Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st 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 21st March 2015

Prawle Point

Attended the scattering of Dave Norman’s ashes at Prawle Point this afternoon with Karen, Emma and Jonathan, Vic and Sylvie Tucker : a fitting resting place for someone who put Prawle on the map and was loved by him.

Whilst there Sylvie put me onto a Firecrest  flitting and calling on the edge of the reserve. Also a male Black Redstart on the beach and a female Wheatear at the point.

Posted March 21st, 2015 at 11:27 pm by Tony Marchese in Bird News

Clennon Lakes

Drake Scaup still present on eastern most pond,  2 Siberian Chiffchaffs with 4 collybita Chiffchaff. Also 1 Kingfisher, 2 Little Grebes, water rail and 2 Little Egrets.

Posted March 21st, 2015 at 7:04 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Darts Farm and Topsham

Had a great day out birding around Topsham with 49 species of birds seen.




Posted March 21st, 2015 at 6:42 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Early morning walk from Milbury Lane across Marshes to Lion's Rest/Station Road and a joy to see and hear 6-8 Sky Larks in the Westerly fields. Spring has arrived!



Posted March 21st, 2015 at 3:17 pm by Jo King in Bird News

Friday 20th March 2015

Late news - Fremington Quay

Green Woodpecker heard yaffling again on west side of Fremington Pill, 10am Friday post-eclipse. Also Greenshank, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Redshank, 'Black-wit', Shelduck, Little Egret etc.

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 11:32 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

Three Water Pipits this morning feeding in fields north of White Bridge near the Aquaduct, one in very smart summer plumage. The Little Ringed Plover was still presesnt on the scrape this evening.

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 8:13 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

River Teign Steps Bridge.

Male Goosander, Mistle Thrush, Sparrow Hawk, Marsh Tit , Raven, Chiffchaff and two sightings of Dippers.

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 7:26 pm by Priscilla Ingram. in Bird News

Berrynarbor

I was very interested to read that Tony in South Huish had noticed yellow pollen on the face of a Chiffchaff.

The Blackcaps in my garden have also had yellow faces this spring, particularly one female last week .  Here , it is from the pollen of large single pink and white Camellia flowers with bright yellow stamens and they attract Blue Tits every year also.

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 7:03 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Despite the sunshine little sign of spring on the marshes today, not even a sand martin, although I saw 2 yesterday. Late afternoon  the high tide wader roost contained c200 curlew, c50 black-tailed godwits and a few hundered dunlin. Yesterday there was one ruff with 16 lapwing. Wigeon numbers continue to fall and they appeared to have formed one flock. Still lots of teal, 8 tufted duck, 4 pintail and c60 shoveller.

The brent geese were near the Turf and the black brant was with them. I saw or heard 4 chiffchaffs. On the estuary at Turf there was one avocet.

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 6:51 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Penduline tit

spotted at Dart's farm

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 4:19 pm by Lizzie in Bird News

Otter Estuary Budleigh

The LRP still present at 3pm today, first scrapes up from the cricket pitch  

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 3:31 pm by Richard Allen in Bird News

Dave Norman's Ashes

Karen Norman has informed me Dave's Ashes will be scattered tomorrow at Dave's two favourite birding sites in Devon, Berry Head and Prawle Point. Should any friends wish to attend they will be made welcome, meet Berry Head (top of quarry entrance at 10am) and/or at Prawle Point (meet National Trust car park at 1.30pm).

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 3:23 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Clennon Lakes

The drake Scaup was still present today, still cannot work out where it is going on its days off! Also 3 Siberian Chiffchaffs, two looking particularly scruffy moultlng tertials, tail and body feathers - much latter moult than the collybita Chiffchaffs (7) also present and in full song - the Siberian Chiffs are remaining stubbornly quiet. Also around Lakes, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Water Rail, 23 Tufted Duck, 5 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 1 Little Grebe and a party of 6 Redwing.

Drake Scaup Clennon Lakes 20 March 2015 ML  

 Above: Scaup with Tufted Ducks                      Above Siberian Chiffchaff; click photo for video link

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 1:56 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Otter Estuary NR

Little Ringed Plover still present at 1220hrs on first scrape up from cricket pitch

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 1:06 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

2 spotted redshank and first ruff of the spring 

09:40 from viewing platform 2 goosander (1m,1f)

Posted March 20th, 2015 at 8:56 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Thursday 19th March 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

4 Wheatears this morning (3m, 1f) and winter thrushes still coming through with 28 Fieldfare this afternoon. The Snipe count was down to around 20 early afternoon but will probably be zero now as the farmer was muck spreading on the field by late afternoon!!

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 10:27 pm in Bird News

South Huish

Unable to get out recently to enjoy the influx of early migrants , although I did notice a male Blackcap (over winterer ? ) and 2 Chiffchaffs (migrants ? ) in my garden in Plympton yesterday and today (one Chiffchaff's bill and forehead dark due to pollen ?) Opportunity arose to go to South Huish Marsh this afternoon from 2 till 4pm i glorious Spring sunshine. Ruddy Shelduck  still at the back of the marsh ; 5 Wheatears including a female ; 2  Water Pipits including one in summer plumage ( just love that peachy  hue on the breast ) ; at least 1 White Wagtail amongst 20+ Pied Wagtails ; and at the back of the marsh the Little Ringed Plover ,picked up by another birder, and taking time to confirm identity : golden eye-ring and black bill etc.Pied Wags becoming excited and singing whilst sparring in the air ; 6 + Teal whistling and vying for the affections of the 2 accompanying females .Lovely venue and delightful weather. Must do more of this.

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 9:50 pm by Tony Marchese in Bird News

Around the exe

started at powderham marsh10:00 till 12:00

3 red legged partridge was a surprise , 1 green sandpiper, 31+ golden plover, 2 kestrel, 1 peregrine, 3 buzzard, 8 sand Martin , 22+ reed buntings, 80+ linnets, 9 tufted duck, 40+ wigeon, good numbers of meadow pipits and pied wagtails, 2 stonechats.

a quick look on exminster did not produce much with 3 chiffchaffs, 2 Cetti's warblers, 3 stonechats, severall groups of wigeon and 300+ Brent geese in flight towards turf.

bowling green marsh 15:00 till 17:30

A male Garganey spent most of the time asleep to the left of the hide, 1 pochard, 4 tufted duck, 6 pintail, 1 white wagtail, 2 Cetti's warblers, 2 avocet, 150+ redshank, 200+ black tailed godwits, 2 little grebes, 70+ wigeon.

from the viewing platform, 2 spotted redshanks, 4 greenshanks , 7 knot, 13+ grey plover, 800+ dunlin, 20+ bar tailed godwits, 8 great crested grebes, 15+ red breasted mergansers.

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 9:24 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Stover & Hay Tor

Stover Country Park was only on tick over as far as birding went this morning, that said two female Goosander and two Great Crested Grebe on the lake, the pair of Mandarins were tucked away under the bank on one of the back waters.

Around the feeders very slow but Marsh Tit, a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers coming onto the sunflower feeder, Nuthatch, pair of Bullfinch and my first sighting of Greenfinch on site.

At Hay Tor good numbers of Sky Larks and Meadow Pipits, a few Stonechat one male was chasing of any other small bird landing in a specific area. A couple of Raven seen flying over.

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 7:25 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Late aft -  Now 17 Sand Martins above the pond & the scrape opposite & 1 Chiffchaff with a metal ring on the right leg but unable to read the number through the bins!

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 6:17 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

N Devon

Tuesday 17th.

Pair of goosanders close to shoreline off Penhill Point.

Wedsnesday 18th.  

Chiffchaffs in song Braunton Marsh.

Barn owl seen over B3231 one mile E of Saunton Sands Hotel. 

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 5:09 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News

Solden Cross, near Bradworthy

Late entry - 18th March.   Solden Cross near Bradworthy.

5 House Martins.

Harvey Kendall

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 3:10 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

This lunchtime a male Garganey to the left of the marsh as you look towards the railway line. It remained asleep the whole time I was there though!

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Branscombe sewage works, East Devon

Following up the previous sightings in this area, my visit this morning paid off with Yellow Browed Warbler and a Firecrest showing in the large pine tree to the right of the sewage works gate.  The firecrest was in same area (thanks to Doug Cullen for showing me where to look).  Also present were at least 10 Chiffchaff near the stream and several Goldcrest2 Grey Wagtails on the filter bed.

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 1:51 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Lapwings and cormorants

The Field Guide to Monitoring Nests (BTO guide) cites the full time range for dependent Lapwing young as start of April to end of August, with majority between mid April and end July (very first eggs are usually laid this week or slightly earlier), so they're very early indeed! There was mild weather several weeks ago and several juvenile birds have been reported from across the country including Moorhen in January and Robin in February!

RE: the cormorant, discussion of characteristics for identification of P. c. sinensis are coincidentally also being discussed on this Birdforum thread right now http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=301209 . Mainly 'gular patch angle'. White heads are not a common feature on P. c. carbo but are not massively rare either it would seem.

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 1:27 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Midday seen from the pond high on the thermals 8 Buzzard, 1 female Sparrowhawk and 12 Sand Martin.

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 1:06 pm by Martin James Bond in Bird News

Lapwing chicks

A party of us from Mid Devon Natural History society visited Black Hole marsh yesterday.

There were nesting Lapwings on one island, and one had hatched at least 2 chicks. Can anyone confirm to me my opinion that this is extremely early.

When we went to do a preview on Saturday to check access for disabled members we saw an  unusual "Sinensis"Cormorant. (see photos).

Sinensis cormorant?
Sinensis cormorant?

Sinensis cormant ? 2
Sinensis cormant ? 2

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 10:39 am by Peter Clark Richardson in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

A quick look around the Otter and assoiated scrapes this morning produced 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Sand Martin. The LRP was also present yesterday afternoon (DC, RH SH)

Belated from Tuesday: 8+ Wheatear and 1 male Black Redstert on Museum roof

Posted March 19th, 2015 at 10:27 am by Chris Townend in Bird News

Wednesday 18th March 2015

Male Garganey Goosemoor Topsham

Male Garganey seen at Goosemoor on the River Clyst at Topsham late yesterday afternoon. Great views at 16:00

Male with BTG.
Male with BTG.


Posted March 18th, 2015 at 10:10 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

2 Wheatears (m,f) on the rough pasture near the control tower. Snipe showing well in afternoon sun, 44 confirms that numbers are decreasing. 

Posted March 18th, 2015 at 5:00 pm in Bird News

Uffculme - Tuesday

Yellow-browed Warbler by sewage works, also present Chiffchaff and two Grey Wagtails.

(Chris Hill)

Posted March 18th, 2015 at 2:55 pm in Bird News

Branscombe Sewage Works

Great picture from Terry Honewill of the Branscombe Yellow-browed Warblerfrom yesterday also 2 Firecrest there.

Yellow-browed Warbler Branscombe Sewage Works 17 Mar 15 THnl

Posted March 18th, 2015 at 9:49 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 17th March 2015

Around topsham

watched from 11:00 till 17:00

on the walk down to the hide obvious fall of chiffchaff's with 10+ , 1 nuthatch, 2 coal tits.

from the hide, 5 pochard, 4 tufted duck, 6 pintail, 2 gadwall, 2 little grebe, 2 reed buntings 120+ wigeon, 1 water rail, 1 avocet

from the viewing platform 2 spotted redshanks, 2 greenshanks, 2 knot, 15+ grey plover, 1000+ dunlin, 31+ bar tailed godwits, 15+ red breasted mergansers , 2 great crested grebes, 8+ little egrets, 1 water rail, 1 peregrine, 5+ buzzards.

thanks to a call from mark baker just before 16:00 I manged to see a male Garganey viewable from the first viewing slots on goosemoore it showed well for 20minutes before flying onto the river clyst. The 2 spotted redshanks were with 5 greenshanks and a small number of black tailed godwits.

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 10:17 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Soar

17 March

12 Chiffchaffs in Soar valley pm. Barn Owl at Soar 8.0 pm

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 9:47 pm by Roger White in Bird News

Slapton Ley

15:00

12+ Sand Martins drifting east over Ireland Bay from hide. 2 Chiffchaffs in full song on nature trail. 

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 9:32 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Evening on Exminster marshes

As dusk fell on the marshes 60+ Sand Martin came back to the site to roost. 

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 9:19 pm by AJ Bellamy in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

The pond like liquid gold in the late afternoon light.

1 Swallow,1 Sand Martin, 4 Little Grebes & an increase in the number of Chiffchaffs, one individual half the size of the others (Goldcrest size).



Posted March 17th, 2015 at 6:50 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

A run round the South Hams

A run round the South Hams today, looking for some sign of the spring migration.

 Idstone Cross, Aveton Gifford saw several Yellow Hammers on the roadside hedge alongside a stubble field.

(The tidal road at Aveton Gifford was shut presumably for road works)

Bowcombe Creek, Kingsbridge large gathering of mainly Herring Gull but four Lesser Black Backs and 2 Common Gulls present, Curlew, Redshank and Shell duck on the mud flats.

Treatment works at West Charleton, Grey Wagtail, Song Thrush, Long Tailed Tits and Goldfinch.

Beesands Lee for my first visit to this location and hide, count of 28 Tufted Duck mostly in pairs, my first sighting of the Tufted Pochard hybrid, 3 Gadwall, 2 Skylarks singing over the car park and field leading to the hide and around the feeders 7 Greenfinch.

The signs of spring migration waited until we reached Start Point, Stonechat in plentiful numbers more than I have ever seen before, Meadow Pipits showing well and flying over from the sea, one Chiffchaff, several small flocks of Pied Wagtails and no less than 11 Wheatears mostly females and very flighty, Raven overhead

 

South Huish Marsh, Hen Sparrow Hawk, 4 Wheatears, 15 Sand Martins which were coming over the marsh in small numbers, 18 Teal, the Ruddy Shell duck is still present, Heron, Little Egret, 2 Buzzard, 2 Oyster Catchers several Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails and my thanks to Vic Tucker (if I have remembered the name correctly) for pointing out the location a drake Garganey.

Returning home along the Kingsbridge estuary, a good number of Brent Geese seen on the water just outside of Kingsbridge.

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 6:45 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

12Chichaffs around the reserve,two singing,3 Wheatears 1f,2m, in fields behind Lions Rest.Good  numbers of Wigeon still on the marsh withShoveler and Teal in smaller numbers.Tufted Duck,Gadwall,and Pochard on the lagoon,and a couple of Pintail nearby.A flock of about 30 Golden Plover were flying briefly,disturbed by 3 Buzzard displaying.2Peregrine on the usual pylons.and a Kestrel nearby was good to see.

ACettis Warbler was singing near the Turf,and there were good numbers of waders in the channel around midday which included 1Avocet,good numbers of Dunlin and Black Tailed Godwit some Curlew,Redshank,and 9 Grey Plover and 5 Knot.Good numbers of Brent on the water and a larger flock down towards Powderham.There were at least 12 Red Breasted Mergansers in the channel,and the males were displaying vigorously. An excellent day in the warm weather with 56 species see.

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 5:06 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in Bird News

Hopes Nose

1 male Wheatear late this afternoon on Sandy Point. Also a pair of Stonechat along the front path and a Chiffchaff

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 4:38 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

R.Taw - Pottington Ind.Est to Ashford Sewage Works. 1130 - 1510.

Off Pottington:- 33 Shelduck; 53 Redshank; 3 Grey Plover; 16 Dunlin; 1 Black-tailed Godwit; 4 Goosander(2M,2F); 2 Wigeon.

Off Penhill Marsh:- 56 Dark-bellied Brent Geese.

On Penhill Marsh:- 6 Little Egret, 6 Grey Heron and a few Canada Geese.

Bradiford Reserve;- Just 1 Little Egret and a few Teal, Mallard and Moorhen. 1 Buzzard overhead.

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 4:26 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Baggy Point

3 male Wheatear at Baggy this morning searching for food amongst the short coastal turf grazed by the Hebridean sheep.


Posted March 17th, 2015 at 2:15 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

No Wheatears this morning but winter visitors moving through with the arrival of 170+ Fieldfares overnight. Snipe numbers appear to be declining with 43 counted this morning. Two Canada Geese appear to have taken up residency.

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 1:02 pm in Bird News

Dart's Farm

Finally (4th visit) caught up with the 2 Penduline Tits this morning. They appeared right on schedule at 3 minutes to 10!

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 12:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Head

A few migrants around the headland this am: 2 Wheatear, 2 Black Redstarts (male and female type in quarry), 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Stonechat.

Overhead birds moving NE: 71 Chaffinch, 33 Meadow Pipit, 40 Goldfinch, 5 Bullfinch, 3 Greenfinch, 3 'alba' Wagtails, 1 Siskin, 1 Redd Bunting, 1 Skylark.

At sea (in 1/2 hr seawatch): 100+ Razor Bill, 65 Guillemot, 7 Kittiwake, 3 Common Gull and 5-6 Harbour Porpoises

Wheatear Berry Head 17 March 2015 ML 

                                  Wheatear                                           Harbour Porpoise Click picture for video link                                    

Posted March 17th, 2015 at 11:18 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 16th March 2015

Exminster Marsh & Turf Locks

Just to add to John's ealier post.

Late morning another 2 Wheatear (males) left of Lions Rest Ind Est with 4 Pintail in ponds near the bend in station road also 5 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Ducks on the main lagoon with c200 Brent Geese flying from north of the marsh down the estuary.

From Turf Locks 2 Avocets; 16 Red-Breasted Mergansers in 3 groups; c600 Brent Geese on the estuary; large numbers of Dunlin, Black-Tailed Godwits and Black-Headed Gulls scatterd around with usual numbers of other waders.

Links to videos of Wheatear near the main lagoon and Peregrine on pylon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo8LlpPu2e4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y_vA6MkH5k

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 7:24 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Dipper Ludwell Valley

On the way back from BGM (nice to see my first Sadn Martins of the year) finally got a reasonable picture of the Dipper pair on the Northbrook.

Distant Dipper Pair
Distant Dipper Pair

Dipper
Dipper

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 6:17 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Around topsham

watched from 09:00 till 15:15

started at darts farm and great to watch 2 Penduline tits for over an hour , also 1 stonechat, 4+ reed buntings, 3+ chiffchaffs, 2 bar tailed godwits, small numbers of curlew, black tailed godwits and wigeon, 1 water rail.

on the estuary of the goat walk 2000+ dunlin, good numbers of black tailed godwits, 29+ bar tailed godwits, 21+ red bresated mergansers, 150+ shelducks.

From the viewing platform at bowling green marsh, 1 spotted redshank, 4 greenshanks, 2 water rail, 15+ grey plover, 2 chiffchaff's.

finished at the hide at bowling green marsh, 2 groups of sand Martin (20+ & 18+)moved through from 14:30 plus 1 single earlier, 6 pintail , 2 gadwall, 5 pochard, 4 tufted duck, 5+ reed buntings, 6+ chiffchaffs, 200+ wigeon, also small numbers of teal and shovelers, 4 little egrets, 1 greenshank, 2 Cetti's warblers, 1 buzzard

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 5:46 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

This afternoon, under grey sky and in a cold wind, about 30 sand martins were feeding over the various pools. Near the lagoon 4 wheatears, all males, sat motionless in the grass. On the canal - one goosander (red head and may have been the bird seen on and off during the winter). Nearer the Turf one, possibly two, green sandpiper flew onto the wet flashes nearer the railway, calling loudly. I counted 5 chiffchaffs during the walk around the perimiter of the southern marsh. 

Two peregrines on pylons, one buzzard and a good variety of ducks made up for the cold and damp conditions. Spring seemed a long way off.

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 5:22 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 5:14 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Whitebridge - Otter Estuary, East Devon.

20 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the morning fieldtrip around the estuary.  First excitement came from a large, dark brown, furry creature swimming downstream which I mistakingly called 'Beaver' but was then identified as a Mink, bad news for the Otter!  Many Chiffchaff trying to find food, suggesting a recent fall. Four Little Grebe in mid stream and 3 Black tailed Godwit and a Dunlin present on the Estuary.  Falling numbers of Wigeon and Teal evident. Small numbers of Snipe on the marshes plus 3 Shoveler and at least 7 Rock Pipit.  Kingfisher seen near to the car park and later above Whitbridge where a GT Spotted Woodpecker was also found and heard drumming.  Not much out to sea other than 2 distant passing Scoter.  Thanks to Chris Townend for leading us through the cold and gloom.

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 3:44 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Middle to Soar Mill Cove

Firecrest in scrub above the cove and 3 Chiffchaffs in nearby riverine scrub. 2 Snipe in wet flushes at Middloe Soar. Grey & cold!!

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 2:23 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A nice little fall of 6 Wheatears together this morning - 4 males and 2 females. Despite the cold and gloom at least 10 Skylarks singing.

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 12:56 pm in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

A lone Sand Martin this morning over the pond.

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 7:24 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Slapton - Sunday

More Sand Martins arriving here too  (photo Alan Doidge)

Sand Martin Slapton 15.3.15 Alan DoidgeSand Martin, Slapton, 15.3.15 Alan Doidge

 

Posted March 16th, 2015 at 7:20 am in Bird News

Sunday 15th March 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A female Wheatear this morning was the first of the Spring and earliest record for the site. The Snipe still present (not counted) but precious little else with no Stonechats seen today. On Friday (13th) Fieldfares were arriving out of the gloom from all directions in small groups (typically 5-10 birds) and gathering in the ash trees close to the control tower. The flock was approaching 100 when i left.

Posted March 15th, 2015 at 9:10 pm in Bird News

Exmouth

A lone Sand Martin over the gardens by the Devoncourt Hotel, Exmouth this morning at 0900. 

250+ Brent Geese and 10+ Turnstone on or around Maer Rocks at 0700.

Posted March 15th, 2015 at 5:40 pm by Nick Pratt in Bird News

Badgers Halt, Dartmoor

Badgers Halt, Dartmoor, despite the large number of visitors six or seven Yellow Hammers showing well mid-afternoon, males in a range of plumage as they colour up. Marsh and Long Tailed Tits, Nuthatch and the usual species present.

Dipper seen on the River Dart just above Holne Bridge and on the other side of Ashburton at Gages Mill a Kestrel flew over the roadside hedge.

Posted March 15th, 2015 at 4:58 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton ley

25 to 30 Sand Martins out of wind at back of ley, 36 species of bird's seen. Good days birding;o)

Posted March 15th, 2015 at 2:33 pm by Simon thurgood in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

1 Sand Martin & 1 Swallow feeding over the pond this morning. 1 female Pochard & a couple of Chiffchaffs.

Posted March 15th, 2015 at 10:14 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Sand Martin

3 Sand Matin trying to feed over the canal at the Turf Hotel at 9.34 am

Posted March 15th, 2015 at 9:45 am by Tony Dudley-Clark in Bird News

Exminster Marsh 7 Turf Locks (Saturday 14-3-2015)

Walked around Exminster Marsh at 1100hrs 3 Meadow Pipits; c25 Sand Martins; 4 Pintail around the pond near the bend in station road with lots of Wigeon scattered around. At the viewing platform 5 Gadwall on the main lagoon with 6 Wheatear in front (pointed out by BH). From Turf Locks 4 Red Breasted Mergansers with the 2 males performing their courtship display also 9 Grey Plover and several other waders scattered around on the mud. Walked down to Powderhan corner the Snow Bunting again sat on the sea wall in it's usual place near the new railway bridge showing well with the Black Brant just over the path fence in amongst c50 Brent Geese with another c600 Brent's in various groups further up in the field before someone let their dog run around the field and putting up the whole group.

Links to some videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RqLfanbo34

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjVQf4XrNlw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE04l6YI1zM

Snow Bunting  near Powderham Corner  14-3-2015
Snow Bunting near Powderham Corner 14-3-2015

Black Brant  near Powderham Corner  14-3-2015
Black Brant near Powderham Corner 14-3-2015

Posted March 15th, 2015 at 9:23 am by David Boult in Bird News

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