Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th September 2017

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, 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.

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

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

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 Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

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


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

Thursday 7th September 2017


Orcombe Point 4:00 - 4:30pm 

2 Arctic Skua and perhaps c15 Kittiwake.

Docks 4:45 - 5:20pm

There was Massive feeding frenzy of Gulls. Great Bull Hill gave 4 Black Tern, around 12 Common Tern and c45 Sandwich Tern.

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 11:17 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding


1 over Aish near Stoke Gabriel at 09.43.Didnt appear to be in any kind of hurry maybe very late breeder.

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 10:25 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

3 Black Tern seen today,from the hide,at approx. 11.30. They were a good way out, but through scope could see their colour and small size alongside the Sandwich Terns'

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 8:17 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Occombe Farm, Torbay

This afternoon a steady stream of wood pigeons flying east, including a flock of 50-60.

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 5:23 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Exminster marshes - 07/09/2017

2 Yellow wagtail on southern fields, 2 juvenile Stonechat, 3 Wheatear, Peregrine and green sandpiper through, 4 Little grebe

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 4:19 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Curlew Sandpiper close in from the viewing platform this lunchtime. It flew further out at around 1.40 though.

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 2:32 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Programme Change (EAST Devon)

Please note that the (EAST Devon Branch) fieldtrip planned for TOMORROW FRI 8 Sept to Powderham Church, has been CANCELLED due to the weather forecast.  Constant rain in the morning together with wind and the exposed nature of the venue causes us to take this decision.  Maybe members may like to try sea-watching at their local coast as an alternative!

We hope to see you at a later date.  Many thanks. 

Jonathan and Geoff.

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 9:33 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

South Brent

From the garden at South Brent (6th Sept) two Green Woodpecker, 25 plus Goldfinch flock, Buzzard, Hobby and this evening at least five Tawny owls calling including two that were photographed.



Posted September 7th, 2017 at 12:40 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wednesday 6th September 2017

Isley Marsh/Home Farm Marsh/Yelland Power Station.

Isley Marsh had a single Whimbrel this morning and Home Farm Marsh pond had 12 Teal 5 Black Tailed Godwit and several Mallard and Canada Geese. Just after 12:00 an Osprey was on the foreshore beside Chivenor Camp feeding on a fish viewed from the flowery bank at Home Farm Marsh. The 7 Eider were on the foreshore by the fisherman's huts at Horsey Island viewed from Yelland Power Station costal path.

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 6:26 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in General Birding

Soar Area

Quail flushed underfoot in winter wheat stubble at Southdown Farm this morning. Also: Sparrowhawk, 700 Herring Gull, 41 Swallow, 19 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wheatear & 190 Linnet.

Non-avian: 2 Painted Lady.

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 1:55 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wembury Point

Wrynecks: two in view at the same time at 08:30, just SW of the pines inland from the Point. (Near the open gate on the tarmac track leading down to the patch of hard-standing and slipway, 50.3164, -4.1051).

Wryneck 06-09-2017
Wryneck 06-09-2017

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 10:54 am by John Bishop in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hobby ~ South Brent

Hobby, South Brent this morning...


Posted September 6th, 2017 at 9:08 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Isley Marsh/Yelland

Wryneck flushed from ground on south west coast path at approximately SS484327 at 07:15. Managed about a second of full lens binocular view before it dropped down into cover between path and higher grassland area. It is a popular dog walking route (as I was doing) but it by no means left the site. 

Nearest parking on access road to old Yelland power station. Access the spot from Tarka Trail either via the path up east perimeter of power station, or through gate at south west corner of RSPB Isley Marsh.

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 8:00 am by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 5th September 2017

White Cheeked Pintail Bowling Green Marsh 05.09.17

White Cheeked Pintail Bowling Green Marsh presumed escapee

Video -

White Cheeked Pintail
White Cheeked Pintail

Posted September 5th, 2017 at 8:40 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 06.35-15.15: adult Sabine's Gull (@0700), 35 Artctic Skuas, 4 Pomarine Skuas, c15 Bonxies, (also quite a few skuas very distant often in difficult light hence 21 Skua sps), 53 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Sooty Shearwaters, c150 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Black Terns, 8 Common Terns, 7 "Commic" Terns, juv Little Gull, 1st-s Mediterranean Gull, c300 Kittiwakes, Harbour Porpoise, 2 Common Dolphins and Grey wagtail over. 

Posted September 5th, 2017 at 6:09 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wryneck Dawlish Warren

Wryneck flitting between bramble patches along dune ridge and grassland below. Roughly between Groynes 5 and 6.

Access update.

Access to  the Hide and Warren Point is now open, though fencing for dune restoration has not yet been finalised, please keep to marked routes.


Posted September 5th, 2017 at 4:40 pm by Steve Ayres in General Birding


A Wryneck was seen in Totnes yesterday by Daniel Kent - identified by description and not a great photo but the dark line can be seen down the back of the bird!

Wryneck Totnes

Posted September 5th, 2017 at 8:51 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 4th September 2017

Swallows at Velator

Popped down this evening and caught 46! That's more like it - only 4 adults in that total.

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 10:33 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Hembury Woods

Late post for Sunday evening: a flock of 29 Mistle Thrushes homing in on some Rowan trees plus a mixed flock of c10 Redpolls and c40 Siskins.

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 8:29 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

Mid-am; falling tide but lots of water on the marsh after the recent rain. Of note: 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpipers, 6+ Common Sandpipers, 3 Greenshank, 9 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 8+ Yellow Wagtails, 1 Wheatear and 5 Sand Martins.

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 8:24 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Searched the waterfront from Laira Bridge to West Hoe this morning: 19 Sandwich Terns, 3 Gannets and an adult Mediterranean Gull in the Sound; Willow Warbler and Whitethroast by the Cattewater.

This afternoon the Plym Estuary & Saltram produced a juv Ruff, first in with 138 Redshanks on the wall, then on Blaxton pool amongst 9 adult Dunlins. Also: 1st-s Mediterranean Gull, 27 Curlews, 3 Greenshanks, 3 Ringed Plovers, 11 Turnstones, 6 Oystercatchers, 14 Little Egrets, sinensis Cormorant, Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaffs and Whinchat. 

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 7:27 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Wandered around the reserve this morning and whilst trying to get views of a Kingfisher which I saw splash in to the pond, it then flew around and was chased by a female Sparrowhawk! 2 circuits of the pond before she gave up and went off to chase some Woodpigeons instead.

Elsewhere in the reserve a large Tit flock contained Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler and Blackcap.

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 6:44 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Lunchtime visit (12:30 - 1:30) to Mudbank produced the normal species but was pleased to find an Osprey feeding on a sandbank towards Powderham direction. Several crows were trying to steal its catch but it was having none of it.

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 4:27 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Hobby ~ South Brent

For those following the saga of "my" returning Hobby she came back as previous posts on the 18th August and then came in for food each day until the 25th August and then did not show again until the 2nd September since then she has been coming in each day on a regular basis, the images show her dropping in just before 3.30pm this afternoon.




Posted September 4th, 2017 at 4:24 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar

Early fog which rolled back in again meant a poor day with just 14 White Wagtail, 6 Pied Wagtail, 8 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, Willow Warbler, 390 Herring Gull, Med Gull, 50 House Sparrow, 70 Goldfinch  & 85 Linnet.

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 4:14 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Fremington Pill

08.00 this morning ; 1 Glossy Ibis , 1 Greenshank , 2 Dunlin , 1 Spotted Redshank .


Posted September 4th, 2017 at 9:44 am by David paterson in General Birding

Sunday 3rd September 2017

Teignmouth update

Seawatching totals until 14:00: 2 Storm Petrels, 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Pomarine Skuas, 9 Arctic Skuas, 1 Great Skua, 7 skua sp (including two possible Long-tailed), 138 Common Scoters, 100 Kittiwakes, 20 Sandwich Terns and 2 Common Terns.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 9:43 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Late post for Saturday. Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Buzzard & Marsh Harrier, approx 400 Starlings and 100/150 Goldfinches. Numerous Swallows and House Martins, including at least one Swallows nest with chicks!

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 9:08 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Berry Head update

Seawatching 0620-1800: 1 ad Sabine's Gull @06:45, juv Little Gull, Sooty Shearwater,38 Balearic Shearwaters, 22 Manx Shearwaters, Long-tailed Skua (pale juv) @13:55, 10 Pomarine Skuas, 69 Arctic Skuas, 15 Bonxie, Yellow-legged Gull 1w, 13 Black Terns (incl. one flock of 12), 80 Common Terns, 10 Arctic Terns, 7 Sandwich Terns, 435 Kittiwakes (just 15 juvs), 50 Common Scoter S & 9 N, 13 Bar-tailed Godwits & Whimbrel. Also 12+ European Storm-petrels, but... @15:10 a frustrating short view of a slightly larger petrel (seen by 3 of us before heavy rain obscured the view with European Storm-petel close by it) showed grey covert bar, jizz better fitted Wilson's but will have to go down as Storm-petrel sp (again!). There was also a good movement of Fulmars (no count) but included one 'double light'. Also light passage of Swallows over the sea and a Wheatear landed on the point. 2 Harbour Porpoise were the only cetaceans seen.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 7:34 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatching 0630-0930hrs: 1 ad Sabine's Gull, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 15 Balearic Shearwaters, 9 Manx Shearwater, 3 Pomarine, 8 Arctic and 1 Great Skua, 10 Common, 1 Arctic and 1 Black Tern, 255 Kittiwake (but only 2 juveniles!) 14 Common Scoter >S & 9>N.

1 Firecrest in woods just S of Berry Head Hotel.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 3:36 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Late Post - Eye-Popping Sparrowhawk!

Whilst dog-walking with my father Saturday afternoon, spotted a fully leucistic Sparrowhawk (mainly creamy-white with vague wing bars) circling low over St.Thomas, Exeter. Very unhappy crow eventually drove this stunning bird towards city centre and out of sight.. Sorry, no camera on either of us so gutted not to have a shot of this.. but WOW.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 12:46 pm by Gary Reeves in General Birding


Seawatching 06:40 - 09:10: Storm Petrel, 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas, 4 unidentified skuas (including possible Long-tailed), 51 Common Scoters, 86 Kittiwakes. Laurie Allnatt is still there so totals to be updated later.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 9:52 am by Will Salmon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Great White Egret Horsey Island

Great White Egret seen at Horsey this weekend. Not a great photo, but it was a long way off.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 8:19 am by Andy Leat in General Birding

Saturday 2nd September 2017

Female Marsh Harrier at East Soar

Peter Hannaford called the Marsh Harrier as it soared high over the ploughed field next to the car park at East Soar, putting up all the gulls in the field.
 Barry Rankine 2nd September 2017


Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 9:51 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding


A few birds ringed in the reserve today. Of note 3 more Blackcaps, a Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and four more Bullfinches. Best of the day was a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher, not ringed one here before, and only 2 records seen in the reserve.

This evening persevered with the Swallows and ringed 8. The Swift was also present over the Marsh.

Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 9:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Great white Egret Horsey Mere

Cracking day at Horsey Island today. Great White Egret, Dunlin, Sparrow Hawk. Glossy Ibis and a highlight, a Peregrine in amongst a flock of Teal

Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 8:25 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

South Huish Marsh & South Efford Marsh

Morning spent at a people busy South Huish Marsh, where results were much as reported by Andy Smith. Afternoon at a quieter South Efford Marsh, where I only recorded 5 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 7 Common Sandpiper, 8 Little Egret and 142 Canada Geese + 1 White Goose and one hybrid. Highlight though was the striking sight of a few Wasp Spiders.

Female Wasp Spider - South Efford Marsh - 2.9.2017
Female Wasp Spider - South Efford Marsh - 2.9.2017

Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 6:18 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Only one Glossy Ibis today while I was there, plenty of waders though with Redshank, Greenshank, Ruff, Dunlin, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper. Also Peregrine, Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Swallows and Goldfinches showing well.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis


Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 6:15 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

am, of note: 5 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 11 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Dunlin and 1 Cattle Egret.

Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 2:52 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

East Soar

A relatively quiet morning and migrants inc.Sand Martin, 125 Swallow, 4 Tree Pipit, 9 Yellow Wagtail, 37 White Wagtail, 7 Pied Wagtail, Whinchat & 19 Wheatear.

Also: Male Sparrowhawk, 330 Herring Gull, 43 Carrion Crow Plus offshore 19 Gannet & 16 Kittiwake east.

Non-avian: 2 Roebuck Plus female; Painted Lady.

Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 2:42 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

the last swift?

i hadnt seen the adult swifts coming and going from our house near okehampton since monday eveningand assumed that the youngsters had all fledged on tuesday but today i was standing in the right place to watch a swiftlet leave its nest,always sad to see them go

Posted September 2nd, 2017 at 12:37 am by laurence smith in General Birding

Friday 1st September 2017

Otter Estuary

The presumed "Ridgway's" Cackling Goose and the same bird seen at Exminster in June and subsequently on the north end of the Exe was in with the 450+ Canada Geese in fields above the Otter Estuary today complete with green leg ring! It was later on the Otter estuary. Also Bar-headed Goose still and 2 Greylag Geese.
More Goose pics on blog:

WIld birds(!) included: 10+ Wheater, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 White Wagtail

Cackling Goose by Chris Townend

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 9:27 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Re European Hornet

With regard to Rob Jerrard's earlier post: yes this does appear to be a European Hornet - a rather beautiful looking insect (certainly no more evil looking than bees or any other insect!). Not sure if you were joking about leaving quickly Rob,  but I have never felt threatened by the presence of Hornets, even when observing them at a nest, finding them far more approachable than other wasp species. [NB Avoid confusion with the larger, darker, invasive and more agressive Asian Hornet. ]

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 8:55 pm by Dave Holloway in Other Wildlife

South Huish - Drain Maintenance

Work will begin on 4 September on the final stage of clearing parts of the cross-drains on the far side of the scrapes from the South Milton Sands car park.  In addition, Devon Birds will be clearing on behalf of the National Trust, one bank of the main drain flowing towards the car park.  The work will take about two weeks and does not require the scrapes to be drained.  Disturbance will be kept to a minimum.

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 6:53 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

seaton marshes

a walk around Seaton marshes,  44 birds seen altogether, the main birds were wheatear, ruff, common and green sandpipers, ringed plover, snipe, and then we went to the hide after the sewage works, in the field to your right walking down to the hide we saw 30 plus yellow wagtails in with the cattle feeding next to the path .on the estuary itself there was not many birds at all. 

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 6:18 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

Soar and South Efford Marsh

Quite a few Wagtails today with 41+ Yellows (including a flock of 38 amongst cows) and 45+ Albas including c30 Whites and c10 Pieds. Also: 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 or 2 Whinchats, 3 Tree Pipits, 2 Garden Warblers, c10 Whitethroats, 9 Willow Warblers, 20+ Chiffchaffs, c25 Blackcaps, 10 Wheatears, Sparrowhawk, 4 Stock Doves, 4 Sand Martins and a Reed Warbler.

South Efford Marsh held 6 Greenshanks, 8 Common Sandpipers, 4 Teal, c25 Alba Wagtails including 8+ Whites, Wheatear and Green Woodpecker. 

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 6:12 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Whilst at a honey farm photographing butterflies I came upon this evil looking thing which as far as I can ascertain is a European Hornet (The sooner we leave the better).  Any experts on hornets who can confirm?

  Hornet eating bee, having biten its head off.

Hornet eating bee, having biten its head off.

Ed. - yes, it's a Hornet Vespa crabro

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 5:20 pm by Rob Jerrard in Other Wildlife

Late Posting Prawle and South Huish Thursday 31st August

Apologies for late posting.

Yesterday in Prawle area : Firecrest in the reserve; Spotted Flycatcher; 12 Chiffchaffs (some grey, some yellowy green) 9 Wheatears, 2 White Wagtails , 6 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps. And 2 Bullfinches which I only ever see here in autumn ! Steady passage of Swallows, House Martins and the odd Sand Martin. Also Silver Y Moths. 

At South Huish from 1.45pm one Cattle Egret and 2 Little Egrets. 4 Yellow Wagtails including a splendid ochre- yellow male and at least 2 White Wagtails. Wader-wise, a Green Sandpiper, adult Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin.


Posted September 1st, 2017 at 4:09 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Fremington Pill

At the Pill with  Malcolm Shakespeare 10:30-11:30.  6x Glossy Ibis, 2x Greenshank, 1 Ruff and 1 Common Sandpiper. Saw one of the Ibis trying to swallow a small flounder it had caught, it struggled to get it down for 10 minutes or so - still not sure that it managed it.

Glossy Ibis Ruff and Redshank Ibis with flounder
Glossy Ibis                                                       Ruff and Redshank                           Ibis with flounder

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 2:10 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Seaton Kingfisher

The Kingfishers & water rail were showing well again this morning at Seaton Wetlands


Posted September 1st, 2017 at 12:00 pm by Bob Longhorn in General Birding

orcomb exmouth

visited orcomb point 0930-1030 1st sep 30+wheatears 6 yellow wags 1 female blackcap 1whitethroat 1 spotted flycatcher 1kestrel 1sparrowhawk 1 green woodpecker 12+ swallows plus usual species

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 11:53 am by tom jurd in General Birding

Nocturnal recording

I've been trying my hand at nocturnal recording in Lipson (Plymouth). It is not Cape May but the last couple of weeks have been interesting. Tree Pipit has been regular and I have some evidence of birds travelling in groups (12 calls, single, double and triple calls in less than 30s for instance on 27/8). Likewise for Yellow Wagtail, 21 calls over a similar period suggests a group. Other species have included waders (Oystercatcher quite regular and a Green Sand on 25/8), Grey Heron and a few Robins.

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 11:35 am by Richard Billington in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts