Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st February 2015


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

Saturday 21st February 2015

bgm topsham

two spotted redshank under the railway bridge,a single pintail,two tufted ducks,several curlew,and the usual birds,a green woodpecker in the lane,only spotted one snipe,a few redwing and fieldfare in the feild,the water rail showing well by the gate,and the highlight for us was a redpoll feeding briefly on one of the feeders behind the hide.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 8:54 pm by gray clements in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

A very high tide at the Warren left very few places left for the birds, the island in front of the hide almost submerged as you can see in the photo, good mornings birding with 42 species found.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 8:02 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Fingle Bridge

15 members of DB (East Devon Branch) had intended to explore the river downstream from Fingle Bridge but found the path closed while forestry work is being carried out in the area now owned by the NT and Woodland Trust.  So we took the traditional walk upstream to the mill and then returned by the high path below Castle Drogo.  

Several Dippers present including one in full song. Discussion followed relating to the variation in rusty brown of the undersides. The enlarged photo appears to show one ringed bird or is it just how its leg shows with the water line?    A pair of Siskin were present in Alders and a few Marsh Tits also found. A family group of 4 Buzzard and a single Raven patrolled the skySeveral mixed flocks of tits gave hopes of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but none were found although Tree Creeper, Nuthatch and Gt Spotted Woodpecker were. A worth while long walk and thanks to Tim Channon for leading us.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 6:20 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Occombe Farm, Paignton

Occombe Farm, Paignton and South Brent

A morning visit to the marsh area and hide at Occombe farm, Paignton this morning gave views of two Gold Crest, Jay, Wren, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, swarms of Great and Blue Tit with good numbers of Coal Tit, Dunnock and large numbers of Chaffinch, showing well. A Male Bullfinch flew past the hide.

Lots of fresh frog spawn in some of the shallow wet areas which will dry up long before the tadpoles arrive.

Back home in South Brent the garden feeders were buzzing with birds, the pair of Siskins continue to visit each day, male Bullfinch, single Long Tailed Tit & Pied Wagtail, double figures inrespect of Goldfinch, Chaffinch Greenfinch and House Sparrow a hunting Sparrow hawk cleared the area just on 3.10pm when it tried to take a fleeing Collard Dove. Starling numbers building up again, several small flocks in the area largest about 30 plus birds.


Posted February 21st, 2015 at 4:42 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Ideford Common

A sad sight this afternon, a freshly dead, Barn Owl,below the Beeches near the car park.No obvious sign of injury,a victim of the bad weather I suppose.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 4:31 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 07:45 till 09:45

on the walk down to the hide 1 male blackcap , 5 goldcrest, 3 coal tits, 1 nuthatch.

from the hide 2 Egyptian geese before flying towards darts farm, 4 water rail, 150+ bar tailed godwits, 100+ dunlin, 1 spotted redshank, 80+ redshank, 300+ black tailed godwits, 2 lapwing, 7 pochard, 5 tufted duck, 12 pintail among the usual wigeon and teal, 1 peregrine , 2 jays, 4 reed buntings.

from the path to the viewing platform another 3 water rail, 3 snipe, 1 little egret, 1 kingfisher, 10+ redwing.

Posted February 21st, 2015 at 3:30 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Friday 20th February 2015

Sharpitor nr Princetown

Red Kite flying over Sharpitor near Princetown was moving a lot so unlikely to still be there.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 6:40 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

This afternoon:

12 Wigeon, 44 Teal, 33+ Oystercatcher, 39 Shelduck, 3 Curlew,  plenty of Gulls with some in breeding plumage.

On Ernesettle creek: 4 Little Egret, 2 Greenshank, 8 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, and a Green Woodpecker heard from the distant trees.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 6:03 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 14:10 - 15:45

c30 Sanderling; c300 Dunlin; 325 Dark-bellied Brent on and off Penhill Marsh; c2500 Golden Plover  constantly being disturbed by Sea-King doing circuits and bumps and 12 Goosander (6M,6F) off Ashford Strand.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 4:25 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

On the lower lake, 23 Goosander, 9 Tufted Duck, 4 G.C.Grebe, 2 Reed Buntings, the usual on the feeders Blue,Coal, Great ,Willow Tits.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 4:04 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Upper Tamar Lake

The lake was quiet this morning with, 6 Cormorants, 3 Grey Heron, 46 Fieldfare possibly more over the brow of the field, 8 G.C.Grebe 2 displaying,8 Snipe, 150+ Lapwing,  7 Tufted Duck 5m 2f.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News


4 SPOONBILLS this morning.

Posted February 20th, 2015 at 1:13 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thursday 19th February 2015

South Brent & Yarner Wood

Despite the wet and overcast weather conditions, todays birding day started out well with a total of 25 species identified at home before setting out to visit the two hides at Yarner wood.

The home species including a pair of Siskins, male Bullfinch, Song Thrush, Raven, Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, count of 28 Chaffinch, 15 Goldfinch and both Little and Tawny owls heard calling overnight. The Goldfinch were clearly displaying to each other with lots of tail flicking and posturing.

Both hides at Yarner were busy predominately with Tit species, all the expected species were observed, 15 species in total, 8 Long Tails crammed into one feeder was amusing to watch, not as many Marsh Tit showing as previously seen, but high numbers of Blue, Coal and Great Tit. Only one fleeting sighting of a Nuthatch was a surprise but Greater Spotted Woodpeckers showing well. Male Siskin seen in the canopy from the valley hide, the first Siskin I have seen at the location.

On the pond three Mandarin and a pair of Mallard, the Mandarin consisted of two drakes and one duck and she was frequently seen flying up into the tree’s inspecting potential nest sites.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 10:10 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Sadly the other thing I noticed on the pond today was that the Cob Swan has an airgun pellet embedded in the black knob on top of it's bill. This bird has already been taken into care several years ago by the RSPCA (which is why it has a ring on). I'll try to get in touch with them to see if anything can be done. Sad days, some pretty sick people around....

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 10:02 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Little Drake's Island

One imm Spoonbill (unringed) found roosting on Little Drakes Island, Plymouth Sound amongst the many Great Black-backed gulls. It left at 07.42am and flew up the Tamar on the Cornish side.

Robert Hurrell

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 7:13 pm in Bird News

River Plym

The rain finally abated and so I headed off to the yellow browed warbler spot near Blagdons Meadow after it was reported as present yesterday - and as per usual for me there was no sight or sound of it.

A muddy walk in Saltram Park was much more interesting with a female sparrowhawk, a male kestrel, a jay, 2 mistle thrush, around 30 redwings and 2 displaying stock doves the highlights. Best bird was a firecrest feeding in a loose flock of blue, great, coal and long tailed tits in the woodland by the River Plym footpath - brief and frustrating views initially as it fed amongst the holly bushes and ivy clad trees but eventually showing well in a bare tree.

Another look for the yellow browed warbler on the way back home and still no sign of it but a kingfisher on the rocks near Blagdons Boatyard was a bonus.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 5:59 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News


Or at least, near Barnstaple. Still plenty of Redshank in Fremington Pill, and one Greeshank plus a couple of Black-tailed Godwits. In the Bradiford Reserve, a Redshank on the scrape was unusual.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 4:15 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Lesser Whitethroat

Ivybridge, private garden. Lesser Whitethroat. (Believed sighted in January also but too brief to confirm whether Common or Lesser).

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 3:02 pm by richard teague in Bird News


Waited for the rain to clear before heading to the reseerve, so quite surprised to see the 3 Spoonbills still roosting by the Tarka trail as I arrived at 11.40. Indeed they were still there when I left at 12.35. Lots of Finches in the reserve, and still male Pochard and 2 Shoveler on Wrafton Pond.

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 1:02 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 18th February 2015


Just to add to Keith's earlier post 4 Greenshank viewed from Bowling Green Marsh hide and some videos of Spotted Redshank, Greeshank and Water Rail seen at the viewing platform on incoming tide.

From Topsham recreation ground this morning 4 Redwing feeding on berrys around rear gardens.

From Darts Farm late morning c25 Fieldfare and 6 Redwing in trees in fields rear of the shopping centre later flying close-by in hedgerow around rear car-park.

Further to Garys & Nicks post yesterday (Tuesday) of the odd looking Gadwall/Wigeon at Bowling Green Marsh here is a video taking today. Any comments welcome.!!

Darts Farm yesterday (Tuesday) Sparrowhawk video. Not sure what happened to the original link.!!

Fieldfare at Darts Farm
Fieldfare at Darts Farm

Water Rail at Bowling Green Marsh Viewing Platform
Water Rail at Bowling Green Marsh Viewing Platform

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:29 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Around topsham

watched from 15:00 till 17:45

1 male and 1 female goldeneye were on the exe just up from the quay along with 18+ red breasted mergansers before flying down the estuary towards starcross, good numbers of avocet , dunlin and black tailed godwits.

3 water rail showed well just in side the gate to the viewing platform at bowling green marsh and 1 chiffchaff, 150+ wigeon, 2 spotted redshank on the clyst from the viewing platform , 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 jay.

from the hide 6 pochard , 6 tufted duck(5m, 1f), 6 pintail(5m, 1f), 35+ shoveler, 3 snipe, 1 water rail, 200+ redshank, 300+ black tailed godwits, the 2 spotted redshank came in from the clyst.


Posted February 18th, 2015 at 7:10 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Red Kite

A Red Kite flew over Brentor at 1115 this morning.  Went off south in the direction of Mary Tavy. Totally ignored by the many Corvids in the area.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 4:41 pm by Simon Martin in Bird News

Berry Head Seabird Colony

Did a quick count of the Guillemot colony this morning!!!!

1,381 Guillemots, 7 Fulmar and 2 Shag. Very good healthy numbers of Guillemots and only 1 in non breeding plumage. Picture included but excuse quality.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 4:01 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Sharpa Marshes & Wrafton Pond

The Hybrid Goose with the Canada Geese on the Marshes this morning & 1 male Pochard & 9 Shoveler on Wrafton Pond.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:19 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Scrape - Velator

 3 of the 7 Spoonbills were on the scrape again this morning.

I think these are the same 3 that have been overwintering on the Taw Estuary. One of these 3 is the colour - ringed bird from the Netherlands. The other 4 are new arrivals.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:07 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


The three Spoonbills were again on the wet area next to the Tarka Trail early this morning. On my way out a Kingfisher and a ringed Chiffchaff by the bridge.

Posted February 18th, 2015 at 10:01 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 17th February 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

As mentioned in Nicks posting, this little character (having adventurous parents) has been around the marsh for over a week now, and seeing it fly for the first time today has a ghosting wigeon flight pattern and a whitish underwing.




Posted February 17th, 2015 at 11:09 pm by Gary Clayden in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

In addition to Dave's earlier post, the Spotted Redhank was showing fairly close in from the viewing platform at about 1.30.

There is also a very interesting looking hybrid Gadwall x Wigeon on the marsh. The body is mainly Gadwall with the head and beak being Wigeon!

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 9:36 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

RSPB Isley Marsh Reserve

1 male Red breasted Merganser & 7 Spoonbills on the reserve this aft.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Braunton Marsh & nearby

Afternoon walk along coastal path from Vellator to the White House & back up the Toll Road. Group of 9 Grey Plover near the Fishermen's Hut with what I think was a solitary Sanderling, (pic attached). Also great veiw of a fishing Kingfisher at the top of the Toll Road alongside the boundary ditch.

Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?
Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?

Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?
Grey Plovers with a Sanderling ?


Posted February 17th, 2015 at 8:34 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Darts Farm

Viewed 1000-1530 Hrs

From Bowling Green Marsh 6 Pochard + 2 Tufted Ducks + 2 Pintail + 6 Greylag Geese with usual Teal and Wigeon. Along the road 2 Water Rail and 4 Snipe showing well close-by the hedgerow.

From Darts Farm a Sparrowhawk was sat on far right-hand fence post + 2 Egytpian Geese on river Clyst bank + Kingfisher around top pool + 2 Stonechat + 3 Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting around the reed-beds.

Links to video of Sparrowhawk & Kingfisher


Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:39 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

The fine weather made counting the Snipe easier - a total of 64 today with 19 Lapwing. Couldn't find the Jack Snipe today - 2 Stonechats and 35 Meadow Pipits.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:38 pm in Bird News

Plym Estuary and Saltram

Went down this morning on low tide. Nothing unusual on the estuary apart from 4 goosanders (3f, 1m), Redshanks, Gulls (various) and Curlews. In the wooded areas Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Nuthatch, Wrens, Goldcrests, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:38 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News


Great Grey Shrike in hawthorn scrub on N side of dam, late afternoon. It also flew across dam to the S side.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 7:21 pm by Simon Smith in Bird News

Soussons Dartmoor

  A "tristis" Siberian Chiffchaff [found by Dave Cawthraw] showed well for a short while.  Also a brief fly-past by a ring-tail Hen Harrier.  A few female Crossbills, Siskins everywhere, 100+ Chaffinches in a flock containing 2 Bramblings, 2 Treecreepers and still large numbers of Goldcrests.

Tristis type Chiffchaff
Tristis type Chiffchaff

Tristis type Chiffchaff
Tristis Chiffchaff

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 6:18 pm in Bird News

East Soar

First spring migrants today, 2 white wagtails with 4 pieds at East Soar Farm. First cirl bunting singing & first red admiral on wing.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 5:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plympton, Langauge Industial Estate, Eagle Road

Two birds to note, at 07:50 a Barn Owl flew over the factory, at 11.15am to my amazement two Red Kites flew over heading towards Cann woods

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 4:36 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News


Weather conditions prompted a rapid return to see if there were any more birds to ring this morning. As I cycled across the field towards the reserve I saw something interesting and stopped to look at the three SPOONBILLS roosting on the wet area adjacent to the Tarka Trail. Good start. Ringed a male Blackcap and a female Reed Bunting, amongst others. Full details on the forum later. Also saw an unringed Chiffchaff and a Cetti's Warbler in the reserve. 

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 3:23 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


1 Firecrest in the marsh at the back of the 1st car park,14 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 5 Reed Bunting.

On the sea 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Red-throated Diver and 4 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 16th February 2015

Birding around Topsham

Brilliant place to go birding, counted 41 species without putting too much effort in and all putting on a show ;o)

Posted February 16th, 2015 at 7:15 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

UpotteryAirfield, Smeatharpe

Although difficult to see, there were still 24 Snipe present along with the Jack Snipe and 11 Lapwing. 2 Stonechats and 102 Fieldfare.

Posted February 16th, 2015 at 6:07 pm in Bird News

Ludwell Valley Northbrook

New for the patch accidentally flushed a Water Rail today! Amazed! Also Dipper present.

Posted February 16th, 2015 at 5:44 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Sunday 15th February 2015

Torbay boat trip

Just a few photos of dare I say it impressive looking cormorants from today's trip. Nice to the the comparison with the adjacent Stags.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 10:35 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

Exe Estuary, Turf to Powderham

During the WeBS count, between 1.25 and 2.25pm, most of the brent geese formed one flock of 1100 birds in the fields inland of the railway with more geese on the estuary. In total there were probably 1200 brent geese south of the Turf. The distance and abundance of birds made it difficult to see if the black brant was amongst them. If it was I failed to locate it.

On the shore small groups of dunlin were feeding close to the sea wall together with about 100 black-tailed godwit. In the estuary one flock of 14 red-breasted merganser was south of Greenland Bank.

Walking back across Exminster Marshes it appeared the number of wigeon had fallen although there were plenty (600+) lapwing and 100 or so golden plover. I saw 2 chiffchaffs in the lane and heard 3 Cettis. There was a kingfisher on the canal.

James Diamond reported the merlin coming into roost later in the afternoon about 5.30pm.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 8:19 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


The Snow bunting was on the sea wall between Powderham and Turf this afternoon.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 7:54 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


34 Birds ringed in the reserve this morning including male House Sparrow and Reed Bunting, plus 2 Chiffchaffs, one extremely 'yellowy' individual that had me double checking for Willow Warbler! Full details on the forum directly...

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 6:19 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A record breaking 59 Snipe was a pleasant surprise, the majority in a pig field close to the village along with 67 Lapwing and single Jack Snipe. 60+ Chaffinch, 2 Stonechat and 11 raven.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 5:13 pm in Bird News


This mornings boat trip was a bit lumpy on the Brixham side of Torbay but much calmer Torquay side so birds seen:-  4 Raven, 2 Black-necked Grebe, 4 great Crested Grebe, 4 Purple sanpiper Brixham breakwater and 7 Purple Sandpiper by Living Coast, Torquay on rocks. Herons, many Fulmar, Oystercatcher, Little Egret and very interesting to see that Berry Head seabird colony was full of Guillemots, very close to a 1000 birds and then to find on the other side of the bay at Ore stone 180+ Guillemots and a Great Black-backed Gull pulling Guillemots off the ledges as it flew by.

last but not least is seeing the Glaucous Gull from the boat on Brixham Fish market roof.

Only 2 more trips 22nd and 1st March email if interested. 

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 2:41 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Isley Marsh

Seven spoonbills at Isley Marsh this afternoon.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 2:32 pm by Alan Craddock in Bird News


This morning at Wembury:

2 Turnstone, 1 Common Sandpiper, Rock Pipits, Meadow Pipits and a Water Pipit on the seaweed by the sewage pipe, 1 active female Black Redstart with a leg ring, 1 male 1 female Stonechat, 4 Starling and a couple of singing Skylark up by the radar, 2 Ravens overhead.

On the Mew stone:

Greater Black Back Gulls, Cormorant, Shag, Fulmar.

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 1:25 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Occombe Farm Nature Trail Paignton

The Yellow-browed Warbler showed again this morning (briefly) just off the lower boardwalk in the woods. Also a couple of Treecreepers, 2 Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch,4-5 Goldcrests and 60+ Redwings in meadow below the farm woodpile. 

Posted February 15th, 2015 at 10:48 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

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