Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st March 2021

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.



·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·        Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head






·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·         Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·         Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News


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

Wednesday 31st March 2021

Willow warbler

A willow warbler heard singing within the cemetery in Totnes today. Now that's a first! 

Posted March 31st at 10:53 pm by Jon Flynn in Bird News

Exminster Marshes


Russian White-fronted Goose (1) 

Posted March 31st at 9:56 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Vennbridge Farm (Starcross to Mamhead road)


51 Cattle Egret

Posted March 31st at 9:54 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Swallow over Swimbridge

Having been allowed to finally visit our family in Swimbridge for a garden tea...we were delighted to see our first Swallow of the Spring overhead. It spent over an hour hawking of the garden. No camera :( 

Posted March 31st at 7:47 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Berry Head kayak trip

6 Purple Sandpiper on Cod Rock off Berry Head

1 Great northern Diver

plus: 5 Common Dolphin

Purple Sandpiper, Cod Rock
Purple Sandpiper, Cod Rock
Common Dolphin, Torbay
Common Dolphin, Torbay

Posted March 31st at 7:46 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

South Brent

Rv Avon, South Brent a pair of Grey Wagtail.

At home a very vocal Green Woodpecker, female Reed Bunting still coming to the feed station and the third Peregrine sighting since the 25th, this time the tiercel, previous sightings were of the falcon. In previous years I usually have only a single sighting each month around home.

Posted March 31st at 7:06 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Roadford Lake

A male Ring Necked Duck this afternoon with Tufted Ducks.

Posted March 31st at 7:05 pm by Adrian Davey in Bird News

Slapton Ley

A morning visit to Slapton Ley, from the A379 down to Slapton at least 12 Yellow Hammer on the hedge tops.

At Slapton ~  Stock Dove 2, Cetti's Warbler 16 plus, Chiffchaff 5 ~ Wren 2 inc a BTO ringed bird, on the sea a raft of 11 Great Crested Grebe and numerous singles with some 30 on the Ley itself, Heron 4, Little Egret 1, several Great Black Back Gull, Linnet and Goldfinch, not less than 8 Gadwall ducks, 2 female Golden Eye's, Razorbill and Gannet offshore.

My first Swallow of the year with a solitary individual over the Ley and from the Stokeley Hide a Red Necked Grebe and a single Redwing.


Posted March 31st at 6:53 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Early Wryneck

Wryneck on Coast Path west of Leas Foot Sands, Thurlestone.

Posted March 31st at 5:37 pm by Ian Teague in Bird News

Hike from Cadover

Further to Chris E report there were still Sand Martins at the bridge late this afternoon.   There was 200+ Golden Plover between Legis Tor and Ringmoor Down.  I think they are settling in Legis Mire.
Further out on the moor around Eastern Tor SX 584 665 there were about 10 Wheatears and the males looked stunning in their breeding plumage.  
Lots of Meadow Pipits & Skylarks who were singing their hearts out.

Posted March 31st at 5:35 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News

Cadover area

Swallow, 10 Wheatear (7m,3f), at least 7 Sand Martin, 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Linnet, 24 singing Skylark, 17 Meadow Pipit plus the usuals. Also a peacock butterfly. 


Posted March 31st at 5:03 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Fremington to Yelland

Today's walk took me from Fremington to Yelland. Robins, Cetti's Warblers and Blackcaps singing. Saw a few Linnets, a couple of Long tailed tit and a couple of Greenfinches and Goldfinches, Dunnocks and two Stonechats, 


Posted March 31st at 3:41 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


Garganey still showing on Wrafton Pond. In the trees around the pond a few Chiffchaffs singing and also the delightful lilt of the first Willow Warblers. In the reserve Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap singing.6 Gadwall flew out. Didn't see either Sand Martin or Swallow anywhere, including over Sherpa Marsh.

Posted March 31st at 1:15 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Back on the patch on a lovely morning & singles of both Bar- & Black-tailed Godwits (latter in summer plumage) on Blaxton Meadow with 7 Greenshanks & a 1st-s Mediterranean Gull. Otherwise, 9 Mandarin Ducks (6 drakes), 4 singing Blackcaps & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted March 31st at 12:55 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Single Great Northern and Red-throated Divers off Goodrington this morning and a single Swallow flew in off the sea at Preston.

One of a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls seen at Young's Park Ponds, Goodrington, was colour ringed. Blue ring DXT. The birds were also at the ponds on 27/03/21 and the sightings history I received then indicates that the bird was ringed at a Landfill Site, north of Cheltenham, on 06/12/08. Since then there have been many reported sightings, all in the UK, mainly around the Gloucester area. The bird appears to spend the winter in the UK, with sightings at Chew Valley Lake in January 2010 and Langford Lakes, Wiltshire, in November 2012. The bird has been reported at Goodrington before, in July 2014 and August 2015.

Red-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver
Lesser Black-backed Gull. Blue Ring DXT.
Lesser Black-backed Gull. Blue Ring DXT.

Posted March 31st at 12:51 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News


6 Purple Sandpipers on rocks below Capstone; pair of Blackcaps above Tunnel Beaches along with a warbler with an all-over green /yellow colouring  with small flecks along wing edges ,elongated body shape, alone and quiet.(Icterine/Melodious Warbler shape). Any ideas

Eds - at this time of year, your Warbler is likely to be a Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff. The latter is more numerous but the brightness of plumage perhaps suggests the former.

Posted March 31st at 12:39 pm by Dave Shadwell in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Short-eared Owl over the main marsh yesterday evening. Also 300+ Sand Martins.

Posted March 31st at 10:54 am by Peter& Carole Leigh in Bird News

Blackcap in Torrington

At last things are livening up in Great Torrington! My first blackcap of the season yesterday, singing among the blackthorn in one of the lanes in town

Posted March 31st at 7:09 am by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

Tuesday 30th March 2021

Barnstaple, Penhill and Fremington

Penhill 15 Cattle Egret. Fremington Pill 9 Teal,  1 green shank, 4 glossy ibis

Posted March 30th at 11:30 pm by art symons in Bird News

Anchor wood to Fremington

Walked around the circuit again today and saw a number of Robins, including one in Anchor wood, 4 Blackcaps, 4 Greenfinches, 9 Cattle Egrets in a field along the Tarka trail, a few Redshank, 6-7 Little Egrets along Fremington Pill, a few Teal still lingering and the sounds from 2 Chiffchaffs.

Little Egret
Little Egret

Posted March 30th at 10:46 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Otter Estuary

A presumed 2nd Cal year (1st Winter) Glaucous Gull on the Otter Estuary briefly this evening before flying out to the coast and headed east at 5.30pm. Also 2 Water Pipits this morning on the wet field immediately N of South Farm Road. More photos if interested on

2nd Cal year (1st W) Glaucous Gull, Otter Estuary by Chris Townend

Posted March 30th at 9:44 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Avon Dam - missing Goosanders

A zero count of Goosanders may seem an odd record to report, but I've been trekking up to the Avon Dam at least once a week since October 2017, always arriving at least 30 minutes before sunrise, and today was my first zero count in any of the four winters (October to March). Indeed, in previous years some birds have usually continued roosting through April and into May or even June. Who's got them?!

Posted March 30th at 9:44 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

Winter and Summer Visitors together at Exminster Marshes

50 species of bird today on Exminster Marshes on the warmest day of the year so far. Highlights include a Greater White-fronted Goose which flew into the fox-proof area -see picture and a pair of Northern Pintail, with Wigeon and Teal in the main pool. Chiffchaffs were in almost every bush and the first Willow Warblers had started to sing. A pair of Ringed Plover were using the new scrape, which also still had water in it!

Greater White-fronted Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose

Posted March 30th at 9:11 pm by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

South Down Farm, Soar

A smart male Marsh Harrier over the lane just east of Southdown Farm heading steadily NE, early pm.  

Posted March 30th at 8:32 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Venford Reservoir

Some lovely spots in the woodland and moorland just below reservoir: 2 male Crossbill feeding on pine cones, hanging upside down, making quite a noise. Coot on Reservoir. Solitary Greenfinch and lone Yellowhammer seen near Bench Tor. Buzzard and Raven soaring over Dart ravine below.

Posted March 30th at 6:41 pm by R Mogridge in Bird News


3 Swallows flying around 17. 30, spring is here. 

Posted March 30th at 5:49 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Boat trip Brixham to Berry Head

12 Sandwich Terns on the mussel buoys at entrance to harbour, one which had been ringed in Wales - red ring on left tarsus with white letters KJC.  8 Purple Sandpipers on Cod Rock off Berry Head.  Usual gulls including 3 Kittiwakes - 1x1w and 2 adults.  100+ Guillemots seen flying to and from breeding site, most in full summer plumage, those on the water were disturbed by three jet skis passing close to the cliffs.

Purple Sandpipers
Purple Sandpipers
Sandwich Terns
Sandwich Terns

Posted March 30th at 5:08 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News

South Milton Ley

20 Chiffs.The wintering Siberian Chiff still present. Willow warbler 1.

Posted March 30th at 5:00 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

River Plym

2 Black-tailed Godwit on Blaxton Meadow on the high tide this morning with a Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Greenshank and 3 Curlew. 

Posted March 30th at 4:09 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley

New arrivals in 3 Swallow, Sand Martin, White Wagtail & singing Blackcap. Also 25 Chiffchaff & Red-legged Partridge.

Posted March 30th at 3:32 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wembury Point

In addition to Robert's post:-

5 singing Skylark, 6 Linnet, Greenfinch and Chaffinch in full song, together with 5 Chiffchaff and Cirl Bunting, several Stonechat, 2 Curlew, 3 Little Egret and a Grey Heron in the rock pools, 1 Swallow flew east along the beach.


Posted March 30th at 3:27 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News


Sandwich tern 07.30, singing cirl buntings and skylarks. 30 oystercatchers and 7 little egrets on beach towards Wembury Point.

Posted March 30th at 11:20 am by Robert Massey in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

Another migrant filled morning, making it feel more like mid-April than late March, with the highlights being a small fall of Willow Warblers (at least a dozen, including singing birds), Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in the scrub and a steady passage of 69 Sand Martins, 27 Swallows and 1 House Martin. Offshore, 6 Sandwich Terns east and 3 Common Scoters W. Other migrants: a female Wheatear, 12 alba wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails but only 26 Meadow Pipits (less than 10% of yesterday's count; what a difference clear skies make!).

Posted March 30th at 11:19 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Exeter ~ Great White Egret

Just before 9am this morning while driving on the A30 just prior to the M5 interchange near Exeter a Great White Egret flew over the car, headed towards the Exminster Marshes/Exe Estuary.

And a ringing return report ~ Ringing Scheme: RZ63267 Species of bird: Dipper 
This bird was ringed by H Williams as a nestling, sex unknown, 3rd May 2018 at Cleve Farm Ivybridge, Devon.
It was found on 22nd Mar 2021 at Ivybridge, Devon,
OS Map reference SX6356 
Finding circumstances: Identified by Colour Ring(s)
Extra Information: - It was found 1054 days after it was ringed.

Posted March 30th at 10:52 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

South Huish marsh

2 swallows briefly over the marsh plus a single Sandwich tern

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern

Posted March 30th at 5:55 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

Monday 29th March 2021

Cadover Bridge

At least 6 Sand Martins, several Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 5 Wheatears, 2 Buzzards and several Stonechats.

Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail

Posted March 29th at 10:46 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

North coast & Lundy hirundine passage

An exceptional day of hirundine migration for late March, with 147 Sand Martins, 17 Swallows and 3 House Martins west along the cliffs near Rillage Point this morning. Once the low cloud and drizzle had lifted, Dean Jones counted 212 Sand Martins and an exceptional 162 Swallows passing through Lundy this afternoon.

Also at Rillage Point this morning, a single Wheatear, 400 Meadow Pipits, 29 Linnets, 61 Goldfinches (the finches mostly flying W like the hirundines and pipits) and a handful of Grey and alba wagtails.

Posted March 29th at 9:24 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Fremington Pill

An evening walk to catch the high tide (19.30) showed 40+ little egrets and 2 cattle egrets in their favourite trees at the top of Fremington Pill, and these were joined by 4 glossy ibis. Within 10 minutes of the peak of the tide they slowly started dispersing. By the time we returned from the quay we could only make out about 6, although the light was fading fast. There was also a very vocal tawny owl which flew overhead several times between the bridge and the main road.

Posted March 29th at 9:15 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Stanlake Farm to near Black Tor

2 Mistle Thrush, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Stone Chats, Buzzard, then my first Wheatear of the year, at least 3 males. 

Posted March 29th at 8:57 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News


My first Yellowhammers of the year; four birds seen on walk from Kingston around Wonwell. Beautiful sight and remarkably confident.

Posted March 29th at 8:49 pm by R Mogridge in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning,

12 Sand Martin, 3 Willow Tit, 4 Marsh Tit, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Long-tailed Tit.

Posted March 29th at 8:13 pm by Rodney Mudge in Bird News

Ringmoor Down

At least 300 Golden Plover on the moor this afternoon. Probably more as they were hunkered down.

Golden Plovers
Golden Plovers

Posted March 29th at 7:59 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Chudleigh Black Redstart

Didn't have to travel far today - a Black Redstart sat on my neighbour's roof briefly this afternoon. Up to 8 Buzzards and a pair of Sparrowhawks soaring over the town this morning. A Chiffchaff appeared in the garden and others were singing locally. Also Blackbirds collecting worms for their young, and Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell and Brimstone on the wing.

Posted March 29th at 7:32 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Fremington Pill to Home Farm Marsh

1 Glossy Ibis & 2 Greenshanks at the Pill & at Saltpill Duck Pond ,  45 roosting Sand Martins & a minimum of another 20 in flight plus 3 Glossy Ibises .

Posted March 29th at 6:33 pm by Dave Paterson in Bird News

Spring birdsong and a stoat at Crediton.

My exercise walk followed Tinpot Lane around the QE school. A chiffchaff, song thrush, wren and some blue tits sang very pleasantly along lane leading to cradle fields, spotted a rabbit at top of Breakheart Hill and a small tortoiseshell butterfly at the bottom of hill by Salmonhutch. Startled a distracted stoat in Bull Marsh field (often see stoats and their kits around here and usually plenty of rabbits in field over toward railway line). Saw orange tip on way back up Hunniver's Lane and heard a blackcap near the playground at the top.

Posted March 29th at 6:32 pm by Andrew Head in Bird News


6-8 Sand Martins skirting Capstone Hill flying east to west

Posted March 29th at 5:16 pm by Dave Shadwell in Bird News


Sand Martin 3 on territory.Swallow 1 .Willow warbler 1. Wheatear 3 m + 1 pair.

Posted March 29th at 5:06 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

Wrafton/Velator etc.

Garganey still on Wrafton Pond this morning with Gadwall and Shoveler. Lots of Sand Martins and a few Swallows over. More of the same around Sherpa Marsh - Many of the Martins perching on reed stems.

Posted March 29th at 2:21 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Hembury Woods

One Tree Pipit mid-am. Singing form the tops of some birch trees. The earliest date that I've seen one here.

Posted March 29th at 1:03 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

East Soar

Quiet this morning, best 11 Golden Plover & 9 Chiffchaff.

Posted March 29th at 12:33 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Northern Mockingbird at Exmouth

At last with lockdown restrictions eased, travel to exercise and outdoor sports once again allowed. Travelled to Exmouth to see the mega rare Northern Mockingbird

Didn't stay long record shots in the poor early morning light
Didn't stay long record shots in the poor early morning light
Feeding on the fruits of the Palm Tree.
Feeding on the fruits of the Palm Tree.

Posted March 29th at 11:27 am by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Approx 90 sand martin in two flocks heading west over the marshes yesterday afternoon.

Posted March 29th at 10:19 am by Robin Pearson in Bird News

South Molton and community woodlands

Siskins chasing and displaying in woodlands. In garden long-tailed tits gathering nest material. wood pigeons mating as usual and house sparrow showing too much interest in swift nest boxes.

Posted March 29th at 10:18 am by art symons in Bird News

Chittlehamholt - Red Kite

Red Kite flying north along Taw valley west of Chittlehamholt

Posted March 29th at 7:53 am by Paul and Alison Sopp in Bird News

Sunday 28th March 2021

Cadover Bridge

2 sand martins near the farm road entrance. A Male goosanda in flight and a meadow pipit, not much else.

Posted March 28th at 9:39 pm by Andy Quest in Bird News

Burrator (Yesterday)

Word of mouth from flatmates, Osprey seen fishing early yesterday morning at the reservoir. 

Posted March 28th at 9:33 pm by Matt C in Bird News


Late afternoon: c30 Sand Martins and 1 Swallow hawking for insects over the Water treatment works, a very vociferous Green Woodpecker in an Ash copse nearby and 2 pairs of Mandarin Ducks and a Dipper on the adjacent stretch of the river.

Posted March 28th at 8:45 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Walls Hill Torquay

Sparrowhawk flew low across the grass then up and over the cliff fence

Posted March 28th at 7:11 pm by Mick Curran in Bird News


My first Swallow of the year seen this afternoon over Boriingdon Golf course. A solitary Dabchick and 1f Goosander on the golf course pond,1 Buzzard a Mislle Thrush and several Skylarks.


Posted March 28th at 6:59 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Redwing Berry Head

This dark Redwing dropped on to rocks below sea watch at Berry Head this morning. Looked tired. Stayed in same place over an hour before flying off.  Suggestions of Icelandic sub-species?

Redwing at Berry Head
Redwing at Berry Head
Redwing Berry Head
Redwing Berry Head

Posted March 28th at 5:48 pm by Bill Coulson in Bird News

Otter Valley

Singing Chiffchaff and Blackcap. 2 Grey Wagtails. Dipper. Treecreeper (a very rare spot for me !)

Posted March 28th at 4:16 pm by Steve Ross in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On this morning's low tide, both Black- (2: 1 in summer plumage) & Bar-tailed Godwits & 70 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (including 2+ intermedius types). Also, 5 Mandarin Ducks (3 drakes), singing Blackcap, Treecreeper & Green Woodpecker.

Posted March 28th at 2:35 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay


Red-throated Diver showing well beyond Harbreck Rock.  

Earlier, at nearby Hope's Nose, a Chiffchaff in full song below the gate and brief female Wheatear at Sandy Point.  

Posted March 28th at 2:33 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


the first blackcaps i've seen in the patch this year, singing well, also seen were goldcrest, nuthatch, 5 buzzards, jay,chiffchaff and all the usual tits and woodland birds, on the river dipper feeding and two greywagtails.looking forward to the 10th april , this will be when the pied flycatchers should be here,

Posted March 28th at 12:57 pm by roger jewell in Bird News

Crediton district sightings

Song thrushes, Chiffchaffs, several Yellowhammers, Skylarks,Blackcaps,Wrens and the regular flock of c.100 Linnets around Sandford.

Other wildlife- a weasel near Copplestone, a stoat in the hedge at West Sandford and boxing hares in their usual field. Of the 6 seen last year, 5 remain. The sixth unfortunately was killed by a car in the lane.

Posted March 28th at 9:37 am by S Blatchford in Bird News

Turnstone - Instow

A flock of 30- 40 Turnstone settled on boulders at Instow Quay last night at high tide. Largest flock I have seen on this stretch of estuary.

Posted March 28th at 9:15 am by Mike Glover in Bird News


Nuthatch nest building, Goldfinches, GS Woodpecker and Tawny Owls very vocal, first Chiffchaff and Mistle Thrush, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Marsh Tits and Coal Tits on feeder.

Mistle Thrush
Mistle Thrush

Posted March 28th at 8:18 am by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Saturday 27th March 2021

Swallows, Crediton

A short weekly exercise walk around QE school, Barnfield. Chiffchaff singing along Tinpot Lane. Lots of spring bird song. A number of about ten returned swallows flying about at Back's Barn (SX 82805 99825).

Posted March 27th at 8:22 pm by Andrew Head in Bird News

Anchor wood to Fremington

Had our usual walk around the circuit today from Roundswell to Fremington, along the Tarka trail to Anchor wood and home in Roundswell. Not a lot to see today other than a small group of Shelduck and a group of 23 Curlew on Penhill marsh.  Also got a distant shop of a single Common Sandpiper flying just above the water off Anchor wood.

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted March 27th at 5:56 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Still 2 Black-tailed Godwits (1 summer plumage) this afternoon; also, Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, 100 Redshanks, Goosander (female), 2 Green & a Great Spotted Woodpecker & 5 Mandarin Ducks (3 drakes).

Posted March 27th at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

First swallows

While cycling dow

n the American road at 2.30 I saw my first swallows of the year about 20 also about 6 House martinis and on my way past Velator scrap another 16ish House Martins as well as the usual water fowl. Spring feels like it’s just arrived ????

Posted March 27th at 3:34 pm by Kevin Lymer Kevin in Bird News


3 Yellowhammer in hedgerow on the lane between coffinswell and Kingskerswell quarry. Heard several chiffchaff and saw Kestrel over quarry ponds which are up the lane behind Romany Jones cafe.

Posted March 27th at 2:07 pm by Gary Bolton in Bird News


Arrived late and didn't see the Garganey, which had crept into the reeds apparently. 5 Pochard - including 4 drakes. Out on the scrape a few Herring gulls loafing with the Godwits and a few out-in-the-open Snipe. Suddenly the Gulls all took off and were shortly followed by the Godwits heralding the very rapid arrival of a female Peregrine which did a couple of circuits of the pond before drifting off. Later at least one of the Godwits was back.

Posted March 27th at 1:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Two male Wheatears on Crownhill Down mid morning. (original photos posted in wrong format)


Posted March 27th at 1:16 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

We had better luck today and found the garganey on Wrafton pond, although it was having a snooze on the far side, it’s a pity it’s not as bold as the local rodents! The whooper swan was still with the mute swans on Braunton Marshes but at a distance - glad we had taken our scope.


Posted March 27th at 12:47 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Wrafton & Braunton Saturday morning

The drake Garganey , 4 Pochards , 2 pairs of Shovelers , 40 plus Sand Martins & a Cetti's warbler at Wrafton pond .

6 Snipe & the 4 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape.

The Whooper swan still in the fields just along from the toll road.   

Posted March 27th at 12:10 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Ringmoor Down

Early walk over Ringmoor Down this morning produced these very confiding Golden Plover.  500+ birds

Golden Plover
Golden Plover
Golden Plover
Golden Plover

Posted March 27th at 11:34 am by Bob Barrow in Bird News


Two male Wheatear around Trowlesworthy Farm paddocks this morning. 


Posted March 27th at 9:35 am by Chris E in Bird News

Friday 26th March 2021

Ringmoor Down

A fruitless search over Ringmoor Down to Legis Tor for Wheatear was enlivened by a flock of at least 500 Golden Plover. (Photos from 1 kilometre distant)

Golden Plover
Golden Plover

Posted March 26th at 10:34 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Riverside Country park, Exeter

A Swallow, 14 Sand Martin, 2 Green Sandpipers and 19 Teal at Riverside Country Park above Countess Weir this lunch time. 

Posted March 26th at 7:11 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Wrafton pond

On my way home I popped into Wrafton pond and was rewarded with a good sighting of the Garganey. On the scrape were four Bar tailed Godwit.


Posted March 26th at 6:51 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A higher tide this afternoon brought a few more waders onto Blaxton Meadow: 3 Black-tailed Godwits (2 summer plumage), Turnstone, 5 Greenshanks, 4 Curlews, 77 Redshanks & 7 Oystercatchers. Also around the patch, Treecreeper, 10 Mandarin Ducks (6 drakes) & 3 Roe Deer. 

Photo: Black-tailed Godwits.

Posted March 26th at 5:59 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Sandwich Terns - Torbay

Flock of 21 Sandwich Tern, South past Hopes Nose, Torbay, c 1600 today.

Posted March 26th at 5:27 pm by CLIFF PARROTT in Bird News

Meadfoot Sea Road

A gannet seen offshore 1030hrs, two oystercatcher on the rocks

Posted March 26th at 2:50 pm by Mick Curran in Bird News

Velator area

Delighted to find the drake Garganey on Wrafton Pond this morning, Plus a drake Pochard, and 2 Chiffchaffs near the viewing platform. Out on the scrape fewer Teal, several Snipe and now 4 Black-tailed Godwits. In the reserve singing Chiffchaff, Tawny Owl and Water Rail. Walked to the estuary - Meadow Pipits (many) Linnets, and Skylarks. Sand Martins buzzing about, including a close flock of about 40. Juvenile male Sparrowhawk. Several Wigeon down on the main estuary. Not much to add around Sherpa on the way back.

Posted March 26th at 2:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Long-tailed Skua.....inland, near Barnstaple last week

We can now report that the Long-tailed Skua friends of ours found in a field next to their house last week...has departed,  presumably north. We were privileged to be able to see it as it was on our route home from a necessary trip to the bank in Barnstaple. It was feeding in the field presumably on worms and seemed little bothered by the regular pestering by the local gulls! Thanks to Mike Langman we can now say that's it's a "...winter moulding to summer adult, well, at least in its 4th calendar year" Furthermore;  it's  "...a crazy time of year to see this bird"! I hope everyone understands why its location was not revealed, not least the travel restrictions, the narrow road & no places to park. 

Long-tailed Skua in flight near Barnstaple last week
Long-tailed Skua in flight near Barnstaple last week

Posted March 26th at 1:45 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Thursday 25th March 2021

Black cap in full song

Late morning at Jetty Marsh, Newton Abbot lots of bird song including Cetti's Warbler and Blackcap.

Posted March 25th at 10:37 pm by Pete Stevens in Bird News


Afternoon stroll in hopes of deer, didn't find any but instead i got 
Great and green woodpecker, rooks, nuthatch, blue/great/longtail tit, W.t.dipper sitting so close, kingfisher passing, wood pigeon, a lovely group of tree creepers, goldcrest, robin, dunnock, song thrush, m+f goosanders, mandarin ducks, buzzard

Posted March 25th at 9:43 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

River Otter Swallows

Late post from yesterday (weds 24th), pair of swallow over River Otter just south of Ottery St Mary

Posted March 25th at 9:38 pm by Ben Rowland in Bird News

River Otter, East Devon

An Osprey this evening found by Helen Booker at around 6.15pm over Otterton and SW towards East Budleigh. Possibly the first this Spring in Devon?

Osprey, River Otter by Chris Townend


Posted March 25th at 8:26 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News


This afternoon at Wrafton scrape we saw 2 individual snipe and the distant views of a group of 7 snipe. On the pond there were a couple of gadwall and a pair of shoveler.


Posted March 25th at 8:10 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Velator and other places in N Devon

Started with a scan of Wrafton Pond - drew a blank there, and the scrape where still good numbers of Teal, 3 Black-headed Gulls some Snipe and 3 Black-tailed Godwits. 2 Dippers seen in the river Caen. In the reserve, the wind has blown much of the duckweed up towards one end of the pond, leaving a large clear area and a Kingfisher perched briefly on one of the special branches I have installed. 7 Gadwall and 8 Mallard, 1 Little Grebe, calling Tawny Owl and Water Rail, No repeat of the singing Chiffchaff from yesterday. 4 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies. Walked around Sherpa and met a birder who had seen the Garganey, but I missed it. Several Sand Martins. Later cycled to Barnstaple, tide too high for much to be seen: 4 Black-tailed Godwits at Pottington, 3 Shoveler nearer the new bridge with a female Goosander. At Ashford 17 + 7 Wigeon, and then back at Wrafton Pond the usual gathering of Sand Martins with my first Swallow of the year. Someone else reported seeing 2 House Martins earlier.

Posted March 25th at 7:36 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Swallow at Chivenor

A lone Swallow flew overhead as I ran past RMB Chivenor this evening at around 5:15(ish) this evening.  It doesn't sound like the 2 previously spotted around Braunton burrows, as it was alone (hanging out with some sand Martin's). 

Posted March 25th at 7:18 pm by Sam Aston in Bird News


A Red Throated Diver feeding between Torre Abbey Sands and Corbyn's Head, often coming very close in. Also 2 adult Lesser black backs on  the beach. Later in Sherwell Park a mixed flock of sparrows, dunnock, bluetits and goldfinch were coming down to bathe and drink in a spring fed pool by the stream, just below the middle bridge. Goldfinches and a chiffchaff singing here, and a comma butterfly basking on the ground nearby.

Posted March 25th at 3:52 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Cadover Bridge

Mistle Thrush 2, Grey Wagtails 2, Pied Wagtails 6, Stonechats 10,Magpies 10, Buzzards 2, G.W.P.'s 2, Ravens 6, Crows 8, Reed Buntings 3, Goosander 2m, 2f. Chiffchaffs 2,  Goldfinches 6 .a lone cock Wheatear on Legis Tor Warren.

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
A distant view of a Wheatear
A distant view of a Wheatear

Posted March 25th at 2:31 pm by Bob Barrow & John Lloyd in Bird News

Buzzards and Herring Gulls over Braunton

At about 13:30 today, and for about 15 minutes, there was a "swarm" of very vocal HERRING GULL adults and younger birds, along with 13 COMMON BUZZARD soaring above the Saunton Park area of Braunton. Earlier, on returning from an appointment in Barnstaple,  observed about two dozen SAND MARTINS feeding over the fields by the Boundary Lane. Unconfirmed because it was a fleeting glimpse of two small brown passerines with light coloured heads flying over the car heading east as we were on Sandy lane.... which reminded me of YELLOWHAMMER. As I say, unable to confirm but I don't know what else they could be.

Posted March 25th at 2:17 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Hardwick woods- Plympton

A quick hour walk around the woods midday. 

Stock dove, wood pigeon, loads of singing nuthatch, gs and green woodpecker, crow, raven, jackdaw, blackbird, robin, dunnock, song thrush, great/blue/coal/longtail tit, wren, lots of goldcrests, nest building jays, skylarks heard in neighbouring fields. buzzard scared off a lot of woodpigeons later. 

Posted March 25th at 1:22 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

During this morning's walk, at least 2 Green Woodpeckers, 10 Mandarin Ducks (mainly in pairs now), Common Sandpiper, a Blackcap singing & 8 Roe Deer.

In my garden (Mount Gould) a female Blackcap still visiting regularly.

Posted March 25th at 1:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Reservoir - Braunton Golf Course

 2 Swallows over the reservoir where Phil & Sue spotted the first Sand Martin in N.Devon back in February.

Good chance this is the same 2 Swallows I spotted 2 days ago at the south end of Braunton Burrows.

Posted March 25th at 1:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


This morning there were 9 Purple Sandpipers at Haldon Pier and 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Abbey Sands.

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper
Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Posted March 25th at 10:10 am by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

White House - Braunton Marshes

Late post - 1 Willow Warbler heard yesterday morning.

Posted March 25th at 9:23 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Wednesday 24th March 2021

Anchorwood to Fremington Quay

During this afternoon's walk along the Tarka Trail from Anchorwood to Fremington Pill a common sandpiper seemed to follow us giving us our best views yet.

Posted March 24th at 9:40 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Otter Estuary

Highlights this evening included a brief Grey Plover, a single Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of Goosander on the river north of White Bridge.

Black-tailed Godwit by Chris TownendMale Goosander by Chris Townend

Posted March 24th at 8:18 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Black Redstart Plymouth

Black Redstart found in garden in Ernesettle.

Also Chiffchaff heard on Roborough Down yesterday.

Posted March 24th at 7:25 pm by Liz Harris in Bird News


1 swallow near the bird screen at Exebank, Exmouth at17.00.

Posted March 24th at 6:19 pm by Richard Bramwell in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Mid afternoon visit coincided with the high tide but most waders remained on the estuary as low tides at present. A few brent geese but no sign of the 6 avocets that were at the Turf last Monday. On the marsh at least 3 singing chiffchaffs, 6 pintail, 2 tufted duck and 37 sand martins.

Posted March 24th at 5:21 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Black Redstart (very scarce here) was a nice surprise & brought the patch combined observers' total to 100 for the year (+ 1 heard). Also, a calling Tawny Owl, Peregrine, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Turnstones, Common Sandpiper, Nuthatch nest-building, 2 singing Chiffchaffs & 15 Roe Deer.

Posted March 24th at 4:38 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

River Otter

Circular walk Budleigh - Otterton. Highlights - Chiffchaff, 2 Black Tailed Godwit, Grey Wagtail, Gtr Spotted Woodpecker. Lots of the usual along river - Many Wigeon, plentiful Teal, 8 Shoveler, 2 Shelduck, Mallard, Canada Geese, Redshank, Curlew, Moorhen. Kingfisher and Dipper higher upstream. 2 Cattle egret still present. Around the cliffs a succession of skylarks and many meadow pipits.Two handsome pairs of courting Stonechat. I startled a Red Legged Partridge from a clifftop bush ! Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. A large noisy roost of 30 Linnets. 2 Green Woodpeckers.

Posted March 24th at 3:53 pm by Steve Ross in Bird News


Finally heard (briefly) a Chiffchaff in the reserve while ringing this morning. Sparrow hawk over (and seen again over Sherpa Marsh a bit later) Water Pipit seen outside the reserve, Garganey still at Sherpa Marsh with a few Sand Martins over.

Posted March 24th at 3:28 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Hackney Marsh, Newton Abbot.

1 red breasted merganser, 3 greylag geese, buzzard, redshanks, cormorants 

 Ed’s- it’s a hybrid Swan Goose x. Greylag Goose

Posted March 24th at 2:57 pm by Iain morland in Bird News

Passage house, newton abbot

1 red breasted merganser, 3 greylag geese, buzzard, redshanks, cormorants 

Posted March 24th at 2:40 pm by Iain morland in Bird News

Hopes Nose

Raven, Stonechats, Rock Pipit and Oystercatcher this morning.

Posted March 24th at 12:44 pm by Mick Curran in Bird News

Exmouth Seafront

3 Sandwich Terns fishing and 7 Brent Geese on the rocks. A nice mix of seasonal birds.

Posted March 24th at 12:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Goodrington Beach

2 Black Swans, on the sea, just offshore. 8 Common Scoter further out towards Berry Head.

Black Swans
Black Swans

Posted March 24th at 11:39 am by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Black Swans

2 Black Swans on the sea off Goodrington South sands this morning

Posted March 24th at 11:13 am by Tony Sherwood in Bird News

Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Hemerdon Ball

Evening stroll over Hemerdon Ball put up a Woodcock.

Posted March 23rd at 10:16 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Velator etc

3 Shoveler, 1 each of Gadwall and Pochard on Wrafton Pond, Several Teal, 5 Snipe and a Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape. Around Sherpa, 4 Little Egrets 1 Snipe, 2 calling Cetti's Warblers, c15 Sand Martins. Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Goldfinches all looking or sounding a little frisky. The drake Garganey was also still present. 2 Chiffchaffs in the reserve. A further inspection of the Egret feathers revealed that they had been plucked from the dead bird, so a bird of prey rather than a mammal I think.

Posted March 23rd at 5:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite seen just before Aller Cross on the road from Stags Head to South Molton at 11.30 am this morning.

Posted March 23rd at 4:33 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News

Plymouth Hoe

Lovely views of 2 Purple Sandpipers at Rusty Anchor this morning. Thanks to Stuart Green for pointing them out to me. Also seen several Turnstones and a G.B.B.G.

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Posted March 23rd at 4:01 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Nothing to match Martin's sighting this morning; however a circuit of the patch revealed: 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Raven, 4 Stock Doves, a singing Chiffchaff & 5+ Roe Deer.

Posted March 23rd at 1:37 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Braunton Burrows

2 Swallows over the south end of Braunton Burrows this morning. 

At least 6 Chiffchaff heard in full song. Whooper Swan still present.

Posted March 23rd at 12:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram.

A quiet morning was brightened up by c6 Crossbills feeding in the pines on the ridge just above the amphitheater. Also of note, a good count of 46 Common Gulls were seen.

Posted March 23rd at 11:24 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Hardwick woods- Plympton

Late evening stroll doing some practice surverys of plants but paying attention to birds  Heard in the woods and on amados hill

Raven, jackdaw, rook, herring gull, buzzard, song thrush, blackcap (m), robin, dunnock, house sparrow, greenfinch, goldfinch, blackbird, gs woodpecker, green woodpecker, wren, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, redwing, pheasant, nuthatch, stock dove, woodpigeon, 

Posted March 23rd at 8:36 am by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Monday 22nd March 2021

Cadover Bridge

1m 1f Goosander by Cadover Bridge, 1 MIstle Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtails, 1 Buzzard. 4 Reed Buntings by Legis Tor Warren.

Moulting Reed Bunting
Moulting Reed Bunting

Posted March 22nd at 11:08 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Countesswear & Matford

Walked down and back from St. Leonards this morning. Good things started with a Water Rail out in the open in the Southernmost Countesswear pond, relaxedly preening, scratching and stretching (how that needs a longer vowel) for 4/5 minutes in the sunshine, easily the longest view I have ever had.

Also noted were:

- a Green Sandpiper in the river opposite the sewage works;

- c30 Teal, c20 Wigeon, c10 Shoveler and 3 Tufted Ducks on Matford ponds. No Little Grebe so far this year;

- a small group of Sand Martins, my first of the year;

- song from 6+ each of Cetti's and Chiff-Chaff and a single Blackcap, newly arrived;

- 50+ Rook nests along Dawlish Road, and 25+ on the East bank of the river, so numbers back to normal;

- the last few Redwings chattering in the trees by the University playing fields, one of which gave a few phrases of full song, the first I have heard, a mournful five note descending sequence, like a slowed-down, simplified Wood Lark's. Haunting. The best was definitely saved 'til last.

Posted March 22nd at 9:14 pm by James Camden in Bird News


Cetti's warbler (not skulking) near Bath House

Posted March 22nd at 9:08 pm by David Shadwell in Bird News

Velator pics

I hope these are the ones!

Posted March 22nd at 4:17 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

West Hoe, Plymouth

On the rocks between West Hoe Pier and Millbay Docks this morning (known as 'Rusty Anchor') - 6 Turnstones, 1 Purple Sandpiper and 1 Rock Pipit

Posted March 22nd at 3:01 pm by Tony Hooper in Bird News

Velator area

A pair of Grey-lag Geese out on the scrape with plenty of Canada Geese and a Black-tailed Godwit. At Sherpa Marsh the drake Garganey still present, but no sign of any Sand Martins. In the central field the remains (all feathers) of a Little Egret. If I can find where I saved my photos after reducing their size, I'll post them too!

Posted March 22nd at 2:19 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Five Cattle Egrets first thing this morning (at southern end of the estuary) but no sign later. Also, 3 Common Sandpipers, Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, 17+ Common Gulls, Treecreeper, 2 Chiffchaffs, Stonechat (m), Green Woodpecker, Peacock butterfly & 7 Roe Deer.

Cattle Egrets & Little Egret
Cattle Egrets & Little Egret

Posted March 22nd at 12:50 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Fremington Pill/Quay & Home Farm Marsh

A pair of Red-Breasted Mergansers at the quay . 1 Great Crested Grebe & 1 Great Egret on the Taw in front of Home Farm Marsh & 4 Glossy Ibises at Saltpill Duck Pond.

Posted March 22nd at 11:13 am by David Paterson in Bird News

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