Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th February 2013

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If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Thursday 7th February 2013

Powderham & Bowling Green Marsh

The Spotted Redshank was with Greenshanks and Redshanks off Powderham this morning and the Curlew Sandpiper was with Dunlin on the rising tide at BGM this afternoon.

Posted February 7th, 2013 at 10:03 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Although cloudy lack of wind ensured a flat sea which meant Divers and Auks could be picked up- 3 Red -throated, 1 Great Northern , also 100+ Auks , of the c60 feeding in the bay only 1 was a Guillemot.

5 Common Scoter flew east . On the rocks 3 Sanderling, 8 Turnstone .

Duck numbers reducing on the marshes - totals from both were - 100 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 14 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall. also 35 Snipe, 30 Redwing and a Grey Wagtail.

A Black Redstart in a local garden yesterday

Posted February 7th, 2013 at 5:16 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Wembury Point

  In the rain late afternoon I at last found a Water Pipit with the assorted Rock and Meadow types.  Also 3 Stonechats, a Chiffchaff and 8 Turnstones.  Good numbers of Fulmars around the Mewstone.

Posted February 7th, 2013 at 5:03 pm in Bird News

Brixham Breakwatewr & Berry Head

2 Great Northern Divers together off the breakwater plus 24 Razorbills. 10 Purple Sandpipers & 2 Turnstones on the breakwater at low tide.

At Berry Head 1000+ Guillemots on the cliffs & sea appeared to be ok and not contaminated by that engine resin. Good news indeed!

Posted February 7th, 2013 at 3:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Just got home from Broadsands to find this female Black Redstart in my garden!

Black Redstart Clennon Vallet 7th Feb 2013ML

Posted February 7th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


1 Red-necked Grebe in close to Elberry Headland also 1 Black-necked Grebe, 30 Common Scoter, 11 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers.

27 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park plus 3 Reed Buntings. In marsh 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest & 1 Goldcrest.

Red-necked Grebe Broadsands 7 Feb 2013 ML Cirl Buntings 14 Broadsands 7 Feb 2013 ML                                       

Photos: Red-necked Grebe and 14 of the Cirl Buntings together - couldn't fit the others in! 

Posted February 7th, 2013 at 2:58 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Exmouth yesterday, a Chiffchaff feeding around bushes at mudbank.

Posted February 7th, 2013 at 7:43 am by bill gibbs in Bird News

Wednesday 6th February 2013

Slapton Ley

Additional to birds already posted, the ring-necked duck showed well at the north end of the ley around lunchtime feeding near the drake scaup, and a hybrid Aythya was at Torcross late afternoon - looked like tufted x red crested pochard.

Ring-necked duck
Ring-necked duck

Duck goldeneye
Duck goldeneye

Punk Aythya hybrid
Punk Aythya hybrid

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 10:28 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Caspian Gull, Topsham Recreation Ground, Monday

Really sorry for the delay (and the lousy photo). This 1st cycle Caspian Gull was at Topsham Rec. for a few minutes only mid morning Monday. Looked for it since but no sign.

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 8:12 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A bright sunny day but a strong biting northerly wind made birding difficult. Although not using the airfield, plenty of golden plover around as witnessed by 200+ flying NE. Skylarks around 30 and a scattering of Meadow Pipits.

Fieldfares at just over 50 were well down on the 585 of three days ago but a few more Redwings (c40). The Little Owl was showing well in its normal place.

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 7:55 pm in Bird News

Dawlish Warren Knot

[this is the image at 1000 pixels; previous email with text when with larger image]

First winter Knot at Dawlish Warren
First winter Knot at Dawlish Warren

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 6:15 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Dawlish Warren Knot

A Knot feeding near the Visitor Centre gave exceptionally good views this afternoon, walking to within a metre or two of me as it fed in and around the puddles along the main track to the Centre. I've seen the occasional tame juvenile in early autumn, but this bird provided a great opportunity to look closely at its plumage. The pale edgings to the coverts, some retaining a dark terminal or subterminal marking, indicate that this a first winter bird. Presumably the same bird was photographed feeding a puddles in nearby Greenland Lake on 26 January (  The tertials on the left wing are a bit 'lose', otherwise it seems in good condition and fly well only when chased by a dog!

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 6:12 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Heathfield Waxwings

There were 22 Waxwings along the A38 by Candy Tiles this afternoon. Although they were all initially in a birch tree some way back from the road, they finally flew to feed on the central reservation - but as soon as they had grabbed a berry or hip, they flew up into a large ash on the opposite side of the road.

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


2 drake Smew this afternoon in front of viaduct hide.

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 3:55 pm by barry albrighton in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Popular venue today, a UK first for me with a sighting of a hen Marsh Harrier that flew down the length of the ley towards Tor Cross, Golden Eye at both ends of the Ley mostly the Tor Cross end in the bay from the corner to the far hide. Well over 100 Gadwall, large number of Tufted Duck, small numbers of both Widgeon and Shoveller. Scaup pointed out by another birder who found it mixed in with the Tufted Duck

Male Sparrow hawk in trees by the far hide

11 Little Grebe, single Great Crested Grebes dotted all around the ley. All the usualy residents on show.

I have never seen so many birds on the ley during previous visits nor the number of species on show, Kestrel and Raven seen on the approach to Slapton


Posted February 6th, 2013 at 3:30 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Three black-necked grebes together on ley at Torcross. Also female scaup & 8 goldeneye here. Another female type scaup at north end.

Other selected peak counts on the ley 10 great-crested grebe, 8 little grebe, 138 gadwall, 270 tufted, 41 pochard, a single male shoveler & 193 coot. Ring-necked ducks not obvious but didn't look too hard. Singing Cetti's warbler!

Offshore: red-throated diver, 58 common scoter, gannet & 2 razorbill.

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 3:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


2 Water Pipit today far end of marsh, Please use path to right.


Posted February 6th, 2013 at 2:47 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News


Still around 10 Waxwings feeding in the central reservation of the A38 yesterday afternoon, opposite Candy Tiles. They happened to be flying across the road to the trees by the old landfill site when I drove past. [Jeremy Barker]

Posted February 6th, 2013 at 8:42 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Tuesday 5th February 2013


Not much change recently, 13 Wigeon and 9 Gadwall on Wrafton pond this afternoon, and more of the Black-headed Gulls coming into summer plumage. In the reserve 3 Canada Geese (first this year) already pospecting? Sadly the island is still under water, so I dug a channel to try to drop the water level! Even in this cold and wind a Chiffchaff foraging.

Posted February 5th, 2013 at 7:21 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Highlight of the morning at 07.50 a 1st winter Bewick's Swan flew onto T'stone Marsh - spooked by the resident Mute's it then flew off west ( could not be relocated on the Avon ) Increase in duck no's-

60 Teal, 25 Wigeon, 24 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall.

On South h Marsh - 100+ Wigeon, 50 Teal, 9 Gadwall, 15 Snipe, 4 Lapwing, and best views so far of the Ruff ( now present for 10 days )

Seawatching produced a Red T Diver ( on sea ) 78 Kittiwake , 10 Gannet , 7 Fulmar and a few Auks .

On the rocks 7 Turnstone

Posted February 5th, 2013 at 6:22 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


One Firecrest this morning in trees just west of sewage works. Also three Chiffs (one grey one) and lots of the usual tits and Goldcrests.

Posted February 5th, 2013 at 2:42 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Monday 4th February 2013

nr. Loddiswell

At least 60 Ravens flying above the woods at Topsham Bridge ( c 2kms northeast of Loddiswell ) this morning.

Posted February 4th, 2013 at 7:35 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Fremington Pill

George Mudford took this flight shot of the Spotted Redshank

in Fremington Pill last Friday.

Posted February 4th, 2013 at 6:35 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Aveton Gifford Marsh

Rather strong cool wind and very little in the way of small bird species to be seen, count of 33 Mute Swans on the river, 2 Greenshank, small number of Redshank a couple of Dunlin and a few Curlew seen, more Curlew could be heard calling from further down river.

On the marsh a pair of Egyptian Geese, several Shelduck and Raven overhead. A single Water Rail seen in the leat alongside the marsh, very secretive went into cover and not seen again

Lots of Pied wagtails over 30 counted at one point but constant arrival and movement of birds made it difficult to count further, Wagtails were very aggresive towards the small number of Meadow Pipit present constantly chasing them away.

Pair of Stonechat on the way out seen almost constantly as they moved along the fence line ahead of us.

Posted February 4th, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Kingsbridge estuary (Town to New Bridge)

Little Egret feeding by tourist office very aggressive driving off both ducks and gulls, odd Redshank close to the quay. A couple of Black-headed Gulls with almost black heads

Estuary at New Bridge significant numbers of Shelduck and Redshank, pair of Red-breasted Merganser, small number of Widgeon, Oystercatcher, numerous Curlew, on a dropping tide the estuary was busy with a good number of birds generally.

Posted February 4th, 2013 at 5:58 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Collaton St Mary ~ Paignton ~ 02/02/2013

A break of daylight  walk on a friends farm at Collaton St Mary, Paignton on the 2nd Feb, 33 species identified, highlights included brief sighting of a sulking Water Rail, Little Grebe, Merlin, Barn owl (3).

Also seen on the ground was a fully mature cock Reeves pheasant.

Good number of Bullfinch, 3 tail chasing Wrens, Heron, Raven, Buzzard, Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tits seen amongst the 33 species identified. Does not include calling Green Woodpecker which was heard but not seen.

Posted February 4th, 2013 at 5:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton Ley & Staverton

07:20 – 10:20. The female Marsh Harrier was briefly over the reeds at the back of Ireland Bay shortly after arrival. The drake Ring-necked Duck and drake Scaup showed well at the northern end of the Lower Ley. 57 Common Scoters and singles of Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern and Red-throated Diver were offshore from the memorial car park.

At the Torcross end, two Black-necked Grebes still and 10 Goldeneyes including four drakes displaying. At around 09:45 a Bittern flew in and crash-landed into reeds after being mobbed by gulls.

A brief walk along the River Dart at Staverton late morning produced two Dippers, two Kingfishers and a pair of Goosanders.

Posted February 4th, 2013 at 2:52 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Sunday 3rd February 2013

bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 09:15 till 12:35

The curlew sandpiper again showed well at times in front of the hide less numbers today with the lower tide  but still 500+ dunlin, 600+ black tailed godwits, 250+ bar tailed godwits,4 grey plover, 5+ knot, 1 greenshank, 5+ pintail(3m,2f), 3 tufted duck(2m,1f) a female sparrowhawk was very active around the marsh , 2 raven, 24+ snipe, 2 cetti's warblers.

Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 9:19 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Hayes Barton - c400+ herring gull, c5/600+ black-headed gull, 2 mediterranean gull, 3+ yellowhammer, 1+ reed bunting, 22+ stock dove, 6 red-legged partridge and 10 common buzzard. The buzzards are usually sat in the field opposite the pig farm entrance and include a striking pale bird (pictured).

Shelly Beach - 2/3  - male black redstart showing well still around the apartments. Also 12+ goldeneye.

black redstart
black redstart

pale common buzzard
pale common buzzard

Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 7:14 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


 Weather poor but birds good.  Both Ring-necked Ducks showed well, the male and the male Scaup often together; the female still minding her own business at the Torcross end.  A Med Gull was on the Ley as were the Black-necked Grebes and in the bay were some 50 Scoter, 3 Great Northern Divers and a Slavonian Grebe. A Bittern showed really well in classic pose near the bridge.


Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 6:31 pm in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Waders on the rocks at 12.00 were 4 Purple Sandpiper ( highest count for 2 years ) and 3 Sanderling . Nothing offshore.

Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 5:44 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Torbay boat trip 8.30-11 am

Very dull weather with a bit of drizzle, but good nonetheless. 1 great northern diver, 6 great crested grebes, 1 red necked grebe, 22 common scoter, 1 flyover shelduck, 8 purple sandpiper, 6 turnstone, hundreds of guillemots, 20+ razorbill, gannets and fulmars common. We picked up a bottle nosed dolphin which followed us all the way out to Berry Head and back to Brixham, occasionally splashing us as it played by the boat.

Common scoters off Paignton
Common scoters off Paignton

Red necked grebe, central Torbay
Red necked grebe, central Torbay

Bottle nosed dolphin off Berry Head
Bottle nosed dolphin off Berry Head

Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 5:36 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Paul Kemp reports Ring-necked Duck and Scaup (both drakes)  at Slapton bridge today.

Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 5:32 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Plym Estuary

86 Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 38 Curlew, 3 Wigeon (one male) on the high tide on marsh.

Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 3:52 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News


41 Great Crested Grebes (>Goodrington) 26 Common Scoter (split up in several groups). 15 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 2 Reed Buntings. in marsh area 1 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest 2 collybita Chiffchaffs.

Posted February 3rd, 2013 at 10:09 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 2nd February 2013

Axe Estuary

Ringtail Hen Harrier hunting the northern half of the estuary and marshes late afternoon.

Just a single Golden Plover still with the Lapwings first thing this morning. Cold weather-wise, they think it's all over...

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 10:19 pm in Bird News

Winter thrushes

Highlight of a long walk from Crediton back to Exeter was gathering of about 150 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing, 300 Starling in pasture, and 12 Skylark in kale field, near to Newton St Cyres rail station. A further 70 odd Fieldfare in a stubble field gouged out by flood waters from the River Creedy.

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 10:18 pm by Simon M Bates in Bird News


Near East Youlestone farm, 1700-1800 hours.

Outrageous numbers of starlings going to their roost site.

3 bonus woodcock in same area. 

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 10:18 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 08:05 till 12:15

A beautiful morning on the marsh after checking all the groups of dunlin finally located the Curlew sandpiper in front of the hide it quickly flew out of sight but soon returned giving great views to all in the hide, final count of dunlin was 710+ a new high count for me on the marsh, other counts were 1000+ black tailed godwits, 275+ bar tailed godwits, 356+ avocet, 200+ redshank,1 grey plover, 50+ snipe, 3 gadwall, 3 tufted duck(2m,1f), 7 pintail(3m,4f),450+ wigeon, 1 water rail, 1 kingfisher, 3 jay, 21+ redwing , 3 song thrush, 1 mistle thrush , 3 little grebes, peregrine and sparrowhawk, 2 buzzards, 20+ moorhen, 150+ teal, 1 common gull.

From topsham quay while waiting for the bus scanned the river and found the female long tailed duck down river towards turf.

A quick look around the  river by the mill on the exe pub in Exeter produced 2 grey wagtail and great views of a dipper and 5+ common gulls

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 9:17 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Slapton Ley

further post:

Firecrest 'Quarry' Ireland Bay with Goldcrest and single Chiff.  2 Blk Necked grebe Torcross on Ley, GN Diver and 66 Comm Scoter Start Bay

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 8:33 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Fremington Pill

The Spotted Red was still there this morning but the rising tide drove it to roost on the railings with 75 Common Redshank, 2 Greenshank and 1 Common Sandpiper. In the seaweed there were 9 Snipe. Also present was 1 Little Egret.
The highlight for me was 10 Shelduck squabbling over partners in mid stream.
Pics taken with a 600mm Astroscope used as a prime lens plus a 1.4x tc (a poor man's 600mm lens).

Little Egret
Little Egret



Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 6:08 pm by Roy Churchill in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Whilst driving next to the Lower Ley this afternoon had a great view of a Bittern flying over the reeds. Also on the Ley Pochard, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck.

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 6:02 pm by Charlie Imms in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Shooting at the far end of T'stone Marsh from first light resulted in duck flying off or relocating to the frontpool- 50 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler.

At South Milton Ley -10+ Chiffchaff  Water Rail,  Cettis Warbler.

On South Huish marsh - 105 wigeon, 100+ Teal, 12 Shoveler, 11 Gadwall, 5 Snipe, 3 Lapwing.

Offshore a Great N Diver flew east.

AJL did the high tide wader count which produced - 1 Purple Sandpiper ( first of the winter ) 14 Ringed Plover, 7 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling.

At West Buckland 5 Siskin feeding in the Alders.

Although outside the patch a visit to Topsham Bridge  3 Marsh Tit and a Nuthatch on local garden feeders by the river

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

River Dart

A few walks along different sections of the riverbank north of Dartington today,  not much on the water but heavy use by canoeists may have flushed off Goosanders etc. One drake Goosander and 2 Dippers , plus 10+ Muscovy Ducks,  near the old bridge south of Dartbridge Inn. Also lots of Muscovies near the steam rail station. At Staverton weir another Dipper.

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 5:06 pm in Bird News

Hope's Nose

12.00 - 3.15. 2 purple sandpiper on edge of rocks with a small flock of turnstones. An imm. male common scoter flew in and fed inshore to south of the sewer for a while. Not much out to sea, just a few feeding gannets and guillemots.

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 4:52 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Baggy Point

Walking out to the Point this morning a Kingfisher called &

was seen searching for food in the clear water of the rockpools

where the silt in suspension had settled out.

19 Common Scoters & 1 female Eider still present.

A conspiracy of 28 Ravens circling the fields above Baggy Point & 9 more joining the flock later.

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 1:53 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank feeding at Fremington Pill Sat 02/02/2013

Just after high tide 10.00-11.00am

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 12:45 pm by Rob Cleversley in Bird News

Berry Head

Had an early morning walk around Berry Head, not much about but good to see 3 Ravens up by the Northern Fort. Some Gannets passing by, lets hope it will be better for boat trip in the morning. 

Best thing was 850+ Guillemots on the seabird colony, all ledges full and 90% were in breeding plumage. So are the birds being affected from northern colonys using this sea area or other local small colonys?

Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 12:32 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Friday 1st February 2013

Fremington Pill (again)

As Rob says, some great views of the Spotted Red as well as Grenshank in very close proximity. Not great light for photography but here are a couple more snaps to go with Rob's fine picture.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank


Posted February 1st, 2013 at 2:43 pm in Bird News

Countess Wear

Brief lunchtime vist produced 1 Green Sandpiper on the Northern most pool at Double Locks Wetland at about 1.20pm. The areas around the viewing screens are very muddy - you will need wellies!

Posted February 1st, 2013 at 2:04 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Spotted Redshank showing well this morning.

George Mudford arrived with his big lens at exactly the same time as me again so I am hoping he has captured some excellent

shots as well. Also Roy Churchill who arrived later with his Astroscope - Happy Birthday Roy!

Posted February 1st, 2013 at 1:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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