Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th July 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

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

Thursday 7th July 2016

Swallows etc.

Have seen plenty of swallows at Saltram, but not as many as in previous years and recently came across a House Martin nest in Buckfastleigh where there were young. Swallows were plentiful earlier in June at Staverton but seem to have dropped off. Also a fair few at Cadover Bridge.

Posted July 7th, 2016 at 7:58 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Dalmation Pelican is heading this way

According to the Cornwall Bird Watching fraternity the Dalmatian Pelican which has been present in West Cornwall for the past few weeks has recently been spotted in the Tamar Estuary and around Port Eliot and the Lynher Estuary so it seems to be working our way so keep your eyes pierced. Perhaps it will put in an appearance on one of our Estuaries in the not too distant future

Posted July 7th, 2016 at 7:27 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Where are all the hirundines?

Are we short of swifts / swallows / house martins this year ?  We normally have loads flitting about but there are hardly any around at all in our corner of East Devon (nr Axminster) at the moment.  Have they decided they don't like our valley all of a sudden and gone elsewhere or is this a general shortage ?

Posted July 7th, 2016 at 4:59 pm by Carol Miltenburg in Bird News

Cranbrook, Nr Exeter

A quick visit this morning to the lake at Cranbrook (400m west of the Secondary Education Campus) produced an early Green Sandpiper.  Cranbrook has previously produced early and late records of Green and Wood Sandpiper and they seem to like this area with its new waterways.  Sadly 'The Scrape' (opposite the new railway station) that has featured in my past reports has been taken over by water plants and is no longer viewable.  Also present in hedgerows near to the Ed Campus were several Whitethroat but no signs of Lesser seen recently.

Posted July 7th, 2016 at 2:57 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Butterflies at last

Butterflies at last.  Went to Exeter to see 19240 Shrouds of the Somme, it made me cry and one word only "Why".  Contrasted with a walk from Lympstone to Exmouth with butterflies flying free in the sun, Meadow Browns, Small White, Comma and two Marbled White  ( too fast for the camera) seen, plus plenty of House Sparrows.

Posted July 7th, 2016 at 9:33 am by Rob Jerrard in Other Wildlife

Cadover Bridge Weds 6 July.

A walk with Plymouth RSPB above Cadover Bridge Weds evening produced a number of sand martins, stonechats, reed buntings, linnet, kingfisher, pied and grey wagtails, buzzard, redstarts and a flock of 19 mistle thrush.

Posted July 7th, 2016 at 8:01 am by Vince Bedford in Bird News

Wednesday 6th July 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 18:20 till 20:45

328+ curlew was another increase with numbers increasing on a daily basis , 14+ greenshanks , 1 spotted redshank, 133+ black tailed godwits, 6+ bar tailed godwits, 2 dunlin, 1 knot, 230+ redshanks, 20+ whimbrel, 800+ black headed gulls including 11+ juveniles, 3+ Mediterranean gulls, at least 10+ sandwich terns came in with others calling and flying around , 70+ mallards, 6 wigeon, 2 tufted ducks, 4 gadwall,

A quick look on the estuary produced 3 sandwich terns from the goatwalk,  and a further 6 sandwich terns on boats from topsham museum with 2 adult Mediterranean gulls. 

 

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 10:12 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Eddystone

Adult Pomarine skua seen during kayak trip Cawsand to Eddystone. Approx 3 miles offshore. Definitely flew into Devon airspace!

2 female Common Scoter near Eddystone.

Approx 300 manx shearwater

Also 6 Harbour Porpoise

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 9:05 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

R.Caen & Horsey Island

Just packing up to go home for supper after some bird watching on R.Caen & wait for it -  a mystery bird flew over the R.Caen, dropped down on the Chivenor side for a few seconds & then re -appeared flying south over Horsey Island towards the south end of Braunton Burrows. It's flight behaviour was similar to a nightjar but it had a white rump & a forked tail.

Took a while to sink in but now I am certain it was a Collared Pratincole.

Keep your eyes wide open on the Skern folks because it was heading your way.

Eds: a Collared Pratincole was found at Ham Walls Reserve Somerset on Sunday 10th July...

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 8:30 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Powderham Marsh, Exminster.

Took a morning walk out to the Viewing Point in advance of fieldtrip planned for 18 July (East Devon Branch).  Morning grass wet with dew and I recommend welly boots/ waterproof boots if undertaking this walk early in morning. 

A juvenile Gt Spotted Woodpecker with female parent were first birds and Reed Warblers on first bed of reeds.  Whitethroat singing before I reached the short hill.  From the Viewing Point some interesting birds scoped around the scrapes including a Common Sandpiper, 61 Canada Geese with 10 young, Mute Swan with three young, Lapwing with young, Coot with young and 4 Oystercatcher.  Kestrel and Buzzard overhead.

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 6:07 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Buzzard & Bunny

Cmn Buzzard circling with a juv rabbit, before flying to nest.

BuzzardBuzzard

Buzzard
Buzzard

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 5:26 pm by C Boyles in Bird News

Habitat Morte Point

The Gorse on Morte Point seems not to have flowered this year possibly resulting in fewer insects and therefore fewer insect eating birds. Is this general throughout Devon or just on Morte Point?

Morte Point 1 May 2013Same location 06072016

Eds. The photos are taken 2 months apart. Common (European) Gorse can flower anytime of year but peaks in April, closer to when the first photo was taken, which might be a factor.

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 4:11 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife

South Huish

Major works planned to improve the scrapes are due to start in a few weeks time so we have now drained down prior to heavy machinery coming in at the end of the month. 

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 2:16 pm in Bird News

Bolberry Down

Summer on the wane for some? 246 Swifts moving west along the cliffs in 90 mins in mid-morning. Also 40 House Martins, several swallows & and a Sand Martin. Great Spotted Woodpecker female flying stongly west - early migrant? Kestrel pair with two fledged young.

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 2:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Rillage Point

06.45–08.30 Signs of post-breeding passage and dispersal, with 4 Common Scoter W, single Curlew, Dunlin and Grey Wagtail and 54 Swifts (apparently migrating E in small flocks along the cliffs, but might also be a local feeding movement, though my first record since spring passage). Also the usual westward early morning movement of feeding Manx Shearwaters, with a minimum of 1,635.

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 1:37 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Red Kite Ottery

Red Kite just gone over Ottery at noon floating SW

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 12:20 pm by Ben Rowland in Bird News

Tuesday 5th July 2016

Braunton Burrows

A very interesting walk on Braunton Burrows this evening (7-9:30) with the Devon Wildlife Trust group to view the flora also gave good views of Stonechat, two Skylarks, a Mediterranean Gull with a small flock of Black-headed Gulls on the beach and an 'Osprey' perched on a bank next to a path about 200 metres away.  The 'Osprey' took off after a few minutes and headed west to the beach and then turned south.

Med Gull Braunton BurrowsOsprey Braunton Burrows 5.7.2016

Eds the 'Osprey' is actually a pale Buzzard. The rather stocky overall structure, short primary extension, and head pattern rule out Osprey, its a common mistake to make. Devon Birds published this to help observers some years ago:  https://www.devonbirds.org/birdwatching/articles/common_buzzard 

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 11:38 pm by Kim Beaver in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 18:20 till 20:45 from the hide

1322+ Black headed gulls  included 8+ juveniles, 4+ Mediterranean gulls( 2 adults and 2 1st summers) , 1 1st summer common gull , 297+ curlew, 15+ whimbrel, 4 dunlin, 200+ redshank  , 1 spotted redshank  3 greenshanks, 8+ oystercatchers, 110+ Black tailed godwits, 5+ bar tailed godwits, 14 sandwich tern included the first juvenile of the summer , 1 buzzard , 15+ reed warblers, 4 wigeon.

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 10:05 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Lynmouth and Woody Bay

A walk around the North Devon coast. A Goosander swimming with the mallards on the river Lyn. Some Razorbill seen approx 200 yards of shore at Woody Bay.

Goosander
Goosander

Razorbill
Razorbill

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 4:24 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

Clyst & Bowling Green Marsh, yesterday afternoon

In the Clyst estuary channel from the platform from 4pm on, 75 redshanks, 1 spotted redshank (moulting out of summer plumage), 1 curlew, pair shelduck with ducklings; and 1 curlew & small flock bar tailed godwit flew over. At Bowling Green Marsh flocks of black tailed godwit, curlew, redshank, also a few whimbrel, dunlin, 3+ greenshank, 1 spotted redshank (prob same bird as earlier), & little egrets, 1 dabchick & a few hundred black headed gulls. 2 flocks shelduck and 1 sparrowhawk flew over.

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Monday 4th July 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime at BGM coincided with low tide so there was very little other than 70 odd moulting Mallard to be seen.  A new arrival, and possibly the first of the year for the site was an immature Little Grebe still showing remnants of stripes.

Posted July 4th, 2016 at 10:59 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Sunday 3rd July 2016

skern

Here come the meds.18 this eveniny,8 ads,6ss,4fs.Also juv little egret my first ever and for the area,2 redshank 40 bhg.17:15-18:00

Posted July 3rd, 2016 at 9:46 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

My first Comma of the year

My first Comma of the year, in the garden, 28th June

Posted July 3rd, 2016 at 9:09 pm by Rob Jerrard in Other Wildlife

Rillage Point to Watermouth

07.00–09.00 About 550 Manx Shearwaters flew W; 5 juvenile Little Egrets flew in and landed on Rillage Point (dispersing migrants and my highest ever patch count). No evidence of any gull or tern migration.

Posted July 3rd, 2016 at 11:12 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Grey Seal in the River Dart at Totnes

Went to the South Devon Railway yesterday and as I was going back to Totnes Mainline Station noticed a Grey Seal in the River Dart near to where the Paddington/Penzance line crosses the Dart. It was about high tide so it could well of followed the fish up river. First time I have seen one so far inland.

Posted July 3rd, 2016 at 10:34 am by Michael Spencer in Other Wildlife

East Devon NIGHTJARS

Eight members of Devon Birds (East Devon branch) had a walk Friday night onto common to see Nightjars.  Had good views of two Nightjar flying, up to 4 churring males and two males sat in tree, one churring for several minutes.  

Posted July 3rd, 2016 at 9:06 am by Geoff Green in Bird News

Saturday 2nd July 2016

Topsham rec

Over the course of the morning 1 adult, 1 2nd calendar yr & 2 1st calendar yr Med gulls at Topsham rec.

Posted July 2nd, 2016 at 8:37 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Berry head.

Mid morning today large numbers of Gannets diving off Berry Head in the tide run with 8 porpoise feeding as well. Interesting sight. Lyme Bay boat trips start Sunday 17th July if interested call 07866202576.

 

Posted July 2nd, 2016 at 7:20 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Exeter Eagle-Owl

The Eagle-Owl has been seen roosting in gardens in the St. James area of the city recently.

 

Posted July 2nd, 2016 at 2:48 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Friday 1st July 2016

Kingsbridge Est

Report of Osprey 4.00pm yesterday  afternoon with fish (Tony Tabb/Chris Klee)

Posted July 1st, 2016 at 10:10 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide.

Spotted Redshank now moulting, c200-Redshank, 8-Bar-tailed Godwits, c 35-Black-tailed Godwits, 13-Whimbrel, 150+ Curlew, 3-Oystercatchers, 4-Mediterranean Gulls (2 2nd sum + 2 fs), 2-Sandwich Terns, Common Gull, c850-Black-headed Gulls, 2-Stock Doves.

Posted July 1st, 2016 at 9:14 pm by David Boult in Bird News

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