Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st May 2013

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records.

If anyone saw these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July

Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August

Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October

Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April

Great Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels 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 21st May 2013

Red Kite seen central Plymouth

My partner pointed out a large redish brown bird, with a highly forked white tail in the middle of Alexandra park on Sunday 19th May 2013. Definitely not a buzzard and looked just like a red kite after looking up pictures. 

Posted May 21st, 2013 at 8:02 pm by Alix Leclerc in General Birding

Monday 20th May 2013

Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down


Walk across from Down to Wood produced Cuckoo calling in the distance, calling Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, a pair of Stonechats, Tree Pipit, several Siskins and a confiding and vocal Redpoll.  

The Wood produced a drake Mandarin, Grey Wagtail, lots of Pied Flycatchers, several Wood Warblers (2 ringed, 1 with yellow ring and another with an orange ring), 3 Mistle Thrush, Great, Blue, Coal, Marsh and Long Tailed Tits, 2 Nuthatch, 4 Raven. Blackcaps, Goldcrest, Treecreepers all calling within the Wood. Roe Deer.

Not a bad walk considering that I had a two and half year old on my shoulders!

Posted May 20th, 2013 at 8:09 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Isley marsh.

1100 1400 hrs      2 Reed bunting ( 1 male 1 female) 2+Reed warbler 3+Sedge warbler singing 7 Whimbrel and a Cettis calling on the Tarka trail.

Posted May 20th, 2013 at 4:47 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

From the viewing platform today at around 1.30pm I finally bumped into 2 of the Little Gulls showing well among a flock of Black-headeds. Also 2 Knot. Just before, 5 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover from the Goatwalk.

Posted May 20th, 2013 at 2:14 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Sunday 19th May 2013

Berry Head

Quick seawatch from 11:00-12:30.

About 200 Manx Shearwater (3 large groups, all south), 1 Bonxie(S), 1 Arctic Skua, adult male Eider (very close N), and a 1st s Med Gull off headland.

Also a few Gannets and Guillemots.

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 8:57 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

Prawle 14-19/05/13

Highlights of the last few days - my quest to find a first for Britain failed !!

Tuesday 14th;  Golden Oriole - a female briefly in Ash trees east of the village, 20.20. (Unfortunately only half of my message to birdguides got through, leaving out the grid reference, so apologies to anyone who might have wanted to look for it the following day. As it was, it was nowhere to be found).  Earlier, afternoon seawatch came up with masses of birds in both directions, so almost impossible to count accurately, but 3 Storm Petrels, 2 Great Skuas, 6 Common, 1 Arctic and 7 'commic' Terns were easier to count.

Wednesday 15th;  An excellent seawatch, led by a site record 41 Great Northern Divers west. Of these, 23 passed in the first hour of light, so presumably had been going through during the hours of darkness as well. Also single Black- and Red-throated Diver, 9 Storm Petrels, 18 Dunlin, 5 Sandwich, 2 Arctic, 1 Roseate and 4 'commic' Terns. Although over 1170 Auks passed, not a single Puffin was seen.  On the land, singles of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Turnstone, 4 Purple Sandpipers, a late Water Rail, and singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Willow Warbler.

Thursday 16th;  Quieter day, with singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Willow Warbler. Less expected were a fly-over Redpoll, and a bit of a site mega (sadly) these days, a Cuckoo.

Friday 17th;  Nice suprise was a Tree Sparrow first thing. Initially in the gardens of the coastguard cottages, after several false starts when it circled the point, finally flew off high to the north, calling all the way.  Otherwise, just singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Garden and Willow Warblers, and the first 2 Common Sandpipers of the year.  (Also a Roe Deer on the point. These are becomming more regular here these days - after only 3-4 in thirty-odd years, have now seen five different individuals in the last 2 years).

Saturday 18th;  First multiple count of Spotted Flycatchers, finisning the day with 8. Apart from that, just 2 Whimbrels of note.

Sunday 19th;  2 Great Northern Divers past, and a Spotted Flycatcher. (JAL)

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 8:07 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding


Watched from 10:30 till 14:00

the 1st summer little gull was of riversmeet house from the goat walk, 2 ringed plover, 9+ whimbrel from the hide at bowling green marsh , a 1st summer med gull, still 4 wigeon, now 6 little grebes.

from the viewing platform 179+ black tailed godwits, 11+ bar tailed godwits, 2 whimbrel.

late post for Saturday 18th, a quiet morning, but 7+ hobby over exminster marsh viewed from topsham ( 3 headed straight through heading north over the motorway bridge and 4+ were hunting over towards the lagoon early afternoon) 

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 7:59 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Marsh Green & Darts Farm

Bowling Marsh Green ~  small number of Black Tailed Godwits, Sedge warbler and Reed Warbler in far reed bed, Greater and Lesser Black Backed Gulls and reasonable numbers of Black Headed Gulls. Three Little Grebe.

Darts Farm ~ Very noisy and persistant calling warbler on arrival, eventually found and identified as a Reed Warbler, a white headed Canadian Goose was to the left of the hide sitting seperately from a small group of normal coloured birds, on the way out an unusual gull species was in the rolled soil field, bird had a metal tag ring on its left leg, cross checking the images taken I believe that it was a first summer Mediterranian Gull, no other birds seen on the field.

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 7:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Orcombe, Exmouth

A bit damp and overcast for my first visit to Orcombe, Exmouth, the cliff top vegitation was alive with hawthorn flies and crane flies, despite the abundance of insect food very little seen on the way out, on the return a singe White Throat and Chiffchaff, good numbers of Great Tit, Chaffinch and Blackbirds, high light was the number of Linnets, flock of 24 counted with three following.

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 7:09 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Late news for Sat - 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat, 1 Sand Martin, 6 Sanderling.

Sun morning - South Huish Marsh -1 Barnacle Goose , 2 Grey Plover, 1 Dunlin, 1 White Wagtail, 1m Teal. 

On the beach/ rocks - 7 Sanderling, 1 Ringed Plover, 14 Whimbrel.

Offshore 1 Great Skua, 2 Sandwich Tern

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 6:17 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exminster Marshes - Hobbies 12:00

On the way back from nightingales in Somerset went to Exminster Marshes hoping for a mid May hobby fest, as it was two years ago. Lovely flat light with a grey sky, ideal conditions for raptor spotting. Even with the insect hatch that was prominent yesterday -  only one hobby! Heading determindly northwards!

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 3:53 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding


Seafront - 0520 - 1 fs little gull, 7 sandwich tern and 2 turnstone.

Mudbank - now 7 scaup (2male, 5 female) -would love to know if the two additional females are the original birds or two 'new' ones. Also 1 greenshank and 21 whimbrel. No sign today of yesterday's singing male wood warbler at Woodbury Castle - see record shot.

wood warbler in conifer plantation
wood warbler in conifer plantation

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 12:23 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Berry Hd

A very quiet morning for migrants, the only highlights being; a single Great Northern Diver in sum plum over the headland at 0725hrs and a late Tree Pipit dropped onto the end of the headland briefly, 8 swallows >N. Numbers of Whitethroat are well down on the last 3 years with just 4 singing males and no Stonechats on the headland this year. The Chiffchaff with the odd song is still on territory along the road from the wardens bungalow to the Berry Head Hotel.

Posted May 19th, 2013 at 8:50 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 18th May 2013

Sightings 18th May at Yarner Wood & Stover Park

Yarner Wood

Pied Flycatcher - 3, singing 1sighted,  Wood Warbler - 3 singning 1 sighted, Spotted Fly Catcher - 1 sighted, Cuckcoo calling, Black Cap - 2 calling.  Nuthatch - 2.  Also many woodland birds - Robin, Cettis, Blue Tit

Stover Park

Willow Warbler - 2 singing, Swallow 4-5 passing through, Great Crested Grebe - 1, Herring Gull - 1 first summer, Black Cap 2, Bullfinch male and female, Nutchatch 2, Coal Tit, Siskin, Jay, Great Tit and Blue Tit in good numbers, lots of Mallard Ducklings - 12-15. 

Male & Female Bullfinch at Stover
Male & Female Bullfinch at Stover

Siskin at Stover
Siskin at Stover

Posted May 18th, 2013 at 10:40 pm by Stephen Turner in General Birding


Male Hen Harrier high over Turf about 3pm, .Heading south. Super!

Posted May 18th, 2013 at 7:21 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Otter Estuary

A late migrant Short-eared Owl was a nice surprise giving lovely close views as hunting over the long grass around Otter Head mid morning. Also around the estuary a singing Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat and a Cetti's Warbler.

Posted May 18th, 2013 at 5:45 pm by David Cope in General Birding


Red Kite reported over Ingra Tor drifting towards Princetown around mid-day.

(M&R Harrison)

Posted May 18th, 2013 at 3:41 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Kenwith nr.

spotted flycatcher.My first for reserve.9 Reed Warblers,4 singing.2 sedge warblers.whitethroat,22 swifts,09:00.Had a hobby over the house at 07:10 and a female yellow wagtail at northam burrows,10;00.

Posted May 18th, 2013 at 12:36 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exmouth - pm edit

Orcombe Point - 0500 - 0750 - 2 fs little gull (apparantly joined by a 3rd fs later), 1 fs mediterranean gull and a single black-headed gull. Also 2+ roseate tern, 11+ sandwich tern, 1+ common tern, 2 dunlin, 6 ringed plover, 10+ bar-tailed godwit, 1 sanderling, 1 red-throated diver, 1 great northern diver, 1 guillemot, 1 red kite perched briefly before heading low east, 1 goldcrest, 8+ whitethroat, 2 blackcap, 16 swallow and 1 jay high east.

Mudbank - the 5 scaup still present.

East Devon Commons - afternoon dog walk - 1 wood warbler and 1 yellow wagtail.

red kite - my first on Orcombe
red kite - my first on Orcombe

May jay
May jay

Posted May 18th, 2013 at 8:59 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Topsham - Friday

No sign again of Bonaparte's Gull at low tide Friday pm. I haven't seen it since Wed. and suspect it may have gone. Little Gull present again briefly. Also an interesting (honestly!) large gull of apparently mixed parentage - fourth probable hybrid I've seen here in the last six months.

Apparent hybrid gull - Topsham 17/5/2013
Apparent hybrid gull - Topsham 17/5/2013

Apparent hybrid gull - Topsham 17/5/2013
Apparent hybrid gull - Topsham 17/5/2013

Posted May 18th, 2013 at 7:36 am by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Friday 17th May 2013


Orcombe Point - 0520 - 0635 - 8 swallow, 1 yellow wagtail, 1 arctic tern, 1 common tern, c20+ 'commic' tern, 3 sanderling, 1 goldcrest and a first summer little gull in from the east and on it's own so potentially not one of the 'north Exe' birds.

Mudbank - 5 scaup still present.

Orcombe Point yesterday - 1 red-throated diver, c20+ common scoter, 1 wheatear, 3 stock dove, 11 whimbrel, 4 dunlin, 4 sanderling, 1 diver sp, 33+ 'commic tern', 21 wader sp, 3+ roseate tern and a brief male cirl bunting. Cirls are very scarce this side of the Exe and infrequent visitors to Orcombe Point, averaging only one or two records a year in recent years.

Posted May 17th, 2013 at 5:07 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Appledore area

Fantastic view of a RED KITE flying towards us here in Appledore from the direction of Northam Burrows c12.30.
First for us here!
(Ann Wells)

Posted May 17th, 2013 at 4:34 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Estate.

07:00 - 08;30

5 bar-tailed Godwits; 10 Whimbrel; 3 Grey Heron and 1 Little Egret. 34 Shelduck.Apart from 14 Lesser black-backed Gulls the rest were Herring Gulls. Just 3 Common Whitethroat plus a few Long-tailed Tits, Gold and Greenfinches in bushes along Tarka Trail. 11 Mute Swans on Penhill Marsh with just 4 Canada Geese.

Posted May 17th, 2013 at 9:37 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Thursday 16th May 2013

nr Loddiswell

Saw a couple of drake Mandarin Ducks on a bank by the River Avon on the Woodleigh road this morning about halfway between New Bridge and Avon Nursuries. Maybe more present but i was driving. Not seen them here before.

Posted May 16th, 2013 at 9:32 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

Waders on the beaches / South Huish Marsh- 1 partial s/pl Grey Plover, 36 Whimbrel, 1 Dunlin.

1 F Yellow Wagtail on the golf course, . On South Huish Marsh - 1m 1f Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear

Posted May 16th, 2013 at 6:11 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Exe - Marshes and Topsham

After a frosty start the morning became quite warm and calm. Few birds on the marshes apart from two hobbies motionless on posts. 15 whimbrel flew over and another two were at Turf. Also at Turf two little gulls (1s plumage) were feeding in the estuary. There was another little gull at Bowling Green Marsh and one avocet with about 30 whimbrel. In Topsham another or one of the previous little gulls was near the recreation ground. Here a hobby attempted to catch a fledgling starling. Another 3 hobbies were seen high over the Exminster Marshes.

Posted May 16th, 2013 at 3:49 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Bolt Head, Soar

Richard's Pipit feeding on short turf between 0930- 0950 hrs with skylarks & linnets. SX722364. Watched for a good 10 mins.

Posted May 16th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Berry Head

844 Guillemots on cliffs, 104 on water and 7 on island.

2 Razorbills still on cliff, getting very friendly!!!! so could be promising, first for at least18 years.

3 Harbour porpoise today, 5 yesterday.

Posted May 16th, 2013 at 9:44 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Wednesday 15th May 2013

Slapton Ley

c1000 Swifts feeding over Slapton Ley this evening. Also a couple hundred House Martins. Good to see loads of insects for them flying around.

Posted May 15th, 2013 at 8:54 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

Mid afternoon low tide visit. The Bonaparte's Gull was showing well as usual. A Little Gull also present for about ten minutes.

Little Gull - Topsham 15/5/2013
Little Gull - Topsham 15/5/2013

Posted May 15th, 2013 at 4:51 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

From the viewing platform at about 1.30 today an Osprey flew over heading over the marsh towards Darts Farm, mobbed by a Herring Gull. 10 Whimbrel on the estuary with 4 (more?) from the hide on my walk back to the car.

Posted May 15th, 2013 at 2:31 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Berry Hd - Tuesday evening

Seawatch yesterday evening 18.25-19.55hrs all birds moving south: 7 Storm Petrel, 8 Puffin, 20+ 'commic' Terns out in murk, 8 Sandwich Tern, 374 Manx Shearwaters, 31 Fulmar, 66 Gannet, 54 Kittiwake, and good numbers - 81 Razorbill with several hundred Guillemots also 14 Swift. 1 Harbour Porpoise off the head.

Posted May 15th, 2013 at 8:51 am by Mike Langman in General Birding


Between Lifeboat Station and Orcombe - 0600 - 0700 - 6+ roseate tern, c30+ 'commic' tern, c40+ common scoter, 21+ great northern diver, 1 diver sp, 12+ sanderling, 21+ turnstone, 30+ dunlin, 1 whimbrel, 1 ringed plover, 1 pomarine skua (full-spooned ad off Orc Pt), 1 storm petrel lingering off the Pt and 1 hobby 'in off'. Plenty of waders moving this morning, some stopping on Maer Rocks. 

Posted May 15th, 2013 at 7:27 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

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