Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th January 2015

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

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Wednesday 14th January 2015

Exminster and Turf

The Snow Bunting showing again mid-day on the sea wall near the cycle bridge at Powderham corner. c550 Avocets + c400 Brent Geese on the estuary and numerous other waders viewed from Turf Locks. c500 Golden Plover + c400 Lapwing and large groups of ducks at Exminster marshes.

Video links for Snow Bunting and Golden Plover.

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 10:39 pm by David Boult in Bird News


single med gull at Wrafton this morning. large flock of siskin, 150 + between Barnstaple and Muddiford, and 1 marsh tit

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 8:06 pm by Arthur Symons in Bird News


Broadsands: The Yellow-browed Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff were present again in the 1st car park and 33 Cirl Buntings and 6 Reed Bunting in the 2nd car park. On the sea 7 Black-necked Grebes and 11 Great Crested Grebes.

Clennon Valley: 1 Firecrest, 4 Goldcrest, 11 Snipe, 1 'collybita' Chiffchaff  (no sign of the two Siberian Chiffchaffs today), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail and 2 Little Grebe.

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 7:50 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tamar Lakes - 14th Jan

Sunny, bright and clear this morning:

Upper Lake

1 Merlin perched on post for some time.   Flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing in fields adjacent to the lake with Canada Geese.

Lower Lake

15+ Goosander, 26 Mallard, 2 female Wigeon, 12 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Heron, 4 Coot, 2 Moorhens, 7 Teal, 2 Jays, 1 Nuthatch, usual tits on feeders, 1 Cormorant, Robin, 5- 6 Blackbirds, c.30 Black headed Gulls, I Kingfisher, 1 Fox in the reedbed  causing the Heron some vocal annoyance.

Harvey Kendall, Roger Walter and Fiona Simpson

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 2:19 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News


The Snow Bunting provided good photo opportunities yesterday on the seawall between showers, I am sure many people will have close shots.

Posted January 14th, 2015 at 11:12 am in Bird News

Tuesday 13th January 2015

Yellow-browed Warbler

Apologies for late post, but anyone looking for the Plym Estuary Yellow-browed may like to note that on Sunday it showed (around midday) in bushes at the entrance to Blagdon's Meadow as well as at the original site later. Late afternoon it also flew over the road and landed in bushes between the cycle track and the cement works.

On Saturday, also a Kingfisher performing very well on the narrow river.

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 9:16 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


The female Long-tailed Duck was showing well early this afternoon about 100yds east of the new Lifeboat Station on Exmouth seafront, despite the normal huge disturbance from dogs on the beach!

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 8:20 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


44 Cirl Buntings and 6 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park Broadsands this morning. On the sea still 2 Velvet Scoter and 1 Common Scoter.

Now 2 Siberian Chiffchaff at Clennon Lakes around the middle pond with 2 collybita Chiffchaff.

 Sibe Chiff ClnVly 130115ML3  Sibe Chiff ClnVly 130115ML3 

Above: same bird in sunlight and dull light.                    Below: the two birds and a collybita fly- past

Sibe Chiffs ClnVly 130115 ML

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 5:52 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Exe Estuary Turf and canal

The snow bunting still on sea wall near new cycle bridge mid-afternoon. In the field north of the Turf I saw the black brant amongst c500 brent geese. On the canal a redhead goosander but it was very mobile and eventually flew north towards the motorway. Lots of avocets on the river and one kingfisher.

The Exminster marshes still have lots of duck and waders. I did not linger to count as the showers were heavy and cold. I did notice about 500 golden plover and c300 black-tailed godwit. Amongst the ducks were a few pintail, tufted and shelduck.

In the fading light 2 male bullfinches shone as they and two females went to roost in bushes within the reed bed north of Station Road railway bridge. 


Posted January 13th, 2015 at 5:11 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

South Milton Ley - 13.1.15

As chiffchaff seem to be the bird of the day from previous posts, here are a couple more, including one rung, probably locally. More than 20, both collybita and tristis, present in the area. Also 2 song thrush, 4 meadow pipits, a g.s.woodpecker, jay and buzzard. 

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 5:01 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Dartmeet and River dart

 An impromptu visit to Dartmeet late this morning initially looked as if it was going to be a run of the mill outing with nothing of real interest to either see or report.

After some time a single male Bullfinch came in feeding on dried Blackberry heads, followed by three male Yellow Hammers, Marsh and CoalMandarin Ducks Rv Dart ~ 13/01/2015 Tits showing well, a pair of Greater spotted Woodpeckers, a single Jay, up to four Robins round the feeders made for some interesting scuffles and a possible male Black Redstart reported by another birder but not seen by me.

On the way home good numbers of Fieldfare, Redwing and Rooks in the Buckfastleigh area.

On the River Dart a count of no less than 60 plus Mandarin duck mixed in with a good number of Mallard


Posted January 13th, 2015 at 4:48 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


In between the showers, the weather was quite good and sunny. The pair of Tufted Ducks was still here, also the Little Grebe and the 3 Coots. The usual Mallards, Teal and Moorhens were around the marsh and a good number of Gadwalls, 5 males & 2 females. Despite it being quite windy, there were alot of Chiffchaffs around the marsh and amongst the reeds, but the best was a Tristis (photo) that was quite vocal in the Southdown side of the reeds. 

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 4:11 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News


 Very close views of a Short-eared Owl hunting just west of Prince Hall at 0820hrs this morning

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 4:09 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Wembury Point

 A male Dartford Warbler this morning in the lower gorse with, unusually, a good few Kittiwakes and Guillemots off shore.  The Water Pipit is still present on the beach.

Posted January 13th, 2015 at 1:58 pm in Bird News

Monday 12th January 2015

Teignmouth beyond Sprey Point

Single purple sandpiper feeding on top of the remains of the destroyed breakwater Holcombe side of Sprey Point mid Sunday afternoon.

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 6:33 pm by Barney Donnellan in Bird News


Broadsands: Yellow-browed Warbler showed briefly in corner of 1st car park also 1 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest. On the sea, the 2 Velvet Scoter were back again toward Goodrington. 2 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver and 4 Great Crested Grebes.

Preston: 1 Great Northern Diver and 1 Black-necked Grebe.

Roundham Head: 2 female Black Redstarts around houses opposite the Burma Star memorial gardens. 

Black Redstart Paignton 12 Jan 2015 ML

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 3:28 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Powderham Corner

The Snow Bunting has again been showing very well down to a few feet, along the seawall just north of the new Exe Trail bridge today. It was still there when I left at 1305hrs. 

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 1:46 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Shoalstone, Brixham

A seawatch from the shelter between 0900-1100, wi8th Bill Macdonald, in a strong SW wind with periods of rain, did not produce many birds apart from Fulmars, Gannets and groups of auks. Highlight however was an adult Pomarine Skua which flew south at 0935, stopping briefly to chase a Kittiwake .

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 11:29 am in Bird News

Gannets off Budleigh Beach

Counted 21 Gannets at 9am this morning circling, wheeling and diving just off Steamer Steps, some coming quite close to the beach  

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 10:13 am by richard allen in Bird News


Just pulling away from the shop car park in Stoke Gabriel Road Galmpton yesterday 11/1 when female sparrowhawk flew right besides us across the front of the row of terrace houses, coming in low, we think she was probably after the sparrows that have taken a liking to the foliage in front of the butchers. Geat sighting at 2pm

Posted January 12th, 2015 at 10:05 am by Kay abn Gary Deare in Bird News

Sunday 11th January 2015

Gone fishing. Axe Estuary

Saturday 10th. Colyford Marsh / Axe Estuary produced 3 little grebes inc. one who caught a fish in front of the tower hide & then proudly swam around for 5 minutes before eating it. Teal & Lapwing on the Marsh, with Curlew, Redshank & a solitary Black-tailed Godwit on the estuary. In the island hide where the barn owl has its lunch noticed something sticking out above the noticeboard - surprised to find the head of a snipe amongst the owl pellets. Obviously a barn owl with a varied culinary tastes!

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:48 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

RSPB Darts Farm

The Penduline Tits and the Black Brant showing well early afternoon:

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:41 pm by Tim White in Bird News

South Milton Ley - Reed Cutting today

Following on from the earlier report I have just received photos from Jon Avon who was carrying out work on the reed cutting machine today showing the work carried out by the team there today, bottom photo by another of the team, David Pakes. Well done to all.

Reed cutting at South Milton Ley 11 Jan J Avon.Reed Cutting at South Milton Ley 11.1.15 D PakesReed Cutting South Milton Ley 11.1.15 J AvonReed Cutting South MIlton Ley 11.1.15 J Avon

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:36 pm in Bird News

Occombe Farm, Paignton


6 Redwings feeding amongst the leaf litter at the back of the clearing in front of the hide.  Nuthatch there as well.  2 elusive Fieldfares in the meadow favouring the small holly bushes.  Obliging female Kestrel close by being mobbed by Meadow Pipits.  4 Linnets over and 3 mobile Mistle Thrushes.  5 Pied Wagtails.  2 calling Buzzards circling towards the north. 

Also, a male Blackcap in my back garden in Shiphay, Torquay for the last two days.     

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 9:22 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


The Black Brant was at Dart's Farm this morning (as well as the aforementioned Penduline tits). Great photograph of the Black Brant from James Packer aka @berrowbirder on Twitter.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 6:56 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

South Milton Ley - 11.1.15

An enjoyable hardworking day with 9 other Devon Bird Member volunteers, ably led by Vic Tucker, reed cutting at South Milton Ley. Bob Burridge kept up our birdwatching interest by pointing out birds on display nearby.These included a g/s woodpecker and several chiffchaff, including at least one of the Siberian variety,although most were of the collybita strain. As I left at about 3.15pm a sparrow hawk flew over my shoulder narrowly missing me!

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 5:06 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

River Clyst Egyptian Geese Sunday 11th Jan 10.50am

ID Photo of the Egyptian Geese 

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:59 pm by Mike Kelsall-Spurr in Bird News

Tamar Estuary / Ernesettle

Good numbers of Gulls this afternoon on a falling tide, including 350+ Black Headed gulls, and 3 Common gulls. Not many waders, only 3 Curlew, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret and 30+ Redshank. Also, 45 Teal, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker, and 100+ Avocet on the Cornwall side of the Tamar, at Kingsmill lake, Landulph.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:43 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Powderham Corner

The Snow Bunting seen earlier at Turf had been refound this afternoon just north of the new footbridge at Powderham Corner and was still present at 3.10pm at least showing well on the sea wall and top path, it kept getting disturbed by walkers but kept coming back. Also 2 Stonechat by the path.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:32 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

River Clyst

A Pair of Egyptian Geese were swimming up river towards the Bridge Inn from the Tremlett boat yard at about 11am this morning.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 4:09 pm by Mike Kelsall-Spurr in Bird News

Darts farm ~ Penduline Tits

Early afternoon it was standing room only at Darts Farm where three Penduline Tits were showing really well as they demolished Bullrush heads in front of a growing gathering of birders. Despite being at really close quarters the birds drab plumage could at times make them very difficult to spot, but the bullrush heads being ripped apart soon gave them away.

Listening to the general chat the birds had been showing for most of the day from around 9.30am with only one very short period of absence.

Also showing well in the same area were a number of Chiffchaff and a pair of  Stonechats.


Posted January 11th, 2015 at 3:18 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Dartmoor on Saturday 11th

a bit of late news for yesterday.

Soussons - the Great Grey Shrike was frequenting the clear felled area, using the odd tree and stumps as perches and a Barn Owl was floating around the marshy area below Challacombe Farm.

Powder Mills towards Postbridge - a male Hen Harrier was drifting around the open moorland and wooded fields around 2:30 pm.

Wistman wood - around 100 Fieldfare up on the open hillside

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 1:25 pm by Nik Ward in Bird News

Exe Estuary

Snow bunting greeted me this morning, south of Turf along estuary wall.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 11:07 am by Gerry Hooper in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 38+ Cirl Buntings and 4 Reed Bunting.

On the sea: 4 Common Scoter, 6 Black-necked Grebes, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver. No sign of the Velvet Scoters this morning. 

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 10:33 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Brixham Black Redstart

Black Redstart in the garden this morning.....first seen for a couple of years...police station area. Earlier this week, female Blackcap in garden, attracted to the apples pronged on a rowan tree.

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 10:12 am by Trevor Leaman in Bird News


Three Spoonbill on the seasonal scrape each morning this week. Only two this morning. 

Posted January 11th, 2015 at 8:27 am by Kelvin Irwin in Bird News

Saturday 10th January 2015


The Yellow-browed Warbler was still present this morning in the 1st car park, 18 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park with 8 Skylarks over the stubble field. 

On the sea the 2 Velvet Scoter were again toward Goodrington and a male Common Scoter in the same area, 4 Black-necked Grebes and 37 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 6:42 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Around Topsham

Started at Bowling Green Marsh at 09:30 till 10:15

1 spotted redshank among 80+ redshank , 22+ dunlin, 14+ gadwall, 5 tufted duck, 5 pochard, 6 pintail, among good numbers of wigeon, teal and shoveler, 1 little grebe , 1 bar tailed godwit, 1 stonechat, 1 coal tit. 

Darts Farm 10:40 till 13:15 

3 Penduline tits showed very well at times and stayed for over 3 hours today also 2 stonechat, 2 bullfinch.

Goatwalk to topsham quay 13:50 till 14:45

646+ avocet , 16+ red breasted mergansers large number of dunlin and 100+ grey plover . 

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 6:38 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Three Penduline tits at Dart's Farm this morning giving good views despite the strong wind. All three had masks so there have been  at least 5 in the area Since the first sighting at Bowling Green Marsh.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 5:27 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Crows point and Braunton Burrows

A very bustery walk this afternoon was rewarded with a Woodcock on the verge of the American Road along with 4 x Bulfinch in the hedgerow, and 30+ Lapwing in one of the fields next to the carpark.

The Marsh at Crows Point produced a Marsh Harrier which put up 30+ Teal as it quartered across the ponds. Also spotted on the way back to Braunton:- 3 x Kingfisher, 2 x Stonechat,                     5 x Redshank, 2 x Grey Heron, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Buzzard, and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 3:37 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A walk around the southern half of the marshes, to the Turf and back along the canal required wellies. There were two seperate flocks of brent geese totalling about 300 birds on the fields near the lagoon. A larger flock was on the estuary on and close to Greenland Bank. At the Turf there were 4 red-breasted mergansers and one kingfisher in the approach to the canal entrance. 

Scattered over the fields were lots of golden plover, lapwing, curlew and wigeon. There were smaller numbers of starlings, dunlin (c200), black-tailed godwits (c150), shoveller (c40), pintail (c8), teal and mallard.As the tide dropped most of the waders made their way out on to the estuary leaving the wigeon and plovers.

Few small birds seen due to the strong winds but there were at least 2 chiffchaff on the canal bank.

In the garden a collared dove is nest building.


Posted January 10th, 2015 at 2:29 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 10th January.

Improving weather conditions, but increasing wind and much cooler.   The work on the marsh in front of the hide and trimming some of the growth on either side has now been completed giving much better visibility and the prospect of a greater variety of birds closer to the hide.

Only 10 Goosander, 31 Mallard, 26 Tufted Duck, 26 Snipe, 4 Coot, 3 Jays, 1 Kingfisher, mixed flock of Black headed and Herring Gulls totaling 60+, 2 Cormorants.  Usual tits etc. on the feeders.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 1:26 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Aylesbeare yesterday

Peter Woods got these excellent shots of the Great Grey Shrike at Aylesbeare yesterday. It was in the usual area west of the old tree stump.

Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods
Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods

Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods
Great Grey Shrike (c) Peter Woods

Posted January 10th, 2015 at 1:04 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Friday 9th January 2015

penduline tit

 three pendulines showed really well today and gave great views,they stayed for almost an hour,at about 11.30 am

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 9:08 pm by gray clements in Bird News

Exmister marsh

Watched along station road from 14:40 till 16:20

great to see the golden plover numbers continue to grow with 1000+ on the scrape by the middle car park with 2000+ lapwing constantley being attacked by a male peregrine also large numbers of wigeon in various groups over the marsh with a few pintail and tufted duck, 2 chiffchaff and 25+ long tailed tits, 4 water rail and a male merlin was on the northern end of the marsh towards the motorway bridge , 1 sparrowhawk.

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 8:03 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Some minor interest today - pride of place for scarcity value should go to 2 Cormorants heading SW over the airfield this morning but it is difficult to get excited by them! 49 Lapwings, 25 Fieldfare and 20 Redwings.  An increase in Chaffinch to 45 along with 2 Yellowhammers. This is notable as despite breeding locally, they are normally absent during the winter. Circa 3000 Starlings around the airfield. 

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 4:55 pm in Bird News

Saunton Sands North Devon

20+ Sanderling showing well on a very stormy Saunton Sands beach at lunchtime. Great to see until the inevitable leadless dog put all the birds up and the flock disappeared.  

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 2:01 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Darts Farm

3 Penduline Tits (2 with masks) showed well this lunchtime until about 1.30. Having got brief views last Friday it was great to finally get a good look at these birds after many, many attempts! The Kingfisher showed well on the pond by the hide.

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Snow Bunting Dawlish Warren

Snow Bunting present yesterday at Dawlish Warren, along the strand line by the hide.  Reported by Steve Ayres and photographed (shown below) by Peter Woods.

Snow Bunting (c) Peter Woods
Snow Bunting (c) Peter Woods

Posted January 9th, 2015 at 8:21 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Thursday 8th January 2015

Exminster Marsh area

Green sandpiper seen on Powderham Marsh at lunchtime, and many waders over Exminster marsh including large lapwing and golden plover flocks. Barn owl seen near the swing bridge from the canal path at sunset. :)

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 7:44 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

No GP's or Lapwings but a Jack Snipe flushed from the runway edge. Fieldfare around 50 (numbers have been around 150 the last few days). A similar number of Redwings, 2 Stonechats and the male Bullfinch again.     

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 7:12 pm in Bird News

Bystock Reserve

A Firecrest  was showing well by the footpath c. 200yds down from the Wrights Lane entrance at about 1255hrs this afternoon.

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 2:27 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Downend & Baggy Pt

Fresh WSW winds - Sea State = Rough

Still no Scoters at Downend or Baggy earlier this morning but 1 Gannet at Downend & 5 at Baggy Pt. Also a handful of auks flying south & 1 Red throated Diver at Baggy.

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 1:55 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Head and Shoalstone

Yesterday late am I met MD and AR and did a short seawatch from the quarry which did not produce very much movement except for a Red-necked Grebe flying south. Today at Shoalstone I was surprised to get another Red-necked Grebe , flying out of the bay southward at 0940. Maybe an individual bird commuting around the district, cf. Andy Plumb's sighting over a week ago.

Posted January 8th, 2015 at 11:51 am in Bird News

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