Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th September 2012


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

Saturday 15th September 2012


Interesting the earlier post about the satellite -tagged Osprey. George Mudford emailed me some more pictures of this bird which show it has a blue ring on, but I have been unable to read the number/letters.

These flight photos are now in the gallery.

Posted September 15th, 2012 at 12:10 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Friday 14th September 2012

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 16:00 till 18:35

Both spotted redshanks showed at times, wigeon have increased from 96+ on Monday to 164+ today with teal numbers going from 100+ on Monday to 148+ today, female pintail was a new arrival, still 600+ black tailed godwits but only 1 juv bar tailed godwit , 6 knot, 12 dunlin, 27+ little egret, 7+ little grebes, kestrel , juv peregrine, 3+ buzzards, good numbers of redshanks and curlew no count done 2day, 21+ greenshank and 3 whimbrel, 12+ lapwing , 2 tufted duck, 11+ shoveler


Posted September 14th, 2012 at 9:57 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

River Taw

I am reliably informed that the osprey that has been recorded on the Taw Estuary in recent days is a satellite-tagged female, called Fearna, that was ringed as a chick near Aviemore this year.  She has been at the Taw since around 31 August.

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 9:07 pm in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Offshore only Gannet, Fulmar and Kittiwake. At South Huish Marsh 10 Meadow Pipit and a Whinchat.

Best activity at present occurs between 19.00-19.30, the are 3 different roosts , last night 400+ Starling, then 250+ Alba Wagtail and at least 2 Yellow then lastly 700+ Swallow. In between a Sparrowhawk and a Hobby caused panic

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 6:15 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


Tony Taylor sent this update from his week on Lundy from 6-13 September, during which his main focus was to ring Manx Shearwaters. He and Richard Taylor caught 145 chicks, bringing the year's total to 251 following David Price's earlier visit. With adults added in, the total of ringed birds for 2012 is 100 up on the previous record.

Other highlights were an Ortolan Bunting in Millcombe on 7th, a Great Spotted Woodpecker from 9th to 12th and
an elusive Melodious Warbler in Millcombe on 7th, then caught and ringed there on 13th. A Short-toed Lark gave excellent views on the evening of 12th as it fed along the tracks.

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 3:08 pm by Tim Davis in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple.


33 Mediterranean Gulls on sandbar between Taw Bridge and Tarka Trail swing bridge.

32 2S; 1A.

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 12:09 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Now 16 Black-tailed Godwits with the Ruff on the pool by the Tarka Trail. Kingfisher, Dipper and Grey Wagtail in the stream by the bridge.

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 12:04 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

wryneck in honiton

Found in honiton by david witt and scott benson

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 9:45 am by scott benson in Bird News

Thursday 13th September 2012

mouth of the river caen.

1000-1530hrs Awalk along the river turned up 5 green shank,2 red shank,20plus dunlin,4 plus wheatear and a reedbunting.On islay marsh many curlew and 5 spoonbill.The osprey showed well all day on the taw.Also many black head/med gulls on the river caen.

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 9:53 pm by John hunt in Bird News

Isley marsh/Westleigh


   Osprey fishing at isley briefly before heading up taw then turned back and made a dive out of site in the ashford /chivenor area at 17:00.Also sign of autumn in the form of 35 widgeon.4 spoonbill,7 little egret,7 bar tailed godwits,7 med gulls 6ad,2w also.

         Between Westleigh and bideford new bridge in stubble fields large flock of gulls.Only able to count quarter of flock but still managed 27 med gulls,18 adult,6 2w,3 fw at 18:00-18:45                                                       

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 7:52 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Mouth of R.Caen to mouth of Taw & Torridge Estuary

 Osprey searching for Grey Mullet along this stretch of the

Taw Estuary again this afternoon.

Numbers of Mediterranean Gulls on the R.Caen dropping off

after peaking in August.

29 Black tailed Godwits & 1 Ruff on fresh water scape

on Sharpa Marshes

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 6:12 pm by Robert Jutsum in Bird News


A brief flight view of a wryneck in front of the pines at Wembury Point this morning was the highlight of a very pleasant walk along the coast path. Also seen were 3 yellow wagtails along the beach with 100+ alba wagtails, 4 juvenile wheatears, a whitethroat, chiffchaffs and swallows, 2 whimbrel, 2 redshank, 1 common sandpiper, 3 ringed plover, 3 turnstone and a peregrine flying over with a kill.

1 Painted lady also seen with plenty of red admirals and small tortoiseshells.

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 5:21 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Exeter matford

A surprise this morning just after 11 whilst at work an osprey flew over calling headed towards matford marsh and seemed to turn towards exminster a great sight 

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 11:32 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News


2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Ruff on the flood by Wrafton Pond this morning. Common Sandpiper further down the Caen on the pool by the barn.

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 10:29 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 12th September 2012

Exe Estuary

A juv Osprey fishing off Lympstone this morning, 10-11 a.m.-ish. Will need to sharpen up its fishing technique if it's going to make Africa - 6 attempts in 50 minutes resulted in no fish dinner.
Jeremy Barker

Posted September 12th, 2012 at 8:14 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Spoonbills at Isley Marsh

Taken Monday Evening with a scope and a camera phone.

Very Exciting Encounter.

Posted September 12th, 2012 at 6:14 pm by Brian (Brim) Palmer in Bird News


Another quiet day - only Gannet offshore , an ad Med Gull on the rocks 3 Sanderling and 2 Ringed Plover on the beach. Around the Marsh - 5 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 10 White Wagtail, 10 Meadow Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff ,6 Sand Martin.

This am Bob B ringed 8 Sedge 3 Reed Warbler and a Reed Bunting,.

Aty 15.30 the Huxton Cross field held 28 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Wheatear.

Finally an Osprey repoted from the K'bridge - Salcombe Ferry

Posted September 12th, 2012 at 6:00 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


Stopped by the pond on my way to the reserve this afternoon, to be greeted by, well nothing much, all hiding in the bushes....

Over on the flooded field however, 2 Teal and 2 Black-tailed Godwits.

A look at the flood from the reserve a few minutes later showed no Godwits, but a Ruff! Quite a few House Martins around the fields.

A further look in on Wrafton Pond revealed ALL the ducks now out on the water, including the Tufted Duck and one Gadwall. Around 150 Mallard/Mallard hybrids.

Still 7 cygnets with the adult male - whose ring I finally read a few weeks ago, and it was indeed ringed locally - by the RSPCA in 2008, so I assume it was picked up as an injured or sick bird, rehabilitated, ringed and released locally.

2 Dippers in the river.


Posted September 12th, 2012 at 4:07 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 11th September 2012


1510HRS  Osprey going up stream on the taw. 6 plus wheatear 2 Ring plover .On the other side (islay marsh) 5 spoonbill,100 plus curlew.

Posted September 11th, 2012 at 7:48 pm by JOHN HUNT in Bird News

Upottery Airfield Smeatharpe

A lunchtime visit paid dividends with the best wheatear numbers of the autumn, 24 in total. Also 2 white wags, 1 yellow wag and 1 grey wag. 10 swallows and 4 house martins. Also Littel owl showing well.

Posted September 11th, 2012 at 1:54 pm in Bird News

Hartland point 7-30-10-30

86 manx shearwater, 5 balearic shearwater, 17 fulmar, 100+ gannet, pair common scoter, 4 arctic skua, 4 great skua, 21 kittiwake, 9 sandwich tern and 23 auks sp. seen by malcombe shakespeare

Posted September 11th, 2012 at 12:47 pm by david churchill in Bird News

Beer Head

Very little grounded on Beer Head this morning - I thought the clear skies and brisk W/NW may have done the business.  Just 6 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Spot Flies, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff. 

Over head there was a bit more action with a decent westerly passage of hirundines (mostly House Martins), along with several small groups of Meadow Pipits, 7 Grey, 3 alba and 2 Yellow Wags. 

Posted September 11th, 2012 at 11:45 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Bradiford and Wrafton

Nothing on the scrape at Bradiford, but a 'host' of Swallows and House Martins hawking insects around the reserve (and the sheep!).

Only the Tufted Duck and 2 Teal at Wrafton this morning, but great views of a Water Rail wandering about by the reeds on the far side of the pond. Good numbers of Swallows and House Martins accompanying the cattle in the field over the trail.

Posted September 11th, 2012 at 10:38 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Monday 10th September 2012

blackhole marsh and berry head

Spent 4 hours in the tower hide this afternoon/early evening.but no sign of spotted crake. Only bird of note was a single whimbrel.

this morning we spend a few hours on berry head from 8-12 with at least 70 balearic shearwaters past west, but also birds seen to far out to be speciated, a small number of swallows and 2 wheatear were only migrants noted. 

Posted September 10th, 2012 at 11:44 pm by Mike & Gordon Youdale in Bird News

Seaton Bay

A total of 87 Balearic Shearwaters flew west today, with a further 13 Shearwater sp. also west.  And the sea was only watched for less than half of daylight hours! (SDW, IMc).

Still one Little Stint around (on Colyford Marsh this pm) with three Green Sands and two White Wagtails opposite Axmouth FC. No reports of the Spotted Crake.

Posted September 10th, 2012 at 9:37 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

River Caen

The highlight of an evening walk (17.15–19.00 hrs) out along the River Caen was an amazing number of Mediterranean Gulls: 30+, all adult winter birds with 1 immature.  Most were in the pill mixed in with Black-headed Gulls until they were all flushed and flew to settle on Braunton Marshes.  Then what I took at first to be a flock of white doves flying towards the barn on Sherpa Marsh turned out to be a further 15 Med Gulls, which joined the flock in the fields.

Two adult winter Mediterranean Gulls, River Caen.
Two adult winter Mediterranean Gulls, River Caen.

Posted September 10th, 2012 at 8:54 pm by Tim & Tim Davis & Jones in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Not as productive as Start Pt this am - not a single Shearwater recorded.

Offshore in 2.5 hrs- 230+ Gannet, 9 Fulmar, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Bonxie and 5 Wigeon.

On the back of the golf course - 3 juv Wheatear

Posted September 10th, 2012 at 7:10 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Start Pt

0645-1545hrs Seawatching highlights: 282 Balearic Shearwaters, 6 Sooty Shearwaters, 177 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 4 Arctic Skuas, 6 Common Terns, 1 Arctic Tern, juv Puffin and 1 Ocean Sunfish. There were also many large flocks of presumed Manx Shearwaters at long,long distance.

Late morning a flock of 200+ smaller shearwaters passed S, frustratingly, at distance and in poor light but based on what we could see and flight action appeared to have been mostly if not all Balearic Shearwaters but we had to let them go as unidents! Shame as the record Devon count would have tumbled for sure. Just after this, peak Balearic passage of closer birds occurred with183 passing 1100-1400hrs, largest flocks 14 and two 13s, by 1500 passage had completely dried up. 


Posted September 10th, 2012 at 2:18 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


On the pond this morning Tufted Duck and one Pochard, and unusual here 2 Teal. Dipper in the river.

Posted September 10th, 2012 at 10:16 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sunday 9th September 2012

Bishops Nympton nr south molton


    200 House Martins around village this morning.Not sure how many are migrants joining residents but young still being fed in nests.Fairly healthy population present as are house sparrows.

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 8:48 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Chivenor osprey

George Mudford sent me this pic of the Osprey taken this morning.

Chivenor Osprey

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 8:11 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Black Hole Marsh

With the airfield occupied by a car rally for the weekend, decided to interlope onto another patch, Black Hole Marsh. Didn't see the Spot Crake but Little Stint still present along with 2 Common Sands, c.20 of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel and plenty of Redshank and Black wit. 2 Sedge Warblers on the way to Tower Hide and one Yellow Wag flying over. Spent an excellent 20 to 30 minutes with the ringing group as they processed a Swallow, female Blackcap, a feisty female Blue tit, a Reed Warbler and a Kingfisher - many thinks to the Group for their time and friendliness.

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 7:24 pm in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Wembury Bay

Little of note on the Plym, although Redshanks up to 126 and Little Egrets to 14; Curlews remain at 33. Also 1 Kingfisher and a Common Sandpiper.

No sign of the Red-backed Shrike at Wembury but 100+ alba wagtails (mainly White) on the beach plus 6 Yellow Wagatails; also 2 Whimbrels, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (both ad-w), 5 Blackcaps and 6 Chiffchaffs.  

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 4:45 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

River Torridge

Kingfisher and Dipper on the river Torridge today

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 4:29 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

River Caen and Taw/Torridge estuary

0730 - 0930 Kingfisher, dipper and greenshank seen on the river walk down to the estuary. Osprey almost immediately seen from the mouth of the Caen, patrolling up and down the estuary, before taking a fish and settling on a sandbank. Peregrine also seen taking a probable wood pigeon over Chivenor firing range. Other species of note were a whimbrel and sedge warbler.

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 3:37 pm by Edd Davies in Bird News

Horsey Island Braunton

Morning visit on incoming tide, large number of Black Headed Gulls, Redshank, Dunlin and at least 50+ Snipe along with 7 Greenshank. Increasing numbers of Swallow and House Martin by mid morning.

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 2:37 pm in Bird News


Still at Chivenor this morning, by the firing range. [George Mudford]

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 1:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tamar Lakes

Saturday 8th Sept

Lower Lake:

6 Great Crested Grebes; 2 Tufted Duck; 5 Mallard; 1 Grey Heron; 61 Swallows on wires, 3 Buzzards,

9 House Martins


Upper Lake

c.10 Swallows, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Pied Wagtails, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Grey Heron.


Harvey Kendall

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 12:35 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh Hoopoe

Late news from yesterday evening - a friend (a very good birder) has just emailed me saying he saw a Hoopoe on home farm marsh. In his words "It was been seriously mobbed by crows, at least 20 odd, but still persisted to try and stay in territory"

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 11:12 am in Bird News

Axe Estuary

Spotted Crake again this morning from the Tower Hide, Black Hole Marsh.  Watched 06:45-07:00 feeding under banks of salt marsh.  Also 7 Whimbrel and 2 Greenshank but I didn't have time to have a proper look around.

Away from the Axe, had a text from Andy Trout, Red-backed Shrike still at Wembury point yesterday in scrub in front of pines.


Posted September 9th, 2012 at 8:51 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Saturday 8th September 2012

Thurlestone Bay

This morning 3 Yellow wagtail, 1 Whinchat , 6 Sedge and 2 Reed Warbler.. Avisiting birder reported an Osprey moving west out in the Bay , 20 Ringed Plover over and 12 Wigeon flew onto the Marsh at 17.30

Posted September 8th, 2012 at 6:26 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Donkey Sanctuary

In a field of sheep west of the last field of donkeys towards Salcombe Regis at least 6 Yellow Wagtails were flitting about in the grass around the sheeps feet.

Posted September 8th, 2012 at 6:19 pm by Lyndon Savage in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

One, or possibly two Gadwall and a moulting juvenile male Tufted Duck. Nearby on Sherpa Marsh 2/3 Little Egret, and about 18 Swans.

Posted September 8th, 2012 at 5:06 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Taw/Torridge Est

Osprey flew over the river towards Chivenor with a fish at 12.30 today, avoiding the favourite post as a Cormorant was there and flew to a further post to enjoy its catch.

Also seen 25 Little Egret and 4 Spoonbill, one with a blue flag and one with a yellow ring low down by its foot.

(John Wicks)

Posted September 8th, 2012 at 5:05 pm in Bird News

Berry Hd

With thick drizzly mist and light E breeze you might have expected lots of migrants on the headland, unfortunately it was really quiet: 3 Chiffchaff, 1 willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Grey Wagtail and the highlight was 1 Lesser Whitethroat.   

Posted September 8th, 2012 at 10:49 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Harbour Porpoise

Yesterday sea conditions were flat calm, so great to see 16 Harbour Porpoise between Dartmouth to approx. 12nm South of Start Point. Given this was effectively a line transect one wonders how many are out there at present? Birdwise very poor - a few Manx and a Balearic Shearwater closer in and a handful of gulls and Bonxie further out.

Harbour PorpoiseHarbour Porpoise

Posted September 8th, 2012 at 10:36 am by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

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