Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st December 2017


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

Sunday 31st December 2017

Dawlish Warren

3 Great Northern Divers near the mouth of the Estuary at Dawlish Warren today.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 8:22 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News


Some of the 19 Goosanders at Stover, there might have been more hiding away but sadly too many loose dogs in and out of the water sending the birds flying!


Posted December 31st, 2017 at 6:23 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News

Exwick Cemetery Exeter

A short lunch time visit, resulted in 4+ Hawfinch. I suspected there were more as they seemed to be everywhere but I only saw 4 together. However I noted there were 10 recorded on Birdguides just after I left. Otherwise 30+ finches in same area. Goldfinch, Greenfinch & Chaffinch. 

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 5:55 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Exeter area

The drake American Wigeon on Matford (north) lake with c90 Wigeon; also Green Sandpiper.

Exminster marshes held large flocks of Black-tailed Godwits, Wigeon and Golden Plover.

At Haldon forest, c8 Hawfinches in their usual spot.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 5:40 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Filham lake Ivybridge

Male Goosander on lake this morning

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 5:14 pm by Ian Stone in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh and Wareham Point

Late am/early pm. Nice range and number of birds. Selected counts/highlights: 4 Great-crested Grebes, 7 Little Grebes, 65 Brent Geese, 10 Shelduck, 4 Pintail, 9 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Peregrine, 4 Greenshank, 25 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 25 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper etc.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 3:46 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News


early/mid-am, 2 Black-necked Grebes (at the Torcross end of the Ley), 3 Goldeneye (2m), 1 drake Goosander, 75+ Tufted Duck, 150+ Coot and a Firecrest.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 3:39 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News


seen kite north devon today sunday31dec

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 3:00 pm by Les Breame in Bird News

River Otter - Honiton

Went in search of the 5 Cattle Egret previously reported but only found 10 Little Egret at same location in fields with cattle. (Nice nevertheless).  Also seen:  Peregrine resting on river bank and in meadows a flock of 36 Pied Wagtail, 110 Herring Gull, 2 Cormorant, 4 Mallard and small number of Canada Geese. Unfortunately the river is not accessible to public here (but maybe because its closed to public the birds congregate here).  There are a few minor roads which cross the River Otter and the one from Clapper Lane, Honiton is safest to stop and park.  

Happy New Year everyone.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 1:04 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Wembury Point

1st W Glaucous Gull in large mixed flock of gulls feeding on  beach just east of outfall pipe at Wembury Point, 08:45 today. Record shot (central bird) taken in poor light.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 12:33 pm by John Bishop in Bird News

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

Highlight in the gloom was a male Merlin hunting over the stubbles. Also 9 Stock Dove, 460 Skylark, 12 Song Thrush & 25 Meadow Pipit.

Non-avian:  Female & yearling Sika Deer; 3 Roe Deer.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 12:12 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Plenty of Carrion Crow activity this morning, particularly towards the lower end. Approx 50 Redwing, a murmuration of about 200 Starlings, later viewed up more closely 40 Starlings around the barns. Great deal of Great & Blue Tit activity, plus 5+ Long-tailed Tits, a Goldcrest, 4 Jays, a pair of Chaffinches, 2 Ravens, Pheasant, Green Woodpecker, 3 Stock Dove, at least one Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 3 Robins, 6 Blackbirds and a Roe Deer.

Posted December 31st, 2017 at 10:45 am in Bird News

Saturday 30th December 2017


Firecrest today  in woodland behind path at Longmarsh, Totnes.

Posted December 30th, 2017 at 8:58 pm by Bruce Stewart in Bird News

Isley Marsh

As per yesterdays post - 6 Spoonbills on Isley marsh around 2pm (report from local birder of 9 earlier).

Spoonbill Spoonbill Spoonbill


Posted December 30th, 2017 at 7:44 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Efford marsh Plymouth

This afternoon around the marsh were Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Firecrest.

Posted December 30th, 2017 at 4:08 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Paignton Zoo

The Yellow-browed Warbler was picked up freshly dead near the Zoo entrance yesterday morning, following the thunder and lightening storms over night. (thanks to Simon Tonge for the information)

Posted December 30th, 2017 at 4:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


A female Black Redstart and adult sinensis Cormorant at West Hoe this morning, and later, the Cattewater produced 3 Common Sandpipers together and 2 Great Northern Divers including a juv showing very well.

Posted December 30th, 2017 at 2:21 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Redwings in Paignton garden

I was fortunate enough to see and photograph at very close range, all be it through double glazing, several Redwings visiting a garden in Shorton Valley, Paignton yesterday afternoon. They appeared to be feeding on the seeds from the palms in several gardens. I did eventually count 8 birds hanging around  as the light began to fade. Whilst there I was also given a very close view of a Goldcrest, male Blackcap, and Thrush. 

Posted December 30th, 2017 at 10:16 am by John Wilkes in Bird News

Friday 29th December 2017

Isley Marsh

5 spoonbills roosting at high tide just after 2pm. 

Posted December 29th, 2017 at 8:11 pm by Paul Bearman in Bird News


Last ringing session of the year yesterday. 24 birds ringed including a battalion of Blue Tits (well 8), 3 Great Tits, 2 Chaffinch, a Blackbird, a Chiffchaff (probable Tristis), a Blackcap, 2 Redwings, and an adult male Sparrowhawk. A good year except for Reed and Sedge Warblers and Greenfinch, which all their worst year. Here's to 2018.

2 or 3 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape again today, along with one (or possibly 2) Water Pipits.

Posted December 29th, 2017 at 7:58 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Cattle Egrets

North of Honiton among cattle by the river Otter near Combe Raleigh 5 Cattle Egret.

Posted December 29th, 2017 at 7:49 pm by Edric in Bird News

Paignton coastal

Marine Parade ~ A very confiding Dunlin was a surprise in amongst the 24 plus flock of Turnstone gathered on the top of the sea wall, good numbers of Oyster Catcher, Cormorant and Shag showing all the way along the coast, a brief view of a Seal while watching small numbers of Gannet.


Young’s Park ~ The reported White-cheeked Pintail suddenly appeared on one of the ponds (and then showed very well) along with a drake Shoveller, several Tufted duck and arguably an unhealthy number of Mallard hybrids and a Call duck.

Broadsands from the sea wall the reported male Red Breasted Merganser showing well, further out a single Great Northern Diver, a Little Egret at the foot of the cliffs, a Peregrine over the stubble field above the car parks.

In the far car park a female Blackcap and a brief glimpse of a Firecrest.

Posted December 29th, 2017 at 4:37 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


10 Common Scoter off Roundham Head this morning (25 yesterday evening) and a single Great Skua out in the bay chasing everything from Gannets to gulls. 2 Black-necked Grebes off Preston/Paignton Beach.

Posted December 29th, 2017 at 4:07 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Exwick Cemetery Exeter

4 Hawfinch feeding at top of Cemetery on Wild Cherry. 

Posted December 29th, 2017 at 3:09 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News


pair of great northern divers yesterday mid morning/midday.

also large groups of cormorants/shag ( one raft of 33 birds) and gulls and 2 little egret at broadsands  excited by fishy activity between shoreline at broadsanda and elberry cove.

Posted December 29th, 2017 at 10:34 am by graham folkerd in Bird News

Thursday 28th December 2017

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for this morning at the lakes,

Upper Lake

2 Redwing, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Cormorants, 10 Snipe, c60 Canada Geese, 3 Grey Heron, 5 Herring Gull, c30 Black-headed Gull, 2 Stonechat, 2 Robin, c25 Mallard 

Lower Lake,

14 Goosander, 3 Snipe, 2 Little Egret, 1 Mute Swan, 3 Tufted Duck, 5 Moorhen, 1 Song Thrush, 8 Wigeon, 4 Marsh Tit, 3 Robin, 7 Coal Tit, 6 Blue Tit, 5 Great Tit, 1 Willow Tit, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Dunnock.

Posted December 28th, 2017 at 8:11 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


Flock of approx 80 Common Scoter off Teignmouth this pm

Common Scoter Common  Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted December 28th, 2017 at 7:54 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

My Batten, Plymouth

Great northern diver late pm between quay and Hoe, plus wp Med gull.

Posted December 28th, 2017 at 6:23 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Stover Lake

At least 25 Goosanders at Stover Lake this afternoon - most I've ever seen there. Including a very vocal female that showed her sawmill to perfection.

Male Goosander Female Goosander
Male Goosander                               Female Goosander

Posted December 28th, 2017 at 4:10 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

In and around the breakwater this morning from  09:30-11:15 1 Razorbill 2 Guillemots 3 Gannets 8 Purple Sandpipers on jetty various pods of Common Dolphin around from Berry Head across bay to Broadsands, Goodrington and towards Preston and Torquay.

Posted December 28th, 2017 at 2:14 pm by Brian Goss in Bird News

(Unseasonal) Ring Ouzel

One feeding on roadside alongside Newton Road Roundabout - where the caravan/horses have been in the run-up to Christmas. (Drove round the roundabout 3 times just to be sure!!)

Posted December 28th, 2017 at 12:43 pm by John Walton in Bird News


26 Cirl Buntings and 2 Reed Bunting on seed in the 2nd car park this morning also 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Firecrest in the marshy ditch between the car parks also 3-4 Goldcrest. on the sea approx 80 -100 Common Dolphin in four pods spread out over the bay.

Part of Cirl Bunting flock Broadsands 28 Dec 2017 ML

Posted December 28th, 2017 at 12:21 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 27th December 2017

Haldon Hawfinches

A flock of eight or so Hawfinches today under the pylons at the Butterfly Walk at Haldon Forest Park. Sorry to the nice couple who showed me exactly where they should be - on the Hornbeam trees - as the flock arrived just as you drove off.

Posted December 27th, 2017 at 11:45 pm by David Bailey in Bird News

Cator Common and Bellever Plantation

At least 5 Bramblings with a flock of Chaffinches under some beeches by the roadside at the edge of Cator Common, late am and a Woodcock in Bellever Plantation.

Posted December 27th, 2017 at 11:35 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Carrion Crow roost at Warleigh Point

Between 4.15 and 4.45 on 27/12/17 I counted about 250 corvids, probably all carrion crows, assembled on the mud between two branches of Tamerton Creek, at the Tamar end. Towards the end of the period groups flew up into the trees in the DWT Warleigh Point reserve. I can't be certain all were crows, though I didn't hear any calls that sounded like anything else.

Posted December 27th, 2017 at 11:22 pm by Joe Higman in Bird News

Plym Estuary

The male Kingfisher showing very well again this morning. Also 6 Little Grebes, 3 Greenshanks, 2 Wigeon, 13 Grey Herons, 7 Oystercatchers and 2 Nuthatches.

Posted December 27th, 2017 at 4:49 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Broadsands & Dawlish Warren 27.12.17

Early visit to Broadsands in search of Firecrest was unsuccessful. However was pleased & surprised to find a male Red-breasted Merganser off the beach - not a common in Torbay I understand. Finally caught up with a Firecrest at Dawlish Warren early afternoon. 

Red-breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser

Posted December 27th, 2017 at 3:58 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

Dartington estate

Dartington estate ~ the large flock of mixed finch species continues to feed in the wheat and seed crop field alongside the deer park, initially very little on view until a Kestrel came over and a huge number of small birds lifted from the field and took shelter in the surrounding field hedges, 70 plus Wood pigeons feeding in the same field.

Still a good number of Blue and Great Tit feeding on the beech mast.

Six Brambling seen within the large Chaffinch flock, Linnet numbers still good, Wren, Nuthatch, Buzzard and Jay also seen.

Posted December 27th, 2017 at 1:54 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Raindrops keep falling on my head

An accurate description of the weather conditions this morning along the Tarka trail with the incoming tide!

Posted December 27th, 2017 at 12:43 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Tuesday 26th December 2017

White Cheeked Pintail Paignton

A quick run out this morning to Youngs Park in Paignton at the back of Goodrington beach resulted in a no show initially of the White Cheeked Pintail. When some unsuspecting walkers went along the back edge of the main pool the bird was flushed out of the bushes at the back and onto the water. He showed well as the heavens opened and remained there when I left. As Lloyd alluded to in his post the bird fore a grey ring on his leg which might possibly indicate that this is in fact an escaped bird. He seemed to be surviving well amongst the Mallards, Tufted Ducks and single male Shoveler.

White Cheeked Pintail
White Cheeked Pintail

Posted December 26th, 2017 at 2:08 pm by John in Bird News

Matford marsh

American wigeon still present as per post yesterday. Also a female mandarin on the back pond

Posted December 26th, 2017 at 11:14 am by Rob Williams in Bird News

Youngs Park

Pintail showing nicely this morning. We notice it is ringed (not sure if that has been apparent previously)


Eds: It's a White-cheeked Pintail also known as Bahama Pintail/Duck & Galapagos Pintail, an escapee -straight of of someones collection, so not at all surprised it has a ring on it.. 

Posted December 26th, 2017 at 11:05 am by Lloyd Gray in Bird News


Broadsands/Goodrington: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 16 Great Grested and 2 Black-necked Grebes, 19 Common Scoter, 4 Great Northern Divers, 80+ Auks (mostly Razorbills). Also 17 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 1 Firecrest in the marsh between the car parks

Preston /Paignton: 2 Black-necked Grebes, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Red-throated Diver.  110+ Auks (majority Razorbills)

Posted December 26th, 2017 at 10:36 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 25th December 2017

Radford Lake

Mid morning ramble around the lake saw a number of gulls, cormorants, 2 grey herons,  little egrets, 6 little grebes and two Kingfisher's. The highlight was a Firecrest fliting around scrub along the woodland path.

Posted December 25th, 2017 at 9:09 pm by Val Grehan in Bird News

Xmas walk

My traditional Christmas walk along the canal etc. Poor visibility at times but along the Northbrook Green Sandpiper, Grey Wag, Little Egret, Water Rail, and Dipper. Along the canal and around Exminster Marsh Stonechat pair, Raven, along with the usual suspects. From Topsham Side Lock Cottage, Some RB Merganser (two also on the canal there) and a male Goldeneye. On the far pond at Matford the American Wigeon showed well but distantly.

American Wigeon Red Breasted Merganser
American Wigeon                                        Red Breasted Merganser

Posted December 25th, 2017 at 4:30 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News


Two spotted redshanks' near the bridge at the entrance,good amounts of Brents,Dunlin,Sanderling,grey plovers,Greenshank and 1common sandpiper,in theriver bend were 2 common Snipe and a King fisher on second bridge,nice Christmas morning.

Posted December 25th, 2017 at 4:20 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Youngs Park 25/12/17

The white cheeked pintail and male shoveler still present on the lake and out at sea several gannets.

Posted December 25th, 2017 at 12:22 pm by PHILIP L. FAIRCLOUGH in Bird News

Notes from Dawlish Warren for 24/12

Overcast here yesterday and occasional light misty rain. No sign of the dolphins, skuas or longtails but good sightings of Gannets from John's Watch, nice drake Red-breasted Merganser in front of the hide (about 100 yards out), Cirl Bunting in shrubbery near hide on edge of golf links and a really sharp pair of Shoveler on the main pond - no sign of the Jack Snipe.

Posted December 25th, 2017 at 11:11 am by Paul Beard in Bird News

Merry Christmas

What did Santa bring you for Christmas? A male Ferret wild as wild in my live catching rat trap on Christmas day morning, I suspect they are pretty well established across the county it would be interesting to know how many other members of Devon Birds are coming across them.

Posted December 25th, 2017 at 9:48 am by Steve Hopper in Other Wildlife

Sunday 24th December 2017

Hawfinch at Pines Hill

A single Hawfinch was at Pines Hill Exeter this am. in the boundary trees of the field behind the tennis courts.

Posted December 24th, 2017 at 9:07 pm by Colin Chivers in Bird News


Late news for yesterday: From Velator harbour a couple of Snipe calling which were put up by a very tatty female Marsh Harrier, which flew over the reserve and then off southwards. Moving on to the river entrance to the field by the reserve, a Peregrine caused consternation amongst the Gulls. In the reserve, 5 Reed Buntings, Water Rail and Kingfisher. Only Green Sandpiper on the scrape.

Just moved house across Braunton and I like my new garden - so far had Green Woodpecker, Jay and Firecrest amongst a few common species. Sorry for the late posting, but no internet yet!

Posted December 24th, 2017 at 2:51 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Slapton Sandsa

2 Great Northern Divers close in offshore.

Posted December 24th, 2017 at 2:40 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


At least six Hawfinches by the pylon above the Butterfly Walk this morning, seen feeding on the ground. Very inconspicuous, blending beautifully with the dead leaves and best found by looking for leaves being tossed aside! Further up the road towards Haldon Belvedere, at least one Brambling with Chaffinches and lots(!) of Coal Tits feeding on the ground.

Posted December 24th, 2017 at 12:21 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


No sign of the Bearded Tits but 2 Little Egret, Redshank, Greenshank,a single Curlew, Black Tailed Godwits.

In front of the third viewing platform a Water Rail showing very well at times.

In the evening two Tawny owls heard calling at Marldon.

And over night back home at South Brent at least three Tawny owls calling over night.

Posted December 24th, 2017 at 6:23 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Saturday 23rd December 2017

Plym Estuary & Saltram

In the Park, flocks of 35+ Redwings and c15 Greenfinches; also Common Sandpiper, male Kingfisher showing well, 5 Snipe, Peregrine and 2 Greenshanks.

Posted December 23rd, 2017 at 8:48 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Horsey Island erosion update

It has now been a week or more since posting the last photo of the continuing erosion of the inside of the sea wall at Horsey.

Posted December 23rd, 2017 at 5:44 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Horsey Island

Aft at low tide - 1 Ruff with leg / ankle injury on it's own with a further

9 Ruff together a few 100 metres apart. 14 Barwits,1 Spoonbill & 886 Lapwing. 1000 + Golden Plover overhead.


Posted December 23rd, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


12 Purple Sandpipers on the breakwater this morning.

Posted December 23rd, 2017 at 4:15 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Youngs Park

 Young's Park, White Cheeked Pintail


Posted December 23rd, 2017 at 3:36 pm by PHILIP L. FAIRCLOUGH in Bird News


At least 11 Hawfinches this afternoon near the pylon above the Butterfly Walk.

Posted December 23rd, 2017 at 3:02 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


Preston (08:30 - 10:20): R-n Grebe (out towards Living Coasts & Torquay Marina entrance); 3 Gt N Divers; 1 Med Gull (wint ad).

Broadsands (10:40 - 12:30): 1 B-N Grebe; 3-4 Gt N Divers; 1 R-t Diver (off Goodrington); a Bonxie (chasing gulls over mussel beds) + doz or so Common Dolphins (>N, 12:00).

Posted December 23rd, 2017 at 2:25 pm by Dave Holloway in Bird News

Friday 22nd December 2017

East Budleigh & Exeter areas

The Italian (type) Sparrow still around the feeders in its’ usual spot in East Budleigh this morning where a Hawfinch flew over. Ladram Bay produced c100 Fieldfares, c500 Linnets, 20+ Reed Buntings, Blackcap, 2 Red-throated Divers and 2 Harbour Porpoises. 

This afternoon at Haldon, 8+ Hawfinches gave prolonged views by the Butterfly Walk.

No sign of any Bearded Tits first thing, however.

Posted December 22nd, 2017 at 6:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dawlish Warren 0830-1030

A brilliant couple of hours at the Warren this morning on the high tide. Hundreds of gannets and kittiwakes in close and this attracted in the Pomarine skua which has apparently been around for some time. It sat on the sea for five minutes or so before heading back out whence it came. I found one Eider among the 75+ Great-crested Grebes, 5+ Red-throated Divers, Great Northern Diver and many alcids. The 1st winter Glaucous Gull was on Finger Point before heading over to Exmouth and I found my first Sanderlings of the year among the roosting Dunlin, Knot, Turnstone etc out on the point.

Whatever was attracting the birds in also worked for mammals as at least four Bottle-nosed Dolphins put in an appearance for about half an hour, viewed a bit distantly in the 'scope.

My Christmas bonus was then the Jack Snipe which I jammed onto at the main pond.

My luck couldn't last, though, and I dipped the Bearded Tits at Goose Moor.

Happy Christmas to all

Posted December 22nd, 2017 at 4:34 pm by Simon Tonge in Bird News

Goosemoor and Bowling Green Marsh

A single female/immature Bearded Tit at Goosemoor, plus Water Rail feeding out on open mud.

At Bowling Green, 16 Gadwall, 13 Greylag Geese, Pintail and Green Sandpiper. Also of interest were two female Shovelers that dived persistently for about 15 minutes, with one or two Gadwall in association. Gadwall often taken vegetation brought to the surface by diving Coots, but I've never seen them accompanying diving Shovelers before!

Posted December 22nd, 2017 at 2:57 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


A very brief visit to the standing seed field at Dartington, on arrival a Single Snipe flew over, the field is holding a considerable number of seed eating species inducing Chaffinch, Linnet, Cirl Bunting and Yellow Hammer.

At home at South Brent last night two sightings of the visiting Barn owl, Tawny owls calling through the night until 7.20am this morning.


Posted December 22nd, 2017 at 1:50 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Little Egrets

This morning at 08.30, in very thick mist - a flock of 14 Little Egrets feeding on pastureland alongside the B3233 Bideford/Instow road, just outside Tapeley Park.  This is the highest number I've seen in one flock in the six years I've been recording from Bideford.

Posted December 22nd, 2017 at 1:28 pm by Tony Mercer in Bird News


The Red-necked Grebe was again off Preston seafront (looking toward Torquay) also 2 Black-necked Grebes on at Preston and another over toward Broadsands. 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 11 Common Scoter. The hightlight was of good numbers of Common Dolphin in several medium to small pods all over Torbay somewhere between 90 and 120 but difficult to get an accurate count on such dispersed pods

Posted December 22nd, 2017 at 12:58 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

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