Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st December 2014


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

Sunday 21st December 2014

Topsham rec

Watched from 14:00 till 15:20

a quick look around the Rec produced 3 water rail a female kingfisher was very active feeding well and giving superb views, 1 adult Mediterranean gull amongst 200+ black headed gulls, 6+ common gulls, 3 grey plover, severall redshank and black tailed godwits, 2 red breasted mergansers, 4 reed buntings, 1 grey wagtail, 6 pied wagtails.

Posted December 21st, 2014 at 10:51 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

christmas robin

 spotted this robin near christmas,near a christmas tree

   have a great xmas everyone

Posted December 21st, 2014 at 8:22 pm by gray clements in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Woodcock was a surprise (given the mild conditions); also 2 Firecrests, 2 Snipe, 60 Curlews, 6 Oystercatchers, 6 Shelduck (20 yesterday) and a Little Grebe, Yesterday also Chiffchaff and 4 Greenshanks.

Posted December 21st, 2014 at 6:11 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Black Brant

All the usual suspects around Exminster Marshes with the Black Brant showing well with the rest of the Brents.

Posted December 21st, 2014 at 4:22 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News


Siberian Chiffchaff again at Young's Park Goodrington click this link   for youtube video of the bird in song. Below photo in very poor light this morning.

                                 Siberian Chiffchaff Youngs Park Goodrington 21 Dec 2014 ML

Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler still presest & 4 Chiffchaff. 2 Black-necked Grebes on sea with 51 Great Crested Grebes and 1 Great Northern Diver.


Posted December 21st, 2014 at 10:41 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 20th December 2014

Great Grey Shrike at Soussons Valley

20th Dec, Great Grey Shrike ranging around the Soussons Valley. Last seen on top of the ridge that separates Soussons Valley to the Warren House Inn. It was using the tall tree stumps left standing after they felled a band of pines during the winter adjacent to the moor

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 7:19 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Spotted Redshank

Not a lot seen around the Topsham area today with the best bird being this winter plumaged Spotted Redshank seen on the Clyst Estuary .

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 5:45 pm by Dave Stone in Bird News

Burrator a.m.

25-30 crossbills near the fishermans huts. Raven giving a 'tocking' call.

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 2:38 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Point

Still no Common Scoters at Downend, Bideford & Barnstaple Bay, Croyde Bay or Baggy point this morning. Fresh WNW winds. Not much around in exposure.

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 1:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler showing this morning also 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest. 26 Cirl Buntings on ground on seed irdt thing but probably many more birds in bushes - also 3 Reed Bunting. 

Posted December 20th, 2014 at 11:29 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 19th December 2014

Decoy Country Park and Stover Park.

Decoy. The male Scaup was still there, along with the usual Coots and Moorhens and a large quantity of Tufted Duck and Gulls (BH mainly but a few Herring), Mute Swans and a large Goose (possibly a Hybrid). One wandering around the woods there were Blue and Great Titis, Robins, Blackbirds and at least one Goldcrest. Squirrels were plentiful.

Stover. Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Goosander, Coot and Moorhen, Mute Swans, Female mandarin Duck, Hundreds of Mallards. By the hide a Kingfisher showed a few times and by the feeders were Nuthatch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffing, Bullfinch and Robins. A Jay gave a quick appearance as did a Woodpigeon. Squirrels were plentiful

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 8:24 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Brixham back garden

Sorry lateness of this posting, Wednesday pm I had 2 Sparrowhawks doing a run through my garden, both appeared to by using team work, one bird successful in catching a feral pigeon. Never seen this before.

Sparrowhawk Brixham 17 Dec 2014 NSml

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler showed well in top corner of 1st car park also 1 Firecrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 12 Goldcrest.

I now see why the Yellow-browed Warbler is so protective over its favourite willow trees - see all the aphids on the branch to its left. It was still seeing off Chiffchaffs today.

Yellow-browed Warbler & Aphids Broadsands 19 Dec 2014 ML

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 4:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh

American wigeon is still there on the farthest part of the scrape amongst the reeds. Also 60+ Canada Geese (one had an injured wing), Hybrid goose, 200+ Wigeon, 150+ Teal and shoveler. Also a merlin flew over.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 3:02 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Cool bright and clear at Lower Tamar this morning.

22 Goosander, 11 Tufted Duck and the usual Mallard and Teal   .A great many birds taking advantage of the nut and seed feeders.   The Jay still helping itself- unually confiding for such a shy species.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 2:55 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Vitifer & Soussons

Spent another morning around Headland Warren/Challacombe area. Still good numbers of Fieldfares. Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. At the back of Soussons plantation 5 Crossbills feeding on the tops of the conifers. Returning to Bennets Cross: Kestrel and the Great Grey Shrike still present and showing well although still very mobile and distant.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 2:40 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News


Female type black redstart at Bolt Head plus sparrowhawk & 35 meadow pipits.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Topsham Rec - Penduline Tits

At about 10.45 I had brief and distant views of three Penduline Tits at the edge of the reeds across the river. At least two - and possibly all three - were adults. Just how many are knocking around? More photos (tiny images I'm afraid) and more on my blog The Two Bird Theory later.

Penduline Tits - Topsham Rec 18/12/2014
Penduline Tits - Topsham Rec 18/12/2014

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News


Two Black Redstarts in the Ridge Hill gardens this morning. I've observed them here during the winter months for the past four years.

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 11:29 am by Peter Shaw in Bird News

Thursday 18th December 2014

Ringed Turnstone

FAO Steve Hopper regarding the ring.

You are indeed right in that the HOL is for 'Holland'. The ring is from the Dutch ringing scheme based in Arnhem (ARN). An example ring image is linked below (note also the 'VOG' on the other line that you must also have seen). Unfortunately judging from your post it sounds like the view you've had was exclusively of the letters that spell part of the scheme address, and none of the number itself (a view I regularly get of rings sat on Mute Swans, forcing me to move to another vantage point or wait for them to take a step). All in all, your bird was ringed in Holland, and that's excellent.

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Preston, Paignton

A visit to the sea wall at Preston, Paignton today gave a count of 23 Turnstone one of which was rung, the details that could be read top row ARN ~ middle row HOL and bottom row KO and possibly followed by a 3.

I would guess that the HOL stands for Holland, does any one know who to advise of this sighting?

Good numbers of Black Headed Gull several of which were beginging to colour up around their heads.

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 7:46 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Great Grey Shrike , Aylesbeare Common 18 / 12 / 2014

Showing well this afternoon along the gas pipeline

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 7:01 pm by Dave Stone in Bird News

Penduline Tit , Darts Farm , 15 / 12 / 2014

Sorry they are late but have just found out how to add posts !


Posted December 18th, 2014 at 6:59 pm by Dave Stone in Bird News

Stover Country Park

Walked round the lake this morning with my little girl. On arrival  at about 10.15 there were 3 male and 1 female Goosander although they seemed to disappear soon afterwards. Also 9 Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck and 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted December 18th, 2014 at 2:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


The Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest where still all around various parts of the 1st car park this morning. 15 Cirl Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park

On the sea: 2 Great Northern Divers, 4 Black-necked Grebes and 68 Great Crested Grebes off the headland.


Lost - a Cornish birder contacted to see if anyone might have found a Swarovski eyepiece cover at Broadsands, if anyone finds it please let me know - I'll get it back to to the owner.


Posted December 18th, 2014 at 11:40 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 17th December 2014

Darts Farm

Viewed 1045-1430 Hrs

No sign of the Pendulines today. Black Brant was amongst c1000 Dark Belly and at least 3 Pale Belly Brent Geese in field near road + Kingfisher around the top pond + ChiffChaff + pair Stonechats + 2 Wrens + Water Rail around the reed-beds in front the hide + Green Finches + Chaffinces and Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders + Wigeon + Teal in front the hide

Kingfisher sat on the reed mace
Kingfisher sat on the reed mace


Black Brant right foreground with c1000 Brent Geese
Black Brant right foreground with c1000 Brent Geese

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

The male Scaup was still present today along with 26 Tufted Duck and singles of Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and Kingfisher.

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Swallow nr Golf Course, Budleigh Salterton

A lone swallow battling against the rain; somewhat sad to see as it simply shouldn't be here right now

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 12:34 pm by Sandy Moreton in Bird News

Wembury Point

  On a calm sea yesterday a Black-throated Diver with a Great Northern far out and on the beach a Water Pipit amongst 20+ Rock Pipits with a few Meadows.

Posted December 17th, 2014 at 8:47 am in Bird News

Tuesday 16th December 2014


Bob Burridge was down at Beesands again today and refound the Yellow-browed Warbler, first seen on 27th November.  It is staying in the same area NE of the Hide looking set for the winter.  100+ Gadwall still present.

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 8:50 pm in Bird News

Grand Western Canal, Crownhill - 17 Buzzards

Walking along the GWC between Crownhill and Tiverton Rd bridges today noted at least 17 Buzzards on the ground in a field opposite the towpath - some foraging. As an inexperienced birdwatcher I was very surprised to see this. Is it unusual ?

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 4:23 pm by Richard Jordan in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler still present - also 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap. 26 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 3 Reed Buntings.

Yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 16 December 2014 ML

On the sea: 4 Black-necked Grebes, 33 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver 

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 3:27 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Vitifer & Soussons - photos

Photos attached belonging to my previous blog post. Sorry, forgot to convert!

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 2:25 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Soussons & Vitifer, Dartmoor

Plenty of Goldcrests around Sousson plantation. Approx. 20 Fieldfares at Vitifer, loosely spread and feeding on Hawthorn berries. Great Grey Shrike seen amongst the old mine workings. Managed a couple of distant photos before it took off in the direction of Challacombe.

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 1:50 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Higher Soar/Southdown Farm

The value of good quality winter cereal stubbles was perfectly illustrated today with record counts over the last 3 years of 32 cirl buntings and 570 skylarks. Also 21 meadow pipits & 30 linnets.

Now all we need is more farmers to leave quality over-winter stubbles then we might not lose another 44 million birds!!

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 1:47 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 16th Dec

Mild and quiet at Tamar Lake this morning and much easier going alongside the lake now that the paths have been upgraded.

25 Goosander, 40 Mallard, 8 Tufted Duck, 5 Coot, 1 Little Grebe, 6 Great Crested Grebes, up to 15 Black headed Gulls coming and going, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Great black Backed Gull.   Refilled the feeders near the hide which then attracted 2 Nuthatches, Blue and Great Tits, 2 Coal Tits, 1 Jay and 3 Chaffinches..

On the way back - 2 Ravens, 1 Dunnock and 1 Goldcrest.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 1:45 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Berry Head

Patrolling the scrub under the cafe. A Swallow! Is this the last one? 

Not taking any bets!

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 12:01 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh, Yelland.

The drake American Wigeon found last week was still around the perimeter of the pond  at Home Farm Marsh this morning. It was grazing with c100 Wigeon, and showed well from time to time.

On the walk back to the car a Marsh Harrier was quartering Isley Marsh.

Posted December 16th, 2014 at 11:37 am by Roger Doble in Bird News

Monday 15th December 2014

Dawlish Warren

A walk along the beach this afternoon produced a great northern diver (1st w), 2 red throated divers, a slavonian grebe which came in extremely close (near Warren Point), several great crested grebes, 2 common scoter (both female/1st w) and the 2 long tailed ducks (near Warren Point).

Long tailed duck
Long tailed duck

Long tailed ducks
Long tailed ducks

Slavonian grebe
Slavonian grebe

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 8:24 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

BGM and Countess Weir

Went over to BGM this morning. It was hazy sunshine and almost high tide. Species noted were Teal, Widgeon, Lapwings, Redshanks, Mallard, a lone Canada Goose, Blackbirds, Starling, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinch, Greenfinches, Jay, Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon and Gulls. In the very far distance by the Viewing Platform were some Avocets and a few Oystercatchers.

We moved on to Topsham Quay and had Pied Wagtail, BH Gulls, Robins and a pair of very large Brown Rats.

Stopped in near the Sewage Works at Countess weir on the way back to Plymouth and noted about 50 Cormorant perching on the Pylon Cables, Lined up as one would expect to see Starlings. I have never seen this in Cormorants before. Perhaps they were charging thier batteries.

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 8:17 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

A pair of Tufted ducks and two pairs of Shoveler this morning, and 90% of the Mallards were males. Surely the females aren't all off egg laying already?

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 7:50 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Mount Batten Plymouth

  While watching HMS Bulwark come in there were Stonechats, 7+ Rock Pipits, a Chiffchaff and a Firecrest in the car park pines.  Also 2 Great Northern Divers in the Sound.

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 7:08 pm in Bird News

Harpers Fishing Ponds, Double Locks, Exeter - Darts Farm, Topsham

Went in search of Penduline Tits reported at the Double Locks fishing ponds (west side of canal) on Saturday but not here today.  Instead found at least three Water Rail (possibly five present here). 

Darts farm had the Pen. Tits passing through earlier, so I missed again and had to settle with the Black Brant but my best photo of the bird yet. The white flanks and white 'necklace' meeting in the middle very conspicuous.

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 4:15 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Penduline Tits at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

10:00 2 x Penduline Tits showed very briefly this morning at Bowling Green Marsh to the left of the hide feeding again very low down on the Bulrushes. It was reported two were seen at Dart's Farm around 11:15 possibly the same pair, then became illusive again.

Very quite on the B.G. Marsh due to the Neap Tides with 100+ Redshank +2 Spotted Redshank. 25+ Gadwall, 150+ Dunlin, 150+ Widgeon, 20+ Shoveller, 50+ Teal 10+ Snipe and a few Black Tailed Godwits.

Off the viewing platform 200+ Dunlin, 30+ Grey Plover, 5+ Common Gull, 20+ Bar Tailed Godwit, 5+ Knott, and one Kingfisher.

Popped in at Darts Farm hide to see the Black Brant which was in with the 1000+ Brent Geese. No sign of the Penduline Tits but a pair of Stonechat and three Chiffs were in the Rushes along with sightings of 2 Water Rail. 

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 3:55 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

FOUR kingfishers on Braunton Marsh

This male kingfisher was one of FOUR we saw from our car on Saturday the 13th Dec in the space of 5 minutes & within about a mile of each other as we drove around the Great Field from Sandy Lane towards the village of Braunton. We know there were four, not the same one seen four times etc. etc. because of the distance of separation, (each was still present at their location when we left it) & observation showed at least one of the others was a female (grainy record image attached).

For the record; the 1st (u/k) was seen flying up Sir Authurs Pill before settling on a distant twig with a fish. The 2nd was this male seen on the Sandy Lane side of the Toll Road. The 3rd (female)was perched over the dike adjacent to Kiln Cottages at Velator & the 4th (u/k) was on the Tiki side of the humpback bridge at Velator, low down below the parapet & flew upstream before settling on a twig about 10 metres from its original perch. I think these sightings represents a healthy population in the area. Long may it continue!

Posted December 15th, 2014 at 1:58 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

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