AVOCET,25 + KENTISH PLOVER, 2 RINGED PLOVER, 30 SANDERLING, 8 TURNSTONE, 2 LITTLE STINT, 1 CURLEW SANDPIPER, On one of the main pools a flock of 42 BLACK NECKED GREBE, 11 RUDDY SHELDUCK , 2 MALLARD and a BLACK H GULL. In nearby scrubland , 2 SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE, 2 BERTHOLET PIPITS, 1 WHITE WAGTAIL.
Taking a small track off-road came across s large flock of birds comprising - 60+ LINNET, 10 TRUMPETER FINCH, 5 LESSER SHORT TOED LARK. By the camel station 50+ ROCK DOVE .
Next searching for the Bustards - unsigned sand based tracks had to be negotiated , we did mange to find a flock of 17 CREAM COLOURED COURSER ( great views )2 SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE, 15 LESSER SHORT TOED LARK, 10 BERTHOLETS PIPIT and 3 CATTLE EGRET
Species list up to 33
This morning heavy rain and low cloud - made our way to SOO, over breakfast 3 GANNET feeding in the Bay .
Near SOO found a flock of 20 CATTLE EGRET, Looking at them realized hidden amongst the bushes were at least 45 STONE CURLEW. Again spent a couple of hours looking for the Bustard , another 25 CATTLE EGRET seen, then at 11.55 managed to pick up a large bird running through some bushe s , after a few minutes scoping the area found 4 HOUBARA BUSTARD with some good in flight views of 1.
So far 4 life ticks , largest flocks of B N GREBE, CC COURSER and STONE CURLEW .
Off for another look around the saltpans .
Photos of the DESERT WHEATEAR 13 Nov 2016 from Alan Doidge
YELLOW BROWED WARBLER at South Milton Ley 19 Oct
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