Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th January 2018

Recent Winter Weather

I should like to include a piece on the effects on birds of the recent severe cold snap (26 February to 3 March) in the next 'Devon Birds'. Please send any accounts, observations and anecdotes to me ( and I will try and compile a single account (with of course, full acknowledgement of all contributors). Please include some weather notes - for instance, here in East Devon it was the glazed frost on the morning of 2 March that did the most damage, covering everything with a layer of ice and forming an icy crust on the lying snow. Many thanks.

Mike Lock

Posted March 9th at 11:52 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Devon Birds Records Committee

After serving as a member of the Committee for five years, Chris Townend will be standing down at the end of June 2018. Chris, who leads wildlife watching holidays through his own company 'Wise Birding', has been an active member of the Committee, and his consistently pragmatic approach to assessing records has proved invaluable. The Society would like to thank him for his contribution over the past five years and wish him well in the future.

A formal application to fill the vacancy has been received from Andrew Smith, from Buckfastleigh, which is supported by members of the Committee. Andy has been birding for over forty years and moving to Devon in 2015, Andy has since explored the County, regularly visiting Soar and South Huish during migration, whilst more locally he spends his time and surveying at Hembury and Holne Woods.

Over the last 20 years Andy has led over 130 bird and natural history tours, mainly for Naturetrek. His experience and knowledge from birdwatching in over 50 countries including much of the Western Palearctic will be especially useful to Devon Birds and the Records Committee.

Unless the County Recorder receives any other applications before 15th April 2018, Andy will be formally elected to fill the vacancy for a five year period.

For more information and/or an application form please contact: Kevin Rylands, County Recorder. Email:

Posted February 21st at 11:01 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

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

Sunday 7th January 2018


About a dozen cattle egrets are back in the fields opposite Bowden House on the road to Ashprington, same place as last year. Couldn't count as I was driving and they all took off possibly to roost as dusk was approaching.

Posted January 7th at 7:50 pm by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Milton Reserve - Reed Cut

Many thanks to all who turned out today to help with the reed cut at South Milton. In all we had around 30 volunteers from Devon Birds, the National Trust and South Milton parish. Rory Sanders drove the reed cutter and with such a good turnout we kept pace with him this year. It was exhausting work as usual but we manged to clear a decent area by noon when we called it a day.

We will be down at the Reserve for another session on 21 January and hope to have an equally good turnout – see Society News webpage for details. We will again be working the area near the boardwalk.

Nick Townsend

South Milton volunteers working hard
South Milton volunteers working hard

Posted January 7th at 6:40 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Bellever Plantation

5 Common Crossbills at Bellever early this afternoon.

Posted January 7th at 6:40 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Wild Otter

3 of us where stood on the wooden platform at Slapton when an otter swam past.

Posted January 7th at 5:53 pm by Richard Moore in Other Wildlife


On the Ley at least 12 little grebes a nice black necked grebe showing well. Also a couple of peregrines, mistle thrushes and a goldcrest

Black necked grebe Goldcrest Mistle Thrush
Black necked grebe                                 Goldcrest                                       Mistle Thrush

Posted January 7th at 5:49 pm by Richard Moore in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

Redwings and lots of ringneck parakeets in the cemetery this afternoon. One of the parakeets had a pale blue plumage.

Posted January 7th at 5:40 pm by Martin Lavelle in General Birding

Dawlish Countryside Park

3 Cirl Buntings (1m, 2f ),  30-40 Linnets in flock feeding on ground.   

Posted January 7th at 5:39 pm by Neil Graham in General Birding

Plym estuary/Saltram

0945-1320  high tide roost:

12 Grey heron, c150 Dunlin, c120 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 5 Little egret, 4 Little grebe. On Blaxton meadow- 13 Wigeon, 53 Curlew, 1 Common gull, and a black headed gull already in breeding plumage.

Saltram- 5 Stock dove, 2 Buzzard, 1 Great spotted woodpecker.

Posted January 7th at 5:37 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Exwick cemetery

Two hawfinch at midday feeding on cherry stones still hanging in the canopy of one of the cherry trees within the woodland area. A female sparrowhawk came through barely above ground, fortunately for the finches!

Posted January 7th at 5:23 pm by Simon M Bates in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

North Plympton

Male blackcap feeding in the garden on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday visited the fat balls and bird cake feeders at least a dozen times.

Posted January 7th at 4:21 pm by Chris E in General Birding


1 Hawfinch in Topsham cemetery late morning. 2 Goldeneye at the Rec.

Posted January 7th at 1:57 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 6th January 2018

Labrador Bay

Large flock of Common Scoters and a GN Diver are the highlights of a seawatch this afternoon.

Posted January 6th at 9:25 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for today at the Lower Lake

24 Goosander 13m 11f, 3 Little Egret, 1 Mute Swan, 15 Tufted Duck, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull.

Posted January 6th at 8:03 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Matford marsh RSPB - 06/01/18

Drake American wigeon showing well this afternoon (16.00) on main pool, grazing by the path... Also 75 Wigeon, 32 Teal, 6 Shoveler...

Posted January 6th at 7:39 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Suburban garden in Plympton

Yesterday visited by two male Bullfinch who were very confiding when feeding on an ornamental shrub in my back garden. This was eclipsed today by four males who were also making light work of the berries on the shrub. 

Posted January 6th at 7:24 pm by John Lloyd in General Birding

Holdstone down exmoor

An early 8.30 start didn't provide any wildlife at all until about 10 am. Then 3 bullfinch of which 2 males, Reed bunting in its usual haunt, 1 snipe that flew out under foot a frightened the living daylights out of me and 6 approx stonechat male and female. 

Male bullfinch Female stonechat
Male bullfinch                            Female stonechat

Posted January 6th at 6:02 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Saunton Sands - under attack from the sea

The surf at Saunton Sands this morning during one of the recent high spring tides was approx.8  to 10 feet & clean. One of the few surfers brave enough to take the plunge had his board broken in half by a large wave at high tide.

Braunton Burrows also lost approx 10 metres of foredunes! Such is the power of the ocean. A combination of rising sea levels caused by global warming is already having an impact in N.Devon.

This begs the question, how long before Braunton Burrows becomes a beach & surf zone?

Posted January 6th at 6:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Fieldfare, Crediton

At (SX 82602 99745): 11 fieldfare feeding at edge of field along with 6 blackbirds and 2 redwings in 'Cradle Fields', West of QECC school (lower school), Crediton. Lots of blue tits and great tits along Tinpot Lane and down by River Yeo. Singing from Songthrush and robin heard along footpath by river through to Fordton.

Posted January 6th at 5:53 pm by Andrew Head in General Birding


Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton, 28 Turnstone including the Dutch ringed bird (Z010032) that has over wintered at that location for at least the last four years

Brixham break water, cold with strong on shore winds making for a very rough sea, Gannets passing low overhead and diving close to the sea wall, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper and Rock Pipit.

Razorbill and Guillemot in close to the breakwater along with Cormorant and Shag, six Seals hauled up on a pontoon in the harbour and Kittiwake in reasonable numbers.

Posted January 6th at 5:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


The adult Bonaparte's Gull off Shelly Beach this afternoon. Also 3 Eider still off Maer Rocks this morning. Photos and more info on

Posted January 6th at 5:01 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Bowling Green

When I first saw this duck at Bowling green at a distance I thought it was the White Cheeked Pintail but on closer inspection it looks like some sort of Widgeon X. But Iam some expert out there will put me straight!

Eds: this bird was present last winter too, I believe the consensus was just abnormal wigeon plumage?

Posted January 6th at 4:46 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding


Very quiet along the seafront today but the adult argentatus Herring Gull appeared again on the Plym Estuary this afternoon; also there, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, 2 redhead Goosanders and 13 Wigeon 

Posted January 6th at 4:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Matford Marsh

A cold start to the day here and very glad to have seen the American Wigeon (a lifer for me) showing well on the main pool amongst the Wigeon. There was a flock of 14 Redwing in trees near to the viewing platform, two Chiffchaff close by and a Kingfisher briefly in the hedge to the side of the path leading up towards Makro. Once at the bend in path by Makro, a Merlin flew quite low across the water heading towards the main pool.

Posted January 6th at 4:10 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Exwick Cemetery Exeter

5+ Hawfinch at Exwick Cemetery this lunch time. At the top of Cemetery on Cherries. 

Posted January 6th at 2:25 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Red Kite - Barnstaple

A red kite over the A361 near Riverton yesterday (Friday) approx 9:10am.

Posted January 6th at 11:14 am by alan craddock in General Birding

Friday 5th January 2018

Penhill salt- marsh

About 3pm, one Spoonbill feeding in River Taw, approx 60 Brent Geese and 30 Canada Geese feeding on the salt marsh.

Posted January 5th at 10:06 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding


At least five Great Northern Divers between Brixham and Paignton.

One poor view of Arctic/ Pom skua chasing Kittiwakes. Looked chunky enough to be a Pom.

40-50 Common Dolphins

Great Northern Diver Common Dolphin Common Dolphin
Great Northern Diver                         Common Dolphin                                 Common Dolphin

Posted January 5th at 7:15 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


During a gull watch this evening with Pete Dennis hoping for an Iceland or Glaucous Gull we found a really smart 1st w Caspian Gull sat on the water close to a cleaning trawler. It remained for 15 minutes or so before flying off after another trawler heading for Torquay. Also at least 20 Great Northern Divers beginning to roost in small flocks out in Torbay and 30+ Common Dolphins.

Caspian Gull fw Brixham 5th Jan 2018Sketch of the 1st w Caspian Gull

Posted January 5th at 7:12 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Milton Reserve - Reed Cut

The reed cut at South Milton Reserve will be going ahead as planned on Sunday (see Society News for details).  The weather is forecast to be favourable on the day and the area we plan to cut has remained dry(ish) despite the recent miserable weather.  We are meeting by the treatment plant at 10am and will be working about 400m downstream of the plant by the boardwalk.

If you need more details please call me on 07989717383

Posted January 5th at 6:51 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Exmouth - Maer Rocks

A very brief sea-watch at first light for 30 minutes. 10 Common Scoter one of which could have been a Velvet as sure I had a flash of white on one but the choppy sea and distance made if difficult to get a positive ID. 3 Common Eider, too many Kittiwakes and Gannets to count. Several each of Razorbill and Guillemot (or should we be calling these Common Murres now that we are on IOC taxonomy?) heading west. Disappointingly, no Divers that I could see.

Posted January 5th at 6:47 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

East Budleigh

At least three Hawfinch this morning in East Budleigh Churchyard. The birds seem to be disappearing into private gardens quite regularly so patience is required. These birds were first seen on New Year's Eve by local resident Dave W and have most likely been around for some time following the odd flyover by those waiting for the Italian type Sparrow.  More pics on


Posted January 5th at 5:47 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Broadsands pm

Plenty of birds still in the bay between the squalls. Red-necked grebe distant in Elbery Cove, along with a couple of GN Divers, and others too distant for sure ID. Pale immature Arctic Skua on the sea where plenty of gannets diving. Two grey seals in very close, along with a razorbill, and at least 20 common dolphins spread across the bay.

Eds: Suspect the pale Skua was the Pomarine that has been around for several days - Arctic are much rarer in winter and probably worthy of a description!

Posted January 5th at 5:39 pm by Simon Cost in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A long walk this morning produced: Firecrest, 6 Goldcrests, 3 Siskins, Green Woodpecker, 2 Stonechats, 2 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, Kingfisher, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 sinensis Cormorants and the 14 Wigeon still about.

Posted January 5th at 4:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Instow Quay

Black Redstart this afternoon on boulders to the south of Quay. Exactly the same date and spot as I first saw the wintering bird last year!

Posted January 5th at 3:21 pm by Mike Glover in General Birding

Broadsands, Paignton

Broadsands ~ as mentioned in previous posts over the last few days the “bay” is alive with bird life unfortunately during today’s visit everything was well out into the bay and even with a spotting scope identifying some of the birds that were little more than dark and white dots was a challenge.

That said 15 plus Kittiwake, 80 plus Gannet many diving from height, an Arctic Skua sat on the sea where they were fishing and at least two Common Dolphins moving through the same area, lots of Razor Bill and Guillemot, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Shag and several Great Northern Divers present.

Close to the beach a Seal.

In the back car park three Cirl Bunting (2M ~ 1F) three female Reed Bunting and a Greenfinch.


Posted January 5th at 3:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry & South Efford Marsh

Southdown Farm: 6 Snipe, 430 Skylark, 30 Meadow Pipit, 12 Song Thrush, 60 Linnet, 17 Yellowhammer.

South Efford: 2 Water Pipit, Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, 15 Curlew.

Posted January 5th at 3:00 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


At least 4 Hawfinches at Topsham cemetery near the water tower. Mobile and moving to the allotment hedgerow and Highfield Farm.

Posted January 5th at 10:48 am by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 4th January 2018


Still very lively this afternoon with the Red-necked Grebe showing beautifully in Elberry Cove, the Slavonian and at least one Black-necked Grebe present, at least two Black-throated Divers, lots of Great Northerns scattered around, Gannets everywhere and two Bonxies and the (presumed same) Pom still terrorizing the Kittiwakes. Great birding!

Posted January 4th at 8:31 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Black Redstart, Plymouth

1 male black redstart again feeding in palm trees outside Costa coffee opposite Drake Circus shopping mall entrance this lunchtime

Posted January 4th at 6:50 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Wrafton Pond & Bassett's Ridge

1 female Tufted Duck on the pond + Lapwing resting on a tongue of the Ridge.


Posted January 4th at 6:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Hollicombe and Preston, Torbay

Early afternoon, 5 great crested grebes and flock of gannets feeding off Hollicombe beach, plus a raft of 15-20 common scoter well offshore. At the north end of Preston, 24 turnstone, 2 oystercatchers and a little egret.

Posted January 4th at 6:08 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding


Hawfinch 1, Male Brambling 1, Five different thrushes plus lots of small stuff.

Fred Yorke and I saw the Hawfinch behind the row of cottages, it then flew into the top of the trees in front of cottages. We couldn't locate it again. Would think it was still there, the male Brambling was coming to the feeders

Posted January 4th at 5:09 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

River Otter , Budleigh Salterton

A pair of Mandarin Ducks on the River Otter south of White Bridge this morning, found By Ray Hamilton.
Only my second sighting on the local patch, with the last birds during 2012.

Posted January 4th at 4:26 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Kingsbridge & Slapton

Kingsbridge estuary ~ Shelduck 60 plus, Oystercatcher, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Curlew, Redshank, Little Egret, Greenshank, Red Breasted Merganser 15 plus and 8 Dunlin.

A very Stormy Slapton with a very strong off shore wind, very little seen over the sea Common Gull and Gannet, with several gull roosts on sheltered parts of the beach out of the wind.

On the Ley 3 male Golden Eye, Slavonian and Black Necked Grebe in with the Tufted duck, Little Grebe, a pair of Gadwall , high light was an Otter that was just in front of the duck feeding area at Slaton, so close that the ducks, Coots, Moorhens and Black Headed Gulls all left the water.


On the way home Bullfinch, Common Sandpiper (Aveton Gifford) and a flock of Fieldfare.

Eds: Steve both of the grebes in the photo are Black-necked Grebes. Slavonian are really clean (at this time of year) with a straight line of contrast on the face and lack the dark dropping into the cheek. They usually lack the fluffy back end and have a flatter crown.

Posted January 4th at 3:16 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Topsham Cemetery

A couple of fairly brief views of 1 Hawfinch by the water tower at the back of the cemetery in Topsham this lunchtime.

Posted January 4th at 2:17 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Plym Estuary

14 Wigeon still around plus Kingfisher, sinensis Cormorant (ad), 2 Shags & 5 Little Grebes.

Posted January 4th at 1:03 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


A seawatch mid morning from the raised beach huts above Maer Rocks produced 4 Red-throated and one Great Northern Divers (all southwest), 2 Eider and 9 Common Scoter on the sea (plus one C Scoter SW) and many Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets and Kittiwakes past.

Posted January 4th at 11:43 am by Terry Smith in General Birding


Alive with birds: 3 Black-throated Divers, 12 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver. 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonain Grebe, 400+ Auks (good mix of Razorbill and Guyillemots), 200+ Gannets, 40+ Common Dolphin.

1 Firecrest in marsh, 12 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park and 1 Reed Bunting. 

Posted January 4th at 9:58 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

Hembury Woods

Early am:  1 Woodcock and 1 Green Woodpecker.

Posted January 3rd at 11:12 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Further to Mark's and Dave's earlier posts, by the end of the afternoon (3.30ish) there were 4 Black-thoated Divers present off Broadsands - by this stage they were working in "pairs".

Posted January 3rd at 9:42 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Penhill salt- marsh

About 3pm, one Spoonbill feeding in River Taw, approx 60 Brent Geese and 30 Canada Geese feeding on the salt marsh.

Posted January 3rd at 8:49 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd Jan River Yealm Puslinch

Late afternoon Red Kite flying with three Common Buzzards

Posted January 3rd at 5:31 pm by Ashley Crawford in General Birding


Following on from Dave’s post below - the Pom Skua still off Broadsands till 3pm at least. Also 2 Bonxies this afternoon often sat on the sea. 3 Black Throated Divers close inshore together off the first bench - Slav Grebe and Red Necked Grebe and a showy Firecrest in the back right hand corner of the first car park late morning. 

Nearby 5 Purple Sands Torquay Harbour below Living Coasts.

Posted January 3rd at 5:29 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Three Goosanders (drake and 2 redheads), 14 Wigeon (a good count for here) and an adult argentatus Herring Gull at the top end of the estuary this afternoon.Also Common Sandpiper, 6 Little Grebes, Kingfisher and Stonechat.

Posted January 3rd at 4:50 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


The Pom Skua (presumably the same on as yesterday) was back in Torbay, chasing Gannets & gulls between Goodrington & the mussel beds(12:05 - 12:40 ish).

Also: 1 B-t Diver; 5-6 Gt N Diver (a conservative estimate); the R-n Grebe showed well, close in in Elberry Cove; also a Common Dolphin patrolled Torbay, also entering the cove at one point.

Posted January 3rd at 4:14 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Velator sandpiper

As I'm new to the area, is my sighting of a Common Sandpiper at Velator, Braunton (28th December) unusual at this time of year? I understand that more are perhaps overwintering here these days.


Eds: Small numbers winter on several of our upper estuaries 

Posted January 3rd at 11:31 am by Martin Batt in General Birding

Cremyll Street

Lovely sighting of a Kingfisher where you queue up for ferry,Plymouth side.New Year's Day at sunset whilst dog had quick swim

Posted January 3rd at 12:33 am by Benita in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd January 2018


Delighted to find a female Hawfinch today sat on top of a tree in a boundary hedge of the Sunhill Avenue allotment. I was viewing the bird from Highfield Farm. The finch appeared to drop into the cemetery where there are a number of yew trees. I was unable to relocate the bird in a brief search of the cemetery. Also 171 Fieldfares around Highfield Farm was a good count (only 2 Redwings).

Posted January 2nd at 8:03 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exwick Cemetery Exeter and Colaton Raleigh Common


A flying lunchtime visit produced 3 visible Hawfinch I suspect that there are more there though. Not much else but a Common Pheasant was a surprise!


Arrived a bit too late as it was basically dark but managed a fly over Woodcock.

Posted January 2nd at 7:08 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding


At least 21 Great Northern Divers in small roosting groups of up to 8 birds off the breakwater and in toward the mussel farm this evening. 1 Firecrest calling and going to roost in the quarry behind the Brixham Yacht Club. 

Posted January 2nd at 6:27 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Teigngrace / Stover / Haldon / Exminster

A Cattle Egret at Teigngrace mid morning with 4 Little Egrets north of road bridge near to where road is closed 

A male Hawfinch still at Haldon late morning by road under pylons near butterfly walk 

21 Goosander (2m) at Stover showing amazingly well on both the main lake and feeder streams 

The Drake American Wigeon relocated to Exminster Marsh early afternoon viewable from opposite entrance to Lions Rest Estate- Egyptian Goose near Turf 

Posted January 2nd at 6:12 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Bickleigh Bridge, Near Roborough

13 Mandarin Ducks. 7m,6f.

Posted January 2nd at 4:40 pm by Rob Hubble in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary & Beesands

Kingsbridge Est: Highlight was Black-necked grebe; Also: 12 Great-crested Grebe, 90 brent Geese, 120 Wigeon, 8 Pintail, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Grey Plover & Greenshank. superb view Water Rail from hide under the feeders.

Beesands: 79 Mute Swan, 3 Pochard, 39 Tufted

PS: Morning at KE ruined by shooters all over West Charleton Marsh!!

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


A great hour at Broadsands the highlights being: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 2 Black-throated Divers, 5 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Skua, 1 Pomarine Skua (both Skuas lingering in Torbay). 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest  & 8 Cirl Buntings. 

red-necked Grebe Broadsands 2 Jan 2018 ML                                                                      Red-necked Grebe

Video link to distant B-t Divers 

Posted January 2nd at 3:04 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Velator Quay

Male Marsh Harrier seen at 11.30 am......suddenly appeared from within the reeds opposite the quay, and then flew over the grassed area next to RMB Chivenor, at a height of about 3 feet in the windy conditions.

Posted January 2nd at 12:24 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Monday 1st January 2018


A Firecrest in the woods at Hackney Marshes this afternoon.

Posted January 1st at 9:43 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding


2 Chiffchaff, Firecrest, Goldcrest and 2Bullfinches at Northam STW this morning. Just down the track a Kingfisher on the pond at Cedars Cleave, and balackcap in our back garden. 

Posted January 1st at 8:35 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Cackling Goose

Just past Exeter Quay along with the Graylag cross and Mute Swans.

Cackling Goose
Cackling Goose

Posted January 1st at 8:24 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Lower and Upper Tamar Lake

Lower Lake
Goosander 10, Tufted Duck 18 Song Thrush 1, Grey Heron 3, Mute Swan 1, Coot c25, Great Crested Grebe 5, Little Egret 3, King Fisher 1, Mallard C50 , Marsh Tit 3, Willow Tit 2, Bullfinch 2, Rook 7,  Wren1.

Upper Lake
1 Kestrel, 2 Redwing, 3 Grey Heron,  (the guns started on either side of the lake which cleared everything)

Posted January 1st at 7:51 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


Lunchtime visit before the wind got really silly. Viewing conditions still quite challenging but Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Northern Divers and, best of all, a Black-throated Diver quite close in keeping company with one of the GNDs providing a nice comparison of the two. No sign of the Firecrest in the car park but 2 Chiffchaffs and c15 Cirl Buntings were in the fields behind.

Posted January 1st at 5:50 pm by Simon Tonge in General Birding


Finally caught up with the Lesser Whitethroat (blythi or curruca) in West Hoe Park today. Also female / imm Black Redstart there. 

Posted January 1st at 5:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

River Tamar / Ernesettle creek

Year list off to a good start with 38 species, including:-

44 Black tailed Godwit, 34 Snipe, 40+ Oystercatcher, 40+ Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 3 Little egret, 7 Redwing feeding on berries, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Blackcap.

Happy new year everyone!

Posted January 1st at 5:15 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Great northern divers, Plymouth Sound

1 near Turnchapel, 1 just off Sutton Harbour this afternoon. Record shot of the Turnchapel bird..

Posted January 1st at 4:42 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Around Exeter

The last bird of 2017 for me was a Tawny owl calling in the garden just before midnight and despite the New Year’s Eve fireworks it continued to call into 2018.

A mornings birding mainly around the Exeter area gave a total of 66 species the reported Exwick cemetery Hawfinch’s were not overly visible but three sightings of single birds, also at the venue both Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Goldcrest and a reasonable number of Greenfinch.

Matford in the pouring rain gave several Snipe.

Exminster marsh gave flocks of Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Black Tailed Godwit, Brent and Canada geese.

Cockwood provided views of the Slavonian Grebe and a Great Northern Diver.

In the lanes towards Kenn and the A38 a hunting female Kestrel, female Reed Bunting and two Mistle Thrush.

At Stover country park no less than 36 Goosander, the most I have ever seen in one place, four Pochard (3 being drakes) around the feed station a surprise in the form of a solitary Stock Dove below the feeder with the squirrels, two male Bullfinch, Nuthatch and Marsh Tit on the feeder.

Posted January 1st at 4:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery 1/1/18

Nice views of Pheasant (m), Mistle Thrush, House Sparrows (m & f) and Magpies with Crows, Various Tits and the odd Squirrel in support. Sunny day but biting cold windsnot much on the small birds spotted.

Posted January 1st at 3:35 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe offshore by memorial car park. On ley 4m Goldeneye but very few wildfowl. Firecrest by bridge car park.

Posted January 1st at 2:33 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exwick Cemetery

Usual 4 Hawfinch present at lunch time at top of the Cemetery 

Posted January 1st at 1:54 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding


Ring-necked Parakeet flew south over Pound Lane / Scott Drive area of Exmouth at 10:20am.

Posted January 1st at 10:39 am by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

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