WED 31 OCT 2012
A cloudy day with heavy showers late morning and a 6/7 SW wind.
Notable today were the passage of GANNET - 370 and KITTIWAKE- 90 in 2 hrs this morning, also 2 GREAT NORTHERN DIVER - 1 on sea at 09.30, the other flying east at10.00. 6 COMMON SCOTER and 3 AUKS with a single CURLEW west .Best bird of the morning went to a SOOTY SHEARWATER which flew east at 09.25
On South Huish Marsh 2 WIGEON, 35 TEAL, 1 db BRENT GOOSE and a report of a COMMON SANDPIPER. 2 TURNSTONE on the rocks
This afternoon at a local farm a cracking ad male BLACK REDSTART.
This month has produced thr highest monthly species total for the last 2 years at 130.
TUES 30 OCT 2012
A really nice Autumn day feeling warm in the sun and almost no wind .
Con the way home from the DBWPS meeting almost home when a BARN OWL flew over the car
This morning on T'stone Marsh - 10 LAPWING, 2 WIGEON SNIPE LITTLE GREBE.
One of the new walks I intend to do over the winter is West Buckland Valley, takes about 1.5 hours- first visit this morning produced- 4 BULLFINCH, 21 ROBIN, 14 BLACKBIRD, 4 SONG THRUSH, 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 4 REDWING , . In a stubble field a flock of 50+ CHAFFINCH, 1 YELLOWHAMMER, 6 GOLDFINCH 4 GOLDCREST , 2 WREN , 8 GREAT TIT, 4 BLUE TIT.
On S H Marsh- the 4 GREENLAND WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE still around ( sometimes in a nearby stubble field ), 1 db BRENT GOOSE, , 40 TEAL, 4 WIGEON, 20 LAPWING and a MERLIN.
A BLACK REDSTART on the roof of the flats.
This afternoon Bob B ringed 3 REED BUNTUNG, 1 CETTIS WARBLER , a late REED WARBLER, with a REDPOLL over
Tonight The STARLING roost was the largest this autumn, flocks flying in of upto 20,000- continuous from 16.30 thru to 17.00. Graham Daw joined me to try and countthe flocks , our best estimate was 250,000+
Mon 29 OCT 2012
A very wet day with a good F5/6 SW wind- poor viz when raining.
In the bay at 09.15 close inshore a GREAT NORTHERN DIVER - the first for the winter. Flew off east at 09.30. Whilst looking at the diver a BLACK REDSTART flew onto the fence. A few GANNET and14 KITTIWAKE flew east.
On South Huish marsh - 1db BRENT GOOSE, 2 WIGEON, 2 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN.
1 ad YELLOW LEGGED GULL.
At 12.35 rec'd a phone call from Mike Miller to say he had seen 4 grey geese fly onto S H Marsh but toofar away to ID with bins. Went straight over and found 4 GREENLAND WHITE- FRONTED GOOSE (193 ) at the back of the Marsh . After been harassed by some Canada's they flew off at 13.35. Bob B then found them in the field on the road leading to S M Ley sewage works , after again being disturbed they returned to S H Marsh where Vic T & Eric W saw them .
Many thanks to Mike Miller for the find- as this is a patch tick for me and the first Oct record for the parch
Sun 28 OCT 2012
This am i missed the STARLING dispersal -early morning on the Marsh - 6 SHOVELER, 35 TEAL, 1 db BRENT GOOSE
On S H Marsh 2 WIGEON, 4 DUNLIN 40 TEAL and in with the Canadas a BARNACLE GOOSE ( 192 ) yes I know it is probably a feral bird but when we are trying to reach the magical 200 for the year they all count !
Graham & Martin Daw and Chris Bond had 2 flocks of WIGEON fly thru totalling 50 birds .
This morning Bob B had a m BULLFINCH and over at Southdown Farm a RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE
SAT 27 OCT 2012
Sunshine at last with a clod brisk N wind. Started the day with a garden tick - a nice DB BRENT GOOSE on the Marsh at 8.00- along with 6 SHOVELER , 31 TEAL, 1 LITTLE GREBE, The STARLING dispersal at 08.15 was at least 125,000. Later in the afternoon an ad m BLACK REDSTART and a F were in my garden.Whilst 12 BRENT GOOSE flew over at 17.30
I went to Huxton Cross for viz mig at 09.20- Bob B was at SOAR car park - he had 12,000 WOOD PIGEON my count was 2150, I also scored with 2 WOODLARK ( 191 ) which flew N at 09.45, also 17 LAPWING, 135 SKYLARK, 20 LINNET and a few CHAFFINCH and a MERLIN.
In the Bay / South Huish Marsh - 17 BRENT GOOSE DB , 30 TEAL, 16 DUNLIN, 1ad 1 1st w MED GULL 2 BLACK REDSTART ( makes 4 for the day ) 1 SISKIN whilst
Bob had a ringtail HEN HARRIER in off the sea .
This aft. went over to MID SOAR farm to have some great views of the SIBERIAN STONECHAT fond by ALAN DOIDGE- only the 3rd DEVON record - thanks Al a great lifer for me. Also 14 GOLDEN PLOVER flew over
The STARLING roost this evening was a fine end to another great birding day - could be another 125,000 total. Anyone coming Sunday + dont forget they will be roosting an hour earlier
Late report of 2 SWALLOW flying thru at c 17.00
FRI 26 OCT 2012
A gloomy day with a F5/6 E/NE wind , drizzle and poor viz until 15.00- another one of those suberb days that makes you forget how cold the end of Oct can be - fabulous day for passage waders , duck and geese with some late summer migrants as well.
Bay watched from 09.20 - 16.30 -observers Bob B and myself all day, AJL and Nick T am .
A total of 14 species of wader with almost all of them in off the sea and up the valley- LAPWING 27, `SNIPE 12, OYSTERCATCHER 14, REDSHANK 3 , BAR TAILED GODWIT 3, KNOT 13, SANDERLING 2 , CURLEW 1, DUNLIN 141 ( largest flock 16 )
GREY PLOVER 7, GOLDEN PLOVER 13, RINGED PLOVER 5, TURNSTONE 1 .
A new site record for a day total of BRENT GOOSE-56 ( largest flock 17- all DB ) none landed on the sea or marshes ) 7 MED GULL
PINTAIL 5 ( first of the winter ) SHOVELER 4 , TEAL 20 ( passage ) COMMON SCOTER 46 , RED BREASTED MERGANSER 1 m .
1 ARCTIC SKUA flew east also 3 SKUA sp. 150 + GANNET
150+ STARLING in off the sea, 4 SKYLARK, 50+ MIPIT, 10 CHAFFINCH, 5 SWALLOW, 23 HOUSE MARTIN, 2 WHEATEAR , 2 BLACK REDSTART.
On South Huish Marsh 75 TEAL.
08.00 on T'stone Marsh- 2m 3f SHOVELER, 1f GADWALL, 12 TEAL, 1 LITTLE GREBE and 6 SISKIN
Off to watch the STARLING spectacular
THURS 25 OCT 2012
This am -AJL had 6 BRENT GOOSE-pale bellied fly across the Bay, at 16.40 Bob B and I had 7 Dark bellied fly in off the sea and eventually up the valley- this is the first occasion we have had these numbers of both species in the same day. Just to add an interesting comment at 12.00 I had 7 Dark Bellied fly in off the sea at Slapton.
Amongst 300+ BLACK H. GULL on South Huish marsh this aft were 8 MED GULL ( 4 ad , 2 sub ad & 2 1st w ) also 35 TEAL, 3 DUNLIN and 2 SNIPE . There was an ad and 1stw COMMON GULL also ( not that common here )
On T'stone Marsh the 2 F SHOVELER have now been joined by a male, 2 WIGEON and 3 TEAL.
The sight of the day was the first lage murmation of STARLING- they started to flyinto the stubble field from 17.15 , by the time they went to roost in the reeds at
17.45 they totalled at least 100,000 ! what a sight
WED 24 OCT 2012
A gloomy day with light drizzle and a F3 NE wind.
At 08.15 the STARLING dispersal was 5000+. On T'stone Marsh - 2 f SHOVELER, 2 WIGEON, 2 MUTE SWAN, 300 + BLACK H GULL with 1 1st W MED GULL later a GREEN WOODPECKER in my garden and 15 REDWING over.
A surprise in the Bay was a 1st W M POCHARD with 3 GADWALL and 6 MUTE SWAN.
On S H Marsh - 50 TEAL, 100+ BLACK H GULL, 1ad & 1 1stw MED GULL. 3 SNIPE, 1 WHEATEAR 1 WATER RAIL, .
A F BLACK REDSTART on the cottages, .
Bob B had a MERLIN over the Marsh.
Late Tuesday 2 LAPWING over T'stone Marsh and 45 ALBA WAGTAIL roost
Sightings whilst on Holiday
Had a very enjoyable 10 days in Majorca - will post atrip report in due course.
Bob Burridge , Nick T and John King have given me the following items for this month .
13/10 - 1 REDPOLL , 50 SISKIN, 30+ SWALLOW, 4 JAY, 1 REDWING, 3 WATER RAIL, 6 MED GULL
14/ 10- 50 + SWALLOW, 2 HOUSE MARTIN 5 SISKIN
18/10 - New site record for MED GULL -10 (3ad, 3 sub ad , 4 1st W ), 1 GOLDEN PLOVER .
19/10 - 1 REDPOLL, 1 REED WARBLER & 5 REED BUNTING ringed, 6 WATER RAIL
20/10 2 NUTHATCH, 2 REDWING, 1 SISKIN, 5 YELLOWHAMMER, 9 REED BUNTING ( RINGED)
21/10 WOODCOCK, 5 HOUSE MARTIN.
23/10 - In Nick's garden - a FIRECREST with a party of GOLDCREST
FRI 12 OCT 2012
At long last some sunshine and only a few showers with a brisk NW wind.Apart from 150 GANNET and a few AUKS all the activity this morning was viz mig - In just under 3 hrs - 7 JAY, 4 REED BUNTING, 160 SKYLARK, 45 MIPIT, 15 GOLDFINCH, 45 LINNET 6 SISKIN 1 WHEATEAR.
On South Huish marsh 60 TEAL and a 1stw MED GULL .
We are off to the sun Sat ( hopefully ) to see what we can find in Majorca. Next Posting will be 24/10- will be preparing a list of birds hopefully Bob B and Nick T can find ( AJL on the Scillies.)
THURS 11 OCT 2012
Another night of heavy rain and then areal downpour this morning - Both marshes have risen by around a foot.
In my garden this morning 2 SONG THRUSH ( first for months ) 5 BLACKCAP, 4 CHIFFCHAFF, on the marsh only 6 TEAL , now 2 f SHOVELER and the LITTLE GREBE.
In the Bay a SANDWICH TERN, 1male COMMON SCOTER on the sea with 15 moving east.
In the copse still the male REDSTART, 10+ CHIFFCHAFF, 1 GOLDCREST, 4 ROBIN
With the rising water level there were 12 SNIPE and a 'bobbing ' JACK SNIPE. , 1 LAPWING , 2 WHEATEAR and 35 TEAL
WED 10 OCT 2012
No improvement in the weather .
After yesterdays posting a BLACK TAILED GODWIT spent 10 mins on the marsh before flying off up the valley. Alba Wagtail roost 80 +
On the rocks / beach this morning - 5 TURNSTONE, 4 RINGED PLOVER, 1 REDSHANK. 2ad MED GULL flew west as well as 4 SHOVELER
At the copse a 1stw male REDSTART, 4 CHIFFCHAFF and a WLIIOW WARBLER. Whilst watching Nick T and I had a female HEN HARRIER fly in off the sea , over the marsh and straight up the valley. 3 JAY also flew up the valley.
On the roof of the flats at Bob's car park a female BLACK REDSTART - first of the autumn
First time I have had both species of Redstart o n the the same day
Bob B put a net up at 16.00 and in an hour ringed 14 CHIFFCHAFF.
Have posted the ringing team report for Sept- details on that page of a GARDEN WARBLER ringed here and controlled on Fair Isle !
TUES 9 OCT 2012
Another gloomy wet day, but still produced some birds
At South Huish Marsh- 45 TEAL, 3 WHEATEAR, 1 CURLEW (over ) 1 YELLOW WAGTAIL. In the copse 2 1st w male REDSTART, 8 CHIFFCHAFF 1 GREAT Sp WOODY.
In the Bay this afternoon a GREAT CRESTED GREBE & 8 TEAL, whilst Bob B foud a BARN OWL in trees at the back of the marsh .
Hirundine passage still when the heavy showers stopped - todays count 600 SWALLOW, 400 HOUSE MARTIN
MON 8 OCT 2012
Very poor viz with heavy o/night rain and drizzle most of the morning.
On the beach - 8 RINGED PLOVER, 5 DUNLIN
In the copse were 5 CHIFFCHAFF, 12 GREENFINCH and a 1st w male REDSTART - only the second patch record this year. Overhead around 700 SWALLOW moving eastin 30 mins .
Around T'stone Marsh- 1 MERLIN, 3 MED GULL, 1 CIRL BUNTING, First GOLDCREST of the autumn in the garden along with 10 LONG T TIT
This afternoon drove over to Start Point where I met Bob B- good birds in the tamarisk bushes by the lighthouse- 6 REDSTART, 1 WHINCHAT, 1 PIED FLYCATCHER, 6 BLACKCAP, 3 WILLOW WARBLER, 2 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 MERLIN
SUN 7 OCT 2012
Today has been designated as Hirudine migration day. Earlier in the spring i expressed some concern about the lack of Hirundines moving through, well today just proved somewhere they had a superb breeding season- whether these are UK or European birds.
Over T'stone Marsh at 07.45 there were over 1000 birds high up ( probably mostly HOUSE MARTIN ) At 10.00 another flock est at over 800 birds. By 10.15 the passage started - we were standing by the cafe , at times there were more than 100 per minute passing in front of us never mind the birds behind us! In the next 1.5 Hrs more than 25.000 birds passed thru ( it could easliy have been a lot more ) 95 % were HOUSE MARTIN . During the whole day only 1 SAND MARTIN. .
Then at around 2.30 the flocks started passing thru again this time split 50/50 HM & Sw. This continued for anothe hour and then small flocks continued for another hour.
Bob B has just rung to confirm in excess of 2000 SWALLOW roosting in S M Ley.
My own estimate is that close to 50.000 birds have passed through. Certainly one of the largest movements for some years.
On T'stone Marsh - 1 f SHOVELER, 1 m WIGEON , 20 TEAL, 1 LITTLE GREBE.
In the Bay 2 SANDWICH TERN, 1m COMMON SCOTER, 2 GUILLEMOT, 5 DUNLIN.
A LAPWING over S H Marsh was the first for some weeks, 6 WHEATEAR, 4 MED GULL, 2 SNIPE
Overhead passage - 240 MEADOW PIPIT , 25 SKYLARK, 2 REDPOLL, 4 GREY WAGTAIL .
Will be interesting to see if the Hirundine passage reported from other coastal sites
SAT 6 OCT 2012
One of the weeks to remember during those cold winter nights, at 0910 Bob B called to confirm he had a RED RUMPED SWALLOW amongst a flock of SWALLOW -150 and HOUSE MARTIN - 75 feeding over the lagoon by the footbridge at South Milton Ley.
Managed to get there in 5 mins and watched the bird - a juv-until 09.45 , only other obs was AJL who arrived a few mins before the bird moved on . This makes 190 for the year and needless to say was a patch tick . The last record was in 2007 ( I think ) found by G & M Daw- I cant find the record in Devon Birds- there is also a previous spring record of one which stayed a few days . Cracking find by Bob .
Whilst watching the hiundines 3ad & 1 2w MED GULL flew over , also 8 SISKIN.. In the cafe field around 10 WHEATEAR
24 WIGEON flew into T'stone marsh where there were 10 TEAL and the LITTLE GREBE
FRI 5 OCT 2012
A contrasting day - am fine pm rain. Very heavy rain and gale force winds produced a few new waders on the beach - 8 DUNLIN, 7 RINGED PLOVER . Offshore around100 GANNET, 1 m COMMON SCOTER and a nice SOOTY SHEATWATER flew west at 09.50 ( one of the closest views i have been fortunate to see ).
At South Huish marsh - 36 TEAL
Only 1 1st w Med GULL amongst the 150+ BLACK HEADED GULL.
Viz mig - 25 GOLDFINCH, 25 ALBA WAGTAIL, 2 WHEATEAR, 3 CHIFFCHAFF, 12 SWALLOW 35 MIPIT .
On T'stone Marsh - 35 TEAL, 1 SNIPE, ! LITTLE GREBE, 35 SWALLOW
THURS 4 OCT 2012
45 TEAL, 2 WIGEON, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 6 JAY on or around T'stone Marsh this morning .
Went over to Bolberry Down and spent 4hrs covering the Valley down to Soar Mill Cove and the ' Dotterel' field . Viz mig rather slow - 15 SWALLOW 115 Mipit, 70 Linnet.1 GREY WAGTAIL, 4 ALBA WAGTAIL.
In the willows at the bottom of the valley was most of the activity - Heard a YELLOW BROWED WARBLER at 10.15 and finally located it at 10.35- only brief views as the coppice is quite dense here, also heard it again on the way back at 12.30. Also in the valley -10 CHIFFCHAFF, 8 BLACKCAP, 8 GOLDCREST, 15 L T TIT, 5 GREAT TIT , 9 BLUE TIT , 8 ROBIN, 3 CHAFFINCH, 1 GREAT Sp WOODY.
Have to mention the JAY - 11 in total with one flock of 10. With the earlier birds at T'stone this makes 17 today. See Doug Stannards post on DEVON BIRD NEWS- also 270+ reported at CLEY in NORFOLK. Many years since the last JAY invasion ! Recorded 3 on 2nd and 2 on 1st.
In the top field- 1 MERLIN, 6 WHEATEAR, 8 SKYLARK,40 GOLDFINCH
WED 3 OCT 2012
In the Bay this morning a flock of over 200 BLACK HEADED GULL amongst them a site record for MED GULL -8 (4ad, 3 2w 1 1w ) most of the dispersed after an hour , as this was around high tide they could have been birds from the Kinsbridge Est.
Offshore 100 + GANNET , 6 BALEARIC SHEARWATER and a RAZORBILL.
A WHEATEAR in the field whilst a single CROSSBILL flew over ( a patch tick for me )
On the marshes 85 TEAL .
Vic T had 2 SISKIN over South Milton Ley
TUES 2 OCT 2012
The PECTORAL SANDPIPER last seen feeding at 18.45 last night. This morning 35 TEAL on the marsh and a JAY flew through.
On South Huish marsh -45 TEAL, 1 WHEATEAR and 2 JAY flew over ( evidence of birds moving through )
Offshore in 2hrs this morning 2 ARCTIC TERN flew east at 09.50, 2 GUILLEMOT on the sea , 4 COMMON SCOTER flew west and a 1st w MED GULL. 120+ GANNET. Only 10 SWALLOW
MON 1 OCT 2012
The PECTORAL SANDPIPER on the back of T'stone Marsh until mid afternoon, also 1 LITTLE GREBE, 35 TEAL and a JAY , this afternoon a WATER RAIL.
Over at South Huish Marsh the bird of the autumn found at 10.20 in an adjacent field with cattle were 2 CATTLE EGRET ( 189 ). The first on the patch since 3 in May 2008. Terry Lakeman took some photo's . They were last seen flying over the marsh towards Thurlestone at 10.30.
35 TEAL, 2 Reed Bunting, 1 WATER RAIL 2 WHEATEAR, 1 JAY, 1 COAL TIt 1 REED WARBLER, 3 CHIFFCHAFF. 1 SAND MARTIN amongst 350 SWALLOW
AJL had a SANDWICH TERN in the Bay.
He and Mike Miller had an albino SWALLOW over the Marsh