Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th December 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

Friday 7th December 2012

Bowling Green Marsh 09:30 to 12:15

Forty six species, including: many Brents flying to Dart's Farm; 850+ Black Tailed Godwit; only 5+ Bar Tailed Godwit; Water Rail showing well in the sunshine for 2 hours; male Pintail; female Long Tailed Duck and really good numbers of Starling. No Avocets though on this neapish high tide.

Posted December 7th, 2012 at 11:18 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Thursday - Portworthy

Green-winged Teal seen in distance at Portworthy.

Green-winged Teal Barry Rankine, Portworthy 6.12.12

(Barry Rankine)

Posted December 7th, 2012 at 10:44 pm in Bird News

Exmouth & Sidmouth

With apologies for somewhat delayed postings 

EXMOUTH - Exe off Shelley Beach.    

3 Goldeneye on Wednesday afternoon very actively feeding at the edge of the mussel beds at low tide.     This is a regular location for them but note that the normal best window of opportunity is approximately 1 hour either side of low tide.       

SIMOUTH - Jacobs Ladder.   Thursday 6th Dec.

3 Purple Sandpipers mixing with a flock of 18 Turnstones.    The Sandpipers were difficult to see on the sea defence 'islands' but came over to the foreshore rocks under the footpath approx 2.5 hours into the ebbing tide.     This is a smaller number than previous years - so far.


Posted December 7th, 2012 at 10:14 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Exmouth Waxwings

At least 18 were present at 12.30 today on the Hulham Road site reported yesterday (thanks Terry and others)

Posted December 7th, 2012 at 6:37 pm by Steve Oliver in Bird News

Waxwings-Newton Abbot

 6 Waxwing were present in trees in front of Albany Road Surgery at 2pm,showing well overhead, but no sign half an hour later. (There was also no sign first thing this morning).

Posted December 7th, 2012 at 6:07 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


Now 21 Wigeon and 6 Gadwall on the pond and 150+ Mallard/Mallard hybrids.

Posted December 7th, 2012 at 6:00 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


The sea was too choppy to check thoroughly but there was a Black-necked Grebe and a Great Northern Diver just off-shore.

11 Cirl Buntings on seed in back of 2nd car park, 9 Chiffchaffs in marsh and this very confiding individual feeding alongside the road outside the car park.

chiffchaff collybita Broadsands 07 Dec 12 ML

Posted December 7th, 2012 at 11:51 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 6th December 2012

Velator reserve

Ringing this morning produced another good range of species - predominantly Finches, still no Brambling but 3 each of Gold and Bullfinches along with the more common Chaff and Green. Slight lack of attention when a Great Spotted Woodpecker drilled me, drawing blood - note more care with these! Others were 4 Blackbirds and another Song Thrush, plenty more new Tits, and singles of Reed Bunting (two others seen) Cetti's Warbler, and Chiffchaff (two others seen). Lots of retraps with some big Blackbirds, presumably continentals. Sadly didn't catch any of the Redwings or Starlings feeding on the Buckthorn berries.

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 6:39 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

The Goldeneye last seen on Wed. This morning on South Huish Marsh - 105 Wigeon, 110+ teal, 2 Pintail, 1 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, 1 Brent Goose, 25 Snipe, 1 Lapwing plus 5 flew over. On the beach 1 Turnstone .

Offshore 3 Common Scoter flew east.

In the courtyard of the flats a 1st w male Black Redstart.

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 6:32 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Waxwings-Newton Abbot

The 4 Waxwings only present mid morning in trees in the small square outside Albany Road Surgery near the River Lemon, but had gone by 11am and no sign there or anywhere else around the town centre during the rest of the day.

These trees are a favourite site for Waxwings in Newton Abbot in previous years, and there are still plenty of berries left. Please respect any locals/surgery privacy if you are passing.

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 6:05 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Female Merlin north of railway bridge. Thursday pm

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 4:50 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News


10+ Waxwings still present early this afternoon at the junction of Hulham Road/Dinan Way/Summer Lane, feeding on roadside hawthorns, giving close views. They also range over to the Jubilee Drive/Pines Road junction area and regularly rest in a tall tree opposite the entrance to Barrowdale Close.   

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 1:25 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Waxwing in Seaton

A single Waxwing has been seen twice in the last two days on the west side of town.  Not pinned down though and still needed by all but one of the patch birders! 

In Seaton Bay there has been record numbers of Great Crested Grebes, with over 40 the other day.  Is this influx evident elsewhere?

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 12:29 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Newton Abbot

4 Waxwings  outside surgery in Newton Abbot town centre. reported by Robin Shute.

Posted December 6th, 2012 at 11:17 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 5th December 2012

Waxwing in Exmouth

14 waxwing still present this afternoon in Exmouth. The flock was located near the junction of Hulham Road and Dinan Way at 15:00. They were feeding on Hawthorn Berries. Great views with the birds feeding a couple of feet away. This is the 4th day the Waxwings were seen in this area and there is a good chance they will be around for a few days more as the Hawthorn bushes in the area have plenty of berries on them.

Waxwing feeding on Hawthorn
Waxwing feeding on Hawthorn



Posted December 5th, 2012 at 10:16 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Teignmouth Pier starling murmuration

Teignmouth seafront about 4.15pm today watched large number(1000+?) of starlings joining together+displaying before roosting under pier

Re black redstart seen today Pellow Arcade Teignmouth -have recently seen starlings feeding on palm tree flowers/seeds in same place plus in other palm trees on Moor View Drive on edge of town

Posted December 5th, 2012 at 7:36 pm by Jean Gitsham in Bird News

Downend & Baggy

The Common Scoters have increased in number yet again probably due to cold weather movements.

111 at Baggy Point & 73 at Downend.

An absolutely cracking male Black Redstart at Baggy but highly mobile & only visible for 30 seconds before moving on.

Posted December 5th, 2012 at 6:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake - Wednesday 5th Dec.

Bright and cold.

10 Goosdander (1 female), 1 female Goldeneye, 3+ Gadwall, c. 35 Mallard, 50+ Teal, 1 male Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebes, 1 Mute Swan, c.5 Snipe, 1 Cormorant, good numbers of Robins and Chaffinches, 1 Redwing, 2 Buzzards. 

On the feeders:- Blue, Great, Marsh and Coal Tits, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Jay, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 5th, 2012 at 3:30 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Escot Park, East Devon

Please excuse the diversion from birds but the people need a mention occasionally and I am pleased to report that 21 'Devon Birds' members had a very enjoyable walk around the Escot estate today... this was followed by Christmas lunch when 24 members enjoyed an excellent meal with all the trimings.  A few good birds were present on the walk including three pairs of Bullfinch but for once I ommitted to make a list, sorry!  A bonus event was a walk around the Red Squirrel enclosure and the thrill of seeing the animals at close quarters,  A fine Buzzard perched above the squirrels in the hope of a meal.

From EAST DEVON BRANCH to all 'Devon Birds' members..... thank you for supporting us in 2012 and have a great Christmas

Posted December 5th, 2012 at 3:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Anchorwood bank, Barnstaple

10:30 - 12:30 on a receding tide.
There were a lot of birds this morning, nothing unusual but big numbers for this site. I heard a few gunshots coming from Pottington area so maybe that drove the birds over to the anchorwoods side.
Among the birds were well over 100 Redshank, the usual splattering of Oystercatcher and Curlew, c80 Lapwing, c150 Sanderling, a few Dunlin and a couple of dozen Shelduck. A nice bonus was a grey wagtail feeding in one of the guts.

A few pics from this morning below taken with a 600mm astroscope + 1.4x tc and a 7D DSLR









Posted December 5th, 2012 at 2:50 pm in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Short visit at lunch time. Sunny and cold. Access fine with almost no water in the lane.

Lots of ducks including 800+ wigeon, 300+ teal and 80+ shoveller on the wet fields south of the lane. On the lagoon 24 gadwall and 8 tufted duck plus a few more wigeon. Elsewhere a few mallard. Nearer the Turf the brent geese were spread out in the field making counting difficult due to trees in the view. I estimate about 500 but could only see 8 1w. Only waders I could see were curlew (c100) and a few lapwing. Earlier in the day I saw a flock of c300 lapwing flying towards the marshes.


Posted December 5th, 2012 at 1:49 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Black Redstart in Teignmouth

Probable male (no bins, light not good!) in Pellew Arcade on palms and flower bed at 08:10 this morning.

Posted December 5th, 2012 at 9:08 am by Simon Bates in Bird News

Tuesday 4th December 2012

Waxwings in Dousland

Two, possibly more, eating cotoneaster berries.

(Anna Easton & Rob&Maureen Harrison)

Posted December 4th, 2012 at 2:17 pm in Bird News

Monday 3rd December 2012

Swans at Weare Gifford

Malcolm had 4 swans Sunday 2 mute and 2 whooper

Posted December 3rd, 2012 at 8:22 pm by David & Gillian Churchill in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary - North

Numbers beginning to build up and today's tally included:

79 brent geese, 114 shelduck, 140 wigeon, female goldeneye, 14 red-breasted merganser, 300 golden plover, 6 grey plover,150 dunlin, 24 snipe, 5 bar-tailed godwit, 160 curlew, 2 greenshank & 63 common gull.

Unable to locate the recently reported slavonian gebe though.

Posted December 3rd, 2012 at 3:23 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


At lunchtime there were 18 Waxwings in the same area as yesterday, but they are roaming around a bit. They have been seen in the Pines Road/Jubilee Drive/Maple Drive/Cedar Close area. Sometimes feeding outside of the pharmacy in Pines Road. Seen again from my kitchen window too!  

Posted December 3rd, 2012 at 2:27 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


On the pond this morning 19 Wigeon 6 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler with 2 Little Grebes.

Too windy in the reserve for small birds, except Finches! but Buzzard calling from the tall trees.

Posted December 3rd, 2012 at 1:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


One redhead Goosander on Exe between rec and M5 this morning (08:15). Also 2 Brambling in my Topsham garden over the weekend.

Posted December 3rd, 2012 at 1:01 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Sunday 2nd December 2012

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Strand.

10:40 - 12:00

Off Pottington.

Little Grebe 1; Grey Plover 4 & Sanderling 8.

Bradiford Reserve.

Wigeon 7;  Teal c24; Buzzard 1; Mallard 27 & c60 Canada Geese. How many will be there wednesday moning  if wildfowlers come again?  It would appear from my enquiries that weds is the most regular day they come. Police have been in contact with me today and will be visiting Riverside Units tomorrow to begin their enquiries.

Ashford Sewage Works ditch.

Green Sandpiper 1; Kingfisher 1; Little Egret 1.

Off Ashford Sewage Works & Ashford Strand.

Sanderling 10; Wigeon 31; Dunlin 25; Golden Plover c3000( in mid-river) and Goosander 7.

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 5:51 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

On South Huish Marsh - water level still very high -long may it stay like this- Glodeneye, 90+ Wigeon, 60 Teal, 2 Pintail, 3 Gadwall, Brent Goose, 14 Black Tailed Godwit, 30 Snipe, 15 Lapwing.

On the rocks - 9 Turnstone

Offshore 25 Gannet, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great N Diver.

On T'stone marsh- 12 Shoveler, 10 Wigeon , 40 Teal , 35 Snipe

Bob B at S M Ley -30+ Chiffchaff ( another 3 ringed ) 2 Siskin , Mistle Thrush

Harry Huggins rang to confirm 3 Blackcap in his garden


Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 5:27 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Broadsands and Clennon Valley

Broadsands: 4 Great Northern Divers, approx 25 Common Scoter, 2-3 Black-necked Grebes, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Chiffchaff including one pale bird seen in Marsh, 2 Firecrest, 3 Rock Pipits ssp. on damp meadow.

Clennon Valley: 2 Firecrest, 4 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff including one pale buffy grey bird calling today - single short sharp note sounding something between collybita and tristis - odd or does that = abietinus?! 

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 4:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Hd

Terry Lakeman reported the following yesterday off the head: 25-30 Common Dolphin, 7 Harbour porpoise and 4 Great Northern Divers.

cmn Dolphn Berry Hd 01 Dec TL

                                                        One of the Common Dolphin

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 4:06 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Another Brixham Waxwing

Father phoned sat morning, single waxwing in garden (Windmill Hill area,) along with 2 Blackcaps, all feeding on apples.

Today I had a male blackcap in my garden, (bottom of Community College playing field area)

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 3:11 pm by Trevor Leaman in Bird News


7 Waxwings at Junction of Jubilee Drive/Barrowdale Close until 1445hrs at least.

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 2:55 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


5 Waxwings at junction of Jubilee Drive/Barrowdale Close until 1410hrs at least!

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 2:33 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


Water Pipit still showing well on the beach here mid-day. The only other birds of note were ten Wigeon on the sea which drifted out towards the Yealm.

Late news for yesterday; Had a Short eared Owl at Halshanger Common, near Cold East Cross, late p.m. Little else here though just a dozen or so Fieldfare and singles of Yellowhammer and Redwing.

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 2:13 pm by Roy McCarthy in Bird News

Topsham rec

3 goldeneye (1m,2f) of topsham rec late morning showing well also 2 little grebe, 2 common gulls, 2 snipe 

also of topsham quay 4 red breasted mergansers (2m,2f)

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 1:39 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


The pond now has at least 18 Wigeon, 4 female Shoveler and 5 Gadwall.

Nearby in the reserve 1 calling Cetti's Warbler and 2 unringed Chiffchaffs and a Water Rail seen.

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 12:00 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

5 Waxwings - Bridge over A30 coming back from Exeter airport

Saturday 10.15am. 

In the bush in middle of the roundabout just over the bridge over the A30 coming back from Exeter airport before coming down sliproad onto A30 heading towards Exeter.

Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 7:53 am by Barney Donnellan in Bird News

Saturday 1st December 2012

Ernesettle & Wembury

Lesser Yellowlegs showed well on the creek eventually also Spotted Redshank, 3+ Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, 50+ Avocet.

lsr Yellowlegs Enesettle 1 Dec 12 ML

Wembury: Water Pipit still at Wembury just east of sewage pipe on top of beach and lots of Rock Pipits several probably Scandinavian see photos below, also Swallow feeding over horse paddocks: 

Water Pipit:

water pitpit Wembury 1 Dec 2012 NM water pitpit Wembury 1 Dec 2012 NM

Possible Scandinavian Rock Pipit:

scand? Rock pipit Wembury 1 Dec 2012 NM scand? Rock pipit Wembury 1 Dec 2012 NM

Rock Pipit ssp?

Rock pipit ssp. Wembury 1 Dec 2012 NM Rock pipit ssp. Wembury 1 Dec 2012 NM

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 9:32 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Barn Owl Pic


Barn Owl veletor
Barn Owl veletor it has a ring but numbers not visible

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 8:53 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News

Otter Estuary

Waxwing briefly seen by cricket clubhouse. Along the track 2 grey plover in the fields. Goldcrest and Cettis in the hedge.  

Redshank, gulls inc black headed and herring gull, 1 single Lapwing, 10 or more Teal, 2 x Little Egret, 

S J Turner

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 7:57 pm by Stephen John Turner in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

The main lane from the Swan's Nest pub is still flooded at the S bend. Some cars were going through but most were not. When I walked through the water was close to the top of my wellies.

But it was worth it. Hundreds of wigeon and teal, covering the many wet pools. I also saw tufted duck, (12+), pintail, shoveller, pochard and coots. In addition to the waterfowl there were lapwing (c30), curlew (70) and redshank. In the lane 4 or 5 chiffchaffs, one stonechat and one goldcrest. I suspect the pipit, hiding in tall vegetation, near the bends in the lane was a water pipit but I could not get a good view.

Lots of blackbirds on the berry bushes (at least 30), one fieldfare and a few redwings. I heard water rails calling at 4 locations and a Cettis at one.

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 5:49 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


On the pond this morning (partly frozen) were 16 Wigeon along with 2 Shoveler and 5 Gadwall. A lone Little Grebe. Goldcrest and Chiffchaff in the reserve along with a Water Rail.

Andy the Barn Owl may well be one I have ringed on the great field either this year or last year - I've ringed the brood in James Leonard's barn - I've ringed 3 each year. It's great to hear that one is still a local bird. Any chance of a picture with part of the ring number, slim chance I know.

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 5:43 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

On South Huish marsh this morning a F Goldeneye ( first for the year ) 100+ Wigeon, 60 Teal,  singles of Pintail, Gadwall, Shelduck, Brent Goose , Little Grebe. Water Pipit

On the rocks - 12 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin .

T'stone Marsh at 08.00 -  12 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 12 Shoveler ( 8 of which flew off east at 08.10 )1 Cettis Warbler ( first on site since Spring ) 20 Snipe

At Upton Cross ( nr South Milton ) 55 Lapwing, 2 Fieldfare, 100+ Skylark, 1 m Hen Harrier.

Bob b at S M Ley - 40+ Chiffchaff ( 3 ringed ) , 2 Brambling, 8 Water Rail

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 5:15 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Waxwings-Torbay Hospital

On arrival this morning at 8am-there were now 11 Waxwings in car park A. They all flew off around the front of the hospital at 8.15am. At 8.35, a single Waxwing flew over fairly high and then at 8.55- 12 Waxwings flew back into the car park. The flock all flew off again at 9.10 and as far as I'm aware, haven't been seen again all day. As there aren't many berries left on the trees they are feeding on, this isn't surprising.


(anyone visiting this area please be sensitive about patients' privacy and obey any Security staff requests if asked to move - Blog Admin)

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 4:12 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

GN Diver juv, Slav Grebe, 260 Golden Plover, DB Brents 15+, Wigeon 400, Teal 80+ (Saltstone-Gerston area)

A Gifford - 2 Water Pipit ENW

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 4:08 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Teign Estuary

A good count of 30 Snipe at Passage House. Probably more behind the reeds. Also 1 Common Sandpiper, 23 Lapwing and 2 Dunlin.

On the Estuary, 1 female Goldeneye and c30 Mergansers. Plus the usual Curlew, Oystercatchers, Little Egret, 3 Greenshank and c70 Redshank.

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 3:50 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News


Male Black Red still at the beach and a Brambling at the point this morning.

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 3:43 pm in Bird News


12 blackcaps,5 male,7 female,10 fieldfare,2 redwing,6 song thrush feeding on sea buckthorn leading to car park north end of instow,Great northern diver from instow just off appledore lifeboat slip but gone time i got there.

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 12:31 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Barn Owl Velator

A Barn Owl has often been showing on the Marsh Road at Velator during the day. It posed quite nicely by the side of the road for me today.

It is ringed, anyone know any more about it?

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 12:14 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

On walk down to the marsh this morning a Waxwing in trees by entrance to goosemoor seen with Richard winfield also 2 goldcrests 30+ long tailed tits and a bullfinch the waxwing showed well for 15 mins around 08:50 but was constantly chased by a mistle thrush this is another first for bowling green marsh 

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 10:43 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Brambling at Darts Farm

About 20 Bramblings on site this morning. Best views are from the hide or on the live camera viewed from the visitor centre.

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 10:02 am by Gareth Williams in Bird News

Hawfinches Longdown

  5 Hawfinches seen to leave the traditional roosting site on a private woodland estate at Longdown.This was at approximately 0800hrs and the birds flew East towards Ide. A check of the Field Maple at West Town Farm (Ide) proved negative but the trees have a very good seed crop so it is probably worth periodic checks.

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 9:28 am by Roy Adams in Bird News

Black-necked Grebe, Dawlish Warren NNR

I thought members would be interested in the Grebe, easily seen and very attractive as well. Behaviour was interesting, lots of diving and then skulking  in  the reeds. Larger than the Little Grebe whose territory it had invaded.

Black-necked Grebe, Dawlish Warren NNR
Black-necked Grebe, Dawlish Warren NNR

Posted December 1st, 2012 at 9:04 am by Charlie Fleming in Bird News

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