Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th March 2016

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


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 General Birding

Monday 7th March 2016


14 med gulls this evening,6ad,6ss,2fs 17:45-18:30

Posted March 7th, 2016 at 9:47 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding


Mid-day c25 Redwing still around the trees in the middle of King George V Playing Fields Countess Wear which were there also on Saturday. 2 Dippers seen on the Northbrook stream and group of 7 Goldcrest moving along the hedgerow with other tits and finches at Ludwell Valley off Topsham Road.



Dipper  at Ludwell Valley
Dipper at Ludwell Valley

Redwing  at King George Playing Fields
Redwing at King George Playing Fields

Posted March 7th, 2016 at 8:09 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Turf, Exe Estuary

sunday March 6

black brant with 500 Brent's in fields south of Turf

Also cattle egret with 2 little egrets around cattle feeder in field west of railway line

also spotted redshank and Slavonian grebe at Turf

Posted March 7th, 2016 at 7:55 pm by Leigh lock in General Birding

Sunday 6th March 2016

Black Hole Marsh & Seaton Marsh

At Seaton Marsh the Green-winged Teal was seen at the far north end of the marsh pool behind the sewage treatment works looking towards BHM at 1400hrs onwards but mostly disappearing within the long grass. The long staying Glossy Ibis was showing really close in the marsh pools looking south towards Seaton from the hide.

At Black Hole Marsh 2 Kestrels showed continously perched on the overhead cables and 2 Water Rails were very close and noisey fighting in the ditch under the overhanging hedge behind the viewing area at the entrance leading to the tower hide.





Green-winged Teal at Seaton Marsh
Green-winged Teal at Seaton Marsh

Glossy Ibis st Seaton Marsh
Glossy Ibis st Seaton Marsh

Kestrel at Black Hole Marsh
Kestrel at Black Hole Marsh

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 11:47 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Shag's tail being got at by a crow

At Brixham Harbour today 06-03-16 I caught this Crow trying to get a tail feather from this shag, the shag seemed not to bother to much & the Crow did not manage to get any feathers.

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 8:54 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

South Brent

A morning walk from Shipley Bridge towards the Avon dam as far as the old pump house, the moors are still in the grip of winter despite several lots of frog spawn and not overly abundant with bird life, that said two Buzzards soaring, numerous displaying and rolling Ravens, Jay, Crow, Magpie, numerous Robins, Long Tailed Tits, a single Goldcrest, two Kestrel and Dipper sightings which I suspect may well have been the same birds.

At Yalland farm a flock of around 20 plus Redwings and once back in South Brent a low flying flock of over 100 birds headed easterly possibly heeding the call of nature and beginning to migrate.

Around the garden feeders a male Reed Bunting and at least five Siskin in and out for most of the day, Raven, Buzzard and three Stock Dove overhead.

Just after 6.15pm Dave Pakes rang me to say he was watching a Barn owl near Marley Head just as I arrived the bird lifted from a roadside gate post and flew off across fields it did not strike me as being in very good health, no doubt struggling to feed in this up and down weather.

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 8:01 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Seaton Wetlands

Having never visited this reserve beforehand, I would highly recommend it. There has obviously been significant investment in the infrastructure and creation of a variety of habitats. The wetlands have started to attract a variety of wetland birds, with the ponds and scrapes looking really good for the future. Had 42 species this morning, including ChiffchaffGlossy Ibis, and adult male Green-winged Teal in the southern section of the reserve, by the pond behind the sewage Works. Barn Owls are apprently regularly seen and roost in the hides!

Glossy Ibis- Seaton Marshes
Glossy Ibis- Seaton Marshes

Green-winged Teal-distant view
Green-winged Teal-distant view

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 6:07 pm by Nick D'Agorne in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

I saw the adult Bonaparte's Gull briefly off Exmouth at the start of today's Stuart Lines Cruise, but couldn't find it later. The highlights were the Black Brant on the river near Turf, at least 4 Pale-bellied Brents off Exmouth, and Spotted Redshank and Slavonian Grebe off Powderham. Still good numbers of Avocets, Grey Plover, Dunlin and both godwits at the top end of the estuary, plus about 15 Knot. Also at least 10 Great Crested Grebes, c20 Shags, c40 Mergansers and a Grey Seal joined the resident Harbour Seal on Bull Hill sandbank.

The 'resident' Slavonian Grebe, today off Powderham
The 'resident' Slavonian Grebe, today off Powderham

Spotted Redshank, also off Powderham
Spotted Redshank, also off Powderham

Grey and (resident) Harbour (Common) Seal
Grey and (resident) Harbour (Common) Seal

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 6:06 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Yellow Browed Warbler Exeter

Yellow Browed Warbler - as per yesterdays post by Will Salmon (thanks) Yellow Browed Warbler seen in same place - St James School. by the disabled parking bays near the sports hall. Seen from 12.45 - 1.45 moving fleetingly up and down the hedgerow senn 4 times in 1 hour.

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 3:28 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Tamar Lakes - 5th March

Walk around the Tamar Lakes on Saturday - very cold wind made the water very choppy & the water bird sheltering at the margins on both lakes. Good numbers of Gooseanders (25+) & Great Crested Grebes (16). No birds at all in front of the hide on the Upper Lake but lots of Tits, (Blue, Coal, Great & Marsh), Chaffinches, Dunnocks & Reed Buntings on the feeders alongside the hide on the Lower Lake. Also lovely views of a Jay & a Snipe from the same hide.

Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit



Posted March 6th, 2016 at 3:25 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Late post for yesterday, 5th March. Kingsbridge Estuary at Wareham Point, of note: 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 140 Brent Geese, 3 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel (!), 1 singing Cirl Bunting etc; plus ca 20 Common Snipe at West Charleton Marsh and 6 Chiffchaffs at the sewage works.

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 9:35 am by Andy Smith in General Birding

Saturday 5th March 2016

Brixham & South Brent

Wickedly cold in the strong winds around the Broadsands and Brixham area this morning, Broadsands gave a Carrion Crow trying to break into a dead Black Headed Gull on the beach, the rough seas spoilt any realistic sea watch.

The Brixham multi story car park gave a single Goldcrest.

The winds must have at gale force on Berry Head but views of the cliffs from the hide gave good number of Guillemots and a handful of Fulmar one pair appeared to be feeding a single chick.

Back home in South Brent the sun was out and no wind to speak of, with very clear skies the birds were flocking to the garden feeders the 29 species recorded included a female Siskin, male Reed Bunting (both making regular visits) a BTO ringed Blue Tit the last three numbers on its ring being 697, two Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, several Pied Wagtails, Rook, Jay, Raven, two Wren, two Long Tailed Tits, Sparrow Hawk, two Buzzards, 58 Jackdaw and a 40+ flock of Starling passed over head..

Posted March 5th, 2016 at 6:08 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three Jack Snipe, 9 Snipe, a drake Red-breasted Merganser, Little Grebe, 4 Stock Doves, Green Woodpecker, Pergerine (juv female) and (the) leucistic Magpie.

Good to see everyone out today. 

Last night a good candidate for a sinensis Cormorant (adult).

Posted March 5th, 2016 at 5:13 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Yellow-browed Warbler again around the car park at St James School late morning & early afternoon. Seems to favour the bushes opposite the disabled parking bays next to the sports hall.

Posted March 5th, 2016 at 4:13 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

ashford strand, river taw

A pleasant walk today with Andy Leat from Chivenor to Barnstaple produced 10 goosander, a flock of circa 50 sanderling then 2 almost certain curlew sandpiper, one of which stood chest deep in the water (does that help I.D. it). They were directly across from the garden centre. Also had my first look at the Chivenor white breasted robin. Bizarre!

Posted March 5th, 2016 at 3:23 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Quite a pleasant morning at the lake today, the numbers of Goosander are starting to drop, the best count this year was 29, last year we had 45. 1m Gadwall, 17 Goosander, 8 Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Heron, 1 G.C.Grebe, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Cormorant,5 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Nuthatch, 5 Marsh Tit, 2 Willow Tit, 2m Reed Bunting, 1 Snipe, 2 Greenfinch.

Posted March 5th, 2016 at 2:55 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Dawlish Warren Ring Read Report: 2015

As we wait for the much anticipated first Wheatears and Sand Martins to arrive, I can recommend sitting down with a cup of tea and having a read of this inspiring report written by Dawlish Warren patch birder Lee Collins:

There are many dedicated bird ringers out there, but it's refreshing to see such a dedicated ring reader whose efforts are adding invaluable data to the BTO database about bird movement and migration.

Posted March 5th, 2016 at 8:55 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Friday 4th March 2016

Postbridge - and Steps Bridge

Just to show how East Devon Branch is never put off by bad weather forecast.  New Branch Chairman Geoff Green (nearest on left) battles through snow at Postbridge and later leads the way at Steps Bridge to find Goosander.

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 9:11 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide good numbers of the usual numbers of Black & Bar-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Snipe, Avocets, Curlew, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Teal, Shoveler, Wigeon, Water Rail with a Brambling and Nuthatch around the garden feeders amongst the other finches and tits. From the viewing platform the Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Red Breasted Mergansers and another Water Rail in field along the path.


Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 7:21 pm by David Boult in General Birding

ringneck parakeets

9 ringneck parakeets and 2 going in out of nest site again.

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 6:45 pm by barry in General Birding

Broadsands, Fri, 4.3.16

2 Gt Northern Divers, 1 Gt - crested Grebe, c.09:30; at least 4 Cirl Buntings (3m, 1f) in field adjacent to footpath in far LH corner of rear car park + 1 Chiffchaff feeding & singing in same area, c.10:00 - 11:30; 1f Sparrowhawk over same field.

Now for the report that most of you may find hard to believe: Hobby  flying inland over the back of same field c.11:00! Definitely not a Kestrel; showed black cap & moustache; too small, too slim; too long in the wing & too dark on upper parts; distinct lenghtways striations on breast. (Believe me I'm as suprised as you - used to watch hobbies in New Forest and seldom had first individuals before mid to late April.)

Last but not least: 1 Firecrest in reedy tree divide between main car park & back of huts, c.13:00.

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 5:15 pm by David Holloway in General Birding

Burrator Reservoir

A chilly walk around Burrator reservoir this afternoon dodging the hail and sleet showers and the ususal wildfowl present on the water - a male and 2 female goosander, mallards, 2 cormorants, Canada geese, 4 Muscovy duck and a white farmyard goose - but a complete surprise were a pair of scaup busily diving - distant views and a couple of dodgy cropped and zoomed photos attached.

In the woods the usual species - siskins, nuthatch, tits, robins, a buzzard, 2 jays and a roe deer.

Male Scaup
Male Scaup

Female Scaup
Female Scaup

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 5:05 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Postbridge- Bellever- Steps Bridge

12 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the fieldtrip to Postrbridge.  We had only gone up river a few hundred yards when a sudden blizzard caused us to retreat but not before we had seen Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch and a colony of House Sparrow.  We decided to move to the shelter of Bellever forest and were rewarded with warm sun and a blue sky and sightings of Siskin, Treecreeper and Bullfinch. A Green Woodpecker was heard and a second at Postbridge when we returned for lunch where c22 Fieldfare were on the move plus c10 Redwing.

After lunch the remainder of the group headed back towards Exeter and five of us stopped off at Steps Bridge to look for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.  We soon heard one calling several hundred yards into Dunsford Woods plus a Green Woodpecker.  A Marsh Tit was found together with several Long Tailed Tit.   I decided I was getting fatigued (having finished two months of radiotherapy the previous week) and said goodbye to the others. 300 yards before the bridge I heard a Lesser spotted Woodpecker calling from alders on the far bank.  15 minutes later it revealed itself and flew across the river, long enough for me to see the red crown of a male.  (This was the same clump of trees we had the species last year).  A great day out made memorable by the snow showers and familiar company. 

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 4:48 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

East Soar

Very few migrants just 200 Golden Plover inc. several in summer plumage and 11 Meadow Pipit. No hoped for Wheatear!!

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 3:36 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 3rd March 2016

Grey Parakeet

Seen calling in tree in Inverdeen Road Sunday 30th Feb, kept calling as the Ringnecked Parakeet's flew over going to roost

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 9:03 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

River Plym

The juv Glaucous Gull first found last week, again on the River Plym late afternoon, at the bend of the river at the north end and viewable from the layby. Still there till 4.10pm at least. 

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 6:53 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Dawlish Warren & Cockwood

Highlights were 2 Slavonian Grebes - seen very close in at Cockwood, 14 Great Crested Grebes - 12 offshore, 300+ Brent Geese, 22 Red-breasted Mergansers, 14 Shags, 20 Sanderling, 1 Knot, 60 Turnstones & Kingfisher off Cockwood. Grey Seal hauled out on sandbank.

Still dipped on the Bonaparte's Gull!

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 4:32 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Ring necked parakeet

Saw one today got this shot of the bird herd more calling but did not see them Ford park Plymouth.

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 4:26 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery

Today two female Black redstarts,one male Black redstart,and one Ringed necked parot..


Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 4:18 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Wednesday 2nd March 2016


One Spoonbill this morning flying towards and then over the scrape, but not seen to land. Struggling in the very windy conditions.

Three Tufted Duck and two Pochard on the pond.

Posted March 2nd, 2016 at 12:03 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 1st March 2016

Hembury Woods

1 Woodcock, Hembury Woods, late afternoon.

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 9:37 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Barn owl ~ South Brent

A good start to March with a close encounter with a Barn owl near South Brent, close enough to see that it was an un ringed female.

Around and over the garden 30 species including one Lesser and two Great Black Back Gulls, three Siskin, male Bullfinch, Raven, Wren, 35 Chaffinch and 13 Starling.

Almost continuous movement of Redwing flocks once the rain had stopped, initial count of 28 followed by 67, 40+, 29 and late afternoon a counted 84 birds.

Female Blackbird collecting nesting material, pair of Great Tits checking out a nest box


Posted March 1st, 2016 at 9:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


1 adult Spoonbill on freshwater scrape late aft.

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 6:24 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Redshanks in Exeter

I saw 3 redshanks along the newly landscaped flood relief channel further downriver from the quay - nice to see them :)

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 5:41 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Noss Mayo

5 Raven today flying back and forth over the village. Marsh tit on feeders as well as Great, Blue, Coal and LTT. Chaffinch, Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch they are now scarce in the area. Great spotted woodpecker and Nuthatch as well as Dunnock, Robin and Blackbird. Sparrow Hawk and Buzzard over. Song Thrush are now scarce and Blackbird numbers reduced. On Newton Creek at half tide Curlew , Redshank and Shag.

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 3:29 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Marsh Harrier - Slapton Ley

Killing a couple of hours at Slapton with my wife, whilst her car was serviced, we were treated to my best views ever of a female marsh harrier. Seen flying over the reedbed at Torcross before alighting in the reedbed about 40m away. Remained static there from 11.30 - 1200, giving superb views, before being forced further into the reeds and out of view by the proximity of a pair of swans.

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 2:56 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

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