Devon Bird Sightings

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm 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

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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 id@devonbirds.org.

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sunday 25th August 2019

Rillage Point to Watermouth

Migrants on Saturday 24th: a Marsh Harrier, 3 Grey Herons, 2 Green Sandpipers, 4 Black-headed Gulls, 46 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 6 Swifts, 4 Sand Martins, 107 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroats, 1 Wheatear & 1 Grey Wagtail.

On Sunday 25th: 1 Whimbrel, 3 Snipe, 56 Black-headed Gulls, 63 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 34 Swallows, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats & 1 Grasshopper Warbler.

Posted 8 minutes ago by Tim Jones in General Birding

Whitebridge, Budleigh Saltn.

Large presence of House Martin near the farm shop at 10.30am.  Certainly many hundreds maybe 500+.  Also 2 Peregrines over the marshes and 16 Teal (all female) on the estuary. 

Posted 26 minutes ago by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Osprey again perched  in Lincombe Woods. 49 Dunlins in Charleton Bay. On Charleton Marsh a brief Wood Sandpiper, 5 Teals, Kingfisher, 300 plus Swallows, Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit.

Posted 10:48 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exmouth

Orcombe Point with Derek this morning - Tawny Pipit low NW over the top of Gore Lane, calling @0850. It followed a flock of 175+ House Martin, also NW. Otherwise - 4+ Tree Pipit, 2+ Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 1 alba wagtail, 2 Swift, 3+ Blackcap and a Whitethroat. Many other hirundines, including Swallow moving through but most too high to count - audible only.

Posted 10:18 am by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

central park plymouth

around 16 ringneck parakeet

Posted 9:49 am by barry insull in General Birding

River Taw Osprey

09.30 Osprey on the Taw between Isley & Fremington quay.

Posted 9:33 am by Dave Paterson in General Birding

Crownhill Down

Great morning at base of Crownhill Down, nr Lee Moor: 1f Pied Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat, 5+ Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Tree Pipit (over). Only migrant I managed to photograph though was a Spot Fly! 

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted 8:32 am by Chris E in General Birding

Saturday 24th August 2019

Late Swifts

10 Swifts over Newton Abbot this evening. also 2 over Kingsteignton last evening 23rd.. both late records for these locations

Posted yesterday at 10:03 pm by JDA in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

0830-1320

2 Blackcap, 6 Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, c140 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover (juvenile), 150+ Dunlin, 64 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern, 15 Knot.  6 Turnstone and 4 Sanderling on the beach between the groynes.

Posted yesterday at 6:09 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

East soar

60 Yellow wagtails,oth.erwise only very low numbers of common migrant,s. 1 clouded Yellow.

Posted yesterday at 4:27 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

East soar

60 Yellow wagtails,oth.erwise only very low numbers of common migrant,s. 1 clouded Yellow.

Posted yesterday at 4:26 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

East Soar

A brief visit brought 42 Yellow Wagtails, 140 Swallow, Sand Martin, 10 House Martin & 500 Herring Gulls on stubbles.

Posted yesterday at 2:34 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Osprey in Lincombe Woods  07:30-08:30 at least. 2 Teals and a Kingfisher on Charleton Marsh.

Posted yesterday at 9:05 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Sands.

An unusual sight here ;a LITTLE tern on the beach near the day roosting gulls. Also 2 Ringed Plovers.

Posted yesterday at 9:05 am by Alan K. Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Crownhill Down

4 Spotted Flycatcher at base of the Down first thing. Also mini fall of Chiffchaff (13+) and Willow Warblers (5+).

Posted yesterday at 7:51 am by Chris E in General Birding

Modbury Garden

Surprised to see a pied flycatcher in the oak tree at the bottom of my Modbury garden yesterday 23/08/2019

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher

Posted yesterday at 5:30 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Friday 23rd August 2019

Butterfly

Apparently rare butterfly (Wall) protected under section 41. Section 41 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in England.

Wall
Wall

Posted August 23rd at 10:15 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Garden birding

Sat in garden and heard swifts which eventually  numbered around the 30 mark.Half hour later flock of 10 buzzards casually drifting south.Then a cormarant no higher than 30 mtrs heading towards the coast.8:00-09:30.A mixed flock of hirundines contained 20 house martins 6 swallow and another 8 swifts at14:00.Too finish a low flying female sparrow hawk.All over clovelly rd Bideford.

Posted August 23rd at 9:23 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Garden birding

Sat in garden and heard swifts which eventually  numbered around the 30 mark.Half hour later flock of 10 buzzards casually drifting south.Then a cormarant no higher than 30 mtrs heading towards the coast.8:00-09:30.A mixed flock of hirundines contained 20 house martins 6 swallow and another 8 swifts at14:00.Too finish a low flying female sparrow hawk.All over clovelly rd Bideford.

Posted August 23rd at 9:23 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

New Road, Teignmouth

Afternoon, again skywards, c100 House Martins over, c10 Swallows, a Swift at 13:00 another 17:00. Also a lot of Herring Gulls c60 wheeling in a small area overhead, possibly anting, anyway feeding on insects. Amazing photos of Dolphins, Rupert Kirkwood.

Posted August 23rd at 9:19 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Soar

A Hobby, 31 Yellow Wagtails, Tree Pipit, Sand Martin, Wheatear, 15+ Whitethroats, c30 Swallows, c30 House Martins, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap & Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

Posted August 23rd at 6:58 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Kingsbridge Estuary

From our boat, Osprey with fish over Blanksmill Creek & 13 Common Buzzards together over Frogmore Creek.

Posted August 23rd at 3:20 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Barnstaple Red Kites

3 Red Kites over The Cedars as I write this post.

Posted August 23rd at 1:55 pm by Dave Paterson in General Birding

Rillage Point to Watermouth

05.40-08.15: A promisingly mellow late-summer/early-autumn dawn yielded rather little in the way of visible or audible migration, with the more notable species being a Grey Heron flying W well out over the sea, 48 Swallows moving through in small groups, 2 House Martins, 8 Chiffchaffs, 9 Blackcaps, 12 Whitethroats, 4 Stonechats and 3 Grey Wagtails.

Posted August 23rd at 12:16 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Dolphins

Amazing photos from Robert Kirkland.  Thanks for posting.

Posted August 23rd at 11:19 am by Patrick Case in General Birding

Crownhill Down

One Whinchat with flock of 12 Stonechat at base of the Down first thing. Single Tree Pipit over. 35+Swallow and single Sand Martin east. Good numbers of residents including Green Woodpecker and flock of 35 Goldfinch. 

Posted August 23rd at 8:27 am by Chris E in General Birding

Thursday 22nd August 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

10:15 - 13:00 Lots of waders over high tide, common and green sandpiper, 2 ruff, 2 Spotted Redshank, lots of Curlew, a few Whimbrel, Blackwits, Redshanks, 12+ Greenshanks and the more usual ducks, including Wigeon, Teal. All the hirundines, no Swift.

Posted August 22nd at 11:57 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Lyme Bay (yesterday)

Following on from Nigel Smallbones' post yesterday, here are a few pictures from the boat trip with the RSPB Exeter local group. My dolphin photos are nowhere as good as Rupert Kirkwood's, so I'm sticking to the birds. 

Gannet
Gannet

Great Skua
Great Skua

Fulmar escaping from juvenile Herring Gulls
Fulmar escaping from juvenile Herring Gulls

Posted August 22nd at 10:55 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

exmouth ringneck parakeet

2 ringneck parakeet douglas avenue

Posted August 22nd at 9:31 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Berry Head clouded yellow

Clouded yellow butterflies on the quarry road and in the grassland opposite the fishing area. I saw 2 but other volunteers saw 5

Posted August 22nd at 7:40 pm by Jeffery Hacon in Other Wildlife

Wednesday 21st August 2019

Teignmouth Garden, New Road

16:00 Looking skywards, 60+ House Martin, 7+ Swallow, one Swift and a Sparrowhawk. Lots of Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshell. Great views of a Southern Hawker

Posted August 21st at 8:00 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Torbay Air Show

Superb performance by Common Dolphins during kayak trip early bj (before jetskis) this morning. Brixham to four miles off Berry Head.

8 Sandwich Terns

31 Common Dolphins (10+20+1)

14 Harbour Porpoise 

Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin

Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin

Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin

Posted August 21st at 5:00 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Other Wildlife

Emsworthy Mire

Amongst the numerous Stonechat and Linnet were single GS Woodpecker, Redstart (female), and Spotted Flycatcher.

Posted August 21st at 3:36 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Lyme Bay Boat Trip.

Today's boat trip out into Lyme Bay with the RSPB Exeter local group was fairly fruitful with 5+ Porpoise, 10+ Common Dolphin joining us before we had traveled far from Berry Head. Much further out the following birds sighted, 10 Kittiwake, Fulmar, Gannet, 6 Scoter, many small groups of Guillemots ,9 Shearwater, some Manx but most seen at a distance, Great-black backed Gull and large numbers of Herring Gull. The best was 3 Great Skua chasing the gulls but also young Herring Gulls chasing the Skua! An unusual sight was a Fulmar being attacked on the water by young Herring Gulls.  Another trip on Sunday so will be interesting to see what is about.

Posted August 21st at 3:21 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

BGM

Birded 07.50 until 11 highlight Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper. one juvenile Turnstone, a couple of Greenshank a few hirundines over. Good numbers of BH Gulls but no Meds. Few small waders lots of Redshank and Curlew, Blackwits and a Whimbrel. Kingfisher and juv Reed Warbler on Goosemoor

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Kingfisher
Kingfisher

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted August 21st at 2:43 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Glossy Ibis in Fremington Pill

18/08/19, 11:28; The Glossy Ibis which has been a regular at Fremington Pill for a few years now was showing nicely on the falling tide. It appeared to toss tiny snails (a la Avocet diet?) down it's throat having extracted them from the gloopy mud with it's bill tip. Great skills!! The Common Sandpiper seen in the background appeared to be watching with keen interest.

Posted August 21st at 1:41 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Osprey on the Taw

Observed for about an hour up to high tide this morning (09:00 to 10:00) hunting over Horsey Island & the River Taw was this Osprey (Juve?). It stooped about four or five times and splashed down once, but failed to catch it's brunch. Last seen heading back upriver. 

Osprey over Horsey Island
Osprey over Horsey Island

Posted August 21st at 1:26 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Cookworthy Moor, near Ashwater

The clearfell and forestry areas this morning produced:-

4 Redpolls, 1 Jay, 1 Buzzard, 1 Stonechat, numerous Swallows feeding over the clearfell plus a few Sand Martins, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Crossbill (heard), Blue and Great Tits.  1 Gatekeepe.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne..

Posted August 21st at 11:47 am by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Tuesday 20th August 2019

Late post - Horsey Island

19/08/2019 - Early evening count on Horsey produced the highest number of Ringed Plover I have ever seen at this site. A spectacular 491 in a mixed flock of c800 small waders consisting of Dunlin & Ringed Plover

Visited the site again today early evening & a disappointing 20!

Posted August 20th at 9:51 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Nightjars at Bovey Heathfield

Two birds watched from 20.45 - 21.05. Both female/juvenile. No churring heard whilst on Heath.

Posted August 20th at 9:39 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Marsh Mills to Blaxton Meadow 20/8/2019

Went over to Saltram area this morning.

At Marsh Mills (where the Tory Brook meets the River Plym) was a Dipper (Coloured Rings: Red over Orange Right Leg ;Yellow over Grey? Left Leg).

On Blaxton Meadow 20 or so Curlew,  2 Herons. 3 Little Egrets, .a single Oystercatcher and about 80 Canada Geese.  Also a very photogenic Robin.

Other things were about 10 Painted Ladies, a Red Admiral and a Jersy Tiger

Posted August 20th at 7:31 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Additions today Fremington Quay and home farm.

4 Common sandpiper,4 young turnstone,The Glossy Ibis perching " young Shellducks and a large flock of Goldfinches, all the rest as reported earlier.

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted August 20th at 7:30 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Torbay

At least 3 Brown Hairstreaks at Preston Down; also 10+ Painted Ladies & a Green-veined White.

At Berry Head: 3 Clouded Yellows, 20+ Painted Ladies, Humming-bird Hawk-moth, 12+ Common Dolphins & 4 Harbour Porpoises.

Brown Hairstreak, female
Brown Hairstreak, female

Brown Hairstreak, female
Brown Hairstreak, female

Posted August 20th at 6:05 pm by Pete Aley in Other Wildlife

R.Taw - Penhill Marsh and Freminton Pill. 1015-1215. H/T 0932

2 Med Gulls and 14 Black-tailed Godwit among a roost of about 3-400 Black-headed Gulls at the Barnstaple end of the marsh. Tide 1hr in ebb.

16 Med Gulls in a smaller roost of about 40 BHGs at the Penhill Pt end of marsh.

11.30 2 Turnstone at mouth of Fremington Pill and 2 Dunlin and 27 Redshank in the Pill. Water level in the Pill still at half ebb.

Posted August 20th at 4:49 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Butterflies

Brimstone butterfly spotted in an Ottery St Mary garden.

Brimstone butterfly
Brimstone butterfly

Posted August 20th at 4:17 pm by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

East Soar

Migrants beginning to trickle through with Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, 19 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Green Woodpecker (only 2nd record this year). Also Sparrowhawk, 50 Swallow, 40 House Sparrow.

Non-avian: 33 Painted Lady, 49 Small Copper, 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Flora: 178 Autumn Lady's Tresses flower spikes - a sensational count and thanks to National Trust for not grazing this area.

Posted August 20th at 2:24 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Ottery St Mary

Ottery St Mary-Brimstone butterfly.

Posted August 20th at 10:21 am by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

Shobrooke Park/Bowling Green Marsh

Hi, message for Chris Marcol RE his photos of a Bar-Headed type goose from Bowling Green Marsh on the 14th of his month - sorry to post on here but not sure how else to contact contributors - I believe your bird is in fact the Canada x Bar-head hybrid that was hatched here at Shobrooke Park last summer by our now semi-resident Bar-Headed Goose (first arrived here in mid 2014) and one of the many summering Canada Geese. The bird is identical in plumage and I have observed more unusual birds (plumage-wise/based on ring data) to frequently travel quite far from the park only to return again in the next few days, if not sooner, and sure enough, this hybrid bird was present again yesterday evening in our main pre-roost flock of Canadas (see my post from yesterday). So yes, the bird is indeed a Canada x Bar-head hybrid as you correctly thought that it may be, and I do indeed think it is highly likely to be the same individual, as I haven’t seen another goose of this hybrid type at all recently anywhere else in the Devon area. Hope this is of some help. If you’d like any more info about the bird’s history etc feel free to email me on londonbirder@gmail.com. Thank you! 

Posted August 20th at 8:22 am by T. M. Mylett in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Osprey perched in Lincombe Woods this morning. Turnstone and Common Sandpiper in Charleton Bay, Kingfisher in Charleton Marsh.

Posted August 20th at 8:02 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 19th August 2019

Shobrooke Park

Another good day's work on patch produced a few decent finds: the first 2 Cormorant of the summer/autumn dropped in towards the beginning of the evening, the Bar-headed X Canada Goose hybrid showed well in the Canada Goose flock (126 birds strong today) alongside its Bar-head parent, and a patch first of 2 Great Black-backed Gull arrived for a brief swim on the main lake.

Posted August 19th at 11:52 pm by T. M. Mylett in General Birding

South Brent

Presumed migrant whinchat below Avon Dam yesterday, and one on Brent Hill today, where also three wheatears and hobby..

Posted August 19th at 9:01 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Osprey on the Taw Estuary

Osprey on the Taw Estuary this pm. Feeding on its catch then going back for another fish. Looked like this bird was in no rush to move on. Photos were at some distance but hope someone can make out if its an adult or Juvenile from the photos.

Osprey feeding on its catch at Horsey Island North Devon
Osprey feeding on its catch at Horsey Island North Devon

Osprey heading over the Taw for seconds!
Osprey heading over the Taw for seconds!

Osprey banking around gaining height
Osprey banking around gaining height

Posted August 19th at 7:03 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Sunday 18th August 2019

Taw Estuary

Highlights from my WeBS count sector along Chivenor foreshore and Sherpa Marsh, included 49 Knot, a few Greenshank and Whimbrel, 34 Mediterranean Gulls, 8 Swifts and two Little Terns in flight close to the opposite shore - two of four birds seen by Tim Davis from his WeBS sector (Instow to Isley) at Yelland.

Posted August 18th at 9:16 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Broadsands Sunday 18.30

Single ringed plover sighted at 18.30 

Posted August 18th at 7:21 pm by Kevin Bates in General Birding

Glossy Ibis and Med Gulls at Fremington Quay

The Glossy Ibis is still at Fremington Pill today. Great light this am for the bird to show off its true colours. 25+ Med Gulls at Fremington Quay on the Taw Estuary at low water. 20+ Whimbrel roosting at RSPB Isley Marsh this pm.   

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Mediterranean Gulls near Fremington Quay
Mediterranean Gulls near Fremington Quay

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Posted August 18th at 6:57 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Glossy ibis near the egret roost.

Posted August 18th at 6:18 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Instow

On the rock beyond Instow cricket ground were - 8 ringed plover,  2 Turnstones and a great many Oyster catchers.

Distant shot of one Little ringed plover
Distant shot of one ringed plover



Posted August 18th at 1:15 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Teignmouth Sat 17th pm

Single wheatear foraging on the cliff along the the sea wall.

My first for this site.

Posted August 18th at 9:56 am by Patrick Case in General Birding

Pennymoor

Deer photographed late evening in a field near Pennymoor.

Deer
Deer

Posted August 18th at 1:03 am by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

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