THURLESTONE BAY BIRDS JULY 2020 A more settled month  weather wise including some nice sunny days, drizzle and low cloud 8th/9th, 19th, 24th and 25th with heavy rain on 27th with SSW F7-8 winds. Total species recorded was 119 - the highest July total  in the last 8 years ( c/f 2019 - 113, 2018 - 110) - 3 new species for the year, SISKIN, SOOTY SHEARWATER and OSPREY taking the total to 172 (c/f 2019 - 172, 2018 - 181. Several good seawatching days with record numbers of 376, BALEARIC SHEARWATER with a record day count of 100 logged. Highlights DUCKS SHELDUCK - 1 fully fledged duck on South Huish Marsh with 6 on South Efford Marsh on  5th. TEAL - 3 on South Efford Marsh on 5th and 3 flew SE on 12th. COMMON SCOTER - Recorded on 7 days, only double figure counts were 10 on 25th and 30 on 12th. SHEARWATERS, GANNET ETC. SOOTY SHEARWATER - singles on 7th and 19th and 2 on 7th. BALEARIC SHEARWATER - Recorded on 15 days with a months total of 376 logged.   On 10th a total of 100 set a new daily record -  including a flock of 60 sat feeding on the sea amongst a large gull flock, giving excellent views of a bird normally picked up well offshore flying over the sea. Another excellent counts were 79 on 14th and 78 on 19th. MANX SHEARWATER - Good passage counts of 64 on 6th, 60 on 10th and 85 on 28th with a max of 1300+ on 7th. GANNET - Three figure counts on four days - 590 on 5th, 310 on 7th, 285 on 19th and a max of 610 on 27th. CORMORANT - An unusual sighting on 12th of 23 birds including 1 flight of 10, anything above 3in flight is unusual. CATTLE EGRET -3 on South Huish Marsh on15th and 16th. RAPTORS RED KITE - 1 over Aveton Gifford on 22nd. MARSH HARRIER - A juv over South Efford Marsh on 8th. HOBBY - 1 near Aveton Gifford on 28th. OSPREY - 1 seen flying around the River Avon at Aveton Gifford on 12th. WADERS - A total of 14 species recorded (c/f 15 in 2019) OYSTERCATCHER -A max of 20 on the rocks/beach on 27th. LITTLE RINGED PLOVER - 1 on South Huish Marsh evening of 20th. RINGED PLOVER - On the beach a max of 14 on 25th.   At South Efford Marsh a mixed flock of 25 on 24th included DUNLIN. SANDERLING - first was a single on the beach on 16th, a max of 11 on 24th. DUNLIN - good counts of 46 on 20th, 41 on 24th, 43 on 25th all on the beaches. BLACK TAILED GODWIT - Only 2 records this month 2 on South Efford Marsh on 8th and 7 on South Huish Marsh on 19th. BAR TAILED GODWIT - 1 flew NW on 7th. WHIMBREL -  Max of only 3 on 24th at South Efford Marsh and 2 on the beach on 27th. CURLEW - Numbers returning to South Efford Marsh with a max of  26 on 14th, 19th and 22nd. COMMON SANDPIPER - On River Avon 4 on 13th and 8 on 14th. GREEN SANDPIPER - 2 on South Efford Marsh on 22nd. GREEN SHANK - Singles on South Efford Marsh on 14th and 14th. REDSHANK -  1 on South Efford Marsh on 14th. TURNSTONE - Just 2 records - 5 on rocks on 19th and 1 on 26th. SKUAS, GULLS and TERNS POMARINE SKUA - A rare July record of 2 flying SE close inshore on 27th. ARCTIC SKUA - A single in the Bay on 6th. KITTIWAKE - 6 on the Bay on 2nd. BLACK HEADED GULL - Max of 100 in the Bay on 10th. LITTLE GULL - Singles on 6th and 27th. MEDITERRANEAN GULL - Record day counts broken twice - 30 on the rocks on 1st with 44 on 2nd and 32 on 3rd and 26 on 19th. HERRING GULL - Large flocks feeding on the sea, 1600 on 5th, 2000 on 6th, 1200 on 7th and 900 on 10th. YELLOW LEGGED GULL -  First Juv in the Bay on 10th with another on 30th. SANDWICH TERN - 14 on 27th with 3 on 28th. COMMON TERN - single bird on 27th. ACTIC TERN - 3 on 27th. PUFFIN - On 5th 1 flew SE. HIRUNDINES and SWIFT SWIFT - Good counts for the patch of 18 on 7th, 30 on 27th and 25 on 29th. SAND MARTIN - Up to 20 at a local breeding colony. SWALLOW -  No large roosting flocks this year - numbers appear much lower than in previous years. HOUSE MARTIN - Up to 30 at the breeding site at South Huish Marsh. WARBLERS, FLYCATCHERS and STONECHAT Around the coast path at least 3 pair of WHITETHROAT have bred.   A local garden held 5 Juv BLACKCAP on 29th. SPOTTED FLYCATCHER - An adult watched feeding 3 young on 1st near Aveton Gifford. STONECHAT -  Several pairs around the coast path with fledged Juv”s. WHEATEAR, WAGTAIL, FINCHES and BUNTINGS WHEATEAR - First Juv on the rocks on 4th. ALBA WAGTAIL - On 24th a flock in excess of 25 feeding on seaweed including 1 WHITE WAGTAIL. SISKIN -  5 flying over Aveton Gifford on 3rd - they are suspected of breeding locally. LINNET - Post breeding flock of 60+ at South Huish Marsh on 23rd. CIRL BUNTING - Reported from 4 sites on the patch with some breeding success. RINGING REPORT - SOUTH MILTON LEY Four ringing sessions undertaken results were                 7th    14th    21st    29th CETTIS WARBLER        4    1    1 REED WARBLER        15    18    9    13 SEDGE WARBLER         3     5    3    16 CHIFFCHAFF            11    20    9      4 BLACKCAP             5     8    9      5 WILLOW WARBLER             1    4    20 GARDEN WARBLER                1 BULLFINCH                          1 REED BUNTING                      2 A REED WARBLER controlled at South Milton Ley on 7th July was ringed as a Juv on 7th August 2010 - almost 10 years old but remarkably has made 10 trips to its wintering destination probably south of the SAHARA DESERT - all without the benefit Sat Nav! Towards the end of July the outflow pipe was again blocked by large mounds of sand- this has resulted in South Huish Marsh flooding, more akin to winter than summer, with no mud fringes the prospects for the autumn wader passage not looking good.   Increased number of Holiday Makers - on one day there were 11 kite surfers plus wind surfers and numerous knacks in the Bay means waders on the beaches and rocks were disturbed very early in the mornings. Mike Passman