Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st August 2017

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

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

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

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

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is a summary of the changes:

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

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


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

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

Monday 28th August 2017

Wembury Point

The highlights were a good number of Stonechats and Whitethroats in the bushes above the point - didn't count, but probably around 12 and 8 respectively. Also a Chiffchaff there and a Yellow Wagtail on the grass. Buzzard and Sparrowhawk over. 5 Little Egrets on the rocks, plus two Curlew and the usual sprinkling of Oystercatchers. I was surprised to see a Jersey tiger moth around the little clump of reeds at the back of the beach.

Whitethroat   Yellow Wagtail Stonechat
Whitethroat                                  Yellow Wagtail                                       Stonechat

Posted August 28th, 2017 at 9:52 pm by Jason Smart in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor

Bowling Green Marsh: little egret, shoveler, grey heron, whimbrel, curlew, starling, black-tailed godwit, black-headed gull, herring gull, redshank, mute swan, mallard, swallow, cormorant, moorhen, barnacle goose, canada goose, pied wagtail, goldfinch, lapwing, house martin and wood pigeon.

Viewing Platform: oystercatcher, black-headed gull, sandwich tern, curlew and either golden or grey plover (very distant views).

Goosemoor: black-headed gull, herring gull, dunlin, redshank, shelduck and moorhen.

Posted August 28th, 2017 at 8:38 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News

Shiphay, Torquay


Swift over Cadewell Park.  Earlier in the day, at least 2 Chiffchaffs on the park with one in nearly full song around 15.00.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth visiting buddleia in our back garden today and yesterday.  Red Admirals, Painted Lady,  Small Whites and Small Tortoiseshells too. 

Posted August 28th, 2017 at 7:38 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Blackhill Quarry, Woodbury.

Birding can be so stressful... thanks to a dog walker! 

I had just started counting (from outside the perimeter fence) c300 Canada Geese, 2 Grey Lags and a white goose, when a female dog walker climbed through a padlocked gate clearly marked 'keep out' and encouraged her dog to fetch a stick from the lake covered in birds!  I protested angrily and was told that other dogs exercise in the water and that she was not disturbing the birds!.  She didn't appear to understand that these were wild birds or the meaning of barbed wire and locked gates. I despair!

The birds had flown in from the Otter valley and were settling happily when I arrived.  No signs of the Little Grebes that have bred here.



Posted August 28th, 2017 at 5:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

Mid/late am. High tide. 5 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 9 Common Sandpipers, 1 Whimbrel, 32 Curlew, 8 Dunlin, 13 Little Egrets, 12 Teal, 2 Kingfishers, 1 Yellow Wagtail h, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Common Lizard. etc.

Posted August 28th, 2017 at 1:17 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A brief look this morning produced 2 Whinchats, 2 Common Sandpipers, 16 Little Egrets, juv Shelduck, 23 Curlews and 7 Oystercatchers.

Posted August 28th, 2017 at 12:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bolberry Down / Soar Mill Cove

3 Tree Pipit, 3 Grey Wagtails, 10 Yellow Wagtails, Redstart, 11 Whitethroats, 12 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs and 2 Spotted Flycatchers

Posted August 28th, 2017 at 10:46 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Fremington Pill .

This morning - 5 Glossy Ibis , 2 Dunlin , 6 Greenshanks , 4 Common sandpipers , 1 Spotted Redshank.


Posted August 28th, 2017 at 9:57 am by David Paterson in Bird News

Sunday 27th August 2017

Cattle Egret

Possibly the Budleigh bird flew south down the Exe estuary past Powderham at 6.45 p.m. this evening.

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 10:57 pm in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton and Ladram Bay

A surprise flyover Cattle Egret this morning heading west over Budleigh Golf Course at around 07.50hrs and a flock of 30+ Yellow Wagtail feeding in cattle field immediately west of Ladram Bay Caravan Park. Thanks to Doug C for the Yellow Wags - Been present last couple of days. More on

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 10:00 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Start Point Kingfisher

In addition to birds seen by Perry Sanders today at Start Point, I had an unexpected sighting of a  kingfisher whilst on Start Point Beach, 1300 today

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 9:44 pm by Cliff Parrott in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham

Some photos of the Pomarine Skua and one of the two Great Skuas this morning. An odd trip, there were nearly as many skuas as gulls at the chum slick!

Pomarine skua, 2nd summer Pomarine skua, 2nd summer Great skua
Pomarine skua, 2nd summer             Pomarine skua, 2nd summer                                      Great skua

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 8:47 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham

Additional to the species already noted by Nigel, close inspection of photos shows that the first 3 shearwaters we encountered (2 at 09.31, 1 at 09.33) were all Balearic Shearwater. Very hard to distinguish by eye when they are crossing the bow at some distance, and in the sun's glare! Shearwaters further out appear to have all been Manx. The first (distant) skua was definitely an Arctic skua - a dark phase bird. Terrible record shots below - decent photos of the closer birds will follow.

Balearic shearwater Arctic skua
Balearic shearwater                     Arctic skua

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 8:06 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

East Soar

A family mid-morning jaunt turned up: Golden Plover, Sand Martin, 130 House Martin, Tree Pipit, 65 Yellow Wagtail, 20 Wheatear, Garden Warbler, 8 Whitethroat, 5 Willow Warbler & 7 Spotted Flycatcher.

Non-avian: Clouded Yellow, 4 Painted Lady.

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 7:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Spotted redshank and Glossy Ibis still at the Pill plus Kingfisher .Peregrine and five buzzards overhead

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 4:31 pm by Geoff Taylor in Bird News

Lyme Bay Boat Trip

A calm sea this morning from Brixham with our first group of Common Dolphins before we reached Berry Head, the second followed very quickly just beyond BH. In all we had 5 groups of Common Dolphin during the trip. A few Manx Shearwater as we move out to about 6 miles. Once again a very successful trip with Skua. 1 Pomarine Skua, 2 Great Skua and 1Skua sp and I hope Chris Procter can shed more light on this one when he has studied his pictures. 1 Storm Petrel, Fulmar, small groups of Guillemot all sitting on the water and the usual assortment of gulls.

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 1:53 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News


Swallowtail butterfly in private garden. 

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 1:46 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Seaton Wetlands

Greenshank at Seaton this morning  @BobLonghorn2


Posted August 27th, 2017 at 12:36 pm by Bob Longhorn in Bird News

North Devon - Bratton Fleming

Two Swift flying high and heading West.

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 12:30 pm by john bronze in Bird News

Seaton Wetlands

The Kingfishers were "doing their thing" at Seaton this morning  @BobLonghorn2

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 12:28 pm by Bob Longhorn in Bird News

Start Point

06:15-11:00. Beautiful, sunny morning.

Swift, 150+ Swallows, 4 Sand Martins, 10 Tree Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails, 23 Yellow Wagtails, 6 White Wagtails, 5 Wheatears, 20 Blackcaps, Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Whitethroats, 23 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.

Posted August 27th, 2017 at 12:06 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Saturday 26th August 2017

Plym estuary / Saltram (26-08-17)

Common Scoter(m) Laira Bridge end at 11:50, Common Sandpiper, King fisher (near Sainsbury's), Swallows, Housemartins.

Posted August 26th, 2017 at 6:02 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Curlew Sandpiper ad, Wood Sandpiper, Whimbrel 2, Greenshank 7, Bar-tailed Godwit 2, Common Sandpiper, Sand Martin 2, Reed Warbler 3, Sedge Warbler, Tree Pipit.

Goatwalk: Arctic Tern Juv, Sandwich Tern 2.

Posted August 26th, 2017 at 2:48 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Whitleigh Garden

Three Willow Warblers.

Posted August 26th, 2017 at 10:52 am by chris buckland in Bird News

Exe Estuary 25th Aug

Slavonian Grebe still off Cockwood Steps & 4/5 Green Sandpiper at Matford Pond yesterday. 

Posted August 26th, 2017 at 8:33 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

Friday 25th August 2017

Mansand 25-08-17

Several Spotted Flycatchers opposite the hide at Mansand.


Posted August 25th, 2017 at 7:19 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

South Molton ... corrected post

Brimstone butterfly this morning possibly feeding on Bergenia. Also large hornet-like covertly, possibly Volucella zonaria. Anyone able to confirm this, or suggest alternative. Sending photo separately

Posted August 25th, 2017 at 6:04 pm by Art Symons in Bird News

Taw Estuary - Tarka trail

64 Grey Herons on the Taw Estuary at lunchtime today between Ashford & Pottington - viewed from the Tarka trail.

Peaceful & quiet until 2 women walked their dogs across the sand bank at low tide. One of the dogs went bananas & targeted the Grey Herons resting on the sand bank & in the tidal channels.

The time is long overdue for the introduction of dog free zones & dog control measures on SSSI's.


Posted August 25th, 2017 at 6:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Fremington Quay and Yelland 24/8/2017 15.00 hrs

Two Glossy Ibis present on the pill. Numerous redshanks with a single spotted redshank and three greenshank..

At Yelland there were three spoonbills present, two Kingfishers using the jetty and the previously mentioned Eiders by the fishermans huts. 

Eider     Greenshank
Eider                                                        Greenshank

Posted August 25th, 2017 at 2:29 pm by Richard Yeats in Bird News

East Soar

Good numbers of migrants this morning but a little different to Perry's post: Swift, 4 Sand Martin, 250 Swallow, 240 House Martin, Tree Pipit, 16 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whinchat, 9 Wheatear, Grasshopper Warbler, 29 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler & 6 Spotted Flycatcher. Also: 310 Herring Gull & 100 Linnet.

Non avian: 4 Small pearl-bordered Fritillary, one of which was taken by a Spotted Fly!

Posted August 25th, 2017 at 2:13 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Clear with L-M NE wind

06:40-11:30, ,Warren/East Soar

Greenshank ( flyover Warren ), Great Spotted Woodpecker, 25 Tree Pipits, 16 Yellow Wagtails, Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, 6 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 20 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers and 4 Spotted Flycatchers.

Posted August 25th, 2017 at 1:31 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Plym estuary / Saltram

0830-1100  High tide:

127 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 2 Common sandpiper, 26 Curlew, 16 Little egret, 1 juvenile Shelduck. 2 juvenile Bullfinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Great spotted woodpecker around the estate. Swallows and House martins fledging, 2 Swift overhead.

Posted August 25th, 2017 at 12:43 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

BGM Yellow Wags

At least 7 through the marsh this morning (7am) 5 while still foggy and two more 9am ish. Curlew Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper also present.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Posted August 25th, 2017 at 11:20 am by Martin Rooney in Bird News


Sparrowhawk Cullompton

This obliging juvenile Sparrowhawk visited Peter Woods Garden nr Cullompton

Posted August 25th, 2017 at 8:39 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 24th August 2017

Cattle Egret at Bowling Green Marsh.

An afternoon at Bowling Green Marsh, highlight was the Cattle Egtret, which spent a long time hidden by a snoozing Canada.

Cattle Egrer  Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 9:48 pm by Bob Telford in Bird News

Horsey Island

7 Eider including 4 in eclipse plumage where laid up on the foreshore on the point by the fisherman's  huts at Horsey around 2pm today.

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 8:40 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in Bird News


My latest ever Swift since I have been in Plymouth a few minutes ago over Freedom Fields. I am getting the idea that they are tardy this year everywhere.

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 5:56 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

A few migrants around the headland this morning: 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Wheatear, 9 Willow Warblers, 7 Chiffchaffs, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Greenshank around pools in inner quarry (my first at Bhead!), 1 Kingfisher. At sea 4 Balearic Shearwaters and 3 pods of Common Dolphin with a combined count of around 60 - no sign of any Harbour Porpoise today.

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 3:29 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

White Stork Bowling Green Marsh

White Stork approached over trees to South of Bowling Green Marsh at 10am, circled twice then headed North over hide. Put all birds up

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 3:20 pm by Jo King in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

To add to Nick Potter's post... There was a White Stork flying over Bowling Green Marsh before I reached to the hide at about 10 am this morning.  It circled around, and I am not sure where it went next.  But around 1pm from the viewing platform there was also a Curlew Sandpiper, a Grey Plover still in summer plumage and a Kingfisher. Missed the Cattle Egret, though.

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 3:13 pm by Richard Swinbank in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

On arrival at the hide this lunchtime, a Cattle Egret was on the 'island' towards the back of the marsh. Still there when I left at around 2.20. Otherwise fairly quiet over a low tide.

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 2:59 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Fremington Pill

1 Dunlin , 2 Glossy Ibis & 1 Spotted Redshank in the pill this afternoon..

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 2:51 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Start Point

06:00-11:30. Some cloud cover, light WNW.

Hobby, Green Sandpiper ( flyover ), 6 Tree Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails, 12 Yellow Wagtails, 11 Sand Martins, 70 Swallows, Whinchat, 8 Wheatears, Grasshopper Warbler ( in bracken on the way down to the light ), 7 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps and a Sedge Warbler. Little Grebes look to have bred on a private pond for the third year in a row.

Posted August 24th, 2017 at 12:51 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Wednesday 23rd August 2017

White Stork Dawlish Warren

White Stork over Dawlish Warren this afternoon heading east.

Photo in email to birdnews address


Posted August 23rd, 2017 at 4:14 pm by steve ayres in Bird News

Tarka trail , Bideford to Barnstaple.

Little egret, 51 between Bideford and Fremington pill. Spoonbill, 3 adults roosting on Isley marsh, Glossy Ibis one feeding,Fremington pill.  Spotted redshank, Tew-it call heard on Isley. Med.gull , 4 ads. Off Bideford quay. Kingfisher, Fremington quay.  Plus Blackcap,Whitethroats, Long tailed tit flock and Grey wagtail.

Posted August 23rd, 2017 at 1:57 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Upper tidal reaches of Torridge

1 Wood Sandpiper

3 Green sandpipers

18 Common Sandpipers

1 Greenshank

1 Otter


Posted August 23rd, 2017 at 11:35 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Horsey Island

The Great White Egret was searching for food again on the flood late yesterday aft in a fresh SE wind.

Posted August 23rd, 2017 at 8:48 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Exminister Marsh - Tuesday 22nd Aug

Female, I suspect 2nd cy Marsh Harrier on Marshes this afternoon. In wing moult. 50+ Swallows with 2-3 Sand Martin's. Suspect birds moving south. 100+ Goldfinch & Kingfisher the best of the rest.

Also 5 Migrant & 2 Southern Hawkers along railway line FP.

Posted August 23rd, 2017 at 7:27 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

Tuesday 22nd August 2017


we still have swifts nesting under the eaves of our house near okehampton today,never had them this late in august before

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 11:20 pm by laurence smith in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 17:30 till 19:50

Continued increase in wader numbers this evening with an excellent count of 534+ redshank , 2  Spotted redshank , 1 adult moulting curlew sandpiper for its  4th day , a new in knot and 263+ dunlin nearly all juveniles , 480+ black tailed godwits, 12+ whimbrel, 1 green sandpiper, 2 ringed plover, 1 bar tailed godwit, 1 juvenile ruff , 200+ curlew, 1 male sparrowhawk a steady passage of swallows south , 6+ little egrets, 12+ gadwall, 50+ mallard, 40+ teal, 12+ wigeon, 3 tufted duck.


Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 10:05 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

West Alvington

Just been out looking for a ' Crane type bird ' a farming friend was kind enough to get a message to me about near West Alvington in fields at SX725433. Gone when I looked but spoke to him and it has to be a White Stork, no doubt yesterdays Charleton bird seen by Barrie.

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 8:42 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


No sign of the hoopoe at Maer Farm this morning but compensation this afternoon with distant views of the juvenile white winged black tern with Sandwich terns and common terns roosting on the sand banks in the Exe estuary as viewed from Exmouth marina. Despite its smaller size it was quite feisty and regularly jostled with any Sandwich tern that came too close to it before it flew upriver on the incoming tide.

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 7:52 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News


Modest signs of migration today with 2 Spotted Flycatchers, Whinchat, 4 Wheatears, 11 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers, 50+ Swallows and a Blackcap. Also 4 Whitethrosts, Sparrowhawk and a pair of Roe Deer.

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 5:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Exminster Marshes - 22/08/17

3 Yellow wagtail on the marshes today. Also fem Marsh harrier.

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 5:21 pm by Nick Patel in Bird News

Berry Head

A few migrants around the headland this morning: 1 Redstart, 8 Willow Warblers, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 30+ Swallows >NE. a very brief seawatch produced,4 Common Tern,  2 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua.  

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 4:21 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Horsey Island, G W Egret

Walking late morning NE  from the White House (SS470330) along the bank between the estuary and the flood I saw a great white egret in the flooded area of Horsey Island along with 2 spoonbills and several little egrets. Watched it for 5 minutes then it disappeared while my back was turned. Also, on a sand bank between the fisherman's huts and Isley Marsh 3 large duck too distant to ID but very dark with a horizontal white stripe along the flank. Eclipse Eider? Did anyone else see them?

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 2:49 pm by alan craddock in Bird News

Fremington Pill

One Glossy Ibis at the top of the creek near the reedbed at 10.00.

Posted August 22nd, 2017 at 11:34 am by Lowell Mills in Bird News

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