Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–28th February 2017


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

Tuesday 28th February 2017

Exe Estuary cruise

Notables during this afternoon's Stuart Lines cruise were the 2 Slavonian (Cockwood) and 7 Great Crested Grebes, 130+ Pintail (Lympstone Marines camp), 6 Goldeneye (Cockwood), 30+ Mergansers, c10 Ringed Plover, 3-400 Golden Plover, 100+ Grey Plover, 50+ Knot, c15 Sanderling, 2 Greenshank and a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 9:40 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Exe Estuary

A day on and around the Exe, Topsham Rec gave two Long Tailed Duck and two Goldeneye.

The over wintering Spotted Redshank was seen at Goosemoor along with some Redshank.

Around the quay and shore at Exmouth Rock Pipit, Turnstone, Red Breasted Merganser, Shag, Greater Black Back Gull.  Behind the Bowling club two Goldcrest and at least two Chiffchaff.


The afternoon Stuart Line Cruises bird watching trip gave views of Turnstone, Dunlin (100’s), Great Crested Grebe(5), Slavonian Grebe, Knott, Grey Plover, Golden Plover 250+, Shag, Cormorant, Bar Tailed and Black Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Oyster Catcher, Sanderling 25+ , a good sized Avocet flock just off of the Goat walk.

Duck species included Mallard, Teal, Shell duck and a good sized flock of Pintail. Numerous gulls, Greater Black Back, Lesser Black Back (2), Herring, Black Headed and Common Gulls were plentiful and well represented.

At one point a mixed flock of Herring, Common and Black Head Gulls mobbed a male Red Breasted Merganser that was desperately trying to eat a fish that it had caught.

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 8:41 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Four Mandarin Ducks, 5 Greenshanks, 49 Curlews, 4 Little Grebes, 2 Grey Wagtails, 19 Common Gulls, Kingfisher, 1 or 2 Common Sandpipers and the lone Wigeon clinging on.

Mandarin Duck
Mandarin Duck

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 7:26 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Staverton WTW

The 3 Yellow Browed Warblers, the tristis Chiffchaff and 11 collybita Chiffchaffs still present this afternoon.

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 7:01 pm in Bird News

Leas Foot beach, Thurlestone and Slapton Sands

A morning visit to Leas Foot beach produced great views of the desert wheatear, singing but almost inaudible in the howling wind! On to Slapton, where the 1st winter little gull was resting on the lower ley at Torcross with the black headed gull flock around lunchtime. The hide produced a brownhead goosander as well as the usual flocks of tufted duck, pochard and gadwall. A short watch from the monument car park yielded feeding gannets and porpoises but no humpback whale. On enquiring we were told it had been present early morning but not since.

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 6:38 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News


Still 3 Cattle Egrets with 7 Little Egrets at the entrance field to Blatchford Farm at 8.40am this morning

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 6:36 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


white- fronted goose  and  water pipit showing well at south huish,   at slapton , female scaup and female golden eye on the lake as well as tufted duck, gadwall and pochard etc

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 5:29 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in Bird News

Slapton Sands Humpback, Saturday 25 Feb

Images taken at Slapton on Saturday 25 Feb by Carole Leigh

Humpback being followed by porpoise Humpback blowing Humpback close in to the beach
Humpback being followed by porpoise                  Humpback blowing                    Humpback close in to the beach

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 2:44 pm by Carole Leigh in Other Wildlife

Velator reserve

Having finally caught up with the Chiloe Wigeon the other day, I was delighted to find them on the pond in the reserve this morning! Juvenile  male Sparrowhawk also present and a rather cold looking male Goldcrest. On the scrape a Black-tailed Godwit.

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 1:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Brief visit before the rain at lunch time. The number of wigeon continues to drop but there are still about 1200 on the marshes in about 10 flocks, the American wigeon was still present. High tide on the estuary so a few waders on the marsh - including curlew (c100), c300 dunlin and about 100 lapwing. At least 2 chiffchaff in the lane and one each of kestrel, peregrine and buzzard. 

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 1:27 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Prawle 26th Feb

A bit late but for those interested in Gulls check this out - Kumlien's or Thayers or hybrid ? Probably never know! 

Quite possibly the same bird on Portland 23 Feb , and Guernsey on 2 Feb 2017 

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 9:35 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 27th February 2017

Lower Tamar Lake

2m Yellowhammer, 1 Willow Tit, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 10 Goosander 7m 3f, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Nuthatch,

Posted February 27th, 2017 at 7:15 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Occombe Farm NR, Torquay

Two redwing were at the hide in addtion to usual residents, displaying before one chased the other off. A walk around the big meadow at the bottom of the reserve produced 3 roe deer, two of them bucks just losing the velvet on their antlers.

Displaying redwing. Roebuck, velvet just starting to fray.
Displaying redwing.                                              Roebuck, velvet just starting to fray.

Posted February 27th, 2017 at 4:50 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Stunning photos in a suburban garden

Took almost 100 photos and videos of a sparrowhawk taking a Pigeon. It left me to clean up the mess but wouldn't have missed it for the world but did feel sorry for the pigeon. Have had the hawk in the garden twice in the past seven years and during the summer there are three which circle overhead. No idea where they hide out!

  Slaughter in suburbia!

Posted February 27th, 2017 at 4:31 pm by pHILIP l. fAIRCLOUGH in Bird News

River Otter

A walk today from White Bridge down the Otter to the sea-front and back, by the DB's E Devon Branch, saw 16 people brave the forecast heavy showers (in the event, only one materialised), and between them total 50 species.  The species of note included Kingfisher and Water Rail, by White Bridge, and  a Sparrowhawk along the river, which remained perched for some time.  Some sea-watching in very choppy conditions gave 2 Red-throated Divers, 1 or more  Fulmars and 1 Kittiwake, and a Seal - not often seen off the Otter.  Few duck (low numbers of Shelduck, Wigeon and Teal) or waders (Redshank, Curlew), but a varietyof small passerines made up the numbers, including Bullfinch and Reed Bunting.  Surprisingly, no egrets, and certainly no Whales.......

Posted February 27th, 2017 at 3:58 pm by Colin Randall in Bird News


Distant views of Humpback Whale from Slapton beach yesterday morning, also the lovely Black Necked Grebe close inshore. A Firecrest was seen close to the bridge and Ringing hut. A short while later another Firecrest seen with several Chiff Chaffs in the hedgerow next to entrance of West Charleton Marsh sewage works.

Posted February 27th, 2017 at 8:33 am by bob barrow in Bird News

Sunday 26th February 2017

Humback and Birds as a bonus!

Watched distant views of the Humpback whale which briefly showed at 11.05am, then disappeared until lunchtime. Fortunately this gap was filled by regular sightings of Gannets plunge-diving close in and a spectacular Black-necked Grebe in almost full summer plumage, just offshore, moving north, but staying on the surface. The Humpback then reappeared at about 1pm, just when we had nearly given up. Easy to spot, watch for the spray from the blowhole, then the whale surfaces. Massive, spectacular creature, with very good views, in spite of the weather. Pods of porpoises and the occasional dolphin were seen as well.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 9:42 pm by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News


15 Mandarin Ducks (11m) on the brook in the Millenium Park at dusk.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 8:38 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Start Bay Whale Watching

Humpback whale continuing to show late afternoon today.  Seen about 150m offshore below Strete Gate to Strete coast path at 4:15pm.  Surfaced 4 times moving east, followed by deep dive showing tail flukes.  Sadly too distant to photograph but easy to follow with binoculars.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 6:33 pm by Chris Tickle in Other Wildlife

Humpback at Slapton

Humpback quite close to shore at Torcross from 15:00 - 15:30 (didn't need binoculars to see the blows and it surfacing) and it then travelled up towards Strete Gate close to shore. 

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 6:03 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Other Wildlife

Cattle Egrets Teigngrace

Five cattle egrets with little egrets in cow field at Teigngrace this afternoon.


Posted February 26th, 2017 at 5:38 pm by M Witherall in Bird News

Heathfield ~ Dawlish Warren ~ Haldon

Heathfield ~ Waxwings ~ A solitary bird found on the housing estate, seen in the morning and later in the afternoon, frequently using rooftop TV ariel’s to perch on.


Kenton A379 ~ A Red Legged Partridge seen in the road.

Cockwood ~ The regular Greenshank, on the Exe hundreds of Dunlin, good numbers of Redshank, Red Breasted Merganser, Oyster Catcher, Curlew, twenty five plus Turnstone, Brent geese, five plus Common Gull and Black Tailed Godwit.

A walk along the length of the beach at Dawlish Warren gave over 200 Brent Geese feeding a few yards off of the beach, twenty five plus Curlew, as the tide was dropping they began to fly to feed in as did the geese.

Haldon Forrest Park ~ Very busy with people and not a great profusion of bird life, only species of note were four Song Thrush feeding in close proximity to each other.


Posted February 26th, 2017 at 5:13 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton Sands, yesterday.

In between watching the various marine mammals on show yesterday (porpoise and grey seal as well as the humpback), this black necked grebe put in a good show on the sea opposite the higher ley. Moult to summmer plumage much more advanced than the Torbay birds.

Black necked grebe, moulting into summer plumage
Black necked grebe, moulting into summer plumage

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 3:50 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Torbay Boat Trip

Managed to get this morning boat trip in before the weather changed. 6 Harbour Porpoise and many Gannets off Berry Head before we went back into the bay to the Elbery Cove and Broadsands area. 4 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Eider, 2 Raven, 2 Canada Geese, 25 Fulmar and a grey seal. Only 2 Purple Sanpiper on Brixham Breakwater. 700 + Guillemots on BH colony cliffs and many flying in and out.

Further trips Sunday mornings during March. If interested call 07866202576.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 3:18 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Torbay boat trip.

Not as bouncy this morning as the weather forecast had suggested. 2 purple sandpipers Brixham Breakwater jetty; 6 porpoise with gannets feeding nearby off Berry Head; guillemots, fulmar, distant flock of 25 common scoter flying plus another 4 (one of which had a pale belly suggesting another species); 2 grey heron at 7 Quarries; 2 canada geese & a mute swan at Broadsands; 2 eider & a grey seal between Broadsands & 3 beaches; 4 black necked grebe at Goodrington.

Porpoise, 4 of a pod of 6 off Berry Head Gannet Eiders
Porpoise, 4 of a pod of 6 off Berry Head                                   Gannet                                                 Eiders

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 3:17 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Wrafton Scrape

Birds on the scrape this morning.

Six Spoonbills on the scrape, taken from insiide the reserve.  And nearby, the escaped Chiloe Wigeon by the Tarka Trail.
Six Spoonbills on the scrape                                     Escaped Chiloe Wigeon by the Tarka Trail.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 1:21 pm by jon turner in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Could not find the American Wigeon today at Exminster. Other birds seen include: Wigeon, 2 Curlew, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Reed Bunting, 4 Pheasant (1M 3F), Gadwall, Pintail, Mute Swan, Cormorants and Canada Geese.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 12:31 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News

Start Bay

The Humpback was very distant heading south when I was there earlier this morning but looking at the twitter feed it obviously came back inshore which is great for people who have yet to see it. A beautiful Black-necked Grebe was just off the car park ( been here or nearby all winter ) and an adult Mediterranean Gull with the Black-headed Gulls where the ducks get fed at Torcross.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 12:20 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


2 Velvet Scoter were with a distant flock of 350+ Common Scoter off Daddyhole Plain, Torquay this morning.

Broadsands: very quiet - 2 Black-necked Grebes the only birds to mention.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 11:30 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Rillage Point & Ilfracombe

First real signs of passerine migration on my Rillage Point patch this spring. c.250 Meadow Pipits headed W along the cliffs into a blustery SW wind, taking advantage of clear slots between the drizzle, in flocks of 5-30 birds. First migrating Pied Wagtail, Greenfinch and Siskins with them. At Ilfracombe, still 4 wintering Purple Sandpipers feeding at Capstone Point.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 11:01 am by Tim Jones in Bird News


Humpback whale sightings on friday lunch time by memorial carpark

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 8:07 am by Roger Backway in Other Wildlife

Saturday 25th February 2017

Exeter-Slapton and back

Attempted to find cattle egrets and waxwings on the way to Slapton today; cattle egrets are still on the Totnes-Asprington road as reported earlier, with cows and little egrets. We unfortunately didn't find the waxwings this afternoon by the A38 tile factory.

The whale was visible from Slapton beach though off towards Blackpool Sands this morning, but we got good views of gannets and a black necked grebe close in. There was a med gull on the Ley with other gulls.


Posted February 25th, 2017 at 8:52 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Three adult sinensis Cormorants this afternoon (finally pinned after suspecting at least one recently). Also 7 Mandarin Ducks, 2 or 3 Little Grebes, just one Wigeon (1st-w drake) and 7 Oystercatchers.

Posted February 25th, 2017 at 8:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Staverton WTW

2 Yellow browed warblers and 9 Chiffchaffs (including one tristis) this afternoon. 

Posted February 25th, 2017 at 6:20 pm in Bird News

Humpback in Start Bay facts

You may have read in the press or heard on the news there is concern over the welfare of this animal. There is no cause for alarm, it's quite healthy and feeding. It is now searching a larger area (from Start Point to Blackpool Sands) for food than previous days, which may indicate the food source is dispersing in the southwesterly winds, so enjoy while its still here. An American expert has commented that the fact it is raising its flukes is the sign of a healthy animal and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue have written this factual statement (better than certain media coverage):   BDMLR statement

Humpback WhaleHumpback Whale blow hole

Photo from yesterday showing the front of the Humpback and its double blow hole - why they have a 'bushy' or 'mushroom' shaped blow.

Posted February 25th, 2017 at 4:37 pm by Mark Darlaston in Other Wildlife


Yellow-browed warbler still at the water works

Posted February 25th, 2017 at 1:26 pm by Henry Trollope in Bird News


On the way to Slapton a Hare seen in a road gateway near Diptford.

Arriving at Slapton at first light no sign or reports of the Humpback whale so reverted to a birding sea and beach watch, 32 plus Pied Wagtail, eight plus Gannet, Common Gull, seven GBBG, two Razorbill, and two Shags.

Then sighted the whale from the memorial car park way off just off of Start Point, so moved over to the Torcross end where the whale showed well from just after 8am until 9.30 when it moved off out into the bay coming within some 250 yards of the beach, towards 9.30 Dolphin and Porpoise arrived.


While watching the reported Little Gull showed well on two occasions, as did a very distinctive second winter Gull that was identified by other birders as a Yellow Legged Gul, several Common gulls also present and a fly by from a Peregrine that came down the length of the beach just out over the sea.

The Ley was very busy with bird life on arrival but thinned out a little as the morning went on but Goldeneye, displaying Great Crested Grebes, Pochard, Gadwall, a female Goosander and the expected species, several Skylarks singing.


Posted February 25th, 2017 at 12:51 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton and Totnes

The Humpback Whale still there this morning off Torcross till at least 930am when it went further out into the bay- it had spent all morning upto that point straight out or south of Torcross( earlier also seen off Beesands ) -EDIT-  now being seen off Central car park and north to Blackpool Sands c1130am

The first winter Little Gull on the ley at Torcross at 830am and 845-850am but dissapeared in between and after . Also 3 Scaup (m 2f).

2 Cattle Egrets near Totnes at 740am viewed from gateway by Bowden Pillars south of Gerston Farm but none there at 10.30am- Nearby In the original field opposite Bowden House just 2 Little Egrets at 730am and 4 Little Egrets at 1040am.

Posted February 25th, 2017 at 11:16 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Friday 24th February 2017

Slapton Sands

The Humpback Whale still showing very well to late afternoon, extremely close at times to the delight of gathering crowds including many children after school. A fantastic beast!

Earlier the Black-necked Grebe - almost in full summer plumage - very close in shore and 2 or 3 Harbour Porpoises further out. 

Humpback Whale Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 8:47 pm by Pete Aley in Other Wildlife

Not just the whale.....

Away from the superb mammal some decent birds on the Ley; 12 Goldeneye (7m,5f), Scaup (f), Little Gull (Torcross), Black necked grebe, Goosander (f) and plenty of Cettis singing (and the odd one showing).

Near Totnes this morning, the Cattle Egrets had moved slightly from Perrys posting to be close to Gerston farm, SX795592. They seem to be faithful to wherever the Fresian herd is located.

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 7:53 pm in Bird News

Whale Watching at Slapton Sands

Humpback showing well close-in off Slapton Beach this pm - attracting hundreds of watchers!! Also several Harbour Porpoises & 2 Grey Seals. Other attractions were Black-throated Diver & Razorbill on sea!! 

Also both White-fronted Geese back on South Huish Marsh & 4 Cattle Egrets by Horwell House - a good twitch day!!

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 5:21 pm by Rob Macklin in Other Wildlife


9 Waxwings still present opposite the Tile factory on the A38, showing well



Posted February 24th, 2017 at 5:18 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Thurlestone/S. Huish

The Desert Wheatear was enjoying the sun and singing - but I doubt it will attract a mate. S. Huish had 2 Whitefronts, Water Pipit and 15+ Snipe

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 5:17 pm by Dick Andrews in Bird News

Greenfinch and Marsh Tit - Stover Country Park

At Stover by the feeders today (24-02-17) Greenfinch, Marsh Tit, Longtailed Tits, Bullfinches, Siskins, Buzzard eating a frog meal. On the lake, 9 Gosanders 4 Male 5 Female, Pochards, Tufted ducks, Great crested Grebe, and the usual mallards ect.


Posted February 24th, 2017 at 5:17 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Velator reserve

The calling Little Grebe that has been in the reserve for a few days has attracted a mate, both seen today.

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 4:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Around the Exe

A first light visit to the Bowling Green Marsh area this morning gave the Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank from the Goosemoor viewing area.

From the hide, high water levels across the marsh, lots of birds present, 100's of Black Tailed Godwit, good numbers of duck including a female Tufted and several Pintail. Three Snipe on the waters edge directly in front of the hide and four Avocet.

Fox on the far side of the marsh opposite the hide with what may have been a Moorhen, large flock of Canadian Geese were facing up to it.

Walking down to the viewing platform several Wren singing, Goldcrest, Jay and a Greenfinch

From the platform 123 Avocet, 250 plus Dunlin, 33 Curlew and several Grey Plover.

Topsham Rec, Water Rail, five Common Gull and the over wintering Yellow Browed Warbler calling and showing very well in the trees around the zip wire, seemed to be more vocal when dogs were close by.


Exminster marshes twelve Barnacle Geese seen from the viewing platform.

Peregrine seen from the A38 while on the way home.

Kestrel over Marldon in the afternoon.

Evidence of Tawny owls breeding in Paignton following a call from a Paignton based vets who had a very young Tawny owlet brought in by the public, eyes only just opening.

  With an Apple to give a sense of scale

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 4:36 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Staverton WTW

5+ chiffchaffs visiting the filter bed this afternoon included 1 grey "tristis" type bird. 1 yellow browed warbler briefly on the filter bed, also long tailed tits, blue tit, wren and a pair of grey wagtails.

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 4:31 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News


A pair of Goosanders spotted on the river Erme this morning.

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 3:47 pm by William Devlin in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Birds seen this morning.

1m Yellowhammer, 6 Willow Tit, 1m Reed Bunting, 8 Chaffinch, 5 Blue Tit, 2 Dunnock, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Little Egrets, 4 Coot, 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Nuthatch, 3 Coal Tit, 20 Snipe, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Song Thrush, 1f Goosander,

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 2:36 pm by Rod Mudge/Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Stover Lake

One adult Great crested Grebe returned and guarding the usual nest site on the island. 6 pairs of Coot fighting for territories.  14 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, 6 Goosander, 2 pairs of Mandarin Duck,1 Kingfisher, Common Snipe and Water rail still in the marsh. Mistle Thrush, Blackbird and Siskins in full song. Plenty of frog spawn in both the marsh and aerial walkway pond

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 12:30 pm by JDA in Bird News

Humpback Whale - Start Bay 23/02/17

On 23rd February a Humpback Whale was feeding close offshore in Start Bay with a large feeding frenzy of seabirds, mainly gulls and Gannets. Other cetaceans attracted to the fish included several Harbour Porpoise and Common Dolphins; and a Grey Seal. The food source appeared to be a large shoal of Herring and Mackerel - an angler fishing off the beach was catching many every cast.

(photos are all zoomable showing both unique marking on both sides and tail flukes).

Humpback Whale blowHumpback Whale - leftside markingsHumpback Whale - rightside markingsHumpback Whale - dive and flukes

Thanks to Perry and Mike for alerting me to a whale sp. presence. Is this the same animal that was reported as a Minke on 22nd and the same day? Any pictures of the Minke please?

If the food source remains hopefully it will stay to give others a rare opportunity to see this magnificent animal off Devon.  A nice present after the storm I'll call 'Doris day'!

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 8:34 am by Mark Darlaston in Other Wildlife


Late news for yesterday, 6 Cattle Egrets ( with about 9 Little Egrets ) near Bowden House yesterday morning 10:30. They were in a field with Fresian Cattle SX798591.

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 6:31 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Ilfracombe Capstone 2 Great Skua

In stormy conditions 2 Great Skuas or more. Large numbers of Fulmars at least 200 in view in a minute. 3 Divers 20 Gannets.  20 Lbb gull heading east up channel. 

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 1:58 am by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Gannets of Slapton Beach, 23 February 2017

The gannets were feeding close in off Slapton beach today.


Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 11:41 pm by Bob Telford in Bird News

Humpbacked Whale

Start Bay

Humpback Whale


Humpback Whale

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 10:43 pm by Alan Doidge in Other Wildlife

Whale sighted off Slapton beach

Called at Slapton to see whether storm Doris had forced any unusual seabirds to take refuge on the Ley. On arrival at the beach car park someone pointed out a whale and the Gannets were feeding close to the shore as well. At first consensus seemed to point to Minke Whale, some people mentioned one had been seen in the are the previous day. However, checking these pictures it would seem to me to be a Humpback Whale, though I am by no means an expert. Also 2 Harbour Porpoises and 1 Seal. With the whale and the Gannets I never made it to the Ley itself.

Humpback Whale? Humpback Whale? Humpback Whale tail fluke?

Humpback Whale?                                                       Humpback Whale tail fluke?

Eds: yes it is a Humpback!

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 7:03 pm by Bob Telford in Bird News

Staverton WTW

The 3 Yellow browed warblers and 14 Chiffchaff (including one tristis) showing well this afternoon on the circular filter bed.

Supporting cast of 10 Goldcrest, 10 Long tailed tits and 40 Redwings.

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 6:53 pm in Bird News


An adult winter Mediterranean Gull in the Sound this afternoon plus an adult Gannet and c15 Turnstones but apparently little else blown in.

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 6:46 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Brief sea-watch - Westward Ho!

Spent about 20 minutes by the headland (S end of WH) at around high water.  Visibility was not good because of spray mist and severe windshake!  Spotted a Bonxie about 500 mtrs out from the shore, and a flight of seven probable Little Auks, about 300 mtrs offshore - but wouldn't claim them as a definite record because of above mentioned conditions and also the sighting consisted of a number of brief glimpses between rollers. Shame - would have been a Devon first for me!

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 4:24 pm by Tony Mercer in Bird News

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Bowling Green Marsh Wednesday 22nd February

Spotted Redshank off the boardwalk at Bowling Green Marsh this afternoon.


Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 10:16 pm by M Witherall in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Having failed dismally to find any of the reported white winged gulls at Roadford this morning, in fact only seeing a handful of any gulls and little else in very poor conditions, pushed on this afternoon to Lower Tamar Lake. Could barely see across the lake in the mist and rain! In front of the hide 14 Goosander, 4 G.C. Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 4 Coot, 4 Moorhen and I am glad to say only 3 Canada Geese. Highlights were good views of a Water Rail to the left and many sightings of at least 30 very active and flighty Snipe. At one time 18 were in the air at once when disturbed by a Grey Heron. The feeder area was very busy with 2 Nuthatch, 1 Jay and 1 GS Woodpecker joining the many assorted tits, Robins, Dunnock and Chaffinch. Just before I left at 3.30pm a pair of Reed Bunting arrived. I spent much time closely examining and listening to the Marsh/Willow Tits at this location, on the rare occasions they had the courtesy to call! I think on balance there was probably a 4/2 split in the 6 I recorded, but would not stake my life on it! 29 Species recorded here.

Water Rail - Lower Tamar Lake - 22.2.17Common Snipe - Lower Tamar Lake - 22.2.17Reed Bunting - Lower Tamar Lake - 22.2.17

Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 9:40 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Plymouth area

Near Tamerton Foliot, at least 11 Cattle Egrets and 8 Littles in a field with cows just west of Allern Lane (at one point there were 22 Egrets in the air but I couldn't be sure of the exact split).

Nearby on the Tavy estuary, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (ad-w and 2nd-w), c60 Lapwings, Marsh Tit, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Avocets and 2 Roe Deer.

Later a brief look at the pool on the Plym Estuary produced 8 Oystercatchers, 4 Wigeon and a Common Sandpiper.

Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 8:31 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Ludwell Valley/Hills

Early evening walk along the Northbrook and up into the hills brought at least 4 grey Wagtails, Green Sandpiper, Dipper, Water Rail, pair Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Buzzard, pair Raven, pair Mallard as the highlights.

Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 6:51 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News


Desert Wheatear still showing well - hope it copes with DORIS!! No sign of the Whitefronts late morning  at South Huish.

Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor

A single cattle egret in horse field this afternoon

Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 5:11 pm by stewart beer in Bird News

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