Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–30th November 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It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.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

Sunday 30th November 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Just to add to Keith's earlier post of Avocet record count for the marsh.

I have uploaded a video on Youtube which shows the Avocets bunched in a line group in middle of pond after unsuccessful attempts from both Sparrowhawk and Peregrine attacks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJZ6IYK9ELc&feature=youtu.be

Posted November 30th, 2014 at 9:52 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

The returning Teal x Wigeon hybrid was present on the scrapes beside the Otter this evening. Its fifth winter since first seen by MK in the Autumn of 2010 on the Exe. Also 15 BT Godwit yesterday which is a good count for here plus 3 redhead Goosander on the estuary. The Starling roost is pretty impressive at the moment with an estimated 6,000 birds coming into the roost in the reeds 100M south of White Bridge.....

Posted November 30th, 2014 at 6:26 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Avocet update

Having checked avocet peak counts on the exe estuary in devon bird reports it appears that this mornings count of 730+ is the highest count for the exe estuary and devon. Severall birds were ringed but no complete sets were read will try over next few days to get some full reads.

 

Posted November 30th, 2014 at 5:42 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Ilfracombe

4 Purple Sandpipers showing well at Capstone Point this morning.



Posted November 30th, 2014 at 5:36 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Topsham

The adult Black Brant was at Dart's Farm with c 600 Dark-bellied Brent Geese at midday.  Also Kestrel, Stonechat, Water rail and Chiffchaff.  Last night I was around late afternoon to watch the Starling roost at the Exe reedbeds south of M5. I estimate that there were 10,000 to 12,000 in the roost. Sparrowhawk made several passes.

Posted November 30th, 2014 at 5:32 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:00 till 13:20 

from the hide 10:20 till 13:20

the highlight of the morning was my best count of Avocet on the marsh with 730+ Checking to see if any higher counts in the past will update later

1300+ dunlin, 165+ bar tailed godwits, 120+ lapwing, 57+ snipe, 2 spotted redshanks, 130+ redshanks , 1 greenshank, 300+ black tailed godwits, a few curlew. 4+ pochard, 4 tufted duck, 2 gadwall, 5 pintail good numbers of teal, wigeon and shovelers, 500+ Brent geese over to darts farm.

40+ meadow pipits, 2 stonechat, 2+ sparrowhawk, 1 peregrine, 5+ reed buntings, small groups of redwing and a few fieldfare, 2 great spotted woodpecker.

first thing  the lane and the viewing platform

1 nuthatch, 2 treecreeper, 4+ water rail, 4 golden plover, 30+ grey plover, 32+ knot, 484+ avocet, 120+ lapwing large numbers of dunlin, 6 groups of skylarks over (40+), 7+ red breasted merganser, 300+ Brent geese.

Posted November 30th, 2014 at 5:05 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Broadsands and Dartington

A first light visit to Broadsands the Yellow Browed Warbler continues to evade me but visitng birders from Norfolk and Somerset claimed to have heard one calling while visiting to see the loations Cirl Buntings which were showing reasonably well. 

Having listened to the Firecrest call on the Birdguides sites one certainly present but not seen, Goldcrest and Chiffchaff showing, five Bullfinch two males and presumably the three female seen earlier in the week showing well, several Wrens, a male Sparrow hawk came over the car park hedge by the marsh just after I had arrived and later a female seen soaring overhead mobbed by two Crows, low overhead pass by a Raven, lots of Chaffinch, Goldfinch showing well and one female Greenfinch.

On the way home stopped off on Dartington Drive below the flood plain field, the willows and oaks towards the river were alive with Goldcrests and one very confiding Wren.

Posted November 30th, 2014 at 4:21 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head

Very quiet morning on BH until a large congregation of gannets and other gulls south of BH in a feeding frenzy then joined by 50+ common dolphins, a great sight and lasted for 25 minutes. Large numbers of Guillemots, 700+ on the colony cliffs with 9 Fulmar. Sorry not out on one of my boat trips, next trip 14th December. 

Posted November 30th, 2014 at 1:37 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Saturday 29th November 2014

Newton Abbot

Male Scaup still, 30 Tufted Ducks, 5 Teal and singles of Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher and Chiffchaff at Decoy Lake this morning.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 7:38 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

More Torbay

Walked to Torquay this pm, Great Northern Diver from Goodrington and Paignton Beach. Single Black-necked Grebe close to the sea wall at the north end of Torquay seafront.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 7:20 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Topsham BGM + Viewing Platform + Goatwalk

Viewed just after the morning high-tide.

c500 Avocets dropped into bowling green marsh after Keith's (earlier posting) who had already left + Water Rail, Spotted Redshank,10 Grey Plover and 5 Snipe viewed left of the viewing platform on outgoing tide + c70 Golden Plover viewed from the goatwalk across the water early afternoon standing in a line on the mud turf locks side

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 6:39 pm by David Boult in General Birding

River Caen/ River Taw

1230-1515. Cloudy cold but dry. 2 Male stonechat by the vellator car park. On the caen 1 Common sandpiper, 40 + Red shank,2 Green shank, 2 Kingfisher and 2 Grey plover( 6 more on the taw ). On the marsh 500+ Starling, 2 Buzzard and a Kestrel. On the taw 1000+ Lapwing ( no golden plover today ) 18 shell duck, 50+ Dunlin,40+ Brent geese and good numbers of Curlew, Teal and Widgeon.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 6:36 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Plymouth - Royal William Yard

Over the last week on my way into the office and back and forth to my car have observed a black redstart feeding at roof level of several of the buildings In the yard.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 3:57 pm by Graham Devine in General Birding

Ilfracombe

The Firecrest and Black Redstart etc seen in the Jubilee Gardens this morning was among the small bushes and trees on the higher slope above Ilfracombe Museum.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 3:46 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Torbay

Broadsands: 2 White-fronted Geese sp. flew over > south this morning one adult with a good amount of black barring on brown belly - didn't age the other.  Yellow-browed Warbler still in top right corner of 1st car park this morning showing on and off! Also 2 Firecrest at least 5 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest.1 Water Rail and a Kingfisher.

Clennon Valley: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler at western end by small feeder stream into top pond with at least 6 Chiffchaffs, the Y-bW seems to be loosely associated with a small flock of Long-tailed Tits, 4 Goldcrest, 3 Water Rail, 1 Little Egret and Kingfisher all on site too.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 3:46 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tamar Lake - 29th November

At Lower Tamar Lake this morning in quiet conditions and hazy sun:-

7 male and 2 female Goosander, 3 Gadwall, 5 male and 1 female Tufted Duck, 10+ Mallards, 1 Cormorant, 7 Moorhens, 3 Coot, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 25+ Black headed Gulls, 3 Herring gulls, 2 Coal Tits, good numbers of Blue and Great Tits, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Treecreeper, 3 Blackbirds, 9 House Sparrows, 1Jay, 1 Buzzard, 6 Jackdaws, 1 Magpie and 7 Carrion Crows.

The feeders at opposite ends of the lake are being well patronised.

Harvey Kendall

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 3:03 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Ilfracombe

Wide variety of birds feeding in the Jubilee Gardens this glorious, sunny morning. Among the many starlings, chaffinches and blue tits,  Black Redstart and Blackcap gorging on the palm seeds.

Also in the gardens, picking off the insects from the small fir trees and holly tree, a Goldcrest and a Firecrest.

Numerous blackbirds, thrushes, wrens and robins also present.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 2:42 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Soar Mil Cove

Cracking male hen harrier hunting over the stubbles. Also 150 skylark & grey wagtail.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:30 till 11:15

Excellent numbers of dunlin with 1500+ including 5 knot , 2 spotted redshanks, 220+ redshanks , 2 avocet,  125+ lapwing, 30+ snipe, good numbers of black tailed godwits and bar tailed godwits, 900+ wigeon, 5 pochard, 7+ gadwall, 3+ pintail, 70+ shoveler and 150+ teal, redwing, fieldfare, 3 song thrush, 2 mistle thrush, 4 reed buntings, 2 sparrowhawk, 1 peregrine, 1 buzzard.

Posted November 29th, 2014 at 1:11 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Friday 28th November 2014

North Torridge area

Barn Owl repeatedly seen hunting around the Tarka Trail this evening around the area under Torridge Bridge/A39.

Posted November 28th, 2014 at 10:38 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

17 members of Devon Birds (East Devon Branch fieldtrip) led by Dave Murray made the most of rather poor light, taking the road and canal footpath to Turf and back, avoiding the western footpath as it was believed to be too wet underfoot.

Good numbers of ducks and geese present with high numbers of Brent geese present.  A Bar-headed Goose was present with large flocks of Canada's, 13 Golden Plover, 7 Pintail, a few Shoveler and good numbers of Lapwing  and Wigeon3 Dunlin seen at a distance.  Fieldfare and Redwing present in the trees plus Stonechat, 2 Cettis Warbler (2 males chasing each other) and a brief sighting of a Water Rail on the bends.   A Kingfisher was present at Turf and a large group of Avocet on the water north towards Topsham. A distant Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk and hunting Peregrine, ticked the raptors.  The lagoon produced 2 Gadwall and other ducks. 

The remaining members later visited Matford to view the flooded ponds where c40 Black-tailed Godwit were present plus Wigeon, Teal and a few Tufted Duck.  A total of 56 species listed by Annabelle Strickland for the day.  

Posted November 28th, 2014 at 4:59 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A record of 6 Black headed gulls may not sound much for those watching a wetland/coastal patch but this is only the 3rd occasion i have recorded them up here. The usual 200+ Herring gulls plus 1 LBB Gull. 14 Golden Plover and a single Snipe and 3000+ Starling nearby on farmland.

Earlier in the week, the Little Owl showed briefly on the 25th, 41 lapwing on 24th and up to 40 Fieldfare and 10 Blackbirds feeding on hawthorns. 

Posted November 28th, 2014 at 4:32 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Thursday 27th November 2014

Otter - Braunton Marsh - 27th November

Spotted this Otter working it's way up one of the drainage channels - putting to flight several gulls & waders. Great to see that these animals seem to be thriving here.



Posted November 27th, 2014 at 8:18 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Velator

Seeing the post about Chiffchaffs, I have also had an increase in numbers this last couple of weeks. 2 ringed in each of the last two sessions but five ringed this morning and probably at least 2 others seen without rings. Two of these birds were very small - wing lenghts of 54 and 56mm. Don't recall any this small before. Full details of this morning's session on the Forum. Also saw a Water Rail but it was too quick to see if it was the one I ringed recently.

Wrafton Pond had 3 Tufted Duck and at least 2 Shoveler yesterday.

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 7:09 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Stover

Some very dull and overcast weather resulted in very few visitors being at Stover Country Park early this afternoon, the female Mandarin duck is still present on the lake as is a male Goosander, both Tufted and Pochard duck in evidence this visit neither species being seen on last weeks visit, a small duck flew in which I am sure was a female Teal but unable to locate for a positive identification. 

Again the feeder at the feeding station was empty and many small birds were readily coming for food on the raised viewing platform, large numbers of Great and Blue Tits present (including the white tailed BTO rung Great Tit, the ring number starts with "TT") smaller numbers of Marsh and Coal Tit, a counted 11 Long Tailed Tits, Jay, Nuthatch, Robin, Dunnock and good numbers of Chaffinch, Coot and Moorhen.

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 6:48 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Beesands

Nick Townsend, Terry Goddard and Bob Burridge were carrying out some management work near our Beesands hide this morning and found a" nice bright" Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest and a Siberian Chiffchaff as well as at least five Collybita Chiffchaff in the area.

Bob also mentioned ringing 21 Chiffchaff at South Milton Ley recently - a record for November.

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 5:26 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Roadford Lake

A Great Northern Diver seen close to the Devon Birds hide at      1-30pm today. It swam by doing a unusual 'snorkelling' action without diving. In winter plumage with a dark scaly pattern on its back. 

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 4:07 pm by Digby Greenhill in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide 1045-1230hrs.

From the hide very foggy/misty views on arrival and unable to see anything but cleared later to show c450 Avocets + c150 Bar Tailed Godwits + c500 Black Tailed Godwits + c1000 Dunlin + c80 Redshank + c25 Curlew + c10 Snipe + c30 Lapwing + 5 Pintail + 2 Gadwall + 1 Tufted Duck + 1 Pochard + c60 Shoveler + c300 Wigeon + c200 Teal + c20 Meadow Pipit.

From the viewing platform great views of a Water Rail along hedgerow in left field just inside entrance gates + 2 Spotted Redshank + 4 Grey Plover + Common Gull + 2 Snipe + c50 Lapwing also large number of Brent Geese flying over from Darts Farm.

From the goatwalk c20 Golden Plover + c15 Grey Plover across the water on turf side + 6 Red Breasted Mergansers in river channel and large numbers of Dunlin everywhere.

Water Rail
Water Rail

Water Rail
Water Rail

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 3:44 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Brixham.

3 Black Redstart, 1 on wall back of my house and the other 2 on adjacent roofs. All at the same time.15 Long-tailed Tits passing through and at last Coal and Blue Tits on my sunflower hearts after 2 weeks of waiting.

Still places on Sunday morning boat trips, iinterested email wildbones@btinternet.com 

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 3:09 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

LOWER TAMAR LAKE

At 10:30 today, Goosander 6m 2f, 11 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Tufted duck, 1 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Willow and 1 Marsh Tit.

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 1:58 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake - 27th Nov

Lower Tamar Lake this morning - 14 Goosanders, 6 Great Crested Grebes,16 Mallard, 1 Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatches, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, 4 Chaffinches, 6 Blackbirds, 25+ Black headed Gulls and a fox.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 1:34 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Torbay

A nice flat sea to check over the bay today was hampered by a heat haze over the sea!! 6 Red-throated Divers, 3 Great Northern Divers, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes two distant Scoters in the haze off Goodrington looked more like Velvet than Common but I could not be sure! 1 Firecrest in the coastal scrub at Three Beaches headland.

Martin Elcoate's tweet about the Black Guillemot at Brixham - I've just noticed was originally from January this year.   

Posted November 27th, 2014 at 9:54 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 26th November 2014

Prawle

The 5 Greylag Geese , seen on Monday , were still present in the field next to the Airfields by Vinivers Cross-relocated just as I was on the point of leaving at 3pm ! Looking wary and keeping together with one of them stretching its neck in order to keep guard. Also 14 Golden Plover and 75 Lapwing flew overhead.

I relocated the Water Pipit , found on Sunday, on the beach at Horsley Cove at the eastern end and a Knot. Elsewhere, a Redwing, Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrushes, 2 Chiffchaffs, female Reed Bunting,32 Mallard and 2 Teal. Alas, no rare wheatears . Dull, overcast, slight breeze , Prawle had the distinct feel of winter.

Posted November 26th, 2014 at 9:03 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Broadsands, Paignton

Very productive visit to Broadsands this morning despite the very dull, damp weather.   In addition to Mike Langman's earlier post, there were 3 FIRECRESTS feeding very actively along the tree line dividing the car park and road.   Two of these birds were working together whilst the third was on its own.  

The 2 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS were in the trees between the two car parks at the marsh end, accompanied by a pair of Bullfinches.  

A RED-THROATED DIVER was offshore from the headland, + 12 Great-creasted Grebes.   2 of the Black-necked Grebes were feeding very close to the beach despite people and dogs.

 

Posted November 26th, 2014 at 5:45 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Topsham Goatwalk

Viewed over the early afternoon outgoing high-tide in misty conditions.

c400 Avocets + c800 Black Tailed Godwits + c60 Bar Tailed Godwits mostly close in with good views from rivermeat house along the the goatwalk + c70 Golden Plover + c15 Grey Plover + c80 Lapwing + 1 Knot viewed across the river on turf side + 6 Red Breasted Mergansers diving in the channel left of the goatwalk + c2500 Dunlin scattered around the mud.

Posted November 26th, 2014 at 5:37 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Baggy Pt

Juvenile female Merlin showing well both in flight & at rest  this morning at Baggy.The bluish Cere & the pale patch on the nape can be seen on the photos.

No Common Scoters at Downend or Baggy Pt so far this autumn/early winter. No Red throated Divers either but was told this morning that there were 10 Divers at Hartland Point & one at Morte Point. 

No sign of the Black Redstarts which is not surprising with a Merlin in the locality!



Posted November 26th, 2014 at 3:13 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Torbay

Quick sweep of the beaches and marshes produced:

Paignton / Preston: 2 Velvet Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe

Goodrington: 9 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver

Broadsands: 1 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Black-necked Grebes. In marsh 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Goldcrest & 4 Chiffchaff

Clennon Valley: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler (YMCA end over stream), 6 Chiffchaffs

 

Video of Yellow-browed Warbler (click on image) - much easier to see than Broadsands bird!

Posted November 26th, 2014 at 3:12 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Darts Farm

Visited Darts Farm for a change this lunchtime. Good numbers of Brent Geese feeding in the field between the road and the fishing lakes. Just before I had to leave at about 2 o'clock I picked out a bird that looked good for Black Brant - possibly the bird that has been seen further down the estuary recently.

Also 1 Green Sandpiper from the viewing screen and heard a Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker and Fieldfares.

Posted November 26th, 2014 at 3:04 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tuesday 25th November 2014

Bursdon Moor

Stopped by on my way home from Falmouth. On arrival (2.20) a juvenile female Merlin was perched on one of the dead(?) little trees out in the middle of the moor, it flew off chasing something. At 2.35 a Sparrowhawk flew over hotly pursued by a crow, but of Short-eared Owls, no sign by 3.45 so I followed the rain home.

Posted November 25th, 2014 at 5:51 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

My garden in Northam

13:30 Today, while looking out through the patio doors I saw a Black Redstart on the driveway, also in the garden was a Pheasant, Robin, Dunnock Blue/Great/Coal Tit.

Posted November 25th, 2014 at 2:02 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Monday 24th November 2014

Plymouth

A Black Redstart at Cattedown Wharf first thing this morning (near the old pub).

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 8:41 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 13:35 - 15:00.

Just off Pottington Ind.Est:- 253 Dark-bellied Brent; 27 Dunlin; 43 Redshank; 1 Grey Plover and 9 Little Egret.

Mid-river:- c1500 Golden Plover and at least 500-600 Lapwing.

Off Penhill Marsh and Ashford Strand:- 38 Shelduck; 18 Wigeon and c50 Dunlin.

In the scrub area adjacent to Ashford Sewage Works c20 Redwings and 1 male Blackcap.

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 7:34 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

South Efford & South Huish Marsh

32 Bird species identified on South Efford Marsh this morning, not the density of birds as there were last week, but Kingfishers showed well with two individuals and one pair being seen (possibly the two individuals coming together), Greenshank, Redshank, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Wigeon numbers on the increase to seven, male Sparrowhawk being mobbed by Corvids on leaving.

The Ruddy Shellduck showed all be it a bit distant while feeding with the large numbers of Canadian Geese at South Huish Marsh, all the usual species including a single Lapwing but as at South Efford Marsh not the recent densities of the smaller species.

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 5:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exmouth

Two black redstarts showing well around the dockside apartments this evening.

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 4:48 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Around the Axe

Clearly been an arrival/movement of Black Reds and Chiffchaffs with this colder weather (which is so nice to finally have!).  KH had three Black Redstarts in Beer and my Dad saw at least one at Axmouth Harbour.

I've seen 14+ Chiffchaffs today, with at least one everywhere I've been. Little else though sadly.

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 4:18 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Brixham

In bright conditions this afternoon two different Black Redstarts, a male and a female/imm type, flycatching from rooftops at Sharkham Village, adjacent to the start of the beach path.Another reported at Breakwater by a visiting birder.  

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 3:39 pm in General Birding

Higher to East Soar

Walking across an oilseed rape field by Southdown Farm a female type Great Bustard took to the air and flew over my head towards East Soar; no sign of any wing tags but presumably a Salisbury Plain bird!!! What an amazing start to the day - like being back in Extremadura!!

Also: 8 Buzzards soaring over the airfield with 5 drifting south-east over Bolt Head - maybe a local movement, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on cliffs, 42 Stock Doves moving west, 155 Skylarks on stubbles, 13 Rock Pipits on seaweed in Soar Mill Cove, 200 Starlings, 100 Crows, 9 Ravens, 60 Linnets and 15 Cirl Buntings. Still butterflies on the wing - one Red Admiral & a "helice" Clouded Yellow, both on Bolt Head. What a morning!

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bar-headed goose

My husband and I saw an interesting head pop up amongst a flock of Canada geese .It turned out to be a bar-headed goose! just off the road from the RSPB car park towards the canal.

Posted November 24th, 2014 at 9:07 am by Ex minster Marshes in General Birding

Sunday 23rd November 2014

Instow

Low tide and a lot of birds this lunchtime. Armed only with binoculars, some distant views so no mind blowing species to report, but some good numbers including 9 Grey Plover together just west of Isley Marsh, the most I've seen together there. 3 Common Snipe, 8 Fieldfare, several Stonechat, a Skylark and a Mistle Thrush also highlights. Tens of Shelduck, Curlew and Wigeon, hundreds of Golden Plover, Lapwing and Oystercatcher. All in quality light in the sunshine.

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 11:39 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Wembury

Firecrest above Bovisand beach flitting around in willows. 

Dartford Warbler at Wembury point in low gorse. 

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 pm by Jane Penton in General Birding

Prawle

I had no intention to seawatch today arriving in the Prawle  car park at 7.30am and with a northerly force 1-2 and clear to the horizon, not the ideal conditions. But with Pat already at the hide and John putting wet weather gear on, well, what was I to do ?

At the point from 8am Gannets, Auks and Kittiwakes were moving , mainly west , but also east .I still wasn’t convinced but …

Unexpected highlights were : 5 immature Pomarine Skuas east , 1 Bonxie west and 1 unidentified ( probable Pom ) skua far out east . 3 Great Northern Divers east and 1 west. 6 Red-Breasted Mergansers west, 3 Common Scoter east, 1 west. 2 Brent Geese ( with pale bellies) east and 5 Brent Geese west. 2 Med Gulls ( adult wp)  and 3 unidentified duck east .On the rocks at the point a  lovely male Black Redstart alighted, my first male this autumn.

Later John and I saw , on a circuit from the hump, to the car park, and through the village to the airfields : at least 7 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush (seen by Pat) and 2 Blackcaps, Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs. Another Black Redstart on a roof top ; 19 Lapwing , c 200 Starlings, 10 Stock Doves , c30 Skylarks, and, oh yes  a female Teal. 

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 8:57 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Firecrest was this afternoon's highlight (at the top of Dell Walk). Fewer waders on the pool tonight - 31 Redshanks, 11 Dunlins, 4 Oystercatchers and 34 Curlews,

Otherwise - 5 Little Egrets, 12 Grey Herons, 5 Goldcrests, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Little Grebes. 

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 8:01 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling green marsh & countess wear

Watched from the hide 08:45 till 10:25

Avocet numbers continue to increase with 285+, 109+ bar tailed godwits, 1000+ black tailed godwits, 241+ dunlin, 64+ lapwing, good number of redshanks, wigeon, shoveler and teal,  7+ gadwall, , 3+ pintail, 5+ pochard, 1 stonechat, 1 buzzard, 30+ meadow pipit, 1 spotted redshank seen before I arrived.

Countess wear along the canal path by the sewage works from 10:40 till 14:45, produced lots of chiffchaff's in severall groups along with plenty of goldcrest's, 2 kingfisher, 1 coal tit, 1 Cetti's warbler, 1 great spotted woodpecker. 

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 7:41 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Pintail - Chivenor

All the usual suspects on the estuary this lunch time. wildfowl, waders, gulls and egrets. Lapwing the most numerous. Several hundred. Enjoyed several snipe fleeing the sea purslane in usual fashion but the real treat were 21 pintail. Have always loved this duck. 

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 6:03 pm by Tom Williams in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh, 10:45-12-45, falling tide.

Beautiful morning for birding, still and perfect light.

13 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Grebe, 37 Brent Geese, 21 Pintail, 70 Teal ( Charleton Marsh ), 7 Red-breasted Mergansers and 500+ Golden Plover.

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 5:59 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Torbay

A check around the marshes at of Torbay this morning produced:

Broadsands: probably still 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 7 Chiffchaff (all collybita) 4 Goldcrests.

Clennon Valley: 2 Yellow-browed Warblers one at western end between top two lakes (presumably the same individual last seen on 16th November, but with new influx of Chiffchaff and a new Yellow-browed Warbler it could even have been a new bird), also new bird at far eastern end along stream near to YMCA much easier to watch see photo and video below, also 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, at least 9 collybita Chiffchaffs and 5 Goldcrests.

Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Valley YMCA 23 November 2014 ML  

Photo: Yellow-browed Warbler YMCA Clennon Vly     Click on image above for Video of same bird

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 4:41 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Guillemot Budleigh Beach

Winter plumage Guillemot close in to shore at Budleigh Beach this afternoon

Winter Plumage Guillemot
Winter Plumage Guillemot

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 3:48 pm by Richard Allen in General Birding

Egret behaviour

Kelvin Irwin - During the early creation of Goosemoor Topsham the RSPB undertook detailed bird usage monitoring. I saw this behaviour regularly - the little egrets foraging small fish disturbed by the cormorant - amazing to watch. 

Posted November 23rd, 2014 at 7:32 am by Aj Bellamy in General Birding

Saturday 22nd November 2014

Exe Estuary cruise highlights

Three Egyptian Geese were the highlight (lowlight?) of this afternoon's Stuart Line cruise. They were with Brents off Lympstone. Waders seemed to be generally in good numbers, though still only about 170 Avocets. c15 Golden Plovers were with flocks of Lapwings on the mud. Plenty of Shags (30+) in the lower part of the estuary. Three Little and 2 Great Crested Grebes, but couldn't locate the Slavonian today. Later, a Great Northern Diver and few Common Scoters visible off the Warren from Exmouth.

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 9:13 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

River Caen, Veletor

Whilst walking beside the River Caen at Veletor this morning I saw a Cormorant and a Little Egret standing together at the waters edge. I watched as the Cormorant went into the water and was diving. After a few dives It surfaced and swam back to the Egret, which had been watching the activity. They then walked further downstream together and this happened again, the egret obviously intent to catch anything disturbed by the Cormorant. This happened again a bit further downstream.  The Cormorant then took flight, closely followed by the Egret and they continued this routine even further downstream. Eventually the Cormorant took flight again and was once more closely shadowed by the Egret, out across Sherpa Marsh, where I lost track of them. A great bit of behaviour which I have not seen before. I wonder how common this is?

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 9:03 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh Sat 22nd November

Green winged Teal, adult male. It was with many other Common Teal

Also Gadwall Shoveler Wigeon & Pintail in good numbers.

A Buzzard flew by and put the birds up but caught nothing.

A good couple of hours birding.

S.J.Turner.

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 8:08 pm by Stephen J Turner in General Birding

Woodford, Plympton

Indoors today sorting out laptop so pleasantly surprised to see from our garden a Firecrest, Redwing, female Blackcap , a Song Thrush, at least 8 Blackbirds and about 20 Starlings plus other common species.Some days this is the best Prawle can offer !

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 6:03 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Woodford, Plympton

Indoors today sorting out laptop so pleasantly surprised to see from our garden a Firecrest, Redwing, female Blackcap , a Song Thrush, at least 8 Blackbirds and about 20 Starlings plus other common species.Some days this is the best Prawle can offer !

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 6:03 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Velator and Sherpa

After a day hacking at the vegetation in the reserve, I walked down past Sherpa to the runway lights. In the reserve still a Water Rail or two, seen all about the reserve, including running across under the main gate. Cetti's Warbler calling and a Red Admiral still in flight. About 30 noisy Redshank on the pill and a Green Sandpiper at Sherpa. I was hoping to find the Short-eared Owl seen hereabouts recently, no sign but as I turned to head back, a lovely (female?) Barn Owl appeared from in the rough area inside the RMB base. flew towards me then along the embankment towards the estuary. This had the advantage that I was looking down at it's right side and could clearly see a ring! - Probably one of mine. A Kingfisher landed on a snag the other side of the embankment and proceded to bash it's small fish a couple of times before seeing me and moving further away. Couple of Little Egrets and a Grey Heron around the marsh. I thought the weather had been warm but seeing a Swallow was a bonus - may be my latest Devon record? Finally about 40 Pied Wagtails looking as if they were heading for a roost somewhere.

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 5:55 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Unusually, a really good showing of waders on the pool tonight (on the high tide) - including 165 Redshanks, 22 Dunlins, 39 Curlews, 3 Oystercatchers and 5 Greenshanks. Also around the area: Snipe (c5), Kingfisher (2), Green Woodpecker (2), Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Stonechat (2), Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Song Thrush (12), Goldcrest (6) and a Little Grebe.

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 5:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Berry Head and Broadsands

A short watch from the quarry mid morning produced  a trickle of Common Gulls heading south, a Great Northern Diver going  North distantly and  another on the sea. Two Chiffchaffs in the quarry , in the back lane two more plus a Blackcap. Several small parties of Skylark going south overhead plus two Mistle Thrush over high. 

From Broadsands -Elbury late am, two Great Northern, one by oyster farm towards Brixham and one over towards Torquay, and just 3 Great Crested Grebes. In the marsh 6+ Chiffchaffs , other observers reported a Firecrest and single Yellow-browed Warbler  earlier.

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 5:29 pm in General Birding

The South Brent Ring Ouzels are still here..............

A walk out onto Dartmoor from Aish Ridge above South Brent this afternoon resulted in the unexpected finding of three Ring Ouzels two hens and one juvenile feeding on hawthorne berries, initially flushed and flew away from the moor but within a few minutes flew almost overhead out on to the open moor one bird landing in the top of a hawthorne and the other two nearby on the ground.

Very large flocks of both Fieldfare and Redwing with good numbers of Starlings moving about in small flocks, good numbers of both Blackbird and Song Thrush, mostly around the hawthornes.

Hen Kestrel and an almost pure white Buzzard seen as well as Stonechat, Goldcrest and Meadow Pipit, in all 20 species identified.

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 5:23 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Topsham

2 Spotted redshanks on River Clyst close to the view platform and 10 Golden plover on the estuary this morning.

Posted November 22nd, 2014 at 1:06 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

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