Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from December 2014

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Wednesday 31st December 2014

Topsham

Immature Marsh harrier quartering over the reedbeds from the rec on two occasions between 2pm and 3pm. Water rail feeding in the open beneath my bird feeders was a surprise this morning.

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 11:37 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler still present in top right corner of 1st car park, 1 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests. 1 Great Northern Diver and 1 Black-necked Grebe in Broadsands Bay

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 8:05 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Darts Farm + BGM Viewing Platform + Goosemoor

Viewed 1045-1500Hrs

Started at Darts Farm but still no sign of the Pendulines again with usual subjects as per Mark's earlier post.

BGM Viewing Platform showing c125 Avocets + 17 Grey Plover good numbers of other waders and the Water Rail was showing again in left field just inside the entrance gates with another further along the hedgerow. Large group of Brent Geese flying over towards the estuary

Whilst at the platform someone mentioned that 2 Penduline Tits (without mask) were seen earlier in the reeds at Goosemoor halfway along the cycle path at about 1300hrs. Having walked back that way with others none were seen.

From Goosemoor 2 Spotted Redshank + 3 Greenshank + c20 Redshank + c30 Dunlin + 8 Snipe with one showing really close-by just in front the first viewing  opening.

Link below to video for Spotted Redshank:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5xprqdqgQ0&feature=youtu.be

Black Brant at Darts Farm
Black Brant at Darts Farm

Egyptian Geese at Darts Farm
Egyptian Geese at Darts Farm

Water Rail at BGM Viewing Platform
Water Rail at BGM Viewing Platform

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 7:07 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Saltram Marsh

Several Curlews, Redshanks, Little Egrets, Shellducks, Oystercatchers, Goosanders, and my favourite the Kingfisher

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 4:59 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Yellow-browed Warbler calling and showing on and off was a good end to 2014 (found in bushes where the cycle track from Laira Bridge joins the route to the city centre, just on the east side of the road bridge and there until at least 3.30pm). Earlier, a party of 6 Goosanders were on the narrow river (near Sainsbury's) before flying off - 2 drakes and 4 redheads.

The waders roosting on the wall were very distant and difficult to count but looked like just c80 Redshanks but a good (by Plym standards) tally of c35 Dunlins; and 3 Greenshanks with them.

Also - Oystercatcher 6, Curlew 60, Common Sandpiper, Little Grebe 2, and Kingfisher .

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 4:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Darts farm

No sign of any Penduline Tits this morning but the Black Brant showing well on and off all morning with c1000 Brent Geese. Also a Spotted Redshank flew over calling mid morning,  2 Egyptian Geese on the river bank.  3 Chiffchaff and 2 Stonechat in the reedbed by the hide. 

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:51 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Capstone - Ilfracombe

4 Purple Sandpipers nr. 40 Steps, Capstone, Ilfracombe today 11:00 - 12:00

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:42 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Beesands

Yellow-browed Warbler still present this morning, also five Shoveler, c100 Gadwall and three Chiffchaff (collybita) Bob Burridge

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:39 pm in Bird News

South Milton Ley

at least 20 Chiffchaff this morning mainly collybita with two Siberian (one with a ring) Bob Burridge

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:36 pm in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

Eight Chiffchaff (collybita) this morning at the sewage treatment works.  (Bob Burridge)

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:34 pm in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 31st Dec

Mild with increasing cloud this morning.

38 Goosander (23 males) 3 Shoveler (2 males), 24 Mallard,7 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Grey Herons, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Jay, 2 Bullfinches, 1 Wren, 2 Coot, 1 Moorhen, 1 Cormorant, c. 30 Blackheaded Gulls, 15 Rooks, 5 Chaffinches plus all the usual tits etc. on the feeders.   At least 6 Blackbirds.

Harvey Kendall & Rod Mudge.

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:17 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Coleton Fishacre near Kingswear

In the grounds of the National Trust  property yesterday I was surprised to come across a flock of 40 plus finches feeding on a cleared pathside area. The majority (30 or so, hard to count as flighty ) were Cirl Buntings, nearly all the rest Yellowhammers. The most Cirls I have seen together in this district and unexpected in an ornamental gardens area. Given the cold conditions  I assume they moved in opportunistically to take advantage of re-seeding of grass surface taking place.   

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 1:50 pm in Bird News

Tuesday 30th December 2014

Broadsands & Goodrington

Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest & 2 Chiffchaffs. 3 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Red-throated Divers off shore

Goodrington: 2 Velvet Scoter (ad male & female or 1st winter) and a Slavonian Grebe.

Velvet Scoters Goodrington 30 Dec 2014 ML

Posted December 30th, 2014 at 7:27 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Higher Soar/Southdown Farm

Annual peak of 750 Skylarks, most on good quality stubbles plus 15 Cirl Buntings. Cirl bunting breeding population down by 50% to just 20 pairs after 40 in 2012. Good winter numbers though so hopefully the proposed national Cirl Bunting survey in 2015 will yield better results!

Posted December 30th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Westward ho!

Two purple sandpipers today below Nassau court. colours showing really well in the morning sun.

Once again the Kingfisher was there, this time I watched it hover and dive into the rock pools


Posted December 30th, 2014 at 1:08 pm by steve Hatch in Bird News

Cirl bunting

With so many Cirls being reported from Broadsands yesterday it seemed rude not to have a look!

Posted December 30th, 2014 at 9:23 am by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Monday 29th December 2014

Topsham

Viewed 0915-1530 Hrs

Started at a white and frosty Darts Farm and no sign of the Pendulines again with only the Wren braved it out at first sat on top the reed mace with a Chiffchaff showing up later when thawed out + male Tufted Duck on the right fish pond + Black Brant and 2 Egyptian Geese in with c800 Brent Geese seen at distance from the hide towards the bottom end of the field near the river Clyst.

Bowling Green Marsh Viewing Platform showed small number of 21 Avocets + 17 Grey Plover + c40 Redshank + c100 Dunlin + 3 Red Breasted Mergansers + Spotted Redshank and Greenshank right of platform near rivermeet house. Link below of some Grey Plover & Avocets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAbryHMIm-k

Goatwalk poduced c550 Avocets on turf side of the mud and numerous other waders scattered around.

Wren sat on top frosty reed mace at Darts Farm
Wren sat on top frosty reed mace at Darts Farm

Tufted Duck at Darts Farm
Tufted Duck at Darts Farm

Spotted Redshank from BGM Viewing Platform
Spotted Redshank from BGM Viewing Platform

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:56 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Water Pipit at Dawlish Warren

The Water Pipit showing very well from the hide at Dawlish Warren.


Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:46 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

South Hessary Tor

20+ Golden Plover around the surrounding moorland of South Hessary Tor. 30+ Siskin and at least 1 Crossbill in the plantation below Leather Tor and several Fieldfare along Devonport Leat back up toward Princetown.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:20 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler was still present this morning in the top corner of the 1st car park and 2 Firecrest were again in the brambles beside the path to the entrance of the car park. 2 Chiffchaff were also in the marsh between the car parks. A site record of 53 Cirl Buntings (smashing the previous 40!) were on seed in the 2nd car park with 5 Reed Bunting and one possible Cirl x Yellowhammer.

Yesterday despite choppy conditions in Torbay a Velvet Scoter, 3 Red-throated Divers and juv Pomarine Skua were seen off shore. 

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:13 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

If you are sweating on Red-crested Pochard for your Devon year list, it looks as if the cold snap has forced it out from its hiding place and onto the estuary, so hurry! Present this evening on the estuary with Wigeon and visible from the hide just north of the Lime Kiln car park. Also a drake Goosander on the estuary. (DC and CT) and the Teal x Wigeon hybrid present on the scrapes a couple of days ago.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 5:57 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A reasonable spread of birds in cold sunny conditions.

One or 2 Jack Snipe, 9 Snipe and a Firecrest still about.

Also - Meadow Pipit (c60), Stonechat, Curlew (c60), Greenshank, Oystercatcher (6), Common Sandpiper (2), Little Grebe (6), Kingfisher, Goldcrest (4). Little Egret (11) and a Sparrowhawk.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 5:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A beautiful afternoon, calm and sunny. Walked down Station Road to the canal and then to Turf and returned on the same route. Lots of wigeon, teal and lapwing on the fields. A few shoveller, mallard and 8 tufted duck were in the ditches. 

A flock of c300 brent geese feeding near Turf contained the adult black brant. Another smaller flock were north of Station Road. In the approach to the canal entrance two (a pair) of red-breasted mergansers were fishing. Also kingfisher seen there. A f/imm gooseander flew up and then down the canal.

A few waders on the marsh; dunlin (12), curlew (c20), black-tailed godwit (1) and snipe (6). Saw 2 Cettis warblers and heard c4 others. Several stonechats were on the fields otherwise few other small birds. Good views of a waterail and heard many more.

A colour-rung black-tailed godwit seen recently on the marshes is a familar bird and was rung in France at Sarzeau in 2001 and has been seen almost annually on the Exe since. It was reported on its breeding ground in Iceland in 2010.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 5:05 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Darts Farm ~ Bowling Marsh Green ~ Exminster Marsh ~ Teign Estuary.....

Darts farm the waterways were frozen over and the pasture land heavy with frost, huge numbers of Brent Geese, could not locate the Black Brant but other birders confirmed in was there, large flock of Canada Geese, two Egyptian Geese, Chiffchaff, Stonechats, Fieldfare, Snipe, Buzzard, Heron but everything fairly distant as were the birds at BMG, the Brent Geese very impressive when they all lifted. Nothing of note on the feeders. On the ponds a solitary male Tufted duck, Moorhens and a handful of Mallard, a Kingfisher had been seen prior to our arrival. Very good numbers of Lapwings more than I have seen for a long time.

Bowling Green Marsh, the waterways were all frozen, lots of people but not a huge number of birds, but a reasonable variety given the numbers showing, brief glimpse of a Water Rail, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Pintail Duck, Snipe showing all over the marsh, flight of Avocets came round but did not land, Dunlin, Godwits, Lapwings and two rabbits.

Exminster marsh frozen solid, huge numbers of Wigeon and good numbers of Robins but that was about it.

RV Teign above Shaldon Bridge raft of a counted 24 Red Breasted Mergansers with several more individuals and pairs dotted about, one Little Grebe good numbers of Oystercatcher flying towards the coast.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 4:58 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A frozen landscape and lagoon pushed the Waders and Wildfowl to the far side of the Marsh at high tide this lunch time. 50+ Avocets on view but didnt stay long due to the frozen hightide roost. Plenty of Widgeon, Teal, and a few Pintails on the open water with 50+ Redshank and 100+ Dunlin roosting on the softer ground in the same area.

Highlight 15+ Snipe dotted around with several on show in the afternoon sun near the hide. 

Widgeon on Ice
Widgeon on Ice

Snipe near the hide
Snipe near the hide

Pintail
Pintail

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 4:44 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Shiphay, Torquay

Hardest frost here for some years produced a minor influx of thrushes. Best of which was a stunning Fieldfare in my neighbour's severely pruned apple tree. Excellent views of this lone and chuckling individual,  down to fifteen feet. Later, it was on my lawn attempting to come to various offerings under the feeders. Sadly, seen off by a Blackbird! Also drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker on tallest oak at Cadewell Park and recent flyovers of Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. Tawny Owl vocal at night. 

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 4:02 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 29th Dec.

Cold and quiet with not a ripple on the water:

1 female Hen Harrier, 31 Goosander, 40+ Mallard, 4 Gadwall, 1 Kingfisher, 3 Jays and the tits/Nuthatches and Chaffinches on the feeders.

1 Fox ran rapidly along the opposite bank chased by a number of flapping, quacking Mallard.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 3:47 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Lovely still sunny morning. Given the freezing weather up north there are very few ducks on the Ley, also few gulls. Siberian Chiff-Chaff (Higher Ley) and Black-necked Grebe on the sea best of the morning. Also one each of Great Northern and Red-throated Divers.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 2:48 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Sunday 28th December 2014

Dartmoor - Hexworthy and surrounding area

A cold crisp sunny walk across the moor and along the West Dart this afternoon produced 2 Goosander 30+ Golden Plover, 15+ Snipe, plenty of Redwing, Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush feeding on the Hawthorn bushes and 3 pairs of Stonechat seen across this area. A couple of Buzzards, and a single Kestrel to mention. Plenty of Chaffinch feeding under the Beech Trees but no Brambling with them. Not much else to report in the area.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 8:48 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Around the Teign

Two Black Redstarts were seen in Teignmouth today - a male around the docks and a female type along the back beach. Two Great Northern Divers were offshore late morning. In the estuary 38 Red-breasted Mergansers and 2 Jack Snipe. The male Scaup remains at Decoy Lake with 33 Tufted Ducks.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 6:42 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Baggy Point

This morning 3 Red throated Divers flying south towards Hartland & later 2 Red throated Divers flying from south to north & landing at Baggy Point suggesting movement between the headlands.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 6:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Westward Ho!

A single Purple sandpiper and strangely enough a Kingfisher on rocks in front of Nassau court flats

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 1:19 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

South Huish - Glossy Ibis

Adult Glossy Ibis viewable from NT car park at back of the reserve.  Seen 12.10pm today. first found  late yesterday afternoon by Bob Burridge at the end of the field behind the Cafe at South Milton Ley.

Also Ruddy Shelduck still around and three Siberian Chiffchaffs (two now ringed).

Arthur Livett

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 12:58 pm in Bird News

Baggy Point

An early morning walk produced several Stonchat, a few Dunnock and the highlight was a single Black Redstart. Seen on the Croyde Bay side approx 500m from the Point.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 12:17 pm in Bird News

Cranbrook Countryside Park (Exeter)

An early morning walk around the partially completed pathways of the new town produced 2 Green Sandpipers and c15 Snipe on the scrape; 3 Bullfinch, 12 Goldfinch, c20 Meadow Pipit, a pair of Stonechat, 2 Raven, 1 Collared Dove, together with expected Redwings, the odd Fieldfare and Songthrush. The Sandpipers flew off south and the Snipe only showed when disturbed.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 10:54 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Saturday 27th December 2014

Ernesettle creek / Tamar estuary

1215 - 1400

Inbetween the wintry showers and high winds:

5 Greenshank, 60+ Redshank, 47 Teal, 7 Curlew, 60+ Oystercatcher, 2 Common Gull, 6 Black Tailed Godwit, good numbers of gulls, and a single Kingfisher on his usual perch. 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 6:58 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Contrary to reports, the airfield is still being used by Lapwing and Golden Plover. Today 85 Lapwings and 2 Golden Plover. A record count of 78 Black headed gulls (beating the previous maximum of 6 by some way!), 84 Redwings, 35 Fieldfares, single Stonechat and a smart male Bullfinch was notable.

Other recent records - 

24/12 - 154 Lapwings, 70 Fieldfare, 32 Meadow Pipits, Stonechat

25/12 - 120 Lapwings, Little owl

26/12 - 27 Lapwing

 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 4:06 pm in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Red-breasted Merganser of the winter (a female) and a Firecrest still around plus some reasonable numbers of commoner birds.

Redshank (125), Greenshank (2), Dunlin (4), Oystercatcher (5), Curlew (61), Grey Heron (11), Little Egret (8), Little Grebe (2), Shelduck (23), Common Sandpiper, Peregine and Goldcrest (3). 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 3:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Cold and windy at Lower Tamar this morning with hail showers.

25 Goosanders, 15+ Mallard, at least 14 Teal with many others sheltering the in reeds. 1 Coot, c. 40 Black headed Gulls.1 female Goldeneye.

On the feeders at the hide end -  4 Jays- (no wonder the nuts and seeds disappear so rapidly!), fighting amonst themselves and seeing off all comers including the Great Spotted Woodpecker. Coal, Blue and Great Tits, 2 Nuthatches, 3+ Chaffinches when they could getr a look in.

Harvey Kendall. 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Berry Head.

Very quiet with birds on the headland but on the seaward side 20+ Gannets feeding off the headland then moveing into the Bay and then back off the headland following shoals of fish. 3 miles out 100+ dolphins moving quickly south with gannets following. 5 Harbour Porpoise just off the end of headland.

Will check out Bay Sunday morning to see what is about. Still places for Sunday 4th boat trip, if interested email wildbones@btinternet.com 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 1:36 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Broadsands to Elberry Cove

Single Velvet Scoter off Broadsands headland was the highight this morning.

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 1:27 pm by Damian Offer in Bird News

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Water Rail, 35 Cirl Buntings & 5 Reed Bunting this morning

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 10:12 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Darts Farm

Three Penduline Tits @ 9.30

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 10:07 am by Ian Pearson in Bird News

Friday 26th December 2014

Hunting by street light

saw a Perigrine hunting at Matford roundabout.Nothing strange about that apart from it was 21:20. Didn't manage to see what it was chasing.

Posted December 26th, 2014 at 9:51 pm by Jason smith in Bird News

Teign Estuary

An adult Ring-billed Gull was with Black-headed Gulls off Passage House from 13:55 - 14:25 when it flew off down the estuary and out of view. See the Teign Birds blog for more photos and information - http://teignbirds.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/ring-billed-gull.html

Posted December 26th, 2014 at 4:56 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Thursday 25th December 2014

Spring

Must be round the corner - during our post-lunch walk, a Song Thrush was singing! Merry Christmas one and all!

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 8:28 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bearded Tits, Goosemoor, viewing platform & Goatwalk

Great birding round the Exe at christmas...

My Mum, Dad and I went round the goatwalk first and found: 200+ Avocet; 50+ Dunlin; 100+ Black-Tailed Godwit; 50+ Redshank and all the other birds. 

Next the viewing platform: Dad said there wasn't much: 2 Kingfisher; 1 Spotted Redshank; 50+ Redshank; 100+ Black-Tailed Godwit and a few other regulars

Now to the Bearded Tits... 10-15 birds flew over me calling the diagnostic ping then landed in the reeds out of view but I was able to see the long tail and chubby tummy! They landed around the centre of the reed beds. Large flock of Brent flew over and possible sighting of a Penduline Tit in a small patch of reeds...

Great day out at Christmas, definitely getting cooler!

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by Alexander Mackintosh in Bird News

Christmas Day at Ford Park Cemetery

Went down at about 11am. Not an awful lot around to enjoy the winter sun however managed to get the obligatory Xmas Robin, Great Tit on a feeder on one of the graves, Crows, Magpies, the odd Blackbird, a female Chaffinch and about a dozen or so Meadow Pipits. There was a lot of human activity with people visiting graves which could account for low sightings. Also noted about four Squirrels.

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 3:23 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

South Brent Christmas birding

Christmas at home gave me a count of 32 species as of 2pm, starting with a Tawny owl calling during the night, first daylight bird was seasonal Robin followed by a Coal Tit, other species included Dunnock (3) one singing strongly, first flight of Starlings counted at 34 birds, Redwing and Fieldfare overhead Song Thrush in the field hedge, Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard and a for South Brent a rare over flight from a hen Kestrel, Stock Doves (2), Bullfinch (3) Nuthatch (3) a single bird then 2 seen together, Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Wren, species 32 being Long Tailed Tit (3).

Merry Christmas

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 2:05 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wednesday 24th December 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

From the hide at 9.25am this morning two Penduline Tits feeding briefly on the reed mace to the left of the reed bed, one bird showing a full dark mask. Flew up the channel out of view and not seen again.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 8:58 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Exmouth

Black Redstarts present at the Sailing Club and at Sandy Bay, on boulders below the access ramp.

Exmouth Sailing Club Black Redstart
Exmouth Sailing Club Black Redstart

Sandy Bay Black Redstart
Sandy Bay Black Redstart

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 4:41 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Meadow Pipit in Ford Park Cemetery Plymouth

Meadow Pipit in Ford Park Cemetery Plymouth, counted around a dozen, plus a few Redwings, and Stralings.


Posted December 24th, 2014 at 4:25 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Bird Sightings

In fields south of Sheepstor, 200+ Fieldfares, also Redwings & Mistlethrushs, flushed by Peregrine Falcon.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 3:51 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

The Lake was quiet this morning with 28 Goosander 17m 11f, 3 Tufted Duck, 5 G.C.Grebe, 2 Coot.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 1:56 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Pt

Still No Common Scoters at Downend, Bideford & Barnstaple Bay, Croyde Bay or Baggy Point.

1 Red throated Diver at Baggy Point.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Tuesday 23rd December 2014

Lower Tamar Lake

A quick look at the lake where everything looked quiet,

23 Goosander 16m7f, this is the best count since 15th of 29 Goosander 17m 12f, 11 Tufted Duck, 4 G.C.Grebe, the car park feeders had the usual with Willow/Marsh/Blue/Great,Coal Tit, G.S.Woodpecker,Green Finch.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 7:06 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Velator

Late look around the reserve revealed not much, but hunting the reed-bed at Sherpa was a male Marsh Harrier. It was being mobbed by Crows and drifted off towards RMB Chivenor.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 4:29 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Mudbank Ln

Not much around Mudbank Ln around 14:00 but a surprising amount of Pintail, with at least 300 in the area. Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatcher were around in good number. All the other usual suspects were also about...

Only other bit of interest was an extremely late Bumblebee in the shrub leading up to the bench.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 2:58 pm by Alexander Mackintosh in Bird News

BGM + Viewing Platform + Goatwalk + Goosemoor

Viewed 0915-1300 Hrs

Bowling Green Marsh produced 7 Bar Tailed Godwits + c100 Black Tailed Godwits + c80 Redshank + c50 Curlew + c100 Dunlin + c30 Snipe + 3 Pintail + 7 Gadwall + 4 Greylag Geese good numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler.

Black Brant seen flying low over the marsh from the hide amongst c50 Dark Belly Brent Geese before dropping into the Clyst Estuary near the derrick. Rushed down to the viewing platform where it was sat on top the water in front the platform on the outgoing high-tide at 1030hrs. Possibly another first bird for the marsh.?  Link to video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN59O-Rtrl8&feature=youtu.be

Also seen from the Viewing Platform 29 Grey Plover + 19 Knot and good numbers of other waders.

From the Goatwalk c650 Avocets and c500 Golden Plover seen on turf side mud with 4 Red Breasted Mergansers in the river channel.

From Goosemoor 2 Greenshank + c40 Curlew with good numbers of Wigeon and Teal

Black Brant with Brent Geese from Viewing Platform
Black Brant with Brent Geese from Viewing Platform

Snipe at BGM
Snipe at BGM

Golden Plover from the Goatwalk on Turf side
Golden Plover from the Goatwalk on Turf side

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 2:52 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Male merlin on fencepost by the lagoon; caught a small passerine but then just sat on post with it until disturbed by farmer moving cattle.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 1:55 pm by Richard Woodland in Bird News

Off Topsham Rec recreation ground

This female Goldeneye was off the top end of the rec. this morning (always a good area for the species).  Easily missed as it spent most time under water.  AND may I say... well done to the Publishing Team of DB for another great db report and for getting it out before Christmas.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 12:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Monday 22nd December 2014

Prawle Point

My last (probably) seawatch of the year from 8.15 am in a brisk WSW 5-6, going 7 plus . A steady movement of Gannets and Auks (some Razorbills and Guillemots in breeding plumage) as well as smaller numbers of  Kittiwakes and Fulmars. A late Manx Shearwater west and 3 divers west : Red-Throated, Black-Throated and Great Northern ! Entertainment value was provided by at least two breaching Harbour Porpoises and a Seal messily unwrapping its fishy christmas present early.

Posted December 22nd, 2014 at 8:36 pm in Bird News

Young's Park, Goodrington

An adult Ring-billed Gull was around the 'bumper-boat' lake this afternoon, coming to bread - hopefully it will stay for at least a few days. The last one in Devon was I believe 2008!

Ring-billed Gull ad Goodrington 22 Dec 2014 ML2  Ring-billed Gull ad Goodrington 22 Dec 2014 ML 

Photos:  Jake Wood watching the Gull and close up, video link here. http://youtu.be/w-ugmaxeqOM 

P.S. thanks to K Oram for finding the swarovski eyepiece cover at Broadsands and getting it back to the grateful owner.

Posted December 22nd, 2014 at 4:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 22nd Dec

Mild but breezy at Lower Tamar this morning.   The five feeders have been emptied in record time!!  So refilled.

Sightings included:  16 Goosander, 12 Tufted Ducks, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Jay, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker plus all the rest who enjoy the feeders.

Fewer Canada Geese here this autumn/winter with flocks of 90 - 100;  usually four times that number.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 22nd, 2014 at 1:51 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Sunday 21st December 2014

Topsham rec

Watched from 14:00 till 15:20

a quick look around the Rec produced 3 water rail a female kingfisher was very active feeding well and giving superb views, 1 adult Mediterranean gull amongst 200+ black headed gulls, 6+ common gulls, 3 grey plover, severall redshank and black tailed godwits, 2 red breasted mergansers, 4 reed buntings, 1 grey wagtail, 6 pied wagtails.

Posted December 21st, 2014 at 10:51 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

christmas robin

 spotted this robin near christmas,near a christmas tree

   have a great xmas everyone


Posted December 21st, 2014 at 8:22 pm by gray clements in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Woodcock was a surprise (given the mild conditions); also 2 Firecrests, 2 Snipe, 60 Curlews, 6 Oystercatchers, 6 Shelduck (20 yesterday) and a Little Grebe, Yesterday also Chiffchaff and 4 Greenshanks.

Posted December 21st, 2014 at 6:11 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Black Brant

All the usual suspects around Exminster Marshes with the Black Brant showing well with the rest of the Brents.


Posted December 21st, 2014 at 4:22 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Torbay

Siberian Chiffchaff again at Young's Park Goodrington click this link  http://youtu.be/53f-S5QJKLw   for youtube video of the bird in song. Below photo in very poor light this morning.

                                 Siberian Chiffchaff Youngs Park Goodrington 21 Dec 2014 ML

Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler still presest & 4 Chiffchaff. 2 Black-necked Grebes on sea with 51 Great Crested Grebes and 1 Great Northern Diver.

 

Posted December 21st, 2014 at 10:41 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 20th December 2014

Great Grey Shrike at Soussons Valley

20th Dec, Great Grey Shrike ranging around the Soussons Valley. Last seen on top of the ridge that separates Soussons Valley to the Warren House Inn. It was using the tall tree stumps left standing after they felled a band of pines during the winter adjacent to the moor

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 7:19 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Spotted Redshank

Not a lot seen around the Topsham area today with the best bird being this winter plumaged Spotted Redshank seen on the Clyst Estuary .


Posted December 20th, 2014 at 5:45 pm by Dave Stone in Bird News

Burrator a.m.

25-30 crossbills near the fishermans huts. Raven giving a 'tocking' call.

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 2:38 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Point

Still no Common Scoters at Downend, Bideford & Barnstaple Bay, Croyde Bay or Baggy point this morning. Fresh WNW winds. Not much around in exposure.

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 1:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler showing this morning also 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest. 26 Cirl Buntings on ground on seed irdt thing but probably many more birds in bushes - also 3 Reed Bunting. 

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 11:29 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 19th December 2014

Decoy Country Park and Stover Park.

Decoy. The male Scaup was still there, along with the usual Coots and Moorhens and a large quantity of Tufted Duck and Gulls (BH mainly but a few Herring), Mute Swans and a large Goose (possibly a Hybrid). One wandering around the woods there were Blue and Great Titis, Robins, Blackbirds and at least one Goldcrest. Squirrels were plentiful.

Stover. Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Goosander, Coot and Moorhen, Mute Swans, Female mandarin Duck, Hundreds of Mallards. By the hide a Kingfisher showed a few times and by the feeders were Nuthatch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffing, Bullfinch and Robins. A Jay gave a quick appearance as did a Woodpigeon. Squirrels were plentiful

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 8:24 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Brixham back garden

Sorry lateness of this posting, Wednesday pm I had 2 Sparrowhawks doing a run through my garden, both appeared to by using team work, one bird successful in catching a feral pigeon. Never seen this before.

Sparrowhawk Brixham 17 Dec 2014 NSml

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler showed well in top corner of 1st car park also 1 Firecrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 12 Goldcrest.

I now see why the Yellow-browed Warbler is so protective over its favourite willow trees - see all the aphids on the branch to its left. It was still seeing off Chiffchaffs today.

Yellow-browed Warbler & Aphids Broadsands 19 Dec 2014 ML

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 4:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh

American wigeon is still there on the farthest part of the scrape amongst the reeds. Also 60+ Canada Geese (one had an injured wing), Hybrid goose, 200+ Wigeon, 150+ Teal and shoveler. Also a merlin flew over.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 3:02 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Cool bright and clear at Lower Tamar this morning.

22 Goosander, 11 Tufted Duck and the usual Mallard and Teal   .A great many birds taking advantage of the nut and seed feeders.   The Jay still helping itself- unually confiding for such a shy species.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 2:55 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Vitifer & Soussons

Spent another morning around Headland Warren/Challacombe area. Still good numbers of Fieldfares. Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. At the back of Soussons plantation 5 Crossbills feeding on the tops of the conifers. Returning to Bennets Cross: Kestrel and the Great Grey Shrike still present and showing well although still very mobile and distant.


Posted December 19th, 2014 at 2:40 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Soar

Female type black redstart at Bolt Head plus sparrowhawk & 35 meadow pipits.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Topsham Rec - Penduline Tits

At about 10.45 I had brief and distant views of three Penduline Tits at the edge of the reeds across the river. At least two - and possibly all three - were adults. Just how many are knocking around? More photos (tiny images I'm afraid) and more on my blog The Two Bird Theory later.

Penduline Tits - Topsham Rec 18/12/2014
Penduline Tits - Topsham Rec 18/12/2014

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Dartmouth

Two Black Redstarts in the Ridge Hill gardens this morning. I've observed them here during the winter months for the past four years.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 11:29 am by Peter Shaw in Bird News

Thursday 18th December 2014

Ringed Turnstone

FAO Steve Hopper regarding the ring.

You are indeed right in that the HOL is for 'Holland'. The ring is from the Dutch ringing scheme based in Arnhem (ARN). An example ring image is linked below (note also the 'VOG' on the other line that you must also have seen). Unfortunately judging from your post it sounds like the view you've had was exclusively of the letters that spell part of the scheme address, and none of the number itself (a view I regularly get of rings sat on Mute Swans, forcing me to move to another vantage point or wait for them to take a step). All in all, your bird was ringed in Holland, and that's excellent. 

http://www.vogeltrekstation.nl/sites/vogeltrekstation.nl/files/u5/ring_arnhem.jpg

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Preston, Paignton

A visit to the sea wall at Preston, Paignton today gave a count of 23 Turnstone one of which was rung, the details that could be read top row ARN ~ middle row HOL and bottom row KO and possibly followed by a 3.

I would guess that the HOL stands for Holland, does any one know who to advise of this sighting?

Good numbers of Black Headed Gull several of which were beginging to colour up around their heads.

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 7:46 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Great Grey Shrike , Aylesbeare Common 18 / 12 / 2014

Showing well this afternoon along the gas pipeline


Posted December 18th, 2014 at 7:01 pm by Dave Stone in Bird News

Penduline Tit , Darts Farm , 15 / 12 / 2014

Sorry they are late but have just found out how to add posts !

Dave




Posted December 18th, 2014 at 6:59 pm by Dave Stone in Bird News

Stover Country Park

Walked round the lake this morning with my little girl. On arrival  at about 10.15 there were 3 male and 1 female Goosander although they seemed to disappear soon afterwards. Also 9 Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck and 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 2:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest where still all around various parts of the 1st car park this morning. 15 Cirl Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park

On the sea: 2 Great Northern Divers, 4 Black-necked Grebes and 68 Great Crested Grebes off the headland.

 

Lost - a Cornish birder contacted to see if anyone might have found a Swarovski eyepiece cover at Broadsands, if anyone finds it please let me know - I'll get it back to to the owner.

.

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 11:40 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 17th December 2014

Darts Farm

Viewed 1045-1430 Hrs

No sign of the Pendulines today. Black Brant was amongst c1000 Dark Belly and at least 3 Pale Belly Brent Geese in field near road + Kingfisher around the top pond + ChiffChaff + pair Stonechats + 2 Wrens + Water Rail around the reed-beds in front the hide + Green Finches + Chaffinces and Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders + Wigeon + Teal in front the hide

Kingfisher sat on the reed mace
Kingfisher sat on the reed mace

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Black Brant right foreground with c1000 Brent Geese
Black Brant right foreground with c1000 Brent Geese

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

The male Scaup was still present today along with 26 Tufted Duck and singles of Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and Kingfisher.

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Swallow nr Golf Course, Budleigh Salterton

A lone swallow battling against the rain; somewhat sad to see as it simply shouldn't be here right now

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 12:34 pm by Sandy Moreton in Bird News

Wembury Point

  On a calm sea yesterday a Black-throated Diver with a Great Northern far out and on the beach a Water Pipit amongst 20+ Rock Pipits with a few Meadows.

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 8:47 am in Bird News

Tuesday 16th December 2014

Beesands

Bob Burridge was down at Beesands again today and refound the Yellow-browed Warbler, first seen on 27th November.  It is staying in the same area NE of the Hide looking set for the winter.  100+ Gadwall still present.

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 8:50 pm in Bird News

Grand Western Canal, Crownhill - 17 Buzzards

Walking along the GWC between Crownhill and Tiverton Rd bridges today noted at least 17 Buzzards on the ground in a field opposite the towpath - some foraging. As an inexperienced birdwatcher I was very surprised to see this. Is it unusual ?

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 4:23 pm by Richard Jordan in Bird News

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler still present - also 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap. 26 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 3 Reed Buntings.

Yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 16 December 2014 ML

On the sea: 4 Black-necked Grebes, 33 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver 

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 3:27 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Vitifer & Soussons - photos

Photos attached belonging to my previous blog post. Sorry, forgot to convert!



Posted December 16th, 2014 at 2:25 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Soussons & Vitifer, Dartmoor

Plenty of Goldcrests around Sousson plantation. Approx. 20 Fieldfares at Vitifer, loosely spread and feeding on Hawthorn berries. Great Grey Shrike seen amongst the old mine workings. Managed a couple of distant photos before it took off in the direction of Challacombe.

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 1:50 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Higher Soar/Southdown Farm

The value of good quality winter cereal stubbles was perfectly illustrated today with record counts over the last 3 years of 32 cirl buntings and 570 skylarks. Also 21 meadow pipits & 30 linnets.

Now all we need is more farmers to leave quality over-winter stubbles then we might not lose another 44 million birds!!

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 1:47 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 16th Dec

Mild and quiet at Tamar Lake this morning and much easier going alongside the lake now that the paths have been upgraded.

25 Goosander, 40 Mallard, 8 Tufted Duck, 5 Coot, 1 Little Grebe, 6 Great Crested Grebes, up to 15 Black headed Gulls coming and going, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Great black Backed Gull.   Refilled the feeders near the hide which then attracted 2 Nuthatches, Blue and Great Tits, 2 Coal Tits, 1 Jay and 3 Chaffinches..

On the way back - 2 Ravens, 1 Dunnock and 1 Goldcrest.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 1:45 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Berry Head

Patrolling the scrub under the cafe. A Swallow! Is this the last one? 

Not taking any bets!

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 12:01 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh, Yelland.

The drake American Wigeon found last week was still around the perimeter of the pond  at Home Farm Marsh this morning. It was grazing with c100 Wigeon, and showed well from time to time.

On the walk back to the car a Marsh Harrier was quartering Isley Marsh.

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 11:37 am by Roger Doble in Bird News

Monday 15th December 2014

Dawlish Warren

A walk along the beach this afternoon produced a great northern diver (1st w), 2 red throated divers, a slavonian grebe which came in extremely close (near Warren Point), several great crested grebes, 2 common scoter (both female/1st w) and the 2 long tailed ducks (near Warren Point).

Long tailed duck
Long tailed duck

Long tailed ducks
Long tailed ducks

Slavonian grebe
Slavonian grebe

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 8:24 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

BGM and Countess Weir

Went over to BGM this morning. It was hazy sunshine and almost high tide. Species noted were Teal, Widgeon, Lapwings, Redshanks, Mallard, a lone Canada Goose, Blackbirds, Starling, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinch, Greenfinches, Jay, Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon and Gulls. In the very far distance by the Viewing Platform were some Avocets and a few Oystercatchers.

We moved on to Topsham Quay and had Pied Wagtail, BH Gulls, Robins and a pair of very large Brown Rats.

Stopped in near the Sewage Works at Countess weir on the way back to Plymouth and noted about 50 Cormorant perching on the Pylon Cables, Lined up as one would expect to see Starlings. I have never seen this in Cormorants before. Perhaps they were charging thier batteries.

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 8:17 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

A pair of Tufted ducks and two pairs of Shoveler this morning, and 90% of the Mallards were males. Surely the females aren't all off egg laying already?

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 7:50 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Mount Batten Plymouth

  While watching HMS Bulwark come in there were Stonechats, 7+ Rock Pipits, a Chiffchaff and a Firecrest in the car park pines.  Also 2 Great Northern Divers in the Sound.

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 7:08 pm in Bird News

Harpers Fishing Ponds, Double Locks, Exeter - Darts Farm, Topsham

Went in search of Penduline Tits reported at the Double Locks fishing ponds (west side of canal) on Saturday but not here today.  Instead found at least three Water Rail (possibly five present here). 

Darts farm had the Pen. Tits passing through earlier, so I missed again and had to settle with the Black Brant but my best photo of the bird yet. The white flanks and white 'necklace' meeting in the middle very conspicuous.

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 4:15 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Penduline Tits at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

10:00 2 x Penduline Tits showed very briefly this morning at Bowling Green Marsh to the left of the hide feeding again very low down on the Bulrushes. It was reported two were seen at Dart's Farm around 11:15 possibly the same pair, then became illusive again.

Very quite on the B.G. Marsh due to the Neap Tides with 100+ Redshank +2 Spotted Redshank. 25+ Gadwall, 150+ Dunlin, 150+ Widgeon, 20+ Shoveller, 50+ Teal 10+ Snipe and a few Black Tailed Godwits.

Off the viewing platform 200+ Dunlin, 30+ Grey Plover, 5+ Common Gull, 20+ Bar Tailed Godwit, 5+ Knott, and one Kingfisher.

Popped in at Darts Farm hide to see the Black Brant which was in with the 1000+ Brent Geese. No sign of the Penduline Tits but a pair of Stonechat and three Chiffs were in the Rushes along with sightings of 2 Water Rail. 

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 3:55 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

FOUR kingfishers on Braunton Marsh

This male kingfisher was one of FOUR we saw from our car on Saturday the 13th Dec in the space of 5 minutes & within about a mile of each other as we drove around the Great Field from Sandy Lane towards the village of Braunton. We know there were four, not the same one seen four times etc. etc. because of the distance of separation, (each was still present at their location when we left it) & observation showed at least one of the others was a female (grainy record image attached).

For the record; the 1st (u/k) was seen flying up Sir Authurs Pill before settling on a distant twig with a fish. The 2nd was this male seen on the Sandy Lane side of the Toll Road. The 3rd (female)was perched over the dike adjacent to Kiln Cottages at Velator & the 4th (u/k) was on the Tiki side of the humpback bridge at Velator, low down below the parapet & flew upstream before settling on a twig about 10 metres from its original perch. I think these sightings represents a healthy population in the area. Long may it continue!



Posted December 15th, 2014 at 1:58 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Sunday 14th December 2014

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff and female Blackcap in marsh and ditch between car parks. 29 Cirl Bunting and 3 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park.

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 9:24 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Torbay Boat Trip

Good morning out on the boat with Nigel, while we only saw 1 Red Throated  and 1 Great Northern Diver there was plenty of other birds to see. Between the Guillemots at the Ore stone , Berry Head and the rafts of birds in the bay there must have been 1000+ birds. Other birds on show were Gannets, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, 3 Common Scoters, Great Crested Grebes, Oystercatchers, Purple Sandpipers, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Shag and Raven.

A trawler was bringing in its catch and there was plenty of gulls but only Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls.

At Berry Head we was lucky enough to see 2 Porpoise.

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 7:52 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Black Redstart & Turnstones at Exmouth

Black Redstart at Exmouth Sailing Club, and 20+ Turnstones off the Imperial Carpark this lunchtime.

30+ Brents, a pair of Pintail  5+ Redshank and the Turnstones were disturbed by dog walkers along this stretch while i was watching!!.  

Turnstone doing what they do best!
Turnstone doing what they do best!

Female Black Redstart at the Sailing Club Exmouth
Female Black Redstart at the Sailing Club Exmouth

Black Redstart showing well at the Sailing Club Exmouth
Black Redstart showing well at the Sailing Club Exmouth

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 2:01 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Barn Owl near South Brent

Unrung male Barn owl recovered from a minor road near South Brent the bird was badly injured possibly having hit an over head wire, unfortunately the birds injuries were too severe to save it. This would be the second Barn owl sighting in the general wider South Brent area this month.

On a brighter note a vist to the marsh area of Ladies Wood Nr South Brent identified 15 species and an unidentified warbler type species that was very aggressively driving off the feeding Chiffchaffs. Also on the visits list was a hen Sparrow hawk, two Marsh Tit, Goldcrest in good numbers, Wrens and a selection of the usual more day to day species

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 1:21 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

lesser whitethroat at St Budeaux, plymouth

The bird which was a visitor in my garden last Xmas seems to have returned. Last seen in March, it was present today 13 December on the fatballs it became used to a year ago. Almost incredible.

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 11:37 am by Derek Courtnell in Bird News

Saturday 13th December 2014

Grand Western Canal, & the Old railway line, Tiverton

This afternoon (without the camera!!) we met up with Family at Tiverton Canal Bason for a flat 4 mile walk along the canal and back along the old railway line in sparkling winter sunshine. If you want great views of Kingfishers fishing at close quarters, Moorhens and Mallards at your feet, plenty of Wrens, Robins, Tits and Chaffinches to watch as you stroll the towpath and walk out into the countryside to see Buzzards, Finches, Redwings and Fieldfares then this is ideal for you. Nothing rare seen (but has great potential) just a very pleasant 2 hours walk in Mid Devon with birds all around.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 8:41 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery

Got there about 11-ish. Bright, sunny but cold morning. Species noted: Magpies, Crows, Ravens, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Starlings (20 odd), Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Sparrows, Dunnock, GS Woodpecker, Wood Pigeon. Lack of Redwings although one or two were seen as opposed to almost 40 earlier in the week. No sign of the Black Redstarts.Shortly after arrival today saw Buzzard being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. Also seen was a Rabbit and three Squirrels.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 7:31 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Runnage Bridge - Pizwell area Dartmoor

20 Crossbill late afternoon. Peregrine, Snipe, Dipper, 4 Stock Doves and 5 Stonechat also present.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 6:25 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in Bird News

LOWER TAMAR LAKE

A few more Goosanders in after the gales over the last few days.

Goosander 14m 8f, 9 Tufted Duck, 2 L/Grebe, 2 Long Tailed Tits.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 5:34 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Lannacombe

Female Long tailed duck at Lannacombe this evening.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 5:14 pm by Andrew Hanlon in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Good day at the Warren, apart from all the usual suspects in front of the hide and in the bite there was some quality off the beach with male and female Long Tailed Ducks, 2 Slavonian Grebes, GND and the Bonaparte's Gull.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 4:34 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Aylesbeare Common

Great Grey Shrike seen at 2.45.

The bird is mobile & seems to prefer the highest point on the tallest tree available to it. It chose this option on all four of my views of the bird

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 4:14 pm by Ian Pearson in Bird News

penduline tits

After many frustrating sessions at Bowling Green and Darts  I finally found Penduline tits 1/2 mile from my front door at Harper's lake fishing ponds near the Double Locks. 2 birds both without masks feeding and giving good views but mobile. Also reed bunting,stonechat,and jack snipe.Enough reed mace here and further along cycle path at viewing point to suggest they might stay.Seemed to be settling to roost at 2.50 in base of willow thicket.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 3:44 pm by John Phillips in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 09:00 till 11:00

a quiet morning with a low high tide produced 2 spotted redshanks among 600+ dunlin, 24+ snipe, 1 sparrowhawk, the 80+ lapwing, a few redshank and black tailed godwits, 15+ gadwall, 1 tufted duck , 7+ pintail among the usual wigeon, teal and shoveler, 4+ reed buntings, 2 stonechat, 2 fieldfare, 20+ redwing, good numbers of Brent geese moving towards darts farm.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Plymouth Sound

  6 Great Northern Divers this morning. [Vic Tucker]

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 1:20 pm in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler was showing well again this morning in 1st car park also 1 Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaff. 22 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 2 Reed Bunting.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 12:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 12th December 2014

Topsham

Black Brant was at Darts Farm late morning with c60-Brent Geese in fields left of hide.

Black Brant
Black Brant

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 6:34 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Tamar estuary

1310-1520

On the mudflats: 47 Teal, 23 Wigeon, 35 Black Tailed Godwit, 8 Curlew, 3 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, c100 Oystercatcher, 1 Greenshank and several Redshank. 8 Great Crested Grebe on the river Tamar.

3 Bullfinch, 1 Redwing, 1 Goldcrest in the surrounding shrubbery.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 5:11 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 13:00-15:00, high tide.

2 Great Northern Diver, Black - necked / Slavonian Grebe ( distant off Lincombe ), 3 Little Grebe, 27 Brent Geese, 2 Water Rail ( heard only ), 10 Grey Plover, c800 Golden Plover, 313 Dunlin, Turnstone and Kingfisher.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 4:24 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Gaya trust and Isley marsh.

From the hide at Gaya trust a male American Wigeon,possibly a sub-adult,but showing whitish crown stripe with broad,dark,greenish stripes to side of head,pinkish flanksand otherwise similar plumage to Eurasian Wigeon.seen with 400 plus wigeon,200 plus Teal,5 Pintail.

Ducks constantly coming and going and a female Merlin preening on a post nearby.

3 Spoonbill,a thousand plus Lapwing and 1,500 plus Golden Plover on adjacent Isley marsh.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare. in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler showed well again in top corner of 1st car park, 10+ Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park.

yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 12 Dec 2014 ML

On the sea: 2 Black-necked Grebes, 51 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red-throated divers1 Guillemot & 3 Razorbills.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 2:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 10th December 2014

Beesands

Terry Goddard reported two late Swallows over the lake this morning with 100+ Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot etc. on the Ley.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 9:10 pm in Bird News

Broadsands

Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 4 Chiffchaffs 1 Blackcap and 2 Goldcrest in the marsh beside the 1st car park and 17 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park first thing this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 8:16 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Penduline Tit's at Darts Farm Hide

I spent a couple hours at Bowling Green Marsh but no luck with the Penduline, went for lunch at Darts Farm and as we got there a lady saw three of them flitting through the Bulrushes. Sorry about the quality of pic but so excited about seeing them, number three hundred in the bag.  Stonking views in the binoculars.
Regards Barry Rankine


Posted December 10th, 2014 at 5:08 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Escot Park, East Devon

15 members of East Devon Branch attended the parkland of Escot House for our traditional Christmas fieldtrip.With the consent of owner John Michael Kennaway we ventured into areas not usually open to the public.  A total of 34 species was found including Treecreeper, all the (common) thrushes, Bullfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Stock Dove, Sparrow Hawk, Kingfisher, Nuthatch, several Buzzards and Gt Spotted Woodpeckers. 

An excellent Christmas lunch was enjoyed by all and the toast (proposed by David Jannaway in his absence was) :  'Very best seasonal wishes and happy birding for all Devon birders in 2015'.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 4:37 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Dart's Farm 12:00

At least three Penduline Tits (two masked), on the bullrushes to left of the hide. Congratulations to the guy who got his 300th. Was Karen who spotted them amongst the Chiffs.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 12:49 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Tuesday 9th December 2014

Bowling Green Marsh + Goosemoor + Darts Farm

Viewed BGM 0815-0930hrs in a packed hide.

3 Penduline Tits (1 with mask) showed well sometimes high on the bulrush mace on arrival far left of hide right of gate before flying further right and disappearing at 0830 into the water channel in front the railway bridge. Also c600 Avocets + Spotted Redshank + good numbers of other waders and ducks.

Walk through Goosemoor showed 8 Long Tailed Tits moving along the railway hedgerow.

Darts Farm produced pair of Stonechats +  3 Chiffchaff + f-Reed Bunting darting around feeding on the reed beds in front the hide.

Whilst at Darts was told the Penduline Tits reappeared briefly at 0950 and flew high over the hide.

Posted December 9th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Berry Head

09:45-13:00. Calm conditions and overcast on arrival meant perfect for cetacean watching, with 12 Harbour Porpoise feeding close in and c30 Common Dolphins feeding and moving south further out.

A few birds moving as the front arrived included a Bonxie, 2 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Diver heading south. A Black-throated Diver flew into Torbay and it or another headed out and south later.

Dropped in on Stoke Gabriel Mill Pond on way home, where one, possibly two 'Continental' Cormorants.

Posted December 9th, 2014 at 3:59 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Strand. 11:20 - 13:00

c50 Dunlin; 108 Redshank; 3 Sanderling incl "Hoppy"; c800 Lapwing; 319 Dark-bellied Brent; 9 Shelduck; c1000 Golden Plover; 3 Little Egret; 4 Grey Plover; 35 Wigeon; 2 Goosander (a pair); 20 Pintail; 27 Fieldfare and 18 Redwing.

Posted December 9th, 2014 at 2:15 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Monday 8th December 2014

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford - 8.12.14

11am - 1pm. As well as the usual mute swans, mallard and teal , 2 greenshank,2 redshank,1common sandpiper, 3 shelduck, 2 stonechat, 25 curlew( mostly in the grassy field by the entrance, giving good views), 2 kingfisher and a lone egyptian goose in with the curlew.

Afterwards paid a quick visit to South Huish Marsh, the ruddy shelduck in with at least 260 Canada Geese. A sparrow hawk being mobbed by gulls.

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 5:49 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Dawlish Warren yesterday

The smart drake Long-tailed Duck was feeding a couple of hundred yards out from the end of the beachfront yesterday afternoon during low tide , so not giving the close views shown in previous observer's post but was disturbed by a passing boat  and gave flight views as it moved a short distance. 

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 4:47 pm in Bird News

PENDULINE TITS AT BOWLING GREEN MARSH

Three Penduline Tits showing well in the Reed beds in front of the hide at 09:20. Then,reapeared to the left where all three were seen low down in the Bulrushes, they then flew up and fed on the Bulrush seed heads where the views were at there best. This lasted a good 30 minutes. Interestingly, two were masked, one darker than the other, the third looked a juvinile. A new tick for me, and for several others that were priviledged to see these rare birds at Bowling Green Marsh.

Good numbers of Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits, Redshank, along with 5+ Gadwall,  several Pintail, Widgeon, and Teal were also on the marsh, but the main focus of the morning were on the Penduline Tits which became very illusive after 10:00.

Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits and Redshank leaving the marsh
Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits and Redshank leaving the marsh

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 3:16 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler still present, showing very well this morning in the top corner of the 1st car park - again chasing Chiffchaffs around.

 Yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 8 Dec 2014 ML2    Yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 8 Dec 2014 ML

Video here of its clipped and normal Y-bW call..  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDT56gbvKpw

Also in area 5 Chiffchaff (all collybita) 2 Goldcrest. In 2nd car park 21 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Bunting on seed. On the sea 4 Black-necked Grebes, 42 Great Crested Grebes and 9 Red-throated Divers.

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 2:26 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Yellow-browed Warbler, Paignton.

Yellow-browed Warbler still present and calling with Long-tailed Tit flock between St Marys Park and Yalberton Industrial Estate.

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 10:56 am by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Penduline tits at Darts

A bit of a late post for Friday, got to Darts Farm too late to see the Brents but found two pendulines feeding in the reeds approaching the hide.  No visible mask on either, but nice views ripping open a rush. 

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 9:22 am by Phil Holyday in Bird News

Sunday 7th December 2014

Topsham

Two adult Med gulls off Topsham recreational playing fields this afternoon. One had metal ring on left leg.

Posted December 7th, 2014 at 10:24 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Preston Torbay

3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ads both with metal rings and an unringed fw) on rocks at north end of prom today.

Posted December 7th, 2014 at 6:40 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery

Made two visits today, one before lunch and one after. Before lunch saw Black Redstarts, Meadow Pipits, Blue Tits, Coal Tit, several Blackbirds, Goldfinches and Greenfinch and several Redwing.

Meadow Pipit Mick Spencer 7.12.14 Ford Park Cemetery

Black Redstart Ford Park Cemetery 7.12.2014 Mick Spencer

After lunch the weather was more overcast for a while and managed a Raven, Goldfinch, Sparrow and Coal Tit but not able to get good views to photo any of them apart from the Raven.

Posted December 7th, 2014 at 4:15 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:15 till 11:15

only me and Tom Jurd in the hide when Tom said he had a few birds in the reeds on the far side just before 09:00 quickly getting my scope on the birds and wow Penduline tits we definitely had 3, 1 male and 2 1st winter / females but could of been upto 5 as me and Tom certain 2 of the first 3 had no black mask on them they showed well at times in the reeds to the right of the gate until at least 09:40 a fantastic bird for the marsh and another first for Bowling green marsh. 

Before we got the penduline tits quick counts of the waders , 1 spotted redshank, 1200+ dunlin, 558+ avocet, 500+ black tailed godwits, 15+ bar tailed godwits. 150+ redshanks, 6+ reed buntings, Redwings and at least 1 fieldfare, 3 pintail, 4 gadwall.

on way down to the hide 1 nuthatch, 4 coal tit and 2 great spotted woodpecker.

another great day at bowling green marsh

Posted December 7th, 2014 at 2:32 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bassett's Ridge - Taw Estuary

1950 Golden Plover on the ridge this morning, 19 Pintail,

397 Lapwing  & 74 Common Gull.



Posted December 7th, 2014 at 1:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

At least 2, possibly 3 Water Pipits viewable from the hide this morning. Also a couple Kingfishers.

Posted December 7th, 2014 at 11:55 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Topsham Bowling Green Marsh

At least 3 Penduline Tits (adult male and a couple of 1W by the look of them) from the hide this am.

Posted December 7th, 2014 at 10:44 am by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Saturday 6th December 2014

Topsham

1 Water pipit at the recreational playing field this pm.

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 7:16 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Ernesettle Creek / Tamar Estuary

1300 - 1530

On a rising tide were 44 Teal, 45 Wigeon, 50+ Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 4 Black Tailed Godwit, 3 Little Egret, 1 Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Great Northern Diver working its way down towards the Tamar bridge at sunset.

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 6:38 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Bowling green marsh And the goat walk

Watched from 07:30 till 10:15

Just a quick look around this morning before xmas shopping there was lots of disturbance this morning around the area made counts very hard.

only 72 avocet on bowling green with 2 spotted redshank among 400+ dunlin, 200+ black tailed godwits, 7 gadwall , 2 stonechat, 4 reed buntings a few wigeon and teal, 3 water rail and 42+ snipe.

the viewing platform area produced another 4 water rail, kingfisher , 3 reed bunting , 4 bullfinch, 40+ redwing , 3 fieldfare, 1 green woodpecker, 2 great spotted woodpecker,

looking from the viewing platform another 105+ avocet on the far side among , 56+ grey plover and 150+ golden plover, 30+ knot, 1000+ dunlin, , 21+ red breasted mergansers.

from the goat walk before a para glider went over causing havoc with the  large number of avocet and dunlin, black tailed godwits, curlew and lapwing, lots of wigeon and lapwing disturbed from exminster.

 

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 6:30 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Otterton Sewage Works and Budleigh Top Fields

A lovely sunny calm day for checking the sea at Otterton SW where 3 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Divers were the highlights. Best bird was a Lapland Bunting in with Skylarks late afternoon from the coast path between Otter Ledge and Brandy Head. A few pics on my blog.

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 6:27 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Robin Shute reported that the Hoopoe is still present at the first caravan site at Dawlish Warren, please remember to ask permission to look for the bird on the site.

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 6:17 pm in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery

Russ reported two Black Redstarts today

Also small flock Redwing present for a while and photographed today by Mick Spencer

Redwing, Ford Park Cemetery Plymouth Mick Spencer 6.12.14

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 6:12 pm in Bird News

Exminster Marsh & Turf Locks

Late morning walk around the marsh with just the bins showed large numbers of Brent Geese, Canada Geese, Lapwing and Wigeon and a few Snipe in fields both sides of station road but no sign of the Brant . Early afternoon at Turf locks on low-tide produced large number of Golden Plover c180 settled in middle of mud viewed towards goatwalk with another similar size group flying from the large mud bar south of the jetty. Good numbers of Lapwing and Dunlin also on the mud with a few Grey Plover and a Grey Wagtail was around sleuce gates.

Golden Plover
Golden Plover

Golden Plover (taken with camera held to bins)
Golden Plover (taken with camera held to bins)

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 5:56 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Exmouth

Maer Cricket Club - 2 swallows found by Paul Gosling around 1030 this morning. Also chiffchaff there and an immature male black redstart still showing well around the sailing club.

black redstart - Exmouth Sailing Club
black redstart - Exmouth Sailing Club

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 5:06 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Plym Estuary

On the dropping tide this morning were 103 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 33 Curlew, 18 Dunlin, Common Sand, 9 Little Grebe all at top end, Kingfisher, 6 Mistle Thrush and a singing Song Thrush. 

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 2:49 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Quiet and fairly mild conditions at Lower Tamar this morning.

14 Goosanders, 19 Mallard, 7 Teal, 6 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall 1 Moorhen, 2 Coot, 2 Grey Herons, 9 Blackbirds, good numbers of Blue and Great Tits plus Chaffinches on and around the feeders, 2 Coal Tits, 4 House Sparrows, 7 Black headed Gulls and 3 Jays.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 2:23 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Topsham

Large group of Brent Geese with Black Brant flew out of Darts Farm on arrival after beeing disturbed by pickup driving through the fields late morning.

Walking back along the exe trail a Kestrel was sat on the fencing near the bridge in Goosemoor. Bowling Green Marsh produced large numbers of Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler with some Shelduck, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Snipe. Viewing Platform showed the Water Rail just inside the gates again and much closer today. From the platform large numbers Dunlin and Redshank with Grey Plover scattered around and a few Avocets with 4 Red Brested Mergancers in the river channel.

Around the goatwalk large numbers of Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits, Dunlin and a few more Grey Plover scattered around and 2 Red Breasted Mergancers in the channel. Across the river c100 Golden Plover in a line around the jetty area of turf locks and large numbers of Lapwing.

Recreation ground showed large numbers of Black Headed Gulls with lots of Common Gulls a few Redshank and a Grey Plover. The Kingfisher was flying to&fro across the river reed-beds to retreat boatyard jetty. From 1615hrs the Starlings started the buildup with their great display over and around the M5 Motorway bridge with the sun setting in the background before settling into the reed-beds. Link to video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muQYruBFa34&feature=youtu.be

Many have asked about the adult summer Bonaparte's Gull and Whiskered Tern which gave brief visits at BGM in May 2014 and were unable to see. I've uploaded digiscoped videos to youtube which were taken with a compact camera hand-held against the scope eyepiece. Links to videos below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mOpk-nSKdw&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yNq0gzMJLU&feature=youtu.be

Posted December 6th, 2014 at 12:06 am by David Boult in Bird News

Friday 5th December 2014

RC Pochard, Bicton College Update

Please note mobile number for warden has been updated and is: 079771 48270

Posted December 5th, 2014 at 9:25 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Plymouth Ford Park Cemetery & Area.

Species noted this afternoon (5/12/14) were: Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Redwing, Song Thrush, Wood Pigeon, Crows (20 ish), Magpie (20ish), Squirrel, Rabbit.

At Plymouth College Playing Field (in a bush on the Sports Ground), Black Redstarts and Sparrows.

Posted December 5th, 2014 at 8:20 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler was still showing well in the back of the 1st carpark this morning - chasing off Chiffchaffs! Also Firecrest in the marsh and 18 Cirl Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park with at least a couple of Reed Buntings.

Posted December 5th, 2014 at 4:15 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Mansands & Longwood

Did my Webs Count this morning, the marsh still having plenty of water in it. Also glad to see there was a Little Grebe, a male Tufted Duck and acouple of Coots to add to the list with the usual Mallards and Moorhens. After that went for a stroll around Longwood, saw 3 Firecrests in different parts of the woods, but the surprise was looking at the stream that goes under the track and seeing a Dipper, which is the first one I’ve ever seen here. 

Posted December 5th, 2014 at 2:46 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Torbay

With calmer sea this morning an opportunity to check the sea off Broadsands produced 6 Red-throated Divers still, two Great Northern, 23 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 8 Common Scoter.An additional Red-throated Diver was off Goodrington.

Posted December 5th, 2014 at 2:43 pm in Bird News

Red-crested Pochard, Bicton College Lake

It would appear that the female Red-crested Pochard that has been visiting Budleigh intermittently since Nov 16th has now taken up residence at Bicton College Lake. It was present this morning with a couple of Tufted Duck.

There is not normally public access to the lake, but I have spoken to Bicton College who have very kindly agreed that any visiting birdwatchers are welcome to view the lake to see the bird so long as they agree to the following simple rules:

1 - Park in the visitors car park.
2 - During the week you must sign in and out at reception
3 - On a weekend reception is closed, but please give a courtesy call to the Warden (
079771 48270) to let him/her know that you are on site birdwatching by the lake.


All College staff are aware of the bird, so there should be no problems

Female Red-crested Pochard, Bicton College Lake

Posted December 5th, 2014 at 2:09 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Long-tailed Duck at Dawlish Spit

Long–tailed Duck at the end of the spit at Dawlish on Thursday 4th Dec, along with a surprise Water Rail to the left of the hide.

Long-tailed Duck in Spring plumage !!!
Long-tailed Duck in Spring plumage !!!



Posted December 5th, 2014 at 12:29 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Yellow-browed Warbler, Paignton.

Yellow-browed Warbler still present and calling this morning with mixed tit flock.

Posted December 5th, 2014 at 12:08 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Thursday 4th December 2014

Little Stint

Anyone interested in a write up about the Little Stint on the Plym Estuary in October, can see one on the Birding Frontiers website:-

http://birdingfrontiers.com/2014/12/04/a-troublesome-juvenile-stint/

Posted December 4th, 2014 at 10:32 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

LOWER TAMAR LAKE

10:30 Today.

A very still day on the Lake, 16 Goosander 12m 4f, 13 Tufted Duck 8m 5f, 7 G.C.Grebe, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Gadwall 1m 1f, 3 Wren, 1 Nuthatch, 2 G.S.Woodpecker, 7 Long Tail Tits,2 Jay,2 Bullfinch.

Fairy Cross.

1 Male Hen Harrier cruising the tree tops.

Posted December 4th, 2014 at 9:14 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Topsham

Black Brant was on fields far side viewed from the hide at mid-day with c600 Brent Geese and Great Spotted Woodpecker was again on the feeders. Link for close up video of Woodpecker

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0mF51x8qIg&feature=youtu.be

A few Redwing and Fieldfare feeding on the berrys along the hedgerow walking down Bowling Green Road. Water Rail was again showing really well in the field just along the left hedgerow adjacent the road inside the entrance gates for Bowling Green viewing platform. From the viewing platform on incoming high-tide 2 Spotted Redshank + 24 Grey Plover + large numbers of Avocets, Lapwing and other waders.

Black Brant
Black Brant

Lapwing
Lapwing

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Posted December 4th, 2014 at 8:01 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:45 till 16:40

walked along station road upto the fishermans car park, 5 water rail, 4 stonechat , large number of wigeon in various groups around the marsh, 15+ grey plover, a group of 150+ golden plover were flushed twice by the local peregrine, large numbers of lapwing spread over the marsh, a group of 300+ Brent geese were close by the road by the middle car park and were joined by 700+ which flew in from the estuary.

waders were building up on the scrapes by the lagoon  500+ dunlin, good numbers of black tailed godwits, redshanks, and curlew.

6+ pintail, 5 tufted duck, 1 little grebe, 2 kingfisher 

Posted December 4th, 2014 at 7:47 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Topsham murmuration

Another excellent display of many thousand starlings near the motorway bridge at Topsham today between 4 and 4.17. Lots of good action over a calm river which brokes into large ripples and a wake from the massed wingbeats as the birds did their final drop into the reeds. A great watch.

Posted December 4th, 2014 at 5:06 pm by John Phillips in Bird News

Yellow-browed Warbler, Yalberton Ind Est.

Yellow-browed warbler still present on footpath between St Mary's Park in Colaton St Mary and Yalberton Industrial Estate. Also 1 chiffchaff, 10+ long-tailed tits, 6 blue tits, 4 great tits and at least 5 goldcrests.

Posted December 4th, 2014 at 10:11 am by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Topsham

Darts Farm late morning no sign of the Black Brant and not many Brent Geese about. Mid-day the Great Spotted Woodpecker was again on the feeders with several Chaffinch and Green Finch. Link to video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3HrMUcSLSM&feature=youtu.be

Walking along the Exe Trail there was a very nice Spotted Redshank feeding on the river clyst mud near the new bridge in Goosemoor. Large group of Brent Geese flying Goosemoor towards Darts Farm. Link to video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bozY0evcxHQ&feature=youtu.be

Bowling Green Viewing Platform showed another Spotted Redshank +  Greenshank + 9 Grey Plover + large numbers of Avocet + Dunlin + and other waders + Water Rail was again showing well along the hedgerow in usual place just inside the entrance gates.

Walked upto retreat boatyard to view the starling murmuration which arrived a bit later today in the failing light with the sun setting with red sky in the background. This produced several smaller groups instead of the 2 larger groups which had been showing in the last few days before settling into the reed-beds but still exciting to watch and the noise from the reed-beds was awesome  Link for video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe6CnO27N3w&feature=youtu.be

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Greenshank
Greenshank

Water Rail
Water Rail

Posted December 3rd, 2014 at 10:02 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

Ford Park Cemetery on Tuesday.

Birds noticed were Redwing, Meadow Pipit, Green Finches, Goldfinches, Blackbirds, Robins, Magpies and Carrion Crows (by the score), Wood Pigeons.

Posted December 3rd, 2014 at 8:28 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Morwellham

Drake American Wigeon seen a mile upstream from Morwellham Quay on tidal river Tamar. Seen from kayak. In company of two Mallard. Very shy- didn't get closer than 100 yards before it took flight. No binoculars.

regards   Rupert Kirkwood

American Wigeon- Morwellham
American Wigeon- Morwellham

Posted December 3rd, 2014 at 5:48 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Broadsands & Clennon Valley

Broadsands: Yellow-browed  Warbler showed well in top right corner of 1st car park first thing this morning. Also 14 (minimum) Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park, feeding station is near the blue skip this year see: http://www.devonbirds.org/birdwatching/articles/cirl_buntings_at_broadsands

Swallow Clennon Valley 3 December 2014

Returning home I had to 'double take' a bird sat on the wires above Brantwood Drive - amazingly it was a Swallow, looking quite sorry for itself after last nights frost - but it seen flying around later in the morning.    

Posted December 3rd, 2014 at 2:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Darts Farm & Goosemoor

Quick look at Dart's Farm this lunchtime saw just a small flock of Brent Geese and no sign of anything unusual amongst them. The Kingfisher was perched close to the feeders by the hide.

Paid a quick visit to Goosemoor on my way back to work and found the pair of Egyptian Geese on the river bank looking towards Darts Farm. Also close by was a Black Swan on the other river bank. Still there at about 2 o'clock.

Posted December 3rd, 2014 at 2:23 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

North Torridge area

The tiny Manteo Way reserve had 36 Curlew in the wintering flock on the cowfields, and 6 Common Snipe feeding way out in the open on the mud. 3 Lapwing and Shelduck highlight species on River Torridge at low water. 

Posted December 3rd, 2014 at 11:18 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A cold but bright morning. 54 Golden Plovers, 13 Lapwing and 3 Stonechats. Yesterday (2nd) 9 Golden Plover, 1 Grey wag, Kestrel and the Little Owl showing well in the afternoon.

Posted December 3rd, 2014 at 10:15 am in Bird News

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Video of the Water Rail viewed with Keith earlier this afternoon over the high-tide as per his post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfMAwfevdeY&feature=youtu.be

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 10:14 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Around topsham

Watched from 14:50 till 16:30

Bowling green marsh 14:50 till 15:30 

654+ Avocet numbers slightley down on last 2 days but still an excellent count for the marsh, 1 spotted redshank among good numbers of dunlin, black tailed godwits and lapwing and a few bar tailed godwits, 4 pochard, 6 gadwall.1 water rail close to the gate to the path to the viewing platform,

From the goat walk 5 red breasted mergansers

From the Quay and topsham rec 16:00 till 16:30

Another amazing display from the starlings pre roost,  numbers built quickly with groups coming from all directions 1 group of 1000+ flew over us as we walked to topsham rec estimate at least 20000 to 25000 the weather is supposed to be good tomorrow afternoon so hoping for another good display best watched from topsham rec.

Water rail
Water rail

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 9:44 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Dartmeet & Burrator

The first rather cold day of this winter may not have been the best day to trek across a chilly Dartmoor, but a visit to Dartmeet went very well from a birding perspective, a good flock of Goldfinch on the Alders on arrival, Yellow Hammers soon showed up, one male being a BTO rung bird with blue & yellow colour tag rings on the other leg, a Wren and a male Bullfinch showed briefly Goldcrest showing well by the river and a Marsh Tit came in just as we were leaving.

Lots of Woodpigeons that appeared to be feeding on Beech mast.

Large flock of Chaffinch on the Beechmast at Two Bridges, no sign of any Brambling with them.

Burrator seemed to be the venue for a birding photographers convention, with Nuthatch, Jay and Coal Tits being very plentiful in the area, both Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a Grey Wagtail being on the days list at that location, another birder reported seeing Treecreeper on the Oaks.

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 9:15 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Broadsands

Too blown out by wind to do much this am but a flock of 10 Brent Geese on the beach initially, soon flushed by dog walkers and flew off southward.

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 7:56 pm in Bird News

LOWER TAMAR LAKE

A very windy and cold Tamar Lake today.

Goosander 7m 2f keeping out of the wind in the culverts, 10 Tufted Duck, 1 Cormorant, 2 Jay, 1 L/Grebe on the stock pond, 2 G.S.Woodpecker on the feeders, 8 G.C. Grebe, 1 Redwing, The feeders at the hide and car park both very productive with Blue/Great/Coal/Marsh/Willow Tits, Greenfinch Chaffinch Bullfinch, Dunnock, House Sparrow also 1 Wren, 3 Robin,4 Moorhen, 1 Grey Heron, 24 Mallard.

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 7:41 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

The female Red-crested Pochard again on the scrapes early this morning (Alan) before flying off.
1 Purple Sandpiper on the rocks below Otter Ledge this morning.
This afternoon 4 Shoveler, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 22 Curlew, 1 Lapwing and 200+ Wigeon, 40+ Teal on the scrape.

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 5:53 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Starling Roost Topsham M5 Reedbeds

Starling Roost growing at Topsham, no time to count numbers!!... This evenings display was a short one, (16:05 to 16:15) but spectacular!. Best time to view seams to be between 15:45 to 16:30 if they are there.! 

Reedbeds under M5 bridge
Reedbeds under M5 bridge

Starlings over the M5
Starlings over the M5

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 5:51 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Westward Ho!

My first Purple Sandpipers of the winter this afternoon on rocks by the defunct paddling pool. Dave Paull had a single there a couple of weeks ago and today there were two.

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 3:46 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Topsham opposite Darts Farm

Two Egyptian Geese on the bank of the River Clyst, between Darts Farm and the Bridge Inn. 10.28 am

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 10:28 am by Paul Thearle in Bird News

Prawle yesterday

At Horseley Cove a slightly unexpected sight was 8 Brent Geese (7 of which in photo ) feeding on the seaweed covered  rocks, reluctant to move even when a dog walker passed. Also a lone Knot feeding with Turnstones.At the Airfield were 58 Golden Plovers and 2 Lapwing.  

A quick look at Beesands late pm, nice to see the duck buildup again with 110 Gadwall present. The storm damage to the beachfront was noticeable.

Posted December 2nd, 2014 at 8:38 am in Bird News

Monday 1st December 2014

Darts Farm + Bowling Green Marsh

Started at Darts Farm 1245hrs

Black Brant was feeding in the fields amongst 600+ Brent Geese + Great Spotted Woodpecker was on the feeders + Kingfisher was around the fish ponds. Click on the link below for Black Brant video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQsNZ3GjBOQ&feature=youtu.be

Walking through Goosemoor a Buzzard was sat on top the fencing.

Link below shows a Spotted Redshank feeding in the Clyst Estuary viewed from Bowling Green Marsh left of the Viewing Platform on the out-going high-tide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIYZdPS-cj0&feature=youtu.be

Black Brant
Black Brant

Black Brant
Black Brant

Buzzard
Buzzard

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 10:37 pm by David Boult in Bird News

R.Taw. Pottington to Heanton Court. 14:20 - 16:00.

Off Pottington Ind. Est :- 3 Little Egret; just 29 Lapwing; 1 Sanderling with either damaged left foot or small bivalve attached and 54 Redshank.

Off Penhill Point :- 5 Grey Plover; 8 Dunlin; 1 Great Crested Grebe; 2 Little Egret and c400 Lapwing.

Ashford Strand :- 1 Bar-tailed Godwit; 4 Little Egret and c30 Redshank. Plenty of Oystercatchers.

Bassett`s Ridge(off Heanton Court) 15:20 :- 16 Pintail (5 drakes and 11 ducks); 117 Ringed Plover; 63 Dunlin; 6 Shelduck and 8 Grey Heron.

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 8:11 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Darts Farm, Topsham

A half-hour lunchtime visit from 13:15 saw about 600 Brent Geese, with about a dozen or so Canadas in the fields to the east of the Clyst.  In amongst them the Black Brant stood out like nobody's business.  (Must have been the same group spotted by KB later in the afternoon).  Also a couple of dozen Teal and a few Wigeon but no obvious transatlantic types with them.

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 6:41 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Around topsham

Watched from 14:20 till 16:20

A quick look around after work produced a Spotted redshank in with dunlin, redshanks, bar tailed godwits and black tailed godwits, 2 tufted duck, 4 pochard, 3 gadwall all on Bowling green marsh.

from the viewing platform 600+ Brent geese flew over from darts, 1 water rail, 11 red breasted mergansers , large numbers of dunlin and a few grey plover.

from the goat walk finally found the Avovets on the far side towards turf 2 counts done confirming yesterdays count of 730+ great to see, 40+ golden plover 600+ lapwing, good numbers of dunlin, redshank, grey plover, black tailed godwits, also good numbers of common gulls among yhe black headed gulls.

finally from the quay and then the church in topsham watched a spectacular performance from c25000 Starlings over the reed beds by the Motorway bridge to end a good couple of hours birding. 

 

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 6:09 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

The female Red-crested Pochard on the scrapes north of the Lime Kiln car park this afternoon (first seen 16th November). Seems to be fully winged and be wearing no rings!
The Teal x Wigeon hybrid also present.
Female Red-crested Pochard by Chris Townend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Some more photos on the following link if interested:

www.creamteabirding.co.uk/2014/12/more-ducks.html

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 5:20 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Southdown Farm,Bolberry

Bird highlights were golden plover, 200 skylark,44 meadow pipit, 23 pied wagtail, 7 song thrush,130  carrion crow, 47 house sparrow & 17 cirl bunting.

Highlight of the morning was a mature femaSika stag with 6 females. Also my first Brown Hare of the year.

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 5:12 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Torbay

Around the beaches: 2 Red-throated Divers, 1 Great Northern Diver, 13 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Black-necked Grebes.

Also Broadsands; 19 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest (photo below) with 4+ Chiffchaffs.

Goodrington; Youngs Park 1 Siberian Chiffchaff (photo below) and 1 Chiffchaff. 

Firecrest Broadsands 1st Dec 2014 ML  Siberian Chiffchaff Youngs Park Goodrington 1st Dec 2014 ML

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 4:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

Black Redstart on the red cliffs near the war memorial, seen from the promenade at 3.40pm.     

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 3:50 pm by Richard Allen in Bird News

Velator

Took Digby and Sue (DBWPS members) around the reserve this morning. WIndless and sunny, shame about the local shooters on the adjacent marshes, shooting far too frequently in my opinion.

We spent some time trying to see something that was attracting the attention of the small birds, hoping for a Tawny Owl, but alas, all I saw was a pesky squirrel....

We did, however hear a very vocal Cetti's Warbler, and at least 5 Chiffchaffs, including at least 3 unringed birds. A Water Rail flew out from the pond and later started squealing. Increasing numbers of Goldfinch feeding on alder cones. A Red Admiral flying around the grassy area. (Saw another in central Barnstaple later).

Finally, a Dipper in the stream as we left.

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 3:14 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 11 :45-13:00, high tide

Great Northern Diver ( around Saltstone ), 6 Little Grebe, 800+ Golden Plover ( flying high above fields west of marsh ), 33 Snipe and 2 Chiffchaffs ( sewage works ).

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 1:58 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Yellow-browed Warbler, Yalberton Industrial Estate, Paignton.

Yellow-browed Warbler feeding and calling with a small tit flock on short public footpath between St Marys Park on Stoke Road and the industrial estate. Grid reference SX 86624 59691

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 12:10 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Ilfracombe - Sunday 30th November

Popped over to Ilfracombe with Andy Lansdell to try and see the recently reported Black Redstart and Firecrest but had no joy. We met up with John Hunt , Rob Jutson and wife Paula who had been observing the Purple Sandpipers which also eluded Andy and myself !

 However, the most notable observation which I feel needs a mention was the presence of a splendid Painted Lady butterfly enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

  These cannot survive the British winter at all and are usually gone by mid to late October !

Painted Lady butterfly.
Painted Lady butterfly.

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 11:13 am by John Clark in Bird News

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