Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th May 2017


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Sunday 7th May 2017

Prawle Area

Black Redstart and 3 male Wheatears in set aside field near Gammon Head, otherwise a Whitethroat (36 singing males on territory) and Swallow day , with 115 Swallows either in off the sea or coasting eastwards. Butterfly species included 2 Small Pearl- bordered fritillaries, 4 Green Hairstreak, 2 Common Blues ( including one female) and a Small Copper. More warmth and sunshine would have produced more.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 10:54 pm in Bird News

Visible Swallow migration

Excellent day on the North Devon/Cornwall border, with swallows moving up the coast into Devon at a rate of between 600 and 800 per hour, at least 1500 counted, plus 6 House Martins(!) at Marsland DWT reserve. Also 4 Whitethroat in full song

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 10:49 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in Bird News


200+ swallows this evening heading north along cliffs  and adjacent fields in a 15 minute period 19:15

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 10:10 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Yarner Woods

Watched all day, though most action in the morning.

My Highlight was 2 showy Tree Pipits on the moor. Also here were 5+ displaying Lesser Redpoll, 2m Yellowhammer, 1 Whitethroat, 4+ Willow Warbler and 2 HO Cuckoo. In the woods 1m Wood Warbler was singing all morning and also noted were 8+ Redstart, 13+ Pied Flycatchers, 3 Mistle Thrush, 4 Goldcrest and 2 Blackcap. The car park ponds and feeders held 4 drk Mandarins, 1 Marsh Tit, 3 Nuthatch, a pr of Grey Wagtail. 1 Tawny Owl was calling at c4pm and 3 Swift flew over.

Reuben Veal

Tree Pipit digiscoped Singing Tree Pipit digiscoped
Tree Pipit digiscoped                                                 Singing Tree Pipit digiscoped

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 9:41 pm by Reuben Veal in Bird News

Burrator Reservoir

A walk to the north of the reservoir produced: singing Wood Warbler, 2 singing Redstarts,  singing Tree Pipit, 2+ Cuckoos, Grasshopper Warbler reeling, 2 pairs of Wheatears and 7 Siskins. 

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 8:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

I knew there was something else - 3 cygnets on the pond this afternoon. Not many compared to previous years.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 8:03 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Emsworthy DWT


1 (probably 2) Cuckoos, 3 Redstarts, Meadow Pipit, 2 Tree Pipits, 20+ Swallows, 2 Goldfinches, Linnet, male and female Stonechats, Kestrel and Raven.  Willow Warbler calling.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 7:56 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Braunton area

Ringing in the reserve at Velator this morning was rewarded with 3 Reed Warblers and the first juveniles of Blackbird, Robin and Song Thrush. I also ringed two adult breeding female Blackbirds. This is interesting as I'm sure I've also retrapped several of the resident female Blackbirds. If they all succeed, we'll be knee deep in them!

This afternoon I returned to Horsey Island as the tide rose, about 70 Dunlin and 12 Ringed Plover, 1 Redshank, 4 noisy Oystercatchers, 20 Grey Plover (showing a wide range of plumages from full winter to full sum. No sign of Curlew Sandpiper, but two Ruff appeared.

Still two Grey-lag Geese by Sherpa Marsh.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 7:14 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


A calling Cuckoo just below Sittaford Tor near Two Bridges and another heard below Ger Tor near Lanehead.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 5:59 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News

Exminster marsh

While on the A38 heading up to Exminster marsh this morning saw a Peregrine being mobbed by Corvids.

Exminster marsh towards Turf ~ Great Black Backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1, Sedge Warbler 7, Chiffchaff  3, Swift 2, Cetti’s warbler 2,  8 Black Tailed Godwit one in full “orange” summer plumage, Skylark 2, Willow Warbler 4, Reed Bunting 2 (pair displaying) Wigeon 5, Tufted duck 1, Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 1, Whimbrel 5+ flew onto across the marsh heading out to the estuary, Sand Martin 1, mix of Swallow and House Martins .

Later in the afternoon a low flying Red Kite seen in the Teign valley near Trusham.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 5:35 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

East Soar

2 Swift, 12 House Martin, Sand Martin, 4 Wheatear and a continuous stream of Swallows in off the sea.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 3:48 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Tarka trail - Braunton to Barnstaple

1 immature Common Gull still on the Taw Estuary + a handful of Grey Plover & 3 Bar-tailed Godwits some in sum plum. A few BH Gulls still present . Plus brood of Mallards


Posted May 7th, 2017 at 3:08 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Red kite

Red kite flew past viewing platform at bowling green marsh at 13:00 headed up the River clyst

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 1:11 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Saturday 6th May 2017

Yarner Woods

A stroll around Yarner Woods and Trendlebere produced the usual suspects. On the heath Several Yellowhammers,Stonechat,Meadow Pippet,Willow Warbler.

Wood Warbler still showing well on path above the stream at Yarner,also 5 Male Redstart and 3 Female,plenty of Pied Flycatchers nest building.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 9:45 pm by Allison Wines in Bird News

Sherpa Marsh

Forgot to add that here were 2 Grey-lag Geese with 5 Canada Geese over by the marsh - seen from the Toll House.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:53 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling green marsh and goatwalk topsham

Watched from 10:30 till 17:00

started at the hide at bowling green marsh the 3 male ruffs showed well with 50+ black tailed godwits, 10+ tufted duck? 3 gadwall, 15+ wigeon , 5+ house Martin , 20+ swift among sand martins and swallows , 4 Cetti's warblers, 12+ reed warblers. 

From the goatwalk , 360+ dunlin , 2 sanderling, 13 knot, 23 ringed plover, 37+ grey plover, 8+ whimbrel, lots of swifts moving over exminster marsh

from the viewing platform at bowling green marsh another 8+ grey plover. 59+ bar tailed godwits, the Spoonbill  was very active today feeding most of  the time, just after 15:20 picked up a distant Osprey down river of Lympstone it caught 1 fish but lost it as it took off it then flew up river towards turf we saw it dive again but was lost to view ( other birders at the goatwalk saw it take a large fish and it headed up behind turf), 30+ swift through in small groups, 7+ buzzard through heading north up the river clyst , 15+ great crested grebe 

Another quick look from the hide produced a 1st summer Mediterranean gull.


Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:47 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


To join the general trend, this afternoon I had a Hobby over my house. Where might that be, you might ask. Exeter, is the answer, on the western side up from St Thomas, turn right by the toilets....... by the way it has gone. 12 Swifts too. 

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:35 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Exeter Center, Saturday 6 May

Wile taking my first ever look at the Exeter Peregrines from Bartholomew Street, a Sparrowhawk landed in the tree above my head.

Sparrowhawk  Peregrine
 Sparrowhawk                                                                                 Peregrine

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:01 pm by Bob Telford in Bird News

Hillsford Bridge near Lynton

Wood warbler back first sighting this year,four more sights for us to look at.2male 2 female redstart,1pied flycatcher,3 goldcrest,Gs woodpecker black cap and good amounts of locals again in fine voice although bitterly cold wind.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 6:35 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Braunton Marsh

This afternoon I cycled out across the Marsh road, down the American Road and home along the Toll road. 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, 8 Sedge Warblers, 1 Swift, Good numbers of Swallows and near Velator Harbour 20 plus Sand Martins. 1 Common Sandpiper on the Caen. Highlight was the new flood on Horsey Island. About 200 summer plumage Dunlin, 75 or so Ringed Plover, a dozen Whimbrel, 20 Grey Plover (some in cracking summer plumage). Best was a summer plumage Curlew Sandpiper. Possible Little Stint.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 6:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

13 Swifts, 20+ Swallows going north (ish), Wheatear, c12 House Martins around the house, 5 drake Mandarin Ducks and a gathering of 14 Mute Swans on the narrow river.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 5:56 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Head

A couple of visits to the head today started with a dawn chorus walk lots of song, best birds were a Sedge Warbler steady passage of Swifts again - 60 plus and a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver over the top of the headland.

this afternoon the wind dropped and the sun tried to break through at sea 23 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Common Scoter a small pod of about 10-12 Common Dolphin and 2 Harbour Porpoise.

In the quarry a Reed Warbler broke into song and a minimum of 9 Small Blue Butterflies and my first Common Blue Butterfly of the year.                                       

Small Blue Butterfly Berry Head 060517 ML Commonl Blue Butterfly Berry Head 060517 ML

                                         Small Blue                                                          Common Blue

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 5:41 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


10 over the house today ,bideford.One of the best sight and sounds of summer.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 4:17 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Red Kite

Seen yesterday afternoon, around 2.30pm, from Trendlebere, above Yarner: 1 Red Kite, 1 Swift, 1 male Yellowhammer singing, small party of very mobile Lesser Redpoll, and 1 Whitethroat seen and more heard.

Earlier in morning in Yarner, very good views of: Pair of Pied Flycatcher with the female taking nesting marerial into box, pair of Redstart and a lovely singing Wood Warbler, despite blustery, cool conditions. A pair of Bullfinches on the feeders outside the hide up the hill, also a liitle flock of Siskin. 4 male Mandarin on pond next to car park.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 10:29 am by Ruth Wiseman in Bird News

A moan

Cannot see the point of posting sightings such as 'Swifts over my house....' when there is no indication of where 'my house' actually is!.

And it is difficult to take seriously the postings that include birds that don't actually exist in any bird books that I possess such as Greater Black Backed Gulls, Canadian Geese, Shoveller, Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Harvey Kendall.

Eds: Good point about location. Would contributors please give location (a general description is fine if you don't want to identify your exact home address). With regard to names, whislt it's helpful to quote the precise name if you can, we understand that not everyone is aware of all birds' exact names. We welcome postings from a variety of contributors of differing abilities. We generally would not correct slip ups in names where the species is clear even if technically not quoted correctly. 

If contributors are making points, please try and do so in a contructive tone and remember we all make mistakes; so if correcting something, please do so in way you would be happy to be on the receiving end of. 

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 10:03 am by Harvey Kendall in Bird News

Roadford lake

Greenshank and Common Sandpiper

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:43 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News


My Swifts have returned - four of them racing around the house this morning, will update when they start to breed.

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:34 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Friday 5th May 2017

Prawle Seawatch

Seawatch from 7.20 to 1pm in NE going ENE 5-6 going 7 with PM : Hobby  in off the sea at 11.20am; 70+ Swifts gong east ,some in off; 2 Great Northern Divers in summer plumage west;15 Manx Shearwaters east;14 Bar-Tailed Godwits, 7 Grey Plover and 3 unidentified waders east;23 Common Scoter east;6 Swallows and 6 House Martins;a Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat newly arrived in off and a Wheatear flying east. Also 4 Dolphins ( probably Bottle- Nosed and a Harbour Porpoise.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 11:26 pm in Bird News


Further to Keith's post the imm Spoonbill was on the estuary as viewed from the Bowling Green Marsh viewing platform at midday.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 11:07 pm by Martin Elcoate in Bird News

A38 Plympton

Driving into Plymouth this evening a Hobby over Plympton side of A38. 

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 10:09 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News


Watched from 16:00 till 1845

from the viewing  platform at bowling green marsh 3 ruff, 29 grey plover , 57+ bar tailed godwits , 80+ black tailed godwits, 7 knot, 7+ dunlin, 3 ringed plover, 18+ oystercatcher, 8+ common gull among 100+ black headed gulls, 2 blackcap , 2 reed warbler, 1 Cetti's warbler ,  30+ swift, 1 hobby.

from the goatwalk , 450+ dunlin, 7 ringed plover , 12 sanderling , 12+ whimbrel, also 9 whimbrel flew up estuary and continued high over Topsham , hobby over motorway bridge lots of swift over exminster marsh

walked back via the viewing platform and hide at bowling green marsh , 55+ swift over marsh, 3 groups of whimbrel flew over and headed up the river clyst ( 17, 9, 12)

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 9:23 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

A38 Drumbridges,

At 16.31 saw a Red Kite flying over A38 from Stover towards Bovey Tracey at the Drumbridges junction.  Sorry no photo - was driving at the time!

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 8:58 pm by Helen Harding in Bird News

Swifts over Totnes

Sorry this is late but there were six swifts over Totnes yesterday ~1800, first of the year.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 8:55 pm by Philip Strange in Bird News

Arlington from very early am

Pied flycatchers,siskin,redstart,chiffchaff,willow warblers,goldcrest,swift,swallows,coal tit marsh Tit,Gs woodpecker,sparrowhawk,mistle thrush,jay,blackcap,longtailed tit ,nuthatch and treecreeper. Beautiful chorus if not quite dawn!!very nice to see bird boxes repaired and new.A good number of all species made for a very enjoyable morning.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 3:29 pm by John Elvin in Bird News


2 swifts in off the sea this morning battling against the wind. Also singing sedge warbler in valley to beach, singing willow warbler in roadside garden in village with another seen at Wembury Point, chiffchaffs, blackcaps and whitethroats.

Along the beach 4 whimbrel, a partial sp grey plover, a partial sp dunlin, 4 bar tailed godwit (2 in partial sp), 30+oystercatchers, 1 little egret, 2 shelduck, 8 mallard (6 males).Offshore gannets and fulmars.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 2:57 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News


In a very windy reserve this morning 2 each of singing Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, Reed and Cetti's Warblers. Odd that yesterday, for the first time since I ringed one a couple of years ago, a Little Egret landed atop a tree in the reserve. Odder then that it, or another should fly in and land by the pond a few yards from where I was watching this morning. Flew off as I was reaching for the camera. 2 Swifts over.

This is the male Canada Goose pretending he's not there - as if I can't see him with his head down!
This is the male Canada Goose pretending he's not there - as if I can't see him with his head down!

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 2:17 pm by jon turner in Bird News


Six swifts over the house at South Brent just before 10.00hrs this morning.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 10:56 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News


between 0650 and 0750 this morning had 30 plus swifts over my house

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 8:09 am by Tom Jurd in Bird News

Thursday 4th May 2017

Swifts ~ South Brent

Late afternoon two Swifts seen over home at South Brent and another sighting in the evening.

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 10:44 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

RWY Plymouth

Single swift over Royal William Yard, Plymouth this morning first for 2017.

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 9:28 pm by Graham Devine in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Exminster Marshes

swallow, robin, goldfinch, blackbird, wood pigeon, sedge warbler, chiffchaff, wren, mute swan, canada goose, mallards (including a female with 8 duckling), chaffinch, great and blue tit, whimbrel, crow/rook, coot, reed warbler, shelduck, kestrel and lapwing.


Posted May 4th, 2017 at 8:05 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News

Berry Head

Very Quiet at sea but a steady stream of Swifts W-E; and a Hobby passed the quarry path, towards Brixham (c. 11:35); at least 7 singing Whitethroat; also at least 3 Sm Blues in quarry area.

Small Blue
Small Blue

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 7:10 pm by David Holloway in Bird News

Topsham & swifts

A quick look around bowling green marsh from 15:00 till 17:00

the spoonbill showed well no rings and a sub adult bird didn't see the 2 birds on Tuesday so couldn't say if new bird or not. Also on show 3 male ruff , 6 knot, 120+ dunlin, 1 ringed plover, 7 grey plover , 12+ whimbrel, 6 little egret, 8 greenshank, 5 redshank, 1 mistle thrush, 30+ swallow, 15+ sand Martin 80+ swift, 10+ tufted duck, 15+ wigeon, 2 reed warbler, just before I left a hobby flew over the marsh.

exeter city centre whilst waiting for bus home 25+ swift and at home in redhills another group  of 50+ moving north 

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 6:35 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Spoonbill from the viewing platform this lunchtime. Also 1 Mediterranean Gull. Among the waders was a very smart summer plumaged Grey Plover.

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 2:19 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Barnstaple Swifts

2 swifts this morning ,  over Bicton Street , Barnstaple  , 

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 1:45 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Berry Head

A visit to Berry Head produced little in the way of grounded migrants  - but did produce a passage of swifts overhead all heading East a total of 266 in 1 hour. bit of video here: 

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 1:23 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Swifts Exeter

6 Swifts flying and screaming around University of Exeter at 1230

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 12:58 pm by Ian Stone in Bird News

Otter - White Bridge

10am - Lesser Whitethroat still immediately north of White Bridge, very mobile in the first 200-300m and mainly in the hawthorn

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 11:53 am by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Swift on migration

Saw our first swift this morning, over the garden in Teignmouth. Same date as last year!

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 7:32 am by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Exminster Marsh.

Sorry, late post for Tuesday 2nd May 0530 to 0600. 2 x Spoonbill feeding in distant shallow water as viewed from canal path by car park. Also drake Garganey on pond adjacent to road to canal car park.  

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 8:31 pm by Mike Booth in Bird News

South Huish - Curlew Sandpiper

The Curlew Sandpiper seen yesterday reappeared briefly this evening at about 5:45pm at the back of the back scrape.

The water level will be lowered slightly next week to dry out the marsh behind the scrapes so the grass can grow and the cattle have something to eat over the summer.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 7:33 pm by Nick Townsend in Bird News

Tawny Owlet at Paignton Zoo, 3 May 2017

At Piagnton Zoo this afternoon, I witnessed a pair of Crows mobbing a branched Tawny Owlet in a tree close to the Tiger enclosure. I contacted reception to see if they could send someone to rescue the owlet before it was forced into the Tiger enclosure. Unfortunately the Owlet was forced into the enclosure before help arrived but the keepers were able to call in the tigers and rescue the Owlet. The adult Tigers were disinterested but the cub attempted to play with the owlet much like any cat does with a bird and it was interested to see the Owlet rear, spread its wings and hiss, somewhat bemusing the cub. The Owlet was on its feet when rescued and looked OK but was taken straight off to the Zoo vet for a checkup.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 5:44 pm by Bob Telford in Bird News

Grenofen Woods and Downs

4 garden warblers today (3 singing males with a female in attendance with 1 of them), good to see and hear after a blank here last year.

Also 2 or 3 singing and mobile male redstarts with a female also seen, 3 tree pipits( 2 songflighting males with a female in attendance with 1 of them), a cuckoo heard cuckooing just twice, a tawny owl heard despite the sunshine, 3 marsh tit, a male yellowhammer, willow warblers, a pair of stonechat and a green woodpecker heard yaffling.

2 grey wagtails along the river feeding 2 fledglings.

7 brimstone on the wing and an oil beetle also noted.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 5:22 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Glaucous Gull at Slapton

Sitting on Slapton Ley at about 2:30 this afternoon with Great Black-backed then flew off to field behind Ley

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 5:14 pm by Tom Stevenson in Bird News


Redstart male,4pied flycatchers male 2 female,goldcrest,2siskins,spotted flycatcher 1male gs woodpecker,very tuneful woodland and all birds busy.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 5:03 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Lackey Moth Caterpillers

Found at Wembury along the cost-line

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 4:46 pm by Greg Bradbury in Other Wildlife

West Charleton Marsh

3 Reed Warblers singing and a pair of Teals present. Surprised a Tree Pipit went over, maybe my first spring record here.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 4:24 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Walking around the farm we saw, 2 Redstart (m), Nut hatch, Marsh Tit, Bull Finch 1 (m) 1 (f), Willow Warblers, Mistle Thrush. It was very cold there.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 3:24 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Morte Point

Lackey Moth Larvae on blackthorn bush.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 2:19 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife

Morte Point

0650 this morning - 1 Grasshopper Warbler

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 2:16 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Haldon Forest Survey

Another trip up to Haldon Forrest  for five DBWPS members who make up one of the survey teams.

Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Yellow Hammer, Treecreeper, Song & Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch, Linnet, Chiffchaff and Buzzard seen in the woodland area.

The Heath land gave the days highlights, initially Stonechat with and feeding young, Green woodpecker followed by Tree Pipit and a pair of very confiding Crossbills.

Numerous other regular species recorded.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 1:28 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Walked from the Tarka Tennis Centre up to Bishop's Tawton and back this morning. Reed Warblers singing in all 3 small reed-beds (two by the river, one at the pond. One Blackcap singing, another seen. One Whitethroat and one Lesser Whitethroat (between the Rock Park Footbridge and the by-pass bridge). A Kestrel preceded me along the walk, hovering intermittently. At the pond (opposite Bishop's Tawton) 3 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret, 1 Pied Wagtail and a pair of Grey Wagtail. Sadly, no Waders this morning. On the way back a Mistle Thrush flew north across the river.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 12:07 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

Hembury Woods

2 Garden Warblers singing and lots of Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, late afternoon.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 10:59 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Osprey over Yelland

The Osprey was circling high up with a lot of gulls over the old ashbeds at Isley marsh around midday today. Attached just  a record shot as it was very high up.


Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 10:02 pm by Roy Churchill in Bird News

South Huish - Culew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper coming into summer plumage seen around scrape nearest the car park at 6:30pm

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 9:51 pm by Nick Townsend in Bird News

fremington quay and home farm marsh.

osprey over isley marsh, then over home farm by the hide and finally heading over taw to horsey island got some shots but it was flying high away from gulls.Also cettis,reed warbler,sedge warblers,gs woodpecker,whitethroats,little egret,willow warblers and chiffchaff.butterflies, small blue ,red admiral,orange tip and small white.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 6:57 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Knapp Copse LNR

Surveying at Knapp Copse this am gave 24 species including pair of Marsh Tits and a Grasshopper Warbler. 

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 6:53 pm by Andy Rook in Bird News

Pew Tor

Cuckoo heared around Pew Tor and Vixen Tor in the morning, then seen near Pew Tor Cottage 1.30pm.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 6:31 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Soar, South Huish Marsh & South Milton Ley

Soar was very quiet this morning: Wheatear, 3 Sedge Warblers, 4 Shelducks (going south west), 3 Blackcaps and 25 Whitethroats.

At South Huish Marsh later, 5 Cattle Egrets, Lapwing, 3 Whimbrels, 3 Sedge Warblers and Reed Bunting. South Milton Ley produced 4 Reed Warblers and 2 Jays.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Taw Estuary

Re my previous post....I returned with my camera this time, and had the pleasure of watching the Osprey for some time.....

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 5:33 pm by Alan Denzey in Bird News

Exe Estuary

Up to Bowling Green Marsh and Exminster marsh with Keith Male for the midday high tide.


On BGM a Ruff and Greenshank in with the Godwit flock and a Spoonbill showing well, duck species inc some 10 Tufted, pair of Gadwall, Shoveller and Mallard with ducklings. Chiffchaff in the lane side hedge. Four Buzzard soaring high over the area

, On Exminster marsh 15 plus Reed Warblers very vocal but extremely elusive, Reed Buntings, a Garden Warbler, seven Whimbrel and at least two Lapwing on leaving a distant Hobby and a hovering Kestrel.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Glaucous Gull Slapton

At 13.35, a large group (300+) of mixed large Gulls flew over the Ley towards the sea. In amongst them was a 1S Glaucous Gull and I briefly saw what may have been a second white-winged Gull.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 5:22 pm in Bird News

River Clyst

2 Spoonbills seen from viewing platform at 10.25am on mud. Soon flew off together NW. 3 Ruff still on BGM with good variety of waders & duck.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 4:24 pm by David Leigh in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A Spoonbill from the hide this lunchtime. Also 1 Garden Warbler singing by the hide.

On arrival at the platform, an Osprey having made a recent catch was heading past Riversmeet Turf but when I got to the Goatwalk there was no sign of it.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 2:41 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Elberry cove

1 whimbrel flew around elberry cove, calling, from and back to broadsands direction around 10.45 this morning.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 2:37 pm by graham folkerd in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

4 Hobby from 12.20-12.40 only - 1 near middle car park and 3 over the lagoon- also LRP , Common Sand and 40 Whimbrel near the end car park .  Whitethroat and 2 House Martins along railway path. 

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 1:53 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Taw Estuary

Osprey over Horsey Island, fabulous view, no camera....!!!!

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 12:31 pm by Alan Denzey in Bird News

Osprey - Taw Estuary

Having been given a heads up by Andy Leat yesterday I went to Horsey Island this morning. I soon saw my first Merlin but had to wait 2 hours before the Osprey showed up. It came and went for the next half hour frequently hovering but not making a catch. It finally disappeared NW towards Baggy.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 12:02 pm by alan craddock in Bird News

Monday 1st May 2017


As I can't make the Devon Birds trip, I sneaked over for a preview today.

Good numbers of Manx Shearwaters on the outward journey, and in with one large raft were a few Common Terns and several Black Terns. Also the usual Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and the odd Gannet.

In Millcombe, 4 Blackcaps, Whitethroat, 2/3 Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest, and at the top of the valley Redpoll and Willow Warbler.

Walked out along 1/4 wall - two Sika Deer. Huge numbers of nesting Guillemots and Razorbills along with encouraging numbers of Puffins in Jenny's Cove. Plus Fulmars.

At Pondsbury 3 Teal two broods of Mallard, Sedge Warbler, Swift, House Martin. Then bird of the day: a Short-eared Owl which flew round and pitched in south of the pond.

After seeing a fine male Redstart along the east part of 1/4 wall, not much along the east side, but back in Millcombe with a little help from Tim and Tim, I saw Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, and a rather distant view of the Red-necked Grebe. Buzzard and Kestrel seen along with 2 Peregrine. 

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 10:17 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Redstart pics - Smeardon Down

Pics as promised of the male and female Redstarts on Smeardon Down, Peter Tavy this evening.

Redstart (male) Redstart (female)
Redstart (male)                                        Redstart (female)

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 10:16 pm by Andy Brown in Bird News

Osprey Braunton Marsh

Lovely view of an Osprey feeding on a fence post on Crow Point Toll Road this afternoon. Bit late to see one? 

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 7:30 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News


Great Skua heading north, very high.1o'clock.

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 7:20 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Redstarts and Cuckoo - Smeardon Down

A lovely pair of Redstarts showing well at close quarters (pics to follow) and a Cuckoo calling and later flying by at distance on Smeardon Down, Peter Tavy this evening

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 7:09 pm by Andy Brown in Bird News

Sandyway exmoor

Went for a drive out over the moors,  not expecting to see much due to the rain,  but the weather gave way to sunshine and it was a raptor fest. 6 kestrels in 2 different locations 1 kestral catching a sloworm ? Or similar feeding on the wing.1 peregrine, many buzzards individually but most impressive 5 buzzards on reedy upland Moor, all hovering and occasionally plummeting. Meadow pipits, skylarks and a few bullfinch. Goosander and 2 chicks,but technically they were just inside Somerset. 

Kestral feeding
Kestrel feeding

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 6:27 pm by Philip Worth in Bird News


Watched from 08:45 till 14:50

started at the hide at bowling green marsh as earlier post also 2 sedge warbler, 5 reed warbler, 4 Cetti's warbler, 10+ little egret over 

goosemoor had 13 knot, 40+ bar tailed godwits, 30+ greenshank. 3 whimbrel

from the viewing platform 12+ sandwich terns, 50+ whimbrel up river seemed to head north, 1 mistle thrush , 3 blackcap , 2 reed warbler, 1 Cetti's warbler , 2 kingfisher, 4 great crested grebe, constant passage of swallows heading west .

headed back into Topsham and about 12:35 had 2 hobby headed over the strand by the Dutch house headed of east decided to look from the quay to check for any more hobby moving over exminster quickly picked up 2 heading from powderham to exminster marsh over the next 2 hours had another 9+ all picked up over powderham heading north onto the marsh with 8 in the air just before I left so final total was at least 13+ birds in the 2 hours I watched . Also  notable movement of swift high over the marsh all heading north with at least 50+ birds and lots of swallows moving through , 1 common sandpiper and 10 more whimbrel headed north.


Posted May 1st, 2017 at 5:58 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Loads of Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Oystercatcher on the high tide with about 8+ Whimbrel, 2 Red Knot and a Little Stint. On the Burrows there were Sedge Warblers, Common Whitethroat, Linnets, Wheatear and skylark.

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 2:56 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in Bird News


Male cuckoo calling from above Haggington Hill for most of the morning.

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 1:15 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

Bowling Green & Goosemoor

A drake Garganey was at Bowling Green Marsh early in the morning, flying off towards the estuary. Other ducks included surprisingly good numbers of Teal and Wigeon (15+), plus Shoveler (7), Pintail (drake), Gadwall (pair plus a drake) and Tufted (8). An Avocet and a couple of Whimbrel came in at high tide, as did 2 Ruff, Dunlin (200?), Ringed Plover (1), both godwits and some Knot briefly, before decanting to Goosemoor. A Swift went through and about a hundred mixed hirundines fed over in front of the hide.

At Goosemoor, 28 Greenshanks and a mixed bunch of Knot and both godwits fed for a while until the water level rose and the mud disappeared. Some splendid Knots and Bar-tails in breeding plumage, despite the dismal light!

Bar-tailed Godwit and Knots at Goosemoor Bar-tails in varying plumages! Garganey at BGM
Bar-tailed Godwit and Knots at Goosemoor   Bar-tails in varying plumages!                         Garganey at BGM

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 1:11 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


A 2cy summer drake Eider was off the stream outflow this morning also 1 Great Crested Grebe, 11 Sandwich Tern and 4 Sand Martin >N

Eider drake 1st sum Goodrington 1st May 2017 ML1st sum drake Eider

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 12:14 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

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