Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th March 2014


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

Friday 14th March 2014

Leigham Manor Drive River Plym

Late afternoon visit observed the following:

Pair of  vocal dippers flirting and foraging, pair of goosander, 2 pair of Mandarins and a solitary drake, 7 goldfinch over.

Posted March 14th, 2014 at 9:31 pm by Charlie Imms in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 15:40 till 17:00

the spotted redshank came in with 150+ redshank, 160+ dunlin, 9+ knot, 75+ bar tailed godwit, 400+ black tailed godwits, 4 snipe, 40+ sand Martin, 1 sparrowhawk, 3 tufted duck, 2 chiffchaffs, 8+ little egrets, 1 reed bunting. 

Earlier between topsham quay and the goatwalk 10 red breasted mergansers.

Posted March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News



14 March 2014

1 male wheatear below Hen Tor / Hen Tor meadow

Posted March 14th, 2014 at 8:03 pm by Tim Brighton in Bird News

The Reeve Pheasants.

The local very large Bury shoot has been putting down about half a dozen Reeve Pheasants for the past 3 years, apparently if someone shoots one they have to pay for a round of drinks to all those on the shoot. They are usually at Louisa gate, but seem to have moved to Bury and the main road. They seem to be silly birds, I was waking the dog at Louisa Gate and a pheasant insisted on walking beside us. Dog had to be on a very tight lead!

Many thanks Ann for clearing up the mystery. SW

Posted March 14th, 2014 at 7:25 pm by Ann Crawford in Bird News

Berry Head

A mid morning visit to Berryhead in rather murky misty conditions, overlooking the hide a small number of Chiffchaff and one male Stonechat, hen Sparrowhawk suddenly burst through the scrub after a Chiffchaff and a few minutes later broke out and flew across the scrub scattering small birds from the cover. Two Wheatears resting towards the headland with a Goldfinch and a flock of Meadow Pipits spooked by the Sparrowhawk flew back in. Nice to watch the Fulmars, good number of Great Black Backed Gulls present.

Cock REEVES Pheasant seen on the outskirts of Paignton on a pheasant shoot.

Posted March 14th, 2014 at 4:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

High Moor

 Between okehampton camp and dinger tor many skylarks but as yet no wheatears. Highlight was a flock of over 200 golden plover which settled on the lower slopes of High Wilhays. John Phillips

Posted March 14th, 2014 at 4:27 pm by John Phillips in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Very cool and misty this morning, but some signs of spring with 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Blackcap all in song. 19 Tufted Duck (best count since end of last year!), 1 Shoveler, 1 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher and 4 Redwing including one giving a quiet sub-song. 

Posted March 14th, 2014 at 9:16 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 13th March 2014

Reeves' Pheasant

Make of this what you will, but two stonking male Reeves' Pheasants were by the side of the A396 this afternoon, between Exebridge and Machine Cross (although not entirely sure whether this was on the Devon side - probably!). I saw them as I drove by, making a change from the hordes of their commoner relative which frequent this area. I wasn't aware that these were released by landowners, so wonder where they came from?

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 10:16 pm by Perry J Smale in Bird News

Otter estuary and Crab Ledge

6 Snipe on view in the scrapes with 50+ Wigeon and 20+Teal still present. Water Rail heard with great views of a Male Reed Bunting along the reed beds. Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming on the dead oak on the floodplain with plenting of Rooks busy building nests in the large Poplars by White Bridge. Fulmars paired up and gliding along the cliff face with Rock Pipits appearing along the cliff edge. Ravens soaring over the stubble fields and Skylarks singing above the grassy buffer strips. A very pleasant stroll on a warm early spring afternoon.  

Fulmars in good numbers
Fulmars in good numbers

Rock Pipit
Rock Pipit

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 8:22 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 15:20 till 16:50

A spotted redshank came in with160+ redshank , 80+ bar tailed godwits, 400+ black tailed godwits , 21+ dunlin, 21 little egrets, 2 little grebes, 3 tufted duck , 8+ snipe, 25+ shoveler, 43+ wigeon, 1 buzzard, 1 male blackcap.

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 8:21 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Braunton Marsh - 13th March

Gorgeous Spring day - numerous singing Skylarks overhead. Little Owl in & around old barn (see pic). 4 Buzzards in the air at same time; female Marsh Harrier, Kestrel & Sparrowhawk spotted too. 4 Red-breasted Mergansers close in off Horsey Island with some Sheducks & a single Common Gull on sand bank near the White House 

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 8:15 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

River Caen/RiverTaw

1300-1530.  2 Spoonbill flying together over vellator and wrafton pond, Watched for 15 mins before they disappeared into the fog. 2 Chiffchaf singing by the toll house. 1 Little owl on the roof of an old barn.

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 6:26 pm in Bird News

Plym estuary and woods

A lovely cycle past the estuary and deep into plym valley woodland today in bright sunshine. 35 Curlew, 52 Shelduck, redshank, 8 little egrets, little grebe, lesser black backed gulls, greater black backed gulls, shag, common gulls and grey heron all on the estuary. Nuthatch, blue, great, coal and long-tailed tits, mandarin duck, jays, ravens, kestral, sparrowhawk, buzzard, chiffchaff (singing), chaffinch and grey wagtail in the woods, and from the first viaduct a pair of dippers, 1 male and 1 female Goosander.

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 5:42 pm by Elliot Dowding in Bird News

Soar Mill Cove

Stunningly bright male wheatear this morning, first of year. Also 5 chiffchaffs & 11 male yellowhammers back on territory.Also 5 peacocks.

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


On the Sea: 2 Pintail (pair) 3 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Common Scoter.

Still one Siberian Chiffchaff in Marsh with 3 singing Chiffchaffs.

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 11:59 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Head

Dartford Warbler showing well this morning in gorse on the cliff side of the fence between the North & Southern Forts. Also first Northern Wheatear of the spring on the headland, with 3 Pied and one White Wagtail on the meadow.

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 10:58 am by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Wembury 12/03/2014

A mid morning visit to Wembury and the coastalpath was only be described as disappointing, some widely spaced bird song but very little to see, Dunnocks were about the only birds to try and save the day with a t one point three birds (inc a pair) high up on the thorn scrub by the church, a pair of Stonechats did eventually show and saved the day, a drake Mallard on the sea just off the shore, Jackdaws, Buzzards, Herring Gulls, Blackbirds, Great and Long Tailed Tits, a cock Phesant flew into the cover at one point, the haze and glare from the sun negated being able to see anything out to sea. So apart from the weather being very warm sunny that was about the only plus.

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 10:10 am by Steve HOPPER in Bird News

Wednesday 12th March 2014


A siberian chiffchaff at the back of the house and scrub bordering Warren View football pitch (for its second day at least) and this evening, a firecrest on Orcombe Point plus 1 goldcrest and 3 song thrush.

siberian chiffchaff
siberian chiffchaff


Posted March 12th, 2014 at 7:15 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Hope's Nose & Ringed Brent Goose, Exminster.

Visit to Hope's Nose this morning: 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-throated divers, 1 Fulmar, 2 Gannets, c12 Guillemots and a couple of Razorbills. The female Eider is still present and showing well.

On 4 March I took details of a ringed Brent Goose which I have now received details: Originally rung in 1996 and has been regularly recorded over 18 years on the Exe and on passage in the Wadden Sea.

Posted March 12th, 2014 at 6:44 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News


Good view of a male scaup, 5 blacknecked grebes, great northern diver on a very quick visit

Posted March 12th, 2014 at 5:22 pm by lesley goonesekera in Bird News

Bird Sighting

Sighted today 12-03-14 Red Kite at junction to Clearbrook road SX 508643 at 12:30


Colin Hannaford

Posted March 12th, 2014 at 4:30 pm by Colin Hannaford in Bird News

Avon Valley,South Devon

On South Efford marsh 51 alba wagtails least 4 white wagtails; also 2 water pipits, 20 meadow pipits & 2 singing chiffchaffs.

On river 3 greenshanks, 3 redshanks & 3 common sandpipers.

Posted March 12th, 2014 at 2:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Legis Tor Dartmoor

At least one pair of Wheatear this morning with female flirting shamelessly in the Spring sunshine whilst skylarks sang all around.

(M&R Harrison)

Posted March 12th, 2014 at 12:53 pm in Bird News

nr Harbourneford

A Woodcock flew over a stubble field at dusk last night by the road which leads from Marley Head to the Harbourneford to South Brent junction ( approx. SX717616 )

Posted March 12th, 2014 at 7:13 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Tuesday 11th March 2014

Exminster marshes

Watched from 14:30 till 17:10

Another good afternoon with severall groups of sand martins moving through over the marsh and more groups   Towards exminster conservative estimate 100+ also my first swallow of the year low over the middle car the park the male Merlin was active near the fishermans car park then as I walked back down station road the juv marsh harrier flew in over the lagoon at just before 16:30 and headed towards the northern end of the marsh where it showed on and off for the next half hour a good end to the day. 

Posted March 11th, 2014 at 9:55 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


The solitary male wheatear seen yesterday on north Dartmoor above Belstone was in exactly the same area again today. He was not calling, I guess he is the first migrant to arrive back in the area and is just sitting quietly waiting for more birds to arrive.

Posted March 11th, 2014 at 6:28 pm by Mike Jones in Bird News

Monday 10th March 2014

Wembury Coast Path

A walk this morning along the coast path. Large numbers of Wrens, Robins and Dunnocks, 2 pairs of Stonechats, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit and 2 Buzzard. A lovely sunny, calm day, we had expected to see the Cirl Buntings displaying at their usual spot but neither sight nor sound of them. No Wheatears yet. 


Posted March 10th, 2014 at 8:13 pm by Colin & Glenys Smith in Bird News

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 17:30

A juv marsh harrier showed well at times from 16:00 till 17:15 mostley between the lagoon and the motorway bridge it eventually dropped into the reed beds by the motorway bridge. The male Merlin was also on the northern part of the marsh. 

Along station road at least 16+ chiffchaffs and 2 Siberian chiffchaffs showed well by fishermans car park and were very vocal. also 5 Cetti's warblers , 3 stonechat, 4 pochard, 4 tufted duck , 6 gadwall. 

Posted March 10th, 2014 at 7:37 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

A juvenile female type Marsh Harrier seen from the steps of the Turks Head looking over towards Powderham Viewing platform, hunting along the railway embankment.

One Wheatear on the grass in front of the lagoon and the Barnacle Goose in amongst the Canadians were the best birds seen this morning.

Posted March 10th, 2014 at 6:26 pm by Kevin Bainbridge in Bird News


Saw my first Wheatear on north Dartmoor above Belstone this afternoon. A solitary male.

Posted March 10th, 2014 at 6:10 pm by Mike Jones in Bird News

Soussons Valley/Warren House

Great Grey Shrike showing this am, as directed by Mark.

Ring tail Hen Harrier hunting near Warren House - scattering skylarks & Meadow Pipits.

Dartmeet feeding station nice 'group' of Yellowhammers plus a Marsh Tit.

Of interest on 26th Feb a Dipper on R Erme Ivybridge bearing a white ring on right leg

Posted March 10th, 2014 at 5:24 pm by David Leigh in Bird News

River Caen/River Taw

1000-1300hrs   Horsey island held singing skylark and many medow pipits also a stunning male wheatear and a female wheatear. 3 spoonbill on islay marsh.

Posted March 10th, 2014 at 2:25 pm in Bird News


Female ring ouzel in scrub by Starehole Valley wetland early morning.

Posted March 10th, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Just 7 Cirl Bunting and no Reed Bunting this morning. Newly arrived singing Chiffchaff. Party of 7 Mute Swans just off the beach and a single Great Crested Grebe. 

Posted March 10th, 2014 at 12:33 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Sunday 9th March 2014


Striking male Hen Harrier flying north to south over Royal hill at 10am.


Posted March 9th, 2014 at 10:36 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Around the Teign

A summer-plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull was off Teignmouth early evening, though distant. Also a male Red-breasted Merganser.

Yesterday there were singles of Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe and Razorbill off Teignmouth mid-afternoon. In the estuary just 7 Red-breasted Merganser. At Decoy Lake the male Scaup remains, also male Gadwall, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 15 Tufted Duck, 3 LBB Gull.

Finally the female type Black Redstart continues to reside in the Tarrs Lane/Primrose Close area of Kingsteignton.

Posted March 9th, 2014 at 9:43 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Sharkham Point to Brixham Breakwater

A very pleasant walk this morning following the coast. Little in the way of summer migrants though with only 4 singing Chiffchaff (3 Sharkham and 1 Berry Head) and a single Blackcap of note (all probably wintering birds) 3 Ravens on Berry Head. Wintering birds still of note around the breakwater includes a flock of 30+ Common Scoter, 1 Black throated Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe and 24 Purple Sandpiper still.

Posted March 9th, 2014 at 9:08 pm in Bird News


A quiet weekend around Topsham. Black redstart still present at the rec.

Posted March 9th, 2014 at 7:14 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Staddon Heights Plymouth

Lesser Redpoll at Staddon Heights this afternoon very little else 1 raven,chaffinch,goldfinch,pied wagtail.robin and dunnock. 

Posted March 9th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Charlie imms in Bird News

Wembury cliff path

Lots of activity on the cliffs at the moment. The pair of Ravens I observed last year are back and defending the cliff around the nest site from jackdaws and another Raven pair. Around 20 pairs of Fulmar+Herring Gull. At around 12pm today My first ever Black Redstart feeding just below on a ledge. No sign of any Cirl Buntings.

Very vocal Raven Pair
Very vocal Raven Pair

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Posted March 9th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Soussons Valley

The Great Grey Shrike showing on and off from 9am-11.10am ranging widely over the valley, as far as the ridge towards Headland Warren, the enclosure by Soussons and the ridge back towards Warren House Inn. It's favoured tree seems to be west of the track, 100 yards up from the gate into Soussons.  Also Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Green Woodpecker and GS Woodpecker seen. (DS and BH had a ringtail Hen Harrier fly through).  Nearby, a flock of 15 Fieldfare by the road at Headland Warren farm.

Posted March 9th, 2014 at 12:39 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay ( 08:30-09:50, high tide )

Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe, 46 Brent Geese, 12 Teal ( marsh ), Red-breasted Merganser, Water Rail ( marsh ), 3 Chiffchaff ( sewage works ).

Posted March 9th, 2014 at 10:29 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Saturday 8th March 2014

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Superb weather and nice to see a few other birders out 'n' about.

A Great Northern Diver towards the head of the estuary was unusual, and also 5 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 drakes and 3 redheads - all showing well), 3 Little Grebes, a superb adult Mediterranean Gull in full summer plumage, 3 Greenshanks, a Common Sandpiper, (only) 27 Redshanks, 8 Oystercatchers, 51 Curlews, 2 Stock Doves, 1 or 2 Jack Snipes and 3 Snipes.

Later, a dead Great Northern Diver in the Barbican. 

Posted March 8th, 2014 at 8:23 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Around the exe

Started with a walk around the river by the mill on the exe  1 kingfisher, peregrine and 2 sand Martin.

moved on to bowling green marsh watched from 10:15 till 11:30, good number of bar tailed godwits, black tailed godwits, dunlin, redshanks, 12 avocet, 3 tufted duck , 100+ wigeon, 7 common gulls, 1 male reed bunting, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 buzzard , 2 little egrets, 3 Cetti's warblers. 

then a quick look at goosemoor produced 1 spotted redshank, 11+ greenshanks, 25+ redshank, 2 little egrets. 

Moved onto exminster marsh but was very quiet but 9+ chiffchaffs along station road, 3 stonechats , 2 reed bunting, 3 Cetti's warblers 


Posted March 8th, 2014 at 7:22 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

South Huish and Thurlestone

As a change from the hard graft of an inland patch, paid a visit to the above to call on Mike Passman today. Was rewarded with a Sand Martin over South Huish at 1.40 p.m. Earlier 8 Goosander (3m) had flown into Thurlestone Bay, had a look and then departed east.

Posted March 8th, 2014 at 7:03 pm in Bird News

Soussons, Dartmoor

Great Grey Shrike this afternoon at north-east corner of Soussons plantation, close to the track; the bird was roaming widely though, also hunting in the open moorland to the north of the plantation. Woodcock and Reed Bunting also seen, plus several Skylarks singing in the sunshine.

Posted March 8th, 2014 at 5:34 pm by Mike Symes in Bird News


2 black redstarts out on Bolt Head showing well. Also possible wheatear but could not confirm. Firecrest in nearby Fir Woods.

Posted March 8th, 2014 at 5:16 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Berry Head

06.45 - 0800 Trickle of Meadow Pipits overhead this morning plus a Chiffchaff in the scrub behind the artillery store. Back at Broadsands Cirl Bunting numbers on seed falling with birds presumably moving off to breeding territories. Nearby nesting Blackbirds appear to be sitting on eggs.

Posted March 8th, 2014 at 9:15 am by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts