Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from May 2014

LOWER OTTER RESTORATION PROJECT

Devon Birds supported the intended outcomes of this project but are very concerned about the current approach with extensive removal of scrub during the breeding season. We do not support the current proposals and have raised our concerns with the landowner Clinton Devon Estates and received a response which causes us great concern. 

We encourage members to raise their concerns with the Environment Agency dcisenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk as recommended in the response from Clinton Devon Estates.

Posted May 5th at 10:55 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

DEVON BIRDS BRANCH MEETINGS AND FIELD TRIPS

In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 21st June 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Lockdown relaxations

Devon Birds would like to thank the many members and other birdwatchers who complied with the restrictions during the recent Lockdown and stayed in their local area (village, town or part of city) to birdwatch while exercising (and later) taking recreation. We hope that, despite the obvious frustrations, you found some respite in watching wildlife in your local area and perhaps discovered some birds close to home, that you might otherwise not have seen! As always, please submit sightings to the County recorder and / or BirdTrack. 
 
Please continue to follow the Covid related requirements (currently "rule of six outside, social distancing etc) while enjoying the new freedoms to extend your birdwatching. Some hides will remain closed for the time being and where you find one open, please follow Government guidelines on keeping yourself & others safe: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/
 
Thank you from
Devon Birds News site editors & members of the Records Committee

Posted April 2nd at 4:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Think before you post...!

header

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  

 

Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

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 Bird News

Saturday 31st May 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

I visited to see the Ross's Gull and got more reward than expected! Ross's showing well but distantly, 6 Sandwich Tern and also a Whiskered Tern dropped in.

There will be a lot of pics of these on my blog tomorrow... www.timwhitewildlife.blogspot.com

Whiskered Tern
Whiskered Tern

Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern

Posted May 31st, 2014 at 11:28 pm by Tim White in Bird News

RSPB-Bowling Green Marsh

As per Keith Birchall post earlier a Whiskered Tern (a first for BGM) came into hide after 6 Sandwich Terns which had already landed and settled flew around and landed on post righhand side of water level height marker post in middle of channel before taken off and mixing with the other Black Headed Gulls. Also Ross's Gull + Little Gull still present at the time. A Kite was seen by someone in the hide at the same time drifting down over the trees behind the red brick bungalow on the hill but no one else saw it sadly before it disappeared. Just a another brilliant day at the hide !!.

Whiskered Tern
Whiskered Tern

Posted May 31st, 2014 at 11:18 pm by David Boult in Bird News

skern

Maybe of interest?.Two little egrets this evening interacting as if a pair both with pink colouration between eyes and bill.One also had bright orange feet and patches of same colour behind knees,just a colour oddity?.Bird with normal coloured feet had legs twice as thick as other individual,old boy maybe?.

Posted May 31st, 2014 at 10:46 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

After doing every evening high tide this week decided to have an evening at home till I got a txt of Whiskered tern another first for bowling green marsh luckily I managed to get to the marsh in time to watch it flying around giving great views unfortunately 2 micro lights flew low over the marsh and the bird flew out to the estuary at 20:45 

Also on the marsh the 1st summer Ross's gull still present as we left at 21:35, the 1st summer little gull 

 

Posted May 31st, 2014 at 10:12 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bee-eater, East Prawle

Joyfull when planning to be in the right place at the right time pays off! With 2 Bee-eaters in Devon last week and 4 on Portland I figured that this weekend would be the best chance for a long time of finding this species in South Devon. With high pressure and rain on the coast I went down to Prawle and decided looking around the high ground around the village (with lots of wires) would be a good start. Arrived at 1.15pm and within a few minutes remarkably I heard a Bee-eater close by but only had brief views as it dissapeared behind the duck pond trees. I thankfully relocated it perched on a nearby hedge where it settled for ten minutes. I bumped into Pat Mayer who connected with the bird and we watched it until it flew off high to the west at 1.40pm.

Posted May 31st, 2014 at 7:21 pm by David Cope in Bird News

GOOSANDERS and MANDARINS with ducklings in the river Dart

Yesterday, in the river Dart between Totnes and Dartington we spotted a female mandarin duck with two chicks at about 6 o´clock in the evening. However, the surprise came when at about 8:15 we discovered a goosander with 4 ducklings very close (2-3 meters).

If you want to watch some great videos of the GOOSANDERS click here and enter in our blog.

http://konicoleando.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/crias-de-mandarines-y-serretas-en-el.html

Along the river, there were also 2 kingfishers, 1 dipper, canada geese, 2 great spotted woodpecker and 3 herons.

Just adding that today the ROSS´S GULL was showing well from the hide at the bowling green marsh with about 90 black-tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 2 mediterranean gulls, 1 common gull, 5 wigeon, 2 gadwalls, 4-5 tufted ducks, 1 family of coots, canada geese and little egrets.

At Stover the pair of great-crested grebes have already laid their eggs. Apart from that, 2 lesser black-backed gulls and 2 bullfinch  were the only interesting birds.

Mandarin Duck
Mandarin Duck

Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull

Posted May 31st, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Martin Rey in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:40 till 11:45 from the hide 

The 1st summer ROSS'S GULL showed well at times among the black headed gulls, 2 1st summer Mediterranean gulls and 2 common gulls, 95+ black tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 5 wigeon, 2 gadwall, 3 tufted ducks.

Posted May 31st, 2014 at 3:48 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Friday 30th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 18:30 till 20:30

the Ross's gull showed well coming in on its own all be it in torrential rain it did become elusive and at the time of leaving was feeding on the scrape to the left of the hide. The 1st summer Little gull was also back in with good numbers of black headed gulls and 3 1st summer Mediterranean gulls , 2 common gulls, 31+ bar tailed godwits, 4+ whimbrel, 110+ black tailed godwits, 65+ curlew, 2 reed buntings, 8+ reed warblers.

Posted May 30th, 2014 at 10:51 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Powderham Park

Osprey sat up in treetop in usual area, seen from roadside 3.30pm

Posted May 30th, 2014 at 6:16 pm in Bird News

Bee-eater

This morning at about 10.20am heard a Bee-eater calling at Scabbacombe Head flying west to east towards Berry Head, unfortunately didn't see it because of the mist.

Posted May 30th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Preston Down Paignton

Kite sp flew across A380 from Occombe Farm towards Marldon at 19.00 hours yesterday (Thursday). Unable to identify but fork in tail suggested Black Kite. Checked area again this morning for an hour or so in unfavourable conditions for raptor watching without any success. Hobby also seen over Scadson Woods (Preston) on Thursday evening.

Posted May 30th, 2014 at 10:17 am by Clive Mason in Bird News

Thursday 29th May 2014

Bee-eater

A Bee-eater was heard several times by Paul Baker just before 2pm today as it flew over Landscore Road, Teigmouth.

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 10:40 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 17:30 till. 20:15

The Ross's Gull showed well in flight unlike last night, but also spent alot of time hidden it was still showining when we left but on the scrape to the left of the hide.  this brings the bowling green marsh list upto 232 not bad for 2 fields, Gary deserves great credit so thanks again. 

Also around the marsh this evening 2 1st summer Mediterranean gulls in with the black headed gulls, 2 common gulls, 27 bar tailed godwits, 80+ black tailed godwits, 2 reed buntings a few curlew and 5+ whimbrel and a kestrel. 

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 9:39 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

17.15-18.15

After having good views of the Ross's Gull at lunchtime and spending the day in the Exeter area, dropped in at Exminster on the way home.  Generally quiet but Lesser Whitethroat calling and showing well next to the railway line and three Cetti's Warblers calling explosively from deep cover. 20+ Swifts over the marsh. Kestrel over Powderham.  A lone Hobby put in a late appearance on my return, close to the main car park. 

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 8:55 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Exe Estuary

The Osprey showed distantly from Riversmeet House over the southern end of the Exe at 12.20 today. 

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 6:04 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Ross's Gull

Ross's Gull south of Exton Station this afternoon. To reiterate what has already been said,  fair play to Gary for sticking with Ross's I met him this morning at BGM. He agreed with my thoughts on Ross's this morning too. Although I didn't even know the bird was there in the first place as I was visiting from Bristol.

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 4:41 pm by Rob Laughton in Bird News

RMB Chivenor

Whilst doing my biannual bird survey of the base this morning a small flock of waders attracted my attention over the estuary and bizarrely they flew towards me, rather than the usual fly away types! Turned into 11 Bar-tailed Godwits.

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 12:46 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh Ross's Gull

Ross's Gull which has been coming in on the hide tides since 21-5-2014 and ID as Little Gull at first. thanks Gary for asking the qustion to take a closer look.

Ross's Gull (middle)
Ross's Gull (middle)

Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull

Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 12:28 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Topsham - Ross's Gull

In case any confirmation needed here's a flight shot of the 1st S Ross's Gull from this morning at BGM. Wish we'd had views like this yesterday evening but no excuses, we should have clinched it at the time and I accept my fair share of any blame/embarassment! Not sure who first suggested Ross's but full credit due to them.

Ross's Gull - Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham 29/5/2014
Ross's Gull - Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham 29/5/2014

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 12:23 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Photo sent in of the 1st sum Ross's Gull from Rob Laughton, taken this morning:

Ross's Gull 1st s Bowling Green Marsh 28 May 2014 Rob Laughton

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 10:45 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Update bowling green marsh

With new views of the gull this morning it has now been identified as Ross gull a great bird for bowling green marsh . Will be a busy day at the hide now 

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 9:36 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bowling green marsh 28th

Late post for yesterday 28th for bowling green marsh 17:20 till 20:40

one of the 1st summer little gulls that has been around for the last week showed well its identy had been queried but with a few local birders in and eventually a photo from Dave stone it was confirmed as a little gull this bird has a very white head and stage of moult made it an interesting bird for all thanks to Tim and Martin  who confirmed id and all others present. 

Most time spent on little gull but also 2 1st summer med gulls, 5 ringed plover and usual numbers of black tailed godwits and bar tailed godwits with a few whimbrel. 

An enjoyable evening 

Posted May 29th, 2014 at 7:10 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Wednesday 28th May 2014

Powderham

Osprey on the usual tree near Powderham Castle this evening.

Posted May 28th, 2014 at 9:14 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Yarner Wood

5-6 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Wood Warbler seen and another 2 heard, 2 Marsh Tits and a Cuckoo that flew over the car park. All the common regulars were present including about 10 Mandarin Duck.

Posted May 28th, 2014 at 6:15 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

River Clyst, East Devon

A walk around the water meadows north of Clyst St Mary this morning found:  4-5 singing Common Whitethroat, 3 Reed Bunting, Grey Heron and a Buzzard with a rabbit.

At Honiton Clyst, north of the sewage plant and as far as the Waterloo railway line were: Grey Heron, Reed Warbler, C.Whitethroat, 3 Swift and a Hobby flying south.

(For your information.  Tomorrow, Thursday 29 May  is Wildlife Day at N.T. Killerton House/ gardens when Devon Birds (East Branch) will be in attendance with a promotional display from 11am - 4pm. Note also that Mid-Devon Branch fieldtrip to Bramford Speke has been cancelled ... see Society News).

Posted May 28th, 2014 at 3:22 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Tuesday 27th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 17:00 till 19:10

the 2 1st summer little gulls were both showing well from the hide, 2 1st summer Mediterranean gulls amongst 200+ black headed gulls, 27+ bar tailed godwits, 6+ whimbrel, 100+ black tailed godwits, 1 common gull

Posted May 27th, 2014 at 9:37 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Parke, Bovey Tracey

12.00-14.20

Good views of obliging Dipper along the River Bovey. Also a mobile family of Grey Wagtails.  9 Mistle Thrushes in estate grounds.

Later at Higher Trendlebere Down Car Park, a Cuckoo calling in the distance to the north of Black Hill. 

Posted May 27th, 2014 at 4:48 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

English Channel

Yesterday (26/05/14). Rob Dart reported 3 Balearic Shearwaters (all pale birds) and Bonxie around Dartangler while fishing 30nm SSE of Start Point, also lots of Common Dolphins 2 mile off Dartmouth.Balearic Shearwater - photo Rob DartGreat Skua - Rob Dart

 

Posted May 27th, 2014 at 4:04 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 1 black tern lingering from 0750 at least, plus 1 common tern, 14 'commic' tern, 17+ sandwich tern and 2 roseate tern. Also 14 common scoter, 3 dunlin and 3 sanderling. Off Mudbank the fs little gull again and 1 turnstone.

26/5 - mistle thrush and 5 stock dove - Orcombe Point and 1 osprey, 1 grey plover and 27+ sandwich tern off Mudbank.

Posted May 27th, 2014 at 9:15 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Monday 26th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 16:05 till 18:40

1 1st summer little gull, 3 Mediterranean gulls ( all 1st summers), 30+ bar tailed godwits, 11+ whimbrel, 1 summer plumage knot briefley before it flew of north, 100+ black tailed godwits, 5 little egrets, 4 oystercatchers. 

 

Posted May 26th, 2014 at 7:55 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Head

The morning started very slowly with no noticeable migrants - just breeding birds now. A quick scan of the sea found 3 Harbour Porpoise close, almost under the headland, then a large fast moving pod of Dolphins further out - Common Dolphin. After about 1hr I believe there were approx. 800 animals in the superpod, some gradually moving south. During the watch the following seabirds were noted: 1 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 2 Sandwich Tern, 3 Common Scoter and 3 Great Northern Divers (2 ad Sum plum, 1 presumed 1st summer) sat in Torbay.

Video of one of the closer groups of the superpod of Common Dolphins -  click on picture to watch:   

Posted May 26th, 2014 at 7:09 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bursdon Moor

Unidentified warbler.Seen in top of tree all to briefly.Size maybe between willow&blackcap,slim with upright stance.Head had steepish peak to crown with thin dark eyestripe and pale supercillium nt reaching much behind eye.Upperparts pale sandy brown with contrastingly pale/white underparts.Long tail was also noticeable.What with distance from bird&brief view these are only features unfourtunately i could obtain,grrrrrrr.Species that sprang to mind was Booted?.Also cuckoo in flight there,14:00.

Posted May 26th, 2014 at 3:30 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Arlington Hide

Very good day there was the usual coal, marsh, blue and great tits. There was also a treecreeper, nuthatch, long-tailed tit, 1 jay and 2 greater spotted woodpecker.

Posted May 26th, 2014 at 12:28 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Exmouth beach

1st summer Little Gull in amongst other gulls off the beach at Exmouth 6-7am this morning. 

Posted May 26th, 2014 at 10:12 am by Nick Pratt in Bird News

Sunday 25th May 2014

Yarner wood

Last minute decision to go. 5 mandarins on the pond with the usual Finches & Tits on the feeders. No Redstarts this time but chiiffchaff, willow & wood warbler present. At least 6 Pied Flycatchers, but best bird for me - as not seen one for a while - was a very active & acrobatic spotted flycatcher.

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher

Posted May 25th, 2014 at 10:06 pm by Paul treen in Bird News

skern

A few late passage waders in the form of 4 grey plover inc one superb bp,2 turnstone&74 dunlin,17:10-18:00.

Posted May 25th, 2014 at 8:38 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Bennett's Cross to Challacombe Farm, Dartmoor

08.00-14.00

Blustery, cold and rainy conditions throughout. 6 Skylarks, 10+ Meadow Pipits, 12+ Willow Warblers, 2 Ravens, 3 Cuckoos, 3 Redpoll, 2 Whinchats, 3 Stonechats, 3 Tree Pipits, 3 Redstarts, 2 Blackcaps, Garden Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Stock Doves (1 very vocal at a wet Challacombe), Siskin, Green Woodpecker, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, Buzzard, Nuthatch. Goldcrest calling. Large family group of Pied Wagtails at Challacombe.  Healthy looking Fox on path between Soussons and Challacombe with a not so healthy looking rabbit in its jaws. 

Posted May 25th, 2014 at 8:30 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

A good afternoon watched from the hide 14:30 till 16:35

The 2 1st summer little gulls that have been around the estuary both came in with 270+ black headed gulls , 3 Mediterranean gulls(2 2nd summer, 1 1st summer), 4+ common gulls.

a nice find was 1 summer plumage sanderling, 24+ bar tailed godwits, 110+ black tailed godwits, 6+ whimbrel, 2 oystercatchers, 42+ curlew.

a hobby flew through , 4 buzzards.

on walk round to topsham from the goatwalk an osprey was flying over powderham being chased by a group of gulls. 

Posted May 25th, 2014 at 6:39 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Sherpa marsh

A wet pre-lunch walk around the ponds revealed a splendid summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit, and 4 Tufted Duck (3 drakes). Most of the hirundines were House Martins. At least 2 families of Pied Wagtails.

Posted May 25th, 2014 at 2:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Topsham Recreation Ground

Very quiet at the Rec lately so pleased to see an apparently perfectly acceptable adult Yellow-legged Gull at low tide this morning. I say 'apparently' only because I'm suspicious of hybrids and I didn't get confirmation of seeing the spread wing, everything else looks fine.

Yellow-legged Gull ad. Topsham Rec 25/5/2014
Yellow-legged Gull ad. Topsham Rec 25/5/2014

Yellow-legged Gull ad. Topsham Rec 25/5/2014
Yellow-legged Gull ad. Topsham Rec 25/5/2014

Posted May 25th, 2014 at 11:18 am by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

South Brent ~ Dartmoor

On the edge of the moors between Dockwell and Yarner late yesterday afternoon (24th) just hoping that the rain would stay away.

Goldfinch, Bullfinch inc several youngsters, Chaffinch, numerous Meadow Pipits & Skylarks, one unidentified Warbler species with very dark distinctive markings, juvenile Robin, Cuckoo, Magpie, Yellow Hammer, Linnet, Raven, Carrion Crow, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Mistle Thrush, flock of about 12 Starlings most of which were juveniles, one Shrew and a couple of Rabbits.............. and the rain held off

And at home in South Brent last night Tawny owls calling for most of the night at one point up to six could be heard calling from various locations.

Posted May 25th, 2014 at 9:43 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Saturday 24th May 2014

Prawle Point

Brief.late seawatch from 10 to 11.30 am produced 2 Storm Petrels ( my first this year) and 1 Bonxie. Rather quiet elsewhere at Prawle . 

Posted May 24th, 2014 at 10:10 pm in Bird News

Fremington Quay

Not much but there was a flock of 30+ linnets, a male and female bullfinch and one adult Whitethroat also loads of Shelduck and a Grey Heron.

Posted May 24th, 2014 at 9:25 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Berry Hd

Early evening seawatch - notable species: 1 pale phase Pomarine Skua > N, all other birds > S 111 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Razorbills, 4 House Martins and 1 Swift.

Posted May 24th, 2014 at 9:03 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 13:15 till 16:40

a 1st summer little gull put in a brief appearance between 13:30 and 14:00, 2 Mediterranean gulls( 1 1st summer and 1 2nd summer) among 250+ black headed gulls, 5 common gulls, 18 bar tailed godwits, 110+ black tailed godwits, 13 oystercatchers was a good count for the marsh , 7+ reed warblers, 3 reed buntings, 1 chiffchaff, 8+ whimbrel, 4+ little egrets. 

Posted May 24th, 2014 at 7:06 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Dippers in the Sterridge Valley

During the last week or so a pair of adult Dippers have been feeding well-grown young along the stream through our garden. This fledgling, photographed through a 'window' in the dense growth of bankside ferns, froze motionless for a couple of minutes before calling and zipping off upstream.

Dipper fledgling, Sterridge Valley, May 2014

Posted May 24th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Stonechat and Linnets

Devon/Somerset border 2 stonechats and 1 linnet seen near Kinsford Gate

Posted May 24th, 2014 at 2:24 pm by Jeremy Hickman in Bird News

Friday 23rd May 2014

Meeth NR

I had a short walk around just part of Meeth Nature Reserve yesterday and what a diverse and rich habitat there is there despite it being still quite new.

Some of the birds I saw were Mallard, Canada Goose, Little Grebe, Moorhen with chick, Coot, Green Woodpecker, Magpie, many Jackdaws, Carrion Crow, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tit, Linnet,Blackbird, Song Thrush, Tree Pipit, Blackcap, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Woodpigeon. Swift, House Martin and Swallow were overhead.

This was a recce for the Mid Devon Group Field Trip to take place on Friday, 20th June and is a taster for what is there to be seen.  The area is developing fast and will be a haven for dragonflies and wildlife generally.  Certainly worth a visit.

Sue Clark

Posted May 23rd, 2014 at 9:23 pm in Bird News

Cuckoos ~ Nr South Brent

Three Cuckoo's heard calling on the moors above Dockwell Nr South Brent this afternoon, on occasion two in view and the third calling. Male Kestrel also seen hovering on the stiff winds. The Cuckoos were being mobbed constantly when out in the open by any number of small birds

Posted May 23rd, 2014 at 5:24 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Good numbers of Black-headed Gulls from the hide this lunchtime, with 1 juvenile / 1st year Little Gull, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and 4+ Common Gulls. Also one of the local Barnacle Geese had paid a visit to the marsh.

Posted May 23rd, 2014 at 2:25 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Cuckoo Southeast Dartmoor

Yesterday, we watched a male Cuckoo at close range near Cold East Cross, telescope views revealed no tag, so not 'Whortle' who also frequents this area http://www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking/whortle. Also another male calling on Trendlebere Down.

Posted May 23rd, 2014 at 11:54 am by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Hoopoe

Hoopoe seen (within 5 meters of me) flying while in playing fields at Forches Cross.  Also several Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Posted May 23rd, 2014 at 8:19 am by Noah Salt in Bird News

Thursday 22nd May 2014

Widecombe and Chudleigh Knighton 22/05/2014

7.45pm to 8.45pm  two cuckoos near Widecombe both being mobbed by meadow pipits .Also two  skylarks and a stonechat.       9.15pm to 10pm. Chudleigh Knighton heath Two nightjars 

Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 11:06 pm by Graeme Davey in Bird News

Mansands

A bit of a windy and showery morning, but over 150+ House Martins feeding over the main marsh with 20+ Swallows. The 2 Tufted Ducks still around and 3 Gadwalls as well. A female Shelduck was feeding on the small pool below the hide and a pair of Canada Geese that came here acouple of weeks ago, have now got 6 goslings feeding around the main marsh. As I walked back up the track, saw this Hummingbird Hawkmoth.


Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Wonderful to see these juvenile birds at this time of year.




Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 5:06 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Teignmouth

A Balearic Shearwater flew south late morning. Also two Manx Shearwater, a Great Skua, three Common Scoter, c50 Kittiwake and c15 Sandwich Tern, with five Swift and four Swallow north over the sea.

Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 4:04 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

red kite

Red Kite flying over Burrington, near Chulmleigh.

Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 9:34 am by trevor jennings in Bird News

Wednesday 21st May 2014

Yelverton

The Yelverton Swifts are back!  

AlsoI had a Hummingbird Hawk Moth in the garden today - which struck me as very early?  But I guess I should report it on the Forum pages.

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 10:06 pm in Bird News

Painted Ladies

A botanical trip around Orley Common Ipplepen yesterday pm produced few bird sightings but an early Painted Lady was the best butterfly, coinciding with Mikes  at Berry Head. I understand there were also sightings at Thurlestone (via Sylvia Tucker).

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 9:26 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The only bird of note this lunchtime was a Common Sandpiper. Otherwise fairly quiet with 2 Whimbrel amongst the Black-tailed Godwits and 1 Common Gull with the Black-headed Gulls.

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 2:16 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Berry Hd

A few migrant stragglers: 1 Willow Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher on headland and 1 sum plum Great Northern Diver >S. moving overhead 2 Swift, 1 house Martin, 9 Swallows and a single Meadow Pipit. 4 Harbour Porpoise off the head. 

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 8:44 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Prawle Point

Seawatch with John L. from 6.50am (John even earlier ) till 11.45.Conditions changed from NE to SW force 2 to 4 with heavy rain midway. Best birds : 1 Arctic Skua dp east and 1 Bonxie west; 6 Great Northern Divers west (summer plumaged-en route to Iceland ?) ; 4 Puffins west; 97 Manxies seen by me west and 3 Sandwich terns.Also 4 Harbour Porpoises.

Butterfly-wise : Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Green Hairstreak, Wall Brown ;Green-Veined Whites; and Red Admiral.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 10:22 pm in Bird News

Berry Hd

An seawatch followed by a wander around the headland produced: 1 Balearic Shearwater (followed a trawler into the middle of the bay) 9 Manx Shearwaters & 1 Hobby >NW and a Painted Lady butterfly - my first of the year.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 8:59 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Goosander. River Teign

Female goosander and three, possibly four ducklings.  

Lower Teign near confluence of River Bovey.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 8:48 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News

Jennycliffe

Message from Vic Tucker - A Black Kite watched flying in at 15.45

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 6:29 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime in the hide today. 11 Sandwich Terns had dropped in for the high tide but soon left for the estuary. Also 2 Mediterranean Gulls in amongst the Black-headeds. A Little Ringed Plover dropped in to scamper about amongst the gulls but flew at about 1.40 - not sure if it stayed on the marsh or not. 1 Whimbrel flew through.

A quick look at Goosemoor revealed a good number of Black-tailed Godwits and 3 smart summer plumaged Dunlin.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 2:09 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Monday 19th May 2014

Thurlestone Bay / South Huish

19:00-20:20.

On the marsh a brood of 5 Shelduck and a male Teal. A few hirundines around, 40 House Martins, 10 Swallows and a Sand Martin. 5 Dunlin on the beach. Just before i left picked up a Curlew coming in off the sea from quite a way out and as it got nearer it was joined by 5 Whimbrel.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 9:30 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Velator

Late evening visit to the reserve I was surprised to see a Spotted Flycatcher.

There is lone Coot (male?) sitting forlornly on a partially complete nest. Seems he is unable to attract a mate. Could this be due to the thick mat of duckweed completely covering the whole pond? Anyone any bright ideas as to how to get rid of it? No Little Grebes there either.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 8:47 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Lundy Short-toed Lark

Here's a pic of the Lark I stumbled on yesterday. Photo by Phil Abbott.

 

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Crane - Braunton Marshes

Just a couple more digiscoped pics of the Crane taken before.



Posted May 19th, 2014 at 6:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Red Kite near Slapton

Red kite seen cruising around (and mobbed by corvids) over Five Mile Lane between Stanborough Hundred and Slapton SX 776 499 between 1715 and 1730 18th May.Heading west in East Allington direction.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 3:18 pm by Nic Butler in Bird News

Berry Hd

Early morning: 2 Turtle Doves seen twice around north east corner of the main meadow. Also on site 1 Wheatear, 2 House Martin. Many Guillemots incubating, 4 eggs noted on change over between adults. Roe Deer and Fox behind the old wardens cottage. 

The one that got away...

   Fox & Pheasant BryHd 190514 ML 2    Fox &Pheasant BryHd 190514 ML

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Exeter

Apologies for the late post, but there was (yet another) Red Kite flying west over Topsham Road in Exeter on Friday evening (16th) and approximately 18:15.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 1:26 pm by Ross Bower in Bird News

Sunday 18th May 2014

Staddon Heights

Paul kemp and I watched a Red Kite drift north at 12.55 over the range wall and out of view. Also 25+ Swifts and a handful of Whitethroats.

Yesterday despite an ealy start, little of note at Soar - just a family of Mistle Thrushes, 4+ Stock Doves, a Yellow Wagatail heard overhead and 4 or 5 Sedge Warblers. South Huish added 6 summer plummaged Dunlins and a Whimbrel - on the beach.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 10:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Vellator / Braunton Burrows

I'm stuggling to up load the photos of the Crane here us a link to the photo.

www.flickr.com/photos/27434710@N06/

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 9:55 pm by Simon Prideaux in Bird News

Lundy Trip

Well done to Mark Humphreys (sorry Mark if the spelling is wrong!) for organising the annual boat trip on such a lovely day!

from the boat on the way over were good numbers of Manx Shearwaters and a few Storm Petrels. We did a circuit of the island where several Puffins put on a show with lots of Guillemots and Razorbills.

After landing we had great views of the summer-plumage Black Guillemot in the landing bay and proceeded up through Milcombe, where the earlier arrivals saw Turtle Dove and a couple of people saw a female type Golden Oriole.

Along at quarter wall I saw a small bird on the track and immediately said to my colleague 'Short-toed Lark' - a small sandy coloured Lark with a clean throat and breast but I couldn't make out the dark marks on the lower neck nor the rufous-coloured crown. The bird of course then flew (no Pics). It was later seen by several other birders and there are photos.

Many of us also caught up with the Golden Oriole which remained elusive. A Yellow Wagtail was also seen.

On the way back we had good views of a pod of Dolphins (probably Common).

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Yarner Wood

At Yarner today were 2 male Blackcaps, Treecreeper, 1 male 1 female Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Marsh tits and a Siskin on the Pond hide feeders, 2 male 2 female Pied Flycatchers flitting through the trees, and a singing Wood Warbler with leg rings.

On Trendlebere down 2 male 1 female Stonechats, 2 Buzzards circling, 1 Yellowhammer and several Willow Warblers among the Silver Birches, and a lovely singing Tree Pipit fluttering between the treetops. 

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 8:39 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Around topsham

Very quiet on the high tide at bowling green marsh a few bar tailed godwits among the black tailed godwits, 5 whimbrel, 5 wigeon 2 reed buntings and a few reed warblers 

from the goat walk only 1 sandwich tern over at turf 

a raptor watch from the church at topsham 12:00 till 14:30 produced 13+ hobby 

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Dolton Beacon

On our way home from work, my wife and I were surprised to see THREE RED KITES and three buzzards following a plough, with another family we watched them for about 30 mins before we went home for our tea.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 6:20 pm by Andrew Gooch in Bird News

Tawny Pipit Skern

Dave Paull found a Tawny Pipit at 10am whilst at Northam Burrows for the WeBS count this morning.

On track to Skern, park by second dog bin (on left of road), walk out to rough ground near the sheep pen and it was feeding right on the edge of the golf course here.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 6:18 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

George Mudford

The Braunton Marshes Crane left the Marshes on Friday morning 16 May at 10.00 am, i had been filming and observing the Crane at great distance from 06.00 am from the Toll road. At 10.00 am the Crane started calling and a running take off it climbed to 600 feet and circled to get its bearings and headed south just left of Appledore.  

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 4:34 pm by George Mudford in Bird News

CUCKOO Map

Cuckoo at Clearbrook early this morning.  Please use our interactive map on the front page of our website to enter your cuckoo sightings.  Any with today's date produce a red dot, earlier sightings posted add to the blue dots already showing.  You can zoom in and see more details of the locations.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 2:02 pm in Bird News

Braunton Marshes

No sign of the Crane on Braunton Marshes earlier this morning during the WeBS Count.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 1:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Dartmoor

Cuckoo near widecombe, being hounded by meadow pipits,calling well, took flight after about 10 minutes of me watching, with meadow pipits in hot pursuit, also a very pale buzzard in a tree opposite. Also plenty of linnets 

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 8:14 am by Graeme Davey in Bird News

Saturday 17th May 2014

Taw estuary ringing N Devon

Red Kite and Buzzard overhead. Birds caught included Cetti's, Sedge, Reed Warbler. One Reed Warbler ringed by Jon Turner at Velator as a fledgling in 2011, so 3 round trips to Africa since then, and now breeding maybe a few km from hatch site.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 9:42 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

Brian H had 2 Temminck's Stints late this evening on Powderham Marsh from viewing platform. Also an Egyptian Goose.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 9:27 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Isley Marsh area. 0635 - 0845

Tarka Trail - Pair of Bullfinch; Blackcap; Chiff Chaff; Common Whitethroat and a Cetti`s(heard only)

Jetty Roost - 5 Bar-tailed Godwit; C150 O/catcher; 5 Curlew; 7 Dunlin; 1 Ringed Plover and 4 Whimbrel. Cetti`s and Reed Warblers heard in Overflow Pond reedbed.

Ashbeds - 2 Raven, several Skylarks; 1 male Reed Bunting and 3 Pochard on the small pond on top the ashbeds. All 3 flew off towards Horsey Island/Sherpa Marsh. 1 Cetti seen in pond reedbed.

Isley Marsh Reserve - Just 26 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel and a few Canada Geese. Cetti`s and Reed Warblers heard in the damaged reedbed just inside the reserve gate.

 

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 8:31 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Goosander and chicks

Watched this family of 8 chicks for a while on the River Teign at Dunsford.



Posted May 17th, 2014 at 6:15 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Cuckoo

Saw a Cuckoo in Devon today, but only just! Took the road NE out of North Molton and turned left at the top of the hill into the valley between Darlick Moors and N Molton Ridge. The male was taunting a few Meadow Pipits. Also there a pair and a singing male Whinchat and a rolling Raven.

While I was away, last week, Sue Bruce heard a Cuckoo calling at Wrafton, but was unable to see it.

There are 9 juvenile Canada Geese in the Velator reserve.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 6:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Around topsham

started at Bowling green marsh hide from 07:30 till 10:15

the female ruff again showed well and the 1st summer little gull stayed in for a bit longer today, 21+ bar tailed godwits, 131+ black tailed godwits, 4+ common gull, 1 gadwall , 5 wigeon, but the best was a stunning RED KITE that  put everything on the marsh up in the air at 09:02 then circled over the house behind the hide for 5 minutes before drifting of west. 

Then did a raptor watch from 11:30 till 15:30 from the church at topsham giving great views across exminster marsh in total 26+ hobby ( 2 groups of 4 flew straight through over the motorway bridge heading north, 3 over heading east over the church and best count of 15 in the air ( 10 over exminster village and 5 over the marsh ) great sight, also 30+ buzzards, 7 sparrowhawk, 2 kestrel, 1 peregrine.

a very good days birding 

also had a text from James diamond another RED KITE over exminster heading east at 16:25.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 5:59 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Birds at Yarner wood

What lovely sights & sounds from a devon wood on a fine summers day.

Pied Flycatcher both m.& f.4-5 birds

spotted flycatcher 3. Wood warblers 4-5

Garden warbler 3-4

Nuthatch at least 2 on feeders & trees

Treecreepers  looking like mice climbing the trunks of tree.

All the birds singing their hearts out!

S J & A M Turner

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 5:51 pm by Stephen John Turner in Bird News

Red Kite Nr South Molton

A single Red Kite spotted just off the A399 about 2 miles north of South Molton. On the 'B' road that heads up towards Exmoor.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 5:27 pm by Chris Triggs in Bird News

Shallowford Exmoor

were

Another Red Kite seen today circling over Exmoor near Shallowford Farm early this afternoon.  Male Cuckoo seen and heard and we were also pleased to hear the bubbling note of the female .

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 3:51 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Just one bird of note but an absolute monster of a Wheatear that will be taking on all comers when it reaches Greenland!

4 stock doves and 3 buzzards in the air - hoping for a kite over the next few days!

 

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 1:52 pm in Bird News

Red kites, Redstarts and Pied flies.

Took our dog for a walk up in the woods near Skaigh again and found 3 pairs of pied flies. While watching one pair, a beautiful Red Kite with almost no moult drifted over and was then joined by another! Started to walk home and we then noticed a lovely male Redstart in a willow tree, which was then joined by a female.                  Also many blackcaps, willow warblers, ravens, tits and chiffchaffs. 

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 11:29 am by Tom Michie in Bird News

heard cuckoo

heard cuckoo wed 14h may at 7.30 evening bickington newton abbot, flying 

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 11:18 am by mavis floyd in Bird News

Friday 16th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 18:15 till 20:30

the 1st summer little gull dropped in again but only for a few minutes, the female ruff showed well all evening, 147+ black tailed godwits, 15+ bar tailed godwits, 11+ whimbrel, 5 oystercatcher , 240+ black headed gulls, 3 common gulls, 4 reed buntings, 2 reed warblers. 

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Warren House

Hoopoe was a surprise at King's Oven car park, Warren House when we arrived at 8.00 am this morning (16th May). It quickly moved further into the moor though.

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 6:53 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in Bird News

A Big(ish) Day out

Andy Swash and I did a 'Big(gish) Day' yesterday, recording 113 species. Highlights included:

  • Cuckoo and Whinchat around Warren House (we didn't make it pre-dawn to listen for Red Grouse!)
  • Spotted Flycatchers and Redstarts at Bellever and Challacombe, with Garden Warbler at the latter
  • Snipe at Halshanger Bog, Tree Pipit at Haytor and Dipper on the Bovey
  • Great Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck at Hennock Reservoirs (but no sign of the Goosander present the day before)
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Marsh Tit and Mandarin Ducks at Yarner
  • Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler and Redpoll at Trendlebere
  • Gadwall, Lapwing, Lesser Whitethroat and Hobby at Exminster/Powderham Marshes (there had been 9 Hobbies and a Spoonbill there in the morning)
  • Red-legged Partridges at Kenton and Starcross
  • Slavonian Grebe on the Exe at Cockwood
  • Little Grebe and a good number of waders at Dawlish Warren, including lots of Whimbrel and Sanderlings and a male Kentish Plover in a mixed flock that appeared to come in off the sea, circled a few times and then flew off high over Exmouth not to return! Brent Goose in the estuary, but very poor offshore apart from 4 Common Scoters
  • At Bowling Green we arrived in time to see the Ruff, terns and other waders described by Keith
  • Finally Nightjars put on a good display at Stover (2 males and a female), with other males churring just outside the Park and later at Chudleigh Knighton Heath.

 

We also came across several Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (Yarner and Hennock), Scarce Chaser (Exminster) and Weasel (near Dawlish Warren) on a beautiful warm day. Despite some silly misses and another 20 species that we could easily happened upon, it was an extremely good day out!

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 11:38 am by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Another Red Kite

To add to the flood: a single Red Kite with almost no moult visible over Yes Tor on 15th May, 12.20 p.m.

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 10:14 am by Jeremy Barker in Bird News

Thursday 15th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 18:30 till 20:30

a 1st summer little gull spent time between the marsh and the estuary and goosemoor showing well at times in with 200+ black headed gulls, the female ruff was on the far side in with 14+ bar tailed godwits, 100+ black tailed godwits, 11+ whimbrel. 

Just as we preparing to leave the hide at 20:00 heard sandwich terns flying in but even better was a cracking little tern which continued to feed over the marsh before settling amongst 18 sandwich terns which  was the  best count for the spring so far.

also 3+ reed warblers, 3+ reed buntings, 2 Stock doves, 2 buzzards, 5 wigeon, 9 little egrets, on walk round to the hide at least 3 groups of whimbrel flew over heading north at least 70+ in total.

 

 

 

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 10:31 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

RED KITES over South Brent

Early this evening I had four Red Kites soaring above the house in South Brent, spectacular sight and not something I ever expected to see here, they rose effortlessly on the thermals until simply lost from sight.

Earlier in the day had a Sparrowhawk snatch a Mistle Thrush chick from its nest despite the noisy protests and mobbing / chasing by both parent birds.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 9:31 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Crane - Braunton Marshes

This bird which is on private land is mobile & has been moving from field to field. Sometimes it can be seen from theToll Road depending on which field it decides to search for food.

Please do not enter the private road which is used by Braunton Farmers everyday to view this bird or park in the passing places on the toll road.

It is best to park at Velator Quay & walk towards the White House along the Toll Road. Looking right across Braunton Marshes the bird can be viewed from a safe distance from the Toll road. Please do not attempt to climb the locked gate & enter the private road to obtain close views as the bird is easily disturbed.

It is very happy & settled on Braunton Marshes & we are hoping it will stay for as long as possible.


Posted May 15th, 2014 at 7:39 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Topsham

A lovely 1st year Little gull off Goatwalk and then briefly on Bowling Green Marsh this evening, female Ruff on the marsh and 6 Great crested grebes on the estuary.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 7:29 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Red Kites

The recent May high pressure has seen the now annual Devon influx of Red Kites (wandering non-breeders, most likely from the UK population, now around 1600prs) - right on cue yet another two singles heading SW over Buckfastleigh at 09:20 (tatty bird) and 11:50 (smart bird with little moult) adding to the total of the last couple of days.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Berry Head 15May14

This morning, four singles of Great Northern Diver, flying south

three Whimbrel gradually making their way north along the coast;

one Little Egret and two Cormorant (making a change from Shag!) flying north;

Still a few Swallows, House Martins and Swift apparently coming in off the sea, as well as Wheatear, taking a rest;

Spotted Flycatcher & Garden Warbler, apparent recent arrivals;

One single juv Guillemot out on the sea with his dad, despite the many hundreds on the cliffs.

Ed. This is very early, see Forum Seawatching/Early Guillemot young.....http://forum.devonbirds.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=271

 

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 11:32 am by Chris in Bird News

Dean Moor/Buckfastleigh Moor

Heard a Cuckoo (not seen) on Lambs Down, followed by two more calling simultaneously near Chalk Ford.  Coal tit and yellow wagtail at Chalk Ford, Jay at Burchett's Wood.  Also, two red deer on open moorland south of Lud Gate - poss escapees from Scoriton Down?

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 10:56 am by Sarah Salt in Bird News

Kites - Upottery

Like Ian, I saw what I believe to be Red Kites on the A30 just east of Honiton. This was at 17.10 yesterday, 14th May. They were circling just west of the A30/A303 split. There were also 2 buzzards in the area but they weren't interacting and didn't seem bothered by each others presence. There were definately two kites, possibly 4.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 8:48 am by David Flavin in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite over Harford this morning at 8.05, with an entourage of crows mobbing it - headed off south westerly.  

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 8:10 am by Ann Willcocks in Bird News

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Princetown, Dartmoor

Red Kite over this morning at 10:50 being mobbed by a gull - kite went higher and higher and gradually drifted off SW.  Record shot below Jan Daniels


Posted May 14th, 2014 at 10:12 pm in Bird News

Vellator / Braunton Burrows

Crane spotted in a field from the toll road down to Crow Point. I watched it for about an hour and took photos, as I tried to get a little closer it flew off towards the Burrows. The photo files are took large to attach I will try and add them to the gallery. 

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 10:11 pm by Simon Prideaux in Bird News

Around topsham

what proved to be a very good afternoon from 15:45 till 19:45 started slowly checking bowling green marsh with 4 reed warblers and 2 pairs of reed buntings a recently fledged group of long tailed tits by the hide i got a txt from Will about the red kites ( thanks Will)  so made way down to the goat walk and looking over towards powderham and scanning around soon found another red kite drifting over powderham church heading west ( also had a report of another red kite in area so possibly 9 birds this afternoon. 

Back at the hide 52+ whimbrel, 15+ bar tailed godwits, 120+ black tailed godwits , 1 redshank, 5 wigeon, 1 peregrine, then just after 18:50 Martin Elcoate picked up a gull quick look through the scope and a beautiful adult Bonaparts gull ( great spot Martin ) it stayed around for about 15 or 20 minutes before the black headed gulls it was with  flew out towards the estuary it hadnt come back in by the time I left at 19:45 also among the gulls was  1st summer Mediterranean gull , 1 common gull, still a steady passage of swifts, house martins and swallows. 

 

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 9:26 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Topsham

An adult Bonaparte's gull dropped into Bowling Green Marsh for 15 minutes this evening, departing at 19:10.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 9:20 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Burrator Area

1 Cuckoo and several more heard distantly, 2 singing male Redstarts, pair of Yellowhammers with male singing, Green Woodpecker, 2 Mistle Thrush, Jay, Buzzard, Pied Wagtail.

Chiffchaff and Blackcap heard. No Wheatears yet.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 7:38 pm by Charlie imms in Bird News

Dartmoor fringes

At Yarner this afternoon there were lots of Pied Flycatchers, a few Wood Warblers, Garden Warbler, Tree Pipit, Redpoll, 3 Mandarins (2 males) and 4 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. There were also single Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler and Pearl-bordered Fritillary nearby at Trendlebere. At Hennock Reservoirs there was a drake Goosander on the bank at Trenchford.

Mandarin drake, Yarner
Mandarin drake, Yarner

Mandarins, Yarner
Mandarins, Yarner

Tree Pipit, Yarner
Tree Pipit, Yarner

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 7:31 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Kingsbridge

Friend of mine heard a Cuckoo on the outskirts of Kingsbridge this morning.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 7:31 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Turf, Exe Estuary

Seven Red Kites flew west across the Exe near Turf Locks late afternoon - a high-flying group of 5 at 16:52 followed by two more at lower altitude by 17:05. Also a Hobby, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Barnacle Goose at the southern end of Exminster Marshes.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 7:26 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

13 members of DB attended the East Devon Branch fieldtrip and completed the circular walk along the western footpath to Turf and then back along the canal bank - fishermans car park etc .  Several Lesser and Common Whitethroat present in railway hedgerow.  Two male Hobby out on the marshes and 5 Dunlin on the scrapes enclosed by electric fence.  Evidence of successful breeding with young seen of Meadow Pipit, Coot and Canada Goose3 Whimbrel out on the mudflats viewed from Turf. Thanks to Dave Murray for leading us.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 7:02 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Bovey Tracey

Came home at lunchtime to find this rather unexpected Nightjar roosting at the bottom of the garden. Local Woodpigeons were rather unsure what to make of it: sleeping on their favourite perch, but none of them had the courage to disturb him.

Nightjar
Nightjar

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 6:52 pm by Jeremy Barker in Bird News

Kite

Presumed red of course, one circling as I was heading to Honiton just past the Upottery x roads. Only the silhouette & no time to stop, as usual. Buzzards in close proximity, once again no time to determine whether they were mobbing it or just hanging around the recently ploughed field.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 6:02 pm by Ian Seward in Bird News

plym woods

Buzzards, Mistle thrush, chiffchaffs, blackcaps, Grey wagtail, coal tits, Nuthatches and a lovely breeding plumaged Siskin singing in some conifers. On the estuary were a pair of Shelduck, little egrets, cormorant and swallows and house martins overhead.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 4:40 pm by Elliot Dowding in Bird News

Belstone - Dartmoor

Early walk 07:00 and at times was difficult not to be in the company of a cuckoo. 3 spotted at one point. I am not sure how many were around in total. Causing havoc with the nesting meadow pipits.

Also male and female wheatears and likewise Stonechats. And one Skylark.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 2:45 pm by Tim Williams in Bird News

Beer Head

Had my mist nets with me today, which was good news as there had clearly been another arrival of migrants despite the cloud-less sky.

Surprised to catch 18 'fresh' Willow Warblers - proving that there's still plenty arriving.  Caught a few nice treats too (see pics below).

There were at least five Spot Flies about, the Garden Warbler remained in the area all morning singing, and overhead three single Yellow Wags and a Whimbrel flew west.

Garden Warbler
Garden Warbler

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Redstart
Redstart

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 1:12 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

6 Wheatears (3m,3f) and a Yellow Wagtail over were evidence of passage continuing as was a Hobby through. 2 Whitethroats on territory. On a nearby private site, 3 Willow warblers, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps (singing males), first Spot Fly of the year and, surprisingly, a singing Sedge Warbler

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 12:35 pm in Bird News

Berry Head Migrants

Four Manx Shearwater passing south off Berry Head this morning (0540h); several Swallows in off the sea; small fall? of (at least 12) Wheatear perching up on the buildings and stone walls.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 11:41 am by Chris Weedon in Bird News

Swallows at last

Two Swallows arrived this morning and went straight to the nest site in the carports. We as so thankful as we thought we had lost them this year. We live in Churston Ferrers near Brixham.

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 10:10 am by Dee Jardine in Bird News

Tuesday 13th May 2014

Scobbiscombe Farm and Erme

No birds of note, though a juv Stonechat was first of year. 

However 27 Wall Browns, 6 Peacocks, Red Admiral and first Small Copper were good, mostly on walk from coast up to Farm. 

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 10:04 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Around topsham

Watched from 16:00 till 18:45

From the goat walk at least 40+ whimbrel, moved round to rivers meet house a good group of waders flying around a group of 40+ dunlin separated and flew of over exminster marsh the remaing group included 150+ dunlin and after they settled also 32+ sanderling my best count at this end of the estuary and even better a curlew sandpiper also another 40+ whimbrel towards exton station and 2 sandwich terns flew up the estuary. 

On to bowling green marsh for the high tide a female ruff was the first of the spring, 25+ whimbrel only 4 dunlin came in 12+ bar tailed godwits, 120+ black tailed godwits, 8+ little egrets, 5 wigeon a few swifts , swallows and house martins, on leaving the hide a group of 30+ whimbrel flew over high towards exminster marsh 

earlier at work at the devon hotel a red legged partridge in the car park at the back of the hotel was an unexpected find also 3 blackcaps and 2 whitethroat and are swallows are back and 7 buzzards over 

 

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 9:02 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Purple Heron (imm)

While visiting Bowling green marsh I noticed a heron flying in and reconised it to be a immmature Purple Heron. It was very brown with black wing tips, dark underwings and a heavy neck. 2/3other birders saw it as it passed through towards Goosemoor at about 11'00 am. This is a possitive sighting as I have seen them before

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 8:36 pm by Chris Slade in Bird News

Pied Flycatchers, Nr Skaigh, Sticklepath

Popped up to the old bluebell wood near Skaigh to re-check on a Pied flycatcher. Found a pair collecting nesting material, male a very handsome bird and pirched on the branch above our heads! Great to have a local pair so near! 

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 7:16 pm by Tom Michie in Bird News

Shirwell, Barnstaple EX31 4JU

2 swifts have recently come around the area feeding happily look in good condition.

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 6:46 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Meeth Quarry near Hatherliegh

a new reserve about a year old, was onced a  clay works, with two large ponds. the smaller pond was quiet but the larger pond had great blackback gulls, lesser blackback gulls, mallard, canada geese, little grebe and moorhen, also there was swifts flying over the pond with a hobby chasing them. as well as three buzzards in the air at the same time, back on the ground we saw a good mix of birds ,whitethroats, garden warblers, blackcaps singing ,green woodpecker calling,and a good mix of the usual birds , when we finished at 3pm we had seen 28 differnt birds. as this is a new reserve i think it will come good in the future.

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 6:37 pm by Roger Jewell in Bird News

Red Kite

Red kite. Seen low over A30/A38 junction near to Exeter 1620hrs

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 6:00 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Beer Head

A wander around Beer Head this morning showed at least 6 Spot Flies, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat and a fly over Yellow Wag.

Posted May 13th, 2014 at 10:43 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Monday 12th May 2014

Thurlestone Bay / South Huish

19:15-20:15.

Teal, Whimbrel, Dunlin, 3 Black-tailed Godwits on the marsh and second calender year Glaucous Gull in the field on the east side of marsh.

Posted May 12th, 2014 at 9:01 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Prawle Point

Watched the sea from 6.50 till 11.20 in a rough westerly 4 going 5/6 (ie again stronger than forecast) Highlights were : 1 second year Pomarine Skua  which flew west at 8.40; 4 Great Northern Divers , 3 of which were in full summer plumage ; 5 Turnstones , 3 Sandwich Terns and a Whimbrel all west.

A group of 70 plus Gannets heralded a pod of at least 20 Common Dolphins west. And just after 10am 2 large Basking Sharks appeared from the west and fed happily for the duration of my watch.

The usual resident birds now include 3 House Martins and 1 Swift . 

Posted May 12th, 2014 at 8:23 pm in Bird News

Buckfast

Around 7pm a female mandarin duck landed in garden, ate some seed and then did the same in garden next door.  Not sure where this has come from but not a regular visitor to our garden.


Posted May 12th, 2014 at 8:22 pm by Noah Salt in Bird News

Plymouth

Flying over the town center today were four swifts

Posted May 12th, 2014 at 2:57 pm by Elliot Dowding in Bird News

Yarner Wood Siskin - Sunday

Whilst I walked around Yarner, and the Downs above (single Tree pipit, 2 x Wiilow Warblers, 2 x Pied Fly's, several calling Wood Warblers) wifey sat at the hide, still nursing her injured wing, got stunning views of G.S. Woodpecker on the feeders, plus a male Siskin

Posted May 12th, 2014 at 11:11 am by Trevor Leaman in Bird News

Sunday 11th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

A quick look from the goat walk at topsham on way to the hide produced 2 sanderling, 3 ringed plover and 7+ dunlin, 30+ whimbrel, hundreds of swifts viewable over exminster marsh 

from the hide 15:00 till 18:10

costant passage of swifts and house martins with several hundred of each smaller numbers of swallows and sand martins, 1 common tern dropped in briefly, at least 60+ whimbrel with more groups flying around( a visiting birder had a count of 160+ on the estuary) 1 hobby flew through heading north east, 80+ black tailed godwits, 11 bar tailed godwits still 4 wigeon, 12+ little egrets, 40+ shelducks, 1 sparrowhawk, 3 blackcaps. 

on walk back to topsham another hobby over the goat walk heading north 

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 11:18 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bovey Valley Woods

First time visit - slightly bad timing with a mountain bike race through the woods. Chiffchaff, robin, blackbird, song thrush and blue, great & long-tailed tit. Didn't expect much considering, but visit brightened up by a Garden Warbler in full voice from holly tree. Managed a few shots through the branches before the bikes finally scared it off. 

Garden Warbler
Garden Warbler

Garden Warbler
Garden Warbler

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 9:21 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

Ten Tors Finish - Okehampton Camp

Male cuckoo flew at eye level between finishing groups at 3.30pm

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 7:16 pm by Simon Weale in Bird News

Yarner Wood

The Pied Flycatchers (3 males and 2 females) were particularly showy today, and also 3 or 4 vocal Wood Warblers,

Around the excellent pond hide, 4 drake Mandarin Ducks, a family of Grey Wagtails and - on the feeders - a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Marsh Tit.  

Pied Flycatcher, Yarner Wood
Pied Flycatcher, Yarner Wood

Mandarin Duck, Yarner wood
Mandarin Duck, Yarner wood

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 6:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Mansands, Scabbacombe Beach and Woodhuish

11.00-14.30

Lesser Whitethroat very vocal and showing well at beach end of Southdown Lane, Mansands. Also 3 Tufted Duck.  Mixed flock of Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins over Ley.  Quiet in stiff breeze but 3 Chiffchaffs, Yellowhammer, 4 Linnets, 6+ Whitethroats along SW Coast Path, 3 Skylarks, Kestrel, 4 Stonechats and a Pheasant.  2 Gannets offshore and 4 Shags on rocks at Scabbacombe Beach plus a Rock Pipit.  3 Stock Doves and a Swift at Woodhuish. Also came across three separate family groups of Robins in the hedgerows and sunken lanes. 

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 4:15 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

South Brent area

Visiting three locations around South Brent today produced my first House Martins of the year, initially a flock of between 25 & 30 and later at another location a smaller number mixed in with some Swallows.

Little Grebe on its nest very shy and secretive, Mallard, Canadian Geese and Mute Swan, Moorhen, Jay, Buzzard and Green Woodpecker calling

Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Jay at Ladies Wood

Aish produced a small flock of 6 Yellow Hammers.

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 3:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Berry Hd

A noticeable influx of Whitethroat this morning (I struggled on Friday to find one) 14 between Southern fort and the headland past the N fort. 3 Great Northern Divers over the top of the headland > S, a Spotted Flycatcher by the meadow, in the Quarry 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler. As I was checking this very dark backed (almost black) with intense rusty somewhat restricted to upper chest and white rump with a few (difficult to see) streaks, not dissimilar to the Portland bird that Perry linked to (note ring on right leg)..

    Stonechat Continental? Berry Hd 11 May 2014 ML2          Stonechat Continental? Berry Hd 11 May 2014 ML

As the Stonechat flew off toward the Cafe a call caught my attention - a stunning Red-throated Pipit flew past all too quickly - very nearly at eye level heading toward the meadow. I could not relocate the bird so assumed just fly-through.

Sum plum Red-throated Pipit Berry Hd 11 May 2014 ML

As for the Stonechat it'll have to wait for another day - continental or just a local bird in worn plumage. Many SW birds show features of continental Stonechat, perhaps there's a gene on the loose. 

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 1:31 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Good nos. of Swifts at Torcross first thing this morning, c500. Hours seawatch quiet apart from 7 Great Northern Divers south.

Reading the post re Challacombe Farm below, some good photos on the Portland Bird Obs site a few days ago. Click the link http://portlandbirdobs.blogspot.co.uk/search and scroll down to May 6th.

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 10:13 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Red Throated Pipit, Berry Head

Berry Head: Mike Langman Just had a r-t pipit fly past him at eye level > w - He's going to the meadow in case it dropped down.

Posted May 11th, 2014 at 9:17 am in Bird News

Saturday 10th May 2014

Suspected Siberian Stonechat

A very distinct male stonechat seen from the path from Challacombe Farm to Headland Warren showed a very dark head, bold white extended collar to the nape, only small area of orange on the top of the breast giving a very white belly and very dark wings. Ref SX694805. First thought to be a reed bunting. Male stonechat seen shortly after with more orange on breast and lighter wings and white on neck less prominent.

Male and female whinchat, 3 male wheatear and one female also seen plus male and female redstart by Challacombe Farm amid the intermittent showers.

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 9:15 pm by Liz Harris in Bird News

Challacombe farm

Field visit by Plymouth group, saw 3 wheatear, 2 redstart, reed bunting, willow warbler, nuthatch, 3 stock dove, 2 whinchat and stonchat of which one was probably of the siberian-eastern race

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 8:11 pm by lesley goonesekera in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 13:15 till 16:30

a quiet afternoon but good passage of swifts and house martins with 100+ of each with good numbers of swallows and a few sand martins best bird was a spotted flycatcher very active just to the right of the hide, few waders due to the low high tide but still 7+ whimbrel, 62+ black tailed godwits, 2 oystercatchers, also 40+ shelducks, 5+ blackcaps, 3 chiffchaffs. 

On the walk back from the hide up the lane came across a nice treecreeper and another spotted flycatcher

 

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 6:13 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Hackney Marshes, Kingsteignton

12.00-13.30

Despite windy conditions, 2 Spotted Flycatchers together and showing well, favouring young oak trees close to the small bridge linking the north and south meadows. Later more mobile moving across to the fringes of the racecourse.  Also Sedge Warbler, 4+ Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Swallows, 30+ Swifts overhead, Skylark, Little Egret low overhead and male Reed Bunting. 10+ House Sparrows in the hedgerows. Cetti's and Reed Warblers plus Song Thrush calling.

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 5:05 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

swifts

three Hobbies chasing around c 45+ Swifts (my estimate) c 60 + another fellow's estimate,over Exeter canal,just up from the fishermans car park Exminster at 2,30pm, I've never seen this many Swifts together before, great to watch although the light wasn't very good.

just a record shot of one of the three active Hobbies.

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 4:59 pm by gray clements in Bird News

Berry Head

Berry Head 13:00-14:45

Singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Sedge Warbler in the bushes near the seawatching point. Another 2 (possibly 3) Spotted Flycatcher and a Willow Warbler in the quarry.

Short seawatch produced just over 60 Manx Shearwater and 5 Sandwich Terns.

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Very windy conditions in N.Devon today. Gale Force WSW.

This morning the hirundines were feeding on insects above the pond, the Willows & scrub surrounding the pond providing some shelter.

Approx 45 consisting of 4 species inc at least 6 Swift & the rest a mix of Swallow, House Martin & Sand Martin.

Great to watch the high speed aerial manoeuvres.

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 2:18 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Late entry - 9th May

Tamar Lakes.- 9th May

Large number of Swallows feeding over both lakes totaling at least 550+, with c30 House Martins and a few Sand Martins

Harvey Kendall

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 1:58 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Teignmouth

Seawatching this morning 05:40-07:10 produced 10 Great Northern Divers (including 3 that flew high up the estuary), 24 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel, 31 Kittiwakes, 7 Sandwich Terns, 11 Shelducks, 9 auk sp and singles of Great Crested Grebe, Guillemot and Black-headed Gull. Also a Wheatear in off the sea.

Posted May 10th, 2014 at 12:16 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Friday 9th May 2014

South Dartmoor

A breezey but sunny walk on South Dartmoor today and the highlight was a female goosander with 11 ducklings.

Also seen were 2 common sandpipers, 2 dippers, 2 grey wagtails,3 yellowhammers, singing willow warblers, sand martins and swallows, a raven, a buzzard, a jay, plenty of wheatears, 8 Canada geese and stonechats. Also heard my first cuckoo of the year but couldn't locate it.

Goosander with ducklings
Goosander with ducklings

Posted May 9th, 2014 at 7:20 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

South Brent (Inc Rv Avon)

On the Rv Avon near South Brent this morning, Dipper, female Goosander, drake Mallard, Coal Tit & Jay.

Around home high lights were a late afternoon female Blackcap a male Bullfinch and two Chiffchaff, lunch time counts included 53 Jackdaw, 9 Swallow, 17 Swift (The swifts are showing in really good numbers over South Brent this year) Pair Mistle Thrush, 3 Wood Pigeon, 8 Blackbirds, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Carrion Crow, 2 Rooks, 14 Goldfinch, 4 Buzzard, 4 House Sparrows, 4 Herring Gull, 1 Sparrow Hawk, 1 Collard Dove.

Posted May 9th, 2014 at 6:16 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exmouth

Orcombe Point - 0545 - 0645 - 1 shelduck, 1 black-headed gull, 8 great  northern diver, 1 pomarine skua lingering until 0630 when it flew West purposefully, 7 manx shearwater, 4 roseate tern, c10+ sandwich tern, 1 little tern, 2 fulmar, 2 sanderling, c50/100+ gannet, c10+ kittiwake, 2 swallow and 2 swift.

Posted May 9th, 2014 at 7:34 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Thursday 8th May 2014

Prawle, Slapton and South Huish

In a south westerly wind forecast I had hoped to pick up a stray skua or two as I had missed Monday’s big push.  Sadly it wasn’t to be. In a force 5-6 gusting 7 the main passage was of Manx Shearwaters ; 1041 west from 7.10 till 12.10. Also a summer plumaged Black Throated Diver sat off the point briefly and a Red throated Diver flew east . However a few ‘first for Prawle for me’  birds : 2 Arctic Terns close west ; 2 Puffins west;  3 summer plumaged Dunlin flew west ( see later) ; and at last a Swift flew in off the sea. And 145 auks west.

Then to Slapton where at 1pm I was delighted to see, at last, 100+Swifts, c 80 House Martins, c 20 Swallows and 8 Sand Martins at the Torcross end.

At South Huish the second year Glaucous Gull showed well on the marsh and in the adjacent field to the east; on the marsh 3 Dunlin in summer plumage as well as a Black-Tailed Godwit and a Redshank.

Yesterday at Yarner , despite the odd shower, there was a good number of Wood Warblers (6 seen and more heard) , Pied Flycatchers  ( 4 males and 2 females but more flashing across the paths), and 3 Redstarts , 2 males and 1 female. On the pool a pair of Mandarins and a nice selection of woodland birds on the feeders. On Trendlebere Down at least 4 Tree Pipits. 

Posted May 8th, 2014 at 9:20 pm in Bird News

South Brent

On a wet and miserable afternoon at South Brent I did a bird count from the back garden with the following results (for the larger species) between 4 & 5pm after I had noted several Herring Gulls flying over, the count results for the larger birds are as follows : ~

Herring Gull 88, Carrion Crow 14, Rook 1, Jackdaw 90, Magpie 4, Wood Pigeon 13, Stock Dove 1, Collard Dove 6, Black Bird 16, Mistle Thrush 2 (Nesting pair), Starling 1, Buzzard 5, Swift and Swallow 18 of each, max number of Swift at any one time 3.

The morning saw female Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a brief visit from a Chiffchaff.

Posted May 8th, 2014 at 5:40 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Tamar ( saltash side)

30+ swifts flying from the sea! inland heading west

Ed. If they're going W its Cornwall and so is Saltash!

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 8:07 pm by Trystan Bryant in Bird News

Around the Axe

Female Marsh Harrier over Colyford Marsh this morning, one with a 'stumpy' tail. It wasn't tail-less, but certainly didn't have a complete tail.

Also a Lesser Whitethroat singing along the Estuary just north of Axmouth, three Bar-tailed Godwits on the Estuary and a couple of Swifts over Black Hole Marsh this pm.

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 2:29 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works.

11:10

Shelduck 20; Bar-tailed Godwit 1; Whimbrel 18; Curlew 4 and Ringed Plover 1.

Penhill Marsh - 96 Shelduck; 3 Whimbrel and 3 Curlew.

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 2:15 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

A quick look in at the pond earlier this morning produced a pair of Tufted Duck (male plumage magnificent)  & 5 Swifts which flew over the pond screaming then onto Sharpa Marshes.

On theTaw Estuary from the Tarka trail to Barnstaple at least 10 Whimbrel, 4 Lesser Black backed Gulls, 3 BH Gulls & 6 Curlew & a good number of Shelduck.

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 12:01 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Hd Monday 5th May

Evening seawatch 17.30-19.30hrs: 1 Arctic Skua, 115 Manx Shearwaters, 12 Gannet 8 Razorbills amongst the local Guillemots), 8 Kittiwake, 4 Black-headed Gulls & 3-4 Harbour Porpoise. Some movement overhead 37 Swallows, 8 House Martins and 7 Swift all in off the sea > NW 

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 8:16 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 5th May 2014

Starcross

My husband managed to spot a SLAVONIAN GREBE from a moving train today! Fortunately it was right next to Starcross station where the train made a stop, so we had plenty of time to look at it and check it really was one before the train moved off!! In full summer plumage, so the yellow plumes were really striking :) This was high tide, about 12:15 midday.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 9:53 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News

Prawle Pt late pm

Seawatch 16:00-18:45 as rain front started arrive, most birds heading east: 876 Manx Shearwater, 4 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Bonxie, 8 Black Terns (bp), 16 Common Terns, 36 'commic' Terns, 6 Sandwich Terns, Great Northern Diver (on sea), 36 Kittiwakes. Also Harbour Porpoise.

6 Swift over Totnes on route.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 8:47 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Wembury

Red Kite at midday flying over fields towards the top of Knighton Hill and Wembury Wood.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 8:37 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Trendlebere Down and Yarner Wood

10.10-14.15

On the Down 2 Yellowhammers, 2 Bullfinches, 4 Tree Pipits, 6 Stonechats, 4 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk, 3 Linnets, 1 Redpoll, 3 Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Siskin, 3 Swifts, 2 Jays and a Cuckoo calling in the distance.

In the Wood 6+ Pied Flycatchers, 5 Wood Warblers, male Redstart (showing well in the canopy and in full song close to the Field Museum), Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Song Thrushes and Goldcrest.  Feeders in front of the Pond Hide yielded mixed tit flock including 2+ Marsh Tits.  Also three male Mandarins, more Siskins, male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker and a gaudy Grey Wagtail.   Green Woodpecker and Raven calling elsewhere in the Wood.

Not bad considering that I had a three year old for company!   

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 7:21 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Soar and South Huish

Very little at Soar this morning - singles of Sedge Warbler, Wheatear and Willow Warbler, plus 4 Chiffchaffs and a Water Rail heard.

Later at South Huish, some overlap with Perry's earlier sightings - 46 Whimbrels, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits (2 summer plumage), 2 Sandwich Terns, 8 Common Scoter (1 female and 7 males), Sedge Warbler, 6 Sand Martins, 8+ House Martins, c15 Swallows and 4 Dunlins (all summer plumage).  

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 7:04 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 09:45 till 11:30

26 bar tailed godwit included my first with coloured rings will send off the details, 15+ whimbrel, 1 sandwich tern, 1 1st summer Mediterranean gull, 6 dunlin, 10 little egrets, 19+ common gulls, 130+ black tailed godwits, 45+ curlew, 2 gadwall, 1 tufted duck, , 4 greenshanks, 1 redshank, 4+ reed warbler, 2 sedge warblers, 1 reed bunting. 

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 5:40 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Exminster marshes

Heavy moult immature marsh harrier still over marsh at 15:45 . Strange looking beast!

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 5:40 pm by Alan Keatley in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

A bit of excitement when I got out of the car at the RSPB car park this morning at 10.10. A raptor was circling around in the centre of the marsh putting up all the birds. It took me a while to work out what it was until I managed to get it up against the land and also someone else turned up with a scope. It was an immature female Marsh Harrier without tail feathers which looked very strange almost like a small vulture or something! Watched after that for ten minutes before it moved off high NE.

Also hundreds of Common Swift and Hirundines, 4 Whimbrel.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Kevin Bainbridge in Bird News

South Huish / Thurlestone Bay

06:00-10:15, moderate S-SE wind strenghthening.

Had a look on Huish marsh to start with. No sign of the Garganey Alan found last night. Best birds were Teal, 43 Whimbrel, 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Dunlin, Common Gull and 2cy Mediterranean Gull. Single Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone and 7 Sanderling on the rocks/beach. Did a seawatch from 08:00-10:15, passing ( all east ) were 80 Manx Shearwater, 21 Common Scoter, 33 Kitttiwake and a distant flock of 14 unidentified Terns ( Common / Arctic ). A dark phase Arctic Skua watched coming in off the sea and heading off inland. Highlight of the morning was a flock of 6 light phase Pomarine Skuas east at 08:15.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 12:31 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Runnage Farm, Postbridge 3rd,4th and 5th May.

While camping at Runnage Farm outside Postbridge there were two cuckoos calling practically all day long at regular intervals. At two bridges there was another cuckoo calling as well as lots of stonechats and meadow pipits.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 11:40 am by Tom Michie in Bird News

Red Kite over Hestow Rd nr Kingsteignton

Saturday May 3rd 3:45pm - A red kite circled low over Hestow Road with two common buzzards before drifting south-west towards Kingsteignton.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 8:32 am by Damian Offer in Bird News

Sunday 4th May 2014

4th May - Nat' Trust Arlington Ct

Early morning walk around around the Park before the mass of visitors arrived was very rewarding - variety of species spotted - here are three pics of the most interesting:

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker
Male Great Spotted Woodpecker

Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit

Female Redstart
Female Redstart

Posted May 4th, 2014 at 5:59 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Bowling green marsh & exminster marsh

Bowling green marsh 09:35 till 11:45 from the hide 

Best bird was a little ringed plover which dropped in with 2 sanderling but was very elusive, 3 common sandpiper, 3 sandwich terns briefly flew over, 14+ whimbrel, 139+ black tailed godwits, 2 tufted duck , 1 gadwall, 9+ little egrets, 26+ shelduck, 13+ common gull, 8 wigeon, 4+ reed warblers, 2 sedge warblers, 1 reed bunting, 2 little grebes.

exminster marsh 12:45 till 14:00

fairley quiet but 1 hobby was hunting over the lagoon and close to the railway line with small numbers of swifts, swallows, sand martins and house martins, 7+ sedge warblers along the canal path, 3 whitethroats. 

Posted May 4th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Taw torridge estuary

A flock of 103 Whimbrel with the odd Curlew and 2 Bar tailed godwits on field at Yelland between Tarka trail and river Taw.

Lesser Whitethroat singing near Isley marsh.

Posted May 4th, 2014 at 2:49 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Saturday 3rd May 2014

Prawle Point 3rd May

Morning walk along the coastal path with Rob & Stephen Murphy. Whitethroat, Kestrel, Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Buzzard, Oystercatcher & Gannet. Highlights were, 2 Whimbrel & 6 wheatear together on a pile of rocks. Never been before - will def go back.

6 Wheatears
6 Wheatears

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 10:57 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

Challacombe/Soussons circular walk

 Redstarts 1m, 1f, at the farm. 6 Cuckoo on the circuit including 3 flying together, a single pair only of Whinchat below Warren House Inn and a Hobby. The 3 Cuckoo seemed none too pleased with each other, they seemed to be having words.

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Sam Forest in Bird News

Bench Tor and Venford

A walk around the resevoir gave a common Sandpiper at the far end together with a cuckoo calling, Moving on to Bench Tor gave a male Redstart,,2 Tree Pipits and another Cuckoo across the valley under Sharp Tor

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 6:01 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Exmouth

Siskin are a regular winter and an occasional summer visitor to my bird feeder. Throughout April there have been 3 males, but today there have also been at least 3 juveniles and as they arrived by 0530 it would appear that they nested locally. Adjacent woodland is deciduous. It is possible that they are travelling from coniferous woodlands on the commons, but it does make me wonder whether the use of garden feeders has resulted in a change of habitat for this finch.

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 8:18 am by Dick Andrews in Bird News

Swifts-River Exe

20 + Swifts along the river Exe near Briidge Road at 8.00 am

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 8:05 am by Tony Dudley-Clarke in Bird News

Friday 2nd May 2014

nr. Slapton

Had a text from a friend who lives at Start nr. Slapton ( not to be confused with Start Point ) to say she heard a cuckoo this evening. It's many years since i last heard one locally.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 11:03 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

South Hams

South Efford Marsh

2 Swift, numerous Swallow and House Martin, 1 Common Sandpiper, Male Kingfisher, 3 Whimbrel, Chiffchaff, Stock Dove, Peacock and 2 Orange Tip butterfly.

South Huish Marsh

28 Whimbrel on field with sheep ,1 Whimbrel on beach

1 Whimbrel and 4 Bar Tailed Godwits in off sea,

2 Dunlin,Stonechat Pair, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whitethroat,

2 Lesser Black Backed Gulls

3 Black Headed Gulls

1st Summer Glaucous Gull

House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow

Drake Teal

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 9:17 pm by charlie imms and Russ Eynon in Bird News

Dawlish warren

A quick look this afternoon after work from 16:30 till 19:30 

the female Kentish plover was between groyne 12 and the last groyne with the 2 sanderling from 17:15 till 18:00 when it headed towards warren point , also at least 2 little tern , 11+ wheatear , 1 lesser whitethroat and 7+ whitethroat, 4 stonechat, 3 groups of whimbrel in of the sea heading straight up the estuary 18 in total , 8 ringed plover, 12+ dunlin, 10 turnstone, 2 bar tailed godwits. 

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 9:09 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

This evening there were 2 hobbies sitting on gate posts, one flew north as I left after a scrap with a peregrine. Another peregrine caught a moorhen. Lots of swifts continually moving through. Also 5 wheatears NE of the railway bridge. 5 gadwall included 3 males, the most I have seen for some time. No sign of the garganey that were present late yesterday evening and reported early today.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 8:24 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Mansands

Lesser Whitethroat still in the Southdown lane 100yds from beach. Only 1 tufted duck visible during my visit

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 5:29 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Fancied a change of scenery and spent a few hours at the Warren this morning - glad I did. Here's a couple of shots of a smart female Kentish Plover found by Lee Collins this morning.

Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014
Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014

Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014
Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 4:51 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Exminster and Powderham Marsh

At least 50-100 Swifts today all around both marshes. On Exminster Marsh, 3 Lesser Whitethroat singing well early afternoon along path by railway line with 2 showing well. A Hobby showed well by the RSPB car park. Both Reed Warbler and Sedge Warblers showing today.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 4:50 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Northam Burrows

A Blue-headed Wagtail this morning among 9 White Wagtails around the perimeter of Greysands Pool. A few Wheatear still around, and many Sedge Warblers and Whitethroat in the scrub. The Collared Pratincole had not been seen when I left at around 10.10.

On the Skern 2 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel and a Grey Plover.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 11:33 am by Roger Doble in Bird News

Thursday 1st May 2014

Cann Woods

Solitary Cuckoo amd 2 Nightjar tonight

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 11:23 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Exminster

Look around Exminster marshes from the RSPB car park. Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Little Egret. Best a Lesser Whitetroat just at the end of the lane next to the rail track.

Lesser Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 10:45 pm by Paul treen in Bird News

Torbay

Looking from Roundham Head this evening there were: 3 Great Northern Divers (all winter/1st s plumage) 1 Red-throated Diver, 7 Common Scoter, 2 Sandwich Terns.

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 8:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Mansands

Plenty of Swallows and House Martins feeding over the marsh this morning. The Lesser Whitethroat still quite vocal around hedges by Southdown, and a female Wheatear was in the Coastguard gardens. Pairs of Tufted Ducks were still on the main pool, also two Gadwalls on the pool below the hide. Two Dunlin flew from the vegetation on the marsh onto the beach.


Posted May 1st, 2014 at 3:22 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A short visit from 9.00 to 10.00 this morning in the rain. but it was mild and birds were singing everywhere. 25 whimbrel flew over followed by 2 curlew. Four small waders rose from the centre of the marsh, probably dunlin. Lots of sand martins and swallows feeding low over the various scrapes. Higher up a flock of house martins with c10 swifts. It's amazing to think that less than 5 days ago these swifts might have been south of the Sahara in west Africa, (I know this thanks to Malcolm Burgess's fascinating talk last evening).

Elsewhere c70 shelduck, 3 teal and 2 garganey.

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 1:28 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

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