Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News

Scarce Breeding Birds - important posting guidelines

Please do not post any information about scarce or rare breeding species. They may be vulnerable to persecution or disturbance. 

The exception is information on these species at well known sites (e.g. Broadsands for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare for Dartford Warbler) or birds which are obvious migrants away from breeding sites.

If in any doubut, please don't post but report your sighting to the county recorder asap. Site editors cannot commit to editing posts which breach these guidelines, and the whole post may be removed or not admitted.

Further details can be found in the link below, but note, Wood Warbler is now also included as a scarce breeder:-

Posted April 15th at 3:02 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


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

Wednesday 18th May 2022


The first-summer Bonaparte's Gull again with c30 Black-headed Gulls off Mudbank at 0630 before moving a short distance to the Duck Pond/Imperial recreation ground area. Still there when I left it at 7am, for work.

Posted 7:29 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Wrafton pond

In the reeds around the pond were a male Reed Bunting and a number of Reed Warblers,

Posted 12:10 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Tuesday 17th May 2022

Talaton - Red Kites

A couple of Red Kites drifted over Talaton heading south at 1215hrs and 1700hrs. The first was with a couple of Buzzards. 

Red Kite (right) with Buzzard
Red Kite (right) with Buzzard

Posted yesterday at 9:20 pm by John Reeves in Bird News


A first-summer Bonaparte's Gull distantly off Mudbank this evening - dip-feeding with c30/40+ Black-headed Gulls and still present at 810pm at least. Also 10+ Sandwich Terns and at least 1 Mediterranean Gull in with the flock. A pair of redhead Goosanders flew through too. A few more details on

Posted yesterday at 8:53 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Aylesbeare RSPB

Cuckoo calling briefly late morning.

Posted yesterday at 2:12 pm by David Gray in Bird News

Littleham, Bideford

Hobby overhead at 1255, circling and heading N

Posted yesterday at 12:59 pm by Rory Akam in Bird News

Bere Alston

This morning at 11.05 a Turtle Dove landed in my garden, stayed for a 

good 5 minutes.

Posted yesterday at 11:23 am by Carol Bartlett in Bird News

Paignton ~ Barn owl

Just on first light this morning a Barn owl hunting over a field on the outskirts of Paignton, over head a Heron.

Posted yesterday at 7:34 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 16th May 2022

Hopes Nose

I took this photo of a rock pipit on the 14th at Hopes Nose.  Can someone tell my if this bird is the littoralis race.

Eds: petrosus wear to very grey during late spring and summer so almost certainly just that - and not littoralis  

Posted May 16th at 6:50 pm by Keith Mcginn in Bird News

Harton Cross Hartland

1 Male Siskin.

Posted May 16th at 12:13 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Brief visit this morning between the showers. Still a few waders using the new scrapes near the canal, c6 curlew, 4 whimbrel (another 5 at the Turf), 8 black-tailed godwit, single bar-tailed godwit and a single avocet. Also on the scrape a pair pf gadwall. A few swifts overhead and swallows at Turf displaying and singing.

Posted May 16th at 11:30 am by John Waldon in Bird News

Sunday 15th May 2022


18 swifts over Chagford square this evening. The church has 32 swift boxes which might explain the numbers, which should increase.

Posted May 15th at 8:41 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

Lipson, Plymouth

Three screaming Swifts this evening at 6.45pm over Freedom Fields Park.

Posted May 15th at 8:25 pm by Fred Jenkins in Bird News

Turtle dove

A good sighting this afternoon, a Turtle Dove on a bungalow roof in Galmpton, flew into some apple trees, then into another garden where lost sight of it unfortunatly.

Turtle Dove
Turtle Dove

Posted May 15th at 6:45 pm by kay and gary deare in Bird News

Red Kite

The Taw and Exmoor branch of the British Naturalists Association had a trip to Field Irish Farm today. They were just finishing their post walk cream tea at 4.00pm at Milton Damerel when they had good views of a red kite

Posted May 15th at 6:45 pm by brian sims in Bird News

South Brent ~ Red Kite

Just on 4pm a low flying Red Kite seen at home at South Brent headed towards Exeter at tree top height.

I wonder if it was the same bird reported at Heathfield a short time later as below post.

Posted May 15th at 6:31 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


At Emsworthy this morning. 2 Cuckoos heard, Redstart, Willow Warbler & Swallows.

Posted May 15th at 6:01 pm by John Foster in Bird News

Red Kite - Heathfield, Devon

Single bird seen at a distance (from Heathfield, Devon) flying West over Stover Country Park at 16.40 today. Furthest South I've ever seen one of these magnificent birds!

Posted May 15th at 4:45 pm by Rob Eaton in Bird News

Barnstaple Red Kite

One Red Kite over Roundswell this afternoon 15.15

Posted May 15th at 3:19 pm by Dave Paterson in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch this morning: 4 Puffins, 5 Great Northern Divers (photo montage below), 15 Manx Shearwaters, 7 Mediterranean Gulls all but one in 1st S plumage, 30 Common Scoter. Around headland 1 singing Reed Warbler and several swifts.

Great Northern Diver flight montage

Posted May 15th at 1:00 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Newton Abbot

Red kite seen late morning, near Seale-Hayne, heading west. Couldn't see any detail on tags, as we were driving.

Posted May 15th at 12:44 pm by Tim & Aishlyn Youngs in Bird News


Red Kite low south over Exe estuary at 1217.

Posted May 15th at 12:21 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


An early visit to the scrape showed 2 Little Egrets, 2 Mute Swans, 1 Shelduck and 3 Black-tailed Godwits.

Yesterday morning about 10a.m. in between the Skern and Crow Point a Great Northern Diver still, drifting on an outgoing and quite low tide, but still diving regularly.

Posted May 15th at 12:03 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Crownhill Down, Dartmoor

Eight Dunlin and two Ringed Plover on the huge pit at the top of the down first thing.

Posted May 15th at 11:54 am by Chris E in Bird News


A Roseate Tern lingering off the seafront from 0630-0730 at least, keeping with 3-4 Sandwich Terns. Also 1 Common Tern off there, a handful of Manx Shearwaters and 1 Balearic Shearwater east. Arctic Skua, 2 Great Northern Divers, 50+ Common Scoter, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Guillemot, 17+Black-headed Gulls plus a few auks, Gannets and Kittiwakes.

Posted May 15th at 9:24 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Late for yesterday.

Lower Tamar Lake.

4 Great Crested Grebe,1 Grey Wagtail.

Posted May 15th at 8:05 am by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Saturday 14th May 2022

Saltpill Duck Pond area

This evening between Fremington quay and Saltpill Duck pond were a good selection of birds including: Blackcaps; Sedge Warblers; Whitethroats;  Swallows. There were at least two of each of the above except the female Wigeon.


Posted May 14th at 10:31 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wistman's Wood 14th May 2022

Nice to eventually catch up with Spotted Flycatcher's this year. Trip to Wistman's Wood  gave us good views of Spotted Flycatchers in the wood and at Crockern Farm.

Lovely to see these Flycatchers in the dappled sunlight that only Wistman's wood could supply.
Lovely to see these Flycatchers in the dappled sunlight that only Wistman's wood could supply.

Posted May 14th at 9:56 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Swallows, Skylarks, Tree Pipits, Ravens, Stonechats, 


Posted May 14th at 8:20 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News


Around Burrator this morning was 3 Cuckoo's, 3 Tree pipits doing their parachute display, a singing Redstart, a Pied flycatcher, Willow Warblers, a female Great Spotted Woodpecker and a yaffling Green Woodpecker in dense cover.

Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit

Posted May 14th at 5:08 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Soar & Plymouth

A lovely calm morning at Soar produced: Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatears, 5 Sedge & 3 Reed Warblers, Sparrowhawk, & 2 Roe Deer.

Later, the Black Guillemot still present off Drake's Island.

Posted May 14th at 2:19 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Plymouth sound.

Black Guilllemot Summer plumage,close to pier around Drakes Island.Scope views from opposite shore areas or Mt Batten pier.

Posted May 14th at 12:07 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

Poss Purple Heron, Churston

Seen from moving car.

Looked good to me ,brief view, but looked brown, (albeit looking into the bright) and smaller than Grey around 8am yesterday

Posted May 14th at 11:19 am by paul barker in Bird News

Powderham Marsh RSPB (Friday evening)

Pink-footed Goose feeding in arable fields with Canada Geese. Common Sandpiper on marsh, Stonechat (pair), Kestrel. 5 Swift, 5 Swallow, 5 Reed Warbler & 1 Sedge Warbler and a Jay. 

Posted May 14th at 9:43 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

Black Guillemot Plymouth

Black Guillemot still on north side of Drake’s Island. Closer to island shore near the pier/jerry. Currently favouring the white Jerry can buoys. 

Easily seen from mount batten breakwater with a scope 

Posted May 14th at 9:40 am by Lewis Hawkins in Bird News

Aylsebeare Common

Down at Aylsebeare Common yesterday (Friday) afternoon where this Dartford Warbler and Willow Warbler were seen. I saw eight Dartfords and four Willow Warbles spread over a large area of the common. Also saw a number of Linnets, a couple of Stonechats, a Buzzard and a Green Woodpecker.

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler

Posted May 14th at 1:39 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Friday 13th May 2022

White Stork ~ Kingsteignton

This evening between 7.30 pm and 8 pm a White Stork seen circling over Kingsteignton in company with a Heron, both birds seen at height but the Stork simply kept climbing and was eventually lost from sight simply due to its altitude.

Back home at South Brent the afternoon gave two sightings of passage House Martins initially 6 and later on another 4.

Posted May 13th at 11:39 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Mutley, Plymouth

First six Swifts of the year over Houndiscombe Park and Houndiscombe 7.30pm.

Posted May 13th at 11:12 pm by Fred Jenkins in Bird News

Arlington Court treat

A walk down to the bird hide today past the monkey puzzle trees revealed a small flock of Siskin including this handsome male who was preening not feeding. At the hide were all the usual suspects and nothing unexpected. Nuthatch, marsh tit,

Siskin on monkey puzzle
Siskin on monkey puzzle
Nuthatch at the hide
Nuthatch at the hide

Posted May 13th at 8:06 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Ring necked Parakeet. Marldon

RNP flew over Vicarage Hill, Marldon at 7.40am

Posted May 13th at 7:14 pm by paul barker in Bird News

East Soar

Best today were Hobby and first Spotted Flycatcher; looks like another record equalling year for Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats are everywhere - great news when I can remember c.40 years ago there were hardly any! Looks like the wintering grounds are in good shape!

Posted May 13th at 6:12 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plymouth Sound

Black Guillemot still off the North side of Drakes island, near the 6 yellow buoys, frequently diving. Distant, scope advised.

Posted May 13th at 2:10 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Thursday 12th May 2022

Exminster Marsh

A late evening visit. Pink-footed Goose, as report below in field just south of new scrapes. 3 Egyptian Geese too. 12 Dunlin on new scrapes. 7 Barwits on estuary. Hobby sat waiting for supper…..probably one of the 75+ Sand Martin. 20 Swift & 2 Wheatear. 

Posted May 12th at 9:59 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning.

10 Common Sandpiper, 1 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Jay, 2 Wren, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Posted May 12th at 8:03 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

A Snow Goose on Powderham Marsh and 2 Black Swan off Turf were perhaps expected but a Pink-footed Goose on Exminster Marsh with Canada Geese was unexpected (presumably the wintering bird reappearing). Sedge and Reed Warblers were vocal and often quite showy and Swifts, Swallows and House Martins were seen overhead. Male Gadwall and Scarce and Broad-bodied Chasers also seen. 

Pink-footed Goose
Pink-footed Goose
Black Swan
Black Swan

Posted May 12th at 7:52 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News


17 swifts seen around Chagford church. Nest boxes fixed there and swift call recordings in the past may have helped.

Posted May 12th at 7:03 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News


A Black Guillemot on the north side of Drake Island this afternoon

Posted May 12th at 6:05 pm by David McNee in Bird News

Sherpa marshes

A decent number of Swifts over the Marshes this morning (up to 30), Also Swallows, Sand Martins and a few House Martins mostly attending the cattle.4/5 Whimbrel on the Caen with 2/3 Curlew and a single Black-tailed Godwit.

Posted May 12th at 5:35 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This afternnon, at least 4 Whimbrels (1 grounded & later, 4 SW), Whitethroat & 2 Roe Deer but not much else!

Posted May 12th at 5:31 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Radford Woods, Plymstock, Plymouth

Large numbers of House Martins together with Swifts and Swallows plus a few Sand Martin’s arrived over the woods and were feeding at 11:30.  Left shortly afterwards, flying in a northerly direction. 

Posted May 12th at 1:48 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Bird News


Kingsteignton Wednesday 11th.  Swifts heard but not seen over the village.  One day earlier than the average over previous years. Summer has arrived !

Posted May 12th at 10:59 am by Patrick Case in Bird News

Wednesday 11th May 2022

County Gate

While in the County Gate area I spotted this pair of Redstart.

Female Redstart
Female Redstart
Male Redstart
Male Redstart

Posted May 11th at 10:50 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Passage House

Passage House at 1600hrs today on high tide….

2 Little Ringed Plovers,1 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Shelduck,34 Mute Swans and 7 Little Egret

Posted May 11th at 8:52 pm by Paul Carter in Bird News

Alpine Swift over Plymouth

Apologies for quality but this bird was very high and are ID record shots only.

Posted May 11th at 8:51 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor

Rather quiet over high tide this afternoon, with c80 Black-tailed Godwits at BGM, plus Little Grebe, 27 Shelduck, Kingfisher, 9 Swifts, 20 Sand and 1 House Martin and a Cetti's Warbler. At Goosemoor, 2 Greenshanks and a Whimbrel.

Posted May 11th at 8:16 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Mincinglake Valley Park

My first swifts of the year ; 10 circling around Mincinglake .

Posted May 11th at 6:54 pm by Unai Marquez Pardo in Bird News


I was pleased to see that the Long-tailed Tits have fledged successfully this year.   Here they are being fed in the garden in the pouring rain this morning.

Juvenile Long-tailed Tit
Juvenile Long-tailed Tit
Juvenile Long-tailed Tit
Juvenile Long-tailed Tit

Posted May 11th at 6:42 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Alpine Swift over Plymstock 14:35

Just seen an Alpine Swift over Radford Woods, Plymstock.  Last seen flying In an easterly direction.  Picture to follow.

Posted May 11th at 3:14 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Bird News

Berry Head

On a pretty quiet seawatch from 07.10-10.40: 4 Puffins, 57 Manx Shearwaters, 37 Kittiwakes & 3 Common Scoters. Also, in, off the sea: 3 Swifts, 11 House Martins & 3 Swallows. 

Posted May 11th at 1:38 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Sharpa Marshes

Late post - yesterday early evening.

The leucistic Reed Bunting known locally as 'Russell's Bunting' which was first seen on Braunton Great Field during late winter/early spring. It was perched on cauliflowers & feeding on seeds but later moved to the reed beds on Sharpa Marshes.  Now desperately seeking a female companion with a view to mating & rearing a family. Hoping there is a local female who will find his snow white plumage & song irresistible!

Photo taken from the Toll House on the west side of the Caen Estuary.

Posted May 11th at 9:14 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


yesterday morning: 2 pale Pomarine Skuas drifted N in Torbay - appeared to be lingering, 1 Great Northern Diver and 7 Whimbrel on rocks just off shore.

Whimbrel Goodrington 10th May 2022 ML

Posted May 11th at 8:43 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

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