I thought it would be a good time to start the new thread for Spring 2016 as we are now seeing bird movements along the Devon coast. Our first Sand Martins were recorded yesterday with individuals seen in South Devon, on the Exe and in North Devon near the River Taw. ChiffChaffs have been seen in growing numbers with large numbers of Meadow Pipits seen on both coastlines. A few Wheatears have been reported in the South West none in Exmouth to date but could be any time soon. Interestingly several Red Kites have been reported locally which is a rarity for Devon however this time of year we tend to get continental birds drifting over to the UK. It is understood these birds are Male in search of females. There in no local population of Red Kite so these birds will probably drift on thro' our area. Our Exe Brent Geese are now dispersing and heading north on their epic journey of 3000 miles back to Northern Siberia where they'll stay on their breeding grounds until September when hopefully they will return with more youngsters than last year. Our Avocets will be off soon back to Holland and the low countries on the continent. Widgeon, Teal, Pintail Redshank, Godwits, and other Waders will be also heading north for the long days of summer to all return again from September for yet another winter with us in Devon. We have plenty to look forward to in the coming few months with increasing numbers of migrants hitting our shores... a very interesting and exciting time ahead. Please feel free to add to thin thread when migration hits your area. Thanks for reading.
Lovely to hear the first Sand Martins were heading back in and the other birds like Pipits and Chiffchaffs are on the increase; I can't wait to see the Whitethroats back and hope to see more Wheatear this year as I have another new place to look for them ! Spring is such an exciting time of year when we say goodbye to our winter migrants and hello to the summer ones, plenty of action hopefully to keep us all entertained until later in the year when it all goes into reverse again ! Great start to the thread Derek and look forward to peoples additions on here.
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
In reply to HAZY:
Haven't seen any migrants yet. I keep expecting to hear that familiar call of the Chiffchaff on my local patch any day now.
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In reply to TeeJay:
Update from the weekend... picking up know with the first Wheatears touching down in Dawlish Warren a stones throw from Exmouth. Saturday morning had a walk around the local patch Orcombe point area of Exmouth produced incoming Chiffchaff with the first singing Chiffchaff we all love so much Tony!! and a small fall of Meadow Pipits 15+. Bullfinches very active on the budding Blackthorn is always nice to see. Had a nice Firecrest with a small group of Goldcrest to. A steady count of Sand Martins locally at Bowling Green Marsh and across the county so keep a look out further north these early birds are on there way. Hoping for my own Wheatear tomorrow!
In reply to Derek C:
Thanks for the great update Derek, hope to see the Wheatears heading back in to north west soon and the arrival of the other returning beauties. It's such a lovely time of year :)
Thought I should mention that the avocets are building up nicely on the Scrape at Minsmere and the ospreys are starting to return to their nests - two females are now at Rutland, one at the Loch of the Lowes and our very own EJ (as in the resident female at an RSPB nest!) at Loch Garten returned this morning.
Our herring gulls are red listed birds. Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.
In reply to Clare:
Hi Derek good to see the summer visitors (feathered grockles) are arriving your way hopefully they will be here soon, love the first pic with the rainbow by the way.
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In reply to Shane:
My friend heard her first blackcap of the year on Barnes Common today which she always takes as her first sign of spring. It's official now, people! :-)
Also, the bitterns have left the London Wetlands Center, but there are still water pipits on Staines Moor and spotted redshanks down in South Essex (apparently!) so not all our winter migrants have left just yet.
In reply to Richard H:
My first Spring Wheatears arrived overnight on the Cliffs at Orcombe Point Exmouth. Two stunning males. Spring Migration has started...
wonderful photos of the male Wheatears Derek, can't wait to see them arrive in the N.W.
Smart Wheatears :)
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