AT 30 NOV 2013

A beautifil sunny day to end the month with - felt more like Spring than getting close to Winter.

Bob B had the best birds of the day - at South Milton Ley our first WOODCOCK of the autumn  and at Huxton Cross 8 FIELDFARE. He also ringed 6 CHIFFCHAFF ( takes the months total to over 40 )

Late pm at T'stone marsh - very few STARLING - some small flocks flew ovver so probably using South Milton Ley , however a toatl of 70 PIED WAGTAIL- did come in to roost .

A JAY flew over

FRI 29 NOV 2013

Another very cloudy morning with a brisk NW wind increasing to F5 by noon.

The COMMON SCOTER and GREAT N DIVER still on the sea ( for 5th day ),a SHELDUCK flew west .

On both marshes duck totals were - 140 TEAL, 4 SHOVELER, 16 WIGEON.

Waders were 12 SNIPE with 14 LAPWING over .

14 STOCK DOVE feeding in a recently ploughed field.


At South Efford marsh still 4 WATER PIPIT

THURS 28 NOV 2013

Another 100% cloudy morning , flat calm sea. vis average .

On T'stone Marsh - 47 TEAL, 2 SHOVELER, 1 LAPWING .

More activity at South H Marsh -  75 + TEAL, 14 WIGEON, 1 f SHOVELER, 1f PINTAIL, 9 STONECHAT . Bob had to clear some plastic that had blown onto the marsh which caused 50+ SNIPE and 1 JACK SNIPE to be flushed,.

In the Bay COMMON SCOTER and GREAT N DIVER again,. A visiting birder reported a flock of 35 WIGEON on the sea beyond Warren Pt.

Nick T reports 1 RINGED PLOVER on the beach .

AT South Milton Ley  a REPOLL over.

At 14.00 driving down the lanes near to Huxton Cross a ringtail HEN HARRIER flew over my car .

Late news of a BARN OWL on Tues at 18.00 near to Horswell Wood .

Alan D repoted SWALLOW by the flats and now 2 GREAT N DIVER on the sea


An unfortunate cosequence of the Dusky gate saga is the Not Quite Scilly blog of Gavin Haig which has been withdrawn- never met him but really enjoyed his Gull ID comments - I for one will miss his contributions to the Devon birding scene .

WED 27 NOV 2013

100% cloud cover this morning , still a flat sea, but vis not as good as earlier in the week, no wind .

On T'stone Marsh this morning - 60 TEAL, 4 SHOVELER (2 pairs ) 1 LAPWING and a REDSHANK ( first record since Aug. )

In the Bay COMMON SCOTER and GREAT N DIVER for 3rd day, 22 WIGEON flew in ,

Waders on the rocks - 3 TURNSTONE, 1 RINGED PLOVER., also an ad MED GULL.

On South H Marsh - 50+ TEAL, 16 WIGEON, 1 f SHOVELER, 1 SNIPE. A flock of GREENFINCH have been in the fields for the last week, today this had built up to over 70 birds.

Ringing team at South Milton Ley had 6 new CHIFFCHAFF ( at least 12 on site ) and 2 GREY WAGTAIL


THEY'RE BACK ! At 16.00 a flock of over 2000 STARLING started flying over T'stone Marsh , over the next 15 mins it built up to over 12,500 and provided some great mumerations .


South Efford Marsh & Avon Est - Report from Eric W -

1 FIRECREST, 15 + GOLDCREST, 3 WATER PIPITS, 60 TEAL, 16 WIGEON, 3 REDSHANK, 2 GREENSHANK, also the winter resident flock of 36 CURLEW

TUES 26 NOV 2013

Fine clear sunny morning with a flat calm sea abd good vis produced one of the best mornings sightings for Nov . Joined by Martin and Graham Daw, AJL and Bob B.  Slight difference to the report on Devon News site.

Whist parking the car 2 SWALLOW were sitting on the wires and flying around for 15mins- to me they were the same birds as yeaterday.

  Scanning over the sea produced the GREAT N DIVER, 2 RED T DIVER ( first of the autumn ) 2f COMMON SCOTER, 5 WIGEON .

Walking across the footbridge 2 birds seen diving into the reeds, soon a pair of BEARDED TIT found , the male giving superb views down to less than 15 feet- later this afternoon Bob and Dave Scott manged to catch them and they now have rings on . It is 10 days since the pair were seen at  South Huish Marsh so these could be a diferrent pair. 30 mins later whist Bob was looking out for them he had a flyover RICHARDS PIPIT ( 194 ) recognised the call from the time he spends in Thailand each winter  ( pity I missed it as it would have been a patch tick )

Moving on to South Hish Marsh - 70 TEAL, 16 WIGEON, 12 SNIPE, 16 STOCK DOVE, 500+ STARLING, feeding in the field amongst the MEADOW PIPT were 5 WATER PIPIT ( first for the autumn )

On the rocks were 3 RINGED PLOVER, 3 TURNSTONE and a KINGFISHER.


Reports from Eric W at South Efford Marsh- 2 GREEN SANDPIPER, 20 GOLDEN PLOVER, 1m MERLIN and 3 WATER PIPIT

MON 25 NOV 2013

Late news for Sunday - GREAT N DIVER close inshore, 2 COMMON SCOTER & 5 TEAL flew east .

This morning overcast with almost no wind so a flat calm sea and good vis.

 On T'stone Marsh -30 TEAL, 1f WIGEON, 6 SHOVELER ( 2 M ) 1 LAPWING.

Offshore - GREAT N DIVER and a F COMMON SCOTER close inshore. Only 2 GANNET ,

2 GREY PLOVER on the rocks with 3 TURNSTONE.

Around South H Marsh - 2 SWALLOW ( new latest date ) 1 BRAMBLING ( flew N )



At Soth M Ley - this morning Bob B had 9 CHIFFCHAFF and ringed a SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF ( 193 ) first of the winter.  At 16.30  he had 7-10,000 STARLING roosting with some very good mumerations by the boardwalk

 Number of hits to this blog broke all records last week  3,500 ( normally around

1000 ) Didn't realise it was becoming so popular.

SAT 23 NOV 2013

Another sunny day with only a light NE breeze - flat sea and a clear horizon.

Little to report - On T'stone Marsh - SHOVELER increased to 11 ( 2m 9f ) 25 TEAL and a lone LAPWING

In the Bay the GREAT N DIVER on the sea whilst 4 WIGEON and a TEAL flew inland .

Waders on the rocks - singles of DUNLIN, RINGED PLOVER and SANDERLING

FRI 22 NOV 2013

Another sunny if cool day with a brisk F4 N/NE wind  and some interesting birds.

 Patch year ticks are now scarce so the arrival in the bay of a red head GOOSANDER (192 ) was unexpected,  first record since Jan 2012. It landed on the same spot as a

F PINTAIL some 1hour earlier.  A feeding party of GANNET totalled 75 , with at least another 25 passing through. A GREAT N DIVER on the sea at 09.30 along with 2 WIGEON. At 11.30 a flock of 40 DUNLIN flew west , later  another 6 flew in off the sea and straight up the valley. 15 REDWING in off.

 On the rocks 3 RINGED PLOVER.

On South H Marsh - 5 WIGEON , 55 TEAL, 4 LAPWING and 20 SNIPE

THURS 21 NOV 2013

A very sunny day with a cold F6/7 N wind, great visability out in the Bay .

Still difficult to work out the impact of the recent ditch clearance and dyke building work will have  at T'stone Marsh. At the moment duck numbers are well down ( at least those I can still see )- this am -6 SHOVELER, 10 TEAL, 2 LAPWING .


Offshore 25 WIGEON ( later flew onto the Marsh ) 5 COMMON SCOTER, 18 AUK sp , 60+ GANNET, 3 KITTIWAKE.

At 11.30 a female MERLIN flew through.

Bob B had 10 GOLDEN PLOVER at Huxton Cross

WED 20 NOV 2013

No suppressed BB rarities to report on today ! Just normal local patch news .

After 15 mins this morning had to return home as the car was rocking in a F8 N/NW gale and some heavy rain . In the bay were 30 + GANNET and a BRENT GOOSE flew east.

On T'stone Marsh - 3m 5f SHOVELER, 15 TEAL, 2 LAPWING .

Went over to South H Marsh at 15.00 to find a pair of GADWALL ( first of the autumn ) 2f SHOVELER and 30 TEAL .

In the Bay 100+ WIGEON on the sea - this is the 4th day that large numbers of WIGEON have  been on the sea  ,flying in late morning . Can only assume they are from Erme Est which has  a wintering flock of up to 250 . 20 KITTIWAKE flying west and a further 25 GANNET 

On the rocks 25 OYSTERCATCHER- for the last 2 weeks numbers have rarely been in excess of 6

TUES 19 NOV 2013

A nice crisp day with an incresingly brisk N/NW wind.

on T'stone Marsh - 6 SHOVELER, 10 TEAL, 2 LAPWING

On South H Marsh - 20 WIGEON, 10 TEAL, 10 LAPWING .

Out in the Bay 110+ GANNET, 170 WIGEON on the sea, they flew in as 4 separate flocks .

At 11.00 a SWALLOW picked up flying west over Warren Pt

 23  ALBA WAGTAIL ringed at the roost on Sat evening included 5 WHITE

Mon 18 NOV 2013

Quite a 'Dusky ' morning unfortunately no sign of the Thrush in this part of remote Devon, only Song seen.!


On T'stone marsh - 15 TEAL, 27 WIGEON, 7 SHOVELER ( 3m ),  2 MUTE SWAN,

5 RAVEN flew high east at 08.00 . Major ditch work on the Marsh could result in the loss of the back pool , will just have to wait and see what happens when we have some heavy rain . Tonight the PIED WAGTAIL roost was 60+ birds


Nice mix of birds offshore - 140 + GANNET, 18 KITTIWAKE, 4 AUKS, 1 GREAT SKUA close inshore and sat on the sea at 09.30 before continuing west. At 12.00 a BALEARIC SHEARWATER flew east. Ducks on the sea - 75 WIGEON, 70 TEAL, . On  the rocks 3 TURNSTONE .and an ad MED GULL

 On South H Marsh - 30 TEAL, 1f SHOVELER, 1 f WIGEON, 1f TUFTED DUCK, 8 LAPWING

SUN 17 NOV 2013

A cloudy day with little wind and few birds to get excited about -

On T'stone Marsh - 8 WIGEON, 20 TEAL, 6 SHOVELER, 3 MUTE SWAN , 1 LAPWING . First STARLING roost for a while - however only 400 birds

No sign of the Bearded Tits today - South H Marsh had - 45 TEAL, 1 TUFTED DUCK, 2 SNIPE , 6 STONECHAT, 1 f BLACK REDSTART and a KINGFISHER

On the sea  aflock of 14 WIGEON with a further 66 flying in at 14.00 . On the rocks  6 TURNSTONE and 5 RINGED PLOVER. 2 MUTE SWAN flew west

At South M Ley 16 CHIFFCHAFF ringed plus 2 controls ( a retrap and a Slapton bird ) .

Will the cold spell later in the week bring birds to our area - looks as though very little rain after Mon so lots of clear skies and N/NE winds

SAT 16 NOV 2013

Late update on one of the best patch days in recent weeks and I missed it spending the day driving to & from Solihull !

A patch year tick found by Bob B and AJL on South Huish Marsh - a pair of

BEARDED TIT ( 191 ) first since Nov 2011, then Bruce Church, Alan D and Eric W had a male HEN HARRIER which resulted in a count of over 100 SNIPE . 3 BLACK TAILED GODWIT flew in late afternoon


Earlier AJL had a late SWALLOW.

Other species on the patch - 45 LAPWING , 1 CROSSBILL, FIELDFARE and SISKIN . KINGFISHER on South Milton Ley

FRI 15 NOV 2013

A calm bright morning did not produce the anticpated WOOD PIGEON  passage - total by 08.45 only 850 with virtually no other species.

Major ditch clearance at T'stone Marsh has resulted in a lot of the duck moving on - 1m 4f SHOVELER & 5 Teal all that remain .2 WATER RAIL calling .

At South M Ley Bob had 4 BULLFINCH, 3 CHIFFCHAFF and 1 REDPOLL, at least 4 WATER RAIL. 2 LITTLE GREBE in the channel,. 

On South H Marsh  both KINGFISHER and TUFTED DUCK also 25 TEAL , 14 WIGEON

1 SNIPE and a flock of 40+ GREENFINCH.

Main interest was in the Bay where a total of 160 KITTIWAKE many just sat on the sea ( this is according to Bob the largest concentration at this time of the year , all of them were adult birds ). 110 GANNET ( feeding ), 4 flocks of WIGEON landed on the sea -

12 at 09.30 and 40 at 12.30 , 4 COMMON SCOTER flew east,. a TURNSTONE  on the rocks .

Bird of the morning a SWALLOW landed on the wires near the flat car park at 09.50 , my latest date for the patch

THURS 14 NOV 2013

No vis mig this morning probably due to the brisk NW wind and some heavy showers, however the morning produced a number of surprises.

On T'stone marsh - 2m 2f SHOVELER, 25 TEAL, 2 JAY over and a SPARROWHAWK.

2hrs seawatching from the car park - 215 GANNET, 140 KITTIWAKE - this is one of the highest counts of the year and  included a flock of 65 on the sea . Whilst watching the K'wakes feeding they attracted the attention of 3 GREAT SKUA-  another specie that is unusual in Nov. 1 TEAL , 4 COMMON SCOTER  and 3 AUKS all flew east .

Moving down to South Huish Marsh -  35 TEAL, 25 WIGEON and the star duck of the month- an imm TUFTED DUCK - this is only our 3rd of the year. AJL also had  a male MERLIN. KESTREL and BUZZARD over .

Nick T took the Nat Trust team on a tour of South Milton Ley  where they found a KINGFISHER and a 1cy MARSH HARRIER - both of them are scarce  here particularly since the absence of the well aged Slapton bird . Harrier showing well from the footbridge at 12.30

Pity we didn't have a  Peregrine , but it is not often that we have 5 species of raptor in a day.

Now all we need is a patch year tick ! Anticipated cold blast for next week  could be the answer

WED 13 NOV 2013

First morning with a frost at dawn, nice clear skies and the vis mig did not let us down.

My sightings were from my house and Bob B's at Huxton Cross .

WOOD PIGEON movement started at 08.10 and my counts completed at 08.35. Flocks were quite high at times and were all making for Soar, my total, was just over 10,000, however Bob was more inland with continuous passage from 08.00 to 09.00 his totals were 30,000, . The combined total of 40,000 we agree was  a conservative one


Bob  also had a SISKIN, 1 BRAMBLING and 3 FIELDFARE.

Whist clearing some ringing rides in T'stone marsh Bob flushed 50 SNIPE ( by far the largest total of the autumn ) and a CETTIS WARBLER

Offshore 7 COMMON SCOTER flew west .

I spent the morning searching for the Dusky Warbler at Berry Head  and failed along with  a fair number of others .

TUES 12 NOV 2013

With a bright start with some clear skies to the north and a light breeze there was some vis mig from 08.15-09.00 over my house - WOOD PIGEON ( all SW ) 7500 -largest flock 1600, very few after 08.45 . also 20 SKYLARK, 16 CHAFFINCH, 14 GOLDFINCH, 2 GREENFINCH, 1 m BRAMBLING, 1 JAY, 1 SONG THRUSH, 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 1 GREAT Sp WOODPECKER.

On T'stone Marsh - 17 TEAL, 4 WIGEON, 1m 3f SHOVELER, 1 L. GREBE, 2 WATER RAIL.

On the flats by the car park a 1st w m BLACK REDSTART, Offshore - 36 KITTIWAKE  , 90 GANNET, 7 COMMON SCOTER, 2 f EIDER all west and a GREAT N DIVER ( on sea)

On the rocks 3 TURNSTONE

At South H Marsh - 40 TEAL , 10 WIGEON, 20 LAPWING, 4 SHOVELER.

Bob B also had 2,500 WOOD PIGEON at Huxton Cross (addnl to mine ) and then at South M Ley - 1 CROSSBILL, 7 CHIFFCHAFF , 9 YELLOWHAMMER, 3 GREY WAGTAIL.

Clear skies tonight with 45% cloud from 06.00 so some possiblity of vis mig on Wed


In case anyone is wondering why no reports of the STARLING roost - easy answer - the max recently has been 50 birds. Hopefully they will be using the roosting site  from January.

MON 11 NOV 2013

A dismal morning , low cloud and mist, constant drizzle/ rain brisk W wind .

Compared with reports further east very little in the Bay - A GREAT N DIVER on the sea , 50 GANNET, 35 COMMON SCOTER ( flew west )

On South H Marsh  40 TEAL, 3 SHOVELER, 7 WIGEON , 1 SNIPE . In the field amongst the Herring Gull were at least 30 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.

SUN 10 NOV 2013

With family visiting this weekend birding had to come second , however when I saw the clear skies and sun rising at 07.20 it was 2 hrs on the balcony and a superb vis mig watch whilst they all slept in

WOOD PIGEON movement was the star attraction -in the first hour 5200 and then they really got moving  another 22,000 in an hour - total 27,200 ( at least ) Bob B was near Huxton Cross and he had 8000+ in just over an hour - not up to the numbers  at Newport in Wales but still a good count for the patch . In addition to these  other species recorded were -


BOB B at South M LEy - 4 CHIFFCHAFF, 7 REED BUNTING, 3 GOLDEN PLOVER and on the beach 1 DUNLIN.

Finally a very nice F BLACK REDSTART in my garden

FRI 8 NOV 2013

A very wet morning restricted me to watching  T'stone Marsh from my house - the highlight being a WATER RAIL only 25 feet away. ,also 15 TEAL, 2 SHOVELER, 8 LAPWING ( flew north ). On the feeders 5 REED BUNTING, 5 CHAFFINCH, 2 GREENFINCH. 2 SONG THRUSH flew through.

This afternoon went over to South H Marsh apart from 12 TEAL everything else had moved on . 5 LAPWING ( flew north ) . Only waders were 2 SANDERLING on the rocks

THURS 7 NOV 2013

A much more typical autumn day , some clear skies and only a light wind .

On T'stone Marsh this morning - 20 TEAL, 2 SHOVELER, 2 MUTE SWAN, 9 LAPWING

With clear skies a passage of  WOOD PIGEON started at 09.00 and only lasted 30 mins all flying south . largest flock 1500, total logged 2210. Interestingly Steve Hopper at South Brent also had  similar  numbers slightly earlier than here . Also flying over - 45 SKYLARK , 50 + MIPIT.

A raptor flushed 10 SNIPE at South H Marsh plus a JACK SNIPE. On the marsh 40 TEAL, 8 WIGEON, 1f SHOVELER, 1 LAPWING

This afternoon 12 REED BUNTING ringed at South Milton Ley , also there a BULLFINCH and a CHIFFCHAFF.

Spent the afternoon at Starehole Valley with Nick T and Alan D  trying without success to find the Great Grey Shrike which Nick saw this morning - compensation came with a cracking male RING OUZEL ( my latest date )

WED 6 NOV 2013

A really dark dank wet and windy day, SW gale 8 at times made sea watching unpleasant.

A 3hr watch from the cafe only produced - 1 GREAT N DIVER ( flew east at 09.25 )

15 GANNET. A SHELDUCK flew down the valley and then west ( first site record since the breeding birds departed in July ). On the sea a db BRENT GOOSE and a WIGEON

On South H Marsh - 6 WIGEON, 20 TEAL, .

A MERLIN flew over the car park .

On T'stone marsh - 30 TEAL, 1f SHOVELER and a LITTLE GREBE .

TUES 5 NOV 2013

Back to more normal weather today  , heavy o/night rain and a gale W wind - everything was blown out .

T'stone marsh this morning - 35 TEAL, 1 WIGEON, 6 LAPWING

Offshore 20+ GANNET, 13 WIGEON flew west .

On South H Marsh - 65 TEAL, 3 WIGEON and 2 F SHOVELER

MON 4 NOV 2013

A really nice calm autumn day with great viz and a clear blue sky

Was on my balcony for 07.00 to watch the WOOD PIGEON migration - in an hour I only had 15 !, thankfully the were other species on the move - One flock of 9 STOCK DOVE, 18 GOLDFINCH, 4 REED BUNTING, 4 GREENFINCH, 5 CHAFFINCH , 3 MUTE SWAN ( flew west ), 1 MERLIN, 12 REDWING. On the Marsh -15 TEAL, 6 LAPWING , 1 WATER RAIL

Offshore -125+ GANNET, 60+ BLACK H GULL, 1ad COMMON GULL and a GREAT NORTHERN DIVER ( on the sea - the first of the autumn )

Waders on the rocks - 5 TURNSTONE and a SANDERLING.

On South Huish Marsh Teal had increased to 60 , a CHIFFCHAFF in the copse 

Bob B had over South Milton Ley this am singles of SISKIN, REDPOLL,&  6 SONG THRUSH.

Over the car park a single flock of 50 WOOD PIGEON and Bob had 6 SWALLOW

SUN 3 NOV 2013

Very little to report for the last 2 days - storm foce winds and some very heavy showers.

At 08.45 this morning AJL had a GREY PHALAROPE in the bay briefly , i could only locate an ad MED GULL.

On T'stone Marsh - 15 TEAL, 2 WIGEON and a m SHOVELER

FRI 1 NOV 2013

A fairly mundane start to Nov ,at least the rain held off until after lunch.

At 08.00 T'stone Marsh held - 4 SHOVELER, 20 TEAL, 1 WIGEON, 6 SNIPE and a SPARROWHAWK.

08.45 - 11.45 Around the Bay and South H Marh - 45 GANNET, 1 PEREGRINE, 35 TEAL, mixed flock of 60+ GOLDFINCH/LINNET. Waders on the rocks - 4 TURNSTONE, 4 RINGED PLOVER,  1 SANDERLING, and 1 PURPLE SANDPIPER ( first autumn record ).

At Huxton Cross 6 LAPWING

Only report from South M Ley - 2 WATER RAIL, 1 REED BUNTING