Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th July 2016

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July
Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August
Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October
Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April
Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. 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

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Thursday 14th July 2016

Bowling Green to Buckfastleigh

My usual lunchtime visit to Bowling Green was just before the peak of the high tide so would have missed a lot of birds there. The best though was my first Green Sandpiper of the season with a single Common Sandpiper for comparison, also a single 2nd yr Mediterranean Gull was in the Black-headed flock. The 50+ motley moulting Mallards showed that they were completely incapable of flight when a Buzzard passed overhead and they all Ran from one end of the scrape to the other.

At Buckfastleigh in the early evening a flock of 50+ Swift with a handful of House Martin was quite a sight.

Posted July 14th, 2016 at 11:18 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Taw Estuary - Pottington

5 Black tailed Godwits in summer plumage.

Posted July 14th, 2016 at 9:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Exmouth - juv Yellow-legged Gull - Exmouth Seafront. Also 1 Little Tern and 1 Common Tern. See for photos.

Posted July 14th, 2016 at 5:15 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 13th July 2016

Chivenor - Taw Estuary

2 Knot searching for food on the Taw Estuary late aft.

Posted July 13th, 2016 at 9:33 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


2 juvenile Yellow- legged Gulls on beach with Herring Gulls including juveniles also 1 Ad Mediterranean Gull.

Yellow-legged Gull Broadsands 13 Jul 2016 ML Yellow-legged Gull 2 Broadsands 13 Jul 2016 ML

Yellow Legged Gull juv 1 above and below                            Yellow Legged Gull juv 2 above and below  

Yellow-legged Gull Broadsands 13 Jul 2016 ML  Yellow-legged Gull 2 Broadsands 13 Jul 2016 ML

Posted July 13th, 2016 at 9:23 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lower Tamar Lake

Good day at Lower Tamar Today, saw 2 Grey Heron in flight  (quite the sight) 3 Grebes with 1 on nest, 2 Coots, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Marsh Tit with juvenile, 3 Canada Geese, 1 Shag, 5 Swallow, 6 Mallard, 2 Green Finch, many House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Blue finch with juveniles at car park bird feeders.

Eds: Blue Tit??

Posted July 13th, 2016 at 8:58 pm by Harry Shadwell in General Birding

Tuesday 12th July 2016

Goodrington, Torbay

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on beach with Herring Gulls - including many recently fledged Herring Gulls.



Posted July 12th, 2016 at 8:59 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saltram & Plym Estuary. 12/7/16

No Pelican. Cormorant, Shelduck family (2a 5y), Black Headed Gulls, Curlews, Little Egrets, Herring Gulls, Robins, Blackbirds, Crows, Mallards (m) in Eclipse, Mandarins (m) in eclipse, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeons.

Posted July 12th, 2016 at 7:57 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the mid-day high-tide.

6-Common Sandpipers, Spotted Redshank, 15-Greenshank, c150-Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, c100-Black-tailed Godwits, 2-Whimbrel, 8-Lapwing, 2-Oystercatchers, 3-Mediterranean Gulls ( 2 ad + 1 fs), Common Gull, c700-Black-headed Gulls, Grey Heron, Buzzard, 10-Swallows and c40-House Martins.

From the viewing platform c30-Whimbrel, c250-Curlew, 8-Bar-tailed Godwits.

Common Sandpiper

Grey Heron

Posted July 12th, 2016 at 4:53 pm by David Boult in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Heddons Mouth and Trentishoe.

Late post for yesterday. Lovely walk down to the mouth.Grey Wagtail and Dipper. Lots of Razorbills around, in flight and in rafts on the sea. Gannet past mouth, close in.

Trentishoe lots of family's of Stonechats and a brief glimpse of a rufous tail, Redstart? but not sure if male or female.

Posted July 12th, 2016 at 12:51 pm by Karen Sims John Towers & Pete Evans in General Birding

Monday 11th July 2016


 12 Sand Martins, 2 Kingfishers and 9 Juvenile Goosander on the Teign this evening.


Posted July 11th, 2016 at 10:27 pm by Chris Godfrey in General Birding

Collared Pratincole

I received an email today to say a Collared Pratincole was seen yesterday at Ham Wall in Somerset!

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 9:54 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Preston Torbay

At last a Mediterranean Gull in Torbay (not one of the headlands), I'm expect a run of them now.. in early July last year there were dozens! 

Mediterranean & Black-headed Gull Preston Beach 11 July 2016 ML

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 3:01 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary

Dalmatian Pelican seen flying down the Plym towards Laira Bridge at 12:40

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 1:53 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 10th July 2016


Berrynarbor welcomes it's newest residents.

Posted July 10th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Margaret Phillips in Other Wildlife

Dalmatian Pelican- Cornwall

Admin please remove if your not happy with this post given that the bird is still in Cornwall.

But for those interested the Dalmatian Pelican was seen today on the River Lyhner below St Erth Farm, visible across the water from about 100 yards (towards Devon) from Wacker Quay.

Just for a sense of scale the white bird in the tree was a Little Egret.

Posted July 10th, 2016 at 3:16 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Rillage Point 9th & 10th

Quiet up here on the north coast too. Yesterday evening: 2 Med Gulls (1 ad, 1 juv) W and 9 Dunlins (passage flock of breeding plumage ads) also heading W. Early today: 125 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Gannets, 16 Black-headed Gulls (pasage W; all ads), 2 Curlews W.

Posted July 10th, 2016 at 2:14 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Very quiet seawatch this morning the best birds being 1 fs Med Gull, 8 Common Scoter >S, 1 >N, 5 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Terns, 1 Dunlin, 20+ Swifts >S early on & 7-8 Harbour porpoise off the headland

Posted July 10th, 2016 at 1:23 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary

Just a quick walk around the estuary & Blaxton Meadow before meeting the wife at Sainsburys produced the following: 1 ad Med Gull, 2 Whimbrel, 23 Curlew, 1 Greenshank, 39 Redshank, 1 Shelduck with 5 juv, 8 Little Egret, 5 Common Sandpiper and 2 kingfisher.

Posted July 10th, 2016 at 11:15 am by Philip Phillips in General Birding

Saturday 9th July 2016

In the garden

Spent another day in the garden today and was rewarded with female blackcap and 3 young,  garden warblers which were hard to tell how many female bullfinch with 2 young, dunnock and young Robin. Also resident blackbird with white eyebrows. 

Posted July 9th, 2016 at 11:50 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Med Gull PRR2 at Skern.

I photographed this bird on 06.06.16 as it was feeding along the tide line at Westward Ho! It was ringed on 10.05.05 as an adult at it's nesting site in Poland .

Posted July 9th, 2016 at 6:09 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Torquay coastal

An early morning visit to the Torquay coast line, starting at Labrador Bay despite strong winds and poor visibility the location gave Skylarks, Cirl Buntings, Wren, Swift, 200 plus sized flock of Rooks feeding on a corn field, Peregrine and a pair of Bullfinch.
Looking out towards the Orestone gave a counted 19 Greater Black Back Gulls, 36 Cormorant which included several youngsters, two nests of Herring Gulls with chicks, in one nest the chicks were just about fully feathered and in the other recently hatched.
Meadfoot gave a pair of Rock Pipits with at least two dependant young.
Back at home a Marsh Tit on the feeders for the second day running, a pair of Great Tit with three young, other fledged youngsters included Jackdaw, Rook, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Blue Tits and Blackbirds.
Friday gave a Hobby as it passed by.

Posted July 9th, 2016 at 2:27 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Limekiln marsh,Iron bridge.

Green sandpipers up to 4 and joined by 5 Redshanks.    3 Med gulls off Bideford quay.

Posted July 9th, 2016 at 2:15 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


25 med gulls today 20ads inc red ring PRR2,2ss,3fs.08:30-10:30

Posted July 9th, 2016 at 11:25 am by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Latest report on the Dalmatian Pelican.

It was spotted at Torpoint yesterday evening. It's getting closer.

Posted July 9th, 2016 at 8:23 am by Michael Spencer in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 8th July 2016


Visit this morning to look over the reserve that has had no volunteer work for a month. Looks good if the grass was a little long in places. Good numbers of  Marbled White, Ringlet and Meadow Brown butterflies. The three mallard ducklings are now a good size and still on the biggest pond. Other birds today included a good brood of Long tailed Tits, Willow Warblers, Coal, Blue & Great Tit, Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker. Peregrine &  Swift flying over.

Work will start again soon to tidy up and continue the reserve work planned for the rest of the year.

Anyone who lives in the Bideford, Barnstaple and Braunton area who would like to volunteer  on the reserve are most welcome.

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 10:22 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in General Birding

little ringed plover

2 at skern this evening then onto tip pool along with 27 med gulls feeding over fish in estuary,18 ads,3ss,6fs,20:-21:30

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 9:52 pm by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Little owl

Little owl seen three times this week (Rattery)

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 8:19 pm by Ian samuel in General Birding

Iron bridge,Landcross,Bideford.

Two Green Sandplpers on Limekiln marsh,    Med. gulls 6 adults on high tide roost with Black hdds. In front of Limekiln and interestingly a Muscovy duck with a brood of 12 on the banks of the river Torridge towards Bideford.

yesterday 12 Med gulls on Instow rocks at high tide.

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 5:24 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


A Common Sandpiper Bidwell Brook at Shinners Bridge, Dartington this morning (by the shops) along with the usual Grey Wags, Dippers and now well grown young Moorhens.

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 2:29 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

At Lower Tamar Lake this morning in virtual autumnal conditions:-

3 Blackcaps, 1 male Bullfinch, Blackbirds, and Chaffinches, 4 Rooks, 2 Ravens, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 10+ Mallard including well-grown young, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Jay, 2 Magpies, Wood Pigeons, 30+ Swallows, 1 Gadwall and 2 Stoats.

Further to Carol Mittenburd's comment on yesterday's post  I would agree that there is a definite absence of Swifts and hirundines (see my post of about six weeks ago an this matter).   I surmise that during their main migration period there was a major weather related block over the continent and that the majority have remained there to breed.   Those I saw today at Tamar Lake were the first for some while.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 1:44 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding


BTO Birdtrack ( has a feature on the home page for checking weekly reporting rates of a species in the current year against historical average reporting rate for the same week of the year. Typing in Swallow, House Martin and Swift (the rogue non-hirundine) all show a lower than average reporting rate for much of the 2016 summer, but interestingly reporting rates for all three of these species have just this week been back to typical levels - higher productivity/fledging? Sand Martin has been very different to the rest and is seeing higher than average reporting rate this year.

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 10:34 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Hartland Point

Spent the night at Hartland - we trapped and ringed 18 Storm Petrels in poor weather conditions.

Posted July 8th, 2016 at 8:19 am by Jon Turner in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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