Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st September 2015


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

Monday 21st September 2015

Horsey Island

 Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, 3 Black tailed Godwit, 3 Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Wagtail, Wheatear, kingfisher, 2 spoonbill visible on Isley feeding.

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 7:39 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Ospreys - Taw Estuary

Interesting to compare the obvious differences in the plumage of the 2 Ospreys.

Both digiscoped from the Fisherman's huts with the one on the short wooden post taken on 17/09/2015 approx 1/2 mile + away on full digital zoom!

The photo of the first arrival digiscoped on 30/08/2015 on the metal post which is approx 1/4 mile + away with 3x optical zoom. 

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 6:48 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Torcross and Slapton

Once the rain had cleared, a lovely walk along the line from Torcross.  Plenty of great crested grebe and the usual gulls plus a black tern seen over far reed bed at Torcross.  17 ringed plover seen midway along the line, 5+swallow, 3+house martin and 2 wheatear  soon added to the list ..3 cetti heard .  Lesley

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 4:53 pm by Lesley Goonesekera in Bird News

Exmoor on Saturday

Late post after a lovely walk on Saturday near Swallowford. There was a large flock of Mistle Thrushes, over 30, is this unusual? Also one possible two Wheatear.

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 4:28 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in Bird News

Instow - West Yelland

Cricket Club - alba Wagtails, Common Gull, BH Gull

Gull roost - mostly Med Gulls, with Common and BHGull. 280 Oystercatcher.

Beach - 11 Brent Goose, Kestrel over. Swallow nest still active with 4 big young.

Oil Jetty-Power Station - Kingfisher, 1 Wheatear, 90 Curlew, 100 Starling, 8 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Stock Dove.

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 2:48 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Isley Marsh

Spoonbill. One had rings, some readable with bins as 'green yellow green' so likely this is gyfg-bml back again for another winter.

Distantly, 'the' Osprey could be seen at mouth of the Caen on the log next to usual post.

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 2:16 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spoonbill still (still asleep!) from the hide today until 1.45 at least. Also 1 Spotted Redshank in amongst good numbers of the usual waders. 1 Yellow Wagtail.

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 2:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Sunday 20th September 2015

Teign Estuary

Juvenile Arctic Tern at Flow Point this morning. Nearby a Bar-tailed Godwit amongst the Curlew at Passage House and a Whinchat, three Wheatears and 175+ Linnets on Newton Abbot Racecourse.

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 9:37 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News


To addition Keith's post, a single Black and Common tern from the viewing platform today.

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 9:27 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Soar area

In addition to the birds seen by Pete Aley, a walk from Bolberry to East Soar gave 2 Whinchat and 9 Ringed Plover, plus usual resident birds.  Only 20 Swallows  and 10 House Martins. A quiet day compared to the numbers of birds seen in the same area yesterday.  

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 9:22 pm by George and Les Varr in Bird News


A rather quiet wander around west Soar over the lunchtime period.

Goldcrest (5), Blackcap (9), Siskin (5 over), Chiffchaff (2), Willow Warbler, and Whitethroat (2).

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 8:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 08:00 till 13:00

A very foggy morning but eventually everything showed well

from the hide the spoonbill was asleep most of the morning, a good increase in wildfowl numbers with 286+ wigeon , 40+ pintail, 2 tufted duck, 25+ shoveler, 140+ teal, 685+ black tailed godwits, 3 spotted redshanks, 309+ redshank, 2 juv ruff, 150+ Dunlin, 1 avocet, 4 whimbrel,4 bar tailed godwits, 8+ greenshanks, 356+ curlew, 23+ little egrets, 1 kingfisher.

from the viewing platform 

1 osprey flew across the river from exton towards turf at 12:50


Posted September 20th, 2015 at 7:31 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

This afternoon 15:30 to 16:50: 2 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 10+ Pied Wagtail, 2 Stonechat, 30+ Mipits & 6 Siskin.

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 7:13 pm by Dave Helliar in Bird News


The Maer - a Turtle Dove briefly @ 2pm. Also a White Wagtail and a Wheatear. On Orcombe Point this morning a notable increase in Chiffchaff and Robin with c25+ and 30+ respectively. Off Mudbank 5 Pale-bellied Brent Goose and 3 Common tern.

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 5:50 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Exe Estuary Turf

The fog was very thick and did not lift until after the WeBS count, at about 10.30. I heard a few waders but saw almost none apart from 2 dunlin and 5 ringed plover at Turf. A common sandpiper (did not call and appeared to have rounded wings) flew past and landed to the north of the canal entrance.

On the sea-wall were 3 wheatears, one chiffchaff, robin and about 6 meadow pipits. A flock of about 80 house martins and 20 swallows appeared immediately the fog cleared. There were two kingfishers around the Turf. On the canal bank I saw one blackcap (male), two (late) reed warblers, at least 6 chiffchaffs and a flock of c200 starlings.

An atmospheric count if not very productive.

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 2:28 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


0750 - 1110

An overcast morning: 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Kingfisher, 183 Herring gull, 36 Oystercatcher, 2 Little egret, 2 Cirl bunting, 4 Linnet, 2 Wheatear, 12 Alba wagtails in the horse fields. 2 Ringed plover and 8 Rock pipit on the seaweed.

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 1:17 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

19-09-15 Crazywell Pool Dartmoor

A good 2 dozen Whinchat, Wheatear, Linnet several Stonechats. All  spotted and photographed at Crazywell pool, near Burrator, Dartmoor.

Twite, Crazywell pool, Dartmoor
Linnet, Crazywell pool, Dartmoor 

Wheatear, Crazywell pool, Dartmoor
Whinchat Crazywell pool, Dartmoor

Posted September 20th, 2015 at 10:02 am by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Saturday 19th September 2015


Had a day ringing in the reserve today and we were entertained by lots of Black-headed Gulls feeding on ants (?) above us. In amongst them were several Mediterranean Gulls.


Posted September 19th, 2015 at 11:47 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Another productive day here.

A juv Dotterel found first thing next to East Soar car park. After watching it a while it suddenly flew high calling and there in the air - two! They disappeared north but to my surprise a single bird reappeared in the field some 15 mins later without being seen flying in. So two or three birds?. It was still there mid pm.

Nearby a striking leucistic Swallow amongst c100 others. Also: 1or 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Whinchats, 5 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 13 each of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats, 10 Siskins over, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Firecrests, 15 Ringed Plovers, Dunlin,and 150+ Goldfinches. 

Posted September 19th, 2015 at 6:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Osprey on the Exe

A glorious afternoon’s weather while walking the Exe estuary from Powderham to Turf.

Three Osprey sightings of birds in full flight over the river and mud flats, the third bird came upriver carrying a fish and then turned inland on reaching Turf and flew towards Haldon.

A count of 37 Starling’s and a notable increase in the numbers of Ringed Plover, four Wheatear sightings, two Kestrel, plenty of Goldfinch feeding on thistle heads.

A total of 32 species identified and one un identified Warbler.

Posted September 19th, 2015 at 4:45 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

watched from 06:30 till 14:00

a very misty morning but eventually clearing, started by looking along the lane at least 12+ blackcaps mostly males feeding on berries included 1 garden warbler a few chiffchaffs and a 20+ group of long tailed tits, 3 nuthatch 

The spoonbill was again viewable from the hide, 2 spotted redshanks, 2 avocet, 180+ redshanks, 2 whimbrel, 1 bar tailed godwit, 80+ Dunlin , 520+ black tailed godwits, 2 greenshank, 150+ curlew, 1 pintail, 25+ shoveler, 130+ wigeon , 150+ teal, 12+ lapwing, 1 kingfisher , 3 jay, 1 sparrowhawk, 3 buzzards, 4 yellow wagtails over.

then on to the viewing platform 2 juv ruff , 300+ Dunlin, 1 knot , a Black tern was picked up of powderham corner then proceeded to move around the estuary eventually giving some good views , 6+ common tern and about 20+ sandwich terns , an Osprey caught a fish then headed towards turf at 13:20 , 1 kingfisher, 2 common sandpipers, 1 water rail, 10+ buzzards, 1 grey wagtail over, 2 nuthatch.

overall a good morning 



Posted September 19th, 2015 at 4:44 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Plym estuary / Saltram

1100 - 1300 High tide roost:

14 Cormorant, 18 Grey Heron, 151 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 3 Little Grebe, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, and 1 Dunlin on the mud.

15 Little Egret, 39 Curlew, 2 Kingfisher on Blaxton meadow. 1 Chiffchaff around Saltram estate.

Posted September 19th, 2015 at 2:56 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Friday 18th September 2015

Start Point

06:45-13:30. Overnight rain, sunny spells through morning but a heavy shower early afternoon. Light SW wind veered W.

Had a good look around, evidence of a fall, most birds around the farm. Mainly Chiffchaffs which numbered 57 but also Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Grey Wagtail, Tree Pipit,  15 Blackcaps, 6 Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers,6 Goldcrest and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.                                                   On a still day surprisingly few Meadow Pipits and only 15 Siskins. As Douglas hinted plenty of hirundines around, I only counted 100 Swallows and 40 House Martin but no doubt shedloads more going through ,only saw 1 Sand Martin.                                                                                                       Most unexpected find were a pair of Little Grebes and at least one young on an old irrigation pond.         Few migrant butterflies seen , single Clouded Yellow and painted lady with a handful of Red Admirals. Elsewhere Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps around the coastal path to North Hallsands where i was surprised to see a couple of young House Martins still in the nest.   




Posted September 18th, 2015 at 10:54 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Around Slapton

A continual movement of hirundines all day, mainly Swallows but a few House and Sand Martins mixed in, moving south. Mainly in 2 -3's but some notable larger flocks of 40 to 60. Some birds came down the coast, others were well out to sea and appeared to be cutting across the bay to Start Point whilst many more came in from the sea and on to the lower ley. In all well over 300 Swallows.

At Strete gate, 10 Chiffchaffs, Whitethroat and Blackcap. 6 Clouded Yellows, 2-3 Painted Ladies and 12 Red Admirals ( for any keen botanists there is an excellent show of sea campion below the cliffs here at the moment plus some very showy yellow horned poppies).

From the footpath at the north end of the lower ley, 30+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Sedge warbler and Reed Warbler.

The 2 Red Crested Pochards at Torcross and a Balearic Shearwater flew through the bay at around 1.30 p.m seen from the Monument car park. 4 Sandwich Terns fishing up and down the beach.

Posted September 18th, 2015 at 7:02 pm in Bird News


Walk from Torcross to Monument between 13:00 - 15:00 produced the following: 2 Red Crested Pochard amonst the large flock of Coot/Tufted Duck/GC Grebe mid way along the lower ley plus 1 Pochard..  50 Swallows, 30 House Martin, 4 Sand Martin.  14 Ringed Plover on the beach (grounded by the heavy showers).  4 Sandwich Tern, 7 Rock Pipits, 6 Pied Wagtail, 3 White Wagtail, 4 Wheatear (one male), 3rd year Med Gull in the gull flock but best of all our first GN Diver of the autumn.  Originally seen well out in the bay it came much closer to shore by 15:00 allowing good views from the beach. 

Posted September 18th, 2015 at 6:08 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News

East Soar

Strangely quiet here with morning's tally inc. 32 Swallow, 9 Meadow Pipit, 14 Alba Wagtail, 30 Robin, Whinchat, 10 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap. 15 Chiffchaff & 90 Goldfinch.

Posted September 18th, 2015 at 3:58 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

South Milton 10 Sept

Late news: only just received of a sighting of a Great White Egret at c1.00pm on Thurs 10 September as sadly Peter's computer had a glitch and didn't send the message.

"Half way along the DBWPS path by the reed bed I saw an egret labouring upstream against the fresh east wind. It passed me slowly at a 100 yards or so only just above the reed tops. I said out loud "It's got a yellow bill!" It was in binocular view about a minute before it passed out of sight. The bill was clearly long and dagger-like. The other noticeable thing was its noticeably long trailing legs and feet, all black".

Peter Goodfellow.

Posted September 18th, 2015 at 3:52 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spoonbill still asleep from the hide this lunchtime until 1.55 at least.

At the platform, Dave Boult told me he had seen an Arctic Tern earlier and we soon relocated it perched on a buoy. Also 4 Common Terns feeding on the river. 2 Ruff and 1 Kingfisher.

Posted September 18th, 2015 at 2:20 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Thursday 17th September 2015

Velator to Horsey Island

Two white wagtails amongst the numerous pied wagtails plus a Kingfisher on the Caen.  Spoonbill seen on the Yelland side of the estuary from the fishermens huts at 16:30, still present at 17:15.  Three Common Sandpipers on the Caen on the way back to the car.

Posted September 17th, 2015 at 10:04 pm by Kim Beaver in Bird News


Marine Parade, Preston this morning a count of 26 Turnstone, one tag rung bird with the ring ending in the figures 32, two Oyster Catcher, reasonable numbers of both Herring and Black Headed Gulls.

During a visit to the zoo heard alarms calls from both Jay and Magpies on looking saw that a juvenile female Sparrow Hawk had taken a Jay in the middle of the main path way, the Magpies were mobbing and scolding and the approach of people resulted in the Jay making good its escape.

Also in the zoo a Grey Wagtail

Back home in South Brent gave me four visits from the Hobby

Posted September 17th, 2015 at 7:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton ley

Whilst out and about today , popped into Slapton. The 2 eclipse male Red Crested Pochard still present at 4pm north of the Torcross hide, on the west side of the ley. Also 2 Gadwall, 1 Pochard, c30 Tufted Ducks and c25 Great Crested Grebes.  Also 4 Sandwich Tern offshore. 

Posted September 17th, 2015 at 6:22 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Wednesday 16th September 2015

Velator-Horsey Island

Barn Owl, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, Greenshank and Great Crested Grebe this evening. Too late for passerines but Starling and Swallow roosts evident.

Posted September 16th, 2015 at 9:05 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News


No sign of the Grey Phalarope today but Sooty Shearwater and at least 3 Balaeric Shearwaters flew across the bay. See Mike Passman's site, this evening for full update.

Posted September 16th, 2015 at 4:55 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The sleepy Spoonbill was still from the hide this lunchtime (until 1.45 at least) along with 2 Ruff.

From the Goatwalk an Osprey was perched on a post looking towards Turf, tucking into a fish.

Kingfisher from the platform.

Posted September 16th, 2015 at 2:04 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Around the Exe (15th september)

A brilliant days birding starting with a visit to Bowling Green Marsh, the Spoonbill was closer than on Sunday visit and showed well, Curlew and Black Tailed Godwit in good numbers,the Spotted Redshank showed periodically but very fleetingly, Dunlin, Redshank, Whimbrel, Ruff, Lapwing and a solitary Avocet regular movement of both Sand Martins and House Martins over the marsh. A Peregrine Falcon made a low level pass across the marsh and a Buzzard showed well from the hide circling to one side of the marsh.

An Osprey was sat on the same post out over the water towards Powderham as it had been on Sunday as viewed from the Goat Walk..

At Exminster marsh as reported near the Lions Rest the reported Grey Phalarope was showing well if screened at times by reed growth, just beyond the pond feeding around the cattle were at least five Yellow Wagtail which were proving difficult to watch due to the distance.

Stopping to speak to another birder on the way out we saw a flock of no less than 15 Yellow Wagtails take flight that had been feeding round a herd of cattle. Just on the exit to the main road another herd of cattle gave close up views of both Pied and Yellow Wagtails the area was alive with them. 

Going across the Powderham side of the Exe the Osprey was still sat on the same marker post, Ring Plover, Oyster Catcher, Common a single female Wheatear in the fieldsalongside the path.

At home in South Brent the visiting Hobby was with me from early morning and again at 2.55pm when it took to the offered food and circled the area eating the food on the wing this being the first time I have seen that behaviour with provided food, the Hillside Willow Tit came onto the feeders late in the day around 6.30pm and the resident Tawny owl showed well in the evening to finish the day off with 64 birds identified for the day.

Posted September 16th, 2015 at 9:52 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Tuesday 15th September 2015


Visit to Slapton between 13.00 and 16.00 resulted in views of adult Hobby over reeds at west end of the lower ley.  2 Red-crested Pochards showing well from the car park hide and 4 Black Swans.  100+ mixed flock of House Martins/Sand Martins/Swallows over lower ley.   On the seaward side: flock of 18 Sandwich Terns flying West close to shore and feeding well.  3 Wheatears (one of which was the Greenland Race (leucorhoa)). 4 Rock Pipits and 16 Pied Wagtails and 3 White alba Wagtails.

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 10:41 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News

Horsey Island

A late aft / early evening checkover produced 1 Short - eared Owl searching for prey over Horsey then flying towards the south end of Braunton Burrows.

Also 2 Green Sandpipers.

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 7:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Exminster marshes

Having just returned from France I was pleased to see that the grey phalarope was still present this afternoon. On the way down the lane there was one flock of 10 pied wagtails and another of about 30 yellow wagtails, both flocks were associating with cattle. A second winter Med gull flew over as I watched the phalarope. Elsewhere at least 9 chiffchaffs on the canal bank, a kingfisher on the canal and streams of swallows and house martins passing over.

The crossing from Brittany was rough at times and birds were hard to see; 4 great skuas, 1 phalarope sp. and 1 Balearic shearwater were the highlights in British waters within two hours of Plymouth.


Posted September 15th, 2015 at 6:45 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Seeing as no one else has mentioned the Grey Phalarope here... yes it was showing on the pond today.  A bit too distant for pics however.  4 Wheatear also present and Yellow Wagtails reported with cattle.

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 5:32 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

South Milton Ley

Grey Phalarope  on South Milton Ley by the footbridge, feeding ,showing very well down to 20 feet at lunchtime. Found at 09.20 and still there at 12.10

per Mike Passman

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 5:17 pm in Bird News

East Soar

First Firecrests of the autumn, two together in sycamores in Starehole where I flushed a Tawny Owl. Also 4 Blackcap, Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtail and a Lesser Black-backed Gull race intermedius.

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 2:13 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Horsey Island

1 juv Spotted Redshank on Horsey Island.

Also 3 Redshank & 21 Greenshank.

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 1:19 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Instow -West Yelland

Cricket field: 2 Wheatear, 6 Common  gull, 2Bhgull, 8 alba Wagtail, 20 Goldfinch, Sparrowhawk, 3 Oystercatcher, 

 Sand dunes path: 12 House Martin, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet

Gull roost: 5+ Med Gull. 2+ Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern

Gas/Oil jetty: 200 Starling, 1 Sandwich Tern over

pathway to power station site; 8 Whinchat, 3 Stonechat, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wheatear. 1 Brent Goose on the beach. Ringed Plovers plus few Dunlin.

Power Station: 1 Blackcap, Raven pair, 50 Goldfinch . Common Sandpiper under coal jetty.

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Ringed curlew

last week on the 10th during the count of curlew on Bowling Green Marsh I had a ringed individual with the following combination 

Left leg white ring with BH on over yellow ring 

Right leg was green ring and a metal ring 

Just received news that it was ringed on 4/6/2015 as a chick in Glenbuchat Aberdeenshire and is the first sighting since leaving the area. Good to find out where it had come from and to find out about the work being done in Scotland.


Posted September 15th, 2015 at 10:44 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

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