Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th April 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 14th April 2018

Rillage Pt to Watermouth

Pigeons and doves, in the form of 79 Woodpigeons (in flocks of 6 to 18 flying E just offshore) and Collared Doves (3 west) were, surprisingly, the most noticeable migrants on a beautifully sunny morning. Otherwise a trickle of Sand Martins (4) and Swallows (7), along with a few Meadow Pipits, alba wagtails, Linnets and another (presumed Lesser) Redpoll. Also a handful of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

Posted April 14th at 10:30 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Velator

Odd that I didn't see any Godwits this morning despite being in the reserve most of the morning! At least 6 Blackcaps, 4 Willow Warblers and 3 Chiffchaff around the reserve. I went along to look at the scrape this evening and was pleased to see 90+ Black-tailed Godwits, along with a Shelduck, and a Common Sandpiper. So on to Sherpa, where last night there were NO Swallows or Sand Martins, just an odd late drake Wigeon. Tonight there were about 50 Sand Martins but only one Swallow. 2 more Common Sandpipers.

Posted April 14th at 9:43 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

2 miles south of Plymouth Breakwater

Manx shearwaters at least 3 groups of four seen today flying and diving 2 miles south of  Plymouth Breakwater. Also spotted 2 Gannets and a shag with a beautiful crest!

Posted April 14th at 8:26 pm by David Read in General Birding

Berry Head

Single Redstart (male) and Willow Warbler around bushes at the end of the Headland this afternoon.

Posted April 14th at 7:14 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Mothecombe

A quick scan of the Erme estuary today, on the rising tide at lunchtime, produced two very handsome Mediterranean gulls showing well amongst the Black-headed and Herring. 

Posted April 14th at 5:22 pm by Steve Manning in General Birding

Dartmoor White Tor area

Plenty of N Wheatears about Skylarks and Meadow Pipits,1,m Golden Plover in summer plumage 4 Hares.

Posted April 14th at 5:16 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Braunton, N.Devon

At 12.50 while out in the driveway the Herring Gulls started making a fuss again & I looked up & an Osprey went over the top of the garden approx.200 metres up heading north being mobbed by the gulls.

Common Whitethroat near the White House early this morning.

Posted April 14th at 1:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa scrape

96 Black tailed Godwits busy refuelling before migrating to their breeding grounds. 6 Teal still on the scrape.

Posted April 14th at 12:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

First Cuckoo of year - for me

Saw my first Cuckoo of the year fly over the Peter Tavy to B3357 road near Sowton Town. It was flying towards Cox Tor (Where I had just spent 2 hours looking for one). Spring is definitely here. Lots of Wheatears, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks on the moor surrounding Cox Tor. 

Posted April 14th at 9:55 am by Robin Stanbridge in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster - Friday

Plenty of bird life close to the RSPB car park, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcap, Stonechat, Reed Warblers, Linnets...Peregrine on the pylon in the distance....Marsh Harrier quartering in the distance by the canal....very few wintering ducks left now.

Posted April 14th at 9:39 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Trews Weir Exeter Goldeneye

Female Goldeneye feeding adjacent upstream side of Weir at 08:45

Posted April 14th at 8:58 am by Mike Booth in General Birding

Friday 13th April 2018

Wembury & Plymouth

Plym Estuary: Red-necked Grebe still at top end of estuary at high tide, 2 Snipe, 23 Turnstones, Green Woodpecker, Greenshank, 11 Little Egrets, 12 Mute Swans, Swallow, Green Woodpecker & 2 Roe Deer.

Wembury Bay: Grasshopper Warbler reeling, Whitethroat & female Wheatear.

Radford Woods & Park: Kingfisher & Willow Warbler.

Posted April 13th at 10:06 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Yarner Wood

Best sightings at Yarner this morning, 3 Pied Flycatchers, and a large mixed flock of Redpoll and Siskins ( perhaps 50 or 60 mostly Redpoll) in trees next to new Reservoir hide

Posted April 13th at 8:11 pm by Lloyd Gray in General Birding

valley of rocks Lynton.

Redstart,wheatear,chiffchaff,swallows,increasing numbers of guillemots and razorbills,good numbers of all local birds enjoying the dry weather at last!!!.

Posted April 13th at 7:19 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

East Budleigh Italian type Sparrow Update

The Italian type Sparrow is still present in East Budleigh today.
It was trapped and ringed on the 9th April with feather samples removed for DNA testing. This was all done under a Special Methods Licence granted by the BTO. If anyone is still interested in seeing the bird,
please view only from the designated areas as before, shown on the map below.
More details on Steve Waite's Blog: https://stevesbirdingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/east-budleigh-italian-sparrow.html
Italian type Sparrow by Chris Townend

Italian type Sparrow viewing

Posted April 13th at 6:51 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Rillage Pt to Watermouth

Extremely quiet this morning. Calm, overcast and misty but hardly a migrant in evidence other than some Linnet flocks (totalling about 50 birds), a (presumed Lesser) Redpoll and a single alba wagtail passing over. Otherwise it was pretty much local breeding birds only, including some by now territorial Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. The complete absence of hirundines was particularly noticeable, as it was yesterday (12th), when a single Swallow was the only hirundine seen during a whole day spent in foreign parts (!) along the Dart estuary/lower Dart valley.

Posted April 13th at 5:24 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

River Plym

Red necked grebe still mid channel on the incoming tide off Blagdons Meadow. Also 1 swallow over, chiffchaff and blackcap singing, 7 stock dove and a pair of bullfinch in Saltram Park and 1 greenshank, 5 little egrets, 11 common gulls (5 adults), 34 redshank, 1 curlew and 32 turnstone along the river on the low tide.

Posted April 13th at 4:52 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Powderham

1 Cattle Egret in a field (with cattle) North of Powderham Park this lunchtime. Also 2 Egyptian Geese by the lake.

Posted April 13th at 4:12 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Berry Head

Black Redstart around the coastguard buildings this morning. Also, a Ring Ouzel dropped in near the cafe. Very brief stay before flying off inland.

Posted April 13th at 12:17 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Berry Head

Very few migrants this morning: 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and a Black Redstart at the end of the headland. 1 Tree Pipit and a Curlew over, also 1 Common Dolphin off the end of the headland.

Yesterday evening at Broadsands 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel.

Posted April 13th at 8:27 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 12th April 2018

Whimbrel on the Caen Estuary

Whimbrel seen this morning on the Caen Estuary North Devon. A Wheatear showed well with a pair of Greenshank on the Taw Estuary.

Whimbrel Wheatear Greenshank
Whimbrel                                         Wheatear                                                Greenshank

Posted April 12th at 9:02 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Dawlish Warren and Cockwood Steps

No sign of the Gargany at Dawlish Warren today but I did managed to locate the Slavonian Grebe distantly from Cockwood Steps.

Slavonian Grebe
Slavonian Grebe

Posted April 12th at 8:57 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A Ring Ouzel (male), only my second here ever and hoping around with a Fieldfare! Also Jack Snipe, Red-necked Grebe, 4 Swallows, 2 Greenshanks, 11 Little Egrets, 2 Curlews and a pair of Mandarin Ducks. A great mix of Spring & Autumn. 

Posted April 12th at 8:04 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh - viewing platform

One spotted redshank.

Posted April 12th at 7:21 pm by Jane Penton in General Birding

Poole Farm Birds Survey 2016 – 2018

As part of the development of the roads to Derriford in Plymouth Liz Harris and I have been carrying out a survey of Poole Farm since 2016. The farm is at the bottom of Forder Valley Road which is being developed into a community park which is to open in 2021. Today we observed, Mallard 1, Pheasant 3, Buzzard 3, Herring Gull 10 flying over, Feral Pigeon 1, Wood Pigeon 30 plus, Collared Dove 2, Robin 11, Song Thrush 4, Blackbird 11, Blackcap 4, Chiffchaff 11, Goldcrest 1, Wren 10, Great Tit 9, Blue Tit 13, Nuthatch 2, Magpie around 30, Jay 4, Carrion Crow 13, Chaffinch 11, Goldfinch 6, Greenfinch 2.

Posted April 12th at 6:02 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in General Birding

Thornhill Head, North Devon

Over last few days on or around our feeders (as well as usual residents), 2 yellowhammers (M+F), 2 siskins (M+F), 2 nuthatches (think M+F), 2 bullfinches (M+F) each visiting as pairs, lesser redpoll (F) and today a very vocal willow tit (not uncommon on Thorne Moor) but scarce in our adjacent garden. Swallows now in garage. Chiffchaff flitting about. Sparrowhawk dropped 3/4 eaten collared dove from one of our tall leylandii trees and made my wife jump. The visiting male is very recognisable with 2 parallel rows of white feathers evenly spaced (like dotted lines) from back of head to rump. Have watched him ambush an unfortunate robin by hopping along the bottom of our leylandii hedge about foot off the ground. This seemed to be a deliberate ploy - when the Robin flushed from near the top of the hedge, which is about 4 feet high, the sparrowhawk somehow whizzed out, up and over to catch it. Incredible speed and agility. Then took 20 minutes to pluck and eat it!

Posted April 12th at 5:14 pm by Mark West in General Birding

Shipley Bridge > Avon dam, South Brent

Shipley Bridge to the Dam late this morning, two Dipper, Song and Mistle Thrush, three Buzzard, one Raven, a male Stonechat, Skylarks singing, Meadow Pipits dotted about, Green Woodpecker calling, either side of the old pump house at least three Willow Warbler in full song, one Chiffchaff and a singing Whitethroat, a small flock of Linnet.
 
On approaching the car park a pair of Roe deer feeding close to the road and on the walk two medium sized brown butterflies.

Posted April 12th at 1:05 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Osprey on the Taw

The Osprey was fishing on the River Taw between Chivenor and Fremington yesterday afternoon (14:35) and again this morning (09:20). Being mobbed by gulls before flying off back over Braunton towards West Down direction.
(Record shot attached)

Posted April 12th at 10:55 am by Sam Aston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hawfinch

One male Hawfinch on feeders (fleetingly) in Salcombe Regis.

Posted April 12th at 10:51 am by Fred Ferguson in General Birding

Male Gargany Dawlsih

On the off chance that the Drake Garganey was still around I was most fortunate to see the bird at fairly close quarters at last light last night 11/04/2018. He was showing intermittently on the main pond at Dawlish Warren just past the rangers building. He was initially illusive but flew out into the open and settled for a couple of minutes before disappearing back into the reeds. I spoke to others who had been waiting for a number of hours so patience is the key with this bird.


Posted April 12th at 9:21 am by John Wilkes in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Just a quick visit. Red-necked Grebe still off Arnold’s Point. Also 2 Greenshank, Kingfisher, 4 Common Sandpiper, 16 Turnstone and 21 Redshank.

Posted April 12th at 8:54 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Mealy Redpoll, Soar

Yesterday morning Ian Teague and I found a Redpoll at Soar. Having plenty of red on the underparts, it was clearly a Lesser or Mealy. We considered the latter but, at the time, concluded it was a Lesser and I posted this amongst other sightings last night. However, I began to have some doubts and after checking my photos and literature, taking advice and re-discussing it with Ian, now feel it is a Mealy Redpoll

Photos attached showing the main features, although we didn't see the under-tail covets. The bird's tail was missing. 

I appreciate how rare Common Redpoll is in Devon, so apologies to local birders for not having sorted this out at the time and therefore not getting the news out earlier. The bird was on the cliff top path in gorse, opposite the gate south of Mid Soar House.

Having said all this, I'm aware - from my Shetland trips - how difficult the Redpoll group is to identify, so any informed views on this bird would be welcome.

  

Posted April 12th at 8:53 am by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 11th April 2018

Berry Head

My first Whitethroat of the year singing on the south side of Berry Head just west of  Durl Head this evening also 1 Willow Warbler and two house Martin over. off the head 7-8 Common Dolphin and at least 4 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted April 11th at 8:35 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Charlton Marsh

Spoonbill today at noon both sides of hide ( Same bird)

  Spoobill

Spoonbill

Posted April 11th at 7:49 pm by Lloyd Gray in General Birding

Rillage Pt to Watermouth

A misty, murky, drizzly sort of dawn, gradually drying up and with light winds, produced a good selection of migrants this morning, including my first patch Ring Ouzel (1 m), Grasshopper Warblers (2 reeling) and Tree Pipits (4 single birds calling in flight) of the year. Also 20 Swallows, 14 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, 7 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willlow Warblers, 6 Blackcaps, 15 alba wagtails, 118 Meadow Pipits, 60 Goldfinches, 6 Siskins and 71 Linnets. Groups of Oystercatchers, Lesser Black-backs and Kittiwakes moving NE offshore were also presumed migrants.

Posted April 11th at 7:24 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Hawfinches

At St Thomas Churchyard this morning (about 9am) there were at least 11 Hawfinch but possibly up to 15. They were dropping onto the bare ground under the yew trees to feed on what i can only see is yew berry seeds. They were silent and moved around the churchyard from yew tree to yew tree. I saw them from Tin Lane which runs along the back of the churchyard and would have missed them if i hadn't stopped to send a text !

Posted April 11th at 6:44 pm by Nik Ward in General Birding

Soar

A walk around East & Mid Soar & Bolberry produced: male Redstart, male Pied Flycatcher, male Mealy Redpoll (see post 12/4/18), 25+ Chiffchaffs, 7 Willow Warblers, 7 Swallows, Reed Bunting, Goldcrest, 2 Blackcaps & a Guillemot.

Posted April 11th at 6:24 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Wembury

The water pipit still (for its 4th month) on the seaweed mass along the beach by the sewage pipe - more wary and mobile than usual but a little less scruffy looking as it continues to moult into summer plumage. Also a few pied wagtails and rock pipits and 4+ white wagtails.

Also 2 Sandwich tern offshore, a male wheatear at The Point and later another (?) on the rocky beach below the horse fields and chiffchaffs and blackcaps seen and heard.

Comma, brimstone, peacock and red admiral on the wing and 5 common lizards also seen.

Posted April 11th at 4:31 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Dartmoor today

Numbers of singing Willow Warblers this morning.

Posted April 11th at 4:20 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

osprey exe estuary

young osprey at powderham on the exe estuary, seen capturing fish , didnt have camera, but ian tunkin from newton abott captured it perfectly at close quarters although light was not good at 7am...cattle egret still at poderham.

Posted April 11th at 3:19 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

The drake Garganey found early this morning by KR- still present early afternoon at the far end of the  main pool spending much of the time hidden in the reeds , but shows well when it appears . Also 2 Willow Warblers singing by pond and a Swallow over .

for photos see - https://twitter.com/markrabailey?lang=en 

Posted April 11th at 2:52 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

blackcaps

At least 4 in our garden in bideford so far.Likely migrants as avidly feeding on insects and ivy berries3f&1m

Posted April 11th at 1:59 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

River Caen, Slavonian Grebe

The slavonian grebe was feeding yesterday afternoon adjacent to the brick built pill box near the mouth of the river caen. No sign of the osprey but a few swallows, a skylark and a greenshank were welcome compensation.

Posted April 11th at 10:32 am by alan craddock in General Birding

Rivers Taw & Caen .

Osprey on the Taw & Horsey Island this morning at 09.45 . 5 Wheatears & dozens of Swallows/ Martins

Posted April 11th at 10:03 am by David Paterson in General Birding

Tuesday 10th April 2018

Plym Estuary

The Red-necked Grebe showing at close range around high tide at the top end and then later by the Rowing Club. Also: 2 Bar-tailed Godwits on Blaxton Pool with 3 Curlews, 8 Swallows, House Martin, 2 Goosanders (pair), Mediterranean Gull 1st w/s, 2 Chiffchaffs & Stock Dove.

Earlier, a Willow Warbler in Radford Park.

Posted April 10th at 9:29 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

An Osprey headed east across the estuary at around 3.45pm and headed along the coast with a trail of gulls following in pursuit!

Posted April 10th at 9:15 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Bramblings

After not seeing any all Winter the daily rambling count under the garden feeders has steadily risen over the last few days to 10 today.

Posted April 10th at 6:36 pm by Pete Lamb in General Birding

Velator area.

Late news. 9th April.

The Osprey arrived on cue just after our arrival.  It carried a fairly large fish onto a fence post and proceeded to devour this catch over the next twenty minutes, affording excellent telescope views.  Turning 180 degrees and scanning the derelict barn roofs, a Little Owl was picked out against the tiles into which it blended well, so could have easily been missed.   A Skylark sang all the while and later at least three Chiffchaffs were in song together with two Cetti's Warblers.   Later, 17 Black tailed Godwits arrived in the pond alongside a Green Sandpiper.

Harvey Kendall and Barry Bryne.

Posted April 10th at 7:40 am by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Monday 9th April 2018

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

A 2nd Cal Year Glaucous Gull on the Otter this morning and still present late this afternoon.
If interested, a few more photos on http://creamteabirding.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Posted April 9th at 8:51 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

2 visits today with this morning producing a nice Whimbrel from the hide and a few Blackcap from the road a path to the viewing platform. From the goat walk a single Avocet and c100 Golden Plover. Late afternoon a single House Martin, a few each of Sand Martin and Swallow

If interested, more details on Dixie’s Birding Blog

Posted April 9th at 8:21 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Rillage Pt to Watermouth

Given that it was a second consecutive calm, dry and a fairly clear morning after similar conditions overnight, it was unsurprising that there were few grounded migrants in evidence, but visible migration is still depressed for the time of year. Charts for the next few days show a lot of cloud, rain and generally cool conditions for SW Europe, so not great for birds trying to move N. But back to this morning's showing: 5 Common Gulls (loose flock of ads moving E), 7 Sandwich Terns (ones & twos moving W), 3 Collared Doves (record site count!), 1 Goldcrest, 15 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 6 alba wagtails, 11 Meadow Pipits, 16 Goldfinches, 3 Siskins & 25 Linnets.

Posted April 9th at 5:10 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Hexworthy

Fist singing willow warbler today.

Posted April 9th at 2:41 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Bellever

Bramblings,Siskins,Coal Tits,3 Buzzards,GS Woodpecker,Jay,Chaffinches,Grt Tits.

Posted April 9th at 1:24 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Tarka trail - Braunton to Barnstaple

108 Black tailed Godwits on Sharpa / Wrafton scrape.

9 Blackcaps & 11 Chiffchaffs heard singing along the sides of the trail. 1 Common Sandpiper at the mouth of R.Yeo near the Barnstaple Civic centre. 2 Greenshank in the corner by the Braunton Inn.

Posted April 9th at 12:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

A few migrants around and over the Headland this morning of note were: 1 Hawfinch passed over twice before heading off NW, 1 grounded Yellow Wagtail, 3 'alba' Wagtails, 6 Chiffchaff & 5 Blackcap.

      

                         Yellow Wagtail.. video clip here: https://youtu.be/QZzytbmiW3I 

Posted April 9th at 8:30 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sunday 8th April 2018

Slapton

Trek around Slapton today produced: 1 Yellow Wagtail > n over Higher Ley early afternoon, 1 Swallow, 1 Reed Warbler on Higher Ley, 4 Willow Warblers, 9 Blackcap and 1 Sandwich Ten on a buoy on Lower Ley.

Posted April 8th at 9:14 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wrafton

In addition to the heaps of Godwits reported previously, there was a Greenshank on the scrape too.

Several Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps (several of each singing) in the reserve. Andy Lansdell unable to relocate yesterday's Grebe, which was indeed a Slavonian Grebe from the pictures one of which I have uploaded,

Later this afternoon I cycled down the Toll Road and saw scruff - the female Marsh Harrier fly over towards Sherpa and land in a field next to the main pond. A Little Owl was out on the barn down the Toll Road, and while watching it the Gulls chased an Osprey about and it drifted off only to find some more Gulls later and head off towards the estuary mouth. Four Buzzards circled high over the waste-land of Horsey Island.

Posted April 8th at 9:08 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Torquay and Exminster

Hopes Nose, Torquay this morning large flock of sea birds in a feeding frenzy when pods of Dolphin and Porpoise joined in the feast.
 
Onto the Exminster area not a lot to see all said and done, 40 plus Swallows at Powderham, Chiffchaff dotted all over, a few Sand Martin, several Heron and Little Egret about, small flocks of Curlew and of Black Tailed Godwit some in breeding plumage, male Kestrel, a Sedge Warbler gave me a year tick.
 
Back at home (South Brent) a female Brambling showed up around the feed station late afternoon, I thought they had all left so that was a bonus.

Posted April 8th at 9:04 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Rillage Pt to Watermouth

This morning, small numbers of grounded warblers, but surprisingly little in the way of visible migration in spite of the almost still, dry and rather cloudy conditions. 1 Collared Dove (migrant), 1 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin, 9 Swallows, 4 Goldcrests, 1 Willow Warbler, 12 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps, 10 alba wagtails, 16 Meadow Pipits, 32 Goldfinches, 2 Siskins, 23 Linnets.

Posted April 8th at 8:35 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Short-eared owl

Short-eared owl seen hunting over heathland this evening (7.45pm) bear Headland Warren Farm, Dartmoor. 

Posted April 8th at 8:35 pm by Fiona Freshney in General Birding

Taw Osprey

Osprey fishing on the Taw this evening between Crow Point and Fremington Quay. Also, the Slavonian Grebe seen yesterday is still around, this time on the lower Caen.

Posted April 8th at 8:32 pm by Alice Davies in General Birding

Berrynarbor

The garden feeder is still busy with Blackcaps again today. At least 6 male and plenty of females but they are too mobile for me to count. 

Posted April 8th at 7:50 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Garage swallows

For the last 15/20 years a pair of swallows have nested in our garage in Northam. With an average life span of probably no more than 5 years clearly this covers several generations, but as there are normally few swallows in the immediate area, it is likely that a returning adult or prodigy that return. It is usually in the second half of April that the first swallow returns. It was therefore a great surprise today to find two chasing each other excitedly around the garage, especially as migration is later than usual this year, and this is our earliest record of swallows at their breeding site.

Posted April 8th at 7:42 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Harper Lakes, Exeter

Several chiffchaffs hawking for insects from the island trees, as well as one male pied flycatcher, which did not stay around for long. A Cetti's warbler worked its way through the reeds of the central island. Also one kingfisher, one moorhen, two mute swan and several unidentified hirundines high overhead.

Posted April 8th at 7:40 pm by Mike Sampson in General Birding

Horsey Island

18.30 - 18.45 - 104 Black tailed Godwits on Horsey, 3 Knot, 35 Redshank, 9 Ringed Plover & 6 Dunlin

Posted April 8th at 7:22 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Staddon Heights

Swallow and Roe Deer today.

Posted April 8th at 7:08 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Arlington court and half hour in the garden.

A mid morning walk around Arlington court woods today provided nuthatch and tree creepers a plenty,  great and blue tit, buzzard, Robins and blackbirds, a pair of Canada geese on the lake. Later in the afternoon I sat in the garden for half an hour with the camera and managed to snap a willow warbler,  sparrowhawk male,  house Sparrows, goldfinch chaffinches wood pigeon, collard doves and blue tits. Also numerous numbers of big bumblebees. (bombus terrestris) 

Chiffchaff      Male sparowhawk.
Chiffchaff                                 Male sparowhawk.

Posted April 8th at 7:06 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Heathfield Starling Roost - PS

Bumped into John Avon today at Slapton.  He reported seeing Starlings regularly at dusk over Bickington (between Ashburton and Heathfield) during December 2017 and clearly heading for the Heathfield roost (5Km).  This confirms my sightings at the roost from 21st February 2018 and suggest that some birds, at least, were coming from this direction throughout the winter (Dec-March).  My guess is that birds reported coming in from the Haytor/Bovey Tracey area before my own observations had originally come from the Ashburton direction and first went to a pre-roost site in the Bovey Tracey area as was noted during February/March.  This is typical behaviour and it's good to get corroboration of the flight line from the Ashburton direction.  They regularly passed over a knoll in the landscape at Bickington and dropped into fields to feed prior to heading for the roost.  This is also on a line from Buckfastleigh and possibly South Brent.  However, my guess is that they were feeding during the day in the area bounded by the A38, A384, A381 and A383 as previously suggested.

Posted April 8th at 6:37 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish

1030-1230:

2 Mediterranean gull, 1 Cattle egret, 7 Swallow over, 1 Tufted duck, 8 Lesser black backed gull. No sign of the Iceland gull.

Posted April 8th at 5:28 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Chudleigh Brambling

After going the whole winter without one in the garden, a nice male Brambling appeared on the feeder and then on my picnic table late this afternoon (I call this 'finch time' - it's when the Goldfinches, Siskins, Greenfinches and chaffinches tend to come in for supper!).  Earlier today, nothing very exciting on my Exe Estuary WeBS section count, but a bit of brightness around midday encouraged dozens of Sand Crocuses to open up by Dawlish Warren Visitor Centre.

 

Male Brambling, Chudleigh                  Sand Crocus, Dawlish Warren

Posted April 8th at 4:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Short Eared Owl

Enhanced our walk this morning by spotting a Short Eared Owl along the coastal path between Budleigh Salterton and Ladram Bay. Interesting to see it flying east over the sea and along the cliff face before coming in land. Lovely bird.  

Short Eared Owl
Short Eared Owl

Posted April 8th at 2:51 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Countess Wear to Exminster Marshes

The 3 Cattle Egrets immediately north of the motorway bridge, just west of the canal early pm with Little Egrets. Several Blackcap and Chiffchaffs along the canal. C. 30 Sand Martins and 2 Swallows over Countess Wear swing bridge area.

Posted April 8th at 2:33 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Wrafton Grebe

We have confirmed (although not seen again) that the Grebe yesterday afternoon/evening was a Slavonian Grebe.

Much-cropped and not great focus, sorry.
Much-cropped and not great focus, sorry.

Posted April 8th at 2:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Nuns Cross Dartmoor

Five Barn Swallows over this morning.

Posted April 8th at 1:45 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present. Also 2 Great Crested Grebes, 63 Tufted Ducks, 5 Gadwall and an Otter.

Posted April 8th at 12:28 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Preston

I should have mentioned that on my return home from Occombe this morning I was greeted by a Chiffchaff calling in the Acer in the front garden. Surely a new arrival today.

Posted April 8th at 11:28 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape + Braunton

85 Black tailed Godwits on the scrape early am.

When I got home the Herring Gulls making a fuss again - 2 Common Buzzards circling around in the thermals.


Posted April 8th at 11:24 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Occombe

1st Blackcap of spring at Occombe this morning, calling and showing well. At least 4 Chiffchaffs, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Long-tailed Tits, Kestrel attacking a Carrion Crow, Jay, Mallard, 2 pairs of Pheasants, plenty of Wrens, Great Tits & Blue Tits, a Coal Tit and a pair of Pied Wagtails.

Posted April 8th at 11:02 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Kestrel Food Pass

The male flew in with a kill to the rock right in front of me last Thursday.  Last year, when the female was on the nest, she would fly to the male, take his kill and return straight to the nest to feed their young.  Although not yet incubating eggs, the pair performed the same food pass, presumably a form of courtship behaviour.

The female Kestrel, possibly still airborne, takes hold of her partner's prey. The male is reluctant to hand over his kill: a thin green Lizard Less than a second from her arrival, the female has rotated 120 degrees and jumped off the cliff with the Lizard.
The female Kestrel, possibly still airborne, takes hold of her partner's prey.

The male is reluctant to hand over his kill: a thin green Lizard

Less than a second from her arrival, the female has rotated 120 degrees and jumped off the cliff with the Lizard.

Posted April 8th at 11:01 am by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Swallow over Labrador Bay

Lone swallow seen Saturday 6th in the afternoon sunshine near RSPB carpark. In addition, Cirl Buntings calling (good view of 3) along with acrobatics in the sky from group 6 buzzards. Chiff chaffs calling with good view of 2 on cliff path. Spring has finally arrived!

Posted April 8th at 9:03 am by Sandy Moreton in General Birding

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