Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th December 2019

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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 General Birding

Wednesday 4th December 2019

Starcross this evening

At the field by the EA Lab, at 1600 a Great White Egret flew SW. at 1628, 24/5 Cattle Egrets flew low over the site, flying N to roost. Also 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew in and a Green Woodpecker. 37 Teal on the wet field.

Posted December 4th, 2019 at 6:00 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Broadsands - Paignton

Very light breeze and gentle swell.  BLACK-NECKED GREBE, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Red-throated Divers,  3 (possibly up to 6) Great Northern Divers but rather mobile around the bay, VELVET SCOTER, & 7 Common Scoter

Posted December 4th, 2019 at 4:17 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Chillington S.T.W.

 4 Firecrests  , 5 Goldcrests , including 2 ' continental' birds and 8 Chiffchaffs this morning, Nearby 15 Redwings in the tops of the Alders.

1st. Yr. m.A particularly smart ' continental' Goldcrest.Note the extent that the pale grey side crown and nape extend on to the mantle. A diagnostic feature of  'continental' birds.
1. 1st. Yr. m.    

2. A particularly smart ' continental' Goldcrest.    

3. Note the extent that the pale grey side crown and nape extend on to the mantle. A diagnostic feature of 'continental' birds.

Posted December 4th, 2019 at 2:38 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

Among the Canada Geese this morning were 3 Barnacle Geese. Also, 1 Egyptian Goose, 1 Greylag and the Snow Goose is back.

Posted December 4th, 2019 at 1:09 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Upper Tamar Lake

A good sighting of the Ring-necked Ducks 3m (one first winter) 1f.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 7:26 pm by Rod Mudge Adam Roberts in General Birding

Colebrook Garden Birds

This woodpecker, one of a pair, is a regular visitor to our back garden feeders.  Yesterday he landed on the bottom pole, which is rusty and he can climb up, but instead he remained absolutely frozen for between 15 and 20 minutes as if there was a predator around. None of the other birds, including this robin, seemed at all concerned.  What was he doing? Not so obliging was a Firecrest that stayed for about 30 seconds and didn't stay for a photo.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 7:13 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Wrafton Pond & Baggy Point

No sign of the 5 Scaup on the pond yesterday aft but the Goldeneye still present. 1 Siberian Chiffchaff 'tristis' in the vegetation close to the boardwalk, very close views.

At Baggy Point on Sunday last c90 Common Scoters including 3 males. (not all visible in the photo, several diving)

Also 1 female Black Redstart near the NT car park

The Common Scoters are finding food at Baggy point (blue mussels) which is why they have remained at this location & not Downend so far this winter.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 6:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Near Two Bridges

Cracking male Hen Harrier flying across the road ahead of me near Two Bridges this afternoon.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 6:08 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Venford Resservoir

Late post from yesterday. 1 Woodcock and 5 Goosanders.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 6:05 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Lopwell Dam

Little Egret 1, Kingfisher 1, Common Sandpiper 4, Little Grebe 4, Moorhen 12+, Mallard 19, Mute Swan 4, Canada Goose 9, Buzzard 4, Raven 2, Grey Wagtail 1, Redwing 13, Goldcrest 2. Scores of Pheasants  in the area including one group of 12 at the junction with the driveway to Maristow House.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 5:59 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

2 Jack Snipe, 19 Snipe, 39 Turnstones, Ringed Plover, 199 Dunlins, 2 Common Sandpipers, Dipper, 10 Little Grebes, Great Crested Grebe, 3 Goosanders (1 drake), 7 Wigeon, 2 Kingfishers, 12 Mandarin Ducks, Mediterranean Gull (Polish-ringed adult), 2 Shags, 2 Great Spotted & 1 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Bullfinches, Grey Wagtail & 6 Roe Deer.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 5:55 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Further to the previous post by Peter, I'm prompted to report the sighting of a single Red Grouse about half a mile south of Ryders hill. Not far from where I flushed five birds some five or six years ago. Also just five Golden Plover.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 5:16 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Velator reserve

2 more Chiffchaffs ringed this morning plus another Cetti's Warbler. Most of the rest were Green, Gold, and Chaffinches.

Out on the scrape a Lapwing and a Redshank, following 2 there a couple of days ago.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 5:15 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Four Great Northern Divers around the Harbour this afternoon, three close in off Breakwater Beach and the bird in the pictures that was feeding on crabs close to the wall between the Marina and the Inner-Harbour.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 4:57 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Ilfracombe Swallows

An adult pair and a juvenile seen flying around the Tunnel Beaches and then perched for 10 mins on our telephone wire. Looking cold. Light too bad to get a good shot with a compact.

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 4:29 pm by Nigel Vince in General Birding


Blue winged teal showed at 12.45 and stayed feeding around the reeds for about 1hour before going to sleep on top of a clump of reeds in the sun,. 

Posted December 3rd, 2019 at 3:58 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

Monday 2nd December 2019


A Chiffchaff in a hedge below Brent Hill this morning was not particularly unusual, but it was on Dartmoor, and in December 2018 only one Dartmoor Chiffchaff record was submitted - according to the Dartmoor Bird Report 2018. In the apparent absence of any other announcement, some readers may be interested to know that the report is available on this website, tucked away under Birdwatching/Articles/Dartmoor Bird Reports. Hopefully it will stimulate submission of more Dartmoor records for 2019.

Posted December 2nd, 2019 at 10:11 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Firecrests Paignton Zoo

There were 5 Firecrests scattered around the Zoo grounds this afternoon - 3 singles and a duo. One of the photos shows a typically minute prey item gleaned from a Yew twig; it looks like an insect egg of some sort.

Firecrest Paignton Zoo Firecrest Paignton Zoo Firecrest with food item

Firecrest at Paignton Zoo: note the tiny prey item on the right - an insect egg?

Posted December 2nd, 2019 at 7:53 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

N. Hallsands.

A snipe in one of my mist nets this morning was a suprise. A lovely bird in the hand with its intricate camouflage ,and incredibly docile. No sighn of yesterday's Yellow Browed Warbler , and the Chiffchaffs had also moved on , with only 2 present today. Very few other migrants ; just 5 Goldcrests.


Posted December 2nd, 2019 at 5:57 pm by Alan K. Searle. in General Birding

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

A very early look at the lakes this morning.

Upper Lake.

5 Ring-necked Duck 3m 2f, 6 Tufted Duck.

Lower Lake.

1 Green Sandpiper on the weir, 1m Shoveler, 7 Goosander 4m 3f.


The Ring_necked were diving with the Tufted which made sexing them very difficult, they all flew south but not the the Lower Lake.

Posted December 2nd, 2019 at 4:23 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm.

A lively morning in superb conditions brought Black Redstart, a significant influx of thrushes, 58 Blackbird & 27 Song Thrush, an increase in bunting numbers to 71 Yellowhammer, 42 Cirl Bunting & 3 Reed Bunting, 700 Herring Gull, 27 Stock Dove, 370 Woodpigeon, 170 Carrion Crow, 74 Jackdaw, a winter's peak of 1050 Skylark, 125 Starling, 7 Buzzard, 25 Greenfinch - species showing signs of recovery, 90 Canada Goose & 100 Linnet.

Late Red Admiral.

Posted December 2nd, 2019 at 3:32 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This morning (high tide) produced: 3 Goosanders (2 drakes + redhead), Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Grebes, 25 Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, 6 Wigeon (3 pairs), 2 Kingfishers & a Great Spotted Woodpecker..

Posted December 2nd, 2019 at 1:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


A lone Whimbrel in amongst a small flock of Oystercatchers and Curlew just off Cockwood steps. No sign of Slavonian Grebe. 

Posted December 2nd, 2019 at 12:18 pm by Matt Collis in General Birding

Sunday 1st December 2019

Snow Bunting

Seen a snow Bunting in the same spot today as I did 2 weeks ago in Woolacombe 

Posted December 1st, 2019 at 9:08 pm by Stephen Adams in General Birding

Great Northern Diver, Dunnock and Curlew

Long distance shot of a Great Northern Diver, Curlew and Dunnock at Instow this morning.

Long distance shot of a Great Northern Diver.
Long distance shot of a Great Northern Diver.

Curlew three of ten.
Curlew three of ten.


Posted December 1st, 2019 at 7:37 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Ringed female Kingfisher

Driving home we saw today this female kingfisher was perched on barbed wire overlooking the dike around the Great Field. Having driven by without disturbance we were able to park up some 20 metres further on & watch and photograph her successfully catch this fish. John Turner please note....she was sporting a ring on her right leg but unable to read the number. One of yours no doubt.

Posted December 1st, 2019 at 7:02 pm by Sue & Phil Naylor in General Birding

Preston Sands, Paignton

Two adult Mediterranean gulls on the rocks at the north end this afternoon. One was colour ringed green RLN4, ringed as a chick in Jablines, Seine-et-Marne, France in 2015. This is now its 3rd winter in Torbay. The other bird was unringed. Well over 20 turnstones, also 1 rock pipit.

French ringed Mediterranean Gull, green RLN4
French ringed Mediterranean Gull, green RLN4

Posted December 1st, 2019 at 5:54 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding


Solo Female Black Redstart present in Coombe Vale garden all morning...

Posted December 1st, 2019 at 4:53 pm by Neil Graham in General Birding


A YELLOW BROWED warbler this morning  ( not caught ) 11 Chiffchaffs. a big increase on the2/3 of the last week ; 3 Firecrests , 4 Goldcrests , including a ' continental ' bird and a female blackcap.

' continental ' Goldcrest. 1st. Yr.f.
' continental ' Goldcrest. 1st. Yr.f.

Posted December 1st, 2019 at 1:45 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

01-12-19 Redwings FPC

Plenty of redwings still at FPC, but no signs yet of the Black Redstarts


Posted December 1st, 2019 at 12:37 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

plymouth railway station

Around 70 ringneck parakeet this morning

Posted December 1st, 2019 at 10:13 am by barry insull in General Birding

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