Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to recorder@devonbirds.org to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar

 

Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in General Birding

Friday 28th October 2016

East. Prawle

Some better photos of a Continental Goldcrest caught at this mornings ringing session at  Moorwell Pond.  Note the extent that the pale grey sides to the crown extend beyond the nape onto the mantle. Also the cleaner white to the area around the eye and bridge at the base of the bill underparts are also much whiter with a slight pinkish hue to the buff breast band. Delightful little birds and so much brighter with more contrast,than our rather 'mucky' looking British Goldcrests. Also on site 20+ Chiffchaffs ( 11 caught and ringed ) 1 other Goldcrest (British ) and a stunning Lesser Whitethroat



Posted October 28th, 2016 at 6:30 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Great White Egret Wrafton

First seen from the reserve on the scrape, then from the Tarka Trail from where these pics were taken. Too many children and dogs along the trail, so it moved off to Sherpa Marsh. A male Marsh Harrier was seen earlier over Sherpa Marsh.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 5:09 pm by Jon Turner in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Southdown Farm to Middle Soar

First large Woodpigeon movement with 1200 moving west soon after dawn plus 62 Stock Dove, some of which grounded. Another unusual movement of 11 Raven flying high to the west calling. Also: 14 Lapwing, 270 Skylark, Swallow, 50 Meadow Pipit, 4 Alba Wagtail, 43 Robin, 13 Blackbird, 9 Song Thrush, 190 Linnet and 19 Yellowhammer.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 4:10 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Snow Buntings (3) Plectrophenax nivalis

Northam Burrows at 11.30 this morning, just N of visitors' centre

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)
Snow Bunting

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 2:41 pm by JOHN WARD in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Pretty quiet this morning - overhead: 1 Brambling, 1 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 1 Swallow, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Redwing & 13 Song Thrush.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 1:49 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 27th October 2016

Lannacombe Valley

Another Yellow Browed Warbler.  Also on site 3 Firecrests ( 2  ringed )' 20+ Goldcrests, 6 Chiffchaffs and 4 Blackcaps. Of 9 Goldcrests ringed 4 wereContinental (scandi/eastern ) birds. A  imm. m Black Redstart on Aine's roof and c 300 Woodpigeons overhead moving west.


Posted October 27th, 2016 at 6:20 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Yellow Browed Warbler ~ South Brent

In the garden this morning at South Brent, initially heard calling, then seen to flash between lots of hedge / cover before turning up in a mature Hawthorne tree where it eventually showed for a very brief moment.

 

Posted October 27th, 2016 at 4:16 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Around the Axe

Not so much to report today, except for a Short-eared Owl in off and then west at Beer Head just after 08:30.

Short-eared Owl Beer Head
Short-eared Owl Beer Head

Posted October 27th, 2016 at 2:34 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sora 2nd for Devon

Recovered dead Sora on 17th October from RSPB Exminster Marsh. 

Found lying next to a ditch in a field near the canal whilst carrying out a high tide count.  It appeared to be underweight on a cold morning with no sign of predation.

First winter bird separated from spotted crake due to all yellow-green bill without any sign of red at the base plus the dark lore and face, lack of white spots on the breast and no barring on the tertials.

Sad end for special bird.  Only 20th record for the UK.



Posted October 27th, 2016 at 11:38 am by Peter Otley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 26th October 2016

Tottiford Reservoir

Great White Egret still showing well at 9.30 this morning.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 8:38 pm by Richard Woodland in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ringing Recovery

A 1st. Yr. Chiffchaff ringed at START POINT on 11/10/16  was re caught on the Longis nature reserve on ALDERNEY on 15/10/16 by the new Alderney Bird Observatory ringing team.  It is thought; and ringing recoveries support the theory,that many of the small passerine migrants moving south on the Western side of Britain turn ESE to take advantage of the shorter Channel crossing to the Channel Islands and Cotentin peninsula and then continue  south and south west.  In previous years I have had 1 other Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, and 2 Goldcrests controlled in the Channel Islands ( Jersey/Guernsey ),all in the same autumn that they were ringed. Although only operational since March 2016 ,early indications are that Alderney is an important stop over site .  Their website Daily Blog Alderney Bird Observatory And Field Centre' is well worth checking out.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 8:29 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle area

30 + Blackbirds and 35+ Robins in the Prawle area in dull,overcast conditions, plus 2 Redwings, a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests  and a female Bullfinch would have been the sum total (having frustratingly heard ,at 8.30am, a snatch of Pallas's Warbler call in the reserve ) but a walk to the bottom of Pig's Nose valley produced my first Woodcock at this site-so every cloud etc! 

For information, I met Vic Tucker who was there to supervise improvement work to the DBWPS reserve. I also learnt (from one of the volunteer coastguards) that work to repair the approach road to the NT car park will take place between the 3rd and 8th November, effectively closing it during this time . I believe this road will open from 6pm each day to allow residents in the coastal cottages access. For anyone planning to visit during this period please check the Devon County Council website : https://devon.roadworks.org/ .

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 8:09 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Warren House - Gt Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike showed well in clear fell area above Golden Dagger tin mine 14.20 -15.05 this afternoon in poor weather conditions - Dave Allen

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 4:21 pm in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exmouth

Mudbank - drake American Wigeon (juv I think but haven't ruled out eclipse yet) off Mudbank with c2000 Wigeon. It flew off on its own at 1540 towards the Leisure Centre and wasn't relocated. Photos and details on www.gobirdingexmouth.blogspot.co.uk later.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 4:07 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Bit of a struggle this morning just one Ring Ouzel, 4 Siskin, 27 Lapwing (scarce here), 36 Robin, 21 Blackbird, 5 Song Thrush, 7 Goldcrest & 40 Linnet. 250 Woodpigeon again circled Bolt Head but failed to make the crossing, heading back inland!

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 3:31 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Around the of the headland today: 2 Firecrest, 15 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap & 1 Black Redstart (actually on the first houses west of Berry Head in Brixham)

Overhead: fairly quiet - 2 Brambling, 3 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 7 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Yellowhammer (my call skills are not good enough to turn into a Pine Bunting!) 2 Coal Tits.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 11:53 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Start Point

Pallas's Warbler in Tamarisks below lighthouse showing really well. Nice find Perry.

BEESANDS

Yellow Browed Warbler along the path to hide, also Lesser Whitethroat,2Cettis Warblers, 20 Swallows, 60 Gadwall, 3 Tufted duck and a scattering of Chiff Chaff.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 8:48 pm by Terry Goddard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bovisand

Two Firecrests tonight; also single Chiffchaff and Blackcap and a pair of Stonechats. 

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 8:05 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Devon Ticks

On the garden feeders this morning my first ever garden Yellow Hammer with a female making two visits to the feed station, also two Nuthatch which have been very scarce around the garden this year.

Female Yellow Hammer 

Late afternoon gave a fly over by a Mistle Thrush and this evening a Tawny owl calling.

A late morning visit to the Tottiford Reservoir gave good views of the reported Great White Egret, also Pied and Grey Wagtails, Tufted and Mallard duck, Great Crested Grebe, flock of Redwing, Raven, Little Egret and Heron.

  

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 7:55 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exton

A Short-eared Owl flew in from the general direction of the Exe estuary over the lane opposite the Marine camp entrance and gradually drifted off SE gaining height all the way, eventually disappearing into the low cloud at 1346hrs. A second-winter Mediterranean Gull was in fields with Black-headeds further along the lane towards the farm a little later. Also 2 Redwings here, my first in this area this autumn.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 6:55 pm by Terry Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Horsey Island

Late aft - 1 Marsh Harrier over being mobbed by Crow.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 6:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lundy

Just had a text from James McCarthy who's on Lundy for the day, he's currently enjoying "off the scale" views of a Pallas's Warbler (exact location unknown). 

He's also seen a Swift sp, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Whinchat, a Merlin and two Black Redstarts.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 2:28 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Around the Axe

Slim pickings in this corner of Devon at the moment, although patch scarcities today included; Avocet on Black Hole Marsh, Barnacle Goose and 1st-winter Dark-bellied Brent Goose with the Canada flock on Colyford Marsh and a first-winter male Black Redstart at Axe Yacht Club.

Seems to be far more Goldcrest, but fewer Chiffchaffs around over the last few days. It was 'fun' watching (and going through!) 3000+ Starlings catching flying insects over the valley this morning.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 2:26 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red kite

Red kite seen around 12.45 flying over Fremington marsh heading towards Braunton being mobbed by large crow/rook.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 1:35 pm by Robert Bourne in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

A great morning at the headland today: 1 Pallas's Warbler, 2 Yellow-brpwed Warblers, 1 Firecrest, 18 Goldcrest, 12 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 

Overhead (selected):  2 Brambling, 16 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Great Spotted Wooodpecker, 8 Siskin.

Pallas's Warbler Berry Head Devon UK 25 October 2016 Pallas's Warbler Berry Head Devon UK 25 October 2016

Pallas's Warbler a bit of patience paid off - it disappeared for 1hr then reappeared right beside the road

Youtube video link here:   https://youtu.be/VBmXHdekgjg 

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 12:29 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 24th October 2016

Start Point

07:30-17:30. Heavy overnight rain and strong easterly wind continuing past dawn accompanied by thunder and lightning. From mid-morning rain and wind started to gradually die down and by mid-afternoon a calm, still day.

As conditions were appaling at first light made a brief sojourn to South Hallsands where 6 Med Gulls were present. Hard slog around Start in the morning but eventually a great day. Seen were Tufted Duck ( m, private pond ), Merlin ( m ), 19 Lapwings ( single flock going over ), 2 Swallows, 4 Black Redstarts ( 2 Lighthouse, 1 Car park, 1 BBC Station ), 52 Redwings, 14 Fieldfares, 5 Blackcaps, Lesser Whitethroat ( one on the south side of the spine at 14:00, presumed same in farm in top sycamores by road late afternoon. Possible eastern race halimodendri but differing lights constantly changed colours ), Reed Warbler ( in ivy by car park gate late afternoon, everytime it looked about to come out it was disturbed. Seen bit by bit but if there is a Blyth's Reed Warbler in the same place tomorrow I won't try and put the two bird theory forward ! ), 7 Chiffchaffs, Yellow-browed Warbler ( ranging around farm, fairly vocal but elusive ), Pallas's Warbler ( in the top  lighthouse tamarisks, very showy flycatching and even perching on roof of old pig house, found at 15:00, present until 17:15 at least, 8 Goldcrests and a Siskin.

Footage of Pallas's Warbler here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYWp0BSJnrA  ( if it does not work go on You Tube and type Pallas's Warbler, Start Point )

 

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 8:58 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Horsey Island

A late aft visit to Horsey Island produced the 6 Spoonbills which we have on the Taw Estuary at the moment.


Posted October 24th, 2016 at 7:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 23rd October 2016

Yellow-browed Warbler Seaton

Our third, but (amazingly!) my first Yellow-browed Warbler of this autumn, showing well and calling in the row of trees by the green opposite 38 Primrose Way at 09:20 today.  I will always get a buzz hearing that call, however common they become...

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 8:35 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soussons Shrike

A mid-morning visit to Soussons got off to an unpromising start after two disappointed birders gave us negative news.  We needn't have worried as on arrival the Great Grey Shrike was showing very well in the first big clear fell south of the Golden Dagger gate. We watched for 20 min or more as he flitted between the big snags.  On a couple of occasions he left his perch to hover (not nearly as well as the Kestrel in the valley) as if prey was spotted but no swoop followed.

In the NE corner of the wood were Crossbill and near the gate Reed Bunting.

All the way up the valley to Vitifers, several mixed flocks of up to 100 Redwing, Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush.

Over Birch Tor a flock of 50 Golden Plover.

The best surprise on the way home, in an area not known to me as a roosting site a ringtail Hen Harrier being half-heartedly chased by a Crow.

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 8:33 pm by Chrs & Janet Marcol in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tottiford Reservoir

Great White Egret still on the reservoir with a Little Egret.

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 4:45 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lannacombe Valley

A Siberian Chifchaff ringed with several nominate this morning.Poor light conditions, hence poor quality of photo.

Siberian Chiffchaff
Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 1:19 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Slightly blown out today with strong E Wind! 2 Firecrest, 11 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff. Overhead 1 Redwing & 2 SongThrush

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 10:06 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 22nd October 2016

Long Tailed Duck

Juvenile Long Tailed Duck this evening 22nd Oct at Roadford resevoir from the viaduct..

Juvenile Long Tailed Duck at Roadford
Juvenile Long Tailed Duck at Roadford

Juvenile LOng Tailed Duck at Roadford.
Juvenile LOng Tailed Duck at Roadford.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 9:31 pm by Adrian Davey in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle Point

Two Yellow-Browed Warblers seen together and calling loudly between 10.30 and 11 am in the reserve opposite the car park.

Vis mig between 8.15 and 10am. NE , overcast and breezy. At least 2200 Woodpigeon and minimum 15 plus Stock Doves  with 2 attendant Peregrines. 3 Siskin. 29 Alba Wags, 1 Grey Wagtail. 11 Swallows.12 Skylarks.Earlier PM saw 2 Redwing and later he saw 3 Crossbills and 2 Wheatears (thoroughly 'grilled') near the Hump. At Horsley Cove the returning (?) Water Pipit was mobile with 10 plus Rock Pipits.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 8:51 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar

Dawn til mid-afternoon covering East & Mid Soar and Soar Mill Cove producued very little.

The only "vis mig" was an estimated 1,000+ Wood Pigeons (mainly east) with a handful of Stock Doves and 8 Golden Plovers. At one point a pair of Pergerines were buzzing the Pigeons.

Also - Goldcrest 7, Chiffchaff 10, Fieldfare 3, Song Thrush 3, Sparrowhawk 2, Siskin 4+, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Hare and 4 Roe Deer.

Yesterday a Yellow-browed Warbler calling by Ballard House (West Hoe) in Plymouth, but I didn't see it.

 

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 7:28 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

07:30-11:30. Bright and sunny but still that fresh NE wind putting shelter at a premium. Great to see Matt Knott at Start this morning. We birded different areas and between us saw Merlin ( F ), 5 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 2 Fieldfares, 5 Redwings, Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers ( vocal but hard to see in Start Farm ), 5 Goldcrests, 2 Siskins and 2 Reed Buntings. Negligable overhead passage but up to 600 Woodpigeons flying around in a couple flocks not seeming to know where they're going.

Looks like stronger wind tomorrow but if as some forecasts are predicting it dies down early Monday morning and there is rain clearing by dawn that could be the perfect storm for some of the east coast rares to arrive down here ?

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 1:38 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N Hallsands

Another 2 Yellow Browed warblers ringed this morning. Incredible, the number oft these that must be out there. The first bird a very bright individual with a wing length of 53 mm. so a female. The second, a darker bird with a wing length of 59 mm.,so a male.

1st. bird.
1st. bird.

2nd. bird.
2nd. bird.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 12:47 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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