Saturday, 14 January 2012

razorbill &guillemot exmouth dock

just a couple of photos from this afternoon

Brixham Breakwater

Picked up a white winged gull amongst a feeding party of gulls between 2 day trawlers in the breakwater. Rushed back home to get my scope but couldn't relocate it so tried the fish market roofs. No luck. Mike called then to say Dave Leigh had located a Glaucous/Iceland gull on the breakwater! The bird was briefly sat on a bouy before moving off which gave the assembled onlookers little time to clinch the ID but having just spoke to Dave on phone he feels that the bird was more than likely an Iceland Gull.
Might be worth another look tomorrow?

Plym Bridge Woods

A walk along the river and into Cann Woods produced 4 Marsh Tits, 6+ Goldcrests and 2 Nuthatches.

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 08:10 till 10:15

A good morning with 520+ Avocets, 180+ bar tailed godwits, 650+ black tailed godwits, 1 knot, 20+ Dunlin, 22 shelduck, 500+ wigeon, 4 pochard, 3 tufted duck, 2 gadwall, 200+ Brent geese flew over towards darts farm

Exmouth this afternoon in addition to the razorbill and guillemot in exmouth dock the black redstart is still around Shelley beach area and 2 male goldeneye in with 15+ red breasted mergansers from 15:10 till 15:40 off the mussel beds but distant.

River Plym

The Spotted Sandpiper still late morning showing very well on the River Plym, on the falling tide just downriver from the railway bridge, side by side with a Common Sandpiper, allowing excellant comparison. Also 3 Greenshank on Blaxton Meadow.

Exmouth dock

14:15 razorbill and guillemot in exmouth dock showing well

Thurlestone Bay

Just an early update on the Glossy Ibis- feeding close to the road until spooked by a raptor at 09.15 when it flew off to the east again. Photos will be posted tonight . Anyone coming to see it should aim to arrive late afternoon assuming it returns to roost

A Plea For Your 2011 Records

To make the next one of these....

....we need your bird records!

This is another one of those 'plea posts', asking for all 2011 bird records to be sent to Julia and myself at, ideally no later than the 31st January 2012.

Just because bird sightings have been posted up on this blog, it doesn't mean they will automatically drop into our database and appear in the next Devon Bird Report. They need to be submitted to us at the above email address, using the forms available on the DBWPS website at:

Likewise, there are still a number of Devon A rarities that require descriptions. If you found a County Rarity in 2011 but haven't yet completed a rarities form - then please do! The relevant forms can be found at It is always such a shame when pukka records of rare birds cannot be added to the database and archives just because there isn't any/enough documentation to support the record.

If you really don't like writing, and have a photo of said bird, or possibly made notes in a notebook - then copies of these would be better than nothing. Please send any completed rarity forms, or photos/photocopies of notebooks of Devon A rarities to

Friday, 13 January 2012

Exminster Marshes

Glossy Ibis still, also Water Pipit and Short-eared Owl [Stewart Beer]

Photo by Brian Palmer


Can only add a Greylag Goose on South Huish Marsh and an adult Med Gull on rocks in the bay this afternoon to Mike's sightings. Had a listen from the footbridge for the Bearded Tits for half an hour but to no avail, the female Marsh Harrier did fly over though.

Beesands Ley

Quiet WeBS count this morning, 11 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, no Pochard and just 2 Coot.

River Plym

'A little-bit-Spotted' Sandpiper

As I was at B&Q I thought it would be rude not to pop across and have a look at this one. Showing well near the railway bridge, alongside a Common Sandpiper.

Thurlestone Bay

The Glossy Ibis seen leaving the Marsh at 08.15 flying off to the east. Nice surprise to see it returning to roost at 16.30- which farm pond is it feeding at?

Also on the marsh today - a female Marsh Harrier ( seen 3 times ) ,35 Lapwing, , 60 Snipe, 45 Teal, 18 Wigeon, 1 Black tailed Godwit,.

On the beach -near the flats ,the first Black Redstart of the year ( a female )

4 Bearded Tit still at South Milton Ley although very elusive

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Burrator Reservoir - yesterday 11/1

A Great Northern Diver at the dam end [Barry Rankine]

Thurlestone Bay

A quiet day which turned on its head at 16.45- looking out of my lounge window iwas completely surprised to pick up a GLOSSY IBIS coming in to roost - a patch tick and only the second site record ( I was away when the last one was seen on 25.9.09)

Earlier there were 7 LITTLE EGRET on the Marsh -6 quickly moved on .At 13.45 a flock of 75 Lapwing flew over SE with a flock of 50 Snipe most of which landed on the marsh.

A 2w Med Gull in the Bay was the first of the year.

A Walk round South Milton Ley this morning produced - 4 Cettis Warbler, 14 Chiffchaff 2 Goldcrest, 20+ Reed Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer, 7 Bullfinch ,1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Tawny Owl

This afternoon along the tidal road at Avetion Gifford- Bewick's Swan & Black Swan. 5 Common & 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 3 Redshank, 17 Curlew , 2 Egyption Goose


A request from Jon Avon at Stover Country Park....

There is a ringed coot (Left leg) at the main feeding area. there are only 7 on the lake. This ringed coot comes out of the water to feed.

It is not a British ring as far as I can identify -  the ring number is 340827 but the address of the country and ringing scheme is difficult to read. If any keen birders with good optics or cameras could get this  - it will provide a very useful coot record for Devon! There's the challenge!

Any help would be welcome.

Bursden Moor

Yesterday at Bursden Moor Brian Sims had 3 Hen Harrier, Merlin and Short-eared Owl, the latter quartering the moor for about an hour.

Northam burrows

Snow Bunting female at Sandymere, also adult Med GULL nearby at 1300hrs

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Otter

A redhead Goosander, 2 adult Med. Gulls and 5 Brent Geese (4 pale-bellied) on the estuary this morning. I did not see the Snow Bunting (it can be surprisingly elusive!), but I think it has been seen today. Also on the estuary today were 90+ Wigeon, 30+ Teal and 7+ Little Grebe.


A lunchtime walk produced 12 Pochard, the Shelduck and a Black Swan on the lake. A Kingfisher near the hide and around the lake- Treecreeper, Marsh Tit, 12 Siskin and several Bullfinch on the feeders by the boardwalk.

Thurlestone Bay

Superb weather- birds not quite up to the same standard.

At S M LEY- Bob B and Vic T had - 1 Firecrest ( originally ringed in Nov ) 12 Chiffchaff, 1 Tawny Owl, 3 Yellowhammer, 4 Bearded Tit. Later over S H Marsh they had a F Marsh Harrier . which flushed 40 Snipe. 40 Stock Dove in field behind the cafe .

Waders on the beaches- 11 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling.

On Thurlestone Marsh - 60 Snipe, 12 lapwing, 30 Wigeon, 25 Teal, 3 Shoveler. First Starling of the year came in to roost at 16.30 - all 30 of them !


A trip to the Airfield area this afternoon produced a site tick for me, the two Egyptian geese still
present. Seen at far side of field on the left opposite Airfield, standing on an earth mound.


Dusk at the reservoir:

9 Goosanders ( only one male ); 5 Little Grebe; 7 Teal.

4 Song Thrushes in full song.

Ide to Dunsford Woods

Started with an early morning visit to Ide in search of those 'big' H-finches but none, (other than Bullfinch), showed after two hours.  Plenty of Thrushes (Mistle, Song, Redwing and Fieldfare) but the big surprise was a Water Rail in the stream below West Town Farm.

Moved on to Teign Valley in search of woodland birds and walking from Steps Bridge all three woodpeckers were present in Dunsford Woods (Green - heard; Great Spotted W. -both male and female and finally a Lesser Spotted (male) showed up with a group of Long Tailed Tit after calling. Several Marsh Tit also present.  Above the Teign Valley five Buzzard and a Sparrow Hawk were enjoying the warm thermals and a group of 8 Roe Deer present on the hill above Clifford Bridge.

Exminster Marshes

I just could not resist a walk at lunch time. Warm, sunny and no wind - a perfect day. The site's current attractions all showed well; red-breasted goose with brents near canal, glossy ibis next to the lane and (eventually) a water pipit in the first field on the footpath to Topsham Lock.

Also redpolls (2) but more reported, bullfinches (3), water rail, 11 greylags, peregrine and 2 kestrels. I heard Cettis warblers at 4 sites including one in full song.

Sharkham Village, Brixham

A cracking male Black Redstart frequenting the area around Sharkham court/house this morning

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Axe Estuary

Adult Yellow-legged Gull this morning, also at least 4 Med Gulls.

Otter Estuary

Nice shot of a Red-breasted Merganser on the river today, from Pete Adey.

Wembury Whitethroat?

An interesting conversation on the bus home this evening with a friend of mine was interrupted when he mentioned that he had had a Whitethroat in his garden over Xmas. Although not a birder, he is very competent and has held a scientific ringing permit. His described it a Sylvia (he has been seeing Blackcap in the garden this winter and described it a very similar in structure/jizz) with a white throat although he couldn't rule out Lesser WT from the views he had. I can't get down to have a look until the weekend but if anyone happens to be passing, it was towards the bottom of Mewstone avenue (between there and Church Road) and might be worth a peer into some gardens!

Aveton Gifford

Driving along the tidal road late morning noticed the Bewick's Swan still present ( also Common Sandpiper and Black Swan ).

Stover CP

A short walk around the lake today produced the usual selection of waterbirds: about a dozen Pochard, a pair of Tufted Duck, two Great Crested Grebe and a couple of Kingfishers, as well as a wholly unexpected Shelduck. I'm tempted to assume it was an escape?

Monday, 9 January 2012

Exminster Marshes

I walked around the southern part of the marsh today between 11.00 and 12.30. No sign of the long-eared owl and a muddy track into a private field suggests some people were trespassing over the week-end. A pair of stonechats and 2 bullfinches were along the railway track. On the main marsh were 11 or 12 greylag geese with another 2 on the lagoon. Lots of wigeon and teal attracted a peregrine who eventually drove them onto the lagoon. Elsewhere a few pintail, more wigeon, teal, shoveller and mallard were scattered on all the wet flashes and pools.

I heard 3 Cettis including one that showed very well on the canal bank near Turf. At Turf the tide was low and the brents were far out on the southern edge of Greenland Bank apart from 22 brent geese, of which 8 were juveniles, that were on the fields near the lagoon. Waders on the estuary included avocets, grey plover, dunlin and redshank. Small flocks of curlew and lapwings appeared to be constantly moving to avoid the peregrine. Signing great tits, robins and a song thrush suggested it is almost spring.

Exminster & Dawlish - yesterday 8/1

Short-eared Owl, Glossy Ibis, Merlin, Water Rail At Exminster

Drake Eider, Common & Surf Scoter, Great Northern & Red Throated Divers and a Woodcock at Dawlish

[Barry Rankine]

Burrator Reservoir

A dawn count of Goosander produced 29 including ten males.
Walking back to the car Maureen spotted the elusive Great Northern Diver that has been present since early November and Rob counted 5 Little Grebe.
A nice finish to the pre-breakfast count was a flock of c25 Crossbills that flew over as we reached the cars.

(Rob & M Harrison)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bursdon Moor

Ringtail showing nicely at North most point of moor.
2 kestrel.

Budleigh Beach / Otter

A Slavonian Grebe on the sea was a good find by DC this morning and a scarce bird off here. Also on the sea were 4 GN Divers, Razorbill and Guillemot and 20+ Common Scoter headed West. On the Otter itself were an adult Med Gull and 4 Pale-bellied Brents briefly before flying out to sea. The drake RB Merganser remains, as does the Snow Bunting still frequenting the shingle ridge along the lower beach path from the Lime Kiln car park.

Thurlestone Bay

Quite a few visitors today who came and saw the Bearded Tits from the footbridge- up to 4 were reported around 13.00 6 Chiffchaff at the sewage works - including 1 in full song.

Brief views of a F Merlin accross the fields whilst Graham Daw had 6 Common Scoter flying west.

On Thurlestone Marsh there are now 2 Black T Godwit


An ad Pomarine Skua (different to the immature bird I saw yesterday) with full spoons was lingering in Torbay this morning occasionally getting off the water to chase a kittiwake. still present after I left at 10.20am. Also 4 Red-throated Divers, 4 Common Scoter, 5 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Red-breasted Merganser. Another huge feeding frenzy looked to be developing off Berry Hd again today.

Baggy Point


Iceland Gull still on south side but nearer to the point and about 200yrds offshore; ; 4 Raven;
3 Rock Pipit; 63 Common Scoter right off the end of the point and 2 Red-throated Diver off the north side.

At 10:55, while walking back along the path, the Glaucous Gull flew in from the direction of Downend. So had it come from Northam Burrows?


Black redstart on derelict ground shelley beach by flats also in exmouth dock a guillemot looking settled at 11:17

Westward Ho!

Black Redstart this morning on the roof of Nassau Court before flying into Braddick's Holiday Camp.

Exminster Marshes

Glossy ibis still present this morning.