Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th December 2014

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh and Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


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 General Birding

Sunday 14th December 2014


Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff and female Blackcap in marsh and ditch between car parks. 29 Cirl Bunting and 3 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park.

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 9:24 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Good morning out on the boat with Nigel, while we only saw 1 Red Throated  and 1 Great Northern Diver there was plenty of other birds to see. Between the Guillemots at the Ore stone , Berry Head and the rafts of birds in the bay there must have been 1000+ birds. Other birds on show were Gannets, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, 3 Common Scoters, Great Crested Grebes, Oystercatchers, Purple Sandpipers, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Shag and Raven.

A trawler was bringing in its catch and there was plenty of gulls but only Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls.

At Berry Head we was lucky enough to see 2 Porpoise.

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 7:52 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Black Redstart & Turnstones at Exmouth

Black Redstart at Exmouth Sailing Club, and 20+ Turnstones off the Imperial Carpark this lunchtime.

30+ Brents, a pair of Pintail  5+ Redshank and the Turnstones were disturbed by dog walkers along this stretch while i was watching!!.  

Turnstone doing what they do best!
Turnstone doing what they do best!

Female Black Redstart at the Sailing Club Exmouth
Female Black Redstart at the Sailing Club Exmouth

Black Redstart showing well at the Sailing Club Exmouth
Black Redstart showing well at the Sailing Club Exmouth

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 2:01 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Barn Owl near South Brent

Unrung male Barn owl recovered from a minor road near South Brent the bird was badly injured possibly having hit an over head wire, unfortunately the birds injuries were too severe to save it. This would be the second Barn owl sighting in the general wider South Brent area this month.

On a brighter note a vist to the marsh area of Ladies Wood Nr South Brent identified 15 species and an unidentified warbler type species that was very aggressively driving off the feeding Chiffchaffs. Also on the visits list was a hen Sparrow hawk, two Marsh Tit, Goldcrest in good numbers, Wrens and a selection of the usual more day to day species

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 1:21 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

lesser whitethroat at St Budeaux, plymouth

The bird which was a visitor in my garden last Xmas seems to have returned. Last seen in March, it was present today 13 December on the fatballs it became used to a year ago. Almost incredible.

Posted December 14th, 2014 at 11:37 am by Derek Courtnell in General Birding

Saturday 13th December 2014

Grand Western Canal, & the Old railway line, Tiverton

This afternoon (without the camera!!) we met up with Family at Tiverton Canal Bason for a flat 4 mile walk along the canal and back along the old railway line in sparkling winter sunshine. If you want great views of Kingfishers fishing at close quarters, Moorhens and Mallards at your feet, plenty of Wrens, Robins, Tits and Chaffinches to watch as you stroll the towpath and walk out into the countryside to see Buzzards, Finches, Redwings and Fieldfares then this is ideal for you. Nothing rare seen (but has great potential) just a very pleasant 2 hours walk in Mid Devon with birds all around.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 8:41 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery

Got there about 11-ish. Bright, sunny but cold morning. Species noted: Magpies, Crows, Ravens, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Starlings (20 odd), Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Sparrows, Dunnock, GS Woodpecker, Wood Pigeon. Lack of Redwings although one or two were seen as opposed to almost 40 earlier in the week. No sign of the Black Redstarts.Shortly after arrival today saw Buzzard being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. Also seen was a Rabbit and three Squirrels.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 7:31 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Runnage Bridge - Pizwell area Dartmoor

20 Crossbill late afternoon. Peregrine, Snipe, Dipper, 4 Stock Doves and 5 Stonechat also present.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 6:25 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in General Birding


A few more Goosanders in after the gales over the last few days.

Goosander 14m 8f, 9 Tufted Duck, 2 L/Grebe, 2 Long Tailed Tits.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 5:34 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding


Female Long tailed duck at Lannacombe this evening.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 5:14 pm by Andrew Hanlon in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Good day at the Warren, apart from all the usual suspects in front of the hide and in the bite there was some quality off the beach with male and female Long Tailed Ducks, 2 Slavonian Grebes, GND and the Bonaparte's Gull.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 4:34 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Aylesbeare Common

Great Grey Shrike seen at 2.45.

The bird is mobile & seems to prefer the highest point on the tallest tree available to it. It chose this option on all four of my views of the bird

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 4:14 pm by Ian Pearson in General Birding

penduline tits

After many frustrating sessions at Bowling Green and Darts  I finally found Penduline tits 1/2 mile from my front door at Harper's lake fishing ponds near the Double Locks. 2 birds both without masks feeding and giving good views but mobile. Also reed bunting,stonechat,and jack snipe.Enough reed mace here and further along cycle path at viewing point to suggest they might stay.Seemed to be settling to roost at 2.50 in base of willow thicket.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 3:44 pm by John Phillips in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 09:00 till 11:00

a quiet morning with a low high tide produced 2 spotted redshanks among 600+ dunlin, 24+ snipe, 1 sparrowhawk, the 80+ lapwing, a few redshank and black tailed godwits, 15+ gadwall, 1 tufted duck , 7+ pintail among the usual wigeon, teal and shoveler, 4+ reed buntings, 2 stonechat, 2 fieldfare, 20+ redwing, good numbers of Brent geese moving towards darts farm.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Plymouth Sound

  6 Great Northern Divers this morning. [Vic Tucker]

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 1:20 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding


The Yellow-browed Warbler was showing well again this morning in 1st car park also 1 Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaff. 22 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 2 Reed Bunting.

Posted December 13th, 2014 at 12:30 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Friday 12th December 2014


Black Brant was at Darts Farm late morning with c60-Brent Geese in fields left of hide.

Black Brant
Black Brant

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 6:34 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Tamar estuary


On the mudflats: 47 Teal, 23 Wigeon, 35 Black Tailed Godwit, 8 Curlew, 3 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, c100 Oystercatcher, 1 Greenshank and several Redshank. 8 Great Crested Grebe on the river Tamar.

3 Bullfinch, 1 Redwing, 1 Goldcrest in the surrounding shrubbery.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 5:11 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 13:00-15:00, high tide.

2 Great Northern Diver, Black - necked / Slavonian Grebe ( distant off Lincombe ), 3 Little Grebe, 27 Brent Geese, 2 Water Rail ( heard only ), 10 Grey Plover, c800 Golden Plover, 313 Dunlin, Turnstone and Kingfisher.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 4:24 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Gaya trust and Isley marsh.

From the hide at Gaya trust a male American Wigeon,possibly a sub-adult,but showing whitish crown stripe with broad,dark,greenish stripes to side of head,pinkish flanksand otherwise similar plumage to Eurasian Wigeon.seen with 400 plus wigeon,200 plus Teal,5 Pintail.

Ducks constantly coming and going and a female Merlin preening on a post nearby.

3 Spoonbill,a thousand plus Lapwing and 1,500 plus Golden Plover on adjacent Isley marsh.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare. in General Birding


The Yellow-browed Warbler showed well again in top corner of 1st car park, 10+ Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park.

yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 12 Dec 2014 ML

On the sea: 2 Black-necked Grebes, 51 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red-throated divers1 Guillemot & 3 Razorbills.

Posted December 12th, 2014 at 2:08 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 10th December 2014


Terry Goddard reported two late Swallows over the lake this morning with 100+ Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot etc. on the Ley.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 9:10 pm in General Birding


Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 4 Chiffchaffs 1 Blackcap and 2 Goldcrest in the marsh beside the 1st car park and 17 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park first thing this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 8:16 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Penduline Tit's at Darts Farm Hide

I spent a couple hours at Bowling Green Marsh but no luck with the Penduline, went for lunch at Darts Farm and as we got there a lady saw three of them flitting through the Bulrushes. Sorry about the quality of pic but so excited about seeing them, number three hundred in the bag.  Stonking views in the binoculars.
Regards Barry Rankine

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 5:08 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Escot Park, East Devon

15 members of East Devon Branch attended the parkland of Escot House for our traditional Christmas fieldtrip.With the consent of owner John Michael Kennaway we ventured into areas not usually open to the public.  A total of 34 species was found including Treecreeper, all the (common) thrushes, Bullfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Stock Dove, Sparrow Hawk, Kingfisher, Nuthatch, several Buzzards and Gt Spotted Woodpeckers. 

An excellent Christmas lunch was enjoyed by all and the toast (proposed by David Jannaway in his absence was) :  'Very best seasonal wishes and happy birding for all Devon birders in 2015'.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 4:37 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Dart's Farm 12:00

At least three Penduline Tits (two masked), on the bullrushes to left of the hide. Congratulations to the guy who got his 300th. Was Karen who spotted them amongst the Chiffs.

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 12:49 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Tuesday 9th December 2014

Bowling Green Marsh + Goosemoor + Darts Farm

Viewed BGM 0815-0930hrs in a packed hide.

3 Penduline Tits (1 with mask) showed well sometimes high on the bulrush mace on arrival far left of hide right of gate before flying further right and disappearing at 0830 into the water channel in front the railway bridge. Also c600 Avocets + Spotted Redshank + good numbers of other waders and ducks.

Walk through Goosemoor showed 8 Long Tailed Tits moving along the railway hedgerow.

Darts Farm produced pair of Stonechats +  3 Chiffchaff + f-Reed Bunting darting around feeding on the reed beds in front the hide.

Whilst at Darts was told the Penduline Tits reappeared briefly at 0950 and flew high over the hide.

Posted December 9th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Berry Head

09:45-13:00. Calm conditions and overcast on arrival meant perfect for cetacean watching, with 12 Harbour Porpoise feeding close in and c30 Common Dolphins feeding and moving south further out.

A few birds moving as the front arrived included a Bonxie, 2 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Diver heading south. A Black-throated Diver flew into Torbay and it or another headed out and south later.

Dropped in on Stoke Gabriel Mill Pond on way home, where one, possibly two 'Continental' Cormorants.

Posted December 9th, 2014 at 3:59 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Strand. 11:20 - 13:00

c50 Dunlin; 108 Redshank; 3 Sanderling incl "Hoppy"; c800 Lapwing; 319 Dark-bellied Brent; 9 Shelduck; c1000 Golden Plover; 3 Little Egret; 4 Grey Plover; 35 Wigeon; 2 Goosander (a pair); 20 Pintail; 27 Fieldfare and 18 Redwing.

Posted December 9th, 2014 at 2:15 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Monday 8th December 2014

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford - 8.12.14

11am - 1pm. As well as the usual mute swans, mallard and teal , 2 greenshank,2 redshank,1common sandpiper, 3 shelduck, 2 stonechat, 25 curlew( mostly in the grassy field by the entrance, giving good views), 2 kingfisher and a lone egyptian goose in with the curlew.

Afterwards paid a quick visit to South Huish Marsh, the ruddy shelduck in with at least 260 Canada Geese. A sparrow hawk being mobbed by gulls.

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 5:49 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Dawlish Warren yesterday

The smart drake Long-tailed Duck was feeding a couple of hundred yards out from the end of the beachfront yesterday afternoon during low tide , so not giving the close views shown in previous observer's post but was disturbed by a passing boat  and gave flight views as it moved a short distance. 

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 4:47 pm in General Birding


Three Penduline Tits showing well in the Reed beds in front of the hide at 09:20. Then,reapeared to the left where all three were seen low down in the Bulrushes, they then flew up and fed on the Bulrush seed heads where the views were at there best. This lasted a good 30 minutes. Interestingly, two were masked, one darker than the other, the third looked a juvinile. A new tick for me, and for several others that were priviledged to see these rare birds at Bowling Green Marsh.

Good numbers of Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits, Redshank, along with 5+ Gadwall,  several Pintail, Widgeon, and Teal were also on the marsh, but the main focus of the morning were on the Penduline Tits which became very illusive after 10:00.

Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits and Redshank leaving the marsh
Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits and Redshank leaving the marsh

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 3:16 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding


The Yellow-browed Warbler still present, showing very well this morning in the top corner of the 1st car park - again chasing Chiffchaffs around.

 Yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 8 Dec 2014 ML2    Yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 8 Dec 2014 ML

Video here of its clipped and normal Y-bW call..

Also in area 5 Chiffchaff (all collybita) 2 Goldcrest. In 2nd car park 21 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Bunting on seed. On the sea 4 Black-necked Grebes, 42 Great Crested Grebes and 9 Red-throated Divers.

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 2:26 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Yellow-browed Warbler, Paignton.

Yellow-browed Warbler still present and calling with Long-tailed Tit flock between St Marys Park and Yalberton Industrial Estate.

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 10:56 am by Jacob Wood in General Birding

Penduline tits at Darts

A bit of a late post for Friday, got to Darts Farm too late to see the Brents but found two pendulines feeding in the reeds approaching the hide.  No visible mask on either, but nice views ripping open a rush. 

Posted December 8th, 2014 at 9:22 am by Phil Holyday in General Birding

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