Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st January 2019


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

Monday 28th January 2019


Female Bramling today on the feeders at Haldon forest with the siskin  and chaffinch, at Exminster there were 4 Barnacle Geese among the Canada geese, and a Peragrin falcon sitting on the pylon above them.At Rockwood there were Turnstones, Meganser,Slovonian grebe,and a Golden eye. Not bad for a day out doing errands.

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 11:21 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Staverton Bridge


2 x Little Grebe just downstream from bridge

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 9:47 pm by Angela Truman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lower Lake.

1f Scaup, 1f Ring Necked-Duck, 9 Goosander 2m 7f, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Willow Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 2 Reed Bunting 1m 1f, 1 Nuthatch,

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 7:49 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

White House to Fishermens huts

am - Cycled along the Toll Rd to the White House hoping to see Richard's Black-necked Grebe & spotted it heading ENE with the incoming tide about 2/3 mile from the White House near the Fishermens huts.

Digiscoped it before it changed direction heading ESE towards the south side of the Taw Estuary.

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 6:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Exe Area

Cockwood: Slavonian Grebe, 3 Eider, 2 Goldeneye, 8 Red-breasted Merganser & Great Northern Diver.

Dawlish Warren: Velvet Scoter close inshore; 15+ Great Crested Grebes.

Powderham/Exminster: Snow Goose, Egyptian Goose, Barnacle Goose, c.1000 Brent Geese.

Haldon: 11 Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 5:37 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Exe estuary.

1st to Powderham Marsh - nothing of note there except  large flock of Lapwing. Then to Turf Lock where  there were 200-300 Golden Plover on the mud on the rising tide. Flew up at on point - magnificent sight. Also an unexpected Egyptian Goose (approx 10am) on the rivers edge by Turf - it flew off after a few minutes heading for Powderham/Exminster Marsh.

Next to Cockwood steps where there were the 3 Eider, about 70 Dunlin and 20 Ringed Plover and 1 Turnstone (by Cockwood harbour) a few Red Breasted Merganser and, eventually, the Slav Grebe. Also a Great Crested Grebe nearby. 

At Dawlish warren , Velvet Scoter off the seawall Skylark on the point but little else on the falling tide.

Short Egyptian Goose video -

Egyptian Goose
Egyptian Goose

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 5:15 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Path from Whitebridge to Budleigh

Footpath is now open to Budleigh Car Park.  2 Water Pipits with the Meadow Pipits on the scrapes

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 11:25 am by Doug Cullen in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton Sunday 27th Mid day.

Excellent close views of mixed flock of ringed plover and dunlin feeding on falling tide behind pebble ridge, Incredible wind in estuary mouth  of the river.

Posted January 28th, 2019 at 8:53 am by Patrick Case in Bird News

Sunday 27th January 2019


 Common Gull 

Stood on the steps at Cockwood on a very windy afternoon. Located the Slav Grebe ,for a year tick, bobbing about in the chop by the wrecked boat. Plenty of feeding waders along the shoreline, plus a number of Common Gull and Mergansers. Around 100-150 Brent Geese on the wing over the Estuary, presumably having lifted off from the Golf Course. Wind chill made it impossible to last longer than 30 minutes standing on the steps. We beat a hasty retreat.

Posted January 27th, 2019 at 6:55 pm by Steph Murphy in Bird News

Taw-Torridge estuary: Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe initially very close inshore at Broadsands, between Crow Pt and the White House at 1000 this morning. Last seen swimming down towards Yelland/Isley Marsh... Terrible record shot attached.

Posted January 27th, 2019 at 5:59 pm by Richard Berridge in Bird News

Taw Estuary - Tarka Trail

1 Spoonbill (not ringed) foraging in the tidal channel at low tide at the bend of the river near Heanton Court early aft.

Posted January 27th, 2019 at 5:51 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A visit on this afternoon's low tide. Three Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, Stock Dove, 9 Wigeon (3 drakes), 2 redhead Goosanders, 2 Little Grebes 31 Common Gulls (1st-w + 30 ads) & 13 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 

Posted January 27th, 2019 at 5:33 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

27/01/19 Slapton

Bright and Breezy morning at Slapton. A little grebe from the bridge, Ring necked duck and a Pochard in Ireland bay. Spent some time in the quarry watching chiffchaffs feeding and a nice Goldcrest but didn't see any firecrests today. A flock of Long tailed tits passed through and several Redwing where high in the trees. On the way there saw a distant Dipper at Gara Bridge



Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit

Posted January 27th, 2019 at 4:56 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Torquay Harbour


7 Purple Sandpipers at Haldon Pier. 3 Rock Pipits and a couple of Pied Wagtails also braving the elements. 

Posted January 27th, 2019 at 4:43 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Saturday 26th January 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

Yellow Browed warbler showing well early this morning, in the lane just outside the hide. Also, c100 Lapwing, 15 Tufted duck,  6 Gadwall, 1 Ruff, 1 Sparrowhawk and a swooping Peregrine put all the waders up.

Posted January 26th, 2019 at 5:23 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Darts Farm

No Water Pipits this early pm, however 6 Meadow Pipits, 70 Wigeon, 42 Teal, 8 Curlew, 110+ Fieldfare, 50+ Chaffinch, 35+ Linnet, a Reed Bunting & Sparrowhawk. 

Posted January 26th, 2019 at 3:02 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

70 Wigeons, 25 Teals, 2 female Pintails and a sinensis Cormorant.

Posted January 26th, 2019 at 11:24 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Friday 25th January 2019

Broadsands (...and My Paignton Garden, 25.1.19)

The Y-b Warbler showing really well, for prolonged periods, several times during the day, in the usual spot. It went higher and further right than I've seen it do before, going to the top of the second Alder. Also, 2 Chiffchaffs but no sign of any Firecrests.

At the seed: only 2 Cirl Buntings; 1 Reed Bunting but it was mid afternoon (+ 2 Cirl Buntings singing at other locations around the bay).

On the sea: 5 Gt N Divers; 1 R-n Grebe.

Below are some pics taken in my garden in Paignton yesterday: some better ones of the Blackcap (1 & 2) and a welcome splash of colour, the extremely skittish, and conseqently hard to photograph, male Great Spotted Woodpecker (3 & 4).


1                                                                                      2


3                                                                                      4

Posted January 25th, 2019 at 6:14 pm in Bird News

South Brent and Torbay Coastal

Overnight from home at South Brent, both Little owl and Tawny owl calling, male Siskin on the garden feeders late afternoon.

Marine Parade, Paignton ~ Great Crested Grebe, Red Necked Grebe, 3 Common Scoter, single Mute swan, very distant feeding Gannets and a single Dolphin. Along the sea wall the usual gathering of Turnstone.

Goodrington ~ Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver and well out to sea a large flock of feeding Gannet sharing whatever they were feeding on with several Dolphin.

Broadsands ~ Male Cirl Bunting singing from top of a bush directly opposite the main car park entrance, Great Northern Diver 2, Great Crested Grebe, several Fulmar, Shag, numerous Cormorants all around the bay and one Seal.

An afternoon visit to Shipley Bridge / Avon dam, almost a non starter for birding, Carrion Crows, Magpie, two Buzzard a few Robins and very little else, on leaving 40 plus Starling near yannad farm and two Mistle Thrush at Gingerford Cross.

Posted January 25th, 2019 at 4:39 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh and Teignmouth Seafront

BGM, am, 40 species in all including 50+ Bar Tailed Godwit and 30+ Snipe. On leaving the Yellow Browed Warbler, showed well, although appeared to have a semi-closed right eye when I looked at my rubbish record shots. Teignmouth Seafront after lunch, five Eider still there on the Ness rocks (2 male). Quite a number of Gannets in a very small area very active diving over a mile  and a half out, watching this I noticed a dolphin breaching directly underneath them, bait ball going on? Close to shore a colour ringed Oystercatcher, white writing on a green ring either "1574" or "T574" on left leg and a metal ring on right. Thought this may be of interest. 

Posted January 25th, 2019 at 4:34 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Exeter Higher Cemetery

Apres Dentist visit to Higher Cemetery - of note - 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker (Green Woodpecker heard but not seen), Jay, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Greenfinch and Redwing. A pair of Wood Pigeon mating perhaps shows Spring is not far away.

Woodpecker drumming video -

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Posted January 25th, 2019 at 4:18 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford sewage works. 1425-1540

Bar-tailed Godwit 2; Black-tailed Godwit 57; Shelduck 56; Canada Goose c265 plus the Ross/Barnacle hybrid; Dark-bellied Brent Goose c320; Golden Plover c2500; Lapwing at least 3000; Grey Plover 3; Sanderling 5; Pintail 1M; Wigeon 23 and Goosander 1F.

Posted January 25th, 2019 at 4:13 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Plymouth, Sutton Harbour - YBW

Yellow-browed Warbler moving between small trees in carparks of University's Graduate School of Management and the Miller and Carter Steakhouse, 09:45. (Bonus during otherwise routine WeBS count.)

Posted January 25th, 2019 at 10:43 am by John Bishop in Bird News

Thursday 24th January 2019

Darts Farm

3 Water Pipits at Darts Farm today at lunch time, along with a very showy Water Rail, 98 Wigeon, 30+ Teal, 45 Curlew, 80 BT Godwits, 40 Chaffinch & 5 Reed Bunting.

Posted January 24th, 2019 at 5:31 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Yellow-Browed Warbler showed brilliantly on top of a bare tree just outside the hide entrance this afternoon, but unfortunately flew up the lane as I alerted others inside the hide, so only glimpses thereafter.  Otherwise, not much of note - at least 20 Snipe, several Stock Dove, perhaps 6 Pintail, but no Pochard, nor any other waders except a solitary Curlew.  But  it was low tide, and whatever is wrong with the sluices causing major flooding on the marsh.

Posted January 24th, 2019 at 4:44 pm by Colin RANDALL in Bird News

South Huish Marsh

Water Pipit on beach with numerous Rock Pipits. Also: 3 Turnstone & 10 Ringed Plover.

Posted January 24th, 2019 at 3:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plymouth Breakwater

At High Tide this morning on Plymouth Breakwater:

approx 500 Dunlin roosting

6 Purple Sandpiper

10 Turnstone

plus 20 Common Dolphin just inside the breakwater


Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin

Posted January 24th, 2019 at 3:13 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Powderham Church - Turf

19 members of DB attended the East Devon Branch fieldtrip coinciding with a high tide.  A total of 52 species was listed for the morning with a good number of birds present in the fields.  The all white 'Snow Goose' was present with Canada Geese and 5 Greylags and created much discussion as to its identity. Other birds of interest were large number of Pintail and a Great Northern Diver towards the Marine Camp and good views of Mergansers and an Avocet in the creek at Turf. Oystercatchers and a single Grey Plover held their place on the seawall until we approached. A large flock of Golden Plover were seen towards Topsham together with flocks of Avocet moving up the estuary as the tide retreated. Thanks to Geoff Green for leading.

Posted January 24th, 2019 at 3:06 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Broadsands - Goodrington

A visit today from 1100 to 1300 produced 1f. Eider, 2 GN Diver, several Guillemot, 3 Cirl Bunting, and prolonged views of the Yellow-Browed Warbler, my best yet.

Posted January 23rd, 2019 at 11:26 pm by James Camden in Bird News


At last light today a dark juv Glaucous Gull was being mobbed by Herring Gulls off Beacon Point. 

On Woolacombe / Putsborough beach the cold weather has brought in 150+ Common Gulls, about 75 at either end of the Sands. One individual was noticeably darker similar to a Lesser Black Backed Gull. At Morte Point, Red-throated Diver numbers up to about 9 and a small Grebe which I think was a Red-necked were feeding in the slack water behind Morte stone. 

Common and Blackheaded Gulls
Common and Blackheaded Gulls

Posted January 23rd, 2019 at 7:39 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News


Efford Marsh: Dipper, 9 Teal, Kingfisher & Grey Wagtail.

Plym Bridge Woods: 2 Goosanders (drake & redhead), Kingfisher, 14 Mandarin Ducks, 4+ Siskins & Marsh Tit.

Posted January 23rd, 2019 at 6:20 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Portworthy ~ Red Crested Pochard

As per Mark Baileys recent Tweet on Devon Birds the female Red Crested Pochard showing well at Portworthy, Lee Moor, also seen 19 plus Coot, 5 plus Moorhen, two Mute swan, two female Tufted duck, three Mallard, two Little Grebe and a Kingfisher.


Posted January 23rd, 2019 at 6:08 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Taw Estuary - Pottington

65 Black tailed Godwits (not able to get all of them in one photo) &1 Bar tailed Godwit foraging. 1 Kingfisher & 1 Greenshank also present.

Posted January 23rd, 2019 at 5:34 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Queens Marsh, Dartington: Heron feeding and chasing off an egret, KIngfisher perching on fence

Staverton bridge: female goosander

Totnes leat just beyond the weir: another kingfisher

Posted January 23rd, 2019 at 4:30 pm by Philip and Hazel Strange in Bird News

23-01-19 Black Redstart at Lipson, Plymouth

To my surprise a male Black Redstart on my rooftop at Sefton Ave Lipson in Plymouth, hung around for a short time and close pictures were taken

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Posted January 23rd, 2019 at 1:45 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Tuesday 22nd January 2019

Exe Estuary cruise

This afternoon the 3 immature drake Eiders were off Cockwood again, as was one of the Great Northern Divers, a second being off Powderham Corner. Several hundred Brent Geese flew off Starcross Golf Course onto the estuary and later several hundred more in the fields near Turf. There was a total 20-25 Great Crested Grebes, including 14 in one of the channels running back towards Lympstone, 3 Goldeneye (1 drake) in another channel and again over 300 Pintail near the Clyst mouth. Similar waders to previous days all over the mudbanks in the north, with around 4-500 Avocets, 500 Golden Plovers, 1000 Lapwings, 1000 Black-tailed and 100 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Knot and hundreds of Dunlin, Curlew and Redshank.

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 10:03 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Single Black-necked Grebe offshore this morning, initially from Groyne 9 but drifting towards Warren Point.

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 9:35 pm by Stephen Edwards in Bird News

Yellowhammer or Cirl


Can you please ID this bird for me, at first I thought it was a female Cirl but I now think it was a Female Yellowhammer. This was seen in the back car park at Broadsands on the 5th Jan 2019

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 6:04 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

South Hams


Above Aveton Gifford a flock of 50/60 Fieldfare, to the north of the A379 road bridge at Aveton Gifford a Barn owl and two Kestrel, not a great deal from the tidal road but a Little Egret, Greenshank, Redshank and a single Black tailed Godwit on leaving a Sparrowhawk.

Around Southdown farm numerous Yellow Hammer and Skylark in larger numbers than I have seen previously, also Meadow Pipit, Cirl Bunting, Sparrowhawk, large flock of Woodpigeon, Snipe, Raven, Stonechat, Pied Wagtail.

South Huish marsh, several Snipe, Lapwing, Black Swan, on one hillside a single Brent Goose in with a flock of Canada Geese. On the beach Rock and Meadow pipit, female Kestrel and first winter Mediterranean gull.

Back home at South Brent the garden feed station was very busy until the activity attracted an adult female Sparrowhawk, before its arrival female Reed Bunting, Nuthatch, GSWP, Wren, Pied wagtail, numerous Goldfinch and Chaffinch


Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 4:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


The feeders at Holden were full of birds today including some very smart looking Siskin


Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 4:26 pm by simon Thurgood in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Unexpected, was a single Lapwing (on Blagdon's Meadow), a species rarely seen here outside freezing conditions. Also 3 Jack Snipe, 2 Firecrests (Dell Walk), 2 Common Sandpipers, 26+ Siskins (this flock has been lingering near the sewerage works for several weeks), Goosander (redhead), Shag, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Mandarin Ducks (pair), 7 Wigeon (3 drakes), 2 Grey Wagtails, Black-tailed Godwit & 7 Roe Deer.

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 4:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

South Efford Marsh area

Most stuff on the estuary as marsh almost completely flooded so no Water Pipits. Did get 33 Blackwits, 7 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 4 Little Grebe, Kingfisher, 4 Redwing & 3 Bullfinch.

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 3:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Darts Farm

Yellow-browed Warbler showing well at Bowling Green this morning. Also 900+ Blackwit, 25 Barwit, 200 Dunlin, 100 Avocet, 38 Lapwing, 35+ Snipe, 500+ Golden Plover overhead, 230 Wigeon, 180 Teal, 54 Shoveler, 9 Gadwall, 9 Tufted, 7 Pintail & a Water Rail. 

4 Water Pipit, 103 Wigeon, 70 Fieldfare, 40 Linnet, 30 Chaffinch & 3 Reed Bunting at Darts Farm this morning too. 

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 3:19 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings this morning,
16 Goosander 7m 9f, 15 Tufted Duck, 1f Scaup, 1 Ring-necked Duck, 1m Gadwall, 3 Cormorants, 3 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 4 Long-tailed tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 3:15 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


30+ Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park this morning, also 3 Reed Bunting and a pair of Yellowhammers (a male noted a couple of days ago) only the 3rd time Yellowhammer I have recorded at Broadsands station in over 24 years of regular almost daily winter visits and the first time for more than one. 8.30 -9am is the very best time to see numbers of buntings at the car park feeding station,to guarantee close views  bring some budgie seed, a great seed mix, perfect for the buntings and finches. 

Please do not drop cheap 'wild bird mixes'  it contains a lot of whole wheat and often maize to bulk the mix up, attracting rats, crows, pheasants and lots of pigeons - which put the buntings off coming to feed. 

Posted January 22nd, 2019 at 1:15 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News