THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS NOVEMBER 2016   Another very good months birding with a total of 120 species recorded (c/f 2015-122, 2014-133) with 5 year ticks takes the total to 198 (c/f 2015-186, 2014-188) Outstanding record of the year (so far!) for the patch was a 1st winter male DESERT WHEATEAR found at 14.00 on 8th on the roof of my house – watched until 15.20, next sighting again in my courtyard was on afternoon of 13th, it was then seen daily until the 26th.     Spent most of the time on Leasfoot Beach near the Golf Club .   Could be viewed down to 10/15 feet, the most photographed bird of the year.   This was the 7th record for Devon last one was in November 2011.  Needless to say this was a first for the patch Other new species added this month are SLAVONIAN GREBE, SABINES GULL,  WOODCOCK. RED BREASTED MERGANSER AND GREENLAND WHEATEAR. Weather this month has been mainly mild with periods of heavy rain on 9th, 17th, 20th and 21st.  Gales of F8 and F9 overnight 19th and 20th. Highlights for the month. BRENT GOOSE – D.B – 9 flew east on 1st, 1 on sea on 2nd and 5 east on 8th, 3 East on 25th. DUCKS SHELDUCK – first returning birds were 3 at South Efford Marsh on 13th and 1 at South Huish Marsh on 14th.   4 in The Bay on 24th, 1 on 26th. WIGEON – Max at South Huish Marsh 18 on 20th.  Numbers at South Efford Marsh built up to a max of 200 on 16th.  110 on the Sea on 25th. TEAL – Max at South Huish Marsh 70  on 24th, at South Efford Marsh 300+ on 16+. MALLARD – On Thurlestone Marsh 50+ feeding on the flooded field on 21st. PINTAIL – 2 flew west on 21st. 1 East on 26th. TUFTED DUCK – 1 male with the WIGEON flock on River Avon on 10th and 16th. COMMON SCOTER – Recorded on 6 days max 62 on 26. RED BREASTED MERGANSER – a female on the sea with 2 SHELDUCK on 24th SHOVELER – 1m 5f flew east on 26th. GADWALL – 3m 4f on South Huish Marsh on 26th.   DIVERS AND GREBES RED THROATED DIVER – 1 flew east on 23rd GREAT NORTHERN DIVER – singles on 8th, 13th, 21st and 25th with 2 on 24th and 26th. SLAVONIAN GREBE – One drifted west through the Bay on 7th. LITTLE GREBE – 2 at South Huish Marsh all month.  Max on the River Avon – 4 on 10th.   GANNET, FULMAR, EGRETS and RAILS GANNET – Max of 265 mostly east on 21st. FULMAR – first returning bird on 13th. CATTLE EGRET – 1 found by Paul Boulden at South Huish Marsh on 7th. GREAT WHITE EGRET – John King reported 1 in the reed bed on Thurlestone Marsh on 1st. WATER RAIL – Heard on Thurlestone Marsh and up to 5 at South Milton Ley.  One was caught and ringed on 3rd.   RAPTORS MERLIN – A female seen by Graham Daw along the lanes on 7th.   WADERS – A total of 16 species recorded. OYSTERCATCHER – Max of 29 on 17th. RINGED PLOVER – Up to 8 on the rocks. LAPWING – Max at South Huish Marsh 38 on 22nd.   On 16th a flock of 25 plus 14 GOLDEN PLOVER flew over South Efford Marsh. GREY PLOVER -5 flew in off the sea on 25th. SANDERLING – 1 on the rocks on 11th. PURPLE SANDPIPER – 1 on the rocks on 1st and 12th. DUNLIN – Max of 6 on South Huish Marsh on 24th. 20 flew in off the sea on 25th. SNIPE – Max of 20 on South Huish Marsh on 16th. WOODCOCK – One flew through Thurlestone Marsh on 1st. BLACK TAILED GODWIT – Up to 4 on South Efford Marsh. CURLEW – The wintering flock at South Efford Marsh reached 35 on 13th. COMMON SANDPIPER – 2 on South Efford Marsh all month. GREEN SANDPIPER – 1 on South Efford Marsh on 13th. GREENSHANK – Max 3 on South Efford Marsh on 8th. REDSHANK – Max 3 on South Efford Marsh on 13th, 1 on South Huish Marsh on 22nd  25th . TURNSTONE – Max 17 on the rocks on 17th.   GULLS SABINES GULL – A 1st Winter flew east through the Bay on 9th just ahead of a heavy squall.  Winds that morning were NW 6+ KITTIWAKE – 24 on 16th and 52 on 17th through the Bay. MEDITERRANEAN GULL – 2 on 11th were the only records   KINGFISHER, CRESTS AND TITS KINGFISHER – Singles at South Milton Ley, South Huish Marsh also feeding in rock pools, and at South Efford Marsh. GOLDCREST – 4 ringed on 3rd, 2 on 11th at South Milton Ley.   Up to 2 moving through gardens in Thurlestone. FIRECREST – Singles at South Efford Marsh on 8th and 11th, 1 in a Thurlestone garden on 13th. COAL TIT – One in a garden by the coast on13th was unusual.   WARBLERS YELLOW BROWED WARBLER – One at South Efford Marsh on 8th CHIFFCHAFF – Up to 6 moving through a ~Thurlestone Garden on several dates. At South Milton Ley – 16 ringed on 3rd and 19th on 11th. BLACKCAP – One ringed at South Milton Ley on 11th and a male in a Thurlestone garden on 12th and 13th. REED WARBLER – One ringed at South Milton Ley on 3rd – a very late record. CETTIS WARBLER – 2 were retrapped at South Milton Ley on 11th.   WHEATEAR and BLACK REDSTART GREENLAND WHEATEAR – A bird on the beach at South Huish Marsh on 2nd was colour ringed. Some detective work by Alan Pomroy confirmed it was ringed as a 1st Winter male on HELIGOLAND on 28th September was last sighted there on 25th October. BLACK REDSTART – Recorded on 6 days,1 in a Thurlestone Garden.   On the roofs of the flats at South Huish Marsh, one on 7th and 18th and 2 on 13th. 1 on 25th  All female/Juvs. An adult male on Leasfoot Beach on 26th.   THRUSHES FIELDFARE – 2 flew north over Thurlestone on 2nd, 5 at Aveton Gifford on 23rd. REDWING – 2 flew north over Thurlestone on 7th.  65 at Aveton Gifford on 23rd. SONGTHRUSH – On 11th a max of 19 recorded throughout the patch which must be some continental arrivals. MISTLE THRUSH – 1 on 2nd. 3 over Thurlestone Marsh on 25th.   LARKS, PIPITS AND FINCHES SKYLARK – Max on viz mig watches were 23 on 1st and 12 on 13th. WATER PIPIT – first birds returned to South Efford Marsh from 8th with a max of 12 on 23rd.  Singles at South Huish Marsh from 8th and 1 on Thurlestone Marsh on 23rd. CHAFFINCH – Viz mig counts over Thurlestone – 100 on 2nd,  46 on 10TH. GOLDFINCH – Max of 30 on 11th. GREENFINCH – Max of 20 on 1st. BRAMBLING – 4 in a garden at Aveton Gifford on11th. SISKIN – Very few this month, singles on 3 days. REDPOLL – One flew north on 7th. BULLFINCH – Recorded at 4 sites, max 7 at South Efford Marsh. YELLOWHAMMER – One in the hedgerow on 7th. REED BUNTING – Max 3 on 2nd.   1 caught and ringed on 11th.   WOOD PIGEON – Early November can produce some very large early morning movements south.   This year the weather conditions were unsuitable – max counts in an hour were 4,300 on 2nd, 5410 on 7th and 2550 on 11th. STOCK DOVE – A total of 25 flew through in 3 flocks on  13th.       RINGING CONTROLS   SEDGE WARBLER – Ringed 14.8.16 at LEASON, SWANSEA, controlled at SOUTH MILTON LEY on 18.8.16 SEDGE WARBLER - Ringed 18.8.15 at DUNGES, LOIRE ATLANTIQUE, FRANCE controlled at SOUTH MILTON LEY on 3.5.16. SEDGE WARBLER   -   Ringed 15.8.16 at TEFIMARSH, CEREDIGION (WALES)  controlled 24.8.16 at SOUTH MILTON LEY.   A very interesting control of a CHIFFCHAFF is worthy of mention although nothing to do with our ringing team.   Ringed at LITTLETON BRICK PITS, SOUTH GLOUSCESTERSHIRE on 28.8.16. Controlled on31.10.16 at CALELA DEL SABO, LANZAROTE.   Covered a total of 2648Km in 63 days.   This months report covers sightings up to 25th anything additional will be included in Decembers report.     Mike Passman