Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th April 2015


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

Tuesday 14th April 2015


A splendid male Garganey was seen by myself and Andy Lansdell on Sherpa pond this evening ( 14.04.2015 ).

Male Garganey
Male Garganey

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 11:22 pm by John Clark in Bird News

Bolberry Down

Could not get out to Bolberry Down until after 19:00, but in lovely evening sunshine the Woodchat Shrike was showing well on the clifftop footpath towards Soar Mill Cove. Also a reeling Grasshopper Warbler present. Have uploaded a video to youtube which shows plenty of white at the base of the primaries. If the link does not work just go on youtube then search for > Woodchat Shrike Bolberry< and it should be top of the list

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 10:06 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Ivybridge, Henlake Down/Longtimber Woods

Extensive scrub clearance and recent gorse/grass fire.

2 Tree Pipit, 5 Stonechat, several Willow Warbler, Pheasant and Blue/Coal/Great Tits, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker & Robins & Wren.  2 Swallow, 1 Kestrel and 1 Buzzard overhead. Also Linnets, Chiffchaff and Yellowhammer. Far fewer Dunnock and Chaffinch than previous years, presumably due to burning.

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 9:39 pm by richard teague in Bird News


The Woodchat Shrike still present early evening and showing well just to the left of the coastal footpath near a marker post, 500 yards east of Bolberry car park.


Eds: note seemingly lack of very much white in visible primary base! 

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 7:46 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Baggy Point

Bit misty this afternoon, only a couple of Wheatears, and 3/4 Swallows over. A porpoise close in from the point.

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 5:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 2.00. A Spotted Redshank dropped in with 5 Greenshanks but it only stayed for about 30 seconds before heading back to the river. It is approaching full summer plumage now and looking very smart. Also 1 Whimbrel.

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 2:32 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Yarner Wood

Early morning visit to Yarner wood gave good views of both male and female Pied Flycatcher.

Nuthatch and Grey Wagtail showing well, still a couple of Mandarin drakes on the pond, Green Woodpecker heard calling, site staff and other birders reporting Redpoll in the Birch trees above the site office.

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 10:17 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

South knighton Newton Abbot

Two House martins returned to nest site yesterday.

Posted April 14th, 2015 at 8:40 am by Barbara Yeoman in Bird News

Monday 13th April 2015

Northam burrows

Grasshopper Warbler heard reeling this morning, but not seen. Very little else but 3 Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail And 1 Willow Warbler.

I thought I would have another go at the Grasshopper Warbler this evening and finally heard it reeling again at about 7.50 and had prolonged good views.

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 8:28 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Water Rail Orcombe Point Exmouth

Water Rail seen at 10.00 am alighting on a rock off the beach at Orcombe Point and then flying to the base of the 200ft cliff which it climbed over 2-3 minutes.

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 8:09 pm by Richard Bramwell in Bird News


A very few Sand Martins over the reed-bed at Sherpa Marsh this evening, one White Wagtail. The water level is the lowest I've seen it, so plenty of mud. No hirundines at all over Wrafton Pond, but a Common Sandpiper on the scrape by the Tarka Trail.

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 7:19 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Osprey, Paignton

Osprey distantly over Yalberton Industrial Estate at 16:30 this afternoon.

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 4:38 pm by Jacob Wood in Bird News


5 Whimbrel at Mudbank Lane early afternoon . 2 Sandwich Tern off the Lifeboat station. 

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 3:56 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


A Reed Warbler was among several migrants ringed at the reserve this morning. 15 Willow Warblers,

6 Chiffchaffs and 5 Blackcaps also ringed.

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 3:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exminster Marsh ~ Yarner Wood (Pied Flycatcher) ~ Haytor (Cuckoo)

Exminster Marsh this morning while providing a wide range of species was very still, the most prolific species being Wood Pigeon and Canadian Geese, very spaced out Chiffchaff, a single Willow Warbler, a single full coloured male Reed Bunting, Little Egret, Wren(s) Curlew calling. Met a group looking for a reported Grasshopper Warbler but they were as despondent as we were with the lack of birding opportunities on site.

Yarner Wood, a male Pied Flycatcher on full view from the car park, 3 drake Mandarin on the ponds.

Other birders reported having seen a Cuckoo at Haytor, so that was the next stop, 3 Buzzards overhead, Sky Lark and Meadow Pipits in good numbers, reasonable numbers of Stonechat (more hens than cocks) single Swallow overhead, pair of Wheatear, Raven overhead,female Kestrel hunting the Sky Lark and Meadow Pipits and then the Cuckoo showing well and at close quarters at times.

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 3:08 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Haytor + Yarner

Went to haytor this morning with Cilla Ingram birds seen 4yellow hammers 6 redpolls several stonechats and meadow pipits, swallow, house martin, wheater, and our first for the year 1 cuckoo around quarry.At yarner on the heath several willow warblers,tree pipit and stonechats, marsh tit around the lake 2 male 1 female mandarin duck 1 pied flycatcher plus all the normal woodland birds seen

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 3:06 pm by Tom Jurd in Bird News

Berry Head

Good Fall of Willow Warblers today with about 40 birds around the headland, 2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling in scrub, 7 Balckcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Wheatear, interestingly a flock of 6 Jays moving around the headland. Flying over 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Yellowhammer.

At sea: 18 Manx shearwaters, 2 Puffin.

Mammals: 2 Grey Seal off headland and a buck Roe Deer in field by entrance road first thing this morning.


Posted April 13th, 2015 at 10:13 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Rillage Point

06.45–08.00 Calm, then light SW. Patchy cloud. Hirundine passage started up after sunrise: 85 Swallows and 4 House Martins in about 40 mins. Also three fly-over Tree Pipits, 22 Linnets and 9 Goldfinches. One Grasshopper Warbler reeling intermittently, 3m Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs.

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 8:53 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Sunday 12th April 2015

River Otter

One Reed warbler singing nr White Bridge this evening.

Posted April 12th, 2015 at 9:11 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News


9 purple sandpipers Haldon Pier torquay harbour this evening

Posted April 12th, 2015 at 8:17 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Hope's Nose, Torquay


Male and female Wheatears, 4 Swallows (one off the sea first picked up over The Orestone), 4 Gannets, Sandwich Tern, 100+ Guillemots on the Orestone, 40+ GBB Gulls, Linnet, Rock Pipit, numerous Shags, 4 Oystercatchers.  Chiffchaff and Blackcap calling. 

Quite shocked to see the amount of litter, BBQ and camping gear discarded across the site - I've never seen it so bad.  

Posted April 12th, 2015 at 6:20 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Torrs, Ilfracombe to Lee

09.45 - 12.15 Strong SSW wind. Sunny start but increasingly overcast with a few spots of drizzle. Few grounded night migrants: just 3m & 1f Blackcap and about 8 Chiffchaffs in the sheltered cliff-side scrub. A trickle of W-bound hirundine passage in the lee of the cliffs totalled 36 Swallows and 2 Sand Martins.

Posted April 12th, 2015 at 1:32 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

S Huish Marsh Sat p.m.

5 swallows, 1 black-tailed godwit, 4 teal, 1 yellow wagtail.

Posted April 12th, 2015 at 10:07 am by Richard Archer in Bird News

Saturday 11th April 2015

Wrafton Pond

Late evening visit: about 100 Sand Martins and one Swallow.

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 10:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Female Peregrine Falcon laying an egg.

Female Peregrine Falcon just laying an egg at Plym Peregrine,Plymbridge wood,Cann viaduct. (New Websight)

Taken with VIDEO,80 X ZOOM. ©Steve Waterhouse - under Schedule 1 Licence (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981).

Ed. Also note this breeding site is wardened.

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 6:47 pm by Steve Wterhouse in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - 11th April

1 Grey Heron, 20+ Swallows, 20+ Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 4 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Nuthatch, 4 Tufted Ducks, 1 female Goosander, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 15 active nests at nearby rookery, 3 Coot, 1 Moorhen, several Mallard.

Harvey Kendall

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 6:04 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Berry Head

Did a seawatch 0645-0750: 1 Red-throated diver heading north, 1 Puffin and 7 Manx Shearwaters heading south, plus the usual harbour porpoise, were the best of it. On the way back up my main reward for stirring from my pit was a fine male Ring Ouzel on the path. Otherwise it was too cold and windy at the top for any self-respecting migrant to hang around.

Ring Ouzel at Berry Head
Ring Ouzel at Berry Head

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 4:32 pm by Simon Tonge in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 08:00 till 12:00

A small fall of warblers this morning with 11+ willow warbler around site, 20+ chiffchaff and 9+ blackcap, severall hundred sand martins over the morning with only 4+ house Martin and 6+ swallow, 1 avocet, 2 greenshanks, 15+ knot, 1 whimbrel, 4 tufted duck, 2 Cetti's warblers, 2 little grebes, 3 reed buntings,  8+ buzzards, 4 coal tit, 2 Siskin reported along the lane .

had a look of the goat walk from 09:00 till 10:00 

at 09:15 picked up a Hobby making its way across the estuary from Lympstone to powderham corner before heading up past turf and continued over exminster marsh heading strongly North. 2 red breasted mergansers, 4 grey plover, 110+ shelduck. 

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 2:49 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Male Redstart on the lawn and in and out of the shrubbery of the Imperial Hotel mid morning

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 12:35 pm by Dave Mckeown in Bird News

Start Point

07:00-09:00, heavy rain pre dawn. Fresh NW wind and brightening thereafter.

Highlight was 2 male Ring Ouzels near the farm. Elsewhere only 6 wheatears and a handful of Chiffchaffs and Swallows. Nothing at the light.

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 11:00 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Rillage Point, nr Ilfracombe

07.30–08.30 What a difference a cold front makes! Unfortunately, the timing of the abrupt change in the weather, which under other circumstances might have triggered a fall, seems to have put a block on migration up here on the north coast. In a cold, blustery NW wind, though rapidly clearing skies, the only migrants were two Swallows battling west along the cliffs and a distant Sandwich Tern out at sea. Otherwise, about a dozen Gannets, 1 Kittiwake, a few passing auks and two Stonechats were about the height of it.

Posted April 11th, 2015 at 10:16 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Friday 10th April 2015

Topsham & Exminster

1000-1045hrs Bowling Green Marsh showed 1-Spotted Redshank; c100-Redshank; c4-Knot; 3-Greenshank; c 400-Black Tailed Godwits;  4-Dunlin; 1-Avocet;  2-Oystercatchers (1 with leg rings);  4-Tufted Ducks  with small numbers  other ducks and 1-Buzzard with  4-Swallows and 1-House Martin flying eastwards over main pond. Whilst standing on the viewing platform all the waders flew out towards Exminster presumably a raptor has gone through.

1145-1315hrs Exminster Marsh showed c350-Curlew and most of the other waders that came out from Bowling Green Marsh i saw earlier and 1-Peregrine sitting in usual electric pylon and 2-Swallows behind Lions Rest estate.

1330-1635hrs Powderham Marsh showed 5-Ruff which flew off towards the railway at 1348hrs; 2-Little Ringed Plovers showing really well in the scrape nearest the viewing platform alongside one of the2- Green Sandpipers;  3-Golden Plover flew off high NW direction; 1-Buzzard; 2-Swallows low over the scrapes and numerous Reed Buntings, Chiffchaffs and Linnet.  Good views of a Blackcap along Toby's hedgerow near entrance gate and 2-Swallows were sat on the cables above the rear car-park of Swans Nest.

1640-1730hrs Another look at Exminster Marsh near the S-bends but no sign of the Ruff.  2 groups c35-Martins/Swallows  flying up from Turf dropping lower over the lagoon and heading high NW towards the Peregrine still sat on the pylon.

Links to videos for Ruff + Little Ringed Plover  + Green Sandpiper

5 Ruff at Powderham Marsh  10-4-2015
5 Ruff at Powderham Marsh 10-4-2015

Swallow at Swans Nest  10-4-2015
Swallow at Swans Nest 10-4-2015

Posted April 10th, 2015 at 11:31 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Yarner Wood & Hay Tor

Late morning visit to Yarner Wood. On the heath above the car park, 1 Tree Pipit, at least 3 Willow Warblers and 1 Redpoll. 4 male and 2 female Mandarin Ducks on the pond.

At Hay Tor, Wheatears (mainly male) were dotted around the place and a group of 5 Redpolls flying around the lower car park. Good numbers of the expected birds - Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Skylark.

Posted April 10th, 2015 at 9:51 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


After a few weeks away, went to have a look around this morning and found a clutch of 6 Mallard ducklngs following Ma around. The Canada Geese have also claimed the island and built a nest. I hope they succeed this year, coz they're great grass cutters! Several Chiffs in song and a couple of Willow Warblers and Cetti's also singing.

Posted April 10th, 2015 at 8:11 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Prawle Point

Seawatch from 7.30 to 9.30 in misty, murky , Saharan-dust clad conditions, with sun occasionally bursting forth . NE wind on arrival, verring to SW by the time I had stopped. 1 dark phase Artcic Skua,2 Puffins,1 Red-Throated Diver , nearly in full summer plumage, 5 Sandwich Terns, 7 Common Scoter and 28 Manx Shearwaters, all east. 1 Willow Warbler flew in from the sea and landed on the point.Also in the area 17 Chiffchaffs and 1 male Wheatear at Langerstone Rocks.The only Swallow I saw today was one over Pig's Nose Valley. In addition 2 Peacock and ,my first, Speckled Wood butterflies.

Posted April 10th, 2015 at 7:40 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

A fem Whinchat in the quarry this afternoon but as previously reported little else

Posted April 10th, 2015 at 5:42 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

East Soar

Wryneck in scrub line on west side of East Soar Farm but elusive. Also Continental Stonechat Saxicola torquata rubicola still on Bolt Head.

Posted April 10th, 2015 at 11:24 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Berry Head

Short seawatch this morning (having failed to find any migrants on top of headland!): 3 Puffin, 5 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Tern, 160+ Razorbill among Guillemots moving south.

In the end we did find: 1 Wheatear, 2 Swallows and 1 Blackcap.

BMc, ML  

Posted April 10th, 2015 at 10:25 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 9th April 2015

Bull Point

06.20 to 08.20 An early strong movement of Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Goldfinches, with five well spaced-out calling Tree Pipits mixed in, petered out soon after sunrise to to be replaced by a steady passage of hirundines, including approx. 50 Swallows, 20 Sand Martins and 10 House Martins. Very few grounded warblers: just 10 Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers and 1 Blackcap. The only other migrants were 3 Wheatears.

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 9:16 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

yarner wood

 Whilst up on Dartmoor today i popped into  Yarner wood , & saw my first 2 PIED FLYCATCHERS of the year [  springs here } 

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 8:20 pm by martin cox in Bird News


A red kite east out of ther mist this afternoon .Other  arrivals inclded 2 willow warblers and a pair of whitethroat as well as an increase in chiffchaffs, Cettis warbler in the reeds

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 6:23 pm by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

Yarner Woods

4 male, 1 female Mandarin Ducks, Nuthatch, Siskin, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtails and others.

Mandarin Ducks mating
Mandarin Ducks mating


Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 5:36 pm by Colin Scott in Bird News


An Osprey has just soared Northwest over my house in northern Exmouth, being mobbed by gulls.

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 5:24 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News


2 Red Kite wheeling over the remote 'Dry Lake' area. SX  635665. Watched till out of sight as they drifted slowly south.

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 4:50 pm by John Lusher in Bird News

Clennon Lakes

The Siberian Chiffchaff still singing around the 2nd lake also 5 Chiffchaff, 7 willow Warblers, 1 Swallow and my first Sedge Warbler (a ringed bird - see photo below) of the spring - breaking into song every now and then, around 2nd lake. 1 Shoveler and 2 Teal still present. Colin Bath texted  'a male Redstart in garden' further up the valley.

Sedge Warbler Clennon Lakes 9th April 2015 ML

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 3:07 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Skern/ Yelland

1015-1200    2 White wagtail, 30+ Ringplover, 42 Shell duck, 8 Grey plover, 2 Stone chat and lots of Skylark, Medow pipit and Linnet but only 1 Swallow and no Wheatear on the skern.

Isley marsh.    3 Cettis heard and 1 seen. 2 Sandwich tern on a sandbank.

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 2:13 pm in Bird News

Soar Mill Cove Area

First Whitethroat of the year plus 8 Wheatear, 2 Sand Martin & 6 Sandwich Tern fishing off the cove.

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 2:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


No sign of the Great White Egret this morning but c350 Curlew on exminster marsh over the morning high-tide and from powderham marsh 5 Ruff (3-m & 2-f) + little Ring Plover still showing when i left at 1300hrs.

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 1:56 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Little Haldon Heath

Lovely morning on the heath and the surrounding woodland: 2 Willow warblers, Yellowhammers, 3 Buzzards and 2 Tree Pipits. Lots of Skylarks and Linnets around.

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 1:08 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News


Orcombe Point - male redstart, whitethroat, 5+ willow warbler, yellowhammer and jay the highlights this morning (NP,PG and MK)

Belle Vue Road - red kite over the house @ 1110.

second redstart of the spring on Orcombe
second redstart of the spring on Orcombe

red kite
red kite

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 11:36 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Exminster marshes this morning

In a brief mist hindered search this morning i did not catch up with the egret - but it could easly still be on site - Did have my first Willow warbler of the year by way of compensation 

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 8:24 am by AJ Bellamy in Bird News

Exminster Marsh (late post from yesterday 8-4-2015)

Futher to Mark's post i viewed the Great White Egret at 1246hrs from the viewing screen at the rear path alongside the railway with others but was distant feeding in the ditch near the back of the main lagoon and the shimmering from the heat-haze making it more difficult. I did manage to get some digiscope video before it took off at 1333hrs and flew around before dropping on other side of the lagoon towards the canal area with some flight recording at end of video. I rushed over that side hoping it would be better views but was again distant and obscured in another ditch with mostly just the neck and head showing.

Great White Egret  8-4-2015
Great White Egret 8-4-2015

Posted April 9th, 2015 at 7:47 am by David Boult in Bird News

Wednesday 8th April 2015

In and around the Otter

No sign of the Little Ringed Plover today. At least 7 newly arrived Wheatear feeding and moving north field by field. Otherwise usual suspects. Further afeild Skylark. 


Posted April 8th, 2015 at 7:04 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

A Great White Egret found on Exminster Marsh at lunchtime by James D, still showing well at 4pm between the middle car park and lagoon , feeding up and down ditches at about 100 yards range. Also viewable from the gateways opposite the Lions Rest Estate. Also 2 Swallow over at 4pm.

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 5:04 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Lundy – Wryneck

A further message from Rob Duncan: a Wryneck was caught and ringed in Milllcombe today, 8th April.

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 2:59 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Red Kite - Dartmoor

A Red Kite over Black Hill on Haytor Down at 12:30 this afternoon with two Ravens in close attendance.

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 2:40 pm by david cawthraw in Bird News

Around the Axe

No sign today of last night's 7 Ruff and 3 Little Ringed Plovers on Black Hole Marsh (PA, KH), but plenty of action still.

At 09:55 an Osprey flew low NW over my house in Seaton, very purposefully. Then at 13:12 two Red Kites flew high west, also very purposefully. Long may this hig pressure spell continue!

One of the Red Kites
One of the Red Kites

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 2:21 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News


A Red Kite has just passed over my house in north Exmouth, circling and being mobbed by gulls, heading gradually westwards.

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 12:43 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Livermead Torquay

Osprey overhead heading north and followed by the local Herring Gull population at mid-day today.

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 12:36 pm by Clive Mason in Bird News

East Soar

First spring Blackcap today, singing male in Starehole Valley. Also: 18 Swallow, White Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 3 Willow Warbler & 13 Chiffchaff.

Butterflies included very early Wall Brown and Clouded Yellow flying strongly in warm sunshine - early migrant or overwintering individual (don't normally survive our winters).

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 12:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Lundy 6 & 7 April

An update from Rob Duncan, relaying news of a major fall of Phylloscopus warblers on Lundy on Easter Bank Holiday Monday, 6th April, along with smaller numbers of other passage migrants on 6th & 7th, can be found at the Lundy birds blog here.

Incidentally, comprehensive updates to the species accounts in the 2007 book The Birds of Lundy, taking into account all new records up to the end of 2014, have recently been posted online at the completely revamped and relaunched website

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 11:08 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Rillage Point to Widmouth Head, nr Ilfracombe

07.15 to 09.15 Reeling Grasshopper Warbler, a handful of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears, 4 fly-over alba wagtails, plus a steady light passage of hirundines, pipits and finches, including c.40 Swallows, 15 Sand Martins, 25 Meadow Pipits, 3 redpolls, 2 Siskins, 1 Greenfinch, 30 Linnets and 50 Goldfinches. Offshore a couple of small flocks of migrating Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Black-headed Gulls and one Harbour Porpoise.

Posted April 8th, 2015 at 10:29 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

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