Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st October 2014

Breeding birds

It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.

If in doubt refer to the following: https://www.devonbirds.org/news/bird_news/rare_breeding_species 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

Posted April 1st at 3:13 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 31st October 2014

Chivenor Airfield and River Caen

Golden Plover comfirmed. During a remarkable warm morning walk well over 1000+ Golden Plover were disturbed by the RAF Sea King helicopter from Chivenor and produced a great aerial display before settling back down again on the airfield. Also seen 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 kingfisher, 2 dipper, 10+ Skylark, 20+ Greenfinch, 15+ Goldfinch, 20+ Meadow pipits. 50+ Starling. 15+ Redwing.

3 Red Admiral and numerous Common Darter Dragonfly taking advantage of a very warm morning topping 21C by 14:00, not bad for the last day of October! 

Aerial display by Golden Plover and a few Lapwing
Aerial display by Golden Plover and a few Lapwing

Golden Plover on Chivenor Airfield.
Golden Plover on Chivenor Airfield.

One of Three Common Sandpiper.
One of Three Common Sandpiper.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 9:12 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Seaton Hole Red-Breasted Flycatcher

The bird mentioned earlier in the post from Steve Waite was still present until at least 15:00. It was flitting in and out from cover and was generally elusive. Fantastic bird for the patch!

More pics on my blog:

www.timwhitewildlife.blogspot.co.uk

Red-Breasted Flycatcher    (C) Tim White
Red-Breasted Flycatcher (C) Tim White

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 8:31 pm by Tim White in General Birding

Start Point

Unseasonably warm, pleasant day. Some overnight rain, moderate to fresh S-SE wind.

Redwings and a few Song Thrushes heard passing over my house in West Charleton in the night. Not surprised to hear many of each calling when i arrived at Start Point in thedark at 06:10. They all seemed to dissapear before it got light.

Did a vis mig watch from near the car park, 06:45-10:30, all birds south-southwest. 1150 Woodpigeons ( then at least twice that number flying northwest no doubt including the ones first seen, i think Woodpigeons are spaced out and don't know what they are doing ), 80 Stock Dove, 130 Skylark, 80 Meadow Pipit, 50 alba Wagtails, 10 Jackdaw, 17 Starling, 60 Greenfinch, 130 Linnet, 330 Chaffinch, 1070 Goldfinch, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Brambling, 4 Siskin and 4 Reed Buntings. Like Berry Head the Cirls were a bit aerial at times but none out to sea.

Elsewhere Common Scoter ( still in bay below light ), female Merlin ( hassling the finches ), Mediterranean Gull, 3 Black Redstarts ( lighthouse compound ), Ring Ouzel ( heard only near Car Park ), 3 Chiffchaff, Pied Flycatcher ( late bird in tamarisk below light ) and 2 more Siskins.

On the way home had a quick look at South Hallsands, 2 Black Redstarts on the roofs.

 

Pied Flycatcher, nothing like a very late migrant for making you nervous.
Pied Flycatcher, nothing like a very late migrant for making you nervous.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 5:18 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Grey Phalarope Budleigh Salterton

The Grey Phalarope was showing well to all the visitors on Budleigh Salterton seafront ( estuary side) who were enjoying the sunshine. at 1430hrs this afternoon.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 4:49 pm by Roy Adams in General Birding

South Brent ~ Ring Ouzels & Kestrels

The first dry sunny day in ages and the road from Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam was surprisingly silent given the number of species recorded over the last week in the mist and murk. That said a total of eight Buzzards seen on the soar and hunting the hill sides, three close to the car park and five by the dam.

A Dunnock and a female Blackcap were added to the week's species list, about half way up a flight of six Ring Ouzels passed overhead flying down the valley, a flock of 36 Starlings recorded.

On reaching the site where the Ring Ouzels have been feeding all week, three birds were seen in the top of a hawthorn and a fourth feeding. A total of nine birds counted during the visit, only two of which were males the rest made up of hens and juvenile birds.

Suprising number of Kestrels recorded, one hovering over the east side of the Dam, two flew overhead approching the car park having come over the hillcrest from the treatment works, a fourth sighted near Bloody Pool Cross and a fifth a male on the outskirts of South Brent, first time in 30 years that I have rercorded five Kestrels in the parish in one day.

21 species in total

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 3:31 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head seawatch

07:30-13:00. Rather too sunny at first - 19 deg C end of October! Feeding frenzy coming and going so may be some duplication in counts: 12 Pomarine Skuas, 6 Arctic Skuas, 2 Bonxies, 5 Mediterranean Gulls (all ads except 1 1w), 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, Great Northern Diver, 13 Common Scoter, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, Manx Shearwater, 3 Harbour Porpoise  and most unusual a Lapwing high up. Some large groups of Woodpigeons with one flock of 100+ heading north, also 7 Stock Doves. Many observers.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 2:51 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Berry Hd

Good vismig over the headland today: 1 Hawfinch, 2 Brambling, 4 Siskin, 7 Redwing, 18 Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrush, 120 Wood Pigeon, 80+ Jackdaw,75 Goldfinch, 19 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 48 Skylark, 13 Song Thrush, 26 Greenfinch, 140 Chaffinch, 12 Bullfinch, 32 Meadow Pipits, 8 Starling,1 House Sparrow. Interestingly 8 Cirl Buntings on end of Headland regularly circling high but, then dropping back down to bushes - eventually 6 flew of high and east - lost to view - Portland next stop??

Around Headland : Yellow-browed Warbler still along road down from Wardens Bungalow but only heard today. 1 Firecrest, 11 Goldcrest, 6 Stonechat. 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Painted Lady and several Red Admiral Butterflies too.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 2:32 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Soar

Between 0850 & 1040, 1140 Woodpigeons south & west, but most heading straight out to sea. "I think they know where they are going". 83 Stock Doves, almost all in their own flocks also moving through plus 120 Starlings & 10 Siskin west. Starehole deserted but 3 Wheatears around the farm.

Butterflies: 3 Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady, 2 Peacock & sev.Red Admirals.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 1:52 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Seaton Hole

The first patch Red-breasted Flycatcher this morning, found by Ian M and Ian P, at Seaton Hole.  From the Beer turning into Seaton Hole, it is favouring the last few conifers before the first house on the left hand side of the road.

Also a Yellow-browed Warbler seen earlier by the Ian's, and whilst I was there a late Willow Warbler and a Firecrest.

Red-breasted Flycatcher
Red-breasted Flycatcher

Red-breasted Flycatcher
Red-breasted Flycatcher

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 11:56 am by Steve Waite in General Birding

Downend

07.00 > 09.00 - Wind ESE moderate from start increasing to fresh.

3942 Chaffinch. After flying around Downend point all these flying East into the wind.

89 Starling > E, 1 Pied Wagtail > E & 1 exhausted Redwing which grounded at Downend.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 10:26 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wood pigeon migration ~ South Brent

The autumn Wood pigeon migration picked up a little over South Brent with todays first clear day in some time between sunrise and 8am a count of in excess of 1000 Wood pigeons all headed west, the flocks were small compared with this time last year on average 100 to 150 birds the largest holding about 200 birds.

The flocks were flying much higher than the birds seen recently flying in the misty weather conditions.

One mixed flock of Woodpigeon and Redwing approx 60 pigeons and 30/40 Redwings and a seperate flock of some 60 Redwings.

Also a flock of a counted 27 Stock Doves which were skirting the edge of the moors.

Small numbers of both Goldfinch and Meadow Pipit seen in the same period.

Posted October 31st, 2014 at 8:20 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thursday 30th October 2014

North Torridge area

Similarly to others, got out for a walk (with dog) tonight to find I was repeatedly hearing Redwing overhead in the dark. Will be disappointed if I see none around the Bristol suburbs when I visit family tomorrow!

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 9:24 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Ring Ouzel at Avon Dam 30th Oct 14

Pic to go with earler blog


Posted October 30th, 2014 at 9:21 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

woodlarks over budleigh salterton

C. 10 Woodlark over in one flock at 10.30am at E edge of golf course: dropping down out of fog, all calling, but not settling.

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 9:04 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Brixham

Tonight the first large overhead passage of thrushes heard, many Redwings calling in misty conditions over the town from soon after dark. To add to  the Berry Head list from earlier, a Brambling heard calling overhead at quarry  mid morning. From Shoalstone car park at midday, with a telescope it was possible to pick up some of the Pomarine Skuas approaching the head.

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 8:52 pm in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Extremely poor visibility made for hard going again this morning. However located 19 Golden Plover on the westerly runway (either lost one from yesterday or i made a mistake in counting!) and flushed 3 Snipe from the northerly (weedy) runway. Nothing of note in better conditions this afternoon due to disturbance from motorbikes and model airplanes......

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 8:14 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Exmister marsh

A quick look around from 14:30 till 16:30

a female merlin was hunting by the motorway bridge, a female sparrowhawk was sat on a post to the left of the railway bridge before being mobbed by some carrion crows, a total of 3 kestrels around the marsh was good to see, and the peregrine was active over the marsh, 2 buzzards, 4 pairs of stonechats were along station road and 5+ chiffchaffs, 2 water rail. 

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 8:11 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

A peregrine was hunting over the marshes a lot today, sending up flocks of ducks and waders from the ditches. We also spotted a clouded yellow butterfly in the hedgrow along station road. Flocks of up to 300 canada geese are providing a spectacle at present when they all fly into the marsh together!

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 6:06 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

A Yellow-browed Warbler was present yesterday afternoon and this morning on the coast path west from Budleigh Golf Course. Quite an interesting bird as yesterday it was giving a very subdued short call and although the views weren't great yesterday in the mist (thanks Matt for helping me re-find it!), it appeared to have dark legs and be quite dusky below, possibly showing some similarity to Hume's.
However, this morning it was giving the full and powerful more expected call of inornatus and showed 2 bright wing bars, despite perhaps not being the brightest YBW I have ever seen! Also present 2 Firecrest and at least a 3rd bird on Halse Hill.

Yellow-browed Warbler by Chris Townend

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 5:45 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Buzzard

I'm a visiting Canadian birder, currently staying in Crediton.  I'm fairly certain I saw a Rough-legged Buzzard today over Two Moors Way, based on sheer size (it was massive at a distance, with huge 'eagle wings'), large dark carpals, although I guess I would have liked to have seen a more distinct trailing band on the tail (perhaps a juvenile?).  What do you think? Cheers,Matt http://snowyowllost.blogspot.co.uk/ 

(Eds: Dear Matt its a mistake many people make but the bird is a Common Buzzard, see this Id article: http://www.devonbirds.org/birdwatching/articles/common_buzzard   )

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 5:43 pm by Matt Poll in General Birding

Shipley - Avon Dam, South Brent

0930 - 1200hrs. Misty, very poor visibility. Only blackbirds on walk up from the car park, but nearer the Dam, several Ring Ouzels still present. Well spread out and moving from hawthorn bush to bush. Most I observed in one group was 6, but others were present. Have not seen rings on any of these birds.

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 5:01 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

East Soar

An early afternoon visit after the morning murk had finally cleared. Best bird a Brambling feeding on the ground with chaffinches by the farm. Also 45 Skylark, 4 Goldcrest, 6 Long-tailed Tit and mf Sparrowhawk. Also Badger latrine!

Butterflies were: 5 Clouded Yellow inc.helice, Painted Lady, Peacock & 2 Red Admiral.

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 4:59 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Avon Dam Area

At least eight Ring Ouzel's by old quarry, just down from dam

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 4:57 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

More Berry Head

Following on from Mark's post, vismig & land based birds, with Jake Wood 7.30am - 2.00pm:

18 Redwing, single Fieldfare (first of the Autumn for me), 5 Blackbird, 12 Skylark, 16 Starling, 18 Jackdaw, 75+ Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, 70 Chaffinch, 12 Goldfinch, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Cirl Bunting, 3 Sparowhawk, 11 Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 5 Chiffchaff, 14 Goldcrest, Coal Tit, 15 LT Tit, Yellow-browed Warbler - calling and seen briefly at 10.50am in the lane up from the Berry Head Hotel 100m from the triangle. Also 3 Clouded Yellow & 2 Painted Lady.

 

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 3:54 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Berry Head seawatch

08:45-13:20. 13 Pomarine Skuas (all juvs with some marked size differences), 4 Arctic Skuas, 3 Bonxies, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Brent Geese, Red-throated Diver. Some evidence that we are seeing some of the same skuas hanging around in Lyme Bay came in the form of one very distinctive 1s Arctic Skua which I had seen and photographed way back on 15th and 17th October and pale headed juv Pom ML saw yesterday (assuming they are the same of course!). Feeding frenzy started around 11:00 which pulled in a few skuas. Many observers today. Typical juv Pom from today, below:

Pomarine Skua juvPomarine Skua juv

 

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 3:18 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Phalarope Budleigh

The Phalarope was present at 1pm today in the channel that runs parallel with the lower path Ottermouth. Also 2 kingfishers and three black tailed godwits.

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 3:03 pm by richard allen in General Birding

Around the Axe

At least one Yellow-browed Warbler at Lower Bruckland Ponds (Musbury) mid morning, with tit flock at north end of top pond.  Also a Chiffchaff.  The Axmouth Yellow-browed Warbler is also still present today, GH heard it calling several times late morning from the front gardens of Coombe Terrace.

Seaton Hole this afternoon, one Firecrest still present and showing well.

Another big arrival on the east coast of the UK today, let's hope this wave of birds reaches Devon!

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 2:30 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

River Caen Estuary & Braunton Marsh

8:30 to 10:30 a nice walk with my grandaughter this morning produced a Marsh Harrier hunting over the marsh was great to see, a first for her. Other notable sightings were 4 Kingfisher, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3+ Redshank 150+ Starling 10+ Skylark, 20+ Meadow Pipits, 30+ Goldfinch, 20+ Teal, Family of Swans two adults and four youngsters, 1 Cetti's Wabler 4+ Grey Wagtail, 2 Raven, 1 Sparrowhawk 1 Kestrel and 2 Water Rail heard in the reedbeds.At a distance a large flock of what looked like 500+ Golden Plover and 40+ Lapwing heading south over the Taw Estuary. (to be confirmed by someone on the Fremington side of the Estuary).

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 11:34 am by Derek Carter in General Birding

Night Callers

 3 Tawny Owls and a single Little Owl calling around the centre of Woodbury Salterton between 09.30 & 10.30 last night.

Posted October 30th, 2014 at 8:17 am by Rob Eaton in General Birding

Wednesday 29th October 2014

Lundy

Highlights from today on Lundy included 5 Yellow-browed Warblers (of which 3 ringed), a Red-breasted Flycatcher, 2 Firecrests, a Lapland Bunting and 2,000 Redwings. Thanks again to Rob Duncan for the update.

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 9:18 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Very poor conditions of fog and rain made conditions difficult. However 20 Golden Plover where swirling around the airfield and disappearing into the mist this afternoon and 3 were settled on the runway this morning. Wheatear also present along with Snipe, 2 Stonechat and Green Woodpecker. Meadow Pipits diffcult to count as they were continually being flushed from both runways and fields and 70+ is probably a conservative estimate.

On Monday (29th October)a similar if lighter passage of Woodpigeons and Stock Doves as noted elsewhere along with a stronger passage of Starlings (the Woodpigeon passage lasted throughout the day over home but this is 0.5 miles over the border in Somerset). Wheatear and 5 Stonechats present.

 

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 8:22 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Wrafton

Ah the thrill of birding in N Devon:  Wrafton pond has added a single Shoveler to the singles of Tufted Duck and Pochard. Cetti's Warbler calling in the reserve.

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 2:47 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Hd

Seawatch 0730-0939hrs in almost monsoon rain like conditions with no wind! 35 Pomarine Skuas >S (2 >N) Dave Norman saw another two South shortly after I left, 14 Arctic Skuas >S (2 >N) 4 Great Skuas >S (1>N), 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Common Scoter, 5 Med Gulls (2 Ad, 1 sw & 2 fw).

Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Hd 29 Oct Ml

Around the headland; probably 2 Yellow-browed Warblers - one briefly in quarry (same place as MD yesterday) and one along road from Berry Hd Hotel to Wardens Bungalow but in SE corner of walled gardens, just 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Firecrest, 14 Goldcrest, 37 Long-tailed Tits in three flocks,1  Brambling and 2 Redwing over.

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 2:23 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Phalarope showing well at 10.15.a.m.

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 12:38 pm by Doug Cullen in General Birding

Isley Marsh

3 Spoonbill and a Grey Plover at Isley Marsh RSPB. To the west along shore there is also an escape Weaver species (female) now seen on separate occasions in bramble outside the perimeter fence at northeast corner of the timber yard, sometimes associating with Goldfinch. 

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 12:15 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Re Woodpigeon movements.

Thanks Rob (Macklin) for pointing me to your Wed 22 Oct observation, which I had missed.  I have written something on the subject on the Forum Page to take the discussion further.  Thanks again.

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 9:46 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Lundy update

Further to the earlier post for today, there were three Yellow-browed Warblers in Millcombe this afternoon (thanks to Rob Duncan for this update from the island).

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 10:39 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Berry Head seawatch

09:40-13:30, SSW4 clear gradually becoming more murky. At first large but distant feeding frenzy out in Lyme Bay, with many skua sp. attending, it gradually got closer to BHd and skuas started drifting off heading south, some coming closer 11:00 onwards. Those identified: 23 Poms, 18 Arctic and 4 Bonxie. Also Balearic Shearwater, 4  Mediterranean Gulls (2 ad, 2w, 1w) and Great Northern Diver.

While walking out, checked the bottom of the quarry and glimpsed what I thought was a Yellow-browed Warbler in with tit flock, on the way back it was calling strongly.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 5:25 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Berry Head - Froward Pt

am. Black redstart on look-out roof. Froward point,  pm. 2 Merlin, 1 flew past daymark and another down near the pines.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 4:39 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Aylesbeare Common

Talking of pigeons...'Dove of Peace' sighted over Aylesbeare Common?  Sorry I know this is a serious website but I couldn't resist showing you this cloud formation!  Well I thought it was worth sharing. Happy birding!

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 4:33 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Lundy

Two Yellow-browed Warblers and a Red-breasted Flycatcher on Lundy this morning, and 7 Balearic Shearwaters off the East Side. Visible migration of finches in good numbers for the first time this autumn after an exceptionally quiet season so far for both finches and thrushes.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 4:06 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

grey phalarope Budleigh Salterton

Grey Phalarope still at Otter Estuary viewed from shingle bank lunchtime today

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 3:19 pm by Tony Pollard in General Birding

Woodpigeon movements

To Jonathan Riscoe re birds heading out to see, take a look at my post for last Weds 22nd. A few thousand heading straight out to sea over Bolt Head and many also west.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 2:45 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

South Brent ~ Ring Ouzel's

A good morning watching the Ring Ouzel's near the Avon dam, nine showing until the general public arrived with kids, dogs, bikes and noise, for the first time in years I can claim a Dipper on that stretch of the Rv Avon, in fact two seen, one unrung and the other with orange and green and a white and BTO ring on the other leg.
Grey Wagtails, two Kestrels, very close up views of a Green Woodpecker that spent the morning in the same area, male Yellow Hammer, Goldcrest, Raven, singles of both Redwing and Song Thrush. Blue, Great & Coal Tit's, numerous Robins, really good numbers of Blackbirds. Several flocks of small passage birds and the continuation of the Wood pigeon movement I suspect close to 700 birds seen this morning all still headed west.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 1:57 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

South Brent ~ Ring Ouzel's

A good morning watching the Ring Ouzel's near the Avon dam, nine showing until the general public arrived with kids, dogs, bikes and noise, for the first time in years I can claim a Dipper on that stretch of the Rv Avon, in fact two seen, one unrung and the other with orange and green and a white and BTO ring on the other leg.
Grey Wagtails, two Kestrels, very close up views of a Green Woodpecker that spent the morning in the same area, male Yellow Hammer, Goldcrest, Raven, singles of both Redwing and Song Thrush. Blue, Great & Coal Tit's, numerous Robins, really good numbers of Blackbirds. Several flocks of small passage birds and the continuation of the Wood pigeon movement I suspect close to 700 birds seen this morning all still headed west.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 1:57 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Aylesbeare Common E. Devon

Clear movemnt of Wood Pigeons west over the East Devon Pebblebed ridge at 10.30 onwards when I watched.  The flocks averaged 100 birds and came in every 15mins from the Sidmouth Gap area before passing over the Otter valley and climbing over the ridge between Venn Ottery Common and Aylesbeare Common.  

There has been discussion over the years as to where the flocks go and where they come from with various theories put forward.  Clearly this is an annual event with flocks passing down through Devon but no clear evidence of them heading out to sea.  If they are seen heading out to sea from the south Devon coast please could we know.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 1:41 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Wood pigeons over Haytor

Over Haytor at about  9:00 am this morning there was a large movement of Wood Pigeons all heading south,in ten minutes or so I counted between 600 to 700 in quite large flocks, and I am sure that there were many more.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 10:15 am by Keith Benyon- Tinker in General Birding

Downend

06.50 - 08.40.

Vis mig with moderate ESE turning Southerly after 09.00.

Movement of migrants fizzled out after 08.40.

2165 Chaffinch, 3 Bullfinch,12 Siskin,16 Meadow Pipit, 20 Starling, 14 Woodpigeon, 2 Pied Wagtails.

Posted October 28th, 2014 at 9:39 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Monday 27th October 2014

Heading home to Rugby & stopping at Bowling Green Marsh - Sunday 27.10.2014

Peregrine Falcon trying to see off a Carrion Crow following a duck kill!


Posted October 27th, 2014 at 9:33 pm by Steve McAusland in General Birding

Pied wagtails roost in paris st Exeter

 100+ ?Pied wagtails roost in  tree at top of Paris St Exeter 


Posted October 27th, 2014 at 9:30 pm by Jon Tagg in General Birding

Seaton Hole

Mid afternoon today two Firecrest at Seaton Hole with 6+ Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and a selection of Tits. 

Firecrest
Firecrest

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 7:05 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Early morning at the bridge - some overhead migration, all going south : lots of finches mainly Greenfinch (200+) and Goldfinch (250+) also 10 House Martin, 1 Swallow and small groups of Skylark, Meadow Pipits and Wood Pigeons. A Yellow-browed Warbler in the willows below the bridge with a tit flock showed itself well and called a few times, what a good autumn for this species! A Firecrest in the hedge nearby. Also 2 Blackcap, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Chiff-Chaff, 4 Goldcrest and a 1W Med Gull at Torcross. Lots of unidentified skuas on the horizon heading towards Start Point!

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 4:20 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Start Point

100% cloud cover over land, clear c20kms out at sea. Fresh southerly decreasing through morning.

Vis mig ( from North of car park, 06:50-08:10, all birds heading south )

21 Meadow Pipit, 120 alba Wagtails, 21 Swallows, 340 Goldfinch, 30 Chaffinch, 110 Linnet, 40 Greenfinch, 1 Starling, 1Reed Bunting. Female Merlin seen twice, once caught an unidentified finch.Decided to head down to the lighthouse ( flock of 9 Swallows on the way ), where Bob Burridge, Mike Passman and Eric Wotton were already seawatching. Turned into a nice skua fest, totals between when Bob started at around 07:50 and i left at 12:30 were ( all headed south ) 4 Great Skua, 20 Pomarine Skuas ( 2 adult rest juvs ), 12 Arctic Skuas and 2 juv Long-tailed Skuas. The skuas passed fairly close affording some great views. On  one memorable occasion had 2 Great Skuas and single Arctic, Pom and Long-tailed in the same field of view going for some unfortunate kittiwakes. The vast majority had gone through by 10:00. Also seen up to 1000 Kittiwakes including a large feeding flock southeast of the point tempting several of the skuas to hang around. Other birds going south included Red-throated Diver, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwater ( hung around with the Kittiwakes for a while giving great views ), 2 Brent Geese, 5 Common Scoter ( also apparently flightless bird in bay below light ) and 3 Mediterranean Gulls. Just to round it off, nice Black Redstart in the lighthouse compound.

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 3:25 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Otter Estuary, Sunday

Phalarope was still in the Otter Estuary mouth on Sunday afternoon :)

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 2:27 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

East Soar

Firecrest on lower slopes of Fir Wood. Also just 5 goldcrest & blackcap

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 2:03 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

East from Instow

Lotti flock with single Chiffchaff. Fair few Blackbird and Meadow Pipit about. Dunlin x 5, Ringed Plover x 20, Turnstone x 12, Redshank x 20 plus usual Oycs/Little Egret/Curlew while tide only just starting to drop. One flock of 10 Skylark. Couple of Med Gull over heading to inland fields c.f. the rock roost.

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 11:16 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Eastern visitors on the yealm

Quick ringing session yesterday afternoon came up trumps when a visit to the net had a tristis type chiff & yellow browed warbler in the net side by side ! There was also another yellow brow calling in the trees. Big passage of redwings through also .

Yellow browed warbler
Yellow browed warbler

tristis chiff
tristis chiff

tristis chiff head
tristis chiff head

Posted October 27th, 2014 at 8:00 am by David Scott in General Birding

Sunday 26th October 2014

Topsham

Female Merlin flew across Exe reedbeds & onto Exminster Marshes early morning, Jays a constant presence around Bowling Green Marsh (over 10). Otherwise not a lot of note: 1 Ruff, 1 Spotted redshank, 17 Greenshank and plenty of meadow pipits.

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 8:10 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

BGM & Topsham Recreation Ground

Viewed over the morning tide with Keith.

2+ Spotted Redshank + Ruff + c20 Jays flying to&fro stashing nuts + good numbers of other usual waders and Meadow Pipits

From Viewing Platform

Large group of Gannets could be seen fishing from the Warren bay and over towards Starcross + c3 Great Crested Grebes + c60 Brent Geese + c100 Wigeon + 5 Ravens moving west fying over

Mid-day at Topsham Recreation Ground on my own

Water Pipit landed in from of me in the first clearing from the rowing boat mooring jetty another couple were also looking for it but by the time i turned around they had already left + 6 Common Sandpipers + 7 Greenshank + Peregrine + 2 Kingfishers under M5 bridge near Retreat boatyard.

Walked back to Bowling Green Marsh again mid-afternoon

Awesom display from a Peregrine which had taken out a Wigeon in mid-air just over the right hand pond before seeing off a Buzzard, Raven and a Crow with some acrobatic maneuvers and very loud calling and was really not happy before returning for lunch.

Peregrine
Peregrine

Peregrine
Peregrine

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 6:30 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Northam Burrows

One Whimbrel and one Purple Sandpiper at Northam Burrows today, 26/10/14, at 11.30am. Whimbrel at end of tip road, Purple sandpiper on rocks by 8th tee.

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 3:30 pm by Keith Prangnell in General Birding

South Efford Marsh -Aveton Gifford

11.30 - 1300hrs . A Hobby flying east on the South Brent - Loddiswell Rd. Met Eric, the warden, coming away from the hide. He described things as quiet, but not how you would describe the noise from the many Canada's present! 11 Curlews, 20+ Teal, one Shelduck, 1 Stonechat, 2 Meadow Pipits. Surprised to see 2 clouded yellows, 2 peacock and a lone speckled wood still flying in the fairly strong cold breeze.

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 3:11 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Cranbrook (New Town), Exeter

An early morning visit to the scrape produced a 'female type' Black Redstart and a female Stonechat sitting on the barbed wire fence together with 3 Meadow Pipits and a Gt Spotted Woodpecker over.  Nothing on the scrape itself which is now full of water and greening up.

The approach road to the scrape and reserve now has a name... Burrough Fields and a grit path is being constructed for access.

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 11:02 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Berry Head

First visit to the Head after 10 days away: 1 juv Long-tailed Skua, 10 Juv Pomarine Skuas, 8 Arctic Skuas, 1 Great Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Common Scoter, many Auk Sp all >S (thanks Lee Collins for early call), 

Around Head and overhead of note: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler (photo Below), 2 Firecrest, 15 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Brambling, 1 Yellowhammer

Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Hd 26 Oct 2014 ML Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Hd 26 Oct 2014 ML

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 10:42 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Ring Ouzel's ~ South Brent

A first light visit to the Avon dam resulted in a count of 14 Ring Ouzel's, at one point 11 broke cover and flew out to the moors quickly followed by another 3.

7 Fieldfare joined them at one point, a single Song Thrush, numerous Blackbirds.

A flight of 6 Goosanders flew down the river as I had walked up, other species included Kestrel, Grey Wagtail, Buzzard, 2 Ravens, Stonechat

Flock of some 100 plus Woodpigeons, small flock of passage Redwings

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 10:03 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Start Point

100% cloud cover, mod-fresh W wind.

Vis mig 06:55-08:00 ( from car park, all birds south-southwest )

7 Woodpigeon ( its a start ! ), 16 Meadow Pipit, 20 alba Wagtials, 25 Swallow, 110 Linnet, 10 Bullfinch, 21 Greenfinch, 310 Goldfinch, 15 Chaffinch ( gone AWOL this morning ) and 5 Reed Bunting.

Heard about a good skua passage at Dawlish / Berry Head. Just had time to set my scope up in the car park and point it seaward for 15 minutes before i had to leave. Frustratingly 7 Pom / Arctics seen flying south in about 15 minutes. Bob B was down at the light so hopefully he will have some numbers later on.

Posted October 26th, 2014 at 10:00 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Saturday 25th October 2014

Shaldon

A (locally) very good passage of Arctic Skuas offshore this afternoon with 26 seen from the top of The Ness between 15:15-16:15, the majority heading south including a party of 5, and at least a further dozen viewed from Teignmouth before and afterwards. Also a Firecrest in The Ness.

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 10:46 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Prawle

As autumn draws to a close ( arrgh! I hear you cry) the 3 amigos ( PM, JL and TM) set forth to discover late migrants :

Highlights today being 2 Yellow-Browed Warblers –both found by PM ( one in the reserve which we all saw at c 11.15am and another in Merrymore Lane towards Pig’s Nose Valley which JL and myself did not ); then 2 Merlins (JL and I saw one at Langerstone Point on rocks; I saw another on the edge of the recording area on top of a telegraph pole on leaving Prawle ) and 6 Egyptian Geese in field nr Merrimore Lane.

A brief seawatch by JL later joined by PM c 10am from Bunkers produced 6 skuas : 3 Bonxies ; 1 Arctic, I imm Pom and 1 unidentified skua all west ; also a Great Northern Diver and  2 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Common Scoter east and 2 Common Dolphins.

Vis mig results (8.15 to 9.30) : 3 Siskin, 1 Reed Bunting, 790 Goldfinches, 258 Linnets , 195 Chaffinches, c 100 Meadow Pipits, 220  Woodpigeons (the start of things to come ?) , 11 Stock Doves, 8 Greenfinches , 13 Swallows. PM also saw a late Whitethroat nr the Hump.

Elsewhere 12 Long-Tailed Tits, only 3 Goldcrests ,  2 Chiffchaff and 1 Clouded Yellow. Well noted was the lack of thrushes. JL and myself left at 4.30pm.

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 9:00 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Axmouth

Finally a Yellow-browed Warbler on patch this autumn!

It was up Chapel Street, Axmouth, shortly after 1pm. Showed well in a front garden and along road side, but overall elusive so a good job it's a vocal one (isn't it funny how some remain stubbornly silent whereas others don't stop calling!).  Spent most of its time alone, but shared a bush with two Goldcrest briefly.

It was beyond entrance to Stepps Lane, where road bends left with a public footpath and stile on the right.

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 8:55 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Budleigh / Otter Estuary

The Grey Phalarope continues to stay faithful to its favoured feeding area at the mouth of the Otter. Also today an adult Spoonbill and Little Gull briefly (Alan and Dave).

Over the last few days a Merlin and 100+ Skylark in fields east of the Otter and at least 1 Firecrest on the coastal path above West Cliffs.

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 7:34 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Soar

A very quiet start (I didn't see a single bird between the car park and Mid soar at dawn!) and nowhere near the vis mig Perry has reported at Start. However things picked up a bit later with c800 Wood Pigeons and c15 Stock Doves west and another c100 Wood Pigeons and c15 Stock Doves south-east. 

c25 Goldfinches and c15 alba Wagtails overhead but they didn't seem to be going in any firm direction.

A Yellow-browed Warbler in the clump of sallows beside the main path in Starehole. Also a Merlin, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, just single Blackcap and Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wagtails, 4 Song Thrushes, and 2 Goldcrests.

At the top of Starehole, a bright ginger Dunnock, the likes of which I've never seen before!

Nothing of note at South Huish on the way home.

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 6:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Shipley-Avon Dam, South Brent

After a slow start eventually located 6 ring ouzels below the Dam, with one fieldfare flying in with them off the open moor. 2 kestrels also sighted. Photos on South Brent Birders F/Book page.

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 3:13 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

GREY PHALAROPE

The grey Phalarope  showed well once the tide went out enough for it to get on the mud at the back of the shingle bank  

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 2:07 pm by martin cox in General Birding

Start Point

100% cloud cover, moderate WSW wind.

Vis mig 07:40 - 09:45 ( from car park, all flying south - southwest )

80 Meadow Pipit, 14 alba Wagtails, 3 Swallows, 80 Linnet, 640 Goldfinch, 170 Chaffinch, 8 Bullfinch, 9 Siskin, 7 Greenfinch and 6 Reed Buntings. Also seen single Fieldfare in the farm and strangest sight of the all a Black-throated Diver flying over the point from the west ( ie inland ).

Posted October 25th, 2014 at 10:57 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Friday 24th October 2014

Ring Ouzels ~ South Brent

Another visit to the Avon Dam this afternoon, enroute met several birders coming back down the road who had visited the area without seeing anything of note, certainly no Ring Ouzels. However within a few minutes of reaching the area in which the nine were seen yesterday a female showed well, all be it very jumpy, two other birders observed two others, I can only claim the hen which was moving between two berry-laden trees.

Kestel seen and good numbers of Goldcrests, lots of Blackbirds feeding on the berry trees, again very poor lighting and visibility.

Another birder reported seeing three Ring Ouzels just above the car park, again feeding on berries.

Posted October 24th, 2014 at 10:36 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Start Point - Torcross

Rain forecast for the morning never materialised, but some showers in the night. Got a lift  to Start Point car park on site at 07:45 where there was a moderate sw wind and local hill fog. Spent an hour around the car park but saw little, best being 12 Swallows heading south  ( also about 20 alba Wagtails, 60 Goldfiches, 60 Meadow Pipits and a few Chaffinches ). Walked down to the lighthouse where there was a Black Redstart. Offshore surprised to see some Kittiwakes headed south with an Arctic Skua despite the apparent benign conditions. At least 500 Kittiwakes were feeding southeast of the Point. Bob Burridge then turned up and from 09:30 - 12:30 between us we saw heading south 2 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater which hung around, 4 Shelduck, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Great Skuas and 10 Arctic Skuas, some stopping to hassle the Kittiwakes. Also 2 unidentified Skuas ( 1 Pom/Arctic, 1 Long-tailed/Arctic ). A good late flock of 30 Swallows and 3 House Martins briefly flew around the point. Little else seen, no other migrants at the light or farm.

Walking down to South Hallsands little seen apart from a Clouded Yellow. Things improved at North Hallsands, the bushy/reedy area behind the beach had a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap and best of all a Yellow-browed Warbler. It showed well for a couple minutes then dissapeared into cover but was then calling. A Wheatear was on the beach. Bumped into Bob again at Beesands where an excellent number of 50 Swallows present, Bob also had 6 House Martins. On the ley 51 Gadwall, 62 Coot and 11 Tufted Duck, things improved here since last winter. Nothing around Cellers Quarry and got to Torcross just in time to catch the bus home.

 

Posted October 24th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Berry Head pm

A mid afternoon wander around was interrupted by seeing 20+ skuas joining in with a large assembly of Kittiwakes (600+), gulls and Gannets off shore. Without scope I was unable to identify all, most quite distant, but was  able to pick out 2 adult pale Arctic Skuas, several juveniles, and 2-3 juvenile Pomarines of which one flew past close into the bay.

 

Posted October 24th, 2014 at 4:38 pm in General Birding

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Prawle Seawatch

7.40 to 12.30 am seawatch in SW/SSW force 4 going 5/6 with Frank L. and John L. Misty at times and a few passing showers ie pretty good conditions (tho not North Cornwall in  NWesterlies !)

1 Black-Throated Diver (moulting to wp); 1 imm Pom; 2 Arctic skuas; 13 Balearic and 2 Manx Shearwaters ;  604 auks, 163 Kittiwakes all west . Also 1 Med Gull adult wp and  3 Common Scoter.

Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 9:43 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Ring Ouzels - South Brent

Further to post by Steve Hopper, a fair sized group of Ring Ouzels was first observed below the Avon Dam by a group of 9 South Brent Birders on an organised walk at 1130 hrs Wed 22.10.14. I returned alone with a camera at 1500 hrs . The largest confirmed group seen together comprised 10 Ring Ouzels, although others may have been present nearby. The group included both males, and females with juveniles being a possibility.

Ring Ouzel at South Brent on 22.10.14
Ring Ouzel at South Brent on 22.10.14

Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 8:27 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Ring Ouzels ~ South Brent

Despite the awful weather this afternoon I made the walk out to the Avon Dam to find the Ring Ouzels reported by members of the local birding group yesterday. Once found the light was so poor that it was not possible to even make out the markings on the birds, but evenually two of them came close enough in flight for a posiitve ID, shortly afterwards nine broke cover and circled overhead before beinbg lost in the fog and mist.

Other birds inc Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, numerous Long-tailed Tits, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks.

On the way back at another stand of berry trees numerous "Blackbird / Thrush type species" observed three of which ID'd as Ring Ouzel.

Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 5:27 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Otter Estuary

The Grey Phalarope still this afternoon showing ridiculously well behind the shingle ridge, 

Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 4:18 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Venn, Aveton Gifford

14 Swallows over the garden late morning.

Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 4:16 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Lost falcon

Lost from the South Brent area on the 21st October a hybrid Gyr falcon, looks much like an Arctic Gyr as per images attached, any sightings or information please contact Steve Hopper on mobile 07816 958063 or by email at southhamshawks@owls.entadsl.com 

Given the recent weather the bird could now be some distance from South Brent.




Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 7:41 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

grey phalarope

 grey phalarope still showing well at budleigh this afternoon


Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 10:36 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:30 till 17:50

A female merlin flew through by the the viewing platform and a kingfisher showed well , 2 stonechat to the left of the path. 1900+ wigeon were between exton station and powderham corner on the estuary, 5+ jays.

from the hide 3 spotted redshanks among 300+ redshanks, 18 avocet, 40+ bar tailed godwits among 850+ black tailed godwits, 200+ curlew, 20+ dunlin, 6+ greenshanks, 250+ pied wagtails , 6+ jays.

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 10:08 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Snow Bunting. Northam burrows.

Snow Bunting flew along pebble ridge from Westward Ho!, dir.

landed briefly,then continued towards Sandymere.

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 4:45 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

The traditional Water Pipit back on territory at the Rec this morning. On the shingle island or along the shore by the path up river to The Retreat.

Water Pipit - Topsham Rec - 22/10/2014
Water Pipit - Topsham Rec - 22/10/2014

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 2:48 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

East to Middle Soar

A great day for vis mig: Woodpigeon 6530 moving west and south, many straight out to sea with 105 Stock Dove. Also generally moving west 300 Skylark (some grounded), 143 Meadow Pipit (some grounded), 2 Grey Wagtail, 55 Chaffinch, 37 Goldfinch, 5 Siskin & a Reed Bunting.

Other migrants were a Wheatear on Bolt Head, Ring Ouzel & 4 Goldcrest in Starehole, 5 Jay and of course my first Ortolan Bunting for the site. Best day of the autumn!

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 2:05 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Middle Soar

Ortolan bunting with goldfinches on stubbles by old Admiralty Station aka the Pepperpot, at 1150. Freaked by passing peregrine.

Full morning deatails later.

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 12:47 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Haytor

A flock of 250 to 300 Golden Plover flying around to the North of Haytor at 9:00 am this morning.

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 11:18 am by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Instow

8 Turnstone, 5 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Brent Goose, 20 Wigeon were highlights this morning.

Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 11:16 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

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