Saturday, 19 May 2012

Princetown - Dartmoor

Two Red Kites over - drifting towards Burrator area c17:00hrs today.
(Jan Daniels)

Exminster marsh

Watched from 16:30 till 18:30 A quiet afternoon with 6+ hobbies still around the marsh giving great views, the suprise was a white fronted goose viewed from the road just before fishermans car park. 2 redshank, 1 Dunlin, 4 whimbrel and a brief cuckoo seen flying along the lagoon bank it buzzed a hobby sat on a post flew towards the railway line.


imm.spoonbill again plus little tern,48 common,5 sandwich and possible roseate feeding in estuary.Possiblle roseate smaller,paler thann common with very visible streamers even at distance tho too far to confirm.17:30-18:30.


At 3.20pm while walking past the gate opposite the quarry, I was surprised to see a white second year type Iceland Gull flying up the valley towards Deer Bridge. Another late sighting of a species I wouldn't normally expect to get now.   


12:05 - 12:15 A Red Kite circling over Topsham being harassed by Gulls before gaining height and strongly flying off West towards Exminster

[Gary Clayden]


Mudbank - 6 red kite over the house @1055 before powering across the river towards Haldon. Also this morning sum plum slavonian grebe off Mudbank, 2 turnstone, 1 grey plover, 3 bar-tailed godwit and 2 great crested grebe.
Orcombe Point - 0530 - 1 'new' lesser whitethroat in but otherwise quiet with 5 manx shearwater, 8 common scoter, 3 common tern and 1 prob, but very distant, pomarine skua south @ 0540.

Berry Hd

0600-0830hrs: 3 Yellow Wagtails (2 > E, one lingering on walls of Northern Fort by cafe), 1 female Black Redstart (on Coastguards building), 17 Swift > E, a brief look at the sea produced 17 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Common Scoter and a Harbour Porpoise.

Friday, 18 May 2012

exminster marsh

watched along station road from 15:00 till 18:30

A busy afternoon over the marsh with hundreds of swifts and house martins and good numbers of swallow and sand martins over the marsh, 2 yellow wagtails on main scrape by the middle car park, 3 white wagtail in fields by railway bridge, 7 wigeon, 2 tufted duck, 20+ little egrets, peregrine.

12 summer plumage Dunlin were on scrapes by the fishermans car park with 2 redshank

6+  hobbies still around the marsh  this fantastic individual showed well for 20mins along station road


imm spoonbill at 16:30

Thurlestone Bay

A good end to what has been a quiet week

This morning waders on the beach- 13 Sanderling, 7 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel. At 9.45 Bob B heard a Wood Sandpiper after a 30 min search found the bird in a corner of South Huish Marsh- flew off at 10.45 high over Hope Cove.

At 15.30 this aft. Bob called round for a chat - looking at the scrape 20 yds from my garden another Wood Sandpiper- this one stayed for 10mins only.

At 16.30 went to the Bay and had a good 2hrs sea watch - 210 Gannet, 50 Common Scoter, 25 Manx Shearwater and best of all 3 Pomarine Skua - all flying east .

On the beach were 3 Whimbrel, 7 Sanderling, 1 Ringed Plover

Dartmoor - yesterday 17/5

Red Kite flew over Kestor heading south over Fernworthy reservoir  [Joe Martin]

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Just checking on the 7 cygnets at Wrafton pond this afternoon, and saw an odd bird fly round the lake. Turned out to be a summer-plumage Dunlin! Very odd. No mud so it flew off. In the reserve later saw the first juvenile Robin

Young's Park, Goodrington

A pair of Red Crested Pochard have appeared on the ponds at Goodrington today, another blond type female only stayed one day during the early spring.

There were also 2000+ mostly Herring Gulls feeding just off shore in the surf at both Goodrington and Paignton Sands, a good check failed to reveal anything else of interest with them.

Hooded Crow report

Hooded Crow reported by Mike Bell at SS562204 on 15th May. It was with a Carrion Crow so could well still be in the area?


Bay watched for a total of 6 hrs  with an increasing SE wind. Only return was 2 flocks of Common Scoter totalling 45 .

Waders on the beaches were  35 Whimbrel, 20 Dunlin, 8 Sanderling,1 Ringed Plover.

At 16.30 the adult female Marsh Harrier flying over the marsh

Paignton seafront

At 8pm last night a group of 16 Sandwich Terns flying along near the pier. Seems a late spring date for this many together.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Walked around this evening, and not much has changed: plenty of hawking Swallows and Sand Martins, several Swifts, 2 Gadwall, 2 Whimbrel on the pill, one Yellow Wagtail. A smattering of Pied Wagtails. The reserve is now surrounded by young four-foooted bovine hooligans, and they chased off the Black-tailed Godwit (where the Stilts were) yesterday.

Exminster marsh

A quick visit between 15:00 and 16:30 8+ hobby around the marsh with a group of 4 over the lagoon, 3 wheatear, 2 gadwall and 90+ shelduck, peregrine and kestrel. Popped over to powderham and had 2 red legged partridge run across the road by the church Not a bad afternoon


A Red Kite over Dalwood (nr. Axminster) this morning [Rob Payne]

Woodchat Pics

A couple of nice photos of the Noss Mayo Woodchat Shrike...

© Paul Fenn - 15th May

© Barry Rankine - 14th May

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Red Kites - Dartmoor

Report from a Dartmoor Ranger of a Red Kite over Kes Tor early evening Sunday. We had a Red Kite around noon today being blown in the wind from Birch Tor area towards Grimspound. Sadly can't compete with the number seen in Cornwall at the weekend.

Noss Mayo

The exceptionally confiding first summer male Woodchat Shrike still present this evening south of Noss Mayo and south of Warren National Trust car park on gorse and fences by the coastal footpath at the end of the lane from the car park. Also a Whimbrel at the bottom of the valley.

Thurlestone Bay

Late update for Monday - 15 Whimbrel and a Dunlin.

Livened up un the evening - at 21.00  the first Hirundine roost of the Spring - a mixed flock of over 500 birds. Also a nice adult female  Marsh Harrier flying over the Marsh - could not see the tail defect which would indicate the Slapton bird .

Tuesday - Around the Bay - 45 Gannet, 5 Manx Shearwater, 2 Fulmar, 1 Sandwich Tern, 27 Whimbrel , 1 Sanderling.
This afternonn went over to the Warren NT car park (near Noss Mayo ) and had great views of the Woodchat Shrike

Noss Mayo again

Just had a text from a P Fenn; Woodchat Shrike still present this morning, sheltering from wind in the hedgerow on the left hand side of the track down from the car park.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Noss Mayo

Woodchat Shrike shoiwng well this evening, on footpath below Warren NT Car park near Noss Mayo. Also 3 Whimbrel and 2 Wheatear.

Yarner Wood yesterday

A few photos from a day in the wood on Sunday: pied flycatcher and wood warbler in the wood, and a garden warbler by the heath above the reserve office.

Slapton Ley

Had to drive along Torcross Line mid afternoon . Unfortunately no time to stop but obviously a couple of thousand Swifts present along the lower ley and good numbers of hirundines.

Teign Estuary

Robin Shute has seen 2 Little Ringed Plovers on the Teign off Passage House Inn today, also 1 Ringed Plover with them.

Brixham - Sunday evening

Nigel Smallbones had a stunning visitor to his garden on Sunday evening - a male Golden Oriole that paused briefly in his Magnolia tree before heading off East. It's not the first time a good bird has visited his premises, many of will you remember huddling into his kitchen to see an Olive-backed Pipit some years ago!

Trentishoe - Hen Harrier

great although brief sighting of a male Hen Harrier as we were driving along the coastal road at Trentishoe, (nr Combe Martin) N Devon. approx 6pm

Sunday, 13 May 2012


Pochard still on Wrafton Pond today, and at least 2 Gadwall at Sherpa. The Spotted Flycatcher we didn't catch in the reserve yesterday was still there today, not seen one in there before. This evening at Sherpa, hundreds of Sand Martins, late or waiting for water levels to subside before breeding? A few Swallows and Swifts and a single Yellow Wagtail. 3 Canada goslings (yesterday). Two Whimbrel on Braunton Pill.
Late news from 1st May - Wood Sandpiper where the Stilts were, but it flew and no further sign.
Had a few screaming Swifts around my house today - lovely.

Woodchat Shrike - still present

Just had an email drop in the Devon Bird News inbox from Elizabeth, Hazel and Phillip Strange. They saw and photographed the Woodchat Shrike in gorse bushes on the coast path near the NT Warren car park, Noss Mayo at 15:40 today.

East Soar

Unfortunatly no sign of Roy's Woodchat Shrike this morning. Best bird was a Short-eared Owl found by Ivan Lakin flying behind East Soar Farm and watched a little while later hunting over the east side of the Warren. Elsewhere 11 Wheatears and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.


A purring Turtle Dove at the Beer Cemetery fields from 12.30 - 17.15, then flushed from its tree by fighting Woodpigeons, it then flew N.E.

Exminster marsh

Watched from 09:40 till 14:30 11+ hobby over the lagoon was another excellent total with several others around the marsh during the day i missed a spoonbill which put in a brief appearance around 11:15 before flying of towards topsham ( thanks to James Diamond) 2 barnacle geese was an unexpected find for may, also reported from around the marsh this morning was a honey buzzard that was seen heading north late morning(Thanks to R Khan) A total of 17+ sedge warbler, 4+ reed warbler, kestrel, peregrine, 15+ little egret, 4 cetti's, 2 whitethroat

Thurlestone Bay

Late news for SAT 12 May - Waders in the bay - 20 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling. Also 2 Wheatear 4 Whitethroat. In the Copse our first Spotted Flycatcher of the year.
Thutlestone Marsh had 2 Gadwall 50 Swift and 50 Swallow.

Sun 13 May- Waders - 15 Whimbrel, 8 Sanderling, 2 dunlin , 1 Ringed plover. On the rocks off Warren Pt a nice male Garganey.

3 new Sedge warbler ringed by Bob B this am ,he also had 2 Tufted Duck on South Huish Marsh
Thurlestone Marsh - 2 Gadwall and a F Teal.

Berry Head

A scattering of migrants today: 9 Wheatear, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Sand Martin, 7 Swifts > NE, and one juv Starling at the entrance of the northern fort! Good numbers of Whitethroat and a few Blackcap and Chiffchaff seemingly all on territory.

E Soar (Saturday 12/05)

 pic,s of the Woodchat, E Soar on the hedges between the Ponds and the 'Plantation 20:00hrs  yesterday.  congrat's to the finder.