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

Lockdown relaxations

Devon Birds would like to thank the many members and other birdwatchers who complied with the restrictions during the recent Lockdown and stayed in their local area (village, town or part of city) to birdwatch while exercising (and later) taking recreation. We hope that, despite the obvious frustrations, you found some respite in watching wildlife in your local area and perhaps discovered some birds close to home, that you might otherwise not have seen! As always, please submit sightings to the County recorder and / or BirdTrack. 
Please continue to follow the Covid related requirements (currently "rule of six outside, social distancing etc) while enjoying the new freedoms to extend your birdwatching. Some hides will remain closed for the time being and where you find one open, please follow Government guidelines on keeping yourself & others safe:
Thank you from
Devon Birds News site editors & members of the Records Committee

Posted April 2nd at 4:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


As noted in the minutes of the Oct 2020 DBRC meeting, Tim Jones is standing down after serving as a member of the Committee for an extended sixth year. Tim has been an active member of the Committee, and his consistently pragmatic approach to assessing records has proved invaluable. The Society would like to thank him for his contribution over the past six years and wish him well in the future.

In the hope of maintaining a geographic spread across the Committee, DBRC approached Dean Jones to fill the vacancy. Dean grew up birding and ringing in Antrim and Lothian, before a tour of various European islands, including Lundy where he has been the Warden now for the past four years.

His experience and knowledge from ringing and birdwatching around Europe will be especially useful to Devon Birds and the Records Committee.

Unless the County Recorder receives any other applications before 15th April 2021, Dean will be formally elected to fill the vacancy for a five year period.

For more information and/or an application form please contact:

Kevin Rylands, County Recorder.   Email: 

Posted March 4th at 10:45 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

Tuesday 7th June 2016


2 seen tonight in n.devon.Lllovelyto see and hear the churring,calling and clapping.After a fab 3 wks in ontario canada it was nice to get some local birds.

Posted June 7th, 2016 at 10:55 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Shipley Bridge to the Avon dam ~ South Brent

Despite seeing a good range of species the numbers of each type seems far lower than this time in previous years.

On the lower stretch Grey Wagtails including young were showing well, sizeable flock of mainly young Coal Tits, Song & Mistle Thrush, Buzzard, Meadow Pipit, three Yellow Hammers, Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, hard work to locate any Stonechat but three males did eventually appear. Small number of singing male Blackcap.

Many of the birds seen were actively gathering food.

The days highlight was a Garden Warbler gathering grubs and bugs near Gingerford Cross.

Kestrel seen on the outskirts of South Brent near Yonder Cross and a second seen near Ashburton in the evening..

Posted June 7th, 2016 at 10:19 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Tamar Lakes - Tues.

Very warn, quiet and sunny this morning,

23 juvenile Mallards and 5 adults, 1 Grey Wagtail on the Lower Lake and another on the Upper Lake. .2 Chiffchaffs singing and 1 Willow Warbler, at least 4 Blackcaps, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 ad. Nuthatch actively feeding a juv. and several young Carrion Crows.

A lovely Hare at nearby Thurdon.

Harvey Kendall

Posted June 7th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Dartmoor, Bennetts Cross to Soussons, Monday 6th

Afternoon walk yesterday afternoon. 4+ cuckoos (seen & M+F heard), kestrel, whinchat, 2 stonechat, 2 reed buntings (Soussons), 2 green woodpeckers (Soussons) ,skylark (near Bennetts Cross), plus chaffinches, blackbirds, wren, chiffchaff (heard) blackcap (heard) & abundant willow warblers & meadow pipits.

Also a snipe, bizarrely briefly drumming at about 4pm.

Posted June 7th, 2016 at 9:38 am by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Monday 6th June 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Just to add to Keith's post the Slavonian Grebe was seen again from the viewing platform near Exton on the high-tide same as last night and c10 Swifts above the hide on leaving.

Ridgway's Cackling Goose
Ridgway's Cackling Goose

Ridgway's Cackling Goose  (left) with Canada Geese
Ridgway's Cackling Goose (left) with Canada Geese

Mediterranean Gull (first summer) with leg rings
Mediterranean Gull (first summer) with leg rings

Posted June 6th, 2016 at 11:01 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 18:00 till 20:45

The cackling goose was back on the marsh hanging around with the local mallards , 6+ Mediterranean gulls ( 5 1st summers and 1 2nd summer  included a new ringed bird details sent this is the 3rd ringed bird so far this year believe this one is from France) among 350+ black headed gulls , 2 dunlin, 1 knot , 15 bar tailed godwits, 1 recdshank, 2 oystercatchers , 40+ black tailed godwits, 2 tufted duck, 3 wigeon, 2 teal, 2 shoveler, 1 common gull.

Posted June 6th, 2016 at 10:31 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton Swifts and Martins

5 screaming Swifts flying low in Stoneborough Lane this afternoon, large group of House Martins flying around Pebbles B&B this evening

Posted June 6th, 2016 at 9:34 pm by Richard Allen in Bird News

Stoke Car Park Revelstoke

Sighted at entrance to Stoke car park, Woodchat Shrike (m) SX 555 465, also on walk along Revelstoke drive & along approach road, Yellowhammers (6m), Whitethroats (10), Stonechats (many), Linnets (many), Fulmars (4), Gannets (2), R.L. Partridges (3)

Posted June 6th, 2016 at 5:27 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Venford Res

Red kite and peregrine both flyovers late morning.

Posted June 6th, 2016 at 1:47 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Sunday 5th June 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 17:30 till 20:20

7+ Mediterranean gulls (6 1st summers, 1 2nd summer) among 335+ black headed gulls, 1 1st summer  common gull, 6 sandwich terns , 15 bar tailed godwits, 10+ whimbrel, 1 knot, 2 dunlin, 40+ black tailed godwits, 22+ curlew,( new coloured ringed bird will send of details) 2 oystercatchers, lots of reed warblers, 2 little egrets, 50+ shelduck, 2 teal, 2 shoveler, 2 wigeon.

Posted June 5th, 2016 at 10:51 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Avon Dam Saturday 4th June

Very early walk up to the Avon Dam. At least 8 Grey Wagtails inc 5 having a mass falling out on the river near the carpark, single Cuckoo seen + another calling, 2 redpolls, Goldcrest, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Bullfinch, Blackcap, Raven and 2 Whinchat. Surprisingly not a single Stonechat around.

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail



Posted June 5th, 2016 at 10:37 pm by Paul Treen in Bird News


A Greenish Warbler and a Common Rosefinch were present today, along with a Crossbill. Further details here, as available.

Posted June 5th, 2016 at 9:41 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Northam Burrows

A very pleasant afternoon on Northam Burrows. A large flock of starlings, 3 Wimbrel, wheatear, meadow pipits , syklarks, and a yellow wagtail.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail



Posted June 5th, 2016 at 8:10 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

Saturday 4th June 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 17:00 till 19:40

8+ 1st summer Mediterranean Gulls this evening ( 2 ringed birds details have been sent of 1 appears to have been ringed in Germany the other Ireland will post details when I get them) 250+ black headed gulls  mostly 1st summers , 1 1st summer common gull, 11 whimbrel, 1 knot, 18 oystercatchers , 12+ curlew, 40+ black tailed godwits, 11 bar tailed godwits, 2 shoveler, 2 wigeon, 2 teal , 60+ shelduck, 1 sparrowhawk , 20+ reed warblers, 3 little egrets.

Posted June 4th, 2016 at 10:16 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Estover, Plymouth, 4.6.16

1 Honey Buzzard, drifting SW (mobbed by a Herring Gull), over Wrigley's, Estover, Plymouth, just west of Plym, c.14:30.

Posted June 4th, 2016 at 9:43 pm by David Holloway in Bird News


12 (5+3+1+1+1+1 ) puffins, 3 manx shearwaters.during kayak trip from Plymouth to Eddystone (and back)

Also 12 Common dolphin

2 pods of harbour porpoise

Ocean sunfish



Posted June 4th, 2016 at 7:18 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Short-eared Owl on fence-post close to cycle path at 16.40 today. Gave great prolonged view (as usual, no camera to hand) before flying towards Swan's Nest side of marsh and disappearing into group of small trees.

Posted June 4th, 2016 at 5:36 pm by Gary Reeves in Bird News

Headland Warren

Late morning walk from Bennett's Cross to the edge of Soussons and back produced four Cuckoos, three Tree Pipits, 15+ Willow Warblers, eight Whinchats, six Stonechats, two Wheatears, four Lesser Redpolls and singles of Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Reed Bunting and Spotted Flycatcher. No vultures.

Posted June 4th, 2016 at 4:11 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

26 May

Just received a report of an adult male Little Bittern at Ipplepen last week.

Little Bittern, Ipplepen 2.30pm 26 May 2016Little Bittern, Ipplepen 26 May 2016

Posted June 4th, 2016 at 10:12 am in Bird News

Friday 3rd June 2016

Around Warren House Inn. Dartmoor.

5 Stonechats from Bennets Cross to Water Hill. Cuckoo heard in the valley north of here. Another Cuckoo heard towards Runnage Farm. Missed the Lammergier as was walking in the opposite direction. It must have been right behind me. Did see a Buzzard though mocked by Corvids.

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 11:45 pm by Chris Godfrey in Bird News

Stover ~ Nightjars

Late evening visit to Stover gave Robins, Jay, Blackbirds, Great Tit feeding a brood of very loudly calling fledglings, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeon, Swifts, seven Chiffchaff, calling until very late in the evening, Nuthatch pair with a brood of fledged chicks, Great Crested Grebe, Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, male Sparrow Hawk and Nightjar.

At one point three birds churring away, the first bird started calling at 21.30hrs, seven sightings in total, twice two birds tail chasing and clapping wings.

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 11:24 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Odd Woodpecker behaviour?

Over the last three evenings walking at Chapel Wood I have seen a Green Woodpecker very close to a Great Spotted nest hole. This evening I watched the male GSWP arrive and feed the young, then within 5mins the same (I assume) male Green arrived and approached the nest. This time he perched at the entrance and I thought he may be up to no good, but then leaned in several times appearing to feed the young? To confound me further a Blue Tit then perched on the hole and seemed to also feed the young? Also Redstarts, Spotted Fly, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and all the regulars.

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 9:03 pm by Rob Barnes in Bird News

Dartmoor today

We did a three destination trip today starting at Postbridge and ending at Yarner Woods. Weather excellent (for a change). Sightings were:

Postbridge: 4 Jackdaws; 2 Song Thrush; 1 Swallow; 1 Wren; 1 Buzzard being harassed by Corvids and a M & F Redstart.

Belliver Forest: House Sparrow, Swallow, Long-tailed tits, Buzzard with snake; Juv. Robin; Poss. Whitethroat; 2 pairs of Redstarts.

Yarner Woods: m Bullfinch; Chaffinches; Coal Tits, Blue tits, Great Tits, Nuthatches,Pied Flycatchers; Siskins; G S Woodpecker and about four Mandarin Duck (m).

Enjoyable day.

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 9:02 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News


We regularly visit the Warren House area of Dartmoor but today we saw the famous juvenile Lammergeier for the first time. It was first seen landing on a tall pine tree in a gorge on the Warren House side of the Vitifer valley near the ruins at the foot of the path down from Kings Oven car park at about 12.30pm. Eventually it gave up peering into the gorge and took off quickly gaining height until it was out of site of powerful binoculars - it must have reached a significant height drifting over Birch Tor. Some great views!

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 7:40 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in Bird News

Little Haldon Heath

Thursday 02.06.16 - 20.45-22.15

3 male and 1 female Nightjar.  Only brief periods of churring.  Birds only seen on the wing twice with a male and female together. 

Also present: 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Stonechats, Willow Warbler, 3 Yellowhammers, 20+ Linnets, vocal Song Thrush and a Roe Deer. 

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 10:25 am by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh

First sighting of male garganey at main pond Home Farm Marsh

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 8:49 am in Bird News

Thursday 2nd June 2016


Holne 23 Swifts feeding over a field of cattle with a small number of Swallow and House Martin.

Venford ~ two Cuckoos calling, Stonechat, Meadow Pipits 6, Pied wagtail 2, House Martins, Swifts, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff  3, Kestrel, Buzzard, male Bullfinch, Greenfinch 5,  Linnets, lots of Chaffinch and Blackbirds.

Warren House Inn ~ Two Cuckoos calling, Skylarks, meadow Pipits, Wheatears displaying on the wind, Pied Wagtails, Reed Buntings with a male carrying nesting material, Buzzard and good numbers of rabbits kits popping up almost everywhere.

Headland Warren down to Challacombe ~  Wheatears,  Meadow Pipit (4),  Sky Larks, Stonechat, House Martins, Swallows and Pied Wagtails.

Back home at South Brent a low, high speed pass from a Hobby just on 5pm.

Posted June 2nd, 2016 at 9:35 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Dartington- Honey Buzzard

Morning checking nestboxes in woodlands above Queens Marsh. Numerous Blue tits and Great tits readying to fledge, as well as remaining Nuthatch chicks after difficult spring. Surprise ensued after Honey Buzzard was seen drifting low across above the Volunteer Hub. Wasn't hanging about and headed off with the wind.

Posted June 2nd, 2016 at 7:46 pm by Jordan Harris in Bird News

Red Kite Teigngrace

At 18:30 on the 2nd June 2016 I saw a Red Kite flying in a South Easterly direction over our property at Teigngrace (from Stover School toward Kingsteignton) just over treetop height. My wife and I had seen similar sightings in previous days at this location but couldn't believe then our luck. However today I am very confident of my identification.

Posted June 2nd, 2016 at 6:43 pm by Terry Hall in Bird News

Wednesday 1st June 2016

Bowling Green marsh

Watched from 15:00 till 17:15

From the hide 4 1st summer Mediterranean gulls among 180+ black headed gulls , 6+ whimbrel, 2+ bar tailed godwits , 40+ black tailed godwits, 2 oystercatchers, 3 lapwing , 1 hobby, 10+ little egrets, 1 grey heron, 12+ reed warblers, 1 common gull,, 60+ shelduck, 2 wigeon.

Posted June 1st, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Taw Estuary

Cycled along the Tarka trail from Braunton to Barnstaple this morning at low tide & counted 74 Shelduck between Chivenor & Barnstaple

So far, only 2 pairs with young, one with 4 juv's & the other with 6. This does beg the question why such a low number of the estuary total have successful breeding attempts?

Also 2 Curlew, 9 BH Gull, 3 Grey Heron & 2 Little Egret present.

Photo taken June 2015 - Taw Estuary.

Posted June 1st, 2016 at 2:48 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Dipper at Trewsweir Exeter

Single juvenile Dipper at Trewsweir 0545 today. Feeding amongst debris on extreme right of weir face, viewed from downstream. Also present and feeding were two Grey Wagtails.

Posted June 1st, 2016 at 9:09 am by Mike Booth in Bird News

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