General Birding

Taw & Torridge Field Meeting - Sunday 23rd June 2019

Please be advised that the Taw & Torridge Field Meeting on Sunday 23rd June has had to change venue. The woodland is off limits at Hartland Forest so the meeting will now take place at SS373193, Landcross to Powlers Piece road. Clear fell area before Powlers Piece. Look out for Roger Doble and Dave Paul who will park up and look out for members. Meet at 9.30pm. Further information can be obtained from Norman Briden 01271371072 

Posted June 13th at 11:26 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work .

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am 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

Wednesday 21st February 2018

Plym Estuary

Just to add to Pete Aley’s post. 208 Dunlin, 148 Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 49 Curlew & 10 Redwing.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 8:10 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Northernhay Gardens

Firecrest feeding and flitting around the city wall in Northernhay gardens.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding

Labrador Bay

Merlin seen chasing breakfast this morning above Shaldon close to RSPB Reserve

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 5:39 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Velator

Ringing this morning produced 18 Greenfinch, 5 each of Chaffinch and Reed Bunting 2 Blue Tits and singles of Great Tit, Bullfinch, Wood Pigeon and Robin. Best bird was a Fieldfare - the first I have seen in the reserve for a couple of years. Sadly it departed without finding a mist net! Redshank and Greenshank on the scrape, and the Little Grebe in the reserve started calling this morning for the first time this year.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 4:42 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Beautiful sunny day - Siskin, Kingfisher, 10 Goosanders (2 drakes), 30 Turnstones, 1 or 2 Common Sandpipers & 5 Little Grebes.

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 3:10 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Labrador Bay

Flock of 37 Common Scoter in the bay this morning.

Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted February 21st, 2018 at 12:42 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Tuesday 20th February 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for this morning at the Lake,

13 Goosander 8m 5f, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Little Egret, 1 Cormorant, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Fieldfare.

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 7:47 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Matford marsh

American Wigeon still present among Wigeon flock on the main pool at 11.00 today also 7 snipe.  view it from the first information board close to the Exminster roundabout. It was much easier to pick out when the ducks were on the water rather than feeding on grass at the back of the pool

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 12:33 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Dartington Hawfinch

15 hawfinches feeding on the ground this morning 9.30 am with chaffinches and 2 redwings in park school playing field best viewed down at the field gate in between the office's In aller park (school is on half term so no kids about)

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 9:41 am by Hamish johnson in General Birding

Monday 19th February 2018

Wrafton

Smart female Kingfisher in the reserve this afternoon, and the female Marsh Harrier perched on a bush in the reed-bed in Sherpa Marsh again.

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Milton Reserve - Second Reed Cut, 3 March

We cut an area of reeds near the South Milton Reserve boardwalk on 7 January but had to postpone the second cut due to poor weather.  We are now planning to cut an area adjacent to the first cut on 3 March, starting at 9:30am.

We meet at the sewage works and please bring wellies, wear warm, old clothes and if you have a long-handled fork please bring that along too.  Please park at the top of the lane leading down to the sewage works.  We will finish by lunchtime.

If you would like to help, please contact either Vic Tucker (01752 216887) or Nick Townsend (01548 560243 or email gillnickt@yahoo.co.uk)

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Glaucous Gull Brixham

Seen today at 1pm halfway along Breakwater, nearby fisherman on boat cleaning nets kept gulls close by. 

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 5:33 pm by Gary Bolton in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A mild morning produced - Firecrest, 2 Stonechats, 6 Stock Doves, 5 Bullfinches, c45 Meadow Pipits, Green Woodpecker, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 202 Dunlins, 111 Redshanks, 49 Curlews, 4 Greenshanks, 5 Oystercatchers and 7 Goosanders (1 drake). 

Posted February 19th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Sunday 18th February 2018

Taw and Torridge branch outing

The Taw and Torridge branch had a successful outing today to Darts Farm, Goosemoor, Bowling Green Marsh, Goat Walk, Exminster Marshes and Powderham despite the awful weather forecast. Saw 57 different birds including water rail, goldcrest, bullfinch, red breasted merganser, and large gatherings of wigeon and black tailed godwits.

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 10:48 pm by Brian Sims in General Birding

South Dartmoor

Very little to be seen in the way of bird life on the upper moors other than a Buzzard and Corvids but dropping down the bird life started to appear.

Dartmeet gave three male Yellow Hammers and a partly leucistic female House Sparrow.

Holne three Mistle Thrush on overhead wires.

  

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 8:56 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Blackcap

Female blackcap in our Bideford garden today.Good to see some birders saw the black redstarts I posted.Nice shot of the male Kim. 

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 8:28 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Whimple

Pair of common redpolls niger feeders today 

Eds - "Common" Redpoll is the species including Mealy and Greenland (or North-western) Redpolls - rarities in Devon. Presumably these were Lesser Redpolls, a relatively common sight in the county? The naming is confusing! 

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Peter salter in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

A bit drizzly and murky, but the first winter Iceland Gull was still about this morning, around the last third of the breakwater, as previously.  Out at the end there were a couple of (second winter?) Common Gulls and a few Kittiwakes.  No sign of the Glaucous Gull.  A solitary Purple Sandpiper was on the rocks on the seaward side of the breakwater. 

Common Gull Common Gull
Common Gull                    Common Gull

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 4:44 pm by Alistair King in General Birding

Ilfracombe Redstarts

The male and females still on houses behind Lidl

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 1:56 pm by Paul king in General Birding

Colour ringed Dipper

Seen on the river Plym by McDonalds. Right leg; orange on tarsus, red on tibia. Left leg; black over white on tarsus. I didn’t see a metal ring. It flew back up the Plym after about 5 minuets.

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 1:30 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Ilfracombe Lidl Redstarts

Good views of the male this morning.  One female made a brief appearance but was chased off by the male.  The male was spending most of its time at the top of the tree just to the right hand side of the property with the scaffolding and making regular flights to adjacent houses to catch insects.  A pied wagtail also present and it was good to see good numbers of sparrows collecting nesting materials.

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 11:46 am by Kim Beaver in General Birding

Brixham Glaucous Gull

try https://wwwyoutube.com/watch?v=vzETiuYOCdE

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 11:40 am by Lloyd in General Birding

Brixham Glaucous Gull

A Video link to this weeks Glaucous https://youtu.be/vzE7iuYOCdE 

Eds: the link doesn't seem to work Lloyd...

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 10:37 am by Lloyd Gray in General Birding

Stuart Line Cruise on Exe 17th February

Three Great Northern Divers, Slavonian Grebe, two Goldeneye and two adult Med Gulls were the highlights

Posted February 18th, 2018 at 10:20 am by Ian Waite in General Birding

Saturday 17th February 2018

redstarts

Hi john and others the black redstarts were in ilfracombe,doh!!!!.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 11:39 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Stover and Brixham

There were 19 Goosanders (3 adult drakes) at Stover at first light, continuing to give exceptionally good views around the lake and in the channels. Also a pair of Mandarins, 2 Pochard, 7 Tufted Ducks, 2 Kingfishers and Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

The adult Glaucous Gull flew along Brixham Breakwater this afternoon, heading off towards Berry head, while the first winter Iceland Gull patrolled up and down for some time.

 First winter Iceland Gull Purple Sandpiper, Brixham Breakwater

First winter Iceland Gull and Purple Sandpiper at Brixham Breakwater

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 10:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Ernesettle Creek at low tide

Good numbers of Oystercatchers and  at least 8 Curlew on the tideline as the creek enters the Tamar. Shelduck x 4 and a little egret on the mud flats. Kingfisher on the Mill Pond. 20+ Teal with a small group of Mallards, Redshanks a plenty, one lone Greenshank along the creek. A small flock of Goldfinches, long tailed tits and a solitary Goldcrest in the hedgerow. 

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 8:51 pm by Val Grehan in General Birding

Velator

Cycled back to Brauntion from Croyde this afternoon and detoured across Braunton Marsh and the great field. Found a huge flock of several hundred Chaffinch, but unable to find a Brambling among them. Didn't find the Goose, nor any Owls, but as I looked across at Sherpa Marsh, perched on a small bush in the reed-bed was a (or the?) female Marsh Harrier. This was at about 4.20.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exe & Yarner

A good day on the River Exe estuary today.

Cockwood ~ Eider duck and Great Norther Diver on the Exe, on the roadside fields, Oyster Catcher, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Wigeon, Teal, Brent Geese, Lapwing and Sparrow Hawk.

 

Powderham to Turf Lock on the dropping tide ~ Large numbers of Black Tailed Godwit (three colour tagged birds) and Brent Geese, Curlew, the reported two Snow Geese still with a small flock of Canada Geese but some 400 yards from the footpath , Redshank, Kingfisher, Cormorant, Red Breasted Merganser (6) Dunlin, Grey Plover, Oyster Catcher, Avocet, Heron and Lapwing.

Yarner ~ A good day for raptor watching with at least six Buzzards soaring over the valley.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 6:08 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Beesands Ley Scaup

Scaup still present at Beesands Ley this afternoon.

Scaup
Scaup

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Plym Estuary

My first Mediterranean Gull of this year here (adult), 9 Goosanders (2 drakes), Common Sandpiper, 37 Common Gulls & 2 Greenshanks.

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 3:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Wrafton

11.00a.m. there were 5 SPOONBILLS on the scrape. None of them seemed to have any rings.

Rob Marshall: Which LIDL?!!

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 1:43 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

BLACK REDSTARTS

1 MALE JOINED BY 2 FEMALE FEEDING MAINLY ON AND AROUND HOUSE WITH SCAFFOLD ABOVE LIDLS CARPARK ON THURSDAY 15TH BELATED NEWS SORRY

Posted February 17th, 2018 at 11:56 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Friday 16th February 2018

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday's Canada Goose casualty was still very much whole at mid-day, but just one day later, the carcass has been totally stripped to the bone by scavengers.  Geese are known to be faithful for life, and this appears to be the case here with its mate still staying close by in the background, even though it's been reduced to a skeleton. 

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 8:13 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Cockwood and Dawlish Warren

11.30

At Cockwood:

Slavonian Grebe, Greenshank and 2 Great Northern Divers. 

12.50-16.30

At Dawlish Warren:

A lone Eider in front of the hide, 3 R B Mergansers, 3 Common Scoters on the sea, 2 Stonechats, Great Northern Diver on the sea, 4 G C Grebes on the sea, Snipe on the main pond. 

A large supporting cast of wintering waders and wildfowl at both locations. 

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 7:18 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater this afternoon

Very quiet on arrival, but the adult glaucous gull appeared just before 2pm, spending a few minutes flying around the end and preening on the water. The juvenile/1st winter iceland gull appeared at the same time, and hung around flying up and down the breakwater for about an hour. Also present; 3 purple sandpipers, 3 turnstone and rock pipits on the breakwater; 1 great northern diver distant off the end on arrival; and gannets diving out in the bay. I looked for dolphins under them but didn't see any.

Glaucous gull, adult Iceland gull, juvenile/1st winter
Glaucous gull, adult                                    Iceland gull, juvenile/1st winter

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 6:35 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Reply to "One less Canada Goose"

I was there on Tuesday afternoon and the goose was laying down and not moving ,  apart from occasionally lifting it's head. We were wondering if it would make it to the next day.  Looks like it didn't.

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 2:15 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Scaup at Beesands 15th Feb

Scaup at Beesands with what appears to be a peak at the rear of head. A trick of the wind or could it be a Lesser Scaup !!!

  

Eds: On the Scaup the green head, lack of coarse vermiculation on back,head shape - not high enough crown, black nail a little too extensive would all rule out lesser scaup.

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 10:22 am by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Meditation

Have now worked out why the Blackcaps in my Paignton Garden have taken to ground feeding this winter - they need earthing after their meditation!

(Have included a record shot of both males together for sheer novelty value.)

Om mani... ...padme um Both Males
Om mani...                              ...padme um                                   Both Males

Posted February 16th, 2018 at 1:25 am by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Thursday 15th February 2018

One Less Canada Goose

At lunchtime at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, this Buzzard spent a lot of time plucking a Canada carcass before it could get to the juicy bits.  Didn't see if the Buzzard actually made the kill, but it seems like a big prey item for a Buzzard?  Four Foxes were sunbathing at the other side of the marsh, so it doesn't look like it was their kill.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 11:52 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Venford Reservoir

2 Woodcock mid-pm.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 9:20 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

Spoonbil at South Efford very close to the hide

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 7:33 pm by Roger Backway in General Birding

South Molton

A sighting of a red kite flying low over farm land north of Aller Cross roundabout. 

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 6:36 pm by Valerie Horne in General Birding

Starcross, Dawlish Warren etc.

Up and down the Exe today. Eider off the Warren (at low tide) along with RB Mergansers and 3 Great Northern Divers. At Starcross the usual Turnstone and views of the Slav Grebe and some Avocet and 4 more RB Merg close in.. From the cycle bridge near Powderham Church, distant views of the Snow Geese with some Canada Geese roughly at grid ref SX964851.

Eider
Eider

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 6:33 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Braunton Marsh Thursday 15th Feb

Heard my first skylark of the year also celandines in flower - Spring can't be far away!

The devastation on Horsey Island due to breach in sea wall has to be seen.  The area is unrecognisable from what was there before. It's doubtful that it can ever be reinstated.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 5:53 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Teignmouth Seafront and Bowling Green Marsh

Early this morning off the point car park two Great Northern Divers. Off the yacht club towards Sprey Point - one Great Crested Grebe and nine Common Scoter. Still the morning at Bowling Green Marsh notables included five Gadwall, a Kingfisher and a Ruff. Afternoon at Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth docks sadly didn't produce much else. Forty eight species in all.

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 5:44 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Brixham and Broadsands

13.15

Brixham

The adult Glaucous Gull showed very well, sat on one of the roofs of the old oil terminal at the breakwater for 15 minutes.  It then flew off back along the breakwater towards the beach and car park. 

Also close to the end of the breakwater were; 2 Guillemots, 2 Rock Pipits and a Turnstone.  Large numbers of Gannets out in Torbay.

14.45

 Broadsands

Several Cirl Buntings coming to seed in the second car park with two Greenfinches.  1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrests, 1 Chiffchaff and a GSW around the first car park. 

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 5:30 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Exe Estuary (Powderham Church - Turf)

The East Devon fieldtrip  (East Devon Branch) attracted 19 members (with an unusual ratio of 13 women and 6 men present). With a low tide good numbers of geese and waders were present on the estuary and fields and gave a memorable show as they flew overhead.  Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Curlew, Grey Plover and Brent Geese being the main species in numbers.  Several Red breasted Merganser and Pintail were present and a small group of Sanderling were seen at a distance.  Some members walked on to the viewing hide on the canal where other duck and Golden Plover were added to the list giving a total of c50 species. Thanks to Colin Randall for leading the group.  

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 4:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Yarner Wood

Morning visit to Yarner: Siskins, 2 Redpolls, Green, Greater and 1 Lesser  Spotted Woodpecker. 1 Treecreeper and 1 Kingfisher from the new hide overlooking the old settling pond.

Lesser Redpoll
Lesser Redpoll

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 2:12 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Seen on the estuary this morning and a long the “narrows”. 2 Dipper, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Kingfisher, 4 Wigeon, 13 Goosanders (4m 9f), 6 Red-breasted Mergansers (3m 3f), 2 Med Gulls ad moulting into sp. A digger started to work on Blaxton meadow putting most birds up!

Posted February 15th, 2018 at 11:43 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

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