Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th July 2018

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News


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 Bird News

Saturday 7th July 2018

Heddon’s mouth

Two little egrets flying west offshore at 5.30pm.  

Posted July 7th, 2018 at 10:36 pm by Paul Bearman in Bird News

Occombe Farm NR, Torbay

Early afternoon visit for butterflies. Around the edge of the wood: green veined white-common, meadow brown-common, ringlet-frequent, 1 gatekeeper, 1-2 red admiral, 2 comma, 1 silver washed fritillary, 1 large skipper. Dragonflies at the duckpond included 1 emperor, 2 broad bodied chaser and a bluetailed damselfly.

Posted July 7th, 2018 at 3:25 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

Friday 6th July 2018

Kingsbridge Estuary

7 Greenshanks in Frogmore Creek.

Posted July 6th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Birding a bit slow this morning, three Mediterranean Gulls and a Common Sandpiper. Saw this leaf cutter bee though and a Hummingbird Hawk moth down the lane.

Posted July 6th, 2018 at 4:28 pm by Simon Bates in Other Wildlife

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Best session on the patch for a while. At Blaxton, summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel with 31 Curlews, 7 Mediterranean Gulls (2 each of 2nd & 1st summers and 3 ads) with c345 Black-headed Gulls including 11 juvs, 7 Little Egrets, 2 Stock Doves and a Whitethroat. Also: Kingfisher, 10 Mandarin Ducks, female Red-crested Pochard, Common Sandpiper, first returning Little Grebe, pair of Shelducks with 2 ducklings, my first Spotted Flycatchers (2) of the year here & 2 Roe Deer.  

Posted July 6th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Broadsands ~ gulls


Seven Mediterranean Gulls this morning four adults and three first summer birds none of them ringed.

40 plus Black Head Gulls including two juveniles.


Three Whimbrell flew in and landed with the smaller gulls.

Two juvenile Pied wagtails.


Posted July 6th, 2018 at 11:29 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Thursday 5th July 2018

Steps Bridge - Clifford Bridge - Mardon Down

Dipper, Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, Tree Pipit, Crossbill, Redpoll. (Also Adder).

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 9:03 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Ilfracombe Rocks

Today a passage of 12 Med Gulls in half an hour. Among the Herring Gulls loafing on the rocks & in the stream several with Darvic rings. 

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sub adult @ boating lakeNorth Coast KestrelsNorth Coast Kestrels
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sub adult @ boating lake                        North Coast Kestrels   

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 7:28 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News


Kayak to Eddystone

3 Puffins: 1 adult, 2 non bp/imm

1 migrating swallow 6 miles out heading towards Plymouth fast, as if it had a bit of catching up to do.

No cetaceans, but maybe not surprising with an awful lot of pinging and whistles emanating from the water from warship's sonar. Audible (above the water)even when ships were five miles away.

Adult PuffinImm PuffinInquisitive Puffin
Adult Puffin                                   Imm Puffin                           Inquisitive Puffin

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 5:31 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

05-07-18 Barbican Harbour, Seal

This morning in the Barbican Harbour, near the fish market opposite Captain Jaspers, a Grey Seal was showing well.

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 5:09 pm by Greg Bradbury in Other Wildlife

Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor

Two Med. Gulls at BGM and the Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor

Grey Heron StretchingSpotted Redshank, Redshank+Black-tailed GodwitsBlack-tailed Godwits+Black-headed Gull
Grey Heron Stretching    Sptted Redshank, Redshank+Blk-tGodwits               Bl-tGodwits+Blk-hd Gull

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 3:48 pm by Colin Scott in Bird News


Scanned the beaches this morning with Pete Dennis, no Yellow-legged Gulls today but Preston: 1 ad Mediterranean Gull. Goodrington: 1 fs Med Gull. Broadsands: 1 fs, 1 ss & 1 ad Med Gull also perhaps even more unusual at this time of year in SW 2 fs Common Gulls. A small flock of 8 Common Scoter flew past out into the mist off Preston.

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 1:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Hartland Point

Overnight Storm Petrel ringing in perfect conditions at Hartland Point produced 57 new birds - the best ever total for this species at this site. One control.  We also stayed on to see if there was anything else around in the early morning. 9 Linnet and a few each of Chiffchaff and Whitethroat. 1 Willow Warbler.

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 11:12 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 4th July 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Whimbrel, 33 Curlews, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 9 Little Egrets, 7 juv Black-headed Gulls, pair of Shelducks with 2 ducklings, 2 Shags, 6 Stock Doves, Whitethroat, 23 Mandarin Ducks, Green Woodpecker, 12+ Marbled Whites & 3 Small Skippers..

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 10:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Nightjar churring

Nightjar churring recording, East hill

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 3:43 pm by Jon Tagg in Bird News

Bolt Head to Bolt Tail

Breeding bunting news:

Yellowhammer at 67 pairs, up 29% on 2017.

Reed Bunting 1 pair - first breeding record since I began recording in 2012.

Cirl bunting at 39 pairs - down from the record 46 in 2017 but still holding up well.

But: declines for Stonechat, Wheatear, Rock Pipit, Sedge Warbler.

Slight increases for Blackcap, Reed Warbler.

A mixed bag but generally good results taking in the effects of the two cold spells in March.

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 1:58 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


A sweep of the beaches this morning resulted in: 12 Mediterranean Gulls (9 Adults and 3 1st summers) a couple of birds had rings on but I didn't have my scope with me to read them! There were 8 together on Paignton Beach, also 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls one slightly unusual darker headed bird.

Med Gulls Paignton Beach 4 July 2018  

  Above: Mediterranean Gulls                                           below: two different juvenile Yellow Legged Gulls 

YLG Goodrington 04 July 2018 ML  YLG Goodrington 04 July 2018 ML 

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 1:13 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thornhill Head, North Devon

Over the last week have been watching the number of Jackdaws increasing at our feeders. This morning 20 to 25 with a lot of youngsters demanding food and generally being very boisterous. Fat balls are demolished from the feeder in next to no time with a melee on the ground underneath. There have been a few fairly aggressive fights with birds ending up on their backs and our resident pheasant looking quite harrassed as it tries to feed.  No other birds get a look-in.

Interesting reaction this morning by 2 grey squirrels when male sparrowhawk landed on fence next to the feeders. One up the tree flattened itself against the trunk for several minutes before slinking away. Other on the ground didn't see it and continued feeding despite all the birds disappearing/alarm calling. Sparrowhawk hopped to where it could properly see squirrel, appeared uninterested and started preening. Squirrel then hopped up to same level as sparrowhawk noticed it was there and they both eyeballed each other 3-4 feet apart for what seemed ages. They seemed to then both decide that neither was of interest nor a threat - squirrel went back to ground to feed and sparrowhawk carried on preening, then missed a bird (I think great tit) in tree above.

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 9:37 am by Mark West in Bird News

Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Exminster 'Scarce Chaser'

I'm afraid this is a Black-tailed Skimmer.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Saunton Sands

After almost a daily visit to Saunton Sands for an hour or so throughout the year I thought it was only a matter of time before something interesting turned up & late aft today it did.

1 delightful adult Little Gull in sum plum. After resting & preening for some time on the sand it flew south in the direction of the Skern where there may be a reasonable chance of seeing it again if it stays around for a while.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 5:55 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

White Letter Hairstreak, Central Park, Plymouth

Good views this morning of a nectaring white letter hairstreak on creeping thistle in Central Park after 3+seen on 1/7/18 in treetops nearby.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 5:45 pm by Stuart Green in Other Wildlife

Cranbrook (New Town) Nr Exeter.

The forth and final survey (East Devon Branch) was completed at Cranbrook this morning and our best bird was a Hobby that was sighted twice (assuming it was the same bird).  A total of 57 species were counted over the winter and breeding season counts and these are of interest when compared to the earlier Bird Atlas survey which preceded the construction of the new town.  Our survey was limited to the area of the Countryside Park (which is still under development and continues to create new habitats).  The 'scrape' area opposite the railway station, which produced interesting sightings of passage waders a few years ago has now been lost to willows, rushes and dense undergrowth. Thanks to all who helped with the survey.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 4:54 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

River Yealm. Puslinch to Warren along railway track.

High tide just starting to ebb. 10 Curlew, 4 Shelduck, Raven, Garden Warbler

Heron, a number of Mallard. Gulls. Herring , Greater and Lesser BB, Black headed.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 3:36 pm by Jeremy Spooner in Bird News

Exminster marsh Osprey etc

Osprey on 2nd pylon North of Station Road, Peregrine on 1st pylon South of Station Road, Reed Warbs, Reed Bunting, Whitethroat juv and lots of butterflies and dragonflies.

OspreyScarce Chaser (I think)Reed Bunting
Osprey                                Scarce Chaser (I think)                             Reed Bunting

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 1:35 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Monday 2nd July 2018

Hisley Wood NR, Bovey Valley - #2 Here Be Dragons!

Used to seeing Keeled Skimmers on boggy heath or moor but this male was defending a puddle on the main path, next to the river. When a female came along, they got down to business.



Posted July 2nd, 2018 at 7:25 pm in Other Wildlife

Hisley Wood NR, Bovey Valley - #1 Butterflies

  • Silver-washed Fritillary
  • White Admiral
  • Ringlet



Posted July 2nd, 2018 at 7:14 pm in Other Wildlife

Roborough Down 02-07-18

Not much to be seen on Roborough Down today, Willow Warblers, Common Redpolls, Yellow Hammers, along with the usual more common birds.

Posted July 2nd, 2018 at 4:57 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Sunday 1st July 2018


After a busy day with rain collection and family, I cycled down to the scrape this evening and the rain had done it's job - a Redshank and more importantly a Wood Sandpiper with an accompanying juvenile Black-headed Gull.Bit late for anything in the reserve, but the Geese still present and both juv Grebes too. Yesterday a Grey Heron dropped in causing panic among the baby Moorhens and a Kingfisher was attempting to fish between the duck-weed.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 7:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Osprey at Exminster Marshes

The Osprey was still at Exminster Marshes when we left at about 10:30.


Posted July 1st, 2018 at 2:13 pm by Samuel Gray in Bird News

Exe Powderham to Turf

During the WeBs count this morning there were 4 common sandpipers on the sea wall and a single golden plover on the shore. Single golden plovers are always worth checking and this one looked slim, fine billed and with an obvious supercilium. However when it raised its wing the underwing was white. An osprey was on top of one of the pylons on the marshes eating a fish.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 1:09 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Horsey Island

Photo taken early am on my way home from Horsey showing the rising tide at Horsey with Appledore & the approaching rain clouds in the distance.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 12:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Osprey - Exminster Marsh

An Osprey (ringed) found early morning by JD and still late morning on top of first pylon north of Station Road .

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 12:03 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

churston golf course

comma b/fly y/day.  ( jellyfish stinging in elberry cove!!).

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 10:55 am by graham folkerd in Bird News

Horsey Island

1 Great White Egret on Horsey early am, moved on by rising tide at 07.15. Flew SW towards Skern.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 9:33 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Bicton Common (East Devon)

A late evening walk last night around the common produced 2 Green Woodpeckers (one juvenile) at 21.30 and c 6 Nightjar.  The latter were widespread with churring starting around 21.55 with close sightings at Lookout Copse near Blackhill Quarry.  Some horses and cattle kept me company and the only downside were the midges and noise from a rave somewhere south! 

Note: 'NIghtjar fieldtrip' to Mutters Moor, Sidmouth is scheduled for Tues. 10 July, meeting at 21.00hrs. (East Devon Branch of Devon Birds).  Would some members observe that we are no longer the DBWPS and have not been for several years now.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 8:56 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

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