Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th September 2013

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News


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 Bird News

Saturday 14th September 2013

Farmland East of the Otter Estuary

An early evening wander around the top fields/coast path near South Farm produced at least 12+ Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 2+ Stonechat the first few grounded Meadow Pipits of the autumn and 3 Grey Partridge - the first I've seen here since 2011.

Posted September 14th, 2013 at 10:29 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs, Exeter

Another couple of photos of the lesser yellowlegs at Trew's Weir. Very confiding despite lots of people and dogs in the general area.

Posted September 14th, 2013 at 8:55 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News


Orcombe point - 0630 - 1010 - covered with Derek Carter this morning - lots of movement - 6+ phyllosc sp, 5+ chiffchaff, 3 common scoter, 12 alba wagtail, 4 white wagtail, 2+ yellow wagtail, 7+ grey wagtail, 5+ tree pipit, 500+ meadow pipit (a constant stream of birds in small parties, all west with c40+ grounded), 34+ linnet, 5+ goldfinch, 4 grey heron, 1 little egret, 3 wheatear, 1+ siskin, 4+ sand martin, 2+ house martin, 80+ swallow, 150+ hirundine sp, 11+ starling, 2 sedge warbler, 1 whitethroat and 2 coal tit.

Mudbank - 1 juv osprey @ 1110 and it or another feeding on a fish on a sandbar @ 1830. Also 3 greenshank, 2 redshank, 2+ bar-tailed godwit, 12 black-tailed godwit, 3+ knot, 450+ wigeon, 60+ teal, 30+ pintail, 2 little tern, c60+ sandwich tern, 1 mediterranean gull, 30+ little egret and 1 grey wagtail. Yesterday I had my highest ever teal count off Mudbank with a minimum 250 birds.

white wag from 9/9
white wag from 9/9

Posted September 14th, 2013 at 7:58 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Around the exe

Started at topsham quay at 09:30 first birds was a superb views of 9 curlew sandpipers the a juv spotted redshank, just of goat walk 6 knot and 4 ringed plover. 

From the viewing platform at bowling green marsh 2 little stint and 2 curlew sandpiper, Cetti's warbler, 3 chiffchaffs, from the hide 6 little stint and 8 curlew sandpiper among 400+ dunlin, 44+ little egrets, 2 juv spotted redshanks, 1 ringed plover, 6 knot, 2 bar tailed godwits among 250+ black tailed godwits , 27+ greenshanks, good numbers of redshanks, 2 sparrowhawks. 

from the goat walk 2 ospreys of powderham 

popped into trews weir on the way home the lesser yellowlegs  had been flushed by a photographer and was on the river above the overflow dam a good end to the day. 



Posted September 14th, 2013 at 6:36 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


A nice spread of migrants at East Soar (after a slow start) even if quality and quantity didn't rival the best days. Starehole and the wood both held a fair few migrants. Most notable were 47 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Tree Pipits, 28 Wheatears, a Garden Warbler and my first Siskins (2) of the autumn.

Also: Meadow Pipit (c270), Green Woodpecker (1 juv), Willow Warbler (7), Chiffchaff (16), Blackcap (13), Whitethroat (12), Grey Wagtail (1), Swallow (c45), House Martin (c50), Sand Martin (2) and Cirl Bunting (2).

At South Efford Marsh this afternoon - Greenshank (4), Dunlin (2), Ringed Plover (6), Whimbrel (1), Common Sandpiper (1), and Egyptian Goose (2).  

Posted September 14th, 2013 at 3:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs

Another fine photo of the Exeter Lesser Yellowlegs, this one taken by Keith Birchall.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

Posted September 14th, 2013 at 12:12 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Friday 13th September 2013

Thurlestone Bay

  A change in the weather at lunchtime brought some new arrivals - On T'stone Marsh ( back pool )

 2 Little Stint and a Dunlin

In the Bay 4 COMMON TERN ,1 SANDWICH TERN and an ARCTIC SKUA . On the rocks 3 Turnstone and by South Huish Marsh 5 Yellow Wagtail

Posted September 13th, 2013 at 5:35 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs - Exeter

In case anyone's not seen it yet, the Lesser Yellowlegs is still very photographable in the overflow channel at Trews Weir Exeter.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Trews Weir Exeter
Lesser Yellowlegs - Trews Weir Exeter

Posted September 13th, 2013 at 2:45 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Plenty of waders at lunchtime today (until about 1.55). Highlights were 2 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Little Stints, at least 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 1 Common Sandpiper. An Osprey sat on the post throughout.

Posted September 13th, 2013 at 2:20 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs

Surprised that there are no photos here of the bird that was showing so well yesterday and gave everyone the chance to snap away. Must have had it's picture taken 1000's of times.

Lesser Yellowlegs, Trews Weir Exeter
Lesser Yellowlegs, Trews Weir Exeter

Posted September 13th, 2013 at 9:39 am by CharlieFleming in Bird News

Thursday 12th September 2013


I hadn't planned a seawatch today given the lack of wind at first  but from the point I saw 2 skuas so...

Totals in 2 hours from 8am : 5 Arctic skuas; 13 Balearic Shearwaters; 68 Manxies; 1 Common Tern (1st yr), 2 Commic Terns and .2 x 1st yr Med Gulls all west. Also 1 Grey Plover, 1 Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin ,12 Common Scoter west.  Elsewhere only a trickle of migrants : 1 Sedge Warbler, 9 Blackcaps,    9 Chiffchaffs, 8 Wheatear (including a 1st year bird) and 2 Willow Warblers, one of which was very pale.Later ,hearing the news, I went to see the Lesser Yellowlegs in Exeter-a very smart bird.

Posted September 12th, 2013 at 9:17 pm in Bird News

East Soar

Highlight of the morning was a dark phase Honey Buzzard being harassed by several corvids who totally ignoring a nearby Common Buzzard - typical corvid behaviour to an "unusual" raptor. This was at 0925 hrs and the bird drifted off inland to escape the unwanted attention!

Also: 110 Meadow Pipits & 105 Starlings- first real autumn movements for these species, 53 Yellow Wagtails, 13 Alba wagtails, Green Woodpecker, 15 Wheatears, 10 Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, Sedge Warbler, 3 Willow Warblers & 13 Chiffchaffs.

Posted September 12th, 2013 at 2:05 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Yealm Est

The local landowner whose house is situated at Steer Point has phoned to advise us that the area surrounding the Point is privately owned and he has asked that his privacy is respected.  We would just like to remind anyone planning to visit the area to keep to public rights of way and park sensibly on public roads without blocking gateways or access.

Posted September 12th, 2013 at 2:03 pm in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs - Trew's Weir Exeter

Fantastic close views of a Lesser Yellowlegs today - still showing well when I left at around 12.15. Feeding in the flood relief channel between the river and the canal near to Trew's Weir in Exeter. Thanks to whoever found this and put the news out on Birdguides this morning.

Posted September 12th, 2013 at 1:04 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Wednesday 11th September 2013

Otter Estuary

This evening on the estuary was all about quality rather than quantity!
1 juv. Curlew Sandpiper
1 juv. Little Stint
1 Dunlin
4 Ringed Plover
2 Common Sand

Posted September 11th, 2013 at 9:59 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News


Watched from 15:30 till 18:00

A very nice juv spotted redshank showed well off the goat walk and 6+ curlew sandpipers with dunlin towards turf. From the viewing platform at bowling green marsh 1 osprey on its usual post and a juv attempting to fish between powderham and dawlish warren. 

Posted September 11th, 2013 at 8:27 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Little Tern - Powderham Point

Little Tern flew up estuary towards Turf at high tine this morning.

Also single Wheatear at Turf.

Posted September 11th, 2013 at 6:42 pm by Ray Jones in Bird News

Dawlish Warren (or Exmouth)

With Dick Andrews at 10.50am on Dawlish Warren:                      a White Stork seen flying in from the sea and crossed directly over the mouth of the Exe into the estuary; continued flying at a leisurely pace up the estuary but gaining height all the time, and by the time it had reached Lympstone Camp appeared to be turning inland.     Anyone on the Exmouth seafront or Shelley beach area would have also had a full view

12.30pm: 16 Sanderling actively feeding on foreshore

Posted September 11th, 2013 at 4:15 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

First significant numbers of Meadow Pipits today - 30+. 2 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat and 1 Stonechat.

Posted September 11th, 2013 at 3:16 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime in the hide until about 1.45. An Osprey was on the usual post, tucking in to a recent catch. Plenty of waders although most of the small ones had left before I arrived. 1 Curlew Sandpiper and at least 4 Knot were the highlights.

Posted September 11th, 2013 at 2:07 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

5 Wigeon returned to the pond yesterday, and they are still there today.

And there were at least 2 Chiffchaffs this morning, one of which was singing!

Posted September 11th, 2013 at 1:22 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 10th September 2013

Start Point-Monday 9/9/13

Fantastic views of Wryneck.(our first) on path down to Maddiscombe sands. Stayed in sight back and forth in scrub and perching on dead branch with family of stone chats for at least half hour between 1.30 and 2.00.

Posted September 10th, 2013 at 7:30 pm by Gary & Kay Deare in Bird News

Osprey on passage,Yealm

Osprey on passage with a Mullet.


Copyright steve waterhouse .© .

Osprey on passage
Osprey on passage

Osprey on passage with a Mullet.
Osprey on passage with a Mullet.

Posted September 10th, 2013 at 6:54 pm by Steve Waterhouse in Bird News


A quick look around topsham this afternoon from 15:00 till 17:30

between topsham quay and goatwalk produced 13+ curlew sandpiper among good numbers of dunlin and black tailed godwits, 1 bar tailed ggodwits.

from the viewing platform at bowling green marsh a further 2 curlew sandpipers among 40+ redshank, 1 osprey on a post in middle of estuary towards dawlish warren and a second osprey flying around before landing on mud further down the estusry. 

Not a bad afternoon considering it was low tide 

Posted September 10th, 2013 at 6:46 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Powderham & Exe estuary

Quick visit to Powderham and the Exe at high tide today: Powderham: c35 L.Egrets, 13 Grey Herons, 3 Greenshank and c25 Redshanks. Exe stuary by Powderham produced 3 black terns and 1 common tern plus 12 ringed plover and 2 dunlin.

The photo of the black tern is taken from some distance away so apologies for the poor quality.

Posted September 10th, 2013 at 3:40 pm by David Cawthraw in Bird News

River Caen/ River Taw

0915-1200 hrs    25 Greenshank 3 Redshank all on horsey island. 40+ Blackheaded gull, 2 Little ring plover,2 Kingfisher,3 Wheatear and 3 Stock dove. Islay marsh held 15+ Little egret good numbers of Curlew and 1 Spoonbill.

Posted September 10th, 2013 at 2:01 pm in Bird News

Beer Head

Certainly felt like we have entered the 'next phase' of autumn migration up Beer Head this morning, with a small arrival of Chiffchaffs and the first decent movement of Meadow Pipits. The north wind ensured the migrating flocks of Pipits/Wags were landing briefly before continuing west.  Sadly I found nothing rarer than a Pied Fly, although it always felt like a goodie was around the next corner. 

Full counts: c100 Meadow Pipit, 75 Yellow Wag, 5 White Wag, 2 Grey Wag, 26 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 Pied Fly, 4 Spotted Fly, 28 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 11 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 600+ Swallow/House Martin and 2 Mute Swan east!

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher


Posted September 10th, 2013 at 12:47 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Red rumped Swallow - Challacombe

Yesterday morning  (10 am) I watched an adult Red rumped Swallow for 3-4 minutes on a wire, and also flying brieflly,where the A3358 meets the A399 in the Challacombe Area. Good views were had but I was in a slow moving car so no pictures. Apologies for late news.

Posted September 10th, 2013 at 9:15 am by Paul angus in Bird News

Monday 9th September 2013

Thurlestone Bay

Sth Huish Marsh

LR Plover juv. late afternoon on the front 'puddle'  with R Plover and Dunlin.

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 8:38 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

The Red-backed Shrike still at 3pm ranging over the headland.

Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 8:03 pm in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

   Brief seawatch from the carpark at 08.45 produced , 60+ Gannet, 10 Manx & 4 Balearic Shearwater, 5 Fulmar

All todays activity around South Huish marsh - waders - 4 Black Tailed Godwit , 23 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 2 Grey wagtail, 2 Yellow and 2 White wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 8 Whinchat, 1 Water Rail ( good views ),9 Stonechat , 30+ Linnet, 15 Goldfinch, 13 Teal.

At 15.50 picked up a light phase Honey Buzzard soaring over T'stone Marsh - went up the valley towards Churchstow

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 6:13 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Kingsbridge Est (South)

Marsh Harrier juv. NE and into Charleton Marsh 1400hrs

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 4:24 pm by Alan Doidge in Bird News

East Soar

I also spent five hours out at Soar. Similar to Rob, but only 52 Yellow Wagtails. Otherwise similar but had 4 Redstart, 6 Whinchat, Spotted fly and 8 Willow Warblers. 

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 4:13 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A very quick look this afternoon turned up 7 Wheatears and 1 Whinchat.

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 3:35 pm in Bird News

East Soar

Forgot the three clouded yellows & 48 small coppers.

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 2:51 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

East Soar

A five hour search turned up hobby heading south-east, 94 swallow heading west, 54 yellow wagtail, 10 alba wagtail, 22 robin, redstart, 4 whinchat, 4 wheatear, 28 whitethroat, 6 blackcap, 12 chiffchaff, willow warbler & 40 goldfinch.  

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 2:48 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime from the hide until about 1.50. Good numbers of waders, including around 10 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Little Stints and 1 Green Sandpiper. Also a Kingfisher flew through, heading towards Goosemoor / Darts Farm.

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 2:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Possible Rose-coloured Starling - Yelland.

Just had an email from a Keith Prangnell who reports either a juv Rose-coloured Starling or a leucistic Starling feeding with a flock of Starlings behind the old gas jetty between Instow and Yelland Power Station. Keith only saw it from a distance so couldn't 100% nail it.

Worth checking out if anyone up that way is heading out this afternoon...

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 12:26 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Berry Hd

A brief seawatch in what seemed like pretty good conditions (SE wind force 3, vis only 4 miles and occ drizzle) but gave up after 1/2 hour with totals of 1 Manx Shearwater >N, 20 Gannets 13 >N and 7 >S!

Around the headland: 19 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Yellow Wagtail >E, 4 Alba Wagtails >E, 2 Grey Wagtails >E, 1 White Wagtail on headland, 

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 10:19 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sun 8th Sept - Dawlish Warren


Charlie's patience paid off when he managed this shot of a juvenile at Dawlish Warren.

 Red-backed Shrike Dawlish Warren 8.9.13 Charlie Fleming

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 9:04 am in Bird News

Sunday 8th September 2013

Otter Estuary

Saturday 7th - Single Juv. Curlew Sandpiper roosting on beach at high tide with Ringed Plover and Dunlin, but sadly no sign of other 4 birds that Rupert saw earlier in the day.....

Sunday 8th - Had a look for Jonathan's Wryneck north of South Farm Road, but no sign other than 2 Spotted Flycatchers, but could easily still be around as lots of suitable cover!


Curlew Sandpiper and Ringed Plover


Posted September 8th, 2013 at 10:03 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Berry Hd

A short seawatch this evening produced: 8 Balearic Shearwaters, 11 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Fulmar and 1 juv Yellow-legged Gull. Around the headland just 12 Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warblers.

Broadsands: 2 Ringed Plover and an early Great Crested Grebe in the bay.

Posted September 8th, 2013 at 8:35 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Very quiet at Mid Soar this morning, practically birdless. Things perked up at Starehole however when a typically brief Wryneck showed itself for all of thirty seconds before flying off down the valley.

It refused to show itself again despite much searching. (Where do they go)?

Trudging up the valley turned up two Spotted Flycatchers, three Blackcaps and a splendid Redstart.

Elswhere in the area was another Redstart, a Whinchat and around twenty Yellow Wagtails.

Posted September 8th, 2013 at 6:23 pm by Roy McCarthy in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

 After an overninght thunder storm some new waders on the patch. At 08.30 on T'stone Marsh - 8 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin and 8 Teal

On the beach - 25 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling.

Around South Huish Marsh - 3 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Sand Martin.11 Teal

At 11.00 an Osprey picked up leaving the land and heading south .


Posted September 8th, 2013 at 6:17 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 09:00 till 11:00

3 little stints showed well and 1 spotted redshank at least 230+ dunlin 2 bar tailed godwits, good numbers of redshank,  greenshanks, and black tailed godwits, 5+ whimbrel, 1 green sandpiper and osprey on usual post 

from viewing platform 11:10 till 14:00 

a different little stint making 4 for the morning, 13+ curlew sandpiper, 10+ knot, a distant osprey over dawlish warren, and another seen going high south, just before leaving a cracking male redstart was showing well to the left of the viewing platform 


Posted September 8th, 2013 at 4:16 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Upper Tamar Lake.

A good selection of waders again this morning, mainly from the hide at the top end.

2 Pectoral Sandpipers, 3 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank (Juv), 3 Greenshank, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Sandpiper and around 30 each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

Posted September 8th, 2013 at 2:18 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News


sightings for 5 meds,4ad,juv.juv ruff,4 sanderling,juv peregrine07:15-09:30.Upper tamar lake,juv little stint,2 juv curlew sands,adult spotted redshank,2 green sands,4 greenshank,ad peregrine,11:20-13:30.

Posted September 8th, 2013 at 11:53 am by Robert Marshall in Bird News

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