Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th January 2015


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 7th January 2015

Velator & Caen Estuary

13:45 -15:15 On a dank showery afternoon a walk along the estuary footpath on a making tide produced 1 x Common Sandpiper, 2 x Little Grebe, 2 x Kingfisher, 2 x Buzzards, 4 Shelduck, 5+ Curlew, 60+ Redshank, and in the distance in between Chivenor and Fremington Key were the two large flocks of roughly 1500+ Lapwing and 2-3000+ Golden Plover murmerating before landing.... a very impressive site on a grey and drizzly afternoon.

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 5:04 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Beesands - 7.1.15

Viewed from hide 1100-1300hrs in increasingly windy and wet conditions. Circa 70 gadwall,similar nos of tufted duck and coot.Not so many mallard. 3 mute swans, 2 little grebe and a pair of shovelers. Kestrel hovering in field opposite. Plenty of greenfinch, chaffinch , blue and great tits on the new feeders. 12 pied wagtail behind hide and flock of 100+ starlings in the field.

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 4:23 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Work in progress as contractors improve the area in front of and around the hide on the Lower Lake this morning - increasing the size of the pools and creating flatter tops to the islands.   The rangers also clearing some of the vegetation that interferes with views of the lake from the hide

35+ Snipe flushed as their equipment went into the area.   The wildfowl retreated to the far end of the lake, but 30+ Goosander present, plus 19 Mallard and 7 Teal.   The usual tits, 2 Nuthatches and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders seeming unconcerned about the nearby work.

Harvey Kendall

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 2:28 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Broadsands & Clennon valley

Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler in 1st car park - usual place. 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Water Rail, 25 Cirl Buntings ,5 Reed Bunting. On the sea 2 Velvet Scoter and 2 Black-necked Grebes.

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 7th Jan 2015 ML

Clennon Valley: Looks like the same Siberian Chiffchaff from Youngs Park, Goodrington has moved up to the stream by near to the YMCA. Also 1 Kingfisher, 8 Teal, 5 Snipe and 2 Water Rail. 

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 11:46 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 6th January 2015

Thurlestone area

The Glossy Ibis was seen at South Huish by Bob Burridge and others up to 1030 but then disappeared up the far back left of valley and failed to reappear during next 4 hrs. The Ruddy Shelduck was present.

Consolation prize was a nice Siberian Chiffchaff showing up in the hedge beside South Milton waterworks.


Posted January 6th, 2015 at 7:35 pm in Bird News


The drake American Wigeon was present mid afternoon, off the end of the path past the hides at Home Farm Marsh. With the tide well out it was swimming on the narrow River Taw giving very good views.

Posted January 6th, 2015 at 3:39 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Hembury Woods.

An hour and a half walk along the river in the sunshine from eleven  produced : 1 Pair of Dipper,  9 Mandarin, 1 Red-head Goosander, 2 Grey Wagtail, Several Nuthatch, 1 Tree Creeper, and flocks of mixed Tits.

Posted January 6th, 2015 at 2:37 pm by David Turrell in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Quick visit to Exminster for a change to look for some White-fronted Geese that had been reported earlier and found 3 feeding close to the main lagoon. Plenty of birds on the marsh including a good sized flock of Golden Plover.

Posted January 6th, 2015 at 2:12 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Monday 5th January 2015

Glossy Ibis - South Huish Marsh

After no sightings in the morning, the glossy ibis flew into the 1st Pool at 1300hrs, where after a quick bath, shake and stretch, it flew across to the pools in the field behind the cafe where it remained until 1323 hrs before flying off again high into the valley where sight was lost.

Glossy Ibis -South Huish - 5.1.15
Glossy Ibis -South Huish - 5.1.15

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 5:47 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Brixham breakwater

Counted 13 Purple Sandpipers yesterday late pm. Very quet in the harbour and nearby sea, just a single Guillemot. This afternoon similar but  a Red-throated Diver flew south. Quite a contrast to last Jan! 

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 5:27 pm in Bird News

Wembury Point

 The Water Pipit present for a few weeks was showing well late afternoon -  but the light was awful. Great Northern Diver off Bovisand Bay this morning.

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 4:49 pm in Bird News

Laira ~ Yellow Browed Warbler,

Spent the late morning with Keith Male trying to track down the Laira Yellow Browed Warbler, eventually found if even if only very fleetingly just off of Embankment Road (opposite Glendennings) it is ranging around a tennis court sized area either side of the pedestrian walk way leading up to the foot bridge over the main road. At the bottom of the walk way on the right is a mature Willow and as the hedge carries along with smaller Willows that is where it was tending to show, heard it calling before actually seeing it. The dense cover makes it very difficult to see and unable to photograph given that by the time you see it its on the go again.

Very confiding Buzzard at the other end of the footpath. Good mix of Gulls on the Plym, Redshank, Curlew, Little Egret's and Shell duck in the main. A few Goldfinch in the area.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 4:19 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Plymouth Sound

1 x Med Gull, 1 x Common Gull, 4 x Gannets also 1 x Grey Seal just off Tinside beach area and c3 Harbour Porpoise in the Sound. 1 off Mount Batten pier and 2 off Devil's Point.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 4:12 pm by Tor Elm in Bird News

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 11:50 - 13:15

Sanderling 17; Common Gull 14; Lesser black-backed Gull 11; Greater black-backed Gull 7; Dunlin c200; Shelduck 8; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 354 between Penhill Marsh and Ashford S.W. This is the most I`ve ever counted here; Golden Plover c2500; Lapwing c3000 and 3 Goosander ( 1 male, 2 female). At 12:50 2 very loud bangs occured and everything went up in the sky. The air appeared full of birds.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 2:42 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Fairly quiet on the marsh this lunchtime but good views of a Kingfisher and a Spotted Redshank from the viewing platform.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

South Milton/South Huish area - Sunday 4th

Glossy Ibis and Ruddy Shelduck showing at various times, also Med Gull, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal and a nice sighting of Barn Owl flushed in the reserve.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 10:32 am in Bird News


On this sea this morning: 2 Velvet Scoter, 2 G.N Diver, 31 G.C Grebe, 5 Black-necked Grebe & a Slavonian Grebe over towards Elberry Cove.

Around the carparks: 20+ Cirl Bunting, 7 Reed Bunting & 3 Chaffinch at the winter feeding station also nearby 3 Bullfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest a single Firecrest and the Yellow-browed Warbler remains actively feeding in the far corner of the first carpark.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 10:24 am by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Rspb boat trip from Exmouth

A cold and overcast day and the following recorded.

cormorant, shag, black-headed gull, great black-backed gull, herring gull, curlew, oystercatcher, brent geese, grey heron, black tailed and bar tailed godwits, redshank, greenshank, common gull, dunlin, mallard, teal, wigeon, red breasted merganser, shelduck, little egret, great crested grebe, grey plover, turnstone, avocet, and pintail.  Also two seals, one on the bank.

Posted January 5th, 2015 at 7:27 am by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Sunday 4th January 2015

Aylesbeare Common

The Great Grey Shrike showed very well at 1530hrs, firstly on the jagged stump of the old pine, west of the entrance track gate, moving even closer to the main track showing down to 100yards. Earlier it had been flushed by walkers and was seen to fly off high towards Colaton Raleigh Common. Presumably it had a change of heart and circled back round to its favoured position!

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 10:25 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Lynmouth to Watersmeet

Three dippers (two in Lynmouth itself), one grey wagtail, one grey heron and one rock pipit. Lovely walk!

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 5:31 pm by William Gallois in Bird News


Spent day around various Topsham sites. Highlights were Black Brant dropping into Topsham rec briefly when Brent flock moved from Exminster Marshes onto the river, female Goosander also at Topsham rec (presumably flushed from the canal) & Spotted Redshank on the Clyst. Couldn't find any Penduline tits - looked at Highfield Farm, Dart's Farm and Bowling Green Marsh.

Black Brant, Topsham recreational playing fields
Black Brant, Topsham recreational playing fields

Spotted Redshank, Clyst Estuary
Spotted Redshank, Clyst Estuary

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 5:26 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Bolt Head/Sharp Tor

Amazingly three patch ticks this morning! First was a male Dartford Warbler in gorse on Sharp Tor then a Coal Tit (scarce here) in Fir Wood. Capping it off were five Harbour Porpoises feeding with Gannets off the Mew Stone!

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 2:17 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Torbay Boat Trip

Good trip out into Torbay with Nigel,  8 Black-necked Grebe. 7 Great Creasted Grebe, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper,1000 odd Guillemots seen around Berry Head and in "Rafts" around the bay, Fulmars in good numbers, Gannets, Little Egrett, Grey Heron and Black Redstart. All the main Gulls, Cormorant and Shags also around. Good to be out with a great bunch of people!

Posted January 4th, 2015 at 1:04 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Saturday 3rd January 2015

River Plym

Quick bike ride around the Plym late afternoon.  Highlights were the Yellow-browed Warbler on the cycle path link between the Embankment to Liara Bridge opposite the concrete works.  Thanks to Russell & others for pointing it out. Two Kingfishers at Blaxton Meadow, four Little Grebe opposite sewage works and a pair of sleeping Goosanders on the island downstream of Plymbridge.  The water was too high and brown, so the Dippers must all have moved upstream towards the moor.

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 8:38 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Mansands and Brixham Breakwater

 Yesterday I was in Brixham when Mike reported that the Velvet Scoter were off Goodrington. I decided to head to the end of the breakwater to see if I could see the birds across the bay. Only 2 Purple Sandpiper were seen and a single Kittiwake feeding within the harbour. Whilst scanning for the Scoter I found a Red-necked Grebe diving constantly and heading out of the bay. A Great Northern Diver also flew out of the bay. I eventually picked up the 2 Velvet Scoter as they too dived constantly, moving towards Broadsands.

This evening I took a walk with the dog to Mansands. 8+Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe were on the water along with Moorhen and Coot but the best bird was a calling Green Woodpecker.

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 7:18 pm in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Large numbers of birds in fields oposite to the Lions rest. 300+ Golden Plover, Several large flocks of Lapwing, Wigeon, Godwits, Curlew, Teal, Shoveler, Canada and Brent Geese.

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 7:06 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Brampford Speke

Big build up of birds at Brampford as the river starts to flood. Excellent variety of birds including grey heron, kingfisher, mistle thrush, little grebe, 50+ Canada geese, 25+ mallard, and, best of all, a pair of goosander (at least one pair present last three winters).

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 5:31 pm by William Gallois in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Miserable conditions but a few birds rewarded the effort!

A Firecrest along the Ride (different place to recent sightings) and a drake Goosander showing very well right at the top of the narrow river.

Just 21 Curlews on the pool with a handful of Redshanks and a single Dunlin; also 17 Shelducks.

Otherwise - Pied Wagtail 30+, Goldcrest 3, Little Grebe, Redwing 45+, and Green Woodpecker. 

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 5:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Saunton Beach

Just took a call from Steve Mawby, who has seen a large Skua Sp on the high tide south of the car park, either Great or more likely he thinks Pomarine Skua. It flew south down the beach.

Posted January 3rd, 2015 at 3:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Friday 2nd January 2015

Record photos of Yellow-browed Warbler, Plymouth. 020115.

Here is a three record photographs I took today, Friday 2nd January 2015, of the Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth.

Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.
Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.

Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.
Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.

Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.
Yellow-browed Warbler near the Plym Estuary, Plymouth. 020115.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 10:45 pm by Richard Smith in Bird News

Exmister marsh

Watched from 14:30 till 16:45

the marsh harrier seen just after 14:30 flew in from powderham marsh area and went down by the motorway bridge, a nice male sparrowhawk showed well by the middle car park and a jack snipe was near to the middle car park flushed from a ditch as I walked past , between 400 and 500 golden plover were between the lagoon and the railway line , excellent numbers of lapwing and wigeon , 4 buzzards including 1 very pale bird , a female goosander was on the canal and a kingfisher flew towards turf, 12+ pintail , 9+ tufted duck, plenty of snipe and water rail calling from most parts of the marsh, at least 8 pairs of stonechat was good to see ,1 peregrine, stayed till last light looking for the male merlin that has been going to roost but no sign today also at least 7000+ starling going to roost a good afternoon on the marsh .

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 9:20 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Darts Farm + BGM Viewing Platform + Goatwalk

Viewed 1020-1400Hrs.

What a great start to the new year. Darts Farm looked good for the Pendulines today being sunny and no wind with lots of other birders already on site. Having dipped out so many times there before and only seeing them at distance at BGM did i feel lucky.!!  Well my luck was in at 1115hrs 3 Penduline Tits (2-adults & 1-Juv)  eventually turned up on the reed mace left of the hide and gave great views but quite mobile before moving further around in front the hide around the small tree area. I managed to get some nice digiscope photos but video was a bit more difficult although it was certainly a challenge handholding the compact camera to the eyepiece on the scope and trying to focus as they were too far for my 4x zoom camera on it's own and a bit near to find in the scope just looking at the small camera screen. Everyone else went home happy too.

Also on show was the Black Brant amongst c800 Brent Geese + 2 Egyptian Geese also flew in + 6 Fieldfare in the field + Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen flying over the ponds and a Water Rail + 2 Chiffchaff + Stonechat also around the reeds.

BGM Viewing Platform showed 2 Water Rail in left field along the hedgerow close in just inside the entrance gates  and from the platform + c25 Avocets + c20 Grey Plover + c10 Knot + Greenshank + 3 Red Breasted Mergansers + Kingfisher sat on the rocks near rivermeet house wall  and a Squirrel was sat halfway up a small tree wedged into a branch along the pathway hedgerow just soaking up the good weather and looking without a care in the world.

From the Goatwalk c500 Avocets along the river channel + c150 Brent Geese dropped onto the water flying from Exminster and large numbers of Dunlin scattered around everywhere with good numbers of the usual waders.

A bird of a different nature was flying high over my house at 300+ miles yesterday was the International Space Station which i was able to work through the onboard  packet radio system (RS0ISS). Maybe i can add that to my 2015 year tick list.!! There is a link to the video at bottom of the Penduline Tit video if you are interested.

Link to video of the Penduline Tits:

Kingfisher seen on right pond on the 17-12-2014:

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm  2-1-2015  11:18hrs
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 2-1-2015 11:18hrs

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm  2-1-2015  11:18hrs
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 2-1-2015 11:18hrs

Penduline Tit at Darts Farm  2-1-2015  11:18hrs
Penduline Tit at Darts Farm 2-1-2015 11:18hrs

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 8:02 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Exmouth this morning

One Long-tailed Duck near Orcombe Point this morning giving very close view from the beach at low tide. Just one rather distant Gannet seen.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 7:55 pm by Martin Sage in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Black Brant with Brent Goose flock c.300yds north of Turf Hotel mid afternoon. The Barnacle Goose was with Canadas between the large lagoon and the railway line. Female Goosander on the canal midway between the fisherman's car park and Turf. The Marsh Harrier was reported earlier.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 7:39 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Berry Head Today

A fairly quiet visit was improved with a female Black Redstat on the coastguard compound

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 7:10 pm by tim clyburn in Bird News

Yellow-Browed Warbler, Plym Estuary.

Yellow-browed Warbler present again just off the Embankment Road, Plymouth. Viewable in bushes from the cycle/footpath at SX500546. Seen four times between 13:45 and 15:15 also 1+ Chiff Chaff.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 6:20 pm by Richard Smith in Bird News

Out and about

The Yellow-Browed Warbler and Firecrest still at Broadsands early this morning in the trees between the two car parks. c20 Cirl Bunting and a male Reed Bunting at the back of the second car park.             Offshore 2 Velvet Scoter ( much better viewed from Three Beaches Headland), 3 Black-Necked Grebes and a Great Northern Diver.  Nearby 2-3 Black Redstarts and 4 male Blackcaps near Paignton Harbour in memorial garden off Cliff Road. The drake Scaup showed well at Decoy with 1-2 Kingfisher also seen. Onwards to Darts Farm, where the 3 Penduline Tits showed really well in the small reedbed best viewed from the path to the hide late morning, flying off at 11.45 ( but returning 40 minutes later). The 2 Egyptian Geese still present there. The Great-Grey Shrike showed well on Aylesbere Common early afternoon, initially quite mobile but favouring the area either side of the left hand track off the main track, it settled down on the top ridge beyond the lone tree, where the Heath borders the road. 2 Spotted Redshanks were at Bowling Green from the hide on the high tide late afternoon. Finally a huge Starling flock put on a great show at Exminster Marsh near the motorway bridge. 

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 6:00 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Roadford reservoir

Good weather this afternoon for my first visit, but fairly quiet on the reservoir. From the hide by the visitor centre:

2 Great Black back gulls, 11 Tufted duck, 73 Canada geese flew in over the dam wall.

From Southweek hide: 37 Teal, 35 Wigeon, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, 12 Coot, Mallard on the far bank, Long Tailed tits and a Bullfinch flitting about the bushes.

Posted January 2nd, 2015 at 3:52 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Thursday 1st January 2015

Battery Gardens, Brixham to Broadsands

An early walk along the coast path was quiet. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper and Nuthatch were all active in the woodland and a brief Firecrest in Marridge Wood. 3 Little Egret, a Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-necked Grebes along the coast and the Yellow-browed and 10+Cirl bunting in the car park.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 11:44 pm in Bird News

Exmouth & Topsham

The Black Redstart was still present this morning by Shelly Beach, Exmouth, at the back of the sailing club. Also a drake Goldeneye and a Greenshank there.

This afternoon in windy conditions, the 2 Egyptian Geese were still present on the Clyst riverbank, viewed from the hide at Darts Farm, Topsham. No sign of any Penduline Tits, but the weather was very blustery. Late afternoon, a Spotted Redshank was on Goose Moor, Topsham.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 9:59 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Bowling Green Lane Snipe.

A lot of snipe present in the fields on Bowling Green lane.


Posted January 1st, 2015 at 9:22 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

Happy New Year Yellow Browed Warbler ~ Broadsands

After numerous visits to Broadsands, today I actually managed to pin down the Yellow Browed Warbler that has evaded me over more visits to the site than I care to count, awful dull overcast and windy conditions but it did eventually show in the usual corner of the first car park after calling several times. It flits around like a turbo charged ping pong ball on steriods, but great to see and photograph at long last. Very little else to see, no birds of any species at the Cirl feeding spot, good numbers of Chaffinch in the first car park, overflight of a few Goldfinch, one Goldcrest and one Chiffchaff that was soon driven off by the Yellow Browed Warbler.

On the Esplanade at Paignton a count of 35 Turnstone that included the Dutch rung bird seen a few weeks ago, small number of Oyster Catchers on the exposed rocks, Herring and Black Head Gulls.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 8:25 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Marsh harrier hunting over the reed beds off the rec several times today. Also adult Mediterranean gull.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 7:50 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Fremington Pill, North Devon

Walk around the Pill produced usual numbers of Redshank and Wigeon in good numbers. Two Kingfishers in flight, single Spotted Redshank and two Greenshank.

Views across Taw estuary produced three Spoonbill, and two large flocks of both Lapwing and Golden Plover.

In late afternoon, Black Redstart in Fremington, near Aspen Grove car park.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 6:07 pm in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A new year's walk produced 2 Snipe, Firecrest, 4 Goldcrests, Green Woodpecker, and Treecreeper (we didn't check Blaxton). On the way home, the Yellow-browed Warbler showed (in the same spot as yesterday, at 13.45) despite not having appeared during a search by others this morning.

Happy New Year.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 2:37 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Home Farm - Gaia Trust , Lower Yelland

A pleasant and productive couple of hours birding with Andy Lansdell this morning including views of the American Wigeon still present at Home Farm pond and viewed from the new hide.

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 2:04 pm by John Clark in Bird News

Broadsands & Goodrington

Yellow-browed Warbler still present this morning also 1 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrests. On the sea; 2 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Great Northern Divers. 

Goodrington; on the sea, 5 Black-necked Grebes and 31 Great Crested Grebes

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 12:50 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Purple Sandpiper

The purple sandpipers still showing well at Westward Ho!, on New Year's Eve as well as a small flock of Turnstones, a fling collectively. Happy New Year

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper


Posted January 1st, 2015 at 12:47 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

Penduline Tit

Three Penduline Tits showing briefly yesterday ay Dart's Farm, a harsh winter sun made the birds difficult to see as they quickly fed in and around the reed mace, they didnt stay for long,but a wonderful bird to see even if only for a few moments

Posted January 1st, 2015 at 10:38 am by gray clements in Bird News

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts