Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th October 2016

Request 2021 records requiring further information

If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Friday 7th October 2016


@Jon Turner - my wife tells me that my few minutes is in 'man time' and that actually it was about half an hour after you left. Just checked my pic data and it was at 15:39.
Pic attached of its flight path marked in red and our position in blue.

I had taken so many hopeful shots of  'gull sized white birds' that I had given up until my wife called the huge red beak.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 10:26 pm by HPL in Bird News


Good to see you got the Tern HPL, it was me that found the Ruff for you! Was it really a few mins after I left? I looked over the embankment a couple of times on the way back along the Toll road!!

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 10:08 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Caspian tern

Just a few pics to confirm the Caspian Tern taken today at about half 3ish down the mere. Taken about ten minutes after a gentleman who was looking for it left (he found us a ruff). 


Eds. Great shots, but please can you use your full name (see guidelines), so we know who you are? Thanks.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 9:34 pm by HPL in Bird News

Exmouth LNR

The eel grass beds off Exmouth's Imperial Rec. Ground to Mudbank and beyond are now providing their usual autumn spectacle.  

On today's ebbing tide there were 54 Swans, c950 Brent Geese and (on a rough and ready count) around 3,500 to 4,000 duck, mainly Wigeon with Pintail and Mallard.    150 Turnstones counted by Derek Carter a little later at Mudbank.

It's quite a sight.   Approx 1.5 to 2 hours after high tide is best when the Brents come close inshore (less if neap tides)

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 9:27 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

A Yellow-browed Warbler along Budleigh west cliffs footpath this afternoon below golf club car park, also firecrest and a few Chiffchaff. A single Wheatear on fields above the Otter on the east side.

Blyth's Reed Warbler at Berry Head yesterday - I have done a blog post for anyone interested in emarginations!


Posted October 7th, 2016 at 7:30 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Update on the Caspian Tern

A couple of posts on Birdguides and Birdforum had me heading down to the fisherman's huts again at about 5.15. After a few scans of everything on the various sandbanks I found it perched with some Black-headed Gulls just off Isley Marsh. At 5.55p.m. it shook it's wings and took off heading west, and I quickly lost it to view.

Down on the flood were 3 of the Spoonbills, at least 22 Little Egrets, and 100 or so Black-tailed Godwits. Bonus birds were 7 Swallows flying along the embankment heading east.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 7:13 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sometimes you just get lucky!

Saw the post about the Caspian Tern this morning but couldn't get away. On driving down to Horsey Island this evening I did a quick stop to jump out and peer over the embankment to view the flood in case the pelican or other stuff was in there. I raised my glasses to check an odd looking gull and yes first bird I focus on the Caspian Tern. Had close views as it circled over the flood for a few minutes, a very impressive bird and easy to ID on size alone. Also 3 Spoonbills, two adults and one Juv. The adults were ringed with one red over light blue and the other seeming to have green with a yellow tag. Also Blackwits, Egrets, Herons, Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew, Teal, Kingfisher, Dabchick, 2 Snipe overhead and all the regulars. Pelican was report further up the estuary.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 6:59 pm by Rob Barnes in Bird News

Berry Head

With the gloomy conditions and rain Berry Head was too tempting - a brief visit late pm produced a small fall of Chiffchaffs in the Quarry 6-7 compared to 2-3 this morning also extra Goldcrests, Blackcap and a Yellow-browed Warbler. After spending sometime down in the quarry this morning and not seeing a lot this had to be a new bird in and not the yellow-browed that was around yesterday afternoon.

Yellow-Browed Warbler Berry Hd 071016ML Yellow-Browed Warbler Berry Hd 071016ML

Yellow-browed Warbler

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 6:36 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Fremington Quay

While not seeing the Caspian Tern at the quay( Jon Turners post below explains why) I did manage to relocate the Glossy Ibis close to the road at the landward end of the river.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 6:21 pm by John Bronze in Bird News


Walked around the west side of Prawle out of the wind lots of birds the best of being: 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Wheatears, c50 Chiffchaff, c20 Blackcap, c10 Goldcrest, Ring Ouzel, c20 Song Thrush and good numbers of Skylarks moving. But raptors stole the show, a most approachable juvenile Hobby (see photos), flyby Short-eared Owl and a distant ringtail Hen Harrier.

Hen HarrierHobby juvHobby juvHobby juv

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 6:02 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

Two Cattle Egrets together feeding around sitting Cattle on the marsh.

Cattle Egret Aveton Gifford &.10.2016 Dave Allen     Cattle Egrets Aveton Gifford 7.10.2016 Dave Allen

Dave Allen

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 6:01 pm in Bird News

Start Point

06:30-14:45. Cloudy day, moderate east wind, occ. light shower.

Conditions looked great to find the big one but its on hold yet again for another day. Did see 2 Little Egrets ( north off point ), Grey Wagtail, Redstart, Wheatear, Redwing, 2 Ring Ouzels, 15 Song Thrushes, 14 Blackcaps, 41 Chiffchaffs, 15 Goldcrests and 3 Firecrests.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 4:38 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Isley Marsh

Took the dog around south side of Taw after reports of Caspian Tern by mouth of Caen early morning. No sign of that or the pelican but of note at Isley Marsh:

5 Spoonbill, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 10+ Grey Plover, Pochard, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, 3 Dunlin, 1 Barn Swallow, juv Common Gull, 15+ Greenshank, several Redshank.

Between here and power station, a Whinchat on the fence.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 4:21 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Horsey Island

After a U-turn in Barnstaple when I discovered the Tern was seen at the Caen river mouth I picked up Sue Bruce and we headed to the fisherman's huts. Pelican viewable up-river opposite Fremington, then, as the tide fell, on the huge sandbank mid river. Along the Caen good numbers of Skylark and at least 2 Wheatears. Drifting downstream as the tide dropped, an Eider. Great Crested Grebe mid river. 5 Spoonbills over on Isley Marsh. We walked most of the way to the White House, but then decided perhaps the Tern would be at the Skern so retraced our steps.

Near the broken sluice we were joined by Mike from Tiverton, when an LBJ flew into the grass at the base of the embankment below us. Skylark I called, but it didn't look right. When it flew again Mike and I both called: WRYNECK! It flew the few yards across the flood and we had good views. However, we decided to head back to the fisherman's huts,  where we just kept scanning. Later we were joined by Stuart from Ashburton, and Andy Lansdell. Still no sign of the Tern. Although Mike picked out two Commic Terns across the Isley side.

Stuart left, and after a while lunch called and we followed him. What happened next was a birding tragedy- Stuart, who was by now heading down the toll road towards Crow Point came back to us to say he had seen the Tern flying up and down the Horsey mere, and had been frantically waving his arms at us to let us know. We didn't see him until too late and the bird had once again moved on..... this was at about 2p.m. So we decided to forgo lunch and head down to the Crow point area, where we scanned and scanned but in vain for a hint of the Tern. Alas it wasn't to be. A couple of Mediterranean Gulls was about the best.

Also seen on the flooded area were several Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwits, a Spotted Redshank, a Ruff, and 2/3 Kingfishers. Finally a Sparrowhawk perched on a roadside post as we drove back up the Toll road.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 4:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Salcombe - Osprey

  Watched from a boat over the high tide. Osprey successfully fishing in Collapit Creek, disturbed flock of Pintail. Tony Tabb.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 3:21 pm in Bird News

East Soar

A disappointing morning was brightened up by two Merlin, a male hunting over Starehole & a large female hunting over the airfield. Also: 66 Skylark, 24 Swallow, 24 House Martin, 11 Wheatear, 28 Robin, 7 Song Thrush, male Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, late Willow Warbler on the airfield edge, 5 Goldcrest, 100 Carrion Crow & 150 Linnet.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 2:20 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

From the platform this lunchtime, 29 Avocet, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Common Gulls along with the usual waders.

1 Avocet from the hide. 1 Ringed Plover made a brief visit to the marsh before heading off to the estuary.

At Goosemoor, 1 Water Rail calling. Overhead a steady movement of small groups of House Martins.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 2:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Berry Head

No sign of the Blyth's Reed Warbler this morning. around the headland were 1 Ring Ouzel, 12 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest , 9 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap.

Overhead of note: 7 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush 60+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Siskin.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 12:40 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Great White Egret

Great White Egret seen in the stream close to the road bridge at Castle Hill Gardens Estate  Filleigh about 11.15am then spooked by a tractor and took off heading North. Lovely bird.

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 12:36 pm by John Clark in Bird News


Report of Caspian Tern at Fremington this morning - I'm on my way!

Posted October 7th, 2016 at 9:15 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Thursday 6th October 2016

Photographing Dalmation Pelican

To clarify my post yesterday evening my comments were aimed mainly at people using only mobile phones to photograph the Pelican.

So far, all the photos I have taken of this bird have been through my telescope from a good distance away!

Apologies if any offence was taken by Devon Birds members.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 10:10 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Dalmatian Pelican image

For anyone concerned about my recent image I'd like to reassure them that the apparent close proximity to the bird was achieved because it was taken from the cover of the grassy bank &  using a Nikon P900 which has the 35mm equivalent of a 2000mm telephoto lens (83x optical) & no disturbance took place.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 7:37 pm by Philip Naylor in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Cattle Egret in with 3 Little Egret in field by the path near entrance to reserve. 

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 7:25 pm by Roger Backway in Bird News

Exeter matford

A good morning at work at the Devon hotel from 07:00 till 09:30 it all  started as I was getting the first delivery in and heard  a few skylarks going over calling nothing unusual in that at this time of year but it soon became apparrant that there was lots moving over head in a ten minute count 350+ skylark and at least 3 woodlark picked up on call as well as good numbers of meadow pipits, and also a mixture of swallows and house martins all were heading east / south east.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 6:15 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Head

Vic Tucker informed me of a Yellow-browed Warbler at Berry Head in the quarry while the Blyth's Reed Warbler was giving him the run around this pm!

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 6:06 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Thursday, 6 Oct at approx 11.00 am a pair of Spoonbill flew Eastwards over Slapton Ley. 

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 5:42 pm by John Lloyd in Bird News

Blyth's Reed Warbler

The Blyth's Reed Warbler showing during the early afternoon at the Berryhead quarry with a steady stream of birders looking for it, just to add to the difficulty in finding and viewing it in very dense cover was the presence of a Reed Warbler which on looking at my images is a darker bird with rather tatty plumage and was showing more frequently than the sought after Blyth’s, telling the two apart in the field is no easy matter as the below images show.

( Eds: Steve all these images are off the Blyth's Reed Warbler - hopefully the loose primary on right side was just that the wing was folded awkwardly! )



Also in the quarry were Wren, Robin, Blue & Great Tit, Stonechat with Pied and Grey Wagtail overhead.

On the way out a female Kestrel hunting over the main quarry, by the car park a 30 plus strong flock of Goldfinch and four Swallow seen over Brixham.

Back at home a Chiffchaff still showing around the garden, Raven and two Swallow.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 4:13 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

West Hill - Braunton

14.37 - Good views of 1 Red Kite flying east between the properties & the Beacon.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 2:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

7 Ring Ouzels in berry-laden hawthorns west of the Cove, Grasshopper Warbler skulking in the reedy area, juv.Hobby over the cove itself & 3 Wheatear on the higher fields.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 1:52 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Re photographing Pelican

As Rob's post re photographing the Pelican was added shortly after my submission, I can assure him that good fortune rather than disturbance enabled the shots. However we should be aware that all birders may not possess, or can afford, the equipment they would like. Nice shot yesterday Rob.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 1:43 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Dalmatian Pelican

At Crow Point this morning (08.40) viewed from Braunton.

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 8:48 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 5th October 2016

Budleigh Salterton

Three Firecrest around Budleigh Salterton today - 1 above the West Cliffs and 2 off the Knowle Road.

Common Firecrest by Chris Townend

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 10:18 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Dalmation Pelican

Please could we ask anyone who is considering observing & photographing the Pelican to consider the welfare of this bird first.

 It is very sensitive to disturbance & can be easily spooked. Please keep a good distance away from it during observation, make sure you have the correct optical equipment & please do not attempt to photograph

it with a mobile phone unless you are photographing it through a telescope. Thank You.

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 9:55 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

River Plym, Plym Estuary and Saltram 05.10.2016

Went back to try and find the Spotted Redshanks from Monday but no joy however other sightings follow. Little Egret, Canada Geese and Redshanks on the Estuary, Grey Heron, Canada Geese and male Tufted Duck on the River between the bend at Saltram and the Railway Bridge along with four or five Common Sandpipers. From the bridge at Longbridge Road a Kingfisher showed very well and was quite photogenic.

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 8:06 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:15 till 17:40

1 juv / female garganey from the hide among good numbers of teal and wigeon, 11+ avocet.

2 Hobby flew over heading south as I walked down towards the viewing platform and a peregrine over the viewing platform, 20+ chiffchaffs around the marsh.

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 7:08 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Head

Another shot of the Blyth's Reed Warbler on which the emarginations are visible on the primaries. The Eider flock held 22 birds, including several eclipse drakes, and a Pintail.

Blyth's Reed Warbler
Blyth's Reed Warbler

Eider flock with a Pintail
Eider flock with a Pintail

Great Skua passing close
Great Skua passing close

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 6:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

An afternoon visit to South Efford Marsh was rewarded with the briefest view of the reported Woodchat Shrike.

Common Sandpiper 5, Little Egret 5+, Black Tailed Godwit 7, Canadian Geese 107+ not counting the domestic type goose with them, Little Grebe, Stonechat 4+.


Pied Wagtails and Little Egrets on the move over the marsh almost constantly with a Sparrow Hawk passing high overhead.

Other birders reported seeing the two Green Sandpipers subject to recent posts.

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 6:31 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Juv Woodchat Shrike still showing throughout the day infrequently at South Efford Marsh in the same location as previously. Very flighty and easily scared off by the presence of birders or the blackberry pickers in evidence this morning. I lost the Sigma lens hood for my camera this morning at this location. A second visit to try to locate it this afternoon, but it had gone. Would appreciate its return!

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 6:15 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching very poor (as usual mostly cleared out as the 2nd day of East wind), but a few bits: 7 Shoveler, 3 Pintail, 3 Bonxies, 2 Arctic Skuas and 2 Sandwich Terns. Dave Smallshire saw a flock of c20 Eider with a Pintail, settled on the sea which moved off.

In the quarry not only the Blyth's Reed Warbler but also a Reed Warbler (see photo) which at times doing the same circuit as the Blyth's. Also Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

Reed Warbler


Posted October 5th, 2016 at 5:15 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Dalmatian Pelican

Take off from Horsey Island this morning.

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 4:43 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Passage House Inn

Two Spoonbills feeding on the Teign Est this morning, still present at 1.00pm

Robin Shute

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 1:52 pm in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Spoonbills on estuary at Passage House per Robin Shute

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 12:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Head

Some much better photos from BMc today looking rather paler in the dull light but still showing the rusty wing on the 2nd shot - you might even see the emargination on the primaries - if you are an anorak! Virtually no dark to tip of lower mandible as they should usually show and a very impressive supercilium for a BRW more so on right side of head.

Blyths Reed Warbler Berry Hd 05 Oct 2016 BMc Blyths Reed Warbler Berry Hd 05 Oct 2016 BMc

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 11:54 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Dalmatian Pelican

Still present on the Horsey Island flood this morning.

Posted October 5th, 2016 at 8:54 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 4th October 2016

Taw Estuary – Dalmatian Pelican

The Dalmatian Pelican remained loafing and preening on sandbanks in the Taw Estuary between Isley Marsh to the south and Horsey Island to the north, taking a couple of short flights to settle on the last vestiges of sand before the rising tide finally forced it to swim! Shortly before dark, at 19.02 hrs, it flew low, in a broad sweep almost directly over our heads, to roost on the deepest water at the Horsey Pond end of Horsey Island.

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 10:09 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Woodchat Shrike - South Efford Marsh

Visited between 1200 and 1600 to try and catch a first Woodchat Shrike as reported yesterday by David Pakes. The bird put on several good shows usually on the windward side of several bare bushes/trees. Also saw 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 female Stonechat, 1 Kingfisher, 4 Little Egrets and 1 Common Sandpiper. 

Woodchat Shrike  Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 9:20 pm by Robert TELFORD in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch

Seawatch 0700-1030, 1250-1420. SE-ESE4-5. Mallard, 13 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 5 Common Scoter, Brent Goose, Black-necked Grebe, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Pomarine Skuas, 28 Arctic Skuas, 20 Bonxies, 8 Common Gulls, Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Gull, 2130 Kittiwakes, 4 Sandwich Terns, 7 Common Terns, Arctic Tern, Puffin, 340 Auks (mostly Razorbills). Merlin in off the sea (ML,MD, Sam Forest).

Went to look at ML's Blyth's Reed Warbler (excellent find of a very difficult bird) hence a break in the seawatch. In the quarry also Black Redstart, Firecrest, 2+ Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff.

Arctic SkuaArctic SkuaArctic SkuaArctic Skua

A selection of the Arctic Skuas (plumage) moving though and below, ML's B R Warbler and Firecrest

Blyth's Reed WarblerFirecrest

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 5:58 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

River Taw

Pelican on sandbank off of Chivenor in same spot for two hours directly opposite Isley march 14:30-16:30. Also 5 spoonbills on Isley side of the river. 

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 5:50 pm by Roy Churchill in Bird News

Berry Head

Blyth's Reed Warbler at Berry Head Quarry this morning then again this afternoon. Stronger than average supercilium and very pallid plumage made me consider one of the rare Hippolais warblers for a second or two but the rusty unmarked flight feathers ruled them out very quickly. Short primary projection, dark sides to crown. very whitish underparts only a bit washed out ochre around lower flanks, responded very well to Blyth's R W tape initially, ignoring Paddyfield Warbler, hopped around in 'banana' posture alot of the time.

video link: 



Posted October 4th, 2016 at 4:22 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Rillage Point

1 Yellow-browed Warbler calling frequently for about 10 minutes; finally seen well, if briefly, at 08.15.

Sparse overhead passage of Meadow pipits (24), alba wagtails (4), Grey Wagtails (2), Chaffinches (5), Linnets (51), Goldfinches (10) and Siskins (3) – all heading SE into the wind. Goldcrest (1), Blackcap (1), Chiffchaffs (3) and Song Thrush (1) in the scrub. Small flock of Common Scoters (8) heading W offshore.

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 9:35 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Redwings ~ South Brent

At 8.30am this morning I saw what I thought was a single Redwing from my bedroom window on going outside with my binoculars had a flock of eight Redwings circle low over me before turning back over Hillside.

A drive out over Dartmoor yesterday to the Warren House Inn area and back via Ashburton gave Raven 4, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Jay, Green Woodpecker, Kestrels at Venford and Warren House Inn,  Buzzard 8, a mixed flock of Tits and Warblers the most numerous bird on the higher moors being m#Meadow Pipits.

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 8:45 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 3rd October 2016

Saltram & Plym Estuary today

Amongst the redshanks on the estuary today was a Spotted Redshank. Also saw Cormorants, Egrets, Swans, BHGulls, GBBgulls & Herring Gulls. Small birds restricted to Robin and Blackbird. Kingfisher on the River Plym near the Flyover and also on the Plym near the Weighbridge Cottage. Common Sandpiper also spotted.

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 8:52 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News


The Pelican came in to roost on the flood near the white house tonight at 6.50pm so for those who missed it, it should be there at dawn. Amazing bird, came in low and banked over the marsh like a WW2 bomber before landing gracefully. Its flight is effortless for such a huge bird. Lucky for me the marsh warden was late shutting the gate at 7pm!

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 7:57 pm by Rob Barnes in Bird News

Woodchat Shrike - South Efford Marsh

Had the Marsh to myself from 11.45 - 3.15pm! Shortly after entering spotted a shrike atop a small tree to the right of the path about 400m in. A quick look through the scope and a couple of record shots, once I had hastily got the equipment ready, before it flew off! Appears to be a Woodchat Shrike from examination of the photos, possibly the same bird seen by Eric Wotton at this location on 24/9. Not been seen since then. I could not locate it for some time after it flew off. From the hide, highlights, 5 Black-tailed Godwits with a lone Ruff, 2 Greenshank and 3 Common Sandpiper on the estuary. From the hide I eventually saw through the scope the Shrike return to its previous perch at about 3pm. I made my way back up the path taking a couple more record shots as I got closer. Unfortunately the bird was then disturbed by two other birders marching to the hide, who sadly had not seen it! It was not located again! 

Woodchat Shrike - South Efford Marsh - 3.10.2016 Woodchat Shrike - South Efford Marsh - 3.10.2016
Woodchat Shrike - South Efford Marsh - 3.10.2016

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 7:32 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Yelland/Isley Marsh

Four spoonbills seen at Isley Marsh and the Pelican on a sandbanh in the middle opposite the huts. 2.30-5-30.

Dalmatian pelican
Dalmatian pelican


Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 7:22 pm by richrad yeats in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the high-tide.

From the hide 3-Curlew Sandpipers, Knot, 11-Avocets, 23-Greenshank, 14-Lapwing, 27-Bar-tailed Godwits, 2-Whimbrel, c200-Redshank, c700-Black-tailed Godwits, c450-Culew, c250-Dunlin, ad/w Mediterranean Gull, c300-Black-headed Gulls, Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Buzzard, 4-Pintail, c150-Wigeon and c200-Teal.

From the viewing platform Osprey caught large fish middle of estuary at 12:00hrs on dropping tide before heading towards Powderham, 3-Curlew Sandpipers, 8-Avocets seen earlier, 29-Grey Plover and c60-Oystercatchers.

Grey WagtailMeadow Pipit



Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 4:44 pm by David Boult in Bird News

East to Middle Soar

Quieter than Sunday with a brisk SE wind blowing out Starehole; Tally: 12 LBB Gull, 470 Herring Gull, 10 Stock Dove, 60 Skylark - most SE, 60 Swallow & 7 House Martin SE, 210 Meadow Pipit, 24 Alba Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 2 Song Thrush, 7 Chiffchaff, 110 Carrion Crow, 235 Golfinch & one flock of 500 Linnet.

Butterflies: Clouded Yellow, 4 Small White, 65 Red Admiral.

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 3:47 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Sixteen members had a delightful walk up the valley to Avon Dam in sunny weather.  Sighted Sparrowhawk from car park.  Dipper showed well on the river.  Plenty of Tits and Robins in the trees and bushes including one Treecreeper.  Some of the group had a view of a male Ring Ouzel, otherwise several Blackbirds and Mistle Thrush showing well.  One Whinchat seen and a Green Woodpecker.   Constant flow of Swallows down the valley from the dam plus a few House Martins.  Kestrel, Buzzards and Raven sighted plus possible White Wagtail at the dam with several  Goldcrest,       Chiffchaff  and Jays.  Thirty species in total.  Thanks to Jonathan for leading.  

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 3:41 pm by Geoffrey Green in Bird News

Bursdon Moor, North Devon

6  Whinchats this morning from the lower parking pull-in.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 2:51 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News


Female marsh Harrier hunting the reed-bed at Sherpa just south of the reserve at 10 this morning.

Also the Pelican is still present (12.40) - I can see it (through the scope obviously!) from my house in Braunton.

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 12:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Dalmatian Pelican

Present again this morning on the flooded field on Horsey Island, near the White House at the end of the Toll Road.

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 8:58 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sunday 2nd October 2016


East and Middle Soar 7.30 am to 12 noon. Some impressive visible migration: estimated1000+ Meadow Pipits on the ground and passing overhead during the course of the morning and at 11.30 am a kettle of 29(!) Common Buzzards which, in the then southerly breeze, drifted NE. Also overhead: c10 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 4 Bullfinches, 1 Tree Pipit and 100+ each of Swallows and House Martins. On the ground: 2 Ring Ouzels, 5 Song Thrushes, c20 Blackcaps, c35 Chiffchaffs, 1 Whitethroat, 18 Wheatears, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, c100 Skylarks and over 700 Linnets (including one flock of c500).  

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 10:05 pm by Andy Smith and Francis Steuk in Bird News

Taw Estuary - North side

This Dalmation Pelican is an absolute sensation! It brings joy & happiness to the whole of the nation & the world. What an amazing bird.

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 9:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Northam Burrows pm

Good flocks of linnet and goldfinch. Plenty of wheatears and stonechats.

A great crested grebe fishing in the bay. Just as I was leaving spotted a grey phalarope, it swam across the scrape and sat quietly on the other side. 

Grey Phalarope  Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope


Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 7:21 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

Ring Ouzel, Dartmoor

Bennett's Cross Dartmoor
Female Ring Ouzel at top of valley in first gully with Rowan Trees coming down from Bennett's Cross. Unable to see if it was ringed, Whinchat and Stonechat further down valley

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 7:21 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Dalmation Pelican

Dalmation Pelican feeding on mullet off Yelland Pier @ 5.45pm

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 5:46 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Pelican again

Is on the flood at the White House at the end of the Toll Road south of Braunton. 3.50p.m.

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 3:50 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


So, after taking 5 trips to Cornwall before I finally saw it, it turns up on my doorstep! Good views of it from the Fisherman's huts firstly on the Chivenor bank and then on the mid-river sandbank. I later met Tim and Tim on the Toll road, who were watching it circle high over Braunton, at one point interacting with the local Buzzards. It was then lost to view heading North East.

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Kingsbridge Estuary

Kayaking in Frogmore Creek turned up Osprey plus Sparrowhawk, 11 Greenshank & 50+ Redshank.

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 1:21 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wryneck Wembury-Heybrook Bay

Wryneck just below Marine Drive (tarmac track) at 50.3171  -4.1107, where there is a single conifer above the track and steps up towards the radar station. Viewed from the track at 10am.

Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 11:45 am by John Bishop in Bird News

Start Point

06:30-09:15. Clear night, sunny morning. Moderate westerly weakening all the time.

No vis mig in the sunny conditions. Around the farm and car park were Snipe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Wheatears, Grey Wagtail, 6 Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs and 3 Goldcrest. Very light southerly movement of Swallows and 3 Siskins through. Good early flock of 25 Golden Plover high up heading southwest. Rise in Stonechat numbers around the top fields.


Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 10:22 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Saturday 1st October 2016

Ringed peregrine

Yes definitely a colour ring of the sort commonly used for science as opposed to hoop-like falconers' rings. Peregrine projects using a blue ring with white letters include projects in England, Ireland and Spain. The original uncompressed photo will almost definitely show the code up clearly, and could be reported to the matching project out of these five candidates (blue ring, left leg, white code): (England) (Ireland) (Spain) (Spain) (Poland)

Eds: this is a black on blue ring, part of Ed Drewitt's scheme (node 3071 as above), used in a variety of places in SW & W of England.

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 10:48 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Maristow Quay 30/09/16

Greg - Looking at photo 1 of your juv Peregrine posted yesterday, this bird has a blue colour ring on the left leg?

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 9:53 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Powderham Estate

A short view of an Osprey near Turf but heading down river at 1330. Not able to establish if Juv or Adult. Otherwise 130 Teal on tidal strip in Powderham grounds best of rest. 

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 6:40 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Fremington Quay

THe Dalmatian Pelican was on the sand bank about 500 yards to the left of the quay. Demonstrating all modes of transport.

Dalmatian Pelican

Dalmatian PelicanDalmatian Pelican

Dalmatian Pelican

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 6:07 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

Dartmoor - Hen Harrier & Mistle Thrush

At about 12.45 a Hen Harrier observed quartering at low level the Wallabrook between Runnage and Pizwell, flew off in the Bellever direction. A little later counted a flock of 32 Mistle Thrush in one field by Bellever Plantation. Then in a field by Pizwell Bridge two Kestrels repeatedly grounding, presumably on a kill or carrion, being mobbed by crows. Plenty of stonechats around at all the above locations. 

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 5:37 pm by David Pakes in Bird News


Osprey fishing at Galmpton creek at about midday today

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 4:17 pm by Becky Lock in Bird News

Taw estuary

Around Yelland Power Station: Grey Plover (10), Bar-T Godwit (50), Common Sandpiper, Knot (10), Dunlin (20), Little Egret (4), Little Grebe, Raven (2), Oystercatcher, Curlew, Buzzard, Grey Heron

Isley Marsh RSPB: Common Scoter (2), Great Crested Grebe (2), Brent Goose (2), Ringed Plover (6), Kingfisher, Common Snipe, Redshank,  Greenshank, Teal, Wigeon, Sparrowhawk, Reed Bunting, Skylark, Little Egret (20), Curlew, Mallard, Grey Heron, NO SIGNS OF SPOONBILL since single bird on 19th Sep.

nr Fremington Quay on Taw: Kingfisher

Dalmatian Pelican at Crow Point briefly after 9am (thanks Mark B).

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 3:08 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Kingsbridge & Slapton Ley

Kingsbridge estuary this morning on a falling tide 50 plus Dunlin feeding with a similar number of Redshank, Curlew, Oyster Catcher, Cormorant, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Little Egret 5, Mallard 34.

Slapton Ley ~ Surprised to see two Sand Martin in with a flock of House Martin and Swallows that were moving and feeding over the ley, a single drake Gadwall, Pochard 2, Tufted duck 3, Greater Black Backed Gull 9, Lesser Black Back 1, Coot 7, Moorhen 2, Great Crested Grebe 2.

Back home at South Brent, two Sparrow Hawks soaring and diving together and a Chiffchaff still around the garden.

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 2:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Hobby's @ Maristow Quay 30-09-16

Two hobby's present at Maristow Quay on 30-09-16, showed well for a couple of minutes then flew off over the high woods near Lopwell Dam


Eds: this is a juv Peregrine Falcon. Briefly,  the broad wings relatively short broad tail and Moustache shape rule out Hobby. Also notice the bird is colour ringed, black on blue, part of Ed Drewitt's scheme, used in a variety of places in SW & W of England (but likely from S Devon coast). If you have a higher res photo where the ring letters can be seen please read and submit to Ed,  contact details can be found here


Posted October 1st, 2016 at 1:24 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Dalmatian Pelican - Taw Estuary

Still present on the flood on Horsey Island till 8.55am then flew to the Taw Estuary where it stood on the first visible sandbar just east of Crow Point. 


Nearby the Glossy Ibis was still showing well in Fremington but no sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs ( low tide)- 2 Greenshank and 2 Common Sand also. 

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 12:53 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:00 till 10:00

A quiet morning but still 4 juv curlew sandpiper from the hide

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 11:09 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Start Point

Pre-dawn rain and thunder, fresh westerly. Arrived at 06:30 and walked down to the light, out of the wind but no migrants moving up the Point and nothing in the lighthouse tamarisk. Spectacular view across Lyme Bay with thick black armageddon clouds and occasional distant lightning.

Got back to the car park and the rain stopped and some birds were starting to go through. Did a vis mig watch for an hour from 07:20 before things quietened down. All birds going between S-SW.

3 Golden Plover, 750 Meadow pipits, 7 alba Wagtails, 400 Swallows, 30 House Martins, 5 Greenfinches, 140 Goldfinches, 140 Linnets, 13 Siskins and a Reed Bunting. Just a handfdul of Chiffchaffs in the blown out farm.

Lots missed as birds going through on a broader front than usual, could see many flocks nearer the mast. Hirundines certainly under-recorded with more taking the easier route well below cliff top height.

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 10:49 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Isley Marsh

2 Common Scoter roosting and feeding while I searched for the pelican.

2 Common Scoters, poor record shots!
2 Common Scoters, poor record shots!

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 10:41 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Binoculars found

I found a pair of binoculars on the Warren at Middle Soar yesterday.

If yours contact me on

Posted October 1st, 2016 at 9:19 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

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