Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 21st June 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Lockdown relaxations

Devon Birds would like to thank the many members and other birdwatchers who complied with the restrictions during the recent Lockdown and stayed in their local area (village, town or part of city) to birdwatch while exercising (and later) taking recreation. We hope that, despite the obvious frustrations, you found some respite in watching wildlife in your local area and perhaps discovered some birds close to home, that you might otherwise not have seen! As always, please submit sightings to the County recorder and / or BirdTrack. 
Please continue to follow the Covid related requirements (currently "rule of six outside, social distancing etc) while enjoying the new freedoms to extend your birdwatching. Some hides will remain closed for the time being and where you find one open, please follow Government guidelines on keeping yourself & others safe:
Thank you from
Devon Birds News site editors & members of the Records Committee

Posted April 2nd at 4:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

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

Sunday 13th June 2021

Mandarin with 5 young

Female Mandarin with 5 young on river at Chudleigh Knighton 

Posted yesterday at 8:24 pm by Mark Brandon in Bird News

Berry Head to Hope’s Nose

A boat trip out of Brixham on Kelly’s Hero Charters was interesting.  Lots of Kittiwakes nesting on Berry Head and nearby cliffs.  Fulmars and usual gulls.  Three Razorbills flying in and out of the Guillemot colony.  Birds returning with small fish.  Over to Hopes Nose, 3 Manx Shearwaters passed by and later a Whimbrel.  On the Ore Stone were several nesting pairs of Razorbills and Guillemots and a pair of Turnstones in summer plumage.  Very quiet generally, probably due to the lack of wind and calm seas as most birds sitting on the water.  Flock of up to 20 Shags on the sea.  At least 3 Gannets seen (2cy, 3cy and adult plumage).  Single 2cy Med Gull. 

Posted yesterday at 8:02 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News

Wrafton pond

Met Jon Turner at Wrafton pond who was conducting a bird count.  Shortly after he had left, a Sparrowhawk possibly the same bird as the one I spotted the other day dropped in. Also saw a family of Long tailed tits, a couple of Moorhen and a couple of Little Grebe.


Posted yesterday at 7:46 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Inner Hope Cove, Bolt Tail

Late brief sea watch Saturday eve on 12th, highlight was a Sandwich Tern flying south over the Tail. Early Sunday following day brief sea watch saw about 25 Manx Shearwater, 4 Fulmar, and at the limit of our scope was what we believed to be 2 juvenile Gannets with several adults.

Posted yesterday at 6:56 pm by Dan & Tom Kent in Bird News

Marsh Green, East Devon

Another Red Kite over the village, the third this afternoon heading SW. Also 3 Buzzards (locals). Earlier... US Air Force 1 carrying Joe Biden flew over going E. 

Posted yesterday at 4:57 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Marsh Green, East Devon

2 Red Kites over the village at 16.20 heading south west at a height.

Posted yesterday at 4:23 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News


Over the house this morning.

Red Kite
Red Kite

Posted yesterday at 1:37 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Several pairs of Shelducks with (3 + 6) small ducklings on Blaxton Meadow at high tide this morning, together with a lingering Greenshank & 7 Curlews. Also, Siskin, a pair of Stonechats & 24 Mandarin Ducks, mainly drakes going into eclipse. 

Posted yesterday at 12:15 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Torbay & Berry Head

Late post but on a cruise around Torbay on Friday 11th there were 17+ Mediterranean Gulls all scruffy looking first summer birds (2nd cy). Also really good to see kittiwakes back at Berry Head in good numbers 150+ some have started to nest and settled onto presumably eggs. Seems very late but if successful will be the first breeding at the site for nearly 10 years. Later breeding at Berry Head might be more successful as oily small fish numbers around this part of Lyme bay pick up in mid summer.

Posted yesterday at 9:17 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 12th June 2021

Swift increase

I saw 4 swifts over Great Torrington square this afternoon, the most I've seen this year, so hopefully they'll have babies after such a slow start to their season. 3 house martins also.

Posted June 12th at 4:01 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

Red Kite Lipson Plymouth

I have been feeling a little hard done by over recent weeks seeing all of the Red Kite reports from others. Sorted this morning though with a single bird initially very low over Freedom Fields. Got a good 5 min with the bird as it gradually gained height and eventually drifted off towards Rame

Posted June 12th at 12:18 pm by Richard Billington in Bird News

Lesser Whitethroat, Northam.

Enjoying an early morning cup of tea in bed whilst listening to a very vocal Lesser Whitethroat singing from the hedge line below the Torridge Bridge.

Another addition to the house list!

Posted June 12th at 7:32 am by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Red kite

A friend saw a red kite over the Crowbeare valley on the northern edge of Great Torrington at 2pm yesterday

Posted June 12th at 6:12 am by Aubrey in Bird News

Friday 11th June 2021

Wrafton pond

Wrafton pond was again very quite apart from the usual suspects.  A Robin was singing its heart out near the boardwalk and a Sparrowhawk landed in a tree on the far side of the pond.


Posted June 11th at 11:33 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

An emphasis on land birds today with: Peregrine, Kestrel, Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, pair of Stonechats, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 20+ Swifts, 2 Roe Deer & 9 Small Heaths.

Posted June 11th at 8:50 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Yesterday in the Venford area: At least 3 Cuckoos, a pair of Grey Wagtails, 2 Redstarts, Blackcaps, Garden Warblers, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Yellowhammers, Mistle and Song Thrushes, Tree Pipits, A Buzzard, 3 Ravens, Wrens, Coal tits, Swallows, House Martins, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Magpies, Jays, Skylarks and a Grey Heron.


Posted June 11th at 8:09 am by Bob Barrow & John Lloyd in Bird News

Thursday 10th June 2021

Ash Mill

Red Kite over seen from the A361.

Posted June 10th at 5:08 pm by Martin Bond in Bird News

Re falcon seen with a kestrel.

The falcon seen by michael wooodman smith  is a falconers bird, jesses and transmitter.  It looks like a lugger falcon but it is hard to be sure as there are many hi-breeds etc. 

Posted June 10th at 2:08 pm by Keith McGinn in Bird News

Where Have The Swallows and House Martins Gone?

The village of Abbotsham in North Devon had upwards of 20 House Martin and even more Swallow nests in the 1990's. They have gradually declined and this year there is not one house martin nest and around half a dozen swallow nests.There have been none feeding over Godborough or the Kenwith Castle Lake. Is it just us?

Posted June 10th at 12:01 pm by Philip Marlow in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Late report for yesterday 9/6/21

Lower Tamar Lake.

4 juv Nuthatch at the hide feeders waiting for an adult to feed them, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Robin, 4 Coal Tit, 3 Grey Wagtail two adults feeding one juv. 5 Tufted Duck 4m 1f, 1 Moorhen, 14 Mallard, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Song Thrush, 5 Jackdaw, 1 Grey Heron.

Posted June 10th at 8:38 am by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Wednesday 9th June 2021

Exminster Marsh

11 1st Summer Med Gulls on Exminster Marsh this evening. 30 Curlew, 5 Blackwits, 4 Barwits & a Whimbrel. Also Hobby sat around waiting for supper. 

Posted June 9th at 9:44 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News


I'm sure by now everyone seen the post of the warbler, i myself didn't see it, i mean i might have passed it and not known what i was looking at, i walked past the area at 12 but before the crowds arrived heard something unusual but was too tired to look. Instead I'll post other sightings on my three days on the island. 

Puffins galore, was great to see, not too many seen actively bringing fish back to the burrow, probably only spotted 4 doing that. 
Guillemots, razor bills all in high numbers, GBB gulls, LBB gulls, herring gulls, fulmars, kittiwake, skylarks, wheatears (and juv), whinchats (and young), starlings, goldfinch, chiff chaff, willow warbler, oyster catcher, pipits, Manx shearwaters very loud at night and some seen distant on the ferry crossings.  swallows, house martins, house sparrows, a lot of racing pigeons who didn't want to keep racing it seems, collard doves, blue/great tit, robin, dunnock,  gannets seen diving off shore. Ravens, crows, wrens, mallards (with ducklings) Shags, cormorants, 

other note, dolphin pods both crossings on the ferry and lots and lots of grey seals. was also swarms of different jellyfish on leaving day 

Posted June 9th at 11:07 am by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Tuesday 8th June 2021

Sand Martins

Around six in a sand bank on the River Yeo between Fordton and Uton.

Posted June 8th at 9:27 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News


Sulphur-Bellied Warbler still showing very well this evening on and off from 6-645pm feeding actively on the rock face in Millcombe Valley- apparently the Oldenburg is fully booked for 2 weeks due to the restrictions mentioned below -  so charter boats are the only option . Brilliant views of Puffins, Manxies and Dolphins en route 

Posted June 8th at 8:06 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite over Exeter road area Kingsteignton 17.45 

Posted June 8th at 6:18 pm by Graeme Davey in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite spotted circling overhead (Pyworthy) about 2pm for 5 minutes. Soaring high but occasionally dropping down. Headed off north east.

Posted June 8th at 4:40 pm by Diana Lee in Bird News


The singing male Sulphur-bellied Warbler (see post below) was originally found at Stoneycroft (near the Old Lighthouse) this morning by David Price. It subsequently relocated to Millcombe Valley and was still present there this afternoon. Originally thought to be a Dusky Warbler (which itself would have been a first for Lundy) a back-of-camera mobile phone shot of the bird from Lundy Warden Dean Jones drew comment and questions from birders familiar with Sulphur-bellied Warbler, a very similar Asian species that has only been recorded once previously in the Western Palearctic (on the Danish island of Christiansø on 30 May 2016). Following review of original images and recordings of the bird's song, the bird was confirmed as a Sulphur-bellied Warbler, a first for Britain! An amazing occurrence... The full story of the Lundy bird will doubtless be told by those who were there when it was discovered. In the meantime, here is a link to an account of the Danish bird, which includes some photos and a map of the species' usual range:


Posted June 8th at 4:38 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Swifts over Torrington

I am seeing a pair of swifts over Great Torrington daily, and 3 house martins over my estate today. Hummingbird hawkmoth was a surprise this afternoon, briefly!

Posted June 8th at 3:38 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

East Soar

Further to my earlier post ant news for the book to me at


Posted June 8th at 3:08 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


4 Swifts over Germansweek at 13:00 today 08/06/21. first time I have seen them this year.

Posted June 8th at 2:25 pm by Mark Palmer in Bird News

East Soar

Adult female Red-backed Shrike on Bolt Head - seen for 4 minutes from 1040; catching insects from perch and being scolded by Meadow Pipits, Linnets and a Stonechat. 7th record for Soar but the first spring record. Also Red Kite flying high east.

I'm preparing a "History of the Birds of Soar" for publication in 2022 if I can afford it. Any extra records welcome plus any anecdotes. Please remember to put all your sightings at Soar on the Devon Birds blog so they can be included.

Now how do I get to Lundy!!

Posted June 8th at 1:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


A Sulphur-bellied Warbler has been found on Lundy. First for Britain and 2nd for the Western Palearctic. If you thought the Mockingbird was a twitch, this could create pandemonium with the Oldenburg running on Covid restricted numbers.

Posted June 8th at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

south molton community woodlans

2 garden warblers singing yesterday, not seen.

Posted June 8th at 8:52 am by art symons in Bird News

Monday 7th June 2021

Harleston by Slapton

Hobby overhead this morning - garden tick!

Posted June 7th at 2:52 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Osprey sighting

At about 10:40 today Monday 7th June 2021 at Teigngrace I saw an Osprey atop an electricity pylon. It then took to the air and gently flew off towards Kingsteignton.

Posted June 7th at 2:33 pm by Terry Hall in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

During a walk this morning: juvenile Green Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, 6+ Stock Doves, Kestrel, c10 Small Heaths & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted June 7th at 2:24 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Head

Several brief watches of the sea produced: 1 Black-throated Diver in full Summer plumage, 115 Manx Shearwaters including a flock of 80, 25+ Common Dolphins, 3 Harbour Porpoise & 2 Grey Seals. A flock of Starlings passing over the headland sadly didn't have any pink in it!


Posted June 7th at 2:03 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 6th June 2021

Kestrel attack

This afternoon a very pale slim bodied raptor flew above me as I was packing up my cameras.  Not a Peregrine, possibly a Hobby.  The local breeding female Kestrel had just made a kill and was returning to her nest when she suddenly accelerated and attacked the other raptor overhead.  The second raptor had a strikingly white throat and breast, very thin moustacial stripes and boldly streaked under tail coverts (only visible in photos) as Hobby.  But I would have expected a Hobby to be vey much more agile in the air so maybe an escaped falconers' bird with jesses?  Any ideas?

Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon
Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon
Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon
Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon

Posted June 6th at 9:57 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

East Prawle

2 Rose-Coloured Starlings, both adults near East Prawle, c4pm in field with cows right of main road , 2 fields south of water tower, with c20 Starlings 

Posted June 6th at 6:03 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

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