Devon Bird Sightings from January 2018

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Wednesday 31st January 2018

Hembury Woods

Late afternoon: 1Firecrest and 1 Woodcock plus Dipper, Marsh Tit, GS Woodpecker and other ubiquitees.

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 11:08 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Buckfastleigh to Dartington

Not less than eleven Pied Wagtail and three Grey Wagtail at the Buckfastleigh SWWA treatment works this morning.

Staverton bridge, Goldcrest, Dipper, Jay, Wren and Grey Wagtail. 

The finch flock on Warren lane, Dartington seems to have grown significantly since my last visit, predominantly Chaffinch but at least five Brambling seen with the main flock feeding on the more open ground of the seed field.

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 3:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stoke Gabriel

Kingfisher surveying Byter Mill Pond for fish. 2 Shelduck on Mill Pool. A Goldcrest in the churchyard Yew (but no Hawfinch). A single Common Sandpiper on the wall of the Mill Pool behind the cafe.

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 12:40 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

The 'Kumlien's' Gull at Berry Head / Brixham

I was very interested to read an adult 'Iceland Gull' was seen at Berry Head again yesterday. If its the 'Kumlein's Gull' that was present up to 25/01/18 (when last photographed by Bill Macdonald) its been down to Newlyn, Cornwall and back, or it could just be a new Iceland Gull!

If you see the bird, try and look at the wing tip pattern (its quite subtle), for darker grey markings on outer primaries (p8-10) & damaged tail and compare it with these photos taken on 23/01/18 (reproduced in more detail below), ideally take some more.

'Kumlien's Gull' left wing tip'Kumlien's Gull' right wing tip

'Kumlein's Gull''Kumlien's Gull', broken tail feather (t2)

Confirmation it was the same bird down at Newlyn on 26/01/18, came from photos on http://www.cbwps.org.uk/cbwpsword/friday-26th-january-2018/ taken by Michael McKee. The similarity was spotted by sharp-eyed Steve Waite & Mike Langman when comparing the photos to the ones I posted on 23/01/18. Apart from the matching wing tip pattern, the tip of one of the right-hand central tail feathers (t2) is missing. It had taken just a day to get down there! That's 95 miles in a straight line and further by sea. It was suggested it probably picked up the Newlyn trawler fleet, which were fishing SW of Plymouth. It would be great if we could prove this bird has come back following the Brixham fleet?

The bird shows characteristics of 'Kumlien's Gull' as the wing tip pattern has "darker grey marks on the outer three to four primaries with sub-terminal marks on one (to three) primaries".  See  http://gull-research.org/glaucoides/pdf/primpatterns.html , putting it in kumlieni stage 2 (figs d-f), representing about 11% of birds in this study.

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 10:50 am by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Torbay

Around the beaches: 4 Black-necked Grebes, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Great Northern Divers & 2 Common Scoter

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 10:19 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 30th January 2018

East Budleigh Churchyard

Five hawfinches showing well in the sun between 9.15 and 9.45 this morning

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Brixham to Exmouth

Berry Head - Adult Iceland Gull - well spotted Dave!

Goodrington Sands: Red-necked Grebe close in.

Exmouth Beach: 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Eider, 5 Common Scoter.

Stover Lake: Pair Mandarin Duck, 29 Goosander, 4 Pochard.

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 5:40 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bull Point, Tamar

3 Spoonbills at Bull Point on Tamar estuary (opp mouth of Lynher)

Spoonbills
Spoonbills

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 4:18 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Distant views of the adult Iceland Gull leaving Brixham > E out to sea at 09:35. The "tatty winged" Glaucous Gull came in close with c.100 other large gulls, following a fishing boat that was obviously gutting and throwing things off the stern.

Really good views of c.20 - 30 Harbour Porpoises, inc several leaping, throughout the am. At least 30 Common Dolphin passed the head at Midday before > S; but a mother and calf gave exceptional views, at the foot of the cliff, clearly visible above & below the water!

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 3:45 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary - Spoonbill

At 1300hrs today a Spoonbill flew low down the Kingsbridge Estuary turning into Bowcombe Creek. 

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This morning at low tide: 10 Goosanders (2 drakes, meaning we’ve had 11 birds this winter), 42 Common Gulls (winter peak), Kingfisher, 4 Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, 50 Meadow Pipits, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers heard, but only 2 Wigeon seen.

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 2:10 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

The Long-tailed Duck showing well in the shallows at low tide along with 2 GN Divers and 1 Eider Duck.

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 1:51 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Exwick Cemetery

Up to 10 Hawfinches were showing but mobile at around 10.30 at Exwick Cemetery. 

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 1:14 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Torbay

The Red-necked Grebe was again off Preston seafront with 2 Black-necked and 1 Great Crested Grebe also 2 Common Scoter and 4 Great Northern Divers there.

From Broadsands 1 Common Scoter (drake), 3 Great Northern Divers but little else.

14 Cirl Buntings and 1 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park. 1 Water Rail, 2 Chiffchaff 1 Firecrest and 2 Goldcrest in Marsh between the car parks

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 11:07 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 29th January 2018

Bowling Green Marsh

A quick afternoon visit produced 2 Ruff, Male Pochard, several Pintail and Gadwall plus a few Greenshank, 1 Greylag Goose and 2 Little Grebe. More details http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 10:07 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

South Hams coastal

Aveton Gifford tidal road, Greater Black Back Gull (3+) Lesser Black Back Gull (7) Common Gull, Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Curlew (10) Oyster Catcher, Little Grebe and Little Egret.

Kingsbridge Quay Little Egret and Redshank

Beesands Ley the reported Ring Necked Duck still in situe with the Tufted duck, Pochard, Teal, Little Grebe and a small number of Mallard also on the ley.

On leaving while watching some Stonechat by the car park a first year Sparrow hawk swooped in and tried to take a Stonechat without success.

 

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 9:28 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Topsham

Female Hawfinch showed well in the cemetery between the chapels early afternoon. 

One Ruff still present on Bowling Green Marsh late morning.

One Common Sandpiper on riverside just up from the Recreation Ground at midday.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 8:09 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

South Huish


Seven Cattle Egrets in field with cows just up the road from the cafe, the (presumed) American Wigeon x Wigeon hybrid drake with 65 Wigeon & Mediterranean Gull 1st-w.
At South Milton Ley - Firecrest, 8 Chiffchaffs (including prob tristis), 2 Snipe & Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exwick etc.

Barnacle Goose - distant views from Exwick Mill (grid ref SX 90839 93974) - looking north to where there is a new pond. Was associating with a Canada Goose which appeared (at distance) to have angel wing. No sign of the Common Scoter. Also there a Dabchick and numerous gulls. Coming back along the Exe about 200 Redwing in trees beside Duckes Meadow playing fields. Finally Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail on the Northbrook.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Tarka Trail Braunton

On the trail next to Tesco Chaffinch, Goldfinch flock, 4 Bullfinch and a fairly dispersed Greenfinch flock of about a dozen birds. 2 very smart Dippers on the Caen River. Greenfinch and all the regulars on the feeders at home.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 10:25 am by R Barnes in General Birding

Sunday 28th January 2018

River Dart

pictures of Great Northern Diver and Little Grebe

GND GND Little Grebe
GND                                            GND                                             Little Grebe

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 10:01 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

River Dart Webs Survey

Good WEBs survey on the river by Sandridge Barton this morning, a single Great Northen Diver, moving down river towards Dittisham from 11am onwards. Also a Great Crested Grebe and a Little Grebe.

Great Northern Diver was still around Dittisham when we finished our patch at 1.30pm

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 9:48 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ilfracombe Arctic Gulls

The last few weeks I've been keeping an eye out for any arctic gulls and not seen any. Today I've seen several, inc 2 1st W Glaucous Gulls in view from the pier, then from Haggington causing mayhem among the roosting 1000 + Herring Gulls. Then turning around, surprised to see a 3rd winter Iceland Gull on the golf course along with a mixed flock of around 200 Common, LBB GBB and Black Headed gulls.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 8:12 pm by Martin Thorne in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Preston

Female Blackcap on the bird feeder this morning in my back garden.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 6:56 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Maximum count so far this winter, of 203 Dunlins. Also 7 redhead Goosanders, 105 Redshanks, 7 Oystercatchers, 8 Wigeon and a Teal.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Ring-necked Duck at Beesands Ley

The RING-NECKED DUCK was still on Beesands ley this morning.

Ring-necked Duck and Tufted Ducks Ring-necked Duck Ring-necked and Tufted Bill Comparison
Ring-necked Duck and Tufted Ducks      Ring-necked Duck      Ring-necked and Tufted Bill Comparison

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 4:37 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Torbay

Paignton town centre in the area where the Black Redstarts have been reported no sign of them but a male Blackcap, six Redwing, two Wren and a Dunnock. 

                               

Torquay Harbour four Rock Pipit, two Turnstone and six Purple Sandpiper.

On the sea off of Tor Abbey a Great Crested Grebe.

Further to the reported Hawfinch at Torre on the 26th, single bird seen briefly but lost after a flock of Goldfinch flew into the tree that it was feeding in, in the same area Sparrow Hawk, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Greenfinch and a small flock of Long Tailed Tit.

Back home at South Brent, Buzzard, Raven and seven Bullfinch 3m and 4f which from memory is the best home count I have had for this species.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 4:13 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berrynarbor

Red Kite over the garden at 14:50pm.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 3:09 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Torbay Boat trip

Another good trip out into Torbay from Brixham this morning. On our trip around 9 Grey Seals, 11 Common Dolphin, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 400 + Gannets ( mostly adults), some Razorbills, small groups of Guillemots, 4 Great Northern Divers, Black- Necked Grebe, 8 Fulmar, 3 Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe and 30 + Kittiwake. Starting my day as I walked to the boat in Brixham Harbour a Kingfisher and Redshank and on our return walking back around the harbour the Kingfisher again but this time managed to show it to two people who had been on the trip. A rewarding morning!!

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 2:13 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

Some photos from this morning's boat trip from Brixham. Hundreds of gannets and a small pod of common dolphins north of Berry Head; see Nigel's post for trip totals.

Guillemot, northern race Gannet Great crested grebe
Guillemot, northern race                                Gannet                                         Great crested grebe

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 1:36 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Topsham

Marsh harrier dropped into Exe reedbeds at 9am. Single Hawfinch and Woodcock at Highfield Farm, where highlight was a great view of an Otter hunting in the Clyst.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 12:12 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Common Scoter Exwick 27/01/2018

The Male Common Scoter that was on the flood relief channel behind Exeter St Davids station Exwick showed well yesterday morning. Despite the poor conditions I managed to get a record shot. The bird was not too bothered by joggers but the dog owners were allowing their animals to chase anything they could. When I went back this morning to get some better images in better light it was nowhere to be seen. 

Common Scoter Male
Common Scoter Male

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 11:55 am by John Wilkes in General Birding

Saturday 27th January 2018

Occombe

Just some of my sightings around Occombe this afternoon, in improving weather: Sparrowhawk, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Treecreepers, Coal Tit, 10 Great Tits, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Blue Tits, flock of at least 50 Herring Gulls, at least 80 Redwing (but probably more), 2 Jays, and a female Pheasant.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 8:53 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

41 Goosander 15m 26f, 1 Tawney Owl, 2 Little Egret, 1 Willow Tit.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 6:57 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Topsham

Single Hawfinch in the cemetery at midday and late afternoon. Also single Ruff & Brambling at Bowling Green Marsh.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 6:13 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Topsham and Beesands - 27/01/18

Bowling Green Marsh, 1 x Ruff....Beesands, Ring Necked Duck and 1 x Pochard in appalling conditions.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 4:27 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Dartington

A late morning visit to the "seed field" off of Warren Lane, Dartington Estate was worth while despite the poor weather, still a considerable size flock of mixed finch type species several hundred strong.

Predominately Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Linnet but Cirl Bunting, Yellow Hammer (4+) Reed Bunting (2) Brambling (4+) around the hedges Dunnock,  Wren,  song Thriush (2) a small flock of Redwing and Jay (2).

Back home at South Brent a fly over from three Great Black Back Gulls and a pair of Bullfinch using the garden feeders.

Late update from yesterdays visit to Berry Head a flock of 25 Common Scoter flew past the headland.

 

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 2:55 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Easy Budleigh

The male 'Italian Sparrow' was showing well again at midday on the feeders in Cadbury Gardens. 

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 1:31 pm by Terry Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Common Scoter - Exeter

Seen from about 8.30am  - lots of disturbance from jogger, bird still there 10.30 in flood relief channel behind Exeter St Davids.

Video - https://youtu.be/Fblr8r9IKy8

Common Scoter Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 11:58 am by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Friday 26th January 2018

Female Hawfinch near Torre Station, Torquay

1 female Hawfinch seen on 2 occasions this afternoon, feeding in trees in a woodland by a small industrial estate under a railway bridge, the other side of the railway line by Torre Station, Torquay.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 11:46 pm by Nick D’Agorne in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exmouth

The Bonaparte's Gull  was present again early afternoon off Shelly Beach. The regular Slavonian Grebe was viewable distantly in the estuary near Cockwood and a kingfisher shot past Shelly Beach heading towards Exmouth seafront.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 11:12 pm by Terry Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Deancombe Valley Dartmoor

Burrator & Deancombe Valley: Goosander (f), Little Grebe 3, Teal, Mistle Thrush, Redwings. Ring Ouzel (m) with Fieldfare 8 (ref: SX 581688).

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 9:21 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Budleigh Churchyard

Four hawfinches showing well from 9.45am. Roy Adams (phone conversation) suggests they may be moving in and out of Bicton Park arboretum nearby.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 6:31 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Lopwell Dam & Roborough Down 26-01-18

At Lopwell Dam a distant reference shot of the Green Sandpiper, only showed for a short while the disappeared. At Roborough down a single Reed Bunting was seen, again for a short period.

 

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Iceland Gull ~ Brixham

Early this afternoon the immature Iceland Gull was sat on the water close to the Brixham breakwater about 3/4 of the way along, it flew off out into the bay and then turned heading generally back towards Berry Head.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 3:38 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exwick

Out walking with Nigel Pinhorn this morning we were very surprised to come across a Common Scoter in the Exe flood relief channel at Exwick (behind Exeter St David's Station).  It seemed quite happy and was diving regularly to feed. Another new tick for Nigel's local patch was a Barnacle Goose in the new wetland area just upriver.

Earlier on, a couple of Hawfinch showed well perched in the trees at the top end of Exwick Cemetery, and a flock of at least ten of them flew over.

Scoter in flood relief channel Common Scoter

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by Richard Swinbank in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley 25th Jan

Slapton Ley
Gannets in close to shore. On Lower Ley three male,one female Goldeneye and two Black-necked Grebe. Of interest Black-headed gull in breeding plumage.

Adult Gannets feeding close to shore Back-necked Grebe Breeding plumage B H Gull
Adult Gannets feeding close to shore               Back-necked Grebe                     Breeding plumage B H Gull

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 1:30 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Torbay

The Torbay Red-necked Grebe was off Preston this morning, 2 Black-necked Grebes off Goodrington a total of 7 Great Northern Divers and 9 Great Crested Grebes also , 1 Common Scoter.

39 Cirl Buntings and 5 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 10:40 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bramblings at Lympstone

Yesterday morning, 3 hawfinches with 10 greenfinches at Topsham Cemetery.  Fifty plus bramblings flocking with chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches and reed buntings at Lympstone.  Bob Barrow/John Lloyd

  

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 9:22 am by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Thursday 25th January 2018

Otterton

Water treatment plant
A quick dawn visit to the coastal path produced 4 Red-throated Diver, a Fulmar, 10 Shag and 10 Skylark in the fields.

Stantyway Farm
On my way back to Otterton I was drawn by a large mixed Finch and Bunting flock around the farm / football pitch. The flock comprised of 1 M and 4 F Brambling, Chaffinch, C100 Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, C20 Reed Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer and a Cirl Bunting.

more details http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 10:26 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Plymouth

A quick look this afternoon- Dunlin increased to 190 on the Plym Estuary and Great Northern Diver in the Cattewater.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 10:15 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

EAST BUDLEIGH

Good views of two Hawfinch at top of Lime tree in the churchyard.  Didn't stay for long! 

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 9:08 pm by Geoff Green in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

EAST DEVON BRANCH AGM

Please note that the venue for the East Devon branch AGM (7.30 pm on 20th February) is now the Otter Inn, Colaton Raleigh.  Our speaker is Mike Langman.  Look forward to seeing you there!

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 9:06 pm by Geoff Green in General Birding

Brixham Harbour.

A quick walk around Brixham harbour and up the breakwater gave me a an interesting range of birds. Up the Breakwater 3 Rock Pipit, a Razorbill on the seaward side and 6 Purple Sandpiper. Checked out as many gulls as possible, Herring Gull, Great Black back and Black Headed but no odd gulls!!! Then went back to the inner Harbour and was rewarded with an hour watching a Kingfisher. This bird has a perch on the side of the Golden Hind and spends time as the tide drops  flying between this vessel and others watching for small fish and feeding. The bird has been about for some weeks.

Still places on the Sundays Torbay boat trip, if interested text 07866202576 or email wildbones@btinternet.com.

       kingfisher Brixham N Smallbones      kingfisher Brixham N Smallbones 2

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Decided to go inland today and was very glad to have brought wellies. Delighted to see a flock of about 40 Fieldfares mingling with around 100 Starlings here today - very mobile but easy to see. Several Meadow Pipits calling too.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 6:47 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Red Legged Partridge

Nr Kenton

Red Legged Partridge
Red Legged Partridge

Red Legged Partridge

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Cranbrook, Exeter.

What a difference a day makes!

(I was pleased to see that the 'tank traps' at the entrance to the railway car parks have been replaced by 'goal posts' which should have been put there in the first place). The car parks may now be entered without risk to your car.

Several flocks of Meadow Pipits present in the Countryside Park. (Note the long and curved hind claws).  The 'swamp' opposite the Railway Station produced a pair of Stonechat.  2 Snipe took off after a Buzzard flew over and a small number of Redwing were present in the hedge rows.  Two Song Thrush were competing in song and a Kestrel was present towards the Education Campus.  No luck to date with the Black Redstart reported near housing opposite the pub (Cranberry Farm). 

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Berry Head

Two Iceland Gulls off the headland at Berry Head late this morning, initially an adult bird flew by and thereafter regular views of a juvenile, looking at the images taken it was the same bird.

Numerous Gannet showing well along with Kittiwake, Guillemot, Fulmar, Great Black Back Gull and a number of Harbour Porpoise, apparently the Common Dolphin pod had shown well earlier in the morning.

On the headland Meadow Pipit and Stonechat.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 3:24 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Beesands

RING-NECKED DUCK  still showing from the hide.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 1:53 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Wednesday 24th January 2018

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

One Hawfinch at lunchtime today

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 11:10 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Budleigh

The 'Italian' Sparrow showed well in East Budleigh today and looking very smart in its near summer plumage. 

Thanks to Doug Cullen for his help.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 7:27 pm by Mike Langman in Other Wildlife

Lympstone

Following up from yesterday's posts outlining the Bramblings at Lympstone, I can report that they were still in the same area between the sunflower field and the railway line trees early afternoon today and mixed in with Goldfinches and a few Greenfinches. I looked across the estuary and noted 31 Avocets swimming out amongst the Shelduck.

Popped into Topsham Cemetery on the way but no sign of Hawfinches.

One quick record from yesterday: a male Firecrest was showing well in our garden in Bovey Tracey.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Plym Estuary

2 Great Northern Divers, 13 Wigeon & Stock Dove. Peregrine over the Cattewater.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bullfinches Exwick

Two male Bullfinches in the garden this morning were a real treat; first for about three years.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 2:24 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Bramblings Lympstone

Photos of approx 1/2 the flock of Bramblings at Lympstone (location details as previously posted by others) 

Brambling Lympstone Bramblings in flight (with a couple of Sparrows)
Brambling Lympstone                                              Bramblings in flight (with a couple of Sparrows)

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 10:59 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Lympstone

Just to reiterate Nick’s post. A quick early evening look at the Sowdon Lane area (by the cycle path) of Lympstone flock of C50 Brambling. Very mobile between the sunflower field and trees by the Railway line. Plenty of Chaffinch in the flock too and a few Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Also a single Reed Bunting. More details http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/lympstone-devon.html?m=1

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 8:16 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Photo showing the lobed flaps of skin on the toes of a Coot which act in the same way as webbed feet when swimming.


Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Head 'white-winger' bonanza

Seawatch 10:00-15:00. Not a lot of seabird passage but all three recent 'white-winged' Gulls put in a few appearances in nice neutral light conditions: an adult Glaucous Gull and adult & juv/1w Iceland Gulls (see comments on the adult below). Also 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls (or the same bird passing three times!). On arrival there were c20 Common Dolphins feeding which moved out into Lyme Bay and c8 Harbour Porpoise most of the day. There was a Chiffchaff in the Buddleia at the end of the quarry.

Glaucous Gull (adult)Glaucous Gull (adult)

Iceland Gull (juvenile/1st winter)Iceland Gull (juvenile/1st winter)Iceland / Kumlien’s Gull (adult)Iceland / Kumlien’s Gull (adult)

This adult ‘Iceland’ Gull shows some grey in the outer primaries (p8-10) which could fit Kumlien’s Gull or Iceland / Kumlien’s intergrade. Therefore it is probably best recorded as 'kumlieni'. Many thanks to those who gave constructive comment on photos of this bird I posted elsewhere.

 

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 6:41 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lympstone Bramblings

Good numbers of Bramblings at Sowden Lane, Lympstone. Moving between the sunflower heads in the field close to where the cycle track starts and the trees by the railway line. Hard to say how many in total but I would say 40+. Also Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Reed Buntings.

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 4:22 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tamerton Foliot Cattle Egret & Lopwell Green Sandpiper

3 Cattle Egret yesterday, 1 today, just north of Tamerton Foliot.  Green Sandpiper was spotted at Lopwell the other day.

Cattle Egret & Little Egret Green Sandpiper
Cattle Egret & Little Egret                                       Green Sandpiper

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 12:40 am by Shane Willson in General Birding

Monday 22nd January 2018

Turnstones

About 20 plus Turnstones on the Prom at Sidmouth

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 8:32 pm by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Berry Head

A short visit to Berry Head this pm was productive with with the juv/fw Iceland Gull still present and a fly by a rather tatty ad Glaucous Gull which headed off South also 50+ Common Dolphins feeding around the headland and bow riding fishing boats video link.. https://youtu.be/dXuDVGQ4PUg

 Ad or near Ad Glaucous Gull Berry Head 22 Jan 2018

Ad or near ad Glaucous Gull 

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 6:27 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Cancellation of EAST Devon Fieldtrip

Due to the weather forecast for Wednesday 24 Jan it has been decided to CANCEL the fieldtrip to Darts Farm / Bowling Green Marsh planned for that morning.  (Continuous rain is forecast).  We look forward to seeing you at a later date.  Many thanks.

Jonathan and Geoff.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Exmouth

Bonaparte's Gull just off Shelly Beach again this afternoon at 1550hrs.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 4:00 pm by Terry Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exmouth & Matford

Exmouth Coastal this morning ~ seven Seven Goldeneye duck, numerous Shellduck, Brent Geese, Oyster Catcher, Turnstone, Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Rednecked Grebe, three Eider duck and a Common Scoter.

Matford ~ The American Wigeon showing well if a little distant on the back pond as per recent reports, small birds included female Stonechat and a Chiffchaff.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 2:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Great Haldon

Seven Hawfinches this mornign in the usual spot close to the Hornbeam trees and the Pylon.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 1:27 pm by david cawthraw in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands & Slapton

Male Ring-necked Duck still on Beesands Ley with 101 Tufted & 4 Pochard. Great Northern Diver offshore.

Offshore at Slapton 4 Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver & Black-throated Diver.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 11:42 am by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

2016 Devon Bird Report

In response to a number of recent enquiries. The publication of the 2016 Devon Bird Report has been delayed. It is currently with the printers and should be sent out in the next 2/3 weeks 

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 11:27 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Berry Head Sunday 21 Jan

Bill Coulson sent on some photos showing 2 Iceland Gulls Present yesterday the regular  imm and an Adult - probably the same bird seen by Roy Adams on Friday.

d  Ad Iceland Gull Berry Head 21 Jan 18 Bill Coulson Ad Iceland Gull Berry Head 21 Jan 18 Bill Coulson

            Imm Iceland Gull                              Ad Iceland Gull (perhaps some extra grey in outer primary)

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 10:08 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 21st January 2018

Beesands - Ring-necked duck

As there are already a few pics of the drake ring necked duck on Twitter, thought I would put a couple on Devon Birds! Thanks Terry Goddard for the good find! Also pleased to see the 5 pochard and a couple of little grebe! 

Ring necked duck - Beesands - 21/01/2018 Ring necked duck - Beesands -21/01/2018 Little Grebe - Beesands - 21/01/2018
                  Ring necked duck - Beesands - 21/01/2018                       Little Grebe - Beesands - 21/01/2018

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 5:30 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Exmouth

The adult Bonaparte's Gull was off Shelly Beach @1430. Also a fw Glaucous Gull on Bull Hill and a Great Northern Diver off there. The Long-tailed Duck was viewed from the Quay (off Warren Pt). Off Maer Rocks - 3 immature drake Eider still, along with 13+ Common Scoter. Six Goldeneye off Mudbank and yesterday - c30/40+ Brambling - Sowden Lane and at least 1 Firecrest still behind the cricket club. Photos and further sightings on www.gobirdingexmouth.blogspot.co.uk.

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 4:24 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Firecrests still present in Dawlish Warren

At least 2 Firecrests still present in gardens of Millin Way, Dawlish Warren. (Don't park in Millin Way as many residents get irate, use the beach carpark at Dawlish Warren).

The images featured were photographed from my house today (21 January)

A Further Firecrest has been showing very well this morning at dead dolphin wood, Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve.

Firecrest in Garden Millin Way Firecrest in Garden Millin Way Firecrest in Garden Millin Way
Firecrest in Garden Millin Way

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 2:11 pm by Carole Leigh in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands

From the hide today, 1 RING-NECKED DUCK (male) in with tufted duck and 5 Pochard

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 11:50 am by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Barbican Plymouth

Just outside Sutton Harbour this morning a Great Northern Diver & 2 Guillemots.

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 11:36 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Woodcock flew over the A379 on way to Plymouth last night - very crepuscular!

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 9:47 am by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Firecrest Dawlish Warren

Firecrest showing well in Dead Dolphin Wood 9am.

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 9:31 am by Peter Leigh in General Birding

Hawfinch Longdown.County Record

Amazing 119 Hawfinches left the post roost gathering at Perridge estate Longdown this morning..Further birds were left calling in the Hornbeam woodland so the total is still unknown but certainly a new county record. 

Posted January 21st, 2018 at 9:27 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Saturday 20th January 2018

Paignton Lucky Dip

A few pics from my Paignton garden (apologies for the quality but don't really have the camera):

This m Bullfinch has been visiting my garden for at least a year, bringing his wife and 3 kids last summer (I know it's the same one as, unfortunately, he has a fungal infection on both legs).

The m Blackcap is one of 2m coming to my fat feeders.

The pm was rounded off nicely with this stonking m Sparrowhawk (I've lived here nearly 3 years and it's only the 2nd time I've seen a m in the garden).

Bullfinch Blackcap Sparrowhawk
Bullfinch                                                           Blackcap                                Sparrowhawk

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 8:48 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

1 Spoonbill in to roost at South Huish Marsh late this afternoon.

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 7:44 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Berry Head

The Iceland Gull showed very well off the top of the headland this afternoon - apparently it was present there all day. Can't make my mind up on age a pale juv/1w with strongly marked two tone bill - or well marked and dark eyed 2w?

Iceland Gull BH 200118ML 1 Iceland Gull BH 200118ML 2

Iceland Gull BH 200118ML 3 

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 5:05 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lower Tamar Lake

A dawn count at Lower Tamar Lake for Goosander showed 25, this was to check how many were staying on the lake at night, as I thought only a few stayed and the rest flew in during the day just to feed. (Wrong again!)

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 4:55 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Bolt Tail

Black-throated Diver east offshore.

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 4:07 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Teign Estuary

Black-throated Diver between Flow Point and Coombe Cellars this morning 08:30 - 09:00 at least. Also on the estuary 38 Shelducks, 29 Red-breasted Mergansers, 350+ Oystercatchers, 91 Curlew, 50+ Redshanks, 42 Dunlin, 14+ Turnstones, eight Ringed Plovers, five Avocets, four Common Sandpipers, two Greenshanks and a Kingfisher.

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 3:33 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Woodcock, Jack Snipe, Common Sandpiper, male Kingfisher, 17 Wigeon still around on the pool & 7 Little Grebes.

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Littlegate Road, Paignton

12.15-12.50

2 Black Redstarts.  Initially a male and a female.  Female flew off in the direction of Well Street and did not return.  Male showed well but was mobile around the rooftops, chimney stacks and aerials in the area around the old Paignton Clink.  Showed well for a period in the small tree in front of 31-49 Littlegate Road.

Several Redwings over too. 

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 2:30 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Berry Head

The Iceland Gull still early afternoon circling very close off the end of Berry Head viewable from on top of the headland- also hundreds of auks , c25 Common Dolphin, 3 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Stover Goosanders

A dawn count this morning proved that Goosanders are spending the night at Stover, with 23 (4 drakes) present at first light. When feeding commenced at 07:55, most of them headed into the inlet, outlet and other narrow channels, where close views could be obtained. I've never come across Goosanders habituated to humans before, but I assume the presence of tame Mallards has helped them to come to terms with us! Great photo opportunities to be had there ....

Other birds included 2 Snipe, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker and 2 Redpolls.

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 11:37 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Friday 19th January 2018

Brixham/Berry Head

The Iceland Gull was again off Berry Head this afternoon and followed a trawler toward Brixham before turning back toward the headland. Never close, this pale pale bird appeared to have an pretty much all dark bill which would make it a juv, but while it was settled on the water the bill appeared to have a more extensive pale base so it might well be a 2w, better too for plumage. 1 hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull on rocks at Berry Head too. 

video clip: https://youtu.be/Lvp8Igu5PDo 

 

Posted January 19th, 2018 at 7:10 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish Marsh & South Milton Ley

After filling the feeders at South Milton Ley in the cold and rain, I spent some time looking at the many chiffchaffs by the STW, certainly 25 or more present. 2, possibly more, showing mainly grey plumage with pale buff breasts, no sign of yellow in flight,buff supercilium with black beaks and legs (one rung) gave clear ID of Siberian (tristis) rather than the greener (collybita) of the majority.(thanks to Alan Pomeroy for your recent hands on ID class during your ringing session) At South Huish Marsh I could only make out 3 Cattle Egret with the cattle in the kale field on the hill, whereas we have regularly been seeing a lot more at this location! Incidentally I had a Firecrest by the entrance gate at Aveton Gifford STW this week. There are a few in the village!

Posted January 19th, 2018 at 6:15 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Dartington

Following Steve Hopper's directions we stood in the biting wind and sleet looking for Brambling. 3 were located with a large flock of chaffinch at Warren Road, Dartington, feeding on the beech mast and on the ground. Also a a single Yellowhammer in beech tree. Not easy to photograph due to hideous weather.

Brambling  

Posted January 19th, 2018 at 6:06 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

Dawlish Warren & Haldon Forest

DW: Long-tailed Duck offshore plus 4 Great Northern Divers & 118 Great Crested Grebes. Slavonian Grebe off Cockwwod.

Haldon: Superb male Brambling on the feeders in car park plus 3 Siskin. No sign of any Crossbills on the trails.First Red Admiral of the year!

Posted January 19th, 2018 at 4:47 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Med Gull 19-01-18 Mountbatten Plymouth

A single Med Gull near the ferry crossing on Mount Batten side, showed very clearly, then flew of towards the coast

 

Posted January 19th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Great Northern Divers at Broadsands

3 Great Northern Divers in the bay this morning .

Posted January 19th, 2018 at 11:58 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Thursday 18th January 2018

South Milton Reserve Reed Cut - POSTPONEMENT

The forecast for Sunday 21st is wet to very wet and so we have decided to postpone the reed cut planned for that day.  We hope to be able to carry our the cut in February and will let you know the date and soon as we fix it.

Nick Townsend

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 7:28 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Exmouth

A look at first light from the quay provided me with distant views of the Long-tailed Duck off shore from the Warren Point. Also 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Eider, several Common Scoter and Slavonian Grebe near Cockwood.

More details http://dixiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Garden Birds in Exwick

For most of this winter we have had 40-50 Goldfinches roosting overnight in a bay tree in the garden; they tend to arrive as it is starting to get dimpsy, and emerge as soon as it is reasonably light the following morning. Siskins are back at feeders earlier than usual this year, also this week we have had 1 Fieldfare, feeding on Crab Apples, plus a pair of Blackcaps.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 6:54 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Exmouth

The Long-tailed Duck present again late afternoon (1630hrs) off the mouth of the Exe, viewable from near the Rockfish restaurant. Also 3 Great Northern Divers there.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Haldon Crossbills etc

Good day at Haldon Forest, 9 Crossbill near the Forestry Commission building, Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Siskin, and one male Brambling briefly by the feeders (scared off by dogs and didn't return.

Common Crossbill Female Bullfinch Siskin
Common Crossbill                        Female Bullfinch                                           Siskin

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Spoonbill

Spoonbill flying high over the A381 between Kingsbridge and Marlborough heading towards the coast, 16:45 today.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Richard Moore in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A short look late afternoon - 31 Turnstones & Kingfisher on Blagdon’s Meadow, 16+ Wigeon & 7 Goosanders (3m) at top end.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 5:49 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Powderham Marsh RSPB - 18/01/2018

Powderham marsh RSPB - 450+ Golden plover, 200+ Lapwing, 200+ Black-tailed godwit, Kingfisher, 30+ Redwing, 20+ Fieldfare, 20+ Cirl bunting, 10+ Stonechat, 35+ Linnet...

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 4:40 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Siskins

Some of the 40/50 Siskins regularly visiting feeders outside my office window in Broadwoodwidger. Woodpeckers,Nuthatches,TisandFinches also. 

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 1:31 pm by David Boddy in General Birding

Black Redstart - Paignton

The over wintering male Black Redstart ( originally found by Andy P in November) still present this morning on the roof of 31-49 Littlegate Road. It has also been seen on Well Street and Churchward Road)

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 1:16 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

South Huish & Aveton Gifford.

South Huish Marsh / South Milton beach ~ Stonechat, Black Tailed Godwit, Oyster catcher, Little Egret, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, a small number of Pipits moving around certainly Rock and Meadow and possibly a Water Pipit as well, Teal, Wigeon, Great Black Backed Gull and Buzzard.

On the rocks 3 Ringed Plover and 5 Turnstone.

Aveton Gifford ~ Common Sandpiper 3, Greenshank 4, Redshank, Oyster Catcher, Buzzard, Curlew, Little Grebe 3, Kingfisher, Song Thrush, Stock Dove and Grey Wagtail.

On the way back home to South Brent several Buzzards and a Sparrow Hawk near California Cross.

On the garden feeder this morning a female Siskin.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 1:07 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head Icelandic Gull

Berry Head was alive withf sea birds this morning off the headland,Many Fulmar,Gannett.Fulmer,Kittiwake,Guillemotf,Razorbill  and Shags.The highlight was a adult Icelandic Gull mixing with the Kittiwakes.Also a Mediterranean Gull flew past.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 12:43 pm by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise, 17 January

Belated news from yesterday afternoon's Stuart Lines cruise. After a Great Northern Diver off Exmouth sea front, there were two more inside the estuary, around Bull Hill. A Guillemot was lingering near to Exmouth marina, the usual Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood and c8 Great Crested Grebes were mainly in central parts of the estuary. Approx 290 Pintail between Lympstone Barracks and the mouth of the Clyst is the largest number I've ever seen on the Exe. A drake Goldeneye was at Topsham and 5, including 2 drakes, were off Cockwood. Good numbers of waders included 50+ Knot, 4 Greenshank, 100+ Grey Plover, c300 Golden Plover, c300 Avocets, c100 Bar-tailed and 500+ Black-tailed Godwits.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 10:08 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Galmpton

Wednesday around midday, both the male and female Blackcap were on our feeders in the garden, along with the sparrows and bluetits.

Posted January 18th, 2018 at 8:03 am by Kay and Gary Deare in General Birding

Wednesday 17th January 2018

Above cricket pavilion Exmouth

Bullfinch with a mixed finch flock 10.30 am today 

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 8:45 pm by Marie Leahy in General Birding

Brixham and Broadsands

I braved the strong wind at the end of Brixham breakwater this morning (about 11 am) and was rewarded by the spectacle of large numbers of Gannets (about 200), with many diving into a shoal of fish not far off the oysterbeds.  As I watched, there was a flow of Gannets coming into Torbay to join the throng. Also, 7 Purple Sandpipers roosting on the derelict structure, in their usual place, and 2 Great Northern Divers just outside the harbout entrance.

After lunch, I went on to Broadsands, though I missed most of the birds mentioned by Mike.  There were 2 or 3 more Great Northern Divers, but all the Cirl Buntings seemed to have eaten the seeds and disappeared! Scanning the sea confirmed my estimate of the number of Gannets, with over 200 Gannet-shaped dots counted. There were also some distant (common) dolphins, perhaps also brought into the bay to feed on the shoal. 

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 8:09 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

Today's garden bird sightings ( Whimple )

Brambing Siskin regular visits this week, . some 300 plus fieldfair / redwing flock in field 

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 7:38 pm by Peter Salter in General Birding

Bramblings Dartington

Three Brambling still with the Chaffinch flock on Deer Park Road, Dartington Hall.

Buzzard, Song Thrush and Jay also on site

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 6:14 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

HAWFINCH and WATERPIPIT

hawfinch seen at Topsham Cemetery this morning only one bird, and a waterpipit seen with several others at Colyford marsh, elsewhere around the site it was very quiet.

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 5:10 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Teigngrace cattle egrets

One bird present again this afternoon in solar panel field with sheep

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 4:22 pm by Ken Dainton in General Birding

Plymouth

Wigeon have increased to 18 on Plym Estuary. Also Dipper showing well and  2 Kingfishers but only saw one Goosander today.

Firecrest , 10 Teal & Chiffchaff in Efford Marsh.

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 2:39 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Broadsands

On the sea: 1 Black-throated Diver, 3 Red-throated Divers, 15 Great Northern Divers, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 35 Cormorants, 40+ Shags, 200 + Auks

1 Firecrest in the masrh between the car parks, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest. 

33 Cirl Buntings, 3 Reed Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park.

Posted January 17th, 2018 at 9:38 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 16th January 2018

Hawfinch

I had a female hawfinch feeding in my back garden in Woolwell on the outskirts of Plymouth.

Posted January 16th, 2018 at 9:40 pm by Andy Quest in General Birding

Photographs of Firecrests in Millin Way, Dawlish Warren

The 3 Firecrests reported from my garden on Saturday, came back on Sunday and briefly on Monday.  Not seen them today. 

Posted January 16th, 2018 at 8:14 pm by Carole Leigh in General Birding

River Plym, Marsh Mills area.

Walking on footpath south from Plymouth Road alongside River Plym under Devon Expressway flyover. Firecrest alone feeding in hedges, a finch/tit flock consisting of Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Great and Blue also contained at least five Siskin (2 males, 3 females). Birds were dropping down on to the footpath. Also excellent views of Dipper feeding in shallows of dropping tide.

Posted January 16th, 2018 at 6:23 pm by Richard Smith in General Birding

Wembury Bay & Plymouth

Wembury Bay: Firecrest, Mediterranean Gull (ad-w), 8 Chiffchaffs & 4 Cirl Buntings.
Plym Estuary & Saltram: Woodcock, Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, 14+ Wigeon & 2 Green Woodpeckers.
Cattewater: 2 Great Northern Divers & ad-w Mediterranean Gull.

Posted January 16th, 2018 at 6:10 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exmouth - 16/01/18

Group of a least 7 Purple Sandpipers with some Turnstones & Oystercatchers on Maer Rocks at around 2pm - also a Great Northern Diver in the channel opposite The Ocean

Posted January 16th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Monday 15th January 2018

Plym Estuary

Goosanders now reached (record?) count of 9 (3 drakes). Also 52 Curlews on the pool, 8 Oystercatchers, 15 Wigeon, Great Northern Diver, Kingfisher & 5 Little Grebes.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 5:51 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Velator

Probably should have posted this earlier, so apologies. Rode along to Wrafton Pond this morning before visiting the reserve, and spied a large flock of Canada Geese in the field between the scrape and Chivenor. Closer investigation revealed a Greylag Goose amongst them, and then further into the flock a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE. Still lots of Tits and FInches in the reserve.

Ringing yesterday produced a further 6 Reed Buntings amongst the usual suspects.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 5:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Slapton / Torcross 14th Jan

Successful run down to Slapton on Sunday, Slav. Grebe, Gadwall, Goldeneye, 3 x Water Rails, Kingfisher, Cettis, and a report of a Bittern flying across the Ley,...not seen personally.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 4:24 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Taw, Barnstaple

Pair of Goosander just downstream of the new bridge, plus another male close by. About 90 Brent Geese grazing in the marsh nearby next to the Tarka Trail.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 2:40 pm by Richard Hannington in General Birding

Slapton Ley.

A SLAVONIAN Grebe at Torcross. A typical cleanly marked individual, but confusingly in the same location as the 2 Black. Necks that have been present ,on and off for at least a fortnight.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 1:52 pm by Alan K. Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Matford Pools

The drake American Wigeon still present on the second pool up showing very well at 1300hrs.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 1:39 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Annual BNA bird watching bonanza

Good turnout of members arrived at Darts Farm to see large flocks of Brent geese, and black tailed godwits spooked by a peregrine. Chiff chaff down by the hide. Then a hawfinch (or possible second one) at Topsham cemetery. Good selection of ducks at Bowling Green Marsh including wigeon, shoveller, tufted and pintail. A posing kingfisher and then large gatherings of avocets and golden plover from the Goat Walk plus red breasted mergansers.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 12:14 pm by Brian Sims in General Birding

Laira Plymouth

Firecrest & Blackcap seen this morning in the garden.

Posted January 15th, 2018 at 11:11 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Sunday 14th January 2018

Start point and Ashprington

Black redstart amongst the stonechats in field walking down to Mattiscombe. Flyover of great skua a nice surprise, pod of porpoise bring followed by feeding gannets. Separately their is currently a great starting murmaration in Ashprington, viewable from the church. My approx figure is about 2000 birds

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 10:22 pm by Henry Trollope in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh and Wareham Point etc

Great morning; low tide, pleasant weather and lots of birds. Highlights included: 2 GN Divers, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 22 Little Grebes, 47 Pintail, 40 Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe, 150 Golden Plover, 2 Peregrines and a male Sparrowhawk (chasing a Snipe).

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 9:16 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Some pics from the Torbay boat trip.

Some of the 16 Grey Seals in Brixham Harbour Great Northern Diver
Some of the 16 Grey Seals in Brixham Harbour                              Great Northern Diver

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 7:37 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Bideford - Boode (Braunton).

Travelling between the two places early this afternoon in bright sunshine, two noteworthy sightings: A Short-eared Owl perched on a sapling beside the A39 just east of Bideford, and a Red Kite "cruising" the seaward side of the road between the Braunton Business park and the village.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 7:37 pm by Tony Mercer in General Birding

Bideford - Boode (Braunton).

Travelling between the two places early this afternoon in bright sunshine, two noteworthy sightings: A Short-eared Owl perched on a sapling beside the A39 just east of Bideford, and a Red Kite "cruising" the seaward side of the road between the Braunton Business park and the village.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 7:35 pm by Tony Mercer in General Birding

Southcott valley , Bideford.

8 Shoveler , 60+ Teal , 70+ Wigeon , 150+ Lapwing , 133 Black tailed Godwits  on Southcott valley flood meadows with 4 Snipe on nearby

Northgate pond.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 7:14 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Broadsands & Brixham

A great day out started with a stop at Bickleigh Bridge, on the R.Plym, where 30 Mandarin Duck.  A dead lamb on the edge of the moor being scavenged by a Robin!

At Broadsands a Firecrest and a Goldcrest in the car park. In the bay several Great Northern Diver with at least two Black-throated Diver (no reds), Great Crested Grebes, a Slavonian Grebe and several Black-necked Grebe.  At Elberry Cove a Red-necked Grebe catching pipefish. But best of all a Grey Phalarope flew into my scope view and landed in the water at the mouth of the cove.  It only stayed long enough for a couple of ooh-aahs, but not long enough for a photo alas.

At Brixham Breakwater, only four Purple Sandpiper, but lots more divers, two Porpoise and six Grey Seal and a juvenile/1st winter Iceland Gull to finish the day.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 6:52 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Exe estuary

A good days birding mainly around the Exe today, initially Dart Bridge at Buckfasleigh 8 Mandarin duck on the river, on the A38 opposite Trago a Barn owl laying dead alongside the Exeter bound carriageway.

West Point a huge flock of Linnet with the odd Goldfinch and Siskin mixed in as well.

Darts Farm, on arrival a large flocks of Brent Geese and Godwits took to the air and headed off towards BGM, leaving behind a mix of Teal and Wigeon, approx 40 Curlew, several Redshank and one Greenshank.

Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush and Redwing with a flock of Staring, a female Sparrow hawk came through carrying what appeared to be a Starling. On the arable field good numbers of Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch and Pied Wagtails which were all put up by a hunting Merlin that came across the crop field at incredible speed fractionally above the height of the various crops.

Greenshank and Greylag Geese at Bowling Green marsh.

From the Goat Walk the Exe estuary on a low tide was simply alive with various species of Wader inc lots of Avocet, Curlew, Godwit a large number of Dunlin, a 500 plus sized flock of Golden Plover, Lapwing and Brent Geese.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 5:58 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Brixham/Broadsands

Four Purple Sandpipers on Brixham breakwater. Broadsands - Minimum of ten G.N.Divers, two Black throated divers,Black necked Grebe and the Red necked  Grebe was in Elberry Cove.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Robert Gaze in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Jack Snipe, Snipe, 5 Goosanders, Red-breasted Merganser, 15 Wigeon, 8 Oystercatchers, Common Sandpiper, 2 Kingfishers together, Shag, Firecrest. No count today but still lots of Dunlins and quite a few Redshanks roosting on the pool. So still pretty good!

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 5:04 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Haldon Pier, Torquay Harbour

14.30

2 Purple Sandpipers, 12 Turnstones, 2 Shags, Rock Pipit, Guillemot and Gannet. 

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 4:18 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Hawfinches Longdown

65  Hawfinches at Longdown this morning. Numbers may be less than the November counts last year but the estate is very large and we cannot discount gatherings elsewhere. Still incredible numbers and important on a national scale. 

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 2:50 pm by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

On the stubbles: 400 Skylark, 53 Yellowhammer, 40 Cirl Bunting & 3 Red-legged Partridge.

Non-avian: 6 Roe Deer

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 2:32 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip.

First boat trip in Torbay for 2018. Sea state was very lumpy so only covered the Brixham,  Paignton side of the Bay. The day started well for me, as I walked around Brixham Harbour, a flash of blue revealed a Kingfisher landing on  the rails of the Golden Hind and then in the mud of the harbor our resident Redshank. Many different birds in Torbay sheltering from not very good sea conditions. 16 Grey Seals by Brixham Marina, 3 Purple Sandpiper by the Breakwater and now numbers sighted in our trip. Many Guillemots, 7 Grey Heron, 300 + Cormorants,  750 + gulls on rocky roosts and on the sea, 1 Common Gull, 4 Kittiwake, 12 Fulmar, many Shag, Small Grebe sp, 20 + Great Crested Grebe, 1 Black-throated Diver, 12 Great Northern Diver, 3 Brent Geese and a Common Scoter flying by. The Gull roosts would probably given us some different species but best looked at from the shore with a scope. A good trip but sea state did not help!!!!

 

Still have places for the next 3 Sundays, if interested email wildbones@btinternet.com 

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 1:50 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Topsham cemetery

1 Hawfinch this morning.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 12:12 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 13th January 2018

Heathfield ~Starling murmaration

Just after 4pm a huge huge Starling murmaration over Heathfiled with an estimated 3000 to 4000 birds low over the industrial estate with a female Sparrow hawk menacing the back of the flock at one point.

Eventually the birds dropped into roost in a group of pine trees behind Sparkworld by that time the numbers had risen to an estimated 6000 birds, a Buzzard swooped in attacking birds perched in the top of one of the pines.

The trees are alongside Canon Road and standing there the noise from the calls and wing beats was incredible as the birds were landing and roosting within 10/15 yards from the boundary fence with most of the birds passing low over head as they flew in.

Posted January 13th, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Slapton Ley

7 Little grebes in Ireland bay and another 2 in the small pond by the bridge. 1 water rail on the cut reeds to the right of the bridge looking north.

Posted January 13th, 2018 at 4:52 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Velator

Pottering about the reserve this afternoon topping up the feeders and took a look out over the scrape to find a Redshank and a selection of web-footed denizens. Later on - 2.45 - took another look just before leaving and there was a Spoonbill. First there this year as far as I'm aware. Drove out and stopped to shut the gate by the bridge when my attention was drawn to a tiny bird chasing gnats at the ivy flowers - bronzy shoulders was all I got before it buzzed off. So probable Firecrest... I can see the scrape from the bridge so glanced over there too - a second Spoonbill had turned up (now 3p.m.) It's now 4.30 ish and I wonder how many might be there now.

Posted January 13th, 2018 at 4:26 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

West Hill

Flock of 10 Bramblings in West Hill at14:15. Left hand fork on track to Cuckoo Down Farm.

Posted January 13th, 2018 at 3:51 pm by Martin Littlemore in General Birding

Hawfinches Topsham cemetery

2 Hawfinch between the 2nd chapel and water tower this morning 

Posted January 13th, 2018 at 2:07 pm by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

3 Firecrests, Millin Way, Dawlish Warren

 3 Firecrests, with a Goldcrest and a Chiff Chaff currently in my garden.

Posted January 13th, 2018 at 12:56 pm by Carole Leigh in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 12th January 2018

Exe Area

Matford Marsh: American Wigeon showing well.

Topsham Cemetery: 2 Hawfinch & 30 Greenfinch.

Exminster Marshes: 50 Golden Plover.

Darts Farm: 17 Fieldfare, Chiffchaff, 400 Blackwits.

Bowling Green Marsh: 5 Greenshank, Barwit, 140 Avocet, 40 Redwing., 

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 10:18 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Matford Pools & Ludwell Valley, Exeter

The American Wigeon still on the main pond with 70+ Wigeon. At Ludwell Valley three Green Sandpipers, six Grey Wagtail, a Little Egret and 2 Chiffchaff. The Chiffchaff were skimming low over the water picking off midges, looking a lot like feeding swallows!

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 9:35 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Ludwell Valley

Had a walk along the Northbrook in Ludwell Valley this lunchtime. 4 Green Sandpipers, 1 Dipper (up at the Topsham Road end), Grey Wagtails, 3 Siskins and 1 Chiff-chaff.

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 9:12 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Greendale Farm

If any Exeter/Exe birders have a spare hour or two, there's a huge amount of birds in the first field west of Greendale Farm Shop (EX5 2JU) along the A3052. I was there this afternoon on a quick shopping trip and was staggered to see a flock of 900+ Linnet! They must be worth a good look through, who knows what else could be lurking there...

Linnet
Linnet

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 7:06 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Late post

Slapton otter from Wednesday

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 6:16 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Plymouth

At Radford Park, ad-w Mediterranean Gull, 7 Little Grebes and a Blackcap.

Quite lively again at the Plym Estuary & Saltram, with 8 Goosanders, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 14 Wigeon, 2 Great Northern Divers, 5 Little Grebes, Shag, 4 Jack Snipe, Green Woodpecker, Common Sandpiper, 181 Dunlins, 3 Bullfinches and Siskin.

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 5:38 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exmouth Marina - 12/01/18

Walked around the marina lunch time today - rewarded wih sight of female Black Redstart on the verandas of the flats, a Kingfisher & a solitary Guillemot diving alongside the boats at the marina entrance.

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 3:44 pm by ChrisBollen in General Birding

Westward Ho!

Purple Sandpiper have been elusive at thei traditional winter site this year so it was good to find 3 feeding on rocks just east of Nassau Court this afternoon

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Arlington.

2Water Rail,by the hide showing well for over an hour,goldcrest,GS Woodpecker,marsh Tit coal tit,long tailed tit,bullfinch,nuthatch,treecreeper good numbers of each and wintering well,2Dipper further downstream,song thrush,mistle thrush and large flock of Redwing over Blackmoor Gate. Lovely to see snowdrops.

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 2:55 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Taw mouth

Late news from Tuesday 9th of a probable Slavonian Grebe (very distant) off the mouth of the Taw Estuary viewed from the head of Northam Burrows. Diving/preening, black and white only visible tones (no browns), black-capped appearance, definitely not Guillemot or GCGrebe, bill not prominent and profile was unlike Diver sp.

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 12:49 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Wrafton Pond and Braunton

Shoveler, Gadwall, Wigeon and a Pintail on the pond with nothing on the Scrape opposite but some Redwing in the grass. Good attendance of birds on the feeders in the garden at home including the regular Greenfinches.

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 11:57 am by R Barnes in General Birding

Mute Swans @ Kingsbridge Estuary

3 recent photographs of Mute Swans on Kingsbridge Estuary.  

The first photo shows a Cob drinking what is assumed to be a thin layer of fresh water from a stream which forms a stratified layer lying above the salt water of the estuary in the absence of any wave or wind generated turbulence.

In the second photo (one of a landing sequence) the cob has rounded out within a few centimetres of the surface of the estuary, about to touch down 0.1 seconds later.

In the third photograph, the two pens are taking off ahead of the cob.  The left wing of the lead bird is just clipping the surface, although she was probably the first to get airborne.  The two swans behind her are flying in her slip stream, gaining aerodynamic benefit from her tip vortices.  The cob appears to have gained most height.  By flying low, all 3 birds gain advantage from the 'ground' effect.

Cob drinking from surface freshwater stratified layer Cob greasing his landing on the sea Cob follows 2 Pens taking off 
Cob drinking from surface freshwater stratified layer  Cob greasing his landing on the sea

Cob follows 2 Pens taking off

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 11:19 am by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Broadsands

Nice flat sea to check over Torbay today: 11 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 3 Red-throated Divers, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 35 Great Crested Grebes, 35 Common Scoter, 63 Shag, 19 Cormorant and still plenty of Razorbill and Guillemots.

25 Cirl Buntings and 2 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park and a Firecrest in willows by the small pool between the car parks.

 

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 10:16 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slavonian Grebe Kingsbridge Estuary 7 January

Three photos of a Slavonian Grebe showing how its jizz changes depending on whether the bird is fluffing up its wings between dives or appearing to lie lower and more sleekly in the water immediately before diving.  The bill was often held slightly open.

The grebe was observed at a fairly close range (a first time for this observer) and for about 5 minutes.

Slavonian Grebe swimming between dives Slavonian grebe diving Slavonian Grebe prior to next dive
Slavonian Grebe swimming between dives     Slavonian grebe diving     Slavonian Grebe prior to next dive

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 9:23 am by Michael Woodman Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Goldeneyes Kingsbridge Estuary 7 January

Possibly sheltering from the stiff cold northerly wind on the morning of 7 January, two female Goldeneye appeared briefly right in front of the hide. before flying off inland.  Although the headshapes would appear to more closely resemble islandica, the bills indicate that both birds were in fact clangula.

Female Goldeneye Female Goldeneye Two female Goldeneyes
Female Goldeneye                               Female Goldeneye             Two female Goldeneyes

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 8:08 am by Michael Woodman Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 11th January 2018

Musbury Hawfinches

Two Hawfinches in Musbury late this afternoon. One calling and showing from the small car park near the Church at the top of Church Hill (looking south west). The second flew NE over me halfway along the footpath between here and Higher Bruckland Farm. Also 250+ Redwing and 4 Yellowhammer.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 8:50 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Black Hole Marsh trip - E D Branch

On what turned out to be a clear sunny day 17 members were ably led round the reserve by Bob Olliver.  On Colyford Common we had close and good views of about 6 Water Pipit.  A Reed Bunting was seen nearby.  We viewed a small flock of Golden Plover from the hide on Colyford Marsh along with good numbers of Lapwing, a few Black-tailed Godwit and single  Greenshank.  A large flock of Fieldfare were present here.  The sight of the day was around 72 Snipe, which were seen north of Tower Hide on the edge of the reed beds east side of the river.  Total of 50 species seen.  

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 8:00 pm by Geoff Green in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary 06 December

Now back in Clifton, some photographs from previous visits to the Kingsbridge Estuary on 18 December and 7 January.  Birds of particular interest for me included 1 No male Red-breasted Merganser, 2 No female Goldeneye, 2 male and 3 female Shoveler  and 1 No Slavonian Grebe, a species which I have not seen since the late 50's on the Solent.

Teal taking off Male Shovelers taking off Slavonian Grebe fishing
Teal taking off           Male Shovelers taking off                 Slavonian Grebe fishing

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 7:52 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Velator

Finally got my internet back in operation so will be back with the info on the reserve up here. It's been very windy all year until yesterday so got some nets open today and ringed the first 32 birds of the year there. Mix much as before with yet more Blue Tits - 9 - where do they keep coming from! 7 each of Green and Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, Song Thrush Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Reed Buntings and a fine male Firecrest.

Also present Water Rail Tawny Owl, a few Redwing, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest. Buzzard. Out on the scrape Redshank, Greenshank, and 2 Water Pipits.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 7:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Hams

East Soar:  Firecrest

Bowcombe Bridge, Kingsbridge; 7 Red-breasted Merganser

Slapton Ley: 5 Goldeneye. Superb view of Water Rail from beidge.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 5:30 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Burrator

One Male Ring Ouzel with a small flock of Mistle Thrush and Blackbirds in Deancombe Valley between Deancombe Farm ruins and Down Tor, at lunchtime today

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 4:56 pm by John F Jones in General Birding

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

One Hawfinch in the boundary hedge between the field behind the tennis courts and the annual flower meadow (same corner I saw one in December).  Also one Dipper along the brook.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Mountbatten, Plymouth

Very calm and quiet, but a Great Northern Diver around the bows of a moored tanker in the Cattewater and an adult Mediterranean Gull on the rocks in Batten Bay.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 4:12 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

Burrator Reservoir

Beautiful morning to walk around the reservoir  - lots of redwings, coal tits and siskins around, 1 male and 4 redhead goosanders on the water, a pair of crossbills flying over and the highlight a female red crested pochard with the mallards

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 3:37 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Teigngrace cattle egrets

3 birds present this afternoon in solar panel field following sheep

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 2:49 pm by Ken Dainton in General Birding

Exmouth

Great Northern Diver off Mudbank Lane this lunchtime at 1240hrs on the rising tide.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 2:32 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Hawfinches Longdown

67 counted leaving roosting area on private estate between 0800 and 0840 this morning. 

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 9:47 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Wednesday 10th January 2018

Braunton Marshes

A sunny day on the marshes after some very wet and windy weather.  Many birds showing well including large flocks of Curlew and Lapwing, numerous Little Grebe, Redshank, Meadow Pipits and Song Thrushes, plus a fine kingfisher on a drainage channel. A roosting Marsh Harrier at 4.15pm was a bonus.

Curlew   Lapwing Marsh Harrier (in fading light - for the record only)
Curlew                                                        Lapwing                                       Mash Harrier (in fading light)

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 8:07 pm by Martin Batt in General Birding

Newton Abbot

Just needed to escape the office for a couple of hours but not go too far today. Started at the Town Quay, where there were five Greylag Geese, a Grey Heron under the railway bridge and a line-up of Black-headed Gulls  including two birds with almost all brown heads; two Grey Wagtails were flitting over the water here too. Then I wandered round to Hackney Marsh and saw the resident Kingfisher, several Fieldfare beside the race course, Redwing in the trees, a lovely pair of Bullfinches and dozens of Robins and Dunnocks. Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Blackbirds plentiful as well. Later, once back on the Town Quay, I walked beside the River Lemon as far as the footbridge - here by the far bank a Cettis Warbler announced his presence very vocally and I had great views as he flitted down to the water's edge for a drink.

I finished my outing with a walk down the footpath to Aller Brook. Lots of finches and tits here included three Greenfinches - the first I have seen this year. I scanned the river from the bridge over the brook and noted a Little Grebe downstream towards the A380 and a few minutes later three Red-breasted Mergansers slowly swam past - two drakes and a red head. On my way back to the car I looked across the water treatment works and was pleasantly surprised to see a Buzzard perched on top of a water pipe.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Torbay

Adding to Rob's post: The Red-necked Grebe was in the Great Crested Grebe roost (best viewed from 3 beaches headland) and the Black-necked Grebe off Goodrington Beach. Bob Bailey also saw 3 more Great Northern Divers a Red-throated Diver and a Black-necked grebe off Preston seafront so a grand total of  30 Great Northern Divers in Torbay!

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 6:42 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exwick and the River Exe

3+ Hawfinch at the top end of Exwick Cemetery this morning, wary and mobile but some good views at times.

1 Slavonian Grebe on the River Exe at Cockwood, seen from the train.

1 Long Tailed Duck and 3 Great Northern Diver offshore at the mouth of the Exe from Dawlish Warren, 2 Snipe and a female Shoveler on the main pond and a Red Throated Diver off the lifeguard hut.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 5:41 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Broadsands,Brixham, Stover

Broadsands: 20+ Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-throated Diver, I Red-throated Diver (Thanks Mike), Slavonan Grebe, 33 Great Crested Grebe, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Fulmar. In car park: 4 Siskin, 6 Bullfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 11 Cirl Bunting & 2 Reed Bunting.

Brixham Harbour: 4 Great Northern Diver, 11 Purple Sandpiper, I Turnstone. 11 Grey Seals hauled out.

Berry Head: 10 Fulmar, 3 Great Northern Diver S, Kittiwake, stacks of Gannets, Guillemots and some Razorbills. 50+ Common Dolphin.

Stover Lake: 30 Goosander inc.5 males, Pochard, Peregrine overhead, Kingfisher, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 5:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton

Lovely blue sky all day.First bird of the day at  Slapton a sky lark, chiffchaff,little grebe, great crested grebe, stone chat, gadwall, pochard, and to round the birds off wonderful view of a water rail, and if that wasn't enough I came face to face with an otter, at 11.20, seaward side of the Lay.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 4:44 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Ilfracombe

1 Black Redstart seen early this afternoon on the tall four storey building opposite Lydl's carpark in Ilfracombe.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 4:06 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Hartland Point

60 Red-throated Divers this morning.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 2:58 pm by Barry Bryne in General Birding

Teigngrace cattle egret

One bird in solar panel field this afternoon

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 2:26 pm by Ken Dainton in General Birding

Exton

The Great Northern Diver was again off Exton station this lunchtime on the high tide. Still present at 1345hrs at least.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 2:03 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Tuesday 9th January 2018

Around the Axe

Lots going on around the Axe Estuary at the moment. This afternoon an adult European White-fronted Goose and first-winter Caspian Gull were new in, as well as the long-staying Glossy Ibis (often just south of A3052 at Colyford where road crosses the Axe) and up to ten Water Pipit showing well (sometimes VERY well) on Colyford Common.

European White-fronted Goose
European White-fronted Goose

Glossy Ibis Water Pipits

Glossy Ibis                                      Water Pipits

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 9:47 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Crediton

From 15.00: strolling around Newcombes Meadow (town park), Saw 1 bullfinch in tree by St. Boniface statue, ground-feeding blackbirds by bandstand and 3 goldfinches in trees between the Bowling Green and rear of Methodist Church. Couldn't find redwings I'd seen earlier in winter. In Woodland between top of Deep Lane and top of George Hill there were several singing robins and several blue tit alarm calls, crows at edge of woodland and a woodpecker was heard drumming. Walked down Alexandra Road where I saw a song thrush singing from gardens by Alexandra Close. More robins by the hospital. Walked through Cromwell's Cutting and saw 2 fieldfare along footpath to Moorlake where I also heard a male tawny owl. Didn't see many winter visitors today, but lots of songbirds are singing now.

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Andrew Head in General Birding

Cackling goose again

Seems to be following me - today at noon-ish off Topsham Rec also with RB merganser but never together for scale (hence shot with buoy!).

Cackling Goose Red Breasted Merganser Greenshank
Cackling Goose                    Red Breasted Merganser                       Greenshank

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 8:26 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Torbay - Young's Park

To add to Steve Hopper's post re Firecrests, there was 1 Firecrest  in Young's Park, Goodrington at 1.20pm.  

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 8:23 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Contrasts in the bay

With the waves pounding in on Marine Parade, two shag were fishing close inshore, the usual turnstones avoiding human feet along the sea wall. At Broadsands, a flat calm sea revealed one great northern diver, one seal and several oystercatchers

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 5:40 pm by p.l.fairclough in General Birding

Plymouth

Great Northern Diver off West Hoe and another 2 in the Cattewater with a Common Sandpiper.

Black-tailed Godwit new on the Plym Estuary, where Goosanders up to 5 (1 drake) and the 13 Wigeon & 5 Red-breasted Mergansers still about. 

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 2:29 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Totnes and Paignton

Totnes ~ Bowden 10 Little Egrets in the cattle fodder field 5 Pied Wagtails and a Stonechat.

Broadsands ~ Elberry ~ Male Bullfinch, Cirl Bunting by the gates, on the sea Black Throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Shag, numerous Cormorants and one Seal.

Clennon lakes four Firecrest, numerous Goldcrest, Chiffchaff  certainly two but possibly more, several flocks of Long Tailed Tit one of 15 birds, Heron, Little Egret, Teal, Tufted Duck and a Jay.

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 2:22 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Broadsands to Goodrington

Checking the bay for wintering seabirds this morning produced: 2 Black-throated Divers, 17 Great Northern Divers, 34 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe and 2 Teal. Still plenty of Razorbills and Guillemots out in the bay.

At Broadsand 9 Cirl Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park and 1 Firecrest again in the marsh between the carparks.

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 10:05 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

A surprise in Torquay town centre

Apologies for the tardiness but better late than never. Yesterday morning, on the slipway in Torquay inner harbour, shag resting and watching the traffic, five adults and one juvenile.

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 5:28 am by P.L. Fairclough in General Birding

Monday 8th January 2018

Out and about

Ludwell Valley
No Dipper seen but 4 Green Sandpiper and 2 Grey Wagtail

Stover County Park
20+ Goodander, 2 Mandarin (M & F), 4 Pochard (2M & 2F). On the feeder was 2 Bullfinch (M & F), a Siskin and 3 Nuthatch.

Exminster Marsh
100’s of Wigeon but could not locate the American. However I did spot the Marsh Harrier on leaving.

Cockwood
Cracking views of Slavonian Grebe and a Great Northern Diver. Also bagged a group of C20 Grey Plover and a single Great Crested Grebe.

Exmouth cricket club
Awesome views of a Firecrest on the path at the rear of the ground.

Road to Hayes pig farm
Went to the farm to see if there were any Partridges in the fields but no joy. It was dusk when I left and was stopped in my tracks when in my headlights I came across a Woodcock feeding on the verge. Managed to stop at close range and watch it for a while before it finally twigged it was being watched and it quickly disappeared into the scrub. Best views I’ve ever had as I normally just see flyovers.

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 11:36 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Broadsands

Two Black necked Grebes, with a Great Crested Grebe on the sea, close into the beach today around midday. Then back home in Galmpton this afternoon, a lovely Firecrest right by the back door.

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 11:19 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in General Birding

Topsham Hawfinches

Following Martin's post yesterday I visited Topsham cemetery for the first time at lunchtime.  One or possibly two Hawfinch very briefly in the yew tree nearest the water tower.  Also there 4 Greenfinch and a Buzzard.

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 9:35 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Duck numbers increasing with: 10 Teal, pair of Shoveler, Tufted Duck, 4 Goosanders (drake + 3 redheads), 5 Red-breasted Merganders (3 drakes + 2 redheads), 13 Wigeon & 40 Shelducks. Also - 2 Great Northern Divers, 178 Dunlins, 20 Common Gulls, Kingfisher, 4 Greenshanks & 5 Little Grebes. 

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 6:05 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Totnes & Dartington

Totnes ~ Bowden area no sign of the reported cattle Egrets but 7 Little Egrets in the cattle fodder field also a female Stonechat and several Pied Wagtails a flock of 16 Mallard flew over the lower end of the field.

In the cattle fodder field near Lower Bowden a large flock of Chaffinch and a small number of Greenfinch and using the overhead wires for perching some 20 or so Linnet.

Dartington Estate ~ On the road to the deer park a good sized Chaffinch flock which also contained a male and female Brambling, also at the location a male Bullfinch, a Treecreeper, Jay a partly white plumaged Carrion Crow, a flock of 100 plus Redwing, three Buzzards and still a good sized flock of Wood pigeons.

Back at home at South Brent a Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Song Thrush, Redwing, double figures of Chaffinch and House Sparrow. Green Woodpecker, Jay, Buzzard and 3 Greenfinch, numerous Starlings and Goldfinch coming back onto the feeders now that I am using sunflower hearts again.

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 3:50 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exton

Great Northern Diver off the station at Exton this lunchtime, until 1340hrs at least. Later in the day at 1610hrs it had moved down the estuary on the dropping tide so it was viewable from the Exe Trail by Nutwell Court, just north of Lympstone.

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 2:21 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Black Redstart

Black Redstart in amongst the boats between the Shelley Road flats and the shoreline at hightide today (about 12.30), Exmouth 

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 2:02 pm by RICHARD ALLEN in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

Early this morning 7 Cattle Egret, MF Shoveler, 25 Oystercatcher, 8 Ringed Plover, 8 Turnstone, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 41 Lapwing.

Posted January 8th, 2018 at 11:58 am by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sunday 7th January 2018

Totnes

About a dozen cattle egrets are back in the fields opposite Bowden House on the road to Ashprington, same place as last year. Couldn't count as I was driving and they all took off possibly to roost as dusk was approaching.

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Milton Reserve - Reed Cut

Many thanks to all who turned out today to help with the reed cut at South Milton. In all we had around 30 volunteers from Devon Birds, the National Trust and South Milton parish. Rory Sanders drove the reed cutter and with such a good turnout we kept pace with him this year. It was exhausting work as usual but we manged to clear a decent area by noon when we called it a day.

We will be down at the Reserve for another session on 21 January and hope to have an equally good turnout – see Society News webpage for details. We will again be working the area near the boardwalk.

Nick Townsend

South Milton volunteers working hard
South Milton volunteers working hard

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 6:40 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Bellever Plantation

5 Common Crossbills at Bellever early this afternoon.

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 6:40 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Wild Otter

3 of us where stood on the wooden platform at Slapton when an otter swam past.


Posted January 7th, 2018 at 5:53 pm by Richard Moore in Other Wildlife

Slapton

On the Ley at least 12 little grebes a nice black necked grebe showing well. Also a couple of peregrines, mistle thrushes and a goldcrest

Black necked grebe Goldcrest Mistle Thrush
Black necked grebe                                 Goldcrest                                       Mistle Thrush

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 5:49 pm by Richard Moore in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

Redwings and lots of ringneck parakeets in the cemetery this afternoon. One of the parakeets had a pale blue plumage.

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 5:40 pm by Martin Lavelle in General Birding

Dawlish Countryside Park

3 Cirl Buntings (1m, 2f ),  30-40 Linnets in flock feeding on ground.   

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 5:39 pm by Neil Graham in General Birding

Plym estuary/Saltram

0945-1320  high tide roost:

12 Grey heron, c150 Dunlin, c120 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 5 Little egret, 4 Little grebe. On Blaxton meadow- 13 Wigeon, 53 Curlew, 1 Common gull, and a black headed gull already in breeding plumage.

Saltram- 5 Stock dove, 2 Buzzard, 1 Great spotted woodpecker.

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 5:37 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Exwick cemetery

Two hawfinch at midday feeding on cherry stones still hanging in the canopy of one of the cherry trees within the woodland area. A female sparrowhawk came through barely above ground, fortunately for the finches!

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 5:23 pm by Simon M Bates in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

North Plympton

Male blackcap feeding in the garden on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday visited the fat balls and bird cake feeders at least a dozen times.

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 4:21 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Topsham

1 Hawfinch in Topsham cemetery late morning. 2 Goldeneye at the Rec.

Posted January 7th, 2018 at 1:57 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 6th January 2018

Labrador Bay

Large flock of Common Scoters and a GN Diver are the highlights of a seawatch this afternoon.

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 9:25 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for today at the Lower Lake

24 Goosander 13m 11f, 3 Little Egret, 1 Mute Swan, 15 Tufted Duck, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull.

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 8:03 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Matford marsh RSPB - 06/01/18

Drake American wigeon showing well this afternoon (16.00) on main pool, grazing by the path... Also 75 Wigeon, 32 Teal, 6 Shoveler...

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 7:39 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Suburban garden in Plympton

Yesterday visited by two male Bullfinch who were very confiding when feeding on an ornamental shrub in my back garden. This was eclipsed today by four males who were also making light work of the berries on the shrub. 

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by John Lloyd in General Birding

Holdstone down exmoor

An early 8.30 start didn't provide any wildlife at all until about 10 am. Then 3 bullfinch of which 2 males, Reed bunting in its usual haunt, 1 snipe that flew out under foot a frightened the living daylights out of me and 6 approx stonechat male and female. 

Male bullfinch Female stonechat
Male bullfinch                            Female stonechat

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 6:02 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Saunton Sands - under attack from the sea

The surf at Saunton Sands this morning during one of the recent high spring tides was approx.8  to 10 feet & clean. One of the few surfers brave enough to take the plunge had his board broken in half by a large wave at high tide.

Braunton Burrows also lost approx 10 metres of foredunes! Such is the power of the ocean. A combination of rising sea levels caused by global warming is already having an impact in N.Devon.

This begs the question, how long before Braunton Burrows becomes a beach & surf zone?


Posted January 6th, 2018 at 6:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Fieldfare, Crediton

At (SX 82602 99745): 11 fieldfare feeding at edge of field along with 6 blackbirds and 2 redwings in 'Cradle Fields', West of QECC school (lower school), Crediton. Lots of blue tits and great tits along Tinpot Lane and down by River Yeo. Singing from Songthrush and robin heard along footpath by river through to Fordton.

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 5:53 pm by Andrew Head in General Birding

Torbay

Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton, 28 Turnstone including the Dutch ringed bird (Z010032) that has over wintered at that location for at least the last four years

Brixham break water, cold with strong on shore winds making for a very rough sea, Gannets passing low overhead and diving close to the sea wall, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper and Rock Pipit.

Razorbill and Guillemot in close to the breakwater along with Cormorant and Shag, six Seals hauled up on a pontoon in the harbour and Kittiwake in reasonable numbers.

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exmouth

The adult Bonaparte's Gull off Shelly Beach this afternoon. Also 3 Eider still off Maer Rocks this morning. Photos and more info on www.gobirdingexmouth.blogspot.co.uk

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 5:01 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Bowling Green

When I first saw this duck at Bowling green at a distance I thought it was the White Cheeked Pintail but on closer inspection it looks like some sort of Widgeon X. But Iam some expert out there will put me straight!

Eds: this bird was present last winter too, I believe the consensus was just abnormal wigeon plumage?

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Plymouth

Very quiet along the seafront today but the adult argentatus Herring Gull appeared again on the Plym Estuary this afternoon; also there, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, 2 redhead Goosanders and 13 Wigeon 

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Matford Marsh

A cold start to the day here and very glad to have seen the American Wigeon (a lifer for me) showing well on the main pool amongst the Wigeon. There was a flock of 14 Redwing in trees near to the viewing platform, two Chiffchaff close by and a Kingfisher briefly in the hedge to the side of the path leading up towards Makro. Once at the bend in path by Makro, a Merlin flew quite low across the water heading towards the main pool.

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 4:10 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Exwick Cemetery Exeter

5+ Hawfinch at Exwick Cemetery this lunch time. At the top of Cemetery on Cherries. 

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 2:25 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Red Kite - Barnstaple

A red kite over the A361 near Riverton yesterday (Friday) approx 9:10am.

Posted January 6th, 2018 at 11:14 am by alan craddock in General Birding

Friday 5th January 2018

Penhill salt- marsh

About 3pm, one Spoonbill feeding in River Taw, approx 60 Brent Geese and 30 Canada Geese feeding on the salt marsh.

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 10:06 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Brixham

At least five Great Northern Divers between Brixham and Paignton.

One poor view of Arctic/ Pom skua chasing Kittiwakes. Looked chunky enough to be a Pom.

40-50 Common Dolphins

Great Northern Diver Common Dolphin Common Dolphin
Great Northern Diver                         Common Dolphin                                 Common Dolphin

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 7:15 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Brixham

During a gull watch this evening with Pete Dennis hoping for an Iceland or Glaucous Gull we found a really smart 1st w Caspian Gull sat on the water close to a cleaning trawler. It remained for 15 minutes or so before flying off after another trawler heading for Torquay. Also at least 20 Great Northern Divers beginning to roost in small flocks out in Torbay and 30+ Common Dolphins.

Caspian Gull fw Brixham 5th Jan 2018Sketch of the 1st w Caspian Gull

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 7:12 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Milton Reserve - Reed Cut

The reed cut at South Milton Reserve will be going ahead as planned on Sunday (see Society News for details).  The weather is forecast to be favourable on the day and the area we plan to cut has remained dry(ish) despite the recent miserable weather.  We are meeting by the treatment plant at 10am and will be working about 400m downstream of the plant by the boardwalk.

If you need more details please call me on 07989717383

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Exmouth - Maer Rocks

A very brief sea-watch at first light for 30 minutes. 10 Common Scoter one of which could have been a Velvet as sure I had a flash of white on one but the choppy sea and distance made if difficult to get a positive ID. 3 Common Eider, too many Kittiwakes and Gannets to count. Several each of Razorbill and Guillemot (or should we be calling these Common Murres now that we are on IOC taxonomy?) heading west. Disappointingly, no Divers that I could see.

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 6:47 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

East Budleigh

At least three Hawfinch this morning in East Budleigh Churchyard. The birds seem to be disappearing into private gardens quite regularly so patience is required. These birds were first seen on New Year's Eve by local resident Dave W and have most likely been around for some time following the odd flyover by those waiting for the Italian type Sparrow.  More pics on www.creamteabirding.blogspot.co.uk

 

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 5:47 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Broadsands pm

Plenty of birds still in the bay between the squalls. Red-necked grebe distant in Elbery Cove, along with a couple of GN Divers, and others too distant for sure ID. Pale immature Arctic Skua on the sea where plenty of gannets diving. Two grey seals in very close, along with a razorbill, and at least 20 common dolphins spread across the bay.

Eds: Suspect the pale Skua was the Pomarine that has been around for several days - Arctic are much rarer in winter and probably worthy of a description!

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 5:39 pm by Simon Cost in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A long walk this morning produced: Firecrest, 6 Goldcrests, 3 Siskins, Green Woodpecker, 2 Stonechats, 2 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, Kingfisher, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 sinensis Cormorants and the 14 Wigeon still about.

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Instow Quay

Black Redstart this afternoon on boulders to the south of Quay. Exactly the same date and spot as I first saw the wintering bird last year!

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 3:21 pm by Mike Glover in General Birding

Broadsands, Paignton

Broadsands ~ as mentioned in previous posts over the last few days the “bay” is alive with bird life unfortunately during today’s visit everything was well out into the bay and even with a spotting scope identifying some of the birds that were little more than dark and white dots was a challenge.

That said 15 plus Kittiwake, 80 plus Gannet many diving from height, an Arctic Skua sat on the sea where they were fishing and at least two Common Dolphins moving through the same area, lots of Razor Bill and Guillemot, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Shag and several Great Northern Divers present.

Close to the beach a Seal.

In the back car park three Cirl Bunting (2M ~ 1F) three female Reed Bunting and a Greenfinch.

 

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 3:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry & South Efford Marsh

Southdown Farm: 6 Snipe, 430 Skylark, 30 Meadow Pipit, 12 Song Thrush, 60 Linnet, 17 Yellowhammer.

South Efford: 2 Water Pipit, Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, 15 Curlew.

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 3:00 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Topsham

At least 4 Hawfinches at Topsham cemetery near the water tower. Mobile and moving to the allotment hedgerow and Highfield Farm.

Posted January 5th, 2018 at 10:48 am by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 4th January 2018

Broadsands

Still very lively this afternoon with the Red-necked Grebe showing beautifully in Elberry Cove, the Slavonian and at least one Black-necked Grebe present, at least two Black-throated Divers, lots of Great Northerns scattered around, Gannets everywhere and two Bonxies and the (presumed same) Pom still terrorizing the Kittiwakes. Great birding!

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 8:31 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Black Redstart, Plymouth

1 male black redstart again feeding in palm trees outside Costa coffee opposite Drake Circus shopping mall entrance this lunchtime

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 6:50 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Wrafton Pond & Bassett's Ridge

1 female Tufted Duck on the pond + Lapwing resting on a tongue of the Ridge.

 

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 6:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Hollicombe and Preston, Torbay

Early afternoon, 5 great crested grebes and flock of gannets feeding off Hollicombe beach, plus a raft of 15-20 common scoter well offshore. At the north end of Preston, 24 turnstone, 2 oystercatchers and a little egret.

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 6:08 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

CHALLACOMBE FARM

CHALLACOMBE FARM
Hawfinch 1, Male Brambling 1, Five different thrushes plus lots of small stuff.

Fred Yorke and I saw the Hawfinch behind the row of cottages, it then flew into the top of the trees in front of cottages. We couldn't locate it again. Would think it was still there, the male Brambling was coming to the feeders

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 5:09 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

River Otter , Budleigh Salterton

A pair of Mandarin Ducks on the River Otter south of White Bridge this morning, found By Ray Hamilton.
Only my second sighting on the local patch, with the last birds during 2012.

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 4:26 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Kingsbridge & Slapton

Kingsbridge estuary ~ Shelduck 60 plus, Oystercatcher, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Curlew, Redshank, Little Egret, Greenshank, Red Breasted Merganser 15 plus and 8 Dunlin.

A very Stormy Slapton with a very strong off shore wind, very little seen over the sea Common Gull and Gannet, with several gull roosts on sheltered parts of the beach out of the wind.

On the Ley 3 male Golden Eye, Slavonian and Black Necked Grebe in with the Tufted duck, Little Grebe, a pair of Gadwall , high light was an Otter that was just in front of the duck feeding area at Slaton, so close that the ducks, Coots, Moorhens and Black Headed Gulls all left the water.

 

On the way home Bullfinch, Common Sandpiper (Aveton Gifford) and a flock of Fieldfare.

Eds: Steve both of the grebes in the photo are Black-necked Grebes. Slavonian are really clean (at this time of year) with a straight line of contrast on the face and lack the dark dropping into the cheek. They usually lack the fluffy back end and have a flatter crown.

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 3:16 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Topsham Cemetery

A couple of fairly brief views of 1 Hawfinch by the water tower at the back of the cemetery in Topsham this lunchtime.

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Plym Estuary

14 Wigeon still around plus Kingfisher, sinensis Cormorant (ad), 2 Shags & 5 Little Grebes.

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 1:03 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exmouth

A seawatch mid morning from the raised beach huts above Maer Rocks produced 4 Red-throated and one Great Northern Divers (all southwest), 2 Eider and 9 Common Scoter on the sea (plus one C Scoter SW) and many Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets and Kittiwakes past.

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 11:43 am by Terry Smith in General Birding

Broadsands

Alive with birds: 3 Black-throated Divers, 12 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver. 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonain Grebe, 400+ Auks (good mix of Razorbill and Guyillemots), 200+ Gannets, 40+ Common Dolphin.

1 Firecrest in marsh, 12 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 1 Reed Bunting. 

Posted January 4th, 2018 at 9:58 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

Hembury Woods

Early am:  1 Woodcock and 1 Green Woodpecker.

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 11:12 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Broadsands

Further to Mark's and Dave's earlier posts, by the end of the afternoon (3.30ish) there were 4 Black-thoated Divers present off Broadsands - by this stage they were working in "pairs".

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 9:42 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Penhill salt- marsh

About 3pm, one Spoonbill feeding in River Taw, approx 60 Brent Geese and 30 Canada Geese feeding on the salt marsh.

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 8:49 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd Jan River Yealm Puslinch

Late afternoon Red Kite flying with three Common Buzzards

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 5:31 pm by Ashley Crawford in General Birding

Broadsands

Following on from Dave’s post below - the Pom Skua still off Broadsands till 3pm at least. Also 2 Bonxies this afternoon often sat on the sea. 3 Black Throated Divers close inshore together off the first bench - Slav Grebe and Red Necked Grebe and a showy Firecrest in the back right hand corner of the first car park late morning. 

Nearby 5 Purple Sands Torquay Harbour below Living Coasts.

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 5:29 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Three Goosanders (drake and 2 redheads), 14 Wigeon (a good count for here) and an adult argentatus Herring Gull at the top end of the estuary this afternoon.Also Common Sandpiper, 6 Little Grebes, Kingfisher and Stonechat.

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 4:50 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Broadsands

The Pom Skua (presumably the same on as yesterday) was back in Torbay, chasing Gannets & gulls between Goodrington & the mussel beds(12:05 - 12:40 ish).

Also: 1 B-t Diver; 5-6 Gt N Diver (a conservative estimate); the R-n Grebe showed well, close in in Elberry Cove; also a Common Dolphin patrolled Torbay, also entering the cove at one point.

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 4:14 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Velator sandpiper

As I'm new to the area, is my sighting of a Common Sandpiper at Velator, Braunton (28th December) unusual at this time of year? I understand that more are perhaps overwintering here these days.

     

Eds: Small numbers winter on several of our upper estuaries 

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 11:31 am by Martin Batt in General Birding

Cremyll Street

Lovely sighting of a Kingfisher where you queue up for ferry,Plymouth side.New Year's Day at sunset whilst dog had quick swim

Posted January 3rd, 2018 at 12:33 am by Benita in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd January 2018

Topsham

Delighted to find a female Hawfinch today sat on top of a tree in a boundary hedge of the Sunhill Avenue allotment. I was viewing the bird from Highfield Farm. The finch appeared to drop into the cemetery where there are a number of yew trees. I was unable to relocate the bird in a brief search of the cemetery. Also 171 Fieldfares around Highfield Farm was a good count (only 2 Redwings).

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 8:03 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exwick Cemetery Exeter and Colaton Raleigh Common

EXWICK 

A flying lunchtime visit produced 3 visible Hawfinch I suspect that there are more there though. Not much else but a Common Pheasant was a surprise!

COLATON RALEIGH 

Arrived a bit too late as it was basically dark but managed a fly over Woodcock.

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Brixham

At least 21 Great Northern Divers in small roosting groups of up to 8 birds off the breakwater and in toward the mussel farm this evening. 1 Firecrest calling and going to roost in the quarry behind the Brixham Yacht Club. 

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 6:27 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Teigngrace / Stover / Haldon / Exminster

A Cattle Egret at Teigngrace mid morning with 4 Little Egrets north of road bridge near to where road is closed 

A male Hawfinch still at Haldon late morning by road under pylons near butterfly walk 

21 Goosander (2m) at Stover showing amazingly well on both the main lake and feeder streams 

The Drake American Wigeon relocated to Exminster Marsh early afternoon viewable from opposite entrance to Lions Rest Estate- Egyptian Goose near Turf 

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Bickleigh Bridge, Near Roborough

13 Mandarin Ducks. 7m,6f.

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 4:40 pm by Rob Hubble in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary & Beesands

Kingsbridge Est: Highlight was Black-necked grebe; Also: 12 Great-crested Grebe, 90 brent Geese, 120 Wigeon, 8 Pintail, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Grey Plover & Greenshank. superb view Water Rail from hide under the feeders.

Beesands: 79 Mute Swan, 3 Pochard, 39 Tufted

PS: Morning at KE ruined by shooters all over West Charleton Marsh!!

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 4:27 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Broadsands

A great hour at Broadsands the highlights being: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 2 Black-throated Divers, 5 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Skua, 1 Pomarine Skua (both Skuas lingering in Torbay). 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest  & 8 Cirl Buntings. 

red-necked Grebe Broadsands 2 Jan 2018 ML                                                                      Red-necked Grebe

Video link to distant B-t Divers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_ttInQbBF0 

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Velator Quay

Male Marsh Harrier seen at 11.30 am......suddenly appeared from within the reeds opposite the quay, and then flew over the grassed area next to RMB Chivenor, at a height of about 3 feet in the windy conditions.

Posted January 2nd, 2018 at 12:24 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Monday 1st January 2018

Kingsteignton

A Firecrest in the woods at Hackney Marshes this afternoon.

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 9:43 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Northam

2 Chiffchaff, Firecrest, Goldcrest and 2Bullfinches at Northam STW this morning. Just down the track a Kingfisher on the pond at Cedars Cleave, and balackcap in our back garden. 

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 8:35 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Cackling Goose

Just past Exeter Quay along with the Graylag cross and Mute Swans.

Cackling Goose
Cackling Goose

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 8:24 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Lower and Upper Tamar Lake

Lower Lake
Goosander 10, Tufted Duck 18 Song Thrush 1, Grey Heron 3, Mute Swan 1, Coot c25, Great Crested Grebe 5, Little Egret 3, King Fisher 1, Mallard C50 , Marsh Tit 3, Willow Tit 2, Bullfinch 2, Rook 7,  Wren1.

Upper Lake
1 Kestrel, 2 Redwing, 3 Grey Heron,  (the guns started on either side of the lake which cleared everything)

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 7:51 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Broadsands

Lunchtime visit before the wind got really silly. Viewing conditions still quite challenging but Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Northern Divers and, best of all, a Black-throated Diver quite close in keeping company with one of the GNDs providing a nice comparison of the two. No sign of the Firecrest in the car park but 2 Chiffchaffs and c15 Cirl Buntings were in the fields behind.

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 5:50 pm by Simon Tonge in General Birding

Plymouth

Finally caught up with the Lesser Whitethroat (blythi or curruca) in West Hoe Park today. Also female / imm Black Redstart there. 

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 5:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

River Tamar / Ernesettle creek

Year list off to a good start with 38 species, including:-

44 Black tailed Godwit, 34 Snipe, 40+ Oystercatcher, 40+ Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 3 Little egret, 7 Redwing feeding on berries, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Blackcap.

Happy new year everyone!

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 5:15 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Great northern divers, Plymouth Sound

1 near Turnchapel, 1 just off Sutton Harbour this afternoon. Record shot of the Turnchapel bird..


Posted January 1st, 2018 at 4:42 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Around Exeter

The last bird of 2017 for me was a Tawny owl calling in the garden just before midnight and despite the New Year’s Eve fireworks it continued to call into 2018.

A mornings birding mainly around the Exeter area gave a total of 66 species the reported Exwick cemetery Hawfinch’s were not overly visible but three sightings of single birds, also at the venue both Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Goldcrest and a reasonable number of Greenfinch.

Matford in the pouring rain gave several Snipe.

Exminster marsh gave flocks of Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Black Tailed Godwit, Brent and Canada geese.

Cockwood provided views of the Slavonian Grebe and a Great Northern Diver.

In the lanes towards Kenn and the A38 a hunting female Kestrel, female Reed Bunting and two Mistle Thrush.

At Stover country park no less than 36 Goosander, the most I have ever seen in one place, four Pochard (3 being drakes) around the feed station a surprise in the form of a solitary Stock Dove below the feeder with the squirrels, two male Bullfinch, Nuthatch and Marsh Tit on the feeder.

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 4:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery 1/1/18

Nice views of Pheasant (m), Mistle Thrush, House Sparrows (m & f) and Magpies with Crows, Various Tits and the odd Squirrel in support. Sunny day but biting cold windsnot much on the small birds spotted.

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 3:35 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe offshore by memorial car park. On ley 4m Goldeneye but very few wildfowl. Firecrest by bridge car park.

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 2:33 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exwick Cemetery

Usual 4 Hawfinch present at lunch time at top of the Cemetery 

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Exmouth

Ring-necked Parakeet flew south over Pound Lane / Scott Drive area of Exmouth at 10:20am.

Posted January 1st, 2018 at 10:39 am by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

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