Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th August 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: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/

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

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to recorder@devonbirds.org to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  

 

Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News

Membership

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 14th August 2019

Bowling Green Marsh - Bar-headed Goose

Yesterday and again today this juvenile Bar-headed Goose turned up with the Canada flock. It has the yellowy bill & legs as expected, and no head cross bars of an adult. bar-headed.  It however appears as big as the Canadas and overall brown/grey rather than ash grey, could it be a xCanada hybrid?

Bar-headed Goose juv
Bar-headed Goose juv

Bar-headed Goose juv
Bar-headed Goose juv

Bar-headed Goose juv
Bar-headed Goose juv

Posted August 14th, 2019 at 11:43 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching from 0600-0830hrs: 1260 Manx, 14 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Teal, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, 16 Fulmar 1 Arctic Tern, 3 'comic' Terns.

Posted August 14th, 2019 at 4:06 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saunton Sands

Late Post -13/08/2019.  Small flock of 41 Knot on passage having just arrived back from the high arctic enjoying a rest, wash & preen after foraging along the shoreline.


Posted August 14th, 2019 at 9:32 am by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Tuesday 13th August 2019

Velator

In the reserve late this evening tape-luring Swallows. Monday night  - 1, Tuesday night - 85, Tonight 35. Year total now over 400. Also ringed Kingfisher no 12, another juvenile. Flying over were at least 12 Swifts.

By the bridge to the reserve one, occasionally 2 Dipper these last few days.

Posted August 13th, 2019 at 10:13 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

East Soar

No migrants - best were 22 Med Gulls in Starehole Bay and 400 Linnet.

Posted August 13th, 2019 at 3:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Juvenile cuckoo

Encounter with a juvenile cuckoo near Laughter Tor on Dartmoor yesterday. Landed in a rowan sapling right in front of me; not very concerned about my presence. If only I had a half decent camera. 

Posted August 13th, 2019 at 12:49 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News

Avon Dam

Three brown-head goosanders roosting this morning. Had gone by 0630. Checked weekly, and these were first since 22 Jun. Would be interested to hear of any other goosanders in Devon over the next month or so at preay6960@gmail.com.

Posted August 13th, 2019 at 9:54 am by Peter Reay in Bird News

Spotted Flycatchers

Spotted Flycatchers at Avon Mill Garden Centre yesterday, In the Trees by the river, catching flies, for a youngster.


Posted August 13th, 2019 at 8:10 am by Kay and Gary Deare in Bird News

Monday 12th August 2019

Otter Estuary

Two Avocets on the estuary this evening - A rare bird on the Otter and only my 3rd sighting in 10 years.
Also Green Sandpiper, 10+ Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover and an obliging Cetti's Warbler.
Avocets on the Otter by Chris Townend

Cetti's Warbler, Otter Estuary by Chris Townend

Posted August 12th, 2019 at 7:43 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Slapton Sands.

7 Black Tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover and2 Dunlin.this afternoon.

Posted August 12th, 2019 at 4:15 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

South Brent

Two pied flycatchers in small hawthorns on Brent Hill this morning, presumed migrants or at least dispersing juvs (over 3 km to nearest known breeding site). Otherwise just a whitethroat and a few chiffs and willows.

Posted August 12th, 2019 at 2:21 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

12-08-19 Brown Magpie

At Knighton Road, Plymouth an unusual Brown Magpie seen and Photo'd at 10.35am


Brown Magpie
Brown Magpie


Posted August 12th, 2019 at 11:53 am by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Sunday 11th August 2019

Velator etc

Late evening visit to try and boost the Swallow catch - only caught one! But also ringed another Kingfisher, and retrapped one from a few weeks back. (I saw two Kingfishers in the reserve earlier on today). In the field next to the one south of the reserve, the farmer has cut the grass and there were several hundred Swallows chasing insects there for a while. Only a few came and inspected the tape recorder. Over the reserve were 5 Swift, the first I've seen in several days.

A Black-tailed Godwit for it's third day out on the scrape.

Best bird was a male Marsh Harrier, which flew south from the reserve towards the reed-bed.

Posted August 11th, 2019 at 9:57 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Morte Point

Few Birds to be seen, conditions had improved too much. 2 flocks of 5 Sanderlings 1 Manxie 6 Gannets, one Juv looking a bit worse for wear. Compensated for by spending an hour watching European Storm Petrels, albeit at a fair distance, feeding over static fishing gear buoy ropes. Max 5 in view at the same time. 

Storm Petrel, just about!
Storm Petrel, just about!


Hitching a ride.
Hitching a ride.

Posted August 11th, 2019 at 9:09 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

exmouth parakeet roost

9 ringneck parakeet at the roost at douglas avenue

Posted August 11th, 2019 at 7:51 pm by barry insull in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

This morning:

c100 Herring Gull, 12 Little Egret, 10 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 3 Grey Heron feeding on flatfish, 2 Greenshank on Ernesettle creek, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat. Trees heaving with red apples and berries.

Posted August 11th, 2019 at 6:45 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Slapton Sands.

11 Sanderling,19 Ringed Plover and 2 Turnstone on the beach this afternoon.

Posted August 11th, 2019 at 5:09 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch, 06:00 - 15:00 predictably slow with only 10 Manx & 6 Balearic Shearwaters all day, & 3-4 Med Gulls.

Constant trickle of Painted Ladies, together with 2 Migrant Hawkers in off the sea.

Usual Harbour Porpoises, at least 3, close in at first; c.20 Common Dolphin, mid am; but highlight of the day, at least 3 Bottle-nosed Dolphins close in c.midday.

 

Posted August 11th, 2019 at 5:02 pm in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.30 to 08.50: juv Shelduck 7, European Storm-petrel 2, Fulmar 37, Manx Shearwater 5, Gannet 39, Common Sandpiper 1, Lesser Black-backed Gull 16, Sandwich Tern 3, Great Skua 1, Guilllemot 1. All heading W out of Bristol Channel, except for Gannet flocks feeding over four Harbour Porpoise and an Ocean Sunfish (presumed same as yesterday; appeared similar size).

Posted August 11th, 2019 at 10:05 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Saturday 10th August 2019

ringneck parakeet

mear valley 9 ringneck parakeet

Posted August 10th, 2019 at 8:57 pm by barry insull in Bird News

North Devon seawatching

At a rain- and gale-lashed Hartland Point from 08.00 to 13.00 Tim Davis & Tim Jones recorded 532 Gannets, 1352 Manx Shearwaters, 111 Fulmars, 14 Kittiwakes, an Arctic Skua, a Sandwich Tern, and three Whimbrels. All were heading W out of Barnstaple/Bideford Bay.

From Lundy during the morning and early afternoon Dean Jones counted 212 Gannets, 2991 Manx Shearwaters, 22 Fulmars, 19 Kittiwakes, a Ringed Plover and two Turnstones.

Off Watermouth in the late afternoon Tim Jones encountered small numbers of Gannets,Manx Shearwaters, Fulmars and Kittiwakes continuing to fly W out of the Bristol Channel, where Gannets have been seen upstream today at least as far as Lydney and Sharpness in the Upper Severn Estuary. Also off Watermouth, two Harbour Porpoises and an Ocean Sunfish.

Posted August 10th, 2019 at 8:13 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Skern

Over a low high tide 14.00 - 15.00.  1 Little Egret, 31 Ringed Plover, 1 Turnstone, c250 Dunlin, 4 Sanderling, 5 Knot, 3 Redshank, 1 Greenshank 2 Whimbrel, 18 Curlew, 43 Common Tern, 2 Little Tern, 4 Sandwich Tern.. what a difference a bit of wind makes!

Posted August 10th, 2019 at 3:47 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Re Pottington Oystercatchers

On 8th June driving out of Rgb I spotted 2 pairs among the nesting Lesser bb and Herring Gulls, so there may have been more. Hope they are successful as the Ilfracombe pairs I'm aware of always seem destined to fail. I also surveyed Mullacote ind estate for nesting Gulls which is easy cos there isn't any. Probably a bit too exposed up there. 

This morning off Ilfracombe a Basking Shark and several feeding Grey Seals were attracting lots of Gulls. Some good birds were present as well. 2+ Storm Petrels were close to the anchored Trinity ship. A Great Skua and 2 flocks of 4/5 Whimbrels were making their way down channel. 

young Seal enjoying a tasty breakfast.
young Seal enjoying a tasty breakfast.

Posted August 10th, 2019 at 3:22 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Start Bay/Slapton Ley

Little offshore except reasonable numbers of Fulmars and Kittiwakes flying south. Over the ley at Torcross  250 plus House Martins, 20 Sand Martins and 6 Swifts. Also Little Grebe, 61 Tufted Ducks and 5 Pochards ( 3M ).

Posted August 10th, 2019 at 1:01 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch 05:30-10:00 Fairly slow, only 33 Manx Shearwater and 9 Balearic. Highlights were a Sooty Shearwater south at 06:45 and a pale phase adult Pomarine Skua south at 08:30. Also 1 Bonxie, 100+Kittiwake, 4 Sandwich tern, 1 Common Tern, 3+ 'Commic' Tern, 6+ swift.

Posted August 10th, 2019 at 11:12 am by Simon Tonge in Bird News

brixham-churston

flock of swallows feeding over farmland above copythorne rd yesterday morning

Posted August 10th, 2019 at 9:27 am by graham folkerd in Bird News

Friday 9th August 2019

Budleigh Salterton

A ninety-minute seawatch late morning produced Gannets passing at a rate per ten minutes of 10-25, Manx Shearwaters of 5-15, and Fulmars of 1-2, plus 5 Common Scoter, and a Great Skua. No Auks or Kittewakes.

On the way home, 10 minutes at BGM produced the Spotted Redshank and singles of Common and Green Sandpipers.

Posted August 9th, 2019 at 9:30 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Shobrooke Park North (and surrounding area)

Cormorant (over) and single escapee Bar-headed Goose (the regular bird here) seen just outside of the site in fields adjacent to Nomansland Cross - both common birds on the lakes at Shobrooke, but, to our knowledge, this is the first time that they have been seen here in the Sandford and Upton Hellions Nature Group (SUHNG) recording area, which borders the park. 

Posted August 9th, 2019 at 9:01 pm by T. M. Mylett in Bird News

South Milton sands

Some lovely waders on the beach at South Milton, Sanderling, turnstones, Dunlin and ringed plover.

TurnstoneSanderlingDunlin
Turnstone                               Sanderling                                Dunlin

Posted August 9th, 2019 at 5:02 pm by Richie Moore in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch highlight totals 0530-1230hrs: 1 juv L-t Skua which lingered for over 1 hr also 1 Arctic & 7 Great Skua, 168 Balearic, 247 Manx, 1 Sooty & 1 large Shearwater, 3 Puffin, 2 juv Y-l Gulls, 251 Kittiwake, 39 Med Gulls, 11 C Scoter, 12 Sandwich, 9 Commin & 29 'comic' Tern, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover,3 Dunlin,1 Green Sandpiper, several flocks of waders too far out to id, 1 Tufted Duck, 50+ Common Dolphin & 6 H Porpoise.

Posted August 9th, 2019 at 4:48 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton sea front.

An hours watch from the shelter near Lime Kiln car park (11am -12noon) produced:  28 Gannet, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 12 Manx, 2 GBB Gulls and 5 Oystercatcher.  All flying west. Variable weather conditions with visibility from horizon down to half a mile.  Two of the Balearics came in within several hundred yards.  

Posted August 9th, 2019 at 2:58 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Thursday 8th August 2019

Sidmouth

Quick look between folk music sessions in deteriorating condition lots of Herring gulls, a few,BH Gulls, one Oyster Catcher on the rock armour and one Turnstone on the rocks near Jacob's Ladder. Visibility down to about 50 yards offshore.

Turnstone
Turnstone

Posted August 8th, 2019 at 8:49 pm by Martin Rooney in Bird News

Bradiford oystercatchers

Surveying the Bradiford site for DevonBirds in 2017, I noted that an oystercatcher pair were collecting food from the pond mud on Bradiford and flying to the roofs of the industrial unit 'nextdoor', which strongly implied successful hatching. I wonder if this year's nestling has jumped down from there, or they've moved to lower ground because of the gulls.

Posted August 8th, 2019 at 8:06 pm by Lowell Mills in Bird News

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford sewage works. 11.30-13.00. High tide 12.40.

Black-tailed Godwit 7; Bar-tailed Godwit 1; Med Gull 1A; Redshank 1 and 3 Dunlin flying up-river.

A surprise sighting was that of an Oystercatcher chick still in down feathers on the concrete bank between Bradiford Water and the rear of RGB. It was being attended to by 2 adults. In the 30-odd years that I have been birding along this stretch of the river, this is the first time that I have ever known Oystercatchers to be breeding here. The chick was incapable of flight and could not have come far.

Posted August 8th, 2019 at 2:37 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram Wed 7th August

First returning Little Grebe and autumn Wheatear. Also: 2 Turnstones, Whimbrel, 4 Greenshanks, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, 32 Curlews, 1st-s Mediterranean Gull, Shelduck pair with 2 juvs, 27 Mandarin Ducks, 2 Shags, 4 Stock Doves & 2 Swifts.  

Posted August 8th, 2019 at 12:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

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