Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th August 2013


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

Wednesday 7th August 2013

Sherpa Marsh

Malcolm Shakespeare saw an immature Marsh Harrier soaring over the marsh with 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk late morning. By the time I got there (about 5 mins later), I couldn't see any of them!

Posted August 7th, 2013 at 10:07 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


On the old harbour wall at Starcross, c165 Turnstones - possibly a few more hidden behind tussocks of grass;    many are in part summer plumage.     Easily seen from the foot bridge over the railway.   Need to view around high tide.

Posted August 7th, 2013 at 8:39 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Sand Hole Hartland

15.25  Red Kite flying north, Sand Hole, Hartland

Posted August 7th, 2013 at 3:58 pm by John Heath in Bird News

South Milton Ley

After 40 years of ringing at this site Bob B trapped his first MARSH WARBLER. A very nice juv. Nice to see the bird in the hand and take some ID particulars . Only the second site record , previous one many years ago a singing bird in Spring

Posted August 7th, 2013 at 10:11 am by Mike Passman in Bird News

Tuesday 6th August 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 17:00 till 19:10

465+ curlew was a good count, 44+ whimbrel, 90+ dunlin, 180+ redshank, 25+ greenshanks, 750+ black headed gulls included 2 2nd summer Mediterranean gulls, 305+ black tailed godwits, 2 bar tailed godwits, 5 oystercatcher, 25+ little egrets, 1 green sandpiper, 3 wigeon. 

Posted August 6th, 2013 at 9:04 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


First autumn Robin song at Stover today 6th – 2 days earlier than 2012 *(8th August).

20+ crossbills also in the park – recorded daily now.

(Jon Avon)

Posted August 6th, 2013 at 8:33 pm in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Having missed out on the spectacular seawatching reports over the weekend  certainly did not expect to find anything in todays calm conditions. At 09.15 Graham Daw picked up a large Shearwater sat on the sea c700 yds off  the car park . We watched it until 09.45 when it flew off east - a Cory's Shearwater.

Also 21 Manx and 1 Balearic S'water, 10 Common Scoter, 2 Med Gull, . Waders - 2 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover, 5 Common Sandpiper .a Curlew flew over T'stone Marsh . A juv Yellow Wagtail on South H Marsh

Evidence of Warbler passage this morning - On the patch - 20 + Willow ., 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden, 8 Sedge, 8 Reed, 1 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat

Posted August 6th, 2013 at 7:04 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Old Mill Cove, nr Froward Point

Mid morning walk around. Nice Hobby low over the cove which came back twice. Also a Cuckoo giving some nice views feeding.

Other migrants, a single Wheatear and 3 Willow Warblers

Posted August 6th, 2013 at 3:40 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Monday 5th August 2013

Prawle Point

'Another time,another place' was a wonderful enigmatic film  made in the 1980's..and it sums up the seawatch today : thanks to Mark and Pat, it's all becoming clearer as to where the birds have gone or are going . High expectations, if only the conditions had been 'right' !

Totals ( with Frank) from 6am to till 12,45 : 57 Balearic shearwaters,824 Manxies west; 5 Arctic and 2 Pomarine Skuas west; 2 Puffin and 16 Common Scoter west.   

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 10:33 pm in Bird News


Sth Efford Marsh

Wood Sand 2 (1 present since 01/08)  Green Sand 4, Whimbrel 4 + Redshank, Greenshank, dunlin.  ENW

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 10:31 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Wembury Point

3, probably 4, juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on the beach in amongst the juvenile Herring, Black-headed and Great Black-backed Gulls.

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 8:57 pm in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

First Wood Sandpiper of the autumn on South Efford Marsh plus first Greenshank & Dunlin. Also 24 Littlr Egrets, Redshank & 2 Common Sandpipers.

200 Linnets on oilseed rape at Hatch Farm, Churchstow.

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 4:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Start Point

05/08/ Seawatch 06:30-14:00. Start could not compete with Berry Head today, perhaps due to being stuckout in the sunshine, with the main weather front more east, inland and higher in Lyme Bay - producing the reduced vis for the large shears!

All SW: Cory's Shearwater @09:05, 3 Sooty Shearwaters (only one correlating with BH birds), 80 Balearic Shearwaters, 1142 Manx Shearwaters, Pomarine Skua, 7 Arctic Skuas, 22 Whimbrel (20&2), 2 Common Terns, 4 Sandwich Terns, 7 Common Scoter, 8 Puffins, 2 Guillemots and a Razorbill.

Late post for 02/08

16:00-18:00: 100+ Balearic Shearwaters (65 passing and 35+ feeding with Manx on skerries bank), 800+ Manx (680 passing and 120+ feeding over skerries), 4 Puffin, 20 'commic' Terms feeding over skerries bank.

Since 29/7/2013 Start Pt has seen c580 Balearic Shearwaters! I'm not sure how many are on a feeding loop in outer Lyme Bay (i.e the same birds going round in a circle), or new birds crossing the channel, feeding and moving on - perhaps a bit of both! Which would explain lower numbers at Prawle on 04/08/13. This influx is earlier than normal, as I have never had a 100+ counts in July, or early August.

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 4:17 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Prawle seawatch yesterday (4/8)

Prior to the seawatch, a walk along the front turned up 2 Whimbrel, 14 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and 3 Common Sandpipers.

Now the seawatch, JAL and FS watched from 06.00 to 15.00, while I did 08.00 to 18.00. Final totals were 1 Cory's Shearwater, west at 09.40, 1 Great Shearwater west at 16.50, 2 Sooty Shearwaters west late PM, with another 2 probables early AM, 190 Balearic Shearwaters west, (all but 2 after 08.00), 2320 Manx Shearwaters, 1480 Gannets, 30 Fulmars, 16 Common Scoter, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Great Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Med Gull, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Razorbill, 6 Guillemots, 3 Puffins and 5 Swift.

Fair play to 'the MD' at Start Point. I doubt I'd recognize a Yelk Shearwater if it hit me between the eyes, but I probably would a Little Shearwater!  Comparisons are interesting, and it would appear that many birds passing Start Point then head out into the Channel rather than follow the coast. e.g. only 1 Tern at Prawle, 30+ at Start, 16 Puffins compared to just 3, and the slightly but significantly lower totals of Shearwaters. I sincerely hope the Little Shearwater did do that, rather than pass un-noticed under my nose!

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 4:06 pm by Pat Mayer in Bird News

Berry Head-midday

Stayed on in case the predicted rain squall produced some birds at sea, in the event it was late and brief. After other observers left, 1130-1330 hours, another 16 Balearic and 30 Manx Shearwaters flew south.  

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 2:40 pm in Bird News

Kingsbridge Est


Med Gull 11 (adS, 2S) Sandwich Tern 12, Turnstone, Ringed Plover 16, Dunlin 48. 

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 2:21 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Matford Pool

Went to Matford Pool for a change today (until 1.30pm) and a Wood Sandpiper there feeding along the channel that leads into the main pool.

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 1:58 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Berry Hd

Seawatch 0600-1130hrs: 2 Cory's Shearwaters (0800hrs & 10.40hrs), 3 Great Shearwaters (0605hrs, 0705hrs & 1030hrs), 1 unidentified Large Shearwater (0745hrs), 3 Sooty Shearwaters (0735hrs 0745hrs & 1100hrs), 289 Manx, 52 Balearic Shearwaters, 24 Fulmar, 8 Bonxie, 7 Arctic Skua and 1 Pomarine Skua, 10 Med Gulls, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, 5 Puffin, 1 Razorbill, 2 Guillemots, 19 Common Scoter, 20 Whimbrel, 3 Turnstone,5 Harbour Porpoises. 

Posted August 5th, 2013 at 12:45 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 4th August 2013

Start Point

Seawatch 09:00-18:30. An amazing '7' shearwater seawatch! In order of magnitude: Macaronesian (Barolo's) Shearwater sw @17:10, Yelkouan Shearwater (@11:55 close in with Manx & Balearic for direct comparison), 2 Great Shearwaters @11:25 & 16:38, Cory's Shearwater @14:45, one large Shearwater sp.(@09:20 prob Cory's as tied in with one at Prawle), 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 255 Balearic Shearwaters, 2414 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Puffins, Pomarine Skua (ad), Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxies, c30 'commic' Terns, juv Yellow-legged Gull and 6 Whimbrel.

Posted August 4th, 2013 at 9:49 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Berry Hd

Seawatch 06.15-11.45hrs: 1 Great Shearwater 10.15hrs, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 452 Manx and 45 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Storm Petrel, 17 Fulmar, 2 Roseate Terns, 1 Common Tern, 27 'Commic' Terns, 14 Puffin, 4 Guillemots, 2 Razorbills, 5 Bonxie, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (juvs), 1 Mediterranean Gull (juv), 20 Common Scoter, 1 Gadwall, 4 Little Egret. ST, REB, SMRY.

Yellow-legged & two Herring Gulls Berry Hd 040813 ML

Yellow-legged Gull (top) with Herring Gulls all juvs.

Posted August 4th, 2013 at 1:36 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 3rd August 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 14:40 till 17:35

100+ dunlin included 20 juv , 36 whimbrel, 43+ greenshanks, 270+ black tailed godwit 1 bar tailed godwit, 150+ redshanks, 3 lapwing, 3 wigeon, 200+ curlew, 400+ black headed gulls. 

Posted August 3rd, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Black Hole Marsh

Lots of mud about and it stinks! So it's perfect for waders at the moment, and was crammed full of them this afternoon.

Best of all were singles of Ruff and Little Ringed Plover and at least 14 Green Sands.  Also several Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Common Sands. Also two Med Gulls.

Posted August 3rd, 2013 at 8:21 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Berry Hd

Seawatch 16.15 hrs - 18.45 hrs: 296 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Puffin, 4 Yellow-legged Gulls all juvs (3 behind one trawler), 14 Kittiwakes (including first 3 juvs of the year), 13 Fulmar, approx 70 Gannets. Other wildlife 1 Painted Lady and several Oak Eggar Moths. 

Posted August 3rd, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

R.Taw, Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works.

12:00 - 13:30

1 Common Sandpiper and 1 adult Mediterranean Gull on bank at rear of RGB. 1 Redshank at same location, compared to 35 at Fremington Pill on 30/7. 6 Little Egrets between Pottington and Ashford and 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull in the Herring Gull roost just off Bradiford Reserve. Apart from the usual numbers of Curlew scattered along the banks on both sides of the river was a single flock of c150 off Penhill Marsh which contained just 2 Black-tailed Godwits.

Posted August 3rd, 2013 at 1:58 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

River Torridge

Male kingfisher taken this morning on the Torridge


Posted August 3rd, 2013 at 1:47 pm by steve Hatch in Bird News

Friday 2nd August 2013

Tor Quarry

Couple of Crossbills flew south over Tor Quarry nr. Kingsbridge this morning.

Posted August 2nd, 2013 at 8:08 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Berry Head

06.30-12.30 Weather started cloudy with a few showers, then sunny, warm and light southwest wind. 34 Balearic Shearwater, 41 Manx Shearwater, 4 Great Skua, 2 Arctic Skua, 1 Puffin, 10 Whimbrel, 39 Kittiwake + 2 juv, 347 Gannet and 35+ Common Scoter

Posted August 2nd, 2013 at 2:01 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

At sea off South Devon

Yesterday at sea from a fishing boat (>5nm) off South Devon, seabirds were a little disappointing given the sightings off Ireland and Cornwall the previous day! Never-the-less most expected species were on show, which included: 2 Balearic Shearwaters (one being mugged by a GBB Gull see pic), numerous Manx Shearwaters, 3 European Storm-petrels, 6+ juv Yellow-legged Gulls in with numerous Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and three Great Skua.

If anyone is interested in evenning pelagic trips off S Devon, Nigel Smallbones has trips planned for 10th, 17th and 31st August, leaving from Brixham quay at 16:30 (with chum for attracting seabirds), contact him on 07866 202576. Prices £18 per head, spaces limited to 12 people. Note these trips go beyond 5nm (see

alearic Shearwater attacked by Great Black-back GullBalearic ShearwaterEuropean Storm-petrelGreat SkuaJuv Yellow-legged GullJuv Yellow-legged GullJuv Yellow-legged GullJuv Yellow-legged Gull


Posted August 2nd, 2013 at 11:25 am by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


Yesterday evening: 2 Med Gulls and 1 juv Yellow-legged Gull.

Yellow-legged Gull juv Broadsands 1st Aug 2013

iPhone and telescope photo of Yellow-legged Gull

Posted August 2nd, 2013 at 10:08 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Around the Axe

Couldn't see the Pec Sand this morning on Black Hole Marsh, but there were singles of Turnstone, Little Ringed Plover and Med Gull, 3 Teal, 4 Green Sands, 6 Ringed Plover, 20+ Dunlin and 22 Black-tailed Godwits.

Earlier a 45min sea watch from Spot On Kiosk showed singles of Great Skua, Balearic Shearwater, Great Crested Grebe and Turnstone past. Ian M has had a few more Balearics since.

Posted August 2nd, 2013 at 10:02 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Osprey at Torridge Estuary

An Osprey seen yesterday evening at 19:30 on the mud flats near the lifeboat station at Appledore. [Michael & Mary Dendle]

Posted August 2nd, 2013 at 9:59 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

Thursday 1st August 2013

Ringed Roseate Terns

Mike Passman's note about double-ringed Roseate Terns at Thurlestone reminded me of a bird I photographed at Dawlish Warren last July which had a ring on  both legs.By coincidence I checked Birdguides website today and found an article by Tom Cadwallender about ringing of Roseate Terns at Coquet Island, Northumberland, which is the Uk's main colony, holding 77 pairs. It is customary at Coquet to ring birds with both a BTO metal ring, and on the other leg a slightly bigger metal ring bearing a Coquet Island number, hopefully readable in the field, enabling individual  birds to be tracked away from colonies. So we just have to get closer to read those numbers! 

Posted August 1st, 2013 at 11:09 pm in Bird News

Thurlestone Marsh

 21.00 update - Just gone out to look at the Swallow roost and found a Spoonbill flying across the Marsh - did not land , flew off towards the Avon Est

Posted August 1st, 2013 at 9:15 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Great start to the new month with 2 ad Roseate Tern in the Bay from 08.45- 11.45. Spent some time resting on the rocks which enabled good views to be obtained. This is only our 3rd record in the last 9 years. Both birds had metal rings on both legs which according to Bob B is unusual - need to try and acertain whether this could be normal practice for the ringers  near Roscoff as their arrival coincides with an influx of Balearic S'waters

Also this am - 1 Sandwich Tern, 17 Manx and 1 Balearic S'waters, 6 Common Scoter, 2ad 2 2nd s Med Gull

Waders on the beach/ rocks - 4 Turnstone, singles of Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Sanderling .

This aft. on T'stone Marsh 3 ad & 2 2nd s Med Gull

Posted August 1st, 2013 at 6:17 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

River Torridge yesterday

A few photos from a day on the river 

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail


Posted August 1st, 2013 at 5:38 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Brixham pelagic, 24th July

Trial evening pelagic trip on 24th July produced 1 balearic shearwater, good numbers of manx shearwaters, juv. yellow legged gull and good numbers of gannet, fulmar, lesser blackback attracted to chum. Places are still available for trips on 10th, 17th and 31st August, leaving Brixham 16.30 pm: contact Nigel Smallbones on 07866 202576 to book.

Balearic shearwater
Balearic shearwater


Manx shearwater
Manx shearwater

Posted August 1st, 2013 at 1:53 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News


The cows are back over the river and on the scrape the first returning autumn Lapwing.

Heard a Whimbrel from the reserve at Velator yesterday.

Posted August 1st, 2013 at 12:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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