Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st August 2014


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

Sunday 31st August 2014

Around Prawle Point

At least a dozen SpottedFlycatcher, with a female Pied Flycatcher in the ash trees by the car park. 3 Yellow Wagtails. 2 White Wagtails.

Large movement of Manx Shearwater this evening, over 200 in the hour I was watching, all heading East. 1 Balearic Shearwater. 2 Whimbrel. 2 Sandwich Tern. Harbour Porpoises and a Sunfish.

Lots of Emperor Dragonflies on the wing. A single Clouded Yellow.

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 9:45 pm by Simon Smith in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Immature Rose coloured starling 2pm in Greenland lake area with small flock of common starlings. Also yellow wagtail, spotted flycatcher and helice form of clouded yellow butterfly during morning

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 8:16 pm by Steve ayres in Bird News


A walk around East Soar and then the top of Soar Mill Cove, in pleasant conditions.

Fourteen Spotted Flycatchers, 20+ Blackcaps (including a flock of 15 in Starehole), 3 Tree Pipits, 24 Sand Martins, c60 Swallows, c30 House Martins, only 2 Wheatears, male Redstart, Sedge Warbler, 16 Whitethroats, 11 Willow Warblers, 21 Chiffchaffs, 8 Yellow Wagtails, c300 Linnets (including a flock of c250 with a few Goldfinches), and - perhaps most unexpected - a Greenshank (heard).   

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 7:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Mt Batten, Plymouth, 2pm

2nd winter little gull feeding upriver.

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 7:14 pm by RichardArcher in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

2 Spotted Redshank + male Ruff in with the usual large number of waders. Peregrine made several unsuccessful passes and sat in tree briefly before flying off.

From the viewing platform a Kingfisher was on the wall of rivermeet house + Buzzard in tree overlooking marsh + Great Crested Grebe in the estuary.The Peregrine returned from Exminster direction before making another unsuccessful atempt down the Clyst estuary.

The new bird hide was open for business this morning providing great views of the marsh with some interior work to be carried out during the coming week and looks to be a great improvement on the old many thanks to Clare and RSPB team.



Bird Hide
Bird Hide

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 6:23 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Start Point

06:30-12:00, early morning hill fog soon clearing and giving way to a bright warm day. L W-NW breeze.

Grey Heron, 2 Stock Dove, Turtle Dove ( near top entrance to Start Farm ), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tree Pipit, 3 Grey Wagtail, 8 Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail ( M.m.alba ), Whinchat, 11 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, 40 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff and 8 Spotted Flycatchers. Also 3 Clouded Yellow.

This century birding on the local headlands off the top of my head i have seen Bobolink, BB Sands, Raddes Warbler,Wrnecks, Pallas's Warblers, many Yellow-browed Warblers but honestly can't remember a Turtle Dove, Mega Rare !!
This century birding on the local headlands off the top of my head i have seen Bobolink, BB Sands, Raddes Warbler,Wrnecks, Pallas's Warblers, many Yellow-browed Warblers but honestly can't remember a Turtle Dove, Mega Rare !!

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 1:50 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Berry Hd

Mixed morning around the headland: 200+ 'commic' Terns still off Headland most north of Berry Hd toward the Orestone (all those that could be identified appeared to be Common), 2 Sandwich Terns, 8 Arctic Skuas including a group of 6 sat on sea, also 1 Harbour Porpoise.

Around headland 18 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap, 6 Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear, 5 Stonechat, 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth, 3 Clouded Yellow Butterflies.

Overhead, the first numbers of Meadow Pipits of Autumn with 19 Counted, 2 'Alba' Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtail, 1 Swift, 90 Swallows, 12 House Martins.   

Hummingbird Hawkmoth Berry Hd 31 Aug 14 ML

Photo: Hummingbird Hawkmoth on track down to Quarry - always a great place to see them. 

for YouTube video click on this link: 

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 1:04 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Darts Farm, Topsham

Hobby over at about midday.

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 12:46 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Avon Estuary inc.South Efford Marsh

Quiet here just 28 little egret, 8 teal, 14 oystercatcher, 32 curlew, blackwit, 3 common sandpiper,2 kingfisher & sedge warbler.

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 12:27 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


176 med gulls.106 ads,3sw,fs,66 juv/fw.11:30.

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 12:24 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Roscoff, Brittany- Plymouth

Ever wondered what is far out there in the Channel?  Well yesterday (Saturday) I was interested in the absence of birds as I returned from Brittany (07.30 - 14.00).  Singles of Gannets present up to one hour out of Roscoff plus a later Gt Skua and Manx Shearwater.  Then nothing until about two hours before Plymouth when the ferry passed through a group of c.100 Gannet and two Dolphin, presumably after a fish shoal. A heavy swell was present, a westerly wind with mist mid-channel and for most of the time I was about the only one on deck!. 

Posted August 31st, 2014 at 10:30 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Saturday 30th August 2014

Galmpton/Hillhead Torbay

While overlooking Dartmouth waiting for the Battle of Britain memorial flight (only 2 Spitfires showed up) found 3 Wheatears and a Ruff (only put in a brief appearance) in a recently 'scraped' stubble field above Long Wood.

Posted August 30th, 2014 at 9:38 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Taw estuary from Fremington (friday 29th)

1730-1830 While walking the dog from Fremington Quay yesterday evening I accepted the challenge to find some odd-ones-out amongst the Taw Oystercatcher and Curlew bonanza, with some success. Walked west along Tarka Trail to join the beach from sea wall back to the Quay. First flock, by the sea wall, had a single Knot in nearly full winter plumage. Next feeding group east, another single treat, a winter plumage Bar-tailed Godwit. Finally, back on east side of creek mouth by the bridge, a single Greenshank. Also 2 Willow Warbler calling from beach scrub. Been checking BHGulls on the creek for ringed birds, just two wearing metal rings so far, no colour rings.

Posted August 30th, 2014 at 6:32 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Soar Mill Cove area

Still quiet just 2 wheatear, 9 stonechat, 5 sand martin, 11 whitethroat, 3 blackcap, 2 willow warbler & 4 cirl bunting. 450 herring gull on the arable fields was notable.

Posted August 30th, 2014 at 3:47 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Around the Teign

Visited several sites around the estuary this morning:

Decoy Lake - 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe

Flow Point - 378 Oystercatcher, 90+ Curlew, 3 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Wheatear

Polly Steps, Teignmouth - 9 Turnstone, Wheatear

Commons Lane, Shaldon - Redstart

Yesterday afternoon there were a dozen or so Sandwich Terns and 6 Bottlenose Dolphins off Teignmouth seafront.

Posted August 30th, 2014 at 3:15 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Preston Torbay

The fs Black-throated Diver is still off Preston Seafront this am. Lots of terns still well out in torbay possibly as far as Lyme Bay. 

Black-Throated Diver first summer.

Black-throated Diver 1st summer Preston 30 Aug 2014 ML

Posted August 30th, 2014 at 10:01 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 29th August 2014

Berry Head

Brief Seawatch this pm 3pm - 5pm

Large concentration of 'Commic' Terms from the headland, 300+ birds feeding with about a dozen Manx Shearwater, Gannets & Kittiwakes. Also 2 Black Tern lingering with at least 2 Arctic Tern and 6 Sandwich Tern. The circling Terns attracted a Bonxie and 3 Arctic Skua with 4 Balearic Shearwater. 

On the walk up from the quarry a Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Hummingbird Hawk Moth and flowering Autumn Ladys's Tresses.

Posted August 29th, 2014 at 9:59 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Exminster Marsh area - Today and yesterday

Good raptor day yesterday: First we saw a kestrel hunting over the marsh, then a sparrowhawk went over being mobbed by hirundines, next a hunting hobby came through and gave us good views as it stopped on a fence post for a bit before resuming hunting and catching a dragonfly. The sparrowhawk cam back to mob it, and finally I finished the day by seeing a buzzard :)

Today we saw a swift over the Turf, and then a whinchat back at Exminster Marsh - viewed from the gate opposite the middle car park!

(Stint and crakes had not been seen at Bowling Green all morning apparently, anyone seen them since?)

Posted August 29th, 2014 at 9:32 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide until 1500hrs.

The Spotted Crake appeared on the far left of the main pond and flew to the righthand corner showing well at times on the mud + 2 Spotted Redshank and large number of the usual waders. Temminck's Stint not seen today but could be hiding in gully area left of main pond.

Viewing platform only produced a few Sandwich Terns. The Vole was again on the roadside walking back the the hide area.

Goosemoor was showing the male Ruff alongside Redshank on the far side and some more Redshank were close bye showing well also the Water Rail was just inside the reeds in it's usual place.

Ruff & Redshank
Ruff & Redshank



Posted August 29th, 2014 at 5:20 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Taw. Torridge. Estuary

Checked Skern at high tide this A.M.  No Terns present lots of Oyster catchers and Curlews. Plus 2ad. And 8 juv. Knot.

 Instow rocks held 101 Mediterranean gulls of various ages,one

Sandwich Tern.  Further Sandwich on river Torridge  plus 3Common.

Adult male Peregrine on usual pillar of Torridge bridge

Posted August 29th, 2014 at 2:51 pm by Malcolm. Shakespeare in Bird News


A look off Paignton Beach this morning: 3 Common Tern & 4 Mediterranean Gulls. There were still plenty of tern sp. 100+ 1-2 miles out in the bay looking like Common Tern but too far to be sure. perhaps the terns will move back closer to sure as the sun goes down - I've noticed the small fish are often attracted to the greatest light source which means the fish and hopefully terns will come back to the beaches in the bay later. Where are all the skuas - good tern passage usually means plenty of skuas too?! 

Posted August 29th, 2014 at 1:55 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Late swift

Single swift in South Molton 0930 Thursday

Posted August 29th, 2014 at 10:12 am by Arthur Symons in Bird News

Budleigh Beach

Flock of at least 14 common terns including juveniles feeding just off the beach early evening

Posted August 29th, 2014 at 8:41 am by Richard Allen in Bird News

Thursday 28th August 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed after the morning high-tide until late afternoon.

Temminck's Stint and Spotted Crake showed on the far left side of the main pool after the rain shower + 2 Spotted Redshank + 7 Knot + male Ruff + c20 Greenshank + 2 Snipe + c12 Wimbrel + 2 Bar Tailed Godwits  and usual large numbers of Redshank + Curlew + Peregrine made 2 unsuccessful passes to put all waders up and sat in tree on hedgerow looking menacing.

Sandwich Tern on buoy and common seal on mud-bar from the viewing platform and Vole close to roadside on way back to hide. Lots of Dragonflies about and seen everywhere around the marsh.

Yesterday 2 Ruff (male&female) showing on far side with usual waders + Water Rail on Goosemoor from the roof viewing area in the evening pouring rain.

The new bird hide is now looking really good and told is on target and should be completed this coming weekend.

Spotted Redshank  (centre)
Spotted Redshank (centre)


Water Rail (top)  2 Ruff (bottom)
Water Rail (top) 2 Ruff (bottom)

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 10:01 pm by David Boult in Bird News


juv arctic tern,72 common12 sandwhich,2 ruff,,10 knot,ad+9juv,2 barwit,4 med gulls,ad 3fw.20:40.

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 9:15 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


Following a call from BMc watching 'hundreds of terns towards Paignton' from Brixham I checked out the Torbay beaches from Roundham Head; there were a minimum of 300 Common Tern including two large flocks sat on the sea of 80+ birds in each flock. Some of the birds were not particularly close (nearly all looking like Common Terns) but I did pick out 3 juv Arctic terns, 15 plus Sandwich Terns, 1 1cy Mediterranean Gull and a 1st sum Black-throated Diver sat just off Paignton Pier (in heavy wing moult - seemingly most of it's primaries moulted so it won't be going far!) 

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 9:14 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 12:20

After reading other posts for the Taw Estuary, it would appear that the upper reaches of the Taw are still devoid of many waders apart from Oystercatchers and Curlew.

Off Pottington and Bradiford Water:- 4 Common Sandpiper & just 1 juvenile Dunlin. A flock of c400 Canada Geese.

Off Penhill Marsh:- 18 Grey Heron and 21 Little Egret.

Off the sewage works:- 1 adult Mediterranean Gull and 5 Whimbrel.


Posted August 28th, 2014 at 7:36 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Plymouth Sound

 Message from Vic Tucker of Terns in the sound during the day -160 Common Tern, 6 Arctic Tern , 2 Roseate Tern, 35 Sandwich Tern . Late evening wed. a Black Tern

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 6:42 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Coleton Fishacre

Good passage of swallows south with at least 80 swift feeding over the freshly cropped Daymark field. 

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 6:15 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Mt Batten, Plymouth 4pm

Group of c.50 common terns feeding on small fish, plus two-plus arctics. 5 turnstone and 2 dunlin, 1 2nd summer Med gull.

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 6:10 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News


1 Marsh Harrier on Braunton Marshes when I arrived.

5 Black tailed Godwits resting on the salting which moved onto the exposed mud to feed as the tide went out.

12 Med Gulls inc 2 juv's & 96 BH Gulls.

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 1:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

East from Instow

Arrived 9.00 (tail end of high tide) in rain. c. 220 Oystercatcher and c. 250 gulls, plus 2 Little Egret, 4 Common Tern, 100 corvids and a Cormorant in the high tide roost by cricket club. 5 Common Tern feeding very close offshore. I didn't get close enough to gull roost for ID but the cricket field 'nextdoor' held (as a sampler) 2 juv and 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 5 Common Gull and 20 Black-headed Gull, along with around 100 Rooks (mostly juv) and 20 Pied Wagtail (some pale ones but no clear M. alba alba). Chiffchaff in the adjoining woodland patch and many Swallow over the dunes.

Further along the shore towards Yelland, a feast of waders roosting and feeding as the tide dropped, beside the first pier/jetty: Masses of Ringed Plover and Dunlin (juveniles everywhere but at least 1 adult with black belly remaining), plus fewer of Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Sanderling (all juv from what I could see), plus handful of Carrion Crow (focusing their mallice on the egrets). Grey Heron and 2 Raven also came over from Braunton side of the mouth. Left at 11.00.

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 12:21 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Day off today so snuck a little visit to the marsh until about 11.10. The Temminck's Stint was at the back of the marsh staying close to the reeds. I also had a couple of brief views of a Spotted Crake while watching the Stint. Also 1 Ruff and 4 Knot amongst good numbers of the usual waders.

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 11:49 am by Nick Potter in Bird News


Imperial Rugby Ground- 190+ common tern in the estuary this morning. Also quite a few sandwich tern, 3 little tern, 1 very smart juvenile little gull (@0705), 2 ringed plover, 2 redshank, 4 turnstone, 1 bar-tailed godwit, 3 dunlin, 1 little stint (@0720), 1 greenshank, 1 snipe, 1 grey wagtail, 1 kingfisher, 4 great crested grebe and 1 mediterranean gull.

Yesterday Orcombe Point/Maer Rocks - c15+ common scoter, 3+ manx shearwater, 1 juv yellow-legged gull, 1 dunlin, 1 second wint little gull, 3 teal, 2+ arctic skua, 1+ black tern, 1 turnstone, 1 mediterranean gull, 6+ wheatear, 3+ yellow wagtail, 1 tree pipit, 1+ juv arctic tern and 1 whitethroat

juv common tern
juv common tern

juv yellow-legged gull
juv yellow-legged gull

tree pipit
tree pipit

Posted August 28th, 2014 at 9:09 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Wednesday 27th August 2014

Around the Axe

Am probably the only coastal Devon birder who's been out today and seen less than ten terns over the sea! (2 Common and 5 Sandwich). Did have a flock of 14 'commics' fly south down the Estuary mid afternoon but picked them up too late. Only species passing here in any number today were Gannets.

Lots of gulls about the place, with a cracking first-winter Yellow-legged Gull the best along with good numbers of the Black-backed varieties.

Amongst the waders in the valley were 2 Ruff, 1 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 19 Dunlin and 11 Ringed Plover.

Yellow-legged Gull
Yellow-legged Gull

In the middle of two juv Herrings with a Great Black-back in front
In the middle of two juv Herrings with a Great Black-back in front

Yellow-legged Gull
Yellow-legged Gull

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 10:17 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Topsham terns

At 8:15pm I heard a lot of Sandwich terns calling above the house. Looking up and in the pouring rain & bad light I saw a mixed flock of terns - mostly Common & Sandwich with some looking good for Arctic. Probably c 200 terns in total swirling around. They spent 10 minutes circling before moving down river. If only the light had been better...

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 8:43 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


2 black tern,1 arctic,36 common,10 sandwhich,5 knot,1ad,4juv

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 8:34 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Start Bay

Did a seawatch from the midway car park along Slapton Line from 09:30. In an hour i saw 13 Common Terns and a Sandwich Tern. Hardly any Gannets or Kittiwakes but a few Fulmar moving south. 15 Sanderling and 6 Ringed Plover on the beach. Was giving up when i heard about the tern nos elsewhere so did a watch from Torcross until 12:00. Good to bump into my old mate Paul Roberts from Bridgend and by 12:00 saw another 19 Common Terns along with 29 Manx Shearwaters, Balearic Shearwater, Peregrine, 3 Arctic Skuas and a Black Tern. Paul had the best of it at first light when he had c 200 Common Terns, 6 Black Terns and a couple of Arctic Skuas head south. Sadly also a dead Otter on the main road in Torcross.


Posted August 27th, 2014 at 6:03 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

South Efford Marsh,Aveton Gifford

At low tide 3 common sandpiper, ringed plover, dunlin, kingfisher, 5 yellow wagtails, 42 alba wagtails & spotted flycatcher.

Earlier at high tide Eric had 22 ringed plover, ruff, black-tailed godwit plus several dunlin & green sandpiper. Juv Montagu's Harrier yesterday!

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 4:42 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Croyde beach - Curlew Sandpiper

Having just gotten out of the surf this morning a juv Curlew Sandpiper flew straight at me, landed briefly some 10m away and then flew past me toward Downend. It seemed to land on the beach again, though obviously it is pretty disturbed down there at the moment...

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 4:21 pm by RB in Bird News

Berry Hd afternoon watch

13.00-1500hrs: 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 93 Manx Shearwater, 1 Great Skua, 10 Arctic Skuas, 8 Common Tern, 10 'Commic' Tern, 5 Sandwich Tern. In Quarry 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warblers and 3 Chiffchaff.

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 4:20 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Head morning sea watch

Started at 0820 although a visiting birder told me Manx and Kittiwakes were already passing in large groups beforehand, Between 0820 -1220' with Tim Clyburn and John Lusher for part , passage  south included 

Manx shearwater 540, Balearic  Shearwater 12, Common Tern 20+, Arctic Tern 1, Black Tern 17 (groups of 8 and 9 around 1210-1215 during clear spell), Arctic Skua 11 (most around same time), Kittiwake 470. The  Common Terns were at times in far distance and seemed to be moving out from Hopes Nose towards deep water. 

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 2:26 pm in Bird News

Hopes Nose

Sea watching this morning 6.15-11.30am in a strong south-easterly-Combined totals with ML .

8 Black Terns, 1 Little Tern, 22 Arctic Terns, 15 Sandwich Terns and 601 Common Terns, 21 'commic' Terns  . 17 Arctic Skuas and 1 Bonxie.  13 Balearic Shearwaters and 305 Manxies.  Also 21 Common Scoter and a Teal with a Mallard south.  

The Common Terns were very impressive with many flocks of 50+ and most of the Terns were passing close by the headland. Heaviest passage was mid morning.

Posted August 27th, 2014 at 2:05 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Instow 26-08-14

A few waders at Instow/Yelland, around 20 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and a pair of Ruff being the highlight.

Attached long distance shot showing the marked difference in size between Male and Female.


Posted August 27th, 2014 at 10:51 am by Roy Churchill in Bird News

Tuesday 26th August 2014


There were still 11 Tree Sparrows on the island today, as well as up to eight late Swifts, a Whinchat and a Yellow Wagtail. For details – and photos of the Tree Sparrows – see

Posted August 26th, 2014 at 8:37 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Berry Head

Sea watch with JD from 12.00 to 15.50. Generally good visability after the rain cleared with a good movement south of Kittiwakes and Terns. Kittiwake raft of over 300 and two groups of 30+ Terns too far out to identify accurately. Manx Shearwater 56 south and 15 north. 2 Balearic Shearwaters south and 1 Great Skua also south. 

Posted August 26th, 2014 at 7:54 pm by Clive Mason in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 14:30-16:30, rising tide

80 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel, 100 Dunlin, 23 Ringed Plover, 15 Mediterranean Gull and 2 Sand Martins


Posted August 26th, 2014 at 5:52 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh up to lunchtime

When I arrived at 0845 the Temminck's Stint was on far side of the pool, best viewed from hedge gap before the hide, and to the right from  open bank area with yellow flowers at rear. Seemed to keep  to the right hand narrow fringe of mud  just bordering the reeds. not always easy to see as feeding in between reed bases at times. Still in same area at 1400 when I left . A Spotted  Crake showed briefly close by the stint several times, and another was reported later am from the reed fringe on the left near the Redshank roost area so probably still two here. Ruff still present and one or more Spotted Redshank in morning tide  roost. 

Posted August 26th, 2014 at 3:56 pm in Bird News

River Caen

Another walk down the east bank this morning revealed 4 Black-tailed Godwits - all juvs I think. 1 Common Sandpiper, 25+ Dunlin, but try as I might I couldn't turn any into a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, and a juvenile Sanderling.

In the reeds at Sherpa, a squealing Water Rail - first this autumn. Also there a Pochard and a Tufted Duck. 2 Teal, and a possible juv Garganey.

Posted August 26th, 2014 at 1:52 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Possible Osprey, Barnstaple/Taw estuary

Around 10.30am, having just pulled onto a single carriageway off the roundabout that also goes to the start of Taw estuary, I sighted a raptor over the car in direct flight (NW) towards the estuary with gleaming white underside. Keep an eye out!

Posted August 26th, 2014 at 1:33 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Monday 25th August 2014


checked here for meds again only to find 20 birds between17:35-1820 when again several flew inland dissappearing over hillside so i decided to try and locate them.As i neared my car three flocks juv/fw flew over heading in same direction as others totalling upto 70.I finally located them in a stubble field on new road instow.There were so many calling it sounded i imagine like a breeding colony.I managed to count 180 as quick as i could as on the move and taking off.Most of which were on brow of hill so most likely many more out of view.100ads,80 juv/fw.Before i left rocks there were 11 remaining plus around 100 medium gulls at skern containing im sure some meds allowing a safe total of 200+ in this area alone.No other posts for taw/torridge area so wondered if anyone else had any at same times?.Juvs came from barnstaple direction.Count made at 18:45.

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 11:39 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

More Berry Head

Seawatching from 2.15pm to 4.00pm.

Hectic first hour as the rain cleared and birds moved on mass out of the bay, counted over 140 'Commic' Terns, mostly Common with at least 3 Arctic Tern & 3 Sandwich Tern. Also 4 Balearic Shearwater, 41 Manx Shearwater, 3 Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxie, a Puffin, flock of 20+ Dunlin and lots of Kittiwake (100+ birds sat on the sea off the headland). Didn't pick up Dave's large Shearwater but I was probably distracted grilling the terns.

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 9:00 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Prawle Point addendum

Just rechecked my notebook after reading Berry Head and Start Point blogs and forgot that we also saw a group of between 15 and 20 Whimbrel very close at 7.55am.

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 8:13 pm in Bird News

Prawle Point

Seawatch from 6am till 3pm with Pat M, John L and Frank S. in force 3-4, misty to horizon for most of the time and light/heavy rain , wind veering between SE,SW and S.

Highlight was a Great Shearwater that we all latched onto as it flew past the point west at 10am. Other shearwaters : 28 Balearic ;  382 Manxies west and 102 east.

Skua-wise 3 adult Arctic and a juvenile pale phased Arctic ( very pale/whiteish head and gingery colouration - looking like a cross between an immature  Herring Gull and a Fulmar as it sat on the sea for a while before chasing terns ); also two Bonxies.

11 Commic Terns included at least 4 1st year Arctic Terns and  8 Med Gulls all 1cy.

Wader-wise an exciting but also frustrating time as a group of 5 included 4 Whimbrel and a Bar Tailed Godwit at 7am ; a Curlew east at 9am then at 12.05 about 200 medium sized waders flew west including at least 35 Knot with most of the others Dunlin with perhaps another wader species as well . 35 Kittiwakes including a good proportion of immature and finally 25 Common Scoter flew west.  

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 8:06 pm in Bird News

Berry Head 1710-1800

Managed a short sea watch with my 4 year old, spending most of my time trying to get her on to Gannets and Fulmars, but did manage 20 Manx Shearwater and a tight flock of 10 Whimbrel heading south, low over the sea.

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 7:53 pm in Bird News

River Dart

The Osprey again this evening on the River Dart viewed from the first gateway on top of the hill, 500 yards south of Galmpton Quay. Arrived at 5.10pm, and at 5.15pm I picked it up circling over the far hillside then estuary and then caught a fish off Dittisham Point, at its third attempt . It flew back over the river and landed in the same set of trees that Dave described yesterday. It remained there till 5.30pm but it then disappeared after momentarily taking my eye off it. Also a Sandwich Tern at Galmpton Quay. 

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 7:00 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Off Shoalstone, Brixham

£2.50 well spent for 2 hours sea-watching from the shelter in the dry.Interesting that this morning the swimming pool had to be emptied to clear the stranded whitebait & mackerel.

Quiet at first with Common Terns entering the Bay. An Arctic Skua was seen towards the murk, the first of three.Passage all south of Fulmars,Kittiwakes. As the weather cleared a good passage of Common Terns. I managed to pick out two Arctic Terns & a sp Black Tern.

Three Balearic Shearwaters with a trickle of Manx Shearwaters. At c3.30pm a large unidentified shearwater travelled south at speed.

Lastly tracked a Peregrine towards Orestone on a sortie.

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 5:12 pm by David Leigh in Bird News

Berry Hd

Seawatch 0615- 1015hrs: 10 Arctic Skuas, 2 Great Skuas, 86 Common Tern, 3 Arctic Tern, 3 Sandwich Tern, 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 46 Manx Shearwaters, 18 Fulmar, 18 Whimbrel (including flock of 17 south see Perry's entry below),15 Common Scoter, 4 juv/fw Med Gulls, 2 juv Common Gulls, 250+ Kittiwake (including high percentage of juvs), 1 Swift. Also  3+ Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal.


Posted August 25th, 2014 at 12:30 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

No great numbers this morning but, for Smeatharpe, some quality in the form of a  male Redstart and 3 Whinchats. 6 Wheatears, 10+ Swallows and a male Sparrowhawk.

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 10:55 am in Bird News

Start Bay / Slapton Sands

07:00-09:45, from midway car park. All flying south unless stated

3 Manx Shearwater, 6 Common Scoter ( on sea ), 17 Whimbrel ( single flock ), 9 Sanderling ( beach ), Ringed Plover ( beach ), 3 Mediterranean Gull ( 1 CY ), 20 Sandwich Tern, 22 Common Tern, Arctic Tern , ( also a few distant Tern sps ) and Arctic Skua.

Steady passage of Gannets and Kittiwakes going through. Also a couple hundred Kittiwakes on the beach with a couple distant flocks of large gulls either side of car park.

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 10:55 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Sunday 24th August 2014


59 med gulls.20ads,3sw,fs,35 juv/fw.2 juv black tailed godwits,7 juv knot,50 curlew18:25.Whilst there saw large flock medium gulls feeding over fish off instow so drove over&started my watch at 18:45.First count came up with 88 meds before spooked,then 20+ flew towards roadside stubble field joining an estimated flock of at least 150 medium gulls of which most appeared even at distance to be meds.40 flew back towards beach the rest flying east and dissappearing to view.On counting these and birds on rocks i amassed a tally of 117!.68ads,2sw,3fs,44juv/fw.19:40.Even allowing for duplication of which their is a real possibility due to distanve from sites tho did not see any birds arriving from skern the figures for individual ages mean their would have been at least 118 if they had all joined up(correct me if im wrong maths was never my forte)tho cant believe this to have happened so im fairly sure i saw at least 176 this evening.A whopping increase on previous years.Also today 2 swifts,8 buzzards thermalling high heading north over my house on clovelly rd bideford at 14:20.

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 10:17 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the evening high-tide 1715-1930hrs. As per Keith's post.

Some distant digiscoped photos in poor light of the Spotted Crake farside of main pool + Ringed Plover + Lapwing.

From the Viewing Platform c40 Sandwich Terns diving just off Exton railway station area. 

Spotted Crake (Right)
Spotted Crake (Right)

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover


Posted August 24th, 2014 at 9:32 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 16:15 till 19:15

The temmincks stint showed well at times on the point by the depth marker and seen in flight twice as it moved between near side bank and the far side, both spotted crake  showed at times both on far side.

now 2 ruff both juvenile (1m,1f), 8 ringed plover, 8 knot, 2 spotted redshanks , 55+ dunlin, 1 green sandpiper, 1 bar tailed godwit, 18+ whimbrel, 350+ redshanks, 650+ black tailed gowits( good numbers of juveniles), 450+ curlew, 15+ greenshanks, 9+ snipe, 1 peregrine, 11 sandwich terns, 4 reed warblers, 1 sedge warbler, 8+ chiffchaffs 

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 8:07 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Six Swifts feeding high over the East Lyn valley about 1km upstream of Lynmouth at around 13.00 today.

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 7:26 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News


The exceptional Tree Sparrow influx continues, with Tony Taylor reporting a flock of 12 this morning. Worth keeping a close eye on mainland sparrow flocks...

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 6:54 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Prawle Point and area

Seawatching this morning from 6am (John L.) and myself ( from 6.50 ) till 9.30am . Sea calm at first with very little breeze .  Manx Shearwaters mainly flying west -at least 750 –and 400 east but also feeding parties on the sea. Also  7 Balearic Shearwaters and on leaving a Bonxie flew west. Another good day for Med Gulls with 20 seen flying west when not sitting on the sea, all but one 1cy and one adult wp. 8 Common Scoter west. And at least 50 Common Dolphins far out but some breaching fully plus  spectacular aerobatics.

As for passerines a sprinkle but good range of migrants today included : 20+ Yellow Wagtails and 1 Wheatear at the hump; 2 Spotted Flycatchers , 1 Garden Warbler , 6 Blackcaps, 6 Whitethroats, similar numbers of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers at Bunkers and towards Langerstone.

Elsewhere at Prawle : a further 10 Spotted Flycathers, 1 fem Pied Flycatcher, a fem Redstart, 20 mixed phylloscs,, 2 Sparrowhawks, 5 Sand Martins.  So a good day even though I couldn’t turn my last bird ,heard and seen for a second , into more than a probable gropper ! 



Posted August 24th, 2014 at 5:37 pm in Bird News

Morthoe Point

Lovely Walk with loads of Stonechats and Linnets about also a few Whitethroat and Chiffchaffs.

The highlight was the 11+ seals that were in full veiw and extremely tame.

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 4:34 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two Spotted Flycatchers (adults) and 2 Whinchats were the best migrants; also Mediterranean Gull (juv/1st-w), 3 juv Stonechats, c20 Swallows, Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatches and a wonderful Stoat!

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 3:46 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Osprey, River Dart

Following Mike's recent posts I parked by Galmpton quay and took the footpath half a mile to the left towards Greenway, where the path follows the shoreline past a white house, then set the scope up and looked north. Around 1pm I found the Osprey sat at the top of a spindly tall dead tree, among the row of riverside pines in front of the distant green hillside. Bird still sat there at 1.45 when we left. Reasonable views but requires 60x scope!

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 3:17 pm in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Curlew Drive-Charleton Marsh, 08:00-10:30, falling tide.

3 Egyptian Geese, 26 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Snipe, Common Gull and 11 Mediterranean Gull ( 1 second-calender year bird, rest adults ).

Many thanks to everyone who has taken time to sign the petition calling for the rejection of proposals by the Salcombe and Kingsbridge Estuary Waterskiiing Association (SKEWA), to allow Waterskiing and Wakeboarding into the heart of the estuary at Widegates. If you disagree with the proposals and have not yet signed please take time to join the petition here,  less than a week it has got over 1000 names to it. This has dealt a big blow to the previously confident and bullish SKEWA but it is no time to relax, they still believe that skiing will have no detrimental impact on the estuary and are as determined as ever to get a positive result for their campaign. Please keep the signatures coming and spread the word .

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 12:25 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The 2 Spotted Crake watched together at 7.35am on the far right hand side behind the main Curlew flock. 1 or other then showed on and off till 8.40am at least.  The Temminck's Stint was in the channel in front of the hide at 8.05am and showing well alongside a Green Sand. The Ruff still present, also c6 Whimbrel. 

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 9:43 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Berry Hd

0700-0900: 2 Tree Pipits, 3 Meadow Pipits, 8 House Martin, 32 Swallows. On ground: 5 Wheatears, 6 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaff, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 4 House Sparrows on Head.

This passing long tailed and long headed juv Common Buzzard, gliding on flat wings could have been a trap for a Honey Buzzard! 

Common Buzzard Juv Berry Hd 24 Aug 14 ML    Common Buzzard Juv Berry Hd 24 Aug 14 ML

Posted August 24th, 2014 at 9:43 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 23rd August 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the early evening high-tide 1430-1930Hrs.

Temminck's Stint (elusive most of the time) + Avocet + Ruff + Common Tern + Green Sandpiper + Common Sandpiper + Ringed Plover + 2 Spotted Redshanks + 2 Knot + 3 Snipe + c20 Greenshanks (1 ringed at Aberdeen) c11 Dunlin + 3 Bar Tailed Godwits + c12 Wimbrel and large numbers of Black Tailed Godwits + Redshank + Curlew.

Viewing Platform c20 Sandwich Terns seen diving around a bouy south of rivermeet house with one perched on top.

2 Lancaster Bombers (KCA & VRA) flew directly over the marsh at 1730Hrs  from Dawlish Air Show returning to Exeter Airport which was nice to see.

Ruff (Top) & Green Sandpiper (Bottom)
Ruff (Top) & Green Sandpiper (Bottom)

Common Tern (Top) & Sandwich Terns (Bottom)
Common Tern (Top) & Sandwich Terns (Bottom)

Avocet (Top) & Lancaster Bombers (Bottom)
Avocet (Top) & Lancaster Bombers (Bottom)

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 11:48 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Stoke Gabriel

Osprey showed well over Dart Estuary this evening on Dart Estuary from Stoke Gabriel looking south east toward Dittisham. 

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 8:51 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Not much to add to what Keith saw this morning, but a few more Knot, a Ringed Plover, at least 2 Spotted Redshanks, a Sandwich Tern - heard only - only one Crake, briefly, and a long wait for the Stint. A juv Yellow-legged Gull flew round a couple of times.

By far and away the best two birds of the day were the TWO Lancaster Bombers that flew down to Dawlish and then came back a couple of times before flying off north. Enjoyed by all!

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 8:50 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Juv Rose-coloured Starling and at least one Tree Sparrow still present around the farm. For further details of these and other sightings today – and a rubbish photo of the starling see:

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 8:47 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Temminck's Stint again from 5.50pm, showing on the near bank left of the hide. It had apparently not been showing for most of the afternoon.  The Ruff also still present in the same area. 

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 8:40 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Soar and South Huish

Low numbers of migrants generally, but some signs of variety widening. A Grasshopper Warbler (flushed from my feet and then showed well for a short time in Starehole), Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, 4 or 5 Yellow Wagtails, 3+ Sand Martins, c70 Swallows, 12+ Willow Warblers, 9 Chiffchaffs, Peregrine, 2 Sedge Warblers, and 1 or 2 Sparrowhawks.

Fourteen species of butterfly included a Clouded Yellow.

South huish Marsh produced a juv Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlins, and 15 Sand Martins; and a single Common Sandpiper was beside the tidal road at Averton Gifford, later.

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 6:07 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Lovely morning for birding. Around the Ley: 70-80 phylloscs, increasing % being Chiff-Chaffs, 2 Garden Warblers, 4 Blackcaps,15+ Sedge Warblers, 2 Reed Warblers, 10 Whitethroat ,100+ flock of Sand Martins went through with 4 Swifts. On the beach: 1 juv Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Sanderlings, Dunlin. Also 6 Wheatears and 150+ alba wagtails. Surprised no ringing there this weekend, plenty of warblers about.

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 4:22 pm by David Cope in Bird News

1 2 3 around topsham

Another great morning around Bowling green marsh and from the goat walk watched from 07:35 till 14:25

Started at bowling green marsh the Temmincks stint was viewable in the same area as last night and showed on and off all morning and was still present when we left.

having heard that the spotted crake had been seen already moved back to try and get some better views but it was in the far right hand corner of the reeds on the far side as I was watching 1 in the reeds dean shouted he had another and I just managed to see it dissapearing into the reeds with the other still showing so 2 spotted crakes, 1 was in the far right hand corner just before we left. 

also on the marsh this morning 1 juvenile female ruff, the 1st avocet of the autumn was nice to see , 2+ spotted redshanks, 2+ knot, 600+ black tailed godwits, 1 common sandpiper , 3 snipe good numbers of curlew and redshanks, 20+ greenshanks, with small numbers of whimbrel, 16+ dunlin, 30+ teal, 6+ lapwing , 2 sedge warblers, 6+ reed warblers.

moved around to the goatwalk looking for the osprey that James diamond had txt me about early this morning and watched between 12:30 and 13:15 , me and Stan soon picked the it up on a log on the estuary over towards powderham corner eating a fish, then stan picked up a large bird of prey flying over powderham once I got the scope on it wow another Osprey this one was heading of south west always high until lost to view, then with the other still eating the fish on the estuary the 3rd osprey of the morning flew low out of powderham heading towards exmouth before being lost in the heat haze.

what a fantastic mornings birding 









Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 3:34 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Dart Estuary

No sign of the Osprey this morning from Stoke Gabriel but this afternoons tide is better for a fishing bird.1 Clouded Yellow Butterfly and at least 15 Little Egrets along river.

My best shot of the Osprey from last night! 

Osprey Dart Est 22 Aug 2014 ML

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 1:33 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Apologies for posting Yesterday's  Temminck's Stint photo twice.

Here is the other photo that should have been uploaded which shows the Temminck's Stint which looks like a very small common sandpiper in appearance.

Temminck's Stint
Temminck's Stint

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 1:17 pm by David Boult in Bird News

River Axe

An early visit to Black Hole Marsh on Friday morning yielded good views of the Great White Egret before it flew high and South at 07:20. An Osprey put in some good appearances during the day too.

Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 1:10 am by Tim White in Bird News

Friday 22nd August 2014


News tonight of three Tree Sparrows on Lundy. See for details.

Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 11:32 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Just a follow up from Keith's post with some very distant digiscope record shots of the Temminck's Stint.

Thanks Keith for the great find.!!

Temminck's Stint
Temminck's Stint

Temminck's Stint
Temminck's Stint

Temminck's Stint
Temminck's Stint

Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 9:32 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:30 till 19:40

after a quick look from the viewing platform headed round to the marsh first bird was dunlin then next bird a stint very plain looking shouted to Dave boult who got on the bird eventually showed yellowish legs impression was Temmincks stint after more txtx and calls and with more views with other local birders ( MK, BH, DH, DS, MW thanks guys for your help) eventually nailed as Temmincks stint it was flushed at one point and flew out of the marsh showing white outer tail feathers very well it flew back in with 4 dunlin and  it stayed most of the time on the near bank in the left hand corner at times disappearing from site always distant but still present when we left. 

No counts done as busy with the stint but 2 spotted redshank, 5 knot and 21+ greenshank among the usual black tailed godwits( good numbers of juveniles) 14+ dunlin, curlew, redshank and whimbrel. 

Just after I got home had a txt with news of a spotted crake showing on far side left had side and temmincks still showing thanks spencer

Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 9:21 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Dart Estuary

Osprey fly up and down river viewed from Galmpton Creek this evening on hightide - it kept on disappearing up river past bend in river toward Stoke Gabriel. Seen three times in 45 minutes. Stoke Gabriel viewing the main estuary might be a better bet to view.  

Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 9:16 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Temminck's Stint

In case news has not gone round, I turned on Birdguides website after a non birding tasks day and found a report of  Temminck's Stint at Bowling Green Marsh (left  hand side of lagoon) this pm and evening. 

Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 8:10 pm in Bird News


The Black tailed Godwit was swimming across the R.Caen from the east bank to the west bank when I arrived late aft where it settled until the incoming tide tickled it's belly & moved it several times to slightly higher ground.

Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 6:48 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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