Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st July 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:

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


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 21st July 2020

Marine Parade ~ Paignton

Four Mediterranean Gulls at Marine Parade, Paignton on this mornings high tide, two ringed birds, one an adult seen in Torbay on a regular basis green ring RLN4 the second ringed bird one of this years yellow ring APUE from details on its metal tag ring possibly a French bird.

Posted July 21st at 10:09 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Slapton Sands

Yesterday's 2 juvenile Wheatears still in the same location , and today with an Ad.f / 1st.Yr. f . m. individual . Given the date, possibly they have bred locally.

Posted July 21st at 5:17 pm by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

Swifts in Great Torrington

The swifts in Torrirngton seemed to disappear since my last report on 25 June. In the last few days they've been around again and this morning I was thrilled to see 9 over the town centre. Also 6 house martins, they are group-inspecting eaves as if teaching the youngsters where good nest sites are. 1 swallow

Posted July 21st at 11:12 am by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News


Lovely to see my first spotted flycatcher of the summer  on a early evening stroll around saltram also green woodpecker and missile thrush 

Posted July 21st at 8:06 am by Mike Williams in Bird News

Monday 20th July 2020

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake

2 Mute Swan, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 5 Blue Tit, 3 Treecreeper, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Buzzards over, 1 Coal Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 1 Willow Warbler.

Posted July 20th at 9:46 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Plymouth to Clearbrook return

A cycle ride produced 2 Crossbills (just south of Bickleigh), 3 Peregrines around the Cann Quarry nest site, 2 Marsh Tits, a few Siskins, 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries & a Brimstone.

Posted July 20th at 8:28 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Juvenile swift

Found this young one on the floor a few days ago.must have fallen out from under the eaves so I put him/her back in the nest and watched to make sure the parents were still in attendance.i now check every day to  make sure nothing else has fallen out.we are just outside Okehampton 

Posted July 20th at 6:36 pm by Laurence Smith in Bird News

Exminster Marshes


Garganey on the lagoon.

Posted July 20th at 4:33 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Slapton Sands

2 Wheatears on the sea defence boulders ,both still in juvenile plumage.

Posted July 20th at 4:27 pm by Alan K Searle in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On this mornings high tide the following were seen.

Curlew 38, Redshank 91, Greenshank 3, Whimbrel 1, Dunlin 1, Common Sandpiper 6, Kingfisher 1, Stonechat 1 juv, Whitethroat 2, G Woodpecker 2 and 8 Stock Dove.

Posted July 20th at 10:38 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Sunday 19th July 2020

Yelland to Instow

Nipped out to Yelland and Instow this afternoon,

Marbled White
Marbled White


Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail

Posted July 19th at 10:37 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Valley of the Rocks

Popped out this morning to Valley of the Rocks and got photos of goats, a Buzzard flying over the sea and a Wheatear feeding around some stones.



Juvenile Stonechat
Juvenile Stonechat

Posted July 19th at 10:33 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

South Molton

Garden tick: juvdnile redstart, streaked breast, reddish tail, flicking tail vigorouslyfor 2-3 mins, 1740 this evening

Posted July 19th at 7:57 pm by Art Symons in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

Wood Sandpiper still present this evening, 2 Green Sandpipers and great views of the female Marsh Harrier

Posted July 19th at 7:28 pm by David Cope in Bird News


1000-1530 :

12 Mediterranean gull with fading summer plumage, 6 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel, 6 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap (1m, 1f) 4 Chiffchaff in the scrub, 2 Skylark. Red admiral, Marbled white, Gatekeeper butterflies. 1 Grey seal.

Posted July 19th at 5:41 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A low tide visit this afternoon, focusing on the land, produced: 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a male & 2 juv Stonechats, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Whitethroat, 2 Roe Deer fawns, 8 Marbled Whites & 35 Gatekeepers.

Posted July 19th at 4:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay


Single Dunlin sharing the beach with a decent crowd of paddlers and bathers! 

Posted July 19th at 4:00 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Paignton, Preston Beach.

A mixed flock of 4 Sanderling and 3 Dunlin on the beach this morning.

2 Sanderling(left), 3 Dunlin(centre) and 2 Sanderling(right).
2 Sanderling(left), 3 Dunlin(centre) and 2 Sanderling(right).

Posted July 19th at 11:41 am by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram 18/7/20

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on Blaxton Meadow (unfortunately, appeared to be tangled in fishing line), 3 Greenshanks, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 juv & an adult Shelduck, adult Mediterranean Gull & Green Woodpecker.

Posted July 19th at 10:49 am by Pete Aley in Bird News

Saturday 18th July 2020

Kingsbridge Estuary

A Knot in Charleton Bay this evening

Posted July 18th at 10:05 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Yelland to Instow

More from my outing.


Marbled White
Marbled White


Posted July 18th at 5:52 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Yelland to Instow

Out on my trotters again today this time around Yelland and Instow.  Saw the following: 4 Oyster Catchers, 1 Curlew, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Mute Swans, 2 Stonechats, 1 Dunnock, 2 Sedge Warblers, 3 Marbled White and a few Orchids.


Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler

Posted July 18th at 5:48 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


A flock of c600 Gulls loafing on the salt marsh at high tide, mainly Black-headed Gulls but including 166 Mediterranean Gulls of which 31 were juvs a record number for me at this site. Only 8 Herring Gulls, 1 Common Gull and 1 Sandwich Tern. The only waders were 8 Oystercatche and a Redshanks.

Posted July 18th at 5:34 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Blagdon,s Meadow, Plymouth, 18-07-20

On Blagdon's meadow, just off Embankment Road, 2 Clouded Yellows showing very well, amongst common clues (M & F), small coppers (M & F) and lots of burnets 

Clouded Yellows
Clouded Yellows

Posted July 18th at 4:43 pm by Greg Bradbury in Other Wildlife

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

07:52 - 10:04

Little Ringed Plover x4, Greenshank, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit x9, Reed & Sedge Warbler. Roe in field (1 buck, 1 doe).

Posted July 18th at 4:29 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

On and over the Marsh this morning, female Marsh Harrier, Wood Sandpiper, I green Sandpiper, 12 Little Egrets, Snow Goose, and moderate numbers of Swallows, House Martins and a few Swifts

Posted July 18th at 2:10 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Friday 17th July 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

2 Peregrines, Sparrowhawk, 2 Green Woodpeckers, juv Stonechat, Whitethroat, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Greenshanks, still 4 juv Shelducks & an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Posted July 17th at 6:09 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Slapton Ley

At least 80 Med Gull ( all ages ) and 2 adult Arctic Terns on the beach about 300 metres north of Torcross this morning.

Posted July 17th at 4:12 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Matford marsh

On walk to work this morning 30 little egrets and 2 green sandpipers on Matford marsh 

Posted July 17th at 8:01 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Lopwell 16 July

Took a walk along the Tavy from Lopwell Dam to Maristow Quay checking for waders. Party of four Common Sandpipers by Lopwel - two adults with two juvs.

Posted July 17th at 7:55 am by Rob Jones in Bird News

Thursday 16th July 2020


this impressive bright comet is now more conveniently visbile in the evening sky after dark (looking good 11-12pm). Low in the NW and if you can view it from a dark site it really helps. Finder chart at:

Posted July 16th at 9:04 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

Shoalstone Point - Brixham

Honey Buzzard being harried by Lesser-black backed Gull and Herring Gulls at Shoalston Point then continued west following shoreline towards Brixham at 12.35 today. This bird was fairly dark and lacked obvious trailing edge to underwing, barring not distinct so would suggest a female.

Posted July 16th at 8:54 pm by Clive Mason in Bird News


An adult Redshank at Torcross end of Slapton Ley this morning,  presume must be pretty uncommon here.

Posted July 16th at 8:44 pm by Steve Wadsworth in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

A scan for an hour around mid-day produced 9 Cattle Egrets (6 ads. and 3 juvs.), 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Kestrels (ad. m. passing a food item to a juv.), and singles of Wigeon (with a broken wing), Shoveler, Snow Goose, and Green and Common Sandpipers.

Posted July 16th at 5:11 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Dawlish Warren Moths July 16

A really good night's mothing last night, for variety rather than numbers, particularly between 10pm and midnight. The Barred Straw was the first moth into the trap but most species were happy just sitting on the wall nearby, where I almost overlooked this intricate little Twenty Plumed Moth.

Barred Straw
Barred Straw

Twenty Plumed Moth
Twenty Plumed Moth

Posted July 16th at 4:19 pm by Peter Leigh in Bird News

Late news earlier this week.

Evening before last I bumped into a birder who had watched a Common Scoter diving for, catching and eating small crabs near the Barnstaple downstream bridge on Monday. Sadly gone the next day.

Posted July 16th at 2:00 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Spectacular gathering of gulls in the estuary mouth this morning. An estimated 2000+ Herring Gull. An hour or so spent on Exmouth Quay, watching the chaos, produced at least 1 juv Yellow-legged Gull, c20+ Mediterranean Gull, 5 Common Tern, c10/20+ Sandwich Tern and good numbers of Black-headed Gull. In addition, a flock of 10 Cattle Egret flew past and upriver at 0755 and shortly after, a Tufted Duck. Photos on the blog later.

Posted July 16th at 9:11 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Avon Dam at dawn

Although two-a-penny on most estuaries, even in July, Redshank is not even annual on Dartmoor or elsewhere inland in Devon. Thus an adult at the Avon Dam early this morning was a great surprise and a new species for both site and parish. Also present, one Great Crested Grebe, but no other water birds..

Posted July 16th at 8:13 am by Peter Reay in Bird News

Wednesday 15th July 2020


Walking the coast path this evening between Strete and Blackpool sands I was amazed to see a stunning male silver pheasant walking towards me. No doubt an escape but i was able to see he had no ring. He seemed oblivious to me until I got out my camera when he promptly went shy and disappeared into the undergrowth by the stream just north of Strete

Posted July 15th at 9:32 pm by Jeff hacon in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

3 Cattle Egrets on the marsh this afternoon. Also there and along the Tidal Road: 1 Greenshank, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 17 Curlew, 15+ Little Egrets and a Kingfisher.

Posted July 15th at 7:27 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 2nd-s Mediterranean Gull, 2 Peregrines, Whitethroat, Kestrel, Shag & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted July 15th at 5:49 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

stover country park

5 mute swans, 3 which were cygnets. An occupied nest of great crested grebes, 50 mallards,10 coots,5 great tits,1 blue tit,1 grey heron,3 mandarin ducks,1 stock dove,1 woodpigeon,1 moorhen,2 herring gull,1 kingfisher,2 carrion crow,1 coal tit,1 blackbird,2 robins,1 dunnock and 2 chaffinch.

Posted July 15th at 2:38 pm by Henry Jones in Bird News

Chudleigh moths

The best of last night's catch - a male Ghost Moth and a Scallop Shell. Otherwise fairly quiet with (unusually) very few noctuids.

Ghost Moth, male
Ghost Moth, male

Scallop Shell
Scallop Shell

Posted July 15th at 2:24 pm by Chris Proctor in Other Wildlife

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