Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th October 2015

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·          Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·        Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 19th July 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Think before you post...!


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

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

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

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

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

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

Wednesday 7th October 2015

Bowling green marsh

A quick look around the marsh after work 15:30 till 16:30

3 ruff showing well from the hide , 65+ dunlin , 2 greenshanks , 1 buzzard good numbers of teal and black tailed godwits , 2 bar tailed godwits, 15+ meadow pipits.

on goosemoor , 1 spotted redshank, 25+ greenshanks.

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 10:31 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


80 Lapwing, several distant Brent Geese, 20 Teal on open Taw estuary tonight. 

At Rolle Quay, Barnstaple, a Med Gull coming down to pigeon food with the BHGulls. One of the BHGulls wore a metal ring.

Isley Marsh no sign of the Spoonies, but a nice roost of 12 Greenshank, with Teal and a Redshank, in one of the gullies.

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 9:53 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

BGM Topsham

Whilst looking at small flock of bh gulls on the other side of the estuary from the viewing platform, this gull stood out. It was considerably paler than any of the black heads, no ear spot and whilst they seemed happy to sit on water it was forever moving. Probably nothing unusual but any suggestions / ideas?



(Eds - can't enlarge photos but looks like leucistic Black-headed Gull, although the bill looks very short /stumpy?)

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 5:35 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News

East Soar

Bright and breezy and little about: 70 Meadow Pipit, 37 Alba Wagtail, Grey Wagtail flying west up Starehole Valley, Whinchat, just single Blackcap & Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest & 2 Bullfinch.

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 2:01 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


This morning at about 9.15 there was a flock of approx 100 Golden Plover to the north of Haytor.

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 11:24 am by Keith Benyon- Tinker in Bird News

Tuesday 6th October 2015

Around South Brent

Gingerford Cross large flock of 30 plus Goldfinch flew over the road.

On the approach to Yalland large flock of mixed Tits Great/Blue/Coal and 6 Long Tailed ~ Goldcrest, Greenfinch, Robin and an un identified Warbler sp.

Shipley no sightings of the Ring Ouzels but a possible call heard, far fewer Mistle Thrush and Blackbirds present than recent days but larger numbers of Blue and Great Tit, several Goldcrest, Stonechat and Wrens, two male Bullfinch just up from the car park most prolific bird being Chaffinch.

Back at home Jays, Mistle Thrush and a count of 53 House Martin headed West.

A male Siskin was a pleasant surprise.

Posted October 6th, 2015 at 3:22 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 5th October 2015

Dippers in Plympton

Late news for the Saturday 3rd.  2 Dipper (and 1 Grey Wagtail) in/on Torr Brook, Plympton by bridge beside Police Station.

Posted October 5th, 2015 at 5:36 pm by Ian Dodd in Bird News

R.Caen & Horsey Island

1 ad Med Gull left on R.Caen amongst 204 BH Gulls.

The shooters were out on Horsey Island this morning & by lunchtime there was nothing left to see apart from1 Little Grebe.They had disturbed everything including the Greenshank, Redshank & non target species.If that was not enough they returned mid afternoon to shoot over it again.

Posted October 5th, 2015 at 5:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


Quick look in the harbour at 8.15am (low water) produced Kingfisher, at least 2 Mediterranean Gull but only a few Redshank.

Posted October 5th, 2015 at 11:21 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

River Plym / Saltram Park Saturday, 3rd. October 0800 - 1200

The following species were seen in and around a field which has a herd of bullocks in it at present: Goldcrest, Great, Blue and Longtail Tit, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Juv. Herring Gull, Little Egret, Wren, Dunnock, Song Thrush, Robin (Nuthatch heard), Wood Pigeon,Blackbird.

In Blaxton Meadow I saw: Curlew, Blacktailed Godwit, Black Headed Gull, Pintail (F) and Widgeon (F), Little Egret, Carrion Crow, a Redshank flew over.

I walked along the river toward the flyover and saw: Canada Goose, Little Grebe (M+F)

Posted October 5th, 2015 at 10:47 am by John Lloyd in Bird News

Sunday 4th October 2015

Berry Head

Whilst leading a birdwatching event at BH a good movement of Swallows and House Martin - 500+ moved south this morning together with a single Swift - sadly always silhouetted, but timing and shape would suggest Common Swift (relatively narrow pointed wing tips - deeply forked tail).     

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Head

Whilst leading a birwatching event at BH a good movement of Swallows and Housemartin - 500+ moved south this morning together with a single Swift - sadly always silhoueted but timing and shape would suggest Common Swift (relatively narrow pointed wing tips - deeply forked tail).     

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 9:28 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 10:15 till 13:00

The highlight was a Juv curlew sandpiper in with 155+ dunlin, 3 juv ruff (2m , 1f), 1 spotted redshank in with 250+ redshank, 8+ greenshank, 650+ black tailed godwits, 3+ bar tailed godwits, 175+ curlew, 47+ pintail was an excellent count along with 205+ wigeon, 360+ teal, 20+ shoveler, 12+ mallard, 36+ lapwqing , 9+ little egret, 1 female sparrowhawk, 3 buzzards, 12+ swallow, 12+ meadow pipit, 6+ siskin over, 2 nuthatch, 1 cetti's warbler, 1 stonechat, 3 jay, 1 green woodpecker, 2 great spotted woodpecker, 2 water rail. 


Posted October 4th, 2015 at 8:38 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

A couple of hours in the garden.

A couple of hours in my combemartin garden late this afternoon saw 5 coaltits, 2 squabbling robins, 6 bluetits, 3 dunnocks, several chaffinches, 1 firecrest and a half dozen house sparrow along with a garden warbler (certainly a warbler of somekind) and numerous jackdaws. 

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 8:21 pm by philip worth in Bird News

Berry Head

It seemed fairly quiet at Berry Head this morning, but a Firecrest (in a buddleia bush on the slope out the quarry) made my day.

Also of note, a late Swift.

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 5:00 pm by George Wall in Bird News


Imperial Recreation Ground - adult Black Brant @ 1330 with 740 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 5 Pale-bellied Brent Goose and the Ridgways Cackling Goose. Also 10 Sandwich Tern off there.

Maer Lane Waste Water Treatment Works - 1 Serin over @1450.

More, including photos of the geese, on 'gobirdingexmouth' later.

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 4:15 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Hopes Nose

Sea watching this afternoon - 1 Balearic Shear south at 2.05pm, 1 Puffin south at 2.30pm ( Also 1 Brent Goose, 7 Common Scoter, c35 Auk sp , c100 Gannet, c15 Kittiwake)

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 3:56 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


1 Pallas's Warbler seen well but briefly in scrub along coast path just east of Bolt Head at 11.10 am. Bird was very mobile and rapidly disappeared upslope. Hopefully will turn up in more suitable sheltered spot at Stare Hole or East Soar. 

Otherwise at east Soar/Stare Hole etc this am after a cold, grey start: 1 fem/imm Merlin (seen repeatedly), 1 Firecrest, several Goldcrests, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, a couple of Wheatears, 50+ Swallows moving through, good numbers of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits (some movement) and 4 Ringed Plovers on the airfield.

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 1:35 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News


late post for least 38med gulls on rocks 34 ad,1sw,3fw also several hundred gulls in feeding frenzy(crane flies?)in surrounding area as of last few days 12:30-13:15.

Melbury 4 crossbills heading eastover powlers piece x n.devon  16;00.

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 11:10 am by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Ring Ouzels ~ South Brent

Despite the poor misty weather conditions three Ring Ouzel's were still showing in the same place as yesterday between Shipley Bridge and the Avon Dam, two juveniles and one adult female no sign of the male seen yesterday.

Other species included Dipper, Green Woodpecker, Raven, Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, Goldcrest and count of 16 Mistle Thrush.

A Stoat ran across the lane on the way up.

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 10:52 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

East Soar

Late post for yesterday: Surprisingly quiet but big increase in Skylark numbers to 150, grounded and moving west. Also: Whinchat, 4 White Wagtail, 30 Swallow, 6 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 11 Goldcrest, Song Thrush, 31 Robin, 2 male Bullfinch, 4 Yellowhammer & 7 Cirl Bunting inc.3 singing males.

Posted October 4th, 2015 at 9:16 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Saturday 3rd October 2015

Ring Ouzels ~ South Brent

 Shipley Bridge to the Avon dam at first light this morning gave a total of 27 identified species and several species that could well have added to that figure the hedges and tree cover was alive with bird song.

On the approach to Shipley an almost pure white Buzzard perched in near Didworthy.

The high light being four Ring Ouzels, two juveniles, one adult hen and one well marked cock bird, that where showing well either side of the road in the valley just past the first bridge close to the small quarry.

Blackbirds, Wrens, Robins, Chaffinch, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat and House Martins showing in good numbers, small numbers of Song Thrush, a count of 7 Mistle Thrush a possible single Redwing, a Whitethroat, Green Woodpecker, 2 Dipper, Raven showing well at least 4 birds seen, 2 Grey Wagtail, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Cormorant, Kestrel and a flight of 4 Siskin.

Re visiting the area where the Ring Ouzel had been seen a female Sparrowhawk was very actively hunting down one side of the valley and the area that had been abundant with bird life was devoid of anything other than a few alarm calls.

Back home at South Brent Jays 3, Swallows, a Grey Wagtail first seen at home this year and handful over Pied Wagtails calling loudly passing over head, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Raven 2 and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Posted October 3rd, 2015 at 7:31 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

The drake Scaup has returned to the lake now along with 12 Tufted Ducks (six on Thursday). More of a rarity however were two Pintail in the middle of the lake. Also a pair of Great Crested Grebe with three juveniles and a Kingfisher.

Posted October 3rd, 2015 at 6:18 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News

Peek hill Cycle Trail

A walk along part of the newly opened Peek hill to Princetown cycle trail - Firecrest, Goldcrest (5), Crossbill, Wheatear (4), Meadow Pipits, Kestrel (2), Buzzards (4), Song Thrush, Skylarks, Stonechats(10), Chaffinches.

Posted October 3rd, 2015 at 5:16 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Berry Head

Lighter winds saw an improvement in the numbers of grounded migrants on the headland with:1 Firecrest, 15 Goldcrest, 19 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap,1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 5 Coal Tit (all britannicus), 2 Grt Spt Woodpeckers.

Overhead:14 Siskin, 3 Redpoll, 9 Linnet, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Greenfinch, 17 Chaffinch, 85 Goldfinch,11 House Sparrows, 8 'alba' Wagtails, 12 Skylark, 5 Rook, & 33 Meadow Pipit.

  Grt Spt Woodpecker Berry Head 3rd Oct 2015 ML visable migration dawn Berry Hd 3rd Oct 2015 ML

Photos: Grt Spt Woodpecker coastguard mast               Visible migration Berry Hd at dawn

Posted October 3rd, 2015 at 3:39 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Plym estuary / Saltram

High tide At Blaxton meadow:

40 Curlew, 11 Little Egret, 3 Wigeon (f), 1 Dunlin, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Pintail (f).

9 Cormorant, and 1 Juvenile Great Crested Grebe, fishing on the Plym.

Posted October 3rd, 2015 at 1:08 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Ring Ouzels ~ Shipley ~ South Brent

An early visit to the Shipley Bridge ~ Avon Dam near South Brent gave me four Ring Ouzels, two juveniles, one adult hen and one cock bird.

Showing well either side of the road in the area just past the first bridge close to the small quarry.

Further post to follow

Posted October 3rd, 2015 at 10:27 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Friday 2nd October 2015

Exmouth Mudbank

Another look over the morning high-tide where the Ridgway's Cackling Goose was showing really well close-by from the Imperial Recreation Ground amongst c500-Brent Geese + 14-Ringed Plover and 13-Sandwich Terns on the sandbar with a few others fishing + c1500-Wigeon.

Link to video.

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 10:54 pm by David Boult in Bird News


Saw a single Swift fly over Cowick street in Exeter today. Got some catching up to do!

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 10:18 pm by Jason smith in Bird News

They haven't left yet!

Our housemartins are still with us, photo taken today, October 2nd! Getting very late now.

Also a photo taken at the weekend of a crab spider.

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 8:05 pm by Andrew P Gooch in Bird News

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

A quick look on the scrape this evening produced the following noteworthy species:
1 Ruff, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a Pintail.
The Bar-headed Goose still on the estuary but no sign of the Barnacle Goose in a brief look.

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 7:52 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Berry head

Nice pair of Firecrests by the pond, otherwise quiet. 2 Blackcaps  7 Chiff Chaffs 1 Coal tit.

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 5:50 pm by John Lusher in Bird News


I saw literally thousands and thousands of swallows and/or martins, swarming Eastwards along the Devon coast between Branscombe and Beer Head this morning.   I assume that they were heading for a point from which they would take off for Africa.

Any knowledge of this phenomenon?

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 4:26 pm by Tony Hill in Bird News

Start Point

07:00-12:30. Beautiful, clear day but a strong ENE wind making the birding difficult.

Swallows moving through in good numbers till mid-morning, at least 2000 per hour. Smaller nos of House Martins, maybe around 100 per hour all going into the wind. Other highlights single Redpoll sp and 11 Crossbills ( groups of 8 and 3 ). In the farm about a dozen each of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, also 6 Blackcaps scattered. Very difficult birding in the wind , someone could do well tomorrow when the wind drops .


Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 3:41 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Lundy – no sign of the Rustic Bunting

News from the island this afternoon is that there has been no sign of the Rustic Bunting, but other notable sightings include Dotterel, Jack Snipe and Lapland Bunting. Details here. I have emailed Mark Bailey to let him know.

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 3:07 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Lundy Charter

If anyone is interested in the Rustic Bunring on Lundy , I have organised a charter from Clovelly at 9am tomorrow morning - £35 per person ( Oldenburg is £36) and the crossing takes just 1 hour compared to 2 hours on the Oldenburg- and the skipper is flexible in return times so we can have as little or as long as is needed. Would hopefully make the whole day a shorter option rather than going on the Oldenburg.  c10 places free - either phone me if you know my number or reply by email. Obviously all dependent on positive news today . 

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 10:23 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News


c30 Crossbill still at Haldon at 9am in trees by feeders at back of main car park behind visitor centre.

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 9:58 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Derriford Hospital!

Peter Leigh found a recently dead Firecrest that had flown into one of the hospital windows yesterday. 

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 9:51 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 1st October 2015

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

A late afternoon walk from Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam. A Ring Ouzel just before the bridge below the dam. 1 Whinchat, 10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 14 Siskin, 40 Linnet and a small flock of hirundines (13 Swallow and 5 House Martin) going, somewhat surprisingly, north.

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 10:40 pm in Bird News

Preston, Paignton

A count of 30 Turnstones on Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton on this mornnigs high tide, includes the rung bird ring ending in 00032 top line "VT".

Just as I left a flock of  22 Oyster catchers flew in onto the rocks.

At South Brent late this afternoon a count of 106 swallows passing over and 8 House Martins, Jay, Buzzard and Long Tailed Tits calling.

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 8:05 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

House Martins near Brentor

In the region of 300 House Martins feeding low over the long grass at West Blackdown on Gibbet Hill today at 1430, passing through in a matter of minutes on their southward journey

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 6:51 pm by Simon Martin in Bird News

Skern north devon

1030-1300       High tide roost- 122 Oystercatcher,56 Curlew,10 Goldenplover,12 Brent geese,3 Bartailed godwit and 3 Pintail. Also showing 2 Wheatear and plenty of Medow pips,Linnets and Swallows feeding by the bridge.

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 5:59 pm in Bird News

Instow/Isley Marsh

3 Spoonbill at Isley Marsh, a few Mediterranean Gulls in with the mobile gull flocks around the cricket field at Instow. Kestrel, Black-tailed Godwit and few Chiffchaff around Yelland Power Station.

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 4:09 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News


The Rustic Bunting was still present this morning, Thursday 1 Oct: see here for details.

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 9:29 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

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