Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–28th February 2015

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

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

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is a summary of the changes:

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

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

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to recorder@devonbirds.org to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  

 

Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News

Membership

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

Saturday 28th February 2015

Plymouth Group field visit

Three potential new members joined the group's visit to Dawlish Warren on Sat 28 February.  There was a disappointing lack of divers on the sea but 8+ Great Crested Grebe gave a good display and three Turnstone were showing well on the rocks. 

Sharp eyes of Doug found two Long-tailed Duck at the mouth of the Exe but plenty of patience was needed to see them as they were busy feeding.  Plenty of Brent Geese were on the golf course and the hide gave us good views of Grey Plover, Dunlin and Knot which were grouped together  - useful for comparison.  A displaying Skylark reminded us spring is nearly here.  Lesley G.

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 8:34 pm by Lesley Goonesekera in Bird News

Purple Sandpipers - Capstone, Ilfracombe

First time this winter that I had my camera with me at the same time that the Purple Sandpipers were feeding on the rocks off the Capstone - 4 birds seen together.




Posted February 28th, 2015 at 4:29 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Mansands

There were many Greenfinches around the carpark early this morning, also quite afew Chaffinches as well. A Great Spotted Woodpecker seen on a nearby tree and a Green Woodpecker on the track near the hide. Lots of Blue and Great Tits were around the feeder by the hide with a female Reed Bunting as well with some Bullfinches. On the marsh, plenty of Mallards and Moorhens and also 3 Tufted Ducks, 2 males and a female, 2 Coots and the Little Grebe. In the reeds were afew Chiffchaffs, about 5 and also a singing Cetti’s Warbler (photo), in the bushes by Southdown track, a Firecrest was seen.

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 2:47 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Darts Farm

2 Penduline Tits still mid morning at Darts Farm- ( no sign of the male bird) and still present at 11.05am Also a Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat and a Reed Bunting.  The Spoonbiil at Exminster earlier, flew off east at 10am but there was no further sign there, at Bowling Green, Goosemoor or from Exton Station. 

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 12:50 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Pendulines

All 3 PENDULINE TITS were still showing well all yesterday afternoon after I first saw them arrive at 1301 hours - still frequenting the tiny reedbed adjacent to Dart's Farm hide. They were voraciously tearing apart the bulrush heads and extremely confiding. The male seemed to spend a lot of time on his own, feeding some distance away, occasionally sitting for long periods and contacting the other two with his short, shrill call. A slight hint of a deformed bill on one individual. All 3 birds were still present and happily feeding when I departed the site at 2pm and I had a call to say that they were still in the same place at 4.25pm

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 10:14 am by Lee Evans in Bird News

Snow Bunting pictures

Here are three pictures of the Snow Bunting from yesterday (Friday)




Posted February 28th, 2015 at 9:10 am by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Snow Bunting

The Snow Bunting was showing well yesterday (Friday) between the new cycle bridge and the Turf Hotel.

Helen, I hope you managed to find the Pendulines at last!!

Posted February 28th, 2015 at 8:58 am by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Friday 27th February 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

53 Golden Plover settled on the airfield this morning was reminescent of past winters. The Snipe remain (79 counted today) with just 8 Lapwing. A single LBB Gull and 36 Black headed gulls were found amongst the horde of herring Gulls (c2000). 

Posted February 27th, 2015 at 8:14 pm in Bird News

powderham sea wall

Snow Bunting showing very well on the sea wall near turf

Posted February 27th, 2015 at 8:06 pm by Trystan Bryant in Bird News

Spoonbill River Otter

A bright morning but cloud developed.  A first for me, a spoon bill to the left of the bird hide south of white bridge.  Rather a long way off but got some distant shots.

Rob Jerrard

spoonbill
spoonbill

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

spo
spo

Posted February 27th, 2015 at 5:21 pm by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Thursday 26th February 2015

Darts Farm

2 penduline tits today feeding on bull rush heads near hide, easily overlooked despite only being a few metres away as they pulled the heads apart to get at insects. A flyover black swan added to the exotic air.


Posted February 26th, 2015 at 8:18 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Very much as you were although the fine afternoon allowed excellent views of the Snipe which totalled an impressive 89. 48 Lapwing, now 5 Stonechats, 45 Meadow Pipits and 2 Linnets were new arrivals, these having been absent most of the winter.

Yesterday 64 lapwing, 52 Snipe, 250+ Fieldfare and a flyover Cormorant. 

Posted February 26th, 2015 at 7:32 pm in Bird News

Ivybridge

The Lesser Whitethroat continues to visit feeders and forage through shrubs now daily across several private gardens.

Posted February 26th, 2015 at 5:22 pm by richard teague in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spotted Redhank was showing well just to the right of the viewing platform today until about 2 o'clock along with a Greenshank. Also a Water Rail at the back of the marsh from the hide.

Posted February 26th, 2015 at 2:45 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Wednesday 25th February 2015

Red Squirrel

I watch my bird feeders daily hoping to find a rarity, but never expected to see this Red Squirrel, it has been comming to the peanuts since Saturday morning, generally twice a day.

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 8:45 pm by Stan Stanbury in Bird News

Shot Mute Swan Wrafton

From Jon Turner :  The shot Mute Swan at Wrafton Pond being taken into care by RSPCA staff member Anthony from today. He's accompanied by a police constable seconded to the RSPCA for a few days. It's hoped that the Swan will be returned shortly after a visit to West Hatch for the pellet to be removed.

    

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 7:33 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Ludwell Valley - Exeter Canal - Harper's Lakes - Matford Marshes

Not much today the usual birds plus;

Ludwell Valley - a pair of courting Dippers and a Grey Wagtail on the Northbrook.

A green Sandpiper on the nearest pond to the canal and the swing bridge.

Nothing of note on Matford Marshes or Harper's Lakes.

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 6:16 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

South Huish Marsh - 25.2.15

Could not see the reported 2 White Fronted Geese when I arrived at a quiet South Huish Marsh at 12.30 today. A search revealed a few Canada Geese on the back of the Marsh near the houses. A walk up the lane and a peer through the gardens gave a view of the 2 geese amongst a group of 20 Canada's. The second photo shows a size comparison

White Fronted Goose -South Huish Marsh - 25.2.15
White Fronted Goose -South Huish Marsh - 25.2.15

2 White Fronted Geese with Canada Goose -South Huish- 25.2.15
2 White Fronted Geese with Canada Goose -South Huish- 25.2.15

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 4:42 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

River Avon, Nr Loddiswell

13.00

Female Goosander, 2 mobile Dippers, Common Sandpiper and 2 marauding Sparrowhawks. 

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 4:38 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Velator

No less than 12 Gadwall in the reserve this morning.

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 2:58 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 24th February 2015

Exminster Marshes and Turf

Battled rain, sleet, icy winds and glorious sun over last two days on Exminster Marshes, through to Turf. The Goose Invasion continues with a dark cloud of Brent appearing just about anywhere and everywhere on the marshes and/or estuary.  The scattered flocks of Canada Geese included a small flock of 10 Grey Lags seen around Station Road on both days. A few snipe in the fields around Station Road Plenty of Godwits, Curlews and a few Redshanks in fields and at tide's edge  - signs of changes in Godwits' plumage as the summer 'barring' beginning to appear on one or two birds. Distinct lack of small birds - probably huddled in hedgerows out of cold wind or trying to avoid the Merlin which flashed past me at 3pm yesterday near Lion's Rest.  Kestrel over Berry Brook Meadow swooped to ground but left without it's prey when a dog walker appeared. Today's highlight was spending 1/2 hour sitting with the celebrity Snow Bunting near Turf on the Sea Wall - quite an entertaining character.




Posted February 24th, 2015 at 10:54 pm by Jo King in Bird News

Strete Gate, Slapton

After seeing the two European White-Fronted Geese at South Huish at 12.30 and phoning birdguides, I ventured over to Slapton. Could not detect any birds on the sea and ,with a cold wind blowing, nature called but the toilets at the memorial car park were closed with a note sending me to Strete Gate. Fortuitously, here  in the bright sunshine  2 Chiffchaffs circled the toilet block , followed by a Yellow-Browed Warbler , which then flew into the picnic area about 2.25pm. It was seen on and off for the next 3/4 hour. Poor record shots may follow.

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 7:26 pm by Tony Marchese in Bird News

South Huish Marsh

The 2 White-Fronted Geese still 3.45pm at the back of South Huish Marsh with c35 Canada Geese.  Also 6 Gadwall, c30 Wigeon and c30 Teal. 

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 5:59 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Preston Torbay

The drake Velvet Scoter was again off-shore today, but no sign of the Common Scoters today.

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 3:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

In less than ideal conditions these past few days (bitter North west wind and frequent heavy snow showers), the Snipe and Lapwing remain the only things of note. This morning 72 Lapwing, c50 Snipe (difficult to count) in the pig field and a fast moving flock of around 40 Golden Plover disappearing quickly into the distance. 4 Stonechats

Yesterday (23rd) 106 Lapwing, 45 Snipe, 4 Stonechats and c2000 Herring Gulls feeding on muck spread fields.

Saturday (21st) 66 Snipe, 80+ Fieldfare and the 2 resident Stonechats were joined by 2 others - whether this was the start of Spring migration not sure but if so, they must feel like turning round and heading back!

Posted February 24th, 2015 at 12:17 pm in Bird News

Monday 23rd February 2015

South Huish Marsh

Mike Passman's website reported two 2 European White-fronted Geese (albifrons) on the Marsh this morning with the Canada Geese.

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 11:10 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Over an exceptional High tide this morning, plenty to see but nothing out of the ordinary appart from the Snow and Sleet Showers with a bitter Wind :-

200+ Avocets, 250+ Black Tailed Godwits, 100+ Bar Tailed Godwits, 100+ Redshank, 50+ Dunlin, 200+ Widgeon, 50+ Teal 20+ Shoveler, 10+ Greylag Geese, 8+ Pintail, 20+ Lapwing, 4+ Pochard, 1 Water Rail, 1 Fox, 2 Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawk. On the Feeders in the rough area plenty of Greenfinch, Chaffinch, and GoldFinches, Tits, and a nice Male Reed Bunting showing well.  

A pair of Pintail
A pair of Pintail

Plenty of Black Tailed Godwits close to the hide
Plenty of Black Tailed Godwits close to the hide

A Sparrowhawk spooked all the birds on the Marsh
A Sparrowhawk spooked all the birds on the Marsh

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 5:01 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Four female Shoveler and a male Pochard. The male Mute Swan still adorned with lead pellet - I hope the RSPCA will be here tomorrow. 

3 Gadwall in the reserve this morning.

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 3:58 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wrafton

All 7 SPOONBILLS present this morning and still there when I left the reserve at about ten past two. At least two with colour rings on.

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 2:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bolt Head, East Soar

Firecrest on the sheltered lower slopes of Fir Wood. Also 2 Chiffchaffs here but not singing - 1st migrants in or overwintering birds - who knows!

Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 2:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

stover lake Sunday pt 2

A couple photos of the female Goosander that seemed to be fascinated by a stick / reed & appeared to play with it for ages. Also the mallard up a tree in full voice!




Posted February 23rd, 2015 at 1:20 pm by paul treen in Bird News

Sunday 22nd February 2015

Drake's Island

20/02/2015: Imm Spoonbill roosting on Little Drake's Island, Plymouth Sound. It left at 09.12am and headed up the Tamar.

21/02/2015: Drake's Island. Cormorants sitting on many nests, Shag sitting on one nest site with active displaying by another pair nearby.

22/02/2015: Imm Spoonbill roosting on Little Drake's Island. It left at 08.20am and headed up the Tamar. (probably also present yesterday morning but if so, it left by 06.50am). Possibly a medium sized white winged gull (Iceland?) also on the Little island at one stage but it largely remained well hidden in a gully only showing its head, with Great Black backed gulls in all the more prominent exposed places. 

Robert Hurrell

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 10:47 pm in Bird News

River Teign - Flow Point

This mornings high tide had completely flooded the saltmarsh and most of the birds were roosting on just two areas that remained above water: c200 Oystercatchers, c60 Curlews, 6 Ringed Plovers, c40 Redshanks and 1 Black-tailed Godwit. In the river 10 RB Mergansers and 2 Little Grebes. By the jetty was a Grey Wagtail. From a distance a Water Pipit was seen perched on dead tree in the middle of the marsh: apologies of the poor quality of the photograph.


Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 6:34 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Stover Lake

Managed a early circuit around around the lake before the heavens opened. 10 Goosander inc 1 with a fish (perch?) & 1 playing with a stick. 2 pochard, 2 tufted, 6 mandarin & 2 GC grebe. On the feeders GS Woodpecker, nuthatch, Marsh Tit as well as the usual suspects. Weirdest sight a mallard up a tree.

Goosander with fish
Goosander with fish

Goosanders in flight
Goosanders in flight

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 5:50 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

Around Exeter ish

Yarner Wood - wet, but lots of Tits feeding including a Marsh Tit. 2 Drake and one duck Mandarin. Dawlish - wet with wind. One Gannet, one Kittiwake..... Along the Exe, Slavonian Grebe, and it was wet. Exminster - wet, windy and not much to see. Stopped at Powdwerham and walked along a windswept wet path towards the Turf, 600 metres short of the pub, almost stepped on the Snow Bunting! Dart's Farm - wet, no P Tits.... BGM Grey-lags, 1 Pintail a few Pochard some Wigeon, and on the way to the viewing platform, good numbers of both Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwit close to the path. Several Avocets and a Spotted Redshank from the platform, which was wet. Time to go home a light the fire.

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 5:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Northwest Devon

Highlight of a stroll at Instow this morning was duck and drake Red-breasted Merganser. Also 2 Grey Plover, and Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank, Wigeon etc. before the rain turned us back. Supertide on Torridge had pushed a Little Egret to feed with Carrion Crows on muddy verge by busy B3233, near A39.

Apologies for the no-post at the time last Sunday 4pm, but there was a male Merlin perched on shrubs in the middle of Bursdon Moor, visible from the moor's carpark by the A39. Kestrel and Buzzard also noted but no harriers or owls.

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 1:44 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

Quick walk along Brixham Breakwater before the rain 15 Purple Sandpiper in total, 7 on seaward side and 8 on the old fuel bunkering jetty. Only 1 Turnstone. 

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 10:21 am by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Torbay

A drake Velvet Scoter was off Preston seafront with 10 Common Scoter this morning.

Broadsands: 15 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Buntings on seed in 2nd car park also 1 Chiffchaff in the marsh between the car parks. On the sea 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe and just 4 Great Crested Grebes. 

The Yellow-browed Warbler was seen again yesterday morning at Occombe Farm Nature Trail in the same area as previously reported.

Posted February 22nd, 2015 at 10:04 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

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