Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st July 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

Wednesday 31st July 2019

West Charleton Marsh

Hobby passed through this evening. Still 25 Swifts in the village.

Posted July 31st at 9:00 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Tuesday 30th July 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

A quick look after work around 4:30pm - 5:00pm. A Wood Sandpiper was showing nicely to the left of the hide. A Ruff flew in just before I was leaving. Also a few Whimbrel, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper. If interested, more details at

Posted July 30th at 10:35 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Bowling Green Sandpipers

Three species, one Common, two Green and one Wood Sandpiper together on the marsh this lunchtime.

At Matford Pools, a Buzzard carrying what looked like a redshank size wader in one claw, crossed over the car at 17:35.

Posted July 30th at 9:08 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding


Over the evening high tide - birded from 3.15 - 6.30.  Good numbers of waders scattered continually by Psycho the LBB Gull. Highlights, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Ruff,Sum Plum Grey Plover, a very clean white breasted Spotted Redshank (briefly), Whimbrel, Bar Tailed Godwit,

Bar-tailed Godwit  Wood Sandpiper  Ruff
Bar-tailed Godwit                       Wood Sandpiper                                              Ruff

Posted July 30th at 8:27 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Berry Head sea watch 07.20 - 14.30

Main additions to Mike's numbers, below: c300 Balearic Shearwaters (including a raft of c200 on the sea at one point), 2 Black Terns (ad + juv), 1 Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxies, 12 "Commic" Terns, 3 Common Scoters, 38 Swifts, 2 Sand Martins & 10 Common Dolphins. 

Posted July 30th at 6:03 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exeter Goosanders (again)

Nine or ten redheads fishing actively below Trews Weir this morning, with an Egret on the bank hoping to benefit from their driving the fish into the shallows.

Posted July 30th at 5:02 pm by James Camden in General Birding


Hobby (f) flying south at midday.

Posted July 30th at 1:47 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatching 0530-0830hrs was better this morning with highlight totals of: 209 Balearic & 67 Manx Shearwaters, 177 Mediterranean Gulls, 340 Kittiwake (inc 3 juvs), 2 Storm Petrels, 13 Fulmar, 7 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 180 Gannets, 1 juv Yellow-Legged Gull, 4 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 2 Comic Terns, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Swift, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Seal and 4-5 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted July 30th at 10:17 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 29th July 2019


Two dark phase Arctic Skuas offshore late afternoon.

Posted July 29th at 9:07 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Berry Head

Arrived mid afternoon to meet Mark, Del and Bill for a short seawatch. Up to 4pm the birds had included just 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua, 1 Balearic Shearwater, approx 7 Manx Shearwaters, 20+ Mediterranean Gulls - very poor given the conditions! The highlights were 1 sunfish (I was too late for that one) and 20+ Common Dolphins close to the headland appearing to have rounded up a bait ball. 

Posted July 29th at 9:07 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, yesterday

Pictures from yesterday morning's boat trip.

Balearic shearwaters with a Manx shearwater in front
Balearic shearwaters with a Manx shearwater in front

Gannet, 2nd cal year
Gannet, 2nd cal year

Yellow legged gull, juvenile
Yellow legged gull, juvenile

Posted July 29th at 6:20 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Berry Head

Good views of a sunfish off the point at Berry Head.  Moving SW in a choppy sea.

Posted July 29th at 5:06 pm by Patrick Case in Other Wildlife

Warren House Inn to Challecombe & back

Hobby, 2 Crossbills, 4 Redstarts, 5 Whinchats (incl 2+ juvs), Garden Warbler & 2 Lesser Redpolls.

Later at Clearbrook, Green Woodpecker & 2 Lesser Redpolls.

Posted July 29th at 4:55 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Single Spoonbill (not colour ringed) foraging on R.Caen briefly at 14.00 but moved on by incoming tide.

Posted July 29th at 3:14 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Snipe fledgling rescue

My cat brought in a snipe fledgling this morning. I hope I rescued and released it in time to save its life. I live in Hatherleigh, Devon. Didn't know there were snipe in this area. Didn't take photo-too busy reassuring it. V long bill and dark brown eye stripe whole length of head.

Posted July 29th at 1:22 pm by Susan Hall in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, yesterday

Cetaceans from yesterday morning's trip.

Porpoise with calf
Porpoise with calf

Common dolphins
Common dolphins

Common dolphins
Common dolphins

Posted July 29th at 1:03 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis

Posted July 29th at 9:30 am by David Paterson in General Birding

Sunday 28th July 2019

Exe ~ Osprey

Osprey on the Exe late morning on the low tide, viewed from Exton station, ringed both legs but too distant to read any details, heavily mobbed by GBBG at one point.

Good numbers of Curlew and one Greenshank.

Goosemoor up to 30 Lapwing and a single Common Gull

Posted July 28th at 7:56 pm by Steve HOPPER in General Birding

Leaf cutter bees

While out photographing wildlife in Instow’s dunes area, I came across some bees that were carrying rolled-up leaves.  I followed the bees and discovered they were part of a 50+ strong colony nesting in the sand dunes.  It was fascinating to watch them, as they pulled the rolled-up leaf into tunnels and I even saw two bees excavating new tunnels. On-line research points towards them being Coastal Leaf Cutter Bees, is that correct?

Coastal leaf cutter bees
Coastal leaf cutter bees

Posted July 28th at 6:23 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Bicclescombe Park

About 6 pairs with 30 Blue Damselfly around the Duck pond. 

Beautiful Demoiselle
Beautiful Demoiselle

Posted July 28th at 6:22 pm by Martin Thorne in Other Wildlife

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler with food.

Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler

Posted July 28th at 5:48 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding


Adult summer plumage (ish) Ruff at Bowling Green this afternoon. Flock of Dunlin flew in.Otherwise quiet with usual gulls,godwit and duck.

Posted July 28th at 5:19 pm by JOHN PHILLIPS in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Great to see see a pair of Spotted Flycatchers carrying food to a nest box relocated by the NT earlier this year. Also: 2 Whimbrels, 96 Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks, a pair of Shelducks with 2 juvs, 11 Mandarin Ducks & 3 Stock Doves.

Posted July 28th at 5:07 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Chambercombe Manor

Emerging Southern Hawker Dragonflies this morning in the Silent Pool with several mating pairs of Large Red Damselfly also present.

Southern Hawker drying wings.
Southern Hawker drying wings.

Southern Hawker seconds prior to flight.
Southern Hawker seconds prior to flight.

Pair of friendly Large Red Damselfly.
Pair of friendly Large Red Damselfly.

Posted July 28th at 5:01 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife

Lyme bay boat trip from Brixham, 9am-1pm

Great trip this morning. In the harbour cormorant, shag, a grey seal (marina) and a heron (on the bunkering jetty). Out to sea 2 fulmar, 6+ manx shearwater, 200+ balearic shearwater (most in 2 big rafts of 80 and 93), the usual black headed, herring, lesser black backed, and great black backed gulls, 2 mediterranean gulls (near Berry Head), 1 juv yellow legged gull, 1 kittiwake, 43 guillemot, 14+ gannet, 5 porpoise, 42+ common dolphin, and 2 compass jellyfish. Also seen well offshore 5 large dark nymphalid butterflies (of which 1 close was confirmed as red admiral) and a marmalade hoverfly. Photos later.

Posted July 28th at 4:27 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Fremington pill

(Red) Knot, Glossy Ibis 50+Redshank

Posted July 28th at 11:57 am by Gordon Westley in General Birding


Walked around Sherpa Marsh yesterday evening. About 30 Swans, including 5 + 2 well-grown Cygnets. 2 Grey Herons, but no sign of any Egrets, Great or Little. 1 Lapwing, a few each of Swallow, Sand and House Martin. Best was a Peregrine chasing the Starling flock into the reed-bed.

Later on ringing Swallows produced a further 56 birds plus a Sand Martin.

Posted July 28th at 8:36 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Saturday 27th July 2019


New creature in the reserve yesterday, and seen briefly again today - Common Lizard. Ringed about 130 Swallows this week (so far) virtually all juveniles, so it seems breeding is ok, but this is a small sample.

And, I have a pair of Swallows nesting in my car port at home too!

Posted July 27th at 4:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Headland Warren-Challacombe Farm

Several wheatear along the roadside including a juvenile. Behind Soussons Wood on the road to Postbridge a pale buzzard. Lots of stonechat and meadow pipits.

Juvenile wheatear
Juvenile wheatear


Pale buzzard
Pale buzzard

Posted July 27th at 2:56 pm by Ian Muir in General Birding

Yesterday at Prawle 26th July

Short late seawatch from 8.10 to 10.40am produced 15 Balearic Shearwaters, 29 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Common Scoter. Also 4-5 Common Dolphins breaching going west. Small movement of hirundines, Swallows and House Martins. 

At the point 2 Grayling Butterflies (not seen often here). Also a small Pearl Bordered Fritillary. At Moorwell pond, being de-weeded, Emperor Dragonflies and Black-Tailed Skimmers and Blue-Tailed Damselflies.

Previous week, on 19th July a seawatch from 7.15am till 4pm produced 11 Balearic ,933 Manx Shearwaters; a Bonxie and a Puffin,172 Gannets, 13 Mediterranean Gulls and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

Posted July 27th at 11:21 am by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

white sparrow

baby white sparrow with parent bird in my garden in whitleigh been here for about a week now

Posted July 27th at 10:35 am by barry insull in General Birding


Holly Blue Butterfly in Tews Lane, Bickington..

Holly Blue
Holly Blue

Posted July 27th at 12:22 am by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

Friday 26th July 2019


Yesterday evening the gathering gulls included 93 Mediterranean Gulls and 1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls. Also approx 70+ Black-headed, 1 Lesser Black-backed, 4 Great Black-backed and 300 Herring Gulls

Posted July 26th at 10:47 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 25th July 2019

Clennon Valley Ponds, Goodrington

A male ruddy darter at the back of the 3rd pond up from bottom was the best find today, my first for Torbay. Also common darter (1 on same pond), broad bodied chaser, black tailed skimmer, emperor, southern hawker (on the small 4th pond), azure damsel, blue tailed damsel, and small red-eyed damsels still abundant at their usual spot on algal mats at the bottom of the lower pond. A possible white admiral was seen flying among willow trees behind the 3rd pond. Birds included dabchicks, 2 kingfishers and a grey heron.

Ruddy darter, male
Ruddy darter, male

Posted July 25th at 8:42 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

Fremington Ibis

The Glossy Ibis is back on Fremington Pill, with Curlew, Redshank, a Greenshank, and 554 Black-headed Gulls, 2 SShelduck with 5 yg,

Posted July 25th at 7:53 pm by Peter Howard in General Birding

West Soar/Soar Mill Valley

70 Swift moving through, 80 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin, 3 Wheatear at Soar Mill Cove (prob.local projeny), 200 Linnet.

Posted July 25th at 2:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Juvenile Cuckoo near Molland this morning.

Juvenile Cuckoo
Juvenile Cuckoo

Posted July 25th at 11:53 am by David paterson in General Birding

Wednesday 24th July 2019

Harleston by Slapton

First returning Willow Warbler, in brief song in the garden before feeding in the veg patch. Also Swift & Green Woodpecker.

Posted July 24th at 9:48 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Family of Goosanders Mill on the Exe pub Exeter

Very approachable family of Goosanders this morning

Posted July 24th at 3:56 pm by Roy Adams in General Birding

Exeter Goosanders

Five redheads were loafing on the river just below Trews Weir suspension bridge around 9am today.

Posted July 24th at 3:52 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

At least 2 Green Woodpeckers, Grey Wagtail, 6 Stock Doves, 3 Kestrels, 2 Common Sandpipers (including a bird with some "spots" on breast sides), 3 Greenshanks, ad & juv Mediterranean Gulls, Shag, Shelducks with 2 juvs, 32 Curlews, 12 Mandarin Ducks & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted July 24th at 3:11 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Not much happening of late, but this morning on arrival a female/juv Kestrel on the entrance telegraph pole, and a Sparrowhawk circling over the SW corner - carrying one of my birds grrr! and being mobbed by half a dozen Swallows. In the reserve the first Whitethroat I've seen there this year and a brief visit of a Kingfisher. House Martin and Swift flying over and then a small group of Rooks and Jackdaws flew over going west and a few minutes later came back heading east! As I was leaving I went round to look out over the marsh and my attention was immediately drawn to two large white birds perched on bushes in the NE part of the marsh. Both were Great Egrets, and as I was calling Sue Bruce to alert her, they flew south and I think landed around the main pond opposite the Toll House. A Little Egret flying with them gave a good perspective of size. Sue told me she had heard a Quail on the Great field I think she said on Monday in the middle of the day.

Posted July 24th at 12:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Yesterday evening there were 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls and 27 Mediterranean Gulls on and off Broadsands beach.


Posted July 24th at 8:53 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 23rd July 2019

Dawlish Warren

A portlandica Arctic Tern from the hide at high tide; also over 100 Sandwich & c10 Common Terns, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, c30 Dunlins & 2 Whimbrels.

The summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebe and 6 Whimbrels off Cockwood.

portlandica Arctic Tern with Sandwich Terns
portlandica Arctic Tern with Sandwich Terns

portlandica Arctic Tern with Sandwich Terns
portlandica Arctic Tern with Sandwich Terns

Posted July 23rd at 9:16 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Sorry, only a poor quality phone shot of the Goosander feeding on the Exe last Thursday evening. Also saw them again Friday evening, but not since then. 

Posted July 23rd at 8:32 pm by Mike Booth in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A walk around the area an hour or so before high tide produced the following:

Curlew 31, Greenshank 3, Redshank 94, Dunlin 1, Common Sandpiper 4, Oystercatcher 3, Little Egret 14, Kingfisher 1, Grey Heron 4, Med Gull 1 1st s, Dipper 1 by Longbridge, Kestrel 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Stock Dove 10, Whitethroat 1 and Sedge Warbler 1. 

Posted July 23rd at 12:23 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Monday 22nd July 2019

Green Beetle

One of seven or eight green beetles seen on a mint plant in Hawkchurch near Axminster.

Green mint leaf beetle
Green mint leaf beetle

Posted July 22nd at 9:45 pm by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

Gulls hawking for ants at Exeter

Mixed flock of about 500 Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls hawking for flying ants over Exwick between 3pm and 4pm today.

Posted July 22nd at 5:06 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The Turnstone still on Blaxton Meadow with a Dunlin, 4 Oystercatchers, 33 Curlews, 95 Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks & 13 Little Egrets. Also 4 Common Sandpipers, 5 Stock Doves, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers & 6 Mandarin Ducks. 

Posted July 22nd at 4:38 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Goosanders herding fish

Sadly no  photographs but on Thursday 18th July there were 12 Goosanders - females and young, working the River Exe upstream to Trews Weir and then herding the fish into the shallows where they feasted. Several people saw this from the suspension bridge as did I.

The collapse of St James Weir has left the expanse below Trews Weir pooled and with several shingle beaches.  The birds were working together to herd the fish into these shallow pools. It was a fantastic site and I wonder if it  has been observed commonly?

Posted July 22nd at 3:36 pm by Adrian ROGERS in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Strand House. 1100-1215.

High tide 1007.

Common Gull 1; Mediterranean Gull 7 (5A;1 1st S; 1J). No migrating waders, just a few Curlew,Oystercatcher and 1 Whimbrel. 16 Little Egret & 7 Grey Heron on Penhill Marsh.

Posted July 22nd at 12:59 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

The Skern, Appledore, on rising tide

Among a mixed airborne flock of mainly Herring & Black headed Gull competing for some cake (!) thrown for them by some grockles was an adult Common Gull. About 6 Ringed Plover and a similar number of Dunlin were feeding on the mud ahead of the incoming tide. There are a LOT of baby Goldfinch with the adults making the most of the copious thistle turning to seed. 

Posted July 22nd at 10:10 am by Phil and Sue Naylor in General Birding

Roseate Terns Dawlish Warren

2 adult Roseate Terns flew in from the sea travelling towards the estuary at approximately 0730hrs.Also over 50 Sandwich Terns present, 6 Sanderliing and 2 Ganetts also seen

Posted July 22nd at 9:43 am by Roy Adams in General Birding

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