WED 29 FEB 2012

Tied up most of the day so had to make do with a late afternoon scan of Thurlestone marsh - 26 WIGEON , 15 TEAL, 1 m SHOVELER, 1m GADWALL, 2 LAPWING, 1 BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. At 17.30 2 CURLEW flew in to roost and earlier a male CETTIS WARBLER was trying to out perform a couple of WATER RAIL.


Total number of species recorded on the patch this month was 106 ( compares with 97 last year ).News just rec'd of a ringtail HEN HARRIER over South Milton Ley mid month


An early start Thurs as a new month dawns, nice to think only 25 days to BST and tose light evenings as well as the first of the summer migrant arrivals .

TUES 28 FEB 2012

Mild day with little wind and a flat calm sea.

On Thurlestone Marsh this am little change with WIGEON down to 26 and TEAL 15. Only 1 SHOVELER and 1 LAPWING.


Male PINTAIL still on South Huish Marsh but no sign of the CASPIAN GULL. Offshore the first small GREBE over the sea flying west , unfortunately too far out to ID .

NUTHATCH still in Horswell House wood.


At Upton Cross the first singing male YELLOWHAMMER.


South Milton Ley had 10 CHIFFCHAFF, 3 CETTIS WARBLER, 1 m BLACKCAP, 2 WATER RAIL ,2 GOLDCREST, 5 REDWING . In a local field a nice HARE.


With no sun went down to the Bay at 16.30  to look through the gull roost- amongst the 200 BLACK HEADED GULL were 2 MED GULL ( a1st and a 2nd winter ) surprisingly the first for Feb. 2 COMMON SCOTER on the sea

MON 27 FEB 2012

Great to be back out on the patch even if weather consisted of low cloud and drizzle all morning.


This Gavinitus Larus bug has really taken hold- not that many contestants today apart from 2 COMMON GULL moving east and then at 10.30  on SOUTH HUISH MARSH having a mid morning bathe a superb 1st winter CASPIAN GULL. At long last I can add this to my patch life/year list. Thanks Gavin for getting me giong !

Only  item off shore a single GANNET.


Still some waders on the beach- 7 SANDERLING,  9 RINGED PLOVER, 12 TURNSTONE.


Drake PINTAIL still on South Huish Marsh..


No new additions for Thurlestone Marsh

SUN 26 FEB 2012

Confined to my bed for 2 days so no Bay report. Thankfully I can still keep my eye on the back of the Marsh.


On Sat. apair of GADWALL & 2 pairs of SHOVELER were new arrivals  . Reduction in duck numbers , particulrly TEAL -15 today . Still 25/30 SNIPE around.


This morning a calling LITTLE GREBE (never bred here )


Hopefully should be back on the patch Mon

FRI 24 FEB 2012

Only change on Thurlestone Marsh this morning was 4 SHELDUCK- they appear around 07.30 and usually depart around 9.30


In the Bay 8 COMMON SCOTER flew in from the west and landed on the sea .


Whilst Nick Townsend was doing his coservation work at South Milton Ley he flushed a WOODCOCK ( 116 ) a first for the year and saw the FIRECREST

THURS 23 FEB 2012

Cloudy with poor viz offshore.


On Thurlestone Marsh  during the day - 2 SHELDUCK were new arrivals , 50 WIGEON , 20 TEAL, 4 m SHOVELER, 2 LITTLE EGRET, 1ad YELLOW - LEGGED GULL,     5 LAPWING, 1 CURLEW. On my feeders -18 REED BUNTING , 6 GOLDFINCH .,1 m BLACKCAP.


Introduced Nigel Pinhorn to the wader roost sites this morning where  we had - 14 RINGED PLOVER, 9 SANDERLING,  7 TURNSTONE


At South HUish Marsh - the first REDSHANK ( 115) of the year (having told Nigel that we only had 3 records last year ) , 1m PINTAIL, 26 WIGEON, 7 TEAL,& the GREYLAG GOOSE.

On the rocks in front of the flats  another TURNSTONE, a 1st w BLACK REDSTART. , a flock of 60+ PIED WAGTAIL

WED 21 FEB 2012

The first good blow for a while  F6/7 SW with an increasingly rough sea, heavy rain arrived on cue at 11.15. A good day with 2 patch year ticks .


At 08.00 on Thurlestone Marsh were - 45 WIGEON , 25 TEAL, 2 m SHOVELER, 2 LAPWING  , 50 SNIPE,  1 BLACK TAILED GODWIT.


On South Huish Marsh  a new arrival - a female TUFTED DUCK  ( 113 ) and another male PINTAIL.  21 WIGEON , 7 TEAL.


Seawatching from the shelter of the flats ,  until the rain and poor viz set in - highlight was a single BALEARIC SHEARWATER ( 114 ) flying west at 10.40. along with 12 GANNET, 6 FULMAR, 7 COMMON GULL.


Waders on the beach - 7 TURNSTONE, 2 DUNLIN.


TUES 21 FEB 2012

Another day away from the patch- went over to Newport (Wales ) to see the YELLOWTHROAT- had good views within a few minutes of arriving, weather not conducive for long periods in the open ( constant drizzle and cloud ) , went missing for almost  an hour then showed briefly again. Stunning colourful bird .


On the way back stopped off at Shapwick Heath managed to pick up GREAT WHITE EGRET, KINGFISHER, BITTERN , REDPOLL , and lots of common duck. This list is a team effort not everyone saw all of them . 


Good day out with Eric W , Alan D and Vic T .


Still no sign of the GLOSSY IBIS at 17.00

Mon 20 FEB 2012

Back on the patch this morning- after a cold night  over 50% of the marshes were frozen at 08.00. On Thurlestone marsh were -  42 WIGEON, 30 TEAL, 2 m SHOVELER,  2 COOT, 1 WATER PIPIT , 2 LAPWING, 1 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 25 SNIPE


Over at South Huish Marsh  24 WIGEON, 3 TEAL, 4 SONG THRUSH .




Horswell House Wood held a NUTHATCH, whilst at South Milton Ley 20 REDWING, ") LONG TAILED TIT, 3 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 COAL TIT, 1 GREY WAGTAIL.


No sign of the GLOSSY IBIS since 17.00 on Friday.


Whist sitting on Beacon Pt admiring the view 4 FERAL PIGEON / ROCK DOVE  (112 ) flew west

FRI 17 FEB 2012

GLOSSY IBIS feeding on the back of the Marsh early am and most of the afternoon, unfotunately for Tom & Jock from Plymouth not when they were on site - sorry guys. WIGEON increased to 56 and Teal to 50.


1 WATER PIPIT at lunchtime as well as 2 LAPWING & the BLACK TAILED GODWIT.

THe Gavinitus Larus  bug increased again today  a noticable increase in Gulls , at 13.00 there were over 300 BLACK HEADED GULL, 10 LESSER B B GULL & 2 COMMON GULL on Thurlestone Marsh ( not a MED amongst them ).


Waders on the beaches 4 TURNSTONE , 7 SANDERLING


Over at South Huish marsh a male PINTAIL stll showing well .


10 COMMON GULL in the Bay this morning was our largest number for some time

Thurs 16 FEB 2012

Glossy Ibis still feeding on the back marsh at 08.00.


Over at South Huish marsh  the  2 male PINTAIL still present  ,joined by 3m 1f SHOVELER  20 WIGEON and the GREYLAG GOOSE .


There seems to be a funny bug going round - started  on the AXE where it was named GAVINITUS  LARUS !! - it has now spread to Thurlestone Bay, I found myself spending over an hour watching 5 COMMON GULL this morning couldn't turn any of them into a Ring Billed. Only other bird in the Bay was a FULMAR.


News from yesterday morning - Mike Miller had 6 BRENT GOOSE fly onto South Huish Marsh

WED 15 FEB 2012

Started out like a spring day  until a brisk N wind got up mid morning .


At 08.00 the GLOSSY IBIS was feeding on the back marsh where it spent until 16.30 feeding often amongst the flock of 50 WIGEON. The BLACK TAILED GODWIT has returned  feeding along with 30 SNIPE and 2 LAPWING . TEAL flock still around 30.


Walking down Mallards Lane produced a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and 2 female BULLFINCH.


Waders on the beachesat high tide - 16 RINGED PLOVER, 12 SANDERLING, 5 TURNSTONE-  late news from yesterday  AJL had 2 PURPLE SANDPIPER on Warren Pt rocks..


Last but by no means least star birds of the day were  2 male PINTAIL (111)

feeding on South Huish Marsh. Not every year do we get males on the patch , really did make a great end to a morning that produced only 1 GANNET offshore

TUES 14 FEB 2012

GLOSSY IBIS  feeding at the back of the Marsh at 08.00 & 13.15. 2 LAPWING, 35 SNIPE  ,2 SHOVELER , 1m GADWALL.


6 TURNSTONE were the only waders recorded.


In the Bay - 12 KITTIWAKE , 8 GANNET, 1 ad YELLOW L GULL.




Went over to BEESANDS LEY this afternoon to see the 5 SMEW

MON 13 FEB 2012

First local news- June Huggins saw the first GREBE of the year - a LITTLE GREBE  ( 110 ) on the Marsh


AJL had the 1st w male BLACK REDSTART  near the flats on Sun.


Doug Stannard and I  had a twitching day in Cornwall with some good results -- BUFFLEHEAD,  SMEW, 6 GOOSANDER , 2 FIRECREST at LOE POOL.


At Helston Sewage Works - 30 + CHIFFCHAFF ( inc 1 Tristis type ), 1 FIRECREST.


Marazion / Long Rock - 2 GREAT N DIVER, m SURF SCOTER, F LONG T DUCK,



SUN 12 FEB 2012

Graham Daw  provided the wader info from the beach this morning-


11 SANDERLING  , 5 RINGED PLOVER,  14 TURNSTONE, he also had the 6 COMMON SCOTER offshore and a MERLIN flying over South Huish marsh.


On Thurlestone marsh  -the GLOSSY IBIS flew in at 16.30, lots of SNIPE feeding in the open at least 60, 2 LAPWING. No change in duck numbres .


18 REED BUNTING at my feeders. A female BLACKCAP in a local garden

SAT 11 FEB 2012

Another cold day with increasing amounts of cloud . Coastal WeBS count carried out this morning produced :-




Earlier on the Marsh- GLOSSY IBIS, 3 MUTE SWAN, 50 WIGEON , 30 TEAL, 5 SHOVELER, 2 LAPWING, 35  SNIPE.


AJL had 3 WATER PIPIT on the marsh by the road

FRI 10 FEB 2012

A cold dreary and wet day an hour watching from the car produced 5 BLACK HEADED GULL and 8 GREAT B B GULL alternative sites resuted .


Before an expedtition to Tragos (AH! ) the GLOSSY IBIS on the Marsh at 08.00 ,joined by a GREEN SANDPIPER wich spent an hour feeding. 3 LITTLE EGRET were the first for some weeks


At 17.00 whilst watching the GLOSSY IBIS the STARLING roost had built up to 2000 with some good flying displays


To offset the fear of shopping visits made to Stover C Park - 2 MARSH TIT< GREEN WOODPECKER,   SISKIN


On the way back  stopped off at Buckfastleigh - rewarded with my largest flock of 35 MANDARIN ( at lest 25 males ), 2 GOOSANDER , 2 DIPPER

THURS 9 FEB 2012

A fine sunny if cold day, very little wind, Marsh 30 % frozen.


5 GADWALL flew in at 08.30 otherwise all the same as yesterday.


On Warren Pt 3 PURPLE SANDPIPER were roosting on the rocks ( Last Sat  Nick T was sure he had 3  in the same area . )


At South Huish Marsh  a 1st w male BLACK REDSTART was on the fence posts.


At Horswell House wood 2 NUTHATCH and 2 JAY were found.


This afternoon needed some more bird feed from Southdown Farm on the way back stopped off at Bolberry Down car park- there were 18 CIRL BUNTING  and 8 REED BUNTING in the hedgerow

Wed 8 FEB 2012

Coldest day of the winter with a biting ENE wind, surprising that the Marsh was not frozen over.


GLOSSY IBIS feeding at 08.00 flew back in at 16.00 (where is going to ? )



Late pm on the Marsh 2 WATER PIPIT, 10 REDWING, 18 REED BUNTING on my feeders.


10.00 Waders on the beach - 8 SANDERLING, 7 RINGED PLOVER, 10 TURNSTONE. Only 1 GANNET in the Bay.


At S. M  LEY- 7 CHIFFCHAFF ( inc 1 tristis type ) WATER RAIL , GREY WAGTAIL.


At Whitley X farm- 15 FIELDFARE - largest flock for a month

TUES 7 FEB 2012

Beautiful sunny day , the cold spell does not seem to have pushed any birds in our direction.


GLOSSY IBIS on the Marsh at 08.00& 12.30 along with the same numbers of Duck as yesterday.


A female BLACK REDSTART in a neighbours garden this morning

Mon 6 FEB 2012

Another quiet day-  flat calm sea  with 6 COMMON SCOTER far out, 4 WIGEON on the sea & 2 FULMAR in the Bay


GLOSSY IBIS  feeding on Thurlestone Marsh along with  55 WIGEON




NICK T had a PURPLE SANDPIPER   ( 109 )  on the rocks at Warren Pt on Sat morning

SUN 5 FEB 2012

 At 08.15 the GLOSSY IBIS returned to feed on the back of the marsh.


The  GREYLAG GOOSE found refuge on the marsh along with 100+ CANADA'S. 4 MUTE SWAN flew over going west, Duck consisted of  50 WIGEON , 40 TEAL, 5 SHOVELER.


Waders on the marsh were BLACK TAILED GODWIT, LAPWING, 20 SNIPE increased to 55 when a flock flew in at 16.00.


Waders on the beach this morning were  7 SANDERLING, & 4 RINGED PLOVER

SAT 4 FEB 2012

Waders on Yarmer Beach this morning before the weathe closed in --


4 RINGED PLOVER,  5 TURNSTONE , 8 SANDERLING , latter is a winter site max for me.


A lone FULMAR flew across the Bay.


Thurlestone Marsh was 80% frozen early on  but still held  50 WIGEON , 30 TEAL, 3 SHOVELER,  1 COOT ( first for some months ) 1 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, 2 LAPWING , 1 WATER PIPIT , 1 m BLACKCAP,


21 REED BUNTING and 20 GOLDFINCH at the feeders

FRI 3 FEB 2012

After a 12.5 hour overnight flight arrived back in Thurlestone at 12.00, managed to get back on the patch by 14.30 and rewarded with some good sightings.


On Thurlestone Marsh - and around our garden -30 WIGEON , 25 TEAL, 4  SHOVELER , 4  LAPWING, 40 SNIPE , at least 1 JACK SNIPE,   2 male BLACKCAP.


Later in the evening 2 TAWNY OWL  calling


At South Huish Marsh  2 GOLDEN PLOVER  (107 ) in the field behind the cafe were the first of the year. 3m 1f GADWALL,GREY LAG GOOSE,  15 TEAL, 5 WIGEON ,  5 LAPWING.





1 SHELDUCK ( 108 ) another first of the year,   Another 5 GADWALL and 5 WIGEON