Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th April 2016


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Thursday 7th April 2016

East Soar

Male Stonechat showing characteristics of Continental form "rubicola" paired with female Stonechat. Large white rump and thick white collar extending towards nape. Nought else but a few chiffchaffs.

Posted April 7th, 2016 at 5:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

The cold and blustery north-westerlies seem to have very efficiently put the mockers on nearly all migration up here on the north coast. Early visits today and yesterday brought just two Swallows battling against the wind and a handful of Chiffchaffs. A bit more going on out at sea this morning (as per news from Hartland), with small numbers of Manx Shearwaters, Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks (mainly Guillemots) moving W out of the Channel. 4 House Martins feeding in the shelter of the Sterridge Valley yesterday afternoon and 5 this morning.

Posted April 7th, 2016 at 12:44 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Hartland Point Seawatch

7-8.30 Wind NW strong

1150 Manx shearwater in first hour (then rapidly tailing off)

33 Kittiwake

4 Gannet

2 Razorbill

1 Sandwich Tern


Posted April 7th, 2016 at 12:25 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Wednesday 6th April 2016

Sherpa scrape

The hybrid Goose showing well again late aft - early evening.

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 7:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning saw, 2 Willow Tits on different feeders, c50 Sand Martin and 5 Swallow over the lake, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Goldcrest  2 Nuthatch.

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 7:08 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Paignton - Red Kite

Wednesday 5.45 PM, Red Kite above the main road at 3 Beaches, on the main Dartmouth Road

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 6:27 pm by Trevor leaman in Bird News

short eared owl/powderham

Short -eared Owl on fence post in field just before the farm on the back road towards Powderham ,was being mobbed by crows and went down to the grass, we waited in the little lay-by for nearly an hour but it didn't reappear, Cattle Egret still on Powderham 1.20pm

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 3:45 pm by gray clements in Bird News

Staverton 05/04/16

5 PM, from the bridge at Staverton, 1 x Raven, 1 x Jay, 3 x Goosanders, 1 x Dipper, 2 x Kingfishers......a lovely sunliit, quiet evening

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 6:09 am by Trevor Leaman in Bird News

Tuesday 5th April 2016

South Brent ~ Swallows

A total of five Swallows seen over home at South Brent today

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 10:19 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Dunsford Woods

Plenty of woodland birds to see and hear, with Blackcaps, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, and Chiffchaffs in full voice.A couple of Woodies drumming but no Willow Warblers or Pied Flycatchers yet but plenty of Goldcrest's and Tits throughout the wood. On the river where three Goosander's 1m and 2f and 2 Grey Wagtails. My first Comma seen this year in the warm afternoon sunshine.



Posted April 5th, 2016 at 9:59 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News


One Short eared Owl west of turf 6o'clock.

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 9:37 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Yarner Wood

Following on from Steve Hopper's earlier post; good views of a male Pied Flycatcher foraging its way through the tree tops at Yarner Wood this evening. 

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 9:20 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Wrafton area

Ringing in the reserve this morning produced a further 9 Willow Warblers, 7 Chiffchaffs and the first two Blackcaps of the spring.

Late afternoon walk to Sherpa: 2 Common Sandpipers on the Pill. Loads of Sand Martins and several Swallows from Wrafton Pond all the way to the marsh. Also another female Marsh Harrier which was chased off towards the estuary by a Herring Gull. Different bird to yesterday - this one had a complete tail!

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 8:14 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Red Kite  drifting over Ilsington early evening at 5.45pm lingering over the woods and valley for several minutes before moving on.  Also Swallows, House Martins and singing Blackcap.  (Steve Hearn)

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 8:01 pm in Bird News

Torr Quarry

Red Kite seen by Tom Hallam drifting over at 14:00 heading south towards Kingsbridge

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 5:46 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Morte Point

2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling from Blackthorn @ Gorse cover 0915  - 0945 this morning. My earliest record by 6 days for this location.

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 2:24 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

First swallows

Just went out for lunch with the family to Combe sellers pub on the Teign estuary and had a few good sightings of a pair of red breasted mergansers, great crested grebe the usual gulls and oyster catchers. Whilst eating lunch I spotted a small bird darting around over the exposed mud flats and upon investigation I spotted a pair. They were in fact a pair of swallows and they were getting quite fruity on the telephone line at the land side of the car park. I managed to grab my camera and they obligingly allowed me to shoot them in order to get a 100% I.d. First sighting of 2016 for me. 

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 2:09 pm by John Wilkes in Bird News

Yarner Wood ~ Pied Flycatcher

A morning visit to Yarner Wood gave me views of two male Pied Flycatchers, unfortunately each time they settled they were mobbed and driven off by Blue Tits, staff advise that they are the first Pied Flycatchers to be seen and recorded in the wood so far this year.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Marsh Tit, male Siskin, Chiffchaff and four Mandarin duck(3M ~ 1F)

Roe buck seen while driving onto the site.

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 11:27 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Berry Head

Bright still morning on the headland and a small fall of birds, the highlight being a well marked continental Coal Tit that we watched for 35mins before it flew off high West. Other migrants: 6 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 4 Wheatear and off shore 6+ harbour porpoise. 

Continental Coal Tit Berry Head 5th April 2016 Bill Mc

 Continental Coal Tit Berry Head 5th April 2016 Bill Mc 2   Continental Coal Tit Berry Head 5th April 2016 Bill Mc 3

Continental Coal Tit (photo Bill Macdonald) note extensive black bib extending down onto chest sides, very slate blue-grey scapulars and mantle, lack of warm tones on underside, the crest on continental coal Tits seems to be more obvious but our own britannicus Coal tits can show this feature and although the very white cheeks are a feature of autumn Continental Coal tits at this time of year britannicus can show white cheeks and are often paler on underside!

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 10:04 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 4th April 2016

Hayne Down, Dartmoor

One Tree Pipit over at15.00hrs

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Rick Lockwood in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Short eared owl seen at 4.15pm, first picked up towards motorway and made its made towards the canal car park before being lost from view.

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 4:56 pm by Claire & Chris Grove in Bird News

4th April 2016

Dunsdon NR, near Holsworthy.

At least 4 Herons active in the heronry. 1 Jay, 1 Chiffchaff singing, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Song Thrush.

Lower Tamar Lake.

At .least 5 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 10+ Sand Martins, 1 female Reed Bunting, 1 Great Crested Grebe,, 1 Cormorant, 2 Canada Geese,1 Moorhen, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Chaffinches, Wrens, Robins and corvids.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 1:53 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Velator reserve

Late morning visit revealed good numbers of Chiffchaffs, (20+) including one or two in song, and about 10 WIllow Warblers, again one or two singing.

Best was an adult female Marsh Harrier which circled over the reserve and then moved off north.

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 12:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


1swallow sighted in spite of all day rain.

many Chiffchaffs singing Totnes to Staverton circular walk.

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 12:04 pm by Jacqui Beevers in Bird News

Sunday 3rd April 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 10:15 till 17:30

A good day round the marsh with a steady flow of sand martins through from 14:40 with 500+, 15+ swallow and my first House martins of the year with 3 from the hide , a immature female peregrine took a black tailed godwit and then saw off a buzzard and 2 carrion crows before taking its fill of the kill, 4 avocet , 30+ redshank, 2 greenshanks, 100+ black tailed godwits, 1 water rail, 1 willow warbler, 2 Cetti's warblers, 12+ chiffchaffs around the marsh, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 tufted duck, 2 gadwall, 10+ pintail, 30+ shoveler, 30+ wigeon, 1 jay, 3+ blackcaps, 2 nuthatch, 1 treecreeper, 2 great spotted woodpeckers, 1 green woodpecker, 2 coal til, 15+ blue tits, 8+ great tits, 2 reed buntings, 4 pale bellied Brent geese flew in circled around and went back south to the estuary

2 spotted redshanks  from the viewing platform with 8+ greenshanks, 4 knot, 6 ringed plover, 7+ red breasted mergansers, 1 great crested grebe, 1 Cetti's warbler, 100+ redshanks.

from the goatwalk, 12+ red breasted merganser, a group of 21 Brent geese flew high over exminster marsh heading north before being lost to view and appeard to be pale bellied race, 8 grey plover.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 11:06 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


This morning saw a fall of common migrants, the first Ring Ouzels of the spring and a passing Osprey at 9.30 – meaning that there were at least two in North Devon today. Further details of today's Lundy sightings are here.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 9:19 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

South Brent & Dartmoor

Despite the wet overcast weather and slow but goods days birding around the garden with 31 species including Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Siskin, Beed Bunting, Wren, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, GSWP and Jay. Overhead hen Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard, Raven, Mallard and Greater Black Back Gull.

Best spot being the first Blackcap I have seen in the garden for at least two years with a male showing on and off for most of the day.

A trip over Dartmoor above Ashburton to Post bridge and back via Moretonhampstead showed that Dartmoor is getting busy with small birds again, Skylark and Meadow Pipit showing well.

Dartmeet busy around the feeders with a male Blackcap, hen Yellow Hammer, Marsh, Great, Blue and Coal Tits, Nuthatch, House Sparrows, Chaffinch and Robins.

At Dartbridge a pair of Canadian geese with what I suspect was a hybrid Canadian sharing the same field.


Yellow Hammer
Yellow Hammer

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 8:38 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wembury Bay

A Sandwich Tern, Swallow, 4 Chiffchaffs, 7+ Rock Pipits and a Common Sandpiper this afternoon.

This evening in my garden (Mount Gould, Plymouth) a Willow Warbler and 2 Chiffchaffs.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 7:52 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Three House Martins over Bowling Green Marsh my first for the year early evening, followed by seeing an Osprey eating a fish on the mud between Powderham & Turf at 18:15. Two Spotted redshanks and nine Greenshsnk from the viewing platform.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 7:28 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


The Osprey was back over the Taw/Torridge estuary this afternoon at 4.40pm. Viewed from Skern it was mobbed by gulls but did appear to dive down to the river after a fish. It was lost to view again.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 6:03 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Clennon Lakes

At least 8 Willow Warblers and 3 chiffchaff, 1 Swallow and Shoveler around the lakes.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 5:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


A brief visit to the Skern between the showers proved better than expected. Just inside Appledore Gate were 13 Shelduck, 5 Black-tailed Godwit 1 Whimbrel 2 Dark-bellied Brents and 1 Pale-bellied. On the salt marsh were c300 Golden Plover and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, and around Greysands lake 9 White Wagtail and2 Sand Martin.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 3:43 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Mortehoe several days ago

2 Roe Deer but only visible for very short time before leaping over a hedgerow.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 2:50 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Northam Burrows- Skern

A large flock of golden plover remained at Skern through the day. A couple of swallows seen at about 6.30pm. Three snipe in the scrub-land as well as willow warbler, linnets,meadow pipits, skylark and an unusually marked stonechat.


Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler (Eds: chiffchaff)

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 1:13 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.50 to10.00; partly overcast, SE4: Good morning for migrants, including 8 Swallows, 21 Sand Martins, 1 House Martin, 15 Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers, 1 Blackcap (1st this year), 63 Meadow Pipits, 10 alba wagtails, 53 Linnets, 12 Goldfinches and 40 Chaffinches (visible Chaffinch migration unusual here in spring). Also an apparently migrating flock of 15 Woodpigeons. Highlight was a 1st calendar year Glaucous Gull that did a wide sweep to the W between Rillage Point and Beacon Point before coming back in to land and preen. Excellent views through scope. 09.40 to 10.00. Dashed home to get camera, but bird had gone on return at 10.25 and could not be relocated.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 11:52 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Late post for Friday 1st: 1 Barn Owl hunting, South Efford Marsh, early am. Plus 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Little Egrets, 12 Shelduck, Chiffchaffs singing etc.

Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 8:31 am by Andy Smith in Bird News

Saturday 2nd April 2016

Mansands and Woodhuish


Around the Car Park, Lane and Hide

Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Linnets, 2 Stock Doves, 3 Buzzards, Goldcrest, 4+ Chiffchaffs, 3 Long Tailed Tits, 2 Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits and a Coal Tit (all on feeders adjacent to hide), female Bullfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch.  Blackcap and Pheasant calling.

On or close to the Ley

2 Shovelers, 2 Tufted Ducks, 3 Stonechats, 6+ Chiffchaffs, Kestrel, 3 Swallows, 1 House Martin and 4 Goldfinches. 

On the Sea

Great Crested Grebe, 2 Fulmars and 5 Gannets (all headed south). 

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 8:58 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Paignton area

Occombe Farm, Paignton ~ lots of small bird activity including Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, all the usual woodland birds Nuthatch, Blue & Great Tit, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Dunnock, lots of singing Robins two Wren and a pair of Bullfinch.

Broadsands just about a non starter as a group of “travellers” have set up camp on the usually closed car park where birders visit to view the Firecrest’s etc. The only saving grace were at least three Chiffchaff.

Back home in South Brent four Reed Bunting 3M 1F. Two males and one female on the feeders, three Goldcrest, three Chiffchaff, Wren, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, late afternoon gave a fly past from a Greater Black Back Gull, Mallard, two Canadian Geese and a single Stock Dove.

Tawny owl calling over last night.

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 8:35 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide. Small group of between 6-10 Willow Warblers seen around the trees and fields just inside the gates to viewing platform. From the Goatwalk 4 Ringed Plovers on Turf side of the mud across river with c100 Redshank, c50 Curlew, and numerous Black-tailed Godwits. Another look at the viewing platform showed 6 Knot, c25 Bar-tailed Godwits, c550 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Red-breasted Mergansers, c25 Curlew and c100 Oystercatchers. On walk back towards the hide 4 Chiffchaff along the lane and from the hide 7 Pintail, 3 Tufted Ducks, c25 Shoveler and c35 Teal. At Goosemoor 7 Willow Warblers along the cycle track, 2 Greenshank, 5 Little Egrets and a Kestrel hovering low over the marsh.

Willow Warblers:

Yesterday Friday c100 Golden Plover with several in summer breeding plumage seen from the Goatwalk near Turf Locks.

Golden Plover:

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 8:12 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Little other than 3 Oystercatchers, 8 Little Egrets and 24 Sheldicks on the high tide. But warblers in evidence with a single Willow, 6 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Also Green Woodpecker and Mistle Thrushi

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 7:47 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Osprey seen late afternoon/early evening on the Torridge just off Appledore. Everything went up off the estuary to mob it. The bird flew upstream but I couldn't relocate it after that.

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 7:24 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News

South Devon Coast

Two days looking for migrants but very thin on the ground. 

3 Brent Geese west at Start Point yesterday & 2 Swallows. Prawle very quiet.

Today Sandwich Tern inshore at Beesands, 15 Chiffchaffs at Soar Mill Valley plus White Wagtail & 2 Swallows.

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 6:25 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Soar Valley

Early evening: 8 Chiff Chaff, 1 Blackcap, 7 Yellowhammer

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 6:23 pm by Roger White in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

pm: 2 Little Egret, 4 Redshank, 1 Greenshank,1 Stonechat, 10 Chiff Chaff, 1 Blackcap

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 6:18 pm by Roger White in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

It was very wet at the lake this morning but there were c100 Sand Martins, c8 House Martins, c12 Swallows, 11 Tufted Duck, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1m Reed Bunting.

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 2:55 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Buckfastleigh to Totnes 01/04/16

Train ride with Grandson produced 2 x pairs of Mandarin Duck, at least 6 Goosander (2M, 4F), swallows all the way along the valley, just a couple of Sand Martin noted. 

Posted April 2nd, 2016 at 7:23 am by Trevor Leaman in Bird News

Friday 1st April 2016

Powderham Egret

Intrigued with the yellow-billed Little Egret at Powderham. This bill colouration is rare in Little Egrets, can someone get a good look at the colour of the lores (should be blue/grey) and the leg/feet colour (black/yellow). If different please make some good notes!.............

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 10:36 pm by David Cope in Bird News


A single Sandwich Tern was fishing close in to the mouth of the river this afternoon.

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 9:21 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

Two House Martins under glowering clouds at Watermouth this evening were my first of the year.

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 7:55 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Velator reserve

Ringing today was very productive, and spring has finally arrived:

Summer migrants ringed were:

15 Chiffchaffs

6 Willow Warblers (only heard one singing)

4 Swallows

24 Sand Martins

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 6:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Overcast and quiet cold this morning at the Lake, 2 Willow Tit, 9 Tufted Duck, 6 Great Crested Grebe, c40 Sand Martin,1f Goosander, 3 Nuthatch, 4m Reed Bunting, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 3:37 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News


A dozen sand martins and a single swallow in off the sea this lunchtime and immediately feeding over the pond. 

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 3:04 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

1 Willow Warbler singing in the Willows surrounding the pond am.

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 12:21 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

River Teign

On the Teign this morning: 23 Shelduck, 12 RB Merganser, 1 Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpipers. At Flow Point the overwintering Water Pipit remains and is now molting into breeding plumage. Also 1 Rock Pipit showing characteristics of ssp littoralis also in molt.

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 11:53 am by david cawthraw in Bird News

Powderham Egrets

Cattle Egret & the pale billed Little Egret side by side at Powderham yesterday (4pm). SX967843. Judging by the array of mighty lenses out there someone must have a better picture...

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret (Left) & Little Egret (Right)
Cattle Egret (Left) & Little Egret (Right)

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 9:41 am by C Boyles in Bird News

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