Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th August 2015

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records.

If anyone saw these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July

Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August

Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October

Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April

Great Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 7th August 2015

Rillage Point

The first real sign of passerine migration this 'autumn', with 7 Willow Warblers (mainly juveniles), 6 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats and a Chiffchaff in the scrub. Whimbrel & Common Sandpiper on the rocks. And a Wheatear.

Posted August 7th, 2015 at 10:57 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Budleigh Beach

Juvenile Great Black Backed Gull yellow ring 9AA7 on Budleigh beach. Also, 6 Sandwich Terns feeding just off the beach this evening.

Posted August 7th, 2015 at 8:55 pm by Richard Allen in General Birding


One 2nd cal year Little gull at Topsham rec early evening.

Posted August 7th, 2015 at 7:20 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Thursday 6th August 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

4 Wheatears still this evening and the Little Owl showing well.

Posted August 6th, 2015 at 10:00 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding


Single juv Yellow-legged and Mediterranean Gulls on this evenings lowish tide gull gathering.

Posted August 6th, 2015 at 8:29 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 1.50.

Good numbers of the expected waders along with 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Green Sandpiper. Also 1 Sandwich Tern on the marker post before flying off towards the estuary.

Didn't get the chance to post yesterday but there was a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull present for a few minutes before it flew towards the estuary.

Posted August 6th, 2015 at 4:02 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Berry Hd

A continuous combined seawatch total from several observers yesterday from 0630-2000hrs:

118 Balearic Shearwaters, 3,500+ Manx shearwaters, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Pomarine Skua, 2 Arctic Skuas, 13 Bonxie, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (juvs), 13 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Arctic Tern, 4 Common Tern, 17 Sandwich Tern, 3 'Commic' Terns, 20 Common Scoter, 13 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Grey Plover and several Harbour Porpoises under the numerous Gannets just off-shore. 

Posted August 6th, 2015 at 9:35 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 5th August 2015

Brushing up Shearwater ID at Berry Head.

At last found the seawatching bit at Berry Head. Watched with others 10 - 12 ish. Thanks everyone for being so informative. I personally saw 7 or 8 Balearics, 5 or 6 Bonxies, an Arctic Skua and a juv. Yellow Legged Gull which was great! 

Posted August 5th, 2015 at 3:41 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Tuesday 4th August 2015

Teign Estuary

Juvenile Ruff at Passage House on the rising tide this morning.

Posted August 4th, 2015 at 6:36 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Wembury, 4th August

Strong winds and a high tide meant crashing surf on the main beach at Wembury and amongst the flock of black headed gulls feeding amongst the waves were 4 juvenile and 1 adult Mediterranean gulls - 1 juvenile had a green plastic leg ring but I couldn't get any detail on it as it flew amongst the waves and rested on the sea. A leucistic black headed gull was also most unusual looking.

More gulls on the beach near the sewage pipe at Wembury Point and another adult Mediterranean gull and what I think was a juvenile yellow legged gull? Or a juvenile lesser black backed gull?

2 whimbrel were roosting on the rocks with 2 little egrets, a curlew and oystercatchers.

Offshore and there were lots of gannets swirling around, mostly adults but a few sub-adults and dark juveniles too. Manx shearwaters were banking up out of the wave troughs and I counted between 20-30 per minute heading west between 10:30-11:30. 2 great skuas were the highlight with a bird with well marked white wing flashes harrasing a less well marked bird as they headed west.

A few fulmar, shags and a juvenile kittiwake were also seen.

3 juvenile Mediterranean gulls - noticeably smaller bird on the left
3 juvenile Mediterranean gulls - noticeably smaller bird on the left

Yellow legged gull?
Yellow legged gull?

Yellow legged gull?
Yellow legged gull? Eds: looks more like juv Herring Gull

Posted August 4th, 2015 at 5:11 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

First signs of autumn this morning with 4 Wheatears, a Meadow Pipit and a good build up of Pied Wagtails (c.30) with many juveniles. However the biggest surprise was a brief sighting of Lesser Redpoll, a patch tick.

Posted August 4th, 2015 at 9:23 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Monday 3rd August 2015


Evening Gull watch on beach produced 2 juv Yellow-legged Gulls and 2 juv Mediterranean Gulls

  juv Yellow-legged Gull Broadsands 3rd Aug 2015 ML  juv Yellow-legged Gull Broadsands 3rd Aug 2015 ML2

Photo: juv Yellow-legged Gull                     Photo: same bird on left with Herring Gull juv right 

Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 9:12 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Haytor area/ Blackslade Ford

10 members of DB (East Devon Branch) found plenty of birds including many young of Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Hammer and Wheatear in the area to the south and east of Haytor rock.  The quarry produced several Chiffchaff with Whitethroat and Blackcap present. Outside the quarry a female Sparrow Hawk settled on a rock before dissappearing into a rock crevice where a small bird was the target.  After we moved on for lunch at Blackslade valley the copse produced Treecreeper, Nuthatch and tits while the rough area around the stream found several Redstart, a pair of Bullfinch,  Whitethroat, yet more Stonechat and groups of Linnet

Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 4:58 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Rillage Point

06.15 to 08.30: 1,230 Manx Shearwaters, 12 Common Scoter, 5 Black-headed Gulls and a fly-over breeding-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit.

Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 2:35 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Late Post - R.Caen

10 Black tailed Godwits searching for food in the mud at mid - tide late yesterday aft / early evening.

Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 12:14 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 0545-0845hrs: 62 Balearic Shearwaters, 1244 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Great Skuas, 3 Med Gulls (juvs), 22 Whimbrel, 24 Common Scoter, 2 Grey Heron, 26 Sandwich Terns, 1 Ringed Plover. Walking back up quarry hill a juv Hen Harrier flew past attempting to land on cliffs before being driven on by local Crows, after a quick search on the top of the head John Lusher and myself unfortunately flushed the bird from grass beside the coastguard station.

Hen Harrier juv Berry Hd 3rd Aug 2015 ML  Hen Harrier juv Berry Hd 3rd Aug 2015 ML

Juvenile Hen Harrier Berry Hd 


Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 11:14 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sunday 2nd August 2015

Berry Head today

Sea Watch from 06.30-09.15; 368 Manx Shearwater, 9 small wader sp. and 2 Pom Skua (08.03) south. 3 Juv Med Gull and 14 Common Scoter on the sea and 58 Sandwich Tern mainly south but a few lingering towards Shoalstone, 5 Guillemot and 2 Razorbills.  Also 3-5 Porpoise and a Grey Seal.

Later, around 14.30, a Balearic Shearwater following a small fishing boat not far offshore. This bird was interacting happily with the large gulls following the boat and was observed diving, from sitting on the surface, for upto 30 seconds at a time. I also noted a Balearic following a small fishing boat from Berry Head on the 22nd July. 


Posted August 2nd, 2015 at 7:54 pm by Andy Plumb in General Birding

Hartland Forest - Nightjars

After 4 or 5 visits finally got the Nightjars last night. It was one of those where I did the full walk around hearing lots of churring and getting eaten by insects, sat on a log dejected with no sightings, then three or four nightjar buzzed around about 10ft over my head and landed in the tree next to me for about 10 mins! Maybe the trick is to just stop moving?

Posted August 2nd, 2015 at 9:21 am by Rob Barnes in General Birding

Saturday 1st August 2015

Lyme Bay trip out of Paignton.

At 9am a dolphin watching trip out of Paignton aboard the Liberty Lass into Lyme Bay we sighted 60+ Manx Shearwater, some sitting on the water others flying south, within the group(20) on the water, 2 Balearic Shearwater , on the horizon looking East a very big group again flying south, estimated numbers 100+. but to far away to get a good count. Gannets diving, Fulmar and Sandwich Tern. We also had 12 Harbour Porpoise and 2 Bottlenose Dolphins. Not a bad trip!!!!!

Posted August 1st, 2015 at 7:34 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Last night's Brixham pelagic

More pictures of common species. A change to lumpier chum (compared to 2013) has brought better photographic opportunities for gannets which are now coming in and diving close behind the boat.

Gannet slamming on the brakes....
Gannet slamming on the brakes....

....and diving
....and diving


Posted August 1st, 2015 at 4:14 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Last night's Brixham pelagic

A very pleasant trip in good conditions. A highlight was feeding flocks of manx shearwaters with a few balearics among them, sat on the water and constantly flying up to do shallow plunge dives; exactly what they were doing only became clear from looking at the photos.

Common tern
Common tern

Manx shearwater
Manx shearwater

Balearic and Manx shearwaters
Balearic and Manx shearwaters

Posted August 1st, 2015 at 2:31 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Balearic Shearwater survey 18 August 2015 – could you help?

RSPB and MARINElife are trialling a joint synchronised land/sea survey for Balearic shearwaters (and also bottle nosed dolphins) from Portland to Lundy on 18th August. We are testing this as a way to help arrive at a population estimate for Balearics using the seas around the SW peninsula.   The combined survey will cover up to 4km out to sea and the observations from the multiple land based watch locations will help to validate those  from the boat based crew. 

Although we realise there are so many variables that could affect the survey (timing/weather conditions/location/no birds etc) we have agreed on this date  and hope to build on the great information already collected by previous researchers and survey projects over the last few years and keep the momentum going to help safeguard this critically endangered seabird.

Many of you have been involved in past projects such as JNCC seabird surveys and Seawatch South West and have your regular seawatching sites, so we would really appreciate your help and experience at key sites if you are available on the day.  If the coordinated approach really works and gives us valuable data we would look at repeating the land-based operation again, perhaps even in September/October  this year and then as an ongoing initiative. 

If you are an experienced seawatcher and would like to be part of the land-based survey on the 18th, please contact and we will send you more information.

If you are ESAS trained and could help with the boat-based surveys please get in touch with Rachel at MARINElife

Posted August 1st, 2015 at 2:17 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Isley Marsh

Just seen my first Spoonbill! A single bird completely unexpected.

Posted August 1st, 2015 at 12:56 pm by Rob Barnes in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham.

Yesterday evenings trip out of Brixham into Lyme Bay produced many Manx Shearwater, difficult to count as appeared to be circling down to Start Bay and then back up towards Torbay, 4 Balearic Shearwater, Herring Gull, Kittiwake, Common Tern, Gannet, Fulmar, Great Black-backed Gull and 1 young gull which needs further ID. Good trip in good weather conditions. Still places left on some of the trips, if interested email 

Posted August 1st, 2015 at 7:59 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

West Charleton

Heard a Green Sandpiper calling as it went over my house at 22:40 last night.

Posted August 1st, 2015 at 7:09 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

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