THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS NOVEMBER 2015 After a fairly calm Autumn considerable change in the weather pattern for November – very little sunshine, 9 days of rain and in the second half of the
month 5 days of gales with storm force conditions on 29th and 30th. Another very mild month with some overnight temperatures no dropping below 12 degrees. Only one morning – 23rd with a light frost.
A remarkable total of 122 species recorded – joint highest with November 2011 (c/f 2014 – 113, 2013 – 114) with 3 new species for the year – POCHARD, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and BRENT GOOSE
(Pale bellied) to the total to 186 (c/f 2014 -188, 2013 – 194). Highlights are: SWANS AND GEESE MUTE SWAN – A pair all month on South Huish Marsh. CANADA GOOSE – Max total 250 on
the Marsh. GREYLAG GOOSE – Up to 2 with the CANADAS. BRENT GOOSE – DARK BELLIED – 2 on the sea on 18th were the first of the Autumn, a single on 21st BRENT GOOSE – PALE BELIED – Arthur had a single
bird off the rocks on 22nd. DUCK MALLARD – Although present all month max was 35 on 9th. SHELDUCK – Recorded on 4 days, max 3 flying west on 22nd. RUDDY SHELDUCK – A big surprise to find
the bird last seen in April returning to South Huish Marsh with a small flock of CANADA GEESE, on 23rd – (it arrived on 17th November 2014). No reports of it in the intervening months present
up to 30th. WIGEON – Offshore 48 on 11th, 15 flew west on 16th. On the marsh, max only 3 on 25th. TEAL – Combined total from both marshes peaked at 175 on6th. SHOVELER – Max 4 on 3rd.
POCHARD - first of the year were 2 males flying over the Marsh on 2nd. TUFTED DUCK – a scare bird here, 2 males flew east on 11th and a male on the marsh on 23rd. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER – first
of the year – a male flying west on 3rd.. COMMON SCOTER – only 4 records with a max of 15 west on 24th. DIVERS, GANNET, SHEARWATERS AND TERN RED THROATED DIVER – singles recorded on 4 days – 1
on 23rd, 25th and 26th probably the same bird. BLACK-THROATED DIVER – One joined a RED-THROATED in the Bay close in shore on 26th. GREAT NORTHERN DIVER – 1 on13th, 2 on the sea on 26th and singles
on29th and 30th. FULMAR – One flew east on 13th. MANX SHEARWATER – 1 flew east in gales on 27th. BALEARIC SHEARWATER – 1 flew east in gales on 18th and 27th. GANNET – Recorded daily max 90 on 6th and
85 on 11th. SANDWICH TERN – A late record 1 flew west on 9th. IBIS, EGRETS, GREBES AND RAILS GLOSSY IBIS - One found on South Huish marsh on 18th, last recorded early morning of
24th. The second record this year. LITTLE EGRET – Present all month – max 7 on 2nd. LITTLE GREBE – One on South Huish Marsh on 21st with 2 thereafter up to month end. WATER RAIL – Heard
regularly at Thurlestone Marsh and South Milton Ley. WADERS – 12 species recorded this month. OYSTERCATCHER – Max 27 on 9th. RINGED PLOVER – Seen regularly on the rocks max 9 on
2nd GREY PLOVER – 1 on the rocks from 11th and 13th, and 1 flew over my house up the Valley on 21st (A garden tick!) LAPWING – Recorded on 4 dates, max 41 on 22nd. SANDERLING – Only
record were 2 on the rocks on 11th. PURPLE SANDPIPER – 2 on the rocks on 2nd. DUNLIN – Only 3 records , max 2 on 22nd. JACK SNIPE – Singles on Thurlestone Marsh on 11th and on South Huish Marsh on
24th. SNIPE – Max 29 on both marshes on 24th Unusual to see2 on the rocks on 23rd WOODCOCK – 1 flew into Thurlestone Marsh early on 9th. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT – on South Huish marsh max 4 on 1st, 1
still there up to 21st. TURNSTONE – Regularly on the rocks max 9 on 2nd and 3rd. RAPTORS Nothing unusual this month regular sightings of KESTREL, SPARROW HAWK, PEREGRINE AND BUZZARD. At least
3 TAWNY OWL calling outside my house on 3rd, also present at 3 other sites. BARN OWL – 1at South Huish Marsh on 22nd. GULLS BLACK HEADED GULL – Max in the Bay 150+ on 29th. MEDITERRANEAN GULL
– Record on 3 dates last 2 on 25th. LITTLE GULL – 2 flew east through the Bay on 25th. COMMON GULL – On south Huish Marsh 1 on12th and 3 on 25th. KITTIWAKE – max 30 on 15th. LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL
– Max 70 on 15th on South Huish marsh. GREAT BLACK BACKED GULL – Max 40 on 6th. PIGEON, DOVES, KINGFISHER. WOOD PIGEON – Clear cloudless skies required for picking up the migration – late this
year – 46,500 flew through on 21st with max flock size of 6,000 On 22nd 22,500 recorded and on 23rd 10,000. STOCK DOVE – max 15 on 21st. KINGFISHER – Recorded throughout the month with at least 2
birds on the marshes and 1 regularly on the rocks. CRESTS AND HIRUNDINES FIRECREST – 1 in the copse at South Huish marsh on 2nd. GOLDCREST – Present at four sites, max 10 in the copse on 3rd.
SWALLOW – Last record were at least 2 at South Huish marsh on 21st. HOUSE MARTIN – the latest record for the patch were found by Terry Goddard at South Huish Marsh on 26th (mean latest date for Devon
is 4th November) WARBLERS CHIFFCHAFF – At South Milton Ley Alan and Bob ringed 17 on 22nd and 5 on 26th SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF – 1 at South Milton Ley on
22nd was caught and ringed on 26th. BLACKCAP – Recorded in both South Milton and Thurlestone gardens. CETTIS WARBLER – One calling regularly at South Milton ley and Thurlestone Marsh. NUTHATCH
and BLACK REDSTART. NUTHATCH - recorded in Village gardens on 23rd and 24th. BLACK REDSTART – Recorded on 9 dates – up to 3 in Thurlestone Village gardens throughout. STONECHAT – Up to 5 at
regular sites around the patch. STARLINGS AND THRUSHES STARLING – on two roosts at Thurlestone marsh – max 3,500 on 10th.– Singles recorded at 3 sites. SONG THRUSH – Singles recorded at 3
sites. REDWING – Passage of 40 on 20th, 43 on 21st and 60 on 23rd. FIELDFARE – Recorded on 5 days – max 45 on 21st and 25 on 25th. MISTLE THRUSH – Max 4 on 21st. JAY – Max 3 on 20th. PIPITS,
BUNTING, FINCHES AND LARKS SKYLARK – Max 35 on 10th. MEADOW PIPIT – Max 50+ on 5th. WATER PIPIT – 1 on Thurlestone Marsh on 3rd. Singles at South Huish Marsh, 19th – 22nd with 2 on 23rd.
ROCK PIPIT – Up to 15 on the beach/rocks. CHAFFINCH – passage max 45 on 1st and 32 on 21st. BRAMBLING – Singles over Thurlestone Marsh on 16th and 17th. GREENFINCH – flocks of up to 30 around South
Huish marsh. GOLDFINCH – Max 25 on 10th. SISKIN – 15 on 1st, 5 on 10th and 26th. REDPOLL – 1 ringed on 22nd and lower South Huish Marsh on 23rd. BULLFINCH – Max 2 in a garden on 20th. CIRL BUNTING –
Singles on1st and 23rd. 3 at South Milton Ley on 26th (2 juv F were ringed). REED BUNTING – Regularly at Thurlestone Marsh – also visiting feeders. Writing this on 1st December so only 31
days to the end of the year. Unless there is a really cold snap unlikely to finish this year on more than 190 species. Have an enjoyable festive season and some great December birding.
Mike Passman thurlestonebaybirds.co.uk
Since 2003 my patch list totals 254 latest - BLACK GUILLEMOT