Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th March 2016

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

Monday 7th March 2016

skern

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

Posted March 7th, 2016 at 9:47 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Exeter

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:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGItFb01lPA

Redwing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UccOWscPIBM

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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.

GWTeal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROqG6-O-OMo

G-Ibis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTpntCQI7Bk

W-Rail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rZienvkj5E

Kestrel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB_NnYkQRl4

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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

Jay
Jay

Snipe
Snipe

Posted March 6th, 2016 at 3:25 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

Exeter

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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: http://www.dawlishwarren.co.uk/2015%20Dawlish%20Warren%20ring%20report.pdf

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHsRDA_7Jq0

Brambling
Brambling

Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Posted March 4th, 2016 at 7:21 pm by David Boult in Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

Wednesday 2nd March 2016

Wrafton

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 Bird News

Tuesday 1st March 2016

Hembury Woods

1 Woodcock, Hembury Woods, late afternoon.

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 9:37 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

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 Bird News

Wrafton

1 adult Spoonbill on freshwater scrape late aft.


Posted March 1st, 2016 at 6:24 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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 Bird News

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