Devon Bird Sightings from March 2013

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder recorder@devonbirds.org Many thanks, stay safe.

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

 

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

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/staying-at-home-to-avoid-getting-coronavirus/staying-at-home-and-away-from-other-people/

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

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

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

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley 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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sunday 31st March 2013

Exeter, River Exe

A Little Ringed Plover seen flying over the Trews Weir Suspension Bridge calling at around 7.15pm

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 10:38 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Plym estuary

More rivetting news from the Plym. I sometimes think self-flagellation would be less painful. Not that bad really. The Greenshank count has reached seven. The six RBMs are still here, as is the drake Pintail. I finally nailed Marsh Tit for the patch and four flyover Redpolls were only my second sighting both here and for Plymouth. Eighteen LBBs were a good count so not bad and I had a Treecreeper near the sewage works. Hey what am I moaning about? An excellent mornings work!!

P.S. Also had the briefest view of Firecrest at Ernesettle Marsh.

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 9:57 pm by Roy McCarthy in General Birding

Stover Park and Ventiford Sunday 5.00pm

Approximately ten sand martins feeding over lake.  Numerous chifchaffs busy feeding in the lanes alongside ditches out to Ventiford.

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 8:31 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Exe North of Stoke Canon

Green Sandpiper 1, Lapwing 2, Wheatear 5 males, Dipper 1, Willow Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 3, Reed Bunting 1

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

On South Hish Marsh the 2ad Spoonbill were joined by a 1st winter- this is a site record, other visitors already  reported, there were 5 LRP at the back of the marsh also 1 Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover and a Black T Godwit.

At 15.00 Nick T picked up a Red Kite flying over South Milton Ley , earlier Bob B had 50 Chiffchaff ( one caught was a British control ), 3 Water Rail and 15 Fieldfare.

First brood of Mallard on the back pool at T'stone Marsh - 10 ducklings

 

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 5:51 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Spoonbills at South Huish

Very cold easterly wind but well worth the visit this morning.  3 Spoonbills, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Shelduck, 20 Mallard, 20 Teal, 12 Canada Geese, 1 Red Shank, 2 Ringed Plover, 7 Shoveler and a possible Grey Plover

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 3:29 pm by Frank Prowse in General Birding

South Huish marsh

3 spoonbill on the marsh which then flew off into a strong easterly at c1pm. 1 spotted redshank feeding on the marsh which then also flew off.

On the outward car journey from home at c11am, a Cuckoo flew over the road near California Cross.

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 3:01 pm by Tim & Aishlyn Youngs in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 09:30 till 13:00

the female hen harrier flew over the marsh at 10:15 before going down to the River clyst, a Little ringed plover showed very well to the left of the hide and the curlew sandpiper was elusive in with 400+ dunlin, 32 avocet, 100+ bar tailed godwits, similar numbers of redshank and black tailed godwits, 1 greenshank, 3 pintail, 95+ wigeon, 2+ reed bunting, buzzard, 1 sandwich tern dropped in briefley, 20+ chiffchaffs, 4 little grebes, 1 snipe, 2 little egrets.

From the viewing platform a near full summer plumage slavonian grebe was in close with 4+ red breasted mergansers, 2 greenshanks and 33+ grey plover. 

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 2:58 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Waxwings

Two waxwings opposite the Methodist church on le molay littry way Bovey Tracey @ 1pm

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 2:56 pm by Graeme Davey in General Birding

Exeter (Redhayes) and Cranbrook

Thought I would explore the bushes at Redhayes, Exeter which are on the east side of the M5 at the 'Blue Bridge' and found a Firecrest, several Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.  (Redhayes was a mansion long since demolished but the overgrown gardens remain.  The area is owned by DCC but accessible 'at your own risk' and it is now possible to park locally on the old A30 and walk in, although the footpath is partially blocked off by fencing). 

Carried on to new town of Cranbrook where I parked outside the Younghayes Centre and immediately found a female type Black Redstart on its roof where it stayed briefly before flying off beyond the new school of St Mary's.  A Raven present in the tall pine tree of the school and two Redwing near the railway line.

 

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 2:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Brixham

Lovely male Black Redstart on grass next to road between Churston Go Carts and Farm Shop. Flying frequently to and fro from hedge to grass verge and was still there on our return from visit to Berry Head. Nice start to the day!

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 1:04 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

Starcross

Lovely male Black Redstart on the sheds on the allotments this morning, good start to the day .

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 11:49 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Skern. 07:50 - 09:15

South End.

12 Dunlin; 11 Ringed Plover; 31 Shelduck; 2 Dark-bellied Brent; 4 Redshank; 1 Grey Plover and 16 Wigeon.

North End.

42 Knot; 47 Dunlin; 37 Dark-bellied Brent; c50 Wigeon; 8 Grey Plover; 16 Ringed Plover; 14 Shelduck and 12 Wheatear.

A quick look into Southcott Valley at 09:30 on the way home produced just 14 Shelduck; 3 Common Gull; 3 Lapwing and 2 Buzzard plus a number of herring and Black-headed Gulls.

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 10:41 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Prawle yesterday (30/03)

Seawatching produced 1 each of Great Northern, Black- and Red-throated Divers, 37 Common Scoters, Shelduck, 54 Sandwich terns, and continued passage of Shags, with 119 logged. Also 22 Cormorants passed - a good number for the site.

A female Ring Ouzel was on the point, along with 3 Wheatears, and while searching for other grounded migrants I came across a fine male White-spotted Bluethroat skulking under the gorse. It soon followed some Stonechats into the small set-aside patch behind the wall, where I managed to get occasional good views in very windy conditions. At 11.30, the Ring Ouzel flew off north, continually calling, and soon after, the Wheatears started making their way up over the hump. With this, the Bluethroat also left it's bit of cover and flew towards the west cliffs. I managed to follow it for a while, but lost it as it went over the hump and was unable to re-locate it.

Other day totals were 43 Golden Plovers, 25 Meadow Pipits, 4 Black Redstarts (all female), 14 Wheatears, 4 Blackcaps, 48 Chiffchaffs (minimum) and 2 Goldcrests.

White-spotted Bluethroat Pat Mayer, Prawle 30.3.2013

White-Spotted Bluethroat Pat Mayer Prawle 30.3.2013

Posted March 31st, 2013 at 10:14 am by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Saturday 30th March 2013

Haytor Down - Black Hill

Three male and one female Ring Ouzel still present at c.11.00 showing well by the road on the west side of Yarner.

The male pictured could be first summer being somewhat brown tinged with odd white flecks on the head?

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 6:44 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh-Axe Estuary

Only two Little Ringed Plovers now at black hole marsh.

A few black tailed godwits on the estuary.

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 5:47 pm by Tom Michie in General Birding

Start Point & Slapton

12 black redstart ( inc.2m ) in gulley below Starts Farm. Also 2 white wagtail & 3 wheatear.

At Slapton mf ring-necked duck at north end of main ley, firecrest & blackcap around the quarry. 40 common scoter offshore.

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 5:38 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetry, Plymouth

While walking around looking for the reported male Ring Ouzel saw a single Wheatear, male Kestrel hovering overhead in clear view, two Raven being mobbed by numerous Carrion Crows, hign number of Magpies and Woodpigeonpresent. In the heavy cover alongside the boundary wall with Trelawney Road large numbers of Chiffchaffs feeding, other individuals dotted around the cover areas.

Several small groups of Goldfinch constantly on the move around the cemetry.

The Ring Ouzel eventaully flew in from the Hyde Park direction and took station in the top of one of two Yew trees, sat in clear view for some time before flying up to the top corner of the cemetry Trelawney Rd / Glendower Rd corner where local birders reported usually seeing it.

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Dulford, (Nr. Cullompton)

Further to my post yesterday concerning the Black Redstart reported by member of staff (Martin) at the Dulford Hunt Kennels, Nr Cullompton I decided to take a look myself and a very friendly Martin immediately located the said bird in the barn area, confirming the ID. The bird has been about for a week or so. (The bird is on private land and can only be seen with consent of the kennel staff). 

Just as I was leaving I noticed a distant raptor and behold a Red Kite came into view drifting SE at  10.15

 

 . 

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 3:45 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Exminster marsh & powderham marsh

Exminster marsh 08:30 till 11:15

3 spoonbill on scrape by fishermans car park also 61+ shelduck , a nice male Merlin and peregrine 50+ chiffchaffs along station road, at 11:00 the female hen harrier was hunting by the rspb car park and flew towards powderham marsh .

powderham marsh 11:30 till 13:00

11 little ringed plover, kestrel, buzzard, 2 reed buntings and 30+ chiffchaffs 

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 3:13 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Canal Hill, Tiverton

Lesser Redpoll feeding on niger seeds in back garden - a site first - for at least 50 mins around noon today (see record shots with goldfinch / siskin). 



Posted March 30th, 2013 at 12:58 pm by James Morrison in General Birding

Newton Abbot - Kingsteignton

The female Ring Ouzel eventually reappeared and showed well in the same area on the racecourse late morning. Will presumably make itself scarce this afternoon when the racing gets going. Also 9 Wheatears, and a Sand Martin flew north. Later on, whilst watching the Firecrest at Hackney Marshes, I heard an unfamiliar rising call from the adjacent ditch behind Winners gym, and out swam the drake Wood Duck! After a short while it took off and flew towards the estuary.

A passing cyclist reported a Marsh Harrier at Hackney Marshes yesterday evening.

Ring Ouzel, Newton Abbot racecourse, 30/03/12

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 12:49 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Wrafton, Sherpa, Velator

On Wrafton pond late morning a couple each of Gadwall and Shoveler, with at least 2 Little Grebes. Out on the flooded field one Spoonbill (see below I suspect) with 20+ Teal (no Garganey, yet) 18 Canada Geese, 2 drake Gadwall, and a pair of Shoveler. In the grass a large - 40+ flock of very mobile Meadow Pipits. Walked around Sherpa Marsh, very quiet: a pair of Wheatear, 2 calling Cetti's, 3 Chiffchaffs in the reeds. In the reserve 3 more Chiffchaffs, and several predated ducks eggs - probably badger the culprit.

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 12:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetry. Plymouth

The Ring Ousel still showing well feeding in the sunshine this morning.

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 11:02 am by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 09:00-10:20, high tide.

Much as yesterday with the addition of Lapwing, 3 Snipe and 3 Wheatear on the marsh. Chiffchaffs up to 11 in the sewage works.

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 10:56 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Taw Estuary

Early this morning one Spoonbill resting peacefully, occasionally

waking up to yawn, stretch & preen.




Posted March 30th, 2013 at 9:48 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

American Wigeon Darts Farm

The American Wigeon is back on site. Best viewed from the hide. 

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 9:20 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

skern

12 wheatear on shoreline 6 ringed plover,10 dunlin.08:00-08:30.1 Little Ringed Plover still at southcott marsh bideford.Also 2 Blackcaps in my garden this morning,m&f..Male coming to birdtable several times and loking rather tired.Glad their was food out for it.Blue tit nesting in a roadside lampost opposite the house.

Posted March 30th, 2013 at 9:19 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Friday 29th March 2013

Around the Axe

There are still quite a few Plover about; both Ringed and Little Ringed. Some of them were on Black Hole Marsh this afternoon but I couldn't take an accurate count because they were pretty scattered. They were eventually flushed by a Peregrine and didn't return to BHM. LOTS of Chiffchaffs too, some of which are quite obliging.

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 11:47 pm by Tim White in General Birding

West Putford

Male Cuckoo seen twice within an hour mid morning.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 11:17 pm by Bob Cudmore in General Birding

Ring Ouzel at DWT Bystock

An unringed ring ouzel and three wheatears were seen up at Devon Wildlife Trust's Bystock reserve this afternoon.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 10:13 pm by Sarah Butcher in General Birding

Late afternoon Powderham Marsh

10 Little Ringed Plover

3 Spoonbill

1 ad male Merlin

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 9:49 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

River teignmouth

Male marsh harrier over land behind coombe cellers, 2 green shank and 3 dab chick on the river teign

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 9:40 pm by Adam davison in General Birding

Bear Street Cemetery

George Mudford sent me these 3 photos which were taken on 28/03/2013 in Bear St Cemetery in Barnstaple.

1 Willow Warbler & 2 Chiffchaffs




Posted March 29th, 2013 at 9:39 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

skern

5 sandwich tern this evening.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 7:33 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Red kite spotted in Plymouth

Red Kite Brixton Tor 1 55pm my first for devon

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 6:13 pm by Peter in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Joining the 2 Spoonbill on South Huish  Marsh this morning were - 2 LRP's , 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Black T Godwit,  2 Redshank, 40 Teal, 3 Wigeon, . Visiting birders reported 4 Pintail and a male Black Redstart.

Offshore- 4 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern, 1 Great N Diver , 28 Common Scoter.

Late am Bob B had the first Bar T Godwits - a flock of 18 flew in off the sea and went straight up the valley

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Brixham, Sharkham Village

2 female Black Redstarts around the complex this afternoon 

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 4:37 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

skern

10 wheatear on shoreline,96 widgeon.6:45-7.15.3 Lrp still at southcott marsh bideford.66 common gull instow,2 great crested grebe also.Male shoveler kenwith nr top pond.14 chiffchaff blagdon valley hartland point,plus 5 wheatear.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 4:02 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Soar

A visiting birding friend, Richard Thomas, found a Stone Curlew at East Soar this morning at 0630 hrs watching the bird at rest for c.30 mins. The bird was then re-located by Eric on the track to East Soar farm in mid-morning before disappearing from view. RM then briefly re-located the bird close to the car park at 12:28 hrs before it flew further down into the surrounding arable fields.

 A cracking male Black Redstart was at the wetland below East Soar Farm.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 3:48 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Preston - Torbay

1 Sandwich Tern offshore this afternoon

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 3:33 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Aller-Hackney-Passage

The female Ring Ouzel was still on Newton Abbot Racecourse this morning and showing well, but was seen flying off over the railway sometime around 10:45am. Coincidently five minutes after a photographer who, on an otherwise completely empty racecourse, parked his car within 30m of it and snapped away next to his car. There was 1+ Wheatear as well.

A Little Ringed Plover was at Passage House and the drake Wood Duck was with a group of Mallard near Aller Brook.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 2:42 pm by Dale Cooper in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 07:40-08, high tide.

54 Brent Geese ( inc one on marsh ), 74 Shelduck, 22 Teal, 24 Wigeon, 16 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Great Crested Grebes, Ringed Plover and 6 Chiffchaffs in the sewage works. Despite the marsh looking brilliant no Little Ringed Plovers.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 2:40 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Dulford, Nr Cullompton.

Had a phone call from a member of the public, Martin, who reported a Black Redstart present at the kennels in Dulford.  Seen around the dung heaps and fencing. Inland sightings much less frequent than coastal areas so if anyone living near Dulford is able to confirm this identification, Devon Birds would like know please.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 1:51 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Bowling green marsh & exminster marsh

Bowling green marsh from hide 07:30 till 10:30

2 little ringed plover, 24 avocet, 500+ dunlin, 120+ bar tailed godwits , 300+ black tailed godwits, 4 wheatear, 6+ snipe, 4 little grebes, 2 pintail, 2 tufted duck, buzzard, 2 common gull, 2 sandwich terns.

exminster marsh 11:15 till 12:50

2 little ringed plover with 10 ringed plover just before fishermans car park , numerous chiffchaff, 1 willow warbler along station road. 

 

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 1:27 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Around the Axe (yesterday)

Male Marsh Harrier and Osprey on the Axe Estuary between 14:30 - 16:00 yesterday. Also last night, 23 Little Ringed Plovers and three Ringed Plovers on Colyford Marsh (thanks JMc and IW).

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 1:11 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Plymouth Area

Plymouth Sound/Drakes Island (sightings for yesterday 28th)
Min 6+ Sandwich terns
1 male Scoter
1 female Red-breasted merganser
13 Canada Geese on or around Drakes Island virtually all in pairs
 
Upper Plym estuary /Blaxton Meadow (28th March)
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Snipe
2 Greenshank
12+ Redshank
2 Little Grebe
20 Shelduck
2 Chiffchaff feeding on the ground
4 Jay

(Robert Hurrell)

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 1:06 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Stover C.P.

Two Barn Swallows at c.11.00 feeding over the sheltered east side of the lake.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 12:14 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Baggy Point

An early morning walk around Baggy in bright sun accompanied by blustery wind but we managed to yield a single Sand Martin on the ground at the NT Car Park. Around the point we saw at least 11 Wheateaand and exceedingly close views of a Black RedstartChiffchaff were abundant and Goldcrest also. On the sea we had sight of 4 Common Scoter and the pair of Eider.

 

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 11:53 am by Neal Moss in General Birding

Darts Farm

A little quieter than I had hoped with a single Wheatear (f) 3 Fieldfare and a Redwing on the farm. The highlight was a pair of Lesser black backed gulls (unusual here) looking for food on the manure piles.

Lots of Chiffchaffs by the ponds, a Snipe was in the ditch by the hide. My first Swallow was feeding along the path to the top of the hill.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 11:23 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Velator reserve

An early morning visit revealed a group of Finches (12 Green 2 Chaff, and 3 Gold, along with a couple of Blue Tits) mobbing something at the top of a tree, which on closer inspection turned out to be a Wheatear! Never seen such behaviour before, but it's an interesting addition to the reserve list. Nothing much else of note in cold conditions.

Posted March 29th, 2013 at 11:18 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 28th March 2013

Exmouth

Mudbank/West Lodge - 0545 - an early morning dog walk along the cycle track was unusually productive with 10+ chiffchaff, 20+ redwing, 4+ meadow pipit, 1 goldcrest, 2 siskin, 1 snipe, 1 jack snipe and 1 little ringed plover. Late this afternoon, off Mudbank, were 2 slavonian grebe, 12 ringed plover and 23+ common gull.

Yesterday there were 2 drake common scoter (unusual this far upriver), 6+ great crested grebe, 2+ slavonian grebe, 3 goldeneye, 33+ common gull and 10 ringed plover. A black redstart was in the dung field at the top of Gore Lane.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 7:32 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Plymouth - Ford Park Cemetery

Ring Ouzel still present this afternoon.


Posted March 28th, 2013 at 7:32 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

River Exe at Bickleigh

4 Goosander (2 pairs) on Exe, a mile northeast of Bickleigh at around 6 pm - flew off up river towards Tiverton. 

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 7:19 pm by James Morrison in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe - part 2

A second visit this afternoon found the 8 Wheatears still present (6m, 2f). Golden Plovers had increased to an impressive 240 and new in was a flock of 40 Meadow Pipits. Winter thrushes still present with 60 Fieldfare and 4 Redwing. Also 2000 Starling and 6 Stock Doves.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 7:02 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Southcott Marsh east water biodeford.

3 LRP on the marsh plus green sandpiper at 16:45.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 6:37 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Newton Abbot Racecourse

The female Ring Ouzel still at 5pm and showing very well on and off on Newton Abbot Racecourse, accessed from the new footbridge end off Brunel Road and feeding on the side of the tarmac path next to the racecouse between the 2nd and 3rd horse jumps. Also several Wheatears and Stonechats in the same area.

The Firecrest was still on Hackney Marsh down from the car park

No sign of the drake Wood Duck this evening by the new footbridge.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 6:17 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Mount Batten, Plymouth

Despite the good sunny weather and calm sea state very little to be seen in the Mount Batten area, one Little Egret, high lights were a very bold Rock Pippet (one of two seen) and three sightings of passing Sandwich Terns.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 6:14 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Spoonbill's had split up this morning - ringed bird on T'stone Marsh ( not present at 13.00) and the other on South Huish Marsh until 11.30.

Main interest today was the fall of Chichaff - site spring record- 16 arounnd the marshes , however sunshine hatched some insects which resulted in a feeding frenzy at South Milton Ley- Bob B ringed 80 out of a total of 150+ on site, also a Willow Warbler and a male Blackcap .

At T'stone Marsh - 1 Black Redstart, 1 Water Pipit ( signs of s/p ) 1 Dunlin, 42 Teal, 1 Little Grebe.

On South Huish Marsh  this am - 5 LRP's , 2 Redshank, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Black T Godwit,  72 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 1 Brent Goose, my Wheatear total was 30 , 5 Curlew.

Offshore - 2 Great C Grebe, 1 Great N Diver, 24 Sandwich Tern ( 09.30 )

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 6:08 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Newton Abbot Racecourse

Yet another Ring Ouzel! A female. I first saw it at 9am but saw it again late this afternoon. It was seen from the new footpath on the south side of the racecourse.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Black Hill (above Yarner)

6 migrant Ring Ouzels (4 males, 2 female) feeding by the road (no colour rings).

 

Please be DO NOT post Ring Ouzels at breeding sites further into Dartmoor, but PLEASE do send such sightings to the recorder.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 5:50 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Thurlestone/South Milton

Afternoon visit turned up 40 wheatears, white wagtail, 50+ chiffchaffs, 2 little ringed plovers, brent goose, 7 shoveler, 4 snipe, grey plover & dunlin while out in the bay 16 Sandwich terns & 2 great crested grebes.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 5:26 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Soar

08:15-15:00, ( Soar Mill Cove-Warren-East Soar-Hgr. Soar )

Clear night ( full moon ) followed by a bright, sunny day with a chilly moderate NE wind .

2 Sandwich Terns, 57 Wheatears, 2 Blackcaps, 23 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrest. Most Chiffchaffs feeding on the ground. Unfortunatly few insects seen flying today, even in sheltered spots, despite brighter conditions.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 4:47 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Wheatears at Thurlestone

About 10 Wheatears (mixed M and F) on the small beach below the golf course at lunchtime today.  All looked happy and sleek!

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 4:21 pm by Philip and Hazel Strange in General Birding

Exeter - Stoke Woods

Ring Ouzel (3 males) at Stoke Woods, Exeter, just before 2 pm today.
 
From large car park off Pennsylvania Road, looking east. Birds in the hilly field opposite the car park.
(David Gray)
 
Can folk please look out for Ring Ouzels with colour rings - and send their sightings in straight away please
 
Many thanks

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 4:06 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 11:20

4 little ringed plover on scrape by middle car park at 07:45 also 10+ golden plover, female Merlin and great views of the male Merlin by the lagoon which caught a vole/ mouse, 6 wheatear, 100+ chiffchaffs around the marsh, great crested grebe on lagoon with 6 pochard and 10 tufted duck. 

Powderham marsh 11:30 till 12:30

12 little ringed plover from viewing platform, 1 dunlin, the 2 spoonbill were on exminster marsh between the lagoon and turf, also peregrine, kestrel and buzzard lots of chiffchaffs. 

Quick look at matford produced 4 wheatear still on field behind makro with 4 fieldfare and 27 redwing 

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 3:03 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Female hen harrier crossed the road to the canal at 12.15. and contined across main reserve, putting up ducks and waders. Practically every bush and tree along the canal road contained a frantically feeding chiffchaff.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 2:44 pm by Jim Tirrell in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The male Merlin showed well, if distantly, this morning. The usual poor photo, I know, but it does give me an excuse to post some news of the recent wing-tagged Marsh Harrier. I've just heard from Phil Littler of the North West Norfolk Ringing Group that this bird - AC - was ringed and tagged as a pullus at Sculthorpe Moor, Norfolk, 10th June 2011; it was sexed as a male on leg measurements. This was the first subsequent sighting.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 12:44 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Penhill Marsh and Fremington.

09:00 - 11:30

Penhill.

54(fifty-four) Wheatear (95% were males): c120 Dark-bellied Brent Geese; 3 Meadow Pipits; 39 Shelduck; 1 Buzzard and 1 Kestrel.

Fremington Quay.

1 Great Crested Grebe and 4 Wigeon.

Fremington Pill.

1 Spotted Redshank still. Plumage beginning to change. c40 Redshank; 6 Shelduck; 2 Little Egret and 2 Buzzard.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Otter Estuary

3 Little Ringed Plovers on the main scrapes / wet area on cricket pitch this morning. Also 1 BT Godwit.
A walk on along the coast path produced many Chiffchaffs and 4 Wheatear.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Baggy

-2.6C this morning.

 7 Wheatear, 1 Black Redstart, 4 Common Scoters, 2 Eider

(these were disturbed by 2 boats heading north), 2 Sandwich

Terns & 3 Chiffchaff.

Several of these birds looking cold & hungry & desperately

searching for food in the early morning sunshine.

No insects on the wing while I was out & about.




Posted March 28th, 2013 at 12:05 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Upottery Airfiled, Smeatharpe

Although still very cold, the bright sunshine made birding bearable this morning and was quickly melting the overnight snow. 8 Wheatears (6m, 2f) (mainly on the weedy runway) and 49 Golden Plover (some in summer plumage) plus a hunting Kestrel were the highlights. The sun encouraged a number of skylarks to sing and at least 6 Stock Doves present.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 11:28 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Brixham Wheatears

Maximum of 3 wheatears in the BCC playing field at 2.15 yesterday (Wednesday). This morning, 5 birds at 9.30, still at the south end.

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 10:16 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Clennon Valley

While sat in the front garden taking some photos of the well trained Black Redstart still in my Garden the gulls lower down the valley suddenly got very agitated all circling above the eastern most pond; below them was a hovering Osprey I turned the camera toward the bird but it dived into the ponds, eventually circling up high enough to see it had caught a good sized fish (Roach?) after some soaring it flew off west toward the Zoo. A couple of distant record shots...

Osprey Clennon Valley 28 March 2013 Osprey Clennon Valley 28 March 2013 ML2

and the Black Redstart:

Black Redstart Clennon Valley 28 March 2013 ML Black Redstart Clennon Valley 28 March 2013 ML2

Posted March 28th, 2013 at 10:04 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 27th March 2013

skern,

3 sandwich tern,12 knot,18 grey plover,3 wheatear on burrows 16:45-17:30

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 10:38 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exminster LRP's and Garganey

1 Little Ringed Plover was with a flock of 17 Ringed Plovers till late morning on the grass by the road just before the fisherman's car park before that flock flew off. At midday a flock of 7 LRP's flew in and showed really well until they all flew off at 12.30pm.

The drake Garganey was viewable from the canal path at midday about 100-200 yards down from the fisherman's car park, on the edge of about the 3rd pool back, loosely associating with Teal and Shoveler.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 9:06 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Seaton

A staggering 20 Little Ringed Plovers on the Colyford Marsh scrape this afternoon, with 4 Ringed Plovers. Also in the area: 38 Wheatears, 1 White Wagtail, c.40 Chiffs, 3 Sand Martins and a pair of Pintail.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 8:56 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

N Devon - Yelland Quay

An Osprey flew in high off the sea along the estuary heading inland NE at 11.24 this morning.

(Colin Humphrey)

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 6:22 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Birds are already nesting - Devon Atlas

Jon Avon has been out and about and reports as follows:

Two Blackbirds nests with 3 eggs each and a Stock Dove with two eggs!  A second Stock Dove was noted leaving a nest box at Broadhempston at lunchtime. Despite the cold weather some species are carrying on regardless.

Other recent breeding records including Siskins with nesting material on Friday 8th March at Stover, a Blackbird egg found in Cricketfield car park, Newton Abbot on 14th March. In Kingsteignton, Greenfinches nest building on 20th, and Collared Dove and Carrion Crow nestbuilding on 23rd.

In Yelverton we have two Jackdaws carrying nesting material and one pair of our House Sparrows have started to lay.

All useful records for the atlas database. Don't forget to send in any breeding records please - you can email them through to Julia Harris

Many thanks

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 6:07 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Kingsteignton

(Only) one Little Ringed Plover off Passage House on the rising tide late afternoon. Also 2 Common Sandpipers and 10 Red-breasted Mergansers there. Nearby 5 Wheatears and 4 Stonechats on the racecourse, and the Firecrest remains at Hackney Marshes.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 6:01 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

River Exe and Canal at Countess Weir

 A qiuck walk along the toepath towards the DWT Sludge Beds reserve lunch time produced large numbers of Chiffchaffs right along the banks of both river and canal searching for insects. A couple of Sand Martins struggling to find any fly life along the canal. The one in the photo landed on a branch quite close to me it looked very weak, cold, wet, and hungry. Earlier an Angler had netted out a Sandmartin which had landed in the canal. The bird later died. Needs to warm up soon!! Insect feeders are struggling.



Posted March 27th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Starcross

Red Kite drifting around at 3pm.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 4:09 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Sharkham Village, Brixham

3 Black Redstarts 1m, 2f. Also large number of Chiffchaffs feeding in the gardens and around the eaves of houses

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Exminster marsh

A look around the marsh from 08:00 till 11:50

A female hen harrier at 08:20 low over towards powderham marsh , along station road 120+ golden plover in 2 groups and 3 little ringed plover and 45+ lapwing , 3 wheatear, from the canal bank by fishermans car park  the drake garganey showed well at times, 15+ pintail, 17 ringed plover and 1 little ringed plover, 2 red breasted mergansers on canal and still plenty of chiffchaffs around, between station road and the motorway   Bridge 1 male Merlin and 2 wheatear.

a quick look along the cycle path behind matford marsh on way home produced 8 wheatear, 7+ fieldfare, 42+ redwing and 30+ meadow pipit on the field behind makro 

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 2:37 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Exminster Marshes from 1.15 to 1.45 today - the 2 Spoonbills were showing well on the water closest to the Fisherman's Car Park.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 2:12 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Aveton Gifford and South Milton Ley

The 6 LRPs remain ( 9.30 am) at the beginning of the tidal road on mud by the posts . Wary of walkers but not of cars and feeding well despite the very cold weather. I cannot recall seeing this many together in this country before . Also 1 Green Sandpiper.

At South Milton Ley the 2 Spoonbills present ( though roosting whilst I was there ) plus 2 LRPs ( others saw 3), 2 Redshank in sp , 1 Dunlin ,  I Ringed Plover and 1 Snipe. Also several Wheatears , Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal and 1 Brent Goose. In the bay at least 5 Sandwich Terns. And on leaving at 11.30am 1 saw a Blackcap pop up along the hedge.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 2:01 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Brixham Wheatear

Just a single Wheatear noted today in the college playing field. South end, from 7 AM...still there as of 1.30 PM.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 1:33 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Just had a call from Doug Cullen. Drake Garganey and 7 Little Ringed Plovers from the end car park.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 12:19 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Staddon Heights Plymouth

 2+ Ring Ouzels with several Song Thrushes in the copses besides the road.  Wild and wary as usual.  On the beach at Bovisand still 4 female Black Redstarts and a Wheatear.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 11:47 am by Graham Watson in General Birding

Beer Head

Lovely male Ring Ouzel on Beer Head this morning, just west of the look out. Also 46 Golden Plovers.

Earlier, a Little Ringed Plover came up from Seaton Beach and flew west, with two Sandwich Terns and two Red-throated Divers west.

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 11:00 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Ring Ouzel

Just seen the male Ring Ouzel in Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth - showing very well. Also one Wheatear. Both feeding on the ground where workmen have recently cut the grass at the north end.

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 10:51 am by Chris Ellis in General Birding

Southcott Valley, Bideford

08:30 - 09:30

2 Little Ringed Plover; 32 Common Gulls( initially there were 7 but then a single flock of 25 arrived); 1 Lapwing; 1 Little Egret; 2 Mallard; 4 Shelduck; 2 Cock Pheasants; 9 Curlew; 4 Pied Wagtails and several Herring and Black-headed Gulls.

1 Greenshank and 3 Redshank in the creek behind Cornwall Farmers.

 

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 10:48 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Goodrington

Drew back my curtains this morning to see a beautiful male Redstart on the roof opposite my flat in Goodrington.

It only stayed a moment before flying off towards Clennon Valley.

A great start to the day!

Posted March 27th, 2013 at 8:15 am by George Wall in General Birding

Tuesday 26th March 2013

Plymouth.

A post work visit to Ford Park cemetery in pursuit of a Ring Ouzel turned up trumps. A nice male showing well, though it can be flighty. This is it's second day here.

Also here was a male Wheatear and a female Brambling; when seasons collide!!!! Apparently there have been two Wheatears in the area.

The Plym continues to host the three LRPs on Blaxton. Looking through todays posts that makes twenty seven birds in the county (not inculding any at Seaton) is that a record??

The Plym also held five Greenshank, the drake Pintail and a Ringed Plover.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 8:07 pm by Roy McCarthy in General Birding

Wintering Bramblings

Liz and Chris Foster have had 12 bramblings wintering in thier garden, in Exwick, Exeter since mid December. They are all still present and this male is starting to acquire summmer plumage. They are not associating with any other finches, except when feeding at the bird feeders. The Bullfinches have also spent all winter in the garden as well.

Bramblings, Exwick, Exeter.
Bramblings, Exwick, Exeter.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 7:40 pm by Liz and Chris Foster in General Birding

Exminster marsh

2 visits today the first between 07:30 and 10:00 along station road , a female Merlin, 12+ wheatear, 1 female Black redstart just after the railway bridge, 316+ curlew, 3 grey plover, 45+ shoveler, 40+ chiffchaffs.

popped into buddle lane in exeter on way home and had 51 waxwing 

Powderham marsh 14:00 till 15:20, 6 little ringed plover ( Andy bond had 4 on exmister marsh at same time so at least 10 in area)   5 wheatear, 15+ chiffchaffs

exmister marsh 15:30 till 17:30, 2 spoonbills by middle car park and the female black redstart still, just before fishermans car park found 7 Little ringed plover showing very well, 34+ grey plover, 12 ringed plover flew in, then 400+ dunlin arrived and the curlew sandpiper was in with them. on the walk back down station road a male Merlin sat on post towards the motorway bridge a good end to the day. 

 

 

 

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 7:29 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Southcombe, Widecombe, Dartmooor

A brave pristine male Northern Wheatear on the down south of Hameldown early afternoon, wondering why it was snowing.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 7:09 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Newton Abbot

A female Black Redstart in the garden at work at approx. 3.30pm.

Flew off after a few minutes towards St Paul's Church (Devon Square).

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 6:52 pm by Ian Barnard in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Very good views of the 2 ad Spoonbill ar 13.00 as they fed just outside my garden - on closer inspection one had a blue ring on right leg and a white ring on left leg- showing V 4. Will try to find out more info

On South Huish Marsh 4 Little Ringed Plover increased to 8 with new arrivals at 12.15, also - 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Black Tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 2 Lapwing , 2 Snipe 1 Grey Plover, 1 Redshank, 50 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 9 Wigeon, 20 Wheatear, 1 db Brent Goose, 1 Swallow

Offshore - 2 Common Scoter, 2 Great C Grebe, 2 Great N Diver, 2 Razorbill, 17 Sandwich Tern

Bob B reported at South Nilton Ley  50+ Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 6:17 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Thurlestone Spoonbills

Both Spoonbills took off at 13:30 giving excellent views and disappeared Eastwards.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 5:17 pm by tim clyburn in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Lunchtime visit today from 1.15 to 1.45. There were 4 Little Ringed Plovers best viewed from the passing place just before the fisherman's car park. 2 male and 1 female Wheatear close to the middle car park. Several Chiff-chaffs along Station Road.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 4:51 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wembury Beach

We parked at the National Trust Car Park and put on umpteen layers to keep out the cold wind and set off west toward Wembury Point at 10:00. Flat calm sea and low tide so we dropped down to the beach from the coast path. We saw 30+ Wheatears, 8 Pied Wagtails, 2 Razorbills, 2 Grey Plovers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin and 1 Heron. Many of the usual Rock Pipits were also on the beach, we walked back along the path and finshed our visit at 13:30.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Colin & Glenys Smith in General Birding

Brixham Wheatears update

Now 3 x Wheatears in Community College playing field, as of 3 PM.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 3:05 pm by Trevor leaman in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

A two hour walk between 10.00 and 12.00 turned up some good birds on the marsh, 1 stunning male Redstart on the canal path by the cattle gates just past the veiwing platform, in the hedgerow, 2 Little Ringed PLover on the flooded fields opposite the Turf Lock Pub, 3 Red-breasted Merganser in the canal by the pub, 1 Merlin doing the rounds on the marsh, 2 Spoonbill Powderham Marsh, and also 8 Little Ringed Plover from the Powderham Marsh viewing platform with 7 Wheatear. Also 100+ Chiffchaffs all over.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 2:21 pm by Kevin Bainbridge in General Birding

Powderham marsh

[Only ! ] 8 Little Ringed Plovers on Powderham marsh this morning, along with a couple of Wheatears and lots of Chiffchaffs.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 2:18 pm by Brian Heasman in General Birding

Aveton Gifford & Kingsbridge Estuary

Still 6 Little Ringed Plovers on tidal river at Aveton Gifford, same spot as yesterday.

On Kingsbridge Estuary 55 Brent Geese, 55 Teal, 5 Red-brested Merganser, 160 Dunlin & 20 Common Gull.

Between West Charleton treatment works & Wareham Point 56 Chiffchaff: 14 feeding on treatment works, 13 feeding in grassland on east edge of West Charleton Marsh and 29 along the high tide line presumably feeding on the hosts of inverts in the seaweed!

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 2:10 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Brixham Wheatears

2 x Wheatears in  Brixham Community College playing field, south end, at 11.15 today...still there as I write this.

Posted March 26th, 2013 at 11:31 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Monday 25th March 2013

Seaton

This afternoon there were 12 Little Ringed Plovers at Black Hole Marsh, plus 2 Ringed Plovers. As far as I can tell, this is a record count for Devon. They were still all present at 18:00 and appeared to be settling down to roost on one of the grassy islands.

Other stuff of note: female Red-breasted Merganser still on the river, 56 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 Sandwich Tern, at least 5 intermedius LBB Gulls. Also, 2 White Wagtails at Axmouth Harbour.

LRPs at BHM

Nine birds in this picture, but I think one is a Ringed Plover if I recall correctly!

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 8:56 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay - Spoonbills

Having looked at old posts the Exminster birds appaer to show FJ9 ring and a yellow flag . These obviously are different to the birds seen today

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 8:35 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exmouth 16:00 to 17:15

Orcombe Point a quick walk in a bitterly cold easterly wind produced 12 Wheatear (m & f) feeding in the Orchid field. Also 6+Chiffchaff, 4+ Robins, and a pair of Bullfinches. Two Shag fishing close in off the point. No sign of a reported male Ring Ousel seen earlier in the day.


Posted March 25th, 2013 at 7:24 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Isley Marsh

While doing a RSPB count at Isley Marsh this afternoon in

bitterly cold easterly winds, I was rewarded with good views

of 4 Red-breasted Mergansers diving for food (1 male + 3 female).

Also a Wheatear on the high tide roost between the 2 jetties.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 6:59 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bovisand Bay

  Late afternoon on a somewhat crowded beach there were 4 Black Redstarts trying to feed along with several Chiffchaffs and a Wheatear.  A Sandwich Tern made a few passes.  Really nice when everyone had gone!



Posted March 25th, 2013 at 6:37 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

With ENE winds the passage just continues.

On Thurlestone Marsh at 16.15 2 ad Spoonbill flew in ( still present at 17.45 )- both with crests and breast breeding patch and unringed . Can anyone confirm if the Exminster marsh birds seen today , if not were they full adult and unringed ? At 17.30 a Common Tern seen over the marsh , earlier a Marsh Harrier reported. 4 Sand Martin, 2 Black Redstart, 2m Blackcap.

At South Huish Marsh - 7 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 4 Black Tailed Godwit , 3 Snipe, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Redshank ( patch year tick ), 40 Teal, 9 Wigeon.3 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow, 1db Brent Goose, 17 Wheatear.

Offshore - 7 Sandwich Tern, 17 Common Scoter,  5 Pintail ( 2m 3f )- flew in and went straight up the valley.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 6:22 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Decoy Lake

A drake Scaup showing very well early evening with about 12 Tufted Duck (found earlier by MW). Also 12 Sand Martin low over the water. A Swallow was also seen by MW earlier.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Bolt Head

Just off the old WW2 airfields saw a flock of approx 100 small birds on one of the fallow fields, very mobile and difficult to approach in the flat terrain but transpirred to be a mixed flock of Yellow Hammer, Cirl Bunting and Sky Lark, unalb eto ID any other species in the flock.

Sky Larks could be heard singing almost constantly but very difficult to see any in the air.

Also in the area a large flock of mostly juvenile Herring Gulls with one or two Greater Black Backed and Lesser Blacked Backed mixed in as well.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 5:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Knapp Mill, Aveton Gifford

In a stubble field near Knap Mill, Aveton Gifford tried to count a flock of feeding Chiffchafs at least 12 and possibly as many at 20, but they blended into the background so well to be almost invisible at times.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 5:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Otter Estuary

2 Spoonbills on flyover heading toward Otter Estuary Reserve 2.15 pm today.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by David Jannaway in General Birding

Exmister marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 09:40

a good morning on the marsh 2 little ringed plover ( found earlier by james diamond ) between station road and the lagoon , a male Merlin was very active around the marsh, a brief view of a marsh harrier over the lagoon heading towards powderham marsh, 18+ wheatear and still lots of chiffchaff , 1 female black redstart to the left of the railway bridge, 3 stonechat , 2 water rail, 60+ meadow pipit, 1 Cetti's warbler. 

On the path to powderham marsh male black redstart and male stonechat 

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 5:00 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Hope Cove & Bolberry Down ~ Wheatears

Two Wheatears seen on the cliff top at Bolberry Down this morning, bitterly cold in the wind and nothing staying in view for very long.

On the outskirts of Hope Cove in a field of sheep the boundary of which reached the garen of the first house of the village counted 20 Wheatears feeding, one looking to be in very poor condition.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater & Aveton Gifford

3 Great Northern Divers close inshore at the breakwater plus 2 Common Terns.

At Aveton Gifford, no sign of the LRPs but 2 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper & 23 Chiffchaff feeding on grassland areas.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 4:44 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

AVETON GIFFORD tidal road

Six Little Ringed Plover feeding on the mud bank just above the tide line at Aveton Gifford late this morning, in clear view from the tidal road approx 100 yards onto the road.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 4:15 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Darts Farm and Recreation Ground Topsham

Didn't stop long at either place as wind was bitterly cold.  Darts Farm quiet with 2 Redwing and a half dozen Chiffchaff present in bushes at the pond car park.  Topsham presented c600 Black tailed Godwit and 4 Red- breasted Merganser.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 4:03 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Waxwings - Buddle Lane, Exeter

51 Waxwings in Buddle Lane early afternoon,opposite the Woodah Road entrance in single tree.Also female Merlin and a single Sand Martin at Exminster Marsh.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 3:39 pm by Andy Bond in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh and Matford Pool

Fairly quiet at Bowling Green Marsh other than one Sand Martin moving quickly through at about 1.15.

A quick visit on the way back to work to Matford Pool produced a few more Sand Martins feeding low over the water.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 2:16 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wembury Point

  At least 6 Wheatears this morning - 2 female -  and 12+ Chiffchaffs along with 3 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin.  No other migrants and no sign of the LRPs at Saltram.

Wheatear
Wheatear

Wheatear
Wheatear

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 12:32 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Broadsands

8-9 Chiffchaffs around muddy track from back of 2nd car park back up toward Broadsands Road all looking sorry for themselves feeding very low and in the stubble field also two female Black Redstarts on the muddy 'clumps' in the stubble field.

Black Redstarts Broadsands 25 March 2013 ML

 black Redstart Clennon Valley 25 March 2013 ML

Arriving back home - two chiffchaffs feeding on my lawn and the usual female Black Redsart it dropped straight down onto some meal worms I threw out for it.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 11:48 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A superb male wheatear this morning on the weedy runway braving the biting north easterly wind - my earliest date up here. 65 fieldfare 2 mistle thrush and 6 blackbirds. An adult great black backed gull going north into the wind was presumably a migrant as they are scarce here plus around 10 skylarks and 6 meadow pipits.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 10:02 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Seaton

9 Little Ringed Plovers on the Colyford Marsh scrape this morning. Other bits and bobs around the valley included lots of Chiffchaffs, 2 Sand Martins, a Swallow, 15 Wheatears and 3 Ringed Plovers.

Posted March 25th, 2013 at 10:01 am by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Sunday 24th March 2013

bideford

unusual sighting this morning from my bedroom window of a heron in a tree on clovelly rd being mobbed by herring gulls!.

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Clovelly

An unexpected surprise on a cold day inside the harbour at Clovelly, today just before 3pm was a Glaucous Gull. A 2nd winter I believe. [Or is it, see http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=166]

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 8:13 pm by Neil Moore in General Birding

Exton

c100 snipe in two wisps wheeling overhead whilst on the ground between Lympstone and Topsham along the cycle path c20 chiffchaff and 3 sand martins through.

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 7:23 pm by Simon M Bates in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Seems to have been Devon 's record LRP day - On South Huish Marsh  at 13.30  4 (site record ) also -2 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Black Tailed Godwit , 25 Wheatear, 40+ Chiffchaff, 200+ Mipit - N ,13 Sand Martin, 45 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 

In the Bay our first Red Breasted Merganser of the year-a female .,15 Sandwich Tern, On the rocks 3 Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone.

At 16.15 Bob B at South Milton Ley an ad male and a young female Marsh Harrier also 40 + Chiffchaff . The female Harrier is not the Slapton bird

On T'stone marsh 10 Sand Martin, 25 Teal and at 16.30 the female Marsh Harrier .

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 6:08 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exmouth Stone Curlew

A distant pic of Matt's Stone Curlew has just been sent to me from John Deakins. Thanks John and well done Matt.


Posted March 24th, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Around the Axe

Nine Little Ringed Plovers on Black Hole Marsh this evening with three Ringed Plovers (sadly no Kentish!). Earlier today, many watched an Osprey on the Estuary 10:05 - 10:45. It eventually flew off north.

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 1600 - quick trip back out this afternoon and the stone curlew still present in the same spot as this morning (til 1700  at least). Also 6 wheatear, c10+ chiffchaff and presumably yesterday's ring ouzel showing well beside the track leading from Gore Lane down to the Bristol Schools Camp.

this bird was feeding with three others on mud in the dung field
this bird was feeding with three others on mud in the dung field

male ring ouzel
male ring ouzel

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 5:40 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Dartmoor

Mike Daniels found five Wheatear (3mm 2ff) below Cox Tor area this morning.  - First Report of Wheatear on the moor this year.

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

northam burrows

2 wheatear m&f skern area 15:00

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 4:36 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Plym estuary

 Three Little Ringed Plovers here today on The Pool of Dreams (aka Blaxton Meadow). Found by Russel Eynon, these are my first for Plymouth so a liitle celebration later!

Also here were singles of Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Wheatear and Pintail plus six Sand Martins and three Swallows. Under the flyover were seven Chiffchaffs feeding on the ground, while at home at least a dozen were in and around the house, again feeding on the ground.

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 4:33 pm by Roy McCarthy in General Birding

Around the exe

First stop orcombe point and good views of the stone curlew in top field also 5+ wheatear, 10+ chiffchaff good numbers of meadow pipit and pied wagtails 

Exmister stopped in to milbury lane the rose coloured starling still showing well, from the railway bridge at bottom of lane , 8+ swallow, 20+ sand Martin, 400+ black tailed godwits. 

On to station road and another 50+ sand Martin ,1 swallow ,  70+ chiffchaffs, 10+ wheatear, water rail, a nice male Merlin and also the wing tagged marsh harrier showed well around 12:15.

on the path to powderham marsh a nice male black redstart to finish the day 

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 2:32 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Cold East Cross Area

Sunday 24th.  A female Hen Harrier out hawking across the moor in the mist and haw frost. Also two Wheatear

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 12:54 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Shaldon

Adult Little Gull headed from offshore up the river this morning. 

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 12:17 pm by Dale Cooper in General Birding

Clennon Valley

2 adult Mediterranean Gull in summer plumage on the playing fields.

Also, a flock of around 40 Meadow Pipits. 

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 12:08 pm by George Wall in General Birding

Berry Head

6 Wheatear, 6-7 Chiffchaffs most feeding low in the grassy verges, 1 female Black Redstart, and a lone Skylark at the end of the Head small numbers of Meadow Pipits over-head. REB also had a couple of Sand Martins.

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 11:51 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Marsh Harrier - Topsham Recreation Ground

To continue my series of 'quality' harrier photos, here's another Marsh Harrier from Topsham Rec 10am today. This time a wing-tagged male (green tag - a Norfolk bird?). Also 33 Sand Martins between 9.30 - 10.30; Long-tailed Duck and Brambling still present.


Posted March 24th, 2013 at 11:35 am by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Littlehempston

150 Redwings this morning at Hampstead Manor, Littlehempston ( nr. Totnes ).

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 11:15 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 0615 - a memorable morning birding with Derek Carter this morning. Very cold on arrival with few birds but migrants streaming in by the time we left at around 0945. Undoubted highlight was the stone curlew found in the 'top fields' along Gore Lane (still present 10am at least). The bird is in the large flat stubble field on the right hand side, viewable from the gateway (please do not enter field). Also this morning 9+ robin, 1 blackcap, 22+ chiffchaff (new birds arriving all the time), c30+ meadow pipit, 2+ song thrush, 2 alba wagtail, 1 swallow, 10+ wheatear (with several more reported in top fields after we'd gone), 22+ sand martin east, 5+ goldcrest, 10+ greenfinch, 2 black redstart, 1 siskin, and 21+ chaffinch.


Posted March 24th, 2013 at 10:47 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

South Hallsands to Start Point 0700-0930

Nice fall of migrants this morning, 35+ Wheatears and 40+ Chiffchaffs, mostly on the south side of Start Pt.

2 Firecrests, 2 Goldcrests, 3 Black Redstarts (2m, 1f), and at least 1 Willow Warbler.

Posted March 24th, 2013 at 9:46 am by Richard Berridge in General Birding

Saturday 23rd March 2013

Eggbuckland Plymouth

Single Swallow over my house today at 1710 heading north towards Dartmoor

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 8:03 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Plymouth Branch field meeting at a flooded Lower Ley found 3 black necked grebe in summer plummage, 3 goldeneye 1 M.,6 gadwall and 7 little grebes among a large numbers of tufted duck. 3 wheatear and numerous chiff chaff fed all around the watersedge. Snipe and reed bunting also seen.

A couple of cettis warbler were calling at Slapton Bridge.

40 sand martins and 3 swallows battled into an easterly strong wind flying from Ireland Bay towards the bridge. Higher path is accessible but wet from bridge toward Ireland Bay.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 7:56 pm by Liz Harris in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

To add a little to John's and Keith's posts: around 3-4pm, a female-type Marsh Harrier sitting on grassy bank N of Lion's Rest (found by James Diamond); on floods N & S of Lion's Rest 9 Gadwall, 7 Tufted 2 Pintail, lots of Shoveler, 5 Ringed Plover , 2 Grey Plover, 600 Dunlin, 900 Black-tailed Gowits and 60+ Redshank. (James also saw a Ring Ouzel from the canal early this morning.)

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 7:41 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Seaton

A few bits and bobs around the Seaton Marshes/Axmouth Harbour area during a couple of brief outings today...

At least 50 Chiffs, 15 Wheatears, female Black Redstart, 2 White Wagtails and a Swallow. No Sand Martins for me, and I failed dismally when it came to finding Ring Ouzels.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 7:35 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Wistlandpound reservoir

Approx. 30 sand martins over the reservoir between 17.00 to 18.00. Also 3 chiffchaffs, sparrowhawk hunting along the margins and female tufted duck.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 6:51 pm by Edd Davies in General Birding

Velator Reserve Pond & Wrafton pond

17.50 - 3 Sand Martins flying over Velator Reserve Pond just above the trees then onto Wrafton Pond but only for a very short time.

Wrafton Pond too exposed to the cold easterly winds so I can understand why they moved on.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 6:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Joint report from Bob B , AJL and myself .First big fall of the year  produced 3 patch year ticks

On T'stone Marsh - 35 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 50+ Sand Martin, 6 Swallow, 1m Wheatear, 1m Black Redstart.

At South Huish Marsh - 7 Wheatear, 2 Swallow, 60+ Sand Martin, 1 House Martin ( 14.30 )1 Black Redstart, 2 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Ringed Plover

In the Bay - 3 Great N Diver, 18 db Brent Goose , 3 Sandwich Tern, 1 Grey Plover, 250+ Mipit

Around the patch at least 50 Chiffchaff  and  1 Willow Warbler - many feeding in grass

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 6:16 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 09:15-11:00, low tide.

On the very flooded marsh were 48 Teal, 22 Wigeon, 12 Pintail, 2 Water Rail, Snipe and a Black-tailed Godwit. Out in the bay were 2 Brent Geese, a second calander year Spoonbill in the middle of the bay which then obligingly flew down to and in front of the hide ( presumed same bird as reported on 17/3 ) and 5 Bar-tailed Godwits. 5 migrant Chiffchaffs around the marsh.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 6:15 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Riverside Valley Park, Exeter

Brief walk 1600 until 1640 turned up 9 wheatear (all males), 21 sand martins, 3 chiffchaff, 5 teal, 2 little egret, 3 meadow pipits, 6 redwing, female bullfinch, singing greenfinch.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 5:50 pm by Simon M Bates in General Birding

Exminster marsh & bowling green marsh

Tried station Road first from 09;00 till 10:20

1 ruff by lions rest industrial estate also 20+ sand martins , 1 swallow several chiffchaffs 1 Cetti's warbler 

then made way to topsham and got the ferry back to exminster marsh at 11:50 , 2 grey wagtail by ferry landing, from the canal bank by the fishermans car park a jack snipe flushed as peregrine put everything up on the marsh, sand martins had increased to 65+ and 2 more swallows, 3 brambling, 12+ chiffchaffs, 25+ tufted duck, 3 gadwall, 5+ pintail, 5 pochard on the lagoon with a great crested grebe, 3 male wheatear,2 stonechat, 2 Cetti's warblers , little grebes and 5 red breasted mergansers on the canal .

bowling green marsh 13:45 till 16:00

1 water rail, 6 male wheatear, 80+ chiffchaffs, 100+ meadow pipits, buzzard, 2 greenshanks, 70+ redshank, 2 tufted duck, 100+ wigeon , 2 Cetti's warblers 

 

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 5:42 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exeter Swallows

c50 swallows flying over makro exeter in marsh barton close to matford marsh at 5pm

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 5:25 pm by Pam & Steve Summerscales in General Birding

Turf

Water pipit on sea wall between Powderham and Turf this afternoon. Also several chiffchaffs and meadow pipits in the area.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Exeter Waxwings

40+ Waxwings in small tree on inner bypass at Exebridge.. waited to see them feed on nearby cotoneaster but an angry Magpie was not happy to share it's tree with them.. flock disappeared towards the quay. More exciting than the shopping trip by far!

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 4:26 pm by Gary and Karen Reeves in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Extensive flooding so I only managed to walk down Station Lane to just past the Lion's Rest industrial estate. Most birds were seen from the railway bridge between 2.00 and 3.00 pm. North of the bridge were 9 male wheatears plus others including one female (total probably c14). With them was a black redstart, c12 pied wagtails. and about 30 meadow pipits. Further away to the north - 1 green sandpiper, several swallows and a distant group of black-tailed godwits

Down the lane were lots of chiffchaffs, I estimate 30+ feeding in the hedges and out on the flooded fields.Over the flooding 28 sand martins but this was the minimum count. Several groups of waders including 8 snipe, 28 redshank, c150 dunlin together with curlew (not counted). A female peregrine was eating a kill when I arrived and eventually flew up on to a pylon. The spoonbill could be seen in the distance in  Powderham Marshes.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 3:46 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Bundle Head near Shaldon

Evidence of a fall at Bundle Head as well today, with 7+ Wheatear, c100 Meadow Pipits, and a Ring Ouzel with some Blackbirds along the hedges.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 3:37 pm by Laurie A in General Birding

Sidmouth sea front

5 Northern Wheatears and single Black Redstart on the pebble beach.

3 Purple Sandpipers and 12+ Turnstone on easternmost groyne

5+ Common Scoter  on the sea 

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 2:17 pm by ian pearson in General Birding

Woolston by Marlborough

Swallow low over fields in cold grey conditions.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 1:29 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

southcott marsh,bideford

Little ringed plover on the marsh,11:55-12.20.Present on leaving.3 sand martins kenwith nr straight through at 12:45.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 1:17 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Baggy

2 Chiffchaff in the trees by the pond + 6 Goldfinch.

2 male + 1 female Wheatear at Baggy Pt.

The pair of Eider still present + 1 male Common Scoter.

A flock of 40 Linnets flying over the gorse.

Cool easterly offshore wind with clean 4 ft swell.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Darts Farm

A quick walk to the hide and ponds this morning produced my first singing Chiffchaff of the year. 5 were busy feeding on the island in the largest pond. A male Reed Bunting was also proclaiming his territory

Out on the wetlands 9 Shoveler (a site record) were spread around the pools and ditches. A handful of Teal and Wigeon, 2 Grey Herons, 2 Little Egrets a single Snipe just in front of the hide.

A Kingfisher was calling nearby as was a Greenwood Pecker in the distance.  

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 11:51 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Hopes Nose

The highlight was a Ring Ouzel around the bushes above the quarry before flying up the slope calling. Also 14+Wheatear (9m,5f) arriving and leaving all the time (3 on the rocks on the point flew north out to sea until lost to view and another on the top slope flew up and lost to view behind the houses by the road). Also 6+ Chiffchaff and 20+Meadow Pipit mostly around Sandy Point.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 11:31 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

St. Thomas, Exeter

7+ chiffchaff hopping around in our garden this morning. Usually only get 1 a year.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 11:03 am by Alfie Pugh in General Birding

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 0620 - a nice little fall of migrants concentrated mainly around the Geoneedle and the coastpath/fields just east of the point - 5+ goldcrest, c30+ chiffchaff, 9+ wheatear, c50+ meadow pipit, 2 song thrush, 1 fieldfare, 1+ redwing, 1 reed bunting, 3+ alba wagtail, 4 goldfinch and best of all a lovely male ring ouzel feeding in the field above the orchid field. Also 14 dark-bellied brent goose.

Posted March 23rd, 2013 at 8:44 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Friday 22nd March 2013

Thurlestone Bay

Another very wet day , both marshes now flooded.

In a 3hr seawatch this morning - 24 Sandwich Tern, 21 Common Scoter, 2 Teal, 45 Gannet, all flying east. In the first 2 hrs a total of 252 Meadow Pipit moving NE . Passage in off the sea and up the valley - 46 Lesser B B Gull  2 ad Med Gull, 1 Little Ringed Plover.

On the sea 2 Great Crested Grebe and a Red Throated Diver

On South Huish Marsh - 7 Teal, 1 Snipe, 60+ Meadow Pipit, 60 Lesser B B Gull, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 male Wheatear, 1 Sand Martin

On T'stone Marsh - 10 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 1 Water Pipit, 4 Sand Martin

Posted March 22nd, 2013 at 6:09 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exmouth

Leisure Centre - 1630 - common tern with 32+ sandwich tern. Also 2 sand martin north there, 4+ great crested grebe and ad sum plum mediterranean gull.

Warren View - 78+ meadow pipit and 16 redshank on flooded football pitch behind house.

an early common tern with sandwich terns
an early common tern with sandwich terns

Posted March 22nd, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 11:25 till 14:50

the drake American wigeon showed well at times with 180+ wigeon , the female long tailed dropped in at 13:35, 100+ dunlin, 90+ bar tailed godwits, 300+ black tailed godwits, 7 grey plover, 80+ redshank, 7 shoveler, 1 water rail, 2 Cetti's warblers, 2 little grebes, 2 little egrets. 

Posted March 22nd, 2013 at 5:53 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Terrible conditions out there, but the drake American Wigeon was showing well as was the female Long-tailed Duck. Both from the hide luckily!

Posted March 22nd, 2013 at 2:09 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Around the Axe

Sea watching this morning showed 22 Sandwich Terns blogging, with a Red-breasted Merganser and two Common Scoter east. Several Meadow Pipits were flying in-off.

Just been out again for an hour or so, and there's now at least 35 Sandwich Terns in the valley/over the sea. Very odd to see 24 settled on Bridge Marsh - never seen so many this far up the valley before.  Also had two cracking adult summer Med Gulls fly east then come in.

Posted March 22nd, 2013 at 1:51 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Venn, Aveton Gifford

Black redstart briefly on my house roof at 0900 hrs!!

Posted March 22nd, 2013 at 9:31 am by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 21st March 2013

Dutch Ringed Bittern finds a winter home again at Slapton

 Another remarkable story of bird migration and breeding and winter site fidelity!!

A Dutch ringed and GPS tagged Bittern wintered at Slapton Ley in 2011/12 and subsequently returned in the spring of 2012 to the breeding grounds in North-Holland.

Anneka as she is known, has already returned to the breeding area again sooner than expected and when the GPS data was downloaded (via remote access) it has revealed that she has spent a second winter at Slapton........the question is did you see a Bittern at Slapton this winter ? if so it was Anneke !!! Saying that the bird seen by Graham Watson 3rd Feb 2013 (see entry on this site) does not appear to be wearing any colour rings so there were at least two birds wintering.....and what about the bird at Beesands Ley 9th Dec seen by the Plymouth group? another bird??

For more information see the map of Anneke on www.roerdomp.info (click on Anneke on the right-hand side of the map). Anneke left the breeding area on exactly the same date as in 2011 (22nd Oct) but this time took the more direct route through France.

This still involved a sea crossing of 400km. During the migration she flew at altitudes of a few metres to more than 1500m. Unfortunately, it’s not been possible to determine the return route from Slapton to the breeding area.

As long as the GPS-logger keeps collecting data the remote access base stations located in the breeding area will continue to read data so we will be able build up a picture of the breeding ecology as well as migration and wintering habitats.

Posted March 21st, 2013 at 9:12 pm by Nik Ward in General Birding

Brixham

A brief 30 minute seawatch was quiet from Shoalstone car park,  single Sandwich Tern a noticeable passage of Fulmar but more unusual for me around this area was 17 LBB gulls on the sea.

Posted March 21st, 2013 at 7:34 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

A day which started wet with a F7 SE wind just got worse. Using the tailgate of my car managed a 3hr seawatch from 09.15- as expected SE winds produce the best mornings passage for a few weeks .

Flying east - 100 Gannet, 20 Great B B Gull, 4 Fulmar , 2 Teal 1 Guillemot.

Offshore 2 Great C Grebe, 1 Red T Diver. At 10.55 3 Sandwich Tern flew towards Hope Cove , they returned 5 mins later when they had been joined by a Common Tern- my earliest date for the latter., and less than 25 yards off .

Birds coming in off the sea and flying straight up the valley were - 58 Meadow Pipit, 30 Lesser B B Gull, 12 Dunlin, 2 Alba Wagtail , 2 ad Med Gull

Posted March 21st, 2013 at 7:08 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exmouth

Shelly Beach - 1800 - ad yellow-legged gull this evening. Also 12+ sandwich tern and 16+ red-breasted merganser in atrocious conditions.

Posted March 21st, 2013 at 7:02 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Axe Estuary

10 Sandwich Terns resting at Coronation Corner this afternoon.

Posted March 21st, 2013 at 6:05 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Wrafton Pond Braunton

Malcolm Shakspeare phoned and had 2 Gadwall and 2 sandmartins at 13.15 today

Posted March 21st, 2013 at 5:37 pm by David & Gillian Churchill in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 11:00 till 13:00

my first sand Martin of the year flew south, 1 water rail, 2 ringed plover, 7 grey plover, 10+ bar tailed godwit,   1 snipe , 21+ dunlin, 100+ wigeon, good numbers of black tailed godwits , 8+ meadow pipits, 2 Cetti's warblers. 

Posted March 21st, 2013 at 4:16 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Wednesday 20th March 2013

skern

 Barn owl again onto burrows by stone bridge entrance.Was expecting a wheatear or two but alas.Rough weather due in may bring something.

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 9:16 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A couple of hours stroll around the top end towards the M5 produced a nice contrast Winter meets Summer so to speak!

 Bramblings x 6 and Redwings x 10 and our first sightings of Sand Martins x 3, followed by our beloved songbird the Chiffchaff x 4!

Plenty of Snipe 25+, good numbers of Widgeon, Teal, Shoverler, Lapwing, three Buzzards, and one female Kestrel. 48 different species in all.   


Posted March 20th, 2013 at 9:01 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Flat calm sea enabled Divers to be picked up in the Bay-  4 Great Northern and 2 Red Throated.

Female Marsh Harrier on Thurlestone Marsh this morning and on South Huish Marsh this aft.

Duck totals for both marshes - 65 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 6 Wigeon, 2 Shelduck.

Chiffchaff totals - 15 at South Milton Ley and 2 in my garden

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 6:14 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Dawlish

A couple of Firecrest in pirivate gardens near the sea front today.   Seen one of them regularly for the past five weeks.

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 5:43 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Teignmouth

Seawatching from 10-11am this morning - nothing much on the sea, but a Red-throated Diver flew north and 3 Common Scoters (2m) flew south.

The highlight however was at 2:05pm when I picked up another 3 Scoters flying south, but this time one of them was a Velvet Scoter! The group then turned around and flew back up north. On the first flyby when the birds were closer, I could clearly see the white secondary panels. It was probably a 1st winter female as it was brown and had a pale belly. It also seemed a tiny bit smaller than the two male Common Scoters it was with.

I don't remember seeing any other reports of Velvet Scoter this winter, so quite a lucky sighting!

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 4:36 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est.

14:00

Lesser black-backed Gull 42; Little Grebe 3 and 18 Sanderling.

Bradiford Reserve.

2 Buzzard and a pair of Gadwall. Just 1 Moorhen, 5 male Mallard and 1 Curlew.

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 4:31 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Bolberry Down to Hope Cove

Cracking male black redstart in Redrot Cove at Bolt Tail.

An astonishing 29 common buzzards soaring over the hinterland of Hope Cove, late morning. Many dropped down to feed in fields, rest drifted away. Maybe a mix of residents & migrants?

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Rose-coloured Starling Help

A question on the Forum has been asked about the exact location of the Rose-coloured Starling.  Anyone who's seen it able to help?

Direct link here: http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=164

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Broadsands

Very Quiet on the sea, just 2 Common Scoter and 1 Great Crested Grebe. 1 male Wheatear on the headland (digiscoped at distance of 60m+ with iphone).

Wheatear Male Broadsands 20 Mar 13 ML - Kowa iphone

Posted March 20th, 2013 at 12:14 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tuesday 19th March 2013

Colour Ringed Waxwing

I contacted a Harry Scott a ringer from Aberdeen about the Devon colour ringed Waxwing and received a very quick response from another ringer Raymond Duncan;

The bird in the photo (white/Black/lime BTO ring number NW50145) was ringed at Claremont Gardens in Aberdeen as a young male on the 28th November 2012.

Harry requested for us Devon folk to keep our eyes open for more of the Aberdeen ringed Waxwings.

See:  http://grampianringing.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-deeside-dazzlers.html

Posted March 19th, 2013 at 11:01 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Blaxton Meadow Saltram

Had a walk down Blaxton Meadow on my break from work earlier not expecting to see to much due to low tide. Was very pleased to see a drake Pintail showing well. Also 1 Redshank, 1 Little Egret and 6 Canada Geese, A male Bullfinch was feeding on blossom near to the wardens office.

Posted March 19th, 2013 at 8:35 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

The drake American Wigeon was still present with the Wigeon flock in the right hand corner of the reserve at 1.40pm today.

Posted March 19th, 2013 at 3:19 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Higher Soar to Southdown Farm

Only spring migrant was a single chiffchaff but other movements involved 70 chaffinches (extremely pale birds, probably nominate North European/Russian race), 35 linnets and 4 song thrushes together on open ground but very furtive.

Otherwise skylarks, yellowhammers & cirl buntings all in song throughout a glorious morning. 4 Roe Deer close to the farm

Posted March 19th, 2013 at 1:59 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 08:30 till 11:45

not expecting much with a low high tide but turned out to be a very good morning 

at 09:45 a few alarm calls from the far side was followed by a female hen harrier emerging from the reeds it flew over the reeds before dropping over the railway line heading towards darts farm, just after this the curlew sandpiper flew in but remained elusive, then at 11:33 a group of wigeon flew in from darts farm direction and i soon found the drake American wigeon it showed well in pool to right of the hide. 

other highlights were 3 Cetti's warblers, 1 water rail, 33 avocet , 200+ bar tailed godwits, 420+ black tailed godwits , 350+ dunlin ,2 knot, 7 snipe, 2 reed buntings , peregrine ,  4 pintail(1m,3f), 190+ wigeon , 3 little grebes, 4+ little egrets, 70+ redshank, 24+ shelduck, 3 song thrush, 1 great spotted woodpecker 

not a bad morning 

Posted March 19th, 2013 at 1:33 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster village

A small flock of 8 waxwings were feeding on berries outside the police house on Dryfields Road near the free car park at 12.30. The rose-coloured starling was in Milbury Lane with 8 brambling.

Posted March 19th, 2013 at 1:02 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Brixham

Just had an early Swallow. It flew around over Shoalstone swimming pool for 5 minutes or so before heading off towards the breakwater. All quiet on the headland earlier, only notable birds were a Chiff chaff calling near the end, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat and a Cirl bunting, the latter being decidedly thin on the ground lately.

Posted March 19th, 2013 at 10:45 am by John Lusher in General Birding

Monday 18th March 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 09:05 till 11:30

the curlew sandpiper still showing well in front of the hide, avocet numbers down to 33, 200+ bar tailed godwits, hard to count dunlin numbers but estimate about 450+ , 1 adult med gull was a nice find. 7+ common gull, 2 very vocal Cetti's warblers, 1 water rail, 6+ chiffchaffs, 1 great spotted woodpecker, 2 little grebes, 1 pintail, 180+ wigeon, 1 little egret, 300+ black tailed godwits. 

from the viewing platform 

the female long tailed duck showed in front of the viewing platform around 12:00 before flying off 

Posted March 18th, 2013 at 9:44 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Breakwater and Berry Head

A walk around the head and Breakwater today gave a firecrest and 4 Bullfinch near the radar dome amoungst others and a Blackcap singing close to the quarry road half way down. No Wheatear seen.

Off the breakwater 7 Purple Sands in 2 groups and a Black necked Grebe very close in off the beach

Posted March 18th, 2013 at 4:38 pm by tim clyburn in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 08:40-10:30, high tide.

36 Brent Geese, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers in the bay. 28 Wigeon and 35 Teal on the marsh with a couple calling Water Rails. 7 Chiffchaffs in the sewage works. Spoonbill report in the hide log book for Charleton Bay, 18:00 yesterday. Also in there 2 Avocets on the 10th March ( quite scarce on the estuary, not even annual ).

Posted March 18th, 2013 at 3:05 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Sunday 17th March 2013

Exeter Waxwings

Photo of ringed Waxwing taken in Buddle Lane today by Stan Stanbury.  He has sent off details of the rings and will pass on the information as soon as the results are received. 

Waxwing by Stan Stanbury, Exeter 17.3.13

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 11:03 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Buddle Lane Waxwings

0900 Sunday morning and 38 waxwings feeding in hawthorn near junction with Lime Grove Road. They were dropping down from a tall birch tree alongside.

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 10:17 pm by Simon M Bates in General Birding

Topsham

This weekend has seen a drop off of species compared to last weekend at the rec playing fields - no long tailed duck, goldeneye or mergansers. 3 Brambling hanging on in the garden.

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 8:30 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Beesands Ley

The WeBS counts here this winter have been the poorest i can remember  ( a single Mallard the only duck present in February ) so i was very surprised to find some reasonable numbers today namely 5 Mallard, 2 Shoveler, 15 Pochard, 64 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 14 Coot. I was hoping that if they had come around the corner from Slapton there might have been one of the Ring-necked Ducks but alas no. Equally given the time of year i suppose they may be recently arrived birds heading north and resting up a bit. Little in Start Bay apart from a Great Northern Diver off Beesands village. 

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 7:01 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

3m 1f Wheatear, 75 Teal, 12 Wigeon, 8 Shoveler, 1 Dunlin & 3 Snipe.An ad Med Gull over - all at South Huish Marsh

In the bay 2 Great C Grebe and a Red T Diver flew west.

Bob B reports at South Milton Ley- 30 + Chiffchaff and a Firecrest

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 6:12 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Merlin: Crow Point/Burrows

Finally, saw my bogey bird!

In full glorious sun at close range giving spectacular views, a male merlin was working the edges of numerous ponds in the dune slacks perching regularly on exposed dead willow. Cracker.

also, little Grebe in the drainage channels on the road down to Crow Point and two mating Brown Hare not far from the toll road. 

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 2:13 pm by Tom Williams in General Birding

Broadsands and Clennon Valley

Broadsands: on Sea 2 Great Northern Divers, 4 Red-throated Divers, 13 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Common Scoter. 1 female Wheatear on sea wall it or possibly another on rocks around headland too.

Clennon Valley: The female still taking meal worms in my garden Black Redstart.

black Redstart Female Clennon Valley 17 Mar 13 ML black Redstart Female Clennon Valley 17 Mar 13 ML2

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 12:33 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Kingsteignton - Newton Abbot

The Firecrest was just beyond the Hackney Marshes car park mid-morning, giving bursts of song in the sunshine. Also the drake Wood Duck still beside the new River Teign footbridge.

Posted March 17th, 2013 at 12:20 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Saturday 16th March 2013

Prawle

A 4 hour seawatch (with JL) was inexplicably poor, with totals of less than 60 each of Gannets and Auks. However, Fulmars reached 60 and Kittiwakes 53, while some quality was provided by 2 each of Great Northern and Red-throated Divers, 4 Manx Shearwaters and 5 Common Scoters. The Shag passage noted yesterday continued, with at least 60 moving west.  The highlight of the walk round was a cracking male Firecrest below the reserve, but very little else was around, with only 1 Water Pipit, 8 Redwings, 2 Chiffchaffs and 4 Goldcrests troubling the notebook.

(Late news from 13th March, a Barn Owl along the bottom fields, 2 Shoveler through, a Black Redstart and a decent fall of 24 Chiffchaffs).

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 7:55 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

On South Huish marsh this morning inbetween the showers- Female Marsh Harrier ( Slapton bird ) 1 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Snipe 75 Teal, 5 Shoveler, , 1 Shelduck. 2 Wheatear. 6 Turnstone flew across the Bay

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 6:32 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

around the exe

Bowling green marsh watched from the hide 07:45 till 10:00

The curlew sandpiper showed very well in front of thge hide and 600+ dunlin over the marsh, 87 a over, 202+ bar tailed godwits, 200+ black tailed godwits, 7 grey plover,1 water rail, 6 snipe, green woodpecker by the hide , 5 pintail, little grebe, a 2nd winter med gull, with 7 common gull, 3 lesser black backed gull 

Exminster marsh from 11:00 till 13:00

One of the spoonbill showed distantly from the canal bank and soon flew behind the lagoon then as walked back from the viewing platform a spoonbill was just off the main scrape with yellow flag on leg, 5 pochard on the lagoon and 8+ pintail around the marsh 

Stopped off at buddle lane on way home at 14:17 44+ waxwing just along from the green gables pub before flying towards redhills end of buddle lane 

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 6:26 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Galmpton creek

3 Blacktailed Godwit at the head of the creek this pm. Not very remarkable but I've spent the last 13 years working here and have never seen a Godwit at this location. For 10 years before that I was on the Dart trip boats and doing the WEBs count and can't recall seeing either of the species then. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has recorded any 'Dart' Godwits,recent or historic, or is this a first!

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 5:50 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Exeter- Buddle Lane

45 Waxwing from midday till 1.20pm when the whole flock flew towards Cowick Street. The flock were using a tree in front of 63 Buddle Lane and eating berries from in front of 73 Buddle Lane. This was 500 yards along from the Green Gables pub, where there didn't seem to be many berries left.

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 5:05 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Brixham

2 Sandwich Tern off Astra Zeneca car park

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 4:51 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A brief visit between the hail and rain showers. The adult spoonbill flew up from the marsh, from west of the lagoon, and continued towards the Clyst at 14.45. Three small flocks (15, 25 & 3)  of black-tailed godwits flew north over the estuary and reminded me how scarce they have been this winter. There were a few more with the lapwings closer to the railway line. Duck numbers appeared to have fallen but there were lots of shoveller and at least 6 pintail.

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 4:41 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

St Thomas, Exeter

Up to 30 Waxwing sat in the tops of the tall trees of St Thomas Churchyard, Cowick Street in the pouring rain and hail trilling away at 3.30 pm this afternoon.

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 4:21 pm by Nik Ward in General Birding

Torbay

First day in a long time that the bay was not too choppy to check thoroughly.

Preston: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 21 Common Scoter (54 Turnstone on prom!)

Goodrington: 4 Black-necked Grebes, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Common Scoter, 1 Sandwich Tern

Broadsands: 1 Black-throated Diver, 6 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers,16 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Common Scoter, 13 Guillemots, 1 Razorbill (Red-necked Grebe possibly still present but Id was tricky looking almost into the sunlight- toward Brixham this morning)

(On 14th March I noted a column of 16 Buzzards soaring near Ipplepen. Managed to get six in photo!.)

 Buzzards Ipplepen 14 Mar 13 ML

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 11:02 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Dawlish Warren & Exminster

0650 Dawlish Warren and a super male Wheatear heralds spring, but it's still winter offshore as the rain drives in over a single Great Northern Diver eating a crab, raft of 6 Common Scoter, 5 Shag and a pair of Great Crested Grebe head waving. No Sandwich terns and no martins.

0900 Exminster Marshes middle car park - Water Rail calling, Spoonbill with head firmly lodged in back (don't blame it), and some nice Pintail.

0930 Riverside Park - Reed bunting singing.

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 10:50 am by Simon M Bates in General Birding

American Wigeon at Darts Farm

The American Wigeon was feeding in front of hide this morning, showing very well in the bright spells of sunshine.

Posted March 16th, 2013 at 10:36 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Friday 15th March 2013

Exeter Waxwings

A flock of 42 waxwing were seen on Buddle lane at 1.20pm, 500 meters further along the road another flock of 30 were present. Still a lot of berries on the trees so perhaps they will stay a bit longer.

Posted March 15th, 2013 at 10:58 pm by John Gale in General Birding

Newton Abbot

The drake Wood Duck still late afternoon on the River Teign by the new footbridge off Brunel Industrial Estate.

Posted March 15th, 2013 at 7:03 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Otter Reserve

 2 Little Ringed Plovers still on the scrapes

Posted March 15th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Sightings from Prawle Point

3 hour seawatch from 7.25am in WSW 4-5 with showers produced : 1 x Manxie at 9.25 am ( wintering individual or migrant ?) ; 2 x Puffins west ; pair of Eider east; fem RB Merganser; adult Med Gull east ;and 7 Divers : 3 x Great Northern wp; 2 x GN sp; 2 x Black Throated. Auks flying west ( 424 ) and going east (403) . Small passage of Shags (29) west. Passerine movement ? 1 x pipit in off sea.

 

Posted March 15th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Exe Spoonbills

    A mid-morning look at Matford marshes revealed our old friend FJ9 feeding on the back pool, and a look at Exminster marsh showed "yellow flag" still present. Later reports announced that  both birds are now on Exminster marsh.

Posted March 15th, 2013 at 1:55 pm by Brian Heasman in General Birding

Torbay from Broadsands

Checked out Torbay from Broadsands this morning as Sunday is the last winter boat trip for this season, some nice sightings:- 2 Black-necked Grebe ( well into summer plumage), 5 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Common Scoter, 1 Great Northern Diver (well beyond mussel farm bouys) and further out again a bird low on the water, similar shape to GND but smaller, one for Sundays boat trip to find and ID, 2 Mute Swans paddling across the Bay towards Brixham. Just as I walked back off the headland I had a Kingfisher on the rocks and a Cirl Bunting called from scrub behind me. Still 4 places on boat if interested give us a call.

Posted March 15th, 2013 at 10:23 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Drakes Meadow

Hunting for wheatear and sand martins on my local patch. Nothing doing but all the resident birds seem paired up. Small group of siskin buzzing in alder, c30 redwing, 3 meadow pipit and a roe deer at close quarters.

Posted March 15th, 2013 at 10:03 am by Simon M Bates in General Birding

Thursday 14th March 2013

Black Hole Marsh

2 Green Sandpipers on the islands this afternoon, with a water rail showing well, in the open, under the Tower Hide.

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 7:53 pm by Jim Tirrell in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

With a flat calm sea and good viz Divers on the sea easier to pick up - Not up to the Branscombe totals but very good for the patch - 6 Red Throated and 3 Great Northern Divers . Also 2 Great Crested Grebe and a Slavonion Grebe.

Waders on the rocks - 3 Sanderling, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Turnstone, 1 Ringed Plover

On the beach a nice male Wheatear .

On Thurlestone Marsh there are now 2 Little Grebe

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Hackney Marshes/Passage House area

A male Wood Duck was on the river where the new bridge has just been built. It gave fantastic close views in the late afternoon sun. Possibly one of the birds from Yarner?

At Hackney Marshes, the Firecrest was still there in the trees along the path inbetween the car park and the bridge. Around the site there were also 4+ Chiffchaff.

In the reeds at Passage House, there were 4 Water Rail and 6+ Snipe.

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 5:37 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The adult Spoonbill was showing well this lunchtime feeding in the pools by the middle car park (1.45pm)

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 2:03 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

R.Taw - Taw Bridge to Penhill Marsh.

09:00 - 10:00

Penhill Marsh.

c210 Dark-bellied Brent feeding on the grass at high tide with c50 Wigeon and 64 Shelduck. 22 Sanderling flying about and 47 Meadow Pipits scratching about in among the tidal flotsam.

0905 2 Hercules flew down river and landed at Chivenor, putting the whole lot up!

Anchorwood Bank.

c90 Dunlin,just 3 Grey Plover and 1 Little Egret.

 

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 11:25 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The adult spoonbill still present at 9.00 am although it remained huddled up apparently asleep throughout my visit. Also seen in the middle of the main marsh 6 little egrets. Elsewhere, near the Turf, one redpoll, 2 siskins, one jay and a chiffchaff on the tide-line, another two in the bushes near the railway line. Wildfowl included c400 brents, c12 shelduck, 20 tufted duck and lots of wigeon. Waders were scarce c50 curlew, 15 golden plover (although I counted 85 yesterday afternoon), c30 snipe and two dunlin. 3 Cettis warblers were singing well. Brief glimpses of 2 or 3 water rails.

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 11:23 am by John Waldon in General Birding

Wednesday 13th March 2013

24 waxwings

24 Waxwings on phone lines opposite Chudleigh Knighton school,  intermittently swooping down to feed on the few remaining berries on the school fence

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 10:33 pm by Graeme Davey in General Birding

Wembury Point

 A return visit gave 10+ Chiffchaffs still, the first Ringed Plover, a Dunlin, 2 Turnstones and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits.  Off shore were 2 Slavonian Grebes.. The outfall pipe is being repaired so there will be some disturbance on the beach.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Little Egret feeding on the beach
Little Egret feeding on the beach

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Apart from a Gannet the only other bird offshore this morning was a Great N Diver ( on the sea )

South Huish marsh held 5 Ringed Plover , 1 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Snipe, 25 Teal, 6 Wigeon. At 11.35 Nick T and I watched a Ringtail Hen Harrier quartering over the Marsh for 5mins before flying up the valley.

On Thurlestone marsh- 70 Teal, 4 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 2 Shelduck , 1 Little Grebe

at 17.00 feeding in my garden was a Willow Warbler - my earliest Spring record.

Bob B back on the patch and reports 20 + Chiffchaff at South Milton Ley

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 6:13 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Waxwings

Just counted 31 waxwings in the the trees opposite the Green Gables pub on Buddle Lane

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 5:28 pm by Jon Davis in General Birding

Berry Head

Two more Wheatear on the head this morning, 1st. spotted by Bob Bailey and shortly joined by another. Both male birds and favouring the short turf behind the southern fort.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 5:01 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Otter Reserve

The 3 Little Ringed Plovers were seen early this morning and then flew. 2 were back this afternoon,15.30. together with Dunlin and good numbers of snipe.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 4:47 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Slapton Ley

The female Marsh Harrier was showing well, a number of people reported having seen it and I watched it do a slow flyby from the field centre end of the ley down to Torcross.

Black Necked Grebe just off the beach later joined a small group of Scoter Duck, three small groups of Scoters on the sea approx 24 in number.

Numerous well coloured Blacked Headed Gulls

Most of the Gadwalls Duck seem to have left but one pair seen close in to Torcross

Unexpected close up sighting of a seal that popped its head up alongside for a few moments as I walked along the beach.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 4:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exminster Spoonbill.

This bird is a regular visitor to both North and South Devon. It was ringed on 10/06/2007 at Oosterkwelder, Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands. The middle ring on the right leg is a metal i/d ring No.NLA 8048768. For further details see Review of Spoonbills by Tim Jones and Tim Davis in Devon Birds Vol 62 No2 August 2009.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 3:44 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Slapton/Sth Huish Marsh

Slapton

Marsh Harrier fem,  RN Duck fem, BN Grebe 3 adS - Torcross.

Sth Huish Marsh

LR Plover 2, Dunlin 1, Grey Plover 1.

ENW etal.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 3:13 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Spoonbill

Late morning looked into Exminster Marshes and there was an adult Spoonbill, with the following coloured leg rings; left leg - Dark Green at top middle Yellow Flag and below Dark Green. Right leg - top Dark Blue middle looked Beige or Grey bottom Lime Green.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 1:43 pm by Andy Bond in General Birding

Berry Head and Broadsands

A chilly start to the day again at the Head, with a single Chiffchaff looking like an arrival in clifftop bushes. At Broadsands later a Sandwich Tern flew north along the beach. In the bay one each of Great Northern and Red-throated Diver, 25 Common Scoter, 15 Great Crested Grebe.

 

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 1:22 pm in General Birding

Baggy

A Chiffchaff at the start of the walk out to Baggy which was behaving like a new arrival.

The 2 male Common Scoters & the pair of Eider still present. Then my first male Wheatear of the spring followed by 2 more, these birds were very hungry so I I did not hang around in the areas where they were searching for food. I think this may be the first spring I have seen a Wheatear before a Sand Martin.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 11:57 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Branscombe

Was hoping for a few birds off Branscombe, but wasn't expecting to see 42 Great Northern, 7 Red-throated and 1 diver sp.!  Several of the Great Northern's appeared to be in heavy wing moult, so looks like they'll be here for a good few weeks yet.  They were in two main flocks (of 14 and 13), then the rest scattered singularly and in groups of 2-4. 

Need a really flat calm 'glass-like' sea to get the full count. A White-billed would be nice!

Also this morning, opposite Axmouth FC at Boshill Cross, Water Pipit again and a White Wagtail. No further sign of yesterday's Colyford Marsh Little Ringed Plover.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 11:47 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Starcross

Redwing singing this morning! How unusual is that .

Male Merlin again yesterday.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 11:12 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Brief visit between 8.30 and 10.00 am coincided with high tide. Most pools were ice free. Waders included 7 dunlin, 17 golden plover, c20 snipe and c30 curlew. Ducks included pintail, wigeon and shoveller (c40). A single male merlin was at the end of Milbury Lane, female peregrine made a kill near the canal-side car park which was taken over by a buzzard Singing birds included skylark, Cettis warber, stonechat and reed bunting. Swan and magpie nest building.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 10:47 am by John Waldon in General Birding

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Chudleigh waxwings

Spotted a small flock of waxwings (about 10) feeding on berries in someone's front garden on millstream meadow again this morning around 7:45.  I was on my way to work so couldn't stop to count or see if there were more in the area.

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 8:39 pm by Andrew Hanlon in General Birding

Tamar Estuary

C30 Avocet at distance from underneath the bridge at Ernesettle Creek at low tide this afternoon.

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 8:11 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Wembury Point

 A small fall of Chiffchaffs was obvious this morning with 25+ on the seaweed line feeding heavily.  Also a lone Sand Martin going with the wind, a Sandwich Tern and a Wheatear plus 2 Bar-tailed Godwits.

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 5:50 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

exeter waxwings

15+ waxwings buddle lane then flew towards first and last pub at 14:44

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 5:34 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Another early Wheatear

A Wheatear joined me watching the waves in the sunshine at Durl Head today. My earliest record by 2 weeks

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 5:32 pm by tim clyburn in General Birding

Exeter and Exminster

44 waxwings close to West Exe College, Cowick Lane feeding next to speed camera at 3.30 pm.

Interesting 24 hours in my garden in Exminster. First chiffchaff of the year followed by 7 greenfinches (highest number this winter until now was 2), then 5 reed buntings (3 males), then pair of siskins and finally 2 brambling. All in addition to usual chaffinches, goldfinches and house sparrows.

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 4:40 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est.

12:30

207 Dark-bellied Brent mid-river and just 4 Ringed Plover amidst c200 Dunlin on the concrete embankment.

1 Kestrel over Bradiford Reserve.

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 3:03 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Otter Reserve

3 Little Ringed Plovers on the grazing marsh today.

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Male Marsh Harrier south of M5 at 07:30

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 8:03 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Monday 11th March 2013

Starcross

Male Merlin on top of the hill behind Starcross today. Also a couple of Otters on the Powderham road early morning on saturday.

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 8:28 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

THURLESTONE BAY

One of the few ocassions when i managed a 3hr sea watch and did not get out of the car. Very very cold with snow showers and a F8 NE wind, still some evidence of wader passage

On T'stone Marsh - 20 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 6 Wigeon, 1 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover.

Car sea watch produced 5 Common Scoter and 3 Shoveler flew east. A Curlew, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Snipe flew in and continued straight up the valley. A Grey Plover, 3 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover flew in off the sea onto South Huish Marsh .At 12.15 a Little Ringed Plover landed on the marsh - only stayed 10mins before flying inland .Duck on the Marsh -A pair of Pintail, 8 Wigeon, 15 Teal

Went back down at 16.20 (looking for Terns ) only found 2 Great N Diver with 4 Gannet east

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 6:33 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Wembury, 11th March

Despite the biting wind I braved a quick walk along the coastpath at Wembury this morning and was very surprised to see 2 Sandwich terns battling against the wind as they dived for fish off the main beach - bet they wished they had stayed in Africa a little longer!

Also seen were a wp bar tailed godwit and a wp dunlin feeding on the sandy gap in the rocks near Wembury Point. I briefly saw the water pipit feeding with meadow and rock pipits on the seaweed mass near the sewage pipe before it was distubed by a beach walker and flew off - at least I got to see its white outer tail feathers as it flew away!

A chiffchaff was briefly seen skulking in the undergrowth and a little egert looked very forlorn as it rested on the rocky foreshore.

Glad to get home and back in the warm but some nice sightings along with my first moth of the year - a double striped pug.

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 4:01 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

The Marsh Harrier was in view for a couple of minutes over the reed bed looking towards Exminster before it dropped out of sight at around 12.30. Worth braving the freezing wind for and another good lunch time bird.

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 1:18 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Brixham Harbour and Breakwater

Like John I was surprised to get my first spring migrant mid morning, a Sandwich Tern battling south past the breakwater in the gale. Also 4 summer plumaged Great Crested Grebes sheltering in the harbour, and  50-60 Common Gulls around, a marked increase.    

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 12:25 pm in General Birding

WAXWINGS

Waxwings still present in Buddle Lane Exeter this morning



Posted March 11th, 2013 at 11:32 am by Bob Reeves in General Birding

Berry Head

Conditions quite horrendous this morning so suprised to see a nice male Wheatear in the northen fort. Sorry no photo, too busy trying to stand up!

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 10:58 am by John Lusher in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Male Marsh Harrier over northern marshes at 07:45.

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 7:56 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Sunday 10th March 2013

Thurlestone Bay

Normal Sunday morning- cold strong E wind and showers - turned into a very good day with the sighting of an Avocet resting on the rocks at 11.15 ( only the third patch record in 9 years ) 14 Turnstone also on the rocks . Big reduction in duck - on South Huish Marsh only 12 Teal, 5 Wigeon and the male Pintail, 5 Snipe. Whist walking along the lane picked up a Firecrest on call in the hedgerow- very brief in flight views.

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 6:47 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exmouth

Mudbank - 1700 - 2 sandwich tern fishing until1730 at least. Also 2 mediterranean gull, c30+ common gull, 10 goldeneye, 9 great crested grebe, c200+ dunlin, 3+ ringed plover and a chiffchaff. No sign of yesterday's presumed glaucous gull.

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 6:15 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Sand Martin - Fremington

On chilly winds this morning, a lone sandmartin travelling up the Taw. Also a first for me - Little egret displaying/dancing to one another in the pill. 

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 4:53 pm by Tom Williams in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground - Harriers

Two harriers hunting over the reedbed south of the M5 at 1.30 today - the male Marsh Harrier also a ringtail Hen Harrier (probably an adult female). Now I'm starting to wonder about buses and whether I should've waited for the third...

Marsh Harrier - Topsham 10/3/2013
Marsh Harrier - Topsham 10/3/2013

Hen Harrier - Topsham 10/3/2013
Hen Harrier - Topsham 10/3/2013

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 4:37 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Isley Marsh

I received a phone call from a very good birder (John Kelly) this morning who tells me he saw an Avocet on the marsh yesterday evening at high tide. It was confirmed by an unknow guy with a camera who apparantly took a record shot of the bird.

I am not sure what records there are for Avocet on the Taw but I can only remember once seeing a pair at anchor wood bank many years ago. With the number of Avocet in South Devon it has always suprised me why we do not see more in North Devon - I suspect there is a logical reason for it.

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 1:46 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Velator reserve

Still at least one unringed Chiffchaff in the reserve this morning, and a new bird for the reserve: a Raven, which looks like it has taken exception to the Buzzard's nest and pulled it down!!

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 1:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Saturday 9th March 2013

Tufted Duck with attitude

Many of you may have seen this bird already but today was my first sighting at Slapton Ley.  Thought that it was a tufted duck until I caught sight of the red "punk" hairdo!  Is this a hybrid tufted duck/crested potchard, or some species I am unaware of?

Crested/Tufted Pochard/Duck?
Crested/Tufted Pochard/Duck?

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 8:17 pm by Frank Prowse in General Birding

exminster marsh & topsham

started at exminster marsh from 08:40 till 11:15

As earlier post 3 very good views of the male marsh harrier hunting over the marsh was the highlight of the day, still very good numbers of snipe all over the marsh, a male merlin showed a couple of times by the lagoon, 60+ golden plover, 1 peregrine, 30+ shoveler, 5+ pintail, 12+ little egrets, 200+ wigeon, 3 cetti's warblers, 4 stonechats and 7+ reed buntings, 13+ skylarks.

The female long tailed duck was between the topsham ferry and topsham rec, 4 red breasted mergansers(1m,3f), 6 common gulls

Next stop was the river clyst by the bridge inn and good views of a common sandpiper and even better views of a kingfisher also 1 little egret

Bowling green marsh from the viewing platform 14:25 till 15:00

The curlew sandpiper showed well, 23+ grey plover, 5 greenshank

Bowling green marsh from the hide 15:10 till 16:40

Lots of disturbance made any counts hard but a nice surprise was a spotted redshank on the far side from the hide, the curlew sandpiper dropped in but was very elusive, 200+ avocet, 217+ bar tailed godwit ,500+ black tailed godwits, 400+ dunlin, 3+ snipe, 150+ wigeon, 2 little egrets, 2 cetti's warblers, 2f pintail, lots of redshank and a male sparrowhawk.

A very good days birding 

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 7:32 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Baggy Pt

The pair of Eider still present & now 2 handsome male

Common Scoters.

2 Kittiwakes surface picking & a singing Chiffchaff in the trees

by the pond on the walk out to Baggy.

Frogs are walking over the path from the pond by the gate

so if you go out to Baggy please take care not to squash any!


Posted March 9th, 2013 at 7:24 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Exmouth

Mudbank - 1700 - 1800 - 'biscuit'-coloured, presumably juv, white-winged gull sp downriver @ 1720. Was probably a small-end glaucous gull on size and structure, being clearly larger in the body than accompanying herring gulls but caution required with large iceland and various hybrids/leucistic birds not ruled out! Also ad sum plum mediterranean gull, c1000+ black-headed gulls and c1000+ herring gulls in roost.

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 6:11 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Topsham and Exeter - Ducks and Cormorants

Morning visit to Topsham Recreation Ground produced the Long-tailed Duck and a pair of Goldeneye. Also a single Greenshank and few Redpolls still hanging around.

After a detour to the Exminster side for more distant views of the Marsh Harrier, cycled into Exeter for some Cormorant and Gull action. A handful of straightforward carbo perched on the dam at the quay, also a plausible sinensis. Difficult to know if the head bill is exactly in profile (this is the best shot) but I make the gular angle to be well outside the range of carbo. Maybe I should get help...

prob.sinensis Cormorant - Exeter Quay 9/3/2013
prob.sinensis Cormorant - Exeter Quay 9/3/2013

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 5:54 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Spring has arrived - at 16.00- 3 Sand Martin feeding over Thurlestone Marsh - Earliest date on the patch in the last 5 years

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 5:26 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Wrafton pond

At least 6 different Little Grebe on the pond, with fantastic views of one catching and eating a stickleback.

Male and female Shoveler.

Lots of mating behaviour going on with the Coots, Moorhen and Ducks.

And a Coot sitting on a nest, not sure if on eggs or not.

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Shoveler
Shoveler

Coot on nest
Coot on nest

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 3:11 pm by Chris Triggs in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Thought I would do some Spring birding before the snow on Monday!

Good numbers of duck, female Ring-necked Duck at the Torcross end still (no sign of the drake), male Scaup, 18 Goldeneye, the 3 Black-necked Grebes at Torcorss end moulting into summer plumage, 48 Common Scotor on the sea and 6 Black-tailed Godwits flew over N.

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 3:02 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Waxwings in Exeter

45-50 waxwings along Buddle Lane this morning, opposite the  'Green Gables' pub. Plenty of berries on the trees so they should hang around for a few days?

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 2:12 pm by John Gale in General Birding

Velator reserve

Warm enough this morning for 2 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies. Chiffchaff still, and displaying Greenfinch.

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Marsh harrier male has shown three times this morning 08:50 flew from north of marsh to near the lagoon , 09:22 flew over towards powderham marsh and 10:18 flew over the lagoon and continued towards the motorway bridge 

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 10:23 am by Keith birchall in General Birding

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 0700 - male wheatear, 1 chiffchaff, 1 lapwing and 1+ meadow pipit. Yesterday there, 11 snipe, 15 linnet and 1 chiffchaff.

Other bits and bobs this week include: @ Orcombe Point - 2/3 - 80+ kittiwake back on nest ledges at Sandy Bay. Also 3 redwing, 1 chiffchaff, 2 red-throated diver and 1 common scoter. At Mudbank a migrant stonechat on 4/3 and on the Otter estuary on 1/3 the drake hybrid wigeon x teal still.


Posted March 9th, 2013 at 8:47 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Friday 8th March 2013

Blaxton Pool Saltram

High tide roost at 1700:

49 Curlew, 48 Shellduck, c30 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 3 Canada Geese, 3 GBB Gulls, c400 Black headed Gulls and 1 drake Wigeon.

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 10:08 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Pynes Hill - Exeter

A nice surprise when I left work at 5pm today - a flock of around 10 Waxwings flew across the car park and landed briefly in the trees near my car. Three of them were really close and gave fantastic views before they all flew off.

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 9:03 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Mansands

A nice surprise this morning when looking out of the hide at the pool below, a female Kingfisher calling, but was being chased around by a Moorhen, eventually it flew abit further up the valley. Only 2 Snipes seen on the marsh now and about 3 Water Rails in view, and afew more heard. Also Firecrest seen by the hide and 3 Chiffchaff around.

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

THURLESTONE BAY

It was Diver day in the bay this morning - Singles of Great N and Black T on the sea , 2 Red T flew east and then later 2 Red T swam in from west before flying off east . 6 in a morning is very good for the site.An ad Med Gull flew east.

On the marshes duck totals were - 28 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 14 Shoveler, 4 Shelduck, 1m Pintail 2 Gadwall.

On my feeders big increase in Reed Bunting to 14 ( from 4 ) and they were joined by 2 Cirl Bunting

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 6:24 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Wrafton

One Spoonbill in the flooded field next to the Tarka Trail at 0800 but gone by 0900.

Ringed another Chiffchaff in the reserve this morning. After the Coot yesterday, today I found a freshly dead Woodcock - no apparent cause. Seemed a good weight and in otherwise good condition.

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 3:42 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Around the Axe

Water Pipit opposite Axmouth FC near Boshill Cross best bird of this afternoon for me. Something of an Axe rarity now, which is odd considering that less than ten years ago we had a wintering population of up to 24! Also Green Sand and 37 Black-tailed Godwits here.

The two Avocets that earlier passed Branscombe have joined the bird already present on the Axe, with three north of the Tower Hide this afternoon. Haven't been round to Seaton Marshes so not sure whether the Spoonbill is still with us.

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 2:28 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Topsham Marsh Harrier

Male Marsh Harrier hunting over reedbeds and canal just south of M5 around 10 this morning - rather distant but great views would have been had by anyone on the Exminster side. A 3CY bird I would say after examining my very poor photos - composite image attached, and sorry even worse than my last effort!

Also 8 Redpolls in gardens and reeds along footpath to Retreat Boatyard.


Posted March 8th, 2013 at 11:51 am by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Branscombe

A bit more on the sea here than of late, which was nice to see! Over it; 2 Avocet and 2 Gadwall flew east. On it; 3 Great Northern Diver, 9 Red-throated Diver and 350+ auks. 

Also nice to see a Porpoise off here, with 4-5 Bottle-nosed Dolphin moving west past Seaton an hour or so later.

Yet to check the Estuary, so maybe another post later...

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 10:37 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Thursday 7th March 2013

Darts Farm

Fieldfares (50+); Redwings (similar numbers); feeding on ploughed field by track to fisherman's car park or perched on trees nearby; American Wigeon showing well among large flock of wigeon feeding in front of the hide. 3.30-4.30pm.Great Spotted Woodpecker near hide at the time.

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 10:58 pm by keith annison in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

Purple Sandpipers x3; Great Northern Diver; Great Crested Grebe; Fulmar; several Gannets; Guillemot x2 (one on breakwater preening slightly oiled breast featers); Razorbill; several Shags - mature and immature; numerous Turnstones. All in misty conditions between 11.30 and 1pm.

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 10:51 pm by keith annison in General Birding

Velator reserve

Yesterday, I reported a dead Moorhen in the reserve which appeared to have been predated (by a badger(?)) Well I made this id on the basis of one wing. Today, I found most of the rest of the bird, which had white legs and feet (no head) so I have to reidentify it as a Coot! The most interesting feature of the bird was a shiny ring on it's leg. Now I've never ringed a Coot, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't ringed locally. So I've submitted it to the BTO and will report back on it's provenance. This may take some time!

Pair of Canada Geese on the pond in the reserve again today.....

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 8:11 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Roadford

3 Smew opposite viaduct hide this evening. two drakes and a redhead.

Also 4+ Goldeneye, 2 pairs of Great Crested Grebe, 5+ Pochard and a few Tufted Duck.

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 7:22 pm by Tom Michie in General Birding

Spoonbill on the Axe

Steve's reported Spoonbill still on the Axe today. Here's a couple of pictures taken this morning of the Axe Spoonbill on Blackhole Marsh.



Posted March 7th, 2013 at 6:02 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Around the Axe

Spoonbill still around today, though moving between the Estuary, Black Hole and Seaton Marshes.  Also four Ringed Plovers on the Estuary - proof of some wader passage!

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 1:24 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Downend & Baggy Pt

While at Downend earlier this morning a flock of 8 Common Scoters (3 male & 5 female) flying north about 3km out to sea   towards Baggy Point from the Hartland Point direction .

These may possibly be birds moving north towards their

breeding grounds.

The pair of were Eiders were still present.

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 11:18 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Ernesettle

The Lesser Yellowlegs showed nicely on Tuesday as the tide started to fall at noon.  Also a Spotted Redshank and at least 2 Greenshanks, a pair of R B Mergansers and a few Snipe.

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 1:03 am by Jane Cumming in General Birding

Wednesday 6th March 2013

Wrafton/Velator

Forgot to mention that yesterday evening in willows at the east end of Wrafton pond was a roost of at least 30 Magpies. James reported that the three Spoonbills flew off mid-morning, but later, a single bird returned for a while. About 20 Pied Wagtails with Meadow Pipits on the flooded part of the field. In the reserve 2 Chiffchaffs, and the remains of another Moorhen. Not sure what took it, looks more likely to have been a badger.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 8:40 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Otter Estuary

A cracking adult summer Med Gull and two Goosander (drake and redhead) on the estuary this evening.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 8:01 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Brixham Garden Surprises

Bit of a mini invasion to the garden feeders today compared to the normal suspects. A pair of Blackcap, a goldcrest and most surprisingly a single Marsh Tit.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 7:00 pm by tim clyburn in General Birding

Downend

15 Lesser Black backed Gulls flying NW this morning.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 6:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Roadford

Smew (2m, 1f) still showing well this afternoon in bay to left of hide. At least 6 pairs of Great Crested Grebe on reservoir, some displaying. Also Goldeneye (3), Shoveler etc. in bay by viaduct.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 5:36 pm by Peter Crispin in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

Two firecrests together on Bedlands Lane in Budleigh Salterton early morning.

(David Smith)

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

4 Water Pipits still on South Efford Marsh with a few Meadow Pipits. Pristine adult male White Wagtail with several Pied Wags. Still 2 Greenshanks on river plus two Kingfishers.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Fremington Creek

Spotted Redshank and Greenshank still this morning and a lone Dunlin. Nuthatch feeding in the dead elm trees.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 11:38 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wrafton

3 Spoonbills by the Tarka trail at Wrafton pond this morning.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 9:35 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Spoonbill Axe Estuary

A Spoonbill was seen dropping in to Seaton Marshes late last night. And am pleased to say it is still present this morning, on Black Hole Marsh now. Also Avocet still knocking around.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 8:28 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Tuesday 5th March 2013

Eggesford and Roadford

We joined in the first field meeting of the Mid Devon Group this morning over at Eggesford Forest.  Perfect timing on the first day of warm sunshine which brought out a good selection of woodland birds. A total of twenty members attended and picniced in the sunshine and many stayed on for a second walk in a different part of the forest after lunch.  A very enjoyable time - see Society News for full report.

We finally managed to catch up with one of the stunning male Smew this afternoon at Roadford.  Also lots of Tufted about, several Shoveler and Goldeneye and a couple Great Crested Grebe doing their necking display and Little Grebe singing.

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 10:03 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Venn Ottery

 Venn Ottery 15+ Snipe, 5 x Jack Snipe, 4 x Buzzard over head,  1 x Male Sparrowhawk, 1 x Woodcock and a stunning male Yellowhammer on view.

The warm early Spring sunshine brought out 5 x Peacock & 3 x Brimstone butterflies which was an added bonus.

No photo's though..Work Party Day! 

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 8:03 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Wrafton

In a burst of enthusiasm (must be spring!) I pottered down to Wrafton Pond this evening on the off chance of an early Sand Martin. Walking along the trail to the pond, a Dipper in the river, and then a Water Rail in a muddy puddle right by the trail, (seen even better on leaving). No Sand Martins, but still 5 Gadwall and 3 Shoveler. A quick drive out along the marsh road produced a Little Owl.

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 7:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Anchor Wood Bank - Taw Estuary

George Mudford took these photos of 2 Med Gulls in summer plumage this morning.




Posted March 5th, 2013 at 6:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Velator/Baggy

Heard the first Cetti's Warbler since late January in the reserve this morning, and a very active unringed Chiffchaff there too.

The Eider were both still off Baggy at about 3p.m. Didn't see the Black Redstart.

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 4:57 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Around the Axe

Two new birds for the year today, with a Merlin NE over Morganhayes Wood at 10:45, and an Avocet on the Estuary this afternoon.

BirdGuides reporting a Wheatear at Dawlish Warren today. That's welcome news after the winter we've had!

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 3:40 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Baggy Point

When I arrived at Baggy Pt this morning the pair of Eider Duck looked as if they were getting ready to leave & I did not see them later so they may have departed.

No sign of any Common Scoters but the Black Redstart was

active searching for food in the sunshine & I just managed to

get a couple of pics through the telescope - apologies for the quality but it was touch & go. I have been trying to digiscope

this bird all winter but it was never visible for long enough!




Posted March 5th, 2013 at 2:36 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Monday 4th March 2013

Wembury Point

  Good numbers of pipits if you wanted to test your ID skills which a male Kestrel did! Not many other birds in the stiff breeze; a few Stonechats, Pied Wagtails and 4 Turnstones.  Not often you actually see the food go down - the pipits were very confiding once you became part of the beach!

Stonechat
Stonechat

Fast food!
Fast food!

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 8:41 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Goosanders River Teign

2x Males and 1 Redhead Goosander this afternoon.

They were just downstream from the mill house hotel, but flew downstream after our dog chased them off.

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 6:24 pm by Tom Michie in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary & Aveton Gifford

All day out on the estuary produced these selected peak counts: Great-crested Grebe 11, Little Egret 28, Brent Goose 113, Shelduck 146, Wigeon 325, Pintail 4, Common Scoter 1f, Red-breasted Merganser 19, Grey Plover 11, Dunlin 430, Black-tailed Godwit 2, Bar-tailed Godwit 28, Curlew 150, Redshank 73 & Greenshank 3.

At Aveton Gifford, Greenshank 2, Redshank 4, Common Sandpiper 4 & Lesser Black-backed Gulls increasing to 20.

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 5:13 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Anchor Wood Bank

Had an hour on the Tarka trail this afternoon, just the usual stuff around but I did see a poorly Grey Plover. Took some shots from afar and it looks as if the whole of one of the feet is missing (see pic#2).
After the injured Spoonbill at Fremington on Saturday this was yet another terrible sight. Not sure of its chances in this state.

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Grey Plover showing missing foot
Grey Plover showing missing foot

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 5:05 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Totnes Goosanders

1 pair of Goosanders just north of Totnes bridge sunday evening.

1 Mandarin Duck, 20 Mallard, 2 Cormorants, 2prs Mute Swans, 4 Moorhens, 2 LBBG, Herring Gull, BH Gull, 1pr Little Grebe on river south of bridge, 1 Redwing, 4 Pied Wagtails on Vire Island

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 12:08 pm by David Chadwick in General Birding

Roadford Smew Saturday

 

One of the drakes , from the viaduct Saturday pm

 

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 10:27 am in General Birding

Sunday 3rd March 2013

Chudleigh

Large flock of waxwings around millstream meadow and the play park in Chudleigh yesterday.   A lady I spoke to said they'd been in the area about a week.  Also a few siskin about.

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 10:33 pm by Andrew Hanlon in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:30 till 10:45 from the hide 

The drake American wigeon dropped in with 30+ wigeon for 10mins around 09:00 before departing towards  darts farm , the curlew sandpiper continues to show very well along with 500+ dunlin, 200+ avocet,250+ bar tailed godwits,400+ black tailed godwits , 11+ snipe, 59+ lapwing, 23 shelduck, 4 pintail(2m,2f),1 pochard, 240+ black headed gulls, 8+ common gulls, 2 lesser black backed gulls, , 2 Cetti's warblers, 

A quick look around topsham looking for the waxwings from yesterday found none, but  3+ redpoll with a group of goldfinches on topsham rec. 

 

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 8:31 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Prawle

The Glaucous Gull went east past the Point at dawn, but there was no sign of it anywhere along the front between 10.30 and 13.00.  3.5 hour seawatch was rather slow, returning totals of 9 Red-throated Divers and 11 Common Scoters of note.  There was a noticeable up-channel movement of gulls, with 80 Great Black-backed, 22 Lesser Black-backed and 14 Commons logged, along with a few hundred Herring Gulls.

One that got away was a probable Merlin east over the Point, otherwise 1 Water Pipit still, and 62 Golden Plovers on the airfields.

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 8:19 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Plym Estuary and Saltram

Afternoon walk around saw Curlew, Redshank, Mallard, Little Egret, Shellduck and usual Gulls on the Estuary.

Around the grounds were a flock of c20 Meadow Pipit with a Redwing and several Mistle Thrush, a flock of c150 Jackdaw with a couple of Rooks and great close ups of a pair of Treecreepers. 2 Greenfich on the ride just before we left,

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 8:11 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Slapton Ley

both RN Ducks and Drake Scaup from toilet block memorial car park, 3 BN Grebe - 2 Torcross, 1 on the sea. 2 Firecrest -causway steps past the quarry.  as Steve C yesterday plenty other duck: Gadwall,Tufted, Pochard etc...

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 7:18 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

A bitterly cold day with an increasing ( up to F6) ENE wind . It was Diver morning in the shelter of the Bay -

2 Great Northern, 1 Black Throated and 1 Red Throated. Only 2 Gannet, 2 Fulmar. &  7 Shelduck flew west also 2 Common Scoter.

Waders on the rocks - just 2 Ringed Plover

On the Marshes duck totals were- 90 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, 4 Shelduck, 11 Lapwing, 15 Snipe . Noticable incraese in Black H Gull - around 140 but no Med's with them

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 6:54 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Broadsands, Paignton

16 members of East Devon Branch 'Devon Birds' spent the day around the car park area, braved a walk along the sea front and the lane above Elberry Cove in bittery cold wind.  Poor sea conditions made sea watching difficult and other than Fulmar and 7 Scoter few birds were present at sea.  5 Oyster Catcher (2 adult and 3 juv) were close in on the rocks.  The main interest were the expected Cirl Bunting in the second car park and a bried sighting of a Firecrest5 Goldcrest,a Chifchaff and 2 Bullfinch also present. A Sparrow Hawk showed itself on three occasions and Rock Pipit and a Grey Wagtail present on the flooded green area behing the beach.  A Water Rail was seen by one observer in the boggy area behind the car park, plus a Grey Heron.

PLEASE NOTE. The next EAST Devon Branch fieldtrip is to West Charlton Marsh, S. Devon on the 16th March, this being a SATURDAY and not a Monday as given on the DB website.  (Correct infomation given in the blue paper version of the 2013 Programme).

Mid Devon Branch are to hold their first ever field meeting at Eggesford Forest this coming TUESDAY 5 March at 10.00.

Details of these and other events to be found in the Programme.

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 5:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Roadford Lake

An early morning trip to Roadford definately worth getting out of bed for! This morning we saw our first Smew. Two males and one redhead in creek to left of hide.

Word is out as 3 other birders arived to catch a glimpse of the Smew.

All the usual other delights present including an abundance of Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Teal, Tufted Duck, Widgeon, Golden Eye, Mallard, Coots, Canda Geese and a pairing of Shovelers.

Happy days... 

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 12:51 pm by Jon Snowden in General Birding

Dartmoor Hen Harrier

Very excited to see what I am pretty sure was a male Hen Harrier this morning. 

Seen near Two Bridges in the mist this morning. grey upper body and wings with black wing tips clear. wings thinner than buzzard and slightly swept back. long tail. graceful

Made my morning

Mike

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 pm by mike Walton in General Birding

Saturday 2nd March 2013

Sharpham Marsh, Totnes

1 Barnacle Goose with 30+ Canada Geese in fields behind Sharpham marsh.

Baranacle Goose Sharpham Marsh Totnes 2 Mar 2013 ML

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 9:56 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Kennick and Trenchford Reservoirs

My first blog.

11 am in Teignmouth Cemetery (the new part) several waxwings and Redwings.

A stroll around Kennick and Trenchford Reservoirs at lunchtime showed 1 Great Crested Gebe and 5 Tufted ducks (4 m, 1f)  at Kennick and 5 Goosander (4 m, 1f) at Trenchford.

Gordon Otley

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 7:46 pm by Gordon Otley in General Birding

Slapton

Three Black-necked Grebes in front of Torcross hide (one in breeding plum). The two Ring-necked Ducks (Male and Female) on northern end of Lower Ley close to the bridge along with male Scaup. Great Northern Diver off shore along with 47 Common Scotor. Still lots of Pochard (54), Tufted and Gadwall.

Very cold!!

Thee Common Sandpipers and two Greenshank by tidal road at Aveton Gifford

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 7:35 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A relatively brief walk around the pool on the falling tide - shame the predicted sunshine did not materialise! 

Five Little Grebes was my best count for a while, also 2 Common Sandpipers together, 3 Greenshanks, the drake Wigeon still about,  Shelducks at a stable 44 and a single Marsh Tit by the "hide". Best bird however, was a fine Firecrest beside the narrow river by the A38.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 7:13 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Around topsham

Started at bowling green marsh at 08:15 till 11:45

The curlew sandpiper showed very well in front of the hide all morning, impressive numbers of dunlin with 600+ spread over the marsh benefiting from the lower water level, 280+ bar tailed godwits, 340+ avocet, 400+ black tailed godwits, 1 grey plover, 4 pintail(2m,2f), 7+ pochard(4m,3f) , 1 greenshank, 2 Cetti's warblers, 15+ meadow pipits, only 2 wigeon, 6+ snipe.

then walked around to topsham quay and looking towards topsham rec saw a few waxwing in a tree finally located group in trees by passage house pub with 32+ counted when they flew off towards topsham rec counted 40+, located again in tree between houses at back of topsham rec(31+) at same time 15 were seen at passage house pub so best count of the day was 46+ and were still showing very well at 15:30 when I left. 

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 5:39 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Fremington Creek

14:00 I snapped Maurice’s bedraggled Spoonbill in the creek this afternoon. It most certainly had an injured foot and was limping badly. I first saw this bird at Anchor wood bank a few weeks ago where it was in much better condition and only limping a bit – seems like the poor bird has deteriorated badly. The first picture shows it limping.
BTW the spotted red was still present in the creek.

 

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 5:07 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Topsham

46 Waxwings in trees around Passage House Inn (14:00), American wigeon on Bowling Green Marsh (15:30).

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 4:06 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Trews Weir Allotments

2 redpolls seen on the feeders, from the end of the white suspension bridge. Little egret and redshank in the flood relief channel.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 3:32 pm by Alfie Pugh in General Birding

Spoonbill - Ashford Sewage Works.

At 14:30, a very dirty and bedraggled looking adult Spoonbill was in the Green Sandpiper ditch alongside the Ashford Sewage Works. It was right up under the trees near the works access road and finally disappeared from view when it must have been up near the A361 dual carriageway. From the way it was feeding in the ditch, I got the impression that it might have a leg injury. It was an unringed bird.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 3:27 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Roadford and Lower Tamar Lake

At Roadford this afternoon two drake Smew again, one in the bay far left from hide and one at top end of the viaduct cutoff. Also Shoveler, 2 Goosander and at least 9 Goldeneyes.

At Lower T amar Lake earlier 19 Goosander and a Goldeneye

 

 

 

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 2:50 pm in General Birding

Wrafton

Still 6Gadwall (5 drakes) and 4 Shoveler on the pond this morning. Outside the reserve, about 20 Teal on the flooded field, and a large flock of Meadow Pipits. Good selection of birds in the reserve, with lots of breeding displays presaging warmer times - I hope.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 11:27 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Topsham

Female Hen Harrier over reedbeds north of rec at 9 am. 5 Brambling in my garden.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 9:47 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Friday 1st March 2013

THURLESTONE BAY

On T'stone Marsh this am -35 Teal, 15 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 1 Lapwing.

In the Bay - 1 Great N Diver, 1 Great C Grebe, waders on the rocks - 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone

On South Huish marsh - 60 Teal, 18 Wigeon , 2 Shoveler, 5 Snipe , 8 Lapwing, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Chiffchaff

Between Upton X and Huxton X- 45 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing.

In local gardens - 1 f Black Redstart , 1 Green Woodpecker

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 6:01 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Ernesettle Creek, 1st March 2013

The lesser yellowlegs was showing well this lunchtime upriver from the slipway. It was feeding out on the mudflats and when it found a worm it would run down to the waters edge to wash it before eating it - I guess muddy worms do not taste good! Also seen were 2 greenshank but numbers of redshanks have dropped with fewer gulls seen too. Teal numbers seem much the same.

A firecrest was seen feeding in the undergrowth beside the footpath while at the mouth of the Creek a pair of red breasted mergansers were on the River Tamar with 6 great crested grebes (3 in summer plumage) and 8 black tailed godwits on the mudflats.

Yesterday while travelling to Exeter on the A38 I saw a dead otter by the roadside near Buckfastleigh - presumably a wild individual but possibly an escape from the nearby Otter Park? Very sad too see either way.

On the return trip near Marsh Mills at Plymouth I saw a red kite soaring high overhead heading North East

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 4:23 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Clennon Valley

This female Black Redstart is appearing regularly in my garden, now taking meal worms (thanks Mark D for the suggestion!) 

Black Redstart Female Clennon Valley 1 Jan -1 March 2013 ML Black Redstart Female Clennon Valley 1 Jan -1 March 2013 ML2

Black Redstart visiting pigeon proofed bird bath and on roof.

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 1:18 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Kingsteignton

The Firecrest still present this morning beside the cycle trail c.150m south of Hackney Marshes car park. Also a Cetti's Warbler, a Black Swan (off Passage House) and this very pale Buzzard on the racecourse.


Posted March 1st, 2013 at 11:18 am by Will Salmon in General Birding

Hen Harrier - Waddeton

Offering this post for moderation please. I am pretty confident we saw a male Hen Harrier, on the road out of Waddeton towards Stoke Gabriel on Thursday (yesterday) afternoon. Flew from high post, 6 or so wing beats, rapid, then glide, then repeat (reminded me of a woodpecker's flight, but without the dipping). Very pale bird of prey, wings forward on body, slim and graceful.Sizewize, bigger than kestrel, but without the "bulk" of a Sparrowhawk. Definitely not a Peregrine !Could see the black tail also.  Happy to be quizzed further to enable absolute ID, but I am confident ! regards, Trev

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 6:21 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

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