Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st August 2013

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in General Birding

Wednesday 21st August 2013

Wembury Point

 Late evening with a flat calm gave a juv Yellow-legged Gull, standing out nicely amongst large numbers of juv Herring Gulls, a beautiful Grey Plover in breeding plumage, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpipers. A close in Fulmar was the only bird of note off-shore.

Posted August 21st, 2013 at 9:58 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Still bringing in the waders although an increase in water levels has pushed the birds further from the hide.  At least one Wood Sandpiper, several Green Sandpipers, juvenile Little Ringed Plover along with Dunlin, (Greater) Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit.

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover

Posted August 21st, 2013 at 9:38 pm by Alick Simmons in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Visited the hide at lunchtime, until about 1.45. Not much to see over a low tide, the only highlight being 2 Green Sandpipers.

Posted August 21st, 2013 at 4:52 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tamar Lakes

The water level has dropped nicely at Upper Tamar Lake and there is a good muddy margin especially at the top end. Not many waders but a decent variety.

9 Dunlin and singles of Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, Redshank,Ruff, Lapwing and Little Ringed Plover. Also around the lake Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, 2 Willow Tits and Reed Buntings. 1 Clouded Yellow

On the Lower Lake the water level is still high and there were 8 Great created Grebe, March Tit, Blackcap and Whitethroat. Also 3 Clouded Yellow 1 Silver-washed Fritilliary, Golden-ringed Dragonfly and Southeern Hawker.

Over my garden in Northam 2 late Swifts

Posted August 21st, 2013 at 4:29 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Butterleigh, Cullompton

Mistle Thrush  16 flying SE over garden about 6.30 pm 

Posted August 21st, 2013 at 12:06 pm by Richard Holmes in General Birding

Tuesday 20th August 2013

Preston Down Rd, Paignton

A Swift over the area this evening. 

Posted August 20th, 2013 at 9:39 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

 Cloudless skies , no wind and a flat calm sea . Yet in 1 hour this morning (11.00 -12.00) i logged the largest total of Manx S'water this year- 710 all flying east- at least 4 Balearic with them.. Also a dp Arctic Skua and 11 Common Scoter


Waders on the beach/rocks - 2 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 11 Ringed Plover.

Over South Huish Marsh- 6 Yellow wagtail .

Earlier at South Milton  Ley - 3 Sedge warbler, 2 Spotted Fly., and singles of Tree Pipit, Snipe, Green Sandpiper,  Water Rail,

At 20.45 yesterday at T'stone Marsh Swallow roost was 7,000+.

Posted August 20th, 2013 at 6:14 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Velator reserve

Just opening the nets at about 6.00 this morning when 2 Swifts put in a brief appearance.

Posted August 20th, 2013 at 4:12 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Devon Bird Reports FREE

Some Devon Bird Reports free to a good home here -

Forum - 

If you want to use the forum to see the updated/newest content an easy way is to select search 'view active topics" at the top of the forum page. This then brings up the updated content from the last 7 days...

Get involved!

Posted August 20th, 2013 at 12:03 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

The best morning of the autumn so far. 6 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 Green Sandpiper and new for the site, a Garden Warbler. Also present; Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, 20+ Pied Wagtails and c.40 Swallows.

Posted August 20th, 2013 at 9:46 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh (19th Aug)

Yet another pic from Black Hole Marsh; it's the place to be for fantastic views of a variety of waders! 4 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Wood Sand and 2 Ruff the most note-worthy, but plenty of others about this evening also.

Wood Sandpiper © Tim White
Wood Sandpiper © Tim White

Posted August 20th, 2013 at 12:12 am by Tim White in General Birding

Monday 19th August 2013


New sighting in back garden - Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on buddleia this afternoon. Single Swift over yesterday at 7.00pm. 

Posted August 19th, 2013 at 10:30 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding


A redshank, a common sandpiper and a whimbrel were on the rocks at Wembury Point with curlews and oystercatchers at low tide this morning. Chiffchaffs were flitting about amongst the vegetation in the Valley to the Main Beach and whitethroats were flitting about amongst the brambles at Wembury Point. A lone swift headed West, probably my last of the year.

There were plenty of butterflys on the wing too including my first clouded yellow for 2 years! Another non-avian flying highlight was a golden ringed dragonfly ovipositing in the stream in the valley to the beach, seen from the small bridge crossing the stream, and a first at Wembury for me.

Clouded yellow
Clouded yellow

Golden ringed dragonfly
Golden ringed dragonfly

Posted August 19th, 2013 at 8:11 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Bowling Green & Darts Farm

1530 - Darts Farm:   there was 1 Bar-headed Goose and 1 Barnacle Goose amongst the large flock of Canadas, both showing extremely well.   Also 20 Lapwing.

1615 - BGM:  another 2 Bar-headed geese with a smaller flock of Canadas.    The Wood Sandpiper was also present but flew off towards the estuary soon after my arrival 

Posted August 19th, 2013 at 7:15 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Lots going on and plenty to see, here some more pictures from today

Posted August 19th, 2013 at 6:47 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford.


2 Bar-tailed Godwits; 3 Black-tailed Godwits on Pottington bank and 18 Dunlin on Penhill side.

c100-150 Black-headed Gulls; 8 Little Egrets; 8 Grey Herons and 1 Mediterranean Gull having a feeding spree in the shallow water between Ashford and Penhill. Unable to see what they were feeding on. Gulls feeding on the surtface and diving from about 5ft. Herons and Egrets rushing about as if demented.

Posted August 19th, 2013 at 3:54 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Again stacks of wading birds here, many showing close to the hide today. Highlights being 4 juv Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Ruff and 2 Greenshank.

Green and Wood Sandpiper
Green and Wood Sandpiper

Four Little Ringed Plovers
Four Little Ringed Plovers

Posted August 19th, 2013 at 3:05 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Sunday 18th August 2013

Darts farm and bowling green marsh

Helped out on the Webbs count today started at the entrance to tremlet's on the walk to look at the clyst river I spotted a bird of prey coming over a ringtail harrier it headed towards darts farm Peter slader was with me and also got on the bird but we didn't get enough to pin down I'd in the brief view as it disappeared over darts farm, 

Bowling green marsh 15:00 till 18:00

400+ black tailed godwits, 43+ greenshanks, 54+ little egrets, 47+ dunlin, 335+ redshanks, 1 bar tailed godwit, 1 common sandpiper, 4 Mediterranean gulls in with 800+ black headed gulls, 17+ whimbrel with good numbers of curlew, 11 lapwing, 30+ teal. 

Posted August 18th, 2013 at 11:04 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Thurlestone Bay

ad SABINE'S Gull in the Bay today a v nice find for MikeP.

Posted August 18th, 2013 at 2:38 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Saturday 17th August 2013

Start Point

Seawatch 09:30-18:15. 1 Great Shearwater (@13:25 in feeding with large group of Manxies), 102 Balearic Shearwaters, 6230+ Manx Shearwaters, 5 Bonxies, juv Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Mediterranean Gulls ( ad & juv), 198 Common Terns (well the closer 152 were), 2 Sandwich Terns, Puffin, 3 Razorbill. Also a Basking Shark, Ocean Sunfish, 30+ Common Dolphins, 4 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted August 17th, 2013 at 9:19 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Prawle seawatch

Seawatch from 05.45 - 16.45 (PM, JL and TM); 1200+ Gannets, 2500+ Manx Shearwaters, 91 Balearic Shearwaters, Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank, Dunlin, Great Skua, 50+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Yellow-legged Gull (juv), 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns, 78 Common Terns, 0 Fea's Petrels.

Posted August 17th, 2013 at 7:35 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Berry Head late am

After a 2-hour wait from 1015-1215, the first of the promised rain squalls  finally arrived . Up to this time small numbers of Manx and Balearic Shearwaters had been passing, many going north. At 1215 a group of Manx feeding out north of the watchpoint were joined by a  Fea's Petrel which then moved north rapidly into Lyme Bay with the group. My Devon tick at last! Unfortunately the other 2 observers present did not have time to get onto the bird.  I stayed until 1415 hoping the petrel would pass the watchpoint again with feeding shearwaters, 6 Arctic Skuas were the only other birds of note. 

Posted August 17th, 2013 at 4:03 pm in General Birding

Friday 16th August 2013

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until around 1.45.

Good numbers of the usual birds, with the highlights being 1 Mediterranean Gull and 3 Common Sandpipers.

Adding a bit of variety amongst a growing flock of Canada Geese were 3 Greylags, 2 Bar-headed and 1 Barnacle Goose.

Posted August 16th, 2013 at 2:18 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Thursday 15th August 2013

Black Hole Marsh/Stafford Marsh

A few pics to add some colour to the page. Yesterday's Sanderling wasn't present on Black Hole Marsh when I checked early this morning. Quite a few Dunlin (pic) and Ringed Plover about though. 1 Greenshank, 10+ Green Sandpiper and a few Common Sand. Present and showing well this afternoon was a single Wood Sand (pic) and I finally caught up with the juv Cuckoo (pic, scarce here). Not a bad day!


Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper


Posted August 15th, 2013 at 11:20 pm by Tim White in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

2 wood sandpiper,5 green and 3 common sands.1 ruff 25 ringed plover and c20 dunlin.

About to leave when a cuckoo flew onto overhead lines.

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 9:25 pm by Tim Cox in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A very quiet morning so it was a bit of a surprise to find a new bird for the site, Reed Warbler, along the western bank close to the cow shed. Only other birds of note were 1 Green Sand, 1 Whitethroat, 25 Pied Wags and 1 White Wag.

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 7:03 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Jennycliff nr Wembury.

Beed asked by Vic Tucker to pass on news of a juv Montagues Harrier he had very close views of at 16.00 today

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 6:24 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 06.30-14.30. Rather cloudy with some drizzly rain and some sun with a moderate south west wind. 26 Balearic Shearwaters, 91 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Great Skuas, 3 Arctic Skuas, 52 Kittiwakes and 7 juvs, 3 juv Med Gulls, 3 Common Terns, 6 Common Scoters and 351 Gannets. With MD and BMc

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Teign Estuary

Around the middle and upper estuary today: 15 Sandwich Terns, 102 Curlew, 14 Dunlin, 13 Ringed Plover and 7 Whimbrel.

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 5:46 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Velator reserve

A single Swift passed by this morning and a Little Egret flew out of the reserve. On the plucking post (a large tree stump), half a weasel! This post is mostly used by the local Buzzards. Didn't know Weasel was on their menu! Maybe duck is though, as there are now only 4 juv Mallard. Still a few Chiffchaffs 'wheeting' away, and a couple of Reed Warblers, one in a sort of half-song.

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 4:08 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

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