Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st October 2013

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·          Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·        Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

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

Monday 21st October 2013

Ilfracombe seawatch

One hour watch on Sunday 20th October from 0855 at Breakneck Point, west of Ilfracombe, yielded 58 gannets, 6 razorbill, 2 common gull, 1 second winter little gull, 5 chaffinch, 1 common buzzard, and the surprise right at the end, 12 crossbills heading east. All the seabird passage was westerly.

As an aside, on the Saturday 19th October, there were huge numbers of bullfinch (30 would not be far off I reckon), and good numbers of chaffinch and goldcrest in the hedges at Lower Campscott, near Lincombe, North Devon.

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 8:48 pm by Simon M Bates in Bird News

Wembury point

1 Gannet very far out beyond the Mewstone and around 50+ Oystercatchers flying around, one of the biggest groups I've seen , The Godwits are still around and usually follow the Oystercatchers there are around 6-10 birds and are quite difficult to spot

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 6:05 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Topsham Recreation Ground

Low tide visit mid afternoon. The juv. Marsh Harrier again flew in from the east looking well fed and came down in the reeds. Also two Mediterranean Gulls (ad. and 2W) and at least one of the regular sinensis Cormorants.

Marsh Harrier - Topsham 21/10/2013
Marsh Harrier - Topsham 21/10/2013

Continental Cormorant - Topsham 21/10/2013
Continental Cormorant - Topsham 21/10/2013

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 5:13 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Around the Axe

This morning, a Garganey was a welcome year tick on Colyford Marsh amongst the Teal. My latest ever. Also 2 Med Gulls (ad and 1st winter)

The sea has been very disappointing recently, with today no exception. Well, until 14:35 when a cracking juv Sabine's Gull flew in from east. It spent ten minutes feeding close in with Black-headed Gulls before moving further out then flying off west.

A look up the river mid afternoon showed three Yellow-legged Gulls amongst good numbers of Great Black-backs. Two adults were roosting on Axe Marsh with a nice 1st winter on the Estuary.

Garganey at the back in front of the Lapwing
Garganey at the back in front of the Lapwing - a record shot!!

Sabine's Gull
Sabine's Gull

Sabine's Gull
Sabine's Gull

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 4:27 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Visit to the hide at lunchtime today until about 1.40. Nothing much of note other than a single Ruff.

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

12:15-13:45, low tide.

No sign of yesterdays Bittern ( very windy though), just a calling Water Rail and 74 Teal on the marsh, 4 Pintail out on the estuary.

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 2:34 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Shoalstone - Brixham

0830 - 1130hrs Seawatching with Bob & Chris from the shelter at the carpark, 3 Bonxie, 3 Arctic Skua & 4 Balearic Shearwater.

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 12:44 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Start Bay

Did a seawatch from Torcross in the strong S-SW wind 08:20-10:40 but it was dissapointing. Good southerly passage of Gannets ( c300 per hour ) and single Balearic Shearwater and Kittiwake. 4 or 5 more probable Balearics way out in the distance.

Posted October 21st, 2013 at 11:34 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Sunday 20th October 2013


2+ Purple Sandpipers on Maer Rocks, Exmouth seafront, with Turnstones, late this afternoon (whilst still on a high from Exeter CITY's brilliant 4-0 away win yesterday).

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 9:58 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

White Fronted Goose

Having seen Matt Knott's report and photographs of a Juvenile White Fronted Goose from Gore Lane Exmouth I have made several visits to see it for myself. Today after an hour of watching from the gate  (with the the Exeter Chiefs quietly  on the radio in the background),  I bumped in to Mat (nice to meet you).... and he assured me that it was still around and somewhere in the field.  This gave me confidence to continue and then my perseverance paid off and I could suddenly see it.  Then  I coulnt believe my luck when it actually flew to the area in front of the gate.  Thanks Mat!  (Another species for my Devon Bird Photo Gallery, 182 species now). 

A very pretty bird in good condition and feeding on the leaves of the beet in the field.

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 9:11 pm by Charlie Flemng in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

At 5.15 from the RSPB path leading to the Turf, observed 2 Meadow Pipit and 2 Wheatear. Also saw 2 Kestrels  and a Peregrine on one of the pylons.

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 9:10 pm by Tony Dudley-Clarke in Bird News


At least 2,000 bhg.

14 med gulls, 6ad, 4sw, 4fw.

700 golden plover


Posted October 20th, 2013 at 8:42 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Wrafton pond

Saw a water rail again on the pond at 1000hrs. Twice in one week.

 I must have got my eye in. 

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

Got a message tonight that a couple of the WeBS counters for the Kingsbridge Estuary saw a Bittern on the marsh today ( briefly inflight i believe ).

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 8:10 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


5 hour seawatch from 07.45. Good if you like Gannets (and who doesn't!), with 1050 logged (720 west, 330 east), but some variation, with 9 Balearic and 1 Manx Shearwater, 2 Arctic Skuas, 2 Little Gulls and 2 Med Gulls.

Seawatching yesterday (with JL, TM and FS) pruduced Great Northern Diver, 10 Balearic and 1 Manx Shearwater, 16 Common Scoter, Great and Arctic Skua, and Med Gull. (Also Clouded Yellow and good number of Painted Ladies and Red Admirals amongst 7 species of butterfly).

Friday 18/10 produced 3 Balearic and 1 Manx Shearwater, and 6 Med Gulls.

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 8:08 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay


  3hr seawatch this morning produced - 205 Gannet, 60+ Great B B Gull, 4 Med Gull, 2 Kittiwake, 3 Bonxie ( 2 @ 9.45  & 1 @11.00 - all east ) 1 Skua sp  e at 11.30 .

waders on the rocks - 6 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling. 30 Teal on S H Marsh.

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

East Soar

Daughter Emily and I birded MIddle Soar to Starehole and back through the farm from 08.00 to 12.30 by which time the forecast rain ended play. Even Starehole was rather blown out by the fresh SW wind which only strengthened later. No vis mig worth mentioning and predictably little in the way of migrants after days of wind and showers: Merlin (fem. hunting Warren towards Starehole), Chiffchaff (<10 in total), prob. Firecrest heard calling in Starehole, LInnet (small parties of 10+)

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 6:21 pm by Steve Young in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 0730 - 7 collared dove, juv white-fronted goose, c20+ skylark, c10+ meadow pipit, 1 snipe, 1 grey wagtail, 26+ great black-backed gull and 2 lesser black-backed gull.

Mudbank - 5 great crested grebe, 7+ sandwich tern, 1 ad wint roseate tern still, 33+ turnstone, 1 whimbrel, 4 grey plover, 1 black-tailed godwit, 1 pale-bellied brent goose and 140+ pintail with c1000+ wigeon and c1000+ brent goose. Also 1 ad mediterranean gull.

The roseate tern flew in at about 11am and showed well, if a little distantly, patrolling up and down the river. The white-front was still in the stubble and kale field at the top of Gore Lane first light but I couldn't see it on a brief afternoon visit.

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 5:42 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

South Brent

The early morning passage of Pied Wagtails continues heading west over the village huge flock this morning far too many to count and constant movement of singles until the weathe broke.

Season first Redwings seen with a flock of 20 counted flew off towards the lower side of Brent Hill

Possible Merlin sighting, but it was gone as soon as seen.

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 12:32 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Point

Downend - 07.45 to 09.00.

Chaffinches grounded by strong SSW - not one seen moving through but 46 Cormorants flying SE towards mouth of Taw & Torridge Estuary. 

Baggy Point 09.45 - RED WARNING  = severe & dangerous gusts of wind at Baggy Point, I was blown to the ground!

3 Lapland Bunting flew very low close together just over the top of a fence in southerly direction & one of the 3 (a cracking male) landed on the footpath only 3 to 4 metres in front of me & searched for food for several minutes. I was able to see it very clearly through the binoculars, a large Bunting with a yellow bill.The other 2 which were the same size in flight, I did not see again.  

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 11:51 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


At about 9:00 am this morning there was a large flock of between 300-350 Redwings just north of Haytor,very restless looked as they had just arrived.

keith benyon- tinker 20 th October 

Posted October 20th, 2013 at 11:00 am by Keith & Sue Benyon-Tinker in Bird News

Saturday 19th October 2013

Start Point and North Hallsands

Son James and I arrived in thick fog at 07.20. Birded the farm until 09.15 by which time fog was clearing fast. Seawatch from the point in the remains of the fog from 09.45 until 11.15. Back at the farm under clear blue skies. By 12.30 I had noted: 2 w. divers SW (prob GN), 4 Balearic Shearwaters (close SW), Ad. pale Arctic Skua (close SW), 2 Grey Phalaropes SW, 4 Kittiwakes (3 ad.s & 1 juv. SW), Guillemot (3 SW), Razorbill (1 SW, 1 off point), Barn Swallow (2 juv.s S), Chiffchaff (6-7 around farm entrance), Firecrest (1 in large pine by farm entrance).

We then looked for sheltered cover around Hallsands "Ley" from 13.00 to 15.15: Black Redstart (2 on highest roofs of houses S. of beach), Cetti's Warbler (1 sang), Water Rail (2 squealed), Chiffchaff (1 each with two tit flocks)

We then gave up and twitched a new Yellow-browed at Pig's Nose. I was very pleased to meet top man Pat Mayer here and at 16.50 I eventually scored good views of the occasionally highly vocal but elusive scarcity in the willows across the narrow paddock from the chicken run at the top of the valley. It was with 4-5 Chiffchaffs.

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 8:43 pm by Steve Young in Bird News


Watched 09:00 till 11:45

from the viewing platform still 2 juv curlew sandpipers, 3 ruff, 2 spotted redshanks, 66+ bar tailed godwits, 20 avocet, 22+ knot, 400+ redshank, 1000+ black tailed godwits, 12+ little egrets, 2 water rail, 5 greenshanks. 

From the goatwalk the marsh harrier flew over from exminster marsh towards bowling green marsh at 11:18 just 3 minutes later than yesterday. 

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 8:10 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple (Pottington to Heanton Court)

13:45 to 15:30

Bar-tailed Godwit 6; Lapwing 6; Kingfisher in the ditch next to Ashford Sewage Works and just a few Teal in Bradiford Reserve.

Ashford Strand and Bassett`s Ridge:- c110 Wigeon and 60 Pintail plus 10 Knot.

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 8:04 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Chaffinches - Downend

Is it correct that the Chaffinches I am observing from Downend migrating SSE make use of a regular flight - line from N.Devon to S.Devon as suggested in Eagle Clarke's 'Studies in Bird Migration?' In 1912 he wrote " There is an interesting cross - country route from Barnstaple Bay on the north coast, by way of the Torridge & Teign valleys to the south coast.This 'short cut' is much followed in the autumn by migrants seeking winter quarters across the Channel.

Meanwhile, I will continue researching this movement!

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 7:19 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Mudbank - a very late roseate tern this evening with half a dozen sandwich terns fishing distantly off Mudbank. Also 1 pale-bellied brent goose and 1 shoveler.

Orcombe Point - very quiet early this morning but the juv white-fronted goose still present plus 3 snipe and a trickle of meadow pipits, pied wagtails, skylarks and finches.

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 6:21 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Otter Estuary

White Bridge to Otter Head, 10:30 - 12:30.

Not a great deal to be seen by way of migrants. Only bird of note was a damp and forlorn-looking turtle dove sitting motionless in the last ploughed field near the headland. Unbelievably, my first one this year!

In the same field, a mobile flock of 2-300 skylarks, meadow pipits, linnets, and alba wagtails. This and the adjacent ploughed fields are looking seriously good for small brown jobs.

Elsewhere, half a dozen chiffchaffs along the pine belt. Cetti's warbler singing, as usual. Sadly, my first hirundine-free outing since March. Hello Winter.

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 1:47 pm by Phil Bentley in Bird News

Maristow, Tavy Estuary

At about 1230 today 19th Oct a total of 48 Mistle Thrushes moving south

into the wind, and with them at least 70 Redwing.

Also one Hornet at the Old Pump House cafe - outside!

Roger Smaldon

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 1:36 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News


07.50 - 09.30.

Visible & audible migration of increasing numbers of small flocks of mainly Chaffinch & a few Meadow Pipits passing through with varying intervals between flocks.

One Atlantic Grey Seal surfacing a short distance from the rocks.

Posted October 19th, 2013 at 12:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Friday 18th October 2013


Watched from 08:00 till 12:45

not a bad morning from the viewing platform at bowling green marsh a nice adult male Merlin flew over east  my first of the autumn, 2 curlew sandpipers still among 114+ dunlin, 1 spotted redshank, 9 avocet, 15+ knot, 30+ bar tailed godwits, 11+ grey plover, lots of black tailed godwits and redshanks, 2 raven, 1 water rail, 2 ruff both juvs(1m,1f)

From the goatwalk the marsh harrier flew over from exminster marsh towards bowling green marsh whilst trying to refind some 60+ snipe were put up and flew around viewable from the path upto the viewing platform. 

On walk into topsham 2 spotted redshanks showed well opposite topsham museum. 


Posted October 18th, 2013 at 8:31 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Orcombe Point - late pm - white-fronted goose (albifrons) still showing really well this afternoon. I was able to age it as a juv. today. The apparent white partial forehead blaze was, I think, just an artefact of the light and I think the apparent dark marks on the belly were just shadows created by the plants in the field. Features pointing towards a Russian origin, as opposed to Greenland, include a dull pink bill (with dusky nail) and broad white tail tips. Nice bird but very lost!

juv white-front - top fields, Gore Lane
juv white-front - top fields, Gore Lane

Posted October 18th, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Shoalstone, Brixham

Again from the shelter 3.15-5pm. Mediterranean Gull following a returning trawler.

Joined by Bill Macdonald. Totals - 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Arctic Skuas, 1 Arctic Tern. Movement all south.

Posted October 18th, 2013 at 5:50 pm by David Leigh in Bird News

Around the Axe

4 Bearded Tits on Black Hole Marsh this morning, found by reserve warden Fraser Rush. At 11:45 they flew across tramline on to Colyford Marsh.

Marsh Harrier and Spotted Redshank both still present on Colyford Marsh.

Posted October 18th, 2013 at 11:56 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

An increase in quality and quantity this morning. A female/immature Black Redstart was showing well near th control tower. 3 Stonechats were also new arrivals. 2 Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff, 60 Redwing, 50 Skylarks, 50 Meadow Pipits, 8 Blackbirds, 15 Pied Wags, 16 Stock Doves.

Earlier in the week,

15/10 - 1 Wheatear, 2 Green Sands, 15 Stock doves and the Little Owl still.

16/10 - 3 Wheatear, 30 Skylark, 30 Meadow pipits and a Blackdown rarity, an immature Common Gull.


Posted October 18th, 2013 at 11:45 am in Bird News

Topsham and Exminster Marshes

The juv. Marsh Harrier still present over the Exe reed beds by the M5 bridge and the northern part of Exminster Marshes c.9.30 - 10.30.

Posted October 18th, 2013 at 11:44 am by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

South Brent 17th October

Steady trickle of Pied and Grey Wagtails passing the house and area, very vocal in flight.

Two Raven seen in aerial display towards the edge of Dartmoor, flying in bvery tight almost touching formation at times before soaring and diving.

Female Peregrine seen high up skirting the edge of Brent Hill westwards

Posted October 18th, 2013 at 11:10 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News


A trickle of Chaffinch in very small flocks for the first hour of daylight this morning.

Posted October 18th, 2013 at 10:24 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

R. Caen - 17/10/2013

Late posting

One Guillemot (looked like oiled bird) on R.Caen at high tide late afternoon.

Posted October 18th, 2013 at 10:19 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Thursday 17th October 2013

Hartland point

Malcolm Shakespeare visited Hartland point this morning between 7.30-9.30 and had

127 Balearic shearwaters

11 manx shearwaters

and 1 great skua

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 9:14 pm by David & Gillian Churchill in Bird News

westward Ho!/ Northam beach

20 + Golden Plovers along waters edge

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 8:51 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Prawle Sightings

A brief,unplanned seawatch , from 7.30am ,  produced a Merlin flying/struggling  west (against a strong westerly wind) and 3 Balearic Shearwaters . Few birds overhead or around the reserve/car park area so up to the village where a fem/imm Black Redstart  showed well on Kittiwake Cottage. Next stop Pig's Nose valley where , at the bottom, a nice male Ring Ouzel flew from the ridge down onto gorse. Photos  to follow. An autumnal trio-not bad. 

Black Redstart, Prawle 17.10.13 Tony Marchese


Ring Ouzel, Prawle, 17/10.13 Tony Marchese


the Ouzel ( clearly a male) looked very silvery scaly akin alpestris sub?? any thoughts?


Posted October 17th, 2013 at 7:54 pm in Bird News



Some overnight rain, fresh SW wind easing through day. Cloudy and overcast, fog coming in late afternoon.

Grey Wagtail, 6 Wheatear, 2 Ring Ouzel ( singles Soar Mill Cove and Starehole ), Redwing, 4 Blackcap, 16 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrest and 5 Siskin. Also 1 Clouded Yellow.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 6:38 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

East Soar

Very quiet mid-morning highlights were Merlin over Starehole and 7 Siskins west.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 5:52 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Berry Head

07.45 - 10.30 with Jake Wood:  8 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 3 Chaffinch, 38 Meadow Pipit, 7 Alba Wagtail, 5 Greenfinch, 7 Skylark, 32 Goldfinch, 5 Bullfinch, 2 House Sparrow, 11 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Redwing, 4 Song Thrush and 3 Ring Ouzel in the main quarry.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 3:07 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Mansands & Scabbacombe Head

Early morning at Mansands saw 30+ Mallards, 45+ Teals, 17 Moorhens, 2 Water Rail, that were very vocal, 1 Grey Heron and 2 Snipe. About 12 Swallows flew up the valley and 11 Alba Wagtails flew overhead also 2 Siskins. There were 2 Grey Wagtails by the beach and 3 Blackcaps in the bushes by the hide. At Scabbacombe Head saw a calling Yellow-browed Warbler at 10.50am in the small woods on the lower coastal path towards Scabbacombe beach.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 2:58 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime in the hide today - I picked up the Marsh Harrier over the reeds at the right hand edge of the reserve at about 12.30. It slowly gained height until it was a tiny speck in the sky, soaring almost Buzzard-like in the clouds and was lost from sight over the hide. Otherwise very quiet over a low tide.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 2:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Froward Point and Old Mill Bay

08:10-12:00. Pretty much all the action in Old Mill Bay as the point was a bit blown out this morning. 1 very vocal Yellow-browed Warbler in the Sycamores at the bottom of the valley, eventually seen just before 9:00am but still calling at 10:53am. Also 1 Firecrest, 20+ Goldcrest, 10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Whitethroat, 10+ Blackcap, and male Merlin over. Just east of Eastern Black Rock a feeding frenzy around three fishing boats comprised c. 500 gulls, including 200+ Kittiwake, 2+ Balearic Shearwater and a Pom/Arctic Skua.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 12:54 pm in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A leisurely stroll around the southern part of the marsh mid morning revealed 1 wheatear at Turf but no other obvious migrants apart from 5 skylarks high over west. On the lagoon the only ducks were 3 tufted and 2 gadwall, also there 3 little grebe and 5 coot. Elsewhere on the wet flashes there were plenty of teal (c60 on the pool nearest the canal car park). As for waders nothing more exciting than 1 black-tailed godwit, 5 lapwing and 2 curlew. Amongst the large number of Canada geese were 1 barnacle and 5 greylag geese.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 12:32 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Around the Axe

Marsh Harrier on Colyford Marsh this morning (first seen yesterday evening) and Spotted Redshank still.  Also two Green Sands on Black Hole Marsh.

Axe Cliff this morning showed very little vis mig, but first Ring Ouzel of autumn for me with 10+ Song Thrush and a Redwing.

Yesterday sea watching showed two Arctic Skuas, a Balearic Shearwater and 7 Brent Geese. On the Estuary a near adult Yellow-legged Gull and two more Brent Geese.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 12:08 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Sth Milton Sands

from Wed eve 16/10

Med Gull, YLG, also Common Gull on the beach.  Arctic Skua Dk/ph Sth.

Posted October 17th, 2013 at 12:45 am by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Wednesday 16th October 2013


As usual in North Devon, not terribly exciting - on the pond early afternoon, 5 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon and a Tufted Duck. A large Tit flock in the reserve seemd to be mostly Great Tits! I've seen Dipper, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail in the river leading to the reserve in recent days.

Posted October 16th, 2013 at 9:35 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 1545 - 1730 - late whiz round again -1 white-fronted goose in the top fields (an Orcombe Point tick for me) was a very pleasant surprise. Also 2 snipe, c200+ linnet, 5 alba wagtail, 2 grey wagtail, 1 stonechat, 1 firecrest, 1 goldcrest and 2 chiffchaff.

white-fronted goose - age uncertain
white-fronted goose - age uncertain

jackdaw - pale collared bird?
jackdaw - pale collared bird?

Posted October 16th, 2013 at 7:15 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Around the exe

A look around dawlish warren this morning was very poor with only 5 redwing, 1 mistle thrush a couple of song thrush and a few skylark and meadow pipits what a difference a few miles make with all the fun being had at berry head. 

A few hours later and another good afternoon on Bowling green marsh from the hide with a Pectoral sandpiper showing well for 20 minutes from 15:15 before flying off towards exminster marshes were it was refound by Dave stone. The marsh harrier showed again briefley flying over towards darts farm, also 2 ruff, 3 spotted redshanks, 1 curlew sandpiper, 200+ dunlin, 20+ knot, 22 avocet, 2 whimbrel, good numbers of black tailed godwits, bar tailed godwits, redshank, 28+ lapwing, 12+ grey plover, 1 tufted duck, 1 pheasant, 4 shoveler. 

Posted October 16th, 2013 at 7:14 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Shoalstone Beach, Brixham

Before the weather cleared and prior to the fun at Berry head this morning, myself and Bill Mac seawatched from the shelter 0845hrs - 0945hrs. 4 dark phase Arctic Skua, 3 Great Skua, all close in. 2 Balearic Shearwaters a bit further out along with a Harbour Porpoise. 

Posted October 16th, 2013 at 4:56 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Berry Hd

What an incredible few hours arriving on site - I had just started to log hundreds of mostly Redwing but also many Song Thrush passing overhead when my telephone rang (just as 3 Ring Ouzel plummeted out of the sky and landed in asome blackthorn next to the Cafe), Josh was ringing to say he and BMc had just found a  Great Grey Shrike at the lighthouse, I arrived just in time to have a good look before it flew off low - not to be seen again! Totals were: 6,000+ Redwing, 220+ Song Thrush, 6 Ring Ouzel, 7 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 15 House Martin, 5 Swallows, 9 Skylark, 30 Meadow Pipits, 4 'alba' Wagtails. Around the rest of the headland: 2 Merlin, 6 Chiffchaff (including one non calling tristis type), 4 Goldcrest, 4 Stonechat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap.

The count of Redwing is very conservative there could have been up to 10,000 the large flocks were in 'layers' not only above the headland but also to the North and South as well.   

Posted October 16th, 2013 at 2:16 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Topsham Recreation Ground

Between 11:00 to 11:30ish the Marsh Harrier was hunting over the reedbeds, last seen drifting south west over Exminster Marshes. Some very dodgy photos (below) at least allow it to be aged as a juvenile. Also an adult Peregrine overhead giving the gulls a nervous morning.

Marsh Harrier juvenile - Topsham 16/10/2013
Marsh Harrier juvenile - Topsham 16/10/2013

Marsh Harrier juvenile - Topsham 16/10/2013
Marsh Harrier juvenile - Topsham 16/10/2013

Posted October 16th, 2013 at 1:24 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Berry Head

Live post on site. Just located a Great Grey Shrike at the point in bushes near to Lighthouse. Also masses of thrushes going over.

Posted October 16th, 2013 at 10:20 am by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Tuesday 15th October 2013

Marsh Harrier

As reported by Keith earlier there was a Marsh Harrier at Bowling Green this morning, frustratingly it was at the back but did eventually, after 50 minutes or so, fly up and over the hide, Here's two record shots just as it took to the air.

Just a record unfortunately.
Just a record unfortunately.

Again a record shot.
Again a record shot.

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 9:02 pm by Charlie Fleming in Bird News


A Firecrest was in the car park at lunchtime, at1300 Heather Woodland and Martin Unwin saw the Wryneck on the coast path towards Gammon Head near where Pat saw it yesterday. It was looked for through the afternoon without further sightings but a Ring Ouzel and Wheatear were in the same area.

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 8:46 pm in Bird News

R.Caen > Fishermens Huts

One juv Wheatear on the salting by the R.Caen & a further 3 on the fence posts alongside the footpath to the Fishermens huts.

1 Peregrine swooping in at the high tide roost.

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 6:42 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Teignmouth: Back Beach

Bonaparte's gull feeding off the fish quay at 17:10.

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 6:36 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched around topsham from 09:00 till 16:00

the highlight was the finding of the female marsh harrier again this morning just after 10:15 on  the edge of the reeds on the far side from the hide showing very well for at least 50 minutes. 

A grey seal was off the goat walk around lunch time. 

The high tide roost at bowling green marsh was cut short due to the contractor for the RSPB cutting the grass which caused havoc to the many  birds that had come in I  thought high tide roosts were not ment to be disturbed ??? . So no accurate counts could be done, birds seen included 1 curlew sandpiper among 200+ dunlin, 2 spotted redshanks(juvs), 1 golden plover, 18+ grey plover, 1 juv ruff(f), 35+ bar tailed godwits, excellent numbers of black tailed godwits, curlew and redshank, 7 avocet, 1 oystercatcher, 20+ knot, still good numbers of teal and 18+ little egrets, 2 Cetti's warblers. 


Posted October 15th, 2013 at 6:18 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

East to West Soar & Southdown Farm

A ring-ouzel free zone but a 6 hour day was saved by finding a new Yellow-browed Warbler in the valley scrub below Cathole Point and a Merlin hunting Soar Mill Valley. Good numbers of commoner species included 3 Sparrowhawk, 5 Kestrel, 16 Stock Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 355 Skylark - many moving east & many grounded, 40 Swallow, 193 Meadow Pipit - mostly moving east, 34 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 7 Blackcap, 38 Chiffchaff, 8 Goldcrest, 9 Long-tailed Tit, 23 Magpie, 114 Carrion Crow, 54 Goldfinch, 240 Linnet & 27 Cirl Bunting inc. a loose flock of 25.

Also 4 Fallow Deer included 2 mature stags ( one ran off ), 56 Red Admiral & a Wall Brown. 

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 5:22 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Berry Hd

0730-0930hrs: overhead migration interesting through variety rather than sheer numbers.. 2 Ring Ouzel, 2 Fieldfare, 16 Redwing, 4 Song Thrush, 3 Crossbill, 2 Lesser Redpoll (both landed at one stage), 6 Siskin, 4 House Sparrows, 19 Chaffinch, 43 Goldfinch, 9 Linnet, 3 Greenfinch, 1 Reed Bunting, 27 Skylark, 51 Meadow Pipit, 25 'alba' Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtail.

Very quiet around headland otherwise: 300+ Guillemots now on cliffs, 4 Chiffchaff,7 Goldcrest, 1 Blackcap, 1 Stonechat. ( Below: Poor picture of the Lesser Redpoll!) 

Lesser Redpoll Berry Hd 15 Oct 2013 ML

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 3:42 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Mudbank Lane, Exmouth

A female-type Marsh Harrier flew south close in to Mudbank Lane at 1340hrs, before gaining height and drifting higher over towards Cockwood.  

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 2:36 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Froward Point

08:00-10:45. 1 (silent) Yellow-browed Warbler in the bushes just west of the buildings at the point briefly at 8:40 this morning, along with a handful of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs. Little else of note.

Posted October 15th, 2013 at 12:20 pm in Bird News

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