DECEMBER 2017- THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
A month of contrasting weather with some mild spells at the beginning - cold with frost on 5 days mid month.
Stormy with F8 and 9 gales at the month end. Heavy rain on13th and 14th, 26th and 27th, 29th, 30th and 31st. Months end both Marshes flooded.
Two additions to the year list - BITTERN and a hybrid AMERICAN WIGEON/WIGEON took the total to 204 (c/f 2016 - 202, 2015 - 187).
Only 108 species recorded (the expected influx of winter duck just not occurred this month) - c/f 2016 - 112, 2015 - 101)
DIPPER - 1 by Hatch Bridge on 13th.
WADERS - A total of 12 species recorded.
OYSTERCATCHER - Max 23 on 11th.
RINGED PLOVER - Max10on 20th.
LAPWING - A lone bird on South Huish Marsh all month. On 12th a flock of 45 sighted near the Churstow roundabout.
DUNLIN - A single bird recorded from 7th at South Huish Marsh.
SNIPE - Max. Of 90+ on South Huish Marshon 22nd (flushed by a SPARROWHAWK)
BLACK T. GODWIT - Max of 11 from 7th - 13th at South Huish Marsh
CURLEW - On South Efford Marsh - 16 on 11th.
COMMON SANDPIPER -Max of 6 on Avon Estuary on 15th.
GREEN SANDPIPER - 1 on Avon Estuary on 13th.
GREENSHANK - Max of 6 on 15th on South Efford Marsh.
REDSHANK - Max of 4 on 15th on South Efford Marsh.
TURNSTONE - Maxof 18 on 11th.
KITTIWAKE - Max through the Bay 18 on 21st.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL - 2 on South Huish Marsh on 7th and 11th.
COMMON GULL - 4 on South Huish Marshon 7th was the max this year.
BARN OWL - Reported from 2 sites.
TAWNY OWL - Reported from several sites.
CRESTS AND WARBLERS
GOLDCRESTS - Reported from 4 sites,a total of 8 Ringed on 2 dates.
FIRECREST - The Autumn influx resulted in many more records than previous years - 1 ringed at South Milton Ley on 5th, 2 on site on 18th and 19th, 2 at Aveton Gifford on 6th and 27th, 1 in Thurlestone Garden on 12th.
CETTIS WARBLER - 2 at South Milton Ley on 5th and 1on 18th.
CHIFFCHAFF - Influx at South Milton Ley with 12 ringed on 5th,15 on 18th when total on site estimated at 30+. Also recorded from 3
SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF - 1 Ringed at South Milton Ley on 5th and also on site on both 18th and 19th.
BLACKCAP - 1 in a South Milton garden 21st surprisingly the only record.
YELLOW BROWED WARBLER - Dave Pakes had 1 in the hedgerow near the Sewage Works on 6th.
NUTHATCH - Around Aveton Gifford is the stronghold for these - 2 on 15th and 27th.
FIELDFARE - Huxton Cross main site with70+ on7th and 12th and 120+ on 20th. Other sites recorded a max of 5.
REDWING - Huxton Cross recorded the max of 100+ on 12th. At South Milton Ley 80+on 19th.
MISTLE THRUSH - Only singles at 2 sites.
SONG THRUSH - Noticeable increase with a total of 8 on 12th and 17th, 6 in the Copse on 27th.
STARTS, PIPITS, FINCHES, BUNTINGS ETC.
BLACK REDSTART -A female around my garden on 15th and 18th.
MEADOW PIPIT - Max 100+ on South Efford Marsh on 11th.
WATER PIPIT - 3 on South Efford Marsh on 11th,singles at both Marsh Sites on several dates.
GOLDFINCH - Max 40 over my garden on 12th.
BULLFINCH - Max 9 around Aveton Gifford on 11th.
YELLOWHAMMER - Single male at Huxton Cross on 12th and 22nd.
CIRL BUNTING - In my garden on several dates with a pair on 17th.
REED BUNTING - Low numbers this winter - 3 Ringed at South Milton Ley on 18th. Up to 3 regularly on my feeders.
TREE CREEPER - 1 at Aveton Gifford on 27th was first record since March
Will endeavour to write a brief annual review early next month.
A year of some standout highlights and disappointments with the numbers of Duck particularly Seaduck.
A New Year always brings the expectations of what might be recorded.