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

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands 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

Wednesday 7th September 2016


Bowling Green Marsh for last 45 minutes of light: 1 Wood sand accompanying a Ruff. Also a single Spotted redshank. Took me a while but I eventually found the Garganey before the light went.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 10:20 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Harford flock

Now unless I am very much mistaken - and it is possible I thought I saw a flock of redwing today?  Cannot think what else they could have been, did not think they were mistle thrush - about 40 of them.

Eds: Almost certainly Mistle Thrush - assuming they were of the thrush family.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 9:01 pm by Ann Willcocks in Bird News

Exe Estuary

The Exe estuary from Powderham church to Turf Lock, on a high tide with very misty and murky visibility from morning to early afternoon gave a fleeting and very distant view of an Osprey.

At least four juvenile Wheatears on the sea wall, four Black swans in company with 15 Mute Swans and a single juvenile Shellduck just below Turf lock.


200+ Black Headed Gulls roosting in one of the pasture fields, two Little Egret, almost constant passage of single Cormorant’s, several flocks of 20/30 Canadian Geese all headed up towards the Exminster marshes, large flocks of Goldfinch and a few Greenfinch feeding on an abundance of thistle heads.

The poor visibility made spotting anything distant almost impossible at times.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 7:23 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

HomeFarm towards Wrafton

Over wrafton 1pm two Osprey circling high together,one stayed on pole in river other flew towards Barnstaple.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 7:06 pm by Jenny Elvin in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:35 till 14:30

Another good day around the marsh from the hide there was a noticeable arrival of new birds over night 

With 17 species of waders included 6 curlew sandpipers among 300+ dunlin, 3 spotted redshanks among 250+ redshanks, 12+ greenshanks, 1 juv male ruff, a new wood sandpiper, 1 common sandpiper, , 12+ ringed plover, 2 avocet, 12+ bar tailed godwits, 400+ black tailed godwits, 2 snipe, 6+ whimbrel, 200+ curlew, 15+ lapwing, 22+ oystercatchers, also 28+ little egrets, 6+ Pintail , 1 juv Garganey( a different bird to the one a few days ago) , 40+ wigeon, 2 grey heron good numbers of teal and mallards and a few shovelers, 2 Cetti's warbler, 2 stock dove .

from the viewing platform from 12:00 till 14:00 with thick mist on the lower end of the estuary viewing was difficult but at least 4+ osprey showed well a times, 6+ sandwich terns , 1 Cetti's warbler.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 6:36 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

River Caen and Horsey Island

Clear views of an Osprey with a huge fish this evening on the usual 'Osprey post' at the Mouth of the Caen. Also Sparrowhawk, Buzzards, a few Teal on the flood in Horsey Island along with all of the regulars.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 6:33 pm by Rob Barnes in Bird News

Skern, Northam Burrows

Juv Curlew Sandpiper (plus a few Sanderling) in the Dunlin/Ringed Plover flock, wary and mobile on the sandy beach/pebble ridge at north tip of Northam Burrows, at around 10.00.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 11:45 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Teign Estuary Osprey

Osprey at top of the estuary this morning seen from train, which probably disturbed it from a high tide roost. 8.55.

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 9:00 am by Richard Archer in Bird News

Tuesday 6th September 2016

Day trip to Lundy

A quiet trip for Lundy but a Skua sp 30mins out from Bideford almost certainly a Pomarine either Juv or dark phase, I missed two sightings of a Great Grey Shrike on the island, seabirds generally quiet with some Guillemots, Gannets, Shags, Cormorants and usual gulls etc Female/Juv Pied Flycatcher seemed to have dropped, lots of Goldcrest and Wrens through Milcombe, Willow warblers, Wheatear, Meadow Pipits. An incredibly tame Juv Little Stint was working its way through the puddles on the road near the key - you could literally almost touch it - it only actually moved for the landrover to come through! A long awaited Bonxie on the way home. Several Seals and plenty of Dolphins.

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 9:44 pm by Rob Barnes in Bird News

FREMINGTON QUAY, nr. Barnstaple

Glossy ibis still on Fremington Pill this afternoon (low tide), moving from main road end towards the coast.

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 7:34 pm by Tony Brooking in Bird News

Ospreys Bowling Green Viewing Platform

Just to add to Keith's earlier post of 6 Ospreys seen from the viewing platform on the dropping tide. Great site to see 4 Ospreys fishing at bottom end of estuary and putting all the birds up over the Warren.

Video of 2 Ospreys seen catching fish near Exton with 1 flying towards Starcross and the other towards Turf. Photos taken from video.


Osprey carrying small fish
Osprey carrying small fish

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 7:05 pm by David boult in Bird News

Ibis Fremington Pill

Present again this afternoon 14:00 - 15:00 although very flighty.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 6:22 pm by Roy Churchill in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:35 till 14:35

A very good day around the marsh after a week away

From the hide 2 juv  curlew sandpipers among 250+ dunlin, 2 spotted redshank, 2 Pintail, 2 kingfisher, 8+ ringed plover, 6+ whimbrel, 12+ bar tailed godwits, good numbers of redshank , black tailed godwits and curlew, 10+ lapwing, 1 peregrine.

the best was from the viewing platform between 12:00 and 13:50 , with 6+ Osprey it may have been more we had 2 juv's at the north end of the estuary ( 1 was fishing of lympstone then another came down the river clyst and proceed to fish of exton both were successful before flying of ) we had another further down river as we'll , a distant bird over Powderham marsh gaining height and going south was just too far to clinch I'd but everything pointed to another osprey, we then had 4 birds fishing at the same time between starcross and exmouth at the same time my best day on the estuary for Ospreys  .


Posted September 6th, 2016 at 3:16 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

East to West Soar

Strangely quiet: 170 Swallow, 23 House Martin, Sand Martin, 5 Wheatear, 13 Meadow Pipit, 4 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 63 Goldfinch & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 3:04 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Thurdon & Lower Tamar Lake.

100+ Swallows on wires at Thurdon near Tamar Lake and at least 40 Swallows feeding over the lake.

1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Mute Swan, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Nuthatch, 3 Coal Tits plus Blue and Great Tits, 3 Moorhens, 4 Tufted Duck ,Mallards, 3 Bullfinches,  several Robins and Chaffinches.

Harvey Kendall

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 1:26 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trips, Sunday

More pictures from the Brixham boat trips on Sunday.

Storm petrel  Storm petrel
Storm petrel

Balearic shearwater  Gannet
Balearic shearwater                                                                        Gannet


Posted September 6th, 2016 at 12:54 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip, Sunday

Some pictures from Sunday's boat trips from Brixham.

Bonxie  Bonxie

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 12:47 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

North Devon Osprey

09.30 this morning , Osprey on the Taw at the mouth of the Caen, usual place.

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:06 am by Dave Paterson in Bird News

Monday 5th September 2016


1 Wood sandpiper and 1 Green sandpiper, Bowling Green Marsh early evening.

Posted September 5th, 2016 at 11:08 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Fremington Pil

Glossy Ibis showing well this afternoon.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted September 5th, 2016 at 9:52 pm by Mike Jones in Bird News


Viewed over the morning dropping tide.

From Bowling Green Marsh 2-Spotted Redshank, 3-Curlew Sandpipers amongst the large numbers of waders and ducks. Wheatear again from the viewing platform on riversmeet house seawall.

From the goatwalk the Osprey was again on the tripod post in middle of estuary near Turf Locks on the low-tide.

Osprey video:




Posted September 5th, 2016 at 9:30 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Avon Estuary & South Efford Marsh

At 1700hrs an Osprey seen heading south down the Avon estuary below the Marsh. On the Marsh itself at low tide still Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint amongst the Dunlin and Ringed Plover. 1 Ruff and 2 Black Tailed Godwit. Rodney Bone reports another sighting of a Wryneck on the path to the hide, probably the same bird seen on Fri evening and again at midday on Sat at this location, although not seen yesterday and not seen by other birders today.

Posted September 5th, 2016 at 5:50 pm by David Pakes in Bird News


In the reserve this morning the first Water Rail (heard only) of the autumn. Outside a mobile Black-tailed Godwit on (but mostly off) the scrape.

Posted September 5th, 2016 at 1:11 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


High tide roost of Curlew (including one colour-ringed in Germany), Oystercatcher (two colour-ringed, one from Iceland and another unknown at present), plus five Black-tailed Godwit, one Whimbrel, three Knot, a few Sandwich Tern, several Dunlin and Ringed Plover. All around 09:30.

Posted September 5th, 2016 at 12:08 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch from 0630-900hrs: 1 Large Shearwater sp (probably Great), 1 Little Gull, 11 Arctic Skuas, 2 Great Skua, 10 Balearic Shearwaters, 32 Manx Shearwater, 4 Sandwich Tern, 12 'commic' Tern, 12 Auk Sp, 4 Common Scoter, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit Also 20+ Common Dolphin and 2+ Harbour Porpoise.,

Posted September 5th, 2016 at 10:03 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


Late post for Sunday: Bowling Green Marsh (morning high tide): 4 Curlew sandpiper, 1 Wood sandpiper, 2 Spotted redshank, 1 Osprey (flew up the Clyst scattering al the waders). Rec (late afternoon): 1 ad Med gull, 4 Common sandpipers, 2 Water rail. Tim Worfolk had a Yellow-legged gull there in the afternoon.

Posted September 5th, 2016 at 7:59 am by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

Sunday 4th September 2016

pomarine skua

image from yesterday

Posted September 4th, 2016 at 8:03 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

2 Lyme Bay Trips

Today we had 2 Lyme Bay trips out of Brixham. A grey seal came to the boat before we departed wanting to be fed!!! The morning trip a little bit lumpy so went 6 miles out. Birds seen 3 Purple Sandpiper Brixham breakwater, 4 Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 3 Storm Petrel, 1 Great Skua, Gannet, Kittiwake, Fulmar, 2 Guillemot, 14 Common Scoter in flight, 2 Common Dolphin and 5 Harbour Porpoise.

The afternoon trip was very slow so went 7 miles out. Birds seen 2 Storm Petrel, 1 Great Skua, 1 Kittiwake, GBB gulls, LBB gulls, Herring Gulls, Fulmar. The total of Shearwater 7 miles out and closer to Berry Head, 4 Manx Shearwater, 6 Balearic Shearwater and 1 SP Shearwater. 4 Purple Sandpiper on Brixham breakwater. Last trips next weekend and full!! 

Posted September 4th, 2016 at 6:23 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Southdown Farm

juv dotterel on recently planted field, sorry no footpaths near by. East Soar could be worth a look!

Posted September 4th, 2016 at 4:43 pm by Colin Mills in Bird News

Exe Estuary - Osprey

9.10 am this morning - approx  half-mile South West of the Turf Locks above the tree line being mobbed by crows.

Late post from yesterday- Same area eating catch on dead oak at 9.30 am.

Photo at distance!!

Posted September 4th, 2016 at 4:15 pm by Tony Dudley-Clarke in Bird News

Fremington Pill (Sat late afternoon)

Quick visit to Pill in the hope the Glossy ibis may be close enough for photo with the rain deterring walkers. Noticed amongst the 100+ redshanks several showing white on the closed wing, some quite extensive (photo). A few curlew and 2 common sandpipers made up the rest.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Unusual Redshank
Unusual Redshank

Posted September 4th, 2016 at 2:18 pm by Andrew Lansdell in Bird News


Exmouth Beach - 0845 - c200+ Ringed Plover, c200+ Dunlin, c10+ Sanderling, 1 juv Curlew Sandpiper, 2 juv Little Stints and 36 Pale-bellied Brent Goose over east. Photos on

Posted September 4th, 2016 at 10:18 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Saturday 3rd September 2016


Another ad pale phase pom skua after one during last storm 2 wks ago unfortunately heavy squall pushed it off.18:20-18:50.Also 2 common tern and yellow wagtail,10 blackwits this morn at 07;25

Posted September 3rd, 2016 at 9:08 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Berry Head

Combined totals from several watchers 0830-1900hrs: 15 Balearic, 1 Sooty & 47 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Arctic & 2 Great Skuas, 1 juv/fw Little Gull, 3 Common Tern, 6 'commic' Tern, 2 Guillemot, 22 Fulmar, 36 Kittiwake also 2 Wheatear, 5 or more Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal.

Posted September 3rd, 2016 at 7:59 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Bits and bobs from today - Orcombe Point - fw Yellow-legged Gull, 2+ Yellow Wagtail, 2+ Balearic Shearwater and 5+ Manx Shearwater. Exmouth Beach - juv Curlew Sandpiper, 88+ Ringed Plover, 135+ Dunlin and 20+ Sanderling. Mudbank - 9 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 1 Osprey, 230+ Mallard, 6 Pintail, 48 Wigeon, 50+ Teal, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank and 3 Mediterranean Gulls. Some rubbish photos and further details on

Posted September 3rd, 2016 at 5:38 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

Wood Sandpiper, 2-Green Sandpipers, 2-Spotted Redshanks, 2-Curlew Sandpipers, Snipe, 17-Greenshank, 4-Whimbrel, 3-Bar-tailed Godwits, adult Mediterranean Gull, Kestrel amongst the large numbers of waders, gulls and ducks.

Had a call that the Osprey was in the oak tree near Turf Locks.

Posted September 3rd, 2016 at 11:43 am by David Boult in Bird News

Friday 2nd September 2016


No sign of either Osprey or Garganey this evening. But nice to see a soon to fledge House Martin. Great Crested Grebe on the Clyst.

House Martin (poor light)   Great Crested Grebe
House Martin (poor light)                      Great Crested Grebe

Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 9:40 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Good session this evening at South Efford headlined by a Wryneck in the scrub along the bank plus 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Little Stint, 1 Ruff, 4 Greenshank, 5+ Snipe, 10+ Common Sandpipers, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, ca35 each of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, 30 Curlew and at least 5 Yellow Wagtails.

Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 7:45 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Morning high tide. To add to Birds in Dave's post of 2 Spttd Redshank, 3 Curlew Sand, Wood Sand & Gargeney.

Redshank 400, Greenshsnk 22, Curlew 363, Whimbrel 5, Dunlin 153, Black-tailed Godwit 663, Lapwing 14, Little Egret 17, Teal 103, Shoveler 3, Med Gull Ad wint & Kingfisher. 

Gargeney showed to LHS in front of reeds. Female/Imm bird. 

Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 7:33 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

From the hide Wood Sandpiper, 3-Curlew Sandpipers, 2-Spotted Redshank, Kestrel and a Garganey amongst the large numbers of waders and ducks. No sign of the Spoonbill today. Peregrine swooping on the Redshanks close-in again in front the viewing platform and large numbers of Swallows around the fields.

From the goatwalk Osprey was seen very distantly stood on top the electric post at 12:05 hrs in field halfway between Turn locks and new cycle bridge, left of Belvedere Tower Powderham before moving off and fishing at bottom end of the estuary. 

Osprey  (maximum digiscopeed)

                      Osprey (maximum digiscoped)                                                      Kestrel

Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 4:15 pm by David Boult in Bird News

Home Farm Marsh

Female marsh harrier hunting for at least half an hour this morning over Isley Marsh.  Glossy Ibis bottom end of Fremington Pill at one o'clock very close to road.

Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 2:54 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

not much in the way of migrant birds today, the highlights being: 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest (first of the autumn for me on headland), 1 Whitethroat.

Of more interest were a couple of pods of Common Dolphin totalling about 40+ and 2 Harbour Porpoise that actually joined one of the groups for several minutes. 

Video link here:  

Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 2:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 1st September 2016


23 med gulls,6 ad,2sw,15juv/fw,1 sanderling.19:00-19:45

Posted September 1st, 2016 at 9:07 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

BGM & Goatwalk Topsham

Viewed 1200-1630 Hrs.

From the goatwalk Osprey on the tripod post middle of water channel near Turf Locks then flew up river at 1330hrs before flying down and over riversmeet house towards the river Cyst and out of view. Seen again from the viewing platform at 1437hrs on the mud in middle of the Exe estuary then Gary arrived on the platform it flew down river fishing and was joined with another fishing between Mudbank and the Warren without success. Also very close views of Peregrine swooping over the Redshank in front the platform before disappearing up river. Wheatear still on the seawall of riversmeet house. Spoonbill still showing from the hide.

Osprey  (distant views in the mid-day heat haze)
Osprey  (distant views in the mid-day heat haze)

Osprey (distant views in the mid-day heat haze)

Posted September 1st, 2016 at 5:51 pm by David Boult in Bird News

East Soar

Just a smattering of migrants:  100 Swallow, 23 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin, Yellow Wagtail, 6 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 14 Willow Warbler & 11 Chiffchaff. Also: 2 Red-legged Partridge, 2 Sparrowhawk, 400 Herring Gull, 37 Goldfinch & 350 Linnet.

Butterflies better: Clouded Yellow, 3 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 5 Painted Lady & 70 Small Copper.

Posted September 1st, 2016 at 1:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Glossy Ibis

Easily visible from road down to Fremington Quay on 29 August.  There all morning.

Glossy ibis, Fremington Pill

Glossy ibis, Fremington Pill
Glossy ibis, Fremington Pill

Posted September 1st, 2016 at 9:57 am by JOHN WARD in Bird News

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