Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th April 2013

Breeding birds

It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.

If in doubt refer to the following: https://www.devonbirds.org/news/bird_news/rare_breeding_species 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

Posted April 1st at 3:13 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

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

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

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

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sunday 7th April 2013

Prawle

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

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

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

Powderham Marsh 7th April 1.30 pm

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

Also cetti warbler and chiffchaff both very briefly in song.

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

Bystocks/ring ouzel

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

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

Topsham and Exminster

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

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

Thurlestone Bay

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

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

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

South Huish marsh - 7 Blk T Godwit, 1 Firecrest

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

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

TurfLocks

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

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

Mansands

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

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

roadford

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

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

Ring Ouzel at Haytor Down

Two males seen in different fields below the road.


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

Mullacott Cross

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

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

Exminster marsh & powderham marsh

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

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

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

Axe

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

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

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

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

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

Berry Head

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

 

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

Bluethroat Start Pnt 6 April 2013

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

Saturday 6th April 2013

Otter & Bystock

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

Otter Scrapes Ruff - Chris TownendBystock Ring Ouzel  - Chris Townend

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

Bystock

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

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

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

Exe: Stafford Bridge to Bramford Speke

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

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

Start Point

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

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

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 8:32 pm by mike langman in General Birding

Otter Reserve

"2 Little Pinged Plovers

White Wagtail

1 Ruff(Reeve)

circa 40 Snipe

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Red Kite - East Teignmouth

5.55pm - Well earned glass of wine in the summer house disturbed by excessive gull noise which just kept increasing. Stepped out to see a very agitated, focussed flock of gulls heading my way. Just ahead of them one very harassed Red Kite. Passed overhead at about 6 m. Great view, short but very sweet.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 7:40 pm by Barney Donnellan in General Birding

Start Point

It was one of those days which highlighted, in equal meaure, the exasperation, surprise and rewards to be had from this crazy pastime.

En route to Hallsands/Start, I stopped off at Strete Gate where there was not a single migrant (not even a Wheatear) to be seen. Stopped off at the monument car park. Nada (except the long-staying R.N. Ducks). Stopped off at Torcross. Rien!

So, drove onto S. Hallsands and walked up to Start Pt. Again, big zero along the path. Since the wind was still fairly stiff from the NE, I reckoned I'd find some shelter (and warmth!) in Mattiscombe Valley. Correct on both counts.

The white-spotted Bluethroat was pretty much the first migrant I set eyes upon, at 10:45. It was feeding out in the open more or less continuously until early afternoon, when I went off to check other parts of the headland. It sounds like it got a bit more elusive later on as the site got busier.

The rubbish vodafone coverage on site meant that I didn't get the news out as early as I would have hoped. But hopefully everyone who visited caught up with it.

For those planning to visit tomorrow, the BT was remaining faithful to the small marshy-sedge area at the bottom of the first field below Start Farm, about 150 m down the Mattiscombe path from the car park. Bon chance!

Very little else around. 2 Black Redstarts in the same area as the BT first thing. 2 Siskin and a trickle of Meadow Pipits flew up the valley. Just 3 Wheatears scattered around the headland. Feeble!

Phil

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 6:34 pm by Phil Bentley in General Birding

Teign Estuary

A Jack Snipe was in the salt marsh off Passage House this morning. Waders there late afternoon included 17 Curlew, 14 Redshank, a Greenshank and a Dunlin.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 6:20 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake Saturday 6 April

Chiff Chaffs c10 seen & 1 heard

Goldcrests  c4-6 seen

1  Osprey seen overhead about 1255hrs ,then took a dive after fish before going in north westerly direction.

40 -50  mixed flock including fieldfares  & starlings

2 Male black cap

Have attached photos as verification not really for the blog

Osprey
Osprey

Osprey
Osprey

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Hilary & Dave Phillips in General Birding

River Plym

Female Lesser Redpoll feeding in Birch trees on the Plym, Leigham Manor Drive this afternoon. She was totally oblivious to all the dog walkers going past and even carried on feeding when a Blackbird flew right underneath her making an alarm call.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 5:48 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Powderham marsh

Watched from 10:05 till 14:20

8 little ringed plovers from the viewing platform and 1 green sandpiper dropped in just as we started to walk back at 13:20 an osprey flew in from over the lagoon on exmister marsh circled over our heads

Osprey Powderham Marsh Stan Stanbury 6.4.13

then drifted of towards powderham park what a great sight, lots of chiffchaffs around and 1 willow warbler on the walk out to the viewing platform, 1 stonechat and 4+ reed bunting. 

Not much on exminster marsh but lots of chiffchaffs and at least 3 willow warblers along station road . 

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 5:12 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Male White-Spotted Bluethroat- Start Point

The stunning male White-Spotted Bluethroat still mid afternoon, showing to just 12 observers! at the bottom of the the field by the car park and showing well on and off from the footpath. (The first truly twitchable Devon mainland Bluethroat in recent times and this and the Prawle bird last week, only the 3rd and 4th spring Devon White Spotted Bluethroats-the last being in 1968)!

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 4:28 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

10:45 - 13:15

Two water pipits amongst 30+ Meadow Pipits, plus a few white and pied wagtails. Two Little Ringed Plover on the flood by the barn, plenty of Chiffchaffs and a single swallow. Singing Skylarks, Reed Buntings and Cetti's and a non-stop Kingfisher.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 3:28 pm by Andy Lansdell in General Birding

Little Ringed Plover

4 Little Ringed Plover at Exminster Marshes, they were in the last field on the left along the footpath to the Turf from the Car park. Also plenty of Snipe around in the fields along side the path.


Posted April 6th, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Wrafton.

08:15.

Flooded field and pond - 1 Spoonbill; 3 Gadwall; 2 Shoveler; 6 Teal; 1 Black-tailed Godwit; 1 Snipe; 1 Swallow flipping around plus Moorhen and Mallards.

Wrafton Pond - 2 Shoveler; 2 Gadwall; 4 Little Grebe; c30 Mallard; numerous Coots and Moorhens; 1 Blackcap; 1 Willow Warbler and at least 8 Chiff Chaffs. I`m sure there were more!

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 2:13 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Baggy & Downend

1 hr - 30 min Seawatch this morning from Downend produced

a passage of 29 Terns, mostly Sandwich but also a few Common as well.

1 pair of Common Scoter at Downend but none at Baggy & no sign of the Eiders.

10 Kittiwake seen from Downend.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 1:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

WS Bluethroat Start Point

Just had a call from Phil Bentley, male WS Bluethroat showing well this morning in the first field below Start Farm by the stream (Mattiscombe Valley)

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 12:12 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Bar-headed Geese at Darts Farm

3 Bar-headed Geese are showing well from the bird hide. Looking very smart in full breeding plumage, no rings on any of the birds.

A chiffchaff and Reed bunting calling around the ponds and a lone male Wheatear on the crop field.

Posted April 6th, 2013 at 11:09 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Friday 5th April 2013

Yarner Woods

6 Mandarin (4m, 2f) on car park pond, with a nice assortment of tits, nuthatches and chaffinches plus grey wagtail. Green Woodpecker flew across path at the top of the valley (Templer Way) and several ravens were around.

Also 1 apparently lost cow in the woods, near the top Templer Way path, presumably from the fields at the top. Cow is a young male, brown with a yellow ear tag and white tail tip.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 9:24 pm by Alfie Pugh in General Birding

Taw Estuary

Sandwich tern flying up and down the estuary this evening. Also a Great crested grebe amongst some Wigeon and Shelduck at low tide. Viewed from Horsey Island. 8 Wheatears also seen.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 9:05 pm by Edd Davies in General Birding

Bovey Tracey - Waxwings

The 2 Waxwings were present this afternoon opposite the Methodist Church on Le Molay Littry Way.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 9:02 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:15 till 17:00

the drake American wigeon was showing well from the hide with 200+ wigeon 

on walk down to the viewing platform a gap in the hedge from the road a group of snipe flushed up and included 1 jack snipe and 4 snipe flew to reeds at back off field. From the viewing platform 21+ knot, 73+ grey plover, 80+ bar tailed godwits, 18 avocet, 650+ dunlin, 11 red breasted mergansers, 32+ common gulls, 1 ringed plover, 1 willow warbler, 8+ chiffchaffs. 

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 7:06 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Coleton Fishacre

An otherwise unproductive walk around Froward Points threw up a surprise Merlin in fine nick besides the path at Outer Froward. The only other bird of note on the cliffs was a Goldcrest on the gorse bushes.

A flock of 6 Cirl Buntings and a lonely Skylark bravely doing his thing in the wind were in the freshly manured field below the daymark.

An immaculate Yellowhammer and pair of Stonechats were at Brownstone Farm.

Although there were 2 fields being ploughed no birds were following either one

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 6:23 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Wrafton

60+ Herring Gulls on the pond this evening, and most of the usual suspects still: 3 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 6 Little Grebes, and now 5 Cootlets.

Out on the flooded field, lots of Meadow Pipits, 7/8 Pied Wagtails, and several Chiffchaffs along the bramble embankment, one of which on closer inspection turned out to be a Willow Warbler!

3 Swallows and a couple of Sand Martins over the trees.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:55 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Badgers Holt

Badgers Holt was alive with a good range of birds, two Grey Wagtails bickering each time they came near each other, pale coloured Feildfare, two Redwings, numerous Song Thrush, male Blackcap, fleeting view of a male Yellowhamer, Chiffchaff good close ups of a Meadow Pippet, Jay, two Buzzards holding on the wind above the car park .

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:43 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Ring Ouzels ~ Haytor Down

The Ring Ouzels recently reported at Haytor Down are still present, three birds seen, they are feeding on occassion in a rough cattle field to the lowerside of the road row of mature Beech tree's on one side of the field running away from the road.

Male Kestel very evident hunting in the same area, hovering on the very strong winds.

Single Wheatear coming very close within 10 yards very inquisitive.

Reasonable number of Meadow Pippits also in the same area.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:40 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stover

Bitterly cold wind coming down the lake, very little to see on the water, four Great Crested Grebe, one Heron, nice group of juv and adult Cormorant, very little on the main feeding station. One Chiffchaff top corner as you go round the lake, Green Woodpecker flew over the lake and another sighting in the arbortorium, Nuthatch calling all around the park, a profusion of tag ringed Blue and Great Tits around one of the lake side feed stations.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:36 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Sharkham Village, Brixham

Firecrest was a suprise turn up this afternoon. Black Redstart also around still. Got some blurry shots of the ultra-fast crest but wont inflict them on the readers.

Found a Coal Tit inside a feeder this morning. Fat and Happy.


Posted April 5th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes to Exeter

Walked the canal path into Exeter. On the marshes 2, probably 3, spoonbills - in the middle of the  marsh with 3 little egrets. Few other birds apart from a handful of wigeon, 27 shelduck and a few teal. Nearer the motorway 8 lapwing and 8 pied wagtails in one flock. At the Double Locks a solitary sand martin, 2 shoveller, 3 teal and one black-tailed godwit. I saw 4 chiffchaffs on the entire walk. At Trews Weir one male blackcap.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 2:10 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Bar-headed Geese at Darts Farm

3 Bar-headed Geese have appeared overnight on the wetlands. Unusual as they are in their own and don't seem to be part if the larger group of Canada Geese.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 10:57 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Wrafton

The flooded field still has a Black-tailed Godwit, but tucked in closer to the trail was a roosting Spoonbill, and after searching for about half an hour, a smart Water Pipit appeared on the mud. On the pond, the first brood of 7 mallard ducklings was soon very nearly reduced to six, when an incredibly aggressive Coot had a go at one of them, before being seen off by some other Mallards.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 10:23 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bicton College

At least one House Martin among the hirundines this morning.

Posted April 5th, 2013 at 10:15 am by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Thursday 4th April 2013

Bowling Green Marsh

Finally caught up with the American Wigeon today at 2.40pm from the hide . All the Wigeon were very wary. Had thought it was just the presence of 2 Common Buzzards when at 3.20 pm a Red Kite flew east over the marsh. A nice bonus. Also a female Brambling near the bird feeders by the hide. Bitterly cold and no hirundines. Can you blame them ?

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 7:24 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Wrafton pond

This evening just 2 Sand Martins and a Swallow. hawking at the east (slightly sheltered) end of the pond. Three Pochard still, 2 Gadwall, 24 Herring Gulls - only 3 adults, 6 Little Grebes, and a newly hatched Cootlet!

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 6:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

This years spectacular passage of Little Ringed Plover just continues - today 3 birds on South Huish Marsh followed by groups of 6 & 5 making a new site record of 14. The 2 Spoonbill ( ad + 1st w ) still present - have not seen the ringed adult since 31/3 . also on the marsh - 6 Black T Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 2 Wheatear, and a nice s/pl Water Pipit, 1 db Brent Goose

In the Bay the first Tufted Duck of the year - a pair on the sea briefly with 4 Shoveler before flying up the valley , earlier another 4 Shoveler also flew up the valley,. 1 Red T Diver ( on sea ) 7 Sandwich Tern , 2 Common Tern

On T'stone Marsh this pm - 30 Teal, 7 Shoveler ( briefly )  4 Sand Martin , 1 Swallow

Finally at 17.30 light snow started to fall - another site first for April !

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 6:31 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Bicton College, part 2

Now 2 swallows on the lake.  Also approx 80 redwings

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Owley Moor Gate, South Brent

Had a walk up around the edge of Dartmoor from Owley Moor Gate this morning bitterley cold easterly wind blowing and not anything of interest to note until I reached the mires and a boundary brook, good number sof Chiffchaff feeding around the wet ground and a smaller number of Warblers unable to identify exactly but I suspect Willow Warblers.

Large flock of an estimated 100 plus Meadow Pippits, then counted a positve 33 flying over from the moor onto pasture land, after that roaming flocks peridically also mixed in was a smaller Chat like species but unable to get close enough to identify.

Pair of Raven and two Greater Black Backed Gulls

Nuthatch and Cock Pheasant heard calling, finished off by a suprisingly close flypast by a nicely marked Buzzard

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 5:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bicton College

First Sand Martins (approx 20) and one Swallow on Bicton Lake. Black Redstart still on scaffolding and rooves of the college.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 4:53 pm by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Exminster Kite

Whilst driving along the A379 at 14.30 just south of Exminster a Kite sp. flew across low over the road, not time to get bins onto it so couldn't discern colouration, was heading in general direction of the marshes

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 4:01 pm by David Cope in General Birding

red kite

 Thanks for  putting the blog up about the KITE , I was fishing a lake at South Molton , when I too saw what I thought was a Red Kite  flying high,  being mobed by a pair of corvids , heading towards Tiverton 

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 3:02 pm by martin cox in General Birding

Avon Valley: Bantham to Aveton Gifford

On South Efford Marsh 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Water Pipits coming into summer plumage, 13 alba wagtails (3 M.a.alba & 10 M.a.yarrellii) & 2 Willow Warblers.

On the estuary 11 Sandwich Terns, 2 Greenshank, 3 Redshank, Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper & 4 House Martins over Bantham Beach.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:58 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton

Sand Martin and Swallow hawking along the embankment by the flooded field, where the Black-tailed Godwit is still present. Couple of Chiffchaffs in the reserve.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:58 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

S Molton. Red Kite

Just had a Red Kite fly across the top of my car on the link road

at South Molton. 1145 hrs. 

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

Red Kite - Paignton

Red Kite drifted low over the garden this morning (10.50am) being mobbed by gulls, headed towards South Devon College. Also cracking male Black Redstart in the garden for the last two weeks and steady passage of Meadow Pipits over yesterday.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 12:25 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Wing-tagged Marsh Harrier

Last Friday a wing-tagged male Marsh Harrier was photographed as it flew towards Downend (North Devon) during the evening. This was probably the same wing-tagged Marsh Harrier that was seen on the Axe Estuary on the afternoon of Thursday and once Friday morning.  The observer/photographer at Downend (Kelvin Irwin) managed to read the wing tags, and we've just had this reply from Phil Littler..

"The picture I rec'd is in fact a Marsh Harrier from a wing tagging scheme I am running in Norfolk, and is the star of the show!

It was ringed and tagged at Sculthorpe Moor Hawk and Owl Trust reserve, near Fakenham, on 10.06.2011. It was 1 of 6, and sexed as a male. In the autumn of that year it was seen on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, disappeared for the winter, then re-appeared in Gwent, South Wales. A few weeks later it was on the Somerset Levels, then went off the radar.
 
It sprung up on Blakeney Point, here in Norfolk, then headed back to the south west, and is now on the coast in Pembrokeshire!"

Thanks Kelvin and Phil.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 10:37 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Bystock Pools Reserve (Meadow), Exmouth

Male Ring Ouzel showing well, moving around the middle of the meadow; also Mistle thrush; Wheatear(f); Green Woodpecker (8.45-9.15am still there on leaving)

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 10:34 am by Keith Annison in General Birding

Topsham Waxwings

None at 08:30 this morning along Newcourt Road. Their favoured berry bush has been stripped bare. Didn't stop for long though since I was on my way to work.

Posted April 4th, 2013 at 9:06 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd April 2013

Topsham Sandwich Tern

Wednesday 3rd April about 1.30pm a Sandwich Tern was spotted from the viewing platform as it flew up the Clyst. It landed in the water near 7 or 8 avocets before settling for a short while on a post on the far side of the river.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 11:24 pm by Mike Jones in General Birding

Topsham Waxwings

Waxwings present in Newcourt Road at 7.30am and still there at 6.30pm. Feeding seemed to be concentrated on a tree in the front garden of a house about 300m on the left driving from Denver Road end. By the end of the day very few berries left and waxwings spent more time on tv aerial and telegraph wires than on the tree. About 10 there at 7.30am and 13 at 6.30pm. At 6.45 they flew up and joined a larger flock from somewhere nearby (total maybe 40+) heading off north over the motorway, presumably to roost. The diet of berries certainly seems to led to considerable and frequent defecation!

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:44 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

8 Wheatears (7m,1f), 1 Snipe, 71 Golden Plover (some in full summer plumage, others getting there), 12 Fieldfare and the Little Owl in its usual place.

Apologies for the double photo last night - will not load any tonight!

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:36 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Mansands

1 Black Redstart on cottages above beach, 2 Water Rail, 7 Snipe, 4 Teal, 6 Chiffchaffs in reed bed at beach end.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:17 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Southcott Marsh,Bideford.

7 Little Ringed Plovers on the marsh along with 1 green sandpiper,11 pied wagtail,10 meadow pipits.18:20-18:45.Present on leaving.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 8:05 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Wrafton swallow

First Swallow of the year for me this evening at flooded field in Wrafton. Spring around the corner?

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 7:34 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

Blackcaps - Barnstaple

2 male and 1 female in my garden today, initially the female was seen only momentarily, reappeared 4 hours or so later. Males fighting each other then choosing to feed different ends of the garden. One male still present at 7pm, still feeding.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Dawn Barford in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite seen at midday today at Symonsburrow, between Hemyock and Wellington monument near the Somerset border

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:43 pm by Ben Iddon in General Birding

Winkleigh old airfield

Today 12.30 1 kite sp north  still 30 to 40 golden plover and 1 male wheatear

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Bill Hibbs in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 16:50

the 3 spoonbills still present but mobile over the scrapes between station road and the lagoon, 2 willow warblers along station road with 20+ chiffchaffs, a steady passage of swallows heading north with 60+ in 2 hours, 6 pintail, 3 Cetti's warblers and 2 stonechats. 

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Still 3 Little Ringed Plovers at the north end of West Charleton Marsh & on the estuary 36 Brent Geese, 149 Shelduck, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 100 Dunlin, 16 Bar-tailed Godwits & 9 Sandwich Terns amongst others.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Along the Dart

3 x Goosander on the Dart at Staverton, by the weir.....2 x Mandarin, 100 metres above Riverford bridge.  Also still no sign of American Wigeon at Darts Farm.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 5:39 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Bradiford Reserve and Ashford Strand.R.Taw.

13:15

Bradiford Reserve - 3 Gadwall (2 drakes and 1 duck); 1 Buzzard and a few Mallard.

Ashford Strand - 58 Sanderling; 3 Ringed Plover; 1 Dunlin; 15 Shelduck and 21 Wigeon.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 4:48 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Bystock Pools

Thanks to Derek for reporting the bird yesterday - I ventured to the meadow this morning and the male Ring Ouzel is still present, happily feeding and quite inquisitive and certainly not shy!
Ring Ouzel Bystock Pools by Chris Townend

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 12:26 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Topsham - Recreation Ground

Just an update on what's still around. At least two Lesser Redpolls still at the Rec this morning, also the Long-tailed Duck and a single Greenshank. Returning home I bumped into the Waxwing flock on Denver Road, in trees by the railway bridge then took off towards Newcourt Road. Less than 200m from my house but still not on my garden list - if I'd been in the garden I expect I'd have heard them!

Lesser Redpoll - Topsham 3/4/2013
Lesser Redpoll - Topsham 3/4/2013

Waxwings - Topsham 3/4/2013
Waxwings - Topsham 3/4/2013

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 10:36 am by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Topsham

41 Waxwings along Newcourt Road (between houses 20 and 25) this morning. Also 4 Brambling still in my garden along river south of M5.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 9:25 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd April 2013

Bicton College

Black redstarts everywhere. I first saw this one, a female, on the scaffolding just outside my office window at 16.30 and then watched it around the rooftops of the college. Incidentally there have been up to 8 stock doves among the monkey puzzle trees here almost continuously for the last month or so.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Steve Oliver in General Birding

Sharpa scrape & Wrafton Pond

Struggled to get a not so good long range photo of one of John Turner's Water Pipits early evening.

Also 2 Sand Martins & 3 Pochard on Wrafton Pond 



Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:50 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Clennon Valley

A walk around the ponds this evening produced:

14 Chiffchaffs, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff (calling bird on eastern pond with other chiffchaffs), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Mandarin Duck, 2 Water Rails. 

tristis Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 2 April 2013 ML Tristis Chiffchaff Clenonn Valley 2 April 2013 ML2

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:32 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sharkham Village, Brixham

In contrast to Dave Smallshire's earlier post Black Redstart here is more common in the garden than both House Sparrow (2) and Starling (0). This being from the 3 years I have lived here.

These 2 females today were feeding in the lawns with the chiffchaffs

Black Redstart J.Marshall
Black Redstart J.Marshall

Black Redstart J.Marshall
Black Redstart J.Marshall

Black Redstart J.Marshall
Black Redstart J.Marshall

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:29 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Wryneck?

I was out with the dog early in Offwell East Devon and saw a bird I did not recognise.  Having had an investigate I am sure it was a Wryneck. I was surprised how big it looked.  

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:24 pm by james yarrow in General Birding

Bovey Tracey - Waxwings

My parents have told me that there were 2 Waxwings near the doctors surgery on Le Molay Littry Way in Bovey Tracey today.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:17 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Ring Ouzel - Bystock Exmouth

Male Ring Ouzel in the Meadow at Bystock 09:30 this morning and still present at 13:00. Feeding well with 4 x Mistle Thrush and two Song Thrush. Checked for rings on the RO none present. 

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:14 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Black redstarts at Mt Batten

2 black redstarts on the rocks at the back of the beach at Mt Batten yesterday 2pm.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 7:29 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Red kite, Plympton

Red kite flew over the A38 at Plympton 1pm.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 7:26 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 16:00-18:20, low tide.

At last the marsh joined in on the recent Little Ringed Plover fest with 4 together at the north end. Also on the marsh 14 Teal, Water Rail and Wheatear. Out in the bay still 28 Brent Geese, single Black-headed and Common Gull and 5 Sandwich Terns. 6 Chiffchaffs in the sewage works and a dozen around the stile leading onto the estuary. Thankfully plenty of insects around this afternoon for them. Crinkle had 2 Spoonbills fly over Charleton Bay and east into Frogmore Creek at midday.

In the hide log book 3 Spoonbills reported for late afternoon on 30/3, a ringed bird reported here yesterday ( same colours as Thurlestone bird ).

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 7:05 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Powderham marsh

A quick look over powderham marsh this afternoon from 16:00 till 17:30

the 3 adult spoonbills were actively feeding around the marsh, the female Merlin over, and 3 willow warblers  among about 20+ chiffchaff and 3 reed bunting, 2 water rail, 5 snipe. 

Earlier around the rspb car park on exminster marsh 2 willow warblers 

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 6:34 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

black redstart

while out with my dog this afternoon on the marsh barton trading estate exeter,i was watching and taking pictures of two chiffchaff on a grass verge,a bird flew over,all i saw was a reddish flash  and i actually thought it was a swallow,it was only when i seen it land in a tree that i realised it was a black redstart,i managed a quick (not very good) picture of it before it took flight and flew off in the direction of exeter canal.

black redstart
black redstart

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 6:24 pm by gray clements in General Birding

ring ouzels

still 3 males ring ouzels  & a female at Haytor downs this afternoon

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 6:08 pm by martin cox in General Birding

Aish Ridge, South Brent

Approx 5pm 01/04/2013 serious numbers of meadow Pipits gathered on the grazed grassland area of Aish Ridge, one flock numbered well over 100 birds several smaller groups seen in the general area.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 5:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Paignton Zoo (of all places)

Unexpected sighting of a Water Rail in the leat that runs from the lower zoo car park into towards the zoo below the main pathway in, very little cover and the bird while sulking had no where to hide away spent several minutes watching it until it crossed the stream and was lost from view under the bank.

Single Chiffchaff seen while in the zoo grounds.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 5:23 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe Post

6 Wheatears (4m2f), 2 Snipe, 16 Golden Plover and 20+ Meadow Pipits. The sun was shining but still bitterly cold. 

 Golden Plovers at Smeatharpe

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 4:36 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple.

Much warmer this morning at 09:45 but not much about on the river.

52 Sanderling sheltering by Pottington sewage outfall.

Just 2 Wheatear and 1 Grey Plover on Penhill Marsh.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

High Bickington

Reported to me today by a friend that he saw a Red Kite fly over the Burrington to High Bickington Road, N.Devon yesterday at 17:30. He is familiar with Red Kites, having seen many in Buckinghamshire.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 2:48 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Velator

Lots of subadult Herring Gulls on Wrafton pond in the cold wind and 3 drake Gadwall. Out on the flooded field, a Black -tailed Godwit and two cracking summer plumage Water Pipits. In the reserve only 5 Chiffchaffs today with 2 Goldcrests and a Snipe. Down at the south end of Velator harbour a female-type Black Redstart, and on the way back at least one more sum plum Water Pipit on the wet bit. Warmer out in the sunshine today, but still no hirundines, must look this evening.

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 12:59 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Chudleigh Black Redstart

A Black Redstart spent a few minutes in my garden just after midday - only the second here in 25 years.

Black Redstart, Chudleigh
Black Redstart, Chudleigh

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Topsham

c30 Waxwings on berried trees in Newcourt Road early morning.

(Jim Beasley)

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 11:45 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Exmouth

Mudbank - 0845 - stone curlew for about 5 mins before being chased off by gulls. It flew off upriver low. Also c50+ dark-bellied brent goose, 1 goldeneye, 8 ringed plover and c200+ dunlin. Also a male black redstart on Warren View football pitch this morning.

31/3 - high count of c80+ sandwich tern at 1945 on sandbar off Shelly Beach.

29/3 - male black redstart by Geoneedle on Orcombe Point.

stone curlew
stone curlew

gulls chasing off the stone curlew
gulls chasing off the stone curlew

willow warbler - Mudbank - 30/3
willow warbler - Mudbank - 30/3

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 9:57 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

S. Devon - various

Brixham CC Wheatears have finally moved on it seems.

30/03/13 no sign of American Wigeon at Darts, or BGM, lovely LRP at BGM hide, and 3 Pintail, 2 Spoonbill at Exminster Marshes.

01/04/13 Dartmeet 1 Yellowhammer, and a male Siskin on feeders, with 2 x Marsh Tits also.  Flock of 20 + Fieldfares near where O Brook goes under the road. Dipper under railway bridge at Staverton. No sign of Goosanders there. 

Posted April 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Monday 1st April 2013

Topsham

20 Waxwings at 20 Newcourt Road today.

[Will Freeland]

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 10:12 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Exmouth

While visiting friends in Exmouth we noticed a cracking male Black Redstart on the wall at the entrance to the play park by Carter Avenue.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 8:21 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Prawle seawatch

Seawatching in perfect, balmy spring weather (it is April 1st !!), from 7.00 - 12.30 (with JAL);  2 Great Northern Divers, 275 Gannets, 96 Fulmars, 2 Manx Shearwaters, Brent Goose, 2 Shoveler, 130 Common Scoters, 2 Curlew, Dunlin, 58 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 61 Sandwich Terns. The tern count is the highest site count for 15 years, and the highest ever in spring.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 8:19 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Otter Estuary Update

Now 6 Little Ringed Plovers present this evening on the main scrapes. Also 3 Goosander on the estuary (including a drake)

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 8:13 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Black Redstarts

Strong and very cold easterly wind on the coast today which meant very little bird watching.  Firstly there wasn't that much to see and if you stood still for too long you froze!  1 Wheatear near Gammon Head and two or three chiffchaff hopping in and out of the gorse bushes on the more sheltered slopes.

Highlight of the day were the redstarts - five of them in the valley on the way down to Mattiscombe Sands from the Start Point car park.  I think they were all black redstarts, one male certainly was, with splendid breeding plumage and white patches on the wings.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 6:23 pm by Frank Prowse in General Birding

Darts Farm; Bowling Green and Exminster Marshes

Darts Farm 10.00 - 10.30am   c.30 Redwings feeding on manure by the rhubarb; two stockdoves on the field

Bowling Green Viewing Platform 11.30-11.45 Slavonian Grebe showing well in breeding plumage; 1m and 2f mergansers; (female bullfinch in hedge backing on to Bowling Green)

Exminster Marsh 13.00-16.00 11 Little Ringed Plovers and 8 Ringed Plovers on scrape where footpath from RSPB car park turns towards canal; (with about 10 dunlin); all put up by male merlin; three pairs of pintail still around; 2 pochard and about 10 tufted ducks on lagoon. Quite a few wigeon but didn't see American at any of these sites. 

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 6:14 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Topsham - LRP and Gulls

Nothing to add to Keith's post re Bowling Green Marsh but here's a photo of the one remaining Little Ringed Plover. After three attempts I managed to catch it in the open and without the sun behind it.

My usual afternoon visit to the Recreation Ground produced half a dozen dark Lesser Black-backed Gulls. They've been around (or passing through) for a month or so, this time I managed to get one to stand next to one of our resident graellsii. This one certainly looks dark enough to be an intermedius but I guess without some leg plastic it's impossible to be certain.

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover

probable Scandinavian Lesser Black-backed Gull
probable Scandinavian Lesser Black-backed Gull

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 5:26 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Fresh water scrape - Sharpa Marshes

15.45

1 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 male Gadwall

then at 15.50 a Ring-tail flying low NE over Sharpa Marshes & the scrape disturbing a flock of 60 Meadow Pipits. It then had a go at one of the Meadow Pipits, flew over the Tarka trail & Wrafton Pond & was gone all in a matter of seconds.Very close views.

Unfortunately, the LRP,s have taken flight.

.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:30 till 11:45

still 1 Little ringed plover to the left of the hide the curlew sandpiper was with 600+ dunlin early,  10 ringed plover, 140+ bar tailed godwit, 350+ black tailed godwits, 15 avocet, 2 grey plover, 1 greenshank, 3 pintail, 120+ wigeon, 4 little grebe, 3 reed buntings, 2 Cetti's warblers, 2 water rail, 2 common gulls, 150+ redshank, buzzard. 

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 2:08 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Seaton

A couple of hours late morning was topped by a 2cy Glaucous Gull briefly at Coronation Corner, before being flushed by kayak. Strong evidence of passage too, with loads of Meadow Pipits around and at least 30 Wheatears moving N through the saltmarsh. Also pair Pintail still at Seaton Marshes, and the same pair (or another) later roosting on the riverbank opposite the Farm Gate viewpoint N of Axmouth. Minimum of 12 Little Ringed Plovers on Bridge Marsh, and Grey Plover (local interest only I guess!) Coronation Corner.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 1:29 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Now 4 Little Ringed Plovers on the scrapes, plus 4 Dunlin and 1 Lapwing. Also 50+ Wigeon remain around the estuary along with the Teal x Wigeon Hybrid. On the estuary were 11 Brent Geese (at least 6 Pale-bellied but difficult to see as feeding amonsgt vegetation and very cold hands!) also at least 4 Wheatear around the scrapes.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 12:49 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Velator

Hooray for something different on Wrafton Pond: 2 Pochard this morning! They were chased across the pond by the protective male Mute Swan. Out on the flooded field, a Spoonbill roosting again, with about 20 Teal and 24 Canada Geese. One or two Gadwall and Shoveler. In the reserve now at least 8 Chiffchaffs, many of which were struggling to find food. A smart female Kingfisher perched by the bridge gave great views.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 12:41 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

blackcaps

Two males in my bideford garden today tolerating each other through the cold.

Posted April 1st, 2013 at 9:44 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

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