Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–30th September 2015

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·        Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·        Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·        Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

          Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·         Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·         Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish

Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels 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

Monday 28th September 2015

Mudbank Lane, Exe Estuary

Distant views of the Canada Goose sp or sub sp ( presumed Cackling minima) from 4pm till 5pm in glorious sunshine. Would like better views so hope it hangs around.Given conditions credit to finder and to Dave Stone for images on Birdguides.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 10:29 pm in Bird News

East Prawle, S Devon

Pigs Nose Valley and the coastal footpath east was the area explored by 9 members of DB (East Devon Branch).  The valley produced distant views of a Whitethroat and Cirl Buntings and then 3 Wheatear.  Small flocks of Linnet, Meadow Pipit and Goldfinch were ever present with Swallow and House Martin constantly overhead.  2 Kestrel put in an appearance over the valley and were later seen again along the coastal footpath.  Stonechats seemed present in numbers throughout the day and a Redstart was seen briefly on rocks above Macetey Cove.  A flock of c50 Linnet circled the fields and drank from a small stream.  A few Gannet were seen in the bay.

Lunch was enjoyed briefly below the car park and a Grey Heron made a fast flyby with the help of the stiff breeze and the remaining walk along the coast produced more Cirls, Wheatears and Stonechats but nothing of note.  A great walk.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 7:21 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Shipley, South Brent and the Exe estuary yesterday

Shipley to the Avon Dam mid-afternoon gave 20 identified species and a couple of unidentified Warbler sp near the old pumping house area. Two Kestrels showing well, two Raven mobbing a Buzzard that then mobbed them, Green Woodpecker, Dipper showed really well on the way back, one female Blackcap, Meadow Pipit numbers increasing but a notable drop off in the Tit and Warbler numbers.
At the car park a flock of 100 plus House Martins feeding on something in the canopy of the Ash tree at the entrance.

Kestrel seen hovering alongside the road dropping down to Harbourne X.

Couple of locals stopped to chat on the way up and confirmed recent Ring Ouzel reports but they/it still evaded me.

A morning up on the Exe from Turf down to Starcross yesterday (27th Sept) no Ospreys to be seen, but sure signs of the autumn, large flocks of Greenfinch and Goldfinch, the Starling numbers continue to grow, very few small waders on the dropping tide (they were all at Starcross) 
Very surprised to see a Buzzard try to take a Little Egret.
Meadow Pipits, only the one Ringed Plover a couple of Wheatear sightings possibly the same bird

Star Cross gave good numbers of Redshank, Oyster catcher, one Greenshank, one Turnstone, one Rock Pipit and small numbers of Curlew.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 6:42 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Berry Head

Highlights this morning were a Lesser Whitethroat in bushes by coastguard station and a Yellow-browed Warbler in the sycamore copse just north of the meadow cattle trough (in recent years the Lesser Whitethroat is the better bird at Berry Hd!). Also 8 Coal Tits around the headland and 13 Goldcrest.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 11:57 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Instow/Isley Marsh

Isley Marsh has 3 Spoonbill now. Same ringed one as other day. Also 4 Grey Plover, Redshank, Dunlin.

Towards Instow from here, a Whitethroat, plus 2 Chiffchaff, ~50 Meadow Pipit, 20 Skylark, 10 Rock Pipit, 20 alba Wagtail, 100 Goldfinch, Swallow nest still active.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 11:52 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Sunday 27th September 2015

Holdstone down exmoor

A mid morning walk around holdstone down this morning provided 2 female wheatears, 4 stonechat, 20+ meadow pipits,several small flocks of skylarks of about 40 birds in all, housemartins and swallows darting up the coast completely the opposite direction of 3 or so weeks ago.

Posted September 27th, 2015 at 8:51 pm by philip worth in Bird News


A Rustic Bunting was ringed today; see here for more details.

Posted September 27th, 2015 at 6:04 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Northam Burrows

From my garden looking out over Northam Burrows small groups of House Martin flying S.E. 5 - 10 in a group.

Posted September 27th, 2015 at 3:54 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Saturday 26th September 2015


Crossbill heard over at 15.45 { Dawn Barford present too]

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 10:26 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Prawle area

Birds of the day were the Common Quail (seen by John L and myself) and the Osprey ( seen by Pat M ) Yellow Wag , 3 Wheatears and 1 Spotted Flycatcher as well as a smattering of common migrants. Higher numbers of Meadow Pipits (350-400), Linnets (200-250) and Hirundines (  c 400 with Swallows/House Martins. In equal numbers plus a couple of Sand Martins) 

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 8:23 pm in Bird News

Ring Tailed Harrier

Adjacent to Kinsford Gate Exmoor Devon/Somerset Border about 11.30 this morning

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 6:38 pm by Jeremy Hickman in Bird News

Slapton Ley

The 2 Red-crested Pochards still at the Torcross end.

Migration - small flocks of Siskin, Greenfich, Linnet and Goldfinch over during the morning and a light passage of Swallows >S, a few Meadow Pipits going through. Plenty of Chiff-Chaffs around (50+), 3 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap and still some Sedge Warblers (3) and Reed Warblers (2) pesent.

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 3:37 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Isley Marsh

Two Spoonbill 11.30 asleep, out from the marsh on a sandbank. One ringed Green-yellow flag-green, Blue-metal-lime back again from Netherlands. 

Osprey out circling over the Taw 11.30. 

Also Turnstone, Little Egret, Grey Heron. 

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 12:38 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Berry Head

0700hrs-0930hrs Perhaps too clear today overhead migration was almost too high to see.Redpoll sp. 2, Meadow Pipit 24, Goldfinch 28, Linnet 7, Grey Wagtail 3, 'alba' Wagtail 9, Siskin 9, Starling 2, House Sparrow 4, Skylark 1.

Around the headland:Chiffchaff 12, Goldcrest 5, Coal Tit 3 (britannicus) , Blackcap 2.

Yesterday 0700-0930hrs, overhead: Meadow Pipit 16, Goldfinch 55, Linnet 13,Greenfinch 4, Grey Wagtail 2, 'alba' Wagtail 8, Rook 1.

Around Headland: Chiffchaff 18, Goldcrest 10, Willow Warbler 1, Blackcap 7, Whitethroat 1, Coal Tit 6 (one  - not bird in photograph below - looked particularly grey on upper parts in shade of quarry but on close inspection showed olive streaks on mantle).

 Coal Ti britannicus Berry Hd 25 Sep 2015 ML

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 11:48 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 25th September 2015


while having an early evening pt in the quay 22 adult med gulls flew past at 18:00

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 9:01 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Our Housemartin chicks today 25th September

Will 'our' housemartin chicks still be in their nest in October?

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 8:13 pm by Andrew P Gooch in Bird News


A lovely sunny day to walk along the river. A Kingfisher on the wall and later obligingly perched on the Turf lockgates.

Good numbers of Wheatear and Pied Wagtails along the path. In the river counted 6 Curlew and 6 Little Egret  on the incoming tide.

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 4:50 pm by alan clements in Bird News

East Soar

Looks like I dipped out on a Red-breasted Flycatcher - hopefully will be refound tomorrow. Otherwise first major Meadow Pipit movement with 360 generally moving west, 180 Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Robin 34, Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap and just a single Goldcrest.

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 3:46 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Ospreys at Portworthy Mica Dam

14.30-ish on Wednesday 23 September watched from a distance 2 Ospreys circling low over the water of the mica dam for approx 20mins.  c. 40 Mallard seemed unconcerned.  They then perched on adjacent conifers before getting mobbed by Crows, then disappearing.  Unable to tell age of birds as no binocs to hand. 

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 9:55 am by Michel Ragody Hughes in Bird News

Thursday 24th September 2015

Harford Moor birds

Still at least three wheatear on the moor - two on the side of Three Barrows and one past Lefltlake.  Also saw 3 kestrels, several ravens and plenty of meadow pippits.  Also small flock of linnets nearer Cantrell gate.

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 6:56 pm by Ann Willcocks in Bird News

Hartland Point


2 Sooty Shearwater, 1 balearic shearwater, 3 manx, 4 common scoter, 3 kittiwake, 5 distant terns

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 10:51 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Wednesday 23rd September 2015

Bowling green marsh

watched from 14:45 till 17:00

from the hide 1 spoonbill, 1 spotted redshank , 1 knot, 550+ black tailed godwits , 12+ Dublin, 150+ redshank, 12+ lapwing, 220+ wigeon, 200+ teal, 20+ pintail, 20+ shoveler 1 kestrel, 2 buzzard.

best bird was a female Merlin which flew through nearly catching a sand Martin 

from the viewing platform among 1000+ black headed gulls were 18+ avocet and 3 Mediterranean gulls( 2 adults and a 1st winter) 

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 10:03 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Prawle area

Prompted by Jonathon's report as hadn't planned a vis mig but about 10 in a WSW 3-4 noted 35 Siskins,111 Meadow Pipits, 60 Goldfinches,82 Linnets and c. 20 Chaffinches all west. Also 8 Yellow a Wagtails , 2 White Wagtails and 160 + hirundines, mainly Swallows. However prior to this,from 7.30am a mini fall of 46 Phylloscs,mainly Chiffchaffs, and 35 Blackcaps in the car park area. Autumnal feeling enhanced by addition of 2 Song Thrushes at Bunkers and, in Pig's Nose valley a Firecrest. No flycatcher species though.

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 9:50 pm in Bird News


Spotted Flycatcher in our garden in the centre of Braunton late afternoon. 

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 7:36 pm by Kelvin Irwin in Bird News

Plym Est - OSPREY

OSPREY Report from Philip Martin Phillips:

At 14:15hrs a single bird was seen to fly down the estuary towards Laira bridge

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 5:48 pm in Bird News

Weston Cliffs- Salcombe Hill Cliff (East Devon)

Vis. Mig. at 10.00hrs with flocks of Goldfinch, Linnet and M.Pipits moving through continually over fields at Weston Cliffs.  Sparrow Hawk overhead chased off by Crow.  Ravens in valley heard.  I later moved west to Salcombe Hill (Sidmouth) but nothing passing through at 12.00.  The walks did me good!

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 4:43 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Tuesday 22nd September 2015

Bowling green marsh

A quick look around this afternoon after a txt about a Firecrest on the marsh watched from 14:40 till 16:50

On the walk down to the hide the mixed tit flock started moving through by the bridge over the railway line lots of long tailed tits with great tit, blue tit and 2 coal tits and towards the back of the group was the firecrest quickly moving through not on bowling green marsh but still a good bird.

the spoonbill was still viewable from the hide most waders were moving out  so had a look from the viewing platform between showers 

60+ dunlin various groups , 5 grey plover, 1 common sandpiprer, 1 adult winter mediterranean gull lots of redshank and 10+ greenshanks, 1 peregrine.



Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 9:32 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Osprey ring

A check of suggests blue rings on Osprey are part of the Scottish ringing efforts. Each ring is engraved with 2 or 3 letters or digits (in white), if anyone can get this from a photo then the individual will be confirmed.

If so, email address on this page

Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 1:45 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Blackstone Rock - Taw Estuary

The Osprey was successful this morning catching a Grey Mullet. Noticed a Bue ring on the left leg.

Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 1:29 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

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