MAY 2014



Another month with relatively light winds (only up to F5) with S/SEon only 3 days producing a few SKUA’s.   Rainfall below average.


During the month 5 new birds for the year – FERAL PIGEON (at last!) GARGANEY, SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, GARDEN WARBLER and RED KITE – still no sign of HOBBY taking the total to 158 (c/f 2013 – 161)  The number of species recorded was 110 (c/f 2013 – 116) with no ringing undertaken this is a very reasonable total.


Significant solutions for the month


MUTE SWAN – A total of 8 on the patch on 15th.  Pair at South Huish Marsh abandoned their nest and left the site.  Pair on Thurlestone Marsh produced 3 cygnets both parents and young on the water from 26th.



SHELDUCK – The pair on South Huish Marsh down to 2 ducklings by 31st.   Pair of 6 young and another pair plus 3 young on the sea on separate dates.   Max were 20 adults on 12th.

TEAL – a male on South Huish Marsh all month.

MALLARD – Broods still being hatched – very few lasting more than a week.

TUFTED DUCK – A male flew up the valley off Thurlestone Marsh on 11th.

GARGANEY – AFD found a male on South Huish marsh on 4th.

COMMON SCOTER – Passage birds on 3 days max 9 on 25th.  A flock of 35 on the sea from 19th – 24th when it increased to 55.



Only GREAT NORTHERN DIVER recorded – AJL had one flying through on 24th  whilst on 30th I had an adult in full sp only 30 yards offshore on the sea.



FULMAR – Only local breeding birds recorded with a max of 4 on 28th.

GANNET – In the Bay most days – max 160 feeding flock on 15th, best passage total 95 on 26th.

MANX SHEARWATER – Only recorded on 3 days from 26th max 20 west on 30th.

BALEARIC SHEARWATER – A single bird flew east on 25th.



LITTLE EGRET – Resident on both marshes, some movement to/from Avon Estuary max 5 on 16th and 23rd.

HERON – up to 6 recorded on both marshes.



SPARROWHAWK continue to be elusive, again only 1 record.   Eric W had a BARN OWL late on 15th on the outskirts of the village.  On 22nd a visiting birder from Bath had a RED KITE fly over the fields again just outside the village.   June Higgins had a surprise visitor in her garden on 2nd a female MERLIN.



MOORHEN – Only 1 pair managed to hatch and then only 1.

COOT – Nest failed on South Huish Marsh – 3 birds last recorded on 11th.




13 species recorded during the month, no significant passage of BAR TAILED GODWIT a max of 22 on 6th and singles on 3 other dates.

BLACK TAILED GODWIT – only 1 record 3 on 12th.

A good passage (for us) of GREY PLOVER with 4 on 19th, 3 on 18th and 21st and singles on 6th and 24th.   A single GOLDEN PLOVER in off the sea on 12th was unexpected.

DUNLIN – passage highest on 6th with 37, thereafter max of 6 on 19th.

SANDERLING  - passage from 18th max were 20 on 21st and 19 on 24th.

RINGED PLOVER – Very few this year, only recorded on 4 days with a  max of 6 on 15th.

OYSTERCATCHER –  max 10 on 31st.

WHIMBREL – present throughout the month, max 72 on 6th fell back to 19 on 12th reducing to 11 by the month end.

CURLEW -2 birds around for  a couple of days around 11th.

COMMON SANDPIPER – 1 on the rocks on 22nd/23rd.

REDSHANK – 2 on South Huish Marsh on 6th.

TURNSTONE – Recorded on 5 days, singles apart from 2 on 6th and 3 on 20th.



POMARINE SKUA – Perry S had 6 flying east on 6th, a single also east on 25th.

ARCTIC SKUA – Singles on 6th and 25th.

GREAT SKUA – Singles on 23rd and 25th.



GLAUCOUS GULL – Bird which had been present for some weeks last seen on 13th.

BLACK HEADED GULL – very few records from mid month.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Only record a single on 6th.

KITTIWAKE – Again only recored on a few days in small numbers.



SANDWICH TERN – passage of 17 birds on 21st.

COMMON TERN -  a single on 21st and 3 on 27th.



SWIFT – Passage of 40 on 12th and 85 on 30th.

SAND MARTIN – Only singles on 3 dates.

HOUSE MARTIN – 50 on 12th and 45 on 30th otherwise just the resident breeders.

SWALLOW – 60 on 12th , roost at Thurlestone Marsh on 21st reached 200+.



CHIFFCHAFF – plenty of birds calling throughout the patch.

BLACKCAP – 6 on 14th, breeding at South Milton Ley and Buckland Valley.

GARDEN WARBLER – Only record a single on 14th.

WHITETHROAT – Present in all areas of the patch, - at least 25 birds

SEDGE WARBLER – Plenty of breeding activity at both Marshes.

REED WARBLER – Probably no more than 4 singing males.

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – first record was in Buckland Valley on 14th, with 1 in the copse on 15th.

STONECHAT – At least 3 pairs have bred with fledged birds along the coast path.

WHEATEAR – Only 1 recorded at the beginning of the month.



BULLFINCH at South Milton Ley,

GOLDFINCH – good breeding success, as have GREENFINCH.  

CHAFFINCH in several areas but no young recorded yet.

YELLOWHAMMER – several males in the hedgerows along the lanes.

REED BUNTING – Several pairs in the marshes.

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