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


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 21st June 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

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

Lockdown relaxations

Devon Birds would like to thank the many members and other birdwatchers who complied with the restrictions during the recent Lockdown and stayed in their local area (village, town or part of city) to birdwatch while exercising (and later) taking recreation. We hope that, despite the obvious frustrations, you found some respite in watching wildlife in your local area and perhaps discovered some birds close to home, that you might otherwise not have seen! As always, please submit sightings to the County recorder and / or BirdTrack. 
Please continue to follow the Covid related requirements (currently "rule of six outside, social distancing etc) while enjoying the new freedoms to extend your birdwatching. Some hides will remain closed for the time being and where you find one open, please follow Government guidelines on keeping yourself & others safe:
Thank you from
Devon Birds News site editors & members of the Records Committee

Posted April 2nd at 4:28 pm by Pete Aley 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

Wednesday 10th July 2019


On arrival at the bridge to the reserve this morning, a singing Lesser Whitethroat was a real surprise - same one we saw here on 4th May? Sounded identical.

This evening along the mud of the River Caen, among a good scattering of Black-headed Gulls were two smart adult Mediterranean Gulls. At least a dozen Pied Wagtails (mostly juvs) were in with the cattle by cross banks. Sadly, no yellow ones amongst them. No Little Owls on the barns either...

Posted July 10th, 2019 at 10:55 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Shobrooke Park

A single Spotted Flycatcher present this evening at the southern end of the site, the first on patch this year. 

Posted July 10th, 2019 at 7:06 pm by T. M. Mylett in Bird News

Tuesday 9th July 2019

Velator Reserve

Ringing this morning after a 3 week break produced good numbers of migrant Warblers  (2 Willow Warblers were unusual at this time of year) and 2 Cetti's Warblers. In addition, a further 3 juvenile female Kingfishers were ringed,  with Azolla weed blocking many of the ditches on the Great Field, maybe this is a feeding opportunity for them. 7 Juvenile Wrens were notable.

Posted July 9th, 2019 at 10:16 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

The moulting summer plumaged Spotted Redshank was still present early afternoon. Also 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a few Whimbrel.

Posted July 9th, 2019 at 9:03 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Monday 8th July 2019


Hooray! 4 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape! Along with a Pied Wagtail and 2 Swallows. A male Tufted Duck on Sherpa pond. 2 Sand Martins over the pond.

Posted July 8th, 2019 at 9:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


South hush marsh,ad little ringed plover,4sp Dublin, 2red v darters.

Posted July 8th, 2019 at 4:59 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News


Osprey flew down river 4 pm Sunday 

Posted July 8th, 2019 at 3:04 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News

R.Taw Barnstaple between Pottington and Ashford sewage Works, 1230-1330

4 adult Mediterranean Gulls feeding on foreshore with 100s of returning B.H.Gulls.

Posted July 8th, 2019 at 2:54 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Med Gull on cricket pitch

Based on the address of the birder who posted this I would say it is Instow Cricket Ground. Would Martin Bennett please confirm and ensure a record is sent to the data manager. Posting on here does not always make the records as has been previously stated. Many thanks

Posted July 8th, 2019 at 12:37 pm by Karen Sims in Bird News


Late post for Sunday. 

Found this juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on Sunday afternoon at low tide at Broadsands.  It did not stay around long as the beach was busy, but I managed to get a couple of photos that just about showed its green colour ring 312:C. I believe this is a French project, based in the Carmargue. I have sent off my sighting to them. 

Posted July 8th, 2019 at 7:26 am by Alistair King in Bird News

Sunday 7th July 2019

Mediterranean gull

Yes, it is a Mediterranean Gull. Large, bright red bill and black cap extending much further down nape than the brown cap of the Black-headed gull are diagnostic. Please give location. Which cricket pitch - where?

Posted July 7th, 2019 at 4:29 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Mediterranean Gull - maybe?

Seen near the cricket field on Sunday morning 11.00 am ish.

This might be a Mediterranean Gull standing near a black headed gull. It appeared to be very different to the BHG standing next to it.

Mediterranean Gull?
Mediterranean Gull?

Posted July 7th, 2019 at 1:27 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Saturday 6th July 2019

Taw Estuary - Pottington

1 Knot foraging amongst the BH Gulls am.

Posted July 6th, 2019 at 7:34 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Spotted Flycatcher?

Birds nesting in doorway opposite.

Not great images, but can anyone confirm it is a spotted flycatcher nest?


Eds: yes a Spotted Flycatcher - please use the above link to help with bird identifications

Posted July 6th, 2019 at 6:27 pm by Alun Sherwood in Bird News

Dragonflies at Stover

Highlights of a day 'dragonflying' at Stover were male Lesser Emperor and Red-veined Darter over the lake, plus both Large and Small Redeyes and many Black-tailed Skimmers. No sign of Scarce Chasers - checked the fringes from boat with Jon Avon - but one photographed away from water yesterday.

Posted July 6th, 2019 at 6:13 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News


27 med gulls.17 adults,2 ss,7fs& probably my earliest juvenile.50 bhg's,2 whimbrel,39 curlew 1dunlin.07:40-08:15

Posted July 6th, 2019 at 4:02 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Seaton Marshes

Whimbrel heard at 08:00 this morning with members of the Axe Estuary Ringing Group. 

Posted July 6th, 2019 at 2:50 pm by T. M. Mylett in Bird News


Kayak trip to Eddystone yesterday:

1 Balearic Shearwater,

100+ Manx Shearwater

1 Common Scoter

plus 15 Common Dolphin (10+4+1)

4 Harbour Porpoise (3+1)

Manx Shearwater and Common Scoter Common Dolphins Harbour Porpoise
Manx Shearwater and Common Scoter               Common Dolphins                                 Harbour Porpoise

Eds: All pelagic birders with the season upon us, please remember to send your seabird records in. Records such as these which are within 12 nautical miles of Devon do count for the county now. While posting on Devon Bird News is great the records do not automatically go into Devon Birds database.

Posted July 6th, 2019 at 7:23 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Friday 5th July 2019

Taw Estuary

First flock of returning Redshank I have seen so far this summer on the north side of the Taw Estuary.

Posted July 5th, 2019 at 10:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


First returning med gulls this evening.6,2 adults,2nd summer,3 FS.40 bhg's only one juv.20 curlew,14 dunlin.19:20-1945.

Posted July 5th, 2019 at 8:57 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

central park pre roost

around 100 ringneck parakeet inc 3 blue juvenile babies along with blue adult

Posted July 5th, 2019 at 7:45 pm by barry insull in Bird News

South Brent Redstarts

My first juvenile Redstarts of autumn, presumably dispersing away from natal areas - two near Aish Ridge this morning and one on Brent Hill on 3 July.

Posted July 5th, 2019 at 12:11 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On this mornings high tide the following were seen.

Curlew 24, Redshank 62, Greenshank 2, Common Sandpiper 5, Little Egret 11, Grey Heron 4, Med Gull 1 1st sp, Shelduck 2 with 2 juv, Stock 9, Green Woodpecker 3, GSW 2, Peregrine and Whitethroat 2.

Posted July 5th, 2019 at 11:05 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Thursday 4th July 2019


3 Black tailed Godwits on R.Caen early evening, 95 Black headed Gulls including 5 smart juv's & 75 Starling consisting of mainly juveniles on the Jetty.

Posted July 4th, 2019 at 7:27 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

White-letter Hairstreak

I've nurtured suckering Elms in my Chudleigh garden for over 30 years and this afternoon my efforts were rewarded with brief sightings of a White-letter Hairstreak. The species has been assumed to breed in the Wych Elms in woodland over 500m away (Simon Mitchell showed me an egg there about 25 years ago!), but this is my first adult here. (Only known from a few locations elsewhere in Devon.) While I was waiting with camera for it to re-appear (which it didn't). 

  Common Buzzard


Posted July 4th, 2019 at 6:28 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

4th July 2019

The long-staying Slavonian Grebe and 15 Sandwich Tern were the highlights.

Also Buzzard, Kestrel, Little Egret, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Swallow, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Linnet and Reed Bunting.

Later at Flow Point were 18 Little Egret, 5 Grey Heron and 2 Shelduck with 3 young.

Posted July 4th, 2019 at 5:30 pm by C L North in Bird News

Exe estuary

Near Turf this morning at high tide 3 common sandpipers flew north, 4 common terns flew south and two family parties of shelduck (2 & 10 yn) stayed put.Single sandwich tern in channel.

Posted July 4th, 2019 at 5:24 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

Bolberry Down

First signs of autumn migration with 33 Sand Martins and 3 Swifts moving east along the cliffs.

Non-avian: 2 male Red-veined Darters, one giving cracking views perched up in the sun. Also Beautiful Demoiselle (new record for the Bolt Head to Bolt Tail site) and first Southern Hawker.

Posted July 4th, 2019 at 2:19 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wednesday 3rd July 2019

Hope's Nose

3th July 2019


Short but sweet visit this evening 

5 Common Scoter were the highlights

40 Manx Shearwater

C.140 Guillemot were on ledges on Ore Stone

5 Gannet, numerous Cormorant and Shag

2 Oystercatcher 

A pod of c. 12 Common Dolphin were distant and seen heading towards Berry Head

Posted July 3rd, 2019 at 9:57 pm by C L North in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Whitethroat of the year since Spring migrants, here; also Green Woodpecker, 23 Mandarin Ducks, Black-tailed Godwit (summer plumage), Greenshank, 46 Redshanks, 1st-s Mediterranean Gull & 4 Stock Doves.

Butterflies included a good count of 80+ Marbled Whites & my first Gatekeepers (3) of the year.

Posted July 3rd, 2019 at 7:03 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bicton Common-East Devon

14 members of DB attended the East Devon Branch Nightjar evening yesterday.  A perfect evening with the bonus of a distant Hobby and Stonechats before we reached our viewing position.  First calls of Nightjar were heard at 9.45pm and a pair showed well during the time we were present.  The pair settled on the path and a tree giving great views.  It was agreed that calls and churring on the common were noticeably less than might be expected.  

Posted July 3rd, 2019 at 8:53 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Tuesday 2nd July 2019

Juvenile Black-headed gull

Juvenile and adult Black-headed gulls near Barnstaple long bridge.

Posted July 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


56 Shags on the Mew Stone inc.18+ freshly fledged juvs - a very good result. Looks like a bad year for breeding Cirl Buntings not helped by some very questionable management by NT. 

Non-avian; Red-veined Darter by Goat Rock. 

Posted July 2nd, 2019 at 3:16 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Waders are starting to arrive back, on this mornings high tide the following were seen :

Redshank 52, Curlew 22, Greenshank 1, Black Tailed Godwit 1, Common Sandpiper 4, Med Gull 2, Little Egret 8 and 10 Stock Dove.

Posted July 2nd, 2019 at 11:24 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Monday 1st July 2019

Red kite-Plymouth

Red kite seen going over the Plessey roundabout at Roborough, Plymouth at about 15:30, Sunday.

Posted July 1st, 2019 at 10:19 pm by Andy Quest in Bird News

Plym Estuary

On this afternoons high tide the following were seen:

Grey Heron 8, Little Egret 8, Curlew 20, Black Tailed Godwit 1 sp and Med Gull 3 all 1st sp.

Posted July 1st, 2019 at 9:13 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

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