Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th February 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

Saturday 14th February 2015

Exminster and Powderham

 Penduline Tits at Exminster again from 10.45 to 11.15 - very difficult to photograph as feeding on the Reed Mace behind the trees and brush (just a few slightly blurred pics) Two showed, but at 11.15 three birds took off in the direction of canal/Topsham.  Waited until 11.30 but no further show.   Barnacle Goose at Powderham this afternoon amongst a large flock of Canada Geese.  Flock of circa 40 Linnets around stubble field. 7 Cirl Buntings and 2 Reed Buntings watched at Powderham Marshes last Sunday but due to other Bird Watchers near the site today, decided to stay away.

Posted February 14th, 2015 at 9:35 pm by Jo King in Bird News


Walking downstream from reservoir saw 2 Dippers, 3 Ravens, 2 Treecreepers, 3 Marsh Tits, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Wrens and several Robins. Think we saw some Pipits but weren't able to identify. 

Posted February 14th, 2015 at 5:35 pm by Noah salt in Bird News

Occombe Farm Nature Trail - Paignton

A Yellow-browed Warbler first seen by Steve Huggins last Saturday was seen by him again this morning on both occasions it was seen on the anticlockwise trail dropping down over a board walked part of the meadow and entering the woods on another boardwalk on the left this leads back up a small stream. The bird seems to prefer the area before the second 'bridge' at the end of the boardwalk. I visited early afternoon and found the bird in the same area before it moved up through the woods toward the bird hide/feeding station. 

Posted February 14th, 2015 at 3:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 13th February 2015

Dartmoor February 13th 2015

Good day birding on Dartmoor despite inclement weather. 

On road from B3212 towards Runnage Bridge large flock of  Thrushes, Fieldfare 100+ , Redwing, Mistle Thrush with Jackdaws, Carrion Crows, Rooks and Raven feeding on turned field.

Siskins seen at Soussons Plantation , large flock of Chaffinches around Postbridge but no Brambling identified.

Stunning female Merlin on stone wall on B3357 just before Prince Hall.

Four Yellow Hammers and two Grey Wagtails Dartmeet. (Car park)

Posted February 13th, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Cilla Ingram in Bird News

Roadford Reservoir 12 Feb

 Four pairs of Goldeneye on the at the bridge end of the lake this morning with several Great Crested Grebe and plenty of Teal, one Grey Heron, 3 Shoveler (2m,1fm), 1 Snipe, 2 little Grebe, 10+ Tufted Duck in this area to. A pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Several Chaffinches and a Goldcrest seen near the Hide. At least 8+ Song Thrush feeding on the banks between the hide and the cafe' and one in full voice! A "raft" of Coots came ashore at the Boat club numbering atleast 30+ birds....Spring is in the air!

A greedy Grebe with carp to big to swallow!
A greedy Grebe with carp to big to swallow!

Greedy Grebe
Greedy Grebe

Golden Eye

Posted February 13th, 2015 at 7:23 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Darts Farm

First view of these lovely little birds.

Penduline Tit feeding on reed heads
Penduline Tit feeding on reed heads

Posted February 13th, 2015 at 3:37 pm by Colin Scott in Bird News

Thursday 12th February 2015

Fremington Quay

Forgot to mention there was a group of 6 Goosanders diving just of the quay at the entrance to the pill


Posted February 12th, 2015 at 7:14 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Fremington Quay

Pleasant lunchtime stroll down the road alongside the pill down to the quay - usual Redshanks (50+), Black-Tailed Godwits (17) & Greenshanks (2) + a fleeting glance of a kingfisher - all spotted along the pill on a falling tide.


Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit


Posted February 12th, 2015 at 7:11 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Slapton - 12.2.15

2 pairs of Great Crested Grebe displaying well on Slapton Ley today. Thanks to GW for pointing me in the direction of 2 pairs of Goldeneye. Could only manage a distant photo of a male.

Great Crested Grebe - Slapton - 12.2.15
Great Crested Grebe - Slapton - 12.2.15

Male Goldeneye - Slapton - 12.2.15
Male Goldeneye - Slapton - 12.2.15

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 6:40 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Darts Farm continued

3 Peduline tits actively feeding at 11.45.

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 1:04 pm by John Phillips in Bird News

Darts Farm

Three Penduline Tits,all showing mask,seen at 09:30

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 9:58 am by John bronze in Bird News

Wednesday 11th February 2015


Following on from the post by Val Greham, today I also spotted a pair of Great Crested Grebes (could be the same pair) which briefly showed courtship displays of head bobbing and head plumes fanned. 

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 10:45 pm by Shane Willson in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Darts Farm

Viewed 1030-1600Hrs

From Bowling Green Marsh on a low high-tide c30 Avocets +c 55 Bar Tailed Godwits + c70 Black Tailed Godwits + c60 Redshank + c150 Dunlin + Grey Plover + c25 Curlew + 2 Snipe + 9 Pintail + 2 Gadwall + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Ducks  + Water Rail and good numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal.

At Darts Farm the Black Brant was in with c800 Brent Geese in fields near the main road. The  3-Penduline Tits dropped in 1325hrs was still there when i left at 1600hrs also Kingfisher + 2 Stonechats + 2 Chiffchaff again around the reed-beds near the hide.

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 10:24 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Thurlestone and Torcross

Thurlestone :- Male Black Redstart on roof of house nearest cliff top car park. A few Great Crested Grebes in the bay but no Divers seen.

Torcross:- 9 Common Scoter and 20 plus Great Crested Grebes on sea but still no Divers seen. Male Goldeneye on Ley.

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 4:18 pm by Rob Hubble in Bird News

Velator harbour

Fine views of a Kingficher in the harbour late morning, and between the harbour and the Toll House, at least 8 Little Grebes. Nearby a drake Shoveler hiding in the reeds at Wrafton Pond where the Swans have now chased off all last year's cygnets.

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Ernesettle Creek - Tuesday

Two Spoonbills on Ernesettle Creek along the tide line joining the Tamar at low tide.

There were also a good number of Shelduck, Oystercatchers,Redshank and Curlew. One solitary Greenshank. On the Tamar five Great Crested Grebe.  Two briefly showed courtship displays of head bobbing and bills full of kelp. The walk back along the creek gave sightings of two Teal, four Wigeon and three Little Egrets.      Val Grehan

Posted February 11th, 2015 at 10:06 am in Bird News

Tuesday 10th February 2015

Bowling Green Marsh + Goosemoor + Darts Farm

Viewed 1015-1500hrs.

From Bowling Green Marsh hide c650 Avocets + c70 Redshank + c100 Dunlin + c400 Black Tailed Godwits + c30 Curlew + Grey Plover + c60 Lapwing + 7 Pintail + 2 Gadwall + + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Ducks and goo numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal.

Walk through Goosemoot 1200hrs showed Buzzard sat on fence + Greenshank in pool neat bridge and Spotted Redshank under railway bridge in river Clyst.

Darts Farm 1300hrs 3 Penduline Tits showing well around the reed-beds in front the hide and still there when i left 1500hrs (told they been there all morning. Also 2 Stonechats + 3 Chiffchaff and Kingfisher.

Links to videos.

Yesterdays Snipe at BGM viewing platform

3-Penduline Tits at Darts Farm
3-Penduline Tits at Darts Farm

Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor
Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor

Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor
Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 11:59 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Exminster Marshes Penduline Tits

Two Penduline Tits showed up at 11.12am where @DawlishBirder saw them on Sunday, they flew off high towards Topsham at around 11.20am.


Posted February 10th, 2015 at 10:21 pm by Jo King in Bird News

Viewing Platform Bowling Green Marsh

Went along at low tide but veiwing platform closed as the RSPB are cutting back the scrub. Will be closed again tomorrow.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 5:20 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Velator reserve

Arrived this morning to find large vacuum truck in the pumping station - big problem! I carried on with a quick look round and was surprised to find 9 Gadwall on the pond! Get on with the duckweed I said! So I got the strimmer in operation to tidy up the meadow of the dead long grass. Oddly last time I did this I found a half eaten Coot. Today it was a half eaten Lapwing... No ring this time.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 5:17 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Found item at Exminster Marshes Mon 9 Feb

Seeing there is not much news today could I mention a piece of photograhic equipment ( a lens hood) found at Exminster Marshes yesterday (Monday).  If anyone is missing this please contact John Phillips on 01392 255745. I don't think anyone from the East Devon Branch fieldtrip dropped it. Thanks.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 4:49 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

North Torridge area

Overwintering Common Sandpiper also present on the Torridge in the vicinity of Torridge Bridge (A39) since November. So it (they?) has (have?) made it through the various cold spells.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 3:07 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

River Caen/ River Taw

0915-1230 Very cold on the river today but that did not stop 2 Skylark from singing. On the Caen the over wintering common Sandpiper was seen also 55 Redshank,48 Dunlin 1 Greenshank and a Kingfisher. On the marsh and Horsey island the high tide had pushed up 2000+ Lapwing 2000+ Golden plover. Starling numbers were good at 1500+ also 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Coot, 2 Raven, 15 Stockdove, 1 Stonechat and a Rockpipit. On the Taw good numbers of widgeon,Curlew, 38 Shellduck over on islay marsh 3 Spoonbill.

Posted February 10th, 2015 at 1:49 pm in Bird News

Monday 9th February 2015

Dart's Farm and Exe Estuary

The three Penduline Tits were at Dart's Farm mid-afternoon and the Snow Bunting was again on the sea wall between Powderham and Turf. On the estuary, a female Goosander was with a group of Red-breasted Mergansers.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 10:46 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Bowling Green + Viewing Platform + Recreation Ground

Viewed 1015-1330Hrs.

From Bowling Green Marsh hide c550 Avocets + c200 Dunlin + c70 Redshank + c30 Curlew + 3 Snipe + 5 Pochard + 4 Tufted Duck + 3 Pintail + Buzzard + 2 Greylag Geese with good numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal. 

From the Viewing Platform on out-going tide 3 Water Rail + c12 Snipe + Black Tailed Godwit along the hedgerow close-in just inside the entrance gates with Spotted Redshank + Greenshank together right of the platform + 5 Grey Plover on far side mud and usual waders.

Topsham Recreation Ground showed Common Sandpiper + Grey Wagtail + 5 Redwing + 7 Common Gulls + 2 Mediterranean Gulls (1 with leg ring) c100 Black Headed Gulls.

Links to videos from BGM and viewing platform.

Avocets at Bowling Green Marsh
Avocets at Bowling Green Marsh

Spotted Redshank & Greenshank at Viewing Platform
Spotted Redshank & Greenshank at Viewing Platform

Snipe at Viewing Platform (inside entrance gates)
Snipe at Viewing Platform (inside entrance gates)

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 9:17 pm by David Boult in Bird News

River Otter Otterton to Colaton Raleigh

2 Kingfishers, 3 Buzzards, Kestrel, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail 

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 8:49 pm by Richard Allen in Bird News

Stover and Newton Abbot

The lake at Stover was frozen over for at least half its area this morning, not overly busy round the feed station but Marsh Tit, male Bullfinch, Nuthatch showing well, Greater Spotted Woodpecker could be heard drumming before showing itself, on the lake Lesser Black Back Gull, pair of Goosander.


A first serious visit to the rivers in Newton Abbot (Jetty Marsh and Town Quay areas) gave good sightings of at least two Kingfishers, male & female, Grey Wagtails, several Chiffchaff hawking insects from the Buddleia, Bullfinch, a trio of Geese that I suspect are Graylag hybrids of some sort, possiblywith a Chinese goose, someone may well know the history. 

The resident hen Buzzard at home finished off the day along with four Bullfinch and a fly past from a female Sparrow hawk

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 7:10 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Black Redstart Plymouth

A Black Redstart on rocks just east of Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club at lunchtime today.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 5:32 pm by David Boddy in Bird News

Soar Mill Cove to East Soar

A glorious day upon the cliffs highlighted by a single flock of 40 Cirl Buntings feeding on weedy stubbles. An amazing count of 29 Song Thrushes included a tight flock of 15 feeding with the Cirl Buntings. More movements included 9 Common Snipe in wet flushes at the head of Starehole Valley and 33 Meadow Pipits apparently moving through. 10 soaring Buzzards took advantage of the benign conditions and a Grey Wagtail was feeding in the Cove with 6 Rock Pipits.

Mammals included 7 Sika Deer, 1stag & 6 females, and a very large Red Fox. Finally spring was deemed to have arrived with two Peacock butterflies by the Starehole Wetland - a very good day!

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 5:11 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

River Otter and Exminster Marshes

Relatively quiet at both sights. Walked from bridge on R.Otter to hide then along cliffs. Large flocks of chaffinch feeding in stubble,pair of little grebe from hide, numerous pipits on cliff top with stonechats and a rising skylark heralding springP.M. at exminster ,no signs of penduline tits but v large mixed flock of brant and canada geese ,lapwings abundant. FOUND canon lens hood on railway path. contact if yours

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 4:43 pm by John Phillips in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

A very pleasant morning at the lake plenty of duck movement.

Goosander 35, Tufted Duck 15, G.C.Grebe 3, L/Grebe 1, Reed Bunting 1, Nuthatch 1, Jay 3, Cormorant 1, Great Black-backed Gull 2, On the car park feeders Blue/Great/Willow Coal/Marsh Tit, Chaffinch, Robin 2, Greenfinch.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 3:55 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Exminster Marshes - Turf

24 members (DB- East Devon Branch) attended todays fieldtrip and followed the road and canal to Turf.  A Peregrine produced some drama as it chased off a Buzzard and settled to eat what appeared to be a duck (Wigeon?).  The marshes south of Lions Nest had good numbers of duck (including a few Shoveler and Pintail) and water birds with Snipe, Lapwing and a large flock of Golden Plover present.  Brent Geese were seen south of the motorway bridge but mobile and eventually flew near to Turf where the Black Brant was located after a protracted search.  The estuary at low tide produced distant views of waders and gulls with a few Grey Plover, Avocet and Red-breasted Mergansers.   The group divided and some members returned via the western footpath (very muddy in places) to the railway line and RSPB car park.  Great company, weather and birds.

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 3:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 08:20 - 10:40.

High Tide 08:57.

In the Pottington Sewage Outfall ditch were 2 Grey Plover; 6 Dunlin and 4 Redshank.

Off Penhill Marsh were 32 Shelduck; c60 Dark-bellied Brent; 4 Wigeon; 5 Pintail and on the marsh 4 Little Egret.

Bradiford Reserve viewed from Tarka Trail - 1 pair of Stonechat; c37 Teal; 20 Black-tailed Godwit; 1 Snipe; 7F and 1M Pheasant; 16 Magpie in a small bush plus usual gulls and Moorhen.

Off Ashford Sewage Works were 2M and 2F Goosander with another pair at Ashford Strand. Also 25 Wigeon; 1 Little Egret and a Greenshank in a flock of 25 Redshank.

Off Penhill Point were 12 Grey Plover; c500 Lapwing; 4 Shelduck and on the point 4 Little Egret.

The badly flailed bushes along the Tarka Trail revealed 4 Long-tailed Tit; 1 Bullfinch and just 4 Linnet.

According to the Environment/Biosphere office in the Civic Center, they are obliged to keep 1 metre clear of vegatation, measured from edge of the tarmac surface of the Tarka Trail. Contractors are cutting back up to 4 or 5 metres in some places. Its no wonder we have so few small birds in the bushes. What`s left of them!

Posted February 9th, 2015 at 11:31 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Bicton Park

A very clear cold sunny morning at Bicton. Upon arrival saw the Buzzard sitting in a tree, the nearest I have got to it and obtained a reasonable shot with my bridge camera. At the bird hide long tailed tits and nuthatch were about as well as blue tits and blackbirds.  Later on the River Otter the sun stayed out which has the effect of bringing out people and dogs, however a Great Tit sang long enough for a photo.  On the river 2 snipe in view from the bird hide and 3 med gulls.

Rob Jerrard


Posted February 9th, 2015 at 9:30 am by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Sunday 8th February 2015

Heddons Mouth

A walk from Hunters Inn down to the sea produced a pair of Dippers and a Water Pipit feeding in the stream almost like the Dippers. Walked on up over the top towards Woody Bay on the lower path and back on the higher one. Lots of Fulmers and a few Razorbills around.

On the way back from N Cornwall Coast yesterday a Merlin flashed past the car as we passed Bursdon Moor. Quite a few Shags in Cornwall at Trevethy.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 10:32 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

Nice sunny afternoon over the marsh showed c9 Cirl Buntings + c8 Reed Buntings + c30 Linnet + c25 Chaffinch + c100 Golden Plover + c70 Lapwing and good numbers of  Wigeon and Teal.

Some digiscoped videos of the birds on show.

Cirl Bunting
Cirl Bunting

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 9:55 pm by David Boult in Bird News

exminster marshes

The 2 penduline tits were in the small reed bed opposite the entrance to the rspb carpark this afternoon before flying off in direction of topsham. Beautiful weather with good numbers of duck and small wader.Earlier in day checked out Harpers ponds but little activity apart from snipe.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 8:48 pm by John Phillips in Bird News


Snow bunting was along the sea wall between the cycle bridge and Turf This afternoon.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 8:47 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake & Hartland Point, Sunday 8th Feb

Cold sunny day with at least 24 goosanders and 1 willow tit heard and seen with blue tits by edge of lake walking to hide.

At Hartland point, a number of distant divers - 1 red-throated and 1 black-throated diver identified.

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 6:55 pm by Sarah Alsbury/Paul Buckley in Bird News

Sea watching off Otterton Sewage Works

This afternoon I had-

3 Black throated Divers

9 Red throated Divers

3 Harbour Porpoise around the fishing nets.

41 Brent Geese on rocks below the cliff

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 6:18 pm by Doug Cullen in Bird News

Paignton & Brixham

Clennon Valley this morning gave a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a Carrion Crow as a starter, two Buzzards overhead, a very pale but distant Chiffchaff, three Snipe, three Teal, two Kingfisher fly pasts, juvenile Heron and a Little Egret.


Broadsands was a nonstarter with dogs running loose and a remote control car where the Cirl Buntings feed, to top that a hen Sparrowhawk came hunting down the hedge, male Reed Bunting showed briefly as did a single Cirl Bunting, Buzzard over the field beyond the car park and another two seen on the way out.


Great Black-backed Gull with Herring Gulls

The juvenile Glaucous Gull was showing well on the roof of Brixham fish quay, best viewed from the sailing club car park, reasonable number of Great Black-backed Gulls but very little else to see, only the one Seal seen in the harbour, a soaring pair of Buzzards resulted in a panic scramble by the resident gull population.

Great Black-backed Gull

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 5:01 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A beautiful sunny day. On Blaxton Pool 50 Curlews and 43 Shelduck. On the river, 7 Little Grebes, 3 Greenshanks, a female Goosander, a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher.

Yesterday 2 Jack Snipe and 3 Snipe and the Kingfisher showing well along the narrow river.  

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 3:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


a walk along the seafront this morning produced a black necked grebe about 10 ft off the sea wall 

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 10:14 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

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