THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS
At last a month with below average rainfall but summer temperatures were few and far between. Only 1 day of strong winds 13th W 7/8 winds from the west dominated.
Monthly total of species recorded was only 98 (c/f 102-2012) however two main reasons – Bob was in Thailand from 3rd so no ringing undertaken and I was in France until 9th.
3 new species for the year were recorded – PUFFIN, SOOTY SHEARWATER, SHORT EARED OWL.
A very interesting ringing recovery included in the brief ringing report.
Significant sightings for the month:
MUTE SWAN – 3 cygnets on Thurlestone Marsh now growing quickly.
SHELDUCK – 2 pairs have bred – one with 8 almost fully fledged young and another with 4. This is probably the largest total that will fledge for a number of years.
MALLARD – second broods continue to hatch but like the first broods very few get beyond the first week.
TEAL - first returning bird a female on 10th, 4 flew in the Bay on 22nd.
GARGANEY – AJL had a female briefly on 4th.
COMMON SCOTER – 3 on 13th, 20 on 17th and a remarkable 75 on 26th.
MANX SHEARWATER – 3 figure totals on 4 days – 522 on 13th, 345 on 24th, 101 on 24th and 115 on 30th.
SOOTY SHEARWATER – an early record – one found resting on the sea before flying off west on 24th.
GANNET – Good totals of 300+ on10th and 295 on 22nd – seen daily.
FULMAR – another seen almost daily – max 27 on 13th.
KITTIWAKE – max passage 22 on 13th.
SANDWICH TERN – only recorded with singles on 2 days and 2 on 19th.
SKUAS – A total of 20 records covering 3 species.
POMARINE SKUA – An adult flew east on 11th.
ARCTIC SKUA – Singles on 3 days, 5 on 13th and a max of 8 on 11th.
GREAT SKUA – 3 flew east on 13th.
OYSTERCATCHER – Max 22 on 26th.
SANDERLING – 4 on 12th.
DUNLIN – 1 on 14th and 3 on 30th.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT – 1 in non-breeding plumage from 10th to 29th. Joined by another from 14th – 19th.
WHIMBREL – max 4 on 11th, last migrants 2 on 13th.
CURLEW – first returning birds 2 over Thurlestone Marsh late evening of 30th.
TURNSTONE – AJL had the only record a single on 18th.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL – first passage birds 2 – 1st summer on 14th and an adult on 21st.
BLACK HEADED GULL – recorded 3 days at the end of the month.
Small numbers of GUILLEMOT and RAZORBILL all month. 2 PUFFIN flew east early on 13th.
A Barn owl watched hunting over the Golf Course at 19.00 on 3rd.
SHORT EARED OWL – A surprising summer record (one was reported from nearby Bolt Tail) of one feeding over fields behind the Church on the afternoon of 13th.
HIRUNDINES – By the end of the month juveniles starting to feed over the marshes max counts –
SWALLOW – 45 on 23rd and then on 30th first roost – 120 at 20.45.
HOUSE MARTIN – 50+ on 23rd.
SAND MARTIN – first retiring migrants (none breed locally) 2 on 28th.
SWIFT -30 on 23rd.
WHITETHROAT – several pairs breeding in the hedgerows.
CHIFFCHAFF and BLACKCAP – both breeding at South Milton Ley and in West Buckland Valley.
REED WARBLER and SEDGE WARBLER – juvs on both marshes by months end – best counts of adults around 15 of each.
CETTIS WARBLER – present on South Milton Ley.
MISTLE THRUSH – evidence of 2 pairs breeding in West Buckland Valley.
WOODPECKERS – Both GREEN AND GREAT SPOOTED holding territory in at least 3 separate sites.
BUNTING – YELLOWHAMMER – several pairs breeding around the hedge rows.
REED BUNTING – again pairs breeding on both South Milton Ley and both marshes.
CIRL BUNTING – A male seen regularly.