Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th September 2015

Breeding Birds

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. Many of these 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. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and 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, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm 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

Monday 7th September 2015

River Taw off Ashford

Firstly sorry about the late post.

09:15 hrs River Taw from near Ashford, of the approx.400 Gulls mid channel, approx 5% were Mediterranean Gulls i.e. count 20.

 Also 2 Whimbrel

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 11:52 pm by Martin James Bond in General Birding

Ring Ouzel, Shipley Bridge

1 first-winter Ring Ouzel and 4 Whinchats halfway between Shipley Bridge and Avon Dam, evening, 7/9.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 10:08 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

South Brent ~ Hobby and Redstarts

At home in South Brent a Hobby sat on one of my field posts at 7am, I saw it yesterday evening and suspect it is the young bird I reared and released last year, it came in and took food offered to it after circling round above me.

Brent Hill, South Brent this afternoon gave me two Redstarts and one Whinchat, they are two species that have been eluding me for some time, good numbers of both Stonechat and Meadow Pipits, reasonable numbers of Goldfinch feeding on thistle heads, four Wrens seen and that many again heard.

Four Buzzard including a very loudly calling juvenile, Dunnocks, one unidentified small Warbler sp, four Raven overhead and a very confiding Grey Wagtail was the last of 23 species seen.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 9:14 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

Late evening visit showed two Dunlin, 2 Green Sandpipers, one Black-tailed Godwit and one Marsh Harrier. Only about 8 Swallows.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 8:56 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Just to add to Keith's post. Viewed over the early afternoon high-tide. The Little Stint was seen left of the viewing platform with a Ruff and 3-Knot at mid-day. From the hide at high-tide 3-Spotted Redshank and a Green Sandpiper dropped into left water channel briefly before disappearing and the usual high numbers of other waders. The Curlew Sandpiper was seen in Goosemoor just after the high-tide with other Dunlin and the Ruff.

Curlew Sandpiper:

Green Sandpiper:

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 8:41 pm by David Boult in General Birding

River Caen

1330-1630            Sherpa marsh held 4 Common sandpiper and a juv Marsh harrier. The mouth of the caen held 4 Curlew sandpiper, 20+ Ring plover and 30+ Dunlin. On horsey high tide roost 2 Greenshank and a juv Ruff.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 8:33 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Beer Head and Colyford Reserve.

15 members of DB (East Devon Branch) enjoyed a morning around the headland.  Yellow Wagtails (10+) were found with cattle early in the walk with a few Wheatear, Whitethroats and an elusive Redstart, plus 3 Bullfinch, a Peregrine and others.  Thanks to Ian Waite for leading us.

The remaining party moved on to Black Hole Marsh and then Colyford Common where a Bittern was seen in the early afternoon in the reedbed in front of the hide.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 6:43 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


A quick look around local patch after work from 15:00 16:30

A black tern from the viewing platform on bowling green marsh at 15:50 before flying towards powderham corner

1 juv curlew sandpiper was on goosemoor at 16:15 , with 1 juv ruff, 20+ greenshanks, 25+ redshanks , 14+ black tailed godwits, 4+ dunlin, 8 little egrets

from the hide on bowling green marsh 2 adult spotted redshanks , 1 avocet, 1 knot, 20+ dunlin, in with the usual redshanks and black tailed godwits, 3 pintail, 15+ wigeon, 20+ little egrets.

from the goatwalk , 7+ sandwich terns.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 6:06 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Great White Egret

Seen 10.15 today 50 yards from the railway steps just south of the river Kenn outlet near Powderham Estate. Slav Grebe also close in off Cockwood (11.15). Bright sunshine meant I couldn't see me camera screen properly hence poor quality.

Eds: this is actually a Little Egret (rather large body and small head on a short neck and thin rather pointed bill - see bottom picture, legs also too short)

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 5:47 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


Cormorants flying south over Morte Point yesterday

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 12:32 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Rillage Point

 06.30 to 09.00 Almost still before sunrise. Visible/audible migration included 10 Grey Wagtails, the first few Chaffinches of the autumn, 40 Swallows, a dozen House Martins and a minimum of 118 Siskins all heading E in small flocks – very early in the season for such a high count here (though I see 180 were reported at Portland yesterday). Grounded night migrants in the scrub included 9 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 9 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. Two Coal Tits on the cliffs.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 9:56 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Bowling Green Viewing Platform (Yesterday 6-9-2015)

A late post from yesterday to follow up from Gerry's earlier post. The Little Tern was on post in middle of estuary next to Sandwich Tern which was on the white buoy then a lttle later the Black Tern was on another post further towards Lymstone on the outgoing high-tide early afternoon seen from the platform.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 9:36 am by David Boult in General Birding

Great White Egret

While mooring up at Starcross just after sunset on Sunday 6th September, we watched a single Great White Egret fly northwards towards Powderham or Exminster.

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 7:49 am by Chris Sumner in General Birding

Sunday 6th September 2015

Salmons pool to trews weir

15:35 till 16:30

on the way home a quick walk along the new flood relief channel produced 2 kingfishers , 3 yellow wagtails, and 1 black tailed godwit , 2 raven and a sparrowhawk.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 8:34 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


watched from 09:30 till 15:00

A good morning with 2 different Ospreys the first an Adult fishing of the Goat walk just after 10:15 before flying down estuary towards Lympstone chased by 2 carrion crows it gave great views and severall locals managed to get good views of their first osprey

The second Osprey was a smart juv over Bowling green marsh at around 11:50 it showed well before rising on a thermal and eventually drifted of North up the river clyst

other highlights were watching a stunning male kingfisher just down from the quay in topsham flying only a couple of feet from me sat on the benches no bins needed 2 juv sandwich terns were flying around.

A nuthatch and great spotted woodpecker were In trees in Rivers meet house 

From the hide at bowling green marsh 1 juv ruff, 2 adult spotted redshanks, 300+ redshanks , 30+ dunlin, 2 knot, 400+ black tailed godwits, 1 hobby, 4 greenshanks, 14+ little egrets, 15+ lapwing, 2 yellow wagtails , over calling, 1 avocet.

from goosemoor , another juv ruff, 6+ dunlin, 14+ greenshank.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 8:28 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

2 Tree Pipits, 5 or 6 Whinchats, Pergerine, 4 Bullfinches, Nuthatch, 110 Redshanks, 36 Curlews, 4 Dunlins, 2 Greenshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers, 15 Little Egrets, and 18 Grey Herons.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 8:22 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Passage House

I watched for about an hour on the incoming tide at Passage House this morning,a Little Ring Plover was feeding on the mudbank,and a GreenSandpiper appeared briefly.There were also at least three Common Sandpipers and 18 Little Egrets roosting on the marsh.The best bird of the morning was a cracking Lesser Whitethroat in the apple tree in the car park!

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 5:08 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

East Soar/Starehole

East Soar/Starehole, am, Sunday 6th September.

2 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Tree Pipits (over), 1 Yellow Wagtail (over), 6+ Wheatears, 1 White Wagtail etc.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 5:08 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

East Soar

A family jaunt over Bolt Head turned up the 2nd Lesser Whitethroat of the autumn, 23 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat, Tree Pipit, 16 Chiffchaff, 7 Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Sparrowhawk & 5 Whinchat. Also several Painted Ladies.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 4:51 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Teign Estuary

A juvenile Little Ringed Plover was at Passage House. Also 100 Curlew (incl. a ringed bird returning for the third year), 3 Dunlin, 40 Little Egret, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Wheatear and 1 Water Rail. A ringed Black-headed Gull was also present returning for it's second summer/autumn.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 4:18 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

River Caen

0945-1300           4 Common sandpiper,3 Curlew sandpiper,2 Ruff,1 Blackwit,12 Dunlin,5 Buzzard and a juv Marsh harrier. Horsey held 3 Wheatear,1 King fisher and plenty of Greenshank on the high tide roost. At the mouth of the caen 28+ Ring plover.                 No Osprey.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 2:26 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Turf lock

Black tern and Little tern on the river this morning 

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 10:17 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works. 07:55 to 09:30.

11 Bar-tailed Godwit; 24 Black-tailed Godwit; 1 Curlew Sandpiper; 1 juv Dunlin; 5 Teal; 9 Grey Heron; 13 Little Egret, 3 Chiff Chaff and 2 male Ruff.

Posted September 6th, 2015 at 10:07 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Saturday 5th September 2015

Yellow Wagtails and Kingfisher Exminster Marshes

At least a dozen Yellow Wagtails skitting around the feet of the cattle on Exminster Marshes today.  Seen in two seperate places around cattle 10 minutes apart, not sure if same group or if there were two diffrent groups.  Also 15 Linnets resting in a tree. 2 Kingfishers by the Canal near Turf Cottage. Several Juvenile Sky Larks and Reed Buntings seen Thursday and today.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail


Juvenile Sky Lark
Juvenile Sky Lark

Posted September 5th, 2015 at 11:33 pm by Jo King in General Birding


A sprinkling of migrants this morning and into early afternoon...

28 Siskins (over), 19 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, Spotted Flycatcher, 16 Whitethroats, 20 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 30+ Alba Wagtails, Song Thrush, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, Goldcrest, c150 Swallows, and c50 House Martins.

Posted September 5th, 2015 at 9:30 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:00 till 13:30

A quick look around the bushes first thing only produced 2 male blackcaps, from the viewing platform a couple of yellow wagtails over and a probable tree pipit over (only on call), 30+ knot, 1 spotted redshank, 20+ dunlin good numbers of redshank 

from the hide , 2 Hobby flew through , 1 peregrine, 5+ buzzards, 2 spotted redshanks , 8+ yellow wagtails continued the good run this autumn, 1 ruff, 26+ dunlin, 3 bar tailed godwits, 10+ whimbrel, 630+ black tailed godwits, 200+ curlew, good numbers of redshanks , 20+ greenshanks, 4 pintail, 2 wigeon good numbers of teal and mallards, 1 tufted duck , steady passage of swallows( one wave came through with 620+ with others moving through most of the morning) also good numbers of sand martins and house martins, 60+ goldfinch. 

A quick look back around the viewing platform produced a nuthatch and a probable Garden warbler again only on call. 

Posted September 5th, 2015 at 8:03 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A few raptors about at Exminster Marshes this afternoon with Peregrine, pair of Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and a Hobby, all seen on the back path to Turf. The Hobby chasing the Swallows about and the Sparrowhawks successfully took a Blackbird in the "Discovery" area. One of them could have been a Juvenile?

The Peregrine on the Pylon looking half asleep with the Buzzard loafing about over head and not much else about.

Posted September 5th, 2015 at 7:21 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding


A look around Exmouth over the mid-day high-tide with Sara and Tony. Starting from the entrance to the docks where we could see several Sandwich Terns with a few Turnstones sat on the boats aound the estuary and a female Wheatear on the Warren point and large number of Oystercatchers in the bight area roosting. Moving up to the seafront near the clock tower several Terns and Gannets seen fishing around the bay and off Langstone rock with Ringed Plover, Sanderling and Dunlin on the beach side of Warren point. Later on the outgoing tide a look around Mudbank on my own showed good numbers of Terns on the exposed sandbar with 2 Little Terns and large number of Terns in feeding frenzy along the railway seawall in front Powderhan Castle with good numbers of both Wigeon and Mallard ducks flying from golf course side over to to top end of Mudbank. 

Link to video:

Yesterday 4-9-2015 at Goosemoor over the morning high-tide showed the Spotted Redshank with 3-Ruff and Greenshank roosting on the far side.

Posted September 5th, 2015 at 7:13 pm by David Boult in General Birding


A solitary wheatear on the beach amongst pied wagtails.

Posted September 5th, 2015 at 6:42 pm by Richard Woodland in General Birding

Lyme bay boat trip. Friday evening

Highlight of trip a pale phase adult Arctic Skua (thanks Mike for confirmation) that appeared out of nowhere to harass the gulls feeding on the chum. A number of Manx shearwaters and 1 poss balearic. Guillemots, gannets, a couple of terns and a lot more kittiwakes than last trip. At least 3 dolphins off dartmouth and porpoise off Berry Head.

Arctic Skua with juvenile Herring Gull  Arctic Skua
    Arctic Skua with juvenile Herring Gull                                               Arctic Skua


Posted September 5th, 2015 at 10:33 am by Paul Treen in General Birding

Friday 4th September 2015

Holne Moor

The first Ring Ousel of autumn, flushing between Rowan trees. Also Snipe, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Stonechat, Redpoll, Siskin, Swallow, House Martin, but no Wheatear seen, unlike last week. 

Posted September 4th, 2015 at 5:41 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Osprey at river Caen/Taw

Osprey succesfully catching fish at 1100 today Friday and taking prey back to metal post to eat. Great seeing this magnificent bird.

Posted September 4th, 2015 at 5:30 pm by Phil Plant in General Birding

Yellow Wagtails Topsham

Approx 8 yellow wags in front of BGM hide amongst the cattle 10.30.

Yellow Wagtail record shots

Posted September 4th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

River Taw

 2 Ospreys present this morning , one on the usual roost at the mouth of the Caen & 1 in flight.

Posted September 4th, 2015 at 11:43 am by David Paterson in General Birding

Berry Hd

Quiet on headland this morning - best of migrants: 1 Garden Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtails, 1 Willow Warbler, 9 Chiffchaffs

willow Warbler Berry Hd 4 Sep 2015 ML Garden Warbler Berry Hd 4 Sep 2015 ML.

Photos:       Willow Warbler                                               Garden Warbler

Posted September 4th, 2015 at 9:51 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 3rd September 2015

River Caen and Taw estuary

A walk down the river bank to check the Osprey. Success - there it was on its perch with a fish. It was disturbed by a few fisherment and flew accross the estuary to Isley Marsh. It suddenly turned and settled on the sand bank....very close to another Osprey! So two are present. Also Kingfishers, Greenshank, Redshanks, Common Sands, Buzzards, Kestrel and all of the regulars.

Posted September 3rd, 2015 at 9:16 pm by Rob Barnes in General Birding

Osprey near Exebridge

An Osprey was sat in a tree by the River Exe at Oakfordbridge just south of Exebridge at 1340. I saw it while driving from the Black Cat junction towards Exebridge on the A396. One of the Isley Marsh or Appledore birds perhaps

Posted September 3rd, 2015 at 7:53 pm by Perry Jonathan Smale in General Birding

River Taw , River Caen

Peregrine , Marsh Harrier & 2 Ospreys over the rivers & Chivenor this morning.

Posted September 3rd, 2015 at 7:46 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

With usual large numbers of waders and ducks seen from the hide moving out to the estuary, a Little Stint was seen left of the viewing platform amongst the Redshank on the outgoing tide at 1420hrs. Greenshank, Ruff and Spotted Redshank was seen in Goosemoor roosting on the high-tide.

Yesterday afternoon at Black Hole Marsh 2-9-2015 best birds on show was 6-Ruff, 3-Common Sandpipers, 1-Green Sandpiper, Ringed Plover and Kestrel.

Link to video.

Posted September 3rd, 2015 at 7:13 pm by David Boult in General Birding

River Taw / River Caen

2 Ospreys , 1 Marsh Harrier & 1 Peregrine over Chivenor this morning.

Posted September 3rd, 2015 at 11:47 am by David Paterson in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 08:30-09:45.

1 Greenshank; 12 Redshank; 1 female Goosander; 7 Little Egret; 2 Bar-tailed Godwit; 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper.

On Penhill Marsh were a further 10 Little Egret and in the field next to Bradiford Reserve were 20 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 adult Med Gull. In the ditch next to Ashford Sewage Works was 1 Kingfisher.

Yesterday btwn 14:05 and 15:30 there were 9 Black-tailed Godwit; 11 Little Egret; 3 Bar-tailed Godwit; 1 Redshank off Pottington and 13 Sanderling (in B.P) on sandbar in middle of the river. A further 4 Black-tailed Godwit in field next to B.Reserve with 1 Bar-tailed Godwit off Ashford Sewage Works and the Green Sandpiper in the adjacent ditch. 

Posted September 3rd, 2015 at 10:46 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

East Soar & Starehole Valley

A good smattering of migrants included 210 Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, 13 Pied Wagtail, Redstart, 28 Wheatear, 7 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 18 Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warbler and 5 Spotted Flycatcher. Also: Grey Heron flying west, Greenshank over & a Bullfinch. Rode Deer dam with calf & 1st autumn Clouded Yellow!

Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 4:39 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

River Caen.

0930-1300  The OSPREY was on the Taw behind Rmb Chivenor all morning ( metal post and small wooden post ) Male MARSH HARRIER over Horsey island also on horsey 20 Greenshank 8 Redshank and a CURLEW SANDPIPER.

Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 2:57 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

Efford Marsh

Seen recently at Efford Marsh on 23 & 24 Aug: 2 Little Stint, 3 Dunlin and Greenshank Efford Marsh - M Woodman-Smith

Little Stints with 3 dunlin and Greenshank Efford Marsh 2 Sep 2015


Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 2:46 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Osprey & Marsh Harrier North Devon.

Osprey on the River Taw at the mouth of the Caen & a Marsh Harrier on the Chivenor side of the Caen this morning.

Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 12:29 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Avon Dam - South Brent

Five Whinchat sitting on ferns at top of path near Dam from Shipley Bridge plus one very handsome Wheatear  on grass nearby. Mixed flock of tits with Goldcrests nearer to car park. Raven cronking over.

Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 9:59 am by Michael Nott in General Birding

Tuesday 1st September 2015

Bowling green marsh

A quick look after work 15:30 till 17:30

The imm/fem Garganey was showing well from the hide good numbers of teal , mallards   2 pintail, 30+ wigeon, 2 snipe

from the viewing platform 1 juv ruff

Posted September 1st, 2015 at 10:50 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Torr Quarry

70 + Ravens circling above Torr Quarry near Kingsbridge this morning.

Posted September 1st, 2015 at 5:24 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding


The Osprey still on it's favourite post by Chivenor this morning. Two Wheatears nearby, and a few Mediterranean Gulls on the grass by the Caen 

Posted September 1st, 2015 at 1:04 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Huish Sunday eve

Black-tailed godwit (10 juvs, 3 ads), dunlin (9 juvs, 2 ads), ruff (1 juv), ringed plover (4), little egret (1).

Posted September 1st, 2015 at 8:44 am by Richard Archer in General Birding

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