Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st May 2015

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands 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

Thursday 28th May 2015

Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood.

Slav Grebe turned up off Cockwood harbour at 17.20 did not come too close and after about ten minutes swam off up river. Nothing else of note - except POSSIBLE Juvenile Rose Coloured Starling amongst a small flock around Starcross Station/ Atmospheric Railway. Flew before I could get on it properly and then my train arrived.So POSSIBLE nothing more.

Slavonian Grebe
Slavonian Grebe

Posted May 28th, 2015 at 8:26 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Bench Tor and Venford

3 possibly 4 Cuckoos (only one seen), 3 Yellow Hammers, a Willow Warbler and a Redstart seen yesterday on the Bench Tor side of Venford and below the reservior.

Posted May 28th, 2015 at 11:57 am by Noah Salt in Bird News

Wednesday 27th May 2015

Red Kite in North West Devon Today

Have today 27th May 2015 seen a Red Kite near Bradworthy following silaging tractors to scavenge small animals killed. Compared to our buzzards the wings were so long and it’s flight was fast and aerobatic…amazing to see this lovely bird! :)

Posted May 27th, 2015 at 6:55 pm by Pam Thomas in Bird News


Two Red Kite hovering and circling in the strong wind with 5 Buzzards this afternoon near North Molton Ridge Exmoor.

Posted May 27th, 2015 at 6:15 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Buzzard over Tiverton - but it wasn't!

Solitary Red kite being mobbed by carrion crow over Knightshayes Court, first I've seen in Tiverton area

Posted May 27th, 2015 at 9:12 am by David Walters in Bird News

Tuesday 26th May 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the mid-day high-tide.

1-Little Ringed Plover: 1-Ruff: 1-fs-Mediterranean Gull: c50-Black Tailed Godwits: c100 Black Headed Gulls: 1-Whimbrel: 2-Oystercatchers: 2-Egyptian Geese: 1-Peregrine: 2-Ravens: c25-Jackdaws: c40 Shelducks: 8-Reed Warblers: 4-Reed Buntings: 2-Sedge Warblers: 7-Swallows: 1-Stock Dove

fs Mediterranean Gull
fs Mediterranean Gull

Posted May 26th, 2015 at 8:46 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Red Kite over Teignmouth 1.00pm

The bird came very close to our open sliding windows as a consequence of being harried by herring Gulls.

Posted May 26th, 2015 at 5:02 pm by bob normand in Bird News

South Brent to South Huish Marsh

South Brent to South Huish marsh this morning, male Yellow Hammer, Spotted Flycatcher and Skylarks seen near Fowlescombe Cross, Ugborough, the Flycatcher was on the top of the roadside hedge hawking insects as they flew past.

A count of 84 Mute Swan on the River Avon at Aveton Gifford.

On the approach to South Huish both Swallow and House Martin seen coming into muddy pools caused by wheel tracks in field gates ways collecting nesting material.

On the marsh nothing outstanding, nice showing of Little Egrets, Linnets, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Heron, Buzzard, two Raven large and at times almost continuous passage of Swallows, good numbers of House Martin and a few Swifts. Other birders reported an earlier sighting of two Spotted Flycatchers.

Over the wooden bridge above the beach, good numbers of both Whitethroat and Reed Warbler, two juvenile Stonechat.

Back at home male Sparrow Hawk carrying prey item, three Swifts and Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted May 26th, 2015 at 3:24 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 25th May 2015

Warren House Inn to Challacombe Farm

2+ Cuckoo,  2 Wheatear,  2 Whinchat,  2 Lesser Redpoll. Stonechats fledged and adult.  Robins ditto. Swallows,  House Martins at farm.  2 Buzzards and possible distant Peregrine.  Linnets, Mipits and Skylarks. Plenty Willow Warblers,  a Garden Warbler and several Blackcaps. 

Posted May 25th, 2015 at 10:11 pm by richard teague in Bird News

Dartmoor 25.05.15

At Smallridge on Dartmoor this morning,  Cuckoo  calling and seen flying also redpoll with half a dozen Linnets. Sorry, no photographs this time.

Posted May 25th, 2015 at 9:24 pm by Mark Dyer in Bird News

Soar and Slapton Ley

One or 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Soar and a single Spotted Flycatcher at Slapton, but little else.

Posted May 25th, 2015 at 8:13 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Wood Warbler

At Yarner Woods on the 25-05-15 plenty of Wood Warblers and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, photo of above shows the chick in the hole being fed

Wood Warbler, Yarner Woods, 25-05-15
Wood Warbler, Yarner Woods, 25-05-15

Great Spotted Woodpecker with chick in hole
Great Spotted Woodpecker with chick in hole

Posted May 25th, 2015 at 6:32 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 10:00 till 12:30

1 ruff, 3 Mediterranean gulls among 100+ black headed gulls, 2 oystercatcher, 50+ black tailed godwits, 2 raven, 2 sparrowhawk, 4 blackcap, 20+ jackdaw, 3 sedge warbler, 10+ reed warbler, 4 chiffchaff, 2 nuthatch.

Posted May 25th, 2015 at 6:18 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Mansands to Scabbacombe

4 female Wheatears along coastal footpath yesterday evening - a small influx! At least 2 Greenland types amongst them. 

Posted May 25th, 2015 at 9:23 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 24th May 2015

Exminster Marshes

American Golden Plover, Ruff

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 11:07 pm by Sam Forest in Bird News

Colyton Sat 23rd May

A Red Kite soaring over the centre of Colyton at 13.15

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 8:52 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Red Kite

Red kite flying over beech ridge at RHS Rosemoor, Torrington today at 1500.

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 4:37 pm by Tony Brooking in Bird News

Starlings ~ South Brent

On Friday I had a count of 22 Starlings mostly fledglings a field occupied by sheep alongside the house, yesterday the number rose to an estimated 60 which were alternating between feeding and perching on the hedge tops.

Although South Brent does attract good numbers of Starlnigs in the winter months I have never previously seen this many young birds birds during previous summers. 

I know that I have had a pair breeding in an ivy covered Holly tree but clearly there have been more active breeding pairs than I had realised.

The last few days has also seen almost constant visits to the feeders from a pair of Greater Spotted Woopeckers and from the state of thier plumage I am guessing that they are also feeding a nest of youngsters.

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 4:14 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Red Kite

Sunday 24th 8.30 am Red Kite drifting North over Sandford

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 2:01 pm by S Colombe in Bird News

Another Kite, or the same one as yesterday.

Red Kite flying very near Kes Tor at 8-45 this morning. Last seen flying down the Teign valley.

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 10:21 am by Bob Haworth in Bird News

Red Kite

Single Red Kite over Lifton yesterday ( Sat 23rd May)

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 10:00 am by Adrian Davey in Bird News

Lusleigh Beating the Bounds

While beating the bounds of Lustleigh on Saturday we heard a cuckoo on lowers slopes of Trendlebere Down near Bovey Tracey.

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 7:42 am by Paul Rendell in Bird News

Exminster Marsh (yesterday late post 23-5-2015)

Arrived on the canal footpath just before 1830hrs with no one else on site and after scanning around managed to pickup the Gull-Billed Tern which was distant around the centre pool between main lagoon and brick pillboxes in front of the American Golden Plover nearby. Must have only flew in just before i got there as the other birders i saw leaving in the middle car-park did not see it. Managed to get 2 other birders who came shortly afterwards onto it before it flew back out to the estuary at 1909hrs. Also a Hobby seen flying low near the tern and c50 Swifts flying around the middle car-park.

Managed to take some record video footage.

Posted May 24th, 2015 at 7:41 am by David Boult in Bird News

Saturday 23rd May 2015


4.15pm today thought i saw a couple of Buzzards soaring VERY high in the sky over Crediton, on closer inspection turned out to be 7 of them! Then presumed Red Kites?

Link to VERY poor video...

So sorry, only a couple of fleeting glimpses, they were so high, the camera was on full zoom and was struggling to focus and the battery was running out. It was all a bit of a rush! Can anyone confirm?

Eds: At least 6 were Red Kites!

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 9:59 pm by Jim Southall in Bird News

Gull Billed Tern Bowling Green Marsh

Just a couple of photos of the Gull Billed tern on Bowling green marsh this morning a stunning adult.

Gull Billed Tern
Gull Billed Tern

Gull Billed Tern
Gull Billed Tern

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 9:55 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Sterridge Valley nr Ilfracombe

Yet another Red Kite sighting... one over the garden at 18.20.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 8:27 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Red kite

Red kite seen over Throwleigh at 5-30pm

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 7:42 pm by Bob Haworth in Bird News

Dartmoor alive with Cuckoos!

At least eight Cuckoos seen in Down Tor area today. 3 observed at the same time this morning in Newleycombe, with the two males sparring. This afternoon at least five different individuals observed at length in Deancombe. No wonder Cuckoo Rock is so named!

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 6:58 pm by Peter Crispin in Bird News

Drayford - Osprey

Mid afternoon single Osprey flying from South turning North East over Witheridge. Later 7 Red Kites moving South West.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 6:37 pm by C Boyles in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite over A386 just past Hatherliegh at 4.30, seen by Chris Smallbones.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 6:06 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Headland Warren

1030 - 1500

In sunny spells: Stonechats (m+f), Whinchats (m+f), Tree Pipits, Willow Warblers, Reed Buntings (m+f), Skylark, 1 Goldcrest, Cuckoos being harassed by Meadow Pipits, and a Garden Warbler heard from within the trees.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 5:16 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Around the exe

started at Bowling green marsh at 09:00 and watched till 12:00

A quiet morning suddenly shattered by a fantastic GULL BILLED TERN dropped in at 10:35 and continued to show well till it flew out to the estuary at about 11:10( photos on later) 

also 10+ bar tailed godwits, 6+ whimbrel, 50+ black tailed godwits, 3 greenshank, 2 oystercatcher 100+ black headed gulls , 1 hobby, 30+ swallows.

Then headed over to exminster marshes and watched from 12:30 till 16:00

the AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was viewable from the canal bank but distant along a ditch in line with the left of the 2 brick pillbox like structures , also hobby over, just as we were about to leave news of the gull billed tern showing by the lagoon has us heading back upto the fishermans car park but just as we arrived I watched as it flew over the lagoon and seemed to head back to the estuary.

about 15:20 just as we were leaving had a txt from James diamond saying 23 red kite over Woodbury then Tim Worfolk txt saying 5 over his house in topsham Stan stopped the car at the middle car park and then the RED KITES started flying over right over our heads at least 28+ flew over heading towads exminster a fantastic sight and what away to end a great days birding . also at least 3 hobby over the marsh

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 4:43 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Foreland Point

20 x Skylark, 15 x Stonechat, 1 x Kestrel, 1 x Ring Ouzel, 1 x Willow Warbler, 1 x Wood Warbler, 1 x Whinchat, 7 x Gannet, 2 x Rock Pipit & 3 x Chaffinch.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 4:40 pm by Mark Webber in Bird News

Devon bird sightings

Red kite soaring over Northam burrows, Appledore end tollgate.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 4:23 pm by Geanette in Bird News

American Golden Plover

The bird was still present at 1345hrs when I left the site. Can be difficult as it keeps low. Viewing from the canal bank is a must! Look towards the pillbox with the open left side. Both the middle and the end carparks were full, so probably best to park in the RSPB carpark and walk! Also, one silent Yellow Wagtail north over station road as I was walking towards the canal.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 2:22 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

More Red Kites

2 Red Kites circling over Raymonds Hill, Axminster this morning.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 1:07 pm by Jim Tirrell in Bird News

New Rarities this morning

2 new rarities found this morning - An American Golden Plover found by James D on Exminster Marsh in long grass behind the pool viewable from the canal bank and a Gull Billed Tern found by Keith B at Bowling Green Marsh.

Posted May 23rd, 2015 at 11:29 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Friday 22nd May 2015

Red Kite

Red Kite flying West over Buckfast at 7.30 this evening.

Posted May 22nd, 2015 at 7:58 pm by Noah Salt in Bird News

Red Kite over Lynton

Red Kite soaring over Lynton and moving westerly at 12.40 today.

Posted May 22nd, 2015 at 12:45 pm by John Jackson in Bird News

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