A month of contrasting weather with some mild spells at the beginning - cold with frost on 5 days mid month.

Stormy with F8 and 9 gales at the month end.   Heavy rain on13th and 14th, 26th and 27th, 29th, 30th and 31st.   Months end both Marshes flooded.


Two additions to the year list - BITTERN and a hybrid AMERICAN WIGEON/WIGEON took the total to 204 (c/f 2016 - 202, 2015 - 187).

Only 108 species recorded (the expected influx of winter duck just not occurred this month) - c/f 2016 - 112, 2015 - 101)



BRENT GOOSE (DB) 1 with a small CANADA flock on South Huish Marsh on 11th.   One flew around the Bay then West on 20th.
SHELDUCK - first returning birds- 2on South Huish Marshon 14th.
WIGEON - Max on South Huish Marsh 90+on 27th.   On South Efford Marsh 200+ On 17th.
AMERICAN WIGEON/WIGEON - A male first picked up amongst the WIGEON flock on South Huish Marsh on 14th, after discussions and looking at photos a correct decision reached that it was a hybrid.   Still present at the end of the month.
TEAL - Max on South Huish Marsh 35 several dates, at South Efford Marsh 90+ most of the month.
TUFTED DUCK - A male on South Huish Marshon 7th.
COMMON SCOTER - only one record of 2 flying east on 12th.
RED T DIVER - Single flying west on 12th and 17th.
BLACK T DIVER - Sinlge flew east on 18th.
GREAT N. DIVER - Increase in sightings this month - 2on 11th, 12th and 18th with same bird in the Bayon 20th and 22nd.
FULMAR - Late returning this year - singles on 8th and 21st.
GANNET- Largest counts - 105 on 21st,125+ on 18th.
LITTLE EGRETS - Up to 4 on South Huish Marsh all month.
CATTLE EGRET - the stand out specie this year being recorded in every month -numbers increased at South Huish Marsh from 1 on 7th to 7 from 18th onwards
BITTERN - One reported flying over North Marsh late afternoon of 5th.
SPOONBILL - A Juvenile between 6th and 20th at South Huish Marsh and on the Avon Estuary, also on Thurlestone Marsh on 30th.
WATER RAIL - Max of 3 on South Milton Ley on 18th.

DIPPER - 1 by Hatch Bridge on 13th.

WADERS - A total of 12 species recorded.

OYSTERCATCHER - Max 23 on 11th.

RINGED PLOVER - Max10on 20th.

LAPWING - A lone bird on South Huish Marsh all month. On 12th a flock of 45 sighted near the Churstow roundabout.

DUNLIN - A single bird recorded from 7th at South Huish Marsh.

SNIPE - Max. Of 90+ on South Huish Marshon 22nd (flushed by a SPARROWHAWK)

BLACK T. GODWIT - Max of 11 from 7th - 13th at South Huish Marsh

CURLEW - On South Efford Marsh - 16 on 11th.

COMMON SANDPIPER -Max of 6 on Avon Estuary on 15th.

GREEN SANDPIPER - 1 on Avon Estuary on 13th.

GREENSHANK - Max of 6 on 15th on South Efford Marsh.

REDSHANK - Max of 4 on 15th on South Efford Marsh.

TURNSTONE - Maxof 18 on 11th.



KITTIWAKE - Max through the Bay 18 on 21st.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL - 2 on South Huish Marsh on 7th and 11th.

COMMON GULL - 4 on South Huish Marshon 7th was the max this year.



BARN OWL - Reported from 2 sites.

TAWNY OWL - Reported from several sites.



GOLDCRESTS - Reported from 4 sites,a total of 8 Ringed on 2 dates.

FIRECREST - The Autumn influx resulted in many more records than previous years - 1 ringed at South Milton Ley on 5th, 2 on site on 18th and 19th, 2 at Aveton Gifford on 6th and 27th, 1 in Thurlestone Garden on 12th.

CETTIS WARBLER - 2 at South Milton Ley on 5th and 1on 18th.

CHIFFCHAFF - Influx at South Milton Ley with 12 ringed on 5th,15 on 18th when total on site estimated at 30+.    Also recorded from 3

other sites.

SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF - 1 Ringed at South Milton Ley on 5th and also on site on both 18th and 19th.

BLACKCAP - 1 in a South Milton garden 21st surprisingly the only record.

YELLOW BROWED WARBLER - Dave Pakes had 1 in the hedgerow near the Sewage Works on 6th.

NUTHATCH - Around Aveton Gifford is the stronghold for these - 2 on 15th and 27th.



FIELDFARE - Huxton Cross main site with70+ on7th and 12th and 120+ on 20th.   Other sites recorded a max of 5.

REDWING - Huxton Cross recorded the max of 100+ on 12th.   At South Milton Ley 80+on 19th.

MISTLE THRUSH - Only singles at 2 sites.

SONG THRUSH - Noticeable  increase with a total of 8 on 12th and 17th, 6 in the Copse on 27th.



BLACK REDSTART -A female around my garden on 15th and 18th.

MEADOW PIPIT - Max 100+ on South Efford Marsh on 11th.

WATER PIPIT - 3 on South Efford Marsh on 11th,singles at both Marsh   Sites on several dates.

GOLDFINCH - Max 40 over my garden on 12th.

BULLFINCH - Max 9 around Aveton Gifford on 11th.

YELLOWHAMMER - Single male at Huxton Cross on 12th and 22nd.

CIRL BUNTING - In my garden on several dates with a pair on 17th.

REED BUNTING - Low numbers this winter - 3 Ringed at South Milton Ley on 18th.    Up to 3 regularly on my feeders.

TREE CREEPER - 1 at Aveton Gifford on 27th was first record since March


Will endeavour to write a brief annual review early next month.

A year of some standout highlights and disappointments with the numbers of Duck particularly Seaduck.


A New Year always brings the expectations of what might be recorded.