Naturelog: 27 February

Our second day in South Devon and we are out again with local naturalist and artist, Mike Langman. Our first stop is Broadsands Bay where Mike has been providing Supplementary feeding during the Winter. This project is aimed at helping the local speciality species Cirl Bunting survive through the winter. This species had declined so much that only a handful of pairs remained in a couple of spots in Devon. Since the beginning of supplementary winter feeding programme began at a number of sites throughout South Devon the number of birds has risen dramatically and the species is now expanding out from its traditional area into surrounding counties. We get excellent views of Cirl Buntings and Yellowhammers.


Moving on from Broadsands, we drive to Dartington in search of Dipper. Parking up we walk the stretch of river which is an established territory and had a couple of flight views before we eventually found a bird collecting leaves for its nest.


Travelling South we moved onto Slapton Ley, a freshwater lake adjacent to the sea.

Common Lizard at Slapton Ley

We soon located a Ring-necked Duck, a visitor from North America, a number of whom have crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of the winter. On the sea is a Black-necked Grebe.

Slapton Ley
Black-necked Grebe

Continuing our journey south we come to Beeson Ley, but there are only a few ducks. On the sea here though are a flock of 25 Common Scoter.

Turning north we stop at a wood just outside Dartmouth, where we locate a male Firecrest. Excellent views but this hyper-active bird will not stay in one place to be photographed.

Photo by Ron Knight (

After Mike dropped us off in Brixham, Keith and I walked out to the end of the harbour breakwater. We were rewarded with sightings of 1 or 2 Seals plus a pod of 6 Dolphins (probably Bottlenosed) plus the amazing sight of over 100 Pied Wagtails coming into roost on the boats in the harbour.


Pied Wagtail

A second excellent day. Our thanks to Mike for sharing his local knowledge and transporting us around.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
Northern Fulmar [sp] (Fulmarus glacialis)
Red-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps grisegena)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mew Gull (Common) [group] (Larus canus canus/heinei)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Firecrest [sp] (Regulus ignicapilla)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
White-throated Dipper [sp] (Cinclus cinclus)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.