MAY 2013


The cool start to Spring in April continued throughout most of this month, whilst rainfall was below normal, winds were mainly SW and NW resulting in the poorest migration of Waders for a number of years.   There were spectacular passage days Sunday 5th/Monday 6th and

1 and half hours from 17.00 on 14th.   Only 1 day of SKUA passage Saturday 11th.


During the month a total of 116 species were recorded (c/f 112 – 2012) with 8 new species for the year taking the total to 161 (c/f 167 – 2012). LESSER REDPOLL, GARGANEY, POMERINE SKUA, BALEARIC SHEARWATER, WOODLARK, SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, BARNACLE GOOSE and GREENSHANK.


Included in the ringing report are some details of the SPOONBILL – V4 kindly provided by Otto Overdyk who ringed it as a nestling on 2nd June, 2006.


Significant sightings for the month:-


MUTE SWAN – Breeding again successful on Thurlestone Marsh with 4 Cygnets first seen on 19th.

BARNACLE GOOSE – almost a certain candidate for a Sch D species first noticed with CANADAS on South Huish Marsh on 19th, present daily until month end sometimes visiting Thurlestone Marsh.



SHELDUCK - present on the marshes all month max 9, no evidence of breeding yet.

MALLARD – Several broods hatched, most predated, at least 2 on Thurlestone Marsh fully fledged.

TEAL - 11 on 2nd max, last a male on 20th.

GARGANEY – only 1 record a pair fist seen by Vic Tucker on South Huish Marsh on 7th.

SHOVELER – last were a pair on 1st.

COMMON SCOTER – poor spring passage only recorded on 6 dates, 35 on 5th was the max until 26th when 2 flocks flew east totalling 170 (years highest).



RED THROATED – 2 on the sea on 1st.

GREAT NORTHERN – singles on 1st and 2nd.

MANX SHEARWATER – Recorded on only 3 dates, early evening of 14th saw 440+ moving east in 1 and half hours immediately after a front moved through.

BALEARIC SHEARWATER – in good weather conditions and reasonably close off Warren Point a single bird flew west on 13th

GANNET – Seen almost daily, largest movement of the year saw 410+ move east in 1 and half hours on 14th.

HOBBY - a single record over Thurlestone Marsh on 14th.



OYSTERCATCHER – Max 16 on 28th,.

LITTLE RINGED PLOVER – a late migrant early evening of 17th on South Huish Marsh.

RINGED PLOVER – max 6 on 8th.

GREY PLOVER – more records this year than any of my previous years (9 years) singles on 3 dates and 2 on 19th and 20th.

SANDERLING – late May is peak passage time, 2 on 17th then built up to 18 on24th and a max of 32 on 28th.

PURPLE SANDPIPER – Single on rocks off Warren Point on 1st – only my second May record.

DUNLIN - small numbers up to 22nd then 25 on 23rd and a max of 38 on 24th.

BAR-TAILED GODWIT – very poor spring passage – SE winds needed for this specie only recorded on 4 dates with 6 on 6th and 5 on 7th the max .

WHIMBREL - passage throughout the month but still much lower than previous years – max 120 on 6th and still 14 at the end of the month.

CURLEW – singles on 2 dates.

COMMON SANDPIPER – singles on 2nd and 7th.

GREENSHANK – June Higgins again found the years first – Thurlestone Marsh fields on 8th.

TURNSTONE – max 3 on 13th.

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT – Bob B reported 2 on South Huish marsh on 31st.



ARCTIC – singles on 3 dates and a max of 4 on 11th.

POMARINE – 5 flew east also on 11th,.

GREAT – singles only on 14th and 19th.



LITTLE GULL – single on 13th.

FULMAR – max 11 on 14th.

KITTIWAKE – max 21 also on 14th.



SANDWICH – Another very poor passage – recorded on 8 dates with a max of 4 on 6th.

COMMON – On 5th a total of 700+ flew through many coming in off the sea and flying straight up the valley, 80 recorded on 6th, 16 on 7th and 26 on 14th..

ARCTIC – 3 records – 3 on 5th, 2 on 14th and 2 on 23rd.



SWALLOW – 500+ moved through on 6th, with over 100 HOUSE MARTIN and 2 SAND MARTIN.

SWIFT – 30 over Thurlestone Marsh on both 13th and 23rd.


WARBLERS – Breeding numbers well down on previous years – highlights.

WILLOW = a late migrant (for us) on 9th.

GARDEN WARBLER – 1 on 1st.

LESSER WHITETHROAT – 2 males at South Milton Ley on 1st

WHITETHROAT - max 10 on 1st

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER – 3 in the copse on 18th, 1 on Golf Course on 19th.

WHINCHAT – 2 on 16th and 1 on 18th.

WHEATEAR – late migrants 3 on 5th, 2 on 16th and a single on 28th.

YELLOW WAGTAIL – best spring passage for years continued although only singles on 4 dates with 3 on 16th.

BLUE HEADED WAGTAIL – A female on 1st and a male on 16th took the spring total to at least 4 different birds (a patch record).

LESSER REDPOLL – Bob B had one at South Milton Ley on 2nd.

WOODLARK – A rare spring record – one seen and heard by Sylvia Tucker at South Milton Marsh on 6th.


Sat writing this report having just packed the car ready for our trip to La Brenne in France, will have company this year with Graham and Daphne Daw, with Bob B flying off to Thailand again on 5th, the patch will be in the hands of AJL through to the 10th June.