Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st January 2013

Request 2021 records requiring further information

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

Monday 21st January 2013

nr. Modbury

17 Lapwings flying south over Whympstone Farm, just southeast of Modbury this morning possibly a cold weather movement.

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 7:42 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Cold night resulted in both marshes being frozen.-Compared with yesterday nothing offshore

On T'stone Marsh- 46 Wigeon , 35 Teal, 9 Shoveler, 26 Gadwall, 2 Pintail, 20 Snipe . 1 Black Redstart in a local garden.

On South huish Marsh (70% frozen )-  60 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, 125 + Snipe, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing + 55 over east, Brief views of a male Hen Harrier over flying west. In the copse 15 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare.

On the rocks / beaches - 3 Sanderling, 3 Turnstone, 1 Ringed Plover.

A walk round the top end of South Milton Ley flushed singles of Woodcock and Snipe. Also 12 Chiffchaff, Cettis warbler, with 17 Lapwing over.

Joint report with AJL

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 6:03 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary & Aveton Gifford

5 Med Gulls at estuary entrance at Salcombe, 3 ads & 2 imms, also Peregrine.

140 Teal at Blanksmill Creek.

Merlin at Knap Mill by Aveton Gifford late pm.

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 4:35 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Riverside Valley Park

3 Goosanders (2m, 1f) on the River Exe at the north end of Countess Wear. Showing very well. Best seen from hedgeless stretch of field by pylon AE11.

Also a kingfisher in the trees by the bridge over the river - seen from the car park.

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 3:24 pm by Alfie Pugh in Bird News

Sharkham Point

A walk around the headland produced very little. A smart Black Redstart around the old mine workings made it worthwhile. Also good views of Stonechats feeding.... On leaving home 12 Redwings were feeding around the gardens with a Mistle Thrush..

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 2:45 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Smews - Taw Estuary

Arrived at Barnstaple Taw Bridge exactly at the same time as George Mudford but the 2 male Smew had been spooked just before we arrived.

I searched for the birds on my bicycle & found them approx 1

mile away downstream. Cycled back to tell George, then Maurice George & myself obtained good distant views of both birds. George is staying on hoping the birds will get closer.

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 12:48 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Finally (with Dawn) tracked down the two drake Smew this morning just below the new bridge at 09.45. As I was leaving George Mudford arrived with big lens so I may get photos to post later.

Posted January 21st, 2013 at 10:22 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sunday 20th January 2013

Slapton Ley

1w male presume as 13/01/13

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 10:29 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News


5 or 6 tufted duck on the lake with 2 pochard and at least 3 great created grebe. A jay was in the arboretum with at least one nuthatch. A kingfisher was in the bushes on the path to the back road, diving into pools at the side of the path. 

The aerial walkway feeder was particularly busy with good numbers of blue, great and coal tit, about 20 chaffinches on the ground picking up fallen seed with 2 fat squirrels, at least 2 nuthatches, 2 pairs of bullfinches showing extremely well, and singles of marsh tit and great spotted woodpecker. 

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 10:15 pm by Alfie Pugh in Bird News


4 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler and a dozen Wigeon on show on the pond while the field between the Tarka trail and the reserve is currently home to several hundred Redwings (ringed 2 yesterday) good numbers of Starling and some Fieldfares. South of the reserve plenty more of the same and several scores of Lapwing. Of note in the reserve a couple of Teal.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 9:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


A quick wizz round this afternoon: Golden Plover still much in evidence with 75+ still at Down Thomas, 30 over Wembury Point and 2 grounded there. Just a single Lapwing today and only a handful of Skylarks (normally the commonest cold weather immigrant here). Lots and lots of Song Thrushes about including over 30 birds in a stubble field at the point. A few Fieldfares and Redwings too, which have been largely absent since October.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 9:05 pm in Bird News


Watched the sea in the hopes of some wildfowl movement, but in the end, just 3 Brent Geese west. However, Auks were moving east in some numbers, totalling just over 4000 in 2.5 hours, of which about 70% were Guillemots. Other variety was provided by 3 Great Northern Divers (2 west and 1 on the sea), Red-throated Diver, Bar-Tailed Godwit (presumed same bird later at Horseley Cove) and Dunlin.

A little evidence of cold weather movement, with 150 Golden Plover and 10 Lapwings in the lower fields, 40+ Song Thrush, 25 Redwing, and the first Fieldfare of the year.  Also the 2 Water Pipits still in Horseley Cove, along with 3 Chiffchaffs.

Unusually, the Cirl Buntings have combined into a single flock numbering about 100, in the stubble fields at Langerstone Point. They are normally in 3 main flocks between the car-park and Horseley, but this current spectacle (of probably Britains largest modern day flock?) is well worth a look while it lasts!

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 8:58 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News

Exe, Powderham to Turf

The most impressive sighting during this morning's WeBS count was a loose flock of over 40 red-breasted mergansers in mid-channel. On the fields next to the sea-wall were 3 or 4 stonechats, 1 kingfisher, 10 redwings, 2 song thrushes and a few meadow pipits. On the mud 55 avocets were feeding in a tight group before flying off, towards the Clyst. On the fields on the far side of the railway were a mixed flock of 58 golden plover, 47 lapwing, 25 dunlin and 45 curlew.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 8:34 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Slapton Ley

RN Duck 2 - fem Torcross plus 1w male Slapton Bridge?Toilet Block on the Ley.  Blk N Grebe 3 - 2 Torcross plus single on Ley N toward Slapton. Marsh Harrier fem.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 8:12 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Darts Farm

Normal residents at BGM this afternoon, however a nice supprise for many visitors to the hide was great close-up views of a Curlew Sandpiper in with a few Dunlin and Grey Plover in front of the hide. Always a pleasure to see male PintailS with three and a female on show on the main lagoon.

A quick visit to Darts Farm viewing platform produced 4 Brambling and 2 Reed Bunting around the feeding station with 30+ Golden Plover feeding on the fields towards the River Clyst and Plenty of Blacktailed Godwit and Brent Geese on show in the meadow next to the road.  

Blambling at Darts Farm
Blambling at Darts Farm

Curlew Sandpiper at BGM
Curlew Sandpiper at BGM

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 8:03 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Burrator Reservoir

A frozen walk from the north end produced very little other than a flock of 7 Goldcrests; also 2 Marsh Tits and a Nuthatch coming down to seed in the parking area. On the reservoir - 3 Goosanders (2 drakes) and 5 Teals.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 8:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Between Starcross and Dawlish Warren Golf Course (my WeBS section) this morning, highlights were: Great Crested and Slavonian Grebes, 7 Little Egrets, 217 Brents, 7 Pintail, 9 Goldeneye (3 drakes), 377 Wigeon, 104 Teal, 35 Grey Plover, 189 Dunlin, 27 Knot, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Rock Pipits.  On the sea from the Warren afterwards: 2/3 Red-throated Divers and 25+ Great Crested Grebes. I experienced the bizarre combination of shivering at freezing point while looking through heat haze in the scope! Presumably the sea and estuary were still a fair bit warmer than the air.

The best bird, however, was the elusive male Bearded Tit, which after calling a few times flew into the sparse reeds on the dune side of the main pond. Here I watched feeding at ground level for some 15 minutes at 3-5m range. In dry areas, it was simply walking on the ground, taking seeds as it went. Over shallow water it still often walked through the water, but also held onto reed and other stems. Later it flew past the visitor centre high into willows, where it was chased off by a Blue Tit!

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 7:45 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

East Youlstone,n.cornwall

Amazing spectacle of massive starling roost.Possibly upto 1,000,000 birds though obviosly very difficult to determine numbers.Huge waves of flocks containg 10,000s at a time most coming from westerly direction.Take rd to bradworthy from A39 3-4 mls north of kilkhampton,drive to east youlstone farm bearing left to wooley and birds are in conifers quarter of mile away.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 7:20 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

toll rd. to Crow Point

just incredible views of Kingfisher successfully fishing in the small drainage channels. Driving slowly on the toll road, we watched a Kingfisher using fence posts to fish from successfully. Got hold of two fish clubbing them on the same posts before they disappeared!

on this short drive we also saw:

-large mixed flocks of fieldfare and redwing

-egrets, heron, masses of moorhen

-lapwing and curlew and redshank

Once at crow point, large flocks of wigeon and brent geese were the highlight. Grey plover, long tailed tits, goldfinch, stonechat amongst others.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 6:44 pm by Tom Williams in Bird News

Roadford Reservoir

Sightings from Viaduct Road, Viaduct Hide and Toft between 11.00 and 13.00

Goosander 1,  Wigeon 32,  Goldeneye 5,  Shoveler 14,  Pochard 13,  Teal 22,  Tufted 50,  Mallard 10,  Coot 32,  Grt. Cr. Grebe 6,  Lt. Grebe 2,  Canada Goose 21,  Cormerant 9,  Woodcock 1.     

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 6:43 pm by Ron & Gina Sutton in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Some more indication of cold weather movement today. Cold , little wind but a flat calm sea .

At 09.00 on T'stone Marsh - the first Green Sandpiper of the year, 45 Teal, 35 Wigeon, 18 Gadwall, 12 Shoveler. On the local estate a female Black Redstart.

On the sea- 14 Teal, 10 Wigeon, 1 m Common Scoter + 30 flew east, 1 Great C Grebe, 1 Red T Diver -few east, 20 + Razorbill, 1 Guillemot .On the rocks 2 Turnstone.

Bob B at South M Ley - 6 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing , 20+ Song Thrush, 12 Chiffchaff.

At South H Marsh - 25 Wigeon, 90+ Teal, 2 Shoveler, , 125 + Snipe, 4 Lapwing, 9 Dunlin , 2 Grey Plover, 1 Water rail feeding in the open, 4 Song Thrush .

At 13.30 40 Golden Plover flew over

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 6:21 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Marsh Mills and Blaxton Meadow, River Plym

Had a look for the reported Jack snipe this morning but with no luck, no snipe either but it was high tide.

Highlights were 10 little egrets, male and 2 female wigeon, 7 red breasted mergansers (1 male), a common sandpiper, 31 curlew, 1 redshank, 10 shelduck, a pair of siskins and c.6 little grebe.

Surprise was a roe deer running through the vegetation on the small piece of land on the opposite side to the riverside path bounded by the river and the railway line.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 5:26 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Beesands Ley

Something ecologically wrong here still though 2 Mute Swans, 4 Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard and 3 Coot the best wildfowl day of the winter so far ( cp Slapton Ley ).

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 5:13 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Having made it to Venford Reservoir a walk out over the moor in the snow produced just a couple of Reed Buntings - see photo and lots of tracks, I eventually worked out were, Woodcock see the photo showing a feeding point, tracks and probing in what little soft ground remained.

Reed Bunting Dartmoor 20 Jan 13 ML woodcock tracks Venford Res Dartmoor 20 Jan 13 ML

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 5:02 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Heathfield ~ Waxwings

Third hand report from a friend who while on the A38 towards Exeter at Heathfield opposite the Candy Tiles building saw the 10/12 reported Waxwings in the tops of the trees alongside the A38 (Stover/Trago side of the A38) Also saw the birds on the return journey.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 4:50 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Walk from Pottington to Ashford Sewerage Works

Sunday afternoon stroll to see the GreenSandpiper at Ashford with John Clark, and Rob Jutsam (on bicycle) was distracted by 2 male SMEW, 1female Goldeneye, 3 Goosanders (1m2f), and 3 Gadwall (1m2f) on the river. Large numbers of Dunlin (one flock 200-250), several Sanderling (10+), Golden Plover(500+) with assorted cast of Grey Plover, Curlew, Ringed Plover (20+), Lapwing, Barwits, etc. all disturbed by a passing Peregrine. Didn't see the intended Green Sandpiper but the obilging Kingfisher brightened a grey afternoon.


Posted January 20th, 2013 at 4:40 pm by Andrew Lansdell in Bird News

Totnes Weir (Behind KEVIC's school) Totnes

Only a short visit checking the river 150 yards each side of the weir, Little Grebe in full summer plumage feeding just above the weir, large flock of Long tailed Tits, single Grey Wagtail on wier edge, very confiding Song Thrush along with a partly white male Blackbird, small number of Redwing, one Egret, good mix of the expected birds.

On the way home 100 plus Redwing feeding in the field to the right of the Marley House entrance near South Brent, the male Kestrel on wires over his usual corner field on the Marley Head roundabout.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 3:12 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Lots of Reed & Cirl Buntings feeding on arrival and rather slow to return, having read Mikes update I now know why, despite the weather they had already been fed. That said saw more Cirl Buntings than on previous visits at least 12 in view once they started feeding, lots of Reed Bunting but only hens.

The bay was "empty" but on one rocky edge four Turnstone two of which had metal tag rings on their legs along with three Oyster Catchers.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 3:06 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Staverton Bridge

4 Goosander (1 drake, 3 redheads) early afternoon just up river from bridge.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 3:04 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


I dropped the seed for the Cirl Buntings this morning and within 10 mins had broken my previous record count (32 and that was 8 years ago) of birds on the ground taking seed a total of  39 and 3 Reed Buntings.There were more Cirls in the bushes but my counts have always been the highest number on the ground at at any given time. I waited to try and get more but birds started to come and go, so I didn't bust the 40!

1 tristis Chiffchaff and 1 collybita Chiffchaff in marsh also a Water Rail.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 10:36 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 0820 - 0910 - good numbers of birds and obvious cold weather movement. A walk around the top fields produced 1 meadow pipit, c50+ skylark, 40+ golden plover, 1 snipe, 2 lapwing, 1 jack snipe, 15 linnet, c40+ chaffinch and 1 fieldfare. Frozen ground this morning and colder than yesterday.

19/1 - 9 snipe, 3+ fieldfare, 45+ redwing, 1 meadow pipit and 50+ golden plover. Also 1 woodcock flushed from hedgerow along top fields - my first record for Orcombe Point.

12/1 - Exmouth Seafront - 1 black-throated diver.

Posted January 20th, 2013 at 10:16 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Saturday 19th January 2013

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The freeze elsewhere is beginning to have a positive impact on my "patch" with an influx of c180 Redwings, c45 Fieldfares, 41 Snipes and a single Jack Snipe. Also the regulars represented by - Curlews 66, Common Sandpiper 1, Red-breasted Merganser 8 (2 drakes), Greenshanks 6, Little Grebes 3, Redshanks 118, Little Egrets 13, Wigeons 3 (1 ad drake). Also first Water Rail I'm aware of here this winter (same spot as 2 years ago by flooded wood).

Not bad!

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 6:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Barn Owl

Northam burrows, spotted from the Northam access road at approx 1500, Barn Owl hunting back and forth over long marsh grass and bushes. 

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 6:32 pm by David Cook in Bird News

Ernesettle Creek

51 Black-tailed Godwits & 61 Teal. 

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 5:51 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Garden birds on feeders

This afternoon saw 7 or 8  siskins(most ever seen at once) plus a brambling,goldfinches,blackcaps,blackbirds,wood pigeon, dunnock,chaffinch,starlings and a magpie in my garden

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 5:33 pm by Jean Gitsham in Bird News


Cold weather elsewhere is always good here - plenty of variety this afternoon. 150+ Golden Plover just outside Down Thomas and odd groups around Wembury together with 2 Lapwing. A Mute Swan, a Redshank, 2 Razorbills, an adult Med Gull and 2 Chiffs provided variety. Also at least one continental Song Thrush and a colour ringed Rock Pipit.

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 5:09 pm in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 09:45 till 13:15

a very good morning with the finding of a Curlew sandpiper in with the dunlin whilst trying to count them and at times it showed very well in front of the hide down to 30ft not something you expect to find in January, 500+ dunlin, 275+ bar tailed godwits, 25+ grey plover, good numbers of avocet and wigeon , 7 pintail(4m,3f), 1f pochard, 40+ redwing, mistle thrush.

Exminster marsh 14:00 till 16:00

1 female merlin from the canal bank, 1 male Merlin sat on fence below motorway bridge, ruff in with lapwing , 120+ golden plover, male goldeneye on lagoon with18+ gadwall, 7+ pochard, 5 tufted duck and little grebe, a fox on the bank around the lagoon , buzzard, good numbers of wigeon over the marsh, 50+ shoveler and 2 pintail, 8 grey plover. 

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

East Budleigh & Otterton

30+ lapwing and 20+ fieldfare over as I played tennis in East Budleigh this morning.

300+ redwing just above Otterton Mill this afternoon.

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 4:33 pm by Steve Oliver in Bird News

Taw Bridge and R.Taw (Pottington to Ashford sewage works.)

10:50 - 13:00

A 2 hour search around the Taw Bridge revealed no sign of any Smew although it was in this same area that we had 2 females last year or the year before. Time flies!

Anchorwood Bank.

Dunlin c200; Sanderling 21; Grey Plover 7; Cormorant 25 in mid-river and 2 Shelduck.

Pottington to Ashford sewage works.

Ringed Plover 12; Grey Plover 8; Dunlin c300 and 2 Shelduck.

Bradiford Reserve.

Wigeon 22; c1000 Golden Plover and c400 Lapwing in adjacent field and just a few Teal.

Sewage works ditch.

Green Sandpiper being constantly harried by a Redshank.


Posted January 19th, 2013 at 2:34 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News


At least dozen fieldfare+5 Blackcap,1 male 4 female on sea buckthorn at north end car park.11:00.Plenty of berries left should it come in really cold/snowy.

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 2:01 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


10 -12 Waxwings on left side of south bound A38 between Chudleigh Nighton turn off and Drumbridges (Stover turn off) seen from car by Jon Avon.

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 1:11 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


3 Goosander (2 redheads and a drake) just below the wear and 300 + Canada Geese in fields on entrance to Dartington estate (from Dartington Church entrance). 45 Teal and 1 Shoveler on damp field at Totnes entrance to Dartington estate.

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 11:33 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Merlin at Darts Farm

A great start to the weekend with excellent views of a Merlin hunting over the stubble field at Darts Farm (8.50am). I was made aware of its presence by a number of contact calls coming from a group of Skylarks. This is the first bird I’ve seen above the horizon and my initial thought was of a Mistle thrush or Fieldfare but as it picked up pace and went into a dive shooting across the field I soon realised what I was looking at. The bird gained height over the warehouses in the boatyard and turned round making another attempt at a kill speeding towards the feeders at the bottom of the track. Once below the horizon I lost the bird so unaware if successful.

Other birds included a large flock of Brent Geese, a hand full of Curlew. Lapwing and Black-Tailed Godwits, Golden Plover, Fieldfare and Redwing also on site

Posted January 19th, 2013 at 11:14 am by Gareth Williams in Bird News

Friday 18th January 2013

Bowling Green Marsh 09:30 to 12:00

42 species in the cold, wind and sleet. Highlights were Water Rail (good views at the back), 30 + Grey Plover on the grass with many Dunlin, 220+ Bar Tailed Godwit, 400+ Avocet, 5 Pintail (2 females), two foxes grooming each other and a large female Peregrine who stood/sat on the grass for 20 minutes, looking for opportunities!

Posted January 18th, 2013 at 11:53 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Water Rail - Exmoor

An unexpected sighting of a Water Rail about 20ft up in a tree this morning.

Posted January 18th, 2013 at 7:29 pm by Sarah Davies in Bird News

Pied wagtail roost

I've known about the Newton Abbot town centre wagtail roost for quite a while  -not seen yet personally but the signs are all there over the nearby seats and under the trees!

Was recently told by a Teignmothian that there were wagtails roosting in the Xmas tree in the Triangle-the tree has now of course been removed...

Last night at around 5pm daughter and I enjoyed eating tasty fish and chips in arctic conditions on seafront-on the plus side there were no begging herring gulls for once!

Looked in triangle for wagtails there were a few fluttering up and down from nearby roofs

However in a leafless small tree by bus stop there was a small roost of over 20 wagtails clinging to branches in very cold and blustery weather

Posted January 18th, 2013 at 7:04 pm by Jean Gitsham in Bird News

Around the Axe

Amazing numbers of Golden Plover in the valley this morning (and an amazing lack of snow!). I could see 300 from Colyford Marshes hide, and later Ian M counted 600 from the A3052 at Bridge Marsh.  Also two Pintail on the Estuary.  Sea watchers this morning were rewarded with a single Great Skua west at 09:15 (GH).

Pintail - a bit of an Axe rarity!
The drake Pintail - a bit of an Axe rarity!

Posted January 18th, 2013 at 2:11 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News


Walked from Pottington (Bradiford reserve) to the new bridge, but sadly no sign of the Smew. (are they low water birds?) Not sure what time of day or the state of the tide when they were seen yesterday? Flock of Dunlin had a couple of Sanderling and a Ringed Plover or two. Lots of Lapwing and Golden Plover in fields behind Penhill Marsh. Bradiford reserve had a flock of winter Thrushes (about 100 - equal numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare. The Green Sandpiper was still in the stream by Ashford sewage works. A bedraggled Chiffchaff was foraging along the trail.

Posted January 18th, 2013 at 12:44 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Snowed in?  Or if nearer the coast, fed up with yet more rain?

Snow Dartmoor George Harris

Why not take this opportunity to complete your 2012 Bird Records and send them to either Julia or myself.  As ever, the 31st January is the cut-off point. Any bird records received after that date will go in to the 2012 database, but may not appear in the 2012 Bird Report.

It may also be a good time to get those description written up.  With the exception of the Exminster Savi's Warbler all BBRC's rarities seen in Devon in 2012 have had descriptions submitted.  For the Savi's Warbler we have sonograms and sound recordings, but a description of what the bird looked like would be helpful! If you can help, please get in touch.

There's still several Devon A rarities that need descriptions though. So if you have seen one, please complete a Devon Rarities Form and send it my way.

For more details about record submission take a look HERE.  And to download any of the required forms, you can do so HERE.

Redwing Tom Wallis

Many thanks,

Steve and Julia

Posted January 18th, 2013 at 11:28 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Thursday 17th January 2013


We've just received a report of two male smew adjacent to the Barnstaple "New" bridge today. Recorded feeding at both high and low tides.

(Howard Colmer)

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 9:05 pm in Bird News


Kingfisher using fishing/rowing boats as perches in the pill. Cracking views.

Water rail on far bank of the duck pond once along the Taw Estuary.

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Tom Williams in Bird News

Collaton St Mary, Paignton

Little Grebe, Heron (2) Buzzard, Bullfinch, females (2) Siskin (2) Coot (1) Moorhen (5)

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 5:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

A midday walk round the marsh at Aveton Gifford turned up Firecrest (2) Chiffchaff "type"(1) male Reed Bunting, Curlew and a flock of Meadow Pipits, Shell Duck, Little Egret, Heron, Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk, Greenshank (1) Dunlin, Kingfisher (1) Oyster Catcher, Wren (3) Little Grebe (2)

On the way down saw a female Merlin at Fowlescombe gate Nr Ugbrough

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 5:30 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Med Gull 5 (3adW, 1W,2W) GN Diver off Castle Pt. today.

A GIFFORD - Sth Efford Marsh

Water Pipit 4, Green sand 2, plus usuals. ENW 

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 3:46 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

In a bitingly cold wind with the odd flurry of snow, a return to form for the site at long last with c.150 Golden Plover, c.50 Lapwing and a single Snipe. Thrushes were also to the fore with 50 Fieldfare, 40 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrushes and at least 8 Blackbirds. Chaffinch numbers by the Cow barn have increased to around 25. 20+ Skylarks.

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 3:19 pm in Bird News

Birds in Torbay

Checked the Bay this morning from Battery Gardens at 08.30

1 Great Northern Diver, Brixham outer harbour. 3 GND out from Battery Point.

32+ Common Scoter out beyond mussel farm markers and other birds on the water but to far away to ID. .    Mike Langman said that during this week he had 60 Great Crested Grebes of Saltern Cove area so Sunday mornings boat trip from Paignton could be a very good one with a lot to see. 

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 11:49 am by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News


17 Cirl Buntings & 5 Reedbunting on seed in 2nd car park.

In marshy area 4 collybita Chiffchaffs, 1 tristis Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest.

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 9:53 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 16th January 2013

Bursdon Moor

Drove back from Falmouth to concide with a quick stop here. Glad I did, as at 16 50 a cracking male Hen Harrier flew in and around. The occupant of the other car present then revealed that another (or the same?) male flew over and carried on east just before I had arrrived.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 7:15 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

Still 3 water pipits on South Efford Marsh showing well at the far south end pools. Also: black-tailed godwit, 29 curlews, 2 greenshanks, green sandpiper, 5 common sandpipers, kingfisher & 19 alba wagtails.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 4:19 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Topsham, Exeter

31 members of Devon Birds took part in the first 'fieldtrip' of the year when we divided into two groups led by Annabelle Strickland and David Jannaway.  The focus was Bowling Green Marsh and The Exe adjacent to the recreation field.  Good numbers of waders and water birds were found including 600 Avocet and c300 Bar Tailed Godwit.  The Long-tailed Duck was present off the recreation ground together with Kingfisher.  The remaining group of members moved on to Darts Farm where after lunch Brambling, 15 Golden Plover, 66 Lapwing, a number of Black Tailed Godwit and a large group of Brent Geese were photographed. (Can't upload the photo.... wish this site was easier to do so!). 

Good company and birds and thanks to everyone who made this a memorable day.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 4:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

R.Taw (Pottington to Ashford sewage works)


Ringed Plover 4; Dunlin 2; Sanderling 12; Grey Plover 5; Little Egret 2.

Bradiford Reserve. Teal c20; Wigeon 25; Canada goose c50. Golden Plover c1000 and Lapwing c400 in field adjacent to the reserve.

Penhill Marsh. Dark-bellied Brent c250; Canada Goose c350; Grey Plover 1 and Sanderling 4. 1 wildfowler on the marsh.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 3:03 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Counted an amazing 88 Mandarin Duck on the Dart near home today.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A lunchtime visit from about 1.10 to 1.45.

A Bittern was in the reeds in the channel to the left of the track just before the 'S' bends. Kindly shown to me by a couple of birders, I watched it for a couple of minutes skulking in the reeds before it disappeared from view.

Not much time to look at the many birds on the marsh, although there was a Ruff and a few Golden Plovers with the Lapwing flock.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 2:04 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Around the Axe

100+ Golden Plovers today, in fields between Axmouth and Rousdon.  And there was one yesterday in the valley just north of A3052 near Bridge Marsh.  Six Shoveler this morning were the first of the year, as was a drake Goldeneye off the sea front on Monday morning. 

I've still not seen the Goosander though that has been seen for the past couple of days late afternoon from the Tower Hide.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 11:55 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Powderham Marshes


At 9.00 this morning one male merlin, 62 golden plover, 240 lapwing and over 300 dunlin. Also small flock of 5 redwing.

Posted January 16th, 2013 at 11:43 am by John Waldon in Bird News

Tuesday 15th January 2013

Exe Estuary

 Late morning visit to Exminster Marsh in sun-shine; from 11.00 to about 12.30. Lots of birds spread out over the wet fields. Two large flocks of brent geese, one to the north of the lane (c300) , the other near Turf (c500). I did not count the wigeon, teal or shoveller. On the lagoon 12  gadwall, 10+ tufted duck, 10 pochard and a single male goldeneye.

The lapwing were difficult to count and I estimated c500. With them c50 golden plover and 3 grey plover. Dunlin (c600) flew in flocks to the estuary as the tide dropped. Also c100 curlew, 2 bar-tailed godwit and one black-tailed godwit.

On the canal one little grebe and on the canal bank 2 bullfinch and one goldcrest, and there was another goldcrest in the lane with two chiffchaffs.

In the afternoon at 15.00 went out on the estuary in a boat. Avocet numbers good but they were well spread out. 4 turnstone plus the usual waders including a flock of c200 bar-tailed godwits. 7 red-breasted mergansers and 3 cormorants were the only birds on the water.

Posted January 15th, 2013 at 6:34 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

South Efford Marsh Aveton Gifford

Decided to take a look around but I managed to get the directions wrong at first. Perhaps worth restating -when you get to the metal gate into the meadow, opposite South Efford House, you go through then turn immediately right and follow the inside of the hedge along a muddy track, until you get to a wooden gate.  Pass by the gate onto the  raised embankment path, which leads down eventually past  the pools to the sluice gate at bottom end. Same species  around as reported by others recently - Common and Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Water Pipits (up to 3 reported again), 3 Snipe, 2 Egyptian Geese, 2 Teal, 10 Wigeon.

Posted January 15th, 2013 at 5:46 pm in Bird News


A quck afternoon look turned up the 2 black-necked grebe & 5 goldeneye at Torcross while offshore 2 great northern diver, red-throated diver, slavonian grebe & 49 common scoter.

Posted January 15th, 2013 at 5:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

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