Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th July 2020

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·          Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·        Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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 19th July 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

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

Tuesday 7th July 2020

Sidmouth seafront

at least 25 ?common scoter in a ragged line offshore Sidmouth seafront this afternoon about 3pm

Posted July 7th, 2020 at 9:55 pm by Richard Ellison in Bird News


Four Whinchats with two young today at Firth bridge area

Posted July 7th, 2020 at 8:31 pm by Chris Buckland in Bird News

Thrushes - East Dartmoor

30-40 Mistle Thrushes , inc. many juveniles, feeding in bracken above Moor Farm, Throwleigh. Accompanied by similar number of blackbirds and a family of G-S woodpeckers. Always a good area for Mistles, seems to have been a very successful breeding season.

Posted July 7th, 2020 at 7:47 pm by Nick Walter in Bird News

Braunton Burrows

Sea Holly, Skylark & Fragrant Orchid.

Posted July 7th, 2020 at 7:35 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife


75 Common Scoter south past Torcross this morning.

Posted July 7th, 2020 at 5:56 pm by Steve Wadsworth in Bird News

Broadclyst, Nr Exeter

East and Mid Devon members may recall that we jointly commenced a survey of NT farmland earlier this year and that this came to a halt due to the pandemic. The NT staff were mostly furloughed but I have visited the farm twice recently and made some observations of the birdlife so that this season is not lost totally.   I was pleased to find a pair of Spotted Flycatchers and a very vocal Sedge Warbler in the woodland section.  To date we have over 50 species counted.   It is to be hoped that we may be able to restart the survey and others at some time in the future.  The below pictures show the woodland section and the damp meadow where the above birds were present.  Very different pictures to how we found it in the winter.

Posted July 7th, 2020 at 4:47 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Monday 6th July 2020

Slapton Ley

Tufted Duck with 2 x 1/4 juvs, Great-crested Grebe with 3x 3/4 juvs Stokeley Bay, 1 Little Egret, commoner in Yorkshire, 5 Cetti's Warblers.

Posted July 6th, 2020 at 3:51 pm by Steve Wadsworth in Bird News


Garden wildlife today.

Heron and Great-spotted Woodpecker feeding.
Heron and Great-spotted Woodpecker feeding.

Posted July 6th, 2020 at 2:48 pm by Margaret Phillips in Bird News

East Soar

Hobby hunting hirundines - unsuccessfully this morning.

Posted July 6th, 2020 at 11:47 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Teign Estuary

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Passage House late morning.

Posted July 6th, 2020 at 11:34 am by Will Salmon in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Unringed Roseate Tern on the beach at 07:30 this morning with two Sandwich Terns, a Mediterranean Gull and a Black-headed Gull.

From left to right: Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Roseate Tern, Black-headed Gull

Posted July 6th, 2020 at 11:21 am by Will Salmon in Bird News


11 Crossbills flew west at 8.45am

Posted July 6th, 2020 at 9:58 am by Roger White in Bird News

Sunday 5th July 2020

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake

1 Kingfisher, 5 Jays looks to be a family, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Posted July 5th, 2020 at 7:20 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A male Stonechat with a juv, Green Woodpecker, 47 Redshanks, 27 Curlews, 7 Little Egrets & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted July 5th, 2020 at 6:58 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

From the hide over the high tide (7am-9.15am)- 4 adult Roseate Terns (3 metal Ringed), Fs Arctic Tern, 10 Common Terns (inc 1 fs), 5 Sandwich Terns and 20+ Med Gulls showing well on the posts on the island. 

Posted July 5th, 2020 at 11:01 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Saturday 4th July 2020

Preston seafront

Another productive walk this afternoon with a juvenile Little Gull being both a surprise and star bird. The Mediterranean Gull was still present along with a Little Egret, 4 Oystercatchers, 3 Shags, a number of Black Headed Gulls, a couple of Great Black Back Gulls and at one point several hundred Herring Gulls. 

Posted July 4th, 2020 at 5:56 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch

Combined totals with other observers (to 14.30): Balearic Shearwater 222 & Manx Shearwater 380. Also: 52 Common Scoters, 2 Bonxies, Arctic Skua, 5 Mediterranean Gulls, Sandwich Tern & 3 Harbour Porpoises.

Posted July 4th, 2020 at 5:55 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Velator/Sherpa Marsh

Persistent  Heron in by the reserve pond must be finding something there! Still a few singing Reed Warblers and the Grebes seem to be peaceful today. Around Sherpa Marsh good numbers of House Martins, several Swifts and a few Sand Martins. No Swallows. 19 Swans plus a female with three very recently hatched cygnets. a lone drake Tufted Duck the only Duck of note.  A lone Black-tailed Godwit just outside the reserve near the scrape. Back home an adult male Sparrowhawk in the garden unsuccessfully chased a Blackbird. Still a Blackcap singing on a daily basis.

Posted July 4th, 2020 at 3:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Friday 3rd July 2020

Cockwood, late news

The Exe estuary resident Slavonian grebe gave good views just off Cockwood harbour bridge early yesterday afternoon. Would have been a lot closer if it hadn't swum out to avoid a dinghy coming into the harbour!

Slavonian grebe
Slavonian grebe

Posted July 3rd, 2020 at 5:12 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A low tide visit, so wader numbers lower than Martin's this morning, but in addition - Green Woodpecker, 2nd-summer Mediterranean Gull, & 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. 

Posted July 3rd, 2020 at 4:49 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Little Grebes. A couple of weeks ago was the last time I saw an adult Little Grebe on the pond in the reserve. The 2 juveniles seem to be doing just fine feeding well and growing into pretty much full size now. Today when I arrived I thought heard a Grebe trilling and then saw 2 Grebes, one of which morphed into an adult when I got a better view. He (presumably) then started giving the juveniles a right run around chasing them everywhere. Does this mean another brood is imminent? Where's he been for 2 weeks? Shouldn't be down the pub - they're all closed!

A few weeks back I put up a long perch nailed to a tree trunk which reaches out about 15 feet over the pond. It's designed for Kingfishers. So a bit frustrating to have a juvenile Heron landing on it! Today, however a Kingfisher did land on it but the resulting photos weren't worth sharing. Will try harder next time.

Posted July 3rd, 2020 at 2:13 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


A brief lunchtime visit produced a Great Crested Grebe and 18 Crossbill.

Posted July 3rd, 2020 at 1:16 pm by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Exmouth - Straight Point

Kittewake colony on Straight Point (Sandy Bay) is thriving.  Difficult to count the birds as they are both flying en masse and visiting the nests, but estimate at least 400+.    Between 180 & 200 nests with one or two fledglings on some and many still incubating.   This is as good as we've seen it over the last 8 years.   

Photos by Derek Carter

Part of the colony
Part of the colony

Posted July 3rd, 2020 at 1:15 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Plym Estuary.

On this mornings high tide wader numbers have increased. 35 Curlew, 51 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 9 Common Sandpipers and a Kingfisher.

Posted July 3rd, 2020 at 9:47 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Late entry for yesterday

Lower Tamar Lake.

9 Willow Tit, c25 Swifts, c20 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 2 Collared Doves, 2 Mute Swan, 17 Great Tit, 23 Blue Tit, 9 Coal Tit, 20 Chaffinch, 3 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted July 3rd, 2020 at 8:48 am by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Thursday 2nd July 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Curlews creeping up in number - now 24 on Blaxton Meadow. Also, Common Sandpiper, 2nd-s Mediterranean Gull, Mallard with at least 8 small ducklings & 6 Roe Deer.

Posted July 2nd, 2020 at 7:37 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

14:56 - 16:58

Greenshank x5; Curlew x60+; Black-tailed Godwit x18; Shelduck pair with 2 chicks were the highlights.

Posted July 2nd, 2020 at 5:50 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Stover 02-07-20

Long distance shot of a Cuckoo at Stover lake, taken from the hide to the opposite bank, not a good shot but a record shot, Kingfisher seen hovering, and 2 Great Crested Grebes making a nest

Posted July 2nd, 2020 at 4:37 pm by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

First large movement of outgoing Swifts with 240 moving SW across the farm this morning

Posted July 2nd, 2020 at 2:26 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Braunton Burrows

Sand Wasp (Ammophila) & Dark Green Fritillary present.

Posted July 2nd, 2020 at 12:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Wednesday 1st July 2020


Several House Martins swooping low over the beach, good numbers of House Sparrows, a calling Greenfinch, about half a dozen Shags and a solitary Mediterranean Gull.

Posted July 1st, 2020 at 10:47 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Kingfisher, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 1st-summers & a 2nd-summer), Shag, 16 Mandarin Ducks, Mallard with 10 tiny ducklings, Green Woodpecker & 6 Roe Deer. 

Posted July 1st, 2020 at 10:14 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Right place right time.

This comma obliged by staying put for several minutes whlst I took a few shots. The setting and lighting were perfect, showing the beauty of this little creature. Fantastic.

Comma on euphorbia
Comma on euphorbia

Comm on euphorbia
Comm on euphorbia

Posted July 1st, 2020 at 7:51 pm by Philip L. Fairclough in Other Wildlife

Robin Khan

I'm very sad to announce that Robin Khan died yesterday at the age of 86. Robin was a stalwart of DBWPS and will be greatly missed.

Robin Khan - 3rd May 2018

Posted July 1st, 2020 at 10:10 am by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

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