Society News from March 2017

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


Plymouth Branch Field Meeting Report

Posted March 24th, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Topsham and Bowling Green Marsh 6th March 2017

With heavy rain forecast throughout the day 6 intrepid birders met started at Holman Way car park SX968881 for what they hoped would be a day’s birding without getting too wet. In the event the weather was kind and a good birding was achieved.  

We started at the Key at Topsham Quay car park before walking along the road towards the Marsh. First stop was the viewing platform overlooking the river at SX 97284 87296 where we had very good views of a Common Seal eating a large Mullet.   Moving on to the Bowling Green Marsh hide for an hour either side of high water before walking to the NCN Goosemoor & River Clyst Bridge path for views across the moor.  

Bird list

  1. Wood pigeon
  2. Collared dove
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Canada goose
  5. Robin
  6. House sparrow
  7. Dunnock
  8. Starling
  9. Blue tit
  10. Great tit
  11. Goldfinch
  12. Blackbird
  13. Blackheaded Gull
  14. Herring Gull
  15. Red-breasted Merganser – 6
  16. Teal
  17. Feral pigeon
  18. Redshank
  19. Avocet
  20. Blacktailed Godwit
  21. Cormorant
  22. Pied Wagtail
  23. Dunlin
  24. Golden Plover – 500 to 1000
  25. Curlew
  26. Mute swan
  27. Shelduck
  28. Mallard
  29. Grey plover – 10+
  30. Song Thrush – 1
  31. Common Gull – 2
  32. Magpie
  33. Jay
  34. Wigeon
  35. Moorhen
  36. Bartailed Godwit
  37. Shoveler
  38. Goldcrest
  39. Snipe
  40. Pintail
  41. Lapwing
  42. Coot
  43. Tufted duck – c. 5
  44. Little Grebe – 3
  45. Little Egret – 1 or 2
  46. Buzzard – 3
  47. Sand Martin – 2
  48. Greenfinch
  49. Chaffinch
  50. Grey heron
  51. Greenshank – c.7
  52. Spotted Redshank – 1
  53. Water Rail – 1 heard


Red fox – 1

Common Seal – 1 Medium sized; eating a Thick-lipped grey Mullet.

John O'Connell-Davidson

Mid Devon Field Meeting Steps Bridge – Tuesday 21 March 2017

Posted March 23rd, 2017 at 7:41 pm by Inga Page

Dipper © Ron Champion, 15/3/2017, Dartmeet, With nest building material.  Same site for 35+ years.

16 members attended Steps Bridge today for a most enjoyable field meeting. Ably led by Tim Channon who has great knowledge of this area, his local patch, so many thanks to him!  It was very encouraging to have 2 friendly and knowledgeable prospective new members in attendance, hopefully they will join us again.  It was good to hear people happily sharing their knowledge with each other and discussing various points of the sightings.

The weather was typical for early spring, mixed sunshine and showers allowing us 32 different species seen and heard.  Most notable, were at least 2 lesser spotted woodpeckers, 3 pairs of dipper – 2 seen coming from their nest about 6ft up a tree alongside the river, several song thrush, nuthatch, redwing, siskin, jay, tree creepers, pair of bullfinch, pair of goosander, kingfisher, heron, marsh tit, gs woodpecker, sparrowhawk, goshawk and to end the day a tawny owl was heard nearby.  All the other usual suspects, eg goldcrest, grey wagtail, buzzard etc were present so a good birding day was had by all.

Annabelle Strickland, Mid Devon Co-ordinator

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