Devon Bird Sightings from January 2015

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Membership

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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Saturday 31st January 2015

Exminister to Powderham

Finally got around to going to look for the Snow Bunting this morning and was not disapointed. While walking form Exminster we saw a Peregrine spooking the waders on the estuary, eventually departing with a small wader for breakfast. A pair of Goldeneye landed briefly in the main channel before continuing to fly up the estuary. 3 Red-legged Partridge were our first of the year. The Snow Bunting was found feeding on the mud at the base of the sea wall, it then climbed the wall and was lost when it got close to the top. As we turned to walk back the bunting was in the middle of the path, under our feet. We had to wait for it to fly up on to the wall before we passed! We dropped down onto the cycle track to walk back, flushing a Water Pipit from the edge of the drainage channel next to the track, the bird then showed well, moving in front of us.

Posted January 31st, 2015 at 9:18 pm by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Brampford Speke

Record count of 15 goosander heading to roost this evening, far more than I have ever seen on the Exe here. Duck and geese numbers generally building up over the week, with one greylag amongst the Canadas. Also, good numbers of skylarks and mixed finch flocks on stubble fields.

Posted January 31st, 2015 at 7:36 pm by William Gallois in General Birding

Velator

Very quiet in the reserve this week, but at least the first Primroses are poking through, warmer times ahead I hope!

Posted January 31st, 2015 at 6:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 30th January 2015

Brixham

The Glaucous Gull was again around the Fish Quay and landing for some time on the roof top.

Glaucous Gull Brixham 30 Jan 2015 ML

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 6:56 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Most years during the winter months a flock of a small race of Canada Geese arrive on the pond. (see attached photo).

I would interested to know if these were introduced & have formed part of our breeding population or breed outside The British Isles & migrate to us for the winter?


Posted January 30th, 2015 at 6:47 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Dartmoor Bramblings ~ Crossbills & Linnets.

A great days birding with Dave PAKES who navigated our way across and around Dartmoor in the hunt for Bramblings and Crossbills.

Near Cator Green Cross there is a huge muddy wasteland of a field apparently an old potato field on first glance the field was a wet barren wilderness of nothing, then a Meadow Pipit showed and another, then Fieldfare started to show in increasing numbers along with Redwing, Starling and Mistle Thrush, a flock of 100 plus small finch sized birds landed and surprisingly to us proved to be Linnet with one or two Goldfinch mixed in, a single male Brambling and one Stock Dove, the field was alive with birds, returning later in the day all the above species were still present and were put to flight by a hunting female Sparrow hawk, a brief sighting of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in the roadside hedge.

The entrance to Belliver Forest close the junction with the Postbridge road gave us a second and third Brambling along with hundreds of Chaffinch, top side of the wood a female Stonechat showed. Dropping down towards Soussons plantation eventually gave us a Crossbill typically landing in the top of the pines, dropping down into the valley by Soussons Farm there were significant number of Chaffinch and with them good numbers of Bramblings, so many that we quickly lost count of the numbers seen, all along the roads sides with Beech trees it was worth a look when Chaffinch were spotted. Lots of Coal Tits in the same area.

Challacombe gave Dave sight off two Herons flying low alongside the road, one dropped back in and gave us good views of a fully mature bird, shortly after that a Fox was spotted wandering down the road towards us and did not startle until alarmed by the sound of our cameras activating.

Back to Soussons plantation in time to see a large mixed flock of Tits moving through the pine tops, Great, Blue, Long Tailed and Coal identified.

Good numbers of Buzzards showing, pair of Bullfinch as we set of home.

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 5:43 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wembury

 Showers this afternoon, with occasional spells of good light. Down on the shoreline were 2 Little Egrets, 25+ Oystercatchers, 3 Turnstone and a Common Sandpiper On the pipe. Among the rotting seaweed, Meadow Pipits, good numbers of Rock Pipits and several Pied Wagtails. Flitting between the bushes and the shore was a Black Redstart with a metal leg ring. Returning up the slope to Wembury Point car park was a Buzzard, and a female Kestrel hunting over the fields.

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 4:28 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Thursday 29th January 2015

RSPB-Goosemoor & Bowling Green Marsh

A wet and windy day with 2 Spotted Redshanks amongst c30 Common Redshank + 2 Greenshank at Goosemoor 1330hrs.

8 Pintail + 4 Gadwall + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Ducks + 2 Buzzards and 2 Ravens flying over with the usual wigeon and teal at Bowling Green Marsh.

Link to video of Spotted Redshanks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk9HpWzCxWY&feature=youtu.be

2 Spotted Redshanks
2 Spotted Redshanks

Posted January 29th, 2015 at 6:41 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Broadsands

On the sea: 16 Brent Geese, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 46 Great Crested Grebes.

The Cirl Buntings have moved to the feeding area left of the two main rows of beach huts - 16 present this morning. 2 Chiffchaffs in marsh. 

Posted January 29th, 2015 at 11:25 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 28th January 2015

Clennon Lakes

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs again around middle pond at Clennon Lakes + 2 collybita Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Water Rail. 

  

Siberian Chiffchaff Photo & Glaucous Gull at Brixham today from Terry Honeywill

Posted January 28th, 2015 at 8:19 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Postbridge and Soussons

Postbridge carpark - female Brambling among large flock of Chaffinches.

In field adjoining the Postbridge to Soussons road, very large flock of Fieldfares (est:  250 - 300).

Soussons Farm - on edge of woods adjoining the bridlepath, a large mixed flock of Siskin, Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits and Goldcrest, of which the real interest was the number of Goldcrest;   very active and impossible to count accurately but at least 40.  3 Mistle Trush.   

Posted January 28th, 2015 at 6:44 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh - Viewing Platform

Lunchtime visit to a cold and windy platform - the Spotted Redhank was again flying around noisily before settling out of sight to the left of the platform. A Kingfisher flew up the channel just before the platform as I approached.

Posted January 28th, 2015 at 2:37 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tuesday 27th January 2015

Penduline Tits at Darts Farm

Below is a video link which shows Penduline Tits at Darts Farm today close-up ripping apart the reed mace searching and eating the bullrush moth larvae grub within. Best watched in full window 720p/1080p HD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPJHv6A1-hQ

Another video preening in the near-by tree.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBQZA1wLa54

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 10:51 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Darts Farm

Viewed 1000-1540hrs

3 Penduline Tits showed between 1030-1130hrs before flying towards the reed-beds along the scrape towards the river clyst in front the hide. They returned again about 3/4hrs later where they showed very well for all to see and still there when i left at 1540hrs. The Black Brant was amongst c250 Brent Geese far side of field in front the hide + 3 Chiffchaff and pair Stonechats around the reed-beds.

Link to videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwz99MP2d1g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMqQZHfQaYo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EOPXx3_UhM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu96gaX6IKM

3 Penduline Tits together pulled from the video
3 Penduline Tits together pulled from the video

Stonechat which was also around the reed-beds
Stonechat which was also around the reed-beds

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 8:45 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Glaucous Gull Juv. Brixham Fish Market

Bird visable on roof of Fish Market, viewed from Brixham Yacht Club car park, Overgang Road.

Glaucous Gull juv. possibly 1st winter
Glaucous Gull juv. possibly 1st winter

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 8:04 pm by Paul Nunn in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

1st winter Glaucous Gull still around the fish market and harbour at 16:30 today.

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 6:44 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

Runnage Bridge - Pizwell area Dartmoor

Treecreeper, 2 Snipe, many Redwing.

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 4:48 pm by Rob Hubble in General Birding

Clennon Lakes

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 3 collybita Chiffchaffs around middle pond - on warmer days they feed in the pond side trees when its freezing the siberian Chiffchaffs particularly move down into the the reeds. 

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 27 Jan 2015 ML

Siberian Chiffchaff (the 2nd bird lacks the fairly prominent wingbar shown in this bird and is browner in tone)

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Baggy Point

A walk out to Baggy Point earlier this morning from the Croyde Bay NT car park.

23 Oystercatchers, 1 Kingfisher, 32 BHGulls, 1 ad Med Gull,1 Curlew, 6 Rock Pipit, 6 Fulmar, 3 Cormorants, 2 GBB Gulls,1 Razorbill,1 RT Diver, 2 Raven, 3 male Common Scoter flying north, 3 Porpoise & 1 large Atlantic Grey Seal eating a fish while being mobbed by Gulls.

So far I have not seen any Common Scoters overwintering along this stretch of coastline this winter which is unusual.

After several severe storms last winter in Feb 2014 the mussels (which the Scoters feed on) were stripped of the rocks by powerful waves..On exposed rocks at Downend the larger mussels have gone with very small ones developing. This could mean that their food supply is no longer available to them this winter. 


Posted January 27th, 2015 at 2:32 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh - Viewing Platform

Lunchtime visit to the platform. The highlight was the Spotted Redshank which flew in noisily and settled on the mud just to the right of the platform at about 1.30.

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 2:06 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Monday 26th January 2015

Darts Farm ~ Topsham ~Powderham

A good run out from South Brent with Keith male this morning, the day started well with a male Kestrel on the overhead wires just as you enter Lower Dean, first stop Darts Farm where a wicked wind was ripping through and virtually nothing to be seen apart from some brave Stonechat's, a very flighty mixed flock of Godwit and Curlew and a handful of Fieldfare with a Redwing in tow. Topsham Rec was good for Black Headed Gulls and at least three Common Gulls but the wind was strong enough to make viewing difficult, several Buzzards showing well around the Powderham area.

The Snow Bunting remains in situe as described in the DBWPS posts and was easy to find thanks to directions from other visiting birders, it’s no wonder that it is such a popular bird to view, first for both of us.

A male Stonechat caused some excitement at the other end of the new bridge close to the Snow Bunting when it was claimed to be of the Siberian variety, showing a marked white rump, numerous birders soon had it in view, but some images and a quick look at a very handy bird guide soon confirmed it to be a standard male Stonechat.

A Heron by the Powderham estate allowed a very close viewing within feet of the road, with good numbers of Curlew in by the deer herd, a mix of Red and Greenshank at Dawlish.

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 9:24 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Viewing platform

Plenty of waders and Wildfowl at BGM on High tide this morning but no Avocets bar one which popped in and out again!!, opinions were voiced, "to much water not enough muddy roosting areas in the middle of the Marsh?" 50+ Redshank one Spotted Redshank, 150+ Black Tailed Godwits 50+ Bartailed Godwits, 100+ Dunlin, 5 Pochard, 8 Pintail, 5 Tufted Duck, 20+ Shoverler, 50+ Lapwing, 200+ Widgeon, 50+ Teal, 20+ Curlew, 5 Greylag Geese 1 Snipe.

It was great to see the hide being used and enjoyed by so many visitors from across the south west.

Viewing platform midafteroon showed great views of a Spotted Redshank, 3 Red Breasted Magansers (2f 1m) plenty of Redshank, Dunlin, Grey Plover, and distant Avocets on show, all shared with great company.

Spotted Redshank by the Viewing platform
Spotted Redshank by the Viewing platform

Spotted Redshank showing well
Spotted Redshank showing well

Red-Breasted Merganser River Clyst
Red-Breasted Merganser River Clyst

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 6:39 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Exe Estuary - no surprises

The Snow bunting was present nr the cycle bridge between Powderham & Turf. The Black brant was between Lions Rest & Turf on Exminster Marshes.

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 5:35 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Dartmoor: Soussons - Headland Warren- Challacombe

Highlight of the day was the Great Grey Shrike intelligently out of the keen north wind on clearfell in the north-east corner of Soussons Forest. In and around the forest 52 Chaffinch, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and planty of Goldcrests. Out on the moor great views of a ringtail Hen Harrier unsuccessfully chasing a male Bullfinch, two pairs of Stonechat and a singing Nuthatch at Challacombe Farm and a sheep's carcass attracting 4 Raven, 24 Crows and 5 Magpies at Soussons Farm!

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 5:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

hovering kingfishers

On at least 4 occasions in the otter creek and from the bird hide south of white bridge I have seen them use this method

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 8:13 am by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Vitfers to Soussons

Can't believe there were no stonechats nor meadow pipits all the way from the pub to Soussons plantation, but no matter the Great Grey Shrike was still showing well near the corner of the wood.  On the way back up a flypast Snipe.

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 12:03 am by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Sunday 25th January 2015

Budleigh Salterton

4 White-fronted Geese flew past the seafront at Budleigh at 1315hrs south-westwards heading towards the Berry Head direction. I lost them when they were just a dot in my 'scope, when they must have been about 3 miles out!

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 10:11 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Topsham

Adult Med gull off Topsham rec this afternoon with the Black Brant on Exminster Marshes between Lions Rest Estate and the M5.



Posted January 25th, 2015 at 9:41 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Following a text from Clive H yesterday evening informing me that RBA were reporting a Glaucous Gull in the harbour I decided to have a search this morning. (birdguides were reporting 2 birds) I headed straight for the viewing platform on top of the public toilets from where the bird was immediatley on view on top of the fish market. I then walked to Oxon cove car park to check out the other gulls in the harbour. There was no sign of a second bird but I did have a Grey sealand a Peregrine from the car park.


Posted January 25th, 2015 at 9:38 pm by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Hovering Kingfisher

Observed a kingfisher near the entrance to the Toll Road at Braunton Great Field lift off from a perch and hover above the dike for at least 5 seconds before plunging in to take a small fish off to devour out of our sight. I have seen pied kingfishers do this in The Gambia, standard operating procedure! but never seen one of "ours" do it. Didn't get an image......dagnabbit!!

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 7:16 pm by Philip Naylor in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

A few photos from this morning's boat trip around the bay. The highlight was a flyby rednecked grebe which came from the mussel farm and flew past us towards Broadsands.

For totals from the trip see Nigel's post. Sadly, we didn't check the fish quay at Brixham....

Red necked grebe, off Elberry Cove
Red necked grebe, off Elberry Cove

Territorial Fulmars, Roundham Head
Territorial Fulmars, Roundham Head

Oystercatcher, Brixham Breakwater.
Oystercatcher, Brixham Breakwater.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 6:38 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Torbay

A quick trawl of the beaches this morning produced totals of:1 Red-necked Grebe, 8 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 72 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver.

Hope the very smart Glaucous Gull lingers at Brixham - thanks for the call Andy.  

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:35 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Dartmoor ~ Buckfast to Princetown

Dart bridge this morning only had three drake Mandarin on view, five Mallard and two Muscovy’s on the river, pair of Jays bathing on the edge of a shingle bank.

Three Kestrels seen in the Princetown area and just outside a flock of between 30 & 40 Lapwing flying in very low over the ground they landed in very rough pasture and once on the ground best count I could make was 15 mixed in with a large Starling flock.

Just beyond Powder Mill male Merlin spotted about 400 yds from the road sheltering on the lee side of a large granite boulder, stayed in situe for some time. Buzzards were plentiful all round and frequently hunting or perched on the road sides.

Several large flocks of Fieldfare occasionally with Starlings.

Near the entrance to Soussons farm a huge and growing flock of Chaffinch far beyond counting and constantly arriving but no sign of any Bramblings with them.

Dipper on the Rv Dart by Holne Bridge.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:26 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

A quick resume of British Shooting Seasons.

For the benefit of Rob and anyone else interested in Game and Wildfowl Seasons:-

Black Grouse 20/08 - 10/12.

Snipe 12/08 - 31/01.

Coot/Moorhen 01/09 - 31/01.

Curlew - protected.

Ducks and Geese. Below High Water Mark 01/09 - 20/02.

                               Inland 01/09 - 31/01.

Golden Plover 01/09 - 31/01.

Red Grouse 12/08 - 10/12.

Jack Snipe - protected.

Partridge 01/09 - 01/02.

Pheasant 01/10 - 01/02.

Ptarmigan 12/08 - 10/12.

Woodcock 01/10 - 31/01.

It is illegal to shoot game on Xmas Day and Sundays. It is illegal to shoot wildfowl in Devon/Cornwall and Somerset on Sundays.

 

 

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:16 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 08:00 - 09:30

409 Dark-bellied Brent Geese off Penhill Marsh. This is the largest number I have seen at this location. My previous best was 354 on 05/01/2015. 62 Shelduck on Penhill Marsh and I counted 34 Snipe being flushed out of the saltmarsh at Pottington and Ashford S.Works by the rising tide.

 

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:03 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

watched from 08:45 till 10:30

lots of disturbance this morning from sparrowhawks and a peregrine made counts hard but 226+ bar tailed godwits, 600+ dunlin, 300+ Avovers, 182+ lapwing, 300+ black tailed godwits, 8+ pintail, 4 pochard, 400+ wigeon, 1 spotted redshank in with 150+ redshank, 3 reed buntings, 4 coal tits.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Good calm conditions for todays trip.Birds seen,  80+ Great Crested Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 4 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Little Egret, other birds include Fulmar, Razorbill, Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Shag.

1 Grey Seal eating a fish and 2 Harbour Porpoise. 900+ Guillemots on Berry Head colony.

Next trip next Sunday 1st Feb if interested email wildbones@btinternet.com

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 12:33 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Wildfowling and the law.

Rob Jutson (Sat 24 Jan) writes concerning wildfowling.  Could I suggest Rob and other readers google the organisation ....'Birders against wildlife crime' where the subject of wildfowling is well described under 'wildlife and the law' >  'birds and the law' > 'wildfowling and the law.'   It sickens me to look at the species that may legally be shot and I think the answer to Robs question... can anything be done? is probably no. Wildfowling within the open season is legal. 

 

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 11:58 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Juv/fw Glaucous Gull in Brixham Harbour this morning sat on a fishing trawler by the fish market, viewable from the inner harbour quay.  Thanks to Andy P and Mike L for relaying the news. 

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 11:56 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Saturday 24th January 2015

Exminster Marsh

Viewed 1430-1700Hrs

The Black Brant was in the field near canal car-park mid-afternoon with c450 Dark Belly Brent Geese and opposite were 3 snipe close-by with one showing really well. The male Merling appeared about 1630 as the sun disappeared sat on the fence where i was looking the night before so i moved down to that position hoping for better shots and it flew up and sat on the fence where i just come from but was a little distant for any good photos, the video i took wasn't any better than what i took yesterday.

Links to video of Brant and Snipe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO640hshjDc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S07UD7Lg1wY

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 10:35 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Stover Country Park

On the lake this afternoon were 2 male and 1 female Goosander along with small numbers of Tufted Duck and Pochard as well as one male Mandarin.

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 9:39 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Corndonford Farm - 24.1.15 - Merlin

Returned to Corndonford Farm at about 11am this morning. Two other birders, one of them by chance Bob Bailey from South Devon, whose son Mark's post on 22.1.15 had led to me being on the moor yesterday. There was no sign of the grey grey shrike sighted yesterday, but as I was pointing out the sighting location to Bob, a small falcon flew over my shoulder and alighted some distance away, part way up on Corndon Tor. Bob ran for his scope and identified it as a male merlin. It remained in situ for some minutes, allowing me to scale the hill and get a bit closer for a distant photo. 

Male Merlin - Corndon Tor -24.1.15
Male Merlin - Corndon Tor -24.1.15

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 4:54 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Postbridge to Soussons Farm

 
 
Postbridge, Brambling in with Chaffinch flock, until a Merlin came through them and put them all up.
 
Juvenile Hen Harrier spotted drifting over some trees opposite Soussons Farm entrance, the white band above tail was clearly seen. Unfortunately it went behind some trees and we couldn't relocate it again. Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Bullfinches, Siskin, Kestrel, Buzzard and Raven also seen.
 

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 4:40 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Bradiford Reserve & Penhill Marsh

A cycle down the Tarka Trail to Penhill Marsh on The Taw Estuary this morning at high tide.

On Bradiford Reserve there were 18 Black tailed Godwits & 600 Lapwing.

On arriving at the east end of Penhill Marsh a flock of 376 Brent Geese were feeding on the area of saltmarsh shown in the photo.Approx 100 metres or so to the west of this photo in the saltmarsh were several Canada Geese decoys with 2 camo shooters & 1 dog in a ditch. One shot was fired & the Brent Geese took flight & spent the next hour or so on the water as shown in the photo.This activity is disturbing the  Brent Geese & preventing them from feeding. The 2 shooters & 1 dog were in the saltmarsh all morning.

Can anything be done about this?




Posted January 24th, 2015 at 2:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Powderham sea wall

Snow Bunting still along wall, half way between cycle bridge and Turf.

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 10:06 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Friday 23rd January 2015

Re-Penduline Tit videos at Darts Farm Yesterday

I have put some more of the Penduline Tit videos up on youtube which i took at darts farm yesterday 22-1-2015.

1 of the videos show a penduline appearing to be just posing for the cameras for quite a while in between feeding and another shows their more aggresive side to each other.

Links to videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZuq_vyDocw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srt9UDPFEd8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMEcFP5tVXY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYCaJWEMiG4

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 8:34 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Brampford Speke

In gorgeous weather, 19 species spotted, the highlight of which was a male mandarin duck, something I've never seen here before in more than three years on the patch.

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 8:16 pm by William Gallois in General Birding

Soussons Shrike

A morning visit to  Soussons found the Shrike just beyond the gate using the area previously overlooked by the RSPB caravan. it gave good if rather distant views, and it was very noticable that the breast ant underparts were quite grey and not qthe usual white  of excubitor. I would be interested to hear comments from other birders. 

The most unexpected bird of the day was a Jack Snipe flushed from the marshy area beside the road at the entrance to Challacombe Farm.

After considerable hunting for Brambling 4 were finally seen in a large flock of Chaffinches in trees surrounding Postbridge car park.

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 7:56 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

Viewed 1550-1650Hrs.

The male Merlin was again showing in fields north side of the marsh sat on top a blue metal trailer with wheels (used by tractor) 1617-1635Hrs. Sorry about the video quality taken in very poor light some 400 yards away just starting to drizzle with rain, had to wind-up the zoom and ISO up a bit.

Link to video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcNmRey3gBA

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 7:26 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Dartmoor - 23.1.15

1000 - 1600 Failed dismally to find any of the birds mentioned by Mark Bailey yesterday, despite sitting up near Powder Mills for some time and then checking out several chaffinch flocks at Postbridge for bramblings. A good walk Soussans to Warren House failed to produce the great grey shrike. Met other birders who had also failed to sight the bird and two others who had! They also found 4 brambling I had missed at Postbridge, but I was able to point out to them a flock of circa 75 fieldfare in a field at Runnage. Driving home at 15.45 via the unclassified road from Bellever to Poundsgate near Corndonford Farm I was pleased to sight a great grey shrike (quite probably a different bird to that at Soussans) at the top of a bush. It made its way from bush to bush top.Apologies for the poor quality photo, but the light was very poor, as the sky darkened and the rain arrived. I spoke to a lady from the Farm, who, when I described the bird to her, said she had seen a couple of birds matching my description on her farm recently!  

Great Grey Shrike - Corndonford Farm - 23.1.15
Great Grey Shrike - Corndonford Farm - 23.1.15

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 7:08 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Slapton sands

Mid afternoon from memorial car park.

In the bay 1 Red throated diver,2 Great Northern diver, 1 Black necked grebe, 1 Great crested grebe, 16 Common scoter (2 males, rest female or immature).

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 6:41 pm by Pete Sofley in General Birding

Decoy lake

Good to see my first male Scaup this morning on a cold and frosty Decoy lake, in company with 12 Tufted Duck, 1 Great Crested Grebe, and plenty of Herring and Black Headed Gulls. Singing Song Thrushes, Coal Tits and a Firecrest in the woods, and afterwards, a visit to McDonalds to warm up!

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 6:09 pm by Alan livsey in General Birding

Slapton

Good views of a black necked grebe off memorial carpark.  Also one common scoter.  Around ley at least 3 golden eye, 2 male 6 pochard 2 gadwell 2 goldcrest 3 cettis

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 5:47 pm by l goonesekera in General Birding

EXETER cathedral green

As i was walking today through the cathedral green , i saw  female black restart fly out of the biggest tree in the green, over to some creepers on the bishops buildings , & back to the tree again 

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 5:07 pm by martin cox in General Birding

Memories of Dave Norman

I was greatly saddened by the news of Dave Norman's death, as will be many birders and others across the country. I knew Dave for over 40 years and though we did not get together much in recent times I always thought fondly of him and his soul-mate Karen.

I first met Dave when I was a teenager on the railway bank overlooking the Exe.  Dave was only a few years older than me and at University at the time, but he was quick to introduce himself and point out a few birds to us. That willingness to help was a feature of his life as long as I knew him.

Dave, as we all have, had a few faults, but his endeared people to him. He was never one to be hurtful or unkind and was sometimes a good moderating influence on me for one. His freinds will look back now and smile at some of his travelling tales as they always did, from dangerous bus trips in Morrocco, to a tale of boots stolen from the tent at night in Istanbul (Karen, if I remember correctly, ran after the thief and regained the boots while Dave found his glasses) to tales of arrest that nearly led to detainment.  Just the tip of the iceberg,his travels were always eventful.

Dave's great passions were his wife and daughter and birding. A great freind to this society he was influential as well as helpful, leading walks, giving talks and more.  He was a founder member of the South Devon Group of the Society and with his old freind Vic Tucker wrote Where to Watch Birds in Devon & Cornwall.

A fine birder and a fine freind to have.  I will miss him

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 3:55 pm by Pete Stevens in General Birding

Broadsands

On sea: More Great Crested Grebes (count along Torbay beaches today brought total to 136), Black-throated diver still present with 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, the fw Red-necked Grebe still in Elberry Cove and a fw Slavonian Grebe, part of a cold weather movement 5 Shelduck and 3 Teal. 4 Black-necked Grebes toward Goodrington.

In the second car park 53 Cirl Buntings and 9 Reed Bunting on seed - one Cirl Bunting female was taken by a Sparrowhawk, so on recommendation by RSPB I'll be moving the feeding further toward the back of the car park to the left of the beach huts.

Click on image for video of Cirl buntings feeding.

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 12:35 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 22nd January 2015

Darts Farm & Viewing Platform

1015-1600Hrs

The 3 Penduline Tits flew off as soon as i arrived with everyone leaving. At 1050hrs they reappeared again for 20 minutes and flew off again in same direction towards Goosemore. 1145hrs they returned again giving great views for everyone to see and was still there when i left at 1430hrs. The Black Brant was also in amongst c700 Brent Geese and the 2 Egyptian Geese were on the far side near the River Clyst.

From the BGM Viewing Platform 1500hrs the Water Rail was again showing well just inside the entarnce gates and great views of the Spotted Redshank which was just across the water opposite the plaform.

Video links to Penduline tit + Spotted Redshank + Water Rail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5w7-OFVoac

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s1CRcq8_ZU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rItWWA9Hd4o

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Water Rail
Water Rail

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 9:18 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Dartmoor

Driving across Dartmoor this morning at 10.30am between Two Bridges and Postbridge, there was a female Merlin sat on a roadside fence post , about 300 yards west of Powder Mills. After watching it for several minutes, it flew across the road and dropped into the grass. At the exact same time, a male Hen Harrier flew over the car to presumably investigate the Merlin and then after quartering the grassland for 5 minutes crossed back over the road at Powder Mills. Further along the road near Postbridge, I stopped to check a small flock of Chaffinch and it contained 8-10 Brambling, including some nice males.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 7:18 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:20 till 16:55

walked around the northern end of the marsh the highlight being finding 2 male Merlins great to watch them for nearly an hour from just after 16:00, also 2 peregrines, 6 buzzards, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 kestrel.

5+ stonechats, 4 Cetti's warblers, 3 Siskin, 4 chiffchaffs, 300+ golden plover , large numbers of wigeon and lapwings.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 6:23 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Torbay

Checking the evening gull roost from Three Beaches Headland found nothing unusual in the roost but numbers of Great Crested Grebes continue to build with 124 in several roosting flocks this evening, also 1 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and 1 Great Northern Diver.   

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 5:46 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Soussons Down, Dartmoor

 The Great Grey Shrike ranging widely. Also Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  Near Challacombe a Brambling with a small Chaffinch flock.  Also Marsh Tits, Treecreeper and 4+ Bullfinches.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 5:04 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Crown Hill, Halberton, Tiverton

I saw over 400 Redwing/Fieldfare in washed-out yellow stubble field at the junction of Crown Hill/Post Hill. Many more out of sight -undulations in the field prevented me seeing all the birds there.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 4:28 pm by Richard Jordan in General Birding

Exmouth

Female long tailed duck showing well off Exmouth beach this morning around 11.30, about 300m east of the lifeboat station where it was sighted earlier in the week.

Female long tailed duck
Female long tailed duck

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 2:38 pm by Stephen Lawrence in General Birding

River Caen/River Taw

1000-1245

On the caen- 30+ Redshank 1 Greenshank 2 Kingfisher 5 Little grebe 1 Common sand 2 Stonechat 2 Rockpipit and 2 Buzzard 1 Kestrel and 1 Raven over. On Sherpa marsh 100+ Curlew and 500+ Starling On braunton marsh more Starling and Curlew 20+ Stockdove 3 Song thrush and good numbers of Meadow pipit. On the Taw good numbers of curlew teal and widgeon 2000+ Lapwing 1000+ Golden plover and 4 Grey plover.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 2:18 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Darts Farm

3 Penduline Tits showing in front of hide early this morning but flew off towards the water tower and River Clyst around 10.00am. Brent Geese in large numbers present plus Black Brant and two Pale-bellied Brents. 

Reminder:  East Devon Branch of Devon Birds will meet for field meeting at Darts Farm on Monday 26 Jan at 09.30.  See Programme for details. 

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 1:08 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Wednesday 21st January 2015

Exminster and Turf Locks

Viewed 1045-1630Hrs
Peregrine flew over and dispersing everything on the marsh.
As i chatted with Dave Stone Turf side of the viewing platform a male Merlin flew past close-in along the cycle path hedgerow heading northwards towards lock keepers house/Topsham rec at 1140hrs. A Grey Wagtail was showing well along the new cycle path with 4 Meadow Pipits and 5 Stonechat in support. The Snow Bunting was again on show a bit further north of the cycle path bridge. Group of 17 Pintail was on the farside of the water channel with 4 Grey Plover and c30 Dunlin close-by. Red Breasted Merganser was near the Turf lock gates as was a Kingfisher. Back towards Exminster marsh 8 Tufted Ducks on the lagoon with c300 Golden Plover in fields with numerous Wigeon and Lapwing and another c10 Pintail. Keith Birchall  re-found the male Merlin sitting on the fence-post north of the marsh which flew up onto electric pole and took distant digiscoped photos. Water Rail could be heard around the pool near railway bridge and a Kestrel was hovering over the field before dropping onto the overhead cables near Swans Nest pub car-park.

Link to Grey Wagtail and Merganser videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idr3XcYruW8&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB2jHkMRzi4

Merlin
Merlin

Red-breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

Posted January 21st, 2015 at 10:54 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Exmister marsh

watched from 14:30 till 16:30

a quick walk along station road produced the male merlin on the northern end of the marsh towards the motorway Bridge from by the lions rest industrial estate. 1 jack snipe in with some snipe in ditch by the Middle car park, large numbers of wigeon and lapwing over the marsh , 300+ golden plover between the lagoon and the railway line, 3 Cetti's warblers, 4 water rail, 3 buzzards, 2 kestrels.

Posted January 21st, 2015 at 8:16 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Spoonbills

Morning walk around Isley Marsh - tide on the ebb - large numbers of Golden Plover (c1000) & Lapwing (c2500) on the sandbanks + the 3 Spoonbill showing well in their usual spot.

Posted January 21st, 2015 at 5:35 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Penduline Tits @ Dart's Farm

Three Penduline Tits performing well early afternoon and still there when I left at about 14:15.


Posted January 21st, 2015 at 5:31 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Broadsands

On the sea: 1 Red-necked Grebe (in Elberry Cove), 2 Slavonian Grebes (one Broadsands Bay one Elberry Cove), 5 Black-necked Grebes, 86 Great Crested Grebes the cold weather further north  is obviously forcing birds off frozen inland lakes, 4 Great northern Divers and 3 Shelduck.

Slavonian Grebe Broadsands Torbay 21 Jan 2015 ML 

Photo above Slavonian Grebe                                              Click on image above for video link.

The marsh is very quiet now with just 1 Chiffchaff and 1-2 Goldcrest noted over the last few days, the very cold week has either moved on or killed off the crests and Yellow-browed Warbler.  

Posted January 21st, 2015 at 10:09 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Black Redstart Budleigh

A male Black Redstart on garden wall bordering the south west coast path east of Steamer Steps at 8.45am

Posted January 21st, 2015 at 8:57 am by Richard Allen in General Birding

Tuesday 20th January 2015

Exminster Marshes Whooper Swans

A few pics of the Whooper Swans from this afternoon. It was nice to see these without being aware that there was a report out (which was initially as Bewicks). I couldn't stay long so didn't get the close views that others did later; not that that is too much a problem with birds of this size!




Posted January 20th, 2015 at 9:37 pm by Tim White in General Birding

Dave Norman Funeral arrangements

Dave Norman’s funeral will take place at Torquay Crematorium on Monday 2nd February at 10.30am and afterwards friends are invited back to their home in Brixham. 

Anyone wishing to attend will be made welcome this will be celebratory service; dress as you wish - no need for mourning dress. 

Donations in Dave’s memory may be made to World Land Trust to go toward buying Rainforest, there will be a  donation box at the funeral service or be sent c/o T & I Stockman Funeral Service, 19 Holwell Road, Brixham TQ5 9NE - payable to World Land Trust this account at the kept open for 6 weeks.

You may read or add your own tributes and memories of Dave on the Devon Birds Forum http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=282 

Posted January 20th, 2015 at 6:00 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Broadsands

A Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver 2 Black-necked Grebes were present off Broadsands beach this morning.

Posted January 20th, 2015 at 5:58 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Snow Bunting

The Snow Bunting is still at the bottom of the cycle bridge at Powderham. About 1100hrs today

Posted January 20th, 2015 at 4:36 pm by Tigger Howarth in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Visit to Exminster Marshes this lunchtime to see 2 Whooper Swans in the field just past the railway bridge on the left hand side in amongst some Mute Swans and Canada Geese. Worth getting wet for! They were still there at about 1.30 when I left.

Posted January 20th, 2015 at 1:44 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Slavonian Grebe

Exmouth Beach, 10.30 this morning, Slavonian Grebe 50 metres off shore in similar position to yesterday's LT Duck.

Posted January 20th, 2015 at 1:30 pm by Mike Pearman in General Birding

Monday 19th January 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

10:00 - 13.00 Following a quick reccie to Darts Farm fishing ponds  to look for the Penduline Tits, but no luck, now not seen there since friday. On a fantastic cloudless, still sunny cold morning hopes were high but soon dashed, only a couple of Chiffies on the bulrushes to watch for a while.

Bowling Green Marsh looked stunning in the bright sunshine but was relatively quite with low tide at 11:30 most birds were out on the estuary. Plenty of widgeon 150+ some up close to the hide, 60+ Black Tailed Godwit came in to roost, several Lapwing 50+ before moving on and left just a few scattered across the marsh. Roughly 500+ Brent Geese carried out a number of fly passes towards Darts farm and back again. 5 Pochard in the far left corner and 7+ Greylag Geese on the meadow. The quite soon irrupted into mayhem when a group of very noisey Canada Geese arrived....it was time to go!  

Lapwing showed well close to the hide
Lapwing showed well close to the hide

Here they come!
Here they come!

tranquility was disrupted into mayhem!!
tranquility was disrupted into mayhem!!

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 10:21 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Powderham - Turf - Exminster

10.30 - 1500. Walk Powderham to Turf and then Exminster Marshes. Highlights, as will not dwell on the huge numbers of regular waders and geese. Failed to see the Snow Bunting in the morning, but showing well on way back as reported earlier by Nick P. A Kingfisher feeding in the run below the sluice. 3 (2M,1F) Red breasted Mergansers below Turf. 8 curlew in fields by Turf. 3 little jack snipe put up in a channel near the RSPB Station Road Car Park by the arrival of other birds. A good day in lovely cold bright conditions.

Kingfisher with catch -Turf -19.1.15
Kingfisher with catch -Turf -19.1.15

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 8:01 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Firecrest showing very well in sunshine this afternoon, also male Blackcap nearby on path round Ireland Bay.

On the sea from the Memorial car park 5 female Common Scoter, several Great Crested Grebe and 1 G N Diver very close in to the beach giving great views.

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 6:50 pm by Ruth Wiseman in General Birding

Torbay - Preston to Goodrington

Single Firecrest and Bullfinch behind Preston school. Seven Great Crested and one Black-necked Grebe from Hollicombe/Preston Sands. From Roundham Head similar numbers of Grebe to ML. 51Great Crested Grebe, 4 Black-necked and 2 Red-necked Grebe. No sign of the Velvet Scoter.

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 4:15 pm by Clive Mason in General Birding

Powderham - Snow Bunting

I couldn't resist another trip to see the Snow Bunting today and it was showing incredibly well again, down to a few feet, just a couple of hundred yards or so past the new cycle bridge. Still there at about 2.30 when I left.

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 3:15 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Soar Mill Cove to East Soar

Highlight was my 2nd ever Dartford Warbler at this site, this one at the west end of the Warren with Stonechats. Otherwiswe just 56 Shag, Coal Tit, 3 Goldcrest, 80 Starling flying east, 24 Goldfinch & Bullfinch.

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 3:09 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Torbay

9 Black-necked Grebes around the beaches today.

Broadsands: also 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 56 Great Crested Grebes. 41 Cirl Buntings and 6 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park first thing.

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 2:43 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Long Tailed Duck

LT Duck off Exmouth 400m east of Lifeboat Station this morning at one point diving less than 20 meters off shore

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 1:16 pm by Mike Pearman in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A cold but sunny morning. A total of 18 Golden Plover (5 settled on rough pasture and 13 over), 104 Lapwing, 30 Fieldfare, 11 Stock doves, 15 Skylark and a Stonechat.

On saturday 17th, 124 Lapwing, 30 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing and 3 Stonechat.

Posted January 19th, 2015 at 10:55 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Sunday 18th January 2015

Ring Ouzel ~ South Brent

Single male Ring Ouzel showing briefly on Aish Ridge above South Brent midmorning today, was feeding with a small number of Fieldfare and Blackbirds in a berry laden Hawthorne.

Three Ring Ouzel were seen in the same area on two occasions during December, it would seem that at least one is over wintering.

Despite the bright wall to wall sunshine it was wickedly cold up on the edge of the moors and apart from two Robins no other small birds seen, Heron seen flying over, three Buzzards, one flock of a counted 33 Fieldfare, smaller numbers of Starling and Redwing a counted 19 Herring Gulls.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 10:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exe Estuary

The Long-tailed Duck seen in the estuary mouth from Exmouth first thing but no sign of the Pendulines at Darts Farm after this. At Exminster Marshes the Black Brant showed quite well amongst c450 Brents just north of the Fishermens' car park, until they all flew off at 13.45.

The Snow Bunting showed really close just north of the new cycle track bridge (south of the Turf) beside the sea wall.

Finally the Long-tailed Duck again from Dawlish Warren and some incredibly close views of Brent Geese in the Bight,

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 10:21 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton and Woodbury Common Sat/Sun

No sign of the Bittern, over the weekend despite looking on Saturday and today. Hopefully it will re-appear. A lone Purple Sandpiper on the rocks off Otter Ledge with a few Turnstone and 37 Brent Geese on the estuary/cricket pitch (a good count for here!). Also at least 4 Shoveler on the scrapes, 30+ Curlew, 4 Lapwing and 5+ Black-tailed Godwit plus the usual Teal and Wigeon. A merlin hunting at dusk on the Commons, light too poor to sex bird.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 9:59 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Brampford Speke

Pair goosander looking really handsome in the channel, along with singles of grey wagtail, egret, little grebe, and a flock of redwing. Flyover cormorant with a bright white chest.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 9:33 pm by William Gallois in General Birding

Soussons Down

Saw the Great Grey Shrike on northern side of valley towards Bennett's Cross at about 1600 for half an hour, before losing it.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 8:05 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Soussons Down - Great Grey Shrike

A beautiful day, very cold wind though! Arrived at around 1300, and headed towards the Great Grey area. Reached the clearing and found it birdless, decided to head down to stream to look in and around there, but with the same results. We began to walk back towards the clearing (with the strong winter sun shining in our faces!), when I saw a Shrike sized bird in a tree to our right. Even through the binoculars it was still a silhouett, so started walking closer to try and get some plumage colour. As we reached a suitable spot some extremely loud dogs turned up, barking in our faces! I looked up to see the 'shrike' had left (typical!). Met a man who had been watching the bird with the light shining from behind him, revealed that it was the great grey, but it was quite unsatisfactory, seeing as I had never seen one before! Kept looking for a better view, but instead we saw an extremely beautiful and obliging Fox, a supposed peregrine and many goldcrest. Overall a lovely day.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 7:58 pm by Tom Michie in General Birding

Exminster Marshes & Turf

My WeBS count today was a pleasure; sunny and dry. In the fields south of Turf were c600 black-tailed godwits and 140 brent geese. The snow bunting was still entertaining the photographers.

North of the Turf was a large flock of c1200 brent geese that included the black brant.

Elsewhere lots of biirds, especially wigeon, teal, lapwing and redshank. On the estuary about 10 red-breasted mergansers were just off the Turf. I saw 3 chiffchaffs, including a very grey individual, in station road.

 

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 6:53 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Soussons Down

Great Grey Shrike showing well until disturbed by dog walkers at 2.15pm. Not seen again.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 6:36 pm by Richard Woodland in General Birding

Sidmouth

3 Purple Sandpipers on Chit Rocks, very early afternoon, just before the tide covered the last remaining vestiges of rock! Also, a female-type Black Redstart by the footbridge at the mouth of the River Sid.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 4:24 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands: Great turn out to South Devon Groups first field meeting at Broadsands with some good birds too: echoing Nigel's boat trip, on the sea 2 Red-necked Grebes, 1 fw female Velvet Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers, 4 Black-necked Grebes, 6 Brent Geese. On seed in the 2nd car park 36 Cirl Buntings and 7 Reed Bunting. 

Clennon Valley: 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs (photos of one below) 1 collybita Chiffchaff 1 unidentified Chiffchaff sp!

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 18 Jan 2015 ML  Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 18 Jan 2015 Mark Brook

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 3:37 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Ernesettle Creek

Seen this lunchtime in good light:

c50 Teal, 4 Greenshank, 18 Snipe feeding on the water's edge, 2 Common Gull, 1 Kingfisher overlooking the water, 1 Spotted Redshank, and 1 Green Woodpecker heard "yaffling" in the trees.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 2:52 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Cold but sunny, a very pleasant boat trip around Torbay. Birds seen, 3 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Egret, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Purple Sandpiper and at Roundham Head 17 Fulmar.

At the seabird colony Berry Head over 800+ Guillemots and on the other side of the bay at Ore Stone another 180+ Guillemots. Running another trip Sunday 25th Jan if interested email wildbones@btinternet.com

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 1:55 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Beesands Ley

09:40-10:30

On arrival great to see 2 Otters swimming around the middle of the ley ( Crinkle saw 3 here a fortnight ago ). Also present Little Grebe, 61 Tufted Duck and 80 Coot. Gadwall down to 16. The wildfowl were a little nervous and unsettled the whole time i was there, guess they are not used to the otters.

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 11:59 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

LOWER TAMAR LAKE

My first look at the lake for two weeks, all very quiet, there were 30  (16m 14f) Goosander, 1 Drake Merganser, 9 Tufted duck, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Cormorant, 1 Buzzard, 1 L/Grebe, 5 G.C. Grebe,  the usual Tits etc on both sets of feeders

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 11:48 am by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Start Point

This isn't really a sighting.  I saw a bird in the stream below the car park at Start Point and I was unable to identify it.  I'm embarassed to say i veered between Whinchat, Wheatear and Water Pipit (I know, there's quite a difference).  It could even have been a female Stonechat, but ... not sure.  If anyone is goes there and sees something that vaguely resembles any of the above please put me out of my misery!  Don't laugh at me!

Posted January 18th, 2015 at 9:50 am by Andrew Hanlon in General Birding

Saturday 17th January 2015

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Five Red-breasted Mergansers (drake + 4 redheads) at the top of the estuary and, on the pool, 7 Oystercatchers, 55+ Curlews and 37 Shelduck.

Also 2 Chiffchaffs, Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, Little Grebe and a Blackcap.

Russ Eynon asked me to report that the Yellow-browed warbler was in its usual spot c3pm and then flew over the road again.

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 8:49 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Turnstones, Sidmouth

Very many Turnstones, up to 30 on the prom by the Crossing opposite the High Street.  They are as tame as pigeons, getting under your feet.  The Local Authority are rearranging the beach, the beach now looks like a builders yard and the Turnstones are mostly at the east end, not many clean stones to turn at the west end.  Also saw a rock pipit.

Rob Jerrard



Turnstones on the Prom at Sidmouth
Turnstones on the Prom at Sidmouth

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 8:29 pm by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Around topsham

Watched from 12:00 till 16:00

1 spotted redshank showed well in between the quay and the goat walk, great sight to see over a 1000+ Brent geese fly from exminster marsh onto the estuary by the goat walk the mud flats were full with 650+ avocet , 2000+ dunlin , 100+ grey plover and similar numbers of golden plover, 12+ red breasted mergansers.

2 water rail were in the field to the left of the path leading to the viewing platform at bowling green marsh and the kingfisher flew to about 5 feet from me fishing in the ditch to the left of the viewing platform, 182+ grey plover, 200+ bar tailed godwits.

500+ wigeon on bowling green marsh, 5 pochard, 6+ pintail, 8+ gadwall, 1 tufted duck, 4 reed buntings, 1 buzzard, 8+ snipe, 50+ lapwing.

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 8:07 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Soussons Down Area

Great Grey Shrike again grid ref SX 681 800.

Firecrest seen Nr Soussons Farm grid ref SX 683 788

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 8:00 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Brampford Speke

C. 250 Canada geese and 1bar-headed goose.

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 7:58 pm by William Gallois in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The Black Brant was with the Brent goose flock on the marshes S of the M5 this afternoon.

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 4:47 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

dippers

dippers are known to visit suburban areas in the winter

i have been watching two of them in the middle of a large trading estate in exeter,they seem unfazed by noise and traffic in their search for vertebrates and insects,the birds giving theirselves away by calling loudly when in flight


Posted January 17th, 2015 at 3:18 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Broadsands

On the sea: 2 Red-necked Grebe (photo below), 1 (fw female) Velvet Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers, 5 Black-necked Grebes, 29 Great Crested Grebes.

Red-necked Grebe Broadsands 17 Jan 2015 ML

41 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park & 7 Reed Bunting. 

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 11:37 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

3 Penduline Tits at Darts Farm Yesterday

The Penduline Tits at Darts Farm i posted earlier (yesterday) seems to have the video link broken.

Please follow the new link for the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgIkyLflx-I&feature=youtu.be

Penduline Tit  (possibly female above with male lower)
Penduline Tit (possibly female above with male lower)

Penduline Tit  (possibly female above with male lower)
Penduline Tit (possibly female above with male lower)

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 11:26 am by David Boult in General Birding

River Otter Bittern Friday 16 Jan

A bittern was showing well beyond reed bed in fields below White Bridge on R. Otter about 4pm yesterday.  Visible for about 5 mins but sadly no camera with me. Other birds seen were Snipe (1), Water Rail (1), several Redshank, Curlew, Teal and many Widgen.

Posted January 17th, 2015 at 9:52 am by Chris Tickle in General Birding

Friday 16th January 2015

Darts Farm

Viewed 103-1430 Hrs

3 Penduline Tits (with mask) showing well before i arrived today and was still there when i left.

Link to video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjg5F8j6BVQ&feature=youtu.be

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 11:58 pm by David Boult in General Birding

South Brent "in the garden"

A good early start on the garden feeders this morning but by 9.30am the flow of birds had dropped off to a trickle at best, the feeders and garden have been buzzing with birds for the last few days so I was a little surprised, then after midday the bird numbers around the feeders went through the roof. A Green Woodpecker seen to drop into a rough cover strip that I maintain and fed along its length, Greenfinch numbers jumped to a counted 14 rather than the usual 5 or 6. Goldfinch which have only started coming into the feeders this year were beyond counting, 9 at one point and beyond that unable to keep up with the numbers, a male Siskin came in with them and was a first for this winter. 3 Jays, over flight by two Raven, 2 Stock Doves also overhead, several visits from a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, large numbers of Blue Tit (a count of 52 yesterday) Chaffinch and House Sparrow, single Song and Mistle Thrush, Robin and Dunnock numbers on the increase both species singing well.

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 5:36 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Brixham

Sorry made a mistake reference numbers in Brixham ment to read Turnstones in Harbour area.

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 5:04 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Brixham

11 Purple Sandpiper on Brixham Breakwater and 28+ in the Harbour area of Brixham.

1 Kingfisher to add to Mike Langman's morning sighting in Broadsands area and at least another 5 Great Northern Divers in Bay.

Boat trip in Torbay this Sunday and the next 5 weeks if interested email wildbones@btinternet.com

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 5:02 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Exmouth

The adult Bonaparte's Gull performed well off Shelly Beach mid afternoon, and then stood on a shingle bar off the beach until 1610hrs at least.

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 5:02 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Higher Soar to Southdown Farm

The first decent morming in 10 days so another check on the open arable fields & hedges. Best of the morning was a wionter peak count of 43 Cirl Buntings along the hedges with 16 Yellowhammers and a male Bullfinch. Birds on the move already with 13 returning migrant Song Thrushes found along the hedgelines while on the stubbles 580 Skylarks (2nd highest count of the winter) and 13 Stock Doves.

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 3:39 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Darts Farm

The 3 Penduline Tits were showing very well this lunchtime and still there when I left at about 1.50 and had been been there for most of the morning apparently.

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands: On the sea: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Velvet Scoter (fw female), 2 Great Norrthern Divers, 4 Black-necked Grebes, 21 Great Crested Grebes.

Around the Marsh: 1 Firecrest 

Clennon Valley: 1 Siberian Chiffchaff around middle pond with one odd looking Chiffchaff probably a pale collybita - or very olive tristis or dare I say abietinus!

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 16 Jan 15 Nigel Street

Above: Siberian Chiffhaff photo by Nigel Street https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nigel-Street-Photography/617873078234137

Posted January 16th, 2015 at 11:55 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 15th January 2015

Dave Norman

It is with great sadness to inform members of Devon Birds and friends of Dave that he died suddenly yesterday. Dave was a great friend, mentor for many of us and supporter of the society and will be hugely missed. Our thoughts of course go out to his wife Karen and daughter Emma.

Anyone wishing to say a few words in tribute of Dave are welcome to do so on the forum pages:  http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=282  (please remember you'll need to sign in to add to the tributes)


 

Posted January 15th, 2015 at 9:18 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 14th January 2015

Exminster and Turf

The Snow Bunting showing again mid-day on the sea wall near the cycle bridge at Powderham corner. c550 Avocets + c400 Brent Geese on the estuary and numerous other waders viewed from Turf Locks. c500 Golden Plover + c400 Lapwing and large groups of ducks at Exminster marshes.

Video links for Snow Bunting and Golden Plover.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06DxGLfc3Ho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyUA9S4cI0E

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 10:39 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Barnstaple/Braunton

single med gull at Wrafton this morning. large flock of siskin, 150 + between Barnstaple and Muddiford, and 1 marsh tit

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 8:06 pm by Arthur Symons in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands: The Yellow-browed Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff were present again in the 1st car park and 33 Cirl Buntings and 6 Reed Bunting in the 2nd car park. On the sea 7 Black-necked Grebes and 11 Great Crested Grebes.

Clennon Valley: 1 Firecrest, 4 Goldcrest, 11 Snipe, 1 'collybita' Chiffchaff  (no sign of the two Siberian Chiffchaffs today), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail and 2 Little Grebe.

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 7:50 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tamar Lakes - 14th Jan

Sunny, bright and clear this morning:

Upper Lake

1 Merlin perched on post for some time.   Flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing in fields adjacent to the lake with Canada Geese.

Lower Lake

15+ Goosander, 26 Mallard, 2 female Wigeon, 12 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Heron, 4 Coot, 2 Moorhens, 7 Teal, 2 Jays, 1 Nuthatch, usual tits on feeders, 1 Cormorant, Robin, 5- 6 Blackbirds, c.30 Black headed Gulls, I Kingfisher, 1 Fox in the reedbed  causing the Heron some vocal annoyance.

Harvey Kendall, Roger Walter and Fiona Simpson

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 2:19 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Powderham

The Snow Bunting provided good photo opportunities yesterday on the seawall between showers, I am sure many people will have close shots.

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 11:12 am in General Birding

Tuesday 13th January 2015

Yellow-browed Warbler

Apologies for late post, but anyone looking for the Plym Estuary Yellow-browed may like to note that on Sunday it showed (around midday) in bushes at the entrance to Blagdon's Meadow as well as at the original site later. Late afternoon it also flew over the road and landed in bushes between the cycle track and the cement works.

On Saturday, also a Kingfisher performing very well on the narrow river.

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 9:16 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exmouth

The female Long-tailed Duck was showing well early this afternoon about 100yds east of the new Lifeboat Station on Exmouth seafront, despite the normal huge disturbance from dogs on the beach!

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 8:20 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Torbay

44 Cirl Buntings and 6 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park Broadsands this morning. On the sea still 2 Velvet Scoter and 1 Common Scoter.

Now 2 Siberian Chiffchaff at Clennon Lakes around the middle pond with 2 collybita Chiffchaff.

 Sibe Chiff ClnVly 130115ML3  Sibe Chiff ClnVly 130115ML3 

Above: same bird in sunlight and dull light.                    Below: the two birds and a collybita fly- past

Sibe Chiffs ClnVly 130115 ML

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 5:52 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Exe Estuary Turf and canal

The snow bunting still on sea wall near new cycle bridge mid-afternoon. In the field north of the Turf I saw the black brant amongst c500 brent geese. On the canal a redhead goosander but it was very mobile and eventually flew north towards the motorway. Lots of avocets on the river and one kingfisher.

The Exminster marshes still have lots of duck and waders. I did not linger to count as the showers were heavy and cold. I did notice about 500 golden plover and c300 black-tailed godwit. Amongst the ducks were a few pintail, tufted and shelduck.

In the fading light 2 male bullfinches shone as they and two females went to roost in bushes within the reed bed north of Station Road railway bridge. 

 

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 5:11 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

South Milton Ley - 13.1.15

As chiffchaff seem to be the bird of the day from previous posts, here are a couple more, including one rung, probably locally. More than 20, both collybita and tristis, present in the area. Also 2 song thrush, 4 meadow pipits, a g.s.woodpecker, jay and buzzard. 



Posted January 13th, 2015 at 5:01 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Dartmeet and River dart

 An impromptu visit to Dartmeet late this morning initially looked as if it was going to be a run of the mill outing with nothing of real interest to either see or report.

After some time a single male Bullfinch came in feeding on dried Blackberry heads, followed by three male Yellow Hammers, Marsh and CoalMandarin Ducks Rv Dart ~ 13/01/2015 Tits showing well, a pair of Greater spotted Woodpeckers, a single Jay, up to four Robins round the feeders made for some interesting scuffles and a possible male Black Redstart reported by another birder but not seen by me.

On the way home good numbers of Fieldfare, Redwing and Rooks in the Buckfastleigh area.

On the River Dart a count of no less than 60 plus Mandarin duck mixed in with a good number of Mallard

 

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 4:48 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Mansands

In between the showers, the weather was quite good and sunny. The pair of Tufted Ducks was still here, also the Little Grebe and the 3 Coots. The usual Mallards, Teal and Moorhens were around the marsh and a good number of Gadwalls, 5 males & 2 females. Despite it being quite windy, there were alot of Chiffchaffs around the marsh and amongst the reeds, but the best was a Tristis (photo) that was quite vocal in the Southdown side of the reeds. 

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 4:11 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Dartmoor

 Very close views of a Short-eared Owl hunting just west of Prince Hall at 0820hrs this morning

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 4:09 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Wembury Point

 A male Dartford Warbler this morning in the lower gorse with, unusually, a good few Kittiwakes and Guillemots off shore.  The Water Pipit is still present on the beach.

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 1:58 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Monday 12th January 2015

Teignmouth beyond Sprey Point

Single purple sandpiper feeding on top of the remains of the destroyed breakwater Holcombe side of Sprey Point mid Sunday afternoon.

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 6:33 pm by Barney Donnellan in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler showed briefly in corner of 1st car park also 1 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest. On the sea, the 2 Velvet Scoter were back again toward Goodrington. 2 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver and 4 Great Crested Grebes.

Preston: 1 Great Northern Diver and 1 Black-necked Grebe.

Roundham Head: 2 female Black Redstarts around houses opposite the Burma Star memorial gardens. 

Black Redstart Paignton 12 Jan 2015 ML

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 3:28 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Powderham Corner

The Snow Bunting has again been showing very well down to a few feet, along the seawall just north of the new Exe Trail bridge today. It was still there when I left at 1305hrs. 

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 1:46 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Shoalstone, Brixham

A seawatch from the shelter between 0900-1100, wi8th Bill Macdonald, in a strong SW wind with periods of rain, did not produce many birds apart from Fulmars, Gannets and groups of auks. Highlight however was an adult Pomarine Skua which flew south at 0935, stopping briefly to chase a Kittiwake .

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 11:29 am in General Birding

Gannets off Budleigh Beach

Counted 21 Gannets at 9am this morning circling, wheeling and diving just off Steamer Steps, some coming quite close to the beach  

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 10:13 am by richard allen in General Birding

Sparrowhawk

Just pulling away from the shop car park in Stoke Gabriel Road Galmpton yesterday 11/1 when female sparrowhawk flew right besides us across the front of the row of terrace houses, coming in low, we think she was probably after the sparrows that have taken a liking to the foliage in front of the butchers. Geat sighting at 2pm

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 10:05 am by Kay abn Gary Deare in General Birding

Sunday 11th January 2015

Gone fishing. Axe Estuary

Saturday 10th. Colyford Marsh / Axe Estuary produced 3 little grebes inc. one who caught a fish in front of the tower hide & then proudly swam around for 5 minutes before eating it. Teal & Lapwing on the Marsh, with Curlew, Redshank & a solitary Black-tailed Godwit on the estuary. In the island hide where the barn owl has its lunch noticed something sticking out above the noticeboard - surprised to find the head of a snipe amongst the owl pellets. Obviously a barn owl with a varied culinary tastes!

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:48 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

RSPB Darts Farm

The Penduline Tits and the Black Brant showing well early afternoon:




Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:41 pm by Tim White in General Birding

South Milton Ley - Reed Cutting today

Following on from the earlier report I have just received photos from Jon Avon who was carrying out work on the reed cutting machine today showing the work carried out by the team there today, bottom photo by another of the team, David Pakes. Well done to all.

Reed cutting at South Milton Ley 11 Jan J Avon.Reed Cutting at South Milton Ley 11.1.15 D PakesReed Cutting South Milton Ley 11.1.15 J AvonReed Cutting South MIlton Ley 11.1.15 J Avon

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:36 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Occombe Farm, Paignton

11.30-13.15

6 Redwings feeding amongst the leaf litter at the back of the clearing in front of the hide.  Nuthatch there as well.  2 elusive Fieldfares in the meadow favouring the small holly bushes.  Obliging female Kestrel close by being mobbed by Meadow Pipits.  4 Linnets over and 3 mobile Mistle Thrushes.  5 Pied Wagtails.  2 calling Buzzards circling towards the north. 

Also, a male Blackcap in my back garden in Shiphay, Torquay for the last two days.     

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:22 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Topsham

The Black Brant was at Dart's Farm this morning (as well as the aforementioned Penduline tits). Great photograph of the Black Brant from James Packer aka @berrowbirder on Twitter.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 6:56 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

South Milton Ley - 11.1.15

An enjoyable hardworking day with 9 other Devon Bird Member volunteers, ably led by Vic Tucker, reed cutting at South Milton Ley. Bob Burridge kept up our birdwatching interest by pointing out birds on display nearby.These included a g/s woodpecker and several chiffchaff, including at least one of the Siberian variety,although most were of the collybita strain. As I left at about 3.15pm a sparrow hawk flew over my shoulder narrowly missing me!

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 5:06 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

River Clyst Egyptian Geese Sunday 11th Jan 10.50am

ID Photo of the Egyptian Geese 


Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:59 pm by Mike Kelsall-Spurr in General Birding

Tamar Estuary / Ernesettle

Good numbers of Gulls this afternoon on a falling tide, including 350+ Black Headed gulls, and 3 Common gulls. Not many waders, only 3 Curlew, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret and 30+ Redshank. Also, 45 Teal, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker, and 100+ Avocet on the Cornwall side of the Tamar, at Kingsmill lake, Landulph.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:43 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Powderham Corner

The Snow Bunting seen earlier at Turf had been refound this afternoon just north of the new footbridge at Powderham Corner and was still present at 3.10pm at least showing well on the sea wall and top path, it kept getting disturbed by walkers but kept coming back. Also 2 Stonechat by the path.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:32 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

River Clyst

A Pair of Egyptian Geese were swimming up river towards the Bridge Inn from the Tremlett boat yard at about 11am this morning.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:09 pm by Mike Kelsall-Spurr in General Birding

Darts farm ~ Penduline Tits

Early afternoon it was standing room only at Darts Farm where three Penduline Tits were showing really well as they demolished Bullrush heads in front of a growing gathering of birders. Despite being at really close quarters the birds drab plumage could at times make them very difficult to spot, but the bullrush heads being ripped apart soon gave them away.

Listening to the general chat the birds had been showing for most of the day from around 9.30am with only one very short period of absence.

Also showing well in the same area were a number of Chiffchaff and a pair of  Stonechats.

 

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 3:18 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Dartmoor on Saturday 11th

a bit of late news for yesterday.

Soussons - the Great Grey Shrike was frequenting the clear felled area, using the odd tree and stumps as perches and a Barn Owl was floating around the marshy area below Challacombe Farm.

Powder Mills towards Postbridge - a male Hen Harrier was drifting around the open moorland and wooded fields around 2:30 pm.

Wistman wood - around 100 Fieldfare up on the open hillside

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 1:25 pm by Nik Ward in General Birding

Exe Estuary

Snow bunting greeted me this morning, south of Turf along estuary wall.


Posted January 11th, 2015 at 11:07 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 38+ Cirl Buntings and 4 Reed Bunting.

On the sea: 4 Common Scoter, 6 Black-necked Grebes, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver. No sign of the Velvet Scoters this morning. 

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 10:33 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Brixham Black Redstart

Black Redstart in the garden this morning.....first seen for a couple of years...police station area. Earlier this week, female Blackcap in garden, attracted to the apples pronged on a rowan tree.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 10:12 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Wrafton

Three Spoonbill on the seasonal scrape each morning this week. Only two this morning. 

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 8:27 am by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Saturday 10th January 2015

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler was still present this morning in the 1st car park, 18 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park with 8 Skylarks over the stubble field. 

On the sea the 2 Velvet Scoter were again toward Goodrington and a male Common Scoter in the same area, 4 Black-necked Grebes and 37 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 6:42 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Around Topsham

Started at Bowling Green Marsh at 09:30 till 10:15

1 spotted redshank among 80+ redshank , 22+ dunlin, 14+ gadwall, 5 tufted duck, 5 pochard, 6 pintail, among good numbers of wigeon, teal and shoveler, 1 little grebe , 1 bar tailed godwit, 1 stonechat, 1 coal tit. 

Darts Farm 10:40 till 13:15 

3 Penduline tits showed very well at times and stayed for over 3 hours today also 2 stonechat, 2 bullfinch.

Goatwalk to topsham quay 13:50 till 14:45

646+ avocet , 16+ red breasted mergansers large number of dunlin and 100+ grey plover . 

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 6:38 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Topsham

Three Penduline tits at Dart's Farm this morning giving good views despite the strong wind. All three had masks so there have been  at least 5 in the area Since the first sighting at Bowling Green Marsh.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 5:27 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Crows point and Braunton Burrows

A very bustery walk this afternoon was rewarded with a Woodcock on the verge of the American Road along with 4 x Bulfinch in the hedgerow, and 30+ Lapwing in one of the fields next to the carpark.

The Marsh at Crows Point produced a Marsh Harrier which put up 30+ Teal as it quartered across the ponds. Also spotted on the way back to Braunton:- 3 x Kingfisher, 2 x Stonechat,                     5 x Redshank, 2 x Grey Heron, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Buzzard, and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 3:37 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A walk around the southern half of the marshes, to the Turf and back along the canal required wellies. There were two seperate flocks of brent geese totalling about 300 birds on the fields near the lagoon. A larger flock was on the estuary on and close to Greenland Bank. At the Turf there were 4 red-breasted mergansers and one kingfisher in the approach to the canal entrance. 

Scattered over the fields were lots of golden plover, lapwing, curlew and wigeon. There were smaller numbers of starlings, dunlin (c200), black-tailed godwits (c150), shoveller (c40), pintail (c8), teal and mallard.As the tide dropped most of the waders made their way out on to the estuary leaving the wigeon and plovers.

Few small birds seen due to the strong winds but there were at least 2 chiffchaff on the canal bank.

In the garden a collared dove is nest building.

 

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 2:29 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake - 10th January.

Improving weather conditions, but increasing wind and much cooler.   The work on the marsh in front of the hide and trimming some of the growth on either side has now been completed giving much better visibility and the prospect of a greater variety of birds closer to the hide.

Only 10 Goosander, 31 Mallard, 26 Tufted Duck, 26 Snipe, 4 Coot, 3 Jays, 1 Kingfisher, mixed flock of Black headed and Herring Gulls totaling 60+, 2 Cormorants.  Usual tits etc. on the feeders.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 1:26 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Aylesbeare yesterday

Peter Woods got these excellent shots of the Great Grey Shrike at Aylesbeare yesterday. It was in the usual area west of the old tree stump.

Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods
Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods

Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods
Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 1:04 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Friday 9th January 2015

penduline tit

 three pendulines showed really well today and gave great views,they stayed for almost an hour,at about 11.30 am


Posted January 9th, 2015 at 9:08 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Exmister marsh

Watched along station road from 14:40 till 16:20

great to see the golden plover numbers continue to grow with 1000+ on the scrape by the middle car park with 2000+ lapwing constantley being attacked by a male peregrine also large numbers of wigeon in various groups over the marsh with a few pintail and tufted duck, 2 chiffchaff and 25+ long tailed tits, 4 water rail and a male merlin was on the northern end of the marsh towards the motorway bridge , 1 sparrowhawk.

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 8:03 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Some minor interest today - pride of place for scarcity value should go to 2 Cormorants heading SW over the airfield this morning but it is difficult to get excited by them! 49 Lapwings, 25 Fieldfare and 20 Redwings.  An increase in Chaffinch to 45 along with 2 Yellowhammers. This is notable as despite breeding locally, they are normally absent during the winter. Circa 3000 Starlings around the airfield. 

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 4:55 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Saunton Sands North Devon

20+ Sanderling showing well on a very stormy Saunton Sands beach at lunchtime. Great to see until the inevitable leadless dog put all the birds up and the flock disappeared.  

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 2:01 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Darts Farm

3 Penduline Tits (2 with masks) showed well this lunchtime until about 1.30. Having got brief views last Friday it was great to finally get a good look at these birds after many, many attempts! The Kingfisher showed well on the pond by the hide.

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Snow Bunting Dawlish Warren

Snow Bunting present yesterday at Dawlish Warren, along the strand line by the hide.  Reported by Steve Ayres and photographed (shown below) by Peter Woods.

Snow Bunting (c) Peter Woods
Snow Bunting (c) Peter Woods

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 8:21 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Thursday 8th January 2015

Exminster Marsh area

Green sandpiper seen on Powderham Marsh at lunchtime, and many waders over Exminster marsh including large lapwing and golden plover flocks. Barn owl seen near the swing bridge from the canal path at sunset. :)

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 7:44 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

No GP's or Lapwings but a Jack Snipe flushed from the runway edge. Fieldfare around 50 (numbers have been around 150 the last few days). A similar number of Redwings, 2 Stonechats and the male Bullfinch again.     

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 7:12 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Bystock Reserve

A Firecrest  was showing well by the footpath c. 200yds down from the Wrights Lane entrance at about 1255hrs this afternoon.

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 2:27 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Downend & Baggy Pt

Fresh WSW winds - Sea State = Rough

Still no Scoters at Downend or Baggy earlier this morning but 1 Gannet at Downend & 5 at Baggy Pt. Also a handful of auks flying south & 1 Red throated Diver at Baggy.

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 1:55 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Head and Shoalstone

Yesterday late am I met MD and AR and did a short seawatch from the quarry which did not produce very much movement except for a Red-necked Grebe flying south. Today at Shoalstone I was surprised to get another Red-necked Grebe , flying out of the bay southward at 0940. Maybe an individual bird commuting around the district, cf. Andy Plumb's sighting over a week ago.

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 11:51 am in General Birding

Wednesday 7th January 2015

Velator & Caen Estuary

13:45 -15:15 On a dank showery afternoon a walk along the estuary footpath on a making tide produced 1 x Common Sandpiper, 2 x Little Grebe, 2 x Kingfisher, 2 x Buzzards, 4 Shelduck, 5+ Curlew, 60+ Redshank, and in the distance in between Chivenor and Fremington Key were the two large flocks of roughly 1500+ Lapwing and 2-3000+ Golden Plover murmerating before landing.... a very impressive site on a grey and drizzly afternoon.

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 5:04 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Beesands - 7.1.15

Viewed from hide 1100-1300hrs in increasingly windy and wet conditions. Circa 70 gadwall,similar nos of tufted duck and coot.Not so many mallard. 3 mute swans, 2 little grebe and a pair of shovelers. Kestrel hovering in field opposite. Plenty of greenfinch, chaffinch , blue and great tits on the new feeders. 12 pied wagtail behind hide and flock of 100+ starlings in the field.

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 4:23 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Work in progress as contractors improve the area in front of and around the hide on the Lower Lake this morning - increasing the size of the pools and creating flatter tops to the islands.   The rangers also clearing some of the vegetation that interferes with views of the lake from the hide

35+ Snipe flushed as their equipment went into the area.   The wildfowl retreated to the far end of the lake, but 30+ Goosander present, plus 19 Mallard and 7 Teal.   The usual tits, 2 Nuthatches and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders seeming unconcerned about the nearby work.

Harvey Kendall

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 2:28 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Broadsands & Clennon valley

Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler in 1st car park - usual place. 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Water Rail, 25 Cirl Buntings ,5 Reed Bunting. On the sea 2 Velvet Scoter and 2 Black-necked Grebes.

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 7th Jan 2015 ML

Clennon Valley: Looks like the same Siberian Chiffchaff from Youngs Park, Goodrington has moved up to the stream by near to the YMCA. Also 1 Kingfisher, 8 Teal, 5 Snipe and 2 Water Rail. 

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 11:46 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tuesday 6th January 2015

Thurlestone area

The Glossy Ibis was seen at South Huish by Bob Burridge and others up to 1030 but then disappeared up the far back left of valley and failed to reappear during next 4 hrs. The Ruddy Shelduck was present.

Consolation prize was a nice Siberian Chiffchaff showing up in the hedge beside South Milton waterworks.

 

Posted January 6th, 2015 at 7:35 pm in General Birding

Yelland

The drake American Wigeon was present mid afternoon, off the end of the path past the hides at Home Farm Marsh. With the tide well out it was swimming on the narrow River Taw giving very good views.

Posted January 6th, 2015 at 3:39 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Hembury Woods.

An hour and a half walk along the river in the sunshine from eleven  produced : 1 Pair of Dipper,  9 Mandarin, 1 Red-head Goosander, 2 Grey Wagtail, Several Nuthatch, 1 Tree Creeper, and flocks of mixed Tits.

Posted January 6th, 2015 at 2:37 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Quick visit to Exminster for a change to look for some White-fronted Geese that had been reported earlier and found 3 feeding close to the main lagoon. Plenty of birds on the marsh including a good sized flock of Golden Plover.

Posted January 6th, 2015 at 2:12 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Monday 5th January 2015

Glossy Ibis - South Huish Marsh

After no sightings in the morning, the glossy ibis flew into the 1st Pool at 1300hrs, where after a quick bath, shake and stretch, it flew across to the pools in the field behind the cafe where it remained until 1323 hrs before flying off again high into the valley where sight was lost.

Glossy Ibis -South Huish - 5.1.15
Glossy Ibis -South Huish - 5.1.15

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 5:47 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Brixham breakwater

Counted 13 Purple Sandpipers yesterday late pm. Very quet in the harbour and nearby sea, just a single Guillemot. This afternoon similar but  a Red-throated Diver flew south. Quite a contrast to last Jan! 

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 5:27 pm in General Birding

Wembury Point

 The Water Pipit present for a few weeks was showing well late afternoon -  but the light was awful. Great Northern Diver off Bovisand Bay this morning.

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 4:49 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Laira ~ Yellow Browed Warbler,

Spent the late morning with Keith Male trying to track down the Laira Yellow Browed Warbler, eventually found if even if only very fleetingly just off of Embankment Road (opposite Glendennings) it is ranging around a tennis court sized area either side of the pedestrian walk way leading up to the foot bridge over the main road. At the bottom of the walk way on the right is a mature Willow and as the hedge carries along with smaller Willows that is where it was tending to show, heard it calling before actually seeing it. The dense cover makes it very difficult to see and unable to photograph given that by the time you see it its on the go again.

Very confiding Buzzard at the other end of the footpath. Good mix of Gulls on the Plym, Redshank, Curlew, Little Egret's and Shell duck in the main. A few Goldfinch in the area.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 4:19 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plymouth Sound

1 x Med Gull, 1 x Common Gull, 4 x Gannets also 1 x Grey Seal just off Tinside beach area and c3 Harbour Porpoise in the Sound. 1 off Mount Batten pier and 2 off Devil's Point.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 4:12 pm by Tor Elm in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 11:50 - 13:15

Sanderling 17; Common Gull 14; Lesser black-backed Gull 11; Greater black-backed Gull 7; Dunlin c200; Shelduck 8; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 354 between Penhill Marsh and Ashford S.W. This is the most I`ve ever counted here; Golden Plover c2500; Lapwing c3000 and 3 Goosander ( 1 male, 2 female). At 12:50 2 very loud bangs occured and everything went up in the sky. The air appeared full of birds.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 2:42 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Fairly quiet on the marsh this lunchtime but good views of a Kingfisher and a Spotted Redshank from the viewing platform.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

South Milton/South Huish area - Sunday 4th

Glossy Ibis and Ruddy Shelduck showing at various times, also Med Gull, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal and a nice sighting of Barn Owl flushed in the reserve.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 10:32 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Broadsands

On this sea this morning: 2 Velvet Scoter, 2 G.N Diver, 31 G.C Grebe, 5 Black-necked Grebe & a Slavonian Grebe over towards Elberry Cove.

Around the carparks: 20+ Cirl Bunting, 7 Reed Bunting & 3 Chaffinch at the winter feeding station also nearby 3 Bullfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest a single Firecrest and the Yellow-browed Warbler remains actively feeding in the far corner of the first carpark.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 10:24 am by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Rspb boat trip from Exmouth

A cold and overcast day and the following recorded.

cormorant, shag, black-headed gull, great black-backed gull, herring gull, curlew, oystercatcher, brent geese, grey heron, black tailed and bar tailed godwits, redshank, greenshank, common gull, dunlin, mallard, teal, wigeon, red breasted merganser, shelduck, little egret, great crested grebe, grey plover, turnstone, avocet, and pintail.  Also two seals, one on the bank.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 7:27 am by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Sunday 4th January 2015

Aylesbeare Common

The Great Grey Shrike showed very well at 1530hrs, firstly on the jagged stump of the old pine, west of the entrance track gate, moving even closer to the main track showing down to 100yards. Earlier it had been flushed by walkers and was seen to fly off high towards Colaton Raleigh Common. Presumably it had a change of heart and circled back round to its favoured position!

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 10:25 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Lynmouth to Watersmeet

Three dippers (two in Lynmouth itself), one grey wagtail, one grey heron and one rock pipit. Lovely walk!

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 5:31 pm by William Gallois in General Birding

Topsham

Spent day around various Topsham sites. Highlights were Black Brant dropping into Topsham rec briefly when Brent flock moved from Exminster Marshes onto the river, female Goosander also at Topsham rec (presumably flushed from the canal) & Spotted Redshank on the Clyst. Couldn't find any Penduline tits - looked at Highfield Farm, Dart's Farm and Bowling Green Marsh.

Black Brant, Topsham recreational playing fields
Black Brant, Topsham recreational playing fields

Spotted Redshank, Clyst Estuary
Spotted Redshank, Clyst Estuary

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 5:26 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Bolt Head/Sharp Tor

Amazingly three patch ticks this morning! First was a male Dartford Warbler in gorse on Sharp Tor then a Coal Tit (scarce here) in Fir Wood. Capping it off were five Harbour Porpoises feeding with Gannets off the Mew Stone!

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 2:17 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Good trip out into Torbay with Nigel,  8 Black-necked Grebe. 7 Great Creasted Grebe, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper,1000 odd Guillemots seen around Berry Head and in "Rafts" around the bay, Fulmars in good numbers, Gannets, Little Egrett, Grey Heron and Black Redstart. All the main Gulls, Cormorant and Shags also around. Good to be out with a great bunch of people!



Posted January 4th, 2015 at 1:04 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Saturday 3rd January 2015

River Plym

Quick bike ride around the Plym late afternoon.  Highlights were the Yellow-browed Warbler on the cycle path link between the Embankment to Liara Bridge opposite the concrete works.  Thanks to Russell & others for pointing it out. Two Kingfishers at Blaxton Meadow, four Little Grebe opposite sewage works and a pair of sleeping Goosanders on the island downstream of Plymbridge.  The water was too high and brown, so the Dippers must all have moved upstream towards the moor.

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 8:38 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Mansands and Brixham Breakwater

 Yesterday I was in Brixham when Mike reported that the Velvet Scoter were off Goodrington. I decided to head to the end of the breakwater to see if I could see the birds across the bay. Only 2 Purple Sandpiper were seen and a single Kittiwake feeding within the harbour. Whilst scanning for the Scoter I found a Red-necked Grebe diving constantly and heading out of the bay. A Great Northern Diver also flew out of the bay. I eventually picked up the 2 Velvet Scoter as they too dived constantly, moving towards Broadsands.

This evening I took a walk with the dog to Mansands. 8+Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe were on the water along with Moorhen and Coot but the best bird was a calling Green Woodpecker.

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 7:18 pm by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Large numbers of birds in fields oposite to the Lions rest. 300+ Golden Plover, Several large flocks of Lapwing, Wigeon, Godwits, Curlew, Teal, Shoveler, Canada and Brent Geese.


Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 7:06 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Brampford Speke

Big build up of birds at Brampford as the river starts to flood. Excellent variety of birds including grey heron, kingfisher, mistle thrush, little grebe, 50+ Canada geese, 25+ mallard, and, best of all, a pair of goosander (at least one pair present last three winters).

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 5:31 pm by William Gallois in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Miserable conditions but a few birds rewarded the effort!

A Firecrest along the Ride (different place to recent sightings) and a drake Goosander showing very well right at the top of the narrow river.

Just 21 Curlews on the pool with a handful of Redshanks and a single Dunlin; also 17 Shelducks.

Otherwise - Pied Wagtail 30+, Goldcrest 3, Little Grebe, Redwing 45+, and Green Woodpecker. 

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 5:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Saunton Beach

Just took a call from Steve Mawby, who has seen a large Skua Sp on the high tide south of the car park, either Great or more likely he thinks Pomarine Skua. It flew south down the beach.

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 3:10 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 2nd January 2015

Record photos of Yellow-browed Warbler, Plymouth. 020115.

Here is a three record photographs I took today, Friday 2nd January 2015, of the Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth.

Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.
Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.

Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.
Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.

Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.
Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 10:45 pm by Richard Smith in General Birding

Exmister marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 16:45

the marsh harrier seen just after 14:30 flew in from powderham marsh area and went down by the motorway bridge, a nice male sparrowhawk showed well by the middle car park and a jack snipe was near to the middle car park flushed from a ditch as I walked past , between 400 and 500 golden plover were between the lagoon and the railway line , excellent numbers of lapwing and wigeon , 4 buzzards including 1 very pale bird , a female goosander was on the canal and a kingfisher flew towards turf, 12+ pintail , 9+ tufted duck, plenty of snipe and water rail calling from most parts of the marsh, at least 8 pairs of stonechat was good to see ,1 peregrine, stayed till last light looking for the male merlin that has been going to roost but no sign today also at least 7000+ starling going to roost a good afternoon on the marsh .

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 9:20 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Darts Farm + BGM Viewing Platform + Goatwalk

Viewed 1020-1400Hrs.

What a great start to the new year. Darts Farm looked good for the Pendulines today being sunny and no wind with lots of other birders already on site. Having dipped out so many times there before and only seeing them at distance at BGM did i feel lucky.!!  Well my luck was in at 1115hrs 3 Penduline Tits (2-adults & 1-Juv)  eventually turned up on the reed mace left of the hide and gave great views but quite mobile before moving further around in front the hide around the small tree area. I managed to get some nice digiscope photos but video was a bit more difficult although it was certainly a challenge handholding the compact camera to the eyepiece on the scope and trying to focus as they were too far for my 4x zoom camera on it's own and a bit near to find in the scope just looking at the small camera screen. Everyone else went home happy too.

Also on show was the Black Brant amongst c800 Brent Geese + 2 Egyptian Geese also flew in + 6 Fieldfare in the field + Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen flying over the ponds and a Water Rail + 2 Chiffchaff + Stonechat also around the reeds.

BGM Viewing Platform showed 2 Water Rail in left field along the hedgerow close in just inside the entrance gates  and from the platform + c25 Avocets + c20 Grey Plover + c10 Knot + Greenshank + 3 Red Breasted Mergansers + Kingfisher sat on the rocks near rivermeet house wall  and a Squirrel was sat halfway up a small tree wedged into a branch along the pathway hedgerow just soaking up the good weather and looking without a care in the world.

From the Goatwalk c500 Avocets along the river channel + c150 Brent Geese dropped onto the water flying from Exminster and large numbers of Dunlin scattered around everywhere with good numbers of the usual waders.

A bird of a different nature was flying high over my house at 300+ miles yesterday was the International Space Station which i was able to work through the onboard  packet radio system (RS0ISS). Maybe i can add that to my 2015 year tick list.!! There is a link to the video at bottom of the Penduline Tit video if you are interested.

Link to video of the Penduline Tits:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff2xYX_OLOk&feature=youtu.be

Kingfisher seen on right pond on the 17-12-2014:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ID4n0NQWQ

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm  2-1-2015  11:18hrs
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 2-1-2015 11:18hrs

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm  2-1-2015  11:18hrs
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 2-1-2015 11:18hrs

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm  2-1-2015  11:18hrs
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 2-1-2015 11:18hrs

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 8:02 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Exmouth this morning

One Long-tailed Duck near Orcombe Point this morning giving very close view from the beach at low tide. Just one rather distant Gannet seen.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 7:55 pm by Martin Sage in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Black Brant with Brent Goose flock c.300yds north of Turf Hotel mid afternoon. The Barnacle Goose was with Canadas between the large lagoon and the railway line. Female Goosander on the canal midway between the fisherman's car park and Turf. The Marsh Harrier was reported earlier.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 7:39 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Berry Head Today

A fairly quiet visit was improved with a female Black Redstat on the coastguard compound

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 7:10 pm by tim clyburn in General Birding

Yellow-Browed Warbler, Plym Estuary.

Yellow-browed Warbler present again just off the Embankment Road, Plymouth. Viewable in bushes from the cycle/footpath at SX500546. Seen four times between 13:45 and 15:15 also 1+ Chiff Chaff.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 6:20 pm by Richard Smith in General Birding

Out and about

The Yellow-Browed Warbler and Firecrest still at Broadsands early this morning in the trees between the two car parks. c20 Cirl Bunting and a male Reed Bunting at the back of the second car park.             Offshore 2 Velvet Scoter ( much better viewed from Three Beaches Headland), 3 Black-Necked Grebes and a Great Northern Diver.  Nearby 2-3 Black Redstarts and 4 male Blackcaps near Paignton Harbour in memorial garden off Cliff Road. The drake Scaup showed well at Decoy with 1-2 Kingfisher also seen. Onwards to Darts Farm, where the 3 Penduline Tits showed really well in the small reedbed best viewed from the path to the hide late morning, flying off at 11.45 ( but returning 40 minutes later). The 2 Egyptian Geese still present there. The Great-Grey Shrike showed well on Aylesbere Common early afternoon, initially quite mobile but favouring the area either side of the left hand track off the main track, it settled down on the top ridge beyond the lone tree, where the Heath borders the road. 2 Spotted Redshanks were at Bowling Green from the hide on the high tide late afternoon. Finally a huge Starling flock put on a great show at Exminster Marsh near the motorway bridge. 

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 6:00 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Roadford reservoir

Good weather this afternoon for my first visit, but fairly quiet on the reservoir. From the hide by the visitor centre:

2 Great Black back gulls, 11 Tufted duck, 73 Canada geese flew in over the dam wall.

From Southweek hide: 37 Teal, 35 Wigeon, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, 12 Coot, Mallard on the far bank, Long Tailed tits and a Bullfinch flitting about the bushes.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 3:52 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Thursday 1st January 2015

Battery Gardens, Brixham to Broadsands

An early walk along the coast path was quiet. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper and Nuthatch were all active in the woodland and a brief Firecrest in Marridge Wood. 3 Little Egret, a Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-necked Grebes along the coast and the Yellow-browed and 10+Cirl bunting in the car park.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 11:44 pm by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Exmouth & Topsham

The Black Redstart was still present this morning by Shelly Beach, Exmouth, at the back of the sailing club. Also a drake Goldeneye and a Greenshank there.

This afternoon in windy conditions, the 2 Egyptian Geese were still present on the Clyst riverbank, viewed from the hide at Darts Farm, Topsham. No sign of any Penduline Tits, but the weather was very blustery. Late afternoon, a Spotted Redshank was on Goose Moor, Topsham.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 9:59 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Bowling Green Lane Snipe.

A lot of snipe present in the fields on Bowling Green lane.

Snipe
Snipe

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 9:22 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Happy New Year Yellow Browed Warbler ~ Broadsands

After numerous visits to Broadsands, today I actually managed to pin down the Yellow Browed Warbler that has evaded me over more visits to the site than I care to count, awful dull overcast and windy conditions but it did eventually show in the usual corner of the first car park after calling several times. It flits around like a turbo charged ping pong ball on steriods, but great to see and photograph at long last. Very little else to see, no birds of any species at the Cirl feeding spot, good numbers of Chaffinch in the first car park, overflight of a few Goldfinch, one Goldcrest and one Chiffchaff that was soon driven off by the Yellow Browed Warbler.

On the Esplanade at Paignton a count of 35 Turnstone that included the Dutch rung bird seen a few weeks ago, small number of Oyster Catchers on the exposed rocks, Herring and Black Head Gulls.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 8:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Topsham

Marsh harrier hunting over the reed beds off the rec several times today. Also adult Mediterranean gull.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 7:50 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Fremington Pill, North Devon

Walk around the Pill produced usual numbers of Redshank and Wigeon in good numbers. Two Kingfishers in flight, single Spotted Redshank and two Greenshank.

Views across Taw estuary produced three Spoonbill, and two large flocks of both Lapwing and Golden Plover.

In late afternoon, Black Redstart in Fremington, near Aspen Grove car park.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 6:07 pm by Neal Moss in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A new year's walk produced 2 Snipe, Firecrest, 4 Goldcrests, Green Woodpecker, and Treecreeper (we didn't check Blaxton). On the way home, the Yellow-browed Warbler showed (in the same spot as yesterday, at 13.45) despite not having appeared during a search by others this morning.

Happy New Year.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 2:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Home Farm - Gaia Trust , Lower Yelland

A pleasant and productive couple of hours birding with Andy Lansdell this morning including views of the American Wigeon still present at Home Farm pond and viewed from the new hide.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 2:04 pm by John Clark in General Birding

Broadsands & Goodrington

Yellow-browed Warbler still present this morning also 1 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrests. On the sea; 2 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Great Northern Divers. 

Goodrington; on the sea, 5 Black-necked Grebes and 31 Great Crested Grebes

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 12:50 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Purple Sandpiper

The purple sandpipers still showing well at Westward Ho!, on New Year's Eve as well as a small flock of Turnstones, a fling collectively. Happy New Year

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Turnstone
Turnstone

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 12:47 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Penduline Tit

Three Penduline Tits showing briefly yesterday ay Dart's Farm, a harsh winter sun made the birds difficult to see as they quickly fed in and around the reed mace, they didnt stay for long,but a wonderful bird to see even if only for a few moments

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 10:38 am by gray clements in General Birding

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