Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st May 2015

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If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Thursday 21st May 2015

Exminster Marshes - This morning - 09:15.

Watched for an hour. Great White Egret from middle car park, looking towards the resevoir (water holding facility) on the right towards the railway. Non breeding bird. One distant Hobby and a White Wagtail. Otherwise usual suspects.

Posted May 21st, 2015 at 6:11 pm by Simon Bates in Bird News



Yesterday evening at 1950 hrs my colleague and I saw a TURTLE DOVE at Thurlestone in the road at the entrance to the car park overlooking Thurle Rock. notified fellow birders in the village and then returned to see it in the same location about 30 minutes later before it flew across fields towards The Mead estate. would say bird had just arrived and seemed to be feeding itself from grit on the road.

Quite simply an amazing spectacle. We observed it from our car on both occasions at a distance of no more than 30 feet.

Will be out to look for it tomorrow morning with fellow birders from the village.

Posted May 21st, 2015 at 12:15 am by Andy Woodward in Bird News

Wednesday 20th May 2015


Hobby went through Southern Mill Farm caravan park, Salcombe this morning.

Posted May 20th, 2015 at 7:37 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Four Swifts over the lake this morning, along with Swallows and Sand Martins, car park feeders still working well.

Posted May 20th, 2015 at 7:07 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Kittiwake - Sandy Ba

Walk from Exmouth - Budleigh.produced little in the way of migrants. A few chiffchaffs etc. Nice views of Kittiwake at Sandy Bay though. Also first Red Admiral of the year.

Kittiwake Sandy Bay
Kittiwake Sandy Bay

Posted May 20th, 2015 at 6:23 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News


Cuckoo calling early this morning, 6am at Belstone, he calls most days of the week.

Posted May 20th, 2015 at 7:35 am by Paul Rendell in Bird News

Tuesday 19th May 2015

Red Kite late news

Red Kite over Warren House at 16.30 on 18th.

Posted May 19th, 2015 at 3:58 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

By the viewing deck this morning, a singing Lesser Whitethroat. In the reserve the hard work of getting rid of the duckweed seems to have paid off - Little Grebes have hatched at least one young, and the Canada Geese are looking after 7 goslings.

Posted May 19th, 2015 at 11:18 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Released Cuckoo ~ South Brent

Yesterday saw the release of the Cuckoo collected from the vets on Sunday.

Dave Scott kindly checked the bird over and fitted it with a BTO ring before releasing it; from its plumage we suspect the bird is a second year female.

After perching on Dave's hand for what seemed a life time the bird eventually flew off strongly across one of my fields before landing in a mature Oak, over a period of time the bird laddered up into the top of the tree before making off a little later.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew in at one point scolding at the Cuckoo's intrusion.

Later in the day a high speed low level pass from a Hobby the fourth one I have seen here this month

Posted May 19th, 2015 at 7:51 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 18th May 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A pair of Greenland Wheatears being held up by the strong, cold WNW wind this afternoon. 3 Swifts also struggling through.

Posted May 18th, 2015 at 10:49 pm in Bird News

Savage attack on Mute Swan at Wrafton


After a lengthy assessment at RSPCA West Hatch it was decided that the injuries inflicted by the Spaniel were too severe & the Swan had to be put down.

Posted May 18th, 2015 at 6:47 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Sunday 17th May 2015

Possible alpine swift- exeter quay

from the suspension bridge next to Belle Isle Park, Exeter, there was a swift with a white belly flying with other hirundines and swifts. We think it is a alpine swift but could not be sure that it was not just a pale form of swift.

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 11:22 pm by Charlie in Bird News

Plymbridge and Wembury beach

Good views of 5 Nightjars last night at Plymbridge. The first showed when there was still lots of light and you could easily see the male plumage and wing clapping from the path. In total three males. One of the best turnouts for me at this site.


Posted May 17th, 2015 at 10:44 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News


A call from an Ashburton resident resulted in a stunned female Tawny owl being delivered to my doorstep this morning, possibly as a result of colliding with a window, happy to say that the bird recovered well and was released back on the site where it was found later in the day.

Another call from a Totnes vet requesting that I collect an injured Sparrow hawk, on collecting the bird that had been examined by a vet I found it to be a Cuckoo, this bird had been found on the ground in the front porch of a house in Brixham this morning.

While at the vets good numbers of House Martins seen over Totnes.

Back home at South Brent a hunting male Sparrow Hawk was the only bird of note for the day but a Roe doe in the field was a bonus.

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 8:18 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Two Little Ringed Plovers again off Passage House this evening. Also a Dark-bellied Brent Goose in the estuary.

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 7:23 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Velator marsh and Braunton Burrows

2 x Lesser Whitethroat, 2 x Whitethroat, 10 x Greenfinch, 1 x Linnet (M), 1 x Grasshopper Warbler, 1 x Sedge Warbler, 2 x Willow Warbler, 1 x Chiffchaff, 2 x Wheater (M &F), 2 x Whinchat (M& F) & 10 x Swift.

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 4:24 pm by Mark Webber in Bird News

Yarner Wood / Trendlebere Down

0845 - 1430

31 species seen, including Siskin, Yellowhammer, 5 Pied Flycatchers, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Wood Warblers, 2 Tree Pipits, 5 Linnet, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Swifts overhead.

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 3:51 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Red Kite , Weare Giffard

   At 13.50 a Red Kite drifting down the Torridge valley , heading north over Weare Giffard .

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 3:38 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News


Red kite over garden at 13:42 in redhills exeter heading west was being attacked by the local peregrine.

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 2:27 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Squacco Heron - Beesands

Terry Goddard has just reported that the Squacco Heron was showing well at Beesands close to the hide at 11:30am.

Posted May 17th, 2015 at 11:36 am by Nick Townsend in Bird News

Saturday 16th May 2015

Exminster Marshes

One Red kite over high at 14:30 and four Hobbies over the northern end of the marshes around the M5.

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 10:32 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Squaccos in South Devon

Spent a good hour at Beesands Ley, up to 19:45, where the spectacularly plumaged Squacco Heron was showing well at the north end of the ley.  At one point it was struggling to swallow a newt, this bird is small.  Whilst there a report of another at Prawle Point was received, this was confirmed at 19:12, giving positive proof that there are at least two birds in Devon.  Is the South Milton bird a third?

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 10:09 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Red Kite over Plymouth

Red Kite drifted over Plymstock/Hooe at 13.25 today, heading in a westerly direction towards Mountbatten.

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 8:57 pm by George Carr in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from the hide 16:35 till 18:35

the highlight was a Short Eared Owl ( thanks to John Gale who picked it up) which came out of goosemoor about 17:45 chased by a group of crows it proceeded to gain height heading south / South East before being lost to view a rare bird on the marsh and my first on the marsh .

otherwise very quiet , 132+ black tailed godwits, 3 bar tailed godwits, 1 avocet, 11+ whimbrel, 2 oystercatchers, 3 wigeon, 4 raven , 1 whitethroat.

earlier from the goatwalk 1 Hobby and lots of swifts heading north over exminster.

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 8:19 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bennett's Cross, Vitifer, Challacombe Farm and Widecombe


1 Cuckoo plus two others calling, 3 Redpolls,  4 Siskins, 4 Whinchats, 2 Stonechats, Reed Bunting, 4 Tree Pipits, 5 Wheatears, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, numerous Willow Warblers and Meadow Pipits, 3 Skylarks, 2 Stock Doves, male and female Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, Kestrel, 4 Buzzards, 2 Treecreepers, Song Thrush, 2 Linnets and 2 Goldfinches.  A pair of Coal Tits feeding young in a nest in a stone wall.  Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and a Green Woodpecker all calling.

Also at Eastern Lane near Widecombe, a Red Kite overhead drifting towards the village at 16.25. In the village itself, a Sparrowhawk flew through clutching a recent kill. 

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 7:04 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Little Haldon

11.35am Red Kite seen soaring overhead.

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 7:03 pm by Keith McGinn in Bird News

Another Red Kite and a Hobby

Sighted over Peter Tavy, Tavistock another Red Kite at high altitude heading east over Dartmoor. A Hobby also flew over a few minutes later (see pics) headed in  roughly the same direction.

Hobby (underside)
Hobby (underside)

Hobby (upper wings)
Hobby (upper wings)

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 6:57 pm by Andy Brown in Bird News


further info on the Squacco Heron- on arrival early afternoon there was no sign, but then at 2.35pm it flew into the south west corner from the back of the reedbed ( viewed from the grassy area by the bench on the seaward side of the ley)- it fed out in the open, under the trees on the furthest right hand bit of mud for 15 minutes before flying back into the reedbed ( north west corner). It didnt show again up until 330pm at least 

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 5:56 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News


Sorry for the belated post, but only just managed to pick up a strong enough internet signal on my phone. Had an Alpine Swift at 1055hrs whilst partaking of a coffee at the Aune Valley farm shop, just south of Loddiswell village. It was with a good number of hirundines and Common Swifts. Also caught up with the Beesands Squacco Heron which appeared again at 1615hrs and was still showing when I left.

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 5:22 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Beesands Ley

Standard WeBS count on the ley this morning, nothing out of the ordinary. There was an anonymous entry in the log book however mentioning an unusual white heron with orange underparts seen in flight late yesterday afternoon. Thinking it sounded good for a Squacco Heron i counted the wildfowl and had a good look around the ley. Pleased to find a Squacco Heron in beautiful breeding plumage on the ley shore inland of the hide viewable from the meadow by the car park. Still present at 13:30 hrs. I guess this is last weeks Prawle bird and probably the same at South Milton midweek ?

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 1:48 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Roadford Oriole

Golden Oriole calling (singing)from copse beside Roadford Lake 8am.Heard for 20 mins. Clear musical note interspersed with screeches. Shifting around canopy. NOT seen. East side of lake at Breazle inlet.

Posted May 16th, 2015 at 9:39 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Friday 15th May 2015

Red Kites - South Brent

Just returned from a long day at sea, which ended with me dropping off a cod at my friendly farmer in South Brent, to thank him for reporting the red kites on his farm. He informed me that earlier today, he still had two red kites flying around his fields. That's 3 days in a row now. 

Posted May 15th, 2015 at 11:17 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Another quiet day in this strange Spring. A late female Wheatear today following a late male on Monday (neither were Greenland race). Whitethroats at last on territory ( 3- 4 singing males), 2 singing Blackcaps and a Green Woodpecker. A flock of 16 Linnets were, presumably, non-breeders.  Red Kites conspicuous by their absence despite flying over home a few miles away.

Posted May 15th, 2015 at 10:45 pm in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:15 till 17:30

just as I arrived at the hide a red kite flew in from the west circled around the marsh then headed of North north East, then another went through the one was heading in the same direction also had a txt from James diamond shortly after say another heading our way but must of gone behind the hide.

otherwise very quiet with 10 bar tailed godwits, 120+ black tailed godwits, 15+ whimbrel, 2 dunlin, 3 greenshanks, 2 oystercatchers and about 70+ swifts, 1 peregrine with kill, 1 distant kestrel.

1 turnstone was just down from the quay in topsham 

Posted May 15th, 2015 at 8:32 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Red Kite over the A38 near Kennford at 5.40pm.

Posted May 15th, 2015 at 7:58 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Great Northern Divers over Dartmoor

Surprised to see 2 breeding plumage Great Northern Divers flying over Dartmoor near Two Bridges heading north west at 6.35am this morning.

Posted May 15th, 2015 at 4:24 pm by John Walters in Bird News

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