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

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·          Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·        Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 19th July 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

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

Wednesday 31st December 2014


Immature Marsh harrier quartering over the reedbeds from the rec on two occasions between 2pm and 3pm. Water rail feeding in the open beneath my bird feeders was a surprise this morning.

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 11:37 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler still present in top right corner of 1st car park, 1 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests. 1 Great Northern Diver and 1 Black-necked Grebe in Broadsands Bay

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 8:05 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Darts Farm + BGM Viewing Platform + Goosemoor

Viewed 1045-1500Hrs

Started at Darts Farm but still no sign of the Pendulines again with usual subjects as per Mark's earlier post.

BGM Viewing Platform showing c125 Avocets + 17 Grey Plover good numbers of other waders and the Water Rail was showing again in left field just inside the entrance gates with another further along the hedgerow. Large group of Brent Geese flying over towards the estuary

Whilst at the platform someone mentioned that 2 Penduline Tits (without mask) were seen earlier in the reeds at Goosemoor halfway along the cycle path at about 1300hrs. Having walked back that way with others none were seen.

From Goosemoor 2 Spotted Redshank + 3 Greenshank + c20 Redshank + c30 Dunlin + 8 Snipe with one showing really close-by just in front the first viewing  opening.

Link below to video for Spotted Redshank:

Black Brant at Darts Farm
Black Brant at Darts Farm

Egyptian Geese at Darts Farm
Egyptian Geese at Darts Farm

Water Rail at BGM Viewing Platform
Water Rail at BGM Viewing Platform

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 7:07 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Saltram Marsh

Several Curlews, Redshanks, Little Egrets, Shellducks, Oystercatchers, Goosanders, and my favourite the Kingfisher

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 4:59 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Yellow-browed Warbler calling and showing on and off was a good end to 2014 (found in bushes where the cycle track from Laira Bridge joins the route to the city centre, just on the east side of the road bridge and there until at least 3.30pm). Earlier, a party of 6 Goosanders were on the narrow river (near Sainsbury's) before flying off - 2 drakes and 4 redheads.

The waders roosting on the wall were very distant and difficult to count but looked like just c80 Redshanks but a good (by Plym standards) tally of c35 Dunlins; and 3 Greenshanks with them.

Also - Oystercatcher 6, Curlew 60, Common Sandpiper, Little Grebe 2, and Kingfisher .

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 4:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Darts farm

No sign of any Penduline Tits this morning but the Black Brant showing well on and off all morning with c1000 Brent Geese. Also a Spotted Redshank flew over calling mid morning,  2 Egyptian Geese on the river bank.  3 Chiffchaff and 2 Stonechat in the reedbed by the hide. 

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:51 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Capstone - Ilfracombe

4 Purple Sandpipers nr. 40 Steps, Capstone, Ilfracombe today 11:00 - 12:00

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:42 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler still present this morning, also five Shoveler, c100 Gadwall and three Chiffchaff (collybita) Bob Burridge

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:39 pm in Bird News

South Milton Ley

at least 20 Chiffchaff this morning mainly collybita with two Siberian (one with a ring) Bob Burridge

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:36 pm in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

Eight Chiffchaff (collybita) this morning at the sewage treatment works.  (Bob Burridge)

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:34 pm in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 31st Dec

Mild with increasing cloud this morning.

38 Goosander (23 males) 3 Shoveler (2 males), 24 Mallard,7 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Grey Herons, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Jay, 2 Bullfinches, 1 Wren, 2 Coot, 1 Moorhen, 1 Cormorant, c. 30 Blackheaded Gulls, 15 Rooks, 5 Chaffinches plus all the usual tits etc. on the feeders.   At least 6 Blackbirds.

Harvey Kendall & Rod Mudge.

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 2:17 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Coleton Fishacre near Kingswear

In the grounds of the National Trust  property yesterday I was surprised to come across a flock of 40 plus finches feeding on a cleared pathside area. The majority (30 or so, hard to count as flighty ) were Cirl Buntings, nearly all the rest Yellowhammers. The most Cirls I have seen together in this district and unexpected in an ornamental gardens area. Given the cold conditions  I assume they moved in opportunistically to take advantage of re-seeding of grass surface taking place.   

Posted December 31st, 2014 at 1:50 pm in Bird News

Tuesday 30th December 2014

Broadsands & Goodrington

Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest & 2 Chiffchaffs. 3 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Red-throated Divers off shore

Goodrington: 2 Velvet Scoter (ad male & female or 1st winter) and a Slavonian Grebe.

Velvet Scoters Goodrington 30 Dec 2014 ML

Posted December 30th, 2014 at 7:27 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Higher Soar/Southdown Farm

Annual peak of 750 Skylarks, most on good quality stubbles plus 15 Cirl Buntings. Cirl bunting breeding population down by 50% to just 20 pairs after 40 in 2012. Good winter numbers though so hopefully the proposed national Cirl Bunting survey in 2015 will yield better results!

Posted December 30th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Westward ho!

Two purple sandpipers today below Nassau court. colours showing really well in the morning sun.

Once again the Kingfisher was there, this time I watched it hover and dive into the rock pools

Posted December 30th, 2014 at 1:08 pm by steve Hatch in Bird News

Cirl bunting

With so many Cirls being reported from Broadsands yesterday it seemed rude not to have a look!

Posted December 30th, 2014 at 9:23 am by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Monday 29th December 2014


Viewed 0915-1530 Hrs

Started at a white and frosty Darts Farm and no sign of the Pendulines again with only the Wren braved it out at first sat on top the reed mace with a Chiffchaff showing up later when thawed out + male Tufted Duck on the right fish pond + Black Brant and 2 Egyptian Geese in with c800 Brent Geese seen at distance from the hide towards the bottom end of the field near the river Clyst.

Bowling Green Marsh Viewing Platform showed small number of 21 Avocets + 17 Grey Plover + c40 Redshank + c100 Dunlin + 3 Red Breasted Mergansers + Spotted Redshank and Greenshank right of platform near rivermeet house. Link below of some Grey Plover & Avocets.

Goatwalk poduced c550 Avocets on turf side of the mud and numerous other waders scattered around.

Wren sat on top frosty reed mace at Darts Farm
Wren sat on top frosty reed mace at Darts Farm

Tufted Duck at Darts Farm
Tufted Duck at Darts Farm

Spotted Redshank from BGM Viewing Platform
Spotted Redshank from BGM Viewing Platform

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:56 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Water Pipit at Dawlish Warren

The Water Pipit showing very well from the hide at Dawlish Warren.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:46 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

South Hessary Tor

20+ Golden Plover around the surrounding moorland of South Hessary Tor. 30+ Siskin and at least 1 Crossbill in the plantation below Leather Tor and several Fieldfare along Devonport Leat back up toward Princetown.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:20 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


The Yellow-browed Warbler was still present this morning in the top corner of the 1st car park and 2 Firecrest were again in the brambles beside the path to the entrance of the car park. 2 Chiffchaff were also in the marsh between the car parks. A site record of 53 Cirl Buntings (smashing the previous 40!) were on seed in the 2nd car park with 5 Reed Bunting and one possible Cirl x Yellowhammer.

Yesterday despite choppy conditions in Torbay a Velvet Scoter, 3 Red-throated Divers and juv Pomarine Skua were seen off shore. 

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 7:13 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

If you are sweating on Red-crested Pochard for your Devon year list, it looks as if the cold snap has forced it out from its hiding place and onto the estuary, so hurry! Present this evening on the estuary with Wigeon and visible from the hide just north of the Lime Kiln car park. Also a drake Goosander on the estuary. (DC and CT) and the Teal x Wigeon hybrid present on the scrapes a couple of days ago.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 5:57 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A reasonable spread of birds in cold sunny conditions.

One or 2 Jack Snipe, 9 Snipe and a Firecrest still about.

Also - Meadow Pipit (c60), Stonechat, Curlew (c60), Greenshank, Oystercatcher (6), Common Sandpiper (2), Little Grebe (6), Kingfisher, Goldcrest (4). Little Egret (11) and a Sparrowhawk.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 5:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A beautiful afternoon, calm and sunny. Walked down Station Road to the canal and then to Turf and returned on the same route. Lots of wigeon, teal and lapwing on the fields. A few shoveller, mallard and 8 tufted duck were in the ditches. 

A flock of c300 brent geese feeding near Turf contained the adult black brant. Another smaller flock were north of Station Road. In the approach to the canal entrance two (a pair) of red-breasted mergansers were fishing. Also kingfisher seen there. A f/imm gooseander flew up and then down the canal.

A few waders on the marsh; dunlin (12), curlew (c20), black-tailed godwit (1) and snipe (6). Saw 2 Cettis warblers and heard c4 others. Several stonechats were on the fields otherwise few other small birds. Good views of a waterail and heard many more.

A colour-rung black-tailed godwit seen recently on the marshes is a familar bird and was rung in France at Sarzeau in 2001 and has been seen almost annually on the Exe since. It was reported on its breeding ground in Iceland in 2010.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 5:05 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Darts Farm ~ Bowling Marsh Green ~ Exminster Marsh ~ Teign Estuary.....

Darts farm the waterways were frozen over and the pasture land heavy with frost, huge numbers of Brent Geese, could not locate the Black Brant but other birders confirmed in was there, large flock of Canada Geese, two Egyptian Geese, Chiffchaff, Stonechats, Fieldfare, Snipe, Buzzard, Heron but everything fairly distant as were the birds at BMG, the Brent Geese very impressive when they all lifted. Nothing of note on the feeders. On the ponds a solitary male Tufted duck, Moorhens and a handful of Mallard, a Kingfisher had been seen prior to our arrival. Very good numbers of Lapwings more than I have seen for a long time.

Bowling Green Marsh, the waterways were all frozen, lots of people but not a huge number of birds, but a reasonable variety given the numbers showing, brief glimpse of a Water Rail, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Pintail Duck, Snipe showing all over the marsh, flight of Avocets came round but did not land, Dunlin, Godwits, Lapwings and two rabbits.

Exminster marsh frozen solid, huge numbers of Wigeon and good numbers of Robins but that was about it.

RV Teign above Shaldon Bridge raft of a counted 24 Red Breasted Mergansers with several more individuals and pairs dotted about, one Little Grebe good numbers of Oystercatcher flying towards the coast.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 4:58 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A frozen landscape and lagoon pushed the Waders and Wildfowl to the far side of the Marsh at high tide this lunch time. 50+ Avocets on view but didnt stay long due to the frozen hightide roost. Plenty of Widgeon, Teal, and a few Pintails on the open water with 50+ Redshank and 100+ Dunlin roosting on the softer ground in the same area.

Highlight 15+ Snipe dotted around with several on show in the afternoon sun near the hide. 

Widgeon on Ice
Widgeon on Ice

Snipe near the hide
Snipe near the hide


Posted December 29th, 2014 at 4:44 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Shiphay, Torquay

Hardest frost here for some years produced a minor influx of thrushes. Best of which was a stunning Fieldfare in my neighbour's severely pruned apple tree. Excellent views of this lone and chuckling individual,  down to fifteen feet. Later, it was on my lawn attempting to come to various offerings under the feeders. Sadly, seen off by a Blackbird! Also drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker on tallest oak at Cadewell Park and recent flyovers of Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. Tawny Owl vocal at night. 

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 4:02 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 29th Dec.

Cold and quiet with not a ripple on the water:

1 female Hen Harrier, 31 Goosander, 40+ Mallard, 4 Gadwall, 1 Kingfisher, 3 Jays and the tits/Nuthatches and Chaffinches on the feeders.

1 Fox ran rapidly along the opposite bank chased by a number of flapping, quacking Mallard.

Harvey Kendall

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 3:47 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Lovely still sunny morning. Given the freezing weather up north there are very few ducks on the Ley, also few gulls. Siberian Chiff-Chaff (Higher Ley) and Black-necked Grebe on the sea best of the morning. Also one each of Great Northern and Red-throated Divers.

Posted December 29th, 2014 at 2:48 pm by David Cope 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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