Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st January 2020

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

Tuesday 28th January 2020

Ilfracombe Rocks

More juv Iceland Gulls, around the Harbour, at least 2 individuals have showed up after last night's rough weather. A few Common and Med Gulls as well. 16 GBB Gulls and we'll over 100 Fulmar sat on the Sea. 

I've noticed today that one of the Grey Seal Pups feeding around the Pier has a Red flipper tag. Proving very difficult to get a photo! 

Iceland Gull   
Iceland Gull

Posted January 28th at 8:00 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Marshes becoming main High Tide Roost area

Black-tailed Godwit  Golden Plover
Black-tailed Godwit                                      Golden Plover

Posted January 28th at 6:28 pm by colin scott in Bird News

Ashclyst Forest, Nr Broadclyst, E Devon

Marsh Tit

Visited a couple of locations at Ashclyst Forest to put out bird seed and within seconds attracted a good few species including several Marsh Tit at both locations which suggests that they are quite plentiful here. Although it is one of the largest forests in East Devon I suspect it is not visited often by many birders.

Posted January 28th at 6:21 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Beesands Hide-WARNING

A note of warning for anyone visiting the Beesands Hide.  An East Devon member visited the hide today and became locked in due to a faulty handle on the door.  He eventually released himself but not before he had to call the Fire Services!  No laughing matter! 

Posted January 28th at 6:06 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On this morning's high tide: 265 Dunlins, 95 Redshanks, 54 Curlews, 11 Oystercatchers, Common Sandpiper, 4 Snipe, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 pairs), 6 Goosanders (2 drakes + 4 redheads), 12 Wigeon (7 drakes), 20 Mandarin Ducks (13 drakes), 6 Little Grebes, Great Northern Diver & 2 Grey Wagtails.

Posted January 28th at 2:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Monday 27th January 2020

Exmouth

A Red-necked Grebe off Shelly Beach this afternoon (1555 - 1700 at least). My first in Exmouth since Jan 2014. Also 25+ Cattle Egret on mud-spit north of Starcross and the Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood. Yesterday 32 Cattle Egret in the same spot. This is a favoured pre-roost gathering spot at the moment, while tides are low. Photos of RNG on blog.

Posted January 27th at 5:57 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Stokenham.

In vicarage Lane, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.An unusual sighting of this elusive species, although I did see another very close to this site several years ago.

Posted January 27th at 5:14 pm by Alan K. Stearle. in Bird News

Greenfinch feeding

Today 6 greenfinch were feeding on cotoneaster berries for 10 mins or more. Not seen this before, (I did check for waxwings).

Posted January 27th at 1:54 pm by art symons in Bird News

Velator

First visit for a few days, which were spent in Spain. Highlight was seeing about 500 Cranes and 2 Black-shouldered Kites at La Janda.. It didn't just rain though - it bucketed down!

Back at the reserve this morning 4 Gadwall, a calling Tawny Owl and 2 Chiffchaffs.

Posted January 27th at 1:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Broadsands

Birding this morning morning at Broadsands produced:

1 Brambling, 1 Tawny Owl (roosting), 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 4 'collybita' Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrest & 2 Great Northern Divers.

Posted January 27th at 12:52 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 26th January 2020

Ottery St Mary

4 Goosanders (1 drake) and 3 Bullfinches (1 × F) on the Otter between OSM & Fluxton this afternoon

Posted January 26th at 7:54 pm by Martin Littlemore in Bird News

River Culm, Willand

3 cattle egret, 52 little egret, in large field beside Culm between Willand and Bradfield corner, 3.50pm.

Posted January 26th at 6:01 pm by James Morrison in Bird News

Horsey Island

Aft : Cycled along the Toll Road to Horsey & from behind the wall digiscoped (from several hundred metres away without disturbing them) the 2 Spoonbill & 2 Ruff foraging in the patchy drizzle.

Somebody walking the dog along the footpath between the White House & the Fishermens huts disturbed both the Spoonbills & the Ruff.



Posted January 26th at 5:21 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Red Poll sighting

A pair of red polls on our Niger feeder today in Teign Valley. First time sighting in our garden in 23 years.  Takes our total species count to 53.

Posted January 26th at 3:44 pm by Ian Lynch in Bird News

Saturday 25th January 2020

Various waders at Fremington Pill mouth today

A relatively early,  for us :) , visit to Fremington Quay this morning at 08:40  revealed a lone Grey Plover a single Bar Tailed Godwit about a dozen Dunlin and a brief glimpse of the Kingfisher. Images are distant & cropped record shots.

Bar tailed Godwit at Fremington Pill mouth
Bar tailed Godwit at Fremington Pill mouth

Grey Plover at Fremington Pill mouth
Grey Plover at Fremington Pill mouth

Posted January 25th at 8:03 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

plymouth railway station

70 ringneck parakeet

Posted January 25th at 5:32 pm by barry insull in Bird News

South Hams

Had a wander around the South Hams today, 10 Goosanders at Gara Bridge on the Avon and the Ring-necked duck at Beesands 

Posted January 25th at 4:47 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Friday 24th January 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Treecreeper again, 4 Goosanders (1 drake), Red-crested Pochard (female) & 15 Mandarin Ducks (8 drakes).

Posted January 24th at 9:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe still at Torcross. Fem / imm Marsh Harrier in Stokeley Bay this morning and Ireland Bay in the afternoon. Elsewhere 13 Gadwalls, 8 Wigeons, 7 Pochards and 6 Goldeneyes.

Posted January 24th at 8:35 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Broadsands

The reed bed marsh behind the main beach (not the car park marsh) contained: 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs , 4 collybita Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Snipe.

Siberian Chiffchaff Broadsands 24 Jan 2020 ML

                                                                       Siberian (tristis) Chiffchaff

Posted January 24th at 3:39 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail.

Posted January 24th at 3:18 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Thursday 23rd January 2020

South Brent ~ Sparrow sp

After an absence of three days the "Italian" type Sparrow sp has spent most of the day in and out of the garden feeding on fats balls at my feed station.

Also around the garden today nice to have a Song Thrush in and my first Treecreeper of the year.

Posted January 23rd at 5:42 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exe Estuart cruise

A dull, but at least clear, Stuart Lines cruise this afternoon. Pride of place has to go to the Long-billed Dowitcher feeding with Black-tailed Godwits at Topsham and 30 Cattle Egrets (counts varied from 28 to 32, but I reckoned 30!) on a sandbank just north of Starcross at about 2.30pm. There were at least 22 Great Crested Grebes, plus the usual Slavonian at Cockwood and a Little Grebe and 2 Black Swans at Topsham. 3 Pintail were on Pole Sands (off the tip of Dawlish Warren) plus c130 of Lympstone Marines camp, where there were 12 Greylag Geese on the mud (distant, but I think that's what they were!); 50 Teal at Topsham and c30 Mergansers. A Peregrine was on Exmouth church tower. Waders were well scattered, especially between Turf and Lympstone, with 300+ Avocets (30+ at Powderham), several hundred Golden Plover, c100 Bar-tailed and several large flocks of Black-tailed Godwits (must have been well over 1000). 4 Greenshank scattered between DW and Powderham. A Grey Seal was hauled out onto a buoy at DW and another seal was seen briefly between Turf and Topsham.

Posted January 23rd at 4:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Ludwell Valley Park murmuration

There has been a decent sized starling murmuration over the playing fields in Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter recently - I am pretty bad at counting but I reckon it's of the order about 1000 birds and they have been performing really well this week, so worth going out at dusk to see if you're in the area :)

Posted January 23rd at 4:53 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News

Exminster - Exeter

This morning on the marsh, one each of Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Kestrel and Buzzard were spooking the Lapwings and ducks, and a Spotted Redshank was on the new scrape. In the estuary, the Golden Plover flock seemed to be bigger than ever (1000 plus?) and continued its mournful calling.

At Matford, a Sparrowhawk made it a five-raptor day, and my first local Gadwall of the Winter were on the main pond.

Along the canal, lots of singing Song Thrushes (plus the first Primrose).

Finally, in the crematorium grounds, Dipper and Treecreeper took the year list to 118.

Posted January 23rd at 3:35 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Broadsands

The reed bed marsh behind the main beach (not the car park marsh) contained:

2 Siberian Chiffchaffs (one calling- not sure which as they were together )  they regularly dropped into the grassy stubble field, 6 collybita Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Snipe.

On the feeding station in the 2nd car park: 17 Cirl Buntings, 4 Yellowhammers, 1 Reedbunting, 18 House Sparrows, 13 chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch and 4 Greenfinch.

Posted January 23rd at 10:38 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Laira, Plymouth

Firecrest in the garden this morning. Moving along Darwin Crescent.

Posted January 23rd at 10:10 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Tiverton Canal

One of three kingfishers busy on the canal last weekend.

Posted January 23rd at 9:57 am by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Stuartline Cruise 22 January 2020

What a difference a day makes! With challenging conditions at the start once in the Estuary the visibility improved and the visitors started to see plenty of birds on show. Curlews were in good numbers across the Estuary and the distinctive evocative calls were drifting around the estuary on a light breeze. Several Turnstones were seen on the mussel vessel off Dawlish Warren and on the shoreline at Starcross. The Slavonian Grebe was spotted with a Little Grebe in the normal place off Cockwood. Dark Bellied Brent Geese were in good numbers in this area with several flying near the boat. Cormorants and Shags were plentiful along this stretch with comparisons between the two easy to see. Greenshank were seen towards the River Kenn confluence with Common Gull, Black Headed Gull, and Herring Gull bathing in fresh water. First of the 300+ Avocets were seen at this lower location and good numbers were seen close to the boat all the way to Topsham. A few Bar Tailed Godwit and plenty of Dunlin were off Lympstone and were numerous across the mudflats all the way to Topsham.Grey Plover were seen at a distance along with Pintail close to Exton 300+ Black Tailed Godwits were showing well along the waters edge for visitors to see along with Redshank and two small groups of Golden Plover either side of the main channel near Turf Lock. A raft of 20+ Great Crested Grebe were viewed near the River Clyst confluence this sighting was the most seen all together this winter and a real treat for the visitors. Red Breasted Mergansers stole the show today with at least 20+ on show close to the boat. On our return back to Exmouth 200+ Lapwing and 100+ Black Tailed Godwit took to the air from Powderham Marsh and showed well from the boat. As we steamed past Dawlish Warren there were very close encounters of 8+ Sanderling feeding along the waters edge which was a real bonus this finished off a very productive cruise.

Red Breasted MerganserAvocetsSanderling
Red Breasted Merganser                         Avocets                                         Sanderling

Posted January 22nd at 6:14 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Melbury forest

At least 12 Crossbills,200+ chaffinches,3 brambling,ad male 2female,12:00-13:00

Posted January 22nd at 4:19 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Roadford

Pink-footed Goose and Barnacle Goose this morning from the viaduct among c400 Canada Geese. Also 3 Goldeneye.

Posted January 22nd at 2:44 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

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