Devon Bird Sightings from January 2014

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder recorder@devonbirds.org Many thanks, stay safe.

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar

 

Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/staying-at-home-to-avoid-getting-coronavirus/staying-at-home-and-away-from-other-people/

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in General Birding

Friday 31st January 2014

Plymouth

A very cold, wet and windy walk along the Hoe was made worthwhile by an adult Little Gull close in. Also of note, a Fulmar, a Guillemot and a Kittiwake sat on the water IN Sutton Harbour!

Little Gull Ad w Plymouth 31 Jan 2014 Laurie Allnatt

Posted January 31st, 2014 at 3:45 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

A damp lunchtime visit to the hide today produced a couple of Grey Plover in with the Black-tailed Godwits. The only other highlight was 3 Gadwall (2 males).

Posted January 31st, 2014 at 2:16 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A soggy walk this morning produced little of note. However a pair of Shovelers has arrived on the pool; also single Little Grebe and 3 Turnstones on the upper estuary.

Thanks for info on Chiffchaffs Laurie - interesting! 

Posted January 31st, 2014 at 1:25 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Brixham

A seawatch from the Head in rising SSW wind and rain from 930-1100 produced little moving except for a few Razorbills, some showing oiling again.

Short stops at Shoalstone and Breakwater failed to produce any divers,  from AstraZeneca at 1130 a Black Guillemot was visible again.

Posted January 31st, 2014 at 12:26 pm in General Birding

Broadsands

1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 2 collybita Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Water Rail, 21 Cirl Buntings, 3 Reed Bunting.

On Sea (only looked over sea wall as it was pretty choppy): 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Razorbill. 

Posted January 31st, 2014 at 9:34 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 30th January 2014

Plymouth

Hi Pete - I actually saw three Chiffchaffs today in the trees down Tavistock Place across the road from the university site. Didn't have time to study them that closely, but one of them looked different to those I have seen before, with a much reduced supercilium and more yellow in the feet, but again looking good for tristis with no green in the head or back, and very pale underparts.

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 10:13 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

Despite spending an hour or two looking and listening, both morning and afternoon, there was no sign of yesterday's Yellow-browed Warbler. The Black Redstart at least is still present though and I also heard Bearded Tit in the reeds across the river.

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 9:16 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Slapton Ley

 A male Scaup, around 20 Goldeneyes displaying, 5 Black-necked Grebes together, Kittiwakes bathing, good numbers of Common Gulls, 4 Shovelers, more Moorhens and Coots than I have ever seen here, plenty of Tufteds, Wigeons, Gadwalls and Pochards and a Cettis singing.  Offshore singles of Red-throated and Great Northern Diver and Great-crested Grebes.  Beesands - almost nothing!

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 9:13 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Plymouth

The two Chiffchaffs (see my Tues post) still present at University of Plymouth this morning. The tristis showing well but only saw the other bird briefly. Sadly no calls from either. 

It would be good to hear from anyone else who has seen this second bird. Conventional wisdom would suggest as it's not a colybita, it's a tristis, but it doesn't quite cut the mustard for me. Perhaps I'm under-estimating effects of different lights and / or being too pure about features?

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 7:41 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

Black Guillemot and a single Great Northern Diver off the breakwater today.

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 6:17 pm by John Walters in General Birding

North side of Taw Estuary

The Goldeneye still present at Pottington & a pair of Goosanders at Ashford Strand.



Posted January 30th, 2014 at 6:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Avon Valley & South Efford Marsh

Still 2 Water Pipits on the marsh feedin g with 15 meadow pipit, grey wagtail & 36 pied wagtail. Also: 57 mute swan, 26 shelduck, 40 wigeon, 2 greenshank, 3 common sandpiper, kingfisher & 2 chiffchaff.

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 5:13 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Exminster marshes

Lunch time visit coincided with low water so most waders and some wildfowl were elsewhere. The lane is dry so no access problems and the fields remain very wet. I guessed at c700 wigeon and a similar number of lapwing. A hundred or so teal and 20 shoveller were well scattered on the many shallow pools. The only other wildfowl seen were two pintail and 11 tufted duck, on the lagoon.

The lane (Station Road) proved to be the most interesting part of the walk; a bright male bullfinch, 4 stonechats, two parties of tits and at least 9 chiffchaffs. The chiffchaffs were all very active and on two occasions I had 3 together in the same field of view. All called and looked like regular chiffchaffs - nothing exotic. But it was certainly the most I have seen all winter.

On the firelds there was one flock of 34 pied wagtails and c20 meadow pipits. Another interesting sight were the frequent small flocks of snipe rising from the marsh and flying towards the estuary. In total 32 birds included two flushed by a female sparrowhawk that was clearly targetting the snipe. It flew slowly over each wet flash attempting to grab a snipe as it flew up. I heard a spotted redshank fly over but failed to see it.

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 3:37 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Darts Farm

I had brief views of a Brambling by the feeder at the hide this lunchtime with a mixed flock of Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches and a Reed Bunting. Big numbers of Brent Geese which were very flighty. A small flock of Redwings and Fieldfare from the hide. Also 1 Stonechat and 1 Chiff-chaff along with small groups of Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Linnet.

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake - 30th Jan

Lower Tamar Lake:-

17 Goosanders, 12 Mallard, 7 Tufted Ducks, 5 Teal, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Little Grebe.

On the feeders:- 1 Willow Tit (calling and feeding), Blue, Great, Marsh and Coal Tits, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Jay, plus 2 Robins , a Wren and 2 Chaffinches  ground feeding under the feeders.

Harvey Kendall

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 1:30 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Wednesday 29th January 2014

river plym leigham manor drive

2 male and 5 redhead goosander nice close up views.2pm this afternoon.

Posted January 29th, 2014 at 8:42 pm by charlie imms in General Birding

Yellow Browed Warbler, Topsham Recreation Ground

Water pipit showing well today on the pebbley island in the river channel, aggressive towards a grey wagtail but ignoring a pied wagtail. Brief views of the female type black redstart around the white upturned boat on the slipway before flying in to the nearby garden. Trying to get a better view of the black redstart by discretely looking in to the garden I found a yellow browed warbler feeding alone, very mobile and active amongst the vegetation but some excellent views, down to a few metres at times. Also seen were a female blackcap and a redpoll with some goldfinches. Along the river at least 2 male and a female reed bunting were feeding in the reeds.

Darts Farm had a large flock of Brent geese feeding in the fields by the main road and on the bird feeders from the hide a female brambling was feeding with greenfinch and chaffinch underneath the bird feeders. 

Posted January 29th, 2014 at 7:46 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Dartmoor

Adult female hen harrier over moor, just SE of Bellever Tor late morning.

5 Crossbill (3m2f) at Soussons Forest mid pm.

4 Goosander on Venford Reservoir late pm.

No sign of any siskins or redpolls!

Posted January 29th, 2014 at 5:40 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Torbay

Preston/Paignton: 39 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northrn Divers, 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Goodrington: 35 Great Crested Grebes. 

Broadsands: 3 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Black-throated Divers, 6 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver.  12 Cirl Buntings and 6 Reed bunting on seed in 2nd car park. 1 Siberian Chiffchaff and 2 collybita Chiffchaffs in Marsh.

Clennon Valley: 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 2 goldcrest, 1 Mandarin, 5 Snipe 1 Kingfisher 1 Water Rail 

Posted January 29th, 2014 at 3:56 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

Had good views of the Water Pipit at lunchtime today until about 1.30. Also a lone Avocet and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull. I spent about 5 minutes waiting for the Black Redstart in its usual place but no sign of it before I had to leave.

Posted January 29th, 2014 at 2:11 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

South Brent snippets

Yesterday mid morning (28th) I saw a hen Peregrine riding on the stong winds over the village. The evening found a Tawny owl sat in a tree overlooking the rear garden, a further two were calling from across the fields to each other.

This morning started with a mature ring necked cock Pheasant being viewed from the bedroom window, both Mistle and Song Thrush seen as single birds and a small handful of Redwings all in flight.

Posted January 29th, 2014 at 11:41 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 28th January 2014

Plymouth

First thing this morning there were two Chiffchaffs at the University site (see earlier posts). I didn't have much time but it appeared to be the putative tristis and what I might describe as an abientinus-type. Definitely not a collybitta  and more greys and greens than tristis, with better wing bars (although perhaps not so different from some of the birds posted nationally in various pics which push the boundaries for me). Although I thought I heard the tristis call a couple of times, unfortunately, no other calls were heard. 

I'm not sure whether one bird is new in or whether there's some overlap in previous sightings. Views welcome. 

Posted January 28th, 2014 at 8:50 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Torridge just up stream of Instow @ 11.30

Single Great Northern Diver on section between sailing club and Zeta berth.

Posted January 28th, 2014 at 2:28 pm by Mark Humfrey in General Birding

Axe Estuary

Dad found this (at first worryingly!) pale 2cy Glaucous Gull on the Axe Estuary this morning. Thankfully I got to it just before it flew out to sea.

A big bird, but not the biggest Glauc I've seen. Possibly the recent Exe Estuary bird?

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted January 28th, 2014 at 10:21 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Monday 27th January 2014

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake 09:00

 

9 Redwings in with C50 Starlings, 21 Goosander 7m 14f, 14 Tufted duck, 1f Scaup, 1 G.S. Woodpecker, 1 Grey Heron.

Posted January 27th, 2014 at 4:16 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Plenty of birds from the hide this lunchtime including impressive numbers of Black-tailed Godwits and Wigeon. A quick walk round to the Goatwalk produced one male Goldeneye and a Turnstone. 

Posted January 27th, 2014 at 2:17 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

The Water Pipit (anywhere along the shore but mobile) and Black Redstart (the usual spot by the white boat and slipways at the north end) both still present this morning.

Water Pipit - Topsham Rec 27/1/2014
Water Pipit - Topsham Rec 27/1/2014

Black Redstart - Topsham Rec 27/1/2014
Black Redstart - Topsham Rec 27/1/2014

Posted January 27th, 2014 at 10:05 am by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Still pretty quiet but at least a few things worth mentioning at long last.

9 Golden Plover were the first of the year and 3 Cormorants flying North west were noteworthy. 70 Fieldfare, 15 Redwing, 20 Skylark, 10 Meadow Pipits.

4000 Woodpigeon on adjacent farmland

Posted January 27th, 2014 at 9:53 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Sunday 26th January 2014

Sibe Chiff Plymouth

Thought I would venture out at c 3.30pm as there appeared to be a break in the heavy rain.Arrived at the Plymouth ,North Hill site (well described-thanks Rich/Laurie). At 3.45pm a Goldcrest and Robin flew out of cover followed by a sad 'tweep tweep' call and the Chiff sp appeared flycatching from groundcover up to the highest point of the tallest tree ! Sadly never heard it sing tho not surprising given lack of sunshine. Plumage-wise seemed good for Tristis to me-greyish, with greenish remiges and black bare parts.Olive-green wash in some light tho I also found the same with the Clennon Valley birds. Showed a delicate feint wing- bar on RHS. Nice bird in unusual setting (ie close to bus stops).

 

Posted January 26th, 2014 at 10:43 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Exmouth Beach

Between breaks in the heavy rain around 4.30pm today, 3 Purple Sandpipers amongst a group of 7 or 8 Turnstones on the rocks below the lifeboat station on Exmouth beach.

Posted January 26th, 2014 at 10:40 pm by Nick Pratt in General Birding

Topsham

Adult Med gull in the Exe Estuary roost late pm seen from the platform at Bowling Green Marsh.

Posted January 26th, 2014 at 8:51 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 11:45-13:30. Arrived as weather started to clear and wind moved more westerly. At distance c200 Kittiwakes feeding and with another closer feeding group was an adult Little Gull. Also moving through were 2 Bonxies, 2 Black-throated Divers and 2 Red-throated Divers. c40 Fulmars on the sea and at least 6 Harbour Porpoise.

Harbour Porpoise - adult & calf

Posted January 26th, 2014 at 5:07 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Torbay boat trip 9-11am

Trip round the bay from Paignton to Brixham and back in the worst of the weather, horrible rain and strong winds. 38 common scoter off Preston sands to start with. 5 great northern divers, 5 great crested grebes. 2-3 black necked grebes at Broadsands. An adult red necked grebe at 7 quarries was a different bird from the 3 (all immatures) I have already photographed in Torbay so the 4th for Torbay this winter. Auks rather scarce this time but a nice raft of 4 razorbills at Goodrington. A great tit heard calling at 7 quarries was a boat trip tick! Next trip is next Sunday from Paignton harbour at 9am. Phone Nigel Smallbones on 07866 202576 to book.

38 common scoters in front of a very murky Ore Stone
38 common scoters in front of a very murky Ore Stone

Red necked grebe - note black bill with yellow base
Adult Red necked grebe - note black bill with neat yellow base

Black necked grebe
Black necked grebe

Posted January 26th, 2014 at 4:46 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Shoalstone Brixham

Joined Bill Macdonald for late morning at the shelter in heavy rain .Still a Black Guillemot offshore and 4 Great Northern Divers. Few other seabirds around except Gannets and Razorbills. 

Posted January 26th, 2014 at 2:39 pm in General Birding

Saturday 25th January 2014

Sibe Chiff Plymouth

Just to give an idea of how messed up this bird is on vocalisations, Laurie Allnatt has uploaded some videos to YouTube that he made this morning where you can hear it calling something like tristis and mixed singing.

ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=legKhMtOxBI      doing its fast high pitched tsi tsi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOE-H3nntUc    
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDeqyWD-FHw&feature=youtu.be      Tristis like flat call.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNfAgGJzhZo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9JVdWETBgQ

In the crudest of ways (put microphone of headset next to earpiece to record!), I was able to extract some sound and generate a very low quality sonogram from the third video. The inverted U shaped call starting at about 4.5 kHz looks pretty good although it sounds a bit happy for a tristis to my ears.

 

Posted January 25th, 2014 at 6:31 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A single Mediterranean Gull - an adult with bright bare parts - was amongst a reasonable gathering of gulls on the falling tide. Otherwise a Little Grebe but little else of interest. 

Posted January 25th, 2014 at 5:51 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Photos needed for the Devon Bird Atlas!

This blog, and the website gallery, are packed full of stunning photographs of birds that have been seen in Devon.  Many of these photos would look superb inside the Devon Bird Atlas, which is due to be published within the next couple of years. 

So, if you have good quality images of any species of birds taken in Devon, please send them in! 

For more details see: http://www.devonbirds.org/news/society_news?blogEntry=4728

(Update 5 Feb: the photo dropbox folder was getting huge and difficult for some to use, consequently the folder has been saved and closed (no need to resubmit photos already sent in). A new dropbox folder 'Devon Atlas 2' is now open and invites have been sent to those wishing to use it. Many thanks to all the photographers that have uploaded photos - a fantastic response with many stunning images! Most have followed the submission details (especially file name) on the above link very well - if you haven't you can amend your own submissions by right clicking the mouse and rename the file. Thanks again)

Posted January 25th, 2014 at 5:08 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Topsham

Bowling green marsh watched from the hide 09:30 till 12:30

1250+ black tailed godwit was a very good count for the marsh, with 14 coloured ringed birds, 760+ wigeon , 6+ Pochards, 7+ tufted ducks, 58+ shoveler, 13+ pintail, 2 Cetti's warblers, 51+ lapwing 1 little egret.

then had a look from the viewing platform, 106+ common gulls, 43+ grey plover, 300+ dunlin, 100+ aavocet 

a quick look from the goat walk produced large numbers of dunlin 2000+ another 20+ common gull and a nice surprise was 3 goldeneye( 2m,1f) 

 

Posted January 25th, 2014 at 4:49 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake. 25th January 2014

 7+ Mallard, 15 Goosander ( 6 males), 5 Teal, 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Coot, 1 Kestrel skirmishing with a Carrion Crow, 1 Buzzard, 1 Green Woodpecker calling and in flight, 1 Grey Heron.  
On the feeders:- Blue, Great and Coal Tits plus 1 Willow Tit calling then feeding,
2 Nuthatches, 1 Raven over, 12 Carrion Crows and 2 Robins.
 
Very muddy underfoot - wellingtons essential

 

 

Posted January 25th, 2014 at 2:57 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

North side of Taw Estuary from Tarka trail

1 pair of Goosanders, 3000 Golden Plover resting on the sand bank (Chivenor Ridge) & at last a flock of approx 20 Redwing on the way home which is a sign it may be getting colder.


Posted January 25th, 2014 at 2:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands: 3 Great Northern Divers,  47 Great Crested Grebes. 17 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Buntings on seed in 2nd car park. 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 1 collybita Chiffchaff and a Water Rail in Marsh.

Paignton/Preston: 2 Great Northern Divers, 43 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Goodrington: 1 Great Northern Diver.

Brixham: 1 Black Guillemot (off Shoalstone), 8 Great Northern Divers, 3 Black-throated Divers. Still lots of Auks feeding north of Berry Hd and in middle of Torbay with Gannets and Kittiwakes.

I don't normally take much notice of Pheasants but this was a stunner!...A melanistic hybrid form several around the Waddeton area of Galmpton.

melanistic hybrid Pheasant Waddeton 26 Jan 2014 ML    melanistic hybrid Pheasant Waddeton 26 Jan 2014 ML

 

Posted January 25th, 2014 at 10:41 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

pied wagtail roost

Proving you can watch birds at any time or place, saw 50+ Wagtails in two trees in Teignmouth Triangle while eating my Kebab after a good night out at 11.30pm last night

Posted January 25th, 2014 at 12:16 am by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Friday 24th January 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide and platform produced good numbers of the expected ducks & waders. Of note from the platform were a single Greenshank showing well and 1 Oystercatcher.

Posted January 24th, 2014 at 2:15 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Thursday 23rd January 2014

Brixham and Berry Head

This morning watched from Berry Head Hotel in a force four-ish. Moderate activity, lots of kittiwakes, gannets, razorbills, guillemots and fulmars - just two great northern divers. By the lighthouse pretty much just fulmars. Yesterday pm, Brixham harbour and breakwater 3 great northern, 2 black throated divers, auks and a black guillemot just outside of the outside harbour - then watched near the hotel, no sign of the white billed diver!

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 11:19 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Exminster marsh

A quick look along station road from 14:30 till 16:30 produced the male Merlin and a peregrine, 267+ golden plover, 1500+ lapwing spread over the whole marsh, with at least as many wigeon, 2 chiffchaffs, 2 goldcrests, 4+ stonechat, 3 reed buntings, 1 water rail, 700+ Brent geese towards the motorway bridge, as i  left the marsh at least 3000+ starlings performing over powderham marsh.

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 10:27 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

A few sightings from Exeter area and beyond.

A few sightings from a fairly disparate range of sites today.

- Fairly sizable flocks of Siskins on the feeders at Haldon Country Park

- Scaup still present on Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

- No sign of Yellow-browed Warbler in Alphington

- 4+ Red-throated Divers and 2 Velvet Scoters far off the sea wall at Dawlish Warren

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 7:34 pm by Tom Martin in General Birding

Yesterday, Tuesday 22nd Lower Tamar Lake

Yesterday the Taw/Torridge group went to Lower Tamar Lake and had a male, female and juvenile male Scaup amongst the Tufted Ducks, as well as Goosander 13F and 11M.

(Maria & Jackie)

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 5:32 pm in General Birding

Clennon Valley

The Yellow-browed Warbler showed for a while at lunchtime - in the streamside trees just east of the easternmost pond and then moved into the copse at the eastern end of the pond. 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs 200m West of the YMCA along the stream. 5 Snipe and Mandarin Duck also present.

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 4:43 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Quiet on the lake this morning.

Goosander 10m 11f, G.C.Grebe 1, Grey Heron 1, Wren 1, Tufted Duck 7m 6f, Scaup 1f with the Tufted, Gadwall 1m 1f, Firecrest 1,

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 4:07 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Following yesterday's posts I thought I would give Exminster Marshes a try this lunchtime and was rewarded with a brief flight view of the male Merlin from the lane as it headed in the direction of the Swans Nest pub. Also a Chiff-chaff and a flock of around 30 Redwings by the RSPB car park. A female Sparrowhawk caused some disturbance on the marsh putting up the Golden Plovers and Lapwings etc.

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Early this morning from AstraZeneca a Black Guillemot was still visible, also two Black-throated Divers.

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 1:46 pm in General Birding

Broadsands

On the sea: 5 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 47 Great Crested Grebes and 6 Shelduck.

15 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park, 2 siberian Chiffchaffs around Marsh awith 1 collybita Chiffchaff 

 

No sign of the Clennon Valley Glossy Ibis after about 11am yesterday.

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 11:00 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Yesterday at S.Efford Marsh

The Glossy Ibis was at S.Efford Marsh yesterday (sorry Rob).

 

I saw it at c12 afar in a ditch with Little Egrets whilst trying to work out how to get to the new hide (my first visit, shame there isn’t a laminated map on the gate: directions counter-intuitive as you turn away from the hide on a circular mudbath before going towards the river again).  The laminated sign saying not to turn left appeared to have no effect, I saw one person opposite the hide almost by the hedge approaching the ditch – putting up the Ibis? And later 3 other visitors (who appeared to walk into the middle of the marsh as I eventually found the footpath and started walking it - I had even advised one of these birders where the path was and not to go onto the marsh!).  On the other hand I also saw a Peregine fly over so it may have been spooked by this. Later c12:45 as I was returning, by the entrance gates I briefly saw the Ibis fly north over the river by the bridge (reminded me of times at Stodmarsh, Kent in the 1980’s – a quick sighting and equally quickly lost to view!).

 

Also seen: 2 Egyptian Geese north of the bridge, and Green and Common Sandpipers and a Kingfisher.

 

 

Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 9:05 am by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Wednesday 22nd January 2014

Exminster marsh

A quick visit from 14:30 till 16:30 produced in addition to John waldon Earlier post a water pipit was with group of 17 meadow pipit and 7 pied wagtails,4 stonechats showed well and the peregrine and Merlin were still active over the marsh and 78+ redwing in trees by swans nest pub ,  2 water rail along station road. 

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 8:57 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Black throated divers

Spotted 3 black throated divers around the rocks near the harbour jetty at Babbacombe beach.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 6:01 pm by Lisa Broom in General Birding

Sibe Chiff Plymouth

Some pics from Laurie Allnatt of this bird today. As you can see looked really variable according to the light conditions but together with the calls/song, I am quite hopeful for it. Not got a lot of experience with this species so would welcome any comments

Some links to the videos Laurie took to hear song/call:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-b_8rREFww

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_y2_rS9gaU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifybZfKyHC0

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 4:24 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Berry Head - Brixham

A good search from Berry Head in calm conditions showed no sign of the White-billed Diver (so last seen there 11:15 on the 19th), although plenty of auks and 5+ Harbour Porpoise. From Berry Head to Brixham harbour at least 10 Great Northern Divers and 3 Black-throated Divers.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 4:08 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Exminster marshes

A brief walk down Station Road at lunch time. Flood water is passable in wellington boots (just). In the lane 3 stonechats and one chiffchaff. Near the canal a male merlin flew out of a tree and flew east along the lane. Wonderful views in bright sun-light. A peregrine was sitting out in the middle of the marsh, north of lagoon and south of the lane. Its presence was upsetting the 600+ lapwing and 300+ golden plover. Elsewhere 1 dunlin and hundreds of wigeon and teal. Brent geese started arriving from the estuary as I left, joining about 200 feeding north of the lane.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 2:47 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Alphington YB Warbler

Yellow Browed Warbler showing very well in the buses around the back car park of the Lucerne Nursing Home in Chudleigh Road Alphington this afternoon ( bushes next to wooden fence of adjacent bungalow). I spoke to the Home manager and she has given permission for birders to look for it but please do not park in the home's car park. 

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 2:15 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Avon Valley at Aveton Gifford

No sign of glossy ibis on marsh - not surprising when visiting birders standing out in the middle of the marsh!! Birds: 2 water pipit, 2 Egyptian geese, 30 shelduck, 4 redshank, 3 greenshank, 2 common sandpiper, 2 kingfisher, 41 meadow pipit, 34 pied wagtail & first fieldfare on patch this year! 

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 2:13 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plymouth chiffchaff

I also heard and saw a chiffchaff just past 9 this morning outside of my window at gilwell hall of residence in Plymouth. a chiffchaff (presumably the same one) has been in the area for over a week, but this was the first time I have heard it sing. Have never heard a sibe song before but it was a more varied song with more than the usual 2 notes so I was suspicious. Let me know if anyone positively I.D.'s it.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 1:55 pm by Elliot Dowding in General Birding

Plymouth Possible Sibe Chiff

Heard a really odd song a bit earlier which I eventually realised was coming out of a Chiffchaff. Sounds very good for Sibe Chiffchaff and was calling like a Sibe. The bird looks pretty good too being grey above with some sandy tones. Disclaimer is that in some positions/lights it can appear a little greeny and it was occasionally giving bits of song and calls that sounded more like collybita. The bird is outside the university on North Hill, just behing the bus stops, next to the copper clad building that is under construction. Laurie Alnatt got some pics and if I can work out how to upload the short song recording I got, I will.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 12:10 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Clennon Valley

The Glossy Ibis is still present today, and 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs - no sign again of the Yellow-browed Warbler.

Glossy Ibis Clennon Valley 22 Jan 2014 ML

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 11:10 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Skern,Northam Burrows and Southcott Valley,East the Water,Bideford.

Skern 0835 - 0930

Bar-tailed Godwit 37; Shelduck 16; Wigeon 253; Redshank 62; Knot 18; Dunlin c500; Lapwing c150; O/catcher c200; Grey Plover 41; Turnstone 2; Curlew c60 and Common Gull 21.

Southcott Valley 0955.

Common Gull 6 and Mediterranean Gull 1A, among several Black-headed Gulls and 2 Shelduck.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 10:53 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Ring-necked Parakeet

Just seen a Ring-necked Parakeet feeding at the seed-feeders in my Exeter garden. Typically, the batteries in my camera are dead!

Posted January 22nd, 2014 at 10:36 am by Sam Stripp in General Birding

Tuesday 21st January 2014

2 spoonbills in Totnes

I saw two spoonbills flying across kevicc at around 8:40 in the morning.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 9:12 pm by Martin Rey in General Birding

Clennon Valley

The Glossy Ibis present on the playing fields with a large gathering of corvids and gulls in the gloom till 4.37pm when it flew up the valley towards Paignton Zoo presumably to roost.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 7:37 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Broadsands And Clennon Valley

Broadsands am: 10 Cirl Buntings 4 Reed Buntings, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 2 collybita Chiffchaffs. A Glossy Ibis was reported to the Herald Express Newspaper latewr in the morning on the fields near the Beach Hut.

Clennon Valley: 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs.Caught up with the Glossy Ibis late afternoon after first watching it from my house - well done Tim!

Click on picture below for link to video:

 

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 7:14 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

South Efford

Glossy Ibis still present near entrance to South Efford Marsh this afternoon.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Very quick visit to the hide today. Good numbers of Wigeon and Shoveler again and at least 1 male Pintail.

The female Pochard with the green 'ring' on its bill that has been reported before is still there. It seems to be annoyed by it and seemed to be trying to wash it off in the water. There are 2 digits on the ring but it was impossible to read with the bird shaking its head and I gave up when it started diving. It would be interesting to know where this bird was ringed so perhaps if someone gets better views they will be able to read it.

2 Avocets were on Goosemoor with the usual 2 Bar-headed Geese in with the Canadas.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Clennon Glossy Ibis

After a fruitless search for the YBW walking back accross the football fields a Glossy Ibis was feeding with the crows and jackdaws. It took off, gave a great flyby and appeared to land in the driving range. There may be 2 as "another" was in the air towards the ZOO a very short time later

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 1:29 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Monday 20th Sampford Peverel

I went for a walk on a beautiful sunny afternoon along the Bank of Grand Western canal . Amongst the usual suspects was an unusual pattered Buzzard, 2 fighting Kingfishers and flock after flock of Fieldfares and Redwings in the hundreds and also good flocks of migratatory male Blackbirds.

My highlight was a group of 8 Lesser Redpolls including males, females and first winter young.

Lesser Redpoll 1
Lesser Redpoll 1

Lesser Redpoll 2
Lesser Redpoll 2

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 12:19 pm by Peter Richardson in General Birding

Dawlish Warren, yesterday

A couple of photos from Dawlish Warren yesterday afternoon, on the beach around groynes 10 and 11. A great northern diver was fishing in the channel nearby.

Long tailed duck
Long tailed duck

Bonaparte's gull
Bonaparte's gull

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 11:30 am by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Brixham

Divers generally continue to decrease after the storms . Still 3 Black-throated Divers by end of breakwater. Off AstraZeneca still a single Black Guillemot, and the other Black Guillemot off Shoalstone where there were 3 Great Northern Divers. Checked from the Quarry and seawatch point for the White-billed Diver but unable to locate it (I didn't see it yesterday either), just a single Great Northern . Worth continuing to check the area in case it comes back in during worse weather, but beware one or two  pale Great Northern which have been around recently.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 11:28 am in General Birding

Monday 20th January 2014

Bowling Green Marsh and Darts Farm

Bowling Green Marsh Plenty of Wigeon on the Marsh this afternoon with good numbers of Shoveler, Curlew, Teal, Tufted Duck,  with several Greylag and Pochard on show. 3 x Snipe tucked in the reeds near the road. Avocets, Grey Plover, Redshank, Dunlin and Turnstone on view from the the platform and Goat Walk.

Darts Farm  700+ Brent Geese, 50+ Canada and with them Bar-Headed Geese to give a splash of colour on the flood plain. 

On the feeder Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and a Reed Bunting.

Snipe
Snipe

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 6:51 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Velator

Ringing at the reserve today, and good views south towards Sherpa Marsh of a female Marsh Harrier flushing birds out of the reed-bed.

It was Bullfinch central in the reserve - details on the forum.

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 6:40 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Aveton and Wembury Point

 To add to the birds at South Efford Marsh the Green Sandpiper was on the northern section along with 2 Water Pipits.                   

At Wembury at 4 pm a large gull shining in the evening sunshine on the furthest out rocks at low tide was an adult Glaucous which appeared to be pretty much in summer plumage.  It was washed off and disappeared round the back of the Mewstone.  Never close enough for good pics.



Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 6:04 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford

A very productive mid morning visit to South Huish Marsh with Keith Male, Keith spotted the Glossy Ibis almost immeadiatly just inside the entrance to the marsh on the pasture field just inside the main gate, a total of 34 species identified including a brief view of a Water Rail, female Stonechats, Common Sandpipers, Greenshank, a mature male Blackbird with a very dark brown beak, a count of 24 Curlew, Grey Wagtail, almost constant Chiffchaff movement most counted at one time being seven, large numbers of Mute Swan present good numbers of which were constantly taking to the air and coming back onto the river. The new hide is of very high standard and will be a real bonus to the site.

Fox spotted to round off the visit

 

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 5:27 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford

The Glossy Ibis showing very well this morning just inside the entrance to the marsh

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 5:18 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Highlights were black-necked grebe & great northern diver, both off Gerston Point. A good range of other species included 9 little grebe, 137 brent geese, 134 shelduck, 660 wigeon, 4 shoveler, 31 pintail, 18 red-breasted merganser, 17 golden plover, 5 grey plover, 320 dunlin, 222 curlew, 14 bar-tailed godwit, 54 redshank, 44 common gull and a prob.sinensis cormorant

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 4:53 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Averton Gifford

From tidal road, 3 common sandpiper, 2 green shank, 2 redshank and Glossy Ibis still on the marsh

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 4:32 pm by lesley Goonesekera in General Birding

North Devon, River Taw at Pottington

Female Goldeneye x 1, LIttle Grebe x1, Grey Plover x1 and Female Sparrowhawk plus two male Bullfinch, all seen in area adjacent to RGB warehouse. This was shortly after high tide at 1015hrs

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 3:56 pm by Steve Burtnyk in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

The Black Redstart showing well again until about 1.30 today at least. Also 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

brixham purple sandpiper

just a photo of one of 12 + purple sandpipers off the breakwater yesterday 

Purple Sandpiper

 

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 8:43 am by martin cox in General Birding

Totnes riverbank Sunday midday

Walked from the weir down to Vire Island. Not very high numbers of duck, maybe because of recent high flood levels, but also some disturbance by canoeists. Male and female Goosander, two Teal and 2 Kingfishers.

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 8:34 am in General Birding

Sunday 19th January 2014

Torbay boat trip 9-11am

Trip from Paignton to Berry Head, then back via Brixham harbour, Broadsands and Goodrington. 17+ great northern divers, 3 black throated divers (Brixham harbour), 27+ great crested grebes, 1 small grebe sp., 7 herons, 12+ fulmars back on breeding cliffs, 3 purple sandpiper, 1 sinensis cormorant (7 Quarries), 7-800 guillemots (Berry Head), many razorbill, 2 black guillemot (Battery Gardens, Brixham), 10 grey seal, 3 porpoises. Next trip Sunday 26th January, phone Nigel Smallbones on 07866 202576 to book.

Black guillemots, off Battery Gardens, Brixham
Black guillemots, off Battery Gardens, Brixham

Sinensis (upper) and carbo cormorants, 7 Quarries.
Sinensis (upper) and carbo cormorants, 7 Quarries.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Ringed Avocet, Bowling Green Marsh

Further to Keith's post regarding the ringed Avocet: I too saw a ringed Avocet a couple of weeks back and sent the details EUring. I also noted the same bird in December  2013 adjacent to Turf Locks pub. I've just received the details for  the bird which is colour ringed as follows:

Left tibia:  Red over blue

Right tibia: Green over white

The email I received from the ringer stated: 

"it was ringed as a pullus - one of a brood of three, on Greenabella Marsh, Seal Sands, Cleveland on 5th July 2012.

It's excellent news that it is still doing well and I look forward to further sightings of this bird".

I took a note of two ringed Blackwits which when I receive a reply will post here for info.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 8:57 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Ideford Common

13.00.  My three year old son and I inadvertently flushed 6 Snipe from a very wet and boggy area of heather and gorse.  Very quiet otherwise (apart from off road motorbikes!) in strong but welcome sunshine.  3 Ravens and a Meadow Pipit over the Common itself.  Feeders around main car park busy with Siskins, Redpoll calling, large mixed Tit flock, Nuthatch and GS Woodpecker. 

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 8:42 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Burrator Reservoir

1 female ring necked duck seen today along shoreline, diving regularly and skulking amongst overhanging tree branches, on opposite side of reservoir from Longstone Plantation.

Also 1 male teal, 1 little grebe, 1 male and 3 redhead goosander, a Muscovy duck, 26 Canada geese, 2 white feral geese, 1 cormorant and mallards.

Coal, blue and great tits and nuthatches showing well around the car park at the north end, feeding on seed put down by photographers.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 7:14 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Brixham area

Black Guillemot off the Environmental Laboratory with 3 or 4 Black-throated Divers first thing, before walking to Berry Head. A good dozen Great Northern Divers and a Slavonian Grebe en-route but failed to find the White-billed Diver at the headland.

Later, hearing reports of the White-billed off Broadsands, we paid a visit there, where it was pointed out to us by some birders, but unfortuntely the bird was a Great Northern - one of 3 there.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:38 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Slapton

Enjoyable birding today in perfect viewing conditions:

Adult Iceland Gull in Ireland Bay amongst the gull flock. Nice views of a Bittern flying over the Higher Ley, landed in reeds near the bridge. Also 3 Black-necked grebes, a good count of 24 Little Grebes, 2 Mediteranean Gulls (Ad,1W). Good numbers of duck including 5 Goldeneye. GN Diver and RT Diver on the sea.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:38 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Bowling green marsh to exeter

Bowling green marsh from the hide 09:30 till 11:40

the 1w male long tailed duck showed well at times, 183+ bar tailed godwits, 212+ avocet( 2 with coloured rings), 650+ black tailed godwits( 7 coloured ringed), 90+ dunlin, 3 lapwing, 110+ redshank, 80+ shoveler, 6+ tufted duck, 5+ pochard, 11+ pintail, 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 buzzards, 3 song thrush, 1 water rail, 480+ wigeon 120+ teal, 2 snipe.

then watched from the viewing platform, 1 knot, 63+ grey plover, 12+ common gulls, 3 red breasted mergansers. 

next to the goatwalk the spotted redshank was on the far side, also 30+ grey plover.

after a quick coffee in topsham a quick look at topsham rec from 13:30 till 14:15 produced 1 common sandpiper, 1 water pipit and the black redstart, 2 water rail, 1 grey wagtail, 4 common gull.

then walked from countess wear to exeter along the river, 2 green sandpiper, 26 redwing, 6 snipe , 1 little egret on pool nearest to double locks pub, then along river, 2 sparrowhawk, 2 raven, 4 little egrets, 7+ bullfinch, 2 kingfishers. 

Saturday 18th , after the heavy rain took a walk from salmons pool to the mill on the exe, 3 kingfishers, 2 dippers, 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk, 7+ bullfinch, 2 marsh tits, 2 treecreepers, 1 nuthatch. 

 

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:32 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Upper Tamar Lake

Upper Tamar Lake 08:30 ( The Goosanders were moving between Upper and Lower Lake this morning)

 

C30 Goosander 18m 12f, c100 Canada Geese, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Stonechat 1m 1f, 3 Tufted Duck 2m 1f.

 

Lower Lake,

Not much since the heavy rain on Friday/Saturday, 5 G.C. Grebe, 2 Wigeon.

 

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:13 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Baggy Point etc

A walk out to the point this afternoon and was rewarded with 2 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Divers. A few Fulmars also about.

Ringed a female Blackcap in  my garden this morning.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 5:42 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

Quick look over the breakwater. Black Guillemot present off Shoalstone Beach. 8 Great Northern Diver also

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 4:36 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Sharpitor,South of Salcombe

3 Firecrests on edge of Fir Woods. Also 77 Shags out in the bay - good count for this area.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 3:51 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Roadford Lake

Two Gt. Northern Divers near east side of lake at mouth of Headson inlet (from kayak)


Posted January 19th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by Rupert kirkwood in General Birding

Chagford

One male and two red-head Goosander on river Teign at Chagford.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 1:56 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Berry Head

White-billed Diver, still present feeding directly out from and close (50m) to the end of the headland, seen from the top of the headland but not viewable from the seawatch point today (strangely it was also reported on Birdguides as off Broadsands around the same time midday!!). Seemed to be catching mostly small crabs. Also several Great Northern Divers off the quarry side. Lots of auks (100's) and four Harbour Porpoise feeding out in Lyme Bay.

White-billed Diver, from top of Berry Head 11:05, 19th Jan

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 1:48 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh ; 09:00-12:15, falling tide.

3 Great Northern Divers ( 1 Saltstone / Lincombe, 2 together off Rowden Pt. ), 7 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe ( Saltstone ), 131 Brent Geese, 12 Pintail, Tufted Duck, 5 Red-breasted Merganser ( displaying ), 2 Rock Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff ( sewage works ) & 3 Cirl Bunting ( 2 singing ).

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 1:09 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Broadsands

Broadsands on sea: 51 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 6 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver.

32 Cirl Buntings and 9 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park. 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 2 collybita Chiffchaffs in Marsh.

Paignton/ Preston: 40+ Common Scoter, 1 Great Northern Diver 

Yesterday: hundreds of Auks and 150+ Gannets feeding in the tide race off Start Point.

Cattle Egret was present in 2 fields up (NW) from Yalberton Road/ Stoke Road junction with cattle (the only field with cattle in in area) - very difficult to see from any road unless the cattle and egret are lower down the field.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 10:46 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 18th January 2014

Otter Estuary

The only bird of note today was the Wigeon X Teal Hybrid (first seen Wednesday) and back for its 4th consecutive year. Photo from 2012:

Wigeon X Teal Hybrid, Otter Estuary 2012 by Chris Townend

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 8:29 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Brixham and Broadsands

With Jonathan down from Sussex for the weekend, spent the day around Brixham and Broadsands.

Brixham harbour: 1 Slav grebe, 10 GNDivers, 2 Black throated divers and 1 Red throated flew across harbour mouth. Black guillemot near the end of the breakwater at 11.00 and the Iceland gull flew into the harbour a few minutes later. 8 Purple Sandpipers.

Berry Head

Same as Bill MacDonald with at least 3 more GNDivers, the Iceland ull again and plenty of Kittiwakes and auks.

Broadsands

When the rain eased, 20+ Cirl Buntings on the seed, a single Chiffchaff. From the cliffs, 2 Black Necked Grebes, another 10 GN Divers, 3 Black throated divers, 1 red throated diver and at 3.30 p.m. we picked up the White Billed Diver  near the yellow buoy.

Stopped off at Decoy on the way home, male Scaup still present.

 

 

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 6:39 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

BARNSTAPLE SQUARE

Pied Wagtails (about 100) roosting at dusk in a tree above the traffic light and the street light in Barnstaple Square on Jan. 9th.  They seem to be undisturbed by traffic and pedestrians.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 5:56 pm by Maren Gracie in General Birding

Brixham harbour

4 or 5 Great Northern and 1 Black-throated Divers late pm.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 5:45 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Braunton Area

An afternoon walk from Velator Quay following a spell of heavy rain. Good sized flocks of Starling, Goldfinch and Pied Wagtails. A single Sparrowhawk being harassed by corvids and a fleeting view of Kingfisher. On returning along Toll Road, at rear of the White House, excellent views of the two female Marsh Harriers, lovely sight as the rain began to fall again.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 5:27 pm by Neal Moss in General Birding

Berry Head Update

No sign of the White-billed Diver today but hundreds of Auks off the headland, sadly several appear to be suffering from oil polution. First winter Iceland Gull in flight from the quarry pontoon towards the headland. Also at least 5 Great Northern Diver. Black Guillemot reported from the end of the breakwater. Black-throated Diver from Broadsands beach this afternoon.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Topsham

The Water pipit and Black redstart still present at the recreational playing field plus single Lesser redpoll in my garden this morning.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 12:02 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Friday 17th January 2014

Axe Estuary

3 Egyptian Geese put in a very brief appearance on the Axe Estuary late this afternoon. Spotted from Tower Hide as they flew in but only stayed for about 5 minutes before leaving and heading off in Seaton direction. They're less than annual here and it was particularly unusual to have more than one!



Posted January 17th, 2014 at 8:08 pm by Tim White in General Birding

Hope's Nose

Very quiet today with just one great northern diver in the cove on the north side, and a few common gulls among the black headed gulls around the sewer. Not even any guillemots - they're all at Berry Head!

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 7:32 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Aveton Gifford and River Plym

Glossy Ibis showing well on South Efford Marsh this morning. No sign of any water pipits on the Marsh but 1 green sandpiper, 1 kingfisher, 3+chiffchaffs,3 snipe and a pair of bullfinch seen. Along the River Avon were a common sandpiper,a little grebe and a grey wagtail.

On the way home stopped off at the River Plym and walked from Laira Bridge to Blaxton Meadow. Had a look for the oft reported Jack snipe in suitable habitat in Saltram Park but as usual with no luck. Hoped to find a treecreeper too but drew a blank. Lots of goldcrest around and a very nice firecrest in holly bushes by the footpath along the River in Saltram Park. 3 greenshank came in to Blaxton Meadow to roost at high tide and 9 wigeon were sleeping on the river off the Meadow embankment.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 5:38 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Cattle Egret

The cows at Yalberton Farm have been moved into the field on the other side of the road. The Cattle Egret is hard to see from the road in this field.

The Egret flow in from the East at 08:00 this morning and Mike had an email to say that someone may have seen the bird roosting at Paignton Zoo.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 5:14 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

N Devon

Looked at the Taw at Pottington this afternoon: the flock of Brent Geese still loafing on the sandbank, about 300, all too close together to get an accurate count. A pair of Goosander feeding off Pottington and another pair drifting down on the stream tight into Anchor Wood bank. Further up near the new bridge the female Goldeneye, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull preening with the Herring Gulls. A look in at Bradiford reserve as I left and bingo - a Kingfisher on the post I put in by the pond!

Back at Velator, excellent close views of one of the female Marsh Harriers right by the reserve.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 5:03 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

White-billed Diver still feeding in the deeper water off the head at mid-day (a marvelous sight - more reminiscent of seeing them off Lewis!), also 6+ Great Northern Divers on the quarry side. As ML elluded 1000+ auks in rafts on edge of Torbay and Lyme Bay and several Harbour Porpoise.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 4:08 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Clennon Valley & Brixham

Yellow-browed Warbler again at Clennon Valley this lunchtime just east of eastern most pond in copse before causeway over stream. 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs further down the stream 200m W of the YMCA.

Brixham: 2 Black Guillemots (together) off Astra Zenica Labs, 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers.

Shoalstone: 11 Great Northern Divers and lots of Auks toward Berry Head.

Stoke Gabriel: no sign of the Cattle Egret this morning at Yalberton Farm. At the Mill Pond, 1 'Continental' Cormorant with 2 'carbo' Cormorants, also a Guillemot feeding just below the wall of the Millpond!

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 3:53 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Brixham.

A walk around Brixham harbour this morning had some good results.

Astra Zenica. 1 Black Guillemot.  Breakwater/Harbour. 3 Black Throated Divers, 4 Great Northern Divers, 14 Purple Sandpiper.  Breakwater Beach. 1 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black Throated Diver.

 

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 11:21 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Yalberton Cattle Egret

Great photos taken yesterday by Barry Rankine of the Yalberton Cattle Egret.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 8:17 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Thursday 16th January 2014

Prawle Seawatch , Slapton Ley and Beesands

My first seawatch of the year from the car park in strong (4/5-6) SW winds with heavy rain 'showers' from 9.05 till 11.30 : (all west) 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 2 Black Throated Divers, 262 Auks (80% Razorbills/20% Guillemots);181 Gannets;54 Kittiwakes;68 Black-Headed Gulls. Also min. 4 Bottle-Nosed Dolphins close into shore fishing in the surf plus a Grey Seal joining in on the fun.

At Slapton 2 Black-Necked Grebes from Torcross hide with good number of various duck species. Brief visit to Beesands Ley : 6 Mallard and 4 Moorhens and,c 70 BH Gulls (why no other duck species as Perry mentioned previously ?)

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 7:43 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Cockwood

Heard a Ring necked Parakeet over Cockwood today, didn't see it though, first for a few years.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

South Efford Marsh & River, Aveton Gifford

Highlight of the afternnoon was a Glossy Ibis feeding with Curlews at the north end of the marsh (also seen on 14th Jan by DWT warden so probably wintering in valley) and 2 Water Pipits. Also: 20 Little Egrets, 62 Mute Swans, 18 Shelduck, 32 Curlews, 2 Greenshanks, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 23 Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtail, 42 Pied Wagtails and a Chiffchaff. Not a bad afternoon's haul! 

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 5:05 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

The Long-tailed Duck still from the hide today until about 1.45. Also present a pair of Gadwall amongst good numbers of the usual ducks. A Peregrine made a low pass over the marsh before settling in a tree to the right of the hide.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Sandwich Tern

Not the best day to go out birding! First went to Shoalstone and saw the Black Guillemot there. I then went to Berry Head and walked down the track by the quarry, as I was looking into the bay, to my surprise the unusual and out of season sight of a winter Sandwich Tern (11.15am) flew along the shore and towards Brixham harbour and Broadsands, where I lost sight of it. The White-billed Diver was still off the Head on the bay side and was slowly going back towards the harbour. About 6 Great Northern Diver were around and alot of Guillemots on the bay side of the Head.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 1:42 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Brixham harbour

The first winter Iceland Gull has been mobile around the district recently in finer weather conditions, but today in heavy showers and gusts it was back near the yacht club slipway at 1245. Oddly it seems to often spend time beside the floating pontoons, picking off small food items near the waterline which don't get much attention from the Herring Gulls.

Could not see the Black Guillemot today although conditions prevented much checking.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 1:40 pm in General Birding

Braunton

Started this morning with a pair of Dippers in the stream on the way to the reserve, then to Wrafton pond where about a dozen each of Gadwall and Shoveler, with single Tufted Duck and Wigeon, no sign of the 2 male Pochard seen recently. On the way back along the Tarka Trail, a Harrier sp seen heading out towards the great field - seemed to have narrower wings than the Marsh Harriers I've seen recently, but a bit distant, so headed out that way and found a female Marsh Harrier, around the area at the N end of the Toll Rd. Carried on along the Marsh Road, and saw another female Marsh Harrier over Braunton Burrows, being mobbed by Corvids. Glad there are still 2 around. Back to the reserve, where a large Thrush flew in. Excellent - first time I've seen a Mistle Thrush here!

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 12:28 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exe Estuary

Dad had a 2cy Glaucous Gull from the River Exe Stuart Line Cruise yesterday at 15:00.  It landed on the mud right besides the main channel of the Estuary roughly in line with Lympstone.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 10:26 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Wednesday 15th January 2014

Berry Head

White-billed diver (11.45am) from the seawatching point at the far end of the quarry, looking South close to the base of the cliffs. Also Slavonian Grebe back towards the Berry Head Hotel and at least 9 Great Northern Diver between Shoalstone and the headland. Large numbers of Auks scattered across the sea est: 100+ good mix of Common Guillemot & Razorbill. Also Grey Seal & 4 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted January 15th, 2014 at 3:30 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Taw Estuary south of Bradiford Reserve

Now 298 Brent Geese on the Taw Estuary including at least 3 Light bellied this morning.

Goldeneye still present. 


Posted January 15th, 2014 at 1:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Tuesday 14th January 2014

Clennon Valley and Broadsands

The Yellow Browed-Warbler showed very well again between 12 and 12.30 along with the 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs in the usual place (managed to capture a few reasonable images in perfect conditions).Later at Broadsands, whilst watching the large rig being towed into the bay, chanced upon a Kingfisher agan allowing a closer than usual (for me) camera shot. 2 Great Northern Divers close in. Soon time to start going to Prawle !  

 

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 8:24 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Tree Sparrows

A pair of Tree Sparrows at Powderham Park, by the railway where it was recently flooded at around 3pm. Luckily I was with two other birders, one from Northumberland, who instantly confirmed identification. Watched for a minute or so within 15 feet...just brilliant

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 7:51 pm by Francis Welland in General Birding

Decoy lake

Something different to see -a Black Swan today with the Mute Swans.

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 5:37 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

South Brent to Slapton (and back) via Aveton Gifford

Pair of Dipper on the Rv Avon just outside South Brent and a single Goldcrest

Around the farmland edge of Slapton Ley, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long tailed / Great & Blue Tits, Song Thrush, Wren, numerous Robins, two Warblers seen on one of the reed beds but only brief glimpses and unable to be more specific, Grey Wagtail.

Single great Northern Diver off of the beach

Little / Black Necked & Great Crested Grebe on the Ley, considerable numbers of Coot

Frogmore creek two Green Shank & one Red Shank

Two Common Sandpiper at Aveton Gifford showing and calling well, count of 31 Mute Swan

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 3:50 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake 10:50

 

39 Goosander 18m 21f, 14 Tufted Duck 5m 9f, 4 Coot, 2 G.C.Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 8 Teal, 3 Little Grebe, c25 Mallard, 1 Wren, 12 Snipe, 1 Bullfinch.

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 3:24 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Velator reserve

Early doors for a slow ringing session, but one of the female Marsh Harriers was perched on a tree in Sherpa marsh for the first couple of hours I was there.

Later finally managed to track down (with a lot of help from some alarming Chaffinches and Blackbirds) both Tawny Owls high in the Macrocarpus.

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 3:09 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Taw Estuary - Pottington

The Goldeneye, Goosanders & Brent Geese that Maurice counted yesterday were still showing well this morning.



Posted January 14th, 2014 at 2:23 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Brambling at Darts Farm

A single female Brambling with mixed finches in bushes near the viewing platform

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Ben Lansbury in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Plenty of ducks still from the hide this lunchtime, including a pair of Gadwall amongst the usual. Also present, 1 Shelduck, 1 Snipe and a Coot which has been fairly rare here of late! Small flocks of Brent Geese were slowly gathering in the field next to the hide although everything was disturbed by a low flying helicopter just before I left.

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 1:41 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

White-billed Diver reappears

In fine calm conditions I wasn't really expecting to see much off Berry Head but around 1100 the White-billed turned up in front of the sea watch point . Later I watched it feeding off the cliffs fro m the top, still in the area at 1220 when I left.Not much else except about 150 auks now on the sea.

Earlier the Black Guillemot and two Black-throated Divers off AstraZeneca carpark.

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 12:46 pm in General Birding

Broadsands

1 Siberian Chiffchaff in Marsh. 31 Cirl buntings and 6 Reed Buntings on seed in 2nd car park - cold frosty early mornings always produce good counts of buntings!

Posted January 14th, 2014 at 10:41 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 13th January 2014

Croyde

Walked across Croyde beach this afternoon on the way to Baggy Point. In amongst the Gull roost were 30+ Common Gulls and a lone adult winter Mediterranean Gull.

Baggy was birdless, but windy.

Posted January 13th, 2014 at 6:05 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Not enough time to do a full count but 231 Avocet roosting. 3 Pochard, 2 Gadwall and 6 Pintail as well as the Long-tailed Duck showing well amongst the usual wildfowl.

Posted January 13th, 2014 at 5:55 pm by Richard Woodland in General Birding

Upper Avon Valley,Loddiswell

2 female goosander by Topsham Bridge & 2 dipper on river through Woodleigh Woods. Also: 21 raven & 4 buzzard. 

Posted January 13th, 2014 at 4:04 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

The Long-tailed Duck still present this lunchtime until about 1.45. Good numbers of ducks on the marsh today including impressive numbers of Shoveler. Waders were resticted to Redshank, Lapwing and Curlew.

Posted January 13th, 2014 at 2:16 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford.

0945 - 1145

Common Gull 1; Dunlin c250; Grey Plover 5; Lapwing c1500; Ringed Plover 1; Shelduck 6; Little Grebe 1; Little Egret 3; Bullfinch 2; Goldeneye 1(female in area to rear of RGB); Dark-bellied Brent 252 plus 3 Pale-bellied; Goosander 2 (1m,1f) and Red-breasted Merganser 1f.

Posted January 13th, 2014 at 12:09 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

River Teign

Good numbers of Gulls this morning on the Teign at low tide although no sign of the Glaucous Gull. 6 Greenshanks, 8 Redshanks, 3 Red Breasted Mergansers and 2 feeding Avocets by Red Rock.

Posted January 13th, 2014 at 10:07 am by david cawthraw in General Birding

Sunday 12th January 2014

Plym Estuary

Managed to find very little before the heavy rain set in - but a single Dunlin had joined the 3 Greenshanks on the pool. Just 38 Curlews here (presumably the rest heading straight to Saltram in anticipation of the very high water levels on the pool of late).

Also on Friday - a Black Redstart on the Hoe (by the bowling green) and still a Great Northern Diver in the Sound.

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 9:02 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Brixham - Harbour & Shoalstone

No sign of the White-billed Diver despite many divers forced back in the harbour and off Shoalstone, so perhaps Dave's Berry Head sighting on Friday was the last!

Totals: 17 Great Northern Divers, 3 Black-throated Diver (2 ads 1 juv), Black Guillemot and the juv Iceland Gull (seen heading out towards Berry Head twice).

Black-throated Diver (adult & juv)Black-throated Diver (adult & juv)Black-throated Diver (juv)Great Northern DiverBlack GuillemotIceland Gull (juvenile)

 

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 6:51 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Berry Head

A seawatch 1200-1400 hrs in fresh to strong S winds and heavy cloud produced Great Skua, Iceland Gull first winter  (presumably the Brixham harbour bird), Red-breasted Merganser, Common Scoter and Great Northern Diver all heading south. Four Great Northern Divers feeding in the lee of the quarry but no sign of the White-billed.  

 

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 6:41 pm in General Birding

Skern

At least 13 med gulls, 12 ad, sw amongst 2,000 black headed.

16:00-16:35

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 6:14 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

Plenty to see today, my list is 1 Slav, 3 Red-necked Grebes, 11 GND, 4 BTD, 12+GCG, 1 Black Guillemot and Gannet, Fulmar,Guillemot,Heron,Kittiwake also showing well.

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 1:44 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Higher Strand - Taw Estuary

5 Goosanders (1 male + 4 females) & with the female Goosanders 1 female Red breasted Merganser.


Posted January 12th, 2014 at 1:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Weare Giffard

2 Whooper Swans still present this morning in fields besides the Torridge. Also 4 adult Mutes with 2 I matures.

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 12:14 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

7 Spoonbills on RSPB Site Yelland

Just to confirm that there are 7 Spoonbills at Yelland

6 Spoonbill Yelland Laurie Daunt 12.1.2014

2 Photos one of 6 and another all alone

Spoonbill colrings yelland Laurie Daunt 12.1.2014

 

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 12:01 pm by Laurie Daunt in General Birding

Spoonbill count Sat 11th Jan 2014

Just to confirm that they are7 Spoonbills on the RSPB Site Yelland, 2 photos one showing 6 the other alone

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 11:50 am by Laurie Daunt in General Birding

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle creek

0850-1030

Before the rain comes in this afternoon, managed to see: 32 Teal, 17 Shelduck, 41 Oystercatcher, 43 Avocet, 11 Curlew, 13 Wigeon, 1 Gadwall, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 3 Great Crested Grebe flew up river, and lots of Herring and Black Headed gulls On the mud.

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 11:38 am by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Start Bay

Had a look at the sea from Torcross for Jason's Surf Scoter but nothing doing, not even any Common's. Present were 2 Slavonian Grebes and a Great Northern Diver. Another Great Northern was just off the midway car park with a Red-Throated Diver and 2 Common Scoters. Best was a Black-throated Diver which flew south just offshore.

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 10:43 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Unbelievably a big fat zero all around for the WeBS count this morning, just think, anyone doing a count on the moon this afternoon would do no worse than me. Guess there might have been a Moorhen or something sheltering in the reeds if i'd given it a few hours.

Posted January 12th, 2014 at 10:38 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Saturday 11th January 2014

Starling murmuration, Uffculme

After many failed attempts, I've finally found a large murmuration of starlings in Devon. They're currently just outside Uffculme, but are very skittish and have moved short distances further up the road out of the village three times in the last week.


Posted January 11th, 2014 at 11:11 pm by Sarah Butcher in General Birding

Kingsteignton & Newton Abbot

A female type Black Redstart was on my roof and garden in Kingsteignton this morning. At Decoy Country Park the drake Scaup remains with 31 Tufted Duck, 23 Mute Swan and singles of Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe and Marsh Tit also noted

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Broadsands and Brixham

An enjoyable day with the Topsham Birdwatching and Naturalists Society started at Broadsands with 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 1 collybita Chiffchaff, 5 -6 Cirl buntings and 5 Reed Bunting. on the sea 1 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Northern Divers and 30+ Great Crested Grebes.

Brixham: 2 Black Guillemots (1 off Shoalstone Carpark the other half way along the Breakwater) 15+ Purple Sandpipers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Common Scoter.

Berry Head: 4 Great Northern Divers (including one with a very pale neck!) , juv Iceland Gull > South at 3.30pm and 4 or more Harbour Porpoises.

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 9:16 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Occombe Farm, Paignton

12.30-14.45

4 Red-Legged Partridges in field beyond the stream on the edge of the nature trail through the meadow.  Also 10+ Pied Wagtails, 6 Redwings, 2 Ravens, 2 Jays, Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, 5 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. Feeders very busy with mixed Tit flock and Nuthatch.

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 8:55 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Stover

Walked around the lake with the family this morning. In between jumping in puddles I saw 1 male and 1 female Goosander, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Little Grebe, a few Snipe and 3 Great Crested Grebes including 1 pair displaying.

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 8:38 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Avocet RSPB site Yelland

First Avocet that I have spotted on the Taw Estuary and another rarity, 

8 Spoonbills counted today Sat 11/01/14

Avocet
Avocet

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 8:24 pm by Laurie Daunt in General Birding

Surf Scoter - Torcross

Just had an email from Jason Smart, who had a (pos 1w) male Surf Scoter off the Torcross beach car park 12:30-13:00, but not at 15:00.

The bird was last seen associating with a small group of female-type Common Scoter (c8 birds), but at this stage had become distant.

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 6:26 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Braunton

Did a bit of ringing in the reserve this morning, details on the forum later. Saw Cetti's and Water Rail. Heard Tawny Owl.

This evening I was out Owling on the Great Field/Marsh, and on cue a pair of Little Owls popped up onto a barn, started calling and then mating! Later heard but didn't see a Barn Owl.

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 6:12 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Brixham harbour this morning

A Slavonian Grebe was off Breakwater beach and a Black Guillemot still off the breakwater. Otherwise much quieter than recent visits though difficult to be very thorough with my 2 yr old along for the ride!

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 6:04 pm by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay,  13:50-15:40, high tide.

Great Northern Diver, Little Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 83 Shelduck, 400+ Wigeon, 5 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 8 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Water Rail, 150 Dunlin, Turnstone, 120 Curlew, 3 Chiffchaff ( sewage works ).

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 5:21 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Yalberton PM

Cattle Egret settled back in field with cattle this afternoon even when tractor was in the field feeding. Sparrowhawk overhead but real bonus was a single male brambling along the Yalberton /Long Road lane above the orchard.

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 4:58 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Isley Marsh Spoonbill

No sign of the Spoonbills when I arrived at Isley Marsh at 10am this morning, then after an hour or so, 1 appeared, then shortly after, the other 5 flew in giving me great views.

One is the usual bird we get here each year.

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 1:59 pm by Chris Triggs in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

The Black Redstart is still easily seen by the path N along the river, look by the white upturned boat. It flies into the gardens when approached but soon reappears. Surprised to see a Water Pipit also this morning - likely the same as the Nov/Dec bird it's been missing for about three weeks.

Black Redstart - Topsham 11/1/2014
Black Redstart - Topsham 11/1/2014

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 11:27 am by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Yalberton Farm -Stoke Gabriel

The Cattle Egret again this morning, but very flighty and nervous and disappeared when the cows were taken back into the farmyard at 9.20am. Good numbers of Redwing and Pied Wagtails in the fields.

Posted January 11th, 2014 at 11:03 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Friday 10th January 2014

Clennon Valley

The Yellow-browed Warbler showed well early afternoon in usual place 200m W of YMCA also 1 Siberian Chiffchaff there too. 

Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Valley 10 Jan 2014

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 9:03 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Farewell White-billed Diver?

Having heard that divers were starting to leave Brixham Harbour in calming weather, I walked round Berry Head quarry instead. Over a hundred auks were on the sea, some unfortunately showing signs of oil. At about 1310 I was watching four Great Northern Divers from the concrete platform used by anglers, when a big pale diver surfaced beside them and turned to show that now-familiar head profile of the White-billed Diver . It fed with the other divers for 45 mins or so until they all drifted further out into the bay and I lost them. As I turned away I was taken by surprise as a white-winged gull flew overhead and disappeared round the headland. The quick shot I managed looks like an adult Iceland Gull. I made my way back to the breakwater late pm to check for more white-winged gulls following returning trawlers, without success. However several boats were still fishing off the head towards dusk. The Black Guillemot and Slavonian Grebe were still showing on the sea from the breakwater.   

 

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 6:10 pm in General Birding

Slapton Ley

08:15-14:00

3 Black-necked Grebes, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 18 Little Grebes, 83 Canada Geese, 84 Wigeon, 150 Gadwall, 13 Shoveler ( including a leucistic white bird with some buff / gingery markings ), 288 Tufted Duck, 29 Pochard, 2 Scaup ( m,f ), Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid, 10 Goldeneye & 347 Coot.

Fairly quiet out in the bay , settled were single Red-throated & Great Northern Diver, another Great Crested Grebe and 2 Common Scoter. In addition 2 Red throated Divers and 37 Common Scoter ( flocks of 30 & 7 ) flew south.

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 5:27 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

South Brent (the bit I forgot)

Round 2.30pm saw a good sized flock of mixed finches landing in the canopy of a mature ash tree, was able to make a rough count of 43 birds of which 17 were confirmed as Green Finch, a few Chaffinch the remainder being Gold Finch, this flock lifted off and flew down towards South Brent village.

No sooner had they gone I saw another flock coming into the same tree from the opposite direction and was able to do a count of 40 birds of which 22 were identified as Green Finch the remainder being Gold Finch.

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 4:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

South Brent

The really good turn out for the Brent Birders intro last evening gave me the incentive to have a deeper look at my home ground today, first highlight was flushing two very small birds from a thicket only able to follow one which confirmed my belief that there were both Chiffchaffs I have never seen them here in the winter months before, followed by 5 meadow Pipits which showed well, 7 Bullfinch (six males and one hen) which I saw again later in the day, Nuthatch and Greater Spotted Woodpecker showing well,  Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Redwings showing, another highlight was finding a small foraging mix of Blue Tits and Gold Crests (at least 3). Raven and Buzzard (3) showing well.

At 2.30pm did a count of 118 Herring Gull passing over head across the village away from the moors towards Totnes in general

Obvious pairs of Great Tit, Blackbird, Nuthatch, Song Thrush, Robin (several singing from high spots) and Raven.

 

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 4:19 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stover

Today in the park:

5 Goosander (2 males), 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, female Mandarin, 3 Pochard, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher, Common Snipe

Bittern reported flying across the northern marsh at lunchtime, Siskin, 5 Crossbill,Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming, 4 Marsh Tit,  Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush singing.

(Jon Avon)

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 4:03 pm in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Hundreds of Brent Geese in the field between the hide and the viewing platform this lunchtime, but I couldn't pick anything unusual out of them. Very few waders from the viewing platform over a high tide included Avocets, Grey Plover, Redshank and Dunlin along with a few Common Gulls. A couple of Mistle Thrush flew over.

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 2:16 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Chivenor

Twice a year I do a survey inside the RMB Chivenor. It's good for Skylarks, but only in the spring apparently - didn't see any today! It does give an opportunity to look at the Chivenor bank of the Taw usually only visible from the other side of the estuary. Good counts of Wigeon (350), Lapwing (800) and Golden Plover (5000?) which were on the sandbank mid-stream. Also able to scope teh 6 Spoonbills at Isley, which won't count on the Chivenor survey!

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 1:05 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Red legged Partridges at Galmpton

Thursday AM, 2 x RLP's between Waddeton and Galmpton, in the road at the very top of the hill leading out of Galmpton towards Stoke Gabriel. 4 x field entrances there, sometimes seen in all 4 fields. Late in the day, at dusk,  in the Waddeton dip, large bird of prey flew out of tree, reminded me of snipe in flight, rapid changes of direction, then flew parrallel with road, and looked like a double sized kestrel....any thoughts ?...Also (late this, as wifey broke her shoulder at the weekend), at least 50 Common Scoter off Preston beach, on Sunday, fairly well out, accurate count difficult, due to large swell.

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 12:02 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Sherpa marsh

Quick look round the reserve (water levels falling - hooray!) and great views of a female Marsh Harrier over the Sherpa reed-bed.

Posted January 10th, 2014 at 10:15 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 9th January 2014

Starcross - Oak Meadow Golf Course

The long staying Black Brant today at Starcross, Oak Meadow Golf Course in amongst the Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese. Click photo for video

Black Brant, Starcross

 

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 10:44 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Brixham harbour

Fewer birds than the last few days but still plenty about. 2 great northern divers and a blackthroated diver in the harbour, with another 2 great northern divers outside the breakwater, along with a slavonian grebe. The iceland gull dropped in on to its favoured spot on the NW side of the the fish quay late afternoon. A late surprise was a glaucous gull which followed a day trawler into the harbour before flying back out to sea, found by a visiting birder from Bristol.

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 10:02 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Slapton

On a walk from Torcross to the bridge between the Lower and Higher Ley today a large raft of wildfowl were on the Ley at Torcross - amongst the numerous coot, gadwall, mallard, tufted duck and pochard I found 4 black-necked grebes, a male and female scaup, 3 male and 2 female goldeneye with the males busily displaying, a pair of wigeon and the male tufted duck/red crested pochard hybrid.

At the back of Ireland Bay were another 3 black necked grebes. From the Bridge 2 water rails were calling and I managed a brief view of 1 amongst the reeds. A Cettis warbler was heard singing and gave a brief flight view.

On the sea a great northern diver was feeding close to the shore with a red throated diver further out. 2 guillemots and a male and 8 female common scoters were also seen in the Bay.

Amongst the gulls bathing on the Ley were 8 adult lesser black backed gulls, showing a variation in sizes and back colouring with some birds much paler looking.

Not a bad day out in the bright sunshine with not a drop of rain in sight for a change.

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 8:32 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret present all day in fields at Yalberton Farm today. It went to roost in an apple tree at about 14:30 so it seems like it's spending a lot of time here.

Video of the Egret taken a few weeks ago feeding with cattle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sETVWCdvk4

 

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 5:21 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

N Devon

Walked fromn Ashford back to Braunton this morning - 5 Bar-tailed Godwits near the old hide (which is now overgrown and useless!) and a Greenshank at Heanton bend. 2 Dippers at the Velator bridge to the reserve. Later walked to Baggy Point where 4 Common Scoters bobbed gently, but no sign of the Eider. 2 Guillemots on the tide race further out. Good numbers (30-ish) of storm-driven Kittiwakes feeding close in and going past the point.

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 4:17 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

A pair of Bar Headed Geese with a large flock of Canada Geese at high tide visible from the hide.

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 3:55 pm by David Carter in General Birding

Broadsands

Just 5-6 Great Northern Divers this morning with 1 Red-throated Diver also 64 Great Crested Grebes.

In marsh 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 1 collybita Chiffchaff. 6 Cirl Buntings and 2 Reed Buntings on seed in 2nd car park.

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 3:54 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

Had good views of the Black Redstart at Topsham Rec this lunchtime. It disappeared into a nearby garden when I arrived but came back after a couple of minutes. I then had good views of it on the path and wall by an upturned white boat. Also a Grey Wagtail, a couple of Common Gulls and a female Red-breasted Merganser.

Posted January 9th, 2014 at 2:01 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Foxhole - Taw Estuary

Juvenile Great Crested Grebe enjoying the calm sheltered waters of the Taw Estuary.


Posted January 9th, 2014 at 1:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wednesday 8th January 2014

The newer of the spoons

I would like to add my observation of the Spoonbill LA('left, above the 'knee'')YRM, RARYfG currently being discussed. My partner photographed the same bird at Yelland on 31st October 2013. It was with the long-returning individual mentioned below.

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 10:06 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Footage here of the White-billed Diver in company with Great-northern Divers, the Iceland Gull makes an appearance too. All the recently reported birds still on show...

http://youtu.be/yXz5-wh3Atg

Great to still see so many birders from around the country coming to Brixham to see the variety of birds on offer

Iceland Gull J.Marshall
Iceland Gull J.Marshall

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 10:00 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Roadford Reservoir

Today at Roadford:
 
Great Crested Grebe 12
Tufted 36
Goldeneye 12
Mallard 50 +
Coot 10
Jackdaw
Magpie
Blue Tits
Redwings
Goldcrest
Robins
Teal 50 +
Pochard (1 that had been released after being injured)
Wren
Wigeon 50 +
Snipe 2
Gadwall 2m 1f
 
T and J Sleep

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 1:58 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime in the hide today until about 1.15 as the wet weather set in. The Long-tailed Duck was showing well at times. Also good to see some waders here with Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwits outnumbering the Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Dunlin and 1 Curlew. Also a few male Pintail and the female Red-breasted Merganser.

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 1:38 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Otter Estuary Ibises

Video from yesterday
Click on photo below to view

Glossy Ibis, Otter Estuary 7th Jan 2014

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 1:38 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Downend & Baggy

No Scoters at Downend but 4 female Common Scoters & 1 Eider still at Baggy Point.

Also 1 Merlin showing an interest in the Meadow Pipits,2 Red throated Divers & 4 Kittiwakes inc 2 juveniles feeding with the Black - headed Gulls & Common Gulls at the treated sewage outfall. 6 Fulmars at Baggy point.

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 1:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Storm driven seabirds

The recent accumulations of seabirds sheltering in the southern half of Torbay are clearly a reflection of the exceptionally difficult feeding conditions along much of our coastline, which will inevitably have caused some casualties. I found a very weak looking Razorbill at Brixham breakwater slipway, and after some enquiries managed to get hold of RSPCA wildlife rescue on 0300 1234 999. It sounded as if they were very busy picking up seabird casualties in the South Hams so unfortunately were unable to get this way for a couple of hours, by which time I had lost track of the bird, but it is worth having the number for future use. T

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 1:06 pm in General Birding

Otter Estuary

The 2 Glossy Ibis still mid morning in the first field north of the cricket pitch opposite the hide.

Posted January 8th, 2014 at 11:22 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Tuesday 7th January 2014

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

Two Black-necked Grebe still present at 12:30pm after being found this morning by Steve Waite. Also the male Scaup still.

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 9:13 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

More Brixham ....

In addition to earlier posts today a second Red-necked Grebe in Fishcombe Cove with an additional 5 GNDivers. No sign of the Long-tailed Duck from Shoalstone but my only Red-throated Diver of the day which flew in from the direction of Berry Head. Also a single Balearic Shearwater.

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 6:29 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Otter Estuary Update

2 Glossy Ibis (thanks Dave Land) this afternoon on the 2nd flooded field north of Lime Kiln Car Park. Called RSPCA about sick Gannet with fishing line in beak and they arrived at dusk and will hopefully try and catch bird tomorrow!

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 6:27 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Slapton

4 Black-necked Grebes keeping close together amid Coots and Tufted Ducks and 1 Goldeneye in same group. On sea near Torcross 35 Common Scoters.

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by Rob Hubble in General Birding

brixham

 Didn't see the white billed diver, but very close views of 2 little auks in the inner harbour, red necked grebe & slav grebe. On the breakwater wall a very pale shag with yellow feet a few feet away.

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 4:47 pm by Alan Matthews in General Birding

Brixham

A mid morning arrival at Brixham harbour looked a little bleak with hardly a Diver to be seen in the harbour, but it quickly picked up, a large number of Great Northern Divers were outside of the harbour towards Paignton and a larger number between the breakwater and Shoalstone along with large numbers of Shag (one Shag photographer near the Science Lab was remarkably pale/light in colour) as the tide changed some close up views of Great Northern Divers in the harbour with several close in near the Lifeboats mooring. Iceland Gull in its usual spot, a Red Necked Grebe popped up in the same spot and for the rest of the day seems to have been around the fish quay and in the inner harbour giving some very good views. Several Razorbill and Guillemots evident with sightings of two of the Black Guillemots one outside the harbour towards Paignton and the other between the breakwater and Shoalstone.

One Rock Pipit showed breifly and a count of 25 Turnstones on the roadside by the inner harbour

The White Billed Diver was elusive but reportedly was present earlier in the day, a Savonian Grebe was also reported by some birders in the harbour close to the breakwater.

Young male Kestrel seen at Churston Ferrers and a brief visit to Broadsands car park gave views of a small number of Cirl Buntings

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 4:38 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Cattle Egret, Yalberton.

Cattle Egret still present in cattle field near Yalberton Farm. Clearly it's still around but not spending time at Clennon Valley any more. 

SX 86156 59079

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 4:37 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

Yelland Jetty Roost and Isley Marsh.

Yelland Roost - 11:40.

Teal 36; Redshank 18; Turnstone 13; Grey Plover 121; Dunlin c500; Wigeon 58 and Lapwing 147.

Isley Marsh - 13:00

Curlew c300; Lapwing c1600; Teal 14 and Spoonbill 7, incl 2 Dutch-flagged birds. One being regular bird NLA8048768 - Left leg:- dark green ring over yellow flag over dark green ring. Right leg:- dark blue ring over metal i/d ring over lime-green.

Ringed bird 2, new to the Taw. Left leg:- yellow ring over red ring over metal i/d ring. Right leg:- red ring over yellow flag over green ring. See image on 30/12/13 for Fremington.

 

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 3:23 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake 0830.

 

25 Goosander, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Merlin, 1 Kestrel, 2 Coal Tit.

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Present 1305 to 1400.

Only thing to add to earlier post was there were 32+ Great Northern Divers and 2 Black-throated Divers between Brixham Harbour and Shoalstone, which includes those in the harbour. Red-necked Grebe was in the inner harbour showing very well. 

Also saw Juv Iceland Gull in usual spot & Slav Grebe very close to outer wall. Didn't see WBD.

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 2:42 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Long-Tailed Duck showing very close to the hide at 10:30 this morning to compliment Nick potters blog 7 x Greylag Greese, a pair of Pintails,  several pairs of Widgeon, and Shovelers one Snipe in with the Avocets, a Couple of Grey Herons sheltering under the western hedgerow. A pair of Pochard, female with what looks like a blue numbered ring on the top part of its beak. Too far away to really confirm what it is. Maybe someone can look for it and confirm. What ever it is was really irritating the duck at 12:00 today. 

Long-tailed Duck BGM
Long-tailed Duck BGM

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 2:28 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Brixham

Ventured down to Brixham this morning with James Mc. White-billed aside, what a fantastic array of divers and grebes, with most showing extremely well.  The White-billed Diver was the true star of course, showing along the nearest channel to the path in the inner harbour soon after our arrival, and it was a pleasure to watch it alongside its finder - well done Bill!  Single Slav and Red-necked and two Black-necked Grebes were viewable from the AstraZeneca car park along with the Iceland Gull.

On the way back we stopped off at Decoy Lake, had the drake Scaup alongside a drake Gadwall and surprisingly two Black-necked Grebes!

White-billed Diver
White-billed Diver

White-billed Diver
White-billed Diver

White-billed Diver
White-billed Diver

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 2:21 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime from the hide today until about 1.50. The Long-tailed Duck still present as are the pair of Red-breasted Merganser. Also 13 Brent Geese and 1 Shelduck. A small flock of Avocet soon flew off towards the platform. Otherwise waders were resticted to around 20 Redshank, 1 Snipe and 1 Curlew.

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 2:06 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

A call from Doug Cullen had me heading down to the Otter Estuary looking for a 1st year Gannet that seemed to have some fishing line hanging from its beak. It was harrassed by gulls and then settled on the flooded scrape fields just north of the Lime Kiln Car Park. Quite a surreal sight as it sat in amongst the gulls. As we scanned the nearby ducks and gulls, a nice surprise was a Glossy Ibis feeding well and visible from the main footpath north from the car park. Also seen by Peter Bennett from his garden! Nice garden tick!

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 1:16 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Monday 6th January 2014

Stover Lake

Brief visit to Stover late morning today. There were 9 Goosanders (4 drakes), 1 Great Crested Grebe and a Kingfisher.

Posted January 6th, 2014 at 9:19 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

A brilliant day's birding in and around the harbour with squally rain showers and high winds driving birds into the harbour. The day's tally was single red-throated diver, 6 black-throated diver, 25 great northern diver, superb white-billed diver (what an amazing bill!), 2 red-necked grebe (one in harbour & one off Fishcombe Point), slavonian grebe, 35 gannet, 3 cormorant, 51 shag, 3 grey heron, single long-tailed duck off Shoalstone Point, 3 oystercatcher, 17 turnstone, single common gull, imm.Iceland gull by fishing boats, 120 great black-backed gull, single kittiwake, 5 guillemot, 5 razorbill, single black guillemot by lifeboat station & 3 rock pipit. 

Posted January 6th, 2014 at 6:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Velator

Common Sandpiper just south of the harbour this afternoon. An impressive sea off Saunton Down seems to have sent any seabieds off elsewhere!

Posted January 6th, 2014 at 4:29 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 1100-1330. All south, 7 Bonxies, Balearic Shearwater, 2 Red-throated Divers, Great Northern Diver. 10+ Harbour Porpoise off the headland including at least 2 calves.

Posted January 6th, 2014 at 3:49 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Brixham harbour am

The Iceland Gull was present at the yacht club slipway at times, making forays out into the bay to feed then returning. A Rednecked Grebe was present north of  AstraZeneca, another was in the inner harbour. Two Black-throated Divers werE feeding in the inner harbour over lunchtime, surfacing close to the quaysides and giving excellent views,sometimes beside GreatNortherns.The White-billed Diver was reported seen from the breakwater.No Black Guillemots in the usual places today?

Posted January 6th, 2014 at 3:14 pm in General Birding

Torbay boat trip, Sunday

A few pictures from yesterday's boat trip. Very close views but terrible light! Next trip is Sunday 12th, to book phone Nigel Smallbones on 07866 202576.

Red necked grebe, Brixham inner harbour.
Red necked grebe, Brixham inner harbour.

Slavonian grebe, Brixham harbour.
Slavonian grebe, Brixham harbour.

Iceland gull, Brixham harbour.
Iceland gull, Brixham harbour.

Posted January 6th, 2014 at 1:44 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

A brilliant trip on the Dart Princess

We had wonderful boat trip yesterday morning with Nigel Smallbones on the comfortable and expertly skippered "Dart Princess". (with good coffee from the galley too!  As Chris Proctor has already given you a list of our sightings, then I won't repeat it but I have to endorse that seeing and photographing  two seperate species of Cetaceans in a matter of minutes in Devon waters was a remarkeable experience.

A Red-necked Grebe was showing really well in the inner harbour as well as the Iceland Gull, Long tailed Duck and a Black Guillemot. Of note was a Slavonian Grebe.  

I have to say that I find it amazing that these weekly boat trips are not full.  Its cheap, comfortable, expertly crewed and very safe. Even in adverse weather conditions it is stable and dry. Most pelagic trips in other countries cost 10 times the price of these Devon trips and the sightings here are just as good.  

There were more Divers than Shag, mostly Great Northern but also Black throated.   There is more about the trip and many more photos on my own Blog, (I am limited to 3 snaps here).

http://parrotletsuk.typepad.com/wldlife_in_a_suburban_gar/

Grey Seal, Brixham Harbour.
Grey Seal, Brixham Harbour.

A known individual who can be identified by the damage to dorsal fin.
A known individual who can be identified by the damage to dorsal fin.

Red-necked Grebe In the inner harbour Brixham.
Red-necked Grebe In the inner harbour Brixham.

Posted January 6th, 2014 at 11:04 am by Charlie Fleming in General Birding

Sunday 5th January 2014

Exmouth Seafront

An hour and a half on Exmouth seafront viewing from the beach huts up above the lifeboat station produced two female long-tailed ducks. The first was some way out at sea; the second just off the beach. Took off around 9am heading towards Dawlish Warren.

Posted January 5th, 2014 at 9:00 pm by Nick Pratt in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

Morning trip in dull weather with rain for last 1/2 hour. 28 great northern divers, 1 black throated diver (Brixham Breakwater), 1 red necked grebe (Brixham inner harbour), 1 slavonian grebe (Oxen Cove), 1 long tailed duck (Shoalstone), 3 common scoter, 1 iceland gull (Brixham harbour), 1 black guillemot (Oxen Cove), along with large numbers of gannets, fulmars and guillemots offshore. Mammals included 7 porpoises (Berry Head), 1 bottled nosed dolphin (Shoalstone to Brixham harbour), and 6 grey seal (Brixham harbour) - spectacular! Fantastic close views of all the good birds, will post pictures later. To book next weeks trip phone Nigel Smallbones on 07866 202576.

Posted January 5th, 2014 at 8:50 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Brixham

A watch from the Shoalstone shelter produced very little in the way of passage birds but 9 Great Northern Divers, Long-tailed Duck, and a dozen or more Guillemots and Razorbills just off shore.

A brief look around the harbour in appalling conditions produced 2 Black-throated Divers, 1 Red-necked Grebe, another 6 Great Northern Divers and the juv Iceland Gull just off the Astra Zenica car park.

Posted January 5th, 2014 at 5:46 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Seven Wigeon on the pool early on, together with 50 Shelducks, just 29 Curlews and a Common Sandpiper; still no sign of the Water Pipit.

Posted January 5th, 2014 at 5:41 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Clennon Valley

Yellow-browed Warbler showing well this morning at Clennon Valley usual 200m w of YMCA. The area is badly flooded anyone parking in the YMCA car park will not be able to access the usual spot due to deep water covering paths to the back of the golf driving range and the playing fields.Best use the leisure centre car park and walk to the eastern end of the first pond then take the path down to the stream - wellies are still pretty much essential! Also there 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, a single collybita Chiffchaff further up toward the ponds, 4 Goldcrests, Little Egret, Mandarin Duck.

Posted January 5th, 2014 at 10:07 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 4th January 2014

Birds in Brixham harbour

A very good day birding the first bird I saw was

White billed Diver

G N diver 5-6

Black Guillemot 

B T Diver

R T Diver

The best bird of all

Iceland Gull first winter,what a cracking bird.

photo by Anne-Marie Turner


Posted January 4th, 2014 at 10:42 pm by Stephen J Turner in General Birding

Clennon Valley

Checked out the Yellow-browed warbler haunt at 0930 but nothing doing and the light was awful. Walked on to Brixham, enjoying the 'Diver Fest', as well as four species of grebe, before trying Clennon Valley again at 1610 in failing light. Boom! Close views of the YBW amongst a rapidly moving flock of goldcrests and at least one collybita Chiffchaff. Characterisitic disyllabic 'soo-et' calls from the YBW. Location as before. When I left, the flock was by the first lake.

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 10:21 pm by Simon M Bates in General Birding

Around the exe

Started at Bowling green marsh from the hide at 09:45

400+ avocet, the 1st winter long tailed duck showed well at times, 1 spotted redshank, 1500+ dunlin was a very good count for the marsh, 2 water rail, a male Merlin put in a brief appearance and a peregrine attacked a group of wigeon , 1 female pochard , 1 male tufted duck, 2 red breasted mergansers(1f,1m), 15+ shoveler, 9+ pintail, good numbers of teal and wigeon, 1 curlew, 2 lapwing, 25+ snipe, 80+ bar tailed godwit, 1 black tailed godwit.

the black redstart showed briefley at topsham recreation ground with 1 grey wagtail

moved on to dawlish warren for the afternoon 

7 velvet Scoter were close in of langstone rock, 5+ great northern diver close in the Bonaparts gull flew along the beach then headed into the estuary, 1 great crested grebe, a 2nd winter little gull was on the sea, 7+ pintail, at least 70+ common scoter in 2 groups also a brief view of a possible black necked grebe, 1 razorbill, 8+ guillemot. 

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 7:25 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Crow Point Lighthouse & Crow Neck

Huge tidal surge this morning with big surf - 9.9 metres at 07.53 at Saunton Sands.

Crow Neck has been breached with sand dunes washed away behind the sea defences & Crow Point Lighthouse is now an Island!



Posted January 4th, 2014 at 6:29 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Velator Reserve

Been away a few days and returned to find someone left the taps running in the reserve!

Sherpa Marsh is flooded and the east side of the reserve is now under water! On the plus side - it might help with getting rid of the duck-weed! It's much deeper than even last year's flood!

One Chiffchaff (Colybita) and a Water Rail seen. Tawny Owl heard. Lots of collared Doves in to roost.

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 6:00 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Broadsands

Mid afternoon: 17 Great Northern Divers, 2 Black-throated Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 58 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 4 Razorbills, 5 Guillemots and 1 Mediterranean Gull ad.

Around Marsh 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 2-3 Collybita Chiffchaffs. 

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 5:17 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Slapton Ley - Torcross

3 Black-necked Grebe and 3 Goldeneye (2 male, 1 female) amongst usual wildfowl.

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 4:38 pm by Richard woodland in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Eight Wigeons (ad drake, 5 1st-w drakes and 2 females) on Blaxton Pool. Also 17 Snipe, 3 Jack Snipe, 5 Skylarks and 2 Green Woodpeckers. But unfortunately, despite a good search, I couldn't find the Water Pipit reported from Blaxton Pool this morning - an excellent record for this site.

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 4:13 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Topsham

The Black redstart still present at Topsham rec playing field, hiding in flotsam at northern end.

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 3:09 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Long-Tailed Duck- Torbay

The Long-Tailed Duck was still present at Brixham this morning between Shoalstone Car Park and the Breakwater car park till 11.20am when it flew strongly into Torbay towards Broadsands, where it was then re-located offshore. 

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 1:13 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Brixham

An amazing morning around the harbour. White-billed diver, 24 Great northern divers, 8 Black throated divers, 1 Red-necked grebe, 1 Black-necked grebe, 1 Eider, 1 Long-tailed duck, 1 Black guillemot, 1 1st w Iceland gull, 6 Purple sandpipers. Most birds were seen exceptionally well, plus 3 Grey seals cruising around the harbour.

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 1:08 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

RSPB Islay Marsh

Two Spoonbill on marsh, at least 10 Greenshank, redshank and a few Grey Plover. Duck numbers very low, along Tarka Trail near Home Farm Marsh large flock of Linnet, at least 250 birds.

Posted January 4th, 2014 at 12:40 pm by Neal Moss in General Birding

Friday 3rd January 2014

Brixham

There was a female long-tailed duck in the breakwater very close around 3 pm, with 14+ Great-northern divers and dozens of gannet. In the inner harbour I saw 2 black-throated divers, 2 razorbills and a black guillemot.

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 10:20 pm by Martín Rey in General Birding

Teign Estuary

A great morning spent att Brixham Harbour today - Species as already posted.
On the way back home, a late afternoon visit to the Teign Estuary. Of note, a leucisitic Herring Gull in with the Herring Gulls near the mouth of the estuary opposite the Ferry Boat Pub.

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 7:34 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Brixham harbour

From the AstaZeneca car park this p.m. The White-billed diver showed on the breakwater side of the harbour with 3 Great Northerns at 16.00 having been absent for at least 2 hours. The supporting cast kept us busy though with Kittewake, Black Guillemot and Red-necked Grebe all close in to the car park. 2 Black-throated divers in the harbour and 2 Red-throats in the bay. The Iceland Gull put in an appearance around 15.00 in it's favoured area near the fish market.

2 dead Shag floated past laying on their backs.

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 6:48 pm by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

Low tide, not surprisingly, didn't happen today so not much to report other than the female/1st winter Black Redstart still on the flood/tidal debris at the north end of the field. Not particularly rare, I know, but a good bird for Topsham.

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 6:28 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Hope's nose

A quick check between showers produced only 3 great northern divers in the north cove, and some kittiwakes and common gulls among the gull flock at the sewer.

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 6:22 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Exmouth

Sandy Bay - a female-type black redstart this afternoon just below the beach access ramp from the caravan park. I wasn't allowed to drive in so I had to park in the 'World of Country Life' carpark (free at the moment) and walk down through the caravan park. Alternatively you could of course walk round from Exmouth - absolutely stunning at low tide!

A seawatch from the lifeboat station this morning produced 1 velvet scoter, 1 great northern diver, 50+ gannet and 35+ kittiwake among other stuff with the 2 female eider still close offshore there.

Yesterday the adult bonaparte's gull was viewable distantly on Bull Hill from Exmouth Docks - late pm.

black redstart
black redstart

 

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 5:57 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Newton Abbot Area

Decoy - drake Scaup still present this morning.

Teigngrace -c10 Liitle Egrets in fields 

Stover - 7 Goosander (2 drakes) and 2 Siskin near feeders 

Passage House Inn - 2 Common Sands

RIver Teign between Lower Netherton and Combe Cellars- Glaucous Gull again 1.45pm-2.25pm then lost to view. 

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 3:45 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Shoalstone

The Eider, Longtailed Duck and at least 6 Great Northern Divers were off the shelter late morning.

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 3:07 pm in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Quick visit to the marsh this lunchtime until about 1.45. Plenty of water but low numbers of duck out there. The Long-tailed Duck still present along with 1 Tufted Duck and 3 Pochard and 1 male Pintail. 1 Snipe and a lone Avocet were the only waders. Also the 2 Bar-headed Geese in with the Canada Geese.

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 2:05 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Brixham

Impressive cast around the harbour this morning: White-billed Diver, Iceland Gull juv, Little Gull 1st w, Red-necked Grebe, Black Guillemot, 2 Black-throated Divers and Great Northern Divers (smaller numbers than of recent days approx 10 today between Astra Zenica and Breakwater). 

Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 12:05 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 2nd January 2014

Brixham harbour

At the risk of becoming monotonous, a couple of highlights from the harbour today.

White billed diver, Oxen Cove, 11.28am
White billed diver, Oxen Cove, 11.28am

Red necked grebe, entrance to inner harbour, 13.27pm
Red necked grebe, entrance to inner harbour, 13.27pm

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 8:56 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Teign Estuary pm

Managed to tear myself away from Brixham harbour for a rather muddy scramble along the south bank of the Teign, from  Hackney Lane Netherton towards  Coombe Cellars. Around 230 pm the Glaucous Gull was on a sandbank mid estuary, until forced off by tide.Also present at least  8 Red-breasted Mergansers (a group of males were showing courtship display towards a female), Greenshank, Common Sandpiper.

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 7:41 pm in General Birding

R.Caen

Digiscoped this Water Pipit on the R.Caen a short distance from Velator Quay this afternoon.

Heavily streaked on breast & flanks but belly white. White supercilium which extends from the base of the bill over the eye & tapers towards nape. Greater coverts & tertial edgings are white but I cannot see from the photos the white outer tail feathers.

Legs appear dark in most of the photos but not all.

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 6:43 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Elberry Woods

A super day stomping round the coast from Goodrington to Brixham and seeing many of the great species in the bay at the moment.

Highlight for me, though, was finding something new to contribute: a Firecrest in Elberry woods along the path near the golf course.

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 6:09 pm by George Wall in General Birding

Slapton

Highlights on the ley were 4 black-necked grebe (3 at Torcross & one in Ireland Bay), mf scaup & 5 goldeneye.

Also: 16 little grebe, 56 mute swan, 85 wigeon, 179 gadwall, 14 shoveler, 266 tufted duck, 30 pochard, 31 moorhen, 540 coot & single chiffchaff.

Offshore 46 common scoter included 2 stunning males.

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 5:13 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Brixham

I must have been the only person NOT to have seen the White-billed Diver! But the supporting cast more than made up for it;o)




Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 4:58 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Torbay

Extra sightings from listed already-The female Eider still at Brixham near the Berry Head House Hotel.  2 Red-Necked Grebes and 2 Black-Necked Grebes in Brixham Harbour.  2 adult Med Gulls (1ringed) at Preston and c20 Common Scoter offshore. The Yellow-Browed Warbler still mid afternoon at Clennon Valley showing very well from the main path before the path that drops back to the YMCA, also still 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs in the same area. Also a probable Siberian Chiffchaff in Brixham at the back of the multi story car park behind the breakwater. (Throw in the White-Billed Diver showing really well from the Breakwater till mid morning,  c60 GN and c8 BT Divers, Black Guillemot, 3 BN Grebes at Broadsands, Purple Sands, Iceland Gull and Cirl Buntings- it's been quite a good day) !  The only downside was not taking Mikes advice of wearing Wellington boots at Clennon Valley-it is seriously very very wet and very very muddy! 

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 4:24 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Exmouth - Shelley Beach.

11.45am, on the ebbing tide 4 Goldeneye were in pools on the edge of the mussel bank;  also 11 Red-breasted Mergansers and a very tight flock of 107 Shags by Bull Hill Banks

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 3:25 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Ladram Bay, East Devon

A nice male Black Redstart showing well but mobile around the car park.  Apparently it has been around for a few weeks.  Ladlam always a good place to find one.  Nothing much out to sea other than a 1w Razorbill below the Otterton sewage works and no divers!

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 3:22 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Topsham

Long-tailed duck on Bowling Green Marsh was the best species on my wander around Topsham. However the number of duck & Lapwing on Exminster Marshes was the most impressive, with large flocks in the air from time to time.

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 12:47 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Clennon Valley

The Yellow-browed Warbler was showing well 200m W of YMCA but staying high in the ash and Sycamore trees, also 2-3 Siberian Chiffchaffs in same area - its very flooded and boggy , wellies essential for anyone going to look!

Photos: Siberian Chiffchaff and Yellow-browed Warbler

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 02 Jan 2014 ML    Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Valley 2 Jan 2014 ML

Click on photo below for video link of Siberian Chiffchaff:

The Broadsands Black Guillemot was a very white bird and well to the north of Broadsands so could not have been either of the two Brixham birds, the counts of Great Northern Divers are just staggering, I did not count birds that could have been seen from Brixham hoping that someone would count from there, Steve Cox's count of 30+ makes a bay total of 63+!

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 12:33 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Black Guillemots

One was close in off AstraZeneca car park around 0900 and a few minutes later the second bird was beside the lifeboat station, as yesterday. With Mike's bird at Broadsands there must therefore be at least three in the district.

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 12:17 pm in General Birding

Iceland Gull

The Iceland Gull flew past Berry Head @ 09.45 heading towards St Mary's bay

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 9:57 am by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Brixham harbour

Present 08:00 to 09:15. The White-billed Diver still present from 8.15.  Also at least 30 Great Northern Divers, 5 Black-throated Divers, Red-necked Grebe, Black Guillemot and 12 Purple Sanpipers.

Black Guillemot was in or around harbour up to 9.05 when I left. So might be different from Mike's post. Of the 30 GND's at least 3-4 were Berry Head side of harbour and 12 were in the harbour along with 3 BTD. And another 5-6 GND at the entrance to the harbour.

Red-necked Grebe was seen between mussel beds and off Astra Zeneca. 

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 9:54 am by Steve Cox in General Birding

Broadsands

On sea: 1 Black Guillemot, 33 Great northern Divers, 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 49 Great Crested Grebes and a 1st w Little Gull flew past toward Brixham..

Black-necked Grebe Broadsnads 2 Jan 2014

Photo: Black-necked Grebe

15 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park, 5 Reed Buntings. in marsh 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 3 collybita Chiffchaffs

Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 9:51 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 1st January 2014

Brixham

Most birds already reported there was no sign of the White-billed Diver during the afternoon but 16 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated, 2 Black Guillemots, Long-tailed Duck (off Shoalstone), the Red-necked Grebe was showing really well in the inner harbour, see video below and curious neck stretching!

Click on picture for video: 

 

Posted January 1st, 2014 at 7:23 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Teign Estuary

The 1st winter Glaucous Gull still between Netherton Point and Passage House at 12:00. Also 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull. Pretty sure it wasn't one of those hybrid look-alikes. At Teignmouth, 3 Brent Geese flew in from the north, and at Decoy the male Scaup remains.

Look here for photos - I can't post them on this blog >  http://teignbirds.blogspot.co.uk/

Posted January 1st, 2014 at 6:27 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Tarka trail

A couple of pics from yestrday on the trail at Torrington

Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit

Coal Tit
Coal Tit

Posted January 1st, 2014 at 5:34 pm by Steve Hatch in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

About 11.40am White-billed Diver showing well in harbour with 3 GN Diver, 1 BT Diver and RN Grebe.

Posted January 1st, 2014 at 3:10 pm by Steph Hamilton in General Birding

Fremington Pil/ Quay

Afternoon walk in steady rain, two Little Egrets on Pil, good numbers of Redshank, Grey Plover. On Chivenor side 2 x Spoonbill and large flock of Lapwing and Golden Plover.

Posted January 1st, 2014 at 2:58 pm by Neal Moss in General Birding

Plymouth Hoe

Two Great Northern Divers, one in the Cattewater off East Hoe and one in Jennycliff bay. Also adult Kittiwake & 3 gannets, two feeding in Cattewater.

Posted January 1st, 2014 at 1:21 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Brixham

Happy new year everyone,               1130am.

Had a quick look for the Iceland gull to no avail, but found a Red necked Grebe amongst the moorings off Oxen cove. From the west shelter at Shoalstone, a close group of 3 GNDs, 1 Black-throated Diver, the female Eider, Black Guillemot and a Razorbill, all nice and close  because my camera batteries were flat!

Posted January 1st, 2014 at 12:59 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

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