Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th February 2013


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

Thursday 14th February 2013

Heathfield Waxwings

Did an early afternoon drive round of all the known/reported  Heathfield / Chudleigh Knighton / Bovey Tracey Waxwing haunts, could only find initially five birds on the A38 opposite Candy Tiles, the birds were again restless and soon moved off back towards Heathfield.

Located a short time later on the roofs and feeding in the rear garden of a property off Musket Road again soon moved off and returned to the A38 site.

Female Sparrow Hawk did a high fly over which alarmed the birds and they sat tight for a while before begining to feed on the central reservation berry shrubs, a further three birds joined this group just before 4pm.

More birders today than Waxwings, no sign of the 40 plus birds seen earlier in the week.

Posted February 14th, 2013 at 9:26 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Matford marsh

The Firecrest again showed very well from 14:10 till 14:45 by the bridge over the stream 

Posted February 14th, 2013 at 5:15 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

The highlights of a 5 hour watch on a falling tide were a Great Northern Diver & Slavonian Grebe off Gerston Point and a winter high of 22 Red-breasted Mergansers across the area.

Also: Shag 30, Little Egret 28, Brent Goose 110, Shelduck 110, Wigeon 336, Teal 63, Pintail 11, Grey Plover 8, Dunlin 180, Bar-tailed Godwit 27, Curlew 154, Redshank 96 & Greenshank 4.

Posted February 14th, 2013 at 4:59 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Fremington Creek

Spotted redshank still at main road end of Fremington Quay lane.  Seen close to at 1100 today, as tide was receding, feeding with redshanks, and greenshank. 

Posted February 14th, 2013 at 3:39 pm by Tony Brooking in Bird News


The Red-necked Grebe was still present lunchtime today toward the mussel farm, also 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 67 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 21 Common Scoter.

The Firecrest showed in top corner of 1st car park with 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest.

Posted February 14th, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bradiford reserve

Er largely under water this morning! Lots of rain and high tide has the valve shut under the Tarka Trail so all the run off just backs up! Lots of Teal showing, with several Mallard and Wigeon, about 40 skittish Curlews, mostly due to the presence of a female Peregrine, which was also trying to put up the Teal, which rather brightly stayed on the water!

Posted February 14th, 2013 at 10:25 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 13th February 2013

Kennick Reservoir

Jeremy Barker sent these pictures to me of a Ring-necked Duck at Kennick Reservoir it's been present since at least 3rd Feb and still there on 11th Feb.

Ring-necked Duck Kennick Res 11 Feb 2013 Ring-necked Duck Kennick Res 11 Feb 2013 b

Posted February 13th, 2013 at 3:49 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Heathfield Waxwings

An initial check at the school at Chudleigh Knighton and in the Bovey Tracy car park drew a blank. Checking Mole Valley Heathfield found a flock of between 20 & 30 in the tall trees opposite the juncrtion into Mole Valley, as I got out of the car another flock of some 12 / 15 birds arrived and they all moved off en masse towards the A38.

Located in the tall trees by the A38 almost above the big Tile Factory sign, 27 birds counted, they then flew across the frontage of Candy Tiles and image taken showing 48 birds in the air together, other images with 28 and 27 also taken. Birds not settling very long, for more than a few minutes, new groups arriving and they all lifted off to a new location, only to lift off again. Only seen to feed on the central reservation briefly.

Posted February 13th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Fremington Creek

Spotted Redshank still present this morning along with one Greenshank, and a Little Egret.

Posted February 13th, 2013 at 11:54 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

English Channel

Out on a fishing boat yesterday approx. 20nm SSE of Berry Head. A very cold murky day -  so not too good for taking photos. Attracted to the boat were: c80 Great Black-backs (the dominant gull), 8 Lesser Black-backs, c60 Kittiwakes and few Herring Gulls. Five Bonxies harried the gulls throughout the day. Always interesting looking at the Fulmars this time of year, in with c50 normal (light phase) were two 'dark phase' and one 'double light phase'. I think these dark phase Fulmars are cracking looking birds and Feb can be a good month before they move back north.

Fulmar (dark phase)Fulmar (dark phase)Fulmars (light and dark phase)Great Skua


Posted February 13th, 2013 at 11:48 am by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Another top day at the Ley. Torcross end. Twelve Goldeneye including 4 (M) displaying and three Black-necked Grebe all close to the shore. Slapton bridge end. on the reserve 1 Firecrest at the Quarry, The punk Tuffty X, and the male Scaup showing well from the viwing platform. The male Ring-necked Duck was close in below the toilet block at the middle car park. What a stunning bird.

David Turrell

Posted February 13th, 2013 at 10:36 am by David Turrell in Bird News

Tuesday 12th February 2013


Now 32 Waxwings early afternoon on the A38 at Heathfield, about 200 yards north of Candy Tiles, favouring a tall tree on the southern carriageway and regularly feeding in the central reservation. Interestingly at one point, half the flock flew across the road and dropped down onto the canvas roof of a parked lorry near the sewage works and were drinking water off the roof. No sign a few minutes later of any Waxwing at Chudleigh Knighton Primary School, where they had been seen again this morning, so presumably these sightings relate to the same flock.  Will be interesting to see if the 12 Waxwing in Bovey Tracey today are different birds or part of the main flock?

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 7:56 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Rose-coloured Starling

  It posed quite nicely low down for 2 minutes at 12 o'clock with Siskins for background amusement and a Snipe overhead. 32 Waxwings were still opposite Candy Tiles on the A38 until 3.:40 pm.  As I also saw the Long-tailed Duck at Bowling Green Marsh and the Smew on the marshes it was a good day!

Rose-coloured Starling
Rose-coloured Starling

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 6:30 pm in Bird News

Broadsands Part 2

Further to Mikes' posting, the Firecrest showed for about a minute between the car park and the marsh at 12.35.

At Goodrington; 3 Black necked grebes, 49 Great Cresterd Grebes, 18 Common Scoter, 1 Red Throated Diver and 1 Great Northern Diver. No sign of the Red necked grebe

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 6:19 pm in Bird News

Matford marsh

The Firecrest showed very well around the bridge over the stream from 14:30 till 15:45 also 27+ snipe, 5 tufted duck (4m,1f) good numbers of shoveler, little grebe, little egret, great spotted woodpecker.

The nearest pool to double locks  had 1 green sandpiper, 9 snipe and a kingfisher, 7 Bullfinch(4m, 3f)

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


13 Fulmars on the cliffs in the bay early afternoon.

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 5:24 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Around the Axe

Best of a few hours out this morning was a Brambling in Colyton with Chaffinches at the top of Coly Vale. 

Sea very quiet, just 7 Great Crested Grebes and a Red-throated Diver off Seaton this morning.

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 2:24 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Exminster Marshes - Exeter

Walked from Exminster to Exeter along canal this morning. Bird highlights included - redhead smew on one of the pools on the marshes WSW from canal-side car park, 25 grey plovers also near the car park (may be highest number I have recorded there), 15 golden plover, c500 lapwing (courtesy of low flying helicopter that flushed them), one redpoll, 2 ravens, c50 redwing (near Double Locks), 2 fieldfare, one kingfisher, 4 chiffchaff and water rail (one seen plus 4 heard).

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 2:01 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


On sea: 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 30+ Great Grested Grebes, 12 Common Scoter.

20 Cirl Buntings & 2 Reed Buntings on seed in 2nd car park. 1 Water Rail 1 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest in marsh. 

Posted February 12th, 2013 at 11:44 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 11th February 2013

Brixham Harbour

Watched from 1600hrs till last light, hundreds of gulls in the harbour but could not pick out anything white winged! 9 Purple Sandpipers were on the concrete structure off the breakwater. Found a Pied Wagtail roost in the harbour on a raft used to store crab pots. 20+ went in while I watched till last light. 

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 6:36 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News


At Broadsands/Elberry Cove this morning, 3 great northern divers, 1 black throated diver, 25 great crested grebes, 2 slavonian grebes, and the red necked grebe which stayed distant towards 7 Quarries. In Paignton harbour just after 2pm, 1 sanderling with 3 turnstone and an oystercatcher. The sanderling has been seen several times in the harbour over the past 8 days or so.

Slavonian Grebes off Chruston Point
Slavonian Grebes off Chruston Point

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Matford marsh


A quick look around matford marsh 14:30 till 15:30 produced a Firecrest by the bridge over the stream showing well with 2 goldcrests and a jay and a walk around the cycle path was rewarded with a fine male stonechat and 3 more goldcrests 

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Sightings over the w/end & today

Female Marsh Harrier ( confirmed with Perry S this is the Slapton bird ), 2 Great N Diver, 2 Red T Diver,  2 Great C Grebe, 3 Common Scoter

On the marshes- 100+ Teal, 80 Wigeon, 18 Shoveler, 5 Shelduck, 6 Gadwall, ad Med Gull, 1 Merlin,

100+ Snipe, Ruff.  3 lapwing. 1 Little Grebe

On the rocks 13 Ringed Plover, 4 Sanderling, 7 Turnstone

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 5:43 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

N Devon reserves

Spent a short time in Bradiford reserve this morning and after the work, looked around - Buzzard as Maurice mentioned, and about 45 Teal off the river, with 25+ Snipe also.

In Velator this afternoon, very quiet indeed so I looked in the Tawny Owl box again, and found yet another squirrel dray. As I evicted it TWO Squirrels burst out. hmmmm haven't seen any for quite some time so disappointed to find two in residence. I heard two Tawny Owls in the reserve before dawn as I opened the nets for a ringing session last Saturday, so disappointed they haven't a) moved in and b) dealt with the squirrels.

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 5:32 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Double Locks Wetland

Three Green Sandpipers on the northernmost pool this afternoon.

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 4:10 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand.

13:50 - 15:00

250 Dark-bellied Brent mid-river between Bradiford Res and Penhill.

27 Bar-tailed Godwit; 12 Sanderling; 2 flocks of Dunlin totalling c500; 4 Grey Plover; c2500 Lapwing; 12 Wigeon; 45 Golden Plover - many developing breeding plumage.

1 Buzzard in Bradiford Res.

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 3:43 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Seal sightings

A link to the forum re a seal group requesting sightings


Posted February 11th, 2013 at 12:56 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Sunday 10th February 2013

Roadford Reservoir

Two male Smew still present at Roadford today seen during WeBS count. First seen in Gadcombe inlet, then later one from the top end hide. (also 14 Shoveler, 10 Goldeneye, 2 male Goosander)

(Anthony John)

Posted February 10th, 2013 at 4:31 pm in Bird News

Exminster marshes

Visit between 12.00 and 13.00 and before the rain returned. Lots of birds well spread out including c400 brents, wigeon, shoveller, mallard, teal, gadwall (>10), c6 pintail, 10 tufted duck, 8 pochard and one redhead smew. The last 3 species on the lagoon.

Elsewhere little egret (7), golden plover, curlew and lapwing.

Chiffchaff (1), goldcrest (2) and Cettis warber (2) on canal bank.

Posted February 10th, 2013 at 2:39 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


5 Gadwall this morning on the pond, but more interesting were the two Spoonbill in the field between the pond and the reserve. Just sleeping!

Chiffchaff in the reserve.

Posted February 10th, 2013 at 2:32 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Waxwing. Around midday 13 birds sat in trees around Mole Vally Farmers. Nice close view from my car.

Posted February 10th, 2013 at 2:11 pm by David Turrell in Bird News

Glaucous Gull

  A surprise on Hooe lake [Plymouth] this morning was a massive white winger preening on the wreck along with a Great Black-backed and juvenile Herring Gulls. Glaucous - probably a second winter.  It only remained for a few minutes at 10 am when all the gulls suddenly lifted off, circled, giving great views, and disappeared SE - Wembury direction.  I have been looking at the lake for about 50 years on and off and that's the best bird I've ever found there!  Not having the camera with me was a shame though.

Posted February 10th, 2013 at 12:36 pm in Bird News


Broadsands: 2 Slavonian Grebes (Elberry end - close in), 4 Great Crested Grebes,1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 6 Common Scoter.

21 Cirl Buntings on seed &  2 Reed Bunting. in Marsh 2 collybita Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest 1 Firecrest.

Goodrington: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 11 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 14 Common Scoter. 

Preston: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 4 Great Northern Divers,10 Common Scoter, 1 Ad Mediterranean Gull (same as previous sighting - ringed).  

Posted February 10th, 2013 at 10:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


Yesterday (Saturday): 1 Water Rail at north end of flooded wood just north of Chelson Meadow.

Posted February 10th, 2013 at 12:33 am by Jason Smart in Bird News

Saturday 9th February 2013

Parakeets in Torrington

Two parakeets in a garden above the river cliff at Great Torrington for about ten minutes today. One feeding on a fat ball had a black bib, but no discernible ring around the neck. The other remained in the trees and was a more yellow-green colour. 

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 8:32 pm by Alan Williams in Bird News

Slapton Ley & Averton Gifford

A great day's birding with Messers Cox and Kemp. Agree with Perry, Slapton back to the good old days with plenty to look at. 

The female Ring-necked Duck showing on and off at the north end of Stokeley Bay and the 3 Black-necked Grebes nearby. The drake Ring-necked Duck and drake Scaup showing from Slapton Bridge and a Water Rail on view there. A Firecrest and plenty of Goldcrests plus a few Chiffchaffs in the "quarry" at Ireland Bay. Loads of commoner ducks including c90 Gadwalls and 16+ Goldeneys including a flock with drakes displaying. Also a pair of Great Crested Grebes displaying with the weed dance.

On the sea - 60+ Common Scoters, a Slavonian Grebe and 3 Great Northern Divers.

Four Water Pipits on Efford Marsh, Averton Gifford, plus 2 Common Sandpiers, on the way home. 

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 8:05 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Black Redstart at Exmouth

A male Black Redstart was flitting about between Windward Court & Leeward Court on the western edge of the docks development late morning. 

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 7:42 pm by Sue Murphy in Bird News


A single Spoonbill seen flying west over Velator.

We watched the Barn owl hunting over a period of half an hour from about 16:30

Barn owl at Velator
Barn owl at Velator

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 7:35 pm by Chris Triggs in Bird News

Around the Axe

Two male Ruff opposite Axmouth FC (Boshill Cross) this afternoon, with five Golden Plover on Bridge Marsh and two Bar-tailed Godwits on the Estuary.

No sign of the Sidford Waxwings early afternoon. And still none on patch!!!

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 7:23 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

River Taw (where A39 crosses just outside Barnstaple)

3 x Goosander. Just under bridge. Great views. 2 males and a female. 

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 6:21 pm by Tom Williams in Bird News


A mid afternoon visit finally produced views of the Red-necked Grebe, which has been elusive for the past couple of days since Mike's sighting. It was feeding off Elbury Cove , south towards Fishcombe, together with a Great Crested . Both were then nearly run down by a powerboat. . The Great Crested flew off  but the Red-necked was still there at 1600 when I left. Also 2 Black-necked Grebes off  Broadsands.

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 6:12 pm in Bird News

Bowling green marsh and exminster marsh

Bowling green marsh 07:45 till 09:30

the highlight was a female hen harrier flying over the marsh before dropping out of view onto the clyst at 08:14, 1 grey plover, 75+ avocet,  1 water rail, 250+ bar tailed godwits, good numbers of black tailed godwits, wigeon, 7 tufted duck, 6 pochard(3m,3f), 100+ dunlin and 170+ lapwing, and 30+ snipe, by the viewing platform great views of a very vocal Cetti's warbler and 2 chiffchaffs and the curlew sandpiper was on the clyst with dunlin 

Exminster marsh 10:30 till 12:30

on the lagoon good views of a female smew with pochards and tufted duck, around the marsh 4+ stonechat, 3 Cetti's warblers and 4 chiffchaffs, 120+ golden plover, the male Merlin was over towards the motorway bridge 

a good morning around the marshes 

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 2:49 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Slapton and Exminster

The male Ring-Necked Duck still showing really well this morning at the northern end of the lower ley, viewable from either the Bridge or by the toilet block in the Central car park. Also,the male Scaup slightly further down the lower ley,an adult Med Gull on the ley and 3 Black Necked Grebes on the ley distantly from the bridge.

On the way home, the redhead Smew (found early this morning) was still on the lagoon at Exminster early afternoon. and 100+Golden Pover off the middle car park

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 2:23 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


Approximately 8-10 Waxwings in the area of Higher Brook Meadow, Sidford, Near Sidmouth feeding off berries on a medium sized cotoneaster shrub. First noticed them at 9am. Still stripping the shrub now at 10:30!

Posted February 9th, 2013 at 10:43 am by David Williams in Bird News

Friday 8th February 2013

RSPB Avocet Cruise - Exe Estuary

Spent 3 enjoyable hours on a RSPB Avocet Cruise on the Exe Estuary today - loads of waders on the mud banks - Redshank, Oystercatchers, Turnstones, Curlew, Greenshank, Sanderling, Dunlin, Bar & Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank & Avocet; most in abundance. Various ducks & grebes on the water - Red-breasted Merganser, Slavonian Grebe, Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Shelduck, Mallard, Wigeon, Great-creasted Grebe & Long Tailed Duck. Also Golden & Grey Plover and two Peregrine sat on one of the sand-bars not far from a Grey Seal. All in all a great selection. 

Posted February 8th, 2013 at 9:30 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Chudleigh Knighton -Waxwings

I saw 21Waxwinginto the birch trees along the main road through Chudleigh Knighton this morning between 8.00 &9.30 this morning.Feeding on berries on the roadside, gradually moving towards the school

Posted February 8th, 2013 at 7:00 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in Bird News

Paignton to Totnes road

Barn owl flew over road about 06.15. first Bran Owl I have seen in this area.

Posted February 8th, 2013 at 6:18 pm by Roy williams in Bird News

Slapton Ley


Cracking days birding highlights being the 2 Ring-necked Ducks ( fem elusive, northern corner of Stokeley Bay viewed from the Stokeley hide, male Ireland Bay ), Scaup ( male Ireland Bay off the pillbox ), 3 Black-necked Grebes ( together Torcross ) and the Bittern which flew up from the flattened reeds by the gate opp The Quarry in Ireland Bay and landed in deeper reedbed. Also the Marsh Harrier showed several times and a couple adult Mediterranean Gulls present. 15 Goldeneyes at Torcross included 4 displaying males. Water Rails showing well at a few locations. Out in the bay 62 Common Scoter and a Great Northern Diver. Lots of wildfowl on the ley, Slapton really looks and feels like its former glory days at the moment....long may it last.


Posted February 8th, 2013 at 4:05 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Sea off Otterton Sewage Works

Seawatch 11.30.-13.30

43 Red Throated Divers(Record Count)

2 Black Throated Divers

35 Common Scoter

1 Great Crested Grebe

2 very active Guillemots

All birds feeding well ,no signs of any oiled birds

1 Harbour Porpoise

Posted February 8th, 2013 at 2:44 pm by Doug Cullen in Bird News

Ring-necked Parakeet Exeter

The lone Ring-necked Parakeet roaming Exeter was seen again this morning at Pensylvania. [James Chubb]

Posted February 8th, 2013 at 10:31 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News