THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS JUNE 2017   A month with some contrasting weather – started with some heavy rain on 5th to 8th, Hottest June temps 16th to 21st then mostly cloudy until the end of the month.   Strong winds gusting gale force on 8th and 9th.   A total of 107 species recorded (c/f 2016 – 93, 2015 – 99) with 5 year ticks – TUFTED DUCK (At last!) SOOTY SHEARWATER, STORM PETREL, KNOT, HAWFINCH (a patch first)   Main highlights MUTE SWAN – Pair on South Huish Marsh abandoned their nest mid-month.   DUCKS and DIVERS SHELDUCK – Only 1 pair with young on South Huish Marsh – all predated within a few days. MALLARD – Plenty of females with young on South Huish Marsh, not many made it to fully fledged status. TEAL – A male on South Huish Marsh on 1st.  First returning birds 3 on 29th. TUFTED DUCK – A male on South Huish Marsh on 27th was a first of the year. COMMON SCOTER – A total of 231 recorded on 27th all  but 10 going west, this is the largest day total of the year (previous highest was 60).  Probably a June record count. GREAT NORTHERN DIVER – A 1st summer bird feeding in the Bay on 21st – latest record, not regular in June.   SHEARWATERS, FULMAR, PETREL and GANNET. FULMAR – Month max 7 east on 6th. SOOTY SHEARWATER – 1 flew east across the Bay on 6th. MANX SHEARWATER – During a period of strong winds and rain.  130 flew east on 6th with a month’s max of 285 west on 8th also 225 west on 29th. BALEARIC SHEARWATER – 1 flew east on 6th, 2 east on 29th. STORM PETREL – 2 flew east on 8th and 1 on 9th during period of strong winds. GANNET – present throughout the month, max of 150+ on 6th.   EGRETS CATTLE EGRET – 2 adults present on South Huish Marsh all month, 3 present on 8th, 13th, 16th and 27th LITTLE EGRET – By comparison rarely more than 3 either on the Marsh or Rocks.   RAPTORS RED KITE – One over Aveton Gifford on 13th watched from Eric’s Garden   HOBBY – Reported regularly from River Avon. No change in status for other species regularly seen.   WADERS – Only 9 species recorded this month. OYSTERCATCHER – Max 15 on 27th. LITTLE RINGED PLOVER – first returning adult on South Huish Marsh on 27th. SANDERLING – 2 on the beach on 1st. DUNLIN – 2 on 1st and 2 on South Huish Marsh on 28th. BLACK TAILED GODWIT – 1 on South Huish Marsh from 16th to 19th and 1 on 29th also 3 on South Efford Marsh on 29th. WHIMBREL – 1 on the beach on 1st. CURLEW – 2 on South Efford Marsh on 2nd. REDSHANK = 6 on South Efford Marsh on 29th. KNOT – An adult still showing signs of summer plumage on South Huish Marsh on 28th and 29th a first June record.   SKUAS, GULLS and TERNS ARCTIC SKUA – 1 dark phase flew east at 19.50 on 5th. KITTIWAKE – Max 10 on 9th. BLACK HEADED GULL – Adults starting to return west in small numbers with 15 on 29th the max also the first juv. YELLOW LEGGED GULL – An adult on South Huish Marsh on 23rd. CASPIAN GULL – An adult on South Huish Marsh on 27th. SANDWICH TERN – Only recorded on 6 days with a max of 3 on 25th and 29th.   HIRUNDINES AND SWIFTS SWALLOW – Juvs around South Huish Marsh on 27th. HOUSE MARTIN – Nest occupied near South Huish Marsh and in Buckland Valley. SAND MARTIN – Up to 6 pairs on North Marsh, 10 late month at South Huish Marsh. SWIFT – 25 flew south on 14th, 10 around Thurlestone Village several mornings, max 45 east over South Milton Ley on 26th max of a flock of 200 at 12.30 on 29th moved south.   WARBLERS, FLYCATCHERS AND STONECHAT. Some evidence of successful breeding with juveniles recorded – CHIFFCHAFF.  9 ringed on 26th, singing males reported from at least 6 sites. WILLOW WARBLER – 2 males singing at the far end of North Marsh on 14th. BLACKCAP – Plenty of birds around the patch - 2 ringed on 26th and 4 Juv in a garden on 27th. WHITETHROAT – A count of 12 from walking around the patch on 1st was highest for a few years. SEDGE WARBLER – Present at 3 sites with 8 ringed at South Milton Ley on 26th. REED WARBLER – Again recorded at 3 sites, 15 ringed on 26th. SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – Recorded at 2 sites. STONECHAT – Another good breeding season with up to 10 Juvs.   WAGTAIL, BUNTING AND FINCHES PIED WAGTAILS – At least 10 Juvs at South Huish Marsh on 23rd. GREY WAGTAIL – Adults plus 2 young near Hatch Bridge on 7th CIRL BUNTING – Reported from 2 sites. REED BUNTING – Reported from 3 sites. YELLOWHAMMER – Breeding pairs in the lanes. HAWFINCH – James K came across one feeding at the site of the road, near Hope Cove at 17.00 on 10th.   This is the first patch record.   As we come to the end of the first 6 months it has been a remarkable year – a total of 185 species is significantly higher than at any time in the last 8 years Will be interesting to see what the next 3 months will produce.

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