Devon Bird Sightings from February 2018

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records.

If anyone saw these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Recorder@devonbirds.org Thank you.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July

Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August

Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October

Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April

Great Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

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

Wednesday 28th February 2018

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

1 Hawfinch, 3 Green sandpipers, 7 Grey wagtails and 4 Chiffchaffs this lunchtime.

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 11:04 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Golden Plover, Middle Soar

Part of a flock of some 200 Golden Plover feeding on winter wheat in fields     near Middle Soar 'farmhouse'.

  

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Taw estuary

A binocular-less bike commute along to Barnstaple from Yelland.

A ragged female-type Marsh Harrier (prob same as reported yday on north side of Taw) was hunting over the near reedbed of SaltPill Duck Pond (E end of Home Farm Marsh). On opposite side of Tarka Trail here, the warm manure piles in the field had attracted scores of pipits, wagtail, finches and Starling; and closest to the footpath through this field, a Chiffchaff! Incidentally the site on either side of this footpath to Fremington is excellent, managed for pheasant hunting I think but also top notch for passerines, woodpeckers, hawks and Barn/Tawny Owl.

At Fremington Pill mouth, one of the Spoonbill and a Greenshank.

Another Water Rail encounter in ditch by Tarka Trail.

250-300 Dunlin around Anchorwood Bank area, plus a dozen or so Sanderling.

Fieldfare dotted along the route.

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 8:35 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Velator reserve

Took a call this morning from a birder from Exeter wanting to look round the reserve, and regrettably I put them off due to lack of birds at the moment. I have to apologise then for flushing a Tawny Owl and then seeing a very active Chiffchaff!

I've been spending quite a lot of time recently having bonfires to burn off the tree-top brash which accumulates over the year. Wanted to get most of this done before the snow tomorrow. As I was finishing off at about 5p.m. I took a look at the scrape and surrounding field. The scrape had been frozen earlier with nothing to see. Some of it had thawed and several Teal were taking advantage of the open water. In the field a flock of several score of Curlew and some Golden Plover and closer in several Snipe. Lapwing were by the scrape and out in the field. Biggest surprise though were 6 Dunlin by the scrape. My first record here. A Kingfisher darted away downstream as I crossed the river to get to the reserve.

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 7:57 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary

First signs of cold weather influx with 15 Golden Plovers (over Dell Walk and appeared to drop in the fields), 14 Lapwings (11 over and 3 on the pool). Also Jack Snipe, 3+ Snipe, 8 Goosanders (2 drakes), Common Sandpiper & Fox.

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 7:48 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Plymouth Beacon park

Had a meadow pipit in the front garden today in the middle of the mid morning blizzard certainly unusual 

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 7:30 pm by Mike williams in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

The Stuart Line birdwatching cruise today saw the immature drake Eider in the estuary at Dawlish Warren and a Great Northern Diver off Cockwood, where the Slavonian Grebe had retreated eastwards, presumably to get out of the strongly easterly wind. No doubt for the same reason, many waders hugged the eastern side of the estuary, including most of the Black-tailed Godwits between Lympstone and Topsham. At least 300 Pintail were around the mouth of the Clyst, the most I've ever seen on the Exe. A single Greenshank was at Powderham, a dozen or more Sanderlings on the central sandbank, 5 Goldeneye (1 drake) at Topsham and the 2 Snow Geese were visible with Canadas over the sea wall north of Powderham (in a snow flurry, of course!).

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 5:14 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Hawfinch at Yennadon Down, near Yelverton

A surprise female HAWFINCH on Yennadon Down today at 1530. It was low in the hawthorns, keeping out of the wind, about 100m along the stone wall up the hill from the car park at Yennadon Down. This was my first ever in West Devon and, added to the one in Topsham Cemetery on Saturday, gave me my second sighting in 5 days...I've never managed that before! Also, a female BRAMBLING in my Dousland garden today.

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 4:54 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis seen at 10.30 feeding near the sluice on the Pill. 

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 11:18 am by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Broadsands

3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ad + 1 fw) this morning. Yesterday 41 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 4 Reed Bunting.

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 8:41 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tuesday 27th February 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

A very cold lake this morning saw, 1f Goldeneye, 13 Wigeon, 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Egret, 2 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 1 Song Thrush. No Goosander.

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 7:38 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Otter Estuary Budleigh Salterton

1 adult Winter Mediterranean Gull. 1 Little Grebe, 18 Brent Geese, 4 Ringed Plover and 1 Tawny Owl. 

More details on my blog http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 6:55 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

M5 Tiverton Junction

1 Red kite feeding over stubble field on west side of the M5 about 2 miles south of the N Devon link road junction at 3.15pm

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Velator Quay

Female Marsh Harrier seen near to the RMB boundary at 10am, ragged appearance but flying buoyantly in the very cold wind.

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 2:05 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

RSPB Exminster & Matford

The American Wigeon still present at Matford and Pink-footed Goose at Exminster Marshes.

Pink-footed Goose  American Wigeon
Pink-footed Goose                                   American Wigeon

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 12:43 pm by david cawthraw in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Heathfield Starlings

Further to my previous post, I have visited the site twice more (24th & 26th Feb) when I estimated 15-20,000.  There were certainly fewer than the 20-25,000 (and possibly more) on my first visit (21st) and an observer on 24th suggested numbers had declined by some 50% from a fortnight earlier.  This suggests that many birds were aware of the severe weather (high pressure) coming out of Siberia and Russia, now resulting in freezing temperatures and the snow being experienced in eastern UK, and moved ahead of it to more clement climes in Cornwall, maritime France or even Iberia although the forecast suggests a lot of snow moving north from Iberia later this week.  It will be interesting to see if this roost declines further over the next week as temperatures plummet further and the ground becomes too frozen to feed.   Presumably their return to breeding grounds in N Europe/Russia, The Baltic and Scandinavia will be delayed bearing in mind the severe weather currently being experienced across their breeding range.

Also, it seemed that birds are probably not just coming to the roost from the Dartmoor direction.  Estimates of flocks joining the throng from that direction were insufficient to make up the total flock circling over the roost area for at least half an hour before entering the roost.

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 10:12 am by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Nutwell Court, Lympstone

A first-winter Iceland Gull flew off the Exe estuary at 0700hrs and headed NE over the Exe Trail and Nutwell Court. 

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 7:47 am by Terry Smith in General Birding

Monday 26th February 2018

Arlington

I did not realise how rare Great White Egrets were in the UK (N. Devon). I first spotted it Feb 2017 and several times throughout the year. It has been seen hanging out with the local herons up in the canopy.  First spotted this year at the end of January (2018).  Not a particularly good photo, taken from a long distance with a compact with long range zoom. You can see all the identifying features even its eye colour.

Colin West

GW EGRET Arlington N Devon Colin West

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 11:50 pm by Rapids Jonson in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Yelland

At Isley Marsh, two of the Spoonbills flew in around 16.00. Also Turnstone, Dunlin, Grey Plover, breeding plumage GCGrebe. Back along the Tarka Trail came the highlight: classic cold snap encounter with a Water Rail feeding in ditch by play. Unfazed by presence of people and feeding well.

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 9:11 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Pink Footed Goose

Forgot video link for Pink Footed Goose

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

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 7:12 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Around the Exe

Firstly to Exminster Marsh where the Pink Footed Goose showed well (as below approx SX961869). Also further down towards the cycle bridge The Snow Goose pair showed well, if distant, best viewed from the towpath as they are on the far side of the railway(view from approx SX966854 looking west). Nothing else of note but good numbers of Dunlin, Curlew and Redshank at Turf Lock on a rising tide. Parts of the western shore of the estuary well iced and Grey Plover seen there.

Then across to Topsham cemetery (despite the burst water main on Topsham Road)  a female Hawfinch and various Greenfinch were visible.

Because Topsham Road was closed, on my return, I finished by walking up along the Northbrook and, as ever, saw Dipper and 3 or 4 Green Sandpiper.

Pink Footed Goose Snow Goose
Pink Footed Goose                  Snow Goose

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

South Huish marsh 26th Feb. 12.30 pm

4- Black tailed godwits.

2- Ringed Plover

3- Jack Snipe

1- Cattle Egret

5-Little egrets

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Nick Reevell in General Birding

Plym Estuary

In a bitter wind - Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, winter peak of 228 Dunlins (210 on pool), Teal, 6 Oystercatchers, 32 Turnstones, Ringed Plover, 4 Goosanders & Green Woodpecker.

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 6:15 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The Pink-footed Goose was with a Canada Goose flock, fairly close in to the path along the canal by the viewing platform this lunchtime.

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 4:08 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Nutwell Court, Lympstone

Firecrest and a Chiffchaff seen from the Exe Trail boardwalk in evergreens just north of the lake at 1335hrs. On the lake itself were 8 Teal and a Black Swan.    

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 2:22 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Red Kite

08:25 this morning a single Red Kite, receiving attention from a Crow, over the A38 at the Splattford Split at Kennford

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 9:22 am by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Sunday 25th February 2018

Exminster Marshes

The Pink-footed goose was with Canada Geese near the Lions Reat estate, north of the access road after 5pm today. A lot lot closer than yesterday’s view at Powderham.

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 8:44 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley

13.15

The male Ring-necked Duck present amongst several Tufted Duck on the far side of the Ley.  A cracking male Scaup in front of the hide too.

2 Little Grebes, Shoveler and Teal also seen.

At nearby Slapton Ley, a male Goldeneye viewable off the pond dipping platforms.  A large flock of Wigeon, several Gadwall, Common Gulls, Little Grebes and Great Crested Grebes also on the water.

Earlier, at 10.15 and closer to home, at least 40 Redwings and a large flock of Goldfinches in the grounds close to the main entrance of Torquay Boys' Grammar School.   

 

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 8:32 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Blaxton Meadow scuffle

Two male Shelduck fighting over a female at Saltram , Plymouth , this afternoon.

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 4:56 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Cattle Egrets at Powderham

In the stubble field just up from Powderham Church where they were last year, there was 5 Cattle Egret that I could see this afternoon, the field dips away from the hedge so couldn't see the far side. Sat and watched for a while, they kept flying over towards Powderham castle and back again, are they the same birds or is there more around the Deer and Castle Grounds?

Cattle Egret
Little Egret with muddy bill and legs

 

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 3:45 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Occombe

Initially fairly quiet, as to be expected in such a cold easterly wind, but saw 4 Greenfinches and a Kestrel. In the woodland plenty to see including Goldcrest, Redwings, female Bullfinch, plenty of Great & Blue Tits, a Coal tit, 2 Jay, 3 Wrens and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Additionally enjoyed seeing a Roebuck & deer together.

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 12:52 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Hawfinch yesterday

Yesterday (24th) my wife and I were attending a birthday function at Gypsy Hill Hotel at Pinhoe near Exeter and a Hawfinch flew over the car park and appeared to go into a large conifer near the reception entrance. Not seen again. This was approx.1230. Do look like attractive grounds for Hawfinch in fact.

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 10:53 am by Perry J Smale in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 24th February 2018

Teign Grace

Two Cattle Egrets (and 1 Little Egret) seen from the cycle track at Teigngrace today by Ian Butt.

Cattle Egrets and 1 Little Teigngrace 240218 I Butt

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 9:51 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bratton Fleming

Red Kite low over fields at 14.30 where road from BF meets A399.

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 8:17 pm by Emzi Frater & Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Pink-footed Goose at Powderham

The Pink-footed Goose was still viewable distantly from the Powderham Footbridge this afternoon.

Pink-footed Goose
Pink-footed Goose

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 6:56 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck still present this morning.

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 6:53 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Teignmouth

14.50-16.20

The Iceland Gull showed incredibly well on the seaward side of The Point. It spent long periods in the surf close to the beach. 

At least 3 Common Gulls in the same vicinity and an obliging GND on the sea off the nearby car park. 

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

0930-1240:

170+ Pintail, 4 Tufted duck, 1 Pochard, 1 Little grebe, 1 Greylag goose. On the viewing platform: plenty of Godwits, Avocet, Dunlin, 100+ Grey plover, 3 Red breasted merganser (2m 1f) did a swim past while diving for fish. 48 species seen.

No sign of the Hawfinch at Topsham cemetery, but a juvenile Peregrine perched on the water tower was a nice alternative.

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 5:06 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Plymbridge Wood , Lower Meadow.

Kingfisher , Dipper , Grey Wagtail , male and female Mandarin Duck and in a tree over the river a Nuthatch calling.

  

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 4:45 pm by Peter castle in General Birding

Parke

Firecrest (male) alongside old railway track in Parke, Bovey Tracey

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 4:20 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A look just after high tide produced: 139 Redshanks, 86 Dunlins on Blaxton Pool with 29 Curlews, 9 Goosanders, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 6 Oystercatchers, 3 Greenshanks, 3 Jack Snipe, Snipe, 3 Stonechats, 4 Little Grebes & 2 Nuthatches.

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 4:18 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Teignmouth and Powderham

The adult Bonaparte’s Gull showed very well at Teignmouth off the Point car park flying up and down the beach from 940am-1005am at least - Also an imm Iceland Gull present close inshore around the mouth of the river. 

Yesterdays Pink-Footed Goose relocated by MKn north of Powderham Footbridge distantly with Canada Geese and still present late morning. Also 2 Snow Geese still there and 2 Greylag Geese.

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 12:11 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Friday 23rd February 2018

Red Kite

Red Kite, flew south over Underdown, Haldon Forest at 8am.

Posted February 23rd, 2018 at 11:06 pm by John Gale in General Birding

River Exe - Exton

At least 20 Turnstone on the river opposite the Royal Marine Camp at 2.00 pm.

Posted February 23rd, 2018 at 4:23 pm by Richard Jordan in General Birding

23-02-17 Hawfinch @ Totsham Cemetery

The Hawfinch still hanging around at Totsham Cemetery today, managed to get a clear shot before it disappeared again.

  

Posted February 23rd, 2018 at 3:58 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape + Braunton Marshes & Great field

2 Water Pipits searching for food around the frozen scrape this morning.

Circular route on the bike around Braunton Marshes & Great field revealed a large flock of 300 Chaffinch + a further 50 further on.

1 male Kestrel feeding on a prey item on the ground & 65 Redwing also searching for food on the ground (no berries left on the hawthorn bushes) in one field.

Posted February 23rd, 2018 at 11:49 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 22nd February 2018

South Brent ~ Bramblings

Three Brambling around the garden feed station today, initially a male followed by two females this afternoon.

Other species included, Pied Wagtail, GSWP, Nuthatch, 6 Greenfinch, 30+ Chaffinch, 10+ Goldfinch, pair of Bullfinch, male Siskin,Song Thrush, Rook and 3 Dunnock.

Several Buzzards up soaring and displaying despite the cold conditions.

 

 

 

Posted February 22nd, 2018 at 6:43 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Following on from an earlier post there were 184 Pintail, although there could of been many more out of view. Also on bowling green there was a large flock of dunlin and a Kingfisher. Out at the Viewing platform there were large flocks of avocet, dunlin and black and bar-tailed godwits as well as several red-breasted mergansers.

Posted February 22nd, 2018 at 6:40 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding

Dartington update

An early morning run to the spot listed at Dartington netted a single Hawfinch high I the trees and quite skittish. This was amongst a large flock of Chaffinch and Bramblings. There were Goldfinches and Green finches also present on site along with Jay, Crow and Magpies. A single sighting of a Greater spotted woodpecker and lots of Redwings made a pleasant hour.

Now for the real reason for posting, the previous post noted that the school was on half term. They are NOT and when I spoke to one of the teachers there this morning she was quite supportive of people actively watching the birds but in her words”not in school time please” I thought I would convey this to the group in case of confusion.

Please respect the fact that this is around a junior school so please avoid school times.

Posted February 22nd, 2018 at 3:53 pm by John wilkes in General Birding

Topsham

Started at BGM 9.20 - 11am (hide very busy by then) lots of Pintail of note, more than I've seen before on the marsh. Good sized Dunlin and Redshank flocks. Approx 20 Bar Tailed Godwits (fewer Blackwits came in but did not stay likewise Avocet - 6 stayed on the marsh). 2 male Gadwall, pair of Pochard, Stock Dove, 3 Snipe. Among the usual suspects.

Goosemoor - Greenshank

Topsham Cemetery - 1 Hawfinch,Greenfinch, Goldcrest, and G.S.W. and a small Redwing flock in the field with the ponies.

Topsham Rec 3 Goldeneye (2m 1f) and Common Sandpiper,

Common Sandpiper Goldeneye Hawfinch
Common Sandpiper            Goldeneye                         Hawfinch

Posted February 22nd, 2018 at 3:24 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Siskins in my garden , Estover , Plymouth , this morning

Good to see 3 Siskin back on the feeders after not seeing them for about a week.

    

Posted February 22nd, 2018 at 10:52 am by Peter Castle in General Birding

Wednesday 21st February 2018

Plym Estuary

Just to add to Pete Aley’s post. 208 Dunlin, 148 Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 49 Curlew & 10 Redwing.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 8:10 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Heathfiedl Starling Roost

21st February 2018:  An estimated 20-25,000 into roost.  This was my first visit to the site and is a much higher estimate than the 7,000 or so quoted by several people.  I may have over-estimated and was sussing the site out as part of a wider study in South Devon.  I have had considerable experience estimating large flocks as a regular WeBS counter on the Mersey Estuary for 15 years and  have been monitoring the Starling roost at Slapton on an almost daily basis for the last 6 years and a roost (in bamboo - shades of South Brent) at Ashprington which began in early December 2017 and has now finished.

Estimating at Slapton can  be done by estimating individual flocks as they arrive making an overall estimate more accurate - none come in from the sea!  However, both the Ashprington and Heathfield roosts are less easy to use this technique as there is no overall view from all directions that birds could be coming from.  However, it would be possible to estimate birds coming into Heathfield from the Dartmoor direction although clearly that is primarily because of where the roost is generally viewed from.  It is well known that people tend to under count such large roosts/flocks but I may have lost my touch!

It is possible that there were more birds tonight at Highfield ahead of the arctic airstreams over Scandinavia & the Continent and that over the North Atlantic coalescing  over the UK.  Numbers at Slapton fluctuate depending on weather conditions and always peak ahead of cold northerly airstreams dipping again as the cold spell hits the UK only to rise again ahead of the next cold airstream.  Birds are clearly migrating through Slapton in a similar way to Wood Pigeons and finches  and possibly follow the south coast in a similar way after breaking off from the main flyway down the Danish, Dutch, French coast and crossing the English Channel at Dungeness.  Work is currently in hand to see if there is evidence for this from datasets held by British south coast county ornithological societies and Scandinavian/European datasets, particularly long term datasets from Falsterbo and Ottenby in Sweden.  There clearly seems to be a correlation with data from Dungeness BO.

The Slapton roost has regularly been used for at least 213 years and, in recent times, always finishes before Christmas (although extending into mid- January in two of the last three years and showing changes in behaviour, particularly in relation to site fidelity within the Slapton reed beds depending on weather conditions and the need for greater shelter, possibly as a result of climate change).  I would be interested in meeting anyone who regularly counts the Highfield roost to see if data from there may be of use to this study as well as to see if I have lost my touch (!) although I'm pretty clear there were more than 7,000 tonight.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 8:10 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Northernhay Gardens

Firecrest feeding and flitting around the city wall in Northernhay gardens.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding

Orgy in the garden pond!

Well, it's that time of year folks for our charismatic google - eyed smiling happy faces to emerge from hibernation & do their thing, produce the next generation. Expect most of the frogs spawn will be food for other species.

I think the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly had also just emerged from hibernation.

 

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Labrador Bay

Merlin seen chasing breakfast this morning above Shaldon close to RSPB Reserve

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 5:39 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Velator

Ringing this morning produced 18 Greenfinch, 5 each of Chaffinch and Reed Bunting 2 Blue Tits and singles of Great Tit, Bullfinch, Wood Pigeon and Robin. Best bird was a Fieldfare - the first I have seen in the reserve for a couple of years. Sadly it departed without finding a mist net! Redshank and Greenshank on the scrape, and the Little Grebe in the reserve started calling this morning for the first time this year.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 4:42 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Beautiful sunny day - Siskin, Kingfisher, 10 Goosanders (2 drakes), 30 Turnstones, 1 or 2 Common Sandpipers & 5 Little Grebes.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 3:10 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Labrador Bay

Flock of 37 Common Scoter in the bay this morning.

Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 12:42 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Upper Torridge Estuary

12 Common Sandpipers

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 12:07 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 20th February 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for this morning at the Lake,

13 Goosander 8m 5f, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Little Egret, 1 Cormorant, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Fieldfare.

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 7:47 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Matford marsh

American Wigeon still present among Wigeon flock on the main pool at 11.00 today also 7 snipe.  view it from the first information board close to the Exminster roundabout. It was much easier to pick out when the ducks were on the water rather than feeding on grass at the back of the pool

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 12:33 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Dartington Hawfinch

15 hawfinches feeding on the ground this morning 9.30 am with chaffinches and 2 redwings in park school playing field best viewed down at the field gate in between the office's In aller park (school is on half term so no kids about)

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 9:41 am by Hamish johnson in General Birding

Monday 19th February 2018

Wrafton

Smart female Kingfisher in the reserve this afternoon, and the female Marsh Harrier perched on a bush in the reed-bed in Sherpa Marsh again.

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Milton Reserve - Second Reed Cut, 3 March

We cut an area of reeds near the South Milton Reserve boardwalk on 7 January but had to postpone the second cut due to poor weather.  We are now planning to cut an area adjacent to the first cut on 3 March, starting at 9:30am.

We meet at the sewage works and please bring wellies, wear warm, old clothes and if you have a long-handled fork please bring that along too.  Please park at the top of the lane leading down to the sewage works.  We will finish by lunchtime.

If you would like to help, please contact either Vic Tucker (01752 216887) or Nick Townsend (01548 560243 or email gillnickt@yahoo.co.uk)

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Glaucous Gull Brixham

Seen today at 1pm halfway along Breakwater, nearby fisherman on boat cleaning nets kept gulls close by. 

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 5:33 pm by Gary Bolton in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A mild morning produced - Firecrest, 2 Stonechats, 6 Stock Doves, 5 Bullfinches, c45 Meadow Pipits, Green Woodpecker, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 202 Dunlins, 111 Redshanks, 49 Curlews, 4 Greenshanks, 5 Oystercatchers and 7 Goosanders (1 drake). 

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Mansands

0945. Watching a swan coming in off the sea, [unusual enough at this venue] but as it landed on the pond was blown away to find it was a Whooper! It stayed around for half an hour then after some rather disconsolate honking, it took off and landed on the sea quite close in. Still there when I left at 10 am. This bird knew I'd left my camera at home.

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 12:01 pm by John Lusher in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bramblings ~ South Brent

Female and male Brambling on the garden feeders this morning, initially the female just before 9am followed by female and male at 10am.

Trio if Siskin (2F ~ 1M), two Greenfinch, pair of Song Thrush, Nuthatch, male Bullfinch, BTO ringed Blue tit checking out a nest box and a low flying Heron passing over the garden.

  

  

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 11:19 am by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 18th February 2018

Taw and Torridge branch outing

The Taw and Torridge branch had a successful outing today to Darts Farm, Goosemoor, Bowling Green Marsh, Goat Walk, Exminster Marshes and Powderham despite the awful weather forecast. Saw 57 different birds including water rail, goldcrest, bullfinch, red breasted merganser, and large gatherings of wigeon and black tailed godwits.

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 10:48 pm by Brian Sims in General Birding

Braunton Burrows

The Tundra Bean Goose was still visible from the Sandy Lane Car Park today, albeit quite a distance and still hanging about with the Mute Swans. Definitely needs scoping. (apologies for poor quality)

   

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 8:58 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Dartmoor

Very little to be seen in the way of bird life on the upper moors other than a Buzzard and Corvids but dropping down the bird life started to appear.

Dartmeet gave three male Yellow Hammers and a partly leucistic female House Sparrow.

Holne three Mistle Thrush on overhead wires.

  

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 8:56 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Blackcap

Female blackcap in our Bideford garden today.Good to see some birders saw the black redstarts I posted.Nice shot of the male Kim. 

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 8:28 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Whimple

Pair of common redpolls niger feeders today 

Eds - "Common" Redpoll is the species including Mealy and Greenland (or North-western) Redpolls - rarities in Devon. Presumably these were Lesser Redpolls, a relatively common sight in the county? The naming is confusing! 

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Peter salter in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

A bit drizzly and murky, but the first winter Iceland Gull was still about this morning, around the last third of the breakwater, as previously.  Out at the end there were a couple of (second winter?) Common Gulls and a few Kittiwakes.  No sign of the Glaucous Gull.  A solitary Purple Sandpiper was on the rocks on the seaward side of the breakwater. 

Common Gull Common Gull
Common Gull                    Common Gull

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 4:44 pm by Alistair King in General Birding

Ilfracombe Redstarts

The male and females still on houses behind Lidl

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 1:56 pm by Paul king in General Birding

Colour ringed Dipper

Seen on the river Plym by McDonalds. Right leg; orange on tarsus, red on tibia. Left leg; black over white on tarsus. I didn’t see a metal ring. It flew back up the Plym after about 5 minuets.

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 1:30 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Ilfracombe Lidl Redstarts

Good views of the male this morning.  One female made a brief appearance but was chased off by the male.  The male was spending most of its time at the top of the tree just to the right hand side of the property with the scaffolding and making regular flights to adjacent houses to catch insects.  A pied wagtail also present and it was good to see good numbers of sparrows collecting nesting materials.

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 11:46 am by Kim Beaver in General Birding

Brixham Glaucous Gull

try https://wwwyoutube.com/watch?v=vzETiuYOCdE

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 11:40 am by Lloyd in General Birding

Brixham Glaucous Gull

A Video link to this weeks Glaucous https://youtu.be/vzE7iuYOCdE 

Eds: the link doesn't seem to work Lloyd...

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 10:37 am by Lloyd Gray in General Birding

Stuart Line Cruise on Exe 17th February

Three Great Northern Divers, Slavonian Grebe, two Goldeneye and two adult Med Gulls were the highlights

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 10:20 am by Ian Waite in General Birding

Saturday 17th February 2018

redstarts

Hi john and others the black redstarts were in ilfracombe,doh!!!!.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 11:39 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Stover and Brixham

There were 19 Goosanders (3 adult drakes) at Stover at first light, continuing to give exceptionally good views around the lake and in the channels. Also a pair of Mandarins, 2 Pochard, 7 Tufted Ducks, 2 Kingfishers and Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

The adult Glaucous Gull flew along Brixham Breakwater this afternoon, heading off towards Berry head, while the first winter Iceland Gull patrolled up and down for some time.

 First winter Iceland Gull Purple Sandpiper, Brixham Breakwater

First winter Iceland Gull and Purple Sandpiper at Brixham Breakwater

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 10:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Ernesettle Creek at low tide

Good numbers of Oystercatchers and  at least 8 Curlew on the tideline as the creek enters the Tamar. Shelduck x 4 and a little egret on the mud flats. Kingfisher on the Mill Pond. 20+ Teal with a small group of Mallards, Redshanks a plenty, one lone Greenshank along the creek. A small flock of Goldfinches, long tailed tits and a solitary Goldcrest in the hedgerow. 

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 8:51 pm by Val Grehan in General Birding

Velator

Cycled back to Brauntion from Croyde this afternoon and detoured across Braunton Marsh and the great field. Found a huge flock of several hundred Chaffinch, but unable to find a Brambling among them. Didn't find the Goose, nor any Owls, but as I looked across at Sherpa Marsh, perched on a small bush in the reed-bed was a (or the?) female Marsh Harrier. This was at about 4.20.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exe & Yarner

A good day on the River Exe estuary today.

Cockwood ~ Eider duck and Great Norther Diver on the Exe, on the roadside fields, Oyster Catcher, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Wigeon, Teal, Brent Geese, Lapwing and Sparrow Hawk.

 

Powderham to Turf Lock on the dropping tide ~ Large numbers of Black Tailed Godwit (three colour tagged birds) and Brent Geese, Curlew, the reported two Snow Geese still with a small flock of Canada Geese but some 400 yards from the footpath , Redshank, Kingfisher, Cormorant, Red Breasted Merganser (6) Dunlin, Grey Plover, Oyster Catcher, Avocet, Heron and Lapwing.

Yarner ~ A good day for raptor watching with at least six Buzzards soaring over the valley.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 6:08 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Beesands Ley Scaup

Scaup still present at Beesands Ley this afternoon.

Scaup
Scaup

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Plym Estuary

My first Mediterranean Gull of this year here (adult), 9 Goosanders (2 drakes), Common Sandpiper, 37 Common Gulls & 2 Greenshanks.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 3:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Wrafton

11.00a.m. there were 5 SPOONBILLS on the scrape. None of them seemed to have any rings.

Rob Marshall: Which LIDL?!!

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 1:43 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

BLACK REDSTARTS

1 MALE JOINED BY 2 FEMALE FEEDING MAINLY ON AND AROUND HOUSE WITH SCAFFOLD ABOVE LIDLS CARPARK ON THURSDAY 15TH BELATED NEWS SORRY

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 11:56 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Friday 16th February 2018

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday's Canada Goose casualty was still very much whole at mid-day, but just one day later, the carcass has been totally stripped to the bone by scavengers.  Geese are known to be faithful for life, and this appears to be the case here with its mate still staying close by in the background, even though it's been reduced to a skeleton. 

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 8:13 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Cockwood and Dawlish Warren

11.30

At Cockwood:

Slavonian Grebe, Greenshank and 2 Great Northern Divers. 

12.50-16.30

At Dawlish Warren:

A lone Eider in front of the hide, 3 R B Mergansers, 3 Common Scoters on the sea, 2 Stonechats, Great Northern Diver on the sea, 4 G C Grebes on the sea, Snipe on the main pond. 

A large supporting cast of wintering waders and wildfowl at both locations. 

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 7:18 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater this afternoon

Very quiet on arrival, but the adult glaucous gull appeared just before 2pm, spending a few minutes flying around the end and preening on the water. The juvenile/1st winter iceland gull appeared at the same time, and hung around flying up and down the breakwater for about an hour. Also present; 3 purple sandpipers, 3 turnstone and rock pipits on the breakwater; 1 great northern diver distant off the end on arrival; and gannets diving out in the bay. I looked for dolphins under them but didn't see any.

Glaucous gull, adult Iceland gull, juvenile/1st winter
Glaucous gull, adult                                    Iceland gull, juvenile/1st winter

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 6:35 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Torbay and Berry Head

50+ Common Dolphins in 3 or 4 groups,off Paignton this am, including one adult with strange bellyflopping surfacing action which I saw on 23 Dec.

Also another 20, maybe the same ones, off Berry Head later.

Common Dolphins, Torbay Adult and juvenile Common Dolphin, Torbay Adult bellyflopping Common Dolphin
Common Dolphins, Torbay    Adult and juvenile Common Dolphin, Torbay  Adult bellyflopping Common Dolphin

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 3:18 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Other Wildlife

Reply to "One less Canada Goose"

I was there on Tuesday afternoon and the goose was laying down and not moving ,  apart from occasionally lifting it's head. We were wondering if it would make it to the next day.  Looks like it didn't.

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 2:15 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Scaup at Beesands 15th Feb

Scaup at Beesands with what appears to be a peak at the rear of head. A trick of the wind or could it be a Lesser Scaup !!!

  

Eds: On the Scaup the green head, lack of coarse vermiculation on back,head shape - not high enough crown, black nail a little too extensive would all rule out lesser scaup.

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 10:22 am by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Meditation

Have now worked out why the Blackcaps in my Paignton Garden have taken to ground feeding this winter - they need earthing after their meditation!

(Have included a record shot of both males together for sheer novelty value.)

Om mani... ...padme um Both Males
Om mani...                              ...padme um                                   Both Males

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 1:25 am by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Thursday 15th February 2018

One Less Canada Goose

At lunchtime at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, this Buzzard spent a lot of time plucking a Canada carcass before it could get to the juicy bits.  Didn't see if the Buzzard actually made the kill, but it seems like a big prey item for a Buzzard?  Four Foxes were sunbathing at the other side of the marsh, so it doesn't look like it was their kill.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 11:52 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Venford Reservoir

2 Woodcock mid-pm.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 9:20 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Exmouth Beach 15/02/18

Washed-up on the beach - probably the result of the latest storms

Barrel Jellyfish   Squid eggs    Whelk egg-cases
Barrel Jellyfish                          Squid eggs                             Whelk egg-cases

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 7:54 pm by Chris & Sally Bollen in Other Wildlife

Brixham Breakwater Gulls

Adult Glaucous Gull still on the breakwater today. Joined by a juv/1w Iceland Gull

Glaucous Gull   Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull                                     Iceland Gull

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 7:44 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Efford Marsh

Spoonbil at South Efford very close to the hide

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 7:33 pm by Roger Backway in General Birding

South Molton

A sighting of a red kite flying low over farm land north of Aller Cross roundabout. 

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 6:36 pm by Valerie Horne in General Birding

Starcross, Dawlish Warren etc.

Up and down the Exe today. Eider off the Warren (at low tide) along with RB Mergansers and 3 Great Northern Divers. At Starcross the usual Turnstone and views of the Slav Grebe and some Avocet and 4 more RB Merg close in.. From the cycle bridge near Powderham Church, distant views of the Snow Geese with some Canada Geese roughly at grid ref SX964851.

Eider
Eider

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 6:33 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

East Budleigh

The putative Italian Sparrow still showing well on the feeders in Cadbury Gardens late afternoon. Also a fleeting male Bullfinch and a fly over Buzzard.

more details http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 6:30 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Braunton Marsh Thursday 15th Feb

Heard my first skylark of the year also celandines in flower - Spring can't be far away!

The devastation on Horsey Island due to breach in sea wall has to be seen.  The area is unrecognisable from what was there before. It's doubtful that it can ever be reinstated.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 5:53 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Teignmouth Seafront and Bowling Green Marsh

Early this morning off the point car park two Great Northern Divers. Off the yacht club towards Sprey Point - one Great Crested Grebe and nine Common Scoter. Still the morning at Bowling Green Marsh notables included five Gadwall, a Kingfisher and a Ruff. Afternoon at Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth docks sadly didn't produce much else. Forty eight species in all.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 5:44 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Brixham and Broadsands

13.15

Brixham

The adult Glaucous Gull showed very well, sat on one of the roofs of the old oil terminal at the breakwater for 15 minutes.  It then flew off back along the breakwater towards the beach and car park. 

Also close to the end of the breakwater were; 2 Guillemots, 2 Rock Pipits and a Turnstone.  Large numbers of Gannets out in Torbay.

14.45

 Broadsands

Several Cirl Buntings coming to seed in the second car park with two Greenfinches.  1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrests, 1 Chiffchaff and a GSW around the first car park. 

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 5:30 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Exe Estuary (Powderham Church - Turf)

The East Devon fieldtrip  (East Devon Branch) attracted 19 members (with an unusual ratio of 13 women and 6 men present). With a low tide good numbers of geese and waders were present on the estuary and fields and gave a memorable show as they flew overhead.  Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Curlew, Grey Plover and Brent Geese being the main species in numbers.  Several Red breasted Merganser and Pintail were present and a small group of Sanderling were seen at a distance.  Some members walked on to the viewing hide on the canal where other duck and Golden Plover were added to the list giving a total of c50 species. Thanks to Colin Randall for leading the group.  

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 4:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Yarner Wood

Morning visit to Yarner: Siskins, 2 Redpolls, Green, Greater and 1 Lesser  Spotted Woodpecker. 1 Treecreeper and 1 Kingfisher from the new hide overlooking the old settling pond.

Lesser Redpoll
Lesser Redpoll

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 2:12 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands this morning: 14 Great Northern Divers, 30 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Common Scoter and 70+ Common Dolphin.

Brixham: The adult Glaucous Gull was commuting back and forth along the breakwater, spending some time on rocks back by the lifeboat station. Also the' Berry Head' juv/fw Iceland Gull was spending a lot of time out at the end of the breakwater.

 GlaucGulladBrixhn150214ML blog   GlaucGulladBrixhn150214ML blog 2

Glaucous Gull adult

 Iceland Gull juv/fw Brixham 15 Feb 2018 ML  Iceland Gull juv/fw Brixham 15 Feb 2018 ML2

Iceland Gull juv/fw

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 2:11 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary

Seen on the estuary this morning and a long the “narrows”. 2 Dipper, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Kingfisher, 4 Wigeon, 13 Goosanders (4m 9f), 6 Red-breasted Mergansers (3m 3f), 2 Med Gulls ad moulting into sp. A digger started to work on Blaxton meadow putting most birds up!

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 11:43 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Wednesday 14th February 2018

Grey Squirrel - Garden

Great balancing act. Occasional visitor to the Garden feeder.

Posted February 14th, 2018 at 3:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Brixham Harbour, yesterday

Close examination of photos of yesterday's "adult" glaucous gull shows that while the plumage is adult type, the basal 2/3 of the bill is flesh-coloured and there are traces of a dark band on the lower mandible. Both characters would appear to indicate a 4th winter bird - comments appreciated.

Glaucous gull, 4th winter?
Glaucous gull, 4th winter?

Eds. Adult Glaucous Gulls often have pinkish toned bills in winter, also quite obvious dark bill marks can be shown by much older known age large gulls and presumably also in Glaucous.  Plumage looks to be entirely adult - white tail and underwing with no darker marks on primary covs - so most likely adult, i.e. older than 5th cal year.

Posted February 14th, 2018 at 12:59 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Braunton Marsh & Fremington Pill

the tundra bean goose is still with the swans on Braunton Marsh best seen from Sandy gate car park.

then went to Fremington Pill to look for the glossy ibis but didn't find the bird, but at the bridge by the quay we found a pair of spoonbills , one bird was ringed.

Posted February 14th, 2018 at 9:33 am by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

Tuesday 13th February 2018

Brixham Breakwater

Pics of today's two glaucous gulls. The immature (probably the one photographed also by Alistair King) would seem to be a 2nd winter bird - pale eye, pale bill tip and pale secondaries.

Glaucous gull, 2nd winter Glaucous gull, adult Glaucous gull, adult
Glaucous gull, 2nd winter                       Glaucous gull, adult                        Glaucous gull, adult

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 9:52 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

One Hawfinch at lunchtime in the hedge bordering the annual flower meadow.

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 8:28 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Jetty Marsh LNR and Bowling Green Marsh

Trip to Jetty Marsh this this morning produced a stunning Hawfinch showing really well on footpath near entrance. Also saw 12 greenfinch 4 bullfinch and water rail calling. Single female brambling in garden area at Bowling  Green Marsh this afternoon 

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 7:37 pm by Tim Frayling in General Birding

Matford Marsh

American Wigeon Male showing well amongst 144 Wigeon. Also 60 Teal, 10 Shoveler, Kingfisher and a stunning 50+ Snipe. The Snipe were all on the marsh feeding, so how many more were there as I doubt I saw them all. 

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 7:11 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater glaucous gulls

A visit to Brixham harbour 2-4.30pm produced 2 glaucous gulls on the breakwater. The first bird, a 1st or 2nd winter, did not hang around but flew off in the direction of the fish market (could not be located there 20 minutes later). On return to the breakwater we found an adult bird (which had beeen glimpsed from the far side earlier) hanging round with a flock of herring gulls near the end. This individual was quite confiding, flying by very close and several times perching near us on the breakwater wall. Photos later.

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 6:17 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Froze in the wind and showers this afternoon for 45 mins looking for the adult glaucous gull that has been about.  Finally rewarded - but with a 1st winter gull that cruised about for a few minutes before heading further out again.  I think I had some distant views of the adult too - interesting to see if anyone else saw them both today. 

  

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 4:23 pm by Alistair King in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary

 

c70 Redwings, Jack Snipe, Snipe, 9 Goosanders, 4 Wigeon, Kingfisher & Common  Sandpiper this morning.

Earlier, a Chiffchaff, probably tristis , in my garden , Mount Gould.

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 3:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present.

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 2:09 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 12th February 2018

Matford Marsh and Haldon Forest Park

11.50

The American Wigeon showed well on the first pool at Matford. Viewed from area close to the information board and next to the road.  Nearby Exminster Marshes was buzzing with winter birdlife.  Several small Starling murmurations and clouds of Lapwing and Golden Plover aloft.    

Later at around 15.45, a lone female Brambling visiting the feeders close to the main car park at Haldon Forest Park. 

 

Posted February 12th, 2018 at 6:06 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Lustleigh Cleave

Great views of a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in with a Tit flock, early pm. Called once. Typically active but unobtrusive.

Posted February 12th, 2018 at 5:50 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Black Redstart -Plymouth

Lovely male Black Redstart at 'Rusty Anchor' -West Hoe this afternoon

Posted February 12th, 2018 at 5:24 pm by Ian Teague in General Birding

Plym Estuary

New winter peak of 60 Shelduck. Also 11 Goosanders (2 drakes), sinensis Cormorant, 9 Oystercatchers, 190 Dunlins, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper & 10 Grey Herons.

Posted February 12th, 2018 at 4:50 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis in the pill this morning , showing really well.

Posted February 12th, 2018 at 2:36 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

East Soar

Highlight 2 Firecrest. Also 5 Snipe.

Non-avian - masses of frogspawn in Starehole Ponds!

Posted February 12th, 2018 at 2:05 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sunday 11th February 2018

Prawle point

Probable 1st winter glaucous gull on the reefs just east of Prawle point near Langerstone point. V poor camera phone pic attached, thoughts from others with better Larus ID than me welcome if discernable from pic. Bird was large with heavy bill pale pink with black tip and pink legs. Almost completely white otherwise, other than very faintly discernable greyer back

Eds: Your description and photos (very big bill indeed) all fit Glaucous gull perfectly but if there was grey on the 'back' (which can't be seen in the photo) a 2nd w rather than 1st w. Also tip of bill pale.

 

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Powderham and Exmouth

Powderham Corner

The 2 Snow Geese of questionable origin were on display (appropriately) in the snow mid afternoon. Viewable from the cycle bridge. Are these the same 2 that were at Maer Lake, St Ives, Cornwall last November?

Exmouth quay

A brief flyby from the Bonaparte’s Gull late afternoon. It headed around to Shelley Beach. A very quick look there was fruitless.

more details http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 8:48 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Starling Murmuration

After reading Steve's post the other day just had to witness the murmuration for myself. Very impressive, right in the heart of Heathfield industrial development, junction of Battle Road & Cannon Road. There were at least 6,000 birds and amazingly they all roosted in no more than 3-4 leylandi trees.

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 6:42 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Arlington court.

After a dismal morning yesterday on exmoor with a few small birds you could have almost reached out and touched as they contended with the weather conditions,  a more sheltered walk around Arlington court woods provided herons, nuthatch, blue great and coal tits, mallards, Robins,Jay greater spotted wood pecker and dunnock.

Nuthatch
Nuthatch

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Red-breasted Merganser Courtship Behaviour

The 'intense display', performed by a male Merganser on Kingsbridge estuary last week, would always begin with the 'Courtship-intent' posture.  The male would then turns sideways to his female partner and briefly adopt the 'Salute' pose.  Finally he would face his partner and execute the 'Curtsey' display by lowering his neck under water, raising his rear and depressing the tail under water.  The bill was opened wide giving (it was assumed) the 2 stage Courtship-calls described in BWP.

Courtship-intent posture Salute posture Curtsey posture
Courtship-intent posture                             Salute posture                             Curtsey posture

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 6:23 pm by Michael Woodman-Smith in General Birding

Chudleigh Sparrowhawk

Recent photographs of a sparrowhawk on a collared dove kill in a Chudleigh garden.

  

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 6:03 pm by Mark Witherall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & EXminster Marshes 11/02/18

Relatively quiet at Bowling Green this afternoon. Nice Ruff showed well in front of the hide. There was another at Exminster marshes with the dunlin flock.

  

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 5:54 pm by Mark Witherall in General Birding

Hawfinches Dartington Estate

8-9 Hawfinch flew from wooded area of Park School gardens towards Dartington Gardens at 13:30. Viewed from concrete drive leading to the river.

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 3:48 pm by Jacob Wood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Brixham Glaucous Gull

An early start to look for the Glaucous Gull at Brixham Fish Market proved fruitful, and luck was on my side with the weather. After standing in the pouring rain for a while the sun eventually took pity on me and came out for a few moments, giving me the photo opportunity I needed. Size comparison to some Great Black-backed Gulls near it showed me just how big this gull is.

Glaucous Gull 

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 3:31 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 2:54 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Victoria Park, Paignton

Yellow-browed Warbler flitting between the trees around the pond in the little small section of the park just off Garfield Rd, behind Lidl carpark.

A nice surprise! 

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by George Wall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Stover Country Park

Cold blustery showers this morning at Stover:

18 Goosander (5m 13f), 5 Tufted duck (3m 2 f), 2 Kingfisher,  1 Mandarin, 1 Great spotted woodpecker, 1 Bullfinch.

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 2:36 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Grey wagtail

Sunday 11 February  -   grey wagtail in our garden (in the company of one of our resident robins), first I have seen here for quite a few years  (Bovey Tracey)  

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 1:58 pm by Saf Pugsley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Barnstaple

An early walk around Rock Park Barnstaple caught 6 bullfinches, three Goldcrest and a Goosander on the river amongst others.


Posted February 11th, 2018 at 12:07 pm by richard yeats in General Birding

Saturday 10th February 2018

Topsham Cemetery

1 male Hawfinch showed briefly at 11am at the water tower end of the cemetery, despite the rain showers.

Posted February 10th, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley

4pm visit to Beesands in miserable conditions. 1 Male RING-NECK DUCK. And 1Male SCAUP still present 

Posted February 10th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

The adult Glaucous Gull still in Brixham Harbour today around fish market roof and outer harbour

Posted February 10th, 2018 at 3:59 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Broadsands

Seven people braved the rain for the Exeter RSPB field trip to Broadsands this morning.  We were rewarded by really good views of an Iceland Gull on the rocky section of the beach (sorry, no photo).  Also out to sea was a small flock of Common Scoter with a Black-necked Grebe. In the back corner of the second car park, some of us were lucky to catch a Firecrest and there were also good numbers of Cirl Buntings feeding (perhaps because there were not so many dogs as sometimes).

Posted February 10th, 2018 at 2:02 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

Broadsands

Excellent views of an Iceland Gull on the rocks with the main roost  this morning - looks quite settled

Posted February 10th, 2018 at 12:37 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Friday 9th February 2018

Heathfield Starling murmaration

I spent 20 minutes from 17.10hrs this evening at Heathfield watching the Starling murmaration, one of the locals watching advised me that the birds have been gathering each evening for several weeks now.

An estimated 6000 plus birds by the time I left at 17.30hrs and still more birds continuing to arrive. 

Of note was the behaviour of a Herring Gull that was clearly trying to snatch birds out of the air with its beak, a number of gulls gathered but this was the only one displaying this type of behaviour, something that I have not heard of or witnessed previously.

 

Posted February 9th, 2018 at 8:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Brixham

The 'monster' of an adult Glaucous Gull was on the roof of the fish market late this afternoon. It does look like the bird that has been around for some time, as on closer views there are feathers missing from the secondaries.

Glaucous Gull ad 9th Feb 2018 ML

Video link: https://youtu.be/KccS_SjvCzY  

Posted February 9th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Glaucous Gull (without tatty wings - presumably Mike's recent 2nd bird) came in close to cliff, past Coastguard Station then out into Torbay c.12:45.

No sign of any returning fishing boats nor any Iceland Gulls up until c.16:00.

Posted February 9th, 2018 at 6:26 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Teignmouth 9th Feb pm

Compact flock of twenty Great Crested Grebes approx 50 metres offshore at Holcombe.  Twelve Common Scoters and two Great Northen Divers off Sprey Point.  Numerous feeding Gannets. One Rock Pipit.

Posted February 9th, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Firecrest

Firecrest feeding on buses very close to the ground in Plymbridge Wood this afternoon.

  

Posted February 9th, 2018 at 4:27 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

River Exe

At least 7 Ringed Plover and 5 Turnstone on the river at the Exton end of the Royal Marine Camp at 1.30pm.

Posted February 9th, 2018 at 4:26 pm by Richard Jordan in General Birding

Thursday 8th February 2018

Teignmouth 8th Feb pm

Two Great Northen Divers off Teignmouth this afternoon.  One off Eastcliff and one in the river mouth.

Posted February 8th, 2018 at 5:14 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Grey Wagtail, Exmouth

The grey wagtail (see 5th Feb) returned for the fourth day in a row. I've only seen one other grey wagtail in my little back yard in the centre of Exmouth in the 30 years I've lived here.

Posted February 8th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Margaret Masckintosh in General Birding

Torbay

The Bay was busy with 650+ Gannets this morning feeding over 40 + Common Dolphin and several Harbour Porpoise nearby. Around the beaches:  4 Black-necked Grebes, 34 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red-throated Divers, 6 Common Scoter and 80+ auks. 

At Broadsands: 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs in the marsh and 18 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Bunting on seed in the 2nd car park. 

Posted February 8th, 2018 at 1:57 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Stover Lake, afternoon

The lake edges were frozen in places. Fewer goosander than yesterday but still at least 13 brownheads and 2 drakes with close views of courtship behaviour. 3 flew off during the afternoon. Also 1 pochard and 1 tufted duck (both drakes). 1 water rail heard by near boardwalk on south side.

Posted February 7th, 2018 at 9:49 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Berry Head

Late afternoon watch off the top of the headland produced the usual juv/fw Iceland Gull and a new (pristine winged) ad Glaucous Gull that followed a trawler into to Brixham. Also 25+ Common Dolphin and 10 + Harbour Porpoise. Looking toward Mansands a flock of some 80 Common Scoter feeding out in the bay.

Posted February 7th, 2018 at 8:03 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite and Short-eared Owl

Red Kite above the A399 at SS664369.  Short-eared Owl flitting between Somerset and Devon near Kinsford Gate, Exmoor at SS751359.

Posted February 7th, 2018 at 7:28 pm by Kim Beaver & Rosie Arnold in General Birding

Velator

Lots (maybe 100) of Redwings in the reserve this afternoon. At 3.30p.m the tatty female Marsh Harrier was drifting about over Sherpa Marsh.

Posted February 7th, 2018 at 6:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Beesands and Slapton

Beesands Ley - Male Ring necked Duck showing well with tufted ducks, also 2m1f Pochard, 3m2f Gadwall. 1 Cettis warbler in reeds, 1 firecrest in hedgerow along footpath over to Slapton Ley.

Slapton Ley - 2 black necked grebe together near Torcross (very red eyes in strong sunlight), 4+m and 3+f goldeneye, 2 water rail at the duck feeding platform and 1 at the bridge

Posted February 7th, 2018 at 4:56 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Pizwell Farm, nr. Postbridge

6 Crossbill near farm. 5 Snipe also nearby. Later a flock of about 60 Golden Plover were seen over the moor above Dousland.

Posted February 7th, 2018 at 4:08 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in General Birding

Tuesday 6th February 2018

Stover Lake

About 20-25 goosander including 4 drakes (we didn't attempt a count with birds scattered all over the place). Also pair pochard, tufted ducks, 2 heron, kingfisher. Usual tits and nuthatch at feeding station, plus a few siskin hanging around in tree tops.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 9:32 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Hackney Marshes, Kingsteignton

Excitement this afternoon when half a dozen snow flakes fell on the marshes. Highlights were large numbers of goldfinches, and a water rail taking a very leisurely stroll across an open are of mud by the railway bridge.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 9:18 pm by Richard Harley in General Birding

Berrynarbor

I was very pleased to see a Firecrest again in the garden today having not seen one here since early January.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 8:25 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Back garden, East Ogwell

The cold weather brought many birds to the feeder. Pairs of Blackcaps, Bullfinches, Blackbirds and Robins and a very brazen goldcrest. Highlight was a male Hawfinch feeding on Hornbeam seeds off the ground for over 15 mins.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 7:27 pm by John Simons in General Birding

Reed Bunting ~ South Brent

Female Reed Bunting in the garden this afternoon, first one I have seen here this winter, showing up just after 1pm and then seen several times from 4pm, then a Sparrow hawk hunting through the garden cleared all the feeding birds.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Beesands - Ring-necked duck

Quieter in the cold today at Beesands than Perry's report yesterday. However the Ring- necked Duck was still showing well and looking settled. Also 2 Pochard, fewer Tufted (count of 42), 2 Coot, no Gadwall seen, but a short visit from a pair of Teal.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 5:21 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Cranbrook Countryside Park

A team of nine undertook the second of four surveys of the Countryside park this morning and listed a total of 41 species over the two hour count. (The survey has been commissioned by the East Devon Countryside Team and two further surveys will be held in April and June).  Thank you to those taking part.

An overwintering Chiffchaff was found and the most interesting find was a Green Sandpiper found in the same place (a muddy ditch), as during the first survey on 21 November last year.  Totals of some species were:  Redwings (40), Fieldfare (35), Song Thrush (10) and Bullfinch (10).  Others of note were Raven, Kestrel, 2 Treecreeper and 4 Stonechat. Small numbers of Mallard and Moorhen were found on the lakes having colonised them since the new town was first constructed. On the negative side, some species previously found on or by the lakes (Grey Heron, Little Grebe and Cormorant) seem to have moved away since building encroached on these areas. 

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry.

Highlight was a flock of 45 Cirl Bunting. Also: 300 Skylark, 90 Linnet, 3 Red-legged Partridge, Snipe & 9 Song Thrush.

Non-avian: 11 Roe Deer inc.3 males - site record!

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 4:22 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Dartington Hall School & River

An impressive flock of 400+ Chaffinches contained 5+ Bramblings.Plenty of Buntings in the area too, including c40 Reeds, c60 Yellowhammers & c15 Cirls. Also 9 Woodlarks, Skylark, 2 Dippers, 2 Teal and 2 Little Grebes. 

Earlier, Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper with 17 Turnstones and also a Snipe on Blagdon's Meadow, Plym Estuary. 

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 3:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Topsham

Single Hawfinch in the cemetery at midday today and 4 Goldeneye at the Rec. Yesterday the Marsh harrier was seen at the Rec at 9am and a female a Brambling was at St Margaret's Church at midday.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 3:42 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tundra Bean Goose Braunton Marshes 5th February 2018

Tundra Bean Goose still around at 16.00 hrs. Also sighting of a Marsh Harrier


Posted February 6th, 2018 at 1:39 pm by Richard Yeats in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dawlish Warren 5th February

Ad,w. Mediterranean Gull on water near Langstone Rock at high tide. Also Red-throated Diver in Dawlish Bay.

Posted February 6th, 2018 at 10:47 am by Ray Jones in General Birding

Monday 5th February 2018

Firecrest Dawlish Warren Car Park

Good views at lunchtime of one Firecrest and a second heard in the brambles behind the parking meter on the station side of the first car park area in the Warren car park

Firecrest Dawlish Warren
Firecrest Dawlish Warren

Posted February 5th, 2018 at 9:24 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Plymouth

Winter peaks of 52 Shelduck & 10 Little Egrets on Plym Estuary. Also 4 Goosanders, 8 Wigeon, pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, 8 Grey Herons, 4 Little Grebes, 129 Redshanks, c100 Dunlins, 6 Oystercatchers, 3 Greenshanks & 29 Turnstones. Later a look around Budshead & Woodland Woods produced 10 Redwings, 4 Nuthatches and on Ernesettle Creek, 3 Snipe, 2 Greenshanks & 29 Teal.

Posted February 5th, 2018 at 6:50 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Gret Wagtail, Exmouth

Grey wagtail in back yard of terraced house, central Exmouth this afternoon. (Photo through double glazing)

Posted February 5th, 2018 at 5:24 pm by Margaret Mackintosh in General Birding

Black Redstart and Cattle Egret.

A good birding day, initially down to the Plymouth water front either side of the old Lido pool, six Turnstone, two Rock Pipit and eventually the reported female Black Redstart appeared.

An afternoon trip out with Keith Male to Aveton Gifford, South Huish and the DBWPS reserve at South Milton marsh.

Aveton Gifford ~ All the usual species including Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, Redshank, Oyster Catcher and Little Egret.

South Huish ~ Two Cattle Egret, five plus Snipe, the hybrid American Wigeon in with the Wigeon flock, Black Tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Oyster Catcher, Buzzard, two Raven, two Heron, Little Egret, numerous Pied Wagtail and two Rock Pipit.

South Milton Marsh ~ More Chiffchaff than I have ever seen previously in one place including three Tristis type two of which had been ringed, Firecrest, Goldcrest, male Reed Bunting, lots of Pied Wagtail, one Grey Wagtail and two ringed Dunnock, several Goldfinch, two Buzzard and a Little Egret overhead and on leaving a Water Rail calling.

Back home at South Brent Green Woodpecker calling, Song and Long Tailed Tit.

Posted February 5th, 2018 at 5:17 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Starcross

1Red kite going north at 4:30

Posted February 5th, 2018 at 4:52 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Beesands Ley

The Ring-necked Duck was back on Beesands Ley this morning. Also there 74 Tufted Ducks, 2 Pochards, 4 Gadwalls, 3 Goldeneyes ( 1 male ) and 3 Little Grebes. Around at Slapton Ley a sleepy female Common Scoter in Ireland Bay.

Posted February 5th, 2018 at 2:15 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley 25th Jan

Pics missing from yesterdays post

  

Posted February 5th, 2018 at 9:51 am by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Sunday 4th February 2018

Slapton Ley 4th Feb

Ring-necked Duck in Irland Bay area, huge Dog Otter swam down channel and under bridge into Lower Ley. Six Cattle Egret at Thurlstone, with the horses behind the NT Marsh

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 8:59 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Plymouth waterfront

Female Black Redstart at Tinside Lido.  Kingfisher on rocks below Citadel.  2 Linnets on industrial waste ground at Cattedown. 

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 8:30 pm by Jane Penton in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor

From the hide: pintail, mute swan, tufted duck, avocet, canada geese, buzzard, curlew, shoveler, coot, redshank, shelduck, black-headed gull, starling, wood pigeon, ruff, pied wagtail, sparrowhawk, little egret, corvids, gadwall, teal, magpie, wigeon, wigeon hybrid and pochard.

Viewing platform and the road: greenfinch, chaffinch, dunnock, robin, blackbird, avocet, little egret, shelduck and possible greenshank (distant).

Goosemoor: common gull, black-headed gull, greenshank, curlew, wigeon, teal and possible redshank.

Redshank Redshank Common Gull

Redshank                                         Redshank                                Common Gull

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 8:29 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Plymouth Sound

2 Sandwich Terns in Batten Bay, Mountbatten, this afternoon.

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by John Bishop in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

At the top end of the lake in the swamp 2 Willow Tit, 1 Woodcock, 1 Treecreeper. On the way home at the Clovelly roundabout on the A39 a Hen Harrier (ringtail).

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 6:43 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Tundra Bean Goose

First photo showing rather short, deep - based bill of Tundra Bean Goose.

Second photo showing orange patch extending around underside of lower mandible.

 

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 6:13 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tundra Bean Goose

Real treat to see this Goose so close, seen both races before in Norfolk but always some distance, came within 80-100 metres with the Mute Swans, normally most things (animal and humans) go the opposite direction when I arrive! Smart looking bird! More pics on my blog http://www.simonthurgoodimages.co.uk/blog.asp

Tundra Bean Goose with the Mute Swans
Tundra Bean Goose with the Mute Swans

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 5:28 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Stover CP

Bowling Green Marsh ~ On arrival first thing this morning good numbers of Waders in the air over the marsh, on looking out from the hide saw a female Marsh Harrier over the marsh scattering the smaller wading species. The Harrier came across the marsh twice and was visible over a stubble field towards Lympstone for some time.

Record image female Marsh Harrier BGM

No sooner had the Harrier moved off when an immature Peregrine came in flushing the gathered Redshank and had several serious attempts at taking one.

That basically left pretty much just the duck species and Curlew on the marsh, the ducks included Pochard, Tufted, Gadwall and Pintail.

On leaving a female Brambling on the feeders.

Stover Country park ~ Not less than 25 Goosander on the lake (only three of them male) drake Pochard and three Tufted duck and three Heron. Around the feed station Marsh Tit, female Bullfinch and in the background canopy a large flock of very vocal Siskin.

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary

At least 6 Goosanders (1 drake), 8+ Wigeon, Common Sandpiper, 4 Little Grebes and 24 Common Gulls this afternoon.

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 3:55 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Large numbers of Lapwing, Brent Geese, Wigeon & Black-tailed Godwit. Also viewed Pied Wagtails, a family of 4 Bullfinches (1m, 3f), Cormorants, Mute Swans, 4 Long-tailed Tits, Starlings, Greenfinch, Pheasant, Grey Heron and a small flock of Goldfinches.

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 3:47 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Black Redstart

spotted today on my bird feeder in Torquay

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 3:12 pm by Steve Pitts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hawfinch exwick cemetry

A very productive hour this morning at exwick cemetry on arrival just after 08:00 soon picked up 1 Female Brambling with a small group of chaffinch then as I walked up the right hand side of the cemetry 1 Hawfinch showed well but soon there were another 4 as I watched more came into view until 18 were on show then as I watched another 10 flew over so 28+ Hawfinch my best count so.

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 2:33 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Morwellham

Kite sp high over River Tamar at Morwellham 0930

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 12:19 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton

The drake Ring Necked Duck relocated at Slapton in Ireland Bay at 930am this morning, firstly viewed from the toilet block and then much closer and more sheltered from the viewing platform at the back of Ireland Bay - also c45 Gadwall, 10 Little Grebe , 2 Pochard and the highlight an Otter in the channel either side of the bridge at 1040am. Earlier a redhead Goosander and 1 Gadwall at Beesands.

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 11:04 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Ground feeding Blackcap

Male Blackcap feeding on sultanas in my garden

 

Posted February 4th, 2018 at 10:20 am by Peter Castle in General Birding

Saturday 3rd February 2018

Firecrest in Braunton

Very active & obviously feeding this Firecrest surprised me by flying directly in front of me across the path! Images not brilliant but clearly show the white supercilium and fiery orange crest. Reluctant to say exactly where but on the Tarka Train near Braunton in low bushes. 

Profile record shot of firecrest in Braunton Front view, record shot, of firecrest in Braunton Further record shot of firecrest in Braunton
Profile record shot of firecrest in Braunton

 

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Phil Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bean Goose

Nipped out between Rugby matches to check out the Goose. Before I got there I had to stop at Marstage Farm to look at a Harrier that crossed the road in front of me. By the time I got out of the car it was nearly over the reserve, but good enough views to make out a dark adult female Marsh Harrier with very tatty primary flight feathers.

Rob was keeping watch over the Goose, which was in a field with several Mute Swans. About 400 yards past the round linhay. Tundra Bean indeed.

In the reserve yesterday (latish in the afternoon) a large flock of 50+ Starlings, which don't often visit, preferring the telegraph wires and surrounding fields. This lunchtime 50 plus Redwings there.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 6:35 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Beesands ley

As previous posts the Ring Necked duck and the Scaup found by Dave Pakes both on the ley with the Tufted ducks during the early afternoon, also a drake Gadwall.

Sparrow hawk seen on the way into the village, perched on a branch over hanging the road.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 4:47 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Occombe

Quiet afternoon, only highlight being 4 Jays.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 4:29 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Cattle Egret

12 cattle Egrets seen with scope around cattle in field between Bere Ferris and Weir Quay.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 3:23 pm by Amanda Pugh in General Birding

Braunton Marshes

The Bean Goose is a Tundra Bean Goose which is approx.20% smaller than the Taiga Bean goose & the yellow/orange patch on the bill is much smaller covering less than half of the bill.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 3:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley lunchtime

Drake ring-necked duck and drake scaup still present.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 2:55 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

Spoonbill still on South Efford Marsh at 12.25hrs. A more unusual sighting was of a Great Crested Grebe on the estuary below the tidal road. They are not often seen here!

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 2:19 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Braunton Marshes

1 Bean Goose showing well on Braunton Marshes this am.

  

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 1:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Shiphay, Torquay

12.20

A male and female Blackcap have been visiting the fat ball feeder in my back garden all morning.  Both birds appear to be in excellent condition and are alternating visits and using a dense laurel hedge as cover.  

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 12:26 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Exe Estuary Stuart Line Cruises

Exe Estuary boat trips on Tuesday/Wednesday of last week gave good numbers of wading birds including 1100 Golden Plover and 1400 Lapwing. Also 5 Goldeneye on the river and 2 Great Northern Divers.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 12:01 pm by Ian Waite in General Birding

Torbay

Counts from the various Beaches:

Preston: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Great Norther Divers, 5 Great Crested Grebes.

Goodrington: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Common Scoter, 3 Great Northern Divers. Also 40+ Common Dolphin feeding 500m out.

Broadsands (Choppy sea): 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe. Also 8-9 Cirl Buntings and 2 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park. 

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 11:28 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Isley Marsh RSPB and Skern. 2nd Feb.

Late post

2nd Feb.   2 Spoonbills showing well at Isley Marsh and 1 Greenshank.

450+ Golden Plover at the Skern - one  taken by a Peregrine.   5 Grey Plovers.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 10:18 am by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Exmoor

Those familiar with the Somerset birding forum will have seen reports of multiple sightings of Short-eared Owl and Hen Harrier in the Kinsford Gate area. I visited the area late afternoon yesterday, with weather cold cloudy calm and dry, and had 4 SEOs and 2 ringtails, although more were seen by other observers. The Devon/Somerset border does in fact run through Kinsford Gate SS740366, and whilst most of the activity was on the Somerset side of the border, some was also on the Devon side.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 9:29 am by Roger Doble in General Birding

Reply to Dave Holloway re Blackcaps ground feeding

I get Blackcaps in my garden , Plymouth , every year.  This year I have seen at one time 3 female and 2 male but at another time 3male and 2 female , so a good turn out.  They all feed from Sultanas that I put out onto the lawn for the Blackbirds , and have done every year that they have been coming.  This year I have also seen them on the table picking at bits and pieces.

Posted February 3rd, 2018 at 9:12 am by Peter Castle in General Birding

Friday 2nd February 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

23 Goosander 10m  13f, 1 Little Egret, 3 Wigeon, 3 Grey Heron, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Jay, 12 Snipe, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Willow Tit, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Kingfisher.

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 7:21 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Ground Feeding Blackcaps?!

Hardly groundbreaking (pardon the pun) science I know but, continuing from my earlier post, 20.1.18, which included a pic of a Blackcap on one of my fat feeders: I now have 2 m & 1 f (same as last year) in my garden in Paignton.

All 3 have now taken to feeding on the ground. Managed some hasty record shots of one of the m this pm. Not seen or heard this before, has anyone else?

 

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Topsham

Further to Jonathan's post earlier.  I took photos of a large flock wheeling for considerable time over Topsham and the Sludge Reed Beds this morning and by enlarging the photo and making it into a grid then using the clicker, I counted >1800 Black Tailed Godwits - may or may not be the same flock but looks similar and other posts on Twitter mention a Red Kite and the Marsh Harrier in this area today

Black Tailed Godwits Flock no >1800 Black Tailed Godwits Flock no >1800 Black Tailed Godwits Flock
Black Tailed Godwits Flock no >1800               Black Tailed Godwits Flock

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 6:56 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Topsham

Large flock of waders believed to be Golden Plover putting on a display over the waterfront of Topsham and viewed at a distance from Exminster Marshes this morning.  Numbers counted from photo are 1,362 give or take a few.

While I am here, may I mention that the EAST Devon Branch AGM to be held on TUES 20 Feb is now to be held at The Otter Inn, Colaton Raleigh and not the Blue Ball Inn, Sidford as advertised.  The speaker is Mike Langman.

All welcome and please come and support us.

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 6:00 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

Spoonbill on marsh late afternoon.

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 5:41 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Peregrine Falcon causing disturbances this morning 

Peregrine Avocet
Peregrine                                                                                Avocet

Black-Tailed Godwit
Black-Tailed Godwit

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 5:22 pm by ColinScott in General Birding

Beesands - Scaup

Was admiring the Ring-necked Duck at Beesands with Terry Goddard late morning, when I picked up a drake Scaup in with the Tufted Ducks. A new arrival this year at this location. 

Scaup - Beesands Ley - 02/02/2018
Scaup - Beesands Ley - 02/02/2018

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 4:59 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Topsham

2 Hawfinches & 1 Brambling in the cemetery this afternoon. 2 Goldeneye & 1 2nd winter Med gull at the Rec in the morning.

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 4:38 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Water Pipit at Wembury

Despite the constant disturbance along the beach by dog walkers I eventually found a water pipit feeding on the seaweed masses east of the sewage pipe with rock pipits and meadow pipits ( I saw it briefly on the 13th January too). Mobile and flighty and active but I did manage to get a few record shots.

Also feeding along the beach were 3+chiffchaffs, 2 grey wagtails, a goldcrest, pied wagtails, chaffinch, dunnock and stonechats.

On the rocks a curlew and a pair of mallard with oystercatchers, a raven flew over from The Mewstone calling, gannets were distantly offshore and at least 2 song thrushes were busily singing

Water Pipit - zoomed and cropped Water Pipit
Water Pipit - zoomed and cropped                                    Water Pipit

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 3:01 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Rv Plym and Mountbatten

River Plym opposite Saltram on a low tide gave two female Goosander, Little Egret, Shell duck, plenty of Redshank and a good mix of Gulls.

Mountbatten gave a fly over Kingfisher, two Great Northern Diver and an adult Mediterranean Gull that remained on the wing through the visit.

 

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 2:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exe Estuary Cruise, 1 February

The Bonaparte’s Gull was on Exmouth beach: a good start! Also close to Exmouth, but inside the estuary was a Great Northern Diver with the first of 23 Great Crested Grebes (the most I’ve ever seen here). There were 3 Greenshanks at Powderham and well over 100 Pintail feeding around the mouth of the Clyst. There were impressive numbers of Avocets, Lapwings, Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits towards Topsham, where there was a drake Goldeneye on the river.

Posted February 2nd, 2018 at 11:40 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Thursday 1st February 2018

Martin's Spoonbill

I'd say the colour ringed Spoonbill is almost certain to be the long returning Dutch bird

Green-yellowflag-green

Blue-metal-lime

I last saw it early January at Isley. It's now 10.5 years old.

Posted February 1st, 2018 at 10:21 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Wrafton pond/Velator

Still several Gadwall, Wigeon and Shoveler on Wrafton Pond.

The scrape - viewed from the Tarka Trail - was devoid of birds. In the reserve I was very surprised to see a Coot! Not seen one in the reserve for about a year. Things continued to improve when a Kingfisher appeared, then a Little Grebe. Also present a dozen Redwings a Reed Bunting and 2 Chiffchaffs.

Viewed from the reserve, 2 Teal on the scrape with several Meadow Pipits nearby. 

Posted February 1st, 2018 at 7:10 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Uphams plantation near Yettington

An hours visit after work produced 2 Brambling in amongst the small Chaffinch flock and a calling flyover Crossbill. More details http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk

Posted February 1st, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

A single Hawfinch today plus one Brambling in a large flock of Chaffinches. All in field behind old tennis courts.

Posted February 1st, 2018 at 6:59 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Spoonbill

This was a colour ringed bird (left above knee: green/yellow/green, right above knee: white/blue). It was feeding below the Torridge Bridge and then moved off downstream towards Appledore as the tide advanced. From here it flew further downstream and disappeared from view.

Posted February 1st, 2018 at 5:13 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Preston

The Red-necked Grebe was again off Preston Seafront this morning also 3 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-necked Grebe and 5 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted February 1st, 2018 at 10:00 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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