Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th November 2012

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If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Wednesday 14th November 2012

Dart's Farm & Exminster Marshes

At least 2 or 3 Brambling in with very healthy numbers of greenfinch and chaffinch, also goldfinch. I only saw males, and they were best seen in the trees at the edge of the fishing lake car park, though they would occasionally fly down into the sunflowers and get lost among the greenfinches. One individual stayed put for a good 15 minutes at the top of a tree, showing well, even after everything else had flown away from the resident sparrowhawk. The flock never stayed still for long, so it's possible there were more bramblings hiding in there somewhere. Best to go when the sun isn't too high in the sky.

Also, Whooper Swan still showing well just off the railway bridge at Exminster Marshes. Had a quick walk up and down the lane, but not much about. 5 or 6 shovelers in close on the pond by the canal car park, with good numbers of wigeon and teal, and a fair few redwings in the trees.

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 7:45 pm by Alfie Pugh in Bird News


Early morning on T'stone marsh- 3 Lapwing, 26 Teal, 4 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall also 4 Reed Bunting on my feeders.

South Huish marsh held - 13 lapwing, 50 Teal,10 Wigeon, 1 Brent Goose., 35 Snipe and at least 1 Jack Snipe.

On the rocks - 10 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstone

Offshore a Great N Diver close in on the sea and 2 db Brent Goose flew east.

Whilst ringing at South Milton Ley Bob B had 10 Chiffchaff ( 6 ringed ) and the first Siberian Chiffchaff for a couple of years

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 6:11 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Whooper swans

4 Whooper swans (2ad 2ju) seen from Isley marsh flying down the river Taw about midday.

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 3:57 pm in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Lunch time walk around the ponds: 6 Chiffchaff & 1 possibly 2 tristis Chiffchaffs (one calling the other silent), 16 Tufted Duck,1 Pochard, 4 Shoveler, 3 Teal, 3 Snipe, 3-4 Water Rail & 1 Siskin.

The Plymouth Lesser Whitethroat would be worth studying well....

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 3:50 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


6 Wigeon and a Gadwall on Wrafton Pond, and in the reserve a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Water Rails seen.

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 3:44 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

One Lesser Whitethroat in the North West corner of the cemetery chasing insects in the trees.

Seems very late.

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 1:56 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News


The bay was quite choppy today so difficult to pick out seabirds but 2 Black-necked Grebes and 1 Great Crested Grebe offshore.

7 Cirl Buntings on seed in back of 2nd car park, also Firecrest in hedge along road about 100m W of entrance to main car park - same place as DN yesterday.

This possible Scandinavian (littoralis) Rock Pipit (well.. 'showing characteristics of'!) was on the pool just behind the beach with two petrosus type Rock Pipits, much whiter below, lacking the olive flanks and chest so streaks look finer and more distinct, white outer tail feathers, stronger supercilium - looking quite Water Pipit like.

possible Littoralis Rock Pipit Broadsands 14 Nov 12 ML possible Littoralis Rock Pipit Broadsands 14 Nov 12 ML2

British type Rock Pipit below:

petrosus Rock Pipit Broadsands 14 Nov 12 ML2  Petrosus Rock Pipit Broadsands 14 Nov 12 ML


Posted November 14th, 2012 at 11:26 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 13th November 2012

Exe Estuary cruise

The first Stuart Lines bird cruise of the winter experienced good numbers of waterfowl around the estuary today. Totals included at least 12 Great Crested Grebes, Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood, plus poor views of 1/2 distant Slav/Black-necked in mid-estuary and later off Powderham, 30+ Shags, perhaps 1000 Brents, but very few juvs and 5 Pale-bellied adults in mid-estuary, 80-100 Pintail, perhaps 2000 Wigeon, 25+ Mergansers, 1 Long-tailed Duck (on the river at Topsham), c250 Avocets, 6 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank (Powderham, as last winter), perhaps 1000 Black-tailed Godwits (Topsham), 1 Mediterranean Gull (Cockwood), c100 Common Gulls, 100+ Great Black-backs, 10 Lesser Black-backs and 2 Kingfishers.  Also 1 Harbour Seal, presumably the resident, off Lympstone.

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 10:52 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Woodcock at Venn Ottery

Woodcock  + 5 Snipe disturbed at Venn Ottery today. First Woodcock of the season for the Exmouth 4. 

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 9:33 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Black Redstart - Exmouth Marina

Male Black Redstart still at Exmouth Marina late afternoon. Showed well on balcony rails before going to roost.

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 8:43 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Dawlish Warren / Exminster Marshes / Darts Farm/ Exe Est

 Day out with Vic Alan D and Eric W  -target Bonaparte's Gull - despite 2 good searches no sign at all ,

offshore single Black and Red T Diver, 4 Common Scoter. In the estuary 2 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Red B Merganser .

Good views of the Whooper Swan just by the railway bridge near Exminster Marshes car park.

Next Stop Dart's Farm  - amongst the Finch flock at least 8 Brambling inc some nice males

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 6:25 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


4 Black-necked Grebes and a single Great Crested, plus a flock of c.40 Common Scoters well offshore. Walking back, a Firecrest by the road about 100m up from car park entrance.

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 1:50 pm in Bird News


Echoing Pete Aley's comments, Soar autumn movements appear to be over. Highlights this morning just 126 skylarks, 110 carrion crows, 10 cirl buntings & 6 yellowhammers.

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 1:32 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Common Scoters - Downend

Now 53 Common Scoters at Downend - all females

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 11:36 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Firecrest popped in the garden this morning......then popped off again.


Posted November 13th, 2012 at 10:25 am by Gery Hooper in Bird News

Monday 12th November 2012


Wrafton pond had 9 Wigeon late this afternoon (7 drakes) so some change from yesterday, 2 drake Gadwall still present.

In the reserve a few Bullfinches (first for quite some time). As I left the reserve all the Lapwing, Starlings and noisy Gulls took off from the fields west of Velator harbour.

Posted November 12th, 2012 at 6:33 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Otter Estuary

A Spotted Redshank on the estuary this afternoon - only my second sighting here where it is a very scarce bird.

Posted November 12th, 2012 at 5:56 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Skern, 11/11/12

Unable to post yesterday.

2-4 pm

3 pale bellied Brent geese amongst 213, Only 6 juveniles.

Posted November 12th, 2012 at 5:13 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


Broadsands: 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 5 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 36 Common Scoter (as usual feeding just north of mussel farm buoys toward Brixham).

Preston: 1 Great Crested Grebe, 27 Turnstone.

Posted November 12th, 2012 at 3:06 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Two 'brownhead' Goosanders off Mudbank Lane, Exmouth at 1330hrs, drifting towards West Lodge. Also adult Mediterranean Gull off the railway line there.

Also, male Black Redstart on the roofs of the flats at Shelly Beach.

Posted November 12th, 2012 at 2:28 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Exminster and Brixham

To add to Exminster yesterday, the Whooper Swan present again with a group of  Mutes by end of fishermans car park road in the afternoon. Earlier a Short-eared Owl reported towards the motorway bridge but I could not relocate it. By the S bend in the lane, several Migrant Hawker dragonflies sunbathing.  

At Brixham this morning a first year Great Northern Diver off Shoalstone and another flew south.

Posted November 12th, 2012 at 12:31 pm in Bird News

Sunday 11th November 2012

Mandarins at Hembury Woods

About 50 Mandarins when I found them at 15:30 this afternoon. Some were flying/swimming upstream, so there could have been more earlier. Still best seen at the most upstream point of the island.

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 11:13 pm by Alfie Pugh in Bird News


Dart's Farm, Clyst St George 15:30

Mixed flock of 100+ Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and 10+ Brambling feeding on Sunflower seed heads opposite the fishing lake. Nice views but very nervous flock. Very good views but poor light for photo's. 

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 6:40 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News


Beautiful day - birding from just after first light with Steve Young. Only vis mig of any note was 750+ Wood Pigeons (west). Also double figures of Goldcrests and Cirl Buntings and Stock Doves, single Siskin, Reed Bunting, Fieldfare and Chiffchaff.

I going to have to accept that the the autumn is (almost?) over! 

By the way, the cafe at East Soar Farm is closed until 9th December but the log book is still accessible for any brave soul venturing out there....

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 6:21 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Velator Reserve

Shortish ringing session late this morning produced several more Greenfinches, many of which seemed just a bit bigger than usual (several males with wings over 90mm) - perhaps continental birds? Which reminds me I ringed a very fat Chaffinch in my garden a couple of days ago which weighed in at 27.9 grams, half a gram more than IPMR says is the highest weight!

Also saw a lovely RED ADMIRAL during one of the sunny spells.

Great Tit calling in my garden this morning - must be spring!!

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 5:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Nice day for being out & about

T'stone Marsh this am - 2 Lapwing, 5 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 7 Shoveler and a Water pipit .

On South Huish marsh - 25 Teal, 8 Wigeon, 1 Brent Goose ,1 `1st w Med Gull, 75 Snipe ( feeding ).

Offshore a F Eider and 3 Common Scoter

Bob B at S M Ley had - Woodcock, 30 Fieldfare, 10 Redwimng with a Black Redstart in the village.


Vic T found an ad male Hen Harrier at Soar

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 5:17 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

The Bonaparte's Gull sill showing exceptionally well this afternoon along the beach at Dawish Warren, close inshore between groynes 2 and 7, despite the numerous dog walkers, canoeists, speed boats etc

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 5:13 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Exe estuary

The WeBS count today at 13.40, between Turf and Powderham Corner, produced a good selection of birds includng great-crested grebe (1), greenshank (1), avocets (3), brent geese (55), lapwing (31), grey plover (2) and hundreds of dunlin on Greenland Bank just prior to the start of the count.

At the Turf, in the entrance to the canal was an adult female long-tailed duck.

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 5:04 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


Did a Wildlife boat trip this morning around Torbay:-

Goodrington/Broadsands area, 1 Shelduck, 1 Goldeneye only 3 scoter and 4 Black-necked Grebe. Back of Broadsands beach a very large flock of wood pigeons in the trees.

Elberry to Brixham, 16 Herons, Buzzard. Purple sandpiper on the bunkering area Brixham Brakewater.

A few oystercatchers, shags and cormorants. Not much else about but a beautiful day, next trip Sunday 25th November, am.

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 4:50 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Central Park, Plymouth

2 Firecrests and 10+ Goldcrests in the woods at Central Park.

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 3:27 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Brixington, Exmouth

A large female Goshawk drifted northwards over Exmouth (Brixington Lane/Knappe Cross area) at 1350hrs, providing me with another 'house tick'.

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 2:51 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

West Charleton Marsh / Bay, 11:50-13:15, rising tide.

3 Pintail, 7 Teal, Merlin ( fem.), Water Rail, 3 Grey Plover, 20 Fieldfare, 30 Redwing.

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 1:48 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Bradiford Reserve and R.Taw off Pottington.

09:00 - 10:30

Bradiford Res viewed from the gate:- Teal c40; Wigeon 6; Redshank 1; Snipe 1; Little Egret 1 and Redwing 9.

Following drainage work and undergrowth clearance by SWW? the road to the Pottington sewage works and the Water Rail ditch have been drastically cleared. The area has been opened up considerably. 2 Goldcrests easily found. A young female falconer uses the Parker Hannafin car park and grassed areas to fly 3 Harris Hawks.

R.Taw foreshore. Apart from Redshank, Oystercatchers etc, 2 Common Sandpipers; 17 Dunlin and 1 blue ringed Herring Gull which was too far away to read.

Scrub area next to Ashford sewage works:- 11 Fieldfares and 5 Redwings.

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 1:14 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Berry Hd and Broadsands

Berry Hd 0720-0830: Overhead; 1800 Wood Pigeons > N, 7 Stock Dove, 3 Brambling, 23 Goldfinch, 63 Chaffinch, 9 Greenfinch, 8 Meadow Pipits, 2 Pied Wagtail and 11 Redwing.

Around headland: 1 Water Rail, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest.

Wood Pigeons Berry Hd 11 Nov 2012

Wood Pigeons Berry Head - can you pick out a Stock Dove?

Broadsands: 5 Black-necked Grebes, 13 Common Scoter, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Goldeneye (Goodrington Beach direction) with a Shelduck. 1 Chiffchaff,3 Goldcrests, 4 Cirl Buntings, 5 Skylark and a flock of 1500+ Wood pigeons

Posted November 11th, 2012 at 10:25 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 10th November 2012

Thurs 8th Hembury

A photo by Tom Wallis taken on Thursday 8th on R Dart, nr Hembury showing some of the roosting Mandarin Ducks.

Mandarin Ducks Tom Wallis, R Dart, Dartmoor 8.11.2012

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 10:04 pm in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

from the hide 12:50 till 14:45

1 spotted redshank, 1 golden plover, 173+ avocet, 93+ bar tailed godwits, 5 greenshanks, 8+ snipe, 600+ black tailed godwits, 4 Pochards, 5+ tufted duck, 70+ Brent geese over towards darts farm, sparrowhawk, kestrel, 3+ buzzards, 2 jay, 4 knot

earlier from viewing platform and goat walk 60+ grey plover, 1500+ dunlin ( goat walk) 500+ dunlin ( viewing platform) 4+ jay, 20+ redwing

goat walk 15:00 till 16:20

eventualy after an hour found the long tailed duck as it flew into the middle of the estuary between goat walk and turf 

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 8:12 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Day trip to the Warren today with Jake Wood. Bonaparte's Gull showing well, Red Throated Diver and some lucky views of this cracking male Bearded Tit on the main pond. Thanks to Lee and Dave for stamping my passport when we arrived on site!


Posted November 10th, 2012 at 6:33 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Cold East Cross, north east of Buckland-in-the-Moor

Walking north from Cold East Cross to Pill Tor 4pm to 4.45pm- 62 golden plover circling high then heading south and 1 short-eared owl quartering.

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 5:34 pm by Tim & Aishlyn Youngs in Bird News


Quite lively just after first light with a nice mix of birds around the point including - 2 Firecrests (together), 13 Goldcrests, and single Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Brambling. Overhead (all west) - 40+ Chaffinches, 4 Bullfinches, and 2 Siskins.

The beach held c40 Rock Pipits and a Sparrowhawk.

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 2:07 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Wrafton pond

Don't know where they keep coming from but now 12 WIgeon on the pond (6 Drakes) and 2 drake Gadwall.

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 1:33 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Start Point

07:00-09:00. Very little vis mig, just 10 Meadow Pipit, 2 alba Wagtails, 90 Chaffinch, 50 Goldfinch, 6 Brambling, 3 Bullfinch abd 2 Linnets. 4 Fieldfares in the hedge by the car park on arrival, a small flock of 5 Common Scoter just offshore below the car park and a Black Redstart at the light.

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 10:20 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Friday 9th November 2012

Home Farm


Whooper swans still present at this time.

Posted November 9th, 2012 at 4:08 pm by Dawn Barford in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

The Bonaparte's Gull performed very well this morning just behind the Boathouse Pub. Also 1 Sandwich Tern and 2+ Med Gulls

Posted November 9th, 2012 at 4:07 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Bonaparte's Gull still along sea wall and on first few groynes from 8.00 am onwards. Also Red-throated Diver and adult Sandwich Tern. 

Posted November 9th, 2012 at 3:57 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News


1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 34 Common Scoter. 4 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park. 

Grt Nrthn Diver Broadsands 9 Nov 2012

photo: 1st winter Great Northern Diver, Broadsands Bay.


Posted November 9th, 2012 at 3:10 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary at West Charleton

On a mid-morning rising tide highlights were 2 female scaup and  5 red-breasted merganser.

Also: 171 wigeon, 3 pintail, 160 curlew, 13 bar-tailed godwit and 30 redwing.

Posted November 9th, 2012 at 2:32 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Clennon Valley

A visit to the ponds first thing this morning produced of interest: 1 Mandarin drake, 3 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, 3 Snipe, 4 Water Rail, 1 Little Egret, 1 Little Grebe, 4 Chiffchaff, 7 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 1 Blackcap, 8 Redwing and a fly over Brambling.

Posted November 9th, 2012 at 11:12 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 8th November 2012

nr. Harberton

Continuing the Woodpigeon theme, i was driving along a back road less than a mile northwest of Harberton ( nr. Totnes ) late morning ( Grid Ref SX 770598 ) when a great swarm of pigeons took off from a stubble field by the road. Could not stop but there must have been c2500 flying around. A few hundred Starlings as well.

Posted November 8th, 2012 at 7:34 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Wood pigeon migration over Torbay

The text below is from Mark Thomas RSPB...


The night of Monday 5th November saw me and another RSPB Investigations colleague staying at the Premiere Inn at Torquay ahead of the court case involving the egg collectors and nest disturbers Betteridge and Crang the following day.


Dawn broke with clear blue skies and ideal conditions for Wood Pigeon migration, I was aware that Wood Pigeons had been moving in the last few days over Bedfordshire from my vismig watching. But I had no real idea if WP’s moved this far West but I had my bins and at 0715hr walked to the seafront to get some air.


Looking NE I immediately picked up a group of 700 WP’s high over the east of the bay and coming directly over my position., Looking in the general direction that these birds were heading I latched on to another group of about 800 birds that must have passed over a few minutes before and were now over Brixham in a massive wave. Another massive ball of birds suddenly swung in from the NE and before long I was on 5000. Looking due North I also saw several groups every 50 seconds heading high SW over the land.


This continued for well over 30 minutes, before the birds coming overhead dried up. Looking south, it soon became apparent that the passage had now moved further to the south and that the birds were now cutting the bay directly E to W. This allowed a very good ‘side on’ view of the movement. Around this time I was joined by Josh Marshall and my colleague Guy Shorrock. Thousands of birds were streaming past with flocks ahead, mid distance and almost out of visual range. Looking to the west the scene was colossal, as the angle of view meant that the flocks all appeared to merge in to one mass migration, like beast on the plains!


Exact counting was impossible but at one point I could see 12 flocks of 500 birds alone ! At 0815hrs I had to drag myself away but had counted just over 40000 individuals. Twenty minutes later I was back dressed for court and immediately noticed that the passage appeared to have dried up. It was one of the most amazing and unexpected bird events I have ever seen !


Mark Thomas



Posted November 8th, 2012 at 5:24 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Hembury Woods.

Mandarin Duck. 8th November. 80 plus above Island. Best toward late afternoon.

Also two Dipper.

Posted November 8th, 2012 at 5:18 pm by David Turrell in Bird News


Preston Sands: 1 Black-necked Grebe

Broadsands: 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Red-throated Diver, 24 Common Scoter (mostly out north of the mussel farm buoys).

Black-necked Grebe, Broadsands 8 Nov 12 ML

I have started putting the RSPB seed down for the Cirl Buntings in the 2nd car park at Broadsands (there are more 'wintering' beach huts than normal but it may restrict dog interference to the feeding area). To date I have counted 6 Cirl Buntings (2 males and 4 females) also 1 Brambling with the Chaffinches there. Just 1 Chiffchaff around the marsh at present and 5 Siskin with the Goldfinches.

Posted November 8th, 2012 at 3:24 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Mandarins Hembury Woods

Hembury Woods yesterday, 45+ Mandarin. Stunning!

Posted November 8th, 2012 at 8:28 am by David Turrell in Bird News

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