Plymouth Branch Field Meeting

Trip to Broadsands and Brixham on January 17th

Posted January 21st at 4:42 pm in Plymouth Branch Field Meeting by Inga Page

This, our first field meeting of 2019, led by Doug Herdson, was strongly supported by 26 members who enjoyed a cold but bright January day. We were well rewarded by the sighting of some 44 species with highlights being Cirl Bunting, Red Necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Razorbill and Yellow Browed Warbler at Broadsands and Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone and Rock Pipit around the breakwater and Great Northern Diver & Kittiwake out at sea.

Cirl Bunting (Dave Batten)

Turnstone (Dave Batten)

In addition to these avian highlights we saw a pod of fifteen Common Dolphin, including at least two calves, at Broadsands and, at Brixham, five Grey Seal.

Common Dolphin (Dave Batten)

Grey Seal {Dave Batten)

Full species list:

Greenfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Longtailed Tit, Blackcap, Raven, Song Thrush, Yellow Browed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Cirl Bunting, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Blackbird, Robin, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Buzzard, Peregrine, Magpie, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Great Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Bullfinch, Cormorant, Shag, Gannet, Fulmar, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Razorbill, Great Crested Grebe, Red Necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, Rock Pipit, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Jay, Goldcrest.

John Lloyd

Visit to Kingsmill Lake on 17th December 2018

Posted January 1st at 6:55 pm in Plymouth Branch Field Meeting by Inga Page

A lucky break, after a week of torrential rain, allowed thirteen members to enjoy a calm sunny morning walking up the west side of the River Tamar to the hide by Kingsmill Lake. 

A female blackcap took advantage of the bird feeders by the club.

Towards the far shore in the Tamar a Great Northern Diver was identified.

On reaching the hide owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, we found that repairs had been completed this year with a financial contribution from Devon Birds.  The hide is well positioned on the south bank of the creek to offer some sanctuary for our winter visits.

Grebe (Dave Easter)

Grey Plover (Dave Easter)

 A flock of seventy Avocet lined the waters edge intermingled with a flock of Dunlin, as well as Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck.  Twenty Snipe sat in vegetation on the mud bank opposite, some appearing very exposed and similarly four grey plover showed well. Other highlights included a single knot and ‘hard to find’ pintail and the blue streak of a kingfisher flashed in front of the hide.

Thirty seven species were identified. 

Liz Harris


Field Meeting at Saltram Park on 15th November

Posted November 20th, 2018 at 6:25 pm in Plymouth Branch Field Meeting by Inga Page

Sixteen members met at the Laira Bridge end of the ‘Ride’ for a riverside walk through to Blaxton Meadow and then returning via the NT café to take in wooded walks and pasture.

Though the tide was quite full we were rewarded with a good selection of finches, tits and other species that frequent the trees and bushes that line the Ride pathway. On the river we saw a few gulls, Grey Heron, Cormorant, a Curlew and a skein of Canada Geese.

We walked through toward Blaxton Meadow and had good sightings of several jays with one showing well. Also seen on route were three Grey Heron perched in a tree along the riverside walk. As one might expect there were Great Tit, Robin, Wren and Blackbird as well as plenty of corvids.

Blaxton Meadow proved to be the main event with plentiful numbers of waders, wildfowl and wagtails.

Photographs by Dave Easter

On our return to the car park through Saltram Park we had several Mistle Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Full species list (in order of appearance):-

Great Tit, Robin, Goldfinch, BH Gull, H Gull, C Crow, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Curlew, Wren, Chaffinch, Jay, Blackbird, Greenfinch, B Tit, Turnstone, W Pigeon, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Starling, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Mallard, Little Grebe, Shelduck, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Moorhen, Coalt Tit, Song Thrush, Jackdaw, Buzzard, Rook, Pheasant [43]

John Lloyd

Devon Birds Plymouth Branch


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