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

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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

Saturday 21st July 2018

Re Mating Butterflies on Holdstone Down

FYO, Philip Worth's mating pair of Butterflies are Gatekeepers (or Hedge Browns).

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 11:13 pm in Bird News


Juv Black Tern downriver off Mudbank @ 0955. Also off there 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Mediterranean Gull, 15 Whimbrel and 9 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 8:00 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Blaxton Meadow BHG

With regards to Steve Hopper's post of the BHG with the green darvic ring, I saw this bird on 6th March 2018 on he meadow. I sent the details away and received the following. It was rung on 31.03.17 at Sandnes Brygge, Sandnes, Rogaland Norway Sexed as a male, 3cy+. It has also been seen Stavanger 13.04.17, Klepp 16.05.17 both in Norway and then my sighting in Plymouth. Just for info.

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 6:18 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Slapton Ley.

Great White Egret.  Update. At 4-15pm.,again circling the Torcross end of the Lower Ley,and then flying north over the Ley.april

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 5:51 pm by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

Blaxton Meadow, Saltram, Plymouth

An early afternoon visit to Blaxton meadow just as the tide was beginning to come in, 300 plus Black Head Gulls including one ringed with a green plastic tag ring J26X, in with the BHG's were at least six Mediterranean Gulls.

Twelve Little Egret, a mixed flock of Curlew, Whimbrell and Black Tailed Godwit, one Kingfisher.

Six Mandarin duck on the pond at Saltram House.

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 4:34 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Good to see first migrant Sedge Warbler with some of the local juvenile Reed Warblers. Also, a single Dunlin feeding on the exposed mud at the back of the marsh and loads of Whitethroats around. Also a good numbers of hirundines flying over the marsh. 

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 4:16 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 1000 - 1130

Black-tailed Godwit 6 in full B.P.

Common Sandpiper 1.

Med Gull 6, ( 5A & 1 1st summer.)

Grey Heron 25.

Little Egret 6.

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 2:51 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Holdstone down

I hadn't been up here for many weeks, and despite the lack of rain it's the most over grown I think I've seen it.not much in the way of birds,  meadow pipits parents and young,  family of great tits and stonechat. Butterflies were in plentiful supply of many species. I got a picture of when flying thought it was a damaged butterfly but turned out to be 2 mating on the wing when landed...

Mating butterflies.
Mating butterflies.

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 2:37 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Slapton Ley.

At 8-15 a.m. a Great White Egret circling over the Torcross end of the Ley, and then flew over the house towards the sea. Not resighted.

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 9:30 am by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

A successful evenings sortie on Bovey Heath

With thanks to Steve Hopper for pointing us in the right direction, my son and I made the trip from Paignton to try and catch sight of the nightjars before they fled the country. After waiting almost two hours and just as it began to go dark, churring began around us, clearly from several birds. Spotted one silhouetted against the sky as it sat on a tree which it returned to several times.MThen two birds began chasing each other literally over our heads. As we finally made our way home recorded another bird churring in the undergrowth near the factories. All in all a very satisfactory night. Hopefully we'll get to do it again next week. The only downer last night being I lost a small red SDHC package containing a memory card so if anyone finds it I 'd be grateful to know.

Posted July 21st, 2018 at 6:23 am by philip fairclough in Bird News

Friday 20th July 2018

Ilfracombe-Lundy day trip

Wednesday 18 July. At least 100 Manx Shearwater seen passing the harbour around 09.00 and many more seen from the Ferry. Also 1 Med Gull, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Fulmar and Gannets from the ferry, at least 10 Juvenile Wheatears on the Island and 4+ Puffin seen on the sea to the west of Lundy. At least 10 Dolphin seen on the return at around 17.00.

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 8:22 pm by Martin Sage in Bird News


Bowling Green Marsh this morning gave three Green Sandpiper on the scrape to the right of the hide.

From the viewing platform 10 plus Dunlin and 50 plus Redshank, one Greenshank,  at the gate a male Blackcap singing well, a second bird flew through but was lost in the cover.

From the Goat Walk plenty of birdlife with 50 plus Dunlin, a similar number of Black Tailed Godwits, lots of young Shellduck, Curlew, Redshank and singles of Ringed Plover and Sanderling.

From Exton Station distant views of an un ringed Osprey eating a fish while perched on a post in  the river, also close by a very small Seal.

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 1:20 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Yesterday- Berry Head

16 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the fieldtrip to Berry Head where mammals and butterflies were the main interest.  Close up visit by Grey Seal was a treat. Distant sightings of dolphins.  Hummingbird Hawk moth by café and a family of Rock Pipit in quarry.  Otherwise conditions not good for birding but thanks to Geoff and the multiple experts (!) for leading us.

Our fieldtrip programme is now taking a break until September and next trip is to Axmouth Harbour on Wed 5 Sept.


Posted July 20th, 2018 at 9:46 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Glossy Ibis Matford marsh

Following a lead on twitter I managed to get some reasonable shots of the Glossy Ibis that was present yesterday around 15.00 on Matford Marsh.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted July 20th, 2018 at 9:41 am by John Wilkes in Bird News

Thursday 19th July 2018

Turf Locks

Osprey with fish flew over West. 8pm

Posted July 19th, 2018 at 10:08 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Re Steve Hopper's Mystery Bird at Avon Damn

Willing to be corrected but it looks like a juv. Black Stork.

Posted July 19th, 2018 at 9:59 pm in Bird News

Mystery bird ~ Avon dam ~ South Brent

This bird was observed and photographed at the top end of the Avon dam, South Brent this afternoon by local resident John Hoare, I am thinking that it is a juvenile Black Stork.

Eds - yes Black Stork! Note ring on right leg: information welcome on origin of this. 



Posted July 19th, 2018 at 9:00 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

19-07-18 Saltram Blaxton Marsh

On Blaxton Marsh a single Black-tailed Godwit amongst the Kerlews, also seen were several Swallows with their chicks, and a male Kingfisher


Posted July 19th, 2018 at 8:17 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Air B'n'B in Paignton!

When my wife started Air B'n'B, some visitors took it literally!

  1. Guests availing themselves of the outside pool
  2.  Al Fresco dining
  3. Hailing a cab

1                                                                             2                                                             3

Posted July 19th, 2018 at 6:07 pm in Bird News

Barnstaple.Taw Bridge to Bradiford Water. 0800-0930

Mediterranean Gull 2A; Greenshank 2 juveniles on Anchorwood Bank; Common Sandpiper 2 juveniles by outfall of Bradiford Water. There was 1 here yesterday.

Ringed Curlew - Red ring, right tibia plus metal I/d ring right tarsus. Yellow ring, left tibia. I believe rings had alpha/numerics but impossible to read.

Ringed Black-headed Gull. Yellow ring, left tarsus. Coded "2H93". Metal I/d ring right tarsus. First seen 09/07/18 at same location. North Thames Gull Ringing Group.

Posted July 19th, 2018 at 2:39 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

East Soar

First returning Willow Warbler, at East Soar farm. Reed Warbler in the willows also prob.migrant. 250 Linnet, most on rape stubble & 85 house Sparrow inc. 60 feeding on access road. 

Non avian: Humming Bird Hawk-Moth, 7 Small Pear-bordered Fritillary, 2 Dark Green Fritillary, 7 Silver-washed Fritillary & 6 Purple Hairstreak.

Posted July 19th, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Matford Marsh

The Glossy Ibis still present all morning on the main pool at Matford Marsh - viewable from the cycle path.

Posted July 19th, 2018 at 12:06 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Wednesday 18th July 2018


2 broods of Sparrows have successfully fledged from our Sparrow box  and joined by a Zebra Finch in the garden today. Sorry the photo isn't great. 

Posted July 18th, 2018 at 10:04 pm by Chris Godfrey in Bird News

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar

In my garden this afternoon.

That's a 2p coin for scale.
That's a 2p coin for scale.

Posted July 18th, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Green Sandpiper ~ BGM

Three Green Sandpiper at RSPB Bowling Green Marsh this evening.

Little Grebe, Tufted duck and a flock of some 80 plus starings added to the evening.

Juvenile Mediterranean gull off of the viewing platform along with a curlew and a Whimbrell. 

Posted July 18th, 2018 at 9:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

N Devon

Birds a bit thin on the ground, so insects instead today.

Garden Tiger Moth adjacent to Sherpa Marsh this evening.
Garden Tiger Moth adjacent to Sherpa Marsh this evening.

Posted July 18th, 2018 at 9:38 pm by jon turner in Bird News

Breakfast on the Lawn - Paignton, 18.7.18

...But next morning we were surprised when three turned up for breakfast (last year they only had one)!


Posted July 18th, 2018 at 9:18 pm in Bird News

Afternoon Tea on the Lawn - Paignton, 17.7.18

A pair of Herring Gulls that bred on a neighbour's roof are bringing their young down to our front garden to feed. Only polite really, since we do the catering. We thought they had two young (tbc)...


Posted July 18th, 2018 at 6:54 pm in Bird News

Braunton Marsh toll road

Swallow feeding five fledglings, perched on Reedmace. 

Posted July 18th, 2018 at 6:20 pm by Alan Denzey in Bird News

Matford Pools, Exeter

Record shot of Glossy Ibis taken this morning around 11.30am at main pool.  Best viewed from railway bridge.(Thanks to Martin of Exmouth for finding it for me second time around the pools). Also present were a Green Sandpiper and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Sparrow Hawk overhead earlier.  Moorhen with newly fledged young near swing bridge.

Posted July 18th, 2018 at 12:26 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News


From yesterday a Chough in my garden at Northam about 10:30am.

Posted July 18th, 2018 at 11:13 am by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Tuesday 17th July 2018


Working on a private house today and watching house Martins checking out potential nest sites.The owners have had artificial one's put up and 1 entered and started singing as much to say this looks ok and I won't have to build one!!!.Then they gave out a warning call shooting into the valley followed by a Hobby which thankfully missed this time.10:20.

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 9:53 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three Whimbrels, 40 Curlews, 14 Little Egrets, 2 Common Sandpipers, female Red-crested Pochard, 15 Mandarin Ducks, Sparrowhawk (scarce here this year), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Whitethroat, Stock Dove & 30+ House Martins in a tree. Plenty of Gatekeepers still around & 3 Common Blues.

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 9:16 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Matford Marsh, Exeter

The Glossy Ibis was feeding and showing lovely on the main pool on an after work visit at 4pm. I initially picked it up from the viewing platform as it flew out of the reed bed towards the main pool. If interested, more info (and ropey pictures) at

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 8:58 pm in Bird News


Green Sandpiper on the far shore this evening. Viewed from the main road. 

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 6:45 pm by Chris E in Bird News

BGM Spoonbill

Showing well albeit distant all morning. 


Spoonbill  Spoonbill 

Spoonbill                                                   Spoonbill

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 1:38 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, Sunday 15th

Mediterranean gulls from Sunday's trip. This time we had 4 birds well offshore, which we have not observed before. 2 adults (different moult state) and a juvenile at the chum 6.5 miles off Berry Head and a 1st summer bird a mile off the headland on the way back in. Another 1 or 2 birds in the bay for a trip total of 5 or 6. Thanks to Mike Langman from comments on photos from this trip.

Mediterranean Gull, juvenile Mediterranean Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull, first summer
Mediterranean Gull, juvenile               Mediterranean Gull, adult              Mediterranean Gull, first summer

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 12:22 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, Sunday 15th

Couple of pics of birds from boat trip last Sunday 15th.

Manx shearwaters Juvenile guillemot
Manx shearwaters                                          Juvenile guillemot

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 11:24 am by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Matford Marsh

Glossy Ibis flown into marsh in front of main viewing platform at 9am 

Posted July 17th, 2018 at 9:08 am by Geoff Campbell in Bird News

Monday 16th July 2018

Chough North Devon

Approachable Chough feeding in sheep field along coastal footpath at Abbotsham, south west of Westward Ho! SS4027, around 2 p.m., not seen later.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 9:23 pm by Alastair Stevenson in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

The three Great Crested Grebe nests have produced, one with 3 chicks the other with at least 2, the third nest is still occupied but is looking unlikely.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

A juvenile Spoonbill was at Bowling Green Marsh this lunchtime. Also 2 Green Sandpipers.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 4:06 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two Whimbrels with 40 Curlews, an Oystercatcher, 13 Little Egrets and 3 juv Shelducks on Blaxton Meadow. Also 3 Common Sandpipiers, 69 Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers (1 juv), 17 Mandarin Ducks, female Red-crested Pochard, 4 Stock Doves and a Roe Deer doe.

Posted July 16th, 2018 at 2:08 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Sunday 15th July 2018

Swifts over Exwick

Closely packed group of c.40 Swifts over Exwick Sunday evening, along with c.10 House Martins. Still getting Siskins at the feeders (most days since the beginning of the year), plus 4 Greenfinch.

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 11:30 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News


This afternoon a Mediterranean Gull briefly landed with 2 Black headed gulls on the boating lake. The wing tagged Great Black Backed Gull still present but was a swine to get a photo of, however the Herring Gull influx continues & luckily I found 2 leg ringed Herring Gulls, one is the first sighting in 9 years & outside of Gloucester.  Also this wknd I've seen the first Harbour Porpoise off Combe in over 2 months.  

Herring Gull with Leg ring Herring Gull Herring Gull
Herring Gull with Leg ring                       Herring Gull                                          Herring Gull

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 9:17 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Turf Locks

Osprey high over the river at 5:30

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 7:44 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Hisley Wood

Morning at Hisley Wood saw only Nuthatches 5 and Treecreeper 1 but we did see17 species of Butterfly.  Silver-washed Fritillary were very numerous but most interesting were about a dozen White Admiral and about the same number of Purple Hairstreak mostly up in the Oaks.

White Admiral pair flyingWhite Admiral in low treePurplehairstreak 

White Admiral pair flying               White Admiral in low tree                        Purple hairstreak

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 5:45 pm by Bill Coulson in Bird News

Lyme Bay Boat Trip

Some pictures from todays excellent trip

2 calves in middle of 3 protecting adult Common Dolphins                Common Dolphin mum and calf
2 calves in middle of 3 protecting adult Common Dolphins              Common Dolphin mum and calf

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 5:14 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News

Lyme Bay Boat Trip From Brixham.

This mornings boat trip out into Lyme Bay was fairly productive with the following sighted. 24 Manx Shearwater, 1 sub Shearwater, 4 Fulmar, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 10 Great Black-backed Gull, 200+ Herring Gull on the chum, 4 Med Gulls, 1 Razorbill, 1 Kittiwake, 11 Guillemots and 10 Gannets also 11 Harbour Porpoise. The best was as we approached Berry Head 25 Common Dolphin with 3 young which also jumped with the adults. A fantastic sight.

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 3:46 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

East Soar

4 Sand Martins over Bolt Head - migrants. Family parties of wheatears indicate successful breeding season as does 30+ swallows at East Soar farm. Finally proved kestrel breeding.

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 3:32 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Crowpoint at high tide.

We arrived at high tide with very limited shoreline,  but walked partway along the ridgepath and then shoreline rocks to the fisherman's huts. We saw a few black headed gull,  and many gulls on a tiny island within the horsey lagoon. Oystercatcher and 1 small dunlin with many sparrows on the ridgepath. 


Posted July 15th, 2018 at 1:43 pm by Philip worth in Bird News


A few Black-headed Gulls chasing flying ants (?) over the reserve this morning, and in amongst them an adult Mediterranean Gull.

A couple of Sand Martins and a Swallow over the scrape.

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 1:32 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Dawlish Warren NR

On the sea off of Dawlish Warren NR this morning one female Eider duck and not less than six Sandwich Terns.

Four Dunlin flew over the hide, Male Linnet with three fledged young, several juvenile Pied Wagtails, family group of Whitethroat near the car park.

In front of the hide not less than 28 Sandwich Terns.


Posted July 15th, 2018 at 1:23 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover at Passage House this morning.

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 10:31 am by Will Salmon in Bird News

Plymouth Boat Trip July 14th

The afternoon trip out of Plymouth saw lumpier seas after a flat calm morning trip but an adult Mediterranean gull sat on a post as we waited to pass through the Sutton Harbour lock gates was a good start.

Fulmars seen on The Mewstone at Wembury as we passed by and offshore gannets and Manx shearwaters noted.

Back in Sutton Harbour a very friendly grey seal enjoyed the last of our mackerel.

Thanks to Liz and the Plymouth Devon Birds branch for organising the day and to skipper Aaron on Happy Days for making the trip good fun. 

Mediterranean Gull Grey Seal Manx Shearwater from the morning trip
Mediterranean Gull                       Grey Seal                           Manx Shearwater from the morning trip

Posted July 15th, 2018 at 8:48 am by Stuart Green in Bird News

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