Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–30th April 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It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.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: https://www.devonbirds.org/news/bird_news/rare_breeding_species 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

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

Membership

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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 id@devonbirds.org.

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

Sunday 30th April 2017

Topsham

Two adult summer plumage Med gulls at Topsham Rec in the afternoon were smart birds. In the morning I enjoyed the equally smart Black tern feeding over Bowling Green Marsh & Curlew sandpiper (thanks to Keith Birchall for the news). Two Ruff still present on the marsh among a good array of waders including summer plumage Knot and Bar-tailed godwit.

Posted April 30th at 10:51 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Green Woodpecker

In the garden at Week, Dartington a female Green Woodpecker feeding

Green Woodpecker   Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker                                  Green Woodpecker

Posted April 30th at 10:09 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Otter Estuary

A brief look this afternoon and highlights included:

3 Whimbrel
1 Lesser Whitethroat singing N of White Bridge
2 Common Swift
15 Sand Martin
30 House Martin
Lesser Whitethroat by Chris Townend

Posted April 30th at 8:29 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Black tern

Black tern at Bowling green marsh today

  

 

Posted April 30th at 8:00 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Teignmouth

Seawatching 07:00 - 11:00: 1 Pomarine Skua (9:10), 1 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 4 Great Northern Divers, 3 Eider, 4 Manx Shearwater, 30+ Sandwich Tern, 29 Common Scoter, 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 200+ auks, 5+ Fulmar, 40+ Kittiwake and 24 Black-headed Gull.

Posted April 30th at 7:03 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thurlestone Bay

Went out to Torcross line this morning as the rain started. Very quiet, nothing moving on the sea, no hirundines or Swifts over the ley. Thought I would try Thurlestone Bay in the afternoon as the weather cleared. Arrived in Bob's Car Park at 14:20 where Mike Passman was seawatching and had just had 7 Eiders go south. In the next couple of hours headed south were 62 Manx Shearwaters, 25 Common Scoters, Arctic Skua, 2 Great Skuas and a couple Whimbrels. No doubt about the highlight though. At 15:20 Mike picked up a raptor coming in from the sea the other side of Warren Point. It came close inshore and across the bay and proved to be a female Montagu's Harrier. It eventually went down and disappeared in the grass in a field behind Beacon Point.

Posted April 30th at 6:30 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh Sat 29th April

Yesterday: Bar-tailed Gowit 60+, Ruff ,. Black-tailed Gowit 3, Knot, Common Sandpiper 2, Dunlin c20, Whimbrel 7 and Sand Martin 18.

Today at Mount Batten, Plymouth, 1st-s Mediterranean Gull.

Posted April 30th at 5:29 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 09:10 till 11:45

within a couple of minutes of getting to the hide picked out a nice Curlew sandpiper coming into summer plumage among 20+ dunlin, with rain now heavy and at 09:50 picked up a Black Tern over the back of the marsh it was still showing well when I left .

totals for the morning in addition were 2 Ruff , 7+ knot, 40+ bar tailed , 45+ dunlin, 2 oystercatcher, 4 redshank, 30+ black tailed godwits, 8+ whimbrel, 3 curlew, 1 avocet, 1 1st summer Mediterranean gull, 40+ black headed gull, 8+ lesser black backed gulls, 4 sedge warblers, 6+ reed warblers, 4+ Cetti's warblers, 21+ wigeon, 6+ tufted duck, 2 gadwall, 300+ sand Martin , 20+ swallows, 1 buzzard.

Posted April 30th at 2:38 pm by Keith Birchall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatch 05.45-10.15am: 1 Pomarine Skua (probably 3rd cy), 2 Arctic Skuas (Dark phase and then pale phase), 4 Great Skua (video footage of one here: https://youtu.be/rnMMhyB_lDc ), 3 Puffin, 15 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Mediterranean Gull (fs), 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Shelduck, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Sandwich Tern, 5 Whimbrel, 56 Kittiwake, 5 Common Gulls 1 Harbour Porpoise and a Whale Sp >S possibly Minke (fairly distinct dorsal fin).

Posted April 30th at 1:40 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Devon Group walk at Dawlish Warren 29th April

The group met at 8:00am with 10 present  led by Mike Goss. 38 species were seen with excellent close views of 15 Whimbrel on the golf course, Sandwich terns diving, Gannet offshore. Whitethroat were singing along with Linnet out near the hide. 2 Bar-tailed Godwits with Oystercatcher in front of the hide. On the beach close views of Dunlin, Turnstone,Sanderling and Oystercatcher. A good morning which we all enjoyed.

Posted April 30th at 11:48 am by Mike Goss in General Birding

First Cuckoo

Went out early on Dartmoor and got soaking wet but I saw my first Cuckoo this year so it was worth it.

Posted April 30th at 10:32 am by Robin Stanbridge in General Birding

Chapel Wood

Plenty of activity at Chapel Wood with Woodpeckers, Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Chiff Chaffs, Willow Warblers and all the regulars. The badgers seem to have survived someone blocking their set entrance, Red Deer on the hillside and Roe Deer in the woods along with all of the regulars.

Ps. If anyone has a Lundy ticket they are not going to use pls inform DB as I am close to the top of the waiting list!!

Buzzard Great Spotted Woodpecker Green Woodpecker
Buzzard                                       Great Spotted Woodpecker                        Green Woodpecker

Posted April 30th at 9:24 am by Rob Barnes in General Birding

Exmouth

Maer Rocks - 0545 - 0745 - 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Little Tern and 3 Common Tern lingering. Also this morning 1 Black Tern (east @ 0630), 14 'commic' Tern, c20+ Sandwich Tern, a further 4 Common Tern, 1 Arctic Tern, 9 Great Northern Diver, 1 Great Skua, 8 Whimbrel 1 Eider (west), 2 Common Gull, 1+ Guillemot, 9 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Black-headed Gull and 2 Fulmar along with small numbers of Gannet and Kittiwake.

Posted April 30th at 8:17 am by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 29th April 2017

Dartmoor

Dartmoor this morning, my first Hobby of the year just above Ashburton also two male Yellow Hammer.

Two Cuckoos calling at Cherry Brook, a large flock 50 plus birds made up of Goldfinch and Redpoll, a Heron and a Mallard drake and Meadow Pipits.

Warren House Inn down to Sousson's at least four Cuckoo calling and then three seen together in flight chasing each other towards the top end of the plantation.

Several displaying Reed Bunting, two Wheatear, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits carrying food items, Green Woodpecker, Raven, Buzzard and two Kestrel.

Whinchat all over, at least nine on the walk out and easily that number on the way back to the car, calling and showing well, very surprised to find a female Pied Flycatcher not what I expected at that location.

At the entrance to Challcombe two Cuckoos seen close up one in tree and the other flying up to it in display, also Swallows, Pied Wagtail two Stonechat and two Wheatear.

Back at home a Sparrow Hawk carrying food back to a local nest site.

 

Posted April 29th at 9:14 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Yarner Wood

Located the Wood Warbler quite quickly from its constant singing by following the path upstream and turning left, taking us onto the higher path. It was very mobile, calling all the time. Didn't see any rings on either legs. Back down to Flycatcher territory and we counted 6 in total (2 m and 3 fm)

Pied Flycatcher Wood Warbler Wood Warbler

 

Posted April 29th at 7:51 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Yarner Woods

East Devon Branch of DB met this morning with 14 members present. Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts present from the start with Tree Pipit, Stonechat, Blackcap, and Yellow Hammer also quickly found.  Willow Warblers in song in the background and Treecreeper and Gt spotted Woodpecker put in brief appearances. Siskins overhead in small numbers. A single Wood Warbler gave close views and song with others heard.  3 drake Mandarin Ducks present on the ponds.  Small numbers of House Martin were overhead at Trendlebere Down plus a single Swift.  We missed a Hobby that was seen by the Plymouth Group of the RSPB (as we were facing the wrong way as they walked towards us) but thanks to them for locating the Green Woodpecker dropping!

Posted April 29th at 6:13 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The birds in fine voice with Sedge, Reed, Cettis, Chiffchaff amongst others filling the air with bird song. A couple of Whimbrel off Turf and plenty of Swallows, Sand and House Martins hawking over the lagoons. Great days birding on the marshes.

Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler

Posted April 29th at 6:11 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Fremington Quay to home farm via ponds.

Sedge warblers 4,whitethroat 6(no lesser)chiffchaff,blackcap,willow warbler,reed bunting,cettis (heard)and bullfinch.

Posted April 29th at 3:35 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

East Soar

Pretty quiet just Redstart, 3 Wheatears, 3 Sedge Warblers, lots of Whitethroats & Swallows coming in off the sea. Also first 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.

Posted April 29th at 2:55 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Beesands

3 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat and a Turtle Dove in the field behind the hide -  sadly a scare bird these days.

Posted April 29th at 2:15 pm by David Cope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

parakeet

12 ringneck parakeet central park

Posted April 29th at 1:04 pm by barry in General Birding

Topsham

Fairly quiet on the rising tide at Bowling Green Marsh this morning with 3 Ruff, 1 second calendar year Med gull & plenty of Sedge warblers the highlights so I wandered down to the viewing platform. Shortly after entering the field a Hoopoe flew over and into Riversmeet. I didn't see it again. A very fortunate view and apparently the first record for the reserve. From the viewing platform c 25 Pale-bellied Brent geese flew up river. 21 Whimbrel seen in small groups.

Posted April 29th at 11:56 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Friday 28th April 2017

Vitifer valley to Soussons

Great Grey shrike visible most of the morning on hawthorns on the Warren House side of the valley. Cuckoos calling frequently but only one seen. At least six Whinchats seen but all were males. A female Crossbill gave good views near the ruins at the Soussons end of the valley. Stonechats feeding young now - one nest found. Green Woodpeckers seen and heard frequently - at least three separate birds. Many Willow Warblers and some Chiffchaffs active.

Posted April 28th at 7:51 pm by Rob Hubble & Stella Tracey in General Birding

Start Point and Slapton Beach, 28 April 2017

Start Point:  at least 6 Male Wheatear, 1 Common Whitethroat. Lots of Linnet, Meadow Pipits and Stonechat - 2  familes of Stonechat with fledglings. 

Slapton Beach: 4 Whimbrel, 5 Ringed Plover.

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Posted April 28th at 6:47 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Yarner Wood

A lot of activity early morning including: Wood Warbler singing, 11 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Redstarts singing, 6+ Lesser Redpolls, 12+ Siskins, 2 Marsh Tits, 3 Tree Pipits, 2 Hobbies, and 4 drake Mandarin Ducks.

Posted April 28th at 2:58 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bursdon Moor.

Clear but cold for late April on Bursdon quite early this morning..

! Cuckoo calling continuously for 15 minutes, 1 Wheatear,, pair of Bullfinches, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps,, several Meadow Pipits and Skylarks and a few Pheasants..  

Surprised not to find Whitethroat in their usual spot and unusual not to see any raptors...

A pair of Song Thrushes at nearby Meddon.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted April 28th at 11:52 am by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Barn Owl

Barn owl flying through trees near the petrol station at South Brent at 0645 this morning, worryingly close to the A38 though

Posted April 28th at 7:28 am by Ian Stone in General Birding

Thursday 27th April 2017

Redstarts showing well at yarner

A late run out to hunt for Cuckoo's at Emsworthy gave very little to report despite having one in my sights on Sunday.  Due to blustery conditions we went onto Yarner entering from Trendelbere. En route several Meadow Pipits were observed along with Chaffinches, Stonechats and the usual woodland species expected. The highlight was the Redstarts showing well and a pair of males fighting over territory. As we were leaving we spotted Tree Pipit and heard 

Redstart male Yarner Cuckoo Emsworthy
Redstart male Yarner                                             Cuckoo Emsworthy

Posted April 27th at 8:57 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Fledged robin

My first fledgling of the year in garden (Honiton) just now. Blackbird, sparrow, dunnock and starling all continuing to collect food. 

Posted April 27th at 9:40 am by Andy Rook in General Birding

haytor area/yarner woods

yesterday pm:  cuckoo heard at yarner but disappointing nothing "good" seen there. 2 stonechat, 2 wheatear, skylarks, meadow pipit on moor. 

Posted April 27th at 9:27 am by graham folkerd in General Birding

Wednesday 26th April 2017

Topsham

Watched from 16:50 till 19:50

from the goatwalk to start 101+ whimbrel flew from exminster marsh to the estuary plus 9+ more on the estuary, 560+ dunlin , 1 avocet

from the viewing platform bowling green marsh 3 swift over, 20+ ringed plover , 15+ knot, 30+ grey plover, 1 willow warbler , 1 chiffchaff, 2 reed warbler, 1 mistle thrush, 17+ greenshank, 10+ whimbrel

from the hide bowling green marsh , 3 cattle egret flew over heading towards powderham, 3 ruff still, 3 Mediterranean gulls( 2 1st winter, 1 1st summer) , 2 common sandpiper, 6+ dunlin, 44+ bar tailed godwits, 2 oystercatchers, 200+ sand martins, 15+ swallows

from goosemoor, 36+ greenshank, 2 common sandpipers, 16+ little egrets, 60+ black tailed godwits.

Posted April 26th at 10:04 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Wembury Bay

Similar sightings to those in Roger's post, but also 3 Bar-tailed Godwits (2 in nice summer plumage), 2 Sanderlings, 4 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlins and 15 Whimbrels,

Later 2 adult Dunlins at Blagdons Meadow (Plym Estuary) ,

Posted April 26th at 9:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Skern

Evening visit at high tide. About 300 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover 1 Oystercatcher

At least 18 Whimbrel present. As the tide started to drop this male Ruff appeared - same one Malcolm had a few days ago?
At least 18 Whimbrel present.  As the tide started to drop this male Ruff appeared - same one Malcolm had a few days ago?

Posted April 26th at 8:54 pm by JON TURNER in General Birding

Taw estuary

Ringed Plover and Dunlin....picture now attached, hopefully....!


Posted April 26th at 8:42 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Totnes Weir

Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail & Pied Wagtail on a dry Totnes Weir Face this afternoon. Mallard with 5 duckling above the weir. Also a close encounter with a Cormorant.

Cormorant - Totnes Weir - 26/4/17
Cormorant - Totnes Weir - 26/4/17

Posted April 26th at 8:35 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Shallowford, Exmoor

Male cuckoo calling and seen in the vicinity of the farm today from 12:00 - 15:00pm.

Posted April 26th at 7:47 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Taw estuary, near the White House

Ringed Plover and Dunlin

Posted April 26th at 7:45 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Wembury Point

A good few hours birding this morning produced

29 species of birds the best being

6 Whitethroat 1 Yellowhammer

11 Whimbrel 3 Grey Plover 2 Black Tailed Godwit

7 Common Sandpiper.

Very few hirundines 2 Swallow 1 House Martin

Plus all the usual birds

Posted April 26th at 3:20 pm by Roger Backway in General Birding

Morte Point

0620-1040. 3 Whimbrel, 6 Whitethroat, 5 Fulmar, 1 Gannet,  3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 5 House Martin, several Swallow plus 23 other species. No sign of the Shrew - so cold it probably stayed in bed!

Posted April 26th at 2:17 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Shipley ~ South Brent ~ Cuckoo

Shipley Bridge towards the Avon Dam near South Brent this morning Whitethroat 2, Bullfinch 5, Goldcrest 5, Swallow 20 plus, Blackcap 9 all males, Willow Warbler 5, my first actual sighting of a Cuckoo (seen twice and beginning to call later in the morning) Wren 7, Song Thrush, Goldfinch 2, Chiffchaff 4, Mistle Thrush 4+ (one carrying food) Buzzard 2, female Kestrel being driven off by a Mistle Thrush, Greater Black Back Gull 2, Raven, Skylark 2, Pied Wagtail 3, Linnet 8, a flock of 40 plus Meadow Pipits arrived together near the pump house flying in from the direction of South Brent.

Posted April 26th at 1:20 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Torbay

2 passage Cuckoos were noted yesterday one at Berry Head about lunch time (per Ranger) and one in Primley Woods, Paignton during the morning (per D Ellacott). 

Posted April 26th at 10:19 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

man sands / coast path

yesterday pm:  small copper b/fly on southdown hill coast path. 2 oystercatcher on mansands beach.  swallows, sand martins, reed warblers, gadwall around ley. .

Posted April 26th at 9:43 am by graham folkerd in General Birding

Tuesday 25th April 2017

skern

Little tern and seven whimbrel at 18:45.Nearly ran over a male crossbill yesterday evening after work at north bovey.didnt have time to stop due to seeing it late.Not seen in rear mirror so hopefully ok.Had to make paint shop so was in a hurry.

Posted April 25th at 10:53 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Yarner Woods 29.05.2016

Spent a few hours at Yarner Woods yesterday and today.Plenty of Redstarts arriving now.Counted 6 males and 2 females on the top path.Also 12 Pied Flycatchers

Posted April 25th at 10:32 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Walked along the railway path this lunchtime. Highlights were 1 Hobby perched by the back of the lagoon and a female / immature Marsh Harrier - presumably the overwintering bird.

Posted April 25th at 2:28 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Meldon Woods

taking a short walk through the bluebells in the woods this morning, there were chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap and pied flycatcher, after the viaduct there was a cuckoo calling near the pond and a black red start near the old quarry.

Posted April 25th at 2:12 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two pairs of Mistle Thrushes feeding young, Green Woodpecker, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Wheaters, and Whitethroat.

Wheatear 23.4.17
Wheatear 23.4.17

Posted April 25th at 12:08 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Monday 24th April 2017

Dockwell, South Brent

A visit to Dockwell near South Brent today, checked out three nest box's that I placed in some woodland last year, one has a sitting Blue Tit, one half full of dried moss and one just the remnants of a nest from last year.

Bird species included Mistle Thrush, Wren 2, Pied Wagtail, Linnets 20 plus, Yellow Hammer 3, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler 2, Goldfinch 4, Buzzard and my first Whitethroat of the season.

A Roe deer on the edge of Brent hill

Back at home a single Long Tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Song Thrush pair still feeding young and a strange incident of a Carrion Crow attacking and pinning down a Jackdaw, the commotion drew in numerous very raucous Corvids that swooped and circled over the event, the Carrion Crow was clearly intent on killing the Jackdaw when a Magpie came in and actually struck the Crow, as a result the Jackdaw was able to escape not aware if anyone else has witnessed this type of behaviour.

Posted April 24th at 10:45 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Occombe Sunday Morning

Late submission for Sunday morning. 2 House Sparrows, 4 Dunnock, 2 Swallows, 3 Greenfinch, Chaffinch, 2 Mallard, 6 Blackcap, Song Thrush, 7 Chiffchaff, 9 Wren, 2 Pheasant, 5 Stock Dove, 5 Robins, 2 Bullfinch, 8 Blackbirds, 2 Willow Warblers, 5 Great Tit, 6 Blue Tit, Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, plus a Roebuck.

Posted April 24th at 7:46 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Slapton

Mid afternoon, 4 Sandwich tern off middle car park, and at Torcross 2 Swift, 30 House Martin, 50 Swallow and 10 Sand martin.

Posted April 24th at 6:30 pm by Nik Ward in General Birding

Plymouth area

A walk this morning from Mount Gould to Staddon Heights and back to Mount Batten, produced singing Sedge Warbler and Wheatear (cycle track by Tothill Park / lower Plym Estuary) and a Grasshopper Warbler at Staddon Heights. Also 2 Whitethroats. 

Posted April 24th at 5:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Broadsands

Somewhat surprised to see a Bar Tailed Godwit on the beach last evening

Posted April 24th at 5:03 pm by tim Clyburn in General Birding

Down Tor

Cuckoo heard on Down Tor several times this afternoon.

Posted April 24th at 4:19 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Berry Head

A few migrants on the headland today: 4 Willow Warblers, 4 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff and 24+ Wheatears moving rapidly through from 9am-10.30am. 1 Great Northern Diver >S over the headland and another flew into Torbay. 2 Shelduck on the pool in the inner quarry was a bit of a surprise. 

Posted April 24th at 3:26 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Grasshopper Warbler

Just seen, 1.45pm, a Grasshopper warbler singing away at High down, Lydford, Dartmoor.

Posted April 24th at 2:22 pm by Robin Stanbridge in General Birding

Burrator area.

Walked around the north end of Burrator this morning and noted 3 male Redstarts, 2 Cuckoo, 4 Wheater and an Osprey flying north from the reservoir.

Posted April 24th at 1:47 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Arlington / Ashford

Pied Flycatcher in the woods at a fast-cooling Arlington this morning.

Stopped at Ashford on the way home and just about saw the hide-and-seek Lesser Whitethroat exactly where Rob said it was - thanks! Several Whimbrel out on the sand banks too.

Posted April 24th at 1:39 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Prawle Sightings this weekend

Apologies for late posting.On Friday evening  Pat M saw a Red Kite; on Saturday 22nd April Pat M saw 3 Grasshopper Warblers, a male Redstart,a Sedge Warbler, 40+ Willow Warblers and 75+Wheatears and a possible Pomarine Skua.

Sunday 23rd (when I visited) seawatching with Pat M (7.20 till 9am) produced  2 Arctic Skuas , 3 Sandwich Terns east and 13 Manx Shearwaters west. A smattering of common migrants included my first 5 Whitethroats, 11+ Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 20+ Swallows, 1 Sand Martin. Always interesting what a difference a day makes at this time of the year ! 

Posted April 24th at 10:51 am by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Cuckoo

Heard my first cuckoo while walking on Mardon Down (Dartmoor).

Posted April 24th at 7:20 am by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:00 till 19:20

From the viewing platform 175+ pale bellied brent geese flew up estuary before settling of riversmeet house with 2 dark bellied brent geese in with them 850+ dunlin, 34+ grey plover, 25+ whimbrel, 15+ knot, 16+ greenshanks, 50+ bar tailed godwits

from the hide, 3 ruff still, 2 Mediterranean gulls both 1st winter, 6 common gulls , 20+ black headed gulls, 8+ ringed plover over going high north

Around the marsh, 1 swift through my first of the year, 3 house Martin, 60+ sand Martin, 20+ swallows, 2 buzzards, 1 sparrowhawk, 5 Cetti's warblers, 6+ blackcap, 8+ chiffchaff, 6+ song thrush and 2 mistle thrush, 12+ reed warblers, 5+ sedge warblers

Also in evidence was continued movement of dunlin heading high north over the marsh at least 5 groups seen involving 250+ birds 

Posted April 23rd at 11:47 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Lesser Whitethroat - Tarka trail

Cycled from Braunton to Barnstaple along the trail again this morning.

On the outgoing journey 1 Lesser Whitethroat was vocalising many times from the Hawthorn & bramble bushes & flying from one bush to the next from Ashford Strand towards Ashford Sewage treatment works where it fell silent in a bush with several other species including a Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff & Chaffinch. I continued to Barnstaple & during the return journey heard the bird again several times between the sewage works & Ashford. The bird can be heard warbling inside or at the back of a Hawthorn or bramble bush but I was not able to obtain a photo.

A useful tip - be as quiet as possible when you hear it because it will stop singing if you talk!

Posted April 23rd at 9:59 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Nocturnal recording update

A quick update even if not very exciting from my night recording sessions in Plymouth. 17/4 Tree Pipit over 07:20, 18/4 group of Whimbrel 22:58, 20/4 Common Sand 03:21, group of Dunlin 03:04, 21/4 single Dunlin 01:20. Tawny owl a few evenings as well as some night singing Robins and the occasional burst of random night song from Wood Pigeon, Great Tit and a few unidentified noises. Lots of drunk people, snoring, squeaky brakes etc too!

Posted April 23rd at 9:32 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Skern Bay, Northam

Plenty of birds at Skern. Large flock of Dunlin/ringed plover,10 whimbrel, three bar tailed godwits in summer plumage. 

Bar-tailed Godwit Ringed Plover whimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit                       Ringed Plover                                     whimbrel

Posted April 23rd at 9:26 pm by RICHARD YEATS in General Birding

Berrynarbor Cuckoo

Heard for the first time this year this morning and again this afternoon.

Posted April 23rd at 8:58 pm by Kim Beaver in General Birding

Hartland Quay

Richards Pipit in area above lowest car park 2.30pm today

Posted April 23rd at 8:51 pm by Rob Cleversley in General Birding

Yarner Wood

13.45 - 17.00

On the heath: a pair of Stonechat, Red-legged Partridge (first for me here), 3 Linnets, Raven, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaffs and a Redpoll.  Mallard flying over.  Calling Tree Pipit. 

In the Wood: 4 male Mandarins, 2 Marsh Tits, 4 Siskins, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits and LT Tits.  2 Song Thrushes, 3 males and 1 female Pied Flycatcher, 2 male Redstarts, 2 Treecreepers, all three woodpecker species.  Two calling Wood Warblers and a calling Mistle Thrush.   

Posted April 23rd at 8:26 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Common Lizard

Common lizard on wall on Tarka trail near Braunton InnSaturday 22nd May


Posted April 23rd at 8:00 pm by richard yeats in Other Wildlife

Exeter

Three Swifts over house in Exeter this evening. 

Posted April 23rd at 7:44 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Yarner Wood

An early morning visit to Yarner Woods gave no less than thirteen Pied Flycatchers, two Wood Warblers together high in the Oak canopy, female Redstart, mating pair of Woodpeckers not something I ever expected to see, Siskin, Song Thrush and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Emsworthy Mire gave male Redstart, two male Wheatear, Meadow Pipits and three soaring Buzzards.

On Dartmoor, Swallow, Skylark, Meadow Pipit and several Linnets.

Back at home, Swallow, Nuthatch, Song Thrush and recently fledged Blackbird

Posted April 23rd at 7:22 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Taw estuary

Despite the dog-walker traffic, the low tide and the baking sun, at least a dozen Whimbrel really wanted to feed on the dry sand way up the beach near Instow cricket club. In the dunes and fields 3 male Whitethroat in song-flight, several Blackcap and a Sedge Warbler singing, plus plenty of singing Linnet and Swallow.

Posted April 23rd at 7:20 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Burrator (Sat 22nd)

Common Redstart male, half a dozen Wheatear on territory, Grey Wagtail pair feeding young in the nest (half grown) and fly-through by a Peregrine were highlights, but no Cuckoos on site all afternoon. Noticed the wind was northerly and cold so probably explains a lot.

Posted April 23rd at 7:16 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Burrator / Combshead tor

0810 - 1115:-

3 singing male Redstarts, singing Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, 2 Great spotted Woodpeckers (m+f), 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Cuckoo together with one calling, at the aptly named Cuckoo rock.

Posted April 23rd at 7:13 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Sixteen Wheatears (a good count for the site) and my first Whitethroat of the year here. Also 1 or 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Common Sandpipers and 2 drake Mandarin Ducks.

Yesterday: 3 adult Dunlins and a Whimbrel.

Posted April 23rd at 7:01 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Wembury Beach Walk

Continued

Grey Plover  Sanderling  Curlew Sandpiper?
Grey Plover          Sanderling      Curlew Sandpiper? Eds: Yes!

Posted April 23rd at 5:38 pm by Duncan Leitch in General Birding

Wembury Beach Walk

Spotted the same cast of small waders as an earlier post. Lots of Oystercatchers, Curlews, Egrets and a Whimbrel (i think).

Cast of Waders Dunlin
Cast of Waders Eds: including the Curlew Sandpiper on right                                               Dunlin

Posted April 23rd at 5:33 pm by Duncan Leitch in General Birding

Tarka Trail

Good afternoon for a cycle to find something....

Wrafton scrape had Common Sandpiper but no LRP (of which more later) on to Barnstaple and on the way heard at least 10 Blackcaps, 1 Willow Warbler and a few Chiffs. Good numbers of Shelduck on the river and a number of Black-headed Gulls too, including a few adults.

Decided to push on to the small muddy area opposite Bishop's Tawton, hoping for a wader or a Green Woodpecker. Well the wader turned out to be a Greenshank and not the hoped for Wood Sandpiper. Closer inspection revealed 2 Little Ringed Plovers! Same as this morning's at Wrafton or a different pair?

On the way back along the Tarka Trail the tide was rising and I saw at least 9 Whimbrel, and 2 Common Sandpiper. Also saw 1 Andy Lansdell. Like him I didn't see any Lesser Whitethroats, although I may have heard one.

Finally I walked around Sherpa Marsh. Swallows and Sand Martins in numbers.

Posted April 23rd at 5:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Dartmeet

Cuckoo (at last) calling downstream from Dartmeet.  Also four Pied Flycatchers and at least one Redstart singing in the woods beneath Combestone Tor.

Posted April 23rd at 5:01 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Tarka Trail

Miserably failed to find the Lesser Whitethroat Rob reported earlier, but plenty of singing blackcaps. Did get my first comma, holly blue and common lizard of the year and the missing picture for Rob's collection.

Orange-tip female underwing.
Orange-tip female underwing.

Posted April 23rd at 4:48 pm by Andrew Lansdell in Other Wildlife

Dockwell - South Brent

Cuckoo first heard at this location on 18th, gave good views today whilst calling well late morning. Also present Wheatear (x4), Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Linnet and a lone Tree Pipit.

Cuckoo - Dockwell,South Brent - 23.4.17
Cuckoo - Dockwell,South Brent - 23.4.17

Posted April 23rd at 4:44 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Curlew Sandpiper, Wembury Point

Curlew Sandpiper on shore east of the slipway and outfall pipe at Wembury Point early this morning, with supporting small-wader cast of three Grey Plover, Sanderling, two Ringed Plover and a Dunlin.

Posted April 23rd at 2:11 pm by John Bishop in General Birding

Kingford Fen, Lana and Lower Tamar Lake area.

A great early morning walk in quiet, sunny conditions.

6 Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs 3, Blackcaps 3, Dunnocks 4, Treecreepers 2,  Very active rookery at Kingford Fen with at least ten nests so far, 2 Buzzards, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Goldcrest and fair numbers of Swallows and Martins plus all the usual species.

No activity at all at the heronry at Dunsdon

Several Orange Tip, Large and Small White butterflies

. Harvey Kendall.

Posted April 23rd at 1:16 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Stoke Beach

Red Kite  flying up the coastline towards Mothercombe being mobbed by corvids

Posted April 23rd at 11:44 am by Roger Backway in General Birding

Wrafton

Took a group around the reserve this morning and we were rewarded with Common Sandpiper and 2 Little Ringed Plovers out on the scrape. Displaying Sedge Warbler just outside the reserve, and a Tawny Owl seen in the pine trees.

Posted April 23rd at 10:56 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Saturday 22nd April 2017

Avon Dam

1m Whinchat and 1m Pied Flycatcher in the valley below Avon Dam this evening.

Posted April 22nd at 9:59 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

Swift again this evening with good numbers of Swallow and Sand Martin.

Posted April 22nd at 9:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Hope's Nose

12.00-14.00

80+ Guillemots on the ledges of the Orestone, Whitethroat, Common Sandpiper, female Wheatear, male and female Stonechats, Fulmar, 3 Swallows in off the sea, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Mallards, Kestrel, 25+ Shags, 2 Oystercatchers, Rock Pipit, Goldfinch, pair of Bullfinches.  Calling Willow Warbler and Pheasant.

Posted April 22nd at 9:04 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Pied Flycatcher - Yarner

Early morning walk around Yarner on Thursday morning - Male Redstart, Siskins, Gs & Green Woodpeckers and 3 male Pied Flycatchers. One with rings on both legs - Left silver & Right gold/yellow. 

Pied flycatcher
Pied flycatcher

Posted April 22nd at 8:45 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Shaldon

A Grasshopper Warbler reeled from the hedge bordering the golf course this morning, with 5 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler and 10 Blackcap around the area, and a Yellow Wagtail over.

Posted April 22nd at 8:08 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Turf

Short eared Owl this afternoon. 

Posted April 22nd at 7:53 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Around topsham

Watched from 08:00 till 16:00

A good days birding except for the continued levels of disturbance around the estuary and bowling green marsh.

Best bird was a cuckoo by the viewing platform at bowling green marsh at 09:25 first picked up calling from riversmeet house grounds before showing well by the viewing platform it was chased by a couple of carrion crows and then spooked by a buzzard landing next to it it seemed to fly through and up the river clyst, a rare bird on the marsh these days and my first in 7 years of watching the site.

1200+ dunlin and 100+ ringed plover was a good count from the viewing platform , from the goatwalk 1 hobby flew high over exminster and 3 ruff were in with the black tailed godwits, 2 Avocet, there was movement of waders heading north with several groups of dunlin going high over topsham more unusual was a group of 35 ringed plover that flew up from Dawlish warren they were high and continued high over topsham.

Around bowling green a good fall of warblers with 15+ sedge warblers , 16+ reed warblers, 2 Whitethroat , 6+ new blackcaps, 5 house Martin , 15 tufted duck, 4 gadwall, 18+ wigeon, 2 reed bunting, 1 wheatear, 1 white wagtail, 1 common sandpiper.

on the rising tide from viewing platform . 62+ bar tailed godwits, 40+grey plover, 20+ knot, 20+ greenshank.

Posted April 22nd at 5:44 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Prawle Point (Reserve)

An Ad.m. Firecrest ringed at this site on 12/10/16 has been recovered on02/04/17 at Beverwijk, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. (Unfortunately taken by a cat). Of 13609 Firecrests ringed in Great Britain (until 31st.Dec 2015) only 8 have been recovered abroad, 3 previously from the Netherlands.      This individual would have wintered either in S W Britain or further south on the Continent and was returning to breed in Europe when it was recovered.

Posted April 22nd at 5:17 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Holdstone down exmoor

Haven't been able to get up here for a few weeks, but was rewarded with several small flocks of very busy linnets gathering material, stonechat male and female, chaffinches, meadow pipits, skylarks numerous buzzards. I sat  for ages watching a willow warbler? Scour a gorse bush for food. 

Willow warbler Buzzard below
Willow warbler                                                           Buzzard 

Posted April 22nd at 3:44 pm by Philip Worth in General Birding

Croyde,Baggy Point.

whitethroats several pairs wheatear,linnets,skylarks,stonechat,willow warbler and chiff chaff.

Posted April 22nd at 2:29 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Tarka trail - Braunton to Barnstaple

A quick look at Wrafton Pond on the way down the trail & a pair of adult Little Grebes with 3 juv's already.

Further down the trail a very mobile Brimstone Butterfly & once it had really warmed up it did not settle.

Having cycled down the trail from Braunton to Barnstaple at least 10 times during the last fortnight I was at last rewarded with 2 new arrivals for the trail which fell in & announced their presence with much excitement in the usual fashion - Lesser Whitethroat.

On the fringes of the Taw Estuary at Ashford with the tide out were 21 Whimbrel.

1  Goosander at Pottington

  

Posted April 22nd at 2:20 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Clennon Valley

Grasshopper Warbler reeling in top corner (NW) of Clennon Valley playing fields.

Video clip of bird here: https://youtu.be/yYk65SAihrg 

Posted April 22nd at 2:02 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wierd Magpie Plymouth

Had a bit of a shock driving by Beaumont Road church this morning when a partially albino/partially leucistic Magpie flew in front of me. Seemed almost completely white except the wing where the black was replaced with very pale brown. Bizarre bird - I'll go back later and try and get a picture.

Eds - this bird has been around in this area, for several years on and off. Good to hear it's still surviving.

Posted April 22nd at 1:01 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

18 Wheatear around Soar Mill Cove, Sedge Warbler & Willow Warbler singing plus male Sparrowhawk over Bolberry car park.

Posted April 22nd at 12:34 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Hexworthy to Dartmeet

Six singing males apiece for Tree Pipit and Redstart (first records of year for latter); single Pied Fly at Dartmeet.  Also Yellowhammer, Mandarin, Goosander, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  No Garden Warblers or Cuckoos yet.  Slightly concerned about the latter.  Willow Warblers singing all over area in good numbers.

Posted April 22nd at 12:31 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Berry Head.

A walk along the coast path this morning was worth it. 2 Adders, 3 whitethroat singing, chiffchaff and then I reached BH. Before I reached the first fort by car park a further two whitethroat, 2 male and 1 female bullfinch, 4 shags on nests in the gully and 1 showing off the eggs in a change over. In between the two forts on the grassy slope 10 + Wheatear, gave up counting as they started to flit about, many Goldfinch. At the end of the headland a further 4 Wheatear. Many swallows passing through. An enjoyable morning.

Posted April 22nd at 12:18 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Willow warbler - Higher Street Brixham

Had a singing willow warbler drop into our garden on Higher Street for 10 minutes this morning - beautiful way to start the day and a first for the garden.  

Posted April 22nd at 8:51 am by Ali King in General Birding

Start Point

A Red Kite flew north at 06:30, little else.

Posted April 22nd at 8:09 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

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