Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th January 2020


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

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Mansands & Beesands Ley

At Man Sands (11:10 - 12:35) Blue-winged Teal in sight, occasionally out in the open with plenty of views of markings along with Gadwall were the highlights.

At Beesands (Widdicombe) Ley (13:30 onwards) the drake Ring-necked Duck was easily visible from the path leading to the hide (although wellies were definitely needed). Common Gull and Great Crested Grebe also present.

Posted January 7th, 2020 at 4:31 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

South Hams

Aveton Gifford: Common Sandpiper on River Avon; At treatment works 12 Chiffchaff, 7 Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail.

Bowcombe Creek, Kingsbridge: Greenshank.

South Huish Marsh: Very quiet with 3 Black-tailed Godwit & 11 Ringed Plover.

Posted January 7th, 2020 at 1:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Topsham Rec

The Long-billed Dowitcher was in with the Black-tailed Godwits this morning along with 1 Ruff. Also 4 Pochard.

Later at Topsham Rec, a Marsh Harrier appeared over the reedbed being pursued by a Crow.

Posted January 7th, 2020 at 1:47 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Wembury Bay

A Water Pipit amongst the Rocks and (a few) Meadows at the west end of the beach; also, Black Redstart (female/imm), Grey Wagtail & a cliff-climbing Stoat!

Posted January 7th, 2020 at 1:32 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Monday 6th January 2020

Wrafton Pond

Another duck as well as the Shoveler, a Scuap I think? Eds - Yes that looks like a drake Scaup.



Posted January 6th, 2020 at 7:33 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Three or four Shovelers photo of one high iso as light failing. Male & female Gadwall and a couple of Scaup about ten Collard Doves in a tree near the board walk and a Cetti's Warbler somewhere in the reeds.


Posted January 6th, 2020 at 7:02 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Good numbers of Dunlins on Blaxton Meadow (c270) & 3 Turnstones were unusual here. Also, a pair of Stonechats, Green Woodpecker, Great Crested Grebe, 4 Goosanders (2 pairs), 10 Wigeon (6 drakes), Jack Snipe, Common Sandpiper & 15 Snipe. 

Last night, 3 Great Northern Divers on the lower estuary.

Posted January 6th, 2020 at 4:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Yarner Wood

Spent about half an hour in the pond hide late morning and while the feeders were fairly quiet, the highlight was brief views of a Firecrest.

Posted January 6th, 2020 at 1:34 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Sunday 5th January 2020

Ilfracombe Pier

Ilfracombe Pier I pair of Purple Sandpipers. Black Redstart on the Cove above the fisherman's stores. Great Northern Diver feeding @ Watermouth Harbour.

Also good numbers of Harbour Porpoise from Torrs point to Rillage. Maybe a dozen or more. 

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 7:38 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News


This morning at Meeth,

2 Marsh Tit, 9 Long-tailed Tit, 6 Blue Tit, 2 Wren, 4 Blackbird, 2 Gadwall 1m 1f, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 1 Little Grebe, 32 Coot, 1 Grey Heron, 9 Mallard, 24 Tufted Duck.

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 6:32 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Torquay to the Exe

Haldon Pier, Torquay Harbour :~ Seven Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, three Rock Pipit, Shag, Cormorant, looking into the bay a distant Great Northern Diver, GBBG, twelve Mute Swan.
Darts Farm:~ Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, a mixed flock of 300 plus Brent Geese and a good number of Curlew, Heron, Widgeon and Canada Geese.
Goosemoor :~ two Curlew and a Water Rail.
RSPB BGM :~ Lots of birders filling the hide, Widgeon, Teal, Pintail, Shoveller, Tufted and Pochard ducks, nine Greylag geese, Snipe, large number of Black Tailed Godwit, despite the large numbers unable to spot any ringed birds, Lapwing, the LB Dowitcher flew out towards the viewing platform from the back of the marsh.
From the viewing platform the estuary was alive with birds, Avocet 20 plus, Kingfisher, Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Common Gull in good numbers, a Ruff flew past the platform and dropped into the field to the left close to the footpath, Little Egret, plenty of Brent geese flying over.
Goat Walk:~ large flocks of waders on the far side of the estuary, well over 200 Avocet, large numbers of Black tailed Godwit, Common Gull in good numbers, as were Curlew and Dunlin, one great Crested Grebe, several Red Breasted Merganser.

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 4:57 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Totnes Weir

Five goosanders (3M, 2F) below Totnes weir today

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 4:54 pm by Philip Strange in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh.

Highlights from an early morning walk on the rising tide were a Great Northern Diver, 31 Pintails, 2 Gadwalls and around 500 Jackdaws leaving a roost in Halwell Woods.

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 2:07 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Wrafton pond, Velator reserve

Odd, when I got to Wrafton Pond (after 10 this morning), hoping to see the drake Goldeneye, I couldn't find it! Or the female. But the Scaup was present, along with 5 Gadwall and 3 Shoveler.

In the reserve 2 more Gadwall, 3 Redwing, Water Rail, and two Tit flocks with good numbers of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, plus a Chiffchaff.

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 1:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Dawlish Warren Whooper Swans

2 Whoopers over Dawlish Warren at about 11am

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 12:23 pm by steve ayres in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

I went down to the pond earlier today (08:30-10:00) to hopefully see the Scaup. No sign again, and no Gadwall either. Male and female Goldeneye still present, and a snipe flew overhead and over the reserve towards Velator (you'll have to excuse the photo quality from the back of my camera). Further up the lane towards Chivenor there were 6 or 7 Goldcrests flitting around.

Posted January 5th, 2020 at 11:19 am by Sam Aston in Bird News

Saturday 4th January 2020

Sparrow Hawk

While driving between the Roundswell and Lake roundabouts today at around 13.30hrs I saw a Sparrow Hawk chased, catch and kill a Wood Pigeon. The chase happened in front of my car with the kill on the side of the road.

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 11:28 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Out and about

Lower Tamar Lake. 4 Ring-necked Duck (at last - 5th attempt!) + at least 21 Goosander. Marsh and Willow Tit at all the feeding stations (thanks Rod!) Several Jays seen and Nuthatch on the feeders by the hide.

Skern: 54 Knot, at least 3 Sanderling, 2000 ish Golden Plover, 100+ Wigeon, 4 Brent Geese, good numbers of Dunlin, Grey Plover and Curlew. 1 Greenshank and 1 Roger Doble (!)

Fremington Pill: We only really stopped to check out the Egret roost, so were pleased to find the Spotted Redshank at the top of the pill, and then Andy found a Common Sandpiper too. Waited until dusk and at 4.25 5 Egrets came in to the roost - ALL of them were Cattle Egrets. A few minutes later 2 Little Egrets, followed by 3 more.

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 6:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Between 11:30-12:20 today: Male and female Goldeneye on the pond, 6 Shovellers, just the one Gadwall and no sign of the Scaup. Nice views of a rat swimming out to fetch bread that others had just been feeding the gulls (I believe they were aiming for the Mallard's). On the walk back up towards Chivenor, fantastic views of a goldcrest flying out to catch midgies above the path. One of those "why did I leave my camera at home??" Moments.  Not bothered about me standing 3-4ft away at all.

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 6:04 pm by Sam Aston in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Highlight was a fly through female / second calander year Marsh Harrier. Also still Black-necked Grebe ( Stokeley Bay ) and 2 Firecrest ( Quarry ). Elsewhere 22 Wigeons, 6 Pochards, 7 Goldeneyes, 160 Common Gulls, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Single Red-throated Diver offshore. Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming Torcross and an unseasonal Peacock butterfly near the Quarrry.

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 6:04 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Beesands and Slapton Leys

The drake Ring-necked Duck showed well at Beesands Ley prior to 11.40.

On the way, a Kingfisher perched close to the slipway/waiting area for the Higher Ferry at Kingswear.

At Slapton Ley:

Black-necked Grebe and at least 8 Goldeneyes from the Stokeley Bay Hide.  In Ireland Bay at least 50 Common Gulls and a further drake Goldeneye.  On the path to the quarry 2 Chiffchaffs.  In and around the quarry at least 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Redwings, 2 Song Thrushes and 2 Mistle Thrushes. 

Nice to meet some local birders today at the various locations.  Hope my two boys didn't shatter the peace too much!

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 5:48 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

mear valley exmouth

9 ringneck parakeet

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 5:37 pm by barry insull in Bird News

Middle Soar/Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm

First general count of the year turned up 91 Canada Geese, 5 Red-legged Partridge, 11 Stock Dove, 870 Skylark, Green Woodpecker, 24 Magpie, 60 Jackdaw, 100 Rook, 135 Carrion Crow, 80 Linnet, 32 Cirl Bunting & 6 Yellowhammer (180 here in Jan.2018 - no winter food!).

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 3:40 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

At high tide:

5 Great Crested Grebe, 38 Teal, 4 Mute Swan, 11 Redwing, 1 Blackcap, 1 Sparrowhawk.  114 Snipe on Ernesettle creek.

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 3:33 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

3 Great Northern Divers, 6 Goosanders (2 drakes + 4 redheads), 241 Dunlins, 136 Redshanks, 3 Mandarin Ducks (2 drakes & a duck), Teal (female), 10 Wigeon (6 drakes + 4 ducks), Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail & Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted January 4th, 2020 at 1:29 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Friday 3rd January 2020


The 1st-w drake Blue-winged Teal showed pretty well first thing at Mansands, in its' usual area at the east end of the pools. Also 6 Bullfinches around the feeders and Green Woodpecker, Cetti's Warbler & Chiffchaff heard.

At Brixham, 6 Great Northern Divers & 7 Purple Sandpipers. At Broadsands, Black-necked Grebe, Common Scoter, 6+ Great Northern Divers, Peregrine (buzzing the Scoter!), Great Spotted Woodpecker & c15 Common Dolphins. 

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 8:14 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Otter Estuary, Otterton STW and Woodbury Common

A day around the Exe Estuary, Budleigh and Otterton and East Devon Commons revealed a New list of 96 species. Highlights included:

LB Dowitcher and Ruff still at Bowling Green Marsh
Black Redstart Exmouth Marina
Water Pipit Otter Estuary Scrapes
Red-throated Diver off Otterton STW
Merlin at dusk hunting the Commons

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 7:12 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Mt Batten early eve

3 GND on Cattewater side, 2 Med gulls, 2 gannets close inshore.

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 6:03 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

N Devon

Spent the morning with Chris Dee at a new ringing site near S Molton. We were trying to catch Finches, of which there were several hundred present - mostly Linnets  - 3/400 - but 250 Chaffinches too. All we caught were 2 Robins and 7 Bullfinch!

Later in the reserve surprised to see 6 Gadwall present along with a small flock of Redwing - the first for some weeks. Also saw a furtive Water Rail. Little Egret out on the scrape.

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 5:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Barn Swallow hawking for insects along the edge of Ireland Bay - thousands of" chironomids" on the wing. Bird checked to make sure was not something tropical! Also: Black-necked Grebe, 6 Pochard, 4 Goldeneye, several Common Gull.

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 4:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Newton Abbot area

Decoy Country Park ~ Kingfisher, Tufted duck, flock of Long Tailed Tit and Sparrow hawk overhead.

Pen Inn ~ Soaring Sparrow hawk.

Passage House Inn ~ Curlew, Oyster Catcher

Rv Dart near Buckfastleigh female Goosander.

Back home at South Brent ~ Raven, Rook, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Song Thrush, Redwing, GSWP, female Bullfinch, Long Tailed Tit, feeders still being overrun by a flock of excitable Starling.

Raven ~ South Brent  

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 3:51 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Male Ring-necked Duck, 55 Tufted, 22 Gadwall.

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 12:16 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Torquay Harbour


11 Purple Sandpipers at Haldon Pier. 

Posted January 3rd, 2020 at 11:51 am by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Thursday 2nd January 2020

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake.

30 Goosander 14m 16f, all fishing, 1m Gadwall, 1m Hen Harrier, 2 Tufted Duck 1m 1f, 4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Cormorant, 2 Teal 1m 1f, c50 Black-headed Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Wigeon 1m 1f, 1 Snipe.

Posted January 2nd, 2020 at 7:05 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Devon (North)

Andy L and I started by going to Ilfracombe, hoping for Black Redstart and Iceland Gull. We saw neither. Grey Wagtail at the top end of Bicclescombe Park, Stonechat near where the old Theatre was. As we rounded the corner on Capstone and looked into the cave, single Purple Sandpiper.3 Fulmar over on the cliffs at Hillsborough. On top of the grassy bit of Capstone 4 Rock Pipits. We looked at a lot of Gulls, a lot of sea, and lots of rooftops. Andy dropped me in Braunton and headed out to Baggy. 50+ Common Scoter off the point, 5 Gannets drifted south, as indeed did all the Scoter. a lone LBB Gull drifted south with lots of Herring and BH Gulls. As I turned to go I found a Black Redstart at the point where the coastal path turns sharply right up the hill - bit annoying having spent 2 hours trying in 'Combe. At the point where the old sewage outfall used to be I could see several BH gulls flying and landing on the water. Closer inspection with the scope revealed at least 1 Mediterranean Gull. At Down End no Scoters but a pair of Raven. Sparrowhawk in the reserve, 8 Shoveler 3 Gadwall and the Scaup on Wrafton Pond.

Posted January 2nd, 2020 at 5:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Garden & River watch

Have just re-positioned my bird feeders due to alterations in my garden. Was rewarded yesterday with a handful of Long Tailed Tits, a Coal Tit and a male Blackcap. Late afternoon walk along Pottington side of Tarka trail produced good numbers of Redshank, Lapwing, Oystercatchers. Some Black Tailed Godwits very close to the trail down on the mud. A single Kingfisher and a solitary Little Egret, Cormorant and Shelduck. A Large flock of Canada Geese in the fields next to the A361. Poor visibility made up for by the large and easy views of the birds.

Posted January 2nd, 2020 at 4:46 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News

River Dart, Staverton

New Year's day walk along the Dart from the station towards the village  in very damp conditions. Saw approximately a dozen Mallards, pair of Dippers and Little Grebe and 2 Goosanders.

Posted January 2nd, 2020 at 2:15 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News


A single male Hawfinch on Haldon Forest this morning. Feeding in aMay Beech tree just above the Butterfly Walk 

Posted January 2nd, 2020 at 12:46 pm by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in Bird News

Wednesday 1st January 2020


Nice couple of hours down at Broadsands this afternoon,couple of Song Thrush calling, lots of Gold finch, Cirl bunting and 3 Firecrest and a Goldcrest in the hedges by the fields. also a Chiffchaff, and Grey wagtail. On the sea Great Northern Diver, and amonst the Gull flock, a Med. Gull.

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 10:20 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Around the Teign Estuary

A total of 86 species recorded today, the highlights being: Scaup, Firecrest and Marsh Tit at Decoy Country Park, three Green Sandpipers at Teigngrace, 10 Avocets on the estuary, a Dipper on the River Lemon, and 34 Common Scoters, two Mediterranean Gulls and three Great Northern Divers off Teignmouth.

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 9:00 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Plym Estuary

The almost daily bulletin of Goosander numbers on the Plym is interesting, but does anyone yet know whether they roost there at night or fly in from, say, Burrator, or both? The slight variation in numbers and sex ratios indicates at least some daily changes in the individuals present, but not where they roost. Has anyone had a look around 07:30 or 16:00? Recent observations have shown that small numbers present during the day on the lower reaches of both the Dart and  the Taw may also roost at these sites. 

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 8:34 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News


Watched from 07:45 till 14:00

A tawny owl on the walk down to the hide was a good start, from the the hide the 1st winter Long billed dowitcher was viewable on and off all morning on the far left other highlights were 1 ruff, 1 turnstone and 40+ golden plover , 180+ avocet, 1 pochard, 6+ tufted duck , 4+ bar tailed godwits, 2 greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 1 kingfisher, 1 water rail. 2 cetti’s wsrbler, 1 sparrowhawk also good numbers of black tailed godwits, wigeon and shoveler, at least 1500+ Brent geese flew over to darts farm.

from the viewing platform, 1 smart male goldeneye mid estuary, a few grey plover

from the goatwalk a female goldeneye 3+ turnstone, 1000+ golden plover by turf

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 8:04 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Velator Wrafton Fremington Pill

 Ringing (New Year start) was hopeless! Only ringed 2 birds: A Blue Tit and a much more exciting juvenile male Sparrowhawk. A retrap Cetti's Warbler was good, as was a visit of a pair of Swans.

Joined Andy Lansdell at Wrafton Pond where 4 Shoveler, 2+ Gadwall, Scaup and Goldeneye all present.

Later at Fremington Pill, the Glossy Ibis still - at the sluice. At the confluence of the Pill and Taw, a Greenshank, and a somewhat distant Spoonbill. Back up the Pill a Spotted Redshank. So to the roost: we counted at least 40 Egrets (still arriving at 16.55.) But couldn't be sure whether they were Little (mostly, we think) or Cattle.

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 7:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Additions to Alan's post below: Goldeneye (female), 7 Goosanders (3 drakes + 4 redheads), Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe, 10 Little Grebes, Teal (female), 2 Jack Snipe, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, 3 Shags, Kingfisher, 2 Green Woodpeckers & 11 Roe Deer.

Happy New Year!

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 2:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Plym estuary / Saltram.

This mornings high tide roost:

140 Dunlin, 147 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 51 Curlew, 31 Shelduck, 9 Turnstone, 5 Goosander (3m, 2f) 4 Mandarin, 4 Wigeon, 4 Little grebe, 10 Common gull, 1 Mediterranean gull with leg ring, 13 Redwing, 6 Stock dove, 2 Ring neck Parakeet.

Happy new year.

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 2:13 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Common Scoter at Baggy Point

We counted 59 Common Scoter in the flock this new years day. Also seen, two pairs of Wigeon which flew off towards Putsborough. Unable to attach image due to image size restrictions. 

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 1:07 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 08:00-10:15, High Tide

4 Avocets in curlew roost east side of bay ( only ever seen 5 or 6 in total on the estuary before ), 107 Brent Geese, 20 Red-breasted Mergansers, 57 Curlews, 3 Water Rails, 2 Chiffchaffs ( sewage works ), 4 Firecrests ( 2 sewage works, 2 kissing gate by marsh entrance ) and 4 Cirl Buntings.

Posted January 1st, 2020 at 12:03 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts