Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th October 2019

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

Monday 14th October 2019

Ring Ouzel

  A lovely count of 9 Ring Ouzel , at East Soar in Starehole Bottom valley,at around 2pm today, even in all that rain.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 11:35 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Slapton Ley

In addition to Rob's sightings there was another Scaup, first calender year female just off the Duckery in Torcross. A female Teal was sat with Mallards in the duckery, it had a ring on it so maybe from a collection. Also 2 Wigeons in Ireland Bay, 10 Teals Strete Gate, 5 Little Grebes Stokeley Bay,one Redwing heard, flock of c50 each of Goldfinch and Greenfinch along the line, Kingfisher below the bridge and offshore 6 Common Scoter and a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver off the Monument. 160 Starlings came into roost in the Higher Ley.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 8:07 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Exeter - Starcross

In Belle Isle Park the lone Ring-necked Parakeet chattered into its fifth week of residence, and a Treecreeper was singing, unusually from the Scots Pines.

At the rapidly-enlarging Matford ponds were two Little Grebes and nearly four hundred ducks, well up on last week, but alas of only four species.

In the estuary were several Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes, newly-arrived, and the Golden Plover flock was up to ninety. No Avocet, but twelve other wader spp. seen.

The surprises of the day were a bedraggled Wheatear on the embankment near Turf, and a flock of sixty Swallows near Powderham Church, basically heading South but also attempting to feed in the lee of the trees.

Of the seventy+ spp. encountered, probably twenty+ had acquired some Kelly genes and were singing in the rain.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 6:26 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Slapton Ley

A good afternoon round the ley turned up male Scaup, Black-necked Grebe, 100+ Kittiwake offshore, 28 Swallow, 6 Firecrest, 2 Blackcap, Grey Wagtail & 2 Marsh Tit.

Non-avian: 6+ Migrant Hawker.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 5:21 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Snow Bunting - Northam Burrows

at 1130 am. at the northern end between golf course and sea wall among rain-pools.  Tame: approached within 20 feet.  Busy feeding.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 2:08 pm by Abraham Cutajar in Bird News

N. Hallsands.

A YELLOW BROWED WARBLER ringed this  morning. Also on site 2 Firecrests ( ringed) 20+ Chiffchaffs (11 ringed ) 18 Goldcrests ( 7 ringed),a Willow warbler ( ringed ) and 5 Blackcaps (3 ringed).

Y. B. Warbler.    1st..Yr. m. Firecrest.
Y. B. Warbler.                                        1st..Yr. m. Firecrest.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 12:18 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Shipley Bridge / Avon dam ~ South Brent

Low cloud giving murky dull conditions with poor visibility ~ An abundance of Goldcrest along with good numbers of Chiffchaff, several mixed tit flocks Long Tailed and  Blue Tit well represented with a few Great Tit. Numerous Magpie, Three Stonechat just below the dam, Heron, Buzzard, three Kestrel sightings, six Mistle Thrush and a single Ring Ouzel in flight, Jay,  good numbers of both Robin and Blackbird, a few Wren and a small number of Chaffinch.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 10:53 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley

Late post for Sunday: Female Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Firecrest, 7 Swallow, Green Woodpecker - migrant, 2 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff & 6 Goldcrest.

Posted October 14th, 2019 at 10:33 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Sunday 13th October 2019

Berry Head

Some overhead migration this morning included: 4 Redwing, 5 Song Thrush, 32 Swallows, 1 Sand Martin, 6 Skylark, 2 Siskin, 11 'alba' Wagtails, 8 Meadow Pipits.

There had been a moderate fall of migrants too: 17 Goldcrest, 23 Chiffchaff, 11 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat.  

Posted October 13th, 2019 at 7:53 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Female Goldeneye diving most of the afternoon. Also Pochard (2), Gadwall and Sparrowhawk. 

Posted October 13th, 2019 at 5:36 pm by Tim Smith in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe and Scaup on the Lower Ley about 600 metres north of the Tank Car Park.

Posted October 13th, 2019 at 5:30 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Exmouth

Yellow-browed Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher on Orcombe Point today.

Posted October 13th, 2019 at 4:24 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Wembury Point

Headed out at 13:00 from the car park. 5 Swallows overhead as well as 2 Skylark and some Pied Wagtails. By the sewage outflow pipe on Langdon Beach, 20+Rock/Meadow Pipit. On the rocks, 10+ Oystercatcher and 3 Little Egret. On our return through the pines at the bottom of the hill, 5 Goldcrest, 5+Linnet. The highlight of the walk though was our first male Firecrest in striking plumage. It was low in the sycamores just to the side of the path that tracks up behind the pines at the bottom of the hill. 

Posted October 13th, 2019 at 3:30 pm by Matt C in Bird News

Isley Marsh and Fremington Pill.

Two Spoonbills roosting on Isley at high tide.   Glossy Ibis showing well on Fremington Pill but no sign of Spot Red.  3 Greenshank feeding with 50+Redshank.

Posted October 13th, 2019 at 12:21 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Saturday 12th October 2019

spoonbills

A mid-afternoon walk at Isley Marsh and Yelland Quay, on an incoming tide, started very quietly but once we overlooked the Taw things improved dramatically. The highlights included 2 spoonbills, 6 bar tailed godwit, 5 turnstones, 1 swallow over the man made sand dune, 100+ curlew, 400+ oystercatchers (fairly evenly split between the north and south side of the Taw), and a grey seal.

distant spoonbills
distant spoonbills

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 8:59 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

East Soar Ring Ouzels

Plymouth branch members met today for a club field meeting at East Soar and against the odds of bad weather we saw 37 species. The highlight of the day came during our lunch break in the Starehole Valley where we saw three Ring Ouzel one male and two females. The male was showing well and gave the group great views for several minutes. Other stand-out birds included Yellowhammer, Cirl Bunting, Wheatear, Swallows, Sparrowhawk and a stunning male Old English Pheasant.

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 6:33 pm by John Lloyd in Bird News

East Soar

Best today were 2 Ring Ouzels in Starehole Valley with a small influx of 15 Song Thrushes. Also: a large movement of 280 Skylarks, 50 Swallows, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaffs, 6 Goldcrests, 15 Siskins over, 9 Bullfinches and the crow with white primaries.

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 5:41 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Redshanks increasing with 208 (all on Blaxton); also, 22 Turnstones, 8 Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwit, 33 Curlews & 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ads + 2nd-w).

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 5:36 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bideford Bank end

68 Mediterranean gulls on the river Torridge at low tide , roughly half were adults and half 2cy. With just one first winter.

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 4:45 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Paignton Harbour area

The juvenile Red Throated Diver close in off Roundham Head late morning. It drifted slowly north and out to sea, last seen some way out from Paignton sands at 12.30

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 3:08 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Fremington pill

Spotted Redshank; Ruff.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 1:03 pm by Gordon Westley in Bird News

Firecrest, Wonford Road, Exeter

A firecrest foraging in large birch on western end of Wonford Road, Exeter.

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 12:06 pm by Ben Lansbury in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch

Seawatch from 0730-0900. More productive than expected given the flat calm conditions. Star bird was a juvenile Sabine's gull south at 0830. Also Bonxie, 2 Pomarine Skua, 12 Arctic Skua, Red-throated Diver and 300+ Kittiwakes

Posted October 12th, 2019 at 11:54 am by Simon Tonge in Bird News

Friday 11th October 2019

Tarka trail - Taw Estuary

A single Juv Great Crested Grebe on the Taw Estuary late aft seen from the Tarka trail several hundred metres from the Tarka Inn.

Posted October 11th, 2019 at 5:57 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Slapton Ley / Start Bay

Seawatch from Torcross

08:40-10:00, all south

9 Gadwalls, 13 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Pomarine Skuas ( juvs ), 6 Arctic Skuas, 3 unidentified Skuas ( Pom / Arctic ) and around 500 Kittiwakes.

12:00-15:00, all south

23 Gadwalls, Sooty Shearwater ( good record from this location ), 3 Arctic Skuas, 2 unidentified Skuas ( Pom / Arctic ) and 11 Swallows.

Gadwall movement interesting, most looked to be heading around to Beesands Ley, picked up way to far out to have just commuted from Slapton Ley where they have been scarce lately anyhow. The male Scaup is still on the ley at Torcross. Also Little Grebe, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and Coot numbers up to around 200.

 

Posted October 11th, 2019 at 5:07 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Paignton harbour ~ Red Throated Diver

Being a fair weather birder who does not do rain, waking up to the pouring deluge outside this morning was not encouraging, but the lure of the Red Throated Diver that seems to be quite happy in Paignton harbour was too much of a temptation so off I went.

Well worth the visit firstly the weather was half decent for a poor weather day and then to spot the RTD in the harbour entrance made the day, it gave great close up views being reasonably unconcerned that I was watching it.

Despite the dropping tide it was working an area 20 or so yards inside and outside of the harbour mouth.

Posted October 11th, 2019 at 1:26 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Off Shoalstone,Brixham

9.30 till 11.00. Great Northern Diver. Arctic Skuasx14 all dark phase flying south

Posted October 11th, 2019 at 12:30 pm by David Leigh in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching  07.15 - 09.30hrs: 1 Sabines Gull juv, 4 Pomarine Skuas juvs, 37 Arctic Skuas, 4 Great Skuas, 1 Arctic Tern juv, 1944 Kittiwakes, 74 Auk Sp. 6-8 Harbour Porpoises.

Posted October 11th, 2019 at 11:04 am by Mike Langman in Other Wildlife

Thursday 10th October 2019

Bradiford, nr Barnstaple

Hummingbird Hawkmoth in my garden this afternoon...fabulous !

Posted October 10th, 2019 at 8:43 pm by Alan Denzey in Other Wildlife

Instow Beach

20 Brent Geese - 10+ curlew. All unsettled by hunting Peregrine

Posted October 10th, 2019 at 6:03 pm by Steve Wheale in Bird News

Berry head dragonfly

I was helping manage the grassland on the south facing side of north fort when I was shown a dragonfly. It was a small hawker - smaller than any i am familiar with. It was most a pale brown  with a yellowish tinge and a striking blue patch at the top of the Abdomen. The best i can find on the internet is vagrant Emperor. Any ideas?

I settled briefly then flew inland towards the cafe. Sadly I had a strimmer not a camera so no record photos

Posted October 10th, 2019 at 5:48 pm by Jeff Hacon in Other Wildlife

Wednesday 9th October 2019

PAIGNTON HARBOUR

The Juvenile Red Throated Diver Was Showing Well From 11.30 Until I Left At 14.15, Both On The Seaward Side And Inside The Harbour.

Thank You To Stephen O Donoghue For The Original Post.


Posted October 9th, 2019 at 5:51 pm by patrick hawkins in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

8 Willow Tits, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Jay, 9 Coal Tit, 1 Cormorant.

Posted October 9th, 2019 at 3:56 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Velator

Best sighting in the reserve this morning was a male Bullfinch, but best bird was a squealing Water Rail, the first since one nearby in June and a couple in early January. Oddly, Great Tits outnumbered Blue Tits by about 4:1.

3 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape.

Posted October 9th, 2019 at 1:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 8th October 2019

East Soar late pm

Everything keeping low in the strong west wind. A 'crest' flitted through the willows, never to be seen again. A Wheatear, a few Skylarks and Sparrowhawk by the car park.

Posted October 8th, 2019 at 6:16 pm by Roger White in Bird News

Velator

After I saw you Rob, I saw a Curlew out on the scrape too. In the reserve a Treecreeper was the best, still lots of Blue Tits.

At home, and the first I have seen this year, a Humming-bird Hawkmoth, which all too quickly zoomed off.

Posted October 8th, 2019 at 4:55 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

1 Shoveler, 13 Teal, 1 Black tailed Godwit, a small flock of BH Gulls & 1 Grey Wagtail which flew over the Tarka trail towards Wrafton Pond.

Posted October 8th, 2019 at 12:42 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

At around 9.40 this morning, I picked out a male Hen Harrier coming in low from the direction of Haytor. It continued low until I lost it behind some trees. No sign of any thrushes though.

Posted October 8th, 2019 at 11:02 am by Nick Potter in Bird News

Paignton Harbour

Juvenile Red-throated Diver feeding  inside the Harbour on Monday afternoon(07/10/19).. At low tide it remained just off the Harbour mouth.

    

Posted October 8th, 2019 at 8:16 am by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

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