Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from December 2018

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

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News

Membership

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

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

Monday 31st December 2018

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Anchorwood to Fremington Pill 12.45-14.45.

3 Goosander(Redheads) off Anchorwood Bank. 37 Dark-bellied Brent off Fremington Quay flying upriver on falling tide. 6 Shelduck and 3 Little Egret near Fremington Rock. 25 Wigeon off Chivenor plus a flock of c1000 Golden Plover on Chivenor Ridge with a large number of Lapwing.

Fremington Pill had a very large number of Redshank plus 2 Little Egret; 14 Teal; c35 Mallard and 1 Greenshank.

Posted December 31st, 2018 at 7:55 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Duck SCAUP -- Instow

About 1120 : Between Instow Yacht Club and Westleigh junction: a single duck Scaup very close to mud bank wading against the inflowing tide. Swimming a few yards beyond it were 18 Widgeon (evenly matched ducks and drakes).  Two Shelduck on the mud bank close by.  The Scaup kept aloof from the ducks nearby.  Also the usual waders.

Posted December 31st, 2018 at 7:42 pm by Abraham Cutajar in Bird News

Central Park, Plymouth

A solitary Waxwing feeding on cotoneaster opposite the cafe by the Pitch and Putt.

Posted December 31st, 2018 at 2:38 pm by Roger Higman in Bird News

Amendment to earlier posting

My post on Wednesday 26th December 2018 need to be amended. In it I reported a Firecrest and Barn Owl in my garden. It was only now that I have read the post that I have realised that I should have said it was a ‘Tawny’ owl. It is part of the BTO study that asked you to report Tawny owls.

Posted December 31st, 2018 at 12:04 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News

Slapton Ley

c300 Black-headed Gulls, Mediterranean Gull and 6 Goldeneyes (3M) Ireland Bay first light. Ring-necked Duck and Otter at Torcross. Off Torcross 2 Red-throated Divers, 30+ rRazorbills and 2 Harbour Porpoises.

Posted December 31st, 2018 at 10:53 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Along The Tarka Trail

Went for a walk along the Ashford side of the river yesterday afternoon. Loads of waders along the water's edge. Mostly Redshank, Black Tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers with the odd Curlew here and there. Even though only 30 feet or so away, seemed oblivious to our presence. Best sight was a flock of upto 400 Lapwing put up by an over flying Peregrine which then flew inland over West Pilton.

Posted December 31st, 2018 at 10:31 am by Robert Morgan in Bird News

Sunday 30th December 2018

Bowling Green Marsh

Brilliant number of Black-tailed Godwits at the marsh today, as well as the continued presence of wisps of Snipe. I counted 31 Snipe in one flock today at the back right of the marsh. Another bird seen in relatively large numbers was c. 80 Bar-tailed Godwits  which dropped in at high tide. 

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Alex Mackintosh in Bird News

Crossbill at Bellever still, 29th Dec 2018

Crossbill's, large flock eating seeds from the cones above the pay and display station at Bellever car park (Dartmoor) along with Tree Creeper. Very misty due to the low cloud cover, pair of Dipper feeding in river.

DipperMistle Thrush
Dipper                                      Mistle Thrush

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 5:50 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Starling Murmuration

Approx. 300 Starlings at Heathfield, coming in small flocks, from 4:10pm and after performing, all dropped down into conifers by 4:30pm

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 5:49 pm by Jeanne Silvestri in Bird News

Decoy Lake

Great Northern Diver still on Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot 3-4 pm plus 6 Male & 3 female Tufted Ducks and a Song Thrush singing. 

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 5:45 pm by Jeanne Silvestri in Bird News

Charleton Marsh / Bay

This afternoon on the falling tide 108 Canada Geese, 42 Brent Geese, 670 Wigeons, 25 Teals, 13 Pintails, Great Northern Diver, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Greenshanks and a couple of Water Rails calling. In the sewage works a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Grey Wagtail.

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Green Sandpiper, Ruff, 30 Snipe & 29 Pintails amongst the usual flocks of waders & ducks.

At Darts Farm, 4 Reed Buntings & just 5 Brent Geese.

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 3:38 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck still on ley at Torcross. Also redhead Goosander Stokeley Bay. 7 Goldeneyes including 5 displaying males halfway down Lower Ley. 2 Red-throated Divers off the Memorial Car Park. Brilliant visibility but no scoters seen.

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 11:53 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Saturday 29th December 2018

Around the Exe

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh ~ Water levels very high, large numbers of Black Tailed Godwit on the marsh with more birds arriving on a regular basis, at least four coloured ringed birds observed but the shear density of birds made reading the colour combinations challenging.

More Lapwings than I have previously seen on site with a steady flow of new birds arriving, some 50 Dunlin, numerous Redshank, five Greylag Geese, ducks included Pintail, Tufted, Shoveller, Wigeon and Teal, several large skeins of Brent geese passing over. On leaving two Magpie's locked in a serious fight on the road.

  

At Darts Farm a large flock of Brent Geese flew in but local shooting soon cleared the area of water fowl, several Reed Bunting near the fishing ponds.

Exminster marsh a first year Peregrine seen perched on a fence, four Barnacle geese with a flock of Canada's, and a flock of 350 plus Golden Plover.

Posted December 29th, 2018 at 8:09 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Matford and Bowling Green

Surprise find was a Yellow-browed Warbler flitting around the willows just in front of the viewing platform at Matford Marsh. 2 Chiffchaff, 20+ Shoveler and 10+ Snipe the other species of note.

The usual suspects were found at Bowling Green, but 30+ Grey Plover, 50+ Knot, and 40+ Barwits off the viewing platform was good to see.

Posted December 29th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Alex Mackintosh in Bird News

Powderham sawmills

A wintering Yellow-browed Warbler for its 13th day at least at Powderham Sawmills. Best viewed from the concrete square in front of Poppy's Flower Studio. Mobile and elusive but favouring sallows in middle of marsh.

Posted December 29th, 2018 at 5:18 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Charleton Marsh / Bay

Marsh fairly quiet this afternoon, still 1 Tufted Duck. Out in the bay on the falling tide 3 Great Northern Divers and a surprise Whimbrel. Nice flock of c700 Golden Plovers flying around.

Posted December 29th, 2018 at 3:22 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

A dawn count this morning saw 36 Goosander 14m 22f

Posted December 29th, 2018 at 2:56 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Friday 28th December 2018

Tristis Tor, Harford, Dartmoor

Ringtail hen harrier this afternoon flew towards Dendles. Golden plover heard but not seen.

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 7:40 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Torbay and beyond..

A good search for scoters around the bay and north to Shaldon produced:

Goodrington: no scoters, but 1 Red-throated and 2 Great Northern Divers. 

Torquay, Daddyhole Plain: 6 Common Scoter and over 100 Common Dolphin spread over a wide area of sea.

Hope's Nose: 20 Common Scoter flew south

Babbacombe: 3 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Harbour Porpoise

Maidencombe: 7 Common Scoter

Shaldon/Teignmouth: 5 Eider and 6 Common Scoter

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 6:57 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Crowpoint to fisherman's Hut

A nice walk along the shoreline as the tide was going out saw many different waders, but managed to get a couple of shots with the camera of some raptors,  one a buzzard,  but not sure of the other. Eds- yes a Buzzard

Buzzard ?   Buzzard
Buzzard ?        Buzzard

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Tipton St John

Excellent views of a Yellow-browed Warbler in trees on the bank of the River Otter by the football pitch in the playing fields, called once when chased by a goldcrest. Other birds at Tipton St John included a male Merlin and a Chiffchaff, and a male Black Redstart was on the seafront in Sidmouth.

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 5:37 pm by Mike Crosby in Bird News

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

Good view of a Short-eared Owl this morning plus new site record counts of 101 Cirl Bunting & 160 Yellowhammer. 1310 Skylark highest count in recent years. Also: 49 Meadow Pipit, 31 Song Thrush, Snipe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 23 Magpie, 59 House Sparrow, 45 Linnet & 7 Reed Bunting.

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 3:20 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Another great gathering of feeding and roosting birds on Blaxton Meadow, during this morning's high tide including: 4 Snipe showing well on the ground, Kingfisher, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, 6 Greenshanks, 8 Wigeon & 35 Curlews. On the estuary, 8+ Goosanders (3 drakes), 3 Little Grebes & 26 Turnstones. Also Grey Wagtail and a flock of 27 Siskins. 

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 3:07 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Charleton Marsh / Bay

07:35-09:50, high tide.

2 Barnacle Geese ( flew off west on their own @08:34 ), 69 Canada Geese, 22 Wigeons, 56 Teals, 2 Tufted Ducks, a showy Water Rail below the hide and a couple others calling, Fieldfare, Grey Wagtail and 15 Meadow Pipits. In the bay 3 Little Grebes and 3 Red-breasted Mergansers.

Water level steadily dropping, reached the hide normal route but the water went over my wellies, not my smartest move of 2018.

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 11:03 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Thursday 27th December 2018

Dartmoor, Hamel Down

Good views this afternoon (3.30ish) in glorious winter sunshine of short eared owl hunting over Hamel Down. Hawking north/south/north until flying away toward Grimspound.

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 8:08 pm by Steve Manning in Bird News

Taw estuary Fremington Quay/Chivenor Ariel display

<1,600 Golden Plover joined by <600 Lapwing to provide a wonderful ariel display over the Taw Estuary today between Fremington Quay and Chivenor. 


Posted December 27th, 2018 at 8:04 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Torbay

Scanning the bay this evening from Three Beaches Headland on a flat sea I picked up a group of 12 scoter approx 2-2.5 miles away toward Thatcher's Rock, Torquay around the mussel farm buoys. Watching them for 20 mins on full 60x zoom one wing flapped with it's head up, so I suspect the Surf Scoter has relocated (hopefully temporarily). There should be closer view points from Torquay but suspect the flock will still be very distant - will check tomorrow.

Also counted this evening, 3 common Scoter off Three Beaches Headland, Goodrington, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Red-necked Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 1 ad Mediterranean Gull in Gull roost. 

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 6:38 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Ilfracombe Harbour

Photo of 2 of 4 Purple Sandpipers seen at Ilfracombe this morning..


Posted December 27th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, Green Woodpecker, 6 Little Grebes, Kingfisher, 2 Shags, c35 Meadow Pipits & (my best ever count here of) 8 Roe Deer.

Yesterday also: 12 Wigeon, 9 Goosanders (2 drakes), c7 Ring-necked Parakeets, Sparrowhawk & 4 Mandarin Ducks. 

Today in Efford Marsh: 5+ Chiffchaffs.

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 5:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Broadsands

11.00-13.45

At the back of the first Car Park, the Yellow Browed Warbler showed briefly at both 11.00 and 13.45.  At 11.00 it was joined by a Firecrest.  A Chiffchaff and a female Blackcap were also close by.  Bullfinches, Goldfinches and Cirl Buntings also nearby.  A couple of Song Thrushes singing too.   

On the sea: 4 Common Scoters, 2 Great Northern Divers, 3 Black Necked Grebes, Red Necked Grebe, Red Throated Diver.  A couple of Guillemots and Razorbills too.   

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 5:03 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Newton Abbot

Great Northern Diver still on Decoy Lake this morning.

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 4:44 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

27-12-18 Radford Lake and Saltram

At Saltram Blue & Green Parakeets showing very well, one looking into a possible nest site, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, several Curlews, Dunlin, Redshank, 2 Mergansers, 6 Goosanders 4 female 2 male. At Radford lake, Kingfisher showing very well, Little Grebes 10, 1 Heron up a pine tree, nothing more to note

Blue Parakeet - Saltram Kingfiaher - Radford Lake
Blue Parakeet - Saltram (Eds - blue morph of Ring-necked Parakeet)   Kingfiaher - Radford Lake

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 3:41 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck commuting between Torcross and Ireland Bay. Also male Goldeneye and redhead Goosander in Ireland Bay. Offshore Great Northern Diver south and 2 Red-throated Dive just off the Memorial Car  Park. 3 Common Scoter close in, 4 very distant. Noticeable passage of auks south early morning ( c500 plus per hour ). Of the identified resting auks in the bay  ( c25 ) all Razorbills except one Guillemot. Around at Beesands a Black-throated Diver off the village. The ley is dead just 5 Mallards, 2 Tufted Ducks and 2 Coots. The culvert is blocked, the water the highest since the hide was built ( 1996 ), so maybe it's messed with the water quality.

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 3:10 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Brixham breakwater

2 rock pipits, 8 purple sandpipers, 3 turnstone, 3 guillemots and 3 GN Divers

 

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 2:14 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

Torbay

3 Red-necked Grebes from Broadsands this morning all looking like adults also, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 8 Great Crested Grebes,. 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers (one with a BTD like flank patch) and 2 Common Scoter (no sign of the surf Scoter this am so keep your eyes on other scoter flocks in S Devon), 30+ Common Dolphin toward Brixham.

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 9:47 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 26th December 2018

Firecrest and Barn Owl

Single Firecrest feed on a berberis and then on large camellia bushes in a garden in Plymouth. Barn Owl heard calling in large beach trees in the Mannamead area on a regular basis between 18:30 and 23:30.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 10:47 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News

East lyn, to lynton

Walking from the top to lynton with all the wrong lenses we saw a goosander just below the tea rooms, a very patient heron on the far bank that didn't seem phased by all the walkers, and about 300 yards up the stream from the harbour a cormorant diving the rapids and eventually exiting to stand on a boulder.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 7:49 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Melbury n.devon

At my feeding station today at least 2 willow tit, easily 30 but probably more coal tits along with 6 blue 4 great and 3 long tails.2 great spotted woodpecker 2 nuthatch,sparrowhawk and singing song thrush.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 7:29 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Three beaches, Torbay, 1pm

1st W surf scoter with 5 imm/fem type common scoters, straight off 3 beaches headland. 

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 5:48 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Fremington Pill

11am today - both greater scaup and glossy ibis at Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck still on Slapton Ley at Torcross out from the Start Bay Inn.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 3:26 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery, Boxing Day

Apart from the crows, magpies and pigeons very little else apart from Blue Titsand Great Tits on the Feeders. Near the Tipping Area were about 20 Tong-tailed Tits, a Wren and a Robin. Also pair of squirrels messing about in the trees and a large Tabby Cat.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 2:45 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Brixham.

1 Red-throated Diver, 4 Great Northern Divers off Breakwater beach and 1 Great Northern Diver on the inside of the Breakwater this morning. On the wave defense Brixham Marina 8 Grey Seals resting.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 2:35 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Blaxton Meadow/ Plym Estuary

Early morning visit on a falling tide on the meadow 38 Curlew, 70 Dunlin,8 Greenshank 85 redshank 6 Widgeon 21 Shelduck and 6 Snipe , in the trees  behind meadow a single Great Spotted Woodpecker and 6 Green Parakeets.

On the estuary Goosander (2m 5F) Red Breasted Merganser (2m 3F) 6 Little Grebe and large flocks of wader which included Dunlin Turnstone Redshank Greenshank. A single pair of Gadwall and all the usual Heron Little Egret Mallards Cormorants.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 1:58 pm by Roger Backway in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh / Bay

Beautiful still day. 2 Barnacle Geese with 60 Canada's on the marsh. Tufted Duck still present but only around 20 Teals and no Wigeon. Out in the bay ( high tide ) 50 Brent Geese, 4 Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebe and the wintering Great Northern Diver off Wareham Point.

The water level on the marsh has fallen but the hide is still only accessable by going along the wall on the estuary side and in.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 11:13 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Still holidaying in Paignton!

A beautiful sunrise more than made up for a dearth of birds today. The eiders were still present off Marine Parade, Though further out than last week still very active in their fishing, this time without the attentions of the gulls. Broadsands. The GND and scoters, barely visible in the murk yesterday were noticeable by their absence today as were all the other birds. The only real sign of life was a solitary seal making its way around the headland. 

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 10:16 am by Philip L. fairclough in Bird News

Tuesday 25th December 2018

Christmas Canal Walk

Merry Christmas. My usual Christmas walk along the canal - Powederham Castle - nothing special - Stonechat at Topsham Side Lock, Cirl Bunting near cycle bridge. 7 Muscovy Duck a new attraction at Turf lock. As well as all the usual waders etc. 2 Black Swan at Topsham Quay.

Grey Heron with an Eel was fun - video - https://youtu.be/aOOVUt2vP7c

Stonechat Topsham Side LockGreat Spotted Woodpecker - ExminsterCirl Bunting
Stonechat Topsham Side Lock        Great Spotted Woodpecker - Exminster          Cirl Bunting

Posted December 25th, 2018 at 5:26 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Braunton

Calling near the garden early this morning; Tawny Owl, and a Green Woodpecker. Also a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker.

The reserve very quiet this afternoon. Another pile of feathers means one fewer male Blackbird.

Posted December 25th, 2018 at 4:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Merry Christmas from South Brent

Heavy mist/fog for the early part of the morning the tiniest hint of sunshine and heavy overcast thereafter over South Brent but around the garden feeders much brighter with Siskin, GSWP, Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Long Tailed Tit, male Bullfinch and overnight Tawny owls calling.

Posted December 25th, 2018 at 1:29 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Seaton Wetlands - Firecrest

Fantastic close views of Firecrest by entrance to Black Hole Marsh - raised area to right of gate.

Posted December 25th, 2018 at 1:26 pm by Dave Bittern in Bird News

Nr Hemerdon

In garden this morning: Siskin 3 (1m,2f), Blackcap 1 (m) and Chiffchaff 1

Posted December 25th, 2018 at 12:06 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Harleston by Slapton

First singing Song Thrush of the new season in murky but very mild conditions. 30 Fieldfare over garden.

Posted December 25th, 2018 at 11:59 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Song Thrush -- Bideford -- 0845

singing heartily behind my house for the past 15 minutes wishing mankind a Merry Christmas.  Thank you dear Thrush and all the Best.

Posted December 25th, 2018 at 8:55 am by Abraham Cutajar in Bird News

Monday 24th December 2018

Little Gull

Juvenile Little Gull just offshore at Teignmouth pier at 1030hrs this morning. 

Posted December 24th, 2018 at 8:14 pm by Roy Adams in Bird News

Shutterton

Two chiffchaffs feeding along the edge of the hedgerow by the path leading from the lane opposite Dawlish Sands today.

Posted December 24th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Mark Brandon in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle.

1015 - 1300:-

19 Avocet, 6 Wigeon, 3 Mediterranean gull (ad winter) 2 Great crested grebe, 1 Little grebe, 1 Green woodpecker.

Ernesettle creek: 22 Teal, 21 Snipe, 1 Greenshank.

Posted December 24th, 2018 at 2:48 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

RT and BT divers off Torcross

Single red-throated and 2x black-throated divers off Torcross end of Slapton yesterday (Sunday) midday, plus single male goosander flying south from the Ley.

Posted December 24th, 2018 at 12:15 pm by Pete Exley in Bird News

Sunday 23rd December 2018

Plymouth

An Otter seen briefly in Efford Marsh (my first in Plymouth) & also Firecrest & c12 Chiffchaffs there.

Low tide on the Plym Estuary produced: a 2nd-w Mediterranean Gull, 6 Goosanders (2 drakes), 13 Wigeon, 18 Common Gulls (all ads), 2 Shags, 3 Little Grebes and Ring-necked Parakeet(s) heard.

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 9:40 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Exe Estuary

1st visit for a long time and walked from Powderham church, and had a great close-up of a pair of Cirl Buntings just over the footbridge. About 6 - 7 Pied Wagtails at various places walking to the Turf, numerous House Sparrows and a Rock Pipit. Down by the Turf a Red Breasted Meganser. Plenty of wader activity including: Avocets, Sanderlings, Grey Plovers, Golden Plovers, Lapwing, Oystercatchers and Curlews.

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 9:39 pm in Bird News

Otter Estuary, East Devon

                       

2 Pale bellied Brent Geese near the scrape with Canada Geese, while 6 Dark bellied Brents were on the cricket pitch.  A Water Rail crossed the creek opposite the hide. 

Pale bellied found by Doug Cullen.  (The path to the west bank hide is open from Whitebridge) although it appears closed.  NO access from Lime Kiln car park still.

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 6:40 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Crossbills around Tottibridge Reservoir

A small flock of around six previously well hidden  Crossbills flew calling out of pines on edge of reservoir, after being spooked by a sparrowhawk. soaring overhead.

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 5:49 pm by Mark Brandon in Bird News

Fremington Quay

Despite very mucky weather we decided to walk from Fremington Quay towards Home Farm Marsh via the path just north of Saltpill duck pond and were rewarded with distant views of 2 spoonbills on the far bank, but on our return one had come over to our side of the river.

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 5:31 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Velator

In the reserve this morning, 2 Chiffchaffs, one with a ring on, the second also now has a ring on. This brings the total number of Chiffs ringed there this year to 50. Cetti's Warbler called once and loads of Finches, Redwings and Starlings around.

Wigeon out on the scrape.

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 3:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

Never seen the marsh as flooded before, topped up after some heavy overnight rain. Present were 20 Wigeons, 115 Teals, 2 Pintails, 2 Gadwalls, 20 Mallards, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Redshanks, c300 Black-headed Gulls, adult Mediterranean Gull, 10 Common Gulls, Kingfisher and a Chiffchaff calling by the hide.

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 12:24 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Exmoor seo with tag?

This seo near Simonsbath, yesterday. Are the straps around the neck a transmitter or suggestive of a previous captive life?

Short-eared Owl Short-eared Owl Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl

Eds: not sure what to make of protrusion - it's in a very odd place if it's a transmitter!  

 

Posted December 23rd, 2018 at 9:13 am by Tim Williams in Bird News

Saturday 22nd December 2018

R.Taw, Barnstaple. 1430

The numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Geese have more than doubled in the last 2 days with 354 counted just off Penhill Marsh.

45 Black-tailed Godwits around the area of Bradiford Water outfall.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 7:39 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Velator etc.

Chiffchaff seen in the reserve this morning and a Water Rail heard. Best was a smart 1st year Male Blackcap in the garden this afternoon. Still getting lots of Tits on the feeders including the ringed Marsh Tit. 2 Song Thrushes singing in and around the garden and a flyover Jay.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 6:39 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

fremington quay.

8 cattle egrets in field behind café.Chiffchaff and bullfinch on tarka trail.

Cattle Egret Chiffchaff. Bullfinch.
Cattle Egret                            Chiffchaff.                                  Bullfinch.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 6:16 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Shaldon

1 Great Northern Diver in the mouth of the Teign, halfway between Shaldon and Teignmouth.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 5:28 pm by Roger Duggleby in Bird News

Torbay

Broadsands late this afternoon: 1 Red-necked Grebe (adult), 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers. in this evening Gull Roost; 1 Mediterranean Gull, 87 Common Gull $50+ Black-headed Gulls. Looking toward Goodrington; Surf Scoter and 4 Common Scoter, 31 Great Crested Grebes.  

In the Back of the 1st car park the Yellow-browed Warbler called regularly this evening but didn't show.                             

  Red-necked Grebe ad Brdsnds 22 12 18 ML Red-necked Grebe ad Brdsnds 22 12 18 ML Red-necked Grebe ad Brdsnds 22 12 18 ML

                                                                           Red-necked Grebe diving

                              

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 5:22 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Torbay coastal

Torquay beach, Livermead end ~ SX907633 ~  150 plus Black Headed Gull, one ringed with a yellow tag ring but disturbance from dogs running loose on the beach prevented the ring details being obtained, Heron, Little Egret, Pied and Grey Wagtails, Rock Pipit, six Mute Swan, three dark bellied Brent Geese.

Grey Wagtail 

Marine Parade, Paignton, distant views of a possible Red Throated Diver towards Goodrington, one Great Crested Grebe well out on the sea

Paignton Pier the reported three Eider duck just off the pier Torquay side and one Razorbill.

Young’s Park boating lake twenty two Tufted duck, several Mallard on lake and on the sea, from the sea wall the reported Surf Scoter with four Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe in the distance towards Brixham harbour.

Elberry Cove ~ Black Necked Grebe and two Great Northern Diver.

Back to Marine Parade where the three Eider Duck were preening on the exposed rocks, one adult Mediterranean Gull with the twenty plus Blacked Headed Gull and twenty Eight Turnstone.

  

Yesterday (21st Dec) Tiercel Peregrine low and fast over the A38 at the western end of Ivybridge, at Lee Mill a female Sparrow Hawk over the A38 and at the end of the day a female Peregrine came over home and had a too close for comfort look at the contents of my pigeon lofts!!

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 5:06 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh this morning

Low tide didn't help, then a Peregrine put up all the waders that were there - they left for the estuary! Hundreds of Wigeon and Black Tailed Godwits, lots of Redshank, Teal, Shoveler. Eight Pintail and a lone Ruff.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Plymouth Cattewater

Two Great Northern Divers in Cattewater near Yacht Haven Marina Saturday 1530.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 4:32 pm by Ashley and Cynthia Crawford in Bird News

Little gull at Teignmouth

One Little Gull west of the pier at Teignmouth this morning, virtually on  the shoreline at times.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 3:27 pm by Mark Brandon in Bird News

N. Hallsands.

5 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest and 2 Blackcaps this morning.

Ad. F. Firecrest.
Ad. F. Firecrest.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 1:52 pm by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh / Bay

Seen the marsh well flooded before but I don't think more than it is now. Male Tufted Duck swimming where the marsh should be ! 250 plus Black -headed Gulls, first calendar year Mediterranean Gull and 10 Common Gulls also on the marsh. Hundreds of Teals and Wigeons out on the mudflats, Great Northern Diver around the saltstone. Just starting to have a good luck at everything when a shooting party arrived, couple on the wall either side of the hide, at least one on the marsh and turned this wonderful reserve into a little bit of Malta. Everything scattered and disturbed. I hope the couple who were having an innocent walk on the marsh manage to find their dog which turned tail and ran away in fright when the shooting started, last saw them looking in the village. What is really galling is I spoke to one of the participants last winter and he did not know which were shelduck and definatly was not sure of the wigeon and teal. They invariably claim to love the countryside but in 10 minutes caused more disturbance and negativity to it than any over zealous photographer, noisy family or thoughtless dog walker could do if they tried.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 1:06 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Sutterton Lane Dawlish Warren

2 Firecrests approx 200 metres from the Dawlish Warren entrance to Sutterton Lane  which joins Sutterton and the Warren. Also 2 Green Woodpecker, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker and good numbers of various Titsl. 

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 9:49 am by Roy Adams in Bird News

Friday 21st December 2018

Med gull at Broadsands

Ist winter Med Gull on the rocks from Broadsands today. Also Black-Necked Grebe and many Great-Northern Divers in bay and towards Brixham, and two Chiffchaff and a male and female Blackcap in the first car-park. The Surf Scoter and Common Scoters were seen heading towards Broadsands from Goodrington mid-afternoon.

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 5:08 pm by Mark Brandon in Bird News

Goodrington

An early morning look from Goodrington. Surf Scotor 1st wint, Common Scoter 4, Red-throated Diver 1, Great Northern Diver 2, Shelduck 7 & Great Crested Grebe 48.

 

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

scaup at Fremington Pill

The scaup is still at Fremington Pill - seen on this afternoon's incoming tide.

Scaup
Scaup

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 3:56 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Arlington

Water Rails in the flooded area to the left of the hide.Arlington woodland.

Water Rail   both rails poor photo
Water Rail                                      both rails poor photo

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 3:37 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Torbay

At Broadsands today the Surf Scoter could be picked out at distance with 4 Common Scoter, also 1 Red-throated Diver and 3 Great Northerns off Broadsands beach. The Yellow-browed Warbler and 3 collybita Chiffchaffs were in the marsh at the back of the 1st car park.

Over at Preston/Paignton the 3 Eider reported below were feeding off shore.

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 2:46 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Northern visitors at Marine Parade

Three GND's fishing and minding their own business till the gulls spotted how successful they were being and started mobbing them. I assume the dark bird is a female but could find no reference to plumage in Hamlyn?

  

Eds: These are Eiders Philip - a good record in recent years in Torbay -  I'm on my way to see them now!

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 11:33 am by pHILIP l. FAIRCLOUGH in Bird News

Thursday 20th December 2018

Mediterranean Gulls, Marine Parade, Paignton

Two Mediterranean Gulls at Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton this morning.

Twenty two Turnstone, Little Egret, Oyster Catcher, Pied Wagtail and four Great Crested Grebe well out at sea.

 

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:51 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Teignmouth Pier

Still a Great Northern Diver and a 1W Little Gull near the pier this lunchtime.

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Red Necked Grebe

Elberry Cove Broadsands

1 Red Necked Grebe and 2 Black Necked Grebe close to the shoreline this morning together with good number of Great Northern Divers scatted around the bay.. 

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:02 pm by Roy Adams in Bird News

Torbay

Not a full count this morning but from Broadsands Beach seawall  5 GND, 30+ Great Crested Grebes, Surf Scoter and 4 Common Scoter. The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in the back of the 1st car park and 3 collybita Chiffchaffs too.

In Youngs park, conservation area, Goodrington 1 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest and 1 collybita Chiffchaff.

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 2:28 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 19th December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Treecreeper (only my second of the year here), Firecrest (now probably 5 wintering on the patch), Jack Snipe, Snipe 2, Shag 2, Little Grebe 3+, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Ring-necked Parakeet, Dunlin 148, Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon 9 & Oystercatcher 9.

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 9:25 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Northbrook, - Salmon Pool

A quick pre-dentist visit this afternoon - usual Green Sands and (possibly) two pairs of Dipper (one pair near Lethbridge Road and the others nearer Topsham Road). A Little Egret on the flooded pitch and putt course and a lone Redshank on the similarly flooded Duckes Marsh Playing Fields.  A Treecreeper near Salmon Pool was the first I've seen there for over a year and was the highlight.

Dipper  Little Egret  Redshank
Dipper                              Little Egret                        Redshank

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 4:11 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Teignmouth seafront

Still two 1W Little Gulls  and a GN Diver in the river entrance.

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 3:12 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Torbay

A nice build up of divers especially Great Northern over toward Brixham and Berry Head this morning after yesterdays storm.

Brixham: 41 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 62 Guillemots &17 Razorbills. Also several hundred Gannets and Kittiwake in the middle of Torbay.

Broadsands: 10 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red-throated Divers, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 14 Guillemot. Looking toward Goofrington 48 Great Crested Grebes and the fw Surf Scoter with 4 Common Scoter. (MD saw the Red-necked Grebe looking back from Brixham breakwater earlier in the morning)

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again present in the back corner of the 1st car park.

Paignton: 2 Great Northern Divers 

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 2:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 18th December 2018

Ilfracombe Pier

Today still several Black Redstarts around the seafront. A few rareties on the sea, 2 Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were feeding off the Pier. Further out a Skua sp was chasing Kittiwakes and Gannets off Capstone point. The storm drain has been attracting masses of Gulls, counts of up to 1000 are regular. 3 Porpoise were showing well and a large Bull Grey Seal was snacking on a Small eyed Ray. 

Shag aka Colin Bull seal breaking up a Skate
Shag aka Colin                                                    Bull seal breaking up a Skate

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 10:06 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Scaup - Fremington Pill

The greater scaup still at Fremington Pill North Devon this morning at 10:30 however could not be found again on the return pass 40mins later.

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 3:56 pm by alan craddock in Bird News

Fremington Pill

The greater scaup was still at Fremington Pill at high tide today.

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 2:48 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Monday 17th December 2018

Yellow Browed Warbler at Broadsands Car Park

A couple more photos of the YBW still in Broadsands car park this morning. Thanks to Bob Carpenter who helped me follow the bird across the tree.

Yellow Browed Warbler Yellow Browed Warbler
Yellow Browed Warbler                                        Yellow Browed Warbler

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 9:57 pm by Bill Coulson in Bird News

Kingswood hill/ Challacombe Moor

A before sunset trip out over in the hope of seeing some seo's saw 5 red kite, a kestral, peregrine and numerous buzzards.sadly no seo's. There were large murms of many hundreds possibly thousands of starling and a large flight of golden plover which finally settled on the Moor. 

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 9:08 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Blaxton Meadow (Plymouth)

A excellent event today organised by the National Trust, saw five volunteers and a ranger pointing out birds to over 50 interested visitors. Some 600 birds of 32 species visited the meadow during the high tide including 2 showy Kingfishers, 4 Goosanders (a drake & 3 redheads), 10 Wigeon, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 52 Curlews, 8 Oystercatchers, Common Sandpiper & 32 Shelducks.

All the visitors seemed very appreciative of the efforts to reduce disturbance which has led to positive effects for birds and birdwatchers. Many thanks to everyone involved.

On the estuary, also 2 drake Red-breasted Mergansers & 3 Little Grebes, and earlier a Firecrest by The Ride.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 7:40 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Early Christmas dinner at Exminster Marsh

One less Canada Goose or an early Christmas dinner. Not much of any note on the marsh for a brief afternoon visit today. 4 Greylags and 4 Barnacles in with the Canada's and a Peregrine (as usual) on the pylon.

Canada Goose carcass Barnacle Goose (distant)
Canada Goose carcass                         Barnacle Goose (distant)

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 6:49 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

fremington quay and Barnstaple

Glossy Ibis, 2 Greenshank,many Redshank, Kingfisher,teal 3 common Snipe and 1 cattle egret from the stubble and then over the river towards Braunton.

  

Eds: a reminder to label photographs some viewers will not know what the birds are.. Here Glossy Ibis with Greenshank, Kingfisher and 2 Snipe with Redshank.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 5:12 pm by john elvin in Bird News

west Charleton marsh

Please note that access to hide is impossible at present due to high level of water

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 4:16 pm by lesley goonesekera in Bird News

Torbay

On the sea from Broadsands: 2 Red-necked Grebes (1 ad w & 1 juv winter) video link here: https://youtu.be/2mDJY0kamVY  . 2 Black-necked Grebes, 19 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Surf Scoter, 4 Common Scoter 3 Great Northern Divers 1 Red-throated Diver.

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in the back corner of the marsh, with 1 Chiffchaff.

Preston: 8 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 4 Red-throated Divers.

Red-necked Grebe juv winter Broadsands 17 Dec 2018 MLRed-necked Grebe juv

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 3:03 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Bradiford Water. 1045-1145. High Tide 1327.

Black-tailed Godwit 41; Bar-tailed Godwit 2; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 138; Teal 4; Shelduck 4;

Goosander 9 (6M,3redheads) and just 1 Sanderling.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 3:00 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Teignmouth Seafront

Three 1W Little Gulls together feeding close in over the shoreline by the pier this lunchtime

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 1:49 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Fremington Pill this morning

Greater Scaup

  

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 12:58 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Sunday 16th December 2018

Starling Roosts

For the information of Dennis, who posted on this subject earlier, the starling roost in bamboo at South Brent is in my garden. It has been regular for the past couple of Autumn's, as the bamboo has matured. This year in October there were regular roosts of up to 60 birds most evenings, that grew to over 200 in November, as recorded. Even today at least 60 birds performed a mini murmuration before roosting. However of particular interest for Dennis, twice in December ( first on 3rd) I have seen and on one occasion when they flew up the road and surrounded my vehicle been part of a larger murmuration of at least a 1000 birds on the Kingsbridge - Wrangaton road , between the California Inn and Marriage Farm. Hope that is of interest to Dennis.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 10:56 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On Blaxton Meadow - 2 Snipe, 2 Goosanders (redheads), 10 Wigeon, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Greenshanks, 32 Shelducks & c40 Curlews,  Also Ring-necked Parakeet(s) heard, 2 Little Grebes and a Shag. 

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 7:53 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Starling Roosts

Heathfield:  An embryonic murmuration of 350+ evening of 16th December - all birds in by 16.20.

Ashprington: None recorded to date (2018).

South Brent:  200 recorded in bamboo one evening in November.

Slapton Ley:  Not watched regularly in 2018 although apparently very low numbers this autumn (Oct-Dec) with no counts greater than 20,000 (up to 120,000 and regularly 70,000 in November during last 5-6 year intensive study) and then on only one or two dates.  Seldom more than 5,000 recorded in 2018 and on some evenings there were no birds at all. The 2018 autumn roost was initially at Torcross where a roost of local birds regularly forms in July. Otherwise roosts were in the reed fringe opposite the Middle car park and latterly in Ireland Bay.  Normally birds arriving in October roost at Strete Gate and the roost then moves towards Slapton Bridge ending up in Ireland Bay as more shelter is sought as a result of autumnal storms and much colder conditions.  The roost has typically been vacated by Christmas. 

An autumn passage roost has existed at this site for some 200 years but during the last 3-4 years there have been notable changes in the pattern of passage and roost sites.  Birds have also moved further south at dusk to Beesands (and beyond?) and roosts of up to 1-2,000 have "dribbled" on into mid January.  It is thought that these changes are due to Climate Change with very much milder, less stormy conditions during Oct, Nov and Dec.  Autumnal storms (often tail ends of US East Coast hurricanes) have increasingly passed northwards through Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland and less frequently affecting England and Wales.

Despite the coverage being very poor during autumn 2018, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that it has been a very poor season with very few birds compared with the last 6 years intensive study.  This may indicate that birds are wintering further north and east such as the UK East coast (Dungeness?) and the Netherlands.  (The roost at Dungeness regularly declines in mid November when peak numbers occur at Slapton.  Some birds following the NW European coastal fringe are thought to cross the English Channel at this shortest crossing, along with Wood Piigeons and finches, following the English South coast to S Devon/Cornwall before crossing back to France/Iberia across the Western Approaches)  Further research is being carried out to try and determine whether there is evidence to support this hypothesis by looking at long term data sets from Falsterbo (Sweden) and other Scandinavian and N European sites as well as UK sites.

Similar northward movement of winter ranges are occurring with many other species, in particular wildfowl which are now wintering much further north than 5-10 years ago as the northern oceans become warmer and free of ice at higher latitudes.  Similarly Mediterranean/Southern species of marine life are increasingly being recorded in the North Sea and higher latitudes.  Because many wildfowl are now wintering on open water well away from human habitation and traditional methods of assessing overall numbers (e.g. WeBS), novel methods of obtaining counts, such as satellite images, are being used to obtain accurate estimates of population sizes (BOU Online Newsletter).

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 5:53 pm by Dennis Elphick in Bird News

Charleton Marsh / Bay

Out in the bay Great Northern Diver, Pintail, 469 Wigeons, 50 Brent Geese, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Little Grebes, c400 Golden Plovers, Greenshank, 43 Curlews and a Rock Pipit. On a flooded marsh, more a lake, 134 Teals, 2 Gadwalls, Greenshank and Water Rail.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 5:21 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Broadsands

The fw Surf Scoter could be picked out with 6 Common Scoter today from Broadsands. Scanning around the bay also produced: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 19 Great Crested Grebes, 13 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red-throated Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 7 Razorbill and 16 Guillemots.

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in the top corner of the first car park with 2 Chiffchaffs and 1 Siberian Chiffchaff.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 3:52 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Baggy Point & Down End

At Baggy Point: four Eiders, 27 Common Scoters, two Red-throated Divers, plus single Gannet, Water Rail (first time I've ever recorded one at this site), Mediterranean Gull and female Blackcap. Down End was quiet apart from a pair of Stonechats and a superb male Black Redstart.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 2:43 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Exe Estuary divers

A link to video of the divers on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jAAusOA2Wcc

Does anyone else think the new, paler bird looks odd?  Upper mandible appears to be dark all along ridge of upper mandible - can White-billed ever show this?

Eds: It is a paler headed Great Northern compared to the other bird it is with and larger billed too but the dark all the way to the tip of the upper mandible rules out White billed Diver. The bill would have looked more yellowish too even in today's light.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 2:02 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Exe Estuary: Cockwood

Started my WeBS count this morning with close views (but awful light) from Cockwood Steps of 2 Great Northern Divers (new one with pale on back of head rather reminiscent of White-billed!) and 'Herbert', the resident Slavonian Grebe; pretty awful phonescoped images below. At least 3 G C Grebes and a Kingfisher also near Cockwood Steps. Rest of count uneventful, apart from a hailstorm!

Great Northern Diver fw Great Northern Divers Slavonian Grebe                                             Great Northern Divers                                    Slavonian Grebe

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 1:45 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Exe Powderham to Turf

Another impressive count of pintail near Greenland Bank - 250, otherwise few birds on the WeBS count today. The big surprise were 2 male cirl buntings feeding alongside 2 linnet and 3 meadow pipits on the sea-wall and at times on the cycle path about 200m north of the new bridge at Powderham.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 1:03 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck still at Torcross. Couple hundred Black-headed Gulls included one in summer plumage. Adult Mediterranean Gull and 3 Wigeons in Ireland Bay. On the sea Black-necked Grebe off the Memorial Car Park then flew out to sea. Also Great Northern Diver ( plus one flew south ) and after the strong easterlies Common Scoter down to 16.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 10:16 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

A Great Northern Diver was on the lake at Decoy, Newton Abbot, This morning(16-12-18) at 08.45

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 9:49 am by nick hamzij in Bird News

Saturday 15th December 2018

velator

One of the Common Snipe on the scrape.

Posted December 15th, 2018 at 2:00 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Friday 14th December 2018

Mistle Thrushes return

It's great to see the Mistle Thrushes and hear their calls in the centre of Newton Abbot. They are currently eating Yew Berries in the Devon Square churchyard.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 8:22 pm by David @ The Hall of Einar in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three Firecrests, 9 Snipe, Jack Snipe, Kingfisher, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Goosanders (drake & redhead), 4 Shags, 9 Turnstones, c185 Dunlins, 7 Greenshanks, 8 Wigeons, 2 Bullfinches, 7 Ring-necked Parakeets (1 blue) & a Chiffchaff.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:59 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Arlington court

A mid morning walk around Arlington court today saw small flocks of fieldfare and red wing mixed,  several small flocks of starlings over the upper fields, in the woods nuthatch,  blue great and coal tits. 

Nuthatch    Redwing
Nuthatch                                              Redwing

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:58 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Tamar Lakes

Upper Lake this morning.

1 Merlin, 1m Goosander, 1 Brent Goose.

Lower Lake,
21 Goosander 5m 16f, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpeker, 6 Tufted Duck, 1 Tawny Owl, 4 Gadwall, 24 Shoveler, 12 Wigeon, 1 Nuthatch, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, c100 Lapwing, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Reed Bunting 1m 1f,  c50 Coot, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Greenfinch, 9 Blue Tit, 6 Chaffinch, 8 Coal Tit, 2 Great Tit, 8 Moorhen, c60 Mallard, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 8 Starling, 2 Robin.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:11 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford 12.10 - 13.15 (High Tide 10:12)

Goosander 3 (1M,2Redheads); Grey Plover 15; Black-tailed Godwit 24; Bar-tailed Godwit 2; Dunlin c60; Wigeon 7;      Greenshank 1.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:09 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Anchorwood Bank

Early afternoon along the Tarka Trail at Anchorwood Bank - 4 female + 2 male goosanders, 1 grey plover, 50+ curlew, 1 greenshank, 1 kingfisher, 3 little egret, lots of redshank, lapwing, shelduck, cormorant.

GoosanderGoosander, little egret, mallardGoosanders
Goosander        Goosander, little egret, mallard        Goosanders

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Blaxton Meadow (Plymouth) events

National Trust birding events at Blaxton Meadow, Plymouth, start on Monday. Volunteers will be on hand to point out birds. Come & see a variety of species visting the marsh since disturbance has been minimised.

Details on photo here.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Baggy point

am & very cold in the SE wind.

25 fem Common Scoter at Baggy Pt,  no sign of the one male seen with the flock last time. 4 Eider still present + 2 Gannets.

I was surprised they were still in the same location as last week after the severe westerly gales during last weekend. No protection from westerly gales at Baggy Point.


Posted December 14th, 2018 at 6:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

N . Hallsads

A SIBERIAN Chiffchaff plus 2 nominate Also 4 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest and 4 m. Blackcaps.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 5:09 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Woodbury Castle, East Devon

Flock of c100 Chaffinch mobile around the fort which included a small number of Brambling- counted six before they all took off due to dog walkers.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 4:05 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

Another record count for Yellowhammer at this site with 141 recorded today. Also a site record count of 79 Cirl Bunting - now all we need is more winter stubbles in South Devon!! Also: 1240 Skylark, Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 27 Meadow Pipit, 39 Song Thrush in the open fields & hedgerows, 50 House Sparrow, 80 Linnet, Bullfinch & 5 Reed Bunting.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 3:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Little Gull

Little Gull feeding with large flock of gulls between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 2:57 pm by Nick Workman in Bird News

Goodrington Torbay

The fw Surf Scoter was again off Three Beaches Headland with just 3 Common Scoter.

Surf Scoter fw Goodrington Torbay 14 Dec 2018 Ml

                                                              Surf Scoter (centre) with 2 Common Scoter

 

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 1:41 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 13th December 2018

Fremington Quay

Solitary swallow flying low along the estuary towards Barnstaple at 8.45 am. 

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 9:55 pm by Paul Bearman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

1 Slavonian Grebe with two Little Grebes.

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 9:14 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Matford Marsh

Pair of Gadwall briefly only highlight on a bitter day.

Gadwall
Gadwall

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 7:16 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Arlington.

Great Egret, sparrowhawk, jays, gs woodpecker, 4 mistle thrush, 6 song thrushes, flock of over 100,mainly fieldfare and some redwing, good amounts of all local woodland birds and a bout 30 starlings. By 3pm it was bitterly cold. 

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 3:55 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Filham Park Lake Ivybridge

On Checking The Lake At 13.30 This Afternoon I Counted Twenty Six Goosanders. Twenty Females & Six Males....Numbers Are Increasing!!

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 3:14 pm by patrick hawkins in Bird News

Torbay

The bay is far to rough to check thoroughly for scoter, divers and grebes today but the Yellow-browed Warbler was showing well at Broadsands 1st car park.

Also 1 Cattle egret with at least 11 Little Egrets in fields east of the Waddeton Road, Paignton.

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 10:14 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 12th December 2018

Chillington S.T.W.

2 'Continental' Goldcrests ringed this morning,both of which had the pale grey tones of the nape and side crown extending further onto the mantle than is usually the case. Possibly an indication of a more Eastern origin.Oddly,there were no British Goldcrests present at this site ,which normally holds 15/20 wintering birds. Also present were 5 nominate Chiffchaffs; again a poor number for the site in Dec. Perhaps a reflection of the mild weather , or are they late in arriving ?.

' Continental' Goldcrest.i
' Continental' Goldcrest.i

Posted December 12th, 2018 at 2:23 pm by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

Tuesday 11th December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two Firecrests, 7 Ring-necked Parakeets (1 blue), 20 Redwings, 2 Bullfinches, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, 6 Goosanders, 9 Mandarin Ducks, 15 Wigeon, 2 or 3 Shags, 56 Curlews, 156 Redshanks, 4 Black-tailed Godwits & 7 Greenshanks.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 8:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Barnstaple to Braunton.

4 chiffchaff, 1cettis,6 common snipe, 1 kingfisher, 5 song thrushes, 8 redwing, small flock of goldfinch andLt tits, stonechat and on the estuary large flocks of lapwing and golden plover. About 8 grey plover, 1greenshank, bt godwits about 20.Stopped at Heanton Court cfor a coffee and warm up, lovely day. 

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 7:19 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Male Hen Harrier near Two Bridges

Had excellent views at 3.30pm today, of a male Hen Harrier, which flew low over the B3357 near Mel Tor car park east of Two Bridges, Dartmoor. It was so low that it twisted in flight as it flew over the road, to avoid the car! It then flew away to the north, presumably to roost as it was headed towards Warren House.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 5:55 pm by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

Crediton.

Two singing robin along Four Mills Lane. Small flock of goldfinches in Bullmarsh Field (SX 83402 99140). Two little egrets among the gulls in field other side of River Yeo from footpath (SX 83052 98875). Brambling near Backs Barn at top of Breakheart Hill (SX 82707 99417). About 20 ground-feeding redwing at bottom of Cradle Fields (SX 82450 99785) on walk back to Tin Pot Lane.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 5:34 pm by Andrew Head in Bird News

Possible Little Gull Mudbank

Seen briefly around 11.30 am from the Mudbank screens flew down river past the screen turned and flew up towards Lympstone where i lost it in the background. Distant view but looked right (80% sure).

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 2:20 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Torbay

Paignton/Preston: 2 Black-necked Grebes, 3 Great Created Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers.

Goodrington: 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 4 Red-throated Divers (flew in together), 1 fw Surf Scoter, 5 Common Scoter.

In marsh in Youngs Park, Goodrington: 1 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs.

Broadsands: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 4 Great Northern Divers, 3 Wigeon

Aslo Yellow-browed Warbler still present in back corner of 1st car park.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 12:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Broadsands

I was the only living thing around Broadsands at 8am yesterday. Apart from one solitary cormorant. In the first car park the Siberian chiff chaff was playing hard to get, Stayed still long enough for just one photo but pleasing all the same. Nothing out of the ordinary at Clennon but nonetheless a beautiful morning.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 7:47 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Bird News

Monday 10th December 2018

Broadsands to the Ex.

Early at Broadsands this morning, managed chiffchaff, Siberian chiff chaff and the Yellow-browed warbler, (with a bit of help from Mike at first). At Holden forest there were both Marshfield Crossbills in the quarry At the back of the office's. Into the Ex. at Turf locks we got Golden plover and a Red-breasted Meganser. On the way home stopped of at Cockwood and were lucky enough to see the Slavonian Grebe with a Great Crested Grebe. 65 species in all today. A very good day.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 11:43 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Sightings

Waders and Ducks on the River Taw.

Curlew                Eurasian Wigeon
Curlew                                                 Eurasian Wigeon

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 10:31 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Waders

Sightings

Lapwing on the River Taw near Ashford   Grey Plover on the River Taw near Ashford  Red Shank on the River Taw near Ashford
Lapwing on the River Taw near Ashford                  Grey Plover              Red Shank on the River 

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 10:26 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Red Kites

12 Red Kites seen near Heasley Mill, North devon. A mixture of adult and juvenile birds. One appears to have a ring.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 9:13 pm by Jeremy Hickman in Bird News

South Hams Reserves - 10.12.2018

Nothing new at South Huish Marsh, where a male Stonechat and a couple of Meadow Pipits were the highlights. On to South Milton Ley to top up the feeders by the viewing screen. The hard working Alan Pomroy was again present, ringing assorted birds. Last time on 3/12 he had a Water Rail to show me. Today he was ringing a Redwing, as I arrived. Lovely to see these birds so close, and an opportunity to try out a new camera! At the viewing screen highlights were a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, a Water Rail, 3 Bullfinch and a couple of Chaffinch, with the tits. On to West Charleton Marsh, where despite it being low tide several ducks were still on the scrape, along with 2 Greylag Geese, probably the same ones that spent a couple of days at S.Huish. Also saw a Water Rail, Kingfisher, male Blackcap, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail and 4 more Redwing amongst other birds. Light was poor, but could make out a number of Dark Bellied Geese and a lot more ducks out on the estuary. When I left, about 15.30, several flocks of Teal were flying from the estuary to join others on the scrape 

Redwing rung by Alan Pomroy -South Milton Ley - 10.12.2018          Greylag Goose and ducks - West Charleton Marsh- 10.12.2018
Redwing rung by Alan Pomroy -South Milton Ley   Greylag Goose and ducks - West Charleton Marsh

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 7:15 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

Velator

Ringing in the reserve had a good start with an adult Redwing, and finished on a high with a smart adult female Sparrowhawk. Sadly not much in between, a quiet session with only 19 birds ringed. Goldcrest, Song Thrush and Reed Bunting the pick of the rest, although a ringed  female Chaffinch was ringed in early November in Berrynarbor by Chris Dee.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 6:29 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berrynarbor

firecrest seen in the garden a couple of times this morning.

.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 5:29 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Slapton and Beesands

Wildfowl highlights on the ley included Greylag Goose ( on a brief sojourn from Beesands I think ), fcy fem Scaup ( probably the one that has been at Beesands, ) the Ring-necked Duck and 4 Goldeneyes ( 1 male ). Also 5 Little Grebes. Offshore 50 Common Scoters ( 2 males ), 4 Great Northern Divers ( 2 flying south ), Black-throated Diver ( distant ), Red-necked Grebe and 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese which eventually flew north. An otter put in an appearance halfway down the Lower Ley.

Around at Beesands the aforementioned Greylag Goose a couple Little Grebes and little else.

On a negative note just no Pochards seen today and on a clam sea with good visibility not a single auk.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 5:17 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Northbrook to Matford Marsh, Exeter

Green Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Dipper and Water Rail on the Northbrook (never managed a picture of Water Rail here before). Also Jay (Northbrook Golf Course). 15 Blackwit on the University playing fields. Little grebe near Salmon Pool. Matford Marsh - Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Shoveller etc also a decent amount of Wigeon but with failing light and only my bins I couldn't pick out anything yankee!

Green Sandpiper Water Rail Chiffchafff
Green Sandpiper                             Water Rail                     Chiffchafff

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 5:06 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Broadsands & Elbury Cove

Visit mid morning. Surf Scotor 1st wint, viewable towards Goodrington with 5 Common Scotor. Red-necked Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a third small Grebe but too far to ID, 1 Red-throated Diver & 7 Great Northern Duvers. 

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 4:38 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Undoubted highlight of the morning was a superb view of a Corn Bunting perched out in the open with a Song Thrush & Yellowhammer. Another highlight was 131 Yellowhammer, as far as I can tell a record count for the area. Also: Sparrowhawk, 29 Meadow Pipit, 29 Blackbird, 11 Song Thrush, 2 Snipe, wintering male Blackcap, male Bullfinch, 90 Linnet, 9 Cirl Bunting & 10 Reed Bunting.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford. 1115 - 1300

Knot 5; Redshank 83; Grey Plover 7; Shelduck 2; Dunlin c140; Sanderling 6; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 168; Black-tailed Godwit 39; Wigeon 14; plus a flock of c200 Golden Plover (best count so far c1500 4/12/18)

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 2:20 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Berrynarbor

  One  Firecrest seen in the garden a couple of times this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 1:39 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Ivybridge, Filham Park

A personal patch record of 20 Goosanders on Filham Park fishing lake this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 12:41 pm by R Teague in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Female Goldeneye in the channel off Passage House car park this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 12:14 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Sunday 9th December 2018

Broadsands

Just to add to Mike's earlier posting; Red-necked Grebe in Elberry Cove again late am, out towards oyster beds in loose company with the Black-necked Grebe.

Posted December 9th, 2018 at 7:31 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Yelland Quay avocet

At 3.15pm on a walk along the coast path heading east from Yelland Quay we found a lone avocet on the rising tide.The last time we saw one anywhere near here was in March 2018 on the River Caen - again a singleton.

  

Posted December 9th, 2018 at 4:48 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Paignton

A single Mediterranean Gull in with a flock of 40 plus Black Headed Gulls at Marine Parade, Paignton this morning, also seen were 28 Turnstone, a Little Egret, five plus Oyster Catcher, GBBG, out on the sea four Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe, several Gannet and Cormorant.

 

Posted December 9th, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Torbay

While leading a group from Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust today at Broadsands we managed to see a Black-necked Grebe a couple of Great Northern Divers in challenging blowy conditions on Elberry Headland. Several Gannets were feeding just off shore. At least 10 Cirl Buntings in the back of the 2nd car park, and some managed to glimpse the Yellow-browed Warbler in the willows and ivy covered trees in the 1st car park. Also here were at least 2 collybita Chiffchaff and probably 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs.

Some of the group joined me to go and look for the Surf Scoter off three beaches Headland, it was present agian with at least 10 Common Scoter.

Posted December 9th, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Occombe, Paignton

Kate Bush sang December Will Be Magic Again, well it was certainly true of Occombe this morning:
From the bird hide: Dunnock, 3 Blue Tits, 5 Great Tits, 2 Robin, but the highlights were 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers on the tree immediately in front of the hide. I've never known any woodpecker to remain in one place as long as these two. Then a Sparrowhawk flew in, turned around mid flight right in front of me, what a fantastic sight that was displaying all it's flight feathers caught in the sunlight.

Elsewhere there were many more Great Tits and Blue Tits that I lost count, a sizable flock of Long-tailed Tits, a bird I haven;t encountered at Occombe since the March storms - a Goldcrest. For my 2nd consecutive visit a Treecreeper, Buzzard, 4 Song Thrushes, male Bullfinch, at least 3 Greenfinches, and a minimum of 5 Chaffinches, 6 Blackbirds, a further 3 Robins, a Wren, and 2 female and a male Pheasant.

Posted December 9th, 2018 at 11:43 am in Bird News

Saturday 8th December 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

The total Goosander count was 14 6m 8f, I think I put 16 in my blog.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 9:29 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

The monthly dawn Goosander count.

14 Goosander 6m 8f present at 0730, all had flown by 0830.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 9:23 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Teignmouth

Great Northern diver feeding in river mouth opposite the Ness this lunchtime.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 7:56 pm by John Phillips in Bird News

Torbay

The fw Surf Scoter was again off Three Beaches Headland, Goodrington this morning with 8 Common Scoter.

Broadsands: the Yellow-browed Warbler and at least 1 Siberain Chiffchaff still in the marsh at the back of the 1st car park. Nearby at Elberry Cove 1 Red-necked Grebe and 1 Great Northern Diver.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 3:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Unusual birds in garden Plymouth

Not the nicest of days but the garden feeders been busy, among the visitors a unusual Blackbird and in the Devon hedge at bottom of garden this White Goldfinch . Our garden backs on the Parkway at Eggbuckland unfortunately not great of pic of Goldfinch.

BlackbirdGoldfinchesand another
Blackbird                                                 Goldfinches                                 and another

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 3:37 pm by William Beck in Bird News

Mountwise, Plymouth

A Male Black Redstart at 1300 on the east side of Mountwise above Richmond walk. 

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 1:21 pm by neil moore in Bird News

Stover Lake

At Stover before dawn (07:15) for a coordinated Goosander count: 4 present (1 drake). Also 5 Cormorants had roosted overnight in trees. Water Rail called, then Cetti's Warbler called near hide (good views later). Usual Siskins, Green and G S Woodpeckers, and Song Thrush getting into song. (I was surprised to hear two Goldcrests singing in Chudleigh yesterday, in less than lovely weather.) Also 18 Tufted Ducks and maybe 100 Mallard in total.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 9:56 am by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Friday 7th December 2018

Torbay

A fantastic range of unusual species around the bay at the moment:

3 Beaches Headland, Goodrington (accessed from Oyster Bend  behind the church at Goodrington)

A 1st w Surf Scoter with 7 Common Scoter straight out from the headland, picked out initially from Broadsands.

Broadsands: The Yellow-browed Warbler still present in back of 1st car park, also 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs (and another probably Siberian but showing some pale olive in upperparts and less strong supercilium), also 4-5 collybita Chiffchaffs and 1 Goldcrest. 12 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park.

Elberry headland: and cove: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebes & 5 Great Northern Divers.

SibeChiffBrdsnds071218ML1 SibeChiffBrdsnds071218ML2 probable Sibe Chiff Brdsnds 071218 ML3

                 Siberian Chiffchaff 1                       Siberian Chiffchaff 2              Probable Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 5:36 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Head

am. Female Black Redstart in the lighthouse compound. Crossing the meadow a male Merlin sped past at knee height.

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 3:54 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Filham Park Lake Ivybridge

Nineteen Goosanders All Female On The Lake This Morning, The Most I Have Seen At This Location.

Photo Shows Twelve With Another Seven Out Of Shot!!

  

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 11:05 am by Patrick Hawkins in Bird News

Siskin Estover , Plymouth

Male Siskin in my garden this morning

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 10:42 am by Peter Castle in Bird News

Estover , Plymouth

3 female and 1 male Siskin on the feeders in my garden this morning.

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 10:30 am by Peter Castle in Bird News

Thursday 6th December 2018

Exe Estuary

This afternoon's Stuart Line cruise again witnessed spectacular numbers of birds, especially in the upper part of the estuary. The Great Northern Diver was still present between Cockwood and Starcross, as were the usual Slavonian Grebe, 2 Little Grebes and 2 immature drake Eiders. The Eiders seemed to be feeding successfully on mussels. A dozen or more Great Crested Grebes and about 20 Red-breasted Mergansers were scattered throughout, but large numbers of Brent Geese and Wigeon were concentrated around Shutterton Creek and off Lympstone, with a hundred or more Pintail at the latter. Over 100 Mallard, c50 Teal and maybe 200 Shelduck completed the ducks. A Harbour (Common) Seal was hauled out on a sandbank off Lympstone Barracks. c100 Common and 2 Lesser Blacked Gulls were amongst large numbers of gulls on the intertidal flats.

The mudbanks at the northern end were covered in hundreds each of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Redshank. There were perhaps 1000 Lapwings and 500 Golden Plover there too, with about 50 Knot and smaller numbers of Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits and occasional Greenshank and Ringed Plover. A Sanderling back at Bull Hill sandbank completed a 'full set' of waders!

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 5:59 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Winter visitors in Exeter

First Blackcap of the winter - male on the feeders this afternoon. A Mistle Thrush has taken up residence in our Rowan tree and is busy defending the berries against the local Blackbirds.

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 2:58 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Clennon Lakes, Paignton

The Siberian Chiffchaff present again today around the higher of the 3 main lakes also at least 7 collybita Chiffchaffs in area.

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 6 Dec 2108 ML Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 6 Dec 2108 ML

                   Siberian Chiffchaff                                                                              collybita Chiffchaff

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 1:04 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Yellow Browed Warbler - Broadsands

Yellow-Browed Warbler still mid morning at Broadsands in back right hand corner of first car park favouring ivy tree , plus 1 Chiffchaff 

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Estover , Plymouth

I've had a male and a female Siskin on the feeders in my garden on and off since 9.30 this morning.

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 10:58 am by Peter Castle in Bird News

Wednesday 5th December 2018

Braunton Great Field Barn Owl's

This evening about 7pm we saw TWO Barn Owls in the headlights. Both were sat on posts adjacent to the road close to the thatched linnay. They remained undisturbed as we passed though we were carefully watched by both of them. Very encouraging to see two! 

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 10:29 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Dunlin 175, Black-tailed Godwit 4, Redshank 128, Greenshank 7, Curlew 56, Goosander redhead, Wigeon 17, Little Grebe 7 & Oystercatcher 9.

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 5:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in the back corner of Broadsands Marsh this morning. 

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 10:30 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 4th December 2018

Siberian Chiff Chaff?

Walking back from a nice stroll around the Gaia Trust reserve at about 1pm today along the Tarka Trail we heard a steady repeated "peep" from a bush. On looking for the bird we saw a Chiff Chaff flitting through the bare branches. Unable to get an image but, knowing they have a diagnostic call, on Googling the birds call when we got home I have to conclude that the call was the same as we heard. I'm definitely not an expert and there may well be other birds which SOUND similar, but this was a Chiff Chaff and sounded just like the recording of the Siberian race we found on Xeno-Canto. 

Eds: Views of the bird and a description of the plumage tones are equally important

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 8:44 pm by Philip Naylor in Bird News

Isley Marsh

Large numbers of birds present in the run-up to high tide this afternoon, the pick being 2 Ruffs, 2 Spoonbills and 65 Pintails.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 8:17 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

04/12/2018 - RSPB Avocet Cruise

Perfect conditions for the RSPB Avocet Cruise down the River Exe from Topsham.

Highlight was the Grey Heron with a Big Breakfast Eel.

Also Great views of Avocets, Godwits (Black Tailed & Bar Tailed), Mergansers, Turnstone,  Common Gull, Cormorants, Little Egret, Brent Geese, Dunlin, Lapwing, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Teal, Canada Geese, Mute swan.

Distant Views of Grey Plover, Golden Plover

Very Distant view of Peregrine

Grey Heron and Eel Red-breasted Merganser Common Gull
Grey Heron and Eel                    Red-breasted Merganser                              Common Gull

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 7:42 pm by Robin Morrison in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Drake Ring-necked Duck in Ireland Bay, Black-necked Grebe at Torcross, 4 Goldeneyes & a Kingfisher.

Single Pochard on Beesands.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 6:16 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dartmoor

Holne Bridge, Ashburton a pair of Goosander roosting on a rock below the bridge.

Nr Babeny a female Kestrel (one of three seen) and a couple of Stonechat.

Buzzards dotted about all feeding on the ground or sat on low posts.

The only location found with an abundance of birds was the road leading down to Prince hall near Yelverton, at least six Brambling in with the large flock of Chaffinch feeding on Beech mast, some 30 plus Starling and seven Meadow Pips feeding in a sheep field, a large mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare flew in, one GSWP, a Kestrel and two Jay.

Lower side of Soussons flock of 10 Reed Bunting.

At Dartmeet the usual run of the mill birds around the feed station (the car park is now pay and display, £2 for the day).

Near Widdicombe a Sparrowhawk and another followed by a third Kestrel near Dean Prior.

 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton Memorial Car Park

From the Car Park saw 17 Common Scoter but could have been more, arrived from the south but flew off out to sea. 

Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

04/1218 - BGM

Very dull afternoon's veiwing from the hide brightened by sight of a male Sparrowhawk that was watching the feeding ducks before it flew-off down the estuary

Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:51 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Velator

7 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape while I was ringing again this morning.

Only 31 birds ringed today, but that included 4 Chiffchaffs.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Broadsands

A Yellow-browed Warbler was present today in the top corner of the 1st car park feeding high in the willows most of the time often with 2 Chiffchaffs - some nice photos of it here by Chris Lake   https://twitter.com/CDLWildlife/status/1069961272584753152 

In the 2nd car park there were 14 Cirl Buntings on seed and a Brambling in the trees nearby.,

On the sea 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Common Scoter, 6 Great Northern Divers, 4 Razorbills and 3 Guillemots including a partially oiled bird flapping regularly but still feeding.  

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

No sign of hoped-for winter raptors but some respectable counts: 6 Buzzard, Red-legged Partridge, 4 Lapwing, 30 Stock Dove, 940 Skylark, 24 Meadow Pipit, 24 Dunnock, 41 Blackbird, 38 Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, 21 Magpie, 320 Starling, 30 Goldfinch, 60 Linnet, 76 Yellowhammer, 16 Cirl Bunting and one Reed Bunting.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Torbay kayak trip

Berry Head:  5 flypast Great Northern Divers, 1 flypast probable Red-throated Diver, 8 Common Scoter (female), 6+ Harbour Porpoise.

South Torbay: 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 9 Common Scoter

Red-necked Grebe Harbour porpoise
Red-necked Grebe                                     Harbour porpoise

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:25 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Round up at Arlington.

2 water rail, 1grey wagtail, 1dipper,1treecreeper,4nuthatch,4 goldcrest, coal tit, marsh tit, long tailed tit g s Woodpecker mistle thrush, thrush and all the locals looking fine, primroses in the woodland today. 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Radford Lake, Plymouth

At low tide this morning there was a group of at least 19 little grebes on Radford Lake. 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 2:49 pm by Martin Lavelle in Bird News

Baggy Point

20 Common Scoters (1 male + 19 female) off the point early am. Also 4 Eider & 1 Red throated Diver.

 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 12:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Monday 3rd December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Fifteen Wigeon, Goosander (redhead), 5 Little Grebes, 2 Kingfishers, 18 Turnstones, 3 Shags, 54 Curlews, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Oystercatchers, 7 Greenshanks & 2 Ring-necked Parakeets.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 8:06 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh - 3.12.2018

Wet, windy and a day for ducks at West Charleton Marsh today! Over 150 on the scrape alone. c100 Teal, c50 Wigeon, 6 Mallard, 2 Shelduck and a lone Pintail. Also Cormorant, 2 Greylag geese, 1 Dark Bellied Goose, 4 Little Egret, Heron, Curlew and a Pheasant. Elsewhere a flock of c40 Golden Plover flew over a neighbouring field towards the Estuary . By the feeders a Water Rail showed well. On the rough estuary most of the birds were sheltering, but another 6 D/B Brent Geese were braving the waves and a flock of 23 Oystercatchers and a few more Curlew and Shelduck were sheltering behind rocks. Over 30 species recorded.

Water Rail - West Charleton Marsh - 03-12-2018
Water Rail - West Charleton Marsh - 03-12-2018

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 6:22 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

Broadsands

Very brief visit produced highlights of two Great Northern Diver off Broadsands beach, Red-necked Grebe in Elberry Cove and usual flock of Cirls Bunting in the car park by the feeding spot.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 4:59 pm by Matt Collis in Bird News

Paignton

2 Cattle Egrets with a Little Egret in the first field on left driving south (from the old Nortel factory site and new housing development) on Waddeton Road.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 10:15 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 2nd December 2018

Great White egret at Arlington Court National Trust

My apologies. The earlier post reporting this bird did not contain that vital bit of information, the location! Which is the lake at Arlington Court, in North Devon. Sorry. 

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Philip Naylor in Bird News

Shoalstone, am.

Black Guillemot  (in moult: white face & nape; black crown & upper parts; reared  up once to show black belly roughly circled with thick white band) on water towards Berry Head. Only other birds of note: a Gt Skua, >S to land in mouth of Torbay; diver sp > S (sorry too far to ID).

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 4:59 pm in Bird News

Slapton Grebe

A red necked grebe on Slapton Ley just off the pond dipping platform on the way around to Ireland bay

Red-necked Grebe Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 3:06 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Black Redstart at Ford Park Cemetery in the on line Guardian news paper

A piece in the on-line Guardian news paper on the 01-12-18, about the Black Redstart in Ford Park Cemetery. If anyone wishes to view this please follow the link. https://www.theguardian.com/environme…/…/country-diary+birds

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 2:17 pm by greg bradbury in Bird News

Plym Estuary, Sat 1st Dec

Half-a-dozen Cormorants included a sinensis, 4 Shags, redhead Goosander, 5 Little Grebes, 152 Redshanks, 153 Dunlins, 6 Greenshanks, 53 Curlews, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Oystercatchers, 30 Shelducks, 17 Wigeon, 2+ Ring-necked Parakets & a Chiffchaff. 

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 12:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Saturday 1st December 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

18 Goosander 8m 10f,  at the Hide 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, Car Park, 2 Willow Tit, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, plus Wigeon, Teal, Tufted, Great Crested Grebes, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen and a Mute Swan.

Posted December 1st, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Velator

Female Marsh Harrier seen at 10.30am, flew over R Caen into the strong drizzly breeze.

Posted December 1st, 2018 at 1:29 pm by Alan Denzey in Bird News

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