Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th July 2017

Recent Winter Weather

I should like to include a piece on the effects on birds of the recent severe cold snap (26 February to 3 March) in the next 'Devon Birds'. Please send any accounts, observations and anecdotes to me ( and I will try and compile a single account (with of course, full acknowledgement of all contributors). Please include some weather notes - for instance, here in East Devon it was the glazed frost on the morning of 2 March that did the most damage, covering everything with a layer of ice and forming an icy crust on the lying snow. Many thanks.

Mike Lock

Posted March 9th at 11:52 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Devon Birds Records Committee

After serving as a member of the Committee for five years, Chris Townend will be standing down at the end of June 2018. Chris, who leads wildlife watching holidays through his own company 'Wise Birding', has been an active member of the Committee, and his consistently pragmatic approach to assessing records has proved invaluable. The Society would like to thank him for his contribution over the past five years and wish him well in the future.

A formal application to fill the vacancy has been received from Andrew Smith, from Buckfastleigh, which is supported by members of the Committee. Andy has been birding for over forty years and moving to Devon in 2015, Andy has since explored the County, regularly visiting Soar and South Huish during migration, whilst more locally he spends his time and surveying at Hembury and Holne Woods.

Over the last 20 years Andy has led over 130 bird and natural history tours, mainly for Naturetrek. His experience and knowledge from birdwatching in over 50 countries including much of the Western Palearctic will be especially useful to Devon Birds and the Records Committee.

Unless the County Recorder receives any other applications before 15th April 2018, Andy will be formally elected to fill the vacancy for a five year period.

For more information and/or an application form please contact: Kevin Rylands, County Recorder. Email:

Posted February 21st at 11:01 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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

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

Friday 14th July 2017

Interesting obervations - 14 July

At Bowling Green Marsh around 9.00 two female Goosanders. Flew off north after ten minutes.

At Dawlish Warren, from the railway overbridge, two basking sharks at around 11.15.

Posted July 14th, 2017 at 7:43 pm by Francis Welland in General Birding

Cockwood Harbour

Tuesday 11 July. 3 Sandwich Terns calling and flying up river just outside the harbour in pouring rain

Posted July 14th, 2017 at 7:04 pm by Timothy Joy in General Birding

Otter Estuary

2 hour stint in the lower hide, accompanied by Tony Warren, Wednesday evening on the rising tide. Really bright viewing conditions. Total of 9 Little Egrets, 2 Common Sandpiper, and 2 merganser "redheads". The chestnut breast seemed to be sharply defined and made us wonder if they were Goosanders rather than R-b Merganser although we would have thought R-b M probably more likely.Regret no photos this time. 

Posted July 14th, 2017 at 7:02 pm by Timothy Joy in General Birding

Black hole Marsh

A Great Egret seen on the river from Tower Hide at 12.15 today. Also 3 Common Sandpiper.

Posted July 14th, 2017 at 6:09 pm by Ray Hamilton in General Birding


170 Swifts feeding low over oilseed rape by Southdown Farm. Also post-breeding flock of 100 Linnets. 2 Wall Browns first of new generation.

Posted July 14th, 2017 at 12:16 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 13th July 2017

Venford Reservoir

c12 Lesser Redpolls, 10+ Siskins, Common Sandpiper, Little Grebe, 2 Tree Pipits and Green Woodpecker.

Posted July 13th, 2017 at 8:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Morte Point

Four Fox Cubs near the cemetery early this morning.


Posted July 13th, 2017 at 5:35 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spotted Redshank was from the view platform this lunchtime. No longer in its summer plumage, it is now quite a grey bird.

Posted July 13th, 2017 at 3:32 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wednesday 12th July 2017

Braunton Toll Road

Early evening ride to the flood at the white house: No Mediterranean Gulls! 30 Dunlin, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 each of Red and Greenshank, 2 each of Common Sandpipers and Oystercatchers , 6 Curlew and a summer plumage Knot. 7 Grey Heron and also 7 Little Egrets.

Posted July 12th, 2017 at 10:01 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Med Gull - Lyme bay boat trip

I have had a some feedback on the Adullt Med Gull we saw off of Berry Head during Nigel's boat trip on the 2nd. Thanks to Sean for getting back to me. As follows:-

This is definately an Irish Bird that was ringed in Wexford in 2009 or 2010. I cant be 100% certain but I think it is 2E16. Many thanks for the sighting. Let me know if you get any further reports and I will do the same if I get any further information. Kind Regards Sean

Posted July 12th, 2017 at 9:06 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Caen River, Braunton

On the saltings this morning, 27 Mediterranean Gulls, and a bonus moulting male Yellow Wagtail. (10.10a.m.)

Posted July 12th, 2017 at 10:46 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 11th July 2017

Berry Head

Seawatch today: Fea's Petrel south at 16.50hrs (youTube link: ) , 1 Sooty Shearwater (YouTube Link: ) other highlights; 1 Great Skua, 1 Puffin over 1500 Manx Shearwaters

A few  pictures grabs from the bridge camera 4K video of the Fea's Petrel bottom left with a Manx Shearwater



Posted July 11th, 2017 at 10:09 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


20+ Mediterranean Gulls on the saltmarsh just beyond the Toll House this morning.

Posted July 11th, 2017 at 11:21 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Mutters Moor, Sidmouth.

13 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended last evenings NIghtjar walk which turned out to be the 'best ever' according to the regulars. Weather conditions were calm and warm.  'Churring' was first heard briefly at 9.35 pm with the main calls starting at 9.45pm and continued until we departed.  Both male and female birds were identified and at one time three birds were seen in flight together.  Close fly-pasts were the highlight and in addition to the two familiar calls a third quieter sound was heard which may have been an alarm cry.  It was believed we were probably near a nest site.

Earlier in the evening other birds seen were Yellow Hammer, a family of Stonechat, c12 Swift and a calling Tawny Owl. A very memorable one and a half hours on the common.

Posted July 11th, 2017 at 7:43 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Monday 10th July 2017


Cycled down the Toll Road towards Crow point this evening (reports of Yellow Wagtail at the weekend) and recorded the following: 24 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 Grey Plover, 12 Redshank, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Teal, 20 Dunlin. Also 2 hunting Barn Owls. No Yellow Wagtails but plenty of Pied, including good numbers of Juveniles. 40- 50 Swallows and a few Sand Martins, along with perhaps a dozen Swifts.

Posted July 10th, 2017 at 10:15 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Late Post of Hoopoe at Train Station in Newton Abbot

I was told today by a teacher that he had been told be a friend that he had seen a hoopoe at the train station in Newton Abbot some point last week.

Posted July 10th, 2017 at 9:27 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

River Clyst - Clyst Honiton

Found myself looking for three birds: Blue Tit, Chiffchaff and a Sedge Warbler.  However the calls and song were all coming from the Sedge Warbler (known for their mimicry).  The public footpath up river from the sewage pumping station opened this summer having been closed for over 12 months and is a pleasant place to bird (other than the view of the vast new Lidl's depot).  Buzzard, Stock Dove, Kingfisher present.

Picture taken into the sun so light eye stripe not clear.  


Posted July 10th, 2017 at 5:45 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Higher Soar

Probable first departures in the shape of 400 Swifts feeding low over the cereal fields. Also 100 Swallows.

Posted July 10th, 2017 at 4:55 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Roe buck , Arlington area this morning.

Cracking encounter.


Posted July 10th, 2017 at 11:37 am by David Paterson in Other Wildlife

Plym Estuary

Waders beginning to pick up: Common Sandpiper 6, Greenshank 2, Whimbrel, Curlew 25, Redshank 52. Also 8 Little Egrets, 9 Grey Herons, 6 juv Black-headed Gulls, a pair of Shelduck now with 2 well grown juvs, a juv Swallow at the wreck breeding site and 6 Mandarin Ducks.

Posted July 10th, 2017 at 11:31 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Addition to 7th July posting

Little Egret lifting stone on the Clyst at the Bridge Inn...interesting behaviour

Posted July 10th, 2017 at 8:45 am by bob barrow in General Birding

Bicton Park, East Devon

Sunday 9th July.  Another sunny day.  Pleased to see many damselflies about this week and the Black tailed Skimmer Dragonfly seen again.  Very many young mallards to delight the children and blackbirds making the most of a cherry tree.

             Bicton Park, Sunday 9th July

Bicton Park, Sunday 9th July

Posted July 10th, 2017 at 8:30 am by Rob Jerrard in Other Wildlife

Sunday 9th July 2017

Torbay Coastal & South Brent

Kestrel seen sun bathing on the rocks on the Torbay coastal path this morning.

Back home at South Brent a Garden Warbler turned up briefly in the garden, first record of this species at home, two Raven over head.

Posted July 9th, 2017 at 9:37 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


55 med gulls.41 ads,5ss,5fs,4 juvs

Posted July 9th, 2017 at 8:41 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Afternoon in the garden in combemartin.

This after in the garden were blackbirds m+f,  goldfinches, young bluetits,  sparrows were feeding their definite 2nd possibly 3rd broods in the nest boxes, a pair of Robins( of which one bore an uncanny resemblance to gru from the minions) having no feathers on his crown.

Also the offspring of our early morning and evening chorister a young song thrush, which seemed to be replying to the sparrows when they were tending the nest. 

Young song thrush
Young song thrush

Posted July 9th, 2017 at 3:50 pm by Philip wort in General Birding

Saturday 8th July 2017

White Admiral

Not a bird but may be of interest. Managed to track this admiral down in Stoke woods today

Posted July 8th, 2017 at 10:16 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Hawking Insects over Exeter

Amazing sight this evening, with several hundred Herring and Black-headed Gulls hawking for insects over Exwick; along with Jackdaws, House Martins and Starlings

Posted July 8th, 2017 at 6:30 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Pullabrook Wood, Bovey Valley - 7.7.17

Managed to photo these beautiful Silver-washed Fritillaries (m & f - not every day that happens). Several not so obliging White Admirals seen.

Silver-washed Fritillary (m) Silver-washed Fritillary (f)
Silver-washed Fritillary (m)                               Silver-washed Fritillary (f)

Posted July 8th, 2017 at 2:20 pm by Dave Holloway in Other Wildlife


On north end of beach this morning 3 Mediterranean Gulls (1 juv, 1 ad s, 1 ss)

Goodrington: 1 ss Mediterranean Gull, lots of juvenile Herring Gulls on beach now.

Posted July 8th, 2017 at 11:38 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

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