Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st May 2017

Breeding birds

It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.

If in doubt refer to the following: 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

Posted April 1st at 3:13 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


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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

Wednesday 31st May 2017

Honey buzzard

Soar mill hotel

Posted May 31st at 11:11 pm by Emma Illingworth in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite sighted yesterday morning at 7.45am from the A30 at Tedburn St Mary.

Posted May 31st at 4:40 pm by Caroline Davies in General Birding

Tuesday 30th May 2017

Yarner Wood

Quick visit this morning produced 3 Redstarts (2m-1f), 1 Spotted Flycatcher , 1 Pied Flycatcher & 3 Wood Warbler. Attached very distant & poor photo of one WW with leg rings. Also Bank Vole near the car park feeders

Wood Warbler with leg ringsSpotted FlycatcherBank Vole
     Wood Warbler with leg rings                        Spotted Flycatcher                                         Bank Vole

Posted May 30th at 10:22 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Wood White

Wood Whites showing well at Meeth Quarry today

Posted May 30th at 7:35 pm by Simon Thurgood in Other Wildlife

Soar and South Huish

A Cattle Egret stiil on South Huish marsh this afternoon; also Sparrowhawk. Earlier, at Soar, little on the bird front but Dark Green and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, Small Coppers and a Green Hairstreak.

Posted May 30th at 3:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Brayford - North Devon

Two Red Kite flying up valley heading North - just to add to the Kiteathon

Posted May 30th at 12:55 pm by John Bronze in General Birding

Nightjars on Haldon

A walk at dusk on Monday evening around Harcombe on Haldon produced six Nightjars, including three churring males, plus a pair displaying and defending a territory from an intruding bird. Also a couple of Tawny Owls and a very late flying Raven.

Posted May 30th at 12:31 am by Martin Overy in General Birding

Monday 29th May 2017

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Well,  I was excited to see this on Richmond Walk in Devonport, Plymouth this morning Sunday 29th

Posted May 29th at 8:32 pm by Glenn Carter in Other Wildlife

Red Kite Paignton

Rob was sitting in garden on Red Kite watch and was rewarded with one at 16.15pm right over our garden in Maidenway Road with it drifting North. So, at last, we have seen one this year!

Yay, Red Kite

Posted May 29th at 5:18 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 28th May 2017

Emsworthy mire

Common Redstart and 3 Red kites

Posted May 28th at 9:06 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Red Kite and Sedge warble

As promissed earlier here are the images of the Red Kite over Dawlish warren heading towards exmouth and the Sedge Warbler on the path between Powderham church and the Turf locks inn. Also a White throat displaying well on Dawlish this afternoon.

Red Kite over Dawlish Warren  Sedge Warbler Powderham to turf locks inn path  Whitethroat Dawlish warren
Red Kite over Dawlish Warren   Sedge Warbler Powderham to turf locks inn path

Whitethroat Dawlish warren

Posted May 28th at 7:44 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Red kites over Dawlish Warren

This afternoon at approx 13:15 hrs. I spotted and positively identified at least two red kites heading towards Exmouth over the golf course on Dawlish Warren. I managed to get a couple of photographs which I will publish later. 

Also around the Exe on the footpath between Powderham church and the Turf pub were numerous Sedge Warblers displaying well and being very vocal. One allowed me to get some really close photographs without being bothered by the presence of myself or walkers on the path, image to follow soon

Posted May 28th at 5:10 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Redstarts @ Emsworthy Mire

Several pairs of Redstarts showing well, Cuckoo head close by and the Blue Bells showing nice colours
Yarner Woods:- Several Pied Flycatchers and about 6 Wood Warblers, pics not brilliant light was bad, at the upper hide, several of the normal birds, Tits, ect. Female GS Woodpecker nearby and a lovely shot of a Coal Tit Chick.

Posted May 28th at 4:28 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Waye Farm, Yealmpton

Single Red Kite drifting low over the A379 at 1.35pm

Posted May 28th at 4:26 pm by Peter Edwards in General Birding


Single Red Kite heading toward Starcross being mobbed by a

Carrion crow  about 12.30

Posted May 28th at 4:08 pm by Neil Graham in General Birding

Emsworthy and Yarner

Usual suspects at Yarner. Pied Flycatchers ,Redstarts,Yellow hammer on the moor,Linnets,Redpolls,Meadow Pippet,Willow Warbler

Emsworthy produced a couple pairs of Redstarts nesting in a wall,distant Cuckoo,Meadow Pippet



Posted May 28th at 3:49 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

Red Kite - Cosdon Beacon

One sighted just SW from summit 11.30 hrs 26/5. Apparently searching at low level (<2m) as if about to land but sweeping continuously across moor. Flew towards me (on horseback) within 5 m and no apparent fear.

Posted May 28th at 3:35 pm by Dave & Dawn Hatton in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bennets Cross to Soussons

Plenty of stonechats, whinchats, meadow pipets. 2 pied flycatcher 6 cuckoos, 2 flying over, 2 reed buntings, 5 chiffchaff, brief view of Great Grey Shrike but busier than usual and a couple with a dog drove it away. Green woodpecker in Soussons Plantation.

Posted May 28th at 3:31 pm by Ian Muir in General Birding


Two Red Kites drifted over the seafront at 1323hrs, circled a few times then headed off NE at 1332hrs.

Posted May 28th at 2:42 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Red Kite - River Exe

1 Red Kite flew fairly low east over the River Exe at 11.15 from Powderham to Lympstone viewed from the viewing platform at Bowling Green - also a Hobby north of Powderham Church.

Posted May 28th at 12:35 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Saturday 27th May 2017


A Red-rumped Swallow was seen in Millcombe today by Chris Townend; see here for further details.

Posted May 27th at 10:33 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling green Marsh and Labrador Bay

Bowling Green Marsh on the high tide one first summer Mediterranean gull, a small and mobile flock of Black Tailed Godwits, around the hedgerows Cetti’s warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Wren, numerous Swifts over the marsh and three Buzzards.

Labrador Bends A379 one Red Kite, a Peregrine, Cirl Bunting and several singing Sky larks.

Back home at South Brent a Jay in the garden, three Raven over head, a pair of Swallows nest building and two Mallard over at last light.

Posted May 27th at 10:00 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


30 plus ringneck parakeet to roost central park

Posted May 27th at 9:40 pm by barry in General Birding

Red Kite mid-devon

Around 12.30 today Red Kite being harassed by crow near Old Well garden centre (J27 M5) while heading north east. Possibly others at great height.

Posted May 27th at 7:04 pm by Wilson Forster in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Whitethroat, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Roe Deer (doe). 

Posted May 27th at 6:59 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 11:40

from the hide 25+ bar tailed godwits, 2 1st summer Mediterranean gulls 

From the viewing platform 6 Red kites all heading north / north east the first was picked up opposite the viewing platform low over trees, the second was over Lympstone village, the last four were picked up as they crossed the exe from starcross towards Lympstone , also 1 kestrel, 1 peregrine, 2 sparrowhawk, and 10+ buzzards, 1 whimbrel.

There were large numbers of swift all around the estuary impossible to count as could be seen from ground level to very high this was the most I've seen this spring around the estuary.

Posted May 27th at 2:22 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 0615-0815hrs (just in case!): 5 Puffin, 164 Manx Shearwaters, 61 Common Scoter, 2 Gadwall, 1 Mediterranean Gull (2cy), 1 Great Northern Diver, 57 Kittiwake, 93 Gannet and 4 Harbour Porpoise.

As I was leaving a Red Kite drifted high >N heading toward Hope's Nose  

Posted May 27th at 9:36 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Friday 26th May 2017

Orcombe Point

I apologise in advance for the fact that your not supposed to put a story on here but I feel it will be worth it.

Had a half hour sea watch between 4:40 and 5:10 which turned out to be very productive indeed. Having not seen much apart from 2 Manx Shearwater, 3 Sandwich Terns, 2 Gannets and the usual Gulls. I was about to leave.

On what I had decided was going to be my last sweep of the bay I caught up with 3 Manx Shearwater going west and reasonably far out. Watched them for a few seconds when they passed a very large bird heading east. My initial thought was GBB Gull so I kept watching the Manxies. After a few more seconds my brain kicked in to gear and said "there's something different about that bird" I quickly got back on to it and was able to track it until it went past, towards sandy bay. I was 95% confident on what I had just seen but didn't call it at the time as I felt I needed to double check a few ID points on what I was seeing.

I was then in a rush to get home for father duties but did however manage to alert Matt Knot to my thoughts (thanks Matt for trying to get a few people out). I have now had time to scrutinised Collins and the internet etc and can confidently say it was a BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS 

Again, sorry I havent put this out sooner as I wanted to be certain as it's a very big call to make. Keep your eyes peeled folks. It may still be in Lyme Bay somewhere.

Matt will agree with the fact that birding Orcombe Point can be tough going but it does pay off from time to time. It's been a rather good Spring there this year. Annoyingly for Matt, he was leaving as I was arriving. We had both had the same thoughts "let's watch the sea". I truly hope it shows up again for other to enjoy.

Posted May 26th at 9:39 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

26-05-17 Around Soussons & Golden Dagger Mine

Two Red Starts at the felled area, feeding it's young, near the Goldendagger Mine and towards the Warren House Inn, plenty of Whinchats, the odd Reed Bunting and a single male Crossbill drinking.




Posted May 26th at 8:51 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


c2.30pm Three Red Kites glided by with crows as escorts. Disappeared towards Meavy and Dousland.

Mike Beales

Posted May 26th at 6:01 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Venford Reservoir

Two Red Kite in addition to the 'resident' Cuckoo, Whinchat, Reed Bunting, Redpoll, Yellowhammer etc. Overhead at 09:30.

Posted May 26th at 5:36 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding


Started off at Trendlebeare Down this morning after meeting up with Paul Treen. Immediately heard a Cuckoo calling a little distance from the Car Park. We went off to look for our target bird of Garden Warbler and were rewarded fairly quickly, with one singing in the birch trees off the path. There were also the usual offerings of Whitethroat, Linnet and Yellowhammer. Following the track down into the valley from Trendlebeare we could again hear the Cuckoo calling, but only got a brief view of it being mobbed by a pair of Meadow Pipits. In the bottom of the valley we counted at least 8 Green Hairstreaks, 6+ Pearl Bordered Frits, 8+ Small Heath and on following the track up towards the road we again found another Cuckoo, plus 3 Buzzards engaging with each other. 

Buzzard Beautiful Green Hairstreak Garden Warbler

On to Soussons Plantation for more Cuckoos, where we located 4 different birds, plus a lovely male whinchat. No sign of the Shrike for us, but other birders had seen it today. Walking back up the track to the car park a small juvenile adder crossed in front of us. Too quick for photo unfortunately. A great, but tiring day, in the sun, and it is always nice to meet up with fellow birders.

Posted May 26th at 4:47 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

North Devon

Always good to see a Green Hairstreak, this one sheltering from a fresh SE. 28.2C in the sun at 15.00 in our garden! By 18.00 it will probably be over 30C.

Posted May 26th at 3:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Lower Tamar Lake

Sunny, bright and warm at the lake this morning, with a brisk SE wind.

3 Willow  Warblers singing, 3 + Blackcaps singing ,2+ Swallows,  several Chaffinches, 4 Blackbirds, 3 Wrens, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Rooks, 1 Magpie, 1 Herring Gull over,  2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Moorhen, 1 adult Robin feeding a juvenile, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Collared Dove, Blue and Great Tits and 1 Coal Tit .using the feeders.

Harvey Kendall..

Posted May 26th at 12:48 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Bowling green marsh Thursday 25th

Late post for yesterday

20+ red kite viewed from the hide at bowling green marsh from 16:50 till 17:05 they were over towards exton village, also 1 1st summer Mediterranean gull

from the viewing platform 50+ bar tailed godwits, 2 knot, 2 grey plover, 5 whimbrel.

earlier just before 16:00 2 red kite over Exeter bus station being chased by the local gulls.

Posted May 26th at 6:22 am by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Thursday 25th May 2017


3 this evening at undisclosed site.Earlier at the skern 30+dunlin,4 sanderling and 3 black headed gulls which are generally scarce this time of year in our area

Posted May 25th at 11:15 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Red Kite - Braunton Burrows

25/05 One flew over towards Appledore 12:30 and later it or another over Croyde mid afternoon

Posted May 25th at 10:34 pm by Richard Coomber in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite - Torrington

24/05 One flying over RHS Rosemoor

Posted May 25th at 10:31 pm by Richard Coomber in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Gaya trust,Lower Yelland farm.

On pond from main hide a fine male Garganey.   7 Little Egrets also present at this evenings high tide.    Lesser Whitethroat singing along Tarka trail between Instow and Yelland.

Posted May 25th at 10:02 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Brief time on a hot day

Apart from the enclosed photos of a solitary gadwall? great crested grebe and juvenile pied wagtail, I also recorded the song and flight of a reed warbler singing from atop the reeds. A pity the windows of the hide don't open like the hides at Seaton Marsh. Could have obtained much better photos. There was also a lone gannet diving just off the beach. A very profitable time on a hot day

   Brief time on a hot day
Eds: yes it is a Gadwall (left)- Reminder to photographers, if you are going to post photos please name the birds under the photo not everyone looking at the website knows what the birds are! Here juv Pied Wagtail and Great Crested Grebe

Posted May 25th at 9:59 pm by Philip Fairclough in General Birding

More Red Kites over South Brent

A second duo of Red Kite turned up over South Brent today and were in good view from the house from 15.30hrs until around 19.30hrs this evening. One being a much paler bird with a less well developed tail.

Also seen was the third of three Sparrow Hawks seen around the village today, a Jay, Raven and three great Black Back Gulls, two juveniles and one adult.

Posted May 25th at 9:01 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite

Very pale red kite over Holne Moor 13:30 today

Posted May 25th at 6:40 pm by Denis Doy in General Birding

Soar and South Huish

Very quiet at Soar this morning (just Jay and 2 Mistle Thrushes) but a Cattle Egret still present on South Huish Marsh this afternoon.

On the way home, I joined the Kite party, with 3 Red Kites heading north-east over Ermington.

Posted May 25th at 6:18 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

red kite

Solitary Red Kite over Soussons Down at 1430

Posted May 25th at 5:32 pm by bob barrow in General Birding

Morte Point

Red Kite over Morte Point this morning 0700,flew towards Woolacombe 0710. Lesser Whitethroat still near the Cemetery all morning.


Posted May 25th at 4:17 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Red Kites - South Brent

Approx 15.20hrs this afternoon two Red Kites seen from home at South Brent, very low and battling against the strong winds.

Two Sparrow hawks seen around the village earlier in the day and last night enjoyed listening to at least four calling Tawny owls around the garden.

Posted May 25th at 3:35 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Red kites Dartmoor

Single red kite feeding over Shelstone Tor at 9.35, a single mobbed by a crow near Lints Tor at 12.15 and then 2 seen hunting over Corn Ridge at 13.35. Could all be same birds.

Posted May 25th at 3:14 pm by Fiona Freshney in General Birding

Red Kite Plymouth

Red Kite over Mannamead Plymouth 13:40 mobbed by herring gulls before flying off NW. 

Posted May 25th at 2:56 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in General Birding

Southdown Farm,Bolberry

Red-veined Darter over winter wheat field!

Posted May 25th at 12:42 pm by Rob Macklin in Other Wildlife


Mudbank - 43 Red Kites west across the river up until 1030 (including the aforementioned flock of 13). Pretty sure I missed a load and fairly certain they'll still be going over.

Posted May 25th at 12:21 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Red Kite Plymouth

1055 hrs. While eating a pastie in the garden, my attention was drawn to a mobbing Carrion Crow was mobbing a Red Kite above me in Laira. It drifted off towards Efford.

Posted May 25th at 11:02 am by Philip Phillips in General Birding


Red Kite over at 0830

Posted May 25th at 8:54 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kites

7.00am Mamhead....4 Red Kites flying west towards River Teign...

Group of 3 and 1 alittle behind....

Posted May 25th at 7:57 am by Neil Graham in General Birding


Mudbank - single flock of 13 Red Kites low and fast west across the river at 0650.

Posted May 25th at 7:09 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Wednesday 24th May 2017


6 sanderling,6 ringed plover and 4 dunlin on offer tonight.male peregrine made a couple of unsuccessful stoops.18:45

Posted May 24th at 9:26 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Red Kite

Around 6 this evening Red Kite over Stoodleigh with probably a second at greater height.

Posted May 24th at 9:09 pm by Wilson Forster in General Birding


3 Spotted Flycatchers,Gs woodpecker,treecreeper,nuthatch,goldcrest.Butterflies,speckled brown,veined white,painted lady,orange tip,and also 2 broad bodied chasers and,large red damselfly,didn't have time to get to the outer woodlands to look at pied flycatchers,redstarts etc but nice to see spotted flycatcher settling in.

Posted May 24th at 7:55 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Bursdon Moor

Seen by Rod Mudge mid afternoon - a Harris Hawk wearing jesses perched in tree tops in Summerwell Plantation adjacent to Bursdon Moor - being mobbed by Ravens.

Clearly an escape which is probably being sought..

Posted May 24th at 5:38 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Pretty quiet today, but managed a Grey Wagtail, 3 Little Egrets, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Bullfinch and a Roe Deer (doe).

Posted May 23rd at 7:59 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Mouse and vole

Rob's photos actually show a vole (most likely bank vole) visiting at ground level, then a wood mouse at the feeder. The vole has much smaller ears and eyes (also short tail, though not visible here).

Posted May 23rd at 7:36 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Soussons & Golden Dagger Mine

Great Grey Shrike still present in open scrub N of Golden Dagger Mine and NE corner of Soussons Plantation today.

Posted May 23rd at 6:47 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding


Saw a definite 5, possible 6 cuckoos on molland common at midday yesterday (May 22nd). All within a few hundred yards of each other just off the Ridgeway cross crossroads.

Posted May 23rd at 11:52 am by Sam Aston in General Birding

Wood Mouse

A different visitor to the bird feeder this morning.  Photographed through the study window at Budleigh Salterton, EX9.  It has been seen before,  see photo of earlier date: but climbing onto the feeder is a new trick.



Posted May 23rd at 8:56 am by Rob Jerrard in Other Wildlife

Monday 22nd May 2017

Yarner Woods

A few more taken at Yarner Wood



Posted May 22nd at 10:51 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

Yarner Woods

A good day up at Yarner Sunday 21st May



Posted May 22nd at 10:48 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down

A morning visit to Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down  yesterday (Sun 21st) gave Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow Hammer, Willow Warbler, Linnet, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, two pairs of Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, Raven, Cuckoo and a Warbler species that ML identified for me as a Garden Warbler, I had initially thought that it was a female Whitethroat,the bird was very prominent and singing loudly within a given area.

A further visit this morning with Keith Male gave three Garden Warblers one showing very well, a single Redpoll, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Linnet, Meadow and Tree Pipit, Bullfinch and calling Cuckoo.

Over at Challacombe farm, two Stock Dove, two very mobile Cuckoo’s flying up and down the length of the valley, Meadow Pipit, male Redstart, pair of Whinchat, three plus Wheatear, Linnet, Stonechat, Song and Mistle Thrush, numerous Swallow and House Martin, two Swift, possible Spotted Flycatcher but only a brief in flight view, Buzzard, Pied Wagtail and Willow Warbler.

Posted May 22nd at 9:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Yarner Woods

Cuckoo heard calling again today,Plenty of Redstarts about. A few have taken up residence in the nest boxes provided.Pied Flycatchers in abundance,Great Spotted Woodpecker,Willow Warbler,1 Wood Warbler and a par of singing Whiethroat in the second car park at Trendlebere

Posted May 22nd at 9:05 pm by Allison Wines in General Birding

fernworthy reservoir

3Tree pipips,redstart,garden warblers,willow warblers,blackcap,mistle thrush,tree creeper,great crested grebe,meadow pipits,swallows building nests in fishing hut,heard no cuckoos,but after constant calling at Vitifer all day yesterday 2 cuckoos met up and mission accomplished then silence!!

Posted May 22nd at 6:54 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

East Devon Field Meeting

Travelled from Barnstaple this morning to meet up with East Devon group for an excellent days birding at Ham Wall. Species irrelevant to this blog but thanks to all for their friendliness.

Posted May 22nd at 6:53 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

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