Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st November 2015


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

Saturday 21st November 2015

Woodpigeons over Sidmouth

35,750+ Woodpigeons moved West over Salcombe Hill, Sidmouth 7.45-11.30.  Likely to be an conservative figure with almost constant movement along and below the cliff edge meaning that I no doubt missed some of the smaller flocks moving about half a mile inland.  Flocks of 100+ still moving west when I finally dragged myself away.

Also, 4 Purple Sandpiper on Chit Rocks at first light and a Dartford Warbler on Salcombe Hill.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 8:48 pm by Dan Hennessy in Bird News

Velator area & River Caen Saturday the 21st of November 2015

Birds of note, Dipper, Kingfisher, Greenshank, Water Rail (heard) Barn Owl Quartering reeds, 1000+ Lapwing, 2000+ Golden Plover, 3000+ Starling

Record shot one of Barn Owl
Record shot one of Barn Owl

Record shot two of Barn Owl
Record shot two of Barn Owl

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 8:26 pm by Steve McAusland in Bird News

Exmouth Woodpigeons

Orcombe Point - an estimated 20,000 woodpigeons moved towards the mouth of the Exe between 0745 and 0900. I had to leave at 9am but the passage was still going strong. I definitely missed birds before 0745 too - see gobirdingexmouth blog for photos of c10000 birds! Also 1 Jack Snipe, 1+ Golden Plover, 2 Lapwing, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 30 Brent Goose and 1 Pintail. 

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 8:17 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


At Powderham Marsh this afternoon amongst all the Corvides and Woodpigeons there was 22 Stockdoves in the 1st stubble field which then flew over to Exminster Marshes.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 7:16 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Wood Pigeons - Denbury & Sherford

c 4000 Wood Pigeons seen flying very high over Denbury 0930 - 1000hrs heading South West - largest flock over 1000.

At Sherford 1130 - 1230hrs - over 800 counted in smaller flocks flying North into the wind and very low over farmland and copses.

This change of direction has been noted in previous years later in the day

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 6:21 pm by JDA in Bird News

Gidleigh Common

6 seperate Snipe and a buzzard this afternoon.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 5:18 pm by Chris Godfrey in Bird News

South Brent to BGM & Teigngrace

Between 8am and 9am this morning a count of just over 2000 Wood Pigeons (C~2144) passing and over South Brent towards Plymouth the flocks in view stretched from Brent Hill and out over the A38 valley. The high tailwinds resulted in them traveling at higher speeds than would be the norm, also the altitudes varied some flocks were coming over at tree top height and others so high they were little more than specks.

A drive up to Exeter gave views of several more flocks of up to 50 or so birds. Several smaller scattered flocks were feeding locally back at South Brent this afternoon, possibly dropping down to take Ivy berries.

Small flocks of both Redwing and Fieldfare very much in evidence

A female Kestrel passed over home almost at the same time as yesterday, later in the day another two Kestrels seen from the A38 one at Bickington and the other at Ashburton.

Haldon Forrest Park gave good numbers of Chaffinch and Coal Tit, other species included Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Pied Wagtail, Jay, Mistle Thrush and Siskin.

Bowling Green Marsh and Darts Farm were worth a visit but nothing to get excited about, good number of Shoveller Duck and Wigeon at BGM and Lapwings at both locations with attendant Starlings. A low flying Buzzard came across the marsh alarming the smaller species. reasonable numbers of Godwits at both locations.

Despite no recent reports on DBWPS I paid a chance visit to the Teigngrace area found two Cattle Egrets still in situe, feeding in a field of cattle alongside Little Egrets and Pied Wagtails, below the Solar panel installation across the road from the start of Greycoat Lane.

Back home at South Brent the garden feeders had up to 16 Greenfinch at one point along with growing numbers of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and House Sparrows the growing number of  birds at the feeders are proving a magnet for the resident Sparrow hawks and a hunting male made two passes.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 5:17 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


1,520 Woodpigeons heading west this morning as viewed between Rec and M5 over 40 minute period.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 5:14 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

A quick look at the Lake this morning showed 1 Scaup (f), 6 Goosanders 4m 2f, 6 Wigeon, 6 Tufted Duck 3m 3f, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Marsh Tits, 6 Redwing, 19 Fieldfare, 1 Jay.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 1:52 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Hartland Point seawatch

8-10 am N.Gale. Blinking cold.

5 Bonxie

4 Red-throated divers (2 flypast, 2 on water)

4 Common Scoter

7 Kittiwake

approx 60 Auks (guillemot + Razorbill)

1 ad Med Gull

2 Common Gull


Posted November 21st, 2015 at 11:15 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Teigngrace Cattle Egrets

Three birds still present this morning. Following, & riding the backs of, the Twelve Oaks herd in the solar panel field.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 10:12 am by ken dainton in Bird News


Photos of pigeons over Budleigh Salterton.

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 9:24 am by Rob Jerrard in Bird News


0820- 0835  Thousands of wood pigeons in wave after wave heading west over Estuary View Budleigh Salterton.  The most I have ever seen.

Rob Jerrard

Posted November 21st, 2015 at 8:41 am by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Friday 20th November 2015

Seaton Marshes

The Glossy Ibis was still present this afternoon feeding in marshy pools to the right of the entrance track to the hide.

Posted November 20th, 2015 at 8:00 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Afternoon walk around the marsh.Highlights - Gold Crest, Chiffchaff, Peregrine on plylon, Water Rail, Kestrel and a few small flocks of Feildfare among the usual teal, Wideon ,Curlew etc.


Posted November 20th, 2015 at 6:03 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News


A good mix of birds today: 1 Black-throated Diver (in Elberry Cove), 4 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Brent Goose, 8 Shelduck, 3 Razorbills & 1 ad w Mediterranean Gull.

Around Marsh: 4 Firecrest (together at one point), 2 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff (all collybita type), 3 Cirl Bunting.

Posted November 20th, 2015 at 2:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

Really good numbers of waders over a lunchtime high tide including plenty of Avocets. A Sparrowhawk casued a bit of mayhem for a while. Small party of Brent Geese headed over in the direction of Darts Farm. A Nutchatch on the feeders.

From Goosemoor, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Green Sandpiper until about 1.50 at least.

Posted November 20th, 2015 at 2:11 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Thursday 19th November 2015

Lower Tamar Lake

A female Scaup was present this morning along with four male Goosanders.

Posted November 19th, 2015 at 8:31 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Clennon Lakes

A visit to Clennon Lakes just after the rain stopped found 4 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 8 collybita type Chiffchaffs, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 3 Water Raqil, 4 Snipe and 1 Little Egret.

Firecrest Clennon Lakes 19 Nov 2015 ML $k video still                    Firecrest photo is a still grab from a 4K video on my Lumix FZ1000 in dull light! 

Posted November 19th, 2015 at 8:02 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Shooting - Sherpa Marshes

15.00 - The shooters were out again blasting away over Sherpa Marshes & around the DBWPS Reserve this aft.

As I cycled along the Tarka trail between Wrafton Pond & the DBWPS Reserve 2 female Mallard were shot (1 wounded which landed in the bushes adjacent to the Tarka trail & was retrieved later on by another member of the shooting party) flying from the fresh water scrape very close to the Tarka trail.

In the interest of public safety I was very surprised to see one of the shooters shooting so close to a busy public right of way.

Looking at the map of the shooting rights I see the boundary outlined in red is right up against the side of the Tarka Trail from Velator to Wrafton & next to a public footpath from Velator to Velator Quay.

There is also a public footpath all the way around Horsey Island & they also have shooting rights here as well as several other areas on the Marshes.

I was also surprised to hear from 2 other members of Devon Birds that they were showered with shotgun pellets while birdwatching from the east bank of R.Caen.

Perhaps a caution from the Police will rectify this problem or a change in the law.

These shooters are in possession of a lethal weapon which can injure & kill not just birds but people as well.

Posted November 19th, 2015 at 5:53 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


In absence of a Forum page could I refer readers to todays Express and Echo (page 36) in which a Mr Norman Brooking raises a question.  He says 'every morning at about sunrise many thousands of gulls fly in a north-westerly direction in front of his window (Waterside, Exeter) and at dusk this pattern is reversed.  He thinks they are Black-headed Gulls and asks where they might be going- perhaps to a rubbish tip?'

If anyone has the definitive answer please email me ( and I will happily reply to the Echo. Thanks... Jonathan (East Devon Branch).

Posted November 19th, 2015 at 2:48 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Little Auk

Just had a call from Robin Khan. He spotted a small black and white bird by the side of the roundabout at Clyst St Mary around midday. He stopped the car and went back to the bird which was still alive and turned out to be a Little Auk!! It seemed healthy so he took it to Exmouth where released and flew out to sea unharmed. So hopefully this casualty of the storms will survive!

Posted November 19th, 2015 at 12:40 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Wednesday 18th November 2015

South Huish Marsh

Glossy Ibis flew into the marsh at 11.55 , showing well at the back of the 2nd pool

Posted November 18th, 2015 at 1:33 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor

After an absence of over a week the female Black Redstart was back again this morning at the new-builds on Old Barn Drive.

Posted November 18th, 2015 at 11:54 am by Rick Lockwood in Bird News

Tuesday 17th November 2015

Brixham Breakwater

A quick walk along the breakwater before weather closed in, saw only 4 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sandpiper. Watching a trawler coming in with nets out many gulls, gannets but also a smaller dark bird and on discussions with Mike Langman could well have been Pom Skua. Weather closed in to then see a goose and after much watching getting soaked managed to photograph for ML to ID a Brent Goose ( bernicia ). Through bad weather saw many other seabirds but too wet to hang around.

Still have places on Sunday boat trip, if interested text 07866202576.


Posted November 17th, 2015 at 4:30 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Humming-Bird Hawk-Moth Plymstock

Not a bird sighting I know, but a late record for this species?

It came into our porch as I left for work this morning

Posted November 17th, 2015 at 3:11 pm by Graham Devine in Bird News

Monday 16th November 2015

Fremington, Home Farm Marsh.( 9am to 1pm)

Walked from Fremington to Home Farm Marsh .40+ Oystercatcher,40+ Redshank,13 Lapwing,10 Curlew, 1 Snipe,6 Goldfinches,3 Little Egrets,1 male Reed Bunting, 2 Spoonbills flew over the fields heading towards Braunton side of the estuary.30+ Starlings. From the hide over looking the pond 2 female Shovelers,good numbers of Teal, Widgeon and Canada geese one of which looked like a hybrid.On the way back 4 Linnets,2 Great Black-backed Gulls,5 Herring Gulls,30+ Black-headed Gull.

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 8:24 pm by Chris Marshall in Bird News


Around 3pm this afternoon we saw a flock of 20-30 crossbills near Haldon Forest main car park.

Ali & Andy Gooch

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 6:04 pm by Andy Gooch in Bird News

Hope's Nose this afternoon

A great northern diver was in the bay on the north side. Nothing unusual on the sewer - just one common gull among the herring and black headed gulls, and a pair of stonechats on brambles on the edge of the quarry. A red admiral basking by the road at the top was a bit of a surprise in the cool dull weather.

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 4:04 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Harleston at head of Slapton Valley

3 Lesser Redpoll in and around garden this morning (garden tick). Also a few hundred woodpigeons on the move.

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 3:18 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


2 Great Northern Divers on sea and 1 Black- necked Grebe but little else.

Around car parks and marsh 3 Frirecrest see one displaying to another (look at blurred image behind front bird).

Firecrest Broadsands 16 Nov 2015 ML     Firecrest Broadsands 16 Nov 2015 ML 2

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 3:13 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Between 0830&0900hrs this morning 3000+ Wood Pigeons in 7 flocks moved >SW.

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 16Nov2015 ML    Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 16Nov2015 ML 2

1-2 Siberian Chiffchaffs around Lakes photod above. Video link:

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 3:07 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


The first bird I saw as I got out the car by the railway bridge at the top of Bowling Green Road was the Firecrest! Watched it for 40 minutes or so busily feeding either side of the road. Still there when I left around 1.55.

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Hartland Point

8-11am Wind W Fresh

3 Bonxie

1 Manx Shearwater

9 Great Northern Divers. All flying south, 7 singletons ,one pair

90 Auks and 17 kittiwakes in first hour

3 Med gulls

A couple of porpoises plus attendant Gannets

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 1:51 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Wood Pigeon migration over the Exe

Just seen around 1000+ Wood Pigeons fly over the Exe and another report on twitter reporting 6000 birds fly over the Warren around 09:00 to 10:00 this morning.

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 10:11 am by Derek Carter in Bird News

South Brent

A female Black Redstart showing well on the roof of South Brent Church this morning, the church yard also gave Mistle Thrush and Nuthatch.

A flock of 25 low flying Herring Gulls circling over the school

A flock of some 60 to 70 high flying Wood Pigeons headed west this flock being the first sign of Wood Pigeon migration that I have seen this autumn small flocks of both Redwing, Fieldfare and Green Finch moving around and over the village.

A Wren in the garden and Pied Wagtails flying over.

And just had two flocks of Wood Pigeons over home counted at 25 and 15 birds also headed westerly.

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 9:18 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Sunday 15th November 2015


Just to add to Keith's post, one Firecrest along the railway bank at the top of hill leading down to Bowling Green Marsh just after 8am.

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 8:02 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Dart Valley at New Bridge

1 Woodcock, Dart Valley woods a little upstream of New Bridge this am.

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 6:17 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Colaton Raleigh Common

Male Merlin and Short-eared Owl hunting at dusk this evening

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 5:54 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Aveton Gifford & Kingsbridge

Aveton Gifford ~ the tidal road on a low tide was subject to a strong wind coming up the river and bird numbers were down, that said Greenshank ~ Redshank ~ Curlew~ Oyster Catcher ~ Little Egret and Common Sandpiper seen, small gathering of Gulls included two Greater Black Backs along with Herring and Black Headed Gulls.

At the entrance to South Efford Marsh a large flock of Long Tailed Tits, mixed in with them were Blue Tits and Gold Crest the poor light made observation and identification difficult. Several Redwings in the general area

Kingsbridge Quay ~ Redshank and Little Egrets

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 5:46 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Around topsham

watched from 09:15 till 12:30

on the walk down to Bowling green marsh good numbers of goldcrest with several groups of redwing flying around with a few fieldfare best bird over was 4 siskin heading west, a definate increase in greenfich around the marsh as well as goldfinch, 1 nuthatch, 1 kestrel, 1 peregrine.

from the viewing platform 5+ jay going back and forth to riversmeet house, a Jack snipe flew in from the east and dropped into the reeds opposite the hide.

a quick look at darts farm produced a good numbers of greenfich and goldfinch

from the goatwalk , 309+ avocet was my best count of the autumn, 1000+ dunlin, 200+lapwing, 20+ golden plover and at least 20+ grey plover, 5 red breasted mergansers, 200+ black tailed godwits.

finished back at the viewing platform at bowling green marsh, 200+ black tailed godwits in field to left of path, and 816+ on the clyst ( so around 1216+ around the area again best count so far this autumn ) 37+ bar tailed godwits and another 6+ avocet.



Posted November 15th, 2015 at 5:05 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Firecrest again in the garden this afternoon with Long-tailed tits, Goldcrests, Treecreeper, Blue, Coal and Great tits. More Goldfinches feeding today and Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders.

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 3:40 pm by Margaret Phillipss in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Another windy and wet day at Tamar Lake, the Goosanders have increased to 4m 2f also 1 L/Grebe, 1 G.C.Grebe, 4 Tufted Duck, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Nuthatch.

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 1:57 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News


Arrived at the Reserve for a bit of maintenance work this morning and almost the first bird I saw was a rather lovely Barn Owl. I've never seen one in here before (although Tom Williams reprted having seen one from the Tarka Trail last month). In the surrounding fields there are lots of Black-headed Gulls and a big flock of Canada Geese - a few of which have been dropping into the reserve pond of late.

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 1:33 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Head & Brixham

Over 700 Kittiwakes first moving south then building into a feeding frenzy off headland also 1 Great Skua.

In Brixham in the Breakwater quarry car park (multistorey) 1 Firecrest with 2 Goldcrest in sycamores and scrub. Video:

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 1:09 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Black Redstart Budleigh

Black Redstart on the garden wall of Pebbles B&B at 9am today, stayed until chased off by a Robin

Posted November 15th, 2015 at 9:28 am by Richard Allen in Bird News

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