Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th August 2016

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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

Sunday 14th August 2016

South Efford Marsh

The adult Spotted Sandpiper showed late afternoon just south of the hide on the far side of the marsh, but reasonable views through the 'scope in excellent light. Also a Greenshank, a juv Little Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlins and 4+ Common Sandpipers.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 9:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Balearic amongst the Manx

From this mornings trip out into Lyme Bay with Nigel

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 5:38 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Clyst Honiton - Cranbrook (East Devon)

A Green Sandpiper took flight from the river bank by the new sewage pumping station at Clyst Honiton as I dropped by to see if the public footpath has been opened yet.  (Found that the new foot bridge has yet to be built, so the path remains closed).  (A Common Sandpiper was in the same place a few weeks ago where the river is only feet wide). 

Calling in at the large lake west of the Education Campus at Cranbrook, Swallows and House Martins where present in good numbers feeding over the water and an overhead Hobby was a new tick for this area.  Later at 1610 hrs when home three miles away, a Hobby (maybe same one?) flew over the house heading towards Whimple.  Quite a regular visitor here most summers.   

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 5:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Late swift

Single swift over Kingsteignton Saturday 20.10.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 4:07 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News

Lyme Bay trip from Brixham

This mornings trip out of Brixham a few species of seabirds. 25 Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Great Skua, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Great black-backed gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Guillemots and Gannet.  3 Harbour Porpoise and at least 12 Common Dolphin, very difficult to know how many we had around the boat. Many young gulls around boat when chumming!!   Looking forward to next Saturday and Sunday trip with DB Plymouth Group.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 2:56 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Soar Valley

0900 to 1030. Nice cluster of birds and butterflies at the bottom of the valley These included Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, a restless Pied Flycatcher and a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.. In total in the valley  were 10+ Whitethroats, 20+ Phylloscs, 12 Stonechats, and a Blackcap..9 other butterfly species.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 11:41 am by Roger White in Bird News

Saturday 13th August 2016

Well Spotted

An afternoon visit to Aveton Gifford didn't look too promising when I was informed the Spotted Sandpiper had not been seen since yesterday. But after a bit of a wait it showed briefly down channel of the hide before flying to the centre of the marsh where it stayed on view for at least an hour from 17:00 with a Common and a Green Sandpiper for comparison!  At least 5 Green and 4 Commons, 4 Dunlin and a Snipe. A poor record photo.

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 8:41 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Mount Batten, plymouth

Family stroll mid afternoon. 6 Med gulls, incl 2 juvs plus 2 Sandwich terns Last Sunday there were 9 Med gulls in total, incl 3 juvs.

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 8:34 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

The Marsh Harrier still present on the southern side of Exminster Marsh near the lagoon at 7pm. Flew off towards the northern marsh. 

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 8:27 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

South Hams

South Efford Marsh first thing - Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, Kingfisher, Snipe, 3 Swifts & 8 Dunlins, but nothing else Spotted!

At Soar a Yellow Wagtail, c20 Whitethroats, a handful of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers and a buck Roe Deer.

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 4:56 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


6 Med Gulls on the beach this morning two with colour rings (white).

Goodrington: 2 juv Med Gulls on beach

Preston: 1 Yellow-legged Gull juv on rocks at low tide(my first for this beach!), 13 Sandwich Terns, 8 Turnstone

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 9:36 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Friday 12th August 2016

12-08-16 Roborough Down, Plymouth

12-08-16. A Good sighting of a Chiffchaff and to my surprise a very obliging Wheatear, which came within 9 feet of me, other birds seen were, Juv Linnets, Juv Dunnock, Goldfinches and Stonechats


Eds: the chiffchaff is actually a juv Willow Warbler despite the dark legs(unreliable feature) check the brightness of the plumage, strong supercilium and most importantly the length of the exposed primaries beyond the tertials,the edges at the tip are also rather spaced out - unlike the short and bunched tips on a Chiffchaff. 

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 9:33 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Portlemouth Down

Walking along the coastal path from Mill bay a small, slim falcon flew past just below me, I managed to refind it further along and it proved to be a juvenile Hobby with clear facial markings, heavy streaking underneath and lacking the red trousers. It gained height then flew inland.

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 7:32 pm by Elliot Dowding in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Best birds over the afternoon low high-tide was Spotted Redshank, 3-Little -ringed Plovers, 3-Common Sandpipers and adult Mediterranean Gull


Common SandpiperCommon Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 6:42 pm by David Boult in Bird News


Early morning visit produced a imm male marsh harrier harried by a kestrel  two little egret four heron and one smart whimbrel.unusual were two kestrels on owl box.i was joined by Malcolm Shakespeare at11am and so did the marsh harrier,all from main hide.Saltpill produced sparrowhawk and buzzard with usual finches and warblers,

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 3:11 pm in Bird News

East Soar

A bit of movement through the area: 3 Wheatear, 13 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 12 Willow Warbler, Bullfinch and post-breeding Linnet numbers up to 227.

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 2:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Spotted Sandpiper still at South Efford Marsh

12th Aug 2016. Spotted Sandpiper distant, but showing very well at South Efford Marsh. Visited 0800-0930 hrs, also 3 Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper.

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 1:07 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Thursday 11th August 2016

River Caen/Taw Estuary

15.00-19.30: Little Egret 20, Marsh Harrier 1m, Dunlin 140, Ringed Plover 36, Green Sandpiper 1, Common Sandpiper 2, Greenshank 12, Whimbrel 3, Common Gull 3, Mediterranean Gull 9, Kingfisher 1, Swift 1, Sand Martin 30, Swallow 50, Wheatear 1, Yellow Wagtail 2.

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 9:42 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Spotted Sandpiper still present. Also, 1 Common Sand., and 1 Green Sand.

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 3:21 pm by Mark Painter in Bird News

Beesands Hide - Refurbishment Further Update

The missing materials for the Beesands hide refurbishment have arrived.  The work will start on Monday 15 August and will be completed the next day.  The hide will not be useable for those two days.

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 2:29 pm by Nick Townsend in Bird News


Good views of a marsh harrier yesterday morning flying along the flood bank between Isley marsh and HFM.main pond two grey heron,two little egret,one wigeon seven mallard ,and a kestrel on the owl box.

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 9:40 am in Bird News


Another juv Yellow-legged Gull at Broadsands beach this morning with juv Herring Gulls around it..

Yellow-legged Gull juv Broadsands 11 Aug 2016 ML Yellow-legged Gull juv Broadsands 11 Aug 2016 ML

A couple of comparison shots showing Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed juveniles below.


Posted August 11th, 2016 at 9:25 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wednesday 10th August 2016

Exminster Marshes- Marsh Harrier

Female Marsh Harrier feeding in the fields halfway between the RSPB carpark and the bottom end of the reserve. Flew off towards the Turf Locks at 7.25 pm.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 11:26 pm by Tony D-C in Bird News


Female marsh harrier on lsley marsh and Home Farm marsh this morning.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 10:06 pm by Geoff Taylor in Bird News


Osprey watched hunting the taw river from crow point to fremington quay.Sat on a sand bank for a while before the weather turned and it flew off towards Barnstaple. Also hunting on Horsey island a Marsh Harrier .

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 9:49 pm by Charles & Amanda Braddick in Bird News

Spotted Flycatcher

While releasing a rehabilitated Buzzard near Harbourneford, South Brent this evening had a pleasant few minutes watching a Spotted Flycatcher using a field gate as a perch to hawk insects from. 

Five Buzzards seen in the area, three Greater Spotted Woodpeckers the land owner tells me that a pair of Kestrel have reared and fledged three young on his land this season.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 9:18 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Horsey Island / Taw Estuary

Amazing afternoon watching an Osprey hunting the river Taw from Crow point to Fremington Quay. Before the weather turned. Also lucky to see a juvenile Marsh Harrier hunting briefly over Horsey Island  

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 9:03 pm by Charles & Amanda Braddick in Bird News

Little Egrets

Little Egrets

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 7:30 pm by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

walk from Lympstone to Exmouth, cycle track

With wife and dog walked from Lympstone to Exmouth.  Thought I would take lighter wide lens and of course needed a better one.  House Martins feeding 2nd brood, one in a very unusual "house".  Also about 25 Little Egrets in a field at Exmouth end.  Sorry about quality of photos

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 7:27 pm by Rob Jerrard in Bird News

Frogmore Creek & West Charlton Marsh

Afternoon walk along the edge of Frogmore creek, ending up in the hide at West Charlton. Cirl Buntings, 6 Greenshanks on the creek, 2 Dunlin also, plenty of Buzzards around. From the hide counted 70 Curlew on the mudflats, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Common Gulls, Redshanks a-plenty.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 5:04 pm by Elliot Dowding in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Just to add to earlier post seen from the hide over the high-tide a juvenile Ruff and a Common Tern on a buoy off Exton from viewing platform.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 4:51 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

From the hide 2-Little Ringed Plovers, 3-Common Sandpipers, Spotted Redshank with the usual good numbers of waders.

From the viewing platform a Painted Lady butterfly along the footpath, 4-Common Sandpipers right of the platform with a few Long-tailed Tits and Willow Warblers around the hedgerows.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 4:37 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Despite the cold northerly wind some evidence of movement. Best bird was a 1st year Wood Warbler associating with Chiffchaffs (total around 25). 5 Willow Warblers, 12 Stonechat, 30 House Martin and 15 Swallows as well as the normally expected species. 

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 3:50 pm in Bird News

Tuesday 9th August 2016

Start Point

Walked around the point, on the sea close to shore was a single adult Common Scoter, 2 Kestrels, 1 Raven, 1 Wheatear, 1 Sanderling on Mattiscombe sand and a pair of Rock Pipits on the cliffs there.

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 7:47 pm by Elliot Dowding in Bird News

R.Yealm Puslinch

High tide. 9 Greenshank, 47 Curlew, 5 Shelduck, 2 Swift, 2 Swallow, House martin, 4 Jay, 6 Little Egret, Stock Dove,  30+ Canada, numerous Black headed gulls. 2 Silver-washed frittilary.

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 7:15 pm by Jeremy Spooner in Bird News

Wembury, 8th August

A sanderling on the main beach at Wembury yesterday despite the crowds of holiday makers, feeding along the tideline and surprisingly easy to overlook or lose sight of due to its cryptic plumage patterning. Unfazed by nearby people and seen down to a few metres.

Sanderling on the beach
Sanderling on the beach

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 6:01 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Wembury, 8th August

Despite the crowds of holiday makers on the main beach at Wembury this sanderling was busily feeding along the tide line oblivious to people nearby and seen down to a few metres. It was surprisingly easy to overlook it or lose sight of it against the pebbles and seaweed with its cryptic plumage patterning. 

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 5:57 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

From the hide Green Sandpiper, 3-Common Sandpipers, adult Mediterranean Gull, 2-Sandwich Terns (ad + juv) amongst the usual high numbers of other waders. Still a few Willow Warblers in the hedgerows along the road from the hide.

RSPB Goosemmor on the dropping tide Spotted Redshank showed well after being flushed by Buzzard which was stood on the fencing decided to fly off, c200-Redshank and 35-Greenshank.

Green Sandpiper  (BGM)Spotted Redshank  (RSPB Goosemoor)

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 4:18 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Morte Point

Spotted Flycatcher on Morte Point this morning.

Spotted Flycatcher

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 2:54 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

late swifts

South Molton, Monday 8th Aug: 9 pm Four swifts flying, chasing and screaming

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 10:25 am by arthur symons in Bird News

South Efford Marsh,

A first light visit to South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford this morning, on the way down to the village a male Yellow Hammer.

Little Egrets in good numbers at least 16, Heron 3, adult Shellduck with four juveniles, two juvenile Buzzards calling, Jay, several Curlew, a single Ringed Plover, Stock Dove 2, a single Teal, 65+ Mallard lifted off of the marsh at one point, Common Sandpiper in double figures the most I have seen at this location with birds on both the marsh and the river, 31+ Black Headed Gulls.

The high light being the reported Spotted Sandpiper, very distant and difficult to pick out but it showed periodically.

The marsh was alive with Wagtails mostly Pieds constantly in view and continuous movement during the visit with the odd Grey seen as well.

On the way out Swallows began to trickle over the marsh feeding with a single House Martin, three Wren and a single Kingfisher.

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 8:50 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Monday 8th August 2016

Spotted Sandpiper - South Efford Marsh - 8.8.2016

1130 - 1630 Well marked Spotted Sandpiper , probably first seen lower down the Avon estuary by Rodney Bone on the evening of 6.8.2016, located by me on the south end of the marsh at 1130hrs on 8.8.2016. Bird disappeared in various gullies for lengthy periods of time, reappearing to give good, but distant, views to several local experienced birders. Still present at 1630 hrs, when I left with more birders arriving. Sadly too distant for any photographs at that time.

Posted August 8th, 2016 at 5:41 pm by David Pakes in Bird News

East Soar

Migrant counts of Wheatear, 21 Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler, 21 Swift, c.300 House Martin & 150 Swallow. Several Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries on wing.

Posted August 8th, 2016 at 2:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

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