A mixed bag of weather, some mild temperatures, frost on 4 days. Winds predominately from West, withforce 10/11 on 8th, as winds turned East towards the end of the month provided a flat sea on 25th and 29th.


The good start to the year in January continued this month with a total of 104 species recorded (c/f 2015 – 98, 2014 – 93).  9 new species for the year included a very early MANX SHEARWATER, GOLDENEYE, JACK SNIPE and SHORT EARED OWL, taking the years total to 119 (c/f2015 -110, 2014 – 104)


Highlights this month:-


BRENT GOOSE – 2 pairs of DB in the Bay on 11th and 15th also 1 flew west on 18th.



MALLARD –Up to 50 on both marshes, still predominance of males.

SHELDUCK – Max 7 on 15th.

RUDDY SHELDUCK – Present with the CANADA flock throughout the month.

WIGEON – Max 65 on 10th reducing to 16 on 29th.

TEAL – Max 115 on 28th.

PINTAIL – First of the year a F on 24th.

GADWALL – First of the year a F on 7th, also a M on 24th.

SHOVELER – A F throughout the month with 2 on 28th.

TUFTED DUCK – A M from 10th – 15th.

COMMON SCOTER – Still sparse only recorded on 5 days max 5 on 25th/26th.

GOLDENEYE – 3 male briefly on the sea on 28th before flying off east.   Only the second recording of a male in 14 years and first record of more than a single bird.   Last recorded in January 2013.



Singles of all 3 Divers recorded but still infrequently

RED THROATED – Singles on 4 dates.

BLACK THROATED – Single in the Bay on 22 (when all 3 species recorded)

GREAT NORTHERN – Singles on 4 dates.

GANNET – Very low numbers this month, quite a few days when not recorded, max 16 on 22nd and 35 on 26th.

FULMAR – Singles throughout the month, max 9 on 28th.

MANX SHEARWATER – A very early record, a single bird picked up flying W in calm conditions on 25th when it landed on the sea.



LITTLE EGRET – Up to 6 seen regularly on both marshes.

HERON – Up to 4 on both marshes /rocks

WATER RAIL – Appear to have moved from Thurlestone Marsh but  2 at South Milton Ley on 10th.

LITTLE GREBE – Pair on South Huish Marsh throughout.

GREAT CRESTED GREBE – First for the year 26th with 3 on 29th.



MARSH HARRIER – the imm female over South Huish Marsh on 7th and 14th


BARN OWL – 1 near Horswell House wood on 21st.

TAWNY OWL – Recorded from 4 sites.

SHORT EARED OWL – 1 picked up flying in off the sea on 28th.


WADERS – 9 species recorded.

OYSTERCATCHER – Up to30 birds feeding on South Huish Marsh monthly max was 40 on 15th.

RINGED PLOVER – Wintering flock of 7 on the rocks throughout.

LAPWING – Present throughout but only a max of 5 (very low numbers this winter)

PURPLE SANDPIPER – 3 on the rocks on 24th.

DUNLIN – Recorded on 4 days with 2 on South Huish Marsh on28th

SNIPE – Present throughout the month with a max of 60 on 16th.   20 flushed from reed at South Milton Ley on 29th.

JACK SNIPE – 1 flushed by a BUZZARD at South Huish Marsh on 15th.

CURLEW – Singles on 10th and 23rd.

TURNSTONE – Wintering flock of up to 8 on the rocks throughout.



KITTIWAKE – Max 8 on 5th.

COMMON GULL – 1 on South Huish Marsh on 15th.

BLACK HEADED GULL – Max 300 on the marsh on 11th.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Amongst the BLACK HEADED flocks max 5 on 15th.

LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL – Max of 40 on 2nd.

HERRING GULL – Max of 1200 on South Huish Marsh on 11th.


KINGFISHER – Single recorded on 1st and 11th.



GREEN WOODPECKER – Still only recorded in Buckland Valley.

GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER – Recorded from 4 sites.

JAY – Recorded at 2 sites.

GOLDCREST – Small numbers at 4 sites.

FIRECREST – Singles in gardens at South Huish marsh on 11th and 24th.

COAL TIT – Present at 3 sites, unusually 3 together on 16 in a Thurlestone Garden.



CETTIS WARBLER – Still only reported from South Milton Ley.

CHIFFCHAFF – Present at 5 sites, mainstay still South Milton Ley with up to 10.

SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF – A 3rd bird ringed at South Milton Ley on 24th.

BLACKCAP – Still only site is a Thurlestone Garden where a pair feed regularly.

NUTHATCH – Recorded at 3 sites.



STARLING – In previous years the wintering flocks have been very numerous, this month only 2 records with a max of 5 at South Huish Marsh on 12th. (where have they gone)

FIELDFARE – Up to 10 with REDWING on 6th in South Milton Village.

REDWING – Largest flock of the year 150+ at South Milton Ley on 29th when a number were singing.

MISTLE THRUSH – Reported from 3 sites.

SONG THRUSH – Reported from 4 sites.



WATER PIPIT – Up to 3 on South Huish Marsh throughout.

MEADOW PIPIT – A flock of 60+ flying up the Valley over Thurlestone Marsh on 13th, otherwise up to 40 at South Huish Marsh.

STONECHAT            - Max 6 on 18th.

CHAFFINCH – No large flocks reported, max 35 on 9th.