Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st January 2020


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

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, 2020 at 9:55 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

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, 2020 at 7:23 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

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, 2020 at 5:14 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News


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

Posted January 31st, 2020 at 4:57 pm by John Walton in Bird News

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, 2020 at 4:34 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

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, 2020 at 1:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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, 2020 at 6:23 pm by John elvin in Bird News

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, 2020 at 5:56 pm by Nick Townsend in Bird News

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, 2020 at 1:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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, 2020 at 10:54 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Barnstaple, old bridge.

Male Goosander diving around the old bridge early this afternoon. 

Posted January 29th, 2020 at 7:52 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Beesands Ley

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

Posted January 29th, 2020 at 6:05 pm by Jeff Hacon in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

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


Posted January 29th, 2020 at 5:41 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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, 2020 at 3:50 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

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, 2020 at 3:23 pm by Robert Morgan 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 2:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Monday 27th January 2020


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, 2020 at 5:57 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


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, 2020 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, 2020 at 1:54 pm by art symons in Bird News


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, 2020 at 1:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 8:03 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

plymouth railway station

70 ringneck parakeet

Posted January 25th, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 8:35 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 3:35 pm by James Camden in Bird News


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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 4:19 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


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

Posted January 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

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