THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
A good start for 2018 with a total of 117 species logged (c/f 2017 - 115)
Outstanding species were BLACK GUILLEMOT, SPOONBILL, GREAT SKUA, HAWFINCH and CASPIAN GULL.
Weather for the month was mostly wet and very windy with storms of F8 -F10, few sunny days although only 2 mornings with light frosts.
GEESE and DUCKS
GREYLAG GOOSE - 5 flew E early morning of 10th
BRENT GOOSE - 3 flew around the Bay on 23rd, 2 were DARK BELLIED and 1 PALE BELLIED.
SHELDUCK - Max 4 on 3rd.
WIGEON - Max on South Huish Marsh , 120 on 8th, on South Efford Marsh 200+ on 19th. Hybrid male AMERICAN WIGEON/WIGEON present on South Huish Marsh all
GADWALL - Pair on the sea on 8th.
TEAL - Max at South Huish Marsh 180 on 8th,on South Efford Marsh 120 on 19th.
PINTAIL - On 8th 1M 3F flew E whilst a F was on South Huish Marsh.
SHOVELER - 2 on South Huish Marsh from 1st to 5th.
COMMON SCOTER - 8 on 22nd, 5 on 8th and 6 on 9th.
GOOSANDER - A M on 1st on South Huish Marsh.
RED THROATED - 2 on 9th, 18th and 26th .
BLACK THROATED - Singles on 9th, 11th and 19th with 5 on 26th.
GREAT NORTHERN - 3 on 8th, 2 on 10th and 1 only 19th.
GANNET - Max 100+ on 26th.
FULMAR - First returning bird on 17th.
LITTLE EGRET - Up to 6 recorded on the Marshes.
CATTLE EGRET - Continued their over wintering with a max of 10 in with the Cattle on 11th. 7 on Thurlestone Marsh early on 20th probably returning from an overnight roost.
SPOONBILL- the unringed Juv present most of the month occasionally on South Efford Marsh, but also Thurlestone Marsh and South Huish Marsh.
WATER RAIL - Up to 5 on South Milton Ley.
LITTLE - Up to 2 on South Huish Marsh and a max of 3 on Avon Estuary.
GREAT CRESTED - 1 on the sea on 8th.
WADERS - 14 species recorded.
OYSTERCATCHER - Max 32 on 6th.
RINGED PLOVER - Max 8 on 9th.
LAPWING - On South Efford Marsh max of 200+ on 14th, whilst on South Huish Marsh 60+ on 8th.
SANDERLING - 2 on the beach on 19th.
DUNLIN - Max 3 on South Huish on 8th.
SNIPE - Max on South Huish Marsh 37 on 10th.
WOODCOCK - 1 flushed on South Milton Ley on 8th.
BLACK TAILED GODWIT - Present all month on South Huish Marsh max 8 on 10th.
CURLEW - max on South Efford Marsh 18 on 25th.
COMMON SANDPIPER - On Avon Estuary all month max 3.
GREEN SANDPIPER - Singles around South Efford Marsh on 19th and 25th.
GREENSHANK - Max of 4 on Avon Estuary on 26th.
REDSHANK - Max of 5 on Avon Estuary on 26th.
TURNSTONE - Max of 11 on 8th.
SKUAS, GULLS AND AUKS
GREAT SKUA - 1 flew E across the Bay on 8th and 1 on the sea then E on 9th - not often recorded in the Winter months.
KITTIWAKE - Max of 38 on 9th.
BLACK HEADED GULL - Max of 500+ on 10th.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL - 2 on 6th, 3 on 12th and 13th, 4 on 14th.
COMMON GULL - On South Huish Marsh 4 on 9th, 3 on Avon Estuary on 3rd.
YELLOW LEGGED GULL - 1 2nd W on South Huish Marsh on 26th.
CASPIAN GULL - A 1W found by Alan Doidge on South Huish Marsh on 27th seen early next morning before flying off - a site first.
BLACK GUILLEMOT - 1 watched flying across the Bay E on 9th - a site first.
AUK SP - Best passage on 9th - 22 RAZORBILL,10 GUILLEMOT and 454 AUK Specie.
CRESTS AND WARBLERS
FIRECREST - 3 ringed at South Milton Ley on 10th, 4 retransmit on 26th. Singles at South Huish Marsh and a Thurlestone Garden. 2 in an Aveton Gifford garden on 26th.
CHIFFCHAFF- Winter population at South Milton Ley of 30+ on 26th. Also present at 3 other sites but only singles. A total of 19 ringed at South Milton Ley plus 11 retransmit and 2 controls.
SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF - Present all month at South Milton Ley with 3 ringed on 26th.
BLACKCAP - Present at 2. Garden sites with a max of 3 on 3rd.
FIELDFARE - Max at Huxton Cross of 150+ on 16th.
REDWING - Max of 35 At South Milton Ley on 10th.
SONG THRUSH -A count of 10 around the patch on 14th is the highest this winter.
MISTLE THRUSH - Present at 2 sites.
REDSTART, FINCHES AND PIPITS
BLACK REDSTART - A 1W M on 7th and a F on 10th in a Thurlestone Garden.
WATER PIPIT - Up to 5 on South Efford Marsh, also present on South Huish Marsh.
SISKIN - 4 in a Aveton Gifford Garden on 12th.
BULLFINCH -Regularly recorded from 3 sites with a max of 6.
YELLOWHAMMER - A 1 W M in a Thurlestone Garden on 22nd was a first garden bird in 10 years.
LINNET - Flock of 60+ at North Marsh on 22nd.
CIRL BUNTING - Up to 3 (2F 1M) regularly visiting a Thurlestone Garden.
REED BUNTING -Again visiting a Thurlestone Garden daily with a max of 4. On 14th.
HAWFINCH - 2 flew. Out of an Aveton Gifford Garden on 15th.
There are a few ringing recoveries to report also the total birds ringed at South Milton Ley in 2017 - will be detailed next month as I am writing this in Cyprus