THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
A month when the weather was notable for all the wrong reasons – mainly cloudy, lots of rain and much lower temperatures than would normally be expected.
A few days of strong winds mainly W/SW but not the gales that were forecast.
Total species recorded was 117 – (c/f 2014 – 118, 2013 – 124) with 5 new species the year total increased to 173 (c/f 2014 – 167, 2013 – 177).
New species for the year were BEE EATER, LITTLE GULL, LITTLE STINT, SPOTTED REDSHANK AND CURLEW SANDPIPER.
Special comment necessary for
a) BEE EATER – On 2nd August Alan Pomroy was ringing at South Milton Ley when amongst a flock of HIRUNDINES he picked up the distinctive call of a BEE EATER. This is a first record for the patch.
b) Wader Fest day 13th August – After heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight with a force 2-3 NE wind a superb passage of waders was experienced – between 08.00 and 11.15 a total of 512 waders recorded with the days total of 15 species was a patch day record.
Some birds landed for a short while on South Huish Marsh although most flew in off the sea and went East straight up the Valley.
On the Marsh – 2 GREENSHANK, 3 WOOD SANDPIPER, 7 GREEN SANDPIPER, 1 RUFF, 2 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 4 SNIPE.
Flying over – 215 RINGED PLOVER, 130 DUNLIN, 110 SANDERLING, 8 TURNSTONE AND 4 KNOT.
On the beach/rocks – 21 OYSTERCATCHER, 1 KNOT, 1 REDSHANK, 3 WIMBREL.
At 19.00 a LITTLE STINT was briefly on the Marsh
On Thurlestone Marsh were 2 GREEN SANDPIPER.
At nearby South Efford Marsh – Eric from 12.00 until 16.00 had a single flock of 400 WHIMBREL and BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 30 SNIPE, 40+ DUNLIN, 25 RINGED PLOVER, 6 GEEEN SANDPIPER, 3 WOOD SANDPIPER and a GREENSHANK.
Total count for the two sites was an incredible 1017.
Other significant sightings were:-
WIGEON – The male returned to South Huish Marsh on 19th. First record of this species over summering.
GADWALL – A female on a garden pool in South Milton.
TEAL – first were 2 on 10th with a max of 10 on 24th.
COMON SCOTER – Only recorded on 3 days max 20 on 21st.
GANNETT, FULMAR AND SHEARWATERS
GANNET – Counts of 650 on 3rd, 610 on 6th and a max of 1095 on 4th.
FULMAR – Max 8 on 19th.
MANX SHEARWATER – Two big passage counts – 700 on17th (in 1 hour) and a max of 1255 on 4th (in 3 hours).
BALEARIC SHEARWATER – Record on 6 days – max 8 on 19th.
Plenty of sightings of KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD and PEREGRINE . A HOBBY recorded on 16th.
RAILS AND EGRETS
WATER RAIL – first returning birds were 2 on Thurlestone Marsh on 15th.
LITTLE EGRETS – Regular sightings of up to 6 birds.
WADERS – A total of 20 species recorded – max were –
OYSTERCATCHER – 37 on 17th.
RINGED PLOVER – 215 on 13th.
GOLDEN PLOVER – 1 on 26th.
SANDERLING – 110 on 13th.
LITTLE STINT – 1 on 13th.
CURLEW SANDPIPER – 1 Ad on 24th, 1 Juv on 25th.
DUNLIN – 130 on 13th.
RUFF – Singles on 12 dates, 2 on 20th and 5 on 25th.
SNIPE – 33 on 24th.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT –Recorded almost daily – max 26 on 30th although flocks of 15 on Thurlestone Marsh and 17 on South Huish Marsh on 29th could have been a total of 32.
WHIMBREL – 4 on 26th.
CURLEW – singles on 15th, 18th and 20th.
COMMON SANDPIPER – 1 on 17th.
GREEN SANDPIPER – Recorded on 15 days max 9 on13th.
KNOT – 3 on 13th and 1 on 31st.
SPOTTED REDSHANK – Single on 20th.
GREENSHANK – Recorded on 6 days, max 6 on 25th.
REDSHANK – Singles on 7th and 13th max 2 on 24th.
WOOD SANDPIPER – Best passage for many years – recorded on12 days mostly singles with 2 on 24 and a max of 3 on 13th.
TURNSTONE – Max 8 on13th.
SKUA, GULLS AND TERNS
GREAT SKUA – 2 on 5th and 3 on 14th.
LITTLE GULL – Singles on 4th, 14th and 19th.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Very few this year – max 2 on 3rd. An adult on 24th had metal rings on both legs.
KITTIWAKE – Max 5 on 4th.
LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL – Max 45 in a fields on 2nd. On 24th one on the rocks bearing a ring – 2AV4 – ringed as an adult at a land fill site on Guernsey on 21st May, 2013. First sighting since then.
YELLOW LEGGED GULL – Single juvs on 2nd and 5th.
SANDWICH TERN – Only recorded on 7 days max was 38 resting on the rocks on 14th.
COMMON TERN – Single on 27th was the only record.
KINGFISHER AND CUCKOO
KINGFISHER – Recorded on several dates, ringers ringed 2 birds.
CUCKOO – Arthur found one on South Huish marsh on 9th =scarce bird on the patch.
GREEN WOODY – has become difficult to find, singles near Thurlestone on 11th and 12th.
GREAT SPOTTED WOODY – Regularly seen at up to 4 sites around the patch.
SWIFT – Max were 20 on 6th. Last patch record 1 on 25th.
SAND MARTIN – Max 10 on 13th.
HOUSE MARTIN – Max 75 on 29th.
SWALLOW – Max passage 500+ on 29th. Roosts at Thurlestone Marsh built up from 1250 on 3rd to 4500 on 31st.
WARBLERS – Some impressive numbers ringed at South Milton Ley with probably no more than 7 ringing sessions.
CHIFFCHAFF – 41
WILLOW WARBLER - 61 ( included a Spanish control)
BLACKCAP – 21.
GARDEN WARBLER – 6
WHITE THROAT – 15
GROPPA – 5
SEDGE WARBLER – 126 (highest day count 47 on 11th)
REED WARBLER – 73 (highest day count 17 on 15th).
REDSTART – 2
CHATS AND FLYCATCHERS
NUTHATCH – 2 at South Milton Ley on 7th and one on 27th.
WHINCHAT – All at South Huish Marsh – 2 on12 and 17 and 1 on 26th.
STONECHAT – Up to 6 some days, plenty of Juvs.
PIED FLYCATCHER – A female in the Hotel grounds on 29th.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – Recorded on 7 days max 3 on 15th (1 ringed)
WHEATEAR – Poor autumn passage so far – only recorded on 6 days, max 4 on 31st.
PIED WAGTAIL – No big numbers so far, max only 25.
GREY WAGTAIL – Singles on several days.
YELLOW WAGTAIL – First was 1 on 17th, max 4 on 29th.
PIPITS, FINCHES, BUNTING AND SPARROWS
TREE PIPIT – Passage around middle of the month, max 6 on16th.
MEADOW PIPIT – Only singles recorded towards the end of the month.
GOLDFINCH – A flock of 35 around South Huish Marsh from 23rd.
BULLFINCH – Party of 6 at South Milton Ley on 12th and 17th.
YELLOWHAMMER – Singles around the lanes and at South Milton Ley.
REED BUNTING – Up to 3 on Thurlestone Marsh.
HOUSE SPARROW – Evidence of good breeding numbers with a flock of 100+ at South Huish Marsh which included a large number of Juvs.