Devon Bird Sightings from February 2015

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to recorder@devonbirds.org to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar

 

Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in General Birding

Saturday 28th February 2015

Plymouth Group field visit

Three potential new members joined the group's visit to Dawlish Warren on Sat 28 February.  There was a disappointing lack of divers on the sea but 8+ Great Crested Grebe gave a good display and three Turnstone were showing well on the rocks. 

Sharp eyes of Doug found two Long-tailed Duck at the mouth of the Exe but plenty of patience was needed to see them as they were busy feeding.  Plenty of Brent Geese were on the golf course and the hide gave us good views of Grey Plover, Dunlin and Knot which were grouped together  - useful for comparison.  A displaying Skylark reminded us spring is nearly here.  Lesley G.

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 8:34 pm by Lesley Goonesekera in General Birding

Purple Sandpipers - Capstone, Ilfracombe

First time this winter that I had my camera with me at the same time that the Purple Sandpipers were feeding on the rocks off the Capstone - 4 birds seen together.




Posted February 28th, 2015 at 4:29 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Mansands

There were many Greenfinches around the carpark early this morning, also quite afew Chaffinches as well. A Great Spotted Woodpecker seen on a nearby tree and a Green Woodpecker on the track near the hide. Lots of Blue and Great Tits were around the feeder by the hide with a female Reed Bunting as well with some Bullfinches. On the marsh, plenty of Mallards and Moorhens and also 3 Tufted Ducks, 2 males and a female, 2 Coots and the Little Grebe. In the reeds were afew Chiffchaffs, about 5 and also a singing Cetti’s Warbler (photo), in the bushes by Southdown track, a Firecrest was seen.

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 2:47 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Darts Farm

2 Penduline Tits still mid morning at Darts Farm- ( no sign of the male bird) and still present at 11.05am Also a Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat and a Reed Bunting.  The Spoonbiil at Exminster earlier, flew off east at 10am but there was no further sign there, at Bowling Green, Goosemoor or from Exton Station. 

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 12:50 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Pendulines

All 3 PENDULINE TITS were still showing well all yesterday afternoon after I first saw them arrive at 1301 hours - still frequenting the tiny reedbed adjacent to Dart's Farm hide. They were voraciously tearing apart the bulrush heads and extremely confiding. The male seemed to spend a lot of time on his own, feeding some distance away, occasionally sitting for long periods and contacting the other two with his short, shrill call. A slight hint of a deformed bill on one individual. All 3 birds were still present and happily feeding when I departed the site at 2pm and I had a call to say that they were still in the same place at 4.25pm

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 10:14 am by Lee Evans in General Birding

Snow Bunting pictures

Here are three pictures of the Snow Bunting from yesterday (Friday)




Posted February 28th, 2015 at 9:10 am by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Snow Bunting

The Snow Bunting was showing well yesterday (Friday) between the new cycle bridge and the Turf Hotel.

Helen, I hope you managed to find the Pendulines at last!!

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 8:58 am by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Friday 27th February 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

53 Golden Plover settled on the airfield this morning was reminescent of past winters. The Snipe remain (79 counted today) with just 8 Lapwing. A single LBB Gull and 36 Black headed gulls were found amongst the horde of herring Gulls (c2000). 

Posted February 27th, 2015 at 8:14 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

powderham sea wall

Snow Bunting showing very well on the sea wall near turf

Posted February 27th, 2015 at 8:06 pm by Trystan Bryant in General Birding

Spoonbill River Otter

A bright morning but cloud developed.  A first for me, a spoon bill to the left of the bird hide south of white bridge.  Rather a long way off but got some distant shots.

Rob Jerrard

spoonbill
spoonbill

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

spo
spo

Posted February 27th, 2015 at 5:21 pm by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Thursday 26th February 2015

Darts Farm

2 penduline tits today feeding on bull rush heads near hide, easily overlooked despite only being a few metres away as they pulled the heads apart to get at insects. A flyover black swan added to the exotic air.


Posted February 26th, 2015 at 8:18 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Very much as you were although the fine afternoon allowed excellent views of the Snipe which totalled an impressive 89. 48 Lapwing, now 5 Stonechats, 45 Meadow Pipits and 2 Linnets were new arrivals, these having been absent most of the winter.

Yesterday 64 lapwing, 52 Snipe, 250+ Fieldfare and a flyover Cormorant. 

Posted February 26th, 2015 at 7:32 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Ivybridge

The Lesser Whitethroat continues to visit feeders and forage through shrubs now daily across several private gardens.

Posted February 26th, 2015 at 5:22 pm by richard teague in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spotted Redhank was showing well just to the right of the viewing platform today until about 2 o'clock along with a Greenshank. Also a Water Rail at the back of the marsh from the hide.

Posted February 26th, 2015 at 2:45 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wednesday 25th February 2015

Red Squirrel

I watch my bird feeders daily hoping to find a rarity, but never expected to see this Red Squirrel, it has been comming to the peanuts since Saturday morning, generally twice a day.

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 8:45 pm by Stan Stanbury in General Birding

Shot Mute Swan Wrafton

From Jon Turner :  The shot Mute Swan at Wrafton Pond being taken into care by RSPCA staff member Anthony from today. He's accompanied by a police constable seconded to the RSPCA for a few days. It's hoped that the Swan will be returned shortly after a visit to West Hatch for the pellet to be removed.

    

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 7:33 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Ludwell Valley - Exeter Canal - Harper's Lakes - Matford Marshes

Not much today the usual birds plus;

Ludwell Valley - a pair of courting Dippers and a Grey Wagtail on the Northbrook.

A green Sandpiper on the nearest pond to the canal and the swing bridge.

Nothing of note on Matford Marshes or Harper's Lakes.

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 6:16 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

South Huish Marsh - 25.2.15

Could not see the reported 2 White Fronted Geese when I arrived at a quiet South Huish Marsh at 12.30 today. A search revealed a few Canada Geese on the back of the Marsh near the houses. A walk up the lane and a peer through the gardens gave a view of the 2 geese amongst a group of 20 Canada's. The second photo shows a size comparison

White Fronted Goose -South Huish Marsh - 25.2.15
White Fronted Goose -South Huish Marsh - 25.2.15

2 White Fronted Geese with Canada Goose -South Huish- 25.2.15
2 White Fronted Geese with Canada Goose -South Huish- 25.2.15

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 4:42 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

River Avon, Nr Loddiswell

13.00

Female Goosander, 2 mobile Dippers, Common Sandpiper and 2 marauding Sparrowhawks. 

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 4:38 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Velator

No less than 12 Gadwall in the reserve this morning.

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 2:58 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 24th February 2015

Exminster Marshes and Turf

Battled rain, sleet, icy winds and glorious sun over last two days on Exminster Marshes, through to Turf. The Goose Invasion continues with a dark cloud of Brent appearing just about anywhere and everywhere on the marshes and/or estuary.  The scattered flocks of Canada Geese included a small flock of 10 Grey Lags seen around Station Road on both days. A few snipe in the fields around Station Road Plenty of Godwits, Curlews and a few Redshanks in fields and at tide's edge  - signs of changes in Godwits' plumage as the summer 'barring' beginning to appear on one or two birds. Distinct lack of small birds - probably huddled in hedgerows out of cold wind or trying to avoid the Merlin which flashed past me at 3pm yesterday near Lion's Rest.  Kestrel over Berry Brook Meadow swooped to ground but left without it's prey when a dog walker appeared. Today's highlight was spending 1/2 hour sitting with the celebrity Snow Bunting near Turf on the Sea Wall - quite an entertaining character.




Posted February 24th, 2015 at 10:54 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Strete Gate, Slapton

After seeing the two European White-Fronted Geese at South Huish at 12.30 and phoning birdguides, I ventured over to Slapton. Could not detect any birds on the sea and ,with a cold wind blowing, nature called but the toilets at the memorial car park were closed with a note sending me to Strete Gate. Fortuitously, here  in the bright sunshine  2 Chiffchaffs circled the toilet block , followed by a Yellow-Browed Warbler , which then flew into the picnic area about 2.25pm. It was seen on and off for the next 3/4 hour. Poor record shots may follow.

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 7:26 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

The 2 White-Fronted Geese still 3.45pm at the back of South Huish Marsh with c35 Canada Geese.  Also 6 Gadwall, c30 Wigeon and c30 Teal. 

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 5:59 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Preston Torbay

The drake Velvet Scoter was again off-shore today, but no sign of the Common Scoters today.

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 3:54 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

In less than ideal conditions these past few days (bitter North west wind and frequent heavy snow showers), the Snipe and Lapwing remain the only things of note. This morning 72 Lapwing, c50 Snipe (difficult to count) in the pig field and a fast moving flock of around 40 Golden Plover disappearing quickly into the distance. 4 Stonechats

Yesterday (23rd) 106 Lapwing, 45 Snipe, 4 Stonechats and c2000 Herring Gulls feeding on muck spread fields.

Saturday (21st) 66 Snipe, 80+ Fieldfare and the 2 resident Stonechats were joined by 2 others - whether this was the start of Spring migration not sure but if so, they must feel like turning round and heading back!

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 12:17 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Monday 23rd February 2015

South Huish Marsh

Mike Passman's website reported two 2 European White-fronted Geese (albifrons) on the Marsh this morning with the Canada Geese.

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 11:10 pm in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Over an exceptional High tide this morning, plenty to see but nothing out of the ordinary appart from the Snow and Sleet Showers with a bitter Wind :-

200+ Avocets, 250+ Black Tailed Godwits, 100+ Bar Tailed Godwits, 100+ Redshank, 50+ Dunlin, 200+ Widgeon, 50+ Teal 20+ Shoveler, 10+ Greylag Geese, 8+ Pintail, 20+ Lapwing, 4+ Pochard, 1 Water Rail, 1 Fox, 2 Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawk. On the Feeders in the rough area plenty of Greenfinch, Chaffinch, and GoldFinches, Tits, and a nice Male Reed Bunting showing well.  

A pair of Pintail
A pair of Pintail

Plenty of Black Tailed Godwits close to the hide
Plenty of Black Tailed Godwits close to the hide

A Sparrowhawk spooked all the birds on the Marsh
A Sparrowhawk spooked all the birds on the Marsh

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 5:01 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Four female Shoveler and a male Pochard. The male Mute Swan still adorned with lead pellet - I hope the RSPCA will be here tomorrow. 

3 Gadwall in the reserve this morning.

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 3:58 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wrafton

All 7 SPOONBILLS present this morning and still there when I left the reserve at about ten past two. At least two with colour rings on.

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 2:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bolt Head, East Soar

Firecrest on the sheltered lower slopes of Fir Wood. Also 2 Chiffchaffs here but not singing - 1st migrants in or overwintering birds - who knows!

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 2:07 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

stover lake Sunday pt 2

A couple photos of the female Goosander that seemed to be fascinated by a stick / reed & appeared to play with it for ages. Also the mallard up a tree in full voice!




Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 1:20 pm by paul treen in General Birding

Sunday 22nd February 2015

Drake's Island

20/02/2015: Imm Spoonbill roosting on Little Drake's Island, Plymouth Sound. It left at 09.12am and headed up the Tamar.

21/02/2015: Drake's Island. Cormorants sitting on many nests, Shag sitting on one nest site with active displaying by another pair nearby.

22/02/2015: Imm Spoonbill roosting on Little Drake's Island. It left at 08.20am and headed up the Tamar. (probably also present yesterday morning but if so, it left by 06.50am). Possibly a medium sized white winged gull (Iceland?) also on the Little island at one stage but it largely remained well hidden in a gully only showing its head, with Great Black backed gulls in all the more prominent exposed places. 

Robert Hurrell

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 10:47 pm in General Birding

River Teign - Flow Point

This mornings high tide had completely flooded the saltmarsh and most of the birds were roosting on just two areas that remained above water: c200 Oystercatchers, c60 Curlews, 6 Ringed Plovers, c40 Redshanks and 1 Black-tailed Godwit. In the river 10 RB Mergansers and 2 Little Grebes. By the jetty was a Grey Wagtail. From a distance a Water Pipit was seen perched on dead tree in the middle of the marsh: apologies of the poor quality of the photograph.


Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 6:34 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Stover Lake

Managed a early circuit around around the lake before the heavens opened. 10 Goosander inc 1 with a fish (perch?) & 1 playing with a stick. 2 pochard, 2 tufted, 6 mandarin & 2 GC grebe. On the feeders GS Woodpecker, nuthatch, Marsh Tit as well as the usual suspects. Weirdest sight a mallard up a tree.

Goosander with fish
Goosander with fish

Goosanders in flight
Goosanders in flight

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 5:50 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Around Exeter ish

Yarner Wood - wet, but lots of Tits feeding including a Marsh Tit. 2 Drake and one duck Mandarin. Dawlish - wet with wind. One Gannet, one Kittiwake..... Along the Exe, Slavonian Grebe, and it was wet. Exminster - wet, windy and not much to see. Stopped at Powdwerham and walked along a windswept wet path towards the Turf, 600 metres short of the pub, almost stepped on the Snow Bunting! Dart's Farm - wet, no P Tits.... BGM Grey-lags, 1 Pintail a few Pochard some Wigeon, and on the way to the viewing platform, good numbers of both Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwit close to the path. Several Avocets and a Spotted Redshank from the platform, which was wet. Time to go home a light the fire.

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 5:48 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Northwest Devon

Highlight of a stroll at Instow this morning was duck and drake Red-breasted Merganser. Also 2 Grey Plover, and Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank, Wigeon etc. before the rain turned us back. Supertide on Torridge had pushed a Little Egret to feed with Carrion Crows on muddy verge by busy B3233, near A39.

Apologies for the no-post at the time last Sunday 4pm, but there was a male Merlin perched on shrubs in the middle of Bursdon Moor, visible from the moor's carpark by the A39. Kestrel and Buzzard also noted but no harriers or owls.

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 1:44 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

Quick walk along Brixham Breakwater before the rain 15 Purple Sandpiper in total, 7 on seaward side and 8 on the old fuel bunkering jetty. Only 1 Turnstone. 

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 10:21 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Torbay

A drake Velvet Scoter was off Preston seafront with 10 Common Scoter this morning.

Broadsands: 15 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Buntings on seed in 2nd car park also 1 Chiffchaff in the marsh between the car parks. On the sea 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe and just 4 Great Crested Grebes. 

The Yellow-browed Warbler was seen again yesterday morning at Occombe Farm Nature Trail in the same area as previously reported.

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 10:04 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 21st February 2015

bgm topsham

two spotted redshank under the railway bridge,a single pintail,two tufted ducks,several curlew,and the usual birds,a green woodpecker in the lane,only spotted one snipe,a few redwing and fieldfare in the feild,the water rail showing well by the gate,and the highlight for us was a redpoll feeding briefly on one of the feeders behind the hide.



Posted February 21st, 2015 at 8:54 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

A very high tide at the Warren left very few places left for the birds, the island in front of the hide almost submerged as you can see in the photo, good mornings birding with 42 species found.


Posted February 21st, 2015 at 8:02 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Fingle Bridge

15 members of DB (East Devon Branch) had intended to explore the river downstream from Fingle Bridge but found the path closed while forestry work is being carried out in the area now owned by the NT and Woodland Trust.  So we took the traditional walk upstream to the mill and then returned by the high path below Castle Drogo.  

Several Dippers present including one in full song. Discussion followed relating to the variation in rusty brown of the undersides. The enlarged photo appears to show one ringed bird or is it just how its leg shows with the water line?    A pair of Siskin were present in Alders and a few Marsh Tits also found. A family group of 4 Buzzard and a single Raven patrolled the skySeveral mixed flocks of tits gave hopes of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but none were found although Tree Creeper, Nuthatch and Gt Spotted Woodpecker were. A worth while long walk and thanks to Tim Channon for leading us.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 6:20 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Occombe Farm, Paignton

Occombe Farm, Paignton and South Brent

A morning visit to the marsh area and hide at Occombe farm, Paignton this morning gave views of two Gold Crest, Jay, Wren, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, swarms of Great and Blue Tit with good numbers of Coal Tit, Dunnock and large numbers of Chaffinch, showing well. A Male Bullfinch flew past the hide.

Lots of fresh frog spawn in some of the shallow wet areas which will dry up long before the tadpoles arrive.

Back home in South Brent the garden feeders were buzzing with birds, the pair of Siskins continue to visit each day, male Bullfinch, single Long Tailed Tit & Pied Wagtail, double figures inrespect of Goldfinch, Chaffinch Greenfinch and House Sparrow a hunting Sparrow hawk cleared the area just on 3.10pm when it tried to take a fleeing Collard Dove. Starling numbers building up again, several small flocks in the area largest about 30 plus birds.

 

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 4:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Ideford Common

A sad sight this afternon, a freshly dead, Barn Owl,below the Beeches near the car park.No obvious sign of injury,a victim of the bad weather I suppose.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 4:31 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

watched from 07:45 till 09:45

on the walk down to the hide 1 male blackcap , 5 goldcrest, 3 coal tits, 1 nuthatch.

from the hide 2 Egyptian geese before flying towards darts farm, 4 water rail, 150+ bar tailed godwits, 100+ dunlin, 1 spotted redshank, 80+ redshank, 300+ black tailed godwits, 2 lapwing, 7 pochard, 5 tufted duck, 12 pintail among the usual wigeon and teal, 1 peregrine , 2 jays, 4 reed buntings.

from the path to the viewing platform another 3 water rail, 3 snipe, 1 little egret, 1 kingfisher, 10+ redwing.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 3:30 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Friday 20th February 2015

Sharpitor nr Princetown

Red Kite flying over Sharpitor near Princetown was moving a lot so unlikely to still be there.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 6:40 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

This afternoon:

12 Wigeon, 44 Teal, 33+ Oystercatcher, 39 Shelduck, 3 Curlew,  plenty of Gulls with some in breeding plumage.

On Ernesettle creek: 4 Little Egret, 2 Greenshank, 8 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, and a Green Woodpecker heard from the distant trees.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 6:03 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 14:10 - 15:45

c30 Sanderling; c300 Dunlin; 325 Dark-bellied Brent on and off Penhill Marsh; c2500 Golden Plover  constantly being disturbed by Sea-King doing circuits and bumps and 12 Goosander (6M,6F) off Ashford Strand.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 4:25 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

On the lower lake, 23 Goosander, 9 Tufted Duck, 4 G.C.Grebe, 2 Reed Buntings, the usual on the feeders Blue,Coal, Great ,Willow Tits.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 4:04 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Upper Tamar Lake

The lake was quiet this morning with, 6 Cormorants, 3 Grey Heron, 46 Fieldfare possibly more over the brow of the field, 8 G.C.Grebe 2 displaying,8 Snipe, 150+ Lapwing,  7 Tufted Duck 5m 2f.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Wrafton

4 SPOONBILLS this morning.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 1:13 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 19th February 2015

South Brent & Yarner Wood

Despite the wet and overcast weather conditions, todays birding day started out well with a total of 25 species identified at home before setting out to visit the two hides at Yarner wood.

The home species including a pair of Siskins, male Bullfinch, Song Thrush, Raven, Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, count of 28 Chaffinch, 15 Goldfinch and both Little and Tawny owls heard calling overnight. The Goldfinch were clearly displaying to each other with lots of tail flicking and posturing.

Both hides at Yarner were busy predominately with Tit species, all the expected species were observed, 15 species in total, 8 Long Tails crammed into one feeder was amusing to watch, not as many Marsh Tit showing as previously seen, but high numbers of Blue, Coal and Great Tit. Only one fleeting sighting of a Nuthatch was a surprise but Greater Spotted Woodpeckers showing well. Male Siskin seen in the canopy from the valley hide, the first Siskin I have seen at the location.

On the pond three Mandarin and a pair of Mallard, the Mandarin consisted of two drakes and one duck and she was frequently seen flying up into the tree’s inspecting potential nest sites.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 10:10 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Sadly the other thing I noticed on the pond today was that the Cob Swan has an airgun pellet embedded in the black knob on top of it's bill. This bird has already been taken into care several years ago by the RSPCA (which is why it has a ring on). I'll try to get in touch with them to see if anything can be done. Sad days, some pretty sick people around....

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 10:02 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Little Drake's Island

One imm Spoonbill (unringed) found roosting on Little Drakes Island, Plymouth Sound amongst the many Great Black-backed gulls. It left at 07.42am and flew up the Tamar on the Cornish side.

Robert Hurrell

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 7:13 pm in General Birding

River Plym

The rain finally abated and so I headed off to the yellow browed warbler spot near Blagdons Meadow after it was reported as present yesterday - and as per usual for me there was no sight or sound of it.

A muddy walk in Saltram Park was much more interesting with a female sparrowhawk, a male kestrel, a jay, 2 mistle thrush, around 30 redwings and 2 displaying stock doves the highlights. Best bird was a firecrest feeding in a loose flock of blue, great, coal and long tailed tits in the woodland by the River Plym footpath - brief and frustrating views initially as it fed amongst the holly bushes and ivy clad trees but eventually showing well in a bare tree.

Another look for the yellow browed warbler on the way back home and still no sign of it but a kingfisher on the rocks near Blagdons Boatyard was a bonus.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 5:59 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Barnstaple

Or at least, near Barnstaple. Still plenty of Redshank in Fremington Pill, and one Greeshank plus a couple of Black-tailed Godwits. In the Bradiford Reserve, a Redshank on the scrape was unusual.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 4:15 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lesser Whitethroat

Ivybridge, private garden. Lesser Whitethroat. (Believed sighted in January also but too brief to confirm whether Common or Lesser).

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 3:02 pm by richard teague in General Birding

Velator

Waited for the rain to clear before heading to the reseerve, so quite surprised to see the 3 Spoonbills still roosting by the Tarka trail as I arrived at 11.40. Indeed they were still there when I left at 12.35. Lots of Finches in the reserve, and still male Pochard and 2 Shoveler on Wrafton Pond.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 1:02 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 18th February 2015

Topsham

Just to add to Keith's earlier post 4 Greenshank viewed from Bowling Green Marsh hide and some videos of Spotted Redshank, Greeshank and Water Rail seen at the viewing platform on incoming tide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbxvpQWci6k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fWQiZiVbZE

From Topsham recreation ground this morning 4 Redwing feeding on berrys around rear gardens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar0476kqHHw

From Darts Farm late morning c25 Fieldfare and 6 Redwing in trees in fields rear of the shopping centre later flying close-by in hedgerow around rear car-park.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5Nj47Rx7tE

Further to Garys & Nicks post yesterday (Tuesday) of the odd looking Gadwall/Wigeon at Bowling Green Marsh here is a video taking today. Any comments welcome.!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpwHD99ZNwk

Darts Farm yesterday (Tuesday) Sparrowhawk video. Not sure what happened to the original link.!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuYwDF1WKfM

Fieldfare at Darts Farm
Fieldfare at Darts Farm

Water Rail at Bowling Green Marsh Viewing Platform
Water Rail at Bowling Green Marsh Viewing Platform

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:29 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Around topsham

watched from 15:00 till 17:45

1 male and 1 female goldeneye were on the exe just up from the quay along with 18+ red breasted mergansers before flying down the estuary towards starcross, good numbers of avocet , dunlin and black tailed godwits.

3 water rail showed well just in side the gate to the viewing platform at bowling green marsh and 1 chiffchaff, 150+ wigeon, 2 spotted redshank on the clyst from the viewing platform , 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 jay.

from the hide 6 pochard , 6 tufted duck(5m, 1f), 6 pintail(5m, 1f), 35+ shoveler, 3 snipe, 1 water rail, 200+ redshank, 300+ black tailed godwits, the 2 spotted redshank came in from the clyst.

 

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 7:10 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Red Kite

A Red Kite flew over Brentor at 1115 this morning.  Went off south in the direction of Mary Tavy. Totally ignored by the many Corvids in the area.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 4:41 pm by Simon Martin in General Birding

Berry Head Seabird Colony

Did a quick count of the Guillemot colony this morning!!!!

1,381 Guillemots, 7 Fulmar and 2 Shag. Very good healthy numbers of Guillemots and only 1 in non breeding plumage. Picture included but excuse quality.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 4:01 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Sharpa Marshes & Wrafton Pond

The Hybrid Goose with the Canada Geese on the Marshes this morning & 1 male Pochard & 9 Shoveler on Wrafton Pond.



Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:19 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Scrape - Velator

 3 of the 7 Spoonbills were on the scrape again this morning.

I think these are the same 3 that have been overwintering on the Taw Estuary. One of these 3 is the colour - ringed bird from the Netherlands. The other 4 are new arrivals.




Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:07 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Velator

The three Spoonbills were again on the wet area next to the Tarka Trail early this morning. On my way out a Kingfisher and a ringed Chiffchaff by the bridge.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:01 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 17th February 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

As mentioned in Nicks posting, this little character (having adventurous parents) has been around the marsh for over a week now, and seeing it fly for the first time today has a ghosting wigeon flight pattern and a whitish underwing.

gadwall/wigeon
gadwall/wigeon

gadwall/wigeon
gadwall/wigeon

gadwall/wigeon
gadwall/wigeon

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 11:09 pm by Gary Clayden in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

In addition to Dave's earlier post, the Spotted Redhank was showing fairly close in from the viewing platform at about 1.30.

There is also a very interesting looking hybrid Gadwall x Wigeon on the marsh. The body is mainly Gadwall with the head and beak being Wigeon!

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 9:36 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

RSPB Isley Marsh Reserve

1 male Red breasted Merganser & 7 Spoonbills on the reserve this aft.



Posted February 17th, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Braunton Marsh & nearby

Afternoon walk along coastal path from Vellator to the White House & back up the Toll Road. Group of 9 Grey Plover near the Fishermen's Hut with what I think was a solitary Sanderling, (pic attached). Also great veiw of a fishing Kingfisher at the top of the Toll Road alongside the boundary ditch.

Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?
Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?

Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?
Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 8:34 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Darts Farm

Viewed 1000-1530 Hrs

From Bowling Green Marsh 6 Pochard + 2 Tufted Ducks + 2 Pintail + 6 Greylag Geese with usual Teal and Wigeon. Along the road 2 Water Rail and 4 Snipe showing well close-by the hedgerow.

From Darts Farm a Sparrowhawk was sat on far right-hand fence post + 2 Egytpian Geese on river Clyst bank + Kingfisher around top pool + 2 Stonechat + 3 Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting around the reed-beds.

Links to video of Sparrowhawk & Kingfisher

hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef5WmaI-qZQttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuYwDF1WKfM

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:39 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

The fine weather made counting the Snipe easier - a total of 64 today with 19 Lapwing. Couldn't find the Jack Snipe today - 2 Stonechats and 35 Meadow Pipits.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:38 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Plym Estuary and Saltram

Went down this morning on low tide. Nothing unusual on the estuary apart from 4 goosanders (3f, 1m), Redshanks, Gulls (various) and Curlews. In the wooded areas Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Nuthatch, Wrens, Goldcrests, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:38 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Fernworthy

Great Grey Shrike in hawthorn scrub on N side of dam, late afternoon. It also flew across dam to the S side.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:21 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Soussons Dartmoor

  A "tristis" Siberian Chiffchaff [found by Dave Cawthraw] showed well for a short while.  Also a brief fly-past by a ring-tail Hen Harrier.  A few female Crossbills, Siskins everywhere, 100+ Chaffinches in a flock containing 2 Bramblings, 2 Treecreepers and still large numbers of Goldcrests.

Tristis type Chiffchaff
Tristis type Chiffchaff

Tristis type Chiffchaff
Tristis Chiffchaff

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 6:18 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

East Soar

First spring migrants today, 2 white wagtails with 4 pieds at East Soar Farm. First cirl bunting singing & first red admiral on wing.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 5:00 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plympton, Langauge Industial Estate, Eagle Road

Two birds to note, at 07:50 a Barn Owl flew over the factory, at 11.15am to my amazement two Red Kites flew over heading towards Cann woods

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 4:36 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Velator

Weather conditions prompted a rapid return to see if there were any more birds to ring this morning. As I cycled across the field towards the reserve I saw something interesting and stopped to look at the three SPOONBILLS roosting on the wet area adjacent to the Tarka Trail. Good start. Ringed a male Blackcap and a female Reed Bunting, amongst others. Full details on the forum later. Also saw an unringed Chiffchaff and a Cetti's Warbler in the reserve. 

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 3:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Broadsands

1 Firecrest in the marsh at the back of the 1st car park,14 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 5 Reed Bunting.

On the sea 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Red-throated Diver and 4 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 16th February 2015

Birding around Topsham

Brilliant place to go birding, counted 41 species without putting too much effort in and all putting on a show ;o)




Posted February 16th, 2015 at 7:15 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

UpotteryAirfield, Smeatharpe

Although difficult to see, there were still 24 Snipe present along with the Jack Snipe and 11 Lapwing. 2 Stonechats and 102 Fieldfare.

Posted February 16th, 2015 at 6:07 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Ludwell Valley Northbrook

New for the patch accidentally flushed a Water Rail today! Amazed! Also Dipper present.

Posted February 16th, 2015 at 5:44 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Sunday 15th February 2015

Torbay boat trip

Just a few photos of dare I say it impressive looking cormorants from today's trip. Nice to the the comparison with the adjacent Stags.




Posted February 15th, 2015 at 10:35 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Exe Estuary, Turf to Powderham

During the WeBS count, between 1.25 and 2.25pm, most of the brent geese formed one flock of 1100 birds in the fields inland of the railway with more geese on the estuary. In total there were probably 1200 brent geese south of the Turf. The distance and abundance of birds made it difficult to see if the black brant was amongst them. If it was I failed to locate it.

On the shore small groups of dunlin were feeding close to the sea wall together with about 100 black-tailed godwit. In the estuary one flock of 14 red-breasted merganser was south of Greenland Bank.

Walking back across Exminster Marshes it appeared the number of wigeon had fallen although there were plenty (600+) lapwing and 100 or so golden plover. I saw 2 chiffchaffs in the lane and heard 3 Cettis. There was a kingfisher on the canal.

James Diamond reported the merlin coming into roost later in the afternoon about 5.30pm.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 8:19 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Turf

The Snow bunting was on the sea wall between Powderham and Turf this afternoon.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 7:54 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Velator

34 Birds ringed in the reserve this morning including male House Sparrow and Reed Bunting, plus 2 Chiffchaffs, one extremely 'yellowy' individual that had me double checking for Willow Warbler! Full details on the forum directly...

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 6:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A record breaking 59 Snipe was a pleasant surprise, the majority in a pig field close to the village along with 67 Lapwing and single Jack Snipe. 60+ Chaffinch, 2 Stonechat and 11 raven.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 5:13 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Torbay.

This mornings boat trip was a bit lumpy on the Brixham side of Torbay but much calmer Torquay side so birds seen:-  4 Raven, 2 Black-necked Grebe, 4 great Crested Grebe, 4 Purple sanpiper Brixham breakwater and 7 Purple Sandpiper by Living Coast, Torquay on rocks. Herons, many Fulmar, Oystercatcher, Little Egret and very interesting to see that Berry Head seabird colony was full of Guillemots, very close to a 1000 birds and then to find on the other side of the bay at Ore stone 180+ Guillemots and a Great Black-backed Gull pulling Guillemots off the ledges as it flew by.

last but not least is seeing the Glaucous Gull from the boat on Brixham Fish market roof.

Only 2 more trips 22nd and 1st March email wildbones@btinternet.com. if interested. 

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 2:41 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Isley Marsh

Seven spoonbills at Isley Marsh this afternoon.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 2:32 pm by Alan Craddock in General Birding

Wembury

This morning at Wembury:

2 Turnstone, 1 Common Sandpiper, Rock Pipits, Meadow Pipits and a Water Pipit on the seaweed by the sewage pipe, 1 active female Black Redstart with a leg ring, 1 male 1 female Stonechat, 4 Starling and a couple of singing Skylark up by the radar, 2 Ravens overhead.

On the Mew stone:

Greater Black Back Gulls, Cormorant, Shag, Fulmar.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 1:25 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Occombe Farm Nature Trail Paignton

The Yellow-browed Warbler showed again this morning (briefly) just off the lower boardwalk in the woods. Also a couple of Treecreepers, 2 Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch,4-5 Goldcrests and 60+ Redwings in meadow below the farm woodpile. 

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 10:48 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 14th February 2015

Exminster and Powderham

 Penduline Tits at Exminster again from 10.45 to 11.15 - very difficult to photograph as feeding on the Reed Mace behind the trees and brush (just a few slightly blurred pics) Two showed, but at 11.15 three birds took off in the direction of canal/Topsham.  Waited until 11.30 but no further show.   Barnacle Goose at Powderham this afternoon amongst a large flock of Canada Geese.  Flock of circa 40 Linnets around stubble field. 7 Cirl Buntings and 2 Reed Buntings watched at Powderham Marshes last Sunday but due to other Bird Watchers near the site today, decided to stay away.




Posted February 14th, 2015 at 9:35 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Venford

Walking downstream from reservoir saw 2 Dippers, 3 Ravens, 2 Treecreepers, 3 Marsh Tits, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Wrens and several Robins. Think we saw some Pipits but weren't able to identify. 

Posted February 14th, 2015 at 5:35 pm by Noah salt in General Birding

Occombe Farm Nature Trail - Paignton

A Yellow-browed Warbler first seen by Steve Huggins last Saturday was seen by him again this morning on both occasions it was seen on the anticlockwise trail dropping down over a board walked part of the meadow and entering the woods on another boardwalk on the left this leads back up a small stream. The bird seems to prefer the area before the second 'bridge' at the end of the boardwalk. I visited early afternoon and found the bird in the same area before it moved up through the woods toward the bird hide/feeding station. 

Posted February 14th, 2015 at 3:30 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Friday 13th February 2015

Dartmoor February 13th 2015

Good day birding on Dartmoor despite inclement weather. 

On road from B3212 towards Runnage Bridge large flock of  Thrushes, Fieldfare 100+ , Redwing, Mistle Thrush with Jackdaws, Carrion Crows, Rooks and Raven feeding on turned field.

Siskins seen at Soussons Plantation , large flock of Chaffinches around Postbridge but no Brambling identified.

Stunning female Merlin on stone wall on B3357 just before Prince Hall.

Four Yellow Hammers and two Grey Wagtails Dartmeet. (Car park)

Posted February 13th, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Cilla Ingram in General Birding

Roadford Reservoir 12 Feb

 Four pairs of Goldeneye on the at the bridge end of the lake this morning with several Great Crested Grebe and plenty of Teal, one Grey Heron, 3 Shoveler (2m,1fm), 1 Snipe, 2 little Grebe, 10+ Tufted Duck in this area to. A pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Several Chaffinches and a Goldcrest seen near the Hide. At least 8+ Song Thrush feeding on the banks between the hide and the cafe' and one in full voice! A "raft" of Coots came ashore at the Boat club numbering atleast 30+ birds....Spring is in the air!

A greedy Grebe with carp to big to swallow!
A greedy Grebe with carp to big to swallow!

Greedy Grebe
Greedy Grebe

Golden Eye
Goldeneye

Posted February 13th, 2015 at 7:23 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Darts Farm

First view of these lovely little birds.

Penduline Tit feeding on reed heads
Penduline Tit feeding on reed heads


Posted February 13th, 2015 at 3:37 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Thursday 12th February 2015

Fremington Quay

Forgot to mention there was a group of 6 Goosanders diving just of the quay at the entrance to the pill

Goosanders
Goosanders

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 7:14 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Fremington Quay

Pleasant lunchtime stroll down the road alongside the pill down to the quay - usual Redshanks (50+), Black-Tailed Godwits (17) & Greenshanks (2) + a fleeting glance of a kingfisher - all spotted along the pill on a falling tide.

Redshank
Redshank

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Greenshank
Greenshank

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 7:11 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Slapton - 12.2.15

2 pairs of Great Crested Grebe displaying well on Slapton Ley today. Thanks to GW for pointing me in the direction of 2 pairs of Goldeneye. Could only manage a distant photo of a male.

Great Crested Grebe - Slapton - 12.2.15
Great Crested Grebe - Slapton - 12.2.15

Male Goldeneye - Slapton - 12.2.15
Male Goldeneye - Slapton - 12.2.15

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 6:40 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Darts Farm continued

3 Peduline tits actively feeding at 11.45.

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 1:04 pm by John Phillips in General Birding

Darts Farm

Three Penduline Tits,all showing mask,seen at 09:30

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 9:58 am by John bronze in General Birding

Wednesday 11th February 2015

Warleigh/Tamar

Following on from the post by Val Greham, today I also spotted a pair of Great Crested Grebes (could be the same pair) which briefly showed courtship displays of head bobbing and head plumes fanned. 

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 10:45 pm by Shane Willson in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Darts Farm

Viewed 1030-1600Hrs

From Bowling Green Marsh on a low high-tide c30 Avocets +c 55 Bar Tailed Godwits + c70 Black Tailed Godwits + c60 Redshank + c150 Dunlin + Grey Plover + c25 Curlew + 2 Snipe + 9 Pintail + 2 Gadwall + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Ducks  + Water Rail and good numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal.

At Darts Farm the Black Brant was in with c800 Brent Geese in fields near the main road. The  3-Penduline Tits dropped in 1325hrs was still there when i left at 1600hrs also Kingfisher + 2 Stonechats + 2 Chiffchaff again around the reed-beds near the hide.

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 10:24 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Thurlestone and Torcross

Thurlestone :- Male Black Redstart on roof of house nearest cliff top car park. A few Great Crested Grebes in the bay but no Divers seen.

Torcross:- 9 Common Scoter and 20 plus Great Crested Grebes on sea but still no Divers seen. Male Goldeneye on Ley.

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 4:18 pm by Rob Hubble in General Birding

Velator harbour

Fine views of a Kingficher in the harbour late morning, and between the harbour and the Toll House, at least 8 Little Grebes. Nearby a drake Shoveler hiding in the reeds at Wrafton Pond where the Swans have now chased off all last year's cygnets.

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Ernesettle Creek - Tuesday

Two Spoonbills on Ernesettle Creek along the tide line joining the Tamar at low tide.

There were also a good number of Shelduck, Oystercatchers,Redshank and Curlew. One solitary Greenshank. On the Tamar five Great Crested Grebe.  Two briefly showed courtship displays of head bobbing and bills full of kelp. The walk back along the creek gave sightings of two Teal, four Wigeon and three Little Egrets.      Val Grehan

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 10:06 am in General Birding

Tuesday 10th February 2015

Bowling Green Marsh + Goosemoor + Darts Farm

Viewed 1015-1500hrs.

From Bowling Green Marsh hide c650 Avocets + c70 Redshank + c100 Dunlin + c400 Black Tailed Godwits + c30 Curlew + Grey Plover + c60 Lapwing + 7 Pintail + 2 Gadwall + + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Ducks and goo numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal.

Walk through Goosemoot 1200hrs showed Buzzard sat on fence + Greenshank in pool neat bridge and Spotted Redshank under railway bridge in river Clyst.

Darts Farm 1300hrs 3 Penduline Tits showing well around the reed-beds in front the hide and still there when i left 1500hrs (told they been there all morning. Also 2 Stonechats + 3 Chiffchaff and Kingfisher.

Links to videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBAQ57nOTpQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Kk5y-QqpI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P85CMx9yGg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-18hA47Wd2k

Yesterdays Snipe at BGM viewing platform

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

3-Penduline Tits at Darts Farm
3-Penduline Tits at Darts Farm

Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor
Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor

Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor
Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 11:59 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Exminster Marshes Penduline Tits

Two Penduline Tits showed up at 11.12am where @DawlishBirder saw them on Sunday, they flew off high towards Topsham at around 11.20am.

 

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 10:21 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Viewing Platform Bowling Green Marsh

Went along at low tide but veiwing platform closed as the RSPB are cutting back the scrub. Will be closed again tomorrow.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 5:20 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Velator reserve

Arrived this morning to find large vacuum truck in the pumping station - big problem! I carried on with a quick look round and was surprised to find 9 Gadwall on the pond! Get on with the duckweed I said! So I got the strimmer in operation to tidy up the meadow of the dead long grass. Oddly last time I did this I found a half eaten Coot. Today it was a half eaten Lapwing... No ring this time.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 5:17 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Found item at Exminster Marshes Mon 9 Feb

Seeing there is not much news today could I mention a piece of photograhic equipment ( a lens hood) found at Exminster Marshes yesterday (Monday).  If anyone is missing this please contact John Phillips on 01392 255745. I don't think anyone from the East Devon Branch fieldtrip dropped it. Thanks.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 4:49 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

North Torridge area

Overwintering Common Sandpiper also present on the Torridge in the vicinity of Torridge Bridge (A39) since November. So it (they?) has (have?) made it through the various cold spells.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 3:07 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

River Caen/ River Taw

0915-1230 Very cold on the river today but that did not stop 2 Skylark from singing. On the Caen the over wintering common Sandpiper was seen also 55 Redshank,48 Dunlin 1 Greenshank and a Kingfisher. On the marsh and Horsey island the high tide had pushed up 2000+ Lapwing 2000+ Golden plover. Starling numbers were good at 1500+ also 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Coot, 2 Raven, 15 Stockdove, 1 Stonechat and a Rockpipit. On the Taw good numbers of widgeon,Curlew, 38 Shellduck over on islay marsh 3 Spoonbill.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 1:49 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Monday 9th February 2015

Dart's Farm and Exe Estuary

The three Penduline Tits were at Dart's Farm mid-afternoon and the Snow Bunting was again on the sea wall between Powderham and Turf. On the estuary, a female Goosander was with a group of Red-breasted Mergansers.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 10:46 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Bowling Green + Viewing Platform + Recreation Ground

Viewed 1015-1330Hrs.

From Bowling Green Marsh hide c550 Avocets + c200 Dunlin + c70 Redshank + c30 Curlew + 3 Snipe + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Duck + 3 Pintail + Buzzard + 2 Greylag Geese with good numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal. 

From the Viewing Platform on out-going tide 3 Water Rail + c12 Snipe + Black Tailed Godwit along the hedgerow close-in just inside the entrance gates with Spotted Redshank + Greenshank together right of the platform + 5 Grey Plover on far side mud and usual waders.

Topsham Recreation Ground showed Common Sandpiper + Grey Wagtail + 5 Redwing + 7 Common Gulls + 2 Mediterranean Gulls (1 with leg ring) c100 Black Headed Gulls.

Links to videos from BGM and viewing platform.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVFFAYeu0M8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HkUvQjnL-0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYX8KSnIAV0

Avocets at Bowling Green Marsh
Avocets at Bowling Green Marsh

Spotted Redshank & Greenshank at Viewing Platform
Spotted Redshank & Greenshank at Viewing Platform

Snipe at Viewing Platform (inside entrance gates)
Snipe at Viewing Platform (inside entrance gates)

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 9:17 pm by David Boult in General Birding

River Otter Otterton to Colaton Raleigh

2 Kingfishers, 3 Buzzards, Kestrel, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail 

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 8:49 pm by Richard Allen in General Birding

Stover and Newton Abbot

The lake at Stover was frozen over for at least half its area this morning, not overly busy round the feed station but Marsh Tit, male Bullfinch, Nuthatch showing well, Greater Spotted Woodpecker could be heard drumming before showing itself, on the lake Lesser Black Back Gull, pair of Goosander.

 

A first serious visit to the rivers in Newton Abbot (Jetty Marsh and Town Quay areas) gave good sightings of at least two Kingfishers, male & female, Grey Wagtails, several Chiffchaff hawking insects from the Buddleia, Bullfinch, a trio of Geese that I suspect are Graylag hybrids of some sort, possiblywith a Chinese goose, someone may well know the history. 

The resident hen Buzzard at home finished off the day along with four Bullfinch and a fly past from a female Sparrow hawk

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 7:10 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Black Redstart Plymouth

A Black Redstart on rocks just east of Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club at lunchtime today.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 5:32 pm by David Boddy in General Birding

Soar Mill Cove to East Soar

A glorious day upon the cliffs highlighted by a single flock of 40 Cirl Buntings feeding on weedy stubbles. An amazing count of 29 Song Thrushes included a tight flock of 15 feeding with the Cirl Buntings. More movements included 9 Common Snipe in wet flushes at the head of Starehole Valley and 33 Meadow Pipits apparently moving through. 10 soaring Buzzards took advantage of the benign conditions and a Grey Wagtail was feeding in the Cove with 6 Rock Pipits.

Mammals included 7 Sika Deer, 1stag & 6 females, and a very large Red Fox. Finally spring was deemed to have arrived with two Peacock butterflies by the Starehole Wetland - a very good day!

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 5:11 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

River Otter and Exminster Marshes

Relatively quiet at both sights. Walked from bridge on R.Otter to hide then along cliffs. Large flocks of chaffinch feeding in stubble,pair of little grebe from hide, numerous pipits on cliff top with stonechats and a rising skylark heralding springP.M. at exminster ,no signs of penduline tits but v large mixed flock of brant and canada geese ,lapwings abundant. FOUND canon lens hood on railway path. contact if yours philjp55@gmail.com

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 4:43 pm by John Phillips in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

A very pleasant morning at the lake plenty of duck movement.

Goosander 35, Tufted Duck 15, G.C.Grebe 3, L/Grebe 1, Reed Bunting 1, Nuthatch 1, Jay 3, Cormorant 1, Great Black-backed Gull 2, On the car park feeders Blue/Great/Willow Coal/Marsh Tit, Chaffinch, Robin 2, Greenfinch.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 3:55 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Exminster Marshes - Turf

24 members (DB- East Devon Branch) attended todays fieldtrip and followed the road and canal to Turf.  A Peregrine produced some drama as it chased off a Buzzard and settled to eat what appeared to be a duck (Wigeon?).  The marshes south of Lions Nest had good numbers of duck (including a few Shoveler and Pintail) and water birds with Snipe, Lapwing and a large flock of Golden Plover present.  Brent Geese were seen south of the motorway bridge but mobile and eventually flew near to Turf where the Black Brant was located after a protracted search.  The estuary at low tide produced distant views of waders and gulls with a few Grey Plover, Avocet and Red-breasted Mergansers.   The group divided and some members returned via the western footpath (very muddy in places) to the railway line and RSPB car park.  Great company, weather and birds.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 3:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 08:20 - 10:40.

High Tide 08:57.

In the Pottington Sewage Outfall ditch were 2 Grey Plover; 6 Dunlin and 4 Redshank.

Off Penhill Marsh were 32 Shelduck; c60 Dark-bellied Brent; 4 Wigeon; 5 Pintail and on the marsh 4 Little Egret.

Bradiford Reserve viewed from Tarka Trail - 1 pair of Stonechat; c37 Teal; 20 Black-tailed Godwit; 1 Snipe; 7F and 1M Pheasant; 16 Magpie in a small bush plus usual gulls and Moorhen.

Off Ashford Sewage Works were 2M and 2F Goosander with another pair at Ashford Strand. Also 25 Wigeon; 1 Little Egret and a Greenshank in a flock of 25 Redshank.

Off Penhill Point were 12 Grey Plover; c500 Lapwing; 4 Shelduck and on the point 4 Little Egret.

The badly flailed bushes along the Tarka Trail revealed 4 Long-tailed Tit; 1 Bullfinch and just 4 Linnet.

According to the Environment/Biosphere office in the Civic Center, they are obliged to keep 1 metre clear of vegatation, measured from edge of the tarmac surface of the Tarka Trail. Contractors are cutting back up to 4 or 5 metres in some places. Its no wonder we have so few small birds in the bushes. What`s left of them!

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 11:31 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Bicton Park

A very clear cold sunny morning at Bicton. Upon arrival saw the Buzzard sitting in a tree, the nearest I have got to it and obtained a reasonable shot with my bridge camera. At the bird hide long tailed tits and nuthatch were about as well as blue tits and blackbirds.  Later on the River Otter the sun stayed out which has the effect of bringing out people and dogs, however a Great Tit sang long enough for a photo.  On the river 2 snipe in view from the bird hide and 3 med gulls.

Rob Jerrard

Buzzard
Buzzard

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 9:30 am by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Sunday 8th February 2015

Heddons Mouth

A walk from Hunters Inn down to the sea produced a pair of Dippers and a Water Pipit feeding in the stream almost like the Dippers. Walked on up over the top towards Woody Bay on the lower path and back on the higher one. Lots of Fulmers and a few Razorbills around.

On the way back from N Cornwall Coast yesterday a Merlin flashed past the car as we passed Bursdon Moor. Quite a few Shags in Cornwall at Trevethy.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 10:32 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in General Birding

Powderham Marsh

Nice sunny afternoon over the marsh showed c9 Cirl Buntings + c8 Reed Buntings + c30 Linnet + c25 Chaffinch + c100 Golden Plover + c70 Lapwing and good numbers of  Wigeon and Teal.

Some digiscoped videos of the birds on show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feaVe95G1M0

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_choB5uDo0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxUoq3-T57I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAlyz8kN0SE

Cirl Bunting
Cirl Bunting

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 9:55 pm by David Boult in General Birding

exminster marshes

The 2 penduline tits were in the small reed bed opposite the entrance to the rspb carpark this afternoon before flying off in direction of topsham. Beautiful weather with good numbers of duck and small wader.Earlier in day checked out Harpers ponds but little activity apart from snipe.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 8:48 pm by John Phillips in General Birding

Powderham

Snow bunting was along the sea wall between the cycle bridge and Turf This afternoon.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 8:47 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake & Hartland Point, Sunday 8th Feb

Cold sunny day with at least 24 goosanders and 1 willow tit heard and seen with blue tits by edge of lake walking to hide.

At Hartland point, a number of distant divers - 1 red-throated and 1 black-throated diver identified.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 6:55 pm by Sarah Alsbury/Paul Buckley in General Birding

Sea watching off Otterton Sewage Works

This afternoon I had-

3 Black throated Divers

9 Red throated Divers

3 Harbour Porpoise around the fishing nets.

41 Brent Geese on rocks below the cliff

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 6:18 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Paignton & Brixham

Clennon Valley this morning gave a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a Carrion Crow as a starter, two Buzzards overhead, a very pale but distant Chiffchaff, three Snipe, three Teal, two Kingfisher fly pasts, juvenile Heron and a Little Egret.

 

Broadsands was a nonstarter with dogs running loose and a remote control car where the Cirl Buntings feed, to top that a hen Sparrowhawk came hunting down the hedge, male Reed Bunting showed briefly as did a single Cirl Bunting, Buzzard over the field beyond the car park and another two seen on the way out.

 

Great Black-backed Gull with Herring Gulls

The juvenile Glaucous Gull was showing well on the roof of Brixham fish quay, best viewed from the sailing club car park, reasonable number of Great Black-backed Gulls but very little else to see, only the one Seal seen in the harbour, a soaring pair of Buzzards resulted in a panic scramble by the resident gull population.

Great Black-backed Gull

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 5:01 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A beautiful sunny day. On Blaxton Pool 50 Curlews and 43 Shelduck. On the river, 7 Little Grebes, 3 Greenshanks, a female Goosander, a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher.

Yesterday 2 Jack Snipe and 3 Snipe and the Kingfisher showing well along the narrow river.  

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 3:10 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Torquay

a walk along the seafront this morning produced a black necked grebe about 10 ft off the sea wall 

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 10:14 am by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Saturday 7th February 2015

Topsham

watched from topsham rec 13:30 till 17:45

after 2 weeks with no birding ( sorting out our wedding for July) it was great to get back out this afternoon to do the annual gull count on the exe. 

At least 4 Mediterranean gulls( 3 adult, 1 2nd winter) , one group of 124+ common gulls and a steady stream of smaller groups during the afternoon, among the usual large numbers of black headed gulls and herring gulls.

an active peregrine over exminster marsh moved a group of 500+ Brent geese on to the river in front of us , 3 red breasted mergansers , 3 goldeneye flew past ( 1 male , 2 female), 25+ snipe, 1 grey plover, 1 buzzard.

overall a good afternoon

 

 

Posted February 7th, 2015 at 8:19 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

River Tamar

Five Spoonbills this afternoon on the east side of the estuary below Warleigh Wood (viewed from the China Fleet Country Club, Saltash). No doubt the same birds that were reported this morning on the Cornish side at Kingsmill Lake.

Posted February 7th, 2015 at 6:07 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

Postbridge

At Postbridge no signe of Brambling but I was rewarded with a nice Treecreeper                                                                       In the Beech plantation 2k east of Bellever bridge was a huge flock of Chaffinch. A picture taken in the tree tops showed around ten Brambling amongst the Chaffinch in just one tree.      Along the bottom edge of Soussons were good numbers of Siskin, 1 Snipe, flocks of mixed Tits with plenty of Goldcrest.

                                                                                    

Posted February 7th, 2015 at 3:02 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake - 7th Feb

Almost spring-like although a chilly brisk easterly wind at times.   The ranger and his 'team' have rebuilt the wattle screen near the hide after the original one blew down in the recent gales.

33 Goosander, 9 Tufted Duck, 15+ Mallard, 2 Teal, 1 Coot, 1 Grey Heron, Black headed and Herring Gulls coming and going,.Blue, Great and Coal Tits on the feeders plus 1 Jay and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.   A male Reed Bunting also using the seed feeders.   6 Blackbirds, 9 Chaffinches, 4 Robins and 6 Meadow Pipits.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted February 7th, 2015 at 2:30 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Longwood

A nice stroll aroung the woods this morning, cold but sunny. Two Firecrests were seen at different ends of the woods. Loads of Blue Tits and Woodpigeons around the woods and a Grey Waghtail feeding by the ford. Lots of Redwings and Blackbirds feeding on the Ivy berries and also two Mistle Thrushes. A Redshank was seen in the creek, but the highlight was seeing in the open a Woodcock flying along the tree line up the creek.

Posted February 7th, 2015 at 12:52 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Powderham wall

Snow Bunting still around wall, between footbridge and yellow gas pipe sign this morning.

Posted February 7th, 2015 at 11:50 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Friday 6th February 2015

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

Cold but bright on the Tamar This afternoon. On a rising tide:

48 Teal, 40+ Oystercatcher, 17 Shelduck, good numbers of gulls, but the highlight was 5 Spoonbill, 'spooning' their way up and down the shallows, including one with coloured leg rings, they eventually flew over to Kingsmill lake at 1550.

Ernesettle creek: plenty of Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 14 Snipe, 2 Common gull and 1 Kingfisher on his regular perch.

Posted February 6th, 2015 at 5:30 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Scaup Decoy Lake Newton Abbot

Scaup (Greater?) still showing well at Decoy Lake. Also G. C. Grebe and Tufties.


Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:59 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Red Kite at Exeter

I saw a Red Kite over Exeter Science Park at 3pm today. Only the second one I've spotted in Devon

Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:50 pm by Matt Parkins in General Birding

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

My first visit to Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot for many years, gave views of the male Scaup,

 a little bit distant and initially sound asleep with its head tucked under its wing in very chilly conditions, before preening and then beginning to dive, good numbers of Tufted duck on the lake with a single

 Gadwall, a Great Crested Grebe, close up of a calling Kingfisher that flew by at close range. Good numbers of Coot, Moorhen & Black Headed Gull some of which are beginning to get their dark head plumage, a handful of Mute Swans, Mallard and some feral domestic duck type species and one farm yard Goose.

Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Topsham - Red Kite

Another typically quiet afternoon at Topsham Recreation Ground was enlivened by this Red Kite; flying up river and drifting off NE over Countess Wear. Photographic incompetence plus sun in the wrong place led to only 'record shots' being taken. Nevertheless, patch tick for me, I believe.

Red Kite (adult) 6/2/2015 Topsham
Red Kite (adult) 6/2/2015 Topsham

Posted February 6th, 2015 at 3:52 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Exmouth

LIved in this house in central Exmouth for 27 years and have just seen first Grey Wagtain in my tiny back yard.

Posted February 6th, 2015 at 2:10 pm by Margaret Mackintosh in General Birding

Thursday 5th February 2015

Lopwell / Maristow, nr. Plymouth

A little walk through Blaxton Wood where I viewed Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, a few Goldcrests and plenty of tits.  On the river a few little Grebes and a male and female Red Breasted Merganser.  On the rocky shore and mudflats there were Redshanks, Shelducks, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and a Grey wagtail.  Above Lopwell Dam there were plenty Canada Geese, a Little Egret perching with a Cormorant, a Kingfisher took flight from a branch and a male BlackCap.     

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Greenshank
Greenshank

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 11:57 pm by Shane Willson in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 14:15-15:45, low tide

Slavonian Grebe, 90 Brent Geese, c500 Golden Plover and Black-tailed Godwit on the estuary. Couple of Snipe on the marsh with a female Blackcap on the feeders and 6 Chiffchaffs in the sewage works.

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 7:14 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Wembury, 5th Feb

A walk from the main beach at Wembury to Wembury Point and back along an extremely muddy footpath was worth it with sightings of :- 1 grey wagtail along the stream flowing across the main beach, 2 beautiful adult Mediterranean gulls flying up and down the shoreline and dipping in to the water for food, 1 common sandpiper along a sandy stretch of beach near the sewage pipe, a smart adult lesser black backed gull on the rocks amongst the roosting gulls and a female type black redstart (possibly an immature male) feeding on the seaweed mass near the sewage pipe along with a very nice water pipit feeding with meadow and rock pipits allowing for a good comparison - interestingly it was quite aggressive towards any nearby rock pipits but seemed to tolerate the nearby meadow pipits. 

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 6:51 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

North Devon

Tuesday 3rd.  Numerous sanderling on Saunton Beach.  Too many to count feeding all along the incoming tide line.

Wednesday 4th.   Skylarks singing over Braunton Marsh in bright sunlight. Hundreds of Lapwing in fields to N of toll road.

Thursday 5th.  Three Spoonbill on Isley Marsh.. 

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 6:03 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Ludwell Valley - Exeter Canal - Harper's Lakes - Matford Marshes

Good numbers of tits and finches on the Northbrook (Ludwell Valley), Dipper seen but elusive, good to see a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in the trees, as did not see one there at all last year. Also a Little Egret well up into the city. Nothing much in the ponds on the eastern side of the canal (partially frozen) a few Teal and Wigeon only. Harper's Lakes had a paiir of Stonechat but little else. Matford Marshes was best populated with good numbers of Teal and Wigeon and three Tufted Duck (1 male, 2 female). Grey wagtail on the Exe near The Double Locks.

Stonechat female Harper's Lakes
Stonechat female Harper's Lakes

Tufted Duck Male Matford Marshes
Tufted Duck Male Matford Marshes

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 5:57 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Siberian Chiffchaff ~ Paignton Zoo

Siberian Chiffchaff ~ Paignton zoo and not as an exhibit, I got my first Siberian Chiffchaff today at of all places Paignton Zoo. While watching a normal Chiffchaff working around the pond margins and cover in one of the primate pens saw a second bird, the colouration difference was remarkable the second bird being a buff light brown on top and very pale off white cream below, the first bird being the usual buffy green topside and creamy yellow below both birds showing well for some time.

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 4:56 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

From the Goatwalk this lunchtime (until about 12.40), a male Goldeneye.

The Spotted Redshank was close in to the viewing platform along with a Kingfisher.

Heading back to my car, both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker in the same tree near the railway line.

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 2:23 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Late Post - Wrafton Pond

Photo of the hybrid Goose with the Canada Geese taken yesterday morning at Wrafton Pond.


Posted February 5th, 2015 at 12:30 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wednesday 4th February 2015

Sidmouth

2 Purple Sandpipers at Sidmouth this afternoon from Terry Honeywill.

Purple Sandpipers 04 Feb Sidmouth Terry Honeywill

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 8:25 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Powderham - Turf- Exminster

1100-1500. Walk Powderham -Turf- Exminster (Station Road Car Park). As reported earlier the snow bunting is still giving good photo opportunities on the sea wall at Powderham. In field adjacent to Lions Rest presence of at least 6 snipe revealed as they were disturbed by movement of a magpie. Then immediately in field opposite Lions Rest,  5 more snipe jumped back into a drainage channel as disturbed by me. I returned later and photographed one.  

Snow Bunting - Powderham - 4.2.15
Snow Bunting - Powderham - 4.2.15

Jack Snipe -Exminster Marsh - 4.2.15
 Common Snipe -Exminster Marsh - 4.2.15

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 8:16 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

The drake scaup was still present this afternoon - a surprisingly confiding bird. Also present, numerous tufted duck and a great crested grebe.


Posted February 4th, 2015 at 6:05 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Topsham

Viewed 1030-1400Hrs

3 Penduline Tits showing on arrival in front of the hide at Darts Farm at the back of the reed-beds near the fence later flying off right across the hide at 1050hrs someone mentioned they been on site about an hour.

From an iced-over Bowling Green Marsh 6 Tufted Ducks + 4 Pochard + 6 Greylag Geese + 2 Ravens and numerous Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal.

From the Viewing Platform 3 Water Rail along the hedgerow inside the entrance gates + Spotted Redshank + Greeshank  + 3 Goldeneye and large groups of Brent Geese flying over and ususal waders from the platform.

Goatwalk c600 Avocets + 2 Red Breasted Mergansers + Common Gull and large numbers of other waders.

Topsham Quay showed 6 Red Breasted Mergansers in the estuary.

Links to videos Penduline & Greenshank.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICSirzSvG4Q

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

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 5:32 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Topsham

Afternoon walk from the Goat Walk to Bowling Green Marsh hide. Avocets and Curlew clearly visible on the estuary flats. Spotted a Water Rail and Snipe in the marshes before reaching the hide (pictured below).



Posted February 4th, 2015 at 4:59 pm by Richard F in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery

Cold day but reasonaably good light. Crows (many), Magpie (many), Robins, House Sparrows, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds and the highlight was 2 or 3 Black Redstarts.

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 4:41 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Higher Soar to Southdown Farm

Winter peak of 45 Cirl Buntings on weedy stubbles, in two feeding groups of 17 & 28. Stubbles also held 410 Skylarks and a Snipe. 25 Lapwings flew east (scarce here) and 57 House Sparrows at two locations.

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 3:44 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Canada Goose numbers building up - 69 now with the hybrid white Goose. 3 Shoveler and only 2 of last year's cygnets remain and they are being harassed by the male.

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 2:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Powderham - Snow Bunting

The Snow Bunting continues to show well just past the new cycle bridge. Still there when I left at about 1.40.

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 2:35 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Cattle Egrets

Two Cattle Egrets flying north over Underdown, Haldon Forrest at midday.

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 12:43 pm by John Gale in General Birding

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

Clennon Lakes

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs one breaking into song briefly, 3 collybita chiffchaffs around 1st and 2nd lakes. Also present 5 Snipe, 7 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 2 Little Grebes, 1 Little Egret and 3 calling)Water Rail. 

Posted February 3rd, 2015 at 9:08 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Viewed 1100-1500hrs.

Walked up the beach side against a cold biting wind and bumped into Dave Stone on the point where we continued the walk around together. No sign of the Long Tailed Duck but c20 Skylarks + 6 Red Breasted Mergansers + c10 Linnet + 2 Shag fishing around the moored boats in the estuary. In and around the hide the Water Pipit was very mobile around the bight area + Greenshank + 4 Redshank and numerous Oystercatchers + c20 Brent Geese on the golf course. Along the hedgerow behind greenland lake a very smart male Bullfinch landed close-by but soon disappeared low down out of sight.

Link to Water Pipit video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgYOUJ8_2pg

Posted February 3rd, 2015 at 5:57 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Afternoon visit. Several large groups grounded Brent and Canada Geese and one large flying flock of Brent Geese (c500).

Water Rail near the car park, foraging along a hedge in one of the fields. Lots of wrens (see photo).


Posted February 3rd, 2015 at 5:56 pm by Richard F in General Birding

Exe estuary

A short private boat trip from Topsham to the mouth of the River Clyst at mid-day today coincided with low water and lots of sunshine. The exact number of red-breasted mergansers was hard to count as they continually moved around in small groups but I estimated c35 plus 4 goldeneye of which two were males. Few other duck but an impressive flock of c600 avocets, c100 bar-tailed godwits and c50 knot. Dunlin were well spread out over most of the mud as were redshank, curlew and grey plover.

Posted February 3rd, 2015 at 4:43 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Heanton Court 10:30 - 13:00

Off Anchorwood Bank - 4 Goosander(2M,2F).

Off Pottington Ind.Est - 1 Sanderling; 3 Grey Plover; c500 Dunlin; 1 Little Grebe; c2000 Lapwing.

Bradiford Reserve - 42 Teal; 2 Snipe; a pair of Stonechat; 1 Buzzard and 7 Magpies together.

Off Penhill Marsh - 317 Dark-bellied Brent; 1 Little Egret; 2 Shelduck and c2000 Golden Plover.

Ashford Strand - 11 Turnstone; 4 Wigeon and 1 Bullfinch(F).

Off Penhill Point - 29 Pintail; 19 Grey Plover; 23 Wigeon; 15 Sanderling; 17 Shelduck; c1500 Lapwing; 28 Common Gull and another flock of c1000 Golden Plover on Bassett`s Ridge at Heanton Court.

On return journey another small flock of c300 Golden Plover in the field next to Bradiford Reserve.

Posted February 3rd, 2015 at 2:08 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Monday 2nd February 2015

Topsham

Viewed 1100-1415 Hrs

2 Water Rails was on show just inside the entrance gates at Bowling Green Viewing Platform with one much lighter plumage first part of video while the other calling (sqealing) in the background later part of video of the link at bottom of page. From the viewing platform Spotted Redshank close-in + 2 Grey Plover + 3 Red Breasted Mergansers and good numbers of other waders around on the mud. From the goatwalk 2 Goldeneye (pair) diving in the channel with large numbers of Avocets and other waders scattered around. Darts Farm early afternoon showed the Black Brant with c400 Brent Geese and 2 Egyptian Geese on the river Clyst bank.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn3qKPyG6uM&feature=youtu.be

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 9:29 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Darts Farm

This lunchtime at Darts Farm (until about 1.50) the Black Brant was in amongst a large feeding flock of Dark-belled Brent Geese. The 2 Egyptian Geese also present.

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Heanton Court

Pair of Goosander this morning. Chiffchaff in the Holm Oaks at Ashford.

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 8:39 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

10:40 This morning, very cold with snow.

Goosander 17m 16f, Tufted Duck 20, 1 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 6 G.C.Grebe, 1 Snipe, 2 Jay, 1 Willow Tit, both sets of feeders at the hide and car park working well.

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 7:30 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Ashburton

Black Grouse(m)  seen for 5 minutes crossing field outside Ashburton. No photo or corroboration, will search area tomorrow. Escapee?  Are these birds kept?

Black Pheasants, particularly the black females can look very Black Grouse like. Given the location and habitat this is more likely - unless of course the curled tail feathers and white undertail coverts were noted! Eds

See: http://devonbirdnews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/berry-head_28.html

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 7:26 pm by Sam Forest in General Birding

River Caen/ River Taw

1400-1615        On the caen 1 over wintering Common sandpiper, 6 Greenshank, 42 Redshank, 2 Grey plover and 2 Stonechat. The high tide pushed 3000+ Lapwing, 2000+ Goldenplover and 1000+ Starling on to chivenor. On the Taw 250+ Dunlin, 38 Shellduck and good numbers of Widgeon, Teal and Curlew. 3 Buzzard were over the marsh. On the way back to the car i found in a bramble a Chiffchaff which looked like a willow warbler ( making a single note call !! )

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 7:03 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Blackdown Rings, Loddiswell - 02.02.15

1430 - 1530hrs. A flock of 25+ Yellowhammer, 1 hunting Sparrow Hawk, 2 Chiffchaffs amongst others

Yellowhammer -Blackdown Rings- 02.02.15
Yellowhammer -Blackdown Rings- 02.02.15

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 5:10 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Dartmoor

Another run over Dartmoor today, River Dart by Holne Bridge gave a male Goosander on the river and a Stock Dove overhead. Venford reservoir was almost devoid of any bird life, Carrions Crows and Robins and a pair of Stonechat on leaving.

The huge Chaffinch flocks that had been in the Postbridge & Soussons area last week were absent, Soussons Plantation was good for Siskin and large numbers of Goldcrest and a surprise Chiffchaff showed well hawking insects from the tree tops, reasonably numbers of both Fieldfare, Redwing & Starlings but again not the numbers seen prior to the weekends snow fall.

A stand of Beech between Cator Court & Cater Green Cross gave a decent sized flock of Chaffinch and after some time a count of 12 Bramblings most of which were females the birds were feeding over a wide area and not overly settled. Some of the male Chaffinch were highly coloured more so than the ones I see in my garden and locally.

Good numbers of Buzzards some at very close quarters on the roadside hedges, a male Kestrel showed very well near Ashburton.

 

At Dean Prior a huge flock of Starlings filled the A38 valley as they flew over and were later seen feeding in the area of the dairy farm opposite Dean Church.

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 4:36 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exe Marshes

We sadly didn't see the Snow Bunting yesterday afternoon (too windy?) but did see a male Red Breasted Merganser on the sea near the Turf Hotel and then a pair of Goosanders a few hundred yards down the ship canal for comparison. 

Lots of Brent Geese, Wigeons, Teal, some Shovellers plus lots of Black Tailed Godwit, Curlew, some Redshank and a female kingfisher kindly perching on the lock wall ladder at the Turf.

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 11:24 am by Martin Lavelle in General Birding

Torbay

A quick sweep of the calm sea from Torbay's beaches today produced: 8 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Common Scoter, 14 Great Crested Grebes. 

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 9:17 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sunday 1st February 2015

Plym Estuary

High tide on the Plym this afternoon so not that many birds seen. The pick of the bunch were three Goosanders (one male) on River Plym between Plymouth Road  bridge and A38 flyover, a Kingfisher at the head of the estuary, 14 Grey Herons roosting on the Embankment wall near the wreck, 2 Little Egrets with them and one more further north.


Posted February 1st, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

South Efford Marsh - 01.02.15

1200 - 1500hrs. Fairly quiet. Highlights 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper on river. 11 Curlew, 6 Shelduck , 2 Kingfisher, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Egyptian Goose on marsh.

Egyptian Goose -South Efford Marsh -01.02.15
Egyptian Goose -South Efford Marsh -01.02.15

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 5:58 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Stover

Always amazes me that dispite all the free running dogs and screaming kids that there are so many birds at Stover! 3 Goosanders and a pair of Mandarin to add to all the woodland birds around the feeders, a real joy to visit today!


Posted February 1st, 2015 at 5:44 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Broadsands

Searched for this mornings reported Long-tailed Duck and Red-necked Grebe at Broadsands to no avail but did locate 2 Slavonian Gerbes (including the dull fw bird) and 2 Black-necked Grebes. Still 10 Brent Geese present, close to the rocky foreshore. 

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 5:37 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

The Glaucous gull was loafing on the roof of the fish market from 2pm till at least 3.15pm when we left. Best views were from Overgang Road just below the old mission.



Posted February 1st, 2015 at 5:08 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Wrafton Pond & Velator marsh

Hi, on / by the pond

1 x male bullfinch, 3 x Greenfinch, 80 x canada geese, 3 x little grebe, 3 x chaffinch - 1 male, 2 female, 4 x moorhen. In the field opposite the pond, a pair of Merlins sat on posts, M & F and 1 x Short eared owl.

Round the marsh, 4 x Kingfishers, 1 x male kestrel, 1 x little egret

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 4:22 pm by Mark Webber in General Birding

Sea Watching off Otterton Sewage Works

21 Red Throated Divers, 1 Black THroated Diver, 2 Great Crested Grebes good numbers of Guillemots and Razorbills

Highlight  I Harbour Porpoise (Puffing Pig)

Good to see Fulmars setting up on the Cliff edges 

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 4:10 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

River Avon, South Brent

River Avon, South Brent this morning gave a surprise of 94 Wigeon on a private lake, the first I have ever seen in the parish.

26 species recorded in total including Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch (2) Wren (2) Goldcrest, good numbers of Redwing one flock of 30 plus, smaller numbers of Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare, male Sparrowhawk carrying prey being pursued by a Magpie, Buzzards (4) Mute Swan, hen Bullfinch, checking the areas of mature Beech, plenty of Beech mast on the ground but only a handful of Chaffinch showing.

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 3:53 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Blogging

Couldn't agree more with Perry Sanders comments about some prose being a very pleasant part of some people's blogs.   Austere and clinical lists are all very well, but to bring in the enjoyment and enthusiasm of birding add much interest and are often entertaining.

Harvey Kendall

The forum pages http://forum.devonbirds.org/  would be a good place for discussion - a great addition to the Devon Birds web pages but sadly underused.

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 1:17 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

R.Taw off Pottington Industrial Estate. 09:45 - 11:00

Sanderling 14; Dark-bellied Brent 89; Grey Plover 9; Rock Pipit 1; Dunlin c400; Ringed Plover 3; Little Grebe 4; Black-tailed Godwit 2 and Green Sandpiper 1 (in ditch alongside Ashford Sewage Works. Plenty of Redshank and c1000 Lapwing scattered around.

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 12:04 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Beesands

Beesands Ley, 07:45-10:00. Bright morning, chilly moderate NW wind.

Present this morning, 3 Little Grebes, 3 Cormorant inc. at least one sinensis, 18 Gadwall, 50 Tufted Duck, Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck ( presumably our old friend, the hybrid male ), 70 Coot and 2 or 3 calling Water Rails. Single Otter showed on and off for 15 minutes from 08:35. Little on the sea except for some Razorbills and 4 Great Crested Grebes. 10 Common Scoter distant off Torcross.

Without wishing to be argumentative re Mikes comments on keeping post brief , personally i quite like a bit of prose and think it enhances a lot of post ( i managed to put a lid on wandering as lonely as a  cloud around Beesands this morning ). If a post highlights an authors enjoyment and enthusiasm with a few extra lines it adds a descriptive element thats cool by me. Could not agree more with what Mike highlighted re breeding birds however.

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Snow Bunting

'My' Snow bunting s still present along powderhan sea wall.

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 10:32 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Torbay

Nigel Smallbones just informed me that the Glaucous Gull was again present on the Brixham fish quay roof tops this morning.

Broadsands: 38 Cirl Buntings 8 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park and 1 Black-necked Grebe on the very choppy sea.

Posted February 1st, 2015 at 10:00 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

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