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 .

2 WHEATEAR

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 ,

1 WHEATEAR

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

SQUACCO HERONS.

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 !

Record shot of male Red Backed Shrike South Huish Marsh 9 July

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.

GLOSSY IBIS - South Huish Marsh 19 Nov 2015 - Alan Doidge
ISABELLINE SHRIKE
ISABELLINE SHRIKE - SOUTH HUISH MARSH 14 OCT 2015- photos by Alan Doidge and Richard Stafford

Photos below of the BEE-EATERS at Aymer Cove 30 MAY  taken by Alan Doidge

2014

Record shot of the GLOSSY IBIS taken at 16.00 Sat 27 Dec- Alan Doidge

WHOOPER SWAN family- T'stone Marsh on 19 OCT 2014
Crane at South Huish Marsh 20 Oct 2014- Alan Doidge

TUES 16 SEPT

Some Recent photos from Alan Doidge

Photos from Alan Doidge at South Huish Marsh