Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th November 2015


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

Saturday 7th November 2015

Plymouth Branch visit to Kingsmill Lake, Cornwall

Members of the Plymouth branch attended a scheduled outdoor meeting on Saturday, 7th. November. We set off from the China Fleet Club car park in wet and blustery conditions and while making our way to the first hide we saw Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Blue, Long Tail and Coal Tit and overhead we had Black Headed and Herring Gull. From the first hide we saw Great Black-backed and Herring Gull as well as Oystercatcher and Shelduck.

We then proceeded to the second hide encountering Blackbird and Robin along the path. At the second hide we observed flocks of Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwit along with Redshank and Dunlin. Lapwing were showing well and with the emerging sunshine their green plumage was delightful. We also had Teal and good numbers of Black-headed Gull and several Great Black-backed Gull & Herring Gull. Pleasing to see were large flocks of Canada Geese flying in 'V' formation to take up residence further upstream from the hide.Other water fowl included Mute Swan and Mallard. We also had Great Crested Grebe showing well in front of the hide as they dived for fish. Grey Heron and Little Egret were also present in the Salt Marsh. On the far river bank we saw many Pheasant and were pleased to see a male Pheasant on the small beach directly in front of the hide, this cock bird was in brilliant plumage but was conspicuous in not having the usual white 'collar'. Shortly after this sighting we observed several Snipe on one of the Salt Marsh banks across the river from the hide. A solitary Cormorant was seen drying out its wings on a sand bank before it flew off down stream. The group were blessed with a visit of a Kingfisher that flew across and then hovered above the river before returning to perch on a large mooring post directly in front of the hide and then flying off across the river.At the sight of many birds taking to the air we were alerted to the presence of a Buzzard and Peregrine circling and then moving off down stream. Also seen from the hide were Magpie, Carrion Crow and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. 

On our return to the car park we had Chaffinch and Robin. 

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 8:34 pm by John Lloyd in Bird News

Blaxton meadow

Chiffchaff & Goldcrest 2 going around with common group of Tits.

Also a splendid Med.gull an adult winter plumage.

Many Herring gull mostly 1st winter birds many B.H gull only 3 1st

winter birds.

A Sparrowhawk put them up as it soared overhead.

Curlew 40,Redshank 35,Greenshank 4,Little Egret 9

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 7:19 pm by Stephen J Turner in Bird News

Around topsham

watched from 11:30 till 16:45

From the church in topsham , 300+ redwing heading north over exminster marsh .

from the goatwalk good numbers of dunlin on the far side towards turf with 200+ avocet , 10+ golden plover.

from the viewing platform at bowling green marsh , 1 brambling over in a group of chaffinch heading west, a couple of groups of skylarks over, 1 kingfisher, 1 spotted redshank over, 4 jay, 1 red breasted merganser.

from the hide at bowling green marsh

2 sanderling among 450+ dunlin, 29+ snipe, 1 knot, 170+ black tailed godwits, 36+ bar tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 80+ curlew, 150+ redshank, 16+ greenshanks, 55+ pintail, 500+ wigeon, 30+ shoveler , 1 sparrowhawk, 2 buzzard, 1 peregrine, 3 jay, 6+ redwing, 1 stonechat, 1 grey wagtail, 1 Raven, 5 greylag geese, 1 Brent goose, 200+ Canada geese

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 6:41 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Burrator area

Flock of 170+ Golden Plover flying over the back of Burrator and finally settling on moorland below Sharpitor

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 6:04 pm by Lesley Carr in Bird News

Exminster marshes

The marshes are wet and attracting birds. A short visit in the early afternoon coincided with the high tide and a bit of sun; a winning combination. About 200 curlew were spread out over the lower marsh, nearest to Turf. Elsewhere c300 black-tailed godwits, c200 dunlin and c300 lapwing. A single snipe flew over the canal as did a kingfisher. On the canal bank - 2 chiffchaffs, Cettis and one goldcrest. The female peregrine was sitting on one of the pylons. So far this autumn just a few duck, mallard, wigeon and teal with a couple of shoveller.

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 4:39 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


Surprised to see the two Spoonbills roosting by  the Tarka Trail as I arrived at the reserve this afternoon at 2.30. They were still there at 4.15 when I left despite being surrounded by cattle! Also a Little Egret feeding nearby.

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 4:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Hope's Nose this afternoon

The sewer was flowing after the morning's rain, with a first winter mediterranean gull among the commoner species. Up slope, a sparrowhawk and a female pheasant (quite scarce for the site).

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 4:27 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater.

Walk up Brixham breakwater after the rain stopped. 15 Purple Sandpiper on the seaward side of wall, 3 Turnstone. 2 large bull grey seals on seaward side and 1 on marine side of Breakwater. Had a look toward Berry Head on the Torbay side of headland many many seabirds but did not pick up scope when i went out. From Sunday 22nd November and every sunday morning doing boat trips in Torbay if interested  email


Posted November 7th, 2015 at 4:05 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Hobby ~ South Brent

14.48hrs today a juvenile Hobby seen flying over the outskirts of South Brent from the direction of the A38 and out towards Brent Hill.

Posted November 7th, 2015 at 2:59 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Friday 6th November 2015

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

Female Firecrest in NW corner of cemetery again today at 1300.

Posted November 6th, 2015 at 3:33 pm by Howard Ackford in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor

Lunchtime visit until about 1.55.

Good numbers of waders building up from the hide including a flock of 30+ Bar-tailed Godwits. A flock of 40 Pintail flew in.

From Goosemoor a Spotted Redshank was feeding with a small number of Greenshank. A Kingfisher flew past and a couple of small groups of Redwing went over.

Yesterday, a Treecreeper was on the tree to the left of the ramp to the hide.

Posted November 6th, 2015 at 2:24 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Thursday 5th November 2015

Late Swallows in Beeson ..

Thursday November 5th.

Watched a swallow family of 2 adults and 3 juveniles feeding over our garden and surrounding area in Beeson this mornig from 9.45 am until we left the house at 11 am .

Posted November 5th, 2015 at 5:05 pm by Janet Teare in Bird News


The two Spoonbills were roosting by the Tarka Trail again this morning until at least 09.45. Probably scared off when the shooters arrived......

Posted November 5th, 2015 at 12:32 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


A presumed hybrid Med x Blackheaded Gull (probably 2nd winter going by black line in 2nd primary based on previous experience) was present on rocks and then around 2nd car park this morning with Black-headed Gulls.

MedxBhGullBrdsnds0515ML  MedxBhGullBrdsnds0515ML2MedxBhGullBrdsnds0515ML3 MedxBhGullBrdsnds0515ML4

Yesterday: 3 Mediterranean Gulls on the rocks at Preston; 2 ads and 1 2nd winter

Posted November 5th, 2015 at 9:54 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Teigngrace cattle egrets

3 still around all of today though often only two together. They move between Blatchford farm sheep & cattle fields and the flooded field viewed from causeway.

Pair of cirl buntings also in Blatchford hedgerow beneath power lines.

Posted November 4th, 2015 at 9:12 pm by ken dainton in Bird News

Exmouth Serin

The Serin at Warren View Playing Field, Exmouth, eventually showed reasonably well at 15:30 after a 2 hour wait! Not easy to photograph though!


Posted November 4th, 2015 at 7:43 pm by Dave Helliar in Bird News

Teigngrace Cattle Egrets

The 3 Cattle Egrets showed well in sheep field adjacent to Blatchfords Farm entrance at 13:00 today.

3 Cattle Egret
3 Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted November 4th, 2015 at 7:38 pm by Dave Helliar in Bird News

Around the Axe

A decent day around the Axe, with the best being a juv Hen Harrier over Colyford Marsh briefly this afternoon.

Have also seen a Short-eared Owl on Beer Head, at least one Firecrest at Seaton Hole and three Black Redstarts (one male) at Axmouth Yacht Club.

No sign in a brief look of yesterday's Axmouth Yellow-browed Warbler.

Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl

Male Black Redstart
Male Black Redstart

Posted November 4th, 2015 at 6:52 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News


Good views of short eared owl patrolling cliffs halfway between Mansands and Sharkham point.

Posted November 4th, 2015 at 12:22 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide showed good numbers of Snipe all over the marsh with a group of 10 around the point of the left water channel noticeably quite active in the rain mist amongst the usual high numbers of other waders and ducks.

Video link:



Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 8:10 pm by David Boult in Bird News

River plym

Great-northern Diver close to the road on the Embankment.

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 6:59 pm by Stephen John Turner in Bird News

a week at West Ogwell

Highlight of a week walking round West Ogwell area was a Black Redstart on the roof of High Holbeam (ref.822712)Thurs 29th, not seen after wet windy night on Friday 30th; possibly 1st yr male, as some white on wing; Also Monday 26th, 1 Swallow heading east; 2 small flocks of larus gulls heading NEast around 4-4.30pm, ~80no. total ALL juveniles/sub adult plumage, not a flash of white anywhere!  I've never seen this before.  Tues 27th Merlin heading south at ref. 801700. West Ogwell knoll had 50+ fieldfares, 30+ Redwings swirling around, much jay activity but could be 'only' 5 birds or many more. 

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 6:01 pm by Dan Lupton in Bird News

Cattle Egrets Teigngrace

All three of the Teigngrace Cattle Egrets located late this morning, the lower fields alongside the Exeter Road contained one along with a counted 20 Little Egrets, th eother two were in the fields either side the entrance to Batchfords Farm one with the sheep and one in with the cattle (living up to its name)

 Back home at South Brent the weather slowed down the birding acitivty but a friends garden had a good sized flock of Starlings feeding on fat balls, a count of 15 Collard Doves and 10 plus Goldfinch

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 5:03 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Warren View - Serin still present this afternoon, in weeds and willows behind the carpark. Stand by the big red bus to view. Also a very late Willow Warbler there - in sallows at the north end of the fields. Yesterday - 3 Mediterranean Gulls with large Black-headed Gull flock.

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 3:21 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


Good high tide roost of ~350 Oystercatcher (one wearing metal ring unreadable at distance)

Also about 10 Mediterranean Gull in with the Common and BHG, one of which carrying a French/Belgian project ring (White with code starting 'E__'). Full number collected and sent off! Very pleased.

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 2:46 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

River Caen near Wrafton Pond - 02/11/15

Dipper showing well just below the footbridge off the Tarka Trail

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 2:44 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News


I know it's going to be a good day when I see a Kingfisher looking into the pond I netted yesterday !

Firecrest still through the garden daily.

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 12:05 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News


Watched a Swift flying over Mannameasd, Plymouth this morning. Clearly visable and not flying south!

(EDs; UK records will show Pallid Swift is more likely in Nov!)

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 11:47 am by D W Young in Bird News

Berry Head

A stronger E wind probably curtailed a bigger overhead movement today but still managed to count the following in 2hrs: 2 Ring Ouzel, 8 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrush (7 more in bushes), 640 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 5 Swallow, 315 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 207 Goldfinch, 9 Linnet, 8 Siskin, 12 Skylark, 16 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Also around the headland: 1 Firecrest, 46 Goldcrest, 1 Treecreeper.

Stopped off at Breakwater quarry car park in Brixham and found a Yellow-browed Warbler, 15 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff in the ivy and sycamore on the west side of the quarry.

Yellow-browed Warbler Brixham Breakwater Quarry 3 Nov 2015 ML

Posted November 3rd, 2015 at 11:00 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 2nd November 2015

Late swallow - Teign Estuary

A single swallow seen today (Midday) at Arch Brook, Teign Estuary

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 11:38 pm by JDA in Bird News

Bradiford reserve

Had a report of a Short-eared Owl hunting and perched in Bradiford reserve this afternoon. Watched for at least 20 minutes.


per Tom Williams


Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 7:58 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Teigngrace and Dartmoor

Only two of the reported Cattle Egrets were showing this morning at Blatchford Farm, Teigngrace, in the same sheep field as yesterday, they could be viewed easily from the road at the farm entrance and seem oblivious to viewing “birders”.

A drive up onto the high moors gave surprisingly little to be seen in the way of bird life, the lower moor around Caton gave a large flock of Fieldfare with the odd Redwing and a couple of Meadow Pipit.

Challacombe gave good views of a hen Kestrel.

Soussons gave us the high light of the day with a short view of an unidentified species of Harrier flying low over the ground.

Other than the various Thrush species and a number of  Buzzards very little to be seen overall.

Dart Bridge, Buckfast a Dipper could be heard calling but not seen while three Buzzards were circling over the river.

Marly Head gave a flock of 43 Redwing, two Jays and two Buzzards, one a juvenile calling to an adult bird.

Back home at South Brent a garden bird watch had given me 25 species before 9am including Nuthatch, Fieldfare, Redwing, Starlings, Coal Tit, Wren, Dunnock, two Herons flying over, a count of 18 Goldfinch.

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 4:08 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Late Wheatear

Wheatear still remaining on Morte Point this morning 2nd Nov

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 3:57 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Stover Country Park

19 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the morning walk.  Few water birds were present on the lake with only a few Tufted Duck and Pochard present.  A distant Kingfisher was scoped and a Water Rail seen below the overhead walkway to the feeders.  The feeders were busy with Coal Tit and a few Marsh Tit and over head a handful of Siskin were feeding at top of an Alder tree. A Gt Spotted Woodpecker (f) put in a brief appearance.  The Laurel bushes produced feeding Redwing and Mistle Thrushes and in the woodland fringes groups of Long Tailed Tit were accompanied by Goldcrests.

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

cattle egrets

12.00 2 cattle egrets amongst sheep  in field by entrance to Blatchford farm. They were joined by the third around 12.20 and all 3 birds flew over the road towards the river around 12.30. They came down some distance away.

Jeff Hacon

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 2:00 pm by Jeff Hacon in Bird News

Dartmoor - Dousland

The Bramblings are back!  Reported in gardens on Saturday and today.


Rob Harrison

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 1:20 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

Joined by John Lusher we were treated to another impressive vis mig morning at Berry Head with the following overhead:

1 Hawfinch, 1 Ring Ouzel, 16 Fieldfare, 229 Redwing, 970 Chaffinch, 23 Brambling, 2 Redpoll, 49 Siskin, 3 Swallow, 4 Bullfinch, 33 Linnet, 460 Goldfinches, 6 Skylark, 22 Greenfinch, 5 Songthrush, 62 Meadow Pipit, 5 pied Wagtail, 31 Wood Pigeon and a flock of 11 Long-tailed Tits!

Around the headland: 31 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 4 Blackcap, 6 Stonechat.

Brambling Berry Hd 2 Nov 2015 MLBrambling- male

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 11:07 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


3 Cattle Egrets arrived at 0740, grouped with 9 little egrets. Distant on far side of flooded fields. Buzzard, Jay present.

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 8:43 am by Chris Courtaux in Bird News

Sunday 1st November 2015


A walk around the Bolberry side from mid morning was quite quiet but produced - Firecrest, 12+ Goldcrests, 8 Redwings, Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinches, Sparrowhawk, Siskin, Blackcap, c50 Skylarks and 3 Roe Deer.  

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 10:18 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Highlight of the morning was 274 Fieldfares heading east over the house in 5 flocks and an influx of Coal tits (at least 10) in the garden.  In the afternoon the Rideway's Cackling Goose was on Bowling Green Marsh associating with the Canadas.

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 6:55 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Teigngrace to Yarner

The two reported Cattle Egrets were showing well this morning at first light in the flooded fields between Teigngrace Road and Exeter Road (junction of Teigngrace gate) fielding in the flooded fields along with 11 Little Egret but further away than yesterday, while watching all the gathered Egrets lifted and flew up towards Stover landing further up the valley.

Stover CP ~ The pines in the car parks were alive with Goldcrests

Yarner Wood ~ Pond hide ~ Predominately Coal Tits on the feedersbut three Marsh Tit showed, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldcrest and Chaffinch. At the upper hide mostly Great Tits with a few Coal and Blue Tits, two Nuthatch, Raven heard and seen dropping into the woodland in front of the hide, Green Woodpecker calling on the way back down to the car park.

Back to Teigngrace to find the Little Egret count at 14 but no Cattle Egrets to be seen while viewing a Kingfisher flew over the flooded fields, Meadow Pipit, both Grey and Pied Wagtails, Jay Wren, Goldcrest and Robins. Large flockof Black Headed Gulls in the area again.

A drive round the area found the Cattle Egrets at Blatchford farm they could be viewed easily from the road at the farm entrance and surprised to see that (as in an earlier post) the numbers had risen to three. They became alarmed when the Black headed Gull flock passed high overhead but simply remained on the ground in an alert posture but did break and fly when a Buzzard went over them but landed within the same field.

Back home Nuthatch, Fieldfare, Redwing, and Sparrow hawk.

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 6:26 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


all males, Whilst ringing in the reserve this morning, one Spoonbill seen by the Tarka Trail. It left at about 9 a.m. Ringed a Kingfisher (8th this year) and trapped 3 different Great Spotted Woodpeckers - 2 of which were ringed recently. Never seen more than one at a time there before!

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 5:44 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Croyde Bay

Interesting feeding behaviour from a Crow this aft on the north side of Croyde Beach. It was feeding on a small Limpet which it had managed to remove from the surface of the rock with it's bill holding it upside down with it's feet to reveal the juicy fleshy underside.

Missed it with the camera while looking through the bins!

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 5:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 08:15 till 12:30

A good morning with a big increase in avocet to 244+ , 460+ dunlin, 300+ curlew, 18+ bar tailed godwits, 110+ lapwing, 300+ redshank, 200+ wigeon, 12+ pintail, 80+ snipe( 16 on marsh, the rest over in small groups mostly heading west ) , 2 grey wagtail , 1 stonechat, 1 buzzard.

Around the viewing platform 1 kingfisher showed well, 375+ redwing came out of rivers meet house with 60+ fieldfare, 8+ mistle thrush, 4 song thrush, increase in robin and blackbirds, 50+ skylark over, 2 crossbill, 1 redpoll , small groups of chaffinch west, 12+ long tailed tit, 1 female blackcap.

from the goatwalk large number of dunlin on far side by turf, 25+ golden plover, 300+ lapwing, 20+ grey plover.


Posted November 1st, 2015 at 4:21 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Head

During Torbay Coast & Countryside walk overhead migration was quite special highlights being: 2000+ Redwing, 50+ Fieldfare, 200 Woodpigeon, 40+ Skylark, 3 Brambling, 1 Redpoll, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Woodcock, 2 Snipe, 200+ Chaffinches, 5 Swallows. other birds included 1 Kingfisher, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers.

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

cattle egrets

Three cattle egrets now in Teigngrace. Often mobile but with sheep at Blatchford farm at 10.30. easily viewed from farm track.

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 10:59 am by ken dainton in Bird News

Pallas's Warbler photos

Photos of a Pallas's  Warbler ringed yesterday (31st. Oct.) at North Hallsands (site with no public access). Also on site 70+ Goldcrests 1 Firecrest and 1 Chiffchaff.

Posted November 1st, 2015 at 2:41 am by Alan Searle in Bird News

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