General Birding

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Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Continued erosion at Dawlish Warren means visitors are reminded to take extra care when visiting. Access along the site, to and from the bird hide and Warren Point, is via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! 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

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding


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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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. 


Posted February 16th at 6:42 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

Saturday 15th February 2020

ford park cemetery plymouth

Around 60 ringneck parakeet

Posted February 15th at 7:56 pm by barry insull in General Birding


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 General Birding

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 General Birding

Friday 14th February 2020

The highlight of a dismal day.

The Teign at Passages House Inn, Kingsteighnton. Atrocious weather conditions and an absence of most birds almost made the trip fruitless but in the last fifteen minutes before we had to leave, seven mergansers swam into view, five females and two males. Drizzle meant photographs were of poor quality but nonetheless worth the journey.

Posted February 14th at 8:09 pm by Philip L. Fairclough in General Birding

Plym Estuary.

On this mornings high tide, the following were seen.

Peregrine 2, Little Egret 3, GND 2, Goosander 12 (5m & 7f), Red-breasted Merganser 4 (2m & 2f), Shag 1, Little Grebe 10, Redshank 155, Dunlin 313, Curlew 35, Greenshank 6, Snipe 3 & Wigeon 6 (2m & 4f).

Posted February 14th at 6:00 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Exmouth - Shelley

Black Redstart (m) present this morning on the low garage roofs near sailiing club

Posted February 14th at 3:28 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Northam Burrows

Tootled  over to the Skern this morning. Never seen so many dogs!! A very high tide had pushed most of the birds onto the pool the other side of the road. Adam (from Holsworthy) and I checked and checked again all the Gulls that were being given a hard time by the dogs. Virtually all Black-headed, with good numbers of Common. We met another birder (dog but no bins) who told us that the Snow Buntings had recently reappeared over by the Visitor Centre. I walked from there out to the point around the 8th green - this has suffered some severe damage from the recent storms which has washed away a stretch of the high embankment of pebble ridge. No Buntings - just two Pied Wagtails. Back to the Visitor centre, where I once again met Adam. He went off to look along the pebble ridge - I went back towards my car - and a few small Gulls took off in front of me, one of which looked much smaller. Could this be the Bonaparte's Gull? Well I came to the conclusion that it was a first calendar year Little Gull. The black wing bar was very distinct. It was however not flying like a typical Tern-like Little Gull. It drifted off over the Burrows towards the Skern to where the returning Adam and I followed, but no further sign.

Good numbers of Oystercatcher and Curlew - shame about the cancellation of yesterday's netting attempt. Also numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Golden Plover and Redshank along with 200+ Wigeon.

Posted February 14th at 1:55 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tamar Upper Lake

On the Upper Lake this morning,

4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f

The Lower Lake had 5 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted February 14th at 12:18 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Thursday 13th February 2020

Underwood, Plympton

The Black Redstart still present today, occasionally. It might be viewable from the turning area at the end of Hill Close, looking south.

Posted February 13th at 9:23 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

Around the Exe

A count of Forty One Cattle Egret at Cockwood in the fields between the pub on Church Road and the A379 (map ref SX974807)


On the Exe at Starcross, six Red Breasted Merganser, two Shag, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, numerous Dunlin. On the Golf course a large number of Brent Geese, along with Curlew, Lapwing, Oyster Catcher and a Pied Wagtail.

Kestrel at Powderham.

On the Exminster marshes lots of Wigeon, other duck species included Pintail, Teal, Shoveller and Shell duck. A Ruff on the new scrapes along with Lapwing, Curlew, Dunlin and Starling.

Snow Goose in with some Canada Geese.

Back home at South Brent a Tawny owl in its Holly tree roost, around the feeders, Bullfinch M&F, Nuthatch, Song Thrush, around 30 Starling and the male “Italian type Sparrow “ of undetermined origin.

Posted February 13th at 6:00 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


First winter Bonaparte's Gull resting with Black-headed Gulls around 30m from the road half way along the Skern at 15.10

Posted February 13th at 3:37 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Curlew Sandpiper - Exe Estuary

A single, breeding plumage Curlew Sandpiper amongst the Dunlin flocks on the mudflats off Powderham. 1pm 12th February.  Brick red below, dark above, slightly larger than Dunlins

Posted February 13th at 12:58 pm by Shelagh and Alexander Parsons in General Birding

Wednesday 12th February 2020

Dartmoor: Cadover area

One male Hen Harrier seen around Trowlesworthy.

Seven Goosander on Upper Shaugh Lake.

21 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebe, 8 Teal and 3 Moorhen on Whitehill Yeo Pit (nr Big Pond).

Posted February 12th at 7:32 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Underwood, Plympton

We had a Black Redstart in the back garden all afternoon, on and off, much to the displeasure of the local Robin. I imagine it's the same bird we saw on 30 November. A Rook has learnt how to raid the seed feeders.

Black Redstart  Rook
Black Redstart                                                            Rook

Posted February 12th at 5:24 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

Paignton garden

Lesser Whitethroat since Jan 27 a daily visitor to feeders. Still visiting today 12th February. Verified by Mike L

Lesser Whitethroat Paington Feb 2020 lesser Whitethroat Paignton Feb 2020 Lesser Whitethroat Paignton Feb 2020

Watched on a dull day the bird showed unremarkable warm brownish on upper parts and wings. The brownish did extend high into the nape. It did look relatively short winged, the tail was not particularly long with very little white on the outer tail feathers. The only call heard was a fairly standard softish LW 'tack'.  Possibly a dull Blythi but also perhaps just a slightly browner curruca not one I would like to nail to a subspecies without DNA! ML

Posted February 12th at 4:19 pm by Jacqui Beevers in General Birding

Melbury forest

2, Brambling,m&f+100 Chaffinches.Crossbills heard calling

Posted February 12th at 2:23 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Fremington Quay

Delighted to see a Spoonbill at the mouth of the estuary at Fremington Quay yesterday afternoon. Other birds of interest were Curlews, Redshanks, Greenshank, Oystercatchers and Common Sandpipers.


Posted February 12th at 2:02 pm by Duncan Leitch in General Birding

Tuesday 11th February 2020

Wrafton pond

Male Pochard, Male and female Shoveler the female Goldeneye still around and some Teal.

Male Shoveler Male Pochard Tufted Duck on Stover Lake
Male Shoveler                                       Male Pochard                 Tufted Duck on Stover Lake

Posted February 11th at 9:30 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Stover Lake

A good day out a Stover Lake. 4 M/F Mandarin duck. Coal/Marsh tit, Tree Creeper, and Tufted duck.

Tree Creeper Mandarin duck Coal/Marsh tit
Tree Creeper                                 Mandarin duck                         Eds: Marsh tit

Posted February 11th at 9:19 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Golden Plover.

I was out taking landscape photos on Dartmoor , near to Sharpitor , when a flock of Golden Plover flew by.

Posted February 11th at 7:30 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

South Devon Group

talk poster

Posted February 11th at 6:03 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Dart's Farm

About 50 Fieldfare viewed from the hide at Dart's Farm today around 4 pm.


Posted February 11th at 5:33 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Goosander counts

134 Goosanders were located in Devon around dawn on 8 Feb, cf. 146 in Jan. The total includes only nine on Dartmoor, where most sites were not covered. The main site was again Meeth with 56, followed by Tamar Lakes (32), Blue Waters (19), Plym Estuary (10), smaller numbers at Clovelly and Dartington and zero counts at Portworthy and Stover. Thanks to all who took part.

Posted February 11th at 3:25 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Garden Widworthy

Two more shots of Marsh / Willow Tit, if that helps i.d.
I’m presuming it’s the same bird!


Eds: it is a Marsh Tit see post below for details

Posted February 11th at 8:41 am by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Monday 10th February 2020


The Collared Dove image that I've had trouble sending.

Collared Dove.
Collared Dove.

Posted February 10th at 12:44 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Sunday 9th February 2020

Stuartline Cruise 9th February 2020

Well, what an exhilarating and enjoyable cruise we all had today thanks to Skipper Jake and the Crew Lauren and Craig. With some birds keeping their heads down sheltering for the strong wind there was a good diverse number of birds throughout the estuary to be seen by the visitors.  Still with us the Red-Necked Grebe was fishing off Shelley Beach, the Slavonian Grebe put in an appearance off Cockwood and several Great Crested Grebes were fishing the lower reaches. Turnstones were seen in flight and feeding around Starcross. Bar-Tailed Godwits and Greenshank were seen feeding near the Ken confluence. Shelduck were out in numbers along with a few Widgeon and Pintail off Lympstone. With a guest appearance of Mike Langman as assistant spotter we picked out Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit and our first Avocets near the Clyst confluence. A Peregrine Falcon put in an appearance low over the mudflats heading towards Powderham Marsh then turned towards Stracross. A large flock of mixed Godwits mainly black-tailed were viewed further up the estuary and stayed as we cruised by. Avocets and mixed Gull flocks were seen all the way to Topsham with plenty of Red Breasted Mergansers seen along this stretch. A small flock of Lapwing finished off this memorable afternoon cruising.

Posted February 9th at 8:14 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Wrafton pond

The Collared Dove and Little Grebe that I saw on my way and on Wrafton pond on Thursday 6.

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Posted February 9th at 7:47 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Saturday 8th February 2020

Garden today, Widworthy

Willow Tit, (I think).


Eds: more likely Marsh Tit based on those two photos.. Buffy, grey back to  cheeks, very pale flanks and in 1st picture white spot on upper mandible along cutting edges.

Posted February 8th at 10:51 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Torbay Coast ~ Dartmoor

A mixed days birding, Berry Head this morning not overly busy with bird life, highlights being a pod of Common Dolphin below the headland followed by a smaller number of Harbour Porpoise. Plenty of Guillemot movement, several Fulmar and a Kittiwake.

Marine Parade, Preston, 41 Turnstone the most I have seen there and three flyby Oyster Catcher.

Livermead beach, large numbers of Black Headed Gull accompanied by an adult Mediterranean Gull and nine Turnstone on the beach.

Aish Ridge to Corringdon Ball (on Dartmoor above South Brent) apart from a mixed flock of some 200 mixed Corvids, mostly Jackdaws, very little bird life to be seen, a single Blackbird, a Wren, one Raven, a small number of Carrion Crow and a fly over Herring Gull. On leaving a female Sparrow hawk hunting the hedgerows of the agricultural land below the moor, I suspect she went hungry.

Sparrow sp

Back home around the garden feeders, female Reed Bunting, male Bullfinch, two Greenfinch, numerous House Sparrow and Chaffinch, the male Sparrow sp of undetermined origin came in several times, a Sparrow hawk cleared the feeders at one point.

Posted February 8th at 9:27 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Wrafton pond was a little quit today, at least it was between 13.00 and 14.30. Just a few Snipe on the far side to the pond viewed from the wooden walkway. The female Goldeneye, a couple of Gadwall and the Llittle Grebes are still around. In the field opposite the pond were a good number of Teal M & F. On my way to the pond, a Collared Dove was spotted in bushes near entrance to the path.

Female Goldeneye
Female Goldeneye

Two Snipe
Two Snipe

Posted February 8th at 9:04 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Stuartline Cruise 8th February 2020

A sunny day on todays cruise always helps to show off the birds on the Exe Estuary. What a start to this cruise was great views of the Red-necked Grebe. There was great excitement as visitors knew this was a special bird to see as they were told how rare this sighting was for them as the last time a Red Necked Grebe was seen in the Estuary was around 6 years ago. The Slavonian Grebe was also visible off Cockwood as we turned the bend at the Warren Wildlife Refuge mudflats. Several Great crested Grebe were seen on the way up stream towards Topsham with several starting to show the breeding plumage developing. Good views of Pintail in flight and at the waters edge. Great views of a young Grey Seal on a sandbank near the Clyst confluence. From this location to Topsham really large numbers of DB Brent Geese were seen at the waters edge and in the air, probably 1200+ were seen producing spectacular views for the visitors. Across the mudbanks both sides of the channel large numbers of Dunlin 500+ Black Tailed Godwits 500+ Golden Plover 500+ Avocets 300+ a sprinkling of Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar Tailed Godwit, Redshank, an odd Greenshank Shelduck, 6 Sanderling good numbers of Curlew and 30+ Knot. At least 20+ Red Breasted Mergansers were seen throughout the trip. A Peregrine made a distant appearance putting up 200+ Lapwing over Exminster Marsh. This turned out to be an exceptional cruise for the visitors and enjoyed by all.

Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe

Grey Seal
Grey Seal

Posted February 8th at 7:38 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Exminster Marsh


200+ Brent Geese, 300+ Wigeon, 100+ Lapwing, 100+ Teal, 7 Pintail, 4 Tufted duck, 2 Egyptian Geese (together with Canada geese), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail, 4 Greenfinch, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Marsh Harrier flew overhead.

Egyptian Geese.
Egyptian Geese.

Posted February 8th at 7:12 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake.

32 Goosander 12m 20f, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Redwing, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Grey Heron, 3 Willow Tit, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Tawny Owl,4 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted February 8th at 4:12 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

meeth quarry

a look around meeth reserve this morning, on the main lake , goosesanders, mallard, tufted, gadwal and teal,  great crested grebe, on the top lake, little grebe, a single ring neck duck with two tufted duck and three red crested pochard 2m and 1f. possibly the three pochards from velator.

Posted February 8th at 3:19 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Bowcombe Creek - Avocets

3 Avocets generally keeping together, a touch flighty but seen between the viewing platform and north of there where the 11kv power line crosses the creek between 09:30 and 10:00 this morning (Saturday). Almost certainly the same birds thought to have been seen from the bus crossing New Bridge yesterday morning (Friday)

Posted February 8th at 11:13 am by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Taw & Torridge Outdoor Meeting Cancelled

Meeting cancelled. Sunday 9 February meeting has been cancelled due to the adverse weather report.

Posted February 8th at 11:06 am by John & Karen Towers & Sims in General Birding

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