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With a final total of 205 species the year ended with the highest total recorded in the last 7 years.

The highest monthly total was April with 139 and the lowest June 107.


Outstanding records were -



A Male GOOSANDER On South Huish Marsh on 1st.

A total of 18 DIVERS recorded with 5 BLACK THROATED on 19th being an exceptional total for this species.

A total of 10 CATTLE EGRET at South Huish Marsh on 11th Started a remarkable year of records.

An overwintering SPOONBILL visiting all 3 marshes

Of wader records a WOODCOCK At South Milton Ley on 8th was the best.

An GREAT SKUA on 8th and 9th were rare winter records.

Both YELLOW-LEGGED GULL and CASPIAN GULL On South Huish Marsh on 26th and 27th respectively.

A BLACK GUILLEMOT flew East across the Bay on 9th was a site first.

2 HAWFINCH flying out of an Aveton Gifford garden on 15th was unusual.



8 CATTLE EGRET  on South Huish Marsh on 24th/25th was the months Max.

18 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS on South Huish Marsh on 20th was a re cord spring count, 16 were adults.

A 1W GLAUCOUS GULL On South Huish Marsh on 8th.

Amongst the wintering flock of CHIFFY At South Milton Ley were at least 2 SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF.



2m GARGANEY On South Efford Marsh and a pair on South Huish Marsh on 6th was the earliest spring record for Devon.

First MANX SHEARWATER On 25th was an early Spring Record.

Whilst the overwintering SPOONBILL was asleep on South Huish Another flew over high to South and out to sea.

8 AVOCET on South Huish Marsh on 26th was a scare spring record.

A peak of 275+ LAPWING on 6th is a high count for the site.

An adult ICELAND GULL flew East across the Bay on 6th with a 1 w GLAUCOUS GULL  At South Huish Marsh fro,m 24th to 30th. 

First SANDWICH TERN recorded on 4th, SAND MARTIN on 24th,  WILLOW WARBLER on 25th, WHEATEAR 3 on 19th.

WOODLARK - Scarce Spring records of 1 over South Huish Marsh on 11th and 1 at Hope Cove on 19th.

Records of BRAMBLING - 4 at Aveton Gifford on 2nd and 3 at Thurlestone on 3rd.



A flock of 6 GARGANEY on the sea on 6th 2m 1f SCAUP on the sea on  18th were the first record for more than 20 years.

A total of 65 SHOVELER flew  through the Bay in 2 hours late afternoon of 18th.

Other outstanding records for Ducks were:- 

A 1w Male EIDER on the sea on 14th, a max of 415 COMMON SCOTER east on 6th, Single VELVET SCOTERS flew E on 6th and 17th.

1456 MANX SHEARWATER flew east in an hour on 26th.

A SPOTTED CRAKE heard calling at South Ley from 5th - 8th - a First spring record.

4 RED KITE around the patch on 22nd with a female MARSH HARRIER in Hope Cove on 25th.   First HOBBY in off the sea on 15th.

A CURLEW SANDPIPER on South Huish Marsh on 30th was a rare spring record.’

Max WHIMBREL passage was 260 on 18th.

Impressive Spring passage of SKUAS with a total of 70 birds logged.


Single POMARINE on 17th and 24th, 32 ARCTIC with a day max of 13 on15th and 36 GREAT with a max of 15 on 17th.

Single LITTLE GULLS on 15th & 17th, Impressive 275 SANDWICH TERN flew east on 2nd, single LITTLE TERNS on 17th and 26th, a max of 9 COMMON TERN on 2nd and 4 ARCTIC TERN on 12th.

A LESSER WHITETHROAT At South Efford Marsh 28 was unexpected.



A patch record of 8 RED KITE including a single flock of 7 over South Efford Marsh on 15th

A PECTORAL SANDPIPER on South Huish Marsh Present from 1st to 5th - Only the 5th Spring Devon Record -2 of them at this site.

An ACREDULA WARBLER (Northern European form of Willow Warbler) watched in a Thurlestone Garden on 5th (second patch Spring Record).

First SPOTTED FLYCATCHER were 2 at Aveton Gifford on 13th and 1 in West Buckland Valley on 15th.



The site record for RED KITE did not last long with 9 over Aveton Gifford at 16.00 on 6th.

CUCKOO are scarce now - Singles At South Milton Ley on 6th and South Huish Marsh on 18th.

GARDEN WARBLER - a pair at South Milton Ley all month could be the first breeding record for a few years.



A CORYS SHEARWATER flew East on 28th with a max of 4 SOOTY SHEARWATER on 28th.

A STORM PETREL watched off Bolt Tail on 29th.

An OSPREY flew up river at Aveton Gifford on 5th.

A SNIPE on South Huish Marsh on 19th was an early returning bird.

Max SWALLOW roost at Thurlestone Marsh was 3000 on 21st.

A family party of 4 SPOTTED FLYCATCHER in a South Milton Garden was confirmation of a rare breeding record.



A record flock of 51 CATTLE EGRET in fields with a herd of Cattle near South Huish Marsh on 28th was not only a Devon County record but also a UK National Record - (the National Record broken within 28 days with around a 100 in Somerset)

An OSPREY at Aveton Gifford fro 16th was ringed in the nest at Rutland Water in 2016.

Of 17 species of Wader recorded the most notable were - RINGED PLOVER - 100+ on 28th, SANDERLING - 40 on 13th, DUNLIN - 132 on 28th, 1 RUFF on 11th, 5 GREEN SANDPIPER max count on 17th at South Efford Marsh.   WOOD SANDPIPER - 2 at South Huish Marsh on 1st.

A Juv SPOTTED REDSHANK at South Efford Marsh on 29th and 30th was only the 3rd patch record in last 10 years.

Record of MEDITERRANEAN GULL broken twice this month with a new max of 40 on 12th.

A WOOD WARBLER on 15th in the copse at South Huish Marsh on15th is a very rare Autumn migrant.

A GROPPA with 3 Juv at South Milton Ley on 31st.

Passage of TREE PIPIT Was exceptional on 17th when at South Milton Ley, 12 were ringed with at least another 25 on site.

Impressive totals of WARBLERS ringed at South Milton Ley were WILLOW - 96, BLACKCAP - 60, SEDGE - 150, REED - 75, GARDEN - 5, GROPPA - 2. 



2 Adult RED THROATED DIVER Close inshore on 26th was a very early Autumn record.

9 BALEARIC SHEARWATER on 23rd was the years high.

19 species of Wader recorded - 21 AVOCET flew around the Bay 28th and then watched on South Efford Marsh - record patch count.

A CURLEW SANDPIPER with DUNLIN on 1st.   WOOD SANDPIPER at South Huish Marsh from 1st to 6th.

A GREY PHALAROPE on South Huish Marsh from 19th - 21st with Singles on the sea on 23rd/24th.

A 1w BLACK GUILLEMOT on the sea at 12.40 on 5th.

OSPREY - Singles on River Avon on 1st - 3rd and another on 24th.

HEN HARRIER - A RINGTAIL in off the sea at Bolt Tail on 28th also a male flying around a South Milton Farm on 25th.   Single HOBBY on 15th and 28th, MERLIN chasing MIPITS on 24th and 27th.    A SHORT EARED OWL over Bolt Tail on 4th..

HIRUNDINES - Max SWALLOW count 2250 on 25th, with 2500 HOUSE MARTIN on 26th.  Last SWIFT recorded on 15th.   Single REDSTART on 1st and 16th.

Max YELLOW WAGTAIL count was 30 at South Huish Marsh on 2nd.



2 WHOOPER SWANS flew west over Thurlestone at 07.50 on 27th (only 3rd record in last 7 years)

A male RED BREASTED MERGANSER Flew E on 5th and 5 Juv E On 29th.

4 CATTLE EGRET  returned to South Efford Marsh on 21st.

A F GOSHAWK flew N over the footbridge on 15th.

A LITTLE STINT on South Huish Marsh from 18th to 22nd,  A PURPLE SANDPIPER on the rocks on 12th.     Second PECTORAL SANDPIPER a juv for the year on South Huish Marsh from 18th - 31st.

Storm Callum resulted in 32 GREAT SKUA past Hope Cove on 12th with another 5 east off Thurlestone Beach .  Next day another  8 recorded.

A ROSEATE TERN briefly on South Huish Marsh on 12th.

A YELLOW BROWED WARBLER with a flock of LONG TAILED TITS in a Thurlestone Garden on 22nd.    A single RING OUZEL At Hope Cove on 22nd.

First returning WATER PIPITS at both Marshes on 19th/20th.

A m BRAMBLING on 1st, a max of 33 SISKIN on 10th and single REDPOLL on 27th and 3 on 30th.     A 1st w ISABELLINE SHRIKE found byIan McTeague on the  Golf Course in afternoon of 10th last Reported  on 16th - this is the second patch record after 1 on 14th October 2015.



A first patch record for WHITE BILLED DIVER -  1 flew SE at  11.05 on 30th.

A flock of 12 PINTAIL on 20th was highest single count for some years.

A late MANX SHEARWATER flying around the Bay 23rd and 27th.

3 CATTLE EGRET at South Efford Marsh on 11th and 20th with a single At South Huish Marsh on 22nd and 23rd.

A LITTLE OWL calling at Aveton Gifford on 21st.

A SABINES GULL Reported flying South East on 7th.

A SCADANAVIAN HERRING GULL  photographed by man at South Huish Marsh on 28th - a patch first.

Single YELLOW BROWED WARBLER At South Milton Ley on 16th and Aveton Gifford on17th.



A Male MANDARIN on River Avon early month also on South Huish Marsh on 29th (first site record).

A BLACK SWAN on South Huish Marsh  from 13th-31st.

2 GREY LAG GOOSE on 4th and 5th looked “proper” birds.

3 BRENT GOOSE (DB) flew SE on 14th.

A total of 8 RED THROATED DIVER flew NW on 16th including a flock of 7.  2 BLACK THROATED DIVER flew SE on 13th.  GREAT NORTHERN DIVER recorded on 4days max of 4 on 14th.

Up to 4 CATTLE EGRET on South Efford Marsh last Reported on18th.

A SPOONBILL also there on 16th and 18th.

2 JACK SNIPE on South Efford Marsh on 11th.

37 BLACK TAILED GODWIT on South Efford Marsh on 12th was highest total of the year.

SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF Reported from South Milton Ley on several dates - at least 2 different birds.

A female BRAMBLING At Aveton Gifford on 1st.

BLACK REDSTART Reported from 3 sites with at least 5 different birds.





RINGING REPORT from Alan Pomroy.


A total of 1487 birds ringed during the year, 37 different species.


WATER RAIL            1

KINGFISHER            1

TREE PIPIT            5

SONG THRUSH        10

REDWING             3

CETTIS WARBLER        11. (+11 retraps)

GROPPA             2

SEDGE WARBLER        213

REED WARBLER        180

WHITETHROAT         23


BLACKCAP            202

CHIFFCHAFF            217


FIRECREST               4


TREE CREEPER           1

YELLOWHAMMER           1

REED BUNTING          15