Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th December 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

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 recorder@devonbirds.org to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

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

 

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

Saturday 14th December 2019

Slapton and South Milton

Nice views of firecrests at the quarry at Slapton, Scaup and Black-necked grebe at Torcross end. At the sewage works at South Milton lots of Chiffchaffs, a few goldcrests, some redwing and a firecrest.

Firecrest
Firecrest

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

Firecrest
Firecrest

Posted December 14th, 2019 at 5:21 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth. 14/12/2019

Short visit  this morning. Apart from the usual corvids there were about a dozen or so Redwing and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Happy Christmas and New Year everyone and lets hope there are more birds around next year.

Posted December 14th, 2019 at 4:56 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Broadsands

A long overdue decent mornings birding at Broadsands, around the car parks 3 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, 2 Pied Wags, a Meadow Pipit, 42 plus Goldfinch and a handful of Greenfinch, fly over female Bullfinch, 4 Cirl Bunting, 6 Dunnock a young male Kestrel showed well on four occasions as it hunted around the car park area.

  

Posted December 14th, 2019 at 4:54 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning 4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 1f Tufted Duck, 23 Goosander 10m 13f, 1 Grey Heron.

Posted December 14th, 2019 at 3:06 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Friday 13th December 2019

Bowling Green & Haldon Forest

Very few waders on BGM on the falling tide but the Long-billed Dowitcher showed well on the spit on the left of main channel from the hide before flying off to the 'island'.  Athya ducks were represented by an eclipse/winter male Scaup, a Pochard with a group of Tufted Duck.  A flyover pair of Black Swans provided a bit of exotic 'colour'.

At Haldon, on the Butterfly Trail, 200m east of the pylons, 4 Hawfinches feeding on hornbeam (about 2 minutes before Jon & Andy showed up). Then another 2 singles.  Three groups of 6/8 Crossbills, a flock of 2 dozen Chaffinches contained both a Siskin and a Brambling and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were in the same area.

Posted December 13th, 2019 at 9:06 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

From the hide this morning, 11 Goosander, 5 Tufted Duck, 1 drake Ring-necked Duck, Nuthatch and Willow Tit.

On the way to the Lake, at the pull-in by the beware of toads sign at Melbury Forest 6 Crossbill, 4 Siskin, and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Posted December 13th, 2019 at 7:53 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

South Devon

Andy Lansdell and I headed south earlyish this morning, and arrived at Mansands about 09.50. The BW Teal had been seen, but it had done it's usual trick of going into hiding, so we walked down the lane and it flew out, showing the wings, then fed, paddled about and went back into hiding. Good start, considering today is Friday 13th! So to Broadsands, where at least 2 (a pair) of Cirl Buntings were taking some seeds, and a Firecrest was also on show. Out on the ocean, 11 ships sheltering from the storms, and at least 5 Great Northern Divers. Mike Langman gave us directions to the Black-necked Grebe off Preston sea front so we hastened there to see that as well. Next stop was a flying visit to Stover for a slightly plastic trio of Mandarins (and a Muscovy Duck). By now it was pushing 2 o'clock so we headed up to Haldon and out into the forest where we found A) Chris Marcol, and he was quickly followed by B) Several Crossbill (thanks for loan of the scope Chris!) And finally C) a Hawfinch on a slightly distant tree, it flew before photos were obtained. So we raced on to Bowling Green Marsh, Chris having told us that the Dowitcher was there this morning. We tried, but alas our only failure of the day. Never mind - 75 plus species and as a special prize, it rained all the way home....

Posted December 13th, 2019 at 7:26 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Widworthy

In garden today

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker

Posted December 13th, 2019 at 7:13 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Teignmouth Seafront 14:30

Great Norther Diver off the seafront, just South of the pier.

Posted December 13th, 2019 at 3:45 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A low tide visit produced: 2 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 4 Goosanders (all redheads), 4 Shags, 4 Little Grebes, a pair of Mandarin Ducks, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Stonechat, Grey Wagtail & 4 Roe Deer. 

Also, Great Northern Diver in the Cattewater.

Posted December 13th, 2019 at 3:21 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Male & female Goldeneye & the 4 Scaup  showing well this morning.

 

Posted December 13th, 2019 at 12:27 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Thursday 12th December 2019

Wrafton Pond

The male Goldeneye was still on the pond at 16.00 & sometimes swimming up alongside the female while showers rattled through on a regular basis.


Posted December 12th, 2019 at 6:10 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Skern/Fremington Pill

Tide quite a way out so birds at a premium. Many hundreds of Oystercatcher, Probably 150 Wigeon, amongst which at least 2 Pintail, and a Grey Plover. 2 Great Northern Diver over near Crow and a Red-throated flying off out to sea (Thanks Dave for this info).

At Fremington I drove down the Pill and saw a few Redshank, but not much else, then remembered the roost site up at the start of the Pill. I could plainly see 4 Egrets as I neared the trees, but parking directly opposite I could see quite a few! One of which seemed to have a yellow bill, so did the one next to it and two or three of the others. Closer inspection with the scope revealed only 1 Little Egret, and no less than 9 Cattle Egret. Above them all was the Glossy Ibis. This was at about 3.45p.m.

I haven't seen any recent reports of Cattle Egrets here. Anyone else?

Unfortunately, I had left the camera at home....

Posted December 12th, 2019 at 4:54 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

At 10:00 this morning 2 Whooper Swan which finally flew north, but not seen on the Upper Lake, 1 Little Egret which flew south.

Posted December 12th, 2019 at 3:02 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Velator/Wrafton Pond

On the tour round the reserve this morning at least a dozen unringed Long-tailed Tits, 3 chiffchaff seen, and a Blackbird alarming drew me to an ivy-clad tree with a Tawny Owl in it, first in tnhe reserve since 25th August.

Wrafton pond had 3 Scaup, 4 Gadwall and 2 Goldeneye - the female having been joined by a smart male!

Distant shot, but when it swam closer it started diving, and then the rain set in again....
Distant shot, but when it swam closer it started diving, and then the rain set in again....

Posted December 12th, 2019 at 12:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 11th December 2019

Plym Estuary

A short visit just before dusk on the high tide produced: Lapwing, Great Northern Diver, 63 Curlews, 7 Wigeon (4 drakes) & 5 Greenshanks.

Posted December 11th, 2019 at 5:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Broadsands

On the sea today: 6 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe & 9 Common Scoter.

In the Car parks: 17 Cirl Bunting, 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest & 1 Chiffchaff.

Posted December 11th, 2019 at 2:46 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

CANCELLATION of Fieldtrip tomorrow (Woodbury Castle).

Sorry folks but the weather forecast for tomorrow THURSDAY 12 Dec predicts heavy rain showers for the morning in East Devon.  Woodbury Castle is particularly exposed and therefore we have cancelled the planned visit. An email to this effect is being sent out to Branch members in addition to this notice.  

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone seasons greetings.  Happy Christmas and good birding.  

Posted December 11th, 2019 at 9:08 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Tuesday 10th December 2019

Matford & Riverside Country Park, Exeter Monday 9th

Fair number of Redwings about. Also 20 Shoveler & 40 Teal at Matford Marsh, along with a Red Admiral. Cracking female Kingfisher at Riverside Country Park, sitting in morning sunshine. Also 20 Teal, 2 Male Red-breasted Mergansers and a Water Rail.

Posted December 10th, 2019 at 9:01 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

Monday 9th December 2019

Plymouth Estuary

On the estuary today, the following were seen.

Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Shag,  262 Dunlin (nicely lined up on the wall), 144 Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 10 Oystercatcher, 50 Turnstone, 38 Curlew, Common Sandpiper, 6 Wigeon, 9 Grey Heron and a Kingfisher

Posted December 9th, 2019 at 8:25 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

The light was very good this aft for photography so cycled down to the pond to try & get some quality photos. This was my best of 140 photos!


Posted December 9th, 2019 at 7:23 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Hen harrier hunting

Male Hen Harrier seen hunting around the North Walla Brook area on Dartmoor this afternoon. 

Posted December 9th, 2019 at 7:11 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News

Velator

In a howling wind, (which was supposed to calm down by mid morning) only able to open one net, but still managed to catch 10 Greenfinch and a Chiffchaff. While eating my lunch a rather dapper visitor in the form of a Kingfisher landed in the trees the other side of the pond, and peered in hoping for a Stickleback.

Once again a Little Egret and a Redshank out on the scrape.

Posted December 9th, 2019 at 7:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sunday 8th December 2019

Wrafton Pond

4 Scaup & 1 Goldeneye still on the pond. I wonder where Scaup no 5 has gone?


Posted December 8th, 2019 at 6:12 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Good views of a male Scaup near the tank and a nice Black-necked grebe on the way to the Stokeley hide. I counted 19 Pochard and lots of gulls on the ley. I Med gull in amongst the Black-headed gulls a few common gulls and a Kittiwake

Black-necked Grebe Scaup Pochard
Black-necked Grebe                       Scaup                                                     Pochard

Posted December 8th, 2019 at 5:30 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Velator pond

Lunchtime Visit to Velator pond today in between the showers.  could someone kindly identify for me please ?  

     

Eds: Goldeneye with Scaup in background                                       Eds: dodgy female Mallard!

Posted December 8th, 2019 at 4:04 pm by Karen Serle in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Long Billed Dowitcher showing well


Posted December 8th, 2019 at 11:45 am by Ryan K in Bird News

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