Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st January 2015


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

Saturday 31st January 2015

Exminister to Powderham

Finally got around to going to look for the Snow Bunting this morning and was not disapointed. While walking form Exminster we saw a Peregrine spooking the waders on the estuary, eventually departing with a small wader for breakfast. A pair of Goldeneye landed briefly in the main channel before continuing to fly up the estuary. 3 Red-legged Partridge were our first of the year. The Snow Bunting was found feeding on the mud at the base of the sea wall, it then climbed the wall and was lost when it got close to the top. As we turned to walk back the bunting was in the middle of the path, under our feet. We had to wait for it to fly up on to the wall before we passed! We dropped down onto the cycle track to walk back, flushing a Water Pipit from the edge of the drainage channel next to the track, the bird then showed well, moving in front of us.

Posted January 31st, 2015 at 9:18 pm in Bird News

Brampford Speke

Record count of 15 goosander heading to roost this evening, far more than I have ever seen on the Exe here. Duck and geese numbers generally building up over the week, with one greylag amongst the Canadas. Also, good numbers of skylarks and mixed finch flocks on stubble fields.

Posted January 31st, 2015 at 7:36 pm by William Gallois in Bird News


Very quiet in the reserve this week, but at least the first Primroses are poking through, warmer times ahead I hope!

Posted January 31st, 2015 at 6:33 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Friday 30th January 2015


The Glaucous Gull was again around the Fish Quay and landing for some time on the roof top.

Glaucous Gull Brixham 30 Jan 2015 ML

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 6:56 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Most years during the winter months a flock of a small race of Canada Geese arrive on the pond. (see attached photo).

I would interested to know if these were introduced & have formed part of our breeding population or breed outside The British Isles & migrate to us for the winter?

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 6:47 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Dartmoor Bramblings ~ Crossbills & Linnets.

A great days birding with Dave PAKES who navigated our way across and around Dartmoor in the hunt for Bramblings and Crossbills.

Near Cator Green Cross there is a huge muddy wasteland of a field apparently an old potato field on first glance the field was a wet barren wilderness of nothing, then a Meadow Pipit showed and another, then Fieldfare started to show in increasing numbers along with Redwing, Starling and Mistle Thrush, a flock of 100 plus small finch sized birds landed and surprisingly to us proved to be Linnet with one or two Goldfinch mixed in, a single male Brambling and one Stock Dove, the field was alive with birds, returning later in the day all the above species were still present and were put to flight by a hunting female Sparrow hawk, a brief sighting of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in the roadside hedge.

The entrance to Belliver Forest close the junction with the Postbridge road gave us a second and third Brambling along with hundreds of Chaffinch, top side of the wood a female Stonechat showed. Dropping down towards Soussons plantation eventually gave us a Crossbill typically landing in the top of the pines, dropping down into the valley by Soussons Farm there were significant number of Chaffinch and with them good numbers of Bramblings, so many that we quickly lost count of the numbers seen, all along the roads sides with Beech trees it was worth a look when Chaffinch were spotted. Lots of Coal Tits in the same area.

Challacombe gave Dave sight off two Herons flying low alongside the road, one dropped back in and gave us good views of a fully mature bird, shortly after that a Fox was spotted wandering down the road towards us and did not startle until alarmed by the sound of our cameras activating.

Back to Soussons plantation in time to see a large mixed flock of Tits moving through the pine tops, Great, Blue, Long Tailed and Coal identified.

Good numbers of Buzzards showing, pair of Bullfinch as we set of home.

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 5:43 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


 Showers this afternoon, with occasional spells of good light. Down on the shoreline were 2 Little Egrets, 25+ Oystercatchers, 3 Turnstone and a Common Sandpiper On the pipe. Among the rotting seaweed, Meadow Pipits, good numbers of Rock Pipits and several Pied Wagtails. Flitting between the bushes and the shore was a Black Redstart with a metal leg ring. Returning up the slope to Wembury Point car park was a Buzzard, and a female Kestrel hunting over the fields.

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 4:28 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Thursday 29th January 2015

RSPB-Goosemoor & Bowling Green Marsh

A wet and windy day with 2 Spotted Redshanks amongst c30 Common Redshank + 2 Greenshank at Goosemoor 1330hrs.

8 Pintail + 4 Gadwall + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Ducks + 2 Buzzards and 2 Ravens flying over with the usual wigeon and teal at Bowling Green Marsh.

Link to video of Spotted Redshanks.

2 Spotted Redshanks
2 Spotted Redshanks

Posted January 29th, 2015 at 6:41 pm by David Boult in Bird News


On the sea: 16 Brent Geese, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 46 Great Crested Grebes.

The Cirl Buntings have moved to the feeding area left of the two main rows of beach huts - 16 present this morning. 2 Chiffchaffs in marsh. 

Posted January 29th, 2015 at 11:25 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 28th January 2015

Clennon Lakes

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs again around middle pond at Clennon Lakes + 2 collybita Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Water Rail. 


Siberian Chiffchaff Photo & Glaucous Gull at Brixham today from Terry Honeywill

Posted January 28th, 2015 at 8:19 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Postbridge and Soussons

Postbridge carpark - female Brambling among large flock of Chaffinches.

In field adjoining the Postbridge to Soussons road, very large flock of Fieldfares (est:  250 - 300).

Soussons Farm - on edge of woods adjoining the bridlepath, a large mixed flock of Siskin, Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits and Goldcrest, of which the real interest was the number of Goldcrest;   very active and impossible to count accurately but at least 40.  3 Mistle Trush.   

Posted January 28th, 2015 at 6:44 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh - Viewing Platform

Lunchtime visit to a cold and windy platform - the Spotted Redhank was again flying around noisily before settling out of sight to the left of the platform. A Kingfisher flew up the channel just before the platform as I approached.

Posted January 28th, 2015 at 2:37 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Tuesday 27th January 2015

Penduline Tits at Darts Farm

Below is a video link which shows Penduline Tits at Darts Farm today close-up ripping apart the reed mace searching and eating the bullrush moth larvae grub within. Best watched in full window 720p/1080p HD.

Another video preening in the near-by tree.

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 10:51 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Darts Farm

Viewed 1000-1540hrs

3 Penduline Tits showed between 1030-1130hrs before flying towards the reed-beds along the scrape towards the river clyst in front the hide. They returned again about 3/4hrs later where they showed very well for all to see and still there when i left at 1540hrs. The Black Brant was amongst c250 Brent Geese far side of field in front the hide + 3 Chiffchaff and pair Stonechats around the reed-beds.

Link to videos.

3 Penduline Tits together pulled from the video
3 Penduline Tits together pulled from the video

Stonechat which was also around the reed-beds
Stonechat which was also around the reed-beds

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 8:45 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Glaucous Gull Juv. Brixham Fish Market

Bird visable on roof of Fish Market, viewed from Brixham Yacht Club car park, Overgang Road.

Glaucous Gull juv. possibly 1st winter
Glaucous Gull juv. possibly 1st winter

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 8:04 pm by Paul Nunn in Bird News

Brixham Harbour

1st winter Glaucous Gull still around the fish market and harbour at 16:30 today.

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 6:44 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Runnage Bridge - Pizwell area Dartmoor

Treecreeper, 2 Snipe, many Redwing.

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 4:48 pm by Rob Hubble in Bird News

Clennon Lakes

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 3 collybita Chiffchaffs around middle pond - on warmer days they feed in the pond side trees when its freezing the siberian Chiffchaffs particularly move down into the the reeds. 

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 27 Jan 2015 ML

Siberian Chiffchaff (the 2nd bird lacks the fairly prominent wingbar shown in this bird and is browner in tone)

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Baggy Point

A walk out to Baggy Point earlier this morning from the Croyde Bay NT car park.

23 Oystercatchers, 1 Kingfisher, 32 BHGulls, 1 ad Med Gull,1 Curlew, 6 Rock Pipit, 6 Fulmar, 3 Cormorants, 2 GBB Gulls,1 Razorbill,1 RT Diver, 2 Raven, 3 male Common Scoter flying north, 3 Porpoise & 1 large Atlantic Grey Seal eating a fish while being mobbed by Gulls.

So far I have not seen any Common Scoters overwintering along this stretch of coastline this winter which is unusual.

After several severe storms last winter in Feb 2014 the mussels (which the Scoters feed on) were stripped of the rocks by powerful waves..On exposed rocks at Downend the larger mussels have gone with very small ones developing. This could mean that their food supply is no longer available to them this winter. 

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 2:32 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh - Viewing Platform

Lunchtime visit to the platform. The highlight was the Spotted Redshank which flew in noisily and settled on the mud just to the right of the platform at about 1.30.

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 2:06 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Monday 26th January 2015

Darts Farm ~ Topsham ~Powderham

A good run out from South Brent with Keith male this morning, the day started well with a male Kestrel on the overhead wires just as you enter Lower Dean, first stop Darts Farm where a wicked wind was ripping through and virtually nothing to be seen apart from some brave Stonechat's, a very flighty mixed flock of Godwit and Curlew and a handful of Fieldfare with a Redwing in tow. Topsham Rec was good for Black Headed Gulls and at least three Common Gulls but the wind was strong enough to make viewing difficult, several Buzzards showing well around the Powderham area.

The Snow Bunting remains in situe as described in the DBWPS posts and was easy to find thanks to directions from other visiting birders, it’s no wonder that it is such a popular bird to view, first for both of us.

A male Stonechat caused some excitement at the other end of the new bridge close to the Snow Bunting when it was claimed to be of the Siberian variety, showing a marked white rump, numerous birders soon had it in view, but some images and a quick look at a very handy bird guide soon confirmed it to be a standard male Stonechat.

A Heron by the Powderham estate allowed a very close viewing within feet of the road, with good numbers of Curlew in by the deer herd, a mix of Red and Greenshank at Dawlish.

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 9:24 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Viewing platform

Plenty of waders and Wildfowl at BGM on High tide this morning but no Avocets bar one which popped in and out again!!, opinions were voiced, "to much water not enough muddy roosting areas in the middle of the Marsh?" 50+ Redshank one Spotted Redshank, 150+ Black Tailed Godwits 50+ Bartailed Godwits, 100+ Dunlin, 5 Pochard, 8 Pintail, 5 Tufted Duck, 20+ Shoverler, 50+ Lapwing, 200+ Widgeon, 50+ Teal, 20+ Curlew, 5 Greylag Geese 1 Snipe.

It was great to see the hide being used and enjoyed by so many visitors from across the south west.

Viewing platform midafteroon showed great views of a Spotted Redshank, 3 Red Breasted Magansers (2f 1m) plenty of Redshank, Dunlin, Grey Plover, and distant Avocets on show, all shared with great company.

Spotted Redshank by the Viewing platform
Spotted Redshank by the Viewing platform

Spotted Redshank showing well
Spotted Redshank showing well

Red-Breasted Merganser River Clyst
Red-Breasted Merganser River Clyst

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 6:39 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Exe Estuary - no surprises

The Snow bunting was present nr the cycle bridge between Powderham & Turf. The Black brant was between Lions Rest & Turf on Exminster Marshes.

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 5:35 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Dartmoor: Soussons - Headland Warren- Challacombe

Highlight of the day was the Great Grey Shrike intelligently out of the keen north wind on clearfell in the north-east corner of Soussons Forest. In and around the forest 52 Chaffinch, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and planty of Goldcrests. Out on the moor great views of a ringtail Hen Harrier unsuccessfully chasing a male Bullfinch, two pairs of Stonechat and a singing Nuthatch at Challacombe Farm and a sheep's carcass attracting 4 Raven, 24 Crows and 5 Magpies at Soussons Farm!

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 5:28 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

hovering kingfishers

On at least 4 occasions in the otter creek and from the bird hide south of white bridge I have seen them use this method

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 8:13 am by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Vitfers to Soussons

Can't believe there were no stonechats nor meadow pipits all the way from the pub to Soussons plantation, but no matter the Great Grey Shrike was still showing well near the corner of the wood.  On the way back up a flypast Snipe.

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 12:03 am by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Sunday 25th January 2015

Budleigh Salterton

4 White-fronted Geese flew past the seafront at Budleigh at 1315hrs south-westwards heading towards the Berry Head direction. I lost them when they were just a dot in my 'scope, when they must have been about 3 miles out!

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 10:11 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


Adult Med gull off Topsham rec this afternoon with the Black Brant on Exminster Marshes between Lions Rest Estate and the M5.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 9:41 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Brixham Harbour

Following a text from Clive H yesterday evening informing me that RBA were reporting a Glaucous Gull in the harbour I decided to have a search this morning. (birdguides were reporting 2 birds) I headed straight for the viewing platform on top of the public toilets from where the bird was immediatley on view on top of the fish market. I then walked to Oxon cove car park to check out the other gulls in the harbour. There was no sign of a second bird but I did have a Grey sealand a Peregrine from the car park.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 9:38 pm in Bird News

Hovering Kingfisher

Observed a kingfisher near the entrance to the Toll Road at Braunton Great Field lift off from a perch and hover above the dike for at least 5 seconds before plunging in to take a small fish off to devour out of our sight. I have seen pied kingfishers do this in The Gambia, standard operating procedure! but never seen one of "ours" do it. Didn't get an image......dagnabbit!!

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 7:16 pm by Philip Naylor in Bird News

Torbay boat trip

A few photos from this morning's boat trip around the bay. The highlight was a flyby rednecked grebe which came from the mussel farm and flew past us towards Broadsands.

For totals from the trip see Nigel's post. Sadly, we didn't check the fish quay at Brixham....

Red necked grebe, off Elberry Cove
Red necked grebe, off Elberry Cove

Territorial Fulmars, Roundham Head
Territorial Fulmars, Roundham Head

Oystercatcher, Brixham Breakwater.
Oystercatcher, Brixham Breakwater.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 6:38 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News


A quick trawl of the beaches this morning produced totals of:1 Red-necked Grebe, 8 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 72 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver.

Hope the very smart Glaucous Gull lingers at Brixham - thanks for the call Andy.  

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:35 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Dartmoor ~ Buckfast to Princetown

Dart bridge this morning only had three drake Mandarin on view, five Mallard and two Muscovy’s on the river, pair of Jays bathing on the edge of a shingle bank.

Three Kestrels seen in the Princetown area and just outside a flock of between 30 & 40 Lapwing flying in very low over the ground they landed in very rough pasture and once on the ground best count I could make was 15 mixed in with a large Starling flock.

Just beyond Powder Mill male Merlin spotted about 400 yds from the road sheltering on the lee side of a large granite boulder, stayed in situe for some time. Buzzards were plentiful all round and frequently hunting or perched on the road sides.

Several large flocks of Fieldfare occasionally with Starlings.

Near the entrance to Soussons farm a huge and growing flock of Chaffinch far beyond counting and constantly arriving but no sign of any Bramblings with them.

Dipper on the Rv Dart by Holne Bridge.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:26 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

A quick resume of British Shooting Seasons.

For the benefit of Rob and anyone else interested in Game and Wildfowl Seasons:-

Black Grouse 20/08 - 10/12.

Snipe 12/08 - 31/01.

Coot/Moorhen 01/09 - 31/01.

Curlew - protected.

Ducks and Geese. Below High Water Mark 01/09 - 20/02.

                               Inland 01/09 - 31/01.

Golden Plover 01/09 - 31/01.

Red Grouse 12/08 - 10/12.

Jack Snipe - protected.

Partridge 01/09 - 01/02.

Pheasant 01/10 - 01/02.

Ptarmigan 12/08 - 10/12.

Woodcock 01/10 - 31/01.

It is illegal to shoot game on Xmas Day and Sundays. It is illegal to shoot wildfowl in Devon/Cornwall and Somerset on Sundays.



Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:16 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 08:00 - 09:30

409 Dark-bellied Brent Geese off Penhill Marsh. This is the largest number I have seen at this location. My previous best was 354 on 05/01/2015. 62 Shelduck on Penhill Marsh and I counted 34 Snipe being flushed out of the saltmarsh at Pottington and Ashford S.Works by the rising tide.


Posted January 25th, 2015 at 3:03 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 08:45 till 10:30

lots of disturbance this morning from sparrowhawks and a peregrine made counts hard but 226+ bar tailed godwits, 600+ dunlin, 300+ Avovers, 182+ lapwing, 300+ black tailed godwits, 8+ pintail, 4 pochard, 400+ wigeon, 1 spotted redshank in with 150+ redshank, 3 reed buntings, 4 coal tits.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Torbay Boat Trip

Good calm conditions for todays trip.Birds seen,  80+ Great Crested Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 4 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Little Egret, other birds include Fulmar, Razorbill, Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Shag.

1 Grey Seal eating a fish and 2 Harbour Porpoise. 900+ Guillemots on Berry Head colony.

Next trip next Sunday 1st Feb if interested email

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 12:33 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Wildfowling and the law.

Rob Jutson (Sat 24 Jan) writes concerning wildfowling.  Could I suggest Rob and other readers google the organisation ....'Birders against wildlife crime' where the subject of wildfowling is well described under 'wildlife and the law' >  'birds and the law' > 'wildfowling and the law.'   It sickens me to look at the species that may legally be shot and I think the answer to Robs question... can anything be done? is probably no. Wildfowling within the open season is legal. 


Posted January 25th, 2015 at 11:58 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Brixham Harbour

Juv/fw Glaucous Gull in Brixham Harbour this morning sat on a fishing trawler by the fish market, viewable from the inner harbour quay.  Thanks to Andy P and Mike L for relaying the news. 

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 11:56 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Saturday 24th January 2015

Exminster Marsh

Viewed 1430-1700Hrs

The Black Brant was in the field near canal car-park mid-afternoon with c450 Dark Belly Brent Geese and opposite were 3 snipe close-by with one showing really well. The male Merling appeared about 1630 as the sun disappeared sat on the fence where i was looking the night before so i moved down to that position hoping for better shots and it flew up and sat on the fence where i just come from but was a little distant for any good photos, the video i took wasn't any better than what i took yesterday.

Links to video of Brant and Snipe:

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 10:35 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Stover Country Park

On the lake this afternoon were 2 male and 1 female Goosander along with small numbers of Tufted Duck and Pochard as well as one male Mandarin.

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 9:39 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Corndonford Farm - 24.1.15 - Merlin

Returned to Corndonford Farm at about 11am this morning. Two other birders, one of them by chance Bob Bailey from South Devon, whose son Mark's post on 22.1.15 had led to me being on the moor yesterday. There was no sign of the grey grey shrike sighted yesterday, but as I was pointing out the sighting location to Bob, a small falcon flew over my shoulder and alighted some distance away, part way up on Corndon Tor. Bob ran for his scope and identified it as a male merlin. It remained in situ for some minutes, allowing me to scale the hill and get a bit closer for a distant photo. 

Male Merlin - Corndon Tor -24.1.15
Male Merlin - Corndon Tor -24.1.15

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 4:54 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Postbridge to Soussons Farm

Postbridge, Brambling in with Chaffinch flock, until a Merlin came through them and put them all up.
Juvenile Hen Harrier spotted drifting over some trees opposite Soussons Farm entrance, the white band above tail was clearly seen. Unfortunately it went behind some trees and we couldn't relocate it again. Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Bullfinches, Siskin, Kestrel, Buzzard and Raven also seen.

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 4:40 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Bradiford Reserve & Penhill Marsh

A cycle down the Tarka Trail to Penhill Marsh on The Taw Estuary this morning at high tide.

On Bradiford Reserve there were 18 Black tailed Godwits & 600 Lapwing.

On arriving at the east end of Penhill Marsh a flock of 376 Brent Geese were feeding on the area of saltmarsh shown in the photo.Approx 100 metres or so to the west of this photo in the saltmarsh were several Canada Geese decoys with 2 camo shooters & 1 dog in a ditch. One shot was fired & the Brent Geese took flight & spent the next hour or so on the water as shown in the photo.This activity is disturbing the  Brent Geese & preventing them from feeding. The 2 shooters & 1 dog were in the saltmarsh all morning.

Can anything be done about this?

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 2:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Powderham sea wall

Snow Bunting still along wall, half way between cycle bridge and Turf.

Posted January 24th, 2015 at 10:06 am by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Friday 23rd January 2015

Re-Penduline Tit videos at Darts Farm Yesterday

I have put some more of the Penduline Tit videos up on youtube which i took at darts farm yesterday 22-1-2015.

1 of the videos show a penduline appearing to be just posing for the cameras for quite a while in between feeding and another shows their more aggresive side to each other.

Links to videos:

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 8:34 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Brampford Speke

In gorgeous weather, 19 species spotted, the highlight of which was a male mandarin duck, something I've never seen here before in more than three years on the patch.

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 8:16 pm by William Gallois in Bird News

Soussons Shrike

A morning visit to  Soussons found the Shrike just beyond the gate using the area previously overlooked by the RSPB caravan. it gave good if rather distant views, and it was very noticable that the breast ant underparts were quite grey and not qthe usual white  of excubitor. I would be interested to hear comments from other birders. 

The most unexpected bird of the day was a Jack Snipe flushed from the marshy area beside the road at the entrance to Challacombe Farm.

After considerable hunting for Brambling 4 were finally seen in a large flock of Chaffinches in trees surrounding Postbridge car park.

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 7:56 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

Viewed 1550-1650Hrs.

The male Merlin was again showing in fields north side of the marsh sat on top a blue metal trailer with wheels (used by tractor) 1617-1635Hrs. Sorry about the video quality taken in very poor light some 400 yards away just starting to drizzle with rain, had to wind-up the zoom and ISO up a bit.

Link to video.

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 7:26 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Dartmoor - 23.1.15

1000 - 1600 Failed dismally to find any of the birds mentioned by Mark Bailey yesterday, despite sitting up near Powder Mills for some time and then checking out several chaffinch flocks at Postbridge for bramblings. A good walk Soussans to Warren House failed to produce the great grey shrike. Met other birders who had also failed to sight the bird and two others who had! They also found 4 brambling I had missed at Postbridge, but I was able to point out to them a flock of circa 75 fieldfare in a field at Runnage. Driving home at 15.45 via the unclassified road from Bellever to Poundsgate near Corndonford Farm I was pleased to sight a great grey shrike (quite probably a different bird to that at Soussans) at the top of a bush. It made its way from bush to bush top.Apologies for the poor quality photo, but the light was very poor, as the sky darkened and the rain arrived. I spoke to a lady from the Farm, who, when I described the bird to her, said she had seen a couple of birds matching my description on her farm recently!  

Great Grey Shrike - Corndonford Farm - 23.1.15
Great Grey Shrike - Corndonford Farm - 23.1.15

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 7:08 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Slapton sands

Mid afternoon from memorial car park.

In the bay 1 Red throated diver,2 Great Northern diver, 1 Black necked grebe, 1 Great crested grebe, 16 Common scoter (2 males, rest female or immature).

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 6:41 pm by Pete Sofley in Bird News

Decoy lake

Good to see my first male Scaup this morning on a cold and frosty Decoy lake, in company with 12 Tufted Duck, 1 Great Crested Grebe, and plenty of Herring and Black Headed Gulls. Singing Song Thrushes, Coal Tits and a Firecrest in the woods, and afterwards, a visit to McDonalds to warm up!

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 6:09 pm by Alan livsey in Bird News


Good views of a black necked grebe off memorial carpark.  Also one common scoter.  Around ley at least 3 golden eye, 2 male 6 pochard 2 gadwell 2 goldcrest 3 cettis

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 5:47 pm by l goonesekera in Bird News

EXETER cathedral green

As i was walking today through the cathedral green , i saw  female black restart fly out of the biggest tree in the green, over to some creepers on the bishops buildings , & back to the tree again 

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 5:07 pm by martin cox in Bird News

Memories of Dave Norman

I was greatly saddened by the news of Dave Norman's death, as will be many birders and others across the country. I knew Dave for over 40 years and though we did not get together much in recent times I always thought fondly of him and his soul-mate Karen.

I first met Dave when I was a teenager on the railway bank overlooking the Exe.  Dave was only a few years older than me and at University at the time, but he was quick to introduce himself and point out a few birds to us. That willingness to help was a feature of his life as long as I knew him.

Dave, as we all have, had a few faults, but his endeared people to him. He was never one to be hurtful or unkind and was sometimes a good moderating influence on me for one. His freinds will look back now and smile at some of his travelling tales as they always did, from dangerous bus trips in Morrocco, to a tale of boots stolen from the tent at night in Istanbul (Karen, if I remember correctly, ran after the thief and regained the boots while Dave found his glasses) to tales of arrest that nearly led to detainment.  Just the tip of the iceberg,his travels were always eventful.

Dave's great passions were his wife and daughter and birding. A great freind to this society he was influential as well as helpful, leading walks, giving talks and more.  He was a founder member of the South Devon Group of the Society and with his old freind Vic Tucker wrote Where to Watch Birds in Devon & Cornwall.

A fine birder and a fine freind to have.  I will miss him

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 3:55 pm by Pete Stevens in Bird News


On sea: More Great Crested Grebes (count along Torbay beaches today brought total to 136), Black-throated diver still present with 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, the fw Red-necked Grebe still in Elberry Cove and a fw Slavonian Grebe, part of a cold weather movement 5 Shelduck and 3 Teal. 4 Black-necked Grebes toward Goodrington.

In the second car park 53 Cirl Buntings and 9 Reed Bunting on seed - one Cirl Bunting female was taken by a Sparrowhawk, so on recommendation by RSPB I'll be moving the feeding further toward the back of the car park to the left of the beach huts.

Click on image for video of Cirl buntings feeding.

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 12:35 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 22nd January 2015

Darts Farm & Viewing Platform


The 3 Penduline Tits flew off as soon as i arrived with everyone leaving. At 1050hrs they reappeared again for 20 minutes and flew off again in same direction towards Goosemore. 1145hrs they returned again giving great views for everyone to see and was still there when i left at 1430hrs. The Black Brant was also in amongst c700 Brent Geese and the 2 Egyptian Geese were on the far side near the River Clyst.

From the BGM Viewing Platform 1500hrs the Water Rail was again showing well just inside the entarnce gates and great views of the Spotted Redshank which was just across the water opposite the plaform.

Video links to Penduline tit + Spotted Redshank + Water Rail.

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Water Rail
Water Rail

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 9:18 pm by David Boult in Bird News


Driving across Dartmoor this morning at 10.30am between Two Bridges and Postbridge, there was a female Merlin sat on a roadside fence post , about 300 yards west of Powder Mills. After watching it for several minutes, it flew across the road and dropped into the grass. At the exact same time, a male Hen Harrier flew over the car to presumably investigate the Merlin and then after quartering the grassland for 5 minutes crossed back over the road at Powder Mills. Further along the road near Postbridge, I stopped to check a small flock of Chaffinch and it contained 8-10 Brambling, including some nice males.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 7:18 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Exminster marsh

Watched from 14:20 till 16:55

walked around the northern end of the marsh the highlight being finding 2 male Merlins great to watch them for nearly an hour from just after 16:00, also 2 peregrines, 6 buzzards, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 kestrel.

5+ stonechats, 4 Cetti's warblers, 3 Siskin, 4 chiffchaffs, 300+ golden plover , large numbers of wigeon and lapwings.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 6:23 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Checking the evening gull roost from Three Beaches Headland found nothing unusual in the roost but numbers of Great Crested Grebes continue to build with 124 in several roosting flocks this evening, also 1 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and 1 Great Northern Diver.   

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 5:46 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Soussons Down, Dartmoor

 The Great Grey Shrike ranging widely. Also Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  Near Challacombe a Brambling with a small Chaffinch flock.  Also Marsh Tits, Treecreeper and 4+ Bullfinches.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 5:04 pm in Bird News

Crown Hill, Halberton, Tiverton

I saw over 400 Redwing/Fieldfare in washed-out yellow stubble field at the junction of Crown Hill/Post Hill. Many more out of sight -undulations in the field prevented me seeing all the birds there.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 4:28 pm by Richard Jordan in Bird News


Female long tailed duck showing well off Exmouth beach this morning around 11.30, about 300m east of the lifeboat station where it was sighted earlier in the week.

Female long tailed duck
Female long tailed duck

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 2:38 pm by Stephen Lawrence in Bird News

River Caen/River Taw


On the caen- 30+ Redshank 1 Greenshank 2 Kingfisher 5 Little grebe 1 Common sand 2 Stonechat 2 Rockpipit and 2 Buzzard 1 Kestrel and 1 Raven over. On Sherpa marsh 100+ Curlew and 500+ Starling On braunton marsh more Starling and Curlew 20+ Stockdove 3 Song thrush and good numbers of Meadow pipit. On the Taw good numbers of curlew teal and widgeon 2000+ Lapwing 1000+ Golden plover and 4 Grey plover.

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 2:18 pm in Bird News

Darts Farm

3 Penduline Tits showing in front of hide early this morning but flew off towards the water tower and River Clyst around 10.00am. Brent Geese in large numbers present plus Black Brant and two Pale-bellied Brents. 

Reminder:  East Devon Branch of Devon Birds will meet for field meeting at Darts Farm on Monday 26 Jan at 09.30.  See Programme for details. 

Posted January 22nd, 2015 at 1:08 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

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