Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st October 2019

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·          Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·        Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman 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

Monday 21st October 2019

Torquay Reservoirs

A seasonally confusing walk. Goosander was the target, but none had arrived. However, several small parties of Crossbills were criss-crossing the plantations, with, eventually, an adult male seen perched in full song. Presumably the seed crop is good and breeding imminent. Half an hour later, 300+ Fieldfares, my first of the "Winter", flew over and dropped into the Bovey valley, so what season is it? Plenty of newly-arrived Skylarks and Meadow Pipits in the soggy pastures. 

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 10:24 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Sanderling on Saunton Sands

A walk along Saunton Sands to Crow Point this afternoon produced 150+ Sanderling a single Common Scoter and 50+ Brent Geese.

a small flock of Dunlin on Horsey Island with 30+ Lapwing

Sanderling  150+ Sanderling on Saunton Beach  Common Scoter off Saunton Sands
Sanderling                      150+ Sanderling on Saunton Beach         Common Scoter off Saunton Sands

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 8:34 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe ( Ireland Bay off viewing platform ), 2 Little Grebes,  ( Graveyard Pool ), 21 Wigeons ( Ireland Bay, came in from the North ), 2 Scaup ( still present, between Slapton Bridge and Ireland Bay ), 10 Teals, Peregrine ( male attacking flock of c150 Starlings coming in to roost at Stokeley Bay ), 18 Swallows, 2 Kingfishers   and Wheatear. First 3-400 Woodpigeons/Stock Doves flew south early on. In the bay an Arctic Skua chasing Kittiwakes, 6 mobile Common Scoters and a dark-bellied Brent Goose ( flying north ).

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 7:53 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Prawle Point to Pig's Nose, Sunday 20th

Late report from Sunday 21st. Took the circular around the headland but found no sign of the recently reported wryneck.  Disappointment  was made up for by a brilliant close up sighting of a Short-eared Owl that landed on the path about 50m in front of us. (Not long enough for a photo though).  Other highlights were two Wheatear and six Swallows, along with probable migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, Bullfinch, Blackcap and several Chiffchaff, amongst good numbers of the usual suspects Cirl Bunting, Yellowhammer, Linnets and Stonechats.

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 3:27 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

East Soar

Start of pigeon migration this morning generally moving SE with 4400 Woodpigeon and 420 Stock Dove. Also moving Starling 52E ,Jackdaw 300 (280W 20E) & 18 Alba Wagtail over. Also: 5 Ring Ouzel, migrant Mistle Thrush, 31 Song Thrush, 4 Redwing, 15 Blackbird, migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2m Bullfinch, Blackcap, Chiffchaff & 30 Yellowhammer.

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 2:12 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

N Devon

Northam Burrows: no sign of the Lapland Bunting, but 3 confiding Snow Buntings. A pale Wheatear was only a Northern.

Fremington Pill was as usual awash with Redshanks + 2 Spotted Redshank, and the Glossy Ibis was also present and showing well.

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 1:13 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

N Devon

Northam Burrows: no sign of the Lapland Bunting, but 3 confiding Snow Buntings. A pale Wheatear was only a Northern.

Fremington Pill was as usual awash with Redshanks + 2 Spotted Redshank, and the Glossy Ibis was also present and showing well.

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 1:13 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wembury Point.

I had a walk around before the dog walkers got out in force and noted the following. Redwing, Fieldfare, Firecrest 2  and  17 Cirl Bunting . Not much on the Point, only  a few Oystercatchers with 4 Curlew before being moved on by the dogs. The only waders seen by me.

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 1:07 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

1 Cattle Egret on the scrape am. Also c150 BH Gulls & 3 Black tailed Godwit.

Posted October 21st, 2019 at 11:18 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Sunday 20th October 2019

Haytor, Dartmoor

Late report for Saturday 19 October. c60 Golden Plover near Haytor, Dartmoor at 11.30am

Posted October 20th, 2019 at 6:03 pm by Roger Duggleby in Bird News

Avon Dam

22 Fieldfares, 4 Ring Ouzels 6 Redwings.

Posted October 20th, 2019 at 4:51 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

Dartmoor above South Brent & South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford.

A morning trip on Dartmoor above South Brent gave a bird of prey bonanza, initially a juvenile Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a crow, followed by two juvenile Peregrines playing tag with another crow, a Buzzard in the distance followed by a Goshawk flying down the valley with two crows trailing behind it.

Meadow Pipit and Gold Crests in good numbers, six sightings of Ring Ouzel, one single female followed by five together flying into a Rowan tree to feed, two Mistle Thrush and a couple of Raven.

South Efford Marsh at Aveton Gifford not a great deal to see, five Greenshank, two Redshank, eight plus Little Egret, Heron, a couple of Curlew, Canada geese providing a spectacle as they were arriving in flocks throughout the visit and on leaving just over 200 birds present including a large domestic goose that flew in with them. Brief view of a Kingfisher on leaving and a female Kestrel overhead.

Posted October 20th, 2019 at 3:46 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

Up to 15 mobile Ring Ouzels early this morning N end,

Posted October 20th, 2019 at 1:45 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News


Great white egret at turf Saturday afternoon 

Posted October 20th, 2019 at 8:46 am by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

Saturday 19th October 2019

Seaton wetlands

Nice to see a good sized flock of Lapwing at the Seaton wetlands today, just the usual birds nothing to get excited about but a good day all the same, small bird sp inc Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pips, Wren, Chiffchaff.
Good sized gull roost on the dropping tide on the Axe lots of Black Head and Herring Gull with a handful of GBBG and at least two Common Gull.
Greenshank, Redshank, Curlew, Oyster catcher, Shellduck (two from the local ringing project) Little Egret, Heron, Black Tailed Godwit (one colour ringed bird), Teal and a Common Sandpiper, four Little Grebe, Peregrine.

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 8:59 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

This afternoon:

8 Little egret, 20 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 1 Great crested grebe, 1 Common sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Firecrest.

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 7:07 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Shipley Bridge and Emsworthy Mire

09.30-12.30 - Shipley Bridge 

3 Ring Ouzels seen separately beyond the first bridge perched in trees or bushes. A group also seen briefly in flight passing over. Four species of raptors, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Blackbirds, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Ravens and numerous Robins. 

14.00-15.00 - Emsworthy Mire 

At least 10 mobile Ring Ouzels showing well in bushes beyond the northern boundary of the reserve. Mainly juvs but also some females and a smart male. Kestrel, GSW, Ravens and several Mistle Thrushes present too. 

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 6:34 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Wembury Point

Highlights this morning, 3 Cirl Buntings and 2 Goldcrest. Large numbers of Finches and Blackbirds around the pines, as well as a female Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 3:55 pm by Matt C in Bird News

Lapland bunting

As well showing very well by wooden country side post in line with green shipping marker buoy northam burrows

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 2:30 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

A lovely sunny morning at Dawlish Warren produced flocks of Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Linnet. A lone Blackcap, plenty of Stonechat, a well camouflaged Cirl Bunting and I believe a Cetti's Warbler 50m from gate to dunes. Rusty brown but sadly a poor photgraph . Ed’s - this looks like a Wren.

Cirl Bunting
Cirl Bunting

Chetti's Warbler
Chetti's Warbler

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 2:22 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News


Whilst watching a mistle thrush, 12 ring ouzels gathered around stayed together for several minutes, approx 11am today.

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 2:21 pm by Gary Bolton in Bird News

Snow bunting

2 still showing well now at North end of northam burrows

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 2:11 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Glossy Ibis at Fremington

Just visiting from Sussex, so this is probably well-known, but there was a Glossy Ibis at Fremington Pill yesterday afternoon.

Posted October 19th, 2019 at 10:01 am by Val Bentley in Bird News

Friday 18th October 2019

Berry Head sea watch 07.25 - 16.40

Pretty much as Dave’s tweet, but for the record....

15 Pomarine Skuas (all juvs), 57 Arctic Skuas (various ages), 10 Pom/Arctic Skuas, 13 Bonxies, Grey Phalarope, 6 Balearic & 1 Manx Shearwaters, Arctic & 4 “Commic” Terns, drake Common Scoter, Curlew, 250+ Kittiwakes (mainly adults), ringtail Hen Harrier (south over the sea), 3 Siskins “in off” & at least 6 Harbour Porpoises showing well throughout the day.

Posted October 18th, 2019 at 10:52 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Fremongton Pill

Among the many Redshank lining the Pill, 1 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank and surprisingly a male Ruff

Posted October 18th, 2019 at 2:04 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Skern/Northam Burrows

2 Snow Buntings this morning at the north end of the golf course on the sea defences. Also of interest 50 Brent Geese of which 2 Pale-bellied, 8 Wigeon, a late Arctic Tern, c350 Golden Plover and a Raven.

Posted October 18th, 2019 at 2:02 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Northam Burrows. Lapland and Snow Buntings

Lapland Bunting. One seen late afternoon Oct.16th and 17th in same spot on coast path around the estuary...opposite green navigation buoy in river and close to coast path sign. Park at Skern. 

Snow Buntings. Oct.17th...Two adults and two juveniles feeding between  8th green and makeshift sea wall. No camera!

Posted October 18th, 2019 at 11:57 am by Sue Ambler in Bird News

Shipley ~ Ring Ouzels

They took their time in showing up this morning, and only one in any way ventured close to us, but eventually the first of eleven Ring Ouzels seen today up at Shipley showed up.

Until they arrived entertained by numerous Blackbirds and a small number of Mistle Thrush.

Three Raven over, M&F Kestrels, slow but steady movement of Chaffinch down the valley and a very active flock of 15 plus Long Tailed Tits.


Posted October 18th, 2019 at 11:35 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Shipley Bridge (16th Oct) Ring Ouzels

Nine Ring Ouzel seen in the area  of the first bridge on the road from Shipley bridge to the Avon dam, mostly singles, three in flight at one point circled and went over Black Torr.

Raven and Kestrel, no sign of the numerous smaller species seen earlier in the week.

Posted October 18th, 2019 at 6:57 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Thursday 17th October 2019


late afternoon: c250 Golden Plover (one flock) overhead, heading SSW.

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 8:52 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Prawle Point

Seawatch today 8am till 12 in SSW 4-5 with little rain tho forecast. 

Skuas : 1 Immature Pom, 2 Arctic ( pale and dark phase) and 1 Bonxie.

4 Balearic Shearwaters; 6 Puffins; 1 Merlin ( chasing the 100+Meadow Pipits flying west) . 12 Common Scoter west, 1 East. 2 Med Gulls adult winter plumage.2 Sandwich Terns.2 Great Northern Divers ( Adult summer plumages and a 1st year).

constant stream of 898 Kittiwakes; 1295 Gannets and 533 Auks all west. And a breaching cetacean.

Yesterday Pat saw and photographed a Wryneck behind the car park. And today he saw a Yellow- Browed Warbler on private farmland and a Whinchat. So, still passer ones out there to find.

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 8:30 pm in Bird News

Wembury Reeve’s Pheasants

We have had frequent sightings of Reeve’s Pheasants over the past couple of weeks and including today, around the Langdon Court area and north of the village. Presumably these are all released birds.  

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 7:27 pm by Matt C in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake.

8 Willow Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 17 Coal Tit, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Nuthatch, 1f Tufted Duck, 3 Mute Swan, 2 Wren, 12 Blue Tit, 2 Grey Wagtail.

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 7:17 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Lannacombe Valley.

Despite the wind, in a few sheltered spots were 2 Firecrests ( caught and ringed ) 13 Goldcrests ( 7  caught and ringed ) At the beach 2 Woodlarks   low overhead moving west into the wind.

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 5:39 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Emsworthy Reserve, Widecombe.

10 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the morning fieldtrip before the weather deteriorated at 11.30.  Target birds present including: Ring Ouzel (3), Mistle Thrush (c20), Redwing (c50), Golden Plover (20), Raven(1), Kestrel (1), Willow Warbler (1), Meadow Pipit(s), Skylark (heard over), and did someone say Fieldfare?  Most birds seen at a distance feeding on Rowan trees or passing south up the valley.

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 2:12 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News


A report of a Hoopoe at Staddon Green, Plymstock this morning on a site called Nextdoor Lipson & Lara, apparently was seen yesterday on or near this road. Details at scanty.

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 12:13 pm by greg bradbury in Bird News

Wednesday 16th October 2019

Wembury Point , today

Cirl Bunting and Rock Pipit

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 7:20 pm by Peter Castle in Bird News

Avon Dam

15 Ring Ouzel,  very skittish and mobile, seen after the bridge.

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 7:12 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Avon Dam

15 Ring Ouzel , very skittish and mobile, seen further on from the bridge.

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 5:05 pm by Mave in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

This afternoon there was a large movement of Thrushes on Emsworthy Mire, I counted 8 Ring Ouzels and there could have been more judging by the amount of calling,approximately 100 Redwing and about 20 Mistle Thrush.
The flock was very mobile and moving along the valley, curiously accompanied by a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Male Bullfinch!

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 5:03 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Five raptor species included a Merlin while another highlight was a late Whitethroat. Noticeable influx of 43 Robin (41 at East Soar yesterday). Also: 250 Skylark, 7 Alba Wagtail, 14 Stonechat, 24 Blackbird, 8 Chiffchaff, 100 Carrion Crow, 47 Goldfinch, Reed Bunting & 4 singing male Cirl Bunting.

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 3:33 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

East Prawle.

At Moorwell Pond this morning, a Firecrest. 6 Goldcrests. 4 Chiffchaffs ,2 Blackcaps and 8 Robins ( a high count for this species here. A male Blackcap ringed at this site on the 7th. Sept.2018 was recovered ( caught by a ringer ) near Seville in southern Spain on the 12th. Oct.2018. More British ringed Blackcaps are recovered in Spain than any other location abroad ,closely followed by France and then Morocco.

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 3:20 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

East Soar

This morning: 1 Merlin in protracted chase after a Skylark over the stubble fields by the airfield; 8 or 9 Ring Ouzels in Stair Hole and the Yellow-browed Warbler still in the willows (early pm) but elusive.

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 3:19 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Ring Ouzel - Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Walked Shipley Bridge - Avon Dam 11.15 -13.15 today, but only got as far as just past the 1st bridge. Numerous Ring Ouzel moving down valley and feeding on rowan trees to right of bridge. I sat up amongst the trees and at one time saw 24 Ouzel flying over to the pine trees by the ruined hotel, with more left feeding on the rowan. Constant movement and I would estimate there were at least 30+ Ouzel present. Mostly female/juvenile birds and have yet to check my record photos for any sign of ringing. Most I have seen in the area during the past 6 years!

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 2:22 pm by Dave Pakes in Bird News

East Soar

Late post for yesterday thanks to internet failure: Yellow-browed Warbler (found by PA), 2 Ring Ouzel, Ringed Plover, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker (migrants), 19 Swallow, 10 Alba Wagtail, Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 2m Bullfinch and first Reed Bunting of the autumn.

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 1:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two redhead Goosanders were new in on Blaxton. Also: Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Greenshanks, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Grey Wagtails, a pair of Stonechats, Great Spotted Woodpecker & Sparrowhawk. 

Just outside the patch, a Yellow-browed Warbler in Tothill Park (in sycamores near the tunnel under the railway).

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 12:32 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

2 male and 2 female Ring Ouzels this morning at around 10.30. At least 1 Redwing with around 20 Mistle Thrushes.

Posted October 16th, 2019 at 12:04 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Tuesday 15th October 2019

Caen Estuary - Green Sandpiper & Common Sandpiper

Nice comparison to have both Green and Common Sandpiper feeding together on the Caen Estuary this afternoon. Green Sandpiper not so common as the Common on this stretch so nice to see.  

Green Sandpiper   Green Sandpiper Tail   Common Sandpiper  Tail
Green Sandpiper                             Green Sandpiper Tail                       Common Sandpiper Tail

Posted October 15th, 2019 at 7:10 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News


A Yellow-browed Warbler first thing in East Soar willows, 3 Ring Ouzels & a Firecrest in Starehole. Also in the area: Redpoll (presumed Lesser) over, 8 Siskins, Wheatear, White Wagtail, 15 Goldcrests, 9 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 8 Song Thrushes, Water Rail, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 12 Swallows & a Jay.

Posted October 15th, 2019 at 6:06 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Ring Ouzel

Pictures of Ring ouzel at Starehole valley, East Soar yesterday

Posted October 15th, 2019 at 8:26 am by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

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