General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 24th November 2017


Two firecrest in the garden again this morning.

Posted yesterday at 7:29 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

Upper Lake.
1 Willow Tit, 4 Grey Heron, 5 Cormorants, 2 Pied Wagtail, 93 Canada Geese, 5 Snipe, 1 Song Thrush, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Wren.

Lower Lake.
11 Goosander,7m 4f, 9 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Tufted Duck, 43 Coot, 18 Moorhen, 21 Mallard, c50 Black-headed Gull 2 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Willow and 1 Marsh Tit.

Posted yesterday at 5:41 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Stover Country Park.

21 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended this mornings walk around the lake and south towards the meadows behind Stover School.  The absence of water birds on the lake was very noticeable with only 1 Gt- crested Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2 Coot present. 3 Snipe were on the water fringes and a Kingfisher seen briefly.  The lack of birds may indicate that birds are not moving west because of the mild winter to date.

The bird feeders provided close up views of Marsh Tit, Bullfinch, Nuthatch etc that are found here routinely.  

The meadows were notable for 3 Mistle Thrush, 1 Stonechat, 20+ Redwing, 4 Meadow Pipit, 10+ Siskin, 1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Song Thrush and others.  A total of 41 species was counted for the morning.

Posted yesterday at 5:37 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

24-11-17 Dartmoor

Both Male & Female Dartford Warbler showing well, mainly the female. Not many other birds were sighted, Goldfinches, Goldcrests

  Male & Female Dartford Warblers

Male & Female Dartford Warblers

Posted yesterday at 5:05 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

24-11-17 Ford Park Cemetery

Male & Female Black Redstarts were showing very well


Posted yesterday at 4:57 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery 24/11/2017

Black Redstart (m & f), Redwings, Meadow Pipits along with usual suspects

Posted yesterday at 4:13 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Suspect Snow Geese again

Sorry about yesterdays photos the wrong set was sent in error, here is a cropped set which I hope shows more detail. Any comments would be appreciated as I am undecided.


Eds: Indeed Snow Geese but presumed escapes they were at Maer Lakes from at least August! 

Posted yesterday at 4:06 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Firecrest in Plymouth

A male in the trees around Stoke Surgery on Devonport Road, Stoke again today. Has been around for two weeks.

Posted yesterday at 2:14 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding

Hawfinches Longdown

Count of Hawfinches this morning between 07.30 and 0830 reached a minumum of 109 birds.Many were missed as they were in mixed flocks of Brambling ,Redpoll l,Bullfinch.Siskin  and Redwing. 

Posted yesterday at 9:30 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Thursday 23rd November 2017

Suspect Snow Geese

Here are some photos of the suspect Snow Geese seen on Lower Tamar  Lake  31/10/2017, these where shot a Maer Lake toady but they are the same geese, they seem have the correct plumage showing the black primaries. Are they Snow Geese? Sorry about the photos it was very windy and a long range.

Posted November 23rd at 5:17 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Haldon Foirest & Stover Country Park

At Haldon Forest the Hawfinches showing ok, but at the back of the trees, so the only shots I could get were in-between the branches. At Stover, the usual suspects, with one exception, by the feeders a Treecreeper showed itself very well.


Posted November 23rd at 5:15 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Green Woodpeckers Higher Cemetery Exeter

One male, one female today, late evening.

Green Woodpecker Female     Green Woodpecker Male
Green Woodpecker Female                                      Green Woodpecker Male

Posted November 23rd at 5:02 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Fremington Pill

15.45 female Goosander swimming in stream with 6 mallard, close to Pill Cottage. 

Posted November 23rd at 4:47 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Hawfich ST thomas Church yard Cowick Street

At least 2 Hawfinch flew in with a small flock of Greenfinch into the high tree tops perching briefly before disappearing into the trees at 8:15am. also 16 redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush plus all the usual suspects.

Posted November 23rd at 3:47 pm by Nik Ward in General Birding

Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

From the hide this lunchtime, 1 Ruff, 1 Kingfisher, female Pochard, 9+ Gadwall and 20 Greylag Geese.

Posted November 22nd at 9:19 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Re:American Wigeon @ Matford Marsh 21/11/2017

These are images that never got uploaded from previous post.

Both images showing the same crown patch on both birds confirming returning bird from last winter.

1/W drake American Wigeon @ BGM 04/01/2017 2/W drake American Wigeon @ Matford  21/11/2017
1/W drake American Wigeon @ BGM 04/01/2017       2/W drake American Wigeon @ Matford 21/11/2017

Posted November 22nd at 8:26 pm by David Boult in General Birding


Drake American Wigeon still present on pool today. 

Posted November 22nd at 8:07 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Re:American Wigeon @ Matford Marsh 21/11/2017

Further to Matt's observation post from yesterday's adult drake American Wigeon seen at Matford Marsh. They do look to be the same bird that moved between Matford, Exminster and BG Marshes from last winter returning and clearly shows signs of same crown patch he mentions and shown in the attached images extracted from the videos. Thanks and well spotted Matt.

Posted November 22nd at 7:29 pm by David Boult in General Birding


First Brambling of the winter in garden today amongst a dozen Chaffinches, plus a partial albinism Blackbird. Not the best of pics taken through window!

Posted November 22nd at 4:15 pm by A COLLINGE in General Birding

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford - Spoonbill

With Rodney Bone at South Huish Marsh this morning pleased to finally catch up with the reported Spoonbill,( poor distant photos). Thanks to Eric Wotten for the heads up, following his sighting the previous day, when I was enjoying the hawfinch at Haldon - what a bill they have, some contrast from the spoHonbill! Only the 2nd record for Rod, who does the "webs" count for the area, since his first sighting several decades ago. Also present a cattle egret, with 10 little egret, a kingfisher,1 water pipit, 1 black tailed godwit, a few curlew, just 1 greenshank, 3 redshank and several teal, widgeon and mallard.

Spoonbill - South Efford Marsh - 22.11.17  Hawfinch - Haldon - 21.11.17
Spoonbill - South Efford Marsh - 22.11.17                        Hawfinch - Haldon - 21.11.17

Posted November 22nd at 4:09 pm by David Pakes in General Birding


Morning cutting up trees, and trying to count mobile smallish Finch flocks. Good numbers of Gold and Chaffinch, fewer Greenfinch.  A small number of Redwings. Pick of the bunch were a Reed Bunting, and a Siskin. No repeat of the Kingfisher from yesterday.

Out on the scrape, 175 Godwits, Little Egret, Pied Wagtail (uncommon at this time of year) and the Green Sandpiper also reappeared.

Posted November 22nd at 3:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Haldon Hawfinches

Photos relating to my text of yesterday showing hawfinches at Haldon Hill.


Posted November 22nd at 12:00 pm by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Hawfinches Shute East Devon

10 Hawfinches this morning.One group of 3 flying west over Church and a further 7 feeding on yew/field maple in ancient orchard approx 200 metres on lane above the village Church.

Posted November 22nd at 10:59 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Tuesday 21st November 2017

American Wigeon - Matford

I strongly suspect this is a returning drake. Looking at Dave's fantastic footage, both this bird and the bird present last winter (in first-winter plumage) show a narrow patch of darker feathering towards the rear of the cream crown stripe.

Posted November 21st at 8:38 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Haldon Hawfinches

Up to 20 Hawfinches at usual spot. Scores of Crossbills and several Bramblings seen.

Posted November 21st at 5:11 pm by bob barrow in General Birding

Matford marsh RSPB - 21/11/17

Drake American wigeon on main pool, 09.30 am, viewed from cycle path by roundabout... also 85 wigeon, 12 teal, 8 shoveler, 22 btg, little egret...

Also 405 Avocet at high tide from Bowling green hide this morning...

Posted November 21st at 9:38 am by Nick Patel in General Birding

Monday 20th November 2017


Not much action in the reserve in a brief visit this afternoon. Couple of Cetti's calling, and small flocks of Finches. However south of the reserve over Sherpa Marsh, a Marsh Harrier being given a really hard time by several Corvids. Out on the scrape at least 170 Black-tailed Godwits, a Shelduck, and a Green Sandpiper!

Posted November 20th at 6:56 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster marshes RSPB - 20/11/2017

Peregrine hawking over the marshes by Station road, Egyptian goose, 3 Pintail, 3 Cormorant, 6 Little egret, 2 Green sandpiper, 5 Curlew, Snipe, 45+ Redwing, 50+ Fieldfare, 25 Goldcrest, Raven, 3 Cetti's warbler, 7 Bullfinch...

Posted November 20th at 5:14 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Sunday 19th November 2017

Firecrest in Dunsford

Saw a Firecrest in our courtyard garden in Dunsford but the phto is not very clear

Posted November 19th at 9:47 pm by Christine Marsden in General Birding

Teign Estuary

Female Goosander at Passage House this morning; also two Bar-tailed Godwits and 51 Snipe. 15 Red-breasted Mergansers further down the estuary towards Ringmore.

Posted November 19th at 9:43 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

mandarin duck on tiverton canal

Mandarin duck sighted  on Tiverton canal near Burlescombe 19th November 2017

Posted November 19th at 8:01 pm by robin pearson in General Birding

Berry Head

A walk on Berry Head NNR this morning was very quiet, 2 Stonechat, 2 Shag in the gully by the coast path. Both had the start of the crest and looked very pristine, early breeding birds??? The best of the morning was the Fulmar gliding past the front of the Headland by the Lighthouse. 5 in number but never got a good picture, blank shot or a picture of a blur and the sea!! 3 harbor Porpoise and some Gannet diving for food. A beautiful morning in the sun.

Winter bird boat trips in Torbay start Sunday morning 17th December and Saturday 23rd Dec, then 7th Jan every Sunday. If interested call 07866202576. 

Posted November 19th at 7:02 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Sprey Point Teignmouth

Approx 80 scoter off Sprey Point.  Also one Great Northen Diver and one other diver suspected Red Throated but too far out to confirm. Did anyone else see a very large fish breaching the surface just off Holcombe approx 3.00 pm?  Possibly tuna ?

Posted November 19th at 6:54 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Soussons Plantation

At least 12 Crossbills at Soussons this morning.

Posted November 19th at 5:38 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Haldon Hawfinches

A group of around 15 very mobile birds this afternoon

Posted November 19th at 4:55 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

The morning's tally inc. Sparrowhawk, 2 Snipe, 17 Stock Dove, 210 Skylark, 19 Blackbird, 140 Carrion Crow, 60 Linnet, 2 Bullfinch, 30 Yellowhammer & 26 Cirl Bunting.

Non-avian: 2 Roe Deer, Brown Hare, Red Admiral.

Posted November 19th at 2:13 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Hawfinches Longdown

A minumum count of 98 Hawfinches this morning at Longdown (4 groups flying up the valley). The true number must be in the region of 150 birds allowing for the many groups of up to  6 flying around the estate. 

Posted November 19th at 12:00 pm by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding


A most productive morning at Occombe produced the 1st Hawfinch I've seen here. It was a real sign of late Autumn with 15 Blackbirds (only 1 female), 9 Bullfinches (5 male, 4 female), 6 Redwing, Green Woodpecker, Buzzard, 3 Jay, Pheasant (m), 4 Great Tits, pair of Blue Tits & Goldfinch, 5 Wrens, 6/7 Stock Dove, Raven, 4 Robins, Chaffinch, Dunnock and most unusual, I counted at least 25 (but probably more) Magpie in a flock flying westerly.

Posted November 19th at 10:52 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Incredible Hawfinch Numbers Longdown

Morning count at Longdown this morning saw 4 groups of Hawfinches totalling 98 birds flying up the valley. There were many other smaller groups of up to 3 .Total thought to be in the region of 150 birds!

Posted November 19th at 9:50 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Saturday 18th November 2017

Interesting Nuthatch

The photo that I couldn't have uploaded this am.

Posted November 18th at 9:57 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Dawlish Warren 18th Nov 2017

Dawlish Warren, Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver out from the seventh groin. Jack Snipe and Common Snipe showing but well in the reeds at edge of main pond by the Sand Martin wall. Pair of shoveler on main pond along with pair of Mute Swans


Posted November 18th at 8:41 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Exe Estuary Cruise

Excellent Stuart Line Cruise lead by my Dad on the Exe Estuary today, 1-4pm. On the lower Estuary off Cockwood/Starcross the resident Slavonian Grebe, two Great Northern Divers and a surprise Red-throated Diver. An immature Long-tailed Duck was also present but remained extremely distant off towards Mudbanks.  

Further up the Estuary were incredible numbers of Wigeon and 100+ Pintail, mostly around the Clyst, along with 300+ Avocet and the usual selection of wading birds. A group of 30 Sanderling were particularly nice to watch, as were c230 Golden Plover and 80 Lapwing. Sightings of four different Kingfishers pleased everyone on the boat, unlike the drone that was being flown over the river, being controlled by a small group of people at Topsham.

Three Common Seal were hauled out on the mud together near Turf Lock, one youngster. 

Red-throated Diver Slavonian Grebe Common Seals
Red-throated Diver                         Slavonian Grebe                           Common Seals

Posted November 18th at 8:22 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Ludwell valley - Northbrook park - 18/11/17

Nice calm morning's spotting, 2 Kingfisher, 4 Bullfinch, Brambling, 2 Chiffchaff, 15+ Goldcrest, 2 Treecreeper, 2 Jay, 3 GSW, 25+ Fieldfare, 100+ Redwing, 3 Little egret... 

Posted November 18th at 3:46 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Holdstone down

A dawn start to a walk over the Moor before the rain was due was almost bird free until about 9am, single reed bunting, chaffinch, kestrel, 3 meadow pipits wrens 2 bullfinch males, flocks of starling and plover. 

Posted November 18th at 3:17 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Yarner & Stover 17/11/17feeders

Yarner Woods. Usual suspects on the feeders along with a GSW.

Stover Park. Heron, Swans + Cygnet, 2 Acive Kingfishers and 3 Snipe as wellas the usual suspects on the feeders including a GSW

Posted November 18th at 2:51 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning,
6 GLoosander 5m 1f, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorant.

Posted November 18th at 1:11 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Interesting Nuthatch

When I first saw this very pale Nuthatch in my Colebrook garden I took it to be a juvenile, but none of my books show this type of plumage. So I take it that it is leucistic or something similar.  The eyestripe and the bill are very pale and generally the whole bird has a 'washed out' appearance.  Before anyone shouts 'fake', the two birds wouldn't tolerate each other on the same feeder, so the 'normal' bird is photoshopped in.

Posted November 18th at 11:00 am by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Marine Parade, Preston

Red Necked Grebe and Black Necked Grebe both still offshore this morning plus 4 Common Scoter

Posted November 18th at 10:13 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

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