Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th March 2013


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Thursday 7th March 2013

Darts Farm

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

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 10:58 pm by keith annison in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

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

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 10:51 pm by keith annison in Bird News

Velator reserve

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

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

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 8:11 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


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

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

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 7:22 pm by Tom Michie in Bird News

Spoonbill on the Axe

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

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 6:02 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Around the Axe

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

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 1:24 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Pt

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

These may possibly be birds moving north towards their

breeding grounds.

The pair of were Eiders were still present.

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 11:18 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


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

Posted March 7th, 2013 at 1:03 am by Jane Cumming in Bird News

Wednesday 6th March 2013


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

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 8:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Otter Estuary

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

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 8:01 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Brixham Garden Surprises

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

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 7:00 pm by tim clyburn in Bird News


15 Lesser Black backed Gulls flying NW this morning.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 6:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Smew (2m, 1f) still showing well this afternoon in bay to left of hide. At least 6 pairs of Great Crested Grebe on reservoir, some displaying. Also Goldeneye (3), Shoveler etc. in bay by viaduct.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 5:36 pm by Peter Crispin in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

Two firecrests together on Bedlands Lane in Budleigh Salterton early morning.

(David Smith)

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 5:23 pm in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

4 Water Pipits still on South Efford Marsh with a few Meadow Pipits. Pristine adult male White Wagtail with several Pied Wags. Still 2 Greenshanks on river plus two Kingfishers.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Fremington Creek

Spotted Redshank and Greenshank still this morning and a lone Dunlin. Nuthatch feeding in the dead elm trees.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 11:38 am by Jon Turner in Bird News


3 Spoonbills by the Tarka trail at Wrafton pond this morning.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 9:35 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Spoonbill Axe Estuary

A Spoonbill was seen dropping in to Seaton Marshes late last night. And am pleased to say it is still present this morning, on Black Hole Marsh now. Also Avocet still knocking around.

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 8:28 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Tuesday 5th March 2013

Eggesford and Roadford

We joined in the first field meeting of the Mid Devon Group this morning over at Eggesford Forest.  Perfect timing on the first day of warm sunshine which brought out a good selection of woodland birds. A total of twenty members attended and picniced in the sunshine and many stayed on for a second walk in a different part of the forest after lunch.  A very enjoyable time - see Society News for full report.

We finally managed to catch up with one of the stunning male Smew this afternoon at Roadford.  Also lots of Tufted about, several Shoveler and Goldeneye and a couple Great Crested Grebe doing their necking display and Little Grebe singing.

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 10:03 pm in Bird News

Venn Ottery

 Venn Ottery 15+ Snipe, 5 x Jack Snipe, 4 x Buzzard over head,  1 x Male Sparrowhawk, 1 x Woodcock and a stunning male Yellowhammer on view.

The warm early Spring sunshine brought out 5 x Peacock & 3 x Brimstone butterflies which was an added bonus.

No photo's though..Work Party Day! 

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 8:03 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News


In a burst of enthusiasm (must be spring!) I pottered down to Wrafton Pond this evening on the off chance of an early Sand Martin. Walking along the trail to the pond, a Dipper in the river, and then a Water Rail in a muddy puddle right by the trail, (seen even better on leaving). No Sand Martins, but still 5 Gadwall and 3 Shoveler. A quick drive out along the marsh road produced a Little Owl.

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 7:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Anchor Wood Bank - Taw Estuary

George Mudford took these photos of 2 Med Gulls in summer plumage this morning.

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 6:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Heard the first Cetti's Warbler since late January in the reserve this morning, and a very active unringed Chiffchaff there too.

The Eider were both still off Baggy at about 3p.m. Didn't see the Black Redstart.

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 4:57 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Around the Axe

Two new birds for the year today, with a Merlin NE over Morganhayes Wood at 10:45, and an Avocet on the Estuary this afternoon.

BirdGuides reporting a Wheatear at Dawlish Warren today. That's welcome news after the winter we've had!

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 3:40 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Baggy Point

When I arrived at Baggy Pt this morning the pair of Eider Duck looked as if they were getting ready to leave & I did not see them later so they may have departed.

No sign of any Common Scoters but the Black Redstart was

active searching for food in the sunshine & I just managed to

get a couple of pics through the telescope - apologies for the quality but it was touch & go. I have been trying to digiscope

this bird all winter but it was never visible for long enough!

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 2:36 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Monday 4th March 2013

Wembury Point

  Good numbers of pipits if you wanted to test your ID skills which a male Kestrel did! Not many other birds in the stiff breeze; a few Stonechats, Pied Wagtails and 4 Turnstones.  Not often you actually see the food go down - the pipits were very confiding once you became part of the beach!


Fast food!
Fast food!

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 8:41 pm in Bird News

Goosanders River Teign

2x Males and 1 Redhead Goosander this afternoon.

They were just downstream from the mill house hotel, but flew downstream after our dog chased them off.

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 6:24 pm by Tom Michie in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary & Aveton Gifford

All day out on the estuary produced these selected peak counts: Great-crested Grebe 11, Little Egret 28, Brent Goose 113, Shelduck 146, Wigeon 325, Pintail 4, Common Scoter 1f, Red-breasted Merganser 19, Grey Plover 11, Dunlin 430, Black-tailed Godwit 2, Bar-tailed Godwit 28, Curlew 150, Redshank 73 & Greenshank 3.

At Aveton Gifford, Greenshank 2, Redshank 4, Common Sandpiper 4 & Lesser Black-backed Gulls increasing to 20.

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 5:13 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Anchor Wood Bank

Had an hour on the Tarka trail this afternoon, just the usual stuff around but I did see a poorly Grey Plover. Took some shots from afar and it looks as if the whole of one of the feet is missing (see pic#2).
After the injured Spoonbill at Fremington on Saturday this was yet another terrible sight. Not sure of its chances in this state.

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Grey Plover showing missing foot
Grey Plover showing missing foot

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 5:05 pm in Bird News

Totnes Goosanders

1 pair of Goosanders just north of Totnes bridge sunday evening.

1 Mandarin Duck, 20 Mallard, 2 Cormorants, 2prs Mute Swans, 4 Moorhens, 2 LBBG, Herring Gull, BH Gull, 1pr Little Grebe on river south of bridge, 1 Redwing, 4 Pied Wagtails on Vire Island

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 12:08 pm by David Chadwick in Bird News

Roadford Smew Saturday


One of the drakes , from the viaduct Saturday pm


Posted March 4th, 2013 at 10:27 am in Bird News

Sunday 3rd March 2013


Large flock of waxwings around millstream meadow and the play park in Chudleigh yesterday.   A lady I spoke to said they'd been in the area about a week.  Also a few siskin about.

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 10:33 pm by Andrew Hanlon in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:30 till 10:45 from the hide 

The drake American wigeon dropped in with 30+ wigeon for 10mins around 09:00 before departing towards  darts farm , the curlew sandpiper continues to show very well along with 500+ dunlin, 200+ avocet,250+ bar tailed godwits,400+ black tailed godwits , 11+ snipe, 59+ lapwing, 23 shelduck, 4 pintail(2m,2f),1 pochard, 240+ black headed gulls, 8+ common gulls, 2 lesser black backed gulls, , 2 Cetti's warblers, 

A quick look around topsham looking for the waxwings from yesterday found none, but  3+ redpoll with a group of goldfinches on topsham rec. 


Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 8:31 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


The Glaucous Gull went east past the Point at dawn, but there was no sign of it anywhere along the front between 10.30 and 13.00.  3.5 hour seawatch was rather slow, returning totals of 9 Red-throated Divers and 11 Common Scoters of note.  There was a noticeable up-channel movement of gulls, with 80 Great Black-backed, 22 Lesser Black-backed and 14 Commons logged, along with a few hundred Herring Gulls.

One that got away was a probable Merlin east over the Point, otherwise 1 Water Pipit still, and 62 Golden Plovers on the airfields.

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 8:19 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News

Plym Estuary and Saltram

Afternoon walk around saw Curlew, Redshank, Mallard, Little Egret, Shellduck and usual Gulls on the Estuary.

Around the grounds were a flock of c20 Meadow Pipit with a Redwing and several Mistle Thrush, a flock of c150 Jackdaw with a couple of Rooks and great close ups of a pair of Treecreepers. 2 Greenfich on the ride just before we left,

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 8:11 pm by Charlie Imms in Bird News

Slapton Ley

both RN Ducks and Drake Scaup from toilet block memorial car park, 3 BN Grebe - 2 Torcross, 1 on the sea. 2 Firecrest -causway steps past the quarry.  as Steve C yesterday plenty other duck: Gadwall,Tufted, Pochard etc...

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 7:18 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

A bitterly cold day with an increasing ( up to F6) ENE wind . It was Diver morning in the shelter of the Bay -

2 Great Northern, 1 Black Throated and 1 Red Throated. Only 2 Gannet, 2 Fulmar. &  7 Shelduck flew west also 2 Common Scoter.

Waders on the rocks - just 2 Ringed Plover

On the Marshes duck totals were- 90 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, 4 Shelduck, 11 Lapwing, 15 Snipe . Noticable incraese in Black H Gull - around 140 but no Med's with them

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 6:54 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Broadsands, Paignton

16 members of East Devon Branch 'Devon Birds' spent the day around the car park area, braved a walk along the sea front and the lane above Elberry Cove in bittery cold wind.  Poor sea conditions made sea watching difficult and other than Fulmar and 7 Scoter few birds were present at sea.  5 Oyster Catcher (2 adult and 3 juv) were close in on the rocks.  The main interest were the expected Cirl Bunting in the second car park and a bried sighting of a Firecrest5 Goldcrest,a Chifchaff and 2 Bullfinch also present. A Sparrow Hawk showed itself on three occasions and Rock Pipit and a Grey Wagtail present on the flooded green area behing the beach.  A Water Rail was seen by one observer in the boggy area behind the car park, plus a Grey Heron.

PLEASE NOTE. The next EAST Devon Branch fieldtrip is to West Charlton Marsh, S. Devon on the 16th March, this being a SATURDAY and not a Monday as given on the DB website.  (Correct infomation given in the blue paper version of the 2013 Programme).

Mid Devon Branch are to hold their first ever field meeting at Eggesford Forest this coming TUESDAY 5 March at 10.00.

Details of these and other events to be found in the Programme.

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 5:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Roadford Lake

An early morning trip to Roadford definately worth getting out of bed for! This morning we saw our first Smew. Two males and one redhead in creek to left of hide.

Word is out as 3 other birders arived to catch a glimpse of the Smew.

All the usual other delights present including an abundance of Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Teal, Tufted Duck, Widgeon, Golden Eye, Mallard, Coots, Canda Geese and a pairing of Shovelers.

Happy days... 

Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 12:51 pm by Jon Snowden in Bird News

Dartmoor Hen Harrier

Very excited to see what I am pretty sure was a male Hen Harrier this morning. 

Seen near Two Bridges in the mist this morning. grey upper body and wings with black wing tips clear. wings thinner than buzzard and slightly swept back. long tail. graceful

Made my morning


Posted March 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 pm by mike Walton in Bird News

Saturday 2nd March 2013

Sharpham Marsh, Totnes

1 Barnacle Goose with 30+ Canada Geese in fields behind Sharpham marsh.

Baranacle Goose Sharpham Marsh Totnes 2 Mar 2013 ML

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 9:56 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Kennick and Trenchford Reservoirs

My first blog.

11 am in Teignmouth Cemetery (the new part) several waxwings and Redwings.

A stroll around Kennick and Trenchford Reservoirs at lunchtime showed 1 Great Crested Gebe and 5 Tufted ducks (4 m, 1f)  at Kennick and 5 Goosander (4 m, 1f) at Trenchford.

Gordon Otley

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 7:46 pm by Gordon Otley in Bird News


Three Black-necked Grebes in front of Torcross hide (one in breeding plum). The two Ring-necked Ducks (Male and Female) on northern end of Lower Ley close to the bridge along with male Scaup. Great Northern Diver off shore along with 47 Common Scotor. Still lots of Pochard (54), Tufted and Gadwall.

Very cold!!

Thee Common Sandpipers and two Greenshank by tidal road at Aveton Gifford

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 7:35 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Plym Estuary

A relatively brief walk around the pool on the falling tide - shame the predicted sunshine did not materialise! 

Five Little Grebes was my best count for a while, also 2 Common Sandpipers together, 3 Greenshanks, the drake Wigeon still about,  Shelducks at a stable 44 and a single Marsh Tit by the "hide". Best bird however, was a fine Firecrest beside the narrow river by the A38.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 7:13 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Around topsham

Started at bowling green marsh at 08:15 till 11:45

The curlew sandpiper showed very well in front of the hide all morning, impressive numbers of dunlin with 600+ spread over the marsh benefiting from the lower water level, 280+ bar tailed godwits, 340+ avocet, 400+ black tailed godwits, 1 grey plover, 4 pintail(2m,2f), 7+ pochard(4m,3f) , 1 greenshank, 2 Cetti's warblers, 15+ meadow pipits, only 2 wigeon, 6+ snipe.

then walked around to topsham quay and looking towards topsham rec saw a few waxwing in a tree finally located group in trees by passage house pub with 32+ counted when they flew off towards topsham rec counted 40+, located again in tree between houses at back of topsham rec(31+) at same time 15 were seen at passage house pub so best count of the day was 46+ and were still showing very well at 15:30 when I left. 

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 5:39 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Fremington Creek

14:00 I snapped Maurice’s bedraggled Spoonbill in the creek this afternoon. It most certainly had an injured foot and was limping badly. I first saw this bird at Anchor wood bank a few weeks ago where it was in much better condition and only limping a bit – seems like the poor bird has deteriorated badly. The first picture shows it limping.
BTW the spotted red was still present in the creek.





Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 5:07 pm in Bird News


46 Waxwings in trees around Passage House Inn (14:00), American wigeon on Bowling Green Marsh (15:30).

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 4:06 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Trews Weir Allotments

2 redpolls seen on the feeders, from the end of the white suspension bridge. Little egret and redshank in the flood relief channel.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 3:32 pm by Alfie Pugh in Bird News

Spoonbill - Ashford Sewage Works.

At 14:30, a very dirty and bedraggled looking adult Spoonbill was in the Green Sandpiper ditch alongside the Ashford Sewage Works. It was right up under the trees near the works access road and finally disappeared from view when it must have been up near the A361 dual carriageway. From the way it was feeding in the ditch, I got the impression that it might have a leg injury. It was an unringed bird.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 3:27 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Roadford and Lower Tamar Lake

At Roadford this afternoon two drake Smew again, one in the bay far left from hide and one at top end of the viaduct cutoff. Also Shoveler, 2 Goosander and at least 9 Goldeneyes.

At Lower T amar Lake earlier 19 Goosander and a Goldeneye




Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 2:50 pm in Bird News


Still 6Gadwall (5 drakes) and 4 Shoveler on the pond this morning. Outside the reserve, about 20 Teal on the flooded field, and a large flock of Meadow Pipits. Good selection of birds in the reserve, with lots of breeding displays presaging warmer times - I hope.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 11:27 am by Jon Turner in Bird News


Female Hen Harrier over reedbeds north of rec at 9 am. 5 Brambling in my garden.

Posted March 2nd, 2013 at 9:47 am by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Friday 1st March 2013


On T'stone Marsh this am -35 Teal, 15 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 1 Lapwing.

In the Bay - 1 Great N Diver, 1 Great C Grebe, waders on the rocks - 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone

On South Huish marsh - 60 Teal, 18 Wigeon , 2 Shoveler, 5 Snipe , 8 Lapwing, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Chiffchaff

Between Upton X and Huxton X- 45 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing.

In local gardens - 1 f Black Redstart , 1 Green Woodpecker

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 6:01 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Ernesettle Creek, 1st March 2013

The lesser yellowlegs was showing well this lunchtime upriver from the slipway. It was feeding out on the mudflats and when it found a worm it would run down to the waters edge to wash it before eating it - I guess muddy worms do not taste good! Also seen were 2 greenshank but numbers of redshanks have dropped with fewer gulls seen too. Teal numbers seem much the same.

A firecrest was seen feeding in the undergrowth beside the footpath while at the mouth of the Creek a pair of red breasted mergansers were on the River Tamar with 6 great crested grebes (3 in summer plumage) and 8 black tailed godwits on the mudflats.

Yesterday while travelling to Exeter on the A38 I saw a dead otter by the roadside near Buckfastleigh - presumably a wild individual but possibly an escape from the nearby Otter Park? Very sad too see either way.

On the return trip near Marsh Mills at Plymouth I saw a red kite soaring high overhead heading North East

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 4:23 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Clennon Valley

This female Black Redstart is appearing regularly in my garden, now taking meal worms (thanks Mark D for the suggestion!) 

Black Redstart Female Clennon Valley 1 Jan -1 March 2013 ML Black Redstart Female Clennon Valley 1 Jan -1 March 2013 ML2

Black Redstart visiting pigeon proofed bird bath and on roof.

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 1:18 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


The Firecrest still present this morning beside the cycle trail c.150m south of Hackney Marshes car park. Also a Cetti's Warbler, a Black Swan (off Passage House) and this very pale Buzzard on the racecourse.

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 11:18 am by Will Salmon in Bird News

Hen Harrier - Waddeton

Offering this post for moderation please. I am pretty confident we saw a male Hen Harrier, on the road out of Waddeton towards Stoke Gabriel on Thursday (yesterday) afternoon. Flew from high post, 6 or so wing beats, rapid, then glide, then repeat (reminded me of a woodpecker's flight, but without the dipping). Very pale bird of prey, wings forward on body, slim and graceful.Sizewize, bigger than kestrel, but without the "bulk" of a Sparrowhawk. Definitely not a Peregrine !Could see the black tail also.  Happy to be quizzed further to enable absolute ID, but I am confident ! regards, Trev

Posted March 1st, 2013 at 6:21 am by Trevor Leaman in Bird News

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