TUES 30 SEPT
An early morning Garden Watch had to be cut short when at 08.00 athick blanket of fog drifted in from the sea .Only new species recorded were 3 LONG TAILED TIT. At 12.30 on the front pool - 6 LITTLE EGRET, 6 TEAL and a JAY flew over.
Offshore 15 GANNET , 1 BALEARIC S'WATER ( flew East ).
1 GUILLEMOT . 3 SANDERLING and a DUNLIN on the beach .
By the footbridge 5 DUNLIN, 4 GREY WAG, 21 SKYLARK, 100 + MIPIT, 1 CHIFFCHAFF.
On South Huish Marsh - 3 BLACK T GODWIT, 10 DUNLIN, 9 RINGED PLOVER, 14 TEAL, 65 GOLDFINCH, 75 SWALLOW and singles of both HOUSE and SAND MARTIN. A male PEREGRINE flew through.
Looking to the new month it is likely the settled pattern of weather will changewith the expectation of the first gale force wind for some weeks and some heavy rain - the marshes need topping up !
MON 29 SEPT
A very cloudy and overcast morning with no wind , poor viz offshore.
A 30 min Garden watch produced 26 species ,highlights were the first LAPWING record since Jan ., 2 CHIFFCHAFF., a flock of 50+ BLACK H GULL flew up the valley, later another 25 on the front pool along with 12 LITTLE EGRET and 5 TEAL.
By the footbridge - 4 DUNLIN, 1 LITTLE STINT, 2 SEDGE WBLR, 2 REED BUNTING.
On South Huish Marsh - 5 DUNLIN, 5 RINGED PLOVER, 10 TEAL ,
1 WIGEON, 8 SNIPE, 3 WHEATEAR, 10 SKYLARK, 250 LINNET,
50 MIPIT, 1 REED BUNTING, 150 + SWALLOW , 2 HOUSE MARTIN.
In the Copse 2 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 GOLDCREST, 1 GREAT Sp WOODY.
On the beach 8 RINGED PLOVER and a SANDERLING.
Offshore 3 GANNET , 2 COMMON SCOTER whilst a PEREGRINE flew over
Graham Daw continued with a short 20 min seawatch with 45 GANNET and a dp ARCTIC SKUA east
SUN 28 SEPT
First some update from Sat - 12 SNIPE on South H Marsh.At South Milton Ley -SWALLOW roost est at 1500, at least 1 SAND MARTIN and 1 REED WBLR.
Today - offshore 30+ GANNET. On T'stone Marsh - 6 TEAL, 4 SNIPE and 7 LITTLE EGRET.
On South Huish Marsh - 8 DUNLIN, 6 RINGED PLOVER, 1 LITTLE STINT,
1 WHEATEAR. At least 200 HOUSE MARTIN and 50 SWALLOW feeding over the Marsh .
At 11.40 a SHORT EARED OWL picked up in the Bay making for land - went in towards Hope Cove .
A ringing session by Alan P this morning produced 9 CHIFFCHAFF, 3 BLACKCAP and a GOLDCREST. CETTIS WBLR heard .
SAT 27 SEPT
An overcast morning with no wind. , produced the first noticeable viz mig.
Decided to concentrate on a Garden Watch - 75 mins from 07.45 and then a further 60 mins from 09.30 . A total of 45 species logged- the highest total this autumn . Highlights were-
The first GOLDCREST , 11 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 f BLACKCAP, 1 WILLOW WARBLER, 2 PIED , 1 GREY and 1 YELLOW WAGS., 3 GREAT Sp WOODY, 1 STOCK DOVE, 1 REED BUNTING, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 3 SNIPE,
1 RINGED PLOVER, 60 + MIPIT, 53 SKYLARK ( largest flock 31 )
1 STONECHAT, 2 JAY, 15 GOLDFINCH, 11 CHAFFINCH, 4 SISKIN
7 LITTLE EGRET, 70 SWALLOW, 20 HOUSE MARTIN .
Whist walking to the Golf Club a MISTLE THRUSH flew over , 2 WHEATEAR on the course. 1 BLACK T GODWIT on the front pool .
Bob B covered the rest of the patch and recorded- 1 LITTLE STINT,
9 DUNLIN, 1 BAR T GODWIT ( on beach ) 3 MED GULL, 1 KINGFISHER, 3 SEDGE WBLR, 1 GREAT Sp WOODY and 1 YELLOW WAG. 300+ SWALLOW over the Marsh
FRI 26 SEPT
After some early showers around 06.00 some expectation that migrants may have been grounded - not in this part of the South Hams.
On T'stone marsh 1 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 2 SNIPE and a GREY WAGTAIL.
Waders on Leasefoot and Yarmer Beaches - 42 RINGED PLOVER, 8 SANDERLING, 5 DUNLIN, 2 TURNSTONE. Only 10 GANNET offshore. 18 ROCK PIPIT logged today, 1 WHEATEAR.
By the footbridge - 4 DUNLIN, 1 LITTLE STINT, 2 GREY WAGTAIL.
On South Huish Marsh - 3 TEAL, 4 DUNLIN, 1 REED BUNTING.
On the rocks -3 LITTLE EGRET, 1 RINGED PLOVER, 2 WHITE WAG.
No Hirundines at all until 16.45 when a SWALLOW flew over my garden, and only 3 CHIFFCHAFFS today
THURS 25 SEPT
A calm clear morning, sunshine most of the day , WSW wind up to F3 by 13.00
A 45 min Garden Watch at 07.45 produced - 175 + MALLARD, WATER RAIL, TEAL, 9 CHIFFCHAFF, 1m BLACKCAP 17 MIPIT, 3 STOCK DOVE (south ) 3 JAY (north ) out of a total of 27 species
Having not seen either HERON or LITTLE EGRET it was a surprise to find 2 & 16 respectively on the front pool at 09.00, 4 DUNLIN on the mud .This afternoon WIGEON heard calling on the back pool .A SNIPE flushed and a flock of 14 MAGPIE many standing on the backs of the cattle and pecking away .
AJL reports waders on Yarmer Beach - 18 RINGED PLOVER, 9 DUNLIN,
2 TURNSTONE and 3 SANDERLING. By the footbridge were - 6 DUNLIN,
1 LITTLE STINT , 2 WHEATEAR, 1 GROPPA ( Bob )
At South Huish Marsh - 1 DUNLIN, 6 TEAL, 1 KINGFISHER, 6 SNIPE,
2 YELLOW WAG , 1 REED WBLR , 1 SEDGE WBLR. 90+ MIPIT,
1 SPARROWHAWK On fence posts by the toilet block 2 GREAT Sp WOODY
On the rocks a RINGED PLOVER, 2 LESSER B B GULL, 2 LITTLE EGRET.
By the copse 3 CHIFFCHAFF and another JAY
At Huxton Cross - 80 + SKYLARK 1 f SPARROWHAWK, 50 + MIPIT,
In Buckland Valley - 2 more Jay, 2 CHIFFCHAFF and 2 COAL TIT
Hirundines over all the patch totalled -4 HOUSE MARTIN, 18 SWALLOW
Finally a RAZORBILL flew east ( first this month )
Interesting to note a total of 6 Jay ( and the Great Spots ) indicative of some autumnal movement and a total of 18 LITTLE EGRET
WED 24 SEPT
With a change in the weather- cooler and fresher, better viz and a NW f4/5 wind it was all change in the birds as well - almost everything appears to have moved on .
Having mentioned about the sparcity of GANNET - there were 55 logged this morning , also offshore 2 KITTIWAKE and 5 BRENT GOOSE flew east at 11.55.
By the footbridge 2 LITTLE STINT , 9 DUNLIN feeding on the rotting seaweed- nothing at all in the field.
South Huish Marsh held 4 DUNLIN, 30 TEAL, 1 WHEATEAR, 5 SKYLARK
( over ), 40 MIPIT, 1 CHIFFCHAFF , 2 STONECHAT. After the recent days high counts of Hirundines todays totals were - 8 SWALLOW and 5 HOUSE MARTIN
On T'stone Marsh the BLACK TAILED GODWIT reappeared.
TUES 23 SEPT.
The calm weather just continues. I cannot remember 2 consecutive days at the end of Sept when I have not recorded a single GANNET.
A brief Garden watch at 08.00 produced 4 CHIFFCHAFF, 1m BLACKCAP,
2 RAVEN , 3 LITTLE EGRET ,70 SWALLOW.
A lot of Hirundines around the Bay many feeding offshore , numbers est - 1000+ HOUSE MARTIN, 250+ SWALLOW. 2 groups of CORMORANT- 10 & 6 flew east( did not appear to be part of our resident birds )
By the footbridge - 10 DUNLIN, 1 LITTLE STINT, 3 WHEATEAR, 1 REED BUNTING.
On South Huish Marsh - 16 DUNLIN, 3 LITTLE STINT, 2 RINGED PLOVER, 5 SNIPE, 1 RUFF, 9 YELLOW WAGs, 3 WHEATEAR , 1 WHINCHAT, 28 TEAL
12 SKYLARK (over )
On the rocks - 2 RINGED PLOVER, 1 WHITE WAG, 1 KINGFISHER
In the copse / gardens - 5 CHIFFCHAFF, 4 BLACKCAP, 1 STONECHAT. 2 SNIPE flushed from the side of a stream
MON 22 SEPT
A fine Autumn day , clear skies , almost no breeze and feeling warm in the sunshine .
A 45 min Garden Watch at 07.15 produced 24 species - highlights , 9 CHIFFCHAFF, 3 SNIPE, 240+ MALLARD, 1 BLACKCAP, 400+ SWALLOW
( flying east )
In the village - 2 GOLDCREST, later another 100 SWALLOW feeding over the marsh, as well as a BLACK T GODWIT
By the footbridge-1 KINGFISHER,10 WHEATEAR, 1 WHITHROAT
On South Huish Marsh - 2 LITTLE STINT, 24 DUNLIN, 12 SNIPE 1 COOT,
2 REED BUNTING, 52 TEAL , 2 WHEATEAR, 5 SKYLARK ( N ) . A very large flock of Hirundines comprising 2000+ HOUSE MARTIN, 300 SWALLOW and 1 SAND MARTIN,.
Late news from Alan- on South H Marsh this evening - 4 LITTLE STINT, 1 RUFF and 5 YELLOW WAGs
In the copse / gardens - 5 CHIFFCHAFF and a GREY WAG over.
Bob reports 2 SPOT FLY by the sewage works this pm
In the Bay - 1ad MED GULL, 2 SANDWICH TERN and a flock of 35 COMMON SCOTER on the sea.Bob ahd the first BRENT GOOSE of the autumn with 4 in off the sea and straight up the valley.
Whilst writing this update just had a call from Geoff the farmer and owner of the T'stone Marsh land- he has just had to remove from the marsh a ' Bird watcher ' who had gone onto the Marsh with a dog who was not on a lead . No one has access rights to the Marsh without prior approval- Geoff has at least 20 Cattle on it many have recently calved . Please keep out.
SAT & SUN 20/21 SEPT
Whist I was away for the w/end Bob recorded the following -
SAT-4 LITTLE STINT, 29 DUNLIN, 20 SNIPE, 4 SEDGE WBLR, 2 REED WBLR, 8 WHEATEAR, 1 WHINCHAT, 2 YELLOW WAG, 50+ MIPIT, 500+ HOUSE MARTIN, 8 SKYLARK ( n).
SUN- 1 HOBBY, 1 KINGFISHER, 6 YELLOW WAG, 1 WHEATEAR, 17 DUNLIN, 4 LITTLE STINT, 1 RUFF, 2 SANDWICH TERN
FRI 19 SEPT
This unseasonal weather with E winds just goes on , we missed the o/night storms , remained cloudy and overcast this morning but still warm
A 45 min Garden watch turned up 24 species ( first morning no Hirundines )5 CHIFFCHAFF and 2 m BLACKCAP were the only highlights. At least 1 BLACK TAILED GODWIT on the front pool
By the footbridge - 6 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 SEDGE WARBLER, 7 STONECHAT ,
On South Huish Marsh - 3 SEDGE WBLR, 1 REED BUNTING, 2 WHEATEAR, 15 TEAL, 15 DUNLIN, 4 LITTLE STINT.
Yesterday Bob had a m GADWALL on the Marsh
Around the gardens -8 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 WHITETHROAT
Quick visit to Buckland valley produced - 9 CHIFFCHAFF,1 WILLOW WBLR 2 GREY WAG, 1 COAL TIT, 6 LONG T TIT, 2 JAY, singles of both GREEN & GREAT Sp WOODY
A significant total of 28 CHIFFCHAFF around the patch today.
THURS 18 SEPT
Overnight a tremendous thunderstorm for over an hour from 01.00. There is now water on the back marsh. A sultry day , overcast with a lighter E wind.
A short Garden Watch from 07.20 produced 25 species which inc -
14 TEAL, 6 DUNLIN , 20 SAND MARTIN,5 CHIFFCHAFF .Late morning Bob B picked up the PURPLE HERON landing at the far end of the marsh, at 13.00 3 DUNLIN feeding on the new mud
On South Huish Marsh at various times - 2 LITTLE STINT, 30 DUNLIN, 10 RINGED PLOVER, 6 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 5 TEAL, 30 MIPIT, 2 WHEATEAR.
By the footbridge - 4 WHEATEAR, 5 STONECHAT, .
Walked over to Yarmer Beach with Bob , waders were - 45 RINGED PLOVER, 20 DUNLIN, 11 SANDERLING, 4 TURNSTONE, 2 WHEATEAR . Good total of 52 OYSTERCATCHER on both sets of rocks .
At 11.55 we picked up a bunting flying east about 30 ft in front of us just above head height- when it called there was only one bird it could be - ORTOLAN BUNTING (173 ) my second patch tick in 8 days , thankfully I was with the Professor of bird calls - Bob B
In the Bay the first SANDWICH TERN this month., and a 1st w MED GULL
At South Milton Ley Vic had a TAWNY OWL ,and BLACKCAP.
Late news from Bob- Sunday 2 GREAT N DIVER flew east into Hope Cove,and yesterday a male PINTAIL flew thru
WED 17 SEPT
Another overcast morning with an increasing E wind by lunchtime up to
F 6 .
Spent the morning looking at the waders on the beaches and a 3hour seawatch from Warren pt - .
Waders on Leasfoot and Yarmer beaches - 60 RINGED PLOVER,
21 DUNLIN, 32 SANDERLING ( highest count so far ) 6 TURNSTONE,
2 CURLEW SANDPIPER also 2 WHEATEAR
Offshore a very poor return of 65 GANNET, 1 FULMAR, 1 COMMON GULL, 1m WIGEON. Very light Hirundine passage - 30 SWALLOW, 18 SAND MARTIN
Bob B reports from South Huish marsh - 27 DUNLIN, 4 LITTLE STINT,
3 RUFF ( briefly this pm ) 2 WIGEON, 4 WHEATEAR
Thurlestone marsh today - 2 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 1 KINGFISHER,
10 STOCK DOVE.
Info from AJL from last w/end- 1 COMMON SANDPIPER, 1 BLACK TAILED GODWIT and 71 TEAL on South h Marsh on 14th
TUES 16 SEPT
Some Recent photos from Alan Doidge
An overcast morning with an increasing brisk E wind.
Several visitors to the patch this morning most of whom managed to see the PURPLE HERON as it showed well at both South Milton Ley and South Huish Marsh at times .
A brief garden watch only produced 2 CHIFFCHAFF, 250 + MALLARD, 2 TEAL, , SPARROWHAWK, 50 HOUSE MARTIN and 20 SWALLOW. At lunchtime the 2 BLACK TAILED GODWIT still on the front pool .
The field by the footbridge held - 8 WHEATEAR, 5 STONECHAT, 3 WHINCHAT, 1 WHITE WAGTAIL, 2 GREY WAGTAIL 2 RINGED PLOVER and 5 DUNLIN flew over ,. At 10.40 a SWIFT flew over only 30 feet above Graham and myself ( my latest record ).
On South Huish Marsh - 4 LITTLE STINT, 19 DUNLIN, 7 SNIPE 2 YELLOW WAGTAIL, 1 WHEATEAR 200 + HOUSE MARTIN and 50 SWALLOW flew north, 20 TEAL.
On the rocks 2 RINGED PLOVER and a TURNSTONE.
2 more WHEATEAR by the Golf Course .
Eric reports 10 species of wader at South Efford Marsh- 2 LAPWING, 1 LITTLE STINT, 1 CURLEW S'PIPER, 4 RINGED PLOVER, 8 DUNLIN,
1 GREEN ,3 COMMON S'PIPER, 2 GREENSHANK, 1 REDSHANK 30 CURLEW
MON 15 SEPT
A few waders around over the w/end - CURLEW SANDPIPER, LITTLE STINT, details of the totals on the beaches to follow. Best record was a flyover and calling PECTORAL SANDPIPER seen by Alan Eric & Bob yesterday .
PURPLE HERON has been elusive but seems to be seen late afternoon , best spot is the high ground by the cafe. Great views for 15min at 16.55 this afternoon and again at 17.25 , on both occasions seen in flight and walking accros the Marsh and on the second sighting quite close.
Whether the ditch work starting Tues will cause problems remains to be seen.
On South Huish Marsh today - 3 LITTLE STINT, 5 DUNLIN, 1 SNIPE, flyovers - 1 REDSHANK, 8 KNOT , 3 YELLOW WAGTAIL, 450 HOUSE MARTIN ( flocks of 250 & 150 & 50 )
On the rocks an ad MED GULL
By the foobridge - 8 WHEATEAR, 2 WHINCHAT.
At South Milton Ley - 1 SPOTTED FLY, 1 WHITETHROAT, 3 SEDGE WBLR.
On the front pool at T'stone Marsh - 2 BLACK TAILED GODWIT.
Late news - SWALLOW roost at S M Ley/ T'stone Marsh at 19.30 was over 3000 , a HOBBY spent sometime trying to cause chaos.
Eric reports at South Efford Marsh - 1 LITTLE STINT, 8 DUNLIN, 4 LAPWING, 2 GREEN & 2 COMMON S'piper, 2 WHINCHAT and WHEATEAR
FRI 12 SEPT
No news early morning on the PURPLE HERON , Alan D, saw it on the back of the marsh at 18.00.last night . The SWALLOW roost was 2000+.
As we are on family duties this w/end went out early to look at the waders on Yarmer Beach, on the way round the Golf Course -
3 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 COAL TIT, 35 MIPIT , 1 WHINCHAT, 2 WHEATEAR.
Waders were - 70 DUNLIN, 56 RINGED PLOVER, 10 SANDERLING,
5 TURNSTONE, 2 CURLEW S'PIPER, 1 LITTLE STINT, 22 OYSTERCATCHER.
My visit coincided with high tide ( and no dog walkers )
Next update Mon pm .
THURS 11 SEPT
A cloudy morning with a brisk E f3/4 wind making it feel autumnal .
The PURPLE HERON could not be located this morning, however news rec'd from Russ E of it being sighted at the back of South H Marsh this afternoon. Also news of a WRYNECK ( 172 ) 0n the coast path by the green hut on the golf course.
A 45min Garden Watch at 07.00 produced 33 species, a HOBBY at 07.00, REED BUNTING, , 4 CHAFFINCH, 15 MIPIT, 3 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 WILLOW WBLR, 1 BLACKCAP. Hirundine passage - 285 SWALLOW, 75 HOUSE MARTIN , 5 SAND MARTIN,. 275 MALLARD ( flew out of the marsh to feed in a stubble field )
Last nights SWALLOW roost - 2,500+
Offshore only a few GANNET , Leslie G had a COMMON TERN .In the footbridge field 5 WHEATEAR, 3 STONECHAT.
On South Huish Marsh - 1 WOOD SANDPIPER, 1 KNOT, 1 CURLEW SANDPIPER, 3 DUNLIN, 40 + TEAL, 2 YELLOW WAGTAIL. A report of a RUFF eary am .
Nick T reported a flock of up to 200 waders on Yarmer Beach by the time I got there the tide was well out and around 80 still there -
40 DUNLIN, 35 RINGED PLOVER, 3 SANDERLING, 4 TURNSTONE. 5 WHEATEAR around the Golf Course.
A KINGFISHER flew over T'stone Marsh at 12.00
WED 10 SEPT
MEGA ptch tick - ajuv PURPLE HERON (171) on the back of South Huish Marsh - found by Paul Bouldon early thi morning . Still on view at 09.00 but can be elusive .Pictures taken by Alan D will be posted this evening
Spent the rest of themorning searching for the Heron , the last person to seeit was Eric at around 09.30
On the Marsh were 3 DUNLIN , 2 juv CURLEW SANDPIPER, 1 WOOD S'PIPER 40 TEAL, 1 juv COMMON GULL flew over. Eric found 2 CIRL BUNTING in one of the hedgerows. The LITTLE STINT returned late morning . A few YELLOW WAGS around .
Paul B also had a KINGFISHER this morning
According to the sage of South Huish - Bob B - this is the first site record, long been anticipated now added to the patch list . Looks like a winter project to prepare afull patch list which must be well in excess of 260
Have just rec'd an e-mail from Pete Cowell who saw the PURPLE HERON at 17.00 and 19.00 on South Milton Ley last night - it was on the path 100m past the store hut and flew off towards the old hide. Thanks for the info Pete
TUES 9 SEPT
Continuation of the same weather pattern
An hour s Garden watch at 07.00 produced 35 species . Both WOOD S'PIPER and WIGEON still present.MALLARD 250 +, MUTE SWAN flew over at 07.15, TEAL, , 2 YELLOW WAGTAIL. Interesting hirundine movement from 07.20- SWALLOW- 90+, SANDMARTIN-50, HOUSE MARTIN 150 + .
Waders on the beach/rocks - 1 RINGED PLOVER, 1 KNOT..also 2 WHEATEAR
In the field by the footbridge - 1 WHITETHROAT, 4 STONECHAT,
5 WHINCHAT , 6 WHEATEAR ,in the reeds - singles of SEDGE & REED WBLR
On S H Marsh- 1 WOOD S'PIPER, 1 LITTLE STINT, 1 DUNLIN, 18 TEAL, 1 WHEATEAR, 2 YELLOW WAG, 75 HOUSE MARTIN, 20 SAND MARTIN, 50 SWALLOW
At West Buckland - 2 JAY, 1 GREEN WOODY
Late news for last night at 19.30 a BLACK T GODWIT feeding on T'stone Marsh
A few photos from Alan Doidge taken recently
MON 8 SEPT
Another day of unbroken sunshine with considerable haze offshore. Light E wind became SE f3
An hours Garden Watch turned up 41 species from 07.00- highlights were- WOOD SANDPIPER, 6 CHIFFCHAFF, 3 WILLOW WARBLER, 2 BLACKCAP, 12 TREE PIPIT, 1 JAY( first for a few months )4 PIED WAGTAIL, 1 YELLOW and 1 GREY WAGTAIL, SPARROWHAWK, WATER RAIL. This afternoon the WIGEON again.
AJL reported a SPOT FLY in Mallards Lane.
In the Bay a feeding party of 150+ GANNET, 4 COMMON SCOTER flew east
Waders on the beach/rocks - 1 WHIMBREL, 14 RINGED PLOVER, 8 DUNLIN.
In the footbridge field - 14 WHEATEAR, 3 WHINCHAT , 15 MIPIT
On South Huish Marsh - 4 DUNLIN, 1 jv LITTLE STINT,1 WOOD SANDPIPER, 1 GREEN SANDPIPER , 14 TEAL.
Copse and gardens - 1 WHEATEAR, 3 STONECHAT, 2 WILLOW WBLR,
1 CHIFFCHAFF, GREY WAGTAIL, SPARROWHAWK
Went back down to S H Marsh at 16.45 - DUNLIN now 12, LITTLE STINT and GREEN SANPIPER still present , although after 2 SPAROWHAWK fly pasts only 1 DUNLIN came back
SUN 7 SEPT
Another superb summer day with packed car parks and hordes of people. My activity limited to looking over T'stone Marsh- this morning a GREENSHANK and a WOOD SANDPIPER
AJL this morning reported - Mallards Lane - 2 SPOT FLY.. Footbridge field -12 WHEATEAR, 2 WHINCHAT.South Huish Marsh - 12 DUNLIN, 1 WOOD SANDPIPER, 2 WHEATEAR
Late afternoon Gary and Bob - S H Marsh- 21 DUNLIN, 1 LITTLE STINT
Those of you who are eagle eyed will have noticed I omitted a very important observer , many apologies to Arthur Livett- it is now amended
THURLESTONE BAY BIRD RACE DAY
SATURDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER
For some years now some of the Reserves in the Midlands have held Bird Race days on the first Saturday in May and September, I contacted Steve Nuttall to see if we could join them.
As this is the first time an attempt at covering all areas of the “patch” in one day we only had expectation and anticipation to guide us.
Observers taking part for the whole day:-
CHRIS BOND, BOB BURRIDGE, GRAHAM DAW, MARTIN DAW, ALAN DOIDGE ARTHUR LIVETT .,MIKE PASSMAN, NICK TOWNSEND and ERIC WOTTON assisted in the morning by GARY HILLARD, ALAN POMROY and DAVE SCOTT.
First meeting point was 06.30 in “Bob” car park, where the teams were agreed and a start made to cover the Bay marshes and coast.
What we had not anticipated was a day of complete calm conditions, very poor visibility offshore – max 1 mile compared with the expected 12 mile+, hot sunshine and hordes of visitors filling up the car parks and the beaches no resting place for coastal migrants today.
Breakfast at 9.30 overlooking Thurlestone Marsh, and the first opportunity to do a species roll call – an excellent total of 64.
Teams then set off to cover South Milton Ley (reed bed) West Buckland Valley and South Huish Marsh.
Lunch at 13.30 in Nick Townsend Garden watching SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS provided the second opportunity for a species roll call which now increased to 77
As the main species that were missing were those offshore and high tide wader roosts on the rocks a lengthy spell of gazing into a misty bay began. By 17.30 we had managed to add only 4 more to reach 81.
Final concentrated effort was Thurlestone Marsh but the expected arrival of a large hirundine roost and possible wader roost and CANADA GOOSE never materialised.
The last addition was a SWIFT at 17.10
LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED:
WIGEON MALLARD TEAL
PHEASANT FULMAR MANX SHEARWATER
GANNET CORMORANT SHAG
LITTLE EGRET HERON SPARROWHAWK
BUZZARD KESTREL WATER RAIL
MOORHEN COOT OYSTERCATCHER
RINGED PLOVER DUNLIN SNIPE
WHIMBREL WOODSANDPIPER BLACK HEADED GULL
LESSER B.B. GULL HERRING GULL GREAT B.B. GULL
COMMON TERN FERAL PIGEON STOCK DOVE
WOOD PIGEON COLLARD DOVE TAWNY OWL
SWIFT GREAT SP WOODY MAGPIE
JAY JACKDAW ROOK
CARRION CROW RAVEN BLUE TIT
GREAT TIT COAL TIT SKYLARK
SAND MARTIN SWALLOW HOUSE MARTIN
LONG TAILED TIT CETTIS WARBLER CHIFFCHAFF
WILLOW WARBLER BLACK CAP WHITETHROAT
WARBLER SEDGE WARBLER REED WARBLER
NUTHATCH WREN BLACKBIRD
SONG THRUSH MISTLE THRUSH SPOTTED FLYCATCHER
ROBIN WHINCHAT STONECAHAT
WHEATEAR DUNNOCK HOUSE SPARROW
YELLOW WAGTAIL PIED WAGTAIL WHITE WAGTAIL
GREY WAGTAIL MEADOW PIPIT ROCK PIPIT
CHAFFINCH GREENFINCH GOLDFINCH
LINNET YELLOWHAMMER REED BUNTING
Some of the highlights:-
2 WOOD SANDPIPER, first sightings of SONG THRUSH for a while, a very late SWIFT, GRASSHOPPER WARBLER, only the second record this year for NUTHATCH,
Glaring omissions, - CANADA GOOSE, PEREGRINE, SANDERLING, BLACK TAILED GODWIT, GREENSHANK, TURNSTONE, MED GULL, SANDWICH TERN, AUKS, GREEN WOODY, GOLDCREST, TREEPIPIT, BULLFINCH.
On this basis a score of around 90 has got to be next years target.
A big thank you to everyone who took part, there was even one person who thought we should do it next month!
Particular thanks to Anne for the Bacon and Sausage sarnies and Nick for the Cheese and French bread lunch.
Final scores for the other participants will be posted later but I do know BELVIDE had 86 and UPTON WARREN 85.
A really great day both Birding and socially.
BIRD RACE DAY - SAT 6 SEPT
Looking forward to our first Bird Race Day for the patch .
A total of 10 observers have confirmed they will particpate .
Early start , meeting up at 06.30 in 'Bobs' car park and then to split into 3 teams to cover sections of the patch . At the moment waders seem to be changing daily , with light winds the only area which we expect to under perform is the offshore sea passage- poor viz this morning
Will post a brief update on Sat evening and a more detailed report on Sunday
Started at 06.15 and finished at 19.00 . A very enjoyable day both socially and sightings . Full report Sun - we finished with 80 species, a very good total considering the offshore conditions- haze and sea mist all day . Of the teams taking part Belvide are in the lead with 85 , then 3 sites with 80 .
Off for a glass or two and sleep .
FRI 5 SEPT
Another very pleasant day weather wise, although the viz offshore poor - only managed to find 1 GANNET .
During the day T'stone Marsh / garden area has held - 1 WOOD S'PIPER, 1 WIGEON ( first returning bird ) 20 TEAL, 1 REED BUNTING, 1 SNIPE, 10+ CHIFFCHAFF, 4 WILLOW WBLR, 1 BLACKCAP
On Leasefoot Beach - WHIMBREL, WHEATEAR, 2 STONECHAT .
Footbrige area - 5 WHEATEAR, 2 WHINCHAT, 3 STONECHAT,
1 WHITETHROAT 4 GREY WAG.
Waders on South Huish Marsh - 1 BLACK T GODWIT, 1 GREENSHANK,
12 DUNLIN , 2 SNIPE 1 LITTLE R PLOVER , ; 1 WHITE WAG, also a flock of 100 + LINNET, 2 WHEATEAR, 10 YELLOW WAG In the copse /gardens - 2 SPOTTED FLY, 7 WILLOW WBLR, 3 CHIFFCHAFF. at 12.10 a juv MARSH HARRIER flew west over the Marsh
On the Rocks - 9 TURNSTONE , 8 DUNLIN, 3 RINGED PLOVER 3 YELLOW WAG.
Early morning Alan had a HOBBY over South Milton Ley
THURS 4 SEPT
A cloudy morning with a brisk E wind making it feel cold .
An hours Garden watch from 06.55 produced 30 species , Hirundines again to the fore - 630 SWALLOW, 60 HOUSE MARTIN, 70 SAND MARTIN all flew up the valley. Warblers were - 9 CHIFFCHAFF, 3 WILLOW and
2 BLACKCAP. 2 WATER RAIL 7 RINGED PLOVER ( over ), 1 TREE PIPIT and the first SISKIN ( 169 )
The field by the footbridge held - 5 WHINCHAT, 4 WHEATEAR, 2 WHITETHROAT and 8 STONECHAT .
On leasefoot beach 1 WHIMBREL and 4 STONECHAT , later 7 RINGED PLOVER.
On South Huish Marsh - the juv RUFF, LITTLE R PLOVER, 3 RINGED PLOVER, 15 DUNLIN, 2 WHEATEAR, 2 WHINCHAT, 2 STONECHAT, 12 YELLOW WAGTAIL. Gary had a SWIFT over.and a GREEN WOODY fly over his car.
Walking through South Milton Ley , Bob had CETTIS WBLR,
The totals of Whinchat -7 and Stonechat- 14 ,are significant for the patch
WED 3 SEPT
A morning with spells of sunny periods and cloud. Viz offshore poor. E breeze up to F 3.
Started witha garden watch at 07.00 for an hour. 32 species recorded- highlights -part of a large Hirundine movement up the valley were-
550 SWALLOW, 35 SAND MARTIN , 50 HOUSE MARTIN and at 07.20 a SWIFT
( not often a Sept record ) ,still around at 08.00. Also 10 TEAL,
1 BLACKCAP, 5 WILLOW WBLR, 5 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN ,
1 juv REED BUNTING, 1 TREE PIPIT.
Joined by Bob B around the patch - by the footbridge in the field a juv WHINCHAT, 4 WHEATEAR, 6 MIPIT, a GREY WAGTAIL on the rocks.
On South Huish Marsh - 4 DUNLIN, 2 RINGED PLOVER (over )
1 WOOD SANDPIPER, 1 juv LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, 22 TEAL, 12 YELLOW WAGTAIL At 11.00 the SWIFT over the marsh , still around until 12.00
In a 20 min period from 11.45 3 flocks of waders came in off the sea and flew straight up the valley - 7 RINGED PLOVER, 4 DUNLIN, 6 KNOT ( 168 )
2 REDSHANK and 4 BAR TAILED GODWIT
Late news from Nick T - he and Alan D had a juv RUFF and 10 DUNLIN at 18.15, also a report of a LITTLE STINT ( trying to get confirmation )
Report from Eric - he Vic and Sylvia were covering SOAR this morning and had - 3 REDSTART, 1 m PIED FLYCATCHER, 1 WHINCHAT and around 75 YELLOW WAGTAIL.
Easterly winds continue on Thursday !
TUES 2 SEPT
Whilst nothing spectacular this was one of those days which makes me realise why I enjoy local patch watching. The morning started with sunny periods and then clouded over - calm early and then a gentle E breeze.
Started the day with a garden watch at 07.00- 0815, this produced 40 species which later in the day incresed to 42. Main highlights-
23 TEAL, 100+ MALLARD, 15 CHIFFCHAFF, 6 WILLOW WBLR,
3 BLACKCAP, 1 GARDEN WBLR , 1juv REDSTART ( garden tick )
5 SNIPE, 1 GREEN S'PIPER, 2 TREE PIPIT, 1 YELLOW WAG, 50 LINNET,
3 GREEN WOODY ( flew over ), 3 STOCK DOVE. Later additions were 50+ CANADA GOOSE, 1 KINGFISHER. Late afternoon a mixed flock of
100+ HOUSE & SAND MARTIN and 250 + SWALLOW .
The COOT was still on the front Marsh.
Eric reported a juv WOOD S'PIPER late yesterday at South Efford Marsh, this morning it would appear to have transferred to South Huish Marsh where it was showing well. Only 2 DUNLIN, 13 TEAL, 1juv YELLOW L GULL,
1 WHITE WAG. A KINGFISHER flew south out of the marsh towards Galmpton.. In the copse 3 WILLOW WBLR, 2 CHIFFCHAFF.
Waders on the rocks , 4 SANDERLING and a TURNSTONE. Offshore only interest were a few MANX and a BALEARIC SHEARWATER.
At Huxton Cross 30 + LINNET, YELLOWHAMMER, BULLFINCH and another juv male REDSTART.
Another GREEN WOODY heard at West Buckland to finish off a good patch day .
MON 1 SEPT
A cloudy morning which just got worse with steady drizzle and very low cloud from 10.30. Joined by Graham Daw and AJL this morning .
An early morning garden watch was a big disappointment only 1 CHICHAFF ( no other warblers ), other highlights - 32 TEAL, 5 SNIPE,
30 LINNET, 200 + SWALLOW , 20 HOUSE MARTIN , 1 SPARROWHAWK.
A brief look this afternoon at 17.30 turned up trumps with a BLACKCAP,
GREEN SANDPIPER , 10 SAND MARTIN, and a flock of 40 YELLOW WAGTAIL flying down the valley and landing on the Marsh . At 15.00 the front pool held a COOT first for almost 3 months..
A brief seawatch only produced afew GANNET and MANX S'WATER.
On the beach 2 WHIMBREL, GREY WAGTAIL over,
By the footbridge 2 DUNLIN, 7 RAVEN (over ), 1 REED WARBLER, in the field 1 juv MED GULL , 20 + PIED and at least 2 WHITE WAGTAIL
On South Huish Marsh - 3 DUNLIN, 3 WHEATEAR, 2 YELLOW WAGTAIL,
5 MIPIT 3 STONECHAT, 1 SEDGE WARBLER.
The copse held 6 STARLING, 30 GOLDFINCH, 1 CHIFFCHAFF, 2 WILLOW WBLR.
Graham continued until 14.00 and recorded a juv KITTIWAKE, an ARCTIC TERN ( on the rocks ) When I went back at 14.30 a GUILLEMOT close inshore.
A reasonable total of 63 species to start the new month off .