THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS JUNE 2015   The cooler weather in May continued for almost the first 3 weeks of June due to the predominantly Easterly winds almost daily up to 15th.   Only gale force was recorded on 2nd.   During the month Thurlestone Marsh front pool completely dried out leaving only a small amount of water on one of the back pools which is obscured by the surrounding reeds. 4 new species were added for the year taking the total up to a very respectable 165 (c/f 2014 – 160, 2013 – 164). Monthly total of species recorded was 99 (c/f 2014 – 93, 2013 – 98).   New species were BALEARIC SHEARWATER, WOOD SANDPIPER, QUAIL and a Hybrid BLUE HEADED/ SPANISH WAGTAIL.   A brief report of the significant sightings (time constraint with holidays)   MUTE SWAN – 1 on sea on 1st, 3 ad flew SE on 27th.  Nest on South Huish Marsh abandoned.   DUCKS SHELDUCK – Only evidence of breeding on 29th when a pair on the sea with 5 day old ducklings WIGEON – The lone male on South Huish marsh last seen on 16th. GADWALL – A pair on South Huish Marsh briefly on 18th (Bob B) TEAL – First returning birds –a pair on 9th and 3 on 12th. MALLARD – Max 60 on 9th.  On 30th 3 females with a total of 20 ducklings. TUFTED DUCK – On 10th a male flew west close in shore. COMMON SCOTER – Only recorded on 3 days – 22 on 15th, 39 on 29th and 18 on 30th   QUAIL – Bob B heard one calling early morning on 8th, corn field near Upton Cross.  Quite a few years since last recorded on the patch.   GANNET, SHEARWATERS AND TERNS GANNET – Max 65 on 1st. MANX SHEARWATER – Only recorded on 5 days max 38 on 30th. BALEARIC SHEARWATER – First of the year flew east on 26th. SANDWICH TERN – 1 on 2nd and 1 on 10th were the only records.   COOT – One on South Milton Ley on 20th.   RAPTERS RED KITE – single bird reported flying up South Milton Valley on 12th. HOBBY – singles reported on 4 days.   WADERS – First evidence of last northerly migrants early month and first returning brids from 14th. OYSTERCATCHER – Max 12 on 15th. SANDERLING – Following a stormy night 20 on the beach on 2nd last were 2 on 4th. DUNLIN – Singles on 3 days. LITTLE RINGED PLOVER – returning migrant? 1 found by AFD on South Huish Marsh on evening on 28th. BLACK TAILED GODWIT – 1 from 1st to 7th, 3 in sp. Briefly feeding on 26th (All South Huish Marsh). GREEN SANDPIPER – First returning bird on 28th. WOOD SANDPIPER – An unexpected June record was 1 on South Huish Marsh all day on 14th. (last June record were 2 on 15th in 20101.   SKUAS AND GULLS GREAT SKUA – 1 flew east on 1st. KITTIWAKE – Only singles recorded on 4 days. BLACK HEADED GULL – Birds returning towards the end of the month max 6 on 29th. MEDITERRANEAN GULL – 2 first summer on 10th and an adult on 26th.   MISCELLANEOUS SWIFT  - flocks of 45 on 3rd and 50 on 10th were largest for a  few years. SAND MARTIN – 2 regularly feeding on South Huish Marsh, 4 flew SE on 30th. HOUSE MARTIN – Appears to be more around this year, a max of 65 on the 10th with breeding in at least 3 sites. SWALLOW – No large flocks yet, plenty of breeding attempts. CUCKOO – One calling at the back of South Huish marsh on 7th most likely a returning migrant. WOODPECKERS – Juv of both GREAT SPOTTED AND GREEN confirms local breeding.   WARBLERS AND CHATS Cold and wet weather early in the month main reason that few fledged birds around.   Evidence by the month end that some broods were successful, particularly – CHAFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, WHITETHROAT, SEDGE, REED and  CETTIS. STONECHAT – Good numbers of both adults and Juvs around with up to 10 on some days.   WAGTAILS PIED – Juvs started arriving around South Huish Marsh from early in the months. GREY – 1 at South Milton Ley sewage works from 24th (not often recorded in June) YELLOW WAGTAIL – a female on South Huish Marsh on 8th. BLUE HEADED/SPANISH WAGTAIL – A single male seen briefly on several days between 7th and 15th.  Proved very elusive, sometimes only showed for a few minutes.   After some discussion reached a conclusion the bird was mot probably a Hybrid BLUE HEADED – due to the supercillium and dark olive green back most likely SPANISH. Elusive hybrid WAGTAILS are not east to specifically identify – this bird had a yellow breast and throat typical to BLUE HEADED – the head was dark grey and the supercillium  started at the top of the eye and was very thin.   BUNTINGS REED – Evidence several pairs have bred at both marshes. CIRL – Singing males in at least 5 sites. YELLOWHAMMER – Several males singing in the hedgerows.   STARLINGS – First sizeable roost at Thurlestone Marsh 300+ on 30th.   Good numbers of juvs in the small flocks around South Huish marsh.   Halfway through 2015 – time does seem to go more quickly.   General opinion is this is a quiet year, yet our total species count is the second highest in the last 5 years.   Looking forward to the next 6 months – will this be the year the 200 total is achieved, won’t be for the want of trying.