Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st May 2016

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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

Wednesday 1st June 2016

Burlescombe M5

Late submission but Hoopoe feeding on south bound hard shoulder of M5 just north of Jn 27 Samford Peverill (Burlescombe) yesterday evening at 7.15 pm. Thought it was a Jay at first from a distance, hope it found safer place further from the motorway later - sorry no photo.

Posted June 1st, 2016 at 12:02 am by simonkidd in Bird News

Tuesday 31st May 2016

Sparrowhawk Hawked!

Lunchtime at Clyst Road, Topsham, the tables were turned when a Sparrowhawk was being hotly pursued by a House Sparrow! 

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 11:56 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News


This evening was spent at Clennon Valley Lakes after the earlier report of a Bee Eater flying over the houses opposite the park. I walked too the small meadow to the west of the caravan park where I could hear a Bee-Eater. It then proceeded to fly out briefly from the trees at the stile and then across the caravan park, this was at c.19:45. Other birds of note were a few Jays and a Common Buzzard. 

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 10:03 pm by Jacob Spinks in Bird News


Dartmoor this morning, windy conditions at times,

Headland Warren down to Challacombe ~  one female Wheatear,  Meadow Pipit (4),  Sky Larks, Three Cuckoo calling, Whinchat, Stonechat, male Redstart, (one of five seen over the trip) Willow Warbler (2) Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Mistle Thrush, House Martins, Swallows and Pied Wagtails.

Fernworthy reservoir ~ 60 Herring Gull on the water,  Mistle Thrush, Pheasant (3) Swallows, House Martins, Meadow Pipits, Chiffchaff (4) Robin, GSWP and Pied Wagtails.


Leaving the moors Raven, Wren, male Bullfinch and several Buzzards.

At Buckfastleigh a Roe deer with a very small fawn seen crossing a hay field.

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 8:45 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Combemartin red kite

A nice surprise this morning whilst in the top garage getting fuel,my wife shouted, wow look at that, it was a red kite wheeling behind and over the cottages opposite.  Stunning to see.

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 6:26 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Clennon Valley

At  about 11.15am today one or more Bee-eaters flew over my garden in Paignton.  Although it/they were calling clearly and regularly I could not see the bird(s).  The calls gradually got quieter as the birds continued off W - possibly SW. 

I would guess there was more than one bird going on the calls I could hear. 

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 1:09 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 30th May 2016

Soussons Plantation

Following two fruitless days scanning the skies over the moor waiting for an elusive (some would say non-existent) vulture, we decided to spend the day in the woods. It was well spent with great views of nesting Grey Wagtails, two pairs of Redstart, several Siskins, Tree Pipit and about four Cuckoos over Challacombe Down.  The best however came at 15:10 when to our great surprise, no not a lammergeier, but a churring Nightjar!

Posted May 30th, 2016 at 10:23 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Bonehill area, dartmoor.

Amongst the Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Stonechats and Wheatears a Red Kite at 1320 hours just south of Bonehill Rocks, Then a Cuckoo at 1400 hours just west of Honeybag Tor. Then a diving Buzzard in almost the same place.

Posted May 30th, 2016 at 9:54 pm by Chris Godfrey in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Generally quiet as expected, but - a Shag, a Whitethroat, a pair of Nuthatches feeding young at the nest, 3+ Little Egrets and 7 Shelducks. Also a confiding buck Roe Deer.

A nice change from scanning the skies over Dartmoor! 

Posted May 30th, 2016 at 8:36 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Red kite Saddle tor Dartmoor

Red kite passing low over Saddle tor today also Redstart Wheatear and at least 3 cuckoos

Posted May 30th, 2016 at 7:03 pm by John Deakins in Bird News




Posted May 30th, 2016 at 6:35 pm in Bird News

Bolberry Down

Tawny Owl in thick cover on the cliffs at Bolberry Down this morning - unusual locality!

Posted May 30th, 2016 at 5:27 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Sunday 29th. Osprey heading NW along the edge of Dartmoor viewed from near Scorhill circle 

Posted May 30th, 2016 at 9:50 am by Steve Colombe in Bird News

Sunday 29th May 2016

Yarner Woods 29.05.2016

Spent most of the morning searching for the elusive Redstarts,with no luck may I add.Plenty of Pied Flycatchers about though

Posted May 29th, 2016 at 8:59 pm by Ali Wines in Bird News

Spotted Flycatcher , Bellever Woods 29-05-16

I think this is a Spotted Flycatcher ? not seen one before but matched this in my book


eds... Yes it is JM

Posted May 29th, 2016 at 7:20 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Lammergeier speculation

My health does not now allow me to get far out into the moor but when I was a regular Dartmoor walker the area around Fur Tor (SX 588 831) is out of sight of all roads, had high numbers of dead sheep around the tor and nearby Tavy cleave would provide cliffs for roosting. If anyone fancies a walk the area could be worth checking.

Posted May 29th, 2016 at 7:19 pm by Paul Rhodes in Bird News

Bellever Woods 29-05-16

A Pair of Redstarts close to the offices, a bit further along managed to catch (I think) a Spotted Flycatcher

Posted May 29th, 2016 at 7:10 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News


after photographing whinchats and cuckoos on dartmoor yesterday (28/05)nr Warren House I made my way back to the car, as I got to the car dave stone and a friend arrived and said they had been searching for the lammergeier for nearly six hours with no luck, my partner who was sat in her chair beside the car , then said "what is that bird"  , dave then looked through his binos and nearly fell off his was the lammergeier, unfortunately  it drifted out of sight towards fernworthy before I could undo my camera from the make things worse my partner said she had been watching the bird for ten minutes but didn't know what it was..there is a link her for anyone interested on daves birding diary blog

Posted May 29th, 2016 at 3:36 am by Graham Clements in Bird News

Saturday 28th May 2016

Exmoor BBS 10:00-17:00

It's was our day for the Doone Valley circuit. Wood Warbler singing in the oak woods by the river. Good numbers of Redstarts, Stonechat & Whinchat on the moor. Three singing Cuckoo. A great day and a terrific walk.

Posted May 28th, 2016 at 8:09 pm by John & Karen Towers & Sims in Bird News

Yarner Wood


Whitethroat, 3 Stonechats, 4 Redpolls, 3 Siskins, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Marsh Tits, Goldcrest, 2 Nuthatches, Redstart, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 5 Pied Flycatchers, 4 Mandarins, Chiffchaff, 2 GSW, Buzzard and Wood Warbler.  Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush all calling.

Posted May 28th, 2016 at 8:04 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


Lammergeier. t

Took distant picture from Aish Tor. Bird flying very high beyond Deep Marsh and Spitchwick then flew towards Holne. Looked like it was carrying something.. Unable to attach picture. See on twitter.

Eds: Thanks, sorry but that picture is a Common Buzzard. The immature Lammergeier is longer winged, longer tailed, smaller headed, pale body with dark throat. It also shows some very individual bleaching to some of the inner primaries see  23rd May posting.

Posted May 28th, 2016 at 5:47 pm by David Turrell in Bird News

Labrador Bay & Dawlish Warren yesterday

Sorry for late post.

Labrador Bay:-  Buzzards, Kestrel, Cirl Bunting (m), Corvids, Herring Gulls, Skylarks. Off shore a pair of Gannets diving. 2 Herring Gulls looked quite cosy on one of the map posters in the Car Park.

Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve:- Cuckoo heard on the Bight, Stonechats, Dunnocks, Robins, Corvids, Sanderlings on the Beach, A Whimbrel, a few Whitethroats, several Imm. Starlings and a couple of Blackbirds .

Posted May 28th, 2016 at 2:19 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News


A Honey Buzzard just drifted low east across the river (1110) before circling higher and continuing east. Watched for 5 mins from the back garden but too far off for photo. Sketches on later.

Posted May 28th, 2016 at 11:24 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Berry Head

Only migrant bird of note was a single Spotted Flycatcher in the lower quarry, yesterday a singing Reed Warbler beside the Wardens Bungalow.

Posted May 28th, 2016 at 11:11 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 27th May 2016


Whilst carrying out bird surveys this morning for RSPB and part of Moor than meets the eye Project Paul Kemp and I had a ringtail Montagu's Harrier 3km west of Fernworthy heading strongly SW from Hangingstone Hill. Also two Red Kites nearby.

Posted May 27th, 2016 at 10:33 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News


Main pond.four shellduck,one wigeon,one tufted male pochard (

very rare here) one male teal, two mallard,two grey heron,one little egret..Around the farm,the usual finches,lots of white throats with young,Sedge and willow warblers,stonechats also with buzzard,one kestrel ,twenty nine species seen.Geoff Taylor ,Rupert Hawley.

Posted May 27th, 2016 at 7:34 pm in Bird News


No Lammergeier seen at Merrivale but I did see a Black Kite! (1110hrs).

Posted May 27th, 2016 at 1:42 pm by richard teague in Bird News

All over the place

Very tatty looking Red Kite at Beesands junction on Prawle road midday yesterday and Redpoll at Berry Head last evening with a flock of linnets.

Posted May 27th, 2016 at 10:19 am by Tim Clyburn in Bird News

1. berry head; 2. kingswear to brixham

non avian fliers. on berry head 25/5 saw common blue and small blue butterflies, the small blues feeding on tufted vetch on south fort walls.

yesterday on walk from kingswear - wall brown, small blue, common blue, red admiral, t/shell, peacock and either pearl bordered or small pearl bordered frittilaries.

Posted May 27th, 2016 at 8:48 am by graham folkerd in Bird News

Thursday 26th May 2016

Red Kite - Cadover

Grace and Bill from Woolwell  saw a Red Kite this afternoon at Cadover Bridge which flew quite low over the river giving good views.  It then gained height until just a speck in the sky.   Eileen Willey

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 11:54 pm in Bird News

Red Kite

Red kite seen flying over Horrabridge , Devon at 07.15 tidy. 

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 9:07 pm by J Henry in Bird News

Dartmoor today

Good numbers of Tree pipits seen today on  Dartmoor plantation.

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 8:26 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Warren House Inn etc.

Nice circular walk in beautiful sunshine. 4 – 6 Cuckoos seen and heard. One female Redstart (Soussons). Nothing special at Challacombe Farm but Whinchat and Wheatear at Headland Warren Farm. Sadly no Tree pipits (loads of Meadow Pipits) and no Spotted flycatchers seen.




Posted May 26th, 2016 at 8:20 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Beesands. Hobbys

3 Hobbys in farmland behind the hide at 4.20pm

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 6:50 pm by Terry Goddard in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite at 4.30ish drifting over Kingsteignton , middle of Exeter road , heading in the direction of Teignmouth 

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 6:26 pm by Graeme Davey in Bird News


Another Red Kite drifting over Berry Down near Combe Martin at 12:15pm today.

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 6:20 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Red Kite

Red kite seen at Wrangaton Cross SX 68407 57777 @ 14.22 today 26th May, heading south over A38

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 5:04 pm by Nic Butler in Bird News


Red Kite over at 10am

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 5:03 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Bearded vulture?

I spotted a very large wingspanned bird.. Bigger than buzzard just east of Boasley 3.10pm tues 24th May. Too slow to get a pic sorry!

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 4:41 pm by Mary in Bird News

Red Kite near Princetown. Thursday 26 May 2016.

Red kite by Walkhampton Common south of Princetown by B 3212 at 12-30pm.

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 4:14 pm by Malcolm Steward in Bird News

Red Kite

Spotted Preston down rd/ring rd end, Paignton by Mike a trusted a twitcher/mate at 12.40

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 1:39 pm by Jo pring in Bird News

Red Kite

Kite seen over Mansands 12.10pm, then drifted towards Sharkham & Berry Head.

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 1:09 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Spotted Flycatchers

Eight Spotted flycatchers seen around Dartmoor.

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 6:50 am by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Wednesday 25th May 2016


Another Red Kite sighting: 1 heading SE over Hood Manor, Dartington, 1.30pm.

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 11:12 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Black Redstart - Berry Head

1545 -1600hrs. An unusually late sighting of a female black redstart by myself and two visiting birders from Portland at Berry Head this afternoon. Seen alternating between the wall below the Guardhouse café and the rocks at the top of the cliff edge. Only poor quality record photos.

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 10:51 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

Red Kites today

Two Red Kites tonight at 20.00 hrs the Rock Yelverton heading south.

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 9:29 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings today at the lake,

1m Yellowhammer, 2 Marsh Tit, 1m 1f Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1m Tufted Duck, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 16 Swift, 25 Swallow, 3 Nuthatch, 3 Jay,

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 9:02 pm by ROD MUDGE in Bird News

Red Kite over Wigford Down, Dartmoor

Mike Daniels had a Red Kite today drifting over the car park at Wigford Down at 15.40.


Posted May 25th, 2016 at 8:20 pm in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide and still very quiet around the marsh.

8-Bar-tailed Godwits (1 summer plumage), 63-Black-tailed Godwits, 9-Whimbrel, 7-Curlew, 2-Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3-Greater Black-backed Gull, 5-Herring Gull, 44-Black-headed Gull, c120-House Martin, 3-Swift, 8-Swallow, 6-Reed Warbler and a Buzzard.

From the viewing platform 9-Sandwich Terns, 8-Little Egrets and 2-Great Crested Grebes.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 1:18 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor

1 Red Kite over house 09.30.

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 10:55 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Red Kite over Tiverton

Red kite being mobbed by herring gulls, over residential area

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 9:48 am by Dave Walters in Bird News

Cuckoo Dawlish Warren

Cuckoo mostly around the point from about 6.15 still there 8.40 when I left. Also sandy coloured Fox Cub - cute. As well as the usual Sanderling etc. No great pics very skittish and elusive.

Posted May 25th, 2016 at 12:32 am by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Tuesday 24th May 2016

Another Red Kite

Sue Bruce saw a Red Kite over Braunton Burrows today.

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 9:08 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Red kite

Seen 19:00 24/05/16 from the train between Umberleigh & Chapleton a Red Kite semi hovering alongside the train track.

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 9:00 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Whimple, East Devon 24 May

Red kite over around 1pm

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 8:53 pm by Keith Annison in Bird News

D.W.T. Reserve Emsworthy Nr Saddle Tor

Sighted from Devon Wildlife Reserve Emsworthy, Red Kite over Bonehill Down at around 12:50. Also seen at reserve itself. Mistle Thrush (6), Cuckoo (m), Common Redstart (2), Lesser Redpoll, Wheatears (2). Fantastic display of Bluebells.

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 8:16 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Red Kite

At last a Red Kite over our village at Stoke Rivers. It has been in the area of South Molton and Filleigh but we have never seen it. Today it flew over the lane as we walked down towards Orswell. Wonderful to see.

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 8:01 pm by John & Karen Towers & Sims in Bird News

Berry Head Fulmars

Had a spare hour to kill so took my camera up to Berry Head. I love the way Fulmars look sat on their nests. Spotted a busy Rock Pipit, lots of male Common Blue and also a Small Blue, which was too quick for a pic.

What you lookin' at?
What you lookin' at?

Rock Pipit
Rock Pipit

Spectacularly gorgeous Male Common Blue
Spectacularly gorgeous Male Common Blue

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 6:57 pm by steph murphy in Bird News

Meeth Quarry, 24.5.16

A trip to Meeth Quarry today also turned up this pleasant surprise: 2 Red Kites, c. 09:45.

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 6:49 pm by David Holloway in Bird News

Yarner Woods

Apparently the Lammergeier had nipped across the border for a pasty, so decanted to Yarner Woods. Plenty of Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts. When leaving had 7 Red Kites high above the car park.

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher


Red Kite
Red Kite

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 6:18 pm by C Boyles in Bird News


Red Kite 16.25

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 5:00 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Monday - 7 Red Kites

Colin Reed reported seven Red Kites circling over  Bagborough (nr Crediton)  at 4.00pm yesterday.

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 4:14 pm in Bird News


Heard several Snipe drumming and chipping as well as Grasshopper Warblers reeling at Powder Mills last night

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 7:22 am by Ann Willcocks in Bird News


Male and female seen Monday pm in Bellever Woods close to car park April

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 1:25 am by Anne Clark in Bird News

Monday 23rd May 2016

Large raptor NOT Lammergeier!

Apologies, but the large raptor seen near North Tawton today was NOT the Lammergeier as this was seen on Bodmin moor during the day, so obviously flew west. Any suggestions? Anyone seen any other large raptors in North Devon today?!

Posted May 23rd, 2016 at 8:23 pm by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

Warren house area Dartmoor

Whinchats and the odd Wheatear seen plus three Spotted Flycatchers and four Cukoos in flight.

Posted May 23rd, 2016 at 7:26 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Visited today from mid morning till late afternoon.

River Plym. Female Mandarin with 2 chicks, Mute Swan, Corvids & Pigeons.

Plym Estuary. Cormorant, about 50 Herring Gull, 2 Shelduck & 6 Canada Geese along with half a dozen Mallards.

Saltram Park. Robins, Blackbirds, Corvids, 2 Buzzards (one being attacked by 2 Ravens, Dunnock, Moorhen. On the Duck Pond several Mallard (some with chicks), 6 Moorhen and about 8 Mandarin. " Swallows resting on the island in the pond along with a Pied wagtail. Plenty of Chaffinch around the café area.


Posted May 23rd, 2016 at 7:23 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News


Dartmoor this morning still unseasonably cold with windy conditions at times, but that did not stop birders sprouting up all over the moor after reports of the Lammergeier being seen earlier in the morning near Venford and Princetown.

Babeny area ~  Skylarks 16+, Stonechat 8+, Great Black Backed Gulls 2, Buzzard 5, Kestrel, Meadow Pipit 6, Cuckoo 2, Linnet 3, Swallow and House Martin in good numbers and Yellowhammer.

Headland Warren down to Challacombe ~  one female Wheatear, Meadow Pipits,  Skylarks, Four Raven, Two Cuckoo and my first Whinchat of the year with three birds being seen. The reed grass areas at Challcombe were swarming with feeding Swallows.


Posted May 23rd, 2016 at 5:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Sunday 22nd May 2016

Belated news of Smew on Lundy, 14 May

Further to the male Smew in North Devon on 20 & 21 May (see below), news has just reached us of a male Smew reportedly seen on Pondsbury, Lundy, on 14 May. If confirmed, this is almost certainly the same individual as on the mainland and only the second Lundy record (the first as long ago as 1933!). The dates and locations of these sightings undoubtedly raise questions about the bird's origin and/or well-being, though stranger things have happened...

Posted May 22nd, 2016 at 11:48 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Brent Goose

Brent Goose (pale) with Canada goose flock Kitley on Friday pm.

Posted May 22nd, 2016 at 11:00 pm by tony Edie in Bird News

Bearded Vulture

Seen at approximately 4.30pm on B3212 on western side of Bellever Forest being mobbed by Buzzards and Crows .  After a minute of so of watching my wife just above tree level it drifted off eastwards, vanishing surprisingly quickly for such a huge bird.   

Posted May 22nd, 2016 at 9:30 pm by steve moore in Bird News

Possible sighting of Lammergeier - Postbridge

Lammergeier near Postbridge, Dartmoor today at 16.30 good views of bird being mobbed by buzzard over wooded area and a few minutes later over open moorland flying south.   Laurel Miller.

Posted May 22nd, 2016 at 9:14 pm in Bird News

Pomerine Skua at South Huish Marsh

Still on the marsh today. Did get up and fly about a little bit, but mostly sitting still. Lovely day, bit of wind, lots of martins, swallows and some swifts.

Distant shot of Pom Skua
Distant shot of Pom Skua

Distant shot, having a fidget
Distant shot, having a fidget

Obliging swallow
Obliging swallow

Posted May 22nd, 2016 at 2:56 pm by Stephanie Murphy in Bird News

Pied Flycathers

Arlington Court nest boxes. Pair of Piec Flycatchers in and out if box with food. Not sure if these are monitored by the NT or anyone else? Great to see.

Posted May 22nd, 2016 at 1:13 pm by John & Karen Towers & Sims in Bird News


Phew! So I wasn't dreaming then! Still an extraordinary record!

Posted May 22nd, 2016 at 12:06 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

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