Society News

Swift Awareness Week

Posted July 1st at 9:36 pm in Events by Tony Utting

As you may know, next week (2nd - 10th July) is Swift Awareness Week.  As part of that national event, Uffculme Green Team wildlife group has arranged to get access to Coldharbour Mill car park on the evenings of Tuesday 5th and Thursday 7th July to invite people to come and (hopefully) enjoy the spectacle of the evening gatherings, fly-bys and pre-roost activities.  From 8pm on both evenings - bring your own chair for a comfortable grandstand view!  The grist mill building at Coldharbour Mill hosts the most significant swift colony in the area and for those who haven't experienced it, the pre-roost activity can be amazing at this time in the swift season.
We'd like people who aren't familiar with swifts to get 'hooked' and maybe think about what they might be able to do and for those who are already knowledgeable, just to gather and enjoy the evening display.
The swifts are having a pretty rough time at the moment with such unsettled weather - just at the crucial time when they are feeding their young. However, the forecast is improving and things will hopefully get better for these and other birds, especially the aerial feeders.
Please come and join us if you can. (No need to book.)
Tuesday 5th July, Thursday 7th July from 8pm, Coldharbour Mill car park, Uffculme EX15 3EE
Best wishes,
Jeni, Chris, Jo, Stuart


Plymouth Branch at Cann Woods

Posted June 22nd at 11:46 am in Plymouth Branch by Tony Utting

Please see the below link for a report on the Plymouth Branch's Nightjar Walk at Cann Woods

Plymouth Nightjar Walk

Volunteers needed for monthly Bird Survey at historic Fursden House near Thorverton

Posted June 12th at 9:17 am in Mid Devon Branch by Tony Utting

Devon bIrds is seeking volunteers to participate in a monthly bird survey of the historic Fursden Estate.

The estate consist of undulating fields, streams and woodlands just two miles from Thorveton in Mid Devon, north of Exeter.

The results of our effort will assist Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) in formulating and estate wide Biodiversity Action Plan. We plan to undertake the first survey in October 2022. To participate, email Nick Arnstrong before Thursday 30th June at

We are also looking for a team of leaders to help plan the bid count and coordinate and monitor specific areas of habitat during the survey. Please let us know if you would like to take on a leadership role.

Plymouth Group walk at Venford Reservoir

Posted May 28th at 7:01 pm in Plymouth Group walk at Venford Reservoir by Tony Utting

Please use the link below to see a report of the Plymouth Group's walk at Venford reservoir

Plymouth Group walk at Venford Reservoir

Plymouth Group event at Broadsands

Posted May 28th at 6:59 pm in Plymouth Branch by Tony Utting

Please use the link below to see the report of this event held by the Plymouth Branch

Plymouth Group visit to Braodsands

Identifying Birds by Song – A Walk Around Challacombe Down, May 9th, 2022 led by Nick and Sara D’Agorne

Posted May 19th at 8:40 am in South Devon Branch by Chris Wright

The weather was thick fog when the leaders arrived at 8.20am and the car park remained empty, as Nick discovered he had sent out details of a parking area a half mile away, which, due to the fog, was not visible! Fortunately one of the group decided to check with the other car park and discovered their leaders waiting in the gloom. In spite of the poor start the birds went from strength to strength and as the sun started to push through, Cuckoos appeared, calling, flying and generally performing for the group. Whinchats were also singing well and at one point, with Wheatear, Stonechat and Whinchat all in view the difference between their song/call was made far easier.

Willow Warblers were also everywhere, singing their beautiful descending song whilst perching in the Willow canopy. The group continued on the circuit and, after a coffee break, whilst listening to Meadow Pipits a Red Kite appeared over the valley. Then, with Blackcaps singing loudly, the group descended to Challacombe Farm and watched a Buzzard and Sparrowhawk using the same thermal to gain height. Further down the track the Swallows had just arrived and were zooming around the barn. A distant song of a Redstart was pursued with vigour and on the bridge a Garden Warbler was not only heard, but also seen on the branch of a tree. The Redstart was eventually found singing from a stand of conifers.

A pair of active Nuthatches were then observed going in and out of a hole in a tree, before the group moved on across the open moorland valley, scanning the area for birds. They were rewarded by more views of Wheatear, before walking the return route over the Tor and back down to the car park, nearly tripping over another Wheatear on the path.

A good list of 43 species was seen and heard by the group of 8 birders on the day.

Bird List

  • Common Woodpigeon
  • Common Cuckoo
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • Red Kite
  • Common Buzzard
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Eurasian Green Woodpecker
  • Common Kestrel
  • Common Magpie
  • Carrion Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Coal Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Eurasian Skylark
  • Barn Swallow
  • Willow Warbler
  • Common Chiffchaff
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Eurasian Blackcap
  • Garden Warbler
  • Common Whitethroat
  • Goldcrest
  • Eurasian Nuthatch
  • Eurasian Wren
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Song Thrush
  • Eurasian Blackbird
  • European Robin
  • Common Redstart
  • Whinchat
  • European Stonechat
  • Northern Wheatear
  • Dunnock
  • House Sparrow
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Common Chaffinch
  • Common Linnet
  • European Goldfinch
  • Eurasian Siskin
  • Common Reed Bunting

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