THURS 31 MAR
First day that felt like Spring - unbroken sunshine after a frosty start , light wind from WNW .
Offshore nothing !
South Huish Marsh - 18 SHELDUCK, 20 TEAL, 2 CHIFFCHAFF,
1 SPARROWHAWK, 1 WHEATEAR
Alan was ringing at South Milton Ley , caught 24 new birds -
17 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 CETTIS WARBLER, 1 m BLACKCAP ( another singing )
1 WILLOW WARBLER and 2 REED BUNTING. A retrap CHIFFY was ringed at this site in 2014. A F MERLIN flew over .
Flying over 3 SWALLOW also 1 over my garden at 12.55
A quiet end to the month
WED 30 MAR
A fine sunny morning with a F 4 WNW wind.
Additional reports from Vic and Sylvia today.
Offshore 10 GANNET, 3 FULMAR , 5 SHAG ( on sea ) , 2m COMMON SCOTER ( on sea ) ,2 SANDWICH TERN flew east .
On the rocks - 12 OYSTERCATCHER, 7 TURNSTONE .
On South Huish marsh - 17 TEAL, 20 SHELDUCK, 1m WIGEON,
2 WHEATEAR, 1 CHIFFCHAFF .3 STONECHAT , 3 WATER PIPIT.
Around 13.00 4 SAND MARTIN and 3 SWALLOW flew through.
At South Milton ley a FIRECREST and the SIB CHIFFCHAFF.
TUES 29 MAR
A morning of sunny periods with rain / hail at 12.45.
Very little offshore - GANNET, FULMAR and an AUK
Water level at South Huish marsh falling but still few duck , although
16 SHELDUCK is the years highest , singles still of WIGEON, SHOVELER and 6 TEAL . A f WHEATEAR in the field and a CHIFFCHAFF in the copse
A short visit to South Milton Ley found 10 CHIFFCHAFF , a SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, and our first WILLOW WARBLER ( 130 ) also heard in sub song
Still very few Hirundines been reported
MON 28 MAR
After a very stormy and wet night some very rough seas and a flooded South Huish Marsh.
joined by Graham today . Seawatcing produced - 38 GANNET, 7 FULMAR, 1 KITTIWAKE, 1 SANDWICH TERN (12.25 ) 1 PEREGRINE . On the rocks - 3 TURNSTONE, 8 OYSTERCATCHER.
South Huish Marsh flooded and blown out - only 5 TEAL, 1 m WIGEON,
1 m SHOVELER, 11 SHELDUCK ,4 LITTLE EGRET , 1 CHIFFCHAFF
On T'stone Marsh this aft. - 2 MUTE SWAN, 3 LITTLE EGRET
SUN 27 MAR
A morning of sunny intervals and heavy showers at 09.45 a hail shower covered the ground white , not what the early migrants would look forward to .Brisk SW F7 wind.
Only time for a walk around South Huish Marsh - 15 TEAL,
4 SHELDUCK,1m WIGEON, 4 LITTLE EGRET , 20 LESSER B B GULL,
1 WATER PIPIT and in the copse field a M & F WHEATEAR, 10 MIPIT.
SAT 26 MAR
A cloudy morning with poor offshore viz , a S F6 wind increasing to F8 by 12.00. Rain held off till 12.30
A 2 hour seawatch produced the best passage of GANNET this month with 67 east . , 5 FULMAR, 6 COMMON SCOTER, 14 OYSTERCATCHER. First SANDWICH TERN (129 ) of the year flew east at 09.55, another 3 east at 11.50
On South Huish Marsh - 3 SHELDUCK, 15 TEAL, 1m SHOVELER,
1m WIGEON , 40 LESSER B B GULL amongst the HERRING GULL, 3 BLACK H GULL. A SPARROWHAWK flew through
FRI 25 MAR
A fine sunny day which in the morning was even quieter than yesterday.
Offshore- 4 SHELDUCK, 1 GANNET and a flock of 27 OYSTERCATCHER flew east .
On South Huish Marsh - 33 TEAL, 1m WIGEON, 3 SHOVELER.
At 17.15 whilst on the phone to vic a SAND MARTIN flew over T'stone Marsh ( 128 )
THURS 24 MAR
A cloudy morning with rain setting in at 11.00. , a briskWSW F 5 wind
On South Huish Marsh - 3 SHOVELER, 2 SHELDUCK, 34 TEAL, 1 m WIGEON, 1 SNIPE
Late pm the J's from Hope Cove had 2 SWALLOW (127 ) over the Marsh
Offshore - 6 GANNET, 5 FULMAR, 2 KITTIWAKE .
SAT 19 MAR - TUES 22 MAR
Whilst i was away Arthur recorded -
19/3 - South Huish Marsh - 1 WHEATEAR (124 ), 58 TEAL, 5 SHOVELER, 2 SNIPE and 2 STARLING ( only sighting this month ! ).
Offshore 2 GREAT C GREBE
21/3 1 LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (125 ), 11 SHELDUCK, 2 SNIPE,
1 WHEATEAR, 1 MERLIN all at South Huish Marsh
22/3 South Huish Marsh - 3m 1f GARGANEY ( 126 ) a few years since we had more than 2 , 1 m Wigeon , 1 BLACK REDSTART.
CYPRUS TRIP 17 - 22 MARCH
Based at the ST GEORGES HOTEL just outside PAPHOS . Car hired for 4 days - essential if you want to visit the main birdwatching sites. Accompanied by ANNE and GRAHAM and DAPHNE DAW so a relaxing holiday with some birwatcing .Very nice weather , good food and wine !
MON 21 MAR
This morning a return visit to PAPHOS HEADLAND produced - 5 CRESTED LARK, 6 SARDINIAN WARBLER, 3 WHEATEAR, 1 ISABELLINE WHEATEAR, 1 HOOPOE, 3 BLACK REDSTART, 2 WHITETHROAT,
1 STONECHAT, 2 RED RUMPED SWALLOW 6 WHITE WAGTAIL,
1 m CYPRUS WHEATEAR.
In the afternoon another visit to MANDRIA very quiet apart from a MARSH HARRIER, 2 BLACK FRANCOLIN .
. final visit of the day to ASPRO. DAM - 2 BLACK REDSTART, 1m BLACK EARED WHEATEAR, 1 BLACK HEADED WAGTAIL . Around 15.30 an overhead passage started - 5 ALPINE SWIFT , 30 + SWIFT , 2 RED RUMPED SWALLOW many SWALLOW and HOUSE MARTIN and finally 2 LONG LEGGED BUZZARD passed along the ridge
Quick stop at PAPHOS SEWAGE WORKS - 3 CATTLE EGRET, BLACK FRANCOLIN , another LONG LEGGED BUZZARD with SWIFTS and another 4 RED R SWALLOW overhead ..
Car returned this evening so no further site visits .
Final species total 104 . A very enjoyable holiday with some really good birds .
SUN 20 MAR
Along drive visiting 3 main sites towards the east of the island -
As we left Paphos Graham noticed a BLACK FRANKCOLIN on a rock .First stop ZAKAKI MARSH - only a small area of the marsh viewable from the hide , reeds taking over . 1 FLAMINGO, 1 LITTLE EGRET, plenty of COOT and MOORHEN, LITTLE GREBE , REED and SEDGE WARBLER. On one of the nearby pools - 6 BLACK WINGED STILT, 1 BLACK T GODWIT,
3 REDSHANK. Driving along Lady's Mile 4 LITTLE STINT, 10 KENTISH PLOVER and a nice GREATER SAND PLOVER ( in partial sum. plumage )
After another hours drive arrived at LARNACA POOLS ( hide overlooking the airport runway )Lots of Duck on the water - SHOVELER, PINTAIL, , TEAL, MALLARD, 3 RED CRESTED POCHARD, 1 RUDDY SHELDUCK ,
30+ LITTLE GREBE , 3 BLACK NECKED GREBE, 8 SPUR WINGED PLOVER, 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 1 REDSHANK, 2 RUFF,1 f MARSH HARRIER. 2 ad ARMENIAN GULL, in bushes a WHITETHROAT. On a nearby pool 1 LITTLE RINGED PLOVER . Driving back towards the main road another pool held a large flock of GULLS - 80+ BLACK HEADED , superb 40+ SLENDER BILLED and 2 ad MED GULLS . Also 2 FLAMINGO, 40 + BLACK WINGED STILT , 1 RUFF, 1 GREENSHANK and a KENTISH PLOVER .
Stopped for lunch at a cafe overlooking the sea , whilst eating 3 SANDWICH TERN flew through .
Final stop after a 30 min drive at OROKLINI MARSH - 6 FLAMINGO,
2 GARGANEY, , RED C POCHARD , PINTAIL, over 250 SHOVELER, TEAL,
6 SPUR WINGED PLOVER, 2 REDSHANK, 5 LITTLE R PLOVER nad a COMMON SANDPIPER, 3 CATTLE EGRET 1 GREY HERON .
A superb day covering over 200 miles and reaching a trip list of 101
SAT 19 MAR
Spent the morning at PAPHOS HEADLAND also there were members of Cyprus Birdwatching Soc ?
Graham found a GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO RESTING IN A BUSH ( later seen in flight ) , 2 ORPHEAN WARBLER, SEVERAL SARDINIAN WARBLER, 1 ISABELLINE WHEATEAR, 2 WHEATEAR, 2 BLACK REDSTART, 1LESSER WHITETHROAT , 1 WILLOW WARBLER,2m CRETZ BUNTING , 4 LITTLE EGRET , 2 GREY HERON, 2 HOOPOE, 1 WHIMBREL ( on rocks ) , flock of 100 SPANISH SPARROWDrove up to LATCHI for lunch , KINGFISHER In the harbour, at Aphrodities pool a BLACKBIRD , 2 BLACKCAP, ,2 SONG THRUSH, and aROCK DOVE,
Stopped off at THELTRA to find a large flock of over 250 mixed finches at least 150 were SERIN , many in fullsp
Trip list up to 65
First stop at MAVROKOLYMPOS DAM road here is now gated and locked,still managed to pick up LESSER KESTREL, CETTIS WARBLER AND CYPRUS WARBLER
ONto AGIA VARVARA and first signs of Spring passage,lots of Hirundines moving through inc 6 RED RUMPED SWALLOW, flock of 30 SERIN, 8 CORN BUNTING , 5 FAN T WARBLER, JAY and RED T HROATED PIPIT .RETURNING To the car flushed 2 JACK SNIPE, a male CRETZ BUNTING , 2 SONG THRUSH
Made our way to ANARITA PARK where in just over an hour picked up - 2M CRETZ BUNTING, 3 WHEATEAR, 1BLACK EARED WHEATEAR, pr of CYPRUS WHEATEAR 2 BLUE ROCK THRUSH , 2 SWIFT, CHIFFCHAFF, ORPHEAN WARBLER, QUAIL, CYPRUS WARBLER, STONECHAT, MANY KEASTREL, 10 CORN BUNTING , CHUKER
Next stop MANDRIA- not as many birds as expected . 7 WHEATEAR,
2 ISABELLNE WHEATEAR , SEVERAL CRESTED LARKS , 2 SKYLARK, 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 10 YELLOW WAGTAIL, 1LAPWING, AND NEXT TO IT A STONE CURLEW
TRIP LIST UP TO 55
THURS 17 MAR
Nice to be back in shorts and T shirt , sunny and warm in Cyprus. We are staying just outside Paphos .2 walks around the hotel produced a variety of species
Highlights- 7 NIGHT HERON - N, 30 CORMORANT - N( 1 flock ) 2 m BLUE ROCK THRUSH, 2HOOPOE 2 SARDINIAN WARBLER, 1 BLACKCAP, Amongst the flocks of HOUSE SPARROW were several SPANNISH and 2 ROCK SPARROW, 10 WHITE WAGTAILand 5 CRESTED LARK
Species totalled 27
Car arrives in the morning and then the real birding starts
TUES 15 MAR
A cloudy morning which gave way from 10,00 to clear sunny skies. A cold ENE wind F4.
Duck passage today - 6 COMMON SCOTER -E, 7 TEAL on the sea .At 11.00 4 TUFTED DUCK flew in and landed on the sea ( this is a patch record total for me ) Highlight of the morning was the first wader passage 2 parties of Dunlin totalled 8 , at 11.15 a flock of 30 waders flew in from the south east and flew straight over the marsh and up the valley , 29 BAR TAILED GODWIT and a KNOT ( 123 ) All these movements the result of the strong Easterly winds .A GREAT N DIVER and an ad MED GULL flew west.
8 GANNET and aFULMAR flew east . On the sea 3 RAZORBILLS & 1 GREAT CRESTED GREBE
On the rocks 8 Turnstone & 15 OYSTERCATCHER
On South Huish Marsh 45 TEAL, 5 SHOVELER (3m2f ) , 1 f WIGEON.
Will try to update whilst Graham and I ( and wives ) are away .
VIC at South Milton Ley- at 12.30 the 1st w MARSH HARRIER flew through,also on site 2 SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, 20 CHIFFCHAFF , 9 REDWING.1 TAWNY OWL
MON 14 MAR
Another fine and sunny day but still a cold F5 ENE wind- still no spring migrants but more Duck passage .Joined by John from Hatt this morning.
Offshore - 17 GANNET, 1 FULMAR , 3 AUKS , 1 RED T DIVER -w ,
1 GREAT N DIVER-w, 29 COMMON SCOTER ( 3 flocks ) , 1m TUFTED DUCK
( with the Scoter ), 2 TEAL ( on the sea ) 3m 2F SHOVELER ( returned 3 times to land on the sea before flying up the valley )1 GREAT C GREBE.
2 MUTE SWAN
On the rocks 8 OYSTERCATCHER, 2 RINGED PLOVER
At South Huish Marsh the imm MARSH HARRIER seen at 10.40, only then did you realise the TEAL were 70 +, 4 SHELDUCK , the RUDDY SHELDUCK 1f WIGEON, 1 SNIPE, 1 WHITE WAGTAIL,1 CHIFFCHAFF
SUN 13 MAR
Another fine day , cool breeze E up to F4 by 12.00 .Viz at sea not good
Joined by Arthur and Graham this morning .
In the bay 2 MUTE SWAN flew east, 1 GREAT C GREBE, 22 GANNET, 3 FULMAR . At 11.15 a small flock of duck found on the sea - a pair of PINTAIL and 2m 1f SHOVELER.
On South Huish Marsh -50 TEAL, 3 SHELDUCK, the RUDDY SHELDUCK, 4 SNIPE, 4 COMMON GULL, by the copse a dead ad male SPARROWHAWK- judging by its broken neck it had flown into a wire mesh fence - what a loss
On the rocks 9 OYSTERCATCHER, 1 RINGED PLOVER and 3 TURNSTONE
SAT 12 MAR
Information today from Arthur who met Andy Smith at South Huish Marsh. Andy picked up the bird of the morning around 10.00 a WHOOPER SWAN ( 122 ) being forced off the marsh by the resident pair of MUTE SWAN, last seen flying towards Aveton Gifford . Also on the marsh - 66 TEAL, 1f WIGEON, 8 SHELDUCK , the RUDDY SHELDUCK
18 OYSTERCATCHER, 2 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN. 1ad MED GULL . After yesterdays post about RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE this time 2 along the hedgerow at the far end of the marsh- this could be a site first
In the Bay 2 GREAT C GREBE still
FRI 11 MAR
Another pleasant morning , no wind and a flat sea .
In the Bay 2 GREAT CRESTED GREBE, 4 GANNET, 3 FULMAR . On Warren Point rocks 5 SHELDUCK, an ad YELLOW LEGGED GULL.
On South Huish Marsh - 70 TEAL, 10 SHELDUCK, 1f WIGEON, 10 SNIPE, 1 DUNLIN, the RUDDY SHELDUCK, 2 REED BUNTING, 1 CHIFFCHAFF.
In West Buckland Valley a RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE - this is an escape from Baron Banthams shooting estate - even so it is still a patch life tick - no 244
Vic and Alan were at South Milton Ley 11 new CHIFFCHAFF ringed plus 15 retraps,4 REED BUNTING , 3 GOLDCREST. the SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF was in song .Highest total of CHIFFY on site this winter, makes you wonder what the total was as not all birds were caught .Also on site - GREY WAGTAIL, CETTIS WARBLER and WATER RAIL.
BLACKCAP still reported from a T'stone Garden . SPARROWHAWK flying through
THURS 10 MAR
What a diffrence a day makes in this ever changing weather pattern .
A clear sunny morning with a cool N breeze and almost a flat calm sea
The bird of the day found by Arthur in Mallards Lane - a MARSH TIT
( 121 ) - last recorded in Nov 2012 a real scarce patch year tick
A brief watch from my garden produced - a pair of BULLFINCH, and
3 REED BUNTING
Offshore 2 GREAT CRESTED GREBE and a RED THROATED DIVER ( in partial s/pl )
On South Huish Marsh - the imm F MARSH HARRIER watched at 11.00
( later seen by Arthur over T'stone marsh ). 70 TEAL, 3 WIGEON,
3 SHELDUCK, 1 LAPWING, ( OYSTERCATCHER, 2 SNIPE,
the RUDDY SHELDUCK and a WATER PIPIT
TUES 8 MAR
An overcast morning with increasing low cloud and from 11.00 light drizzle. A cold brisk NW wind
Joined by Arthur, Graham and Nick today
Offshore - 2 RED T DIVER ( flew east at 09.00 ) 4 GANNET, 4 FULMAR,
2 GREAT C GREBE in the bay, 9 COMMON SCOTER flew west
On the rocks an ad YELLOW L GULL, 8 TURNSTONE.
On South Huish Marsh - now only 34 TEAL, 1f WIGEON, 3 SHELDUCK,
3 SNIPE, 1 KINGFISHER, 50 + MIPIT, 3 SKYLARK.
In Nicks garden recently - JAY and NUTHATCH
SAT 5 - MON 7 MAR
I spent the w/end with family at Wallingford ( Oxfordshire ) Still find it difficult to look at so many RED KITE , must of had more than 30 .
On the way home today stopped of at Marshfied ( Glos ) and had great views of 5 CORN BUNTING
Back to patch watching in the morning
SAT 5 MAR
Having been away for the w/end Arthur reported -
On South Huish Marsh - 97 TEAL, 2ad MED GULL, 1 WATER PIPIT.
On the rocks 6 TURNSTONE . In the Bay a GREAT C GREBE, and a MED GULL
Along Mallards lane - a GREAT Sp WOODY and a singing CHIFFCHAFF .
FRI 4 MAR
A sunny morning with rain setting in at lunchtime, a brisk NW WIND ,
On South Huish Marsh , 7 Shelduck,60 TEAL, 7 MED GULL( 4ad , 3 2w )
200+ BLACK H GULL, 2 COMMON GULL
In 45 mins from 9 .30 , 145 BLACK H GULL came in off the sea and flew up the valle
Offshore 12 KITTIWAKE and a GUILEMOT FLEW EAST
On the rocks 3 RINGED PLOVER
At 14.00 whilst driving along the lanes a MERLIN flew over the car .
THURS 3 MAR
A cloudy morning with a F4 W wind , at least it was dry
On South Huish marsh 75 TEAL , only 2 WIGEON., 2 SHELDUCK, the RUDDY SHELDUCK, 1 SNIPE, 4 RAVEN ( over ) 14 OYSTERCATCHER .
Only 40 LESSER B B GULL, amongst the 100+ BLACK H GULL
5 MED GULL ( 3 ad , 2 2nd w ), 4 COMMON GULL
On the rocks 8 TURNSTONE, 8 OYSTERCATCHER, offshore a FULMAR and a GREAT N DIVER -both east
IN a sheep field at Upton Cross 30 REDWING and 5 FIELDFARE - coming into s/pl
In West Buckland Valley, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST and a FIRECREST
TUES 1 MAR and WED 2 MAR
Both mornings provided some severe weather conditions not what you expect for the first days of the meteo Spring .
Yesterday the main highlight was a PEREGRINE and a WHITE WAGTAIL
( 120 ) at South Huish Marsh .A quick visit to South Milton Ley late afternoon provided a SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF ( withe metal ring ) and
6 CHIFFCHAFF, also GREY WAGTAIL
Severe storms and wind gusting F 9 this morning resulted in a brief visit to South Huish Marsh - main interest were the Gulls , unfortunately no white winged , an impressive total of 210 LESSER BLACK BACKED
( probably a site record ), 1200 + HERRING, 40 GREAT BLACK BACKED and 150 BLACK HEADED( no MEDS )
LITTLE GREBE, 60 TEAL, 15 WIGEON , 5 SNIPE all trying to take cover
On T'stone Marsh 4 MUTE SWAN almost no lying water and a male
CIRL BUNTING .
Hopefully can get back to normal on Th