Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th January 2017


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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

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

Saturday 7th January 2017


Yellow-browed Warbler showing well again at the water treatment works mid-am.

Posted January 7th at 11:24 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

This afternoons sightings at Exminster Marshes: Canada Goose 150+, Brent Geese 100+, Greylag Geese 10+, Barnical Geese 16, Mute Swan, Shovleler c20, Wigeon 300+, Lapwing 50+, Wood Pigeon, Redshank, Avocet 100+, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull. 

Posted January 7th at 8:57 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Topsham Rec

Yellow-browed warbler, Long-tailed duck, 1 male & 1 female Goldeneye, 1 1st winter & 2 adult Med gulls, 2 Blackcaps & 1 Chiffchaff today.

Posted January 7th at 5:54 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Around the Taw and Torridge

A cancelled mountainbike on Dartmoor gave me the chance to ride around the estuary today from Braunton to Instow and back in pretty grim weather.

At Horsey Island my first Greenshank of the year and across the toll road 2 Little Owl and a large flock of Golden Plover.

At Wrafton pond a single Tufted duck and a pair of "exotics" that I think were Baikal Teal. Unfortunately I couldn't find them again when I came back with my camera. On the scrape a single Black-tailed Godwit.

At the Braunton Inn 7 Goosander (5m 2f)

Along the estuary the usual mix of Turnstones,Grey Plover,Oystercatchers and Lapwing.

7 Eurasian Spoonbill on Isley marsh

A small group of Jackdaws on the rocks at Instow but disappointingly, no Black Redstart.

A total of 48 birds seen on a day rescued from the bad weather.

Posted January 7th at 4:00 pm by John Bronze in General Birding


2, possibly 3 Cetti's Warblers calling in the reserve this morning, also a Water Rail squealing. South of the reserve a Male Marsh Harrier perched, then flew to confirm my ID.

In the ivy by the bridge to the reserve, 2 Chiffchaffs.

Posted January 7th at 1:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Torbay coastal

Torbay coastal ~ one Peregrine falcon

Preston ~ Marine Parade ~ 36 Turnstone including the regular Dutch ringed bird, fourteen 14 Oyster Catcher, 1 Little Egret, 1 Great Northern Diver 2 Razorbill and a distant Porpoise.

Goodrington beach ~ a pair of Eider duck with the drake beginning to colour up.


Broadsands ~ 15 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Velvet Scoter, 9 Fulmar, 1 Guillemot, 1 Kittiwake, 2 Heron, 2 Rock Pipit and in the far car park 3 Cirl Bunting bathing in a puddle.

Near Berry Pomeroy a male Reeves Pheasant.

Posted January 7th at 12:56 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


First chance to check for a week, Yellow-browed warbler still present at the sewage works with goldcrest and blackcap

Posted January 7th at 11:22 am by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


One at private garden Plymouth


Posted January 7th at 10:24 am by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Waxwing in Plymstock

Single waxwing present at 09.10am, feeding on apple tree in Birch Pond Road, also present and feeding was female blackcap.Easily visible from car window if its raining.

Posted January 7th at 9:31 am by Steph murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 6th January 2017

Bohemian Waxwing at Oreston, Plymouth.

Here are three heavily cropped photographs I took this afternoon of the adult Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) which was visiting a apple tree in a private garden in the Oreston area of Plymouth.

You just don't tire of looking at these smart birds. I had to include the third image as it looks as if the bird is looking straight down my lens and saying "Are you looking at me, I said, are you looking at me". Or he/she was just eyeing up the next apple.

Posted January 6th at 10:42 pm by Richard Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hembury Woods

1 Woodcock, mid-am.

Posted January 6th at 9:58 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Two Cattle Egrets showing well with cattle.

Posted January 6th at 9:26 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding


Waxwing in garden on apples.

Posted January 6th at 9:22 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding


The Yellow browed warbler still at the WTW and showing well between 3 and 3.30 p.m. At least 4 Chiffchaffs and 10 Goldcrests. Male Goosander upstream from Staverton Bridge.

Posted January 6th at 6:55 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Broadsands, Torbay.

The 8 Velvet Scoters were present this morning over towards Goodrington. Further out towards Torquay a Great Northern Diver. 2 Black-necked Grebes were seen, one fairly close in to the beach with another much further out. Similarly, 2 Red-throated Divers, one closer in than the other. Large numbers of Razorbills were scattered across the whole bay, with smaller numbers of Guillemots. Plenty of Fulmars and Kittiwakes present. 2 male Cirl Buntings were in a tree in the second car park, despite disturbance from children on bikes (thought they'd be back at school by now!). 5 Bullfinches at back of same car park, a fly-over Peregrine and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers rounded off a fruitful visit!

Posted January 6th at 5:09 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

East Devon. Topsham.

35 Members of DB (including many new members) met at Darts Farm and divided into two main groups led by Colin Randall and myself, while a splinter group of 3 headed for Bowling Green.  A total of c56 species listed during the morning with the highlights being:

Darts Farm: group of 3 Chiffchaff on the field slope with flock of c20 Redwing in the hedgerow,  Large numbers of Brent Geese (600+)  and Canada Geese in the meadows including 2 hybrid Canada Geese with unusual head markings. Also Stonechat and 2 Stock Dove.

Goosemoor:  Spotted Redshank, 1 Pintail, 3 Greenshank, numbers of Redshank.

Bowling Green Marsh: Avocet flock in flight but no great numbers of ducks, waders. Water Rail along hedgerow to viewing platform where a couple of Goldeneye were off The Retreat (did someone later say they saw Long- tailed Duck there?).  Hope our numbers didn't disturb other birders!


Posted January 6th at 4:08 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


About 100+ Common Scoters off Crabrock this morning, but can you spot the Surf Scoter, about a third way in from the right. There was also a feeding frenzy of about 100+ Gannets following about 6 Common Dolphins off the Point and also 4 GC Grebes offshore. On the marsh, glad to see a pair of Tufted Duck have returned. A Sparrowhawk was hunting around the marsh and spooked a couple of Snipe, the pair of Kestrel also hunting around the marsh.

Posted January 6th at 3:37 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Aveton Gifford

Aveton Gifford tidal road ~ 1 Greenshank, 2 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Oystercatcher, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Curlew, 1 Mistle Thrush, 5 Great Black-backed Gull.

On South Efford Marsh ~ 18 + Teal, 4 Wigeon, 2 Song Thrush, 5 Curlew, 6 Great Black-backed Gull and 1 Lesser, 8 Wren, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Stonechat, 8 Bullfinch, 6 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Moorhen, 6 Pied Wagtail and 1 Buzzard.

Posted January 6th at 2:38 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


The American Wigeon was at Matford Marsh again this lunchtime at around 1.30. Feeding with the Wigeon flock close to the benches before the whole flock flew the short distance to pools.

Posted January 6th at 2:22 pm by Nick Potter in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Pale Buzzard - Ashford

Re:last post. There is currently a beautiful, mostly white plummage Buzzard in the Ashford area of the river. Osprey lookalike markings in flight! Pullling worms from field yesterday morning. 

Posted January 6th at 1:17 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Osprey - North Devon

Single Osprey sighted on Taw estuary near Ashford, Barnstaple.

Spotted at 13.00 hrs on Thursday 5th January 2017.

Eds: Very rare to find a wintering Osprey in Devon, would just like to make sure its not a pale buzzard?

Great article here: 

Posted January 6th at 1:00 pm by Martin Waters in General Birding

Teignmouth Front Seawatch 09:30 to 10:30

Lots of Gannets far out and Shags close in. Small passage of Auk species mainly South, six Guillemots and one Razorbill on the surface further in. Eight+ Eider, a Great Crested Grebe on the surface and an unidentified Diver flying South. Usual Gulls. An extensive search in town for Black Redstart produced none, unusual for winter! 

Posted January 6th at 12:13 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Cadover Bridge

Two of 100+ flock of mixed Fieldfares and Redwings at Cadover yesterday (5th).

Posted January 6th at 9:37 am by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Thursday 5th January 2017

The Taw off Pottington

Late morning I looked for the Long-tailed Duck off Pottington with no success but I did enjoy the following birds of note: Bar-tailed Godwit (2), Dark-bellied Brent (1), Goosander (4) three males and one female, Slavonian Grebe (3) but not 100% as a long way off in poor light, infact although not black-necked due to shape just may have been Red-necked as appeared to leap out the water when diving.  

Posted January 5th at 8:36 pm by Martin Bond in General Birding

Teigngrace & Thurlestone

Teigngrace. Met up with Stan and found 3 Cattle Egrets located in field amongst the cattle further up the road from Blatchford Farm towards Stover and past the field with solar panels down to the bend in the road.

Trip down to Thurlestone beach the Desert Wheatear showed really well next to golf course with 2 Rock Pipits, 5 Turnstone, c10 Oystercatchers and Little Egret.

A walk over to South Huish Reserve a Kingfisher in reeds near footbridge, Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape with Teal and several Lapwing around the fields together with 2 Meadow Pipits, 2 Stonechats and a Mediterranean Gull amongst the Black-headed Gulls on the hill and 2 Razorbills on the sea together with a porpoise.

Many thanks Stan for the ride. Some video taken today.




Desert Wheatear

Cattle Egret

Posted January 5th at 8:03 pm by David Boult in General Birding


Wembury Beach to Wembury Point today - 1 1st winter and 2 adult Mediterranean gulls in the stubble field, 1 chiffchaff feeding amongst reeds on the beach, 4 turnstone (uncommon here now), 1 kestrel and 1 water pipit amongst rock- and meadow pipits on large mass of seaweed on beach near sewage pipe - very aggressive towards rock pipits nearby

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Posted January 5th at 6:23 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

R.Taw off Ashford sewage Works.

12:30 Long-tailed Duck still feeding just offshore on falling tide but no sign by 13:00.

Bradiford Reserve viewed from Tarka Trail:- c60 teal; 4 Snipe and 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose. This is the first time I`ve ever seen one on the reserve. There were none on the Taw or Penhill Marsh so why did this one turn up here on its own?

Posted January 5th at 5:06 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding


Black Redstart again at Instow-Appledore ferry pier / along harbour wall, 16.00.

(At Northam Burrows 15.00 no sign of Snow Buntings west of 8th green nor on pebble ridge, but lots of golfers and dogwalkers may explain)

Posted January 5th at 4:46 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


2 in garden at end of Birch Pond Rd Oreston Plymouth on Apple tree

Posted January 5th at 3:07 pm by Fiona Ward in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Clennon Lakes

The lake side Yellow-browed Warbler was present this lunch time - it seems to be favouring the trees around the 3rd weir >West showing well and catching plenty of flies.

Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Lakes 5 Jan 2017  Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Lakes 5 Jan 2017

Posted January 5th at 2:42 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Topsham Rec.

Yellow-browed Warbler feeding in the trees around the zip-wire; also Water Rail, Reed Buntings and loads of Goldfinches. Long-tailed Duck and Goldeneye on the estuary nearby.

Goldeneye off Topsham Rec.  Redwing at Topsham Rec.
Goldeneye off Topsham Rec.                                      Redwing at Topsham Rec.

Posted January 5th at 2:32 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Red Kite

Flying over A361 between Aller Cross and Great Hill lay by driving west towards Barnstaple at 12 noon today.

Posted January 5th at 2:19 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Northam Burrows

The confiding male Snow Buntings still present at 10.00 this morning about 50m west of the 8th green.

Posted January 5th at 12:44 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Wednesday 4th January 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the dropping tide.

Goosemoor the Spotted Redshank showing really well with Greenshank and Kingfisher overlooking the water inlet.

BGM Viewing platform the American Wigeon was on the pool left of the footpath at 14:00hrs and from the platform good numbers of both Bar & Black-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Redshank and Oystercatchers.

Goatwalk 400+ Avocets, 120+ Golden Plover on mud near Turf Locks with good numbers of Curlew, Dunlin and more Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Red-breasted Mergansers.

On the walk back towards the hide the American Wigeon was on the pool alongside the road in BGM and still there when I left at 15:30hrs.

Some more video from today:



[thanks Eds for harrier info and all noted]

American Wigeon  (BGM pool) American Wigeon  (BGM pool) Spotted Redshank
American Wigeon (BGM pool)                    American Wigeon (BGM pool)                     Spotted Redshank

Posted January 4th at 9:01 pm by David Boult in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plymouth Sound

Very quiet only notable birds were:

2 ad Med Gull

1 Gannet

1 Cormorant in bp.

Posted January 4th at 8:08 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Powderham Marsh

Not much around the marsh today but a nice Song Thrush along with a small flock on Redwing and one Fieldfare - all in 1st field by the Swans nest. On the main marsh 15 Barnacle Geese in with a large Canada flock.

See video - Redwing


Posted January 4th at 6:05 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Breeding plumage Barwit

Full breeding plumage Bar-tailed Godwit at The Skern this afternoon. Very pale creamy head which looked a little like a Ruff. Lots of Brent Geese. Over on the Taw the small flock of Eider.

Posted January 4th at 6:01 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in General Birding


This afternoon a female Black Redstart was by the sailing club at Shelly Beach. A drake Common Scoter flew out of the estuary. A female Kingfisher was on a floating platform near Leeward Court. The 2 Slavonian Grebes at Cockwood were seen in the distance. The Little Grebe still present in the marina basin.

Posted January 4th at 5:48 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Exminster marsh

The Marsh harrier was on the marsh again late afternoon perched in a bush mid marsh. Watched from back path. Also Cetti;s warbler . No sign of the Geese reported earlier in the week.

Posted January 4th at 4:56 pm by Brian Davies in General Birding


Black Redstart at Instow harbour feeding from the boulders where ferry pier meets ferry car parking. 16.20.

Posted January 4th at 4:22 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Teigngrace cattle egrets

Two birds still frequenting the solar panel field

Posted January 4th at 3:23 pm by Ken Dainton in General Birding

Taw Estuary - Pottington

At last after numerous attempts over a period of several weeks at digiscoping the Long tailed Duck I have managed to snap a reasonable photo. Yes,I think this one is in focus!

Posted January 4th at 3:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Toll Road and Crow Point etc.

Smart Kingfisher near the Toll House, then down where the footpath is closed I was watching the slightly skittish flock of 1000+ Golden Plover when an exocet missile raced in from over the river. This Peregrine made a few unsuccessful passes before returning to where it had come from. I was also surprised (and delighted) to see a Little Owl on the roof of the barn where they used to breed. I was also able to scope 5 of the Spoonbills over the river at Isley Marsh. I might have seen 2 Chiffchaffs, but they were so quick I couldn't be sure. Down at Crow Point I could make out several Eider - mobile and diving off the Westward Ho! side. Good numbers of Dunlin on both the Caen and Horsey Island. Lapwings all over the place. As I got back to the Little Owl site - there were 2 of them! A stroll around the reserve revealed Goldcrest and 2 Reed Buntings, and then a lot of small birds in typical mobbing behaviour, so careful scrutiny showed a beady-eyed Tawny Owl looking down at me.

Posted January 4th at 1:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Topsham Goosemoor

No sign of the reported Yellow-browed Warbler by railway line but a Siberian Chiffchaff showed well and called a few times from the bank.

Siberian Chiffchaff - Topsham Goosemoor 4/1/2017

Posted January 4th at 1:11 pm by Tim Worfolk in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Matford & Topsham

Matford to start the day gave the American Wigeon which took a lot of finding given the depth of the grass pasture that the Wigeon flock was feeding in, three Little Egret, a Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, at least twelve Moorhen and a small number of Long Tailed Tits.

Topsham Rec ~ on arrival saw a birder photographing the reported Yellow Browed Warbler which continued to show well in the trees around the children’s play area, a Kestrel, Kingfisher and female Long Tailed duck all close by.


Goosemoor ~ Spotted Redshank tucked away with small number of Greenshank a Goldcrest near the bridge.

Posted January 4th at 12:21 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bursdon Moor

Merlin seen yesterday afternoon about 4pm

Posted January 4th at 11:08 am by Brian Sims in General Birding

Cattle Egret

Lone cattle egret seen at Saltram 3rd January 2017.

Posted January 4th at 10:06 am by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Tuesday 3rd January 2017

River Plym from Leigham Manor Drive


Female Kingfisher


3 Goosander (2 Drakes 1 Redhead)

3 Mandarin (2 Drakes 1 Duck)

Posted January 3rd at 9:05 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding

Yarner Wood

Lovely cold/crisp winters day on the moor. After hours of waiting my patience paid off and managed to view a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker calling and then drumming. 

Posted January 3rd at 8:53 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding


The Yellow browed warbler still present at the WTW. 5 Chiffchaffs and 4 Goldcrests. Redhead Goosander on the river near Napers Halt. 

Posted January 3rd at 8:13 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Brent and Slapton

Shipley Bridge and the Avon dam this morning, in the fields between Bloody Pool Cross and Downstowe in excess of 100 Herring Gulls feeding in the pasture fields along with a large flock of Starlings.

In the fields opposite Yelland 50 plus Redwings and Mistle Thrush in the roadside hedge.

Shipley car park gave a Green Woodpecker.

Female Kestrel, Buzzard, Woodcock in full fight, shortly afterwards a solitary Snipe.

Male Reed Bunting on the quarry perimeter fence below the dam.

Back at home my first two Siskins of the year on the garden feeders and a Song Thrush in the house field.

A follow up visit to Slapton Ley yesterday found a strong northerly wind blowing across the Ley most of the water fowl had moved to the Stokenham end, high lights were a Chiffchaff and a pair of Goldeneye duck.

Two male Shoveller duck, 70 plus Gadwall, Coot in their 100’s as well as a good number of Tufted duck, a possible Scaup sighting but the distance made positive ID unreliable.

On the outskirts of Slapton a Lapwing in flight, a large mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare and a Kestrel.

Posted January 3rd at 8:13 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Matford & Exminster Marshes

Matford Marsh am. American Wigeon showed well at times feeding amongst other Wigeon, 8+ Snipe, 2 Jays, 2 Water Rails and 3 Redwing.

Exminster Marsh pm. The female Marsh Harrier was seen around the main lagoon after being mobbed by 2 Buzzards, Peregrine was on electric pylon, 12+ Barnacle Geese from the back path, Raven and good numbers of Curlew, Brent Geese with a few Snipe feeding around the fields.

Some video taken today.



American Wigeon American Wigeon Marsh Harrier
                    American Wigeon                                                                 Marsh Harrier

Eds. superb videos as ever Dave, just one thing, the Marsh Harrier is a juvenile/1st winter - worn plumage (2y+ fresher in winter), pale only on head (not on breast or wings) and fine pale tips to greater coverts. Also on size and slim build perhaps more likely a male.

Posted January 3rd at 7:33 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Unsuccessful Scaup search but did get 160 Gadwall, 140 Wigeon, 8 Shoveler, 144 Tufted, 4 Pochard, 5 Goldeneye & 35 Common Gull. At the bridge Otter and Kingfisher. Nothing offshore but a few Gannets  - too calm?

Posted January 3rd at 5:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

East Soar-Soar Mill Valley-Southdown Farm

Another glorious morning highlighted by 250 Golden Plover, Lapwing, 3 Snipe, 205 Skylark, 3 Black Redstart (1m 2f type) in Soar Mill Cove with 11 Rock Pipit & 10 Meadow Pipit, 9 Song Thrush, 24 Magpie, 100 Linnet, 40 Yellowhammer & 25 Cirl Bunting. Also 5 Roe Deer.

Posted January 3rd at 5:25 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh - Bittern

1100 - 1330hrs. Nice to have a firm walk to the hide this morning on the frozen ground! On the estuary several curlew, redshank, knot, dunlin, little egret and a lone greenshank. Wigeon, teal, shelduck and red breasted merganser in evidence. Several small birds on the feeders included a pair of cirl bunting

Having failed to see a water rail at this location in 2016, despite several views in 2015, I was pleased to see one in the reeds behind the feeders. It remained there for nearly 30 minutes, appearing later in full view as it scuttled under the footbridge to the feeders,

Whilst observing the rail, I saw a bittern fly low from the middle of the Marsh to land again in the main drainage channel not far from me. Excellent, but all too brief, views. I last saw a bittern at this location on 20.1.2016

Posted January 3rd at 5:25 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Isley Marsh

Tuesday morning: 6 Spoonbills roosting in western corner of the marsh, one with coloured rings (blue over white) on right leg. Peregrine (perhaps juv with highly streaked breast) on marsh edge. 1 Greenshank present in marsh creek, along with the usual redshanks, little egrets and teal.

Posted January 3rd at 5:10 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

Man Sands

The 1st w drake Surf Scoter still with about 300 Common Scoter (in two flocks) off Crabrock Point this afternoon.

1st w drake Surf Scoter Man Sands 2017

Posted January 3rd at 4:34 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


This morning most of the marsh was iced over, but good numbers of usual species.

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit


Water Rail
Snipe                                                                                Water Rail

Posted January 3rd at 4:12 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Dartmoor today

Soussons one Great Grey Shrike very mobile.

Posted January 3rd at 4:09 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Cadhay Bridge,Ottery St Mary (East Devon)


A nice drake Goosander (there were four here yesterday according to Ian Pullan), a Dipper and a Green Woodpecker were all within a short distance upstream from Cadhay Bridge on the River Otter this morning.  A nice change from the hotspots of the Exe estuary.

Posted January 3rd at 3:39 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


A YELLOW BROWED WARBLER feeding in trees between Goosemoor and railway line at 11-00. A second seen later at Topsham Rec together with female Long-tailed Duck and 2 female Goosander.

Posted January 3rd at 2:54 pm by Ray Jones in General Birding

Yellow Browed Warbler, Plymouth

After an hours searching a yellow browed warbler was found feeding in the tree tops at the south end of Beaumont Park in Plymouth

Posted January 3rd at 2:26 pm by Stuart Green in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Topsham Rec

This lunchtime at Topsham Rec, the Yellow-browed Warbler was showing well in the trees near the zip wire. The Long-tailed Duck was also present up towards the motorway bridge. Also 2 female Goldeneye, Water Rail, 2 Snipe, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone and 1 Avocet.

Posted January 3rd at 2:06 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Broadsands & Clennon

The Siberian Chiffchaff was in the mash between the two car parks this morning also 2 collybita chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrest. 17 Cirl Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park.

On the sea: 8 Velvet Scoter over toward Goodrington also 42 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Red-throated Diver and closer to Broadsands a single Common Scoter.

Clennon Valley: Yellow-browed Warbler again this morning by the astro turf pitchesin the Eucalyptus trees.  

Posted January 3rd at 11:53 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 2nd January 2017

Exminster Marshes

14 Barnacle Geese flew in at sunset and landed on the lagoon. 

Posted January 2nd at 10:22 pm by Gavin Haig in General Birding

Teign Estuary

Highlights today were a Water Pipit at Flow Point, three Bar-tailed Godwits and an Avocet at Passage House, and 10 Eiders and a Mediterranean Gull off Teignmouth seafront.

Posted January 2nd at 9:44 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding


Viewed over the dropping tide.

Goosemoor  Spotted Redshank and 4 Greenshank.

BGM hide 2 Mediterranean Gulls amongst Black-headed Gulls.

Viewing platform c50 Knot, c30 Grey Plover, Greenshank, c15 Bar-tailed Godwits, numerous Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Dunlin and Red-breasted Merganser.

Goatwalk c350 Avocets with good numbers of Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin

Topsham recreation ground Yellow-browed Warbler mobile around the trees near play area, female Long-tailed Duck, 2 female Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail.

Some video taken today and manage to pull some shots from 4k video of YBW.




Yellow-browed Warbler Long-tailed Duck 2 Goldeneye
Yellow-browed Warbler                            Long-tailed Duck                                            2 Goldeneye

Posted January 2nd at 9:11 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Clennon Valley

I missed the Yellow-browed Warbler by the ponds during a brief visit, but nice a Firecest near the top pond. On checking the photos I took later, the bird has either a tick or seed attached to the rim of one of its eyes. Several Chiffchaffs, Kingfisher, 2 Little Egrets, Shoveler and 10 Teal also there.

Firecrest  Close up showing possible tick
Firecrest                                                                             Close up showing possible tick

Posted January 2nd at 9:00 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Wrafton Pond and Crow Point

Female Black Redstart on house roofs by Chivenor Airfield, Yellow Browed Warbler by Wrafton Pond also Kingfisher and Stonechat by nearby stream and two more Kingfishers at Crow Point. Hundreds of Lapwing over the whole area plus two large flocks of Golden Plover one numbering well over 1000+ and the smaller flock  in the hundreds.

Really went to see the silver Robin, but wasn't sure exactly where to look, so no luck.

Black Redstart Black-headed Gulls Kestrel
Black Redstart                                             Black-headed Gulls                                              Kestrel

Posted January 2nd at 8:08 pm by Andrew Gooch in General Birding


At the WTW's the Yellow browed warbler still present both morning and afternoon along with 5 Chiffchaffs and at least 5 Goldcrests. Male Goosander on the river downstream of the bridge.

Posted January 2nd at 7:55 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary & Slapton Ley

Still one Cattle Egret in Saltram early afternoon and also, on the river, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper and 3 Little Grebes.

At Slapton late afternoon an Otter briefly from the bridge together with a showy Water Rail; also Firecrest and Chiffchaff in Ireland Bay and 5 Goldeneyes, but no Starling roost tonight.

Posted January 2nd at 7:10 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Had a look for the possible Lesser Scaup this morning from the Stokeley Hide. Unfortunatly there was a raw fresh NNE blowing and though I managed to pick out the male Scaup ( first winter ) amongst the flock of Tufteds a couple times, they were about 600 metres away and the ley was a little choppy. No chance of seeing the Scaup sp but i'm sure someone will get a good view on a calmer day.

Posted January 2nd at 7:07 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

River Caen, Braunton Marsh & Isley Marsh North Devon

Nice afternoon walk towards Crows Point produces 600+ Golden Plover, 100+ Lapwing, on Braunton Marsh, A Spoonbill on a flooded Isley Marsh which decided to return across the Taw. Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Redshank good numbers of Black Tailed Godwit and the usual Kingfishers along the Caen Estuary.


Spoonbill returning to the dank side!

Golden Plover
Golden Plover

Posted January 2nd at 6:39 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Budleigh area and the Exe

A traditional New Year's day list was postponed until today due to the much better weather forecast.
Total of 99 species recorded just around Budleigh, Exe and E Devon Heaths
Highlights included:

Spotted Redshank - Goosemoor
Drake American Wigeon - Matford Pool
LT Duck and YBW - Topsham Rec.
Firecrest - Exmouth Cricket Club
Bonaparte's Gull - Exmouth Shelly Beach
RT Diver - Ladram Bay
Woodcock - East Devon Heaths
Missed species included Kestrel, Treecreeper, Cetti's Warbler & Redwing!

Posted January 2nd at 6:33 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Mouth of Taw & Torridge Estuary

Digiscoped 6 of the 20 Eider which were showing well this morning but not all together in one tight flock being dispersed over a wide area.

Posted January 2nd at 6:29 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


3 male Goldeneye displaying to 2 females, Male Pochard amongst the tufties, Water rail and otter from the bridge around 4.00. I didn't find the Scaup

Posted January 2nd at 6:06 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding


08.20: Great White Egret showing well this morning, in front of the hide,  before dog walkers sent it off westwards... to Arlington?

Posted January 2nd at 5:32 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

Elberry cove

pair of eider around midday

Posted January 2nd at 5:31 pm by graham folkerd in General Birding


Black Redstart on the front ignoring the hordes of visitors!!

Posted January 2nd at 4:27 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works. 12:25 - 14:30

Dunlin c500; Shelduck 14; Lapwing c600; Curlew c250; Wigeon 18; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 115; Sanderling 36; Cormorant 12; Bar-tailed Godwit 2; Grey Plover 2; Redshank c60; Ringed Plover 14; 2 Knot.

13:25 Off Ashford Sewage Works :- Long-tailed Duck 1; Sanderling 21; Grey Plover 1; Gadwall 1, which relocated to Bradiford Reserve. Overhead and heading east c120 Golden Plover.

Bradiford Reserve:- c40 Teal.

Long-tailed Duck still at scene when I left at 14:30.


Posted January 2nd at 3:20 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

A quick look this morning. Lots of birders calling in. Yellow-browed Warbler showing well by zip wire. Long-tailed Duck & Goldeneye on river. 

Posted January 2nd at 2:58 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

North Devon

A lovely day to clean up on all the local goodies, so I started at the Skern as it was high tide, and found a few Pintail and Bar-tailed Godwits among all the other waders, ducks, gulls and good numbers of Brent Geese. Snow Buntings were elsewhere, probably because couldn't be bothered to find the eighth green! Didn't take long to find a smart Purple Sandpiper at the pool at Westward Ho! So to Isley Marsh. Disappointing quantities of Spoonbills - none to be precise, but a Great-crested Grebe out in the river. Sadly the Glossy Ibis didn't put in an appearance at Fremington Pill - lots of Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank plus at least 2 Greenshank. Looking downstream from the distant car park I had good views of Dave's Great Northern Diver near the bridge. So on round to finish up with the long-tailed Duck - which joined the list of no-shows! 2 Knot off Pottington.

Posted January 2nd at 1:51 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sunday 1st January 2017


Morning's birding around Topsham with highlights of Yellow-browed warbler, Long-tailed duck and 2 Goldeneye at the Rec; Spotted Redshank on Goosemoor.

Posted January 1st at 7:10 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The 2 Firecrests showed well along Madeira Walk behind the cricket club this morning, with a Chiffchaff towards the Ocean complex. 2+ Purple Sandpipers appeared on Maer Rocks as the tide dropped and before becoming covered by people and dogs. A female Goldeneye was off Shelly Beach. The Little Grebe was still in the marina basin. A Slavonian Grebe was off West Lodge this afternoon with 3 more Goldeneye. Birding was a struggle in the awful weather!

Posted January 1st at 5:39 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

South Hams

Not the best weather to start the New Year or for an early morning birding trip around the South Hams with poor light and at times heavy rain.

The first bird of note was a tiercel Peregrine over Totnes.

Leasfoot Beach at Thurlestone produced the well documented and recorded Desert Wheatear now sporting a BTO ring.


South Huish Marsh gave singles of Bar Tailed Godwit, Lapwing and a male Stonechat, on the rocks in front of the apartments at South Milton beach gave a female Black Redstart.

Kingsbridge estuary on a high tide gave several small groups of Brent geese, 20 plus Shell duck, several Curlew, a very mobile flock of an estimated 100 Dunlin and two Red Breasted Merganser’s.

Frogmore Creek a Greenshank along with Grey and Pied Wagtail.


Slapton Ley a pair of Scaup (1st winter drake) in with numerous Tufted duck and Coot, good numbers of Gadwall and one Great Crested Grebe, off shore 4 plus Gannets, a distant Black Throated  Diver, Shag and a possible Eider but too distant to be 100%.

In two stubble fields alongside the road at Higher Green Cross just outside of Slapton , a large flock of Chaffinch feeding alongside Yellow Hammer, Cirl Bunting, Skylark and Meadow Pipit and on a telegraph pole overlooking the fields a female Kestrel.

A Buzzard was the 60th bird of the morning.

Back at home two Jays in flight across the house field, a male Bullfinch at the feed station and a Song Thrush in the garden.


Eds: that female Scaup looks like its probably a Lesser Scaup!

Posted January 1st at 3:53 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


In and around Topsham this morning I managed 40 species in 2 hours (maybe I will start a year list) but the Rec. Ground was clearly the best place to be with Long-tailed Duck, 2 female Goldeneye and the Yellow-browed Warbler showing well.  Darts Farm gave me the last two on the list -Stonechat and Meadow Pipit but rain stopped play at 11.30. 

(East Devon Branch's 2017 Programme starts this Friday 6th Jan meeting at Darts Farm).  Happy New Year.

Posted January 1st at 2:51 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Clennon Valley

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in trees by the Torbay Leisure Centre astro turf pitches.

Posted January 1st at 1:20 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Sue Bruce found a rather smart male Firecrest by the Tarka trail near the old helicopter hanger this morning (9.20ish) Sadly it had gone when I went to look about an hour later.

Posted January 1st at 1:12 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

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