MAY 2018


An  abbreviated report this month as I spent almost 3 weeks away on holiday.  Thanks to James K, Eric, Alan D, Alan P, John D and Nick for keeping me updated.


A warm and mainly sunny month with some high temperatures around both Bank Holidays.  Only rain on 2 days.


6 new species for the year - PECTORAL SANDPIPER, YELLOW WAGTAIL, SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, GREENLAND WHEATEAR, ACREDULA WARBLER and GREY PARTRIDGE, taking; the total; to 175 (c/f 2017 - 180, 2016 - 167)


Total species recorded in the month were 119 (c/f 2017 - 126, 2016 - 121).


Main Highlights


TEAL - 3 on 1st at South Huish Marsh last record.

GARGANEY - 2 flew E with some SCOTER on the 6th.

COMMON SCOTER - Recorded on 4 days max 9 on 6th.

SHELDUCK - 6 on South Huish Marsh on 1st.

RED THROATED DIVER - 1 on the sea on 8th.

BLACK THROATED DIVER - Singles on the 3rd and 4th probably same bird.




GANNET - Max of 112 on 2nd.

MANX SHEARWATER - 50+ flew east on both 1st and 2nd.

SPOONBILL - Same bird spent most of the month on South Efford Marsh

LITTLE EGRET - Max of 8 along road to Aveton Gifford.



RED KITE -1 over Thurlestone early evening of 15th, 7 seen flying high by Eric from hide at South Efford Marsh, patch record count.

HOBBY - 2 at South Efford Marsh on 27th.


WADERS - 13 species recorded, no large passage reported.

LITTLE RINGED PLOVER -1 on South Huish Marsh on 6th.

RINGED PLOVER - Max of only 2 on 15th.

SANDERLING -Max of 3 on 4th.

CURLEW SANDPIPER - Bird from April recorded on 1st.

DUNLIN - Max of 6 at South Huish Marsh.

RUFF - On South Huish Marsh, a pair on 11th and a female on 13th.

BLACK TAILED GODWIT - Only record 1 on South Huish on 1st.

BAR TAILED GODWIT - A max of 6 on 1st.

WHIMBREL - Max of 36 on 3rd.

PECTORAL SANDPIPER - 1 found on South Huish Marsh on 1st present until 5th.  Only the 5th Devon Spring record - 2 of them at South Huish Marsh.



POMARINE SKUA - 1 flew E on 2nd.

ARTIC SKUA - 4 flew on 1st with singles recorded on 2nd, 6th and 8th.

GREAT SKUA - Singles on 2nd, 11th and 27th.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL - 1 2cy on South Huish Marsh on 1st.

SANDWICH TERN - Max 5 on 1st.

COMMON TERN - 1 on 2nd.

PUFFIN - 1 flew E on 2nd.



SWIFT - Only small numbers recorded - 6 on 4th max.

SAND MARTIN - 25 over South Huish Marsh on 4th.

SWALLOW - Max again on 4th when 155 + logged.

HOUSE MARTIN - 8 on 5th, breeding site in Buckland Valley held 9 on 15th.



CHIFFY - Present at 5 sites, 4 ringed at South Milton Ley on 13th

WILLOW WARBLER - 1 singing in a Thurlestone garden on 1st.

ACREDULA WARBLER - One watched in a Thurlestone  garden on 5th - this is the Northern European version of WILLOW WARBLER.

BLACKCAP - Present in at least 4 sites around the patch, 3 ringed on 3rd and 4 on 13th at South Milton Ley.

GARDEN WARBLER - 1 singing near South Milton Ley on 1st and 1 ringed there on 13th.

WHITETHROAT - Present in at least 3 sites.

SEDGE WARBLER - Present at 3 sites - 8 Ringed on 3rd and 6 on 13th at South Milton Ley.

REED WARBLER - Singing At 3 sites, 8 ringed on 3rd and 11 on 13th At South Milton Ley.



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

WHINCHAT - Males at Hope Cove on 3rd and South Huish Marsh 0n 4th.

WHEATEAR - Very poor spring passage - 1 on 1st and 2 on 6th at South Huish Marsh.

GREENLAND WHEATEAR - 2 at South Huish Marsh on 2nd

YELLOW WAGTAIL - Singles at South Huish Marsh on 6th, 10th and 11th.



YELLOWHAMMER - At least 4 in the lanes on 5th.

REED BUNTING - Males singing at 3 sites, 1 ringed at South Milton Ley on 3rd.


Many observers at other sites in Devon have commented on how poor this years Spring passage has been


Mike Passsman




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