Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st October 2017

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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

Saturday 28th October 2017


whooper swan on estuary off Home Farm Marsh

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 9:47 pm by Geoff Taylor in Bird News

Combe Martin

Two Firecrests amongst Blue and Great Tits working through some buddleia

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 8:36 pm by Sue Kendall in Bird News


Over Lipson early morning, c540 Redwings (west), c1,300 Wood Pigeons (south). Two Chiffchaffs & 3 Goldcrests in the bushes.

Budshead Wood produced 2 Firecrests & a Marsh Tit.

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 6:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Start Point

Vis mig highlights this morning included a massive Woodpigeon movement, 94000 going south-south west. Between 08:00-09:00, 55000 went through, almost 1000 per minute. Other counts included 66 Starlings, 22 Siskins, 8 Bramblings, 21 Bullfinches and a Reed Bunting. Elsewhere Merlin, Golden Plover, 12 Redwings, 5 Fieldfares, Blackcap and 2 Firecrests..     More details here 


Posted October 28th, 2017 at 6:01 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Large woodpigeon migration moving SW over village 7000+ between 8.30 and 11.00am also seen a great white egret flying NE. 

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 5:11 pm by Keith McGinn in Bird News

Berry Head

Lucky to catch fairly distant views of the Ring Ouzel on the cafe side of the headland but on the bushes towards the lighthouse.  Managed a couple of dodgy record shots with my bridge camera before it flew overhead and back towards the rocks below the cafe, followed shortly afterwards by a Peregrine low under the cliffs. Other than that, a couple of Skylarks overhead, a Firecrest in the hedges above the cow field and a cold-looking Swallow on a telephone wire down near Shoalstone carpark. Sad to have missed the SEO - by a couple of minutes apparently! 

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 5:01 pm by Alistair King in Bird News

Berry head - 28th oct 17

nice wander around the quarry area at Berry head this morn, catching up with the remainder of this years autumn movement.. a sunny start meant vis-migging was pretty decent; highlights included: 6 reed bunt, 1 swallow near brixham, 20+ skylark (in off sea), a total of 42+ bullfinch (mostly males SE) (never seen such numbers moving before), many goldcrest (grounded), 1 brambling, 4 gsw (in off sea), 50+ long-tailed tit (in several large flocks), 40+ robin, 2 siskin, 2 redpoll, 12 linnet, 3 jay... 

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 4:57 pm by Nick Patel in Bird News

Hope's Nose


At least two Firecrests in the main clump of scrub adjacent to the main path. Mobile but less vocal today. 

Later, at 17.45, 9 Redwings over the car park at Lidl, Torquay. 

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 4:29 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


Dartford Warbler's 5 in all were seen, they appear to be the most common bird at the moment, and a shot of a Goldcrest

  Dartford Warblers showing very well

Dartford Warblers showing very well

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 3:49 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

White House to the Fishermens Huts

Large numbers of Golden Plover with Grey Plover, Lapwing, Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, L Egret, G Heron, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Kestrel, Buzzard, Barwit, Blackwit, Ruff, Teal, Shelduck, Pintail, Wigeon, all the regulars and a Short Eared Owl from the Fishermens Huts over to Chivenor.

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 3:05 pm by Horsey Island in Bird News

Berry Head

Rob and I spent a few hours at Berry Head today, firstly looking for the Ring Ouzel by the cafe, with no luck. We  did find 5 Song Thrush, 5 or 6 Blackbirds and a Sparrowhawk instead. After meeting up with Bob Bailey, Pete Dennis and (briefly) Steve Hopper we proceeded around the Headland in search of Firecrests etc. Not much doing so headed to the quarry, on the way were 5 Bullfinch and a large flock of Long-tailed Tits, complete with the required Firecrest.  Down in the quarry were maybe a different, larger flock of Long-tails with a coiple of Goldcrests thrown in. On into the woods where we discovered 2 more Firecrests with the Long-tails, and interestingly, a Barn Owl leapt out of a bush not more than 6ft away from us and flew down towards the road, while we were all stood looking at a Goldcrest. On the path past the Wardens Cottage Pete shouted Short Eared Owl, and there it was flying in off the sea and over the car park, on down over the woods. A good days birding at Berry Head. Sadly no camera with me today.

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 2:06 pm by Steph Murphy in Bird News

Broadsands ~ Firecrests

Broadsands beach this morning gave four Lesser Black Backed Gulls and fifteen Greater Black Backs but very little else, on to Berry Head where a host of birders were in situe but the venue apart from the Guillemot colony was not as busy as most would have hoped.

Brixham town gave a solitary Swallow sat on overhead lines, the harbour car park gave a large floc of Long Tailed Tits and a Seal eating a flat fish.


Another visit to Broadsands (the left hand closed car park) gave numerous Wrens. Nine plus Long Tailed Tits, several Goldcrest, at least three Firecrest, three small birds dropped briefly into the Alders near the far corner and were almost certainly Redpoll but a hunting Sparrow hawk scattered everything and they did not show again.

Back at South Brent flocks of Wood pigeons in all directions looking as if dropping to feed, nothing like the numbers being reported along the coast but enough to be not worthy.

Starlings, Redwing and Mistle Thrush no doubt attracting a hunting Sparrow Hawk.

Comment from a friend at Aish (South Brent) who had a Ring Necked Parakeet in her garden at the beginning of the month looks as if the Parakeet has been taken by a female Sparrow hawk.


Posted October 28th, 2017 at 1:58 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Berry Head

Short-eared Owl. Flew in off sea behind car park, over cow field and on towards quarry.

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 1:44 pm by Martin Lees in Bird News


Following Audrey's sighting yesterday, David Turrell and I went up to Emsworthy this morning.  We were rewarded by seeing 4 Ring Ouzels (1 male, 1 female, 2 juvenile), also 3 Fieldfare (my first for the winter) and a couple of Mistle Thrush.

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 12:22 pm by Richard Swinbank in Bird News

Yesterday 27th October Prawle Point

Apologies for late posting, viz mig with Pat (from 8.10am: with me frorm 8..40 till 10.40am) in overcast, NE slight breeze, cool conditions.

Highlight, a strong passage of 30,000 Woodpigeons mainly SE including a minimum of ; 52 Stock Doves; 9 Siskins (I settled in sallows), 15 Song Thrushes,2 Redwing, 1700 Starlings, 6 Reed Buntings, 1 Lapwing, 2 Brambling, 5 Bullfinches in flight (later 4 seen feeding in PIg's Nose valley),Goldcrests (in flight and at least 20 in area), Goldfinches, Linnets,Greenfinches, Meadow Pipits,Skylarks,105 Jackdaws, 3 Kestrels, Sparrowhawk. Also parties of  LongTailed Tits (min 23 in area), I Firecrest in car park. 8 Blackcaps in area, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.  Also I Clouded Yellow, Red Admirals, Peacock and Speckled Wood butterflies in flight as the sun broke through the cloud.

So no rarity ( I still need YBW for Prawle this year-unlike Pat) but plenty of birds on the move.


Posted October 28th, 2017 at 12:19 pm in Bird News

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

Another large movement of Woodpigeons with 10770 east/south-east between 0815 & 1040hrs. Also on the move Short-eared Owl, 5 Golden Plover, 8 Lapwing, 56 Stock Dove, 700 Skylark, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 390 Starling, 144 Jackdaw, 36 Goldfinch & 10 Siskin.

Re.J.Ruscoe post many flocks of Woodpigeons seem to head out to sea and are soon lost to sight but I have seen some come back inshore!

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 11:54 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Horsey Island flood

2 photos from different angles showing the extent of the sea water inundation on a spring tide at Horsey Island as a result of a breach in the sea wall between the R.Caen & Horsey Island.

First photo taken by the White House looking towards Braunton in the background & the other from Crossbanks (near the breach) looking in the opposite direction towards the White House.


Posted October 28th, 2017 at 11:09 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


A Great White Egret north upriver @ 1045. On Orcombe this morning c35k Woodpigeon west/north-west by 10am - biggest movement pre 9am. Yesterday - Short-eared Owl on Orcombe Point, late pm. Also 7 Egyptian Goose and a fw Yellow-legged Gull off Mudbank. More details on

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 11:00 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

central park around 40 ringneck parakeet all flying together

around 40 ringneck parakeet all flying together on their way somewhere

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 10:11 am by barry in Bird News

Redwings Plymouth

Big movement of Redwing here at dawn as I took the dogs out on Freedom Fields. Probably over 1000 birds in about 15 minutes flying very low over the houses and park into the north westerly breeze. Lots of Song Thrush, my first 4 Fieldfare of the autumn and about 20 Blackbirds accompanying them.

Posted October 28th, 2017 at 8:20 am in Bird News

Friday 27th October 2017


For at least the past 5 years, 1 or 2 Bloxworth Snouts appear in my patio at this time of the year; and because the door is always open, they enter the house, overwinter, and re-emerge in the spring. 1or2 also overwinter in my neighbours car  port ( once 1 overwintered in her car ) Cananyone tell me how common they are now in Devon, away from their original core area of Torbay ?   email.

Poor photo of  Bloxworth Snout.
Poor photo of Bloxworth Snout.

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 7:43 pm by Alan K Searle. in Other Wildlife

Glossy Ibis Exminster Marshes

Exminster Marshes - at 11.16am Glossy Ibis on newly dug scrapes to South of Station Road between Middle Car Park and Main Car Park. Moved about a bit mostly due to presence of Marsh Harrier and Peregrine, but watched it for over an hour.   

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 7:33 pm by Jo King in Bird News

Emsworthy Nature Reserve

Blackbirds, Fieldfares, Mistle Thrushes and a male Ring Ouzel early afternoon.

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 6:37 pm by Audrey Wolstenholme in Bird News

Plymouth area

A visit to Staddon Heights for the first hour-and-a-half of light produced a vis mig first for me with 5 Ring-necked Parakeets heading high north! Also c700 Wood Pigeons, 115 Jackdaws, 6 Siskins, 11 Redwings and Brambling over. 

At the Plym Estuary & Saltram, later, a Rock Pipit (scarce here) my first Jack Snipe of the autumn, 5 Little Grebes, 2 Greenshanks, 4 Dunlins, Common Sandpiper, 32 Curlews, 6 Oystercatchers, Kingfisher, 2 Stonechats, 3 Goldcrests and 2 Roe Deer.

Finally, a Great Spotted Woodpecker in Plym Bridge Woods.

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 6:33 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Home Farm

Home Farm Marsh and estuary .whooper swan with ten Mute swans off Chivoner .Hundred plus Greenfinch along hedgerow and feeding on sunflowers.Twelve hundred Golden Plover over towards Chivoner.Photo of Whooper  swan hopefully arriving soon.Forty species seen .

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 5:39 pm by Geoff Taylor in Bird News


3 X cattle egrets in field at Saltram liunch time.

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 3:58 pm by Vince Bedford in Bird News

Woodbury Castle / Budleigh Salterton

A single Brambling (male) seen with the Chaffinch flocks before I got to look for Hawfinch when I joined Dave Stone.  Calls heard and then 3 Hawfinch seen in flight at tops of beech trees at north end of the area around 10.00am.  They remained elusive until I left and maybe others had more success later. 

Moving on to Budleigh I went in search of Crests along the coastal footpath and within a few hundred yards of the Golf Club had Gt -spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Firecrest, 2 Treecreeper, Long tailed tit flocks and 3 Bullfinch among others.

Having an interest in Woodpigeon movements could I be pedantic and ask observers to state whether they actually saw birds heading out to sea.  Large movements are now taking place along the coast and to me it is important to know not only the direction of flight but more importantly whether they left the coast and were seen flying out over the sea and did any come back? Also are any seen west of the most southerly points (Prawle, Bolt Head etc).Thanks.  


Posted October 27th, 2017 at 3:33 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Anchorwood Bank River Taw

The probable hybrid Snow goose (mainly white with some dark grey feathering) was with 84 Canada geese on the midday high-tide.  Duck numbers increasing with Eurasian wigeon and Teal being joined by a few Pintail. A possible water pipit was too distant to be sure, both godwits were joined by a single knot and a few dunlin plus about 60 redshank and lapwing. A female sparrowhawk hunted overhead but very few passerines seen.

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 3:30 pm by Andrew Lansdell in Bird News

Bowling green marsh & Exminster Marshes RSPB

10.00AM - Hawfinch flew over Bowling green marsh road, towards Goosemoor...

13.00PM - Exminster Marshes RSPB - Glossy Ibis showing nicely from Station road (thanks for the tip off Jo King), until flushed by Marsh harrier. Also Peregrine over and plenty of Wigeon, Pintail, Blackwit and Redwing...

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 2:26 pm by Nick Patel in Bird News

East Soar

Lots of movement this morning highlighted by 16,770 Woodpigeons east/southeast between 0815 & 1205 hrs! Also on the move: 6 Golden Plover, 38 Stock Dove, 600 Skylark, 40 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 49 Blackbird, 13 Song Thrush, 5 Redwing, 11 Long-tailed Tit moving north, 145 Jackdaw, 140 Starling, 60 Chaffinch, 40 Goldfinch & 7 Reed Bunting. Five species of raptor inc.male Sparrowhawk, Peregrine & Merlin. In the scrub 3 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 6 Firecrest & 15 Goldcrest. 

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 2:25 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Start Point.

To add to Perry's post.Around the farm, c.20 Goldcrests ( 12 ringed,including 3 'continental' ), only 1 Firecrest (ringed ), 4Chiffchaffs ( 2ringed), 3 Blackcaps ( 2 ringed )

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 2:07 pm by Alan K Searle. in Bird News

South Brent

The Wood pigeon autumn migration kicked up a gear this morning despite another start to the day with low cloud and overcast conditions at South Brent, a count of in excess of 3,200 birds headed west, the largest flocks containing 300 plus birds, flocks could be seen high over head moving west and well out towards the coast.

Redwing numbers up with flocks of 90 plus and 50 plus birds moving around the area.

The Garden Firecrest's were a bit more elusive today but three seen up until early afternoon. Also around the house Wren, Mistle Thrush, Raven, Buzzard, soaring female Sparrow Hawk, numerous Jays and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

The mature Yews and pine trees in South Brent church yard are attracting good numbers of winter Thrush sp and small numbers of Goldcrest.



Posted October 27th, 2017 at 2:03 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Can't compete with the posts from South Devon! In the reserve this morning a Nuthatch - only the third record. Finches beginning to build up now and lots of 4 species of Tit. Goldcrests but as yet no sign of any Firecrests. The Buckthorn berry crop is attracting a few Thrushes too. Little Egret in the field outside, but again no Godwits on the scrape.

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 1:30 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Start Point

Lots of calling pre dawn Song Thrushes and Redwings and during the morning saw 47 and 108 respectively.Healthy overhead movement of birds but directions random in the fresh northerly. Highlights on the move were 3500-4000 Woodpigeons, 2 Swallows, 26 Starlings, 15 Bullfinches, 12 Bramblings, 40 Siskins and 4 Reed Buntings. Elsewhere Merlin, Golden Plover, Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Firecrests at the light.

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 1:05 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Berry Head

Some good overhead migration today:350 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 5 Brambling, 103 Chaffinch, 12 Bullfinch, 33 Greenfinch, 40 Linnet, 80 Goldfinch, 6 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 1 Reed Bunting, 3 Song Thrush, 27 Skylark, 26 Meadow Pipit, 33 'alba' Wagtails.

Around the headland 1 very vocal Yellow-browed Warbler ( video link here ) on north side of the main meadow, 1 Ring Ouzel on slope below the cafe lots of Blackbird including several black billed 1st winter birds, 6 Stonechat, 1 Firecrest, 9 Goldcrest, 3 Blackcap & 4 Chiffchaff.

Ring Ouzel Berry Hd 27 Oct 2017 ML    blackbirds Berry Hd 27 Oct 2017 ML

Ring Ouzel                                                        Blackbirds

YBW Berry Hd 27 Oct 2017 ML  YBW Berry Hd 27 Oct 2017 ML

Yellow-browed Warbler with a very pale grey centre crown stripe (not uncommon)

Come along and learn more about migration, identification and a full breakfast.. 


Posted October 27th, 2017 at 11:51 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Exminster marshes RSPB - 26/10/2017

Merlin (fem), Marsh harrier (imm) and Peregrine still being seen daily at high tide, from the Canal path.. 6+ Stonechat on the reserve, Cetti's warbler singing by the canal car park, lots of Redwing passing overhead, 8+ Bullfinch along Turf path. Also Green Sand and 30+ Pintail

Posted October 27th, 2017 at 8:21 am by Nick Patel in Bird News

Thursday 26th October 2017

Start Point

Spent a pleasant hour or so down by the lighthouse - an abundance of birds in the tamarisk trees and surrounding scrub including 3 Blackcaps (2m/1f), at least 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests and 2 Firecrests, at least 3 song thrushes and several stonechats.  The highlight was a Yellow-browed Warbler showing really well - but strangely virtually silent.  Great to see. 


Posted October 26th, 2017 at 8:09 pm by Alistair King in Bird News


Spent all day ringing in the reserve today. Every time I walked around, took a look over the scrape: No Godwits at all. One Grey Heron (briefly) one Little Egret. Ringing was very good: 51 birds ringed of 16 species. 35 retraps. Best were 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcaps, 1 Goldcrest, 14 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Siskin - first I've ringed for 3 years! 48 Species recorded in over or near the reserve.

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 8:00 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

South Brent ~ Firecrests

Following this mornings post the visible Wood pigeon and Redwing migration continued until around 10.30, the largest single flock of Wood Pigeons being of some 200 plus birds and 46 Redwings, given the abundance of low flying pigeons in the area I suspect that a good number of migrating birds dropped off in the area to feed.

Another afternoon of Firecrest's at home with one seen to fly across the garden, a search soon found two feeding in evergreen cover, checking another area of garden another two Firecrest with possibly another that came in with a small flock of Goldcrest, of this second pair one bird was displaying its crest on a regular basis.

(Click on images to see at full size)



Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exmouth and Woodbury Fort

At least 3 Hawfinch feeding on Beech masts in Woodbury Fort late this afternoon. Also c10+ Brambling and good numbers of Chaffinch.

The Black Brant still present off Mudbank and a late Whinchat, 2 Brambling and the Ring-necked Parakeet on Orcombe Point this morning.

Photos and more detais on

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:26 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


Found this 1st winter Surf Scoter about 1/2 km off the seawall at Broadsands - being a 1st w it's not the bird from Mansands last year!

Surf Scoter 1st Winter Broadsands 26 Oct 2017 ML

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Head

Some good overhead migration today: 2 Hawfinch, 8 Redpoll, 16 Siskin, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer, 200+ Redwing, 19 Starling, 7 Skylark, 4 Swallow, 15 Meadow Pipit, 13 Bullfinch, 70 Goldfinch, 8 Linnet, 2 Greenfinch, 15 Song Thrush, 62 Chaffinch, 4 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Egret, 8 'alba' Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Around the head 6 Chiffchaff 22 Goldcrest and 4 Firecrest.

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:23 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

East. Prawle.

At Moorwell  pond during this morning's ringing session, 25+ Goldcrests ( 13 ringed) 5 FIRECRESTS ( 2 ringed ), 4 Chiffchaffs ( 2 ringed ) and 3 Blackcaps ( 1 ringed ). Also present at least 25 Blackbirds, presumably a mix of passage and local birds, attracted to the site because of the abundant berry crop.

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:17 pm by Alan K Searle. in Bird News


Kayak trip Teignmouth to Torbay.

4 Arctic Skuas. Juv and 2 pale adults off Teignmouth. 1 dark adult off Hope's Nose

22 Common Scoter

1 Eider duck (female) off Teignmouth

plus 2 Harbour porpoise

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:05 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News


A morning visit to Saltram and a walk around the river side walk way gave several Little Egret, good numbers of Curlew, Greenshank and Redshank, a soaring Buzzard had many of the waders making alarm calls.

Plenty of Goldcrest,s and one brief sighting of a Firecrest a large flock of Long tailed Tits and later another mixed tit flock good numbers of LTT's and several Goldcrest.

Plenty of Jays and on the small pond by the house 11 Mandarin Duck.



Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:03 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Best bird was a Yellow-browed Warbler this afternoon in the willows at West Soar. Otherwise - Ring Ouzel, Brambling, Siskin 19+, Firecrest 7, Goldcrest 32, Redwing 5+, Redpoll (presumed Lesser) 2, Song Thrush 5, Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 4, plus c1,200 Wood Pigeons & c60 Jackdaws over.

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 5:02 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Coleton camp

On the picnic area in front of the car park, a Ring ouzel feeding with black birds. certainly unlooked for in this location!

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 12:16 pm by John Lusher in Bird News


At long last, not one but Firecrest in the garden this morning.

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 11:09 am by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Cadewell Park, Torquay


Whilst sifting through an apparent influx of Blackbirds (12+) and Mistle Thrushes (8+) in the trees at Cadewell Park, I was stunned to drop on to a cracking lone Hawfinch.  It was perched out in the open at the top of the beech tree at the top of the hill, calling occasionally.  I watched it for ten minutes before it flew off SW. 

A large mixed tit flock then arrived, followed by a marauding female Sparrowhawk. 

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 10:24 am by Paul Darlington in Bird News

South Brent ~ autumn migration

Despite the low cloud and poor visibility there were signs of autumn migration over South Brent this morning, initially a flock of 100 plus Wood pigeons headed west.

Several flocks of Redwing a flock of 31 soon followed by a larger flock of 76 also headed west but several sightings of smaller numbers feeding or perching in tree tops.

Several small flocks of Starling and two flocks of what may have been Fieldfare headed out towards the moors with the poor light unable to make a positive ID other than to say they were a large Thrush sp.

Several Jays seen and heard scalding, Raven overhead, several Mistle Thrush and small flocks of Goldfinch.

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 9:45 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Three Hawfinches and a Firecrest between Hexworthy and Dartmeet yesterday.

Posted October 26th, 2017 at 8:24 am by Richard Hibbert in Bird News

Wednesday 25th October 2017

Dawlish Warren

A very late Common Whitethroat was in scrub near the dune pond this morning. Several large flocks of Woodpigeons went SW in mid-late morning, not counted but must have been well over 1000 in total.  Water Rail seen at the main pond, where there was a Cetti's Warbler calling and singing.

Posted October 25th, 2017 at 11:28 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Start Point.

Fairly quiet around the farm this morning. At least 6 FIRECRESTS in the sycamores ( only 1 caught and ringed ) Also on site 8+ Goldcrests, ( 3 ringed ) ,3 Blackcaps ( 1 ringed ) Small flocks of Goldfinches, west overhead. Also woodpigeons west (but not counted ).

It's.yr. fem.
It's.yr. fem.

Posted October 25th, 2017 at 6:56 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News


2 Cattle Egrets present on side of estuary, just south of the railway station until 1330hrs at least.

Posted October 25th, 2017 at 2:26 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Berry Head

A Yellow-browed Warbler was calling and showing occasionally in the lane up from the Berry Head Hotel at about this morning, the other good warbler was a really crisp looking Siberian Chiffchaff with collybita Chiffchaffs just east of the navigation beacon. Also around site 6 Firecrests, 16 Goldcrests, 3 Blackcap & 8 Chiffchaff.

YBW BryHd 251017 ML  Siberian Chiffchaff Berry Hd 25 Oct 17 ML

                            Yellow-browed Warbler                                                   Siberian Chiffchaff                                                    

Posted October 25th, 2017 at 2:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

East Soar

Now the murk has cleared the first meaningful Woodpigeon movement of the autumn with 4450 moving SW in 2.5 hours this morning plus 7 Stock Doves. Also: Great Spotted Woodpecker west over the airfield, 6 Swallow and 100 each of Skylark & Meadow Pipit.

Non-avian: 11 Red Admiral.

Posted October 25th, 2017 at 1:56 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


From the reserve this morning only two Godwits (45 yesterday 70+ the day before). In the reserve, the first Greenfinches for several weeks, 4 Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Treecreeper, 6 Long-tailed Tits, Cetti's Warbler and a Water Rail. Red Admiral and Speckled Wood on the wing. By the river a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on the ivy.

Posted October 25th, 2017 at 11:55 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

South Brent ~ Wood pigeon migration and Firecrest's...

Birding at home in South Brent between 07.30am and 9am this morning started with a Raven overhead, a flock of 6 plus Long Tailed Tits, Mistle Thrush and Redwings.

At 8am the first of four flocks of Wood pigeons all headed west and progressively higher 67, 71, 79 and 50 plus birds counted.

While looking for yesterdays Firecrest's steady movement of small numbers of Redwing's coming to feed on Holly berries, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay and a hunting Sparrow hawk.

On the point of giving up I heard "crest's" calling and after a while two Firecrest's appeared while watching them four "crests" flew into an oak canopy, one identified as a Goldcrest and another two Firecrest's but difficult to see in the still dense oak canopy.


Posted October 25th, 2017 at 10:01 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Tuesday 24th October 2017

Prawle Point ( Reserve ). / S. Hallsands.

Prawle Pt. this morning. At least 7 FIRECRESTS around the Reserve and car park. Also 4 Goldcrests and 2 Chiffchaffs.  At S. Hallsands, 8 FIRECRESTS ( 3 caught and ringed ). Also on site 4 Goldcrests and 5 Chiffchaffs..

Posted October 24th, 2017 at 5:42 pm by Alan KSearle. in Bird News


The adult Black Brant present on the dropping tide this afternoon. Viewed from c500 yards north of Mudbank, along the cycle path. Also off there 1 Cattle Egret, 3+ Pale-bellied Brent Goose, c8/900+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose, c1500+ Wigeon and 7 Red-breasted Merganser. More details and photos on

Posted October 24th, 2017 at 5:14 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

More South Brent Firecrests

Just on 3pm this afternoon I saw from the kitchen window a small bird flit into a wild rose bush it took some time to get a clear view of it but sure enough it was another Firecrest only a very brief clear view and no time to grab the camera.

So despite the rain and general murk I took a walk around the garden this time with the camera but failed to re locate the bird.

But checking another area about 50 yards away I heard a bird calling and sure enough I got that teasing tantalising glimpse of a Firecrest in deep cover.

After what seemed ages it began to show quite well before flitting off at the speed that leaves you struggling to keep up with them and then it appeared in a totally different location that didn't make sense but within a few moments there were two areas of movement and sure enough two Firecrest's in dense hawthorn and bramble both showing at the same time on occasion.

While this was going on another four Redwings flew in.


Posted October 24th, 2017 at 4:40 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Shiphay, Torquay


Working in the garden and at 12.00 overhead,  3 Redwings (one calling as it went) and a Mistle Thrush. Over next couple of hours, a noticeable trickle of Meadow Pipits, Mistle Thrushes and Blackbirds overhead. All birds headed generally south west. 

Posted October 24th, 2017 at 3:01 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


Last November (bear with me!) we ringed a Chiffchaff - 8th November to be precise - which was very grey and exhibited many of the features of a Siberian type Chiff. Fortunately, it dropped a couple of feathers, and following a conversation with Nik Ward, I sent these off to him to see if we could get them DNA tested. Well, after a long wait confirmation has been received that it was indeed a Tristis Chiffchaff.

Posted October 24th, 2017 at 1:56 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

REDWINGS ~ South Brent

REDWING's ~ single Redwing put up from a field hedge at home at South Brent this morning then around midday a flock of 17 dropped out of the fog and circled around followed a few minutes later by another 9.

A bit earlier 3 Goldcrests in with a small mixed Tit flock working down the roadside hedge.

Several Pied Wagtails overhead.

And a Jay in the garden this morning.

Posted October 24th, 2017 at 1:10 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 23rd October 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

Two Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stint, Ruff and Avocet, amongst the 100's of usual waders. Also c65 Pintails and female Marsh Harrier.

Later, a Common Sandpiper at Black Hole Marsh.

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 9:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

A Short-eared Owl unintentionally flushed from stubbles this morning. Great birds!

Short-eared Owl by Chris Townend

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 8:29 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Labrador Bay

Cirl Buntings showing very well around the reserve at Labrador Bay, counted 15 but probably more.

Cirl Bunting
Cirl Bunting

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 7:26 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News

Common / Siberian Stonechat, Start Point

Thanks for getting the news out Richard and Andrew. Great find. Bird showed well late afternoon and still perching on top of the bracken at 17:45. I would be surprised if it is not there tomorrow. For anyone thinking of going it was showing on both sides of the lighthouse road about halfway between the car park gate and the wooden shed.  Nice male Ring Ouzel briefly dropped in and Lesser Redpoll over.

Stonechat sp Start Pt 23 Oct 2017 AD  Stonechat sp Start Pt 23 Oct 2017 AD

Stonechat sp Start Pt 23 Oct 2017 AD  Stonechat sp Start Pt 23 Oct 2017 AD

EDIT ( Perry Sanders 21:30 ) These excellent photos were taken by Alan Doidge. Unfortunatly the bird shows great similarities to recent birds seen at Dungeness ( Kent ) and Richmond Park ( London ). These were originally thought to be of the eastern races but proven through DNA to be only , albeit very unusual Common Stonechats. The light was shocking today so in that respect these photos are superb and different light might make the bird appear different tomorrow ( if still there ). Whatever it is ( my view now has to be Common unless someone can prove otherwise ) it is worth seeing and a very interesting bird .

The Dungeness Stonechat DNA'd to be Common Stonechat 

Siberian Stonechat 

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 6:38 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Dolphins in Torbay

Group of 6 + Dolphins moving slowly East, close to Thatcher Rock and Hopes Nose, 1700 hrs, Monday 23rd.

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 5:05 pm by Cliff Parrott in Other Wildlife

Firecrest ~ South Brent

Every one has a "bogey" bird that they have never seen and up until a couple of years ago one of mine was the Firecrest but thanks to posts on Devon Birds I eventually caught up with one at Broadsands and have seen the odd one since.

Last Friday having lived in South Brent for over 30 years I saw my first ever South Brent Firecrest by the old pump house at Shipley and today I managed to find one in my garden, not the greatest of images but given the weather more than happy with a record shot of this stunning little bird.


Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 3:47 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Berry Head

Still a few Firecrests around 5 today at the head (and 2 in the breakwater car park) also 18 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff and a treecreeper.

 Firecrest Brixham 23 Oct 2017 ML   Firecrest Brixham 23 Oct 2017 ML

Just can't get enough of the run on Firecrests - they are simply gorgeous little birds

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 3:44 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Start pm

Rotten weather but sheltered on east side. Siberian stonechat on bracken slope down to lighthouse 2.30. 

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 2:30 pm by Richard Archer & Andrew Dodd in Bird News


A Leach's Petrel flew southeast through the bay this morning at 08:50. 9 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Mediterranean Gulls on South Huish Marsh.

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 12:45 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Wryneck along SW coastal path c300m east of Bolberry NT car park at around 11am Sunday 22nd October

Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 10:01 am by Aravind Ramesh in Bird News

Sunday 22nd October 2017

Ring-billed Gull Broadsands 22nd Oct 2017

Ring-billed Gull seen at Broadsands today at 11oclock.  Could you please confirm or put in a correction.


Eds: its actually a 3rd winter Herring gull, among the differences a Ring-billed with brown in the wing coverts would have a pink based bill and dark tertials and of course a lot smaller in size and structure - but difficult to judge size in this picture. 

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 11:03 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Prawle Point

Took two friends visiting from Aberdeen to see the Cirl Buntings and were delighted to find twelve in a single tree in the shelter of Horseley Cove.  Also there at least seven Firecrests, two Goldcrest and six Chiffchaff, two Blackcap.  A flock of 500+ Woodpigeon was closely followed by two Peregrines whilst a Sparrowhawk chased 50 Goldfinches. Two Kestrels patrolled the cliffs.  Also small flocks of Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and about 24 Swallows.

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 10:28 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Hope's Nose


3 Firecrests.  1 towards the top of the site in the bushes on the right, 50m down the slope from the second gate.  2 together around the main track towards the middle of the site.  All three were mobile and vocal. 

Also, male and female Stonechat, 5+ LT Tits, major Robin influx and 8 Gannets.  No Goldcrests at all.


Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 8:14 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery 22-10-17

Quite a few Meadow Pipits now showing at Ford Park Cemetery today 22-10-17

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 8:12 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape + Horsey

John, further to your post on Saturday 21 Oct, it is a young female, very fast & has a moustache! Another casualty between 16.00 & 16.15 this aft.(see photo).

22 Ruff on Horsey today. Could only fit 13 in the photo through the scope!

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 7:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


The adult Black Brant present off Mudbank this evening. It has been getting off there daily since the 17th with the large Brent Flock. First movement of Woodpigeon on Orcombe this morning with c1500+ north between about 0915 and 1000. Also Merlin and Brambling over. See for more details.

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 6:33 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Stover Country Park

On the lake: Black Headed Gulls (20+), Herring Gull, Tufted Duck (5+), Goosander (1F), along with many Mallard and Coot and a few Mute Swans. Cormorants (3) roosting in a dead tree over the lake.

In the woods: Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch (2M, 1F), lots of Blue, Great and Coal Tits, and 3 Marsh Tits

Female Goosander
Female Goosander

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 4:01 pm by Benjamin Drummond in Bird News


Highlights in the reserve this morning: female Blackcap and a Kingfisher. From the reserve on the scrape: 100+ Black-tailed Godwits and a single Ruff.

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 3:22 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle creek

1000-1310  In high winds:

40+ Oystercatcher, 2 Great crested grebe, 7 Little egret, 1 Black tailed Godwit, 4 Teal (3m, 1f), c30 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 9 very active Jays in the trees.

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 3:02 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Hartland Point Skuafest

0800-1200 Wind NW6 decreasing

68 Bonxie

11 Arctic skua (7 pale, 2 int, 2 dark)

6 Pomarine Skua (all adult, including two with full spoons passing very close)

1 Unidentified skua

1 Manx Shearwater

45 Common Scoter

2 Great Northern Diver

1 Spoonbill

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 1:44 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Torbay coastal

Berry Head at first light this morning, light but steady passage of small birds moving over the head land and out to sea, only species identified being Goldfinch and Meadow Pips, high light was a Hobby passing low overhead and heading directly out to sea.

Enough Wood pigeons moving west down the coast line to make you consider is it time for their autumn migration to begin.

Gannets feeding with a small pod of Porpoise just off the headland.

Male Cirl Bunting near the hide, steady trickle of Guillemot heading towards the colony.

Preston 15 Turnstone and a GBB gull making short work of a flatfish


Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 1:38 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Otter Estuary

At least three Firecrests in scrub and sycamores on the path just south of White Bridge, on the east side of the river, 8am

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 10:54 am by Dave McKeown in Bird News

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