Society News from July 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 - Philip Marlow, African Game Parks are not just the Big 5

13th December - John Walters, the Secret Life of the Long-tailed Tit

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


R Axe Field Trip Thurs 7 Aug

Posted July 31st, 2014 at 11:07 am

Plymouth Branch Field Trip to River Axe Do join us at Seaton Marsh on the lovely River Axe, East Devon on Thursday 7th August at 10.30am, everyone welcome.

The car park on the west side of the valley is near the cemetery at grid ref.SY249915.

The estuary offers many sites such as Tower and Island Hide at Black Hole Marsh, which look over the river and adjacent lagoons in search of waders and wildfowl.

Contact Lesley Goonesekera 01548 856011 or Liz Harris 01752 789594 for car sharing.

Field Trip Witheridge Moor 31 July

Posted July 26th, 2014 at 11:36 am

All members welcome on the field trip organised by the Mid Devon Group to Witheridge Moor on Thursday 31 July.

Meet for 10.00am at Witheridge Moor Cross SS859150 for a good selection of birds and butterflies

Leader: Ray Jones. tel: 01884 255386  (bring packed lunch).

Report on Bellever Field Trip

Posted July 19th, 2014 at 12:11 am

We were 13 for this walk.  We started around the parking area with the albeit brief spotting of a Crossbill in the tree tops, which for those of us who saw it was a great way to begin, and then wandered slowly down to the river and along to the bridge where we had wonderful views of family parties of Grey Wagtail, Redstart, and Stonechat.

We spent the rest of the morning just ambling slowly down towards Snaily House,  most of the time with a Heron staying just ahead, and then back again up the river, before settling down for a picnic lunch under the trees hoping for more views of Crossbill which we could tantalisingly hear.

The morning gave us a nice selection of 22 species seen and heard, and notably some delightful family parties with plenty of young birds around.

Grey Wagtail Bellever Tom Wallis 17.7.14 In the afternoon we set off up past the Youth Hostel watching house martins, sparrows and swallows on the way, and into some of the plantation tracks.  The sun came out and it was the hottest afternoon of the year so far so as we expected the bird sightings were fairly quiet, though we often walked to the accompaniment of Goldcrest and Coal tit, heard, if not seen, and a Buzzard soared on the thermals. There were some beautiful butterflies including marsh fritillary, and quite a few dragonflies, including one amazing hawker that caught a bee, settled on a foxglove and proceeded to despatch the bee with us all watching.

Golden Ringed Dragonfly with bee Tom Wallis

It proved a delightful relaxed day, with good company and a nice variety of birds, totalling 32 species.

Mary Wallis

Field Trip around Bellever Thurs 17th at 10.00am

Posted July 15th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Mary Wallis will lead a walk around Bellever Plantation meeting at the pay & display (£2 per day) car park at SX656773

Mary has organised a morning walk along the river.  Lunch back at the car park (where there are loos) and an afternoon walk for those who want to do both halves of the plantation which will cover some of the tracks through the plantation area.

All members welcome also open to non-members

Any queries please contact Mary 01837 840115

Clennon Valley Ponds Friends Group

Posted July 15th, 2014 at 11:23 am by Mike Langman

On Wednesday 16th July at 7pm Mike Langman will be leading a walk around the ponds at Clennon Valley. Meeting at the black notice board by the 'duck feeding' area and weir by the bottom easternmost pond.

The site needs help; both the wildlife habitats and footpaths that are almost un-walkable during the winter. The aim is to get a Friends of Clennon Ponds Group started to initially work on some simple management of the site but as the group grows bigger projects on the site can be carried out.

Clennon Valley has hosted many great rare birds in recent years including 2 Dusky Warblers, 2 Penduline Tits, many Yellow-browed Warblers and Siberian Chiffchaffs, a Franklins Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Ospreys, Red kites and Bittern.

If you are interested in helping come along on the walk see some wildlife and discuss what can be done.  


Bowling Green Marsh Hide Closure

Posted July 14th, 2014 at 8:15 pm

We understand that Bowling Green Marsh hide will now be closed for improvements a week later than for mentioned from  28th July - 31st August 2014 or possibly longer.

Most of the marsh can be seen from gaps in the hedge along Bowling Green Road. And don't forget the platford that overlooks the Clyst Estuary, this can be a good place to look.

More photographs needed including Landscapes

Posted July 13th, 2014 at 11:31 pm

There has been an incredible response to the request for photographs of birds (in Devon) for the Devon Bird Atlas with over 1,000 images submitted so far – many absolutely stunning, Thank you to everyone that has so far submitted photos.

The Devon Bird Atlas also requires some landscape photos to illustrate the variety of the many differing regions of the county. If you can offer photos for consideration please ensure they are file named so we can create a credit and caption from every photograph submitted eg. a photo taken at Haytor,  Dartmoor by Joe Bloggs could be: HaytrDrtmrJBg.

Gt Crested Grebe Adrian Davey Stover Nov 2012

There are several bird species missing or perhaps we just need a couple more photos. There are some surprisingly common species missing –and skulking and trickier species which are never going to be easy to photograph but I am sure our county photographers are up to the challenge. Species that we are short of include: Bewick’s Swan, Barnacle, White-fronted, Pink-footed and Bean Goose, Gadwall,  Scaup, Ring necked Duck, Eider, Common, Surf and Velvet Scoter, Smew, Red Grouse, Grey Partridge. All of the Harriers, Crane, Quail, Green & Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Woodcock, Lesser-black Backed Gull, Little Tern,  Razorbill, Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Swift, Woodlark, Tree Pipit, Nightingale, Mistle and Song Thrush, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Bearded Tit, Rook, and Redpoll.

We are looking for excellent quality photographs (so saved at 300dpi as high quality jpeg) of every species of bird recorded in Devon, be it a common, scarce or rare species. And this is how to submit them:

Photographs (up to 5MB) for selection will be collected in a ‘Devon Atlas 3’ dropbox folder (

For an invite to submit material contact Mike Langman:

Burrator Reservoir Event

Posted July 7th, 2014 at 9:19 am

The South West Lakes Trust ‘Celebration Day’ held at Burrator Reservoir on Sunday 6th July was attended by Anna, Maureen and Jonathan, who manned a static display in the main marquee. A steady stream of visitors kept the team busy answering questions about birds and the younger ones were engrossed in colouring and making a bird mobile.

Burrator Event


Burrator Event 2

Bowling Green Marsh Hide Closure

Posted July 2nd, 2014 at 9:25 am

The RSPB have informed us that Bowling Green Marsh hide will be closed for improvements 21st July - 31st August 2014.

Most of the marsh can be seen from gaps in the hedge along Bowling Green Road. And don't forget the platford that overlooks the Clyst Estuary, this can be a good place to look either side of high tide."

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