Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th October 2020


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Wednesday 7th October 2020

Berry Head

The Yellow Browed Warbler recently reported by Mike Langman remains in the Sycamores below the Warden bungalow, very well marked bird but difficult to observe given the depth of cover and only calling periodically, at least four Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests in the same spot.

By the bungalow a male Cirl Bunting, at least four Chiffchaff, good numbers of House Sparrow and Goldfinch.

At Broadsands in the corner screened off car park at least five Chiffchaff, twelve plus Long Tailed tit and two Goldcrest.

Back at home at South Brent the would be Italian Sparrow still showing well around the garden feeders, Tawny owl first thing this morning.

Yesterday a first winter tiercel Peregrine in after my racing pigeons, two Jay, good numbers of Greenfinch on the feed station.

Yellow Browed Warbler
Yellow Browed Warbler
Yellow Browed Warbler
Yellow Browed Warbler

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 9:05 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Berry Head

Overhead migration from 0730-1130hrs produced: 3 Redpolls, 21 Siskins, 2 Crossbills, 3 Bullfinches, 42 Chaffinch, 8 Linnet,16 Skylark, 300+ Swallows, 100+ House Martins, 2 Song Thrush.

Around the headland: 16 Chiffchaff, 7 Goldcrest, 8 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 3 Mistle Thrush. Other wildlife, Clouded Yellow and Wall Butterflies, Hummingbird Hawkmoth hundreds of Ivy Bees.

Brixham Breakwater: 1 ad winter Mediterranean Gull showed really well.

            Mediterranean Gull ad Brixham 07 Oct 2020 ML   Ivy Bee Berry Head 7th Oct 2020

               Mediterrnean Gull ad w                                                                 Ivy Bee

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 8:50 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

Visible migration this morning in dry, but still fairly blustery conditions, with a stiff WNW wind only slowly easing, included: Common Scoter 3 (W), Common Gull 1, Great Northern Diver 1 (flying W), Cormorant 16 (SW in groups of 2 to 6), Grey Heron 4, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 2, Skylark 8, Swallow 7, alba wagtail 6, Meadow Pipit 39, Chaffinch 3, Linnet 44. Very little in the scrub (which has taken a real beating from the weather lately) apart from a scattering of Blackbirds, Robins, Stonechats and Goldcrests; probably migrants for the most part.

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 5:31 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News


Best today were 5 Ring Ouzel in Starehole inc. a stunning male, 3 Wheatear, 17 Chiffchaff, 4 Swallow, 2 White Wagtail in with Pieds, Goldcrest, 6 Blackcap, 2 Coal Tit (migrants in Starehole), Bullfinch, male Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Woodpecker & 10 Cirl Bunting.

Earlier (per Richard Thomas) at Bolt Tail, Yellow-browed Warbler, 11 Crossbill W, Lesser Redpoll & 50+ Siskin all west.

Non-avian: 2 Clouded Yellow, 5 Wall Brown, 2 Southern Hawker & Migrant Hawker, Humming-bird Hawk-moth, Hornet Robber Fly.

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 4:25 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Five Ring Ouzels (in Stare Hole) were the best of a rather quiet session today. However also, Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, 6 Siskins, 13 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 4 Blackcaps, Bullfinch, 2 Sparrowhawks, 24 Alba Wagtails, 4 Clouded Yellows & 4 Sika Deer.

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 3:38 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Odd start to the day: as I arrived at 7.45ish, I could hear the whistle of birds wings flying above, but these clearly weren't Swans and on looking up I saw several Ravens. They kept coming (from the South East) and eventually I counted over 20, all heading off towards Saunton/Croyde. Ringing started well with 5 Blackcaps and a couple of Goldcrests in the early rounds, but the supply of new birds soon dried up, as did my interest level when a friend sent me a text : Are you on the boat to Lundy? Once I found out why I thought hmmm. 3 Cormorants flew over heading south (unusual here) a Little Egret was over a couple of times, and hundreds of Canada Geese also went over mostly headed SE. One Swallow and one Mediterranean Gull over.

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 3:31 pm by jon turner in Bird News

Start Point.

Around the farm this morning ,16 Chiffchaffs. 7 Goldcrests ,6 Blackcaps. 6. Robins and 1 Grey Wagtail.  In the Sycamores 25+ Goldfinches and 40+ Chaffinches.  2 Wheatears in the headlights on the approach road before dawn.

1st. Yr, m. Goldcrest
1st. Yr, m. Goldcrest
Ad. f. Goldfinch
Ad. f. Goldfinch

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 3:01 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Avon Dam

At least five Ring Ouzels in rowan and holly trees below the dam at Long-a-Traw this morning. 

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 10:04 am by Peter Reay in Bird News

Trowlesworthy, Cadover Bridge

Merlin chasing Meadow Pipits first thing. 

Posted October 7th, 2020 at 9:03 am by Chris E in Bird News

Tuesday 6th October 2020

Rillage Point

A flock of 19 female Pintail flying W, low over the sea, at lunchtime today – an extremely rare species for the N coast away from the Taw & Torridge Estuary. Otherwise, all quiet birdwise amidst huge seas and short-lived but dramatic squalls driven along on westerly gales.

Posted October 6th, 2020 at 10:55 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Exe estuary

From Cockwood steps at mid-day - about 30 swallows, 6 house martins and one wheatear. Distant views of 6 pale-bellied brents with 20 or so dark-bellied. Two sandwich terns actively feeding and the Slavonian grebe still present.

Posted October 6th, 2020 at 5:27 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

‘The Byes’ Sidmouth

A surprise encounter at Sidmouth today.


Posted October 6th, 2020 at 5:06 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Trowlesworthy, Cadover Bridge

Two Whinchat and one Wheatear around the farm this afternoon. 

Posted October 6th, 2020 at 4:36 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Tavistock 6th Oct 2020

Late morning 3 or 4 House Martins feeding over Tavistock Market area

Posted October 6th, 2020 at 4:06 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Monday 5th October 2020

Berry Head 2

A stroll around  Berry Head this afternoon produced a 1w male Ring Ouzel in the scrub below the café. also 70-80 House Martins, 1 Sand Martin and 1 Swallow hawking the slope too. Ring Ouzel Berry Head 5th October 2020 ML

Posted October 5th, 2020 at 6:42 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Brief visit this afternoon coincided with low water in the estuary so no waders on the marshes. The pools and scrapes beginning to hold water (at long last). Flock of 11 skylarks over west, 8 house martins scattered around and a few chiffchaffs with a flock of tits alongside the railway. At Turf several hundred black-tailed godwits, a few redshank and a small flock of golden plover.

Posted October 5th, 2020 at 5:41 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


A large Tit-flock (mostly Blue - about 20) was in the reserve, also mixed up with them were 6/8 Great Tit, 3 or 4 Long-tailed Tit, at least one Chiffchaff a Chaffinch and a bird with a streaky breast, slim bill, and lightly forked tail, then it flew off! Best guess would be Tree Pipit.

Still several Nuthatches in my garden after the black sunflower seeds.

Posted October 5th, 2020 at 2:03 pm by jon turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A bit of a mixed bag this morning around the area. Apart from the normal suspects I also saw the following. 2 Sandwich Tern on Blaxton meadow along with a single Snipe, 1Wigeon, 49 Curlew, 168 Redshank, 6 Greenshank & a Kingfisher. Around Saltram 1 Spotted Flycatcher and my first Redwing of the season. Along the river were 2 Little Grebe.

Posted October 5th, 2020 at 12:41 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Yellow -browed Warbler-Dawlish Warren

Good views of Yellow-browed Warbler seen from the new hide overlooking the lake at Dawlish Warren at 10.00am this morning. Actively feeding on the leaves in trees to the left of the hide, unfortunately not photographed. Showing clear wing bar and supercilium. First picked up by one of the U3A group members who wondered what it was. Cirl Buntings also singing well.

Posted October 5th, 2020 at 11:37 am by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

Berry Head

A Yellow-browed Warbler was 60 m down the road from the Wardens bungalow in sycamores otherwise many more Chiffchaffs and goldcrest today and a Firecrest up near the navigation beacon.

Yellow browed Warbler Berry Hd 051020 ML Yellow browed Warbler Berry Hd 051020 ML

Posted October 5th, 2020 at 10:32 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 4th October 2020

House Martins - Axe

Late afternoon walk between Musbury and Whitford. I would normally expect to see 2 or 3 House Martins but today there were several in the lee of every tree and tall hedge and also plenty feeding along the River Axe. I must have seen 2-300 on this 45 minute walk. A few Swallows as well, mainly round farm buildings. 

Posted October 4th, 2020 at 5:03 pm by Mike Lock in Bird News

Hope's Nose


2 very colourful Firecrests, 20 House Martins in and around the quarry, Swallow, 14 Goldfinches, Wheatear, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 calling Blackcaps. 

Posted October 4th, 2020 at 3:30 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Westcliff, Soar Mill Valley

Whinchat & 6 Wheatear in rainswept conditions!

Posted October 4th, 2020 at 2:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

River Teign , Hackney

River Teign Hackney at lunchtime greenshank outnumbering redshank today 9 to 2.

Posted October 4th, 2020 at 1:42 pm by Peter Stevens in Bird News

North Hallsands / Slapton Ley

Yellow-browed Warbler by the ponds at North Hallsands. A few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs present. Around at Slapton Ley a generous covering of House Martins over it's entirety. Estimate c5000. 

Posted October 4th, 2020 at 11:57 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

Yesterday evening lots of House Martins, at least 50, were almost frantically flying up to the two now vacatednests on our apartments just by the coast. Several at a time landed on a nest being quickly replaced by others. This went on for at least half an hour but very poor light so couldn't be sure whether any actually entered the high-up nests. This morning, from before 8, still in poor light and drizzle, perhaps a coup!e of hundred were resting on the gutters, balcony edges, and even on the very steep slate roof. From time to time they all flew off and circled round before landing again. As far as I could fell, most if not all were juveniles. They are still here at 11.30 am. Extraordinary behaviour, which I've never seen before. I guess the very poor visibility means they can't yet head South over the sea?

Posted October 4th, 2020 at 11:43 am by Colin Randall in Bird News

Berry Head

0730-0930hrs Most of the interest was overhead migration - highlights: 102 Siskins, 1 Redpoll, 63 Goldfinch 75 House Martin, 13 Swallow

Around the headland: 9 Goldcrest, 7 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear, 1 Stonechat, 3 Coal Tits. Also 150+ Guillemots have already returned to the cliffs. 

Posted October 4th, 2020 at 10:12 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 3rd October 2020


One Swallow over the Velator reserve this morning. Plus a few  - maybe a dozen - House Martins over the north side of Braunton late afternoon. Nothing like the quantities being seen down in the south of the County.!

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 6:34 pm by jon turner in Bird News

Bishops Walk Torquay

25 House martins flying along the coast towards Hopes Nose then back towards Ansteys Cove. 

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 5:23 pm by Mick Curran in Bird News

Plymouth Hoe

Between the Cattewater and West Hoe, this afternoon: 2 Kingfishers, 2+ Sandwich Terns, 2 Rock Pipits & 3 Turnstones.

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 4:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


I've just seen a single swallow over my flat in Great Torrington (lunchtime 3rd October).

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 2:43 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News


Large flock of mainly House Martins seen In Goodleigh Parish EX31 2.30 

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 2:39 pm by Jeremy Holtom in Bird News

House Martins - Kingsteignton

A flock of over 300+ House Martins moving North East over Kingsteignton at 0830hrs.

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 12:16 pm by JDA in Bird News

Mass Hirundine movement over Dawlish

Several flocks of several hundred birds each (mainly House Martins) in off the sea and heading NW over Dawlish earlier this morning. 

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 12:01 pm by David Bickerton in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

An arrival of 2 Shovelers & 3 Wigeons on Blaxton Meadow this morning, and a sharp increase in Curlews there to 48. Also, 2 Sandwich Terns, 7 Greenshanks, 17 Little Egrets & a Kingfisher.

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 11:39 am by Pete Aley in Bird News

Scadson Woods - Paignton

Flock of over 100 swallows flying fast east over garden also Hobby seen very soon after flying up Hollicombe valley towards Occombe at 10.00 hours. I would guess both sightings connected !  

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 10:46 am by Clive Mason in Bird News

Mass movement of House Martins ~ South Brent

For the last hour there has been a mass movement of House Martins over South Brent, simply thousands of birds generally headed into the westerly breeze, I have never seen anything like it previously.

A couple of phone calls show that the flock extends over a mile from Marley Head to the A38 side of the village, at times it is like viewing a murmaration of Starlings, simply an amazing sight. At one point hundreds landed on the roof of Willow House residential home next door and the electrical wires running nearby.

Eventually at 10.30hrs a female Sparrow hawk arrived and the flocks went up high and began to move away but we still have a good number of birds passing by after almost two hours of the most incredible activity.

Also a flock of some 50 plus Goldfinch passed over.

House Martins
House Martins
House Martins
House Martins

Posted October 3rd, 2020 at 10:45 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Friday 2nd October 2020

Teign Estuary, Hackney

Group of five Greenshank at hackney lunchtime today.

Posted October 2nd, 2020 at 3:52 pm by Pete Stevens in Bird News

Shoalstone Brixham

Seawatching from shelter between 1.30- 2.30pm produced: 3 Arctic Skuas, 2 Arctic Terns, 2 Sandwich Terns, 1 Mediterranean Gull (2nd W). 

Posted October 2nd, 2020 at 3:06 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Ilfracombe Pier

This Lunchtime in rough Ne conditions 4 Arctic Skuas 2 dark 2 pale in close heading E up channel. Followed by another 7 in the next 10 mins. Walked all around Heartland Point yesterday in good conditions, only a few Gannets to be seen whereas the the previous Thurs 2 Great Skuas off Heartland Quay with a further 4 down the coast toward Wellcombe.  

Posted October 2nd, 2020 at 2:45 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News


2 Willow Tit and a Blue Tit on the feeder.

Posted October 2nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Thursday 1st October 2020

Exe estuary

Nothing out of the ordinary, but:

- at various points, small groups of Swallows, feeding rather than heading decisively S. Also, amazingly, a day without Canada Geese. Has God listened to me/us?;

- at Countesswear/Matford, two Water Rails squealing from the ditches, a Green Sandpiper, and my first Snipe of the Winter;

- at Powderham, two Kingfishers and 150+ Teal on the Kenn, and ten Greenshanks in the estuary;

- from Cofton Steps, a G-C Grebe and 200+ Brent Geese, always a cheering sight and sound, including a party of 8-10 Pale-Bellied towards Shutterton Creek;

- on and off Dawlish Warren, two Cirl Buntings "seeeee"-ing invisibly from the brambles and another squealing Rail, two Eider amongst the sand banks, twenty or more Scoter in several groups, and a Great Skua heading SW, perhaps to add Queen Mary to its English Channel list.

Posted October 1st, 2020 at 9:26 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

First trip to the marshes for some time - very quiet for birds on the marsh this afternoon - highlight being a female Marsh Harrier, perched for some time. Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk made up a nice quartet of raptors.

Posted October 1st, 2020 at 9:13 pm by Peter& Carole Leigh in Bird News

Barnstaple old bridge

1Whimbrel,1Snipe,1Wheatear,1Blacktailed Godwit,1Common Sandpiper and 6 Redshank.


Posted October 1st, 2020 at 6:44 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A rather wet visit late afternoon produced 2 Sandwich Terns (on a buoy on the lower estuary), 6 Greenshanks, 162 Redshanks, 10 Oystercatchers & 13 Little Egrets.

Posted October 1st, 2020 at 6:38 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Head Yesterday

A few pictures from Ben Lucking from yesterdays seawatch in very wet conditions!

dark phase Arctic Skua Ben Lucking  Sotty Shearwater and pale Balearic ShearwaterBen Lucking

 Arctic Skua - Dark Phase ad                                              Sooty & pale Balearic Shearwaters


Posted October 1st, 2020 at 1:22 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

East Soar

Visit from dawn but still quiet: 2 Sparrowhawk, 100 Skylark, 25 Swallow, 120 Meadow Pipit, 10 Wheatear, 4 Song Thrush, 4 Blackcap, 13 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Jay in Starehole, 55 Goldfinch & 350 Linnet.

Posted October 1st, 2020 at 12:29 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wembury point

Good numbers of meadow pipits ,robin and stonechat this morning along with the usual suspects..but best was a count of 14 cirl  bunting 

Posted October 1st, 2020 at 11:59 am by Mike Williams in Bird News

30/09 Common Snipe and Skylarks

Call notes lead to sightings. At Stowford Moor, East Stowford, my attention fixed first from the notes of a pair of common snipe flushed by grazing sheep and immediately after by the "warbling" on high from two  skylarks... late September magic!.

Posted October 1st, 2020 at 10:32 am by stewart beer in Bird News

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