Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st November 2019

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July
Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August
Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October
Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April
Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Thursday 21st November 2019

Lower Tamar Lake

Good evening,

8 Goosander 4m (2 eclipse) 4f, 1 Water Rail, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 8 Willow Tit, 5 Marsh Tit, 1m Gadwall, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Cormorant, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Heron, 5 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Long-tailed Tit.

Posted November 21st at 7:37 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

plymouth railway station

over 100 ringneck parakeet at roost tonight at 430 flying in from central park direction

Posted November 21st at 5:35 pm by barry insull in General Birding


Another Firecrest in the garden today.

Posted November 21st at 4:57 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding


Spring in the air! A Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming this morning. Bit early as autumn hasn't officially finished yet.

Unusual yesterday to have a visit from 2 Ravens.

Posted November 21st at 3:55 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


The Velvet Scoter was again off the mussel farm buoys, nearby 5 Common Scoter looking toward Torquay and closer to shore 7 Great Northern and 1 Red-throated Diver.

Posted November 21st at 3:44 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Baggy Point

Returned to Baggy Point again early this morning to check a single bird that flew in  in failing light as we were leaving

It kept a  distance from the main flock & managed to obtain just a few poor quality photos of it in strong SE winds before leaving. While going through the Scoter photos late last night decided I needed to check out this bird again this morning to confirm identification.

The Common Scoter flock this am were approx.1000 metres away & it took me nearly 2 hours to obtain this record shot!

Pleased to report that it was what I thought it was - Velvet Scoter.

Posted November 21st at 2:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N. Hallsands.

A SIBERIAN Chiffchaff caught this morning ( ' tristis' plumage type ). Also present 1 Firecrest ( ringed, a 1st. Yr. f.) ,and 3 Goldcrests. Overhead 2 Redwings.

Siberian Chiffchaff
Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted November 21st at 1:09 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

21-11-19 Sefton Ave, Lipson, Black Redstarts

Male & Female Black Redstarts on the rooftops at Sefton Ave, Plymouth at 9am light poor and raining, but a record shot

Black Redstart (M)    Black Redstart (F)
Black Redstart (M)                                             Black Redstart (F)

Posted November 21st at 9:05 am by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Wednesday 20th November 2019

Slapton Ley

Ring necked duck, Scaup and Pochard all showing from the tank at 4.30 this afternoon

Posted November 20th at 8:57 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Berryhead Seawatch

Berryhead  7.50-14.00

Pomarine skua 2 juvs ,   skua sp 1

Grey Phalarope

Little Gull , Med Gull 10,  Com Gull c80

GN Diver 4,  RT Diver 3 ,  Diver sp 1

Fulmar  c150

Com Scoter 11

Auks 2922   70%  Guillemots


Bottlenose Dolphin 3 in very close 

Common Dolphin 3,  Harbour Porpoise 4

Posted November 20th at 8:16 pm by Dave Dawe in General Birding

Broadsands & Brixham

1 Velvet Scoter this morning, along with a handful of Common Scoters. 1 Red-throated Diver and 2+ Great Northern Divers.

Later on, 7 Purple Sandpipers at the end of Brixham Breakwater.

Posted November 20th at 7:07 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Baggy Point

Now 92 Common Scoters at Baggy Point this aft. The photo does not show the total number.

Posted November 20th at 6:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

20-11-19 Ernesettle Creek

The female Kingfisher showing very well throughout the day, other species seen, 50+ Godwits beyond the iron bridge towards the estuary, Teal, Redshank, Common Sandpipers, Little Egrets

  Kingfisher (F)  

Kingfisher (F)

Posted November 20th at 5:02 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Danes Wood, Nr Poltimore, Exeter

A quiet walk today following the excitement of Ham Wall with 9 DB members yesterday.

Danes Wood produced a mixed Tit flock which included several Long Tails, Blue and Great Tits, a Marsh Tit, Goldcrest and Treecreeper.  Also present several Nuthatch and 2 Gt Spotted Woodpeckers.  No Redwings seen or heard but 3 Fieldfare in the orchard opposite entrance to NT Killerton House. 

Posted November 20th at 4:25 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Tuesday 19th November 2019

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning on the lake.

20 Goosander 7m 13f, c200 Canada Geese, c150 Black-headed Gull, 14 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Kingfisher, 5 Cormorant, 5 Wigeon, 1m Gadwall, 7 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 1m Tufted Duck, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 5 Long-tailed Tit,1 Redwing, 7 Teal

Posted November 19th at 7:32 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Plym Estuary/Blaxton Meadow

A couple of hours after high tide were the following.

Goldeneye (m) just off Laira junction, 5 Goosander, 3 Wigeon, 43 Curlew, 163 Redshank, 155 Dunlin, 3 Greenshank, 8 Oystercatcher, 1 Common Sandpiper, 27 Common Gull & 3 Little Grebe.

Posted November 19th at 4:54 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding


LB Dowitcher, and Long Tailed Duck showing well. Also a brief, distant Otter. 4 Firecrests up by the Railway bridge at the top of Monmouth Hill.

Long Tailed Duck video -

Posted November 19th at 2:33 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Start Pt. / N. Hallsands / Stokenham.

So few were migrants this morning, that I would not have reported them ; but so stunning was the sunrise at Start Pt. ,t I decided to share the photo . At Start 1 Redwing and 3 Song Thrushes in the sycamores ,several Blackbirds alarm calling and 3 Goldcrests in the bushes.  At N. Hallsands 1Chiffchaff, 1Blackcap and 2 Goldcrests. At Stokenham a BlackRedstart ( f./ imm. ) on the roof of the pink cottage behind the church

Just after sunrise.  Start Pt.
Just after sunrise. Start Pt.

1st. Yr. f.
1st. Yr. f.

Posted November 19th at 2:22 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The drake 2nd winter Surf Scoter was again off Broadsands early afternoon with 6 common Scoter & a Goldeneye (rarer in the last decade than Surf Scoter in Torbay!). I didn't check from the headland but there were 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Crested Grebes.all visible from the sea wall by the cafe in the car park.

Posted November 19th at 2:04 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Turf Hotel

Possible juv bluethroat on wall 500m south of Turf Hotel. Appreciate any comments for clarification. Also cattle egret.

Eds: looks spot on for a Bluethroat!

Posted November 19th at 1:09 pm by Nick Workman in General Birding

Monday 18th November 2019

South Milton Ley

10+Water Rail, at the STW 20+ Chiffchaff, 3FireCrest. south Huish 2Pale-B Brent Geese.

Posted November 18th at 9:28 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

Downend > Baggy Point

am - No Scoters at Downend.  On the walk out to Baggy Pt 1 Great Northern Diver swimming out into Croyde Bay. Now 59 Common Scoters (1 male + 58 females) seen from Baggy Point.


Posted November 18th at 9:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Another reasonable ringing haul today - 47 ringed, mainly 23 Greenfinch, good to see at last this winter. 2  Cetti's Warblers, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Redwing.

Also seen in the reserve, but not ringed: 4 Stonechat - apart from 1 ringed early this year this is the first record. (so how come 4?!!)  A Jay - very rarely seen here. 2 Chiffchaff and a brief view of a Merlin.

Posted November 18th at 7:59 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

exmouth ringneck parakeet

took a trip over to exmouth to try and find the parakeets.not very productive just 1 on douglas avenue

Posted November 18th at 7:15 pm by barry insull in General Birding

18-11-19 Kingfisher

At Ernesettle this afternoon female Kingfisher showing very well, stayed around the area for over 1 hour

Female Kingfisher

Female Kingfisher

Posted November 18th at 5:59 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


Two birds of prey visiting the garden

Buzzard  Sparrowhawk
Buzzard                            Sparrowhawk

Posted November 18th at 4:48 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm.

Some good numbers this morning with 1800 woodpigeons moving east, 29 stock doves, 680 herring gulls, 800 skylarks, 130 starlings & 160 carrion crows. Also: 11 long-tailed tits moving through, 12 meadow pipits, redwing, 65 house sparrows, 17 blackbirds, 26 cirl buntings, 2 snipe, lapwing, 16 yellowhammers, 12 song thrushes & 40 linnets.

Non-avian: 4 red admirals.

Posted November 18th at 4:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

The Long-billed Dowitcher showed well for a while this morning. Also, the Long-tailed Duck and female Goldeneye. Earlier, a brief view of a Firecrest by the railway bridge at the top of the lane.

Posted November 18th at 1:09 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Brisworthy Plantation, north of Cadover Bridge, Dartmoor

Single Brambling with flock of almost 40 Chaffinch this morning. Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and usual finches and tits in the wood. Also single Crossbill over. 

Posted November 18th at 1:08 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Bray Common N.Devon

Male Hen Harrier on Exmoor this morning .

Posted November 18th at 12:06 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Sunday 17th November 2019

Wrafton Pond, Taw Estuary

On my WeBS sector today, found that the female Goldeneye and two Scaup are still on Wrafton Pond, except the number of Scaup had (remarkably) risen to four, feeding at first light alongside a Pochard. Also four Gadwall and a Shoveler (both quite scarce at this site). On the estuary itself, a Great Northern Diver and a Slavonian Grebe (the latter presumably the same individual as I saw in the same area on my Oct count) off Chivenor foreshore and four Spoonbills on Chivenor Ridge.

Posted November 17th at 10:16 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Re dunnock

I first thought dunnock,  but what threw me was how much further around the brown and black feathers came around the abdomen and eye stripes compared to dunnocks in the garden. 


Posted November 17th at 7:14 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Exmouth parakeets

7 in one group today!!

Posted November 17th at 6:51 pm by john deakins in General Birding


A drake Surf Scoter (probably 2nd winter) was with up to 16 Common Scoter off the headland at Broadsands today, also 1 Red-throated Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Surf Scoter Drake Broadsands 17 Nov 2019

Posted November 17th at 6:22 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Challacombe Moor.

Managed to get out over Challacombe Moor/ kingsford hill late this afternoon to see small flocks of golden plover, starlings, long-tailed tits, kestral and a very obliging snowbunting who did a nice 360 turn.

Snow Bunting left  Snow Bunting right  Snow Bunting front.
Snow Bunting left                      Snow Bunting right               Snow Bunting front.

Posted November 17th at 5:57 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Ore Stone

Ore stone, Hope's Nose

1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Knot

Purple Sandpiper  Knot
Purple Sandpiper                          Knot

Posted November 17th at 5:19 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saunton Sands

During a WeBS count this morning on Saunton Sands managed to get a couple of photos (from behind a sand dune) of a single Merlin which was feeding on a prey item on the strandline.


Posted November 17th at 3:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

EAST Devon Branch- Notice

Correction to Fieldtrip Programme.  In case members missed my previous notice-  please note that the fieldtrip to Ham Wall, Somerset will take place on TUESDAY 19 November and NOT as given in the Programme on this website, which suggested it would be the 18th.  Sorry for the error. 

Could I also point out that in the event of a fieldtrip being cancelled due to bad weather, a notice is usually place on this website 24 hours in advance and an email sent to members in East Devon (where we have their email address).  A regular question asked by new members is- do I have to book to attend a fieldtrip?  The answer is no, not if attending an East Devon fieldtrip, please just turn up on the day.  Thank you for this space.  

Posted November 17th at 2:10 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Saturday 16th November 2019

Holdstone down

A morning walk around Holdstone down today armed with a repaired lens, saw a pair of sandpiper,  snipe plenty of wrens, blackbirds and Robin lastly a single female reed bunting.

Reed Bunting  Female reed bunting
Reed Bunting         Female reed bunting

Eds: its actually a Dunnock - note the rather fine spiky bill

Posted November 16th at 11:10 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Fremington Pill

On a walk along Fremington Pill down to Fremington Quay there was one female Kingfisher perched on the railings above the sluice gate. The Spotted Redshank was feeding in the channel and there were 72 Common Redshank scattered throughout the Pill. The Glossy Ibis was there with a Little Egret that appeared to be shadowing it! Looking out from Fremington Quay there were huge numbers of Lapwing. A conservative estimate would be 650 birds. I counted at least 500 but then something spooked them and they took off.

Posted November 16th at 10:24 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding


On my way to Slapton just past Gara bridge a woodcock flew up from the side of the road and glanced the top of my windscreen. I stopped and had a good look around but couldn't find it so hopefully it was OK. At Slapton good views of a Black necked grebe, distant Scaup and ring billed duck. Near the quarry 2 firecrest and lots of goldcrests. Heard a few cettis warblers and got good views of one and lots of water rails calling. From the bridge got 2 glimpses of an otter, it only surfaced briefly so was unable to get a photo.

Black-necked Grebe Goldcrest Firecrest
Black-necked Grebe                      Goldcrest                                       Firecrest

Posted November 16th at 8:14 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Common scoter Baggy Point

Having moved from the point with just one probable 1st winter male Common Scoter seen we had to return quickly as a flight of 18 ducks flew in from the east. When we got the bins & camera on them we confirmed they were all Common Scoter & probably all juv or females. Range was probably 800 to 900 metres so photo is grainy but a record shot at least.

17 of the flock of 18 Common Scoter
17 of the flock of 18 Common Scoter

Posted November 16th at 7:35 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in General Birding

Exmouth parakeets

Juveniles being fed in Exmouth tescos this evening

Posted November 16th at 7:08 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Exmouth parakeets

5 parakeets in Tescos car park in Exmouth today. One feeding a juvenile

Posted November 16th at 6:57 pm by John Deakins in General Birding


Mid-pm. Blue-winged Teal still present and showing well briefly but pretty elusive.

Posted November 16th at 6:41 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

plymouth railway station

around 70 ringneck parakeet

Posted November 16th at 6:38 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Venford Reservoir and Whites Wood

Early am. 12 Goosander roosting on the reservoir at dawn, a Woodcock in the woods and 5 Crossbills overhead.

Posted November 16th at 6:29 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Highlight today was the return of presumably the same Ring-necked Duck present last winter, ( last year it returned on 28th October ). It was in Stokeley Bay. Also present 2 Scaups ( male and fcy male ), Black-necked Grebe ( right of Stokeley hide ), 12 Pochards, 110 Tufted Ducks, 3 Goldeneyes, 11 Gadwalls and a Teal. Offshore quiet, single Great Northern Diver and Grey Seal.

Posted November 16th at 5:50 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Woodbury Common

Male Stonechat

Posted November 16th at 5:39 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A few additions to Alan's post: 13 Redwings, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 8 Snipe, Teal, 4 Little Grebes, Chiffchaff & 4 Roe Deer.

Posted November 16th at 5:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Hen Harrier

Ringtail Hen Harrier in off sea being harassed by gulls yesterday  at 1pm from house on Oakland park, Dawlish,overlooking sea off Lea Mount, then lost to view around headland moving towards Teignmouth.

Also Firecrest last week at Lea Mount

Posted November 16th at 4:20 pm by paul barker in General Birding

N Hallsands.

Very few migrants this morning . 4 Firecrests. 3 caught, all 1st. Yr. f's ,one of which was a retrapped bird from the 27 th. Oct. ( Between 1 and 4 regularily overwinter at this site ) Also present 3 Goldcrests and 1 Chiffchaff. No apparent overhead movement.

1st. Yr. f.
1st. Yr. f.

Posted November 16th at 1:04 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym estuary / Saltram

This morning's high tide roost:

168 Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 98 Dunlin, 52 Curlew, 32 Turnstone, 23 Shelduck, 7 Little Egret, 4 Wigeon, 3 Snipe, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Goosander (m), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Ring necked Parakeet, 1 Firecrest.

Posted November 16th at 12:40 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Friday 15th November 2019

Mansands and Brixham Harbour

Blue Winged Teal, Black Redstart (f), Gadwall and Kestrel at Mansands. 6 Purple Sandpiper on the old fuel jetty at Brixham Breakwater. Also 17 seals (the most I've seen there).

Posted November 15th at 8:05 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Horsey Island

Golden Plover on the new Devon Wildlife Trust  intertidal Nature Reserve, Braunton, N.Devon.

Posted November 15th at 6:32 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


In garden at home

Posted November 15th at 5:09 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding


Rather quiet this morning bird-wise, with 6 Redwings, 4 Goldcrests, Snipe, 20 Stock Doves & a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Mammals provided a bit more interest: Hare, Weasel, Roe Deer & 4 Sika Deer.

Later Hallsands produced: Firecrest, Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs & a Blackcap.

Posted November 15th at 3:36 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Melbury forest

8 Crossbill feeding on spruce late morning in trees opposite pull-in to the forest.

Posted November 15th at 2:59 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Goosander counts

The first of the winter's synchronised Goosander roost counts will take place around dawn tomorrow (16th). All Dartmoor reservoirs, Portworthy, Dartington, Stover, Tamar Lakes, Clovelly and Meeth should be covered, but if anyone is prepared to visit other sites around 07:00 to 07:30  to check for Goosanders either tomorrow or over next few days, I'd be happy to receive results, including negative.. Of particular interest are Plym and Taw estuaries where birds reported recently. But do they roost there or fly in from elsewhere? Peter Reay,

Posted November 15th at 2:01 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

FPC 15-11-19

Plenty of Redwing around showing very well, still no sign of the Black Redstart


Posted November 15th at 1:25 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

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