Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th April 2016


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

Thursday 14th April 2016


A ring-tail Hen Harrier over Exmoor at Five Barrows this afternoon. 

Posted April 14th, 2016 at 8:15 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the high-tide from the hide.

Adult winter Bonaparte's Gull was again distant around the main pond feeding on insects before flying out at 1300hrs right on the high-tide and headed north towards Topsham recreation ground direction, 1-Knot, 3-Bar & c70-Black-tailed Godwits, 1-Spotted Redshank, c80-Redshank, 14-Greenshank, 5-Curlew, 7-Tufted Ducks, 8-Shelduck, c20-Shoveler, c25-Teal and 1-Buzzard.

From Goosemoor 13-Little Egrets and 2-Oystercatchers.

From the Viewing Platform 2-Grey Plover, 2-Dunlin, c30-Curlew and c80-Oystercatchers.

Bonaparte's Gull (digiscoped)
Bonaparte's Gull (digiscoped)

Bonaparte's Gull (digiscoped)
Bonaparte's Gull (digiscoped)

Bonaparte's Gull (digiscoped)
Bonaparte's Gull (digiscoped)

Posted April 14th, 2016 at 4:57 pm by David Boult in Bird News


Grasshopper warbler in lanes behind Starcross this afternoon. 

Posted April 14th, 2016 at 3:37 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Berry Head

Surprisingly quiet on headland despite good looking conditions last night, best birds were 1 male Redstart, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest. Very little overhead  best was 2 Tree Pipits  and 1 Yellowhammer that dropped in to the headland bushes.

Posted April 14th, 2016 at 2:18 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.25 to 08.25, low cloud then sun, SE1-2: a reeling Grasshopper Warbler (first of year here). Otherwise quiet for grounded night migrants: 1 Wheatear, 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers and a Goldcrest. Varied visible migration though, including: 21 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (all moving E), 1 Sandwich Tern (W), 45 Swallows (all W or NW again), 1 Stock Dove, 16 Carrion Crows (loose flock came in high from NW following the coastline just offshore and remaining at height), 1 alba wagtail, 3 Tree Pipits, 6 Meadow Pipits, 50 Linnets, 36 Goldfinches, 10 Siskins and 1 redpoll sp.

Posted April 14th, 2016 at 11:20 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Bundle Head, Shaldon

2 Redstarts, 10+ Chiffchaffs, c15 Blackcaps, 1 Swallow on the headland and 6 Sandwich Terns fishing out to sea.

Posted April 14th, 2016 at 10:37 am by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Wednesday 13th April 2016

Turf locks

Managed to digiscope 4 Swallows around the moored boats at Turf Locks over the high-tide but elsewhere very quiet on Exminster marsh mid-day with just 1 Whimbrel in with a group of Curlew and a few Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers could be heard calling.




Posted April 13th, 2016 at 4:48 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Woolacombe warren



GRASSHOPPER WARBLER reeling from tops of black thorn and scrub at northern end of the Warren.

Location: Just below Marine Drive close by broad steps leading down to coastal path. Bird between path and Drive

Posted April 13th, 2016 at 4:08 pm by John Bronze in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake,

On and around the Lake, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1m Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Wren, 4 Moorhen. On the feeders, 4m 1f Reed Bunting, 3 Robin, 5 Great Tit, 2 Green Finch, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Willow and 2 Marsh Tit, 4 Nuthatch, 1 Jay, 2m 3f House Sparrow

Posted April 13th, 2016 at 3:33 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Fingle Woods

A day of firsts for this site: Male Redstart, 2 male Pied Flycatchers, 20+ singing Willow Warblers and stacks of Blackcaps in.

Posted April 13th, 2016 at 3:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Berry Head And Clennon Lakes

Berry Head: very quiet virtually no migrants at all this morning but in thick fog- I suppose If I couldn't see the headland neither could the birds!

Clennon LakesSiberian Chiffchaff (tristis) in heavy moult as expected of P.c.tristis which migrate a lot later than our 'western' Chiffchaff P.c collybita.

Video clip link here:

Posted April 13th, 2016 at 2:41 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


a pied flycatcher was perched above a box claiming his patch for this year also seen were,  great spotted woodpecker ,green woodpecker,  and all the usual woodland birds.

Posted April 13th, 2016 at 2:09 pm by roger jewell in Bird News

Ravens over Meavy

Saw 23 Ravens circling and soaring from ground level to thousands of feet above a farm near Meavy yesterday. Plenty of cronking and tumbling play. Looked like a Raven speed dating meeting! 

Posted April 13th, 2016 at 10:27 am by Simon Martin in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.25 to 08.15, sunny intervals, almost calm, v. light ESE: The first real sustained passage of hirundines so far this spring started up about 07.30 and was going strong when I had to leave. In about 30 minutes I counted 65 Swallows, 30 Sand Martins and 3 House Martins, all going W or NW, many heading out over the sea. Also 2 fly-over Tree Pipts. Other migrants: 3 Shelducks (very scarce here), 5 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 2 alba wagtails, 2 redpoll sp. (presume Lessers), 1 Siskin, 12 Goldfinches, 38 Linnets.

Posted April 13th, 2016 at 10:20 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Tuesday 12th April 2016

Tree Pipit

Tree pipit taken at Yarner Wood, South Devon on Tue 12th April 2016.

Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 7:40 pm by Vikki in Bird News

Exeter and Dartmoor

A walk along the Exeter canal from Countess Wear to the City centre this morning gave no less than 25 species, six Blackcap (5M ~ 1F) Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, two Sand Martin, numerous singing Wrens, Robins and Great Tits. Goldcrest, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, several Song Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard, Moorhen and three Lesser Black Back Gulls.

Dartmoor above Bovey Tracy, to Haytor and back via Sigford gave all three species of Woodpecker, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler as well as several sightings which could have been of either species, good numbers of Sky Lark, Meadow Pipit an abundance of Stonechat, female Kestrel, lots of soaring Buzzards, one calling and then seen Curlew. 

My first Wheatear of the season and dropping into Sigford four Swallows sat on overhead wires.

Back at home two late afternoon Swallows low over the field and just before 7pm a Chiffchaff seen from the kitchen window.

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 7:13 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wrafton scrape

Wrafton Pond this morning, despite beautiful sunny calm weather and plenty of airborn insects, had no hirundines at all during our visit. Previous reports on the wildfowl present need not be repeated by us but I've included a Barnacle goose amongst the Canada geese in the scrape. The small white goose image (s) includes a Canada goose for scale. Possible Barnacle/Ross' goose hybrid? Sweet little thing anyway!

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 5:31 pm by Phil and SueNaylor in Bird News

11.04.16 Short Eared Owl M5 Exeter

On way back in the car from Bristol last night at 7.15pm saw single owl species unknown flying over M5 at Exminster flyover. Can only assume it was same Short Ear Owl(s) reported by other poster.

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 5:02 pm by Graham Devine in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Bonaparte's Gull still at Bowling Green Marsh this lunchtime in the company of 3 Black-headed Gulls. Still there when I left at 1.50pm. Also at least 1 Whimbrel with the Curlews.

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 2:25 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Exminster marshes

A glorious morning - warm, sunny and calm. Over 65 shelduck on the pools. There was clearly a fall of migrants over-night. At least 5 singing sedge warblers and one, possibly two, reed warblers. A male blackcap and both willow warblers and chiffchaffs on the canal bank. Three swallows (all male) at Turf visiting last year's nest sites.

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 12:09 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Berry Head

Bright clear morning and consequently not much moving, overhead: 1 Tree Pipit, 1 House Martin, 3 Swallows, 6 Jays in tight flock over headland, 5 Rooks, 3 Collared Doves on the move.

Around the headland 1 Firecrest in bushes by coastguards station, 1 Willow Warbler and 3 migrant Chiffchaffs. Video clip of Firecrest here  and photos below: 


Posted April 12th, 2016 at 10:34 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 11th April 2016

Plymouth Hoe & Millbay

Two Sandwich Terns, 1 or 2 Black Redstarts and a female Wheatear. 

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 9:30 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Popped into Bowling Green Marsh on the way home from work.  Just one gull on the marsh - an adult Bonaparte's gull, presumably the bird from Dawlish. Watched from 7pm to 7:45pm during which time it swam around picking flies off the surface.  The gull is still in winter plumage.

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 9:05 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Exminster SEOs

Watching from the viewing platform on the tow path opposite the lagoon tonight between 7.00 and 7.30 pm an SEO flew in from the right being mobbed by gulls. Once it had shaken them off it proceeded to quarter the fields around and over the lagoon and as it did so it passed behind a second SEO sat on a fence post. It eventually disappeared to the right and the second bird then took off and flew languidly left. I caught up with it again two fields nearer the Turf. By the time I left it was back in the fields in front of the lagoon. I did not see the first bird again.

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 8:59 pm by Nigel Banks in Bird News

South Brent

A good days birding in the garden and locally around South Brent, this morning gave five Chiffchaff, three Sky Larks and six Yellow Hammers on the outskirts of the village.

A garden area bird watch has given me 35 species throughout the day, the last recorded species being 14 House Martins that flew in from the direction of the A38.

Eight Buzzard over head at one point, the resident hen Buzzard aggressively driving off any Corvid's that approached her nest site including three Raven.

Reed Buntings still coming into the feeders two hens together this morning and single cock birds throughout the day.

Both Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush showing well, Green Woodpecker calling, four Jays in late evening

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 8:34 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Cuckoo calling this evening in Berrynarbor.

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 8:27 pm by Brian Davies in Bird News


Clearbrook today 2 Wheatears,good numbers of Willow warblers and the odd chiffchaff,Meadow Pipits and Stonechates.

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 8:21 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Exminster marshes

At 6.00 pm the short-eared owl was quartering the fields north of Topsham Lock and then flew south to hunt around the lagoon. Several chiffchaff and willow warbler singing. A reed warbler near the canal side car park gave a few short burst of song. There were 5 brent geese (all dark bellied), 2 wigeon and c24 teal on the pools. The most unusual sighting was a great tit carrying nest material into the top of one of the tall street lights on the by-pass - the pole must be nearly 30 feet high.

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 7:48 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Near Widdecombe

Male Cuckoo calling at Blackslade down. Is this the first of the year?

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 6:58 pm by Sam Forest in Bird News

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher at Chambercombe this afternoon

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 4:14 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Berry Head

Didn't get to the headland until late morning and then just for 1.5hrs  but obviously a bit of a fall: 22 Willow Warblers, 9 Chiffchaff (presumed migrants rather than territorial birds), 2 Redstarts (males), 6 Blackcap, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Wheatear and 9 Swallows over.


Above Chiffchaff - below Willow Warbler, a dull bird with dark legs and grey-nape Goldcrest new in on headland


There's a day long long field course at Berry Head run by myself for Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust this Saturday, limited places still available:   

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 3:44 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

seo exminster

the short eared owl just below m5 flyover at 6.45 am this morning, showing very well but mostly distant from canal footpath

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 2:04 pm by Gray Clements in Bird News


Three Whimbrel and seven Common Sandpipers at Passage House at 9am. Nearby two Wheatears on the racecourse and at least seven Willow Warblers at Hackney Marshes.

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 9:49 am by Will Salmon in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.25 to 08.30, overcast & murky, ESE4: First Tree Pipit of the spring (for my patch) flying over calling. Strong eastbound passage of 225 mainly adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls, plus 2 Common Scoter and 2 Sandwich Tern. Few grounded migrants: Wheatear 1, Chiffchaff 6, Willow Warbler 2.  Visible migration: Sand Martin 20, Swallow 3, House Martin 6, Meadow Pipit 36, Linnet 37, Goldfinch 11.

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 9:42 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

park parakeets

a good show this morning 12 ringneck parakeets flying around park together this morning

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 9:38 am by barry in Bird News

Sunday 10th April 2016

Colour-ringed Wheatears on Lundy

In response to Martin and Martha Unwin's post below, information on the Lundy Wheatear colour-ringing project can be found on this Facebook page and on the Lundybirds blog. Any additional sightings (and photos) this spring and summer will be gratefully received (details of what information to note down and where to send it are available via the same links).

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 10:22 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Four Mandarin Ducks, 7+ Little Egrets, 27 Redshanks, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Goldcrests and a Willow Warbler this morning.

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 8:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


After a grey & windy day and not much to show for my birding efforts this weekend, I was delighted to watch a male Marsh harrier hunting over the reed beds off Topsham rec at 19:30. Seemed to go to roost.

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Ringed Lundy Wheatear

While on a day trip to the island on April 9th we saw and photographed a female Wheatear. She was colour ringed on her left leg and ring banded on her right leg. Please see attached photos (apologies for the poor quality but they do show the ring combinations!)

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 6:48 pm by Martin and Martha Unwin in Bird News

Peter Tavy

ringtail hen harrier

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 5:51 pm by Charlie Braddick in Bird News


A first today a Femal Redpoll, decided to join in the feeding frenzy, along with the usual  6 Sikins, 4 Goldfinches 2 Chaffinch, 6 Blue tits, 3 Great tits (1 with white tail), 2 Coal tits, 2 Longtailed tits, 3 Dunnock, 3 Blackbirds (2 male 1 Female) 1 wood pigeon, the male Redpoll has been in and out all week.

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 4:53 pm by M C Webb in Bird News

Berry Head

0620-0950hrs: Dark Fulmar (single dark - Photos below), 90+ fulmar,1519 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Puffin, 4 Great Skuas, 457 Kittiwake, 10 Sandwich Tern, 3 Red-throated Divers, 1 Great Northern Diver,  1 Bar-tailed Godwit & approx. 5 Harbour Porpoise

 Dark  single Fulmar BH 100416 ML Dark  single Fulmar BH 100416 ML2

  Video link here set to 4k for best picture 



Posted April 10th, 2016 at 3:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bolt Head

1 Osprey in off the sea at 10.25am and 71 Common Scoter passing east in small groups between 10 and 11am.

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 2:10 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Hopes Nose

 6.30- 9.30am -11 Bonxies (inc a group of 4 at 8am),  1 Arctic Skua (dp)7.45am, BTD, GND, 5 RTD, 12 Sandwich Terns, 500 Manxies.

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 10:19 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

ringneck parakeets

6 ringneck parakeets in ford park cemetry this morning

Posted April 10th, 2016 at 9:36 am by barry in Bird News

Saturday 9th April 2016

Exminster Marshes

A lovely stroll around the marshes this evening, the Short-eared Owl still over the north end, a single Wigeon, a steady passage of Sand Martins (300+) with a few Swallows, 2 singing Willow Warblers and 2 Wheatears.

Posted April 9th, 2016 at 8:10 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two or 3 Swallows, a House Martin, 2 Wheatears, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Snipe, Pergerine, 17 Redshanks, and 25 Shelducks.

Earlier a Willow Warbler in sub-song in my garden (Mount Gould, Plymouth).

Posted April 9th, 2016 at 7:32 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

park parakeets

12 ringneck parakeets central park

Posted April 9th, 2016 at 2:05 pm by barry in Bird News

Friday 8th April 2016

Parakeets at Plymouth Outland Road 08-04-16

Parakeets at Plymouth, in a small woods near Outland Road, seem to be quite friendly, 4 were seen altogether 

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 9:51 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Hay tor and passage house in

A couple  of hours out and about initially at haytor in and around the quarry revealed the usual residents, several wrens, blue tits, pied wagtails. No sight or sound of cuckoos yet! Amongst the less common visitors I spotted a single willow warbler who was frightened off by dog walkers. A single female Siskin was also in the quarry. On the walk back to the car there was a flock of medium sized birds I was unable to positively identify. There were approx. 50 birds in a loose formation fllying with no real direction again put up by dog walkers. The usual suspects were in abundance including lots of male blackbirds establishing territories. Several stone chats were showing well as were a couple of wheatears. More obvious were the number of skylarks and meadow pippets one allowed me to get quite close with the camera. Finally just before the car park a pair of yellow hammers were chasing each other around. 

On the Teign at the passage house in there was very little of interest with a trio of grey lag geese on the embankment two egrets and a possible sighting of a single redshank. Back in Ogwell on the outskirts of Newton Abbot I spotted a house Martin which normally nests in the same spot each year so hopefully they are back to breed.

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 8:16 pm by John Wilkes in Bird News

Otter Estuary

22 members met at Whitebridge and took a circular walk down the river to the sea front and then back up the west path, venturing a little north of South Farm Cottages before returning to the cars. 

A singing Cettis Warbler briefly presented itself well before taking flight and numbers of finches, tits and other small passerines were present throughout the morning.  Shelduck and Teal were present in double figures plus a lonesome Wigeon (injured) on the scrapes. A short sea watch produced distant sightings of Gannet and possible divers and Razorbill.  The western path produced Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in expected numbers, a Gt Spotted Woodpecker, a distant singing Willow Warbler and 2 Buzzard overhead.  Surprisingly no hirondines. Over 40 species listed.

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 4:14 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Fingle Woods,Dartmoor

Pair of Goosander on river, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard nest building, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6 Grey Wagtail, 2 Dipper, 2 singing Blackcap, 15 singing Chiffchaff & pair of Siskin. No sign of Willow Warbler or Pied Flycatcher.


Posted April 8th, 2016 at 3:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


7.00 - 9.30 Friday  1 Cetti's, 3 Willows, 4 Chiffchaff & 2 Blackcap around Pond. Pr Tufted Duck, pr Pochard, 1 Little Grebe, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen & Mute Swan on the water. Plenty of Swallows & Sand Martins overhead. On scrape Hybrid Goose with several Canada Geese, 3 Teal & 1 L B-b Gull. No sign of any House Martins. Rather quiet really - especially after the wild life invasion!

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 3:16 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

From the viewing platform this lunchtime, 2 Spotted Redshanks. Also, 5 Knot in amongst the Black-tailed Godwits.

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 2:49 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

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