TUES 29 DEC
A mixture of cloud and some early sunny spells, a brisk 5/6 W wind , still very mild .
On South Huish Marsh little change from Mon. 46 WIGEON ( until a farmers muck spreader started up, ducks thought it was a machine gun, flew off leaving only 2 or 3 to return ) 71 TEAL, 4 SHOVELER,
1 SHELDUCK, the RUDDY SHELDUCK back on site., 35 MALLARD,
2 LITTLE GREBE , 1 CHIFFCHAFF .
On the rocks 12 OYSTERCATCHER ( 5 more on the marsh ) 4 GANNET
In Nicks garden 4 BULLFINCH.
Big family celebrations from Thursday so next update likely to be 2/3 JAN .
Hope your 2016 year list gets off to a better start than mine will.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you
MON 28 DEC
Another overcast morning with a F5/6 SE wind.
Walked around the patch with Arthur, some increase in birds from Sat -
Offshore picked up 4 GANNET, 1 db BRENT GOOSE ( flew east ). On the rocks 12 OYSTERCATCHER, 3 RINGED PLOVER, 2 TURNSTONE. A PEREGRINE flew through .
On South Huish Marsh - 60 TEAL, 46 WIGEON, 5 SHOVELER ( 3m 2f )
5 SHELDUCK, 1 2cy MED GULL, 1 COMMON GULL
At South Milton Ley Bob reports 2 SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, 10 CHIFFCHAFF
SAT 26 DEC
A cloudy morning with a SSW F 8 wind
Short visit to South Huish Marsh only produced - 30 WIGEON, 60 TEAL, 20 MALLARD and a MUTE SWAN.
Early morning on T'stone Marsh 10 TEAL and a LITTLE EGRET
WED 23 DEC
A contrasting morning of sunshine and showers with a brisk F5/6 SSW wind.
An increase in birds on South Huish Marsh with some of the highest specie totals of the winter - 23 WIGEON, 85 TEAL, 55 MALLARD,
1 GREYLAG GOOSE, 32 LAPWING, 2 SNIPE
At 10. 00 a 2cy F MARSH HARRIER watched for 15 mins quartering over the Marsh. This is a different bird to the the last one reported recently. , more cream on the head. Ironic it should appear on Graham's birthday as he missed the last one .
A short visit to Buckland Valley produced - 1 KESTREL,
1 SPARROWHAWK , GOLDCREST and 3 CHIFFCHAFF. On the way at Huxton Cross a flock of 10 FIELDFARE
Finally at 14.45 a MERLIN flew over my garden .
With the festive activities starting on Xmas Eve can I wish all the birders who look at the blog a great festive time and with 2016 only just over a week away a very enjoyable and successful New Year
TUES 22 DEC
Managed a morning on the patch before the next spell of rain arrived at 12.30. Wind SSW F 8 + and very rough seas , poor viz offshore .
On a windswept South Huish Marsh - 10 WIGEON, 45 TEAL,
20 MALLARD , 1 SHELDUCK, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 5 LAPWING
A 2hour seawatch produced - 180 GANNET, 2 FULMAR, 1 KITTIWAKE, 14 RAZORBILL, 3 GUILLEMOT.
On the rocks , 20 OYSTERCATCHER, 9 TURNSTONE, 5 RINGED PLOVER
SUN 20 DEC
Met up with Graham today, first morning for awhile with both blue sky and some sun, although it did not last with rain setting in from 10.30.
A brisk SSW f5/6 wind .
Offshore only 10 GANNET, 1 FULMAR and a GUILLEMOT ( 0n the sea )
At South Huish Marsh the RUDDY SHELDUCK and GREYLAG GOOSE back amongst the flock of 100+ CANADA GOOSE. , also 45 TEAL, 6 WIGEON , 1m 1f TUFTED DUCK, 7 LAPWING, 1 1st w MED GULL with 200 + BLACK HEADED GULL., 1 KINGFISHER, .Around the copse - 1 CHIFFCHAFF, 6 STONECHAT,
In T'stone Village a MERLIN .
Arthur paid a visit to South Milton Ley- only item of interest a WOODCOCK, this afternoon Bob reports 15 CHIFFCHAFF and
2 SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF.
FRI 18 DEC
A morning with streaks of blue sky if only for a short while, even the wind abated to F3/4 SW.
Little change on South Huish Marsh - still 42 TEAL, 3 WIGEON, 1 MUTE SWAN and 6 LAPWING. A nice 1st w male BLACK REDSTART on the fence posts near the N Trust shed.
Offshore 7 GANNET, 4 GUILLEMOT and a TURNSTONE
Decided a visit to Buckland Valley could be productive - 1 JAY,
4 GOLDCREST, 2 COAL TIT, 5 LONG T TIT, 1 GREAT Sp WOODY ,
1 GREY WAGTAIL and a TREE CREEPER ( 187 )- always a difficult bird to find , only my 3rd in the last 12 years and in the same small woodland area
WED 16 DEC
Yet another morning of gloom , low cloud poor viz and some drizzle .
Around South Huish marsh - 40 TEAL, 8 WIGEON, 2 SHOVELER,
35 MALLARD , 1 MUTE SWAN. Raptors to the fore - 2 BUZZARD,
1 KESTREL, 1 SPARROWHAWK and a MERLIN . Latter giving very close views down to 25 feet chasing Pipits .
Met up with Doug Stannard at lunchtime who confirmed a flock of
35 FIELDFARE along the lanes into T'stone Village last Saturday.
TUES 15 DEC
Another morning that started damp and just got worse with heavy rain setting in.
Only visited South Huish Marsh where Arthur watched the MARSH HARRIER fly fom the Marsh towards South Milton Ley .Also recorded -
46 TEAL, 4 WIGEON, 2 SHOVELER, 2 LITTLE GREBE and a MUTE SWAN
This afternoon Bob reports 2500 WOOD PIGEON in stubble fields near Piers Cottage
Robert ( the farmer ) watched a BARN OWL over his fields at 20.00 last night
MON 14 DEC
A gloomy morning drizzle turning into heavy rain by 11.00, SE wind F 4/5 .
Back out on the patch after a w/end meeting up with family - despite the poor conditions still worthwhile - Offshore - 22 GANNET, 2db BRENT GOOSE ( came in from west, flew around the Bay then back west )
1 RAZORBILL . On the rocks - 7 RINGED PLOVER, 1 TURNSTONE,
On South Huish Marsh - the imm Female MARSH HARRIER (watched for 15 mins from 09.45) 3 WIGEON, 1m SHOVELER, 50 TEAL, 4 LAPWING.
Looks like a week of strong winds and rain - ugh !
SUN 13 DEC
Information received from :-
Arthur - Mallards Lane - 1 COAL TIT , 2 GOLDCREST, 1 f BLACKCAP.
South Huish Marsh - 1db BRENT GOOSE , 31 TEAL, 2 SHELDUCK,
3 LAPWING, 3 CHIFFCHAFF ( copse )
Offshore - 2db BRENT GOOSE flew east
A total of 18 STONECHAT recorded on his walk around the patch - outside the breeding season probably a record count
Alan & Bob - ringing at South Milton Ley - 4 CHIFFCHAFF,
2 GOLDCREST, 2 FIRECREST, 1 MIPIT, 1 REED BUNTING ( long winged probably a northern bird ) Also on site - 1 SISKIN, 1 LESSER REDPOLL, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 1 TAWNY OWL, 5 REED BUNTING, 5 WATER RAIL
FRI 11 DEC
A cloudy morning with rain setting in around 11.30. F4/5 SW wind .
On South Huish marsh - 40 TEAL, 1f WIGEON, 1 MUTE SWAN,
3 LAPWING, 1 WATER PIPIT . On the rocks 7 TURNSTONE, offshore only 4 GANNET and a pair of COMMON SCOTER
Came home early because of the weather , looked onto the garden and found a FIRECREST working its way along the hedge .
Near Huxton Cross Bob had 2 YELLOWHAMMER and over T'stone village 3 REDWING
Next update Mon 14/12
THURS 10 DEC
A clear morning with increasing cloud cover, Strong SW f7/8 wind .
I have rec'd a report that a MARSH HARRIER was watched flying over the reed beds near the sewage works on Fri 4 Dec .
Very little to report this morning - On South Huish Marsh - 20 TEAL,
1 f WIGEON , 1 LITTLE GREBE. 3 LAPWING
Offshore around 10 GANNET, on the rocks 4 RINGED PLOVER and a TURNSTONE.
A visit to Buckland Valley produced - 1 BLACK REDSTART, 1 JAY, 1 GREY WAGTAIL and a SONG THRUSH .
TUES 8 DEC
A morning alternating with sunny periods and showers . Still a F7 W wind - gave seawatching a miss this morningb .
All activity at Soputh Huish Marsh where from 09.45- 10.05 watched a 1st w MARSH HARRIER quartering the reed beds. Recently 1 ( or possibly 2 ) birds seen at Slapton Ley , since the old female passed on has been very scarce here - only 2nd patch record this year
Also - 40 TEAL, 1f WIGEON, 1m SHOVELER, 2f GADWALL, 35 + MALLARD , 1 MUTE SWAN, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 1 GREY WAGTAIL . In the filds - 750+ feeding STARLING , 30 GREENFINCH, 1 SONG THRUSH
MON 7 DEC
Sunshine at last - a lovely morning with good viz and an increasing F5/6 SSE wind.
Offshore still quiet -only 3 GANNET, 1 FULMAR and 25 KITTIWAKE.
On the rocks - 9 TURNSTONE, 11 OYSTERCATCHER, 8 RINGED PLOVER
( also 2 flew up the valley ) 1 KINGFISHER, a F BLACK REDSTART ( on the flats) and at 12.05 a SWALLOW flying over seaweed on the beach - this is only my 2nd Dec record, last years was on the 3rd so this is the patch latest record
On South Huish Marsh - 30 TEAL, 2 LITTLE GREBE.
At South Milton Ley Bob reports - CETTIS WARBLER, 1 SIB CHIFFCHAFF, 5 CHIFFCHAFF 12 STOCK DOVE .
Over T'stone Marsh 2 SNIPE
At South Efford Marsh Eric had 2 FIRECREST
SUN 6 DEC
A really drab morning, steady drizzle, low cloud and a F6/7 SW wind .
A short seawatch - gave up due to poor viz , 10 GANNET, 1 FULMAR, PEREGRINE over.
Sat in the car looking at South Huish Marsh- 3 SHOVELER, 50 TEAL,
1 KINGFISHER, 1 MERLIN flew through ( first of the winter )
Nick had a NUTHATCH on his feeders .
A report of a BLACK REDSTART in a Thurlestone garden
FRI 4 DEC
At last a morning of clear skies and some sunshine, still a brisk F5/6 WSW wind .
On South Huish marsh - 15 TEAL and single females of SHOVELER and WIGEON .
A seawatch came up with 11 GANNET, 12 KITTIWAKE, 10 AUKS,
1 RED T DIVER flew east at 10.35
On the rocks still 6 RINGED PLOVER and now 8 TURNSTONE
Flying high S over Upton Cross 3 SHELDUCK
In Buckland Valley - 2 JAY, 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 1 STONECHAT and a GREY WAGTAIL.
Bob visited South Milton Ley- 12 CHIFFCHAFF, 2 SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF,
2 BULLFINCH and a WATER RAIL
THURS 3 DEC
Another dank cloudy morning after o/night rain . Wind backed to F5 S .
No sign of the GLOSSY this morning although I was later arriving.
Seawatching dismal only 6 GANNET, 17 AUKS ( 1 id'd as RAZORBILL rest too far out )1 FULMAR - west
On the rocks 6 RINGED PLOVER , 5 TURNSTONE and 15 OYSTERCATCHER.
South Huish Marsh - 30 TEAL, 1f SHOVELER, 2 LITTLE GREBE, 2 MUTE SWAN, 1 GREY WAGTAIL
WED 2 DEC.
For a short while around 09.30 there was some blue sky , soon clouded over with drizzle by 12.00. Brisk F5/6 SW wind , sea still rough.
Moving through the garden this morning -6 LONG T TIT, 2 GOLDCREST., and a COAL TIT .
Arrived at South Huish Marsh at 09.30, surprised to find the GLOSSY IBIS feeding in its favourite field alongside a LITTLE EGRET. Last seen early on 24th Nov- it must have another foul pool somewhere local that it flies off to .Also 30 TEAL, 1f WIGEON, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 2 SNIPE,
1 CHIFFCHAFF ( in the copse )
Offshore 11 GANNET, 2 COMMON GULL, 6 RAZORBILL, 7 GUILLEMOT and 27 AUKsp all flying east . On the rocks at high tide - 6 RINGED PLOVER, 4 TURNSTONE and 16 OYSTERCATCHER
In the Huxton Cross area - 5 STOCK DOVE,2 SKYLARK and a f CIRL BUNTING
TUES 1 DEC
Traditionally the first day of winter - temp of 13o today , although cloudy with a F6/7 SW wind.
A 45min garden watch from 08.00 produced 32 species the most unexpected was the RUDDY SHELDUCK which flew towards Avtn Gifford with a small flock of CANADAS at 08.15
Offshore was dire with only 1 GANNET as a reward for an hours watching . On the rocks 15 OYSTERCATCHER and 1 RINGED PLOVER. At 11.15 a GREAT N DIVER flew high over the Bay east .
On South Huish Marsh - 30 TEAL, 2 SHOVELER, 1 GREY WAGTAIL,
2 LITTLE GREBE , 2 STONECHAT
At Huxton Cross 15 LONG T TIT , in BUCKLAND VALLEY another flock of 12, also 2 GOLDCREST, COAL TIT , 1 GREY WAGTAIL
Final total for the day only 57 species. , Can only get better