With the demise of Thurlestone Marsh following the repair and improvement to the drainage system decision taken in consultation with Eric Wotton to extend the patch boundary to include the Avon Estuary which incorporates the very much improved South Efford Marsh (a Devon Wildlife Trust site).

As a result the 2016 year species total now includes SPOTTED SANDPIPER, OSPREY, and LITTLE STINT.


The total species recorded this month was 124 (c/f 2015-122, 2014-132)

New for the year were – PECTORAL,SANDPIPER, BRENT GOOSE – LB, WRYNECK, WOODCHAT SHRIKE and GREAT SHEARWATER, taking the total to 181 (c/f 2015-179, 2014-173)


An unusually warm month with no gales reported – strongest winds were F6 W on 6th and 29th.  Also a relatively dry month with appreciable rain on 13th and 28th/29th.


Highlights for the month

GEESE – BRENT GOOSE – LB – An unusually early record of 4 on the sea off Warren Point on 6th – an influx of these birds reported from South Coast sites in Devon and Dorset.



TEAL – On South Huish Marsh built up from 6 on 4th to a max of 40 on 20th.

On South Efford Marsh from 40 on 6th to 150+ on 28th.

WIGEON – first returning bird a female on the sea on 15th

Max on South Efford Marsh 8 on 18th.

PINTAIL – On 29th 3 Juv flew onto South Huish Marsh.

COMMON SCOTER – Only 2 records with a max of 3 on 19th.




MANX SHEARWATER – Only a single record of 2 on 8th.   .

GREAT SHEARWATER – On 29th after a night of strong winds and thunderstorms there was a strong passage of sea birds, at 11.55 picked up a large SHEARWATER,         flying east 250yds offshore, with good views of the dark bill, white neck collar, distinct cap and the white band above the tail.   Only the second patch record.

FULMAR – Max 6 on 4th.

GANNET – Max 240 on 29th.

GREAT SKUA – Only 1 record flying east on 29th.



HOBBY – One over South Efford Marsh on 18th.

OSPREY – Record flying down the River Avon on 5th and 7th.

BUZZARD – Max 8 on 23rd.

During the month reports of PEREGRINE, SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL, and TAWNY OWL.


WADERS – a total of 22 species recorded, particularly good range of species at South Efford Marsh.

OYSTERCATCHER – Max 50 on 6th and 21st.

LITTLE RINGED PLOVER – One on South Huish Marsh on 1st.

RINGED PLOVER – Max in Thurlestone Bay 32 on 14th, at South Efford Marsh max 35+ on 5th.

GOLDEN PLOVER – One in off the sea on 15th and a flock of 35 flew high to the east on 28th.

GREY PLOVER – 2 on the Avon Estuary mid-month.

KNOT – Max 4 on 4th on South Efford Marsh.

SANDERLING – Max on the beach 21 on 15th.

LITTLE STINT – At South Efford Marsh singles on 4th and 5th and 23rd.

One flew through South Huish Marsh on 21st.

CURLEW SANDPIPER – Record on 7 days at South Efford Marsh max 3 on 5th and 7th,last a single on 23rd.   On South Huish marsh one on 14th.

DUNLIN – On South Efford Marsh max 40 on 5th.   At South Huish Marsh max 11 on 7th and 28th.

RUFF – An impressive month at South Efford Marsh – starting with 9 on 4th, 5 on 6th, 16th and 18th and 4 on 20th, singles on 5th and 24th to 30th.

SNIPE – Max 11 on 6th on South Efford Marsh

BLACK TAILED GODWIT – 1 on South Huish Marsh from 1st to 19th, at South Efford Marsh max 4 on 24th.

BAR TAILED GODWIT – On 14th 2 flew east across the Bay.

 On South Efford Marsh max 3 on 20th.

WHIMBREL – 2 on South Efford Marsh on 1st.

CURLEW – Max on South Efford Marsh 32 on 20th.

PECTORAL SANDPIPER – One on South Efford Marsh seen intermittingly from 14th to 24th.

COMMON SANDPIPER – On South Efford Marsh built up from 5 on 6th to 8 from 11th to 25th.

GREEN SANDPIPER – On South Efford Marsh – 2 on11th, 4 on16th with 2 through to the month end.

GREENSHANK – On South Efford Marsh throughout the month with a max of 6.

REDSHANK– 2 at South Efford Marsh on 20th.

TURNSTONE – Only 1 record a single on the rocks on 4th.



MED GULL – Max on the coast 3 on 4th.

SANDWICH TERN – Only a single record 1 on 12th.



WATER RAIL – 1 at South Milton Ley on 17th

KINGFISHER – 1 at South Milton Ley on 11th, at least 2 on South Efford Marsh throughout the month.

NUTHATCH – present around Aveton Gifford.


HIRUNDINES – Largest passage was between 13th and 15th.

SWALLOW – 1605 logged on 13th with 650 on 15th.

HOUSE MARTIN – Max 1990 on 13th with 415 on 15th.

SAND MARTIN – Max 30 on 14th and 15 on 15th.


WARBLERS – With both ringing teams away for the month following species were sighted –




STONECHAT – Present throughout the month max 12 on 5th.

WHINCHAT – Max 2 on14th.

REDSTART – 1 at Aveton Gifford on 14th.

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – 3 at Aveton Gifford on 14th and 2 in a South Milton garden on 25th.

WHEATEAR – Present throughout the month – high counts – 20 on 14th and 14 on 15th.

WRYNECK – At South Efford Marsh Eric found one on 5th, still present on 6th and 7th and then 2 together on 8th.

WOODCHAT SHRIKE – On 24th Eric found a Juv at South Efford Marsh at 09.30 watched until 11.45 when it flew up the Valley (NB – Refound by Dave Pakes on Monday 3rd October.)



PIED/WHITE WAGTAIL – Good numbers at South Huish Marsh throughout.

GREY WAGTAIL – Max 8 on 13th.

YELLOW WAGTAIL – Max South Huish Marsh 18on 1st and at South Efford Marsh 15 on 6th.

MEADOW PIPIT – Max moving through 70 on15th.

SISKIN – first for autumn were 3 flying north on 23rd.

SKYLARK – max passage 14 on 14th.

CIRL BUNTING – 2 Juv on 10th and 1 on 12th in a village garden.


With winter visitors starting to be reported including a large influx of YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS along the East Coast the remainder of the year will be interesting.


Mike Passman



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