Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th November 2012

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford

·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary



·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Honey-buzzard 16-Jul Shoalstone

·         Leach's Petrel 25- Aug Otterton Ledge

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·         Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·         Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·         Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish

·         Tree Sparrow 12-Mar Instow

Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 21st June 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


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

Wednesday 7th November 2012

Exminster marsh

Watched along station road from 14:35 till 16:45

A female Merlin showed well twice and nearly caught a meadow pipit, a peregrine put up the wigeon on the scrapes but failed to catch anything. At least 4 water rail with 2 by the bridge over the railway line, 17+ redwing and 2 Fieldfares, a large group of 30+  long tailed tits included 5+ goldcrests, also 1 buzzard and a sparrowhawk, and at least 2000+ starlings.

Posted November 7th, 2012 at 7:16 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

7 Wigeon (3 drakes) and 2 Gadwall, both drakes late afternoon.

Posted November 7th, 2012 at 7:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Yelland - Home Farm Marsh

9:30 - 11:15

Isley Marsh (from Tarka Trail) 6 Spoonbill

Tarka Trail : No sign of any Waxwing but 60+ Fieldfare and several Redwing.

Home Farm Marsh : On the main pond Still 4 Whooper Swans (2 adults + 2 juveniles), 6 Shovelers also lots more common stuff.

All images Astroscoped from 500 feet

Image astroscoped from 500 feet

Image astroscoped from 500 feet

Image astroscoped from 500 feet

Posted November 7th, 2012 at 3:23 pm in Bird News

Egg collecting/disturbance convictions

Marcus Betteridge and Seymour Crang appeared at Newton Abbot Magistrates court yesterday and pleaded guilty to the following

Betteridge - Intentional disturbance of a schedule 1 species (Dartford Warbler)

Crang - Possession of wild bird eggs (15)

Originally the Crown Prosecution service (CPS)  had agreed to charge Betteridge with a further 4 counts of disturbance of schedule 1, these included Peregrine Falcon and Woodlark. However CPS agreed to a plea from Betteridge and the other 4 were dropped! 2 years worth of work went into this from myself and RSPB investigations, disappointed with them being dropped to say the least...

The diaries stretched back a number of years. We were only able to deal with offences that stretched back 2 years from the date of finding the diaries as the offences mentioned have what is called a time limit upon them. This prevented us from  investigating any entries dated later than this.

I was pleased that the court did not except the basis of Crangs plea. This being that he had held to to eggs from a previous raid at a property in 1999. We provided evidence to the contrary.

Although other charges were dropped I was pleased with the sentence handed down from the Magistrates. Both were fined £1,250 for the separate charges.

I would like to thank the RSPB investigation team for all their incredible work in this case, they are worth the RSPB subscription on their own!

I will over the next few days place a full item on my blog with further background info on the case.

This whole incident should emphasise the caution needed with posting sighting of schedule 1 birds on this blog...

Here is a national newspaper story in relation to the court case

And the Westcountry News peice on the case, with footage of Betteridge and Crang




Posted November 7th, 2012 at 8:48 am by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Dark-breasted Barn Owl on a boat!

Technically not in Devon - but interesting nevertheless!

This apparent guttata Dark-breasted Barn Owl spent 12 hours resting on a trawler 38 miles south of Plymouth on 26th October. It was seen and photographed by Fred Bartlett. Thanks must go to Kevin Hale for getting the news and photo to me.

I wonder where it is now?

Dark-breasted Barn Owl
Dark-breasted Barn Owl

Posted November 7th, 2012 at 8:28 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Tuesday 6th November 2012

Birds at work

over the Devon hotel at matford this morning between 06:45 and 08:00 all sw 2000+ wood pigeon also 8 stock dove, one group of 80+ skylark, 2 mistle thrush, several small groups of redwing, 3 fieldfares.

rest of day in meeting in lee mills industrial estate on drive back to Exeter hen harrier over A38 at 16:20ish shortly before the buckfastleigh turn off heading south 

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 8:06 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Egg collecting/disturbance court case

I will place a full update to this court case on my blog and link to here later but currently busy at work.. Here is a link to the Westcountry News item filmed today

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 7:58 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News


Saw Osprey going downstream over River Plym near Ditsworthy Warren/Giants Basin on Sunday 4 November about 2pm - no photo but watched it for a good 15 minutes

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 6:24 pm by John & Annabelle Strickland in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

With clear skies and calm conditions the Wood Pigeon passage had started by 07.15- most of the activity between 07.30- 08.00 although some until 08.15 . My total logged was 27,000 all flying in a SE direction . Other species flying over T'stne Marsh - 28 Chaffinch, 3 Fieldfare, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Jay, 2 Goldfinch with 2 Black Redstart on the houses .

Big reduction in Teal this morning , only 20 on T'stone Marsh and 16 on South Huish ,9 Lapwing , 3 Snipe 10 Wigeon ( a further 17 flew over) and 6 Shoveler were seen

On the sea  a Great Crested Grebe, . Sunny and calm conditions in the Copse produced 5 Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrest.

Starling roost tonight also well down- 100,000 max came in between 16.10 and 16.40

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 6:22 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Whooper Swans - Home Farm Marsh

Maurice - Thanks for the message. Arrived this afternoon & managed to digiscope the Whoopers you spotted this morning.

Unfortunately, the Waxwings had moved on so I sent out the search party while I got on with the digiscoping!

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 6:14 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


A later start than usual missed out on the huge woodpigeon passage but did log 760 W plus 17 stock doves.

O/wise quiet just 150 skylarks on stubbles, 23 blackbirds, 20 fieldfares W, 4 goldcrests, 320 jackdaws & 120 carrion crows.

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 4:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Interesting to read about the woodpigeons. Just to add to the picture, 23,500 woodpigeons SW between 07.05 and 11.30 hrs. Most were out over the sea, with few over the Warren or estuary.  Didn't count stock's consistently due to distance of most flocks but minimum 200 from close flocks. Otherwise vis mig was poor with just a trickle of finches and skylarks. Interesting that under the clear weather conditions this morning woodpigeons obviously cut across Lyme Bay and the line of the birds I watched would have took them toward Teignmouth area. However, judging by the Torquay count, I suspect many more were further out over the bay, beyond detectable range from Dawlish, .  

Bonaparte's gull was again feeding offshore and at least 2 red-throated diver. 8 common scoter flew south.


Posted November 6th, 2012 at 4:46 pm in Bird News

Long-tailed Duck Exe Estuary

This Long-tailed Duck was seen yesterday on the River Clyst from the platform at Topsham by Ian Waite and Rob Johnson. It was photographed by Lee Summersby.

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 3:55 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Velator Reserve

Ringing this morning was again productive - if you like Greenfinches! (39 ringed) Also: 6 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrush, 3 Redwings, a Goldfinch, a Goldcrest and a smart male Siskin.

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 1:35 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Hd

Oddly the Wood Pigeon movement missed Berry Hd altogether - after a couple of calls from Josh I scanned back toward Paignton and could see big flocks of Wood Pigeon moving SW - probably right over my house!

Overhead at Berry Hd this morning: 17 Brambling, 9 Siskin, 1 Redpoll sp, 2 Crossbill, 13 Bullfinch, 96 Chaffinch, 9 Greenfinch, 24 Goldfinch, 11 Linnet, 116 Starling, 27 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 7 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 8 Skylark, 7 alba Wagtails and 22 Meadow Pipits.

Around the Headland: 11 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Stonechat still 3 Water Rail calling from scrub and good numbers of Blackbirds. 

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 11:14 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Home farm Marsh and Isley Marsh areas

0755 - 09:30

Viewing from Tarka Trail.

Main pond on Home Farm Marsh - 4 WHOOPER SWANS ( 2 adults, 2 juvs. MR. SS493330.) Plenty of Teal, Wigeon and Curlew.

Hawthorn bushes south of the trail, between old power stn level crossing and West Yelland Farm. (MR SS487324) A small stream flows under the trail from field into Isley Marsh. 7 WAXWINGS plus 13 Fieldfares, 6 Redwings and a few Common Thrushes.

Isley Marsh - 4 Spoonbills, 3 Greenshank and 14 Little Egrets plus a few Crows mobbing a Buzzard.

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 10:23 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 0700 - 0800 - huge woodpigeon movement over Orcombe this morning. In first 20 minutes of light 1000+ in small flocks (c350 the highest) and then as the sun got higher the flock sizes increased to the point that I gave up trying to count but certainly tens of thousands before I had to leave at 0800. Looking east along the coast wave after wave of large flocks were all moving west, stretching right along the horizon from and well out to sea - an incredible sight! Also 4+ brambling, 2 mistle thrush, a couple reed buntings and smaller number of finches and thrushes.

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 9:33 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Torquay Seafront

Got a call from Mark Thomas from the RSPB today whilst at work who was witnessing some epic Woodpigeon movement.

By 0815hrs when I had to leave Mark had counted 40,000+.

An incredible sight! Never seen anything like that, clouds of them crossing west across the bay  coming in north from Torquay.

Also present were a couple of Brent Geese close to shore

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 8:30 am by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Monday 5th November 2012

Thurlestone Bay

Once the cloud cover cleared at 08.15 the Wood Pigeon started moving SE- by 08.45 8,000 with a further 2,000 by 09.30.

Over the marsh by 9.00 2 Brambling, 7 Chaffinch, 1 Swallow, on the Marsh 12 Lapwing, 20 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Snipe, 1 Brent Goose.

On South Milton Ley - Bob b had- 8 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare,4 Water Rail, 5 Siskin, 3 Chiffchaff .

From 09.30 a 2.5 hr viz mig /sea watch from the cafe was good - 70 Chaffinch., 12 Goldfinch, 1 Yellowhammer, 10 Greenfinch, 2 Black Redstart, 1 Swallow, 1 Great N Diver, 3 Brent Goose, 2 Med Gull, 6 Kittiwake, 1 Razorbill, 2 Turnstone, 1 Knot.

This afternoon 3 more Black Redstart around the houses.

Late news yesterday of a Short Eared Owl over the Golf Course at 12.00

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 8:26 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

nr. West Charleton

Driving through the back lanes near Duncombe Cross, just north of West Charleton at dusk and surprised to put up a Short-eared Owl from the side of the road.

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 7:15 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Finally caught up with the female ring-necked duck in the NW corner.

Also: 28 gadwall, 26 pochard, 177 tufted duck, 4 great crested grebe, 85 great-black-backed gull & 70 lesser black-backed gull. A few gannets offshore & brent goose north.

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 4:40 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Denbury White rhea

The white rhea comes from a smallholding near to West Ogwell.  The gate to the smallholding is at 815702, and I'm sure the smallholders will be happy to know where their rhea is.  I don't know if anyone is resident there and I don't have a contact telephone no. for them.  Hope this is useful.

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 4:33 pm by dan lupton in Bird News

Clennon Valley

A lunchtime visit produced: 1 Cetti's Warbler still present middle pond, calling today - no song also 7 Chiffchaffs mostly in the sycamores which are still in leaf - obviously not ready just yet for the willow trees, 5 Goldcrest, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskins, 4 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, 3 Water Rail (calling only)  and one Little Egret.   

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 3:49 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh, 12:15-14:45, falling tide.

10 Brent Geese, 2 Egyptian Geese ( stubble field nr. Creekside ), 8 Pintail ( marsh ), 12 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Grebe, Greenshank, Grey Plover, 72 Golden Plover ( mudflats Charleton Bay ), Common Sandpiper, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 85 Common Gull ( Charleton Bay ), Rock Pipit and Brambling.


Posted November 5th, 2012 at 3:46 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

CRANBROOK (New town) Exeter.

Thought I would claim a doubtful FIRST for myself with the first ever bird survey of the new town of Cranbrook..Map ref SY002950 in Tetrad SY09C.  (BTO Bird Atlas 2007-11Survey lists 29 species recorded for this area in winter).

Concentrated on the western end and parked at the visiter centre. Spent two hours keeping mainly to the new road system before venturing on to areas under development (avoided being stopped by contractors by wearing mandatory high vis jacket).

Was pleased to count a total of 20 species including Redwing, Bullfinch, Linnet (40), Stonechat (1), Kestrel (1). Buzzard (1). Most other common species present . I was not surprised to find that there were no birds in the construction areas (other than Pied Wags) and the birds I did find were all in old hedgerows and untouched scrub.  These areas should provide corridoors for wildlife into the new town as long as they remain untouched.  There was a particularly good area behing South Whimple Farm which contained finches and the Chat.  Towards the railwayline a new wetland area has been created to contain a stream but no birds yet.

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 2:20 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News


08:00 - 09:00

145 Dark-bellied Brent Goose; 3 Pale-bellied Brent Goose; 129 Wigeon; 46 Shelduck; 3 Pintail (1 male,

2 female); 18 Grey Plover; 2 Knot; 17 Dunlin; 4 Little Egret; 4 Bar-tailed Godwit; c250 Oystercatcher;

48 Curlew; 53 Redshank and 47 Lapwing.

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 10:21 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Sunday 4th November 2012

Exe Starlings

Early days yet, but numbers of starlings are steadily building over the Exe. There seem to be several murmuration sites (River Exe, Cullompton, River Otter etc) that they choose between over the course of a winter, so it's nice to see them here again.

I've no idea how you count so many birds, but these were seen over Topsham, towards the M5 this evening.

One of the larger groups over Exminster
One of the larger groups over Exminster

Starling group in the failing light
Starling group in the failing light

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 9:42 pm by Sarah Butcher in Bird News


The Lesser 'legs eventually showed well at c.12.30 surrounded by Redhanks and a few Greenshanks plus a Curlew or two and a Whimbrel.Redhank and Lesser Yellowlegs

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 9:12 pm by Steve Young in Bird News


Ford Park Cemetery ; at least three Black Redstarts around the gravestones this afternoon, possibly a fourth bird seen

Plenty of Redwing all over the cemetery hard to say how many but one flock in flight held around one hundred birds. I would imagine there were two hundred if not more here.

Mistle Thrush numbers also difficult to estimate but thirty or forty wouldn't be too far off the mark.

Two Ravens over and a dozen or so Meadow Pipits were also here.


Posted November 4th, 2012 at 7:56 pm in Bird News


 Hi, in my small garden in Brixham on Saturday I had 8 robins all together which I thought  interesting

but today (sunday) i came back from a walk this morning around Berry Head with Mike Langman to find 9

robins again in my garden, they only stay for a few minutes and flew off all together into the next gardens and beyond. Any idea what is going on? Also early this morning while washing up!! I had a swallow flying low going SE.  

I'm doing another boat trip in Torbay having a look what is about this sunday at 08.30, if interested give us a call on 01803 856428.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 7:22 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Late swallow in Starcross

Had a Swallow fly over the garden earlier today, not the first time I've seen a lingerer here around this time of the year .

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 6:50 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News


Post Scilly walk from mid morning Black Redstart at Middle Soar and c900 Wood Pigeon, plus just 3 Goldcrests.  A Common Sandpiper and 2 Lapwings at Averton Gifford on the way home.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 6:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Nr. Buckland in the Moor

Ring tail hen harrier seen at 3pm, quartering near Cold East Cross, NE of Buckland in the Moor.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 5:53 pm by Tim & Aishlyn Youngs in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

Brixham breakwater 13:00-13:50.

9 purple sandpipers and 4 turnstones on the breakwater.

There was a very close Little Auk just off the beach at the base of the breakwater at 13:45 that then flew off towards Berry Head at around 13:50.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 3:46 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 09:10 till 13:35

a good morning from the hide with a 1st winter Scaup showing well , 167 avocet, 62+ bar tailed godwit, good numbers of black tailed godwit and wigeon,  13+ shovelers, 1 snipe, kestrel, 40+ Brent geese over towards darts farm, 4 tufted duck, 20+ Fieldfare, 9 greylag geese.

from viewing platform another 17+ Fieldfares, lots of redwings hard to count as movement in all directions, 3 Mistle thrush, 2 song thrush, at least 6 jay, 9+ grey plover, great spotted woodpecker.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 3:41 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Gibbet Hill - Dartmoor

Snow bunting still present on west side of Gibbet Hill this morning for third day.Snow Bunting Gibbet Hill 4.11.12 Charlie Elder

(Charlie Elder)

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 2:16 pm in Bird News


0645-0900 a few bits and bobs. Lots of Redwing calling in the darkness this morning from the bushes as well as a single Brambling that was seen later well. Turned into a lovely morning, made better by a female Black Red at the point on the fence of the Radar field.

No sign of what looked like a small, short black-billed gull that was seen very briefly yesterday.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 2:09 pm in Bird News

Berry Hd

A bit of overhead movement this morning: 1 Wood Lark, 2 Skylark, 3 Bullfinch, 34 Chaffinch, 6 Brambling, 12 Goldfinch, 4 Meadow Pipits, 40+ Wood Pigeon.

Around the Headland: 2 Ring Ouzels still present below cafe in Northern Fort, 13 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 8 Redwing, 38 Blackbirds, 4 Coal Tits 1 Stonechat - but most suprising were 4-5 Water Rail calling from the scrubby area west of the road from the wardens bungalow to Berry Head Hotel, it is very damp at the moment but there has obviously been a bit of an influx! I have heard the odd one from the same area before but not for 6-7 years. 


Posted November 4th, 2012 at 12:29 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Made a brief detour to Slapton Ley on the way home from Start Point.Had a look at Ireland Bay from the midway car park and sawthe female Ring-necked Duck, 113 Tufted Duck, 14 Pochard and 7 Little Grebes. Not much on the sea except for a Great Northern Diver.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 12:06 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford.


1 female Red-breasted Merganser and 3 Sanderling on the foreshore.

1 Green Sandpiper in the ditch beside sewage works.

Just 1 Redwing in hawthorn bushes but lots of Blackbirds.

Bradiford Reserve was really inundated with the high tide this morning.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 12:05 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Start Point

06:30-09:45. Talk about changeable weather. Arrived to a fresh WSW wind and rain. Rain ceased by 07:00, then wind dropped off and it became very clear and bright, if cold. Grey skies and rain again when i left.

Vis mig from the car park from 07:10-09:00, all birds south-southeast ; 8 Meadow Pipit, 5 alba Wagtails, 290 Chaffinch, 170 Goldfinch, 13 Brambling, 14 Siskin, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Bullfinch, 8 Greenfinch and a Reed Bunting. 2300 Woodpigeons in distance flying southwest Slapton-Lannacombe / Prawle.

First thing around the farm were 21 Redwings, 4 Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush. Later on Blackcap, Goldcrest and Firecrest. Otherwise c 800 Starlings in the top fields, a Chiffchaff by the car park and a late House Martin flying around.


Posted November 4th, 2012 at 12:03 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Now 2 drake Gadwall and five Wigeon including a smart drake.

Nearby in velator reserve lots of Greenfinch and an influx of Blackbirds in the last couple of days.

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 11:09 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Saturday 3rd November 2012


Adult male brambling seen twice in garden today, 12 noon and 1300 hrs.

Also 500 jackdaws,dusk, Atlantic Village, Bideford.

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 8:02 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Soar and Slapton Ley

07.30 - 14.00 East Soar to south side of Soar Mill Cove: Fresh W. wind started clear at dawn, cloud later with heavy showers: 1 Common Snipe 1 high SW, 600-1000 Woodpigeon, 1 Redwing in Starehole, 4 Chiffchaff, 500+ Starling on airfield, 1 w. male Brambling in stubble above copse with c.10 Yellowhammers, up to 10 Cirls and c.15 Chaffinches, 1 male Crossbill high W. over the copse, 1 Reed Bunting in stubble above copse.

Slapton Ley from 15.00 - 16.15 produced the Ring-necked Duck at the back of Ireland Bay with Pochard, Goadwal, Tufties and a pair of Wigeon. 

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 6:18 pm by Steve Young in Bird News

Erme Estuary

Vic Tucker rang this evening -asked me to report 360+ Wigeon

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 5:36 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Thurlestone Marsh

After a stormy night the skies cleared with a sunny morning- Viz mig over my house in 1 hour from 07.30-

10,000 Wood Pigeon ( flying SE in 30 mins inc one flock of 6,000 )   50 Fieldfare, 25 Chaffinch, 25 Stock Dove, 3 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Bunting  3 Jay

Also on the marsh - 4 Little Egret, 40 Teal, 6 Wigeon, 12 Lapwing, Snipe. Brent Goose

Female Black Redstart in the garden.

Starling roost tonight 16.30-16.50 est at 210, 000

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 5:34 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

From the hide 07:45 till 09:45

On the walk down to the hide 11+ mistle thrush, 54+ redwing,  14+ blackbirds, 4 goldcrest, nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, a late house martin was good 

from the hide 167 avocet, 80+ dunlin,  2 bar tailed godwits ,  500+ black tailed godwits, 3 pochard, 4 tufted duck, 2 Cetti's warblers , 5+ shoveler

viewing platform area from 09:50 till 11:40

5+ jay, 1 Fieldfare, 25+ meadow pipit, 6 little egret, 1+ kingfisher, 26+ grey plover and 52+ bar tailed godwit and 200+ dunlin. 

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 4:07 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Common Scoters - Downend


Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 3:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Common Scoters - Downend

Now 32 Common Scoters (all females) at Downend. No sign

of the female Surf Scoter for the past 3 days.

Atlantic Grey Seal with a large Conger eel (over a metre long)

in it's jaws being mobbed by Herring Gulls.

No sign of any Scoters at Baggy but 1 Great Northern Diver still in summer plumage - possibly the same one that was at Downend previously.

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 3:01 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

At high tide this morning a Slavonian Grebe in Charleton Bay out from the bird hide.

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 11:08 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh 09:00 to 12:00

47 species! Highlights were 190+ Avocet, 600+ Black Tailed Godwit, 30+ Bar Tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 12 Brent overfly, 1 late House Martin and a Peregrine.

Posted November 3rd, 2012 at 12:07 am by Simon Bates in Bird News

Friday 2nd November 2012

Bowling Green Marsh 09:00 to 12:00

47 species! Highlights were 190+ Avocet, 600+ Black Tailed Godwit, 30+ Bar Tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 12 Brent overfly, 1 late House Martin and a Peregrine.

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 7:56 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Strangest bird report yet...?

Jon Avon phoned earlier in the week with a description of a very strange 4ft high white bird running around a field in Denbury, Luckily Jon had other witness's nearby to confirm he was in a fit state of mind  - I like Jon was completely stumped by the bird (with thoughts of Bustards and Crane running through our heads) and asked if Jon could get a photo - he managed this one photo before the bird disappeared.

Rheqa Dendury Oct 2012

A photo does speak a thousand words to any birdwatcher trying to identify an odd bird and this photo proved the strange bird was a white Rhea (a sort of South American Ostrich) more at home in the rolling plains of Patagonia than a dull damp field near Newton Abbot! There are two species of Rhea a true expert might be able to sort out this to species level - if it was in natural colours, and size!

What's more intriguing is where it has come from and where has it gone - it couldn't fly away! How could a 4ft high (possibly more!) white, flightless bird disappear into countryside...

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 5:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

The 4ad Greenland Whitefont's are setting a pattern for their appearance on South Huish Marsh - today they flew in at 11.15 still on the water when I left at 12.00. single Brent Goose, 6 Wigeon 4 Snipe

This afternoon on Thurlestone Marsh - 20 Teal, 20 Lapwing, 3 Snipe and a Jay.

The Starling started to fly in from 16.30, I was trying to estimate each flock to arrive at a more accurate total despite 2 tele calls I still had a total of 210,000- last birds arriving at 16.50. 2 Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk in attendance

Bob B reported a male Black Redstart on his roof in Kingsbridge

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 5:52 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

At dusk (16.55) 4 whooper swans flew onto the marsh from the east, 2 adults and 2 juvs. They tried to land on the lagoon but were driven off by 2 mute swans. To dark to identify ducks on the lagoon but there were plenty. The swans then landed on the main marsh to the north of the lagoon and south of the lane.


Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 5:38 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


Travelling over Haldon this afternoon a ring-tail Hen Harrier crossed over the road heading west toward the race course - I even manage to pull over and watch it for a while from the Texico slip road area.

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 5:13 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

At low tide:  2 greenshank, 5 common sandpiper, 340 herring gull.

Also: 45 fieldfare & 40 redwing.

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 4:51 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

At low tide:  2 greenshan, 5 common sandpiper, 340 herring gull.

Also: 45 fieldfare & 40 redwing.

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 4:51 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Snow Buntings back at Gibbet Hill, west Dartmoor. Two this morning, feeding on wide tracks about 50 metres west from summit.  [Charlie Elder]

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 2:01 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News


Just a quick note to say that my first Blackcap of the winter has arrived in my Alphington garden, two days later than last year!

One of last years birds.
One of last years birds.

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 12:34 pm by Charlie Fleming in Bird News


Orcombe Point- 0700 - 10ish - 86+ chaffinch, 10+ meadow pipit, c40+ goldfinch, c40+ linnet, c10+ pied wagtail, 2 bullfinch, 10+ starling, 4+ siskin, 3 grey wagtail, 1 greenfinch, 220+ woodpigeon, 1 lapland bunting (top stubble fields with skylarks but not since 0800), c30+ jackdaw, 3 goldcrest, 2+ song thrush, 1 stonechat, 1 reed bunting, 2+ jay, 7 redwing, 1 great spotted woodpecker, 9 crossbill (appeared to be mostly red males!), 1 swallow and 1 coal tit. Surprisingly no bramblings or redpolls this morning.


Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 12:05 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Start Point

Watching the vis mig from the car park 07:20-09:30. Fresh-strong SW wind, occ. heavy showers. All birds flying between south- southeast.

Merlin ( male ), 800 Woodpigeon ( single flock ), Swallow, 10 alba Wagtails, 750 Chaffinch, 630 Goldfinch, 32 Greenfinch, 33 Brambling, 76 Siskin ( good number this late in autumn ? ), 2 Lesser Redpoll, 20 Linnet, Yellowhammer and 4 Reed Bunting. Also a Snow / Lapland Bunting going over calling but could not clinch it to species. Lot of birds going through in difficult watching conditions, counts most certainly a fair bit down on true numbers. Any Bullfinches would not have been heard and the chaffinch flocks i got a decent look at all seemed to contain one or two unheard Brambling for which i would not be surprised if the true count should have been nearer 100.


Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 11:08 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Thursday 1st November 2012

Thurlestone Bay

 The 4 Greenland White-fronted Goose turned up briefly on South Huish Marsh at 10.30- they move off into stubble fields in the area, also 1db Brent Goose  40Teal, Snipe .

Offshore 1 Red Throated Diver ( west at 12.15 ), 3 Wigeon -on sea with 12 west, 2 Common Scoter, . On the rocks 2 Turnstone, 8 Ringed Plover.

On the patch 3 separate Black Redstart, also AJL had a Marsh Tit ( rare here )

On Thurlestone Marsh -35 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 1 Gadwall, 16 Lapwing

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 6:12 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Blackhill Quarry

A drake mandarin this afternoon. An odd-plumaged bird, presumably a first winter moulting into adult-type plumage. Nowhere near as stunning as the adult but getting there. Also 2 tufted duck and 23 mallard.

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 4:33 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Berry Hd

A quick visit lunchtime today produced: 1 Firecrest, 4 Chiffchaff, 8 Goldcrests, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Redwing and 3 Siskin.

Firecrest Berry Hd 01/11/12 ML

At Clennon Ponds the Cetti's Warbler was still present also 2 Water Rail, 4 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrests a female Wigeon and a drake Pintail.


Posted November 1st, 2012 at 2:37 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary - north

On a falling tide just 35 little egrets, 25 shags, 8 brent geese, 3 grey plovers, 9 barwits, 200 curlews, 4 greenshanks, 42 redshanks, 28 common gulls & 8 rock pipits.

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 1:55 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Male Gadwall, female Shoveler and 5 Wigeon this morning

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 1:14 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Dartmoor - Blackcaps arrive

Just to say the first of our wintering Blackcaps have arrived. We have at least one male and female and possibly two males - two weeks earlier than usual.

I'll start a thread on the Forum under Garden Birds - so add your sightings there.

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 11:16 am in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Brief visit mid morning between showers.Lots of waterfowl, mostly teal, wigeon and shoveller all well spread out over the fields. Two brent geese were roosting near the canal-side car park. Roosting waders were restricted to 114 curlew and c30 lapwing.

On the lagoon the two red-crested pochard were still present but with increased numbers of tufted duck (8) and gadwall (13).

Flying over c40 redwing and 2 fieldfare going north. Two Cettis showed well on the canal bank. Small flock of meadow pipits (<10) amongst grazing cattle.

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 10:56 am by John Waldon in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 0705 - 0900 - 8+ goldfinch, 77+ chaffinch, 5+ robin, 14+ pied wagtail, 20+ linnet, 10+ meadow pipit, c20+ skylark, 3+ siskin, 4+ blackbird, 1 snipe, 1 hirundine sp (prob house martin), 12 crossbill, 11+ starling, 2 goldcrest, 1+ woodlark, 2+ bullfinch and 1 coal tit. Many more finches higher up and beyond my hearing so numbers once again lower than they should be.

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 10:28 am by Matt Knott in Bird News


Marsh Harrier (f) South of Black Hole Marsh 1130 yesterday.

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 8:31 am by Dick Andrews in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News