Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th October 2018

Request 2021 records requiring further information

If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Sunday 14th October 2018

Dawlish Warren

At 11.30 am from the lifeguard look out hut, 1 Sooty Shearwater flying in towards the sea wall and low to the water, and then out to sea passing by Langstone Rock.  Good view also of adult male Eider drifting and diving near the rocks below the sea wall.

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 9:48 pm by Nick Armstrong in Bird News

Otter Estuary

Footpath from White Bridge south is now open for access only to bird hide and viewing platforms.

Three 1st winter Med Gulls on the cricket pitch this evening with the gull flock and the Egyptian Goose with Canada Geese  in fields north of White Bridge. A Barn Owl has been hunting in fields north and south of South Farm Road during the early evening in recent days.

Barn Owl by Chris Townend

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 6:35 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley

Best was a Merlin but few migrants just Wheatear, 7 Blackcap & 4 Chiffchaff.

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 4:32 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Isabelline Shrike has seen out the bad weather and showing well in the same place on the golf course this afternoon. Short windy vid here

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 3:58 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


There were 2 Cattle Egrets with a Little Egret in the fields by Cockwood Harbour this morning (although they weren't to be seen when I passed half an hour later).

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 11:51 am by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Powderham Park, Saturday

Osprey on oak tree near castle 2pm.

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 7:08 am by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Saturday 13th October 2018

Berry Head seawatch

Totals for 07.45-15.45 in strong S wind: 2 GN Divers, 1 Red-throated, Diver, 2 Great Shearwaters (10.40 and 10.50), 1 Sooty, 8 Balearic, 5 Manx, 3 Storm Petrels, 48 Great, 27 Arctic and 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Little, 2 Med and 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Common Tern and 2 Puffins.

Posted October 13th, 2018 at 10:32 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Torbay and South Brent

Marine Parade, Paignton 18 Turnstone including the regular Dutch ringed bird.

Broadsands beach a non starter due to a beach full of dogs, a Heron struggling across the bay in the strong winds.

Some very helpful and knowledgeable sea watch birders were at Berry Head and spotted and helped identify a range of rather distant sea birds, good numbers of Kittiwake, Gannet and Razorbill. The more interesting species included Arctic and Great Skua (the Arctic was chasing the Kittiwakes) Balearic and Manx Shearwaters, Arctic Tern and a couple of Storm Petrels.

On the walk down to the quarry area 4 Swallow, 12 Meadow Pipit, 4 Rock Pipit, 9 Shag a raft of 18 plus Kittiwake.


Given the distance offshore the only half decent images were of a Great Skua.

Back home at South Brent the Hobby continues to visit and come in for food, 8 Canada geese over late afternoon and a single Tawny owl this evening.


Posted October 13th, 2018 at 9:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh 13th Oct 2018

Little Stint and Spoonbill.


Posted October 13th, 2018 at 9:28 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Friday 12th October 2018

Ilfracombe Pier

At dusk this evening, surprised to see so many Seabirds sitting out the gale. Along with 50 Oyster catchers and a Whimbrel were 6 Sandwich Terns, 11 Great Black Backed Gulls, 3 Juv Common Gulls, 100+ Lesser bbgull, Herring, Meds and Black Headed Gulls. 

 Sandwich Tern Shag

                                     Sandwich Tern                       Shag

Eds: the tern is a Common Tern not Sandwich see size compared to Common Gull. The extent of white on forehead, rather greyish looking primaries (not contrasty dark grey/black) and slightly paler base to bill rule out Arctic

Posted October 12th, 2018 at 9:04 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Bowling green marsh and exmouth

Started at bowling green marsh from 07:10 till 09:45

4 goosander dropped in just after I arrived a scarce bird on the marsh , pintail were continually dropping in with 180 up to the time I left Martin Elcoate had anther 36 arrive giving a very good count of 216 for the morning , 42 greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 2 turnstone, 180+ redshank, 2 avocet, 300+ wigeon, 2 tufted duck, 1 water rail, 1 little grebe, 2 grey heron, 2 little egret, 215+ teal. 3 bar tailed godwits, 200+ black tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 30+ curlew.

then moved down to exmouth for some sea watching from near to the lifeboat station and watched from 10:45 till 16:00

7+ Arctic Skua , 2 Balearic shearwater, 1 shearwater most likely sooty but only brief views,, 5 Manx shearwater,  9 fulmar, 7+ sandwich terns, 2 eider, 3 teal, 5 wigeon, 38+ gannets, 2 whimbrel


Posted October 12th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Head update

After the rain cleared a few more seabirds came through giving totals 07:30-15:45. 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Manx Shearwaters, 13 Arctic Skuas, 3 Bonxies (see photo), 2 European Storm-petrel, Storm-petrel sp. (not European) and a distant Storm-petrel (most likely European), 1w Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Common Scoter, Black-throated Diver, 23 Fulmar (high count for October here!), 5 Swallows and a Merlin.

Great SkuaGreat Skua

Also some video of Bonxies from Berry Head yesterday See here

Posted October 12th, 2018 at 6:06 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


14.30 - 16.30. Little Stint on the point. Spoonbill busy at the back of the marsh. 2 Dunlin. Lots of Pintail, not much else of note. Goosemoor had a few Lapwing.


Posted October 12th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Berry Head

Gale force S winds and heavy rain were perhaps just too much for seabird passage with the following seen between 07.30-1100, with M Darlaston and D Dawe:

6 Arctic Skuas (including at least 3 juveniles), 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Yellow-legged Gull (juv/fw), 9 fulmar (often scarce at this time of year), 1 Merlin, 2 Grey Seal and at least 5 Harbour Porpoise.

Trees in bottom of quarry completely blown out, with no sign of any land migrants. 

Posted October 12th, 2018 at 1:22 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Late post - Horsey Island

On the way home yesterday early evening from the White House

1 Short eared Owl alighted on the top of a telephone pole by the side of the Toll Road for a few seconds & then flew north over Horsey Island.

Posted October 12th, 2018 at 12:09 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Thursday 11th October 2018

Sparrowhawk in Exmouth

Surprised to have sparrowhawk in my tiny front 'garden' on busy road in centre of Exmouth. (Cropped photos through window, rain, reflections, but pleased camera was at the ready))

Posted October 11th, 2018 at 8:21 pm by Margaret Mackintosh in Bird News

Teignmouth seawatch

Looking out from Teignmouth seafront 15:00-16:45: 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Common Scoters and c20 Mediterranean Gulls all south, plus lots of Gannets diving well offshore. Hard to be sure of exactly how many Med Gulls, as a few were feeding in the area rather than moving rapidly through. By comparison, only 3 Common Gulls!

Posted October 11th, 2018 at 8:08 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


Shrike Showing Well This Morning, Despite Rain, Wind,& Low Cloud.

Usual Spot By Green Shed On The Edge Of Golf Course Next To Coast Path.

Please Note,   Limited Free Parking.    


Posted October 11th, 2018 at 3:33 pm by patrick hawkins in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill flew in at around 1.40 this afternoon to the marsh,

Posted October 11th, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News


Isabelline Shrike on bush golf course this morning.

Posted October 11th, 2018 at 12:16 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News


7.30 - 10.45 Sadly no Little Stint but Spoonbill first thing (left north about 8.45), Ruff, , Avocet, Knot and Barwit amongst the usual suspects. In the bushes by the viewing platform Blackcap, Goldcrest and (reported by Dave Stone) Firecrest and possible YBW.

Spoonbill vid -


Posted October 11th, 2018 at 11:41 am by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Wednesday 10th October 2018


Two Cattle Egrets, with Little Egret and cattle, on inland side of Cockwood Harbour at c1100 today.

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 9:48 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Wistlandpound Reservoir.

Initially very quiet at the reservoir during a short visit today. 5 Little Grebes, 6 Cormorants and 9 Teal and then we were delighted to see a Great White Egret fly in.

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 5:57 pm by Margaret- Phillips in Bird News


Still bursting with Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits today, they seemed to be everywhere. 2 Treecreepers seen. Cetti's Warbler calling and another by Wrafton pond. The usual numbers of Speckled Wood butterfly around in the sheltered very warm sunny spots. Highlight of the day was the first CLOUDED YELLOW I have seen in the reserve.

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 5:29 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Isabelline Shrike

Great to find today at Thurlestone Golf Course an Isabelline Shrike, I originally thought it was a juv Red Backed Shrike due to the very difficult light conditions but had a jizz it may have been something a bit more special and thanks to Al Doidge, Pete Aley, Russ Eynon, Mike Passman and Eric it was confirmed as Isabelline. 

Isabelline Shrike
Isabelline Shrike

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 5:17 pm by Ian Teague in Bird News

East Soar

A fruitless quest for Yellow-browed Warbler in all the usual spots, in fact deathly quiet. Only item of note was 2 Coal Tits flying west up through Starehole Valley - genuine migrants!

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Lannacombe Valley

At last some Goldcrests. 12+ present.(6 ringed). Hopefully the start of a later than normal autumn passage.Other migrants were 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps and 1 Firecrest.

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 3:54 pm by Alan K Searle in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 09:00

Very Misty first thing 800+ black tailed godwits, 260+ redshank, 3 knot, 2 bar tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 90+ curlew, 11 avocet, the long staying adult winter male ruff, 1 Mediterranean gull nearly full adult winter, 1 common gull, 1 green sandpiper heard calling from goosemoor, 2 raven.

about 08:09 a group of 30+ lapwing flew in from darts farm direction and with them 1 Dunlin and the Little stint presumably the bird from yesterday afternoon.


Posted October 10th, 2018 at 12:25 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Head

My first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was in sycamores near the drinking trough on the top NE corner of the meadow, it was being continually chased by the local Chiffchaffs but did it's best to stay in this sunny, warm, still corner.

Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Yellow-browed Warbler Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML

Of more interest was a very pale, sandy brown Lesser Whitethroat probably of eastern origins, with almost entirely white outermost tail feathers. It was very skulking but did give some good views from time to time. some of the pictures make it look rather pale grey on the upperparts but it was genuinely sandy brown. Click on images below for a better look.

Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML Lesser Whitethroat eastern Berry Head 10 Oct 2018ML


Posted October 10th, 2018 at 11:34 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tuesday 9th October 2018

Photo Request 2017 Bird Report

Invites have been sent out to our many excellent Devon bird photographers to submit a few of their best photographs into a linked Dropbox folder of birds taken during 2017 for the Devon Bird Report currently in preparation.

If you haven't already done so please send your photos all labelled as follows so we can create captions and know who the photographer was: so a Mediterranean Gull 2nd winter taken at Broadsands on 30 Sept 2018 by J Bloggs would be file named..    MdGll2wBrdsnds300918JBloggs 

If you have not received an invite and would like to submit a photo or two please let me know: 

many thanks

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 8:35 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Taken today in the Order Valley Nature Reserve , Plymouth. I was only about 2 meter away from the bird and it just sat and looked at me for about 2 minutes and then flew off very slowly.


Posted October 9th, 2018 at 4:38 pm by Peter Castle in Bird News

Sherpa Marsh (Braunton)

Starling, Song Thrush, Oyster Catcher, Curlew, Meadow pipit, Redshank, Bar Tailed Godwit, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Buzzard, Mute & Whooper Swam.

Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Tim Williams in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Little Stint present this lunchtime. I lost sight of it though at around 1.45 when some Lapwings spooked it but it may still be there.

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 3:40 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Skern 13:00

Avocet still present, also 1 Wheatear up by the 8th green

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 3:29 pm by Roy Churchill in Bird News

Dartmoor Barn owl

An early visit to Dartmoor above South Brent gave the unexpected view of a Barn owl, initially seen in the distance and then a lot closer before it flew off across the moor.


Posted October 9th, 2018 at 12:28 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Start Point / Slapton Ley ( 8/10/18)

Early morning vis mig highlights at Start included 100 Meadow Pipits, 490 Linnets, 270 Goldfinches, 54 Siskins and a Reed Bunting. Elsewhere a male Merlin, 2 Redwings, Fieldfare (  I think my earliest ever autumn bird around here ), 44 Swallows, 10 Chiffchaffs, Wheatear, and a Brambling.

Around at Slapton in Ireland Bay 2 male Scaups still present. Not such an apparent size discrepancy as I thought on Sunday with a better view. Also male Pochard, 231 Coots, 5 Med Gulls.                                                              


Posted October 9th, 2018 at 5:15 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Monday 8th October 2018


67 med gulls,40 adults,11 sw, 16fw 4 Brent geese 1 great crested grebe,Avocet present on leaving at 17:45.

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


1 Avocet present now at 16:55

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 4:54 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

East Soar

Highlights this morning were a Merlin harassing Linnets and my first Firecrest of the autumn. Also: 3 Kestrel, adult Lesser Black-backed Gull race intermedius, 4 Chiffchaff, Bullfinch male, 15 Siskin W & 80 Linnet.

Need some easterlies soon!

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 3:01 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Snipe at Mansands

Quite low water level at Mansands this morning.  Usual visitors at the hide plus 2 Chiffchaff and a large number of Hornets. Watched four Snipe on the edge of the lake feeding in open water while two more washed and preened close to vegetation.

As we were leaving several hundred Swallows appeared suddenly and were catching the myriad flies etc over the lakes.

Snipe Snipe Snipe
Snipe                                                    Snipe                                                  Snipe

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Bill Coulson in Bird News

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