Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st October 2016

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Monday 31st October 2016

Roadford Lake

Juv Long Tailed Duck still  at Roadford Lake from the viaduct.

Juvenile Long Tailed Duck
Juvenile Long Tailed Duck

Juvenile Long Tailed Duck
Juvenile Long Tailed Duck

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 8:28 pm by Adrian Davey in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

skern

Pale belly brent amongst 94 nominates+75 pintail my highest count here.Seem toget higher numbers than previous years,1000 golden plover,15 lapwing

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 7:34 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Soar

Did a vis mig watch from Sharp Tor 07:00-08:15 and headed on a mainly east bearing, as always into the wind were 2 alba Wagtails, 3 Skylarks, 23 Meadow Pipits, 35 Linnets, 102 Goldfinches, 183 Chaffinches, 1 Brambling and 14 Siskins. Also 1530 Woodpigeons with a few Stock Doves mixed in . One maverick Lesser Redpoll had to be different and fly west. Also 4 Goldcrests and 3 Coal Tits around the Tor ( the latter not seen well but likely to be fairly local instead of continental ). Had a look around East Soar and Starehole but quiet, 4 Snipe, Fieldfare, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests and a Reed Bunting.

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 5:01 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

North Devon - Down End

Nine Common Eider. 4 adults 5 juvenille

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 4:57 pm by John Bronze in General Birding

Wistlandpound Reservoir

A wonderful sunlit reservoir this morning.  Peace and quiet until the Great White Egret was chased away by dogs off the lead.


Posted October 31st, 2016 at 4:09 pm by Margaret Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

A short walk around the southern half of the marshes in sunshine this morning revealed a good selection of birds. Lots of blackbirds, two song thrushes and a few redwing in Station road. On the lagoon the male American Wigeon was still present and associating with what looks like a female American Wigeon; grey head and neck but I was unable to see the under-wing. Elsewhere lapwing, Cettis at 4 locations, at least 4 squealing water-rail and skylarks overhead.

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 1:55 pm by John Waldon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Snow Buntings Northam Burrows

Two of the three present this morning just north of the visitor centre. Flushed by a Rook and flew towards Sandy Mere.

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 1:33 pm by jon turner in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Dusky Warbler calling and showing well regularly at bottom of the quarry. Spending alot of time up in the sycamores at the back of the quarry.

Video Clips here: https://youtu.be/aW7Kal7fQps     & in trees   https://youtu.be/YhrE7r2OLAU 

 

Dusky Warbler Berry Head Devon 31 Oct 2016 ML

Overhead(selected): 1 Brambling, 1 Siskin, 30+ Chaffinches, 8 Skylarks, 2 Great Northern Divers, 16 Redwing 3 Song Thrush

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 9:53 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Black Redstart

Male black redstart on rooftops, on the right hand side, half way down Jubilee Road, Newton Abbot

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 9:52 am by Kevin Johns in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 30th October 2016

Avon Dam

Message from Tom Hallam to say the Hen Harrier was showing well up at the Avon Dam today.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 8:56 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Around the Axe

Three Yellow-browed Warblers on patch today, with new birds at Lower Bruckland Pond (top pond) and Axmouth (bottom of Stepps Lane ~ JMcC), and a bird present for its third day at Black Hole Marsh (on lane near the carpark). 

Plenty of Redwing, Song Thrush and Blackbird going over as I write this, but there's still not that many thrushes around here by day. Maybe tomorrow will be different?

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 7:31 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plymouth area

Staddon Heights & Bovisand this morning - 14 Lapwings over, Mistle Thrush, 5 Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff.

This evening on the Plym Est' at high tide: Redshank 127, Greenshank 4, Little Egret 8, Curlew 49 and Mandarin Duck 2.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 6:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Shaldon

One Yellow-browed Warbler heard close to the entrance to Shaldon Zoo at 2.40 this afternoon but not after.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 5:47 pm by Will Salmon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Shrike

The Shrike still at Soussons, viewable from the track. Can people please not chase the bird as was seen today.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 5:40 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Huge Flock

Had the privilege of watching a huge mixed flock of Starling, Fieldfare and Redwing, must have been close to a 1000 birds clearing the berries of Rowen between West Shallowford and Yar Tor on Dartmoor. Sat in my car and watched and listen to the noise for half an hour, brilliant!

Starlings and Redwing Starling and Fieldfare
Starling and Fieldfare

Redwing and Fieldfare
Redwing and Fieldfare

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 5:37 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

N. Hallsands

Another Yellow Browed this morning.  Also there c 20 Chiffchaffs, but very little else.

Yellow Browed Warble
Yellow-browed Warbler

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 4:45 pm by Alan K Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head and Clennon Lakes

Tesco's Bags of Help

If you know anyone living in Torbay or Newton Abbot area please ask them to put the tokens after shopping at Tesco in the Clennon Lakes slot we are aiming for the top £12,000 to improve the site particularly the footpaths - voting takes place from 31 Oct- 13 Nov

Berry Head: very little on the move today Black Redstart was the highlight around the coastguard station.

Black Redstart Berry Hd 30 Oct 2016 ML

Clennon Lakes: 2 Yellow-browed Warblers (one very yellowy in the supercilium) in same willow tree down by the lower weir with just 1 Chiffchaff. Cettis Warbler still present, 1 Firecrest, 5 Goldcrest, 9 Gadwall, 2 teal, 3 Water Rail and 2 Kingfishers. 

Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Lakes 30 Oct 2016 ML  Yellow-browed Warbler2 Clennon Lakes 30 Oct 2016 ML

2 Yellow-Brwd Warblers in same willow tree - one with yellowy supercilium the other white supercilium 

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 3:26 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Anchorwood bank Barnstaple 11:30 - 12:30

Could not see the Catle Egret but plenty of stuff in the estuary inc:-

Blackwits x 30, Cormorant x 42, several Pintail and Teal and a large flock of Golden plover roosting on the sandbank off of Penhill marsh (at least 200 but could have been many more).

Pintail female
Pintail female

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 2:14 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Berry Head and Brixham Breakwater.

A good early morning walk on Berry Head and Brixham Harbour. 800+ Guillemots on the colony cliffs, 2 Ravens, could not find ML Black Redstart , nice Pied Wagtail at end of headland.

Brixham Breakwater. 6 Purple Sandpiper, a Great Black-backed gull enjoying a feast on a large fish head on slipway.

Torbay boat trips start next Sunday morning if interested call 07866202576

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 2:11 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Wistlandpound Reservoir

A quick early morning visit today.  4 little grebe, 3 cormorant, 1 grey heron. 1 little egret, 2 wigeon, 1 teal, 1 shoveler, 40 mallard, 6 moorhen and 1 Great White Egret.

On leaving I noticed some activity in the top of a spruce. Apart from some chaffinch I could see some Common Crossbills. It was too distant and too dark for my camera but when they took flight 18 crossbills flew over.


Posted October 30th, 2016 at 11:33 am by Margaret Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill at the marsh this morning, busy feeding, very entertaining :)

Approx 65 avocets amongst the usuals present over high tide.

:)

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 11:15 am by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Barnstaple Cattle Egret

As reported earlier , along the Tarka trail , in front of Anchor woods .

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 10:46 am by David Paterson in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Another South Brent Yellow Browed Warbler

Just after 10 am this morning another Yellow Browed Warbler at South Brent, initially heard calling then very brief glimpses before it showed fully for a few moments, the bird was in a stand of dense mature Willow on one of my boundary hedges.

 

The morning also gave two Herons together low over the field alongside the house (showed around the same time yesterday as well) Wren 4+ and Goldcrest 2+ and a juvenile Sparrow hawk seen twice around the feed station area.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 10:28 am by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Holsworthy

Yellow-browed warbler in the garden this morning

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 9:53 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

plymouth parakeets

around 30 ringneck parakeets in central park at barn park entrance

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 9:40 am by barry in General Birding

Cattle Egret Barnstaple

Cattle egret along the Tarka trail in field in front of Anchor woods 09.20 this morning.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 9:24 am by dave paterson in General Birding

Saturday 29th October 2016

Start Point - East Prawle Village

Coastal walk was quite producive: a total of 13 Chiffchaff, 15 Goldcrest,  3 Firecrest first at Lannacombe another on higher footpath from East Prawle to Woodcombe and another at Start Farm. Yellow-browed Warblers one SE of East Prawle village opposite Bona Ventura house in same place a Siberian Chiffchaff picked up on call to start with, but it did show quite well 3 Chiffchaff in same area of scrub and sycamore. The other Yellow-browed Warbler was at Start Farm mid afternoon seen by Perry earlier. 1 Merlin drifted W along coast from Woodcombe.

  siberian Chiffchaff East Prawle 29 Oct 2016 Ml  Yellow-browed Warbler East Prawle 29 Oct 2016 ML

Siberian Chiffchaff                                                       Yellow-browed Warbler

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 8:17 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soussons - Saturday

After dipping out last weekend finally caught up with the Great Grey Shrike. Also 8 Crossbills, 2 Kestrel ( m & f),  2 Meadow pipits and a large flock of Fieldfare.

Great Grey Shrike      

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 7:46 pm by Paul Treen in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle and Slapton

At Prawle in first hour after dawn a flurry of vis mig over the duckpond, all heading NE: 50+ Redwing, 40+ Blackbird, 1 Ring Ouzel, 3 Song Thrush, 150+ Chaffinch, 10+ Bullfinch, 3 Siskin, 2 Swallow, some finches and thrushes dropping into cover for a short time before heading off plus  several large Woodpigeon flocks (one 500+). Also around the ponds- 3 Blackcap, 12 Chiffchaff and an obliging vocal Yellow-browed Warbler . Also seen 10 Golden Plover, 3 Lapwing and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker (likely migrants), 6 Goldcrest, continental looking.

Called into Slapton pm and had very nice flight  views of a Bittern which dropped into the Higher Ley reeds near the bridge at 4pm.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 6:23 pm by David Cope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar

First light until late afternoon - East, and mid Soar and Soar Mill Cove. A bit of activity today in pleasant conditions.

"Vis mig" included c750 Wood Pigeons, 6 Stock Doves, 59 Fieldfares, 8 Redwings (+5 grounded), 3 Redpolls (presumed Lessers) and 35 Chaffinches., 

Yellow-browed Warbler in East Soar willows, 2 Firecrests and 2 Black Restarts were best birds of the day. Also: Song Thrush 10, Blackcap 2, Chiiffchaff 9, Goldcrest 18, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin c20, Bullfinch 2, Siskin and 3 Roe Deer. 

One of the Chiffchaffs had an elongated down-curved bill!

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 6:16 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dartmoor

Huge numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare with Mistle Thrush and Starling mixed in at times from Venford out onto the moors where the berry bush crop was evident. In the Hexworthy area there were in clouds of them  and well beyond any realistic counting, a Tree creeper showed briefly.

Just above Powder Mill a female Cross Bill sat in plain sight until driven off by one of two greater Spotted Woodpeckers.

 

Kestrels seen at Soussons and from the A38 near Caton cross.

No less than 229 Golden Plover near Easton Lane Cross as you approach Widdicombe, Woodcock flushed near the same location.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 5:08 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Soussons

The Great Grey Shrike was showing well at 11am-11.30am on the upper half of the felled plantation, favouring the largest bare trunk right at the back of the cleared area before dropping down onto a pile of dead branches.      Also seen there by 3 other birders much earlier.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 5:05 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Arlington Court

A Great White Egret was feeding by the lower lake at Arlington Court this afternoon.


Posted October 29th, 2016 at 5:02 pm by Margaret Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Northam Burrows 2.30pm

Still 3 Snow Buntings at Northam Burrows. They were towards the far end of the fenced reserve.

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 4:35 pm by Richard yeats in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N. Hallsands

At the risk of seeming to be repetitive, 2 more Yellow Browed Warblers ringed his morning . These two could have been twins, so similar was there plumage coloration. Also on site 40+ Chiffchaffs ( 21 ringed ) and 10+ Goldcrests ( 5 ringed, all British ) . The Chiffchaff numbers are high for this late in the season and are a continuation of the fantastic autumn passage that this species has had.

1st Bird. 2nd Bird.
1st Bird.                                                                          2nd Bird.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 3:17 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Downend

 4 Eider + 1 female Common Scoter at Downend. Only 3 of the 4 Eider can be seen in the digiscoped photo!


Posted October 29th, 2016 at 2:12 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

29-10-16 Crossbills at Soussons

20 Crossbills sighted in Soussons Plantation.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 2:04 pm by Robin Stanbridge in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

07:15-10:30. Cloudy day, still at dawn but a moderate easterly by mid-morning.

Handful of Redwings and Song Thrushes calling before dawn along with a Snipe. Some finch flocks going over but very high and in random directions. 3 Brambling and 2 Siskins heard. Yellow-browed Warbler ( or a new one ) still in the farm. Not calling but showing in the willow next to the transformer pole.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 11:37 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 28th October 2016

Venn Ottery

Had an hours walk around the reserve late afternoon and in the tussock field in the north west corner I was extremely surprised to flush a Quail at very close range (around 3ft away). Watched it fly off in an Aylesbeare village sort of direction.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Fieldfares & Redwings - Fernworthy Reservoir - 28-10-16

Hundreds of Fieldfare & Redwings at Fernworthy Reservoir, a kingfisher also seen on the extremely low Reservoir

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 7:10 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

28-10-16 Great Grey Shrike & Buzzard

Around Soussons - Great Grey Shrike showing well by the clearing near Golden dagger mine, Crossbills at Soussons Plantation, near Soussons Farm, and a long distance shot of a Buzzard in the valley east of Vitifer Mine

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 6:56 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Budleigh and Exe Estuary

2 Firecrest along the coast path above the West Cliffs Budleigh Salterton this morning. The drake American Wigeon was present in the Eurasian Wigeon flock from around 10.15 - 11am before the flock was flushed and headed north up the estuary. More on this bird on http://creamteabirding.blogspot.co.uk

American Wigeon by Chris Townend

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 6:53 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

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

Broadsands

Late afternoon 2 Eider, 3 Common Scoter, and 1 Red-throated Diver.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 6:07 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

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

Start Point etc

Got to Start before first light and heard a Golden Plover and 2 Snipe before dawn. Negligable vis mig on a beautiful calm, cloudy day with perfect light. Things fairly quiet though, only saw 3 Swallows, 3 Fieldfares, 7 Redwings, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs ( 2 at the light the only migrants there ), 3 Goldcrests,, 4 Siskins and a Reed Bunting. Well offshore was a stretched out pod of around 20 Dolphin sp.

Went around to Beesands where the highlight was 10 late Swallows over the Ley. Did the Ireland Bay circuit at Slapton Ley, several hundred Coot present with good numbers of Gadwall and over 10 Wigeon. These birds distant feeding on surface weed in the far corner of Ireland Bay, I'll take a scope next time.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 5:03 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

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

Mis-ID

First glance thought I'd got a snow bunting feeding with the house sparrows in the garden- but saw thro the disguise.

Nearly snow bunting
Nearly snow bunting

Pretend snow bunting
Pretend snow bunting

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 2:26 pm by Andrew Lansdell in General Birding

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

Haytor

Another huge flock of 500 newly arrived Redwings and Fieldfares to the N E of Haytor early this morning.They have stripped virtually all the Rowan trees of berries.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 10:48 am by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

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

Tottiford Reservoir

Great Egret and Goosander showing well this morning. 

Great Egret

Great Egret

Goosander
                                                                               Goosander

Posted October 27th, 2016 at 3:30 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

2 Willow Tit.

Note: The Mute Swan on the lake has fishing tackle hanging from the mouth, I have contacted the RSPCA who will take the required action.

Posted October 27th, 2016 at 3:07 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

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

Clennon Valley

The Cetti's Warbler was again on site this morning - after looking back through my records the last record of Cetti's Warbler anywhere in Torbay was 10 years ago!  A count of 9 Gadwall was also a very good for Clennon they are not always annual here. Just one Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest  and 11 Goldcrest. 

Posted October 27th, 2016 at 11:08 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 26th October 2016

Plymouth

2 Black Redstarts on roof tops in Chaddlewood Avenue, St. Judes, Plymouth late afternoon today.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 11:33 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh - Bit of Excitement

Usual lunchtime visit to BGM didn't turn up anything too unusual, one of the two recent Ruff and an adult winter pl. Mediterranean Gull being the highlights.  There was however a bit of commotion with all the little birds rising at once, in the middle of the frenzy a Kestrel was mobbed by Meadow Pipits.  Only when the heat died down I realised that we'd just missed the local Buzzard taking a Black-tailed Godwit.  As it carried the carcass from the shallow scrape to the big oak it was followed by four Magpies all looking for a piece of the action. 

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 10:32 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

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 by George & Julia Harris 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

Tottiford Res Gt White Egret

Photo of Great White Egret taken by Samuel Gray aged 11 at Tottiford on Sunday

Great White Egret, by Samuel Gray

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 12:32 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

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

Black redstart

Female/juv type on roof of new houses in Longstem Drive, Dartington at 9.45 a.m. Trickle of Redwings and Skylarks overhead.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 10:12 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Haytor

A large flock of 300+ Redwings and Fieldfares to the N E of Haytor early this morning,feeding voraciously on Rowan berries. Looked like migrants grounded by the mist,as they dispersed as it cleared.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 9:36 am by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Lundy, yesterday – 25 Oct

Further details of all yesterday's excitement are posted here.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 8:33 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Velator

A good day ringing in the Reserve today with no less than 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers caught, of which only one was a male - ringed recently. The other three were all juvenile females. 4 Chiffchaffs ringed, 7 Bullfinches, and also 7 Meadow Pipits - a species not ringed in the reserve previously. 10 Blackbirds ringed and 4 retraps. A good range of other species in a total of 48 birds ringed.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 8:54 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

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

Firecrest in Dawlish

Firecrest , late afternoon in our garden at Kingsdown Close

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 8:18 pm by Paul Barker in General Birding

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

Tottiford Reservoir

Great White Egret (Ardea alba) feeding with Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)




Posted October 25th, 2016 at 6:41 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding

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

Soussons.

at the bottom of  Soussons 11 am  in the clearing, we saw the Great Grey Shrike and within 5 minutes there was a female Hen Harrier coming up the valley from Challacombe, and it returned again half hour later. no Crossbills but you can't have everything. good day!

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 5:22 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

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

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for today,

1m Goosander (first of the Autumn at the lake), 2 Marsh Tit, 10 Tufted Duck, 1 Wren, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 250+ Canada Geese, 2 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Tree Creeper.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 2:28 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

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

Exminster Marshes

Female Marsh Harrier still present this lunchtime perched near main lagoons. Also Barn Owl hunting along the back path.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 12:53 pm by David Cope in General Birding

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

Soussons - Sunday

Early morning visit yesterday. No shrike, but good views of at least 13 Crossbills by entrance gate. Lots of Fieldfare with thrushes and at least 1 ring ouzel. On way back to Moretonhampstead,  just after cattlrgrid a Kestrel sat in tree being mobbed by blue & great Tits 

Common Crossbill

Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 9:52 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

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

Exminster marshes

A marsh harrier was quartering the marshes near the Lion's Rest estate at 15.00. Yesterday I saw it at lunch time. Also a few redwing, a few more lapwing, including first year birds - local? Amongst the Canada geese was one barnacle goose.However the number of robins stole the show, well over 20 with most singing. 

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 6:00 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Velator

I always stop at the bridge before the field to the reserve to see if a Kingfisher might be on the river, and frequently, one will zoom up or downstream. This morning I was treated to a Dipper - singing! Then looking south I could see an adult female Marsh Harrier over the reed-bed just beyond the reserve. A good number of Meadow Pipits are also now present - 18 the highest count so far. When I got to the east (Chivenor) side of the reserve I was surprised to see 2 of the Spoonbills roosting on the scrape.

However, a sure sign of Spring (Shorely shome mishtake!) was a Primrose in flower!

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 2:09 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

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

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On the high tide early afternoon - 122 Redshanks, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, 3 Oystercatchers, 37 Curlews, 5 Little Egrets, and a Wigeon (female). Also Stonechat and Goldcrest.

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 7:25 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

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

Dousland Nr Yelverton

A Yellow-browed Warbler in my garden in Dousland for two hours this morning. Calling & watched down to 15 feet. Also enjoyed by John & Jan Jones. A nice garden first!

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 1:10 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding

Velator

First Redwings of the autumn in the reserve this morning.

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 12:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Found - Northam Burrows

A member found a quick release plate presumably from a tripod yesterday, if you lost one please contact

Mandy Mander

 

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 10:39 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

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

Paignton and Brixham area

A385 Dartington ~ Tawny owl sat on roadside telegraph pole.

Marine Parade Paignton ~ 22 Turnstones, 9 Oyster Catchers.

Broadsands beach ~ 10 Oyster Catchers, 3 Great Black Backed Gulls.

Brixham inner harbour area 4 Turnstone ~ Outer Harbour 1 Guillemot.

Berry Head from the hide the Guillemot colony was over flowing I suspect well in excess of 500 plus birds.  Around the quarry 2 Stonechat, 2 Wren, possible Yellow Browed Warbler and Tit flock, 2 Raven over head soaring with a Jackdaw flock.

Sparrow Hawk (mobbed by Jackdaws) and Buzzard soaring over the main quarry.

 

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 9:50 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

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

Dartmoor

The Great Grey Shrike still 1230-3pm at least at Soussons - in bottom of valley view hillside to left before gate to Soussons - favouring area by the two lone pine trees but always distant . 

Huge numbers of Thrushes present - 3 Ring Ouzels , c100 Fieldfares and c100 Redwings. 

In Soussons Plantation - 7 Crossbill showing well at edge of first cleared area. 

On way home stopped at Tottiford Resevoir at 4pm- on first scan of the southern section , picked up the Great White Egret flying down the Resevoir over the causeway and it landed high up in a tree on the east side of the southern section - some passing walkers told me it had been feeding with a Little Egret on the northern side earlier.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 5:38 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Good migration.

A reasonable early walk on Holdstone down this morning provided a migration spectacle. Birds coming in from ssw, and all moving  towards nne,  across the wind coming from sse. Flocks of 100+ of many species moved through for 3 hours that I ended up being there.redwing,  starling, fieldfare,chaffinch, goldfinch flying low tumbling over the heather. Pretty sure a flock of plovers.. 

Plenty of wrens,  meadow pipits, skylarks and stonchats  singular kestral and peregrine. 

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 5:05 pm by Philip Worth in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

22 members joined the East Devon Branch field trip to Exminster marshes this morning.  The walk started with a sighting of a Peregrine perched on one of the electricty pylons. The marshes themselves were quite dry, with many scattered Lapwing, Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit. A lone Fieldfare on one of the fields was a first for this winter for many of us. By my reckoning, 51 species were seen altogether.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 4:50 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

LOWER TAMAR LAKE

Sightings for today.

1 Willow and 2 Marsh Tit, 1 Water Rail, 3 Snipe, 3 Grey Heron, 11 Tufted Duck, 3 Teal, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Nuthatch, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Mute Swan, 200+ Canada Geese.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 4:44 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

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

Horsey Island

A few birders present this morning to see the Wryneck but the public footpath around Horsey Island between Crossbanks & the White House is closed in the interest of public safety.



Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 11:56 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts