Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th January 2013


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

Monday 7th January 2013

Up-date Sunday Torbay boat trip

Just an update from Chris P's posting on Sunday's boat trip in Torbay is the numbers of Fulmar x 40, Black-necked Grebe x 5, Grey Heron x 15 and over 50 Oystercatchers in the Preston area of the Bay. Even before we set off a Kingfisher flew  past us in Paignton Harbour. Roll on next trip in two weeks time.

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 9:12 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Good passage of Auks this morning - 215 east in 1 hour,( those which could be identified were Razorbill ),also 4 Kittiwake, 1 Fulmar , 45 Gannet .

A ringtail Hen Harrier flew down South Milton Ley valley

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


During 2 hours bird spotting within our large wildlife area at a Teignmouth primary school- on the edge of town - we saw 19 species of wild birds

Firstly a flock of around 30 starlings plus numerous blackbirds, woodpigeons,collared doves,magpies,crows, robins, dunnock, blue tit,coal tit,long-tailed tits,great tit, greenfinch,goldfinch, bullfinch, chaffinch, [lesser spotted woodpecker],siskin and a goldcrest

We were so busy birdwatching plus admiring new wildflowers whilst  enjoying  a coffee break we didn't actually do any work other than fill the bird feeders!

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 5:41 pm by Jean Gitsham in Bird News

Braunton marsh


Horsey island held 1 female Merlin and 1 Male merlin.

Both sitting on fence posts a good distance apart.

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 4:49 pm in Bird News

I thought it was a Snipe !!

This afternoon a flock of Meadow Pipits landed in my field at South Brent, when I went to take a picture I saw in the middle of the field what I intially thought to be a Snipe, however it turned out to be a Quail, I suspect an escapee from someones avairy as I was able to catch it without any real difficulty.

Initial view
Initial view

By that time most of the Pipits had flown
By that time most of the Pipits had flown

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 4:11 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

R.Taw off Pottington ind Est, Barnstaple.

11:55 - 12:50

Goosander 11 ( 4 males and 7 Redheads); c350 Dunlin inc 1 ringed bird ( white ring on right lower leg with black alpha/numerics. Impossible to read on a clockwork orange!) ; 7 Grey Plover; 32 Sanderling: 1 Little Grebe; c3000 Lapwing and c1000 Golden Plover.

A quick search on-line reveals the possibility that the ringed Dunlin could be from a Polish project.

Bradiford Reserve - Only 14 Teal and 2 Wigeon.

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 3:14 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Sth Efford Marsh

Water Pipit 2 (far end near sluce- !muddy!) Meadow Pipit 30, Water Rail 2, curlew, Redshank, Greenshank in small numbers

per comm ENW

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 11:19 am by Alan Doidge in Bird News


A few Teal and Wigeon in the reserve at Bradiford, and a Buzzard once agin on sentinel duty.

In the river 7 Goosander, and amongst a selection of waders a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 10:45 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Ottery St Mary, 6th Jan

First time poster here, walking round Ottery yesterday managed to spot (in addition to the usual mix of garden birds) a couple of Bullfinches plus a Waxwing & 2 Goldcrests.

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 9:01 am by Ben Rowland in Bird News

Stoke Gabriel - Kingfisher and Otter

Stoke Gabriel millpond Sunday....2 x Little grebes, also a Kingfisher on opposite bank, perched for at least 30 minutes, just above a yellow rowing boat. Eventually disturbed by a family walking through woods, who reported an otter to me, at the junction of the Mill Creek, and the main river, south bank. They also reported seeing a very small owl (Little?) on the roof of their property the previous evening, very close to Preston Primary school.

Posted January 7th, 2013 at 5:55 am by Trevor Leaman in Bird News

Sunday 6th January 2013

Roadford Res Fri 4th January

 22 Goosander to evening roost at Roadford Res eastern end. 16 were males.   Also 24 Shoveler at inlet near viaduct.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 10:42 pm by Brian Craven in Bird News


Three female goosanders on the River Tavy in Tavistock, just upstream of Abbey Bridge behind the Pannier Market.

Goosander, R Tavy Charlie Elder 6.1.13

(Charlie Elder)

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 9:57 pm in Bird News


As I was in the Torbay area today, I managed to spend an hour late morning at Broadsands. After chalking up the customary Cirl Bunting, I had a look at the bay, but was surprised by the total lack of grebes or divers. However two Fulmars had returned to the cliffs, and two Razorbills showed close to the beach. Returning to the car park area, I heard a squealing Water Rail and saw a noisy Jay, before finding the 'tristis'-type Chiffchaff in trees and bushes around the ditch between the two upper car park areas. This was accompanied by a 'normal' Chiffchaff and a single Goldcrest.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 9:51 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

bowling green marsh and topsham

A good weekend around the marsh and topsham 

Today from the hide 10:30 till 12:30 a male sparrowhawk spent most of the time sat on post in the reeds on the far side from the hide after causing panic among the waders, counting very hard but at least 80+ snipe, 100+ lapwing, 120+ bar tailed godwits, 800+ black tailed godwits, 300+ dunlin, water rail, 2 cetti's warblers, 400+ wigeon, 3 tufted duck, 2 grey plover, 2 knot, 2 little grebes, 5 avocet

Earlier from goat walk the female long tailed duck showed well, great spotted woodpecker, 4 goldcrest, 9 long tailed tits

Exminster , the rose coloured starling showed in milbury lane 

Exminster marsh 300+ snipe, 50+ shoveler good numbers off lapwing and wigeon female sparrowhawk gadwall pochards and tufted duck on the lagoon and 2 pintail 

Late post for saturday: topsham rec 08:30 till 09:30 54+ snipe included 1 jack snipe and a possible second bird, of goat walk 2 med gulls (1 ad, 1 2w)

Bowling green marsh, 350+ avocet , 250+ bar tailed godwit, 500+ dunlin my highest count on the marsh, 2 water rail, 5 tufted duck, 1 greenshank, 150+ snipe 

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 8:13 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

River Dart

Kayaking down the river Dart today.  

Plenty of Dipper and a few Grey Wagtail but not a single Kingfisher or Heron.  Best was 6 Goosander near Totnes.

Also, a Terrapin!

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 7:28 pm by George Wall in Bird News

Torbay boat trip 8.30-11.10 am

Calm but dull conditions. Totals will be posted by Terry later but provisional list is: fulmars back at breeding sites, red throated diver 1, great northern diver 2, great crested grebe 2, black necked grebe 2, common scoter ~30, red breasted merganser 1, shelduck 2, purple sandpiper 6, turnstone 3, little egret 1, grey heron ~10?. In Good numbers of guillemot and razorbill in the middle of the bay, with scattered gannet and 1-2 kittiwake. Also 2 grey seals.

Purple sandpiper, Brixham Harbour
Purple sandpiper, Brixham Harbour

Razorbills, Torbay
Razorbills, Torbay

Grey seal with flatfish.
Grey seal with flatfish.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 5:47 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay


Offshore this morning - 7 Red Throated Diver flew west, 10 Common Scoter, 1 Shelduck, 1 Fulmar, 14 Wigeon -west, 20 + Gannet, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Common Gull.

On T'stone Marsh - 65 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 6 Wigeon .

On South Huish marsh -  40 Teal, 15 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 70 Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 1 Dunlin.

Bob B reports at S M Ley - 20 Chiffchaff, and a Green woodpecker

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 5:37 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

news from Slapton

Had a great days birding at Slapton today, lots of water fowl around benefiting from the abundance of water weed that flourished after the heavy floods in June.

Partial counts for the lower ley:

Coot 139, Tufted Duck 159, Pochard 44, Gadwall 56, Mallard 43, Goldeneye 9 (including 3 M), Ring Necked Duck 1 F (Off Torcross car park Hide), Mute Swan 15, Shoveller 1M, Little Grebe 3, Black Necked Grebe 2, Mooorhen 24, Water Rail 2, Common Snipe 18, Canada Goose 77, Great Crested Grebe 5, Common Gull 62, B H Gull 38,

In the bay:

Great Northern Diver 2, Slavonian Grebe 1, Great crested Grebe 5, Black Throated Diver 2, Common Scoter 33, Razorbill 1.

Slapton Bridge:

Firecrest 1, Chiffchaff 1, Goldcrest 1. Cetti's warbler 3 singing in H Ley.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 5:11 pm by Nik Ward in Bird News

Please note

Devon Birds would like to take this opportunity to remind website users of the purpose of the Bird News Blog,  Bird News being the optimum words.

Also within the Devon Birds website is a Forum where opinions can be aired and discussions made.  Some of the more recent posts would perhaps have been better suited here.

Steve, I understand your reaction but I'm sure the comment wasn't aimed at you, your photo was taken the day before.

However Devon Birds would remind members (and others) to always act responsibly and put the birds' welfare first.

For any photographers it is well worth reading the ‘Bird Photography Code of Practice’ available under ‘Useful links’ on the right-hand side of the screen.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 4:51 pm in Bird News

Early breeding

5th Jan

On a pond near Mamhead a family of 5 fluffy ducklings and a female mallard.

anyone else seen any early ducklings?

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 4:43 pm by Nik Ward in Bird News

Capstone Ilfracombe

1400-1430 hrs

6 Turnstone,5 Purple sandpiper and 6 Rock pipit on the rocks at the rear of Capstone.

The Black redstart was on the cliff face on the west side of capstone by preachers rock

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 3:21 pm in Bird News

darts farm

I am a little disappoited to read the recent post about photographers being the cause of the lack of Bramblings at the bird table.

As I have recently posted my Brambling photograph on this website it implies that i was one of these people...I would like to make it clear that my photographs were taken from inside the hide on Friday and at NO point did I venture any closer.

I understand the concerns but as this is only an assumption that the photographer or photographers in question have caused the birds not to feed at the table I urge posters to think about what they post as I am sure many people willassume I am the person in question. Perhaps these posts should be on a discussion page.....or maybe I should not share any of my images with this site!

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 2:06 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Baggy Point diver

It is a Red-throated Diver - by far the easiest way to sort out a Black-throated from Red-throated diver is the amount of white and dark on the neck this bird shows way too much white for a Black-throated Diver. Red-throated looks mostly white necked with a thin blackish or dark line down the rear of the neck so even from a back end view, white should be seen on both sides of the neck. A black-throated will appear entirely dark necked from a rear view as the dark neck sides leave only a thin wedge of white on the front of the neck. Black-throated are also much more club shaped in the head with a thinner neck. black throated are also much darker around the face than Red-throated Diver.

So from the angle that Rob took the photo a Black-throated Diver whould probably only show a very limited amount of white on the neck and a little more (but no where near as much as this bird) white on the face.

Far too much emphisis is put on the flank markings for Black-throated Diver although they always show this feature (which Robs bird doesn't) Red-throated can show equally white thigh marks too.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 1:22 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Baggy Point diver

Looks like a Black-throated, appears too dark for Red & 'hood' has fairly smooth edge extending below eye.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Mike Moxon in Bird News

River Caen

A larg-ish flock of Black-headed Gulls were finding something to feed on on the rising tide this morning between Velator harbour and the Toll House. Also there were 7 Little Grebes.

Nearby on Wrafton Pond 3 Gadwall 3 Wigeon and 8 Shoveler and hiding in the reeds two Teal.

Posted January 6th, 2013 at 11:55 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Saturday 5th January 2013

Velator reserve

First ringing session of the year today. I fear the Finches have rumbled where the nets are and I'm not catching many now the winter is dragging on. So only 20 of four species today. Somewhat surprised by the number of new Blue Tits - 10, and another 11 or so retrapped. Also retrapped a Chiffchaff ringed in December, and saw another which frustratingly dodged under another net, doubly frustrating as it looked a bit grey, needless to say I didn't see it again. Unusual bird of the day was a Snipe which dodged in and out of the reserve without finding a net.

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 10:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Around the Axe

Few good sightings around the Axe today; two Jack Snipe on Colyford Common (SW, GH), a Firecrest alongside the Estuary (IM) and two Redpoll feeding alongside a ditch at Seaton Marshes (KH).

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 7:49 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News


2 goes at seawatching today, early AM and early PM. Nothing too spectacular, but 11 Red-throated and 1 Great Northern Diver, as well as small numbers of Gannets, Kittiwakes and Fulmars.  There was as usual a lot of Auk activity, with 580 east in the morning, and 790 west in the afternoon, mostly Razorbills today. 12 Common Gulls past were also noteworthy.

A soggy walk along the front (what happened to the quiet, dry spell of weather we were promised?), produced a Black Redstart (Langerstone Point) and 2 Water Pipits in Horseley Cove.

At Slapton Bridge in fading light, a good candidate for a tristis Chiffchaff showed up.

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 7:45 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News


The Lesser Yellowlegs still showing well on Ernesettle Creek today. As usual it's favouring the slipway area just off the football pitch. Thirty five Black tailed Godwit were also here including a colour ringed bird.

Further down river off the sewage works were sixty five Avocet and around eighty Wigeon also a scattering of Teal. Hundreds of gulls in to roost here but tricky to make out in the fading light. (and I was hungry)!

Nearby in the remnants of Ernesettle Marsh were two Reed Buntings, a Firecrest, one Chiffchaff and a couple of Snipe. I was hoping for a Jack Snipe but more chance of black snow !!

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 7:17 pm in Bird News

Diver - Baggy Point

This Diver at Baggy Point this morning.  

 Red throated or Black throated?

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 6:27 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


On sea: 3 Great Northern Divers, 4 Red-throated Divers (3 flew off) 35 Common Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe.

2 tristis Chiffchaffs in marsh and 2 collybita Chiffchaffs, 8 Cirl buntings on seed in 2nd car park.

Morrisons (Paignton) car park: 1 Woodcock flew out W over carpark at 5.05pm 

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 6:23 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Swan at Weare Gifford

1 whooper swan and 1 little egret and canada geese (30)

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 5:20 pm by David & Gillian Churchill in Bird News

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull on damaged sea wall at Langstone Rock at 1400.

Also 80+ Great Crested Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 adult Gannet and a Razorbill in Dawlish Bay

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 4:56 pm by Ray Jones in Bird News

Torquay - Living Coasts

3 Purple Sands late afternoon on rocks on outer wall of Torquay Harbour.

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 4:52 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Odd gull at Exeter Quay

No idea - have been through every species, none match. Too far away to photo on my phone, so no pic unfortunately.

In with herring gulls at Trew's Weir flood relief channel. Same size/build & body plumage as adult winter herring gull, but head nothing like it.

Black bill, small black eye, white head with winter grey specks on nape. Best way to describe is body of adult winter herring gull, head of slender-billed gull, but not as pointy.

Any ideas? Possibly some sort of hybrid gull?

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 4:07 pm by Alfie Pugh in Bird News

Torquay (Chelston)

2 Firecrest on and off for 30 minutes in back garden in Cornacre Road this afternoon  A very welcome addition to the garden list!. Also, the regular female Blackcap.

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 3:16 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Anchorwood Bank, Barnstaple.

12:50 - 13:50

6 Grey Plover; c250 Dunlin; 21 Sanderling; 6 Common Gulls and 1 Mediterranean Gull (2W).

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 2:44 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Heathfield Waxwings

Four Waxwings in Lower Cannon Road at 11:30 this morning. At least one of them was an adult male (note the prominent V marks on the primary tips in the token shot below). It's intriguing how such an erratic visitor turns up in different years at certain locations (M5 Services, for example).  A few years ago there were Waxwing at Heathfield, often seen along the central reservation of the A38. Perhaps adults return to places that have kept them alive in recent years - I wonder if this adult had been to Heathfield before? They also like to roost in conifers, so the close proximity of Stover and Great Plantation could be a bonus.

Adult male Waxwing, Heathfield
Adult male Waxwing, Heathfield

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 2:10 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Darts Farm.

I agree with Gareth. The birds were clearly too frightened to come to the bird table due to the close proximity of photographers.

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 1:48 pm by David Turrell in Bird News

Darts Farm

A distinct lack of brambling today, this is mainly due to a group of photographers intent on standing outside the hide and walking around the ponds.

Please think of the wildlife and the general public who come to see not just the brambling but other birds on the wetlands.

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 1:23 pm by Gareth Williams in Bird News

Friday 4th January 2013

Ton-up around the Exe

An excellent 'big day' around the 'greater Exe Estuary' today, with 104 species (including the Waxwings at Exeter Services and Woodcock and Tawny Owl on Haldon at dusk).  Highlights were Black-necked & Slavonian Grebe at the Warren, at least 32 Gadwall at Exminster Marshes lagoon, Long-tailed Duck at Topsham, 8 Goldeneye at Cockwood, Spotted Redshank at Powderham, Little Owl at Starcross and Bramblings, Cirl Bunting and the Rose-coloured Starling at Exminster.

Juv/first winter Rose-coloured Starling at Exminster taken on 1 January
Juv/first winter Rose-coloured Starling at Exminster taken on 1 January

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 10:45 pm by Dave Smallshire & Andy & Gill Swash in Bird News

Bramblings at dart farm

Two Bramblings showing well today at Darts farm on the bird table together with Reed Buntings, greenfinch, and Goldfinch.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 10:09 pm by steve hatch in Bird News

Bystock Reserve

Late morning a male Firecrest showed well in Wrights Lane, just outside the entrance to Wrights Cottage. Also in this spot were Treecreeper, Goldcrest, a pair of Bullfinches and a pair of Ravens. Good sightings of Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Nuthatches around the reserve, plus 2 Mistle Thrushes, the male in full song. The main pond had 6 Canada Geese.

On adjacent Withycombe Raleigh Common were 4 Siskins (in trees bordering the football pitches) and another Green Woodpecker. 

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 9:57 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


female Long-tailed Duck was off Topsham this morning. Also a few Red-breasted Mergansers & at least 250 Avocet.

A Guillemot & Grey Seal were between Dawlish & Exmouth

The 4 Waxwings still on mound at Exeter Services

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 9:12 pm by Mike Moxon in Bird News

Heathfield Waxwings

4 Waxwings early afternoon at Heathfield in the Canon Road area, feeding on berries in a cul-de-sac behind the row of shops.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 8:35 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News

NW Devon

Off Hartland Point 24 Red-throated Divers and one Black-throated (unusual off there), 4+ Harbour Porpoises.

Stopping off at B.Moor late pm - a very good raptor show which included: 7 Hen Harriers (4 males and 3 ringtails into roost), also Barn Owl, Merlin and 2 Sparrowhawks. Also huge numbers of Starlings heading south to the nearby roost. 

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 7:47 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

On T'stone Marsh this am - 18 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, 40 Teal, 10 Wigeon, 20 Lapwing ( over )

At S H Marsh - 50 Teal, 15 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 1 Little Grebe.60 Lapwing ( over )

Offshore- 1 Great N Diver -east, 1 Fulmar.

On the flats a 1st w Black Redstart,

AT S M Ley - 20 Chiffchaff, 6 Water Rail

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 6:12 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Slapton (and Ernesettle)

A productive visit this morning- The female Ring-Necked Duck still at Torcross viewed from the main car park in amongst a large number of Ducks, predominantly Tufted Duck and Gadwall.  Also 2 Black-Necked Grebe in front of the main hide. At least 10 Goldeneye, including 3 males, Little Grebe and the hybrid Red-Crested Pochard x Tufted Duck. On the sea, a Great Northern Diver off Torcross, and a Slavonian Grebe, Red-Throated Diver and 25 Common Scoter off the central car park. A Kingfisher by the bridge with 2 Cettis Warbler's and 2 Water Rails calling. The highlight however was the female Marsh Harrier that flew down the roadside of the Lower Ley and then watched later overhead at Stokeley Pond.

The Lesser Yellowlegs still in Ernesettle Creek, on a dropping tide, loosely with 2 Greenshank viewed from the slipway by the football pitch, east of the sunken boat.

On the way home, 15 Muscovy Ducks on the River Dart between Buckfast and Austin's Bridge.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 5:48 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

During a quick visit today the Bearded Tit showed itself briefly but long enough for me to get a photo! The Black-necked Grebe was also still present, a very dull day for photographs though!

Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 5:32 pm by Rob Cross in Bird News

Exminster Marshes Friday 4th January

Two water rails seen, lower car park and ditch near turf.  Four others heard but not seen.

Two Cettis heard along canal.

Kingfisher at Turf.

Chiffchaff along lane at Lions Rest.

Great Tits in song.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 5:17 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News

Slapton ley - Bittern

Bittern seen twice this afternoon (Friday) and confirmed by another birder. Also single Kingfisher, minimum 3 x Cettis, and a Stonechat, all viewed from the bridge across the road that splits the ley. At Torcross picked up Scaup, Goldeneye, and the Ring necked Duck.

Bowcombe Creek, 8 x R B Mergansers.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 5:03 pm by Trevor Leaman in Bird News

Berry Head

RSPB inshore survey turned up 2 great northern divers, 4 harbour porpoises & a grey seal

On the cliffs 13 fulmars & 440 guillemots.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 4:33 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


A large Accipiter circled slowly over my house this morning, but I eventually decided it must be a female Sparrowhawk.

4 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall 6 Shoveler 1 Little Grebe on Wrafton Pond.

3 Goldcrests in the reserve, Cetti's calling nearby. Also some Primroses in flower!

A Peregrine flew over high above down lane.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 3:55 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Just a quick thank you to the people who replied to my Black Brant request.  I now have the finders name, a written description and serveral photographs of the bird. For a rarity like this, the Devon Birds Record Committee can never have enough to look at - so if you were going to send something in for it, please still do.

To keep this post true to the blog, the Bewick's Swans were still on the Axe yesterday, with a Black Redstart at the Yacht Club.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 3:35 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

River Caen/River Taw

1130-1430hrs   100+Blackheaded gull some almost with hoods.8 Little grebe,2 Greenshank,40+Redshank 100+Dunlin,10 Grey plover,2000+Lapwing and 3000+ Golden plover. Isley marsh held good numbers of Curlew,wigeon and Teal also 4 Spoonbill.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 3:25 pm in Bird News


Nothing much on the sea at all despite great viewing conditions

33 Common Scoter, and a Black-necked Grebe were all that were noteworthy

On the marsh were 3 colybita Chiffchaff and I only saw the 1 trisits type bird today. Firecrest was present and seen by another birder although I could not locate it.

Below are some shots that I 'phonescoped' with an iphone 4S connected to my scope with Kowa's new adaptor for iphones.

I have started a thread on the adaptor here if anyone is interested in further info

Cirl Bunting, J.Marshall (iphone pic)
Cirl Bunting, J.Marshall (iphone pic)

Cirl Bunting, J.Marshall (iphone pic)
Cirl Bunting, J.Marshall (iphone pic)

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 2:28 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Long Wood

A nice stroll around Long Wood this morning produce 2 Firecrests, 7 Goldcrests, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Treecreeper and plenty of Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits with acouple of Coal Tits as well. Also 2 Roe Deer’s running along the railway track.

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 1:48 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Braunton Marshes - Broadsands - Mouth of Taw & Torridge |Estuary

This morning 1 Short eared Owl flying SE from Braunton Marshes

across the Toll Road, over Horsey Island & over the Taw Estuary

towards the south side.

Also 1 Great Northern Diver at the mouth of the Taw & Torridge Estuary & 68 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin & 1 Sanderling at Broadsands in the Taw Estuary

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 12:54 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Stover Country Park - 09.30 today

300+ common snipe, female goosander, 1 great crested grebe 11 pochard, 5 tufted duck, 1 kingfisher, one heron, 2 cormorant, 3 drumming great spotted woodpeckers, 2 song thrush singing, 1 redpoll, 3 bullfinch, 3 marsh tit.  (Jon Avon)

Goosander Stover Debbie Metcalfe

Photo Debbie Metcalfe

Posted January 4th, 2013 at 11:05 am in Bird News

Thursday 3rd January 2013

Dawlish Warren

The Bearded Tit reappeared briefly at the main pond today before flying off. Also on the pond was the Black-necked Grebe. There were 3 Slavonian Grebes on site with 2 offshore and 1 on the estuary with 3 Goldeneye.

Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 7:29 pm by Laurie A in Bird News

Starlings ~ South Brent

Just after 4pm today 03/01/13 I noticed a large flock of Starlings in the canopy of a mature Ash at the bottom of my grounds, the poor light and constant arrival of new birds negated any chance of a count, but there must have been at least 300 if not far more than that.

The images only show about half of the gathered birds which lifted off enmass flying towards South Brent

Starlings S Brent Steve Hopper

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Hen Harrier - Powderham

Ringtail Hen Harrier flying through Powderham Estate in direction of Powderham Corner at 12-30.

Also Grey Seal on estuary between Starcross Yacht Club and Kenn outfall 

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 4:26 pm by Ray Jones in Bird News

Ernesettle Creek

  The Lesser Yellow Legs was still there mid morning feeding with a Spotted Redshank near the slipway.  Also 3 Greenshanks, another Spotted and 30+ Teal.

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 4:14 pm in Bird News

Exeter Services-Waxwings

The 4 Waxwing were showing very well late morning at least, around Costa. Spending most of thier time in the low bushes and trees at the top of the large mound behind Costa.

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 3:16 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Dawlish Bay

I quick scan from the front door this afternoon revealed 146 Great Crested Grebe, my highest count here.  Also a few Red-throated Diver, a scattering of auks and two Med Gulls.

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 3:02 pm by Ivan Lakin in Bird News


On the pond this morning a drake Wigeon, a drake Gadwall and 6 Shoveler. Couple of calling Water Rails and a brief shout from a Cetti's Warbler.

In the reserve, 2/3 Water Rails, Goldcrest and a few more Finches than of late including a striking male Bullfinch. Nearby from the new bridge to Tesco, a Dipper and 6 Siskins.

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 1:46 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


In the bay.

Really quiet - 2 Red-throated Diver, 1Black-necked Grebe, 29 Common Scoter. A few Great-crested Grebe also. Large amount of Gannets feedingout in the bay.

In the marsh

Firecrest, 2 trisitis type Chiffchaff with 4 other standard birds. 3 Siskin, 7 Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail.

Cirl Buntings were around but due to disturbance I didnt count any numbers.

Chiffchaff (tristis type) J.Marshall
Chiffchaff (tristis type) J.Marshall

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 1:18 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Skern 08:15 - 09:35

1 adult Med Gull; c70 Redshank; 1 Little Grebe; 2 Little Egret; 33 Grey Plover; 7 Turnstone; 3 Pintail (1 male,2 female); 56 Wigeon; c50 Dark-bellied Brent; 14 Bar-tailed Godwit; 2 Knot; 77 Shelduck; c250 O/catcher; c50 Curlew; c 150 Lapwing; 11 G.B.B Gull. Didn`t count Black-headed Gulls or Herring Gulls. 


Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 10:25 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Wednesday 2nd January 2013


Couldn't find the Lesser Yellowlegs during a visit around mid day, but not surprising as the tide was well out. Also no sign of any Spoonbills but the Spotted Redshank was showing well by the bridge.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 8:13 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News


A trudge through a sedgy marsh on a friends farm produced 5-6 Jack Snipe and only 8  Common Snipe - not a bad ratio! I had been told there had been quite a lot of snipe that looked and flushed like Jack Snipe, many more than the land owner had seen before (normally 0- 2 per flush). After seeing the count from Bob Burridge it must be worth checking 'regular' Jack Snipe sites.    

Clennon Valley 1st Jan: 1 Black Redstart on houses on North side of Brantwood Drive.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 7:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Velator reserve

Er, a late visit this afternoon after a very disappointing day with drizzle going on and on. A Water Rail and a Sparrowhawk were the highlights although arriving as dusk was falling shows big numbers of Wood Pigeon using the reserve to roost - I counted about 50.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 6:29 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

On T'stone Marsh this am - 20 GADWALL, 16 SHOVELER, 10 WIGEON, 60 TEAL.

Waders on the beaches at high tide - 12 Ringed Plover, 11 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling.

On South H Marsh - 1female Pintail, 28 Teal, 20 Wigeon, 1 Water Pipit.1 Little Grebe

Offshore - 15 Gannet, 1 female Eider flew east and 30 Wigeon -west.

Finally at 13.45 a female Black Redsart in my garden

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 6:22 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Between 4.00 and 5.00 pm a female merlin was sitting on various posts to the north of Station road. Elsewhere c60 shoveller were in one flock unlike the wigeon and teal. Heard water rails from 7 locations and Cettis from 3. On the canal one kingfister. Flock of 250 brents flew south from near the motorway. About 200 lapwing flying around as were a few snipe. Flock of c40 linnets were in the canal-side car park.

Earlier in the day one brambling on the seed feeders in my garden. Still waiting for the starling to visit.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 5:40 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

A brief visit to the seafront late afternoon, produced an adult Mediterranean Gull west with large Black-headed Gull flock at 1540hrs and a first-winter Little Gull sat on the sea at 1555hrs.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


Orcombe Point- 17 common scoter and 1+ red-throated diver offshore. Also c45+ chaffinch, c40+ skylark and 7 snipe.

Mudbank - first winter little gull briefly @ 1145, adult mediterranean gull, c60+ common gull, 4 goldeneye and 6 shoveler.

Hayes Barton pig farm - 8+ red-legged partridge and a finch/bunting flock of c200+ chaffinch, 1 brambling, c10+ yellowhammer, c5+ reed bunting, 3 goldfinch, 3 house sparrow and 3 presumed common redpoll.

Exmouth Docks - male black redstart.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 4:16 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Darts Farm & Woodbury Common

At least 4 Brambling continue to show well at Darts Farm and a partially leucistic Dark-bellied Brent Goose present with the main flock, all visible from the hide this morning. Also late news from 28th December where a ringtail Hen Harrier was hunting on Woodbury Common late pm, but no sign since.

Male Brambling by Chris TownendLeucistic Brent Goose by Chris Townend

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 3:42 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Rose-coloured Starling

After 8 attempts and some help from Julian I finally caught up with it showing well with it flying in and out of gardens either side of the lane.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 2:55 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Around the Exe

The Rose-coloured Starling was showing well in Milbury Lane, Exminster mid morning. Also a male Brambling and a male Blackcap around the churchyard.

The Black-necked Grebe  was still present on the main pond at Dawlish Warren late morning. 3 Water Rails were calling from the flooded entrance bushes area. 5 Red-throated Divers flew south together at 1135.

The female Long-tailed Duck was on the main pool at Bowling Green Marsh at 1220 and a Water Rail was out in the open near the lane.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 2:39 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

off Lincombe Bay (low water)

Little Gull 1w feeding Charleton Bay then N toward Kingsbridge at 1345hrs.

BarWit 11 and Little Grebe 12

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 2:15 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Exeter Services

Waxwings, four birds feeding on the berry laden trees behind Costa, moving between these berry trees and the Poplars by the entrance.

Best place to see them being the Costa patio area, (enter main building and exit onto the patio).

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 12:55 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Darts farm

Kestrel and Kingfisher showing well, several Brambling visiting the feeding station by the hide, good numbers of both Canadian and Brent geese of the fields in front of the hides.

Small number of Black Tailed Godwits on the fields.

Area unpassable unless your in wellies

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 12:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Marsh Green

Somewhat fewer birds than in recent weeks, that said, large numbers of Widgeon & Teal, good numbers of Shell duck and Shoveller, one male Pintailed Duck, one distant small Grebe species (still trying to ID it)

Large numbers of Black Tailed Godwits some males of which were begining to colour up round the head, neck & breast, Godwits were in company with a good number of Avocet 200 plus

Male Sparrow Hawk passed close by at the estuary platform, where a few Brent Geese were seen flying up river.

Bird were very jumpy today, area reeked of fox so that may have been the issue

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 12:48 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

North Devon Black Brant; A Plea...

I have read and seen many reports of Black Brant from the River Taw in February/March 2012.  But as yet have not seen any description or photographs of it. 

Black Brant is a very rare bird in the county - so it is vital we get a good description and documentation of this record.  If you can help please get in touch.

Many thanks,

Steve Waite

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 12:03 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Tuesday 1st January 2013

Around the exe

A very enjoyable with 92 species seen in the day the highlights being 

Bowling green marsh 08:40 till 10:30 the female long tailed duck still showing well , 2 water rail, 350+ avocet, 250+ bar tailed godwits, kingfisher, 16+ snipe, 2 knot, grey plover, 100+ dunlin, 4 pintail, 40+ lapwing, cetti's warbler good numbers of black tailed godwits, wigeon,teal. 

Darts farm , 6+ brambling , kingfisher, reed bunting 

Exeter motorway services , the 4 waxwing showed very well next to Costa 

Dawlish warren , the black necked grebe was on the main pond with a little grebe also sparrowhawk and a red throated diver west 

Finally last visit of the day was to exmnister and the rose coloured starling was viewable in milbury lane at 15:45 

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 10:39 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Isley Marsh - Yelland

Pintail in amongst the wigeon just off the marsh towards the old jetty. Excellent views of a male peregrine that was perched on a fallen tree exposed at low tide in the middle of the estuary.

Huge teal and lapwing flocks along with the usual

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 8:01 pm by Tom Williams in Bird News


The Rose Coloured Starling showing well in Milbury Lane at 13.50. Also 4 Brambling in Milbury lane on the right hand side where it starts to go over the by pass. The good start to the year didn't last long as i had a flat tyre when i got back to the car!

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 7:27 pm in Bird News


A nice little seawatch to start the year (08.00 - 10:30), providing both quality and quantity. Final totals; 1 Great Northern Diver, 42 Red-throated Divers (+1 unidentified diver), 240 Gannets, 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Common Scoter, 274 Kittiwakes and just short of 3000 Auks, the balance slightly in favour of Razorbill. (Everything west),

Tramping around in the mud produced 170 Lapwings, Green Sandpiper (over), Woodcock, 2 Med Gulls, Water Pipit (possibly 2) in Horseley Cove, 3 Chiffchaffs (1 grey), and 6 Goldcrests.

(Among my new year resolutions are to try and find time to post more often on this blog, find a first for Britain at Prawle that hangs around, oh, and to lose weight!)

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 7:00 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Torcross Lower Ley

RN Duck 1wf, veiw from road Torcross Village, BN Grebe 2 from Torcross Car Park, Scaup 1wm with Tufties, Goldeneye 2 mf, Little Grebe 6.

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 6:43 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News


2 Waxwing sitting in tree top on south side of Lower Cannon Road, Heathfield, SX831456, at 14.00 hrs

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 6:35 pm in Bird News

Roundham Head, Paignton

1 Black Redstart, male on rooftops around Cliff Road, has been present since 2nd December tends to feed on Palm berries in Cliff Road. Also an unseasonal Peacock Butterfly in garden today.

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 6:15 pm by Paul Nunn in Bird News

Puslinch - River Yealm

 Bob Burridge  has asked me to post his sightings this pm - 5 Jack Snipe and 100+ Snipe

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 6:02 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

A good start to 2013 - a day without rain. - This am on T'stone Marsh - 100 Teal, 15 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, 6 Wigeon ( + 20 over ),  10 Snipe , 1 Lapwing .

Around the village this pm - Green Woodpecker, 2 Great sp Woodpecker, 2 f Bl;ackcap.

At S M Ley - Yellowhammer, Bullfinch, 15 + Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail, 2 Water Rail, 3 Cettis Warbler,

8 Redwing

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 5:59 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Waxwings at the services

4 remaining Waxwings continue to show well and can be found from Costa to the far side of the petrol station.

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 4:27 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Down End and Baggy - part two!

Unlike Rob I couldn't find any Scoter at Down End, so I headed out to Baggy and found only 66 Common Scoter, but also the female Eider. A lone Fulmar cruising on the strong wind. 4 Stonechats along the path.

Back in Braunton, Wrafton pond has 6 Shoveler and 2 drake Gadwall. Nought  of note in the reserve.

Birdy New Year to all!

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 4:26 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

15 Goosanders (4 females); 60+ Mallard; 47 Teal, 4 Tufted Ducks, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker; 2 Nuthatches, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, 3 Jays, 11 Snipe, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kingfisher.

Harvey Kendall 

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 3:51 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Exeter M5 services

Four Waxwing this afternoon near Costa Coffee.

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 3:28 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


On sea: 2 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Great Northern Diver, 26 Common Scoter, 19 Razorbill, 1 Shelduck, 1 Mute Swan, 15 Great Crested Grebe. Lots of Gannet and Kitiwakes feeding out in bay. (another B-nG at Preston and 1 GND there too)

Around marsh and car park: 20 Cirl bunting and 2 Reed Bunting on seed, 4 collybita Chiffchaff  and 2 tristis type Chiffchaffs. 1 Firecrest and 3 Goldcrest.

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 1:26 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Downend & Baggy

At last a day without it raining up here in N.Devon!

One female Eider still present at Downend with 26 female Common Scoters.

Exactly 70 Common Scoters at Baggy - 69 females + one male

but not all together in one flock.

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 12:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Count of in excess of 150 Black Headed Gulls, 1 Greater Blacked Backed Gull, approx 10 Pochard, small numer of Tufted Duck, 1 Great Crested Grebe, at least 16 Snipe in the far reed margin.

Feeders empty by ther veiwing platform so very little to be seen in that area.

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 12:32 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Heathfield, Nr Newton Abbot

No sign of the recently reported Waxwings, being New Years day the industrial estate was very quiet, suprising number of both Goldfinch and Chaffinch, a small number of Siskins feeding top corner of Fairfax Road under and in a small copice of pine

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 12:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Axe Estuary

The two Bewick's Swan still opposite Axmouth FC this morning.

Happy New Year everyone!

Posted January 1st, 2013 at 12:22 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

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