Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder recorder@devonbirds.org Many thanks, stay safe.

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

 

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

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/staying-at-home-to-avoid-getting-coronavirus/staying-at-home-and-away-from-other-people/

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

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

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

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Membership

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

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

Saturday 21st October 2017

Start Point / South Huish

A seawatch  from Start Point was very quiet this morning just single Manx and Balearic Shearwater. The bays at Hallsands, Beesands and Slapton Sands checked but nothing found. Went to South Huish this afternoon and meet Nick Townsend who put me onto a Grey Phalarope he had just found. Nothing seen in Thurlestone Bay ( would be easy to miss things in the big seas though ). similarly a look at the sea from Hope Cove and South and North Sands in Salcombe also drew a blank.

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 6:05 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

S. Hallsands.

5 FIRECRESTS ( 2 caught and  ringed - despite the gale - in a semi sheltered location ). Also present 6 Goldcrests ( 2 caught and ringed ) and 3 Chiffchaffs.

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 2:49 pm by Alan K Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

A bit of variety on the seawatch this morning but nothing exceptional: 2 Great Skuas, 7 Arctic Skuas, 1 European Storm-petrel (as usual BH misses the leach's), 3 Fulmar, 1 Manx & 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Sandwich Tern, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Merlin, several groups of Swallows coming in over the sea and 5 Siskin

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 12:56 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South of Zulu Bank + Horsey

Late post - 7 to 800 Golden Plover early yesterday morn just north of Northam Burrows seen from near Airy Point.

21 Ruff on Horsey Island, none on Sherpa / Wrafton scrape. 

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 12:13 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 20th October 2017

East Soar.

Photograph of the Yellow-browed Warbler (from Michael Brooking) seen earlier in the week - a very bedraggled individual, it was initially considered to show characteristics of Hume's Warbler. 

Yellow-browed Warbler East Soar 17 Oct 2017

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 5:12 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle Point (Reserve )

20+ Firecrests in and around the Reserve this morning. 3 caught and ringed, but again too windy for effective netting. Also the birds were keeping fairly well hidden in the ivy covering on the trees. Also on site 8 Goldcrests ( 3 caught and ringed ) 3 Chiffchaffs and1 Blackcap. Plenty of Speckled Woods and 1 Small Copper.

1st. Yr. male Goldcrest.    1st. Yr. male Firecrest.
1st. Yr. male Goldcrest.                                                    1st. Yr. male Firecrest.

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 1:53 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 19th October 2017

Southdown Farm to East Soar.

Much quieter than recent days with just 4 Firecrest, 6 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 44 Blackbird, 2 Sparrowhawk, 8 Chiffchaff, 4 Siskin, 47 Goldfinch & Redpoll heard overhead.

Posted October 19th, 2017 at 2:09 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 18th October 2017

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape + Horsey

Called in at the scrape on my way to Horsey & 2 Ruff present.

A further 18 Ruff on Horsey Island so we now have at least 20 Ruff on the Taw & Torridge Estuary.

Also of note 130 + Golden Plover resting on Horsey.


Posted October 18th, 2017 at 7:19 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Southdown Farm to East Soar plus Prawle Point

RM & R.Thomas: Hawfinch over willows at East Soar, Firecrests at 34, 17 Goldcrest, Snipe, 2 Golden Plover, thrush influx with 4 Ring Ouzel, 72 Blackbird, 23 Song Thrush & 7 Redwing, 3 Grey Wagtail, Robin 41 at Soar Mill Valley, Wheatear, Blackcap 8, Chiffchaff 9, Coal Tit (migrant) & 15 Yellowhammer.

Late pm at Prawle Point: 36 Firecrest in/around car park & reserve, 9 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaff.

Later at Harleston, Black Redstart on roof of car port.

Posted October 18th, 2017 at 7:08 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Southdown Farm (Soar)

Lunchtime visit - amongst the Firecrests and Blackcaps 2 Lesser Whitethroats popped up, one halfway down the valley, the other near the lower gate. The second bird was a good candidate for a Siberian/Eastern race - features included pale sandy tertials and the extent and pattern of white on the spread tail looked good! Also Ring Ouzel, Water Rail and 2 Bullfinches. The Yellow-browed Warbler was reported still present near the East Soar Car Park.

Posted October 18th, 2017 at 6:55 pm by David Cope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle Point. ( Reserve )

18 FIRECRESTS,this morning ,in and around the reserve and car park. 6 caught and ringed, but far too windy for efficient mist netting. Not much else on site, 6 Goldcrests ( 3 caught and ringed ) 2 Blackcaps and 7 Robins.

1st. Yr. male,taken in better light than yesterday's photo's
1st. Yr. male,taken in better light than yesterday's photo's

Posted October 18th, 2017 at 5:35 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar

A Hawfinch around East Soar willows first thing before flying south, 33+ Firecrests, 25 Goldcrests, 3 Ring Ouzels, Whinchat, 12 Chiffchaffs, c80 Golden Plovers, 9 Song Thushes, 2 Redwings and a Redpoll over (presumed Lesser).

Posted October 18th, 2017 at 3:56 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 17th October 2017

East Soar

Another great day on the patch with Richard & Sarah Thomas: highlight was leaf warbler showing the characteristics of Hume's Warbler but still being considered.Otherwise still stacks of Firecrests with 43 counted (inc.11 in Soar Mill Valley), Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Water Rail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 8 Chiffchaff, Brambling, many Siskin & Redpoll overhead on call and to cap it all a Corn Bunting by the car park seen by Richard early am, great bird for here but he is used to them in Cambridge!!

Tomorrow promises NE overnight followed by SE in the morning!!

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 7:08 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

At least 20 Firecrests around the farm at this mornings ringing session (9 caught and ringed). Presumably,either lingerers from the incredible influx reported by Perry S. on Sunday at Start, and Mike L. and others at Soar; or fresh birds from further East in Dorset,where 150+ (68 ringed) were recorded at Portland. The birds were incredibly active,feeding (many hovering ) on the undersides of sycamore leaves,and ignoring the willows. They did not react well to playback,so I suspect there first interest was food. I am speculating that this influx was part of a South Westerly movement on the French side of the Channel, and that these birds were drifted over to S.W. England by the southerly wind which occurred during Saturday night (classic drift migration ).

1st. Yr.male firecrest 1st.Yr. fem.
1st. Yr.male firecrest                                                                       1st.Yr. fem.

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 3:41 pm by Alan K. Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Most of the Firecrests seem to have moved on today with 6 still present around the coastguard station and in quarry, also 7 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 2 Coal Tit and 12+ Blackbird. Overhead: 6 Redwing, 7 Song Thrush, 2 Reed Bunting, 16 Siskin, 24 alba wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 10 House Sparrow (in a single flock), 4 Bullfinch, 19 Chaffinch, 2 Skylark, 16 Meadow Pipit, 25 Goldfinch, 14 Linnet and 4 Greenfinch.

 

Yesterdays (Monday) seawatching at Berry Head yesterday from Dave Dawe: Berryhead,1 Sooty Shearwater,10 Balearic,15 Bonxie,9 Arctic Skua,1 RT Diver,4 Med Gull.14 Com Scoter and C35 House Martin. There were also a couple of Puffins

My totals from the headland were: 1 Black Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 14 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff.  

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 2:30 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 16th October 2017

Start Point

Seawatch 07:20-14:30 with Richard Thomas. Surprisingly sheltered down by the lighthouse, few birds going through and conditions very clear. Highlights included 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Great Skuas, 3 Pomarine Skuas, Arctic Skua, 2 unidentified Skua ( Pomarine / Arctic ), 2 Common Scoter and 2 Mediterranean Gulls. Merlin frequently seen around the headland, Black Redstart, 4 Firecrests and a couple Chiffchaffs in the tamarisks. 4 Swallows seen in the afternoon. Richard picked up the bird of the day, a superb Leach's Petrel heading south close in at 09:33.

Posted October 16th, 2017 at 4:59 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 15th October 2017

Soar

An amazing 60 Firecrests today (49 at East Soar & 11 in & around Lower Soar), 2 Lapland Buntings over, female Merlin, 12 Godcrests, 7 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, Wheatear, 15 Siskin, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker (migrants) 200 Skylark, and 5 Bulfinches. Searched for Dusky Warbler in pm but no sign. Back at Harleston Goshawk over garden heading for Slapton - must be genuine migrant!

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 7:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Otter Estuary and Slapton

Otter Estuary this morning brief views of a Yellow-browed Warbler in hedge before the pines on the north side (Phil Bentley). Onto Slapton in the afternoon where good flight views of the Bittern over the higher ley, 3 Firecrests at Strete Gate, 20+ Chiff-Chaff, 10+ Goldcrests and a Wheatear on the beach.

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 6:43 pm by David Cope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bolberry to Overbecks

An amazing influx of Firecrest as noted elsewhere between the above sites I recorded 43 and did not cover areas around Southdown Farm that also looked promising, oddly relatively few Goldcrest with only 11 noted. also noted were 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 23 Stonechat. Overhead 1 Merlin, 5 Siskin, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 40+ Swallow and plenty of Skylark and Meadow Pipit.

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 6:21 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

Vis mig from 07:15-09:00 produced 2 Skylarks, 64 Meadow Pipits, 71 alba Wagtails, 43 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 1 Starling, 32 Chaffinches, 35 Siskins, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 690 Linnets and 650 Goldfinches. After that it was the day of the Firecrests with at least 20 in the lighthouse tamarisks. Birds elsewhere brought the total to at least 33. Also today Merlin during the vis mig watch and in addition to those seen on that watch a further 28 Swallows and 12 Siskins. Other migrants included 2 Great Spottted Woodpeckers, Grey Wagtail, Black Redstart ( lighthouse ), 10 Song Thrushes, 10 Blackcaps, 22 Chiffchaffs and 9 Goldcrests.

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 4:51 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

An exciting morning! Brief views of a vocal Dusky Warbler in the low scrub just below the crags at the top of Starehole Valley (by the path sometimes known as the "Goat Track"). Present for just a few minutes at c8.45am then lost and unfortunately not re-located. Loosely part of a wave of Firecrests, Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs that were making their way up the valley. Astonishing numbers of Firecrests with a minimum of 15 during the morning and probably in excess of 20 altogether. Otherwise, 3 late Swallows, 2 Wheatears, a few Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and Blackcaps and several Siskins.

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 3:59 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Latest news this morning: Either Radde's or Dusky Warbler below the willows at 0900. Andy Smith & Richard Thomas (top birder from Cambridge). on site at the moment, I can't get there!! Also at least 10 Firecrests & 2 Lapland  Buntings overhead. Sounds like an an amazing overnight influx!!

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 10:05 am by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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