Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st January 2014

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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

Tuesday 21st January 2014

2 spoonbills in Totnes

I saw two spoonbills flying across kevicc at around 8:40 in the morning.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 9:12 pm by Martin Rey in Bird News

Clennon Valley

The Glossy Ibis present on the playing fields with a large gathering of corvids and gulls in the gloom till 4.37pm when it flew up the valley towards Paignton Zoo presumably to roost.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 7:37 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Broadsands And Clennon Valley

Broadsands am: 10 Cirl Buntings 4 Reed Buntings, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 2 collybita Chiffchaffs. A Glossy Ibis was reported to the Herald Express Newspaper latewr in the morning on the fields near the Beach Hut.

Clennon Valley: 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs.Caught up with the Glossy Ibis late afternoon after first watching it from my house - well done Tim!

Click on picture below for link to video:


Posted January 21st, 2014 at 7:14 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

South Efford

Glossy Ibis still present near entrance to South Efford Marsh this afternoon.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Very quick visit to the hide today. Good numbers of Wigeon and Shoveler again and at least 1 male Pintail.

The female Pochard with the green 'ring' on its bill that has been reported before is still there. It seems to be annoyed by it and seemed to be trying to wash it off in the water. There are 2 digits on the ring but it was impossible to read with the bird shaking its head and I gave up when it started diving. It would be interesting to know where this bird was ringed so perhaps if someone gets better views they will be able to read it.

2 Avocets were on Goosemoor with the usual 2 Bar-headed Geese in with the Canadas.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Clennon Glossy Ibis

After a fruitless search for the YBW walking back accross the football fields a Glossy Ibis was feeding with the crows and jackdaws. It took off, gave a great flyby and appeared to land in the driving range. There may be 2 as "another" was in the air towards the ZOO a very short time later

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 1:29 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Monday 20th Sampford Peverel

I went for a walk on a beautiful sunny afternoon along the Bank of Grand Western canal . Amongst the usual suspects was an unusual pattered Buzzard, 2 fighting Kingfishers and flock after flock of Fieldfares and Redwings in the hundreds and also good flocks of migratatory male Blackbirds.

My highlight was a group of 8 Lesser Redpolls including males, females and first winter young.

Lesser Redpoll 1
Lesser Redpoll 1

Lesser Redpoll 2
Lesser Redpoll 2

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 12:19 pm by Peter Richardson in Bird News

Dawlish Warren, yesterday

A couple of photos from Dawlish Warren yesterday afternoon, on the beach around groynes 10 and 11. A great northern diver was fishing in the channel nearby.

Long tailed duck
Long tailed duck

Bonaparte's gull
Bonaparte's gull

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 11:30 am by Chris Proctor in Bird News


Divers generally continue to decrease after the storms . Still 3 Black-throated Divers by end of breakwater. Off AstraZeneca still a single Black Guillemot, and the other Black Guillemot off Shoalstone where there were 3 Great Northern Divers. Checked from the Quarry and seawatch point for the White-billed Diver but unable to locate it (I didn't see it yesterday either), just a single Great Northern . Worth continuing to check the area in case it comes back in during worse weather, but beware one or two  pale Great Northern which have been around recently.

Posted January 21st, 2014 at 11:28 am in Bird News

Monday 20th January 2014

Bowling Green Marsh and Darts Farm

Bowling Green Marsh Plenty of Wigeon on the Marsh this afternoon with good numbers of Shoveler, Curlew, Teal, Tufted Duck,  with several Greylag and Pochard on show. 3 x Snipe tucked in the reeds near the road. Avocets, Grey Plover, Redshank, Dunlin and Turnstone on view from the the platform and Goat Walk.

Darts Farm  700+ Brent Geese, 50+ Canada and with them Bar-Headed Geese to give a splash of colour on the flood plain. 

On the feeder Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and a Reed Bunting.


Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 6:51 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News


Ringing at the reserve today, and good views south towards Sherpa Marsh of a female Marsh Harrier flushing birds out of the reed-bed.

It was Bullfinch central in the reserve - details on the forum.

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 6:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Aveton and Wembury Point

 To add to the birds at South Efford Marsh the Green Sandpiper was on the northern section along with 2 Water Pipits.                   

At Wembury at 4 pm a large gull shining in the evening sunshine on the furthest out rocks at low tide was an adult Glaucous which appeared to be pretty much in summer plumage.  It was washed off and disappeared round the back of the Mewstone.  Never close enough for good pics.

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 6:04 pm in Bird News

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford

A very productive mid morning visit to South Huish Marsh with Keith Male, Keith spotted the Glossy Ibis almost immeadiatly just inside the entrance to the marsh on the pasture field just inside the main gate, a total of 34 species identified including a brief view of a Water Rail, female Stonechats, Common Sandpipers, Greenshank, a mature male Blackbird with a very dark brown beak, a count of 24 Curlew, Grey Wagtail, almost constant Chiffchaff movement most counted at one time being seven, large numbers of Mute Swan present good numbers of which were constantly taking to the air and coming back onto the river. The new hide is of very high standard and will be a real bonus to the site.

Fox spotted to round off the visit


Posted January 20th, 2014 at 5:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford

The Glossy Ibis showing very well this morning just inside the entrance to the marsh

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 5:18 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Highlights were black-necked grebe & great northern diver, both off Gerston Point. A good range of other species included 9 little grebe, 137 brent geese, 134 shelduck, 660 wigeon, 4 shoveler, 31 pintail, 18 red-breasted merganser, 17 golden plover, 5 grey plover, 320 dunlin, 222 curlew, 14 bar-tailed godwit, 54 redshank, 44 common gull and a prob.sinensis cormorant

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 4:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Averton Gifford

From tidal road, 3 common sandpiper, 2 green shank, 2 redshank and Glossy Ibis still on the marsh

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 4:32 pm by lesley Goonesekera in Bird News

North Devon, River Taw at Pottington

Female Goldeneye x 1, LIttle Grebe x1, Grey Plover x1 and Female Sparrowhawk plus two male Bullfinch, all seen in area adjacent to RGB warehouse. This was shortly after high tide at 1015hrs

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 3:56 pm by Steve Burtnyk in Bird News

Topsham Recreation Ground

The Black Redstart showing well again until about 1.30 today at least. Also 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

brixham purple sandpiper

just a photo of one of 12 + purple sandpipers off the breakwater yesterday 

Purple Sandpiper


Posted January 20th, 2014 at 8:43 am by martin cox in Bird News

Totnes riverbank Sunday midday

Walked from the weir down to Vire Island. Not very high numbers of duck, maybe because of recent high flood levels, but also some disturbance by canoeists. Male and female Goosander, two Teal and 2 Kingfishers.

Posted January 20th, 2014 at 8:34 am in Bird News

Sunday 19th January 2014

Torbay boat trip 9-11am

Trip from Paignton to Berry Head, then back via Brixham harbour, Broadsands and Goodrington. 17+ great northern divers, 3 black throated divers (Brixham harbour), 27+ great crested grebes, 1 small grebe sp., 7 herons, 12+ fulmars back on breeding cliffs, 3 purple sandpiper, 1 sinensis cormorant (7 Quarries), 7-800 guillemots (Berry Head), many razorbill, 2 black guillemot (Battery Gardens, Brixham), 10 grey seal, 3 porpoises. Next trip Sunday 26th January, phone Nigel Smallbones on 07866 202576 to book.

Black guillemots, off Battery Gardens, Brixham
Black guillemots, off Battery Gardens, Brixham

Sinensis (upper) and carbo cormorants, 7 Quarries.
Sinensis (upper) and carbo cormorants, 7 Quarries.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Ringed Avocet, Bowling Green Marsh

Further to Keith's post regarding the ringed Avocet: I too saw a ringed Avocet a couple of weeks back and sent the details EUring. I also noted the same bird in December  2013 adjacent to Turf Locks pub. I've just received the details for  the bird which is colour ringed as follows:

Left tibia:  Red over blue

Right tibia: Green over white

The email I received from the ringer stated: 

"it was ringed as a pullus - one of a brood of three, on Greenabella Marsh, Seal Sands, Cleveland on 5th July 2012.

It's excellent news that it is still doing well and I look forward to further sightings of this bird".

I took a note of two ringed Blackwits which when I receive a reply will post here for info.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 8:57 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Ideford Common

13.00.  My three year old son and I inadvertently flushed 6 Snipe from a very wet and boggy area of heather and gorse.  Very quiet otherwise (apart from off road motorbikes!) in strong but welcome sunshine.  3 Ravens and a Meadow Pipit over the Common itself.  Feeders around main car park busy with Siskins, Redpoll calling, large mixed Tit flock, Nuthatch and GS Woodpecker. 

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 8:42 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Burrator Reservoir

1 female ring necked duck seen today along shoreline, diving regularly and skulking amongst overhanging tree branches, on opposite side of reservoir from Longstone Plantation.

Also 1 male teal, 1 little grebe, 1 male and 3 redhead goosander, a Muscovy duck, 26 Canada geese, 2 white feral geese, 1 cormorant and mallards.

Coal, blue and great tits and nuthatches showing well around the car park at the north end, feeding on seed put down by photographers.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 7:14 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Brixham area

Black Guillemot off the Environmental Laboratory with 3 or 4 Black-throated Divers first thing, before walking to Berry Head. A good dozen Great Northern Divers and a Slavonian Grebe en-route but failed to find the White-billed Diver at the headland.

Later, hearing reports of the White-billed off Broadsands, we paid a visit there, where it was pointed out to us by some birders, but unfortuntely the bird was a Great Northern - one of 3 there.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:38 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Enjoyable birding today in perfect viewing conditions:

Adult Iceland Gull in Ireland Bay amongst the gull flock. Nice views of a Bittern flying over the Higher Ley, landed in reeds near the bridge. Also 3 Black-necked grebes, a good count of 24 Little Grebes, 2 Mediteranean Gulls (Ad,1W). Good numbers of duck including 5 Goldeneye. GN Diver and RT Diver on the sea.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:38 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Bowling green marsh to exeter

Bowling green marsh from the hide 09:30 till 11:40

the 1w male long tailed duck showed well at times, 183+ bar tailed godwits, 212+ avocet( 2 with coloured rings), 650+ black tailed godwits( 7 coloured ringed), 90+ dunlin, 3 lapwing, 110+ redshank, 80+ shoveler, 6+ tufted duck, 5+ pochard, 11+ pintail, 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 buzzards, 3 song thrush, 1 water rail, 480+ wigeon 120+ teal, 2 snipe.

then watched from the viewing platform, 1 knot, 63+ grey plover, 12+ common gulls, 3 red breasted mergansers. 

next to the goatwalk the spotted redshank was on the far side, also 30+ grey plover.

after a quick coffee in topsham a quick look at topsham rec from 13:30 till 14:15 produced 1 common sandpiper, 1 water pipit and the black redstart, 2 water rail, 1 grey wagtail, 4 common gull.

then walked from countess wear to exeter along the river, 2 green sandpiper, 26 redwing, 6 snipe , 1 little egret on pool nearest to double locks pub, then along river, 2 sparrowhawk, 2 raven, 4 little egrets, 7+ bullfinch, 2 kingfishers. 

Saturday 18th , after the heavy rain took a walk from salmons pool to the mill on the exe, 3 kingfishers, 2 dippers, 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk, 7+ bullfinch, 2 marsh tits, 2 treecreepers, 1 nuthatch. 


Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:32 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Upper Tamar Lake

Upper Tamar Lake 08:30 ( The Goosanders were moving between Upper and Lower Lake this morning)


C30 Goosander 18m 12f, c100 Canada Geese, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Stonechat 1m 1f, 3 Tufted Duck 2m 1f.


Lower Lake,

Not much since the heavy rain on Friday/Saturday, 5 G.C. Grebe, 2 Wigeon.


Posted January 19th, 2014 at 6:13 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Baggy Point etc

A walk out to the point this afternoon and was rewarded with 2 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Divers. A few Fulmars also about.

Ringed a female Blackcap in  my garden this morning.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 5:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

Quick look over the breakwater. Black Guillemot present off Shoalstone Beach. 8 Great Northern Diver also

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 4:36 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Sharpitor,South of Salcombe

3 Firecrests on edge of Fir Woods. Also 77 Shags out in the bay - good count for this area.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 3:51 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Roadford Lake

Two Gt. Northern Divers near east side of lake at mouth of Headson inlet (from kayak)

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by Rupert kirkwood in Bird News


One male and two red-head Goosander on river Teign at Chagford.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 1:56 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Berry Head

White-billed Diver, still present feeding directly out from and close (50m) to the end of the headland, seen from the top of the headland but not viewable from the seawatch point today (strangely it was also reported on Birdguides as off Broadsands around the same time midday!!). Seemed to be catching mostly small crabs. Also several Great Northern Divers off the quarry side. Lots of auks (100's) and four Harbour Porpoise feeding out in Lyme Bay.

White-billed Diver, from top of Berry Head 11:05, 19th Jan

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 1:48 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh ; 09:00-12:15, falling tide.

3 Great Northern Divers ( 1 Saltstone / Lincombe, 2 together off Rowden Pt. ), 7 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe ( Saltstone ), 131 Brent Geese, 12 Pintail, Tufted Duck, 5 Red-breasted Merganser ( displaying ), 2 Rock Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff ( sewage works ) & 3 Cirl Bunting ( 2 singing ).

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 1:09 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Broadsands on sea: 51 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 6 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver.

32 Cirl Buntings and 9 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park. 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 2 collybita Chiffchaffs in Marsh.

Paignton/ Preston: 40+ Common Scoter, 1 Great Northern Diver 

Yesterday: hundreds of Auks and 150+ Gannets feeding in the tide race off Start Point.

Cattle Egret was present in 2 fields up (NW) from Yalberton Road/ Stoke Road junction with cattle (the only field with cattle in in area) - very difficult to see from any road unless the cattle and egret are lower down the field.

Posted January 19th, 2014 at 10:46 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 18th January 2014

Otter Estuary

The only bird of note today was the Wigeon X Teal Hybrid (first seen Wednesday) and back for its 4th consecutive year. Photo from 2012:

Wigeon X Teal Hybrid, Otter Estuary 2012 by Chris Townend

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 8:29 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Brixham and Broadsands

With Jonathan down from Sussex for the weekend, spent the day around Brixham and Broadsands.

Brixham harbour: 1 Slav grebe, 10 GNDivers, 2 Black throated divers and 1 Red throated flew across harbour mouth. Black guillemot near the end of the breakwater at 11.00 and the Iceland gull flew into the harbour a few minutes later. 8 Purple Sandpipers.

Berry Head

Same as Bill MacDonald with at least 3 more GNDivers, the Iceland ull again and plenty of Kittiwakes and auks.


When the rain eased, 20+ Cirl Buntings on the seed, a single Chiffchaff. From the cliffs, 2 Black Necked Grebes, another 10 GN Divers, 3 Black throated divers, 1 red throated diver and at 3.30 p.m. we picked up the White Billed Diver  near the yellow buoy.

Stopped off at Decoy on the way home, male Scaup still present.



Posted January 18th, 2014 at 6:39 pm in Bird News


Pied Wagtails (about 100) roosting at dusk in a tree above the traffic light and the street light in Barnstaple Square on Jan. 9th.  They seem to be undisturbed by traffic and pedestrians.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 5:56 pm by Maren Gracie in Bird News

Brixham harbour

4 or 5 Great Northern and 1 Black-throated Divers late pm.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 5:45 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Braunton Area

An afternoon walk from Velator Quay following a spell of heavy rain. Good sized flocks of Starling, Goldfinch and Pied Wagtails. A single Sparrowhawk being harassed by corvids and a fleeting view of Kingfisher. On returning along Toll Road, at rear of the White House, excellent views of the two female Marsh Harriers, lovely sight as the rain began to fall again.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 5:27 pm in Bird News

Berry Head Update

No sign of the White-billed Diver today but hundreds of Auks off the headland, sadly several appear to be suffering from oil polution. First winter Iceland Gull in flight from the quarry pontoon towards the headland. Also at least 5 Great Northern Diver. Black Guillemot reported from the end of the breakwater. Black-throated Diver from Broadsands beach this afternoon.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News


The Water pipit and Black redstart still present at the recreational playing field plus single Lesser redpoll in my garden this morning.

Posted January 18th, 2014 at 12:02 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Friday 17th January 2014

Axe Estuary

3 Egyptian Geese put in a very brief appearance on the Axe Estuary late this afternoon. Spotted from Tower Hide as they flew in but only stayed for about 5 minutes before leaving and heading off in Seaton direction. They're less than annual here and it was particularly unusual to have more than one!

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 8:08 pm by Tim White in Bird News

Hope's Nose

Very quiet today with just one great northern diver in the cove on the north side, and a few common gulls among the black headed gulls around the sewer. Not even any guillemots - they're all at Berry Head!

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 7:32 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Aveton Gifford and River Plym

Glossy Ibis showing well on South Efford Marsh this morning. No sign of any water pipits on the Marsh but 1 green sandpiper, 1 kingfisher, 3+chiffchaffs,3 snipe and a pair of bullfinch seen. Along the River Avon were a common sandpiper,a little grebe and a grey wagtail.

On the way home stopped off at the River Plym and walked from Laira Bridge to Blaxton Meadow. Had a look for the oft reported Jack snipe in suitable habitat in Saltram Park but as usual with no luck. Hoped to find a treecreeper too but drew a blank. Lots of goldcrest around and a very nice firecrest in holly bushes by the footpath along the River in Saltram Park. 3 greenshank came in to Blaxton Meadow to roost at high tide and 9 wigeon were sleeping on the river off the Meadow embankment.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 5:38 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Cattle Egret

The cows at Yalberton Farm have been moved into the field on the other side of the road. The Cattle Egret is hard to see from the road in this field.

The Egret flow in from the East at 08:00 this morning and Mike had an email to say that someone may have seen the bird roosting at Paignton Zoo.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 5:14 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

N Devon

Looked at the Taw at Pottington this afternoon: the flock of Brent Geese still loafing on the sandbank, about 300, all too close together to get an accurate count. A pair of Goosander feeding off Pottington and another pair drifting down on the stream tight into Anchor Wood bank. Further up near the new bridge the female Goldeneye, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull preening with the Herring Gulls. A look in at Bradiford reserve as I left and bingo - a Kingfisher on the post I put in by the pond!

Back at Velator, excellent close views of one of the female Marsh Harriers right by the reserve.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 5:03 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Head

White-billed Diver still feeding in the deeper water off the head at mid-day (a marvelous sight - more reminiscent of seeing them off Lewis!), also 6+ Great Northern Divers on the quarry side. As ML elluded 1000+ auks in rafts on edge of Torbay and Lyme Bay and several Harbour Porpoise.

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 4:08 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Clennon Valley & Brixham

Yellow-browed Warbler again at Clennon Valley this lunchtime just east of eastern most pond in copse before causeway over stream. 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs further down the stream 200m W of the YMCA.

Brixham: 2 Black Guillemots (together) off Astra Zenica Labs, 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers.

Shoalstone: 11 Great Northern Divers and lots of Auks toward Berry Head.

Stoke Gabriel: no sign of the Cattle Egret this morning at Yalberton Farm. At the Mill Pond, 1 'Continental' Cormorant with 2 'carbo' Cormorants, also a Guillemot feeding just below the wall of the Millpond!

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 3:53 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


A walk around Brixham harbour this morning had some good results.

Astra Zenica. 1 Black Guillemot.  Breakwater/Harbour. 3 Black Throated Divers, 4 Great Northern Divers, 14 Purple Sandpiper.  Breakwater Beach. 1 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black Throated Diver.


Posted January 17th, 2014 at 11:21 am by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Yalberton Cattle Egret

Great photos taken yesterday by Barry Rankine of the Yalberton Cattle Egret.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted January 17th, 2014 at 8:17 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Thursday 16th January 2014

Prawle Seawatch , Slapton Ley and Beesands

My first seawatch of the year from the car park in strong (4/5-6) SW winds with heavy rain 'showers' from 9.05 till 11.30 : (all west) 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 2 Black Throated Divers, 262 Auks (80% Razorbills/20% Guillemots);181 Gannets;54 Kittiwakes;68 Black-Headed Gulls. Also min. 4 Bottle-Nosed Dolphins close into shore fishing in the surf plus a Grey Seal joining in on the fun.

At Slapton 2 Black-Necked Grebes from Torcross hide with good number of various duck species. Brief visit to Beesands Ley : 6 Mallard and 4 Moorhens and,c 70 BH Gulls (why no other duck species as Perry mentioned previously ?)

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 7:43 pm in Bird News


Heard a Ring necked Parakeet over Cockwood today, didn't see it though, first for a few years.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

South Efford Marsh & River, Aveton Gifford

Highlight of the afternnoon was a Glossy Ibis feeding with Curlews at the north end of the marsh (also seen on 14th Jan by DWT warden so probably wintering in valley) and 2 Water Pipits. Also: 20 Little Egrets, 62 Mute Swans, 18 Shelduck, 32 Curlews, 2 Greenshanks, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 23 Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtail, 42 Pied Wagtails and a Chiffchaff. Not a bad afternoon's haul! 

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 5:05 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Long-tailed Duck still from the hide today until about 1.45. Also present a pair of Gadwall amongst good numbers of the usual ducks. A Peregrine made a low pass over the marsh before settling in a tree to the right of the hide.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Sandwich Tern

Not the best day to go out birding! First went to Shoalstone and saw the Black Guillemot there. I then went to Berry Head and walked down the track by the quarry, as I was looking into the bay, to my surprise the unusual and out of season sight of a winter Sandwich Tern (11.15am) flew along the shore and towards Brixham harbour and Broadsands, where I lost sight of it. The White-billed Diver was still off the Head on the bay side and was slowly going back towards the harbour. About 6 Great Northern Diver were around and alot of Guillemots on the bay side of the Head.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 1:42 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Brixham harbour

The first winter Iceland Gull has been mobile around the district recently in finer weather conditions, but today in heavy showers and gusts it was back near the yacht club slipway at 1245. Oddly it seems to often spend time beside the floating pontoons, picking off small food items near the waterline which don't get much attention from the Herring Gulls.

Could not see the Black Guillemot today although conditions prevented much checking.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 1:40 pm in Bird News


Started this morning with a pair of Dippers in the stream on the way to the reserve, then to Wrafton pond where about a dozen each of Gadwall and Shoveler, with single Tufted Duck and Wigeon, no sign of the 2 male Pochard seen recently. On the way back along the Tarka Trail, a Harrier sp seen heading out towards the great field - seemed to have narrower wings than the Marsh Harriers I've seen recently, but a bit distant, so headed out that way and found a female Marsh Harrier, around the area at the N end of the Toll Rd. Carried on along the Marsh Road, and saw another female Marsh Harrier over Braunton Burrows, being mobbed by Corvids. Glad there are still 2 around. Back to the reserve, where a large Thrush flew in. Excellent - first time I've seen a Mistle Thrush here!

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 12:28 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exe Estuary

Dad had a 2cy Glaucous Gull from the River Exe Stuart Line Cruise yesterday at 15:00.  It landed on the mud right besides the main channel of the Estuary roughly in line with Lympstone.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 10:26 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Wednesday 15th January 2014

Berry Head

White-billed diver (11.45am) from the seawatching point at the far end of the quarry, looking South close to the base of the cliffs. Also Slavonian Grebe back towards the Berry Head Hotel and at least 9 Great Northern Diver between Shoalstone and the headland. Large numbers of Auks scattered across the sea est: 100+ good mix of Common Guillemot & Razorbill. Also Grey Seal & 4 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted January 15th, 2014 at 3:30 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Taw Estuary south of Bradiford Reserve

Now 298 Brent Geese on the Taw Estuary including at least 3 Light bellied this morning.

Goldeneye still present. 

Posted January 15th, 2014 at 1:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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