Devon Bird Sightings

Breeding birds

It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.

If in doubt refer to the following: 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

Posted April 1st at 3:13 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Pretty quiet today, but managed a Grey Wagtail, 3 Little Egrets, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Bullfinch and a Roe Deer (doe).

Posted yesterday at 7:59 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Mouse and vole

Rob's photos actually show a vole (most likely bank vole) visiting at ground level, then a wood mouse at the feeder. The vole has much smaller ears and eyes (also short tail, though not visible here).

Posted yesterday at 7:36 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Soussons & Golden Dagger Mine

Great Grey Shrike still present in open scrub N of Golden Dagger Mine and NE corner of Soussons Plantation today.

Posted yesterday at 6:47 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding


Saw a definite 5, possible 6 cuckoos on molland common at midday yesterday (May 22nd). All within a few hundred yards of each other just off the Ridgeway cross crossroads.

Posted yesterday at 11:52 am by Sam Aston in General Birding

Wood Mouse

A different visitor to the bird feeder this morning.  Photographed through the study window at Budleigh Salterton, EX9.  It has been seen before,  see photo of earlier date: but climbing onto the feeder is a new trick.



Posted yesterday at 8:56 am by Rob Jerrard in Other Wildlife

Monday 22nd May 2017

Yarner Woods

A few more taken at Yarner Wood



Posted May 22nd at 10:51 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

Yarner Woods

A good day up at Yarner Sunday 21st May



Posted May 22nd at 10:48 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down

A morning visit to Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down  yesterday (Sun 21st) gave Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow Hammer, Willow Warbler, Linnet, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, two pairs of Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, Raven, Cuckoo and a Warbler species that ML identified for me as a Garden Warbler, I had initially thought that it was a female Whitethroat,the bird was very prominent and singing loudly within a given area.

A further visit this morning with Keith Male gave three Garden Warblers one showing very well, a single Redpoll, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Linnet, Meadow and Tree Pipit, Bullfinch and calling Cuckoo.

Over at Challacombe farm, two Stock Dove, two very mobile Cuckoo’s flying up and down the length of the valley, Meadow Pipit, male Redstart, pair of Whinchat, three plus Wheatear, Linnet, Stonechat, Song and Mistle Thrush, numerous Swallow and House Martin, two Swift, possible Spotted Flycatcher but only a brief in flight view, Buzzard, Pied Wagtail and Willow Warbler.

Posted May 22nd at 9:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Yarner Woods

Cuckoo heard calling again today,Plenty of Redstarts about. A few have taken up residence in the nest boxes provided.Pied Flycatchers in abundance,Great Spotted Woodpecker,Willow Warbler,1 Wood Warbler and a par of singing Whiethroat in the second car park at Trendlebere

Posted May 22nd at 9:05 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

fernworthy reservoir

3Tree pipips,redstart,garden warblers,willow warblers,blackcap,mistle thrush,tree creeper,great crested grebe,meadow pipits,swallows building nests in fishing hut,heard no cuckoos,but after constant calling at Vitifer all day yesterday 2 cuckoos met up and mission accomplished then silence!!

Posted May 22nd at 6:54 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

East Devon Field Meeting

Travelled from Barnstaple this morning to meet up with East Devon group for an excellent days birding at Ham Wall. Species irrelevant to this blog but thanks to all for their friendliness.

Posted May 22nd at 6:53 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

Sunday 21st May 2017

Juvenile Starlings at Exwick

We have a small colony of Starlings living nearby and they seem all to have fledged at the same time - I counted 36 on the feeders this afternoon!

Posted May 21st at 10:11 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Haldon Forest Butterflies

After a disappointing two days of dipping Golden Orioles and the Woodchat Shrike I felt like I needed some therapy. That came in the form of a walk in Haldon Forest with BC Devon Branch.

Small Pearl Bordered Fritilary Mating Pearl Bordered Fritilary plus intruding male Small Pearl Bordered Fritilary

There was an abundance of Pearl Bordered Fritilary, but not so many SPB Fritilaries. It was great to see a mating pair being buzzed by a hopeful male, who was completely ignored. Other species of note were Brimstone, Dingy and Grizzled Skipper, Speckled Yellow moths, Green Veined White and a Painted Lady. It was well worth the visit.

Green Veined White Pearl Bordered Dingy Skipper

Posted May 21st at 5:57 pm by Steph Murphy in Other Wildlife

Bennett's Cross to Challacombe Farm

We had a very good walk from Bennett's Cross to Challacombe Farm, and back again via Headland Warren, today with the Exeter RSPB group. We had good views of the Great Grey Shrike, which this morning was in the valley before we reached Sousson's plantation. Some members of the group also had brief views of a Hobby and later, four Crossbills. At Challacombe Farm, the Swallows and House Martins were busy both feeding and collecting mud from the pond.  There were also at least a couple of Spotted Flycatchers, Redstart, Nuthatch and a Treecreeper carrying material to its nest.  We saw several Whinchats in both valleys, but only one Wheatear (near Headland Warren).

Posted May 21st at 5:45 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

Grass Snake Stover Country Park 21-05-17

A wonderful sighting of a Grass Snake at Stover today, even posed for one of the picture. A Great-spotted Woodpecker (Female) feeding a single male chick

Posted May 21st at 5:23 pm by Greg Bradbury in Other Wildlife

Saturday 20th May 2017

central park parrots

15 pluss ringneck parakeets central park

Posted May 20th at 8:52 pm by barry in General Birding

Bennett's Cross to Challacombe Farm


Further to the earlier post, the Great Grey Shrike showing well on the clearfell close to Golden Dagger Mine on the edge of Soussons.  Although mobile, the bird was perching prominently and showing well.

Also between Bennett's Cross and Challacombe Farm (and in spite of the cold, windy and showery weather):

Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Stonechat, Whinchat, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Raven, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Redpoll, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest, Redstart.  2 Garden Warbler calling. Cuckoo calling in the distance towards Warren House.

Posted May 20th at 7:53 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Cuckoo Ball, Dartmoor

No sign of the woodchat shrike this morning in less than ideal conditions - cold, breezy and misty although it did brighten up over the morning.

However some stunning scenery, prehistoric ruins, the pleasant company of fellow birders and a good range of Moor birds - wheatears, yellowhammers, linnets, skylarks, stonechats, meadow pipits, 2 kestrel, 2 raven, 3 swift, swallows, house martins, a male reed bunting and a cuckoo with willow warbler, blackcap, chiffchaff and great spotted woodpecker heard - gave a very enjoyable morning.


Posted May 20th at 7:19 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

great grey Shrike

Still near Challacombe farm. Also 3 cuckoos, whinchat, green woodpecker, jay and spotted flycatcher

Posted May 20th at 5:58 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Friday 19th May 2017


Bellever Plantation, evening: 2 Cuckoos, 2m and 1f Nightjar, 2 Green Woodpeckers and 1 Tawny Owl.

Posted May 19th at 10:51 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


2 today at 13:00 over umberleigh north devon briefly heading n seen from private garden chittlehamholt

Posted May 19th at 10:03 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike still showing well at Cuckoo Ball it has moved location it is nearer the entrance to the moor from the lane by the old factory building in the gorse bushes.

Plenty of Yellowhammers Linnets Wheatears Skylarks and Cuckoos.

Woodchat Shrike Woodchat Shrike Yellowhammer
Woodchat Shrike                        Woodchat Shrike                                         Yellowhammer

Posted May 19th at 9:49 pm by Roger Backway in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

fremington quay and home farm marsh.

Whitethroat 12, sedge warbler 5, cettis,reed warbler andreed bunting,both in pairs,common sandpiper, larks,bullfinch,chiffchaff, willow warbler,numerous swifts swallows and martins,.Butterflies,small copper,small blue and I believe a four spot broad chaser dark brown and the first large chaser we have seen, appologies to the Gaia trust warden if I got this wrong.

Posted May 19th at 5:50 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Soar and South Huish

A male Serin this morning (08.30) feeding for several minutes near East Soar Farm before disappearing. Then seen again briefly half an hour later flying and perched, but not since. Also a Turtle Dove in the area all morning, and nearby, Spotted Flycatcher, Sparrowhawk and Sedge Warbler.

Later at South Huish: White Wagtail, Sand Martin, Whimbrel and 6 adult Dunlins. 

Posted May 19th at 5:47 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Morte Point

2 Juvenile Ravens with adult pair this morning.  1 Lesser Whitethroat calling near the Cemetery and 1 Whimbrel on the Point.

Eds: all three of these are juveniles - dull body with glossy wings and small pale gape.

Posted May 19th at 2:22 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

East Soar

Turtle Dove flew into Ash Tree above the farm allowing excellent views before speeding off along the hedge- patch tick! Also male Sparrowhawk, singing Reed Warbler.

Roe Deer male, female Broad-bodied Chaser, 2 Green Hairstreak, 3 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

Posted May 19th at 12:25 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 18th May 2017

Woodchat Shrike

The female Woodchat Shrike still this morning at Cuckoo Ball on the east side of Western Beacon,  on the moor at the top of the valley, 200 yards west of the burial chamber. Also 2 Cuckoo. Closest access from the Bittaford to Ivybridge road, turn right by old machinery farm and park at the end of the lane by the gate to the moor.

Posted May 18th at 11:23 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Preston Seafront

A brief walk along Marine Parade this morning, before start of a working day, produced: 2 Oystercatchers, plenty of Herring Gulls, Shag, Goldfinches, Starlings, House Sparrows, my 1st sight of House Martins of the year - 4, Wren and star of the day was a female Mallard with 8 ducklings.

Posted May 18th at 9:49 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding


First this year Hummingbird Hawk Moth on Rhododendrons next to shop.

Posted May 18th at 8:32 pm by John Elvin in General Birding


Great-spotted woodpecker taking nectar from the red hot poker in the garden this afternoon.

Posted May 18th at 8:07 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Little on the water bird front this morning, but a pair of Nuthatches feeding 2 young, 2 Whitethroats and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted May 18th at 7:42 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dartmoor Challacombe Down

On a walk today from Headland Warren around Challacombe Down thro' Golden Dagger Tin Mine. Whinchats 8(m), 2(f), Spotted Flycatchers 3, Common Redstarts 3, Garden Warblers (h), Lesser Redpolls, Cuckoos 3, Bullfinch. Best of all Great Grey Shrike still around position SX 682 805. Plus many of the commoner species.

Posted May 18th at 7:41 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Arlington to the Loxhore Gate.

1Pied flycatcher 2pairs spotted flycatcher 4 Gs woodpecker,siskin ,bullfinch,black cap,kingfisher,chiffchaff,swallows,martins and 4 swift,willow warbler and good numbers of woodland birds especially blackbirds and thrush. Cover all really thick so spotting gets harder,lovely day though.

Posted May 18th at 6:55 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Clearbrook today

One pair of Cuckoo seen flying low over the golf course,numbers of Willow Warblers,1 f Redstart,4 Greenfinches,2 Garden Warblers,8 Pairs of Stonechates,3 Meadow Pipits,1 Skylark,1 m Kestrel,2 Common Buzzards,8 Linnets,1 m Redpoll,1m Yellowhammer,Corvoids,3 Swallows,the odd Chiffchaff calling.

Posted May 18th at 5:04 pm by chris buckland in General Birding


3 Lesser Whitethroat near Cemetery this morning

Posted May 18th at 3:11 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Woodchat Shrike - Cuckoo Ball, Bittaford

(Late Post for yesterday) After the rain and thick mist cleared late yesterday evening I went up to Cuckoo Ball, Bittaford to see if Mike Daniel's Woodchat shrike was still there. Passing a posing yellowhammer in gorse on the side of Western Beacon the Shrike's past location came into view and on a dead tree about 600m distant I saw what could have been the profile of a shrike. Subsequent examination of distant photos shows that it was indeed the shrike. It had moved on as I got closer and started to walk up Cuckoo Ball towards the burial chamber. Plenty of meadow pipits, skylarks and two wheatear present. I was joined by Patrick Hawkins, who had walked up through the field containing the trees on which the shrike normally perches without seeing or moving it. However on my way down I again saw the shrike firstly on a barbed wire fence and then on the same dead tree where I had seen it earlier. It gave Patrick and I a quick good, distant view, before moving off as we approached. A cuckoo was seen and heard nearby on the slopes of Western Beacon.

Distant Woodchat Shrike - Cuckoo Ball - 17/5/17 Yellowhammer - Cuckoo Ball - 17/5/17 Skylark - Cuckoo Ball - 17/5/17
 Woodchat Shrike                                       Yellowhammer                                                  Skylark 

Posted May 18th at 8:37 am by David Pakes in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Swifts over Newton Abbot

25+ swifts buzzing around over the St Leonards Road area of Newton Abbot this morning.

Posted May 18th at 12:02 am by Kevin Johns in General Birding

Wednesday 17th May 2017

Lundy on Tuesday 16th

A male Golden Oriole was reported in Millcombe yesterday afternoon. Click here for further info.

Please note that the "possible Bonelli's Warbler species" seen during the Devon Birds day-trip on Sunday has now been identified, from a series of very good photos, as a Garden Warbler.

Posted May 17th at 2:34 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding


Good numbers of Swifts over house North Plymouth first of the year from here,

Posted May 17th at 2:24 pm by chris buckland in General Birding

Plym Estuary

On the pool at high tide, 5 Little Egrets and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (2 ads and a 3rd-s) but little else apart from plenty of rain! 

Posted May 17th at 1:28 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Yesterday 16 May Prawle Point

Seawatch from 6.40 until 11.20am in SSW 4-5, overcast,some mist and showers, perfect conditions yet no skuas!

Totals seen : 2 Balearic Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, 1027 Manx Shearwaters ( with feeding parties of 100 plus groups seen as leaving) , 9 Puffins, 5 Great Northern Divers and 104 Kittiwakes all west. Oddities being a female Mallard that came in off the sea and a Swift tracking westwards.

Of interest still 4 Cattle Egrets at Chivelstone Cross.

Posted May 17th at 12:20 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 16th May 2017


Photo of juvenile long-tailed tits.

Posted May 16th at 10:40 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding


Apologies for the terrible photo taken in the rain this evening but 9 or 10 juvenile long -tailed tits being fed by the adults in the garden.. A spotted flycatcher still  present also.

Posted May 16th at 8:13 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch between 0600-0900: 3 Pomarine Skuas (2x ads and a 3cy), 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Storm Petrel, 30 Puffin, 293 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Sandwich Terns, 4 'commic' Tern, 14 Common Scoter.

Posted May 16th at 1:40 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Hobby quartering the Northern slopes at dusk last night

Posted May 16th at 11:12 am by Timothy Clyburn in General Birding

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