Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th April 2013

Request 2021 records requiring further information

If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

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

Sunday 14th April 2013


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

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

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Tim Stripp in Bird News

Around the marshes

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

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

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

exminster marsh from 11:20 till 15:30

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 7:12 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

All the activity this morning took place before 10.30

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

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 6:59 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Stover C.P.

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


Posted April 14th, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Steve Young in Bird News

Powderham Marsh, early afternoon

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by Simon Smith in Bird News

Berry Head pm

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 5:47 pm in Bird News

Feeding Spoonbill - Sharpa freshwater scrape

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

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

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

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 5:02 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bideford Southcott Valley

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 3:32 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Berry Head.

Berry Head 11:30-13:30.

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

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

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 2:27 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Stover Lake

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 2:05 pm in Bird News


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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 11:25 am by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Hopes Nose

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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 10:53 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Berry Head

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




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

Posted April 14th, 2013 at 10:19 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 13th April 2013


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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Otter Scrapes

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

South Brent

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

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 6:00 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

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

The 1st w Spoonbill again on South Huish marsh.

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 5:16 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


Seen from garden yesterday:

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 5:10 pm by Ollie Banks in Bird News

Sterridge Valley (between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin)

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 4:55 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Berry Head

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

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 4:32 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

07:00 till 09:50

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 3:11 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Braunton Marshes & Horsey Island

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

from Braunton Marshes over the Toll Road > Horsey Island.

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 12:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 12:32 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

dawlish inner warren

There were 2 kestrel at Dawlish inner warren.

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 11:44 am by Lewis tromans in Bird News

(Tiverton) River Dart

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

Posted April 13th, 2013 at 9:39 am by James Morrison in Bird News

Friday 12th April 2013

Rillage Point to Watermouth

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

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 10:48 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 8:09 pm in Bird News


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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 7:55 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

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

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

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

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 6:07 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 07:00 -09:30.

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 5:41 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Velator again

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 4:49 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 4:39 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Hope's Nose

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 3:36 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

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

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 3:30 pm by Kevin Bainbridge in Bird News

Around the Axe

Stunning breeding plumaged Spoonbill on Colyford Marsh mid morning.

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

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler


Posted April 12th, 2013 at 12:42 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News


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

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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 10:40 am by Matt Knott in Bird News


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

Posted April 12th, 2013 at 10:39 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thursday 11th April 2013

Plym Estuary and Saltram

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:03 pm by Charlie Imms in Bird News


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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Hagging point Hele bay.

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 9:15 pm in Bird News

Otter Scrapes & Budleigh Golf Course

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 7:18 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Around the marshes

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 6:56 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

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

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

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

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 6:00 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Stover Country Park

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

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

Snipe Stover Geoff Hawkins

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 4:03 pm in Bird News

Berry Head/Aveton Gifford/Slapton Ley

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

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 2:52 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Darts Farm and Bowling Green

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 2:32 pm by Keith Annison in Bird News

Swallows at South Brent

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 1:55 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 1:35 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Blackcaps -

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 1:33 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News


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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 12:49 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Photo of Sterridge Valley Blackcaps

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

Ed: There is also a thread on the Forum about these and other migrants behaving strangely, see MD

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 12:21 pm by Tim Davis in Bird News

Sharpa freshwater scrape

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:30 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Hd

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:17 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sterridge Valley Blackcaps

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 10:04 am by Tim Davis in Bird News

Brixham Blackcaps

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

Posted April 11th, 2013 at 9:11 am by Trevor Leaman in Bird News

Wednesday 10th April 2013

Winter thrushes

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 8:59 pm in Bird News

Spoonbill on Exminster Marsh

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 8:45 pm by Keith Annison in Bird News

Shoalstone - Brixham

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 8:08 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Exeter Waxwings

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 6:39 pm by John Walters in Bird News


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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 6:29 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 16:00 

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 5:35 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Hope's Nose

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

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 4:23 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 2:45 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

American Wigeon at Darts Farm

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

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 2:20 pm by Gareth Williams in Bird News

Berry Hd

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

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 2:11 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 1:42 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

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

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 1:05 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Sharpa fresh water scrape

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

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

Posted April 10th, 2013 at 12:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Head

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


Posted April 10th, 2013 at 11:42 am in Bird News

Tuesday 9th April 2013

Exminster Marshes

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

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 10:29 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Exminster Marshes (again)

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 10:17 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

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

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 9:00 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

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

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

Bystock Meadow - Ring Ouzel still and 8+ Brambling

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 8:09 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Tavistock sightings

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

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

Aveton Gifford

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 6:37 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

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

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

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

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

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 6:19 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 6:11 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Bundle Head, Shaldon

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 5:56 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News


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

2cy Caspian Gull

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 5:54 pm in Bird News

Exeter Waxwings

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

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

Garden Blackcaps.

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 5:15 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Berry Head - Spring is here!

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 4:31 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News


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

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

female ring ouzel
female ring ouzel

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

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 3:29 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 1:38 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 1:04 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Beer Head

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

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

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

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 10:53 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Pics from the weekend

A couple of shots from the weekend

Ring Ouzel from Bystock
Ring Ouzel from Bystock

Wheatear Northam burrows
Wheatear Northam burrows

Posted April 9th, 2013 at 12:11 am by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Monday 8th April 2013

More Waxwings in Exeter.

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

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 7:38 pm by John Gale in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

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

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

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 7:18 pm by Tom Michie in Bird News

Mouth of R.Caen - Taw Estuary

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

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

strong ESE.

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 6:43 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Head

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

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

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 6:27 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Around the Axe

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

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

Osprey Lower Bruckland Ponds
Osprey Lower Bruckland Ponds

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 5:10 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News


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

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

Intelligent Robins.

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 4:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

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

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 3:54 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


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

Posted April 8th, 2013 at 1:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News