Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th September 2014


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

Sunday 14th September 2014

South Huish Marsh

As an addendum to Perry's post, I spent around four hours at South Huish before the Purple Heron showed itself at the back of the marsh around 15:00.  It never flew but was stalking back & forth and was still in view when I left 45 minutes later.  Also there was a Curlew Sandpiper and about a dozen Dunlin being the only waders.  Handfulls of House Martin and Sand Martin were in the Swallow flocks.  Good numbers of Pied/White Wagtails and Meadow Pipits and 4 or 5 Wheatear were in the cattle field.  A lone Sparrowhawk caused a brief bit of excitement causing everything but the heron to rise.

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 10:00 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:50 till 13:00

A very good count of 10 curlew sandpipers among 120+ dunlin, 18+ knot, 13+ bar tailed godwits, 3 ruff, 2 spotted redshanks, 14+ greenshanks, 31 avocet , 1 whimbrel,  good numbers of redshank , black tailed godwits , curlew, 9+ lapwing, 10+ wigeon, 25+ shoveler, among good numbers of teal, 1 female sparrowhawk caused havoc at times and a peregrine added to the panic, 5+ meadow pipit among 20+ pied wagtails, 2 buzzard , 2 jays, 3 blackcaps. 

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 8:53 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Tidal River Caen to Taw confluence

14:30 to 15:00 5+ Blacktailed Gotwits 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Egret, 30+ Goldfinch, 1 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard 1 Female Sparrowhawk, and a fishing Osprey which bought the catch to the post near the confluence. A great site on a warm sunny afternoon.

Osprey with its catch
Osprey with its catch

Landing with the catch
Landing with the catch

And enjoying the meal!
And enjoying the meal!

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 8:26 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Exmouth -

WEBS count from 0825 with impressive count on both sections from Shelley/Duck Pond to Lympstone.  

Over 400 Wigeon, 220 Mallard, 5 Pintail, & 47 Egrets in two clusters in the reeds on the Mudbank foreshore.    14 Brent Geese (all dark-bellied) 10 Bar-tail Godwits and 307 Curlew. 13 Great Crested Grebes on the Lympstone side.    

No Swans today - a flock of up to 25 have been coming to feast on the eel grass recently

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 7:46 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

South Huish

Brief flight view of the Purple Heron at 17:50. Only wader was a Ringed Plover that dropped in. Group of 10 Sand Martins also passed through.

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 6:44 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Wembury Bay and Plym Estuary & Saltram

Little of note at Wembury this morning, however, a gathering of c30 House Martins at Heybrook Bay contained 2 Sand Martins, and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits were on the beach.

This afternoon at the Plym Estuary & Saltram, Whichats had increased to 8, still a single Stonechat and also 9 Chiffchaffs, 2 Bullfinches and 2 Clouded Yellows (tide wrong for wader counts).

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 6:42 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


I notice that  once again on the day of the WeBS count, the Common Crane has been seen today! That's at least 3 months it's been there, hiding away in the network of fields south of the Marsh Road. Oddly I was on that very road at about the time it was seen looking vaguely in the direction of where I saw it a couple of months ago, but a tractor and sheepdog were at work...

Wrafton Pond again had Tufted Duck and 3 Wigeon this afternoon. Sherpa had over 200 Canada Geese, still 24 Swans, 2 Little Egrets, and even a few Swallows. A Common Sandpiper was in Velator harbour. A few Meadow Pipits have also arrived in the fields.

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 6:21 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Ooo nearly 200!!,194 med gulls.132 ads,4 2w,58fw.Quite possibly the six more needed tucked away on the rocks so only counted the obvious ones.Picked aload of blackberries as well so crumble for dinner with clotted cream,ooooo arrrr.Count made at 12:00.

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 5:28 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Cold, grey and misty this morning. However 2 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, Stonechat (first of autumn) and a Grey wagtail. Plenty of Meadow Pipits (30+) around fresh cut grass. 

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 5:24 pm in Bird News

Coleton Fishacre

Did  some walks around Coleton Camp and Brownstone-Froward Point area with Vic Tucker, very blustery winds and after clear moonlit nights not a lot of migrants around. 4 Wheatears and 2 White Wagtails in ploughed field towards Brownstone. No Phylloscopus warblers .

Vic  tells me there will be Society management work at South Huish from Tues involving booked contractors   machinery use , anyone wanting to visit there may find Monday quieter.

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 4:24 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch 07:00-14:00 E-ENE 4-5  (with ML until 09:15). Balearic Shearwaters 66 S (8 N), Manx Shearwater S, Arctic Skua 16  S (3 N), Great Skua S, Mediterranean Gull 5 S (all 1cy), Common Gull 7 S, Little Gull 1cy S, Common Tern 2 S, Kittiwake 837 S, Common Scoter 2 S (8 N), Fulmar 7 S, Auks 28 S (mostly Razorbill), Brent Goose heading N and c30 Swallows heading S.

With now c420 Balearics past Berry Head since 10th, I made some enquiries with our French colleauges about the situation on their side of the channel. Sure enough c4000 were recorded in Douarnenez Bay (Brittany) on 9th September - makes our counts look fairly meagre!

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 3:56 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


Did the WeBS count for the ley this morning and saw 2 Little Grebes, 3 Mute Swans ( pr and 1 young ), 15 Canada Geese, 43 Gadwall, 9 Tufted Duck,  2 Moorhen and 65 Coot. Big improvement on last year (  in January the count registered an unbelievable zero ) so something has changed for the better. Will be interesting to see how Slapton Ley ( which was brilliant last winter ) fares this time around. Also heard singing Cetti's Warbler and Chiffchaff. Lone Wheatear on the windswept beach.


Posted September 14th, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

River Caen

1030   To add to Rob Jutsum earlier post a Common Crane in flight over the marsh and the toll house.

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 1:46 pm in Bird News

R.Caen > Horsey Island

An interesting WeBS count early this morning on this sector.

The Osprey was still on the metal post when I walked past the Fishermen's huts.

Waders on Horsey Island included 31 Greenshank, 33 Redshank, 19 Dunlin, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Black tailed Godwits, 1 Green Sandpiper & 5 Ruff.

Posted September 14th, 2014 at 12:04 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Exe Estuary - Turf

WeBS count this morning started at 8.25. Along the sea-wall 3 wheatears and one, possibly two, whinchats with c10 alba wagtails.

About 150 black-tailed godwits and a similar number of curlew. Only other waders were 40 oystercatchers, one bar-tailed godwit and a single turnstone and all the waders were pushed off by the rapidly rising tide. On the estuary 4 comic terns (all juvs and probably common terns). 17 little egrets feeding on Greenland Bank was an impressive sight.


Posted September 14th, 2014 at 11:08 am by John Waldon in Bird News

Saturday 13th September 2014

South Huish - Purple Heron

Arrived at South Huish at 5.10pm to be greeted with c100 cars and hundreds of people, apparently either attending a local wedding or an organised BBQ on the beach. Local birders told me that the Purple Heron unsurprisingly hadn't been seen again since flying back into the far left hand corner in front of the willows. I joined John Day and luckily at 5.38pm the Juvenile Purple Heron flew out from the far left hand corner, flew down the marsh and stood in full view on the marsh on the seaward side of the second ditch behind the back pool.  After 20 minutes of excellent uninterrupted views, it flew back again to the back left hand side of the marsh( Which is presumably its favoured area). On the pool a Curlew Sand and a Dunlin. 1+ Yellow Wagtail and a Hobby was seen chasing Swallows by Carol from Plymouth. 

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 8:08 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Soar and South Huish

A cool, blustery morning around East Soar with Roy and Graham; the sun never came out and, neither did the birds really! Next-to-nothing in Starehole.

Only 80+ Swallows, 5 House Martins and a single Sand Martin, SE, plus c120 Meadow Pipits in the same direction. Also - Tree Pipit (2), Whinchat, Wheatear (14), Willow Warbler (4 including several really beautifully yellow ones), Chiifchaff (14), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Yellow Wagtail (5+), Grey wagtail (2), Alba Wagtail (15+, mainly Whites), Blackcap (2), and Whitethroat (5).   

Later, at South Huish, the juv Purple Heron showed in the open, but distantly, at the back of the marsh (before reportedly flying further away and dropping near the sallows). A Curlew Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit dropped in; also Whichat, Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail and 2 Snipe.

On the way home, a Green Sandpiper by the A379 bridge over the River Erme.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 6:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Upper Tamar Lake

Very few waders present despite the extensive muddy margins - just 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Dunlin.   Also 3 Grey Herons and quite large numbers of Swallows and House Martins amounting to 70+ in total.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 4:14 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Teign Estuary

An Osprey was circling over the middle part of the estuary at 9am before flying towards Passage House. I relocated it in a tree at Netherton Point an hour later. Waders included 16 Ringed Plovers, 11 Dunlin, 9 Redshanks, two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Common Sandpiper.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 3:26 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:00 till 11:00

a good morning did along the lane to start with producing 1 treecreeper, 2 nuthatch, 6+ blackcap, 13+ chiffchaff , 3 coal tits and a group of 30+ long tailed tits, 2 great spotted woodpeckers, 1 green woodpecker, 15+ linnets, a small fall of robins.

from the viewing platform 2 water rail, kingfisher and 5 avocet

from the hide 4 curlew sandpipers among 100+ dunlin, 3 spotted redshanks, 9+ greenshanks, 4 whimbrel, 12+ bar tailed godwits,8+ snipe,  18+ knot among good numbers of redshank, black tailed godwits and curlew, 3+ oystercatcher a posdible ring tail harrier sp seen briefley as it disappeared was one which got away but caused panic among the waders, a lesser black backed gull attacked a redshank which got away a dunlin wasnt so lucky and the rest of the waders remained wary after with more disturbance possible from a peregrine which was later seen meant a lot of birds left heading back to the estuary . 

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 12:29 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Head

Up on top of headland very quiet 8 Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap, 3 Grey Wagtails, 3 'alba' wagtails, 13 Meadow Pipits & 1Tree Pipit (See photo below).

Tree Pipit Berry Hd 13 Sept 2014 ML

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 12:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

South Huish - Purple Heron

The juvenile Purple Heron was seen flying at 11:15 from one of the ditches in the centre of the meadowlands towards the area near the main stream, furthest from the car park.  There were at least two sightings by other birders earlier in the morning.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 12:20 pm by Nick & Gill Townsend in Bird News


184 med gulls.139 ads,5sw,40fw,7 juv knot,peregrine,common tern,08:30-11:15

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 12:14 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Berry Head 0700-1100

Slower this morning than yesterday but still birds moving with some coming quite close after 1030. 

43 Balearic Shearwater, 10 Arctic Skua, 2 Great Skua, 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 3 Common Scoter, 100 or so Kittiwake on sea. Porpoise were difficult to count with regular sightings later in the morning, at least 4 individuals involved but probably more.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 11:51 am in Bird News

Soar Mill Cove

Wryneck using grassfield and path directly above the cove. Good movement of chiffchaff with spotted flycatcher. 200+ meadow pipit with occasional yellow wagtail over.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 11:25 am by Colin Mills in Bird News

Wembury, 12th September

Belated news (again) from yesterday : -

With a wryneck-y feel to the day on a look around the coast path at Wembury and eventually I found one! I flushed it from the footpath leading up the valley from the main beach, it flew off into a nearby clump of sallows where it preened for a short time before being chased off by a female blackcap into deeper cover and out of sight.

Also seen were 2 yellow wagtail in the upper horse field by the stables and a wheatear in the lower horse fields, a singing chiffchaff,  2 flyover grey wagtails, 2 bar tailed godwits roosting on the rocks at Wembury Point with the oystercatchers. 

A flock of hirundines over the main beach comprised 100+ swallow,20+ house martin and 3+ sand martin. 2 ravens flew along the coast and 3 buzzards soared in the strong breeze with 2 of the birds being very pale looking on the underparts and head.

Not a bad mornings walk with 4 clouded yellows being a non-avian highlight.

Record shot of wryneck
Record shot of wryneck

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 11:07 am by Stuart Green in Bird News

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est. 07:40 - 09:15

15 Teal; 4 Greenshank; 4 Little Egret; 75 Dunlin; 1 Redshank; 3 Common Sandpiper; 3 Green Sandpiper flying downriver and 10 Wigeon also flying about; disturbed by 2 wildfowlers on Penhill Marsh and 1 behind the wall near mouth of Bradiford Water. That`s a bit close to the Tarka Trail!

100s of Swallows and House Martins feeding over the flooded saltmarsh off Pottington.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 10:27 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Orcombe Point - 1 dotterel over calling at 0830. Off Mudbank the first brent geese back - 12 birds in the middle of the river - there appeared to be at least 1 pale-bellied bird with them but they were very distant so not certain.

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 9:46 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Friday 12th September 2014


114 med gulls.80 ads,34 juv/fw.upto 1000 medium gulls feeding over fish in the skern area so probly more mixed in with them so good numbers still around,19:45

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 8:53 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


The pond had a Tufted Duck a Shoveler and a few Teal. 2 Common Sandpipers on the pill by the Toll House. 24 Swans 94 Canada Geese, 2 Little Egrets, a few Little Grebes, more Teal and 3 Wigeon in Sherpa Marsh. 1 Sand Martin and one Swallow, no wonder I can't catch any!

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 8:02 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry head update

Seawatch 07:00-18:00. Major passage of Balearic Shearwaters final total 251 south (22 N), movement mainly morning then late afternoon, largest flock 21. Other species as per ML's post in addition 2 Manx Shearwaters late pm. Other totals 31 S Arctic Skuas (5 N), 3  S Bonxie (1 N), Common Scoter 11 S (11 N), 6 Common Tern, 4 Sandwich Terns, c2000 Kittiwakes. Top photo of part (10) of the 21 Balearic flock (click to enlarge).

Balearic ShearwatersArctic Skua

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 7:15 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Instow Cricket Ground-Isley Marsh

The Osprey was still on post over the Chivenor side of the river, moved fromone post near the wooden sheds to the well used one further east.

Lots of activity in the brambles by the pond with Stonechat, Blackcap and Whitethroat. Alsoa possible Whinchat which was briefly seen but could not be relocated. Very large bright supercilium. 

Higblights were the two Little Stint on the high tide line between the two jetties east of the pond. Lovely views and still bright in partial summer plumage.

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 7:00 pm by Karen Sims in Bird News

East Soar & South Huish

East Soar (0800-1245)

Best bird was a Pied Flyctacher nr the Car Park. After that it was Whinchat, 9 Wheatear, 13 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, 12 Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, 30+ Sand Martins and 100 Swallows moving east. Also first real numbers of Meadow Pipits with 43 moving east. Pretty hard going really.

South Huish

Nice views of juvs Curlew and Wood Sandpipers on the marsh.

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Fremington seawall / Gaia Trust SSSI

Highlight of this morning's ringing session was a juvenile Sedge Warbler with a ludicrously large fat reserve. Sub-cutaneous fat is usually deposited in the tracheal pit and cloacal regions, but this bird also had deposits covering almost its entire breast muscle! It weighed a whopping 19.6 grams, most weigh 11 or 12g.

Also sighted overhead were 1 Common Snipe, Sparrowhawk, 150 Goldfinch and 100+ Swallow. Greenshank were heard. On the ploughed field at Home Farm Marsh, 1 Wheatear and 2 Skylark. Finally, a Clouded Yellow Butterfly.

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 3:59 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Upper Tamar Lake - 12th Set.

Upper Tamar Lake - 12th Sept.

1 Osprey flying low over the water, then flying up the northern arm to the wooded area - also seen yesterday by the ranger.  3 Grey Herons, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Grey Wagtail, 200+ Canada Geese and 1 Common Sandpiper

Harvey Kendall

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 3:06 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

East Devon Raptors

Just been driving to Ottery from Sidmouth and saw 2 different Hobbys (one in Sidbury and the second on East Hill), also on East Hill were 2 Kestrels circling with a Buzzard.  Nice car journey, sad that a Kestrel is quite a scarce spot now though.

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 2:25 pm by Ben Rowland in Bird News

Soar Mill Cove Area

Still quiet up here, best being 30 golden plover over, 52 swallow, 11 alba wagtail, wheatear, stonechat 18, whitethroat 13, blackcap 11, chiffchaff 9, linnet 104, cirl bunting 15 & yellowhammer 3.

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 2:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Osprey on the Taw

Osprey still present on post near the end of the Caen.

I watched it arrive at the post at around 13:45

Posted September 12th, 2014 at 1:55 pm by Chris Triggs in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching 0700-1100hrs: 155 Balearic Shearwaters >S ( 18>N), 12 Arctic Skuas >S (3>N), Great Skua 2 >S 1 (>N), 1 fw Little Gull 1260 Kittiwake >S many resting on sea in large flocks, 2 juv Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Sandwich and 2 Common Terns, 1 Mediterranean Gull >N, 11 Common Scoter >N (8>S) also 1 Ocean Sunfish >N 5-6 Harbour Porpoise, 3 probable Risso's Dolphins (unable to rule out White-beaked Dolphin entirely) 1 Grey Seal.

Overhead while seawatching: 1 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Grey Wagtail, 2 'alba' Wagtails, 8 Swallows. 


Posted September 12th, 2014 at 12:07 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 11th September 2014

Cuckoo - Fremington

Missing pics from last post

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 9:17 pm by Chris & Sally Bollen in Bird News

Late Cuckoo - Fremington Quay - Wednesday 11th

First thought this bird was a Sparrowhawk but since downloading my pics I am now fairly convinced it's a Cuckoo - (sightings report has been submitted). Didn't see bird in flight, just managed to get a couple of not very good pics of it sat in a bush on the foreshore - when I looked back it was gone.

(Yes that's a Cuckoo - SW)


Posted September 11th, 2014 at 8:45 pm by Chris & Sally Bollen in Bird News

Taw estuary from seawall at Fremington

Low tide (15.00), 3 Greenshank flew upriver towards Fremington Quay. Marsh Harrier female/juv flew low over Salt Pill Duck Pond at 15.40.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 8:27 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

South Huish / Thurlestone

The juv Purple Heron that was seen briefly early yesterday and couldn't be relocated; popped up again this afternoon at the back of South Huish Marsh thanks to eagle-eyed Russell Eynon.  Arthur Livett also reports a Wryneck on the coastal path down near the hut on Golf Course.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 7:06 pm in Bird News


3 avocets were feeding on the mud ahead of the rising tide at about 6pm!
Earlier I watched a peregrine hunting low over the estuary, also from the Goatwalk, it went out of sight somewhere around the Turf so I didn't see if it was successful.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 7:01 pm by Helen Whitall in Bird News


Ok, just had a message from Stuart Derbyshire saying it was he who saw (and indeed heard) the Barred Warbler this morning at about 07.30. There are indeed some dead trees with distinctive coloured rope on them! Not far from the gate, apparently. I obviously didn't look far enough!

To add to Jon's post Derek Stacey tells me the "trees with coloured ropes" are actually part of an art display - four sticks with coloured ropes around them - I think he said c50m from the gate.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 5:17 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

South Huish marsh

Thur 11th Sept pm

One each of dunlin, knot, curlew sandpiper and green sandpiper on the edge of the pool, plus wheatear in the field behind the shack.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 4:53 pm by Chris Klee in Bird News


Perhaps it was Chinese whispers.... and should be ...scrubby Guelder rose.....

Don't recall seeing any of that either!

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 4:36 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Barred Warbler

In response to Jon, I found the Barred Warbler this morning (about 7.30) it was down from the gated entrance by the cemetery in the scrub by the dead trees that have coloured rope wound round them. Apologies if the instructions weren't clear, I thought the trees were pretty distinctive

cheers, Stuart Darbyshire

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 4:32 pm by Stuart Darbyshire in Bird News

Osprey at the River Erme

At 2.48pm today an osprey was seen flying up the River Erme scattering the gull population. Viewed from Mothercombe side of the river at low tide.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 4:32 pm by Liz Harris and Mandy Mander in Bird News

R Caen

Photo sent in by John Clark (more in Gallery) of Gull attack on the local R Caen Osprey.

Osprey J Clark R Caen


Posted September 11th, 2014 at 4:23 pm in Bird News

River Caen

1030-1445.   The Osprey was on the post at the mouth of the caen for at least 4 hours giving a lot of people good veiws. Also today 8 Little grebe,2 Common sandpiper,3 Blackwit on the river. Horsey island held 34 Greenshank.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 4:06 pm in Bird News

Morte Point

News of a Barred Warbler had me arriving on site at about 11 but the instructions were odd - near the gated entrance (I found 5 gated entrances) in 'scrubby colour-roped trees'. No such trees were found in the hour or so I was there.

Anyone with more accurate directions please post here.

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 1:03 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Isley and Tarka Trail

Isley 0900.

The Osprey was on it's usual post at the mouth of the River Caen feeding.

On the Tarka Trail near Bideford 31 Redsthank, 17 Little Egret. 

Posted September 11th, 2014 at 12:02 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Skern. 11/09/14 07:00

The Little Stint was still present this morning together with 1 Little Egret; 1 Bar-tailed Godwit; 25 Dunlin; 1 Ringed Plove; 1 Peregrine and plenty of Curlew; Oystercatcher and 5 G.B.B.Gulls.


Posted September 11th, 2014 at 9:24 am by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Wednesday 10th September 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 16:30 till 20:10

highlight was 7+ spotted redshanks( 2 adult and 5 juvenile ), also still 1 juv little stint, 1 juv curlew sandpiper , 2 juvenile ruff( male and female), 50+ dunlin, 13+ bar tailed godwits, 9+ whimbrel, 1 water rail, 10+ snipe, 12+ greenshanks, 400+ redshanks, 600+ curlew, 600+ black tailed godwits, 8 lapwing.

1 sparrowhawk, 2 sedge warbler, 3 reed warbler, 11+ linnet, 1 pintail, 7+ wigeon, 80+ teal, 9+ shoveler, and a hobby over just after I left the hide.

before the hide a quick look from the viewing platform produced a nice male kingfisher.

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 10:19 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Spent a short while there tonight at highwater...highlights included Curlew sandpiper, Little stint on the shoreline together with whimbrel, ringed plover, Knots  and dunlin

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 9:01 pm by Steve Hatch in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe - part 2

A late afternoon/early evening visit; the Little Owl showing well again, 4 Whincats and 8 Wheatears but the star bird of the day and indeed of the autumn so far was a male Pied Flycatcher sitting on temporary fencing by the stock car stadium - a first for the site. It flew to one of the sallows edging the airfield. 

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 7:40 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch 11:00-17:00, in sunshine and a brisk ESE F4. On arrival a  large feeding aggregation in the entrance of Torbay, mostly large gulls, but also c450 Kittiwakes and c50 Gannets. In amongst these were 3 Common Terns, 2 Sandwich Terns, 3 Mediterranean Gull (ad & 2 1cy), 1cy Little Gull, 6 Arctic Skuas (most further out) and a sub-adult Pomarine Skua. Also 51 Balearic Shearwaters, up to six were feeding with stronger passage building late afternoon, moving through in groups of 4-5.

Balearic Shearwaters

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 7:09 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Osprey and Spoonbills.

         Osprey located on same post as photograph off Chivener and r.Caen. Disturbed by casual walker on riverbank and salt marsh ,flew off up r.Taw,    5 minutes later I would have missed it!

          Nearby the first two returning Spoonbills were roosting on Isley marsh.     One an adult,the other kept its head tucked in.

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 1:52 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Relatively speaking another good morning (relative in terms of an inland site with little or no water and surrounded by intense agriculture compared to coastal/estuary site!).

Nothing in quantity (the clear night put paid to that) but 8 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat and the Redstart still and showing well. A light passage of Swallows (50+ south west), an increase in Meadow Pipits (30+) and Chiffchaffs (5) plus the first Snipe of the autumn. 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and a Hobby.


Posted September 10th, 2014 at 1:13 pm in Bird News

River Caen

Walked down the east bank again this morning to see if John's Osprey was still present. A birder on the opposite side said it was but also a Wryneck 'down the Toll road'. So I hastened down to the mouth of the river, and there indeed was the Osprey on the usual post. A Wheatear also present. Back to the bike and off down the toll road. At the designated spot, no Wryneck.... I was joined by Ian Taylor and two others (John & ?) but no sign. There were however probably 28 Greenshank and 2 Black-tailed Godwits roosting in Horsey Mere. Lots of Redshank there too. The Marsh Harrier was also seen. Then the Osprey joined in the fun flying over and even swooping down to the mere. All it did was disturb all the waders! Had to leave at 11.40, Wryneck-less.

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 12:26 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Had red letter morning yesterday at my ringing site at Mansands . First bird of the day was Cettis warbler followed couple hours later by this stunning creature ! Lots of Blackcaps & chiffs moving also .

Cettis warbler
Cettis warbler

wryneck body shot
wryneck body shot

wryneck portrait
wryneck portrait

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 11:08 am by David Scott in Bird News

Braunton Great Field

Hobby flying low but purposefully south east at 9.15. Looked to be juvenile based on only slightly buff vent.

Posted September 10th, 2014 at 11:03 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Tuesday 9th September 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 16:50 till 19:50

good numbers of waders with 1 juv little stint, 2 juv curlew sandpiper, 7+ ruff, 18+ knot, 7+ dunlin, 4 spotted redshank( 2 adult, 2 juv) , 9+ bar tailed godwits, 8+ whimbrel , 600+ curlew , 700+ black tailed godwits, 400+ redshanks, 7+ lapwing, 12+ greenshanks.

3 yellow wagtails ( 2 juv, 1 adult), 8+ snipe, 2 little egrets.

Posted September 9th, 2014 at 11:27 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Another good afternoon for migrants - 14 Wheatears, 5 Whinchats and the 2nd Redstart of the autumn (juv/female type). Little Owl showing well.

Posted September 9th, 2014 at 9:38 pm in Bird News


Very high tide and only small waders along the tiny bit of beach, but this did have the advantage of bringing them much closer! About 30 Dunlin, 8 Knot, 4 Little Stint and 9 Curlew Sandpiper. Good numbers of Swallows over the pond. Needless to say a dog was allowed on to the beach and then sticks thrown into the the water........

Posted September 9th, 2014 at 8:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Osprey - Chivenor

Seen by John Clark at around 10.30 to 10.45am today 09.09.2014 at the mouth of the Caen behind Chivenor.

Osprey, Chivenor, John Clark 9.9.2014

Posted September 9th, 2014 at 4:33 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 1.50. 1 Little Stint was on the mud on the right hand side of the channel, creeping its way along the edge towards the right hand corner. Also, 4 Ruff, 2+ Yellow Wagtails and 1 Bar-headed Goose. An Osprey was sat on the usual derrick throughout.

Posted September 9th, 2014 at 2:07 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Monday 8th September 2014

Sherpa Marsh

Evening stroll at high tide revealed at least 6 Little Grebes, 2 Little Egrets, 16 Swans, 160+ Canada Geese (and the white-necked hybrid goose), 2 Lapwing, a female-type Shoveler, some Teal and a Snipe. Best was probably the Green Sandpiper. Only 30 or so Swallows.

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 10:11 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the evening high-tide until 2000hrs.

From the viewing platform the Osprey was sat on it's usual pole in middle of estuary south of rivermeet house at 1745hrs.

From the hide 3 Little Stints (first of the autumn) flew in at 1902hrs on nearside of main pond around the Canada Geese feeding along the shoreline and moving onto to the point of left channel before flying across to right side out of site from the hide but viewed from the road and still there when i left. Also of note were 2 Curlew Sandpipers + 6 Ruff + 4 Spotted Redshank + c19 Knot + c8 Snipe + 3 Ringed Plover + 2 Yellow Wagtails + Barnacle Goose + Bar-Headed Goose and wader numbers similar to yesterday with Shoveler and Teal. 

Some digiscope record shots in fading light.

3 Little Stints
3 Little Stints

Curlew Sandpiper (right of Dunlin)
Curlew Sandpiper (right of Dunlin)

Yellow Wagtail (top) & Little Stint (bottom)
Yellow Wagtail (top) & Little Stint (bottom)

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 9:42 pm by David Boult in Bird News

River Dart Ospreys and mystery raptor

Two Ospreys today on river Dart, one around Bow Creek / Duncannon and another high heading downstream near Sharpham. Also four Common Sandpipers and Water Rail calling in Sharpham Marsh.

Earlier in the day a high flying mystery raptor - soaring on flat held wings, but wing shape wrong for Honey (initial thoughts). Rattled off some very distant shots and pretty sure it was a very high flying escape Harris Hawk!! See distant shots (which even just show pale base to the tail).

presumed Harris Hawkpresumed Harris Hawk

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 8:35 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

The juvenile Woodchat, found this morning, still around the far end of Greenland Lake near the pond till 5.25pm at least showing very well but very mobile and last seeen flying towards the golf course beyond the pond. Just about to leave when a birder walking back from the point said the Wryneck was showing, so with John and Tom G, we followed the directions to where he had said and within 5 minutes, the Wryneck was showing in the top of the bush . It showed well several times for a few minutes till 5.45pm.  Follow the path to Warren Point to the last red marker and the Wryneck was in the bramble patch to the left. Also 2 Whinchat in the same area. 

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 7:35 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


juv little stint,4 juv curlew sandpipers,blackwit,5barwits,8 knot,ad+7 juvs,17:20-17:50.Earlier at instow 19 med gulls,18ad,fw,16:30

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 7:16 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Brixham and Berry Head

This morning, with John Lusher for part, Berry Head held 30+ Phylloscopus predominantly Chiffchaffs (several in song),2 Blackcap,2 Whitethroat,  3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail (by cows in field behind south fort), 2 Spotted Flycatcher.

     Yesterday a trip around the bay on Vigilance sailing ship produced a few Sandwich and Common Terns in misty conditions, the surprise being around 6 Bottlenose Dolphins (one calf) pursuing fish shoals at speed,  just off the breakwater as we returned into port at 1245. Boatmen tell me there have been few sightings in recent months.


Posted September 8th, 2014 at 6:31 pm in Bird News

Wembury Point

At last a few birds and no people or dogs on the beach. In the pines were at least one Spotted Flycatcher, a Willow Warbler and a couple of LBJ's that would not reveal themselves. On the beach were 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plovers, and a very confiding Sanderling.  Feeding in the seaweed were several Rock Pipits, 30+ Pied and White Wagtails plus at least 2 Yellow Wagtails.  Stonechats were numerous but no Cirls today - saw a dozen last week.


Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 2:46 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit until about 1.40. From the hide were 4 Ruff, 2 Dunlin and 1 Whimbrel amongst small numbers of Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit. The Barnacle Goose also still present.

From the platform, the Osprey was in view distantly. It left its post to catch a fish which it then tucked into while on the mud rather than back on its post.

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 1:57 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Middle Soar

Quieter today with highlights of: Stock Dove 25, Swallow 162, House Martin 20, Tree Pipit 4, Meadow Pipit 29, Alba Wagtails (mostly white) 47, Wheatear 34 & Linnet 270. Four raptor spec ies:Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel & Peregrine.

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 1:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Despite the weekend disturbance and very clear moonlit night, a good showing of Wheatears this morning with a total of 15. No sign of any Whinchats but a supporting cast of 2 Whitethroat (juv and adult male), Chiffchaff and Green Woodpecker. 

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 11:38 am in Bird News

Hobby(s) South Brent

On the 2nd September I released back into the wild a juvenile Hobby that had been brought into me to be looked after, the bird has been back on an almost daily basis each day since giving me remarkable close up views, this morning at 7.30am my wife spotted it sat outside waiting to be fed, while watching it feeding a second bird a mature adult flew almost directly overhead towards South Brent village, there was no obvious interaction between the two birds.

Posted September 8th, 2014 at 9:03 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

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