AUGUST 2016 Another poor month with only 95 species recorded (c/f 2015 – 117, 2014 – 118) with 3 new species for the year – GREENSHANK, GREEN SANDPIPER, DARTFORD WARBLER taking the total to 173 (c/f 2015 – 173, 2014 – 167). Undoubtedly the main reason for the low totals due to the maintenance work which was carried out in the last week resulting in the Marsh being dry all month. Weather for the month was mainly fine and warm, rain only recorded during 2 days 6th and 19th. Winds of note F 5/6 SSE on 19th SW F 7/8 on 20th and W 6 on 21st. Highlights for the month CANADA GOOSE – first record for some weeks (only one for the month) were 4 flying over my garden evening of 23rd. DUCKS SHELDUCK – A Juv on the Marsh on 26th and 27th. TEAL – Max 3 on 11th. GARGENEY – A pair in eclipse landed on one of the low water rock pools off Yarmer Beach on 17th. COMMON SCOTER – Only 3 records max 10 on 7th. FULMAR , SHEARWATER AND GANNET. FULMAR – max 22 on 15th. SOOTY SHEARWATER – 1 flew west on 19th. MANX SHEARWATER – 3 figure totals were 100 on 15, 140 on 21st and a max of 208 on 19th. BALEARIC SHEARWATER – recorded on 4 days max of 5 on 19th. GANNET – 2 significant totals – max of 836 on 19th and on 20th a total of 710 included a feeding frenzy flock of at least 500. WADERS – a total of 15 species recorded but very low numbers. OYSTERCATCHER- Max 37 on 20th. LITTLE RINGED PLOVER – A Juv on 11th. RINGED PLOVER – Max 19 on 5th. SANDERLING – Max 15 on 20th. CURLEW SANDPIPER – first of the year were 2 briefly on the Marsh on21st. DUNLIN – Max 15 on 21st. SNIPE – 3 flew up the Valley on 17th. BLACK TAILED GODWIT – Singles on 5th and 31st. WHIMBREL – 2 on26th. CURLEW – 1 flew west on 26th. COMMON SANDPIPER – 1 reported on 12th. GREEN SANDPIPER – 1 on 29th. GREENSHANK – first for the year flew over calling on 7th. REDSHANK – 1 on the rocks on 29th. TURNSTONE – 1 on the beach on 21st. SKUA, GULLS AND TERNS GREAT SKUA – 2 flew east on 19th. KITTIWAKE – On 19th, 24 flew east all were Juvs, max 42 on21st (mostly adults) MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Not many this year – 1 on 1st, 2 on 20th and 21st. YELLOW LEGGED GULL – A Juv on the beach on 9th. LITTLE TERN – 1 flew through the Bay on 20th. SANDWICH TERN – Only 2 records, 2 on 7th and 26th. COMMON TERN – A single on 11th. ARCTIC TERN – A single on 20th. COMMIC TERN - 6 FLEW EAST ON 15TH. MISCELLANEOUS CUCKOO – Bob had a late one at South Milton Ley on 27th. KINGFISHER – 3 singles at South Milton Ley, 2 of which were ringed. GOLDCREST – 1 ringed on 26th. NUTHATCH – 1 flew over the Ley on 25th. SWIFT AND HIRUNDINES SWIFT – flocks of 21 on 1st and 20 on 5th. Last recorded 1 on 27th (Bob B) SAND MARTIN – Max 6 on 24th. SWALLOW – Largest roost 1250 on 16th HOUSE MARTIN – significant totals – 200+ on 24th and 150+ on 31st. WARBLERS DARTFORD WARBLER – A visiting birder Peter Carefoot from Glossop had a male along the road to West Buckland on 28th. Having spoken to Bob B this is probably a first for the patch. Whilst the numbers of various species were reasonable it is only when you total up the ringing returns that you realise how many birds pass through at this time of the year. I have records from Helen and Roger, Alan and Dave Scott covering 12 mornings when nets were opened. Totals are:- CHIFFCHAFF 56 REED WARBLER 83 WHITETHROAT 17 GROPPA 3 CETTIS WARBLER 1 PIED FLYCATCHER 1 Juv male WILLOW WARBLER 140 SEDGE WARBLER 180 (111 on 5th) BLACKCAP 21 GARDEN WARBLER 6 TREE PIPIT 11 SPOTTED FLYCATCHER 1 CONTROLS CETTIS WARBLER – Ringed on 11th April 2016 at South Milton Ley. Controlled on 6th August 2016 at Slapton Ley WILLOW WARBLER – Ringed on 11th April 2015 at Barajas, Madrid (Spain) Controlled on 29th August, 2015 at South Milton Ley. AND BUNTINGS YELLOW WAGTAIL – First was 1 on 2nd, really high passage from 26th to 31st, 50 on 26th, 30+ on 27th, 35+ on 29th, 22 on 30th, and 25+ on 31st. BLUE HEADED WAGTAIL – Tony reported a male on the Marsh on 30th. GREY WAGTAIL – Max 6 at South Milton Ley on 24th. WHITE WAGTAIL – 2 on South Huish Marsh on 23rd and 30th. TREE PIPIT – whilst 11 were ringed there were a total on site of 25 on 24th ( record patch count) and 12+ on 30th. MIPIT – Numbers building up with 20+ on 29th. YELLOW HAMMER – Several males still along the hedgerows. CIRL BUNTING – Birds recorded at 4 sites around the patch. SOUTH EFFORD MARSH – This Devon Wildlife Trust site is proving to be the main site for Waders. This month the star bird (and site first) was an Adult SPOTTED SANDPIPER first seen by Rod Bone on 6th, relocated on 8th and then seen daily until 14th. Other waders present. OYSTERCATCHER – 1 on the Marsh others on the Estuary. LITTLE RINGED PLOVER – A Juv on 13th. RINGED PLOVER – recorded daily with a max of 40 on 22nd. KNOT – Max 4 Juv on 29th. SANDERLING – 1 early in the month. LITTLE STINT – 3 Juv on 22nd – thereafter at least 1 daily to 31st. CURLEW SANDPIPER – 2 Juv on 21st, still 2 on 29th. DUNLIN – Recorded daily – max 20+ on 29th. SNIPE – Max 5 on 18th. BLACK TAILED GODWIT – Up to 2 on several days. WHIMBREL – Up to 3 present early part of the month. CURLEW – Max 32 on26th. COMMON SANDPIPER –Max 10 on 8th. GREEN SANDPIPER – Recorded on most days with a max of 5 on 16th. GREENSHANK – Max 4 on 16th, usually 3 most days. REDSHANK – Max 10 on 16th TURNSTONE – A patch tick for Eric on 27th A total of 17 species recorded. Other notable records – 9 MED GULL on 29th and an OSPREY on 29th. Heavy rain on the 3rd September resulted in water returning to both front and back pools at South Huish Marsh. Hopefully the waders will also return.
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