THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS JUNE 2016 A poor month for summer weather – predominately cloudy no prolonged warm spell, some rain including heavy thunderstorms   For the first time since completing these monthly reports no new species for the year were recorded, so the total remains at 167 (c/f 2015 – 165, 2014 -160) total species recorded for the month was 92 (c/f 2015 - 99, 2014 - 93).  Not helped by me spending almost 2 weeks away.   Brief highlights for the month –   DUCK SHELDUCK – A pair bred on South Huish Marsh – 8 eggs hatched still 7 going well by the month end. MALLARD – At least 3 pairs have bred on the Marsh, several breeds of 8 ducklings but very few survive the first few days. TUFTED DUCK – A rare June record when 2 m and 1f landed on the Marsh on 9th – flew off up the Valley after 10 minutes.   GAME BIRDS RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE – pairs now being seen around the fields with 1 on the main road by the car park on 26th   FULMAR, SHEARWATER and GANNET FULMAR – Regularly recorded, most probably part of the breeders at Stoke Point. MANX SHEARWATER – Max 14 flew west on 14th. BALEARIC SHEARWATER – One flew east on 14th. GANNET – Max was 14 on 14th.   HERON, EGRETS AND COOT HERON – Up to a max of 4 on South Huish Marsh LITTLE EGRET – Normally 2 or 3 regularly around the Marsh wth a max of 7 on 26th.  Still no local patch breeding. COOT – Pair again bred on the Marsh, 5 eggs hatched down to  3 survivors at the end of the month. MOORHEN – At least 1 pair bred on the Marsh.   RAPTORS AND OWLS HOBBY – 1 over Thurlestone Village on 11th. Still regular sightings of SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL and BUZZARD. BARN OWL – One at Horswell House Wood on 11th. TAWNY OWL – Heard regularly at several sites around the patch.   WADERS – Only 5 species recorded this month. BLACK TAILED GODWIT – 4 feeding on South Huish Marsh on 9th – highest number this year. WHIMBREL – Only 1 record a single on 2nd. CURLEW – 1 flew west on 26th. DUNLIN – Singles on 2nd and 5th. OYSTERCATCHER – Max 26 on 14th.   SKUAS AND TERNS ARCTIC SKUA – Singles on 5th and 12th. GREAT SKUA – single on 12th. SANDWICH TERN – Single on 1st, Vic had 3 on 23rd.   GULLS LITTLE GULL – highlight of the month was a 1st summer close inshore on14th. MEDITERRANEAN GULL – 2 2nd summer on the sea on 14th. BLACK HEADED GULL – first returning birds were 6 on 5th.   WOODPECKERS AND MISC. CUCKOO – 1 heard calling by Alan D near South Milton. GREEN WOODPECKER – Only record was in West Buckland Valley GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER – Max 3 in Buckland Valley. JAY – Breeding season records in the Valley. GOLDCREST – Only recorded in the Valley   SWIFT AND HIRUNDINES SWIFT – Max 25 over Thurlestone on 15th. HOUSE MARTIN – Several occupied nests on buildings near South Huish Marsh up to 40 birds recorded. SAND MARTIN – 2 over South Huish Marsh regularly from 14th, no evidence of breeding so far   WARBLERS With Thurlestone Marsh now virtually dry only breeding of REED AND SEDGE WARBLERS is confined to South Huish Marsh and South Milton Ley. BLACKCAP – regularly up to 5 males heard singing. WHITETHROAT – Up to 5 on the patch.   THRUSHES AND STARLING BLACKBIRD – Many breeding pairs around the patch. SONG THRUSH – Recorded on 4 sites around the patch with at least 1 young. STARLING – first family party around the Marsh 15 on 9th.   FLYCATCHERS AND CHATS SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – Recorded in 3 sites in Buckland Valley. STONECHAT – Several pairs with fledged young at South Huish Marsh and along the coast path.   FINCHES AND BUNTINGS ETC. Regular sightings around breeding sites for LINNET, ROCK PIPIT,MEADOW PIPIT, SKYLARK, BULLFINCH, YELLOWHAMMER, REED BUNTING and CIRL BUNTING.   By the time Graham and I and Anne and Daphne return from our trip to La Brenne on 17th July some passage of WADERS should be flying through    

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