FRI 30 MAY
Another cloudy day with a F2/3 ESE wind .
A nice end to the month with a superb adult GREAT NORTHERN DIVER in full sp, only 30 yards offshore by Leasowes Beach at 09.30. Normally at this time of the year the only records are of birds flying through offshore.This was Springwatch in Devon at its best .
Also this morning 6 WHIMBREL on the rocks, 20 MANX SHEARWATER west, 1 KITTIWAKE east, 4 GUILLEMOT east and 25 GANNET.
Stopped at Huxton Cross at 11.40 in the next 30 mins a significant passagge of birds -85 SWIFT, 45 HOUSE MARTIN and a few SWALLOW all flying east . Largest count of SWIFT for this year. Also 3 WHITETHROAT, 1 YELLOWHAMMER and 6 SKYLARK
In the Buckland Valley - 3 GREAT Sp WOODPECKER, 2 BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, singing MISTLE and SONG THRUSH and SPOTTED FLYCATCHER
All photos by Alan Doidge
THURS 29 MAY
A cloudy morning with some light showers and a light NW breeze-
At South Huish Marsh - 7 DUNLIN ( Gary H later found 8 ) 2 SHELDUCK with 2 young, Male TEAL still, 10 SWIFT, 15 HOUSE MARTIN and a SAND MARTIN, 4 STARLING flew over .
Rest of the day spent at Bowling Green Marsh / Exe Est. with Alan D & Eric W - Managed some brief views of the ROSS'S GULL at 12. 45 before it flew off down the estuary. Managed distant views from the Goatwalk
( viewing platform sealed off by contractors). Later in the afternoon good views of the 1s LITTLE GULL on the mud. At 17.45 the ROSS'S GULL flew up the estuary towards the recreation ground , made our way back to the hide to have very good views both on the ground and in flight . A superb 1st summer bird just starting to show the neck ring , black tip to the wedged tail noticable in flight .
This certainly was not on my expectations for 2014 .Hopefully will be able to post some photos of both Gulls later
WED 28 MAY
A cloudy morning with light showers later, wind a NW breeze .
On the rocks were a total of 11 WHIMBREL.
2 Hour sea watch off Warren Pt produced-
22 GANNET, 3 MANX SHEARWATER, 6 COMMON SCOTER, 4 FULMAR ,
2 SWIFT wellout going north.
On a dry back T'stone Marsh - 3 LITTLE EGRET, HERON, REED BUNTING . In the field 14 GREAT B B GULL ( normally no more tha 2/3 in the Bay ) Juv ROBIN in the garden
At 14 .25 Eric W watched an OSPREY fly up the river Avon with a fish in its talons.An interesting mid season record .
TUES 27 MAY
Another fine morning , with light winds and calm sea .
Walking around the Bay with Graham Daw produced -
5 WHIMBREL, offshore - 3 COMMON TERN, 60+ GANNET , 2 FULMAR.
On South Huish Marsh - 2 DUNLIN, and the male TEAL.
Evidence of breeding with family parties of PIED WAGTAIL, LINNET and GOLDFINCH
News from Eric W at South Efford Marsh - late afternoon- 5 Whimbrel, 4 Dunlin, 2 Redshank and a Golden Plover
MON 26 MAY
Continuous sunshine , clear blue skies , flat calm sea and almost no breeze meant few birds about .
Waders on the rocks - 7 SANDERLING, 5 WHIMBREL. Offshore around 80 GANNET, AJL had 5 MANX SHEARWATER around 9.15
The pair of MUTE SWAN on T'stone Marsh were together with 3 cygnets - another successful breeding year
SUN 25 MAY
Another cloudy morning with heavy showers around 8am, F4/5 SSW wind resulted in a choppy sea - and some good birds
Spent 3 hours seawatching from the car park totals were :-
70 GANNET, 5 KITTIWAKE, 2 SANDWICH TERN , 1 BALEARIC SHEARWATER flew east at 11.32, 3 GREAT SKUA ( flew in together at 10.05 and landed on the sea, after 20mins flew off west ) , just prior to that a POMARINE SKUA flew east at 10.00 , finally at 11.25 the morning was complete with a lp ARCTIC SKUA flying east.
Unusual to record all 3 species of Skua in one morning this late in May .
Winds to remain S for Monday but much lighter
SAT 24 MAY
A cloudy morning with some light showers.
Waders on the beach - 9 WHIMBREL, 19 SANDERLING, 1 GREY PLOVER. Offshore 17 GANNET , the COMMON SCOTER flock on the sea increased to 55
AJL reports a GREAT N DIVER and a female BULLFINCH in a garden near the copse.
Late afternoon had a very wet visit to Yarner Wood - PIED FLYCATCHER, WOOD WARBLER by the path , from the hide by the pond - 3 MANDARIN, MARSH TIT, SISKIN, NUTHATCH, GREAT SP WOODPECKER and GREY WAGTAIL .
Next site visit was Challacombe Farm - with the rain still pouring down managed a WHEATEAR, BLACKCAP, GARDEN WARBLER and a male & female REDSTART
FRI 23 MAY
An overcast cloudy morning with a F4/5 NNW wind.
All the waders were on Yarmer beach - 22 SANDERLING ( highest total this year ), 2 DUNLIN, 1 TURNSTONE, 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT 12 WHIMBREL
Offshore the 35 COMMON SCOTER still on the sea, 40 GANNET , 2 FULMAR , at 10.15 a BONXIE flew east.
On South Huish marsh a DUNLIN
At least 2 pairs of STONECHAT feeding young, also ROCK PIPIT.
In Buckland Valley , GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, BLACKCAP, YELLOWHAMMER, AND A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER.
Met a visiting birder from Bath who confirmed a sighting of RED KITE
( 158 ) just outside the village yesterday afternoon
THURS 22 MAY
After overnight rain and SSE wind expectations were not achieved. Offshore only10 GANNET and the 35 COMMON SCOTER.
Waders on the beach 16 SANDERLING, 1 DUNLIN, 3 RINGED PLOVER,
12 WHIMBREL, 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT and a COMMON SANDPIPER ( on rocks )
The male TEAL still on the Marsh whilst during one of the heavy showers here were 40 HOUSE MARTIN, 20 SWALLOW, 6 SWIFT .
At 21.15 last night the roosts at Thurlestone Marsh were -
200+ SWALLOW and 10 STARLING.
News from Graham Daw from Monday - He and Martin had 12 WHIMBREL and 4 GREY PLOVER
Another sunny day with some high cloud . An E/SE wind f2/3 increasing to f5 this afternoon .
First site visited was Yarmer Beach / Warren Pt - waders on the beach - 13 WHIMBREL, 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT, 15 SANDERLING, 1 DUNLIN, 2 GREY PLOVER .
Offshore the 35 COMMON SCOTER still on the sea and 3 SANDWICH TERN , 1 COMMON TERN.
Made my way round to South Huish marsh- on the rocks 1 RINGED PLOVER and a female GREY WAGTAIL ( this is my first May record for the patch) Offshore were 2 GANNET , 2 KITTIWAKE, at 12.30 a flock of
10 SANDWICH TERN flew into the Bay , a pair of SHELDUCK on the sea with 4 very young ducklings. The pair still on the Marsh with 5 ducklings
Went back at 16.15 for an hour - 4 SANDWICH TERN flew in and straight up the valley high , 3 GREY PLOVER, 5 SANDERLING and a DUNLIN on the rocks ( As we had 3 Grey Plover on Sunday will assume these are the same birds ) A total of 17 Sandwich Tern is a high count for us at this time of the month
Some interesting weather early am Thursday, Thunder storms and S /SE winds , I know it is getting towards the end of May but this weather is coming straight up from southern Spain .
Nick T had waders on the beach / rocks Tuesday - Flock of 20 SANDERLING / DUNLIN, 3 TURNSTONE, 2 RINGED PLOVER .
Very late news from June Huggins of a female MERLIN in her garden on 2 MAY
TUES 20 May
Still plenty of Red Kite this morning , on the return journey called in at Ham Wall and met Deane for an interesting couple of hours .
On a blustery and mainly cloudy day -
A Common Tern, 2 Bittern, 4 Great White Egret, 3 Marsh Harrier, 4 Hobby
Barn Owl, Cuckoo and brief song of a Nightingale
MON 19 MAY
Had to leave by 11.00 for an overnight trip to Wallingford ( nr Didcot ). Before leavinghad a brief look for waders and anything offshore-
6 DUNLIN on the rocks , 35 COMMON SCOTER on the sea . 1 SWIFT over andthe male TEAL on the Marsh
Later in the evening Perry had a CURLEW and 5 WHIMBREL.
My evening in Wallingford gave great views of 20 + Red Kite and a Hobby
SUN 18 MAY
Another fine sunny and warm day, with light winds .
Waders on the beach / rocks around high tide this am were -
3 GREY PLOVER, 6 SANDERLING, 3 DUNLIN, 1 TURNSTONE ., 10 WHIMBREL
The male TEAL still on the Marsh
Report from Garry W of a RED KITE over his garden in KINGSBRIDGE at 17.00, flew NNE towards Totnes area.
Best non bird interest today were 14 vintage cars at a special rally weekend at the Thurlestone Hotel. Mostly SUNBEAM and TALBOT 1920's & 30's-fantastic !
FRI 16 MAY
Another glorious summers day. Unfortunately the patch is still devoid of any Red Kite
(surely Cornwall can spare a few ! )
Report from Eric W of a BARN OWL near the village at 22.30 last night .
This morning was quiet - on the beach / rocks at high tide were 5 DUNLIN, 1 RINGED PLOVER , 1 TURNSTONE ( in sp what a sight ), 6 WHIMBREL .
Interest on the marsh limited to 5 LITTLE EGRET , the TEAL and the many ducklings - SHELDUCK still has 5
Lots of young Corvids in the fields having left local nests
THURS 15 MAY
A superb morning weather wise , light var wind sunny clear sky and a flat calm sea.
Was parked by the cafe at 07.45- on the sea a large feeding party of GANNET c 150 and around 200 HERRING GULL. Did not take long to find the cause - 3 pods of DOLPHIN, 6 , 8 and then 40 + all between T'stone Rock and Bolt Tail about 350 yards offshore . What a spectacle, I have never had this many in the Bay before. By 08.15 they had all moved through .
On South Huish marsh were 5 RINGED PLOVER, 4 DUNLIN 1 YELLOW WAGTAIL
( heard ) and the male TEAL. In the copse a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER and a CHIFFCHAFF.. On the rocks 11 WHIMBREL.
Offshore a KITTIWAKE and 3 COMMON SCOTER
WED 14 MAY
Light NW wind , sunny sky and feeling warmer . An hour watching off Warren Pt didnt produce much - 26 GANNET, 2 FULMAR, 2 WHIMBREL, .Along the coast path 3 fully fledged STONECHAT + 2 adults, SONG THRUSH and 2 WHITETHROAT .
Deceided to look around the various lanes and valley on the patch - much more interesting with 2 year ticks - SPOTTED FLYCATCHER ( 156 ) and GARDEN WARBLER
( 157 ), other totals were- 4 WHITETHROAT, 6 BLACKCAP, 3 CHIFFCHAFF, 5 LONG T TIT, 1 COAL TIT, 3 SONG THRUSH and 1 MISTLE THRUSH
TUES 13 MAY
Not very much to report from this morning- On South Huish marsh only 14 WHIMBREL, the GLAUCOUS GULL still in the field to the east of the Marsh
A quick visit to South Milton Ley did not produce anything other than the expected range of Warblers
MON 12 MAY
First some late news for SUN- at 20.00 a male TUFTED DUCK flew off T'stone Marsh and up the valley.
A sunny periods with showers day with a cold W f6 at times wind .Met up with Graham & Martin Daw this morning . A 90min sea watch produced scant records of -
7 GANNET, 4 FULMAR, 2 KITTIWAKE , 1 BLACK HEADED GULL, 8 SHELDUCK , then at 10.15 2 interesting birds in a minute - first a FERAL PIGEON ( 155 ) landed on the roof of the flats briefly and a GOLDEN PLOVER flew round the Bay.
On South Huish Marsh 17 WHIMBREL, 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT, at 12.30 a DUNLIN and 3 BLACK TAILED GODWIT flew in , Male TEAL still and the 1cy GLAUCOUS GULL still in the field . 12 SHELDUCK with the first brood of 10 ducklings.
Steady passage of 40 + SWIFT, 50 HOUSE MARTIN and 60 + SWALLOW.
Went back at 17.00 only change was - WHIMBREL now 19 and a SAND MARTIN
Informed by Mike Miller a badly decomposed ad GANNET found on the beach with a JERSEY ring - this has been sent off to BTO.
SUN 11 MAY
Having only arrived home at 04.30 it was a late start this morning . Showers produced 6 SWIFT and 30 SWALLOW and a few HOSE MARTIN over T'stone Marsh.
At South Huish Marsh the 1cy GLAUCOUS GULL showing well in the field, also 30 WHIMBREL, 2 CURLEW, 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT.
Did not manage any sea watch , hopefully back to normal on Monday
CYPRUS 1 - 10 MAY
Will pist a full report later this week , very unusual weather - 4 days of storms and rain with a temp of 18. However with a hire car manged to visit a few of the special places arond Akrotiri, Zakaki Marsh and the valleys . Total species were 83 , main highlights were my first sighting of CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, and best ever sights of ROLLER, GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO , COLLARD PRATINCOLE, GOLDEN ORIOLE.
The more I visit the island the more I like it.
Congratulations must go to the Cyprus Birwatching Soc who have transformed Zakaki Marsh from my last visit in Feb 2014. No longer do you have to take on the big lorries there is a parking area, the reeds have been cut back and best of all a viewing platform erected. The actual Marsh is not much bigger than South Huish Marsh , wish we had these facilities here.
30 APRIL - 10 MAY
A few updates for reports rec'd by e-mail or had been posted on DBS site whilst I was in Cyprus.
Alan D and Eric W had one of the best records with a m GARGANEY (154 ) on South H Marsh on 4 May, along with 21 BAR TAILED GODWIT, and the 1 cy GLAUCOUS GULL
Perry S had an interesting morning on 5 May - with 6 lp POMARINE SKUA , 1 dp ARCTIC SKUA, 80 MANX SHEARWATER, 21 COMMON SCOTER, 33 KITTIWAKE ,
2cy MED GULL, GREY PLOVER, 2 TURNSTONE, 7 SANDERLING, later Pete Aley had
46 WHIMBREL ,8 BAR TAILED GODWIT.
John King has sent me details of a ringed GUILLEMOT he found dead on the beach on20 FEB 2014. It had been ringed as a nestling at GREAT SALTEE WXFORD on 23 JUNE 1986. A remarkable 27 + years ol