With an early appt. in Modbury couldn't get to the car park until 9.15, Paul B was on site from 06.15 with Bob B arriving at 07.30. Once the rain cleared throgh the viz improved whilst the wind kept up to F8 SE most of the day , left at 12.30.
Another good mornings sea watch - went back at 15.45 until 17.45.
Morning totals - 470 GANNET, 155 MANX SHEARWATER, 11 KITTIWAKE, 22 FULMAR,
Bob B had 4 f &2m EIDER fly east, 7 COMMON SCOTER,1 GREAT NORTHERN DIVER ( sp on sea )24 COMMON TERN , 7 SANDWICH TERN and 1 ARCTIC TERN
Waders were 37 WHIMBREL, 3 BAR TAILED GODWIT, 1 COMMON SANDPIPER, 1 REDSHANK
Around the marsh -1 YELLOW WAGTAIL, 2 WHEATEAR, 1 WHITETHROAT
Main highlight of the morning was the movement of ARCTIC SKUAS with 6 before 07.00 and the other 22 between 09.55and 12.15. At least 13 were light phase. Included 2 groups of 4, almost all the birds after 9.30 went up the Thurlestone flyway over land One of the largest totals at 28 for some years
Afternoon totals -- Bob B , Nick T and myself at the cafe. 80 GANNET, 240 MANX SHEARWATER, 4 FULMAR, 26 KITTIWAKE , 9 AUKS , 2 GUILLEMOT 1 SANDWICH TERN.
On South Huish Marsh were a large flock of resting waders - 55 WHIMBREL and 70 BAR TAILED GODWIT. 3 TURNSTONE on the beach.
Thurlestone Marsh and S. H Marsh had a lot of hirundines- 185 SWALLOW, 75 SAND MARTIN, 25 HOUSE MARTIN , 15 SWIFT
SE winds and rain again for Tues could be another good day
SUN 29 APR 2012
The weather forecast was spot on NE f 8/9 heavy rain and poor viz . Expectations did turn into reality.
Bay watched from 06.30- 11.30 and later 16.00-18.00 when conditions improved.
Best bird was a WOOD SANDPIPER (154 ) flew through at 10.55 . Other waders were 3 DUNLIN, 3 BAR TAILED GODWIT, 33 WHIMBREL.
On the sea 1 GREAT CRESTED GREBE, 1 GREAT NORTHERN DIVER ( sp ) with 13 SANDWICH TERN in the bay,.and 2 BRENT GOOSE east.
On Thurlestone Marsh a single BLACK TAILED GODWIT.
Plenty of Hirundine passage this afternoon -totals in 2 hrs - 100 SWALLOW, 50 HOUSE MARTIN , 20 SAND MARTIN, 30 SWIFT.
Hopefully the SE winds for Mon and Tues will bring some migrants
SAT 28 APR 2012
No posting yesterday - went over to Exminster Marshes to see the Black Winged Stilts - after3 hrs managed to find them thanks to Bob Bailey et al , even saw them copulating ! 3 Hobbies were also nice.
Back on site this morning , cold NE wind produced nothing over the sea . In the Bay 42 Whimbrel, not been many migrating raptors this spring so a female MARSH HARRIER which flew in at 11.25 was a welcome sight.
Some Hirundine passage noted with 25 HOUSE MARTIN, 18 SAND MARTIN,,25 SWALLOW, 5 SWIFT .
At 17.30 5 BLACK TAILED GODWIT flew into Thurlestone Marsh.
Hopefully the overnight gales will make it a very interesting Sunday
THURS 26 APR 2012
With the wind today a SW 6/7 not as good for bringing birds into the Bay, what started out quietly finished up fairly good -again the main birds were Skuas & Terns .
Bay watched from 08.30-12.30 -some good close views af ARCTIC SKUAS attacking the Terns and at 12.00 the sight of 5 ARCTIC's flying over the car park and off up the valley.
A total of 12 ARCTIC SKUA ( 7 dark and 5 light phased )a single Bonxie. 6 SANDWICH TERN, ,6 ARCTIC TERN and 3 COMMON TERN. Only 1 MANX SHEARWATER , 6 FULMAR . Waders limited to 15 WHIMBREL
South Huish Marsh had 2 m WHEATEAR,.
THURLESTONE Marsh- 14 TEAL and still the male WIGEON. A single SWIFT, 15 SWALLOW and 1 SAND MARTIN
WED 25 APR 2012
A very stormy day with frquent heavy rain after a night of constant rain. Winds started SE , then S and finished SW generally F6/7 with gusts of F8. There is more water on Thurlestone Marsh than at any time this year.
Bay watched from 06.15- 12.30 and later afternoon by Bob B again. watchers - PaulB , Bob B , AJL, Nick T , Mike Morris and Me.
One of the best Tern / Skua passages in the bay for Years . Bob B reckons it is the first time in around 35 years he has seen 4 BONXIES together.
Final totals were _
ARCTIC SKUA 9 ( included all 3 phases ) at times sat on the sea off the car park no more than 75 yds away. GREAT SKUA 11 ( one group of 4 , and 2x2. ,again close inshore.
93 COMMON TERN and 100 SANDWICH TERN . 300 GANNET, 9 FULMAR, 77 KITTIWAKE, 32 MANX SHEARWATER, 63 WHIMBREL, 3 BAR TAILED GODWIT.
A nice sp GREAT NORTHERN DIVER flew east whislt a db BRENT GOOSE flew around the bay, 2 TEAL were the only duck, only 16 RAZORBILL picked up
Visits to South Huish Marsh produced 6 WHEATEAR, 1 WHITETHROAT, 1 SEDGE WARBLER, .
At 11.30 there were 2 SWIFT (153 ) over ThurlestoneMarsh along with 10 SWALLOW, 4 HOUSE MATIN and 2 SAND MARTIN.
If today was stormy Sunday looks even better SE F 9( possibly 10 ) and cloud and rain COR !!
TUES 24 APR 2012
A rather quiet day in between the 2 stormy days..
Thurlestone marsh this morning 1 m WIGEON 10 TEAL, 10 SWALLOW , 2 SAND MARTIN with 5 WHIMBREL over.
A walk around the bay 08.30-11.30 produced - 11 TURNSTONE, 18 WHIMBREL, 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT, 1 COMMON SANDPIPER ( 152 ) 31 OYSTERCATCHER, 4 SANDWICH TERN and a single WHITETHROAT
Mon 23 APR 2012
After a night of heavy ( at least 1inch ) woke up to find the wind SE and poor viz . At this time of the year these conditions bring birds into the Bay- today was one of those days you dream about.
Bob B & I covered the Bay from 08.00-13.00 most of the time from the cafe.
Between 09.00- 10.15 there were 2 vry large flocks of COMMON TERN 100 and 200 with a further 20 , by 11.15 another 54 flew east making a total of 375. Certainly a site record for me. A total of 45 SANDWICH TERN were logged with the highlight being a single LITTLE TERN (151 )fishing for 20 mins at 11.40- my first Spring record.
Also logged were - 195 GANNET, 13 KITTIWAKE, 2 BONXIE, 27 MANX SHEARWATER, 31 COMMON SCOTER, 1m WIGEON, 1 RED THROATED DIVER,
Waders - 15 WHIMBREL, 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT, 1 DUNLIN ( SP ), 1 RINGED PLOVER.
At 10.20 a male YELLOW WAGTAIL ( 150) flew north.
Hirundines were - 120 SWALLOW, 2 HOUSE MARTIN, 2 SAND MARTIN .
On THurlestone Marsh 14 SHELDUCK , 10 SWALLOW, 2 HOUSE MARTIN, 10 TEAL, 1 WILLOW WARBLER, 3 REED WARBLER.
WED morning looking good - heavy rain with F6/7 E/SE winds
Evening update - At 18.00 Bob b had another 22 COMMON TERN and a LITTLE TERN fly through . Earlier another 10 MANX S'WATER offshore and 2 WHEATEAR in the cafe field
SUN 22 APR 2012
Some late news from Friday evening- over Thurlestone marsh at 19.00 14 WHIMBREL and 8 SWALLOW.
Unable to be on the patch until 11.30 today. Bob B paid a short visit Sat morning and reported 6 SANDWICH TERN and 4 WHIMBREL. At 08.00 on Sat there were 8 LITTLE EGRET on Thurlestone Marsh ( 6 Moved on very quickly )
This morning in the Bay 2 SANDWICH TERN, 31 WHIMBREL, 1 PURPLE SANDPIPER and 2 WHEATEAR, . Steady passge of SWALLOW up to 12.00
At 17.00 a single WHIMBREL on Thurlestone Marsh.
Forecast E/ SE winds for both Wed & Fri this week could be interesting.
Still a dearth of passerines particularly Reed / Sedge Warblers.
FRI 20 APR 2012
Still a brisk cool wind started NW the turned W- superb viz with some good birds moving through .
Days like this are when I start trying to find the waders coming across the channel and using the Bay as their flight route when they go straight up the valley, today was the start - hopefully the next 10- 14 days will be really good especially if the wind turns E ( SE is best )
There is nothing better than picking the Waders up -this morning the first were 3 BAR TAILED GODWIT followed soon after by WHIMBREL -6 at 10.05 and 4 at 11.30.
In between were 2 ARCTIC TERN (149 ) at 09.20 and 2 at 10.15 the first of the year.
A GREAT SKUA flew east at09.48. 5 MANX SHEARWATER and 8 KITTIWAKE flew west
GANNET totalled 50.
16 SWALLOW were the only migrants.
Had to leave at 11.45 - BOB B was in the car park so he might have more to add later- just rung - another 20 SWALLOW and 2 SANDWICH TERN.
No sign of the Little Bunting this afternoon
THURS 19 APR 2012
Wind still a cool NW F4/5. In the bay this morning 57 GANNET, 3 MANX SHEARWATER, 7 GUILLEMOT, 8 AUK SP and the first LITTLE GULL ( 148) of the year.
A single WHIMBREL on the rocks .
Walking round to Warren Pt my first WHITETHROAT of the year in the gorse.
Only other migrants were 12 SWALLOW
WED 18 APR 2012
After a night of gale force winds and heavy rain got to the car park for 08.00, unfortunately the wind was so strong couldn't put the scope up and the car was rocking, got to the flats at 08.30 sheltered from the wind but not the very heavy showers. Hope the scpoe is water proof.
Wind NW 7/8 and gusting in squalls to F9.. Rough seas poor viz in showers.
08.30- 12.30 320 GANNET, 74 FULMAR, 57 MANX SHEARWATER, 2 GREAT SKUA, 5 SANDWICH TERN, 2 COMMON TERN ,8 RAZORBILL, 4 AUK sp. 10 SWALLOW.
Apart from the usual OYSTERCATCHERS the only wader on the rocks was a single TURNSTONE.
2 SEDGE WARBLER singing on Thurlestone Marsh.
The Gannet count highest of the year, Fulmar count is a site record for me.
Still a dearth of migrants
TUES 17 APR 2012
After heavy o/night rain the wind picked up to F6 WNW later heavy showers and F8+ W.
Bay watched from the flats from 09.30 - 12.30with the highlights being - 2 GREAT SKUA , 148 GANNET, 25 FULMAR, 52 MANX SHEARWATER, 10 SANDWICH TERN , 2 COMMON SCOTER, 18 AUKS, 3 WHIMBREL
This afternoon Thurlestone Marsh had 30 LESSER B B GULL with over 100 HERRING GULL sheltering
LITTLE BUNTING reported this morning.
Only 9 SWALLOW recorded
MON 16 APR 2012
A very calm morning- likely to be the last for a few days.
Flat calm sea enabled 3 Dolphin to be watched as well as 15 RAZORBILL. 2 SANDWICH TERN , 1 PUFFIN ( on sea then flew east ) 7 COMMON SCOTER.
The LITTLE BUNTING was seen early and through to lunchtime by a number of visitors. Very good views from the footbridge of a feeding WATER RAIL .
Went down to look for waders at high tide -could only find 1 TURNSTONE.
Slight passage of SWALLOW -around 20 .
SEDGE WARBLER singing at South Huish Marsh.
Thurlestone Marsh still has 14 TEAL, 1 F WIGEON. Nice male SPARROWHAWK sat on my garden fence at 08.00
Bob B watched a large group of 14 BUZZARD over Huxton Wood where a field was being ploughed
SUN 15 APR 2012
A sunny but cool day with a brisk ENE wind.
Apart from a few feeding Gannet and a single SANDWICH TERN there was nothing in the Bay.
At least 30 LINNET flying north amongst them was our first LESSER REDPOLL (147 ) of the year. Only 4 SWALLOW flew through this morning. An unexpected record at the back of South Huish Marsh was a GREEN WOODPECKER.
THe first SEDGE WARBLER ( 146 ) was on Thurlestone Marsh plus 6 SWALLOW over
Late news from Vic T- Little BUNTING seen at 12.30- had to wait cver 3hrs !
SAT 14 APR 2012
The forecast heavy showers for the afternoon did not arrive although the wind F 4 NE seemed to move round to ESE after 3pm.
Hirundine passage continued with at least 5 HOUSE MARTIN (145 ) , 4 SAND MARTIN and 136 SWALLOW logged all moving north between 10.00-12.30 and 15.00-17.00
Waders were singles of CURLEW, TURNSTONE, SNIPE. At 16.30 BOB B found a LITTLE RINGED PLOVER on South Huish Marsh along with 5 WHITE WAGTAIL.
South Milton Ley this morning- LITTLE BUNTING heard and seen briefly, 2 REED WARBLER, 3 CETTIS WARBLER, 3 BLACKCAP ,
Late pm in the Bay 7 SANDWICH TERN
FRI 13 APRIL 2012
Another SWALLOW passage day - started around 10.00 , most flew north before 12.00 when the wind turned SW. Total logged 115, there were also 8 SAND MARTIN ( first for over a week ) still waiting for our first House Martin. 17 GOLDFINCH also flew north mostly in 2/3.
At South Milton Ley Bob B watched the LITTLE BUNTING for more than 30 mins around 08.15- it was also in sub song confirming it was a male. 3 WILLOW WARBLER, 2 REED WARBLER and a F BULLFINCH.
In the Bay a flat sea enabled birds on the sea to be more easily found - 1 RED T DIVER ( in wp ) 6 COMMON SCOTER, 3 GUILLEMOT , 5 RAZORBILL, 2 SANDWICH TERN,
3 WHEATEAR in the cafe field.
This evening Thurlestone Marsh had a F Gadwall, F Wigeon, 22 TEAL 3 SWALLOW , 2 WILLOW WARBLER
THURS 12 APR 2012
At long last a SWALLOW passage- between 10.00- 12.30 and 15.00-16.00 73 logged through the Bay ( over Bob's carpark ) later 17.00-18.00 another 15 over Thurlestone marsh.
Otherwise still quiet- 8 SANDWICH TERN in the bay and 12 TURNSTONE on the rocks, with a lone SNIPE on South H Marsh
Bob B ct & r'gnd a pair of BLACKCAP
WED 11 APR 2012
A fairly quiet day - 3 SWALLOW flew through this morning, Bob B rang to confirm 30 flying over Kingsbridge.
Waders this morning - 15 TURNSTONE and a CURLEW. In the bay 3 SANDWICH TERN and 3 RAZORBILL.
This evening a LITTLE RINGED PLOVER on Thurlestone marsh along with 5 TEAL and a female WIGEON . Amongst the Gulls were 2 BLACK HEADED and 2 LESSER B B
TUES 10 APR 2012
Sunny day F5 W wind , v good viz .
Bay watched from 09.00-12.45.
A GREAT NORTHERN DIVER in the Bay at 10.05. 70 GANNET logged up to 11.30.
20 SANDWICH TERN. , 3 FULMAR, 4 KITTIWAKE. 4 AUKS .
Waders at high tide 54 OYSTERCATCHER & 2 TURNSTONE.
A female WHEATEAR on the Golf Course.
Thurlestone marsh held 2 SHELDUCK, 20 TEAL , 1 female WIGEON .
A visit to S M LEY at 16.45 produced a REED WARBLER, 4 CETTIS WARBLER and a TAWNY OWL calling.
Another day without any Hirundines
MON 9 APR 2012
Have posted the first monthly review and also the first ringing report.
Later today the January listings will be transferred to the archive page ( I hope )
A typical Bank Holiday weather wise - first heavy rain with a F 7/8 SW wind. Poor viz in the bay .
Unable to get out until after lunch but well worth while - 2.hr sea watch ( dodging the showers ) produced 30 GANNET, 10 SANDWICH TERN , 3 COMMON TERN 5 MANX SHEARWATER 2 FULMAR, 2 COMMON SCOTER and the first SKUAS of the spring- 2 GREAT and a dark phase ARCTIC (144 )
I have been commenting on the lack of Hirundines sofar - have looked back at my records since I moved into Thurlestone - they make interesting reading
SAND MARTIN - 2009 1st record 11/3 upto 9/4 recorded on 15 days with a total of 154 birds.
2010 - 1st 17/3 - 5days 92 birds 2011 - 1st 14/3 -20 days 349 birds
2012- 1st 13/3- 8 days 38 birds
SWALLOW - 2009- 1st 17/3 9days 93 birds 2010-1st 17/3 15 days 87 birds
2011 1st -18/3 11days 78 birds . 2012 1st 21/3 8 days 20 birds
HOUSE MARTIN 2009- 1st 31/3 2days 3 birds . 2010 1st 19/3 3days 5 birds
2011 1st 29/3 2days 4 birds 2012 - none recorded
This Spring passage does show a significant reduction in the total number of birds recorded
SUN 8 APR 2012
Quick update - Grandaughter & family with us !
This am in the Bay 65 MANX SHEATWATER ( 143 ) flew east, also 3 SANDWICH TERN and a KITTIWAKE ( 1st summer )
Visitors reported the LITTLE BUNTING showing well, 1 REED WARBLER and 3 SWALLOW
SAT 7 APR 2012
First some late news from Friday - AJL had a female REDSTART by the South Huish toilet block and Bob B had 2 SISKIN fly over his car park
Whilst 1 SWALLOW doesn't make a summer we had 2 repoted today - singles at 09.45 and 17 .15.
Early this morning Bob B heard the first REED WARBLER ( 141 ) at South Milton Ley. An early visit to the bay produced 4 SANDWICH TERN and the first COMMON TERN ( 142 ).
Thurlestone marsh had 20 TEAL, 2 SNIPE, and a WATER PIPIT
1 WHEATEAR by the cafe .
LITTLE BUNTING reported by visiting birders both this morning and late afternoon.
FRI 6 APR 2012
A lovely sunny day with lots of visitors and some nice birds
In the Bay this morning 15 GANNET, 13 RAZORBILL, 3 SANDWICH TERN , a single RED THROATED DIVER on the sea ( in partial sp - nice ). At least 3 WHEATEAR in the cafe field .
On South Huish Marsh a female WIGEON was a new arrival, 3 SHELDUCK, 3 TEAL.
Visiting RSPB Group from Plymouth picked up the best birds of the day - 2 PURPLE SANDPIPER, a WHITETHROAT ( 139 ) and a male REDSTART ( 140) .
On Thurlestone marsh were 2 SNIPE, 9 TEAL, 3 WILLOW WARBLER.
Award of the day goes to Ian Fleming (007! ) he left home in Cheshire at 02.30 arrived on site at 8.00am and sat until 17.15 until he got good views of the LITTLE BUNTING - thats dedication for a lifer !!.
Whilst not on the patch Aveton Gifford is only a few miles away, Eric W rang at 17.15 he was watching a hunting SHORT EARED OWL over the top marshes, managed to get there in time to very good views.
THURS 5 APR 2012
A bitterly cold day with brisk ENE 4/5 wind -another hirundine/wheatearlessday !
A 3hr sea watch from 9.15 produced - 7 COMMON SCOTER and a TEAL east,
10 SANDWICH TERN, 2 RAZORBILL, 2 GREAT CRESTED GREBE in the bay.
First large passage of MEADOW PIPIT -175 came in off the sea and flew north ( largest flock 40 )
Bob B ( now known as Bob the Bunting ) had the LITTLE BUNTING , a male CIRL BUNTING, 1 YELLOWHAMMER and 5 REED BUNTING at S M Ley ( hence his new name )
Thurlestone marsh this pm held 14 LESSER B B GULL, 5 TEAL, 2 SHELDUCK .
Went to Warren Pt at 17.00 (high tide ) Wader roost was 14 TURNSTONE and 21 OYSTERCATCHER
WED 4 APR 2012
Early pm update- away for the rest of the day
Another quiet day in the bay enlivend by the first HOBBY ( 138 ) of the year over South Milton Ley at 09.30 . LITTLE BUNTING on show at 08.45
A 90 min bay watch from Beacon Pt produced 19 GANNET, 1 SANDWICH TERN, ! FULMAR, 1 RAZORBILL, and 2 nice RED THROATED DIVER preening themselves on the sea
No Hirundines or Wheatear
TUES 3 APR 2012
At last some Hirundine passage , although you could hardly call 4 SWALLOW and a single SAND MARTIN a movement,.
The morning started early with a call from Bob B to say there was a CUCKOO (137 ) at the top end of South Milton Ley - the earlest date he can remember.
A few WILLOW WARBLERS around the patch with the LITTLE BUNTING still showing at 8.30.
A single WHEATEAR by the cafe was the first for 5 days.
A 2hr bay watch produced a single Gannet and a single SANDWICH TERN.
Interesting to see if the stronger winds for Wed /Thurs will get things moving through
MON 2 APR 2012
A very flat calm sea this morning which enabled me to look at the largest pod of Dolphin I have seen in the Bay - at least 20. These were surrounded by 40 GANNET and 200+ HERRING GULL Also 4 SANDWICH TERN, 3 COMMON SCOTER.
A LITTLE RINGED PLOVER found on South Huish Marsh at lunchtime , stiil a male WIGEON.
The LITTLE BUNTING showed well at various times to the delight of visitors. Only 1 WILLOW WARBLER on site.
Another day with no Hirundine or Wheatear being recorded
SUN 1 APR 2012
Another very sunny day with a cool E breeze- only hirundines that I know of were 3 SWALLOW over the village at 16.45 and still no more Wheatear.
Waders to the fore this morning when the rocks off Warren Pt produced - 1 PURPLE SANDPIPER, 1 SANDERLING, 4 TURNSTONE.
In the Bay - 3 GANNET, 1 FULMAR, 1 GUILLEMOT, 2 SHELDUCK, 1 SANDWICH TERN.
On South Huish marsh still 2 WIGEON.
Thurlestone marsh -2 SHELDUCK, 6 LITTLE EGRET.8 LESSER B B GULL.
News received that good views obtained of at least 1 LITTLE BUNTING during the day- trying to contact Roger & Helen who were ringing there today,. Earlier Bob B had a SNIPE