Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st December 2014

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If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted yesterday at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Sunday 28th December 2014

Dartmoor - Hexworthy and surrounding area

A cold crisp sunny walk across the moor and along the West Dart this afternoon produced 2 Goosander 30+ Golden Plover, 15+ Snipe, plenty of Redwing, Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush feeding on the Hawthorn bushes and 3 pairs of Stonechat seen across this area. A couple of Buzzards, and a single Kestrel to mention. Plenty of Chaffinch feeding under the Beech Trees but no Brambling with them. Not much else to report in the area.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 8:48 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Around the Teign

Two Black Redstarts were seen in Teignmouth today - a male around the docks and a female type along the back beach. Two Great Northern Divers were offshore late morning. In the estuary 38 Red-breasted Mergansers and 2 Jack Snipe. The male Scaup remains at Decoy Lake with 33 Tufted Ducks.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 6:42 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Baggy Point

This morning 3 Red throated Divers flying south towards Hartland & later 2 Red throated Divers flying from south to north & landing at Baggy Point suggesting movement between the headlands.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 6:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Westward Ho!

A single Purple sandpiper and strangely enough a Kingfisher on rocks in front of Nassau court flats

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 1:19 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

South Huish - Glossy Ibis

Adult Glossy Ibis viewable from NT car park at back of the reserve.  Seen 12.10pm today. first found  late yesterday afternoon by Bob Burridge at the end of the field behind the Cafe at South Milton Ley.

Also Ruddy Shelduck still around and three Siberian Chiffchaffs (two now ringed).

Arthur Livett

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 12:58 pm in Bird News

Baggy Point

An early morning walk produced several Stonchat, a few Dunnock and the highlight was a single Black Redstart. Seen on the Croyde Bay side approx 500m from the Point.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 12:17 pm in Bird News

Cranbrook Countryside Park (Exeter)

An early morning walk around the partially completed pathways of the new town produced 2 Green Sandpipers and c15 Snipe on the scrape; 3 Bullfinch, 12 Goldfinch, c20 Meadow Pipit, a pair of Stonechat, 2 Raven, 1 Collared Dove, together with expected Redwings, the odd Fieldfare and Songthrush. The Sandpipers flew off south and the Snipe only showed when disturbed.

Posted December 28th, 2014 at 10:54 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Saturday 27th December 2014

Ernesettle creek / Tamar estuary

1215 - 1400

Inbetween the wintry showers and high winds:

5 Greenshank, 60+ Redshank, 47 Teal, 7 Curlew, 60+ Oystercatcher, 2 Common Gull, 6 Black Tailed Godwit, good numbers of gulls, and a single Kingfisher on his usual perch. 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 6:58 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Contrary to reports, the airfield is still being used by Lapwing and Golden Plover. Today 85 Lapwings and 2 Golden Plover. A record count of 78 Black headed gulls (beating the previous maximum of 6 by some way!), 84 Redwings, 35 Fieldfares, single Stonechat and a smart male Bullfinch was notable.

Other recent records - 

24/12 - 154 Lapwings, 70 Fieldfare, 32 Meadow Pipits, Stonechat

25/12 - 120 Lapwings, Little owl

26/12 - 27 Lapwing


Posted December 27th, 2014 at 4:06 pm in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Red-breasted Merganser of the winter (a female) and a Firecrest still around plus some reasonable numbers of commoner birds.

Redshank (125), Greenshank (2), Dunlin (4), Oystercatcher (5), Curlew (61), Grey Heron (11), Little Egret (8), Little Grebe (2), Shelduck (23), Common Sandpiper, Peregine and Goldcrest (3). 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 3:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Cold and windy at Lower Tamar this morning with hail showers.

25 Goosanders, 15+ Mallard, at least 14 Teal with many others sheltering the in reeds. 1 Coot, c. 40 Black headed Gulls.1 female Goldeneye.

On the feeders at the hide end -  4 Jays- (no wonder the nuts and seeds disappear so rapidly!), fighting amonst themselves and seeing off all comers including the Great Spotted Woodpecker. Coal, Blue and Great Tits, 2 Nuthatches, 3+ Chaffinches when they could getr a look in.

Harvey Kendall. 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Berry Head.

Very quiet with birds on the headland but on the seaward side 20+ Gannets feeding off the headland then moveing into the Bay and then back off the headland following shoals of fish. 3 miles out 100+ dolphins moving quickly south with gannets following. 5 Harbour Porpoise just off the end of headland.

Will check out Bay Sunday morning to see what is about. Still places for Sunday 4th boat trip, if interested email 

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 1:36 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Broadsands to Elberry Cove

Single Velvet Scoter off Broadsands headland was the highight this morning.

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 1:27 pm by Damian Offer in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Water Rail, 35 Cirl Buntings & 5 Reed Bunting this morning

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 10:12 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Darts Farm

Three Penduline Tits @ 9.30

Posted December 27th, 2014 at 10:07 am by Ian Pearson in Bird News

Friday 26th December 2014

Hunting by street light

saw a Perigrine hunting at Matford roundabout.Nothing strange about that apart from it was 21:20. Didn't manage to see what it was chasing.

Posted December 26th, 2014 at 9:51 pm by Jason smith in Bird News

Teign Estuary

An adult Ring-billed Gull was with Black-headed Gulls off Passage House from 13:55 - 14:25 when it flew off down the estuary and out of view. See the Teign Birds blog for more photos and information -

Posted December 26th, 2014 at 4:56 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Thursday 25th December 2014


Must be round the corner - during our post-lunch walk, a Song Thrush was singing! Merry Christmas one and all!

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 8:28 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bearded Tits, Goosemoor, viewing platform & Goatwalk

Great birding round the Exe at christmas...

My Mum, Dad and I went round the goatwalk first and found: 200+ Avocet; 50+ Dunlin; 100+ Black-Tailed Godwit; 50+ Redshank and all the other birds. 

Next the viewing platform: Dad said there wasn't much: 2 Kingfisher; 1 Spotted Redshank; 50+ Redshank; 100+ Black-Tailed Godwit and a few other regulars

Now to the Bearded Tits... 10-15 birds flew over me calling the diagnostic ping then landed in the reeds out of view but I was able to see the long tail and chubby tummy! They landed around the centre of the reed beds. Large flock of Brent flew over and possible sighting of a Penduline Tit in a small patch of reeds...

Great day out at Christmas, definitely getting cooler!

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by Alexander Mackintosh in Bird News

Christmas Day at Ford Park Cemetery

Went down at about 11am. Not an awful lot around to enjoy the winter sun however managed to get the obligatory Xmas Robin, Great Tit on a feeder on one of the graves, Crows, Magpies, the odd Blackbird, a female Chaffinch and about a dozen or so Meadow Pipits. There was a lot of human activity with people visiting graves which could account for low sightings. Also noted about four Squirrels.

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 3:23 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

South Brent Christmas birding

Christmas at home gave me a count of 32 species as of 2pm, starting with a Tawny owl calling during the night, first daylight bird was seasonal Robin followed by a Coal Tit, other species included Dunnock (3) one singing strongly, first flight of Starlings counted at 34 birds, Redwing and Fieldfare overhead Song Thrush in the field hedge, Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard and a for South Brent a rare over flight from a hen Kestrel, Stock Doves (2), Bullfinch (3) Nuthatch (3) a single bird then 2 seen together, Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Wren, species 32 being Long Tailed Tit (3).

Merry Christmas

Posted December 25th, 2014 at 2:05 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wednesday 24th December 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

From the hide at 9.25am this morning two Penduline Tits feeding briefly on the reed mace to the left of the reed bed, one bird showing a full dark mask. Flew up the channel out of view and not seen again.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 8:58 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News


Black Redstarts present at the Sailing Club and at Sandy Bay, on boulders below the access ramp.

Exmouth Sailing Club Black Redstart
Exmouth Sailing Club Black Redstart

Sandy Bay Black Redstart
Sandy Bay Black Redstart

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 4:41 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Meadow Pipit in Ford Park Cemetery Plymouth

Meadow Pipit in Ford Park Cemetery Plymouth, counted around a dozen, plus a few Redwings, and Stralings.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 4:25 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Bird Sightings

In fields south of Sheepstor, 200+ Fieldfares, also Redwings & Mistlethrushs, flushed by Peregrine Falcon.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 3:51 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

The Lake was quiet this morning with 28 Goosander 17m 11f, 3 Tufted Duck, 5 G.C.Grebe, 2 Coot.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 1:56 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Pt

Still No Common Scoters at Downend, Bideford & Barnstaple Bay, Croyde Bay or Baggy Point.

1 Red throated Diver at Baggy Point.

Posted December 24th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Tuesday 23rd December 2014

Lower Tamar Lake

A quick look at the lake where everything looked quiet,

23 Goosander 16m7f, this is the best count since 15th of 29 Goosander 17m 12f, 11 Tufted Duck, 4 G.C.Grebe, the car park feeders had the usual with Willow/Marsh/Blue/Great,Coal Tit, G.S.Woodpecker,Green Finch.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 7:06 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News


Late look around the reserve revealed not much, but hunting the reed-bed at Sherpa was a male Marsh Harrier. It was being mobbed by Crows and drifted off towards RMB Chivenor.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 4:29 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Mudbank Ln

Not much around Mudbank Ln around 14:00 but a surprising amount of Pintail, with at least 300 in the area. Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatcher were around in good number. All the other usual suspects were also about...

Only other bit of interest was an extremely late Bumblebee in the shrub leading up to the bench.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 2:58 pm by Alexander Mackintosh in Bird News

BGM + Viewing Platform + Goatwalk + Goosemoor

Viewed 0915-1300 Hrs

Bowling Green Marsh produced 7 Bar Tailed Godwits + c100 Black Tailed Godwits + c80 Redshank + c50 Curlew + c100 Dunlin + c30 Snipe + 3 Pintail + 7 Gadwall + 4 Greylag Geese good numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler.

Black Brant seen flying low over the marsh from the hide amongst c50 Dark Belly Brent Geese before dropping into the Clyst Estuary near the derrick. Rushed down to the viewing platform where it was sat on top the water in front the platform on the outgoing high-tide at 1030hrs. Possibly another first bird for the marsh.?  Link to video below:

Also seen from the Viewing Platform 29 Grey Plover + 19 Knot and good numbers of other waders.

From the Goatwalk c650 Avocets and c500 Golden Plover seen on turf side mud with 4 Red Breasted Mergansers in the river channel.

From Goosemoor 2 Greenshank + c40 Curlew with good numbers of Wigeon and Teal

Black Brant with Brent Geese from Viewing Platform
Black Brant with Brent Geese from Viewing Platform

Snipe at BGM
Snipe at BGM

Golden Plover from the Goatwalk on Turf side
Golden Plover from the Goatwalk on Turf side

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 2:52 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Male merlin on fencepost by the lagoon; caught a small passerine but then just sat on post with it until disturbed by farmer moving cattle.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 1:55 pm by Richard Woodland in Bird News

Off Topsham Rec recreation ground

This female Goldeneye was off the top end of the rec. this morning (always a good area for the species).  Easily missed as it spent most time under water.  AND may I say... well done to the Publishing Team of DB for another great db report and for getting it out before Christmas.

Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 12:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Monday 22nd December 2014

Prawle Point

My last (probably) seawatch of the year from 8.15 am in a brisk WSW 5-6, going 7 plus . A steady movement of Gannets and Auks (some Razorbills and Guillemots in breeding plumage) as well as smaller numbers of  Kittiwakes and Fulmars. A late Manx Shearwater west and 3 divers west : Red-Throated, Black-Throated and Great Northern ! Entertainment value was provided by at least two breaching Harbour Porpoises and a Seal messily unwrapping its fishy christmas present early.

Posted December 22nd, 2014 at 8:36 pm in Bird News

Young's Park, Goodrington

An adult Ring-billed Gull was around the 'bumper-boat' lake this afternoon, coming to bread - hopefully it will stay for at least a few days. The last one in Devon was I believe 2008!

Ring-billed Gull ad Goodrington 22 Dec 2014 ML2  Ring-billed Gull ad Goodrington 22 Dec 2014 ML 

Photos:  Jake Wood watching the Gull and close up, video link here. 

P.S. thanks to K Oram for finding the swarovski eyepiece cover at Broadsands and getting it back to the grateful owner.

Posted December 22nd, 2014 at 4:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 22nd Dec

Mild but breezy at Lower Tamar this morning.   The five feeders have been emptied in record time!!  So refilled.

Sightings included:  16 Goosander, 12 Tufted Ducks, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Jay, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker plus all the rest who enjoy the feeders.

Fewer Canada Geese here this autumn/winter with flocks of 90 - 100;  usually four times that number.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 22nd, 2014 at 1:51 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

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