TUES 31 JULY 2012

Managed to get just over an hours seawatching in this morning before attending my neighbours funeral.


A brisk S wind starting at F4 and increasing - before the rain arrived , steady passage of birds almost all moving east.


160 GANNET, 60 MANX SHEARWATER, 4 BALEARIC SHEARWATER, 3 FULMAR, 1 KITTIWAKE , 10 COMMON TERN ( one group ) . Only bird flying west was a BONXIE


Only waders were 10 WHIMBREL, 14 OYSTERCATCHER


MON 30 JULY 2012

First some news for Sun afternoon  from Helen Williams at least 500 Manx Shearwaterthrough the Bay.


Waders this morning - 6 WHIMBREL, 4 SANDERLING, 2 RINGED PLOVER. 


At South Milton Ley- 4 WILLOW, 2 SEDGE, 2 REED . 1 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 GROPPA,



SUN 29 JULY 2012

 A walk round the Bay this morning produced Waders on the beaches--




Offshore about 20 GANNET , a feeding party of MANX SHEARWATER was in excess of 100 birds. Amongst 40 BLACK HEADED GULL was only 1 juv.


An ad WILLOW WARBLER and 2 CHIFFCHAFF were the only warblers picked up

Sat 28 JULY 2012

Early morning saw 3 GREEN SANDPIPER on the Marsh before flying off NW. In the garden were 5 CHIFFCHAFF, 3 WILLOW WARBLER 1 GARDEN WARBLER.


At 21.15 the SWALLOW roost reached a 1000  birds, this is the largest total so far - compares with in excess of 5000 last year.

Thurs 26 JULY 2012

No postings this week- very few birds, Grandaughters with us all week and my next door neighbour ( aged 47 ) collapsing and very unfortunately died in my lounge at 9.00 am on Tuesday despite the attendance of the paramedics and the Devon Air Ambulance


Bob B has had a few Warblers and is still very concerned about how few juv's are being caught.

Only new wader over the bay was a CURLEW.


On Thurlestone marsh tonight 3 GREEN SANDPIPER, 500 Swallow, 2 TEAL and an early returning male YELLOW WAGTAIL, 20 SWIFT , 1 HOBBY, 1 SPARROW HAWK

SUN 22 JULY 2012

With the perfect weather decided to make an early start for the WeBS counts.




Offshore 35 GANNET and 15 MANX SHEARWATER. In the Bay 2ad + 1juv SANDWICH TERN.


 At 19.45 Sat 2 GREEN SANDPIPER flew onto Thurlestone Marsh , later flew off in the direction of Aveton Gifford, Early this morning 1 on the marsh and another flew through at 12.00.


On South Huish Marsh this am 1 GREEN SANDPIPER.

Warblers on the patch included a few CHIFFCHAFF, 1 WILLOW WARBLER, 2 WHITETHROAT and 1 GARDEN WARBLER


First time I have seen Bob B with a smile on his face - not only was the car park full he caught over 20 birds this morning - 12 CHIFFCHAFF, 4 WILLOW WBLR, 2 REED WBLR, 2 SEDGE WBLR 1 BLACKCAP and 1 juv REED BUNTING

FRI & SAT 20/21 JULY 2012

At long last some sunny weather- although thins have still been quiet.


 South Huish Marsh produced 2 ad SAND MARTIN - they were the first on the patch for July. Bob B had a GREY WAGTAIL and Alan D the first juv WHEATEAR

 Waders on the beach/rocks were - 7 WHIMBREL, 12 SANDERLING, 4 DUNLIN.


Yeaterday evening had a 2hr trip down the Kingsbridge Est. 9 GREENSHANK in South Pool were nice, 1ad + 2 juv EGYPTIAN GOOSE were unexpected, 15 CURLEW , 3 SANDWICH TERN , 2ad + 2 1st/s  MEDITERRANEAN GULL.


This morning the first returning GREEN SANDPIPER on Thurlestone Marsh and another at 17.45. 4 LAPWING flew in off the sea over the car park and up the valley.


Whilst ringing ( or trying to ) Bob B had a HOBBY and 4 BULLFINCH . The only warbler caught was  a single ad BLACKCAP


 A few SWIFT moving through and a lot more SWALLOW and HOUSE MARTIN on the move

WED 18 JULY 2012

Another morning that would not be out of place in February - brisk wsw f5 wind , poor viz that got much worse in the rain. At times it was so bad that I did not see any birds for 35 mins.


Warren Pt sea watch from 08.45 - 12.30, not too much in quantity but some quality - totals were -


150+ GANNET, 1 FULMAR, 33 MANX SHEARWATER, 1 BALEARIC SHEARWATER  ( flew east at 09.10 ) 10 COMMON SCOTER -E , 1 POMARINE SKUA ( sub ad ) flew west at 10.00, 1 SOOTY SHEARWATER   ( 171 ) -west at 11.25, 1 COMMON TERN -west


In the Bay 2 WHIMBREL.


Yesterday sea watch abandond when I cold not see the sea from Beacon Pt !

MON 16 JULY 2012

Increasing WSW wind -up to F6 , poor viz  occasional showers and cold .


3hr sea watch this morning from Beacon Pt and 1hr this evening from the car park.


This morning on South Huish Marsh 3 s/p BLACK TAILED GODWIT.


Offshore - 100 GANNET, 80 MANX SHEARWATER, 5 BALEARIC SHEARWATER ( all these close inshore and flying east  )  3 FULMAR, 3 COMMON SCOTER and a RINGED PLOVER all east

SUN 15 JULY 2012

Very little to report - this morning 3 DUNLIN  on S H Marsh with a fair number of GANNET  offshore .


Yesterday Bob B had a CURLEW over, ANNE and I went over to Exmouth and at 17.30 off Mudbank Lane had a flock of Terns which contained - 150+ SANDWICH, 5 COMMON, and a ROSEATE. also 25 DUNLIN


On the way I was taken to TRAGO MILLS and a nice surprise - in the book section there were at least 6 copies of THE BIRDS OF LUNDY ( 2007 ed )

at a price of only £ 4.95- one is now on my bookshelves !


At lunchtime Anne found a large moth in the garden -turned out to be a Private Hawk Moth - I know they are fairly common but it got us excited.


Can someone give me some info on how to make a decent Moth trap, mine never seem to work !

FRI 13 JULY 2012

Spent 3 hrs seawatching off Warren Pt this morning and did not get wet!.


Passage slow but most of the birds were well offshore :-  totals were 


180 GANNET, 38 MANX SHEARWATER, only 1 BALEARIC SHEARWATER, 2 FULMAR and a dark phase ARCTIC SKUA which flew east at 10.00


In the Bay were 2 SANDWICH TERN, 2 WHIMBREL, 2 DUNLIN, 20 BLACK HEADED GULL ( inc 1 Juv )


On Thurlestone Marsh now 3 TEAL

WED 11 JULY 2012

Did The West Bucland valley walk yesterday morning- most of the breeding birds had dispersed- main interest was the warblers , managed to locate 6 CHIFFCHAFF, 3ad + 3juv BLACKCAP, 1ad + 1juv WHITETHROAT.


This morning in the Bay  AJL had 24 MANX SHEARWATER west  , 2 WHIMBREL on the rocks.


S H Marsh held a 1st s MED GULL, 8 BLACK HEADED GULL and the first returning COMMON SANDPIPER.


Althouigh heavy rain forcast for Thurs restricted viz and F 7  SW winds might bring something into the Bay

MON 9 JULY 2012

 Thankfully the marshes  are not fed by a river, most of our additional flooded areas  are  the result of the deluge and some run off from local fields. Certainly the years  that i have covered the patch these are the highest water levels I have known.

My application as the first Harbour Master has gone into Geoffrey Stidston who owns Thurlestone Marsh


Had to leave the patch over the weekend, however some reports that I have received are :-


July 4th - June H had a LAPWING over the marsh.



Late SUN the SWALLOW roost reached 200- somewhat down on previous years.


This morning 7 BLACK HEADED GULL in the Bay  inc our first Juv., there were 3 WHIMBREL on the rocks

FRI 6 JULY 2012

Back to our normal summer weather again - RAIN.


On Thurlestone marsh this morning 2 BLACK TAILED GODWIT . male TEAL.

20 SWIFT moved through ahead of the rain .

2 COMMON SCOTER flew east.


Bob B ringed 6 birds this am inc his first juv SEDGE WARBLER as well as 3 REED WARBLER


Instead of the forcast storms we had a nice f3/4 SE with v. good viz . Seawatch from Warren PT from 9.15- 12.15 and 16.00- 17.00  totals were -


GANNET - 385 (mostly east ) MANX SHEARWATER - 125 (east ),   BALEARIC SHEARWATER- 2 (east ) COMMON SCOTER -5 E  and 40 W (largest flock for months)

 MED GULL - 1 1st s east .


1 s/pl DUNLIN on the beach.


On Thurlestone marsh this morning- 1 s/pl BLACK TAILED GODWIT and  a male TEAL



 (with 3 juv )

The last juv SPOTTED FLYCATCHER did not survive the night

WED 4 JULY 2012

Waders on the beach/ rocks - 2 SANDERLING & 2 TURNSTONE - both early July records.


Thurlestone Marsh 1 s/pl BLACK TAILED GODWIT and a GREEN WOODPECKER flying over

TUES 3 JULY 2012

Another really awful day weather wise with very gloomy conditions almost continuous rain with viz very poor in the Bay.


New arrivals on Thurlestone Marsh were 9 sp BLACK TAILED GODWIT ( spent the day feeding on the back pool ). A few SWIFT and in excess of 30 HOUSE MARTIN .

Very few Swallow and no Sand Martin compared with  a roost of 800+ and 100 respectively last year .


Visited the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER  nest site in South Milton , only 1 fledgling still alive, parent visiting the site but not with any food ,.


Spent 2 hrs seawatching this morning- a large feeding flock of GANNET 250+ with many resting on the sea , another 75 flew through. Also 25 MANX SHEARWATER and 3 COMMON SCOTER

SUN 1 JULY 2012

 A sp BLACK TAILED GODWIT arrived on Thurlestone Marsh overnight and spent the day feeding at the back pool.

A SANDWICH TERN was in the bay. 


This afternoon a GREEN WOODPECKER flew over the garden ( has become scarce on the patch this year )