Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th March 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 7th March 2015

Penduline Tits showing well today at Darts Farm

Although only 2 Penduline Tits were present, they were showing well this morning, both in the reedmace and preening in the willow tree. Interestingly they appeared to be eating the buds off the tree as well! Chiffchaff and reed buntings were also present in the morning sunshine.

Penduline Tit in Willow Tree
Penduline Tit in Willow Tree

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm

Reed Bunting feeding on Reedmace
Reed Bunting feeding on Reedmace

Posted March 7th, 2015 at 9:33 pm by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

Saunton Sands

While watching Sanderling feeding along the shoreline, I saw for the first time people taking pleasure in filming their dogs chasing the birds. In one instance for up to 30 mins.

First 3 People with one dog were encouraging their animal to chase the Sanderling back & forth along the beach while they recorded the flying birds on film, then 2 others doing the same for a shorter period of time.

How can we educate these people?

Posted March 7th, 2015 at 9:05 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Exe Estuary

A lovely afternoon for the last Stuart Lines birdwatching cruise of the autumn. The highlight was seeing the Snow Bunting on the sea wall near Turf! The 'usual' Spotted Redshank was with Greenshanks at Powderham, also 4 Goldeneye (including adult drake near Topsham), only about 30 Avocets, 3 Great Crested Grebes and the Slavonian was roughly between Powderham Church and Exton, near where a Harbour Seal was hauled out. The Slav has obviously had wanderlust recently, as it was off Powderham on Wednesday. Still large numbers of Brent Geese, Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin, plus small numbers of Grey Plover, Knot, Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwits.

Posted March 7th, 2015 at 6:50 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Sandwich Tern

The Sandwich Tern was roosting on a sandbank just off groyne 11 on Dawlish Warren. As the tide came in it started fishing just out beyond the breaking waves between groynes 11 and 12.

Posted March 7th, 2015 at 5:48 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Exmouth

Mudbank - a single sandwich tern off there @ 1045. On Orcombe Point early this morning, 1 (presumed migrant) chiffchaff, 1 adult summer mediterranean gull, 5+ red-throated diver and good numbers of auk past.

Posted March 7th, 2015 at 11:25 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Pilton, Barnstaple

No sign of the Black Redstart mid morning in Pilton Park but thrilled with 15 Goosander flying high and east over the Park at 09:50 hrs. 

Posted March 7th, 2015 at 10:24 am by Martin James Bond in Bird News

South Molton Sand Martin

Just had a text from Martin Cox, he's fishing about two miles from South Molton and at 7am had a Sand Martin fly north.

Posted March 7th, 2015 at 10:23 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Friday 6th March 2015

Pilton

Black Redstart found late morning and observed for about an hour 11:45 to 12:45 in the southern row of trees, Pilton Park. I don't recall ever seeing a Black Redstart so at home in trees before.   

Black Redstart, Pilton Park
Black Redstart, Pilton Park

Black Redstart, Pilton Park
Black Redstart, Pilton Park

Posted March 6th, 2015 at 11:11 pm by Martin James Bond in Bird News

Prawle

Red Kite flew in from the sea at midday today only to be mobbed by crows on iits arrival. Flew quickly inland as a result.

Posted March 6th, 2015 at 7:01 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

River Exe @ Powderham

At 11:30 on the ebb tide by the outlet pipe at the rear of Powderham Castle the Spotted Redshank feeding alonside 3 Greenshanks.


Posted March 6th, 2015 at 3:13 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Velator

I've been having a blitz on the festering duck-weed on the pond recently, aided by  the west wind pushing it all up to one end of the pond. There's now heaps of it drying out...

The reward this morning was hearing and then seeing the first Little Grebe in the reserve for well over a year. I hope to get more of it out before the breeding season really gets under way, but Mallard, Coot and Canada Geese are all prospecting.

Posted March 6th, 2015 at 1:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thursday 5th March 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Very much as you were - the Snipe still present (75 counted today) and 8 Stonechats (5 males and 3 females). On Monday (2nd) there was an additional male Stonechat making 9 in all. Otherwise very quiet.

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 7:08 pm in Bird News

Maer Rocks- Exmouth

12 Purple Sands on Maer Rocks( just off Exmouth Lifeboat Station) at 4.30pm with c45 Brent Geese also there. Couldn't find any Long-Tailed Ducks at either end of the seafront. 

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 6:04 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Penduline Tits

2 Penduline Tits (female) at Darts Farm this morning and still there when i left at 1400hrs.

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 5-3-2015
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 5-3-2015

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 5-3-2015
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 5-3-2015

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 5-3-2015
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 5-3-2015

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 4:59 pm by David Boult in Bird News

East to Middle Soar

Day late as couldn't access the blog yesterday!!

Strangely a good day for waders on this largely dry site! Best was a Jack Snipe with 3 Snipe on wet flushes at head of Starehole Valley followed by 275 Golden Plover hunkered down in maize stubble. Also 3rd White Wagtail of spring at East Soar Farm with 6 Pieds. 9 Linnets were first spring returns.

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 4:39 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Water Rail - West Charleton Marsh - 4.3.15

Apologies for late post, but attempts yesterday to post more detailed sightings kept being rejected by my computer.

Anyway amongst the many birds recorded yesterday was the sighting on 3 occasions of what I presume is the same water rail. In one photo carrying a small fish.

Water Rail - West Charleton - 4.3.15
Water Rail - West Charleton - 4.3.15

Water Rail - West Charleton - 4.3.15
Water Rail - West Charleton - 4.3.15

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 3:25 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh - Viewing Platform

1 Water Rail just past the gate to the viewing platform. From the platform itself 1 Spotted Redshank.

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 2:07 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A very pleasant walk this morning mostly in warm sunshine. The snow bunting was on the sea wall south of Turf but further north than its usual location. Also around the Turf were a few red-breasted mergansers (13 yesterday) and c30 black-tailed godwit. No sign of the two colour-rung godwits that have been in that area - both were rung as chicks in Iceland, one in 2007 and the other in 2013.

On the marshes the numbers of wigeon and teal were noticeably lower but still plenty of teal in the ditches together with shoveller (c60), pintail (2), tufted duck (c10) and mallard. The black brant was within a flock of c600 brent geese. 

Signs of spring included singing Cettis warbler (3), herons with luminous orange bills and a buzzard inspecting an old nest. At least 2 chiffchaffs were on the canal bank and at least 5 stonechats were on the fields. 

Yesterday there was a flock of 160 golden plover flying over the marshes and James Diamond reported a firecrest there.

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 12:41 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Fremington Quay

Search for nesting activity this morning turned up positives for Long-tailed Tit and Carrion Crow.

Also a Redwing feeding on ivy, Green Woodpecker seen and then heard yaffling on the Tarka Trail to the west (a first for me at this site!), Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming nearby. Treecreeper x3 and more Long-tailed Tit pairs on other side of the Pill. Buzzards also showing close to ground in this area. Redshank, Black'wit, Greenshank, Curlew, etc. on the Pill.

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 11:41 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Drake's Island

23 and 28 Feb 2015, 4 and 5 Mar 2015: One imm unringed Spoonbill roosting on Drakes Island amongst the many Great Black-backed gulls.  Generally leaving roost early in the morning and then flighting up the Tamar towards St Johns Lake area.   

(Robet Hurrell)

Posted March 5th, 2015 at 10:49 am in Bird News

Wednesday 4th March 2015

Around topsham

watched from 15:00 till 17:30

male and female goldeneye showed well of the goat walk along with 700+ Brent geese good numbers of avocet, black tailed godwits and dunlin.

2 spotted redshanks of from the viewing platform at bowling green marsh and 3 water rail from the path just inside the gate

from the hide 6+ pochard, 4 tufted duck, 2 little grebe, 1 water rail, 7+ pintail, 200+ wigeon, 20+ shoveler.

Posted March 4th, 2015 at 9:12 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Darts Farm ~ Bowling Green Marsh & Stover

A trip out to Darts Farm and Bowling Green Marsh this morning was disappointing, despite the clear blue skies there was a very strong cool wind blowing across Darts farm and virtually nothing on view, BGM was not a great deal better at the hide or the viewing platform, two sunbathing Fox’s added to the interest from the hide which basically boiled down to a good range of duck species, a flight of four Grey Lag Geese flew in as we left.

Goosander ~ Stover

Stover Country Park, 12 Goosander on the lake, 3 Great Crested Grebe, reasonably busy round the feed station without being overly exciting, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Long Tailed Tits showing well, a pair of Siskin with the male displaying, an idiot dog walker decided his dog did not need to be on a lead and soon lost it as it chased a Roe buck through the woods.

Posted March 4th, 2015 at 6:46 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Strand 12:15 - 13:45

344 Dark-bellied Brent; 15 Goosander(3M,12F); 3 Little Egret and 4 Spoonbill off Penhill Marsh.

15 Shelduck and 2 Little Grebe off Pottington.

3 more Goosander(1M,2F); 5 Shelduck and 27 Wigeon at Ashford Strand.

No Lapwing, Grey Plover, Golden Plover nor Dunlin at all. Just a few Redshank and numerous Curlew and Oystercatcher generally.

Posted March 4th, 2015 at 3:30 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Black Redstart that I had originally thought to be a female (very dull smoky grey body plumage and no pale tertial/secondary panel) was still present and now singing from rooftops! I assume it is a male, probably 1st winter/summer, however some males apparently never attain a full male type plumage. I cannot find any reference to females singing - unlike robins.   

Posted March 4th, 2015 at 9:00 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 2nd March 2015

Brixham

17:45

22 Pied Wagtails on and around the tennis courts close to the Leisure Centre at Brixham College.

Posted March 2nd, 2015 at 8:27 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Darts Farm

Watched two of the three Penduline Tits for a good hour by hide this afternoon. And following correspondence with another all three were present this morning. Great prolonged views at last. 

Posted March 2nd, 2015 at 6:47 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Clennon Valley

A female Black Redstart feeding in gardens and roof tops in Brantwood Drive.

Around the lakes: 1 Siberian Chiffchaff feeding & calling in trees above the Common Reed around the 2nd (middle) Lake, 2 collybita Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Little Egret, 1 Little Grebe

Posted March 2nd, 2015 at 12:55 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Skylark song!

On my early morning cycle ride from Okehampton, up past the Army Camp then on the Military Road out to New Bridge below East Mill Tor, there were six Skylark in full song defying the winter, despite the snow!

Posted March 2nd, 2015 at 10:32 am by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Sunday 1st March 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A total of 6 Stonechats with 5 being adult males was a definite sign of passage (only 1 adult male and 1 sub adult male being present previously). Meadow pipits also seem more numerous with arond 50 today. The Snipe still present (83 counted) and a mixed flock of extremely smart thrushes totalled 64 Fieldfare and 22 Redwing. 

Posted March 1st, 2015 at 8:07 pm in Bird News

Stover

I couldn't resist sending pictures of this very public moment of intimacy between a pair of Great Crested Grebes on the lake in the front of the hide this afternoon



Posted March 1st, 2015 at 7:42 pm by Dave McKeown in Bird News

Stover

Goosander 2 male, 3 female

Maderin 6, 3 of each

Nuthatch 3 or 4 around the park - all singing different songs 

Gadwell 1 male 1 female

Great Crested Grebe practicing their courtship display

120+ black headed gulls, which I suspect were non breeders, a great many were first year birds and the adults had no hoods.

Posted March 1st, 2015 at 7:10 pm by Stephen J Turner in Bird News

South Huish Marsh

Quite windy this morning at South Huish:

2 White Fronted Geese still with the Canada Geese, 2 Shelduck, 1Ruddy Shelduck, 1 male Gadwall, several Teal, Wigeon, Meadow and Rock Pipits, 1 Buzzard looking for dinner. Thanks also to Nick Townsend for the tour round South Milton Ley.

Posted March 1st, 2015 at 5:11 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Dawlish Warren 28th February

Walked the length of the beach. Distant view of a single unidentified diver (GND or BTD), 1 x Slavonian Grebe & best of all the two Long-tailed ducks feeding & swimming together. Displaying Skylark at the far end & around 20-25 Brent Geese on the Golf course.



Posted March 1st, 2015 at 11:49 am by Paul Treen in Bird News

Stover park

Morning Walk around stover. on the lake: two pairs of goosander, two pairs of tufted ducks , one male gadwall, pair great crested grebes, and all the usual suspects. On the feeders: plenty of siskins m+f , bull finches m+f, chaffinches m+f , coal tits , great tits, blue tits. also plenty of Gs woodpeckers, nuthatches, and two buzzards overhead and a sparrowhawk (f), and a pair of Ravens 

Posted March 1st, 2015 at 8:17 am by Graeme Davey in Bird News

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