Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th August 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

Tuesday 7th August 2018

Ilfracombe Rocks

The hot weathers ongoing Herring Gull influx continues and now post breeding dispersal.  Interesting to watch 3 Carrion Crows tormenting the 100s of Gulls that are drinking from their stream. 

Herring Gull
Herring Gull

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 11:16 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News


Osprey and Marsh Harrier this evening.

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 10:51 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

First passerine migrants of the autumn here - Sand Martin & Chiffchaff. Also juv Yellow-legged Gull (a quite subtle, dark-headed bird at rest but striking in flight), ad Mediterranean Gull, 4 Common Sandpipers, Whimbrel, 45 Curlews, 3+ Turnstones, 21 Little Egrets, Shag, 7 Mandarin Ducks, Peregrine, Green Woodpecker, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Oystercatchers & 11 Grey Herons.

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 9:58 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Horsey Island

Completely the wrong state of tide really, but 11 Redshank, a Snipe, couple of Black tailed Godwits, a brace of Little Egret and 9 Grey Herons. Large numbers of starlings...didn't do a proper count but estimate 1,000 ish, on phone wires by Marstage Farm.

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 7:44 pm by Greg Potter in Bird News

Carmine-pink Gull, Barnstaple.

Goes to show how a bird of a different colour can affect your identification. Instead of being a B.H.Gull, it turns out it`s a Herring Gull. Images and posts on Facebook shows it`s being seen quite a lot.

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News


Wood Sadnpiper again this morning on the main scrape with an increasing gaggle of Canada Geese.

Juvenile male Sparrowhawk in the reserve.

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 5:58 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spoonbill was again at Bowling Green Marsh this lunchtime although mostly hidden out of view behind the 'island'. Also 1 Ruff, 3 Green Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers and the escaped Snow Goose.

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 4:11 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

07-08-18 Radford Lake Plymouth

On Radford Lake two Kingfishers showing very well, one I believe is an adult Female whilst the other is a Juvenile. Other Species on or around the lake were 2 Little Grebes which have been absent from the lake for quite a while, several Cormorants and Little Egrets along with the usual mixture of Gulls 


Posted August 7th, 2018 at 1:47 pm by greg bradbury in Bird News

Bridleway between Plympton and Lee Moor

Female Pied Flycatcher this morning along bridleway towards Crownhill Down. Bridleway is off B3417 between Plympton and Lee Moor. 

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 10:02 am by Chris E in Bird News

Broadsands & Goodrington

Broadsands: 1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 11 Mediterranean Gulls all juvenile

Goodrington: 8 Mediterranean Gulls (6 juvs & 2 fs)

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 8:12 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 6th August 2018

Raptors and Gulls

Early afternoon picked up a badly oil contaminated 2018 hatched Barn owl from near Chudleigh Knighton, the land owner reports having a breeding pair with young on the ground this season.

On the way home a Peregrine hunting alongside the A38 at Lower Dean actively trying to flush something from the trees alongside the road.

Late this afternoon a Kestrel hovering alongside the A380 Torbay ring road and a bit further along a Sparrow Hawk chasing a Magpie.

Broadsands beach this evening no less than ten Mediterranean Gulls, mostly first year birds, one ringed second year bird, yellow tag ring 2L88 and one older bird, possible first year Yellow Legged Gull, one Kittiwake, one Oyster Catcher, several House Martins feeding on the tarmac by the cafe.

Eds: without labels on each photo - not sure if comment here is correct but the gull on the 2nd row left is a fs Common Gull (not Kittiwake) and the gulls in the single lower photo are all Herring Gulls (3 juvenile and one ad) no Yellow-legged there.

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 10:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Wood Sandpiper on the main scrape this morning along with a Lapwing. Whitethroat and Treecreeper in the reserve. Walked around the Marsh in the evening: 4 Swifts, several Swallows, a few Sand Martins and a House Martin. 2 Lapwing, and one each of Common Sandpiper and Snipe.

The Wood Sandpiper still on the main scrape with 12 Teal.

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 9:23 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Just heard Swifts screeching overhead at my home in Preston, Paignton. Thought I saw a pair earlier but didn't have my glasses on.

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 8:12 pm in Bird News

Plym Estuary

On this afternoon's falling tide - juv Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Greenshanks, Common Sandpipier, 6 Turnstones & 4 Mandarin Ducks.

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 8:08 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Kayak trip to Eddystone

4 Balearic Shearwater

plus 22 Harbour Porpoise, 2 small (approx 5 ft) Blue Sharks swimming at surface

Balearic Shearwater Balearic Shearwater Guillemot
Balearic Shearwater                           Balearic Shearwater                                      Guillemot

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 7:45 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham

Photos from yesterday morning's trip.

Manx Shearwater Manx Shearwater Manx Shearwater
Manx Shearwater                                Manx Shearwater                               Manx Shearwater

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 4:57 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

a juvenile Spoonbill was present this lunchtime. It had probably been there a while sleeping before it woke up and made itself visible. Also 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Ruff.

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 4:08 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

East Soar

Migration well underway this morning with: 200 House Martin, Sand Martin, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, 5 Wheatear, Reed Warbler, 15 Whitethroat, 7 Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher. Also 2 Raven, Kestrel.

Non-avian: Clouded Yellow.

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 2:30 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Red Kite 11.55, flying low and following the hedgerow south from Lynton Cross.

Posted August 6th, 2018 at 12:33 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Sunday 5th August 2018

Preston Down #2

How many sightings are down to sheer luck, eh? Having dipped on Brown Hairstreak where I'd seen them before I walked dejectedly back to the car. Half way back I was waylaid, trying to photograph a heat fueled  Holly Blue that led me a merry song and dance. Then this stunning female Brown Hairstreak fluttered down just next to me. She commenced to explore the Sloe (their laval food plant) affording me these shots. If I hadn't been delayed by the camera shy Holy Blue, I'd have walked on none-the-wiser!

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 10:20 pm in Other Wildlife

Preston Down #1

A trip to Preston Down today to photograph Butterflies began with this "obliging" Jersey Tiger!


Posted August 5th, 2018 at 10:08 pm in Other Wildlife

Ashburton & South Brent

River Dart Country Park, Ashburton 10 plus Mistle Thrush feeding on Rowan berries around the main car park, small flock of Goldcrest, three Buzzards high overhead interacting with each other possibly adults birds with a  dependant youngster.

This evening my first South Brent Hobby of the year today seen from home hunting insects high over the Forder Valley was in view for at least 15 mins followed shortly afterwards by a flock of 30 plus high flying Swifts over the house feeding on insects, then had a steady passage of Swifts over the area for the next 45 mins or so.

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 10:06 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Thanks to Dave Smallshire & Andy Swash field guide to the Damselflies & Dragonflies of Britain & Ireland I was able to identify & sex the Beautiful Demoiselles I photographed on R.Caen this evening.


Posted August 5th, 2018 at 9:27 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife


The Wood Sandpiper was on the main scrape this morning, and further away a lone Lapwing. There was one other wader which I'm pretty sure was a Green Sandpiper, but when I got into the reserve I couldn't find it again....

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 7:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Matford Ponds, Exeter

Glossy Ibis still present together with 27 Little Egret, Grey Heron, Green Sandpiper and a Kingfisher.  Family of Whitethroat seen from cycle path towards the viewing platforms.  Nice to meet Gordon and his wife... happy birding days to come.

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Raptor-us morning

At Matford Pools the Glossy Ibis was showing well and among 29 Little Egret and a Grey Heron. On Matford Marsh we saw a Sparrowhawk chase after a Whitethroat without success. We then visited Goosemoor which held no waders but we watched a number of Reed Warblers feeding on the reeds alongside the cycle path. At BGM we had three Common Sandpipers and a number of Black Tailed Godwit and a few Lapwing among Mute Swan, Mallard, Moorhen, Grey Heron,B/H Gulls and Coot suddenly the birds went up when a Peregrine flew over carrying some prey. We then walked to the viewing platform where we had Redshank and Greenshank and then we were amply rewarded with great and prolonged views of an Osprey fishing in the mouth of the Cyst river and then flying over the platform clutching its fish - superb views! At Darts Farm we saw a Kingfisher and three Buzzards circling overhead, a nice conclusion to a great morning's birding around the Exe and the Clyst.   John Lloyd and Bob Barrow

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 2:57 pm by John Lloyd in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip.

This mornings boat trip from Brixham was in nice sunny weather and a slight breeze so expectations were high!! What did we see, 600+ Manx Shearwater, 9 Balearic Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, 100+ Guillemot, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua, 25 Kittiwake, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 4 Common Dolphin and 2 Harbour Porpoise plus other seabirds. So a good trip. The numbers of Manx Shearwater could be higher but became very difficult counting as they appeared to be circling.

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Beesand Ley

Great White Egret still showing well, best viewed from seaward end of the ley.2 spotted fly catchers on the way to the hide. 1 Cetti's warbler seen from the hide.

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 12:25 pm by Terry Goddard in Bird News

R.Yealm Puslinch to Warren Point

Start of a rising tide. Dipper, 8 Greenshank, 6 Redshank, 2 Oyster catcher,

18 Curlew, Common Sandpiper, 11 Egret, 2 Grey Heron, GBB, Herring and BH gulls, 2 Stock dove, number of Wood pidgin, Carrion crow and Mallard.

along the railway path 2 Song thrush, 2 Robin and Blackbird rather quiet.

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 9:55 am by Jeremy Spooner in Bird News

Whitleigh Garden

Passage of 40 plus Swifts over this afternoon all going south with 3 Barn Swallows.

Posted August 5th, 2018 at 6:52 am by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Saturday 4th August 2018

Early Evening at Mansands

Mansands...early evening spent half an hour watching assorted Swallows and House Martins catching insects off the lake surface and apparently risking their lives in doing this. A wonderful sight in the evening light.

Hoping to see the Hobby but no luck.

Earlier we picked up this beautiful Magpie moth on the track down to the beach.


Posted August 4th, 2018 at 9:29 pm by Bill Coulson in Bird News


Just when I thought they had all gone for good this year 4 just turned up although it's a matter of days  now.Like everyone's favourite species we could spend hours in the garden watching and listening to them.No luck this year with getting them to try out the boxes so wait(too long),for their arrival next year when we will have more boxes up to try and establish a new colony.Here'so hoping.

Posted August 4th, 2018 at 9:07 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News


Wood Sandpiper on the larger scrape this evening (2045hrs)

Posted August 4th, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Greg Potter in Bird News


Yesterday evening: 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on the beach.

This morning: 8 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 (different)  juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on the beach. one of them a brute of a bird and a superb example of species in juvenile plumage - some are more subtle than this. amongst the other juv YLG features  but note the white belly white head and breast band.

Yellow-legged Gull juvenile Broadsands 4 Aug 2018 ML  Yellow-legged Gull juvenile Broadsands 4 Aug 2018 ML

                                      Yellow-legged Gull juvenile - great specimen example 

Posted August 4th, 2018 at 6:11 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Re Roborough Down, 1.8.18

FYI, Re Greg Bradbury's photos of Grayling Butterflies at Roborough Down: the photo of the Butterfly with its wings open, on the left,shows a different species. It is, in fact, a Wall, [or Wall Brown] (the only place I've ever seen Grayling with its wings open is in a field guide!).

Posted August 4th, 2018 at 4:57 pm in Other Wildlife


The Wood Sandpiper put in a brief appearance on the smaller scrape this morning at 11.00.

Ringing produced another Kingfisher and a raft of Warblers including a smart Garden Warbler.

Posted August 4th, 2018 at 2:44 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Holdstone down

A 9am walk around here this morning found it as quiet as the grave,barely being able to see your hand in front of your face with the fog. What was spectacular though was the carpet of spiders webs blanketing the Heather and gorse catching moisture and giving the appearance of a blanket of frost. 

Posted August 4th, 2018 at 2:41 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Friday 3rd August 2018

Trip in Lyme Bay

A fabulous trip out into the bay gave us 5 Balearic,100+ Manx, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Storm Petrels, Bonxie, Pom Skua, Guillimots, 5 separate groups of Common Dolphin with largest group of 70+. 4 Harbour Porpoise and best of all, stunning close encounter with 9 White-beaked Dolphins that rode the bow wave of the boat.  Usual gulls included Fulmars, Kittiwakes (one of the groups was 27+), Med Gull, Herring, LBB, GBB.  Photos to follow.

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 10:32 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News


After finishing work we pottered off to Crow point to find it shrouded in fog.a lot of waders could be heard,  gulls of various breeds were present but I managed to catch some smaller birds on camera. Initially I thought they were corn bunting,  but in a later in another picture I believe them to be young linnet. 

Young linnet Linnets feeding young
Young linnet                      Linnets feeding young

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 9:21 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Beesands Ley

Great White Egret showing very well at lunchtime today. Frustratingly very close to hide , but only visible from path at back of beach

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 7:38 pm by Lloyd Gray in Bird News

Carmine-pink Black headed Gull, Barnstaple.

0915 03/08/18 R.Taw, Barnstaple. An unusual sight on the river just above the Long Bridge at low tide was a bright carmine-pink Black-headed Gull. The whole bird was this colour. The rest of it`s mates appeared to be staying well clear of it.

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 5:00 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Black Hole Marsh

The Juv Wood Sandpiper showing well, also 4 Green Sandpipers and 8 Common Sandpipers seen but could be more of both.

Juv Wood Sandpiper Green Sandpiper
Juv Wood Sandpiper                                Green Sandpiper

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 4:45 pm by simon thurgood in Bird News


Saw some Swallows and House Martins dive-bombing something, then saw this Hobby. Also a lot of Reed Warblers and Whitethroats around the marsh and many Swallows, House Martins and a couple of Swifts flying over the marsh. 

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 4:07 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

East Soar

Highlight my first Kingfisher for the Soar area, offshore from Fir Wood before flying to land at East Portlemouth. Two Sandwich Terns here.

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 1:58 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


 A Wood Sandpiper out on the smaller of the 2 scrapes briefly this morning.

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 1:21 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Matford & Countesswear

Glossy Ibis, with 15 Egrets, on Matford puddle, formerly pond.

Common (min. 14) and Green (min. 5) Sandpipers and Kingfisher on river between bypass and motorway, and Water Rail in DWT Sludge Beds.

Forty-six spp. before breakfast.

Posted August 3rd, 2018 at 7:57 am by James Camden in Bird News

Thursday 2nd August 2018

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

Juvenile Wood Sandpiper was showing fantastically well from viewing screen at entrance path the island hide late afternoon. Pictures on

Posted August 2nd, 2018 at 11:08 pm in Bird News

Velator reserve

Looked longingly out at the scrape just in case the Lesser YL had returned. No chance but I was surprised to see a Clouded Yellow butterfly flying determinedly south between the scrape and reserve.

In the reserve, evidence of Badger activity, which might include predating one or more of the Canada Geese. A female Sparrowhawk was around, seen twice and then disturbed plucking what looked like a Feral Pigeon. A Tawny Owl also flew on my approach, and there were at least 2 Kingfishers chasing around the pond.

Posted August 2nd, 2018 at 6:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

East Soar

200 Swifts generally moving west over Bolt Head; 23 Gannet offshore; 290 Linnet inc.150 on rape stubble.

Non-avian; Stoat running along wall on Bolt Head being mobbed by Meadow Pipits, Wheatears & Stonechats.

Posted August 2nd, 2018 at 4:14 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Blaxton Meadow

Seen on this mornings high tide were the following;

Yellow-legged Gull juv on the meadow, Redshank 110, Greenshank 3, Dunlin 2, Curlew 45, Whimbrel 1, Oystercatcher 4, Common Sandpiper 7, Little Egret 15, Little Grebe 1, Shelduck 1 imm & 6 Mandarin Duck.

Posted August 2nd, 2018 at 11:52 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Maer Valley Exmouth

The Ring-necked Parakeet is still around - flying very noisily over Maer Valley Wednesday mid morning.

Posted August 2nd, 2018 at 9:14 am by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Glossy Ibis - Matford Marsh & Common Eider - Dawlish

Glossy Ibis on main pools at Matford Marsh at 07:15 this morning.

Juvenile Common Eider at Dawlish (viewed from near train station) at 08:00 this morning.

Posted August 2nd, 2018 at 8:57 am by Fraser in Bird News

Wednesday 1st August 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

At least 7 Common Sandpipers, 2 Whimbrels, 3 Greenshanks, 98 Redshanks, 43 Curlews, 2 Shags, 14+ Little Egrets, 4 Oystercatchers, 9 Mandarin Ducks, 1 or 2 Spotted Flycatchers, Grey Wagtail, 2 Swifts, Kestrel, c35 House Martins and 2 Jersey Tiger Moths. 

Posted August 1st, 2018 at 10:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Upper Tamar Lake

This morning at the Upper Lake.
1 Little Egret, 4 Cormorant, 1 Herring Gull, 9 Goldfinch, 32 Black-headed Gull, 15 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 2 Pied Wagtail, 147 Canada Geese, 4 Grey Heron, 2 Crow, 1 Jay, 1 Wren, 10 Mallard, 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Rod Mudge

Posted August 1st, 2018 at 8:11 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

01-08-18 Roborough Down

In the way of bird life, nothing much at all, the most wildlife that was seen were butterflies, showing well was the Grayling, managed to get one with it's wings open


Posted August 1st, 2018 at 4:16 pm by greg bradbury in Other Wildlife

Beesands ley

The Great White Egret still early afternoon showing well favouring the back left corner of the ley but only viewable from the seaward side path


Posted August 1st, 2018 at 1:00 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Curlew Sandpiper & Spotted Redshank - Goosemoor

A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank were present at Goosemoor from 08:00 this morning. 

Also 2 Green Sandpipers, 5 Common Sandpipers and Osprey at Bowling Green Marsh. 

Posted August 1st, 2018 at 10:09 am by Fraser in Bird News

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