Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st May 2013


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

Friday 31st May 2013


Belle Vue Road - a honey buzzard (presumed male) high and fast west over the house at 1105. Also a single jay west yesterday.

Orcombe Point - quiet over the last few days with a light passage of swifts and single spotted flycatcher on 30/5 and 29/5. Also a reed warbler on 28/5. On 27/5 there were 8 great northern divers and a bonxie early morning.

Mudbank - a single female scaup still present on 29/5 along with a fs little gull and 6 whimbrel on 28/5.

Posted May 31st, 2013 at 11:37 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

South Brent ~ Sparrow Hawk

Over the last few days a male Sparrow hawk has been very much in evidence, hunting around local gardens, yesterday I saw it passing over head on two occassions, each time it had an item of prey clutched in its talons.

The first fly by was rudely interupted by the local breeding pair of Mistle Thrush who made serious attempts to drive it away from the area of  their nest site.

Posted May 31st, 2013 at 9:23 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Thursday 30th May 2013


Arriving at the hide about 1845 I met Julian Thomas from Somerset who had heard the Savi's Warbler briefly about 1830 . I then waited with no evidence of its whereabouts until about 1950,  when Jacob Wood and I heard a short  snatch of reeling coming from the lower end of the marsh, towards the main pool. 

Posted May 30th, 2013 at 9:03 pm in Bird News

male hen harrier over teignmouth

At about 16.30 a Male Hen Harrier flew north over east Teignmouth...livingstone road/haldon av area, mobbed by crow. 

An unusual sighting here in a town, but clearly identifiable as HH by long tail, hawkish flight bright grey plumage and black wing tips. 

Posted May 30th, 2013 at 4:53 pm by james Homer in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The male Ruff was showing well from the platform amongst the Godwits, Curlews and Dunlin today around 12.45. Also 4 Little Gulls.

Posted May 30th, 2013 at 2:15 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


Savi's Warbler showed at close range for PA and myself briefly flicking across the path and skulking in the bracken and bramble, calling quite regularly but no song when I was on site. Still almost in same place as Josh found it originally. Well done Josh sounds like you picked it up from quite a long distance away!

Also 1 Yellow Wagtail flew over - appearing to land toward north side of marsh but no sign of it later. 

Posted May 30th, 2013 at 10:37 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Mansands Marsh

Probable Savi's Warbler giving short 3-4 second bursts of song. Never actually saw the bird so hesitant to go making many claims as I don't have experience of this species only what I've listened to on Internet etc. I wasn't initially encouraged that the song was so short but speaking to a few people this seems ok.

The bird was in the location of the small oak tree half way along the path from the beach to the hide Round the brambles in non-breeding habitat. Hopefully get down for another look later...

Posted May 30th, 2013 at 9:35 am by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Wednesday 29th May 2013

Bowling Green Marsh

The superb male Ruff was showing from the hide today until it flew off with the Godwit flock at about 12.40 where it could be seen from the platform. Also a summer plumaged Knot and 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted May 29th, 2013 at 2:25 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Wembury a waders heaven

I was out around Wembury beach again and there was lots of activity. Large numbers of Dunlin around 50 of them were combined with a smaller number of Sanderling . Whimbrel have arrived at the beach and are mostly seen in flight in groups of around 10.

Posted May 29th, 2013 at 1:59 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Tuesday 28th May 2013

Orcombe Point

This afternoon at 1455hrs, in temperatures more akin to February, 3 dark-phase Arctic Skuas passed the point close in, heading south-westwards. Earlier 10+ Common Scoter flew past heading west, and these were still present off Exmouth seafront this evening. About 50 Swifts were feeding low over the cliffs and top fields searching for any insect life that may have been present in the cold wind. 

Posted May 28th, 2013 at 9:44 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


A male Sparrow Hawk that has dropped into a pine tree at the back of the garden on two evenings this week, his perch over looks my new bird feeding station and on each visit he has tried without success to snatch a meal.

Posted May 28th, 2013 at 7:20 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bolt Tail

Short-eared Owl over open grassland on cliff top at 0905 hrs.

Posted May 28th, 2013 at 11:21 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Monday 27th May 2013

Roseate Tern at Wembury

Roseate Tern ( Spring plumage) Diving just off shore of the beach and sometimes perches on the rocks to the left at low tide.

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 10:58 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Skern,tip pool

97 dunlin,50 swallow by the pool with 3 whimbrel on the beach,19:45.

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 9:54 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch from 14:15-17:15

1 Pomarine Skua (full spooned), 1 Bonxie, 13 Puffins, 260 Manx Shearwaters.

1 Harbour Porpoise and 10+ Bottlenose Dolphin.

Also a Spotted Flycatcher in the quarry and another (or the same) bird behind the hotel.


Posted May 27th, 2013 at 8:59 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News

Hopes Nose

5.25pm-7.10pm -  2 Puffin and 95 Manxies south this evening.

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 7:54 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

12.15. Very mobile, vocal but skulking Lesser Whitethroat in tall hedgerow along main path next to railway line close to RSPB car park.

Sat 25th May. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Yarner Wood close to main track beyond car park.

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 7:42 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Sprey Point. Teignmouth sea front

Monday 27th 5.30 pm  

Late wheatear trying to find shelter at Sprey Point.

Felt like March, wet and windy.

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 6:11 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News

Cuckoo at Venford Reservoir, Dartmoor, Sunday 26th May

We heard a cuckoo near the reservoir and saw it fly away from the woodland.  It was then clearly heard again from the direction of Bench Tor.  This was the first time Elizabeth (14) had heard a cuckoo, so very exciting.

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 5:28 pm by Philip, Hazel and Elizabeth Strange in Bird News

Wistman's Wood - Dartmoor.

 Sunday 26th May.

Whilst walking up the valley I heard a Cuckoo calling, then eventually it showed itself in the distance. Red Kite flew over 13:00, 8 Spotted Flycatchers in woods and good Meadow Pipit, Wheatear numbers around.

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit


Posted May 27th, 2013 at 12:27 pm by Mark Dyer in Bird News

Lundy 2013

During my recent trip to Lundy 16th - 23rd May I aw plenty of bird life including Sedge Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser Redpoll, Great Northern Diver and good Puffin and Manx Shearwater numbers.

On 16th,17th and 18th a Cuckoo was present and I managed to get a distant photograph.  Then on the 21st May a Blue Headed Wagtail appeared for a couple of days on the West Coast.


Blue Headed Wagtail
Blue Headed Wagtail


Posted May 27th, 2013 at 11:47 am by Mark Dyer in Bird News

Red Kite, Holmacott, N.Devon.


While I was driving home along Old Bideford Road from Southcott Valley to Barnstaple, a Red Kite flew overhead, from north to south in area of the Holmacott Landfill Site. (Map ref: SS505293)

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 9:57 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Skern, Northam Burrows and Southcott valley.

0715 - 0830

7 Whimbrel on the Skern with c50 Dunlin and c25 Ringed Plover in total between the Skern and Tip Pond. Numerous Swallows flying around the tip pond and alighting on the ground as if resting on passage. A Sparrowhawk set the cat among the pigeons.

0840 Southcott Valley.

Just 17 Shelduck; 1 Little Egret and 2 Swift overhead.


Posted May 27th, 2013 at 9:49 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Hobby ~ South Brent

Images of the Hobby that came in and "buzzed" one of my Eagle owls at South Brent on Saturday.  Image taken by Tracey Ikerd of the Tamar Valley Camera Club

Posted May 27th, 2013 at 9:26 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Sunday 26th May 2013

Red Kite Crediton

Single Red Kite seen soaring over the A&S Paving yard/ Crediton Garden Centre at about 10.30 am, a very clear view for a for a few minutes as it circled about 50-75m up, whereupon it was dive-bombed by a buzzard. The Kite circled higher and drifted off in a southerly direction

Posted May 26th, 2013 at 9:59 pm by S. Colombe in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 18:30 till 19:40

the stunning black male ruff was again showing well, and 1 1st summer little gull was in briefley, 20+ dunlin, 3 grey plover, 1 knot, 150+ black tailed godwit, 2 ringed plover, 4 whimbrel on the marsh , groups of 20, 8, 19, 5 whimbrel flew over heading north, 12+ bar tailed godwit, 3 oystercatcher, 4+ reed bunting, 3 fox's

earlier on walk round to the hide 2 sandwich tern of the goat walk 


Posted May 26th, 2013 at 9:14 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Plymbridge Woods

After seeing next to nothing in Saltram / Plym Estuary yesterday, I decided to try Plymbridge woods today. Similarly quiet but managed an adult and juvenile Dipper (by the bridge); the latter sporting a red colour ring. Also a single Marsh Tit, 3 Grey Wagtails and a Peregine on the nest.

Hardly any butterflys.

I'm still trying, but what a dire Spring!

PS Pergerine over my garden in Mount Gould, Plymouth, today and a pair of Bullfinches on the feeders yesterday - perhaps I'll just stay here! 

Posted May 26th, 2013 at 6:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Birds at Slapton 26-05-2013

There was a stiff on shore breeze which sent the Whitethroat's call all over the place.It seemed to come from every direction.  I had to be very patient to locate the bird,well worth the effort.

Also the with a nice male Stonechat, Reed Warbler, 10-15 Barn Swallows & House Martins feeding in the shelter of Torcross.

Herring gulls of all ages roosting on the Ley, about 20 birds.

Three pairs of Grt.Crested Grebe.

Posted May 26th, 2013 at 6:37 pm by Stephen John Turner in Bird News

Saturday 25th May 2013

Hobby ~ South Brent

While hosting a falconry photographic afternoon for the Tamar Photographic club we had a Hobby come in a do a fantastic display in front of us as it mobbed one of my Eagle owls, incredibly agile as it spent several minutes harassing the owl which took absolutely no notice, hopefully the club may supply some photo's in due course.

This is the third Hobby sighting at home so far this month, if nothing else 2013 seems to be a good Hobby year.

Posted May 25th, 2013 at 9:24 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Friday 24th May 2013

Yarner and Exe Estuary

Battled against the very un-Spring-like conditions to sqeeze a few bits out of Devon. 

Yarner Wood produced 6 Pied Flycatchers (3 pairs), a showy singing Wood Warbler, a Marsh Tit, and 2 Mandarins.

On to Dawlish, but only 8 Sanderlings and 4+ Reed Warblers plus a Little Grebe with 2 young.

Saved the best 'til last, with a good selection at Bowling Green Marsh on the high tide: a striking male Ruff in full summer plumage (black), 3 Little Gulls (all 1st-s), a Mediterranean Gull (1st-s), 3 Knots, 4 Grey Plovers, 1 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrels, c175 Black-tailed Godwits and c20 Bar-tailed Godwits. No where in Devon nor Cornwall is doing better at the moment?

Posted May 24th, 2013 at 8:19 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Axe Estuary

Nice adult Curlew Sandpiper on Colyford Marsh this morning, first found last night on Black Hole Marsh.

Posted May 24th, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Thursday 23rd May 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:40 till 19:40

4 1st summer little gulls showed very well, with 2 1st summer med gulls and 100+ black headed gulls, 3 knot, 160+ black tailed godwits, 22+ bar tailed godwits, 9+ whimbrel, 1 oystercatcher, 4 wigeon, 2 shoveler, 3 little grebe, 3+ reed bunting, 1 1st year peregrine caught a starling, a carrion crow killed a black tailed godwit first time I have seen this happen.

Also an odd gull possible hybrid black headed gull with longer legs and bill compared to the black headed gulls around the bill was red with black tip a broad black band on tail black spot behind eye couldn't get a good pic sorry but be  interested if anyone else seen the bird and have  any ideas. 

an interesting afternoon around the marsh 

Posted May 23rd, 2013 at 9:45 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

A short visit 16.00- 18.00 with a strong 6/7 NNW wind.

On South Huish Marsh - 15 Dunlin, the Barnacle Goose . On the beaches- 15 Sanderling, 16 Whimbrel,

1 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover

Offshore 25 Gannet, 22 Manx Shearwater, 2 Arctic Tern, 1 dp Arctic Skua, 1 Common Scoter

Posted May 23rd, 2013 at 7:33 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Prawle area

Despite breezy conditions, sunny and warm, and warmer in sheltered spots with lots of flies , I found at least 11 Spotted Flycatchers. 6 Swifts and 2 Wheatears plus Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Whitethroats on territories. Near Pig's Nose my first young Robins, 3 on branch with mum and dad gearing up for bank holiday week-end.

Posted May 23rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm in Bird News

Wednesday 22nd May 2013

N Devon reserves

Walked around Velator this morning after two weeks away. The remaining Coot chick is now almost full grown and the parents have constructed another nest. Not sure if there were 3, 4, or 5 adult Little Grebes present... The Canada Geese seem to have deserted the reserve which after she sat on the nest for about three weeks before I went away is a bit disappointing. House Sparrows feeding young in one of the new boxes.... Singing Chiffchaff and Blackcap, but NO Whitethroat, Reed or Sedge Warblers. Nearby on Wrafton Pond the Swans are shepherding their single cygent around, again, disappointing after 8 and 7 in the previous 2 years.

At Bradiford this afternoon lots of loafing Herring Gulls on the flooded scrape and across the river.

Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 9:36 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:30 till 18:40

A male garganey appeared just after 17:00 and showed well and was still present when I left, 2 1st summer little gulls were with 100+ black headed gulls and 1 1st summer med gull, 43+ whimbrel, 22+ bar tailed godwits, 2 summer plumage knot, 150+ black tailed godwits, 4 wigeon, 1 tufted duck, 5+ Little grebe, 8+ little egrets. 1 peregrine

Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 9:19 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


2 Sandwich Tern,6 whimbrel,grey plover.17 Ringed plover,22 dunlin around tip pool.First waders for a while.Poor wader passage this spring.

Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 8:10 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Exmouth Sea Front

Short sea watch this morning (7:30 - 8:30) produced 1-2 Roseate Terns, 30+ 'commic' terns (majority of which were Common), the usual semi-resident Sandwich Terns, a passing group of 2 Turnstone + 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin. Also good numbers of feeding Gannets, some only 20-30 m off the beach.

Still no Caspian Tern. Just a matter of time... ;-)

Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 9:03 am by Phil Bentley in Bird News

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