Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th March 2013

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Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News


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

Thursday 14th March 2013

Black Hole Marsh

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

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 7:53 pm by Jim Tirrell in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

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

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

On the beach a nice male Wheatear .

On Thurlestone Marsh there are now 2 Little Grebe

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Hackney Marshes/Passage House area

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

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

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

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 5:37 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

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

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 2:03 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

R.Taw - Taw Bridge to Penhill Marsh.

09:00 - 10:00

Penhill Marsh.

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

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

Anchorwood Bank.

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


Posted March 14th, 2013 at 11:25 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

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

Posted March 14th, 2013 at 11:23 am by John Waldon in Bird News

Wednesday 13th March 2013

24 waxwings

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 10:33 pm by Graeme Davey in Bird News

Wembury Point

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

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 6:25 pm in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

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

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

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

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

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 6:13 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 5:28 pm by Jon Davis in Bird News

Berry Head

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 5:01 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Otter Reserve

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 4:47 pm by Doug Cullen in Bird News

Slapton Ley

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

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

Numerous well coloured Blacked Headed Gulls

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

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 4:30 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exminster Spoonbill.

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 3:44 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Slapton/Sth Huish Marsh


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

Sth Huish Marsh

LR Plover 2, Dunlin 1, Grey Plover 1.

ENW etal.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 3:13 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News


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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 1:43 pm by Andy Bond in Bird News

Berry Head and Broadsands

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


Posted March 13th, 2013 at 1:22 pm in Bird News


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

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 11:57 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


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

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

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 11:47 am by Steve Waite in Bird News


Redwing singing this morning! How unusual is that .

Male Merlin again yesterday.

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 11:12 am by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

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

Posted March 13th, 2013 at 10:47 am by John Waldon in Bird News

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Chudleigh waxwings

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

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 8:39 pm by Andrew Hanlon in Bird News

Tamar Estuary

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

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 8:11 pm by Charlie Imms in Bird News

Wembury Point

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


Posted March 12th, 2013 at 5:50 pm in Bird News

exeter waxwings

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

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 5:34 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Another early Wheatear

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

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 5:32 pm by tim clyburn in Bird News

Exeter and Exminster

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

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

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 4:40 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est.


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

1 Kestrel over Bradiford Reserve.

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 3:03 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Otter Reserve

3 Little Ringed Plovers on the grazing marsh today.

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by Doug Cullen in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Male Marsh Harrier south of M5 at 07:30

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 8:03 am by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Monday 11th March 2013


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

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 8:28 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News


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

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

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

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

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 6:33 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Wembury, 11th March

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

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

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

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

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 4:01 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Topsham Recreation Ground

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

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 1:18 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Brixham Harbour and Breakwater

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

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 12:25 pm in Bird News


Waxwings still present in Buddle Lane Exeter this morning

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 11:32 am by Bob Reeves in Bird News

Berry Head

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

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 10:58 am by John Lusher in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Male Marsh Harrier over northern marshes at 07:45.

Posted March 11th, 2013 at 7:56 am by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Sunday 10th March 2013

Thurlestone Bay

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

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 6:47 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


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

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 6:15 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Sand Martin - Fremington

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

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 4:53 pm by Tom Williams in Bird News

Topsham Recreation Ground - Harriers

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

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

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

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 4:37 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Isley Marsh

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

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

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 1:46 pm in Bird News

Velator reserve

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

Posted March 10th, 2013 at 1:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Saturday 9th March 2013

Tufted Duck with attitude

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

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 8:17 pm by Frank Prowse in Bird News

exminster marsh & topsham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A very good days birding 

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 7:32 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Baggy Pt

The pair of Eider still present & now 2 handsome male

Common Scoters.

2 Kittiwakes surface picking & a singing Chiffchaff in the trees

by the pond on the walk out to Baggy.

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

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 7:24 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 6:11 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Topsham and Exeter - Ducks and Cormorants

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

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

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 5:54 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 5:26 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Wrafton pond

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

Male and female Shoveler.

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

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

Little Grebe
Little Grebe


Coot on nest
Coot on nest

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 3:11 pm by Chris Triggs in Bird News

Slapton Ley

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

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 3:02 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Waxwings in Exeter

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 2:12 pm by John Gale in Bird News

Velator reserve

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exminster marsh

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 10:23 am by Keith birchall in Bird News


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

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

Posted March 9th, 2013 at 8:47 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Friday 8th March 2013

Blaxton Pool Saltram

High tide roost at 1700:

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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 10:08 pm by Charlie Imms in Bird News

Pynes Hill - Exeter

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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 9:03 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News


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

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

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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 6:24 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


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

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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 3:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Around the Axe

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

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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 2:28 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Topsham Marsh Harrier

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

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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 11:51 am by Tim Worfolk in Bird News


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

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

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

Posted March 8th, 2013 at 10:37 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

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