Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st October 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:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News


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

Saturday 31st October 2020

Saltram House Plymouth

Impressive sight of around 200 Greenfinch in a pre-roost flock near the duck pond at dusk before disappearing deep into the evergreens.  Thanks Martin for the tip.

Posted October 31st at 11:37 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News


Looking out to sea at Slapton, lots of Kittewakes and gannets, 3 Arctic terns, 2 common Scoter. A firecrest and several goldcrests around Ireland bay. From the bridge a distant bittern, a Kingfisher and a sparrowhawk.

Posted October 31st at 7:12 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Fremington Pill

This afternoon I dropped in to Fremington Pill and was rewarded with the following sightings: One Spotted Redshank; a number of Redshank; one Greenshank; one Kingfisher flyby; and the Grey Phalarope still showing well despite the poor weather conditions.

Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope

Posted October 31st at 6:55 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


Early afternoon in ongoing strong winds, a Red-throated Diver, 2 Purple Sandpipers & 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ad & 2nd-w) at Mount Batten. Later, the Plym Estuary & Saltram produced an ad Mediterranean Gull, 6 Goosanders, 4 Wigeon, 17+ Turnstones, 51 Curlews, 3 Snipe & Grey Wagtail.

Posted October 31st at 5:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Drake American Wigeon again off Mudbank late afternoon. Bonxie and a single Purple Sandpiper - Maer Rocks.

Posted October 31st at 5:22 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

This afternoon on the rising tide:

28 Teal, 5 Great crested grebe preening, 4 Greenshank, 1 Common sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher in and out of the shallow pools and a single Black tailed Godwit on the mudflats.

Posted October 31st at 5:16 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Hope's Nose


6 Great Northern Divers. 3 together very close, in Hope Cove. 3 more further out, that then moved into Anstey's Cove. 3 Grey Seals. 

Posted October 31st at 4:54 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes

Upper Lake this morning,

1 Grey Phalarope, 8 Snipe, 4 Cormorants, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Canada Geese,

Lower Lake,

 3 Goosander 1m 2f, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1m Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Tufted Duck.

Posted October 31st at 1:37 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch from 0715-1100hrs produced : 2 juv Pomarine, 2 (1 Juv & 1 2nd cy) Arctic & 1 Great Skua, 4 Great Northern Divers, 11 Common Scoter, 371 Auks (mostly Razorbills), 632 Kittiwakes, 3 Fulmar, 5+ H Porpoise & 2 Tuna.

Elsewhere on headland 3 Black Redstarts in quarry and a Yellow-browed Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff in woods just w of quarry entrance, with Long-tailed Tits.

Posted October 31st at 12:39 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling Greens Marsh 29/10

A Spotted Redshank was amongst the Redshank during the afternoons high tide roost. Sorry for slow info. 

Posted October 31st at 8:50 am by Matt Collis in Bird News

Friday 30th October 2020

Slapton Ley

Highlight this morning was this presumed Polish-ringed Caspian Gull, I think it might be a first record for Slapton ? On the beach about halfway between Torcross and the Memorial Car Park. Also a ringed adult Great Black-backed Gull, i think ringed in Normandy ( awaiting details ).

Ring-necked Duck still present out from the Stokeley Hide.

Posted October 30th at 4:11 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Green Woodpecker again this morning in a rather wet visit, and oddly 6 Moorhens haven't seen this many for some months now.. I hope that 4 of them are juveniles of the resident pair, but it seemed as if there were 3 adults - with bright red bills....

Posted October 30th at 4:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Grey Phalarope still at the Pill this morning .

Posted October 30th at 12:15 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Thursday 29th October 2020

Blaxton Meadow, Plym, at high tide

Late afternoon count. 49 curlew, 176 redshank, 7 greenshank, 5 dunlin, 9 oystercatcher, 4 wigeon, 57 Canada geese, 17 mallard, 3 little egret. 1 knot (watch out Snettisham). 4 Mandarin roosting in dead trees beside the estuary.

Posted October 29th at 5:59 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Hope's Nose

Late afternoon up to 16.40. 

18 Purple Sandpipers and 1 Great Northern Diver. 3 Grey Seals and 1 Harbour Porpoise. 

Posted October 29th at 5:32 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


Not much of note in the reserve this morning, or this afternoon, but over the Marsh south of the reserve, a cracking adult male Marsh Harrier.

Further afield the Grey Phalarope showed well at the top of Fremington Pill late afternoon. 10 Little Egrets came to roost, but I left before the Glossy Ibis or Cattle Egrets arrived.

Posted October 29th at 5:29 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thurlestone Sand

Probable Grey Phalarope. I have not seen this species before and did not get great views of the bird so I cannot be totally certain of the ID. When I first saw it flying over the tops of large breaking waves about 30 yards out, I thought it was a Dunlin. Then I saw it was sitting on top of the water like a gull, riding the waves and occasionally making short flights when troubled by a particularly big wave. It was loosely associating with several black-headed gulls. The plumage looked right for grey phalarope but it was hard to get a good view with the wind, the spray and the huge rolling waves. 

Posted October 29th at 5:23 pm by Ben Crabb in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch 08:00-15:30: 2 Pomarine Skuas (juv and imm), 4 Arctic Skuas, 6 Bonxies, 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Common Scoter, 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Common Gulls, 5 Fulmars and 1661 Kittiwakes.

2 Black Redstarts.

Multiple (20+) sightings of leaping Bluefin Tuna (several animals), 4+ Harbour Porpoise and 15+ Common Dolphins.

Posted October 29th at 5:03 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


Adult male American Wigeon off Mudbank from around 1440 to about 1520'ish when it flew off across the river towards Dawlish Warren. Photos on later.

Posted October 29th at 3:53 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

R.Plym at Marsh Mills

For over an hour at lunchtime today, at low water, a Dipper was foraging opposite the mouth of the Tory Brook.  Viewable from Plymouth Rd bridge.  No sign of the two redhead Goosanders that were there yesterday.

Posted October 29th at 1:47 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake,

3 Goosander 1m 2f (first of the winter), 1 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 4 Coot, 2 Kingfisher, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Goldfinch, 8 Coal Tit, 27 Mallard.

Posted October 29th at 1:10 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Grey Phalarope at the Pill this morning .

Posted October 29th at 10:57 am by David Paterson in Bird News

Wednesday 28th October 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Quite a few waders on Blaxton Meadow on this evening’s high tide including 168 Redshanks, 6 Greenshanks, 8 Dunlins, 35 Curlews & 10 Oystercatchers. Also 4 Wigeon, Grey Wagtail, 11 Mandarin Ducks, Little Grebe, Shag & 15 Stock Doves.

Posted October 28th at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Alongside Redshank, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Little Egret and Common Sandpiper there was a fabulous Grey Phalarope (thankyou Gordon for the heads up and for showing us where it was!). When we left as darkness fell it was swimming around at the top of the Pill feeding in amongst the high tide debris.

Posted October 28th at 5:34 pm by Martin Unwin and Irene Hahn in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Grey Phalarope and Spotted Redshank

Posted October 28th at 3:12 pm by Gordon Westley in Bird News

Velator reserve

2 Redwing, 1 Water Rail, 2 Bullfinch, lots of Green and Chaffinch, and a big Tit-flock all busy around the reserve this morning, Also, despite a violent and prolonged rainstorm including thunder and hail with very strong winds, a Speckled Wood butterfly appeared as a  weak sun came out.

Posted October 28th at 2:25 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

S. Hallsands.

Poor for migrants this morning . 1 Firecrest and 1 Blackcap in the bushes. Overhead a steady movement into the wind of small groups (10/15) of Goldfinches. Linnets and Chaffinches   predominately Goldfinches. Also present a Black Redstart.

Ad. f. Firecrest.
Ad. f. Firecrest.

Posted October 28th at 12:54 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Burgh Island, Bigbury-on-Sea

1 merlin with female type plumage

Posted October 28th at 12:01 pm by Ben Crabb in Bird News

Tuesday 27th October 2020

River Avon

About half a dozen Goosander, in summer plumage, on the River Avon a few kilometers south of Avonwick. These were actually seen a few days ago.

Posted October 27th at 7:45 pm by Daniel in Bird News


Spent some time on R.Caen > Horsey this aft in strong WSW winds searching for the Spotted Sandpiper seen 10 days ago! No luck with the Spotted but found a Common Sandpiper instead on the east side of R.Caen.

Photo heavily cropped for comparison. Longer tail on Common Sandpiper. Edges of tertials have buff notching on Common; on Spotted they are plain. Note difference in leg colour, Spotted usually has yellower legs.

Posted October 27th at 7:05 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Head final seawatch totals

Coverage 07:10-15:10 with Mike Langman & Pete Aley.

Much distant feeding activity out in Lyme Bay after rain cleared bumped totals up to:

15 Bonxies (the last going into Tor Bay), Pomarine Skua (imm), 4 Arctic Skuas, 1 Pom/Arctic Skua, Diver sp., 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese south and a dark-bellied north, c5 adult Mediterranean Gulls, c120 auks and c1200 Kittiwakes. Mammals: 5+ Harbour Porpoises, unidentfied Dolphins and a Grey Seal.

When walking back past the quarry a melodic song heard three times, but I failed to record or see it despite looking for the bird. But seemed like Red-billed Leiothrix, an escapee (I remember two there in Sep 1998)! Whatever it was, it shut up when a Merlin did a couple of passes hunting Goldfinches giving very close views.

Posted October 27th at 5:59 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Lesser yellowlegs showing well p.m. Great white egret in rush pasture opposite Fleet Lodge (outside Modbury).

Posted October 27th at 5:20 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

River Taw Barnstaple

4 Goosanders ( f/juv ) in the Taw between Anchor woods & the new bridge. 

Posted October 27th at 4:20 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Torquay Harbour


2 Purple Sandpipers and 21 Turnstones at Haldon Pier. 

Earlier this morning, 1 Firecrest near the entrance gate to Hope's Nose. 

Posted October 27th at 4:11 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Good views of the lesser yellowlegs this morning. A greenshank also present. 

Posted October 27th at 12:55 pm by Ben Crabb in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching between 0710-1035hrs produced: 3 Great Skuas, 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Diver Sp. (probably RTD), 7 Fulmar, 735 Kittiwakes and 109 Auks. 

Posted October 27th at 11:44 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

News from Devon Birds Records Committee


The Society’s Records Committee met via Zoom during October, and – as usual – the main task was to assess notes and photos of rarer species in the county. The Committee discussed the remaining few outstanding records for last year, prior to finalisation of the 2019 bird report.

In practice, the vast majority of submissions are accepted unanimously without discussion and this was no different this year. However a handful of the 77 records considered, attracted differing views and required discussion. Most of the small number of “not proven” descriptions lack sufficient detail and it is rare that the Committee considers a clear mistake has been made.

The Committee is very grateful to everyone who took the time and trouble to submit descriptions.

The Committee is made up of five voting members - Pete Aley, Russ Eynon, Tim Jones, Andy Smith and Tim Worfolk - plus the County Recorder, Kevin Rylands. In line with a policy of rotation, Tim Jones is now standing down and was thanked for all his work especially in applying his knowledge of Lundy and North Devon. (As Bird Recorder for the Lundy Field Society, he will continue to provide a vital link with the Committee). Formal nominations for his replacement will be sought shortly; ideally membership reflects a good geographical spread across Devon, but this isn’t always possible.

The Committee also discussed the desire to widen participation of younger members, women and ethnic minorities and will be giving further consideration to this. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, please contact

The Society maintains an 'A’ list of Devon rarities requiring full supporting descriptions & a ‘B' list of scarce birds needing only brief notes. The A list generally consists of birds with either 100 or fewer accepted individuals in the last 10-years, or 10, or fewer, individuals annually in at least seven of the last 10 years. Other factors such as population and distribution changes and identification issues may also have a bearing.

A Devon scarcity (‘B’ list) is either 300 or fewer accepted individuals in the last 10-years, or 30, or fewer, individuals annually in at least seven of the last 10 years. These species require short notes to be submitted to the County Recorder, using the comments section of the recording form.

Based on these criteria, the Committee agreed (from 2021) to move these species and subspecies to the ‘A’ list: Bewick's Swan, Blue-headed Wagtail, Grey Partridge, Little Auk, Nightingale, Northern acredula Willow Warbler, Pink-footed Goose, Scandinavian argentatus Herring Gull and Tree Sparrow.

Great White Egret moves from ‘A’ to ‘B'. Conversely, Long-tailed Duck, Slavonian Grebe, Spotted Redshank and Turtle Dove (all formerly in neither category) become ‘B’ species.

These former ‘B’ birds move out of either category (although notes may still be requested): Arctic Tern, Balearic Shearwater, Cattle Egret, Greenland leucorhoa Wheatear, Little Ringed Plover, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Pomarine Skua, Red Kite, Scandinavian abientus & ‘grey’ Chiffchaff, Sooty Shearwater, Spoonbill, White alba Wagtail, Yellow-browed Warbler and Yellow-legged Gull.

How times change!

Details on submitting records can be found at


The 2019 assessments and ‘A’ & ‘B’ lists will be in the 2019 Devon Bird Report.


Pete Aley & Kevin Rylands

on behalf of Devon Birds Records Committee


Posted October 27th at 9:12 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Monday 26th October 2020

Horsey - late post

Over a week ago while doing a monthly WeBS count on R.Caen > Horsey

I took a few quick record shots of what I thought at the time was a single Common Sandpiper (not unusual at this location overwintering) & continued with the count. Over one week later I receive an email from Tim & Tim to say that eagle eyed Malcolm Shakespeare thinks it was a Spotted Sandpiper.

A big thank you to Malcolm for spotting the subtle differences between the two species which are very similar. Also many thanks to Tim & Tim & James for confirming identification. Thank God I took a camera with me on the count!

Posted October 26th at 10:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Ilfracombe YL Gull

Very blustery N west conditions gave me a fair influx of Gulls to look through! ANOTHER adult YL Gull, this one had a more defined eye streaking than yesterday's along with 1 2nd Cy as well. Also 1 Great Skua heading W, first pair of returning Purple Sandpipers came in to roost and a Black Redstart around Lantern Hill.  

Posted October 26th at 8:46 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Avon Dam

8 Ring Ouzels on todays walk up to the Avon Dam.

Ring Ouzel Avon Dam 26 Oct 2020 Ring Ouzel Avon Dam 26 Oct 2020 ML

Posted October 26th at 6:45 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On a rather wet afternoon, Ringed Plover (only my second this year here), Little Grebe & 4 Wigeon.

Posted October 26th at 5:29 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East Soar

Best today 3 Ring Ouzel in Starehole; also 3 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker & Goldcrest.

Posted October 26th at 4:48 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Two female Black Redstart on rooftops in Compass Drive this afternoon. 

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Posted October 26th at 4:43 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Fremington Pill

A walk along the Pill produced 142 Redshank, 2 Greenshank and 1 Spotted Redshank.

Posted October 26th at 4:18 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Northam, near Torridge Bridge

Two Spoonbill on the east side of the Torridge feeding off Lower Cleve.

Posted October 26th at 4:16 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

A male Black Redstart on a roof in Hill Close briefly early afternoon. Perhaps last winter's bird returning?

Posted October 26th at 3:07 pm by Jason Smart in Bird News

Berry Head

A stroll around the headland and quarry areas between 07.00 and 12.00 today produced 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 6 Goldcrest, 4 Bullfinch, female Sparrowhawk and 2 Stonechat with the highlights being a Firecrest behind Berry Head Farm and 3 Black Redstarts near the sea watching point. 

Posted October 26th at 2:05 pm by Clive Mason in Bird News

Hope's Nose


1 Short-eared Owl over central scrub area, 2 Firecrests, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Siskins, 50+ Woodpigeons over, 6 Rock Pipits, Little Egret. 2 further species of raptor.  4 Grey Seals. 

Posted October 26th at 12:53 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Shipley Bridge- Avon Dam

5 Ring Ouzels , (inc an adult Male by the path near the dam) this morning- plus 8 Fieldfare and a Green Woodpecker 

Posted October 26th at 12:50 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


Firecrest seen in Tor Woods near Salcombe this morning. 

Posted October 26th at 12:47 pm by Ben Crabb in Bird News

holdstone down

an early morning walk around holdstone down between heavy downpours saw a small herd of red deer, plenty of starlings , golden plover and a singular snowbunting.

snow bunting
snow bunting

Posted October 26th at 11:22 am by philip worth in Bird News

Sunday 25th October 2020

Ilfracombe YLGull

To add to previous. Yellow legged gull and Herring lesserbb X. 

Yellow legged Gull
Yellow legged Gull
Herring Lesserbb X
Herring Lesserbb X

Posted October 25th at 9:59 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

South Hams

13.00 Lesser Yellowlegs showed well for ten minutes at South Efford Marsh. Became increasingly mobile around site. 

14.45 Drake Ring-necked Duck from Stokeley Bay Hide at Slapton Ley. 

Posted October 25th at 7:37 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


1 Short-eared Owl just NE of Langston Cross between Kingston and Modbury late this afternoon. Bird flew low over the road ahead of us pursued by a Crow and then tacked off high eastwards over the fields. A nice surprise!

Posted October 25th at 7:26 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Torquay Harbour ~ Purple Sandpiper

Two Purple Sandpiper on the outer sea wall of the Haldon Pier this morning, nine Turnstone and three Rock Pipit.

Posted October 25th at 7:23 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Ilfracombe Rocks

Today associating with the Gbbgulls this absolute beast Adult Yellow Legged Gull on the rocks adjacent to the Pier. Same Gull or another relocated an hour later to Haggington Gull roost. No Purple Sands have arrived yet. Grey Herons and Little Egrets feeding on the foreshore every day at the moment with Cattle Egrets and Great white Egret past this Wk. On the harbour beach 1 adult Lesser Herring Gull Hybrid. 

Yellow Legged Gull
Yellow Legged Gull

Posted October 25th at 6:20 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A few odds n ends this afternoon included: the Polish-ringed ad Mediterranean Gull, 4 Wigeon, 5 Mandarin Ducks, Snipe, 7 Greenshanks, 5 Dunlins, 10 Oystercatchers, 41 Curlews, 15 Turnstones, Shag, 2+ Stonechats & Roe Deer.

Posted October 25th at 5:35 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Mansands - Swallows

Up to 15 Swallows seen above the reeds and lake at Mansands. Have never seen so many so late in the autumn.

Posted October 25th at 5:35 pm by Fenella Davis in Bird News


A  f./imm. Black Redstart on the church roof ,a regular autumn / winter site for the species.

Posted October 25th at 5:07 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News


Female Black Redstart briefly seen in Compass Drive and Highglen Drive on roof tops. Not seen since 15:00. 

Posted October 25th at 3:39 pm by Chris E in Bird News

River Exe

Just up stream from the Turf, a group of 57 Avocet sat on the water.

Posted October 25th at 3:25 pm by simon Thurgood in Bird News


3 Cattle Egrets at Southcott Valley in field with cattle

Posted October 25th at 2:29 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

FOUR.....Glossy Ibis Fremington Pill

A complete surprise to have a flyby of FOUR Glossy Ibis at 11:30 am today at Fremington Pill.  They settled in the trees near the pill head to groom and roost. 

Two of the four Glossy Ibis
Two of the four Glossy Ibis

Posted October 25th at 11:35 am by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Saturday 24th October 2020

South Efford Marsh

15:00-16:00 very poor conditions however, Lesser Yellowlegs still present this afternoon viewed from the bench as was noted yesterday. The bird spent most of its time on the middle bank but occasionally flew onto the islands closer to the path. This is where we noticed the tail markings as well as the missing plumage on the left wing. 1 Greenshank also with the LY. 5+ Curlew and 3 Little Egret on the section of bank by the barns. As we were leaving approximately 300+ Canada Geese dropped down onto the marsh with what looked like 2 escaped Snow/Farm geese. 

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
LY tail markings (poor shot)
LY tail markings (poor shot)

Posted October 24th at 6:43 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch 07:40-15.20

A rather wet watch produced: Pomarine Skua, 7 Arctic Skuas, 5 Bonxies, 2 Balearic & 2 Manx Shearwaters, Great Northern, Red-throated & an unidentified Diver, 2 Puffins, ad Mediterranean Gull, Common Dolphin & at least 1 Harbour Porpoise. Also a Merlin around the headland & a Tawny Owl calling in the woods.

Posted October 24th at 5:48 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Blaxton Meadow, Plym

High tide count. 39 curlew, 7 greenshank, 9 oystercatcher, 10 redshank, 1 dunlin, 5 shelduck, 4 wigeon, 2 teal, 1 juv common gull, 1 ad wp Med gull, 2 ring-necked parakeet.

Posted October 24th at 1:38 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Taw, Isley marsh

Fri, 23.10.20 10 grey plover, 4 L Egret, 60 plus Wigeon, 8 Teal, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 2 Turnstone, 1 Ringed  plover

Posted October 24th at 11:16 am by art symons in Bird News

Male Hen Harrier

October 15 2020, near Fernworthy forest.

Posted October 24th at 9:16 am by Mark Jennings in Bird News

Friday 23rd October 2020

Fremington Pill

Three Glossy Ibis coming in to roost at 6.10. The fourth, which was the only one feeding in the creek, joined them ten minutes later.

Posted October 23rd at 10:46 pm by Sue Ambler in Bird News

South Efford Marsh & Starehole Bottom

Afternoon visit to South Efford where the Lesser Yellowlegs, and a single Greenshank, were showing well together in the flooded meadow from 'Eric's bench'.

Above Starehole late afternoon was a late Whinchat, was unexpected. There was one in almost the same location (could it be the same bird?) eight days ago, which I thought was late then. In the valley, just on sunset, was a 1st winter male Ring Ouzel.

Posted October 23rd at 9:32 pm by Chris &Janet Marcol in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Lesser Yellowlegs still present late this afternoon and showing very well on the main part of the marsh.

Posted October 23rd at 9:06 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Braunton Burrows this afternoon

A walk on the Braunton Burrows commencing 14:45 was quite productive. Among all the usual suspects linnet, stonechat, blackbirds, starlings, corvids of most common varieties) were a hunting Merlin. A 1st for us on the burrows a Great Spotter Woodpecker and two Mistle Thrush. 

Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Posted October 23rd at 8:32 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Bowling Green marsh

50 approx Avocets, spectacular close formation flying. 

Posted October 23rd at 8:28 pm by Mick Curran in Bird News

Wrafton pond

Popped into Wrafton pond again today and got this shots. The male and female Shovelers were also there along with many of the usual.

Black-headed Gull
Black-headed Gull

Posted October 23rd at 8:21 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Hopes Nose Torbay

5 Swallows and a group of eight House Martins, heading out to sea from Hopes Nose 16.30 this afternoon.

Posted October 23rd at 7:39 pm by Cliff Parrott in Bird News

east soar

Cloud and wind kept most birds out of view early morning  but a female redstart  at the farm was good to see

Posted October 23rd at 7:08 pm by lesley goonesekera in Bird News

Cadover Bridge and Trowlesworthy

Two Ring Ouzel still north east of Cadover Bridge this eve with 150+ Fieldfare. Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and 2 Mistle Thrush also around. 

Posted October 23rd at 7:03 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Saltram area

Black Redstart in bushes next to driving range

Posted October 23rd at 5:01 pm by Ian Stone in Bird News

Start Point

Visible migration this morning between 07:40-08:45 included early flock of 21 Stock Doves ( single Woodpigeon with them ), 100 Meadow Pipits, 50 Pied Wagtails, House Martin, 67 Swallows, 16 Siskins, Redpoll, 110 Linnets, 2 Bramblings, Bullfinch, 640 Goldfinches, 570 Chaffinches, 4 Starlings and 2 Reed Buntings. Elsewhere male Merlin, 2 Fieldfares, Black Redstart, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest and 2 Firecrests.

Posted October 23rd at 4:53 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

PM visit: Ring Ouzel male in valley scrub, 200 Skylark on arable, 60 Woodpigeon moving west.

Posted October 23rd at 4:42 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Velator Reserve

Forgot to mention that yesterday 2 Swallows flew over, heading South, and that there were good numbers of Black-headed Gulls chasing insects over the reserve, including at least one Mediterranean Gull. Today the Green Woodpecker called again and at least three Water Rails squealed from deep cover.

Posted October 23rd at 4:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tarka trail , Bideford Fremington.

3 or 4 Cattle Egrets in Southcott valley , 8 Snipe , Greenshank and Kingfisher on Northgate pond.  Peregrine on Torridge bridge  , Male Goldeneye flying up r.Torridge towards Bideford.   2 Fieldfare on the Sea Buckthorn at Instow , 2 Spoonbill roosting on Isley Marsh  , Water Rail calling at Saltpill pond and Spotted Redshank on Fremington Pill But tide too high for Glossy Ibis.

Posted October 23rd at 2:34 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Glossy ibis Fremington pill

Four glossy Ibis at Freminton pill.

Posted October 23rd at 2:17 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

East Prawle.

At Moorwell Pond this morning ,8 Chiffchaffs ,4 Goldcrests ( including a 'Continental' bird ) and 1 Blackcap. Overhead a few small groups of Chaffinches moving West and also a small flock (20/25) of Golden Plovers. -also going West

1st. Yr. Chiffchaff.
1st. Yr. Chiffchaff.
1st. Yr. f   ' Continental' Goldcrest
1st. Yr. f ' Continental' Goldcrest

Posted October 23rd at 1:45 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake.

5 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Grey Heron, 4 Great Crested Grebe. 

Note: The feeders are back up at the Hide.

Posted October 23rd at 12:37 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Berry Head

2 new Yellow-browed Warblers both together for a while (neither had broken supercilium on right side as the bird present for last couple of days). Also around site 3 Firecrests, 11 Goldcrests, 5 Chiffchaffs and at least 3 Black Redstarts in the quarry.

Overhead of note: 2 Yellowhammers, 2 Reed Buntings, 1 Redwing, 18 Swallows, 1 House Martin and 12 Siskin.

Black Redstart Berry Head 23 Oct 2020 ML Yellow-browed Warbler and Chaffinch Berry Head 23 Oct 2020 ML

      Black Redstart                                                             Yellow-browed Warbler and Chaffinch

Posted October 23rd at 11:55 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Redwings ~ South Brent

Just after first light this morning three small flocks of Redwing all headed towards Plymouth in total about 40 birds.

Posted October 23rd at 9:40 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wrafton Cetti's Warbler

Unusual to get one out in the open like that! It has a ring on it's right leg - so one that I have ringed over in the reserve. Can't quite read any of the numbers on the bottom of the ring, or I'd see if I could say when it was ringed. If anyone can - let me know!

Posted October 23rd at 9:34 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

22nd Oct Riddon Brake and Headland Warren

Riddon Brake gave us five thrushes and the sixth was seen at Headland Warren in the form of a splendid male Ring Ouzel..It was just below the Vitfer mine gullies. Bird of the day was the striking Fieldfare with large flocks at Riddon and also in Soussons Valley looking stunning in the morning sunshine.

Posted October 23rd at 9:04 am by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Thursday 22nd October 2020

Starcross - Exeter; Hennock Reservoirs

Walked home over the high tide period:

- in the estuary, eight R-b Mergansers off the Kenn outfall (my first of the Winter) and a G-c Grebe;

- in Powderham Park, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper;

- in the field just N. of Turf, two adult Med. Gulls with the B-h.;

- on Exminster Marshes, Lapwing and Meadow Pipit both into treble figures, and ten plus Greylags with the Canadas;

- on the canal bank and in the adjacent ditches, at least ten Water Rails squealing, presumably establishing Winter territories;

- in the trees near the Exeter Incinerator, single figures of Redwing and Fieldfare, both also my first for the Winter;

- negatively, no Coot at Powderham, Exminster, Matford or Exeter. A drought-driven breeding failure, or something sinister?

In total, seventy spp. for the day.

Belatedly from yesterday, on the reservoirs were nine Goosanders, a Tufted Duck and three Little Grebes, and in the surrounding woods, a flock of around twenty-five Mistle Thrushes, by far the biggest group I have seen, and perhaps twenty Crossbills, plus Marsh Tit, Treecreeper etc .

Posted October 22nd at 10:20 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Great to see the Cetti's Warbler. Spotted by Martin Bennett.

Cetti's Warbler - Wrafton Pond.
Cetti's Warbler - Wrafton Pond.

Posted October 22nd at 9:17 pm by Bob Cowlard in Bird News

Berry Head

The same Yellow-browed Warbler from yesterday (with a broken supercilium on right side only) was today up nearer to the N Fort approx 400m away from yesterdays sighting! Around the headland 2 Firecrests, 7 Goldcrests 5-6 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps. Of interest overhead single Redwing, Redpoll and Reed Bunting plus several Swallows, Skylarks and Siskins. 

Yellow-B Warbler Brry Hd 22 Oct 2020 ML Yellow-B Warbler Brry Hd 22 Oct 2020 ML

         Yellow-browed Warbler - same bird as yesterday with broken supercilium on right side only

Posted October 22nd at 8:53 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wrafton pond

Popped into Wrafton pond this afternoon.  On arrival it quite just the usual suspects  gulls Moorhen, Coots, Swans and Mallards.  A Cetti's Warbler showing well and a couple of Shovelers made my visit worthwhile.

Male Shoveler
Male Shoveler
Male and Female Shoveler
Male and Female Shoveler

Posted October 22nd at 7:09 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


A six thrush species extravaganza. An adult female and a first winter male Ring Ouzel with around 150 Fieldfares, plenty of Redwings along with Mistle and Song Thrushes and Blackbird. We spent four hours searching but were eventually rewarded! Viewed from the same area described by Chris E in posts over the last few days ie. seen from the path west of Trowlesworthy Farm whilst standing next to the stone wall.

Posted October 22nd at 5:48 pm by Howard Ackford in Bird News

South Efford marsh

L. Yellow legs showed well, top end of the marsh this morning with 5Green Shank.

Posted October 22nd at 5:09 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

Notable westbound Chaffinch passage this morning, with a total of 1,142 between 08.00 and 10.15, after which movement quickly dried up. Flocks ranged in size from a handful of birds to fifty or sixty.

Also 2 Swallow, 9 Skylark, 28 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 alba wagtail, 2 Linnet, 13 Siskin, 11 Goldfinch, and 1 Greenfinch. In the scrub: 22 Blackbird, 5 Song Thrush, 4 Stonechat, single Blackcap & Chiffchaff, and 7 Goldcrest.

Posted October 22nd at 4:29 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Velator reserve

With the weather closing in over the coming week, thought I should take advantage of the calm dry conditions to open the nets. Unfortunately I didn't catch the Kestrel, the Green Woodpecker or the Jay (which was around for much of the morning) However, I did catch 14 Blackcaps - mostly very fat and clearly on their way south. Also 2 female Cetti's Warblers, 2 female Bullfinch, 3 Chaffinch, 5 Greenfinch, 2 Blackbirds and star of the day: a juvenile Redwing. Also of note was Blue Tit Z167856 which was ringed on 8th September 2015. I retrapped it a few times after this but this is its first visit since 2016. Now 5 years old.

Posted October 22nd at 3:53 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Reed Bunting here for several years. Also,  Firecrest, Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker, Stonechat, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, Common Sandpiper, 7 Greenshanks, 17 Turnstones, 2 Teal, 6 Wigeon, Little Grebe & 3 Roe Deer.

Posted October 22nd at 3:02 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East Soar

Best were 6 Ring Ouzel in Starehole Valley. Also: 21 Robin, 50 Meadow Pipit, male migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Goldcrest, Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 11 Song Thrush, 13 Blackbird & 20 Cirl Bunting.

Posted October 22nd at 3:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Start Point.

Around the farm this morning ,8 Goldcrests. 3 Blackcaps and 5 Robins. Several small flocks (10/20 ) of Linnets. Goldfinches and Chaffinches all moving West. Nearby 40+ Meadow Pipits on the high ground around the radio masts.

1st. Yr. m. Goldcrest.
1st. Yr. m. Goldcrest.
1st. Yr. m. Blackcap.
1st. Yr. m. Blackcap.

Posted October 22nd at 2:48 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

9.15am 22 October, approx.30 Avocets this morning. 

Posted October 22nd at 12:26 pm by Roger. Brooks in Bird News

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