Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th October 2015


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

Wednesday 14th October 2015


Had a look around the Warren , Bolt Head and Starehole Valley till midday when i got news of the Shrike and departed. Not too much around but single Redwing, Ring Ouzel and 7 Blackcaps in Starehole, Firecrest in East Soar Willows. The little visible migration included 5 Lesser Redpolls.

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 9:20 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

River Dart - Buckfastleigh

5 miles downstream from Buckfastleigh at 14:20 - Osprey seen flying up the River Dart.

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 8:25 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News

South Brent

A visit to a private lake near Soputh Brent did not contain the expected number of species that I thought I would see, but it did give 15 species including 2 Little Grebe, 4 Grey Wagtails, 4 Buzzards and a Nuthatch.

Just up the road at a private address in Aish gave us an unexpected Marsh Tit on the garden feeders feeding alongside Coal Tits.

And this evening at home as seen from the kitchen window a few minutes ago my resident Tawny owl.

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 8:20 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Around the Exe

Ludwell Valley - Quiet usual tits etc. Countess Wear Village - Juv Pochard, Coal Tit Blackwit. Riverside Country Park (Canal Pools) Three Snipe feeding in middle of pond and a Green Sandpiper in amongst the usual Teal etc. Not much in the Old Sludge Beds - Long tail Tit Flock (about the fifth flock seen today) and a juv G.C. Grebe on the Exe  near the Water Works. Matford Marshes had good numbers of Coot and 6 + Gadwall.

Great Crested Grebe Juv
Great Crested Grebe Juv

Pochard Juv
Pochard Juv


Posted October 14th, 2015 at 6:26 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

South Huish Marsh

First reported late Tues afternoon managed to get good views from 08.00 this morning of a 1stw ISABELLINE SHRIKE , on view down to 15 feet !

Full report and photos on site 

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 5:27 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

West to East Soar & South Huish

A quieter day highlighted by just one Ring Ouzel & 5 Wheatear, all at West Soar. Across the area: Snipe, 6 Song Thrush, 7 Blackcap, 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Long-tailed Tit & 6 Goldcrest. Popped into South Huish on the way home for cracking views of the Isabelline Shrike.

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 4:17 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Otter Valley, Budleigh Salterton

Lesser Whitethroat showing well this morning on west side of valley south of West Town Cottages.  (About 200 m south of the road where the bluff ends and opens out below gardens).  The other goodie was a Yellow Browed Warbler north of the road, again on west side, in oak trees just past the old metal wind mill and bridge.  Sighted at 10.30, I later went back to get photo but bird not sighted again.  Other birds present included a Marsh Tit, Cettis Warbler, Green Woodpecker and Water Rail (heard). 


Posted October 14th, 2015 at 2:31 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

South Huish - Isabelline Shrike

This morning it could be seen from the gateway into the White House - park in the NT car park and head towards Hope Cove but follow the lane round until you come to the first house on the left, the White House.

Nick Townsend

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 12:12 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

A Yellow-browed Warbler showed well from time to time in the quarry, around headland also 3 Blackcap, 1 Firecrest, 13 Goldcrest, 7 Chiffchaff, 7 Coal Tits.Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Hd 14 Oct 2015 ML

Overhead: 8 Redwing, 6 Song Thrush, 13 Skylark, 4 Siskin 70 Goldfinch, 20+ Swallows, 23 Meadow Pipits, 17 'alba' Wagtails.

Yesterday 13th Oct 3 Firecrests on site.

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 10:49 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 13th October 2015

East Soar and Higher Soar

1 Merlin and 2 Firecrests, East Soar, late afternoon and 1 Short-eared Owl just north of Higher Soar.

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 9:38 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Prawle Point

Lovely day to be walking around Prawle today : blood red dawn and blue skies thoughout starting off cold in NNE breeze but then turning very warm once the sun had risen fully; and lots of birds as well . Not unexpected was a Yellow-browed Warbler reported by Dave Smallshire in the reserve about 12.30 but not relocated by myself ! My highlights included a Jack Snipe flushed near the same spot I saw a Quail on the 26 September by the overflow car park ; a female Ring Ouzel in Ashpark Lane; a Firecrest up the lane from the reserve and 4 Brent Geese flying west over the sea. 47 Blackcaps seen probably indicated many more over the whole area and frustratingly included another sylvia warbler showing some features of Barred Warbler but alas it only showed fleetingly. 4 Wheatears, 10+Chiffchaffs, 50+hirundines, 30+Blackbirds, 40+Robins, 8 Goldcrests. Many Red Admiral butterflies and a Common Darter.    

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 8:32 pm in Bird News

Prawle Point

Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest in Devon Birds reserve around midday, but little else of note.

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 6:57 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

South Brent to Powderham

South Brent ~ Mistle Thrush (2) Redwings flock of 16 over the house, Pied Wagtails, female Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Jay

Haldon Forest ~ Siskins in high numbers feeding on pine cones, Coal Tits, Gold Crest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Nuthatch came together in a spectacular squabble, small flocks of Greenfinch and several Goldfinch.

Powderham to Ken ~ Buzzard, Kestrel, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, a small number of Swallows grew into a huge flock that contained some House Martins, Grey Heron and Green Woodpecker.

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 6:04 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Burrator Dam

Mandarin Duck 3 m, 3 f,  very near the dam.

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 4:11 pm by Mavis Goddard in Bird News

Harleston at head of Slapton Valley

A bit like African skies here with 24 Common Buzzards and the odd Raven soaring with scores of Herring Gulls over a freshly ploughed field.

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Redwings ~ South Brent

08.25hrs this morning a count of 16 Redwings flying over the house at South Brent.

Earlier in the morning two Mistle Thrush, Jay and a single Redwing.

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 8:30 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Ring Ouzel, Shipley Bridge

Late submission for Sunday 11th: 1 female Ring Ouzel, a little below Avon Dam, late afternoon. Also a singing Dipper and a  Weasel

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 7:18 am by Andy Smith in Bird News

Bowling green marsh 12/10/15

late post for yesterday watched from 15:15 till 18:20

From the hide

Increase in wigeon numbers was very clear with 658+ also 140+ pintail , 30+ shoveler and 200+ teal, waders included 25 avocet, 1 golden plover, 200+ dunlin, 1 ruff, 1 spotted redshank, 350+ redshank , 900+ black tailed godwits, 6+ bar tailed godwits, 1 kestrel, 6+ chiffchaffs.

From the viewing platform 

1 kingfisher, 2 golden plover, 3 chiffchaffs 

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 7:03 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Monday 12th October 2015


Dog walk 5-6pm, high tide. Off the cricket club on the sea, exactly 100 Brent Geese! 400+ Oystercatcher in a tight roost of mixed waterbirds (Curlew, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Teal, Redshank) on the point by the Power Station jetty. Kingfisher flushed from gas/oil jetty, also a Wheatear here. Was on lookout for Redwings but none showed, so some consolation that I found in a mobile flock (Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting) the local mega of a Willow Tit!

Posted October 12th, 2015 at 8:24 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

West & East Soar

West Soar: Wheatear 1, Black Redstart 3, Ring Ouzel 1, Firecrest 1, Lapland Bunting 1

East Soar:  Firecrest 2, Common Redstart 1, Swallows 12

Vic Tucker


Posted October 12th, 2015 at 6:58 pm in Bird News

East Soar

A very good day on the patch highlighted by a Yellow-Browed Warbler with Chiffchaffs at the head of Starehole Valley plus two Firecrests, one in Starehole & one in the Willows below the farm.

More migrants: Golden Plover overhead, female Great Spotted Woodpecker in Starehole then flew high to the west, 45 Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, female Redstart by ponds, 11 Song Thrush, 23 Blackcap, 19 Chiffchaff, 20 Goldcrest, 4 Long-tailed Tit & female Bullfinch.

Also: 70 Linnet, 10 Yellowhammer & 11 Cirl Bunting.

Butterflies: 2 Large White, 12 Red Admiral, Comma & 4 Speckled Wood.

Posted October 12th, 2015 at 4:33 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

First Black Redstart of the Autumn

Posted October 12th, 2015 at 12:16 pm by Tor Elm in Bird News


I have just (9.10am) seen a party of 10/12 high flying Redwing heading over the Torridge estuary towards Northam Burrows.

Posted October 12th, 2015 at 9:20 am by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Sunday 11th October 2015

Bowling green marsh

watched from 15:15 till 18:25

The highlight was a YELLOW BROWED WARBLER found just after 16:00 with Martin it only showed briefly in the corner just to the right of the gate to the viewing platform , it was in with a mixed flock of long tailed tits, goldcrests, chiffchaffs, coal tit blue tits and great tits which seemed to move into rivers meet house grounds, also nuthatch and grey wagtail .

on the walk down at the pond by the entrance to goosemoor at least 6+ chiffchaffs also included a redpoll my first grounded bird on the marsh usually just fly overs, also 1 reed bunting.

From the hide 16:40 till 18:25

The continued exceptional numbers of pintail with 182+ among 550+ wigeon, 27+ avocet, 905+ black tailed godwits, 1 juv ruff, 1 spotted redshank, 200+ dunlin, 350+ redshanks , 5+ bar tailed godwits, 300+ curlew, 30+ lapwing , 15+ greenshanks, 200+ teal, 35+ shovelers, 1 sparrowhawk.

Posted October 11th, 2015 at 7:54 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Juv Black Redstart on rooftops in private gardens this afternoon.

Posted October 11th, 2015 at 6:50 pm by Audrey Wolstenholme in Bird News

East Soar Update

My day got off to a not very great start when I got to the carpark to find I had no binoculars!  So I wasn't too hopeful of finding too much in the scrub with a x32 'scope.  In the field next to the water tank was a single Whinchat alongside about 100 Meadow Pipits.  At the head of Starehole Valley a female Redstart showed well as did a Chiffchaff and five Kestrels in the air together.  Back at East Soar, in the willows, a Goldcrest, another Chiffchaff and two Firecrests.  It's really difficult 'scoping a Firecrest in scrub from 25 yards away.

Posted October 11th, 2015 at 6:11 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

East Soar and Stare Hole

East Soar and Stare Hole early am. Fairly quiet with best birds a Firecrest in the Willows below East Soar Farm, a Whinchat by the car park and a Golden Plover overhead.

Posted October 11th, 2015 at 3:17 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Harford Moor birds

Redwings this morning in amongst the bracken,  Five birds flew up from Addicombe valley.  Couple of snipe lurking in th bracken - not where I expected them to be as well as several stonechats flitting about.  Good flocks of goldfinch, chaffinch, mistle thrush and long tailed tits around the hedges

Posted October 11th, 2015 at 12:23 pm by Ann Willcocks in Bird News


Yellow-browed Warbler showing well this morning (though silent) in The Ness, along coast path c.100m north-east of new scout building in open area with sycamores. Also a Firecrest.

Posted October 11th, 2015 at 10:34 am by Will Salmon in Bird News

Saturday 10th October 2015

Bowling green marsh

watched from the hide 16:00 till 17:45

Pintail numbers continue to rise with 140+ among 200+ wigeon, 908+ black tailed godwits is the highest count this Autumn, 1 male juv Ruff, 1 spotted redshank, 25 avocet,300+ redshank , 10+ greenshanks , 200+ dunlin, 4 snipe, 8+ bar tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel in among 400+ curlew, 32+ shoveler and 200+ teal, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 stonechat, 20+ meadow pipit.

On the walk back to get the bus a Firecrest picked up on call only was among the local long tailed tit group by the bridge over the railway line at the top of the lane.

Posted October 10th, 2015 at 7:33 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam 10/10/15 9.00 to 13.00

Dipper showing well on river where there are large flat slabs of stone in the river bed providing good feeding platform for this hungry Dipper! A Grey Heron was perched in a tree a little way up stream.Further along we had a pair of Jays and flying over a pair of Raven. The misty conditions and chilly temperature seemed to keep many birds subdued though we did see Robin, Blue Tit and a Kestrel flying over. As we progressed up the track we had Magpies, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Blackbird.We also saw Chaffinch and Carrion Crow. A little surprised to see a Cormorant fly over! We then had a party of Long Tail Tit in the trees that lined the river bank. Also seen this morning were Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit. The Hawthorn trees nearer to the Dam were busy with Blackbird feeding and also two Redwing were showing well. In the same bush we saw two Mistle Thrush giving us a great chance to observe there beautiful plumage and in flight allowing us to observe their brilliant white underwings and outer tail feathers. On the way back to Shipley Bridge we saw Buzzards, a Chiffchaff and also heard Goldcrest. A very rewarding morning after a rather grey and misty start!

John Lloyd, Liz Harris and Doug Herdson.

Posted October 10th, 2015 at 7:04 pm by John Lloyd in Bird News

Instow-Isley Marsh

2 Spoonbill on beach near the oil jetty, then flushed to Isley Marsh.

Also Wheatear, Kingfisher, 2 Buzzards, Meadow Pipits, several Teal and Wigeon, stacks of Curlew, plus on the Tarka Trail a few Chiffchaff and several Goldcrest within the Tit flocks, and 2 Jay.

Posted October 10th, 2015 at 3:57 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

River Caen toward the estuary about 11.30am

Quick 30min jaunt along the river bank with the dog. LT Tits, Greenfinch, Goldfinches, Kestrel, Stonchat, Cettis (heard not seen - as per usual) Little Grebe, gulls, corvids, lots of Meadow Pipits, Skylark plus all the regulars and the female MARSH HARRIER still present on the edge of Chivenor near the marsh.

Posted October 10th, 2015 at 12:07 pm by Rob Barnes in Bird News

Exmouth - off Imperial Rec Ground

On receeding tide 0830, BLACK BRANT, 6 Pale-bellied Brents and the Cackling Goose (courtesy of Matt Knott).    The Pale-bellieds were feeding on the right of the flock (seems their favoured place), with the other two more or less in the middle and at the front.

The flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese is now well over 1000;  this morning they were split into two roughly even groups with the second staying out on the central sandbar.

First impression - not too many juveniles as yet

Posted October 10th, 2015 at 10:51 am by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Friday 9th October 2015

Funny gull

Discussion over the photos on birdforum went through a few options before landing in consensus of aberrant Black-headed Gull. One poster had photos of several other individuals of similar plumage abnormality. Thread here:

Eds: Good to see we got it right from initial photos!

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 9:12 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from the hide 15:00 till 17:45

The female mandarin duck showed well in front of the hide, an exceptional count of 119+ pintail with birds still dropping in as I left the hide , 110+ dunlin , 1 spotted redshank , 1 juv male ruff dropped in with 10 greenshank from goosemoor, 15 avocet , 750+ black tailed godwits, 5+ bar tailed godwits , 180+ redshanks , 1 knot, 300+ curlew, 200+ teal, 80+ wigeon, 12+ little egrets, 1 kestrel, 1 stonechat, 3 reed buntings, 1 kestrel, 2 buzzards, 30+ meadow pipits, 25+ shoveler, 4 snipe.


Posted October 9th, 2015 at 8:08 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Orcombe Point - a Snow Bunting - on private land - 'Top Fields' this evening.

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 6:43 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Harleston at head of Slapton Valley

12 Common Buzzards, 8 Ravens and a Kestrel in the air together - one of the buzzards resembling a pale-phase Booted Eagele, a trap for the unwary!! Also5 Stock Dove, 50 House Martin & 40 Swallow. In the garden Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Blackcap & Yellowhammer.

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 5:54 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A Ruff flew in from Topsham direction, feeding by last pool on the right with 22 Black-tailed Godwits and 25 Lapwings. 5 Chiffchaffs in willows at Topsham ferry and Water Rail calling from reeds there.

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 5:53 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

Wigeon flying around beach with 5 feeding on mud banks; first seen this autumn

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 4:48 pm by Sandy Moreton in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 1.55. Most unexpected bird was a female Mandarin that spent its time towards the back of the marsh towards the left hand side, often in the channel that leads towards the railway line. First for the marsh for me.

Otherwise good numbers of duck, 1 Snipe, Meadow Pipits and Skylark over.

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 2:18 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Exe estuary (yesterday 09-10-2015)

A look around the Exe estuary with Tony.

Powderham mid-day showed a Kingfisher around the pond near the lay-by area in front the castle and moving across to the railway steps a bit further along the road showed another Kingfisher hovering near the water outlet tunnel.

Starcross railway station was seen 2-Little Grebes and a distant Slovenian Grebe towards the Warren end and c700-Brent Geese over towards the Mudbank area.

Cockwood railway steps the Slovenian Grebe was still showing but distant again having moved further up towards the harbour, also 2-Kingfishers flying low over the water close-in heading towards the Warren.

From the Warren hide at mid-afternoon 1-Grey Plover, c30-Turnstone, c30-Dunlinn, 14-Ringed Plover on the great bull hill sandbar, 1-Ringed Plover and 5-Sandwich Terns in the bight area, c1500-Oyster Catchers, c110-Brent Geese, c1200-Wigeon and c300-Curlew. The common seal was lazing on the great bull sandbar. Around the Dunes large mobile group of Linnets a few Stonechats and a Blackcap.

Cockwood railway steps again over the hide-tide hoping to get better views of the Slovenian Grebe but was again still very distant nearer Starcross. But the highlight was a Red Throated Diver that suddenly appeared very close-by near the rocks in front of us and by the time i rushed back across the railway to get my camera from the car i just managed to get a distant shot as it moved further down the river heading towards the Warren and lost from view. Appologies for the poor photo with only 4x zoom.

Red-throated Diver  (Cockwood railway steps 08-10-2015)
Red-throated Diver (Cockwood railway steps 08-10-2015)

Slavonian Grebe  (Cockwood railway steps 08-10-2015)
Slavonian Grebe (Cockwood railway steps 08-10-2015)

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 11:13 am by David Boult in Bird News

Thursday 8th October 2015

Strange BHd. Gull on BGM.

Could it be BHd. X Med Gull?

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 9:43 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Shirwell nr Barnstaple

On my way to school today down the shirwell road past the hospital I saw a curlew flying over. Any ideas where it is going or why.

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 8:15 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Exminster Marshes to Turf

Nice to see the first few Lapwings back on the Marshes, with Teal, Curlews and Godwit.  And a small flock of Avocets (30+) feeding off the Goat Walk side of the estuary (viewed from Turf).  

Ringed Curlew in field south of Main Car Park alongside canal - not the best photo but didn't notice ring until downloading several photos of Curlew. 

Have reported to

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 8:00 pm by Jo King in Bird News

Thurlestone area

Swallows and meadow pipits were the obvious visual movement of the day. The latter were coming in off the sea, mainly in 2's and 3's but one flock of 36 picked up. Numbers subsequently built up on the stubble field next to South Milton Ley such that the flock was 100+ and a day estimate of 170 is probably low. Swallows were coming and going all day with flocks moving both ways along the coast e.g. 30+ across the bay west around 10.00 and 60+ south east inland at around 10.30 whilst over a 100 fed across South Huish. In all an estimate of over 250 birds involved - only 5 House martins. On the marshes, 1 Black tailed Godwit, 1 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 24 Teal, 1 Wigeon and 1 Shoveler. Skylarks trickled in throughout the morning to around 20 in total.

Warblers were initally scarce but eventually found 6-7 Chiffchaffs, 8 Blackcap, 6-7 Goldcrests and 1 Willow warbler (including those being ringed by Alan P). Whilst chatting with Alan, my first Redwing of the autumn flew over. 

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 7:18 pm in Bird News

Haldon Forest

An afternoon visit to the Haldon Forrest area, two Crossbill flew over, one red one green, great way to start the vist.

Siskins, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Great ~ Blue and Coal Tits, Coal Tits being the dominant tit species.

Constant movement of Pied Wagtails, good numbers of Chaffinch, a young Carrion Crow still with a parent the young bird had a good deal of white in its wings. 

Buzzard seen to fly into a tree and within moments drop down to the ground and take a field vole.

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 4:56 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

East Soar

Highlight of the morning was the first Ring Ouzel of the autumn in Starehole Valley. The berry crop is poor so there may not be many hanging around this year! A thorough, if fruitless, search of the usual scrub areas failed to turn up any YBW but migrants/probable migrants included male Great Spotted Woodpecker, 28 Swallow, 310 Meadow Pipit, 41 Alba Wagtail, 25 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 18 Goldcrest, 15 Blue Tit ( many more than usual ), 4 Jay in Starehole & 2m 3f Bullfinch ( moving through Starehole ).

Also: 41 Robin ( probably not an influx but just resident birds being much more active ), 80 Skylark & 110 Linnet

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 4:10 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

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