THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS MAY 2016   Very little rain meant water levels on the Marshes reduced with Thurlestone Marsh completely dried out.   Predominately winds were from East with no gales at all.   10 new species added to the year list including BALEARIC SHEARWATER, POMARINE SKUA, HOBBY,GREAT WHITE EGRET, REDSHANK, RUFF, PUFFIN, GARDEN WARBLER and a rare spring record for PIED FLYCATCHER, SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. Total for the year now 167 (c/f 2015 – 161, 2014 – 158) Total species recorded during the month was 120 (c/f 2015 – 106, 2014 -110) a record total for May.   Highlights this month: MUTE SWAN – Pair on South Huish Marsh failed to breed although stayed all month.   DUCK SHELDUCK – Present all month on South Huish Marsh with a max of 12 on 1st. WIGEON – A pair on South Huish Marsh from 10th – 13th. TEAL – Last recorded were 3 on 2nd. MALLARD – At least 20 males on South Huish Marsh.   First broods appeared but very quickly predated. GARGANEY – A male on South Huish Marsh on 13th. COMMON SCOTER – Only recorded on 4 days max 15 on 5th.   DIVERS BLACK THROATED DIVER – A first summer in the Bay on 29th – a late date here. GREAT NORTHERN DIVER – Ony 1 record of a  bird flying east on 4th   SHEARWATER, GANNET and FULMAR BALEARIC SHEARWATER – first for the year was a single bird flying east on 1st with another single the following day. MANX SHEARWATER – Highest counts were 40 on1st and 88 on 5th. FULMAR – Regularly recorded, highest passage was 10 on 5th.   HERONS AND EGRETS, COOT LITTLE EGRET – Up to 6 regularly recorded, breeding confirmed on the nearby Avon Estuary. GREAT WHITE EGRET – 1 found by Graham Daw on South Huish marsh on the morning of 16th. HERON – Up to 6 birds regularly recorded. COOT – Pair breeding on South Huish Marsh.   RAPTORS AND OWLS BUZZARD = Largest daily count 6 on 13th. SPARROWHAWK – Recorded in at least 3 different areas on the patch. HOBBY – Singles on 6th and 12th. BARN OWL – Report near Horswell House on 2nd. TAWNY OWL – Regularly heard from 6 sites around the patch.           WADERS – 14 species recorded this month. OYSTERCATCHER – Max 15 on 6th. RINGED PLOVER – Max 16 on 12th. GREY PLOVER – Birds in summer plumage on South Huish Marsh, 2 on4th, 3 on 5th, 2 on 7th and 3 on 10th – probably at least 6 birds involved. SANDERLING – main passage from 8th -10, 11th – 35, 12th -20 and 13th – 24. DUNLIN – Low numbers recorded apart from 11 on 11th and a max of 80 on 12th. SNIPE – Only 1 record during the month reported by a visitor. BLACK TAILED GODWIT – Scarce this year, singles on 2nd and 18th. BAR-TAILED GODWIT – Recorded on 3 days with a max of 3 on 6th. WHIMBREL – Max 50 on 1st and 27 on 6th. CURLEW – Singles recorded on 3 days. COMMON SANDPIPER – Single bird on South Huish Marsh from 5th to 7th. REDSHANK – first of the year on the rocks on 9th.  Always a passage migrant here. RUFF – first for the year flew up the valley on evening of 8th. TURNSTONE – Max 4 on 7th – 2 of which in full summer plumage.   SKUAS and TERNS – a SE wind on the morning of 2nd produced. ARCTIC SKUA – 3 flew east. GREAT SKUA – 3 flew east POMARINE SKUA – A single group of 5 flew east.   An unusual record of an Adult on South Huish marsh from 18th – 22nd LITTLE TERN – 1 in the Bay on 10th SANDWICH TERN – Recorded on 6 days with a max of 12 on 2nd. COMMIC TERN – 8 flew east on 4th and a flock of 20 west on 29th – latter were most likely ARCTIC but too far out to positively ID.   AUKS – Over 30 recorded flying east on 5th, 6 were RAZORBILL and 1 was a PUFFIN   SWIFT AND HIRUNDINES SWIFT – Max 30 on 3rd but regularly recorded in small flocks. SAND MARTIN – 20 flew through on 1st, a single on 29th was a late migrant. HOUSE MARTIN – Max 60+ on 1st and 50 on 5th.   At the end of the month 20+ collecting mud at South Huish Marsh with nests recorded at 4 sites. SWALLOW – Max passage 95 on 1st and 100+ on 5th.   WOODPECKERS and MISC GREEN WOODPECKER – One calling in the copse at South Huish marsh on 3rd is the first positive record for this site.  A pair mating in Buckland Valley on 4th. GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER  - Records from 4 sites. JAY – Present in South Milton Village and Buckland Valley KINGFISHER – A first breeding season record for some years at a private site on 12th. GOLDCREST – breeding season records from Buckland Valley. TREE CREEPER – breeding season records from two sites in Buckland Valley.   WARBLERS CHIFFCHAFF – Present at many sites.  9 caught and ringed a South Milton Ley on 11th. WILLOW WARBLER – A single bird recorded at South Milton Ley.   Does not breed on the patch. BLACKCAP – At least 15 birds singing at various sites.   Common this year. GARDEN WARBLER – First for the year seen and heard in Buckland Valley on 4th. LESSER WHITETHROAT – A single bird near the copse at South Huish marsh on 8th. WHITETHROAT – Present at 10 sites within the patch. GROPPA – One at South Milton Ley on 3rd and one singing in scrub on the Golf Course on 11th. SEDGE WARBLER – At least 10 males singing around South Huish Marsh on 3rd, 6 caught and ringed on 11th. REED WARBLER – 12 caught and ringed on 11th.   THRUSHES SONG THRUSH – present at 4 sites with the Patch. MISTLE THRUSH – breeding season record from Buckland Valley. BLACKBIRD – Likely to be another good breeding season.   FLYCATCHERS AND CHATS SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – 1 in my garden on 10th was first of the year.  Recorded from 2 different breeding sites in Buckland Valley. PIED FLYCATCHER – A rare spring record, a female found in the copse by Vic on 3rd. WHINCHAT – Only record was a female at South Milton Ley on 7th. STONECHAT – Present in at least 10 different breeding sites around the patch. WHEATEAR – Very poor spring passage, singles recorded on 2nd and 4th with 3 on 3rd.   WAGTAILS  YELLOW WAGTAIL – Good spring passage this year with singles on 3rd, 12th and 22nd and 4 on 7th. BLUE HEADED WAGTAIL – A nice male at South Huish Marsh on 5th – third patch record this spring. WHITE WAGTAIL – Last passage bird recorded on 5th. GREY WAGTAIL – A rare breeding season record, on along the stream in Buckland Valley on 11th.   FINCHES AND BUNTINGS LINNET – Many pairs along the coast path. BULLFINCH – Recorded from at least 3 sites. YELLOWHAMMER – Birds reported from the hedgerows along the lane. CIRL BUNTING – Recorded from 3 sites. REED BUNTING – Breeding season records from 3 sites.   A very good month for the patch with some very interesting records.