THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS FEBRUARY 2021 With Lockdown regulations still in force all birdwatching has been restricted to our local areas, nevertheless with just local birders submitting their sightings some interesting records were achieved. Main aspect of the weather was the very cold spell from 8th to 14th with strong Easterly and South Easterly winds.     Although some nights of frost thankfully the widespread snowfall did not reach  into our area.    This cold spell brought some of the best wader records for many years. A total of 115 species were recorded (c/f 2020 - 102, 2019 - 109).  This is joint highest monthly total (with 2017) in the last 11 years. The years total was increased by 13 species to 120 ( c/f 2020 - 118, 2019 - 128) Highlights GOOSE, DUCK, DIVERS, GREBES and SPOONBILL BRENT GOOSE - DB - Recorded on 7 days with a max of 6 on 11th to 15th. SHELDUCK - 4 on South Huish Marsh on 1st. WIGEON - A max of 240 on 16th reduced to 25 on 28th. TEAL - A max of 105 on South Huish Marsh on 15th. PINTAIL - A female on the Marsh on 9th was joined by a male on 11th and 12th. MANDARIN - the male on Avon Estuary present until 15th. SHOVELER - On South Huish Marsh a. Max of 7 (5 males on 21st. COMMON SCOTER - Only two records with 2 recorded on 9th and 16th. RED BREASTED MERGANSER - A pair flew SE on 19th. GOOSANDER A male at Hatch Bridge on 24th. RED THROATED DIVER - A total of 9 recorded on 5 days with a max of 4 on 4th. BLACK THROATED DIVER - A single flew SE on 23rd. GREAT NORTHERN DIVER - Singles on 6 days - included the WHITE bird recently on the Kingsbridge Estuary which  flew NW on 6th. LITTLE GREBE - 2 on South Huish Marsh all month. GREAT CRESTED GREBE - 1 in the Bay on 8th. SPOONBILL - 1 adult on South Efford Marsh on 12th and 25th. COOT - first returning bird on the Marsh on 1st with up to 3 thereafter. GANNET and FULMAR GANNET - Max of 151 on 28th. FULMAR - Max of 3 on 28th. WADERS - A record of 20 species for the month of February and high numbers for individual species due to the cold spell. OYSTERCATCHER - A max of 56 on 2nd. RINGED PLOVER - A max of 8 on 10th. GOLDEN PLOVER - Single flock of 170 on South Huish Marsh on 10th. GREY PLOVER - Single bird on South Huish Marsh from 9th to 11th. LAPWING - Max on South Huish Marsh of 92 on 10th whilst at South Efford Marsh max of 56 on 15th. KNOT - A flock of 6 in off the sea on 8th, a single on South Huish Marsh from 14th to 23rd. SANDERLING - A single bird with the RINGED PLOVER on 9th/10th. DUNLIN -  A record February count of 32 on South Huish Marsh on 15th, whilst on South Efford Marsha max of 20 on 10th. JACK SNIPE - 1 at South Milton Ley on 1st. SNIPE - A max on Thurlestone Marsh of 30 on 4th and 31 on South Huish Marsh on 11th. WOODCOCK - 3 at Aveton Gifford on 14th. BLACK TAILED GODWIT - A max on South Huish Marsh of 5 from 2nd to 15th. BAR TAILED GODWIT - 1 in off the sea on 10th. CURLEW - Flock of up to 25 on South Efford Marsh all month. COMMON SANDPIPER - 1 on the River Avon Estuary all month. GREEN SANDPIPER - 2 on North Marsh on 24th. GREENSHANK - Up to 3 on South Efford Marsh all month. REDSHANK - A max of 12 on South Efford Marsh on 28th. LESSER YELLOWLEGS - Spent another month on the Avon Estuary. TURNSTONE - A max of 20 on the rocks on 1st. GULLS KITTIWAKE - Max flying SE on 15th of 11. BLACK HEADED GULL -  Max on South Huish Marsh of 220 on 22nd. MEDITERRANEAN GULL - some impressive Spring passage with a max of 15 (11 Ad 2 2W 2 1W) on 16th, 15 on 17th (12 Ad 3 2W) COMMON GULL - A single adult on the Marsh on 14th. HERRING GULL - A max in the Bay of 500+ on 4th. LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL - passage of 36 on 4th, 55 on 16th and 40 on 17th. GREAT BLACK BACKED GULL - A max of 20 on 16th. OWLS,KINGFISHER, WOODPECKER BARN OWL - reported from 3 sites with the best views being over Thurlestone Marsh on evening of 4th and 5th. TAWNY OWL - reported calling at 4 sites. KINGFISHER - Up to 2 all month at South Efford Marsh and 1 at South Huish Marsh. GREEN WOODPECKER - Regularly visiting gardens in Thurlestone. GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER - 2 regularly recorded from 3 sites. WARBLERS, STONECHAT and BLACK REDSTART CETTIS WARBLER - reported calling at 2 sites. CHIFFCHAFF - A max of 20 at South Milton Ley on 1st. BLACKCAP - 2 visiting garden feeders in Aveton Gifford all month. STONECHAT - At least 3 pairs around South Huish Marsh/ South Milton Ley. BLACK REDSTART - 2 females regularly at Aveton Gifford with 1 female at South Huish Marsh throughout. THRUSHES, LARKS, BUNTINGS, PIPITS and WAGTAIL FIELDFARE - 15 at Aveton Gifford on 2nd. REDWING - 20 at Huxton Cross on 1st. SISKIN - 6 at Aveton Gifford on 22nd. BULLFINCH - 6 at Aveton Gifford on 2nd. LINNET - flock at Huxton Cross increased to 75 on 28th. GREENFINCH - flock of 13 at South Huish Marsh on 1st. MEADOW PIPIT - Up to 40 moving through South Huish Marsh at the month end. WATER PIPIT - singles at South Huish Marsh on 3rd and 26th. CIRL BUNTING - 1 male regularly visiting Thurlestone Gardens. March is one of the most eagerly awaited months for the expectation of summer migrant arriving - indeed on the 1st an unexpected arrival of 4 male GARGANEY  on South Huish Marsh. Mike Passman