Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st November 2016

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News


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 Bird News

Monday 21st November 2016


A little fed up with this weather. Just waiting for the rain to stop !

Posted November 21st, 2016 at 5:51 pm by Margaret Phillips in Other Wildlife

Slapton Ley

Great White Egret tucked away in Ireland Bay. Also Red-crested Pochard.

Posted November 21st, 2016 at 4:21 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bolt Tail

Late post for yesterday: Great Northern Diver west offshore, 2nd winter Med Gull & 101 Great Black-backed Gulls

Posted November 21st, 2016 at 8:31 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Sunday 20th November 2016

Grey Heron with a young Pike fish

19-11-16 Heron catching a young Pike



Posted November 20th, 2016 at 7:16 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Desert Wheatear

Showing well on the beach this morning.

Posted November 20th, 2016 at 7:14 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Bursdon Moor

1 male Hen Harrier and 1 ringtail Hen Harrier.

Posted November 20th, 2016 at 5:39 pm by Barry Bryne in Bird News


A very calm, flat sea and overcast - so perfect viewing conditions: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 9 Great Northern Divers, 3 Eider, 4 Velvet Scoter 3 Razorbill and 1 Guillemot. 

Iin the marsh, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrest and 2 Cirl Buntings on seed at the back of the 2nd car park.

Posted November 20th, 2016 at 3:36 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Arlington court

A break in the weather gave time for a sheltered  walk around Arlington court, a small murm of starlings on a field started our walk, numerous Robins, wrens, blackbirds,  and mistle thrushes.

Down on the lake it appeared empty until the great white egret glided in and graced us with its presence.  further along flocks  of long-tailed, blue, great and coal tits were in abundance throughout the woods.

On the last leg mallards and teal on the overflowing river, and finally to top it off a tree creeper in the upper wood by the house,.

Flying in

Getting settled
Flying In                                                Getting settled


Posted November 20th, 2016 at 3:28 pm by Philip Worth in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

4 Willow Tits, Blue Great and Coal Tits,12+ Long Tailed Tits. several Chaffinches, 5 Greenfinches, 4 Tree Creepers, 2 Nuthatches, 7 Blackbirds, c.15 Mallard, 10 Tufted Ducks, 4 Goosanders, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Goldcrests, 6 Snipe, 1 Little Grebe, 5 Bullfinches, 5 Water Rail, 1 Cormorant, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Coot,4 Wigeon, 1 Wren, Corvids and small mixed flocks of Black headed and Herring Gulls, 5 Robins.   1 Buzzard at nearby Thurdon.

Harvey and Ian Kendall

Posted November 20th, 2016 at 2:02 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Clennon Lakes/Valley

A new Yellow-browed Warbler arrived at the back of the driving range near to the YMCA a very well marked bird with 'flaring' supercilium on right side.

YBWClennYMCA201116ML YBWClennYMCA201116MLleft

Posted November 20th, 2016 at 12:43 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 19th November 2016

Great Grey Shrike, Soussons to Vitifer

Burrator to Soussons,
A lot of thrushes on moor road just before the Dam, no Fieldfare seen.
Level of water in reservoir very low, Tufted duck, Little Grebe, pair of Kingfishers.
Between Soussons and Vitifer Great Grey Shrike and the highlight of the day seven Bullfinches feeding in the tree tops when a Merlin swooped through them scattering them all ways but without any luck,

Posted November 19th, 2016 at 11:42 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Occombe Farm

Early morning walk around Occombe Farm, besides the usual also spotted a Jay, Green Woodpecker, Bullfinch (m&f), 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Buzzards, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, 4-6 Goldfinch and a Pied Wagtail.

Posted November 19th, 2016 at 8:51 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News


Great Northern Diver close offshore this afternoon and also a more distant diving duck which I got some distant photos of an would appear to be a Long-tailed Duck, but am open to correction.

Great Northern Dive  
Great Northern Diver                                                                                           Long-tailed Duck       


Posted November 19th, 2016 at 6:47 pm by Richard Cordery in Bird News

Thurlestone Desert Wheatear

I know there are alot of postings on the Desert Wheatear lately but I went to see it today and it didn't disappoint. Just managed to get off some pics before the weather turned vile for the day. Can any experts tell me if this bird is a Western or Eastern Desert Wheatear?


Posted November 19th, 2016 at 5:54 pm by Steph Murphy in Bird News


Paignton: 2 Great Northern Divers 3 Razorbill

Goodrington: 4 Velvet Scoter, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 3 Great Northern Divers

Broadsands: 2 Slavonian Grebes (Broadsands Bay), 1 Black-necked Grebe (out from Elberry Cove), 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Eider

In marsh 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest

Slavonian Grebes Broadsands 19 Nov 2016 ML

Brixham: 9 Purple Sandpipers on the Breakwater

No sign of Yellow-browed Warblers for a week now at Young's Park, no sign at Clennon for 5 days and no sign at Broadsands since Wednesday.


Posted November 19th, 2016 at 3:50 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

South Efford Marsh & Thurlestone

After getting good views of the Desert Wheatear (see other posts below), South Efford Marsh produced 8+ Water Pipits, Kingfisher, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, hundreds of Teal and Peregrine.  

Posted November 19th, 2016 at 3:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Thurlestone Desert Wheatear

The Desert Wheatear was showing very well on Leas Foot beach, with occasional trips to the golf club tractor shed, this morning till at least 11:00 when the rains came in. He didn't seem at all phased by all the attention he was getting, and approached close enough to get useful snaps even from a point & shoot. 

Posted November 19th, 2016 at 2:26 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News


Another early start a new record for teal all on main pond 512.wigeon 100plus shoveler 8 .again great views of male marsh harrier quartering the field and ponds eventually landed on a bush and stayed there for twenty minutes before being chased off by crows.also a peregrine falcon and kestrel hunting over fields .small birds included a flock finches 100plus ,linnets chaffs and goldfinch.

Posted November 19th, 2016 at 11:58 am in Bird News

Desert Wheatear

The Desert Wheatear appeared at 8.30am this morning on Leasfoot Beach favouring the middle of the beach and still present till 10am at least in a strengthening cold wind. 

Posted November 19th, 2016 at 11:34 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News


Desert Wheatear still showing well on Leas Foot Beach and sometimes sheltering in a gulley by the golf clubhouse.

Posted November 19th, 2016 at 11:24 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Friday 18th November 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spoonbill spent the high tide at Bowling Green Marsh - still present at 12.15pm 

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 6:18 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Desert Wheatear still present on Leas Foot Beach 4 to 4.30pm this afternoon.

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 6:03 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Torr Quarry

Flock of 23 Lapwings flying east this afternoon.

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 5:21 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Around Exmouth

This afternoon there were 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese off Shelly Beach. In the distance 2 Slavonian Grebes were together near Cockwood Wreck. 150 Common Scoter were out in the bay off the seafront. Later in the fading light at the very least 2 Purple Sandpipers were on Maer Rocks. Maer car park produced Mistle Thrush and 2 Goldcrests in windy conditions.

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 4:58 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Skern, Northam Burrows

Went down just after high tide hoping for ringed birds or a sheltering oddity species. Great views from the car of feeding flock of majority Brent Goose, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Redshank, Lapwing, Dunlin, with some Grey Plover, Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit. One Snipe flew by. One Common Gull in the gull gathering. Horizontal hail/snow came and went which the birds had to work hard to shelter from. A black and white duck in flight out of Appledore and onto the river mouth was sadly not clinched on ID and could have been anything between Tufted Duck and Velvet Scoter (majority black with white in the secondaries, underparts not seen). No divers seen from here either (just one Cormorant), and only ringed bird was metal ring on an adult W Herring Gull (unreadable). Meadow Pipits but no Snow Bunting around the visitor centre. Out on the W'ward Ho! beach at river mouth, a few thousand Golden Plover mostly in the air.

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 3:04 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Spoonbills Wrafton

Before the heavy showers arrived!

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 2:25 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Taw Estuary + Braunton Great Field

A window of fine weather this morning produced some good fortune bird wise. Starting at The White House on the Taw Estuary were 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe,1 female Red Breasted Merganser  & 1 hovering Kingfisher all within 100 metres of one another. On my way back checked Braunton Great Field before lunch & the 4 Common Cranes were feeding well. Digiscoped these from 1/2 mile away from the marsh road then checked the scrape at Wrafton on the way home. 6 Spoonbills on the scrape.

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 2:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Braunton Cranes

4 again showing on Braunton Great Filed north of the Marsh Road at 13.50.

Posted November 18th, 2016 at 1:50 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thursday 17th November 2016

Broadsands & Brixham

Spent a couple of windswept hours at Broadsands this morning. Eventually found 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe and 1 Eider.

Later 3 Purple Sandpipers at Brixham Breakwater.

Posted November 17th, 2016 at 8:56 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh

Early visit to the farm produced 246 teal,194 wigeon,4mallard,49 dunlin,1 pintail ,1male marsh harrier,7shoveler,2bar tailed godwit,1 greenshank,1redshank,27lapwing,6spoonbill on Isley marsh.

Posted November 17th, 2016 at 6:03 pm by Geoff Taylor. in Bird News

Braunton Cranes

The 4 Cranes were in Braunton Great field this morning. Showing well but skittish.

Posted November 17th, 2016 at 1:10 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Wednesday 16th November 2016

Desert Wheatear - Photos

Having dipped out on Mike Passman's reported desert wheatear on two previous occasions due to being at sea when the call came in, I was pleased to receive a call at about 12.55hrs today from Eric Wotten. Sadly I was at the top end of Soussons at the time, but a quick walk back to the car and down to Leasefoot Beach at Thurlestone where the desert wheatear showed well until I left at about 15.15hrs with the bird appearing settled and feeding despite other people, including dog walkers, on the beach. 

Desert Wheatear - Thurlestone - 16.11.2016
Desert Wheatear - Thurlestone - 16.11.2016

Desert Wheatear (flying)- Thurlestone - 16.11.2016
Desert Wheatear (flying)- Thurlestone - 16.11.2016

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 6:19 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Braunton Cranes

Having seen them from the house, I cycled out to get a closer look. Easily seen from the Marsh Road and I was able to call Sue Bruce who joined me. After a few minutes they were disturbed  (by a dog walker), but they flew closer! Got a few shots, showing NO colour rings. Sadly the dog walker then returned (there's a public path across the Great Field) and they flew firstly east, then circled and landed over near the Burrows probably where John Bronze saw them.

Looking a little wary.   And off they go!
Looking a little wary.                                                        And off they go!

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 3:59 pm by jon turner in Bird News


Just seen 4 Cranes out on Braunton Great Field. From my bedroom window!   Should be viewable from the Marsh Road.

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 2:36 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


The 4 Velvet Scoter could be seen from Broadsands this morning but closer to Three Beaches headland, 1 Red-necked Grebe still a fair way out but just north of the buoys on the Mussel Farm, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Eider.

Later in the morning, single Black-necked & Slavonian Grebe plus and extra Eider were reported.

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again seen and heard in the back of the Marsh.

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 1:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Desert Wheatear

Showing well at 12.15-12.45 on Leasfoot Beach Thurlestone . This is next to the Golf Club .Use Golf Club visitors car park , there is a path to the beach c 100 yds

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 12:54 pm by Mike & Anne Passman in Bird News

Starling Murmurations

After my request for starling roost gatherings I have had several replies to date.  As follows:

Topsham - good displays

Teignmouth Pier - regular smaller gathering but often lively.

Slapton Ley - large gatherings - could be good if raptors around

and in the North a large gathering at Woolley Wood nr Bursdon - many pausing at the Solar Farm nearby before going into roost 750,000 to one million believed present.

If you know of other roosts in Devon please let me know.

Julia – Data Manager

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 10:18 am in Bird News

Tuesday 15th November 2016

Clennon valley ponds

Early afternoon visit. 11 teal, 7 gadwall, 1 shoveler (very tame drake), 2 dabchick, 2 water rail, 1 kingfisher, 1 sparrowhawk.

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 8:12 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Broadsands / Berry Head 15 Nov 2016

Following Mike Langman's post this morning I made a first visit to Broadsands. The six Black Necked Grebes were still present but no sign of any Divers. Also present were 4 Velvet Scoters. At Berry Head were 2 Rock Pipits and 2 Porpoises feeding just below the point. 

Black-necked Grebe  Velvet Scoter
Black-necked Grebe                                                           Velvet Scoter

Rock Pipit
Rock Pipit

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 7:23 pm by Bob Telford in Bird News

Central Park - Plymouth

Called in briefly late morning and had 4-6 Ring-Necked Parakeets flying around and calling 

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 7:22 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Lannacombe Valley.

A Yellow Browed Warbler ringed this morning. Also on site 1 Firecrests ( imm. f ),4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests.



Posted November 15th, 2016 at 4:46 pm by Alan K Searle. in Bird News


2 Spoonbills roosting by the Tarka Trail most of the morning.

In the reserve, 17 Long-tailed Tits trapped (12 ringed).

No Cranes over!

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 4:03 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Colaton Raleigh Common

With Rupert Ormerod located the Great Grey Shrike near the Marines compound, There were 3 Brambling with the Chaffinch flock at Woodbury Castle, and a number of Dartford Warblers were displaying and singing in the warm sunshine.

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 2:09 pm by Dick Andrews in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings today at a very misty lake.
2 Willow and 1 Marsh Tit, 8 Goosander, 13 Tufted Duck, 2m Gadwall, 1 Snipe, 26 Mallard, 4 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Nuthatch, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Jay.

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 1:58 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


1 Yellow-browed Warbler found in marsh at back of 2nd car park (1st of autumn for this site), 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest and 4 Cirl Buntings and 1 Reed Bunting on seed at back of 2nd carpark.

On the sea: 6 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Eider.

Black-necked Grebes Broadsands 15 Nov 2016 ML Yellow-browed Warbler Broadsands 15 Nov 2016 ML

Black-necked Grebes                                                                Yellow-browed Warbler

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 11:14 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

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