Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th April 2019

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


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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

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Hennock Reservoirs

8-10 swallow feeding over Kennick Reservoir this evening. 

Posted April 10th at 8:07 pm by Fiona Freshney in General Birding

Emsworthy mire

Sneaked off work early and went up to Emsworthy mire and was rewarded with some great views of the great grey shrike through the scope but a little distant for a decent photo, a few wheatears up there and several meadow pipits. One swallow flew over.

Great Grey ShrikeMeadow PipitWheatear
Great Grey Shrike                     Meadow Pipit                                            Wheatear

Posted April 10th at 7:58 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Powderham Marsh & Countess Weir

36 Sand Martin, Swallow, Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, Cetti’s W, Green Sandpiper, 9 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin at Powderham Marsh. 25 Sand Martin & 2 House Martin at Countess Weir.

Posted April 10th at 7:49 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Female Whitethroat (very elusive) and pair of Blackcap just south of the white bridge this afternoon. More info

Posted April 10th at 6:27 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

emsworthy mire

Great Grey Shrike high on ridge from Saddle Tor at 12.30. Breeding pair of Nuthatch in valley. Numerous pipits but no cuckoos yet. Kestrel hunting over marsh edge.

Posted April 10th at 6:24 pm by JOHN PHILLIPS in General Birding

Red Grouse

A pair of Red Grouse and about 60 Golden Plover in full breeding plumage on the Moor North of Postbridge.  

Posted April 10th at 4:43 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in General Birding

Tuesday 9th April 2019

Rillage Point to Watermouth

First patch visit for 12 days saw steady visible migration – in spite of the heavily overcast conditions and a chilly E wind – as well as good numbers of grounded warblers. Totals included: Sand Martin 10, Swallow 5, House Martin 2, Willow Warbler 13, Chiffchaff 13, Blackcap 9, alba wagtail 5, Meadow Pipit 41, Tree Pipit 3 (my first of the spring), Linnet 48, Crossbill 1, and Goldfinch 42.

Posted April 9th at 10:26 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Highlights of an excellent walk from Emsworthy to Parke

Emsworthy- Great Grey Shrike at 0800 near the barn

Haytor area- Green Woodpecker and Yellowhammer

Yarner-  Pied Flycatcher (male)

Parke- Dipper

Posted April 9th at 7:38 pm by Rich Price in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple from Anchorwood Bank. High Tide 0917.

All sandbanks were still tide covered when I arrived at 11.00 but Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls were feeding frenziedly close to the bank near the start of Penhill Marsh. As the falling tide started to uncover the sandbanks the gulls started to land but there was no sign of the Bonaparte`s Gull. At 12.15 I picked up the Little Gull on the sandbank in centre of the river. It remained until 12.30 and then disappeared.

A search of the river on Pottington side from 12.45 until 13.30, down as far as Ashford Sewage Works, also no sign of Bonaparte`s or Little Gull.

11 Black-tailed and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits. c35 Shelduck.

Posted April 9th at 7:14 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Great Grey Shrike still on site this afternoon in 3rd field after the barn. More info at

Posted April 9th at 6:52 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Emsworthy Mire

Several sightings of the Great Grey Shrike today and was still there at 3pm when I left, quite mobile and distant but others might get a better shot.

Posted April 9th at 5:04 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

River Avon, Averton Gifford

Early evening, female goosander, male and femail stonechat and chiffchaff singing

Posted April 9th at 3:40 pm by Adam Davison in General Birding

East Portlemouth Area

2 Sandwich Terns over the Bar. House Martin in off at Gara Rock.

1st Green Hairstreak & 2 Small Coppers.

Posted April 9th at 3:30 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Berry Head

Only four members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the fieldtrip this morning raising the question... where was everybody?  (Maybe something to do with the error in the published programme).  2 Wheatear and a fine male Redstart were the main interest plus the Guillemot colony, Fulmars and a small pod of Harbour Porpoise (?) present below the headland.

Broadsands car park produced 7+ Cirl Bunting in the afternoon.

Posted April 9th at 3:23 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


Very quiet in the reserve this morning, NO Butterflies at all (5 species yesterday including 1st Red Admiral and Green-veined White).

12 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape.

Posted April 9th at 2:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Yarner Wood ~ Pied Flycatcher

Dart Bridge ~ Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Wren.

Yarner Wood ~ Woodpeckers calling and drumming well, two species seen, Marsh Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Heron, Wren, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, two Treecreeper and two male Pied Flycatcher.

Around Emsworthy~ Greenfinch, Linnet, Wheatear, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Jay, several pairs of Stonechat .

Out on Dartmoor a Goshawk being mobbed by two Carrion Crow.

Back home at South Brent (a Peregrine soaring high over the house yesterday) overnight Tawny owls calling and today Bullfinch, Song Thrush and Chiffchaff .

Posted April 9th at 11:45 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Yesterday at Prawle

Yesterday 8th April. Winds SE 2-3 going 4. Sunny spring morning. With Pat M.

3 Common Redstarts, 1 male Pied Flycatcher, 6+ Willow Warblers singing. Female Ring Ouzel seen by Pat. Black Redstart fem/imm type, female Wheatear. Plus lots of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in song.

Impromptu hour's seawatch at 10.45 saw 25 Manx Shearwaters, 38 Common Scoter flying east. Also a few Swallows in off the sea at midday. Pat saw a few Sandwich Terns in Horsley Cove.


Common Redstart                                           Pied Flycatcher


Black Redstart                                                 Willow Warbler



Posted April 9th at 11:05 am by Tony Marchese in General Birding

D.W.T. Emsworthy Dartmoor.

Great Grey Shrike,D.W.T. Emsworthy Taken At 08.30 This Morning

Posted April 9th at 10:06 am by patrick hawkins in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish marsh 08/04/19

Brief visit to South Huish marsh after work, several Chiffchaffs singing in the lane and lots of wrens, 21 Black-tailed godwits on the marsh and a wheatear near the carpark.

ChiffchaffBlack-tailed GodwitsWren
Chiffchaff                                 Black-tailed Godwits                                               Wren

Posted April 9th at 5:55 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Monday 8th April 2019

South Hams

Four Ring-necked Ducks in the South Hams today! A drake at Beesands Ley and the 2 drakes and a duck on Slapton Ley (Torcross end). 

At Soar, a Firecrest (with apparent "pollen horns"), a Reed Warbler singing, 11 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, Swallow & Snipe.

Also: at Beesands, drake Scaup, Willow Warbler & Sandwich Tern; and at Slapton, summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe (half way down Lower Ley), c20 Sand Martins, 2 Swallows, Sandwich Tern, 2 Willow Warblers & a sinensis cormorant.

Posted April 8th at 9:04 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Matford - Kenton

Matford - Green Sandpiper, a singing Treecreeper, more singing Willow Warblers (I assume these are passage birds using the Exe valley as a migration corridor), several Sand Martins, and my first Swallows of the year, but no Cattle Egrets.

Exminster - No Garganey, but a fly-over Yellow Wagtail, more Sand Martins, the Sedge Warbler singing near the fisherman's car park again, two Barnacle Geese, a Peregrine on the pylons, many Shelduck and Curlew (but still no Whimbrel), and three late Pintail.

Starcross - Kenton - many "singing" Red-legged Partridge in the arable land and my first House Martins of the year.

James Camden

Posted April 8th at 9:03 pm by James Camden in General Birding

River Taw adj to Horsey Island

6.20pm....good views of an Osprey catching a fish, and being harassed by a determined posse of Shelduck

Osprey catching a fishOsprey being mobbed by Shelduck
Osprey catching a fish                              Osprey being mobbed by Shelduck

Posted April 8th at 8:42 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Penhill Marsh

At least 7 Cattle Egret still present this pm in the field with Cattle to the south of the Tarka Trail, opposite Penhill Marsh. 

Posted April 8th at 8:10 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Inside Man #2 - Paignton Goldcrest

My patience and persistence paid off today with these lucky shots from inside the dining room. The female Goldcrest, before attempting to see off her own reflection, usually sizes things up from the rotary drier before coming to the window or brass plate on the back door handle.

Unfortunately, not caring about clean washing, she frequently poops on it!


Posted April 8th at 6:53 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Inside Man #1 - Paignton Goldcrest

Just a few more of my visitor to the window, this time taken from the inside. Her visits are getting more frequent and, since I've never had Goldcrest so active in this part of the garden, let alone reacting to a reflection like this, I can only assume she plans to nest close by and is practicing some aggressive territorial behaviour. Other theories welcome.


Posted April 8th at 6:40 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

East Soar

Best was cracking male Redstart. Also 6 Willow Warbler, Swallow, Snipe, 13 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap.

Posted April 8th at 6:29 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Couldn't see Dave's Osprey in a brief cycle down the Toll road at about 9.30. 2 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape. First female Blackcap in the reserve.

Posted April 8th at 5:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Willow Warbler and two Swallows, mid morning wander.

Posted April 8th at 5:21 pm by Michael Curran in General Birding

Berry Head

Some  migrants at this morning: 1 Redstart (male), 1 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 9 Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff a pod of approx 20 Common Dolphin and 3 Harblour porpoise.

Common Dolphin Berry Head April 2019 ML     Common Dolphins

Posted April 8th at 4:55 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Great Grey Shrike showing well near Devon Wildlife Trust entry gate when approaching from Saddletor car park at 3pm

Posted April 8th at 4:19 pm by Emily Grove in General Birding

Morte Point

0710 - 1220. Cold wind but Spring finally arrived at Morte Point. 15 Sand Martin, 3 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 30+ mixed Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler on one patch of Gorse and many more spread around the Point. 7 Wheatear (3m/4f). 28 other species present

Posted April 8th at 3:59 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Ply Estuary & Saltram.

A walk around Saltram & the estuary this morning produced the following.

Little Egret 14, Curlew 5, Redshank 45, Greenshank 6, Dunlin 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Snipe 3, Green Woodpecker 3, Chiffchaff 5, Blackcap 5, Wheatear 1 and a Willow Warbler.

Posted April 8th at 3:34 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire


Great Grey Shrike showing well 300m north east of the barn. Redstart, Wheatear, Willow Warbler and Stonechat also in the vicinity. 

Posted April 8th at 12:37 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding


Yellow Wagtail landed briefly on the golf course before flying north at 08:45.

Posted April 8th at 12:17 pm by Will Salmon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

R.Taw Barnstaple

The Bonaparte’s Gull was present this morning soon after high tide, mid-river between Anchorbank and Pottington, delicately picking bits from some river scum. Also whilst scanning a 1W Little Gull landed close in to Anchorbank.

Posted April 8th at 10:17 am by Roger Doble in General Birding

North Devon Osprey

07.30 Osprey at Horsey Island.

Posted April 8th at 7:50 am by David Paterson in General Birding

Sunday 7th April 2019

Anchor Wood to Penhill Marsh

The highlights this morning between Anchor Wood and Penhill Marsh were a pair of treecreepers resting on opposite sides of the same tree, a possible Bonaparte’s gull in the Taw by Penhill Marsh, and almost opposite were 7 cattle egrets in the field with the cows.

TreecreeperTreecreeperBonaparte's Gull
Treecreeper                                               Treecreeper                                    Bonaparte's Gull

Posted April 7th at 8:35 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding


Only found out yesterday while taking a break from gardening that a male wren has built a nest against the shed in our garden.Was watching again today and another wren presumably a female was happily feeding in its presence.Great camouflage using dead ivy leaves amongst the new growth.Also my first for the year and only 2/3 willow warbler for the garden feeding oblivious to my presence.

Posted April 7th at 8:20 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Great grey shrike

Emsworthy mire seen twice while doing the circular route last sited 200 metres north of barn very mobile

Posted April 7th at 6:56 pm by Ben sullivan in General Birding

River Otter south of St Saviours Bridge, Ottery St Mary.

A morning walk down river produced amongst others 1 pr Goosander, 2 Gt S-Woodpecker, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Swallow, 30+ Sand Martin, Green Woodpecker (heard), Little Egret, Willow Warbler (heard), several male Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and a Sparrow Hawk over.   The riverside fields have been planted with many hundreds of tree in the space of a few months which will make this a great area in years to come.

My first 2 Swallows for my village at Marsh Green were seen at around noon today.  Last year the first were sighted on 28 April.

Note: East Devon Fieldtrip programme recently circulated for April omitted to list the trip to Berry Head on Tuesday 9 April commencing at  This is still due to take place (although the weather forecast is not good!). 

Posted April 7th at 6:01 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


Orcombe Point - Nightingale seen briefly (not singing) in the Bristol Schools camp around 1230 this afternoon. Not seen subsequently despite searching. Also 2 Wheatear, 15+ Willow Warbler and a male Redstart (Gore Lane). Three House Martin north over Maer Farm earlier. Yesterday - singing Firecrest, Snipe and White Wagtail on Orcombe.

Posted April 7th at 5:39 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

Garganey, wheatear, kestrel only birds of note on a brief visit today at 2pm. 

Posted April 7th at 4:18 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh

4 Teals, 2 Wigeons and 2 Snipes on the marsh. Singing Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Cirl Buntings present.

Posted April 7th at 2:35 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding


6pm 0n 6th - One of a number of Willow Warblers seen on route to Scrapes

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Posted April 7th at 11:41 am by Ranald Fowler in General Birding

Two parakeets

Maer valley Exmouth 

Posted April 7th at 8:14 am by David bartlett in General Birding

Saturday 6th April 2019

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three new patch birds for the year - Ring Ouzel (female), Williow Warbler and Linnet (4). Also, 2 Swallows, a pair of Mandarin Ducks, Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, 5 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs & a pair of Long-tailed Tits buliding a nest.

Posted April 6th at 11:30 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

She's Back! #2 - Paignton

Part 2 of my earlier post re female Goldcrest mistaking her reflection in my dining room window & brass plate of the back door handle for an intruder.

Apologies if I'm banging on about this but I'm as facinated with the bird's behaviour as she is with her own reflection. Plus it's providing some ace photo & video opportunities.

Posted April 6th at 10:00 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Berry head to Brixham

Walk from Berry Head to Brixham and back fairly quiet Greater Blackbacks, Gannets, Guillmots,a few Swallows lots of Goldfinch,some obliging Turnstones and a Chiffchaff singing were the highlights back home in Plymouth a possible Willow Wabler?

TurnstoneChiffChaffWillow Warbler?
Turnstone                                           ChiffChaff                            Willow Warbler?

Posted April 6th at 9:37 pm by William Beck in General Birding

Matford - Starcross

Multiple stops this morning:

Matford ponds - two Green Sandpipers and several Sand Martins;

Exminster Marshes - a male Garganey, two Barnacle Geese, a Peregrine, two Sedge Warblers chuntering in the ditches near the fisherman's car park, and more Sand Martins;

Starcross, Powderham Park and the Kenn outfall - an Egyptian Goose, two late Pintail and eight Greenshank and two Sandwich Terns. No Brent Geese, Mergansers or G-c Grebes visible in the estuary, so it seems the seasonal turnover has advanced quickly; 

In the lanes "inland" from Starcross - the expected Cirl Bunting and R-l Partridge.

Throughout - a sprinkling of singing Willow Warblers, perhaps a week later than normal.

Posted April 6th at 9:20 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Ashridge Farm, Kennerleigh

Flock of 200+ Fieldfare flying east 07.30 this morning.

Posted April 6th at 8:58 pm by Richard Burston in General Birding

Around the Exe and beyond...........

Around the Exe this morning, Starcross by the National laboratory services eight Greenshank, four Little Egret, a solitary Curlew and several Redshank.

Over the Powderham deer herd numerous Sand Martin, nine Little Egret, the Powderham Heronry was well occupied and several Heron around the area.

Looking over the Exe from near the Powderham pedestrian overbridge, a displaying pair of Reed Bunting, two Sandwich Tern, six Oyster Catcher two of which were ringed (yellow ring over a dark blue ring on the right legs “2A” & “6M”) four Linnet, Little Egrets, Heron and one Great Crested Grebe.

Goosemoor eight Little Egret.

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh ~ singing Chiffchaff and Wren in the hedgerow, three Buzzard overhead, two Heron, Little Egret, three Greylag Geese, large numbers of Redshank with a few Dunlin and Knott mixed in, good numbers of Black Tailed Godwit, one Lapwing and a single Avocet that flew away from the marsh during the visit, a single Sand Martin and a Great White Egret being the highlight.

Exminster marshes two drake Garganey was unexpected bonus and hovering Kestrel on leaving.

DWT Heathfield a hunting Kestrel which took what appeared to be a Lizard of some kind and a vocal Chiffchaff.

Late afternoon a single Swallow at Cornwood.

Back home at South Brent two Tawny owls calling well outside (8.20pm). Yesterday two seen taking shelter in a holly tree during the afternoons heavy rain.

Posted April 6th at 8:40 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

She's Back! #1 - Paignton

This female Goldcrest has been trying to see off her own reflection at my house in Paignton. She comes around the middle of every day, either to the brass plate of the back door handle or at the dining room window. Today she came to both.

Pics below & Youtube vid link:

Posted April 6th at 6:37 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding


Lots of Willow Warblers in the reserve the last three or four days. Looking South towards Sherpa, a female-type Marsh Harrier over the reed-bed, landed and a little while later was mobbed in flight by a pair of Crows. This was at about 10.a.m.

Walked around Sherpa early evening - a fine drake Garganey on the ponds - the same as last week, or another bird?

Posted April 6th at 6:28 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Just below Turf

A single Sandwich Tern flying around, then went down river towards the Warren.

Posted April 6th at 5:11 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Cold easterly wind making viewing the bay and ley from the line difficult. Offshore just 3 Sandwich Terns and 2 second calendar year Mediterranean Gulls, Highlights around the Ley included the 3 Ring-necked Ducks seaward side of the Lower Ley opposite the Cormorant roost. Also a male Goldeneye. At least 500 Sand Martins present in the morning with a few Swallows and a House Martin. Good arrival of singing Willow Warblers and a Reed Warbler likewise singing back of Ireland Bay near the Quarry.

Posted April 6th at 5:08 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bee flies at Slapton

Several Bee flies at the quarry Slapton, one of my favourite spring time insects. It's a bumble bee mimic. The eggs are flicked by the adult female toward the entrance of the underground nests of solitary bees and wasps. After hatching, the larvae find their way into the nests to feed on the grubs. 

The large bee-fly (Bombylius major)
The large bee-fly (Bombylius major)

The large bee-fly (Bombylius major)
The large bee-fly (Bombylius major)

Posted April 6th at 4:53 pm by Richie Moore in Other Wildlife

Dunsford woods

Male pied flycatcher close to notice about coppicing by track uphill to viewpoint. Also male blackcap

Posted April 6th at 3:03 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Friday 5th April 2019

Darts Farm

The Great White Egret was still on show from the viewing platform at 16:00 more info

Posted April 5th at 11:27 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

1 Water Pipit at the side of the smaller scrape late aft / early evening. Also 1 Little Grebe.

Posted April 5th at 7:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Swallows (6) and Blackcap (singing male) here this year; also 4 Common Sandpipers (indicating some movement), 9 Snipe, redhead Goosander, 7 Greenshanks, Turnstone, 10 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Wagtails, 7 Chiffchaffs, Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Nuthatch nest building. 

Posted April 5th at 6:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Wet and windy on the Skern mid afternoon. On the plus side not many dogs. Around 200 Golden Plover still present on the salt marsh but little else. A Little Ringed Plover by Greysands Lake was showing well until flushed by one of the few dogs there. Just before leaving a Merlin flew over the lake. 

Posted April 5th at 5:32 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Great White Egret - Darts Farm , Topsham

A Great White Egret found by Bob Bailey on Exminster Marsh at 1040am promptly flew off, was seen briefly at Goosemoor and then was refound by Bob at Darts Farm at 1145am on the pools in front of the viewing shelter- still present mid afternoon. Also several Sand Martins and a Swallow

Posted April 5th at 2:39 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding


A Great White Egret popped into Goosemoor this morning, for more on my travels go to

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Posted April 5th at 2:34 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Ashford Sewage Works to Pottington

3 Knot foraging amongst 34 Black tailed Godwits & 5 Bar tailed Godwits.

Posted April 5th at 12:01 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Thursday 4th April 2019

Teignmouth - New Road 13:00

Nice to add Red Kite to the garden list! All the gulls were calling.

Posted April 4th at 10:32 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Slapton Ley

The 3 ring necked Ducks were at the south end of Slapton Ley at 7.30 this evening but no swallows or sand martins were flying in the hail !

Posted April 4th at 10:20 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Steps Bridge Mid Devon Field Meet

A walk along the Teign near Dunsford produced some noteworthy birds including Green Woodpecker, pairs of Mandarins, Dippers and Grey Wagtails, as well as the more usual resident and summering woodland birds..   

Posted April 4th at 8:08 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in General Birding

Slapton Ley.

Another fantastic Sand Martin day. Certainly more birds than on Tuesday,but difficult to get an accurate count. Possibly 450/500+. Whether al lot of them are those of the last  two days,that have halted their northward movement ,due to the drop in temperature;or are fresh birds in ,is impossible to tell. Whatever the answer they are a spectacular sight.

Posted April 4th at 7:06 pm by Alan K. Searle. in General Birding

Yesterday 3rd April at Prawle and Slapton

Lots of singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps on arrival at Prawle. Walking from Bunkers to Horsley Cove I saw my first House Martin here and my first Wheatear. At Horsely Cove a party of 7 Shelduck.

At Slapton Ley from Stokeley Bay hide I also saw the 2 male and 1 female Ring-Necked Ducks in some ways eclipsed by the sight of hundreds of Sand Martins ,which at 1pm covered the whole of the Ley visible from the hide.





Blackcap                                                      Shelduck



Heavily cropped record shot of the 2 male and 1 female Ring-necked Ducks


Posted April 4th at 2:12 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

River Culm Uffculme

5 sand martins and 3 swallow at the Culm midday

Posted April 4th at 12:43 pm by geoff Campbell in General Birding

Chudleigh Redstart

A female Redstart was a surprise visitor to our garden in Chudleigh this morning. It didn't hang around for long though.

Posted April 4th at 9:29 am by Nick Potter in General Birding

South Huish marsh, Slapton Wed,03/04

Little ringed plover at South Huish marsh, and lots of Chiffchaffs and Cetti's warblers singing at Slapton. Nice blackcap flitting about in the blossom.

BlackcapWrenLittle Ringed Plover
Blackcap                                              Wren                                            Little Ringed Plover

Posted April 4th at 8:48 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Cirl Buntings

For the passed two months we have had a pair of Cirl Bunting feeding on Finch seed on the back lawn in South Knighton

Posted April 4th at 8:45 am by Roger Yeoman in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

Red kite

Seen lunchtime at Battisborough Cross , South Hams , Wednesday 3rd April 2019 .

Posted April 3rd at 11:15 pm by John Atwill in General Birding

Raptors on Stamps

The Royal Mail are issuing a set of new stamps on 4th April (Thursday) illustrating British Raptors. They look good and may be of interest to some members.

Posted April 3rd at 9:09 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

South Hams

Slapton Ley again pretty lively today with c350 Sand Martins with single Swallow and House Martin, a fine summer-plumaged Red-necked Grebe on the sea (around Memorial Car Park), 3 Ring-necked Ducks (2 drakes + female), drake Scaup, 1 or 2 drake Garganey (Ireland Bay), 8 Sandwich Terns & 2 Willow Warblers.

Earlier at Soar, just: Wheatear, 4 Blackcaps & 2 Bullfinches.

Posted April 3rd at 6:48 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Whitleigh Garden

One Hobby and one Swallow over also 2 C Buzzards 11 Goldfinches.

Posted April 3rd at 5:00 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Best was Red Kite over farm late morning with 2 Buzzards. Also 12 Chiffchaffs & 3 Blackcaps.

Posted April 3rd at 4:42 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Good to see the LRP again this morning from the reserve, which was heaving with Sand Martins and a few Swallows plus a bonus House Martin. Chiffchaffs all over the place, and several Willow Warblers.

Posted April 3rd at 2:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Slapton Ley ~ Cetti’s Warbler calling and showing all around the Ley along with Chiffchaff, huge numbers of Sand Martins coming in off of the sea and over the Ley, simply swarms and not realistic to even try counting, two House Martin and a small flock of Swallows in with them and possibly my first Red Rumped Swallow, briefest of views but distantly pale and pink rumped.

Sand martins with House Martin top centre

Several pairs of displaying Great Crested Grebe, duck species included Tufted, Ring Necked (pair) drake Golden Eye and Gadwall.

Hovering Kestrel and off of the beach several Sandwich Terns.


Posted April 3rd at 1:20 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Heathfield Estate, Honiton

Two Red-legged Partridge on bungalow roof this morning. 

Posted April 3rd at 1:03 pm by Andy Rook in General Birding

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

Little Ringed Plover still present on the scrape this morning.

Posted April 3rd at 12:47 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

South Hams

I was hoping the break in the weather might produce a few more birds, but a morning at Start resulted in little more than 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, a female Wheatear and a Coal Tit.

However Slapton Ley proved much more productive with 3 Ring-necked Ducks (2 drakes & a female) towards the Torcross end, 2 drake Garganey (which flew into Ireland bay), Black-necked Grebe (half way down the lower ley on the seaward side), 190+ Sand Martins (there could have been more or others might have arrived later as per Alan's post), 4 Swallows including 2 "in, off", a single House Martin and 29 Sandwich Terns (which seemed to be circling the bay and ley).

It felt like Spring! 

Posted April 2nd at 8:44 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish

I am a new member and this is my first ever post. I saw many of the birds listed in Dave Pakes report on an afternoon of blustery showers. I witnessed the solitary Avocet and Little Ringed Plover. A flock of Black Tailed Godwits and another of LBB and GBB gulls. 3 Swallows passed through. Pairs of Shellduck, Teal, Mallards, Stonechat and Canada Geese were in evidence. Carrion Crow, Heron, Little Egret and Coot were also seen.

Black tailed GodwitStonechatDistant Little Ringed Plover
Black tailed Godwit                                     Stonechat                      Distant Little Ringed Plover

Posted April 2nd at 8:02 pm by Pete Saunders in General Birding

Slapton Ley.

A large arrival of Sand Martins today.  300+ counted this evening from the Torcross car park, no doubt with a lot more over the rest of the Ley. A few Swallows among them.

Posted April 2nd at 6:27 pm by Alan K. Searle in General Birding

nr South Brent

Flock of 20 Fieldfares and 3 or 4 Redwings came out of a hedgerow near the weirdly named Bloody Pool Cross on the Marley Head to Shipley Bridge road this afternoon.

Posted April 2nd at 5:40 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

LRP at Wrafton

It was there early (about 10) when I arrived, and still out there when I went home at about 3p.m. Another early record - my recollection is they usually turn up in about mid-to-late April.

And in the reserve, loads of Sand Martins feeding over the pond, a few Swallows among them, several each of singing Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. A few more Blackcaps than yesterday. 2 calling Cetti's Warblers.

Posted April 2nd at 5:26 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lincombe woods

Raven, flying and calling in the wood.

Posted April 2nd at 5:24 pm by Michael Curran in General Birding

Avocet - South Huish Marsh

Star of a lunchtime visit to South Huish Marsh was a lone Avocet. first sighting at this location this year. Also present 1 Ruff, 33 Black-Tailed Godwit ( Only a couple showing signs of summer plumage), 1 Little Egret, 2 Water Pipit developing nice pink breast plumage, + a couple of linnet and other species.

Posted April 2nd at 4:27 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Red-rumped Swallow today, while I was there apart from several Sand Martins there was at least 1 House Martin

Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow

Posted April 2nd at 3:51 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Red Rumped Swallow - Dawlish Warren

Lee Collins found a Red Rumped Swallow over the main pond at Dawlish Warren with 2 Sand Martins this morning / still showing on and off mid afternoon .

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

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

Jon Turner phoned Sue Bruce am to say a Little Ringed Plover had shown up on the scrape so I cycled down to digiscope it.

Posted April 2nd at 2:04 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 1st April 2019

South Huish marsh late afternoon

Several black-tailed godwits and a single ruff, 2 distant Little ringed plovers. Saw my first wheatears of the year with 3 of them near the carpark. A small flock of Linnets landing on the barbed wire fence and feeding on the grass

RuffBlack-tailed GodwitLinnet
Ruff                                                       Black-tailed Godwit                          Linnet

Posted April 1st at 10:44 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding


After a few days away, a late afternoon visit to the reserve: lots of Sand Martins feeding over. An influx of Chiffchaffs, at least three  singing Willow Warblers, and 6 male Blackcaps seen.

Later still while looking at the scrape from the Tarka Trail, a small wader took one look at me and flew off towards Sherpa, slowly gaining height. Not Common Sandpiper, and almost certainly not Green Sandpiper... Will look again tomorrow.

Posted April 1st at 9:43 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tamar Lakes

Upper Lake.

4 Willow Tit, 1 Treecreeper.

Lower Lake,

3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1m Reed Bunting.

Posted April 1st at 7:21 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Exeter - Matford

Had to go into town today - walked back from the City Basin to Matford and back along the canal. Single Redshank in the Basin (unusual) about 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Two Cattle Egret ( one by the Matford roundabout at the back of the farm with 14 Little Egret, the other in the fields by the path near the canal). Chiffchaff singing along the canal (dropped as soon as I got the camera on it DOH!) At least 4 Buzzards overhead. Nothing much on Matford Marshes or on the Northbrook.

RedshankLesser Black-backed GullOne of the two Cattle Egret
Redshank                                   Lesser Black-backed Gull               One of the two Cattle Egret

Posted April 1st at 5:08 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 1345-1530

Black-tailed Godwit 31; Bar-tailed Godwit 1; Common Gull 2; Shelduck 16; Common Sandpiper 1. 3 Willow Warbler feeding on insects in the Blackthorn bushes hanging over Bradiford Water.

At 1355 while sat on the sea wall by Ashford Sewage Works picked up 2 very small gulls on the foreshore. Initially thought that the first may have been the Bonaparte`s Gull seen at Wrafton last week. After picking up the second and observing them for just over 1/2hr decided that both were late first winter Little Gulls. Both disappeared at about 1430 but one returned at 1505 and was still there at 1515 when I left.

Posted April 1st at 4:04 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Lovely Little Lady at the Back Door - Paignton, 1.4.19

Following on from my post, 21.3.19, regarding a female Goldcrest apparently trying to feed around my windows; later she caught her own reflection in the glass and, like many birds, seemed to mistake it for an intruder and proceeded to attack it.

She is now doing the same with her reflection in the brass plate of the back door handle, raising her crest, posturing, then flying off in frustration.

Pics below and Youtube vid at this link:


She also left me her calling card (pics below).


Posted April 1st at 3:59 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Berry Head

Sorry for this late posting from Saturday and Sunday morning , Brixham Breakwater.  Saturday morning on coast path from Berry Head to St Mary's Bay, Cettis Warbler calling and then seen. Brixham Breakwater 7 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Turnstone on old fuel jetty, many more Turnstone in Harbour area. 

Posted April 1st at 3:55 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Adult Med Gulls Coombe Cellars Sunday 31st at 4pm

Two Adult Med Gulls flying over the Teign estuary at Coombe Cellars. The birds were vocal and showed full black hoods

Posted April 1st at 10:13 am by Adam Davison in General Birding

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