Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st December 2012

Breeding birds

It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.

If in doubt refer to the following: https://www.devonbirds.org/news/bird_news/rare_breeding_species 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

Posted April 1st at 3:13 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 21st December 2012

Black Redstart - NDDH Barnstaple

Nice male black redstart feeding on insects on the hospital buildings around lunchtime today.

Posted December 21st, 2012 at 7:11 pm by Andrew Lansdell in General Birding

Sharkham Point

A friend reported a Waxwing round the car park bushes yesterday. I have been away all week so have not checked to see if anymore have turned up

Posted December 21st, 2012 at 5:58 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Waxwings- Torquay

8 Waxwings still opposite 79 Perinvale Road early this morning.

 Still plenty of berries there, so should be around for a while

Posted December 21st, 2012 at 5:40 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Berry Head & Brixham Breakwater

5 Great Northern Divers on the sea & 2 flying south.

Minimum 9 Harbour Porpoises on mirror sea.

Posted December 21st, 2012 at 5:25 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bewick's Swans - Axe

These two adult Bewick's Swan on the Axe early this afternoon, near Boshill Cross opposite Axmouth FC (where the Long-billed Dowitcher was).

Also, off Beer the Velvet Scoter still with 7 Red-throated Diver west past.


Posted December 21st, 2012 at 3:09 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Mansands

A very wet looking marsh after the rains. 46 Snipe, 2 Water Rails, 15+ Mallards, 30+Teals, 9 Moorhens and a Grey Heron. In the bay, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 3 Great Crested Grebes and 8 Razorbills

Posted December 21st, 2012 at 1:37 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Broadsands

On sea: 34 Common Scoter, 32 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Great Northern Divers, 3 Red-throated Divers & 1 Black-necked Grebe.

13 Cirl Buntings on seed in back of 2nd car park with 5 Reed Buntings. In the marsh 5 collybita type Chiffchaffs and 1 tristis type (non calling).

Posted December 21st, 2012 at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 20th December 2012

nr. Kingsbridge

40 Lapwings at Borough Farm, Tor Quarry ( couple miles north of Kingsbridge ) today.

Posted December 20th, 2012 at 7:54 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Ringing recovery

Just had details of a Chaffinch I ringed at Velator on 15th December 2010.

It was retrapped at Falsterbo Bird Observatory Sweden on 11th October 2012, 666 days after ringing.

I think I commented a few weeks back that some of the Chaffinches I have been ringing recently were larger than usual, and could be continental birds. Perhaps this is some vindication?

Posted December 20th, 2012 at 5:51 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Another washout day - some reduction in the number of duck on the marshes but no change in species seen

An hours seawatch this morning from the car park- 3 Great N Diver - west , 1 Red T Diver -east and 50+ Gannet

Posted December 20th, 2012 at 5:41 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Bradiford Reserve.

For those North Devon Birders interested in the recent wildfowling incidents taking place adjacent to the Bradiford Reserve and "possibly" within the reserve, I have been informed by the Police today that the landowner of the field next to the reserve plus those having shooting rights have been established and will soon be seen and interviewed and strongly advised as to their future conduct. Let`s hope this will result in no more incidents. I have asked the Investigating Officer to tell those involved that the incidents were observed by concerned members of the public working in the Pottington Industrial Estate and who will continue to monitor the area. Our thanks to them all.

Posted December 20th, 2012 at 4:44 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Orcombe Point

A visit over the lunchtime period produced a Black-throated Diver sat on the sea just off the point. Also seen were singles of Fulmar, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Redwing and Bullfinch, amongst the commoner species. 

Posted December 20th, 2012 at 2:16 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Wednesday 19th December 2012

Berry Head

10:05-12:30. Balearic Shearwater, Bonxie, distant skua sp., 10 Great Northern Divers south and 2 on the sea. Several Harbour Porpoise including 2 calves, one quite small.

Posted December 19th, 2012 at 4:40 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Hope's Nose

Seawatching 0815-1030hrs, it was just like the good old days the 'storm' pipes were open and hundreds of gulls feeding in the out wash, waves crashing over the rocks covering me in hopefully mostly sea water!

1 Pomarine Skua, 2 Great Skuas, 16 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 Common Scoter, 160+ Kittiwake, 735 Auks (mostly Razorbills but many out in mist),22 Fulmar and 65 Gannets. 

Pom Skua Hope's Nose 19 Dec 12 ML  Pom Skua Hope's Nose 19 Dec 12 ML2

Photos: the Pomarine skua in poor light!

Posted December 19th, 2012 at 1:16 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Stick insect - Brixham

Slightly off topic I know, but a massive 12 cm long stick insect on our wall Tuesday PM.  We get them quite often, but this was the biggest I have seen.

Posted December 19th, 2012 at 10:06 am by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Westward Ho!

A late submission for tuesday.

The single Purple Sandpiper was still on rocks around Nassau Court. Behind Nassau Court a female Black Redstart was bathing in puddles among the static caravans.

Posted December 19th, 2012 at 9:17 am by Roger Doble in General Birding

Tuesday 18th December 2012

Exminster

The first-winter Rose-coloured Starling showed a few times today, but it is quite elusive. Walk through the churchyard to the north side and view up the allotment from the path. It seems to spend most of its time hidden from view, presumably feeding and resting in a garden behind the allotment, occasionally flying up into a tree or the hedge around some ivy clumps. When I arrived, it did actually fly out over the churchyard to a tall tree on the eastern side of the churchyard, but soon returned back to its favourite haunt behind the allotment! Also seen over the lunchtime period in the same spot were a Blackcap or two, and a Brambling and a couple of Goldcrests. 

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 10:40 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Divers & Grebes Survey Torbay

A perfect day for surveying today with flat calm seas - Between Corbyn Head and Petit Tor Point

Red-throated Diver - 1 Petit Tor Point
Black-throated Diver - 1 Long Quarry Point
Great Northern Diver - 1 Long Quarry Point
Black-necked Grebe 1 (3 last month) Corbyn's Head
Great-crested Grebe 25 Petit Tor Point
Also 20+ Common Scoter and 25+ Auks

If anyone is interested in covering Berry Head for Dec - March (2 X10 minute counts per survey) twice a month) please contact Helen Booker  helen.booker@rspb.org.uk

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 8:14 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Waxwings in Torquay

17 Waxwings at 81 Perinville Road Torquay today. There from 12.30 and still there when I left at 3.00.

The group of waxwings
The group of waxwings

Feeding by the side of the road
Feeding by the side of the road

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 5:38 pm by Neville Todd in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary - North

A windless, mild, sunny morning and the estuary as still as a millpond!

Consequently nothing out of the ordinary but the tally included 16 great crested grebe, 48 brent geese, 204 shelduck, 390 wigeon, 55 teal, 3 pintail, 10 red-breasted merganser, 7 grey plover, 206 dunlin, 37 snipe, 21 bar-tailed godwit & 2 greenshank.

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 4:39 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake.

Quiet and bright.

14 Goosander (3 females), 3 female Goldeneye, c.40 Mallard, c12 Teal, 6 Gadwall, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 11 Lapwing over, 1 Bullfinch, c.7 Chaffinches, 2 Nuthatches, 2 Coal Tits, Blue and Grerat Tits, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Song Thrush, 146 gulls ~ 3 Lesser Black backed, 102 Black headed and 41 Herring, 1 Moorhen.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 2:46 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Exeter Waxwings

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 12:11 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Exeter - Wonford (Bovemoors Lane)

14 Waxwing present this morning up to 10.45am, mainly resting on top of large tree at exit to hospital in Bovemoors Lane.  Flying down to hedgerow to take single rose hip before flying back to tree.  Also appeared to fly down to flat roofs of nursing quarters, presumably to drink.  Occasionally seen to fly around to catch the odd fly.

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 12:02 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Pretty quiet on the whole but a gathering of 8 Buzzards was noteworthy. Other than that, routine fare in a single Golden Plover, 40 Fieldfare, 4 Mistle Thrush, a handful of Redwings, 2 Stonechat, 8 Stock Doves and 20+ Skylark.

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 11:04 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Waxwings in Torquay

17 Waxwings still at 81 Perinville Road at 9am.

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 9:22 am by Steve Cox in General Birding

Topsham

Ring tail Hen harrier drifted over reed bed south of M5 at 08:30 on Monday.

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 7:39 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Monday 17th December 2012

Wrafton

13 Wigeon and about 5 each of Shoveler and Gadwall on the pond. Nearby a Little Grebe on the river above the weir.

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 11:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Broadsands

The Firecrest seems to have moved in with the ChiffChaffs on the stream being quite active and giving good views. In the bay itself was a Black necked grebe feeding only 20 yds out again giving excellent views

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 9:15 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

WeBS on the Grand Western Canal

A WeBS survey on the Grand Western Canal today revealed that, despite the breach on the canal, numbers on the canal are on a par to the previous month. In addition to the normal waterbirds expected were :- 128 Lapwing, 1 Snipe, 1 Dipper, 4 Little Grebe, 1 Water Rail and 2 Kingfisher.

Among the other highlights were: a mixed flock of over 600 gulls, mainly Herring and Black-headed, feeding in one small field adjacent to the canal; a flock of 600+ Woodpigeon feeding in a stubble field; and a further flock of 50+ Woodpigeon which included an almost complete albino feeding in a field of kale.

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 7:33 pm by Ray Jones in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Starling dispersal well down -only 50.000, also on T'stone Marsh - 55 Teal, 11 Gadwall, 14 Shoveler, 30 Wigeon, 50 + Snipe. At 09.00 a female Black Redstart on my roof .

Only new arrival on South H marsh was a male Pintail.

On the rocks 4 Turnstone .

1.45 hrs seawatch produced - 100+ Gannet, 145 Auk's ( too far out for positive ID )  55 Kittiwake, 1 Fulmar,

2 Common Scoter , at 10.55 a Red T Diver flew into the bay and continued straigjht up the valley

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 5:31 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

3 Water Pipit on South Efford Marsh plus 24 Wigeon & 43 Teal. On the estuary 2 Egyptian Geese, male Mandarin, 33 Curlew & 3 Common Sandpiper.

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 5:06 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Waxwings in Tavistock

Six Waxwings were feeding in a garden on the eastern edge of Tavistock briefly last week and quickly stripped the cotoneaster shrub bare and  moved on.

(D Thomas)

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 3:45 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Black Redstart Exmouth Marina

A short walk around Exmouth marina produced a fantastic male Black Redstart feeding among the rocks by the small bay along with a Rock Pipit and Pied Wagtail.

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 1:56 pm by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Torquay

Bob Bailey phoned to say at least 8 Waxwings still at Perinville Rd, lunchtime today.

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 12:16 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Waxwings in Torquay

Flock of 21 Waxwings feeding on berries in front gardens of Perinville Road (Just off Babbacombe Road) Torquay at 16.15 hours yesterday. Also in roadside trees on brow of hill as you approach from Babbacombe Road.

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 11:12 am by Clive Mason in General Birding

Sunday 16th December 2012

Waxwing Dawlish

A single Waxwing spent 10 minutes in trees around Failea Close on the East side of Dawlish at around 1:10pm. A nice addition to the garden list! Had just enough time for a couple of record shots before it flew off South. Also female Brambling with Chaffinches. [Luke Harman]


Posted December 16th, 2012 at 5:54 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Late news for Sat - AJL had a Jack Snipe on S H Marsh

at 07.45 the Starling dispersal was c 100.000, also on T'stone Marsh - 50 Teal, 27 Wigeon, 14 Shoveler, 11 Gadwall and the Brent Goose.

On the beach/ rocks - 12 Turnstone, 4 Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling

Offshore 20= Gannet and a Fulmar

On South H Marsh - 130  Teal, 60 Wigeon, 1 Shoveler, 15 Snipe, 30 Lapwing

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 5:43 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

apparent sinensis Cormorant Exeter Quay

A first winter Cormorant showing characters of sinensis (rear gular angle approaching 90 degrees, also small size) at the dam, Exeter Quay c.11am. I see there was only one accepted record last year so thought it might be of interest.

sinensis Cormorant
sinensis Cormorant

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 5:36 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 09:35 till 11:30

on the walk to the hide a nuthatch and at least 150+ snipe flying around on arrival at the hide heard the female hen harrier had been around from about 08:00 so could be 2 in the area with martins post earlier it showed a couple more times before seeming to fly towards exminster around 10:30, the female long tailed duck is still showing well at times, a conservative estimate of snipe was 250+ never seen so many on the marsh, 2 water rail, 250+ avocet , 199+ bar tailed godwits, 3 grey plover, 100+ dunlin, 100+ lapwing, 1 Cetti's warbler, 2 buzzards, kestrel, 5+ bullfinch , 20+ redwing, the treecreeper was seen before I arrived in tree to left of the hide. 

After taking cover from a storm made way to topsham rec, 6 grey plover and 39+ snipe, 5 common gulls. 

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 4:28 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Broadsands

On the sea: 7 Great Northern Divers, 3 Red-throated Divers (including the white flanked BtD wannabe), 41 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Black-necked Grebes, 18 Common Scoter. No sign of the Black-throated diver (photographed yesterday) this morning.

6 Chiffchaffs including 2 pale abietinus/tristis types, 1 Firecrest along road west of car park entrance. 

 

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 3:23 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Skern 1.20pm-2.50pm

40 Shelduck, 10 Redshank, 10 Oystercatcher, 25 Lapwing, 10 Bar tailed Godwits, 1 Greenshank, 10 Dunlin. Approx 30 black headed gulls including 2 immature birds. 2 Lesser black backed gull and 1 Great Black backed gull. 5 Herring gull and 2 rook. Also approx 10 Linnets and a Song Thrush in the gorse.

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 3:19 pm by Sara Elliott in General Birding

Topsham

Ring tail hen harrier over reed beds south of M5 before drifting over Exminster Marshes at 8:15. 4 Brambling and 1 Blackcap in my garden.

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 1:11 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Strand.

09:50 - 10:50

c250 Dunlin; 5 Grey Plover; 106 D.B Brent off Penhill Marsh; 3 Bar-T Godwit; 2 Buzzard plus c40 Teal on Bradiford Reserve and a further 75 D.B.Brent and 24 Shelduck between Penhill Point and Ashford Strand.

Rain stopped play.

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 12:10 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wrafton

Wigeon up to 19, 8 Gadwall and about 9 Shoveler. Calling Cetti's.

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 11:53 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Black Redstart Paignton

Black redstart on the out buildings and trees of the cricket club spotted whilst waiting for the Santa Special to leave Paignton end of the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

Posted December 16th, 2012 at 10:35 am by Graham Devine in General Birding

Saturday 15th December 2012

Wonford Waxwings

Today at 12:00 12+ Waxwings in Wonford Sports Centre car park, opposite Lidl. returned at 3:00 pm, they were still there. 

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 10:58 pm by Tim in General Birding

Purple Sandpiper - Ilfracombe

My first of the winter - single bird on the rocks off the Capstone. Glad to see at least one back again this year so far


Posted December 15th, 2012 at 7:09 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Water Pipit - Dawlish

Water Pipit on side of Dawlish town stream. Also 3 Rock Pipit around sea front and 3 Shag of Harbour Wall.

Bonaparte's Gull off Dawlish Warren and Black-necked Grebe and 1 Little Grebe on main pond. No sign of Bearded Tit.

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 5:51 pm by Ray Jones in General Birding

Saunton Down

Third (and last) post of the day. Paused at Down End on my way to Croyde this afternoon. Counted over 100 Common Scoter quite close in.

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 5:29 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Best sightings this morning were 6 Wigeons (2 ad drakes, 1 1st-w drake and 3 ducks) with the 33 Shelducks on a very flooded Blaxton Pool; and a Mediterranean Gull (2nd-w) on the estuary. Also single Little Grebe and a handful of Goldcrests.

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Another Brixham Waxwing flock

After a note on Birdguides yesterday , today   I checked Centry Court area off Higher Ranscombe Road (towards Berry Head). None actually in Centry Court at the time but across the main road, 3 birds feeding in a garden on corner of Lower Rea Road about 1130.

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 2:20 pm in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:00 till 11:20

on walk down to the hide treecreeper, 8+ goldcrests, 6+ bullfinch, from the hide a female hen harrier flew over causing panic among the waders and headed of east, 3 water rail, 120+ snipe, 208+ bar tailed godwits, 100+ dunlin, 1 grey plover, 100+ lapwing, 2 knot, the female long tailed duck dropped in and showed well, also 4+ pintail, tufted duck(m), lots of teal and wigeon. 9+ shoveler, 150+ redshank good numbers of black tailed godwits, sparrowhawk, 2 buzzards, kingfisher, 2 little grebes, little egret and  15+ golden plover flew over. 

A very good morning on the marsh 

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 1:49 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Braunton Great Field/Marsh

Lots (several hundred) of Lapwings with even more (1000+) Golden Plover on Braunton Marsh (south of the marsh road). A field on the Great Field with sheep eating wurzels(?) had a couple of hundred Skylark with hundreds of Chaffinch and a few Pipits.

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 1:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Sth Efford Marsh

Hen Harrier fem West, Lapwing 30, Water Pipit 2 plus Teal, Wigeon .....

per com ENW

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 12:29 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Broadsands

On sea: 1 Black-throated Diver, 5 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers (one with nice white flank patch - just like the BtD!), 19 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 16 Common Scoter.

black-throated Diver Broadsands 15 Dec 12 ML  black-throated Diver Broadsands 15 Dec 12 ML2

Photos: 1st winter Black-throated Diver, Broadsands 15 Dec.

Around marsh and car parks: 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, 6 Chiffchaffs, 1 tristis type Chiffchaff, 14 Cirl Buntings, 4 Reed Buntings.

Rest Of Torbay beaches: 3 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Divers, 12 Great Crested Grebes.   

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 11:36 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wrafton

Managed to get out and back before the heavens opened (just!)

Wrafton pond has 13 Wigeon 9 Shoveler and 8 Gadwall. Couple of Little Grebes still. Cetti's and Water Rail calling.

Reed Bunting in the reserve.

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 11:16 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

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