Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–28th February 2019


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

Thursday 28th February 2019


A very active and fresh-plumaged Chiffchaff in and around my garden today.

Sparrowhawk in the reserve.

Posted February 28th, 2019 at 10:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A total of 36 species seen between 09.30 and 14.30. Some stunning ducks with lots of Pintail,Shoveler, Teal and Wigeon in fine breeding plumage. Also showing well around a dozen Snipe and many Black Tailed Godwit. Highlights of the session were a Ruff and surprisingly around 10 Sand Martin. 

John Lloyd and Bob Barrow

Posted February 28th, 2019 at 5:57 pm by John Lloyd in Bird News

Sand martins over rivet Taw.

At 3 PM today around a dozen Sand Martins over the river Taw at Bishops Tawton despite the poor weather conditions.

Posted February 28th, 2019 at 4:12 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Sand Martins at Bowling Green Marsh

About a dozen sand martins over BGM reserve from about noon to 3pm today. And its still only February !

Posted February 28th, 2019 at 3:29 pm by Paul Norris in Bird News

Upper Erme Valley 26 February

At noon and at 1400ft above the upper Erme Valley, we watched a flock of returning winter migrants (c100 Golden Plover) migrate north at low level in the teeth of a stiff wind from the ENE.

Shortly after, a group of summer migrants (5 Lesser Back-backed Gulls)  followed up the valley.  Surprisingly they adopted a thermal technique not well suited to the conditions.  The first LBGs had arrived back at the breeding site in Clifton last week with further birds by the 27th.

Posted February 28th, 2019 at 10:13 am by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

Wednesday 27th February 2019

Pink-footed Goose Roadford

Pink-footed Goose still at Roadford Reservoir.  Late this Wednesday afternoon at the far end of the lake north of the viaduct on the grassy mudflats seen sleeping among a  flock of Canada Geese before moving out of sight.

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 9:32 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in Bird News

Heron landing

Just as the sun was going down got this image of a Heron landing

Heron landing
Heron landing

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 9:07 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Little Egret

Seen at Fremington Pill late afternoon as the sun went down - Little Egret  Male and female Teal, 4/6 Wigeon, Mallard, a curlew, some Red Shank and BH gulls. Heron just off Fremington quay.

Little EgretHeron landing
Little Egret                                 Heron landing

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 9:04 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


An early evening visit to Stover CP ~ five Mandarin duck, five Cormorant, Heron, three Snipe flew into the reed beds, a single female Goosander, two Mistle Thrush, an almost constant trickle of Redwing coming into roost and two Water Rail around the hide.

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 8:47 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Swaling on Roborough Down 27/02/19

Not content with turning vast areas of Roborough Down into a wild life desert last winter, they have swaled further areas in and around Clearbrook which looks as though it has removed the area where the Green Woodpeckers have been seen and further areas of habitat for the Stonechats etc. Where will be next.

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 7:19 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Aylesbeare Common

Birds showing well on this sunny and calm morning.

Dartford WarblerStonechat
Dartford Warbler                             Stonechat

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 5:29 pm by Colin Scott in Bird News

Tiverton Garden Watch

1pr Blue Tit, 1pr Coal Tit, 2pr Great Tit, 6 Longtailed Tit, 2m 1f Bullfinch,2pr Chaffinch, 18 Goldfinch, 1pr Greenfinch, 2m 1f Siskin, 3 Robin, 1 Wren, 3 Dunnock, 1pr Blackbird, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 pr Common Buzzard soaring over the estate.

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 5:15 pm by Martyn Webb in Bird News

Taw, Home Farm

2 f Scaup

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 5:03 pm by Gordon Westley in Bird News

brixham breakwater

at the end of the breakwater on the old platform at 11.30 there were 11 purple sandpipers and two turnstones , and elsewhere at elbury cove the red neck grebe with a GND.

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 5:01 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in Bird News

Swailing on Roborough Down

In 2018 a vast area of Roborough Down was swailed and we lost an important area for 3 Breeding pairs of Dartford Warbles and Redpolls.

 Yesterday the 26-02-19 I went to Roborough Down saw the Dartford Warbler in the only place now which it has made it's home, there are 2 warblers out in this spot now, and might even breed there, given the freedom. Towards Clearbrook, where the Redpolls nested last year, was still ok, I went today 27-02-19 and all of this area around Clearbrook has now been swailed, (within and afternoon) and ANOTHER important nesting site for Redpolls has been lost. I am increasingly concerned that no one is interested in this area where the Dartford Warbler is located. I have been (last year) in touch with a Richard Knott of the Dartmoor National Park Authority who assured me that something might be able to get something done, he also said that you Devon Birds were informed, but since then I have not heard from him, I will contact him again to get in touch with the Maristow Estate, but I'm not holding my breath, I might go to the local Papers on this subject.


Greg Bradbury

Posted February 27th, 2019 at 3:42 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Tuesday 26th February 2019

Cromwell's Cutting, Crediton.

Along the footpath between Pitt Farm at Cromwell's Cutting and Moorlake (SX 81397 99940): still seeing large flock of noisy redwing and fieldfare around the copse. Long tailed tits flitting among gorse on hillside. Calling jays heard. Frogspawn discovered in the pond. Enjoyed the increasing birdsong at sunset.

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 8:34 pm by Andrew Head in Bird News

Baggy Point

am - 12 Common Scoter still at Baggy Pt + I Painted Lady Butterfly.

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 6:18 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Walked around Sherpa this afternoon - nothing much of note except a group of Swans in the central field, one of which was sporting a yellow darvic ring on it's right leg and a BTO type metal ring on the left leg. I tried to sneak a bit closer to read the black letters /numbers but they were quickly on the move and then flew off. I'm not aware of anyone ringing Swans in the locality so presume this to be from elsewhere. - will try to get closer with a telescope sometime soon.

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 4:45 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery. 26th Feb. 2019

Visit from 1115 - 1245. Great and Blue Tits on feeders, Corvids, M & F Pheasant. (Male trying his luck but Female not intrested.) Male Black Redstart showing very well near the Chapels. Signs of insect life showing mainly Bees.

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 4:21 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Matford Marsh, Powderham Marsh and Exminster Marsh

Pair of Common Sandpiper on Matford Marsh but nothing else of note. Powderham Marsh had about 100 Dunlin as well as the usual birds - one Pintail. Peregrine Falcon on the pylon at Exminster Marsh. The Marsh Harrier was causing havoc up and down the marsh - always distant (best view I got was of it on the ground viewed from the top of the stile that leads to Turf). Snow Goose also on the marsh. Tame Muscovy ducks back out at Turf. Golden Plover flock between Turf and CTCRM. Black Swan at Topsham Quay and Red Breasted Merganser (fem) off Topsham Side Lock.

PeregrineSnow GooseMuscovy Duck
Peregrine                 Snow Goose                          Muscovy Duck

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 4:02 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Velator Quay

One Sand Martin seen this morning at 10.15am.

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 11:46 am by Alan Denzey in Bird News

Wembury Point

25/2/19 am Wheatear on scrub to west of beach. 5 pairs Stonechat , 2 male Cirl Buntings 

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 10:36 am by Martin Buckle in Bird News

Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit near the Old railway bridge in Rock Park.

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 12:58 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Rock Park Barnstaple

Magpie and other birds.

MagpieTwo Red ShankGoosander
Magpie                   Two Red Shank                               Goosander

Posted February 26th, 2019 at 12:35 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Monday 25th February 2019

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Eight Snipe showing well, 244 Dunlins, 5 Wigeon (1 drake), Common Sandpiper & 6 Greenshanks on Blaxton Meadow. Also around - 5 redhead Goosanders, Grey Wagtail, 3 Mandarin Ducks (2 drakes), Peregrine, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, & 6 Roe Deer. 

Posted February 25th, 2019 at 9:36 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Penhill Marsh/Isley Marsh and Taw.

9 Cattle Egret were on Penhill Marsh along with 150+ Brent Geese and 40 or so Dunlin at around 10.a.m. Good numbers of Redshank,Oystercatcher and Shellduck on the Taw and the large flock of Golden Plover/Lapwing was active around and above the Taw/Torridge estuary and good to see regular numbers of Common Gull throughout the day too.

Posted February 25th, 2019 at 9:33 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in Bird News

25-02-19 Saltram - Blaxton Meadow

A snap shot of 100+ Dunlin on Blaxton Meadow today, in total there were 200+ along with 6 Greenshanks and many more types of waders and gulls, a single female Goosander on the Meadow

Dunlin in flight
Dunlin in flight

Posted February 25th, 2019 at 2:24 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Ilfracombe and about !

This week I've seen the first pairs of Lesser BB Gulls back on their roofs. At Woolacombe beach today 100s of Common Gulls. On the coastal high ground above c450 Golden Plovers were flocking up, looking like they were about to make a break north out over the Channel. Similarly some Ravens were gaining a great height and headed off due west straight out over the sea, I kept them in my scopes for a while, maybe 6Km before they disappeared into the haze. 

Ravens heading west
Ravens heading west

Posted February 25th, 2019 at 12:11 am by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Sunday 24th February 2019

Gull ID

Is the gull at the rear of the flock a common gull? Seen at Instow on Sunday morning.

Common gull?
Common gull?

Eds: Yes, All common Gulls the right hand bird is a first winter 

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 10:30 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Swallow sighting

4.50pm 24/2/19 just spotted a lone swallow sitting over my garden in Malborough Devon

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 5:04 pm by Patsy Dunton in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Warm and sunny at the lake today:

1 Water Rail near the hide, mobile flock of 12+ Snipe, Blue, Great, Marsh ans Willow Tits. 2 Nuthatches, 2 Goldcrests, 1 male Goldeneye, 1 Green Sandpiper over, good numbers of Chaffinches, Tufted Ducks and Wigeon as well as the usual Mallard and Teal.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 3:31 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News


A good morning at Yarner wood after several visits eventually caught up with the mixed flock of Siskin and  Redpoll, several butterfly species about mostly Yellow Brimstone.

two Raven overhead one without a tail.

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 3:21 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis still at Glennon Valley today wandering around on the wet football field with the crows. Not really concerned about people or dogs walking past it.

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 2:56 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

At least one Swallow hawking over the Marshes late morning 

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 2:12 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News



Well, a half eggshell from either a Collared Dove or Stock Dove which has just hatched seems spring-like, and the completed nest of a pair of Long-tailed Tits also shows a liking for this warm weather.

Two Goldcrests actively feeding around the reserve, and a Kingfisher flew to a tree stump right in front of me! But quickly departed when he saw me.

A Teal was unusual, and both Kestrel and Buzzard (2) were causing consternation amongst the local Corvids.

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 1:44 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exton - BGM

Arrived Exton approx 7.30am Glossy Ibis dropped in at about 8.30 and flew off towards BGM at about 8.45 no further sighting. Very foggy on BGM until about 11am then cleared - of note about a dozen Golden Plover and 2 Common Gull, at least 4 Common Snipe.

Foggy Glossy Ibis ExtonGolden Pl;over BGM
Foggy Glossy Ibis Exton                   Golden Plover BGM

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 12:21 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Venn Ottery Common- East Devon

Not a lot about but this singing Yellow Hammer was a joy in the sun.

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 11:50 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Slapton 23/02/2019

Some great views of cettis warbler, Chiffchaff and goldcrest on a beautiful sunny day at Slapton

Cetti's WarblerChiffchaffGoldcrest
Cetti's Warbler              Chiffchaff                                            Goldcrest

Posted February 24th, 2019 at 6:57 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

Saturday 23rd February 2019

River Exe Tiverton to Bickleigh

3 male and 1 female Goosander seen mid morning.

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 10:24 pm by Roger Browning in Bird News

Meldon reservoir.


3 Dipper, 2 Marsh tit, 2 Fieldfare, 3 Raven, 2 Buzzard overhead (1 adult, 1 juvenile) 

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 8:41 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Clennon Playing Fields

This has just been brought to my attention - a Glossy Ibis on Clennon Valley Playing Fields at 11.30 today for about 10 minutes- it looks different from the Exe bird seen again today at Exton  as it is neater and more streaky around the face.

Glossy Ibis Clennon Valley 23 Feb 2019Picture by Mat Cole

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 8:19 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

North Devon coast

At Rillage Point and Widmouth Hill at first light and then at Trentishoe this afternoon, signs of passage all around, with noticeable movements of Meadow Pipits (e.g. flock of 40+ in coastal pasture at Trentishoe), together with small numbers of Pied Wagtails, Chaffinches, Linnets and Siskins, plus Black-headed, Common and Lesser Black-backed Gulls passing offshore. Most noticeable was an influx of Stonechats, with 20 in a short stretch of the coast path E of Trentishoe Down, in an area where there were none a few weeks ago. Everything is about two to three weeks earlier than normal. At Trentishoe at 16.45 heard a rushing of air through wings and looked up to see a flock of c.40 migrating Black-headed Gulls that had presumably used the tail winds to take a cross-country route over Devon and Exmoor before ''whiffling' down from c.500m to sea level in just a few seconds, then continuing N towards Wales, low over the Channel. An amazing sight and sound.

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 7:15 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News


Swallow (and possibly 2 more) flew low north over Cedar Close (seen from my back garden) late this afternoon. 

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 6:42 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck at Torcross off the Tank Car Park, Black-necked Grebe north of Stokeley Hide. Also 6 Pochards and 5 Goldeneyes. On the sea Great Northern Diver, 4 Red-throated Divers, Red-necked Grebe and 33 Common Scoters.

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 5:38 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

23-02-19 Ford Park Cemetery Black Redstart

The male Black Redstart still showing well this morning at FPC in the usual place East of the Chapels

Black Redstart

Black Redstart

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 11:24 am by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

South Huish - Maintenance work

The National Trust is repairing the outfall pipe that drains the South Huish wetland into Bigbury Bay.  The work will be carried out over the weekend 23/24 February.  The pipe repairs will be carried out a low tide. To facilitate the work, Devon Birds has agreed that the full flow through the outfall can be diverted into the wetlands for a short period (during low tide).  The wetlands may therefore be wetter than usual but no more so than after heavy rain.

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 7:49 am by Nick Townsend in Bird News

Friday 22nd February 2019

Baggy Point

Still 12 Common Scoter off the point early afternoon (one drake).

Posted February 22nd, 2019 at 4:53 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

22-02-19 Yarner Wood

The Lesser Redpolls showing well at times in the tree tops along with Siskins, light very poor for photos but included a couple for records

Lesser Redpoll 
Lesser Redpoll

Posted February 22nd, 2019 at 2:07 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

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