Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th September 2014


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

Sunday 7th September 2014

Bowling Green Marsh & Cranbrook Scrape

Just to add to Keith's post earlier with a photo of one of the 6 Ruff's with a Black-Tailed Godwit in the left channel at BGM.

Popped over to Cranbrook Scrape at 1845hrs after BGM as Dave Stone (cheers !!) phoned me earlier to say the Wood Sandpiper was still present. The sun was direct in front of me with difficult light but managed to get some digiscope record shots. It was still there with 2 Snipe when i left at 1930hrs.

Ruff (right) & Black-Tailed Godwit @ BGM
Ruff (right) & Black-Tailed Godwit @ BGM

Wood Sandpiper (Cranbrook)
Wood Sandpiper (Cranbrook)

Snipe (Cranbrook)
Snipe (Cranbrook)

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 9:19 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 14:30 till 17:30

The osprey was on the Derrick most of the afternoon, 1 peregrine and 4 buzzards.

good wader numbers with 6 juvenile Ruff, 1 juvenile curlew sandpiper , 2 spotted redshanks( 1 adult, 1 juv), 624+ curlew , 8+ whimbrel, 7+ bar tailed godwits, 700+ black tailed godwits, 12+ knot, 400+ redshanks, 18+ greenshanks, 2 ringed plover , 9+ dunlin, 7+ lapwing.

28+ little egrets, 5+ snipe, 122+ teal, 2 female pintail, 5+ wigeon, 8+ shoveler, 3+ sedge warbler, 2 reed warblers, 5+ chiffchaffs.

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 8:49 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


4 juv curlew sandpipers briefly before being chased off by yet another dog!!!!!!..Also 3 knot ad,2juvs,3 med gulls,ad,2w,fw.

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 7:04 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Highlights were 2 Tree Pipits (a good record for here) and a decent count of 6 Whinchats. Also 2 Wheatears, 4 Stock Doves, 70+ House Martins, 2 Goldcrests, 17 Little Egrets, 6 Greenshanks, 30 Curlews and a single Whimbrel. 

All in lovely weather!

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 6:18 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Northam Burrows

Just the usual suspects over high tide this afternoon, but of interest was a colour ringed Curlew. It had a very wide red ring on the left leg (or possibly 3 narrow red rings), and a combination of green, yellow, green on the right. Looking up the CR Birding web site it appears that it was ringed in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 5:19 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News


06:30-12:00. Light variable ( from N-E ) breeze strengthening a little by midday. Bright and sunny, unlike Start no sea mist rolling in ( at least by midday.)

14 Cormorant ( in single flock flew southeast over mid-Soar from inland ), Hobby ( nr. car park late morning ), 2 Kestrel ( hunting together on Bolt Head ), presumed Golden Plover ( heard to call about a dozen times in the course of an hour around mid-Soar / Warren early morning, but not seen. Once or twice called like a cross between a Golden and a Grey Plover - hope it was nothing rarer ! ), 19 Stock Dove, 150 Meadow Pipit, 8 Tree Pipit, 22 Yellow Wagtail, 150 alba Wagtails ( roughly 50% split, White/Pied ), , 150 Swallow, 10 House Martin, Sand Martin, 2 Whinchat, Jay, 59 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 28 Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warbler and 2 Bullfinches.

Around 80% of Wagtails and Wheatears were in the large ploughed fields at mid-Soar. Hirundine numbers looked to be building a little before i left. Interesting the Chiffchaff / Willow Warbler ratio cp Start Point, noticed a difference here before. About half the chiffs at Soar were singing inc several unseen ( no Willows in song ) so this might tilt the figures a little but not a lot. Similarly ( although far smaller numbers at Soar ) the Whitethroat / Blackcap ratio cp Start Point, all interesting stuff.

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 4:56 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

River Caen/River Taw

1130-1500.  MARSH HARRIER seen hunting over Sherpa marsh on and off for 2 hours, Only 5 Buzzard today, 2 Kingfisher,1 Blackwit,4 Wheatear and 20+ Dunlin were the best of the rest.

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 3:49 pm in Bird News

River Caen/River Taw

1130-1500.  MARSH HARRIER seen hunting over Sherpa marsh on and off for 2 hours, Only 5 Buzzard today, 2 Kingfisher,1 Blackwit,4 Wheatear and 20+ Dunlin were the best of the rest.

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 3:49 pm in Bird News

Start Point

Before the thick mist rolled in at about 1045hrs there was a good range of commoner migrants around: 13 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Grey Wagtail, 5 'alba' wagtails, 5 Tree Pipits, 36 Meadow Pipits, 46 Wheatear (mostly up around the masts), 2 Whinchats, 2 Grasshopper Warblers (along side road down to Lighthouse), 36 Whitethroat, 13 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 26 Willow Warbler, 18 Chiffchaff, 7 unidentified Willow/Chiffs, 5 Spotted Flycatchers and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. Also 2 Mediterranean Gulls >N whilst I was looking over the tamarisks aby the lighthouse.

Yelloow Wagtails and Wheatears Start Point 7th Sept 2014

Autumns here... Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears Start Point

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 1:57 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Osprey - Buckfastleigh

Osprey heading south, high up following the Dart near Buckfastleigh at 10:15 - unmistakable silhouette in the morning gloom!

Osprey in the morning gloom - unmistakable silhouette

Posted September 7th, 2014 at 1:28 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Rockbeare and Cranbrook scrape nr. Exeter

Around Rockbeare this weekend were two Spotted Flycatchers at Percy Wakely Wood and a few good birds at Cranbrook scrape including 2 Green Sandpiper, a Wood Sandpiper (shown as record shot), two Snipe  and 2 Mallard.  The scrape is best visited at the weekend when building work is not underway and the scrape approached with stealth (some netting has been placed on the fence to aid the approach which is best made on hands and knees as birds are easily disturbed).  For directions as to how to find Cranbrook scrape... go into Forum page and under General Discussion see entry 'Where is it? 

Whilst on the Forum page please see my other item on Dawlish Warren Hide.. we are in danger of loosing it.


Posted September 7th, 2014 at 12:05 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Saturday 6th September 2014


Given the range of migrants in the UK and having missed the Crake at Black Hole Marsh yesterday ( though Little Stint ,Curlew Sandpiper and Water Rail were year ticks for me) it was back to Prawle for a good day’s birdwatching from 7.20am till 3pm. Misty at first but later very sunny, warm and humid. Star bird was a Wryneck I found at 8.40am in a gorse bush on the cliffs opposite Langerstone Point ( have seen about 6 previously at Prawle all found by Pat : “about time too” !) Seen for about 3.5 minutes it then flew and disappeared behind rocks on the headland .

Reasonable spread of other migrants included : 2 Common Redstarts (male and female ) on edge of reserve at 2.45pm and a female Pied Flycatcher seen whilst picking blackberries. 2 Spotted Flycatchers ; 3 Garden Warblers; 1 Whinchat (Pat had seen 5 ) ; 1 Wheatear ( Pat had seen 4) 1 Yellow Wagtail in flight ( Pat saw a group of 30 on the Hump); 6 Blackcaps; 11 Whitethroats; 15 Chiffchaffs including a deceptive lemony one ; at least 30 Robins and at least 350 hirundines , mostly Swallows but a few Sand and House Martins , flying and  coasting east.



Posted September 6th, 2014 at 9:30 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide until 1830hrs.

From the viewing platform at 1545 the Osprey again sat on pole in middle of estuary where it eventually took off and caught fish south of rivermeet house before returning to same pole. Keith then picked up another Osprey flying towards us from Exton area where it flew across and disappeared up towards the goatwalk fishing and disappeared over turf side.

From the hide watching the incoming waders of note were 2 Curlew Sandpipers + 1-juv Spotted Redshank + 2 Snipe + c15 Knot + 3 Ringed Plover + 5 Ruff + c5 Dunlin + c4 Wimbrel + c4 Bar-Tailed Godwits + c10 Greenshank + Barnacle Goose and good numbers of other waders, Shoveler and Teal. The Osprey returned and sat on top the mast/derrick for quite a while before disappearing down the estuary again.

A Hobby made a low diving pass eastwards in front the hide just over the heads of 2 Black-Tailed Godwits feeding in channel left of hide and went over to Goosemoor. A bit later a Peregrine made what looked like several low unsuccessful passes amongst the waders on far side of the pond attempting to try to pick something up. It wasn't until sometime later Keith found a small wader laying down on the mud in amongst the numerous Canada Geese with a damaged wing unable to stand and seemed to have longish black legs with a long black curved bill and convinced it was one of the Curlew Sandpipers but hoping it was something else but in the end had to agree with some sadness.

Most of the Canada Geese went out to the estuary for a short while and about 1/2 hour later some 300 returned and decended on the pond just as i left.

A quick look at the viewing platform again upon leaving showed lots of Sandwich Terns diving around the estuary but NO Ospreys seen on any of the poles.

Posted September 6th, 2014 at 9:13 pm by David Boult in Bird News

River Torridge, Torrington

Nice views today of Kingfisher and Common sandpiper.

Sandpiper image taken from same spot last week


Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted September 6th, 2014 at 8:27 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Teign Estuary

A good variety of waders around the estuary this afternoon: 373 Oystercatcher, 92 Curlew, 12 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, 15 Greenshank, 3 Redshank, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Turnstone, 3 Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel. Also 54 Little Egrets.

Eight Whinchats and 2 Wheatears were on Newton Abbot Racecourse mid-morning, best viewed from the cycle path alongside the railway.

Posted September 6th, 2014 at 7:48 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 0630 - 0930 - birded with Derek Carter and Nick Pratt - 2 goldcrest, 29+ yellow wagtail, 16+ robin, 11+ grey wagtail, 3 little egret, 8+ alba wagtail, c90+ meadow pipit, 3+ tree pipit, 5+ wheatear, c10+ chiffchaff, 8+ greenfinch, 2+ chaffinch, c30+ swallow, c40+ hirundine sp, 2+ house martin, 1+ great spotted woodpecker, 1 green woodpecker, 3 starling, 1 sedge warbler, 1 firecrest and 1 white wagtail.

Yesterday on Orcombe - late pm visit - 1 lapland bunting east @ 1645, 1 whinchat, c10+ chiffchaff, 3 wheatear, 2+ spotted flycatcher and 1+ yellow wagtail.

Mudbank - 136 wigeon, 26 pintail, 1 teal and 6+ mediterranean gull.

white wag - Orcombe Point
white wag - Orcombe Point

whinchat - Orcombe Point
whinchat - Orcombe Point

Posted September 6th, 2014 at 7:44 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Bideford to Instow

A stroll along the Tarka Trail this morning showed the normal array of Black-headed  and Herring gulls plus two Great Black- backed Gulls, also a lone Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, C30 Oystercatchers and 7 Little Egret.

Posted September 6th, 2014 at 6:55 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News


Birding with Ali from 07.20, first at Mid and East Soar, then a look around Bolberry, all in lovely clam and mild conditions.

A passage of Swallows first thing, with 270 going South (c50 others hanging around later) and a single Swift with them. 

A scattering of other migrants included - Whinchat (4), Redstart (4), Yellow Wagtail (31), Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff (24), Willow Warbler (6), Tree Pipit (5), Whiethroat (7), Blackcap (14), Wheatear (6), Grey Wagtail (4), Goldcrest (2), Sand Martin, Robin (c25), Reed Warbler and surprisingly just 1 Spotted Flycatcher. Also 20 Stock Doves, 4 Sparrowhawks and 2 Roe Deer, 

Posted September 6th, 2014 at 6:48 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Black Hole Marsh

No sign of the Little Crake between first light and 11.00 at least. Waders on the scrape included Little Stint, Turnstone, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Lapwing, Common and Green Sandpipers and Red and Greenshank. Single Spotted flycatcher in the hedgerow where a Whinchat had been earlier. 

Posted September 6th, 2014 at 4:38 pm in Bird News

Friday 5th September 2014

Mansands & Scabbacombe Head

Not much on the marsh for WeBS count, usual few Mallards, some Teals and Moorhens, but a Greenshank flew in to the Southdown pool and a Curlew was on the beach for a while. Then had a walk around Scabbacombe Head and seen a male Redstart, a Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher and afew Willow Warblers and lots of Swallows and House Martins flying overhead. Yesterday at Froward Point about 100 yards along the footpath towards Brixham, saw two Firecrests in the pine trees with Willows and Chiffchaff. 

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 10:20 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide.

Osprey was sat on top the mast/derrick most of the high-tide  before flying down the estuary + 2 Curlew Sandpipers (first bird keith got in his scope on arrival) + 3 Spotted Reshank (inc 1-juv) + 5 Ruff + c14 Knot + c4 Wimbrel + 1 Bar-Tailed Godwit + c5 Dunlin + 2 Snipe + c36 Little Egrets + Barnacle Goose in with all the Canada Geese and good number of usual waders, Shoveler and Teal. Hobby also seen flying eastwards heading over Goosemoor and a Jay sat on small tree left of red brick bungalow on the hill.

From the viewing platform the Osprey was located on it's usual pole in the middle of the estuary where it flew up river caught fish off Exton and returned to same pole for lunch and lots of Sandwich Terns diving around the estuary with some sat on the buoys and Keith picked out a Little Tern further down the estuary.

Thanks eds for the info on yesterdays Harbour seal.



Barnacle Goose
Barnacle Goose

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 9:16 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Berry Hd

While running a day time bird identification course on the headland: hundreds of Swallows and House Martins > NE, 6 Wheatear, 1st Goldcrest of the autumn on top of headland, 3 Blackcap,1 Spotted Flycatcher (JL), 1 Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Balearic Shearwatwer, 5-6 Harbour Porpoises. 

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 9:04 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

East Soar and Soar Mill Cove

Totals after 9 hours out today. 14 Spotted Flyctachers, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 28 Wheatear, Garden Warbler, 24 Blackcaps, 17 Whitethroats, 48 Chiffchaff, 18 Willow Warbler, 35 Yellow Wagtail, 8 White Wagtail, 450+ Linnet, a Reed Bunting, 250+ Swallow, 50+ House Martin and 10 Sand Martin. 

Always something in got look at. 

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 8:31 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Wembury, 4th September

Belated news from yesterday : - a quick walk along the coast path at Wembury after work to look for yellow wagtails dre a blank but there were plenty of alba wagtails in the fields and along the beach and included a juvenile grey wagtail.

A green woodpecker, a clouded yellow and 2 common lizards were also seen but best of all was an osprey which circled high above the riding stables before drifting off towards the River Yealm mouth, spooking all the gulls roosting on the rocks below the cliffs.


Posted September 5th, 2014 at 6:53 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Exe Powderham Corner

15:00 Same Osprey seen by Nick, but distant (on derrick) in entrance of Clyst.  Little Gull on estuary (mid-channel, looked 2cy on underwing), 2 ad Mediterranean Gulls, several Sandwich Terns fishing.

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 6:17 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

6 Whinchats, 3 Wheatears and the Little Owl late afternoon. Please note that there is no access to the site this weekend as the airfield is being used for a car rally.

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 6:01 pm in Bird News

Devil's Point, Plymouth

Two spotted flycatchers at the point this afternoon. Both feeding in trees and bushes close to the coast path leading to the Royal William Yard.

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 5:42 pm by Chris Ellis in Bird News

Bolberry to Soar Mill Cove via valley

10 Spotted Flycatchers, 12 Whitethroats, 15 Blackcaps, 3 Whinchats, 70+ Linnets and many Chiff/Willows (est.15 CC, 10 WW)

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 4:39 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in Bird News

R.Taw - off Pottington Ind. Est. 14:10

At last something to report!

6 Greenshank; 2 Common Sandpiper; 24 Little Egret; 3 Redshank; 2 Curlew Sandpiper; 1 Kingfisher and 1 Buzzard in Bradiford Reserve. Still no Dunlin?

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 3:19 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

This lunchtime until about 2.15, the Osprey was on a post in the middle of the river from the viewing platform tucking into a recent catch.

Otherwise, 3 Ruff on the marsh and the Barnacle Goose still with the Canada Geese.

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 2:33 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Back to normality this morning - just 5 Whinchats (3 on weedy runway and 2 on dungheap), 5 Wheatears, Whitethroat and 2 Chiffchaffs. 25 Meadow Pipits on fresh cut grass by the stock car stadium was best count this autumn so far.

Posted September 5th, 2014 at 9:27 am in Bird News

Thursday 4th September 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide in poor light until 1830hrs.

3 Ruff on far side of pool + 2 Snipe + Barnacle Goose in with the continuing increase in numbers of Canada Geese + good numbers of Shoveler and Teal.

From the viewing platform the Osprey was again on the pole in middle of estuary towards the Warren where it flew up river and caught a fish off Exton station area and flew back towards Powderham out of site + Curlew Sandpiper also seen with another 2 Ruff in with the Redshank and elusive most of the time  and later disappeared (Keith also had 2 from the goatwalk later) + 2 Spotted Redshank + c15 Greenshank + c12 Knot + 4 Sandwich Terns close in with plenty more diving out in the estuary further down + c200 Oystercathers flew up from Lympstone area. Still good numbers of Redshank and Black Tailed Godwits but curlew numbers seem really low. Peregrine again over the estuary and marsh a few times with the same unsuccessful passes and circulating high before moving on. The Grey Seal came upon the mud opposite the platform close in before turning around and moving down river.

Black-Tailed GodwitsSandwich Tern

 Black-tailed Godwits                                                         Sandwich Tern 

Grey Seal
Grey Seal (Harbour seal?? eds) 

Posted September 4th, 2014 at 9:19 pm by David Boult in Bird News

A day of surprises

Whilst not in the same league as finding a Little Crake today has been quite interesting.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe - this evening. A big surprise to get the first sighting of Little Owl this year, followed by the sites 2nd record of Reed Bunting and an incredible 14 Whinchats including a party of 9 that flew in whilst i was watching the Little Owl. Supporting cast of 8 Wheatear, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. Clouded yellow also present.

Earlier in the day (around 11 a.m.) whilst treating her indoors to a coffee and cake at Budleigh seafront, unexpectedly a Sooty Shearwater came out of the mist close in and disappeared west towards Straight Point.

Re Andy's posting yesterday regarding Hummingbird Hawk Moths, it has been a very good year for them - i have had them at least 20 days this summer with occasionally 2 together in the garden (i live up in the Blackdowns). Portland has reported up to a 100 in a day - the Obs site is worth a visit. Valerian and Verbena seem to be favourite nectar plants.

Posted September 4th, 2014 at 8:40 pm in Bird News


Short eared owl. Dusk between Meddon and Hartland Forest 3rd September, hunting over rough ground and fields of crops, originally flushed from tree beside the road.

Posted September 4th, 2014 at 6:42 pm by John Heath in Bird News

Black hole Marsh -Seaton

The Little Crake, found earlier today , showed well distantly but in constant view until 3.20pm from the Island hide, before going back into the small stretch of reeds.  A good selection of waders included a smart juv Curlew Sand, 2 Ruff, Green Sand, Common Sands, sev Greenshanks, Ringed Plovers and a Turnstone. Also a Clouded Yellow by the path to hide. 

Posted September 4th, 2014 at 6:04 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Middle to East Soar

All activity in the ploughed fields: tree pipit 1, yellow wagtail 12, alba wagtail 42, whinchat 3, wheatear 4, linnet 270. Also: sparrowhawk 2, peregrine, 61 swallow and a dearth of other migrant passerines.

Posted September 4th, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wednesday 3rd September 2014

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Saw and photographed a Humming bird Hawk Moth at Saunton Park, Braunton today. Years since I have seen one. I have registered my sighting on the butterfly conservation sight. Anyone else seen one this year?

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 10:42 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News

East Soar

15 Yellow Wagtail, 10+ White Wagtail, 12 Wheatear and an adult Dartford W this evening. 

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 9:39 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the midday high-tide until 1730hrs.

Birds of note were 2 Yellow Wagtails around the cattle + 4 Ruff + 5 Snipe + 2 Gadwall.

From the viewing platform the first bird i saw through the scope was a Curlew Sandpiper among the other waders preening on the shoreline on the outgoing tide first of the autumn + 2-sp Grey Plover + Osprey sat on post middle of estuary towards Dawlish Warren + 2 Spotted Redshank + Ruff (now 5 in total) + Common Sandpiper + 13 Knot and the usual good numbers of other waders. Peregrine put all the waders up and bunched them up on the mud.

Lots of Blue Hawker dragonflies around the marsh, very good camouflage in the photo.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Blue Hawker
Blue Hawker

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 7:50 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

An early evening visit found an increase in migrants to 9 Whinchat and 9 Wheatear plus a single Whitethroat.

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 7:09 pm in Bird News

Halls Cleave Wood,North Dartmoor

Superb view of male lesser-spotted woodpecker, a hard bird to get these days!

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 3:30 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A bit quieter this lunchtime (until about 1.50). 2 Yellow Wagtails were the highlight, feeding among the cattle with a few Pied Wagtails before they flew away to the right of the hide. Also at least 1 Snipe and 1 Ruff.

The main bit of the hide is being painted at the moment so currently out of bounds.

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 2:10 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Beer Head

Quite a bit of visible migration over Beer Head this morning, despite the complete coverage of low cloud, with most birds flying NE. Saw 600+ Swallows/Martins, 20 Yellow Wags, c10 Meadow Pipits, 10+ Chaffinch, 5 Grey Heron, 4 Tree Pipits and 3 Grey Wags.

Should have been more grounded migrants than there were to be honest, but lots of Blackcap and Whitethroats about along with a few Chiffs and Willows, two Whinchats and a Goldcrest.

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News

Berry Hd

Short seawatch 0715-0745hrs: 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 16 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Great Skua, 10 Common Tern, 1 Arctic Tern & approx. 350 Kittiwake sat in four rafts on sea, 2 Porpoises.

Around headland: 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear, 1 'alba' Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 160+ Swallows, 30 House Martin & 7 Sand Martin 

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 12:53 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

North Torridge area

On Manteo Way nature reserve by Tarka Trail, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper and a Kingfisher were highlights, also a Curlew and 6 Redshank. Nearby, on what was apparently meant to be a 'storm reservoir' but has become a permanent pond, on a new housing estate on Watkins Way, approximately 200 House Martin and 50 Swallow hawking over the pool and more strikingly perching all over the facades of nearest houses and weighing down the tiny trees around the pond. A real sight. 

Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 11:34 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Back on site today after watching England get demolished at Egbaston yesterday and the birding was certainly better than England's batting!! 

Wheatear numbers still low (6 today) but compensated by 5 Whinchats and a flyover Yellow wagtail. 2 Jays and a Green Woodpecker were the first records for some months and 4 Long tailed tits were noteworthy. 50 Swallows, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Meadow Pipits and a Grey Heron.



Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 10:07 am in Bird News

Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Local patch, Torridge area

(10.00-10.30 rising tide) Manteo Way nature reserve, a small reserve just off Tarka Trail north of Bideford, saw what I imagine will be the peak in its wader passage for the year today: 5 Common Sandpiper and 8 Redshank c.f. the usual 1 of each, and a Green Sandpiper as well!

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News


Two Yellow wagtails over the house this morning and a smart 1st yr Yellow legged gull at the rec late pm. Osprey on the post of Exton, female / imm Redstart and imm Whinchat Bowling Green Marsh early evening.

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 8:45 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


Travelling up the River Dart on Saturday - just above Dittisham on a partly dead tree - osprey with a large fish -about 11.45am.. Sorry for the late posting. 

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 7:01 pm by gwen thomas in Bird News


A family stroll at Prawle enlivened by 15 yellow wagtails spooked by pertegrine. Also 6 clouded yellows.

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 4:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Proper autumnal feel this morning with good numbers of birds dropping into the ploughed fields in the north-easterly breeze. Fair selection of migrants:

40+ Yellow Wagtails, at least 25 White Wagtails within the 200+ alba flocks, 3 Grey Wagtails, 14 Wheatears, 3 Whinchats, 100+ Skylark, 30+ Meadow Pipits, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 17 Blackcaps, 21 Whitethroats, 40 phylloscs, Redstart, many mixed hirundine flocks moving through, 200+Linnets 

No drift scarcities today, highlight unboubtedly the home-made chocolate cake at East Soar Farm.

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 4:01 pm by David Cope in Bird News

River Caen/River Taw

1130-1500  Ihad a great walk down the river with John clark who like me was amazed to see 10 Buzzard in the air together over the toll house. On the river were 50+ Sand martin and big numbers of swallow and the odd house Martin feeding on huge numbers of flying ants. Also seen 1 King fisher 2 Raven 10+ Stock dove 1 White wagtail 1 Wheatear 2 Ring plover and 3 Dunlin.

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 3:49 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit today until about 1.55.

Attention was focussed on the hawthorn bushes that run away from the road to the left of the hide as they contained a cracking male Whinchat, a female Redstart and 2 Whitethroats.

Good nunbers of waders including 1 Spotted Redshank which were being disturbed by a Peregrine when I arrived.

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 2:11 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Suburban Cirl Bunting

During the last few weeks I have been surprised to open my windows at home in Brixham and hear a Cirl Bunting singing a few yards away.At times it was in tops of garden hedges, others on rooftops or aerials as shown.  We live in a street on a small estate,  although I am aware there are Cirls in nearby countryside. I wonder if this is a young male which has had problems setting up a new territory in the  main farmland habitat-hopefully that might be a sign of good population density.  

Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 12:21 pm in Bird News

Monday 1st September 2014

Preston Torbay

The fs Black-throated Diver and a fs Great Northern Diver present this evening also 1 1cy Mediterranean Gull and Curlew on the rocks, plus 4 Manx Shearwaters feeing out in Torbay.  

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 8:10 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

More from Prawle

A surprisingly productive seawatch from the bank below the carpark 0715 - 0845.

789 Manx Shearwater, 5 Balearic Shearwater, 8 Common Tern, 8 juv Kittiwake, 2 juv/1stw Med Gulls, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Skua, 4 Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit. All birds heading west and relatively close to shore.

Walking East, 12+ Blackcap, 15+ Willow/Chiffs, plenty of Cirl Bunting, 5+ Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Yellow Wagtails and 6 Sand Martin with a steady trickle of other hirundines. Did briefly see Dave's Hobby but missed the Kite.

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 7:55 pm by Bill Macdonald in Bird News

Bowling Green and Exe

Popped into the new hide at Bowling Green Marsh this evening just in time to see the osprey (great first bird to see from the new hide, good timing!!) before it flew off down river. The hide's really nice, surprised to see so many birders still viewing the marsh through the hedge now it's open!

Also, godwits were all the way up into Topsham along the river this evening in numbers, including the duck feeding area, never seen so many there.

Several flocks of swallows gathering around, especially over Ludwell Valley Park and the swing bridge at Countess Wear.

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 7:05 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

The Osprey was on the derek in front the hide for quite a while which is on an old barge beached in the river Clyst entrance before flying off + male Ruff + 8 knot + 7 Whimbrel + 4 bar Tailed Godwits + Spotted Redshank + 2 Snipe + 2 Dunlin + c200 Redshank + c250 Black Tailed Godwits + c200 Curlew + 23 Little Egrets.

From the viewing platform a Hobby was seen flying eastwards and the Osprey was located again sat on a post in the Exe estuary off the marine camp area apparently disturbed earlier by a canoeist and was still there when i left at 1400hrs + lots of terns seen diving between Lympstone and Exmouth area + Common Sandpiper + Green Woodpecker heard several times calling.

From Goosemoor the Water Rail was again showing just inside the reeds in it's usual place which is best seen approx 3 1/2 hrs after high-tide when all the water had drained.

The seats are now in the new bird hide.



Little Egret
Little Egret

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 6:16 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Berry Head (update)

Including DMN's counts, totals up to 15:00 were: 16 Balearic Shearwaters (including 5 pale birds), 106 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Arctic Skuas, 769 Commic Terns (c90 still feeding off head when we left, mostly Common, although one juv Arctic seen),13 Sandwich Terns, 1cy Yellow-legged Gull, 4 1cy Mediterranean Gulls. Many Harbour Porpoise were showing in small groups of up to 5, with a peak count of 25 around 15:00. Also one dolphin sp. that showed briefly, most likely Common on size.

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 5:44 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


Hard going looking for passerine migrants in the stiff westerly breeze: a scattering of phylloscs and Whitethroats, a single Yellow Wagtail, a Hobby and best of all a Red Kite flew low over Pigs Nose Valley at 10.30 am. Several Cirl Bunting flocks totalling over 40 birds - looks like they have had a very good breeding season here. A Hummingbird hawk moth by the duckpond. 

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 4:50 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Topsham Bowling Green Marsh and R Clyst

Only intended a quick visit to look over the new hide, ended up staying all morning. As well as the usual waders (incl. Ruff, Knot etc.), an Osprey perched on the tradional mast/derrick in the river, also a single Yellow Wagtail and 5 Avocets (first of autumn?) briefly. A Green Sandpiper was in the area but only heard. From the viewing platform a nice juvenile Black Tern was on show for about 10 minutes.

Black Tern juv. 1/9/2014 Topsham
Black Tern juv. 1/9/2014 Topsham

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 2:29 pm by Tim Worfolk in Bird News


10.00-11.00 The high tide gull roost, as alluded to elsewhere on here, really has to be seen to be believed. More than 100 Mediterranean Gull of a highly educational range of ages, compared to just 20 or so Black-headed Gull, 5 Herring Gull and a smart adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. Hiding in the roost was also an adult Sandwich Tern. Common Gulls on the cricket field. Aside from the Oystercatchers and 1 Curlew, waders were elusive, only eventually found handful of Ringed Plover and Dunlin as tide got to its highest.

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 2:17 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Berry Head am

Seawatch 08.25-  12. 25, joined by REB then MD  and Adele. Sea flat, visibility clear at times with periods of drizzle and murk.

A Little Gull (subadult) was feedinmg to the north initially, together with 2 juv Mediterranean Gulls.When vis lifted after 0830 a steady stream of terns south , most distant but all closer were Common.Final totals by 1225 were 539 commic terns, 8  Sandwich,  8 Arctic Skua, 7 Balearic and 64 Manx Shearwaters.

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 1:31 pm in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A dearth of migrants over the last few days and today was no exception. Even wheatears are proving hard to find at what is the normal peak time for them with just 1 or 2 birds around but totally absent today. A single Whinchat and a Goldfinch flock of 150 (mostly juveniles) were the only things of note this morning.


Friday a Kingfisher on the River Culm close to Hemyock.


Posted September 1st, 2014 at 1:04 pm in Bird News

Yarty Valley

Finally managed a short early morning walk near Stockland yesterday a.m.

Relieved to see at least 2 Kingfishers, Dipper, Treecreeper, the usual favourites still hanging on. Little Egret, Heron, a few Chiffs. 5 undetermined geese flew upstream low behind the trees.

Surprised to see 2 active Sand Martin nests in the river bank, never seen them in previous years. Maybe last years flood erosion has offered them a new nesting site.

An apparent lone juvenile swallow on the wires all the time I was there, left behind to fend for itself? Plenty of house martins but didnt notice any adult Swallows, I expect they were there somewhere, just late getting up!!.  

Posted September 1st, 2014 at 6:45 am by Ian Seward in Bird News

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