Society News from March 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


Apologies - Devon Birds AGM

Posted March 29th, 2014 at 9:54 pm

We would like to apologise to all members who made a wasted journey this afternoon to the Kenn Centre only to find that the booking agent had double-booked the venue with an all day event despite having accepted our Secretary's written booking for the AGM six months ago.

We are now trying to find an alternative date to suit our speaker and will be in touch with a new date for the  AGM in the near future. 

Once again apologies from a very disappointed Council team.

Sat 29th AGM and Talk by Malcolm Burgess

Posted March 28th, 2014 at 9:53 pm

The AGM will take place at the Kenn Centre, Exeter Road, Kennford, Exeter EX6 7UE on Sat 29 March at 2.30pm. Printed versions of the Annual Report and Accounts will be available at the meeting.

After the formal AGM the Speaker will be Dr Malcolm Burgess who will give an illustrated talk focusing on his scientific conservation work on Pied Flycatchers, Cuckoos, Swifts and Wood Warblers in Devon.

I hope to see you at our AGM.

George,  Chairman

Mid-Devon Branch Field Meeting, BGM and Darts Farm, Sat 22 March

Posted March 26th, 2014 at 9:20 pm

The day started off with sunny weather followed by a couple of showers later in the day when it also turned very cold.  The walk started from Goosemoor Bridge area to the hide at Bowling Green where we saw a good variety of birds including 2 swallows arriving from their wintering areas after their hazardous migration which was lovely to see. 

Greenshank at Goosemoor 21.3.14 P Richardson


We then walked past the Platform area which suffered severe damage in the storms earlier in the year therefore unable to walk down the footpath,  then down to the Goatwalk which also suffered severe storm damage and now inaccessible but viewed it from the foreshore – hopefully it will be restored very soon.  Our walk then took us to the new Exe Estuary Trail to Darts Farm with views of the River Clyst where we spotted several beautiful greenshanks.  This was followed by a walk around Darts Farm to the hide area and concluded with a total of 50 species of birds sighted including songthrush, chiffchaff, dunlin, tufted duck, redshank, shoveler, house and sand martin, little egret and ruff.

To add to this the dog Fox which has apparently been appearing at Bowling Green Marsh for at least 3 years was present and in the past it has been noted as subject of mobbing by the geese but is completely unfazed by them but great to see him still around.

Many thanks to Peter Richardson for leading this walk and for his knowledge of the area and expertise on the birds.

The next Mid-Devon meeting will be at Eggesford Forest on Tues 1 April at 10am. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Annabelle Strickland

Quick! Lundy Tickets - only a month to go

Posted March 21st, 2014 at 9:29 am

Lundy Trip 18th May - buy your tickets through our Shop or by Post


Day Trip to LUNDY   Sunday 18th May 2014


Boarding at Bideford from 8.00am    Sailing from Bideford at 8.30am  Returning to Bideford c 8.30pm

Bar and buffet available on board

Everyone is welcome, birdwatchers or those who would just like a peaceful day on this beautiful Island. We also hope to include a sail around the Island to see the seabirds and seals

full name and gender of all passengers is a steamship requirement, please give details when purchasing

Adults £29, Children (under 16) £16

Buy through the Shop now


Tickets available from:  Mark Humfrey, Morada, St John’s Lane, Barnstaple  EX32 9DD              Tel. No. 01271344556

All applications must be clearly marked ‘Lundy Trip’ and must include a SAE please. Cheques should be made payable to Devon Birds.Tickets for

Cuckoo Update - Whortle and Tor are on their way!

Posted March 11th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

The exciting news is that we still have two active Cuckoos in Whortle and Tor, and here is an update on their progress over the last three months.

Back in November Whortle was in the Democractic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the middle of Africa and Tor was well to his west in Congo.  In December Whortle gently started his migration back to Europe and by late February had moved around 400 miles north west to Niki National Park in Cameroon.

However, Tor, after being located in Congo in November with a further report received in early December from the same area then went quiet with no signals right through the rest of December, January and also the whole of February when hope was then very much waning for his survival.

Then on 3 March, three whole months after his last transmission, there was a signal revealing he has moved North into the Central African Republic and we hope feeding up in preparation for his migration back to Devon.

We are delighted with this news and wish them well for the very hazardous Sahara crossing and the rest of their journey back to Devon.


Lundy Field Society AGM

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 9:39 pm by Steve Waite

Lundy Field Society AGM in Crediton on Saturday 8 March from 12 midday. All welcome. Bird talks from Tim Jones and Helen Booker

Mid-Devon Branch Field Meeting, Steps Bridge, Tuesday 4th March.

Posted March 6th, 2014 at 6:34 am by Steve Waite

After a very informative briefing from our walk leader Tim Channon, the group set off to enjoy a beautiful Spring Walk along the river where the daffodils are budding and lots of snowdrops and catkins to be seen – a good sign of Spring at last!  The birds were singing around us as we walked and we saw a good variety of woodland birds and in good numbers, including 2 Goosanders, a Firecrest, plenty of Goldcrest, Marsh Tits, Treecreepers, Nuthatches, and several Dippers.  Before we started the walk from the car park, a Tawny Owl was heard from somewhere below and heard again as we arrived back at the car park at the end of the walk late afternoon.  The weather was dry albeit overcast and we stopped in a clearing in the woods for lunch where raven and buzzards were soaring overhead. All in all a lovely days birding and getting together with a friendly and good humoured group which is a large part of any meeting.
The next Mid-Devon meeting will be at Bowling Green followed by Darts Farm, Topsham on Saturday 22 March at 10am.  Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Annabelle Strickland

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