Migration - Autumn 2015

Massive numbers of Terns now congregating on the Exe Estuary and in the Bay off Exmouth. Numbers increasing by the day ready for the push south after fattening up on Whitebait, sand eels and Sprats.While on the cliffs along the south Devon coast migrants are gathering with steady numbers being seen ready for the channel crossing.Yellow Wagtails, Whinchat, and Wheatear have been spotted around the area. Over the coming couple of months more migrants will arrive for the winter and depart from our shores. 8 Hundred Curlews and 7 hundred BTG have already arrived in the Estuary over the last few weeks. Our first lonely Avocet arrived this week with hopefully 700 more to follow. Teal and Widgeon are now arriving in numbers and any day now we'll see our first Pintail and our first Brent Geese. In all, 20,000+ birds will over winter here with us on the Exe Estuary for the next 6 months... they are all very welcome, as they all brighten up the grey skies of winter.!   

  • yesterdays video clip by Dave Boult


  • In reply to Derek C:

    Still large mixed numbers of Swallows and Martins seen along the clifftops of East Devon 300+ and 200+ birds feeding up ready for the push south.

    The Brent Geese have arrived in numbers over the last few weeks with 1000+ birds hoovering up the Eel Grass at the southern end of the Exe Estuary along with 2000+ Widgeon, a small number of Pintail and a gathering of 20 Mute Swans. Along with the Brent flock we have two rarities namely a Black Brant Goose and a Cackling Goose both from North America which have pulled in twitchers from far and wide.The Brant could well be the same bird which was here all last winter.

    Further up the Estuary migrants are arriving to over winter with us. Numbers of the weekend 150+ Pintail  200+ Widgeon 1000+ Black Tailed Godwits, 300+ Redshank 200+ Dunlin 400+ Curlew 200+ Teal all counted on Bowling Green Marsh a high tide Roost at Topsham. 25 Avocets were counted as well. Seams a long way to go to equal the best count of 730 last year, however it is only 14 October! A few nice birds have been seen passing through, namely Ruff, Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, Garganey Golden Plover and last week we had a Bar Headed Goose drop in!!

    Well worth a visit if your down this way with plenty to see from now til March 2016.

  • In reply to Derek C:

    Not sure if its the same elsewhere but over the last three weeks we have experience large numbers of Goldcrests in the local area. Wherever i go there are these great little birds busy in the trees and hedgerows looking for food. Along with them a few rarer birds have been seen like the Yellow Browed Warbler and Pallas's Warbler both nice birds to see. Unfortunately i ve been working and mist both, however i had my first Serin last week.

    A member of the finch family mainly found on the continent. Lovely primrose yellow on it rump and breast.

    Several Black Redstarts are starting to show around the town and at the Marina which is always nice to see. A few Brambling's are now being seen mainly on the moors but at lower levels and will show on Feeders and under Beech trees later on. 

    Plenty of Redwings about, I had 7 feeding on next doors Yew tree yesterday and a few Fieldfares are showing now to, and an odd Short Eared Owl has been seen as well.. One seen in North Devon yesterday and a couple last week in East Devon.Last one I saw was last winter flying over the town harassed by the local Gull population.

    Large numbers of waders, Brent geese, and Wildfowl are now established on the Exe estuary and the Avocets arguable the Stars of the Show are increasing in numbers every day with 244 counted on Sunday. Still a long way to go to equal last winters number of 730. Plenty of time yet tho'.

    A few hundred Starlings have grouped up further up the estuary but nothing to compare with other areas like the Somerset Levels. We did have a good show last winter but didn't last long the birds moved on around Christmas Time.

    Will it be a Waxwing year this year? I guess it depends on the weather in Northern Europe.....

  • In reply to Derek C:

    Great report,devonotter. Ditto with Goldcrest & Yellow-browed Warblers.Serin - Great spot.Will it hang around?Lots of redwing and now,fieldfare about retreating to furthest tree (in the fog) as you approach :-)  A couple of record shots here.And.... I saw three passing Martins? last week.A bit on the late side imho.

  • In reply to edgebander:

    Hi Edge, Thanks mate, yes the Serin is still at the first seen location, now flying with a Greenfinch flock in the area. Great spot on the Martins, Swallows seen further west on the Teign estuary over the weekend so there are a few stragglers about, possibly from a late brood? I'll update on any further sightings. Off out this morning to do my Volunteering at the hide so hopefully see a few bits.

  • In reply to Derek C:

    Interesting reports DO & EB, still have yet to see Redwings & Fieldfares but did see & hear my first lovely male BB  the other day, none in garden yet even though I have loadsa berries ready!

    Where do you do your volunteering DO?


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Hi Wendy Bowling Green Marsh at Topsham, Near Exeter where I meet and greet casual callers, banter with the birders, and have fun with the families with Children...our next generation. Commentate on the Avocet Cruises and do Talks on the Wildlife of the Exe Estuary when asked...when I'm part-time gardening!

    Just got back from my weekly visit to the hide. As it was a neap tide in the estuary it wasn't a full house but still had plenty of waders in to view, altho' only 25 Avocets decided to come in for an hour. 300+ Black tailed Godwits, 50+Bar Tailed Godwits, 200+ Redshank, 300+ Dunlin, a few Widgeon and Teal, 7 Greenshank and 20+ Snipe. In the hedgerow 20+ Redwing feeding on the Hawthorn. That was it  

    This is what it can look like!

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Here in Norfolk we had a wave of Goldcrests go through around October 10th when I had a week off and was prowling the coast;

    Also notched up Great White Egret, 2 Red Flanked Bluetails, Olive Backed Pipit, Yellow Browed and Hume's Warbler,2  Isabelline Shrikes,  9 Pomarine Skuas, 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Sabine's Gulls,  63 Bonxies, 150 Gannets, Water Pipit, Brambling, Pallass's Warbler Great Grey Shrike and SEO



    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    All courtesy of the ENE wind we had early October? I saw you had an amazing influx of birds over your way around that time Seymour. Red Flanked Bluetail...if only!! We had one of your Isabelline Shrikes this way two weeks ago in South Devon tho'. Some stunning photos of it on the local Devon Birds site. Its a great time of year as you just don't know what may pop up. Thanks for sharing.

  • In reply to Derek C:

    Many thanks for all that info & great pics DO, gives me a good idea of what a busy & knowledgeable person you are!  Just been on Google & it's likely I might find some Avocets at Elmley Marshes which is only 46 odd miles up the motorway from mine! 


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr