Devon Bird Sightings from March 2018

Your 2019 sightings

Happy New Year

Many thanks to all observers that have already submitted their records for 2019, both through Birdtrack and Devon Birds. This is much appreciated.

For other records please could observers submit their sightings by 31st January.

Guidelines and links to recording forms can be found here https://www.devonbirds.org/birdwatching/recording/guide_to_record_submission

Please send your records to Karen Sims data.manager@devonbirds.org and any descriptions to Kevin Rylands recorder@devonbirds.org

Best wishes and good birding for 2020

Posted January 10th at 10:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Sightings Page Guidelines

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

  

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

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Continued erosion at Dawlish Warren means visitors are reminded to take extra care when visiting. Access along the site, to and from the bird hide and Warren Point, is via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website:
 
 
 

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

Membership

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

Saturday 31st March 2018

Blackcaps in garden Bickington Barnstaple

We've had a male blackcap visiting our garden since 5th January. Today it was joined by a female. Both are partial to fat balls.

Blackcap  Blackcap
Blackcap                                  Blackcap

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake.
3 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Reed Bunting, 5f Goosander, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Great Tit, 3 Moorhen, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Robin.

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 7:38 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Velator/Wrafton

This evening locally. No migrants anywhere! Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape again. A Coot and 2 Little Grebes on the reserve pond.

Then I walked around Sherpa Marsh, where the female Marsh Harrier was in the reed-bed just opposite the Toll House. It seemed to be stuck, but with some furious flapping eventually freed itself to fly off, circling around and landing in the big Macrocarpus IN the SW corner of the reserve! So finally a Marsh Harrier seen in the reserve. Also a Great Black-backed Gull flew north over the  reserve and 2 Grey Wagtails nearby.

 

April tomorrow, let's hope it gets a good deal warmer quite soon! I'm fed up with all this cold and rain.

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 7:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Honey Buzzard

Seen 16:15 @ St Anne's Chapel  on Saturday 31 March  

2018

Eds: its way too early for an Honey Buzzard even more so given the weather conditions! More likely to be a Common Buzzard in unfamiliar plumage, see https://www.devonbirds.org/birdwatching/articles/common_buzzard 

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 5:55 pm by Roger Smaridge in General Birding

Burrator

Cold and windy this afternoon:

4 Goosander (females), several Goldcrest, 1 Marsh tit, Green woodpecker heard.

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 5:11 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

River Dart above Totnes

A quick walk by the Dart above Totnes late morning to see if any sea trout were jumping. No fish seen, but 21 bird species observed. Included 5 Mandarin Ducks ( 2 pairs + a lone male), a pair of goosander and a single grey wagtail.

Mandarin Duck - River Dart, Totnes - 31.3.2018  Male Goosander - River Dart, Totnes - 31.3.2018  Grey Wagtail - River Dart, Totnes - 31.3.2018 
Mandarin Duck                    Male Goosander                                Grey Wagtail

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 3:29 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Wembury

A singing chiffchaff with another bird seen in the valley to the beach and a whimbrel on the rocks at Wembury Point the only summer migrants this morning on a very muddy walk along the coast path.

The water pipit still on the beach near the sewage pipe with rock pipits and meadow pipits, looking pale and scruffy as it moults into summer plumage.

Whimbrel  Water Pipit - record shot
Whimbrel                                                        Water Pipit - record shot

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 3:14 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Plymouth Common Rosefinch

Common Rosefinch briefly back on garden feeder in Plymstock (Green Park Road) again this morning, 2 weeks after the previous sighting on 17th (posted here with images on 18th). Apparently it’s still roaming the feeders and worth looking out for.  (Visits to a feeder nearby in Hooe on 18th and 19th were reported here on 19th by GE & LA Carr.)

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 2:09 pm by John Bishop in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Budleigh Salterton

3 Northern Wheatear in our garden briefly this morning at 11 am.

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 11:42 am by Paul Reynolds in General Birding

Friday 30th March 2018

Moretonhampstad

40 Bramblings feeding in garden along with 15 Greenfiches. Very nervous as a male Sparrow Hawk has been around for a few days.

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 8:30 pm by Mary Irving in General Birding

Tiverton Garden watch

With heavy rain and sleet, 2 Blue tits, 1 Coal tit, 2 male Great tits, 3 Longtailed tits, 1 pair Brambling, 2 pair Bullfinch, 7 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, 1 male Greenfinch,29 + Siskin, 2 Robin, 3 Dunnock, 1 each of Woodpigeon, Crow, male Blackbird. 1 Blackcap (right leg ringed) Second bird of the week 1st bird was not ringed, they seem to pass feed up for a day then move on.

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 8:26 pm by Martyn C Webb in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish Marsh

17 Black tailed godwits, several in summer plumage and a Glaucous gull at South Huish marsh this evening

Glaucous Gull  Black tailed Godwits  Lesser Black Backed Gull
Glaucous Gull                                Black tailed Godwits                        Lesser Black Backed Gull

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 8:10 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Day hunting Barn Owl

Today, 30/03/18, at 14:00, had a Barn Owl nearly collide with the car on the Great Field boundary road as it came off the Great Field & flew, with prey in its talons, closely pursued by two Herring Gulls. It successfully avoided the gulls & entered one of the linhays. 

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 2:48 pm by Philip Naylor in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck, Scaup and Red-necked Grebe all still present. Also 2 Sand Martins and a Swallow.

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 12:42 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dartington, Queens Marsh

Made my 1st visit to the new hide this morning, out on the marsh were 3 Canada Geese, 2 Moorhens, a Little Egret, a Grey Heron with one flying over, 6 Mallards (5 males), a male Pheasant, and a Grey Wagtail and male Mandarin both dropped in briefly. Of note around were 6 Jays, 2 Cormorants, several Song Thrushes calling, male & female Bullfinches and a Buzzard.

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 12:42 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

East Soar

Just 2 Chiffchaff this morning, neither singing. Would expect 20+ singing birds at Soar by now. Hope they are just late!!

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 12:38 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton Pond > Horsey Island

Early start produced my first singing Willow Warbler of the year at Wrafton Pond.

At Horsey 7 Greenshank, 4 Knot, 9 Redshank & good numbers of Shelduck.

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 10:37 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 29th March 2018

Axmouth dead birds

(In reply to the post below.) As many are experiencing in the field, larger numbers of dead birds are being found recently, following the poor weather conditions. Having died of natural causes, the heads are often of interest to skull collectors who are perfectly within their rights to further their collections and knowledge. Such collections will ultimately end up adding to natural history collections and in the meantime are put to excellent use in identifying mystery skulls the public may find. Some of the best young naturalists I know are building perfectly-catalogued collections and have huge passion for the birds they're studying.

When a ringed bird is found on the strandline, similarly the ring is often retrieved by cutting through the tarsus or tibia, again perfectly legal when performed on a naturally dead bird. I can't speak for certainty on the Axmouth birds, but I hazard a guess these birds were ringed birds, whose rings were removed as well as the heads for skull collections.

While I agree the remains should be left available to scavengers, I'd personally prefer if collectors would leave remains in more natural layout in secluded places as opposed to unnatural rows in public places.

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 10:32 pm by Lowell Mills in Other Wildlife

Plym Estuary

Still 2 Jack Snipe and a male Wheatear arrived; also redhead Goosander, 3 Greenshanks, 2 Stock Doves and 5 Roe Deer.

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 7:22 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Otterton Sewage treatment plant

A half an hour look from 4:45pm to 5:15pm from the coastal path produced my first Sandwich Tern of the year with 2 birds and my first Manx Shearwater movement of the year with 25 birds. All birds heading west. 

More info on http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 6:43 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Spoonbill c100 metres south of the Pumping Station on Embankment Road, Kingsbridge at midday on the low tide.

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 5:45 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

dead birds at AXMOUTH

from the pavement, in front of Axmouth Yacht Club, at the entrance between the yachts, there are three dead birds which could be storm petrels,but the heads and feet are missing, these are spread out over 20metres, can anyone give a reason for this. if they came in on a storm its odd they finished up in a line, and why are the heads and feet missing !

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 5:40 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Goodrington

Looking out over Torbay this morning noted the following birds: 2 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Sandwich Tern and 11 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 10:46 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wrafton Pond (late post from yesterday)

Wednesday 28th March. Mid afternoon, not seen but heard, Cetti's Warbler in the thick hedge next to Tarka Trail opposite the "boardwalk". Also seen, along with numerous Shovelar, C Pochard & a Gadwall pair, were two Chiff Chaff but not singing. A single Black Tailed Godwit on the scrape by the Reserve.

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 10:22 am by Philip Naylor in General Birding

Wednesday 28th March 2018

Cattle Egret

On the way to Barnstaple this afternoon, in a field near to Ashreigney air field, there was one Cattle Egret getting in the way of a couple of sheep's legs, I stopped the car and had a good view.

Posted March 28th, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Andy & Ali in General Birding

Exeter

A walk into town today Cackling Goose (Dave will be pleased to know) in with the Swans etc at Exeter Quay - seems to have developed Angel Wing presumably from too much bread. By the weir Lesser black Back and Greater Black Back gulls. At Matford Marsh no sign of the American Wigeon but 12-15 Sand Martin over the farthest pool (SX934894)

Posted March 28th, 2018 at 6:05 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Black Redstart in Lympstone

Great views of a female Black Redstart in our Lympstone front garden this morning.

Posted March 28th, 2018 at 2:13 pm by Steve Morgan in General Birding

Stover Country Park

2 Sand Martins high over the trees this lunchtime briefly. Also, 1 remaining female Goosander, 2 Great Crested Grebes, pair of Mandarin, singing Chiff-chaffs and a Treecreeper. The resident Terrapin as well in its usual spot!

Posted March 28th, 2018 at 1:45 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Spoonbill at Kingsbridge

Single Spoonbill sighted at Southville quay, Kingsbridge, 11.45am. fishing and moving toward Kingsbridge proper

Posted March 28th, 2018 at 10:51 am by Andrew Taylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 27th March 2018

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

Still at least 5 Purple Sandpipers on the breakwater arm of Torquay Harbour 1200 today.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 9:16 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A short look post-Fuerteventura, produced: redhead Goosander, pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, Mandarin, 71 Redshanks, Dunlin, 3 Greenshanks, 11 Curlews & 2 Nuthatches.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Mid Devon Branch Field Meet at Steps Bridge

Eleven members met at Steps Bridge for a hike along the river bank and up the side of the valley to higher elevations.  We endured cool and windy conditions but a healthy number of birds were seen including Goosander, Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, singing Chiffchaff, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Long-Tailed Tit and Siskin. 

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 9:04 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in General Birding

Berry Down, Combe Martin

35/40 fieldfare still present here in north Devon this afternoon feeding  low down in the pasture beneath a tree-lined hedge. Frequently disturbed by gusts of wind flying up into the trees for protection.

At home, 5 Blackcaps still feeding on the feeder this morning. There could be 6 as they have also been taking the nectar from the camellia flowers elsewhere in the garden.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 9:00 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The Spoonbill was still roosting in the middle of the marsh at the start of our walk but it was not there when we came back. Also heard my first Chiffchaff of the year and saw my first Sand Martins of the year too.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Menage et Four?

...And here's the lady setting the boys a flutter (pun fully intended) in the garden...

Throughout the winter she'd been quite illusive but, for several days, she's been frequenting all the feeding spots, perhaps in preparation for the breeding season. Lets face it, with the attention of three males, she might need all the energy she can get!

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 7:45 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Paignton Garden Blackcaps

Not managed to get out and about to see any Spring migrants so I thought I'd bore you all with an update from my Paignton Garden. I know Blackcaps overwintering in gardens, visiting fat feeders and even feeding on the ground seems to be becoming the norm but, I thought I'd share these unusual/novelty/lucky shots of the 3 males tolerating each other.

The first two pics are dodgy record shots of all three males on the fat feeder this morning (the phrase "Herding Kittens" springs to mind!). The last is a much better shot of two of the males on the ground two days ago.

Obviously, the lone female is attracting a lot of attention.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Peter Tavy - Black Redstart

A possible female Black Redstart in Peter Tavy this evening, displaying the classic bobbing. Will try and find it again tomorrow. (very poor quality video from my phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUwWVKS31Ys

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 7:12 pm by Andy Brown in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Chudleigh garden Lesser Redpolls

After 30 years of waiting, I finally joined the garden Lesser Redpoll club this afternoon! A pair spent about an hour either taking seed from a feeder or sitting in elms, occasionally nibbling at buds. They were in the presence of pairs of Siskins and Greenfinches, both of which have been very scarce here this winter, plus half a dozen Goldfinches etc.

Lesser Redpoll in Chudleigh garden

Lesser Redpoll, Chudleigh

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Waders in Southcott valley , Bideford.

Flood meadows held 9 Ruff inc.4 Reeve , 4 Black tailed Godwits plus 12 Teal, 2 Shovelers and a few Wigeon.   With Greenshank and Common Sandpiper on nearby Northgate pond.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 4:20 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Occombe

Spring has arrived at Occombe, a pair of Long-tailed Tits were gathering nesting material, whilst a pair of Blue Tits were feeding youngsters, plus the 1st Chiffchaffs have arrived at Occombe (saw & heard 2). Plenty else to see and hear this morning: Treecreeper, 2 Jays, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, 2 Buzzards, Kestrel, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, pair of Goldfinches, 2 Collared Doves, Song Thrush, 2 male & female Pheasants, plus plenty of Wrens, House Sparrows and Great Tits. Just a reminder that winter isn't done yet there were still 3 Redwings on site. Also spotted a Roebuck, in moult.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 1:42 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Sharpa Marshes + Horsey Island

2 Swallows over Jon's Velator reserve.

1 fem Marsh Harrier over Sharpa Marshes with a smattering of Meadow Pipits & 5 Sand Martins above.

On Horsey 5 Golden Plover (a couple in sum plum), 1 Spoonbill looking underweight, 15 Ringed Plover, 1 Ruff with an injured leg (so probably same individual as before so overwintering bird) 8 Redshank & good numbers of Shelduck.

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 12:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 26th March 2018

Buckland Monachorum

Only a couple of hundred meters from home spotted movement on the edge of a small pool no more than 4m diameter, from what I saw I was sure it was a Water Rail, came back a little later and through the trees I could see it feeding, managed to manually focus to get an image.  A few weeks back during the cold spell even had a male Ruff in the same vicinity, surprising what pops up close to home.

   

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 10:17 pm by Shane Willson in General Birding

Ilfracombe area 25th & 26th

25th: walk along coast path from Samson's Bay to Lee village and back: 1 House Martin over Lee Bay; 1m Wheatear Rillage Point; 150 Meadow Pipits moving E or NE in small flocks; 4 Purple Sandpipers at Ilfracombe (mid-tide, on rocks about halfway between the E end of the Capstone and Cheyne Beach).

26th: Rillage Point to Samson's Bay early morning – 1m Wheatear; one Sandwich Tern resting/preening on floating log well offshore; visible migration of small numbers of Woodpigeon, Meadow Pipit, alba wagtail, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Siskin.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 9:35 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Topsham Cemetery - Hawfinches

At least 4 Hawfinches active between 9am-10am Monday.

  

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 9:31 pm by Philip Laver in General Birding

Hexworthy

Hawfinch - second record here after three in Oct.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Spoonbill Exminster Marshes

The Spoonbill was roosting in the middle of the marshes with some Cormorants and it only put is head up showing its bill twice in the time that I was watching it. It is probably best viewed from the car park by the canal but can also be seen from the other side of the marshes.

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 8:32 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis present feeding in the Pill at 5.30pm, first time I have seen it since the snow of last weekend. 

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 8:22 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

White Fronted Goose

Turf locks around 1pm today a single 1st winter Eurasian White Fronted Goose, with a group of Canada Geese and a couple of Greylag Geese.

  

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 7:59 pm by kay and gary deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Barnstaple

One  Red Kite circling over the North Devon District Hospital at four o'clock this afternoon before drifting off in a northerly direction.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 7:49 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

Walked down around the ponds this evening and saw about 15 Sand Martins over the water near the Chivenor side. 3 Little Egrets, a number of Teal.

Forgot to mention that we saw a Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshells in the reserve yesterday.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 7:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for this morning,
Lower Lake
1 Shelduck, 12 Canada Geese, 2f Goldeneye, 9 Tufted Duck, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Willow Tit, 1 Tawney Owl calling, 1 Marsh Tit.

Upper Lake.
3 Cormorant, 4 Willow Tit, 1 Buzzard, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Lesser Black-Backed Gull.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Sharpa Marshes

5 Sand Martins over the reed beds this aft looking  south from the Tarka trail.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 6:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dawlish Warren

Dawlish Warren ~ Four Shoveler duck, hunting male Kestrel hovering over the dunes, from the hide 20 plus Sanderling and a similar number of Turnstone, 80 plus Oyster Catcher, one ringed with multiple coloured tag rings but too far to make out the details accurately and three birds ringed with a yellow ring over a larger blue ring, ring details on two of the birds being J1 and 9J the third being too distant to read the ring details.

A very distant Great Northern Diver, a few Curlew, Shag, Cormorant, Brent Geese, four Linnet, Sky Larks singing, almost in front of the hide a solitary Golden Plover.

A visiting birder from Chippenham came into the hide with a picture of a male Cirl Bunting that he has just taken further on from the hide.

Back home in South Brent, two Brambling M&F, four Bullfinch 2 pairs and at least four Reed Bunting around the feed station.

 

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exminster and Powderham Marshes

Brief visit this afternoon. Spoonbill distant and asleep in the middle of Exm Marsh - Peregrine on pylon.Nothing else of any note. On Powderham marsh Skylarks, Lapwing, one Blackwit, Redshank, Oyks, Tufted Duck and Cirl Bunting.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 4:44 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

26-03-18 Possible Sinensis Cormorant

Possible Sinensis Cormorant on Radford Lake, Plymouth, flew in for a short while, collected nesting material and flew off again

 Eds: Despite the head being very white (not uncommon in carbo), the angle of the photo does not allow the critical gular angle to be accurately assessed (a photo needs to be absolute profile shot). The angle does however look like it would be more than the less than required 80 degrees which means it is probably a carbo and not sinensis, this bird also looks rather heavy in the bill again fitting carbo.. 

Some light reading... https://www.britishbirds.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/article_files/V100/V100_N05/V100_N5_26_36.pdf

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 4:24 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Fairmile

At the Old Mill I have had a Hawfinch in garden since the first snow fell. Also had the odd Brambling as well. Have had 26 different species in the garden so far this month.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 4:19 pm by Roger Le Voir in General Birding

Exminster Marshes - Sunday

Late report from yesterday. 2 Buzzards (1 very pale, the other quite dark), Kestrel, at least 2/3 Chiffchaffs, Reed Bunting, Goldfinches, a Goldcrest, Skylark, plus many Mute Swans, and Wigeon.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 4:16 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Broadsands

Of interest on the sea this morning: 6 Great Northern Divers, 18 Great Crested Grebes and 5 Common Scoter. 

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 2:43 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Baggy Point

One Swallow and only one Wheatear (right out on the Point) this morning.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Charleton Parish-Avocet and Chiffchaffs

The Avocet seen on Frogmore Creek on the 25th was again present at the same location throughout the morning, actively feeding when the water over the softer mud was shallow but reverting to preening and loafing as the tide rose leaving only a coarser foreshore.

Today there was in increase in Chiffchaff numbers around East Charleton since the first migrant was noted on the 16th with two or three of the males showing behaviour suggestive of them re-occupying territory that had been occupied during the 2017 breeding season.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 1:27 pm by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Bramblings still here in Bickington

Six Bramblings , two males and four females, still beneath the garden feeders here in Bickington, near Newton Abbot, this morning

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 1:03 pm by Douglas Howes in General Birding

Seals - Thatcher Rock Torbay

Two seals hauled out on flat eastern tip of Thatcher Rock at 07.30 this morning.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 7:45 am by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Sunday 25th March 2018

South Brent ~ Exminster ~ Heathfield

On leaving home at South Brent this morning a female Sparrow hawk struck a Collard Dove almost outside the front door as I stepped out, two doves made off as the hawk did a quick about turn leaving a cloud of dove feathers behind it.

Exminster marshes gave a hint of spring with two Sand Martin, Skylark singing, Wren, eight plus Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler, Spoonbill out on the marsh and several sizeable flocks of Starling passing over.

At Powderham the Heronry had no less than 23 occupied nests, several good sized youngsters could be seen, several birds actively carrying nesting material to their nests.

Around the Cockwood area, Slavonian Grebe and Red Breasted Merganser, on the back roads to the A38 a Red Legged Partridge.

Heathfield area, female Sparrow Hawk, Green Woodpecker calling and eight Yellow Brimstone butterflies.

Around the feeders at home, female Brambling, two summer plumage male Reed Bunting, Nuthatch, Siskins, pair of Bullfinch and a Song Thrush.

  

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 9:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

25-03-18 Ford Park Cemetery

A sign of Spring, this Blue Tit on a Cherry Blossom Tree feeding on small insects @ Ford Park Cemetery


Posted March 25th, 2018 at 8:50 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Wembury

1000-1400:

Fairly quiet this morning with 2 Skylark, 2 Kestrel, 13 Linnet, 3 Stonechat, 2 Golden plover on the rocks, 1 Swallow overhead.

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Steps Bridge.

Excellent views of a male Lesser spotted Woodpecker busy feeding near Steps bridge today. Also several Grey Wag. Goosander, Marsh Tit and lots more wonderful birds. 

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 6:22 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Yarner Butterflies

First Butterflies for me today with Comma and a few Brimstones around Yarner Woods, the warm weather has brought them out of hibernation.

Comma
Comma

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 5:54 pm by Simon Thurgood in Other Wildlife

Velator reserve

Ringing today produced one each of Blackbird, Redwing, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Treecreeper, Cetti's Warbler, and Sparrowhawk (female) 2 Chaffinches, 3 each of Greenfinch and Reed Bunting and 7 Chiffchaffs.

Looking south from the reserve over Sherpa Marsh we saw 3 Sand Martins late morning only.

2 Greenshank out on the scrape.

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 5:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Shaugh Lake

My first Wheatear of the year at Shaugh Lake Quarry this afternoon. Plenty of Meadow Pipets, Skylarks and a solitary Snipe. 

Wheatear   Meadow Pipit
Wheatear                                     Meadow Pipit

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Duncan Leitch in General Birding

Morte Point

1 Wheatear (m), & 1 Swallow this morning.

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

Female Ring Ouzel in thick scrub at west end of valley, very elusive. Female wheatear above Soar Mill Cove and first singing Chiffchaff.

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 11:55 am by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Instow

Two black redstarts in Instow this morning. The long staying bird on Instow Quay and another on the cricket field.

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 10:54 am by Mike Glover in General Birding

Totnes Garden

Up to 10 bramblings still hanging around the garden. Photo from kitchen window.

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 10:46 am by nathanfly in General Birding

Avocet-Frogmore Creek

1 Avocet at 09:15, initially feeding at SX768418, then appeared to settle on the foreshore in the same area presumably to ride out the high tide. Still there at 10:00, high tide being about 12:30.

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 10:23 am by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Belle Isle Park, Exeter

A pre-dusk stroll yesterday produced a Water Rail feeding in the undergrowth along the river's edge at the south east end of the Park. Seemingly unperturbed by passing pedestrians, watched for 15 mins, still busily feeding as darkness fell. 

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 9:14 am by Mike Booth in General Birding

Saturday 24th March 2018

Northam Burrows/Skern ---Black Redstart

Single Black Redstart seen intermittently from 1.30 to 3pm. Initially was very active amongst the boulders and in the grass at the southernmost edge of the sandy beach at the far end of the dump road. Later flew a few hundred yards south following the boulder line and disappeared. Photos for id only….too far away to get any decent ones.

   

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Sue Ambler in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Watermouth to Rillage Point

Fulmars back on the breeding ledges in force (50 at Sampson Bay colony alone); steady E-bound passage of Lesser Black-backed Gulls hugging the coastline; c.30 Meadow Pipits managing to make northward progress by tacking into a stiff NE headwind; a couple of alba wagtails; two Stonechats; and a passing Kingfisher (rare spring migrant here).

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 8:12 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Wrafton

On the scrape this morning a Black-tailed Godwit, and 2 Greenshank. On Wrafton Pond 14 male Shoveler. In the reserve a couple of Chiffchaffs.

Looked down the Toll Road later this afternoon, but not much of note. If work isn't progressed soon another chunk of the embankment enclosing Horsey Island will be gone!

Brief views of a Barn Owl out along the Marsh road,

Finally back to Wrafton Pond where at 5p.m. a single Sand Martin drifted about, looking cold! Black-tailed Godwit still present.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Short visit this afternoon in the rain. A bit gloomy but enlivened by singing chiffchaff, chaffinch and skylark. Good selection of duck; wigeon (c150), teal (c200), shoveller (c100) plus smaller numbers of tufted duck, pintail, mallard and shelduck. Other highlights included a spoonbill, water rail,  2 little egrets and, at last, two sand martins. Few waders as tide low - 3 snipe and 6 curlew. Female peregrine on one of the pylons.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 4:34 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Spring migrants

4 Wheatears, a little ringed plover and a sand Martin at South Huish marsh today, also a splendid looking Black tailed godwit. Also Ring necked duck was on Slapton ley this morning

    

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 4:34 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Occombe

On a drizzly afternoon there wasn't much around though unusually there were 5 male Mallards, all at the lower end of the reserve. Heard the call of both a Song Thrush and a Green Woodpecker. Also saw 4 male Blackbirds, 2 male Pheasants, a couple of Robins, a Long-tailed Tit, along with a number of Great & Blue Tits, plus a Pied Wagtail.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 4:17 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Plymouth sound

3. Sandwich Terns.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 3:20 pm by V.S.Tucker in General Birding

Broadsands

After dropping some seed for the Cirl Buntings I waited around to count the birds: totals of.. 12 Cirl Buntings 2 Reed Bunting, 4 Greenfinch and 9 Chaffinch came down to feed.

On the sea in fairly choppy conditions: 3 Great Northern Divers, 6 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Common Scoter.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present. Also 6 Pochards and 41 Tufted Ducks.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 1:46 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Arlington court

A reasonably early walk around Arlington court today saw tree creepers,  nuthatch, chaffinch, black birds, blue, coal and great tits, teal, mallards and to my surprise a pair of goosander on the lake. Tried to get a decent photo but a dog on the lead and long lens are not a good combination. And finally a pair of hinds in the top field. 

Goosander
Goosander

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 12:44 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Moretonhamstead

Along with a Greater Spotted Woodpecker a Lesser Redpoll on the feeder this morning.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 12:33 pm by Mary Irving in General Birding

Moretonhampstead

This morning I have about 50 Bramblings, maybe more feeding on Black Sunflower seeds

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 9:58 am by Mary Irving in General Birding

Friday 23rd March 2018

Rillage Point 18th–23rd March

Sunday 18th saw blizzard conditions in a severe NE gale. Daily visits since have yielded  the most meagre spring passage totals of any year since I started covering this site regularly for BirdTrack in 2011. Fulmars abandoned the breeding ledges entirely for several days and breeding passerines seem to have been hit harder by the second cold snap than the first. 19th & 20th saw an unusually strong E-bound passage of Common Gulls, with 93 in the space of an hour or so on 20th. Birds displaced to the W by the storm? There followed a couple of days with negligible visible migration - highly unusual for late March at this site. 22nd saw resumption of a light passge of 51 Meadow Pipits, 3 alba wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and a single Linnet. Today (23rd) brought the first Wheatear, 15 Siskins,  a continued trickle of Meadow Pipits, the first Stonechat since before the snow, and a passing Shelduck offshore (a spring passage migrant here). No Chiffchaff since 14th and not a sniff of a Sand Martin.

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 8:30 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Life and near death at clennon Lakes

After the 'Beast from the East,' a typical spring day but not your typical birds. Two pair of Canada Geese, one bird with unusual and distinctive markings. also a very aggressive male mute savagely attacking another male. Thought it was dead it was so limp and lifeless but a lady dof walker dragged it by the neck onto the bank where it struggled across to the other lake and swam away. Later saw it preening ite ruffled feathers looking none the worse for its encounter. Whoever said birding was boring?!!At Broadsands several cirl buntings male and female but little else.

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 8:17 pm by P.L. Fairclough in General Birding

Prawle and South Huish

Seawatch at Prawle Point from 8-10 am in WSW force 3-4 wind. 18 Manx Shearwaters west, 1 Red-Throated Diver on the sea.

4 newly arrived Chiffchaffs. At Horsley Cove a Pale- bellied Brent Goose, a Ringed Plover and a Golden Plover.

At South Huish a Little Ringed Plover and nearby 4 Ringed Plovers and a Redshank. Also a.Dark- Bellied Brent Goose and 4 Med Gulls: 2 adults in full breeding plumage, a 2nd/3rd year with full hood and a 1st year bird. (Work being undertaken on the car park.)

 

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 7:12 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exton and BGM

Exton

A visit before work produced 3 Male Wheatear in the marshy field near Exton Station.

Bowling Green Marsh 

A visit after work produced. A pair of Bullfinch, 1 Snipe, 4 Pintail, 2 Mistle Thrush and several Chiffchaff 

Photos and more info on http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 7:12 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Dartmoor Fri 23rd

On the way to work this morning Merlin near Powder Mills. On the way home from work male Hen Harrier near Powder Mills!

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Richard Penrose in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery

Great to see Northern Wheatear (male) and Willow warbler in the Cemetery this morning

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 4:35 pm by Ian Teague in General Birding

Dippers on the Erme at Harford

Watched a pair of dippers gathering nest material along the edge of the river lunchtime, including this ringed bird - white blue colour rings on right tarsus, black colour ring above silver BTO ring on the left. Does anyone have information on this bird?

Ringed dipper with nest material, River Erme at Harford 23/3/18
Ringed dipper with nest material, River Erme at Harford 23/3/18

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Golden plovers Lewdown

31 golden plovers feeding in grass field opposite turning for Stowford, Lewdown just after 1pm. Watched them moving slowly downhill for about 10mins. There were approx 20 there on Tues 20th at about the same time.

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 10:36 pm by Jon Martin in General Birding

Broadsands ~ South Brent

An early morning visit to Broadsands, not overly productive, on the sea  ten Great Crested Grebe, one possibly two Black Throated Diver, one Fulmar and two Mallard in flight out over the bay.

In the back car park a small number of Cirl and Reed Bunting, Green finch showing well, a Carrion Crow actively nest building in the back corner of the car parks and a Buzzard overhead.

While watching the Cirl Buntings a very pale "female" Bunting sp landed on the ground very briefly, similar size to the Cirl & Red Bunting but much paler over all with lighter facial markings, but did not stay long enough to identify or allow a photo to be taken.

Near Dartington eight Magpies together.

  

Back home at South Brent female Yellow Hammer came into the garden feed station, very much a garden rarity around the village, Siskin, Bullfinch, Goldfinch and Nuthatch brightened the day, a high fly over from a female Sparrow Hawk cleared the area of small birds.

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 9:22 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exmouth

Bonaparte's Gull (Maer Rocks), Long-tailed Duck (Grove), Eider, Sandwich Tern and Glaucous Gull (Bull Hill) all seen in Exmouth today. No sign of the Corn Bunting. www.gobirdingexmouth.blogspot.co.uk

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 8:03 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Blagdon's Meadow

From the meadow this lunchtime: Bar-tailed Godwit 1, Turnstone 25, Little Grebe, 1 s/plu, among usual species 

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 4:59 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill around site all morning. Chiffchaffs in field leading to platform. Peregrine swooped on Wigeon but didn't catch one.

Grey Heron  Chiffchaff  Peregrine
Grey Heron                                Chiffchaff                                Peregrine

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Soar

Migrants this morning:  3 male Wheatears - two above Soar Mill Cove & one in the gardens of Ocean Reach on Bolberry Down; 2 Chiffchaffs in Soar Mill Valley; Water Rail moving up through thick juncus in Soar Mill Valley. Also: flock of 80 Linnets on stubbles at Southdown Farm.

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 11:59 am by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Topsham 21 March

Belated news from yesterday: 4 Hawfinches in Topsham Cemetery around 9 a.m. and the adult Spoonbill flew into Bowling Green Marsh around midday. At BGM there were c30 Shoveler, 8 Pintail, a Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck and 2 Chiffchaffs, while out on the estuary were c40 Avocets, hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits and c30 Knot.

Hawfinch, Topsham Cemetery Spoonbill, Bowling Green Marsh 

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 10:42 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Wednesday 21st March 2018

Kingfisher pair among the scaffolding at Velator

By way of confirmation, as if any were needed, of Jon Turners kingfisher sighting of Monday, Sue & I were able to spot & photograph at distance, the male & female kingfishers sat on the scaffolding Jon mentioned.

Male kingfisher on scaffoldingFemale kingfisher on scaffoldingSpot the kingfisher on the scaffolding
Male kingfisher on scaffolding   Female kingfisher on scaffolding   Spot the kingfisher on the scaffolding

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 8:34 pm by Philip Naylor in General Birding

Preston, Paignton

Besides a number of Sparrows, Wood Pigeons and Herring Gulls, there were 2 male Blackcaps on the bird feeders this morning.

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 7:54 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

Spotted Redshank and Black Redstart on the Otter today shared with many other birders and non birders.

    

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 7:43 pm by Geoff Campbell in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

My first look at the lake for a couple of days showed 1f Goosander, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2f Goldeneye, 2 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit.

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Cadover

Six Wheatear (5m, 1f), one Teal (on ex clay pit), one Skylark singing and two Grey Wagtails. Usual species also seen. 

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 7:25 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Exmouth

Had the Corn Bunting at Gore Lane this afternoon with a Peregrine overhead the only other notable. On the way back through town a Firecrest was busy and vocal on the lane behind the bowling club (approx SY004802)

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 7:12 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Exmouth and Otter Estuary

Orcombe Point 

A quick look first thing this morning and I managed to obtain excellent views of the Corn Bunting on Gore Lane near the dung heap.

Otter Estuary 

A quick look after work and the Spotted Redshank was briefly seen on the Estuary from the scrape area. 

More details and picture on http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 6:55 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

First Summer Migrant over Teignmouth

Even though the snow is still on the field margins, I have just seen a lone House Martin flying NE over our house in East Teignmouth.

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 5:13 pm by Nick D’Agorne in General Birding

Teignmouth

Single Shag & Great Northern Diver off seafront at 11.10am

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 4:36 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Otter Estuary

23  members of DB  (East Devon Branch) met at Whitebridge and took the circular walk to the sea front and back up the west path.  At the start a distant Red legged Partridge was seen in the fields to the NE.  2 Bullfinch flew over while a Little Grebe (3 later counted), Cettis Warbler and Reed Bunting were early finds and a Water Rail heard.  Several Pintail were seen, together with Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck and Mallard.  The main interest was the Black Redstart and Spotted Redshank at the cricket pitch where 5 Dunlin were also present but in lesser numbers than yesterday.  The sea front produced little of interest.  The walk back up the western path produced numbers of Chiffchaff (estimate c50), Grey Heron a female Great spotted Woodpecker and most surprisingly, a Wood Warbler seen by some.  Thanks to Tim Channon for leading the large group.

EXMOUTH.   I later visited Gore Lane to see the Corn Bunting which emerged from the manure heap and flew off to the fields south at around 13.30. A Peregrine flew over while watching.

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 4:15 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Velator

First walk around Sherpa Marsh this spring: 1 Little Egret, 5 Snipe, several each of Teal, Shoveler, and Gadwall, but no migrants. Well, there was a Common Sandpiper on the Caen, along with 2 Greenshank and  4/5 Redshank.

Only the usual suspects in the reserve, but 3 Chiffchaffs shows that migration is under way and a Peacock Butterfly is a first for the year in the reserve.

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 1:12 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Brent & Dartington.

Female Yellow Hammer on the garden feed station this morning at South Brent, over night a Barn owl calling several times. Male Brambling in the afternoon and at least three Reed Bunting around the feeders. Mid afternoon 20 Redwing passed through.

A morning visit to Dartington estate not as many birds as previously but well worth going, Green Woodpecker calling most of the time, GSWP drumming and single burst of drumming from a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

Plenty of Yellow Hammer, Reed Bunting and Cirl Bunting, one male Cirl singing away as image. Flock of about 60 plus Chaffinch containing one female Brambling.

 

Two Buzzards, Heron, Raven, Jay, Mute Swan, Wren and Dunnock.

Along the A385 between Rattery and Dartington a flock of 100 plus Redwing and closer to Dartington a flock of 200 plus Fieldfare with a few Redwing mixed in, both flocks in flight and headed north. Near Culver Lane a Lesser Black Back Gull in a sheep field with a small number of Herring Gull.

 

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 12:36 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Baggy

Miraculously, & I say that because of the extreme weather conditions we have had both in the British Isles & in Europe, there were 3 - 4 male Wheatear at Baggy this morning. Under the circumstances It is remarkable they survived the migration from Africa.


Posted March 21st, 2018 at 12:20 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Willow Warbler

One Willow Warbler and two Chiffchaff actively feeding around the bottom lake at Clennon Valley yday eve.

Posted March 21st, 2018 at 7:21 am by Will Scott in General Birding

Tuesday 20th March 2018

Spoonbill

Spoonbill spotted on the tidal road 18th March 2018

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 8:38 pm by Tracy Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Corn Bunting - Exmouth

Corn Bunting still active around the dung heap at the top of Gore Lane Exmouth. Maer Lane flooded so Littleham end of Maer Lane is the best way to Gore Lane. 


Corn Bunting - Exmouth
Corn Bunting - Exmouth

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 8:06 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Topsham Cemetery and Budleigh Salterton Cricket Pitch

Topsham Cemetery 

An early morning look produced at least 6 Hawfinch. I would say there’s probably more as they were quite mobile and tricky to keep an eye on how many were about.

Budleigh Salterton Cricket Pitch

A look after work produced a cracking Male Black Redstart on the left hand side of the pitch. Also a Knot in the Estuary.

For rubbish pictures and more detail visit http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 8:02 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Winter Thrushes at East Budleigh

Large numbers of redwing and fieldfare in the fields, trees (and a paddock) at the back of East Budleigh cemetery around lunchtime. Upwards of 200, about 60% redwing. Also single song thrush, mistle thrush and blackbird in the nearest field. Peregrine overhead near Wynards Farm. Male black redstart skipping between the cricket net furthest from the pavilion at Budleigh Salterton and a tree adjacent to the newer cricket nets close to the river path - and a couple of snipe nearby. Three male bullfinches feeding on cherry blossom by the old railway line cycle path just west of the Capel Lane bridge. Several chiffchaff on that path and along the Otter. 

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 7:56 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

A wonderful farewell to Devon!

We shall be moving to Wales from Devon (hopefully in the coming weeks) and this morning I had a stunning view of a male Goshawk fly low between a couple of tall trees about 20 metres in front of me and take a Wood pigeon in flight before almost appearing to do a "handbrake turn" and carry the bird into an adjacent field.The Goshawk was in superb breeding plumage and the supercillium  very easily distinguished - even at speed!.  This is my first sighting of the species at the location for just under two years.

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 7:51 pm by Tony Mercer in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill Spoonbill Spoonbill

 

Spoonbill

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 7:49 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Corn Bunting - Exmouth

The Corn Bunting still present this afternoon at the top of Gore Lane in and around the manure heap and hedgerows, Showing well at times but generally elusive.

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Velator

Fine sunny day to melt the remaining snow, which brought down another tree - which was already weighed down with Ivy. Not much to report though, best was a Long-tailed Tit carrying moss.

Kingfisher on nearby Wrafton Pond, and despite the scaffolding by the bridge, another Kingfisher in the river.

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 5:50 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Possible Siberian Chiffchaff - Exmouth 20/03/18

Very lethargic bird sat mostly very still on the edge of the green at the Madeira Bowling Club at Exmouth this afternoon - seemed very grey crown & mantle to me - can anyone confirm, (or not), ID please.

Possible Siberian Chiffchaff    Possible Siberian Chiffchaff
Possible Siberian Chiffchaff                      Possible Siberian Chiffchaff

 

Ed. Certainly a pale and grey bird but yellow on supercilium and greenish tones on mantle rule out tristis Siberian Chiffchaff.

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Chivenor/Braunton Inn - Black Swans

Not native I know, but interesting to see 3 Black Swan on the Taw this morning. 

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 4:47 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Kingsteignton

A Hawfinch was feeding on seed in the south west corner of Hackney Marshes this morning.

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 4:28 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Adult Spoonbill showing close in to the hide this lunchtime. Female type Marsh Harrier over the reed bed before heading out over the estuary. Also 1 Kingfisher.

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 3:53 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Otter Estuary and valley

A pair of Mute Swan were displaying before they mated and then presented each other with a posy of weed... what a delight!  This took place in a ditch up the valley where I counted 20+ Chiffchaffs, (evidently a spring influx). Singles of Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Long tailed Tit and a pair of Reed Bunting also present. 

On the estuary the main interest was on the Cricket Pitch where a male Black Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 36 Dunlin (unusually high numbers here), 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Redwing, 1 Stonechat and a pair of Song Thrush were seen by a number of observers.  A large flock of Meadow Pipit were mobile in the water logged fields and a Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker heard.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) the East Devon Branch have a fieldtrip here so hopefully the birds will stay around.

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 3:06 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

North Plympton

One Blackcap (m) and Chiffchaff in the garden first thing. 

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 12:55 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Braunton Marshes

10.45 am, 'the' female Marsh Harrier seen flying high, and indulging in some aerobatics with a Buzzard.....this bird flies very well considering the dishevelled state of its plumage !

Posted March 20th, 2018 at 12:27 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Monday 19th March 2018

Galmpton Black Redstart

Walk around Galmpton 1pm onwards. On the beach between the two boat yards at Galmpton creek, there was a Black Redstart, (think it was a first winter male?) with a female stonechat.


Posted March 19th, 2018 at 9:38 pm by kay and gary deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish, South Efford and slapton

Several golden plover on the grass near the middle carpark at Slapton today. At South Huish marsh a Glaucous gull, at least 9 golden plover, a grey plover, a brent goose, cirl buntings on the grass near the parking meter. Wheatear at South Huish and South Efford marsh. Several distant views of a kingfisher at South Efford and a sparrowhawk.




Posted March 19th, 2018 at 8:09 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Otter Estuary and Scrapes, Budleigh Salterton

The most notable birds on the Otter today were:
Spotted Redshank - 1
Golden Plover - 25 birds this evening
Pintail - 5
Knot - 1
Spotted Redshank, Otter Estuary by Chris Townend
 

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 7:51 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Exmouth Seafront

2 Wheatears today amongst the snow on Exmouth seafront with a Stonechat


Posted March 19th, 2018 at 6:27 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Southcot Marsh

150 Black Tailed Godwits,+ruff,reeve15:00.Barn owl hunting off buckland road nr littleham 12:55 and female blackcap,2 coaltits in garden

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 6:15 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exton

1 Male Wheatear and 3 snipe seen this afternoon.

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Andrew Hickson in General Birding

Common Rosefinch Plymouth

Identical bird briefly seen on a sunflower feeder on both the 18th and 19th in a garden at Hooe so looks like it is sticking around for a few days.

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 5:03 pm by GE and LA Carr in General Birding

Velator

Found a fluffed up Chiffchaff chasing insects in some brambles earlyish this morning. 6 Teal, 4 Gadwall and 2 Mallard were joined by a Coot, a Moorhen and a Little Grebe on the pond and the 2 Canada Geese later arrived too. A distant view of a Marsh Harrier south over Sherpa Marsh.

A mixed flock of Redwings, Starlings and Fieldfares graced the trees mid-morning and several each of Green, Gold and Chaffinch.

Another Chiffchaff, this time looking much more active near the gate as I left.

Some excitement at the bridge over the river too. Masses of scaffolding being erected to effect repairs to the bridge.

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 5:00 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Single Golden Plover on the very end of the headland. Kept it's distance from humans otherwise seemed reluctant to leave.


Posted March 19th, 2018 at 4:58 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Dartington Hawfinch

Two Hawfinch using the trees at the bottom of Dartington primary school and meadowbrook car park also a male stonechat and redwings

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 4:09 pm by Hamish Johnson in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exmouth

Corn Bunting on the dung heap at the top of Gore Lane, Orcombe Point this afternoon. Photos and more details on www.gobirdingexmouth.blogspot.co.uk

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 4:01 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Shebbear College

A solitary Golden Plover on the main cricket pitch.  Looked a bit sad as it searched for food - was chased off by a rook.

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 1:01 pm by Simon Weale in General Birding

Wembury

A cold few hours along the coast path and Point produced the following :

Golden Plover 326, Grey Plover 1, Dunlin 1, Bar-tailed Godwit 1, Fieldfare c50, Redwing c30, Linnet c180, Meadow Pipit c260 & Wheatear 3. A part from the Godwit, the rest were feeding in the stubble field.

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 12:53 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Holsworthy

Feast in the (mini) Beast yesterday:

Sparrowhawk dining on Starling

Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk in snow
Sparrowhawk in snow

Posted March 19th, 2018 at 6:58 am by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding

Sunday 18th March 2018

Corbyn Beach Med Gull

Regarding Chris Proctor’s colour-ringed Med Gull posted earlier:

This is presumably the same gull I spotted at Shoalstone, Brixham in September. See: https://www.devonbirds.org/news/bird_news/devon_bird_sightings?blogSearchText=Mediterranean%20Gull&blogEntry=15543

I couldn’t quite make out the ring number at that time. Nor could I find out the details of the ringing study.  Hope Chris has better luck! 

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 9:07 pm by Alistair King in General Birding

Dawlish

Visible migration this afternoon included 720 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing, 33Golden Plover, all flying south west  btween 1415 and 1615. 

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 8:06 pm by Peter Maker in General Birding

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

The stand out hard weather movement species today was Golden Plover with a minimum of 500 birds around the  estuary and adjacent scrapes today. The highest count for me.
Other scarce species for the Otter were a drake Red-breasted Merganser and 5 Pintail. 
Golden Plover, Otter Estuary by Chris Townend

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 7:39 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Corbyn Beach, Torquay

A couple of pics of this afternoon's Mediterranean gull. Green colour ring, code RLN4.

Mediterranean Gull, summer adult
Mediterranean Gull, summer adult

Mediterranean Gull, summer adult
Mediterranean Gull, summer adult

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 7:38 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Stonechat

Very surprised to see my first garden Stonechat eating from ground feeder in snowy Lifton this afternoon.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 6:29 pm by David Boddy in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

My first ever Red-Necked Grebe in a snowy Brixham Harbour this afternoon - fishing alongside a Sandwich Tern!  Also a couple of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the pontoons and one Common Gull enjoying the waves at Breakwater Beach.

Couple of wobbly videos here too:

RNG: https://youtu.be/mDY4mkmmMgU

Sandwich Tern: https://youtu.be/HO65SQG5JD0

Red-Necked Grebe
Red-Necked Grebe

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 5:40 pm by Alistair King in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Noss Mayo

Since last post Blackcap number increased to 5, 3m.2f. Also Redwing in garden.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 5:37 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

In Exwick

The winter visitors are back again with the returning snow.


Posted March 18th, 2018 at 5:18 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Tiverton gardenwatch

Along with the snow, finches just falling out of the sky, 4 Brambling, 30 + Siskin, 23 Goldfinch, 12 + Chaffinch, 7 Bullfinch, 1 male Greenfinch. 2 Robin, 3 Longhtailed tits, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Dunnock, 3 Blackbirds, 1 Wood Pigeon. Surprisingly no Sparrowhawk who usually drops in for a snack.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by Martyn C Webb in General Birding

Torquay

A walk down to Torre Abbey and the sea front this afternoon failed to produce anything by way of winter birds. A few lesser blackbacks were with carrion crows on Torre Abbey Sands.At the Corbyn's Head end in front of the beach cafe were 4 mute swans, 10 turnstone, 1 rock pipit and a summer plumaged adult mediterranean gull.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 4:51 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

17 BRAMBLING TIVERTON

A record 17 Brambling at times out-numbering the Chaffinches in a huge flock brought in by the snow. Also a few Siskin ,Bullfinches and Greenfinches and new to the garden list 3 Stock Doves amongst the many Wood Pigeon. With the number of Blue,Great, Coal & Long-tailed Tits added estimated a flock of between 50 - 65 species at times. Had to refill the feeders twice today but what a show.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 4:23 pm by A.COLLINGE in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis at Fremington pill this morning.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 3:41 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Fremington Pill

The highlight of a walk along Fremington Pill today was the regular glossy ibis. There were also 2 reed buntings, a kingfisher, 2 little egrets, 2 greenshanks, dozens of redshanks, 8 teal, plenty of shelduck, and a female stonechat.


Posted March 18th, 2018 at 3:28 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Rock Park, Barnstaple

Wheatear on the riverbank in Barnstaple, not sure if he was enjoying the snow, not quite Africa.

Wheatear
Wheatear

Wheatear
Wheatear

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 3:21 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Blaxton meadow

Seen this morning during the high tide Shelduck 59, Little Egret 17, Curlew 19, Bar-tailed Godwit 1, Redshank 101, Common Sandpiper 1,Goosander 4 (1m), Greenshank 5, Oystercatchers 1 & Chiffchaff 2. Disturbance on the meadow by dogs!

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 3:15 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Noss Mayo

Visiting feeders this morning 4 Blackcap 3m.f., Marsh tit, Great, Blue, Coal

and LT tits , Moorhen and usual garden birds.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 2:27 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Plymouth (Saturday 17th)

Common Rosefinch briefly on a garden feeder in Plymstock (Goosewell side) late yesterday morning, but not seen since.  Could turn up on another feeder.  (It certainly knows what to do with black sunflower seed!)

Common Rosefinch
Common Rosefinch

Common Rosefinch with Greenfinch
Common Rosefinch with Greenfinch

Common Rosefinch with Greenfinch
Common Rosefinch with Greenfinch

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 1:59 pm by John Bishop in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Occombe

Managed a walk around the whole site this morning, the snow falling harder and faster all the time. Not much to report but there were a few hardy Carrion Crows, Magpies & Wood Pigeons around. In addition there were individual sightings of a Jay, Wren, Blackbird, male Pheasant and a Greenfinch. From the bird hide there were at least 7 Great Tits, 3 Blue Tits, a Robin and 2 female Pheasants.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 1:44 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Bramblings

2 male Brambling in a private garden in Bridford, near Exeter.

Brambling
Brambling

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 12:36 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton spoonbill

Yesterday afternoon about 4 pm, a Spoonbill flew over as we were walking along the shingle bank at the entrance to the estuary. It appeared to go down to the west of the river, presumably onto one of the flooded fields there. I assume it was the same bird that our friends had seen at Bowling Green Marsh in the morning - they now think Spoonbills are common round here!

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 8:10 am by Colin Randall in General Birding

South Brent ~ Bramblings

A garden record with SIX Brambling on the ground below the garden feeders this morning (2M & 4F) and a new male Reed Bunting (3M & 1F) Jay, Siskin, Song Thrush and a pair of Bullfinch all in before 8am...

The day got better with at one point six Siskin, at least four Reed Bunting, two Jay, the Brambling continue to visit the feed station, along with Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Greenfinch, House Sparrow and good numbers of Goldfinch.

Posted March 18th, 2018 at 7:55 am by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 17th March 2018

Heathfield Starling Roost

Just to confirm the finish of the Heathfield Starling roost.  I checked it out tonight (17th March) and saw only 20 or so birds!  The data gleaned from this roost since late February and that at Ashprington (in bamboo) since late January will, in time, be used to compare with the six years (2012-2017), almost daily, data from the Slapton autumn roost (Oct-Dec) along with reference to datasets from UK south coast counties and long-term datasets from Falsterbo and Ottenby BOs in Southern Sweden and other datasets available from Northern Europe/The Baltic.  The plan is for a further years' fieldwork at Slapton (Oct-Dec 2018) as well as further monitoring of any roosts within 30 mins of Dartington for comparison during Oct-March 2018/19.

Posted March 17th, 2018 at 9:01 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Iceland gull

A nice Iceland gull at Beesands this morning



Posted March 17th, 2018 at 7:15 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Taw Estuary

Plenty of interest on my WeBS sector (which takes in Velator, Wrafton Pond, left bank of R Caen and Chivenor foreshore as far as Heanton corner): 4 Spoonbills on Wrafton Scrape; Firecrest, Water Pipit and singing Chiffchaff at Velator; Tundra Bean Goose on Sherpa Marsh (with Canada Geese); male Red-breasted Merganser on the Caen (rare in N Devon), 2 male Wheatears along Chivenor foreshore (my first of the year).

Posted March 17th, 2018 at 2:31 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Rillage Point to Watermouth 13th–16th

Four consecutive early morning visits revealed light visible migration of typical mid-March species, including Grey Wagtail (singles on 14th & 15th), alba Wagtail (max 8 on 15th), Meadow Pipit (max 39 on 16th), Linnet (max 11 on 15th), Siskin (max 15 on 15th), Goldfinch (max 16 on 15th) and Reed Bunting (max 2 on 16th). Grounded migrants included two Chiffchaffs on 13th, and a scattering of Stonechats (max 3 on 13th) and Goldcrests (singles only).

Posted March 17th, 2018 at 2:22 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Signs of Spring with 2 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Also Black-tailed Godwit, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Kingfisher, 55 Jackdaws, 11 Stock Doves, 3 Mandarin Ducks, 23 Turnstones & 2 Nuthatches.

Posted March 17th, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Osprey on Kingsbridge Estuary

During the WeBs count on the Kingsbridge Estuary on Friday 17th, Jo Lapthorn saw an early osprey in Collapit creek. Chris Klee

Posted March 17th, 2018 at 1:17 pm by KleeCA.DJ in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

Black Redstart(Female/Juvenile) still at back of beach above fishing boats on wall and in gardens at 09.00 hrs.

Posted March 17th, 2018 at 9:20 am by Paul Reynolds in General Birding

Friday 16th March 2018

Red Kite over A361

A lone Red Kite low over the viaduct on A361 near Aller Cross South Molton at 1730 Friday 16th March.

Posted March 16th, 2018 at 10:48 pm by Phil Plant in General Birding

Aylesbeare and River Otter

Yellowhammer, Dartfords and Green Woodpecker best birds at Aylesbeare Common. Not much on the very flooded Otter and adjacent fields best tawny Owl. Camera fell in the water so no pics!

Posted March 16th, 2018 at 10:45 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Velator

Spring moves on - another (or the same?) Small Tortoiseshell this morning. Warm enough for there to be 6 Buzzards soaring high over the reserve. On the pond, now 2 Little Grebes, one of which was being chased (half-heartedly) by a Coot, which in turn was being given a hard time by a Moorhen. 6 Mallards (two pairs and 2 separate Drakes) were soon reduced to a single pair by the male of one of the pairs. No sign of the Geese today. Cetti's Warbler calling again. Looks like the weather will put a short dent in the progress of spring over the weekend, but should warm up again next week.

Posted March 16th, 2018 at 8:22 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Northam Burrows

Male Wheatear this afternoon.

Posted March 16th, 2018 at 7:31 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

Black Redstart (Female/Juvenile) 16.00 hrs on handrail and path at the back of Budleigh beach west of fishing boats.

Posted March 16th, 2018 at 4:16 pm by Paul Reynolds in General Birding

Soar

First migrant Chiffchaff in Soar Mill Valley. 8 Song Thrush feeding in oilseed rape - obvious migrants. Several Cirl Buntings in song. Still no Wheatears!

Posted March 16th, 2018 at 11:39 am by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 15th March 2018

Wheatear on Braunton Burrows

Male Pintail on Wrafton Pond with Little Grebe and 5+ Pochard. 6+ Sanderling on Crow Point and my first 2 (m&f) Wheatear this Spring on the Braunton Burrows, with a male Reed Bunting alas no camera for the afternoon walk

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 11:03 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Velator

Tundra Bean Goose with 8 Canada Geese at 0716 this morning. 4 Spoonbills on the Scrape.

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 10:21 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Goldcrest

Heard a Goldcrest in a holly tree in Torquay town centre in Abbey Road, opposite the Central Cinema this morning.

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 8:45 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Veletor - Tundra Bean Goose

Good views of the Tundra Bean Goose at Veletor at 4.30. Just passed the pontoon and over the first stile (on car park bank)

 

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 4:51 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Plymouth

A Yellow-browed Warbler in my garden (Mount Gould) this afternoon. The 32nd species this month.

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 4:27 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Velator

No Sand Martins around Wrafton Pond this morning, but the drake Pintail still - settled enough to be asleep!

In the reserve, finally saw Cetti's Warbler after hearing one a couple of days ago. Kingfisher whizzed along the pond past the Canada Geese.

Pleased to see the first Butterfly of the year in the reserve too - surprisingly, it was a Small Tortoiseshell.

 

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 1:44 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Barnstaple Red Kite

Red Kite over Barnstable Hospital @ 13.15 being mobbed by gulls , headed off towards Loxhore.

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 1:28 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Wednesday 14th March 2018

Otter Scrapes, Budleigh Salterton

A Spoonbill on the scrapes this afternoon and still present this evening, courtesy of Ian Waite.
More on the blog: www.creamteabirding.blogspot.co.uk

Eurasian Spoonbill by Chris Townend

 

Posted March 14th, 2018 at 8:41 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Pale-bellied Brent Geese update

I've just heard that the ringed Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Starcross on Sunday (11th) have returned to France! Today they were located at Urville, Normandy, back at the same estuary where they spent the winter. It's very odd that they went back south, given that we've had southerly winds and yesterday was really quite nice. Perhaps it was just a practice run!

Posted March 14th, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Tuesday 13th March 2018

Dartington Hall

At least 5 Hawfinches still around the school. Also Goosander on the river.

Posted March 13th, 2018 at 8:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Cadover area

This afternoon: 4 Wheatear, 7 Teal, 2 Stonechat, 4 Raven, 2 Moorhen, 17 Canada Geese, 2 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, flock of 15+ Starling, 2 Reed Bunting.

In the garden in north Plympton: 1 male Blackcap on fat balls

Posted March 13th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Brixham to Dartmouth

Kayak trip Brixham to Dartmouth:

6 Purple Sandpipers on Brixham Breakwater

3 Purple Sandpipers (with 3 Turnstones) on Eastern Black Rock, small island off Froward Point.

c100 Common Scoter

20 Common Dolphin off Berry Head

3 (2+1) Harbour Porpoise off Froward Point

Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone
Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone

Posted March 13th, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hollicombe & Preston beaches, Paignton

2.15pm, close to high tide. Usual flock of turnstones at N end of Preston seafront. At Hollicombe, 1 gannet, 4 Gt crested grebes on the sea, plus 9 oystercatcher and a heron roosting on the cliff on the north side.

Posted March 13th, 2018 at 5:28 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Turnchaple

Hummingbird hawk moth.

Posted March 13th, 2018 at 4:51 pm by Sylvia Tucker in Other Wildlife

Soar

Eight Common Buzzards mid-morning over the West Soar area inc.the resident pair plus three soaring off Westcliff (inc.two very white birds) and three soaring high over Southdown Farm. Typical spring migration for this species and bang on time! Also had a close encounter with a Stoat!

Posted March 13th, 2018 at 3:25 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Velator

Had a new species while ringing in the reserve this morning. Unfortunately it was a Frog!. Left in the net by the Tawny Owl I heard in the half light. Makes a change - it's usually half a Rat!

The only evidence of migration were two Goldcrests ringed early on and a Chiffchaff seen shortly before leaving.

The resident Canada Geese have arrived to claim the pond for another season.

Posted March 13th, 2018 at 2:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Baggy

1 new arrival male Wheatear at Baggy am.


Posted March 13th, 2018 at 12:55 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Monday 12th March 2018

Plym Estuary

This afternoon’s sightings: Goosander 6 redheads, Red-breasted Merganser 6 (3 pairs), Snipe 2, Oystercatcher 6, Peregrine, Stonechat, Green Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush 2, Kingfisher, Mandarin Duck 6 (3 pairs), Grey Wagtail, Curlew 32, Common Gull 18 & Common Sandpiper.

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 8:23 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Heathfield Starling Roost

And so, the Heathfield Starling roost comes close to its final days.  Just 1,500 were estimated (yet to be confirmed from a photograph taken to help calibrate my previous estimates) this evening (12th March).  The first birds were seen at 17.26 followed by a trickle of flocks of no more than 100 birds (most less than 50) all coming from the Ashburton/Newton Abbot direction and heading towards the Bovey Tracey/Haytor direction where there has  clearly been a pre-roost site.

At 18.05, birds began to return from this site to the Heathfield roost with some additional small fllocks still arriving from both the Ashburton/Newton Abbot and Haytor directions.  Birds circled over the roost site building up until 18.30 when the last birds entered the roost.  Interestingly, birds entered the trees nearest the main road through the industrial estate as on 10th suggesting they were either new to the area or the previous roost trees were  badly fouled by droppings from the many thousands of birds using them on previous occasions.  

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Cadover Bridge

A wander around Cadover Bridge 4pm to 6pm. Good number of Carrion Crows, Rooks, Ravens and Magpies. A handsome Dipper (ringed pale blue on right leg white ring on left leg) a mini murmuration of Starlings 100+ and pair of Goosanders on Shaugh Lake.   

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Val Grehan in General Birding

R.Caen + Sharpa Marshes

Single Avocet on the R.Caen again this afternoon

Female Marsh Harrier over reed beds - Sharpa Marshes


Posted March 12th, 2018 at 6:39 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Instow

Single wheatear on the dunes near the old oil jetty at 4pm. 

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 6:38 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Exminister Marsh

A good three hours on Exminister this morning. Ducks and waders much reduced from last week but still saw 500+ Wigeon, 250+ Teal, 55+ Shoveler, 30 Pintail, 14 Tufted, 4 Pochard, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers on the canal and 1 Gadwall. Also c300 Lapwing and 33 Golden Plover. Black-necked Grebe still on the canal. Imm Marsh Harrier flew over at 8.40 and 2 Wheatear (M & F) north from the railway bridge. One Cetti’s Warbler singing under motorway bridge. Otherwise 3 Chiffchaff, 2 singing, and a pair of Stonechat again north of Railway bridge.

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 6:19 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Meddon Green Nature Reserve

A very misty and boggy reserve this morning, but I had 1 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Great and 4 Blue Tit, 2 Wren, 1 Dunnock.

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 5:25 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

The Marsh Harrier by the lagoon at 1.50pm then drifted off south. Also c500 Golden Plover

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 2:42 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Two Sand Martins at 1pm

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 1:11 pm by Dave McKeown in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Male Pintail still on the pond.


Posted March 12th, 2018 at 1:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Black necked grebe in ireland and first sand martin 3 in total near bridge 

Posted March 12th, 2018 at 10:54 am by Roger Backway in General Birding

Sunday 11th March 2018

Exe Pale-bellied Brents

I've just heard that the 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were still in Normandy on Friday 9 March, so perhaps they arrived here yesterday, or even early today. They overwintered about 25km SE of Jersey, at Havre de Regnéville.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 10:44 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Thatcher Rock - Torbay

An unusual sighting of four Mallard, two male/two female, sitting amongst the vegetation on the lower slopes of Thatcher Rock this afternoon.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 9:09 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Mediterranean Gulls

At South Huish this morning, some 6 (perhaps more) Mediterranean Gulls coming into summer plumage.


Posted March 11th, 2018 at 8:59 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Beesands

Selection of photos of Ring-necked Duck, Great Crested Grebe and Red-necked Grebe taken from the hide just after the weather cleared this Saturday.




Posted March 11th, 2018 at 8:41 pm by Michael Woodman-Smith in General Birding

Exe Estuary: Pale-bellied Brent Geese

Today's WeBS count was rather unexciting, compared with the position just over a week earlier. However, I was pleased to read the colour ring codes on two of four Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Starcross golf course (blue on the right legs, yellow on the left; codes U2 and IZ, respectively). The ringing information (courtesy of Graham McElwaine, Irish Brent Goose Research Group) shows that they had been ringed together in October 2015 at Strangford Loch, Northern Ireland and wintered in Normandy each year since. Clearly a pair keeping together, they have also been seen several times in May in SW Iceland, where they stop to refuel en route to the Canadian Arctic. A fantastic series of re-sightings!

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 8:37 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for Lower Tamar Lake this morning.

8 Goosander 1m 7f, 1 Grey Heron. 1 Little Egret, 2 Gadwall 1m 1f. 1 Goldfinch, 1f Goldeneye.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 7:47 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Morte Point House Martins

This afternoon I watched 3 House Martins head due west, disappearing out over the sea, straight towards Lundy. Around Morte Stone 3 Red-throated Divers.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 7:37 pm by Martin Thorne in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Paignton

A Shag at end of Paignton beach near harbour.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Chris Godfrey in General Birding

Light phase Buzzard ~ Cornwood

Buzzard plumage and colouration are on occasion topics of discussion within the membership of DBWPS, this first winter female was found grounded at Cornwood late this morning.

 

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 5:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Torcross and Beesands

No early spring migrants this morning but the Black-necked Grebe still present on the Ley at Torcross and nice views of an Otter in open water, also 2 Grey Plover and a Dunlin. At Beesands Ley - the Ring-necked Duck, drake Scaup and Red-necked Grebe all present.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 11:42 am by David Cope in General Birding

Occombe

Where have all the Redwings gone to? Less than half the number I counted midweek with about 15 seen this morning. Plenty of Jay activity all over Occombe this morning, I certainly identified 2 groups of 3, plus a pair of vocal Buzzards, pair of Mallards & Pied Wagtails, 5-7 Long-tailed Tits, Song Thrush, Bullfinch, Greenfinch and plenty of Great Tits & Blue Tits. The highlight of the morning was a Tawny Owl, clearly being pestered by some of the Jays.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 10:14 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Totnes Garden

Female reed bunting that first appeared during the snow is still hanging around the garden. Bramblings still turning up with chaffinches too.

Posted March 11th, 2018 at 10:09 am by Jon Flynn in General Birding

Saturday 10th March 2018

Crossbills - Underdown, Haldon.

Flock of 20-25 crossbills feeding in beech tree outside our house in Underdown, Haldon this morning

Posted March 10th, 2018 at 11:12 pm by John Gale in General Birding

Heathfield Starling Roost

A further decline to an estimated 10,000-12,000 this evening (10th March).  Small numbers from 17.33 although larger numbers (flocks of up to 250+ from 17.38 with most birds from the Ashburton/Newton Abbot direction but heading towards Bovey Tracey/Haytor until 17.57 when a similar number (ca 3,500) to those counted in, returned to Heathfield circling around quite high at times across a large area as far as the A38 (and beyond?) and the Bovey Tracy area.  Numbers then built up over a period of 20-mins with some good display during the next 10 mins (17.58-18.20).  Small groups continued to arrive from both the Ashburton/Newton Abbot and Bovey Tracy/Haytor areas until 18.30 with the last birds into the roost by 18.38 - quite a bit later than previous observations.

Posted March 10th, 2018 at 7:55 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Fingle Bridge / River Teign.

5 members of DB met for the fieldtrip (East Devon Branch).  In spite of poor weather conditions in the first half of the morning we made the most of our visit taking the riverside footpath west as far as the footbridge below Castle Drogo. A few good birds presented early in the walk with a pair of Dipper seen taking nest material to a nest site.  Several Grey Wagtail were present foraging along the swollen river.  A Treecreeper plus a flock of mixed Tits (including Long tailed and Marsh Tits) gave a little excitement with the prospect of finding the elusive Lesser spotted Woodpecker but none of the latter were found. A couple of Buzzards came out once the rain passed and the air temperature increased.  No woodpeckers were seen or heard above the sound of the river and conditions were made worse by the presence of a marathon run which we had not expected!  

Posted March 10th, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Glaucous Gull

 Just taken these photos of a Glaucous Gull off the sea wall next to the coast guard bridge Dawlish. 

Posted March 10th, 2018 at 4:14 pm by Nick Workman in General Birding

"The Beast from the East in Plympton?"

Last weekend after the wind had blown through I spotted an unusual tit in the backyard.  Good news is that it's back.  The most noticeable thing, as it was flying away was the rich chocolate hind crown and nape (like a Dipper's belly). The scapulars show a fair bit of variation from brown, through greyish to whitish fringing and a definite pale look to the secondaries..  It has a small neat bib, as expected for a Marsh Tit, which are regular garden visitors. The other features are more reminiscent of Siberian Tit, which I'm sure it is not. Is it possibly a Marsh/Siberian hybrid blown in by the storms, or just a very unusual plumage variation? poor pics, will try to get better.

Eds: Certainly an interesting bird. Chris' comments seem to sum the situation up well. Willow x Siberian Tit hybrids are well known eg https://birdingfrontiers.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/siberian-tit-x-willow-tit-hybrid/  However, given that their ranges barely overlap, Marsh x Siberian seems less likely. In any case as suggested above, the plumage details do not support a hybrid. Views welcome!

Posted March 10th, 2018 at 3:29 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Red-necked Grebe still present. Also 10 Pochards.

Posted March 10th, 2018 at 12:17 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Friday 9th March 2018

Plym Estuary

This morning - Snipe, Jack Snipe, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers (3 pairs), 10+ Stock Doves, Grey Wagtail, 32 Turnstones & 2 Greenshanks. 

Again, Blaxton Pool providing great refuge for hundreds of waterbirds including big flocks of Redhanks and Dunlins (not counted today).  

Posted March 9th, 2018 at 6:50 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Along the Exe

An adult Iceland gull was going back & forth along the shore between the coastguard hut & Langstone Rock at midday. The Black-necked grebe was on Exeter canal down from the M5.

Posted March 9th, 2018 at 5:10 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley

Arrived at Beesands fairly early in search of Ring-necked Duck, Scaup and the Red-necked Grebe. Saw two out of the three but maybe the Scaup was out of sight or at Slapton. A few pochard and tufted ducks bobbing about with the usual mute swans, but not much else happening. Weather was terrible so we cut it short. 

Red-necked Grebe 

Posted March 9th, 2018 at 3:24 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 8th March 2018

Velator

Yet another Wader taken by a raptor. Snipe this time - mostly plucked and left on the plucking stump.

Plucked Snipe
Plucked Snipe

Possible Culprit!
Possible Culprit!

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 9:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Heathfield Starling Roost

An estimated 15,000 tonight (6th March) is a 50% drop on estimate for 4th suggesting many birds are leaving for breeding areas in N Europe, N Poland, Russia, The Baltic and Scandinavia.  certainly there were far fewer birds and most again came in from the Ashburton/Newton Abbot area and the early arrivals again headed for the Bovey Tracey/Haytor area before coming into the roost.  Small numbers arrived from 17.23 to 17.35 when larger and more flocks began to arrive, many still heading for Bovey/Haytor until 17.50.  Display then began to take place around the roost site for some while with birds returning from the Bovey/Haytor area.  All birds were in by 18.08 on a colder evening than 4th..

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 8:13 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bassett's Ridge & Wrafton Pond

Flock of several hundred Golden Plover resting on Bassett's Ridge at low tide.

Unusual to see a male Pintail on Wrafton Pond.



Posted March 8th, 2018 at 6:45 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Matford Marsh

The American Wigeon was showing well late afternoon. Also of note were 10 Snipe, 1 Stock Dove, 7 Curlew and good numbers of Lapwing. 

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

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

Female type Black Redstart this afternoon.

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 5:25 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Newbridge - Upstream 1 Mile

Numerous Tit family - Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit and 5/6 Marsh Tit calling.  5 Nuthatch,  2 Treecreeper, 2 Buzzard, 1 Goldcrest and 8/10 Long Tailed Tit and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit

Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit

Treecreeper
Treecreeper

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

Plymbridge Woods , plymouth , this afternoon.

Buzzard



Posted March 8th, 2018 at 4:43 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Mansands

 A walk down to the beach end of the marsh and could see the damage snow and “The Beast from the East” had caused. Not as bad as I first thought, part of the reeds had been blown down and some debris amongst the reeds. The marsh has more water in it than usual, so hope it stays like that. As I was surveying the damage, saw this smallish bird flying low along the beach, when it got closer, realised it was a male Merlin, which was brilliant. Flew quite close past me and lost sight of it as it flew below the coastguard cottages. The Tufted Duck, Little Grebe and Coot were still here with also the usual Mallards and Teals, acouple of Canada Geese, some Gadwalls and lots of Snipe around the edges of the marsh.     

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 4:38 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

River Caen / Velator

At 13.35 today I was very surprised to see a lone Avocet on the shore of the River Caen, just in front of the shipping containers, about 200 yards down from the toll house. Could be the same one that was reported at The Skern earlier today?

Avocet on shore of River Caen
Avocet on shore of River Caen

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 3:13 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Dartington ~ Hawfinch

At long last caught up with the reported Hawfinch at Dartington late this morning, on arrival four birds seen in flight and eventually found two feeding on the ground on the lower side of the playing field of Park school and the woodland that adjoins that field.

  

Over the time that I was there birds seen feeding on the ground inside the wood and also feeding in ivy covered trees, at any one time a total of nine birds, when on the ground usually in company with Chaffinch and Redwing

Also seen two Nuthatch, one Treecreeper, large numbers of Redwing and Chaffinch, Song and Mistle Thrush, two Jay and a Kestrel flew through the woodland canopy as I left.

At home in South Brent three lots of Canada Geese over between 6.30 and 8am, a Greater Black Back Gull overhead, a male Reed Bunting and a male Brambling on the feeders.

  

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 2:37 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Skern

As I was driving  Skern around 10.30, I met Malcolm Shakespeare who said he had had an Avocet. Sure enough one was resting with Oystercatcher on the falling tide. A first record for me at this site in 30 years. Also a Peregrine eating prey on the Saltings 

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 12:02 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Late Entry - 7th Mar.--Lower Tamar Lake

The lake is still partially frozen over.

8 Goosander, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Mallard,1 pair of Goldeneye, 3 Wigeon, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Canada Geese, 10+ Coot, 2 Moorhen, 1 Jay and another at nearby Thurdon, 2 Willow Tits and several Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tits, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Tawny Owl call in car park, 1 Raven over plus other corvids, numerous Chaffinches, 5 Wood Pigeons.

Harvey Kendall

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 9:00 am by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Wednesday 7th March 2018

Beesands and Slapton

Male scaup, male ring necked duck and red necked grebe at Beesands Ley with a pair of gadwall and 8 male + 2 female pochard.

2 black necked grebe at Slapton Ley at Torcross.

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 10:07 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Velator

Drake Gadwall in the reserve this afternoon. Out on the scrape, Redshank and Ruff again.

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 6:52 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Occombe

A very productive walk around the nature trail this afternoon, where snow is still lying in a number of places, particularly on the ground along sheltered hedgerows. There were a conservative 40 Redwings (but with all the activity I suspect there were many more), Kestrel (at least one if not 2), 2 Buzzards, 3 m & 1f Pheasants, 6 Long-tailed Tits, male Bullfinch, Raven, 9 Goldcrests, at least 5 Jays, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue & Great Tits, 4 Blackbirds and a Greenfinch.

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 6:11 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Stover Lake

Whilst visiting Stover today I came across a Stock Dove on one of the Mandarin nest boxes calling away for a mate. I haven’t seen one of these here for over ten years.



Posted March 7th, 2018 at 5:21 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding

Dawlish

2, possibly 3 firecrest and chiff chaff in private garden. 

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 4:24 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

South Huish Marsh ~ Male and female Kestrel, six Buzzards, Golden, Grey and Ringed Plover, Lapwing 60+, Bar Tailed and Black Tailed Godwit, a single Dunlin and Ruff, numerous Snipe, Oyster Catcher, Wigeon including the “hybrid American specimen, Teal, Shoveler, Mallard, Shelduck, Rock and Meadow Pipit

Gulls include two adult Mediterranean, 15+ Great Black and 20+ Lesser Black Back Gulls.

Back home at South Brent ~ four Siskin 3M ~1F, a pair of Bullfinch, Song Thrush and a female Reed Bunting.

 

 

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 2:57 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Dawlish Warren/Cockwood

6th March - first visit since snow and shocked to see the damage. Still several sad corpses of mainly Lapwing & Golden Plover around the beach.  1 female Wheatear, 2 Golden Plovers and several singing Skylarks on Warren Point.  A Kingfisher was hunting at Cockwood despite all the noisy heavy machinery working in the harbour. 

Kingfisher at Cockwood
Kingfisher at Cockwood

Two Golden Plovers at Warren Point
Two Golden Plovers at Warren Point

Skylark at Warren Point
Skylark at Warren Point

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 11:21 am by Sally Landberger in General Birding

Recent cold spell

I would like to include a piece on the effects on birds of the recent severe cold snap (26 February to 3 March) in the next 'Devon Birds'. Please send any accounts, observations and anecdotes to me (mike@glenfern.eclipse.co.uk) and I will try and compile a single account (with, of course, full acknowledgement of all contributors). Please include some weather notes - for instance, here in East Devon it was the glazed frost on the morning of 2nd March that did the most damage, covering everything with a layer of ice and forming an icy crust on the lying snow.

Mike Lock

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 10:41 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Heathfield Starling Roost

An estimated 27,000-30,000 - certainly fewer than 4th March.  What was interesting was that large numbers  (17,000-20,000) came in very high from the SW (Ashburton/Newton Abbot) direction suggesting they may have travelled some distance, possibly from more accessible feeding areas (although Dartmoor seemed free of snow after the recent rapid thaw), or birds from further south returning north.   Much smaller numbers arrived from the NE.  Most of the early flocks (17.30-17.55) headed towards Bovey Tracey/Haytor without stopping and were undoubtedly mostly the same birds (ca 20,000) that later (18.00-18.10) came from that direction into the roost.  However, some small flocks may also have come in from feeding areas in that direction where it was possible/likely that there was a pre-roost gathering site.

Only 50 or so were seen from 17.15-17.30 and the last ones were in by 18.10.  There was minimal murmuration/display compared with none on 4th March making it more difficult to estimate numbers although the incoming high flocks were discrete and generally in their thousands and thus marginally easier to estimate on arrival.  Also birds entered conifers adjacent to the A38 before finally moving to the regular roost trees, possibly suggesting birds from further south returning north which were not sure of the actual roost site.

A Peregrine was patrolling the site and seen several times.

Posted March 7th, 2018 at 10:36 am by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 6th March 2018

Treecreeper

Video - of today's Treecreeper Powderham Estate.

https://youtu.be/xXRUBO_0uRc

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 7:28 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Wrafton

Afternoon visit to the reserve so I checked the scrape at about 2p.m. good numbers of Teal and several pairs of Shoveler. Thena Redshank wandered into view closely followed by a Ruff, which was still there when I checked at about 4.30 but the Redshank had morphed into a Dunlin. Several Snipe feeding in the puddles there too. Far fewer Curlews in the field and only one Lapwing.

In the reserve, the Little Grebe has moulted into summer plumage. Moorhens are displaying. A large flock of Redwings arrived, perhaps to roost. Also saw a Treecreeper.

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Cattle Egret etc.

Cattle Egret at the corner of Powderham Estate (SX975828) around 4.30pm – flew off before I could get a photo. I continued up the path where there was a Treecreeper. No sign of the Cattle Egret on my return  along the path, however, going past again on the train, there were two Egrets by the flooded pond but I did not get a good enough view to confirm the return of the Cattle Egret.

Earlier Teignmouth was quiet and I did not see any “White wingers”. Dawlish Warren had nothing unusual on view except the carnage left from last week lots of dead birds (mostly Lapwing – also one dead gull and a Shelduck at Powderham) and the beach and dunes have taken a massive hit. Nice day out though!

Treecreeper Powderham Estate
Treecreeper Powderham Estate

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 6:59 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Broadsands (Addendum)

Apologies - my description of the Iceland Gull at Broadsands may have been confusing, to clarify:

This bird, had faint markings though they seemed heavier in coverage; the bill tip was very dark.

In short this appeared to be the same bird Mike reported 3.3.18 rather than the original Brixham bird.

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Glaucous Gull - Dawlish Bay

Glaucous Gull with large flock of Herring Gull on Dawlish Bay at high tide.

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 5:15 pm by Ray Jones in General Birding

Dartington ~ Buntings

A short early afternoon visit to Dartington, no sign of the large finch flock that has been on site over the winter months but "Buntings" in really good numbers predominantly Reed Buntings, more than could realistically be counted given the constant movement but certainly well over 30 birds and I suspect considerably more than that.

Yellow Hammers well represented and a smaller number of Cirl Bunting.

A female Kestrel actively hunting over the wheat field to the left of the concrete road and below the mixed seed crop field.

In the same field a flock of feeding Jackdaw and Wood pigeons one of which was heavily leucistic.

Two Greenfinch, two Song Thrush, several Dunnock and at least three Wren.

  

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 5:15 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Broadsands (Again)

Beautiful early Spring morning:

  • The 1st W Iceland Gull (the heavily marked one from a couple of days ago) was at the N end of the bay beneath the cliffs from 10:20 and still their at 13:30 when I returned
  • A Red-necked Grebe was in Elberry Cove
  • Several Gt N Divers across Torbay
  • 2 Cirl Buntings singing along the sea front
  • The car parking machines weren't taking money - bonus!

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 3:27 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Broadsands

On the sea this morning: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 13 Great Northern Divers, 44 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Common Scoter. 12 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park and a 'grey goose' flew over heading for Brixham possibly a Greylag but didn't see it well

Posted March 6th, 2018 at 10:13 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 5th March 2018

Plym Estuary


Over 200 Dunlins, 55 Redshanks & 3 Greenshanks on Blaxton . Also winter max of 68 Shelduck (mainly on Blaxton), 7 Mandarin Ducks, Common Sandpiper & 3 Goosanders (1 drake).

Efford Marsh - 2 Teal & Grey Wagtail.

Posted March 5th, 2018 at 8:40 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Beesands Ley

1RED NECKED GREBE 1LITTLE GREBE 1SCAUP 1RING-NECKED DUCK  AND 11 POCHARD

Posted March 5th, 2018 at 8:05 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Lapping movement

60 lapwing moved east over South Molton at 0930.

Posted March 5th, 2018 at 5:48 pm by Art Symons in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The Black-necked Grebe was still on the canal this lunchtime, between the lock and the motorway bridge. Also 6 Red-breasted Mergansers.

Posted March 5th, 2018 at 4:05 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

Male Garganey hidden away in rushes with Teal. Spoonbill feeding at back of marsh. Also male Pochard, Grey Plover, 5 Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 130 Lapwing & 100 Redwing.

Back at the garden feeders in Harleston, now 3 male Bramblings!

Posted March 5th, 2018 at 2:34 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Filham-Ivybridge

Water rail in reed bed this morning

Posted March 5th, 2018 at 12:41 pm by Ian Stone in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands: 1 Black-throated Diver, 4 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-necked Grebe and 11 Grreat Crested Grebes.

Brixham: 11 Great Northern Divers, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1 ad Meditterranean Gull from 'Asta Zenica' car park

Posted March 5th, 2018 at 12:31 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 4th March 2018

Heathfield Starling Roost

Visited Heathfield again tonight (4th March) not knowing whether it was still in operation or not.  It was, although there was heavy rain and very overcast skies.  On arrival at 17.00 there were clearly already birds in the roost (the first arrivals on 26th Feb were at 17.20 and we are now nearly a week on).

Flocks then came in and entered the roost immediately - there was no murmuration.  This made estimating very much easier than dealing with birds constantly joining a murmuration as had previously been the case.  An estimated 2,335 entered the roost until apparently all flew out for some reason (Sparrowhawk?) and headed towards Bovey Tracey.  My quick estimate was 1,500+ although I hadn't totalled up my estimates at this point and goes to show how easy it is to underestimate.  There must have been at least 2,500 allowing for birds already in the roost.

By this time, it had stopped raining and estimating incoming flocks continued.  it seemed clear that all the arrivals were new flocks based on their speed of arrival or because they were coming in from a height having presumably come from quite a distance (up to 20Km).  At no time did it seem that the 2,335 above returned but I can't be sure of that.  Estimating arriving flocks continued until about 17.55, by which time it was raining again.  At this juncture, several very large flocks arrived from the Haytor direction - two of an estimated 3,500 and two of 8-10,000.  The last birds were in by 18.15.

The overall estimate was 35,000-38,000, a large increase on my previous estimates and almost double those of 24th Feb.  Clearly some birds had moved on by then and others had moved into the area as a result of the severe weather conditions during the last week.  Estimates can be subjective but what is important is monitoring the fluctuations as birds move on and others arrive in the area with each cold spell.  Birds came into the roost from all directions although by far the majority came from the Haytor and Ashburton directions.  Some birds also used the four conifers closer to the main road through the estate as well as those usually used further back.  I understand that the roost was checked as birds left one morning a few weeks ago and most headed towards Dartmoor although undoubtedly some will have splayed out into the surrounding countryside to feed.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 8:50 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary

Still 26 Lapwings and 9 Golden Plovers about but no Fieldfares and only 6 Redwings, outnumbered by (12) Song Thrushes. Also Woodcock, Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, 6+ Stonechats, 2 Green Woodpeckers and 2 Grey Wagtails. 

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 8:07 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Beesands

1 Ring-necked duck, 1 Scaup, 10 Pochard and 9 Mediterranean gulls.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 7:44 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Shaldon

A remarkable 18 Mediterranean Gulls (including 14 adults), 380 Common Gulls and 67 Lesser Black-backed Gulls amongst a mass of gulls off Ness Cove Beach late morning.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

Mid-pm: 2 male Garganey ( thanks Mike and Pete for the news), 1 Ruff, 85 Lapwing, 1 Kingfisher etc.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake, two thirds iced,5 Goosander 1m 4f, 2f Goldeneye, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Song Thrush, 1m Gadwall, 12 Coot, both sets of feeders looking well with Willow/Marsh/Great/Blue/Coal Tit, 1 Nuthatch.

Upper Lake,

2 Willow Tit. 7 Cormorant,1m  1f Goosander, 42 Canada Geese, 32 Black-headed Gull, 5 Lapwing, c60 Starling with 1 Redwing, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Snipe, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Lesser Black-back  Gull.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 6:52 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite flying over fields between Modbury and California cross about 10:am

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 6:21 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Darts Farm, Topsham.

A nice Water Rail showing well in front of hide and flooded fields held plenty of birds including 5 Pintail, 9 Shoveler, 6 Snipe, 1 Golden Plover. 2 Greenshank, 1 Bar-wit, 94 Lapwing, 1 Ruff, 1 Green Sandpiper and a Kingfisher among others. (Thanks to Clive W for sharing the experience).  Having not been here for a few weeks I was surprised to find that the fishing lakes have been enclosed by a high fence presumably to keep animal predators out. 

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 6:21 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

around the exe

Once the early morning showers had eased started at the Exeter st David’s end of the flood relief channel, 1 dipper , lots of redwings and fieldfares, 1 sparrowhawk put up 12 meadow pipits, then as I got to the mill on the exe a group of 10 lapwing flew over and with them were 3 golden plover, both new birds on patch.

walking along the river between the quay and countess wear produced more fieldfares and redwings.

along the canal between the swing bridge and the motorway bridge , 12+ siskins, 2 Cetti’s warblers 600+ fieldfares and 400+ redwings.

then between the motorway bridge and the ferry landing on the canal at Exminster marshes, 2 red breasted mergansers, a coot and with them a small grebe asleep sure it was black necked grebe eventually it woke up and showed down to a few meters confining it was a black necked grebe only my second on the marsh , 1 ruff was with masses of lapwing near the motorway bridge.

on the walk home a woodcock flew across the flood relief channel between trews weir and salmon pool to end a good days birding 

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 6:00 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Black Necked grebe

Bumped into Keith Birchall on the Exeter Ship Canal this afternoon and he was on a Black Necked Grebe - close views - associating with a Coot approximately 500m north of the Topsham ferry crossing.

https://youtu.be/lgXlCd8a_CE

Black-necked Grebe Black-necked Grebe
Black-necked Grebe                                     Black-necked Grebe

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 5:05 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Harleston

Male Brambling at garden feeding station - first ever! Also Nuthatch & Jay. 100+ Redwing in surrounding trees, several Fieldfares over. Long-tailed Tits still alive!

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 5:00 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

South Brent ~ Redwings

Just had a count of no less than 108 Redwing in the field next to my house at South Brent, three Song Thrush have been about the garden all day along with twice the usual number of Blackbirds, the morning gave a fly past Fieldfare, two Nuthatch, three Dunnock, female Bullfinch, a fly past from a female Sparrow hawk, the regular female Reed Bunting showed up as well being the first sighting since the snow fell.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 4:45 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Firecrest - Exeter

A very approachable Firecrest about 13.30 today in bushes at the car park at the end of Clapperbrook Lane

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 4:18 pm by stephen gardiner in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Around Braunton

Great Fields: large flocks of fieldfares, redwings, starlings, lapwing and golden plover. Also linnets, mipits and skylarks.

Horsey Island: 1 spoonbill, grey plover, large flocks of dunlin containing 2 knot and 5 sanderling, redshank, curlew and shelduck.

Sherpa Marsh: shoveler, teal, wigeon and a flock of Canada geese with the Tundra Bean Goose.

Wrafton pond: pochard, gadwall, tufted duck and wigeon on the pond. On the scrape there was a greenshank and a large mixed flock of curlew and lapwing.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 4:12 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding

Snow Geese in Powderham Castle grounds

Snow Geese viewed from Powderham Castle, just across from the Castle's Farm shop car park. 4th Mar 2018

  

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 3:55 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Torcross

3 Black-necked Grebes near the hide, at least 15 Mediterranean Gulls and a second calander year Glaucous Gull

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 3:52 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Instow

Torridge estuary at Instow:

2 flypast Avocets

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 3:38 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exwick Cemetery Exeter

Three Hawfinch feeding in leaf litter with 15 Redwing towards top of Cemetery on grass/woodland edge of under Cherries. Two Sparrowhawks too, Male & Female type. 

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 2:29 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

A pair of Garganey feeding on flooded field at the back of the Marsh , also Sandwich Tern , 2 Spoonbill , 2 Ruff 

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 1:14 pm by Mike passman in General Birding

04-03-18 Ford Park Cemetery Black Redstarts Male & Female

Male & Female Black Redstarts are back in Ford Park Cemetery today 04-03-18 Female showing very well and not afraid of people close by, the male showed once and I managed a few photo's and then disappeared.

  

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 1:06 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Walkhamton Valley

Large flock of lapwing going west 11.20.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 12:31 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Partial albino Blackcap,

This female visited the garden during the recent cold snap in Dawlish, Kingsdown

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 12:11 pm by Paul Barker in General Birding

AFTER THE SNOW HAD GONE!

Not a bad morning despite the rain. No sign of the Med gulls though a fellow birder spotted the Iceland bird. One black necked grebe and two great crested off the beach. On the grass between the huts the bar tailed godwit was showing well. Behind the huts several cirl buntings too. Worth getting wet for.!

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 10:47 am by Philip L. Fairclough in General Birding

Exe Estuary 3rd March

Yesterday afternoon saw the last Stuart Line birdwatching cruise of the season. There was still the unusual sight of Lapwings and Golden Plovers feeding on the sandy shore of Warren Point (and on Exmouth rugby field), otherwise the tides and rain had rendered the intertidal areas free of snow. There was no sign of the Great Northern Diver, but the Slavonian Grebe was again midway between Cockwood and Exmouth and a dozen or more Great Crested Grebes were scattered up the estuary. Best bird was a female Scaup with Mergansers near Turf. Six Goldeneye were near Topsham and again a large flock of Pintail (150-ish) around the mouth of the Clyst. 275 Avocets were well scattered between Powderham and Topsham.

Back home in Chudleigh, Fieldfares peaked at 75 in the garden (previous best total in 2010 was two!). Compared with the deluge of garden birds in the December 2010 hard weather, we had only one Song Thrush this time (cf. 8 in 2010), 6 Starlings (cf. 30), 7 Goldfinches (cf. 12) and no Greenfinches.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 10:34 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Dousland

Lapwing 50+ flying east  at 10.05,  lovely treat to see on a gloomy morning.

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 10:16 am by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Mansands

Pleasant surprise were 4 brambling on the reed bed yesterday. The Cettis has survived the onslaught. Not too much of note else on the lagoon

Posted March 4th, 2018 at 10:07 am by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Saturday 3rd March 2018

Plym Estuary


A big clear out of yesterday’s goodies overnight and winter norm restored with rain all morning. But still 170 Redwings,  15 Fieldfares fem ale Pintail and 9 Lapwings.

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 8:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

1st winter male Black Redstart

3rd March 2018 Ford Park Cemertery

 

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 7:30 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Ilfracombe, Red-breasted Merganser.

This afternoon a stunning drake Red-breasted Merganser, fishing in Tunnels swimming pool. Also a 1st winter Glaucous Gull flew up Channel.
Noticeable passage of LBB Gulls.

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 7:13 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape

2 Spoonbill on the scrape early am including one colour ringed which was ringed in the Netherlands as a nestling on 10 June 2007 & has earned the name of 'Ye Old Faithfull' because it has overwintered on the Taw Estuary every year since 2007.


Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 5:44 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Garden Bird Watch

Have enjoyed the influx of birds into my garden high on the hill above Exmouth in Brixington Area with woodland island behind us.   Many Fieldfare and Redwing in particular systematically sorting through leaves under our long conifer hedges.   Usual long tailed tits, gold crest, blackcaps, robin, blue, great and coal tits at feeding station with hedgesparrows.  Song thrush also feeding with many blackbirds and a wren.  Quick siting of a Woodcock which landed in next door's garden.  

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 4:08 pm by John Wokersien in General Birding

Stay at home Birding Update

The snow's all gone in Colebrook today, but we were still visited by at least six fieldfare this morning. In the garden, new visitors included a male Blackcap, a Wren and amazingly a Meadow Pipit.  Not a rare bird but the first ever seen in the garden in over thirty years. 

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 1:40 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Wrafton

Pretty sure the Tundra Bean Goose was out in the field between the reserve and RMB Chivenor this morning - associating with about a dozen Canada Geese. On and around the scrape were several Lapwing, 2/3 Dunlin, Teal, Shoveler, MEadow Pipit, Snipe and many Redwings.

Wrafton pond still partly frozen hosted Gadwall, Wigeon  Pochard, and singles of Common and LBB Gull.

5 Teal in the reserve, and for the first time this spring 2 Canada Geese.

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 1:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Brent

After a day almost devoid of birds around the garden feeders yesterday, today got back to a degree of normality with a very active Nuthatch, pair of Bullfinch, good numbers of Goldfinch, several Starlings including a BTO ringed bird, male GSWP, male Siskin, Jay and a fly past from a female Sparrow hawk.

And at long last the Fieldfares discovered the garden.

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 1:34 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stay at home Birding Update

The snow's all gone in Colebrook today, but we were still visited by at least six fieldfare this morning. In the garden, new visitors included a male Blackcap, a Wren and amazingly a Meadow Pipit.  Not a rare bird but the first ever seen in the garden in over thirty years. 


Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 1:09 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Clennon Valley, Paignton

A walk out over the fields to the lakes produced: 1 Woodcock, 2 Snipe, 17 Skylark, 43 Fieldfare, 70+ Redwing, 1 Reed Bunting  4 Meadow Pipits and still around 20 Golden Plover on the Velo park grass. 

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 11:19 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Unusual visitors to my garden

Had one redwing yesterday in my garden in Modbury which the fieldfares seemed to bully, also surprised to see a reed bunting a first for my garden

 

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 10:57 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Shiphay, Torquay

09.00-10.45

Constant stream of Redwings and Fieldfares stopping off and passing over, generally moving towards the grounds of Torbay Hospital. 

Good numbers of winter thrushes at Cadewell Park, probing the turf and leaf litter exposed by the retreating snow.  Birds coming and going, sometimes being moved on by dog walkers. 

At 09.15 a Woodcock over Higher Cadewell Lane.  It was headed in the direction of Kitson Park, before returning after five minutes and then flying off towards the south.   

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 10:54 am by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Winter visitors

Lots of Fieldfares in the garden yesterday in Modbury, really stroppy fighting over the apples and pears I'd put out for them.

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 10:54 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Kingsteignton

Woodcock and two Bramblings at Hackney Marshes this morning.

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 10:20 am by Will Salmon in General Birding

Teignmouth Yesterday

Flock of Redwing at Sprey Point, single Golden Plover and 3 Linnet on the Den.

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 10:07 am by Ruth Dearing in General Birding

Busy table at Ashridge Farm, Sandford

Amazing afternoon yesterday 2nd. Up to 12 Brambling. Not in the picture is Fieldfair and Redwing

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 10:05 am by Richard Burston in General Birding

Broadsands

Watching the Gulls with Andy Plumb this morning was productive with 12 Mediterranean Gulls 11 adults and 1 fw plus a very showy juv/fw Iceland Gull different from the dark bodied and billed bird two days ago and not the Brixham/Berry Head bird from Jan/Feb (see comparison shots below). There have been at least 3 different juv/fw birds in Torbay so far this winter. video clip link here: https://youtu.be/KodL5vtULFw 

Iceland Gull juv/fw Broadsands 3 March 2018 ML  Iceland Gull Brixham 15 Feb 2018 ML

   Iceland Gull juv/fw Broadsands 3 March                         compare Iceland Gull juv/fw Brixham 15 Feb                                       

 

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 9:34 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Winter Birds in Paignton

Like most of you, restricted to garden birding for obvious reasons. However, proved extremely fruitful, producing 3 firsts for the garden:

  • Several Redwings & a Fieldfare - first time recorded in the garden
  • A Goldcrest - first time recorded on a feeder

Was also visited by an old friend the Blackcap.

Handy Hint No1: Of all the times to run out of seed, it had to be now! Improvised by putting peanuts in the food processor and filling the feeders with that.

                      Redwing                                          Fieldfare                       Blackcap (definitely overwintering)

 

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 12:01 am by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Friday 2nd March 2018

Tiverton

Back garden, Canal Hill.  8.50am 30+ Lapwing overhead ; east to west.  Garden visitors through day included 9 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 5 Brambling.  Also, on two occasions 1 Buzzard in back garden shrub watching ground feeding birds.  

Pavement, Canal Hill.  2.45pm  1 Meadow Pipit feeding along stone wall on pavement of main road.  

Field stream / drain, Newtes Hill.Snipe.  

Ditch along lane between Brithem Bottom / Ash Thomas.  3 Snipe.

Meadow Pipit - Canal Hill, Tiverton - 02.03.2018
Meadow Pipit - Canal Hill, Tiverton - 02.03.2018

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 11:16 pm by James Morrison in General Birding

Teignmouth Garden

Quite few species on the feeders today, finches, tits. Best were female Blackcap and a lovely male Brambling. Regularly a pair of Blackcap and two pairs of Bullfinch. Also c20 Fieldfares just down the road. Yesterday 9 Golden Plover over.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 10:50 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Starcross

Again many redwing and fieldfare among the usual garden birds,plus a female reed bunting, the first for the garden, but the highlight was a brambling.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 9:23 pm by Janet Gray in General Birding

Snowy East Ogwell

The cold weather brought fieldfares and redwings into the garden and a hawfinch, which has visited the bird table every day over the last week. A walk into Newton Abbot saw a mixed flock of over 30 fieldfares and redwings feeding on the berries near Asda.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 9:14 pm by John Simons in General Birding

Exeter

A walk into work at the Devon hotel this morning saw lots of fieldfares and redwings around marsh Barton, at work a lapwing looking for food in front of the reception was followed by 3 snipe behind the hotel , and yet more redwings and fieldfares , the best was still to come on the walk home first a woodcock flew up from the stream at the side of the Volkswagen showroom and flew over my head heading towards Matford park and ride, more lapwing flew over heading towards Exeter, then just before the Skoda showroom another woodcock flew up in front of me then headed towards Matford marsh. 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Walked right around the estuary this afternoon and made some great counts of freeze-driven birds. A total of 440 Lapwings, the majority on Blagdon’s but 98 too on Blaxton. 475 Fieldfares again the majority on  Blagdon’s but 140 in Saltram fields. Also on Blaxton: 5 Avocets, female Pintail, 9 Teal, 5 Shovelers & Reed Bunting. Other totals - 155 Redwings, 8 Snipe, 48 Golden Plovers, 50+ Meadow Pipits and (at Blagdon’s) Grey Plover.

Also on Tothill playing field: 9 Golden Plovers, 35 Fieldfares & 35 Lapwings.

A fantastic afternoon on the patch!

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 6:59 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Braunton Great Field

About 30 Fieldfare at Braunton Marsh end of the Great Field this afternoon. 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 6:58 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Garden Birds

Lots in garden today as well as usual Jays, Magpie,Blackbirds,Wood pigeons Blue, Great. Coal and at least 12 Longtailed our Blackcap male regular Blacap was joined by 2 Females and a Redwing that hung around all day was joined by another just before dusk and there was a movement of 7 flocks of 12 to 15 thrush sized birds along Parkway towards Cornwall at dusk.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Bill & Jill Beck in General Birding

Sidbury

A large influx of wintering birds to the village and surrounding farmland 50+ lapwing and 6 snipe in feilds neighbouring the river Sid near the primary school, 4 fly overs of woodcock over the village and a flock of brambling in my garden.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 6:25 pm by Jude Dinham-Price in General Birding

North Plympton

One meadow pipit and one male blackcap in the garden this afternoon. Usual species present as well. 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 6:10 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Plymouth Hoe

Plenty of evidence of hard weather movements on the Hoe this afternoon, with Redwings everywhere (at least 500 seen) Fieldfares (40), Lapwing (40), Golden Plover (6), Skylark (5), a Cirl Bunting above the ‘Welcome to Plymouth’ bank, a Yellowhammer on the rocks at Rusty Anchor and a Stonechat in West Hoe Park.  The area around the Citadel and West Hoe Park both seemed especially busy.  On the grass in West Hoe Park alone, 10 Lapwings, 3 Golden Plover, 100 Redwings and 10 Meadow Pipits.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 5:31 pm by John Bishop in General Birding

Berrynarbor

At least 6 Fieldfare in the garden today. Many Redwing in the ivy on the Alder at the bottom of the garden and a brief sighting of a Firecrest.         4 Blackcaps.

  

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 5:14 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Ludwell Valley Park

Flocks of lapwings, mixed thrushes and golden plover in the park and surroundings today, plus 2 woodcock on the edge of the business park. Our garden on the edge of the park had a surprise visit from a meadow pipit this afternoon too! :)

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 5:10 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Stay at Home Birding

In again for most of the day. In the back garden in Colebrook was visited again by a Goldcrest along with along with a Song Thrush and the usual garden crowd, including 2 or even 3 Nuthatches (but sadly not 'pasty-face', the one with almost no eye-stripes that was regular since November).  On the 'green' at the front of the house there has been a flock of 20+ Fieldfare & 2 Redwing for three hours at least.  In amongst them tough was one healthy looking Lapwing, not seen here since the last snow in 1985!  Janet saw a Lapwing over the house yesterday afternoon.

 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 5:09 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

River Exe - Exton Station

In the field adjacent to the cycle track boardwalk next to Exton Station there were lots of Lapwing. Good numbers of Redwing, Fieldfare, Dunlin, Redshank, Starling and Meadow Pipits. At least 2 Snipe and 2 Golden Plover. 1 Cirl Bunting and a Reed Bunting.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 4:40 pm by Richard Jordan in General Birding

Staddiscombe

Winter weather brings in 30 Redwing & 2 Fieldfare first ever sighting in garden 

Fieldfare   Redwing
Fieldfare                              Redwing

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 4:07 pm by Roger Backway in General Birding

Tiverton gardenwatch

3 brambling, 12 Chaffinch, 7 Bullfinch, 19 Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch, 7 Siskin, 3 Blue Tit, 2 each of Great, Coal & Longtailed Tits, 3 Robin, 2 Dunnock, 1 Wren, 1 Song Thrush, 5 Blackbirds, 1 Crow, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 GSP, (male) 8 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, plus 3 unidentifiable Thrushes. we started with 1 then 2 Redwings from Wednesday to the 8 today, they are not moving away from the garden trees even when i approach the window.  

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 4:07 pm by M C Webb in General Birding

Exmouth

5 Woodlark on Exmouth Beach @ 1420 at least. Also many Golden Plover and Lapwing, sadly on their last legs. Also around Exmouth today - 3 Woodcock and masses of thrushes. Ten Purple Sandpiper on Maer Rocks. See www.gobirdingexmouth.blogspot.co.uk for photos.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 3:15 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Avocets in the snow

Some images of Avocets in the blizzard at Topsham yesterday - note the apparent 'legless' one!

Avocet in blizzard Avocets in blizzard Avocets in blizzard

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 3:01 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Exmouth and Chudleigh

After being forced to spend the night in Exmouth (all roads to Chudleigh blocked by snow and/or abandoned cars!), I saw loads of Fieldfares and fewer Redwings all over the place around Exmouth, with many in gardens. Travelling gingerly back home, I saw Lapwing and a Snipe alongside the M5 and then got home in Chudleigh to more masses of Fieldfares and Redwings, including in my garden (where earlier there was our second ever Yellowhammer). Pieces of apple and dried mealworms are proving very attractive, though one particular Fieldfare has control of the biggest piece and dominates all-comers!

Fieldfare in ice-glazed Chudleigh garden The 'apple-master'! Fieldfare on ice-glaze

Fieldfares in Chudleigh garden, including the 'apple-master' and one on ice-glazed bush

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 2:52 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

More Fieldfare , Estover , Plymouth

Since I posted the photos of the Fieldfare I've had a flock of 10 come in followed by a solitary Redwing and a Lapwing has flown over.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 2:46 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Braunton

We had a pair of Reed Buntings feeding on the floor under the seed feeders on Thursday - and a lovely male bullfinch. we feed sunflower hearts and a premium mix for the huge numbers of goldfinches that visit every day. our house is near the tesco roundabout, at velator.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 2:35 pm by Karen Serle in General Birding

Cold weather Movement - Kingsteignton - Stover Park

A four hour walk this morning 0830 -1230. Constant movement of birds moving South West particularly Fieldfare / Redwing - Flocks varying in number but in excess of 10,000 estimated. Continuous movement of Lapwings in flocks of up to 30 - individuals seen in road tracks, feeding under cattle and a few resting / drinking on the ice on Stover Lake. Lapwings were seen in most fields in the Teigngrace Stover Area. Fieldfare and Redwings also also seen resting on ice on Stover Lake  Several flocks of Snipe overhead heading SW. One flock of about 30 Grey Plover over Stover School. Over100 Robins on the Stover Lake path in groups of up to 12. At Teigngrace  2 lapwings, 20 meadow pipits, 15 redwings, robins starlings and blackbirds feeding underneath the feet of the cattle at a feeding trough. 1 yellow hammer in a ditch near the Stover Canal. Two robins were seen feeding on a fresh carcus of a woodcock in ice on the Tegngrace Road. 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 2:32 pm by JDA in General Birding

Fire crest in Totnes garden

Just seen a male fire crest in the oleander shrub about a foot away from our dining room window. Not quick enough to photograph it, unfortunately.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 2:04 pm by Valerie Davies in General Birding

Velator

Arrived this morning to clear a small reed-bed that has become infested with Brambles. In the field as I arrived a good sized flock of Curlew, some Lapwing and at least one Fieldfare. As the ground is frozen, I can get my car there with without getting it covered in mud. We had virtually no snow last night, just very cold strong winds. The remains of the Redshank had gone and some footprints looked like badger, but as I walked into the centre of the reserve the footprints I could see were of a Fox. Lo and behold a bit further around and I could see it! I eventually tracked it to the are where I have a few feeders, and had spread some seed on the ground yesterday - it seemed to be eating that! It soon disappeared when it saw me. 10 Teal flew from the open water on the pond. Cut the reeds/brambles and soon had a good blaze going. There were lots of Snipe just outside the reserve, and flocks of both Lapwing and Fieldfare went over.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 1:59 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Totnes garden

Watching fieldfare, redwings, bramblings and even a tired looking skylark on the lawn this afternoon in Totnes. Jackdaws have moved in now - so everything has scattered! Also saw a couple of pipits hopping along the Plymouth Road this morning - meadow pipits I think. 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 1:55 pm by Jon Flynn in General Birding

Estover , Plymouth

Fieldfare in garden 3 come in and managed to get shots of 2 of them.

  

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 1:25 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Garden birds in the snow

Some very hungry garden birds allowing for some snowy photographs yesterday. First brambling and redwing for the garden too. Totnes

    

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 1:11 pm by Jason Parry in General Birding

Clennon to Broadsands

Some evidence of cold weather movement along the coast with 21 Golden Plover on Clennon playing fields, two Snipe and a Water Rail. 40+ Redwing and 12 Fieldfare between there and Broadsands.

Broadsands: 14 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park with at least 20 Cirl Buntings but I didn't stop long after dropping the seed. lots of gulls in the flooded green area of Broadsands and on the beach 600+ Common Gull, 6 Mediterranean Gulls one fw the rest adults. There are 4 Med Gulls in the photo below!

4 Mediterranean Gull in flooded Broadsands car park 2 March 2018 ML 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 12:55 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Black Redstart - Barnstaple.

12.15 2/3 Black Redstart foraging on the ground in my front garden in Braunton Rd, Barnstaple. Also 1 pair of Bullfinches feeding on sunflower feeder and 1 pair of Reed Buntings feeding on fatball feeder in back garden.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 12:44 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

TIVERTON BRAMBLINGS

Bramblings increased to six today amongst mixed flock of Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Bullfinch numbering 50 - 60. Also joined by two Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 12:26 pm by A.Colllinge in General Birding

Peverell, Plymouth

30 Lapwing & 6 Redwing over heading SW, 1 Snipe flying over. A dazzling Firecrest feeding well in our flowering Camellia. Male Blackcap, 2 Redwing and a Fieldfare all feeding on apples in the garden..

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 12:16 pm by R Hurrell in General Birding

Flock of redwings

We have a flock of beautiful redwings currently appear to be feeding well on the berries on our cotoneaster tree. A magpie just swooped down and scared some away to nearby gardens. Most are still happy to stay hidden in our tree! One daring redwing even came down onto our snow covered pond, maybe searching water. Tried to attach photos but I’m sorry it didn’t work.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 11:54 am by Chris Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Blaxton Meadow

A brief walk to the meadow this morning while the wife went to Sainsbury’s. Best of the bunch were 1 Avocet, 2 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 13 Teal, c120 Lapwing, 27 Redwing, 10 Fieldfare, 2 Skylark, 6 Meadow Pipit. Also good numbers of Shelduck, Redshank & Curlew. Not back for an hours birding on meadow.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 11:14 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Brambling - South Brent

My first ever brambling at my home in South Brent this morning. Feeding in the snow with 40+ chaffinch + other birds on seed I had put out. Yesterday a female blackcap there.

Brambling - South Brent - 2.3.2018
Brambling - South Brent - 2.3.2018

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 11:08 am by David Pakes in General Birding

Hexworthy

Three Lapwing going over W this morning - first record here.  Also a Firecrest a few days ago.  Woodcock and Snipe turning up in unusual places, and tame Redwings really struggling with the cold.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 11:08 am by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Fieldfare feeding in the garden

A solitary fieldfare tucking in to feed on the lawn despite initial  opposition from resident blackbirds - but now fighting back!  A first for  the garden here on the Yelverton/Horrabridge border

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 10:46 am by Mary Harper in General Birding

Snow sighting

Approx 25 Black tailed Godwits feeding along edge of flood relief bank just off Jettymarsh roundabout Newton Abbot at 9.30am this morning 

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 10:43 am by Jon Martin in General Birding

Kingsteignton Fieldfares

Approximately fifty fieldfares feeding in a fir tree off Tarrs Avenue.

Posted March 2nd, 2018 at 10:02 am by Patrick Case in General Birding

Thursday 1st March 2018

Starcross

We've had a male and female blackcap coming regularly to the garden birdfeeders and today was no exception. What was unusual was a mixed  flock of 20 or so redwing and fieldfare feasting on the berries and anything else they could find. This is the first time in 4 years I have seen even one. The extreme weather overcame their narural reluctance. 

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 9:30 pm by Janet Gray in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

Not many people turned up for this afternoon's cruise, which is a shame because the weather provided some interesting observations. Lapwings were everywhere, including 250 with dozens of Golden Plovers sheltering in the dunes at Dawlish Warren. Lots of Lapwings seemed to be arriving from the east. Great Northern Diver and 10+ G Crested Grebes were expected. Large numbers of geese had abandoned the fields and sat out on the snow-covered mud; the 2 Snow Geese and 2 Greylags were with them. Waders either sat dejectedly on the snow or fed along the waterline. Avocets feeding in slush was a novelty, and in flight they often kept both legs retracted - very sensible!

Small passerines were also on the move: Fieldfare, Redwing, Meadow Pipits. A Pied Wagtail even joined the boat in mid-estuary, running around under our feet. 

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 7:40 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Sidmouth beach

Around 50 Lapwing and 8 Golden Plover on the beach this morning among scores of Dunlin. Later A Snipe flying low along the beach into the blizzard at Budleigh Salterton

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 7:23 pm by Dave McKeown in General Birding

Berrynarbor

Extremely cold here and snowing almost continually most of the day. Birds struggling to find food. At least three Blackcap, Goldcrest and all the usuals but including Fieldfare and Redwing in the garden. 50/60 Redwing/Fieldfare going to roost up the valley this evening in the blizzard conditions.

     

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 6:06 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Wembury Bay

On Plym Est, 82 Lapwings - 69 on Blaxton Pool with 6 Teal, 5 Shovelers and a Skylark. The pool proving invaluable habitat again. Also in area, Woodcock, Firecrest, 5 Snipe, Jack Snipe, Great Crested Grebe, 6 Little Grebes, Peregrine, 4 Goosanders & a Golden Plover over the Greenhouse.

Earlier, on Wembury beach, 50+ Golden Plovers, c35 Lapwings, Grey Plover, Water Pipit, 6 Teal & 14 Wigeon.

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 5:03 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Velator reserve

Took the opportunity to finish off the bonfire work this morning - great way to keep warm in the icy blasts! Almost the first bird in the reserve was the bottom half (including the legs) of a Redshank. That's the third or fourth Wader this winter, and the second Redshank.

More Finches about today as I filled the feeders yesterday, and a few Reed Buntings too. There are two areas of unfrozen water on the pond, and not long before leaving 4 Teal arrived - an unusual visitor. Lots of cold-looking Lapwing just outside the reserve.

Along the Tarka Trail by Braunton Car Park a Collared Dove was busy collecting nesting material! Good luck to them!

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 4:29 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plymouth Hoe

1 lapwing, 7 golden plover, 11 fieldfare, 2 redwing, 1 song thrush and 5 meadow pipit on a very cold, snowy, windy (and brief) walk around Plymouth Hoe this afternoon.

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 4:25 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Princetown, Lapwing and Skylark.

At about 1000 this morning we had 73 Lapwing flying over our field in Princetown flying NE - SW at. about 100 feet. This was a couple of hours before the main blizzard arrived.

Also 2 Skylark looking for seed on the clear track leading to South Hessary Tor

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 4:03 pm by Gary Easton in General Birding

Hembury Woods

Late am/early pm in the snow: 1 Merlin along the edge of the woods (the first I've seen here), 2 pairs of Mandarins on the river and a flock of 150+ Redwings rooting around in the leaf litter.

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Newton Abbot

2195 Lapwing and 525 Golden Plover SW over Newton Abbot between 9:30 and 12:00.

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 2:15 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Backyard Birds in Colebrook, Plympton

Storm Emma has kept me indoors today, but it hasn't been a total washout, for as well as all my regular garden visitors, there was a Goldcrest and a female Firecrest and about twenty Redwing in my Colebrook garden around the middle of the day. (These are the first Redwing in the garden since before Christmas).

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 1:26 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Common snipe

A really unusual record of 13 Common Snipe flying over gardens in Exeter Road Kingsteignton around 11am - no doubt as a result of this cold weather

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 12:59 pm by JDA in General Birding

Tiverton

Four Brambling bossing the feeders amongst 30 - 40 mixed finches!

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 12:48 pm by A.C0llinge in General Birding

North Plympton

One lapwing over the garden late morning. 

In the garden, one goldcrest, one male blackcap and usual finches, starlings and house sparrows.

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 12:48 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Beast from the east

Wrafton Pond partly frozen, Sherpa / Wrafton scrape & garden pond completely frozen. Not sure whether the frogs spawn will survive the icy blast, will have to wait & see.

         

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 12:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Broadsands

A juv/fw Iceland Gull was on the rocks with Herring Gulls this morning. on seed in the 2nd car park 45 Cirl Buntings and 8 Reed Buntings. video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=kguLVyYYVQk  

    Cirl Bunting Broadsands 1 March 2018 ML   

                        Cirl Bunting Male                                                              Iceland Gull and Herring Gulls     

  

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 12:00 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Garden Birds in Exwick

The cold weather so far has produced a minor influx into the garden; the Blackbirds and Blackcaps are busy eating the remaining crab apples. Eight Lapwings flying over the house heading up the Exe valley at 9:30 was unusual!

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 11:28 am by Martin Overy in General Birding

Braunton Garden

First Firecrest in the garden and coming to the feeders today, A male Siskin yesterday too. Lots of regulars too.

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 10:16 am by R Barnes in General Birding

Lapwings Kingsteignton

Approx a hundred lapwings overhead in Exeter road Kingsteignton

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 9:48 am by Graeme Davey in General Birding

South Milton Reserve Reed Cut - Cancelled

It will come as no surprise that the reed cut planned for South Milton Reserve on Saturday is cancelled.  Thank you to all who had volunteered to help. Hopefully we will have better luck with the weather next winter.

Nick Townsend

Posted March 1st, 2018 at 9:46 am by Nick Townsend in General Birding

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