WED 21 JAN
Another morning with heavy rain, no wind so a flat sea.
Spent an hour seawatching from the car park- 50+ WIGEON and a GUILLEMOT on the sea, 2 SHELDUCK east and 5 GANNET .
At South Huish Marsh- around 400 GULLs having a wash and brush up - 250 BLACK HEADED, 150 HERRING, 2 LESSER B BACKED
4 ad COMMON GULL and 2 ad MED GULL. Liquid manure being sprayed onto 2 fields which held another 500+ HERRING , 150 + BLACK HEADED
also, 60 TEAL, 35 WIGEON, 7 SHELDUCK, 100+ SNIPE, 12 LAPWING, 30+ MIPIT.
Should have probably stayed at home as in an hour from 12.15 there was quite a movement of birds through my garden- 31 species recorded with these highlights -
2m 1f CIRL BUNTING, 1m 5f REED BUNTING, 4 JAY, 10 CHAFFINCH,
20 GOLDFINCH, 3m BULLFINCH ( 1 with a metal ring on rt leg ),
1f BLACKCAP, 1 REDWING, 4 SONG THRUSH, 10 BLACKBIRD,
15 GREAT TIT , 20 + BLUE TIT, 4 LONG T TIT- this is about as many birds seen since 1st JAN
On T'stone Marsh- 1 LITTLE GREBE, 45 TEAL, 2 COOT, 8 SNIPE
TUES 20 JAN
One of those mornings for indoor paperwork. Ventured out this afternoon
to find very little change to yesterdays reports.- On T'stone Marsh the
2 COOT and 1 LITTLE GREBE reappeared., whilst on South Huish Marsh SNIPE numbers were lower ( probably in the reeds ), 2ad COMMON GULL and on the rocks 2 TURNSTONE were new .
Driving back through Alston Cross 10 REDWING and a JAY were in fields .
Last night at 23.30 2 TAWNY OWL calling near my garden .
MON 19 JAN
Another great winters day- flat calm sea , iced over marshes first thing and sunshine
Joined by Graham & Arthur- spent until 10.30 seawatching which produced - 2 GANNET ( first for 4 days ) 3 AUKs , 2 COMMON SCOTER,
1 KNOT ( 91 ), - flew in off the sea my first Jan rcord in 11 years,
1 RED THROATED DIVER ( 92 ) on the sea , around 12.30 30 WIGEON and 4 SHELDUCK on the sea
On South Huish Marsh at least 120 SNIPE- feeding in the open giving great views, the KNOT had landed and stayed until 11.30 , 50 WIGEON, 70 TEAL, 15 LAPWING
Around T'stone marsh - 22 SNIPE, 15 TEAL, 1 JAY, REED BUNTING, male BLACK REDSTART ( on Arthur's roof )
At Aveton Gifford Eric had a f BLACK REDSTART near his flat.
SUN 18 JAN
One of those nice winter days , cold, little wind and plenty of sunshine.Walked round South Huish Marsh with Arthur- 55 WIGEON, 70 TEAL, RUDDY SHELDUCK still, 55 SNIPE , 12 LAPWING, 15 MOORHEN 2 CHIFFCHAFF, 6 STOCK DOVE.1 SONG THRUSH.
On T'stone Marsh - 45 TEAL, 4 SNIPE. 2 SONG THRUSH , 2 REED BUNTING
June Huggins had a f BLACKCAP ( 90 ) in her garden
SAT 17 JAN
All todays watching undetaken from my house - more here than on the patch for the last few days.
3 good species in the garden / feeders - 1m 1f BLACK REDSTART,
1m CIRL BUNTING, 3 REED BUNTING, also an increase in finches -
10 CHAFFINCH, 25 GOLDFINCH, 2 GREENFINCH
On T'stone marsh - 45 TEAL, 40 SNIPE.
FRI 16 JAN
Could only manage an hours seawatch this morning- to confirm hoe bad it was the main record was 2 CORMORANT flying over the Bay
DAVE NORMAN - RIP
Received the very sad news this morning that Dave had died yesterday. I had only met him on a few occasions he visited Thurlestone , always found him a gentleman birder .He will be very sadly missed as a seawatcher par excellance and a great contibutor to the Devon birding scene .Condolences to his family from all the local birders
THURS 15 JAN
After one of worst stormy nights since last Feb day started with brief sunny periods and heavy squally showers, Everything was blown out, at 10.00 WNW wind was still gusting F 7/8 for the first time I could not use my scope for a seawarch .
Only South Huish marsh looked at this morning with counts of -
55 WIGEON, 65 TEAL, 30 MALLARD, 25 SNIPE and 15 LAPWING . Around 150 GULLS on the marsh but nothing unusual amongst them.
Cold and calmer spell from Sunday will hopefully produce some new birds .
T'stone marsh water level now falling- someone unplugged the culvert. Only LIITLE GREBE worth mentioning today.
AJL reports the male BLAC REDSTART has been around his garden recently
WED 14 JAN
After another stormy night the morning was quite bright with some sunny periods, wind increasing to a F7/8 WNW resulting in rough seas
Ducks on both Marshes well down on yesterdays numbers - they must be reacting to the stormy conditions .by moving to more sheltered areas in the Estuary
On South Huish Marsh- 35 WIGEON, 25 TEAL, 3 MALLARD,
RUDDY SHELDUCK, 14 LAPWING, 6 SNIPE
Offshore only 5 GANNET, 5 KITTIWAKE, 6 AUKs.
Report rec'd of 4 TURNSTONE on Yarmer Beach.
On T'stone Marsh at 13.00 - 25 TEAL, 20 MALLARD, 1 MUTE SWAN, 2 COOT, 2 LAPWING, 3 SNIPE. A f BLACK REDSTART on my roof.
TUES 13 JAN
Special ' STORK ' arrival down under.
Have just rec'd an e-mail from Nick Toensend in Australia of the arrival of their first Grandson- William . Kate and the baby ( over 3kg ) are back home and well. Nick is likely to be back in Feb
Congratulations from all the local birders
TUES 13 JAN
A morning of sunny periods and frequent heavy showers and a F8/9 W wind which produced some very rough seas.
Joined by Graham Daw today. On South Huish marsh - 55 WIGEON,
60+ TEAL, RUDDY SHELDUCK, 1 SHELDUCK, 15 LAPWING, 40+ SNIPE,
1ad COMMON GULL , 75+ BLACK H GULL, 1 WATER PIPIT ( 88 )
An hours seawatch from the flats came up with - 20 GANNET, 8 AUKs,
2 KITTIWAKE and 3 FULMAR ( 89 )
Water level on T'stone Marsh increasing - only 30 TEAL, 2 COOT, 2 LAPWING.
MON 12 JAN
A cloudy morning with some showers, WSW 7/8 wind and very rough seas.
Offshore 40 GANNET, 1 KITTIWAKE, 80+ BLACK H GULL, 1 1stw COMMON GULL ( 86 ). At 09.30 a flock of 15 BRENT GOOSE -DB ( 87 ) flew over the Bay , after circling South H Marsh twice they then flew east battling against the strong wind. Largest JAN flock for a few years .
On South H Marsh 42 WIGEON, 40 TEAL, RUDDY SHELDUCK 1 LAPWING, a PEREGRINE flew over.
On T'stone Marsh water level rising , culvert is probably blocked again . 40 TEAL, 1 LITTLE GREBE . The male BLACK REDSTART in my garden again
SUN 11 JAN
An icresingly cloudy day with a brisk and cool NW wind . Very little to report.
Robert ( farmer ) confirmed the GLOSSY IBIS at 16.30 last night was near his farm
On T'stone Marsh this morning - 50 TEAL, 2 COOT, 2 LAPWING, 1 MUTE SWAN
Walk around South Huish Narsh this morning with Chris Bond produced - 50 WIGEON, 35 TEAL, 1 SHELDUCK, RUDDY SHELDUCK, 13 LAPWING,
At South Milton Ley Bob confirms 3 SIB CHIFFCHAFF, 20+ CHIFFCHAFF, GREAT Sp WOODY and a SPARROWHAWK
SAT 10 JAN
Spent most of the day away from the patch, Bob reported no new arrivals at either South Huish marsh or South Milton Ley.
At South Efford Marsh Eric had a GLOSSY IBIS fly over the reserve .On the tidal road - 2 GREENSHANK, 2 COMMON SANDPIPER, LITTLE GREBE, REDSHANK
My reports are from around the South Hams area - Blankspill Bridge - 350+WIGEON, 50 TEAL, 1 JAY
Topsham Br. -2 GREY WAGTAIL, 2 NUTHATCH, 8 COAL TIT
Gara Br. 2 DIPPER, NUTHATCH, GREAT Sp WOODY, large mixed flock of 45+ Tits contained- 2 MARSH TIT, 10 LONG T TIT, 4 COAL TIT., 30+ BLUE TIT, 2 GREAT TIT , 2 GOLDCREST. Also 20 REDWING, 2 MISTLE THRUSH
Nr Califonia Cross 35 REDWING.
At 15.15 T'stone Marsh - 35 TEAL, 2 LAPWING, 2 COOT
FRI 9 JAN
After a sunny start to the day it just went downhill after 11.00. Rough seas with an increasing F 6/7 W wind
Stopped off at Horswell House wood , only 3 BULLFINCH ( 2m )and a GREAT Sp WOODY.
On South Huish Marsh another increase in TEAL to 145 ( largest count of the winter ), 50 WIGEON, 1 SHELDUCK, RUDDY SHELDUCK still, 30 LAPWING a PEREGRINE ( 85 ) in the cafe field . A different ad MED GULL to yesterday.
A visit to Buckland valley produced - A GREAT Sp WOODY, 2 MISTLE THRUSH, 1 JAY, KESTREL , COAL TIT and 12 REDWING ( not many around at the moment )
THURS 8 JAN
After a night of very heavy rain both marshes water levels were much higher. A W F5 wind produced some rough seas, heavy showers until 11.30 then clear skies
On T'stone marsh - 18 TEAL, 2 LAPWING, 1 LITTLE GREBE and a COOT
( 81 )- In my garden at 12.45 a nice male BLACK REDSTART.
On South Huish marsh the GLOSSY IBIS on view from 11.15 - 12.15 feeding at the side of the main marsh , provided some of the best views yet. RUDDY SHELDUCK still, 3 SHELDUCK, 85 TEAL ( big increase ),
50 WIGEON, 35 MALLARD, 16 LAPWING, 6 SNIPE, Amongst the GULLS a nice ad MED GULL
An hours sea watch from the flats produced - 3 GANNET, 2 AUKs, 5 KITTIWAKE , a BLACK THROATED DIVER ( 82 ). On the rocks briefly - 9 TURNSTONE ( 83 ) and a PURPLE SANDPIPER ( 84 )
At Aveton Gifford Eric had 2 BLACKCAP
Have just been looking at the forecast for the next 7 days - Wed / Thurs are showwing F11 ( 67mph ) SW gusts - now that is going to produce some waves.Local high tide is 11.30/ 12.30 - repeat of Jan 2014 ?
WED 7 JAN
A cloudy morning with some light showers , rough seas with a F7 SW wind
Did not see the GLOSSY today , probably because I did not spend very long looking at its favourite feeding spot. The RUDDY SHELDUCK still and 50 WIGEON, 35 TEAL, 1 SHELDUCK, 16 LAPWING on South Huish Marsh
An hours seawatch only came up with 62 GANNET, 50 AUKs and
You can tell the type of day when the only bit of excitement was finding a LITTLE GREBE on T'stone Marsh along with 18 TEAL
TUES 6 JAN
A sunny morning with a F 5/6 WNW wind , choppy sea.
A 45 min seawatch produced - 30 GANNET, 50+ AUKs ( flying east )
At South Huish Marsh the GLOSSY IBIS on view from 10.00- 11.15 ( most visitors managed to see it ). The RUDDY SHELDUCK still, 50 TEAL, 40 WIGEON, 25 LAPWING, 10 SNIPE
On T'stone marsh -15 TEAL.
Buckland Valley produced - KESTREL., 10 SISKIN, 6 LINNET, 2 COAL TIT .
At South Efford Marsh only new arrivals were a pair of SHOVELER
MON 5 JAN
An overcast cloudy morning with only a light SW breeze.
In the bay, a flock of 50 WIGEON on the sea , 8 GANNET, 40+ GREAT B B Gull around a trawler.
On South Huish Marsh the GLOSSY IBIS around from 12.50 for a while, RUDDY SHELDUCK , 40 TEAL , 5 WIGEON, 150 + BLACK H GULL, 12 LAPWING, 2 SONG THRUSH
A short visit to West Buckland produced GREAT Sp WOODPECKER,
1 MISTLE THRUSH, 10 LONG T TIT , 1 COAL TIT, 1 GREY WAGTAIL
1 SONG THRUSH
On T'stone Marsh 70 SNIPE, 15 TEAL, 4 SONG THRUSH
At South Milton Ley Bob had 1 SIB CHIFFCHAFF, 20 + CHIFFCHAFF, 1 JAY 2 GREY WAGTAIL, TAWNY OWL at Piers Cottage
Have started the 2015 year list and updated it today- 79 species
SUN 4 JAN
A cloudy morning with only a light breeze, still almost nothing offshore.
Quite a few birding visitors to South Huish marsh- both the GLOSSY IBIS and RUDDY SHELDUCK on view for part of the day. Nice to see George and Julia Harris as well this morning.
On the Marsh was an ad MED GULL, 50 TEAL, 35 WIGEON, 1 SHELDUCK , 20 LAPWING .
A BARN OWL reported on Sat evening near Horswell House and today at South Milton Ley. 1 SIB CHIFFCHAFF , 20 CHIFFCHAFF and 2 YELLOWHAMMER on site
SAT 3 JAN
After a stormy and wet night the morning improved slightly for 2 hours around 10.00 enabling a quick visit to South Huish Marsh. A lot more water and an increase in Duck numbers - 60+ TEAL, 35 WIGEON,
30 MALLARD, 4 SNIPE 20 LAPWING. A flock of over 250 GULLs were preening and bathing on the marsh - went through them looking for a Med or possibly the Avon Est Glauc. At 11.15 picked up an interesting gull which I watched for 15/20 mins until the flock was spooked - an adult RING BILLED GULL alife patch tick . Despite a good search through the returning flock it could not be relocated. I think this is the second patch record - Arthur had one around 10 years ago.The gulls were only 50 yards away behind the houses so good scope views obtained even down to the pale eye.
This afternoon Bob confirmed the GLOSSY IBIS feeding in the front field..
On T'stone marsh - a fox walking around the Marsh flushed 35 TEAL, 10 SNIPE and 3 LITTLE EGRET.
In a village garden 4 CIRL BUNTING, 2 REED BUNTING and a BLACK REDSTART
FRI 2 JAN
A nice day to be about, plenty of sunshine and only a light NW breeze
Apart from a single GANNET nothing offshore.
On South Huish Marsh - The GLOSSY IBIS found at 12.00 feeding in its usual spot . on view for less than an hour. Dave Pake confirmed the RUDDY SHELDUCK feeding at the back of the Marsh, also 35 TEAL,
35 WIGEON ( 15 then joined by a further 20 ), 3 LAPWING flew N ,later a flock of 40 flew in briefly before flying back up the valley., 3 SNIPE
At South Milton Ley Bob reports - 25+ CHIFFCHAFF, 2 SIB CHIFFCHAFF, 2 BULLFINCH, JAY, STOCK DOVE, YELLOWHAMMER and a GREY WAGTAIL.
Eric is back on duty at South Efford Marsh ( with his permission I will be posting more of his reports ) Over the Xmas period 2 sightings of an ad GLAUCOUS GULL ( usually with small numbers of G B B GULL ).
Today - 4 WATER PIPIT, 50 + WIGEON, 40 TEAL, 20 CURLEW , REDSHANK, GREENSHANK
THURS 1 JAN
With family and friends not leaving until lunchtime I could only manage a short visit to South Huish Marsh at 14.30. Weather today has been low cloud, lots of drizzle, with a F7/8 W wind
A brief garden watch only produced 28 species, highlights were- The RUDDY SHELDUCK feeding on the back marsh , 25 TEAL, GOLDCREST, LAPWING, female BLACK REDSTART
At South Milton Ley Bob had 1 SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, 20 CHIFFCHAFF, REED BUNTING, GREAT Sp WOODPECKER.
South Milton Ley - SHOVELER, WIGEON , TEAL, 35 LAPWING,
20 + SNIPE ,1 SPARROWHAWK.
Offshore 20 + GANNET and the bird of the day -a GREAT SKUA flew east accross the Bay very close inshore at 15.15 .
Whilst the days total only reached 44 species ,the SKUA certainly made up for the lack of quantity