Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st May 2018


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

Monday 21st May 2018

DWT Heathfield ~ Nightjars

Up to seven Nightjar, churring and flying around the far end of the reserve, with good views of one male displaying to and pursuing a female.

Good numbers of both Stonechat and Yellow Hammer as dusk was falling with a few Pipits and Pied Wagtails.


Posted May 21st, 2018 at 10:40 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Ramshorn Down, nr Bickington

Honey Buzzard coasting high eastwards, 4 pm.

Posted May 21st, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Richard Hibbert in Bird News

Roborough Down 21-05-18

Redpoles not showing so well today, the male seen a few times but not the female. A Reed bunting was showing very well and singing well


Posted May 21st, 2018 at 3:58 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Lundy trip

Great trip yesterday to Lundy, Thanks to all organisers. Saw our first ever Dottrel. Also managed a Turtle Dove,which was with all the Collared Doves in the valley as we came up from the boat.

If the Gentleman who was sitting quietly as the Dottrel walked past him would like to contact me I have some great pictures of the two of them.

Turtle Dove
Turtle Dove

Posted May 21st, 2018 at 10:13 am by kay and gary deare in Bird News


Two Med Gulls at lowish tide 09:00 hrs 

Posted May 21st, 2018 at 10:01 am by Martin Bond in Bird News

Sunday 20th May 2018

Yelland/Isley Marsh RSPB

Just seen photos from Sue Ambler showing a Cuckoo was present afternoon and evening of 19th May.

Posted May 20th, 2018 at 11:11 pm by Lowell Mills and Sue Ambler in Bird News

Lundy trip

About 150 of us took to the waters today and had a successful day to, from, around and on the island. First surprise was an adult Iceland Gull on the sea off the SW corner of the island. Good numbers of Puffins. On the island a few Spotted Flycatchers in Milcombe, and the Hawfinch was seen by a few too. Firecrest still singing at the head of the valley and a cracking male Redstart on wires by the field up there too. Best of all was the female Dotterel at SW point which showed really well and was very obliging for the snap happy photographers. Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Black Redstart, plenty of Ravens, Peregrine, and a large herd of 52 Sika Deer were seen. Other mammals were good numbers of Porpoise (some surfing the wake wave on the return journey!) Grey Seal, a possible Minke Whale, and a Fox seen along the estuary on the way out.

Posted May 20th, 2018 at 10:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Yarner Wood

Yarner Wood this lunchtime:

8 Pied Flycatchers, (adult male feeding juveniles), 2 Bullfinch (m,f) 2 Redstart (m,f) 1 Marsh tit, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.

Trendlebere Down: 1 singing male Yellowhammer, 2 Swift, 3 Buzzards. 

Posted May 20th, 2018 at 6:40 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News


A Honey-buzzard over Soar Mill Cove for a few minutes around 13.30 before gaining height rapidly and I lost view of it. Otherwise very little except 3 singing Sedge Warblers from here and East Soar.

Singing Garden Warbler at Averton Gifford.

Posted May 20th, 2018 at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Red legged partridge

Driving between Marldon and Ippelpen cross on the top road, just past the caravan where the Model club fly, a single red legged partridge was wandering around the entrance to a wheat field. I wasnt able to grab the camera from the boot to get any images but watched it from the car for a good couple of minutes. This is the second I have seen in two weeks the other was near to Harberton Ford.

Posted May 20th, 2018 at 5:41 pm by John Wilkes in Bird News

Roborough Down 20-05-18

Redpolls, Yellowhammers, Linnet, Meadow pipits, Greenfinches all showing well at a small waterhole near Clearbrook


Posted May 20th, 2018 at 4:34 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

East Devon ish

A visit to a private lake at South Brent at first light this morning produced three Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail.  Mallard and Moorhen with young.

Dart Bridge, Buckfastleigh a drake Mandarin.

Woodbury Common and Aylesbeare Common ~ Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Stonechat, Willow Warbler, Yellow Hammer, with Woodbury being the more productive location.

Around Exminster Marsh ~ Cetti, Sedge, Reed and Willow Warblers, brief view of a Hobby being mobbed by two Lapwing and a Carrion Crow, Swallow and Swift.



Posted May 20th, 2018 at 3:45 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Red kite Ebford

Red kite east of Exe-  Ebford - flying north 19th May

Posted May 20th, 2018 at 10:40 am by Ben murrell in Bird News

Saturday 19th May 2018

Trendlebere Down

Late evening visit  in the hope of seeing Nightjars, and saw one at some distance flying away from us, but heard plenty of churring. Also viewed a Grey Heron flying over (quite late on), plenty of Mallards returning to roost on the Yarner reservoir, Willow Warbler, Linnets, Robin, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, and 2 Tawny Owls.

Posted May 19th, 2018 at 10:49 pm in Bird News


Watched from 07:30 till 13:00

on the walk down to the hide at bowling green marsh a garden warbler showed well for a few minutes on the left as you walk down the hill, a willow warbler over the back of the marsh.

then from the goat walk 53+ sanderling, 51+ dunlin, 7 ringed plover, 3 grey plover, 2 whimbrel, 1 summer plumage knot.

from the hide at bowling green marsh 4 red kite, 1 knot, 1 dunlin, 160+ black tailed godwits, a surprise was 2 turnstone which dropped in, 1 whimbrel.

then from the viewing platform 1 red kite, 4 reed warbler

finished with another look from the goat walk , 1 marsh harrier over exminster marsh flying towards turf, 7+ hobby( 5 over north of exminster marsh and 2 over turf) 


Posted May 19th, 2018 at 8:45 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Roborough Down today 19-05-18

Very vocal Cuckoo mid morning to early afternoon. Stonechats, Chaffinches, Reed Warbler, Yellowhammer, Dunnock and Robin. Male Broad-bellied Chaser.

Posted May 19th, 2018 at 7:01 pm by Michael Spencer in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Two or 3 Red Kites to the NE mid morning plus Knot, Whimbrel and Dunlin on the marsh with the Black-tailed Godwits. Also Fox.

A bit later another Red Kite over the A30 near the Ottery junction.

Posted May 19th, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dartmoor various locations

Around the Shipley area near South Brent this morning 27 plus species including Wren, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Mistle and Song Thrush,Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Cuckoo calling north of the car park, Green Woodpecker, Linnet, steady passage of Herring Gull up the River Avon valley and 20 plus in a field along with a Greater Black Back, on leaving a Treecreeper.

Lutton near South Brent two Swift, three over home and another five over the centre of the village.

Two Cuckoo calling top end of Sousson's plantation and another two at Headland Warren along with Wheatear and Whinchat.



Posted May 19th, 2018 at 4:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Thorne Moor SSSI, North Devon

Heard cuckoo calling from garden this morning. Didn't hear/see one last year so good news!

Posted May 19th, 2018 at 11:09 am by Mark West in Bird News

Dartmoor Cuckoo

An early start on the moor netted me this Cuckoo at Emsworthy Mire around 06.00 this morning in the rising sun. I managed to use some fireldcraft and camouflage to get to approx 25 meters away and observe without it knowing I was there. Patience is the key. Also whilst there I was privileged to see one of at least three in the area feeding. The usual enterage of Meadow pipets were mobbing the bird.  No sign of the reported Eagle although the normal Stonechats , Swallows, Crows, Magpies, Blackbirds were all active.

Cuckoo Emsworthy MireCuckoo Emsworthy Mire

Posted May 19th, 2018 at 9:50 am by John Wilkes in Bird News


Cuckoo heard several times yesterday afternoon. In the woodland by the river Lew, by the village of Northlew

Posted May 19th, 2018 at 7:31 am by Chris Baines in Bird News

Friday 18th May 2018

Cuckoos on Dartmoor

We walked from Two Bridges to Wistmans Wood and on to the weir where we crossed the river, returning  along the leat.  We heard cuckoos calling on about 20 separate occasions.  I make no claims about the number of birds but at one point we did see two cuckoos flying together below Wistmans Wood above the river.  All very exciting.

Posted May 18th, 2018 at 7:48 pm by Philip Strange in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This morning’s walk produced 2 Whimbrels with 7 Curlews on Blaxton, Oystercatcher, 7 drake Mandarin Ducks, female Red-crested Pochard & a few pairs of Swallows nesting.

Posted May 18th, 2018 at 7:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Emsworthy Nature Reserve (E Dartmoor)- Trendlebere Down- Yarner Woods.

A day out with Geoff Green started with 3 Cuckoo, 3 Redstart and Tree Pipit at Emsworthy.

After lunch at Trendlebere Down Middle car park our attention was drawn to 2 birds of prey over the opposite hillside.  One massive and the second clearly a much smaller Buzzard which was mobbing it.  The larger bird was very dark with flat wings.  We then picked up trailing jesses on each leg.  We could only think of this being an escapee eagle (Golden Eagle?).  Last seen around 12.45 as it disappeared over the hill north towards Manaton.

Visiting Yarner, Pied Flycatchers were present, plus 2 Mistle Thrush and a Spotted Flycatcher but no Wood Warblers were found or reported by others.

The higher car park on Trendlebere Down produced 2 Whitethroat, Linnets, Skylark and a distant Cuckoo heard.  Another Tree Pipit was found from the Middle car park.


Posted May 18th, 2018 at 4:20 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Re Nick Walters post ~ Golden Eagle over the Bovey Valley

Re Nick Walters post ~ Golden Eagle over the Bovey Valley

This bird is an AWOL falcony bird owned by Martin Whitley of Dartmoor Hawking at Moretonhampsteadand is a female Golden X Steppe eagle and has been out for several days now despite all Martins efforts to recover her.

If any member of Devon Birds does have a sighting can they contact Martin ASAP on 07791 560948 please, all the sighting reports he has received to date have related to Red Kites.


Posted May 18th, 2018 at 4:17 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Trendlebere Down - Golden eagle

Golden eagle ( carrying jesses ) circling over Bovey Valley below Trendlebere Down c1245 18th May. Drifted off towards Hound Tor. 

Posted May 18th, 2018 at 2:53 pm by Nick Walter in Bird News

Bursdon Moor and Meddon Green.

Lovely sunny weather at Bursdon this morning.

4 Buzzards, At least 4 Blackcaps, 1 Whitethroat, 6+ Willow Warblers, 2 Reed Buntings, 1 Garden Warbler, 10+ Swallows,1 Stonechat, 1 Chiffchaff, several Linnets and c.7 Skylarks and numbers of corvids over

Harvey Kendall and Barry Bryne.

Posted May 18th, 2018 at 2:39 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News


2 Red Kites circling over Cedar Close/Maple Drive area this afternoon before drifting off east at 1430hrs.

Posted May 18th, 2018 at 2:38 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

red kite

Red Kite over devon county show yesterday 17th

Posted May 18th, 2018 at 6:55 am by eric in Bird News

Thursday 17th May 2018

Yelland/Isley Marsh

Red Kite at 08.45, one of the ravens giving it a good talking to.

Posted May 17th, 2018 at 11:33 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News


After two weeks away, returned to the reserve this evening. Moorhen with 3 young, and Canada Geese with 7! I like them - they do free grass cutting!

46 Godwits out on the scrape.

Posted May 17th, 2018 at 9:50 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plymouth Group meeting at Bennett's Cross

25 Plymouth Group with other members from Devon Birds met up at today at Bennett's Cross to walk to Challacombe Farm for moorland birds. With the weather very kind to us we able to see a total of 37 species with the highlights being good numbers of Whinchats, Cuckoo and while having lunch at Golden Dagger Tin Mine a Red Kite drifted over to the South West.

Posted May 17th, 2018 at 7:49 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News

The Cris Rogers Memorial Hide

Iam sure somebody will moan at me putting this up but I want to congratulate those who look after the Hide and the Reserve at Charleton Marsh, I travel around the UK a lot and have to say this hide is the best! Apart from stunning views, lots of information, pictures and records there is Cushions! All you need is a Kettle and it will be 5 stars, well done everybody, you set the standard!

Posted May 17th, 2018 at 7:10 pm by Simon Thurgood in Bird News

White Wood wood warblers

In reply to below, yes there has been colour ringing

of wood warbler at this site by RSPB science staff. Any photos of known date and location that show the colour ring combination would be met with huge thanks by Malcolm Burgess and colleagues. Please contact south west regional RSPB office in Devon if possible to determine contact email. Thanks!

Posted May 17th, 2018 at 2:02 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Yarner & Newton Abbot

Yarner Wood and Trendlebere this morning, Willow Warbler, Yellow Hammer, Linnet, Wren, Cuckoo, Pied Flycatcher, two Woodpecker species and Mistle Thrush.

Town Quay, Newton Abbot ~ Cetti/Sedge/Reed Warbler all in the reeds by the railway bridge, Grey Wagtail, House Martin, Mute Swan sitting on a nest, several broods of juvenile Starlings with parent birds, Skylarks could be heard singing towards the race course.


Posted May 17th, 2018 at 1:45 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

White Wood

Following on from my blog of 15th Tony Sherwood's photo showed that the Wood Warbler had black & white rings on left leg. Was the bird ringed at this site?

Posted May 17th, 2018 at 8:03 am by David Leigh in Bird News


Red Kite over 0630

Posted May 17th, 2018 at 7:19 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Wednesday 16th May 2018

Tory Brook, Plympton - Dippers

A pair of Dippers feeding their youngster on the Tory Brook downstream of Loughter Mill, with a Grey Wagtail adding a bit of colour.

Posted May 16th, 2018 at 9:57 pm by Janet Marcol in Bird News

Red kite Morchard Bishop

Red kite heading west between New Buildings and Morchard Bishop 3.30 today

Posted May 16th, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Steve Allbrighton in Bird News

South Hams

Soar was rather blustery this morning but we managed to dig out 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a Hobby, 4 singing Sedge warblers, male Reed Bunting & 2 Blackcaps.

Later at West Charleton marsh: 3+ Reed Warblers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted May 16th, 2018 at 7:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Red Kites over Plymouth

Two Red Kite were wheeling over the southern end of Mutley this morning at 11.20. They drifted off towards the south,

Posted May 16th, 2018 at 11:35 am by Joe Higman in Bird News

Red Kite over Tiverton

Solitary kite at 08.15, drifting towards Bolham whilst being harangued by

a sparrowhawk.

Posted May 16th, 2018 at 8:26 am by Dave Bittern in Bird News

Roborough Down

2 Red Legged Partridge 1 Whitethroat,3 Bullfinches,Meadow Pipits,1 m Cuckoo,1 Garden warbler,Willow Warblers,Stonechats,2 Blackcaps,3 Greenfinches,Goldfinches,1 Kestrel,2 Buzzard,5 Chaffinch,1 Chiffchaff.

Posted May 16th, 2018 at 8:17 am by Chris buckland in Bird News

Red Kite at Castle Down (Posbury), Crediton.

Lots of chaffinches, blackbirds and wrens singing this afternoon along a cycle ride from Crediton out to Fingle Bridge... Skylarks singing around Venny Tedburn... Saw a fair number of orange tips throughout afternoon... Blackcaps, willow warblers and a wood warbler were heard at Fingle Bridge. Disappointed that I never saw any pied flycatchers as I'd hoped... Good numbers of hirundines flying over the farm at Greystone Cross between Crockernwell and Drewsteignton: Swallows and House Martins... Startled a red kite at Posbury (SX 80755 97272), which flew out of a tree on Castle down and into Blackdown Plantation.

Posted May 16th, 2018 at 12:09 am by Andrew Head in Bird News

Tuesday 15th May 2018


Plym Estuary this afternoon - 3 drake Mandarin Ducks, female Grey Wagtail feeding a juv, Whimbrel & 6 Curlews.

Plymbridge Woods - 2 Marsh Tits & 2+ Siskins.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 9:34 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

White Wood, Venford

Of interest a singing male Wood Warbler bearing red/orange over yellow ring on right leg. 4 Pied Flycatchers inc  a female,Spotted Flycatcher,Blackcaps,Tree Pipits & 2 Cuckoos heard. Yellowhammer near water treatment works.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 8:38 pm by David Leigh in Bird News

Sharpa scrape + Wrafton pond

Late aft - 42 Black tailed Godwits on the scrape, a single Swift over the pond & the pair of Mute Swans now with 3 juveniles.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 7:15 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Roborough Down

Mobile Cuckoo early this morning.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 5:59 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Roborough Down

Five Red Kites over at lunch time going west.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

2 Ring necked parakeets flew North over Budleigh Salterton at 17.30 today.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 5:43 pm by Paul Reynolds in Bird News


whitethroat singing at elberry cove this morning.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 5:34 pm by graham folkerd in Bird News

Black Hill Haytor

1 Red Kite Drifted SW over Black hill at about 11am today.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 4:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Yelland/Isley Marsh RSPB

Just to add to the pile, a Red Kite circling at ~13:00

Raven nest is more or less vacated, five young roosting nearby. Mistle Thrush, Robin and Blackbird feeding fledglings. Food being brought to nests of Song Thrush, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and surprisingly saw male Whitethroat carrying food already; most likely to the incubating female?

Goldfinch brought their young down for breakfast on our lawn this morning.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 3:45 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

Plym Woods - Cann Viaduct - 2 Red Kites

2 Red Kites flew over Cann viaduct in Plym Woods at around 13.10 in the distance and high up, shots taken were nearly into the Sun

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 2:32 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Berrynarbor Red Kites

A dozen or so Red Kites thermaling over the Village late morning/ lunchtime heading towards Combe Tescos. Now back again. 

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 1:05 pm by Kevin Brooks in Bird News


Early morning walk, before work, in the glorious May sunshine. Enjoyed my 1st sighting of the pair of Swallows at Occombe (I was becoming concerned that they wouldn't show this year). The harsh winter hasn't had an affect on the Wren population as I counted a minimum of 10. Also a good year for Blackcaps with at last 5 on site, the best number I've recorded here, though at the expense of the Chiffchaff, only 3 this morning (in previous years there's been as many as 7 or 8). Good numbers of Blackbird, Stock Dove & Great Tit, as well as Robin. Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Mallard, Pheasant and Jackdaw.

Posted May 15th, 2018 at 8:51 am in Bird News

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