Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th May 2019

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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

Tuesday 7th May 2019

Upper Tamar Lake

1 Willow Tit and 1 Cuckoo calling.

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 7:58 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Unfortunatly did not see Rich's Purple Heron, great find. Heard a Cuckoo behind Ireland Bay, first I've heard here for years. Apart from that a Whimbrel with a gammy leg ( hobbling but flying ok ) and 10 Swifts

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 7:15 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

Highlights of an enjoyable walk round the marsh early this mornng:

A Lesser Whitethroat on the railway path, 2 Egyptian geese by the Lions Rest, a Marsh Harrier heading towards the M5 bridge,  male Garganey from the canal towpath, a large gathering of Whimbrel, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and a few Ringed Plover in the centre of the marsh. Also Sedge, Reed and Cettis warbler, Whitethroat and a male and female Bullfinch

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 3:08 pm by Rich Price in Bird News

River Taw Osprey

From this morning.

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 1:27 pm by David paterson in Bird News


In and around the reserve this morning of note: singing Lesser Whitethroat by the bridge still. In the reserve, Tawny Owl, grey Wagtail and a smart Spotted Flkycatcher.

Last night a walk around Sherpa showed 2 Greenshank 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Gadwall, lots of (50+) House Martins, and a Swan with 8 cygnets. I suspect there may still be two nests with sitting penns on them, so it could be quite a productive year for Swans up here!

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 12:39 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Purple Heron Slapton

One flew west over the ley at 10.30 and appeared to land in western reedbed

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 10:35 am by Rich Billington in Bird News

River Taw Osprey

Osprey with catch at Isley Marsh 10.00 , mobbed by gulls, flew off towards Home Marsh Farm still with catch. Photos to follow.

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 10:21 am by David Paterson in Bird News


Osprey causing havoc among the migrant Dunlin and Ringed Plover soon after high tide this morning. Although fairly regular on the Taw this was a patch tick for me. Also present 1 White Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, and numerous Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat.

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 9:39 am by Roger Doble in Bird News

Siskins in Exwick

Newly fledged Siskins joining adult birds on the feeders; first Swift of the summer overhead.

Posted May 7th, 2019 at 8:31 am by Martin Overy in Bird News

Monday 6th May 2019

North Dartmoor

A two-day circumnavigation of the north moor starting at Sticklepath out as far as Tavy Head and back via the western tors to Belstone. A singing male pied flycatcher and garden warbler to kick off in Skaigh Wood, then the first of several calling cuckoos. Four buzzards began rising on the thermals and Soon afterwards, a hobby, with another sighted an hour on, possibly the same bird. The core blanket bog areas held no dunlin or golden plover, only enlivened by an emperor moth. Snipe drumming in the dusk by my wild campsite. another hobby, a singing male whinchat, kestrel, several pairs of grey wagtails on the various rivers.

Posted May 6th, 2019 at 9:36 pm by Simon M Bates in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

At least 7 Whimbrels tonight (7 at south end of estuary and 4 earlier on Blaxton Meadow). Also 4 summer plumaged Dunlins on the Meadow with 3 Oystercatchers & a single lingering, Curlew; still 3 Wheatears (1 male) about.  

Posted May 6th, 2019 at 7:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Many swifts arriving off the sea this morning. Dozens around the village and more high in the sky heading inland..

Posted May 6th, 2019 at 6:13 pm by Graham burton in Bird News

Taw estuary

Kayak from velator to fremington.

4 blackwits 20 oystercatcher 6 greenshank 12 curlew 15 dunlin  1 turnstone  5 redshank 4 wheatear and lost count of whimbrel ,so many

Posted May 6th, 2019 at 4:47 pm by Steve chick in Bird News

Braunton burrows

Spotted flycatcher from American road

Posted May 6th, 2019 at 4:38 pm by Steve chick in Bird News

RedLeg on Roof-top, Braunton

Couldn't believe my eyes at first - 11am sat down for coffee in garden, thought "that's not a pigeon on the roof, it's a partridge!!"  First for my garden... Blackbird convinced it must be a new kind of raptor, flew to roofline a few feet away and gave repeated alarm calls; Jackdaw investigated closely from its nest in our disused chimney at far end of roof, decided it must be harmless. Red-Leg eventually flew off to neighbouring garden about 25 mins later.

Posted May 6th, 2019 at 12:42 pm by Madgett PA.RA in Bird News

Northam Burrows

An early walk this morning saw, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Swift, 5 Wheater, 2 Meadow, 3 Skylark.

Posted May 6th, 2019 at 12:40 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Sunday 5th May 2019

Challacombe Farm

Male cuckoo flying around the farm this afternoon, a nice Garden Warbler,singing from the bushes in front of the farm,showed well for a couple of minutes, then disappeared.

Posted May 5th, 2019 at 11:17 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Exminister Marsh

A walk from Fisherman’s Car Park to Turf for breakfast. 15+ Sedge Warbler singing, a Male Garganey & 10+ Swift. 

Posted May 5th, 2019 at 7:32 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

Still 5 Purple Sandpipers on Haldon Pier, Torquay, this morning.

Posted May 5th, 2019 at 7:10 pm by CLIFF PARROTT in Bird News


Lesser Whitethroat still by the bridge to the reserve.

Single Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape - appears to have colour rings on - best I could make out was white over yellow on left leg, probable metal ring on right leg.

In the reserve first Broad-bodied Chaser.

Posted May 5th, 2019 at 12:54 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Highlights of this mornings high tide & walk around Saltram were the following: 

Whimbrel 5, Curlew 1, Dunlin 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Wheatear 1(f), House Martin 5, Swallow c10 & Stock Dove 4.

Posted May 5th, 2019 at 11:32 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Saturday 4th May 2019


Cold wind at Slapton but great views of Whitethroats along the front, and some really close views of cetti's warblers near the bridge. Lots of house martins over the ley and swallows.

WhitethroatGreat Crested GrebeGrey Heron
Whitethroat                          Great Crested Grebe                              Grey Heron

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 9:39 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News


Very quiet birdwise.Female yellow wagtail and 9 white being the best.3 whimbrel,2 each of ringed plover and dunlin.17:45-18:20.

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 8:23 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Fremington Quay towards Bideford on the Tarka Trail

Good amounts of Swallows today,6 Whimbrel,sedge warblers, willow warblers,whitethroat,busy with nesting,cetti calling not seen.Very cold wind off the river but nice in the sun.

Whitethroat.Sedge WarblerWillow Warbler
Whitethroat.          Sedge Warbler                                                  Willow Warbler

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 7:52 pm by john elvin in Bird News

Combe Cellars, Teign Estuary

Single Hobby flying over in (unsuccessful) pursuit of House Martins.

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 7:03 pm by Roger Duggleby in Bird News

Teignmouth sea front

1 female rider, 8 distant sandwich terms and gannets

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 7:02 pm by Adam Davison in Bird News

Bursdon Moor & Summerwell.

6 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Redpoll, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Tree Pipit displaying, 3 Buzzards, 1 Skylark, 1 Dunnock, c.100 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 3 Stonechats, several Chaffinches.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 6:41 pm by Harvey Kendall. in Bird News

Wembury Bay

White Wagtail, Wheatear & Whimbrel.

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 6:37 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Beer Head

a Spotted Flycatcher amongst the Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Bullfinches and Wheatears around Beer Head this afternoon

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 6:28 pm by Dave McKeown in Bird News

Exeter House Martins

As a follow-on to yesterday's comments about the absence of House Martins, there were twenty plus over the Trews Weir flood channel and Gabriel's Wharf flats this morning, despite the wind. Better late than never.

There were also Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat singing outside the goods entrance to Alphington Sainsbury's!

James Camden

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 4:04 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Bickington, N.Devon

13.00 - Still 4 x Cattle egret in clampits field with cattle - these birds have been around this area for some 4 months now!
Also in the estuary off Anchorwoods 6 x Whimbrel 

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 3:26 pm by Roy Churchill in Bird News


Lesser Whitethroat singing by the bridge to the reserve this morning.

Yesterday: Wall butterfly in the reserve. Today: Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 12:47 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

South Brent ~ Barn owl and Swifts

Just seen four Swifts over the house at South Brent my first of the year and a female Barn owl in our field shelter this morning.

A single House Martin yesterday.

Barn owl female 

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 11:50 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

6am -  10.30 At least 3 Cettis, lots of Sedge Warblers and a few Reed Warb, Reed Bunting, 2 Swifts, Numerous Sand, house martins and Swallows, Whimbrel, gadwall, Blackcap (M) A Field mouse. a Shrew and a puncture DOH!

Sedge vid -

Sedge WarblerSwallow
Sedge Warbler                                       Swallow

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 11:40 am by Martin Rooney in Bird News

House Martins in Exeter

House Martins are back in the Exwick and St. David's Station area; good numbers of Greenfinches and Siskins at my garden feeders, plus the first of the newly-fledged Goldfinches and House Sparrows.

Posted May 4th, 2019 at 7:51 am by Martin Overy in Bird News

Friday 3rd May 2019

South Huish marsh

Whimbrel, black and bar-tailed godwits on the marsh and several rock pipits.

Black-tailed Godwit & Bar-tailed GodwitWhimbrelShellduck
Black-tailed Godwit & Bar-tailed Godwit               Whimbrel                                      Shellduck

Posted May 3rd, 2019 at 9:35 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Ivybridge - Higher Piles Copse

On the outward walk, two Cuckoos were calling from the West bank of the Erme. In the wood were a Tree Pipit, a Pied Flycatcher and several Redstarts, with Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the river. The commonest bird was Coal Tit despite the wood being pure Oak; some of them were filling the Marsh Tit niche by pulling the moss off the branches. On the return walk, a Willow Warbler was singing from the gorse at least 500m from the nearest tree. Willy no-mates?

An earlier post referred to the absence of House Martins. None yet on Gabriel's Wharf in Exeter either.

James Camden  

Posted May 3rd, 2019 at 8:15 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Teignmouth seafront

Minimum 6 Sandwich terns  around 16.50

Posted May 3rd, 2019 at 6:16 pm by Barney Donnellan in Bird News


Juvenile Siskin feeding on bird feeder, plenty of adults Siskins around the garden. 

Posted May 3rd, 2019 at 4:15 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

South Brent ~ Barn Owls

Good and bad news

Dead unringed Barn owl on the A38 central reservation at Marley Head, South Brent.

But on a positive note since late on Tuesday night (30th April) I have had a very "very" vocal Barn owl visiting my place at South Brent each night, no doubt courting my captive bird and my wife discovered it roosting in our field shelter this morning.

Posted May 3rd, 2019 at 1:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


Late News for yesterday (Friday)

A Yellowhammer on wires by the back road between Croyde (Forda) and North Buckland. Yesterday evening at about 7.45 p.m.

Posted May 3rd, 2019 at 11:02 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

South Huish marsh & South Milton Beach 02/05/2019

10 Whimbrel, 4 Bar-Tailed Godwits, 2 Black-Tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper on the sea weed. Lots of Swallows and a beautiful Song thrush singing it's heart out.

Bar-tailed Godwit & WhimbrelCommon SandpiperWhimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit & Whimbrel            Common Sandpiper              Whimbrel

Posted May 3rd, 2019 at 5:45 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

Thursday 2nd May 2019

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Reaching the quiest time of year here, but managed: Whimbrel, Curlew, Red-crested Pochard (female), 6 Mandarin Ducks (5 drakes), 14 House Martins, 2 Stock Doves & 6 Roe deer (1 buck).

Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 8:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Slapton Ley.

From Torcross car park, this evening 28 Swifts, 60+ House Martins,50+ Swallows and 8 Sand Martins.

Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 7:03 pm by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

Horsey Island + Wrafton pond

am - 10 Swifts over Horsey this morning.

On the Pond my first sighting of the 5 signets.

If you take into consideration the time involved on the part of the adult pair, 2 to 3 weeks to lay all the eggs & a further 6 weeks of incubation once all the eggs have been laid.

Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 6:21 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

elberry cove

2 small grebes seen this morning in cove ( both by 3rd buoy), both dived and not seen after.  didn't have my bins with me and although eyesight iffy they looked a bit "stumpy" (little grebes maybe). 

Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 6:07 pm by graham folkerd in Bird News

Roborough Down 02-05-19

Plenty of Redpolls on Roborough today along with Linnets, Yellowhammers, a Cuckoo Heard but not seen, and an amazing catch of a Skylark having a mud bath

Redpoll (M)Skylark's Mud bath
Redpoll (M)                               Skylark's Mud bath

Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 4:11 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Clennon Lakes

A Cattle Egret was found (by Marc Millman) resting up on the lower lake with a Little Egret this afternoon.

Cattle Egret Clennon Lakes 2 May 2019 ML

Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 3:59 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Tarka Trail

Cycled to Barnstaple and back this morning. 1 Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape. A smattering of Whimbrel between Ashford and Barnstaple. 7 Black-tailed Godwits with a Knot at Potting ton + an adult Mediterranean Gull.

At Sherpa marsh last night 7 Greenshank, and 8 Gadwall, 3 Little Egrets and at last a fair few Swallows.

Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 1:28 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Yesterday at Prawle and South Huish Wednesday 1st May

Hoped that change in weather might bring in some new passerine migrants at Prawle-not so in misty,overcast cool easterly breeze. Lots of Whitethroats on territory and Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. So tried a seawatch from 7.15am to 9.15am. 5 Puffins west, 2 Black-throated divers east and a Skua sp likely Arctic east. 4 Common Scoter west and a few Manxies.

In the area 3 Wheatears, 4 Whimbrel and a moulting Grey Plover.

At South Huish 14 Whimbrel, 5 Bar-Tailed Godwit (2 in breeding plumage) a Dunlin and 2 Barnacle Geese seen mating. Also in reeds to right of fence a Sedge Warbler and a Reed Warbler singing. A few Swallows and House artins (collecting mud) and 3 Common Swifts through (my first for the year)

Bar-Tailed Godwit                                Whimbrel                                                  House-Martins


 Barnacle Geese                                                    Mixed wader flock


Posted May 2nd, 2019 at 12:44 pm in Bird News

Wednesday 1st May 2019


Three Divers off the memorial car park this afternoon, one Great Northern but the other two too far out to ID properly (but probably Red-throated). Swift, Hobby and Yellow Wag yesterday but very quiet for hirundines. I can't beleive that I have still not seen House Martin this year!

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 11:36 pm by Rich Billington in Bird News

South Hams

Very little sign of migrants at Soar this morning; just single Wheatear (female) & Willow Warbler. Also 2 singing Sedge Warblers, a Stonechat with 2 recently fledged young and a Painted Lady.

Slapton Ley this afternoon, was - however - better with a Hobby hawking over Higher Ley, a drake Ring-necked Duck & 2 Swifts at Torcross, 6+ Sandwich Terns, a pair of Gadwall with 3 ducklings & a Brimstone. 

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 8:31 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Lesser Redpoll f feeding with several Siskins on sunflower feeder.

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 8:24 pm by Mary Irving in Bird News


Late aft / early eve:- 5 Wheatear, 5 Swifts, a single House Martin, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank & 1 Common Sandpiper.

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 7:06 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Berry Head kayak trip

Brixham to 2 miles off Berry Head by kayak this am:

8 Puffins (plus about 20 more binos). All in flight.

2 Red-throated Divers

4 Sandwich terns

20 ish Manx Shearwaters


7 Harbour Porpoise

Red-throated DiversHarbour Porpoise trio
Red-throated Divers                                   Harbour Porpoise trio

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 3:51 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

elberry cove

a single swallow seen this morning on the green at the elberry end

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 3:12 pm by graham folkerd in Bird News


cuckoo heard yesterday afternoon from my garden on nearby farmland 

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 3:05 pm by graham folkerd in Bird News

Rockbeare, East Devon

Thanks to Facebook I learnt of Rockbeare residents reporting 3 Ring-necked Parrakeet in and around the village.  A large oak tree in parkland at the rear of Cranbrook Veterinary Clinic seems to have been their roost but this came down in recent high winds.  Following a short visit this afternoon I managed to locate one bird very hidden in a cherry tree in Parsons Lane.  Absence of neck markings suggests it's a female.  Thanks to 'Susan W' for helping me with location.

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 2:49 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

01-05-19 Redpolls

Redpolls are back again on Roborough Down, showing a bit shy, but managed to get 1 shot of a male

Posted May 1st, 2019 at 2:29 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

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