Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st December 2012

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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

Monday 31st December 2012

Berry Head - totals

Totals 08:30-14:00. 2 Pomarine Skuas, 10+ Bonxies, Black-throated Diver,  Red-throated Diver, 4 Great Northern Divers, 6 'dark' phase Fulmars in a good passage of c150 'light' phase, c2400 Auks, 5 Shelduck, 3 Harbour Porpoise, So goodbye to seawatching in 2012, what will 2013 bring?

Posted December 31st, 2012 at 3:35 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Berry Head

I joined Mark and Adele Darlaston for an extremely soggy  seawatch this morning. Highlights during my stay from 930-1300 were two immature Pomarine Skuas south, also  Bonxies were in almost constant view moving in and out of the bay or sat on the sea, total numbers hard to determine. Fulmars were numerous at times with possibly up to 5-6 'single dark ' type Blue Fulmars.  Mark and Adele stayed on, and will no doubt update totals.

Posted December 31st, 2012 at 2:35 pm in General Birding

Brambling at Darts Farm

The Brambling are still feeding on the bird table, some cracking males giving excellent views from the hide or from the live camera in the visitor centre.

The path remains wet, so boots or wellies needed.

Posted December 31st, 2012 at 1:52 pm by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Lundy

James Leonard reports that the Chough is still on the island.

Posted December 31st, 2012 at 12:51 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exmouth beach December 30th

     ICELAND GULL showing extremely well feeding on storm-washed mussels on the beach




Posted December 31st, 2012 at 11:04 am by Brian Heasman in General Birding

Beer

3 Bonxies, 8 Red-throated Divers, 2 Brents and a Common Scoter past by 09:55. A steady trickle of Kitts, Gannets and auks kept things lively too.

Posted December 31st, 2012 at 10:37 am by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Sunday 30th December 2012

Devils Point, Plymouth

No sign of the Spoonbills this morning and a return visit late p.m. also drew a blank.

Among the hundreds of Black headed Gulls going to roost past Devils Point were four Med Gulls, an adult, two first winters and a second winter. An albino Black head was also seen.

The first winter Little Gull was seen on The Barbican around mid-day off The China House. I was hoping for this one past D.P. but no luck.

Star prize today though goes to the humble fly-by Turnstone, a long overdue Devils Point tick!! Hey they all count!

Posted December 30th, 2012 at 6:31 pm by Roy McCarthy in General Birding

Heathfield Waxwings

 A traditional post Xmas shopping trip was brightened up by 4 waxwings in the trees around Prestige furniture store.

Posted December 30th, 2012 at 5:39 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Mansands marsh and Berry Head

A lunchtime visit to Mansands produced 40 Snipe, c.30 Teal , a single male Gadwall and two Water Rails. Later two Great Northern Divers off Berry Head quarry and about 200  Gannets in the bay.

Posted December 30th, 2012 at 5:17 pm in General Birding

Spring

Must be just around the corner - I heard a Song Thrush singing in my garden yesterday morning.

Posted December 30th, 2012 at 4:12 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Waxwing at Exeter Services

 6 Waxwings at Exeter services by Costa but quite mobile, also going towards the petrol station in the bushes on the right as you look up (watch the lorries!) 5 flew off over the motorway at about 12 but lots of berries around so might return


Posted December 30th, 2012 at 3:21 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Broadsands

Single male Cirl Bunting showing well, lots of general disturbance due to people in area.

Well out in the bay 3 Great Crested Grebe, Sinle Black Necked Grebe, a number of Gannets diving well out to sea



Posted December 30th, 2012 at 1:59 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:35 till 10:50

the female long tailed duck showed well at times, 50+ snipe flew over to goosemoor in 2 groups, 400+ avocet, 250+ bar tailed godwits and 700+ black tailed godwits, 1 grey plover, 40+ dunlin, 200+ redshank, 2 water rails, 20+ shoveler, 2 gadwall, 2 little grebes, kingfisher, 4+ goldcrests, nuthatch and treecreeper, good numbers of wigeon and teal, 35+ lapwing, kestrel, buzzard, sparrowhawk. Cetti's warbler

From the goatwalk 13 turnstone showed well down to a few feet 

Posted December 30th, 2012 at 1:07 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Walked Down Station Road at 9.00. Still flooded at the S bend but probably negotiable in tall wellies. I didn't bother. Lots of birds everywhere and I did not spend a lot of time counting. A flock of between 500 and 600 dunlin was impressive and eventually landed near the road giving excellent views. With them a few redshank and 6+ snipe. The lapwing were particularly difficult but I counted at least 300. A flock of c300 brent geese flew up from the southern marsh and settled down again. There were a few curlew with that flock. Ducks included wigeon, teal , mallard, shoveller and a couple of gadwall.

In the trees alongside the lane 6 redwing, 6 blackbirds, 1 chiffchaff and 2 goldcrests.

Yesterday (29 Dec) a ring tailed harrier was hunting over the marsh at dusk. I assume it was a hen harrier but looked very slim and buoyant. Also little owl dead on the Exminster by-pass early in the morning.

 

 

Posted December 30th, 2012 at 11:26 am by John Waldon in General Birding

Exmouth

Exmouth Beach - juv iceland gull showing well again until 0915 at least. It ranges along the shoreline from the lifeboat station towards Orcombe Point.

Orcombe Point - c50+ skylark and 4 snipe in top stubble fields.

Hayes Barton Pig Farm - 2 adult mediterranean gulls and 1 brambling in with a flock of c200+ chaffinch.

Additionally, 3 mediterranean gulls (2ad + 2w) regularly in fields between Mudbank and West Lodge over the last few days.

juv iceland gull
juv iceland gull

juv iceland gull
juv iceland gull

Posted December 30th, 2012 at 10:50 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Saturday 29th December 2012

Slapton

Start Bay:

Common Scoter 28,  RT Diver 1

Stokley Bay/Torcross:

BlkN Grebe 2,  ChiffChaff 3 (1 tristis type?) Firecrest

RN Duck still present 25/12

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 8:46 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Spoonbills

Three Spoonbills on Drakes Island this morning from Devils Point. All three appeared to be unringed but they were fairly distant. Flew off just after eleven and made their way up the mouth of the Tamar.

Could be worth checking tomorrow.

After much searching Russel re-located the first winter Little Gull at Tinside Pool on The Hoe. He found this one yesterday on The Cattewater at TR2, then promptly lost it again!! It was just off the pool until dusk.

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 7:03 pm by Roy McCarthy in General Birding

Stover Lake

A short walk while the showers stopped during afternoon produced 1 redhead Goosander, 12 Pochard,just  2 Tufted, one Great Crested Grebe, 4 Cormorants. Looked very flooded around the rushy edges, did not see any Snipe.

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 6:24 pm in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

A very stormy week with both Marshes at the highest level of water that even the locals can remember

On T'stone marsh this morning - 25 Wigeon ( + 15 over ) 100 Teal, 19 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, 1 Little Grabe, 1 Brent Goose , 35 Snipe.

On my feeders 7 Reed Bunting and a male Blackcap ( ringed on rt leg)

Quick visit to South Huish Marsh when the rain ceased produced 50 Wigeon, 40 Teal, whilst offshore were 60 Wigeon, 90 Teal ( flew east ) 20 Kittiwake and small no's of Gannet and Auks.

A flock of 20 + Ringed Plover and Turnstone flew through

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 5:55 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Axe Estuary

A quick look along the Estuary at 3pm showed three Med Gulls (two adults and a colour-ringed first winter) and the two Bewick's Swans still opposite the entrance to Stedcome House.

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 5:37 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Plym Estuary

During a very soggy visit this morning - 6 Wigeons (1 ad male, 1 1st-w male and 4 females) on Blaxton Pool, and 8 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 males, 6 females) on the estuary. Also Little Grebe (3), Greenshank (2), Marsh Tit (1) and Nutchatch (1).

Nuthatch, Plym Estuary
Nuthatch, Plym Estuary

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 3:48 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Curlew Drive - Charleton Marsh, 13:00-14:45, low tide.

69 Brent Geese,  Great Northern Diver, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Snipe.

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 3:33 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Exminster - Rose-coloured Starling.

The 1st winter Rose-coloured Starling finally showed well after over an hour of searching. Viewed from the top of Milbury Lane on the wires and in the small bushes from 13:30.

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 3:28 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

Berry Head

08.15-12.30

Great skua 13, Balearic shearwater 1, Pomarine skua 1 pale (flew south then back north towards Hope's Nose a few minutes later), GNDiver 9 south plus 5 feeding in bay adjacent to quarry and another off Shoalstone.  Lots of kittiwakes, gannets, razorbills and guillemots.

 

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 2:56 pm by Simon Geary in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton . 8.30 to 11.15 am

Good Passage of Gannets,Auks,Kittiwakes. 3 Great Northern Divers,1 Red Throated Diver ,2 Great Skuas and I Arctic Skua

Doug Cullen and Clive Williams

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 1:51 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Waxwings Exeter

5 Waxwings at Exeter Motorway services by Costa Coffee 28/12/12.

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 12:30 pm by Gareth in General Birding

Exmouth

Lifeboat Station - c0830 - 1000 - first winter iceland gull lingering off the beach with a few other gulls. Present until 10am at least. Lots of auks, gannets and kittiwakes passing further out but little shelter from driving rain so I gave up prematurely!

Boxing Day - River Otter - drake wigeon X teal hybrid back again at the southern end of the river with wigeon.

fw iceland gull on beach by Maer Rocks
fw iceland gull on beach by Maer Rocks

fw iceland gull
fw iceland gull

Posted December 29th, 2012 at 11:08 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Friday 28th December 2012

Axe Estuary

The 2 Bewick's Swans back opposite Axmouth FC, and a 1st-winter Med Gull on Bridge Marsh this afternoon.

Posted December 28th, 2012 at 5:38 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Brixham breakwater

At lowish tide around 1pm, 16 Purple Sandpipers and 13 Turnstones feeding on the outer half. Not much offshore except a few groups of Razorbills. As we left and wind increased, Gannets and Kittiwakes starting to build up in the bay.  

 

Posted December 28th, 2012 at 5:31 pm in General Birding

Exminster

Rose coloured starling showing well in Milbury Lane 11.00 - 11.15 at least. Also 2 brambling in the churchyard. Access to the marshes still very restricted due to flooding - plenty of the normal wintering ducks, 200+ lapwing and a number of black wits but difficult to see. Very little of note off Dawlish Warren in deteriorating visibility.

Posted December 28th, 2012 at 4:46 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Thursday 27th December 2012

Eider - Downend

One Eider at Downend.

Flocks of Common Scoter still present at Downend & Baggy

Point.


Posted December 27th, 2012 at 5:53 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bewick's Swans - Axe

Both adult Bewick's Swans still present on the Axe today, now with the Swan flock opposite Stedcombe Vale (just south of Boshill Cross).

Posted December 27th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Wrafton

Now that the water has cleared after the flood, the pond had 12 Shoveler and 5 Gadwall back this morning. Highlight in the nearby reserve, a Water Rail.

Posted December 27th, 2012 at 3:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

R.Taw off Pottington Ind est. Barnstaple.

11:15 - 12:30

11 Dark-bellied Brent; 12 Grey Plover; c30 Dunlin; c2500 Golden Plover in flight and 1 Green Sandpiper in the usual ditch by Ashford Sewage Works.

Earlier at 10:20, c50 House Sparrows feeding in my back garden in Braunton Road.

Posted December 27th, 2012 at 2:06 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wednesday 26th December 2012

Axe Estuary

Still 2 Bewick's opposite axmouth FC

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 3:05 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Topsham

Female long tailed duck off the recreational playing field this morning - a first from my garden.

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 9:12 am by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Tuesday 25th December 2012

skern

Great northern diver still present+1 ruff,185 brent geese,20 barwits,2500-3000 black headed gulls several with full hoods

Posted December 25th, 2012 at 9:28 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Axe Estuary

The 2 adult Bewick's Swans still present opposite Axmouth FC. Also 7 Brents with Canada Geese on Colyford Marsh. More Common Gulls on the river than of late, but couldn't turn up anything more exciting...

Posted December 25th, 2012 at 3:11 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Wrafton

After the flood, all the ducks disappeared but today 6 Shoveler on the pond. Nearby in the reserve highlights were a small flock of Redwings, a Chiffchaff and 3 Water Rails.

Merry Christmas!

Posted December 25th, 2012 at 12:50 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Happy Christmas

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2013. I hope it brings lots of good birds too! 

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped/helps with the running of this website and Bird News Blog.  With special thanks to all the Co-Authors and the Blog Admin team, who without - it just wouldn't work. 

Posted December 25th, 2012 at 7:40 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Monday 24th December 2012

Broadsands

Broadsands 11:15-12:45.

Marshes. The tristis type chiffchaff was showing fairly well after I managed to locate the bird. Also about 5-6 chiffchaff and a similar number of goldcrest.

On the sea. 3 Black necked grebes, 30+ great crested grebes, 2 great norther divers, about 15 wigeon and a large group of common scoter.

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 8:14 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

skern

Great northern diver showing well along with 16 barwits,20 grey plover,200 brent geese,3 ad meds,

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 6:57 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

West Charleton Marsh / Bay, 13:15-15:45, high tide.

Marsh flooded, had to walk along the estuary wall to get into the hide. Lots of wildfowl on the marsh.

Egyptain Goose, Brent Goose ( unusually on marsh ), 15 Pintail, c200 Teal, Shoveler, 7 Great Crested Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Mistle Thrush and 3 Chiffchaffs.

Very happy christmas to all who contribute or look at this blog and to their families

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 5:35 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Blackcap - Brixham

female Blackcap feeding on apples pronged onto our Rowan Tree today.....they seem to love 'em.

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 4:42 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding

Down End

Still at least 40 Scoter off the point this afternoon.

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 4:41 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Down End

Still at least 40 Scoter off the point this afternoon.

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 4:41 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wembury

Female Black Red and the three Chiffs still around the cliff fall at the point (Andy, your beach lookout spot is now on the beach!). Also a single adult Med Gull - the first for ages, they have been pretty scarce this year. I give up on finding the Water Pipit - 7 visits so far but no sign although there were several littoralis-type Rock Pipits. Also of note, two Redshank.

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 4:32 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Axmouth

The 2 adult Bewick's Swans still present this afternoon - opposite Axmouth FC on the A358, just N of A3052 coast road.

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 3:45 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Velator

The reserve is well flooded! Sloshed around this morning and counted about 2 dozen Redwings, a small flock of Goldfinch, and a single male Siskin.

Merry Christmas to all Devon bird bloggers!

Jon

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sunday 23rd December 2012

Broadsands

As Mikes earlier report... Although GC Grebe numbers increased to 33. I couldnt locate any divers although the BN Grebe was still knocking about. 4 Chiffchaff were cutting about the marsh with 1 tristis type being the stand out bird

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 8:02 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Okehampton Camp

1615-1635 today 23 December, good numbers of starlings flying in to roost at Okehampton Camp 50-100,000 at least.

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 6:45 pm by Vince Bedford in General Birding

Wembury

Whilst doing my Devon Atlas work today, saw a party of 5 Red-throated Divers pass Wembury Bay and the Water Pipit still present at the west end of the beach. Also a partially albino Great Black-backed Gull.

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 5:46 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Wembury

Female Black Red and 3 Chiffs around the point this afternoon. One of the Chiffs was very plain but the light was poor and the bird very active.

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 3:52 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Torbay boat trip this morning

Some pics from the boat trip, as promised.

Razorbills off Bearry Head
Razorbills off Bearry Head

2 of a group of 3 Gt N Divers out in the bay.
2 of a group of 3 Gt N Divers out in the bay.

There are 2 GNDs in this photo....
There are 2 GNDs in this photo....

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 3:07 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Rose-Coloured Starling-Exminster

The First Winter Rose-Coloured Starling still in Exminster village this morning. It eventually showed at 9.40am for 15 minutes at top of the right hand tree at the back of the allotment viewed from the bottom of the churchyard, though had presumably just had a bathe as initially it looked so wet and bedraggled it was hardly recognisable as a Rose-Coloured Starling!

It was then relocated in Milbury Lane itself and showed very well for over an hour in gardens either side of the lane, favouring the first bush on the right before the first houses.

Also, 6 Brambling including 1 male, a male Blackcap and a female Sparrowhawk with kill (thought for a while to be the Starling but luckily not)! on top of a shed at the back of  the allotment,. 

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 12:33 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

southcott marsh,bideford

85 common gull with 250 black headed,1 gbbg,10:00.M&f bramblings in my garden with 30+ chaffinch.

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 12:06 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Torbay

I joined Nigels boat trip today with just three people, hopefully Chris Proctor will put on some pictures later. Birds included: 10 Great Northern Divers (several very close to the boat), 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 27 Common Scoter, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 10 Purple Sandpipers hundreds of Gannet and Kittiwake feeding just to the north of Berry Head, lots of Razorbills and Guillemots in the same area and some close views of 3-4 Harbour Porpoise.

Great Northern Divers Torbay 22 Dec 12 ML

 The next boat trip is on 6th Jan 2013.

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 11:52 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

The best Lapwing and Golden Plover counts of the autumn/winter although none were settled. 180 Lapwing drifted north west whilst 350 Golden Plover went north east at a considerable height. 2 Stonechats, 30+ Skylark and a sprinkling of Meadow Pipits. Close to the village were good numbers of thrushes with 200+ Fieldfare and 100+ Redwing along with 400+ Starlings.

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 11:41 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Siskin

In my garden in Paignton yesterday competing with the goldfinches on the feeder.

Posted December 23rd, 2012 at 8:23 am by Jane Penton in General Birding

Saturday 22nd December 2012

Axmouth and Beer

In the driving rain this afternoon, the two Bewick's Swans were still at Axmouth. They were on the rapidly rising floodwater in the field opposite Axmouth FC on the Musbury road. (The A3052 was just about passable at Colyford, where the tramline crosses the road). Later on I also easily found the Velvet Scoter at Beer in the small Common Scoter flock off the beach. Best to 'scope this bird from the pathway/shelter at the top of the beach path if it's raining and the sea is choppy.   

Posted December 22nd, 2012 at 9:58 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Broadsands

From Headland: 4 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 23 Common Scoter, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Kingfisher.

In marsh: 1 Firecrest 2 Goldcrest 2 collybita type Chiffchaffs and 1 tristis type.

There is a 2.5hr birdwatching boat trip around Torbay leaving from Paignton Harbour tomorrow being run by Nigel Smallbones leaving at 0830hrs. More details or booking ring 01803 856428 ask for Nigel. The forecast looks okay!

Posted December 22nd, 2012 at 2:48 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Decoy Lake and Teign Estuary

At Passage House yesterday a female Goosander flew in and landed for a while before flying off high in the direction of Decoy. Also there 94+ Snipe, 9 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and a Bar tailed Godwit.

Today I was amazed to see that the Goosander had indeed landed on Decoy Lake! Also there, 39 Tufted Ducks.

Posted December 22nd, 2012 at 2:17 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Barn Owl... North Devon

Once again I was in my car yesterday, (21/12/12) when this owl landed on a fence post alongside the road just in front of me. I managed to get a few photos before it flew off.

Posted December 22nd, 2012 at 12:18 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Sparrowhawk with Blackbird kill at Braunton Marsh

I was lucky enough to be sat in my car on the toll road yesterday, (21/12/12), when this female Sparrowhawk took the Blackbird from a bush right alongside me & then went to ground nearby with it's prey.  

 

Posted December 22nd, 2012 at 12:13 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Darts Farm wetlands

The Brambling are still on site (10+) best viewed from the hide. Other birds using the bird table are Reed Bunting, Great spotted woodpecker among the usual suspects.

Out on the wetland proper, the Brent Geese are out in force along with 20+ Lapwing.

Please note the path to the hide has some standing water so wellies are a must.

Posted December 22nd, 2012 at 10:42 am by Gareth Williams in General Birding

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