Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st January 2021

2020 Records request

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

·        Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·        Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·        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

          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


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


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

Thursday 21st January 2021

The upper Exe estuary

Walked Countesswear - Turf and back. Of note were:

- at Countesswear, a Peregrine on a pylon being mobbed by Carrion Crows, and eventually being forced to give up its, unidentifiable, prey;

- on Exminster Marsh, 18 Greylags, the expected (c600) Golden, plus, unusually for a fresh-water site, 2 Grey, Plovers, and 400+ Dunlin. Did not find the Barnacles, or attempt to count the ducks, Lapwings or other waders;

- in the ditches, the expected squealing Water Rails and singing Cetti's (6+ of both);

- in the estuary, 50-60 Avocets floating off the yacht club, and 15+ R-b Mergansers and 6+ G-c Grebes. Unusually, no Pintail.

Posted January 21st at 9:55 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Radford Park-Hooe Lake-Mount Batten

A Kingfisher, 3 Little Grebes, Song Thrush, Heron, Goldfinches, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Redwing, Moorhen, Sparrowhawk, Shag, Cormorant, Little Egret, Turnstones, Oyster Catchers, G.B.B. Gull, Stonechats, Rock Pipits,

Posted January 21st at 8:07 pm by Bob Barrow & John Lloyd in Bird News


On the sea: 8 Great Northern and 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Common Scoter 40 + Guillemots, 5 Razorbills, 80+ Kittiwake, 35 Gannets and three pods of Common Dolphins a total of about 25

Posted January 21st at 6:57 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saltram & Cattedown

In Saltram Park watched a Water Rail feeding for a full 15 minutes this afternoon. Unexpected was a pair of Linnets on a warehouse roof in Maxwell Road, Cattedown.

Posted January 21st at 6:46 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News


Smart male black redstart on rocks at side of the road to the Northam Burrows car park

Posted January 21st at 4:39 pm by Rory Akam in Bird News


A female type Black Redstart in my back yard in Central Plymouth this morning, my first for the garden. 

Off Plymouth Hoe at lunchtime were 3 Great Northern Divers near Drakes Island and a few Gannets flying around. On the rocks below the Pier One Cafe a single Purple Sandpiper with 9 Turnstone and a Kingfisher. 

Outside the Sutton Harbour lock gates an Otter was a complete surprise, swimming across the water with a large crab in its jaws and being mobbed by Gulls., my first in Plymouth. 

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Posted January 21st at 3:18 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Chillington STW. Ringing Recovery.

A. Firecrest ringed at this site on04/12/19 was recovered in Southampton ( unfortunately ,taken by a cat )  on 17/12/20. On average up to four Firecrests overwinter at the Chillington site. Given the recovery date this individual was prtesumably overwintering at the Southampton location.Duration 379 days ,179 km. ENE.

Posted January 21st at 2:46 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A circuit this morning produced: 35+ Siskins, Peregrine, Green Woodpecker, 8 Goosanders (3 drakes) & female Red-crested Pochard.

Posted January 21st at 12:23 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Goosanders at New Park, Bovey Tacey

25 Goosander - 5 adult drake + 20 sub-adult drakes/females (only time for a cursory count) on the lake at 11.30 

Posted January 21st at 12:14 pm by John Walton in Bird News

Wednesday 20th January 2021

South Brent & Dartington

A busy couple of days around the garden feeders and the general area round home, two Raven showing well, a female Sparrowhawk flushed over forty Redwing from the surrounding field hedges, two Green Woodpecker calling.

Around the feeders a male GSWP, Nuthatch, numerous Goldfinch, Chaffinch but fewer Greenfinch than recently, a Wren showing well along the wall below the feeders, Blue Tit in double figures with a handful of Great Tit and two Coal Tit, Song Thrush in full song this afternoon despite the weather.

Over to Dartington to get some food supplies for the livestock so came back via the Dartington estate, the Rv Dart was flooding its banks and on the flood meadows not less than nineteen Mandarin duck, a Little Grebe and nine plus Mallard.

Mandarin ducks with Little Grebe bottom right corner
Mandarin ducks with Little Grebe bottom right corner
Mandarin Duck
Mandarin Duck

Posted January 20th at 4:04 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


A walk down to the seafronts today in horrible weather produced a couple of good birds:

Goodrington: the wintering fw drake Scaup still present on the boating lake with Tufted Ducks.

Preston: a Red-throated Diver in the surf.

  First winter drake Scaup Goodrington 20 Jan 2021 ML   Red-throated Diver Preston 20 Jan 2021 ML

                   Scaup with Tufted Duck                                             Red-throated Diver

Posted January 20th at 3:49 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 19th January 2021

Ruff still on Braunton Marsh

A walk at Crow Beach on Monday 18th amongst the usual suspects at high tide roost in the fields behind the beach was this Ruff which we assume to be the same one we reported back in the autumn.  As it was then, it was keeping company with a flock of Lapwing. Photos is record shot taken from about 100 metres in poor light. Floating serenely on the high tide near the stands of grass, in amongst which were a dozen or more Wigeon, was a single Brent Goose. 

Ruff at Crow Beach
Ruff at Crow Beach
Brent Goose at Crow Beach
Brent Goose at Crow Beach

Posted January 19th at 9:06 am by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Monday 18th January 2021

South Brent ~ Home birding

Poor weather for bird watching at South Brent mist and rain setting in throughout the day, but a Jay over first thing, Long Tailed Tit coming into the feeders, Song Thrush in the garden later in the day, the days highlight being a Treecreeper.

Song Thrush
Song Thrush

Posted January 18th at 4:37 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Topsham, Bowling Green Lane

Firecrest in Bowling Green Lane this morning. Seen about half way between the hide and the entrance to the cycle path.

Posted January 18th at 4:31 pm by Richard Jordan in Bird News

Kingskerswell Downs

Couldn't find Wheatear reported on Sunday however plenty of Song Thrushes, variety of Tits included long tailed and great view of a Treecreeper.

Posted January 18th at 3:24 pm by Gary Bolton in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Still good numbers (c290) of Dunlin on Blaxton Meadow on the morning's high tide. Also, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 drakes), 2 Goosanders (1 drake), 19 Wigeon, 6 Greenshanks, Kingfisher & the presumed escape Barnacle Goose still in the Canada flock in the fields with 5 Roe Deer.

A (collybita) Chiffchaff at Tothill Playing Fields.

Posted January 18th at 3:21 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Totnes Garden and surrounds

Three siskins seem to be regularly visiting the bird feeders in my garden now. They are brave little birds and I have seen them chase off goldfinches, great tits and other species larger than themselves. Other regulars at the feeders include nuthatch, GS woodpecker, bullfinch pair, chaffinch, and greenfinch.

Meadow pipits seem to be on the move. Saw 4 together on Dartington Estate yesterday (in field opposite stubble fields) and a flock of about 8 this morning on fields between Dartington and Totnes.

Posted January 18th at 1:38 pm by J Flynn in Bird News


Out on Braunton Marsh this morning the juvenile Whooper Swan was feeding with 15  of it's Mute cousins. The Redshank had replaced the Godwit on the scrape and a Sparrowhawk over the reserve made the Redwings and Goldfinch flocks a bit skittish.

Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan

Posted January 18th at 1:36 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Highlights: Greenshank, Barnacle Goose (counted eight but they were with Canada Goose in a dip near a water course), one Egyptian Goose in flight; .

Posted January 18th at 1:17 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Sunday 17th January 2021

Fremington Pill

Went out this afternoon for a walk along Fremington Pill and saw a number of birds including: Redshank; Spotted Redshank; Greenshank; Teal; Little Egret; Four Glossy Ibis; and a Curlew.

Little Egret
Little Egret
Three Glossy Ibis
Three Glossy Ibis

Posted January 17th at 11:52 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wrafton pond

On my way home from an emergency job, I called into Wrafton pond and got this images.  Also saw some Teal, Snipe and Shovelers.  A Black headed gull with full black head set.

Mute Swan
Mute Swan

Posted January 17th at 11:39 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Black redstart, Plymouth

Female black redstart on rocks along the Plym (near TR2) this afternoon.

Posted January 17th at 8:21 pm by Martin Lavelle in Bird News

River Tavy

Large flock of Lapwing 100 plus, 18 shell duck 4 curlew 1 kingfisher 4 redshank 4 little grebe 1 grey heron

Posted January 17th at 7:09 pm by Dave Read in Bird News


Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape.

Posted January 17th at 5:46 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

River Torridge

Little America to Iron Bridge 400 Lapwing, 4 Little Egrets, 10 Mallards, Black Headed Gull, Herring Gull, 2 Lesser Black Backed Gull, and 1 Goldcrest. 

Posted January 17th at 4:42 pm by Barnabas in Bird News

Female Wheatear, Kingskerswell

Spotted near the Downs - confirmed by another passing birder!  Apparently has been in the area for several weeks.  

Posted January 17th at 4:09 pm by Amy Walkden in Bird News

Black Tor Waterfall

About 50 to 60 Fieldfare, lovely to see flying  along the valley. 

Posted January 17th at 2:57 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A nice bright morning produced: a winter peak of c320 Dunlins (all feeding on Blaxton, making an exact count tricky), 1 or 2 Jack Snipe, 7 Greenshanks, 54 Curlews, Common Sandpiper, 6 Goosanders (2 drakes), 4 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 drakes), 5 Little Grebes, 19 Wigeon, 46 Shelducks, adult Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker, 10+ Redwings, 4 Mistle Thrushes, c10 Siskins & 3 Roe Deer.

Posted January 17th at 12:51 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Saturday 16th January 2021


4 Little Grebes and 2 Drake and 5 female Goosanders just off Blaxton Meadow on the Plym,

Little Grebes
Little Grebes
Female Goosander
Female Goosander

Posted January 16th at 10:46 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

South Brent ~ home birding

The day started with a fly over female Sparrow hawk carrying what looked to be a species of small bird, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, two Mistle Thrush, forty plus Redwings have been around for most of the day with what may have been a Fieldfare.

This evening saw my regular Tawny owl coming in to be fed and a couple more calling locally.

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl

Posted January 16th at 9:50 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


There's been a very pale Buzzard over the Northern reaches of Braunton for a couple of years now, and today, it perched out in the open in the sunshine. Pic taken from my lounge window.

Posted January 16th at 8:29 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Black Redstart, Colebrook

A female Black Redstart appeared on my neighbour's roof this afternoon, My first ever from the garden. It's only half a mile as the Redstart flies from Chris E's sighting in Compass Drive, so may be the same bird.

Posted January 16th at 7:39 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News


Broadsands early afternoon: 1 Pomarine Skua almost certainly the short tailed pale bird that has been around since Dec.

Clennon Lakes: 1 Siberian chiffchaff ,  2 collybita Chiffchaffs 3 Goldcrests

   SibeChiffchaffClnnLks170121ML  SibeChiffchaffClnnLks160121ML

                                                         Photos same  Siberian Chiffchaff  in different light

Posted January 16th at 6:52 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Preston , Paignton

This magnificent male Sparrowhawk spent a fruitless 30 minutes attempting to flush a House Sparrow out of the hedge this afternoon.

Posted January 16th at 5:40 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News


Redwing in the garden today feeding on the holly berries.


Posted January 16th at 5:36 pm by Margaret- Phillips in Bird News

Harberton Cattle Egrets

Finished a local walk seeing Bullfinches, Long Tailed Tits, Fieldfares, Dipper and Goldcrest. Highlight was to discover six Cattle Egrets, a first for us in this area so very happy. Hope photo OK. 

Posted January 16th at 4:04 pm by Thomas Kent in Bird News

Braunton Great Field

A lot of rain in N.Devon during the night. Parts of the road are flooded around Braunton Great Field & several fields as well.

Posted January 16th at 3:43 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Sainsburys Car Park, Dawlish

14:30 Cracking male Black Redstart on the new houses opposite the car park.

Posted January 16th at 3:30 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News

Plym Saltram

Low Tide - Goosander, Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank, Shelduck on the Plym. Common Sandpiper behind Sainsburys. GS Woodpecker, RN Parakeet and plenty of Tits and Finches around the woods.

Posted January 16th at 3:29 pm by David Grant in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

On the ebb tide:

200+ Black headed gull, 25 Teal, 2 Curlew, 1 Kingfisher (female). 100+ Avocet on the Cornwall side of the estuary, nesting Magpies in the trees. 2 Greenshank and several Shelduck on Ernesettle creek.

Posted January 16th at 3:09 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

11 Barnacle Geese this morning, feeding with Canada and Brent geese in field next to the cycle bridge. 

Posted January 16th at 12:28 pm by Paul Thearle in Bird News


Approx 20 cirl bunting feeding in stubble field, coastal path near sewage works.

Posted January 16th at 11:56 am by Robert Massey in Bird News

Bradiford reserve

After a necessary trip to Barnstaple, took advantage and dropped in at the flooded reserve! Never seen so much water in it. High tide meant the valve was closed and last night's rain was backing it all up. Lots of Gulls and Teal, Canada Geese and. In amongst - one LBB Gull, a few Common Gulls and 4 Black-tailed Godwits.

Posted January 16th at 10:35 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Hackney Marsh, Newton Abbot.

Curlew, kingfisher, egret, Chinese greylag goose all spotted here at the Marsh in the last 3 days. 

Posted January 16th at 8:02 am by Iain morland in Bird News

Friday 15th January 2021

Holcombe, back garden

2 pied wagtails and a female black redstart brightened the day.

Posted January 15th at 9:51 pm by Barney Donnellan in Bird News


A morning walk to Fremington Quay via Combrew Lane soon found 13 cattle egrets in the fields, one in particular was making the most of its sheep host. Sorry for the quality of the photo but it was at a distance.

Posted January 15th at 8:37 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

South Brent

A flock of not less than twenty two Magpies gathering in an Oak tree on Hillside, South Brent around midday, after about an hour they dispersed in varying directions after a Buzzard came over.

On the Rv Avon near Brent Mill, a pair of Goosander, seven Mallard, Pied and Grey Wagtails and a fly over Cormorant.

At home this evening a visiting Tawny owl and another calling close by.

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl

Posted January 15th at 7:50 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Black brant

Black brant showing well this afternoon at Exminster Marshes - beside the cycle trail at Topsham Locks. Nice to see two Pale-bellied brent geese there as well.

Posted January 15th at 5:31 pm by Mike Waller in Bird News

Sanderling Westwards Ho!

Counted 14 racing the waves

Posted January 15th at 5:01 pm by Abraham Cutajar in Bird News

Sherpa Marsh

Went out to look for the Whooper Swan this afternoon, as part of my exercise! I spied a small group of Swans from Velator harbour looking over the river to the fields south of the reserve. In among 2 family groups of Mute Swans was the juvenile Whooper Swan! After I packed up the scope, I looked back and it had disappeared into a ditch! 2 minutes later and I'd have missed it!

Posted January 15th at 4:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Highlights -  female Marsh Harrier; Brent Goose (DB & PB); Black Brant (1)

Posted January 15th at 2:28 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News


Lovely light at Stover this morning on 13 Goosanders (2 ad and imm drakes). Also 3 Gadwall (1 drake), 6 Tufted, 2 Pochard, 2 Little Grebes, 1 G C Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Raven, Marsh Tit and Crossbill (heard only). Rangers had a Great White Egret in flight there early on.

Posted January 15th at 2:24 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Nice to be out on a brighter morning with sightings including: Kingfisher (female), Dipper, 4 Goosanders (1 drake), 18 Wigeon, 3 Little Grebes, c285 Dunlins (initially on Blaxton Meadow), 6 Greenshanks & 11+ Stock Doves. 

Posted January 15th at 12:25 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Greylag goose

Hackney Marsh, Newton Abbot 

Posted January 15th at 12:10 pm by Pam in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News