Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st November 2017


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Tuesday 21st November 2017

American Wigeon - Matford

I strongly suspect this is a returning drake. Looking at Dave's fantastic footage, both this bird and the bird present last winter (in first-winter plumage) show a narrow patch of darker feathering towards the rear of the cream crown stripe.

Posted November 21st, 2017 at 8:38 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

American Wigeon at RSPB-Matford Marsh

As per Nick Patel's earlier post of the adult drake American Wigeon seen on the main pool near the roundabout this morning.

Some video:

drake American Wigeon drake American Wigeon
drake American Wigeon                                      drake American Wigeon

Posted November 21st, 2017 at 6:35 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Haldon Hawfinches

Up to 20 Hawfinches at usual spot. Scores of Crossbills and several Bramblings seen.

Posted November 21st, 2017 at 5:11 pm by bob barrow in Bird News

N. Hallsands.

A SIBERIAN Chiffchaff caught at this mornings ringing session. Also on site 4 nominate Chiffchaffs ( 2 caught and ringed ),and 6 Goldcrests ( 3 caught and ringed ). Also 1 Woodcock ( flushed ). One or two regularity overwinter at this site. It is always good to see them return.

Siberian Chiffchaff.
Siberian Chiffchaff.

Posted November 21st, 2017 at 12:40 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Matford marsh RSPB - 21/11/17

Drake American wigeon on main pool, 09.30 am, viewed from cycle path by roundabout... also 85 wigeon, 12 teal, 8 shoveler, 22 btg, little egret...

Also 405 Avocet at high tide from Bowling green hide this morning...

Posted November 21st, 2017 at 9:38 am by Nick Patel in Bird News

Monday 20th November 2017


Not much action in the reserve in a brief visit this afternoon. Couple of Cetti's calling, and small flocks of Finches. However south of the reserve over Sherpa Marsh, a Marsh Harrier being given a really hard time by several Corvids. Out on the scrape at least 170 Black-tailed Godwits, a Shelduck, and a Green Sandpiper!

Posted November 20th, 2017 at 6:56 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exminster marshes RSPB - 20/11/2017

Peregrine hawking over the marshes by Station road, Egyptian goose, 3 Pintail, 3 Cormorant, 6 Little egret, 2 Green sandpiper, 5 Curlew, Snipe, 45+ Redwing, 50+ Fieldfare, 25 Goldcrest, Raven, 3 Cetti's warbler, 7 Bullfinch...

Posted November 20th, 2017 at 5:14 pm by Nick Patel in Bird News

Another chestnut crowned Sparrow.

Norman Baldock sent in this picture of a presumed chestnut crowned and whitish cheeked House Sparrow - bearing a resemblance to italiae but it lacks the spit supercilium the possible Italian Sparrow at Budleigh Salterton shows (as do some House Sparrows). The photograph was taken ion 13 March this year in the Newton Abbot area, but the bird had been visiting the garden most of the winter.

Sparrow resembling italiae


Posted November 20th, 2017 at 2:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


The Black-throated Diver was again off Goodrington Beach this morning associating with a Great Northern Diver also 3 more Great Northern Divers & a Red-throated Diver between there and Broadsands.

The Siberian Chiffchaff was still present in the marsh at the back of Young's Park with 3+ 'collybita' Chiffchaffs.

Broadsands 1 Siberian Chiffchaff: , 3-4 'collybita' Chiffchaffs, 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest and 2 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park. Also 1 Grey Plover flying around and calling over the beach.

Posted November 20th, 2017 at 9:35 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 19th November 2017

Firecrest in Dunsford

Saw a Firecrest in our courtyard garden in Dunsford but the phto is not very clear

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 9:47 pm by Christine Marsden in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Female Goosander at Passage House this morning; also two Bar-tailed Godwits and 51 Snipe. 15 Red-breasted Mergansers further down the estuary towards Ringmore.

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 9:43 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

mandarin duck on tiverton canal

Mandarin duck sighted  on Tiverton canal near Burlescombe 19th November 2017

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 8:01 pm by robin pearson in Bird News

Berry Head

A walk on Berry Head NNR this morning was very quiet, 2 Stonechat, 2 Shag in the gully by the coast path. Both had the start of the crest and looked very pristine, early breeding birds??? The best of the morning was the Fulmar gliding past the front of the Headland by the Lighthouse. 5 in number but never got a good picture, blank shot or a picture of a blur and the sea!! 3 harbor Porpoise and some Gannet diving for food. A beautiful morning in the sun.

Winter bird boat trips in Torbay start Sunday morning 17th December and Saturday 23rd Dec, then 7th Jan every Sunday. If interested call 07866202576. 

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 7:02 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Sprey Point Teignmouth

Approx 80 scoter off Sprey Point.  Also one Great Northen Diver and one other diver suspected Red Throated but too far out to confirm. Did anyone else see a very large fish breaching the surface just off Holcombe approx 3.00 pm?  Possibly tuna ?

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 6:54 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News

Horsey Island

 5 Ruff still on Horsey & 1 Spoonbill pm.


Posted November 19th, 2017 at 5:47 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Soussons Plantation

At least 12 Crossbills at Soussons this morning.

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 5:38 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Haldon Hawfinches

A group of around 15 very mobile birds this afternoon

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 4:55 pm by John Deakins in Bird News

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

The morning's tally inc. Sparrowhawk, 2 Snipe, 17 Stock Dove, 210 Skylark, 19 Blackbird, 140 Carrion Crow, 60 Linnet, 2 Bullfinch, 30 Yellowhammer & 26 Cirl Bunting.

Non-avian: 2 Roe Deer, Brown Hare, Red Admiral.

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 2:13 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Hawfinches Longdown

A minumum count of 98 Hawfinches this morning at Longdown (4 groups flying up the valley). The true number must be in the region of 150 birds allowing for the many groups of up to  6 flying around the estate. 

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 12:00 pm by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in Bird News


A most productive morning at Occombe produced the 1st Hawfinch I've seen here. It was a real sign of late Autumn with 15 Blackbirds (only 1 female), 9 Bullfinches (5 male, 4 female), 6 Redwing, Green Woodpecker, Buzzard, 3 Jay, Pheasant (m), 4 Great Tits, pair of Blue Tits & Goldfinch, 5 Wrens, 6/7 Stock Dove, Raven, 4 Robins, Chaffinch, Dunnock and most unusual, I counted at least 25 (but probably more) Magpie in a flock flying westerly.

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 10:52 am in Bird News

Incredible Hawfinch Numbers Longdown

Morning count at Longdown this morning saw 4 groups of Hawfinches totalling 98 birds flying up the valley. There were many other smaller groups of up to 3 .Total thought to be in the region of 150 birds!

Posted November 19th, 2017 at 9:50 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in Bird News

Saturday 18th November 2017

Interesting Nuthatch

The photo that I couldn't have uploaded this am.

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 9:57 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Dawlish Warren 18th Nov 2017

Dawlish Warren, Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver out from the seventh groin. Jack Snipe and Common Snipe showing but well in the reeds at edge of main pond by the Sand Martin wall. Pair of shoveler on main pond along with pair of Mute Swans


Posted November 18th, 2017 at 8:41 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Exe Estuary Cruise

Excellent Stuart Line Cruise lead by my Dad on the Exe Estuary today, 1-4pm. On the lower Estuary off Cockwood/Starcross the resident Slavonian Grebe, two Great Northern Divers and a surprise Red-throated Diver. An immature Long-tailed Duck was also present but remained extremely distant off towards Mudbanks.  

Further up the Estuary were incredible numbers of Wigeon and 100+ Pintail, mostly around the Clyst, along with 300+ Avocet and the usual selection of wading birds. A group of 30 Sanderling were particularly nice to watch, as were c230 Golden Plover and 80 Lapwing. Sightings of four different Kingfishers pleased everyone on the boat, unlike the drone that was being flown over the river, being controlled by a small group of people at Topsham.

Three Common Seal were hauled out on the mud together near Turf Lock, one youngster. 

Red-throated Diver Slavonian Grebe Common Seals
Red-throated Diver                         Slavonian Grebe                           Common Seals

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 8:22 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Ludwell valley - Northbrook park - 18/11/17

Nice calm morning's spotting, 2 Kingfisher, 4 Bullfinch, Brambling, 2 Chiffchaff, 15+ Goldcrest, 2 Treecreeper, 2 Jay, 3 GSW, 25+ Fieldfare, 100+ Redwing, 3 Little egret... 

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 3:46 pm by Nick Patel in Bird News

Holdstone down

A dawn start to a walk over the Moor before the rain was due was almost bird free until about 9am, single reed bunting, chaffinch, kestrel, 3 meadow pipits wrens 2 bullfinch males, flocks of starling and plover. 

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 3:17 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Yarner & Stover 17/11/17feeders

Yarner Woods. Usual suspects on the feeders along with a GSW.

Stover Park. Heron, Swans + Cygnet, 2 Acive Kingfishers and 3 Snipe as wellas the usual suspects on the feeders including a GSW

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 2:51 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning,
6 GLoosander 5m 1f, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorant.

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 1:11 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Interesting Nuthatch

When I first saw this very pale Nuthatch in my Colebrook garden I took it to be a juvenile, but none of my books show this type of plumage. So I take it that it is leucistic or something similar.  The eyestripe and the bill are very pale and generally the whole bird has a 'washed out' appearance.  Before anyone shouts 'fake', the two birds wouldn't tolerate each other on the same feeder, so the 'normal' bird is photoshopped in.

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 11:00 am by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Marine Parade, Preston

Red Necked Grebe and Black Necked Grebe both still offshore this morning plus 4 Common Scoter

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 10:13 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Bursdon Moor

Concerns raised the me this morning over woman with two pointers on the SSSI ground at Bursdon Moor. This site a know winter roost site. Please let us know if you have any information on this.

Posted November 18th, 2017 at 10:11 am by John & Karen Towers & Sims in Bird News

Friday 17th November 2017

Reeves Pheasant.

Amazing looking male reeves pheasant just on edge of road between Smitherleigh & yealmpton.Roughly one mile from smitherleigh turn.Time about 12.50pm.

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 8:56 pm by Keith Millham in Bird News

Orcombe Point

4 purple sandpipers and 2 turnstone on incoming tide at 2.30pm

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 8:07 pm by Marie Leahy in Bird News

East Budleigh

For anyone thinking of going to see the 'Italian Sparrow' over the weekend, I can confirm that the bird was still present until mid afternoon at least in Cadbury Gardens but very sporadic in its appearances. Please respect the residents' privacy, even if they are a lovely bunch, and don't get too close to the feeders!

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 7:46 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Hawfinch at Haldon

A great day at Haldon Forest with sightings of Crossbill, Brambling and Hawfinch. Thank you to all fellow birders who guided me and Bob Barrow to the right location to watch the beautiful Hawfinch.

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 7:16 pm by John Lloyd in Bird News

Velator reserve

Spent most of the day ringing in the reserve today - a very early start at 05.10. A bright frosty morning soon replaced by wall-to-wall sunshine. No wonder the black sunflower seed feeders are emptying at alarming rates: 21 Chaffinch and 32 Greenfinch ringed, the first big catch of the autumn. 3 Goldfinch and another 5 Bullfinches made up the Finch score. Thrushes were represented by 3 Song Thrush, 6 Blackbird and 10 Redwing - all the Redwing responding to tape lures, several of them pre-dawn. Others ringed were 1 Wren, 1 Woodpigeon, 4 Great Tit, 5 Blue Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Blackcap, 2 Firecrest, and a rather handsome female Kestrel. 98 birds ringed.

Out on the scrape, about 140 Black-tailed Godwits for a while early on.

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 5:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Arlington woodlands.

Goldcrest,nuthatch,treecreeper,jay,g s woodpecker,redwing,coal tit,marsh tit,grey wagtail,pied wagtail,thrush,wren,long tailed tit and black cap .All enjoying a beautiful winter day,good numbers of all our local woodland birds.

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 4:57 pm by john elvin in Bird News

River Otter

Spent a sunny 2 hours on the River Otter today just as far as White Bridge, saw, Kingfisher, 4 Little Grebe, 2 Snipe, Heron, 3 Wrens, Little Egret, Pied Wagtail, 6 Long-tailed tits, plus other usual birds and a Common Darter Dragonfly (male). Amazing weather for November.


Posted November 17th, 2017 at 4:50 pm by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Northbrook, Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

Five green Sandpiper,, Grey Wags (3), Little Egret, Dipper (2), Water Rail (2 separate) as well as usual Tit and Finch flocks, Bullfinch and Song Thrush etc.

Dipper video -

Dipper 5 Green Sandpiper Dippers Pair
Dipper                            5 Green Sandpiper                                  Dippers Pair

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 4:36 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Haldon Forest Crossbills

Morning walk around Haldon Forest and then Stover looking for Hawfinches. Unfortunately i never saw any. I did however see my first ever Crossbills. A group of around 10 feeding up in the Pines. Other species today included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great, Blue, Long Tailed, Coal and Willow (i think) Tits, Bullfinches (all male), Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Tuffed Duck (male).


Posted November 17th, 2017 at 2:28 pm by Duncan Leitch in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Female Merlin this lunchtime. It swooped in to sit on a post near the fisherman's car park end of the marsh.

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 2:25 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


Dropped the seed for the Cirl Buntings this morning in Broadsands car park on a lovely crisp clear morning to find 12+ Cirl Buntings and a Reed bunting already on seed. The rotten Beach huts seem to be multiplying every year but do create cover for any photographers visiting the site.

The sea was too choppy today to check properly so stopped in on the wildlife area of Young's Park, Goodrington. almost immediately finding a Yellow-browed Warbler with 3-4 Chiffchaff, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff (video link: ), 2 Goldcrest and 1 Firecrest - apparently 2-3 Firecrests were present later in the morning and the Yellow-browed Warbler showed again at about 10am. Be aware the board walk on the back path is closed to the public as it is dangerously rotten. 

Siberian Chiffchaff Goodrington Torbay 17 November 2017 ML

Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 1:26 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Good views of Glossy Ibis at 09.45 close to the boat ‘Baby Tug’.  Feeding and preening in the stream. 

Posted November 17th, 2017 at 11:22 am by Paul Bearman in Bird News

Thursday 16th November 2017

Redwing in Newcombe's Meadow (town park), Crediton.

Mid-afternoon, Standing fairly close to the Boniface statue, saw eight redwing in Newcombe's Meadow, Crediton. Seen among top branches of the trees in centre of park... Small blue and L-T tit flock along Sandford Millenium Footpath... Three fieldfare spotted between Fanny's Lane, Sandford and Creedy Lake.

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 6:38 pm by Andrew Head in Bird News

Exe Estuary cruise

The first Stuart Lines birdwatching cruise of the season went off well in excellent weather. A juvenile Great Northern Diver was off Cockwood, as was the 'resident' Slavonian Grebe. Red-breasted Mergansers were scarce, but at least 13 Great Crested Grebes was a good total and Shags were plentiful in the outer estuary.

Over 100 Pintail were with hordes of Wigeon at the Clyst mouth. Two Harbour (Common) Seals were hauled out towards Turf, one of them a brownish youngster. Between Turf and Topsham there were good numbers of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings, joined by 450 Golden Plovers on the mud. 35 Knot got up from the riverbank at Topsham, where there were 2 Kingfishers. As we returned to Exmouth, the Bonaparte’s Gull was feeding off Bull Hill sandbank.

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 6:31 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Three Goldcrest over the footpath  in with a flock of Long Tailed Tits.  Black- Necked Grebe fairly close in near the concrete pill box. 

Black-Necked Grebe
Black-Necked Grebe

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 6:00 pm by Bill Coulson in Bird News

Slapton - 16.11.17

Reported Black-necked Grebe still showing well at Slapton - Ireland Bay. Many thousands of Starling displayed well this evening 1625 - 1640hrs. Sadly for those of us gathered at the bridge, the display took place at the Strete Gate end, where they came to roost. Binoculars required! At one stage in the display, the flock was attacked by what I believe to be a sparrow hawk. Earlier I saw 5 Common Scoter off Hallsands.

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 5:44 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Brambling at Stoke Rivers

A first for our garden. Lovely male Brambling with Chaffinch flock here in Stoke Rivers.

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 4:49 pm by John & Karen Towers & Sims in Bird News


The highlight today was a Red-necked Grebe and Black-necked Grebe off Preston seafront. Around Torbay 9 Great Northern Divers, 4 Great Crested Grebes and 8 Common Scoter

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 3:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery

5 Goldcrest,1 Mistle Thrush,1 Song thrush,8 Blackbirds,Long tailed Tit flock,1 Redwing,Common Buzzard 1 Comma.

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 1:29 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News


5 green and blue parakeets in my garden in Manamead

Posted November 16th, 2017 at 8:13 am by peter in Bird News

Wednesday 15th November 2017

Haldon Forest, Chudleigh road

A flock of about 8 crossbills showed well as they fed at the tops of conifers in a clump south of the Haldon Forest Park Centre on the Chudleigh road. Unfortunately, a twin rotor Chinook helicopter flew low over the trees and scared the birds into flight. Noticeable flight call.

Posted November 15th, 2017 at 10:03 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in Bird News


Good numbers of Greenfinch waiting for me to top up the feeders today. A couple of Cetti's Warblers calling but no sign of what I thought might have been a Woodcock making a hasty exit before I could get any sort of look at it yesterday. Notable was a flock of at least 13 Bullfinches. As I left I was attracted by a Thrush flying near the reserve which conveniently landed on a fence post and a better view revealed a Mistle Thrush. It was with a few Redwings. No Godwits on the scrape.

Posted November 15th, 2017 at 6:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Haldon forest

5 hawfinches this morning in trees by the pylon line uphill from the butterfly conservation area, and around the clearcut area to the east. 4 fallow deer were in the clearcut. A half hour watch around the Bullers Hill forest park centre at lunchtime produced blackbird, chaffinches, 1 greenfinch, several crossbills, 2 great spotted woodpeckers, coal tit, nuthatch & treecreeper.

Posted November 15th, 2017 at 6:25 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Higher Cemetery Exeter

Late evening search around had good numbers of common birds;Tits, Finches etc. Also some Redwing and a few Jay. G.S. Woodpecker but sadly no Green Woodpecker.

Jay Jay Redwing
Jay                                                     Jay                                           Redwing

Posted November 15th, 2017 at 5:45 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Slapton Ley

A good murmuration of c.17,000 Starlings at Strete Gate 4:15 - 4;35pm. At Slapton Bridge Bittern flew across channel in north ley plus Otter seen under bridge. Several Water Rails calling & Cetti's Warblers singing. Offshore 17 Common Scoter.

Posted November 15th, 2017 at 5:36 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Exminster marshes RSPB - 15/11/2017

Peregrine hawking up and down the marshes this AM, whilst two raven give it the argy-bargy... Young male Marsh harrier hunting out on high tide.. 2 squealing Water rail, 3 Cetti's warbler, lots of Fieldfare and Redwing moving through, 20+ Goldcrest, 2 Bullfinch.

Posted November 15th, 2017 at 5:17 pm by Nick Patel in Bird News

Berrynarbor Brambling

Our first garden Brambling.  Feeding on peanut feeders from adjacent branches, but couldnt cope with the seed feeders, despite demonstrations from the resident Coal, Blue and Great Tits.

Posted November 15th, 2017 at 8:57 am by Kim Beaver in Bird News

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