Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th March 2019


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

Thursday 7th March 2019

Avon Tidal road Western end.

Falling tide 35 Blacktailed Godwit either side of the road. 1 in breeding plumage. Greenshank and Redshank.

Posted March 7th, 2019 at 10:19 pm by Jeremy Spooner in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

A lunchtime visit produced 

20+ Sand Martin, 380 Wigeon, 95 Teal, 17 Shoveler, 100+ Chaffinch, 50+ Linnet, 200+ Golden Plover, 40 Lapwing & Male Sparrowhawk seen taking a Linnet, which flew towards me & almost over my head. 

Posted March 7th, 2019 at 7:39 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News


3 Sand Martins hawking insects over the reserve this morning in a strong and cold wind. Also present at least 3 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest and 5 Redwings. 2 Mute Swans on the pond island.

Signs of spring: Song Thrush, Great Tit, Robin, Greenfinch, Blackbird  Stock Dove and Wren all singing, and a Collared Dove on a nest.

Posted March 7th, 2019 at 3:28 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

South Hams

On Wednesday 6th March, a Ring-necked Duck with a small flock of Tufted Duck on a privately owned site in the South Hams. Possibly the Slapton bird?

Posted March 7th, 2019 at 10:02 am by Joe Higman in Bird News

Wednesday 6th March 2019

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake
1f Goosander, 18 Tufted Duck, 3 Shoveler 2m 1f, 1m Pintail, 2 Willow Tit.

Posted March 6th, 2019 at 8:05 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Fremington Pill

4pm today, Glossy Ibis, 4 Cattle Egrets, 7 Little Egrets all by the sluice and a Little Grebe at the mouth of the Pill, along with Wigeon, Shelduck and Oystercatchers. 

Posted March 6th, 2019 at 7:53 pm by Paul Bearman in Bird News

Exe Estuary

The last Stuart Line birdwatching cruise of the season. The ‘resident’ Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood, as usual. The 3 immature drake Eiders were off Starcross and c30 Red-breasted Mergansers and c20 Great Crested Grebes were scattered up the estuary. 3 Greenshanks were off Powderham and c150-200 Pintail were again around the mouth of the Clyst. About 500 roosting Golden Plover, some in breeding plumage, were on the mud off Turf, with 27 Knot nearby. Quite a few of the Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits were already in breeding plumage, one group containing the male Ruff that has wintered at Bowling Green Marsh. Only c30 Avocets were left of the wintering flock. A Grey Seal was hauled out on a pontoon near Dawlish Warren.

Eider immature male Ruff with Black-tailed Godwits Grey Seal

Eider (imm drake)                            Ruff with Black-tailed Godwits                       Grey Seal

Posted March 6th, 2019 at 6:11 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


No fewer than 11 Bramblings skirmishing for food under the bird feeder in the last few days. Many more than in previous years. Unfortunately, no photos as they are more easily spooked as I approach the window with camera than the other birds and no amount of waiting brings them back until I have moved away!

Posted March 6th, 2019 at 12:42 pm by simon martin in Bird News

Berry Head - 05.03.19

11.00 am - Spent an enjoyable 10 minutes watching 27 gannets and 5 dolphins over what must have been a school of fish just 100 to 200m out from Berry Head lighthouse. The gannets provided a spectacular display against a grey sky especially when diving, from a great height, to catch a fish. Also spotted 3 fulmars and a solitary shag.

Posted March 6th, 2019 at 11:19 am by David Roper in Bird News

Tuesday 5th March 2019

Tiverton Garden Watch

4 Blue tit, 2m 1f Great tit, 3 longtailed tit, 2pr Bullfinch, 2pr Chaffinch, 16 Goldfinch, 1pr Greenfinch, 7m 7f Siskin, 2 Robin, 3 Dunnock, 2m Blackbird, 1m House sparrow (rarity for this estate) 2 Woodpigeon & 1 Magpie

Posted March 5th, 2019 at 5:14 pm by Martyn Webb in Bird News

South Hams

Aveton Gifford tidal road this morning ~ 5 Greenshank, 6 Redshank, 40 Black Tailed Godwit, 2 Little Grebe, 4 Little Egret, GSWP, 7 Lesser Black Back Gull, Curlew, 3 flocks of Wigeon flying up river and landing on the marsh.

South Huish Marsh ~ 2 Buzzard, 18 Lesser Black Back Gull, 1 Common Gull,  6 Greater Black Backs, 2 Barnacle Geese, smaller species included Stonechat, Pipits and Pied Wagtails.

Devon Birds South Milton Reserve ~ 2 Buzzard, 3 Yellow Hammer, Water Rail in flight and another calling, a possible Green Sandpiper, several Chiffchaff and a large mixed flock of mainly Chaffinch and Pied Wagtail.

Posted March 5th, 2019 at 1:53 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exminster Marshes - Crane

At 1.15 this lunchtime, whilst stood at the middle car park I picked up a Crane flying over. It circled the marsh briefly before heading off high in the direction of Haldon where it was lost in the mist.

Posted March 5th, 2019 at 1:52 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Fledgling Blackbird Plymouth

Fledged juvenile being fed by an adult male this morning around the University in Plymouth. Working back, that must have been a pretty early nesting date.

Posted March 5th, 2019 at 1:28 pm by Rich Billington in Bird News

Monday 4th March 2019


Thanks for the information on the seeds you put out at Broadsands...forget to mention had first singing Chiffchaff there today

Posted March 4th, 2019 at 9:41 pm by Stephen Lane in Bird News


The two Red-necked Grebes were again in Elberry Cove and a sw Mediterranean Gull in Broadsands Bay. Looking toward Goodrington, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Eider and 1 Great Northern Diver.

Red-necked Grebes Broadsands 4th March 2019 MLRed-necked Grebes

Posted March 4th, 2019 at 9:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


On holiday from the Wirral...went to Broadsands today saw 7 Cirl Buntings  and 8 yellowhammers( great to see these rare bird on the Wirral these days)....male Sparrowhawk causing chaos there...on the shore Little Egret and  offshore distant Diver... probably Great Northern....what seed do you put down do attract the Buntings by the way kind regards Steve

Eds: the seed is Canary Grass and Millet - effectively Budgie seed (courtesy of the RSPB). Don't use pet shop 'wild bird' seed, with all of its maize and wheat, it attracts too many crows, pigeons and rats which put the buntings off coming down to feed.

Posted March 4th, 2019 at 8:55 pm by Steve lane in Bird News


Male Partridge, Male Pheasant, Kestrel nest building and a Barn Owl in flight no photo.

Male Pheasant seen near High Bickington.   Kestrel nest building (if required, email me for location)   Partridge, Chittlehamholt.
Male Pheasant seen near High Bickington. Kestrel nest building    Partridge, Chittlehamholt.

Posted March 4th, 2019 at 8:51 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Powderham and Exminster

Powderham Castle

Early this morning the 3 Egyptian Goose were at the lake in Powderham Castle grounds as viewed from estuary road.

Exminster Marsh

Also early morning the Snow Goose was in the field before the Swans nest, Exminster.

For more info please see

Posted March 4th, 2019 at 6:13 pm in Bird News

River Otter- Otterton to Colaton Raleigh


A few good birds along the river this morning including above Water Rail.  Others were:  2 Long tailed Tit, female Goosander, 26 Fieldfare, 3 Gt spotted Woodpecker (2 drumming), Treecreeper and a Buzzard.

Posted March 4th, 2019 at 2:24 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Sunday 3rd March 2019

Around the Exe

Around the Exe this afternoon, with storm Freya providing some very strong winds.

Matford Marsh a good number of Wigeon but not a lot else.

Exminster Marsh flocks of Wigeon just about everywhere, good numbers of Shoveller and Shelduck, two Little Egret and a flock of around 100 Brent Geese.

Powderham Estate two Egyptian Geese with a small number of Canada Geese by the lake, two Buzzard flushed a flock of some 20 Fieldfare.

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh was simply alive with waders, good numbers of Redshank, Dunlin and Black Tailed Godwit, one being a regular colour ringed bird. Twenty plus Curlew including two colour ringed birds, seventy plus Pintail duck, at least twelve Snipe, eight plus Knott, two Avocet,one Ruff, three Greenshank, Buzzard, Heron,  Little Egret, Common Gull, LBB Gull, Starling and Pied Wagtail.

Very little to be seen at a windswept Stover, five Mandarin, the single female Goosander is looking rather unwell and I suspect is a sick bird and twelve Tufted duck.

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 8:59 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exe Estuary

A very wet and windy Stuart Line birdwatching cruise today: not very spring-like at all! A Peregrine showed briefly around Exmouth church tower and the ‘resident’ Slavonian Grebe was near the wreck off Cockwood, where we saw the first of at least 30 Red-breasted Mergansers. Great Crested Grebes were present in good numbers, a group of 19 together contributing to a total of at least 26. The 3 immature drake Eiders were out on a sandbank off Starcross and 4 Goldeneye were nearby. At least 25 Sanderlings were on the central sandbanks and at least 4 Greenshanks off Powderham (plus another later at Topsham). Up to 200 Pintail were still around the mouth of the Clyst. The mudbanks around Turf-Topsham held c300 roosting Golden Plover, lots of Dunlin and smaller numbers of Knot, Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plover. Most of the Black-tailed Godwits must have been feeding in the rain-sodden fields, as only about 100 were on the mud. Avocet numbers are down; many have presumably departed for breeding areas during the recent fine weather.

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 5:40 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Darts Farm

Late morning. 1 Water Pipit, 35+ Pied Wagtail, 10 Meadow Pipit, 165 Wigeon, 65 Teal, 73 Blackwit & 28 Curlew. Too windy for too many small birds. 

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 3:12 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Gulls at South Huish Marsh

Lots of Lesser black-backed gulls at South Huish Marsh, Also a Med gull and a common gull. I managed to pick out 6 species of gull with Black headed, Herring and Great Black-backed being the others. Also 2 Barnacle Geese

Barnacle GooseMediterranean Gull, Common gull and Black headed gullsLesser Black-backed Gulls
Barnacle Goose  Mediterranean Gull, Common gull and Black headed gulls

Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 1:40 pm by Richie moore in Bird News

Red Shank

A number of Red Shank, 2 Curlew a dozen or more Oyster Catchers, a couple of Crows and 4 + Shelduck.

Red ShankA number of assorted gulls common, GBB, some Lesser BB? and a couple of Bh. not sure of numbers.
Red Shank

A number of assorted gulls common, GBB, some Lesser BB? and a couple of Bh. not sure of numbers.

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 12:49 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


20 + Cormorants on a sand bank just down stream of Barnstaple's new down stream bridge. 30 - 40 GBB gulls and others.

Coromrants and gullsGoosanderLittle Egret
Coromrants and gulls                 Goosander                                Little Egret

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 12:43 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Slapton/South huish marsh

Good views of a male Scaup at Slapton, several Goldcrests and heard a chiffchaff singing. several lesser Black-Backed gulls at South Huish marsh, nice comparison with one next to a Great Black-Backed gull

ScaupGrey HeronLesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull
Scaup                                        Grey Heron    Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 6:19 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

Saturday 2nd March 2019

Bowling Green Marsh


In addition to Stuart's post:  400+ Black tailed Godwit, 11 Snipe, 10 Tufted duck (6m, 4f) 2 Kingfisher, 1 Cetti's warbler, Dunnocks displaying. 2 Foxes at the back of the marsh.

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 7:23 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Non bird sightings posts - conservation issues

Thanks to Greg Bradbury for the initial harrowing post raising the issue of swaling on Dartmoor. However a reminder these pages of the Devon Birds Website are for bird sightings (and to a lesser extent other wildlife). Over the years a small group of volunteer administrators with an expertise and interest in Devon's bird sightings and identification have kept these pages going with daily edits and comments. Over the years the team have made alterations and additions to this page to keep it up to date keeping our members and others informed of the bird sightings around our county. As far as we know there are not any Devon Birds council members on the bird sighting pages administration team to respond to other issues.

With great respect, other subjects or issues should go through Society News or use the Society contact details  in this instance also  .  

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 7:07 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Roadford Lake

Pink-footed Goose with the Canada Geese also in separate group two Barnacle Geese viewed from hide by bridge. Pair of Goldeneye from hide.

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 6:06 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A House Martin with 2 Sand Martins over Bowling Green Marsh this afternoon

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 5:13 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Velator reserve

About 10.30 to 11.30: 4 Canada Geese on the island pond this morning, at least two had rings on. 4 Mallard (three drakes) 2 Teal, 2 Little Grebes. A second pair of Long-tailed Tits nest-building. 4 Bullfinch. Looking South towards Sherpa, a single Sand Martin feeding over the reed-bed. As I was leaving a pair of Swans flew in. Also 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel.

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 3:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

14.30 - 3 Sand Martins over the pond

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 3:17 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck, 7 Pochards and 3 Goldeneyes in the middle of the Lower Ley just south of the Cormorant roost. In Start Bay Red-necked Grebe and c25 Common Scoters off the Memorial Car Park. Also one Great Northern Diver flew north.

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 3:11 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Yesterday evening 1st March, Nine Mandarin ducks most of which were displaying, eleven Tufted duck, a single female Goosander, 30 plus Redwing coming into roost and two calling Water Rail.

Back home at South Brent a Tawny owl.

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 1:28 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Venford Reservoir and Whites Wood

18 Goosander on the reservoir at dawn (6 males) plus a Woodcock overhead then lovely views of a vocal Green Woodpecker in the woods. 

Posted March 2nd, 2019 at 11:47 am by Andy Smith in Bird News

Friday 1st March 2019

Velator/ Wrafton Pond

A good selection of birds in the reserve this morning, with at least 3 Goldcrests seen, and another pair of Long-tailed Tits nest-building.3 Pochard on Wrafton Pond, and when I went back this evening, a single Sand Martin at 17.20 over the field between the pond and Velator Close.

It looks as if there will be energy generating Kites being flown from the large barn between the reserve and RMB Chivenor (right by the Tarka Trail). Apparently there is no need for planning permission for these ventures (?). If you access Facebook, there is a debate on the  'Friends of Braunton Marsh' page.

Posted March 1st, 2019 at 8:01 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Roadford/Lower Tamar Lake

From the viaduct at Roadford this morning the Pink-footed Goose still present, feeding with Canada’s. Also feeding on the weeds a flock of c200 Chaffinches, which included at least 5 Brambling.

At Lower Tamar the female Ring-necked Duck as with 12 Tufted Duck and a female Goldeneye was also present. The areas around the feeders and the canal path were also productive, with six species of Tit including Marsh and Willow, Treecreeper, Jay, Reed Bunting, and Nuthatch.. A Blackcap was heard.

Posted March 1st, 2019 at 4:34 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake,
3 Wilow Tit, 1f Ring-necked Duck, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Redwing, 1 Reed Bunting,1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Jay.

Posted March 1st, 2019 at 3:02 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Pink Footed Goose - Roadford Res.

Pink Footed Goose still at the neck end of the lake, viewed from the viaduct at 1130hrs today with the Canada Geese. Also a Brambling found amongst a large flock of chaffinches, 150+, feeding on the mud flats. Amongst the geese a cross barhead/greylag ? and a non descript farmyard goose.

Posted March 1st, 2019 at 2:50 pm by Mike Gibson in Bird News


The two Red-neckked Grebes were still present this morning, also 1 female Eider and one Great Northern Diver. 4 singing Chiffchaff around the marshy bits. At least 10 Cirl Buntings and 2 Yellowhammer with 2 Reed Buntings on seed in 2nd car park. 11 Great Crested Grebes off Goodrington.

Posted March 1st, 2019 at 1:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

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