THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
Because of a number of factors including COVID-19 and the number of visitors very little birding undertaken this month. A very shortened report.
A total of only 87 species recorded (c/f 2020 - 105, 2019 - 125). No new species for the year were recorded leaving the total at 178 (c/f 2020 - 169, 2019 - 168).
DUCKS, DIVERS and SHEARWATER
SHELDUCK - Bred on both South Huish Marsh, South Efford Marsh and also along the coast path in rabbit burrows.
MALLARD - Not many ducklings survived on South Huish Marsh.
GREAT NORTHERN DIVER - On 4th an adult in full summer plumage on the sea by Thurlestone rock.
MANX SHEARWATER - Very little passage - a max of 31 on 11th.
RED KITE - At Aveton Gifford 1 on 4th and 3 on 15th.
HOBBY - Reported from 2 sites around the patch.
WADERS - Only 3 species logged
OYSTERCATCHER - Small numbers of non breeding birds over summer - max of 9 on the rocks on 11th.
SANDERLING - 1 on the beach on 8th.
REDSHANK - first returning bird on the Avon Estuary on 26th.
SWIFT and HIRUNDINES
SWIFT - Build up noted with 40 over Thurlestone Marsh on 19th and a max of 47 on 28th.
SAND MARTIN - 1 breeding population still around - this year at least 20 birds on 3rd.
HOUSE MARTIN - Reduction in breeding numbers noted - only 5 nests at Aveton Gifford, main breeding site now is South Milton area with up to 12 pairs. Only 1 pair this year in the West Buckland Valley.
SWALLOW - Lower numbers generally around known breeding sites.
CHIFFCHAFF - Seem to be everywhere - a good breeding season with 20 Juv’s ringed at South Milton Ley on 23rd.
CETTIS WARBLER - At least 3 males calling at South Milton Ley on 23rd.
WILLOW WARBLER - Only 1 record of a bird singing by Hatch Bridge on 3rd.
BLACKCAP - Up to 5 singing males at 4 sites around the patch.
GARDEN WARBLER - 1 at South Efford Marsh on 4th.
WHITE THROAT - At least 5 birds singing around South Huish Marsh.
SEDGE WARBLER - Breeding confirmed at 3 sites.
REED WARBLER - Breeding confirmed at 3 sites.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER - Very few birds on breeding sites this year numbers have totally crashed in the last 5 years, could be less than 5 this year (over 60 only 5 years ago)
Pair watched building a nest at Hatch Bridge.
Several pairs bred on the patch this year.
CIRL BUNTING- Reported from 3 sites during the breeding season.
During the remaining summer months the birdwatching can hopefully only improve.