THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
A mixed bag of weather, some mild temperatures, frost on 4 days. Winds predominately from West, withforce 10/11 on 8th, as winds turned East towards the end of the month provided a flat sea on 25th and 29th.
The good start to the year in January continued this month with a total of 104 species recorded (c/f 2015 – 98, 2014 – 93). 9 new species for the year included a very early MANX SHEARWATER, GOLDENEYE, JACK SNIPE and SHORT EARED OWL, taking the years total to 119 (c/f2015 -110, 2014 – 104)
Highlights this month:-
BRENT GOOSE – 2 pairs of DB in the Bay on 11th and 15th also 1 flew west on 18th.
MALLARD –Up to 50 on both marshes, still predominance of males.
SHELDUCK – Max 7 on 15th.
RUDDY SHELDUCK – Present with the CANADA flock throughout the month.
WIGEON – Max 65 on 10th reducing to 16 on 29th.
TEAL – Max 115 on 28th.
PINTAIL – First of the year a F on 24th.
GADWALL – First of the year a F on 7th, also a M on 24th.
SHOVELER – A F throughout the month with 2 on 28th.
TUFTED DUCK – A M from 10th – 15th.
COMMON SCOTER – Still sparse only recorded on 5 days max 5 on 25th/26th.
GOLDENEYE – 3 male briefly on the sea on 28th before flying off east. Only the second recording of a male in 14 years and first record of more than a single bird. Last recorded in January 2013.
DIVERS – GANNET, FULMAR AND SHEARWATER
Singles of all 3 Divers recorded but still infrequently
RED THROATED – Singles on 4 dates.
BLACK THROATED – Single in the Bay on 22 (when all 3 species recorded)
GREAT NORTHERN – Singles on 4 dates.
GANNET – Very low numbers this month, quite a few days when not recorded, max 16 on 22nd and 35 on 26th.
FULMAR – Singles throughout the month, max 9 on 28th.
MANX SHEARWATER – A very early record, a single bird picked up flying W in calm conditions on 25th when it landed on the sea.
EGRET, HERON, GREBE and RAILS.
LITTLE EGRET – Up to 6 seen regularly on both marshes.
HERON – Up to 4 on both marshes /rocks
WATER RAIL – Appear to have moved from Thurlestone Marsh but 2 at South Milton Ley on 10th.
LITTLE GREBE – Pair on South Huish Marsh throughout.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE – First for the year 26th with 3 on 29th.
RAPTORS AND OWLS
MARSH HARRIER – the imm female over South Huish Marsh on 7th and 14th
BUZZARD, KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and PEREGRINE all recorded.
BARN OWL – 1 near Horswell House wood on 21st.
TAWNY OWL – Recorded from 4 sites.
SHORT EARED OWL – 1 picked up flying in off the sea on 28th.
WADERS – 9 species recorded.
OYSTERCATCHER – Up to30 birds feeding on South Huish Marsh monthly max was 40 on 15th.
RINGED PLOVER – Wintering flock of 7 on the rocks throughout.
LAPWING – Present throughout but only a max of 5 (very low numbers this winter)
PURPLE SANDPIPER – 3 on the rocks on 24th.
DUNLIN – Recorded on 4 days with 2 on South Huish Marsh on28th
SNIPE – Present throughout the month with a max of 60 on 16th. 20 flushed from reed at South Milton Ley on 29th.
JACK SNIPE – 1 flushed by a BUZZARD at South Huish Marsh on 15th.
CURLEW – Singles on 10th and 23rd.
TURNSTONE – Wintering flock of up to 8 on the rocks throughout.
KITTIWAKE – Max 8 on 5th.
COMMON GULL – 1 on South Huish Marsh on 15th.
BLACK HEADED GULL – Max 300 on the marsh on 11th.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Amongst the BLACK HEADED flocks max 5 on 15th.
LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL – Max of 40 on 2nd.
HERRING GULL – Max of 1200 on South Huish Marsh on 11th.
KINGFISHER – Single recorded on 1st and 11th.
WOODPECKERS, JAY, CREST AND TITS.
GREEN WOODPECKER – Still only recorded in Buckland Valley.
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER – Recorded from 4 sites.
JAY – Recorded at 2 sites.
GOLDCREST – Small numbers at 4 sites.
FIRECREST – Singles in gardens at South Huish marsh on 11th and 24th.
COAL TIT – Present at 3 sites, unusually 3 together on 16 in a Thurlestone Garden.
CETTIS WARBLER – Still only reported from South Milton Ley.
CHIFFCHAFF – Present at 5 sites, mainstay still South Milton Ley with up to 10.
SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF – A 3rd bird ringed at South Milton Ley on 24th.
BLACKCAP – Still only site is a Thurlestone Garden where a pair feed regularly.
NUTHATCH – Recorded at 3 sites.
STARLING AND THRUSHES
STARLING – In previous years the wintering flocks have been very numerous, this month only 2 records with a max of 5 at South Huish Marsh on 12th. (where have they gone)
FIELDFARE – Up to 10 with REDWING on 6th in South Milton Village.
REDWING – Largest flock of the year 150+ at South Milton Ley on 29th when a number were singing.
MISTLE THRUSH – Reported from 3 sites.
SONG THRUSH – Reported from 4 sites.
PIPITS, FINCHES, BUNTINGS,LARKS and CHATS.
WATER PIPIT – Up to 3 on South Huish Marsh throughout.
MEADOW PIPIT – A flock of 60+ flying up the Valley over Thurlestone Marsh on 13th, otherwise up to 40 at South Huish Marsh.
STONECHAT - Max 6 on 18th.
CHAFFINCH – No large flocks reported, max 35 on 9th.