Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st March 2017

Breeding birds

It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.

If in doubt refer to the following: 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

Posted April 1st at 3:13 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 31st March 2017

Berry Head

A brief couple of hours at Berry Head today produced a lovely Wheatear down in the quarry, 3 Swallows passing over, 8 calling Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap, around 12 Linnets.  26 species recorded in total.

Wheatear Chiffchaff
Wheatear                                                                      Chiffchaff

Posted March 31st at 10:03 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head 31 March.

My first Wheatear of the year on the seaward side of the road down to the quarry. 1 Rock Pipit.  Large numbers of Gannet, Guillemot and Shag fishing around the headland. Fulmar nesting.  3 Harbour Porpoises. 1 singing Wren nest building. 1 Song Thrush by the car park.

Wheatear Wren nestbuilding 
Wheatear                      Wren nestbuilding                                                                       

Posted March 31st at 10:03 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Staverton WTW

One Yellow Browed Warbler still remains along with at least 8 Chiffchaffs including the tristis.

Posted March 31st at 8:23 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Egret mix

From 6pm this evening until roughly 7.40pm 26 egrets gathered on the eastern mudflats opposite my house. There were 19 Little Egret and 7 Cattle Egret by the time they all flew to roost in trees on the west side of the Torridge. The Cattle Egret were far more active in the reeds at the back of the mudflat whereas the Little Egrets were content to sit around and preen. I would think that these Cattle Egret were the 'Magnificent Seven' from Fremington but if anyone saw Cattle Egret at Fremington during this time then we have to rethink our Taw/Torridge totals. Meanwhile my bedroom window list seems to grow and grow!

Posted March 31st at 7:52 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Swallow - Crediton and Spreyton

My first Swallow sighting today - Crediton

Swallow over Crediton
Swallow over Crediton

Posted March 31st at 7:46 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Chivlestone / Beesands / Slapton

19 Cattle Egrets this morning between Cousins Cross and Chivlestone Cross on the East Prawle road nr. Chivlestone,  Grid Ref SX 785394. They were in the field below the turbine. There were 6 or 7 Fresian Cattle here but the egrets were feeding in the grass away from them. The field has probably been spared the dreaded pesticides ( for now at least ) and must have plenty of food for them.            

Nearby at Beesands an early Sedge Warbler singing from the left of the hide, also a couple Willow Warblers and a male Shoveler. At Slapton Ley still a male Wigeon in Ireland Bay. Swallow and 4 Sand Martins at Torcross. Seen a few Small Tortoishells and Peacocks today, also a Brimstone at Slapton in Ireland Bay Quarry.



Posted March 31st at 3:45 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Torbay Coastal

A birding trip around the Torbay coast this morning was almost devoid of bird life other than Gulls and Cormorants. 

A very distant drake Eider in full breeding plumage seen from Broadsands and the only other bird of note was a Willow Warbler in the white thorn/willow stand by the path leading up to the gate towards Elberry.

Posted March 31st at 3:35 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Swallow near Tavistock

Saw my first Swallow of the year near Tavistock golf course. Lots of Wheatears surrounding Cox Tor.

Posted March 31st at 3:29 pm by Robin Stanbridge in General Birding


a bleak looking exminster and powderham marsh today with no real birds of note, but amazed to watch a pair of stunning looking stoats playing near the middle car park at exminster marsh.

Posted March 31st at 2:32 pm by gray clements in Other Wildlife

Blatchford Farm - Teigngrace

Now 8 Cattle Egrets ( and 13 Little Egrets) in entrance field to Blatchford Farm, Teigngrace mid morning.

Posted March 31st at 1:42 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater, 30 March 2017

A walk along the breakwater at low tide this afternoon gave 1 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Turnstone, 1 Rock Pipit and 4 Shag

Purple Sandpiper clinging on Purple Sandpiper feeding Turnstone
Purple Sandpiper clinging on                 Purple Sandpiper feeding                                           Turnstone

Posted March 31st at 12:02 am by Bob Telford in General Birding

Thursday 30th March 2017


Firecrest in trees between Start car park and Hallsands 11.30 this morning. Lots of chiffchaffs singing. 

Posted March 30th at 10:23 pm by Andy Rook in General Birding

South Huish Marsh 30th March

A few more photos of the Iceland gull at South Huish Marsh this afternoon. Nothing else to report that has not already been reported.


Posted March 30th at 9:41 pm by Mark Witherall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Four Cattle Egret in cow field above A386 at grid reference SS461238, 18:00. Pulled over and ran back with binoculars to confirm ID.

Posted March 30th at 8:46 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The Glossy Ibis, seven Cattle Egrets and 15 Little Egrets were foraging in fields south of Tarka trail opposite Isley Marsh at 09:00. The Cattle Egrets later appeared in the saltmarsh and three Spoonbills dropped in briefly during the afternoon. On the Taw Estuary a female Eider.

Best of the summer migrants was an Osprey that flew west towards Appledore at 13:15 before turning back and drifting high northeast 25 minutes later. Also noted were two Wheatears, three Willow Warblers, 10+ Swallows and 50+ Sand Martins.

Posted March 30th at 8:24 pm by Will Salmon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Mortehoe Snake FAO Derek Stacey

More than happy - thanks Derek. Just wish I'd seen it.

Posted March 30th at 8:00 pm by Andy Lansdell in Other Wildlife

Coypool, Saltram & Plym Estuary

Coypool: Yellow-browed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Common Sandpiper, Rabbit
Saltram: Grey Squirrel, Small Tortoiseshell.
Plym Estuary: Greenshank, Cormorant, Little Egret, Rbin, Blackbird, Corvids

Posted March 30th at 7:45 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding


Maybe 150 - 200 Sand Martins over the pond this evening, and at about 7.10p.m. the three subadult Spoonbills flew in, circled and landed out of sight in a dip in the field about 400m south of the scrape.

In the reserve this morning the first singing Willow Warbler, and a few Chiffs,

Posted March 30th at 7:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

A good mix of Gulls with 8 plus Lesser Black Backs, 9 plus Greater Black Backs and 3 Mediterranean Gulls, two in adult plumage and one 2nd winter bird. EDS: Photo shows two 2nd summer (black tips to primaries) and one 1st summer Med Gull (almost completely dark primaries).

Two White Wagtails and several Pied's, Skylark, Stonechat, numerous displaying Rock Pipit, Raven, two Buzzards having a territorial set to.

Moorhen, Coot, Teal, Mallard, Shellduck and Shoveller on the marsh.

Several Little Egrets and Oyster Catchers flying in from the sea.

Aveton Gifford tidal road, Common Sandpiper, Redshank and two Greenshank.

Posted March 30th at 7:03 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Soar and South Huish

At South Huish marsh this afternoon, the juv Iceland Gull flew in off the sea at 2.20pm and flew off at 3.30pm. Also Water Pipit, 3 White Wagtails, Sand Martin, Swallow, 5 Common Scoters, 2nd-s Mediterranean Gull and Grey Seal. 

Earlier at Soar, Wheatear, White Wagtail, Redwing and 18 Chiffchaffs. 

Iceland Gull, juv.
Iceland Gull, juv.

Posted March 30th at 6:53 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berrynarbor Hirundines

12 Hirundines over the garden at 18:15.  Mainly Swallows but at least one House Martin.  First for us this year.

Posted March 30th at 6:49 pm by Kim Beaver in General Birding

Beesands Ley

From the hide, 1Male Scaup. 1Cettis Warbler seen and singing. On the beach 1 Wheatear.


Posted March 30th at 6:10 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Shiphay, Torquay


A Willow Warbler in full song in one of the small oaks at the top of the hill at Cadewell Park.  

Posted March 30th at 2:19 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Morte Point snake

To Andrew Lansdell. Did the edited photos satisfy your ID?

Posted March 30th at 1:28 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife


Sedge Warbler was singing in the Southdown side of the reeds this morning, also the Cetti's Warbler was singing and quite mobil and a Willow Warbler was singing half way down the track leading to the hide.  There were 4 Blackcaps singing around the marsh and plenty of Chiffchaffs around also.  On the marsh were 2 pairs of Tufted Duck and a single male, 5 pairs of Gadwalls, 6 Canada Geese and a juvenile Mute Swan. A Sandwich Tern flew along the coast and around the bay.

Posted March 30th at 1:23 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Berry Head Quarry

Suberb male Black Redstart by granite boulders. No Wheatears

Posted March 30th at 1:09 pm by David Leigh in General Birding


Humpback sighted (from A379 between Stoke Fleming and Blackpool Sands) just off Blackpool Sands yesterday evening (19.00 hrs). Good spouts and views of dorsal fin although fairly choppy sea.

Posted March 30th at 1:08 pm by Nic Butler in Other Wildlife

Sherpa scrape

3 Spoonbills until 08.30 + 76 Black tailed Godwits & 7 Wigeon on the scrape. 1 male + 1 female Blackcap at the sides of the Tarka trail by Wrafton Pond + 2 Willow Warblers.


Posted March 30th at 9:45 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

South Brent ~ Swallow

A single Swallow over the house at 08.22am this morning, my first one of the year.

Siskin and Song Thrush around the feed station area.

Posted March 30th at 8:28 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wednesday 29th March 2017

South Huish Marsh

Late afternoon: 2CY Iceland Gull still present, first offshore, then foraging with other gulls in sheep field by marsh until 5.15pm at least. Also 1 m White Wagtail and a Swallow.

Posted March 29th at 8:13 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


northam burrows near 8th tee, 27th march, sunny, slight east wind

Posted March 29th at 7:57 pm by jenny shaw in General Birding

Glossy Ibis & Cattle Egrets at Fremington Pil

Short visit to Fremington Quay & ajoining pil this afternoon - single Glossy Ibis feeding with 50+ Black-tailed Godwits at low tide in the pil. Group of 7 Cattle Egrets roosting in the trees where the Little Egrets usually roost at the top of the pil

Glossy IbisCattle EgretCattle Egret

Posted March 29th at 7:43 pm by Chris & Sally Bollen in General Birding


A few Sand Martins over and around the pond this morning along with singing Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. Not much in the reserve, a few singing Chiffs.

This evening at Wrafton Pond (around 7p.m.) Hundreds of Sand Martins, a couple of Swallows and still a couple of Chiffs singing. Out on the scrape were 7 Black-tailed Godwits, and in the field about 100 yards south of the scrape were 3 subadult Spoonbills. Also, and unusual here, were 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Posted March 29th at 7:35 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Huish Marsh - Iceland Gull

No sign of Terry Goddard's Garganey during my visit to South Huish Marsh 11.30 - 1315 today. However at 11.30 am, what I believe to be an Iceland Gull, from the attached cropped photo, flew in and was there until I left for lunch. No sign of it when I returned about 1500hrs. 

Iceland Gull - South Huish Marsh - 29/3/2017
Iceland Gull - South Huish Marsh - 29/3/2017

Posted March 29th at 6:18 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Yesterday at Godborough

Singing Blackcaps the highlight of a good mornings work on the reserve.

Posted March 29th at 3:06 pm by John & Karen Towers & Sims in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

Quieter at BGM this lunchtime. No sign of the rarer gulls today. The Green Sandpiper still at the back of the marsh.

Goosemoor was more productive with a Willow Warbler of the year singing by the railway line and another singing the other side, out of sight. Then a brief view of a Swallow with a few Sand Martins.

Posted March 29th at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatching 07:15-11:00. Despite ideal conditions SSW4 and murky - passage poor. Puffin, 206 Auks (1:1 Guillemot Razorbill), 6 Sandwich Terns, 6 Common Gulls, 2 Red-throated Divers, 1 distant poss Great Northern Diver, 12 Common Scoter.

Common Dolphins (c40) feeding under c100 Gannets, perhaps some lingering from yesterday and 10+ Harbour Porpoise.

Common Dolphin

Posted March 29th at 1:48 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary

Highlights today were a Yellow-browed Warbler and my first Willow Warbler of the year, both at Coypool near Weigbridge Cottage. Also - Dipper, 5 Greenshanks, 15 Turnstones, 4 Chiffchaffs, a pair of Mandarin Ducks and Green Woodpecker.

Posted March 29th at 1:16 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Morte Point snake

Attached side view of head does not show vertical pupil of adder or yellow collar of grass snake. However (with a little help from photoshop),one photo just about shows the zigzag of adder, so sticking with that, but happy to be corrected.



Posted March 29th at 12:51 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife

Another Adder variant

I found two of these Adder identical colour and size on Bovey Heath 2016.

Posted March 29th at 11:20 am by David Turrell in Other Wildlife


A hazard while looking for Great Grey Shrike - a more typical colouration. It is very unusual to see a dark phase V. berus without any evidence of the zig-zag pattern. Grasssnake also have dark unmarked specimens. Any close-up of the eye?

Posted March 29th at 11:00 am by Andrew Lansdell in Other Wildlife

Tuesday 28th March 2017

Winter Thrushes

Still at least 20 redwings around the Woodland area, just south of Ashburton. Last year they stayed until April1st. Two fieldfares last seen on Sunday, 26 March. Hopefully not the last sighting for this year.

Posted March 28th at 10:19 pm by Stuart Logan in General Birding

Woodbury Common/Dawlish Warren

The Great Grey Shrike on the ridge to the north east of Woodbury Castle - very active including hovering Kestrel style whilst hunting. A Red Kite drifted east at 11.20.

At Dawlish Warren, the Jack Snipe was showing well 4.15 to 4.35 - note it could not be seen from the usual place (opposite the boats) as it had moved to the nearside of the pond but could be seen very clearly from the next vantage point looking back along the left side of the main pond.


Posted March 28th at 9:11 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

nr winkleigh

Red Kite spotted between Chulmleigh&Winkleigh late morning today, drifting north east

Posted March 28th at 9:08 pm by Mike Luckson in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

"adder" pics

As a renowned snake non-expert, the pictures posted earlier today look more like a grass snake to me.

Eds. The original post was correct it is an Adder but an almost black one which do occur see here 

Posted March 28th at 8:13 pm by Alan Ford in Other Wildlife


Sorry, not a sighting but a request re photos. Obviously I always know what they are (!), but I think it would be a good idea to request that posters always name the subject of their pics.

Posted March 28th at 8:12 pm by Alan Ford in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Pictures from today


Eds: please label photos - not everyone knows what birds these are.. 

Bonaparte's Gull, (should also come under scarce/ rare - subject) Little Gull and Snipe 

Posted March 28th at 7:44 pm by Duncan Leitch in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Today was my first ever visit to Bowling green marsh. I will definitely be going back. I had a number of first sightings for my records which included..Little Gull, Bonaparte's Gull and Green Sandpiper. Also good views from the hide of...Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Tuffed Duck, Shoveler, Black Tailed Godwit, Snipe, Grey Heron, Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Mallard and Curlew.

Posted March 28th at 7:34 pm by Duncan Leitch in General Birding

Morte Point

Adder crossing path at Morte Point yesterday 27 March.

Posted March 28th at 3:49 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife

South Huish marsh

2 Garganey and 1 Water pipit

Posted March 28th at 2:48 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Same as yesterday this lunchtime. Bonaparte's Gull & Little Gull showing well from the hide and 1 Green Sandpiper.

Posted March 28th at 2:03 pm by Nick Potter in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

A pleasant stroll around the southern part of the marshes this morning coincided with high water in the estuary so quite a few waders on the fields including 100+ black-tailed godwit, c60 dunlin and c100 curlew. A imm. marsh harrier had a similar plumage to the bird that was present in mid winter and it was using exactly the same perches so probably the same bird. Some shelduck had moved back onto the estuary before I started to count the flock, however there were over 70 still roosting. A scattering of chiffchaffs (5 singing) and sand martins (c20). Duck numbers continue to fall with small numbers of wigeon, shoveller, teal and pintail (only 6) remaining. And a greenshank flew over.

Posted March 28th at 12:13 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Tarka Trail - Braunton > Barnstaple

19 Chiffchaffs + 2 Willow Warblers (Wrafton Pond) singing between Braunton & Barnstaple. Also some Wigeon still on the Taw Estuary & a flock of BH Gulls + 2 Med Gulls in amongst them (one adult in smart summer plumage).

Posted March 28th at 11:59 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Five Redwings over at 8am

Posted March 28th at 11:40 am by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding

Monday 27th March 2017

Exminster Marshes

Marsh Harrier, lots of Lapwing displaying, a drake Red Breasted Merganser in the channel to the lock gates at the Turf, c 30 hirundines over the reserve - I believe mostly House Martin, but I couldn't be 100%.

Red Breasted Merganser

Wigeon put up by the harrier

Marsh Harrier being mobbed




Posted March 27th at 11:45 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Dawlish Warren and Powderham Marshes Exminster

A Red Kite drifted northwards over Powderham Marshes at 3pm. At 4pm I saw a 'yellow-headed' Marsh Harrier disturb waders and ducks on Exminster Marshes. Several singing Chiffchaffs. Earlier, at Dawlish Warreen I saw the Jack Snipe 'bobbing' , together with a Common Snipe, and saw Sand Crocuses and Sand Lizards (being monitored by someone working for the sea defence building company) 6 plus Peacock and 1 Speckled Wood butterflies.

Posted March 27th at 9:46 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Woodbury Common

Grey Shrike showing well if a little distant as yesterdays post, rather mobile feeding within the area it was frequenting.

Other birds included Skylarks, Linnet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Yellow Hammer, Stonechat, Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, two Willow Warbler both in full song and Wren.


At home female Reed Bunting still coming to garden feeders along with Siskin and a Song Thrush around the garden and a late fly past from two Canadian Geese.

Early evening a Kestrel seen over Wrangaton.

Posted March 27th at 8:14 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Roborough Down 27/03/2017

1 x Redpoll (m), 2 x Yellowhammer (m), Stonechat (f), Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches, Robins, Corvids.

Posted March 27th at 7:49 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A post-Portugal Plym excursion revealed a few waders still around - Curlew 13, Greenshank 4, Dunlin 4, Oystercatcher 2, Snipe 2, and Redshank 62. Also 4 Chiffchaffs, 10 Little Egrets, and a pair of Mandarin Ducks.

Posted March 27th at 7:40 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Imagesof the Crossbills

As Promised here are a couple of images of the Crossbills at Soussons plantation yesterday. Please accept my poor spelling in the last post its the spell predictor on the iPad!

Crossbill At Soussons 2Common Crossbill

Posted March 27th at 6:41 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

A total of 10 Purple Sandpipers  on the rocks beneath Torquay Breakwater at high tide this afternoon ( 1700 )

Posted March 27th at 6:36 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding


At 1pm 2 Red Kite over the Copythorne road area of Brixham and then at 2pm another 1. Reported by Chris Smallbones. The 1pm ones sighted over Paignton Zoo a bit later.

Posted March 27th at 6:28 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding


More signs of Spring in the reserve this morning: about a dozen Chiffchaffs, including one with pale legs and longer wings, but it just wouldn't sing to confirm Willow Warbler :(

Also at least 2 male Blackcaps - one of which let out a couple of bursts of song. Plenty of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells on the wing.

No sign of Little Ringed Plovers.

Posted March 27th at 5:48 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Butterflies emerging in Long Wood, Noss

Very good numbers of Commas and Peacocks emerging today in the sunny glade by the ford in the lowest part of Long Wood above Noss.


Posted March 27th at 4:58 pm by William Coulson in Other Wildlife

Berry Head

3pm. Red Kite flew low and slow along the length of the N. fort  going west to east. It then took a left at the light house and was lost in the haze in Torbay.

Posted March 27th at 4:34 pm by John Lusher in General Birding


Red Kite drifting north 4o'clock 

Posted March 27th at 4:30 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Red kite over Teignmouth

1 Red kite leisurely drifted over Teignmouth along seafront and up over Mules Parp at 4pm

Posted March 27th at 4:17 pm by Adam Davison in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

30 members of DB attended this morning's walk and I listed 35 species in total.  The main interest came from trying to sight the Jack Snipe which was well hidden.  A pair of Cirl Bunting were more obliging and an unexpected find near the visitor centre.  A number of singing Chiffchaff and Greenfinch were present plus a fine Song Thrush.  Due to the low tide we decided not to proceed beyond the end of the golf links where a passing Sparrow Hawk flew along the (Bight) beach. At a distance the pair of Slavonian Grebes was seen close to Cockwood (better seen from the railway crossing point).  Two Skylarks were seen and several Stonechat and Linnets present. Someone reported seeing an Eider offshore and 6 Brent Geese were on the sea, otherwise there were few sea birds and a number of expected species (Wheatear and Swallow) were missing from the land side. On the return walk the Jack Snipe was seen again, this time in company with a Common Snipe.

Later, on driving through the road works at Bridge Road, Countess Wear a Red-legged Partridge flew over the road towards King George playing fields but having got to the other side it decided not to stay and flew back into the housing estate.

Posted March 27th at 3:56 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Wrafton pond

Spent a bit of time down at Wrafton pond this afternoon (approx. 1pm).
On the way out, and turning towards Barnstaple on the Tarka trail, a stoat streaked across the path in front of me and into the brambles opposite.

Posted March 27th at 3:51 pm by Sam Aston in Other Wildlife

Braunton Marshes

Heron about to land....

Posted March 27th at 3:00 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

East to West Soar

Highlights were 22 singing Chiffchaffs, 3 singing Blackcaps,White Wagtail, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and 2 Siskins north over West Soar. Also: Speckled Wood on the wing.

Posted March 27th at 2:17 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

This lunchtime, the Bonaparte's Gull and Little Gull were on the marsh with a small group of Black-headed Gulls. Also 1 Green Sandpiper

Posted March 27th at 2:04 pm by Nick Potter in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 26th March 2017


Late afternoon at Bowling Green Marsh, 2yc Bonaparte's gull, Little gull, Ruff and Green sandpiper.

Posted March 26th at 10:57 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Mandarins at Yarner

Hadn't seen the Mandarins for a while at Yarner, but this stunning Drake with two females were there today

Posted March 26th at 8:14 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding


On a day with not much birdlife on offer at Dunsford, it was great to see the Butterflies out with a impressive range of wild flowers to keep me occupied.

Brimstone   Orange Tip
Brimstone                                    Orange Tip

Posted March 26th at 8:09 pm by Simon Thurgood in Other Wildlife

First swallow?

A walk on Dartmoor to soussons plantation netted meadow pippet, buzzard, swallow yes swallow single bird making fast passages over the open moorland. Probable Marlin. Carrion crow, great tits. Common crossbills. Cmmn gull not much else due to the blustery conditions. The male crossbill showed well allowing me to get within 30 feet or so before being disturbed by a dog walker not on a lead! Image to follow

Posted March 26th at 7:50 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding


First of the long evenings allowing later viewing: On the scrape by the Tarka Trail were 3 Little Ringed Plovers. In the reserve a couple of Chiffs singing. Sherpa Marsh was alive with 37 Mute Swans, mostly last year's young. Back to Wrafton Pond where about 200 Sand Martins were feeding quite high, and in amongst was at least 1 Swallow. No further sign of the Plovers.

Posted March 26th at 7:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Clearbrook today

Three Swallows over good numbers of Meadow Pipits,the odd Skylark and Stonechats three Greenfinches on golf course and a male Kestrel.



Posted March 26th at 6:22 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding


A single Willow Warbler in song on Orcombe Point early this morning and a Yellow-browed Warbler in gardens on Belle Vue Road @ 950 this morning. Photos on

Posted March 26th at 6:19 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite

Seen over fields between Poltimore Arms near Yarde and Cart Gate Cross about 4 miles north of North Molton just before 17:00.

Posted March 26th at 5:50 pm by John & Karen Towers & Sims in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Northam burrows

Little ringed plover on tip pool at 17:00.On skern 250 golden plover,4 barwits.At southcott marsh east the water bideford 2 med gulls,ad,fs,120 bhg,9 common gull,17:30

Posted March 26th at 5:45 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Labrador Bay

Today at Labrador Bay...

- 1 Cirl Bunting, Male                             - Crows/Rooks

- 1 Kestrel                                                - Skylark(s), Singing

- Chiffchaffs, Singing and Showing    - 2 Blue Tit

- Herring Gulls                                        - 1 or more Dunnock

- Wood Pigeons                                      - 1 Wren

Posted March 26th at 5:40 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Great Grey Shrike at Soussons Valley

The Great Grey Shrike was ranging from the gate at Soussons Plantation to the Vitifer  Mine area. Both sides of the valley path.

Sun 26th March

Posted March 26th at 5:36 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

After about an hours looking the Jack Snipe put in an appearance at around 9.45 next to the boats on the main pond. 5 minutes later it was gone again. Common Snipe and Little Grebe present. 

Posted March 26th at 5:36 pm by Paul treen in General Birding

In the garden

Filling up the feeders in the garden the song of sparrows, Robins, goldfinches suddenly fell silent..... And then a sparrow hawk flew over.

Female sparrowhawk
Female sparrow hawk

Posted March 26th at 5:19 pm by Philip Worth in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

One of many Sand Martins over the pond, in lovely bright but very windy conditions

Sand Martin
Sand Martin

Posted March 26th at 4:45 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater.

Rough sea no boat trip so walked Brixham Breakwater. 6 Purple Sandpiper and 1 Turnstone on the old fuel bunkering jetty. Lyme Bay boat trips start Sunday 2nd July and then every Sunday till 3rd September if interested call 07866202576.

Posted March 26th at 11:20 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding


4 Spoonbills reported on the scrape this morning early. Flushed when joggers ran past along the Tarka Trail.

Posted March 26th at 10:44 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Saturday 25th March 2017

Tawny Owl - Fremington

Travelling back from Fremington to Barnstaple on the bus around 9:45 tonight the driver stopped the bus and asked me (he knows me) to come and have a look at a bird that had flown into the front of the bus and was caught in the wipers. It was a tawny owl looking very groggy but otherwise apparently unharmed. We left it on the grass verge by the bus stop near Taw Meadow Crescent. Lovely bird, hope it's OK. 

Posted March 25th at 10:34 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

Jack Snipe at Dawlish Warren main pool 25th March

Jack Snipe just stood in sunshine this morning, lovely Little Grebe also on pool. Redshank at Cockwood

Jack SnipeLittle GrebeRedshank

Posted March 25th at 10:25 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Slavonian Grebe's

Two Slavonian Grebe's off Cockwood this morning 25th March 2017.

One a little more advanced in nearing Summer plumage.


Posted March 25th at 10:20 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Woodbury Common

Great Grey Shrike in birches and scrub in wet area below Woodbury Castle this afternoon. Found and photographed by Dave White and later seen by Doug Cullen.

Posted March 25th at 8:54 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Dawlish Warren Reserve

Sand crocus now in flower. Snake's Head Fritillary (flower) spotted and 1 Peacock butterfly. Several Drone Flies.

Posted March 25th at 8:00 pm by Michael Spencer in Other Wildlife

Stoke Rivers garden birds

After getting our first 2 wood pigeon in our rural garden since moving here in July 2015 we had a Stock Dove this morning. Pays to look at every bird carefully. Not that exciting for most people but great for the BTO GBW Survey.

Posted March 25th at 7:56 pm by John & Karen Towers & Sims in General Birding

Staverton WTW

Still one Yellow browed warbler along with 6 Chiffchaffs including the tristis. 

Posted March 25th at 7:01 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Well it turns out that Osprey beat Swallow by 6 hours - finally saw one this afternoon over the reserve with a good number of Sand Martins in the lovely sunshine. Pity about the strong wind though! Also of note were Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tit nest-building. The three Canada Geese in the reserve yesterday ALL had rings on - Ma and Pa and one of the young from last year?

Not been home long when I got a call from a friend saying 'boys' were breaking into the reserve! I went back and called the police. They have found the perpetrators and spoken to them. I will keep you informed of developments.

Posted March 25th at 6:32 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Labrador bay and Rv Teign

Labrador Bay first thing this morning Cirl Bunting and Skylarks singing well, Kestrel, Buzzard, white winged Carrion Crow, on the sea 24 plus Common Scoter and 6 Long Tailed Duck. 

Rv Teign from Shaldon to Coombe Cellars, 7 Red Breasted Merganser, Curlew, Oyster Catcher, Heron, Little Egret, Stock Dove, Linnet ad Goldfinch.

On the Kingkerswell by pass 11 Buzzards soaring.

Posted March 25th at 6:19 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Holdstone down

Bright but very breezy day today provided courting meadow pipits, skylarks, stonchats, kestral and a pair of wheatears m+f.

WheatearsCourting pipits

Posted March 25th at 5:29 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Morte Point

Morte Point 0800-01100. (My first) 1 Swallow made one pass over the Point flying E. 2 Wheatears, 2 Rock Pipits,  8 Linnets, 2  Stonechat on the Point with 1 Fulmar, 1 LBbG, 1 Shag and several GBbG enjoying the strong E wind off the Point. 50+ Meadow flying E  in small flocks between 0700-0800.17 other species present.

Posted March 25th at 5:27 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Bellever Tor - Cuckoo

Cuckoo south west of Bellever Tor at 10.30 am

Posted March 25th at 3:14 pm by Audrey Wolstenholme in General Birding

Topsham - Cattle Egrets

Small party of Cattle Egrets in field (with several L Egrets) by R Clyst just N of Highfield Farm. Distance (200m) and failure to bring scope meant exact no. uncertain: min. 4 but possibly up to 6.

Cattle Egrets - Topsham - 25/3/2017
Cattle Egrets - Topsham - 25/3/2017

Posted March 25th at 12:26 pm by Tim Worfolk in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dawlish Warren

Good views of Jack Snipe on the pond, which is attracting quite a few birders. Also of note a male Wheatear, a single Egyptian Goose overhead towards Cockwood and a single Swallow overhead towards golf course. Many Linnets, Skylark, a few Chiffys and some Reed Buntings. Species total count was 36. Only had phone so digiscoped pictures.

Posted March 25th at 12:18 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hopes Nose

A male Cirl Bunting singing late morning in middle of lower slope, then moving up the headland and seen again by top gate, is possibly just the second site record . Also a male Wheatear on Sandy Point. Chiffchaff and Blackcap both singing 

Posted March 25th at 11:15 am by Mark Bailey in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Yellow-browed warbler still at the WTW, now alone as chiffchaffs have moved on

Posted March 25th at 10:58 am by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Just heading out when all the Gulls started kicking off and there, much to my surprise, as an Osprey heading north. Sue Bruce has just phoned to say she saw it over her house too! Don't think I've ever seen Osprey before Swallow before....

Posted March 25th at 9:07 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 24th March 2017

Around the Exe

Darts Farm - Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Canada Geese, 1 or more Mallards, Moorhen, Martins, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Wrens.

Goosemoor - Not much to report except lots of singing chiffchaffs.

Bowling Green Marsh From the Hide - Sand Martins, Little Egret, Mute Swans, Wigeon, Shelduck, Grey Heron, Teal, Moorhen, Black-tailed Godwit, Magpie.

Bowling Green Marsh From the Viewing Platform - Again, nothing very interesting to be seen apart from 1 or more Cormorants, a Greenshank and lots of other birds too far out to identify. 

Exminster Marshes - Canada Geese, 1 or more Grey Herons, Teal, Mute Swans, Cormorants, Shoveler, Pintail, Black-tailed Godwits, a Kestrel, and 1 or more Starlings.

Powderham Deer Park - A quick scan from the side if the road gave Canada Geese, Shelduck, Herring Gulls and a Little Egret. 

Posted March 24th at 8:04 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding


So it took a whole month to find time to get to Slapton & I knew the conditions were very average and as I expected no sign of Humpback. However 3 Porpoises, 1 GN Diver, 1 Sandwich Tern, 30 Sand Martin & Russ had seen a Wheatear & an Otter. 

Posted March 24th at 6:56 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Mountbatten, Plymouth.

This afternoon: 9 Turnstone in the rock pools, 1 Little egret catching blennys, 2 Wheatear, 1 Sandwich tern, 3 Shelduck overhead, 1 Gannet in the Sound and a male Greenfinch singing for Britain.

Posted March 24th at 6:31 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

South Brent - Fieldfare

Winter not quite over! This afternoon a flock of c24 Fieldfare flying between trees near Dockwell, South Brent 

Posted March 24th at 5:49 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Gannets at Berry Head & a Reed Bunting at Slapton Ley

Around midday at Berry Head, at least 6 Gannet's feeding close to the second fort, a few Guillemots flying but not that many due to the high winds & rough seas - A Reed Bunting showed for a few seconds by the bridge at the far end of the ley - at least 4 Cetti's Warblers heard but only seen for a quick fly by


Posted March 24th at 5:24 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Mansands & Waddeton

1 Cattle Egret still present with 7 Little Egrets in cattle field between Waddeton and Galmpton.

Mansands Marsh- 2 Sand Martins, 1 Cetti's Warbler (singing), 9 Chiffchaff and 4/5 pairs of Gadwall.

Posted March 24th at 4:46 pm by Jacob Wood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton sands - Sandwich Terns

Photos of Sandwich Terns off Slapton taken by Henry Kirkwood (were missed off his original post).

Sandwich TernSandwich Tern with fish

Posted March 24th at 3:05 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Osprey river teign

Osprey flying north from river teign over bishopsteignton at 9.55am

Posted March 24th at 10:05 am by Rob mcginn in General Birding

Cattle Egret Fremington Pill

Yesterday Thursday there was 5 Cattle Egrets along with 7 Little Egret at the top end of the Pill. They all except one Little one flew up into the field with sheep.

Posted March 24th at 8:26 am by Richard Burston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 23rd March 2017

South Huish

Water Pipit present to right of car park in the corner of the marsh together with several Snipe and Rock Pipits.

Posted March 23rd at 7:52 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

South Milton Ley - green sandpiper

1 Green Sandpiper flushed from the side of a small area of open water at South Milton Ley this morning

Posted March 23rd at 7:08 pm by David Pakes in General Birding


1 Whimbrel with 30 Curlews in field south of the River Kenn, Powderham late afternoon . Also in the park 2 Pintail, 2 Greylag Geese, 4 Stock Doves and c12 Sand Martins over the River Kenn.  No sign of the Cattle Egrets in a brief search. 

Posted March 23rd at 6:36 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Jack Snipe

A wet visit to the Warren gave, after an hour or so, great views of the Jack Snipe on the main pond, by the boats. Also on the pond Little Grebe, Mallard, Moorhen and Canada geese.

Video link below -:

Jack Snipe
Jack Snipe

Posted March 23rd at 5:29 pm by Martin Rooney in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

RSPB, Labrador Bay

c90 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter and 5 Long-tailed Ducks in the bay this morning.

Common Scoter & Long-tailed Ducks
Common Scoter & Long-tailed Ducks

Velvet Scoter & 1 Common Scoter
Velvet Scoter & 1 Common Scoter

Posted March 23rd at 11:44 am by david cawthraw in General Birding

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Exminster marshes

male garganey and around 100 sand martins. this afternoon around 4.00

Posted March 22nd at 10:17 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Stover Park, 22 March 2017

Afternoon at Stover - 10 Goosander, 3 adult male, 1 first winter male and 6 female, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Greenfinch, pair of Bullfinch, pair of Siskin , Marsh Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker at the feeder station. Flock of 15 Martins over, mostly Sand but at leats 1 House Martin

House MartinSand Martin


Posted March 22nd at 9:42 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Sandwich Tern

1 south over Atherington north devon at 07:20

Posted March 22nd at 9:00 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Humpback Whale - Start Bay

On the Humpback Whale's one month anniversary of being in Lyme Bay (mostly Start Bay), things took a turn for the worse when the animal was reported to be tangled in static pot gear (one of the ropes leading to the pick up buoys) off Blackpool Sands, from around 10:00.  The fishing boat Maverick stayed with the whale until help arrived from the British Divers Marinelife Rescue with the RNLI. After several attempts they finally managed to cut the rope wrapped around the whale at c17:20, which appeared to swim off fast and free. Fantastic work by these two great charities.

 Humpback Whale tangled in ropeHumpback Whale, rope being cut by BDMLRFreed Humpback Whale being monitored by RNLI


In addition to Steve H post, c100 Sand Martin through Slapton Ley

MarineLife reported Bonxie and 2 Puffin on survey further out.

Posted March 22nd at 8:44 pm by Mark Darlaston in Other Wildlife

Morte Point.

9 very smart male wheatear, 2 pairs stonechat, little flock of meadow pipits pairing off and two male linnets.

Posted March 22nd at 8:10 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh/Kingsbridge Estuary

1 Cattle Egret on the marsh loosely associating with 4 Little Egrets, also 1 Black-tailed Godwit, both present all afternoon. On the estuary 1 Sandwich Tern hunting down stream of Saltstone at 16:10, then on buoy between Lincombe and Saltstone at 16:30.

Plenty of water in the marsh, several Moorhens, usual range of waterfowl and calling Water Rail, probably 2.

Posted March 22nd at 6:29 pm by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Mt Batten, Plymouth

First sandwich tern of the year, fishing offshore.

Posted March 22nd at 6:20 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Powderham Deer Park - Egyptian Geese

Two Egyptian Geese looking well comfy in Powderham Deer Park today

Egyptian Geese
Egyptian Geese

Posted March 22nd at 4:50 pm by Jo King in General Birding

South Hams

At least six Cattle Egret opposite Bowden Pillars near Totnes this morning.

Slapton ~ Two Kestrel, three Buzzards, three Sandwich Tern, twenty plus Shag, one Great Crested Grebe on the sea, twenty plus Gannet, several Harbour Porpoise.

Two Wheatear two flocks of Sand Martin ten plus and forty plus birds.


Along the Ley in the scrub eleven Cetti's Warbler heard calling,one Wren and three Skylark.

Kingsbridge estuary Greenshank and Redshank and a few Little Egrets.

Blackdown Rings, Loddiswell, Buzzard and another Kestrel.

At home round the feeders female Reed Bunting, Siskin and a Long Tailed Tit.

Posted March 22nd at 3:04 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

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