Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st July 2019

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

Sunday 21st July 2019


Six or more Mediterranean Gulls on Instow near the cricket field

Mediterranean Gulls
Mediterranean Gulls

Posted July 21st, 2019 at 11:26 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Lovely afternoon at Dawlish Warren, 2 Roseate terns off the beach and lots of Sandwich terns, 10 Sanderling on the beach and 2 Dunlin.

Roseate Tern
Roseate Tern



Posted July 21st, 2019 at 10:04 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Instow and Fremington trip

At Instow a common gull?  The Glossy Ibis in Fremington was up for a photo or two.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Common gull
Common gull

Posted July 21st, 2019 at 9:06 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


From yesterday little ringed plover,31 med gulls,20 ads,2nd s,6fs,4juv's.20:15-2115

Posted July 21st, 2019 at 7:30 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Venford Reservoir area

Highlights included: Juv Cuckoo being fed by Meadow Pipit, Little Grebe family, Juv Redstart, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Redpoll, 4 juv Grey Herons, Cormorant, 7 Siskin, 3 Chiffchaff and a single Willow Warbler. Also 3 Golden Ringed Dragonflies.

Juv Cuckoo
Juv Cuckoo

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Little Grebe family
Little Grebe family

Posted July 21st, 2019 at 6:46 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A few waders on this morning's high tide including: 3 Greenshanks, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 32 Curlews, 91 Redshanks, Dunlin (sum-plum) & Turnstone (sum-plum). The latter was on Blaxton Meadow, the first time I can remember seeing one here. Also: 1st-s Mediterranean Gull, 13 Little Egrets, 6 Stock Doves, 7 Mandarin Ducks, Shag & a Shelduck with 2 juvs.

Posted July 21st, 2019 at 5:23 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Four adult Roseate Terns on Bull Hill early this morning before feeding together in the estuary. Thought likely to be at the Warren over high tide. Also 120+ Sandwich Tern and at least 4 Common Tern.

Posted July 21st, 2019 at 8:49 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Saturday 20th July 2019


Large Red Damselfly ovipositing in my fishpond today. 

Large Red Damselfly
Large Red Damselfly

Posted July 20th, 2019 at 9:19 pm by Martin Thorne in Other Wildlife


I met a couple at Velator the other day who saw a Swallowtail in their garden in West Down within the last few days.

Posted July 20th, 2019 at 8:32 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Swallowtail Yelland

Over the wildflower meadows on the waste site adjacent to the old power station at Yelland, this continental swallowtail was seen and photographed by my mother in law on Wednesday just gone. I was 15 minutes behind and did not see it. 

A one off migrant perhaps but a reminder of just how special this site is for wildflowers, inverts and wildlife full stop. Hope locals will do what they can to campaign against development here. 

Posted July 20th, 2019 at 8:08 pm by TOM WILLIAMS in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

0910-1215 :-

200+ Black tailed Godwit, 160+ Curlew, 18 Whimbrel, 14 Little Egret, 150+ Redshank, 70+ Dunlin, 5 Shelduck, 1 Mediterranean gull, 1 Reed Warbler, 6 Greenshank from the viewing platform.

Posted July 20th, 2019 at 5:25 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News


Adult Roseate Tern on Bull Hill early this morning, viewed from Shelly Beach. Also 110+ Sandwich Tern, 4+ Common Tern and at least 6 Mediterranean Gulls. Missed an Osprey though.

Posted July 20th, 2019 at 8:38 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Friday 19th July 2019

Berry Head

Seawatch 09.00 - 15.00: 45 Balearic & 333 Manx Shearwaters, Arctic & 4 Common Terns (all ads), 2 Puffins, Bonxie, Tufted Duck & up to 64 Mediterranean Gulls (mainly juvs). Also at least a dozen Common Dolphins & 3 Harbour Porpoises.  

Posted July 19th, 2019 at 5:33 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


First signs of significant migration this morning at 9.00 on a falling tide. 8 Sanderling, 5 Ring Plover, 180 Dunlin, 76 Curlew, 1Whimbrel, 1Redshank, 16, Mediterranean Gull. Also 4 Little Tern through, and most surprising 2 Gannet 

Posted July 19th, 2019 at 5:01 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Thursday 18th July 2019


1 Common Sandpiper on R.Caen late aft / early evening.

Posted July 18th, 2019 at 9:38 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

mear valley exmouth

6 ringneck parakeet

Posted July 18th, 2019 at 4:54 pm by barry in Bird News

Wednesday 17th July 2019

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis viewed from the Skern, at 08:05 yesterday 16th July.

it flew off towards Crow Point/Instow.

Posted July 17th, 2019 at 10:20 pm by Roger Walter in Bird News

Fledgling Northern Wheatear X 7 at The Skern, Appledore

All along the boulders lining the drop off from the tip road were what appeared to be a brood of 4 and a further brood of 3 fledgling Northern Wheatear. Also saw an adult female.

Posted July 17th, 2019 at 9:26 am by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Mediterranean Gull & Summer plumage Knot at The Skern

As the tide dropped from the full in the Skern, Appledore, a roosting group of BH Gulls concealed at least three Mediterranian Gulls along with a surprising summer plumage Knot 

Posted July 17th, 2019 at 9:19 am by Phil & Sue Naylor in Bird News

Tuesday 16th July 2019

Dartmoor Shaugh Lake Quarry

Lovely afternoon walking around the quarry (not trespassing as i work there). Lots of Wheatear, Sky Larks, Meadow Pipits, Sand Martins, Swallows, Pied Wagtails, Goldfinches, Tufted Ducks, Little Grebes and a pair of Reed Buntings to name a few.

Sand Martin
Sand Martin



Posted July 16th, 2019 at 8:16 pm by Duncan Leitch in Bird News


Eleven members enjoyed the sunny weather walking to and round the quarry to the north of Haytor rocks.   Good views of male Yellowhammer, juvenile Wheatear, several Chiffchaff (possibly some were Willow Warblers) and many Stonechat.  Blackcap in the quarry with plenty of Swallows flying round including some juveniles.   We moved to Blackslade Water and located a Marsh Tit along with Stonechat, Goldfinch, Swallows and Chiff / Willow W..  Species count: 24.  

Posted July 16th, 2019 at 7:14 pm by Geoff Green in Bird News

Occombe Farm Reserve, Paignton this afternoon

5 purple hairstreaks in the big oak on the woodland edge at the bottom right corner of the orchard. Also along the bottom edge of the orchard, small and large skipper, large and green-veined white, peacock, red admiral, silver washed firtillary, meadow brown, ringlet, gatekeeper, speckled wood (most of these on the flowering bramble beside the oak). Comma further upslope by the pond as we left.

Purple hairstreak
Purple hairstreak

Silver-washed fritillary
Silver-washed fritillary

Posted July 16th, 2019 at 6:24 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A visit on this afternoon's high tide. Not much to add to Martin's post, but the Coot was just as much of a surprise to me (I hadn't seen his post before my visit)! This is a rarity here, and as far as I can remember, the first one I've seen on the patch, outside very cold conditions. 

Also 2 Mediterranean Gulls (ad-s & 1st-s), 3 Mandarin Ducks and the Little Egrets included a juvenile.

Posted July 16th, 2019 at 4:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Velator reserve

An interesting morning ringing: dominated by a steady supply of Blackcaps. With lots of birds fledging most of those ringed were juveniles. That is except Blackcaps: of the twenty I ringed 7 were adults. Surely they can't all be breeding in the reserve - I've already ringed a good number of adults, so most of these are already migrating(?) Of note were all the male Blackcaps - including a retrap - seemed to have a brood patch. Also:

3 juv Cetti's Warblers

5 juv Robins

1 juv Reed Warbler (and an adult)

1 juv Greenfinch

1 juv Blackbird

1 juv Song Thrush

2 juv Goldcrest

3 juv Wrens

2 juv Chiffchaffs


Posted July 16th, 2019 at 12:13 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On this mornings high tide the following were seen:

Curlew 35, Redshank 91 on the meadow, Greenshank 3, Common Sandpiper 5, Little Egret 13, Green Woodpecker 3, GSW 3, Stock Dove 9, Whitethroat 1 and the surprise of the morning was a Coot on the river by Longbridge.

Posted July 16th, 2019 at 10:29 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram Monday 16th July

On the high tide: 3 Mediterranean Gulls (ad-s & 2 1st-s), Greenshank, 68 Redshanks, 34 Curlews & 11 Little Egrets. Also 5 Stock Doves, Green Woodpecker, juv Goldcrest & 16 Mandarin Ducks.

Plenty of butterflies including double figures of Small Skipper, Marbled White & Gatekeeper & a single Large Skipper.

Posted July 16th, 2019 at 9:16 am by Pete Aley in Bird News

Monday 15th July 2019

Nightjars at Stover

Churring from 21.36 for one minute - nothing thereafter. Two birds, male & female, constantly in the air/perched in trees from 21.45 - 22. 10, with a third fly-over bird (female?) at 22.10. Best viewed over new planting/tree tubes - by the Nightjar notice-board!  

Posted July 15th, 2019 at 10:48 pm by John Walton in Bird News

Taw Estuary, R.Caen

Flock of Redshank at low tide on the north side of the Taw Estuary & plenty of BH Gulls & 3 Meds amongst them.

This delightful Blue-tailed Damselfly alighted on my bicycle lock cable by the Toll House.

On R.Caen 19 Dunlin still in sumplum, 1 juv Greenshank,142 BH Gulls inc 5 juv's , 1 adult Med Gull & 2 Little Egrets.

Posted July 15th, 2019 at 5:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Exton Station

Osprey sat on post around 1:30pm. More details please visit

Posted July 15th, 2019 at 3:15 pm in Bird News

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