Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st January 2020

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder recorder@devonbirds.org Many thanks, stay safe.

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, 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  

 

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

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/staying-at-home-to-avoid-getting-coronavirus/staying-at-home-and-away-from-other-people/

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

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 31st January 2020

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh

Just before midday - amongst all the usuals (including some smart Pintail), the drake Scaup was showing well and looking good. 

Posted January 31st at 9:55 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Upper/Lower Tamar Lake

Upper Lake this morning,

4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 1m Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Cormorant, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Goosander 1m 1f

Lower Lake,2 Willow Tit, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1f Great Spotted Woodpecker, 8 Goosander 2m 6f.

Posted January 31st at 7:23 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Otter Estuary.

17 Snipe feeding on the flooded scrapes this morning.  Also present were c350 Black headed Gulls, 21 Brent Geese on cricket pitch, Great Black backed Gulls, Shoveler, and a Water Rail heard, with good numbers of Wigeon and Teal.  At Whitebridge a Sparrow Hawk was patrolling over the marsh and fields.  2 Reed Bunting and a Goldcrest along the path.

Posted January 31st at 5:14 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Goosanders

Ten Goosanders, 3 male/7 female, on New Park Lake, Bovey Tracey. Viewable from road.

Posted January 31st at 4:57 pm by John Walton in General Birding

South Brent Sparrow sp

The Sparrow of undetermined origin continues to frequent my garden feeders and that of one of my neighbours across the road on Hillside.

It has some subtle minor behavioural traits that stand out from the resident House Sparrows, it frequently is present without any other sparrows being present, although it does feed and perch in their company, it has a Dunnock like habit of scurrying through the hedge that leads to the feeders and frequently feeds late into the afternoon when all the other sparrows have left for the day, may be nothing but over the time it has been visiting these minors differences are becoming apparent.

Posted January 31st at 4:34 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

2 drake and 1 duck Red-crested Pochard again this morning at about 10.15. Out on the scrape a few Teal survived yesterday's carnage of shooting. Also present a lot of Black-headed Gulls (one in summer plumage) and 3 Curlew. Over near Chivenor 3 Little Egrets.

In the reserve 3 Gadwall plus calling Tawny Owl and Water Rail - first I've recorded since 19th January.

Posted January 31st at 1:48 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 30th January 2020

Barnstaple and Anchor Wood towards Fremington.

Water Rail, common sandpiper, good numbers of Redshank, curlew and 4 little egrets. 3Lapwing,1 little grebe, and 1 med gull. Very grey day. 

Posted January 30th at 6:23 pm by John elvin in General Birding

Beesands hide door handle and access to hide

The faulty door handle reported earlier this week has been repaired.  Access to the hide is however still flooded but can be negotiated in tall wellies.  The access will remain flooded until the outlet to the ley is cleared by the Widdicombe Estate.

Posted January 30th at 5:56 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Still 3 Red-crested Pochard on the pond this morning at about 09.00. 2 Gadwall also present, and another 7 in the reserve, where a Chiffchaff was also present.

Posted January 30th at 1:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 29th January 2020

Wrafton Pond

As I arrived at Wrafton pond Mr Rob Jutsum was photographing three Red crested Pochards on the Barnstaple end of the pond. My efforts were taken from the wooden walkway. 

Two males and a female Red crested Pochard. Male Red crested Pochard A pair of Red crested Pochard
Two males and a female Red crested Pochard.

 

Posted January 29th at 10:54 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Barnstaple, old bridge.

Male Goosander diving around the old bridge early this afternoon. 

Posted January 29th at 7:52 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Ring necked duck still present at 11.30. The path to the hide is flooded

Posted January 29th at 6:05 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

2m + 1f Red crested Pochard on the pond this aft. Goldeneye still present.

   

Posted January 29th at 5:41 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Middle Soar/Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm

3rd 2020 farmland bird count very good with c.60 Cirl Bunting, c.130 Yellowhammer & 860 Skylark. Also: Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzards inc. one after frogs, 8 Meadow Pipit, 23 Magpie, 100 Jackdaw & c.100 Linnet.

Posted January 29th at 3:50 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

29/1/20 Pill at Fremington

Lovely view of the Glossy Ibis on the Pill at Fremington this afternoon, seen from the Army Camp side. Lots of Redshank and a Little Egret, some Oystercatchers and various Gulls. Bright and sunny which made everything stand out better

Posted January 29th at 3:23 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

plymouth railway station

70 ringneck parakeet

Posted January 25th at 5:32 pm by barry insull in General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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 Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lower Tamar Lake

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

Posted January 24th at 3:18 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Laira, Plymouth

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

Posted January 23rd at 10:10 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Tiverton Canal

One of three kingfishers busy on the canal last weekend.

Posted January 23rd at 9:57 am by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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 General Birding

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