Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st December 2020

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder Recorder@DevonBirds.org to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

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·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·        Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford

·         

·         

 

·         

·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·         Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·         Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish

·         

·         

Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News

DEVON BIRDS BRANCH MEETINGS AND FIELD TRIPS - UPDATE

At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels 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

Monday 21st December 2020

Topsham

For the first time in many weeks, visited BGM and Goosemoor this morning, just before high tide. Water level and grass v. high as expected. Hundreds each of Wigeon and Teal, 50-75 each of Shoveler and Pintail, 8 Tufted and 25 Greylags made for a fine, busy spectacle, but there were no Gadwall, Little Grebe, or Coot, and the only waders were two Curlew (how sad is that).

Seven Turnstones on the Goatwalk, thirty Common Gulls off the recreation ground, and, back in Exeter, a singing Treecreeper raised the spirits.

Posted December 21st, 2020 at 10:23 pm by James Camden in Bird News

south molton community woodland

Small group of goldfinches, 1 siskin, 1 l. redpoll, feeding on ash keys

Posted December 21st, 2020 at 9:26 pm by art symons in Bird News

Brixham Harbour

The Iceland Gull again this afternoon from c3pm and still present at dusk on sea in outer harbour just off Astra Zenica car park.

Posted December 21st, 2020 at 8:53 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Little of note on a  murky & wet day but managed: 31 Wigeon, 6 Greenshanks, Little Grebe, Snipe, 3 Shags, 9 Little Egrets, 4 Stock Doves & 6 Roe Deer. 

Posted December 21st, 2020 at 4:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Ilfracombe

Lone Purple Sandpiper working the rocks off Windy Corner Capstone, along with Rock Pipits and Oystercatchers

Posted December 21st, 2020 at 1:07 pm by David Shadwell in Bird News

Sunday 20th December 2020

Batson Creek, Salcombe

The albino Great Northern Diver still present off Island Quay. (Distant record shot from Snapes Point path).  Also 'normal' GND off Lifeboat Station.

Albino Great Northern Diver
Albino Great Northern Diver

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 9:34 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Rv Teign ~ Passage House ~ Kingsteignton

A mid morning visit to the River Teign at Passage House, Kingsteignton on the dropping tide, large number of Black Headed Gulls inc a BTO ringed bird, three Common Gull, a few Greater Black Back Gull and lots of Herring Gull.

Shellduck, two female Wigeon, about ten Mute Swan, several of the local feral domestic geese, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Pied Wagtail.

Fifty plus Curlew, Redshank, two Common Sandpiper, a Kingfisher, Little Grebe and seven Avocet.

At Seal Hayne two Jay and two Mistle Thrush.

Around the feeders back home at South Brent, six Long Tailed Tit, male GSWP, M&F Bullfinch and a flyover Mistle Thrush.

Avocet
Avocet
Curlew
Curlew

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 7:00 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Brixham and Broadsands

Great views of a Pomarine Skua harassing gulls off Brixham breakwater mid-am (as photographed by Richie below), then at Broadsands a little later, single Black-throated and Red-Throated Divers and a Black-necked Grebe, all close in. At least 10 Great Northern Divers between the two sites.

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 5:41 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A sharp increase in Common Gulls today, with 32 counted. Also 4 Shags, c30 Wigeon, redhead Goosander, 2 Snipe, Stonechat, 4 Siskins, c20 Redwings & 4+ Roe Deer. 

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 5:02 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Brixham breakwater

Some good views of a pomarine skua, possibly 2, several GN divers, Kittewakes and gannets

Pomarine Skua
Pomarine Skua
Kittiwake
Kittiwake

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 4:43 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Torcross.

At 3.15 pm. a Swallow around the houses in the village.

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 4:36 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Mill Field, Exwick

08:57 - 10:37

Dusky Warbler showed very well.

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 11:32 am by Paul Bray in Bird News

Broadsands

3 Great Northern Divers just off of the beach. 10+ gannets also fishing. 

Posted December 20th, 2020 at 9:09 am by Matt C in Bird News

Saturday 19th December 2020

Cofton - Powderham 1100 - 1300

The open sea being far too choppy for me, without 'scope, to pick anything out, I concentrated on the lower estuary:

- from Cofton Steps, a G-n Diver;

- in the valley-bottom fields inland from Cockwood Harbour, c40 Cattle Egrets (almost like being in Spain);

- in Powderham Park, an Egyptian Goose (my first since the young fledged in June) and a Green Sandpiper;

- cumulatively in the estuary from various points, eight R-b Mergansers, six G-c Grebes (in the 1980s, the ratio would have been 30:0), ten Greenshanks and 50+ Turnstones;

- combinedly on Cockwood Golf Course and the flooded field on the N. edge of Starcross, perhaps 150 Curlew, 300 Black-tailed Godwits, 75 Oystercatchers and 75 Redshanks, plus uncounted, but 500+, Brents and ducks. These sites are, I believe, becoming increasingly important as high-tide refuges. 

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 9:58 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Rose-Coloured Starling - Stoke Fleming

A first winter Rose-coloured Starling in a Stoke Fleming garden has been present for almost three weeks. The second record for the garden, after one in June 2008! 

The bird can be seen from the Venn Lane playing field SX862486. 

If visiting please respect local resident's health and privacy- on behalf of Kevin Rylands 
 

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 8:47 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Broadsands

3 Great Northern Divers just off of the beach. 10+ gannets also fishing. 

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 7:59 pm by Matt C in Bird News

Wrafton pond

This afternoon between and in some of the showers I managed to get a couple of photos of: 2 of the 4 male Shovelers one female Shoveler, 2 Wigeon and one male Gadwall.  On the Scrape there were a small number of Teal 20 ish.

Male Shoveler
Male Shoveler
Male Teal
Male Teal

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 7:00 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A good count of 282 Dunlins (all on the wall) at high tide. Also 6 Goosanders (3 drakes), 32 Wigeon, 144 Redshanks, 1or 2 Little Grebes & 13 Common Gulls.

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 6:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Brixham

A good day at Brixham gull spotting, highlight was the Iceland Gull subject to previous posts that flew up the harbour side of the breakwater just after sunrise, numerous Kittiwake, being harassed once they had caught fish by Common, Black Headed, Common, Herring and Greater Black Backed Gulls of which over fifty counted.

Ten GND's around the harbour and breakwater with another four off of the Shoalstone, where a pair of Eider flew past headed west. Several Guillemot and Razorbill along with plenty of Gannet activity.

Small number of Shag and numerous Cormorants, Rock Pipit, Turnstone and Pied Wagtail.

Fourteen Seals in the harbour on one of the pontoons.

At Marine Parade, Paignton a one legged adult Mediterranean Gull with the Black Headed Gull flock, four Oyster Catcher, a Little Egret and some forty Turnstone including the Dutch ringed bird Z010032 which I note has lost the end of its centre toe on the ringed leg, but looks to be fit and  healthy.

Great Northern Diver
Great Northern Diver
Iceland Gull
Iceland Gull

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 6:11 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Brixham area

The juv/1w Iceland Gull still up and down the breakwater (see photos) also a single Purple Sandpiper. Now two Pomarine Skuas, one in Tor Bay the other off Berry Head. Double figures of Great Northern Divers off Shoalstone and the harbour.

Iceland Gull (juv/imm)
Iceland Gull
Iceland Gull (juv/imm)
Iceland Gull

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 6:05 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Hope's Nose

The female Long-tailed Duck showed very well again up to 12.10 near the Leadstone.

18 Great Northern Divers between Thatcher Point and Long Quarry Point.

Also, good numbers of Common Gulls and several Razorbills.  8 Grey Seals and 1 Harbour Porpoise.  3 Fulmars about and many Gannets.  

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 5:25 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Northam Burrows Country Park

12:30

Snow Bunting (2) by the 8th tee on the stone ‘bank’ (golf course side).

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 3:37 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

The Lower lake this morning.

10 Goosander 2m 8f (09:30), 3 Willow Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Grey Heron, 8 Tufted Duck 5m 3f, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Cormorant.

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 3:36 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Kingskerswell

Male Sparrowhawk garden visitor. Stayed a while having missed catching lunch.

Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 2:37 pm by Gary Bolton in Bird News

Skern

30 Shelducks 30 Brent Geese 150 Golden Plovers 10 Curlews 10 Oystercatchers 1 Little Egret Black headed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

Posted December 19th, 2020 at 1:37 pm by Barnabas in Bird News

Friday 18th December 2020

Totnes Garden

A single male siskin on sunflower hearts and nyjer seeds in the garden today along with goldfinch x5, greenfinch x3 and chaffinch x1. Also house sparrows, blue tits, great tits and female greater spotted woodpecker.

Posted December 18th, 2020 at 9:57 pm by Jon Flynn in Bird News

Berry Head /Shoalstone

Berry Head: in a break in the weather Great Skua south and Sooty Shearwater (loitering outside Tor Bay, probably same bird seen by Bill Coulson on the 15th). Many feeding Gannets and Kittiwakes driven into Tor Bay, scanning from BHd picked up white-winged gull over Shoalstone.

Shoalstone: relocated white-winger, which was an  Iceland Gull looked like juv/1w.  Further out the Pomarine Skua (pale phase prob winter adult) was still harassing Kittiwakes - here for its 3rd day so seems settled.

Posted December 18th, 2020 at 3:56 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Mansands & Brixham

Mansands: there was a single Velvet Scoter feeding 200m off the beach and while watching it a dark biscuit coloured juv/1st w Glaucous Gull flew past >N.

Brixham: following a call from Mark Darlaston I popped into Brixham early afternoon to see a pale  juv/1st w Iceland Gull drifting up and down the Breakwater! 

Posted December 18th, 2020 at 1:34 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Glaucous Gull ( probable first winter ), Ireland Bay this morning.

Posted December 18th, 2020 at 1:27 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Thursday 17th December 2020

Albino Great Northern Diver Salcombe

The albino Great Nothern Diver was showing well as it dived for crabs as the tide went out this morning. Viewed from Snapes Point near Salcombe looking across creek.


Posted December 17th, 2020 at 10:23 pm by John Walters in Bird News

Albino Great Northern Diver - Possibly

Since about the end of October we have been spotting Great Northern Divers within Salcombe Harbour, with about three being present. The last couple of weeks we have spotted what looks like an albino Great Northern Diver but would like clarification.

Posted December 17th, 2020 at 10:06 pm by Matt Davies in Bird News

Torbay

14+ Great Northern Divers around the south end of the Bays beaches also a ad Med Gull, Black-throated Diver and a pale phase Pomarine Skua off Elberry Headland this evening and a pod of 10+ Common Dolphins. 200+ Gannets feeding off Goodrington. Long-tailed Duck off Preston/Paignton and 3 Red-throated Divers.

A single Firecrest in car park in Brixham and 12+ Cirl Buntings at Broadsands car park

Black-throated Diver
Black-throated Diver
Great Northern Diver
Great Northern Diver

Posted December 17th, 2020 at 8:48 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Ivybridge & South Brent

On the river alongside Glanvilles Mill, Ivybridge this morning two Dipper and two Grey Wagtail.


At White Oxen early afternoon a flock of 21 Stock Dove, 31 Starling, two flocks of 20 plus Woodpigeon, several flocks of Redwing, GSWP and a couple of low soaring Buzzards.


Around home several small flocks of Redwing and one of 40 birds, five Long Tailed Tit on the feeders one being BTO ringed. In the morning one of my racing pigeons killed by a female Sparrow hawk.

Posted December 17th, 2020 at 7:46 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Soar

Derisory farmland bird count in spring temperatures  with 440 Skylark, 23 Cirl Bunting, 15 Yellowhammer, 16 Meadow Pipit, 2 Sparrowhawk, 100 Jackdaw, Chiffchaff, 24 Stock Dove & seven Long-tailed Tit.

Posted December 17th, 2020 at 4:12 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wrafton

Just one Spoonbill on the scrape this morning, which flew off as I approached (about 09.30).

Posted December 17th, 2020 at 11:43 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wembury

Small group of 3 Redwing in a neighbour’s field at 09:00 this morning on the SW edge of the village. 

Posted December 17th, 2020 at 9:15 am by Matt C in Bird News

Wednesday 16th December 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A visit on this afternoon’s rising tide produced: 7 Goosanders (3 drakes), 33 Wigeon, 2 Little Grebes,  67 Curlews, Treecreeper, 12+ Redwings, Siskin & a presumed escape Barnacle Goose.

Posted December 16th, 2020 at 7:54 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Totnes area and South Brent

A run round some of the Totnes rivers this morning, due to high water levels and fast run off virtually nothing to be seen at Staverton, Dartington or Totnes.

Bow Bridge to Tuckenhay ~ 16 Mallard, two Mute Swan, Moorhen and a Little Grebe.

South Brent two female Siskins on the garden feeders, the first females of the winter season, one being BTO ringed, female Bullfinch, 28 House Sparrows at one point, good numbers of Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

(Re the Siskins~ a friend in the village had a male and a female on his feeders)

This evening a Tawny owl sat just outside the house.

Tawny owl
Tawny owl
Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl

Posted December 16th, 2020 at 7:34 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

We have only a modest garden, so I was very pleased with today's tally of 18 species.
Woodpigeon   4
Magpie   1
Jackdaw   1
Coal Tit   1
Blue Tit   4
Great Tit   2
Long-tailed Tit   5
Blackcap   1
Firecrest   1
Blackbird   2
Song Thrush   1
Robin   2
Black Redstart   1  (often favouring the end of Hill Close)
Dunnock   1
Pied Wagtail   1
Chaffinch   5
Greenfinch   6
Goldfinch   13

Black Redstart
Black Redstart
Greenfinch
Greenfinch

Posted December 16th, 2020 at 5:17 pm by Jason Smart in Bird News

Skern: Pintails

A number of pintails on the Skern 11th December. Sorry to be so late posting.

Pintails among shelduck
Pintails among shelduck

Posted December 16th, 2020 at 4:17 pm by JOHN WARD in Bird News

Albino Great Northern Diver

This bird was photographed by a fisherman off Snape's Point, Salcolme on the 15/12/20


Posted December 16th, 2020 at 4:15 pm by Adam Davison in Bird News

Wrafton scrape

The two Spoonbills were out on the scrape again this morning, having a bit of a preen.

Spoonbills, preening.
Spoonbills, preening.

Posted December 16th, 2020 at 2:54 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 15th December 2020

Fremington Pill

4 Glossy Ibis on the Pill as i drove down to the quay around mid day today

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 9:27 pm by Dave Dawe in Bird News

Goosander

7 goosander on irrigation pond at wash farm buckfastleigh ( Riverford Organics) 9 a.m. today.

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 9:08 pm by Ian samuel in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, 37 Goosander 8m 29f, 8 Tufted Duck 5m 3f, 3 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 8:19 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

River Plym and Blaxton

A late afternoon stroll resulted in the normal Widgeon, Shelduck, Redshank etc on Blaxton a flock of mixed Tits around the hide, A Kingfisher, Little Grebe numerous Mallard and Nine Gosanders on the Plym

Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Gosanders
Gosanders

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 8:08 pm by William Beck in Bird News

Wrafton pond

Late afternoon I popped into Wrafton Pond that again was very quite.  Three male + three female Shovelers, one male Wigeon, one Little Grebe and a small number of the usual suspects

Malr and female Shovelers
Malr and female Shovelers

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 7:11 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Chapmanswell, West Devon

300 Golden Plover over A388, 7 miles south of Holsworthy at Chapmanswell.

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 5:27 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

River Plym

9 Goosander swimming together yesterday upstream from Blaxton Meadow 3 M 6F

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 5:25 pm by Nigel Rendle in Bird News

Torbay

1stw drake Scaup still at Goodrington this morning and the Yellow-browed Warbler still at Clennon Lakes also just 1 Chiffchaff present.

 

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 4:28 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Powderham to Turf and back

Large numbers of Canada geese, Shelduck and Brent. Godwits in field between wall and railway line. Dunlin, redshank, oystercatcher and single Avocet. Kingfisher feeding from wall. Pair of Stonechat in hedge top.

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 4:09 pm by JOHN PHILLIPS in Bird News

Stover Lake

Goosander . ! male with 4 females flew in at midday. Also 1 male Gadwall

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 2:37 pm by Geoff Campbell in Bird News

R Plym at Marsh Mills

The now regular Dipper was still singing above the roar of traffic below Longbridge late morning. Around the treatment works outfall were a drake Goosander, Little Egret and a Kingfisher.

Posted December 15th, 2020 at 12:42 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

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