Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th December 2018

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News

Membership

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

Friday 7th December 2018

Torbay

A fantastic range of unusual species around the bay at the moment:

3 Beaches Headland, Goodrington (accessed from Oyster Bend  behind the church at Goodrington)

A 1st w Surf Scoter with 7 Common Scoter straight out from the headland, picked out initially from Broadsands.

Broadsands: The Yellow-browed Warbler still present in back of 1st car park, also 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs (and another probably Siberian but showing some pale olive in upperparts and less strong supercilium), also 4-5 collybita Chiffchaffs and 1 Goldcrest. 12 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park.

Elberry headland: and cove: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebes & 5 Great Northern Divers.

SibeChiffBrdsnds071218ML1 SibeChiffBrdsnds071218ML2 probable Sibe Chiff Brdsnds 071218 ML3

                 Siberian Chiffchaff 1                       Siberian Chiffchaff 2              Probable Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 5:36 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Head

am. Female Black Redstart in the lighthouse compound. Crossing the meadow a male Merlin sped past at knee height.

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 3:54 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Filham Park Lake Ivybridge

Nineteen Goosanders All Female On The Lake This Morning, The Most I Have Seen At This Location.

Photo Shows Twelve With Another Seven Out Of Shot!!

  

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 11:05 am by Patrick Hawkins in Bird News

Siskin Estover , Plymouth

Male Siskin in my garden this morning

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 10:42 am by Peter Castle in Bird News

Estover , Plymouth

3 female and 1 male Siskin on the feeders in my garden this morning.

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 10:30 am by Peter Castle in Bird News

Thursday 6th December 2018

Exe Estuary

This afternoon's Stuart Line cruise again witnessed spectacular numbers of birds, especially in the upper part of the estuary. The Great Northern Diver was still present between Cockwood and Starcross, as were the usual Slavonian Grebe, 2 Little Grebes and 2 immature drake Eiders. The Eiders seemed to be feeding successfully on mussels. A dozen or more Great Crested Grebes and about 20 Red-breasted Mergansers were scattered throughout, but large numbers of Brent Geese and Wigeon were concentrated around Shutterton Creek and off Lympstone, with a hundred or more Pintail at the latter. Over 100 Mallard, c50 Teal and maybe 200 Shelduck completed the ducks. A Harbour (Common) Seal was hauled out on a sandbank off Lympstone Barracks. c100 Common and 2 Lesser Blacked Gulls were amongst large numbers of gulls on the intertidal flats.

The mudbanks at the northern end were covered in hundreds each of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Redshank. There were perhaps 1000 Lapwings and 500 Golden Plover there too, with about 50 Knot and smaller numbers of Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits and occasional Greenshank and Ringed Plover. A Sanderling back at Bull Hill sandbank completed a 'full set' of waders!

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 5:59 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Winter visitors in Exeter

First Blackcap of the winter - male on the feeders this afternoon. A Mistle Thrush has taken up residence in our Rowan tree and is busy defending the berries against the local Blackbirds.

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 2:58 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Clennon Lakes, Paignton

The Siberian Chiffchaff present again today around the higher of the 3 main lakes also at least 7 collybita Chiffchaffs in area.

Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 6 Dec 2108 ML Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 6 Dec 2108 ML

                   Siberian Chiffchaff                                                                              collybita Chiffchaff

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 1:04 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Yellow Browed Warbler - Broadsands

Yellow-Browed Warbler still mid morning at Broadsands in back right hand corner of first car park favouring ivy tree , plus 1 Chiffchaff 

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Estover , Plymouth

I've had a male and a female Siskin on the feeders in my garden on and off since 9.30 this morning.

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 10:58 am by Peter Castle in Bird News

Wednesday 5th December 2018

Braunton Great Field Barn Owl's

This evening about 7pm we saw TWO Barn Owls in the headlights. Both were sat on posts adjacent to the road close to the thatched linnay. They remained undisturbed as we passed though we were carefully watched by both of them. Very encouraging to see two! 

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 10:29 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Dunlin 175, Black-tailed Godwit 4, Redshank 128, Greenshank 7, Curlew 56, Goosander redhead, Wigeon 17, Little Grebe 7 & Oystercatcher 9.

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 5:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Broadsands

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in the back corner of Broadsands Marsh this morning. 

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 10:30 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 4th December 2018

Siberian Chiff Chaff?

Walking back from a nice stroll around the Gaia Trust reserve at about 1pm today along the Tarka Trail we heard a steady repeated "peep" from a bush. On looking for the bird we saw a Chiff Chaff flitting through the bare branches. Unable to get an image but, knowing they have a diagnostic call, on Googling the birds call when we got home I have to conclude that the call was the same as we heard. I'm definitely not an expert and there may well be other birds which SOUND similar, but this was a Chiff Chaff and sounded just like the recording of the Siberian race we found on Xeno-Canto. 

Eds: Views of the bird and a description of the plumage tones are equally important

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 8:44 pm by Philip Naylor in Bird News

Isley Marsh

Large numbers of birds present in the run-up to high tide this afternoon, the pick being 2 Ruffs, 2 Spoonbills and 65 Pintails.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 8:17 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

04/12/2018 - RSPB Avocet Cruise

Perfect conditions for the RSPB Avocet Cruise down the River Exe from Topsham.

Highlight was the Grey Heron with a Big Breakfast Eel.

Also Great views of Avocets, Godwits (Black Tailed & Bar Tailed), Mergansers, Turnstone,  Common Gull, Cormorants, Little Egret, Brent Geese, Dunlin, Lapwing, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Teal, Canada Geese, Mute swan.

Distant Views of Grey Plover, Golden Plover

Very Distant view of Peregrine

Grey Heron and Eel Red-breasted Merganser Common Gull
Grey Heron and Eel                    Red-breasted Merganser                              Common Gull

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 7:42 pm by Robin Morrison in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Drake Ring-necked Duck in Ireland Bay, Black-necked Grebe at Torcross, 4 Goldeneyes & a Kingfisher.

Single Pochard on Beesands.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 6:16 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dartmoor

Holne Bridge, Ashburton a pair of Goosander roosting on a rock below the bridge.

Nr Babeny a female Kestrel (one of three seen) and a couple of Stonechat.

Buzzards dotted about all feeding on the ground or sat on low posts.

The only location found with an abundance of birds was the road leading down to Prince hall near Yelverton, at least six Brambling in with the large flock of Chaffinch feeding on Beech mast, some 30 plus Starling and seven Meadow Pips feeding in a sheep field, a large mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare flew in, one GSWP, a Kestrel and two Jay.

Lower side of Soussons flock of 10 Reed Bunting.

At Dartmeet the usual run of the mill birds around the feed station (the car park is now pay and display, £2 for the day).

Near Widdicombe a Sparrowhawk and another followed by a third Kestrel near Dean Prior.

 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton Memorial Car Park

From the Car Park saw 17 Common Scoter but could have been more, arrived from the south but flew off out to sea. 

Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

04/1218 - BGM

Very dull afternoon's veiwing from the hide brightened by sight of a male Sparrowhawk that was watching the feeding ducks before it flew-off down the estuary

Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:51 pm by Chris Bollen in Bird News

Velator

7 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape while I was ringing again this morning.

Only 31 birds ringed today, but that included 4 Chiffchaffs.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Broadsands

A Yellow-browed Warbler was present today in the top corner of the 1st car park feeding high in the willows most of the time often with 2 Chiffchaffs - some nice photos of it here by Chris Lake   https://twitter.com/CDLWildlife/status/1069961272584753152 

In the 2nd car park there were 14 Cirl Buntings on seed and a Brambling in the trees nearby.,

On the sea 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Common Scoter, 6 Great Northern Divers, 4 Razorbills and 3 Guillemots including a partially oiled bird flapping regularly but still feeding.  

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

No sign of hoped-for winter raptors but some respectable counts: 6 Buzzard, Red-legged Partridge, 4 Lapwing, 30 Stock Dove, 940 Skylark, 24 Meadow Pipit, 24 Dunnock, 41 Blackbird, 38 Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, 21 Magpie, 320 Starling, 30 Goldfinch, 60 Linnet, 76 Yellowhammer, 16 Cirl Bunting and one Reed Bunting.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Torbay kayak trip

Berry Head:  5 flypast Great Northern Divers, 1 flypast probable Red-throated Diver, 8 Common Scoter (female), 6+ Harbour Porpoise.

South Torbay: 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 9 Common Scoter

Red-necked Grebe Harbour porpoise
Red-necked Grebe                                     Harbour porpoise

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:25 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Round up at Arlington.

2 water rail, 1grey wagtail, 1dipper,1treecreeper,4nuthatch,4 goldcrest, coal tit, marsh tit, long tailed tit g s Woodpecker mistle thrush, thrush and all the locals looking fine, primroses in the woodland today. 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Radford Lake, Plymouth

At low tide this morning there was a group of at least 19 little grebes on Radford Lake. 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 2:49 pm by Martin Lavelle in Bird News

Baggy Point

20 Common Scoters (1 male + 19 female) off the point early am. Also 4 Eider & 1 Red throated Diver.

 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 12:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Monday 3rd December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Fifteen Wigeon, Goosander (redhead), 5 Little Grebes, 2 Kingfishers, 18 Turnstones, 3 Shags, 54 Curlews, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Oystercatchers, 7 Greenshanks & 2 Ring-necked Parakeets.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 8:06 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh - 3.12.2018

Wet, windy and a day for ducks at West Charleton Marsh today! Over 150 on the scrape alone. c100 Teal, c50 Wigeon, 6 Mallard, 2 Shelduck and a lone Pintail. Also Cormorant, 2 Greylag geese, 1 Dark Bellied Goose, 4 Little Egret, Heron, Curlew and a Pheasant. Elsewhere a flock of c40 Golden Plover flew over a neighbouring field towards the Estuary . By the feeders a Water Rail showed well. On the rough estuary most of the birds were sheltering, but another 6 D/B Brent Geese were braving the waves and a flock of 23 Oystercatchers and a few more Curlew and Shelduck were sheltering behind rocks. Over 30 species recorded.

Water Rail - West Charleton Marsh - 03-12-2018
Water Rail - West Charleton Marsh - 03-12-2018

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 6:22 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

Avonwick Hedgehog

On a visit to Avonwick this evening saw an adult Hedgehog on one of the new housing estates I can't ever recall seeing a Hedgehog in December previously.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 5:54 pm by Steve Hopper in Other Wildlife

Broadsands

Very brief visit produced highlights of two Great Northern Diver off Broadsands beach, Red-necked Grebe in Elberry Cove and usual flock of Cirls Bunting in the car park by the feeding spot.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 4:59 pm by Matt Collis in Bird News

Paignton

2 Cattle Egrets with a Little Egret in the first field on left driving south (from the old Nortel factory site and new housing development) on Waddeton Road.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 10:15 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 2nd December 2018

Great White egret at Arlington Court National Trust

My apologies. The earlier post reporting this bird did not contain that vital bit of information, the location! Which is the lake at Arlington Court, in North Devon. Sorry. 

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Philip Naylor in Bird News

Shoalstone, am.

Black Guillemot  (in moult: white face & nape; black crown & upper parts; reared  up once to show black belly roughly circled with thick white band) on water towards Berry Head. Only other birds of note: a Gt Skua, >S to land in mouth of Torbay; diver sp > S (sorry too far to ID).

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 4:59 pm in Bird News

Slapton Grebe

A red necked grebe on Slapton Ley just off the pond dipping platform on the way around to Ireland bay

Red-necked Grebe Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 3:06 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Black Redstart at Ford Park Cemetery in the on line Guardian news paper

A piece in the on-line Guardian news paper on the 01-12-18, about the Black Redstart in Ford Park Cemetery. If anyone wishes to view this please follow the link. https://www.theguardian.com/environme…/…/country-diary+birds

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 2:17 pm by greg bradbury in Bird News

Plym Estuary, Sat 1st Dec

Half-a-dozen Cormorants included a sinensis, 4 Shags, redhead Goosander, 5 Little Grebes, 152 Redshanks, 153 Dunlins, 6 Greenshanks, 53 Curlews, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Oystercatchers, 30 Shelducks, 17 Wigeon, 2+ Ring-necked Parakets & a Chiffchaff. 

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 12:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Saturday 1st December 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

18 Goosander 8m 10f,  at the Hide 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, Car Park, 2 Willow Tit, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, plus Wigeon, Teal, Tufted, Great Crested Grebes, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen and a Mute Swan.

Posted December 1st, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Velator

Female Marsh Harrier seen at 10.30am, flew over R Caen into the strong drizzly breeze.

Posted December 1st, 2018 at 1:29 pm by Alan Denzey in Bird News

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