A very different start to the New Year than we all expected.   3rd Lockdown introduced from 9th resulting in a limit on the amount of time that could be spent birdwatching, particularly with regard to sea watching.   A cold start through to the 10th with easterly winds, Marsh mostly frozen over on 25, following storms with F8/9 winds on 20th a very wet end to the month.


A total of 107 species recorded (c/f 2020 - 113, 2019 - 116)




BRENT GOOSE - DB - 3 flew across the Bay on 16th with 7 flying SE on 21st.

SHELDUCK - First bird arrived on South Huish Marsh  on 26th followed by 1 on 28th.

WIGEON - Max on South Huish Marsh/Sea on 28th - 266.

TEAL - Max on South Huish Marsh of 125 on 14th.

PINTAIL - 8 flew west on 17th.

MANDARIN - A male along the tidal road at Aveton Gifford all month.

SHOVELER - 4 on 1st on. South Huish Marsh increasing to 8 from 14th.

COMMON SCOOTER - Unusually only 1 record of a male flying SE on 11th.

RED THROATED DIVER - Recorded on 6 days -singles on 17th and 25th, 4 on 8th and 26th, 9 on 1st and a max of. 12 on 7th.

BLACK THROATED DIVER - Singles on 7th and 8th.

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER - 2 on1st and 2 on 16th.

LITTLE GREBE - Present on South Huish Marsh all month with a max of 3 on 3rd.



GANNET - An exceptional winter feeding flock of around 1000 in the Bay on 2nd.

FULMAR - Recorded on 3 days - 1 on 21st, 2 on 26th and 1 on 28th.



MERLIN - Recorded at Huxton Cross/South Milton Ley on 19th and 25th.

No change in status of SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL or BUZZARD.

BARN OWL - reported from 2 sites.

TAWNY OWL - reported calling from at least 3 sites.


WADERS - 15 species recorded.

OYSTERCATCHER - Max of 35 on 18th.

RINGED PLOVER - Up to 8 recorded throughout the month.

GOLDEN PLOVER - 2 over South Huish Marsh on 3rd, 25+ in a field near Churchstow on 28th.

LAPWING - Only recorded on 4 days with a max of 8 on 28th in field with the GOLDEN PLOVER.

SANDERLING - A single bird with the RINGED PLOVER from 3rd until 21st.

JACK SNIPE - Singles on South Huish Marsh on 5th and 7th.

SNIPE - Max of 35 on South Huish Marsh on 7th.

BLACK TAILED GODWIT - present throughout the month a max of 10 at South Efford Marsh on 1st and 7 on South Huish Marsh on 14th.

CURLEW - Winter flock up to 25 at South Efford Marsh all month, 1 on rocks at Warren Point on 10th.

COMMON SANDPIPER - One bird regularly reported along the tidal road throughout the month.

GREEN SANDPIPER - One record of 3 on North Marsh at Aveton Gifford on 27th.

GREENSHANK - Max of 4 all month along the tidal road.

REDSHANK - Max of 7 on 2nd along the tidal road.

LESSER YELLOWLEGS - Reported from the tidal road throughout the month.  This rare visitor from N.America first reported on 14th October 2020 now been present for over 

3 months.

TURNSTONE- A max of 7 on the rocks on 11th.


BLACK HEADED GULL - Max of over 600 on South Huish marsh on 18th.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL - Regularly amongst the BLACK HEADED GULLS on South Huish Marsh - a max of 10 on 19th.

COMMON GULL - A max of 10 on South Huish Marsh on 19th.

LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL -  A max on South Huish Marsh of 22 on 29th.

KINGFISHER - 2 present on South Efford Marsh and 1 on South Huish Marsh throughout - also watched diving onto rock pools for food.



GOLDCREST - Up to 4 at South Milton Ley all month.

FIRECREST - Recorded from 5 sites, 1 in a Thurlestone Garden was unusual on 24th, max was 3 at Hope Wood on 27th.

CETTIS WARBLER - Heard singing at Thurlestone Marsh on 18th.

CHIFFCHAFF - Reported from at least 5 sites, as expected South Milton Ley with 30+ on 7th was the main site.

SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF - 1  photographed at South Milton Ley on23rd.

BLACKCAP - present in garden at Aveton Gifford, South Milton and Thurlestone usually singles.

BLACK REDSTART - present at 3 sites - 2 at Aveton Gifford, 2 at South Huish Marsh and 1in a Thurlestone Garden.

STONECHAT - present at 3 sites with up to 4 at South Huish Marsh.



BLACKBIRD - Noticeable increase in cold weather with up to 15 around various gardens.

SONG THRUSH - recorded at 5 sites with a max of 9 at Huxton Cross on 22nd.

FIELDFARE -Flocks of 30 at Huxton Cross area on 6th and 25th.

REDWING - A max of 40 at South Milton Ley on 15th.

MISTLE THRUSH - Reported from 3 sites.

ROCK PIPIT - Up to 25 on the beach at high tide.

WATER PIPIT - Singles at South Huish Marsh on 3rd, 6th and 7th.

CHAFFINCH - Largest flock was 30 at Huxton Cross on 6th.

BRAMBLING - A male on 22nd and a female on 23rd at Huxton Cross

GREENFINCH - More common this winter - with flocks of 16 on 7th and 10 on 30th at South Huish Marsh.

SISKIN - Just 1 record of a female in a Thurlestone Garden on 13th.

LINNET -  Only winter flock around Huxton Cross with a max of 45 on 22nd.

YELLOWHAMMER -The max recorded at Huxton Cross area was 40 on 23rd.

REED BUNTING - Max was 50+ on 23rd at Huxton Cross.

CIRL BUNTING - A male regularly visiting a Thurlestone Garden, 2 amongst the flock of BUNTINGS at Huxton Cross on 23rd.

SKYLARK - In the fields around Huxton Cross a max of 200+ on 19th.

LITTLE BUNTING - the outstanding bird at Huxton Cross found by a local birder on 18th.   First record since 2 were present at South Milton Ley in April 2012.


An interesting start to the year hopefully February will provide some interest particularly if we get a good cold spell.


One nice ringing control - A CHIFFCHAFF ringed at South Milton Ley. On 4th  August 2020

Was controlled on 16th October 2020 at La Rochelle in France.


Mike Passman