Society News from October 2014

Taw & Torridge Branch Indoor Meetings - updated

Posted September 2nd at 5:16 pm in Events by Mike Daniels

The Taw & Torridge Branch are restarting Indoor Meetings at the Castle Centre, Barnstaple. Start times are :7.30pm. Details for the remainder of 2022 and beginning of 2023 are:

8th November - John Walters, the Secret Life of the Long-tailed Tit

13th December - Philip Marlow, African Game Parks are not just the Big 5

10th January 2023 - Emma Scotney, An Introduction to Bats

14th February - James Fentom, Plovers of St Helena: A study

14th March - Stephen Powels, Tawny Owls

11th April - Ian Gaspar, Bird behaviour: an illustrated talk


Mike Langman Bird Art Exhibition

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Mike Langman Bird Art Exhibition is being held at

Sands Road Framing, Gallery Paignton 31st October – 30th November 2014

A number of Mike’s original watercolour and oil paintings are on show, together with a good selection of limited edition prints and sketches at Sands Road Framing, Paignton  or   Face book details

 Bird Art Exhibition, Sands Road Framing Gallery Paignton


Terence (Terry) Lakeman - Obituary

Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 10:41 am by Steve Waite

Paignton-based Terry Lakeman, known to many South Devon birders, passed away peacefully at Rowcroft Hospice Torquay on Saturday 11th October 2014. 
It was my brother-in-law Terry who introduced me to birdwatching around nine years ago - and I am sure those of you that knew him too will join me in saying he will be sadly missed.
Andy Russell, Lichfield, Staffordshire

Apple Day in N Devon

Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 12:07 am

"Apple Day" was held on October 18th this year at High Bickington by their Community woodland group with a woodland/nature theme and during the day they planted a small orchard in an open area in the Woodland.  Jacqui Fernandes, Maria Bosley, Bill Doughty and Norman Briden went along to represent Devon Birds and presented them with a Tit nestbox, as part of their long term planning for the woodland is to build a bird hide and construct a variety of bird nestboxes. Plans of nest boxes were also provided by Devon Birds and the Community Group will run a workshop for the local children to involve them in building the boxes.

The community woodland is 10 years old this year and was awarded the top woodland award at the Devon County Show this year. So their aim was to start their celebrations by raising awareness in the Community of the diverse nature of Woodlands.  They were pressing apples that people brought in and selling the juice, serving ploughman’s lunches and lots of different delicious cakes, to raise funds for the maintenance of their woodland.

The woodland itself is a lovely area, and a lot of thought has gone into the planting to encourage wildlife. A most enjoyable day!

Devon Birds display at Apple Day


Talk by Dominic Couzens 10th Oct - all invited

Posted October 6th, 2014 at 7:49 pm by Steve Waite

Roger Brooks of Topsham Birdwatching and Naturalist Society has kindly opened this talk up to Devon Birds Members - not just any old talk either...

Dominic Couzens wildlife expert and author is giving a talk to the Topsham Birdwatching and Naturalist Society on Friday October 10th.

The talk is entitled 'The Story of Bird Migration' and the venue is Matthews Hall Topsham Exeter, 7.30pm, and any Devon Birds Member is welcome.

Update on bird disturbance in Kingsbridge Estuary

Posted October 5th, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Perry Sanders has kindly updated us on the outcome of the attempt by water skiing enthusiasts to gain permission to ski two hours each side of high tide in the estuary adjacent to the West Charleton hide.

The waterskiing proposals were discussed at a meeting of the Salcombe Harbour Board recently. The pro skiing group ( SKEWA ) were given the chance to explain their proposals and I'm pleased to say common sense prevailed and they were unanimously rejected (12-0 ), no chance of a trial period either . It now goes to the South Hams District Council, probably in December for them to make the final decision but we are hopefully that common sense will prevail.  Our objection along with many others helped to achieve this outcome.

follow up to Taw/Torridge Branch Meeting at Tamar Lakes

Posted October 4th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Concerning the observations made about Lower Tamar Lake during their recent meeting:-

1    The 'wetland' in front of the hide has overgrown, but funding is now in place to re-open this wetland area and this should be done by the end  of the year.   Contractors are being sought.

 2    The fencing and removal of vegetation - the Water Authority is legally responsible for fencing off adjoining farmlamd from their property.   The old fence had deteriorated and had to be replaced and this entailed removing the bracken/gorse/grass and some shrubs to provide access for the fencing contractors.   The fence has now been replaced and the vegetation is beginning to regrow.   By next year it should be well grown again.

3    The overgrown area to the right of the hide which restricted viewing to the right is now in the process of being thinned allowing a much wider field of view.

Harvey Kendall  (Volunteer Ranger)

New indices for Bird Reports and Devon Birds Journals

Posted October 1st, 2014 at 6:10 pm

New indices for Bird Reports and Devon Birds Journals

Since the beginning of the year our Archivist has been indexing the contents of both the Bird Reports and Devon Birds Journals since the forming of the Society in 1928. All species that require a full description at the time of the 2012 Report, whether for Devon Records Committee or the British Birds Records Committee, are included in the index. The more common species are not included. The indices are split into sections and include species, places, authors, obituaries, field meetings and where appropriate a miscellaneous section. All these are contained in separate files for both publications, to assist researchers.

The files form 400 pages so it is not practical to print copies or to place full indices on the website. The index for both publications will be updated immediately following publication.

Anyone requiring further information or copies of any part of the indices should contact the Society’s Archivist, Mike Tyler or telephone 01297 34958.

We would like to express our thanks to Mike for this epic piece of analysis which will benefit researchers in the future.

Mid Devon visit to Roadford

Posted October 1st, 2014 at 4:38 pm

On a delightful autumn morning 10 birders joined the Mid Devon group to walk a three mile circular route from the hide on the north end of the lake.  After the early mist cleared we had a pleasant stroll through a number of varying habitats, starting with the shallow waters at the feeder end where several species of duck & waterfowl were sighted. Standing on the bridge spanning the northern end made a good vantage point to see Teal, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Mallard and Gt. Crested Grebe etc.

Following the Ruby Country trail we headed up the west side of the reserve through the trees and across the fields towards the small village of Germansweek. Few birds were calling but we did pick up Chiffchaff, Long tailed Tit and a vocal Raven flew overhead. As we crossed some pasture land a Sparrowhawk swooped by, otherwise very little showing as we approached the hamlet. Here we found a good collection of garden birds, plus a Mistle Thrush flying over.

The down hill section was much more rewarding, especially when we entered the more mature woodland where we picked up Goldcrest, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Gt Spotted Woodpecker, a Buzzard flew above us being harassed by a Carrion Crow and several more common species were added to our list as we returned to the bird hide. During lunch over looking the water we found more water fowl, including Wigeon, Cormorant, three Gull species and the ever present noisy Canada Geese.

The group had a very pleasant three hour ramble in this extremely quiet part of Devon, not a soul was seen, not even in the village. The total count of species seen or heard tallied 37, a very rewarding total.

Digby Greenhill

The Next meeting is on Thurs 9 October, Grand Western Canal, meet at  Sampford Peverell car park, ST033143, Leader Ray Jones.

Please note the short Walk and Christmas Lunch is on Tuesday 9 December,  meet 1000am Newton St Cyres village car park followed by lunch at Crediton Golf Club (£14 for 2 course meal + coffee/mints).

Please email Annabelle Strickland  by Friday 21 November if you wish to attend the lunch or tel: 01392 439685    Everyone welcome, members & non-members.

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