Location Thurlestone SX675423
Road Access On outskirts of Thurlestone village near Golf Course
Habitat Mixture of marsh and reedbeds with small lake.
Size 8 ha
Access Viewing from the road only
Site Manager Privately owned
Tenure Owned by local farmer

starling roost Thurlestone 2011 ©

Places to GoThurlestone Marsh

Thurlestone marsh is one of three small wetlands south of the village (South Milton Ley and South Huish Reserve are the others).  It was formed where a small stream flows through low-lying flat farmland just inland from Leas Foot Sand, a small beach just to the southwest of the village.  It is easily located, situated opposite the golf course club and car park just outside the village which is the best area to view the birds.

It is not a reserve and lacks any form of management or access; although it was once a tightly grazed wet meadowland.  In recent years the local farmer has allowed nature to take over and the land has become a haven for birds and birders alike.

Over the years a reedbed has formed along with areas of other marsh-loving plants such as sedges.  It now forms a third marshy site in close proximity to South Milton Ley and South Huish Reserve, and attracts a range of more common marsh dwelling species: Reed Bunting, Reed and Sedge Warblers breed. In winter it hosts larger numbers of snipe, duck include Teal and Shoveler, while Garganey are regular visitors in Spring in ones and twos.

Combined with the other wetlands and the Thurlestone Bay sea areas these venues can amass up to 200 species per year, with Thurlestone Marsh contributing its diverse share of scarce and rare visitors be they waders like Little and Ringed Plover, or Pectoral Sandpiper, elusive Aquatic Warbler or a showy Marsh Harrier.  An April 2012 rarity was an aptly named Great White Egret.  These examples are just a very few of the more notable birds logged here, and as with any other birdwatching venue no one can ever tell just what will turn up next.