Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st September 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

Saturday 21st September 2019


In the very warm sunshine early this morning  - well, 09.30 - a veritable storm of Dragonflies and Darters for about 15 minutes. Never seen such numbers in the UK before.

Ringed another Kingfisher on Thursday: that's 15 this year.

Posted September 21st at 9:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Darts Farm.

A long overdue hightide visit to Bowling Green Marsh, the place was alive with birds, serious numbers of Curlew, plenty of Black Tailed Godwit (two colour ringed birds seen) good numbers of Redshank, 3 Avocet, Lapwing, Ruff, Knott, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, several Little Egret, a good range of duck species but not yet in their winter numbers. A Peregrine did a fly over which alarmed everything but it was not in hunting mode.
Darts Farm very poor re bird life, a flock of Linnet, at least six Chiffchaff and a few Long Tailed Tit and that was about it.

Posted September 21st at 9:01 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

exmouth ringneck parakeet

mear valley 7 ringneck parakeet including blue one

Posted September 21st at 7:52 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Friday 20th September 2019

Ring-necked parakeets Plymouth Railway Station

Flock of 20+ over short-term car park 19.30. Presumably gathering for a roost nearby.

Posted September 20th at 8:30 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding


At Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor this morning were one each of Water Rail, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper and Mediterranean Gull, three Avocets, five Greenshanks and at least thirty Pintail (within a total of several hundred ducks, a big increase on last week). Today's bonus bird was an Osprey, seen at around 1045 flying S. over the M5 as I went back up Topsham Road.

Posted September 20th at 7:11 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Chambercombe Manor

Single Chiffchaff in good voice 0820 this morning with c50 House Martins and a few Swallows overhead. 2 Southern Hawker Dragonfly in a small patch of sunlight with Red Admiral, Peacock and Speckled Wood Butterfly also present. No Painted Lady this visit.

Posted September 20th at 12:49 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Avon Dam

Two hobbies, one vocal, circled over the Avon Dam early this morning, while below them eight goosanders sat on the beach getting ready for the day's fishing trip..

Posted September 20th at 11:51 am by Peter Reay in General Birding

Thursday 19th September 2019


Lundy today. 

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted September 19th at 11:37 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

South Efford marsh

Beautiful Lesser yellow legs at South Efford marsh, Well done Eric for finding it.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

Posted September 19th at 8:17 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

White Storks sightings

I have been contacted by the White Stork release team. They informed me that over 20 juvenile White Storks were released in August at a West Sussex location in the hope that they would migrate and later return to the West Sussex/Surrey area to breed. They believe that the Devon sightings recently are from this release scheme. 

Posted September 19th at 5:49 pm by Roy Adams in General Birding

Prawle Point

Hadn't intended to viz mig when I arrived at Prawle at 7.15am but soon engaged with the spectacle of thousands of hirundines flying into the ESE brisk breeze. Watched intensely until 8.45 and estimated at least 10,000 stretching out from over the sea to the airfields (fields just beyond Prawle village). Mostly swallows and house martins but also at least 800 Sand Martins. Also large movement of Meadow Pipits (6-700); Linnets (4-500), Skylarks (150+). And Alba Wagtails (40+) Also of note passage of Jackdaws and Magpies.

In field with Black Cattle there were 5 Yellow Wagtails. Later 6 Wheatear and 8 Chiffchaffs and a few Blackcaps. I White Wagtail at Horsley Cove and a Goldcrest at Stallions Bite.

I left at 1pm and popped into Aveton Gifford to see the Lesser Yellowlegs. Later Pat texted me to say he'd seen a White Stork fly in off into Pig's Nose Valley at 1.15pm and later seen high over Bolt Head !

Posted September 19th at 5:26 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East soar

2 white storks flyong north ,midday.

Posted September 19th at 5:09 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

East to Middle Soar

900 Swallows moving east in one hour - 0840 to 0940  final total 1010. Also 45 House Martin, 55 Skylark, Sand Martin, 130 Meadow Pipit, 3 Wheatear, 55 Goldfinch, 8 Greenfinch & 360 Linnet.

Posted September 19th at 3:18 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar area

This morning, 20 Yellow Wagtail (in two cattle fields), Golden Plover over, 4 Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 500+ Linnet, Peregrine, 2 Yellowhammers and 1m Cirl Bunting. Hundreds of Swallow, House Martin and a few Sand Martin over between 0800 and 0900.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Posted September 19th at 2:14 pm by Chris E in General Birding


Spoonbill flew down river 7pm, Osprey or two fishing 

Posted September 19th at 1:52 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

4 cattle egret in flight over towpath car park at end of station road at 12.30pm. Came down into cattle field to the NW. Also 1 juv hobby over. 

Posted September 19th at 1:27 pm by Olly Mears in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar Wednesday 18th Sept

Hobby, Tree Pipit, 10 Wheatears, 11 Yellow Wagtails, 300 House Martins, Sand Martin, 27 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats, Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, 8 Stock Doves, 2 Clouded Yellows & 2 Roe Deer.  

Posted September 19th at 12:31 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


White stork perched on buildings at Teignmouth community school yesterday lunchtime!

Posted September 19th at 10:42 am by Stephen Edwards in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 18th September 2019

Wistlandpound Reservoir

 Crossbills on the cones of Spruce trees at Wistlandpound Reservoir today. Extremely difficult to find because of the location and bright sun  however two definitely seen.

Posted September 18th at 5:36 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

West Soar/Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm

A good tally included 200 Gannet fishing off West Soar, 2 Sparrowhawk, Hobby, migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 150 Swallow, 170 House Martin, Sand Martin, 300 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 5 Wheatear, 14 Stonechat, 4 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff & 520 Linnet.

Non-avian: 4 Red Deer (first ever record & not the usual Sika), mature female Red-veined Darter, 6 Common Darter, Clouded Yellow, 158 Red Admiral, 41 Painted Lady, Comma & 9 Wall Brown.

Later back at Harleston: Hobby overhead, male Emperor over pond and Wall Brown - quite a day!

Posted September 18th at 3:27 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Warleigh Point 18-09-19

Small Tortoise Shell butterfly, Warleigh Point

Posted September 18th at 3:04 pm by Greg Bradbury in Other Wildlife

Warleigh Point 18-09-19

At least 12 Great Crested Grebes showing well on the Ernesettle side of the estuary. Osprey seen at a distance on the river Tavy by the railway bridge. Other wildlife was mainly butterflies, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Common Blue, Small Tortoise Shell.

Posted September 18th at 3:02 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Soar area

Good selection this morning - Hobby, 3 Whinchat, 7+ Yellow Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, 17 Wheatear, Peregrine, Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaff, Blackcap and flock of 500+ Linnet. 

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail


Posted September 18th at 1:36 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Avon Dam at dawn

Eight brown-head Goosanders on res this morning, the first roosters since Jun, apart from one record in Aug. Initially on the water, they then spent about 30 minutes preening on shore before flying out over dam at 0735, 40 minutes after sunrise which is later than usual.

Goosanders at Avon Dam 18 Sep @ 0645 h   Goosanders at Avon Dam 18 Sep @ 0730 h
        Goosanders at Avon Dam 18 Sep @ 0645h                 Goosanders at Avon Dam 18 Sep @ 0730h

Posted September 18th at 12:33 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Avon Dam ~ South Brent

A visit to the Avon dam yesterday, below the dam was the scene of most bird activity with Stonechat, Linnet, Goldfinch, a lone Swallow, two very pale alba type Wagtails, Chiffchaff, Dipper, Raven and Buzzard.

Posted September 18th at 7:31 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 17th September 2019

Woodbury Common

A Dotterel over Woodbury Common @1910 this evening, before heading very high west.

Yesterday evening off Mudbank - 360+ Wigeon, 40+ Pintail, 14 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 1 Tufted Duck and a Garganey.

Posted September 17th at 8:43 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

River Caen curlew sandpiper

Mid-afternoon found the curlew sandpiper that was reported by JT yesterday. Luckily it posed with the dunlin for a comparison. Later witnessed it again with Alan Denzey. Also there were a couple of wheatears near the ramp leading to the Horsey Island “breech”. A great white egret was also present on Horsey Island mud flats.

curlew sandpiper in the middle
curlew sandpiper in the middle

curlew sandpiper again
curlew sandpiper again

Posted September 17th at 8:34 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

River Caen Braunton

One of two very photogenic Wheatears....


Posted September 17th at 8:24 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Budleigh Beach

A juvenile Little Stint feeding with 11 Dunlin this evening on Budleigh Beach.

Juvenile Little Stint by Chris Townend

Posted September 17th at 8:14 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

River Caen Braunton

Curlew Sandpiper, as seen by JT yesterday, thanks to Colin Draycott finding it today....!

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Posted September 17th at 7:48 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Beer Head

A visit by the E Devon group today was very productive for the 11 members who came - varying from some very experienced birders to a couple who are very new to it all.  About 2 dozen species were seen, including a Sparrowhawk hunting through the myriad Meadow Pipits (several 100) in front of us, 2 Peregrine overhead, a Kestrel and several Buzzards.  A flock of  Yellow Wagtail, numbering at least 20, were with the pipits in a clover field, not with cattle, and in the same field were at least 1 Tree Pipit and several Skylarks.  An excellent close view of a perched Raven, 50+ Swallows, c 10 House Martins, several Wheatear and Chiffchaff wee also of interest.  (We missed a Redstart, seen earlier in the day.)  Several of us saw an unidentified seabird, possibly an Arctic Skua, but distance and bright sun behind prevented confirmation.

Posted September 17th at 5:53 pm by Colin Randall in General Birding

South Huish marsh

Blk t godwit 26 . 600+ swallows .5. Stock doves. 8 Cl.yellows.

Posted September 17th at 5:21 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

South Huish marsh

Blk t godwit 26 . 600+ swallows .5. Stock doves. 8 Cl.yellows.

Posted September 17th at 5:21 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Just returned from a few days camping in South Devon.

On Saturday aft at 15.00 an Osprey flew south over the Otter Estuary spooking all the gulls (including the ones on the Cricket field) then heading west over the pebble ridge along the coast towards the mouth of the Exe Estuary. Yesterday aft there were 2 very vocal Avocets on the Otter Estuary.

Posted September 17th at 4:16 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Seen this morning. Med Gull 26 mostly adults, Whimbrel 1, Wheatear 2,   Whitethroat 3 and 16 Cirl Bunting 

Posted September 17th at 12:44 pm by Martin Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 16th September 2019

South Brent ~ Barn owl

Nice to have a Barn owl back in the house field this evening just on 8pm, looks as if it had just bathed, no idea where but it was sat on a post drying itself, Tawny owl calling loudly close by and a sizable bat flying around as well.


Posted September 16th at 8:46 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Pinhoe/ Beacon Heath

Not birding today but a Kingfisher Old Pinn Lane (Pinn Brook) Pinhoe and a Raven over Beacon Heath Exeter about 3 pm.

Posted September 16th at 8:18 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

South Milton Ley, Sunday 15/09/19

A few dragonflies at South Milton Ley, lots of Common Darters, a couple of Migrant hawkers and a southern Hawker. Also a Small pearl bordered fritillary at Soar and a clouded yellow at south Milton.

Common Darters
Common Darters

Southern Hawker
Southern Hawker

Smal pearl bordered fritillary
Smal pearl bordered fritillary

Posted September 16th at 8:15 pm by Richie Moore in Other Wildlife

Budleigh and River Otter

My first Firecrest of the autumn along the west cliffs at Budleigh this morning and two Avocets on the River Otter this afternoon.

Posted September 16th at 8:05 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Warleigh point

At the Bere Ferrers end of the railway bridge, 1 Osprey perched in a tree eating a fish, at 1700.

Posted September 16th at 7:06 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Caen River

At about 2p.m. amongst about 30 Dunlin a 100 yards past the Toll House, was a smart Curlew Sandpiper. It was still there when I returned at about 3.45p.m. but then everything was flushed by an unseen bird of prey.

Posted September 16th at 4:38 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

East & Middle Soar

A curious dearth of scrub migrants (just one Chiffchaff) but 210 House Martin, 80 Swallow, 3 Wheatear, 550 Linnet, 13 Jackdaw east & Carrion Crow with white primaries.

Posted September 16th at 2:50 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wistlandpound Great White Egrets

2 Great White Egrets at Wistlandpound 0830 today

Posted September 16th at 1:13 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

South Brent ~ Redwings

Five Redwings flew into the berry laden hedge of my house field just before 11am this morning

Posted September 16th at 10:55 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Sunday 15th September 2019

Black Hole Marsh

Just back from a late afternoon visit to Black Hole Marsh with the Exeter & district RSPB local group. There was a good mix of waders on the marsh, including a couple of Green Sandpipers, Snipe, Ruff and Little Stint. We stayed late to look for the Barn Owl, and were surprised to see a couple of Cattle Egrets on the marsh in amongst the gulls.  Then a Great White Egret flew over! And, finally the Barn Owl did make an appearance.

Posted September 15th at 8:46 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

Clennon Valley Ponds, Paignton

A male Cleopatra butterfly on buddleia on the far side of the 4th (top) pond. There have been a few (genuine?) British records but given previous odd butterfly records in the area this is sure to be a release. Other butterflies included red admiral, painted lady, comma, small copper and assorted whites. Many migrant hawker (mostly on the first pond), southern hawker, common darter and a late blue tailed damselfly. Best of the birds were kingfisher, dabchick, tufted duck, chiffchaff, sparrowhawk.

Cleopatra, male
Cleopatra, male

migrant hawker, also male.
migrant hawker, also male.

Posted September 15th at 8:04 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

Turf Lodge

Sorry for the incorrect location on my post (thick fingers). So Cattle Egret, Osprey, Knot 3, Sandwich Tern 3 & 2 Black Swans.

Posted September 15th at 2:10 pm by Martin Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tut Lodge

Seen this morning. Western Cattle Egret & Osprey.

Posted September 15th at 10:45 am by Martin Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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