Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st March 2018

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 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels 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

Saturday 31st March 2018

Blackcaps in garden Bickington Barnstaple

We've had a male blackcap visiting our garden since 5th January. Today it was joined by a female. Both are partial to fat balls.

Blackcap  Blackcap
Blackcap                                  Blackcap

Posted March 31st at 10:03 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake.
3 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Reed Bunting, 5f Goosander, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Great Tit, 3 Moorhen, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Robin.

Posted March 31st at 7:38 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Velator/Wrafton

This evening locally. No migrants anywhere! Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape again. A Coot and 2 Little Grebes on the reserve pond.

Then I walked around Sherpa Marsh, where the female Marsh Harrier was in the reed-bed just opposite the Toll House. It seemed to be stuck, but with some furious flapping eventually freed itself to fly off, circling around and landing in the big Macrocarpus IN the SW corner of the reserve! So finally a Marsh Harrier seen in the reserve. Also a Great Black-backed Gull flew north over the  reserve and 2 Grey Wagtails nearby.

 

April tomorrow, let's hope it gets a good deal warmer quite soon! I'm fed up with all this cold and rain.

Posted March 31st at 7:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Honey Buzzard

Seen 16:15 @ St Anne's Chapel  on Saturday 31 March  

2018

Eds: its way too early for an Honey Buzzard even more so given the weather conditions! More likely to be a Common Buzzard in unfamiliar plumage, see https://www.devonbirds.org/birdwatching/articles/common_buzzard 

Posted March 31st at 5:55 pm by Roger Smaridge in General Birding

Burrator

Cold and windy this afternoon:

4 Goosander (females), several Goldcrest, 1 Marsh tit, Green woodpecker heard.

Posted March 31st at 5:11 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

River Dart above Totnes

A quick walk by the Dart above Totnes late morning to see if any sea trout were jumping. No fish seen, but 21 bird species observed. Included 5 Mandarin Ducks ( 2 pairs + a lone male), a pair of goosander and a single grey wagtail.

Mandarin Duck - River Dart, Totnes - 31.3.2018  Male Goosander - River Dart, Totnes - 31.3.2018  Grey Wagtail - River Dart, Totnes - 31.3.2018 
Mandarin Duck                    Male Goosander                                Grey Wagtail

Posted March 31st at 3:29 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Wembury

A singing chiffchaff with another bird seen in the valley to the beach and a whimbrel on the rocks at Wembury Point the only summer migrants this morning on a very muddy walk along the coast path.

The water pipit still on the beach near the sewage pipe with rock pipits and meadow pipits, looking pale and scruffy as it moults into summer plumage.

Whimbrel  Water Pipit - record shot
Whimbrel                                                        Water Pipit - record shot

Posted March 31st at 3:14 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Plymouth Common Rosefinch

Common Rosefinch briefly back on garden feeder in Plymstock (Green Park Road) again this morning, 2 weeks after the previous sighting on 17th (posted here with images on 18th). Apparently it’s still roaming the feeders and worth looking out for.  (Visits to a feeder nearby in Hooe on 18th and 19th were reported here on 19th by GE & LA Carr.)

Posted March 31st at 2:09 pm by John Bishop in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Budleigh Salterton

3 Northern Wheatear in our garden briefly this morning at 11 am.

Posted March 31st at 11:42 am by Paul Reynolds in General Birding

Friday 30th March 2018

Moretonhampstad

40 Bramblings feeding in garden along with 15 Greenfiches. Very nervous as a male Sparrow Hawk has been around for a few days.

Posted March 30th at 8:30 pm by Mary Irving in General Birding

Tiverton Garden watch

With heavy rain and sleet, 2 Blue tits, 1 Coal tit, 2 male Great tits, 3 Longtailed tits, 1 pair Brambling, 2 pair Bullfinch, 7 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, 1 male Greenfinch,29 + Siskin, 2 Robin, 3 Dunnock, 1 each of Woodpigeon, Crow, male Blackbird. 1 Blackcap (right leg ringed) Second bird of the week 1st bird was not ringed, they seem to pass feed up for a day then move on.

Posted March 30th at 8:26 pm by Martyn C Webb in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish Marsh

17 Black tailed godwits, several in summer plumage and a Glaucous gull at South Huish marsh this evening

Glaucous Gull  Black tailed Godwits  Lesser Black Backed Gull
Glaucous Gull                                Black tailed Godwits                        Lesser Black Backed Gull

Posted March 30th at 8:10 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Day hunting Barn Owl

Today, 30/03/18, at 14:00, had a Barn Owl nearly collide with the car on the Great Field boundary road as it came off the Great Field & flew, with prey in its talons, closely pursued by two Herring Gulls. It successfully avoided the gulls & entered one of the linhays. 

Posted March 30th at 2:48 pm by Philip Naylor in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck, Scaup and Red-necked Grebe all still present. Also 2 Sand Martins and a Swallow.

Posted March 30th at 12:42 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dartington, Queens Marsh

Made my 1st visit to the new hide this morning, out on the marsh were 3 Canada Geese, 2 Moorhens, a Little Egret, a Grey Heron with one flying over, 6 Mallards (5 males), a male Pheasant, and a Grey Wagtail and male Mandarin both dropped in briefly. Of note around were 6 Jays, 2 Cormorants, several Song Thrushes calling, male & female Bullfinches and a Buzzard.

Posted March 30th at 12:42 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

East Soar

Just 2 Chiffchaff this morning, neither singing. Would expect 20+ singing birds at Soar by now. Hope they are just late!!

Posted March 30th at 12:38 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton Pond > Horsey Island

Early start produced my first singing Willow Warbler of the year at Wrafton Pond.

At Horsey 7 Greenshank, 4 Knot, 9 Redshank & good numbers of Shelduck.

Posted March 30th at 10:37 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 29th March 2018

Axmouth dead birds

(In reply to the post below.) As many are experiencing in the field, larger numbers of dead birds are being found recently, following the poor weather conditions. Having died of natural causes, the heads are often of interest to skull collectors who are perfectly within their rights to further their collections and knowledge. Such collections will ultimately end up adding to natural history collections and in the meantime are put to excellent use in identifying mystery skulls the public may find. Some of the best young naturalists I know are building perfectly-catalogued collections and have huge passion for the birds they're studying.

When a ringed bird is found on the strandline, similarly the ring is often retrieved by cutting through the tarsus or tibia, again perfectly legal when performed on a naturally dead bird. I can't speak for certainty on the Axmouth birds, but I hazard a guess these birds were ringed birds, whose rings were removed as well as the heads for skull collections.

While I agree the remains should be left available to scavengers, I'd personally prefer if collectors would leave remains in more natural layout in secluded places as opposed to unnatural rows in public places.

Posted March 29th at 10:32 pm by Lowell Mills in Other Wildlife

Plym Estuary

Still 2 Jack Snipe and a male Wheatear arrived; also redhead Goosander, 3 Greenshanks, 2 Stock Doves and 5 Roe Deer.

Posted March 29th at 7:22 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Otterton Sewage treatment plant

A half an hour look from 4:45pm to 5:15pm from the coastal path produced my first Sandwich Tern of the year with 2 birds and my first Manx Shearwater movement of the year with 25 birds. All birds heading west. 

More info on http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted March 29th at 6:43 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Spoonbill c100 metres south of the Pumping Station on Embankment Road, Kingsbridge at midday on the low tide.

Posted March 29th at 5:45 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

dead birds at AXMOUTH

from the pavement, in front of Axmouth Yacht Club, at the entrance between the yachts, there are three dead birds which could be storm petrels,but the heads and feet are missing, these are spread out over 20metres, can anyone give a reason for this. if they came in on a storm its odd they finished up in a line, and why are the heads and feet missing !

Posted March 29th at 5:40 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Goodrington

Looking out over Torbay this morning noted the following birds: 2 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Sandwich Tern and 11 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted March 29th at 10:46 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wrafton Pond (late post from yesterday)

Wednesday 28th March. Mid afternoon, not seen but heard, Cetti's Warbler in the thick hedge next to Tarka Trail opposite the "boardwalk". Also seen, along with numerous Shovelar, C Pochard & a Gadwall pair, were two Chiff Chaff but not singing. A single Black Tailed Godwit on the scrape by the Reserve.

Posted March 29th at 10:22 am by Philip Naylor in General Birding

Wednesday 28th March 2018

Cattle Egret

On the way to Barnstaple this afternoon, in a field near to Ashreigney air field, there was one Cattle Egret getting in the way of a couple of sheep's legs, I stopped the car and had a good view.

Posted March 28th at 6:12 pm by Andy & Ali in General Birding

Exeter

A walk into town today Cackling Goose (Dave will be pleased to know) in with the Swans etc at Exeter Quay - seems to have developed Angel Wing presumably from too much bread. By the weir Lesser black Back and Greater Black Back gulls. At Matford Marsh no sign of the American Wigeon but 12-15 Sand Martin over the farthest pool (SX934894)

Posted March 28th at 6:05 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Black Redstart in Lympstone

Great views of a female Black Redstart in our Lympstone front garden this morning.

Posted March 28th at 2:13 pm by Steve Morgan in General Birding

Stover Country Park

2 Sand Martins high over the trees this lunchtime briefly. Also, 1 remaining female Goosander, 2 Great Crested Grebes, pair of Mandarin, singing Chiff-chaffs and a Treecreeper. The resident Terrapin as well in its usual spot!

Posted March 28th at 1:45 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Spoonbill at Kingsbridge

Single Spoonbill sighted at Southville quay, Kingsbridge, 11.45am. fishing and moving toward Kingsbridge proper

Posted March 28th at 10:51 am by Andrew Taylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 27th March 2018

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

Still at least 5 Purple Sandpipers on the breakwater arm of Torquay Harbour 1200 today.

Posted March 27th at 9:16 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A short look post-Fuerteventura, produced: redhead Goosander, pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, Mandarin, 71 Redshanks, Dunlin, 3 Greenshanks, 11 Curlews & 2 Nuthatches.

Posted March 27th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Mid Devon Branch Field Meet at Steps Bridge

Eleven members met at Steps Bridge for a hike along the river bank and up the side of the valley to higher elevations.  We endured cool and windy conditions but a healthy number of birds were seen including Goosander, Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, singing Chiffchaff, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Long-Tailed Tit and Siskin. 

Posted March 27th at 9:04 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in General Birding

Berry Down, Combe Martin

35/40 fieldfare still present here in north Devon this afternoon feeding  low down in the pasture beneath a tree-lined hedge. Frequently disturbed by gusts of wind flying up into the trees for protection.

At home, 5 Blackcaps still feeding on the feeder this morning. There could be 6 as they have also been taking the nectar from the camellia flowers elsewhere in the garden.

Posted March 27th at 9:00 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The Spoonbill was still roosting in the middle of the marsh at the start of our walk but it was not there when we came back. Also heard my first Chiffchaff of the year and saw my first Sand Martins of the year too.

Posted March 27th at 8:46 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Menage et Four?

...And here's the lady setting the boys a flutter (pun fully intended) in the garden...

Throughout the winter she'd been quite illusive but, for several days, she's been frequenting all the feeding spots, perhaps in preparation for the breeding season. Lets face it, with the attention of three males, she might need all the energy she can get!

Posted March 27th at 7:45 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Paignton Garden Blackcaps

Not managed to get out and about to see any Spring migrants so I thought I'd bore you all with an update from my Paignton Garden. I know Blackcaps overwintering in gardens, visiting fat feeders and even feeding on the ground seems to be becoming the norm but, I thought I'd share these unusual/novelty/lucky shots of the 3 males tolerating each other.

The first two pics are dodgy record shots of all three males on the fat feeder this morning (the phrase "Herding Kittens" springs to mind!). The last is a much better shot of two of the males on the ground two days ago.

Obviously, the lone female is attracting a lot of attention.

Posted March 27th at 7:24 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Peter Tavy - Black Redstart

A possible female Black Redstart in Peter Tavy this evening, displaying the classic bobbing. Will try and find it again tomorrow. (very poor quality video from my phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUwWVKS31Ys

Posted March 27th at 7:12 pm by Andy Brown in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Chudleigh garden Lesser Redpolls

After 30 years of waiting, I finally joined the garden Lesser Redpoll club this afternoon! A pair spent about an hour either taking seed from a feeder or sitting in elms, occasionally nibbling at buds. They were in the presence of pairs of Siskins and Greenfinches, both of which have been very scarce here this winter, plus half a dozen Goldfinches etc.

Lesser Redpoll in Chudleigh garden

Lesser Redpoll, Chudleigh

Posted March 27th at 6:12 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Waders in Southcott valley , Bideford.

Flood meadows held 9 Ruff inc.4 Reeve , 4 Black tailed Godwits plus 12 Teal, 2 Shovelers and a few Wigeon.   With Greenshank and Common Sandpiper on nearby Northgate pond.

Posted March 27th at 4:20 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Occombe

Spring has arrived at Occombe, a pair of Long-tailed Tits were gathering nesting material, whilst a pair of Blue Tits were feeding youngsters, plus the 1st Chiffchaffs have arrived at Occombe (saw & heard 2). Plenty else to see and hear this morning: Treecreeper, 2 Jays, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, 2 Buzzards, Kestrel, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, pair of Goldfinches, 2 Collared Doves, Song Thrush, 2 male & female Pheasants, plus plenty of Wrens, House Sparrows and Great Tits. Just a reminder that winter isn't done yet there were still 3 Redwings on site. Also spotted a Roebuck, in moult.

Posted March 27th at 1:42 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Sharpa Marshes + Horsey Island

2 Swallows over Jon's Velator reserve.

1 fem Marsh Harrier over Sharpa Marshes with a smattering of Meadow Pipits & 5 Sand Martins above.

On Horsey 5 Golden Plover (a couple in sum plum), 1 Spoonbill looking underweight, 15 Ringed Plover, 1 Ruff with an injured leg (so probably same individual as before so overwintering bird) 8 Redshank & good numbers of Shelduck.

Posted March 27th at 12:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 26th March 2018

Buckland Monachorum

Only a couple of hundred meters from home spotted movement on the edge of a small pool no more than 4m diameter, from what I saw I was sure it was a Water Rail, came back a little later and through the trees I could see it feeding, managed to manually focus to get an image.  A few weeks back during the cold spell even had a male Ruff in the same vicinity, surprising what pops up close to home.

   

Posted March 26th at 10:17 pm by Shane Willson in General Birding

Ilfracombe area 25th & 26th

25th: walk along coast path from Samson's Bay to Lee village and back: 1 House Martin over Lee Bay; 1m Wheatear Rillage Point; 150 Meadow Pipits moving E or NE in small flocks; 4 Purple Sandpipers at Ilfracombe (mid-tide, on rocks about halfway between the E end of the Capstone and Cheyne Beach).

26th: Rillage Point to Samson's Bay early morning – 1m Wheatear; one Sandwich Tern resting/preening on floating log well offshore; visible migration of small numbers of Woodpigeon, Meadow Pipit, alba wagtail, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Siskin.

Posted March 26th at 9:35 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Topsham Cemetery - Hawfinches

At least 4 Hawfinches active between 9am-10am Monday.

  

Posted March 26th at 9:31 pm by Philip Laver in General Birding

Hexworthy

Hawfinch - second record here after three in Oct.

Posted March 26th at 8:57 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Spoonbill Exminster Marshes

The Spoonbill was roosting in the middle of the marshes with some Cormorants and it only put is head up showing its bill twice in the time that I was watching it. It is probably best viewed from the car park by the canal but can also be seen from the other side of the marshes.

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Posted March 26th at 8:32 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis present feeding in the Pill at 5.30pm, first time I have seen it since the snow of last weekend. 

Posted March 26th at 8:22 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

White Fronted Goose

Turf locks around 1pm today a single 1st winter Eurasian White Fronted Goose, with a group of Canada Geese and a couple of Greylag Geese.

  

Posted March 26th at 7:59 pm by kay and gary deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Barnstaple

One  Red Kite circling over the North Devon District Hospital at four o'clock this afternoon before drifting off in a northerly direction.

Posted March 26th at 7:49 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

Walked down around the ponds this evening and saw about 15 Sand Martins over the water near the Chivenor side. 3 Little Egrets, a number of Teal.

Forgot to mention that we saw a Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshells in the reserve yesterday.

Posted March 26th at 7:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for this morning,
Lower Lake
1 Shelduck, 12 Canada Geese, 2f Goldeneye, 9 Tufted Duck, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Willow Tit, 1 Tawney Owl calling, 1 Marsh Tit.

Upper Lake.
3 Cormorant, 4 Willow Tit, 1 Buzzard, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Lesser Black-Backed Gull.

Posted March 26th at 7:08 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Sharpa Marshes

5 Sand Martins over the reed beds this aft looking  south from the Tarka trail.

Posted March 26th at 6:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dawlish Warren

Dawlish Warren ~ Four Shoveler duck, hunting male Kestrel hovering over the dunes, from the hide 20 plus Sanderling and a similar number of Turnstone, 80 plus Oyster Catcher, one ringed with multiple coloured tag rings but too far to make out the details accurately and three birds ringed with a yellow ring over a larger blue ring, ring details on two of the birds being J1 and 9J the third being too distant to read the ring details.

A very distant Great Northern Diver, a few Curlew, Shag, Cormorant, Brent Geese, four Linnet, Sky Larks singing, almost in front of the hide a solitary Golden Plover.

A visiting birder from Chippenham came into the hide with a picture of a male Cirl Bunting that he has just taken further on from the hide.

Back home in South Brent, two Brambling M&F, four Bullfinch 2 pairs and at least four Reed Bunting around the feed station.

 

Posted March 26th at 5:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exminster and Powderham Marshes

Brief visit this afternoon. Spoonbill distant and asleep in the middle of Exm Marsh - Peregrine on pylon.Nothing else of any note. On Powderham marsh Skylarks, Lapwing, one Blackwit, Redshank, Oyks, Tufted Duck and Cirl Bunting.

Posted March 26th at 4:44 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

26-03-18 Possible Sinensis Cormorant

Possible Sinensis Cormorant on Radford Lake, Plymouth, flew in for a short while, collected nesting material and flew off again

 Eds: Despite the head being very white (not uncommon in carbo), the angle of the photo does not allow the critical gular angle to be accurately assessed (a photo needs to be absolute profile shot). The angle does however look like it would be more than the less than required 80 degrees which means it is probably a carbo and not sinensis, this bird also looks rather heavy in the bill again fitting carbo.. 

Some light reading... https://www.britishbirds.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/article_files/V100/V100_N05/V100_N5_26_36.pdf

Posted March 26th at 4:24 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Fairmile

At the Old Mill I have had a Hawfinch in garden since the first snow fell. Also had the odd Brambling as well. Have had 26 different species in the garden so far this month.

Posted March 26th at 4:19 pm by Roger Le Voir in General Birding

Exminster Marshes - Sunday

Late report from yesterday. 2 Buzzards (1 very pale, the other quite dark), Kestrel, at least 2/3 Chiffchaffs, Reed Bunting, Goldfinches, a Goldcrest, Skylark, plus many Mute Swans, and Wigeon.

Posted March 26th at 4:16 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Broadsands

Of interest on the sea this morning: 6 Great Northern Divers, 18 Great Crested Grebes and 5 Common Scoter. 

Posted March 26th at 2:43 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Baggy Point

One Swallow and only one Wheatear (right out on the Point) this morning.

Posted March 26th at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Charleton Parish-Avocet and Chiffchaffs

The Avocet seen on Frogmore Creek on the 25th was again present at the same location throughout the morning, actively feeding when the water over the softer mud was shallow but reverting to preening and loafing as the tide rose leaving only a coarser foreshore.

Today there was in increase in Chiffchaff numbers around East Charleton since the first migrant was noted on the 16th with two or three of the males showing behaviour suggestive of them re-occupying territory that had been occupied during the 2017 breeding season.

Posted March 26th at 1:27 pm by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Bramblings still here in Bickington

Six Bramblings , two males and four females, still beneath the garden feeders here in Bickington, near Newton Abbot, this morning

Posted March 26th at 1:03 pm by Douglas Howes in General Birding

Seals - Thatcher Rock Torbay

Two seals hauled out on flat eastern tip of Thatcher Rock at 07.30 this morning.

Posted March 26th at 7:45 am by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Sunday 25th March 2018

South Brent ~ Exminster ~ Heathfield

On leaving home at South Brent this morning a female Sparrow hawk struck a Collard Dove almost outside the front door as I stepped out, two doves made off as the hawk did a quick about turn leaving a cloud of dove feathers behind it.

Exminster marshes gave a hint of spring with two Sand Martin, Skylark singing, Wren, eight plus Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler, Spoonbill out on the marsh and several sizeable flocks of Starling passing over.

At Powderham the Heronry had no less than 23 occupied nests, several good sized youngsters could be seen, several birds actively carrying nesting material to their nests.

Around the Cockwood area, Slavonian Grebe and Red Breasted Merganser, on the back roads to the A38 a Red Legged Partridge.

Heathfield area, female Sparrow Hawk, Green Woodpecker calling and eight Yellow Brimstone butterflies.

Around the feeders at home, female Brambling, two summer plumage male Reed Bunting, Nuthatch, Siskins, pair of Bullfinch and a Song Thrush.

  

Posted March 25th at 9:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

25-03-18 Ford Park Cemetery

A sign of Spring, this Blue Tit on a Cherry Blossom Tree feeding on small insects @ Ford Park Cemetery


Posted March 25th at 8:50 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Wembury

1000-1400:

Fairly quiet this morning with 2 Skylark, 2 Kestrel, 13 Linnet, 3 Stonechat, 2 Golden plover on the rocks, 1 Swallow overhead.

Posted March 25th at 6:37 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Steps Bridge.

Excellent views of a male Lesser spotted Woodpecker busy feeding near Steps bridge today. Also several Grey Wag. Goosander, Marsh Tit and lots more wonderful birds. 

Posted March 25th at 6:22 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Yarner Butterflies

First Butterflies for me today with Comma and a few Brimstones around Yarner Woods, the warm weather has brought them out of hibernation.

Comma
Comma

Posted March 25th at 5:54 pm by Simon Thurgood in Other Wildlife

Velator reserve

Ringing today produced one each of Blackbird, Redwing, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Treecreeper, Cetti's Warbler, and Sparrowhawk (female) 2 Chaffinches, 3 each of Greenfinch and Reed Bunting and 7 Chiffchaffs.

Looking south from the reserve over Sherpa Marsh we saw 3 Sand Martins late morning only.

2 Greenshank out on the scrape.

Posted March 25th at 5:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Shaugh Lake

My first Wheatear of the year at Shaugh Lake Quarry this afternoon. Plenty of Meadow Pipets, Skylarks and a solitary Snipe. 

Wheatear   Meadow Pipit
Wheatear                                     Meadow Pipit

Posted March 25th at 5:16 pm by Duncan Leitch in General Birding

Morte Point

1 Wheatear (m), & 1 Swallow this morning.

Posted March 25th at 1:54 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

Female Ring Ouzel in thick scrub at west end of valley, very elusive. Female wheatear above Soar Mill Cove and first singing Chiffchaff.

Posted March 25th at 11:55 am by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Instow

Two black redstarts in Instow this morning. The long staying bird on Instow Quay and another on the cricket field.

Posted March 25th at 10:54 am by Mike Glover in General Birding

Totnes Garden

Up to 10 bramblings still hanging around the garden. Photo from kitchen window.

Posted March 25th at 10:46 am by nathanfly in General Birding

Avocet-Frogmore Creek

1 Avocet at 09:15, initially feeding at SX768418, then appeared to settle on the foreshore in the same area presumably to ride out the high tide. Still there at 10:00, high tide being about 12:30.

Posted March 25th at 10:23 am by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Belle Isle Park, Exeter

A pre-dusk stroll yesterday produced a Water Rail feeding in the undergrowth along the river's edge at the south east end of the Park. Seemingly unperturbed by passing pedestrians, watched for 15 mins, still busily feeding as darkness fell. 

Posted March 25th at 9:14 am by Mike Booth in General Birding

Saturday 24th March 2018

Northam Burrows/Skern ---Black Redstart

Single Black Redstart seen intermittently from 1.30 to 3pm. Initially was very active amongst the boulders and in the grass at the southernmost edge of the sandy beach at the far end of the dump road. Later flew a few hundred yards south following the boulder line and disappeared. Photos for id only….too far away to get any decent ones.

   

Posted March 24th at 8:46 pm by Sue Ambler in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Watermouth to Rillage Point

Fulmars back on the breeding ledges in force (50 at Sampson Bay colony alone); steady E-bound passage of Lesser Black-backed Gulls hugging the coastline; c.30 Meadow Pipits managing to make northward progress by tacking into a stiff NE headwind; a couple of alba wagtails; two Stonechats; and a passing Kingfisher (rare spring migrant here).

Posted March 24th at 8:12 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Wrafton

On the scrape this morning a Black-tailed Godwit, and 2 Greenshank. On Wrafton Pond 14 male Shoveler. In the reserve a couple of Chiffchaffs.

Looked down the Toll Road later this afternoon, but not much of note. If work isn't progressed soon another chunk of the embankment enclosing Horsey Island will be gone!

Brief views of a Barn Owl out along the Marsh road,

Finally back to Wrafton Pond where at 5p.m. a single Sand Martin drifted about, looking cold! Black-tailed Godwit still present.

Posted March 24th at 7:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Short visit this afternoon in the rain. A bit gloomy but enlivened by singing chiffchaff, chaffinch and skylark. Good selection of duck; wigeon (c150), teal (c200), shoveller (c100) plus smaller numbers of tufted duck, pintail, mallard and shelduck. Other highlights included a spoonbill, water rail,  2 little egrets and, at last, two sand martins. Few waders as tide low - 3 snipe and 6 curlew. Female peregrine on one of the pylons.

Posted March 24th at 4:34 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Spring migrants

4 Wheatears, a little ringed plover and a sand Martin at South Huish marsh today, also a splendid looking Black tailed godwit. Also Ring necked duck was on Slapton ley this morning

    

Posted March 24th at 4:34 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Occombe

On a drizzly afternoon there wasn't much around though unusually there were 5 male Mallards, all at the lower end of the reserve. Heard the call of both a Song Thrush and a Green Woodpecker. Also saw 4 male Blackbirds, 2 male Pheasants, a couple of Robins, a Long-tailed Tit, along with a number of Great & Blue Tits, plus a Pied Wagtail.

Posted March 24th at 4:17 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Plymouth sound

3. Sandwich Terns.

Posted March 24th at 3:20 pm by V.S.Tucker in General Birding

Broadsands

After dropping some seed for the Cirl Buntings I waited around to count the birds: totals of.. 12 Cirl Buntings 2 Reed Bunting, 4 Greenfinch and 9 Chaffinch came down to feed.

On the sea in fairly choppy conditions: 3 Great Northern Divers, 6 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Common Scoter.

Posted March 24th at 2:18 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present. Also 6 Pochards and 41 Tufted Ducks.

Posted March 24th at 1:46 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Arlington court

A reasonably early walk around Arlington court today saw tree creepers,  nuthatch, chaffinch, black birds, blue, coal and great tits, teal, mallards and to my surprise a pair of goosander on the lake. Tried to get a decent photo but a dog on the lead and long lens are not a good combination. And finally a pair of hinds in the top field. 

Goosander
Goosander

Posted March 24th at 12:44 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Moretonhamstead

Along with a Greater Spotted Woodpecker a Lesser Redpoll on the feeder this morning.

Posted March 24th at 12:33 pm by Mary Irving in General Birding

Moretonhampstead

This morning I have about 50 Bramblings, maybe more feeding on Black Sunflower seeds

Posted March 24th at 9:58 am by Mary Irving in General Birding

Friday 23rd March 2018

Rillage Point 18th–23rd March

Sunday 18th saw blizzard conditions in a severe NE gale. Daily visits since have yielded  the most meagre spring passage totals of any year since I started covering this site regularly for BirdTrack in 2011. Fulmars abandoned the breeding ledges entirely for several days and breeding passerines seem to have been hit harder by the second cold snap than the first. 19th & 20th saw an unusually strong E-bound passage of Common Gulls, with 93 in the space of an hour or so on 20th. Birds displaced to the W by the storm? There followed a couple of days with negligible visible migration - highly unusual for late March at this site. 22nd saw resumption of a light passge of 51 Meadow Pipits, 3 alba wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and a single Linnet. Today (23rd) brought the first Wheatear, 15 Siskins,  a continued trickle of Meadow Pipits, the first Stonechat since before the snow, and a passing Shelduck offshore (a spring passage migrant here). No Chiffchaff since 14th and not a sniff of a Sand Martin.

Posted March 23rd at 8:30 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Life and near death at clennon Lakes

After the 'Beast from the East,' a typical spring day but not your typical birds. Two pair of Canada Geese, one bird with unusual and distinctive markings. also a very aggressive male mute savagely attacking another male. Thought it was dead it was so limp and lifeless but a lady dof walker dragged it by the neck onto the bank where it struggled across to the other lake and swam away. Later saw it preening ite ruffled feathers looking none the worse for its encounter. Whoever said birding was boring?!!At Broadsands several cirl buntings male and female but little else.

Posted March 23rd at 8:17 pm by P.L. Fairclough in General Birding

Prawle and South Huish

Seawatch at Prawle Point from 8-10 am in WSW force 3-4 wind. 18 Manx Shearwaters west, 1 Red-Throated Diver on the sea.

4 newly arrived Chiffchaffs. At Horsley Cove a Pale- bellied Brent Goose, a Ringed Plover and a Golden Plover.

At South Huish a Little Ringed Plover and nearby 4 Ringed Plovers and a Redshank. Also a.Dark- Bellied Brent Goose and 4 Med Gulls: 2 adults in full breeding plumage, a 2nd/3rd year with full hood and a 1st year bird. (Work being undertaken on the car park.)

 

Posted March 23rd at 7:12 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exton and BGM

Exton

A visit before work produced 3 Male Wheatear in the marshy field near Exton Station.

Bowling Green Marsh 

A visit after work produced. A pair of Bullfinch, 1 Snipe, 4 Pintail, 2 Mistle Thrush and several Chiffchaff 

Photos and more info on http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted March 23rd at 7:12 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Dartmoor Fri 23rd

On the way to work this morning Merlin near Powder Mills. On the way home from work male Hen Harrier near Powder Mills!

Posted March 23rd at 5:42 pm by Richard Penrose in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery

Great to see Northern Wheatear (male) and Willow warbler in the Cemetery this morning

Posted March 23rd at 4:35 pm by Ian Teague in General Birding

Dippers on the Erme at Harford

Watched a pair of dippers gathering nest material along the edge of the river lunchtime, including this ringed bird - white blue colour rings on right tarsus, black colour ring above silver BTO ring on the left. Does anyone have information on this bird?

Ringed dipper with nest material, River Erme at Harford 23/3/18
Ringed dipper with nest material, River Erme at Harford 23/3/18

Posted March 23rd at 2:18 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Golden plovers Lewdown

31 golden plovers feeding in grass field opposite turning for Stowford, Lewdown just after 1pm. Watched them moving slowly downhill for about 10mins. There were approx 20 there on Tues 20th at about the same time.

Posted March 22nd at 10:36 pm by Jon Martin in General Birding

Broadsands ~ South Brent

An early morning visit to Broadsands, not overly productive, on the sea  ten Great Crested Grebe, one possibly two Black Throated Diver, one Fulmar and two Mallard in flight out over the bay.

In the back car park a small number of Cirl and Reed Bunting, Green finch showing well, a Carrion Crow actively nest building in the back corner of the car parks and a Buzzard overhead.

While watching the Cirl Buntings a very pale "female" Bunting sp landed on the ground very briefly, similar size to the Cirl & Red Bunting but much paler over all with lighter facial markings, but did not stay long enough to identify or allow a photo to be taken.

Near Dartington eight Magpies together.

  

Back home at South Brent female Yellow Hammer came into the garden feed station, very much a garden rarity around the village, Siskin, Bullfinch, Goldfinch and Nuthatch brightened the day, a high fly over from a female Sparrow Hawk cleared the area of small birds.

Posted March 22nd at 9:22 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exmouth

Bonaparte's Gull (Maer Rocks), Long-tailed Duck (Grove), Eider, Sandwich Tern and Glaucous Gull (Bull Hill) all seen in Exmouth today. No sign of the Corn Bunting. www.gobirdingexmouth.blogspot.co.uk

Posted March 22nd at 8:03 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Blagdon's Meadow

From the meadow this lunchtime: Bar-tailed Godwit 1, Turnstone 25, Little Grebe, 1 s/plu, among usual species 

Posted March 22nd at 4:59 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill around site all morning. Chiffchaffs in field leading to platform. Peregrine swooped on Wigeon but didn't catch one.

Grey Heron  Chiffchaff  Peregrine
Grey Heron                                Chiffchaff                                Peregrine

Posted March 22nd at 4:46 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Soar

Migrants this morning:  3 male Wheatears - two above Soar Mill Cove & one in the gardens of Ocean Reach on Bolberry Down; 2 Chiffchaffs in Soar Mill Valley; Water Rail moving up through thick juncus in Soar Mill Valley. Also: flock of 80 Linnets on stubbles at Southdown Farm.

Posted March 22nd at 11:59 am by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Topsham 21 March

Belated news from yesterday: 4 Hawfinches in Topsham Cemetery around 9 a.m. and the adult Spoonbill flew into Bowling Green Marsh around midday. At BGM there were c30 Shoveler, 8 Pintail, a Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck and 2 Chiffchaffs, while out on the estuary were c40 Avocets, hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits and c30 Knot.

Hawfinch, Topsham Cemetery Spoonbill, Bowling Green Marsh 

Posted March 22nd at 10:42 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

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