Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from January 2020

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Friday 31st January 2020

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh

Just before midday - amongst all the usuals (including some smart Pintail), the drake Scaup was showing well and looking good. 

Posted January 31st at 9:55 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Upper/Lower Tamar Lake

Upper Lake this morning,

4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 1m Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Cormorant, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Goosander 1m 1f

Lower Lake,2 Willow Tit, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1f Great Spotted Woodpecker, 8 Goosander 2m 6f.

Posted January 31st at 7:23 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Otter Estuary.

17 Snipe feeding on the flooded scrapes this morning.  Also present were c350 Black headed Gulls, 21 Brent Geese on cricket pitch, Great Black backed Gulls, Shoveler, and a Water Rail heard, with good numbers of Wigeon and Teal.  At Whitebridge a Sparrow Hawk was patrolling over the marsh and fields.  2 Reed Bunting and a Goldcrest along the path.

Posted January 31st at 5:14 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News


Ten Goosanders, 3 male/7 female, on New Park Lake, Bovey Tracey. Viewable from road.

Posted January 31st at 4:57 pm by John Walton in Bird News

South Brent Sparrow sp

The Sparrow of undetermined origin continues to frequent my garden feeders and that of one of my neighbours across the road on Hillside.

It has some subtle minor behavioural traits that stand out from the resident House Sparrows, it frequently is present without any other sparrows being present, although it does feed and perch in their company, it has a Dunnock like habit of scurrying through the hedge that leads to the feeders and frequently feeds late into the afternoon when all the other sparrows have left for the day, may be nothing but over the time it has been visiting these minors differences are becoming apparent.

Posted January 31st at 4:34 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

2 drake and 1 duck Red-crested Pochard again this morning at about 10.15. Out on the scrape a few Teal survived yesterday's carnage of shooting. Also present a lot of Black-headed Gulls (one in summer plumage) and 3 Curlew. Over near Chivenor 3 Little Egrets.

In the reserve 3 Gadwall plus calling Tawny Owl and Water Rail - first I've recorded since 19th January.

Posted January 31st at 1:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thursday 30th January 2020

Barnstaple and Anchor Wood towards Fremington.

Water Rail, common sandpiper, good numbers of Redshank, curlew and 4 little egrets. 3Lapwing,1 little grebe, and 1 med gull. Very grey day. 

Posted January 30th at 6:23 pm by John elvin in Bird News

Beesands hide door handle and access to hide

The faulty door handle reported earlier this week has been repaired.  Access to the hide is however still flooded but can be negotiated in tall wellies.  The access will remain flooded until the outlet to the ley is cleared by the Widdicombe Estate.

Posted January 30th at 5:56 pm by Nick Townsend in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Still 3 Red-crested Pochard on the pond this morning at about 09.00. 2 Gadwall also present, and another 7 in the reserve, where a Chiffchaff was also present.

Posted January 30th at 1:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 29th January 2020

Wrafton Pond

As I arrived at Wrafton pond Mr Rob Jutsum was photographing three Red crested Pochards on the Barnstaple end of the pond. My efforts were taken from the wooden walkway. 

Two males and a female Red crested Pochard. Male Red crested Pochard A pair of Red crested Pochard
Two males and a female Red crested Pochard.


Posted January 29th at 10:54 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Barnstaple, old bridge.

Male Goosander diving around the old bridge early this afternoon. 

Posted January 29th at 7:52 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Beesands Ley

Ring necked duck still present at 11.30. The path to the hide is flooded

Posted January 29th at 6:05 pm by Jeff Hacon in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

2m + 1f Red crested Pochard on the pond this aft. Goldeneye still present.


Posted January 29th at 5:41 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Middle Soar/Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm

3rd 2020 farmland bird count very good with c.60 Cirl Bunting, c.130 Yellowhammer & 860 Skylark. Also: Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzards inc. one after frogs, 8 Meadow Pipit, 23 Magpie, 100 Jackdaw & c.100 Linnet.

Posted January 29th at 3:50 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

29/1/20 Pill at Fremington

Lovely view of the Glossy Ibis on the Pill at Fremington this afternoon, seen from the Army Camp side. Lots of Redshank and a Little Egret, some Oystercatchers and various Gulls. Bright and sunny which made everything stand out better

Posted January 29th at 3:23 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News

Tuesday 28th January 2020

Ilfracombe Rocks

More juv Iceland Gulls, around the Harbour, at least 2 individuals have showed up after last night's rough weather. A few Common and Med Gulls as well. 16 GBB Gulls and we'll over 100 Fulmar sat on the Sea. 

I've noticed today that one of the Grey Seal Pups feeding around the Pier has a Red flipper tag. Proving very difficult to get a photo! 

Iceland Gull   
Iceland Gull

Posted January 28th at 8:00 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Marshes becoming main High Tide Roost area

Black-tailed Godwit  Golden Plover
Black-tailed Godwit                                      Golden Plover

Posted January 28th at 6:28 pm by colin scott in Bird News

Ashclyst Forest, Nr Broadclyst, E Devon

Marsh Tit

Visited a couple of locations at Ashclyst Forest to put out bird seed and within seconds attracted a good few species including several Marsh Tit at both locations which suggests that they are quite plentiful here. Although it is one of the largest forests in East Devon I suspect it is not visited often by many birders.

Posted January 28th at 6:21 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Beesands Hide-WARNING

A note of warning for anyone visiting the Beesands Hide.  An East Devon member visited the hide today and became locked in due to a faulty handle on the door.  He eventually released himself but not before he had to call the Fire Services!  No laughing matter! 

Posted January 28th at 6:06 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On this morning's high tide: 265 Dunlins, 95 Redshanks, 54 Curlews, 11 Oystercatchers, Common Sandpiper, 4 Snipe, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 pairs), 6 Goosanders (2 drakes + 4 redheads), 12 Wigeon (7 drakes), 20 Mandarin Ducks (13 drakes), 6 Little Grebes, Great Northern Diver & 2 Grey Wagtails.

Posted January 28th at 2:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Monday 27th January 2020


A Red-necked Grebe off Shelly Beach this afternoon (1555 - 1700 at least). My first in Exmouth since Jan 2014. Also 25+ Cattle Egret on mud-spit north of Starcross and the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood. Yesterday 32 Cattle Egret in the same spot. This is a favoured pre-roost gathering spot at the moment, while tides are low. Photos of RNG on blog.

Posted January 27th at 5:57 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


In vicarage Lane, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.An unusual sighting of this elusive species, although I did see another very close to this site several years ago.

Posted January 27th at 5:14 pm by Alan K. Stearle. in Bird News

Greenfinch feeding

Today 6 greenfinch were feeding on cotoneaster berries for 10 mins or more. Not seen this before, (I did check for waxwings).

Posted January 27th at 1:54 pm by art symons in Bird News


First visit for a few days, which were spent in Spain. Highlight was seeing about 500 Cranes and 2 Black-shouldered Kites at La Janda.. It didn't just rain though - it bucketed down!

Back at the reserve this morning 4 Gadwall, a calling Tawny Owl and 2 Chiffchaffs.

Posted January 27th at 1:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Birding this morning morning at Broadsands produced:

1 Brambling, 1 Tawny Owl (roosting), 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 4 'collybita' Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrest & 2 Great Northern Divers.

Posted January 27th at 12:52 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 26th January 2020

Ottery St Mary

4 Goosanders (1 drake) and 3 Bullfinches (1 × F) on the Otter between OSM & Fluxton this afternoon

Posted January 26th at 7:54 pm by Martin Littlemore in Bird News

River Culm, Willand

3 cattle egret, 52 little egret, in large field beside Culm between Willand and Bradfield corner, 3.50pm.

Posted January 26th at 6:01 pm by James Morrison in Bird News

Horsey Island

Aft : Cycled along the Toll Road to Horsey & from behind the wall digiscoped (from several hundred metres away without disturbing them) the 2 Spoonbill & 2 Ruff foraging in the patchy drizzle.

Somebody walking the dog along the footpath between the White House & the Fishermens huts disturbed both the Spoonbills & the Ruff.

Posted January 26th at 5:21 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Red Poll sighting

A pair of red polls on our Niger feeder today in Teign Valley. First time sighting in our garden in 23 years.  Takes our total species count to 53.

Posted January 26th at 3:44 pm by Ian Lynch in Bird News

Saturday 25th January 2020

Various waders at Fremington Pill mouth today

A relatively early,  for us :) , visit to Fremington Quay this morning at 08:40  revealed a lone Grey Plover a single Bar Tailed Godwit about a dozen Dunlin and a brief glimpse of the Kingfisher. Images are distant & cropped record shots.

Bar tailed Godwit at Fremington Pill mouth
Bar tailed Godwit at Fremington Pill mouth

Grey Plover at Fremington Pill mouth
Grey Plover at Fremington Pill mouth

Posted January 25th at 8:03 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

plymouth railway station

70 ringneck parakeet

Posted January 25th at 5:32 pm by barry insull in Bird News

South Hams

Had a wander around the South Hams today, 10 Goosanders at Gara Bridge on the Avon and the Ring-necked duck at Beesands 

Posted January 25th at 4:47 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Friday 24th January 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Treecreeper again, 4 Goosanders (1 drake), Red-crested Pochard (female) & 15 Mandarin Ducks (8 drakes).

Posted January 24th at 9:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe still at Torcross. Fem / imm Marsh Harrier in Stokeley Bay this morning and Ireland Bay in the afternoon. Elsewhere 13 Gadwalls, 8 Wigeons, 7 Pochards and 6 Goldeneyes.

Posted January 24th at 8:35 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


The reed bed marsh behind the main beach (not the car park marsh) contained: 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs , 4 collybita Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Snipe.

Siberian Chiffchaff Broadsands 24 Jan 2020 ML

                                                                       Siberian (tristis) Chiffchaff

Posted January 24th at 3:39 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail.

Posted January 24th at 3:18 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Thursday 23rd January 2020

South Brent ~ Sparrow sp

After an absence of three days the "Italian" type Sparrow sp has spent most of the day in and out of the garden feeding on fats balls at my feed station.

Also around the garden today nice to have a Song Thrush in and my first Treecreeper of the year.

Posted January 23rd at 5:42 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exe Estuart cruise

A dull, but at least clear, Stuart Lines cruise this afternoon. Pride of place has to go to the Long-billed Dowitcher feeding with Black-tailed Godwits at Topsham and 30 Cattle Egrets (counts varied from 28 to 32, but I reckoned 30!) on a sandbank just north of Starcross at about 2.30pm. There were at least 22 Great Crested Grebes, plus the usual Slavonian at Cockwood and a Little Grebe and 2 Black Swans at Topsham. 3 Pintail were on Pole Sands (off the tip of Dawlish Warren) plus c130 of Lympstone Marines camp, where there were 12 Greylag Geese on the mud (distant, but I think that's what they were!); 50 Teal at Topsham and c30 Mergansers. A Peregrine was on Exmouth church tower. Waders were well scattered, especially between Turf and Lympstone, with 300+ Avocets (30+ at Powderham), several hundred Golden Plover, c100 Bar-tailed and several large flocks of Black-tailed Godwits (must have been well over 1000). 4 Greenshank scattered between DW and Powderham. A Grey Seal was hauled out onto a buoy at DW and another seal was seen briefly between Turf and Topsham.

Posted January 23rd at 4:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Ludwell Valley Park murmuration

There has been a decent sized starling murmuration over the playing fields in Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter recently - I am pretty bad at counting but I reckon it's of the order about 1000 birds and they have been performing really well this week, so worth going out at dusk to see if you're in the area :)

Posted January 23rd at 4:53 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News

Exminster - Exeter

This morning on the marsh, one each of Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Kestrel and Buzzard were spooking the Lapwings and ducks, and a Spotted Redshank was on the new scrape. In the estuary, the Golden Plover flock seemed to be bigger than ever (1000 plus?) and continued its mournful calling.

At Matford, a Sparrowhawk made it a five-raptor day, and my first local Gadwall of the Winter were on the main pond.

Along the canal, lots of singing Song Thrushes (plus the first Primrose).

Finally, in the crematorium grounds, Dipper and Treecreeper took the year list to 118.

Posted January 23rd at 3:35 pm by James Camden in Bird News


The reed bed marsh behind the main beach (not the car park marsh) contained:

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs (one calling- not sure which as they were together )  they regularly dropped into the grassy stubble field, 6 collybita Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Snipe.

On the feeding station in the 2nd car park: 17 Cirl Buntings, 4 Yellowhammers, 1 Reedbunting, 18 House Sparrows, 13 chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch and 4 Greenfinch.

Posted January 23rd at 10:38 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Laira, Plymouth

Firecrest in the garden this morning. Moving along Darwin Crescent.

Posted January 23rd at 10:10 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Tiverton Canal

One of three kingfishers busy on the canal last weekend.

Posted January 23rd at 9:57 am by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Stuartline Cruise 22 January 2020

What a difference a day makes! With challenging conditions at the start once in the Estuary the visibility improved and the visitors started to see plenty of birds on show. Curlews were in good numbers across the Estuary and the distinctive evocative calls were drifting around the estuary on a light breeze. Several Turnstones were seen on the mussel vessel off Dawlish Warren and on the shoreline at Starcross. The Slavonian Grebe was spotted with a Little Grebe in the normal place off Cockwood. Dark Bellied Brent Geese were in good numbers in this area with several flying near the boat. Cormorants and Shags were plentiful along this stretch with comparisons between the two easy to see. Greenshank were seen towards the River Kenn confluence with Common Gull, Black Headed Gull, and Herring Gull bathing in fresh water. First of the 300+ Avocets were seen at this lower location and good numbers were seen close to the boat all the way to Topsham. A few Bar Tailed Godwit and plenty of Dunlin were off Lympstone and were numerous across the mudflats all the way to Topsham.Grey Plover were seen at a distance along with Pintail close to Exton 300+ Black Tailed Godwits were showing well along the waters edge for visitors to see along with Redshank and two small groups of Golden Plover either side of the main channel near Turf Lock. A raft of 20+ Great Crested Grebe were viewed near the River Clyst confluence this sighting was the most seen all together this winter and a real treat for the visitors. Red Breasted Mergansers stole the show today with at least 20+ on show close to the boat. On our return back to Exmouth 200+ Lapwing and 100+ Black Tailed Godwit took to the air from Powderham Marsh and showed well from the boat. As we steamed past Dawlish Warren there were very close encounters of 8+ Sanderling feeding along the waters edge which was a real bonus this finished off a very productive cruise.

Red Breasted MerganserAvocetsSanderling
Red Breasted Merganser                         Avocets                                         Sanderling

Posted January 22nd at 6:14 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Melbury forest

At least 12 Crossbills,200+ chaffinches,3 brambling,ad male 2female,12:00-13:00

Posted January 22nd at 4:19 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


Pink-footed Goose and Barnacle Goose this morning from the viaduct among c400 Canada Geese. Also 3 Goldeneye.

Posted January 22nd at 2:44 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Tuesday 21st January 2020

Fremington Pill

An early morning visit to the Pill at low tide was productive but not one Cattle Egret in the trees or on the Pill (8 seen during recent visit).

The Glossy Ibis & Spotted Redshank showing well foraging in the tidal channel. A Kingfisher flew onto a perch nearby & entertained us for at least 30 minutes. Walking onto Fremington Quay close views of a single Bar tailed Godwit & a Spoonbill foraging, preening & resting.

Posted January 21st at 6:35 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Velator/Toll Road

6 Gadwall flew off from the reserve to Wrafton Pond this morning. This afternoon making full use of the golden globe in the sky, I cycled down the Toll road and at about 3p.m saw a Little Owl on the barn near Cross Banks. Having not seen one at all last year! 33 Redshank on the DWT area. Heaps of Golden Plover  - 2000+? and a few hundred Lapwing in and over the fields. 1 Greenshank on the pill. As I cycled home, just past the Toll House, a Barn Owl flew right across the road in front of me! It was then half-heartedly mobbed by a Black-headed Gull and I lost sight of it near Marstage Farm.

Posted January 21st at 5:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Radford Lake 21-01-20

Female Kingfisher showing very well, the male was also seen with the female, also a few Goldcrests showing well


Posted January 21st at 3:02 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Monday 20th January 2020

Haldon Forest

7 Siskin, female Brambling on butterfly trial, 1 Crossbill over car park, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dartford Warbler in thick gorse, Sparrowhawk.

Posted January 20th at 10:17 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Haldon Forest

One female Brambling this morning, close to the pylon, from the cycle track. No sign of any Hawfinches though.

Posted January 20th at 8:51 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Noted while topping the feeders up,

15 Goosander 7m 8f, 4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 2 Grey Heron plus Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Cormorants.

Posted January 20th at 8:05 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


This morning around the car parks: 22 Cirl Bunting 7 Yellowhammer (3 f & 4 m), 6 Reed Bunting in 2nd car park on the seed.

In the marsh behind the main beach: 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 1 collybita Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest & 1 Goldcrest. 

Didn't check the sea today - a bit choppy this morning.

Posted January 20th at 6:01 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Flete Estate bird survey...

A good days birding carrying out a RSPB / Devon Birds joint survey on the Flete Estate, 48 species identified if I include a Kestrel that was seen just off of our survey area, but still on the estate.

Numerous Goldcrest, Robin, Dunnock, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, an abundance of Corvids, 200 plus Rook, a leucistic Jackdaw, Raven, Green Woodpecker, GSWP, Wren, Stock Dove, Bullfinch, Skylark, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Mistle and Song Thrush.

From the SW coast path ~ Stonechat in good numbers, Oyster Catcher, good numbers of Great Black Back Gull, a Little Egret, Shag, Cormorant and numerous Herring Gull.

Highlights included, Firecrest (2), Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Red Legged Partridge.

Posted January 20th at 5:36 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Northam, near Torridge Bridge

A Blackcap was singing in my garden at lunchtime today.

Posted January 20th at 4:25 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News


Blue winged teal still present this morning showing well at 10.30

Posted January 20th at 4:04 pm by Jeff Hacon in Bird News


On the rocky end of Instow Beach were a good number of Oyster catchers, Wigeon, a few Curlew a Plover and loads of other waders.

Oyster catchersin flightA single Plover (Grey Plover?)
Oystercatchers in flight                     A single Grey Plover

Posted January 20th at 9:21 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Sunday 19th January 2020

South Milton Ley

After the reed-cutting, a Firecrest, 6 Chiffchaffs & a Water Rail by the sewage works. Also a Red-throated Diver over the sea at South Huish.

Posted January 19th at 10:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Harland Quay & Stoke

Hartland Quay : 1 Red-throated Diver

Stoke: 1 male Black Redstart, 2 Grey Wagtail , 2 Chiffchaff , 1 Firecest in churchyard and surrounding gardens 

Posted January 19th at 10:01 pm by Bob Bosisto Liberty Payne in Bird News

mear valley exmouth

9 ringneck parakeet mear vally making way over douglas avenue 4pm

Posted January 19th at 7:47 pm by barry insull in Bird News

Hope's Nose


A mobile Firecrest showing well around the top part of the site.

Posted January 19th at 5:53 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Chelston, Torquay

Firecrest again present by the grammar schools path at lunchtime, in the bramble thicket behind the Hawkins Avenue shops. Also along the path, goldcrest, wren, great, blue, long tailed and coal tits, song thrush, blackbird.

Posted January 19th at 4:47 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

5 barrows near Challacombe again.

Better weather this weekend,  saw small flocks of golden plover, starlings, numerous buzzards, stonechat, fieldfare and kestral.  No sign of the seo's but did come across a small flock of reed bunting. 

Male reed buntingFemale reed buntingBuzzard
Male reed bunting                 Female reed bunting                      Buzzard

Posted January 19th at 4:36 pm by Philip worth in Bird News


1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-necked Grebe and a cracking Firecrest.

Posted January 19th at 4:34 pm by Roger Duggleby in Bird News

Exe Powderham to Turf

WeBS count today a little different - 121 avocets well south of their usual haunts; flock near Powderham Church. About 65 pintail - fewer than last year but accompanied by a male goosander was a surprise. Single ruff on the new scrapes on the RSPB reserve seen on the way home. Heard chiffchaff in Station Lane.

Posted January 19th at 4:08 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

South Dartmoor

Dean Prior ~ Large mixed flock of Starling and Fieldfare, on hillside opposite the old race course.

Dartmoor from above Ashburton to Princetown, Challacombe to Widdicombe very little bird life to be seen on the higher moorland even Corvids were thin on the ground.

Prince Hall a Brambling with a flock of Chaffinch.

Between Bellever and the Warren House Inn a large mixed flock of Redwing, Starling and Fieldfare.

Challacombe ~ a sheep carcass attracting six Raven and two Buzzard.

Posted January 19th at 4:07 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Brixham 19-01-20

Plenty of Turnstones, no signs of the Divers, but a lone Guillemot on the seaward side of the breakwater.

Posted January 19th at 3:40 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Taw River

Yesterday afternoon (18 January) while walking back to Barnstaple from Wrafton pond, I photographed a number of birds that included: a Song Thrush, a Robin, a couple of Curlew, some Redshank, a Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank.  There were also a good number of Canada geese, a few Lapwings and some ducks of various makes and models. 




Posted January 19th at 1:26 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Taw River

Yesterday afternoon (18 January) while walking back to Barnstaple from Wrafton pond, I photographed a number of birds that included: a Song Thrush, a Robin, a couple of Curlew, some Redshank, a Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank.  There were also a good number of Canada geese, a few Lapwings and some ducks of various makes and models. 

Redshank Spotted Redshank
                                        Redshank                              Spotted Redshank -  Eds This is a 'Common' Redshank


Posted January 19th at 1:22 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Saturday 18th January 2020

Wrafton Pond

There is a Snipe in this photo, can you see it? There is a close-up of the snipe is another photo.

Can you spot the Snipe?
Can you spot the Snipe?

Here is a close-up of the Snipe
Here is a close-up of the Snipe

Snipe and Moorhen
Snipe and Moorhen

Posted January 18th at 9:14 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Spotted redshank - finally

Having been to Fremington Pill many times lately, and been disappointed, we finally get a proper look at the spotted redshank! We were also lucky enough to get it posing alongside a common redshank. 

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Spotted and common redshanks
Spotted and common redshanks

Posted January 18th at 9:04 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News


Clovelly: 6 Marsh Tit, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 1 Grey Wagtail , 2 Black Redstart ( feeding around visitor centre ) , 1 Harbour Porpoise. 

Posted January 18th at 8:23 pm by Bob Bosisto and Liberty Payne in Bird News

Slapton Ley

A glorious day to visit Slapton Ley, as I arrived two Stock Doves overhead and onto the Ley which was not as busy with bird life as had hoped for, virtually nothing to be seen on the sea from the Memorial car park, just two Shag and the odd gull.

On a hillside above the Ley, 33 Great Black Backed Gull in with a flock of Canada Geese.

Small birds included several Stonechat and an obliging Cetti’s Warbler that showed well at times.

On the ley ten plus Great Crested Grebe, one Little Grebe and one possibly two Black Necked Grebe.

At least five drake Pochard and two females, same count with the Golden Eye definitely two females and not less than five drakes.

Frogmore creek two Pied Wagtails and a Common Sandpiper.

Back home at South Brent several visits to the feeders from the male Sparrow of questionable origin.

Posted January 18th at 8:09 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Blue-winged Teal showing well for around an hour this morning, feeding and preening before disappearing into the reeds. Also 2 pairs of Gadwall, 3 m + 2f Tufted Duck, Teal and Mallard present, female type Black Redstart and Chiffchaff around the Coastguard Cottages and 3 Great Crested Grebe offshore with a pod of c.10 Common Dolphin.

Posted January 18th at 6:44 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm.

Second farmland bird count of the year turned up a record 1340 Skylark plus 93 Yellowhammer, 41 Cirl Bunting, 11 Meadow Pipit, 23 Magpie & 100 Linnet.

Posted January 18th at 6:29 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


At last, a lovely warm gentle sunny morning for a walk out to Baggy.

Between the gate by the pond & Baggy Point was a single Black Redstart on a warm south facing cliff face. (Distant record shot heavily cropped)  It did not stay iong in one place but we enjoyed it for 30 seconds or so but did not see it again.

On arriving at Baggy Point we could not find any Common Scoters but after approx 30 minutes a flock flew past heading south towards Hartland Point.

As last visit, a single Red throated Diver was present.

5 Med Gulls with the BH Gulls in Croyde Bay.

Posted January 18th at 6:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

fremington pill, isley marsh , lower tamar lake & roadford res.

we started the day at Fremington 9.30, in the first 5 mins we saw 8 cattle egrets flying out from the trees after roosting top end of the pil, then a glossy ibis came out from the same tree, 100 yards further up the road a spotted red shank was feeding in front of us,  after this we went to Isley Marsh , here we were lucky to see three spoonbills, a dog walker came along and walked down onto the shoreline and the dog was running everywhere, which put up all the birds, we spoked to the prerson about it , but it was a waste of time, " my dog is not out of control" was the answer, we left and went to Lower Tamar Lake,  here we saw  4 ringed neck ducks, willow tits, marsh tits and 11 goosesanders 2 great creasted grebe,  after this we went to roadford reservoir,  at the viaduct end , there were 100 plus canada geese, in with them there were 3 golden eye,  2 barnacle geese and a single pinkfoot goose. you could say " a good days birding!"

Posted January 18th at 5:59 pm by roger jewell& mike gibson in Bird News

Wembury Point

A stunning morning walk along the coast between Heybrook Bay and the Langdon Beach outflow pipe. Highlights were 10+ Cirl Bunting (5 singing), 20+ Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew, 1 Little Egret. 

On Langdon Beach, 30+ Meadow/Rock Pipit, 10+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail. 

Highlight of the morning though was a Black Redstart on the mud bank around the outflow pipe. 

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Male Cirl Bunting
Male Cirl Bunting

Posted January 18th at 3:58 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Plymouth Breakwater

Breakwater this morning:

26+ Purple Sandpiper

13 Knot

approx 120 Dunlin

plus one Porpoise nearby

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Knot and Dunlin
Knot and Dunlin


Posted January 18th at 3:52 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Chelston, Torquay, 15.00

Firecrest by the grammar schools public footpath, feeding in the bramble thicket behind the HawkinsAvenue shops.

Posted January 18th at 3:42 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

River Caen

A busy Grey Wagtail by the river bank this morning.  

Posted January 18th at 11:56 am by Karen Serle in Bird News

Broadsands 0830-1030

Enjoyable couple of hours looking out from the headland between Broadsands and Elberry. Black-necked Grebe at the latter end; at least 10 GND still in the bay although most further out than in recent days; 2 Red-throated divers were towards Torquay and the Black-throated Diver put in a leisurely appearance initially quite close in but slowly drifting out. At least one Pomarine Skua still around harassing the few Kittiwakes at 0900.

Posted January 18th at 11:24 am by Simon Tonge in Bird News

Friday 17th January 2020

Cattle Egret at Freminton Pill roost

We were surprised to see that the 8 egret which flew into the roost as we walked towards the Quay today were all Cattle Egret. 

Eight Cattle Egret
Eight Cattle Egret

Posted January 17th at 9:18 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

In lovely sunshine between showers: 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 drakes), 8 Goosanders (2 drakes), 14 Mandarin Ducks (7 pairs), 12 Wigeon (7 drakes), 3 Jack Snipe, 9 Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, 11 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlews, 2 Great Northern Divers, 3 Shags, Mediterranean Gull (ad), 7 Stock Doves & 8 Roe Deer.

Posted January 17th at 6:37 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Torbay & South Brent

A good mornings birding over at Torbay :~
On the outskirts of Paignton, three soaring and displaying Buzzards.
Broadsands car parks ~ Good numbers of Cirl Bunting, single male Yellow Hammer, at least thirty House Sparrow, female Bullfinch, Goldcrest, two Greenfinch, several Dunnock, good numbers of Goldfinch and Chaffinch.
Overhead Buzzard and two Raven.
Off of the sea wall the bay appeared to be alive with birds, an adult Mediterranean Gull in with the flock of Black Headed Gulls, between Broadsands and Elberry Cove there must have been at least twenty Great Northern Diver in view across the bay, small numbers of Guillemot, Five Common Gull, GBBG, Gannets and pod of five Common Dolphin near the Brixham oyster beds.
Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton ~ Black Necked Grebe at the end of a raft of fifteen Shag, Red Throated Diver, four Great Crested Grebe, nineteen Oyster Catcher, Gannet, Guillemot and Razorbill.
Off of Paignton the reported Black Throated Diver between the pier and the harbour.
Back home at South Brent a Tawny owl tucked up in its Holly tree roost and several visits from the male Sparrow of questionable origin.

Posted January 17th at 4:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Spotted redshank feeding at the pill (2pm). Red kite over the link road at Barnstaple.

Posted January 17th at 4:32 pm by Richard Gowen in Bird News

Tiverton to South Molton.

On the old Tiverton South Molton road just north of Rackenford 2m and 2f Brambling among a flock of c60 Chaffinches. Feeding on a wide grassy verge under beech trees close to a large white building.

Posted January 17th at 3:54 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Woodleigh Wood & South Milton Ley

Woodleigh Wood: Dipper, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Bullfinch, 2 Jay.

South Milton Ley: 3 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaff, Water Rail, Cetti's Warbler.

Posted January 17th at 3:32 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Some reward for keeping the pond clear today - I was treated to a Kingfisher successfully fishing in the pond.

Looking south towards Sherpa Marsh, a bird of prey perched on one of the embankments looked interesting, and when it flew was revealed as a male Marsh Harrier.

Posted January 17th at 1:33 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thursday 16th January 2020

South Milton Reserve - Reed Cut on 19 January Going Ahead

The South Milton sandbank breached earlier today and by this afternoon the lake covering the Reserve had disappeared.  The reed bed is a rather soggy but the reed cut planned for Sunday will go ahead - please check the Devon Birds Society news for detailed arrangements.

Posted January 16th at 7:26 pm by Nick Townsend in Bird News

Upper/Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Lake Goosander check.

16 Goosander 5m 11f (07:30)

Upper Lake

4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f.

Rod Mudge, P Buckley, N Hewitt

Posted January 16th at 6:30 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Broadsands - pm

 3-435pm After the worst of the rain had passed- 18 G N Divers and 1 BN Grebe(Elberry Cove) but the best were 2 pale phase Pom Skuas out in Torbay 415-420pm chasing Kittiwakes

Posted January 16th at 5:13 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


A Black-throated Diver with a couple of Great Northern Divers off Elberry Headland video clip here:  morning 

At least 15 more Great Northern Divers but conditions were far from ideal for a good check. 1 Black-necked Grebe in Broadsands Bay.

Posted January 16th at 12:21 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Plym Estuary and Cattewater

Today's bike ride around the River Plym in much calmer weather than yesterday gave a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull off Blaxton Meadow, a Great Northern Diver off the rowing club with another off Queen Anne's Battery, a winter pl. Guillemot at Mayflower Steps and a second at Mountbatten breakwater.

Posted January 15th at 11:39 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

 A coupler of hours at the pond produced some photos of female Shoveler, m & f Gadwall, Little Grebe, an unidentified duck and female Goldeneye.

Unidentified duck (Gadwall possible contender)
Unidentified duck (Gadwall possible contender)

Male Gadwall
Male Gadwall

Female Shoveler
Female Shoveler

Posted January 15th at 10:18 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


Pair of Siskins with Goldfinchs on feeders yesterday and again today...Actually heard the Male singing and the pair are very bold coming to within 6ft as I refilled the feeders...

Posted January 15th at 7:16 pm by Neil Graham in Bird News

Around the Exe

Bowling Green Marsh: Long-billed Dowitcher showing well; 4 Greenshank; 70 Avocet.

Exminster Marshes: 500+ Golden Plover, 200 Avocet, 200+ Lapwing, 70 Bar-tailed Godwit, Snow Goose, 3 Barnacle Goose, 360+ Brent Goose.

Cockwood: Slavonian Grebe, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Greenshank.

Dawlish Warren: 1 Black-throated Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, several Great Crested Grebe.

Posted January 15th at 5:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Stover CP and South Brent

A walk around Stover Country park this morning, good numbers of Tufted duck, Coot and Black Headed Gull, two female Pochard, three Mandarin duck (2M & 1F) and a Little Grebe.

Around the feeder at the viewing platform predominantly Great Tits, with a few Coal and Blue Tits, two Nuthatch, Robin and Chaffinch.

A Marsh Tit by the bridge at the top of the lake.

On the way home a large flock of "Thrushes" seen dropping into a field near Dean Prior, I suspect Redwings.

Back home at South Brent a Buzzard soaring on the strong winds being mobbed by a Herring Gull, around the feeders, female Bullfinch, Pied Wagtail, Long Tailed Tit, The Sparrow Sp of undetermined origin, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Dunnock and numerous Goldfinch.

Posted January 15th at 4:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Brisworthy Plantation (near Cadover)

At least 4 Brambling (2m, 2f) in finch flock of about 150 near top right edge of Brisworthy plantation as viewed from small car park at 3.30pm

Posted January 15th at 4:33 pm by Rob Hubble in Bird News


Watching from the headland this morning from 0830 -0930 produced: 53 Great Northern Divers (including a single raft of 21), 1 Black-throated Diver, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Common Scoter, 1 Ad w Mediterranean Gull, 1 adult pale phase Pomarine Skua plus good numbers of Gannet, Kittiwakes, Shags, Guillemts (approx 30+) and Razorbills and 1 Harbour Porpoise.

In the marsh between the car parks 2 Firecrest and 2 Goldcrest. plenty of Cirl Buntings and a male Yellowhammer on seed in the 2nd car park and the roosting Tawny Owl back in its favourite tree near the pitch and put hut (almost impossible to find unless you know the Ivy covered branch it is sat on!)

Posted January 15th at 4:10 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

In much improved conditions, this morning: Great Northern Diver, 6 Goosanders (3 pairs), 12 Mandarin Ducks (7 drakes), Red-crested Pochard (f), 12 Wigeon (7 drakes), 14 Snipe, Jack Snipe, 267 Dunlins, 143 Redshanks, 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Greenshanks, 10 Oystercatchers, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, 3 Grey Wagtails, 4 Stock Doves, a pair of Stonechats & 10 Roe deer. 

Posted January 15th at 3:13 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Firecrest - Bovey Tracey

One male rooting around the flower pots/buddleia stems in my urban back garden at 08.50 Good start to the day! 

Posted January 15th at 9:13 am by John Walton in Bird News

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Plymouth Cattewater

In the hope that storm Brendon may have turned up the odd 'wreck' I twice biked along Plymouth Hoe in gale force winds.  The only birds of note however were two Gannets only yards offshore off the Citadel, yesterday and today.

Posted January 14th at 10:39 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Tiverton garden

This green woodpecker has been visiting the front garden the last couple of days.


Posted January 14th at 2:31 pm by Richard Gowen in Bird News

Devon Goosander count

A minimum of 146, but no more than 154 Goosanders were found in Devon at dawn on 11 Jan. Highest site count was a record 66 roosting at Meeth, but there were only 47 definite roosters on Dartmoor reservoirs (max 20 at Avon Dam). Others were at Tamar Lakes (17), Clovelly Lakes (6), Plym Est (6), Lower Dart (at least 4). There were zero counts at Portworthy and Stover (though two flew through). At Wimbleball (Somerset, but close to county boundary) 64 flew out over the dam, and at least some of these were probably heading to Devon rivers to feed. Thanks to all who took part.

Posted January 14th at 10:21 am by Peter Reay in Bird News

Hen harrier

Late post for Sunday afternoon.Male hen harrier between Challacombe and Widdecombe .

Posted January 14th at 9:14 am by Ian samuel in Bird News

Red throated diver

1 red throated diver off the pontoon at Newton ferrers at lunch time for a couple of hours.

Posted January 14th at 6:44 am by Andy Quest in Bird News

Monday 13th January 2020

Cattle Egret at Freminton Pill roost

We estimated 12 Egret flew from the roost near the head of Fremington Pill today around 11 am leaving two behind which were Cattle Egret. They also flew soon afterwards & headed south. The image is a record shot, heavily cropped, of one of them. 

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted January 13th at 7:08 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News


 FYI  Very unusual plumage on this garden visitor this week not seen again since 


Posted January 13th at 4:43 pm by Rob Cleversley in Bird News

Seaton Wetlands

In spite of the bad weather forecast 18 members of DB attended this mornings fieldtrip to Blackhole Marsh and Colyford Common.  Water levels were high but did not prevent us from reaching the hide at Colyford Common.  A good number of Lapwing (c900) were at Blackhole plus three Little Grebe close to the Tower Hide and a single Ringed Plover seen from the Island hide.  A Kingfisher was seen from the Study Centre.  The main interest came at Colyford Common with several Med. and Common Gulls on the scrape, plus others.  A distant and fleeting sighting of a possible Bearded Tit by the river was called but not confirmed.   A Grey Phalarope posted earlier was not found and the report unconfirmed.

IMPORTANT East Devon Branch NoticePlease note that due to unforeseen circumstances East Devon Branch Committee is currently not able to communicate with its members via email.  Members may only read of changes or cancellations to its Programme here on this website. Prior to any fieldtrip please check here for any notice 24 hours before the event.  We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope to rectify the situation.  Thank you.

Posted January 13th at 3:16 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

White Wagtail at treatment works plus 7 Chiffchaff.

Posted January 13th at 3:14 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Highlight was a Treecreeper, my first here for some months. Also, Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker, Stock Dove, Grey Wagtail, 4 Nuthatches, 2 Great Northern Divers, 3 Goosanders (1 drake), 12 Wigeon (7 drakes), Red-crested Pochard (female), 15 Mandarin Ducks (9 drakes), 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Shags,a leucistic Black-headed Gull (adult) & 6 Roe Deer. 

Posted January 13th at 2:13 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


A very windy, but dry (in that there was no rain!) reserve this morning had a pair of Gadwall on the pond, 2 Little  Egrets nearby, and a Tawny Owl calling late morning. Best was a female Merlin exiting the reserve southwards towards the marsh.

Posted January 13th at 2:09 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sunday 12th January 2020


pm. 1 female Merlin, lots of Crossbill activity (with max of 12 together at one stage), 2 Bramblings in with a Chaffinch flock and nice views of a Green Woodpecker.

Posted January 12th at 9:05 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News


A single Great White Egret was in a field just north of the Goosemoor Reserve, while a flock of 17 Cattle Egret were in a field on the north side of the M5 bridge over the River Exe. 

Posted January 12th at 9:02 pm by Drew Lyness in Bird News


Alongside the usual small group of Cirl Bunting in the car park this evening, the bay at broadsands held at least 10 Great Northern Diver and a 2 pale-morph Arctic Skua (which were enjoying harassing the gulls fairly close in). The latter feels like a decent record for January.

Eds: suspect the two skuas were Pomarine Skuas, Arctic really will be in the southern oceans at this time of year -  there have been several records of Pomarine Skuas (much more likely - including pale phase adults or near adult birds) over the last month. Pomarine Skuas with broken tails or shredded tails can show pointed central tail feathers. 

Posted January 12th at 8:56 pm by Drew Lyness in Bird News

Ringed plovers

6 Ringed Plovers seen well from the car park in Budliegh Salterton by the river otter this afternoon. The birds were feeding on the mud flats on the tidal section when the tide was out. 

Posted January 12th at 8:10 pm by John Wilkes in Bird News


Several Great Northern Divers this afternoon, along with at least 3 Red-throated Divers. A group of 30+ Common Scoters flew in too.

Posted January 12th at 7:51 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

exmouth ringneck parakeet

douglas avenue 4pm 9 ringneck parakeet pre roost

Posted January 12th at 7:16 pm by barry insull in Bird News

5 barrows near Challacombe

According to the met office there was supposed to be a break in the weather, so I took myself up to 5 barrows near Challacombe this morning .

The weather was nothing like it was supposed to be, torrential rain and gale force winds.  Still,  there were large flocks of fieldfare of which I hadn't seen any this year until this morning ,  smaller murms of starlings,  golden plover,and mostly male stonechat and quite a few chaffinch. 

Posted January 12th at 6:04 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Baggy Point

The very tight Common Scoter flock was not far off the point when I arrived late morning. I counted over 60 but less than 70! Including 4 males, one of which was very black. Two brief views of an active Red-throated Diver, and a close-in dark morph Fulmar. All the Gulls and Jackdaws worked themselves into a frenzy but all I saw to disturb them was a male Sparrowhawk!

Posted January 12th at 4:57 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News



The Blue-winged Teal eventually showed from deep within the rushes/reeds at about 12.45.  It was best viewed from the hillside on the way up Southdown Cliff.  Thanks to the visiting Exeter birder for finding that - very easy to miss!  Also round and about the marsh and hide were 2 Chiffchaffs, Snipe, Cetti's Warbler, Goldcrest, Meadow Pipits and a pair of Bullfinches.  Decent mixed tit flock at the feeders and a large brown rat beneath them! 

On the sea a cracking Black-throated Diver - big thanks to the visiting Hampshire birder for picking that out!

A single female Black Redstart around the Cottages. 



Posted January 12th at 4:47 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


0850-1250 :

7 Cirl Bunting (4m,3f) 15+ Meadow pipit, 10+ Rock pipit, 5 Skylark, 3 Stonechat, 3 Bullfinch, 1 Linnet.

Posted January 12th at 2:30 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Saturday 11th January 2020

Wrafton Pond

Going through my photos today of my recent visit to WP and came across this Male Shoveler in flight over the pond.

Male Shoveler
Male Shoveler

Posted January 11th at 8:31 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Exe Estuary cruise

This afternoon's Stuart Lines birdwatching cruise was excellent, with a Great Northern Diver and a feeding group of 30 Shags at Exmouth, the Slavonian Grebe and the first of about a dozen Great Crested Grebes off Cockwood, a Peregrine over the boat off Powderham and big flocks of Golden Plover and Black-tailed Godwits (>1000 of each) around Turf, where there were c140 Knot and a few Ringed Plovers and Sanderlings.  Pride of place, however, went to the Long-billed Dowitcher, on its own on the river channel between Topsham and Turf (bit of a fluke actually finding it!).  Less exciting were 2 Black Swans at Topsham and a Snow Goose in fields with Canadas near Turf. There were only small numbers of Mergansers and Pintail, maybe around 30 of each, but relatively good numbers of Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits. Gull numbers were very impressive in late afternoon - hundreds of Common and Great Black-backs, though only half-a-dozen Lessers.

Posted January 11th at 7:35 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

The monthly Goosander count on the Lower Lake saw 6m 10f (on the Upper Lake 1m 1f), 4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 7 Tufted Duck , 4 Cormorant, 4 Long-tailed Tie, 2 Willow Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 1 Nuthatch, c150 Black-headed- Herring-Lesser Black-backed and Black-backed Gull, 1 Green Sandpiper, 6 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted January 11th at 7:02 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

South Brent Sparrow sp

It took until the mid afternoon to show up but the Sparrow species subject to previous days posts came back into the garden feeders, poor light and rain did not help when it came to watching it.


Last evening a flypast from a Tawny owl and shorty after that a Barn owl calling on and off until 10pm.

Mid morning good numbers of Redwing flying between hillside and the Forder valley, one flock of 100 plus birds and numerous smaller flocks, a flock of 30 plus Goldfinch over the garden.

At least six Greenfinch on the garden feeders one being a BTO ringed female, GSWP, Nuthatch, male Bullfinch, nine Long Tailed Tit which got very agitated when a Sparrowhawk went over.


Posted January 11th at 4:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

A39 - Kilkhampton to Woolsery

A day late (Friday) - a raptor filled day in the sun. A hunting Barn Owl and a Woodcock on the way to the Kilk co-op first thing. c200 Golden Plover in the field below Urqhuart ltd near Eastcott - then fantastic afternoon views of a male kestrel, a male Hen Harrier quartering along a hedgerow and a female merlin resting on a culm grass mound.

Posted January 11th at 3:52 pm by Steve Wheale in Bird News


2 Firecrest at Lea Mount, Dawlish

Posted January 11th at 3:06 pm by paul barker in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A pre-dawn start as part of the Goosander roosting count (6 birds including 2 drakes present first thing). Also: 12 Mandarin Ducks (7 drakes), 11 Wigeon (7 drakes), 217 Dunlins, Snipe, 9+ Little Grebes, Red-crested Pochard (female), Grey Wagtail, 3 Bullfinches & 2 Great Spotted & a Green Woodpecker.

Posted January 11th at 11:58 am by Pete Aley in Bird News

Ringed Avocet on the Tamar

Apologies for the rather soft image - the Avocet was a long way off! Can anyone identify the rings? There were a lot of Avocets but I did'nt see any other with rings.

Ringed Avocet
Ringed Avocet

Posted January 11th at 10:50 am by Tony Hooper in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Other birds at Wrafton pond.

Female GoldeneyeMute Swan splashing around in the pond.
Female Goldeneye                            Mute Swan splashing around in the pond.

Posted January 11th at 12:48 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

It was a good day for me on Friday 10 January at the pond. Lots of gulls, seven Shoveler M/F some in flight, female Goldeneye showing well and the usual Swans, coots, Mallards and Moorhens. 

Female Shoveler
Female Shoveler

Male Shoveler
Male Shoveler

Shovelers in flight
Shovelers in flight

Posted January 11th at 12:45 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Friday 10th January 2020

Start Point area

I am hoping to get some help identifying the redstart I photographed at Lannacombe beach today. is it a female black redstart? Eds - yes a female / immature Black Redstart

I also attach a picture of the ring necked duck at Beesands this afternoon.

Female black redstart?
Female black redstart?


Ring necked duck
Ring necked duck

Posted January 10th at 11:19 pm by Pete Saunders in Bird News

Baggy Point

66 Common Scoter at Baggy early am & 1 Red throated Diver.

Posted January 10th at 10:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Dartmoor -10.01.2019

Lovely day on Dartmoor. Mixed flock of Fieldfare outnumbering Redwing on the Wallabrook. 2 Siskin in the top of pines. Both Grey and Pied Wagtail. Nearby at least one Brambling in with a flock of 60+ Chaffinch. Only raptors seen, 3 Buzzard and one hovering Kestrel. A healthy looking fox near Soussons. More good weather please!

Fieldfare and Redwing -Wallabrook - 10/1/2020
Fieldfare and Redwing -Wallabrook - 10/1/2020

Pied Wagtail- Wallabrook- 10/1/2020
Pied Wagtail- Wallabrook- 10/1/2020

Posted January 10th at 8:47 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

South Brent ~ Sparrow Sp

The Sparrow sp subject of yesterday's post was back around the garden feeders several times today, allowing me to take numerous new photographs, despite the images being better than yesterdays I am just as confused as to its identity, I am tempted to suggest a Tree Sparrow X House Sparrow hybrid, there is plenty of scientific evidence to be found on the internet to support such a hybrid but none of the studies that I have read have quality supporting images.


The bird has the white collar and a pale buffy under belly as in a Tree Sparrow, in other respects it matches the description given in Collins for the Italian Sparrow, the distinct white cheek patch and collar I feel negates it being a colour morph House Sparrow but who knows for sure?

Eds: see the link here of a very similar bird.. 

UPDATE ~ Following above Eds comment ~ I have read both the documents contained in the above link ~ viewing the images the bird appears identical to the bird subject of those documents other than the beak my bird has a coloured yellow and grey beak while the Budleigh bird has a black beak, this may simply be down to breeding condition.

Posted January 10th at 6:08 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Brixham Area & Stove CP

Bit of a rush round today in great viewing conditions:

Mansands: Blue-winged Teal showing well - lifer for me!  Water Rail, 2 Bullfinch, Cetti's Warbler.

Berry Head: Black Redstart, 2 Med Gull, 400+ Guillemot; 4 Razorbill, 15+ Fulmar.

Brixham Breakwater: 5 Great Northern Diver, 12 Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone.

Stover CP: male Mandarin, 3 Goosander, 2 Pochard, 2 Marsh Tit, 5 Nuthatch, 2 Treecreeper, 23 Long-tailed Tit,1 Lesser Redpoll.

Posted January 10th at 5:05 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Friday 9th January - Brixham Harbour

Enjoyable walk in glorious winter afternoon sunshine around Brixham harbour and the breakwater. Besides the usual gulls and shags there were 11 swans and 2 mallard ducks in the inner harbour. 2 great northern divers, a black headed gull and an oyster catcher at the end of the breakwater.

Posted January 10th at 4:52 pm by David Roper in Bird News

exminster marsh

Three barnacle geese and a snow goose seen in the fields by the lionsrest,. At turflocks in the field after the pub two Egyptian geese 

seenby the fir tree.

Posted January 10th at 1:37 pm by roger jewell& mike Gibson in Bird News


On 9th January my wife and I saw a Redstart in the hedgerows near Blackawton in South Devon

Posted January 10th at 9:36 am by Marcus Childs in Bird News

Thursday 9th January 2020

Sparrow Sp ~ South Brent

Seen around the feeders in my South Brent garden this afternoon ~ open to thoughts on what species or morph of Sparrow it may be.. have discounted it being a Tree Sparrow as it does not have the diagnostic black cheek patch.

Posted January 9th at 9:37 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

In addition to Steve Cox's report, in the afternoon the Black-tailed Godwits increased to an estimated 800 to 1000 birds.  A single male Scaup and a female/juv type Marsh Harrier also put in appearances.

Posted January 9th at 8:46 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

On the 'Panny' Brook from Woodwater Lane bridge a group of six Green Sandpipers, (a couple may have been Common Sandpiper), at least 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Raven.

Posted January 9th at 8:34 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A lunch time visit today. Teal 130, Wigeon 230, Shoveler 32, Pintail 8, Tufted 3, Pochard 4. Black-tailed Godwit 130+, Lapwing 10, Greenshank 4, Ruff 1 & Long-billed Dowitcher 1st wint.

Posted January 9th at 5:52 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News


Smart looking male Blackcap on my fat feeder in the garden this afternoon. Also a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the peanuts, and several Long-tailed Tits.

Posted January 9th at 3:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Burrator Reservoir

At least 3 Bramblings in with a flock of 100+ chaffinch flitting about in the beech trees near the main dam this lunchtime before the rain arrived and a Tawny Owl also heard calling. 

Posted January 9th at 3:40 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Stover Lake

1 female type Goosander this morning, although it flew off high at around 11.00. Also a male Wigeon which is fairly unusual for Stover. 1 Pochard, 2 Mandarins, 1 Kingfisher.

Posted January 9th at 1:31 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Wednesday 8th January 2020

Plym Estuary

A relatively short look, late afternoon produced: 6+ Goosanders (3 drakes & 3+ redheads), Great Northern Diver, 3 Shags, 6 Mandarin Ducks (3 pairs), 12 Wigeon (7 drakes), 6 Greenshanks, 234 Dunlins, 132 Redshanks, Stock Dove & Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted January 8th at 9:35 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Tawny Owl seen in the reserve this afternoon. 2 Stonechats and 2 Kestrels just outside.

Posted January 8th at 8:51 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

The Lower Lake this morning,

8 Willow Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 1m Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Goosander.

Upper Lake.

2 Willow Tit (at a new feeding station), 4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 2 Greylag Geese, c50 Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 4 Cormorant, 9 Tufted Duck,

1 Grey Heron.

Posted January 8th at 7:40 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Mansands & Beesands Ley

At Man Sands (11:10 - 12:35) Blue-winged Teal in sight, occasionally out in the open with plenty of views of markings along with Gadwall were the highlights.

At Beesands (Widdicombe) Ley (13:30 onwards) the drake Ring-necked Duck was easily visible from the path leading to the hide (although wellies were definitely needed). Common Gull and Great Crested Grebe also present.

Posted January 7th at 4:31 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

South Hams

Aveton Gifford: Common Sandpiper on River Avon; At treatment works 12 Chiffchaff, 7 Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail.

Bowcombe Creek, Kingsbridge: Greenshank.

South Huish Marsh: Very quiet with 3 Black-tailed Godwit & 11 Ringed Plover.

Posted January 7th at 1:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Topsham Rec

The Long-billed Dowitcher was in with the Black-tailed Godwits this morning along with 1 Ruff. Also 4 Pochard.

Later at Topsham Rec, a Marsh Harrier appeared over the reedbed being pursued by a Crow.

Posted January 7th at 1:47 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Wembury Bay

A Water Pipit amongst the Rocks and (a few) Meadows at the west end of the beach; also, Black Redstart (female/imm), Grey Wagtail & a cliff-climbing Stoat!

Posted January 7th at 1:32 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Monday 6th January 2020

Wrafton Pond

Another duck as well as the Shoveler, a Scuap I think? Eds - Yes that looks like a drake Scaup.



Posted January 6th at 7:33 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Three or four Shovelers photo of one high iso as light failing. Male & female Gadwall and a couple of Scaup about ten Collard Doves in a tree near the board walk and a Cetti's Warbler somewhere in the reeds.


Posted January 6th at 7:02 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Good numbers of Dunlins on Blaxton Meadow (c270) & 3 Turnstones were unusual here. Also, a pair of Stonechats, Green Woodpecker, Great Crested Grebe, 4 Goosanders (2 pairs), 10 Wigeon (6 drakes), Jack Snipe, Common Sandpiper & 15 Snipe. 

Last night, 3 Great Northern Divers on the lower estuary.

Posted January 6th at 4:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Yarner Wood

Spent about half an hour in the pond hide late morning and while the feeders were fairly quiet, the highlight was brief views of a Firecrest.

Posted January 6th at 1:34 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Sunday 5th January 2020

Ilfracombe Pier

Ilfracombe Pier I pair of Purple Sandpipers. Black Redstart on the Cove above the fisherman's stores. Great Northern Diver feeding @ Watermouth Harbour.

Also good numbers of Harbour Porpoise from Torrs point to Rillage. Maybe a dozen or more. 

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Posted January 5th at 7:38 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News


This morning at Meeth,

2 Marsh Tit, 9 Long-tailed Tit, 6 Blue Tit, 2 Wren, 4 Blackbird, 2 Gadwall 1m 1f, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 1 Little Grebe, 32 Coot, 1 Grey Heron, 9 Mallard, 24 Tufted Duck.

Posted January 5th at 6:32 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Torquay to the Exe

Haldon Pier, Torquay Harbour :~ Seven Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, three Rock Pipit, Shag, Cormorant, looking into the bay a distant Great Northern Diver, GBBG, twelve Mute Swan.
Darts Farm:~ Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, a mixed flock of 300 plus Brent Geese and a good number of Curlew, Heron, Widgeon and Canada Geese.
Goosemoor :~ two Curlew and a Water Rail.
RSPB BGM :~ Lots of birders filling the hide, Widgeon, Teal, Pintail, Shoveller, Tufted and Pochard ducks, nine Greylag geese, Snipe, large number of Black Tailed Godwit, despite the large numbers unable to spot any ringed birds, Lapwing, the LB Dowitcher flew out towards the viewing platform from the back of the marsh.
From the viewing platform the estuary was alive with birds, Avocet 20 plus, Kingfisher, Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Common Gull in good numbers, a Ruff flew past the platform and dropped into the field to the left close to the footpath, Little Egret, plenty of Brent geese flying over.
Goat Walk:~ large flocks of waders on the far side of the estuary, well over 200 Avocet, large numbers of Black tailed Godwit, Common Gull in good numbers, as were Curlew and Dunlin, one great Crested Grebe, several Red Breasted Merganser.

Posted January 5th at 4:57 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Totnes Weir

Five goosanders (3M, 2F) below Totnes weir today

Posted January 5th at 4:54 pm by Philip Strange in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh.

Highlights from an early morning walk on the rising tide were a Great Northern Diver, 31 Pintails, 2 Gadwalls and around 500 Jackdaws leaving a roost in Halwell Woods.

Posted January 5th at 2:07 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Wrafton pond, Velator reserve

Odd, when I got to Wrafton Pond (after 10 this morning), hoping to see the drake Goldeneye, I couldn't find it! Or the female. But the Scaup was present, along with 5 Gadwall and 3 Shoveler.

In the reserve 2 more Gadwall, 3 Redwing, Water Rail, and two Tit flocks with good numbers of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, plus a Chiffchaff.

Posted January 5th at 1:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Dawlish Warren Whooper Swans

2 Whoopers over Dawlish Warren at about 11am

Posted January 5th at 12:23 pm by steve ayres in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

I went down to the pond earlier today (08:30-10:00) to hopefully see the Scaup. No sign again, and no Gadwall either. Male and female Goldeneye still present, and a snipe flew overhead and over the reserve towards Velator (you'll have to excuse the photo quality from the back of my camera). Further up the lane towards Chivenor there were 6 or 7 Goldcrests flitting around.

Posted January 5th at 11:19 am by Sam Aston in Bird News

Saturday 4th January 2020

Sparrow Hawk

While driving between the Roundswell and Lake roundabouts today at around 13.30hrs I saw a Sparrow Hawk chased, catch and kill a Wood Pigeon. The chase happened in front of my car with the kill on the side of the road.

Posted January 4th at 11:28 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Out and about

Lower Tamar Lake. 4 Ring-necked Duck (at last - 5th attempt!) + at least 21 Goosander. Marsh and Willow Tit at all the feeding stations (thanks Rod!) Several Jays seen and Nuthatch on the feeders by the hide.

Skern: 54 Knot, at least 3 Sanderling, 2000 ish Golden Plover, 100+ Wigeon, 4 Brent Geese, good numbers of Dunlin, Grey Plover and Curlew. 1 Greenshank and 1 Roger Doble (!)

Fremington Pill: We only really stopped to check out the Egret roost, so were pleased to find the Spotted Redshank at the top of the pill, and then Andy found a Common Sandpiper too. Waited until dusk and at 4.25 5 Egrets came in to the roost - ALL of them were Cattle Egrets. A few minutes later 2 Little Egrets, followed by 3 more.

Posted January 4th at 6:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Between 11:30-12:20 today: Male and female Goldeneye on the pond, 6 Shovellers, just the one Gadwall and no sign of the Scaup. Nice views of a rat swimming out to fetch bread that others had just been feeding the gulls (I believe they were aiming for the Mallard's). On the walk back up towards Chivenor, fantastic views of a goldcrest flying out to catch midgies above the path. One of those "why did I leave my camera at home??" Moments.  Not bothered about me standing 3-4ft away at all.

Posted January 4th at 6:04 pm by Sam Aston in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Highlight was a fly through female / second calander year Marsh Harrier. Also still Black-necked Grebe ( Stokeley Bay ) and 2 Firecrest ( Quarry ). Elsewhere 22 Wigeons, 6 Pochards, 7 Goldeneyes, 160 Common Gulls, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Single Red-throated Diver offshore. Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming Torcross and an unseasonal Peacock butterfly near the Quarrry.

Posted January 4th at 6:04 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Beesands and Slapton Leys

The drake Ring-necked Duck showed well at Beesands Ley prior to 11.40.

On the way, a Kingfisher perched close to the slipway/waiting area for the Higher Ferry at Kingswear.

At Slapton Ley:

Black-necked Grebe and at least 8 Goldeneyes from the Stokeley Bay Hide.  In Ireland Bay at least 50 Common Gulls and a further drake Goldeneye.  On the path to the quarry 2 Chiffchaffs.  In and around the quarry at least 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Redwings, 2 Song Thrushes and 2 Mistle Thrushes. 

Nice to meet some local birders today at the various locations.  Hope my two boys didn't shatter the peace too much!

Posted January 4th at 5:48 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

mear valley exmouth

9 ringneck parakeet

Posted January 4th at 5:37 pm by barry insull in Bird News

Middle Soar/Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm

First general count of the year turned up 91 Canada Geese, 5 Red-legged Partridge, 11 Stock Dove, 870 Skylark, Green Woodpecker, 24 Magpie, 60 Jackdaw, 100 Rook, 135 Carrion Crow, 80 Linnet, 32 Cirl Bunting & 6 Yellowhammer (180 here in Jan.2018 - no winter food!).

Posted January 4th at 3:40 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

At high tide:

5 Great Crested Grebe, 38 Teal, 4 Mute Swan, 11 Redwing, 1 Blackcap, 1 Sparrowhawk.  114 Snipe on Ernesettle creek.

Posted January 4th at 3:33 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

3 Great Northern Divers, 6 Goosanders (2 drakes + 4 redheads), 241 Dunlins, 136 Redshanks, 3 Mandarin Ducks (2 drakes & a duck), Teal (female), 10 Wigeon (6 drakes + 4 ducks), Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail & Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted January 4th at 1:29 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Friday 3rd January 2020


The 1st-w drake Blue-winged Teal showed pretty well first thing at Mansands, in its' usual area at the east end of the pools. Also 6 Bullfinches around the feeders and Green Woodpecker, Cetti's Warbler & Chiffchaff heard.

At Brixham, 6 Great Northern Divers & 7 Purple Sandpipers. At Broadsands, Black-necked Grebe, Common Scoter, 6+ Great Northern Divers, Peregrine (buzzing the Scoter!), Great Spotted Woodpecker & c15 Common Dolphins. 

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal

Posted January 3rd at 8:14 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Otter Estuary, Otterton STW and Woodbury Common

A day around the Exe Estuary, Budleigh and Otterton and East Devon Commons revealed a New list of 96 species. Highlights included:

LB Dowitcher and Ruff still at Bowling Green Marsh
Black Redstart Exmouth Marina
Water Pipit Otter Estuary Scrapes
Red-throated Diver off Otterton STW
Merlin at dusk hunting the Commons

Posted January 3rd at 7:12 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Mt Batten early eve

3 GND on Cattewater side, 2 Med gulls, 2 gannets close inshore.

Posted January 3rd at 6:03 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

N Devon

Spent the morning with Chris Dee at a new ringing site near S Molton. We were trying to catch Finches, of which there were several hundred present - mostly Linnets  - 3/400 - but 250 Chaffinches too. All we caught were 2 Robins and 7 Bullfinch!

Later in the reserve surprised to see 6 Gadwall present along with a small flock of Redwing - the first for some weeks. Also saw a furtive Water Rail. Little Egret out on the scrape.

Posted January 3rd at 5:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Barn Swallow hawking for insects along the edge of Ireland Bay - thousands of" chironomids" on the wing. Bird checked to make sure was not something tropical! Also: Black-necked Grebe, 6 Pochard, 4 Goldeneye, several Common Gull.

Posted January 3rd at 4:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Newton Abbot area

Decoy Country Park ~ Kingfisher, Tufted duck, flock of Long Tailed Tit and Sparrow hawk overhead.

Pen Inn ~ Soaring Sparrow hawk.

Passage House Inn ~ Curlew, Oyster Catcher

Rv Dart near Buckfastleigh female Goosander.

Back home at South Brent ~ Raven, Rook, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Song Thrush, Redwing, GSWP, female Bullfinch, Long Tailed Tit, feeders still being overrun by a flock of excitable Starling.

Raven ~ South Brent  

Posted January 3rd at 3:51 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Male Ring-necked Duck, 55 Tufted, 22 Gadwall.

Posted January 3rd at 12:16 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Torquay Harbour


11 Purple Sandpipers at Haldon Pier. 

Posted January 3rd at 11:51 am by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Thursday 2nd January 2020

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake.

30 Goosander 14m 16f, all fishing, 1m Gadwall, 1m Hen Harrier, 2 Tufted Duck 1m 1f, 4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Cormorant, 2 Teal 1m 1f, c50 Black-headed Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Wigeon 1m 1f, 1 Snipe.

Posted January 2nd at 7:05 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Devon (North)

Andy L and I started by going to Ilfracombe, hoping for Black Redstart and Iceland Gull. We saw neither. Grey Wagtail at the top end of Bicclescombe Park, Stonechat near where the old Theatre was. As we rounded the corner on Capstone and looked into the cave, single Purple Sandpiper.3 Fulmar over on the cliffs at Hillsborough. On top of the grassy bit of Capstone 4 Rock Pipits. We looked at a lot of Gulls, a lot of sea, and lots of rooftops. Andy dropped me in Braunton and headed out to Baggy. 50+ Common Scoter off the point, 5 Gannets drifted south, as indeed did all the Scoter. a lone LBB Gull drifted south with lots of Herring and BH Gulls. As I turned to go I found a Black Redstart at the point where the coastal path turns sharply right up the hill - bit annoying having spent 2 hours trying in 'Combe. At the point where the old sewage outfall used to be I could see several BH gulls flying and landing on the water. Closer inspection with the scope revealed at least 1 Mediterranean Gull. At Down End no Scoters but a pair of Raven. Sparrowhawk in the reserve, 8 Shoveler 3 Gadwall and the Scaup on Wrafton Pond.

Posted January 2nd at 5:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Garden & River watch

Have just re-positioned my bird feeders due to alterations in my garden. Was rewarded yesterday with a handful of Long Tailed Tits, a Coal Tit and a male Blackcap. Late afternoon walk along Pottington side of Tarka trail produced good numbers of Redshank, Lapwing, Oystercatchers. Some Black Tailed Godwits very close to the trail down on the mud. A single Kingfisher and a solitary Little Egret, Cormorant and Shelduck. A Large flock of Canada Geese in the fields next to the A361. Poor visibility made up for by the large and easy views of the birds.

Posted January 2nd at 4:46 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News

River Dart, Staverton

New Year's day walk along the Dart from the station towards the village  in very damp conditions. Saw approximately a dozen Mallards, pair of Dippers and Little Grebe and 2 Goosanders.

Posted January 2nd at 2:15 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News


A single male Hawfinch on Haldon Forest this morning. Feeding in aMay Beech tree just above the Butterfly Walk 

Posted January 2nd at 12:46 pm by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in Bird News

Wednesday 1st January 2020


Nice couple of hours down at Broadsands this afternoon,couple of Song Thrush calling, lots of Gold finch, Cirl bunting and 3 Firecrest and a Goldcrest in the hedges by the fields. also a Chiffchaff, and Grey wagtail. On the sea Great Northern Diver, and amonst the Gull flock, a Med. Gull.

Posted January 1st at 10:20 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Around the Teign Estuary

A total of 86 species recorded today, the highlights being: Scaup, Firecrest and Marsh Tit at Decoy Country Park, three Green Sandpipers at Teigngrace, 10 Avocets on the estuary, a Dipper on the River Lemon, and 34 Common Scoters, two Mediterranean Gulls and three Great Northern Divers off Teignmouth.

Posted January 1st at 9:00 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Plym Estuary

The almost daily bulletin of Goosander numbers on the Plym is interesting, but does anyone yet know whether they roost there at night or fly in from, say, Burrator, or both? The slight variation in numbers and sex ratios indicates at least some daily changes in the individuals present, but not where they roost. Has anyone had a look around 07:30 or 16:00? Recent observations have shown that small numbers present during the day on the lower reaches of both the Dart and  the Taw may also roost at these sites. 

Posted January 1st at 8:34 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News


Watched from 07:45 till 14:00

A tawny owl on the walk down to the hide was a good start, from the the hide the 1st winter Long billed dowitcher was viewable on and off all morning on the far left other highlights were 1 ruff, 1 turnstone and 40+ golden plover , 180+ avocet, 1 pochard, 6+ tufted duck , 4+ bar tailed godwits, 2 greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 1 kingfisher, 1 water rail. 2 cetti’s wsrbler, 1 sparrowhawk also good numbers of black tailed godwits, wigeon and shoveler, at least 1500+ Brent geese flew over to darts farm.

from the viewing platform, 1 smart male goldeneye mid estuary, a few grey plover

from the goatwalk a female goldeneye 3+ turnstone, 1000+ golden plover by turf

Posted January 1st at 8:04 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Velator Wrafton Fremington Pill

 Ringing (New Year start) was hopeless! Only ringed 2 birds: A Blue Tit and a much more exciting juvenile male Sparrowhawk. A retrap Cetti's Warbler was good, as was a visit of a pair of Swans.

Joined Andy Lansdell at Wrafton Pond where 4 Shoveler, 2+ Gadwall, Scaup and Goldeneye all present.

Later at Fremington Pill, the Glossy Ibis still - at the sluice. At the confluence of the Pill and Taw, a Greenshank, and a somewhat distant Spoonbill. Back up the Pill a Spotted Redshank. So to the roost: we counted at least 40 Egrets (still arriving at 16.55.) But couldn't be sure whether they were Little (mostly, we think) or Cattle.

Posted January 1st at 7:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Additions to Alan's post below: Goldeneye (female), 7 Goosanders (3 drakes + 4 redheads), Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe, 10 Little Grebes, Teal (female), 2 Jack Snipe, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, 3 Shags, Kingfisher, 2 Green Woodpeckers & 11 Roe Deer.

Happy New Year!

Posted January 1st at 2:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Plym estuary / Saltram.

This mornings high tide roost:

140 Dunlin, 147 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 51 Curlew, 31 Shelduck, 9 Turnstone, 5 Goosander (3m, 2f) 4 Mandarin, 4 Wigeon, 4 Little grebe, 10 Common gull, 1 Mediterranean gull with leg ring, 13 Redwing, 6 Stock dove, 2 Ring neck Parakeet.

Happy new year.

Posted January 1st at 2:13 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Common Scoter at Baggy Point

We counted 59 Common Scoter in the flock this new years day. Also seen, two pairs of Wigeon which flew off towards Putsborough. Unable to attach image due to image size restrictions. 

Posted January 1st at 1:07 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 08:00-10:15, High Tide

4 Avocets in curlew roost east side of bay ( only ever seen 5 or 6 in total on the estuary before ), 107 Brent Geese, 20 Red-breasted Mergansers, 57 Curlews, 3 Water Rails, 2 Chiffchaffs ( sewage works ), 4 Firecrests ( 2 sewage works, 2 kissing gate by marsh entrance ) and 4 Cirl Buntings.

Posted January 1st at 12:03 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

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