Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st July 2020


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

Friday 31st July 2020

Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay


11 Sandwich Terns fishing close in. 

Yesterday morning at Ness Cove Beach, Shaldon, 2 Clouded Yellows. 

Posted July 31st, 2020 at 11:57 am by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Thursday 30th July 2020

Nightjars at Stover

Male seen in flight on three occasions 21.25 - 22.00. At one point having a slight contretemps with a Pipistrelle. No churring recorded but, with the almost constant  roar of motorway traffic, not sure you'd hear it anyway!?

Posted July 30th, 2020 at 10:23 pm by John Walton in Bird News

Exmoor coast

I took a look at the seabird colony at Heddons Mouth/ Highveer point today. 

Guillemots and Razorbills all gone (apart from one pair), but Kittiwakes still in full swing

I took a couple of photos of the smaller colony. In one pic there are 33 adults and 15 chicks, and in another (a different area) there are 32 adults and 16 chicks.

Unfortunately my pics of the larger colony were blurred because the sea was too lively.

Also three 'pipping' (and mobbing) Oystercatchers along the Exmoor coast, so juveniles nearby.


Posted July 30th, 2020 at 6:16 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar this morning,

1 Common Sandpiper on the weir, 1 Willow 1 Marsh Tit at the hide

Posted July 30th, 2020 at 3:31 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

East Soar

Best this morning 2 White Wagtail, 100 Swallow & 430 Linnet.

Non-avian: Emperor & Southern Hawker draqgonflies.

Posted July 30th, 2020 at 2:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Slapton Sands.

 12 Sandwich Terns in the daytime Gull roost and 7 Sanderling.

Posted July 30th, 2020 at 1:17 pm by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

Gaya trust , Lower Yelland farm. Yelland.

A Spoonbill  roosting on the scrape with 5 Mute Swans , a Male Wigeon , Mallard And Little Egret.   

Posted July 30th, 2020 at 12:47 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Late Post - Cann Wood 29 July

A beautiful moonlit night, on what should have been the DB Plymouth Branch field visit to Cann Wood, started well with 'full colour' views of a flying female Nightjar over our heads.  Churring started at 9:25 then only managed short glimpses of 2/3 further birds, with a total of 8 heard or seen.  Also family of Tawny Owls were heard begging.  A few Common Pipistrelle bats hunted over.

Posted July 30th, 2020 at 7:29 am by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Wednesday 29th July 2020


Kayak trip to Eddystone,

a lot of effort for few noteworthy birds. But the cetaceans came to the rescue (again)

2 Sandwich Terns

1 juv Common Tern far offshore,

4 Turnstone at Eddystone Rocks


15 Common Dolphin, in four pods

1 Harbour Porpoise

1 Minke Whale. A different individual to the two (or three) I saw last week, looking at the fin profile.

Manx ShearwaterFulmarMinke Whale
Manx Shearwater                   Fulmar                               Minke Whale

Posted July 29th, 2020 at 6:10 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News


Grasshopper w.8 Willow W.1Whimbrel, were only definite migrants.Among 17 more common butterflies were a Clouded Yellow.9 second brood Sm Pearl bordered Frits. 10+ Sm Skippers.

Posted July 29th, 2020 at 5:33 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Adult Mediterranean Gull PHDU is back! See Steven’s post of 25th July- thanks for the info. Also: 2nd-s Mediterranean Gull, 1 or 2 Kingfishers, 13 Little Egrets, Peregrine & Green Woodpecker.

Posted July 29th, 2020 at 5:19 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Tuesday 28th July 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Yellow-legged (juv) & Mediterranean (2nd-s) Gulls on Blaxton Meadow just after high tide. Also at least 5 Common Sandpipers, Whimbrel, 3 Greenshanks, juv Green Woodpecker, 2 Stonechats, 2 Spotted Flycatchers & 2 Roe  Deer,

Posted July 28th, 2020 at 9:45 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Preston seafront

Approximately 6 Sandwich Terns off the coast this evening. 

Posted July 28th, 2020 at 9:20 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

East Prawle.

At Moorwell Pond this morning ,8 Willow Warblers ,4 Chiffchaffs (2 Juv.) 2 Blackcaps and a Cetti's Warbler. Plenty of Swallows hawking over the pond and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

1st. Yr.. Willow Warbler
1st. Yr.. Willow Warbler

Posted July 28th, 2020 at 8:29 pm by Alan K.Searle. in Bird News

Dawlish NNR

11:36 - 15:08

Highlights were Sanderling x67, Dunlin x19, Sandwich Tern x63+, Oystercatcher x273+, Common Tern x8, Roseate Tern x1, Turnstone x1 and a male Cirl Bunting.

Posted July 28th, 2020 at 4:42 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning,

9 Willow Tit (3 juv), 10 Great Tit, 9 Coal Tit, 16 Chaffinch, 20 Blue Tit, 2 Jay, 1 Robin, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Marsh Tit.

Posted July 28th, 2020 at 4:30 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

RInging details

The Garden Warbler I caught last week was ringed in West Bexington Dorset on 31st August 2017. So still going strong after 3 trips to Africa.

Posted July 28th, 2020 at 3:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

Major autumn passage of 650 Swifts SSW mid-morning, moving & feeding low over the crops - highest count since 1500 in 1981.

Posted July 28th, 2020 at 12:32 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Monday 27th July 2020

Berry Head

Seawatching highlights this morning produced: 5 Great Shearwaters, 2087 Manx Shearwaters, 27 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Storm Petrel, 7 Puffins, 46 Sandwich, 3 Arctic,3 Common & 1 Roseate Terns, 4 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, 10 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Pomarine Skua, 7 Great Skuas, 35 Common Scoter, plus several groups of Common Dolphins the largest group being of probably 40+ individuals including one with no (well hardly any) dorsal fin ans 6-8 Harbour Porpoise. 

Posted July 27th, 2020 at 3:02 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 26th July 2020


A Jersey Tiger moth this evening.

Jersey Tiger.
Jersey Tiger.

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 8:50 pm by Alan K Searle. in Other Wildlife

Mediterranean Gull in Plymouth

Adult Mediterranean Gull in Sutton Harbour on the beach in front of Sufa's restaraunt

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 6:32 pm by Richard Stansfield in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Additions to Alan’s post - juv Yellow-legged Gull showing well on Blaxton Meadow, 1st summer Mediterranean Gull, Whimbrel, my first Siskin of the year here, juv Stonechat & a Roe Deer.

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 5:13 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Plym estuary / Saltram.

Over this morning's high tide:

13 Little egret, 10 Grey heron, 116 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 32 Curlew, 1 adult + 4 juvenile Shelduck, 2 Common sandpiper. Around the estate were 3 juvenile Spotted flycatcher and 1 Great spotted woodpecker in an Oak tree, 1 Willow warbler, 4 Swift, 1 flyover Peregrine, and 1 Buzzard overhead.

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 4:15 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Rillage Point to Watermouth

On a rather autumnal-feeling morning of sunshine and blustery showers: Turnstone 3, Kittiwake 64 (incl 5 juvs), Mediterranean Gull 8 (1 ad, 7 juvs), Yellow-legged Gull 1 (juv) flying W very close in, Manx Shearwater 484, Cormorant 10, Swallow 1. Nine downy Fulmar chicks on the ledges, adult Whitethroat feeding newly-fledged second brood.

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 2:35 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Powderham Marsh, Exminster

Very quite as might be expected at this time of the year.  A pair of Stonechat, a Garden Warbler and Sedge Warbler were present during the walk and distant views over the scrapes from the hillside view point produced 3 Godwits and a Sandpiper, with others. Never saw a soul but the later drive to Starcross was aborted due to traffic at a standstill on the main road and no where to park after Powderham Church because of the density of visitors (be warned). 

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 2:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

East Soar

First genuine passerine autumn migrants in the shape of a Garden Warbler and three Willow Warblers. Also Curlew over and 100 Linnets.

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 1:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Prawle Point Seawatch Saturday 25th July

Seawatch with Pat M. In SW force 4-5 winds with mist and rain,light and heavy from 6.20 am to 2 pm.

13 Baleraric Shearwaters ; 2145 Manx Shearwaters ; 1Arctic Skua east and 1Bonxie west ; 2 adult  Arctic Terns west, 14 Common Scoter west. 8 Med. Gulls ( mix of juvenile, 1st summer, 2nd summer and adult, east and west). Also a pod of at least 10 Common Dolphins breaching and diving over the sea troughs. 

Posted July 26th, 2020 at 11:31 am in Bird News

Saturday 25th July 2020

Berry Head seawatch 07.25 - 15.15

18 Balearic Shearwaters, 833 Manx Shearwaters (probably about half of the combined observers’ total today), 21 Sandwich & an Arctic Tern, juv Yellow-legged Gull, 18 Common Scoters, Arctic Skua, 3 Bonxies, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, Whimbrel, 6 Harbour Porpoises & several Common Dolphins.

Posted July 25th, 2020 at 5:56 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Torquay Harbour

2 Razorbills just off the harbour mouth this afternoon.


Posted July 25th, 2020 at 5:11 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Velator etc

Met Dave Paterson out by the scrape this morning. He had seen 2 Common Sandpipers by the bridge to the reserve. Nothing of note on the scrape. I walked around Sherpa Marsh, where there were good numbers of Sand Martins, several each of House Martins and a a scattering of Swifts.23 Canada Geese and a single Teal - which may be the injured bird from earlier in the spring. The only Wader was a single Lapwing.

There were once again 2 Herons in the reserve, following 2 seen yesterday when I was ringing. Best bird then was a Garden Warbler with someone elses ring on. A brief check reveals it was ringed as a juvenile  in June 2017. I await the full details. Of note, ringed 10 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Reed Warblers,1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler.

Posted July 25th, 2020 at 11:46 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Marine Parade,Preston,Paignton.

I've just had the sightings reports for 2 particularly interesting colour-ringed Med Gulls seen at Marine Parade, amongst a number of other Torbay post breeding ringed bird sightings this year from 4 different countries.

The first bird, is a juvenile, Yellow APUE. This bird was ringed south of Leipzig in Germany, as a chick unable to fly, on 13 June 2020. Just 38 days later it had completed the 1115 km straight line distance for my sighting at Marine Parade on 21 July. The bird was also seen there by Steve Hopper on the same day.

The second bird, an adult, red PHAU, was ringed with colour and metal rings in Poland on 24 June 2019. It was in Plymouth last winter, with its last sighting there by Pete Aley in January 2020. On 10 May 2020 it was back in Poland and was nesting by 23 May 2020 at Lake Nyskie when it was re-trapped and fitted with the GPS Logger visible in the picture.

By early July it had started its post breeding movement and was in the Czech Republic on 2 July and central Germany on 7 July, before my sighting on 18 July. Perhaps it will decide to spend another winter in Plymouth?

Juvenile Med Gull
Juvenile Med Gull

Adult Med Gull
Adult Med Gull

Posted July 25th, 2020 at 7:57 am by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Friday 24th July 2020

Preston seafront

The 1st Turnstone has returned to Preston, still resplendent in it's summer plumage. 

Posted July 24th, 2020 at 8:24 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Blaxton Meadow was full of birds on this morning’s big high tide including: juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Sandpipers, Dunlin (summer plumage), 82 Redshanks, 4 Greenshanks, 2 Whimbrels, 36 Curlews, 2 Oystercatchers & adult Shelduck with 4 juveniles. Also 2 Spotted Flycatchers, Whitethroat, male Stonechat with 3 juveniles, Great Spotted & 2+ Green Woodpeckers, Shag & 3 Roe Deer. 

Posted July 24th, 2020 at 2:38 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Yesterday at Dawlish Warren: Common, Sandwich and Arctic Terns, Med. Gulls, Oystercatchers, Whimbrels, Curlews, Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Sanderlings, Linnets. Slavonian Grebe showing well at Cockwood.

Slavonian Grebe, Sanderlings, Common Tern
Slavonian Grebe, Sanderlings, Common Tern

Posted July 24th, 2020 at 11:05 am by Bob Barrow & John Lloyd in Bird News

Thursday 23rd July 2020


1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 8 Mediterranean Gulls on the beach early evening.

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 10:05 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Bradiford Reserve Barnstaple

Having some work done on the reserve this week. Yesterday elver's seen in the freshly running spring ditch after the mini digger had done some work. Today Green Sandpiper flitting around the same newly cleaned spring ditch so pleased to see this work having such a quick impact. more to do tomorrow and will see what else turns up.

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 6:01 pm by Karen Sims in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

In addition to Martin's sightings this morning, a Whimbrel, 2 Stock Doves, my first juvenile Lesser Balack-backed Gull of the year and the adult Shelduck with 4 juveniles.

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 3:29 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Mediterranean gull on Sutton Harbour 13.50

On the 'beach' next to the old China House pub. Ringed I think but stupidly don't have binoculars.

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 1:56 pm by Martin Lavelle in Bird News


From the bridge over the river as I arrived a bird I thought would be a Grey Wagtail, but when it flew it became a Common Sandpiper, I blame the wagging tail! The tide was quite high - up as far as the weir, so it was pushed up to the low water.

Trying (and failing) to catch Swallows last night I heard a Water Rail just outside the reserve. I've heard it several times of late.

I have also had sporadic sightings of 2 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape. I think they are the same as the two I saw on 26th June - one in sum plum, one not.

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 12:31 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wigford Down 23.7.2020

A walk over Wigford Down from Cadover Lakes this morning. About 30 Pied Wagtails mainly juvs feeding in the Cadworthy Farm fields. A loose flock of about 40 Starlings practically all juvs, in same fields.

The most interesting and amusing sighting was of an adult Great Black Backed Gull on a large stone being intimidated by a Raven. The gulls reaction was one of complete indifference. Despite the Raven being very noisy and agitated, it didn't move a muscle, and eventually the Raven gave up and flew off

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 12:18 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This mornings high tide produced at least 4 Common Sandpiper, 37 Curlew 97 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 1 Oystercatcher,1 Dunlin (sp), Little Grebe, Kingfisher and juv Yellow-legged Gull on Blaxton meadow.

Around Saltram were 3 Green & 3 GS Woodpecker, Whitethroat and 5 Stock Dove.

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 11:25 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News


(Blog about wed-22nd)

Greater spotted and green woodpeckers. Juv Perigrine screaming away at the quarry- didn't spot the parents. Swifts gathering at the viaducts, biggest group was around 20-30. plenty of nuthatches in the trees, buzzards, sparrowhawks. White throated dippers. Grey wagtails. Hoped to see the crossbills previously said the other day, but no luck, needle in a haystack there. 

Posted July 23rd, 2020 at 1:17 am by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Wednesday 22nd July 2020

South Huish Marsh early evening

38 dunlin then later only 13 of which 12 adults, 1 juv. Water levels already pretty low. V busy and noisy in NT car park. I wonder how compatible the c/p is with the wetland.

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 7:44 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake

7 Willow Tit, 18 Blue Tit, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 4m Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Coot, 2 Mute Swan, 9 Canada Geese, 6 Great Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 1 Wren, 2 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 3 Jay, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackbird, c30 Mallard.

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 7:27 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


Seabirds definitely eclipsed by cetaceans today:

4 balearic Shearwaters,

!0 Harbour Porpoise (small groups)

35 Common Dolphins (3 groups)

2 Minke Whales (2 and 6 miles north of Eddystone). They definitely both ventured into Devon's water while they were zig zagging about.

Harbour Porpoise
Harbour Porpoise

Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin

Minke Whale
Minke Whale

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 6:13 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Venford Reservoir

Two Great Crested Grebes, one Little Grebe, 20+ House Martins, Crossbills calling in spruce on east side of reservoir but not seen.

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 5:05 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Turtle Dove

Have got a Turtle Dove coming into my garden for seed. Been around  for a few months

Eds: please ensure you submit this record to the County Recorder (if you have a photo that too) link here.. 

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 3:50 pm by sandra statt in Bird News

Beesands Ley

From the hide this morning: Juv Marsh Harrier over the reeds. It drifted off, gathering height, to the north. Also Kingfisher,  Reed Warblers and Willow Warbler.

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 3:15 pm by Roger White in Bird News

Avon Dam at dawn

Only a Great Crested Grebe on the water, but the dam wall was unusually busy. Aside from a resting Cormorant and a huddle of young Carrion Crows, there was much coming and going of small passerines, mostly juvs, between 0615 and 0630. Most surprising were Nuthatch and Bullfinch and Spotted Fly, but also recorded on the wall were Pied and Grey Wagtails, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Swallow:and Stonechat.



Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 2:22 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Cattle Egret in full summer plumage roosting on one of the posts on Blaxton Meadow at high tide this morning. In addition there, an adult Sandwich Tern circled but didn’t land, 5 Greenshanks, 2 Whimbrels with 36 Curlews, Common Sandpiper (+ 2 more on the river), Kingfisher & adult Mediterranean Gull. Also, a family party of 4 Spotted Flycatchers, male Whitethroat with a newly fledged juvenile, 2 juvenile Stonechats, Great Spotted Woodpecker & 4 Roe Deer.

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 12:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Med Gulls, Dawlish

5 Med Gulls flew South past Boat Cove at Noon

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 12:32 pm by paul barker in Bird News

Baggy Point

Beautiful day for a walk out to Baggy this morning. Not much on show  - a couple of Mediterranean Gulls, a few parties of Linnets, and 4 Wheatears out at the point. Despite a very calm sea, no sign of Dolphins or Porpoises.

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 11:48 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Headland Warren Farm

Yesterday between 10:00 - 12:00, lots of Wheatear in the farm paddocks. 5 Whinchats seen just out of the farm heading up to Hockney Tor, with more Wheatears at the top of the hill. Plenty of swallows, meadow pipits and stonechats around the farm also. 

Posted July 22nd, 2020 at 10:28 am by Matt Clark in Bird News

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