Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st May 2014


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

Wednesday 21st May 2014


The Yelverton Swifts are back!  

AlsoI had a Hummingbird Hawk Moth in the garden today - which struck me as very early?  But I guess I should report it on the Forum pages.

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 10:06 pm in Bird News

Painted Ladies

A botanical trip around Orley Common Ipplepen yesterday pm produced few bird sightings but an early Painted Lady was the best butterfly, coinciding with Mikes  at Berry Head. I understand there were also sightings at Thurlestone (via Sylvia Tucker).

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 9:26 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The only bird of note this lunchtime was a Common Sandpiper. Otherwise fairly quiet with 2 Whimbrel amongst the Black-tailed Godwits and 1 Common Gull with the Black-headed Gulls.

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 2:16 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Berry Hd

A few migrant stragglers: 1 Willow Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher on headland and 1 sum plum Great Northern Diver >S. moving overhead 2 Swift, 1 house Martin, 9 Swallows and a single Meadow Pipit. 4 Harbour Porpoise off the head. 

Posted May 21st, 2014 at 8:44 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Prawle Point

Seawatch with John L. from 6.50am (John even earlier ) till 11.45.Conditions changed from NE to SW force 2 to 4 with heavy rain midway. Best birds : 1 Arctic Skua dp east and 1 Bonxie west; 6 Great Northern Divers west (summer plumaged-en route to Iceland ?) ; 4 Puffins west; 97 Manxies seen by me west and 3 Sandwich terns.Also 4 Harbour Porpoises.

Butterfly-wise : Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Green Hairstreak, Wall Brown ;Green-Veined Whites; and Red Admiral.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 10:22 pm in Bird News

Berry Hd

An seawatch followed by a wander around the headland produced: 1 Balearic Shearwater (followed a trawler into the middle of the bay) 9 Manx Shearwaters & 1 Hobby >NW and a Painted Lady butterfly - my first of the year.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 8:59 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Goosander. River Teign

Female goosander and three, possibly four ducklings.  

Lower Teign near confluence of River Bovey.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 8:48 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News


Message from Vic Tucker - A Black Kite watched flying in at 15.45

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 6:29 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime in the hide today. 11 Sandwich Terns had dropped in for the high tide but soon left for the estuary. Also 2 Mediterranean Gulls in amongst the Black-headeds. A Little Ringed Plover dropped in to scamper about amongst the gulls but flew at about 1.40 - not sure if it stayed on the marsh or not. 1 Whimbrel flew through.

A quick look at Goosemoor revealed a good number of Black-tailed Godwits and 3 smart summer plumaged Dunlin.

Posted May 20th, 2014 at 2:09 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Monday 19th May 2014

Thurlestone Bay / South Huish


On the marsh a brood of 5 Shelduck and a male Teal. A few hirundines around, 40 House Martins, 10 Swallows and a Sand Martin. 5 Dunlin on the beach. Just before i left picked up a Curlew coming in off the sea from quite a way out and as it got nearer it was joined by 5 Whimbrel.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 9:30 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Late evening visit to the reserve I was surprised to see a Spotted Flycatcher.

There is lone Coot (male?) sitting forlornly on a partially complete nest. Seems he is unable to attract a mate. Could this be due to the thick mat of duckweed completely covering the whole pond? Anyone any bright ideas as to how to get rid of it? No Little Grebes there either.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 8:47 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Lundy Short-toed Lark

Here's a pic of the Lark I stumbled on yesterday. Photo by Phil Abbott.


Posted May 19th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Crane - Braunton Marshes

Just a couple more digiscoped pics of the Crane taken before.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 6:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Red Kite near Slapton

Red kite seen cruising around (and mobbed by corvids) over Five Mile Lane between Stanborough Hundred and Slapton SX 776 499 between 1715 and 1730 18th May.Heading west in East Allington direction.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 3:18 pm by Nic Butler in Bird News

Berry Hd

Early morning: 2 Turtle Doves seen twice around north east corner of the main meadow. Also on site 1 Wheatear, 2 House Martin. Many Guillemots incubating, 4 eggs noted on change over between adults. Roe Deer and Fox behind the old wardens cottage. 

The one that got away...

   Fox & Pheasant BryHd 190514 ML 2    Fox &Pheasant BryHd 190514 ML

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Apologies for the late post, but there was (yet another) Red Kite flying west over Topsham Road in Exeter on Friday evening (16th) and approximately 18:15.

Posted May 19th, 2014 at 1:26 pm by Ross Bower in Bird News

Sunday 18th May 2014

Staddon Heights

Paul kemp and I watched a Red Kite drift north at 12.55 over the range wall and out of view. Also 25+ Swifts and a handful of Whitethroats.

Yesterday despite an ealy start, little of note at Soar - just a family of Mistle Thrushes, 4+ Stock Doves, a Yellow Wagatail heard overhead and 4 or 5 Sedge Warblers. South Huish added 6 summer plummaged Dunlins and a Whimbrel - on the beach.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 10:22 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Vellator / Braunton Burrows

I'm stuggling to up load the photos of the Crane here us a link to the photo.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 9:55 pm by Simon Prideaux in Bird News

Lundy Trip

Well done to Mark Humphreys (sorry Mark if the spelling is wrong!) for organising the annual boat trip on such a lovely day!

from the boat on the way over were good numbers of Manx Shearwaters and a few Storm Petrels. We did a circuit of the island where several Puffins put on a show with lots of Guillemots and Razorbills.

After landing we had great views of the summer-plumage Black Guillemot in the landing bay and proceeded up through Milcombe, where the earlier arrivals saw Turtle Dove and a couple of people saw a female type Golden Oriole.

Along at quarter wall I saw a small bird on the track and immediately said to my colleague 'Short-toed Lark' - a small sandy coloured Lark with a clean throat and breast but I couldn't make out the dark marks on the lower neck nor the rufous-coloured crown. The bird of course then flew (no Pics). It was later seen by several other birders and there are photos.

Many of us also caught up with the Golden Oriole which remained elusive. A Yellow Wagtail was also seen.

On the way back we had good views of a pod of Dolphins (probably Common).

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Yarner Wood

At Yarner today were 2 male Blackcaps, Treecreeper, 1 male 1 female Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Marsh tits and a Siskin on the Pond hide feeders, 2 male 2 female Pied Flycatchers flitting through the trees, and a singing Wood Warbler with leg rings.

On Trendlebere down 2 male 1 female Stonechats, 2 Buzzards circling, 1 Yellowhammer and several Willow Warblers among the Silver Birches, and a lovely singing Tree Pipit fluttering between the treetops. 

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 8:39 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Around topsham

Very quiet on the high tide at bowling green marsh a few bar tailed godwits among the black tailed godwits, 5 whimbrel, 5 wigeon 2 reed buntings and a few reed warblers 

from the goat walk only 1 sandwich tern over at turf 

a raptor watch from the church at topsham 12:00 till 14:30 produced 13+ hobby 

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 6:56 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Dolton Beacon

On our way home from work, my wife and I were surprised to see THREE RED KITES and three buzzards following a plough, with another family we watched them for about 30 mins before we went home for our tea.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 6:20 pm by Andrew Gooch in Bird News

Tawny Pipit Skern

Dave Paull found a Tawny Pipit at 10am whilst at Northam Burrows for the WeBS count this morning.

On track to Skern, park by second dog bin (on left of road), walk out to rough ground near the sheep pen and it was feeding right on the edge of the golf course here.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 6:18 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

George Mudford

The Braunton Marshes Crane left the Marshes on Friday morning 16 May at 10.00 am, i had been filming and observing the Crane at great distance from 06.00 am from the Toll road. At 10.00 am the Crane started calling and a running take off it climbed to 600 feet and circled to get its bearings and headed south just left of Appledore.  

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 4:34 pm by George Mudford in Bird News


Cuckoo at Clearbrook early this morning.  Please use our interactive map on the front page of our website to enter your cuckoo sightings.  Any with today's date produce a red dot, earlier sightings posted add to the blue dots already showing.  You can zoom in and see more details of the locations.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 2:02 pm in Bird News

Braunton Marshes

No sign of the Crane on Braunton Marshes earlier this morning during the WeBS Count.

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 1:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Cuckoo near widecombe, being hounded by meadow pipits,calling well, took flight after about 10 minutes of me watching, with meadow pipits in hot pursuit, also a very pale buzzard in a tree opposite. Also plenty of linnets 

Posted May 18th, 2014 at 8:14 am by Graeme Davey in Bird News

Saturday 17th May 2014

Taw estuary ringing N Devon

Red Kite and Buzzard overhead. Birds caught included Cetti's, Sedge, Reed Warbler. One Reed Warbler ringed by Jon Turner at Velator as a fledgling in 2011, so 3 round trips to Africa since then, and now breeding maybe a few km from hatch site.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 9:42 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

Brian H had 2 Temminck's Stints late this evening on Powderham Marsh from viewing platform. Also an Egyptian Goose.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 9:27 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Isley Marsh area. 0635 - 0845

Tarka Trail - Pair of Bullfinch; Blackcap; Chiff Chaff; Common Whitethroat and a Cetti`s(heard only)

Jetty Roost - 5 Bar-tailed Godwit; C150 O/catcher; 5 Curlew; 7 Dunlin; 1 Ringed Plover and 4 Whimbrel. Cetti`s and Reed Warblers heard in Overflow Pond reedbed.

Ashbeds - 2 Raven, several Skylarks; 1 male Reed Bunting and 3 Pochard on the small pond on top the ashbeds. All 3 flew off towards Horsey Island/Sherpa Marsh. 1 Cetti seen in pond reedbed.

Isley Marsh Reserve - Just 26 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel and a few Canada Geese. Cetti`s and Reed Warblers heard in the damaged reedbed just inside the reserve gate.


Posted May 17th, 2014 at 8:31 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Goosander and chicks

Watched this family of 8 chicks for a while on the River Teign at Dunsford.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 6:15 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News


Saw a Cuckoo in Devon today, but only just! Took the road NE out of North Molton and turned left at the top of the hill into the valley between Darlick Moors and N Molton Ridge. The male was taunting a few Meadow Pipits. Also there a pair and a singing male Whinchat and a rolling Raven.

While I was away, last week, Sue Bruce heard a Cuckoo calling at Wrafton, but was unable to see it.

There are 9 juvenile Canada Geese in the Velator reserve.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 6:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Around topsham

started at Bowling green marsh hide from 07:30 till 10:15

the female ruff again showed well and the 1st summer little gull stayed in for a bit longer today, 21+ bar tailed godwits, 131+ black tailed godwits, 4+ common gull, 1 gadwall , 5 wigeon, but the best was a stunning RED KITE that  put everything on the marsh up in the air at 09:02 then circled over the house behind the hide for 5 minutes before drifting of west. 

Then did a raptor watch from 11:30 till 15:30 from the church at topsham giving great views across exminster marsh in total 26+ hobby ( 2 groups of 4 flew straight through over the motorway bridge heading north, 3 over heading east over the church and best count of 15 in the air ( 10 over exminster village and 5 over the marsh ) great sight, also 30+ buzzards, 7 sparrowhawk, 2 kestrel, 1 peregrine.

a very good days birding 

also had a text from James diamond another RED KITE over exminster heading east at 16:25.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 5:59 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Birds at Yarner wood

What lovely sights & sounds from a devon wood on a fine summers day.

Pied Flycatcher both m.& f.4-5 birds

spotted flycatcher 3. Wood warblers 4-5

Garden warbler 3-4

Nuthatch at least 2 on feeders & trees

Treecreepers  looking like mice climbing the trunks of tree.

All the birds singing their hearts out!

S J & A M Turner

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 5:51 pm by Stephen John Turner in Bird News

Red Kite Nr South Molton

A single Red Kite spotted just off the A399 about 2 miles north of South Molton. On the 'B' road that heads up towards Exmoor.

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 5:27 pm by Chris Triggs in Bird News

Shallowford Exmoor


Another Red Kite seen today circling over Exmoor near Shallowford Farm early this afternoon.  Male Cuckoo seen and heard and we were also pleased to hear the bubbling note of the female .

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 3:51 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Just one bird of note but an absolute monster of a Wheatear that will be taking on all comers when it reaches Greenland!

4 stock doves and 3 buzzards in the air - hoping for a kite over the next few days!


Posted May 17th, 2014 at 1:52 pm in Bird News

Red kites, Redstarts and Pied flies.

Took our dog for a walk up in the woods near Skaigh again and found 3 pairs of pied flies. While watching one pair, a beautiful Red Kite with almost no moult drifted over and was then joined by another! Started to walk home and we then noticed a lovely male Redstart in a willow tree, which was then joined by a female.                  Also many blackcaps, willow warblers, ravens, tits and chiffchaffs. 

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 11:29 am by Tom Michie in Bird News

heard cuckoo

heard cuckoo wed 14h may at 7.30 evening bickington newton abbot, flying 

Posted May 17th, 2014 at 11:18 am by mavis floyd in Bird News

Friday 16th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 18:15 till 20:30

the 1st summer little gull dropped in again but only for a few minutes, the female ruff showed well all evening, 147+ black tailed godwits, 15+ bar tailed godwits, 11+ whimbrel, 5 oystercatcher , 240+ black headed gulls, 3 common gulls, 4 reed buntings, 2 reed warblers. 

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Warren House

Hoopoe was a surprise at King's Oven car park, Warren House when we arrived at 8.00 am this morning (16th May). It quickly moved further into the moor though.

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 6:53 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in Bird News

A Big(ish) Day out

Andy Swash and I did a 'Big(gish) Day' yesterday, recording 113 species. Highlights included:

  • Cuckoo and Whinchat around Warren House (we didn't make it pre-dawn to listen for Red Grouse!)
  • Spotted Flycatchers and Redstarts at Bellever and Challacombe, with Garden Warbler at the latter
  • Snipe at Halshanger Bog, Tree Pipit at Haytor and Dipper on the Bovey
  • Great Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck at Hennock Reservoirs (but no sign of the Goosander present the day before)
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Marsh Tit and Mandarin Ducks at Yarner
  • Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler and Redpoll at Trendlebere
  • Gadwall, Lapwing, Lesser Whitethroat and Hobby at Exminster/Powderham Marshes (there had been 9 Hobbies and a Spoonbill there in the morning)
  • Red-legged Partridges at Kenton and Starcross
  • Slavonian Grebe on the Exe at Cockwood
  • Little Grebe and a good number of waders at Dawlish Warren, including lots of Whimbrel and Sanderlings and a male Kentish Plover in a mixed flock that appeared to come in off the sea, circled a few times and then flew off high over Exmouth not to return! Brent Goose in the estuary, but very poor offshore apart from 4 Common Scoters
  • At Bowling Green we arrived in time to see the Ruff, terns and other waders described by Keith
  • Finally Nightjars put on a good display at Stover (2 males and a female), with other males churring just outside the Park and later at Chudleigh Knighton Heath.


We also came across several Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (Yarner and Hennock), Scarce Chaser (Exminster) and Weasel (near Dawlish Warren) on a beautiful warm day. Despite some silly misses and another 20 species that we could easily happened upon, it was an extremely good day out!

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 11:38 am by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Another Red Kite

To add to the flood: a single Red Kite with almost no moult visible over Yes Tor on 15th May, 12.20 p.m.

Posted May 16th, 2014 at 10:14 am by Jeremy Barker in Bird News

Thursday 15th May 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 18:30 till 20:30

a 1st summer little gull spent time between the marsh and the estuary and goosemoor showing well at times in with 200+ black headed gulls, the female ruff was on the far side in with 14+ bar tailed godwits, 100+ black tailed godwits, 11+ whimbrel. 

Just as we preparing to leave the hide at 20:00 heard sandwich terns flying in but even better was a cracking little tern which continued to feed over the marsh before settling amongst 18 sandwich terns which  was the  best count for the spring so far.

also 3+ reed warblers, 3+ reed buntings, 2 Stock doves, 2 buzzards, 5 wigeon, 9 little egrets, on walk round to the hide at least 3 groups of whimbrel flew over heading north at least 70+ in total.




Posted May 15th, 2014 at 10:31 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

RED KITES over South Brent

Early this evening I had four Red Kites soaring above the house in South Brent, spectacular sight and not something I ever expected to see here, they rose effortlessly on the thermals until simply lost from sight.

Earlier in the day had a Sparrowhawk snatch a Mistle Thrush chick from its nest despite the noisy protests and mobbing / chasing by both parent birds.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 9:31 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Crane - Braunton Marshes

This bird which is on private land is mobile & has been moving from field to field. Sometimes it can be seen from theToll Road depending on which field it decides to search for food.

Please do not enter the private road which is used by Braunton Farmers everyday to view this bird or park in the passing places on the toll road.

It is best to park at Velator Quay & walk towards the White House along the Toll Road. Looking right across Braunton Marshes the bird can be viewed from a safe distance from the Toll road. Please do not attempt to climb the locked gate & enter the private road to obtain close views as the bird is easily disturbed.

It is very happy & settled on Braunton Marshes & we are hoping it will stay for as long as possible.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 7:39 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


A lovely 1st year Little gull off Goatwalk and then briefly on Bowling Green Marsh this evening, female Ruff on the marsh and 6 Great crested grebes on the estuary.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 7:29 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Red Kites

The recent May high pressure has seen the now annual Devon influx of Red Kites (wandering non-breeders, most likely from the UK population, now around 1600prs) - right on cue yet another two singles heading SW over Buckfastleigh at 09:20 (tatty bird) and 11:50 (smart bird with little moult) adding to the total of the last couple of days.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Berry Head 15May14

This morning, four singles of Great Northern Diver, flying south

three Whimbrel gradually making their way north along the coast;

one Little Egret and two Cormorant (making a change from Shag!) flying north;

Still a few Swallows, House Martins and Swift apparently coming in off the sea, as well as Wheatear, taking a rest;

Spotted Flycatcher & Garden Warbler, apparent recent arrivals;

One single juv Guillemot out on the sea with his dad, despite the many hundreds on the cliffs.

Ed. This is very early, see Forum Seawatching/Early Guillemot young.....


Posted May 15th, 2014 at 11:32 am by Chris in Bird News

Dean Moor/Buckfastleigh Moor

Heard a Cuckoo (not seen) on Lambs Down, followed by two more calling simultaneously near Chalk Ford.  Coal tit and yellow wagtail at Chalk Ford, Jay at Burchett's Wood.  Also, two red deer on open moorland south of Lud Gate - poss escapees from Scoriton Down?

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 10:56 am by Sarah Salt in Bird News

Kites - Upottery

Like Ian, I saw what I believe to be Red Kites on the A30 just east of Honiton. This was at 17.10 yesterday, 14th May. They were circling just west of the A30/A303 split. There were also 2 buzzards in the area but they weren't interacting and didn't seem bothered by each others presence. There were definately two kites, possibly 4.

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 8:48 am by David Flavin in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite over Harford this morning at 8.05, with an entourage of crows mobbing it - headed off south westerly.  

Posted May 15th, 2014 at 8:10 am by Ann Willcocks in Bird News

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts