Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st May 2020

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 27th May 2020

Two red kites at Middle Soar this morning

Two red kites quartering the rough grassland between Middle Soar Farm,  and Soar Mill cove mid-morning today, near Salcombe.

Posted May 27th at 9:13 pm by Chris Klee in Bird News

Bircham woods, Derriford hospital

Tawny owl flushed from the trees at dusk yesterday.

Posted May 27th at 7:48 pm by David scott in Bird News

River Otter

Three female goosanders about a mile upstream of Ottery St Mary. 

Posted May 27th at 7:33 pm by Keith Annison in Bird News

Long Ash

Excise with my husband, we saw. Whinchat female. 2 Linnets male, 2 Yellow Hammer male, Stone Chats, singing Song Thrush. 

Posted May 27th at 5:58 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Raptors

Flyovers today, Hobby at 09:15, and 2 Red Kites at 10:30, clovelly road Bideford

Posted May 27th at 5:53 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Red Kite

2 Red  Kites over Paignton at 2.30p.m.. Circled once and then drifted off North.

Posted May 27th at 4:40 pm by Tony Sherwood in Bird News

Dawlish Warren Moths May 27th

A really good night for moths with good numbers of some common species and a few really good rarer moths including a notable 2 x  Portland Ribbon Waves coming to the light.

Portland Ribbon WaveRuddy carpetPoplar Kitten
Portland Ribbon Wave                Ruddy carpet                         Poplar Kitten

Posted May 27th at 3:16 pm by Peter Leigh in Bird News

Swallows breeding

I have located a swallow nest in the heart of Great Torrington, they are bringing food to the babies. Pleasing to see as I haven't seen evidence of breeding here for a couple of seasons. 4 swifts again.

Posted May 27th at 2:18 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

Westgate Hill, Gittisham

Cuckoo calling 8-8.30 this morning. 

Posted May 27th at 12:26 pm by Andy Rook in Bird News

Red Kite - East Charleton

1 circling over East Charleton at midday slowly drifting west

Posted May 27th at 12:03 pm by Barrie Whitehall in Bird News

Red-backed Shrike

Male seen on a private site in Plymouth this morning.

Posted May 27th at 9:28 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Cann Woods - Nightjars 26/05/20

Late evening visit gave us a count of 11 individual Nightjars, with 6 seen in flight in really good light.  Also pre-roosting were Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Song Thrush and Jay.  Heard Tawny Owls. Roe and Fallow Deer

Posted May 27th at 12:46 am by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Tuesday 26th May 2020

Emsworthy DWT Reserve near Hay Tor

A trip to Emsworthy on a day, when the Plymouth Branch would have visited, gave us good views of singing Redstart, Willow Warbler and a family of four Stonechat.  Wheatear took on their erect posture on the stone walls and Meadow Pippit parachuted down, vocalising on descent. About five sightings of Cuckoo occurred with one being the bubbling voice from a female. A Common Snipe was flushed out of the damper heathland.The bluebells, for which the area is well known, appeared to be sparce in the fields, possibly effected by the very dry condition of the Moor.

Posted May 26th at 10:33 pm by Liz Harris in Bird News

Aylesbury crescent whitleigh plymouth

6 ringneck parakeet  6 am going over to playing fields can woods of aylesbury crescent

Posted May 26th at 4:55 pm by barry insull in Bird News

Doe Tor Farm

On my walk with a friend, having our lunch, we had 3 Cuckoos flying around with the female bubbling, they were chasing around the area for nearly an hour. Love was in the air. 

Posted May 26th at 4:09 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Seagle

Re Seagle-Thanks Eds, excellent wit. Completely agree.

Posted May 26th at 3:36 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

Braunton Burrows

am:- Cuckoo calling several times for several minutes at Pine Heights east of Pine Slack but not heard during return journey so probably moved on.

Grass Snake swimming across Flagpole Pond & under the water but only visible for approx.7 seconds & not seen again.

Photos - Flagpole Pond, Early Marsh Orchid & Southern Marsh Orchid.

Posted May 26th at 3:20 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite circling and moving south to north over Estover , Plymouth , this afternoon at 3pm.

Posted May 26th at 3:00 pm by Peter Castle in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram 25th May

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers, 16+ drake Mandarin Ducks, 4 Curlews, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Posted May 26th at 2:40 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

RSPB Aylesbeare

Aylesbeare Common yesterday 

Female Stonechat
Female Stonechat

Male Stonechat
Male Stonechat

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler

Posted May 26th at 2:07 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Headland Warren-Challacombe Farm

A chuckling female Cuckoo along with a male upsetting all the smaller birds by visiting each copse of trees and shrubs this morning.

Posted May 26th at 10:38 am by Ian Muir in Bird News

Red Kite

Over Manor Drive Chagford 6.10 pm heading east at about 70 ft great view for a few seconds from my garden

Posted May 26th at 10:27 am by Steve phelps in Bird News

Goodrington south beach 7.15 am Monday 25th May

One Common Eider on the beach with a couple of herring gulls. 

Posted May 26th at 8:43 am by Roy Boswell in Bird News

Monday 25th May 2020

Nightjars at Haldon

Short walk at dusk around the Harcombe area of Haldon (until the midges became impossible) produced three Nightjars and one Tawny Owl.

Posted May 25th at 10:54 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Chagford

Seen high over my garden in Chagford. Possibly the bird reported earlier.

Not a Buzzard in my opinion
Not a Buzzard in my opinion

Eds: No not a buzzard it's a 'seagle'!  - Herring gull.

Posted May 25th at 8:11 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

Cullompton

Tawny Owl hunting in daylight this morning and Garden Warbler singing this afternoon. Both a couple of hundred meters from Cully Higher Street. Nice.

Posted May 25th at 7:39 pm by Geoff Campbell in Bird News

Eddystone

1 imm Puffin (five miles offshore, at halfway reef)

2 Common Scoter

(only) 12 Manx Shearwater

plus 5 Common Dolphin, 2 Harbour Porpoise

Puffin
Puffin

Posted May 25th at 7:28 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

More on the Blyth's Reed Warbler

For those interetsed, I have now added the sound recording of the now departed Blyth's Reed Warbler on my blog with a little more detail: https://creamteabirding.blogspot.com/2020/05/singing-blyths-reed-warbler.html

 

Posted May 25th at 7:15 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Red Kite

Over Manor Drive Chagford 6.10 pm heading east at about 70 ft great view for a few seconds from my garden

Posted May 25th at 6:58 pm by Steve phelps in Bird News

West Hill, East Devon

Red Kite flying south at 17.30 today.

Posted May 25th at 6:05 pm by Andrew Hickson in Bird News

Headland Warren-Challacombe Farm

11 pairs of Stonechat, 4 pairs of Pied Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, a dozen or so Meadow Pipits, 2 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler and 2 male Reed Bunting halfway along path. 2 Cuckoo still around Headland Warren farmhouse. $ crows and 2 Buzzard. 3 Swallows around farm buildings.

Reed BuntingReed BuntingStonechat
Reed Bunting                                      Reed Bunting                                     Stonechat

Posted May 25th at 5:43 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

Roborough Down Dartmoor 25/5/2020

Cuckoo heard calling but not seen. Good mix of birds on view including a meadow pipit, 4 tree pipits, 4 greenfinch, 2 yellow hammers, numerous willow warbler, linnet and stonechat the latter visibly with young.

Posted May 25th at 5:20 pm by Rod Fox in Bird News

swifts

Three swifts over exmouth town this morning.

Posted May 25th at 4:24 pm by eric in Bird News

Swifts in Torrington

4 swifts over Great Torrington today, easy to see in the clear sky. 3 house martins too. 

Posted May 25th at 3:12 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

Dawlish Warren Moths May 25th

A few moths from last night with two new species for me and another Poplar Hawkmoth - good year for this species it seems.

Least Black ArchesHomeosana sinuellaPoplar Hawkmoth
Least Black Arches                     Homeosana sinuella                           Poplar Hawkmoth

Posted May 25th at 2:30 pm by Peter Leigh in Bird News

golden eagle

a  golden Eagle gliding high over farmland in Ashwater. Heading South

Eds: Either an escaped bird or if it was indeed an eagle possibly a White-tailed Eagle from the Isle of Wight introduction. 

Posted May 25th at 7:38 am by Juliet Vines in Bird News

Sunday 24th May 2020

Wistman's Wood 24/05/20

Wistman's Wood today gave a juv. Pied Wagtail being fed by it's mum.  Probably three Cuckoos, a pair of Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, a pair of Grey Wagtails high in the canopy, Redpoll and Willow Warbler and Gt Spotted Woodpecker.  Several Wheatear and Stonechat on the moor and heard Grasshopper Warbler by the river. Green Hairstreak, Small Heath and a Fritillary sp.

Pied Wagtail juvPied Wagtail femRedpoll
Pied Wagtail juv                            Pied Wagtail fem                                 Redpoll

Posted May 24th at 11:54 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Predated Mallard Clutch?

This morning on a sheep track near Two Bridges I found this clutch of egg shells, presumed to be Mallard (60mm long and duck egg blue) in a neat pile.  They all appeared to have been bitten through, maybe by a fox?  It's clearly not a nest as there's no down.  Could a fox carry four together?  Or why would it make four separate trips to exactly the same spot before eating them?

Posted May 24th at 10:45 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Blyth's Reed Warbler

Late yesterday, I was shocked to find a singing Blyth's Reed Warbler on farmland bordering the East Devon Commons. The bird was in an area with restricted viewing, but I managed to get a sound recording which I will try and share on my blog/here tomorrow. Despite at least 7 hours spent listening for the bird today, sadly it seems to have moved on! Poor photo taken last night at 9pm!

Blyth's Reed Warbler by Chris Townend

Posted May 24th at 10:35 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Dartmoor is fighting fit, 24th May

My money was on the Pipit

Posted May 24th at 8:03 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Dartmoor is fighting fit, 24th May

Meadow Pipit giving a Cuckoo more than he expected

Posted May 24th at 8:01 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Broad-bodied Chaser in Exeter

I think that these are reasonably common, but it is the first time that we have recorded one in the garden.


Posted May 24th at 7:33 pm by Martin Overy in Bird News

Yelland

Out at Yelland again today and some more of the Reed Warblers.

Reed Warbler Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler

 

Posted May 24th at 7:02 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Saturday 23rd May 2020

Red kite

14:15 on 22 May 2020 Flying east, high over Mardon Down, near Moretonhampstead 

Posted May 23rd at 10:52 pm by George Wilkinson in Bird News

Ilfracombe Pier

Rock Pipits all busy feeding young. 

Rock Pipit
Rock Pipit

Posted May 23rd at 10:17 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Ilfracombe Pier

Today and yesterday good numbers of various seabirds were heading up and down channel in the strong SW wind. Lunch time off the Pier nice to watch a dark phase Arctic Skua tagging along with a team of Manx Shearwaters. Not many gulls around but finally since about 2016 I actually managed to get the metal bto number of this Herring Gull, taken through my car windscreen.  

Gotcha !Rock Pipit with beak full of Sea Slaters
Gotcha !                                      Rock Pipit with beak full of Sea Slaters

Posted May 23rd at 10:12 pm by Martin Thorne in Bird News

Yarner Woods Sat 23rd May 2020

No lockdown for the birds of Yarner, parent birds working very hard to feed their expectant young.

Male feeding Female by their nest box. incubating at the moment.Great Spot feeding young.Young Great Spot
Male feeding Female by their nest box. incubating at the moment.      Great Spot feeding young.

 

Posted May 23rd at 8:58 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

07:34 - 10:36

Highlights: Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, Nuthatch, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Buzzard x 3, Adder

NuthatchMeadow PipitAdder
Nuthatch                              Meadow Pipit                                    Adder

Posted May 23rd at 8:06 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Feathers

Found these feathers on Teignmouth beach. The primary feathers are about 10 inches in length. Could anybody identify them please.

Eds: looks like female pheasant tertial feathers.

Posted May 23rd at 4:59 pm by Tony Sherwood in Bird News

Yarner Wood

First time visit to Yarner Woods this morning. Plenty of Flycatchers and Redstarts, also Tawny Owl, Greater Spotted Woodpecker and managed to startle a Nightjar sat on a fence post at 08:45am, which abruptly flew  off and down into the bracken and disappeared from view.

Pied Flycatcher (male)Pied Flycatcher (female)Redstart
Pied Flycatcher (male)                Pied Flycatcher (female)                                 Redstart

Posted May 23rd at 3:11 pm by Duncan Leitch in Bird News

Red kite

14:15 on 22 May 2020 Flying east, high over Mardon Down, near Moretonhampstead 

Posted May 23rd at 8:36 am by George Wilkinson in Bird News

A rare treat.

A fly by yesterday afternoon of a pair of Canada geese.over my Paignton garden. If they hadn't honked would never have known they were there. Never seen Canada's in Paignton before.

Posted May 23rd at 5:46 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Bird News

Friday 22nd May 2020

Dawlish Warren Village moths

Just a few moths last night before the drizzle set in but a couple of nice species including a new species for me - Sand Dart

Small Elephant Hawkmoth  Sand Dart  Cream-spot Tiger
Small Elephant Hawkmoth            Sand Dart                               Cream-spot Tiger

Posted May 22nd at 8:56 pm by Peter Leigh in Bird News

Barnacle Goose ~ Darts Farm

A single Barnacle Goose at Darts farm this morning sharing the field beyond the hide with a flock of Canada Geese

Posted May 22nd at 3:09 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Thursday 9.00-9.30 Stover

Several (at least 6) Nightjars churning at various points along the bikepath

Posted May 22nd at 2:02 pm by Chris Killock in Bird News

Lopwell and Maristow 22.5.2020

Pair of Mute Swans with three cygnets by the dam, numerous Canada Geese in area. 14 Shelduck off Maristow, Raven family very noisy near dam, and singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff

Posted May 22nd at 2:00 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Headland Warren-Challacombe Farm

2 Cuckoos chasing each other around Headland Warren and one calling from the hawthorn behind the farmhouse. A few Stonechat and meadow Pipits but the windy conditions, completely different to yesterday. A handsome Whinchat at side of road by path to Grimspound.

CuckooCuckooWhinchat
Cuckoo                                  Cuckoo                                          Whinchat

Posted May 22nd at 1:33 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News

Unexpected sight

I found a zebra finch in my garden on May 20th. I didn't know what it was till I googled it.

Posted May 22nd at 11:52 am by Rosemary in Bird News

Swifts return. Exeter

Swift spotted today entering nest site which they have used for several years in the St Thomas area of Exeter

Posted May 22nd at 11:29 am by JacquieB in Bird News

Berry Head

A seawatch at this morning 0600-0900: 22 Puffins, 64 Manx Shearwaters >S, 9 Common Scoter, 3 sum plum G N Divers >N, 1 Sandwich Tern, 180 Razorbills, 103 Guillemots, 39 Kittiwakes, 6 Dolphin 2 Harbour Porpoise.Black-h Gulls 3 Swift, 4 Common Dolphin & 2 Harbour Porpoise.

    Puffins Berry Head 22 May 2020 ML Puffins Berry Head 22 May 2020 ML

Photos distant Puffins..

Posted May 22nd at 10:44 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Wembury point

Plenty of bird activity this morning..among the many species that you would expect here it was good to see lots of of fledglings including goldfinch,stonechat ,linnet,robin,and a cracking family of 4 chiffchaff being feed by the non stop working parents 

Posted May 22nd at 10:35 am by Mike Williams in Bird News

Unusual visitor to my Kingsteignton garden

On Tuesday19th, I became aware of an unusual bird song in my suburban garden. Initial thoughts were reed or sedge warbler but surely not in my garden. I was unable to get a sighting in the thick hedge but did record the song. I subsequently sent the audio file to Mike Langman who confirmed it was indeed a sedge warbler Thanks Mike..Just goes to show birds can turn up anywhere !

Posted May 22nd at 9:46 am by Patrick Case in Bird News

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