Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–30th November 2021

2021 records request & Records Committee vacancies

Happy New Year to all

Devon Birds is grateful to all observers who submit records. Please can you submit your 2021 records before the 31st January for inclusion in the Devon Bird Report (DBR). Records submitted to Birdtrack or EBird are already shared with the Society, but for any others please send them to 

Please submit any descriptions of Devon rarities to 

Reporting forms can be downloaded from Devon Birds Record Forms 

Posted December 31st, 2021 at 11:11 pm by Kevin Rylands 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 25th November 2021

River Otter

A recent walk from Ottery St Mary to Tipton St John along the river revealed Dippers, Grey Wagtails, 2 Little Grebes, Little Egret, Cormorant and Buzzards. 

Little Grebes
Little Grebes

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 9:45 pm by John Reeves in Bird News

Escot Park, East Devon.

c120 Lapwing on the high ground above the Orchard with 4 Buzzards present. A Dipper and L Egret below on the River Tale. A Jay carrying an acorn looked very pleased with himself!

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 5:06 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Ottery St Mary

3 prs mandarin duck together with c. 30 mallard upstream Gosford Bridge, Ottery St Mary

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 5:05 pm by Robin Pearson in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On a lovely sunny morning: 7 Goosanders (2 drakes), 24 Wigeon, 24 Mandarin Ducks, 3 Little Grebes, 162 Dunlins, c20 Turnstones, 2 Common Sandpipers, 8 Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwit, Sparrowhawk, 3 Stonechats, Bullfinch (male) & 6 Roe Deer. 

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 4:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

09:06 - 10:50

Highlights: Common Gull amongst the Black-headed. Pair of Pochard. Gadwall, Tufted, Pintail, Teal and Shelduck. Single Avocet. Mistle Thrush by the railway bridge.

Greenshank (3), Common Gull (2) on Goosemoor.

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 1:22 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

East Devon

8 blackbirds (plus fieldfare and mistle thrush) on garden windfalls and large numbers of blackbirds in the East Devon lanes - must be a fall of continental birds

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 12:25 pm by Robin Pearson in Bird News

Small wader at Trews Weir, Exeter

Whilst walking the dog this morning, a small wader on concrete siding to weir on the flood relief channel side of the weir, I presume a Common Sandpiper, no bins or camera to confirm identity.

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 11:38 am by Lyndon Hughes in Bird News


Water Pipit along the beach at Wembury yesterday, flighty and mobile with the Rock Pipits and Meadow Pipits but always eventually returning to the beach near the sewage pipe. Also a Common Sandpiper along the waterline. 

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Posted November 25th, 2021 at 7:47 am by Stuart Green in Bird News

Wednesday 24th November 2021

Exe Estuary

A 20-minute scan from Dawlish Warren this morning produced 4 G N  and 1 R-t Divers, 20+ Common Scoters and 15+ G-c Grebes.

In the estuary, from Starcross were 14 R-b Mergansers and 50+ Barwits, and, between Turf and Topsham, 7-800 Golden Plovers, 600+ Lapwings and 300+ Avocets. Did not attempt to count the many hundreds of Brents, Dunlin or Blackwits. Common Gull numbers noticeably up.

On Exminster Marsh were a Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine (adult m., so not the bird that was here in October).

Eighty+ spp. for the day, including the pair of Tawny Owls calling from Belle Isle Park as I type.

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 9:06 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Clennon Lakes, Paignton

Bit of an influx of Chiffchaffs today 10+ collybita types and 3 Siberian Chiffchaffs - two together at top end and another at bottom end stream. Also Cetti's Warbler, 3 Water Rail and rare at site a Wigeon! 

   Siberian Chiffchaffs Clennon Lakes 24 Nov 2021 ML      Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 24 Nov 2021 ML

                 Two Siberian Chiffchaffs                                         single Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 8:40 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Widdicombe (Beesands) Ley

09:56 - 13:01

Male Ring-necked Duck and two Lesser Scaup were the highlights. A single Pochard was also present.

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 8:10 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Haldon Forest park

Bit slow to start with around the Haldon Forest Park this morning, just on tick over around the feed station, small numbers of Siskin, Nuthatch, GSWP, Pied Wagtail and Song Thrush, a fly over Crossbill. Plenty of Chaffinch but no sign of the recent Brambling's.

Around the corner by the admin buildings a flock of 15 plus Crossbill feeding in on pine cones brightened rather dull day.

Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 7:45 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Velator reserve.

I was joined by Andy Lansdell today while I was ringing. We eventually recorded 25 birds ringed including a Redwing, 6 more Greenfinch, 6 Blackbirds, a Chiffchaff, 2 Cetti's Warblers, plus some other locals. Retraps included 2 Robins with 'S' rings from 2016, and one of the Jays ringed recently. Of note we recorded 41 species in, over or close to the reserve, the highlights being a  single Fieldfare, and a Merlin which flew North over the reserve carrying prey, and returned South a while later unencumbranced. At least 6 Water Rails heard. 

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 6:50 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

River Mole Valley

400 plus finches feeding on the bird mix … particular the fodder radish…….mainly Chaffinch but 60 Brambling present……the most seen at this site……..also Bullfinch Greenfinch Linnet and Goldfinch.Many Dunnock foraging along with 80 Pheasant.35 Fieldfare still feasting in the orchard along with 18 Blackbird and a Magpie.90 Starling feeding mainly on worms and dung beetle/larvae.Non avian included 5 Roe Deer and several bumblebees taking advantage of the afternoon sun.Tawny Owls hooting in abundance this evening……at least 5 individuals.

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 6:48 pm by Brian Nicholas in Bird News


Today at a roadside near Chagford there were a number of Fieldfare, a Wren, two Coal tits, a Great tit, numerous Blackbirds and a single Great spotted woodpecker.

Coal Tit
Coal Tit
Great Tit
Great Tit

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 6:05 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Skern > Northam Burrows

A visit to the Skern & Northam Burrows this morning before a Covid booster vaccination this aft..

Good numbers of birds on the Skern on a falling tide inc c1500 Golden Plover, 3 Ruff, Brent Geese, Shelduck, Curlew, Dunlin, Sanderling,Grey & Ringed Plover & Redshank.

3 Snow Bunting still on Northam Burrows.

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 6:01 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Head

Offshore, 300 Guillemots, 30+ Razorbills, 5 Common Scoters, 2 Kittiwakes & a Fulmar in nice calm conditions. However mammals stole the show with c20 Harbour Porpoises & 35+ Common Dolphins putting on a good show. three Fieldfares in the bushes.

Later, on Brixham breakwater, a Purple Sandpiper and 11 Turnatones.

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 5:30 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

River Taw Barnstaple

12 + Goosanders ( 1m & 11 brown-heads ) , 1 Goldeneye f , 50 + Black-tailed Godwits , 1 Peregrine giving the 100s of Lapwings hell & 1 Snipe .

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 4:49 pm by Dave Paterson in Bird News

Snow Bunting

A trip to South Hams with Rupert Ormerod and Dick Andrew to see the Snow Bunting, Lesser Scaup and the RN Duck was the plan. If you are going for the Snow Bunting be aware it could be on the beach amongst the Shingle as it was this am. We walked right by thankfully on our return it was pointed out to us on the beach movement gave it away so be warned!!. What a stunning bird. Lesser Scaup and RN Duck was also seen, and a bonus 2 GN Divers off Slapton Sands so a good morning.

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting
1 of 2 Lesser Scaup
1 of 2 Lesser Scaup

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 4:25 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News


Both female Lesser Scaups still at Beesands ley today favouring the south side of the ley close to the reeds either side of the hide but probably best viewed more distantly from the seaward side of the ley looking back - plus the drake R N Duck still there 

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 2:29 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake,

28 Goosander 8m 20f, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Willow Tit, 3 Gadwall 2m 1f, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Nuthatch, 3 Coot, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Cormorant.

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 1:22 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Upper Tamar Lake

Juvenile Whooper Swan. 

Posted November 24th, 2021 at 1:14 pm by jenny elvin in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Snipe 5, Wrens 2, Meadow pipits 8, Stonechats 6, Starlings 30+, Redwings 12, Buzzard 1, Raven 1, and a solitary GWP. 2 cock Blackcaps in the Yucca tree in our Plympton back garden.


Posted November 24th, 2021 at 10:17 am by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Tuesday 23rd November 2021

Exminster Marshes

On a visit this morning, most notable were a Marsh Harrier seen flying from above the scrapes, heading W then out of sight (09.20); two Cattle Egret with a Grey Heron in the field inland from the Turf Locks marina (11.00).

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 6:09 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News


1 Black Redstart.

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 5:30 pm by Barnabas in Bird News

Slapton beach

I feel obliged to send a image of the Snow Bunting, which was a very smart specimen!

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 5:04 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Beesands and Slapton

Drake Ring-necked Duck and 2 female/immature Lesser Scaup at Beesands. While the Ring-necked kept with Tufties, the Lesser Scaup (which slept a lot) kept on their own; one has more restricted white around the bill base, but both have only black on the nail at the bill-tip. Also 2 Cattle Egrets, 3 Pochard, Black Swan and Kingfisher. Earlier, the confiding male Snow Bunting was still just south of the Memorial car park at Slapton.

Lesser Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Ring-necked Duck (back left)
Ring-necked Duck (back left)

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 5:02 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


Two Brambling with finch flock on feeders next to Segway hire. 12:00pm

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 4:39 pm by Alex Farris in Bird News

Cockington Court, Torquay

A 1-2pm search of the orchard above and behind the court produced around 5 fieldfares and 10-12 redwing, also a significant influx of blackbirds. Other birds included 2 jays, 2 greenfinch, goldfinches, robins, great tits, carrion crow and a buzzard.


Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 3:55 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News


Checked out the best sites for winter birds finding 133 Yellowhammer, 45 Cirl Bunting, 630 Skylark, 20 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Redwing, 350 Starling. Sadly looks like wintering raptors & owls are a thing of the past!

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 3:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A sharp increase in Dunlin to 128 on the early high tide; also, 2 Teal, 2+ Little Grebes, 24 Wigeon, 26 Mandarin Ducks, Black-tailed Godwit, Siskin, 2 Stonechats & 11 Roe Deer.

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 2:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Late for yesterday 22nd

14 Goosander 4m 10f, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Coot, 2 Moorhen, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swan, 1m Gadwall, 1 Grey Heron, Good numbers of Teal and Mallard.

Posted November 23rd, 2021 at 9:20 am by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Monday 22nd November 2021

Dawlish Warren & Haldon Forest

Nice day at Dawlish Warren today. Nothing too exciting but 1700+ Dunlin, 45 Knot, 20+ Barwit, 20+ Grey Plover, 60 Shelduck, 200+ Brent G, 5 RB Merg, 12 Great C Grebe, 1st Med Gull, Kestrel & Kingfisher were the best bits.

Later at Haldon Forest Butterfly Walk 2 Hawfinch

Posted November 22nd, 2021 at 9:26 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Godborough Reserve

Small flock of Redwing enjoying the abundant berries in the reserve this afternoon. 

Posted November 22nd, 2021 at 6:09 pm by Sue Ambler in Bird News

South Molton

6 lapwing in field with sheep. Also c. 50 redwing 12 fieldfare, 1 skylark. In garden, yesterday and today red admiral feeding on Mahonia nectar.

Posted November 22nd, 2021 at 5:12 pm by Art Symons in Bird News


Snow bunting remains at the south end of the memorial car park at the top of the beach by the path.

Posted November 22nd, 2021 at 4:15 pm by Dave scott in Bird News

Spoonbill on the Teign

1 Spoonbill at high tide on the mud spit at Passage House, Newton Abbot this morning. Difficult viewing as it spent most of the time asleep, with the sun immediately behind!

Spoonbill on Teign at Passage House
Spoonbill on Teign at Passage House

Posted November 22nd, 2021 at 11:52 am by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

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