Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st January 2018

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·        Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·        Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·        Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

          Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·         Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·         Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish

Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels 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

Sunday 28th January 2018

River Dart

pictures of Great Northern Diver and Little Grebe

GND GND Little Grebe
GND                                            GND                                             Little Grebe

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 10:01 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

River Dart Webs Survey

Good WEBs survey on the river by Sandridge Barton this morning, a single Great Northen Diver, moving down river towards Dittisham from 11am onwards. Also a Great Crested Grebe and a Little Grebe.

Great Northern Diver was still around Dittisham when we finished our patch at 1.30pm

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 9:48 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Ilfracombe Arctic Gulls

The last few weeks I've been keeping an eye out for any arctic gulls and not seen any. Today I've seen several, inc 2 1st W Glaucous Gulls in view from the pier, then from Haggington causing mayhem among the roosting 1000 + Herring Gulls. Then turning around, surprised to see a 3rd winter Iceland Gull on the golf course along with a mixed flock of around 200 Common, LBB GBB and Black Headed gulls.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 8:12 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News


Female Blackcap on the bird feeder this morning in my back garden.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 6:56 pm in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Maximum count so far this winter, of 203 Dunlins. Also 7 redhead Goosanders, 105 Redshanks, 7 Oystercatchers, 8 Wigeon and a Teal.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Ring-necked Duck at Beesands Ley

The RING-NECKED DUCK was still on Beesands ley this morning.

Ring-necked Duck and Tufted Ducks Ring-necked Duck Ring-necked and Tufted Bill Comparison
Ring-necked Duck and Tufted Ducks      Ring-necked Duck      Ring-necked and Tufted Bill Comparison

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 4:37 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News


Paignton town centre in the area where the Black Redstarts have been reported no sign of them but a male Blackcap, six Redwing, two Wren and a Dunnock. 


Torquay Harbour four Rock Pipit, two Turnstone and six Purple Sandpiper.

On the sea off of Tor Abbey a Great Crested Grebe.

Further to the reported Hawfinch at Torre on the 26th, single bird seen briefly but lost after a flock of Goldfinch flew into the tree that it was feeding in, in the same area Sparrow Hawk, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Greenfinch and a small flock of Long Tailed Tit.

Back home at South Brent, Buzzard, Raven and seven Bullfinch 3m and 4f which from memory is the best home count I have had for this species.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 4:13 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Red Kite over the garden at 14:50pm.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 3:09 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Torbay Boat trip

Another good trip out into Torbay from Brixham this morning. On our trip around 9 Grey Seals, 11 Common Dolphin, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 400 + Gannets ( mostly adults), some Razorbills, small groups of Guillemots, 4 Great Northern Divers, Black- Necked Grebe, 8 Fulmar, 3 Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe and 30 + Kittiwake. Starting my day as I walked to the boat in Brixham Harbour a Kingfisher and Redshank and on our return walking back around the harbour the Kingfisher again but this time managed to show it to two people who had been on the trip. A rewarding morning!!

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 2:13 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Torbay boat trip

Some photos from this morning's boat trip from Brixham. Hundreds of gannets and a small pod of common dolphins north of Berry Head; see Nigel's post for trip totals.

Guillemot, northern race Gannet Great crested grebe
Guillemot, northern race                                Gannet                                         Great crested grebe

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 1:36 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News


Marsh harrier dropped into Exe reedbeds at 9am. Single Hawfinch and Woodcock at Highfield Farm, where highlight was a great view of an Otter hunting in the Clyst.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 12:12 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Common Scoter Exwick 27/01/2018

The Male Common Scoter that was on the flood relief channel behind Exeter St Davids station Exwick showed well yesterday morning. Despite the poor conditions I managed to get a record shot. The bird was not too bothered by joggers but the dog owners were allowing their animals to chase anything they could. When I went back this morning to get some better images in better light it was nowhere to be seen. 

Common Scoter Male
Common Scoter Male

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 11:55 am by John Wilkes in Bird News

Saturday 27th January 2018


Just some of my sightings around Occombe this afternoon, in improving weather: Sparrowhawk, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Treecreepers, Coal Tit, 10 Great Tits, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Blue Tits, flock of at least 50 Herring Gulls, at least 80 Redwing (but probably more), 2 Jays, and a female Pheasant.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 8:53 pm in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

41 Goosander 15m 26f, 1 Tawney Owl, 2 Little Egret, 1 Willow Tit.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 6:57 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


Single Hawfinch in the cemetery at midday and late afternoon. Also single Ruff & Brambling at Bowling Green Marsh.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 6:13 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Topsham and Beesands - 27/01/18

Bowling Green Marsh, 1 x Ruff....Beesands, Ring Necked Duck and 1 x Pochard in appalling conditions.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 4:27 pm by Trevor Leaman in Bird News


A late morning visit to the "seed field" off of Warren Lane, Dartington Estate was worth while despite the poor weather, still a considerable size flock of mixed finch type species several hundred strong.

Predominately Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Linnet but Cirl Bunting, Yellow Hammer (4+) Reed Bunting (2) Brambling (4+) around the hedges Dunnock,  Wren,  song Thriush (2) a small flock of Redwing and Jay (2).

Back home at South Brent a fly over from three Great Black Back Gulls and a pair of Bullfinch using the garden feeders.

Late update from yesterdays visit to Berry Head a flock of 25 Common Scoter flew past the headland.


Posted January 27th, 2018 at 2:55 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Easy Budleigh

The male 'Italian Sparrow' was showing well again at midday on the feeders in Cadbury Gardens. 

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 1:31 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Common Scoter - Exeter

Seen from about 8.30am  - lots of disturbance from jogger, bird still there 10.30 in flood relief channel behind Exeter St Davids.

Video -

Common Scoter Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 11:58 am by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Friday 26th January 2018

Female Hawfinch near Torre Station, Torquay

1 female Hawfinch seen on 2 occasions this afternoon, feeding in trees in a woodland by a small industrial estate under a railway bridge, the other side of the railway line by Torre Station, Torquay.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 11:46 pm by Nick D’Agorne in Bird News


The Bonaparte's Gull  was present again early afternoon off Shelly Beach. The regular Slavonian Grebe was viewable distantly in the estuary near Cockwood and a kingfisher shot past Shelly Beach heading towards Exmouth seafront.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 11:12 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Deancombe Valley Dartmoor

Burrator & Deancombe Valley: Goosander (f), Little Grebe 3, Teal, Mistle Thrush, Redwings. Ring Ouzel (m) with Fieldfare 8 (ref: SX 581688).

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 9:21 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

East Budleigh Churchyard

Four hawfinches showing well from 9.45am. Roy Adams (phone conversation) suggests they may be moving in and out of Bicton Park arboretum nearby.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 6:31 pm by Keith Annison in Bird News

Lopwell Dam & Roborough Down 26-01-18

At Lopwell Dam a distant reference shot of the Green Sandpiper, only showed for a short while the disappeared. At Roborough down a single Reed Bunting was seen, again for a short period.


Posted January 26th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Iceland Gull ~ Brixham

Early this afternoon the immature Iceland Gull was sat on the water close to the Brixham breakwater about 3/4 of the way along, it flew off out into the bay and then turned heading generally back towards Berry Head.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 3:38 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Out walking with Nigel Pinhorn this morning we were very surprised to come across a Common Scoter in the Exe flood relief channel at Exwick (behind Exeter St David's Station).  It seemed quite happy and was diving regularly to feed. Another new tick for Nigel's local patch was a Barnacle Goose in the new wetland area just upriver.

Earlier on, a couple of Hawfinch showed well perched in the trees at the top end of Exwick Cemetery, and a flock of at least ten of them flew over.

Scoter in flood relief channel Common Scoter

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by Richard Swinbank in Bird News

Slapton Ley 25th Jan

Slapton Ley
Gannets in close to shore. On Lower Ley three male,one female Goldeneye and two Black-necked Grebe. Of interest Black-headed gull in breeding plumage.

Adult Gannets feeding close to shore Back-necked Grebe Breeding plumage B H Gull
Adult Gannets feeding close to shore               Back-necked Grebe                     Breeding plumage B H Gull

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 1:30 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News


The Torbay Red-necked Grebe was off Preston this morning, 2 Black-necked Grebes off Goodrington a total of 7 Great Northern Divers and 9 Great Crested Grebes also , 1 Common Scoter.

39 Cirl Buntings and 5 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 10:40 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bramblings at Lympstone

Yesterday morning, 3 hawfinches with 10 greenfinches at Topsham Cemetery.  Fifty plus bramblings flocking with chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches and reed buntings at Lympstone.  Bob Barrow/John Lloyd


Posted January 26th, 2018 at 9:22 am by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Thursday 25th January 2018


Water treatment plant
A quick dawn visit to the coastal path produced 4 Red-throated Diver, a Fulmar, 10 Shag and 10 Skylark in the fields.

Stantyway Farm
On my way back to Otterton I was drawn by a large mixed Finch and Bunting flock around the farm / football pitch. The flock comprised of 1 M and 4 F Brambling, Chaffinch, C100 Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, C20 Reed Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer and a Cirl Bunting.

more details

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 10:26 pm in Bird News


A quick look this afternoon- Dunlin increased to 190 on the Plym Estuary and Great Northern Diver in the Cattewater.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 10:15 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Good views of two Hawfinch at top of Lime tree in the churchyard.  Didn't stay for long! 

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 9:08 pm by Geoff Green in Bird News


Please note that the venue for the East Devon branch AGM (7.30 pm on 20th February) is now the Otter Inn, Colaton Raleigh.  Our speaker is Mike Langman.  Look forward to seeing you there!

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 9:06 pm by Geoff Green in Bird News

Brixham Harbour.

A quick walk around Brixham harbour and up the breakwater gave me a an interesting range of birds. Up the Breakwater 3 Rock Pipit, a Razorbill on the seaward side and 6 Purple Sandpiper. Checked out as many gulls as possible, Herring Gull, Great Black back and Black Headed but no odd gulls!!! Then went back to the inner Harbour and was rewarded with an hour watching a Kingfisher. This bird has a perch on the side of the Golden Hind and spends time as the tide drops  flying between this vessel and others watching for small fish and feeding. The bird has been about for some weeks.

Still places on the Sundays Torbay boat trip, if interested text 07866202576 or email

       kingfisher Brixham N Smallbones      kingfisher Brixham N Smallbones 2

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

Decided to go inland today and was very glad to have brought wellies. Delighted to see a flock of about 40 Fieldfares mingling with around 100 Starlings here today - very mobile but easy to see. Several Meadow Pipits calling too.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 6:47 pm by Paul Beard in Bird News

Red Legged Partridge

Nr Kenton

Red Legged Partridge
Red Legged Partridge

Red Legged Partridge

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Cranbrook, Exeter.

What a difference a day makes!

(I was pleased to see that the 'tank traps' at the entrance to the railway car parks have been replaced by 'goal posts' which should have been put there in the first place). The car parks may now be entered without risk to your car.

Several flocks of Meadow Pipits present in the Countryside Park. (Note the long and curved hind claws).  The 'swamp' opposite the Railway Station produced a pair of Stonechat.  2 Snipe took off after a Buzzard flew over and a small number of Redwing were present in the hedge rows.  Two Song Thrush were competing in song and a Kestrel was present towards the Education Campus.  No luck to date with the Black Redstart reported near housing opposite the pub (Cranberry Farm). 

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Berry Head

Two Iceland Gulls off the headland at Berry Head late this morning, initially an adult bird flew by and thereafter regular views of a juvenile, looking at the images taken it was the same bird.

Numerous Gannet showing well along with Kittiwake, Guillemot, Fulmar, Great Black Back Gull and a number of Harbour Porpoise, apparently the Common Dolphin pod had shown well earlier in the morning.

On the headland Meadow Pipit and Stonechat.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 3:24 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


RING-NECKED DUCK  still showing from the hide.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 1:53 pm by Terry Goddard in Bird News

Wednesday 24th January 2018

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

One Hawfinch at lunchtime today

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 11:10 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


Following up from yesterday's posts outlining the Bramblings at Lympstone, I can report that they were still in the same area between the sunflower field and the railway line trees early afternoon today and mixed in with Goldfinches and a few Greenfinches. I looked across the estuary and noted 31 Avocets swimming out amongst the Shelduck.

Popped into Topsham Cemetery on the way but no sign of Hawfinches.

One quick record from yesterday: a male Firecrest was showing well in our garden in Bovey Tracey.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Paul Beard in Bird News

Plym Estuary

2 Great Northern Divers, 13 Wigeon & Stock Dove. Peregrine over the Cattewater.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bullfinches Exwick

Two male Bullfinches in the garden this morning were a real treat; first for about three years.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 2:24 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Bramblings Lympstone

Photos of approx 1/2 the flock of Bramblings at Lympstone (location details as previously posted by others) 

Brambling Lympstone Bramblings in flight (with a couple of Sparrows)
Brambling Lympstone                                              Bramblings in flight (with a couple of Sparrows)

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 10:59 pm by Jo King in Bird News


Just to reiterate Nick’s post. A quick early evening look at the Sowdon Lane area (by the cycle path) of Lympstone flock of C50 Brambling. Very mobile between the sunflower field and trees by the Railway line. Plenty of Chaffinch in the flock too and a few Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Also a single Reed Bunting. More details

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 8:16 pm in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Photo showing the lobed flaps of skin on the toes of a Coot which act in the same way as webbed feet when swimming.

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Head 'white-winger' bonanza

Seawatch 10:00-15:00. Not a lot of seabird passage but all three recent 'white-winged' Gulls put in a few appearances in nice neutral light conditions: an adult Glaucous Gull and adult & juv/1w Iceland Gulls (see comments on the adult below). Also 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls (or the same bird passing three times!). On arrival there were c20 Common Dolphins feeding which moved out into Lyme Bay and c8 Harbour Porpoise most of the day. There was a Chiffchaff in the Buddleia at the end of the quarry.

Glaucous Gull (adult)Glaucous Gull (adult)

Iceland Gull (juvenile/1st winter)Iceland Gull (juvenile/1st winter)Iceland / Kumlien’s Gull (adult)Iceland / Kumlien’s Gull (adult)

This adult ‘Iceland’ Gull shows some grey in the outer primaries (p8-10) which could fit Kumlien’s Gull or Iceland / Kumlien’s intergrade. Therefore it is probably best recorded as 'kumlieni'. Many thanks to those who gave constructive comment on photos of this bird I posted elsewhere.


Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 6:41 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Lympstone Bramblings

Good numbers of Bramblings at Sowden Lane, Lympstone. Moving between the sunflower heads in the field close to where the cycle track starts and the trees by the railway line. Hard to say how many in total but I would say 40+. Also Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Reed Buntings.

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 4:22 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Tamerton Foliot Cattle Egret & Lopwell Green Sandpiper

3 Cattle Egret yesterday, 1 today, just north of Tamerton Foliot.  Green Sandpiper was spotted at Lopwell the other day.

Cattle Egret & Little Egret Green Sandpiper
Cattle Egret & Little Egret                                       Green Sandpiper

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 12:40 am by Shane Willson in Bird News

Monday 22nd January 2018


About 20 plus Turnstones on the Prom at Sidmouth

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 8:32 pm by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Berry Head

A short visit to Berry Head this pm was productive with with the juv/fw Iceland Gull still present and a fly by a rather tatty ad Glaucous Gull which headed off South also 50+ Common Dolphins feeding around the headland and bow riding fishing boats video link..

 Ad or near Ad Glaucous Gull Berry Head 22 Jan 2018

Ad or near ad Glaucous Gull 

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 6:27 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Cancellation of EAST Devon Fieldtrip

Due to the weather forecast for Wednesday 24 Jan it has been decided to CANCEL the fieldtrip to Darts Farm / Bowling Green Marsh planned for that morning.  (Continuous rain is forecast).  We look forward to seeing you at a later date.  Many thanks.

Jonathan and Geoff.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News


Bonaparte's Gull just off Shelly Beach again this afternoon at 1550hrs.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 4:00 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Exmouth & Matford

Exmouth Coastal this morning ~ seven Seven Goldeneye duck, numerous Shellduck, Brent Geese, Oyster Catcher, Turnstone, Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Rednecked Grebe, three Eider duck and a Common Scoter.

Matford ~ The American Wigeon showing well if a little distant on the back pond as per recent reports, small birds included female Stonechat and a Chiffchaff.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 2:28 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Great Haldon

Seven Hawfinches this mornign in the usual spot close to the Hornbeam trees and the Pylon.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 1:27 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Beesands & Slapton

Male Ring-necked Duck still on Beesands Ley with 101 Tufted & 4 Pochard. Great Northern Diver offshore.

Offshore at Slapton 4 Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver & Black-throated Diver.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 11:42 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

2016 Devon Bird Report

In response to a number of recent enquiries. The publication of the 2016 Devon Bird Report has been delayed. It is currently with the printers and should be sent out in the next 2/3 weeks 

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 11:27 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Berry Head Sunday 21 Jan

Bill Coulson sent on some photos showing 2 Iceland Gulls Present yesterday the regular  imm and an Adult - probably the same bird seen by Roy Adams on Friday.

d  Ad Iceland Gull Berry Head 21 Jan 18 Bill Coulson Ad Iceland Gull Berry Head 21 Jan 18 Bill Coulson

            Imm Iceland Gull                              Ad Iceland Gull (perhaps some extra grey in outer primary)

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 10:08 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

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