Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th November 2019

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

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         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

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         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


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 19th July 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

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

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman 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

Thursday 7th November 2019


At Prawle point ( Reserve ) 2 Firecrests, 3 Goldcrests and 2  Chiffchaffs, this morning. Overhead several small flocks of Wood Pigeons. Small groups of Chaffinches and small flocks of Starlings, all moving West. At Moorwell Pond just 2 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest and 1 Redwing with more small flocks of Starlings overhead moving West.

Posted November 7th, 2019 at 7:03 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Haldon to BGM

Haldon Forest, two Crossbill, good movement of Wood pigeon overhead, two GSWP, Siskin, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Pied Wagtail.

Around Exminster marsh four Greylag Geese in with the Canada geese, Heron and several Little Egret, good numbers of Starling and a build up of Lapwing.

RSPB BGM ~ Ten Greylag Geese flew in on the high tide, lots of Redshank with good numbers of Dunlin, six Pintail duck, Shoveller, Teal, Wigeon, Little Grebe the Long Billed Dowitcher eventually showed well, all be at the back of the marsh, several Snipe.


Posted November 7th, 2019 at 5:13 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Stover Lake

This morning at Stover, 4 Goosanders (2 male, 2 female type), 1 male Pochard, 32 Coot, 23 Tufted Duck, 4 Mandarin, 1 Kingfisher

Posted November 7th, 2019 at 11:38 am by Nick Potter in Bird News


Blue-winged Teal this morning feeding on the main marsh.

Please keep to the main paths do not enter the fields and under no circumstances use the path that is being constructed at the moment - it is not open to the public yet and is dangerous. The Blue-winged Teal is best viewed from the main track leading to the beach and the public footpath leading from the beach up to South Down Farm.

Posted November 7th, 2019 at 11:24 am by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Wednesday 6th November 2019


After a flog around West Cornwall chasing Pipits yesterday, a slight break in the weather this morning allowed a short ringing session. Mostly Tits this time including 7 Long-tailed Tits, also a Goldcrest, 2 Blackbirds, 2 Goldfinch and a juvenile male Sparrowhawk. 2 Water Rails seen.

Nothing on the scrape - large thresher type machine cutting hedges by the large barn. Also evidence of progress with the project for wind generated energy: two tethered balloons (rather than kites) down near the estuary.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 7:57 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


am:- 44 female Common Scoters at Downend this morning but further out to sea.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 5:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Start Point.

Firecrest photo for earlier post.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 5:18 pm by Alan K.Searle. in Bird News

Start Point.

Around the farm at this morning's  ringing session. At first light 12 Chaffinches and 7 Blackbirds in the tops of the sycamores , with several more Blackbirds alarm calling in the bushes ( more than the local birds ). Also present 13 Goldcrests ( 7 caught and ringed ) ,5 Firecrests ( 2 caught and ringed, both 1st. Yr. m's )and 3  unringed birds together actively feeding and hovering beneath the sweet chestnut leaves. Also 3 Chiffchaffs and 1 male Blackcap. Overhead a Raven and a few small flocks of Wood Pigeons moving SW.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 5:15 pm by Alan K.Searle. in Bird News

Countesswear - Starcross; Dawlish Warren - Dawlish

Along the canal and in the adjacent ditches, at least seven each of squealing Water Rails and singing Cetti's Warblers;

On Exminster Marsh, a female Sparrowhawk spooking the ducks;

In the estuary, at least 150 Avocet, at least 600 Golden Plover, good numbers of commoner waders, and several each of Great Crested Grebe and Red-breasted Merganser;

Between Turf and the cycle bridge, a Cirl Bunting singing from a thorn bush;

From the cycle bridge, at least twenty of the Pintail which have "gone missing" from BGM;

From the sea wall, a Red-throated Diver (my first of the year) and twenty-five Common Scoter.

Didn't check the flooded field at Starcross, so missed the Cattle Egrets, but still over eighty spp. for the day.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 5:14 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Haldon Forest

Views of 3 mobile Hawfinches this morning. Also 1 male Brambling and a small group of Crossbills,

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 1:28 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Haldon Pier, Torquay

A single Purple Sandpiper back at Haldon Pier this morning.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 11:23 am by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Crossbills Haldon

Distant view just west of car park last Sunday

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 9:12 am by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Raptors at Charlton Marsh

On Monday 4 November, a female Sparrow Hawk traversed the marsh in front of the hide then flew tight along the  wooded bank on the east of the marsh.

Shortly after, a juvenile male Peregrine hovered briefly over the marsh.  He was joined by an adult female as he headed for the foreshore, possibly teaching him the pair hunting technique used by local birds.

Female Sparrowhawk
Female Sparrowhawk

Juvenile Male Peregrine Falcon
Juvenile Male Peregrine Falcon

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 8:30 am by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

South Brent

Tawny owl calling at home just on first light.

Redwings in good numbers moving as soon as it was light enough to see, two small flocks of Fieldfare over, the Redwings again dropping into Holly trees to feed on berries.

The Wood pigeon migration again under way with up to 500 birds passing by in flocks of up to 50 birds mostly headed west and out towards the A38 valley by sunrise at 07.13hrs.

A further watch up to 08.20hrs gave a total of 2000 plus Wood pigeons, 3 Stock Dove, a flock of 100 plus Jackdaw, two flocks of Fieldfares one of 50 plus and a flock of 22 with Redwings beyond counting.


Wood pigeon migration

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 7:24 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Tuesday 5th November 2019

South Hams

At Soar this morning: 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Black Redstarts, Firecrest, 2 Fieldfares, 16 Redwings, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Reed Bunting, Redpoll sp (presumed Lesser), 150 Jackdaws & overhead, 2,800 Wood Pigeons going in no particular direction (only a handful of Stock Doves with them). Also 3 Roe Deer.

In the afternoon, at Slapton Ley, a Wryneck watched for a few minurtes 500m south of Memorial Car Park, beside the road, before disappearing. Also Black-necked Grebe, 4 Pochards, Chiifchaff & 3 Swallows.  

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 9:33 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Hawfinch - Haldon

3 hrs of observation this afternoon at the usual location at Haldon, including a walk through the woods, eventually at 3.30pm gave up a brief view and record photo of one Hawfinch. The presence of a Sparrow Hawk on the pylon wire may account for the few birds, other than pigeons, present! Never saw any Crossbill!

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 9:24 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

Woodbury Common

Male Hen Harrier and Merlin again late this afternoon hunting around Grenade Range.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 7:08 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News


5 female Common Scoter at Downend this morning on my way to Croyde. None at Baggy point & on the way home checked at Downend again & they had gone.

Someone I know mentioned that in the recent severe gales & heavy surf the mussels had been torn from the rocks so if there is no food for them at Downend they will search elsewhere.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 6:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Exe estuary

From Cockwood steps at high tide - a real mix of summer and winter 3 red-breasted mergansers, one little grebe, one great crested grebe and the Slavonian greb, also two sandwich terns.

At Bowling Green the long-billed dowitcher showed well if distant, early afternoon.

Yesterday a great northern diver off Exmouth in the Duck Pond.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 5:52 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


Richard's Pipit late this afternoon on Orcombe Point. In large grass field at top of Gore Lane with Skylark flock.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 5:45 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Yelland, n. devon - scaup

3 juv(?) scaup diving off the old Yelland power station outflow adjacent to the roost this morning at 11:30.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 1:22 pm by alan craddock in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Spoonbill still present early morning at the western end. May be visible from the Passage House car park around high tide.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 1:19 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

South Brent ~ Wood pigeon migration

Between 07.10hrs and 08.30hrs this morning over South Brent westward movement of Wood pigeons mostly small flocks of 40 plus birds but one flock of 400 plus birds, not as many as reported elsewhere but some 1500 birds counted in that time.

Eight Stock Dove, good numbers of Redwing, smaller numbers of Fieldfare with one flock of 25 birds, a flock of some 30 plus Chaffinch dropped it to a boundary field hedge.

Very close up views of a Tawny owl that was being given a hard time by a pair of very raucous Jays.


Posted November 5th, 2019 at 9:26 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 4th November 2019

Budleigh Salterton

Three Firecrest around the town today. One along the Otter, just south of White Bridge, another on South Farm Road and the third bird along the West Cliffs.

Firecrest, Budleigh Salterton by Chris Townend

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 10:04 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Scaup number 2.

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 6:18 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Male Scaup, 75 Tufted Ducks, 5 Pochards ( around the middle of the Lower Ley ). Offshore 5 grey geese flew south @ 10:00 and I could not id them ( hopefully someone else may pick them up elsewhere ), 2 late Sandwich Terns off the Memorial Car Park and a flock of 9 Common Scoters.

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 5:21 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Kayak trip round Teign estuary this am:

Drake Common Scoter and Spoonbill

Common Scoter  Spoonbill
Common Scoter                                                  Spoonbill

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 3:53 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Exeter Higher Cemetery

Quick visit to see if any Redwing had returned and wasn't disappointed. About 6-8 mainly around/feeding on Yew Tree berries especially the large Yew in the north-west corner of the cemetery..Also Jay, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, a brief glimpse of a Goldcrest pair and all the usual tits etc. 

Green Woodpecker    Greenfinch    Green Sandpiper (Northbrook, viewed from Rifford Road)
  Green Woodpecker            Greenfinch            Green Sandpiper (Northbrook, viewed from Rifford Road)

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 3:52 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Single Goldeneye this morning.

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 2:12 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


1 Male Firecrest in the ivy on the side of the road, by the ford lane entrance to the bridal path. 

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 2:01 pm by Matt C in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Now 2 Scaup on the pond & the single Goldeneye.

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 1:10 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


A couple of pictures of yesterdays 'Greenland' leucorhoa Northern wheatear, note the very buffy and cinnamon tones to the underbody, neck and lores and very long wing projection with the  primaries very nearly reaching the tail tip.

Greenland Wheatear Broadsands 3 Nov 2019 ML Greenland Wheatear Broadsands 3 Nov 2019 ML Greenland Wheatear Broadsands 3 Nov 2019 ML

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 11:50 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 3rd November 2019


Three Green Sandpipers on the floods this afternoon.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 8:28 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Torbay and South Brent

A funny old days birding ~ Up at first light movement of Redwings coming into feed in the Holly trees around the house field, Heron overhead.
On the way to Broadsands another Heron seen at Dartington.
Broadsands coastal was a big round zero, calm sea but nothing of any interest to be seen, in the back car park briefest views of a foraging Firecrest, one Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Jay and a large flock of high flying Wood pigeons headed west down the coast.
Around Brixham harbour and the Shoalstone again nothing of any note seen.
Youngs Park several Tufted duck, one Heron, Jay, Wrens and another flock of westward bound high flying Wood pigeons.
Back home at South Brent, Redwings feeding on Holly berries up until dusk and while watching them a tiercel Peregrine came in over at low level checking out my pigeon lofts (or at least checking out the contents !!)

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 5:29 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


The reserve was positively bursting with birds late this morning (well, compared to yesterday - 3 species recorded)!

Good numbers of Tits, Finches and Redwings, and the first Reed Bunting for several months. Sparrowhawk over again. Little Egret out on the scrape.

A Speckled Wood (last butterfly this year?) and a Migrant Hawker were on the wing along with several Bumble Bees.

Oddly with all the mud in the water yesterday, there was a Dipper in the river by the bridge.

Jay and Nuthatch in my garden early on.


Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 5:23 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Hope's Nose


Male Black Redstart showing well in the quarry.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 4:16 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Plym Estuary

Snipe, Kingfisher & 6 Greenshank on Blaxton Meadow this morning. Four Mandarin Ducks & a redhead Red-breasted Merganser on the estuary.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 4:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

08.30 - At last after 6 days of dense cloud & frequent drizzle,rain & wind the sun was shining & it was dry!

The single remaining Goldeneye was diving for food for the duration popping up for just a second or two.

The female Scaup appears happy alongside the male Tufted Duck which has caused a few identification headaches in low light for some of the birders who thought it may be a female Tufted Duck but the size & shape of the bill, the absence of a tuft, diving behaviour & being larger & broader across the beam than the male Tufted Duck was diagnostic.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 3:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Snow Bunting Morte Point

Surprised to find this beautiful Snow Bunting on Southern edge of Morte Point this afternoon. Typically very bold and not fussed by walkers near the footpath! 

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 3:12 pm by Sam Stephens in Bird News


20+ Goldcrests ( 11 ringed /9 " continental" ), 7 Chiffchaffs (4 ringed ) and a late Willow Warbler ( ringed / nominate trochilus ). At the beach a Black Redstart. f./ imm. and 5 Robins around the beach cottages. Overhead small flocks of wood Pigeons moving S/SW,( not counted ) .

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 1:05 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

03-11-19 Redwings and Mistle Thrush at FPC

Redwings and Mistle Thrushes back in Ford Park Cemetery, but no sign yet of the Black Redstart


Mistle Thrush
Mistle Thrush

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 12:41 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Isley Marsh.

Now 4 Spoonbill on Isley roosting on this mornings high tide .      Around 200 Teal and 12 Black tailed Godwit on adjacent Gaya trust pond.    Just 5 Med gulls on river Torridge.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 12:21 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News


Prompted by Peter Reay's report on 31/10/19 of inland sightings of Black Redstarts I had an early morning look at some of their favourite roofs, above the Lower Ferry, in Kingswear today.I quickly came across 3 together on a roof catching the early morning sun.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 11:28 am by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News


A late Northern Wheatear 'Greenland' type leucorhoa on beach just north of the main beach, 1 Firecrest , 3 Common Scoter, 4 Teal 1 Great Crested Grebe and several hundred Wood Pigeons heading south.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 8:20 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 2nd November 2019

Merlin - Dawlish Warren

Female Merlin chasing pipits over Dawlish Warren Beach at 4.45 this afternoon. Then flew off very low over the sea towards Dawlish.

Posted November 2nd, 2019 at 8:15 pm by Peter & Carole Leigh in Bird News


Two Eiders, a Great Northern Diver & a Grey Seal in the Sound, a Pheasant on the Hoe, a Common Sandpiper in the Cattewater & on the lower Plym Estuary, 33 Turnstones & 3 Little Grebes.

Posted November 2nd, 2019 at 5:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Long-billed Dowitcher and a few snipe around, plus the usual

Posted November 2nd, 2019 at 11:48 am by Tim Smith in Bird News

Friday 1st November 2019

Blackcap in Exeter

First Blackcap of the winter (male) at garden feeders this morning.

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 5:52 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

By the time I go to Wrafton Pond, it was coming on dusk, needless to say the Scaup wasn't showing, but a pair of Tufted Duck, and a pair of Gadwall were, along with a lone female Goldeneye and a notable increase in Coot numbers.

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 5:06 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Three black redstarts in the quarry near the wire fence, also a woodcock flushed out from the quarry and flew around twice then out over the headland.

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 3:10 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in Bird News

Prawle Point. ( Reserve ).

15 Goldcrests ( 7 caught and ringed ) , of which 6 were""continental" birds,2 Firecrests ( 1 ringed ), 1. Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 2 Cirl Buntings above the car park. A few more Robins than the local birds,but less than a week ago. A quick look at Moorwell Pond, from the road on the way back showed 6 Goldcrests and 1 Chiffchaff.

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 2:13 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Goosander and Fieldfare Hennock Reservoirs

There are now 24 Goosander on Tottiford Reservoir, including 3 males. Nearby about 30 Fieldfare flew in from the south east preceded by 7 Mistle thrush. First Fieldfare I’ve seen this season. 

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 1:49 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

1 Scaup still on pond

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 9:13 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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