Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th March 2020

Lockdown relaxations

Devon Birds would like to thank the many members and other birdwatchers who complied with the restrictions during the recent Lockdown and stayed in their local area (village, town or part of city) to birdwatch while exercising (and later) taking recreation. We hope that, despite the obvious frustrations, you found some respite in watching wildlife in your local area and perhaps discovered some birds close to home, that you might otherwise not have seen! As always, please submit sightings to the County recorder and / or BirdTrack. 
 
Please continue to follow the Covid related requirements (currently "rule of six outside, social distancing etc) while enjoying the new freedoms to extend your birdwatching. Some hides will remain closed for the time being and where you find one open, please follow Government guidelines on keeping yourself & others safe: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/
 
Thank you from
Devon Birds News site editors & members of the Records Committee

Posted April 2nd at 4:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Think before you post...!

header

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  

 

Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

DEVON BIRDS RECORD COMMITTEE

As noted in the minutes of the Oct 2020 DBRC meeting, Tim Jones is standing down after serving as a member of the Committee for an extended sixth year. Tim has been an active member of the Committee, and his consistently pragmatic approach to assessing records has proved invaluable. The Society would like to thank him for his contribution over the past six years and wish him well in the future.

In the hope of maintaining a geographic spread across the Committee, DBRC approached Dean Jones to fill the vacancy. Dean grew up birding and ringing in Antrim and Lothian, before a tour of various European islands, including Lundy where he has been the Warden now for the past four years.

His experience and knowledge from ringing and birdwatching around Europe will be especially useful to Devon Birds and the Records Committee.

Unless the County Recorder receives any other applications before 15th April 2021, Dean will be formally elected to fill the vacancy for a five year period.

For more information and/or an application form please contact:

Kevin Rylands, County Recorder.   Email: recorder@devonbirds.org 

Posted March 4th at 10:45 am by Mike Daniels 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

Saturday 7th March 2020

Heddons mouth to woody bay and back

Morning walk towards woody bay and back, from the cliff tops saw many species of gull scouring the cliffs and stonechat amongst the heather, and razor bills on the water in small groups. Walking back towards hunters Inn I disturbed a snipe in the woodland.  There were many blue and great tits amongst the trees and down by the rivers edge a pair of grey wagtail. 

Back up on top the Moor courting skylarks were gracing the sky.  Is spring really here? 

Male grey wagtailFemale wagtailStonechat
Male grey wagtail                               Female wagtail                               Stonechat

Posted March 7th, 2020 at 7:37 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

With a brief improvement in the weather, I made a fourth attempt to see the Red-crested Pochard and was rewarded with some close up views on arrival.


Posted March 7th, 2020 at 6:03 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Exe Estuary cruise

After a tip-off that there was a Spoonbill on the Exe (thanks Derek!), we had very distant views of it from the boat, feeding off Mudbank Lane. Other highlights included - near Turf - the overwintered male Ruff with large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits (1000+), several hundred Golden Plover, c180 Knot and c20 Sanderlings scattered along the riverbank. Two drake Goldeneye were in the mouth of the Clyst (one later flying upriver at Topsham), the Slavonian Grebe was at Cockwood, plus c12 Great Crested Grebes, c8 Shags, c20 Mergansers, 6+ Ringed Plover, 1-200 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5+ Greenshank, large numbers of Black-headed and Common Gulls, but no Avocets - an early departure?

Posted March 7th, 2020 at 5:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Friday 6th March 2020

West Charleton Marsh - 06.03.2020

Almost more water than marsh after a boggy walk to the hide at West Charleton Marsh today. A Common Snipe, clearly heeding the Corono Virus advice , was self isolating on a small island of grass. 5 seen in total. An unusual view for me of a Red Breasted Merganser, normally seen on the estuary, on the grass of the marsh, near the scrape. Quite a few Moorhens, a Water Rail,several ducks including Wigeon, Teal, Mallard and 8 Shelduck , together with  Canadas and a couple of Mute Swan making the most of the now lake. Only 2 Greenshank,13 Oystercatcher, 2 Redshank, 7 Little Egret and a few Curlew on the Estuary at high tide.

Common Snipe   Red- Breasted Merganser
Common Snipe                         Red- Breasted Merganser

Posted March 6th, 2020 at 6:54 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

Velator reserve

For the first time in a month I opened some nets this morning. Not too exciting, but a few new Greenfinches still, along with a few retraps. Four retrap Bullfinches. Best bird was Chiffchaff - I caught 5, of which 4 needed to be ringed and one of them was certainly a migrant - it had the gummy nectar and pollen aggregation around the base of the bill. One of the others weighed in at 10 grams, which had me suspecting it could be a Willow Warbler, but the wing formula showed it to be a Chiffchaff. Other retraps included 2 male Cetti's Warblers, a female Kingfisher ringed last August, and a Coal Tit with a Z-reg ring, which was ringed in August 2015 - first time it has been retrapped. Where's it been for the last 3 and a half years/

Posted March 6th, 2020 at 5:19 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

The Red crested Pochard is still on the pond.


Posted March 6th, 2020 at 3:35 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Thursday 5th March 2020

Meeth quarry

Drake ring necked duck on main lake from the hide 2pm thursday

Posted March 5th, 2020 at 2:51 pm by Leslie Holburn in Bird News

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Stover CP

This picture of a sinensis ' Continental ' Cormorant was found on a Facebook page. Picture taken by Nigel Street at Stover CP today. The gular angle is the best way to identify this sub species in all ages. 

continental Cormorant Stover CP 4th March 2020 Nigel Street

Posted March 4th, 2020 at 9:49 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Stover Lake

Today while working near Bovey Tracey I had a look around Stover Lake for an hour or two.  10 -15+ pairs of Mallard, 6 pairs of Tufted Duck, 4 pairs of Mandarin, Coots, Moorhens, lots of Robins, finches, various  tits and a pair of Mute Swans.   

RobinMandarin DuckTufted Duck
Robin                                       Mandarin Duck                     Tufted Duck

Posted March 4th, 2020 at 7:10 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Yarner and Dartmoor

Early morning visit to Yarner Wood yesterday gave the hoped for Woodpecker species, two Raven, Siskin, Long Tailed Tit, plenty of activity from Robins, Wrens and Blue Tits, three Mandarin on the reservoir.

A late afternoon walk along the Red Lake track at Bittaford produced a Yellow Hammer on the lower part of the moors, several Dunnock, Meadow Pipit and Skylark, one Stonechat and a Raven.

Posted March 4th, 2020 at 7:11 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Exminster Marshes

Waders mainly around new scrapes

DunlinBar-tailed GodwitCurlew
Dunlin                                                   Bar-tailed Godwit            Curlew

Posted March 3rd, 2020 at 4:28 pm by Colin Scott in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

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

Goosander 5 (3m & 2f), Red-breasted Merganser 4 (1m & 3f), GND, Turnstone 33, Dunlin 52, Redshank 151, Greenshank 5, Common Sandpiper 2, Kingfisher 2, Green Woodpecker, GS Woodpecker, Treecreeper 2 and 3 Chiffchaff.

Posted March 3rd, 2020 at 4:01 pm by Matin Phillips in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

The Black Redstart is still present in and near our garden. For how much longer, I wonder?

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Posted March 3rd, 2020 at 3:46 pm by Jason Smart in Bird News

East Soar

2 migrant Firecrests in blackthorn scrub at base of Starehole Valley.

Posted March 3rd, 2020 at 3:30 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Monday 2nd March 2020

Bowling Green Marsh

From the hide this morning high numbers but low diversity: many Blackwits, Redshanks and Dunlin but no Barwits, Avocet, Lapwing or Snipe for example. Highlights were a Scaup, the Ruff that has been here all winter and, oh so briefly, the Dowitcher.

Posted March 2nd, 2020 at 10:05 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Saunton Village

While cycling through Saunton Village this morning I heard a Chiffchaff calling several times. Perhaps one of our overwintering Chiffs in N.Devon or is it just a bit too early for a new arrival?

Posted March 2nd, 2020 at 9:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

One to cause a bit of confusion..

An afternoon spent at Gara Bridge following the report of a lost/escaped "Kestrel" sized falconry bird.

While searching for it five Buzzards soaring and displaying over the valley, one male Sparrow hawk, a Raven, two Mistle Thrush and a Marsh Tit.

And after lots of foot work and effort a Peregrine cross American Kestrel hybrid recovered, I had no idea what it was !! If anyone saw it over the few days it has been at liberty I can understand them being very confused.

Posted March 2nd, 2020 at 8:37 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

The lower lake this morning,

17 Goosander 8m 9f, 2 Nuthatch, 13 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Fieldfare, 4 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted March 2nd, 2020 at 7:41 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Velator.

Brief view of a Cetti's Warbler coming out of and then diving back into the reeds this morning. Also of note 3 Canada Geese on the pond and a fly - in Grey Heron about to touch down when it saw me and cruised on by.

Posted March 2nd, 2020 at 5:23 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exeter

Great Crested Grebe on the Exe near railway bridge at St Davids. Peregrine at St Michaels Church, Pair of Lesser Black Backed Gulls  at Trews Weir. One Redshank near Salmon Pool. Dipper, Kingfisher, 2 Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail on the Norhbrook..

Great Crested GrebePeregrine
Great Crested Grebe                            Peregrine

Posted March 2nd, 2020 at 3:44 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Broadsands

the 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs were still present in the marsh behind the car park (both looking scruffy having just started their moults) at least 3 collybita Chiffchaffs (all neat and tidy after having mostly completed their moults ready for an early migration), Firecrest and Goldcrest also present in the marsh.

  

Posted March 2nd, 2020 at 2:05 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 1st March 2020

Mansands

Finally made the trip to Mansands and had great views of the Blue-Winged Teal which stayed on the pool to the far left looking towards the beach, viewable from the metal gate. With the rain recently the river was fully flowing and we were just able to get over, something to bare in mind, wellies would have been great. 

Other highlights were Cetti's Warbler (1 seen, 2 heard), 2 Snipe, 2 Great Crested Grebes offshore and 5+ Gadwall.

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal

Posted March 1st, 2020 at 8:53 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Woolacombe Beach

Late afternoon bathing in the stream a 2nd CY Iceland Gull. Unusually not a single Common Gull nor on Croyde beach.  

Posted March 1st, 2020 at 8:07 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Torbay / Yarner / Haldon

Broadsands this morning a first winter Mediterranean Gull with a small flock of Black Headed Gulls, and a single Oyster Catcher.

In the back car park eight plus Cirl Buntings mostly females, two male Yellow Hammer, four Greenfinch, four Long Tailed Tit, three Dunnock and a flock of House Sparrow.

Marine Parade, Paignton ~ forty one Turnstone.

A380 Newton Abbot ~ three Buzzards soaring and displaying.

Pond Hide at Yarner the feeders were alive with a range of Tit species and Siskin.

On the road from Chudleigh to Haldon Forest, a mixed flock of Fieldfare (14) and Starling, towards Haldon at least seven Brambling with a Chaffinch flock feeding on beech mast.

Around Haldon Forest Park plenty of Siskin, a small flock of Crossbill and twelve Fallow deer.

Back home at South Brent around the garden feeders, female Reed Bunting, four Bullfinch, five Greenfinch, four Siskin, numerous House Sparrow and Chaffinch, the male Sparrow sp of undetermined origin in for most of the afternoon, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Long Tailed Tit, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, overhead two Stock Dove and two Great Black Backed Gulls, 27 species in total ticked off around home.

Posted March 1st, 2020 at 8:03 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Had a look at the pond on the way down the Tarka trail this aft & on the way back.

1m Red crested Pochard still present, 2m Pochard,1f Goldeneye, 1m + 1f Gadwall, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Little Grebes & the very vocal male Song Thrush which has been singing from this territory since before Xmas!

Posted March 1st, 2020 at 6:19 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

29th Feb Bowling Green Marsh

Nice to see the Long-billed Dowitcher at B G M along with Black-tailed Godwits going into breeding plumage. Marsh Harrier on and off for most of the morning quartering the far side reed bed. Lots of water, with the height in the river not falling by much even at half tide down.

Long-billed Dowitcher Bowling Green Marsh 29th FebLong-billed Dowitcher Bowling Green Marsh 29th FebBar-tailed Godwit
Long-billed Dowitcher Bowling Green Marsh 29th Feb                      Bar-tailed Godwit

Posted March 1st, 2020 at 11:23 am by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News