Category: Mid Devon

12 Jun
8:17 am
2022

Volunteers needed for monthly Bird Survey at historic Fursden House near Thorverton

Devon bIrds is seeking volunteers to participate in a monthly bird survey of the historic Fursden Estate.

The estate consist of undulating fields, streams and woodlands just two miles from Thorveton in Mid Devon, north of Exeter.

The results of our effort will assist Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) in formulating and estate wide Biodiversity Action Plan. We plan to undertake the first survey in October 2022. To participate, email Nick Arnstrong before Thursday 30th June at armstronick@gmail.com

We are also looking for a team of leaders to help plan the bid count and coordinate and monitor specific areas of habitat during the survey. Please let us know if you would like to take on a leadership role.

29 Apr
3:53 pm
2022

Mid Devon Branch Field Trip 18th May 10am

Please note that the meeting time for this event is 10am and not 9am as originally published.

29 Feb
10:13 am
2020

Mid Devon Branch visit to Exminster Marshes on Tuesday 25th February

The sun shone when there was a break in the storm clouds on Tuesday morning. Mid Devon’s field trip to Exminster Marshes took advantage of the opportunity and clocked up 48 species during a 4 hour morning saunter along the lane and canal path to Turf Lock. Wildfowl and waders prevailed with close up views of the more common species at this time of year. It’s comforting to see a large, undisturbed mix of Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, Shelduck and the odd diving duck of freshwater and estuary. Snipe, Lapwing and Curlew in the fields while flocks of Godwit, Lapwing and Dunlin circled above. The Peregrine emerged and the Kingfisher fished at the lock. Avocet, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin and Oystercatcher were present on the estuary. The group split in to two for the return leg when the rain forced us back to the cars at 2pm. Eleven members enjoyed the company and opportunity to forget everything else.

Nick Armstrong

12 Jan
12:26 pm
2019

Volunteers Needed for Bird Surveys

Mid-Devon Branch of Devon Birds is seeking volunteers to help out with two bird surveys as described below:

1. A monthly bird survey of Cove Farm, located just north of Tiverton.  Two adjoining landowners plan to undertake a rewilding project.  Cove Farm is composed of pasture, mature hedges and small copses together with a larger plantation and deciduous woodland that in total constitutes an area of approximately 80 acres.  The land is fairly steep in places.   A 2019 base survey will help substantiate the change that we anticipate will occur as agricultural practice gives way to natural regeneration.  We propose to kick off with the first monthly survey during the last week of January.  Please contact Nick Armstrong for further details: armstronick@gmail.com or tel: 01363 866860

2. Local people are need to help monitor Stoke Woods, at the edge of Exeter, adjacent to the Exe Valley.  . The focus will be for Pied Flycatchers but we intend to maintain a database of all bird species and wildlife.  A number of nest boxes were placed in position last year. Stoke Woods was incorporated into the Piedfly network last year.  Please contact Annabelle Strickland:  jfajstrickland@outlook.com or tel: 01392 439685. 

17 Dec
4:00 pm
2018

Trip to Exminster Marshes and Christmas Lunch on 13th December

12 Members with welcomed guests from Plymouth, South & East Devon Branches, met on an extremely cold & windy morning but braved the elements to walk around the Marsh. We were rewarded with seeing 48 different species including a wonderful spectacle of a peregrine chasing a crow & eventually feeding off prey on the ground. Other highlights included Barnacle geese, Brent geese, Snow Goose, Snipe, Muscovy Duck, Lapwing, Mergansers, Shoveler, Tufted, Avocet, Stonechat & Bullfinch.
 
Everyone enjoyed a very friendly & sociable lunch together at the Swans Nest pub and were glad to warm up with some hot food & drink. 
 
We wish all our members a very Happy Christmas & an enjoyable bird year in 2019
4 Nov
1:27 pm
2018

Tips and Techniques for Bird Photography on 29th November 2018

Learn the techniques to better bird photography with Tom Wallis.  The workshop will be held in the skittle room, upstairs at the popular Lamb Inn in Sandford, near Crediton EX17 4LW, a traditional pub with great atmosphere and fine food.   Come earlier for the Mid Devon branch AGM which will be held at 06.30pm before the start of the Camera Workshop at 07.00pm.  Everyone is welcome.”

1 Nov
6:06 pm
2018

Visit to Dawlish Warren on 30th October 2018

20 members met at Dawlish Warren for our field meeting walk around the reserve visiting the hide and walking the dunes route path.  49 different species were seen/heard including Cirl Bunting, Kestrel, Sparrow hawk, Skylark, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Guillemot, Eider, Red-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe, Ringed Plover, Barnacle Geese, Brent Geese, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, Wigeon, Stonechat and a probable Yellow-legged Gull. It was a good day in the sunshine with enjoyable like-minded bird watchers’ company.  Many thanks to Digby Greenhill for leading the walk supported by John Whitlock a local, extremely knowledgeable birder.

Next Field Meeting – Roadford, Tuesday 13 November at 0930

17 Oct
10:33 am
2018

Mid Devon visit to Shipley Bridge/Avon Dam – Tuesday 16 October 2018

11 members, including a couple of ‘always welcome’ new members, met at Shipley Bridge for our field meeting walk to Avon Dam. 28 different species were seen/heard including: Hobby, Snipe, juv Ring Ouzel (2), Kestrel (3-4), Buzzard, Peregrine, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Golden Plover (flock 200+), Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Blackcap and Meadow Pipit. Everyone enjoyed the day with good company and many thanks to Roger Jewell for leading the walk.

Next Field Meeting – Dawlish Warren, Tuesday 30 October at 9.30am

Annabelle Strickland

9 May
9:45 am
2018

Mid Devon Branch 2 day visit to Avalon Marshes

Monday 30 April

We all gathered at Ham Wall Information Centre for a RSPB guided walk around the Reserve. Our guides,Peter and Giles, gave an overview of the habitat and how it was created and carefully designed, particularly for Bitterns. The weather was the opposite of what had been forecast and we had no rain for 2 days, so that was a bonus. Lots of spring warblers were seen and heard along the hedgerows, including Cetti’s, Blackcap, Garden, Sedge etc. Swifts, Sand & House Martins, Swallows have arrived in good numbers. Great White Egrets and Marsh Harrier were seen flying over the reedbeds and Bittern were heard booming in several places. From the Avalon hide Hobbies were seen flying and perching on a nearby post.

Back at the centre having lunch, a Cuckoo was heard and Red Kite flew over. We then carried on to the Shapwick Reserve where a large number of Hobbies were swooping over the reeds and we had good views of Whitethroat near the path. From Noah’s hide we watched a pair of Great Crested Grebe looking beautiful in the sunshine.

Butterflies included Speckled Wood, Peacock, Orange Tip and Brimstone.

Most of the group overnighted in Glastonbury and met up in the evening for dinner where we all enjoyed a good evening chatting about the day.

Tuesday 1 May

The group met at Catcott Lows Reserve and were joined by 3 more members and walked to the Tower Hide. We spent about 3 hours spotting many birds not seen on the previous day including: Skylark, Reed Warbler, Kestrel and Song Thrush. Then on to Greylake for lunch and another couple of hours where we watched a Lapwing mobbing a Harrier. Birds seen included Peregrine, Hobby, Greta White Egret, Gadwall, Redshank, Wigeon and Shoveler.

Onwards to Aller Moor for our final challenge of seeing the Cranes who are currently into the breeding season. We were pleased to watch 2 Cranes on the ground feeding and a short flight.

Mission accomplished, a grand total of 71 birds over the 2 days and everyone headed happily homewards having made new birding friends.

Annabelle Strickland

 

24 Apr
8:41 am
2018

Mid Devon Field visit to Fernworthy

On Tuesday 17th April, 8 members joined the Mid Devon field meet at Fernworthy Reservoir. Visibility was marred by heavy rain and although Swallows continued to fly over the water a decision was made to leave and regroup for a walk through the woods at Yarner in the hope of better conditions. The new hide overlooking the small reservoir at Yarner afforded views of a male Mandarin. Another male Mandarin was perched on a branch in what little remains of the former pond. Six male Pied Flycatchers were singing; one female was observed. Pairs of Bullfinch, Coal and Marsh Tits were seen from the hide and a single Redpoll was feeding in the alder trees. The rain didn’t stop!

Nick Armstrong