Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th October 2013


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

Monday 7th October 2013

Devils Point, Plymouth

A post work visit this evening intended to see how many Black headed Gulls were heading to the roost up The Tamar. Very few as it turned out with numbers stopping just shy of one hundred.

However, seventeen Sandwich Terns and eight Med Gulls (six adults, and one each of first and second winter) saved the situation.

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 8:55 pm by Roy McCarthy in Bird News

Topsham Recreation Ground

Same time (c.13:00-14:00) as Keith's visit but I moved a little further up river. Greenshank (4), Spotted Redshank (1), Common Sand (2), sinensis Cormorant (at least one of the regular 2cy birds), Med Gull (1 ad). Surprise of the afternoon was calling Woodlark, at least 2 flying north - clearly not a breeding site so I presume OK to mention this? If not please delete...

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 7:30 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News


08:30 - 17:00; Furzedown/E.Soar/ Starehole / Warren / Soar Mill Cove/ Hgr. Soar.

Like Rob alluded, a bit like the day after the Lord Mayors show, thick fog not helping.

Merlin ( almost flew into me at Furzedown ), Ringed Plover ( calling Warren ), Green Woodpecker, 2 Collared Dove ( Hgr. Soar ), Whinchat , 6 Wheatear, 9 Blackcap, 41 Chiffchaff ( 30 Starehole am ),Yellow-browed Warbler ( in the sycamore and Japanese Knotweed outside ' The Olde Cottage' near top of hotel road - same as the Plymouth Massive had yesterday ) and 6 Goldcrest.

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 7:11 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Early evening visit to the Higher Ley: no less than 5 Hobbies (including 4 together over Strete Gate) plenty of dragonflies around for them, a few Sedge Warblers still in the reeds, otherwise quiet.

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 7:09 pm by David Cope in Bird News


Bowling green marsh 07:30 till 11:20

1 Curlew sandpiper, 10+ knot, 2 juv spotted redshank, 12+ greenshanks, 350+ teal, 150+ wigeon, 3 pintail, 53+ bar tailed godwits, 550+ black tailed godwits, 3 avocet, 4+ whimbrel, 12+ dunlin, 120+ redshanks, 2 snipe 15+ chiffchaffs, 3 Cetti's warblers.

from the viewing platform 1 grey plover, from the goatwalk 1 grey wagtail.

then went to topsham recreation ground, 2 water rail showed well, 1 snipe, 3 greenshanks, 4 chiffchaffs.

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 6:54 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

East Soar

An evident mass clear-out overnight produced a disappointing afternoon tally of Water Rail at the wetland below the farm ( a patch tick ),120 Skylark, 20 Meadow Pipit, 20 Robin, one Blackcap, 13 Chiffchaff & 3 Goldcrest. Another observer reported a Lesser Whitethroat.

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 5:06 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 9+ chiffchaff, 2 goldcrest, 1 turtle dove still, 1 stonechat, 1 snipe, 1 jay, 2 great spotted woodpecker, 1 hobby and 1+ coal tit this afternoon. The highlight by far though was my first ever crimson speckled - an immigrant moth from north Africa and one that I've been dying to see - a truly brilliant looking insect!

crimson speckled
crimson speckled

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 4:27 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Berry Hd

0715-0930hrs: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 37 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 3 Stonechat,

Overhead: 7 Siskin, 6 Chaffinch, 21 Linnet, 30+ Goldfinch, 11 'alba' wagtails, 20 Meadow Pipits, 3 Rook. 

Photos of today's Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest 

Firecrest Berry Hd 7 oct 13 ML  Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Hd 7 Oct 13 ML

Posted October 7th, 2013 at 11:17 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 6th October 2013


a few pic's of the 1w RB Fly and one of the 5 YB Warblers around Soar this weekend with 'vintage' numbers of other migrants. 

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 10:37 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 90+ alba wagtail west, also 1 yellow wagtail, 1 grey wagtail, c200+ meadow pipit, 1+ tree pipit, c50/100+ goldfinch, c200+ linnet, c30+ starling, 1+ reed bunting, 6+ siskin, 13+ chaffinch, 1 great spotted woodpecker high east, 3+ coal tit, 1 mistle thrush (first of autumn), 1 willow warbler, 25+ chiffchaff, 9+ blackcap, 1 golden plover, the lingering turtle dove, 1 hobby, 1 goldcrest, 1 2w mediterranean gull and a great northern diver that came in high from the east and headed over the Warren not long after dawn. 8 species of butterfly included numerous red admiral, 2 clouded yellow and a single painted lady.

turtle dove - settled for the time being in the top fields
turtle dove - settled for the time being in the top fields

willow warbler
willow warbler


Posted October 6th, 2013 at 6:43 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

 Corncrake flushed again at S M Ley , despite several hours of searching it could not be relocated , 12 Song Thrush and a Redpoll also seen

At South Huish Marsh - Merlin, juv Ruff, 30 + Teal, 3 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 15 Chiffchaff , 1 Goldcrest, 5 Redwing repoted by visitors

2 Sandwich Tern on the rocks On the beach 1 Bat Tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover 

T'stone Marsh 30 Teal, 5 Wigeon, 18 Snipe

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 6:34 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Kingswear (Coleton Camp, Scabbacombe Head & Froward Point)

Afternoon walk along the coast path in glorious warm sunshine, 3 Wheatear, 9 Skylark, 3 alba Wagtail, 6 Linnet, 7 Stonechat, Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 9 Chiffchaff and an obliging Firecrest

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 5:20 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

East Soar

Following on from my post earlier, Pete Aley and I went down to East Soar Farm and onto Starehole Valley. We saw Roger's Yellow-Browed Warbler in the Copse by East Soar Farm as we past. We then went on to see the 1st wint Red-breasted Flyctacher and a third Yellow-browed Warbler in Storehole Valley. Eric and Alan had also seen Pete's Yellow-browed Warbler from yesterday in the pines/wood today, making a total of FOUR in the Soar area today. Added to this one Eric saw in Tor Wood yesterday makes FIVE over the weekend.

There had been a good number of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in the East Soar area today though we didn't see so many being there after lunch only, so the numbers in brackets are conservative. We saw 20 Blackcaps (84 for day), 28 Chiffchaff (88 for day), 8 Wheatear (11 for day), 2 Whinchat, 6 Goldcrest (9 for day).

Also Clouded Yellow (2), Comma, Peacock, Small Copper (2).

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 5:20 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

East Soar

Cracking day highlighted by Red-breasted Flycatcher showing on & off in Starehole plus 3 maybe 4 Yellow-browed Warblers around the farm and in Starehole. Also Merlin, 3 Whinchat, 9 Wheatear, 2 White Wagtail, 38 Chiffchaff, 4 Pied Flycatcher in Starehole, Redstart, stacks of Blackcaps, Skylarks & Mipits plus  one Reed Bunting - scarce here! Also 3 Clouded Yellows and a fresh Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 5:10 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

North Gut - Taw Estuary

Couple of digiscoped photos of 2 Knot & a Black - tailed

Godwit taken this morning.

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 1:04 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Soar Mill Cove

8.20 to 12.20 Pete Aley and I ventured down SM Cove. Lots if chiffchaffs by coastguard cotts. Huge flock of Blackcaps in the top of the valley. Yellow-browed Warbler by houses adjacent to FP and garages. 

Totals Blackcap 64, Chiffchaff 60, Wheatear 3, Whitethroat, 200+ Linnet, 15+ Cirls, 3 Goldcrest, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. 

Now for East Soar. 

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 12:47 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Start Point

07:00-09:20. Cracking morning, great visibility first thing, Portland Bill easily visible across the water.

Visible migration from the car park 07:10-08:00 difficult, most stuff passing high up, all heading south....10 alba Wagtails, 40 Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, 27 Swallow, 50 Goldfinch, 20 Chaffinch, 160 Linnet, and a Reed Bunting. Around Start Farm 20 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps and 2 Spotted Flycatchers. Elsewhere Golden Plover, Grey Wagtail and 3 Siskin.

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 12:03 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake - Friday  4th

Red necked Grebe (juv) - still present and showing well.

Per Rod Mudge

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 11:49 am by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

East Soar

East Soar as far as the Willows. 8.15 to 10.0 am. flyover Snipe, 8 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, 40+ Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, Yellow-browed Warbler (in the copse by the farm). Black Redstart at Higher Soar Farm.

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 11:16 am by Roger White in Bird News

Woolacombe to Ilfracombe yesterday (Sat 5 Oct)

Yesterday's superb visible migration and rash of grounded rarities on the south coast were in stark contrast to up here on the north coast... What a difference a few dozen miles can make! Tim Davis and I walked the coast path from Woolacombe to Ilfracombe, taking in Morte Point and Bull Point but saw/heard relatively little in the way of migrants. 32 Swallows, 7 Wheatears, 4 Chiffchaffs, not a single Blackcap (!), and just a handful of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, wagtails and finches. One ad Med Gull on rocks at Woolacombe with white-inscribed red colour-ring on its right leg. We had wall-to-wall sunshine all day and got sunburnt! Butterflies were astonishing for the time of year; best I can ever recall for October: 182 individuals of 8 species, including 66 Small Whites, 34 Small Torts, 27 Small Coppers, 26 Red Admirals and smaller numbers of Speckled Wood, Peacock, Comma, and Green-veined White.

Posted October 6th, 2013 at 10:48 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Saturday 5th October 2013

Prawle - an oasis of calm amidst all the rare bird exitement!

My first serious go at vis-migging this autumn produced a fair bit of quantity, and a tiny bit of quality. In 2 hours, all west, 670 Meadow Pipits, 290 Linnets, 200 Goldfinch, 195 Skylarks, 90 each of Pied Wagtail and Chaffinch, 28 Siskin, 6 Greenfinch, 3 Reed Buntings, and a sneaky Bunting sp that kept it's beak firmly closed - probably the pesky Lap that danced around at Soar!!  Also a group of 9 Carrion Crows disappeared out to sea in a SW direction. During the day. 150+ Swallows moved through, with 2 each of House and Sand Martin. A fine site was a loose gathering of 11 Kestrels all hunting along the west cliffs in a line. Further day totals; 10 Wheatear, 22 Stonechat, 4 Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtails, Grey Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, 36 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warblers, Whitethroat, 53 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Firecrest.  Goldcrests are a bit slow to get going this year though!




Posted October 5th, 2013 at 8:44 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News


The Red Breasted Fly still this afternoon when it showed very well to 5 of us between 3.30-3.40pm, on the north side off Starehole Valley, low down in the nearest sycamore left of the steep path coming down from the new gravel path at the top. Also jammed into Pete's Lapland Bunting when we arrived, flying around the car park with Skylarks.

Posted October 5th, 2013 at 6:36 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


As well as the Red-breasted Flycatcher and Yellow-browed Warbler as per Steve Y's post below, Steve Cox and I had a Lapland Bunting flying around mid-Soar car park early afternoon. This morning small flocks of Blackcaps were making their way inland along hedge rows, with others lingering in Starehole, and we slowly picked up on Chiffchaff numbers as we reached the more wooded areas.

Totals: Blackcap 50 (count), Chiffchaff 48, Whinchat 4, Wheatear 15, Meadow Pipit 500+, Sedge Warbler 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Snipe 1, Swallow c25. 

A great day's birding!

Steve Y - your shots of the Flycatcher are much better than mine!

Posted October 5th, 2013 at 6:06 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


 At 08.00 Bob B flushed a CORNCRAKE from the path leading to the boardwalk - the 3rd record for the patchalso on site a Groppa, and a Redpoll over .

Viz mig  this morning - 75 Skylark, 150 + Mipit, 30 Goldfinch 75 Linnet , 4 Chaffinch , 2 Blackcap , 3 Chiffchaff

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

East Soar

My son James and I arrived at 06.50 to find clear skies after a starry night and very light westerly breeze but initial fears were elayed especially when we bumped into birdfinders Aley and Cox at c.07.40. An early Acro' I flushed from juncus proved to be a Sedge Warbler but our next meet, in Starehole Valley, was timed to perfection. As I checked out another Sedge Pete and Steve found a cracking Red-breasted Flycatcher 100m up the valley. The smart 1st w. bird showed well on and off between a sycamore above the rough track up the north side of the valley and the blackthorn below the rocky crags along the top of the valley. Lots of activity in the valley was due to 20+ Chiffchaffs and 10+ Blackcaps. By 15.00 I had noted: 150+ Skylark, 500+ Meadow Pipits all over Bolt Head and the Warren, Yellow Wagtail (1 unseen calling), White Wagtail (1 on Bolt Head), Whinchat (3 juv.s), Wheatear (4 juv.s), Sedge Warbler (2), Blackcap (15+), Chiffchaff (30+ in total), Yellow-browed Warbler (heard once in "the wood" after Pete had glimpsed a possible and before he then saw it in the willow hedge), Goldcrest (just 1 in the RBF sycamore), Siskin (3 along the Bolt Head clifftop), (Lesser) Redpoll (1 over Starehole), Cirl Bunting (1 male singing and family parties). I then left to race Alan Doidge in uploading RBF shots but fearing what else Pete and Steve would find as they headed down Soar Mill Cove!Red-breasted Fly Starehole Soar

Red-breasted Fly Starehole Soar

Posted October 5th, 2013 at 5:32 pm by Steve Young in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs

 Showing well from the platform at Bowling Green, flew off and went around towards the Goat walk.

Posted October 5th, 2013 at 3:46 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News

Start Point

Got the nod from Mike that Berry Head was busy so went out to Start. Very vocal but unseen Yellow-browed Warbler in Start Farm. Also there about 50 Chiffchaffs and 20 + Blackcaps. Also seen were 500+ Swallows passing through, Yellow Wagtail and 5 Wheatears. The tamarisk around the lighthouse were surprisingly quiet, just 3 or 4 Chiffs.

Posted October 5th, 2013 at 3:09 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Soar Valley

10.0 am to 12.0 pm. In the valley:  Ring Ouzel (near hotel),  12 Chiffchaffs, 1 Wheatear, 60+ Linnets.  Also 5 Clouded Yellows and 4 Commas.

Posted October 5th, 2013 at 2:16 pm by Roger White in Bird News

Berry Hd

With clear skies and very good visibility I thought it would be a slow morning at the Headland - how wrong! On arrival lots of Chiffchaffs, small groups of Blackcaps fly over Yellow Wagtail and that was just leaving the car park. The morning got better: 1 Radde's Warbler, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, with a (selected) supporting cast of: 62 Chiffchaff, 17 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Coal Tits (both britannicus), 5 Wheatear, 1 Reed Bunting, 16 Siskin, 1 Rook (rare at site), 6 Skylark, 42 Swallows, 82 Meadow Pipits, and 1 Arctic Skua.  

Radde'sWarbler Berry Head 051013 ML  Radde's Warbler Berry Head 051013 ML2

Radde's Warbler above Yellow-browed Warbler below;

Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Hd 5 Oct 13 ML  Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Hd 5 Oct 13 ML2

Posted October 5th, 2013 at 1:34 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 4th October 2013

Lopwell Dam

Osprey still in the area.  Also saw little egrets, grey heron, kingfishers, little grebes, cormorants, buzzards, long-tailed tits

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 10:06 pm by Shane Willson in Bird News

Thurleatone Bay

 Good in quality if not quantity - our first day with no Hirundines

This morning - 1 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 ad Med Gull, 4 ad Little Gull ( flew across the Bay at 12.00 ), 17 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 5 Yellow wagtail, 1 Snipe , 2 Stock Dove. 75 + Teal, 1 Wigeon, 110 + Mipit

This evening 2 Sandwich Tern and a juv Arctic Tern

 On T'stone marsh - 5 Wigeon , 30 Teal and 12 Snipe

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 7:56 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


 A Helice Clouded Yellow suprised me by flying past this morning on the cliffs near the town. Also a Hummingbird Hawk moth in Starcross.

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 7:26 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Taw Bridge.

In addition to Rob`s 71, there were another 8 Pintail just off Pottington sewage works and under the bridge.

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 6:59 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Richard's Pipit at Bovey Heath

A Richard's Pipit at 5.40pm by the signboard rock on the highest part of the heath with meadow pipits.  Flew off high towards the Great Plantation and not seen again.

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 6:49 pm by John Walters in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 1540 - 1730 - another quick visit - best bird - another turtle dove in the top fields. Also 1 juv hobby, 1 snipe, 2+ wheatear, c300+ meadow pipit, c100+ linnet, 4+ chiffchaff, 1 coal tit and a late willow warbler.

turtle dove - the best I could manage - apologies!
turtle dove - the best I could manage - apologies!

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 6:32 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


08:45-17:00, Warren/E.Soar/Starehole/Bolt Head/Hgr Soar.

Early morning coastal fog soon lifted. Mod-Fresh W-SW wind.

Golden Plover, Green Woodpecker, Yellow Wagtail, 4 Swallow, Whinchat, 10 Wheatear, Ring Ouzel ( Starehole ), 2 Whitethroat, Blackcap, 23 Chiffchaff, Firecrest ( East Soar Pines ) and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Well done getting all that in Ford Cemetary Laurie, i think Ford beat Soar today, esp given their respective sizes !



Posted October 4th, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Had a fantastic few hours this afternoon birding the trees just to the west of Ford Park Cemetery. The rain overnight definitely grounded a few migrants.

Highlights were, 2 Pied Flycatchers (possibly another), 1 Redstart (possibly another) and c.12 Spotted Flycatchers. I also had a possible Lesser Whitethroat but couldn't clinch it as I was viewing it through several branches and into direct sunlight! But definitely a smallish Sylvia. Compensation though came in the form of a cracking Firecrest in the same bush!

At one point there were 2 Pied Flies, a Redstart and 6 Spotted Flies all in the same tree. One of the Pied Flies even decided to break out into song! - which was nice.

No sign of the Long-tailed Skua yesterday. Luckily I saw it the day before.

Pied Flycatcher

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 1.45. The 6 Ruff still present at the back of the marsh often in the longer vegetation. 1 Green Sandpiper that flew off just as I arrived, otherwise very quiet with lower Teal numbers that the last couple of days.

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 2:11 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A mid-morning visit after high tide so most birds were back on the estuary. On the pool nearest to the canal side car park the number of lapwing had double since my last visit - now 12 plus the single black-tailed godwit. also in those fields 5 wheatears. On the lagoon about 300 duck, mostly teal but also c40 wigeon, c10 mallard, c10 shoveller and at least one gadwall. Most of the ducks were roosting tucked into the banks.

In the lane at least 3 chiffchaffs including one that sang continuously, one blackcap and 2 Cettis. Butterflies included 1 painted lady, small copper, red admiral and comma (yesterday 1 clouded yellow near Topsham).

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 1:03 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Bassett's Ridge

Another look through the scope this morning produced a further increase in the numbers of Pintail to 71.

I was not able to fit all of them in one photo because they are feeding over a wide area! 

Also 10 Bar tailed Godwits & 4 Black tailed Godwits present & 2 Knot

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 12:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 15:30 till 18:25

The week just gets better on the marsh at 16:26 this afternoon a lesser yellowlegs presumabley the bird from last month reappeared a fantastic bird showing well at times with the greenshanks if the same bird were has it been ??. Teal numbers are now at 650+ with 120+ wigeon, still 6 ruff this evening (3m,3f), 3 juv little stint, the juv little ringed plover still showing well, 1 green sandpiper, 56+ bar tailed godwit, 780+ black tailed godwits, 11 avocet, 13 knot, 2+ curlew sandpiper, 4 spotted redshanks, 26+ greenshanks, 310+ redshanks, 3+ ringed plover, 6 whimbrel, 300 + curlew, 160+ dunlin, 22+ little egrets, 1 water rail, 1 reed warbler, 1 hobby chased a ruff, peregrine, sparrowhawk, buzzard, 6+ chiffchaff, 2 Cetti's warblers. 

While waiting for the bus at topsham quay watching the masses of gulls coming to roost of the turf a kingfisher flew straight towards me and briefly landed by the quay great end to the afternoon. 

Posted October 3rd, 2013 at 8:33 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Hope's Nose

Can't live with some of the Berry Head totals but seawatching 07.10 - 15.40 hrs yielded:

42 Balearic shearwater, 12 Arctic skua, 1 bonxie, 1 int/dark juv long-tailed skua, 137 sandwich tern, 1 common tern, 224 gannet, 21 common scoter, a notable swallow passage over the sea and the best seabird of the day - a juv Marsh harrier flying south over the sea

Posted October 3rd, 2013 at 8:20 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Still big numbers of Teal on the marsh today. The combination of a low tide and higher water levels meant that waders were restricted to a total of 10 birds, although these were 6 Ruff, 2 Little Stints plus 2 Black-tailed Godwits. just about worth braving the weather for!

Posted October 3rd, 2013 at 2:11 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Berry Hd

Seawatch 0730-1530Hrs: best birds, 4 juv Long-tailed Skuas (intermediate types, 2 prior to 09:30, then 12:48 & 14:03) , Pomarine Skua (full spooned ad), 28 Arctic Skuas, 5 Great Skuas, 1 unidentified Skua (Pom/Arctic), 64 Balearic Shearwaters (incl one flock or 12), 10 Common Scoter, 80 Sandwich Tern, 6 Common Tern, 5 Common Gulls and Harbour Porpoise

1 Firecrest in bottom of Quarry first thing, also good passage of Swallows and Meadow Pipits, 8+ House Martins, 6 Siskins, Blackcap, Wheatear, 1 Hobby >E out to sea, 1 Kestrel came in off sea - first picked up over 1mile out.

Yesterday (02/10) Seawatch 09:45-14:00. juv Long-tailed Skua (intermediate type @11:55), 4 ad Little Gulls, 25  Arctic Skuas, 21 Sandwich Terns, ad w Mediterranean Gull, 6 Great Skuas, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 26 Common Scoter, 6 Brent Geese, 5 Common Gulls and a Grey Seal.

Combined totals ML,MD,REB

Posted October 3rd, 2013 at 1:06 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 2nd October 2013

Mount Batten pier Long-tailed Skua

The original 2 photo's posted by Graham of the 'skua' despite being very aggressive and chasing terns combined with the odd (suggested) warm colour and apparent triangular head and thin looking bill in the lower photo (all more Arctic like) - shows all the plumage features of a Long-tailed Skua.

Graham kindly sent on a few more shots to me (two posted here) - just to be on the safe side before saying anything - it is indeed a dark(ish) juv Long-tailed Skua. A hybrid Arctic X Long-tailed was seriously being considered for a little while looking at the original photos! 

Long-tailed Skua Mount Batten Plymouth 2 Oct 2013 Graham Watson   Long-tailed Skua Mount Batten Plymouth 2 Oct 2013 Graham Watson 2

Two more of Graham's photo's

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 8:28 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 15:30 till 17:30

Amazing number of teal on the marsh this afternoon with 500+, lots of new birds must of arrived over night with now 6 ruff (all Juvs 3m, 3f) a juv little ringed plover my first ever in October still 3 juv little stints , 4 ringed plover, 2 spotted redshank showed (1 adult, 1 juv), 4+ curlew sandpipers, 76+ bar tailed godwits with lots being juvs, 6 whimbrel, 300+ curlew, 650+ black tailed godwits, 4+ ringed plover, 25+ knot, 26 avocet, 1 green sandpiper, 250+ dunlin, 300+ redshank, 28+ greenshanks, 1 grey plover, 32+ little egrets, 1 juv sparrowhawk, 2 buzzards, 20+ wigeon, 4 shoveler. 

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 7:10 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

  Around South Huish marsh this am - 80 Teal, 1 Wigeon, 2 Dunlin, 3 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 7 Stonechat, 2 Yellow Wagtail., Hobby

Offshore -only 4 Sandwich Tern ( 16 yesterday ) 1 2w Med Gull, 8 Pintail flew east , 1 Bonxie

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 6:30 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Plymouth Sound

Nipped out to Mount Batten on reading about the Long-tailed Skua and watched it mugging the terns for a couple of hours.  Also 2+ Med Gulls and a Common Tern recorded this morning.

This, having gratefully been corrected on the ID and thereby learning a lot, by Mike, is a "lifer" for me and completes my British Skuas!

Arctic Skua
Long-tailed Skua

Arctic Skua
Long-tailed Skua

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 5:36 pm in Bird News

Around the Axe

Two Yellow-browed Warblers at Lower Bruckland Ponds (Musbury) at 14:30 today with 5+ Chiffchaff and a mixed tit flock. Only (knowingly) saw one, but whilst watching this one at close range another started calling from behind me! Felt like I'd been temporarily transported to the east coast!

Also today, Spotted Redshank and four Ruff still in the valley.

Yellow-browed Warbler - not the easiest species to photograph!
Yellow-browed Warbler - not the easiest species to photograph!

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 4:43 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

East Soar

No sign of the YBW and relatively quiet with 66 skylark, 250 swallow, 80 meadow pipit, curlew, white wagtail, 2 whinchat, redstart, 3 whitethroat, 4 blackcap & a goldcrest.

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 4:26 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Preston Seafront Torbay

Plenty of Sandwich Tern in Torbay also (Steph Murphy reported 60 yesterday) today, I counted 72 around the seafront area, I have never seen this many together in Torbay (ignoring passage counts at the headlands) and 1 ad w Mediterranean Gull.

Sandwich Terns Preston 2 Oct 2013 ML

Some of the Sandwich Terns!

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 4:24 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Start Point

Walking down to the point at 8am a Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and 6 Chiffchaff, the bushes below the light house were completely blown out, but up around the farm a further 2 Blackcap, another Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 14 Wheatear, 8 Chiffchaff, single Willow Warbler and a Firecrest. In the valley below the farm a brief Wryneck on the fence line over the stream (same location as the spring Bluethroat) plus a Grey Wagtail. Overhead steady stream of Swallows (100+) and Meadow Pipits, 11 Skylark, 3 Sand Martin, 16 Linnet and 3 Goldfinch. Also Raven, Saprrowhawk & Kestrel.

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 1:35 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Mountbatton Plymouth

 Message from Vic Tucker at 12.45 - there are 50 + Sndwich Tern and an Arctic Skua just off the pier. Unusual to get this no of Terns in Oct and the Skua is a rare bird inside the Sound

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 12:56 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


Yesterday, 1 October about 1245, 4 hobbies seen  flying around over West Down Beacon, (west of Budleigh Salterton on the coast by the golf course), apparently hunting insects.  Unfortunately without binoculars, so not sure of ages, but at least 2 probably juvenile as no sign through the gloom of red around vent area when they flew close to me. 

Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 12:21 pm by Colin Randall in Bird News

Tuesday 1st October 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 15:15 till 18:25

A cracking afternoon on the marsh with the highlight being 7+ little stint running around on the far side from the hide, 5+ curlew sandpiper all juvs, 4 spotted redshanks( 1 adult, 3 juv), 2 juv ruff(1m, 1f), my first sanderling on the marsh was a good find, 1 grey plover, 12+ ringed plover, 340+ dunlin, 4 whimbrel, 500+ curlew, 59+ bar tailed godwits, another increase in avocet to 29, 660+ black tailed godwits, 280+ redshank, 19+ greenshanks, 16+ lapwing, 29+ knot, 1 green sandpiper, 39+ little egret, 1 water rail, 2 sparrowhawk( 1 adult, 1 juv) caused panic among the waders on 5 occasions, 42+ wigeon ,90+ teal, 4 shoveler, 3 grey heron, 10+ chiffchaff along the road down to the hide. 


Posted October 1st, 2013 at 8:36 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

In the hide at lunchtime until about 1.45. 1 Ruff, 1 Little Stint and 3 Knot were the highlights.

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 8:13 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 1645 - a lightening post-work dash around the top fields was well worthwhile producing a gorgeous jack snipe - my first of the autumn. Also 2 wheatear, 1 curlew, just 1 chiffchaff, c1/200+ meadow pipit and c20+ skylark. 

Yesterday a longer spell mid-afternoon produced 21+ chiffchaff, c50+ starling, 2+ grey wagtail, 3 alba wagtail, 6 wheatear, 1 juv whinchat, 1 whitethroat, 2 yellow wagtail, 2 blackcap, 1 curlew, my first great spotted woodpecker of the autumn and, oddly, 2 sandwich terns high over the top fields. Also of note my 9th and 10th vestals of the autumn - it has been an amazing spell for these immigrant moths. I've also had several rush veneers and stacks of silver Y. Additionally, off Mudbank yesterday a female or juv garganey with 1 mediterranean gull, 4 grey plover and c50+ teal amongst c1000+ wigeon.

vestal - the rarer pink form. The 9 others have all been yellow.
vestal - the rarer pink form. The 9 others have all been yellow.

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Berry Hd

Short seawatch this afternoon produced: 1 Sooty Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 4 Great Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua, 11 Wigeon, 7 Kittiwake and 45 Gannets.

Overhead: 740 Swallows> SE, 12 House Martins, 21 Meadow Pipits, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Around the headland: 1 Wheatear, 1 Willow Warbler, 19 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Blackcap. 

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 6:27 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A gloomy afternoon visit. 3 wheatear and c10 meadow pipits were in the field next to the railway bridge to the north of the road. On the pool near the canal - 6 lapwing, 1 black-tailed godwit and a few teal. There were c200 black-headed gulls roosting on or near the lagoon, also there 5 little grebes, c10 shoveller, teal and wigeon. Over head a flock of 10 shelduck kept appearing. A few swallows flew east (c20) and a hobby was catching dragonflies near the railway. A juv sparrow hawk had repeated efforts to catch something but failed.

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 5:25 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A return to local birding after 2 weeks away. 26 Golden Plover were the first of the autumn and a good number for the beginning of October. 2 Snipe, 30+ Pied Wags, 30+ Mipit, 12 Linnets and a handful of Skylarks. The Little Owl in its usual place. Visual passage of swallows heading south with over 50 in around 50 minutes.

Unfortunately the arable field has been turned into a single species grass field this year which doesn't bode well for late autumn and winter flocks of finches, mipits and skylarks and possibly for holding the GP's. Time will tell.

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 5:00 pm in Bird News

R.Taw off Pottington and Penhill Marsh.


The number of Pintail on the river have increased slightly to 62. All were just off Penhill Marsh. This is the highest number I have ever experienced on the river.

Also 4 Ringed Plover; 2 Dunlin; 1 Sanderling; 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Black-tailed Godwit.

Bradiford Reserve:- Just 8 Teal; 1 Kingfisher and 1 Buzzard.

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 4:33 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Arrived at 08.40 with Steve Cox, fearful that the thick mist was going to prevent any meaningful birding; but in the event, we managed a pretty reasonable session before the real rain clamped down from about 14.00.

Virtually the first passerine we set eyes on was a Yellow-browed Warbler briefly in the hedge, then in the pines beside the track by East Soar Farm. Soon after, a Restart and 2 Whinchats appeared nearby. A Merlin overflew the willows and later, we saw a Black Redstart at the farm where 6 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Hobbies also performed.

Totals: Golden Plover 1, Swallow 35+, House Martin 6, Chiffchaff 20+, Whinchat 5, Green Woodpecker 1, Blackcap 12, Meadow Pipit c150, Whitethroat 3, Snipe 1, and Skylark 40+.  

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 3:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Around the Axe

On Black Hole Marsh this morning 4 juv Ruff and a juv Spotted Redshank.

On the Estuary 22 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Shoveler and this afternoon another one of those (presumed) HerringxLesser Black-backed Gull hybrids...

Not a Yellow-legged Gull
Not a Yellow-legged Gull!

Posted October 1st, 2013 at 2:29 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

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