Devon Bird Sightings from April 2013

2019 Descriptions - last call

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

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

 

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

Coronavirus update - Bird Hides

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

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

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

Membership

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

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

Tuesday 30th April 2013

Yarner Woods

A lovely morning at Yarner Woods today produced several Pied Flycatchers a male Redstart and Stonechat on the heath.



Posted April 30th, 2013 at 9:49 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding

Mansands/Wood Huish farm

A Red Kite was lingering around the Mansands and Wood Huish farm area this evening first seen at about 4.30pm then again an hour later and again at about 7.20pm, on the last occassion it was flying back down toward Mansands.

Red Kite Mansands 30 April 2013 ML

Posted April 30th, 2013 at 9:08 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wrafton pond

Yahoo! First Swifts of the year at 1800. Summer must nearly be here. 

Posted April 30th, 2013 at 6:42 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

Axe Estuary

Two Hobbies have been feeding over my house (north east Seaton) and Black Hole Marsh for a couple of hours this afternoon.  Also whenever I've glanced out of the window I've seen hirundines/Swifts flying north.

Posted April 30th, 2013 at 3:25 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Dartmoor

This photo was sent from a small isolated hotel in Dartmoor and they have attracted Redpolls to their feeders.  This winter I have received quite a few records of garden feeding Redpoll - so if you have also had a visitation please send your records in.

Lesser Redpoll Dartmoor David Martin

Posted April 30th, 2013 at 3:16 pm in General Birding

Wrafton

Walked round Sherpa marsh this morning, quite a few Sedge/Reed Warblers now singing, one Common Sandpiper, and that was about it! Oh, two Swifts and 2 House Martins over.

Posted April 30th, 2013 at 1:47 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head Colony

1019 Guillemots on cliff, 19 in water below colony and 9 on cod rock and best of all the first egg. 1 seal and in Northern fort, 6 Wheatear. Still very cold wind. Looking at past records should be around 1250 birds, a bit short but could still be weather conditions!!

Posted April 30th, 2013 at 10:56 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Isley Marsh and Yelland Power Stn area.

07:45 - 09:45

No sign nor sound of a Savi`s Warbler reported in Yelland testerday on Birdguides and Rare bird Alert.

A great morning did throw up 5 Grey Plovers (some in summer plumage); 1 Knot; 2 Dunlin (also in sum plum); 14 Whimbrel; 1 Ruff; many Sedge and Reed Warblers; Common Whitethroats; a Willow Warb; Reed Buntings and most unusual, a Guillemot just off Isley on the rising tide at 08:55. I`ve never seen one here before, in well over 20 years but I think there was one off the Skern not long ago.

Posted April 30th, 2013 at 10:22 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Monday 29th April 2013

Exminster Marshes

Late morning into the early afternoon visit to Exminster Marshes, most of the bush thickets were full of bird song, the big Q was what was singing? Did manage to spot two male Blackcap, several Chiffchaff one of the days highlights being a well marked Warbler that turned out to be a Sedge Warbler the other highlight were the Hobbys, four in view on several occassions, a number of pictures taken show the birds carrying prey items, birds seen to be feeding in flight on more than one occasion.

Good passage of Swallow and House Martin, one Sand Martin seen.

Canadian Geese had the company of at least three Bar Headed Geese and a small number of Grey Lags also on the marsh.

Only a few very flighty Wagtails to be seen, possibly put off by the presence of the Hobbys.

Posted April 29th, 2013 at 10:21 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head Guillemots

Volunteers needed to monitor the Guillemots at Berry Head see:

http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=194#p884

A training morning will take place for those willing to help on Friday..

Posted April 29th, 2013 at 8:01 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

During a boat trip from Exeter to the Turf on the Exeter canal this morning there was a steady passage of swifts overhead. A single common sandpiper flew north and 2 dunlin were at Turf. A peregrine was flying west over the estuary north of Turf.

Walking back over the marshes at 13.30 I counted 6 hobbies south of the motorway bridge (these birds were probably over the lagoon earlier). I heard or saw 1 lesser whitethroat, 2 whitethroats, 3 Cettis warblers, 4 sedge warblers and 2 reed warblers.

Posted April 29th, 2013 at 3:18 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

S. Devon - various

Saturday....2 x yellow wags, at slightly different locations, between the 2 car parks. Distant view of hobby towards railway lines, so decided to walk that path, and were treated to a hobby flying (hunting) low across the marshes.

Sunday PM at Ipplepen, above Animals in Distress, single Red Kite, much to the distress of local corvids !

Posted April 29th, 2013 at 11:55 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Wood Warbler Colyton

Singing Wood Warbler in private woodland near Colyton this morning. I think only the third or fourth ever patch record!  It's in suitable habitat and was constantly singing, so I'm hoping it will stay.

Also, drake Velvet Scoter still present close in off Seaton, and Ian M saw the Osprey again this morning over the Estuary.

Wood Warbler
Wood Warbler

Posted April 29th, 2013 at 10:29 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Sunday 28th April 2013

Osprey, Axe Estuary

I had some brief & distant but enjoyable views of an Osprey as the light was fading this evening. It was eating a fish on the mud in front of Tower Hide but flew off just before I arrived. I relocated it on one of the tram line posts slightly further upstream.

Image © Tim White
Image © Tim White

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 11:42 pm by Tim White in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Flat calm sea  this morning produced a Great N Diver, a Black T Diver ( close inshore ) 5 Common Scoter. 2 Sandwich Tern. At least 60 Whimbrel on the rocks or in the fields. Good passage of Hirundines - 100+ Swallow, 20 House Martin, 10 Sand Martin., 3 Swift. First Hobby of the year flew through. 5 Yellow Wagtail showed well and at 12.40 another male Blue Headed Wagtail found .Waders on the Marsh - 7 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 5:37 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Ilfracombe - 28th April

A solitary Lesser Black-backed Gull resting on the church roof - have not seen this species around the town very often & another Razorbill close in again on the water - this time near the harbour.




Posted April 28th, 2013 at 3:52 pm by Chris & Sally Bollen in General Birding

Plymouth Area

Recent sightings sent in by Robert Hurrell

24/4 Western Kings, Plymouth Sound:
2 Sandwich Terns, 26 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Fulmar, 14 Shelduck overhead in one flock.

Drakes Island: 3 Swallow, at least 8 visible active Cormorant nests, 4 Shag, many Herring gulls nesting or carrying out nesting activity, 10+Canada Geese in pairs (one obviously sitting), 6 Mallard display chasing, 3 Oystercatcher.
  
25/4 Western Kings, Plymouth Sound:
1 Oiled adult Guillemot drifting out on the morning tide from Tamar trying repeatedly to rid itself of substance on breast and belly feathers. Did not dive.
4 Sandwich Terns, 4 Whimbrel, Curlew heard, 1 distant Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Swallow, 1 Fulmar
 
26/4 Wembury Point
Min 85 Whimbrel (largest flock of 62!), 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Dunlin (nearly full sp), 2 Little Egret, 2 Whitethroat, 5 Sandwich Terns.

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 3:20 pm in General Birding

Dartington and Exminster/Powderham Marsh

After being seen yesterday evening prior to dusk, thought it would a good bet that we could relocate the Night Heron in daylight hours and sure enough at 9.00am about 100 yards beyond the second gate on the riverside path, the First Summer Night Heron was stood out on a log on the other side of the river in full view. It flew back down the river for 100 yards and after flying again ended up roosting in thick cover 50 yards before the second gate on the far bank. The bird has one long white head plume.

A sad sight was a dead Canada Goose on the marsh by the entrance to Dartington, with its mate stood by its side.

On Powderham Marsh, a Wood Sandpiper (found by BBH mid morning) showed distantly from the viewing platform. A Common Sand was with the Wood Sand before we got there.

Plenty of Swifts around both Powderham and Exminster Marshes. c100 Pale-Bellied Brent Geese in 2 flocks of c70 and c30 high up over the River Exe, 5 Whimbrel and a Greenshank flew over Exminster. 5 Redpoll still present as were 3 Bar-Headed Geese. 

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 2:23 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Exminster Marshes 7.30 - 11.30am

54 Sedge, 7 Reed, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 7 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat 

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 1:25 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Berry Hd

Berry Hd very quiet - no evidence of any grounded migrants! At sea 11 Manx Shearwaters, 9 Whimbrel, 2 Great Northern Divers 2 Harblour Porpoises.

Dartingtons Night Heron last night, it flew off down river at 9.05pm - it's got better timing than my watch:

1st Summer Night Heron Dartington 27 april 2013 ML

 I expect some better photos today- as its been showing in daylight!

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 9:28 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Berry Head Colony

885 Guillemots on cliffs, 9 on the water, 5 on the island( cod rock ) and nice to see 14 Kittiwakes also on the cliffs. Not much else about. Will count again on Tuesday!!!

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 9:25 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Southcott Marsh,bideford.

2 yellow wagtails m&f,07:40....20 whimbrel,skern.

Posted April 28th, 2013 at 8:34 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Saturday 27th April 2013

Exminster/Powderham Marshes 7am - 10am

Blue-headed Wagtail, 30 Sedge, 5 Reed, 6 Cetti's, 5 Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 7 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover, 44 Shelduck, 50 + Sand Martin, 50+ Swallow, 5 House Martin, 20+ Swift.

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 9:28 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Crane

Single Crane seen flying over Cadover Bridge in direction of Yelverton at 8pm Saturday 27/04.

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 8:41 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in General Birding

Around the marshes

Bowling green marsh 07:35 till 09:30

the summer plumage spotted redshank was on the far side from the hide, 12+ whimbrel, 12+ bar tailed godwits, 3 grey plover, 2 common ssandpiper, 2 greenshanks, 7 wigeon, 2 willow warblers, 5+ blackcaps, 1  reed warbler, good passage of swifts, 160+ black headed gulls.

exminster marsh 10:00 till 12:30

the blue headed wagtail showed very well in scrape by middle car park with 3 yellow wagtails(2m,1f) good passage of sand Martin and swifts,6+ buzzards, a few sedge warblers and willow warblers, a hobby was reported over the lagoon, 60+ dunlin.

on way home popped into local patch around mill on the exe pub in exeter and had a nice common sandpiper on the weir. 

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 8:02 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Common sandpiper 1 

Swallow 5

Whimbrel 3

Chiffchaff 2 outside of hide calling

Blackcap 1 calling the other side of the road

Wigeon 2 m 3 fm

Yellow wagtails 3 over calling

Pied Wagtails 6-7 feeding on the ground

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 7:20 pm by Stephen J Turner in General Birding

Dartmoor

Chris Caldwell found his trip to the compost exciting this afternoon as he was rewarded with a sighting of a Red Kite drifting overhead towards Throwleigh.  See Gallery for photo - as photo will not upload.

Red Kite Throwleigh 27.4.2013 Chris Caldwell

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 4:08 pm in General Birding

Berry Head

Only 88 guillemots on cliffs at Berry Head this morning, will count again Sunday morning and see if birds back, 2 whitethroats and a few swallows but not much else, wind moving round to the north and cold.

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 3:49 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Soar

Did the circuit from the car park out to the Warren, down to Starehole Valley and back through East Soar Farm this morning. Very quiet, only highlight were 20 Wheatears and a female Merlin which had a pop at some of them around the airfield ( i can't remember seeing a Merlin this late in spring around here before ). Elsewhere just a handful of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. Quite a few Whitethroats on territory.

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 12:58 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Southcott Marsh,bideford.

f Yellow Wagtail,10 White wagtails,09:00.Nothing down skern this morning clear conditions early evening allowed them to move on.

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 11:34 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Instow C.G to Yelland Main jetty.

07:30 - 09:00

15 Pied wagtails on the cricket ground. 19 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Little Egret on the foreshore. 8 Wheatear, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Stonechat and a smattering of Meadow Pipits and Linnets on Instow Barton Marsh. 3 Grey Herons were showing interest again in the fir trees on the old power station site, now that the generator pit ponds are infilled. Swallows, Martins and 1 Raven overhead. It would be interesting to find out where the Sand Martins are nesting now, seeing that they were also ousted from the generator pit ponds due to Health and Safety! Sedge and Reed warblers heard and seen in the overflow pond reedbeds. Just 2 Blackcaps and Chiff chaffs in bushes on the Tarka Trail.

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 10:31 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Friday 26th April 2013

Night Heron Dartington

After a cold wait by the riverbank, at 9.05pm precisely, Alan Doidge, ENW and I had the  Night Heron   flying upriver  until lost behind the riverbank trees in dim light, unable to establish whether it dropped in anywhere. Exactly same time as last night's sighting. Alan initially picked it up apparently coming across from the other side, just after 3 Grey Herons flew across calling noisily . It seems necessary to wait at the original spot, ie. from the parking pull-in by the stone building, walk 100+ yards along the estate road then turn right through the gate (marked with a notice about dog fouling)  which takes you down to the riverbank, follow the path for 100+ yards further until you come out on an open stretch of bank. Those birders who tried waiting by the estate road were unable to see the bird.  3 Swifts fed overhead before sunset.

  

 

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 10:08 pm in General Birding

Exminster marsh& bowling green marsh

Exminster marsh 14:45 till 16:30

The blue headed wagtail was showing well at times from the middle car park with 4+ yellow wagtails (2m,2f),good passage if swallows, sand martins and increased house martins, first sizeable movement of swifts with 100+ in 20min count, plenty of blackcaps, sedge warblers , 2 wheatear.

bowling green marsh 17:30 till 19:15 from the hide

70+ whimbrel best count of spring so far, the summer plumage spotted redshank, 17+ greenshanks, 2 avocet, 2 common sandpiper, 17+ bar tailed godwits, 70+ dunlin, 1 wheatear, 7 wigeon, 140+ black tailed godwits. 

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 9:33 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Grand Western Canal, nr Sampford Peverell

16.30-16.45 hrs: on large freshly ploughed field next to Batten's Bridge - impressive sight of 26+ buzzards landed and scattered around field, including very pale individuals; plus13 stock doves, 55+ herring gull, 6+ lesser black-backed gull, mobile group of 7+ pied wagtail (2 'possibly' whites), corvids and wood pigeons.  Also in locality 1 great black-backed gull overhead.

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 9:24 pm by James Morrison in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite drifting northwards over Stafford Cross on the A3052, near Colyton, East Devon at 17:15 this afternoon. Spotted it as I drove home. It was fairly low as it battling against a brisk Northerly. Nice brief views.

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 9:01 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

skern

little tern+5 whimbrel.20 white wagtails.17:30-18:00.Last night a surprise tawny owl in the garden.

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 9:01 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Ring Tail Montagu's Harrier over River Axe

The bird flew SW over Black Hole Marsh at 5pm. Here's the evidence!


Posted April 26th, 2013 at 8:17 pm by Tim White in General Birding

Newton Abbot Racecourse

Martin Wolinski had a Red Kite today at 1.30pm flying over Hackney Marsh- it circled over the racecourse and headed off over the new bridge.

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 8:10 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

First Little Tern of the year flew through at 08.45 with 8 Sandwich and 1 Arctic Tern. 39 Whimbrel , 3 Bar T Godwit, 1 Curlew and 4 Dunlin recorded. A partial s/pl Black T Diver on the sea

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 6:08 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

English Channel 30nm S of Start Point

Yesterday fishing 30nm off Start Point, good passage of terns in murky conditions, included: 6 Black Terns (all bp), 40+ Common Terns with at least 7 Arctic Terns, also 4 Little Gulls (all bp ads) and my first 3 European Storm-petrels of the year. In addition constant passage of Swallows with a few pipits and alba Wagtails crossing the channel, and a pod of 30+ Common Dolphins.

Black TernBlack TernBlack TernBlack TernCommon TernCommon Tern

2 different breeding plumage Black Terns and Common Terns (remember these use the zoomable feature, click a photo to zoom).

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 4:58 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Exminster marshes

Lucky to see a Red Kite and the blue head today. Also saw Hobby, sedge warbler,Reed warbler and Grasshopper wars lee.

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 2:59 pm by Jason smith in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

At lunchtime today (until 13.45), the Blue-headed Wagtail was showing well at times, although quite flighty in the blustery wind with 3 Yellow Wagtails from the middle car park.

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Near Chudleigh Knighton

The highlight of the first Breeding Bird Survey transect in 'my' 1-km square to the north of Chudleigh Knighton this morning were 11 Greenland Wheatears. This was the first record of a Wheatear during these transects since starting in 1994. Birdwise, everything else seemed much as expected, but some insects were conspicuous by their absence - notably no Orange Tips or St Mark's Flies, both of which are normally around in good numbers by now.

The Wheatears were in a large meadow with racehorses. Not long ago this and an adjacent field were arable, holding several pairs of Skylarks and occasional Woodlarks. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the latter have abandoned the area as 'horsiculture' has taken over. Skylarks are still there, though whether they will breed there in such short turf is another matter. On the positive side, Yellowhammers seem to be attracted to horses - or perhaps rather their food! My square now has only one arable field left. It's a very varied square, so an interesting one to monitor, but I do regret the demise of a nice mix of arable, grassland and woodland that contributed to the habitat diversity. Big changes in less than 20 years!

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 12:22 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Berry Head

Berry Head Quarry 1 Marsh Harrier (fem) passed over the headland at 7:30am being mobbed by gulls, flew off towards Hope's Nose.

1 Whimbel, 1 Wheatear and a Whitethroat in Quarry car park. several Wheatears around southern fort,


Posted April 26th, 2013 at 10:55 am by Paul Nunn in General Birding

Common sandpiper

 24/04/13 venford reservoir Dartmoor

Small group of 5+ common sandpiper feeding around edge of reservoir. Pair of great Crested Grebe up by the inflow.

Posted April 26th, 2013 at 8:17 am by kelvin phillips in General Birding

Thursday 25th April 2013

Around the marshes

After work walked out to exminster marsh along the canal good numbers of blackcaps and a few whitethroat and a reeling grasshopper warbler between the water works and the motorway bridge , 4+ reed warbler and 5+ sedge warbler, 2 stonechats.

Then got the ferry over to topsham, the 1st summer little gull was still of the rivers meet house from goat walk, also 12+ ringed plover, 4 grey plover and 187+ black tailed godwits. As I got to the path going up to the viewing platform at bowling green marsh noticed lot of gulls in the air and a bird of prey first impression was goshawk and once i got my bins on it and confirmed it as a goshawk looked most likely a female by its size compared to the gulls around it I watched  it drift of over the viewing platform and put up the waders on the clyst as it went over great sight and my second sighting on the marsh.

from the viewing platform a little grebe, 4 great crested grebes, 40+ whimbrel, 4 blackcaps. 

From the hide, the summer plumage spotted redshank again, 14+ greenshanks, 40+ whimbrel, 96+ dunlin, 60+ shelduck, 4 tufted duck, 7 wigeon, 6 little egrets, 4 little grebes, 3 blackcaps, 12 bar tailed godwits, 180+ black tailed godwits. I had a call from Martin wolinski about 100+ pale bellied Brent geese flying towards bowling green and finally got them over rivers meet house(thanks Martin ) he also had the female marsh harrier later on exminster marsh. 

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 9:46 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

River Dart - Dartington

Adult Night Heron flew down river at 21.05hrs (sorry Terry), for directions see yesterday's blog.

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 9:41 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Brent Geese

The Brent Geese passing Ladram Bay mentioned by Steven below were all Dark-bellied, as they passed close in to Orcombe Point some 10-15 minutes later. However, there were 48 Pale-bellied Brent Geese resting up on Pole Sands off Exmouth seafront some 20 minutes earlier!

Also off Orcombe Point were single Black and Little Terns, feeding with half a dozen Sandwich, but the former didn't hang around for long. The whole flock were gradually drifting off east, along past Sandy Bay. 

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 9:32 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Braunton Marsh - 24th April

Couldn't resist taking photos of these little Mallards with their mum & this solitary Redwing feeding alone in the field near the White House - should have left for home by now I would have thought. Dozens of Swallows skimming low over the marsh & several Wheatears also about




Posted April 25th, 2013 at 8:28 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Northam Burrows

George Mudford sent me these photos to post which were

taken last Tuesday morning.



Posted April 25th, 2013 at 8:23 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Razorbill just off the Capstone at Ilfracombe - 20th April

My first time out & about for past 6 weeks - these winter viruses are a devil to shake off - this is only the second razorbill I have seen close in at Ilfracombe in past 8 years.


Posted April 25th, 2013 at 8:23 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

isley marsh/yelland.

2 male yellow wagtails in sheep field alongside tarka trail from yelland end to isley marsh entrance also 85 whites.Reed warbler in first group of reeds on marsh,25 whimbrel,4 little egrets on the marsh.16:30-17:10.This morning 2 swifts over landkey.11:00.

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 6:45 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

A day of contrasting weather- morning 100% cloud and fog, afternoon sunshine and clear horizon .

Big concentration of Hirundines in the morning  380+ Swallow, 10 House Martin, 15 Sand Martin , 1 Swift, On South Huish Marsh a max of 6 Yellow Wagtail  2 White Wagtail, 12 Dunlin, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Teal, 2 Shoveler.

Offshore -am 10 Sandwich Tern, 1 Ringed Plover with 4 dunlin -east, 9 Whimbrel , this afternoon , 2 Black T Diver, 1 Great N Diver, 8 Common Scoter -all on the sea

On the beaches 17 Whimbrel, 1 Bar T Godwit and our first Common Sandpiper of the year

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 6:19 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Ladram Bay

50 brent geese flew past Ladram Bay, heading west, today at 13.00.

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Steven Henry in General Birding

Around the Axe

It's obvious there's been quite a bit of migration going on today, I wish I could have spent more time out there!

Swallows have been most obvious, with constant trickle for most of the day. Amongst them just a few Sand and House Martins, and my first Swift of the year.

At Black Hole Marsh late morning, a singing male Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and a Yellow Wag were the highlights. Then a few hours later, a Garden Warbler north of Coronation Corner besides the Axe with another Whitethroat, and a few Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. Gav also had a Redstart here a bit earlier.

This evening to top the day of nicely an immature male Marsh Harrier was hunting over Colyford Marsh

Tomorrow looks potentially exciting, with a light n w wind and some rain forecasted early morning...

Lesser Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat

Garden Warbler
Garden Warbler

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 4:36 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

The Skern re ashy-headed wagtail

on tuesday april 23rd at 7.00pm i went to the skern to look for yellow wagtails to film, when i arrived Steve Hatch had found and was filming the ashy-headed wagtail, i joined him for the next hour before he had to leave for work, i then stayed filming and watching this brilliant bird, at around 11.45am the ashy-headed was feeding at the pond end near the road, then someone slammed a car door on the bank above spooking the ashy, the bird immediately took off with five white wagtails soaring high into the sky heading easterly towards Appledore,if it does not return me and Steve could have been the last to see it. What a cracking bird. Thanks Steve. G. Mudford

        

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 3:42 pm by George Mudford in General Birding

River Caen/River Taw.

1130-1430hrs  On the flooded field 11 plus White wag 3Common sand 1 Yellow wag and good numbers of swallow feeding over the field and pond. Horsey island held 3 + wheatear, 6+ singing Skylark and good numbers of Meadow pipit and Linnet.

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 3:20 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Taw

I cycled from Barnstaple to Braunton this morning, one Common Sandpiper, one Black-tailed Godwit and three Whimbrel. One each of Sedge Warbler, Chiff and Blackcap the only singing Warblers. 2 Gadwall flying determinedly east past Ashford sewage works. Nothing of note in Bradiford reserve.

Velator reserve had a few House Martins over, good numbers of Swallows and a lone Swift. A dozen White Wagtails on the wet field.

Sue Bruce saw Lesser Whitethroat at the end of the boardwalk at Crow Point yesterday.

 

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 24th April 2013

Night-heron Dartington

I should have put directions in the last blog: SX801621. Probably park at the edge of Totnes and head north along the Dartington estate drive at a sign for "Swallowfields". Past the marsh on the left, through a narrow traffic calmer then go through a pedestrian gate by a 5-bar gate off the driveway. This dogwalker's footpath runs north along the west bank of the Dart and the willows 2-300m north of the gate seems to be the spot.

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 10:25 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

River Dart, Dartington

Steve Waite's tip-off regarding a "small streaked heron" seen twice today arrived just in time for my 11 year old daughter and I to get there at 20.00 with 30 minutes of daylight remaining. The dense mature willows lining both banks of the river Dart made Night-heron the obvious candidate. One last patrol along the bank (now with the torch) at 20.45 suddenly produced an adult night-heron flying in over the river at tree-top height. It banked and flew back downriver appearing to drop to the river. More scanning in near darkness failed to relocate it. Emily blasted off some shots with my camera as I watched it fly in noting plain pale grey underparts and possibly a snippet of black crown. She did well I think in near darkness.

Thanks Steve for the gen.

 

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 9:59 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Exminster marsh and bowling green marsh

A frustrating morning having to be in Taunton as texts came in of the great white egret on exminster marsh ( thanks guys for all the info) finally got to the marsh at 16:20 first bird was a hobby over head at the railway bridge followed by 2 grasshopper warblers by the rspb car park and a lesser redpoll , 2 willow warblers and severall sedge warblers but no sign of the great white egret, after receiving info walked back to the railway bridge with keith Annison and got distant views of the great white egret on powderham marsh.

A quick look in bowling green marsh from 18:10 till 18:45, the summer plumage spotted redshank again on far side from the hide, 14+ greenshanks, 2 avocet , now 6 little grebes, 1m wheatear, 5+ whimbrel, 1 common sandpiper, 4 tufted duck(3m,1f), still good numbers of black tailed godwits with a few bar tailed godwits, 80+ redshanks, 5 wigeon , on walk back to topsham from the hide, 7+ blackcap and 2 whitethroats.

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 8:26 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

skern.

20 white wagtails.No sign of ashy headed,Checked pools at back of tip also.16:45-17:10

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 7:32 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exminster marshes

Another photo of todays Great White Egret. Also a female Marsh harrier over lagoon 12:00 and 5 Lesser redpoll in RSPB carpark at 12:45. 


Posted April 24th, 2013 at 6:19 pm by Joe Martin in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

The Great-White Egret, in non breeding plumage still 12.30pm feeding in a ditch quite distantly south of the lagoon viewed from the footpath south of the RSPB car park. Interestingly, a Great-White Egret was present in the same ditch on April 23-24th 2011 !

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 5:34 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

  A good days birding included the following:  Great White Egret that dropped in at 8:30 am and remained, Hobby, Peregrine on prey, Lesser Whitethroat, Cuckoo calling near Turf Hotel, a cracking male Whinchat and a few Swifts early on.  Plenty of Sedge,Reed and Cettis Warblers.

Record pic of GWE dropping in at 8:30am.
Record pic of GWE dropping in at 8:30am.

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

News from Lundy

Tim Davis & I were on Lundy 16-20 April and have posted news on www.lundybirds.blogspot.co.uk.

The breeding-plumaged Long-tailed Skua flying up Millcombe on 16th must rank as one of the most bizarre (and exciting) birding experiences I have ever had! Though it was seen again, further up the island, it did not hang around for more than an hour or so. The long-staying Chough, which arrived in late October, was last seen on 30 March. Perhaps driven off by either the unseasonably cold weather, or (possibly more likely) by the island's resident crows as they became increasingly territorial at the start of the breeding season?

News from the island yesterday (23rd) is of a Golden Oriole.

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 11:39 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Berry head Colony.

841 Guillemots on seabird colony Berry Head.  807 on cliffs, 23 on water below colony and 11 on Cod Rock.

Further early morning counts will give me a clear indication if BH colony has been affected by PIB. No Kittiwakes present on cliffs. Next count Friday.

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 9:48 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Berry Head

Very little in the way of grounded migrants: 3 Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff (mostly on territory now), 3 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Swift (over) and two Swallows. A brief seawatch produced 2 Purple Sandpipers > north, cutting in close to go into Torbay (perhaps heading toward the breakwater?), 1 Whimbrel, 2 Puffin and 6 Manx Shearwaters. Dave Norman saw a single wheatear at by the coastguards building.

Posted April 24th, 2013 at 9:09 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Little Gems

Cracking male Pintail at Dawlish Warren ealier today.Later today at bowling green i was stunned when i came across this grass snake just going about its day.



Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 9:55 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding

Exminster Marshes, 6pm to 7pm

The Blue-headed Wagtail was feeding with four Yellows around the lagoons, togther with a single Little Ringed Plover.

A flock of ~26 Whimbrels flew up the river valley; a fine sight and sound in the evening sunshine. I heard a second flock later on but never saw them; they may well have been above the scattered low cloud.

At least 20 Swift and a good collection of hirundines of three species

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 8:33 pm by Peter Hopkin in General Birding

Skern

trip to skern this afternoon to see the Ashy-headed wagtail and had great views till 18.10 also present a reed bunting and several pied wagtails and swallows also 2 wheatears

seen by David,Gillian and Clive Churchill

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 7:57 pm by David & Gillian Churchill in General Birding

Around topsham

Watched from 15:00 till 18:00

from the goat walk the 1st summer little gull showed well also 12+ ringed plover and 2 1st summer med gulls, 5 whimbrel whilst watching the estuary a cuckoo called from behind goat walk towards bowling green marsh but was unable to relocate. 

From the viewing platform at bowling green marsh the female long tailed duck was in middle of the estuary, a little grebe to the right of the platform , 6 grey plover, sparrowhawk over, severall blackcaps, 6 great crested grebes down river . 

From the hide, a stunning full summer spotted redshank was on the far side, with 12 greenshanks, 19+ bar tailed godwits, 12+ whimbrel, 6+ little egrets, 10+ house martins, 2 willow warblers, 150+ black tailed godwits, 4+ dunlin, 70+ shelduck. 

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 7:47 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Skern

Just a few more final pictures of the recent  wagtails 




Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 7:34 pm by steve Hatch in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Just arrived back from a few days away - Late afternoon at South Huish Marsh 2 m Yellow Wagtail,

1m Blue Headed Wagtail ( not seen since sunday ) and a m Whinchat - news from Bob B and Vic T

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 6:49 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Prawle catch-up, 19 - 23/04

Generally very quiet migrant-wise during this period, but made up for by a decent few hours on Sunday (21st). At 11.55, 2 Red Kites flew east, and at 13.35, a male Golden Oriole flew from the East Prawle direction across the top of the airfields towards Pigs Nose Valley. Whimbrels peaked at 20, Wheatear at 6, Whitethroat 13, Blackcap 6, Willow Warbler 20 and Chiffchaff 16. Still low numbers of Swallows and House Martins, while other migrants were limited to just 2 Sedge Warblers and singles of Whinchat, Redstart and Yellow Wagtail.

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 5:24 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Sharkham Point

4 Grasshopper Warbler(reeling and eventually giving good views), 1 Sedge Warbler and 2 Wheatear. Lots of male Whitethroat now on territory and the first female seen today.

Butterflies - lots of Peacocks and my first Speckled Wood of the year.

Grasshopper Warbler. J.Marshall
Grasshopper Warbler. J.Marshall

Sedge Warbler J.Marshall
Sedge Warbler J.Marshall

Wheatear. J.Marshall
Wheatear. J.Marshall

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 4:32 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Another Seaton Red Kite

Just had a Red Kite circling over Black Hole Marsh, before it headed off west.  It was a very distinctive bird, missing a couple of inner primaires from each wing. Our third in four days.

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 3:36 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Delayed news - Waddeton 21.04.13

Red Kite flying towards Kingswear over Waddeton Farm.  Accompanied by a Raven.  Numerous Skylark and Wheatear throughout the fields at Waddeton.

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 3:03 pm by Seb Loram in General Birding

Buckfastleigh

Yet another migrant Red Kite drifting E at 11:00.

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 2:28 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Lunchtime today (1.15 to 1.50) there were 4 Yellow Wagtails (looked like 1 male and 3 females) showing well amongst the cattle just past the Lions Rest Estate along with a Pied Wagtail

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 2:12 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wrafton

Ringing in the reserve this morning - details on the ringing forum page. But I did see the Spoonbill on the wet bit outside the reserve very early, it had gone by 6.30. 2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling in the reedbed south of the reserve.

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 2:11 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Skern Wagtail

Perhaps Identification discussion should and could be sent to our forum pages... http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=190#p872 

This is better place for any discussion rather than using the news pages.

Posted April 23rd, 2013 at 9:29 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 22nd April 2013

Wrafton

Quick look in on the pond this evening, much the same, a few Swallows and fewer Sand Martins over the water with 3 Gadwall 2 Shoveler and a Pochard. Out on the wet field 18 Pied and a pair of Yellow Wagtails.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 8:50 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster marsh & bowling green marsh

Exminster marsh 15:00 till 16:30

The Blue headed wagtail was elusive showing off from lions rest industrial estate between the road and the lagoon with 5+ yellow wagtails(3m,2f) , 5+ white wagtails, 4 blackcaps, 3 sedge warbler, 1 Cetti's warbler, 10+ whimbrel, 5 swift, 10+ house martins good numbers of swallows and sand martins, 3 buzzards.

Bowling green marsh 17:10 till 17:45

1 little ringed plover was a nice find, 150+ black tailed godwits, 2 Cetti's warblers, 5 blackcaps, 4 whitethroats, 2 Willow warblers, 2 reed buntings(1m,1f), 3 wigeon, 1 tufted duck, 1 little grebes, 18+ greenshanks on far side from the hide was my best count for some time. 

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 8:24 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Skern Wagtail

A few more shots of this very smart bird which was showing really well this afternoon.




Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 7:36 pm by Rob Cross in General Birding

Yarner Wood

At least 4 pairs of Pied Flys now,with 2 seeming to be nest building already. 2 Treecreepers were the other best bits

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 6:22 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

Earlier at Exminster between 12 and 12.30pm, the male Blue-Headed Wagtail with 5 Yellow Wagtails(2m,3f) and 7 White Wagtails were all showing well from the middle car park, before flying onto the end pool briefly and then back again to the middle of the marsh. The flock had first flown in at c11.30am.  Also, a Hobby flew low over the middle car park at 12.25pm. (Thanks to REB,BBH and DJH for sticking with this mobile flock)

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 6:14 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Axe Estuary

First time I've looked at the Axe's new hides. While walking back the gulls went up around 3pm, the culprit a Red Kite drifting north.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 5:35 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

King's Wood

Heard our fist cuckoo last night in Kings Wood which is in the Erme Valley

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 5:32 pm by Ann Willcocks in General Birding

South Huish Marsh, West Charleton

My first visit to this location on a chilly overcast day and it began to rain as we arrived !!

Highlight were close up views of a Whitethroat on the way out.

From the hide ~ Single Snipe, Five Egrets, which kept moving off and returning, Eight Teal (3 M ~ 5 F) One Shellduck, One  Moorhen, small number of flitting Chiffchaffs, Whitethroat that was feeding directly below the hide under the windows, male Blackcap flew by several times, nice but distant views of a pair of Stonechat on the reeds, male in full summer plumage.

Small numbers of Swallows passing periodically during the visit.

On the way out Skylarks could be heard but I couldn't spot them.

On the way home Skylark both heard and seen at Sign of the Owl Cross, Wrangaton, also got some close up images of a Hare feeding in the same field.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 4:02 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

On a lunchtime visit between 1.15 and 1.50 the Blue-headed Wagtail was showing fairly distantly from the middle car park looking back towards the railway line. Along with at least 2 Yellow Wagtails and 4 White Wagtails. Hard to tell numbers as the birds would get lost in long grass. Also large numbers of hirundines, many on the ground and perched on fences. At least 1 Swift.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 2:05 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Northam Burrows and the Skern.

07:30 - 09:30

At 07:30 the Ashy/Black-headed Yellow Wagtail was still on the edges of the landfill pond together with 6 White wagtails; 3 Whimbrel; 1 male Reed Bunting. Swallows and Martins didn`t appear until 08:00.

The Yellow Wagtail would disappear for up to an hour at a time before returning to the road end of the pond.

On the Skern were 3 Sandwich Terns and 3 Wheatear, plus 4 more White Wagtails.

 

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 10:46 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wrafton

Single female Pochard on the pond (but no Mallards!!!) Out in the wet field (rapidly drying out now) the Spoonbill until 7.30. A good size flock of Sand Martins hawking by the reserve. In the reserve, a Reed Warbler singing, along with a Blackcap, and a few Willow Warblers and Chiffs. Canada Goose now sitting on nest.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 8:35 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

The Skern Wagtail

The feedback I've had so far all say it's Ashy-headed Wagtail Motacilla flava cinereocapilla.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 8:02 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

The Skern Wagtail Identification

What a cracking bird!

A white throat doesn't rule out Black Headed (feldegg) as first-summer males can have a white upper-throat, they also can have a greyish nape: both features on this bird. It could also be Black-Headed from it's far eastern range, also known as 'melanogrisea' which has a white line separating the black ear coverts from the yellow which this appears to have. It could also be a feldegg intergrade.

One can never be 100% sure of course with Yellow Wagtails, my second thoughts are a very dark headed Grey Headed Wagtail, thunbergi, but it does have jet black on the crown which these rarely have.

Best reference for sorting these out is 'Pipits and Wagtails of Europe,Asia and N Africa (Krister and Alstrom), page 279 particularly useful.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 7:05 am by David Cope in General Birding

Sunday 21st April 2013

melbury forest,nr parkham n.devon.

Grasshopper warbler reeling from 20:20.Hoping for early nightjar but nothing doing.Bonus red deer stag feeding in field.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 9:23 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Skern wagtail

i dont suppose you can have too many photos when a bird this nice drops in

 {Ed. But it looks like the same pic you last posted!}

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 8:23 pm by Steve Hatch in General Birding

Skern Wagtail

A couple more photos from Paul Barker.

Interesting Yellow Wagtail
Interesting Yellow Wagtail

Interesting Yellow Wagtail
Interesting Yellow Wagtail

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 8:13 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Near Toll House A382 Moretonhampsted

At approximately 1330 hours today we were lucky enough to see two of Firecrest in the brambles level with our car. We stopped and observed them for about a minute.

We also saw a Pied Flycatcher in Dunsford Nature Reserve this afternoon.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 8:07 pm by Tara in General Birding

Skern

Another picture of this stunning bird, more available for id purposes if required


Posted April 21st, 2013 at 8:01 pm by Steve Hatch in General Birding

Whitethroat

Whitethroat photograph which should of been attached with my post yesterday. Many thanks Mark.


Posted April 21st, 2013 at 7:52 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding

Around the exe

Topsham 10:00 till 11:00

the female long tailed duck was showing south of topsham quay, 12+ ringed plover from goat walk.

exminster marshes 11:30 till 15:00

a good walk around the marsh the lesser whitethroat was along the back path from the rspb car park with 7+ reed buntings, 6+ blackcap, 1 whitethroat, peregrine, around the rest of the marsh 5 yellow wagtails and a BLUE HEADED WAGTAIL were between the middle car park and fishermans car park but very elusive, 23+ swift, 8+ house Martin and steady passage of sand martins and swallows, 4 pintail, 4+ wigeon, 8+ whimbrel, 1 whitethroat, 6 Cetti's warblers, 10+ sedge warbler, 2 reed warbler, 8+ blackcaps, 7+ willow warblers. 

Topsham quay 15:15 till 15:45, the 1st summer little gull was towards turf with 100+ black headed gulls, 8 little egrets. 

A cuckoo was heard and seen by severall people before I arrived on exminster marsh. 

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 7:39 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Skern Wagtail

Popped down this afternoon to see this bird and was pleased to get a shot or two so hope it helps with a definitive id, I think Steve will be posting some more later.

[EDIT: Ashy-headed looks best bet to me, although it is lacking the small rear supercilium this race often show. On the web there's also some similar white-throated Grey-headed. S. Waite]

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 7:24 pm by Rob Cross in General Birding

Whimbrel in Plymouth Sound

25 whimbrel at Mount Batten 1pm today, roosting at high tide then flew off calling towards the Tamar.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 7:04 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Stonechats. Sharkham Point

Couple of pictures from today...

Stonechat, J.Marshall
Stonechat, J.Marshall

Stonechat, J.Marshall
Stonechat, J.Marshall

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 6:31 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Bradford Reserve and Pottington, R.Taw

10:00 3 Whimbel on the river & a pair of Gadwall plus Buzzard on the reserve.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 6:18 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Drumbridges, Yarner Wood and Bowling Green

Drumbridges (A38): Black Kite being mobbed by a crow at 7.20am. Moving Southwards. Able to stop and get the bins on it.

Yarner Wood: Pied Flycatchers (2m 1f); Mandarin Ducks (3m 2f);

Bowling Green (1-3pm): Raven over; blackcap (m); Greenshank (7 from viewing platform); whimbrel (2 over and 1 from viewing platform); grey plover (six from viewing platform); Little gull (1st winter) flying, dipping and settling on the water with black-heads close in to Goat Walk

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 5:10 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Burrator Reservoir

A cool SW breeze brought drizzle then strengthening rain from 15.00 to 15.45: c.80 Barn Swallows were fluttering low over the water with just 2 Sand Martins amongst them - as far as I could see.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Northam Burrows

George Mudford went over to Northam Burrows to photograph

these lovely spring 'alba' Wagtails.




Posted April 21st, 2013 at 5:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Northam

re: Black-headed Wagtail, I agree with Roger. My first reaction was that it isn't Feldegg, but it seems to have features of many of the other potential candidates - including Feldegg, so I hope photos might help in due course.

3 Whimbrel there, and two smart sum plum Dunlin on the beach.

Bradiford reserve had a few Swallows and a Little Egret.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 4:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exmoor

At least 2 Cuckoos being quite vocal and showing themselves on Molland common. and also rather unexpectedly a Great Spotted Woodpecker which is a new one for me on the middle of open moorland away from any kind of woodland.


Also on Exmoor in a wood just east of twitchen via a public footpath a couple of Goldcrest, a pair of Pied Flycatchers and a nice Roe buck. At the far end of the wood where the footpath starts to climb up the hillside great views can be had looking into what I think is a Carrion Crow nest in the trees below (we didn't hang about to see the parent birds).


A great day (til it rained!)

Goldcrest
Goldcrest

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher

Carrion Crow?
Carrion Crow?

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 4:22 pm by Chris Triggs in General Birding

Wagtail at Northam Burrows

There have been a few yellow Wagtails on Northam Burrows recently, but one in particular caught my eye this morning just as I was about to leave there around 10.00. My immediate reaction was that it was Black-headed and I was able to watch it for about an hour, often with close views. Other birders there were Dave Paull, Pat Barrow and Robert Marshall. Pat was able to take good photos which it is hoped can be posted later.

The head was basically black, but shading to grey towards the nape, and the throat was white, both of which mitigate against Black-headed. There was no supercilium.

On looking through many photographs on the web, my opinion now is that it is more similar to Ashy-headed. However opinion of others once the photos are up would be appreciated.

The other possibility is Grey-headed, but the head of this bird was much darker than any photos I have seen of that form.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 3:47 pm by Roger & Lynne Doble in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Walked down to the hide at Charleton Marsh this morning. Couple of Snipe still present and a couple each of Sedge and Reed Warbler singing. Blackcaps quite conspicuos and vocal. Water Rail heard. All the Teal and Wigeon appear to have gone, 4 Whimbrel in the bay on the falling tide.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 2:52 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Sth Huish Marsh

3 Yellow Wag, Blue Heeaded Wag, 4 White WAg and Swift over this morning

BB

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 1:48 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Soar

3 Red Kites drifting gently westwards from 1135 - 1140 hrs.

Superb!

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 12:45 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Northam Burrows

A Black-headed Wagtail being reported from the Burrows this morning, and here's me without a car!

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 12:41 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Have just returned from Berry Head, with all the problems of PIB and seabirds I carried out a count at the seabird colony and had 1,188 Guillemots. from my past records the average for April is 1,104, counted on the 19th and only had 10 birds. Again checking from my past records the Guillemots should start laying on the 25th or around that date. I will carry out further counts over the next few weeks to see if PIB has caused any problems to the Guillemots of BH.  

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 10:44 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Soar Sat 20th April

A post-Nepal walk for Steve Cox and me to get back into the British birding mode. Sunny conditions with the SE wind keeping it cool. not quite as much variety as Steve Y reported earlier but Willow warbler numbers had picked up with double figures around East Soar willows.

Cirl Bunting 6+, Wheatear 18, Willow Warbler 12+, Chiffchaff 6+, Whitethroat 6, Swallow c20, Blackcap.

Please could visiting birders use the log book in the cafe at East Soar farm - it's in a plastic folder and can now be found on the tables or in the magazine pile.  

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 10:40 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Berry Hd

A few migrants on headland this morning: 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats, 17 Wheatear, 7 Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Photos: Lesser Whitethroat and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

    

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 10:36 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Juvenile Swallow!

Yesterday (20 April) I saw a juvenile Swallow with about 10 adults perched in a tree by the River Otter south of Otterton. Hoping to find a Red-rumped (after scanning hirundines in April in vain for the last 40-odd years!), I was surprised to see that one bird had an obvious pale throat above the neck band. Although the birds were soon disturbed, I managed to relocate the juvenile in flight, when I confirmed the throat colour and also the short tail typical of juveniles (and that it wasn't anything more exciting!).

The explanation probably lies in early breeding in Iberia (for example), with young birds joining migrants moving north after fledging. A note in British Birds (http://www.britishbirds.co.uk/search?model=pdf&id=4406, page 127) describes birds fledging in Spain on 11 April 1970 and follows an observation in Britain of juvenile Sawllows in Britain in mid-May.

Posted April 21st, 2013 at 9:14 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Saturday 20th April 2013

Whitethroat - Exminster Marshes

Whilst down on Exminster Marshes today found our first Whitethroat of the year and also nice to hear the Sedge Warblers an Reed Buntings calling with meaning.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 9:58 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding

Tamerton Foliot, Plymouth

Red Kite late pm over estuary. Unfortunately never quite over Plymouth!

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 8:56 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Soar

My 8 year old son and I did a loop from the MIddle Soar car park, through the farm to Bolt Head then along the coast to Soar Mill Cove then back up the hill from 06.30 to midday. Mainly bright sunshine and clear sky with cool with northerly wind going east later:

Black Redstart by car park at midday, 10+ singing male Common Whitethroats, 22 Wheatears incl. 5 in off the sea at Bolt Head and 16 together in the field above Soar Mill Cove beach, 1 Yellow Wag N. over first thing, 1 Sand Martin in off the sea, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcap, and oddly, 1 Shelduck on the Warren cliffs.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 8:46 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

1.50pm-4.15pm. A Hobby was south of the RSPB car park mid afternoon. The lesser Whitethroat showed really well. Also 2 Bar-Headed Geese. 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler and Willow Warbler all singing. On the river between the viewing platform and the Goatwalk the Little Gull and Arctic Tern both showing distantly (thanks Keith)

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 7:41 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Offshore below expectations , Warblers and Wagtails better.

AJL had the best of the offshore records befor 09.30 - 24 Common Scoter, 9 Commic Tern, 1 Ringed Plover

9 Whimbrel

At South Huish Marsh - 12 Dunlin- over, 6 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat . 1 m Yellow wagtail at 11.30, at 17.00

3 m Yellow and a superb male Blue Headed Wagtail ( found by Bob B )

Earlier at South Huish Marsh he had the first Groppa of the year , 5 Sedge, 3 Reed , 3 Willow Warblers , Blackcap, Ciffchaff. At 18.00 1 Tree Pipit

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 7:31 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Hope's Nose

11.30-13.30

Quiet.  2 Song Thrushes, 2 Ravens, 2 Fulmars, 3 Swallows, 3 Linnets, 6 Greenfinches, 8 Chiffchaff (2 in full song), 6 Gannets, 8+ Shags, Cormorant, 5 Great Black Backed Gulls, 2 Wheatear (1 male and 1 female), Kestrel and 15+ Guillemots.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Around the marshes

Exminster marsh 09:15 till 11:00

quiet this morning a fall of sedge warblers with 12+ along station road, along with blackcaps, 5+ willow warblers, 3 Cetti's warblers, 5+ buzzards

topsham goat walk and bowling green marsh 12:00 till 17:20

the 1s little gull showed well at times of goat walk and the female long tailed duck drifted up river, a small tern was elusive all afternoon but with patience managed to confirm as an Arctic tern.

bowling green very quiet with 200+ black tailed godwit, 11+ little egrets, 3 greenshanks, 3+ whimbrel, 1 wigeon,2  Cetti's warblers , 3 willow warblers 

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 7:17 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Big thank you to Bob for telling me about this Lesser Whitethroat and another birder (I dont know the name of) for help in the search, Its a lifer for me!;o)


Posted April 20th, 2013 at 5:56 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Kingsteignton

Around Hackney Marshes & the racecourse this morning: one Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warblers, 4 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and a male Wheatear, with 10+ Swallows and 5+ House Martins overhead.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 4:30 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Headland Warren to Warren House Inn.

 One Female Redstart, Lots of Wheatear and Winchat. 2 Green Woodpecker,  Reed Bunting, A pair of Cuckoo plus Willow  Wabler and lots of Meadow Pipit all singing.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 3:02 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Downend & Saunton Down

After the sea fog had burnt off the perfect morning for an hour or two birding.

2 Sandwich Terns, 1 Guillo, 23 Common Scoters landing in Bideford & Barnstaple Bay + another 7 at Downend flying into the Bay.

400 + Gulls mostly Herring with a few Great Black backed Gulls & 1 Fulmar.following a trawler around.

4 Common Buzzard circling over the Down & my first Common Whitethroat of the year. 2 Goldcrest & the fruity song of the male Blackcaps & the coconut aroma of the gorse flowers in the warm sunshine - in a word - heaven!

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 12:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Powderham church

Grasshopper warbler creeping silently around the bushes between the church and the level crossing this morning, a couple of whitethroat there also.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 10:46 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Berry Head

Quiet morning: 1 Wheatear, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff. Flying over 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Siskin, 6 Meadow Pipits, 1 Shelduck and a Rook - quite a rare bird at BH.

Forgot to add earlier  probably 700+ Guillemots on the cliffs today - much better!

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 10:43 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Soar

Very pleasant early morning walk from the car park out to the cliffpath and back via Soar Mill Cove but not surprisingly given the clear night and bright conditions saw few migrants. Did hear a passing Whimbrel and saw 7 Wheatears and a few Whitethroats but little else. No sign of the Hoopoe present around the Soar Mil Cove Hotel a couple days ago.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 10:16 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Wrafton

Must be blind (I'll put it down to the sun) - didn't see juv Little Grebes, but at least 2 Pochard and 3 Gadwall on the pond this morning. Out on the wet field a Little Egret and 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Shoveler and 3 Teal. Singing Reed Bunting about the best in the reserve.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 10:16 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Save our seas! Stop the dumping of PIB!

With the second disaster this year involving seabirds contaminated with polyisobutene (PIB) off Southwest England, here's a chance to have your say by signing the two online epetitions asking for the banning of PIB discharge.

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/signup/save-our-seabirds#petition

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_our_Sea_Birds_Stop_dumping_polyisobutylene_into_our_seas

A press release from RSPB can also be seen here http://www.rspb.org.uk/media/releases/344559-seabird-killer-has-to-be-controlled-say-wildlife-charities

I realise this is not Bird Sighting News as such, but a very important topic! I have also put this on the Forum.

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 8:53 am by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Wrafton pond

Two little grebe feeding two chicks on the pond late Friday afternoon along with a pair of gadwall.

Little grebe and its chick
Little grebe and its chick

Gadwall
Gadwall

Posted April 20th, 2013 at 12:44 am by Tim Kevan in General Birding

Friday 19th April 2013

Bramblings in Chris and Liz Foster's Garden

I spent an amazing few hours today with Chris and Liz  Foster watching and photographing the Bramblings on their garden feeder in Exwick.  Quite a spectacle with several males sporting black caps in their breeding plumage. As if this wasn't enough, Bullfinches; at least 6 in matching pairs, were constant visitors and apparently are permanent residents!

What a sight!
What a sight!

Coming in to breeding condition.
Coming in to breeding condition.

Brambling
Brambling

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 11:24 pm by Charlie Fleming in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

i walked for 3 hrs or so and no sign of the Shrike, only photo's we managed to get were of a singing Willow Warbler.

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 9:08 pm by Rich Edmondson in General Birding

Belstone Cuckoo

I saw and heard my first cuckoo in the Belstone area of north Dartmoor around midday today. The 10 year average for this area is the 22nd, with the earliest being the 15th (2011) and the latest the 28th (2006).

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 8:19 pm by Mike Jones in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:50 till 16:55

a quiet afternoon with the little gull still showing of the canal path in middle of the estuary of riversmeet house, only 3 swift, steady passage of sand martins and swallows and at least 12 house martins, 5+ reed warblers, 4+ sedge warblers, 6+ willow warblers, 3 blackcaps, 7+ chiffchaffs, 3 Cetti's warblers, 1 water rail, 8+ buzzard,1 white wagtail. 

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 7:33 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Hobby ~ South Brent

Just after 6pm this evening I noticed some small finch like birds landing in the canopy of a mature oak tree about 50 yards from where I was standing, as I looked I saw a diving falcon come into view, my initial thoughts were that it was a male Peregrine, but then it pulled out of its stoop and climbing over the top of the oak it flaired and snatched one of the birds that I had seen landing and was seen clearly as a Hobby, it went of with the bird held in its talons towards the moors.

After the strike all that was left was a small puff of feathers that landed in the field next to me, from the colouring the victim was a male Greenfinch, it all happended so fast that if my attention had not been drawn by the landing birds I would have missed the whole specatcle.

First Hobby that I have seen this year and a very notable first.

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 6:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

First of the year were 2 Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warbler,. Only a few Swallow and Sand Martin around

Offshore only 1 Common Tern . On the beach - 5 Whimbrel, 1 Sanderling whilst 10 Turnstone on the rocks

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 6:05 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Sharkham Point

Lunch time walk around. 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler (see sticks picture), 4 Willow Warbler, 8 Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap 5 Sand Martin, 15 Swallow. 

Lots of Peacock butterfly, some Painted Lady and what was probably a Large White also.




Posted April 19th, 2013 at 4:04 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Velator reserve

Ringing this morning produced 5 Chiffchaffs and 4 Willow Warblers along with 2 Blackcaps and the first Whitethroat of the year, oddly, a female. Also saw in the reserve a Little Egret - one of those two seen over the reserve yesterday evening, I presume), and a singing Sedge Warbler. Having heard and seen a Little Grebe trilling over the past few days, it was a surprise to see three chasing around the pond. Only 4 juvenile Coots left...

Out on the flood, 2 Shelduck and 4 Pied Wagtails.

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 1:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Early this morning: 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grasshopper (reeling near Tower Hide), 1 Reed, 2 Sedge and 8 Willow Warblers, 1 Brent Goose and 3 Whimbrel.

Beer Head and the Beer Cem Fields very quiet.

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 12:20 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

South Efford Marsh ~ Aveton Gifford

No sign of the reported Shrike but a steady trickle of birders arriving so I hope it turns up.

First warm sunny morning for some time lots of flying insects to be seen, good numbers of Swallows & House Martins overhead.

One warbler species seen as it flashed by, good numbers of Chiffchaff, some singing from vantage points one seen collecting and then dropping nesting material, two Linnets put up one very coloured but very flighty, female Blackcap and several Long Tailed Tits showing very well, five Egrets on the marsh along with a pair of Shell duck, couple of Jays overhead. Single Morrhen flew into the leat.

Despite low tide very little in the way of waders to be seen

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 12:07 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Skern

Still three yellow wagtails with plenty of white and Pied's

Still a few Swallows over the pool and one Grasshopper warbler heard but not seen, so no photo (yet!)




Posted April 19th, 2013 at 10:21 am by Steve Hatch in General Birding

Berry Head

A few migrants : 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, over-head 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Redpoll sp., 2 'alba' Wagtails, 8 Swallows. 1 Red-throated Diver >South at sea

Only 132 Guillemots on cliff - hopefully not too concerning as they have not started laying just yet and number fluctuate enormously until the first eggs appear. 

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 9:44 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 18th April 2013

Northam Burrows - Monday`s lamb attack.

I appologise if this is not the place to discuss this but not all birders read the Forum.

 For those birders at the scene on monday and who witnessed the attack, I report that I have spoken to the farmer, a Mr Peter Withecombe of Northam, and he says that he has the woman`s name and address and she will pay for the lamb, This is the 2nd he`s lost this week alone. He wasn`t very happy with the "Bite twice" policy. He thanked the birders for getting involved.

There is an article in this week`s North Devon Journal about the incident.

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 8:44 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wrafton, again

Quick look this evening: on the pond 3 Gadwall (2 darkes) 1 female Pochard, pair of Shoveler, a few Swallows and a couple of Sand Martin. Twixt the trail and reserve 14 Alba Wagtails and at last a smart male Yellow Wagtail. 2 Little Egrets flew in close company over the reserve. 30+ Swallows and 20+ Sand Martins hawking in the lee of the reserve.

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 7:53 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Efford Marsh- Aveton Gifford

Eric W has just phoned to say the Woodchat Shrike is still showing well at19.30- hasn't moved far from the gorse bush

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 7:34 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Challacombe

Tony Skymre and myself had the first cuckoo of the year at Challacombe Down today.  We also had three wheatears and two stonechats.

Cuckoo
Cuckoo

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 7:28 pm by Jack Aldous in General Birding

Southcott Valley, Bideford

13:45

1 Yellow Wagtail; 7 White Wagtails; 1 Black-tailed Godwit and c40-50 Common Gulls.

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 7:20 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 17:40

A good afternoon around the marsh, from the viewing platform looking towards goat walk in topsham, 4 little tern with 1 common tern  and the 1s little gull still showing well at times

around the marsh 4 reed warblers, 6+ willow warblers , 17+ swift, 10+ house martins, 400+ sand martins, 150+ swallows, 4+ buzzards, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 white wagtail, 1 pintail, 15+ shoveler. 

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 6:28 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Woodchat Shrike

 A couple of distant record pics.  It could disappear for up to an hour - probably on the estuary side of the path.



Posted April 18th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Skern

6 Arctic Terns briefly over tip pool at 15:00 heading across burrows towards sea.Also around pool 4 yellow wagtails and over 100 whites.On the skern 15 whimbrel,53 ringed plover.15:20.

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 5:41 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Totnes Weir ~ Rv Dart

Suprisingly little to see during a late afternoon visit, large group of Herring Gull on a single bank mid river below the wier, mix of juveniles to full adult, also four Greater Black & one Lesser Black Backed mixed in with them.

One Egret below the weir, topside two Mute Swans and a single Moorhen, single Chiffchaff in a willow stand, lots of birds song but very little to be seen, very strong winds sweeping across the river may be the reason.

A number of Swallows seen in small numbers on the drive home.

 

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 5:41 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wrafton

Canada Goose punch up in the reserve! And from there in mid afternoon, the Spoonbill flew in to the flooded field but soon departed.

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 5:38 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford

Superb Woodchat Shrike at north end of marsh showing well in mid afternoon. Apparently found by birder from Brixham!

Great patch tick!

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 5:00 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wembury Point 18/04/13

Whilst on a evening walk at Wembury Point a single black bellied brent goose on the beach with a party of oystercatchers. Looked very skittish and had moved on when we returned back along our route at 7.30 pm. High winds on shore meant very little else on offer.

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 2:10 pm by Graham Devine in General Birding

Hartland Point 07.50-10.10

117 Gannet, 20 Fulmar, 653 Manx Shearwater, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Great Skua,1 Arctic Skua,120 Kittiwake, 7 Common/Arcic Tern, 114 auks. 

3 Yellow Wagtail at Skern still later, seen by malcombe shackspeare

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 1:22 pm by david churchill in General Birding

Chivenor

I've been asked to do a bird survey in Chivenor a couple of times a year and I just went in to meet the conservation officer and drove around the site. It's good for Skylarks (hooray) we saw a dozen or so even though the wind was blowing a hoolie. 4 Wheatears too. Looking forward to the survey dates sometime in May and November.

Posted April 18th, 2013 at 12:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 17th April 2013

Exwick Bramblings.

Chris and Liz Foster still have 12 Bramblings in their garden feeding on their bird feeders including this stunning male which is almost in full summer pluamge.

Male Brambling, Exwick.
Male Brambling, Exwick.

Male Brambling, Exwick.
Male Brambling, Exwick.

Posted April 17th, 2013 at 8:58 pm by Chris and Liz Forster in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 17:20

walked out to turf and from turf lock by the pub found the 1s little gull between turf and the goat walk at topsham before being put up by a peregrine, on the walk back by the canal swallow and sand Martin started droping down, over the lagoon there was 200+ sand Martin, and good numbers of house martins, just before middle car park a group of 8 swift i stayed watching as long as i could and final totals were at least 500+ sand martins, 200+ swallow, 40+ house martins, 21+ swift, 2 reed buntings, 3 sedge warbler, 8+ willow warblers,10+ chiffchaffs,  1 whitethroat, 5 Cetti's warblers, 2 stonechat, 4 tufted duck, 3 reed buntings, a good afternoon around the marsh. 

Posted April 17th, 2013 at 6:47 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

100% cloud and an incresing SSW wind -F5 am & F 7 pm.

Good start to the day with the 1stw Spoonbill feeding on T'stone Marsh at 07.45, also 2 Reed Warbler singing . A 3.5 hr watch by the cafe  saw the first good passage of Whimbrel - 44 ( largest flock 25 ) with 200+ Swallow, 14 House Matin and 8 Sand Martin over the marsh, other waders - 1 s/pl Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Turnstone.1 Wheatear. Offshore- 9 Sandwich Tern, 17 Common Scoter, 2 Gadwall - east.

With better viz and an increasing wind went to Warren Pt at 15.45 , in 1.5 hrs first passage of Manx Shearwater totalled 180 ( largest flock 40) 6 Arctic Tern, 5 Sandwich Tern, 2 Red T Diver. ,3 Fulmar. 5 Guillemot flew east.

No reports of   any  dead Auks today

Posted April 17th, 2013 at 6:20 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Southcott Marsh,Bideford

Adult yellow legged gull again for 15 mins took off behind my back whilst looking at 2 yellow wagtails.Also black tailed godwit,20 swallow,30 sand martin,5 white wagtails.16:20-16:40.

Posted April 17th, 2013 at 5:32 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Start Point

Seawatch 09:00-11:00 (forecast spot on, S-SSW increasing through morning): heading SW, reasonable passage of 575 Guillemots/Razorbills and 9 Puffins( I hope they will avoid the pollution further west!), 95 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Bonxies, 4 Red-throated Divers, 5 Arctic Terns, 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Gulls, 6 Whimbrel and 35 Kittiwakes, Next to no grounded migrants with just a couple of Wheatears.

Posted April 17th, 2013 at 5:06 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Beaford

First in the garden in 12 years, male blackcap feeding with chaffinches, searching amongst seed husks on the ground beneath feeders.  Unusual as no woodland that close.

Posted April 17th, 2013 at 4:18 pm by Tony Brooking in General Birding

Berry Head

7:30-11:00 seawatch, later joined by Bob Bailey. Not as windy as forecast, cloudy and abit foggy 1-2 miles off shore. Loads of Auks passing the Head and also 3 Puffins, 68 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Great Skuas, 23 Kittiwakes (3 juvs), 7 Gannets, all flying south. Also a Red-throated Diver flying north. 8 Swallows in off the sea.

Posted April 17th, 2013 at 2:19 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Tuesday 16th April 2013

yellow wagtail

Still only record shots as these birds are edgy and are constantly being put up by walkers/dog walkers


Posted April 16th, 2013 at 9:02 pm by Steve Hatch in General Birding

Skern

At least 3 yellow wagtails still plus large number of whites.191 being best count but easily over 200.Gourgeous Barn owl flew in front of parked car beautifully lit by evening sun less than ten feet away.18:30-19:00.Black tailed godwit sp + 100 swallows at southcott marsh,bideford.

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 8:18 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Prawle 15+16/4/13

Two days at Prawle with a group of students but I was confined to the area between the car park and Horsley Cove. Very little of interest although a Whitethroat was new for the year for me as was a single House Martin this morning. Up to 10 Wheatears this morning and a tiny trickle of hirundines. Single Willow Warbler yesterday.

Best sighting was a Golden-ringed Dragonfly larva from the tiny sink near the car park (are there any breeding records for Odonata from Prawle?) along with 10 or so Black Oil Beetle.

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 6:02 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

A bonus patch tick when a party of 5 Pied Wagtails flushed a Jack Snipe on South Efford Marsh. In true JS fashion it went into cover and never re-appeared!

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Broadsands

25 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Sandwich Tern 8 Swallows in off sea.

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 3:18 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Yarner Wood

One male Pied Flycatcher. Struggling to find food.

Also Hexworthy, One male Redstart. 

Venford Reservoir. A few Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff all singing away.

It may not feel like spring but it sure sounds like it.

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 1:44 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A visit mid morning coincided with the high tide so some waders were using the marsh to roost, including 13 grey plover, c60 bar-tailed godwits, 224 curlew (more flew in later) and 4 whimbrel ( a further 5 flew in or over).

The shelduck roost held 47 birds. Other ducks included 7 wigeon, 2 pintail, 8 tufted duck, mallard, teal and shoveller. Exotics included 2 greylag geese and 3 bar-headed geese. A flock of c200 black-headed gulls, feeding on emerging insects on the lagoon, included 2 Mediterranean gulls (one adult s/p and one 1 w/s) and a single adult common gull.

On the canal bank - 1 jay flying north, 11 redpolls including 2 males with extensive red breasts (flammea?) and one whitethroat (nr Turf). Elsewhere I heard one sedge warbler, 3 Cettis warblers, 2 willow warblers, several chiffchaffs and one blackcap. There were lots of swallows and sand martins passing through.

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 1:19 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Creedy Bridge, Crediton

A red-rumped swallow near Creedy Bridge this morning at around 8am, accompanied by a few sand martins and swallows. Also 10+ wheaters and a smart male pied flycatcher in the area.

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 1:09 pm by Ross Bower in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Smart male Yellow Wagtail this morning, before it moved off west with six Wheatears.  Lots of Willow Warblers again and my first Sedge Warbler.

Yesterday afternoon, a Hobby flew north past my house (in NE corner of Seaton) at 17:50.

Ian M had a Velvet Scoter west past Beer this morning.

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 11:03 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Berry Head

Had a  look around the quarry area 8.00-930 as everywhere else seemed wind blown. Ring Ouzel briefly on slope below the entry track, moved left along the hillside  towards hotel. Down the bottom were Common Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 6 Wheatear and a male Redstart again.   

Posted April 16th, 2013 at 10:21 am in General Birding

Monday 15th April 2013

Skern

Another Sand Martin pic to go with Robs great set!

Some great views of these birds to brighten up the day after the awful events regarding yet another irresponsible dog owner.


Posted April 15th, 2013 at 11:39 pm by Steve Hatch in General Birding

Wrafton

As I pottered along the tarka trail this evening to see if there were any hirundines over the pond I saw the Spoonbill fly in (7.30p.m.) and immediately start feeding in one of the ponds in the field! I was hoping for an interesting Wagtail but the rapid fly-through of a male Sparrowhawk put all the small birds up and I could only find one Pied Wagtail. The Green Sandpiper was still present. About a dozen Sand Martins and a few Swallows over the pond with several of each over by the reserve trees. Also on the pond the three Pochard and three Gadwall still.

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 9:56 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Migrants - Sidmouth & Exmouth Marshes

Sidmouth Byes @ 1.15

male pied flycatcher,willow warbler & male blackcap

Exminster Marshes @ 3.45 

single swift with 12+ swallows

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 8:43 pm by Ian Pearson in General Birding

Skern, Northam Burrows

Lots of resting Swallows and Martins today along with at least three Yellow Wagtails!

Just to re-emphasise what Maurice stated about the horrific dog attack on a lamb today, an appalling and very upsetting experience! Why can't people just keep their dogs under control?

Anyway a few shots of todays birds!




Posted April 15th, 2013 at 8:33 pm by Rob Cross in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

10.00 - 12.00

Grasshopper Warbler, on the canal path, 3 Greenland Wheatear, 4 Northern WheatearSedge Warbler ( first of the year), 5 Willow Warbler, 12 Black Tailed Godwit, 57 Whimbrel, 1 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank were the best of the birds I saw today.

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 7:54 pm by Kevin Bainbridge in General Birding

Sharkham Point

Whitethroat popped up this afternoon whilst watching Stonechats. First of many I hope here!

Whitethroat, J.Marshall
Whitethroat, J.Marshall

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 6:05 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Skern and Southcott Valley.

Skern 07:30 - 10:00

17 Bar-tailed Godwits; 1 Dunlin; 10 Shelduck; c50 Ringed Plover. Sandwich Tern 1; Common Tern 2; 2 Wheatear and 1 glorious male Yellow Wagtail. Also 100s of Swallows and Sand Martins and just a few House Martins over the Tip Pond. Too many White Wagtails to count. They were everywhere!

Several of us birders witnessed an uncontrolled dog, attack and kill a good sized lamb. It`s owner took the attitude that it was on "open land" after all! She would have left the scene but was stopped and Police were called but no one was satisfied in how they dealt with it.

Southcott Valley 10:20.

8 Lesser black-backed Gulls; c30 Common Gulls; 1 Black-tailed Godwit; 1 Little Egret; 1 Grey Heron and several herring Gull and Black-headed Gulls. No sign of Yellow-legged Gull.

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 5:26 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wembury

Along the beach at Wembury today 2 members of the Devon Wildlife Trust were looking for any washed up seabirds from the current pollution incident affecting the English Channel. Unfortunately there were at least 24 dead guillemots and a dead puffin washed up on the beach with a live guillemot desperately trying to preen on the rocks before heading out back to sea where it was eventually overcome by waterlogging and cold and drowned. Very sad and who knows how many more have died. Some of the guillemot corpses had been partly eaten and the Devon Wildlife Trust lady suspects they have been eaten by foxes scavenging along the beach.

On a lighter note at least 6 chiffchaffs were singing, 2 swallows flew over, 2 male blackcaps were skulking in vegetation (new arrivals?) and 2 willow warblers were bathing in the stream to the beach. I also saw my first oil beetles of the year.

Dead Puffin on Wembury Beach
Dead Puffin on Wembury Beach

Some of the Dead Guillemots on Wembury Beach
Some of the Dead Guillemots on Wembury Beach

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 4:55 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Very quiet but enlivened by a Spoonbill landing in front of the hide at West Charleton. Pair pintail on the marsh.

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 4:26 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Burrator

Cuckoo calling near Cuckoo Rock (Roger Smaldon)

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 4:18 pm in General Birding

Beer

Two male Redstarts, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Tree Pipit the best Beer Head had to offer this morning. Also a male Redstart in the Beer Cemetery Fieds.

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 1:04 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Wrafton

Green Sandpiper again this morning, but no sign of the Spoonbill. Now 6 Cootlets in the reserve.

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 12:13 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

0600 -0900 - 17 Wheatear, 15 Chiffchaff, 9 Willow Warbler, 9 Swallow, male Redstart, Blackcap, Ring Ouzle still in the quarry, alba Wagtail over, 3 Bullfinch, 11 Greenfinch, 8 Chaffinch and a handfull of Meadow Pipits.

Posted April 15th, 2013 at 9:32 am by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Sunday 14th April 2013

Exminster

A good day at exminster with lots of birds seen; these included: 100+ hurindines (50+ swallows, 50+ sandmatin and 2+ house martins) 30+ shelduck, 40+ godwits, 2+ shoveler, 10+ teal, 4+ blue tits (including a pair checking out a nest box) 2+ wrens, 5+ little egrets, 2+ herons, 3+ swans and 1 female wheatear.

Highlights were a possible merlin, a bar headed goose with a small group of canada geese (presumably an escapee), seen from viewing platform, and a sneaky little water rail which ran across the road less than 2 metres away from us between our car and another car.

poor photo of bar headed goose (far off beyond main pool)
poor photo of bar headed goose (far off beyond main pool)

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Tim Stripp in General Birding

Around the marshes

Bowling green marsh, watched from 08:45 till 10:15

5 avocet,1 whimbrel, 1 common sandpiper, 80+ dunlin, 2 knot, 270+ black tailed godwits, 1 bar tailed godwit, ,2 water rail, 20+ willow warbler, 2 blackcaps, 12+ chiffchaffs, 7 wigeon, 2 tufted duck, 4 shoveler, 1 little egret, 3 little grebes.

Goat walk in topsham, 12+ sandwich tern and 1 little tern just of turf lock at 10:30 then moved of down the estuary.

exminster marsh from 11:20 till 15:30

25+ whimbrel, 12+ bar tailed godwit, 1 ringed plover, 1 little ringed plover then another little ringed plover flew over calling and they both headed of north, 2 white wagtails, steady passage of swallows was soon replaced with increasing numbers of sand martins with 200+ viewable from canal bank about 14:30, 24+ wheatear around the marsh including at least 4 Greenland type males, good fall of willow warblers with probably 30+ around the marsh , 4+ blackcaps all males, 2 sedge warblers, 3 buzzards, 3+ house martins, 3 stonechats, 4+ reed buntings

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 7:12 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

All the activity this morning took place before 10.30

The Spoonbill again on South Huish Marsh up to 10.00. Plenty of Hirundines flying through and over the marshes - Swallow 100+ Sand Martin 25 + , 1 House Martin

At 09.20 a flock of 20 Common Tern flew east close inshore, these were preceeded by our first Little Gull of the year. 6 Sandwich Tern, 1 Curlew and then at 10.30 4 Bonxies flew east together

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 6:59 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Stover C.P.

The drake Scaup was showing well. During the hour from midday the number of hirundines rose from c.3 Swallows, c.10 Sand Martins and 1 House Martin to c.15 Swallows, 30-40 Sand Martins and still 1 House Martin. 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff singing.

 

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Powderham Marsh, early afternoon

1 Yellow Wagtail, 8 White Wagtail, 100+ Sand Martin, 1 House Martin, 50+ Swallow, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 16 Lapwing, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 14 Shoveler, 36 Teal, 7 Wigeon, 5 Tufties, 4 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Reed Bunting

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Berry Head pm

Seawatch 1515-1615 in strong SW winds and intermittent drizzle. 63 Swallows and 6 Sandwich Terns moved north. Fairly quiet further offshore but nine Manx Shearwaters and a Puffin flew south.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 5:47 pm in General Birding

Feeding Spoonbill - Sharpa freshwater scrape

Spent some time after lunch today trying to identify what food items the Spoonbill is feeding on, not as easy as you might think!

However, digiscoping may help to solve the problem & I think

it may possibly be a small fish. When magnified several times I can see what appears to be a fish eye & a body shaped like a fish & maybe a fin but I am not certain & so far have not been able to ID it.

Any fish experts out there & I will gladly send you the original full size photo so you can magnify it several times?  (looks like a Three-spined Stickleback to me..ML)

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wrafton

The subadult Spoonbill still on the flood (and feeding!) with the Green Sandpiper this afternoon. Around the ponds at Sherpa 2 Common Sandpipers, and a largish, loose flock of Hirundines - 30 each of Swallow and Sand Martin with one House Martin. In the reserve still a few WIllow Warblers and Chiffs.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 5:02 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bideford Southcott Valley

A surprise on my WeBS count this morning was a near adult Yellow-legged Gull roosting over high tide at Southcott Valley. As usual at this time of year there was a good flock of Common Gulls (36) but no waders. Plenty of Swallows and Sand Martins over the water and a single House Martin. In the trees behind the road a Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were singing.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 3:32 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Berry Head.

Berry Head 11:30-13:30.

Adult male Ring Ouzel on the left bank of the Quarry path, feeding at the bottom for half-an-hour before I continued down into the quarry.

In the quarry around 15-20 Wheatears (One male bird with very strong orange buff colour throughout breast and belly. Greenland Wheatear?), 1 adult male Redstart, about 10 Willow warblers, 3 Chiffchaff and a Redwing.

Large numbers of Swallows(70+), and Sand Martins(About 15), also 8 Sandwich Terns.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 2:27 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

Stover Lake

Visited mid morning. Scaup still present, plus a pair of Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorants and Great Crested Grebe. About 40 hirundines lowq over the water, mixed Swallow and Sand Martin with one or two House  Martin.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 2:05 pm in General Birding

Beesands

Best bird on the WeBS count was a male Shoveler. Also present were 3 Pochard, 7 Tufted Ducks and a Great Crested Grebe. 20 + Swallows and a handful of House Martins appearing and dissapearing. Offshore a couple Sandwich Terns and a Great Northern Diver.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

skern

3 yellow wagtails still and at least 70 white.27 sand martin by tip pool.50 Ringed plover,6 dunlin on skern.07:30-09:00.Whimbrel,2s med gull,37 common gull 47 bhg southcott marsh,bideford.09.15-10:00.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 11:25 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Hopes Nose

7.15-9.15am- just 2 Red T Divers and 17 Sandwich Terns . Also 10 Swallows, 3 Wheatears and a male Blackcap. Also 5 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 10:53 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Berry Head

0630-0730 seawatch: 3 Puffin, 337 Auks (about 80% Guillemots with smaller numbers of Razorbills), 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Scoter, 26 Kittiwake and 2 Harbour Porpoise. But when Wheatears started sit on the rocks around me I decided it was time to go and look for more migrants!

 

 

 

Around the headland: 2 male Redstarts, 2 Tree Pipits, 1 Firecrest, 11 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff,1 Blackcap, 7 Wheatear and 26 Swallows

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 10:19 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 13th April 2013

skern

3 yellow,47 white&15 pied wagtails,male shoveller,5oo hirundines 95% swallows with sand and 1 house martin all over and around flood pond by old tip,19:00-19:45.

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Otter Scrapes

My first Whimbrel of the year on the scrapes briefly this afternoon and a Black-tailed Godwit still.

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

South Brent

Friday saw three Swallows pass the house, Saturday saw a steady possession of both Swallow and House Martins during the late morning and a smaller number in the afternoon all headed west towards Plymouth direction.

Had a suprise visit from a male Black Cap on the feeders and two Chiffchaffs added to the days sightings.

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 6:00 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Managed a short seawatch before the heavy rain and sea mist ensured an early finish by 11.00.The S5/6 wind produced a trickle of movement - 70 Gannet,, 6 Fulmar, 7 Sandwich Tern 1 dunlin, 21 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin and the first Bonxie of the year .

The 1st w Spoonbill again on South Huish marsh.

Hirundines feeding over T'stone Marsh -minima no's- Swallow 70, Sand Martin 30, House martin-1

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 5:16 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Georgham

Seen from garden yesterday:

1 goldcrest, 2 chiffchaffs, 2 buzzard, 30 golden plover (most were in sp) and 20(+) Swallows.

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 5:10 pm by Ollie Banks in General Birding

Sterridge Valley (between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin)

The garden feeder Blackcap flock has increased, with up to 15 (11m, 4f) in view simultaneously this afternoon. Feeding on the ground on oats-and-lard mix in an area of no more than 5 sq m. An amazing sight!

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 4:55 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 10:00-12:00 in dire conditions (S F5-7 very wet): just one Manx Shearwater (in previous years we've seen big counts this time of year!), 6 Common Gulls, 69 Kittiwakes, 14 Sandwich Terns, Bonxie, Black-throated Diver (bp), distant diver sp. (looked RtD on size) and 4 Puffins in a trickle of Guillemots/Razorbills. Also one Grey Seal and 3+ Harbour Porpoise.

A few migrants coming in off the sea Swallows and Meadow Pipits. Also a few Willow/chiffs, Blackcaps hiding in the bushes in the quarry and a Lesser Whitethroat in sub-song.

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 4:32 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

07:00 till 09:50

a quiet morning on the marsh, the American wigeon dropped in and showed well to the right of the hide, 3 Cetti's warblers, a good passage of swallow and sand Martin with at least 50+ of each and  2+ house martins, 80+ dunlin, 1 bar tailed godwit, with 200+ black tailed godwits, 3 little grebe, 2 little egrets, 2 tufted ducks, on walk down to hide , 3 blackcaps. 

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 3:11 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Braunton Marshes & Horsey Island

Early morning my first 3 House Martins of the year flying east

from Braunton Marshes over the Toll Road > Horsey Island.

Also a passage of Chiffchaffs & Willow Warblers searching for insects on the sheltered sides of the hedgerows,

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 12:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Velator

Cold wind again, so not much showing in the reserve mid-morning, perhaps only 10 Willow Warblers and 5 Chiffs. Just outside the reserve on the lee (away from the wind) was my first House Martin, and it (or another) was then seen over Wrafton Pond with 2 Swallows. Out on the flood Spoonbill and Green Sandpiper still.

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 12:32 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

dawlish inner warren

There were 2 kestrel at Dawlish inner warren.

As Well chiffchaff, stonechat, little egret, comman sandpipper and a wheatear.

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 11:44 am by Lewis tromans in General Birding

(Tiverton) River Dart

Friday 12/04/2013 - 08.00-10.00.  Dart Valley between Bickleigh and Little Silver.  12+ chiffchaffs seen and heard, at least 1 willow warbler, 2+ blackcaps, 2 swallows (feeding over fish ponds). No sign of winter thrushes that were still numerous here last week. 

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 9:39 am by James Morrison in General Birding

Friday 12th April 2013

Rillage Point to Watermouth

12.30 to 15.00 Steady westward passage of Swallows (50+) after the rain cleared to warm sunshine. Grounded Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers (about 75% = WW) so numerous and obvious that the various coast-path walkers I met all stopped me to ask what they were. One female Wheatear, 5 Blackcaps. Small passage of Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Pied (White?) Wagtails. Offshore, at least 5 Sandwich Terns going west.

A couple of km inland, at home in the Sterridge Valley, a  male Firecrest feeding actively on the edge of the garden, 6 Swallows, and a couple of Willow Warblers, plus 6 Blackcaps around the suet feeders still.

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 10:48 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

The first Swallows of the Spring with 4 birds through tonight. Also 5 Wheatear (4m, 1f), 1 Snipe, 1 Yellowhammer (m) and winter visitors still present in the form of 50 Fieldfare and 62 Golden Plover.

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 8:09 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Skern

2 sandwich terns,34 white wagtails,27 ringed plover,300 swallow/sand martin flock over flood pool,7 willow warblers in first patch of bramble before pool.Good to see plenty of insects for them no doubt aided by pool.Usually dry this time of year,18:30-19:40.

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 7:55 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Last seen on Mon evening the 1st winter Spoonbill was back on South Huish Marsh at 09.00- left around 10.30.Visiting birders also reported an adult on South Efford Marsh ( about 4 miles NW ) at 08.00 .

Best passage so far of Swallow - 46 this morning and 1 Sand Martin. A Whimbrel on the marsh before flying off up the valley.

Offshore - 16 Common Tern ( one flock of 15 ), 7 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great N Diver, 2m Common Scoter,1 Red T Diver.

On T'stone Marsh - 9 Swallow, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 6:07 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 07:00 -09:30.


A couple of photo's for Matt Knott's Blog below...great couple of hours with plenty about....best bird a Dartford Warbler and a suprised Fox!! 




Posted April 12th, 2013 at 5:41 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Velator again

With the sun fully out, I thought a second visit to the reserve to see what I could see might be in order. Phylloscs everywhere, probably 60+ in the reserve nearly all Willow Warblers. WIth half-decent conditions this morning we could have caught a hatfull! The Coots have at least 2 Cootlets (hatched today) and the Little Grebe very active and calling still. One male Blackcap seen. On the flood outside the reserve, the Spoonbill still present and quite active and  a Green Sandpiper still. 

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 4:49 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

After yesterday's blank, 5 water pipits on South Efford Marsh this afternoon with 18 alba wagtails, all yarrellii. Still stacks, 50+, of willow/chiffs around the marsh edge plus a few swallows.

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 4:39 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Hope's Nose

11.30-13.45. 12 Swallows (4 straight in off the sea), 60+ Guillemots, 3 Chiffchaffs (1 in full song), male Blackcap, male Wheatear, Rock Pipit, 2 Ravens, 2 Bullfinches, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, 2 Jays, Kestrel, 3 Greenfinches, 4 Linnets, 2 Robins, 3 Song Thrushes, 2 Blackbirds, 2 Fulmars, 10+ Shags, Cormorant, 7 Oystercatchers, Sandwich Tern and 3 Woodpigeons.  Grey Seal.  

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 3:36 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

 A good selection of migrants today on the marsh between 10.00 and 1.00pm

1 male Redstart, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Willows warblers, 12 grey Plover, 1 knot, 6 Whimbrel and a constant stream of hirundines go through.

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 3:30 pm by Kevin Bainbridge in General Birding

Around the Axe

Stunning breeding plumaged Spoonbill on Colyford Marsh mid morning.

The rain had dropped a nice lot of migrants too, with various sites around the valley giving the following totals; 70+ Willow Warblers, 8 Chiffchaffs, 15 Swallow, 4 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin and a cracking male Redstart (Seaton Marshes).

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Redstart
Redstart

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 12:42 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Exmouth

Orcombe - 0615 - more good spring birding with Derek Carter this morning. A notable steady passage westwards of linnets in small groups and an arrival of willow warblers. Totals include 4+ chiffchaff, c20+ willow warbler, 6+ phyllosc sp, 1 tree pipit, 5+ meadow pipit, 2 alba wagtail, c80+ linnet, 5+ goldfinch, 7+ greenfinch, 4 blackcap, 3 wheatear, 1 redwing, 1 female ring ouzel (present since Tue at least), 1 bullfinch, 4+ swallow, 1 house martin, 3 goldcrest and best bird a dartford warbler, my first spring record for Orcombe and only 3rd ever site record. Also 21 curlew, 4 shelduck and 3 common scoter recorded.

Yesterday migrants on Orcombe included 1 firecrest and the ring ouzel along with 1+ siskin, 30+ robin and 22 phyllosc sp. An/the osprey was fishing off Mudbank at 1710.

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 10:40 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Velator

Arrived at the reserve at first light to try and catch a few migrants. Just as I finished openeing the nets the rain and wind arrived, so we went round and closed up extracting 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, and 5 Willow Warblers. Several more of the latter seen flying in from the reedbed. A very vocal Little Grebe and 2 Canada Geese on the pond and a Water Rail seen too. On the flooded field, the Spoonbill still present.

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 10:39 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 11th April 2013

Plym Estuary and Saltram

a quick walk around Blaxton Meadow end of Plym Estuary produced 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret, 1 Redshank, 2 Cormorant (1 ad, 1 juv) a female Peregrine over and the usual Gulls. A Chiffchaff was trying half heartedly to sing.  

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:03 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Skern

11 white wagtail,12 swallow,10 sand martin,6 wheatear,10 ringed plover all around flooded poool by old tip.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Hagging point Hele bay.

1815-1915.    100+Swallow, 10 Sand martin and Chiffchaff everywhere Spring at last.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 9:15 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Otter Scrapes & Budleigh Golf Course

A pretty impressive day for the local patch today. It started with a Firecrest in one of the thick hedgerows on the Otter and was followed at about 10.05hrs by a brief Osprey along the cliffs by the golf course being harrassed by gulls before vanishing into the murk and mist! Best of all though was a cracking adult Spoonbill on the scrapes this evening at 18.15hrs for 5 minutes - a 1st for me here! Went back for my camera and the bird had gone - though did manage a dodgy phone scoped record!

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 7:18 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Around the marshes

Matford marsh 14:15 till 15:10, 2 little ringed plover from the cycle path on main scrape, a kingfisher and at least 2 willow warblers.

exminster marsh 15:30 till 16:45, a group of 3 yellow wagtail flew from beside the fishermans car park towards the railway line, then as another shower hit a group of wagtails landed in front of me, a stunning male yellow wagtail, 2 white wagtails, and 5 pied wagtails, also 6 gadwall by middle car park, severall groups of swallow and sand martins dropping in between showers. 

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 6:56 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

The first Whimbrel of the year flew in off the sea and went up the valley- joined by the 5 Black T Godwit.

A Water Pipit in partial s/pl also 12 Swallow. Raptors overhead were 8 Buzzard and a Merlin.In the copse 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff.

In the bay 7 Sandwich Tern, 3 Wheatear, 5 Turnstone.

Over T'stone Marsh this pm - 9 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin

At South Milton Ley a total of 50 Warblers on site ,mostly Chiffchaff and a few Willow warbler

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 6:00 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Stover Country Park

Report from Jon Avon of a diverse mix today at Stover.

On Stover Lake:  2 pairs Great Crested Grebe, 2 prs Coot nest building, 3 cormorant  10 tufted duck,  1 male Scaup,  1 common tern, water rail, snipe, 2 LBBGulls, herring gulls and 20 black headed gulls – mostly immatures – in most years these are rarely seen after 20th March. 4 buzzards,  several chiffchaffs and 1st willow warbler song – despite being recorded daily since Sunday 7th, several swallows, sand martin ,blackcap ,4 marsh tit, 16+siskin, pair bullfinch, 2 prs green woodpecker and 3 pairs of great spotted woodpecker.

Snipe Stover Geoff Hawkins

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 4:03 pm in General Birding

Berry Head/Aveton Gifford/Slapton Ley

Day out with Jake Wood started well with Long-eared Owl at Berry Head with Firecrest behind the cattle trough in the meadow and a Wheater on the headland. Little other sign of migration and very quiet overhead.

It would appear the Water Pipits at South Efford Marsh have departed, however the reserve looked perfect for this species, on site:- 5 Swallow, 14 Little Egret, 6 Shellduck, 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 3 Redshank, 12 Chiffchaff and 8 Willow Warbler.

At Slapton Ley highlights were male Greater Scaup, single male Goldeneye, a Water Rail and this Black-necked Grebe.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 2:52 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Darts Farm and Bowling Green

Darts Farm - 8am  American Wigeon still there; bar headed geesex3; pair of black swans; swallow; two sand martins; over 400 black tailed godwits (maybe 30% in breeding plumage).

Bowling Green Viewing Platform - 9.30 Long tailed duck; slavonian grebe; mergansers in close (two pairs).

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 2:32 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Swallows at South Brent

At long last have just seen two Swallows over South Brent headed west coming past the lower side of Brent Hill, first one's that I have seen this year, nice to know they are actually arriving.

Also had an interesting display this morning from a Sparrow Hawk hunting the House Sparrows around my garden feeding station, from the damage to its centre tail feathers this is the same bird that I had in recently that came in starving with a badly broken toe, the toe was amputated and once the bird recovered it was released from home, this is the first time I have seen it since, nice to know that it survived.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 1:55 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Tried to dodge the showers at lunchtime, but failed miserably! Only birds of note were a Greenshank and Common Sandpiper from the viewing platform.

The road that leads down towards the hide has been / is being resurfaced and most of it is coned off so parking was limited today.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 1:35 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Blackcaps -

I also have many Blackcaps feeding in the garden here in Berrynarbor at the moment, four females and at least seven males.  More than I can count accurately as they are very aggressive towards each other and very 'flighty'.They are feeding on peanut fat,sunflower hearts and fruitcake.

A male Ring Ouzel seen an hour ago feeding in a field at the top of Buzzacott Lane, Combe Martin.  I have been looking for several weeks !

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 1:33 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Torquay

12.30.  Male Redstart still present at Cadewell Park, Torquay.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 12:49 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Photo of Sterridge Valley Blackcaps

Took a while, but managed to get this shot of five of the six male Blackcaps under the seed feeders.

Ed: There is also a thread on the Forum about these and other migrants behaving strangely, see  http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=171 MD

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 12:21 pm by Tim Davis in General Birding

Sharpa freshwater scrape

George Mudford sent me these pics of the Green Sandpiper taken yesterday morning clearly showing the white rump.

Also a male Stonechat in flight & a Meadow Pipit taken at Baggy on 30 March 2013.




Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:30 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Hd

Bill Mac gave me a ring to about a Long-eared Owl he and Jake W had found at Berry Head this morning, luckily I was on site. After 45 mins some small birds started to make a fuss on the dense area of scrub between the road to the Northern Fort and meadow. The owl was being pushed around by a pack of small birds and eventually flew into the radar station woods. Long-eared Owl Berry Hd 11 April 2013 ML

 Also on site 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff (both singing - at last!) a male Redstart and two Siskins over.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:17 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sterridge Valley Blackcaps

Six male and one female Blackcaps on the suet and seed feeders this morning. Amazing sight.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:04 am by Tim Davis in General Birding

Brixham Blackcaps

2 x male Blackcaps in the garden Wednesday PM, 1 male in this morning.

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 9:11 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Wednesday 10th April 2013

Winter thrushes

Still significant numbers of winter thrushes going through the Blackdowns. Today, seen with Richard Whiteside, we had around 150 Redwings and 2+ Fieldfare at Madford near Dunkeswell.

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 8:59 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Spoonbill on Exminster Marsh

 I imagine John's spoonbill was the same one I saw on the island just off the canal (fisherman's) car park at about 10.45am. Had a metal tag on left leg and yellow flag FJ9 on right. This seems to be a well-known bird.

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 8:45 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Shoalstone - Brixham

Seawatching from 1645 - 1845 hrs - passage of 54 Sandwich Tern all close inshore heading out of the bay.

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 8:08 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Exeter Waxwings

20 + Waxwings in trees by Aldi on Alphington Road late am 

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 6:39 pm by John Walters in General Birding

skern

12 swallows onto skern from burrows at 17:00 plus single bar/blackwits 200 Golden plover

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 6:29 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Decoy

The drake Scaup again this evening showing well to the left of the jetty with 6 Tufted Duck. 

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 16:00 

the red throated diver was on the canal by the turf lock, on walk back from turf a osprey flew from over the lagoon and was hunting over the main scrape by the fishermans car park before drifting of towards the motorway bridge, also around the marsh at least 13+ whimbrel in 3 groups, 4 white wagtails, 4 gadwall, 11+ tufted duck, 3 pintail, 15+ snipe, 40+ swallow and 30+ sand martins, lots of chiffchaffs and at least 1 willow warbler. 

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 5:35 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Hope's Nose

10.45-12.45.  Quiet on arrival with misty conditions.  10 Greenfinches, 8 Chiffchaffs, 8 Goldcrests, 8 Oystercatchers, 6 Robins,  4 Linnets, 4 Woodpigeons, 6 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrushes, 3 Goldfinches, 2 Meadow Pipits, 2 Jays, male Blackcap, Sandwich Tern and a Sparrowhawk.  Grey Seal offshore.

Elsewhere at Cadewell Park, Torquay a male Redstart in full song between 08.45 until at least 10.20. Mobile bird favouring oak trees there. Singing Chiffchaff also present.  

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 4:23 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Still at least 14 Water Pipits, maybe more, on South Efford Marsh with 2 Meadow Pipits. The fluctuation in numbers over the last few days may indicate continuous passage of different individuals!

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 2:45 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

American Wigeon at Darts Farm

After a couple of weeks away the American Wigeon has reappeared back on site. Only a small group of wigeon so it is quite easy to spot. A few Teal and 2 Shelduck along with the 3 bar-headed geese.

Plenty of Chiffchaff around the ponds and especially in front of the hide looking for food, one was singing. A noticeable increase of Meadow Pipits also. 3 Swallow over the wetlands.

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 2:20 pm by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Berry Hd

Should have posted this earlier: 0620-0900hrs overhead : 218 Wood Pigeons, 21 Chaffinch, 4 Pied/alba Wagtails, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Yellowhammer, 2 House Sparrows, 1 Swallow, 1 Tree Pipit, 8 Meadow Pipits.

Grounded Migrants: 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest,  

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 2:11 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

In addition to the post below, a Willow Warbler was singing close to the middle car park and a group of 4 Whimbrel flew in from the river to land on the marsh.

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 1:42 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A quieter day than yesterday. Although the sun appeared briefly it soon was replaced by the cloud and cold E wind we have come to expect. A single spoonbill was close to the canal-side car park; it had a single metal ring , above the joint, on its right leg. The flock of shelduck increases daily and today I counted 43 birds. Two small groups of wigeon totalled c80. Also 4 pintail, a few tufted duck and c30 teal.

The red-throated diver was on the canal and a common sandpiper flew over. Elsewhere a few lapwing and 10+ chiffchaffs mainly alongside the railway. 

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 1:05 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Sharpa fresh water scrape

These 2 photos digiscoped approx one hour apart this morning but only one Sandpiper was present each time. The first photo we thought was a Common Sandpiper.

When we returned later & Sue Bruce arrived she understandably questioned the ID of the Sandpiper then seen in the same area as shown in the second photo.Is it a Green? [ Yes - Rob both of them are Green Sandpipers so probably same bird. Both dark backed with small whitish spots, well speckled neck and head, primaries about the same length as tail. ML]

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 12:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Head

Unexpectedly thin on the ground for migrants during a fairly fine but misty early morning. Single Wheatear and a flyover Tree Pipit reported by Mike L and Bill Mac. . A Reed Bunting flew north and single Willow Warbler and a few Chiffs were around; later a Firecrest was in the copse near the DVOR .

 

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 11:42 am in General Birding

Tuesday 9th April 2013

Exminster Marshes

During a brief visit in late afternoon, the Red-throated Diver swam past me at the canal car park (earlier it had apparently flown along in the M5 direction). On the marshes, 7 Pintail , 6 Gadwall, 100+ Curlews and a House Martin among dozens of Swallows and Sand Martins. Also from the canal: very distant views of a Marsh Harrier over Powderham Marshes.

Red-throated Diver, Exeter Canal
Red-throated Diver, Exeter Canal

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 10:29 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Exminster Marshes (again)

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that the drake American Wigeon was with the Wigeon flock opposite the Lions Rest Industrial Estate at around 12.15 today.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 10:17 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 17:25 till 19:10

1 spotted redshank well into summer plumage,  1 little ringed plover flew in and showed very well in front of the hide, 14+ knot, 8 avocet, 92 bar tailed godwits, 1 grey plover, 520+ dunlin,  350+ black tailed godwits, 11+ tufted ducks(8m,3f), 1 male pintail, 7 snipe, 95+ redshank , 4 greenshank, 40+ meadow pipit, 21+ chiffchaffs, 3+ willow warbler, 2 male blackcaps, 12 swallow, 9 sand Martin, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 water rail, and 1 fox, a good couple of hours. 

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 9:00 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Otter Estuary/South Down Farm/Land W of Budleigh Golf Course

Finally a good day for migrants:
Redstart - 2 males (1 Otter Scrapes and 1 W of Golf Course)
Black Redstart - 1
Willow Warbler - 8+
Chiffchaff - 30+
Brambling - 1 female (W of Golf Course)
Meadow Pipit - 70+ N in small flocks
Wheatear - 7+
Song Thrush - 15+
Blackbird - 25+
Robin - 30+
Swallow - 3
Sand Martin - 5
4 DB Brent Geese - Otter Est
Blk-tailed Godwit - 1 Otter Scrapes this pm

Bystock Meadow - Ring Ouzel still and 8+ Brambling

Yesterday 8th April - Water Pipit 1 N of White Bridge on wet flash near aqueduct

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 8:09 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Tavistock sightings

On the river opposite the market between the two bridges there were 12-15 willow warblers hawking insects from the rocks & trees.Also a grey wagtail feeding.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 7:31 pm by Stephen John Turner in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Info from Eric W- on South Efford Marsh today - 14 Water Pipit ( is this a Devon record ?) 1 male Yellow Wagtail and a Merlin

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 6:37 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

First really big fall of migrants - Main interest was at South Milton Ley where Bob B and myself ( only acting as scribe for part of the day ) came up with totals of - 250+ Chiffchaff, ( 66 ringed) 70 + Willow Warbler

( 30 ringed ) , 1 Blackcap.  Most interesting was the  ringing of an Acredula Willow Warbler ( often referred to as a Northern Willow Wblr ) - only the second site record , as was a British control

Watching South Huish marsh for 3.5 hrs this morning  produced a passage of - 60 Chiffchaff ( many feeding in the field )  110 Mipits, 26 Linnet, 2 Goldfinch. also 14 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin, 5 Wheatear, 100+ Wood Pigeon ( one flock ) On the Marsh - 5 Black T Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 LRP, 3 Snipe, 20 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 1m wigeon.

Offshore very quiet- 5 Sandwich Tern and a Red T Diver

This afternoon around T'stone marsh -  30+ Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Tree Pipit, 1f Blackcap, 7 Swallow, 5 Sand Martin

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 6:19 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Torquay

3.45pm. 5 Goldcrests, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Coal Tit all feeding together in one six foot spruce tree in front garden on edge of Cadewell Park, Torquay.  One busy tree!

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 6:11 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Bundle Head, Shaldon

Similar fall to other headlands today, with 1 Firecrest, 1 male Redstart, 5 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaffs, 7+ Goldcrests, 8 Song Thrushes, 9 Blackbirds and a few Meadow Pipits overhead.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 5:56 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Seaton

Male Redstart and 2 Water Pipits at Colyford Common; 4 Lesser Redpolls Axe estuary; Common Tern in off the sea this morning, with c.100 Common Scoter past east; lots of phylloscs included at least 3 Willow Warblers. However, great birding though this all was, I have to confess it was completely blown out of the water by a gorgeous 2cy Caspian Gull at Coronation Corner for just a few minutes at lunchtime...

2cy Caspian Gull

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 5:54 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Exeter Waxwings

 11 Waxwings outside B&Q on Alphington Road at 4.15pm.. a feeble supply of berries provided some close views of this little gathering before they exited rapidly as noisy dog walkers passed under their tree. Isn't it time these birds went home?

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 5:30 pm by Gary and Karen Reeves in General Birding

Garden Blackcaps.

At 4pm today I had 4 male Blackcaps on ground feeder in my back garden in Barnstaple, all at the same time.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 5:15 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Berry Head - Spring is here!

Yes it really is, during a late morning visit I was greeted by a resplendent male Redstart a welcome splash of colour after days of grey. Also 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 3 Blackcap (all males), Stonechat, 12 Robin, 15+ Meadow Pipits and 3 Barn Swallow my first for this year. What a difference a day makes!

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 4:31 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 0700 and 1325 - two visits because it's unusually good at the moment for Orcombe - combined totals include 40+ phyllosc sp (mostly chiffchaff but willow warbler also recorded), 1+ male redstart, 3 wheatear, 16+ goldcrest, 1 firecrest, 3 black redstart, 2 snipe, c30+ meadow pipit, c300+ woodpigeon (big flock in newly seeded top field), 1 stock dove, 1 coal tit, 2 siskin, 2 blackcap, c30+ robin, c12+ song thrush, c15+ blackbird, 1 reed bunting, 2+ ring ouzel (private field behind Sandy Bay caravan park) and 9 dark-bellied brent goose.

Yesterday - Mudbank - 1 pale-bellied brent goose, 22 dark-bellied brent goose, 1 goldeneye, 19 black-tailed godwit, 8+ common gull, 2 redwing and an/the osprey north with a fish @ 1445.

female ring ouzel
female ring ouzel

1 of three black redstarts today
1 of three black redstarts today

yesterday's pb brent still present off Mudbank today.
yesterday's pb brent still present off Mudbank today.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 3:29 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Over a lunchtime visit today, a cracking Osprey was sat on a gate post behind the Lions Rest Industrial Estate. Apparently it had made a catch earlier. Also the winter plumaged Red-throated Diver was showing well on the canal close to the lagoon viewing platform. Around the lagoon were about 4 Swallows and similar numbers of Sand Martins. Still dozens of Chiffchaffs feeding everywhere. Possibly a Willow Warbler or two amongst them but hard to tell.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 1:38 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wrafton

A call from James L had me off to the flooded field where in addition to a Spoonbill, there was Common Sandpiper, Water Pipit, 2 Sand Martins, 10 Pied Wagtails, several Chiffchaffs and a fine Little Ringed Plover.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 1:04 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Beer Head

Still cold out this morning, but nice to see more migrants on Beer Head.

Most numerous were thrushes and Robins, with 24 Song Thrush, 22 Robin and 18 Blackbird. Also 1 male Redstart, 1 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 4 Wheatear, 5 Chiffchaff and 5 Goldcrest.

During my last half hour up here, Meadow Pipits were beginning to pick up pace with some decent sized flocks flying north.

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 10:53 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Pics from the weekend

A couple of shots from the weekend

Ring Ouzel from Bystock
Ring Ouzel from Bystock

Wheatear Northam burrows
Wheatear Northam burrows

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 12:11 am by Steve Hatch in General Birding

Monday 8th April 2013

More Waxwings in Exeter.

A small flock of 8 Waxwings were frequenting the trees around the entrance to B&Q/Aldi on the Alphington road in Exeter at 3pm today.

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 7:38 pm by John Gale in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

1 Spoonbill feeding on the marsh next to the car park by the canal.

1 adult Red Throated Diver in winter plumage feeding on the canal by the Turf lock hotel.

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 7:18 pm by Tom Michie in General Birding

Mouth of R.Caen - Taw Estuary

After a cup of tea cycled down the Toll Road & spotted  one

Osprey flying NE up the Taw Estuary past the mouth of the R,Caen at 17.30. This bird flying slowly against a fresh to

strong ESE.

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 6:43 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Head

Sometimes I do question my own sanity! Berry Head at first light produced a solitary migrant Chiffchaff in bitterly cold conditions, but then I read Pat's blog and his nine hour walk around Prawle Point and I felt much better.

The afternoon did pick up with 30 to 40 Chiffchaff at Clennon Valley Ponds with 3 Goldcrest, 2 Bullfinch, Grey Heron with the usual residents, indeed a game of two halves!

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 6:27 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Around the Axe

Osprey hovered briefly over Lower Bruckland Pond at 14:30 then flew east. Also 8 Sand Martins, 4 Swallows, 2 House Martins and a Willow Warbler. There was another Willow Warbler at Seaton Marshes with 15+ Chiffchaffs around the Borrow Pit. 

Beer Head and the sea were dead first thing this morning, so it's certainly been a day of two halves!

Osprey Lower Bruckland Ponds
Osprey Lower Bruckland Ponds

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 5:10 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Braunton

In my garden a pair of Robins already gathering food for their young.

While removing compost from the plastic bin at the bottom with the top lid removed the Robin repeatedly flew from the top to the bottom of the bin collecting food, & from the compost which I have dug out & bagged & left in the Greenhouse!

Intelligent Robins.

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 4:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Spent an hour going through the pipits at South Efford Marsh, turning up 4 water pipits in fsp and 6+ meadow pipits. Green sandpiper still there!

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 3:54 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton

On the pond now two broods of Cootlets. Out on the field 2 lovely summer plumage Water Pipits and a Common Sandpiper has replaced the Godwit. Otherwise still a few cold looking Chiffs scouring almost everywhere for food.

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 1:05 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sunday 7th April 2013

Prawle

Had high hopes for the early morning seawatch, but in the end it was very disappointing. Brightened considerably by a fine b/p Black-throated Diver, the meagre supporting cast consisted of 2 Red-throated Divers, Manx Shearwater, 11 Common Scoters and 7 Sandwich Terns, along with 100 Gannets and 365 Auks.

The 9 hour walk around was also less than impresive, the highlights being a late Woodcock, 2 Black Redstarts (including a nice male) and a flyover Reed Bunting.  Otherwise, of note, just 6 Purple Sandpipers, 7 Song Thrushes, 2 Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs and 7 Goldcrests.

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 9:36 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Powderham Marsh 7th April 1.30 pm

Two snipe showing well in scrape next to cycle path between viewing platform and Turf.

Also cetti warbler and chiffchaff both very briefly in song.

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 8:24 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Bystocks/ring ouzel

The stunning male ring ouzel was still showing well up in the top right hand corner of the higher BYSTOCK  paddock at about  11am , then it flew back to the ivy tree,s withthe pair of mistle thrushes that seem to have be friended him .

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 8:20 pm by martin cox in General Birding

Topsham and Exminster

A quiet day - photographed this Lesser black-backed gull which looks good for intermedius (darker and slimer with smaller white spots in the primaries than the graellsii it was alongside) at the recreational playing fields - but I'm not the best person to judge this. 2 Brambling Topham; Rose-coloured starling, Exminster; one Spoonbill on Powerham Marshes at 1pm.

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 8:14 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Sat - In the bay early am -3 Red t Diver, 2 Great N Diver, 26 Sandwich Tern.

At South Milton Ley - Bob B had the first Tree Pipit of the year, 3 Redwing and 50+ Chiffchaff whilst on South Huish Marsh - 7 Black tailed Godwit, 3 LRP, 2 Ringed Plover, 6 Swallow, 1 House Martin

Sunday - In the Bay 17 Sandwich Tern, 3 Red T Diver, 1 Great N Diver, 11 Common Scoter, 2 Turnstone

South Huish marsh - 7 Blk T Godwit, 1 Firecrest

Report from Graham & Martin Daw - on South Efford Marsh at Aveton Gifford they had a Green Sandpiper and 9 Water Pipit with many in summer plumage

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 7:08 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

TurfLocks

Osprey flew over Turf about 2:30 this afternoon also three wheater on the way there from Powderham church .

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Mansands

A walk around a pretty barren Mansands this afternoon pepped up in the new bird hide where a pipestrelle was sleeping. It was still there at 15:30

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 5:28 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

roadford

7 greensandpiper left shore from top hide 3goldeneye shoveler teal and12+ great crested grebe

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 4:22 pm by b.albrighton in General Birding

Ring Ouzel at Haytor Down

Two males seen in different fields below the road.


Posted April 7th, 2013 at 3:46 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Mullacott Cross

Red Kite above the Woolacombe road near Mullacott Cross today at 13.15.

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 1:58 pm by Alan Craddock in General Birding

Exminster marsh & powderham marsh

Exminster marsh , very little around this morning just the 1 adult spoonbill still viewable from the canal bank by the fishermans car park.

Powderham marsh, again very quiet , but 1 female ruff dropped in viewable from the viewing platform, on walk back 7 chiffchaffs and 1 willow warbler, 1 stonechat and 3 reed buntings. 

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 1:34 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Axe

A quick hour out earlier this morning produced 3 Grey Plovers on the estuary and a Firecrest at the rivermouth.

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 12:54 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Tough going this morning in a bitter wind for very little reward. 2 Wheatear (both males), 1 Snipe and 8 distant Golden Plover flying through.

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 12:26 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Berry Head

Still very cold and grounded migrant-less! Overhead 25 Starling, 47 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 1 Redpoll, 11 Goldfinch, 12 Meadow Pipits.

 

Sketch of yesterdays White-spot Bluethroat at Start Point - hope it's still there today:

Bluethroat Start Pnt 6 April 2013

Posted April 7th, 2013 at 10:08 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 6th April 2013

Otter & Bystock

Couple of photos of today's Ruff on the Otter (a 1st for the scrapes!) and the Bystock Ring Ouzel.

Otter Scrapes Ruff - Chris TownendBystock Ring Ouzel  - Chris Townend

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 10:32 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Bystock

Male Ring Ouzel still present at 5pm today. Also a Wheatear.

Top find Phil, and a great reminder that rewards can be had even if it seems quiet out. The 'keep going' attitude certainly paid off for you today.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 9:57 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Exe: Stafford Bridge to Bramford Speke

1 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Green Sandpiper, 5 Goosander, 32 Teal, 31 L B-b Gull, 1 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 12 Chiffchaff, 1 Kingfisher. Brimstone butterfly.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 8:45 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Start Point

Photo of Start Point Bluethroat from Terry Lakeman. He also reported a male Garganey at Slapton on the 'pond' early afternoon just south of Slapton Bridge

Start Point Bluetroat - Terry Lakeman
Start Point Bluetroat - Terry Lakeman

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 8:32 pm by mike langman in General Birding

Otter Reserve

"2 Little Pinged Plovers

White Wagtail

1 Ruff(Reeve)

circa 40 Snipe

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Red Kite - East Teignmouth

5.55pm - Well earned glass of wine in the summer house disturbed by excessive gull noise which just kept increasing. Stepped out to see a very agitated, focussed flock of gulls heading my way. Just ahead of them one very harassed Red Kite. Passed overhead at about 6 m. Great view, short but very sweet.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 7:40 pm by Barney Donnellan in General Birding

Start Point

It was one of those days which highlighted, in equal meaure, the exasperation, surprise and rewards to be had from this crazy pastime.

En route to Hallsands/Start, I stopped off at Strete Gate where there was not a single migrant (not even a Wheatear) to be seen. Stopped off at the monument car park. Nada (except the long-staying R.N. Ducks). Stopped off at Torcross. Rien!

So, drove onto S. Hallsands and walked up to Start Pt. Again, big zero along the path. Since the wind was still fairly stiff from the NE, I reckoned I'd find some shelter (and warmth!) in Mattiscombe Valley. Correct on both counts.

The white-spotted Bluethroat was pretty much the first migrant I set eyes upon, at 10:45. It was feeding out in the open more or less continuously until early afternoon, when I went off to check other parts of the headland. It sounds like it got a bit more elusive later on as the site got busier.

The rubbish vodafone coverage on site meant that I didn't get the news out as early as I would have hoped. But hopefully everyone who visited caught up with it.

For those planning to visit tomorrow, the BT was remaining faithful to the small marshy-sedge area at the bottom of the first field below Start Farm, about 150 m down the Mattiscombe path from the car park. Bon chance!

Very little else around. 2 Black Redstarts in the same area as the BT first thing. 2 Siskin and a trickle of Meadow Pipits flew up the valley. Just 3 Wheatears scattered around the headland. Feeble!

Phil

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 6:34 pm by Phil Bentley in General Birding

Teign Estuary

A Jack Snipe was in the salt marsh off Passage House this morning. Waders there late afternoon included 17 Curlew, 14 Redshank, a Greenshank and a Dunlin.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 6:20 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake Saturday 6 April

Chiff Chaffs c10 seen & 1 heard

Goldcrests  c4-6 seen

1  Osprey seen overhead about 1255hrs ,then took a dive after fish before going in north westerly direction.

40 -50  mixed flock including fieldfares  & starlings

2 Male black cap

Have attached photos as verification not really for the blog

Osprey
Osprey

Osprey
Osprey

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Hilary & Dave Phillips in General Birding

River Plym

Female Lesser Redpoll feeding in Birch trees on the Plym, Leigham Manor Drive this afternoon. She was totally oblivious to all the dog walkers going past and even carried on feeding when a Blackbird flew right underneath her making an alarm call.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 5:48 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Powderham marsh

Watched from 10:05 till 14:20

8 little ringed plovers from the viewing platform and 1 green sandpiper dropped in just as we started to walk back at 13:20 an osprey flew in from over the lagoon on exmister marsh circled over our heads

Osprey Powderham Marsh Stan Stanbury 6.4.13

then drifted of towards powderham park what a great sight, lots of chiffchaffs around and 1 willow warbler on the walk out to the viewing platform, 1 stonechat and 4+ reed bunting. 

Not much on exminster marsh but lots of chiffchaffs and at least 3 willow warblers along station road . 

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 5:12 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Male White-Spotted Bluethroat- Start Point

The stunning male White-Spotted Bluethroat still mid afternoon, showing to just 12 observers! at the bottom of the the field by the car park and showing well on and off from the footpath. (The first truly twitchable Devon mainland Bluethroat in recent times and this and the Prawle bird last week, only the 3rd and 4th spring Devon White Spotted Bluethroats-the last being in 1968)!

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 4:28 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

10:45 - 13:15

Two water pipits amongst 30+ Meadow Pipits, plus a few white and pied wagtails. Two Little Ringed Plover on the flood by the barn, plenty of Chiffchaffs and a single swallow. Singing Skylarks, Reed Buntings and Cetti's and a non-stop Kingfisher.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 3:28 pm by Andy Lansdell in General Birding

Little Ringed Plover

4 Little Ringed Plover at Exminster Marshes, they were in the last field on the left along the footpath to the Turf from the Car park. Also plenty of Snipe around in the fields along side the path.


Posted April 6th, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Wrafton.

08:15.

Flooded field and pond - 1 Spoonbill; 3 Gadwall; 2 Shoveler; 6 Teal; 1 Black-tailed Godwit; 1 Snipe; 1 Swallow flipping around plus Moorhen and Mallards.

Wrafton Pond - 2 Shoveler; 2 Gadwall; 4 Little Grebe; c30 Mallard; numerous Coots and Moorhens; 1 Blackcap; 1 Willow Warbler and at least 8 Chiff Chaffs. I`m sure there were more!

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 2:13 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Baggy & Downend

1 hr - 30 min Seawatch this morning from Downend produced

a passage of 29 Terns, mostly Sandwich but also a few Common as well.

1 pair of Common Scoter at Downend but none at Baggy & no sign of the Eiders.

10 Kittiwake seen from Downend.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 1:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

WS Bluethroat Start Point

Just had a call from Phil Bentley, male WS Bluethroat showing well this morning in the first field below Start Farm by the stream (Mattiscombe Valley)

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 12:12 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Bar-headed Geese at Darts Farm

3 Bar-headed Geese are showing well from the bird hide. Looking very smart in full breeding plumage, no rings on any of the birds.

A chiffchaff and Reed bunting calling around the ponds and a lone male Wheatear on the crop field.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 11:09 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Friday 5th April 2013

Yarner Woods

6 Mandarin (4m, 2f) on car park pond, with a nice assortment of tits, nuthatches and chaffinches plus grey wagtail. Green Woodpecker flew across path at the top of the valley (Templer Way) and several ravens were around.

Also 1 apparently lost cow in the woods, near the top Templer Way path, presumably from the fields at the top. Cow is a young male, brown with a yellow ear tag and white tail tip.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 9:24 pm by Alfie Pugh in General Birding

Taw Estuary

Sandwich tern flying up and down the estuary this evening. Also a Great crested grebe amongst some Wigeon and Shelduck at low tide. Viewed from Horsey Island. 8 Wheatears also seen.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 9:05 pm by Edd Davies in General Birding

Bovey Tracey - Waxwings

The 2 Waxwings were present this afternoon opposite the Methodist Church on Le Molay Littry Way.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 9:02 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:15 till 17:00

the drake American wigeon was showing well from the hide with 200+ wigeon 

on walk down to the viewing platform a gap in the hedge from the road a group of snipe flushed up and included 1 jack snipe and 4 snipe flew to reeds at back off field. From the viewing platform 21+ knot, 73+ grey plover, 80+ bar tailed godwits, 18 avocet, 650+ dunlin, 11 red breasted mergansers, 32+ common gulls, 1 ringed plover, 1 willow warbler, 8+ chiffchaffs. 

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 7:06 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Coleton Fishacre

An otherwise unproductive walk around Froward Points threw up a surprise Merlin in fine nick besides the path at Outer Froward. The only other bird of note on the cliffs was a Goldcrest on the gorse bushes.

A flock of 6 Cirl Buntings and a lonely Skylark bravely doing his thing in the wind were in the freshly manured field below the daymark.

An immaculate Yellowhammer and pair of Stonechats were at Brownstone Farm.

Although there were 2 fields being ploughed no birds were following either one

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 6:23 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Wrafton

60+ Herring Gulls on the pond this evening, and most of the usual suspects still: 3 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 6 Little Grebes, and now 5 Cootlets.

Out on the flooded field, lots of Meadow Pipits, 7/8 Pied Wagtails, and several Chiffchaffs along the bramble embankment, one of which on closer inspection turned out to be a Willow Warbler!

3 Swallows and a couple of Sand Martins over the trees.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:55 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Badgers Holt

Badgers Holt was alive with a good range of birds, two Grey Wagtails bickering each time they came near each other, pale coloured Feildfare, two Redwings, numerous Song Thrush, male Blackcap, fleeting view of a male Yellowhamer, Chiffchaff good close ups of a Meadow Pippet, Jay, two Buzzards holding on the wind above the car park .

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:43 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Ring Ouzels ~ Haytor Down

The Ring Ouzels recently reported at Haytor Down are still present, three birds seen, they are feeding on occassion in a rough cattle field to the lowerside of the road row of mature Beech tree's on one side of the field running away from the road.

Male Kestel very evident hunting in the same area, hovering on the very strong winds.

Single Wheatear coming very close within 10 yards very inquisitive.

Reasonable number of Meadow Pippits also in the same area.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:40 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stover

Bitterly cold wind coming down the lake, very little to see on the water, four Great Crested Grebe, one Heron, nice group of juv and adult Cormorant, very little on the main feeding station. One Chiffchaff top corner as you go round the lake, Green Woodpecker flew over the lake and another sighting in the arbortorium, Nuthatch calling all around the park, a profusion of tag ringed Blue and Great Tits around one of the lake side feed stations.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:36 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Sharkham Village, Brixham

Firecrest was a suprise turn up this afternoon. Black Redstart also around still. Got some blurry shots of the ultra-fast crest but wont inflict them on the readers.

Found a Coal Tit inside a feeder this morning. Fat and Happy.


Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes to Exeter

Walked the canal path into Exeter. On the marshes 2, probably 3, spoonbills - in the middle of the  marsh with 3 little egrets. Few other birds apart from a handful of wigeon, 27 shelduck and a few teal. Nearer the motorway 8 lapwing and 8 pied wagtails in one flock. At the Double Locks a solitary sand martin, 2 shoveller, 3 teal and one black-tailed godwit. I saw 4 chiffchaffs on the entire walk. At Trews Weir one male blackcap.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 2:10 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Bar-headed Geese at Darts Farm

3 Bar-headed Geese have appeared overnight on the wetlands. Unusual as they are in their own and don't seem to be part if the larger group of Canada Geese.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 10:57 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Wrafton

The flooded field still has a Black-tailed Godwit, but tucked in closer to the trail was a roosting Spoonbill, and after searching for about half an hour, a smart Water Pipit appeared on the mud. On the pond, the first brood of 7 mallard ducklings was soon very nearly reduced to six, when an incredibly aggressive Coot had a go at one of them, before being seen off by some other Mallards.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 10:23 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bicton College

At least one House Martin among the hirundines this morning.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 10:15 am by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Thursday 4th April 2013

Bowling Green Marsh

Finally caught up with the American Wigeon today at 2.40pm from the hide . All the Wigeon were very wary. Had thought it was just the presence of 2 Common Buzzards when at 3.20 pm a Red Kite flew east over the marsh. A nice bonus. Also a female Brambling near the bird feeders by the hide. Bitterly cold and no hirundines. Can you blame them ?

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 7:24 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Wrafton pond

This evening just 2 Sand Martins and a Swallow. hawking at the east (slightly sheltered) end of the pond. Three Pochard still, 2 Gadwall, 24 Herring Gulls - only 3 adults, 6 Little Grebes, and a newly hatched Cootlet!

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 6:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

This years spectacular passage of Little Ringed Plover just continues - today 3 birds on South Huish Marsh followed by groups of 6 & 5 making a new site record of 14. The 2 Spoonbill ( ad + 1st w ) still present - have not seen the ringed adult since 31/3 . also on the marsh - 6 Black T Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 2 Wheatear, and a nice s/pl Water Pipit, 1 db Brent Goose

In the Bay the first Tufted Duck of the year - a pair on the sea briefly with 4 Shoveler before flying up the valley , earlier another 4 Shoveler also flew up the valley,. 1 Red T Diver ( on sea ) 7 Sandwich Tern , 2 Common Tern

On T'stone Marsh this pm - 30 Teal, 7 Shoveler ( briefly )  4 Sand Martin , 1 Swallow

Finally at 17.30 light snow started to fall - another site first for April !

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 6:31 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Bicton College, part 2

Now 2 swallows on the lake.  Also approx 80 redwings

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Owley Moor Gate, South Brent

Had a walk up around the edge of Dartmoor from Owley Moor Gate this morning bitterley cold easterly wind blowing and not anything of interest to note until I reached the mires and a boundary brook, good number sof Chiffchaff feeding around the wet ground and a smaller number of Warblers unable to identify exactly but I suspect Willow Warblers.

Large flock of an estimated 100 plus Meadow Pippits, then counted a positve 33 flying over from the moor onto pasture land, after that roaming flocks peridically also mixed in was a smaller Chat like species but unable to get close enough to identify.

Pair of Raven and two Greater Black Backed Gulls

Nuthatch and Cock Pheasant heard calling, finished off by a suprisingly close flypast by a nicely marked Buzzard

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 5:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bicton College

First Sand Martins (approx 20) and one Swallow on Bicton Lake. Black Redstart still on scaffolding and rooves of the college.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 4:53 pm by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Exminster Kite

Whilst driving along the A379 at 14.30 just south of Exminster a Kite sp. flew across low over the road, not time to get bins onto it so couldn't discern colouration, was heading in general direction of the marshes

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 4:01 pm by David Cope in General Birding

red kite

 Thanks for  putting the blog up about the KITE , I was fishing a lake at South Molton , when I too saw what I thought was a Red Kite  flying high,  being mobed by a pair of corvids , heading towards Tiverton 

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 3:02 pm by martin cox in General Birding

Avon Valley: Bantham to Aveton Gifford

On South Efford Marsh 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Water Pipits coming into summer plumage, 13 alba wagtails (3 M.a.alba & 10 M.a.yarrellii) & 2 Willow Warblers.

On the estuary 11 Sandwich Terns, 2 Greenshank, 3 Redshank, Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper & 4 House Martins over Bantham Beach.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:58 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton

Sand Martin and Swallow hawking along the embankment by the flooded field, where the Black-tailed Godwit is still present. Couple of Chiffchaffs in the reserve.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:58 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

S Molton. Red Kite

Just had a Red Kite fly across the top of my car on the link road

at South Molton. 1145 hrs. 

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

Red Kite - Paignton

Red Kite drifted low over the garden this morning (10.50am) being mobbed by gulls, headed towards South Devon College. Also cracking male Black Redstart in the garden for the last two weeks and steady passage of Meadow Pipits over yesterday.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:25 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Wing-tagged Marsh Harrier

Last Friday a wing-tagged male Marsh Harrier was photographed as it flew towards Downend (North Devon) during the evening. This was probably the same wing-tagged Marsh Harrier that was seen on the Axe Estuary on the afternoon of Thursday and once Friday morning.  The observer/photographer at Downend (Kelvin Irwin) managed to read the wing tags, and we've just had this reply from Phil Littler..

"The picture I rec'd is in fact a Marsh Harrier from a wing tagging scheme I am running in Norfolk, and is the star of the show!

It was ringed and tagged at Sculthorpe Moor Hawk and Owl Trust reserve, near Fakenham, on 10.06.2011. It was 1 of 6, and sexed as a male. In the autumn of that year it was seen on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, disappeared for the winter, then re-appeared in Gwent, South Wales. A few weeks later it was on the Somerset Levels, then went off the radar.
 
It sprung up on Blakeney Point, here in Norfolk, then headed back to the south west, and is now on the coast in Pembrokeshire!"

Thanks Kelvin and Phil.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 10:37 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Bystock Pools Reserve (Meadow), Exmouth

Male Ring Ouzel showing well, moving around the middle of the meadow; also Mistle thrush; Wheatear(f); Green Woodpecker (8.45-9.15am still there on leaving)

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 10:34 am by Keith Annison in General Birding

Topsham Waxwings

None at 08:30 this morning along Newcourt Road. Their favoured berry bush has been stripped bare. Didn't stop for long though since I was on my way to work.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 9:06 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd April 2013

Topsham Sandwich Tern

Wednesday 3rd April about 1.30pm a Sandwich Tern was spotted from the viewing platform as it flew up the Clyst. It landed in the water near 7 or 8 avocets before settling for a short while on a post on the far side of the river.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 11:24 pm by Mike Jones in General Birding

Topsham Waxwings

Waxwings present in Newcourt Road at 7.30am and still there at 6.30pm. Feeding seemed to be concentrated on a tree in the front garden of a house about 300m on the left driving from Denver Road end. By the end of the day very few berries left and waxwings spent more time on tv aerial and telegraph wires than on the tree. About 10 there at 7.30am and 13 at 6.30pm. At 6.45 they flew up and joined a larger flock from somewhere nearby (total maybe 40+) heading off north over the motorway, presumably to roost. The diet of berries certainly seems to led to considerable and frequent defecation!

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:44 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

8 Wheatears (7m,1f), 1 Snipe, 71 Golden Plover (some in full summer plumage, others getting there), 12 Fieldfare and the Little Owl in its usual place.

Apologies for the double photo last night - will not load any tonight!

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:36 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Mansands

1 Black Redstart on cottages above beach, 2 Water Rail, 7 Snipe, 4 Teal, 6 Chiffchaffs in reed bed at beach end.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:17 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Southcott Marsh,Bideford.

7 Little Ringed Plovers on the marsh along with 1 green sandpiper,11 pied wagtail,10 meadow pipits.18:20-18:45.Present on leaving.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:05 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Wrafton swallow

First Swallow of the year for me this evening at flooded field in Wrafton. Spring around the corner?

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 7:34 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

Blackcaps - Barnstaple

2 male and 1 female in my garden today, initially the female was seen only momentarily, reappeared 4 hours or so later. Males fighting each other then choosing to feed different ends of the garden. One male still present at 7pm, still feeding.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Dawn Barford in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite seen at midday today at Symonsburrow, between Hemyock and Wellington monument near the Somerset border

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:43 pm by Ben Iddon in General Birding

Winkleigh old airfield

Today 12.30 1 kite sp north  still 30 to 40 golden plover and 1 male wheatear

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Bill Hibbs in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 16:50

the 3 spoonbills still present but mobile over the scrapes between station road and the lagoon, 2 willow warblers along station road with 20+ chiffchaffs, a steady passage of swallows heading north with 60+ in 2 hours, 6 pintail, 3 Cetti's warblers and 2 stonechats. 

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Still 3 Little Ringed Plovers at the north end of West Charleton Marsh & on the estuary 36 Brent Geese, 149 Shelduck, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 100 Dunlin, 16 Bar-tailed Godwits & 9 Sandwich Terns amongst others.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Along the Dart

3 x Goosander on the Dart at Staverton, by the weir.....2 x Mandarin, 100 metres above Riverford bridge.  Also still no sign of American Wigeon at Darts Farm.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 5:39 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Bradiford Reserve and Ashford Strand.R.Taw.

13:15

Bradiford Reserve - 3 Gadwall (2 drakes and 1 duck); 1 Buzzard and a few Mallard.

Ashford Strand - 58 Sanderling; 3 Ringed Plover; 1 Dunlin; 15 Shelduck and 21 Wigeon.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Bystock Pools

Thanks to Derek for reporting the bird yesterday - I ventured to the meadow this morning and the male Ring Ouzel is still present, happily feeding and quite inquisitive and certainly not shy!
Ring Ouzel Bystock Pools by Chris Townend

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 12:26 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Topsham - Recreation Ground

Just an update on what's still around. At least two Lesser Redpolls still at the Rec this morning, also the Long-tailed Duck and a single Greenshank. Returning home I bumped into the Waxwing flock on Denver Road, in trees by the railway bridge then took off towards Newcourt Road. Less than 200m from my house but still not on my garden list - if I'd been in the garden I expect I'd have heard them!

Lesser Redpoll - Topsham 3/4/2013
Lesser Redpoll - Topsham 3/4/2013

Waxwings - Topsham 3/4/2013
Waxwings - Topsham 3/4/2013

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 10:36 am by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Topsham

41 Waxwings along Newcourt Road (between houses 20 and 25) this morning. Also 4 Brambling still in my garden along river south of M5.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 9:25 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd April 2013

Bicton College

Black redstarts everywhere. I first saw this one, a female, on the scaffolding just outside my office window at 16.30 and then watched it around the rooftops of the college. Incidentally there have been up to 8 stock doves among the monkey puzzle trees here almost continuously for the last month or so.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Sharpa scrape & Wrafton Pond

Struggled to get a not so good long range photo of one of John Turner's Water Pipits early evening.

Also 2 Sand Martins & 3 Pochard on Wrafton Pond 



Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:50 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Clennon Valley

A walk around the ponds this evening produced:

14 Chiffchaffs, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff (calling bird on eastern pond with other chiffchaffs), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Mandarin Duck, 2 Water Rails. 

tristis Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 2 April 2013 ML Tristis Chiffchaff Clenonn Valley 2 April 2013 ML2

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:32 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sharkham Village, Brixham

In contrast to Dave Smallshire's earlier post Black Redstart here is more common in the garden than both House Sparrow (2) and Starling (0). This being from the 3 years I have lived here.

These 2 females today were feeding in the lawns with the chiffchaffs

Black Redstart J.Marshall
Black Redstart J.Marshall

Black Redstart J.Marshall
Black Redstart J.Marshall

Black Redstart J.Marshall
Black Redstart J.Marshall

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:29 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Wryneck?

I was out with the dog early in Offwell East Devon and saw a bird I did not recognise.  Having had an investigate I am sure it was a Wryneck. I was surprised how big it looked.  

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:24 pm by james yarrow in General Birding

Bovey Tracey - Waxwings

My parents have told me that there were 2 Waxwings near the doctors surgery on Le Molay Littry Way in Bovey Tracey today.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:17 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Ring Ouzel - Bystock Exmouth

Male Ring Ouzel in the Meadow at Bystock 09:30 this morning and still present at 13:00. Feeding well with 4 x Mistle Thrush and two Song Thrush. Checked for rings on the RO none present. 

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:14 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Black redstarts at Mt Batten

2 black redstarts on the rocks at the back of the beach at Mt Batten yesterday 2pm.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 7:29 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Red kite, Plympton

Red kite flew over the A38 at Plympton 1pm.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 7:26 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 16:00-18:20, low tide.

At last the marsh joined in on the recent Little Ringed Plover fest with 4 together at the north end. Also on the marsh 14 Teal, Water Rail and Wheatear. Out in the bay still 28 Brent Geese, single Black-headed and Common Gull and 5 Sandwich Terns. 6 Chiffchaffs in the sewage works and a dozen around the stile leading onto the estuary. Thankfully plenty of insects around this afternoon for them. Crinkle had 2 Spoonbills fly over Charleton Bay and east into Frogmore Creek at midday.

In the hide log book 3 Spoonbills reported for late afternoon on 30/3, a ringed bird reported here yesterday ( same colours as Thurlestone bird ).

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 7:05 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Powderham marsh

A quick look over powderham marsh this afternoon from 16:00 till 17:30

the 3 adult spoonbills were actively feeding around the marsh, the female Merlin over, and 3 willow warblers  among about 20+ chiffchaff and 3 reed bunting, 2 water rail, 5 snipe. 

Earlier around the rspb car park on exminster marsh 2 willow warblers 

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 6:34 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

black redstart

while out with my dog this afternoon on the marsh barton trading estate exeter,i was watching and taking pictures of two chiffchaff on a grass verge,a bird flew over,all i saw was a reddish flash  and i actually thought it was a swallow,it was only when i seen it land in a tree that i realised it was a black redstart,i managed a quick (not very good) picture of it before it took flight and flew off in the direction of exeter canal.

black redstart
black redstart

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 6:24 pm by gray clements in General Birding

ring ouzels

still 3 males ring ouzels  & a female at Haytor downs this afternoon

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 6:08 pm by martin cox in General Birding

Aish Ridge, South Brent

Approx 5pm 01/04/2013 serious numbers of meadow Pipits gathered on the grazed grassland area of Aish Ridge, one flock numbered well over 100 birds several smaller groups seen in the general area.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 5:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Paignton Zoo (of all places)

Unexpected sighting of a Water Rail in the leat that runs from the lower zoo car park into towards the zoo below the main pathway in, very little cover and the bird while sulking had no where to hide away spent several minutes watching it until it crossed the stream and was lost from view under the bank.

Single Chiffchaff seen while in the zoo grounds.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe Post

6 Wheatears (4m2f), 2 Snipe, 16 Golden Plover and 20+ Meadow Pipits. The sun was shining but still bitterly cold. 

 Golden Plovers at Smeatharpe

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 4:36 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple.

Much warmer this morning at 09:45 but not much about on the river.

52 Sanderling sheltering by Pottington sewage outfall.

Just 2 Wheatear and 1 Grey Plover on Penhill Marsh.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

High Bickington

Reported to me today by a friend that he saw a Red Kite fly over the Burrington to High Bickington Road, N.Devon yesterday at 17:30. He is familiar with Red Kites, having seen many in Buckinghamshire.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 2:48 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Velator

Lots of subadult Herring Gulls on Wrafton pond in the cold wind and 3 drake Gadwall. Out on the flooded field, a Black -tailed Godwit and two cracking summer plumage Water Pipits. In the reserve only 5 Chiffchaffs today with 2 Goldcrests and a Snipe. Down at the south end of Velator harbour a female-type Black Redstart, and on the way back at least one more sum plum Water Pipit on the wet bit. Warmer out in the sunshine today, but still no hirundines, must look this evening.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 12:59 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Chudleigh Black Redstart

A Black Redstart spent a few minutes in my garden just after midday - only the second here in 25 years.

Black Redstart, Chudleigh
Black Redstart, Chudleigh

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Topsham

c30 Waxwings on berried trees in Newcourt Road early morning.

(Jim Beasley)

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 11:45 am in General Birding

Exmouth

Mudbank - 0845 - stone curlew for about 5 mins before being chased off by gulls. It flew off upriver low. Also c50+ dark-bellied brent goose, 1 goldeneye, 8 ringed plover and c200+ dunlin. Also a male black redstart on Warren View football pitch this morning.

31/3 - high count of c80+ sandwich tern at 1945 on sandbar off Shelly Beach.

29/3 - male black redstart by Geoneedle on Orcombe Point.

stone curlew
stone curlew

gulls chasing off the stone curlew
gulls chasing off the stone curlew

willow warbler - Mudbank - 30/3
willow warbler - Mudbank - 30/3

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 9:57 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

S. Devon - various

Brixham CC Wheatears have finally moved on it seems.

30/03/13 no sign of American Wigeon at Darts, or BGM, lovely LRP at BGM hide, and 3 Pintail, 2 Spoonbill at Exminster Marshes.

01/04/13 Dartmeet 1 Yellowhammer, and a male Siskin on feeders, with 2 x Marsh Tits also.  Flock of 20 + Fieldfares near where O Brook goes under the road. Dipper under railway bridge at Staverton. No sign of Goosanders there. 

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Monday 1st April 2013

Topsham

20 Waxwings at 20 Newcourt Road today.

[Will Freeland]

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 10:12 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Exmouth

While visiting friends in Exmouth we noticed a cracking male Black Redstart on the wall at the entrance to the play park by Carter Avenue.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 8:21 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Prawle seawatch

Seawatching in perfect, balmy spring weather (it is April 1st !!), from 7.00 - 12.30 (with JAL);  2 Great Northern Divers, 275 Gannets, 96 Fulmars, 2 Manx Shearwaters, Brent Goose, 2 Shoveler, 130 Common Scoters, 2 Curlew, Dunlin, 58 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 61 Sandwich Terns. The tern count is the highest site count for 15 years, and the highest ever in spring.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 8:19 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Otter Estuary Update

Now 6 Little Ringed Plovers present this evening on the main scrapes. Also 3 Goosander on the estuary (including a drake)

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 8:13 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Black Redstarts

Strong and very cold easterly wind on the coast today which meant very little bird watching.  Firstly there wasn't that much to see and if you stood still for too long you froze!  1 Wheatear near Gammon Head and two or three chiffchaff hopping in and out of the gorse bushes on the more sheltered slopes.

Highlight of the day were the redstarts - five of them in the valley on the way down to Mattiscombe Sands from the Start Point car park.  I think they were all black redstarts, one male certainly was, with splendid breeding plumage and white patches on the wings.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 6:23 pm by Frank Prowse in General Birding

Darts Farm; Bowling Green and Exminster Marshes

Darts Farm 10.00 - 10.30am   c.30 Redwings feeding on manure by the rhubarb; two stockdoves on the field

Bowling Green Viewing Platform 11.30-11.45 Slavonian Grebe showing well in breeding plumage; 1m and 2f mergansers; (female bullfinch in hedge backing on to Bowling Green)

Exminster Marsh 13.00-16.00 11 Little Ringed Plovers and 8 Ringed Plovers on scrape where footpath from RSPB car park turns towards canal; (with about 10 dunlin); all put up by male merlin; three pairs of pintail still around; 2 pochard and about 10 tufted ducks on lagoon. Quite a few wigeon but didn't see American at any of these sites. 

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 6:14 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Topsham - LRP and Gulls

Nothing to add to Keith's post re Bowling Green Marsh but here's a photo of the one remaining Little Ringed Plover. After three attempts I managed to catch it in the open and without the sun behind it.

My usual afternoon visit to the Recreation Ground produced half a dozen dark Lesser Black-backed Gulls. They've been around (or passing through) for a month or so, this time I managed to get one to stand next to one of our resident graellsii. This one certainly looks dark enough to be an intermedius but I guess without some leg plastic it's impossible to be certain.

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover

probable Scandinavian Lesser Black-backed Gull
probable Scandinavian Lesser Black-backed Gull

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 5:26 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Fresh water scrape - Sharpa Marshes

15.45

1 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 male Gadwall

then at 15.50 a Ring-tail flying low NE over Sharpa Marshes & the scrape disturbing a flock of 60 Meadow Pipits. It then had a go at one of the Meadow Pipits, flew over the Tarka trail & Wrafton Pond & was gone all in a matter of seconds.Very close views.

Unfortunately, the LRP,s have taken flight.

.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:30 till 11:45

still 1 Little ringed plover to the left of the hide the curlew sandpiper was with 600+ dunlin early,  10 ringed plover, 140+ bar tailed godwit, 350+ black tailed godwits, 15 avocet, 2 grey plover, 1 greenshank, 3 pintail, 120+ wigeon, 4 little grebe, 3 reed buntings, 2 Cetti's warblers, 2 water rail, 2 common gulls, 150+ redshank, buzzard. 

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 2:08 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Seaton

A couple of hours late morning was topped by a 2cy Glaucous Gull briefly at Coronation Corner, before being flushed by kayak. Strong evidence of passage too, with loads of Meadow Pipits around and at least 30 Wheatears moving N through the saltmarsh. Also pair Pintail still at Seaton Marshes, and the same pair (or another) later roosting on the riverbank opposite the Farm Gate viewpoint N of Axmouth. Minimum of 12 Little Ringed Plovers on Bridge Marsh, and Grey Plover (local interest only I guess!) Coronation Corner.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 1:29 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Now 4 Little Ringed Plovers on the scrapes, plus 4 Dunlin and 1 Lapwing. Also 50+ Wigeon remain around the estuary along with the Teal x Wigeon Hybrid. On the estuary were 11 Brent Geese (at least 6 Pale-bellied but difficult to see as feeding amonsgt vegetation and very cold hands!) also at least 4 Wheatear around the scrapes.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 12:49 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Velator

Hooray for something different on Wrafton Pond: 2 Pochard this morning! They were chased across the pond by the protective male Mute Swan. Out on the flooded field, a Spoonbill roosting again, with about 20 Teal and 24 Canada Geese. One or two Gadwall and Shoveler. In the reserve now at least 8 Chiffchaffs, many of which were struggling to find food. A smart female Kingfisher perched by the bridge gave great views.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 12:41 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

blackcaps

Two males in my bideford garden today tolerating each other through the cold.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 9:44 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

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