Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from June 2018

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Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News


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

Saturday 30th June 2018

Dartmoor Eagle Owl

I have been contacted by a resident of the Postbridge area who reports that he saw a large owl on the road near Bellever at about 4am on the 26th June, he was able to approach this owl and take two images with his mobile phone the bird is undoubtedly an Eagle owl and I suspect a Eurasian Eagle owl (bubo bubo) the bird was also seen the previous day by another resident in broad daylight at the same location.
From the reported observations there is every likelihood that this is an escaped or deliberately and illegally released captive bred bird.
The reporting person is making efforts to have me notified of any further sightings.
On a positive note those of you who read the reports of an Eagle in The Bovey valley by members of DBWPS may be pleased to hear that the bird after being AWOL for over a month returned the location that it went missing from and has now been recovered by its owner and he is grateful to all members of Devon Birds who made sightings of the bird known.

Posted June 30th, 2018 at 7:06 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Lower Otter Valley

Bird highlight of today's British Dragonfly Society walk from Budleigh to the aqueduct was a pair of Water Rails feeding out in broad daylight just south of White Bridge. They were both getting worms from the riverside and taking them to chicks hidden in the reeds (other observers saw the chicks). The dragonfly highlight was the first record of Scarce Chaser for the valley, with a male along the ditch to the west that runs parallel to the river. Other sightings of Hairy Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Emperor and the expected damselflies (both demoiselles, Large Red, Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed).

Posted June 30th, 2018 at 5:10 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Red Kite

I sighted a Red Kite yesterday, Friday 29th, at about 11:30hrs flying above the Dartmoor Diner on the A386.

Posted June 30th, 2018 at 9:09 am by Robin Stanbridge in Bird News

Friday 29th June 2018

Ilfracombe Lesser Black-Backed Gulls

This evening I counted 9 Lesser BBgulls on the roofs with at least 3 nest sites & one pair with chicks about 2 weeks old. Yesterday Ilfracombe Gig club rescued a young Peregrine way off the Pier that had come to grief probably chasing all the Manx Shearwaters off Combe at the moment. 

Posted June 29th, 2018 at 10:19 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Plym Valley

Plymouth to Clearbrook: 3 Dippers, ad Peregrine with 3 fledged young, 13 Grey Wagtails including family with 3 juvs, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, Marsh Tit & 3 Mandarin Ducks with 8, 2 & 1 ducklings respectively. 

Also 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries.

Posted June 29th, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor

The summer plumage Spotted Redshank was still at Goosemoor late morning before flying off down estuary at around midday.

Spotted RedshankSpotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank


Posted June 29th, 2018 at 8:35 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple. (0620 29/06/18)

3 adult Mediterranean gulls with B.H.Gulls just below the Taw bridge.

A creche of 33 young Shelduck in care of 3 adults just off Anchorwood Bank.

0730 Isley Marsh 49 Curlew.

Posted June 29th, 2018 at 7:21 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

River Yeo

This immature Little Egret has attracted some attention in the river opposite the Yeo Dale Hotel for most of the day so far.  

Posted June 29th, 2018 at 1:39 pm by Martin Bond in Bird News


170 Linnets taking advantage of a summer seed bounty on oilseed rape at Middle Soar.

Posted June 29th, 2018 at 12:49 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Thursday 28th June 2018

Red Kite Seaton Wetland Reserve

A Red Kite seen flying up the Axe Estuary this lunchtime.Also a Kingfisher on the reserve.

Posted June 28th, 2018 at 5:33 pm by Roy Adams in Bird News


Summer plumaged Spotted Redshank still at Goosemoor this lunchtime. Also 2 Greenshanks.

Posted June 28th, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Morte Point

One hour over the water from the Point this morning yielded several hundred Manx Shearwater, (previously reported by Jon on 26th), moving W down the Channel and N from Woolacombe Bay, some very close to shore, Also Gannet (6), Razorbill (1), Guillemot (4), GBbG (4), Oystercatcher (2), Fulmar (5), Cormorant (1) plus many Herring Gull.

Posted June 28th, 2018 at 2:10 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Reeves' Pheasant

First and only sighting to date of a Male Reeves' Pheasant, walking in shade at the bottom a garden on the afternoon of the 23rd June.  The pheasant was also caught on a camera trap which is set for the Black Fox: only infra red photos and video to date.  Will post when and if I ever get photos in daylight as I am avoiding use of flash photography: any advice as to technique would be gratefully received as the camera trap has been set for 2 weeks now with both cat food and organic lamb chop used as bait!

Posted June 28th, 2018 at 11:57 am by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

Trendlebeare Down & Pullabrook Wood

Good views of four Nightjars at dusk on the heath inc.wing clapping. Earlier 4 Tree Pipits, 2+ Crossbills, Redpolls calling.

At Pullabrook Wood 6+ White Admirals.

Posted June 28th, 2018 at 8:13 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wednesday 27th June 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Visited on lower tide than Martin (post below) so fewer waders, but in addition - 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Stock Doves, Green Woodpecker, 55 Swifts, 14 eclipse drake Mandarin Ducks, 12 Marbled Whites and a Ringlet.

Posted June 27th, 2018 at 5:20 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Red Kite Combe Martin

Flying above A39 close to a Fox road kill.

Posted June 27th, 2018 at 1:09 pm by Roy Afams in Bird News

Ply Estuary & Blaxton Meadow

On this mornings high tide the following were seen. Mandarin Duck 3 females one with 4 young and another with 8, Red crested Pochard 1 female this bird had been seen some weeks ago on Saltram pond now on the narrows by the bridge, Little Egret 8, Curlew 25, Redshank 38 and a Med Gull.

Posted June 27th, 2018 at 9:45 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News


Red kite just over A361 link road at junction of West /east Buckland 08:25

Posted June 27th, 2018 at 8:35 am by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Tuesday 26th June 2018

Birds and Butterflies at Ashclyst

Stunning weather and wildlife at Ashclyst Forest today, with a pair of Spotted Flycatchers and Marsh Tit on arrival, followed by an abundance of Silver-washed Fritillaries by the stream at the bottom of the hill on the Violet Route. The butterflies were everywhere today, including Ringlet, with beautiful iridescence on its wings, Comma, Meadow Brown, Skipper and White Admiral. 10.30am seems to be a good time to arrive.

Spotted FlycatcherSilver-washed FritillaryRinglet with iridescent upper wing
Spotted Flycatcher                               Silver-washed Fritillary                 Ringlet with iridescent upper wing

Posted June 26th, 2018 at 11:28 pm by Nick and Sara D'Agorne in Bird News

Tavy Cleave

Thirteen Whinchats including 2 pairs each with a juv and another pair with 3 juvs. Also reeling Grasshopper Warbler showing well, 2 Dippers, 4 Grey Wagtails and 6 Wheatears.

Posted June 26th, 2018 at 9:47 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Puffins Lundy

Had a count of  74 Puffins entering burrows this afternoon at Jenny's Cove .Many more present on the sea and flying towards the cliff where it was not possible to view from the foot paths May

Posted June 26th, 2018 at 9:35 pm by Roy Adams in Bird News

North Devon

After missing them on Roger's guided walk the other night, I saw a couple of Nightjars at Hartland Forest late yesterday and several others were churring.

This morning started early at Morte Point and several Whitethroats and Stonechats all shepherding young around the gorse. Several hundred Manx Shearwaters were exiting Woolacombe bay heading North and 5 Herons flew out to the point. No sign of Lesser Whitethroats. Left before Derek's Hobby flew over!

In the reserve at Velator later on the first Kingfisher I have seen in there since 15th March. Most of the other water birds I mentioned yesterday were present, only 6 juv Mallard.

This evening looked in on Wrafton Pond - no cygnets this year? Sherpa Marsh had 21 Swans, 2 Shelduck, the first returning Black-headed Gulls of the summer, Bit odd to see a Wigeon! Little Egret. Pleasant hot walk!

Posted June 26th, 2018 at 8:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Morte Point

Hobby.Single flypast 0730 this morning

Posted June 26th, 2018 at 12:17 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News


In my garden this morning - to be expected in all this heat.

Eds - Hummingbird Hawkmoth (applies to all please put a name to any photos)

Posted June 26th, 2018 at 10:14 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Cann Wood, Nightjars

A little later than in previous years, 18 members of Plymouth Branch ventured into Cann Woods, Plympton, for our now annual Nightjar walk.  A few arrived prior to the walk and were treated to cracking views of a male Siskin catching the last rays of the sun high in the pines, looking almost canary yellow in the sunlight. A few more woodland species including Blackcap, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin and Blackbird were all seen or heard.  So close to the longest day, it was no surprise that the first Nightjar was not seen or heard until 10:00pm.  They then came out in force churring, kee-wicking and gurgling to the delight of all, especially the one lady for whom this was her first encounter with this enigmatic bird.  The group were then treated to close fly over views of perhaps 10 birds in the moonlight and all went home happy but not before finding about half a dozen Glow Worms on the way back to the car park.  

Posted June 26th, 2018 at 12:08 am by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Monday 25th June 2018

Cadover Bridge not Clearbrook

Sorry made a massive mistake in saying the Sand Martins were at Clearbrook in fact they are at Cadover Bridge, sorry all 

Posted June 25th, 2018 at 9:07 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Velator reserve

While enjoying some Coffee during a break in Duck-weed raking, I watched the two adult Little Grebes feeding one young each. Then the 2 Moorhens appeared with two small young. But no, four young then 6. The seventh didn't appear. The Canada Geese with their brood of seven also helping with duckweed removal - by eating it!. So, where are those Ducks I wondered... As I returned towards the meadow, what's this rumbling along towards me - heaps of Mallard! Well Mum and 11 almost fully grown young, all bundled into the pond (putting up another juv Moorhen from the first brood) and forged away up to the other end of the pond. Can't believe I haven't seen them around the reserve at all.

Posted June 25th, 2018 at 8:00 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

25-06-18 Clearbrook Sand Martins

The Sand Martins at Clearbrook have nearly fledged chicks now, the parents busily feeding the chicks as they were showing well just inside the holes, there are, at present, 4 holes occupied by the Sand Martins and chicks

Posted June 25th, 2018 at 7:02 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Sunday 24th June 2018

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham

Pics from today's trip. Additional to those listed by Nigel, perhaps the biggest surprise was a Great Crested Grebe about 2.5 miles out from Berry Head and flying in towards land.

Immature Gannet    Great Crested Grebe
Immature Gannet                 Great Crested Grebe

Posted June 24th, 2018 at 8:18 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Slavonian Grebe

Sum Plum Slav Grebe off Cockwood steps as usual (associating with 4 Mute Swans). Was the only bird of real interest while awaiting arrival of steam train. 

Slav Grebe video -

Steam train -

Slavonian Grebe   Cormorant
Slavonian Grebe             Cormorant

Posted June 24th, 2018 at 8:04 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Re Roborough Down

Sorry Greg, But I don't think you have seen 6 young Roe deer, besides being very solitary deer, the structure of the antlers suggest a Cervus species and the muzzle colour lacks the dark nose characteristic of Roe.

Posted June 24th, 2018 at 7:24 pm by Andy Lansdell in Bird News

Red Kite over Chudleigh

About 7:10 this evening a Red Kite circled low over Chudleigh Church,and then circled round,gained height and headed off to the north west, a good garden tick!

Posted June 24th, 2018 at 7:19 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in Bird News

Boat trip into Lyme Bay from Brixham.

This mornings boat trip out of Brixham took place in beautiful sunshine.

Before we departed a grey seal popped up to have a look. On moving out of the Bay and towards Berry Head a large pod of 50+ Common Dolphins, spread over a large area greeted our journey and on returning possibly the same pod was seen a long way away towards Dartmouth. 2 Scoter flying out of the Bay before we set off 6 miles out.

Birds seen while chumming and on the return:- 104 + Herring Gulls, 6 Great Black-backed Gulls, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Fulmar, Kittiwake, many Guillemots on the water and 5 Manx Shearwater. 2 Harbour Porpoise also seen. If interested in coming with us text on 07866202576.


Posted June 24th, 2018 at 4:30 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Occombe, Paignton

Plenty of activity this morning, the highlight being a parent Kestrel and juvenile. 6 Blackcaps (inc a female), 3 Chiffchaffs, Bullfinch, 3 Chaffinches & 3 Goldfinches, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Jay, 10 Wrens, 2 Stock Dove, a Buzzard, distant Skylark calling, Greenfinch, 3 Pheasants and a Song Thrush.

Posted June 24th, 2018 at 9:45 am in Bird News

Saturday 23rd June 2018


A big surprise when ringing today - in among a lot of juvenile migrants and residents, I was lucky to catch - on the ground, by hand! an adult Little Grebe. After ringing we popped it back in the pond and it was later seen with it's mate and the two young.

Later in the day, the brood of Mallard ducklings - 11 this time, were on the pond with Mrs. Now I saw a brood of nine a few days back, and they are quite well grown. Question is, where have they been since hatching? Never seen any in the previous month! Did they come in from outside? It's a mystery.


12 Butterfly species seen today, including the first Ringlets. Good numbers of Broad-bodied Chasers, and as usual hundreds of Azure Damselflies.

Posted June 23rd, 2018 at 10:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Common Scoter, Bovisand Bay

We saw a common scoter whilst kayaking at Bovisand. I got to within 7 or 8m and it took off flying SW. I couldn’t get my phone out of the waterproof pouch in time to photograph it. It was about 300m offshore. 23 June 2018. ~11am. 

Posted June 23rd, 2018 at 9:30 pm by Steve Stone in Bird News

Roborough Down 23-06-18

On Roborough Down towards Clearbrook a single Redpoll showed very well, other birds seen - Reed Bunting, Stonechats, Yellowhammers, Linnets, & a Dunnock


Posted June 23rd, 2018 at 1:39 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Where did the nightjars go?

Following the reports on these pages, went to Haldon and Ideford Commons Friday night. Though we saw many different species of birds, the nightjars were conspicuous by their absence! To save an old man trailing all over the heaths in the dark can someone please tell me the best spots to find them and also at heathfield. Help would be gratefully accepted.

Posted June 23rd, 2018 at 6:32 am by philip fairclough in Bird News

Friday 22nd June 2018

Ilfracombe Red Kites

Today several Red Kites over Cairn, Inc one very pale individual that came down to rooftop height. Off Capstone 6 Sandwich Terns & a constant passage of Manx Shearwaters in fairly close all heading down channel in flocks of up to 40 or more. 

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 10:57 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Turf Locks

Surprised to see a Short eared Owl at Turf this evening. 

Also a Red Kite over Starcross yesterday afternoon 

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 10:31 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Re Unidentified Wasp

Rob Jutsum's unidentified wasp looks like a Lunar Hornet Moth.

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 6:57 pm in Bird News


Walked Warren House to Challacombe and back via Headland Warren. A great count of 19+ Whinchats including 3 pairs with juvs, 2 Crossbills, 4 Tree Pipits, 3 Lesser Redpolls, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Willow Warblers, 4 Wheatears, 4 Siskins, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Greens & a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Reed Buntings, 6 Small Pearl-bordered & a Silver-washed Fritillary.

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 6:20 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Red Kite seen circling over the village this afternoon, at about 3:30pm

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 5:46 pm by Chris Baines in Bird News


Late news from Wednesday 20th.  A recce at Cann Wood turned up at least 12 Nightjars, with great flight views of chasing pairs before it got too dark. Three pairs of Roe Deer also.  This bodes well for anyone wishing to join me for the guided walk on Monday 25th. (See "News" for details)

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 12:49 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Morte Point

2 Lesser Whitethroat on the Point this morning

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 11:45 am by Derek Stacey in Bird News


Meant to post this yesterday. This Barn Owl posed very nicely for me as I took several photos, didn't seemed bothered about my presents.

Posted June 22nd, 2018 at 10:35 am by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Thursday 21st June 2018

Velator reserve

Little Grebes finally seen with young this week. Only a few days before last year's first (and only) brood. In 2016 there was an early brood in May and then another in June.

Juvenile Little Grebes.
Juvenile Little Grebes.

Posted June 21st, 2018 at 10:07 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


1 hawking dragonflies over Doccombe Valley heading towards mortenhampstead at 11:30.

Posted June 21st, 2018 at 9:53 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Beesands - 21-06-18

Again at Beesands a Buzzard being mobbed by Magpies 

Posted June 21st, 2018 at 7:21 pm by GregBradbury in Bird News

Beesands - 21-06-18

At Beesands today, Reed Warblers were showing very well along with Whitethroats, and a Juv being very photogenic, plenty of Cetti's Warblers heard and seen


Posted June 21st, 2018 at 7:20 pm by GregBradbury in Bird News

Bicton Common (East Devon)

22 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended this mornings fieldtrip starting at Four Firs car park and taking in a 2 mile circular walk to Blackhill Quarry.  A brief glimpse of a single Dartford Warbler confirmed the presence of this species and the most common bird was Linnet which were present in small numbers.  A total of 24 species was counted during the morning and these included small numbers of Swift moving through, several Stonechat, Green Woodpecker and Siskin.  The quarry lakes produced Sand Martin, Tufted Duck, Herring Gull, Gt Black backed Gull, Moorhen, Mallard and a family group of Canada Geese.  The normally present Little Grebes were not seen, probably due to disturbance from vehicles working around the lakeside. Other species including Greenfinch, Yellow Hammer, Gt spotted Woodpecker, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Bullfinch and Blackcap were seen or heard at a distance.

Posted June 21st, 2018 at 5:01 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Juvenile Spoonbill

Following reports that the Spoonbill might have been injured by shooters, I paid a visit to the marsh yesterday.

I can report that the juvenile Spoonbill is in fine health, actively feeding, preening and flying.  The bird seems to be moulting primaries and secondaries.  Efford Marsh would seem to be just the right habitat for this species now that the flood gates have been adjusted (at last): it is now similar to flooded water meadows in SW France where the species is quite common.

Juvenile Spoonbill feeding off hideSpoonbill shortly after take off, heading into windSpoonbill landing back into wind
Juvenile Spoonbill feeding off hide   Spoonbill shortly after take off, heading into wind and coming back


Posted June 20th, 2018 at 8:40 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Kingfisher back early on Blaxton Pool, 3 Stock Doves, 17 eclipse drake Mandarin Ducks, juv Great Spotted Woodpecker and young Swallows in the nest and on the wing. 

Posted June 19th, 2018 at 10:48 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Mid Devon Branch Field Meet at Witheridge Moor

Tree and Meadow Pipits, Redstarts, Wood Warblers, Spotted Flycatchers, Siskins, Song and Mistle Thrushes  were some of the birds seen by the group on this morning's walk through the culm and adjacent woodland. 

Posted June 19th, 2018 at 10:10 pm by Nick Armstrong in Bird News

Monday 18th June 2018


2 Black-tailed Godwits on the smaller scrape this evening.

Still 16 Juvenile Canada Geese around the area.

Posted June 18th, 2018 at 9:19 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, late news

Some photos from yesterday morning's boat trip out of Brixham.

Manx ShearwaterKittiwakeDiving Gannet
Manx Shearwater                            Kittiwake                         Diving Gannet

Posted June 18th, 2018 at 4:27 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

North Devon

Nice surprise early this morning in North Devon, watched a Hobby take a House Martin. Several House Martins then mobbed the falcon before it flew off. 

Posted June 18th, 2018 at 3:58 pm by Martin Bond in Bird News

Sunday 17th June 2018

Lyme Bay Boat Trip.

Sightings on a boat trip from Brixham into Lyme Bay this morning were:- 1 Storm Petrel, 25+ Manx Shearwater, 10+ Kittiwake, 3 Fulmar, 1 Razorbill, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull , many Guillemots on the water and flying back and forth from the colony and gannets diving by the boat. Trips running every Sunday morning, if interested call 07866202576.

Posted June 17th, 2018 at 2:06 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Saturday 16th June 2018

Lyme Bay 15th June 2015

Picture of breaching Thresher Shark

Posted June 16th, 2018 at 9:27 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Bird News

Lyme Bay Thursday 15th

3 Storm Petrels, 2 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 35 Manx Shearwater, 2yr Med Gull amongst the Kittiwakes on the Guillemot nesting site at Berry Head, 4 Harbour Porpoise and a 300+ lb thresher shark that fully breached at least 5 times (pictures to follow). 

Posted June 16th, 2018 at 7:55 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Bird News

R. Plym additional

In addition to the scruffy drake Mandarins spotted by Pete A. there was a female Mandarin with 8 well grown (1 week +) ducklings at the tramway bridge over the Plym at Longbridge.

Posted June 16th, 2018 at 4:20 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram 15/6/18

On Blaxton Pool, a single Redshank with 3 remaining Curlews. Fourteen Shelducks included a pair with 2 ducklings, Swallow feeding 3 young in the nest, 23 eclipse drake Mandarins, female Red-crested Pochard, 3 Stock Doves and Moorhens with 4 small young.

Also 4 Bee and 3 Southern Marsh Orchids and my first Marbled White of the year. 

Posted June 16th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Friday 15th June 2018

Brendon Common

Pair of Whinchats,pair of Spotted Flycatchers,Redpoll,Cuckoo,Heron,Grey Wagtail,Willow Warblers,Stonechat family,goldfinches,meadow pipits and a green woodpecker. Good day.

Posted June 15th, 2018 at 4:35 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Underwood, Plympton

Some less than routine sightings this morning. Two juvenile Siskins on the garden feeders, a Grey Heron on a neighbouring roof, soon seen off by the local Herring Gulls and a fly-by Ring-necked Parakeet.

Grey Heron  Siskin (juv.)
Grey Heron                                Siskin (juv.)

Posted June 15th, 2018 at 7:57 am by Jason Smart in Bird News

Thursday 14th June 2018


Tuesday 12th June DWT Heathfield Reserve four Nightjar heard churring/calling and seen in flight.

Wednesday 13th June Stover Country Park, three birds heard calling and views of two in flight.

Posted June 14th, 2018 at 7:06 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Re: Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (SPBF) Yesterday

Just for your info: Bill Coulson's photo of a probable SPBF is a defininately a SPBF, even without a view of the underwings. Looking at the outside edge of the forewings you can see all the orange spots fully enclosed in a black rough circle. Had this been a Pearl-bordered Fritillary the orange spots would have been "open," the inner black borders only appearing as black spots. 

Posted June 14th, 2018 at 6:52 pm in Bird News

Spotted flycatcher tracking project

Devon Birds/RSPB/BTO Spotted flycatcher tracking project

We need your help in locating spotted flycatcher nests in Devon to contribute to our ongoing project that you can read about in the current issue of Devon Birds.

Spotted flycatchers have seen declines of 83% since the 1960s. Reasons for this decline may include factors operating within UK breeding grounds, such as reduced availability of invertebrates, but the species may also be declining due to problems along their migratory journey to Africa and back. But we know little about their wintering grounds. We need this information to understand what part of the annual cycle causes problems for spotted flycatchers, and where we might need to focus future work to reverse declines. To do this we are continuing the work we started in 2016, tracking migrations and determine wintering areas using tiny tracking devises. These geolocators weigh only 0.36g - incredible!

But to be able to do this we need to catch and tag spotted flycatchers in places where they return each year, as we need to recapture tagged birds the year after to retrieve the tag and its data. The best places to do this are peoples gardens. Do you have Spotted flycatchers nesting at the moment in your garden or farm? And have you had them nesting the past few years? If you are happy to have your spotted flycatchers captured and tagged for this project, please could you email or

Thanks, James & Malcolm

Posted June 14th, 2018 at 4:37 pm by Malcolm Burgess in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching 0545-0815hrs: 1 Storm Petrel, 14 Puffin, 210 Guillemot, 27 Razorbills, 208 Manx Shearwater, 4 Sandwich Tern, 7 'Comic' Terns, 2 (1st S) Mediterranean Gulls, 24 Kittiwake, 38 Gannet, 12 Fulmar & 3 Harbour Porpoise.   

Posted June 14th, 2018 at 2:48 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 13th June 2018

Yelland/RSPB Isley Marsh

Unseen warbler recorded singing this lunchtime turned out to be a Lesser Whitethroat.

Also thought it unusual to see a lone Whimbrel on Isley Marsh on evening of 12th June. Late north, early south or non breeding?

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 11:13 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Brixham etc

Not much but a cheeky little Rock Pipit and Fulmar

Rock Pipit Fulmar
Rock Pipit                       Fulmar

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 10:21 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Pearl-bordered Fritillary - East Soar

Lots of the usual birds showing well this morning at East Soar this morning plus this beautiful Pearl - bordered Fritillary. This may be a Small P-b Fritillary as these seem to be most often seen at East Soar but I couldn't get a look at the underwings.

Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Bill Coulson in Bird News


1Red Kite drifting East at 2pm

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 4:14 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Berry Head and west Torbay

45 Common Scoter in flock off Berry Head

1 imm Mediterranean Gull

3 Sandwich terns

1 adult Med Gull (or that's what it looked like: black hood and bright red beak), but with black tipped wings more like a Common Gull (Eds that'll be a 2nd summer Med Gull, highly variable wing tip pattern ) in mid Torbay. Flypast, good view but fleeting.

plus 6-7 Harbour Porpoise

Common Scoter  Med Gull  Sandwich Tern
Common Scoter                           Med Gull                                  Sandwich Tern

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 2:52 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Tamar Lakes

Hazy sun after early mist.

2 Garden Warblers singing, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Raven over plus other corvids, 1 Buzzard, 2 Meadow Pipits at the Upper Lake, 7+ Mallard, 4 Great Crested Grebes, several Wood Pigeons, Blue and Great Tits.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 2:20 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Tuesday 12th June 2018

Egyptian goose

Spotted one Egyptian Goose, quite close to my yacht up the bag at Salcombe, it was making quite a noise,it liked to be on either a floating pontoon,or sitting on a nearby dinghy.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by David Read in Bird News


Great Crested Grebe on nest in Exeter (I last saw it May 15th when there was a Male and chicks) no sign of male or chicks today but female actively nest building. Also a smart Lesser Black -backed Gull nearby.

Great Crested Grebe Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Crested Grebe                               Lesser Black-backed Gull

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Arlington Court

Pair of spotted flycatchers,male and female Redstarts feeding at least 3 fledglings' families of goldfinch, nuthatch gs woodpecker and chaffinches.Beautiful day.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Plymouth to Yelverton

Cycled from Plymouth to Yelverton & back. At Weighbridge Cottage, 3 female Mandarin Ducks with 4, 5 & 7 ducklings respectively and also an eclipse drake there. In Plymbridge Woods, 4 Marsh Tits, a pair of Grey Wagtails with 5 juvs and another with 1 juv, plus the 4 juv Peregrines at the nest (1 occupying a ledge just below the nest after falling out several weeks ago). Clearbrook produced Lesser Redpoll and Tree Pipit, and in Cann Woods, a singing Garden Warbler.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 4:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


9 Swift in group, 10 House martin , 3 Swallow.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 2:04 pm by Jeremy Spooner in Bird News

Red Kite Peter Tavy

A Red Kite flying over Peter Tavy at 11am this morning, headed off East before I could grab a shot. 

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 11:22 am by Andy Brown in Bird News

Monday 11th June 2018

Elburton Villa football club, Haye Road, plymouth

A pair of barnacle geese circling and then alighting on a football pitch at the football club.

Posted June 11th, 2018 at 9:47 pm by Pat Gubb in Bird News

SpoonBill Averton Gifford

Little in the way of Waders on the marsh yesterday although there were lots of juvenile birds actively being fed by parents. One sight which caught my eye was the left wing of the Spoonbill present although distant from view. I am uncertain but it could possibly be a firearms injury? The bird was active and still flying several short hops unencumbered by the wound. Hopefully it will make a good recovery. If it has been shot then this is a real shame that someone has chosen to do so to such a beautiful creature.


Posted June 11th, 2018 at 8:59 pm by John Wilkes in Bird News

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Red Kite being mobbed by Carrion Crows halfway to the dam

Posted June 11th, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Jeremy Spooner in Bird News


four swifts flying and screaming around the roof tops of exmouth library.

Posted June 11th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by eric in Bird News

Sunday 10th June 2018

Preston, Paignton

Late this morning 3 Swifts overhead. This evening good numbers of House Martins over Preston seafront. Back home about a dozen angry Herring Gulls mobbing a Buzzard as it was flying towards Hollicombe woods.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 9:30 pm in Bird News

Occombe, Paignton

Continuing with my last posting, again plenty of Wren activity with at least 13 recorded this morning. Again good numbers of Blackbirds, 5 Blackcaps (inc a female), 4 Robins (inc 2 fledglings and all 4 seen separately), 4 Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, at least 2 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Pheasant (1 female who I'm sure was protecting a nest), 3 male Mallards, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, 3 Chiffchaff, Swallow, Song Thrush, 3 House Martins, House Sparrow, Kestrel and a Buzzard. When I visited midweek in the late afternoon I heard the call of a Buzzard chick but not today. Interestingly, today was the 1st time since Father's Day 5 years ago that I've seen Skylark at Occombe.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 8:34 pm in Bird News


I recently put up 2 swift boxes on our house.I only had a youtube clip to play and only at weekends which didnt really get much i purchased an mp3 download from swift conservation group fo £2 and this did the trick.Yesterday and today i played it through my bluetooth seaker and they came down immediately investigating the calls.Although the didnt enter the boxes the fact that they responded was encouraging as was the individual checking out the gables for the first time in 50 yearswhich proves the need to play recordings.Also yesterday a large moth came into the garden and damnit didnt have my bins.In profile in flight it was holding its wings verticallywhich were about 3 inches long.Appeared brown in colour,any one have an idea.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 12:14 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Redstart Arlington Court

Busy pair of Redstart in the gardens immediately around the house. Aim for the lovely old (dead oak) that’s head together with cables and brackets.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 9:14 am by Tom Williams in Bird News

Saturday 9th June 2018

Dawlish Warren NR

Good numbers of Whitethroat showing with two pairs feeding fledged but dependant young and two others pairs gathering food and flying into thick cover, plenty of Linnets, Dunnock, Skylark and Goldfinch.

Small waders included Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover.

Posted June 9th, 2018 at 6:36 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Between Horns Cross and Fairy Cross

At 10:30am one Red Kite 

Posted June 9th, 2018 at 3:45 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Friday 8th June 2018

ringneck parakeet

70 ringneck parakeet central park

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 9:49 pm by barry insull in Bird News

Holdstone down

A foggy walk this morning, there were 30+ linnets,  plenty of meadow pipits and skylarks,  I heard a  cuckoo several times on my circuit but presumably it was the same one. Not as many small butterfly or moth as the other day but most birds were feeding on insects of one sort or the other. 

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 3:57 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Sharpa scrape

2 Black tailed Godwits present am.

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 1:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


2 Kites thermalling low over Mary Tavy today. Glided off NE to the moor. 

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 12:37 pm by Innes in Bird News

Plym Estuary/Saltram

Walked around during low tide & saw the following. Mandarin Duck 6m 2f 1f with 4 juveniles, Common Sandpiper 1, Oystercatcher 1, Curlew 3, Stock Dove 10 & a Spotted Flycatcher. Not much on the estuary as there were a number of bait diggers on the mud.

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 11:01 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Swifts in Braunton

Following on from Jon's and Tom's postings, "our" Swifts (in east Braunton) were back over the house on 10th May, seen almost daily since then, max of 12 screaming over house. Red Kite over house wk. comm. 6 May. Juv. Robin in kitchen this morning...!

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 10:59 am by Paul & Ro Madgett in Bird News

Kites and Swifts N Devon

I had my first North Devon Red Kite close to Marwood Hill gardens 10 days ago, bit of a beaten up tail. It was following a tractor with the gulls. My mother in-law got a photo of one over Yelland today. I grew up close to the first release site in the Chilterns. Remember the excitement of seeing them there. Similar to how I feel about these recent birds. 

On the Swift front following Jon’s post. We’ve had a screaming group of 6 over Landkey for 4 weeks now. Strange they’ve been so slow to reach Braunton. 

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 12:00 am by Tom Williams in Bird News

Thursday 7th June 2018

Seaton Marshes

Information from East Devon Council...

Severe Disruption on Site -    Throughout July 2018 

Please be aware that major work to remove overhead power lines across the site will mean severe disruption through the month of July to Black Hole Marsh, Stafford Marsh and Colyford Common. 

The Car Park and footpaths to the Tower Hide and Stafford Marsh will be closed Monday – Friday for the first two weeks of July.

(2nd – 6th; 9th – 13th)

There will also be a complete site closure on the 26th of July.

Outside of these times the site will be open for public visiting, but there could be minor disruption and machinery on site will mean the wildlife spectacle will not be of the usual high standards. The works are estimated to be completed by 26th July, after which the removal of the overhead wires will be a huge boost for many ground-nesting birds, water birds and other wildlife on the site. It is being carried out after nesting period but before the autumn migration in an attempt to keep disturbance of wildlife to a minimum. 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please contact James Chubb, Wetlands Site Manager on 07964 132282 for further information.




Posted June 7th, 2018 at 12:27 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 6th June 2018

North Devon nightjars

3 tonight at least with clapping and churning.Also pr of tawny owls with 2 fluffy youngsters.2 kestrels,buzzard,fox and 2 female red deer so a productive evening.

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 11:27 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Black-headed Wagtail

I'm sure there will be better pictures but none on here yet, so attached is my effort of the putative Black-headed Wagtail at Dawlish today. 

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 9:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

1 Kingfisher, 4 Great Crested Grebe (one on a nest), 2 Canada Geese plus c6 goslings, 8 Coot, 29 Mallard, 3 Swallow, 3 Magpie, 3 Moorhen plus 2 juv, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Jay, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Linnet.

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 8:58 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

NINE Red Kite!

Absolutely no breeding behaviour at all, so quite content to share this experience. 

House/pet sitting at Aveton Gifford, near Kingsbridge. At 16:00 today, whilst walking the dogs, NINE Red Kite were thermalling overhead! Rushed images taken before they drifted North towards Dartmoor. Having seen Jon Turner's post....16:00 to 17:15? Could it be one of the nine that Jon saw? Anyway; here's a few of the images I was able to grab (heavily cropped)

Red Kite Red Kite Two, of nine, Red Kite
Red Kite                              Red Kite                                  Two, of nine, Red Kite

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 7:26 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Marsh Harrier - West Charleton Marsh

At about 1300 hrs today a female Marsh Harrier flew from an easterly direction onto the marsh at W. Charleton and gave good views to my wife and I. It spent the next hour hunting, disappearing several times into the reedbed and was still active when we left at 1400hrs. Earlier on arrival at the location we were treated to good views, only 20m away, of a Cattle Egret picking ticks off the various cows. Other sightings included G.S. Woodpecker and a Jay on the feeders, 8 Little Egret, 4 male Reed Buntings, several Sedge Warbler and a lone male Cirl Bunting. Later nothing of great interest at a quiet Beesands Ley.

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 6:04 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Braunton Red Kite

5.15 this afternoon.

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Just busy outside my garage in the sunshine  at about 5.15 when the lone Herring Gull in the neighbourhood let out a bit of an alarm call. Thought it was going to be one of the local Buzzards, but closer inspection revealed a RED KITE, which drifted off towards Georgeham. This is the first Red Kite I have seen in mainland Devon!

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 5:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Crow point to the fisherman's Hut

A mid morning walk around crowpoint at the shoreline saw ringed plover mixed with a small flock of dunlin,  herons,  gbbg, cormorant and oystercatchers, also several skylarks in different areas sparrows taking dust baths and a few swans. 

Ringed Plover and dunlin. Skylark
Ringed Plover and dunlin.                                     Skylark

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 2:41 pm by philip worth in Bird News

Dawlish Leisure Centre

A dullish Black-headed Wagtail was found this morning on fields by Dawlish Leisure Centre. It shows well but is not giving the normal very buzzy flight calls of feldegg - see these calls are very like western Yellow Wagtails

However on the ground when feeding the quiet calls it gives sounds much more buzzy.

Posted June 6th, 2018 at 10:44 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 5th June 2018


At last! Up early to open some nets in my garden and above me a SWIFT! looking around I counted at least 15 feeding above tree top level. Apart from seeing the odd one, this is the first group I have seen in North Devon this year.

Male Blackcap ringed.

Posted June 5th, 2018 at 8:13 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Cann Woods

A great visit to Cann Woods last night to hopefully see Nightjar. At almost 21:30 the churring started with good close up sightings of birds. There was pretty much constant churring and sightings for the whole hour i was there. 

Posted June 5th, 2018 at 7:54 am by duncan leitch in Bird News

Monday 4th June 2018

Ladies mile heddonsmouth

A sheltered walk from the heat today and a walk I had not been on for many years saw pied flycatchers, goldfinch, magpies. later driving back to combemartin a kite gliding peacefully along the coast up the channel.

Posted June 4th, 2018 at 10:07 pm by Philip worth in Bird News


In addition to the 7 Goslings in the reserve, I saw 2 broods of 4 and 5 (of slightly different ages) being shepherded onto the water still  left in the scrape the other day. Do we need another 16 Canada Geese locally? hmm

Just when I had written off the Godwits until autumn, 1 turned up on the scrape today.

Little Grebe still present in the reserve. No sign of any young yet.

Posted June 4th, 2018 at 7:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

First Shelduck with (just 3) ducklings, 2 female Mandarin ducks, one still with 5 ducklings, and also 23 drakes. Seven Curlews and an Oystercatcher lingering into the summer and singing Whitethroat.

Posted June 4th, 2018 at 1:35 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Garden Birds in Exwick

Thirty newly fledged Starlings in the garden over the last few days indicated another successful year for our local colony; good numbers of juvenile House Sparrows means that they have done well also. We have had at least four Greenfinches daily as well: maybe a sign of a slight recovery for this formerly common garden bird.

Posted June 4th, 2018 at 12:20 am by Martin Overy in Bird News

Sunday 3rd June 2018

Lopwell dam / Maristow

This morning, high water:

2 Mute Swan with 5 fluffy chicks, Mallard and Canada geese also with chicks, and 3 Shelduck. House Martin collecting mud for nest building, recently fledged Blackbird, Robin, and Long tailed tits being fed by parents. 2 Reed warbler in the reeds.

Posted June 3rd, 2018 at 8:36 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Occombe, Paignton

It's been a while since I last visited and now the grass in the orchard has really grown, so much so it was providing excellent feed for a group of Goldfinches. Also observed for quite a while a Kestrel hunting over the field below the orchard. Buzzard being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. Mentioned before about the number of Wrens on site, well this morning I counted 11. There were 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, a Pied Wagtail. Swallow, 2 Jays, Bullfinch. Greenfinch, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Stock Doves and Long-tailed Tits. Second family of Blue Tits using the nest boxes put up this year.

Posted June 3rd, 2018 at 5:31 pm in Bird News

Holdstone down

A mid morning walk around Holdstone down today provided approx 50+ linnet, a big increase in the last couple of years, stonechat parents and fledglings,skylarks, meadow pipits and a singular whitethroat. Nearly all the birds were feeding on the mass populations of small to medium size butterfly of many different types/ breeds. 

Whitethroat Meadow Pipit
Whitethroat     Meadow Pipit

Posted June 3rd, 2018 at 1:19 pm by Philip Worth in Bird News

Friday 1st June 2018

Turnstones - Braunton Burrows

There was 3 Turnstones tonight rummaging in the seaweed and stones on Braunton Burrows tonight, but next to main car park behind red bin

Posted June 1st, 2018 at 10:41 pm by Adam Sibbald in Bird News

Plym Woods - 01-06-18

A Great spotted Woodpecker nest in an holed old tree track at the side of the path by the river, a young Great Spotted Woodpecker could be seen clearly, and the parent was nearby ready to feed the chick

Posted June 1st, 2018 at 5:55 pm by GregBradbury in Bird News

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