Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st October 2020


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 21st June 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Lockdown relaxations

Devon Birds would like to thank the many members and other birdwatchers who complied with the restrictions during the recent Lockdown and stayed in their local area (village, town or part of city) to birdwatch while exercising (and later) taking recreation. We hope that, despite the obvious frustrations, you found some respite in watching wildlife in your local area and perhaps discovered some birds close to home, that you might otherwise not have seen! As always, please submit sightings to the County recorder and / or BirdTrack. 
Please continue to follow the Covid related requirements (currently "rule of six outside, social distancing etc) while enjoying the new freedoms to extend your birdwatching. Some hides will remain closed for the time being and where you find one open, please follow Government guidelines on keeping yourself & others safe:
Thank you from
Devon Birds News site editors & members of the Records Committee

Posted April 2nd at 4:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman 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 18th October 2020

Great Reed Warbler

As posted earlier, the Great Reed Warbler found earlier today showed well this evening, here are some photos. Having done further reading since seeing the bird, I think it may well be a candidate for the Eastern subspecies  zarudnyi (breeding in Central Asia from North Iran to Western China, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa), though I have no experience with this race and little with the nominate. According to Cornell lab's "Birds of the World" database zarudnyi is "paler throughout, less rufous than nominate, greyer above, faintly olivaceous on rump, whiter below". This seems consistent with my photos and my overall impression of a pale, cold coloured Great Reed Warbler. Further photos are available on my ebird checklist:

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 11:47 pm by Ben Lucking in Bird News

Cadover Bridge

Hundreds of mixed Fieldfares and Redwings feediing together with a few Mistle and Song Thrush also among them a cock Ring ouzel together with a first winter female. Other birds seen Jays, Magpies, Ravens and Green Woodpeckers.

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 11:01 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Exminster marsh

A late afternoon walk around Exminster marsh, still very dry and not over busy with bird life, but 3 Water Rail, 4 Cetti's Warbler, Curlew, Black Tailed Godwit, Lapwing, several flocks of Canada geese a Barnacle goose in with one flock and at least 17 Greylag geese by another flock, Little Egret, Heron, Pied Wagtail, several flocks of Long Tailed Tit.

Good views of a Peregrine sat on one of the electric pylons.

Looking out over the estuary from Turf, large numbers of Shell duck, Curlew, Lapwing and Black Tailed Godwit, 60 plus Mute Swan and 2 Black Swan.

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 7:59 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs @ South Efford Marsh 16 October 2020

On this particular day, the bird associated with a couple of Redshank and a Greenshank, feeding very actively at the waters edge of the flooded former water meadows, north of the hide.  Flight photo included to show white rump, tail and long wings.  

Lesser Yellowlegs with Redshank
Lesser Yellowlegs with Redshank
Lesser Yellowlegs landing
Lesser Yellowlegs landing

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 7:11 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley

Influx into the valley with Ring Ouzel, 65 Robin, 21 Blue Tit, 29 Chiffchaff, 28 Blackbird, 6 Song Thrush, Green Woodpecker & Reed Bunting.

Non-avian: Humming-bird Hawk-moth

Re/.Alan's post that Common Gull looks interesting, might need to blow it up a bit.

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 6:48 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


A classic viz mig day failed to deliver, 100s Skylarks, 12 R.Ouzels the high light. Bushy birds were all but not present, only Chiffs moving in small numbers. 

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 5:35 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

Hope's Nose

Scrub areas up to 12.00pm

2 Firecrests, 2 Goldcrests, 3 Chiffchaffs, male and female Blackcaps, 11 Skylarks over, 25 Goldfinches and four species of raptor. 

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 4:23 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Seaton Wetlands

46 species recorded from today's walk around the Wetlands including a solitary pink footed goose in the flood meadows east of Colyford Hide.

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 3:40 pm by Steve Manning in Bird News

Roe deer at Saltram

This morning on the Saltram estate were 2 Roe deer looking very wary, a few dog walkers came passed and they disappeared into the woods.

Roe deer
Roe deer

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 3:38 pm by Alan Livsey in Other Wildlife

Plym estuary / Saltram

In addition to Pete's post:

207 Redshank roosting on the high tide, 6 Mandarin (3m, 3f) 2 Little grebe and 4 Ring necked Parakeet overhead.

This afternoon on the Tamar estuary / Ernesettle:-

63 Black tailed Godwit, 10 Great crested Grebe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Avocet over at Kingsmill lake.

Common gull with Herring gull.
Common gull with Herring gull.
Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 3:33 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A reasonable selection of commoner species on a sunny morning included: 5 Wigeon, Kingfisher, 7 Greenshanks, 3 Dunlins, Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 1st-w Common Gull, 2 Siskins, Peregine, 9+ Stock Doves, Stonechat & 3 Roe Deer.

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 2:43 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Garden Blackcap

Annoyed to find a male Blackcap feeding on a over-ripe pear in my Chudleigh garden - because it's one I missed yesterday!

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 2:33 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Yelland Pond, Taw Estuary

The bird we originally reported as a Paddyfield Warbler was reidentified from photos as a likely Great Reed Warbler. It finally reappeared for a group of assembled birders at about 16.20 and showed very well in excellent light, confirming ID as Great Reed Warbler. At north-west corner of the pond. A great (literally) bird for Devon; hope nobody was too disappointed! Tim Davis & Tim Jones

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 11:16 am by Tim Jones in Bird News

Cadover Bridge and Trowlesworthy

At least 3 Ring Ouzel still around. Viewed from path west of farm. 

Posted October 18th, 2020 at 8:18 am by Chris E in Bird News

Saturday 17th October 2020


am, of note: 1 Merlin (chasing Skylarks),  3 Golden Plover, 1 House Martin (being chased by a Sparrowhawk), 1 Whinchat, several Redwings, at least  4 Ring Ouzels, 15+ Chiffchaffs, and a small movement of finches overhead during the morning including 20+ Siskins, a flock of c50 Chaffinches and 4 Crossbills. 

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 11:49 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Global Bird Weekend 'big day'

I joined Naturetrek staff and leaders in a global 'virtual team' and did a 'big day' in S Devon as part of Global Bird Weekend ( Started at Emsworthy Mire at dawn (70 Fieldfare, 25 Redwing, 7 Mistle Thrush - but no Ring Ouzel! - Marsh Tit, Bullfinch, Redpoll), then Stover (Little & G C Grebes, 9 Mandarin, 3 Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Green Woodpecker, Marsh Tit & Firecrest on N side of lake, by picnic tables), finishing around Exe Estuary sites (highlights Slav Grebe, 4 Cattle Egrets over Cockwood, 55 Little Egrets, Snow and Barnacle Geese with Canadas at Exminster, 3 Mergansers, 5+ C Scoter, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Water Rails, 12 Greenshank, Green Sandpiper in R Kenn, 15 Swallows, Rock Pipit, 3 Stonechat, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff. Grand total of 98 species, but should have seen Eider, Ringed & Grey Plover, Lesser B-b Gull, Dipper, Treecreeper, Yellowhammer & Cirl Bunting. Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 8:36 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Venford Reservoir

A female/imm Goldeneye feeding at far end of reservoir at mid-day was first reported on Dartmoor since Jan 2018, also at Venford. Earlier, 11 roosting Goosanders, including three males in intermediate plumage.

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 8:13 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

Lesser Yellowlegs, South Efford Marsh

Lesser Yellowlegs showing very well this morning out on South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford. 

Also 4 Greenshank, Kingfisher, Chiffchaff and Greylag Goose of note. 

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 7:43 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Cox Tor 17th Oct 2020

On the western lower slopes of the tor, just west of the Higher Godsworthy road about 1430:

4 Ring Ouzels (one adult male, one 1st winter male, 2 brown female types), 6 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Snipe, 1 Kestrel.

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 5:23 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Challacombe moor

After a walk along the simonsbath valley, I popped back up and over Kingsford hill to challacombe moor, there were large numbers of kestrel,and buzzard. Large flights of starling about 30 or 40 in each with smaller flocks of fieldfare about 5 or 6 in 8 different lots.

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 4:16 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Redwings ~ South Brent

A huge flock of Redwing seen passing over Marley Head at 15.00hrs today heading towards Plymouth, despite being about a mile away the flock was initially big enough to be seen by the naked eye.

Short while later a soaring Sparrow hawk came over.

Yesterday upon the Devon Somerset border almost constant movement of flocks of Golden Plover, Redwing and Fieldfare.

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 3:49 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


2.15 pm On the road out of Starcross going to Mamhead, counted 31 Cattle Egrets in field on left, around this large Water Trough. Flock seems to be getting bigger every time I see them! Although seen them here before, 1st time I had seen them using the water trough.

Little Egrets
Cattle Egrets

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 3:07 pm by simon Thurgood in Bird News

RSPB Powderham Marshes

08:17 - 09:34

Male Bullfinch, 2 Buzzard and 6 Swallow were the highlights.

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 2:46 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Staddon heights

Had a good walk through some of the lanes around the heights, plenty of birds in newly ploughed fields lots of goldfinch and chaffinches and nice to see a few greenfinches in amongst them also good numbers of meadow pipit..  pied wagtail..stonechat 

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 1:49 pm by Mike Williams ? in Bird News

Last swallow, first redwing

First of the redwings on the farm this last week and today a swallow flying around. 

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 12:03 pm by Ann Willcocks in Bird News

Ring Ousels

5 Ring Ousels seen on Godsworthy road (out of Tavistock towards Pork Hill )

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 11:17 am by Isobel Davies in Bird News

Glossy Ibis

Cycled along Fremington Pill yesterday and spotted the 2 Glossy Ibis, only had my phone with me unfortunately so didn't get a decent photo.

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 10:44 am by Duncan Leitch in Bird News

Trowlesworthy and Cadover Bridge

At least one Ring Ouzel still around, 9 Swallow (E), Goosander 1f over, 2 Snipe, 2 Cormorant, 5 Teal, 45 Redwing, 25 Fieldfare, Reed Bunting plus usuals 

Posted October 17th, 2020 at 9:45 am by Chris E in Bird News

Friday 16th October 2020

Upper Tamar Estuary

Does this impaled bee indicate the recent presence of a shrike, or are there other explanations? Found by Pru Barnes a few days ago, it follows an impaled beetle found on the same fence last month. Also yesterday afternoon in a wet rushy field in the Weir Quay area, a Great White Egret and a Barn Owl hunted, and today Pru reported a Red Kite.

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 9:45 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

Fremington Pill Cattle Egrets

Just after 6pm several cattle egrets joined the little egrets and the two glossy ibis at the roost site at the top of the Pill. Gloomy conditions made it hard to see exactly how guess would be five. Recently have seen the Ibis several times grazing near the marshy section in the cattle field next to Saltpill Pond.

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 8:50 pm by Sue Ambler in Bird News

Soar & South Huish

No sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs first thing, but it showed well early afternoon at South Efford Marsh where also: 2 Kingfishers, 2 Greenshanks & 57 Teal.

In between, a brief look at Soar produced 3 Ring Ouzels, Fieldfare & just 1 Goldcrest & 3 Chiffchaffs. 

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 7:47 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Redwings at Knightshayes

At least 30+ Redwing plus 1 Fieldfare seen in the trees at Knightshayes Court NT gardens.  

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 7:37 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Bird News

Lost Property

Found in the Shipley Bridge car park at 13.15 - 8x32 binoculars- look expensive - contact me on 01548 560076 

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 6:47 pm by Mike PASSMAN in Bird News

River Kenn, Powderham

Found a Great White Egret this morning on the River Kenn.

Distant shot of GWE and unimpressed Grey Heron
Distant shot of GWE and unimpressed Grey Heron

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 5:51 pm by simon Thurgood in Bird News

Multiple Mistle Thrush nr Stover

About 50 Mistle Thrush passing through the Heritage pathway near Stover park yesterday 15th. Also couple of Meadow Pipit, single Goldcrest,  pair of Stonechat, Common Buzzard, 3 Nuthatch and a handful of Long Tailed Tits around to. Lake has plenty of Tufted ducks, BH gulls and coots as well as a single Marsh  or Willow Tit (to flighty to pinpoint which) around where the children scatter seeds for the ducks.

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 5:08 pm by Kenneth Bradley in Bird News

Hobby ~ South Brent

16.30hrs this afternoon a Hobby seen from home flying over Inglenook, South Brent

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 5:02 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Sandwich tern Teignmouth

One Sandwich Tern, close in between the Ness and the Pier today.

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 4:13 pm by Mark Brandon in Bird News

Orcombe point exmouth

Watched from 09:35 till 13:30

On the walk up to the top of gore lane at least 12 chiffchaffs with another 4 around the track to Bristol school camp at the top of gore lane plenty of skylarks and meadow pipit over 3 crossbill, 1 yellowhammer a few chaffinch and goldfinch, 1 great spotted woodpecker, 4+ raven and 110+ jackdaw , 5 goldcrest in hedge along footpath to the coastal footpath.

As I joined the coastal path a female Merlin flew in off the sea putting up about 30 meadow pipits from the field as it sped through heading north, 2 kestrel were hunting along the cliffs 

sat down at the geo needle and watched a short eared owl fly in off the sea over the cliffs and headed up towards gore lane being mobbed by magpies crows and meadow pipits , 21+ swallows along cliffs and a group of 40+ woodpigeon flew across the bay and headed east, another 6 chiffchaffs around orcombe point and 2 stonechat.

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 4:05 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Start Point

Highlights this morning Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel, 23 Swallows, Fieldfare, Redwing, 10 Chiffchaffs, Grey Wagtail, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 7 Goldcrests, 23 Starlings. 6 Crossbills and 3 Redpolls overhead.

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 3:56 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Berry Head

Not very much new around the headland: 4 Firecrest, 14 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcap, 5 Stonechat and around 400 Guillemots on the cliffs this morning.

Overhead migration was a little better highlights:  17 Crossbills, 47 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 4 Redwing, 11 Skylarks, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 22 Chaffinches. 

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 3:19 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Fremington Pill

1 Spotted Redshank , 3 Greenshanks , 20 + Dunlins & 2 Glossy Ibis in the Pill this morning.

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 9:37 am by David Paterson in Bird News


Friday 15/10/20

George Nympton: Cormorant

Fremington Pill: Peregrine, glossy ibis, L. egret, 6 teal, 2 green sandpiper, 70 redshank, 6 dunlin

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 9:26 am by art symons in Bird News

Trowlesworthy, Cadover Bridge

At least 4 Ring Ouzel with around 200 Fieldfare and 40+ Redwing in bushes west of River Plym. Viewed from the path west of Trowlesworthy Farm, standing next to stone wall. Scope recommended. 

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 9:00 am by Chris E in Bird News


5 Redwings over Lyte's Road, Brixham at 07.55.  

Posted October 16th, 2020 at 8:03 am by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Thursday 15th October 2020

East Soar

Mid/late afternoon. Further to Rob's earlier post: the (presumed same) Yellow-browed Warbler still in Starehole Valley up near the Goat Track, a Firecrest in the Willows, at least 15 Song Thrushes in Starehole and a lone Redwing.

Posted October 15th, 2020 at 9:14 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Lone Cattle Egret around the middle car park, although has been mobile due to people working in the fields and tractor movement.

Thank you to the Birder who told me about it, sorry dont know your name.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted October 15th, 2020 at 3:49 pm by simon Thurgood in Bird News

East Soar

Highlight this morning was a Yellow-browed Warbler in Starehole Valley calling and seen well. Also: 5 Ring Ouzel, 13 Blackbird, 5 Song Thrush, 15 Swallow, 28 Robin, 28 Chiffchaff, 75 House Sparrow, female migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2m Bullfinch, Water Rail, 25 Goldfinch, White Wagtail, 5 Blackcap, 3 Coal Tit & 9 Blue Tit moving up through Starehole Valley, Whinchat, 30 Meadow Pipit, 25 Starling N & 14 Jackdaw NW.

Posted October 15th, 2020 at 2:40 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Ring Ouzel

There were at least 3 in the Vitifer Valley , along with 12 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing  , this morning

Posted October 15th, 2020 at 2:05 pm by Peter Castle in Bird News

Cattle Egret

9 of 10 Cattle Egret flying up the Little Dart valley near Witheridge. 

Posted October 15th, 2020 at 12:48 pm by Chris Boyles in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

The Lesser Yellowlegs still at South Efford Marsh this morning though elusive / look down the marsh from the hide and bird favours the right hand bay (out of sight) but does venture out onto the nearer spit where it shows well. 

Posted October 15th, 2020 at 11:20 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

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