Devon Birds News

4 Jan
3:07 pm

Devon Birds Record Committee Vacancy

After serving as a member of the Committee for six years, Pete Aley will be standing down at the end of 2022. Pete has been an active member of the Committee, and his consistent approach to assessing records has proved invaluable. The Society would like to thank him for his contribution over the past six years and wish him well in the future.
This means that there is a vacancy on Committee, no formal applications to fill these vacancies have been received. If any members wish to nominate themselves or other Devon Birds members please get in touch with the County Recorder. The Committee would particularly like to hear from female and younger members.
In addition, the role of associate member of the Committee, giving less experienced Devon Birds members an opportunity to get involved in, and learn about, the work of DBRC, hopefully encouraging wider participation and leading to a more diverse team.

For more information and/or an application form please contact: Kevin Rylands, County Recorder, email:

11 Dec
1:05 pm

Devon Birds Wetland Birds Conference

The link below will take you to the summary of the recent Wetland Bird Conference, hosted by Devon Birds at the Exeter Court Hotel

Wetland Bird Conference summary

7 Dec
10:08 am

Plymouth Branch visit to St John’s Lake and the River Lynher, Torpoint

Please follow the link below to find a report of the recent Plymouth branch visit to St John’s Lake and River Lynher


Plymouth Branch latest visit

6 Dec
10:04 pm

Saturday 3 December Field Trip Report for St John’s Lake and River Lynher, Torpoint

For the final field trip of the 2022 season 25 people from the Plymouth Branch made a foray across the water, assembling on Marine Drive and moving on to Chapeldown Road.  Four hours before high tide large numbers of duck and geese were visible on the far side of the water.  Much closer views of a party of 5 Little Grebe were enjoyed together with a variety of waders, which included Turnstone, several small flocks of Dunlin together with at least 12 Ringed Plover.  There were distant views of a Great Northern Diver which was actively fishing.

The group moved on to Wacker Quay as the tide came in and pushed waders on to the salt marsh.  Good numbers of Teal and Wigeon were seeking shelter from a bitterly cold wind together with a lone Gadwall.  Waders were hunkered down in the marsh vegetation but the predominantly white plumage of a group of approximately 50 Avocets were showing clearly on the distant shore.

Upon returning to Chapeldown Road for the high tide, the group were rewarded with excellent views of 24 dark-bellied and 4 pale-bellied Brent Geese and up to 3 Great Northern Divers.  Local residents were keen to share their recent sightings too, with a Black Redstart seen daily on roof tops in the area, although none of the group were lucky on this occasion.


Great Northern Diver Dunlin
Great Crested Grebe Avocet
Little Grebe Great Black-backed Gull
Cormorant Herring Gull
Grey Heron Common Gull
Little Egret Black-headed Gull
Mallard Woodpigeon
Teal Feral Pigeon
Gadwall Great Spotted Woodpecker
Wigeon Carrion Crow
Shelduck Jackdaw
Brent Goose (dark-bellied) Magpie
Brent Goose (pale-bellied) Great Tit
Canada Goose Blue Tit
Mute Swan Long-tailed Tit
Buzzard Wren
Kestrel Blackbird
Oystercatcher Robin
Ringed Plover Goldcrest
Turnstone Dunnock
Snipe Rock Pipit
Curlew Pied Wagtail
Black-tailed Godwit Starling
Bar-tailed Godwit Greenfinch
Common Sandpiper Chaffinch
Redshank House Sparrow


Total 53 species

25 Nov
9:56 am

Plymouth Branch – Indoor Meeting Review

On Monday, 14th.November 2022 Plymouth Branch held their first Indoor meeting in nearly three years following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Seasonality – A personal account of nature through the seasons.

Ian Parsons

Author, naturalist and tour guide.

The weather and the Seasons are favourite topics of conversation in Britain, but do we really look carefully and study the changes brought about as the clock ticks and the Seasons progress? What effects are there on our wildlife and how might it affect our senses and experience of our environment?

Ian has a great understanding of these questions and in his presentation, he revealed some answers to them. Drawing on his experiences as a Forestry Commission warden, bird watcher, author and bird tour guide Ian presented a highly personal and enlightening account of nature with which he shares his life. He says in the introduction to his book, namely, “Seasonality – A personal account of nature through the seasons”, “Wildlife makes me tick. Quite simply it makes me happy”.

His passion, underpinned with deep knowledge and understanding, was clearly communicated to us with great photographs, readings from his book, personal anecdotes and fascinating nuggets of information. I am sure that we will remember the story of the Devon endemic “No parking Whitebeam” tree species and the way in which the winter thrushes can discern which berries to eat for breakfast and which ones to eat for supper!

Ian is a great advocate for trees and ably shows how much of wildlife is dependent on trees and pointing out how we often take trees for granted, he phrases this as being, “tree blind”. How many of us know the Spindle Tree or that it was once subject to laws condemning it as a threat to national security in World War 2. This common component to our native hedgerows puts on a spectacular Autumn display with exotic pink fruits that when ripe open to reveal orange seeds but it is also a food plant to Blackfly which can decimate food crops. Hence it became a target for persecution during the testing times of World war when the focus on farming efficiency became paramount.

Ian concludes in this presentation and in his book, “The seasons of the year roll on regardless: an endless cycle that dictates the rhythm of life”

John Lloyd                    Committee member Devon Birds Plymouth Branch.


A personal account of nature through the seasons.

Ian Parsons

Whittles Publishing ISBN 978-1-84995-505-8

24 Nov
3:19 pm

Online petition

Devon Birds have been advised about a petition to ‘Limit the shooting season of Woodcock’. If you would like more information please read the Blog at If you wish to sign the petition please go to

8 Nov
4:06 pm

Annual Draw

Results of the 2022 Annual Draw

1st Prize      £200        Mr J Yeoman

2nd Prize     £75          Mr R Aley

3rd Prize      2 x tickets for Lundy    Mr S Mills

4th Prize      2 x tickets for Devon Birds trip to Lundy 2023   Mr B Coulson

5th Prize      Framed photo of 2 Peregrines     Mrs L Barker

6th Prize      Framed photo of a Black Tailed Godwit   Mrs R Wells

7th Prize      Framed photo of a Nightjar     Mr & Mrs K Murray


5 Nov
4:31 pm


Please see the link below for the latest edition of our newsletter


newsletter issue 6

23 Oct
8:10 am

Plymouth Branch – Soar & Starehole Valley for Migrants

Please open the link below to download a report of the Plymouth Branch trip to Soar and Starehole Valley, looking for migrants


Soar and Starehole valley report

26 Sep
1:19 pm

Avian Flu

Avian Flu is Affecting Birds in Devon

Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find.

Call the DEFRA helpline on 03459 335577 if you find:

  • one or more dead bird of prey or owl
  • 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks)
  • 5 or more dead birds of any species