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  May review has been posted and I have transferred the MAY sightings to the archive 2017 section .

 

 

 

Have retained a lot of photos  from the last 3 years at the end of this months report 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

FRI 23 JUNE

After a very quiet day yesterday a little more around this morning . Started 100% cloud with a brisk F 5/6 W wind

In a 2hr seawatch from the car park - 35 GANNET, 4 MANX SHEARWATER, 2 KITTIWAKE, 1 AUK, 6ad BLACK H GULL ,

2 OYSTERCATCHER on the rocks .

On South Huish Marsh 2 CATTLE EGRET still, 2 SHELDUCK, 3 COOT 2 WHITETHROAT , 2 CHIFFY, 4 STONECHAT, , at least 10juv PIED WAGTAIL .

Amongst a flock of 50 + Gulls were 4 LESSER B B GULL, 3 GREAT BB GULL, and an ad YELLOW L GULL ( first june record for a few years )

WED 21 JUNE

Back on the patch this morning , met up with Graham - another sunny and warm day , hazy offshore with a F5/6 E wind early

The surprise this morning was a 1st summer GREAT NORTHERN DIVER feeding close inshore from 09.00-10.15 . This is certainly the latest June record ( only 3 in the last 7 years ). Also offshore 14 GANNET, 1 SANDWICH TERN, 4 BLACK H GULL , 5 SWIFT ( flew south )

On South Huish marsh  2 CATTLE EGRET, amongst the hirundines

2 SAND MARTIN .1m REED BUNTING

Very little to report whist I was away, Hobby over Aveton Gifford the best .

Although outside the patch a vey interesting photo from Terry Fenton on holiday from Glos. A male RED B Shrike he saw on Portlemouth Down - just inland from Mill Bay on 14 June

FRI 16 JUNE

Another sunny day although did start out with some cloud , a brisk F3/4 W wind

Info received from James K of 2 records at Hope Cove -

Mon 5.June- At 19.50 a dp ARCTIC SKUA flew east round Bolt Tail .. On SAT 10 June driving into Inner Hope on the road from Bolberry a HAWFINCH ( 183 ) feeding on the road - i will need info from Bob as to when the last record was - certainly not in the last 10 years 

On South Huish Marsh yesterday 2 CATTLE EGRET , still feeding with the horses this morning , also 2 LITTLE EGRET, 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 2 WHITETHROAT , 1m 4 juv STONECHAT , 2 flocks of SWIFT 15 flew through . In the surrounding fields a flock of over 500 CORVID feeding after silage collected

By the footbridge -  1m REED BUNTING , 20+ HOUSE SPARROW

On the rocks 11 OYSTERCATCHER

Offshore a few GANNET, 1 FULMAR.

At 08.55 a CATTLE EGRET flew over the car park towards the Avon estuary

Next update will be Wed

WED 14 JUNE

A glorious sunny morning with only a light breeze .

An hours Garden watch from 07.45 produced 33 species including - 25 SWIFT, HOUSE MARTIN , SWALLOW. JAY, a CATTLE EGRET flew east at 07.55, a number of Warblers - REED , SEDGE , WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP, CHIFFY, first small flock of 14 STARLING, HERON , 2 SANDWICH TERN flew east

Decided visits to 2 local valley would be more interesting in these conditions , starting with Hatch Bridge - 2 NUTHATCH,

3 GOLDCREST, 2 GREY WAGTAIL, , GREAT SP WOODY, COAL TIT ,

2 WILLOW WARBLER, 3 BLACKCAP, 3 CHIFFY.1 WHITETHROAT

Then on to Buckland Valley - 12 HOUSE MARTIN , 4 SWALLOW,

1 WHITETHROAT, CHIFFY, 2 BLACKCAP, 1 SPOTTED FLY,

1 GREEN WOODY , 2 RED L PARTRIDGE

TUES 13 JUNE

After a weekend spent watching RED KITE at Wallingford back on the patch today, met up with Graham 

A very nice sunny day with only a light W breeze ,.

Offshore - 15 GANNET, 2 SANDWICH TERN, 1 KITTIWAKE

By the footbridge - 3juv STONECHAT, 2 WHITETHROAT, REED WARBLER and CHIFFY

On South Huish Marsh 2 resident CATTLE EGRET with another flying in at 10.15 and flew back west at 11.30, 1ad 3juv STONECHAT, 1 WHITETHROAT, 12 STARLING, 2 RAVEN , 9 SWIFT, SEDGE WARBLER

Whist Eric was relaxing in his garden at 11.20 he had a RED KITE fly over .

Whist at a steam fair managed to buy a pristine copy of Birds of the Banbury area 1972-1981, very interesting reading . If anyone reading the blog has an interest in that area if they contact me i am happy to pass this piece of ornithological history on ,.

FRI 9 JUNE

Late start after watching the Election into the early hours . A morning of sunny periods with a W wind F 6/7

Short seawatch produced - 14 GANNET, 10 KITTIWAKE ,

1 SANDWICH TERN , 1 STORM PETREL ( flew west at 09.30 )

On South Huish Marsh only 1 CATTLE EGRET . 7 juv STONECHAT on the fences.

Nick T rang this afternoon a resident of South Milton found an oiled GUILLEMOT on the beach - taken into care . Please keep  an eye out for any other casualties

THURS 8 JUNE

Another morning where the weather did not reflect the time of the year - heavy rain until 10.30  , poor offshore viz , Wind SSW 7 .

Managed a 2hr seawatch from 10.30 - Further east good numbers of STORM PETREL, I only recorded 2  ( both east at 11.40 & 11.48 ) ( 181 ) , always a difficult bird to see in the Bay , also 31 GANNET, 6 FULMAR, 285 MANX SHEARWATER , 1 BLACK H GULL

( 1s )and 1 COMMON GULL

On South Huish Marsh 3 CATTLE EGRET

WED 7 JUNE

A morning of sunny periods with a brisk W F4/5 wind .

In 30 mins from the carpark and not recording even 1 GANNET  decided on a change of venue , picked up Eric and covered the Aveton Gifford area - tidal road and surrounding woods and then up to Hatch Bridge - main highlights -

2 SPOTTED FLY , Several COAL TIT and JAY, BULLFINCH, WHITETHROAT, GREAT Sp WOODY , 3 GREY WAGTAIL , 3 CHIFFY.

TUES 6 JUNE

A morning of very heavy squally showers interspersed with some sunny periods . Unusually for June winds gusting at least to F8 W.

Biggest problem was to find a spot where a sope could be used and shelter from the showers

.

Joined by Graham and for part of the morning Terry .

Seawatching from 09.00 t0 12.15 produced - my first June record of a SOOTY SHEARWATER ( 181 ) which flew east reasonably close in at 10.20 .130 MANX SHEARWATER, 150 GANNET,

7 FULMAR, 3 KITTIWAKE . , 2 AUKS

On South Huish marsh 2 CATTLE EGRET feeding amongst the Highland Cattle

 

MON 5 JUNE

With forecast of strong winds and rain holding off until 10.00 was in Bobs car park for 07.15 , rough seas , SSW F7/8 and poor offshore viz . Raining early with a brief dry spell from 08.00-09.15

42 GANNET, 3 FULMAR, 31 MANX SHEARWATER, 3 COMMON SCOTER, 3 KITTIWAKE ,logged.

Returned at 17.00 wind gusting F8/9 still raing , in 20 mins

18 GANNET, 1 FULMAR .

Yesterday before the rain only a few GANNET offshore whilst on South Huish Marsh still 1 CATTLE EGRET

SAT 3 JUNE

After yesterdays rain during the morning and again in the afternoon , today started nice and sunny with a light breeze - Did an hours Garden watch from 07.30 which produced the highest total at 37 for some months . Amongst the highlights were - a CATTLE EGRET which flew west at 07.35 . , 14 Swift . a GREEN WOODY, REED and SEDGE WARBLER, BLACKCAP, CHIFFY, WHITETHROAT, 14 SWALLOW, only1 HOUSE MARTIN, Ad and Juv SONG THRUSH, CIRL BUNTING, SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL,

RED L PARTRIDGE.

SOME UNSEASONAL WEATHER FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS WITH SOME RAIN AND STRONG WINDS, seawatching could be worthwhile

 

THURS 1 JUNE

A lovely sunny day once the mist cleared by 08.00, only a light variable breeze

Started the new month with an hours garden watch from 07.15, a total of 36 species recorded including - SWALLOW, SWIFT, HOUSE MARTIN, COAL TIT , LONG T TIT, SKYLARK, LITTLE EGRET, REED BUNTING , CIRL BUNTING, BLACKCAP, CHIFFY, WHITETHROAT, SEDGE & REED WARBLER, RED L PARTRIDGE

On Yarmer Beach - 9 OYSTERCATCHER, 2 DUNLIN, 2 SANDERLING, 1 WHIMBREL

Offshore a few GANNET, FULMAR, 9 COMMON SCOTER

On South Huish Marsh - 1 CATTLE EGRET ( now been recorded in every month this yaer ) 4 LITTLE EGRET, 1m TEAL , 2 SHELDUCK with 4 young .

Along the lanes and Buckland Valley - 1 YELLOWHAMMER,

2 GREAT SP WOODY, 1 MISTLE THRUSH , 5 BUZZARD

WED 31 MAY

Aquiet end to the month - another morning with low cloud , sea fog and drizzle

Offshore only a few GANNET, a FULMAR , the female COMMON SCOTER still in the Bay.

On South Huish Marsh could only find 1 CATTLE EGRET, a BLACK T GODWIT flew through at 09.45( first record for some weeks ) ,

Hirundines - 9 SWIFT , 6 SWALLOW and 20 HOUSE MARTIN. CHIFFY and SEDGE WARBLER singing

TUES 30 MAY

After yesterdays fog it was nice to be able to seawatch this morning, joined by Graham , overcast with a light NW wind

Offshore 60 COMMON SCOTER flew east ( 3 flocks of 15,25,20 ),

a single female still on the sea , 25 GANNET, 4 FULMAR,

1 KITTIWAKE , 2 WHIMBREL flew in off and staight up the valley .

On South Huish Marsh  a male TEAL was a new arrival, 2 CATTLE EGRET, 3 LITTLE EGRET . Between 8 to 10 pairs of HOUSE MARTIN occupying / building nests , an increase on last year

 In the lanes this afternoon a MISTLE THRUSH

 

SUN 28 MAY

An overcast morning with a brisk F4 E wind .

A short seawatch from 08.55 produced a dp ARCTIC SKUA flying east at 09.00, 18 GANNET, 12 MANX SHEARWATER-west,

a f COMMON SCOTER on the sea and a flock of 20 flew east.

At 12.00 a Humming Bird Hawk Moth in Bobs car park .

 

On South Huish Marsh  2 CATTLE EGRET, 3 LITTLE EGRET,

2 SHELDUICK with 4 young , a SPARROWHAWK flew over .

Although not on the patch Bob at 12.45 had a RED KITE flying over Kingsbridge College towards Churchstow

 

FRI 26 MAY

Another sunny and warm day with a brisk F5 /6 SE wind . Hazy offshore

A 90 min seawatch from the car park starting at 07.50 produced -

50 GANNET, 41 KITTIWAKE , 1 BLACK H GULL ,

21 MANX SHEARWATER, 4 FULMAR, 23 GREAT B B GULL,

4 COMMON SCOTER, 2 WHIMBREL, 7 OYSTERCATCHER .

Nothing of interest on South Huish Marsh this morning , however Thurs afternoon report received of a CATTLE EGRET

THURS 25 MAY

A warm sunny day with a F4 increasing 7 ESE wind.

This morning a 2hr 30 min seawatch off Warren Point from 08.05 produced - 46 GANNET, 15 FULMAR , 5 KITTIWAKE, 12 MANX SHEARWATER, 16 GUILLEMOT, 2 PUFFIN ( east at 08.35 and 08.50 )1 WHIMBREL, 1 TURNSTONE, 16 OYSTERCATCHER.

Big movement of RED KITE today particularly East Devon , thought we had missed out , then at 16.05 alarm calls of HERRING GULL put me on to one flying over my garden - a tick ,it is the

153 rd specie recorded from my garden since we moved in on

11 July 2008.

TUES 23 MAY

Late post due to computer problems .

Very poor conditions this morning - low cloud , mist and drizzle - very quickly decided walking the valleys would be more productive =

South Milton Ley produced - 60 + SWALLOW and 25 HOUSE MARTIN, 2 SWIFT , all feeding over the filter beds , REED and SEDGE WARBLER, CHIFFY, BLACKCAP and GREAT SP WOODY

A 90 min walk through Buckland Valley found the first 2 SPOTTED FLY for me - same sites as last year , 3BLACKCAP, 5 CHIFFY,

1 WHITETHROAT, 1 BULLFINCH, 3 GREEN WOODY, 3 GREAT SP WOODY, 10 HOUSE MARTIN , 6 SWALLOW

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

FUERTEVENTURA TRIP 28 JAN - 4 FEB

Spent a week at the Jandia Princess Hotel at the very South end of the Island - our first visit.   Hired a car for 2 days to visit some of the sites further north.

Disappointing total of only 45 species - although did manage to find some surprises.

Target birds were BLACK BELLIED SANDGROUSE - found a total of 17 at La Pared coming to an almost dry stream, and FURTEVENTURA CHAT this was difficult to find.

Over the Hotel - Offshore or flying over, SWALLOW, PALLID SWIFT, PLAIN SWIFT, RAVEN, SANDWICH TERN, many LESSER B.B. GULL, YELLOW LEGGED GULL.  Several CORYS SHEARWATER, many trip reports only mention singles of GANNET ,seen daily (early evening) from Hotel Balcony max 30 including a single flock of 23.

On Thursday 2nd February a flock of 6 SACRED IBIS flew north only 50 feet above us - cannot find any reference to this specie in any visitor reports.

Whilst watching the SAND GROUSE found a female BLACK REDSTART again no comments in any previous reports.

Waders were disappointing only GREENSHANK, RINGED PLOVER, COMMON SANDPIPER, 10 BLACK WINGED STILT.   Only 1 CATTLE EGRET at Risco Del Pasa where a flock of  25 SANDWICH TERN feeding offshore.

Near Los Molinos the only HOUBARA BUSTARD of the visit, a feral flock of 40+ MUSCOVEY DUCK.   At the nearby reservoir

2 HOOPOE, 1 HERON, 150+ COOT, 40 + TEAL, 4 SHOVELER,

8 TUFTED DUCK, 11 LITTLE EGRET, 1 SPOONBILL, 60+ RUDDY SHELDUCK, 2 BLACK HEADED GULL.

Found plenty of BERTHELOTS PIPIT and at least 7 SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE. 

Only raptors KESTREL  and BUZZARD

Finally flying south with 2 SANDWICH TERN one evening a good candidate for LESSER CRESTED TERN.

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

POM SKUA at SOUTH HUISH MARSH 18 MAY 2016 - taken by Alan Doidge

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
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

ROCK PIPIT - Littoralis South Huish Marsh 28 March2015
KUMLIENS GULL near South Milton Alan Doidge
2 W . F GOOSE 23 FEB 2015

2014

Another SIB. CHIFFCHAFF at South Milton Ley-AFD

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

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

LITTLE STINTS - South Huish Marsh
LITTLE STINTS -South Huish Marsh
WHINCHAT-South Huish Marsh
Juv Purple Heron - S H Marsh 08.30 10 Sept 2014- Alan Doidge
Little Stint juv - S H Marsh- 6 Sept 2014
Wood Sandpiper- S H Marsh 6 Sept 2014

Photos from Alan Doidge at South Huish Marsh