Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st March 2018

Request 2021 records requiring further information

If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

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, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

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, 2018 at 7:38 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


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, 2018 at 7:33 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Honey Buzzard

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


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 

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 5:55 pm by Roger Smaridge in Bird News


Cold and windy this afternoon:

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

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 5:11 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

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, 2018 at 3:29 pm by David Pakes in Bird News


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, 2018 at 3:14 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

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, 2018 at 2:09 pm by John Bishop in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

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

Posted March 31st, 2018 at 11:42 am by Paul Reynolds in Bird News

Friday 30th March 2018


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, 2018 at 8:30 pm by Mary Irving in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:26 pm by Martyn C Webb in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:10 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

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, 2018 at 2:48 pm by Philip Naylor in Bird News

Beesands Ley

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

Posted March 30th, 2018 at 12:42 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

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, 2018 at 12:42 pm in Bird News

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, 2018 at 12:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

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, 2018 at 10:37 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Thursday 29th March 2018

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, 2018 at 7:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

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

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 6:43 pm in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

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

Posted March 29th, 2018 at 5:45 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

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, 2018 at 5:40 pm by roger jewell in Bird News


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, 2018 at 10:46 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

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, 2018 at 10:22 am by Philip Naylor in Bird News

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, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Andy & Ali in Bird News


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, 2018 at 6:05 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Black Redstart in Lympstone

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

Posted March 28th, 2018 at 2:13 pm by Steve Morgan in Bird News

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, 2018 at 1:45 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Spoonbill at Kingsbridge

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

Posted March 28th, 2018 at 10:51 am by Andrew Taylor in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:16 pm by Cliff Parrott in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:04 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:00 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News

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, 2018 at 7:45 pm in Bird News

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, 2018 at 7:24 pm in Bird News

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:

Posted March 27th, 2018 at 7:12 pm by Andy Brown in Bird News

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, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

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, 2018 at 4:20 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News


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, 2018 at 1:42 pm in Bird News

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, 2018 at 12:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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, 2018 at 10:17 pm by Shane Willson in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:35 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Topsham Cemetery - Hawfinches

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


Posted March 26th, 2018 at 9:31 pm by Philip Laver in Bird News


Hawfinch - second record here after three in Oct.

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Richard Hibbert in Bird News

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.


Posted March 26th, 2018 at 8:32 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:22 pm by Paul Bearman in Bird News

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, 2018 at 7:59 pm by kay and gary deare in Bird News


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, 2018 at 7:49 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

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, 2018 at 7:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Sharpa Marshes

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

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 6:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

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, 2018 at 4:44 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

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...

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 4:24 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News


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, 2018 at 4:19 pm by Roger Le Voir in Bird News

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, 2018 at 4:16 pm in Bird News


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

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 2:43 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Baggy Point

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

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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, 2018 at 1:27 pm by Barrie Whitehall in Bird News

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, 2018 at 1:03 pm by Douglas Howes in Bird News

Seals - Thatcher Rock Torbay

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

Posted March 26th, 2018 at 7:45 am by Cliff Parrott in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:39 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:50 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News



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, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

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, 2018 at 6:22 pm by David Turrell in Bird News

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, 2018 at 5:36 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Duncan Leitch in Bird News

Morte Point

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

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

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, 2018 at 11:55 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News


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

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 10:54 am by Mike Glover in Bird News

Totnes Garden

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

Posted March 25th, 2018 at 10:46 am by nathanfly in Bird News

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, 2018 at 10:23 am by Barrie Whitehall in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:14 am by Mike Booth in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Sue Ambler in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:12 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News


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, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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, 2018 at 4:34 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

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, 2018 at 4:34 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News


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, 2018 at 4:17 pm in Bird News

Plymouth sound

3. Sandwich Terns.

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 3:20 pm by V.S.Tucker in Bird News


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, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Beesands Ley

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

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 1:46 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

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. 


Posted March 24th, 2018 at 12:44 pm by Philip worth in Bird News


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

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 12:33 pm by Mary Irving in Bird News


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

Posted March 24th, 2018 at 9:58 am by Mary Irving in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:30 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

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, 2018 at 8:17 pm by P.L. Fairclough in Bird News

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, 2018 at 7:12 pm in Bird News

Exton and BGM


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

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 7:12 pm in Bird News

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, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Richard Penrose in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery

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

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 4:35 pm by Ian Teague in Bird News

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, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

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, 2018 at 10:36 pm by Jon Martin in Bird News

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, 2018 at 9:22 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


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.

Posted March 22nd, 2018 at 8:03 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

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, 2018 at 4:59 pm by Chris E in Bird News

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, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Colin Scott in Bird News


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, 2018 at 11:59 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

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, 2018 at 10:42 am by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

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