Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 15th–21st March 2020

Request 2021 records requiring further information

If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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

Saturday 21st March 2020

Early bird, Dartmoor

Ring Ouzel! Overlooking the Teign Valley in Devon (some 200 metres above sea level).

Posted March 21st, 2020 at 5:41 pm by Ashley in Bird News

River Avon at Topsham Bridge

Pair of Goosanders and a Dipper 

Posted March 21st, 2020 at 5:07 pm by Roger White in Bird News

Saltram/Plym Est 21.3.2020

At about 1400 one Avocet on Blaxton Meadow pool. On estate 5 Little Egrets with cattle (no Cattle Egrets seen). Blackcap singing. One Ring Necked Parakeet.  On estuary Goosander 3 (I male) and Greenshank. Female Red Crested Pochard on Saltram House pond.

Posted March 21st, 2020 at 3:38 pm by Roger Smaldon in Bird News

Fernworthy Res, Dartmoor

1 female Long-tailed Duck still, 25 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Common Crossbill, 8 Siskin

Posted March 21st, 2020 at 12:44 pm by Rick Lockwood in Bird News

Fremington Pill & Home Farm Marsh

Photos from this morning

Cattle Egret                                    Ruff                              Spotted Redshank

Posted March 21st, 2020 at 12:32 pm by David paterson in Bird News

Fremington Pill & Home Farm Marsh

3 Cattle Egrets in the roost, 2 Ruffs & 1 Spotted Redshank in the pill .1 Red Kite being mobbed over Home Farm Marsh.

Posted March 21st, 2020 at 9:50 am by David paterson in Bird News

RSPB-Powderham/Exminster Marshes (yesterday)

Green-winged Teal still showing in left water channel with pair of Gadwall viewed from seating area. Also seen were female Marsh Harrier hunting to the south of the marsh, 2 Green Sandpipers, ad/male Ruff with several Sand Martins heading north tracking along the electric pylons during the morning.

At Exminster marsh middle car park gateway 100+ Sand Martins seen feeding around the pools mid-afternoon and 3 Wheatear (m & 2-f) north of the marsh from end of track leading away from car park.

Green-winged TealMarsh HarrierWheatear
Green-winged Teal                         Marsh Harrier                     Wheatear

Posted March 21st, 2020 at 8:13 am by David Boult in Bird News

Friday 20th March 2020

Wheatear - Northam Burrows

Wheatear - 12 noon GR SS 44851 31302

Posted March 20th, 2020 at 10:17 pm by JOHN WARD in Bird News


Sand Martins over the scrape again this morning, plus an influx of Chiffs: at least 7 seen in the reserve, one of which despite the cold wind, did actually sing. Not too much else of note, but reminds me I saw flock of 15 Black-tailed Godwits over the adjacent Sherpa Marsh yesterday.

Posted March 20th, 2020 at 2:02 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Dartmoor ~ Glazebrook

Walked the Glazebrook onto Dartmoor this morning, cold with a strong wind, initially very little bird life on the actual moor but some birds to be seen on the adjoining farmland, nineteen species seen in total, 2 Nuthatch, male Blackcap, Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Wren, 7 Skylark, 55 Meadow Pipit, 3 Buzzard, 4 Raven, 15 Carrion Crow and a single Stock Dove.

Posted March 20th, 2020 at 1:17 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

RSPB Powderham Marshes

07:38 - 09:23

Highlights were a single female Marsh Harrier, a single male Green-winged Teal, a Snow Goose, 6 Sand Martin and Cirl Bunting.

 Please excuse the dodgy iPhone-through-scope snap.

Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal

Posted March 20th, 2020 at 12:19 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

An early visit to keep my social distance therefore the tide was out. 8 Cattle Egrets flew up the Estuary towards Saltram house. They were followed shortly after be a male Peregrine who came in low over the mud and continued over Sainsbury’s. Not much on the Estuary to catch his attention. The only other birds of note were Kingfisher, 10 Redwing, 3 Common Sandpiper & 2 Siskins.

Posted March 20th, 2020 at 10:06 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Thursday 19th March 2020


Quiet in the reserve still only a single Chiffchaff. Singing Green and Chaffinch livened things up a bit, as did the Sand Martins out over the scrape.

Back home while digging in my garden Green Woodpecker calling, GSW drumming and the delightful melody of my first singing Blackbird this year. Gave me the inspiration to get on with the job!

Posted March 19th, 2020 at 5:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


On a dull,damp day like today there were still plenty of birds to see and hear while walking the dog. A Song Thrush high-up in a tree, Blackbirds all around, House Sparrows cheeping, Magpies, crows and Wood pigeon, collared Dove, Blue tits, a Robin and even a pair of Green finches.

Song ThrushBlackbirdRobin
Song Thrush                             Blackbird                                           Robin

Posted March 19th, 2020 at 4:28 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley

8 singing Chiffchaffs plus Green Woodpecker.

Posted March 19th, 2020 at 4:17 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Sand Martin

Three Sand Martins feeding on flood channel south of Trewsweir today 3:34pm. 

Posted March 19th, 2020 at 4:13 pm by Mike Booth in Bird News

Wheatear at Exmouth

Single Wheatear flying in off the sea at Orcombe Point early this morning.

Posted March 19th, 2020 at 1:13 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Powderham Marsh today; Ide - Perridge yesterday

Today, a two-hour scan in the company of others produced many Sand Martins, and singles of Green-Winged Teal, Scaup, Green Sandpiper, Peregrine, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk with several Reed Buntings on the bird table, and a pair of Stonechats on the walk from the Swan's Nest..

Yesterday, the lane from Ide to Longdown started with a Dipper on the Alphinbrook, and finished, North of the trig. point, with flocks of Redwing (20+, perhaps the last of the Winter), Linnet (25+), Siskin (10+), Crossbill (5+), (with two additional isolated singing males), and Stock Dove (35+). Have not seen a flock of the latter locally before; are they, like Wood Pigeon, a partial migrant, so were these returning from further S. or W.? Along the way, lots of song, especially from Yellowhammer, Mistle Thrush, and, above all, Larks, mostly exultant, but some mournful.

Posted March 18th, 2020 at 9:54 pm by James Camden in Bird News

South Molton Community Woodland

2 singing chiffchaff this morning

Posted March 18th, 2020 at 8:57 pm by Art Symons in Bird News

Yellowhammer - Haldon Forest

Single male yellowhammer with the chaffinches and siskins at the feeding station.

Posted March 18th, 2020 at 6:48 pm by JacquieB in Bird News


Lots (well 20+) of Sand Martins over the scrape and later a few over the reserve, Not much change in the reserve, although the water level has again gone down a bit more. Chiffchaff, Water Rail, Cetti's Warblers calling, And the male Little Grebe's call has finally worked - he has attracted a mate! He also had a go at a passing Mallard this morning.

Posted March 18th, 2020 at 2:17 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Fremington Pill and Wrafton pond

Popped out yesterday afternoon, first to Fremington Pill though very few birds around. Got a quick shot of an Egret in flight. I then went down to Wrafton pond.  There was very little there to report just a few Coots, Moorhens, Snipe, Mallard (M&F), a couple of Little grebes and two male Pochard.  A singing Chiffchaff made the trip worthwhile.

Little EgretMale PochardCoot
Little Egret                          Male Pochard                                Coot

Posted March 17th, 2020 at 6:05 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Sandwich Tern flew past the beach heading toward Exmouth this morning

Posted March 17th, 2020 at 5:06 pm by Peter Leigh in Bird News

Paignton Beach

3 Pale-Bellied Brent Geese flew in off the sea this afternoon to feed on the rocks at the south end of the beach.

Posted March 17th, 2020 at 5:03 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Labrador Bay

Surf Scoter & Velvet Scoter around the bouys but distant.

Posted March 17th, 2020 at 2:51 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


10 Cattle Egrets feeding in amongst the cattle! Also with a couple of Little Egrets.

Posted March 17th, 2020 at 8:45 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Monday 16th March 2020


4Wheatears ms and f.Ring -n duck .Slapton ,Ireland bay ,Gt White Egret, which we found at 2.30 pm. 

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 8:22 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

red kites

2 Red Kites slowly circling and moving east over West Sandford late this afternoon. Influx of ChiffChaffs this morning at least 4 singing in the hamlet this morning.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 7:01 pm by steve Colombe in Bird News

Wheatear - Brandy Head, Nr Ladram Bay

Wheatear flew in off the sea around midday.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 6:50 pm by JacquieB in Bird News

Fernworthy Reservoir

A Red Kite hunting around the approach road to Fernworthy 4.15pm. The Long Tailed Duck is still present.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 5:52 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News


Much as yesterday, except no sign of the Water Pipit, I noticed Roger and Dave from Bideford over on the Tarka Trail, presumably hoping to see it.

Only one Chiffchaff a Water Rail and a Little Grebe of note in the reserve.

The flood is slowly receding.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 5:38 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Labrador Bay

Velvet Scoter and Surf Scoter around buoys offshore at 13.40 today.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 5:10 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News

East Soar & Slapton Ley

3 male Wheatears on the lowest seaward slopes of Bolt Head and Chiffchaff on the cliff top.

Non-avian: 7 Peacocks.

Slapton Ley:  Great White Egret in Ireland Bay, Black Swan and singing Chiffchaff.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 4:59 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Broadsands, Paignton

9 members of DB attended the East Devon Branch fieldtrip this morning.  8 Cirl Buntings (3 males) were present in the second car park with a Chiffchaff in the hedgerow.  The main challenge came from the search for 2 Firecrest reported and which were eventually found in ivy covered trees opposite Sycamore Close together with a Goldcrest, 3 Bullfinch and a singing Blackcap. Overhead were 2 Buzzard and a Raven. Out in the bay 2 Great Northern Diver were present with a Common Scoter near the mussel beds.  A grey seal was close in to the shore.

PLEASE NOTE. In view of the 'virus crisis' members will be asked to keep 2 meters distance from each other, not to share scopes and drivers will decide whether they wish to car share or not.  We will continue with our Branch Fieldtrip Programme until the crisis determines otherwise and members will be informed of any future changes as they occur.  Thank you.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 3:55 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Radford Lake 16-03-20

Nothing much to report around this lake, the Kingfishers showing well but not for Pictures, the only interest were two Wrens having a right old fight


Posted March 16th, 2020 at 3:04 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Labrador bay

2 distant scoters just right of the buoys. 1 common and the surf. No sign of either the velvet scoter or the long tailed duck

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 2:30 pm by Jeff Hacon in Bird News

Gaya trust , Lower Yelland farm.

4 Cattle Egrets feeding amongst a flock of sheep , adjacent to Isley Marsh.

Also Spotted Redshank still on Fremington Pill.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 2:21 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Dawlish Warren NNR

At least two Wheatear on site. First of year here I think.

Also Warren Crocus in flower, making for a very spring-like Monday

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 2:11 pm by Steve Ayres in Bird News

Warblers-East Charleton

East Charleton 1km square - 3, possibly 4 male Chiffchaffs now holding territory, the 1st singing male Blackcap on possible territory this morning. The full 1km has yet to be searched, only the most productive breeding area has been visited so far.

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 11:38 am by Barrie Whitehall in Bird News

Thornhillhead, North Devon

Glorious morning, alive with singing. First Chiffchaff of the year and a Greenfinch (not often seen here). Male Yellowhammer and Marsh Tit under/at the feeders. At least six soaring buzzards including a very light individual and two engaged in aerial talon grabbing. Three ravens and 2 Mistle thrushes flying. Great stuff!

Posted March 16th, 2020 at 10:48 am by Mark West in Bird News

Sunday 15th March 2020

Wrafton pond

Sunday morning. Just the usual suspects on the pond.

Little GrebeMale PochardSnipe
Little Grebe                    Male Pochard                           Snipe

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 11:53 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


Today off the Pier a Juv Glaucous gull was being mobbed by the Herring Gulls, a snow white gull, I saw it on Friday as well. Returning Lesser Black Backed Gulls are up to about ten inc this paler individual, all the rest are much darker. Capstone to the Pier had 3 pairs of Purple Sandpipers and this afternoon over Cairn no less than 9 Buzzards. Recently Juv Iceland Gull still and a 2nd CY Great Black Backed Gull with a green darvic leg ring possibly ringed on Bardsey. 

Purple SandpipersLesser Black-backed Gull
Purple Sandpipers                               Lesser Black-backed Gull

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 10:49 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

15/03/2020 Teign Estuary to Sprey Point

Between the estuary and Sprey point at least three Great Northern Divers.  Off Sprey point sixty Common Scoter.

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 10:32 pm by Pete Stevens in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

A brief visit this afternoon between the showers 14 Sand Marrtins and 1 Swallow actively feeding over the main lagoon. Also singing chiffchaff and a male Wheatear. 

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 8:43 pm by Ray Hamilton in Bird News

Challacombe Moor.

After four months of weekend drive outs, finally I got to see a short eared owl, along with many other observers. The odd buzzard, flocks of golden plover along with starling,  a heron on a moorland pond along with a couple of teal. There were small herds of red deer among the tall reedy grass. 

SeoRed deer
Seo                                    Red deer

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 8:41 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Velator reserve

Rain finally stopped after lunch so went down to check if the flood had subsided. Not much! A Snipe flew into the flooded area - they usually fly out when they see me approaching! A Water Rail was also in the flooded area. Little Grebes were in (and outside) the reserve. A loafing flock of Gulls included a few LBB Gulls, and a Mediterranean Gull. Best  was a Water Pipit between the reserve and the scrape. (photo attached)

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 8:08 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Fremington Saltpill

3 Sand Martin feeding over the pond at 08:00 this morning. 2 Water Rail (possibly 3) and  a Cettis Warbler also present.

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 7:11 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in Bird News

Hope's Nose


A Firecrest showed well in scrub below the main entrance gate.  6 GNDs including three very close in Hope Cove.  3 Blackcaps and GSW calling from dense cover.  Pairs of Bullfinch, Greenfinch and Stonechat.  Multiple Robins.  Rock Pipit.  2 Fulmars, 2 Common Gulls, Gannets, Shags, 5+ Oycs, 20+ Guillemots and 2 Gannets.  3 Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal.  Primroses starting to look good!

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 5:42 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Start Bay

Sandwich Tern off Torcross this afternoon.

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 5:40 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Ross's Gull Plym Estuary

Adult Ross's Gull on Blaxton Meadow, Saltram, Plym Estuary this morning

Ross's Gull Blaxton Meadow
Ross's Gull Blaxton Meadow

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 11:31 am by John Walters in Bird News

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