General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

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

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

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

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

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

Dawlish Warren

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

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work .

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

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

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

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

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

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

Sunday 14th May 2017

Cann Nightjars

Had my first sighting of Nightjar (and heard first churring) this evening, with 2 males & 2 females seen and 3 others heard, on my 7th attempt since 23rd April. 

Posted May 14th, 2017 at 11:13 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Occombe

Maybe it was the rain on Saturday followed by the glorious sunshine this morning but the bluebells were fantastic here today. Also enjoying the sunshine were a vixen and cub. Birds of note included: a pair of Mute Swans flying over, and a pair of Mallards, Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, a Long Tailed Tit and Coal Tit were clearly busy collecting insects to take back to their nests, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, 2 Swallows, 3 House Sparrows, Pheasant, 3 Chiffchaff , Bullfinch and a Blackcap.

Posted May 14th, 2017 at 9:51 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Meldon Reservoir and West Okement River Valley

10.00-16.00

4 Cuckoos (3 males and a grey morph female), 5 Wheatear (4 males and a female), 4 Grey Wagtails, Pied Wagtail, Kestrel, 2 Ravens, Mistle Thrush, 4 Stonechats, Blackbird, Skylark, 10+ Meadow Pipits.  Linnets, Willow Warblers and Redstarts calling.

Detour home via Dawlish Warren for the E Subalpine Warbler.  Arrived at 5.00pm.  At 5.50pm after much skulking, singing and alarm calling from cover, the bird became mobile and more showy.  Eventually flew out into the open for a couple of minutes and sung its heart out for the three remaining birders. 

Posted May 14th, 2017 at 8:45 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Cuckoo Ball - Bittaford

Just for Chris M, as he mentions the bird, a pic I took yesterday of a bright yellowhammer, one of 3 I saw in the Cuckoo Ball area. Also a linnet and meadow pipit. I also saw a wheatear, several skylark, a jay and 2 buzzard, together with an all too brief sight of the reported woodchat shrike on barbed wire, near where Chris  looks to have taken his photo. Sadly it flew off as I approached and I could not relocate it. This area is fairly close to me, but I have not visited before. I gained access by taking the first lane on the right after leaving Bittaford towards Ivybridge. There is limited parking at the top of the lane giving direct access to the Moor. Cuckoo Ball is behind the old Moorhaven Hospital. Tom M, who I met there yesterday before I saw the shrike, had walked in from another access site at Wrangaton Golf Club. Hope that helps any other birders visiting for the first time.

Yellowhammer - Cuckoo Ball - 13/5/2017Linnet - Cuckoo Ball - 13/5/2017Meadow Pipit -Cuckoo Ball - 13/5/2017
           Yellowhammer                                           Linnet                          Meadow Pipit -Cuckoo Ball - 13/5/2017

Posted May 14th, 2017 at 7:17 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

A singing male EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER found by IL, present on and off, favouring 2 hawthorn bushes on back path behind main pond, showing every hour or so, ( seen upto 7.35, 8.25-8.50, 9.45-10.05 and again 11.25) seen song flighting as well . it's also been seen at edge of main pond , the entrance bushes near visitor centre and on the golf course

 

Posted May 14th, 2017 at 11:37 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Saturday 13th May 2017

Otterton Sewage works

An evening sea watch produced 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Arctic Skua and circa 50 Manx Shearwater. A group of 15 Common Scoter made up the supporting cast. 

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 10:02 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Lundy on Saturday

James McCarthy tweeted with news of 25+ Spotted Flycatchers (one of the highest spring counts of recent years), as well as 3 Whitethroats and single Blackcap and Garden Warbler, on the island today.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 6:24 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Malmsmead near Lynton.

On the Devon side of the valley,1pied flycatcher,1spotted flycatcher,6male redstart,2female redstart 5 swift,swallows,martins,cuckoo,treecreeper,nuthatch,blackcaps,willow warblers,chiffchaffs,grey wagtail,dippers and goldcrest.lovely day but had to spend time and patience to see these birds,it was quite windy and often overcast.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 6:13 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Woodchat Shrike

Late post - Woodchat Shrike at Cuckoo Ball near Ivybridge since Thursday

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 5:43 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Hobby - Peter Tavy

Hobby flew over Peter Tavy this morning being chased by 4 House Martins and managed to grab a shot of him before he disappeared into a line of trees.

Hobby
Hobby

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 5:20 pm by Andy Brown in General Birding

Montagu's Harrier, Charleton Parish (Kingsbridge)

1 female Montagu's Harrier south through Charleton Parish at 14:35 hours today (Saturday), either flew down Frogmore Creek or continued on south towards South Pool, local cereal fields along Frogmore Creek checked but no further sightings.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 4:14 pm by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Prawle Point Seawatch

Watched from about 7:30 to 10:00am, met Mark Darlaston at the point.  As Mark set up his scope a Balearic Shearwater, which I couldn't find at all, just happened into his line of sight. About 08:00 two Pomarine Skuas headed west, later these or another two headed back east.  One was a pale phase, and the other that I took to be a dark phase bird was a much rarer intermediate type. 100+ Manx Shearwater, one Great Nothern Diver and an unidentified Red/Black Throated Diver, mostly west. Lots of Gannet and Kittiwake and auks were constant.  The oddest was a juv/female Marsh Harrier that come over the point and headed due south low over the sea 'til it was lost to sight.

Near the car park was my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year.

On the way home passed by South Huish in hope of a Yellow Wagtail, but was rewarded with a single Avocet on the back scrape!

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 3:15 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Berry Head: 09:00 - 10:00

Further to Andy Smith's post, stayed a further hour: 4 Little Tern > N (09:10); c.20 Common Dolphin; 4 Small Blue; 3 Common Blue; 1 Holly Blue; 1 Wall; 1 Green-veined White.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 1:55 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Braunton Marshes

7 Swifts over the marshes by the Toll House earlier this morning.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 12:01 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Lundy

Great to read Jo King's post below. Additional info. on this week's sightings can be found at http://lundybirds.blogspot.co.uk/ Forecast looking pretty good and the East Side combes should be nicely sheltered from the SW wind. Will post an update here later on if there is any further Lundy news from today. Hope everyone has a great time tomorrow.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 11:30 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Lundy 3 day stay

Just back from 3 day stay at Lundy and as Devon Birds are visiting tomorrow thought it might be useful to post some of my sightings. Many were similar to Jon Turner's post on 1 May, particularly the sea birds, but with a few different encounters:-

Female Ringed Ouzel above lower Bluebell carpeted East coast path. Feeding in the steep felled area where Rhododendrums were cleared & burned - about 1/2-3/4 hr walk from Gvt House & before Quarry. Lots of Sika Deer feeding on these slopes. 

4 Ringed Plover flew in and landed on Eastern rugged area between 1/4 & 1/2way wall (apparently scarce on Lundy per log book)

Dozens of Seals basking in sun, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Spotted Flycatchers on rocks and hillside around Northern Light House. In Jenny's Cove, Razorbills, Guillemots, Fulmars, Puffins and Kittiwakes. Most are quite distant.

We stayed at Government House and found the garden and area down to Millcombe to be a good site with several Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatchers, Willow Warblers, Linnets, Chiffchaff, Blackcaps and House Sparrows using nest boxes. Soay Sheep also feeding around here (never heard or saw the Grasshopper Warbler)

Spotted Flycatchers around Castle area.

Skylarks basking in sun along the footpaths at lunch time so good close ups. Meadow Pipits displaying. Linnets singing

Variety of Wheatear scattered all over.

Have fun!

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 9:01 am by Jo King in General Birding

Swifts Brixham

At 2.30 yesterday afternoon 30 + Swifts over Brixham Marina, calling , great to hear. 07.45 this morning another group of  20 + Swifts over my house in Brixham .  A report yesterday afternoon of a Yellow Hammer near southern fort Berry Head, not seen them for many years on BH.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 8:38 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Friday 12th May 2017

Soussons Plantation-Golden Dagger

9 members of DB attended the morning fieldtrip starting at Ephraim's Pinch on the SE corner and covering the eastern side returning via Soussons Farm.  Due to several members not being able to locate the rendezvous we were initially split into two groups until we joined up later and the two subsequently found different bird species.  Crossbills and Redstart were found by one group and Tree Pipits, Stock Dove and Garden Warblers by the second.  Several of the latter warblers were heard and seen and were plentiful in the woodlands plus Willow Warbler.  Green Woodpecker and Gt Spotted Woodpecker present.  Cuckoo only heard very briefly and at a distance.  Stonechat, Reed Bunting and Whinchat located on the open moorland.

Later four of us dropped into Challacombe Farm on the way home and quickly located 3-4 Spotted Flycatcher, a pair of Redstart, Pied Flycatcher (heard) and on the open moor, Wheatear.  A good morning in spite of occasional mist and drizzle. 

Posted May 12th, 2017 at 5:51 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Serin in Shaugh?

During lunch at home today in Shaugh Prior we were amazed to see what appears to be a male Serin on our front patio. It pecked at chickweed for about 5 minutes, went up into a birch and we haven't seen it since!

Posted May 12th, 2017 at 1:44 pm by Rob Hubble & Stella Tracey in General Birding

Thursday 11th May 2017

Okehampton

Several Swifts seen this evening flying around over Okehampton. Earlier this afternoon between Okehampton and Meldon, I also saw a Red Kite circling close to a Buzzzard.

Posted May 11th, 2017 at 8:15 pm by Mike Jones in General Birding

Skern/Northam Burrows 8th May

Sorry this a late post.  Beautiful late afternoon/early evening with large flocks of Dunlin and ringed plover. Mixed in with them were some Knot, 11 whimbrel and dogs. I asked the couple with the four dogs if they would mind stopping their dogs chasing the birds to no avail whilst the owners of the other dog just stared with pride. 



Posted May 11th, 2017 at 7:02 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Braunton Burrows

Cycled from Braunton on a circular route this morning along the Toll Road & American Road to Saunton village.

From the south end of Braunton Burrows to the north end the air was alive with the sound of bird song. Perfect weather conditions with no wind, warm & humid with a few spits & spots of rain from time to time  A great place at this time of year to practise your bird song skills.

The numbers of species counted this morning is only a proportion of the numbers present on the Burrows at the present time, recorded within a distance of 100 metres or so from the road or paths.

28 Common Whitethroat, sadly only 3 Lesser Whitethroat, lower numbers than last year, still 2 on the Tarka trail between Braunton & Barnstaple a few days ago. 33 Willow Wablers, 23 Blackcap, 22 Chiffchaff & a few Sedge Warbler.

Sadly, no Cuckoo heard this morning.

Posted May 11th, 2017 at 2:53 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wednesday 10th May 2017

South Huish

Bob Burridge found an Avocet and Yellow Wagtail at the back of the scrapes this morning.  The Avocet and another Yellow Wagtail were present at 6pm as well as 3 Whimbrel, 4 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin.

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 10:35 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Exminster Marshes 12:30 - 14:30

A saunter along the path to the Turf produced Sedge and Reed Warblers singing, some Common Whitethroats and a Lesser, see Nick Potters post. Good views of a male Kestrel and quite a few Lapwings, also four individual Hobbies, but then two in the same area highish above Lions's Rest Estate. Also one Whimbrel from the middle "car parking area", towards the canal.

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 10:18 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

skern

Around 100 ringed plover,3 whimbrel 3 grey plover,turnstone.Saved a swallow from a window strike at work today on dartmoor.After half hour resting in a box i took outside and it flew of strongly hopefully joining its friends busily sorting nest sites on the farm.

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 9:58 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:30 till 19:40

Started at the hide 2 male ruff showing well , 1 1st summer Mediterranean gull, 90+ black tailed godwit, 10 tufted duck, 3 gadwall, 10+ wigeon, good numbers of swift, house Martin and swallow moving through with a few sand martins.

With the tide coming in decided to go down to the viewing platform just as I got to the gate on the right of the lane just after 17:00 a group of swallow flew over had the briefest view of a possible Red Rumped swallow the bird had a pale rump but the light was bright and the view too short and despite looking had no more views so one which got away.

from the viewing platform as I got there Dave Boult had a possible stint just before I got there but we couldn't find it again so carried on looking through the waders as the tide came up. About 300+ dunlin, included 15+ sanderling, 4 ringed plover, 3+ knot, 60+ bar tailed godwits, 30+ grey plover, another male ruff, then got on a small wader just after 18:00 after checking the bird between us and with the birds getting more flighty it was clear it was a Little stint a good bird in the spring on the estuary good find by Dave.

A quick look back at the hide produced 2 more 1st summer Mediterranean gulls among 200+ black headed gulls, 25+ oystercatchers dropped in a good number for the marsh.

A good evenings birding 

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 9:28 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Horsey Island

Two visits (morning and early evening) today. Far too much water by the time I got there this morning, but still a few waders hiding on the far side. This evening's list: 50+ Dunlin 34 Ringed Plover, 15 Grey Plover, 2 sum plum Knot, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Oystercatchers, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, and a summer plumage Turnstone, which was also seen last night after I left by Sue Bruce.

I was told there area 6 cygnets from the pair out along the Marsh road.

Event of the evening was seeing part (25) of the local flock of sheep stranded on the last tiny patch of grass on the saltmarsh just beyond the toll house. The tide was still rising, and eventually they took the plunge and all  made it to the embankment.

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 8:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Castle Drogo.

Male pied flycatcher,chiffchaff,willow warbler,blackcap,tree creeper,nuthatch,Butterflies,Comma,peacock,green veined white,clouded yellow.

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 7:14 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Morte Point

2 Lesser Whitethroat calling in shrubbery by the iron gates near the cemetery at 0600. Still there on return at 1045. also 2 Whimbrel on the Point.

  

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 2:28 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Along the railway line path this lunchtime a Lesser Whitethroat singing frequently but showing infrequently, moving either side of the railway line. I eventually got good views of it before a passing train flushed it from its perch.

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 2:06 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tuesday 9th May 2017

Slapton waders

Seen on Saturday between Strete Gate and Memorial car park. Summer plummage Grey plover and a mixed flock of sanderling and ringed plover. Also present was a winter plumaged small wader with distinct decurved bill, either a dunlin with a more than average curve or curlew sandpiper, hoping someone else also saw it and can enlighten me. 

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 9:10 pm by Henry Trollope in General Birding

Plym Estuary

3 Whimbrels on the high tide tonight.

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 8:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

South Huish - Cattle Egrets

Eleven Cattle Egrets sighted at South Huish.  Initially in the field beyond the scrapes and later in a field with the cattle to the right of the scrapes.

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 7:18 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Horsey island

On the rising tide this afternoon: 50 Dunlin, 24 Ringed Plover, one each of Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank and Sanderling and 2 Knot (one sum plum).,

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 6:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Fingle Woods,Dartmoor

2 Garden Warbler - one singing. Now up to 13 Pied Fly Territories & 4 Redstarts. Female Goosander on river. No Wood Warblers here yet!

100+ Early Purple Orchids.

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 4:35 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Dunsdon Nature Reserve

Heard a cuckoo calling at Dunsdon Nature Reserve, well away from hotspots for the cuckoo.

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 3:15 pm by Paul Rendell in General Birding

Berry Head

Off the headland: 4 Great Northern Divers, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Common Scoter & 3 Harbour Porpoise

overhead: moving >E 39 Swift, 16 House Martin, 1 Sand Martin, 22 Swallow. 

 

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 11:44 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Broadsands - Elberry cove

2 whimbrel on rocks between elberry and broadsands this morning.

 

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 11:35 am by graham folkerd in General Birding

yarner wood / soussons - Yesterday

yarner: pied flys, grey wagtail, whitethroat, cuckoo heard, willow warb, chiffchaff, kestrel,buzzard.

soussons: stonechats, meadow pips, treepip, female and male whinchat ( what a beaut!), cuckoos 2/3 heard and 1 seen, willow warb, skylayrk,

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 9:16 am by graham folkerd in General Birding

Red Kite

Sorry for late post. On Sunday it was great to see a Red Kite circling over the Ten Tor teams as they came to the finish from Cosdon/Belsone

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 3:00 am by Richard Burston in General Birding

Monday 8th May 2017

Nightjars at last!

On our fifth evening visit to Cann Wood, Plympton since the last week of April, tonight we were rewarded by a single 'gooik!' call from an unseen nightjar.  We were also barked at by an invisible Roe buck who thought we were too close for comfort.

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 11:00 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in General Birding

Buckland Common, east Dartmoor

Birds on the common this afternoon included 1 redpoll, linnets, 2 pairs stonechat, abundant meadow pipit, 2 yellowhammer, willow wablers, several whitethroat, cuckoo heard, buzzards over. Other wildlife included 3+ emperor moth, 1 green hairstreak, 1 small fritillary sp., 1 fox, 1 roebuck. Back around the pine trees at the carpark around 6pm, songflighting redpolls, courting willow warblers & cuckoo (male and female).

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 10:40 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

skern

350/400 dunlin,9 sanderling,3 knot 1 barwit,9 grey plover

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 10:06 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Horsey Island, Braunton Marsh

Not nearly as many birds this evening. Perhaps as many as 40-50 Dunlin,8-10 Ringed Plover, 18 Whimbrel, 15 Grey Plover, 2 White Wagtails, and best was a Knot approaching summer plumage.

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 8:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Red kite over Hunters Inn

Spotted this red kite above Hunters Inn this afternoon. Further down in the valley a wood warbler was singing close to the road.

Red kiteWood Warbler
                                           Red kite                                                                   Wood Warbler

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 6:28 pm by R Gowen in General Birding

Corndon Tor, Dartmoor - 2 Cuckoo

Two ( seen in the air at the same time) mobile calling male cuckoo on Corndon Tor at 1610hrs today.

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 5:56 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Roborough Down 08/05/2017

At least 2 if not 3 very vocal Cuckoo's on the Down around lunctime, Heard but not seen. Apart from the Robins, Pied Wagtail, Stonechats, Blackbirds, Corvids, Linnets and Dunnocks. 

Others: Brimstone (m & F) on the wing with small whites, red admiral & peacocks. Spotted Orchid plants beginning to appear.

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 5:19 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Morte Point

0605 -1030. 33 species including 1 Reed Bunting (my 101 species this location), 1 Turnstone, 15 Manx Shearwater, 5 Fulmar, 2 Gannet, 7 Whitethroat, 50+ House Martin, good number of Swallows, 1 Sparrowhawk. GBbGs outnumbered Herring Gulls.

Reed BuntingReed Bunting
Reed Bunting

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 2:20 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

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