Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st February 2022


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

Monday 21st February 2022

BGM today.

Below the hide midday.


Posted February 21st at 6:32 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Blackhill Quarry

A late afternoon visit and I was soon watching the 2 drake Ring-necked Ducks found by Matt Knott yesterday. Asleep at first on the island, but later cruising around at the back of the quarry with the Mallards.

Ring-necked Duck
Ring-necked Duck

Posted February 21st at 6:31 pm by John Reeves in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Visit this afternoon coincided with low tide. Still very windy with gale force gusts. Most birds hidden in the grass but a single spoonbill was feeding in the pool near the car side car park. A flock of 6+ pied wagtails together with 3 stonechats were feeding in the lee of a hedge.

At Turf c150 avocets standing in a tight flock in the channel with c40 black-tailed godwits trying to get out of the wind. Also a few dunlin and over 30 common gull. There were 10 red-breasted mergansers and a single great-crested grebe in the channel.

Posted February 21st at 4:37 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

chiffchaff in Torrington

This afternoon a gentle stroll resulted in my first Chiffchaff of the year feeding in shrubbery near my home in Great Torrington.vIt was silent and against the low sunlight I couldn't see it's legs so have to say a probable chiffchaff.

Posted February 21st at 3:08 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

Escot Park

Blustery walk around the park this morning with very little on show until I checked out the bird feeders in the back garden of the house next to the orchard which I always check out on passing. On this occasion, it turned up trumps, as there were at least 10+ Bramblings feeding on the ground together with 2 Stock Dove, 4 Greenfinch, severaI Chaffinch and a Pheasant all taking advantage of the spilt seed. 


Posted February 21st at 2:29 pm by John Reeves in Bird News

Stoke Canon

White-front goose viewed from Stafford's Bridge on 20th February. It was with a large gaggle of Canada geese. 

2 great white egret also in the area. 

Posted February 21st at 7:16 am by Pat Gubb in Bird News

Sunday 20th February 2022


One of the recent (wintering?) Pomarine Skuas chased a Kittiwake this afternoon to the NW of the harbour, where there was a bit of a feeding frenzy: 40+ each of Cormorant and Shag, 2 Gannets, 4 Kittiwakes, 3 Guillemots and a Razorbill. Later from Shoulstone, a Great Skua flew into the bay and chased something (too murky to see what).

Posted February 20th at 9:10 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


Another unsuccessful hunt in my garden today..  

Posted February 20th at 7:09 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Blackhill Quarry

2 drake Ring necked ducks on South lake still at 2.30pm, thanks to Matt Knott for the heads up.

Posted February 20th at 2:58 pm by Paul Reynolds in Bird News

Blackhill Quarry

Two drake Ring-necked Ducks on the main pool this morning. Easily viewed from the main footpath through the middle of the quarry workings. Ropey photos on later.

Posted February 20th at 1:06 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Otter estuary fieldwalk

East Devon Branch field walk for Monday 21 Feb (Otter Estuary) is  CANCELLED due to weather warnings of high winds. The sun will be out but the birds may not and we care for your safety! Thank you.

Posted February 20th at 7:57 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Saturday 19th February 2022

Penhill Marsh area

On Penhill Marsh and in the fields on the inland side of the Tarka Path were a number of: A few pairs of Shelduck; Brent Geese; Canada Geese; Cattle Egret and Little Egret about 10 of each.

Brent Geese
Brent Geese
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted February 19th at 8:35 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Fremington quay

This afternoon along Fremington pill there was a single Spotted Redshank, a Pied Wagtail and two Greenshank further on were three Spoonbills, a Greenshank and a Curlew on the rock off Fremington quay. At Penhill Marsh there were a few pairs of Shelduck, c100 Brent Geese and a few Canada Geese including one with a white head. In the fields on the inland side of the Tarka Path were about 10 Cattle Egret and Little Egret in equal numbers.

Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail

Posted February 19th at 8:29 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

River Mole Valley

A pair of Dippers by the river and downstream 2 Goosander and Old Nog.200 plus Chaffinch in the wholecrop stubble along with 15 Meadow Pipit and 70 Starling.Feed pretty much exhausted in the bird mix field but still 20 Goldfinch feeding on the creeping thistle seed .Over 250 Pheasant mostly females still being attracted by the supplementary feeding ……and lots of Dunnock and Song Thrush appreciating the cover.The usuals in the orchard including a pair of Marsh Tits,Treecreeper,Nuthatch and Blackbird enjoying the apples which have been stored and put out for them each day.Elsewhere on the farm over 100 Redwing and a male Kestrel..Non avian included 3 female Roe Deer and 7 Red Deer hinds.

Posted February 19th at 7:53 pm by Brian Nicholas in Bird News

Wrafton etc

Sorry for late posting - we've had a power cut and now it's on the Wifi isn't working. Surprised to find a lone Spoonbill on the scrape this morning. also there about 30 Black-tailed Godwits. Best in the reserve were a female Kestrel, one Jay (4 in the gales yesterday) and a few Redwing, 8 Gadwall and the first pair of Canada Geese this year, presumably prospecting a nest site. The first in the reserve last year were on 18th February so pretty consistent.

Posted February 19th at 7:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


c20 Fieldfare flew out of the apple orchards south of Whimple this afternoon calling as they flew north over the village. 

Posted February 19th at 6:45 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Plym Estuary again

As it's not a regular in this neck of the woods, I thought I'd share a few not very good photos. 

Knot among the Curlew
Knot among the Curlew

Posted February 19th at 3:00 pm by John Foster in Bird News

Plym Estuary

On a mirky & blustery Saturday morning. 40+ Curlew, 60+ Shelduck, 10+ Oyc, 20 Redshank, 30+ Wigeon, 3 Goosander (1m, 2f), a 1w Med Gull, 1 Knot, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 1 little grebe, 2 GBBG, 2 Buzzards circling yp high, 1 Little Egret, 1 Sinensis Cormorant (or at least intermediate. Photo for confirmation - GPA approx 88° depending on where  vertical side of the angle is taken as the rear edge of GP is not a straight line.)

Probably Sinensis Cormorant
Probably Sinensis Cormorant

Posted February 19th at 2:18 pm by John Foster in Bird News

Friday 18th February 2022

Escot Park - White Pheasant

Looking at my picture of the white Pheasant in Escot Park today, I'm satisfied that it is leucistic rather than albino based on eye colour.

I've no idea how scarce leucistic forms are, there is no mention of any in the 2020 Devon Bird Report that has just been published.  

Pheasant (leucistic)
Pheasant (leucistic)

Posted February 18th at 9:18 pm by John Reeves in Bird News

South Brent

Female Brambling back around the garden feeders today, up to 20 Greenfinch, 30 plus Chaffinch, 3 Bullfinch, 2 Long Tailed Tit, good numbers of Pied Wagtails around the feeders and in the stubble field alongside the house.


Posted February 18th at 9:18 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Velator etc.

Didn't expect much today, so pleased to find a drake Pochard on Wrafton Pond. A few Teal out on the scrape. Several trees down in the reserve, where 3 Redwings, 4 Jays and 6 Pheasants were pretty much it. Will have a lot of timber to deal with when the weather abates.

Posted February 18th at 7:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Escot Park

I ventured out late PM after Storm Eunice had finished rearranging the garden. Highlight of 30+ Golden Plovers on the field behind the orchard, also 3 Stock Doves and a white Pheasant. Back home now. I need to go round to the neighbour and see if he wants his patio furniture back.

Posted February 18th at 5:49 pm by John Reeves in Bird News

Sinensis Cormorant

Following on from the interesting sinensis Cormorant posting and Eds comments (14th Feb), I wonder whether these two would be up for consideration. The first, in flight, was on the lake at Escot Park (31st Jan), the only one I've ever seen there and the other was at Topsham Quay on 4th Feb. I welcome Eds comments, thanks.

Eds: not able to gauge the flight bird accurately due to angle - suspect not, the swimming bird looks good. 

Posted February 18th at 12:30 pm by John Reeves in Bird News

Thursday 17th February 2022

Plymouth Hoe

A female Black Redstart on House Roof near the Lifeboat station.

Posted February 17th at 9:54 pm by David Grant in Bird News

Upper/Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake 06:30 33 Goosander 8m 25f, 1 Little Egret, 2m Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 15 Mallard, 1 Grey Heron, 1m Gadwall, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Mute Swan.

Upper Lake.

3 Tundra Bean Geese, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Snipe, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Great Crested Grebe, c70 Canada Geese, 5 Redwing, 1 Mute Swan.

Posted February 17th at 9:07 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Exminster Marshes and Haldon Forest

Exminster Marshes: Glossy Ibis over at 07:30, landed in Powderham Marshes. 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Peregrine, 59 Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 singing Chiffchaff + usuals, Off Turf: 80+ Avocet, 5 Grey Plover and a Kingfisher at high tide.

Haldon Forest: Crossbill showed well. 40+ Siskin.

Grey Plover
Grey Plover
Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill

Posted February 17th at 8:16 pm by Chris E in Bird News


A BTD type Diver at Broadsands appeared to show no thigh patch in all the dives and time I watched it this morning, although other structural features didn't look right I put it out on Twitter as a putative Pacific Diver, later video in the day seem to  confirm there was a white thigh patch so it is after all a BTD.

Also present 1 Red-necked Grebe, 3 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Diver. 

Red-necked Grebe  Black-throated Diver

             Red-necked Grebe                                                  Black-throated & Great Northern Diver

Posted February 17th at 6:51 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three Firecrests on site today; also, male Blackcap, 1st-w Mediterranean Gull, 34 Common Gulls, 17 Mandarin Ducks, female Red-crested Pochard, 14 Wigeon & a drake Goosander.

Posted February 17th at 5:50 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


4 Purple Sandpipers working rocks off Capstone

Posted February 17th at 5:25 pm by Dave Shadwell in Bird News


1w Iceland gull.  Struggling in the wind along clifftop with a few herring gulls.  Appeared almost pure white, with suggestion of some shading around upper carpals.  Might have been leucistic herring gull I guess.  Last seen heading downwind towards Westward Ho! etc

Posted February 17th at 5:00 pm by Rory Akam in Bird News


In the garden strengthening the fences when I was joined briefly by a female sparrowhawk, about 5 yards away, before it decided to move on.

Posted February 17th at 3:48 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News


Early afternoon the black-tailed godwits still present, but no sign of the recent spoonbills. 5 jays flew from the reserve, over the Tarka Trail towards the pond.

Posted February 17th at 3:46 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News

Colyford Common

Two Brent Geese and one Greylag with the Canada Geese this morning.

Posted February 17th at 2:13 pm by Mark Wingate in Bird News

North Devon

Female Goldeneye again - briefly at Ashford late morning. In the reserve at Velator several Redwing, a Jay and a calling Cetti's Warbler. 6 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape.

Posted February 17th at 1:11 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

South Brent ~ Brambling

A female Brambling seen in the garden this morning feeding with 30 plus Chaffinch, other visitors included good numbers of Greenfinch a recent count of 15, 2 Long Tailed Tit, a pair of Bullfinch, in the air over the house 2 Raven, 2 soaring Buzzards and 2 Lesser Black Back Gull.

Yesterday at Marine Parade, Paignton, 45 plus Turnstone, 2 Great Black Back and 1 Lesser Black Back, numerous Herring Gull, 4 Oyster Catcher, a Little Egret and off shore 2 Common Scoter.

Posted February 17th at 11:33 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wednesday 16th February 2022

Stuartline Birding Cruise 16th February 2022

Plenty to see in the lower reaches of the Estuary today with Gulls in good numbers, Black headed, Common, and Herring Gulls seen throughout with a few Greater Black Backed Gulls seen as well. The highlight in the Starcross area was a pair of Goldeneye showing well for the visitors. Further up the Estuary Greenshank showed well off the River Kenn. Again Red Breasted Mergansers were showing well throughout the cruise with 25+ seen. Black-tailed Godwits and Bar-tailed Godwits were in large flocks with Dunlin and a few Knot all together towards Topsham. with a few Grey Plover seen around Turf Lock. The long staying Spotted Redshank was seen again at Topsham near the Quay. The very high winds proved to be the catalyst for amazing aerial displays towards Turf Lock and the Canal by Avocets, Dunlin, and Godwits in unison even the Golden Plover joined the action at a distance, with the sun out the displays were extra-special and enjoyed by everyone, it was a talking point while cruising back to Exmouth.  

Posted February 16th at 7:23 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Late post. Yesterday Tuesday 15 while at Fremington Pill (also bumped into Rob Jutsum) I spotted 2 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank and 40 ish Black tailed Godwit. There were a number of Teal and Redshank.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Posted February 16th at 6:38 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Starcross area


- off Cofton Steps, the two B-n Grebes were close inshore and for once  gave prolonged views between dives. A few G-c Grebes and R-b Mergansers also present;

- the goose flock on Cockwood Golf Course contained a Pale-bellied Brent;

- inland from Starcross, several R-l Partridges were calling and chasing each other through the low-growing crop, and a few Cattle Egrets were distantly visible S. of the Mamhead road;

- in Powderham Park were 2 Egyptian Geese and 60+ Shelduck, and around the Kenn outfall were a second returning LBB and 20+ Common Gulls. My first singing Chiff-Chaff of the year was another sign of change. 

Posted February 16th at 4:29 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Escot Park

Five redhead Goosanders graced the still waters of Escot Park lake this morning. Also: Coot, Stock Dove, Goldcrest, Redwings and Fieldfares noted.


Posted February 16th at 1:14 pm by John Reeves in Bird News

Tuesday 15th February 2022

Exminster Marshes

Visit late afternoon till dusk. As the tide was rising there was a steady stream of birds onto the marsh from the estuary, including c400 black-tailed godwits and c500 golden plover. There were lots of wigeon, teal and lapwing already there together with a single flock of c500 brent geese near the Turf. On the pools over 50 shoveller and c30 pintail ignored a passing marsh harrier. 

At 5.45 a single glossy ibis flew in to roost. A barn owl was hunting around the lagoon. I heard snipe calling as I walked home but then a fire engine - lights flashing - arrived. No apparent reason for it to be there.

Posted February 15th at 7:37 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Stuartline Birding Cruise 15th February 2022

With a damp start, the sun did show briefly for some of the cruise this afternoon. Again it was a slow start around Dawlish Warren with DB Brent Geese near the mouth and 30+ Turnstones off Starcross. A few Great Crested Grebe showed off Lympstone. 50+ Pintail were off Exton up towards the Clyst confluence. A fly past of 30+ Widgeon near the wrecks off Powderham Park were a nice sighting. A Common Seal was seen and posed for the visitors on the left mudbank heading towards Turf Locks with plenty of Curlew in the same area. 200+ Black-tailed Godwit on the bend at Turf Lock with plenty of Dunlin on both mudbanks feeding as usual. As we headed towards Topsham Good numbers of Common Gulls were seen on the left of the Channel with at least 5 Sanderling in their striking white winter plumage scurrying along the waters edge on the right of the channel close to the boat for all to see this lovely little wader. Red Breasted Mergansers were seen throughout the estuary again with at least 25+ seen. As we approached Topsham Avocets were in abundance with at least 400+ birds throughout this stretch to Topsham Quay. Again great views of mixed flocks of Black-Tailed Godwits, Bar-Tailed Godwits and a few Knot also along this stretch. Again before we turned the Spotted Redshank was seen were everyone had great views of this long stayer. Flying displays were again a highlight. As we passed the Goatwalk at Topsham at least 250+ DB Brent Geese had landed in the channel with great views of this flock from the boat. At least 400+ Golden Plover came in to roost on the right hand mudbank one of the favoured spot for these birds. Increasing numbers of GBB and LBB Gulls were seen on Bull hill sandbank as we neared home. 

Mixed flock Bar & Black-tailed Godwit
Mixed flock Bar & Black-tailed Godwit
Common Seal
Common Seal

Posted February 15th at 6:30 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Braunton to Fremington Pill

Cycled along the Tarka trail to Fremington Pill again this aft during the calm before the storm.

Between Barnstaple & Fremington Pill in the first rushy field with the sheep on the left hand side were 5 Little Egrets. In the second rushy field with the sheep there were 6 Cattle Egrets & 6 Little Egrets. As well as the usual suspects on Fremington Pill there were at least 40 Black tailed Godwits.

Posted February 15th at 5:35 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Monday 14th Horsey Island Reserve N Devon

My wife and I took a walk out to the White House not expecting to see much due to a very strong NE wind and cold. However the marsh was alive with very large flocks of golden plover and lapwings.  Flocks were restless sometimes flying high and then down to low level over the embankment.At times the sky was full of birds. We spotted the reason - a female peregrine patrolling the marsh. Also several smaller flocks of approx thirty goldfinches mixed with linnets.  At the White house about forty ringed plover and a few dunlin feeding in advance of the rising tide. An amazing wildlife spectacle.

Posted February 15th at 3:39 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News


Red kite 2.30pm going west 

Posted February 15th at 3:18 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Wrafton area

Once again the three Spoonbills were out on the scrape and still present when I called it a day at about 11.30. 31 Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Egret also there. In the reserve a Jay, lots (40+) of Greenfinch. a couple of Redwings, singing Song Thrush, 2 Water Rails, but best by far was a female Peregrine which zoomed over heading due South.

Posted February 15th at 11:38 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Escot Park

The four redhead Goosanders were again present on the lake this morning. Also Treecreeper (my first here), Mistle Thrush, Coot and several Redwings were of note.

Mistle Thrush
Mistle Thrush

Posted February 15th at 11:20 am by John Reeves in Bird News

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