Saturday, 4 December 2010


Day started with a decent seawatch (08.00 - 11.30), most notable event being a reasonable passage of Divers. 24 passed in total, all going west, and consisted of 13 Red-throated, 4 Great Northern, 3 Black-throated and 4 unidentified. Other highlights were 2 Balearic Shearwaters, also west, 100 Gannets, the first Fulmar for a few weeks, 140 Auks, (mainly Guillemots today), at least twelve Common Gulls and up to 30 Kittiwakes. A small selection of wildfowl included 2 Brent Geese (dark-bellied), 3 Shelduck and singles of Wigeon, Gadwall and Common Scoter.
Along the shore were several cold weather refugees. As well as the usual Oystercatchers (75), Curlews (3) and Turnstones (12), there were 9 Dunlin, 5 Knot, 2 Redshank and a Grey Plover. The more usual cold-weather suspects were only present in small numbers - 25 Golden Plover, 17 Lapwing and 10 Snipe.
Also present today, 9 Med Gulls, 100+ Skylarks and single Blackcap and Chiffchaff.


4 Bramblings in garden between recreational playing fields and M5 bridge

[from Martin Elcoate]

Turf Lock

A shot of the Turf Lock Snow Bunting today - from Martin Cox

Thurlestone Marsh

Only time for a quick look at the Marsh this morning , what a surprise to find 4 female Goosander ( a site tick for me- according to Bob Burridge many many years since last recorded )
With the marsh unfrozen the Duck started to return - 2f Pintail flew in at 10.30, also 35 Teal, 16 Wigeon,5 Shoveler. 3 Water Rail, 3 lapwing 40+ Snipe
Otter Estuary
A good day on the Otter today. Highlight was definitely a Short-eared Owl (thanks Ray!) sat on the saltmarsh for 10 minutes before being harrassed by crows and heading high west. Other highlights today:
33 Dunlin (good count), 30+ Curlew, 6+ Redshank,
4+ Ringed Plover, 4+ Lapwing, 1 Knot, 1 Grey Plover (scarce), 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 12+ Snipe, 2 adult Med. Gulls, 300+ Skylark, 1 Brambling, 1 Water Pipit (cricket pitch) and last but not least the Glossy Ibis is still alive and well north of White Bridge.
No sign of Ruff reported from yesterday.

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 13:15-15:30, high tide.

Teal now up to 338 on the marsh, numbers augmented by birds unsettled by shooting on estuary nearby. Also single female Pintail and Shoveler. 34 Snipe included a flock of 30 flying around ( Snipe normally hard to see on the marsh, their favoured areas out of sight and bounds). Kingfisher showing well on and off below the hide. Out on the estuary still the adult Mediterranean Gull, also a Great Northern Diver near the Saltstone. Walking back up the marsh 3 nervous looking Greylag Geese flying around. 3 Chiffchaffs and a Grey Wagtail in the sewage works. Small but noticeable influx of Song Thrushes around the marsh.


All seen this afternoon:
Shelly Beach - male Black Redstart (on appartment blocks overlooking beach), 2 Greenshank, [Grey Seal].
Mudbank Lane - 2 Scaup, 14 Goldeneye, 13 Shoveler, 200 Teal, Greenshank.

Berry Head

Close in, off quarry. 2 f. Eider diving and consuming small starfish. 1 GN Diver, 2 Razorbills.
Lapland bunting still present.

Record shot of Waxwing at Buckfastleigh today


The 2 Waxwings still in Buckfastleigh this morning, feeding on berries opposite the co-op but spending most time sat in the top of the trees in nearby Hamblins Road.

Friday, 3 December 2010


Two Black-necked Grebes, Long-tailed Duck, Oystercatcher 55 and Turnstone 16.

[from Steve Cox]

Berry Head

Lapland Bunting still there at 1:30pm today

[from John Lee]

Ide - Hawfinches

10  Hawfinches counted leaving the roost site at Ide this morning.Sadly this is private land but up to 3 birds are still viewable from the road at West Town Farm.

Directions - leave A30 and drive through Ide Village.At top of hill beside the Poachers pub turn right at mini roundabout and follow signs to West Town Farm (approx 1 mile from ide village).Park at farm and check field maple trees just beyond the farm and normally viewable from road.

[from Roy Adams]

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

14:40 to 15:45

3 Bar-tailed Godwit; c300 Dunlin; 10 Ringed Plover; 3 Grey Plover; c40 Redshank; 2 Black-tailed Godwit; 6 Little Grebe; c35 Oystercatcher; c40 Redshank. Not many Lapwing about.

Bradiford Reserve.
c120 Teal and 55 Mallard. Just a few Lapwing in the field between the reserve and Ashford sewage works.

Yesterday at 12:15 there were 6 Little Grebe swimming and diving around the supports of the swing bridge. There was also a Coot with them. I don`t recall ever seeing a Coot at this location before?

Exminster Marshes

As well as the lovely male Snow Bunting, there was a Ruff briefly on the Marshes with a few Golden Plover, and a Water Rail plus several Snipe feeding in the small drain at the base of the canal embankment.

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 13:15-16:00, high tide.

215 Teal, 122 Wigeon, 2 Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Water Rail, 20 Snipe, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher, 20 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 3 Chiffchaff ( sewage works, bog standard collybita ).

Thurlestone Bay

Both marshes 100% frozen, still couldn't get the car out of the Close.

Suberb morning in the Bay although our Lapwing total only2 & Skylark 12.

3 Black T Diver back, the Red T Diver still present. 6 f Red B Merganser on the sea ( a site record for me ) 1 Great C Grebe and1 Guillemot on the sea .23 Teal 3 Wigeon & 3 Common Scoter east

Waders -8 Turnstone, 2 Grey Plover, 22 Golden Plover, 1` Dunlin

Thurlestone Marsh - this am- 1 m Blackcap, 53 Snipe, 1 Black T Godwit , 2 Lapwing 1 Water Rail ( watched catching an eel!) . A Jack Snipe flew up the valley at 13.30.

In the village 3 Goldcrest

Slapton Ley

Had a good look at the Higher Ley and around Ireland Bay this morning but no big deal.
30 Canada Geese, 43 Gadwall, 42 Mallard, 6 Shoveler, 3 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 56 Tufted Duck, 39 Pochard and 2 Goldeneye. In the trees were single Chiffchaff, Siskin and Brambling. Hardly any Great Crested Grebes and few Coot. No sign of the occasionally reported Great White Egret or Marsh Harrier. Very few gulls.
Similarly a scan up and down Slapton Sands showed no gull flocks, just 6 tired looking Golden Plover. Start Bay quiet with 2 Great Crested Grebes and a Red-throated Diver off the central car park.

Turf Locks

Snow Bunting showing well all morning

Buckfastleigh - Waxwings

2 Waxwings opposite the Buckfastleigh Co-op feeding on rowan berries, flew off N as we left 16:00, but probably gone to roost. Initially spotted by John Walters early pm.

R. Caen & Horsey Island 11:20-14:10

Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail at Velator Quay and a Water Pipit a bit further along the riverside footpath adjacent to the Toll House. Also: 13 Little Grebe, 2 Water Rail, 17 Snipe, 2 Bar-tailed Godiwt, 8 Greenshank and a handful of Fieldfares and Redwings. A Peregrine carrying unidentified prey was briefly chased by a Raven but the latter soon gave up the ghost.

Colyford - Update

The Woodlarks (see a few posts back) were still present this afternoon, but the count is now 18! Again, they were not associating with the Skylarks, and were visible close to the footpath.

Clennon Valley

Ponds mostly frozen today: 1 tristis Chiffchaff, 7 collybita Chiffchaffs, 9 Teal, 7 Shoveler, 1 pochard, 1 Little Egret.


Jack Snipe with Common Snipe on Mansands marsh.


16 Cirl buntings (at least 13 in pic above with chaffinch and reed buntings), 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Brambling, 70+ Chaffinch.

Beach & sea : 8 Golden Plovers, 1 Knot, 2 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover; 4 Red-throated Diver, 13 Pochard, 1 Tufted Duck (very white front blaze!), 3 Wigeon, 6 Black-necked Grebes, 53 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers

Northam Burrows

Very quiet on the Burrows early afternoon, but a single Jack Snipe in a ditch on the southern boundary adjacent to the horse fields. Also a Kingfisher fishing one of the few open pieces of water


A good number of birds on the beach this morning with the low tide. With the usual Gulls there were, 12 Golden Plovers and 16 Lapwings and 1 Sanderling running around. On the marsh were a Water Rail, 35+ Teal, 3 Shovelers, 4 Mallards, 2 Coots and the highlight was a Jack Snipe (right) with 43 Common Snipe. Mike will have better pictures later.


Lunchtime at Shelly Beach:

Scaup (distant due to tide), 2 Little Grebe, drake Teal, Greenshank, Black Redstart (female at Exe Sailing Club) and 2 Mistle Thrush over. Also 5 Eider off seafront.


Still several Woodlarks (at least 5) in the field opposite Colyton WTW, along Cownhayne Lane. There is a public footpath across the field, and at one stage 3 birds were together right by the entrance stile. There are also c.2,000 Skylarks present, but the Woodlarks keep mostly to themselves. If you do try for these birds please do not hassle them in the freezing conditions - with patience they will come quite close.

Woodlark on the public footpath! Stile in the background


Nice variety of birds down at Broadsands today with a few species of waders on the beach including these Golden Plover. Full update from Mike to come.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Passage House, Newton Abbot

two Avocet this afternoon, nearby female Shoveler at Decoy Lake

Axe Estuary - impressive cold weather movement

Sorry for the late update!

A watch from my front garden in Seaton 08:40-12:00 gave some good counts - most passage westerly:

1,453 Lapwing (the largest single flock was of 70 birds)
1 Golden Plover
30 Common Snipe
5 Buzzard (all singles - and all were properly 'on the move')
2 Kestrel
63 Fieldfare
259 Redwing
1,154 Skylark (biggest flock was of 230 birds!)

And that wasn't it for Skylarks; whilst birding throughout the afternoon I counted another 930 through west - giving a day total of 2,084! Also two Woodlarks flew north mid afternoon.

Lots of wildfowl on the move as well, didn't count the dabblers but diving ducks are always notable for the patch; 16 Pochard and 10 Tufted Ducks my totals. But where are all the grey geese?


Clennon Valley. 5 Snipe. 8 Teal. 2 Pochard. 4 Shoveler.

Preston Sea Front. 1 Black Tailed Godwit. 1 Sanderling. 6 Knot. 8 Teal. 12 Great Crested Grebe.
Think the Teal were probably the same ones seen at Clennon Valley earlier.

Seaton/Axe etc

Lots of cold weather action today. On the sea between 12 and 1: 2 Pintail, 10 Gadwall, 3 Eider, 6 Common Scoter, 3 Tufties, 2 Pochard, 6 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern. Lots of birds passing through/over, especially Lapwings (mostly am) and Skylarks, plus a few Snipe.

Up the estuary/valley were 2 Med Gulls, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 more Gadwall, and the 12 Brents were with the Bewick's Swan, which was still present opposite Stedcombe Vale.

In the field opposite Colyton Water Treament Works (on E side of Cownhayne Lane) there was a massive gathering of well over 1,000 Skylarks, plus at least 6 Woodlarks. Couldn't find any Laps.

Woodlark, Cownhayne Lane

Be interesting to see what Steve and Ian McLean had at different times of the day, because there were certainly masses of birds moving through, dropping in briefly etc. Good for us - not so good for the birds...

Thurlestone Bay

Unable to get the car off the Mead Estate this morning , walked round the bay this afternoon -

On the beach 12 Ringed Plover ,6 Dunlin, 9 Golden Plover over, 1 Red T Diver in the Bay. 14 Lapwing over.

On T'stone Marsh - just 9 Teal, 1 Kingfisher 35 Snipe

Around Torbay

Broadsands: at least 21 Cirl Buntings on the seed in the back of the 2nd car park today, also 3 Reed Buntings and 50+ Chaffinches. 1 Collybita Chiffchaff in the windswept marsh.

Please Note: its good to drop seed for the Cirls if you want almost instant good close views but please use Budgie seed or foreign finch seed (both a mixture of Millet and Canary Grass seeds from any petshop or bird food provider) - normal 'wild bird food' mixes which someone has been dropping attracts too many pigeons, crows and a rat today!

(Report from Nigel and Chris Smallbones from Berry Head of 35+ Golden Plovers several Lapwing in the meadow north of the carpark and the Lapland Bunting is still present in the Northern Fort by the Cafe.)

Exminster & Powderham Marshes

Following AJ's report a few days ago of a large finch flock on Powderham Marshes I called in before tackling the main marsh. I was not disappointed. About 300 finches mostly Chaffinches but a large number of Brambling and Linnets and a few Skylarks. The flock was attracting at least two female Sparrowhawks (adult and juv) and buzzards.

On Exminster Marshes I counted over 1200 Wigeon before having to move to keep warm. A few Golden Plovers were amongst the Lapwing. A single adult Bewick Swan was on the lagoon, although later reported on the estuary near Turf. Where the Snow Bunting was feeding on cord grass near the main sluice, west of the canal. A couple of Bullfinches were with the Redwings feeding on the canal bank. The build up of ice on the tide-line is looking impressive.

Mudbank Lane, Exmouth

Lunchtime on the rising tide:

2 Scaup, 7 Gadwall, 516 (!) Teal, 2 Shoveler, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Snipe and Lapwing (plus masses and masses of Wigeon and Pintail).

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thurlestone Bay

Another bitterly cold day - reminds me of 1962 in the NorthEast when the edge of the sea foze at Redcar-those were the days when over10k Knot would roost

Surprisingly 3 Knot on the rocks this morning flew west as the tide rose.

Very few duck today 30 Teal on the sea, 5 Wigeon ,14 Mallard all west. 2 Shoveler flew onto Thurlestone marsh with a single Shelduck on the sea.

Lapwing going through all morning 170 in total ,lots of small groups of up to 10. Only 5 Golden Plover. A 2w Med Gull east.

At 8am 3 Fieldfare on T'stone Marsh - first this Autumn. On drive to Soth Huish Marsh 9 Song Thrush and an increase in Blackbirds

Axe Estuary

Spoonbill showing well from hide all morning.

Bewick's Swan Axe Estuary

A single adult with Mute Swans opposite the entrance to Stedcombe House (so the usual place!)...

Sorry about the photo - this was taken after 4pm. Bill pattern shows it to be different bird to last winter's.

Exminster Marsh

A brief visit at lunch time coincided with a high tide. Roosting waders at Turf included 2 Avocets and 20 Black-tailed Godwits. The male Snow Bunting showed well on the path to the jetty. Overhead a single Spoonbill flew north and did not appear to land on the marshes. Hundreds of Redwings but fewer Fieldfares but the number of Black Birds appeared to have increased. It was interesting and slightly puzzling to see ice forming on the estuary but not on the canal. A Kingfisher by the car park livened up a bleak grey and bitterly cold landscape.

Isley Marsh and Foreshore.

12:30 - 13:45. Foreshore between fuel jetty and Isley.

2 female Common Eider between the 2 jetties.
Also 34 Grey Plover; 11 Bar-tailed Godwit; c90 Wigeon; c145 Teal; 3 Little Egret; c200 Dunlin; 12 Snipe; 3 Sanderling; 17 Knot; 2 Greenshank; 29 Redshank; c60 Oystercatcher; 38 Turnstone and 1 Peregrine that took one of the Godwits. Easy pickings this weather.

13:45 Isley Marsh.

9 Spoonbill; 4 Green shank; 15 Shoveler; c350 Teal; c200 Wigeon; 3 grey Plover and just the odd Lapwing and Curlew.

Mudbank Lane, Exmouth

Despite my hands nearly falling off due to the cold, I managed to see the following off Mudbank Lane during high tide at lunchtime:

3 Scaup, 2 Goldeneye, female Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 115 Teal, countless Wigeon and Pintail, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Snipe, 2 Lapwing over SW and loads of other common wildfowl and waders.

Snow Bunting

The Snow Bunting showing very well down to a few yards again at Turf near the burnt area, also 500+ Fieldfare and 300+ Redwing around the Marshes.

Broadsands and Clennon Valley

Broadsands: 7 Cirl Buntings on the seed in back of 2nd car park, 1 Reed Bunting and 14 Dunnocks!

Clennon Valley: 1 tristis Chiffchaff, 4 collybita Chiffchaffs, 2 Water Rail, 11 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 3 Snipe.

Powderham Marshes - yesterday 30/11

Powderham marshes RSPB (Accessed from behind the swans nest)

Mixed finch flock in winter stubbles

Linnet 350
Chaffinch 170
Brambling 50
Goldfinch 30
Greenfinch 40

Skylark 14

[from Antony Bellamy]

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


5 Cirl Bunting
1 Ringed Plover
1 Black Necked Grebe
12 Great Crested Grebe

Prawle Point

Short seawatch this afternoon produced 1 Black-throated Diver, 2nd winter Med Gull, 24 Lapwings (over a mile out, flying east), and later 3 more in off the sea. And a Chiffchaff in the car-park, calling away and sounding very cheerful!

Turf Hotel

The male Snow Bunting still present this afternoon on the grass below the hotel. Presumably the same bird that was first seen flying over the American Robin twitch on November 13th.

Green Sandpiper

One flew east over Avon Mill Garden Center nr. Loddiswell this morning.

Thurlestone Bay

Another bitterly cold day, 3 Black T Diver still offshore although at 11am they flew into Bigbury Bay. 1 Great Crested Grebe still in the bay along with 15 Gadwall (site record for me ) 6 Wigeon & 14 Teal.

16 Lapwing on South Huish Marsh, with 42 Golden Plover in from west- over 30 in the field behind cafe presumed to be these, 2 Snipe flew in & 1 Dunlin . A very cold looking Chiffchaff in the car park.

4 Coot by the footbridge werte new arrivals.

15.30 Aveton Gifford 2 Greenshank 2 Redshank 6 Dunlin 10 Ringed Plover,1 Common Sandpiper.

Axe Estuary

On the Axe Estuary this afternoon: 5 Ruff, 4 Med Gulls (highest count so far this winter - all adults), 3 Goosanders and a Spoonbill.

Also this morning 4 Woodcock and 10 Lesser Redpoll in private woodland near Colyton.

Skern 30th Nov.

The highlights this morning were a female Goldeneye and three Pale-bellied Brent Geese including Irish-ringed bird H9WW. A solitary Black-tailed Godwit was also on site.

The lowlight was my car battery dying and me having to resort to calling out the breakdown people before I could get off the Burrows!


Teign: Passage House - Teignmouth

The 'highlights' were female Goldeneye from Arch Brook and Great Northen Diver from the Quay. Otherwise just the usual really, desptie the cold. Wildfowl totals across the whole stretch were 40 Mute Swan, 32 Shelduck, 24 Teal (luxton), 23+ Red-breated Merganser, 3 Little Grebe, 1 Great-crested Grebe and just 1 Mallard (surprisingly no Wigeon).

At high tide Passage House roost held 15 Oystercatcher, 37 Curlew, 36 Redshank, 7 Lapwing, 13 Dunlin and singles of Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit, while at Flow Point there was 293 Oystercatcher, 61 Curlew, 22 Redshank, 23 Dunlin & 6 Ringed Plover.

Exmouth - Duck Pond & Mudbank

Tuesday 30th Nov; on the high tide, two Scaup (female & juvenile) were about half way between Imperial Rec. Ground and Mudbank. Excellent Pintail numbers, c.140, both resting on water and roosting on shoreline. 6 Grey Plover, over 100 Redshank and (unusually) approx. 25 Teal in addition to the usual Turnstone, Wigeon, Mallard and Brent Geese
Rupert Ormerod

Turf Lock - yesterday 29/11

A couple of photos taken at Turf Lock yesterday by Don Pepperell...

Grey Plover

Snow Bunting

Monday, 29 November 2010

Exminster Marshes

Fieldfares and Redwings enjoying the berries

Lapwings and Golden Plovers

Small cold weather movement around Ledstone ( just north of Kingsbridge ) this morning namely 50 Lapwing south and 50 Golden Plover west over a couple of hours. Only a casual observation so probably quite a few more passing unnoticed.

Fremington Quay - Barnstaple

13:00 - 14:30
Loads of thrushes around including a flock of c200+ Fieldfare with a dozen or so Redwing mixed in by Penhill Marsh. Also saw 4 different Song Thrushes and occasional Redwing all the way back to Barnstaple along the Tarka Trail. Several flocks of 50 or so Starling on Penhill marsh. Still a big flock of Dunlin (c500) at Anchor Woods Bank.
First time I have been out without my birding lens for ages and there were loads of Photo opportunities!!! Still I did have my little lens with me for a few snaps.

Axe Estuary

Three Ruff flew low NE over Colyford Common this morning at 08:00, with a Green Sand, 11 Rock and 1 Water Pipit on the Common itself. Mid afternoon there were 12 Golden Plover with Lapwing by Boshill Cross with another one further west along the A3052 by the Branscombe turn off.

All day, small flocks of Lapwing have been flying south down the valley and presumably out to sea; most flocks numbering less than 20 birds, but one flock of 70 passed through mid afternoon.

There's excellent numbers of wildfowl in the valley too with 12 Brent Geese, 380 Teal (most I've ever seen here I think!), c450 Wigeon, 6 Gadwall (4 drakes - pic below) and 11 Shoveler.

Also two adult Med Gull on Estuary mid morning and a Cetti's Warbler at Lower Bruckland Ponds was unusual.


3 Goosanders (scarce here) and 2 Gadwall on the sea at dawn, along with a selection of common dabblers. 10 Lapwing flew straight out, but nothing moving on the sea apart from gulls. Freezing!

R. Taw 29th November

Fremington Pill:
Snipe 9
Greenshank 1
Redshank 94
Black-tailed Godwit 1

Isley Marsh:
Spoonbill 8
Greenshank 7

Turnstone 41
Grey Plover 58
Dunlin 111
Knot 4
Bar-tailed Godwit 11

Eider 1 (female)
Shoveler 6
Sanderling 11

Thurlestone Bay

What a surprise this morning lying snow in Thurlestone. Marsh 90% frozen ,South Huish Marsh 100% frozen.

First main cold weather movements this morning --5 Greylag Goose flew east. 100+ Wigeon also east. 135 Teal in the Bay. 9 Golden Plover in off sea. 97 Lapwing in off sea ,11 Siskin -north .

On the sea 3 Black T Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe , 1f Pintail. Gave up at 12.45 too cold.

On the Marsh35 Teal, 25 Snipe ,2 Lapwing,1 Dunlin ,1 Black T Godwit, 7 Shoveler

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Prawle today

Seawatch first thing produced 100 Gannets, 220 Auks (60% Razorbills), 8 Common Scoter, 8 Teal and 25 Kittiwakes.

Some weather movement was evident, with a flock of 55 Lapwings leaving to the south early morning, followed a little later by 20 Golden Plover. There were a further 50 Lapwings moving east, with eight grounded, and 20 Golden Plovers moving east, with 385 grounded (in 2 flocks of 220 and 165).

A nice slection of birds were scattered around the area, the best being Merlin, 7 Turnstone, 3 Purple Sandpipers, Dunlin, 10 Snipe, 5 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ads, 2nd w, 2 1st w), Water Rail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 11 Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Black Redstart, Water Pipit (Horseley Cove), 40+ Rock Pipits, 60+ Meadow Pipits, 22 Long-tailed Tits, Chiffchaff and Firecrest.

Anchor Wood Bank - Barnstaple

14:30 - 15:30 Low Water
Plenty of birds around including 500+ Dunlin feeding on the mudbanks. Lots of Redshank, the usual gang of Curlews (c100) and a single Whimbrel I think (pic attached). Also saw my first Redwing of the season on the woods side of the Tarka Trail.

Whimbrel ?

Wembury 28/11

Late afternoon wander down the beach produced 1 Grey Plover, 1 Common Scoter and 20 Cirl Bunting.

Lapland Bunting, Berry Head

What a performer! It even called a few times for good measure.

Berry Head and Brixham

At Berry Head the 'very tame' Lapland Bunting still present, appoaching me to within 1m! So you can use a portrait lens!!
On the breakwater 14 Purple Sandpipers and some equally tame Turnstones. In the outer harbour the now resident Grey Seal and a Great Northern Diver.

Thurlestone Bay

2 Black Throated Diver in the bay close inshore at 13.00, increased to 3 by 14.00, 2 Turnstone flew thru.

30 Golden Plover in field behind cafe.

On Thurlestone marsh -7 Shoveler, 1 f Pintail Lapwing & Black Tailed Godwit. 40+ Snipe .


A cracking male Black Redstart was a bit of a surprise in Musbury at lunchtime. It was on doorsteps along the 'old' main road through the village, close to where that road meets the A358.

Braunton Rd, Barnstaple.

A surprise for me this morning at 08:05am was a Water Rail on my drive. My home fronts on to Braunton Road which is the busy main road into Barnstaple from the Braunton direction. It calmly walked out the frontgate on to the public footpath and set off towards town! I always thought them to be shy and retiring birds?

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay.

Unfortunatly no sign of Johns Waxwing at the bottom of Marsh Lane, just 4 Chiffchaffs in the sewage works. Very little on the marsh except a calling Water Rail. Birds out in the bay ( high tide ) included Whimbrel, 100 Curlew, 30 Teal and 30 Red-breasted Merganser. 8 Golden Plover and 6 Lapwings flew over


Orcombe Point - 815-10am - utterly freezing again this morning with some cold weather movement and at last a (dreadful) photo of a lapland bunting. I've had at least eight individuals this autumn but this is the only one I've got close enough to to photograph and I nearly lost my fingers to frostbite in the process!

golden plover 70+, lapwing 110+ (all moving west), snipe 5, song thrush 6+, fieldfare 1, goldfinch 7+, skylark c100+, curlew 18+, yellowhammer 1 (much rarer than laps on Orcombe Point), starling 4, lapland bunting 1, peregrine 2, sparrowhawk 1+