Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–30th April 2018


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

Tuesday 1st May 2018


Very quiet week for me while at the field centre thus far. This afternoon there was an intermedius type LBBG on the Ley that was more towards the Baltic end of the scale than the very few others I have seen but enough contrast between mantle and primaries and enough white on the tips to preclude Baltic. I'd be interested if anyone else has seen it and has an opinion though.

Yesterday I had an apparent juvenile Swallow as well. Possibly the result of breeding in winter quarters?

Posted May 1st, 2018 at 12:03 am in Bird News

Monday 30th April 2018

Plymouth area

A walk from Staddon to Heybrook & back produced few migrants but I did manage 2 Whimbrels, 2 Sandwich Terns, Sedge Warbler & 16 Whitethroats.

Later at the Plym Estuary: 2 Whimbrels, 4 Oystercatchers, 8 Turnstones, 2 Stock Doves, 2 Shags & a Roe Deer.

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 10:25 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Black-winged Stilt, female I think? showing well on the marshes, its on the pool close to where the pylons cross the footpath on the back path to Turf

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 9:21 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Replacing some of the feeders today after cleaning and repair, a Leusictic Willow Tit at the hide again.

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 7:56 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Matford Pond RSPB

A quick visit at 1630. 20 Sand Martin, 4 Swallow and a Hobby feeding over head. 

Also 5+ Orange Tips and first Beautiful Demoiselle of the year. 

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 7:54 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

The Lyn Valley.Lynmouth to Watersmeet.

3male pied flycatchers, 1female.Two Wood Warblers ,our first this year in this area.Blackcaps,grey wagtail,dippers and good numbers of locals when the sun got higher and it warmed up a bit.

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 7:27 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Coast path - Weston near Donkey Sanctuary

Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Swallows near Grammar Lane Car Park, Weston then found my first ever Redstart! ( M ) along the hedgerow close to the South West coast path.

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Matthew Willson in Bird News

Hood Manor, Dartington

21 Common Buzzards in the air together over Hood Manor, mid-pm. Quite a sight! Certainly more than just the locals involved.

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 6:31 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News


A pair of Bramblings for a short time this morning. Yesterday a pair of Lesser Redpolls feeding on sunflower hearts.

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 4:42 pm by Mary Irving in Bird News

Orcombe Point etc

Birded from about 8am to 11 am . Not much about brief view of fem Redstart on the dung heap  Pr. Nick?(sorry terrible at names!)  advised that there was  a pair of Redstarts at the Bristol School Camp lane and on my second visit there I saw the birds. Also a pair of Ravens back up at Gore Lane. Later went to BGM but not much there 3-4 Ruff were the only notables at 1pm ish.

Apologies for poor quality pics!

Raven Redstart
Raven                                                Redstart

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 4:04 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Black Winged Stilt - Exminster Marsh

A Black-Winged Stilt was found early afternoon and pictures were shown to DJH who was birding there- still present mid afternoon showing very well on a pool next to the track by the railway line 1/2 mile south of the RSPB car park - Also 2 Hobby, 15 Whimbrel 

for pics see

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 3:59 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Start Point / Beesands Ley

Start Point early on very cold and windy. Only highlight a female Ring Ouzel in the gorse above Mattiscombe Beach. Next tried Beesands Ley  entering the hide at around  09:00 and the next half hour was pretty amazing and a little surreal. There was a flock of around 40 hirundines which soon started giving alarm calls and I looked up and saw a Hobby. About 15 minutes later a Great White Egret flew across the ley landing in the reeds on the landward side. I rang a friend who I knew would be interested, just as he answered I clocked a superb Red-rumped Swallow in front of me and I think I told him there was a Great Whiiiirrred-rumped Swallow present. It stayed until about 11:20. Also present up to 6 Swifts, 2 Whimbrels, 2 Singing Reed Warblers and a singing Sedge Warbler. One of Beesands better days.


Posted April 30th, 2018 at 3:54 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

East Soar

Best was male Pied Flycatcher also singing Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, many Whitethroats & Blackcaps.

At Harleston: emerging Broad-bodied Chaser

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 3:19 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

Two Hobby hunting over the marsh at 1.00 today

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 3:17 pm by Geoff Campbell in Bird News

Marsh Green, Esat Devon

Male Sparrow Hawk on thatched roofed next door.  Looking at neighbours garden and didn't visit my feeders!   

Posted April 30th, 2018 at 8:19 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Sunday 29th April 2018

Bowling Green Marsh

At Bowling Green for high tide this eve. 250 Blackwit, 11 Knot, 5 Barwit, 4 Whimbrel, 4 Ruff, 200 Sand Martin, 1 of each Swift, Swallow & H Martin & a lovely late eve Hobby.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 9:24 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Beer Head

Decent selection of migrants this morning including 40+ Willow Warblers, 4 Redstarts (2m 2f), 9 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat,6 Blackcap,1 each of Spotted Flycatcher & Garden Warbler - also late afternoon/evening at Beer Cemetery/Mare lane area 2 each of Redstart (f), Whitethroat & Spotted Flycatcher. 

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 9:13 pm by Kevin Hale in Bird News

Soussons to Headland Warren this morning

2 Cuckoo,1 Reed Bunting,3 Redstarts,1 Tree Pipit,1 Winchat,3 Stonechats,15 Barn Swallows,6 Meadow Pipits,2 Mistle Thrush,3 Marsh Tits, 8 Coal tits,1 GS Woodpecker,1 Grey Heron,Willow Warblers,2 Song Thrush,24 Red Deer.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 8:21 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Slapton waders

2 Common Sandpipers on the Ley, a Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits on the beach

Whimbrel Black-tailed Godwits
Whimbrel                                     Bar-tailed Godwits

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 7:42 pm by Tom Stevenson in Bird News


Despite a mid morning start, not covering a vast area and battling a northerly wind, a pretty good selection of migrants, presumably grounded by last night’s rain.

Spotted Flycatcher 3, Pied Flycatcher female, Redstart female, Yellow Wagtail heard, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Wheatear 6, Blackcap 8, Willow Warbler 8, Chiffchaff 6, Whitethroat 6+ & Swallow 12.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 6:24 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Headland Warren

Saw plenty of Summer Migrants today on Dartmoor today even if the weather was cold and grey. Best of all was this very smart Whinchat at Headland Warren 

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 6:05 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News

Yelland to Instow

This afternoon on a walk between Yelland and Instow, on the coast path, we watched an osprey for nearly an hour. It slowly made its way from off Crow Point, upstream until it caught a good sized fish and ate it on the sandbanks some way out from the White House, all the while accompanied by a hopeful crow. There were also several dozen whimbrel to the west of the Yelland Quay.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 5:55 pm by Colin Dracott in Bird News


Down near Norsworthy bridge today:

2 Willow warbler, 1 Redstart (m), 1 Green woodpecker (m) yaffling, 1 Buzzard, Cuckoos heard.

Swallows and Sand Martins at Cadover bridge.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 5:46 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Prawle Point

Most unexpected bird today was a Hooded Crow which came in off the sea at Langerstone Point at 8.20am and flew strongly east. Otherwise there was a mini-fall today in a N/NE stiff breeze and overcast most of the morning till the sun shone.

Totals : 1 Lesser Whitethroat ,Firecrest, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 6 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 female Redstarts, 2 female Whinchats, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Wheatears, 15 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs and at least 50 Willow Warblers, with 15+ singing . Also 10 Whitethroats ,20 Swallows and 15 Whimbrel.

It appeared that I was the sole observer today suggesting that the numbers involved might have been considerably more if more birders had been present to cover the area.Martin Catt at Prawle village told me he had seen 2 Redstarts in his garden this morning !

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 5:26 pm in Bird News

Little Haldon

Stonechat seen and Grasshopper Warbler heard at 3pm.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 4:52 pm by Chris Godfrey in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

A morning visit and walk around Exminster marsh, Swallow and House Martin readily on view from the RSPB car park while Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler could be heard calling.

A count of 53 Reed Warbler heard calling, in places they were positioned just about every 25 yards, 15 plus Sedge Warbler, with Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler calling around the marsh.

Eventually a swift appeared the first of about 15 seen, good numbers of Sand Martin as well.

Small numbers of Reed Bunting and Linnet seen with a couple of Cetti's Warbler calling.

Both the reported Snow Geese were on view with one close to the path in company with Canada Geese, a handful of very active Lapwing. About 40 Whimbrel flew over and dropped into a field alongside the Red Lion industrial units.


Posted April 29th, 2018 at 4:45 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Migrants this morning included 1 Redstart, 1 Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, 10 Blackcap, 1 Hobby, 15+ Swallow and 1 Swift.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 4:06 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Bird News


Out on the scrape this morning was a Common Sandpiper. There were two at Sherpa the previous evening. A smattering of mostly Sand Martins around the marsh. Nothing like the hordes of Swallows present yesterday evening, when I opened a few nets and played a tape. Between last night and this morning I ringed 107 plus 2 Sand Martins. Those ringed this morning were carefully roosted in bags overnight.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 4:00 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Seen on this mornings high tide and around Saltram...Curlew 6, Whimbrel 3, Greenshank 1, Mandarin 1m, Kestrel 1, Wheatear 1, Linnet 1, Swift 1, c40 Swallow with 7 House Martin, Stock Dove 8 and a Ring-necked Parakeet.

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 11:46 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Crownhill Down nr Portworthy, S. Devon

Five Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, together in mobile flock on the down. Take the bridleway north of Portworthy, just after the cattle grid. 1 Cuckoo (calling nearby) 

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 10:38 am by Chris E in Bird News

Bowlling green marsh

BONAPARTE’S GULL again from viewing platform bowling green marsh 

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 9:39 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Amazed to find that at 20.05hrs 28th Apr the first of our pair of Swifts was back, preening and resting on its nest site. My first Swift sighting this year!

Posted April 29th, 2018 at 12:02 am by R Hurrell in Bird News

Saturday 28th April 2018

snow goose

The Snow Goose showing well today, presume escapee??

Snow Goose
Snow Goose

Eds: Spot on - at Exminster Marshes?? The title header should always be the site.

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 9:12 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News

Bowling Green and Clyst viewpoint

The adult Bonaparte's Gull appeared briefly from the viewpoint at 4.30, before flying off to feed in the newly-sown fields across the Clyst. A single Avocet was on the Exe Estuary. The female-type Marsh Harrier appeared several times at Bowling Green Marsh, where there were 4 Ruff, 8 Knot, parties of Whimbrel totalling about 50, most of which continued up the Clyst Valley and maybe 300 Black-tailed Godwits. Ducks included, small numbers of Teal and Wigeon, a Shoveler, a pair of Pochard and 14 Tufted Ducks. Also notable was a total of well over 200 Shelduck in the area and lots of Stock Dove sightings, especially in the bare fields. Two or three first summer Mediterranean Gulls moved upriver. At Goosemoor there were 24 Greenshanks at high tide and a Common Sandpiper along the river.

Bonaparte's Gull Clyst Estuary Marsh Harrier 

Bonaparte's Gull                                    Marsh Harrier                                      Stock Dove

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 8:47 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Plym Estuary

One or 2 Female Wheatears, Green Woodpecker, my first Whitethroat here this year, singing, 2 Stock Doves & 4 Roe Deer.

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 8:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


On the incoming tide there were 60+ Oystercatchers, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Plover, 128 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin and 1 Curlew Sandpiper just beginning to show flecks of summer plumage.

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 6:44 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News


Wembury point this morning, low tide:

15 Sandwich tern, 13 Whimbrel in ploughed field with another 6/7 in the rock pools, 5 Whitethroat, 6 Swallow, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 5 Wheatear (2m, 3f), 2 Skylark, 1 Kestrel overhead, 1 Rock pipit on the seaweed.

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 5:47 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh and Wareham Point etc

Early/mid pm. Of note: 5 Sandwich Terns, 9 Whimbrel, a group of 6 Swifts, at least 3 Reed Warblers and 2 Sedge Warblers singing, 15+  House Martins etc.

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 4:45 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News


A productive ringing session today after the first attempt to catch some Swallows last night (3 each of Swallow and Sand Martin).

Today's catch was:

4 Goldfinch

1 Bullfinch

1 Greenfinch

1 Reed Bunting

11 Blackcaps

6 Reed Warblers (first this year)

12 Willow Warblers

2 Whitethroats (none last year)

1 Garden Warbler (none last year) 

34 Sedge Warblers (many very fat and ready to move on - quite a fall)

Retrapped a Tawny Owl from 2017.

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 2:19 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


A walk around the area produced the following. Cuckoo 2, Wheatear 5, Redstart 3m, Pied Flycatcher 1m, Goosander 8f & about 10 Siskin. Not to bad bearing in mind the disturbance it gets!

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 12:54 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

BONAPARTE’S GULL showing well from viewing platform at bowling green marsh for last 20 minutes 

Posted April 28th, 2018 at 9:46 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Friday 27th April 2018


Watched from 15:15 till 18:35

A good afternoon  around Topsham started with 160+ pale bellied Brent’s geese flying up the estuary from the viewing platform  with 18+ bar tailed godwits 

moved on to the hide at bowling green marsh just after 17:24 an Adult summer BONAPARTE’S GULL  dropped in stayed about 5 minutes and the flew out towards the River Clyst, it dropped back in st 17:55 and was still present when I left at 18:35.

The long staying marsh harrier gave good views dropping into the reeds on the far side, 1 white wagtail, 1 ruff, 8+ knot, 300+ sand Martin, 30+ swift, 40+ house martins and a few swallows, 


Posted April 27th, 2018 at 7:53 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Cuckoo (Smeardon Down)

A second reccy visit to Smeardon Down, Peter Tavy this afternoon, drew a blank with the Redstarts but did get some distant shots of one of the Cuckoos being harassed by a Meadow Pipit. Also saw my first Swift of the season.

Cuckoo and Meadow Pipit
Cuckoo and Meadow Pipit

Posted April 27th, 2018 at 6:44 pm by Andy Brown in Bird News


Seawatch all morning in the bay: Little Tern, Sandwich Tern c30, Whimbrel 43, Manx Shearwater 110 (many 100s more moving later but not counted), Red-throated Diver 3, Common Scoter 16, Kittiwake c15,  Fulmar c8, Swallow c80.

Later, South Huish Marsh: Swift 2, Sand Martin 2, House Martin 2, Whimbrel 7 & 2 Sedge Warblers heard singing.

Posted April 27th, 2018 at 6:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Afternoon visit today due to poor weather this morning. Glad to see at least 3 Sedge Warblers in the reserve, one singing, despite the cold. One Blackcap and one Chiffchaff also intermittently singing. Nought of note out on the scrape, until I looked again later - Common Sandpiper and several each of Swallow and Sand Martin. 2 Teal. Back in the reserve my attention was drawn to a bird flying ahead of me and when I got the bins on it I could swear it was a Spotted Flycatcher. If only it had been flycatching I thought. Well as I advanced, that's exactly what it then did, and sat showing itself long enough to confirm the identity.

Walked around Sherpa with the usual results - not much! Dribble of Sand Martins, Grey Heron, Gadwall....

Posted April 27th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


cuckoo seen and calling at Redaven brook.

Posted April 27th, 2018 at 4:55 pm by roger jewell in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching totals 0615-1515: 1 Roseate Tern, 38 Arctic Terns, 11 Common Terns, 41 'Commic' Terns, 141 Sandwich Terns, 3 Arctic Skuas, 5 Great Skuas, 28 Puffins, 12 Great Northern Divers, 11 Red-throated Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 11 Common Scoter, 1 Teal, 1 Whimbrel,1642 Manx Shearwaters, 364 Kittiwakes, 2 1s/w Common Gulls and c1200 Auks. Also 8-10 Common Dolphin and 4+ Harbour Porpoise. around the headland little in the way of migrants of note: 1 Whinchat, 1 Willow Warbler,1 Sand Martin & 5 Swallows (Combined coverage ML&MD).


           Arctic Skua and Porpoise                                                  Manx Shearwater and Kittiwake

Posted April 27th, 2018 at 2:11 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Start Bay / Slapton Ley

Tried a seawatch from the memorial car park 07:00-09:10. Flock of 16 pale-bellied Brent Geese south at 07:07 but little else except 3 Manx Shearwater and 6 Common Scoter. 3 Dunlins and a Wheatear on the beach. Around Ireland Bay Whimbrel and  Common Sandpiper. At Torcross  3 Swifts, c200 Swallows, 40 House martins and 5 Sand Martins.

Posted April 27th, 2018 at 10:41 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Thursday 26th April 2018

Around Topsham

Watched from 15:00 till17:30

50+ swifts, 40+ house martins, among 500+ sand martins, 4 ruff still , 11+ knot , 1 1st summer Mediterranean gull , 28+ greenshanks, , 51+ Dunlin, 40+ whimbrel , 260+ shelduck , 1 avocet, 250+ black tailed godwits, 4+ bar tailed godwits. 

Posted April 26th, 2018 at 8:06 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Mid afternoon visit to Bowling Green Marsh ~ not overly busy with bird life but four Ruff and seven Knott in with a good sized flock of Black Tailed Godwit, Heron, a female Sparrow hawk the highlight of the visit was a Peregrine coming over and stooping on the Godwits, a Lesser Black Backed Gull dropped in and gave every impression of having predatory habits as it tried to get close to the very watchful Godwits.

From the viewing platform a first winter Mediterranean gull with a white tag ring on its left leg, five Little Egret, several Redshank, one Greenshank, around the pathway two Mistle Thrush overhead one carrying food in its beak, two Chiffchaff and two Stock Dove.

From the Goat walk 59 Dunlin one Sanderling and three Whimbrel.

Posted April 26th, 2018 at 7:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Redstart and Cuckoo (Smeardon Down)

A quick reccy out on the Moors revealed a solitary male Redstart on Smeardon Down (Peter Tavy) this afternoon. Also a Cuckoo calling from the Coombe woods, a Buzzard flying over plus a single Skylark.

Redstart (male)
Redstart (male)


Posted April 26th, 2018 at 5:00 pm by Andy Brown in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

The most obvious sign of migration today was the steady passage of swifts overhead, some high, some low and some calling. Small numbers of sand martin, swallow and 2 house martin. A marsh harrier flew through. About 40 whimbrel feeding on fields close to the road and at Turf.

Posted April 26th, 2018 at 4:57 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Wednesday 25th April 2018

Unidentified Waders - Torbay

Flock of around 25 - 30 large waders flying around the Hopes Nose / Thatcher Rock area of Torbay this evening, landing at least once on Flat Rock close to Hopes Nose. Dark wingtips and paler brown backs. If anyone else saw these and can identify them for me, I'd be grateful.

Eds almost certainly Whimbrel.

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 7:43 pm by CLIFF PARROTT in Bird News

South Hams

Aveton Gifford tidal road almost devoid of bird life on this afternoons rising tide only three Mallard seen, on South Efford marsh the birding was not much better, other than three Swallow overhead little to suggest that spring is in full swing, seven Mute Swan, five Little Egret, a small number of Canada Geese and Shell Duck, a Mallard with four ducklings, one Curlew over the marsh and a Moorhen. Small birds included three Wren, four Linnet, Song Thrush and a male Greenfinch.
Onto South Huish marsh, again very little seen, only high light was a Hare running down the road on the hill above the café.
On the DBWPS reserve at South Milton at least five Chiffchaff and certainly two possibly three Reed Warblers calling.

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 5:41 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Visit this afternoon coincided with the high tide. Over 100 shelduck roosting near the lagoon and a flock of dunlin (c80) mobile over a large area. Near the road one flock of 18 whimbrel with another, uncounted flock, further south. Lots (100+) swallows and sand martins, a few house martins and about 5 swifts. Two gadwall flew over the canal.

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 4:29 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Adder on Berry Head

Looking very fresh and newly - painted this beautiful Adder was crossing the warm bare earth where the blackthorn had been cut down out on Berry Head. (Photo Linda Coulson)

A few more White Rock Rose now in flower and Early Purple Orchids growing fast on the warm slopes.

Adder on Berry Head
Adder on Berry Head

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 4:17 pm by Bill Coulson in Other Wildlife


Of note before high tide - 8 Knot, 4 Ruff, 2 Stock Dove, GBB Gull and LBB Gull, many Sand Martin high above the marsh, Blackcap in the lane up to the platform and Whimbrel and Greenshank from the platform. Nothing much off the Goatwalk. Poor photos taken from shaky video!

Knot  Ruff
Knot                                     Ruff

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 3:52 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley

First Swift over Higher Soar and Curlew overhead Soar Mill Cove - scarce here! Early breeding surveys suggest significant declines for Stonechat, Rock Pipit and 50% drop in Long-tailed Tit population. On the plus side good numbers of breeding Stock Doves & Song Thrush.

Non-avian today: First Painted Lady, 5 Small Torts.

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 1:59 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary

This morning produced- Dipper, 3 Whimbrels, 3 Common Sandpipers, Red-crested Pochard female, Wheatear & 2 Stock Doves.

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 12:06 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Head Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday afternoon in the rain and mist on Berry Head, not a good time to visit but was gambling on possible birds landing on the headland due to mist!!! Only plus was 7 Wheatear landing on the fort wall behind the cafe then moved on quickly. 900 plus Guillemots on the colony cliffs and small groups of Manx Shearwater passing through a long way out. Shag nest in the gully by coast path has eggs but only 3 nests, past years have been 5.

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 8:16 am by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Woolacombe Beach

Went to Woolacombe twice yesterday, but failed to connect with the Iceland Gull.

As I was awake at 6 this morning I thought I'd give it another go. Once again no luck, and not many Gulls (max20) to look at.

I was however drawn to a smaller Gull right down by the water's edge. Closer inspection revealed what I think may be a first Winter Laughing Gull.

Didn't take my camera of course. Anyone nearby (Derek?) with a camera please do look in.

Posted April 25th, 2018 at 7:45 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 24th April 2018

Prawle Point Seawatch

Pat M from 6.15am and with myself from 7.50am till 2.30 pm  in WSW 2 increasing to SW 4, misty and rain, fogged out from 9.30 to 10.30am.

Great Skuas east, 1west. 20 Puffins west. 4 Red Throated and 3 Great Northern Divers west, 1 Diver sp. east. Over 1700 Manx Shearwaters , 487 Auks west. Also 14 Whimbrel west. 1 Sand Martin in off the sea.

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 8:36 pm in Bird News

Exmouth and Bowling Green Marsh

Exmouth Seafront 

1 distant Eider early morning and 1 Little Tern in with Sandwich Terns late afternoon 

Bowling Green Marsh 

4 Ruff showed very well this morning in front of the hide

if interested more info and pictures on

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 8:08 pm in Bird News

Trew's Weir goldeneye

Hopefully a picture attached

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

Trew's Weir

Goldeneye seen 4pm today in overflow pool beside the weir.

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 6:58 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

North Devon Pied Flycatchers

Plenty on Pied Flycatchers back in territories at Arlington. One with female already chasing around the nest box site. 

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 6:33 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in Bird News

Otter Estuary - White Bridge

The Lesser Whitethroat was 300-400m north of White Bridge at 11am,  Common Whitethroat reported by another observer.     Cetti's Warbler very vocal on both sides of the bridge

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 5:15 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A decent flock of hirundines hawking and resting in the rain this afternoon, included 40 Swallows, 7 House Martins and a Sand Martin. Also - Whimbrel, 5 Curlews, Red-crested Pochard (female), 2 Mandarin Ducks (drakes), Grey Wagtail and a first winter / summer Common Gull.  

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 4:11 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Scarce Breeding Birds - reminder

I'm afraid I need to post yet another reminder that people submitting posts should follow the guidelines about scarce breeding birds. Since Mike Langman's recent reminder below, several more posts have had to be edited. I know people are keen to share their news / photos, but the birds must come first. Disturbance from viewing / photography and egg collecting are still real threats.

Thanks in anticipation of your support. 

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 4:07 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Trendlebere Down- Yarner Woods.

18 members of DB met for the East Devon Branch fieldtrip led by Ian Pullan.  A pair of Yellow Hammer, Willow Warblers, Linnet, Stonechat and Garden Warbler were also present there. Yarner Woods was less productive although Pied Flycatchers were present in small numbers, plus Mistle Thrush and Siskin.  Noticeable for their absence were Wood Warblers and Redstarts. I note that last years fieldtrip to the same venue was a week later (29 April) when all species were present plus several others.

For those intending to visit Yarner please note that there is considerable disruption caused by engineering work near the office and main car park (which is closed). It is only possible to park on Trendlebere Down car park which has been resurfaced.

Posted April 24th, 2018 at 3:03 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Monday 23rd April 2018


Female Sparrow Hawk at drum Bridges

Garden Warbler at Yarner (Behind the first car park) located by members of the Plymouth Branch who were gathering for a walk of Yarner/Trendlebere. Pied Flycatchers showing well mostly females and Willow Warbler.


Headland Warren & Challacombe, notable change in the weather from yesterdays visit rather cold and breezy and the birding was more difficult that said, Skylark and Meadow Pipit in good numbers, a small number of Wheatear, four Redpoll viewed for a while feeding in the Alder copse to the right of Challacombe, two very coloured males and two females. Female BTO ringed Redstart, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Swallow and Willow Warbler.


Headed back via Venford a male Gooseander seen flying up the Rv Dart, driving past Venford male Greenfinch and a male Stonechat.


Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 9:32 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Colaton Raleigh Common

Very confiding female brambling feeding on her own on and beside the footpath between Uphams Plantation and Kettle Plantation around 1.30pm

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 8:29 pm by Keith Annison in Bird News

Exmouth and the Otter

Orcombe point

Early morning - 3 possibly 4 Whitethroat along coastal path and orchid fields. 2 Wheatear (1m & 1f) plus 2 White Wagtail in the dung field. 

Otter Estuary 

A Lesser Whitethroat near the white bridge area this afternoon.

Exmouth Seafront 

I had a look for Matt’s Little Terns with no success but a single Common Tern present.

if interested more details and pictures on

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 8:27 pm in Bird News

Berry Head

Early morning around the headland produced virtually no passage migrants with the exception of 1 flyover Yellow Wagtail. There were more Whitethroats around with 7 counted singing and display flights.

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 8:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Morte Point and Iceland Gull

No sign of any Whimbrels and the leg ringed Wheatears appeared to have continued on their way. I managed to spot a Skua sp mythering squadrons of Gannets out past Morte Stone bouy along with several Manx Shearwaters. I then checked through the 100s of mixed gulls on Woolacombe beach loafing in the stream. Hiding in plain sight was a stunning 3rd winter Iceland Gull. I legged it along the beach despite being dark and overcast I had good views of the Gull and managed some reasonable photos which i'll post later if poss. 

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Occombe, Preston, Paignton

Quietish afternoon walk, though plenty of Wren activity, 2 Blackcaps with 1 male collecting nesting material. 2 Chiffchaffs, Buzzard, a Kestrel upset some birds and may have taken a youngster, Jay, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, pair of Coal Tits, 4 Mallard and a Nuthatch.

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 7:49 pm in Bird News

'Doone' valley and up towards Brendon.

Pied Flycatchers,male and female,Redstarts, 3 male 2 female,large amounts of willow warblers,chiffchaff,meadow pippets,and usual locals all looking good and busy with spring time activities!!.

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 6:32 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two Common Sandpipers, 4 Turnstones, 3 Stock Doves, 4 Swallows & a Shag.

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


5 Little Terns lingering and ranging widely off the seafront this afternoon. Yesterday 41+ Whimbrel and 31 Pale-bellied Brent Geese off Mudbank, still 2 White Wagtails on the Gore Lane dung heap and a Purple Sandpiper on Maer Rocks.

Posted April 23rd, 2018 at 5:12 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Sunday 22nd April 2018

Exminster Marshes

At high tide there were 35 Whimbrel roosting, plus single Avocet, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits. There was a Garden Warbler in the willows below the canal, plus 3 Cetti's Warblers. More generally, 3 Reed and 4 Sedge Warblers, 2 Snow Geese (separate), 2 Barnacle Geese, c150 Shelduck, 1 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A Hobby was reported over the lagoon.

Cetti's Warbler Exminster Marshes

             Cetti's Warbler

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 7:40 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Morte Point

4 Whimbrels flew in off the sea and landed on the north sideland. 5 pairs of Wheatears Inc a pair with pink/faded red leg rings. 200 Auks, mostly Razorbills and a dozen Kittiwakes were spread out along the tide race. Surprised not to see a single Manx Shearwater as on Thursdays return crossing from Lundy there were Manx Shearwaters nearly all the way to the Fairway buoy.

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 7:38 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Four Whimbrels this morning & also: Willow Warbler, Shag, 2 Stock Doves, 4 Curlews & 2 Oystercatchers.

This afternoon the Yellow-browed Warbler again showing very well in Mount Gould Hospital grounds viewed from Beaumont Road.

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 7:05 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 11:45 till 14:15

from the hide 4 whimbrel, 5 knot, 3 ruff still showing well, 12+ tufted duck, 16+ bar tailed godwits among 160+ black tailed godwits.

from the viewing platform 36+ whimbrel but best birds of the day were 1 Red kite heading south over lympstone  about 13:15 followed by another about 20 minuets later.

from the goatwalk 18+ whimbrel and about 200+ shelduck. 

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 6:38 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


Red Kite over Cowley this morning and two Swift this afternoon over St Thomas. 

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 4:37 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

Still 9 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks alongside Torquay Harbour at 11.00 today.

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 4:08 pm by Cliff Parrott in Bird News

Red Kite ~ Bittaford

Wife has just got home very excited has just seen a Red Kite at Bittaford, just above the roof tops drifting towards Ivybridge (seen at 15.15hrs)

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 3:42 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Red kite, Near Salcombe

Walking around Bolt head, (South Hams, near Salcombe) this lunchtime

saw a junvenile red kite over Starehole Valley, being mobbed by two crows, while a buzzard enjoyed the fracas, but kept its distance. Also three singing whitethroats and two yellowhammers, plus sky larks, meadow pipits, chiffchaffs, linnets and goldfinches

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 3:21 pm by Chris Klee in Bird News


Dart Bridge, Buckfastleigh, Grey Wagtail and a pair of Roe Deer.

On the approach to Poundsgate a Cuckoo seen in flight, north side of the village another heard calling and two Willow Warbler.

Cator Green ~ five House Martins.

Challacombe ~ Pair of Redstart, two Stock Dove, more Swallow than on a visit a few days ago, Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, four Redpoll, two Cuckoo calling towards Headland Warren, five Whinchat, two Raven, Meadow Pipit, five Wheatear,  several Buzzards in the area including one very pale white headed bird and a Mistle Thrush.

Soussons Plantation ~ Two Skylark, Jay, Buzzard, five Chiffchaff, female Cuckoo in flight towards the Warren House Inn, heard calling before and after being seen. Green Woodpecker, four plus Siskin, Tree Pipit and Song Thrush. On leaving Soussons, a Red Deer Stag seen across the valley, my first Dartmoor Red deer.


A good day for raptor sightings (five species identified) with numerous Buzzard sightings, a brief view of a Red Kite near Cold East Cross above Ashburton and a Kestrel being mobbed by a Crow from the A38 at Ashburton

Yarner Wood very busy with visitors by early afternoon but no less than seven Pied Flycatcher seen, one male ringed with one of the transponder type rings of interest to the ringing team.



Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 3:17 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Cann Woods

Early morning walk around Cann Woods. Heard two male cuckoos calling. However was only able to spot one of them. Good numbers of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps. A circling Buzzard a kronking Raven and a beautiful pair of Jays. Good sightings of Speckled Wood and Small White butterflies too. 

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 12:53 pm by Val Grehan in Bird News

Braunton Burrows

Good numbers of Willow Warbler & Blackcap in the Burrows this am. Chiffchaff & Common Whitethroat also present but fewer in number than Willow Warbler.

2 Whimbrel passing overhead & a lovely Red Kite which I think had probably roosted overnight  in a tree next to a pocket of woodland. This bird took off &  good views at low level until lost from view. 

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 12:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

A walk along Brixham Breakwater this morning in the sunshine and surprised to see on the fuel bunkering jetty 8 Purple Sandpiper and 1 Turnstone. This is the latest I have seen them. Walking back 3 Sandwich Tern. Summer boat trips into Lyme Bay start 10th June!! 

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 11:53 am by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Ringmore - Swift

First Swift seen on Saturday 21 April in evening

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 9:47 am by Roger Smaridge in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Late post for yesterday 21st April

Yesterday evening Garganey pair, feeding left side of marsh. Had been on the marsh all day. Also 4 Ruff, 20+ Sand Martin, 15+ Swallow, a House Martin, Kingfisher, 11 Shoveler, 18 Tufted, 51 Teal, 6 Pochard. 

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 9:18 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

Garganey Bowling Green Marsh

The male and female Garganey were still on Bowling Green Marsh yesterday afternoon.

Garganey Garganey
Garganey                                     Garganey

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 8:40 am by Samuel Gray in Bird News

Healand Warren area

Three m Winchat, Cuckoo,Willow Warblers,Meadow Pipits.

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 7:59 am by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Soussons farm

Two pos Three Grasshopper Warblers one m Redstart,one Tree Pipit.

Posted April 22nd, 2018 at 7:56 am by Chris Buckland in Bird News

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