Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th October 2013


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

Monday 14th October 2013

South Milton Ley

Message from Bob Burridge to say he flushed the Corncrake again ( last seen 6th Oct ) at 17:00 today.

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 7:20 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


At least 12 wheatears in a freshly tilled field above the cliffs this afternoon with large numbers of Martins hawking over the coatal fringe as well. Large Linnet flock at the Scabbacombe Carpark with 8 skylark'

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 7:15 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News


08:30-17:00, Furzedown/Warren/BHead/S'hole/ESoaretc

Overnight rain eased by mid morning, Cloudy day, M NW wind.

2 Merlin ( 1 attacking Skylark mid Soar joined by a Kestrel ), Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Short-eared Owl ( fairly new but headless body picked up on airfield ), Grey Wagtail, 9 Wheatear, 15 Ring Ouzel ( 6 on undercliff south end of Warren, 9 Starehole Valley ), 16 Blackcap, Garden Warbler, 24 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest and 6 Siskin. Bumped into Alan Doidge who saw a living Short-eared Owl at mid Soar late afternoon.

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 7:12 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Around topsham

watched from 09:00 till 17:00

The star bird of the day was a female marsh harrier twice this afternoon over the marsh at 13:40 and then again at 16:14 causing havoc amongst the roosting waders giving fantastic views and my first on the marsh. 

5+ curlew sandpipers among 170+ dunlin, 23+ knot, 3 juv spotted redshanks, 3 juv ruff(2m,1f), 900+ black tailed godwits, 70+ bar tailed godwits, 12+ avocet including one coloured ringed will send of details, 1 golden plover, 20+ grey plover, 1 whimbrel, among 400+ curlew, 22+ little egrets, 240+ redshanks, 6+ greenshanks, 1 pintail, 4 shoveler, 85+ wigeon, 115+ teal, 26+ long tailed tits, 5+ water rail ( 2 from hide, 3 from viewing platform), 3 Cetti's warblers , 10+ goldcrests , 6+ chiffchaffs, 2 nuthatch and my first mistle thrush of the autumn, 1 jay, 2 great spotted woodpecker, 1 green woodpecker. 

From the viewing platform this morning 26+ grey plover.

from the goat walk this morning 527+ dunlin, 1 grey wagtail and 1 common sandpiper this afternoon. 

Another good day around the marsh. 


Posted October 14th, 2013 at 7:06 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


George Mudford sent me these 2 photos of Snipe to post on the blog.

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 3:48 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Teignmouth 07:45-08:30: The adult Bonaparte's Gull was showing well again on groynes north of the pier. Also two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Grey Seal in the estuary mouth.

The Ness to Bundle Head 08:45-11:00: 2 Firecrest (The Ness), 7 Goldcrest, 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 5 Song Thrush, 30 Swallow, c10 Meadow Pipit, 8 Skylark, 2 Siskin

Fields/pond south of Bishopsteignton 11:15-12:30: 4 Teal, 15 Little Egret, 30+ Meadow Pipit, 9 Skylark, 2 Blackcap, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting

Passage House 14:30-15:00: 4 Greenshank, 6 Swallow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Kingfisher

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 3:24 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Berry Hd

0730-0945Hrs: 1 (new) Yellow-browed Warbler moving up the road into the quarry before being lost then (presumably the same bird) with a tit flock in the quarry 1hr later only seen briefly on both occasions. Also around site 30+ Chiffchaffs, 7 Goldcrests, 8 Blackcaps, 1 Wheatear, 1 Coal Tit, 3 Stonechat.

Flying over: 1 Tree Pipit, 29 Meadow Pipits, 6 'alba' Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 9 Song Thrush,  5 Chaffinch, 11 Skylark, 8 Swallows, 7 Siskin, 7 Linnet, 2 Greenfinch & 1 Merlin. 


Posted October 14th, 2013 at 1:13 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand.


Lapwing 18; Bar-tailed Godwit 7; c70 Dunlin; Little Stint 2 juveniles; Black-tailed Godwit 3; Golden Plover 22 off Penhill; Little Egret 9 at Ashford Strand and still at least 36 Pintail at Bassett's Ridge.

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 12:27 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Chelston - Torquay

A Redstart in the garden at 8am this morning.

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 9:02 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Sunday 13th October 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:45 till 15:15

Spent the day between the hide and the viewing platform and helped out with the WEBS count, day started with a nice nuthatch showing well on the walk down to the marsh and adult sparrowhawk attacked the birds around the feeders at the hide but failed 2 chiffchaff in hedges, from the viewing platform 4 juv curlew sandpiper with 15+ snipe ,70+ skylark and a possible woodlark all over going north east and 12+ redwing over. Started WEBS count at tremletts only birds of note 12+ meadow pipits , on walk down to hide at bowling green marsh my first 3 goldcrests of the autumn. 

From the hide 11:50 till 12:50, 3 of the curlew sandpipers came in with 80+ dunlin, 3 spotted redshanks, 24+ knot, 600+ black tailed godwits, 226+ teal , 80+ wigeon, 3 shoveler, 1 pintail, 10+ lapwing, 12+ greenshanks, 18+ bar tailed godwits, 23+ little egrets, the first golden plover of the autumn was a nice find. 

Another look at the viewing platform 12:55 till 13:40

11 avocet, 16+ grey plover, 32+ bar tailed godwits, 77+ dunlin, 2 oystercatcher, with more redshank and black tailed godwits 

Finished with quick look back at the hide only additional bird was a second golden plover. 


Posted October 13th, 2013 at 9:22 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Duck Pond & Mudbank Exmouth

11:30 high water Saturday morning

3000+ Wigeon

50+ Pintail

1000+ Brent Geese

A real Autumn site worth a visit...

Posted October 13th, 2013 at 8:38 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Prawle Sightings

Highlight today was a Short-Eared Owl that flew over the hump and then out to sea west at 9.25am.Otherwise ,as Perry indicated, far fewer birds migrating overhead though 2 Reed Buntings dropping into a hedge on the hump was a pleasant surprise. 

Other recent visits : on 7 Oct seawatch produced 16 Balearic Shearwaters west , 2 Bonxies and 1 Pom Skua plus I caught up with 'Pat's' Firecrest briefly. 

On 9 October with Pat viz mig saw in addition (minimum ): 320 meadow pipits,240 Alba Wags (mainly pied),94 Skylarks. Also 1 Firecrest, 1 Yellow wagtail,7 Wheatear, 1 GS Woodpecker and my first 3 Long Tailed Tits this autumn.

Photo of the Firecrest to follow ( as best I've taken to date)


Posted October 13th, 2013 at 8:37 pm in Bird News

Start Point to Maelcombe house

2 Yellow-browed Warblers (Perry's bird at Start Farm) and another 200m East of Maelcombe House in a sycamore copse beside coastal footpath with 8-10 Chiffchaff 2 Blackcap & 4 Goldcrest.

Betwwen Start and Lannacombe 180+ Swallows, 13 Chiffchaff, 8 Goldcrest, 11 Stonechat. 


Posted October 13th, 2013 at 7:46 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Isley Marsh

Had a call from Malcolm Shakespeare who had a Rose-Coloured Starling (juvenile) at Isley Marsh at 14.00 today and a Marsh Harrier yesterday

Posted October 13th, 2013 at 5:30 pm by David & Gillian Churchill in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A totally miserable cold and wet morning. 4 Wheatears still, 18 Golden Plover going west, 2 Snipe, 40+ Meadow Pipits and 15 Stock Doves. Winter thrushes noticeable by their absence, despite good numbers elsewhere.

Posted October 13th, 2013 at 5:04 pm in Bird News


Just done the October WeBS count for Beesands Ley, Grey Heron, 67 Canada Geese, 3 Mallard and 3 Moorhen. Not looking good for the coming winter.

Posted October 13th, 2013 at 4:34 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Berry Head

Berry Head this morning with Bob Bailey. 

3 sparrowhawks, merlin, 1 great-spotted woodpecker, 25+ swallows, 1 house martin, 32 skylarks, 2 siskin, 9 chaffinch, 2 bullfinch, a flock of about 20 goldfinches, 10 'alba' wagtails, 1 grey wagtail, 6 redwing, 2 fieldfares, 1 fly over ring ouzel, 6 goldcrest and about 10 chiffchaff. 

Posted October 13th, 2013 at 3:50 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Plymouth area

Took a walk around Staddon Heights in very mild and calm conditions. Good number of Song Thrushes (21) but otherwise little of note; 6 Siskins over, just 2 Blackcaps and 1 Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Goldcrests and a glimpse of a Stoat.

Better luck at the Plym and Saltram with a male Ring Ouzel which flew from bushes by the Ride towards Chelson Meadow (I couldn't relocate it) - a long-awaited Plymouth tick for me! On the pool, Little Egrets stable at 16, and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits lingering but only 40 Curlews. The Redshanks (95) on the estuary wall were joined by slight increases in Dunlins (8) and Greenshanks (5). Also a Wheater, 3+ Goldcrests and a Harris Hawk x Buzzard hybrid.  

Posted October 13th, 2013 at 2:55 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Start Point

07:00-09:30. Grey, cloudy morning, mod N-NE wind.

No decent visible migration to speak of, few hirundines through and maybe a dozen Siskins. Couple of Redwings calling around the car park first light. Elsewhere couple Chiffchaffs at the light. Around the farm were a couple Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs and the mornings highlight, a Yellow-browed Warbler around the farm entrance for a few minutes, showed well but did not call.

Posted October 13th, 2013 at 12:01 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Saturday 12th October 2013


Seawatching today produced singles of Balearic Shearwater, Puffin and Great Skua, 8 Pintail, 10 Common Scoter, 3 Med Gulls, 3 Common Gulls, 312 Gannets and 174 Razorbill/Guillemot. Also 4 Geese arrived from the south, before turning west. Later, what I presume were 2 of the same passed east. All the while they were very distant, and in bright light, and I can do no better than 'goose sp'. Also 1 Merlin in off the sea, and a Wheatear present.

Recent news (highlights); 11/10. Jack Snipe, in off the sea, Grey Plover, Merlin, 54 Redwing, 9 Siskin, Reed Bunting.   10/10. Jack Snipe, in off the sea, 5 Barnacle Geese (west past the point), Wryneck (Gammon Head), 11 Wheatear, 2 Reed Bunting, 58 Blackcap.   9/10. Merlin, 230 Swallow, Garden Warbler, 45 Chiffchaff, Firecrest, 23 Siskin.   7/10. Hobby, Common Sandpiper, Whinchat, Reed Warbler, 46 Chiffchaff, 13 Goldcrest, Firecrest.

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 9:21 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News


Marsh harrier over reed beds north of recreational playing fields at 8am. Female / imm

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 9:00 pm by Martin Elcoatem in Bird News


 On a cold, damp, misty morning there were lots of Redwings - 80 at Two Bridges, 120+ at Burrator and small flocks elsewhere.  Several Goldcrests at both sites, a lonely Green Woodpecker far out on the moor and 40 Golden Plover in flight near Princetown.

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 6:25 pm in Bird News


Watched from 09:00 till 15:30

a quiet morning with nothing of note in the hedges around bowling green marsh, so watched from the hide 10:30 till 14:00, still 3 juv curlew sandpipers in with 76+ dunlin, my highest count of the autumn for black tailed godwits an impressive 1047+, 36+ bar tailed godwits, 20 avocets, 6 greenshanks, 2 snipe, 14+ knot, 12+ grey plover, an increase in teal numbers to 317+, 145+ wigeon, 2 shoveler, 1 pintail(f) briefley, 1 female juv ruff, 1 jay, 1 kingfisher, 18+ little egret, 2 grey heron,1 1st winter common gull. 

From the viewing platform 14:05 till 15:00 

another avocet joined the 20 from the marsh, 1 adult Mediterranean gull, 3 common gull, 2 chiffchaffs. 

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 6:21 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Orcombe Point - very cold and unpleasant this morning but much more settled late this afternoon - c50+ linnet, 20+ alba wagtail, 1 snipe, 2+ grey wagtail, 1 late yellow wagtail, 1 mistle thrush and 1 goldcrest.

Mudbank - c60+ dunlin, c10+ ringed plover, 6+ bar-tailed godwit, 2 grey plover, 14+ turnstone, 1 black-tailed godwit, 1 sanderling and 18 redshank. Also 2 pale-bellied brent goose amongst huge numbers of wildfowl.

Woodbury Common - an afternoon walk with the dog was uncharacteristically productive with 5+ ring ouzel (almost certainly 6), 1+ lesser redpoll, c10+ meadow pipit, 3+ reed bunting, 1 goldcrest and 1 grey wagtail.

ring ouzel - there were 5 in this birch seconds earlier!
ring ouzel - there were 5 in this birch seconds earlier!

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 6:19 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Erme Estuary

Afternoon walk after rain had clear and wind had dropped. 50+ Swallows and 10 House Martins is all I could muster. 

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 5:21 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Start Point

07.00 to 15.00. Blown out at the light and farm first thing but Mattiscombe sheltered. Heavy shower late morning then the wind gradually dropped and the sun started to emerge: Merlin (fem. seen 4x hunting the area), Common Snipe (2), Commic Tern (3 NE early on), Swallow (2), Wheatear (1 juv.), Fieldfare (1), Redwing (14), Grasshopper Warbler (1 v. elusive above Mattiscombe Beach took me 40 minutes to nail), Blackcap (2), Chiffchaff (30+), Goldcrest (12), Firecrest (1 at N. end of farm at 14.00), Siskin (3) 

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 4:42 pm by Steve Young in Bird News


Battled against strong NE wind then heavy rain before finer conditions, with very little to show for it.

First Redwings of my autumn (3), 4 Song Thrushes, 16 Chiffchaffs, 2 Snipe, Siskin, 3 Blackcaps, 7 Goldcrests, Wheatear, c35 Swallows and a party of c15 House Martins battling their way east. 

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 3:34 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Hd

Top of headland 'blown out' today even overhead migration minimal but I did see my first Redwings of the autumn on site - 17 in three flocks also 12 Song Thrush overhead. In more sheltered areas (not many!) 1 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff and 6 more Song Thrush there seemed to be good numbers of Robins around today too.

First returning Guillemots back on cliffs this morning a couple of small groups totalling 27. 

Posted October 12th, 2013 at 11:38 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 11th October 2013


200 - 300 Redwing flying over Berrynarbor  and 100 flying over the fields above Hele, nr Ilfracombe this morning.  More than 200 flying over the garden again this afternoon.

Posted October 11th, 2013 at 8:34 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News


08:30-17:00; Furzedown/ SM Cove/ Warren/ E.Soar/ Starehole/ Bolt Head and back.

Tough going in a fresh N - NE  wind but there was shelter in some parts of Starehole and Soar Mill but few birds. Visibility was outstanding at times and mid afternoon could easily make out The Lizard way beyond Dodman Point from the Warren.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Collared Dove, 28 Swallow, 62 House Martin, 6 Wheatear, 6 Redwing, 7 Blackcap, 14 Chiffchaff, 12 Goldcrest and 3 Siskin.

Posted October 11th, 2013 at 7:06 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News



16.15 Flock of 40+ fieldfares over village

Posted October 11th, 2013 at 4:29 pm by John heath in Bird News


Saw my first flock of the autumn on the main road near Simonsbath on Exmoor today .

Posted October 11th, 2013 at 3:27 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Thursday 10th October 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:45 till 11:30

A drop in numbers over night but still a good morning, 3 spotted redshanks, with only 7 greenshanks, 3 juv curlew sandpipers, 25+ knot, 4 juv ruff, 1 whimbrel, 1 turnstone, 600+ black tailed godwits, 40+ bar tailed godwits, 2 pintail, still good numbers of wigeon and teal, 2 shoveler, 1 green sandpiper, 5 avocet, steady passage of meadow pipits and skylarks with a few swallows. A quick look from the viewing platform first thing produced 14 grey plover, 2 water rail, and the first Siskin and redpoll flying over of the autumn. 

Posted October 10th, 2013 at 7:44 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide produced 2 Spotted Redshanks and 4 Avocet as the highlights. A brief visit to the platform saw 2 Curlew Sandpipers until about 1.40.

Posted October 10th, 2013 at 2:02 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Start Point

0730 - 1100 Hard work at times in the wind, unable to hear many birds passing high overhead so plenty went unidentified.

Good numbers of migrants around the farm. HIghlight was a Firecrest, also 3 Goldcrest, 40+ Chiff Chaff, 15+ Blackcap, 2 Song Thrush.

Quiet around the Point, another Chiff Chaff, 2 Wheatears, 3 Robins and Stone Chat. The Tamarisks were blown out and only held a Dunnock, a Wren and a Great Tit.

Constant overhead stream of Meadow Pipits (1000+) and at least 1 Tree Pipit, Alba Wagtails (200+) and Swallows (300+). Hundreds of grounded Meadow Pipits and Alba Wags all over the Point and fields around the farm.

Plenty of butterflies in the sheltered sunny spots. 2 Clouded Yellow, 7 Small Copper, 3 Wall Brown and 40+ Red Admiral.

Posted October 10th, 2013 at 12:07 pm by Richard Berridge in Bird News

Wednesday 9th October 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 07:35 till 11:50

The 4 spotted redshank showed well among 47+ greenshanks, 4 curlew sandpiper, 23+ knot, 100+ dunlin, 53+ bar tailed godwits, 1 ruff (juv m), 3+ whimbrel, 340+ curlew, 850+ bar tailed godwits, 350+ wigeon teal numbers fallen to 150+, 38+ little egrets, 1 pintail.

a quick look from the viewing platform produced 3 ruff( 2m, 1f juvs) and 13+ grey plover 


Posted October 9th, 2013 at 7:25 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Hobby hunting over the lagoon at 4.20pm, watched for around 10 minutes until it flew down the canal and across the River Exe towards Topsham

Posted October 9th, 2013 at 6:47 pm by Tony Dudley-Clarke in Bird News

Late news of two "megas" from Lundy...

In the last few minutes I have just learnt of two mega-rarities (in Devon terms) that were trapped, ringed and photographed on Lundy recently: a Booted Warbler on 1st and a Blyth's Reed Warbler on 3rd (followed by Wryneck on 4th and Common Rosefinches on 4th & 5th)!! I believe that the Blyth's Reed Warbler is a first for Devon, if accepted. Both the Blyth's Reed and the Booted would certainly be firsts for Lundy. More information and photos to follow in due course I hope.

Posted October 9th, 2013 at 5:34 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News


Out from 0745 with Steve Cox - East Soar in the morning and Bolberry in the afternoon. Fine conditions early on.

The obligatory Yellow-browed Warblers - one called about a dozen times in the copse but didn't reveal itself and the other with a small flock of Chiffchaffs in Tor wood.

Still quite good numbers of Chiffchaffs (50) and Blackcaps (46 - all but 1 on east side). A Merlin perched in the copse and ringtail Hen Harrier over Bolberry. Also: Alba Wagtail 60+ (appeared to be all Pieds); Meadow Pipit 110+; Whitethroat 2; Wheatear 5; Swallow c15; Siskin 5; Whinchat 3; and a Hare.

Posted October 9th, 2013 at 5:08 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Two Hobbies (a juv and later an adult) in early afternoon. Also at least 3 Wheatears.

Posted October 9th, 2013 at 5:01 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Distinct change in the weather with a strong northerly wind bringing the temperature way down. Little of note other than 6 Wheatears and the first Lapwings of the autumn, 3 birds.

Posted October 9th, 2013 at 3:18 pm in Bird News

R.Caen, Horsey Island, Braunton Marshes

I have noticed a big difference in the behaviour of waders,wildfowl & gulls in these areas since the shooting season started. The birds are very nervous indeed, easily disturbed even at distance, & terrified of man because they think they are going to be shot at.

I do wish this barbaric activity was outlawed once & for all.

Posted October 9th, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Tuesday 8th October 2013


A very enjoyable couple of hours birding with Josh Marshall around Soar 9.30 - 2.00pm.

Hundreds of Skylark and Meadow Pipits in the fields surrounding the carpark, circling birds made any accurate count impossible, also 10 Wheatear, 3 Whinchat, Cirl Bunting and 4 House Sparrow.

In the meadow behind the farm numerous feeding alba wagtail 60+, in Starehole Valley 10 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest and 4 Stock Dove overhead. Also around the site GS Woodpecker, 4 Swallow, 14 Stonechat, 4 Kestrel, Merlin, 2 Sparrowhawk, Raven & Buzzard.

Small flocks of finches included 6 Chaffinch, 30+ Goldfinch, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Yellowhammer, 60+ Linnet. Also 24 Starling, Green Woodpecker and of course Yellow-browed Warbler still in the sycamores adjacent to "The Olde Cottage" in the lane down towards the hotel.

Posted October 8th, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

As astonishing 2200 Herring Gulls at mid pm roost!

Posted October 8th, 2013 at 5:09 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Brief visit to the platform this lunchtime until about 1.40. 3 Curlew Sandpipers showing well.

Posted October 8th, 2013 at 2:02 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

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