Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st December 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


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

Saturday 21st December 2013


Early afternoon: 1 Red-necked Grebe (in Elberry Cove), 5 Black-necked Grebes, 9 Great Crested Grebes,11 Great Northern Divers (probably all additional to Dave's counts), 1 Black-throated Diver in Broadsands Bay (so different from Dave's bird), 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Razorbills & 2 Guillemots.

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs in Marsh with 1 collybita Chiffchaff.

Cattle Egret still on Playing fields at Clennon Valley late afternoon. 

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 4:19 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Mid morning as rain started to lift, two Great Northern Divers to the north of the harbour, from Zeneca.Shortly afterwards between Breakwater beach and Shoalstone, four Great Northerns close in at times, together with one Black-throated (photos to follow), plus an Eider. 

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 2:59 pm in Bird News

Roadford Lake

Two, maybe three, Great Northern Divers at Roadford lake this morning (from kayak)

Great Northern Diver
Great Northern Diver

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 2:05 pm by Rupert kirkwood in Bird News

Sherpa marsh

Doing a little tree trimming in the reserve and saw at least 2 (and possibly 3) MARSH HARRIERS over the reed-bed.

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 1:15 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Broadhempston - Friday

Jon Avon also reports that he received a call yesterday of a  single Glossy Ibis in a field near Broadhempston.

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 1:14 pm in Bird News

Stover today

Jon Avon reports:

9 Goosander (5males),
2 Pochard, 10 Coot, 5 Moorhen,
2 Kingfisher, Water Rail, 
10+ Snipe,
Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker,
SongThrush, 4 Marsh Tit. 12 Siskin,
Buzzard, Grey Wagtail.

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 1:11 pm in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Pt

No Scoters at Downend but 11 female Common Scoters + 1 Eider, 2 Kittiwakes & 8 Fulmars at Baggy Pt.

Also flock of 80 Black headed Gulls + 12 Common Gulls by treated sewage outfall & 1 Kestrel searching for prey.

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 1:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Clennon Valley

The Cattle Egret still showing around the playing fields until at least early afternoon. Not so many dogs in the pouring rain so the egret doesn't get as badly disturbed.

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 12:40 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


1st winter Glaucous Gull still on the Skern from 10:30 to 11:00.

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 12:23 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Fw glaucous gull from 09.15-10.00

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 am by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Clennon Valley

The Cattle Egret from 745am this morning and still currently showing well on playing fields with Black Headed Gull flock.

edit- it remained feeding well on the playing field till 830am then was flushed by a dog walker and flew to the eastern most pond where is showed well again in a tree at the west end till 845am at least.

Also 1 adult Med Gull on the playing field.

Posted December 21st, 2013 at 8:06 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Friday 20th December 2013

Roadford resevoir

Great Northern Diver photographed at Roadford Resevoir this morning.20th December.

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 9:46 pm by Adrian Davey in Bird News

Ring-necked Duck - Burrator

First found by Neil Trout on 14th and refound today by Roy McCarthy; seems to favour the Longstone side but often hidden under overhanging trees and seems to be mixed in with large group of Mallard.

Still present near dusk when 26 Goosander had arrived to roost and 5 Little Grebe still present.

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 9:40 pm in Bird News

Otter Estuary

Last few days around the Otter:
2 Siberian Chiffchaff in with at least 2+ Collybita about 200M North of South Farm Road on west side of valley frequenting wet ditches and brash piles. Birds have been calling and responding to song.
Thanks to Phil Bentley who initially reported 1 bird present since beginning of December

Much of the fields to the north of White Bridge are currently flooded and as a result are attracting quite a lot of wildfowl and gulls. Today 3 drake and 1 female Pintail (good for Otter) and 2 adult Med Gulls were the highlights other than one Sibe Chiffchaff above
Water Pipit yesterday DC on scrapes S of White Bridge

Siberian Chiffchaff by Chris Townend

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 7:09 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Clennon Valley

The Cattle Egret was back on the upper playing fields (western most) late this afternoon, also 1 Ad Mediterranean Gull. The egret did not show early morning as the fields were frosted, no gulls were feeding there either until late morning.

Jake Wood located the Cattle egret mid afternoon feeding in a cattle field near Stoke Gabriel.

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 5:16 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


2 Siberian Chiffchaffs in marsh & 1 collybita Chiffchaff.

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 2:03 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Clennon Cattle Egret

Appeared on the back fields at midday . However very skittish  with Jackdaws taking a dislike to it and eventually flew off although I was 60yds away. This time it disappeared over towards Sainsburys

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 1:32 pm by tim clyburn in Bird News

Nr Crediton - possible Cattle Egrets

Just had a call from a very reliable source; 2 possible Cattle Egrets in flooded fields seen from train 1-2 miles east of Crediton this morning. Can't make it myself but if anyone's nearby would definitely be worth a look.

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 12:22 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Thursday 19th December 2013

Goldcrest on Exminster Marsh

Rugularly a Goldcrest in the trees at the entrance to the main carpark at Exminster Marsh, today was no exception.

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 5:46 pm by Charlie Fleming in Bird News

Berry Head & Brixham

Berry Head, seawatch 0930-1130: south 3 Black-throated Divers, 6 Red-throated Divers, 5 Great Northern Divers otherwise little seabird passage. 10+ Harbour Porpoises off the head.

Brixham: 6 Great Northern Divers just outside the breakwater (so these will all be additional birds to ML's).Great Northern Divers

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 2:27 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


A sweep of the beaches produced:

Preston: 5 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Great Northern Divers, 21 Common Scoter and 45 Turnstone.

Goodrington: 18 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers.

Broadsands 1 Red-necked Grebe, 6 Black-necked Grebes, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Great Northern Divers, 2 Black-throated Divers, 1 Guillemot & 1 Little Egret.

Around marsh: 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 3 'collybita' Chiffchaffs and 10 Cirls and 1 Reed bunting on seed in 2nd car park.

On my return home at 1315hrs the Cattle egret was again on the upper Clennon Valley playing fields viewable from my front door step! it was flushed by several dogs and flew up the valley toward Paignton Zoo.

Video clip here: Click on photo

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 2:12 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Very brief visit this lunchtime - the Long-tailed Duck still present.

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 2:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Roadford Reservoir

Roadford Reservoir - Thursday 19th December.

1 Great Northern Diver, reported to me by the Ranger Paul Lott.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 2:03 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Cattle Egret back around playing fields and roosting in trees on bottom (Eastern) pond. Yellow-browed Warbler in usual place with two Siberian Chiffchaffs this morning. Also 1 Little Egret, 1 Ad Mediterranean Gull, 16 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 5 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Water Rail and 3 Little Grebes  

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 11:12 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Barn Owls

Not exactly the bird news we are used to reading on this blog, but I urge all readers to look at this press release from the Barn Owl Trust:

The winter of 2013/2014 and the 2014 breeding season are obviously going to be critically important times for the UK Barn Owl population.

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 8:14 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Wednesday 18th December 2013

Sitwell st, Exeter

17 Redwing feeding in the Holly tree next to savers.

Posted December 18th, 2013 at 11:52 pm by Jason smith in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake 08:30 – 10:07  Very wet and windy.

20 Goosander 11m 9f, 23 Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Heron, 2 G.C. Grebe, 10 Mallard, 2 Coot, 3 Teal, 1 Wren, 1 Kingfisher, 1 G.S. Woodpecker.

Posted December 18th, 2013 at 5:30 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


Too wet and windy to walk out around Elberry Headland but 1 calling Great Northern Diver in the bay and a single Black-necked Grebe with 2 Great Crested Grebes. 10+ Gannets feeding just off shore.

Sunday 15 Dec: An egret with a yellow bill was seen flying W past Brixham on the Torbay boat trip last Sunday, after I received a call while I was on Elberry Headland I waited to see what was told  to be a large egret flying my way. When it didn't turn up I scanned the cliffs and found a distant white 'blob' in the misty rain sat on the cliffs Seven Quarries. The egret I could see was small, certainly not the Great White I was expecting. After straining my eyes for several minutes I decided it was just a Little Egret but called back to the boat crew describing where the egret was - how I wished I had waited for the weather to clear now! The boat crew failed to get good views on their return. This was the best photograph Chris Proctor managed to get from the boat -

Egret Species Seven Quarries Brixham 15 Dec 2013 CJP

perhaps it was the Cattle Egret or maybe a snowman!  Photo Chris Proctor.

Posted December 18th, 2013 at 1:02 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 17th December 2013

Northam Burrows

Lovely day's birding, numerous lapwing, redshank, curlew on the marshes. Lots of pied wagtails on the stones with close veiws of curlews on the golf course. Highlights were six stonechats, two pairs plus two single males plus one Snow Bunting by the pool. Nice end to the day with three or four thousand starlings going to roost under Bideford old bridge.

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 9:41 pm by Andrew P Gooch in Bird News

Brixham breakwater

7 purple sandpipers feeding with turnstones seen on Brixham breakwater at 4pm today

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 8:08 pm by Liz Harris in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

3 Black-throated Diver showing well from the beach at lunchtime. 1 very close

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 7:00 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News


Have any of you ever tried doing this with your feet in the sea or swimming baths?

12 female Common Scoters at Baggy Point.

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 6:39 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

South Brent

 Three Siskins on the feeders at home this morning, having lived here for five years and only ever seen two previously seen a couple of years apart to see three was a real bonus, one cock bird and two hens, late rin the day a very vocal and singing Song Thrush arrived first one that I have seen here since the summer, the day was capped off with a Treecreeper only the second one seen here in five years.

Lots of Redwings, Starling,Greenfinch and Goldfinch present over the last few days

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 6:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Yellow-browed Warbler still present 200m W of YMCA in Sallows over stream, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 6 Goldcrests, 1 Mandarin Duck, 5 Snipe, 2 Teal, 1 Little Egret, 15 Tufted Ducks, 3 Shoveler.

Siberian Chiffchaff video:

Yesterday: 1 Cattle Egret on bottom E most field, unfortunately not there this morning!  

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 3:14 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

River Caen/ River Taw

1145-1430hrs   The only raptor seen today was the female MARSH HARRIER sat on the top of a bush on Sherpa marsh viewed for 15 mins. The sandbanks of the Taw held 3000+ Lapwing 3000+ Golden plover good numbers of Curlew and Widgeon. 2 Kingfisher on the Caen.

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 3:12 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Long-tailed Duck and female Red-breasted Merganser still from the hide this lunchtime until about 1.30. Increased number of Pintail today with at least 15 males and 5 females. Quick look from the new cycle path at Goosemoor saw 2 Water Rails showing well in the open from the last viewing point before the bridge. I was told there were 5 there earlier.

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 2:06 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

East Soar

A search for wintering passerines turned up just 16 cirl buntings but also firecrest at the wetland, female merlin & female sparrowhawk.

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 12:05 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Monday 16th December 2013

Smithincote, Uffculme

An unusually large group of about 16 Little Egret was seen on Friday 13th Dec and this increased to 20 birds counted and photographed on Sunday.   Today the count was twenty-four, possibly one or two more.
They are in the same field as last year almost exactly a year later.  This is a water meadow between the River Culm and a mill leat, flooded last year, but just wet now.
We regularly see Little Egret on this stretch of the river between Uffculme and Culmstock, but only as singles or pairs. They are more common in winter. These large groups have been seen during or after spells of bad weather -- particularly high winds.
Distant record shot of some of the birds.  Chris & Sue Longworth
L Egrets Uffculme 14.12.13 C Longworth

Posted December 16th, 2013 at 11:21 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Long-tailed Duck still from the hide this lunchtime until about 1.40. Otherwise all the usual stuff, including at least 3 male Pintail.

Posted December 16th, 2013 at 2:17 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


200+ skylark

100 chaffinch

Posted December 16th, 2013 at 2:10 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Sunday 15th December 2013

Torbay boat trip

The morning's boat trip in wet conditions from Paignton to Brixham and back again. 3 black throated divers (Churston), 2 black necked grebe (Broadsands), 8 great crested grebe, 3 teal (Churston), 2 purple sandpiper & 4 turnstone (Brixham breakwater) plus a fair few gannets and kittiwakes sheltering in the bay. 1 seal just outside Brixham harbour. Next trip is 29th December, phone Nigel Smallbones on 07866 202576 to book.

Black throated divers
Black throated divers

Black throated diver
Black throated diver

Black necked grebe
Black necked grebe

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 4:51 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

beesands and Slapton

New hide at Slapton useful in view of weather.  Male goldeneye and 3 females with the tufties, 20+ pochard, gadwall, 2 shoveler,2 great crested grebes.

Good view of bittern at Beesands also 2pairs gadwall

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 2:58 pm by lesley goonesekera in Bird News

Black-throated Diver

It was hideous weather but a morning  out of Paignton on the Dart Princess was productive the highlight being a these 3 Black-throated Diver just off Broadsands. 

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 1:50 pm by Charlie Fleming in Bird News


On the sea: 3 Black-throated Divers out from Elberry Cove, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 25 Gannets feeding close inshore, also 1 Grey Seal.

Around the marsh,  2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 1 'collybita' chiffchaff, 8 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park. 

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 1:38 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

10:30 - 12:00 Very wet and windy.

1 G.S Woodpecker, 25 Tufted, 1 Grey Heron, 13 Goosander 10m 3f, 4 Snipe, 2 G.C. Grebe,1 Gadwall.

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 1:20 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


Broadsands 11:45-12:30

2 Black-throated Divers off shore towards Elbery Cove, also 3 Black-necked Grebes and 5 Great-crested Grebes.

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 12:51 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Chivenor to Bradiford Reserve - Taw Estuary

There were 44 rod & line fishermen on the foreshore at low tide this morning on the north side of the Taw Estuary from the North Gut at Chivenor to Bradiford Reserve.

No birds were able to feed on the muddy margins along this stretch of several miles.

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 12:39 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Braunton Marsh

Out early this morning before the rain closed in.

Cracking close up view of the Marsh Harrier on the Marsh.

Gadwell, Shoveler Tufted and Wigeon on Wrafton Pond.

Posted December 15th, 2013 at 9:49 am by Andy Leat in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News