THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
A month of very contrasting weather - a short period of wet and windy mid month, turning colder from 25th and culminating in the start of one of the coldest weeks in the South Hams with heavy snow on 25th, winds from E and NE gale 8+.
Only 5 new birds for the year GLAUCOUS GULL, GOLDEN PLOVER, COOT, DIPPER and BARN OWL taking the total to 122 (c/f 2017 - 127. 2016 - 119)
A total of 108 species recorded (c/f 2017 - 115, 2016 - 104)
GEESE, DUCKS, DIVERS and GREBES
GREYLAG GOOSE - 4 (of questionable heritage) with CANADA flock on 22nd.
SHELDUCK - Max of 6 on 1st on South Huish Marsh.
WIGEON - Max of 75 on South Huish Marsh on 21st. On South Efford Marsh 100+ all month, The Hybrid AMERICAN WIGEON/WIGEON present on south Huish Marsh all month.
TEAL - On South Huish Marsh max of 22 on 21st. Up to 100 on South Efford Marsh all month.
TUFTED DUCK - 1 with WIGEON on Avon Estuary on 15th.
COMMON SCOTER - Max 20 east on 22nd.
RED THROATED DIVER - 1 on the sea on 2nd along with a single BLACK THROATED DIVER.
GREAT NORTHERN DIVER - 1 flew E on 21st.
LITTLE GREBE - Up to 2 on South Huish marsh all month. A max of 3 on River Avon.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE - 1 on 3rd on Avon Estuary.
GANNET, EGRETS and COOT
GANNET - Max 60 in the Bay on 21st.
LITTLE EGRET - Up to 5 regularly on both South Huish and Thurlestone Marshes.
CATTLE EGRET - 7 present on South Huish Marsh/Thurlestone Marsh all month with a max of 8 on 24th/25th.
SPOONBILL - The bird which has overwintered regularly recorded from both South Huish Marsh and South Efford Marsh.
DIPPER - One on North Marsh (near Hatch Bridge) on 22nd.
COOT - One on South Huish Marsh on 26th.
WADERS - A total of 13 species recorded -
OYSTERCATCHER - Max of 21 on 21st.
RINGED PLOVER - Max of 8 on 2nd.
GOLDEN PLOVER - A flock of 100 at Huxton Cross on 27th with 50 on Thurlestone Marsh on 28th.
LAPWING - Max of 18 on Thurlestone Marsh on 27th.
DUNLIN - Max o 3 on South Efford Marsh on 15th.
SNIPE - Max of 55 on Thurlestone Marsh on 28th.
WOODCOCK - 1 flew over Thurlestone Marsh on 28th.
BLACK T GODWIT - Max of 4 on South Huish Marsh on 21st.
CURLEW - Flock of up to 25 on South Efford Marsh all month.
COMMON SANDPIPER - Max of 3 on Avon Estuary on 2nd.
GREENSHANK - Max of 5 on Avon Estuary on 2nd.
REDSHANK - Max of 9 on Avon Estuary on 2nd.
TURNSTONE -Max of 11 on the rocks on 25th.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL - Amongst a large flock of 400+ BLACK HEADED GULL on South Huish Marsh on 20th were 18 - 16 were Adults, this is a record patch count for Spring passage.
COMMON GULL - 6 on South Huish Marsh on 20th.
YELLOW LEGGED GULL - 1 on South Huish Marsh on 7th.
GLAUCOUS GULL - A 1w reported on South Huish Marsh on 8th.
OWLS and CRESTS
TAWNY OWL - Reported calling from 3 sites.
BARN OWL - 1 at Aveton Gifford hunting in the early hours of 20th.
GOLDCREST - Max of 4 at Aveton Gifford on 28th.
FIRECREST - 1 at South Milton Ley on 1st.
CHIFFCHAFF - 20+ at South Milton Ley on 1st.
SHIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF - 2 at South Milton Ley on 1st.
BLACKCAP - 2 in an Aveton Gifford garden most of the month
THRUSHES, PIPITS, BUNTINGS and LARKS
FIELDFARE - Max of 30 at Huxton Cross on 2nd.
REDWING - Max of 10 at Huxton Cross on 2nd.
SONG THRUSH - Reported from 5 sites around the patch.
MISTLE THRUSH - 2 at Aveton Gifford on several dates.
BLACK REDSTART - A female in Thurlestone Garden on 28th.
WATER PIPIT - Max of 3 on South Efford Marsh on 2nd, 1 regularly on South Huish Marsh.
CIRL BUNTING - Pair visiting a Thurlestone garden most days.
REED BUNTING - Max of 4 visiting feeders in a Thurlestone garden on 1st.
YELLOWHAMMER - A female in a Thurlestone garden on 28th.
SKYLARK - A flock of 15 over Thurlestone Marsh on 28th.
The very cold weather continued through to 3rd March with some substantial cold weather movement.
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