General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Recorder@devonbirds.org Thank you.

 
Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July
 
Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August
 
Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October
 
Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April
 
Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
 
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
 
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
 
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
 
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
 
Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

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, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work .

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

Thursday 14th March 2019

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

At least seven Purple Sandpipers on the rocks at Haldon Pier this morning at high tide. 

Posted March 14th at 7:23 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Marsh Harrier - Exminster Marshes

Distant views of the female Marsh Harrier at around 3:45pm this afternoon, Also a male Kestrel hunting in the field in front of Swans nest. 


Posted March 14th at 6:46 pm by Jordan in General Birding

Matford

2 Cattle Egrets were with a small group of Little Egrets in the field the other side of the roundabout from Matford Pool this lunchtime.

Posted March 14th at 4:52 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wednesday 13th March 2019

South Hams

A violent battle as I drove down the road to South Sands at Salcombe around 1345hrs today. A sparrowhawk was wrestling what I believe to be a jay in the middle of the road, forcing me to stop. I quickly took a photo through the car window but both birds flew off into a neighbouring garden when I got out! I did not hold out much hope for the jay though!

Earlier at South Milton Ley, where I filled the feeders, 6 Snipe and 4 Mallard on the now water covered area where the reed cut took place earlier this year. Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Water rail, Pheasant with many assorted Tits at the feeders. Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, several Chiffchaff , 4 Yellowhammer and a couple of Cirls  elsewhere on the marsh.

At South Huish, little change. Mike P pointed out a Mediterranean Gull,  earlier had seen 2 Water Pipit on the meadow. Good numbers of LBB Gulls in with the flock.

Sparrowhawk v Jay at Salcombe - 13.3.2019
Sparrowhawk v Jay at Salcombe - 13.3.2019

Posted March 13th at 7:03 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Ring-Necked Duck

Beesands Ley 13/3/19 Drake Ring-Necked Duck Drake Pochard 46 Tufties 2 Teal 4 GC Grebe 2 Gadwall 7 Sand Martin female Stonechat on the beach

Posted March 13th at 5:46 pm by Bryn & Ros Burgess in General Birding

Matford Marsh,

2 Cattle Egrets on the large scrape at Matford  late morning, plus 1 Little Egret, and at least 25 Shoveler, mainly males.   Just a bit windy

Posted March 13th at 5:34 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

lower tamar lake and roadford reservoir

lower tamar ,  from the carpark by the bird feeders, and down to the hide a good selection of birds were seen,  32 birds altogether with good views of the willow tit.

moved on to roadford, and from the viaduct looking north we had 3 golden eye, two barnacle geese and a pinkfoot goose feeding with the canada.  

Posted March 13th at 4:24 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

13 March Powderham Park and Exe

Among other birds seen were Sand martin, Peregrine that put up the gulls and Curlew on Powderham Park, Snipe and Green Sandpiper.  Plus a flock of 110 Pintail on the Exe.

Posted March 13th at 3:52 pm by Pete Stevens in General Birding

Shiphay, Torquay

07.40

Very surprised to find a Red-Legged Partridge strutting up and down on my back lawn this morning!  An unlikely, enclosed and suburban location for the species.  Although it seemed happy nosing about on the adjacent patio and through the daffodils, I thought that I'd check that it was OK.  As soon as I stepped outside, it lifted off and flew powerfully in the direction of Torbay Hospital. 

An interesting start to the day.    

Posted March 13th at 3:48 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Tuesday 12th March 2019

Velator

Pleasantly surprised in the reserve this afternoon, when I found several Chaffinches hawking insects over the pond, along with a Chiffchaff in the reeds. Then another bird flew towards me and landed on the other side of the pond: very smart male Grey Wagtail, which was then joined by a female. Never seen a pair in the reserve before. One of the Swans then flew in but it's mate didn't quite make it over the trees, so landed outside. first Swan called for it, had a look round, then left.

Posted March 12th at 8:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Found a Spotted Redshank on the marsh with Redshank at around 10am and then flushed somewhere by a brazen Sparrowhawk which then sat on a post in the middle of the reserve. Not seen again. 

Posted March 12th at 4:19 pm by Matt Collis in General Birding

Broadsands - Recent Pics: Male Yellowhammers

Just a tip of the hat to Bill Coulson's stunning photo Tweeted a couple of weeks ago.

NB Bottom left m&f; bottom right, with m Cirl Bunting

 

   

 

Posted March 12th at 2:57 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Broadsands - Recent Pics: Male Cirl Buntings

Sorry, can't help myself! This is really infectious plus, with the limitations of the camera (& the user!) where else can you get this close?

NB Last pic, m & f together.

 

Posted March 12th at 2:38 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Broadsands - Recent Pics: Female Yellowhammer v Female Cirl Bunting

More recent picks from Broadsands comparing female Cirl Buntings & Yellowhammers. Never been anywhere where I've had to think about this before. I'm no expert, thanks go to, Mike Langman, Collins Bird Guide & Birds ID Insights, by Couzens & Nurney.

  • Top Row: Female Yellowhammer - showning, thick, diffuse, smudged breast streaking; yellow primary edges; yellow in crown; " blobby" face markings; yellow tinged belly; diagnostic rufous rump partially visible.
  • Bottom Row: Female Cirl Bunting - showing, thin, fine breast streaking; pale primary edges; no yellow in crown; sharper, clearer face markings; no yellow in belly; diagnostic olive/grey rump.

Posted March 12th at 2:07 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Red Kite

12.00 Red kite seen a mile east of Barnstaple on the A361

Posted March 12th at 12:22 pm by richard yeats in General Birding

Monday 11th March 2019

Exminster Marsh and Cockwood

Exminster Marsh

A quick look this morning for yesterday’s reported female Red-crested Pochard was unsuccessful but the Snow Goose was still in the feild next to the Swans Nest inn. I also saw my first Sand Martin of the year with 4 birds around the viewing platform. 

Cockwood 

This afternoon around 4:15pm were 2 Cattle Egret (possibly 4 but didnt have my scope) in a tree with Little Egrets behind Cofton garage. More details if interested on http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.com

Posted March 11th at 10:08 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Hen Harrier Exmoor

A stunning female Hen Harrier in flight, light and buoyant hunting over the moorland and scattered trees.  Clear views of the white rump.  Also Kestrel, approx. 200 Golden Plover, 3 Buzzards, Ravens, Crows, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Stonechat, 30 Fieldfares and a large flock of Starlings.

Posted March 11th at 5:53 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in General Birding

Glossy ibis

Glossy ibis sighted in Budleigh Salterton in fields on the left of white bridge on the river otter

Posted March 11th at 5:13 pm by Paul jenkins in General Birding

11-03-19 Plym-woods

The two Peregrine Falcons by Plym-wood Quarry, were showing well today, and managed a distant shot of the pair mating, a new female this year, but not sure if the male is the same one or new. A shot through the holly bush of a Female Kingfisher, and a friendly Dipper by the weir.

Peregrines matingFemale KingfisherDipper
Peregrines mating                       Female Kingfisher                                    Dipper

Posted March 11th at 4:11 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Broadsands

The 2 Red-necked Grebes were together off Churston Point & Elberry Cove (c.12:45); 2 Great Northern Divers near the Mussel Beds; 3 Great Crested Grebes off Three Beaches.

At least, 10 Cirl Buntings (7m, 3f); 5 Yellowhammers (3m, 2f); 2 Reed Buntings (fs), coming to the seed behind beach huts.

Also a Grey Seal in Broadsands Bay & c.10 - 15 Common Dolphins in Torbay, off Churston Point.

 

Posted March 11th at 3:56 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Ludwell Valley - Matford - Cattle Egret

7 or 8 Green Sandpiper between Ludwell Lane and Woodwater Lane. Nothing much on the Northbrook otherwise (council adding new paths and clearing away undergrowth, so no Dipper, no Grey Wags, no Water Rail bur brief glimpse of Kingfisher). Nothing unusual on Matford Marshes but in the fields behind the Storage Unit depot on Sannerville Way between the railway and the canal a Cattle Egret with 18 mute swans. Quite flighty but did not fly far. Approx grid ref SX946887

Video    https://youtu.be/AmPTGkbO7Qc

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted March 11th at 3:17 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Sunday 10th March 2019

Ilfracombe Lesser Black-Backed Gulls

About 40+ sitting out the storm today all around Ilfracombes beaches and on Cheyne rocks. Could be some resident and Lundy birds. Other seabirds this morning 1 Great Skua, 3 Manx Shearwaters heading back down channel, only 3 Gannets and a breeding plumage Cormorant with a white colour darvic ring. On Woolacombe beach 150 Common Gulls. 

Herring Gulls + about 10 Lesser BB GullsLesser BB Gulls
Herring Gulls + about 10 Lesser BB Gulls                                   Lesser BB Gulls

Posted March 10th at 8:39 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake
1f Ring-necked Duck, 3 Willow Tit one pair at the hide and a single at the car park, 2 Marsh Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Cormorant.

Posted March 10th at 7:07 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Blaxton Meadow

On this morning's high tide the following were seen.

Little Grebe 4, Kingfisher 2, Common Sandpiper 3, Shellduck 42, Curlew 42, Oystercatcher 5, Redshank 154 (142 on the meadow), Dunlin 54, Greenshank 7, Snipe 13 (12 on the meadow), little Egret 12, Black T Godwit 1, Goosander 1m, Redwing 2 & Stock Dove 2.

Posted March 10th at 2:47 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

matford marshes

Marsh Harrier hunting over fields between Matford Marshes and Exminster Marshes around lunchtime Saturday. Seen from the car.

Posted March 10th at 9:37 am by John Phillips in General Birding

Saturday 9th March 2019

Kestrel

Kestrel hunting near Morte point.

Kestrel
Kestrel

Posted March 9th at 7:41 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Broadsands

The evening Gull roost contained of interest: 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 fw, 1 sw), 63 Common Gulls. Also 3 Great Crested Grebes and 2 Great Northern Divers out in Torbay.

Posted March 9th at 5:47 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Slapton and Chivelstone

Had a great morning at Slapton, Ring necked duck, a little grebe and 5 pochard Torcross end. Near the bridge great views of a swallow and a sand martin flying around together also lots of chiffchaffs much more than I have seen in recent weeks. Heard several Cetti's warblers and got the odd glimpse of one. On to South Pool to try and see the cattle egrets. Rob Murphy spotted them with his magnificent scope in the distance at Chivestone. We made it 11 of them.

Sand Martin  Swallow  Cattle Egret 
Sand Martin                          Swallow                                   Cattle Egret

Posted March 9th at 5:37 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Slapton Ley 7 March

Here are the photos again that got lost in post as it were.   Sorry about that!  Hope it works this time.

Male Ring-necked Duck with Female Tufted Duck Male Ring-necked Duck with Female Tufted Duck
Male Ring-necked Duck with Female Tufted Duck

First of two Otters
First of two Otters

Posted March 9th at 12:00 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Friday 8th March 2019

Slapton Ley Thursday 7 March

As the light was so good, I spent much of the morning photographing at Slapton Ley.  4 No early Barn Swallows (1st record 2017 11 March) and 2 No Chiffchaff.  On the Ley the Male Ring-necked Duck joined the antics of a group the  male Tufted Ducks, staying in close contact with a particular female Tufty.

At about 0930, I spotted an elongated ripple in the otherwise smooth water on the west of the Ley.  A  pair of Otters swan, or rather dolphined, right though the reeds just in front of Stokenham Hide; they headed steadily for the Stockenham reed beds.

 

Posted March 8th at 8:36 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

South Pool creek

9 cattle egrets South Pool creek today.

Posted March 8th at 4:54 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

The Marsh Harrier did a "fly-by" at mid day putting up all the birds on the marsh


Posted March 8th at 4:01 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Powderham Marsh

The presumed escapee Snow Goose showing well with the Canada Geese


Posted March 8th at 3:59 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Bolt Head

Offshore 4 Red-throated Diver W, 3 Fulmar W & 54 Gannet.

Also: 3+ Harbour Porpoise.

Posted March 8th at 2:53 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

River Teign above Chudleigh Bridge

Pair Mandarin and pair of Goosander on river only highlight of a mornings walk. 

Posted March 8th at 2:44 pm by Nick Walter in General Birding

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