THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
A month when summer finally arrived – from 16th to 30th warm sunny (many cloudless) days with no rain. Winds E/SE up to F6 thanks to a settled high pressure system.
Only heavy rain was on 14th with F8/9 W. wind.
Total species recorded were 122 (c/f 2014 – 132, 2013 – 125) with 6 new species for the year the total increased to 179 (c/f 2014 – 173, 2013 – 185).
New species for the year – SHORT-EARED OWL, REDPOLL, DOTTERELL, GREY PHALAROPE, SOOTY SHEARWATER, CROSSBILL.
On Saturday 5th we took part in our 3rd BIRD RACE DAY, competing against teams in the Midlands, improving on previous years we achieved 89. Highest total achieved by BELVIDE RES. in Staffordshire with 92 closely followed by UPTON WARREN in Worcestershire with 91.
Highlights of the month.
MUTE SWAN – first bird returned to South Huish Marsh on 22nd.
MALLARD – None on South Huish Marsh – very unusual. Max on Thurlestone Marsh 115 on 15th.
SHELDUCK – Singles on 3rd and 29th.
WIGEON – First returning bird a female on 12th, max 22 flying east on 30th.
PINTAIL – 2 with WIGEON on 30th.
SHOVELER – 3 flew east early on 5th.
TEAL – Numbers increased from 12 on 3rd to 45 on 29th.
COMMON SCOTER – 7 on 16 and a max of 32 on 30th.
GANNET, FULMAR AND SHEARWATERS
GANNET – Max 200 on 4th.
FULMAR – Very few recorded.
SOOTY SHEARWATER – 1 picked up by Doug S. flying east on 16th
BALEARIC SHEARWATER – 4 on 11th and 5 on 14th.
MANX SHEARWATER – Very poor passage last were 3 on 10th.
RAPTERS AND OWLS – Regular sightings of KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD and PEREGRINE
HOBBY – Max 2 on 5th.
MERLIN – 1 flew down the valley early evening of 5th.
BARN OWL – 2 sightings during the month.
TAWNY OWL – Regularly heard around South Milton Village.
SHORT-EARED OWL – 1 watched quartering over Thurlestone Marsh at 18.40 on 5th.
RAILS AND EGRETS
WATER RAIL – Heard regularly on Thurlestone Marsh
LITTLE EGRET – Max 8 on 29th
GREAT WHITE EGRET – Single on South Milton Ley on 17th and one watched flying across the Bay on 29th.
WADERS – 16 species recorded this month. Max were:-
OYSTERCATCHER – 48 on1st with 41 on 23rd.
RINGED PLOVER – 170 on 1st and next highest 61 on 11th.
SANDERLING – A single flock of 85 on 3rd was an exceptional count .
LITTLE STINT – 1 on 3rd briefly on South Huish marsh
PURPLE SANDPIPER – Arthur found 1 on Leasfoot Beach on 17th
(I thought this would be the earliest Autumn patch record, Bob remembers ringing one on the beach at the end of August some years ago).
DUNLIN – 69 on 4th and 60 on 13th.
RUFF – 2 on 1st with 1 on 2nd.
DOTTERELL – 1 reported from the Golf Course at 7.30a.m. on 8th.
SNIPE – Max 10 on South Huish Marsh on 24th.
BLACK- TAILED GODWIT – 22 on South Huish Marsh on 1st, max on Thurlestone Marsh 18 on 22nd.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT – 1 with BLACKWITS on Thurlestone on 18th and 19th.
WHIMBREL – Only 2 records 2 on 2nd and 1 on 5th.
CURLEW – 1 flying up the Valley early on 1st.
COMMON SANDPIPER – 1 on the rocks on 2nd
TURNSTONE – Max 4 on 4th.
GREY PHALAROPE – After a stormy day one found by the footbridge on 15th.
SKUA, GULLS AND TERNS
GREAT SKUA – Single record of 1 on 9th.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Max 3 on 23rd.
YELLOW L. GULL – A Juv on South Huish Marsh on 1st.
BLACK HEADED GULL – Max 160 on 17th.
HERRING GULL – Over 2500 in the Bay on 17th (A very high count)
SANDWICH TERN – Very few records – max 3 on 9th.
COMMON TERN – One on 12th and 2 on 27th.
KINGFISHER – Max 3 on 11th.
WOODPECKERS/JAY GREEN at South Milton Ley on 5th.
GREAT SPOTTED – Regular in 3 separate locations.
JAY – Started to appear around my garden.
SWIFT – Last recorded 1 over the Golf Course on 8th.
SWALLOW – Some passage at the end of the month max 720 on 27th.
HOUSE MARTIN – Max 425 also on 27th
SAND MARTIN – A few recorded during the month with a single flock of 50 on 29th a good late record.
WARBLERS – Ringing team not on the site as often as in previous years.
CHIFFCHAFF – Max 22 ringed on 6th.
WILLOW WARBLER – 6 on 2nd.
BLACKCAP – Good numbers this Autumn – 25 ringed on 19th could well be a patch day record.
WHITETHROAT – max 8 on 11th.
GROPPA – Singles on 2nd and 11th.
SEDGE WARBLER – Max only 6 on 2nd.
REED WARBLER – Max 7 ringed on 6th.
CHATS AND FLYCATCHERS
NUTHATCH – 1 in Buckland Valley on 5th.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – Must have had a good breeding season, 6 in Buckland Valley/Thurlestone Village on 5th and 5 at South Milton Ley on 20th.
REDSTART – 1 in a village garden on 5th.
WHINCHAT – Singles on 1st and 24th.
STONECHAT – Recorded daily max 8 on 26th.
WHEATEAR – Max 8 on 30th.
YELLOW – Singles only on 4 days.
WHITE – First returning bird on 4th.
GREY – 10 on the patch on 5th and 4 on 30th.
PIPITS, BUNTINGS AND FINCHES
TREE PIPIT – 2 ringed on 6th with 3 more on site.
MEADOW PIPIT – Max 50 on 29th.
SISKIN – first were 15 on 5th, 41 on 11th, and 30 on 24th.
LINNET – max 60 on 13th.
REDPOLL – 2 on South Milton Ley on 8th and 1 over my garden on 28th.
GOLDFINCH – Max 80+ on 23rd.
CROSSBILL – 3 flew over the footbridge on 30th.
STARLING – Highest roost 500+ on 5th.
A RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE photographed in the Village on 14th was the second patch record this year.