Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st February 2020

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to recorder@devonbirds.org to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  

 

Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help 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 in Bird News

Friday 21st February 2020

Stuartline birding Cruise 21st February 2020

Today’s Bird cruise was a good one with dry, a bit breezy with glimpses of the sun showing off good numbers of birds seen throughout from the marina to Topsham and back again. Also to please the visitors were two adult Grey Seals seen on the Mussel harvesting vessels and a juvenile Grey Seal on a mudbank opposite the River Clyst confluence further up the estuary. Good numbers of Red Breasted Mergansers were seen throughout the estuary with close-up views near the boat showing off their amazing head plumage. The Slavonian Grebe was on show near Starcross with a small number of Great Crested Grebe in the same area. Several Turnstone were seen to amongst the seaweed and rocky bits between Cockwood and Starcross. Several Greenshank were seen near the River Kenn confluence our first Avocets were seen in this area. Dark Bellied Brent Geese were in good numbers around Starcross with up to 300+ birds seen along this stretch in flight and along the waters edge. 200+ Pintail and Widgeon were seen around Exton and the Clyst Confluence. As we approached Turf Lock several Ringed Plover, a couple of Sanderling, plenty of Grey Plover, Avocets, Dunlin, Redshank, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit were seen in good numbers on both sides of the channel all the way to Topsham with a mixed flock of Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit were at the waters edge. As we approached Topsham the visitors were treated by 200+ Black-tailed Godwits fly over the boat heading downstream, this is always a great spectacle. On our return back to Exmouth nice flocks of Dunlin, Godwit, Widgeon, Knot and a few Lapwing finished off a great Stuartline bird cruise with the visitors very pleased with their sightings. 

Slavonian Grebe
Slavonian Grebe

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Grey Seal
Grey Seal

Posted February 21st at 8:18 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Sparrow Hawk dusk "kill" South Brent

Just on dusk, from the kitchen I noticed a shadow in the garden, a closer look revealed an adult female Sparrow hawk on a "pigeon" kill, the bird continued to feed even once it had become dark.

Very grainy images silly high ISO needed just to get an image.

Posted February 21st at 6:13 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

In among a host of Herring and Black-headed Gulls sheltering from the strong breeze, a Mediterranean Gull this afternoon.

Yesterday 7 Canada Geese in the reserve.

Posted February 21st at 4:34 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exe Estuary 20 February

The highlight of yesterday's Stuart Line birdwatching cruise was the Red-necked Grebe diving with Red-breasted Mergansers near Exmouth Marina, though views were distant. The resident Slavonian Grebe and 3 Goldeneye (1 drake) were off Cockwood, several Great Crested Grebes and Greenshanks were between Starcross and Powderham. Around Turf-Topsham, the mudbanks held 15 Ringed Plovers, c50 each of Grey Plover and Knot, a few Golden Plover and 3 Sanderlings were with Dunlins along the river channel. There were surprisingly good numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits at Topsham. We didn't see the Long-billed Dowitcher, but in the afternoon it was with a couple of Snipe at the railway end of Bowling Green Marsh.

 

Posted February 21st at 11:36 am by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Dartmoor

A single Mistle Thrush feeding on ground close to Fernworthy Reservoir.

Mistle Thrush
Mistle Thrush

Posted February 21st at 10:31 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Thursday 20th February 2020

Shipley ~ South Brent

A late afternoon visit to Shipley, South Brent, small mixed flock of Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare and a single Meadow Pipit.

Around the feeders at home in South Brent three Siskins 3M&1F, four Bullfinch 2M&2F, the "Italian Sparrow" and a slightly leucistic male House Sparrow that I have not noticed here previously. 

Posted February 20th at 5:47 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

The Black Redstart still visiting daily. Also today, a Firecrest briefly - the third or fourth sighting this year, so it is presumably over-wintering somewhere nearby. Why do they last only ever visit our garden when the light is particularly dismal? Couple that with their hyper-activity and there's zero chance of a photo.

Posted February 20th at 8:43 am by Jason Smart in Bird News

Wednesday 19th February 2020

Ideford Common

11.30

A lone female Brambling was the first bird to return to the woodland floor area, leaf litter and track immediately north of the car park, after a flock of 60+ Chaffinches had been flushed by a marauding male Sparrowhawk.  The bird was glimpsed again later in the tops of nearby larches but was mobile. 

In the vicinity were 2 GSWs, 3 Siskins, 4 Crossbills (3 males and 1 female), Treecreeper, Nuthatch, male Pheasant and numerous Great, Coal, Blue and LT Tits.  2 Ravens over and a singing Song Thrush, Blackbirds, Dunnock and several Robins completed the wintery cast.   

Posted February 19th at 5:31 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Broadsands, Paignton

A productive visit to Broadsands this morning, in the back car park up to eight Cirl Bunting, three Greenfinch and fifteen plus House Sparrow feeding on the scattered seed.

At the Beach Marsh, at least three possibly four Stonechat, male Cirl Bunting, Greenfinch, a Meadow Pipit, Goldcrest, three separate sighting of both Chiffchaff and Firecrest, a single Siberian Chiffchaff, a Snipe and a Water Rail both deep in the reed cover.

A flyover Heron, on the sea a Great Northern Diver, fly pasts from an Oyster Catcher and three Mallard.

Posted February 19th at 3:43 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Red Breasted Mergansers at Bowcombe Creek

Up to a dozen RBM's at Bowcombe Creek yesterday afternoon. Interesting to see their courtship display.

  

Posted February 19th at 9:14 am by bob barrow in Bird News

Tuesday 18th February 2020

Lower tamar Lake

This morning while topping up the feeders.

13 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 9 Goosander 4m 5f, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Jay.

Posted February 18th at 7:37 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Roadford Reservoir

Short trip to Roadford Lake arriving midday. The male Greater Scaup (the quarry) still present viewed from the road bridge loosely associating with 30+ Tufted Ducks and 60+ Teal. Also 2 female and 1 male Goldeneye (pair seen from the hide, used as respite from torrential rain) 

Record photos

   

 

Posted February 18th at 6:12 pm by Tony Marchese in Bird News

18/02/2010 Mouth of Teign Estuary

Two great northern divers close to mouth of Estuary along with shag and two cormorants

Posted February 18th at 2:22 pm by Pete Stevens in Bird News

Broadsands

At least one Siberain Chiffchaff with 4+ collybita Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrest & 1 Firecrest still in the marsh behind Broadsands Beach. On the sea 6 Great Northern Divers and 6 Great Crested Grebes but no sign of the Black-necked Grebe that was in Elberry Cove over the weekend.

Posted February 18th at 10:30 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 17th February 2020

Combe Martin gulls

Sorry Philip both small gulls in your photos are black-headed gulls. White leading edge and black tipping to pale grey wing is diagnostic. Med gulls have almost plain white wings (as adults) plus a notable 'droop' to the bill.

Posted February 17th at 11:04 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Combemartin sea front

During a morning walk around the seafront with the dog, there appeared to be a great Northern diver in the Newberry beach area, and some med gulls in various states of plumage. I'm not good with gull identification and yearly states so stand corrected,  also a strikingly marked young herring gull.. I returned later on in the morning with the camera, no God but the gulls were still around.

Med gull summer plumage ? Med gull Young herring gull ?
Med gull summer plumage ?            Med gull              Young herring gull ?

Eds: thanks Lowell for the corrected comments above. and yes the right hand bird is a young Herring Gull.

Posted February 17th at 9:17 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Ringed plovers

6 Ringed Plovers seen well from the car park in Budliegh Salterton by the river otter this afternoon. The birds were feeding on the mud flats on the tidal section when the tide was out. 

Posted February 17th at 6:13 pm by John Wilkes in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

The Black Redstart was present in the garden, on and off, for most of the day, despite being chased off occasionally by a Robin. A small flock of Long-tailed Tits has really taken big time to our hanging basket of dried mealworms.

Black RedstartBlack RedstartLong-tailed Tit
Black Redstart                      Black Redstart                      Long-tailed Tit

Posted February 17th at 5:35 pm by Jason Smart in Bird News

Powderham Church - Turf. Starcross

10 members of DB attended the East Devon Branch fieldtrip this morning and recorded c. 40 species.  From the church car park a pair of Egyptian Geese were seen in the parkland and later present flying up river.  On the estuary, large flocks of waders were present with good numbers of Grey Plover, Dunlin and some Knot. Smaller numbers of Avocet, Grey Plover and 3 Mergansers were closer inshore.   A large number of Brent Geese were present in the fields.  A few smaller birds were present with Stonechat, Meadow Pipit and others  putting in an appearance.  Thanks to Alex and Shelagh Parsons for leading us.

NOTE: the road from the Sailing Club to Starcross is impassable due to deep flood water.

A later visit to Starcross after lunch produced 2 Cattle Egrets, 17 Redshank and others in the field below the National Laboratory.

Our next event is to be held at 19.30 on Monday 5 MARCH at the Blue Ball Inn, Sidford.  The speaker is David White, naturalist and winning photographer of the 2018 Countryfile calendar competition.  His talk will be followed by a short AGM.  £2 entrance on the door to cover expenses. 

Posted February 17th at 5:18 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Cockwood

At least 27 Cattle Egret between Church Road and the A379 at 09:22.

Posted February 17th at 1:52 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Wrafton pond

I took advantage of the short sunny spell this afternoon and went down to Wrafton pond. It was very quite, no gulls and just a few M/F Mallard some Moorhen, Coots and our friend the female Goldeneye.

Female GoldeneyeFemale Goldeneye displaying her inner wings feathers
Female Goldeneye                      Female Goldeneye displaying her inner wings feathers

Posted February 17th at 12:05 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Sunday 16th February 2020

Starling murmuration Ludwell Valley playing fields

Small Starling murmuration 2 - 4 thousand birds seen from Ludwell Valley playing fields tonight from about 17.15. Been around there for a couple of weeks. 

Starling
Starling

Posted February 16th at 6:42 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

South Brent ~ Sparrow sp

Given the weather a weekend of garden bird watching, 26 species ticked off around the feeders today including 5 Bullfinch, the first female Siskin and first Yellow Hammer of the season.

The male "Italian Sparrow sp" continues to frequent the feed station on a daily basis.

At least 7 Greenfinch, 5 Long Tailed Tit, fly over Raven and Redwing flock, Nuthatch, Wren, last tick of the day was a Song Thrush.

Posted February 16th at 5:20 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

Cattle Egret present this morning

Posted February 16th at 2:33 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

The Black Redstart is still visiting the garden daily, although it is generally  quite elusive.

Posted February 16th at 9:17 am by Jason Smart in Bird News

Saturday 15th February 2020

ford park cemetery plymouth

Around 60 ringneck parakeet

Posted February 15th at 7:56 pm by barry insull in Bird News

Skern

Not pleasant conditions on the Skern this afternoon. On the plus side virtually no dogs. The only species away from the norm was a single Ruff feeding around a much enlarged Greysands pool

Posted February 15th at 3:58 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

Female black redstart present on a roof and in a garden in Lavinia Drive yesterday. Sorry for the late post. 

Posted February 15th at 2:03 pm by Angela Woolcock in Bird News

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