Devon Bird Sightings

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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 id@devonbirds.org.

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

Monday 15th October 2018

Velator

Ringed a whole lot of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits today with a Coal tit thrown in for good measure. Also the first autumn arrival of Chaffinches with about a dozen ringed. A female Goldcrest and a male Siskin were about the best, but bird of the day avoided the nets: 2 calling Mistle Thrushes graced the reserve for a short while. Only one previous record.

Out on the scrape no sign of the single Godwit that as been around lately.

ED: I also retrapped a Long-tailed Tit which I originally ringed in June 2014 as a 3J. More than 4 years for LTT is good going. Last saw it 2 years ago.

Posted 36 minutes ago by Jon Turner in General Birding

Taw Torridge estuary.

One Spoonbill on high tide roost with Little Egrets , Isley marsh.     Glossy 

Ibis feeding at the top end of Fremington pill.    Just one Common Sandpiper with around 150 Redshank on the pill.

Posted 2:29 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Thurlestone ~ Isabelline Shrike

The reported Isabelline Shrike showing well from the coastal path alongside the Thurlestone golf course.

  

Also in the area 150 plus Meadow Pipits, flocks of Goldfinch, a handful of Wheatear, pair of Stonechat, several Rock Pipits, two Swallow, Heron and Raven.

On the beach 15 Oyster Catcher, 11 Dunlin and 5 juvenile Ringed Plover.

Out to sea several Gannet in the distance.

  

 

Posted 1:26 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

15-10-18 Radford Lake

A Cormorant battling with a rather large eel was a sight to see, and amazingly the eel won and lived another day, Kingfishers, 3 in number were flying around but not hanging around for photo's 

Cormorant @ eel
Cormorant @ eel

Cormorant @ eel
Cormorant @ eel

the great escape
the great escape

Posted 12:55 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Isabelline Shrike still at Thurlestone gold course.

A pleasant, mildly windy start to the day at Thurlestone gave the target speeches almost as soon as I arrived just after dawn. It showed well at a distance for some 30 minutes before other birders arrived. As previously mentioned it is on the heath before the second green hut viewable from the coastal path. Other species spotted on the walk to and from the Shrike were, Crow, Rook, Blackbird, numerous Wheatears, Stone chats, Rock Pipets, Wrens, Robins, One highlight was the passage of at least 30 Swallows heading along towards the beach. On the sea little other than Cormorants a few oystercatchers and the usual gulls, nothing out of the ordinary.

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Posted 12:38 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Berry Head

Headland blown out by mod-strong NNE wind so checking out more sheltered areas of headland produced: 2 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, 9 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap.

Overhead: 46 Swallow, 12 House Martins, 2 Skylark, 4 Siskin, 2 Bullfinch, 4 Song Thrush, 50+ Meadow Pipits, 300+ Goldfinches, 25 Chaffiinch, 14 Linnet and 5 'alba' Wagtails.

Posted 12:20 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sunday 14th October 2018

Dawlish Warren

At 11.30 am from the lifeguard look out hut, 1 Sooty Shearwater flying in towards the sea wall and low to the water, and then out to sea passing by Langstone Rock.  Good view also of adult male Eider drifting and diving near the rocks below the sea wall.

Posted yesterday at 9:48 pm by Nick Armstrong in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Footpath from White Bridge south is now open for access only to bird hide and viewing platforms.

Three 1st winter Med Gulls on the cricket pitch this evening with the gull flock and the Egyptian Goose with Canada Geese  in fields north of White Bridge. A Barn Owl has been hunting in fields north and south of South Farm Road during the early evening in recent days.

Barn Owl by Chris Townend

Posted yesterday at 6:35 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

Best was a Merlin but few migrants just Wheatear, 7 Blackcap & 4 Chiffchaff.

Posted yesterday at 4:32 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thurlestone

Isabelline Shrike has seen out the bad weather and showing well in the same place on the golf course this afternoon. Short windy vid here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggoy5WlnQU8&feature=youtu.be

Posted yesterday at 3:58 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Cockwood

There were 2 Cattle Egrets with a Little Egret in the fields by Cockwood Harbour this morning (although they weren't to be seen when I passed half an hour later).

Posted yesterday at 11:51 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Powderham Park, Saturday

Osprey on oak tree near castle 2pm.

Posted yesterday at 7:08 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Saturday 13th October 2018

Berry Head seawatch

Totals for 07.45-15.45 in strong S wind: 2 GN Divers, 1 Red-throated, Diver, 2 Great Shearwaters (10.40 and 10.50), 1 Sooty, 8 Balearic, 5 Manx, 3 Storm Petrels, 48 Great, 27 Arctic and 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Little, 2 Med and 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Common Tern and 2 Puffins.

Posted October 13th at 10:32 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Torbay and South Brent

Marine Parade, Paignton 18 Turnstone including the regular Dutch ringed bird.

Broadsands beach a non starter due to a beach full of dogs, a Heron struggling across the bay in the strong winds.

Some very helpful and knowledgeable sea watch birders were at Berry Head and spotted and helped identify a range of rather distant sea birds, good numbers of Kittiwake, Gannet and Razorbill. The more interesting species included Arctic and Great Skua (the Arctic was chasing the Kittiwakes) Balearic and Manx Shearwaters, Arctic Tern and a couple of Storm Petrels.

On the walk down to the quarry area 4 Swallow, 12 Meadow Pipit, 4 Rock Pipit, 9 Shag a raft of 18 plus Kittiwake.

 

Given the distance offshore the only half decent images were of a Great Skua.

Back home at South Brent the Hobby continues to visit and come in for food, 8 Canada geese over late afternoon and a single Tawny owl this evening.

 

Posted October 13th at 9:33 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh 13th Oct 2018

Little Stint and Spoonbill.

  

Posted October 13th at 9:28 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Red-veined Darter at Prawle

Female red-veined darter this afternoon in brief spell of sunshine. Along road between Prawle village and coastguards after sharp right hand bend. It settled on the road several times before flying off over the hedge to the south.


Posted October 13th at 6:11 pm by John Walters in Other Wildlife

Friday 12th October 2018

Ilfracombe Pier

At dusk this evening, surprised to see so many Seabirds sitting out the gale. Along with 50 Oyster catchers and a Whimbrel were 6 Sandwich Terns, 11 Great Black Backed Gulls, 3 Juv Common Gulls, 100+ Lesser bbgull, Herring, Meds and Black Headed Gulls. 

 Sandwich Tern Shag

                                     Sandwich Tern                       Shag

Eds: the tern is a Common Tern not Sandwich see size compared to Common Gull. The extent of white on forehead, rather greyish looking primaries (not contrasty dark grey/black) and slightly paler base to bill rule out Arctic

Posted October 12th at 9:04 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Bowling green marsh and exmouth

Started at bowling green marsh from 07:10 till 09:45

4 goosander dropped in just after I arrived a scarce bird on the marsh , pintail were continually dropping in with 180 up to the time I left Martin Elcoate had anther 36 arrive giving a very good count of 216 for the morning , 42 greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 2 turnstone, 180+ redshank, 2 avocet, 300+ wigeon, 2 tufted duck, 1 water rail, 1 little grebe, 2 grey heron, 2 little egret, 215+ teal. 3 bar tailed godwits, 200+ black tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 30+ curlew.

then moved down to exmouth for some sea watching from near to the lifeboat station and watched from 10:45 till 16:00

7+ Arctic Skua , 2 Balearic shearwater, 1 shearwater most likely sooty but only brief views,, 5 Manx shearwater,  9 fulmar, 7+ sandwich terns, 2 eider, 3 teal, 5 wigeon, 38+ gannets, 2 whimbrel

 

Posted October 12th at 7:50 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Berry Head update

After the rain cleared a few more seabirds came through giving totals 07:30-15:45. 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Manx Shearwaters, 13 Arctic Skuas, 3 Bonxies (see photo), 2 European Storm-petrel, Storm-petrel sp. (not European) and a distant Storm-petrel (most likely European), 1w Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Common Scoter, Black-throated Diver, 23 Fulmar (high count for October here!), 5 Swallows and a Merlin.

Great SkuaGreat Skua

Also some video of Bonxies from Berry Head yesterday See here

Posted October 12th at 6:06 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

BGM

14.30 - 16.30. Little Stint on the point. Spoonbill busy at the back of the marsh. 2 Dunlin. Lots of Pintail, not much else of note. Goosemoor had a few Lapwing.

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Posted October 12th at 5:56 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Berry Head

Gale force S winds and heavy rain were perhaps just too much for seabird passage with the following seen between 07.30-1100, with M Darlaston and D Dawe:

6 Arctic Skuas (including at least 3 juveniles), 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Yellow-legged Gull (juv/fw), 9 fulmar (often scarce at this time of year), 1 Merlin, 2 Grey Seal and at least 5 Harbour Porpoise.

Trees in bottom of quarry completely blown out, with no sign of any land migrants. 

Posted October 12th at 1:22 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Late post - Horsey Island

On the way home yesterday early evening from the White House

1 Short eared Owl alighted on the top of a telephone pole by the side of the Toll Road for a few seconds & then flew north over Horsey Island.

Posted October 12th at 12:09 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 11th October 2018

Sparrowhawk in Exmouth

Surprised to have sparrowhawk in my tiny front 'garden' on busy road in centre of Exmouth. (Cropped photos through window, rain, reflections, but pleased camera was at the ready))

Posted October 11th at 8:21 pm by Margaret Mackintosh in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Teignmouth seawatch

Looking out from Teignmouth seafront 15:00-16:45: 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Common Scoters and c20 Mediterranean Gulls all south, plus lots of Gannets diving well offshore. Hard to be sure of exactly how many Med Gulls, as a few were feeding in the area rather than moving rapidly through. By comparison, only 3 Common Gulls!

Posted October 11th at 8:08 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

ISABELLINE SHRIKE THURLESTONE GOLF COURSE

Shrike Showing Well This Morning, Despite Rain, Wind,& Low Cloud.

Usual Spot By Green Shed On The Edge Of Golf Course Next To Coast Path.

Please Note,   Limited Free Parking.    

    

Posted October 11th at 3:33 pm by patrick hawkins in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill flew in at around 1.40 this afternoon to the marsh,

Posted October 11th at 2:18 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Thurlstone

Isabelline Shrike on bush golf course this morning.

Posted October 11th at 12:16 pm by Chris Buckland in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

BGM

7.30 - 10.45 Sadly no Little Stint but Spoonbill first thing (left north about 8.45), Ruff, , Avocet, Knot and Barwit amongst the usual suspects. In the bushes by the viewing platform Blackcap, Goldcrest and (reported by Dave Stone) Firecrest and possible YBW.

Spoonbill vid -

https://youtu.be/Kx_5EeCJOzY

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Posted October 11th at 11:41 am by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Wednesday 10th October 2018

Cockwood

Two Cattle Egrets, with Little Egret and cattle, on inland side of Cockwood Harbour at c1100 today.

Posted October 10th at 9:48 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Wistlandpound Reservoir.

Initially very quiet at the reservoir during a short visit today. 5 Little Grebes, 6 Cormorants and 9 Teal and then we were delighted to see a Great White Egret fly in.

Posted October 10th at 5:57 pm by Margaret- Phillips in General Birding

Velator

Still bursting with Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits today, they seemed to be everywhere. 2 Treecreepers seen. Cetti's Warbler calling and another by Wrafton pond. The usual numbers of Speckled Wood butterfly around in the sheltered very warm sunny spots. Highlight of the day was the first CLOUDED YELLOW I have seen in the reserve.

Posted October 10th at 5:29 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Isabelline Shrike

Great to find today at Thurlestone Golf Course an Isabelline Shrike, I originally thought it was a juv Red Backed Shrike due to the very difficult light conditions but had a jizz it may have been something a bit more special and thanks to Al Doidge, Pete Aley, Russ Eynon, Mike Passman and Eric it was confirmed as Isabelline. 

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Posted October 10th at 5:17 pm by Ian Teague in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

A fruitless quest for Yellow-browed Warbler in all the usual spots, in fact deathly quiet. Only item of note was 2 Coal Tits flying west up through Starehole Valley - genuine migrants!

Posted October 10th at 4:53 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Lannacombe Valley

At last some Goldcrests. 12+ present.(6 ringed). Hopefully the start of a later than normal autumn passage.Other migrants were 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps and 1 Firecrest.

Posted October 10th at 3:54 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 09:00

Very Misty first thing 800+ black tailed godwits, 260+ redshank, 3 knot, 2 bar tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 90+ curlew, 11 avocet, the long staying adult winter male ruff, 1 Mediterranean gull nearly full adult winter, 1 common gull, 1 green sandpiper heard calling from goosemoor, 2 raven.

about 08:09 a group of 30+ lapwing flew in from darts farm direction and with them 1 Dunlin and the Little stint presumably the bird from yesterday afternoon.

 

Posted October 10th at 12:25 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Berry Head

My first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was in sycamores near the drinking trough on the top NE corner of the meadow, it was being continually chased by the local Chiffchaffs but did it's best to stay in this sunny, warm, still corner.

Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML

Of more interest was a very pale, sandy brown Lesser Whitethroat probably of eastern origins, with almost entirely white outermost tail feathers. It was very skulking but did give some good views from time to time. some of the pictures make it look rather pale grey on the upperparts but it was genuinely sandy brown. Click on images below for a better look.

Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML

 

Posted October 10th at 11:34 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 9th October 2018

Photo Request 2017 Bird Report

Invites have been sent out to our many excellent Devon bird photographers to submit a few of their best photographs into a linked Dropbox folder of birds taken during 2017 for the Devon Bird Report currently in preparation.

If you haven't already done so please send your photos all labelled as follows so we can create captions and know who the photographer was: so a Mediterranean Gull 2nd winter taken at Broadsands on 30 Sept 2018 by J Bloggs would be file named..    MdGll2wBrdsnds300918JBloggs 

If you have not received an invite and would like to submit a photo or two please let me know: mikelangman@blueyonder.co.uk 

many thanks

Posted October 9th at 8:35 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sparrowhawk

Taken today in the Order Valley Nature Reserve , Plymouth. I was only about 2 meter away from the bird and it just sat and looked at me for about 2 minutes and then flew off very slowly.

 

Posted October 9th at 4:38 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh (Braunton)

Starling, Song Thrush, Oyster Catcher, Curlew, Meadow pipit, Redshank, Bar Tailed Godwit, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Buzzard, Mute & Whooper Swam.

Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan

Posted October 9th at 3:49 pm by Tim Williams in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Little Stint present this lunchtime. I lost sight of it though at around 1.45 when some Lapwings spooked it but it may still be there.

Posted October 9th at 3:40 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Skern 13:00

Avocet still present, also 1 Wheatear up by the 8th green

Posted October 9th at 3:29 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Dartmoor Barn owl

An early visit to Dartmoor above South Brent gave the unexpected view of a Barn owl, initially seen in the distance and then a lot closer before it flew off across the moor.

  

Posted October 9th at 12:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Start Point / Slapton Ley ( 8/10/18)

Early morning vis mig highlights at Start included 100 Meadow Pipits, 490 Linnets, 270 Goldfinches, 54 Siskins and a Reed Bunting. Elsewhere a male Merlin, 2 Redwings, Fieldfare (  I think my earliest ever autumn bird around here ), 44 Swallows, 10 Chiffchaffs, Wheatear, and a Brambling.

Around at Slapton in Ireland Bay 2 male Scaups still present. Not such an apparent size discrepancy as I thought on Sunday with a better view. Also male Pochard, 231 Coots, 5 Med Gulls.                                                              

 

Posted October 9th at 5:15 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 8th October 2018

Skern

67 med gulls,40 adults,11 sw, 16fw 4 Brent geese 1 great crested grebe,Avocet present on leaving at 17:45.

Posted October 8th at 6:28 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Skern

1 Avocet present now at 16:55

Posted October 8th at 4:54 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

East Soar

Highlights this morning were a Merlin harassing Linnets and my first Firecrest of the autumn. Also: 3 Kestrel, adult Lesser Black-backed Gull race intermedius, 4 Chiffchaff, Bullfinch male, 15 Siskin W & 80 Linnet.

Need some easterlies soon!

Posted October 8th at 3:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Snipe at Mansands

Quite low water level at Mansands this morning.  Usual visitors at the hide plus 2 Chiffchaff and a large number of Hornets. Watched four Snipe on the edge of the lake feeding in open water while two more washed and preened close to vegetation.

As we were leaving several hundred Swallows appeared suddenly and were catching the myriad flies etc over the lakes.

Snipe Snipe Snipe
Snipe                                                    Snipe                                                  Snipe

Posted October 8th at 1:54 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

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