FRI 27 JAN Another cloudy day with a cold SE f4/5 wind. Offshore the quitest morning of the year so far - just 1 GANNET. Around 30 GREAT B B GULL flew east. On the flats by the car park a BLACK REDSTART. On the rocks - 14 TURNSTONE, 6 RINGED PLOVER. South Huish Marsh - 115 WIGEON, 8 TEAL, 1 SHELDUCK, 2 SHOVELER, 20 LAPWING, 2 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 DUNLIN Huxton Cross - the finch flock not seen , have they dispersed? In West Buckland Valley - 3 GREAT SP WOODY, 1 GREEN WOODY, 5 REDWING , 3 GOLDCREST. The DESERT WHEATEAR again showing well on Leasfoot Beach. Next update will be Sun 5 FEB - off to see if I can find some BLACK B SANDGROUSE and other birds on Fuerteventura THURS 26 JAN A very cold day with a biting SE f5 wind ,. Very few birds around - Offshore - 70 GANNET , 7 KITTIWAKE ,8 AUKS ,and 17 GREAT B B GULL all flew east On the rocks 20 TURNSTONE and 2 RINGED PLOVER Terry G had a flock of around 100 REDWING in Horswell House woods WED 25 JAN 2017 Another sunny morning with a light SSE wind. Met up with Eric to search the Huxton Cross finch and thrush flocks , spent 90 mins from 09.20. Not as many birds as yesterday species recorded were - 200+ LINNET, 150 CHAFFINCH, 50 + SKYLARK, 5 GOLDFINCH, 4 BULLFINCH, 1f CIRL BUNTING , 1 f REED BUNTING, 2 SPARROWHAWK, SONG THRUSH, FIELDFARE ( heard ). 7 GOLDEN PLOVER ( 115 ) flew over . The DESERT WHEATEAR still on Leasfoot Beach . On South Huish Marsh - 2 CATTLE EGRET had been seen by Nick and Paul B, 95 WIGEON, 6 TEAL, 2 BLACK T GODWIT , 1 DUNLIN, 1 WATER PIPIT On the rocks the BLACK REDSTART , 6 RINGED PLOVER , 1 TURNSTONE This afternoon by my garden a m CIRL BUNTING and 1500 STARLING to roost at South milton Ley Record shot of the CATTLE EGRET at SOUTH HUISH MARSH 23 JAN 2017 by Alan Doidge TUES 24 JAN A sunny morning with a fresh f3/4 W wind, no frost overnight . Acted as a guide to a group of 15 members of the South Devon branch of Devon Bird Club .Main star bird of the morning was the DESERT WHEATEAR which showed very well on Leasfoot Beach and on the road by the golf course ,. Whilst we were all watching it one lady member photgraphed a male COMMON SCOTER close inshore On South Husih Marsh - 80 WIGEON, 6 TEAL, 1m SHOVELER, 10 SNIPE , 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 WATER PIPIT ( very good views ), amongst a flock of BLACK H GULL a nice ad MED GULL. In the slurry fields there were 2 CATTLE EGRET and a flock of LAPWING . On the rocks a BLACK REDSTART, also RINGED PLOVER and TURNSTONE Offshore around 50 GANNET ( mostly before 10.00 ) a few Auks - mainly RAZORBILL , 2 KITTIWAKE and finally flying over the Bay at 13.10 a FERAL PIGEON ( 114 )- sorry but they all count ! John from Plymouth had a good look at the finch flock and confirmed at least 2 BRAMBLING, 10 YELLOWHAMMER 200+ CHAFFINCH, 400 LINNET. A late visit at 16.45 produced 2 SONG THRUSH and 55 FIELDFARE. At 16.15 Eric and i had a BARN OWL flying over the north marsh at Aveton Gifford Intention in the morning is to spend some time at the finch flock site MON 23 JAN A beautiful sunny winters day with a sharp frost , no wind . Offshore - Only 4 GANNET, 15 RAZORBILL, 3m 2f SHOVELER ( on the sea for 60min then flew east )1ad COMMON GULL and a 2w MED GULL flew into the Bay together and landed on the sea., 1 KITTIWAKE. On the rocks - 9 TURNSTONE, 5 RINGED PLOVER . By the flats a 1w m and af BLACK REDSTART. On South Huish Marsh - 82 WIGEON, 6 TEAL, 1 L GREBE, 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 35 SNIPE, 29 LAPWING, 1 WATER PIPIT, 5 SONG THRUSH, 1 GOLDCREST . A nearby field was being sprayed with slurry - around 100 BLACK H GULL, whist checking the flock found a CATTLE EGRET ( 111 ) At Huxton Cross the finch/ thrush flock was interesting - 450+ LINNET, 150 + CHAFFINCH, 3 YELLOWHAMMER, 3m 1f BRAMBLING ( 112 ), 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 5 FIELDFARE, 1 REDWING. Managed an hours Garden watch from 16.00 2 CHIFFY, 1f REED BUNTING, 2 L T TIT, 2 MUTE SWAN flew over, 400 + STARLING, 1 FIELDFARE and finally a flock of 100 REDWING flew over to roost On Leasfoot Beach the DESERT WHEATEAR continuing to show well Late news form Sunday on Paul B's web site a report of 3 BRENT GOOSE ( 113 ) in the bay and a WATER PIPIT on the Marsh SUN 22 JAN Late news for Friday - Rod Bone had a GOOSANDER ( 110 ) on the River Avon. Yesterday spent spent working on the reed cutting at SouthMilton Ley fantastic support with 30+ volunteers a particular thanks to the residents of South Milton village who turned out in force A short seawatch this morning was unproductive apart from Bob confirming the DESERT WHEATEAR still showing well . By the footbridge he had a KINGFISHER and at South Milton Ley around 40 CHIFFY including 1 ringed tristis. Just had to try and see the WAXWING at Heathfield - not on general display but did get good views of 3 at 12.00 . Short visit to Broadsands - little on show apart from an imm m and a f EIDER , 65 GREAT C GREBE and 2 FULMAR . FRI 20 JAN A bitterly cold day due to an E wind, mostly cloudy. Joined by Graham today Late news from Wed - Dave Pakes had a WOODCOCK ( 106 ) late afternoon at South Miton Ley Offshore this morning - 85 AUKS ( mostly RAZORBILL ) either on the sea or flying east, 60 + GANNET flying east. 6 KITTIWAKE , 20 COMMON SCOTER ( east ) . At 09.45 a BLACK T DIVER( 107) flew east , at 12.15 another flew into the Bay from west and landed , whilst looking for it Graham picked up a GREBE which after a further search was a SLAVONIAN (109 ). On the rocks - 12 TURNSTONE, 5 RINGED PLOVER. On South Huish Marsh - 120 WIGEON , 5 TEAL, 2 SHOVELER, 1 LITTLE GREBE , 150 + CANADA GOOSE included 1 GREYLAG GOOSE ( 108 ). 2 BLACK T GODWIT, 15 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN Amongst several hundred GULLS were 1 ad MED GULL, and 3 COMMON GULL unfortunately could not find any white winged. The DESERT WHEATEAR still showing well to a few more visitors 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 . THURS 19 JAN Another gloriously sunny day , light NE breeze early incresing during the morning . The DESERT WHEATEAR continues to show well on Leasfoot Beach , posing for photographers again today . Offshore 160+ RAZORBILL mostly on the sea with some flying east. 50+ GANNET, 2 COMMON SCOTER( flew west ) 1 GREAT N DIVER ( on sea ), 1 FULMAR ( 105 ) flew east. On the rocks 1 RINGED PLOVER and by the footbridge a KINGFISHER On South Huish Marsh 120 WIGEON ( largest count this winter )for comparison only 7 TEAL ( lowest count this winter ) 2 SHOVELER, 2 BLACK T GODWIT, 27 LAPWING, 8 SNIPE At Huxton Cross 25+ FIELDFARE, 3 YELLOWHAMMER In West Buckland Valley a TREE CREEPER, and a JAY 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, 1 DUNLIN 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 16 TURNSTONE 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, 10 REDWING. 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 , 2 BULLFINCH 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 5 REDWING. 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 450+ STARLING. 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.
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