Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st July 2016

Your 2019 sightings

Happy New Year

Many thanks to all observers that have already submitted their records for 2019, both through Birdtrack and Devon Birds. This is much appreciated.

For other records please could observers submit their sightings by 31st January.

Guidelines and links to recording forms can be found here

Please send your records to Karen Sims and any descriptions to Kevin Rylands

Best wishes and good birding for 2020

Posted January 10th at 10:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Sightings Page Guidelines

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something you would like to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.


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Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Continued erosion at Dawlish Warren means visitors are reminded to take extra care when visiting. Access along the site, to and from the bird hide and Warren Point, is via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website:

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Thursday 28th July 2016

Prawle Point Seawatch

Seawatch from 6.50am till 12.50 in Force 1/2 going 4/5, NW verring SW/WSW with mist and rain then sunshine ie the lot ! The seawatchers' adage is 'expect the unexpected' , so.....

Totals : 5 Balearic Shearwaters,723 Manx Shearwaters , 452 Gannets and 14 Fulmars . 1 Pomarine Skua, adult with spoons (which I didn't see in the Spring) at 8am and I adult pale phased Arctic Skua ,at 10.45amboth west.  3 Puffins. 6 Common Scoter flew west and east. 3 Sandwich Terns . 1 small wader ,probably a Ringed Plover ,west ;4 Razorbills and  a Black-Headed Gull. But the highlight for me was seeing  2 Mute Swans close west at 8am heard whilst watching the Pom.(a long awaited -23 years- first for me at Prawle ! Photographic evidence can be provided Pat/John) Supporting cast was a pod of at least 10 Common Dolphins fishing and leaping/breaching afar.



Posted July 28th, 2016 at 10:59 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime today coincided exactly on the high tide, so there were plenty waders on view, too many to count on a lunch break.  The best of the new arrivals was an adult summer pl. Knot, we don't see them in these striking colours down here too often. A colour ringed(flagged) Black-tailed Godwit was hiding amongst 200 odd of his pals along with a few Bar=tails.. Curlews and Whimbrel made up the rest with about 40 Dunlin.  A single Common Sandpiper also showed.

There were about 20 Greenshank were on Goosemoor and the Spotted Redshank was difficult to see in the long grass.  Another birder told me he'd seen a Turnstone, but we couldn't find it again.  That would be a very good bird for the marsh, I'll look for it again tomorrow if I can.

Posted July 28th, 2016 at 9:25 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Designer shades!

An interesting aerial battle took place over Skern this afternoon on the high tide. Three Herring Gulls in hot pursuit of a fourth who was carrying a pair of orange sunglasses. Sadly the glasses were dropped in the water before I could ascertain if they were Ray-Bans!

Posted July 28th, 2016 at 6:11 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Rillage Point

07.15–09.00; increasingly murky and drizzly, SW3. Common Scoter 6, Manx Shearwater 7, Gannet 16, Arctic Skua 3 (all adults, 2 dark-phase, one light; appeared to arrive from NW and spent an hour or more harrying Kittiwakes and terns off Widmouth Head before the two dark-phase birds headed back W together and I lost track of the pale-phase individual), Sandwich Tern 3 ads, Kittiwake 30 (all ads). Also the first 2 Willow Warblers of autumn passage here.

Posted July 28th, 2016 at 10:56 am by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 27th July 2016

Wembury, 27th July

Despite the rain and the vague weather forecast that it might brighten up later I headed off to Wembury anyway - it did clear up and the sun did shine at times and birds noted were :-

a green woodpecker heard yaffling near the church; 4 families of stonechats; a buzzard and a kestrel hovering overhead at Wembury Point with a persistent and noisy juvenile buzzard heard and a brief view of a sparrowhawk hunting along a hedgerow; a common sandpiper on the rocks at Wembury Point with 56 oystercatchers at the high tide; 9 mallards along the beach (eclipse males and females);gannets offshore, mostly adults but a few all dark juveniles and variable plumaged sub-adults; fulmars around The Mewstone; whitethroats and chiffchaffs (adults and fledglings) and a juvenile blackcap; a smart adult Mediterranean gull moulting into winter plumage roosting with black headed gulls on the beach before being disturbed by the usual dog walkers and flying off towards Plymouth (no leg rings present).

Notable was a trickle of Manx Shearwaters offshore, all flying west either singly or in pairs with the occasional group of up to 9. Most were distant but a few were close to the seaward side of The Mewstone. First noted at 11:45, by 13;45 the trickle had dried up with 34 counted in a 10 minute period and about 200 birds casually noted in total.

Also 100+ large whites over a field of yellow marigold-looking flowers, not good for vegetable growers!

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Posted July 27th, 2016 at 4:21 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Berry head

At least 5 Harbour porpoises off Berry Head from 6-10.00 this morning.

Posted July 27th, 2016 at 11:21 am by Jeff Hacon in Other Wildlife


A Yellow-legged Gull Juvenile was on the beach this morning with juveniles of Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gulls making life a little more tricky for gull watchers! This large juv Y-LG showed a little more pale mottling than normal on the tertials.

Yellow-legged Gull juv Broadsdands 26 July 2016 ML   Yellow-legged Gull juv Broadsdands 26 July 2016 ML2

Yesterday evening 5 Mediterranean Gulls (3 ads, 1 fs, 1 juv)

Posted July 27th, 2016 at 8:58 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 26th July 2016

Great Shearwater - English Channel

Rob Dart was out fishing 30+ nm SSE of Berry Head and had this nice Great Shearwater turn up amongst the Fulmars. Click photos which are zoomable!

Great Sheawater with FulmarsGreat Shearwater

Posted July 26th, 2016 at 5:18 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Green Woodpecker

Nice comparison today in the garden of a rather faded adult Green Woodpecker and fresh (speckled) juv, notice the difference in eye colour.

Green Woodpecker (adult)Green Woodpecker (juv)

Posted July 26th, 2016 at 3:05 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Monday 25th July 2016

Occombe Farm Reserve, torbay

Several silver washed fritillaries and a fresh female purple hairstreak around the edge of the wood today. Birds much quieter, a raven and a green woodpecker flying over being the highlights.

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 10:53 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

Dawlish Warren to Torbay

On a rising tide a visit to Cockwood overlooking the River Exe, 32 Sandwich Tern, 9 Mute Swan, 8 Cormorant and a handful of Curlew flying down the river.

From the Hide at Dawlish Warren 150 plus Sandwich Tern many of which were juveniles, one Common Tern, 26 Dunlin, Oyster Catchers beyond reasonable counting including one leucistic bird. Greater Black Backed Gulls, Canadian Geese, one Little Egret, several Pied Wagtails including juveniles.

On the shoreline 26 Sanderling.

Other species seen between the car park and the hide included Skylark, Whitethroat, Stonechat, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and a Green Woodpecker. Also a varied host of butterfly species.

Torquay coastal path, female Kestrel, family of Stonechat with parents feeding at least two young.

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 3:51 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

West Charleton

Large numbers of Swifts, at least 1000 flying and feeding over crop fields around the edges of Charleton Marsh

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 2:48 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

West to East Soar

8 Wheatears on the clifftops, some juvs but two pristine adults at Middle Soar may have been first returning migrants. Willow Warbler on the airfield. 110 Linnets across area.

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 2:34 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Over the last three mornings there has been a flock of 20 + Scoter in Torbay , probable be seen from Battery gardens , Brixham. These have been seen from a boat I was on. each time they have flown out of the Bay past Berry Head. Two pictures of young starlings in my garden, never realized how colourful they are.


Still have places on the Lyme bay trips if interested call 07866202576.

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 2:17 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Osprey on Kingsbridge Estuary

Tony and Jeanette Tabb reported seeing an osprey perched in a dead tree in Collapit Creek, Kingsbridge Estuary yesterday 24th July 2016. They were out in their boat.

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 2:02 pm by Chris Klee in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Osprey on Kingsbridge Estuary

Tony and Jeanette Tabb reported seeing an osprey perched in a dead tree in Collaton Creek, Kingsbridge Estuary yesterday 24th July 2016. Viewed from their boat.

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 1:59 pm by Chris Klee in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Clennon Valley

My 2nd Jersey Tiger of the summer - again in my garden.

jersey Tiger Clennon Valley 25 July 2016 ML

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 1:14 pm by Mike Langman in Other Wildlife


Vapourer Moth Caterpillars enjoying the verbena this morning


Posted July 25th, 2016 at 1:01 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife

Sunday 24th July 2016

Prawle Point Seawatch

Seawatch from 7.05am till 4.35pm in Force WSW/South-West 2/3 going 4 with bouts of mist and then rain from 10.45am. Joined by Tom Bragg from 10.40am.

Manx Shearwaters west 3361 and Gannets west 307 ; totals counted from 7.05 to 11.05. Both species continued to fly west (and occasionally east) all day.

3 Sooty and 6 Balearic Shearwaters (the last at 4.10pm) were nice. Larger shearwaters would have been nicer : probably flew past during heavy mizzle period ! Also an Arctic Skua flying east at 10.05am ,2 Puffins east ,23 Common Scoter west and 9 East. 2 Mediterranean Gulls west : a moulting summer adult and a 1st year. 

Other interest being 6 probable Common Dolphins afar breaching and surfacing from 10 to 11 am.(Note to Eds :should this go separately into general wildlife ? Makes it more cumbersome and less likely to add as note of interest) Eds: that's fine as it is Tony!


Posted July 24th, 2016 at 10:52 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Little Owlet

Little Owlet photographed in East Devon today


Posted July 24th, 2016 at 10:17 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatching 1300-1600hrs: All birds moving south; 1 Great Shearwater at 1353hrs, 1 Sooty Shearwater 1332Hrs, 6 Balearic Shearwaters, 945 Manx Shearwater, 13 Mediterranean Gulls (mostly juvs), 4 Yellow-legged Gulls all juvs, 2 Sandwich Terns, & 3-4 Harbour Porpoise.   

Posted July 24th, 2016 at 5:08 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Juvenile cuckoo

Juvenile cuckoo being fed by meadow pipit on Dartmoor.


Posted July 24th, 2016 at 2:16 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 09:15 till 12:00

1 spotted redshank among good numbers of redshank , 27+ dunlin included 3 juv's, 1 Mediterranean gull among 800+ black headed gulls, 1 Avocet , 44+ whimbrel, 320+ curlew, 280+ black tailed godwits, 6+ bar tailed godwits, 12+ lapwing, 5+ common sandpipers, 10+ greenshanks, 4 wigeon , 2 little egrets.

from the viewing platform 

1 common Scoter  in mid estuary just off lympstone 

a quick look at goosemoor produced 30+ greenshanks , 50+ redshank, 4 whimbrel, 1 common sandpiper, 10+ little egrets 


Posted July 24th, 2016 at 2:14 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh- Darts Farm and Clyst Honiton

A single and early Avocet present at Bowling Green this morning.  (2014 DB Reports first on 23 Aug).  Otherwise fairly quiet here. 

Nothing at Darts Farm worthy of note.  River Clyst above Clyst Honiton still closed due to building new pumping station but a Common Sandpiper present plus Kingfisher.

Posted July 24th, 2016 at 12:58 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym estuary

High tide roost this morning:

10 Little Egret, 30 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel, 7 Common Sandpiper, 1 Shelduck, 1 Kingfisher, 69 Redshank, 1 Greenshank. Swallows, House Martins and 2 Stock Dove around the estate.

Posted July 24th, 2016 at 10:41 am by Alan Livsey in General Birding


Plymouth RSPB visited Stover in the late evening Sat 23 July and saw 3 nightjars flying, probably heard more, mandarin duck, pair of great crested grebes with young and a glow-worm.

Posted July 24th, 2016 at 8:57 am by Vince Bedford in General Birding

Saturday 23rd July 2016

Dawlish Warren

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

100+ Sandwich Terns, Common Tern, 40+ Common Scoter, 50+ Dunlin, 29 Sanderling, 150+ Oystercatchers, Greenshank, Turnstone, 50+ Shag, 10+ Skylark, 30+ Linnet, 4 Stonechat, 2 Willow Warbler with several Curlew and Whimbrel along the railway embankment.

Common TernSandwich TernSanderling



Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 8:34 pm by David Boult in General Birding

South Pool Creek - Kingsbridge Estuary by kayak

10 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper & 2 Kingfisher.

Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 4:10 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Early Spoonbill on Isley marsh.

An ad.or roosting with18 Little egrets,at least 6 Med.gulls,Black hdds.and Curlews.    20+Med gulls on the rocks at Instow plus a Common and Sandwich tern.

Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 12:27 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

HomeFarmMarsh,Salt pill.

Fri 22 good morning sightings with all the usual with a kingfisher ,five sedge ,one Reed warbler at Saltpill,lots of white throats around with a lesser in the bushes along the estuary,38 species seen.

Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 11:29 am by Geoff Taylor in General Birding


47 med gulls,25  ads,8 ss,10fs,4 juvs.Also 2 juv yellow wagtails,ad knot single common&sandwich terns,07:00-08:45

Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 10:02 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Friday 22nd July 2016


12 ads,10 ss,8fs,2 juv med gulls tonight of which probably 3 french 1 polish and1  dutch/belguim birds.Single adult knot,4 whimbrel,commom tern.

Posted July 22nd, 2016 at 11:09 pm by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


C. 800 Jackdaws circling over Ashburton at 8:30pm.

Posted July 22nd, 2016 at 9:42 pm by Sam forest in General Birding

Instow Med' Gulls

A few Med' Gull visible even at low tide around the cricket club, roosting on the rocks. One had a red, coded colour ring. Unreadable with binoculars but 'red on a Med' = eastern European project so far as CR-birding website is concerned. Heading back at high tide to hopefully get the code with scope. N Devon birders I highly recommend ring reading these birds as they're almost always overseas recoveries and it's massively valuable science and rewarding to spot the same gulls year on year.

Posted July 22nd, 2016 at 6:27 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Roborough Down 22/07/2016

Plenty of Gatekeepers, Small and Large Whites, Meadow Browns, Small Heaths and the prize of the day was a Female Purple Hairstreak. Some Dragonflies around but not able to identify.

Posted July 22nd, 2016 at 4:43 pm by Michael Spencer in Other Wildlife

West Charleton

500+ Swifts moving south around midday.

Posted July 22nd, 2016 at 2:38 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Buckfastleigh Hill

Mark Darlaston just phoned to say an Osprey drifted over Buckfastleigh Hill heading straight for the Avon 12.40pm

Posted July 22nd, 2016 at 12:42 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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