Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th October 2018

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


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 General Birding

Sunday 7th October 2018

Sunday 7 October

Haytor Tramway. 0815 - three Golden Plover high to the south; nineteen circling.

Aveton Gifford tidal road. 1230 - two Greenshank, one Bar Tailed Godwit

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 10:15 pm by Colin Brooks in General Birding

Devon Deer Watching

138 Red Deer seen from first light this morning along the Devon and Somerset border.


The only avian interest being two flocks of Golden Plover the largest with 23 birds, several sizable flocks of Goldfinch and Linnet and a Kestrel.

A Lesser Black Back Gull on the Rv Exe at Tiverton

Ashton near Chudleigh nineteen Fallow Deer and a female Sparrowhawk at Chudleigh.

Back home at South Brent a large flock of Tits came through the garden 20 plus Blue, 1 Coal, 3 Long Tailed and a single Chiffchaff.


The Hobby came in at 16.10hrs, a Tawny owl had been calling at 05.30hrs.

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Steve Hopper in Other Wildlife

Slapton and Beesands Leys

Went out to Slapton Ley again mid afternoon. From the memorial car park picked up the 2 adult male Scaups below the Hartshorn Plantation. The bright conditions not perfect but they were in company with a male Tufted Duck. One was noticeably larger than the Tufted, the other barely the same size !  At least 60 Tufted Ducks present, male Pochard, 25+ Great Crested Grebes, 21 Med Gulls and a couple hundred Coot. A Lesser Redpoll flew overhead and 4 Common Scoter offshore. Around at Beesands Ley 45 Mute Swans and a plastic Black Swan. 28 Gadwalls, Wigeon, 9 Med Gulls and a couple hundred Linnet around the old football field.

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 7:01 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Highlight was a superb view of a female Merlin perched up on a straw bale. Also: 42 Gannet offshore, 2 migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Swallow, 28 Alba Wagtail, 110 Meadow Pipit, 29 Robin, 12 Blackbird, 14 Blackcap, 17 Chiffchaff, 22 Magpie, 1 Jay moving west ( also 2 west on 4th), 40 Goldfinch, 450 Linnet & 22 Yellowhammer.

Later at Harleston 150+ mixed flock hirundines.

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 6:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Tamar estuary

This morning:

10 Little egret, 7 Grey heron, 25 Black tailed Godwit, 100+ Oystercatcher, 14 Curlew, 1 Kingfisher. 

Ernesettle creek: 2 Greenshank, and 1 Stoat in and out of the undergrowth.

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 2:45 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Cattle Egret roosting in willow below the Hartshorn plantation this morning. Also saw from the memorial car park  2 male Scaups in with 60+ Tufted Ducks in Ireland Bay. One looked interesting, maybe a little smaller. Went around Ireland Bay for a closer look but by the time I got around most of them had disappeared. Could not find them at Torcross either but doubt they have gone far and no doubt a closer look would prove them to both be Greater Scaup. 

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 12:48 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Saturday 6th October 2018

Captsone Parade

In the strong N easterly wind today off Ilfracombe. About 1km out it looked like a Seabird motorway. Heading down channel were flocks of hundreds of small gulls with a few Manx Shearwaters sp and Terns. Heading up channel were mainly flocks of up to 40 waders with a Super flock of nearly 100 Oystercatchers in close to the point. 

A Great Skua appeared and made a half hearted attempt to rob the 20 Gannets circling round only to be seen off by 40 Herring Gulls. 

In off the Sea, lots of Mippets, Linnets, Finches and a Snow Bunting. 

Oystercatcher Gbbgu Limpets it is then!
Oystercatcher                                      Gbbgull                              Limpets it is then!

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 8:51 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

South Brent Hobby

Hobby South Brent "My" Hobby continues to visit each day, in previous years she has always left by mid September, a non birding friend at Didworthy (Between S/Brent and the Shipley Bridge/Avon dam) contacted me in the week to say that she had had three birds that she believed to have been Hobby's on her land at the beginning of the week, from what she described it sounded like an adult pair with a dependant youngster.

From the Newton Abbot area a 2018 hatched female Barn owl collected from a local vet this morning the bird is very thin and had been found laid in a road, exact location not obtained by the veterinary staff.


Posted October 6th, 2018 at 6:29 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Mediterranean Gull Brixham Marina

The Med. Gull spotted by Ali King a few days ago is still in residence at the top end of the marina under the pedestrian walkway.  There is a gale of wind blowing along the marina wall so the bird is finding it difficult to feed and is flying bumpily around the harbour and using up a lot of energy.

Mediterranean Gull  Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull                                           Mediterranean Gull

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 3:52 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

Bursdon Moor, North Devon.

Late post.

5th October.

Although quiet and slightly hazy at Bursdon Moor we had excellent views of a hunting Barn Owl which came pretty close several times.   Also 1 Kestrel briefly hovered and a pair of Stonechats.

The previous evening (4th Oct) the moor held 1 Whinchat and i Wheatear as well as the Barn Owl.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Gannets off Sidmouth

Several gannets seen diving just off Sidmouth seafront at 10.00 am this morning

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 1:26 pm by Chris Frame in General Birding

Friday 5th October 2018

Cookworthy Forest

5 Common Crossbills.

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 8:35 pm by Barry Bryne in General Birding

Dawlish Wareen

Missed out on the Black Throated Diver - drat! But 10 Grey plover, 4 Barwits and two close in Eider made a nice afternoon out in the sun.

Eiders -

Bar-tailed Godwit Eider
Bar-tailed Godwit                                                               Eider

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 6:50 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Plym Estuary /Blaxton Meadow

On this afternoons high tide was the following:

Common Sandpiper 3, Black T Godwit 5, Curlew 29, Greenshank 7, Redshank 182, Little Egret 19, Grey Heron 21, Kingfisher 1 and a Little Grebe.

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 4:49 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Start Point

Had a good go at Start today but it was quiet and felt more like late April. Quite a few Gannets heading south first thing and a Great Skua which flew high over the Point. No vis mig of note except for a surprising 58 Skylarks that headed out from the light between 08:10-09:00, early for these here. Elsewhere Golden Plover, Firecrest ( no Goldcrest ), 11 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps and the first Reed Bunting of the autumn. Best part of 1000 Linnets between the farm and the BBC field. Nice to see 7 Clouded Yellows.

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 3:24 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Still very quiet, no vis mig just Great Spotted Woodpecker - migrant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 12 Chiffchaff & 1 Blackcap.

Non-avian: 2 Clouded Yellow, 4 Red Admiral, 5 Small White, 10 Speckled Wood & Emperor dragonfly.

Note:  Big music festival at East Soar Farm this weekend, suggest accessing Starehole Bay & Bolt Head via. Middle Soar footpath.

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 2:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Berry Head

The conditions seem to favour migrants around the headland but the seawatching was surprisingly good due to a feeding frenzy of seabirds just due east of Torbay - a 30 minute seawatch produced: 1 Sooty Shearwater, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 6 arctic Skuas, 2 Great Skuas, 4 Common and 7 Sandwich Terns, 1 Mediterranean Gull and 400+ Kittiwakes among the Gulls and Gannets also a pod of some 15+Common Dolphin. 

Around the rest of the headland grounded migrants included: 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaff, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Wheatear. 

Overhead produced: 38 Skylark, 42 Siskin, 9 Chaffinch, 5 'alba' wagtails, 30 Meadow Pipits,  

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 12:31 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 4th October 2018

Broadsands and South Brent

A late morning visit to Broadsands gave three Oyster Catchers and the biggest Seal that I have ever seen it was simply humongous! Thirty plus Carrion Crow on the beach, a single Common Gull in with the Herring Gulls an adult Mediterranean Gull flew in with fifty plus Black Headed Gulls, ten Great Black Backs.


Image one below is of a juvenile Greater Black Back Gull not so sure of the second gull (I suspect it is but) generally sleeker than the other GBBG's white head and upper body and a more slender beak without the GBBG's deep angle to the underside of the beak. 


It was back home to South Brent for a bird of prey bonanza, initially the resident female Buzzard coming in for food, followed by the Hobby at 5.40pm, a female Sparrowhawk around 6pm and shortly after that the reddish Tawny owl subject of recent images was showing well.

Six Pied Wagtails, a flock of Long Tailed Tits and a GSWP.

This evening no less than six Tawny owls with three in view at one point and another three calling.


Posted October 4th, 2018 at 9:04 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Not much of great interest today. Common Sandpiper at Turf lock, 2 Black Swan on the estuary, male Kestrel, Jay and a pair of Stonechat. Also checked Matford Marsh while awaiting the Flying Scotsman but little there except 4 Stock Dove.

Common sand video -

Flying Scotsman -

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted October 4th, 2018 at 7:30 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Isley March 3rd October 2018

A quick trip through Isley Marsh - curlew, teal, redshank, stonechat, little egret. Distant photos show spoonbill and  sparrowhawk.

Je n' EGRET rien - when its a spoonbill. Sparrowhawk
 spoonbill.                                 Sparrowhawk

Posted October 3rd, 2018 at 7:25 pm by Tim Williams in General Birding


1 female Common Scoter at Downend am. None at Baggy Point.

Posted October 3rd, 2018 at 2:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd October 2018

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, late news

Among the gulls photographed at chum on Sunday's trip was this individual, a juvenile/1st winter yellow legged gull. Thanks to Mike Langman, Perry Sanders and Steve Waite for help with ID.

Yellow legged gull, juv/1st w Yellow legged gull, juv/1st w
Yellow legged gull, juv/1st w

Posted October 2nd, 2018 at 9:05 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Prawle Point Seawatch

Seawatch in strong westerly, going WNW force 4-5, gusting 6 from 7.30am till 11.30am.Totals west : 101 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Manxie, 1shearwater sp. 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Bonxie, 8 Med Gulls, Gannets 632w, 56e, Auks 142w, 34e.

Also in area 1 Greenland Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps.

Posted October 2nd, 2018 at 7:43 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Great White Egret - Stover Lake

A Great White Egret visited Stover Lake briefly yesterday  (Mon 1st Oct)11am - Noon. News only just filtered through via park visitors. Seen leaving towards the river Teign

Posted October 2nd, 2018 at 2:52 pm by JDA in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam, South Brent

Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam in poor heavily overcast conditions the cloud base sitting on the tops of the surrounding hills.

A total of 21 species identified, someone with good bird call knowledge would add to that tally.

Not Bad for birds of prey with Sparrow hawk, Buzzard, Peregrine and at least three Kestrels one or more being in view for most of the visit.

Mistle Thrush and Blackbirds making the most of the abundance of red berries, several tit flocks moving through the cover, brief view of a Dipper, Bullfinch and Goldcrest showing well.

At home at South Brent a Tawny owl making an unusual day time appearance.


Posted October 2nd, 2018 at 1:17 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 1st October 2018


The feeders are back up after a summer break, great views of Marsh, Coal, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits as well as other woodland birds such as Nuthatch and Great-spotted Woodpeckers

Marsh and Blue Tits
Marsh and Blue Tits

Coal Tits
Coal Tits

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 7:16 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

East Soar

A quiet day in glorious sunshine: Tally included a stand-out Greenland Wheatear with 3 other Wheatear, 37 Alba Wagtail, 4 Kestrel, Swallow, 120 Skylark, 100 Meadow Pipit, 33 Stonechat, 8 Chiffchaff & 300 Linnet.

Non-avian: 2 Clouded Yellow, 47 Small White, 2 Small Copper, 10 Red Admiral, Comma, 14 Speckled Wood & 2 fresh Wall Brown.

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Started the day at Bolberry checking the vis mig but little doing. Had a good look around Soar Mill Cove/Southdown/Warren/ East Soar etc but fairly quiet...7 Golden Plover, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Swallows, Whinchat ( SM Cove ), 5 Wheatears, 29 Chiffchaffs, 13 Blackcaps and Single Firecrest ( SM Cove ) and Goldcrest ( could be a poor autumn for the latter ). Plenty of Siskins going over. A few Red Admirals and Speckled Woods around, also Small Copper and Clouded Yellow. Beautiful weather but not if you're a moanin' birder in October who would prefer a bit more SE wind and drizzle !

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 4:15 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Cattle Egret nr. Cornwood

Single Cattle Egret this morning in field with cows along minor road between Smithaleigh & Cornwood (SX602 572).

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 2:40 pm by Ivor Thomas in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

01-10-18 Clearbrook

Nothing much around Roborough Down, but at Clearbrook a Green Wood Pecker was showing well, my first pics of this bird around this area

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 2:00 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Dipper at Gara Bridge, nr Avonwick

Spotted a Dipper foraging in R. Avon under Gara Bridge whilst cycling past. A first for me as a casual wildlife watcher !

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 9:40 am by Tony Martin in General Birding


Six ring ouzels around mine workings near the top of the O Brook at Hooten Wheals on Saturday (29th).

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 8:51 am by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts