Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th May 2019

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July
Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August
Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October
Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April
Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Tuesday 14th May 2019

Berry Head 14th May

Pleasant half hour from 5pm sat on Berry Head looking out to sea towards the Mew Stone. Lots of activity over the water besides numerous common gulls there were 5 black back gulls, 2 gannets, 20 crows and 40+ plus guillemots.

Posted May 14th at 9:52 pm by David Roper in General Birding

Red Kites

Two red kites spotted above Teignmouth on the north side of the estuary moving west to east at 08.15 14th May. 

Posted May 14th at 7:26 pm by Bryan Smith in General Birding


Finally seeing swifts. First one last Saturday (11th May) over Rumsam area of Barnstaple and two today over Yelland.

Posted May 14th at 7:03 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

exminster marsh

taking a early walk from the rsbp carpark by the railway line, there were sand martins, house martins, swallows and two hobbys hunting over the marsh, and on the way back to the carpark i had good views of the lesser whitethroat.

Posted May 14th at 6:41 pm by roger jewell in General Birding


3 Swifts, my first this year,. Yellowhammer on Yennadon Down. 

Posted May 14th at 3:32 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

14-05-19 Cuckoo at Cadover Area

A cuckoo showing very well near Cadover Bridge Area by the old filled in clay pit, constantly getting attacked by Meadow Pipits, managed some fairly good shots



Posted May 14th at 2:53 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


Red Kite heading East over Coombe Valley 11.20 am....

Posted May 14th at 11:29 am by Neil Graham in General Birding

Monday 13th May 2019

Nightjars at Cann Wood, Plympton

Heard one Nightjar churring at 9:20, and another later on 'Kwicking' at opposite sides of the wood, but didn't see either.

Posted May 13th at 11:28 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in General Birding

Red Kite over East Devon

I saw my first Red Kite over east Devon today at around 2pm. It was circling from the north east to the south west over the Ottery St Mary area.

Posted May 13th at 10:46 pm by Maurice T Rapley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Nightjars at Haldon

Single Nightjar churring and flying in the Harcombe area of Greater Haldon at 21:10 this evening.

Posted May 13th at 10:19 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

River Caen

Walked to the estuary late afternoon.

Several Whitethroat, Stonechat and Meadow Pipit, and a few passage waders: 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Oystercatcher (probable resident) 3 Ringed Plover,1 Dunlin and a few Curlew. No sign of Osprey. 

Posted May 13th at 9:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Red kite

Saw a single red kite flying over newton abbot this evening. First time I've see one in Devon 

Posted May 13th at 8:58 pm by Emma Blake in General Birding

Whitleigh Garden

First swifts of the year over garden three in number.

Posted May 13th at 7:38 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Whitleigh Garden

Two red kites over 16.00 hrs.

Posted May 13th at 7:34 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram Sunday 12th May

Two Wheatears (male & female), Grey Wagtail, 2 Stock Doves, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, the lingering Curlew & 7 Roe Deer (2 bucks).

Posted May 13th at 3:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Soar & South Efford Marsh

Pretty quiet at Soar again this morning: Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 singing Sedge Warblers, Bullfinch, Sparrowhawk & 3 House Martins.

Not one wader, later, on South Efford Marsh at high tide, but 2 Swifts, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 singing Reed Warblers & a Stock Dove.

Posted May 13th at 3:49 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Red Kite just (12.05p.m) flew south over my house in Braunton.

Posted May 13th at 12:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Beaches around Thurlestone 12/05/19 early morn

At least 12 whimbrel on the beaches plus two Bar-tailed godwits, 3 whitethroats and a skylark on the corner of the golf course.

Bar-tailed GodwitWhitethroatWhimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit                             Whitethroat                                        Whimbrel

Posted May 13th at 6:24 am by Richie moore in General Birding

Sunday 12th May 2019

Swifts Plymouth

Our first swifts of the year over the garden this afternoon around 16:00 group of three calling high over.

Posted May 12th at 10:39 pm by Graham Devine in General Birding

Thornbury Plymouth

Sighted over Thornbury Plymouth, Red Kite being harassed by 3 Buzzards at 10:50

Posted May 12th at 9:42 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Small Pearl bordered fritillaries Bolt Head

Must have been a hatch because we saw at least three together and others in singles plus the colours were so vibrant! Observed near Starehole Bay.

Posted May 12th at 8:37 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Other Wildlife

Combe Martin Swifts

First swifts of 2019 in Combe Martin: 2 silent at 11.50, followed by 3 screamers at 18.00.

Posted May 12th at 8:05 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

mear valley exmouth

2 ringneck parakeet

Posted May 12th at 7:41 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Osprey over Kingsbridge Estuary

Sues sharp eyes produced a call of "Osprey" and we watched it flying west to east towards Frogmore Creek last seen being mobbed by gulls. I've included an extremely distant image purely for the record. 

Posted May 12th at 7:06 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

West Charleton Marsh

Dark, female type Marsh Harrier flew straight through east over the marsh at 17:10. Presumably next stop Slapton Ley.

Posted May 12th at 6:28 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Gallaven Brook Dartmoor

On a glorious day Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. A number of Stonechats between Scorhill and Hound Tor harassing the Ten Tors walkers. Kestrel seen hunting and Cuckoo heard calling along the brook.

Posted May 12th at 5:38 pm by Chris Godfrey in General Birding

River Exe, Stoke Woods

2 possible Cattle Egret seen this evening from the train whilst going past Stoke Woods, glimpse was fleeting but looked promising if anyone wants to go and check if they’re the real thing. 

Posted May 12th at 5:25 pm by Toby Mylett in General Birding

Trendlebeare Down

Plenty of stonechat and linnet plus several yellowhammer.

Posted May 12th at 11:17 am by Ian Muir in General Birding

Home Farm Marsh

8.30 a.m. River Taw- Osprey still present-being harassed by two gulls, an Oystercatcher and a Curlew. Cettis Warbler seen and heard on Tarka Trail near Instow.

Posted May 12th at 11:05 am by Seamus Ivers in General Birding

Red Kite

Just seen one from my garden on clovelly rd Bideford drifting see probably over littleham area.3 swifts here chasing as well ????.

Posted May 12th at 10:11 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

South Huish early morning

Grasshopper warbler - 1 reeling, dunlin 1 sp, whimbrel 1

Posted May 12th at 10:06 am by Richard Archer in General Birding

Saturday 11th May 2019

Bovey Tracey Area 11/05/19

Chudleigh Knighton Heath.
Yellowhammer, Large Red Damselfly.
Bovey Heathfield Heath.
2 x Yellowhammer (m&f), Slow-worm, Common Newt.
Yarner Woods.
4+  Pied Flycatcher, Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
Stover Park.
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Chaffinch, Mandarin, Mallards, Grey Squirrels

Posted May 11th at 8:53 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Bolberry Down & South Huish Marsh

Male Ruff west over Bolberry Down, later seen on South Huish Marsh together with Dunlin, 2 Barnacle Geese, White Wagtail & several, presumably migrant, Pied Wagtails

Posted May 11th at 8:26 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Sherpa had 13 Pied/White Wagtails (3 of the latter) this evening. Still no Yellow ones though.

Posted May 11th at 8:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exmoor,the Devon side.

Just a few more photos, if that's ok,

Pied FlycatcherCommon RedpollGrey Wagtail
Pied Flycatcher                    Common Redpoll                                      Grey Wagtail

Eds: it will be a Lesser Redpoll 

Posted May 11th at 5:40 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Exmoor,the Devon side.

Redpoll,Willow Warbler,Pied flycatcher,Spotted Flycatcher,Redstart,Blackcap,Cuckoo,Whinchat,Grey Wagtail, Dipper,GreenWoodpecker,Larks Pipits,2 Swift ,nice numbers of swallows and martins,really pleased with the good amounts of birds especially nice to see 6 spotted flycatchers.

RedstartSpotted FlycatcherWhinchat
Redstart                                   Spotted Flycatcher                  Whinchat Eds: Stonechat

Posted May 11th at 5:35 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Yesterday at Prawle 10th May

Yesterday was a lovely day to be out though few new migrants although 3 Spotted Flycatchers (my first of the year) were in the area ( the reserve, Ashpark Lane and Stallions Bite).

Also good views of Green Hairstreak and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (plus lots of Orange Tips)

Spotted Flycatcher                             Green Hairstreak


Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary


Posted May 11th at 1:46 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding


4pm yesterday, 6 Whimbrel on beach.

Posted May 11th at 7:40 am by Charlotte Crow in General Birding

Friday 10th May 2019

Shipley Bridge/Avon Dam

Late afternoon, of note: 4 Whinchats (3 males), 1m Cuckoo, 2 Redpolls, usual Willow Warblers and Stonechats, Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the river, Buzzard and Kestrel  etc

Posted May 10th at 11:26 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Occombe, Paignton

Spotted Flycatcher seen and observed for approx 10 minutes this afternoon. Only seen once.before 2 years ago in September. Plenty of Blackcaps calling. Song Thrush, Jay, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, nesting Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Buzzard.

Posted May 10th at 10:38 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding


Delighted to report the arrival of 6 new mowing machines in the reserve this morning. In the form of Canada Geese goslings. They were already in the meadow when I was leaving.

Lots of Swallows House and Sand Martins around Sherpa this evening, But still no Yellow Wagtail. 3/4 Swift. 4 Grey Herons and 3 Cormorants flew off.

Posted May 10th at 10:08 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Milton Ley & South Huish marsh

Nice spotted flycatcher at South Milton and a few Sedge warblers, 5 whimbrel on the rocks and a ruff on the marsh at South Huish

Spotted FlycatcherSedge WarblerRuff
Spotted Flycatcher                      Sedge Warbler                                 Ruff

Posted May 10th at 9:50 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Male Ruff, South Milton Reserve

Distant views of a male Ruff in fine breeding colours at South Milton Reserve today. Was feeding almost constantly. This is a first for us having only ever seen the female (reeve?) years ago on Chivenor airfield! 

Male Ruff
Male Ruff

Posted May 10th at 9:40 pm by Phil Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Yarner and Trendlebere

A morning walk, ending just before the rain came, produced a Cuckoo, a Common Redstart, many Pied Flycatchers, several Garden Warblers and Tree Pipits, two pairs of Redpolls busy with display flights, and most of the commoner woodland birds, but no Wood Warblers, alas.

Posted May 10th at 8:46 pm by James Camden in General Birding

P B Frittillary near Venford Resevoir

Seen near venford today. 7 PB's


Posted May 10th at 7:29 pm by Ian Samuel in Other Wildlife

P B fritillary

pearl bordered fritillary near venford resevoir

Posted May 10th at 7:20 pm by ian samuel in Other Wildlife

Exeter GCG

Great Crested Grebes with chick.

Short video

Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe

Posted May 10th at 7:13 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

ringneck parakeet

saltrum 9 ringneck parakeet by cafe

Posted May 10th at 5:40 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Spotted Flycatchers (2) and Swifts (3) of year, here. Also 6 Mandarin Ducks (5 drakes), 2 Whimbrels, Stock Dove, 3 Wheatears (1 male), 3 Roe Deer & Small Heath.

Posted May 10th at 4:35 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Around Lynton

Whitethroat,Blackcaps,Redstart,Willow Warblers,Tree Pipit,Linnets, Goldfinch,Fulmars,stonechats,Wheatear,greening up nicely and really lovely early morning chorus. Not quite dawn!!!!

Black Cap.Willow WarblerWhitethroat.
Black Cap.                     Willow Warbler                             Whitethroat.

Posted May 10th at 3:51 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Morte Point

0650 - 1125. 60+ Manx Shears flying W, 2 Canada Geese flying E (my 107th species for this site), 1 Whimbrel (first this year), 1 Sedge Warbler in full song, 1 Common Gull, 2 Gannet, 7 Willows, 1 Chiff, 8 Whitethroat, c25 House Martin, 10 Sand Martin, 18 Swallow plus 22 other Species. 1 Orange Tip the only butterfly.

Canada GeeseWhimbrel
Canada Geese                           Whimbrel

Posted May 10th at 3:40 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Thursday 9th May 2019


This evening walked round Sherpa accompanied by the inquisitive cattle which actually help as a sort of mobile hide! In the centre field with a small strip of mud/water at last a few Wagtails: 5 Pied and 2 White. Also a strange record of a very muddy-footed male Whinchat! Good numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins and several Swifts too. First set (of 3) Canada goslings.

In the reserve caught a modest 5 Swallows and a Sedge Warbler. Plus a Reed Warbler which I ringed in July 2014 as a 3J so now near 5 years old.

Posted May 9th at 10:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Steps Bridge

A morning stroll up to Clifford Bridge and back produced two Common Redstarts, at least six Pied Flycatchers, a Garden Warbler, two pairs of Dippers and a small flock of Crossbills, plus most of the expected common species. A pleasantly-sheltered place to visit on a windy day.

Posted May 9th at 6:30 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Quick afternoon visit. Hobby at least 2 maybe 4. Spoonbill. Common Lizard, god numbers of hirundine including a few Swift.

Spoonbill video

Common Lizard video

SpoonbillHobby - distantCommon Lizard
Spoonbill                                              Hobby - distant                   Common Lizard

Posted May 9th at 5:35 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Holcombe swifts

Two heading west 6am this morning. Just kept going.

Posted May 9th at 5:15 pm by Barney Donnellan in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The adult Spoonbill was showing well this lunchtime. Good numbers of House Martins, plus a few Sand Martins and Swifts. 1 Hobby and 1 Peregrine. Also a Weasel and some kind of Shrew.

Posted May 9th at 4:07 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Berry Head

Single Swift off the very end feeding last night

Posted May 9th at 12:52 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Wednesday 8th May 2019


Hooray the Swift's are back.7 over Stanhope terrace/northdown rd and more importantly 4 on clovelly rd/Waterloo terrace area close to my boxes.May get to lure them in come the weekend.20:20-2030

Posted May 8th at 9:00 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 07.45 - 12.15: 97 Manx Shearwatewrs, 6 Sandwich Terns, 2 Gadwalls, 2 Swifts & 1 or 2 Harbour Porpoises.


Posted May 8th at 3:46 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatch 06.30 -07.30hrs  produced 31 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Puffins, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Fs Mediterranean Gull, 5 fs Common Gulls, 6 Swifts over the sea and 2 Harbour Porpoises. Also virtually no grounded migrants on the headland.

Posted May 8th at 1:10 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminister Marsh

Male Garganey, Ad Spoonbill, 215+ Dunlin, 10 Whimbrel, 25+ Swift, c10 Sand Martin, 15+ House Martin on Exminister Marsh early this morning. 

Lunch time Adult Spoonbill still present, 120+ Swift, 70+ House Martin, Lesser Whitethroat along railway line & Little Gull 2nd Summer, flew over from Powderham Marsh. 

Posted May 8th at 11:24 am by Steve Cox in General Birding

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