Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th August 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

·        Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         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

          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


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels 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

Saturday 8th August 2020

Fremington Pill

Along Fremington Pill this evening (7 August) there were 30+ Redshank feeding on the water line.



Posted August 8th, 2020 at 12:23 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Friday 7th August 2020

Collaton St Mary, Paignton

1 Cattle Egret in field on hillside just N of the Parkers Arms Pub, this evening.

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 8:16 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Soar and Slapton

Soar area early morning - 30+ phylloscs, 30+ Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, Reed Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 2 Wheatears

Slapton - juv Yellow-legged Gull, Yellow Wagtail

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 4:56 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

137 Redshanks (mainly on Blaxton Meadow) with 3 Greenshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers, juv Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Mediterranean Gulls (juv,1st-s & 2nd-s), Kingfisher, 15 Little Egrets & 3 Stock Doves.

Also: Swift, Green Woodpecker, 5 Stonechats, Whitethroat, Sparrowhawk, Roe Deer & 2 Clouded Yellows.

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 4:24 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Torbay ~ Cuckoo

Not what you expect to find in a Torbay garden........ a young Cuckoo sunbathing and  feeding on flying ants.

Four Swifts overhead.

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 4:02 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

East Prawle.

At Moorwell Pond  a B.T.O. ringed Sedge Warbler caught this morning. Hopefully a good distance recovery. Very few other migrants present,with 2 Willow Warblers. 2 Chiffchaffs ,1 Blackcap,1 Whitethroat and 1 Reed Warbler ( a fresh arrival ,with another ringed yesterday at the site )

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 3:59 pm by Alan K.Searle in Bird News

East Soar & Bolt Head

50 Swift, 28 Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 270 Linnet.

Non-avian: 33 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 35 Common Blue, late Dark Green Fritillary & Marbled White.

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 3:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Bradiford, Barnstaple

Mint Moth, picture missing from yesterday’s post.....

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 3:04 pm by Alan Denzey in Other Wildlife

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

08:27 - 11:28

Highlights - 1 Knot, many hundred Redshank, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Harrier, 160+ Curlew, Whimbrel, 12 Little Egret, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Common Sandpiper (Goosemoor). 

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 1:04 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Wrafton Scrape

Just before 09.00 the Spoonbill was again asleep on the scrape. Just beyond was a lone Black-tailed Godwit.

Precious little around Sherpa Marsh - 2 Lapwing, 125 Canada Geese....

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 12:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The highlights of today’s high tide were 116 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 37 Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Common Sandpiper & 1 Kingfisher.

Saltram produced 2 each of GSW & Green Woodpecker, 3 Stonechat, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Sparrowhawk & 7 Spotted Flycatcher all together!

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 10:22 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Thursday 6th August 2020

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich tern on the Plym in front of TR2 resting on a boat late this evening.

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 11:48 pm by Martin Lavelle in Bird News

Holdstone down

A dull evening walk around here tonight in patches of mizzle with Very little bird activity. Did come across this little beetle though. Nicrophorus vespilloides. 


Posted August 6th, 2020 at 9:57 pm by Philip worth in Other Wildlife

Black Redstart on Dartmoor

Black Redstart sheltering appropriately at Black Tor (GR 566 894) on 05/08 and also 7 Red Grouse in flight at Okement Hill on 06/08.

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 8:53 pm by Stuart Gray in Bird News

Bradiford, Barnstaple

Mint Moth....a small Moth with a wingspan of about may be small, but it is wonderfully coloured.

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 7:52 pm by Alan Denzey in Other Wildlife

Lower Tamar Lake

Seen this morning while topping up the feeders

2 Willow Tit and 4 Long-tailed Tit foraging along the lakeside among the reeds.

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 7:48 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Velator scrape

From the Tarka Trail at about 09.00 a single Spoonbill roosting out in the water of the scrape. Nearby a Black-tailed Godwit. By the time I had got round into and around to that side of the reserve, both had gone.

SKERN later (4-5pm): 1 Wheatear, and several Whimbrel over. Tide a long way out.

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 6:45 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

12:44 - 14:13

Wood Sandpiper was very close to the walkway to the hide giving tremendous views. Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, many Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Shelduck all present too

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 6:40 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Preston seafront

Early evening, Little Egret, 7 Turnstones, 5 Sandwich Terns (3 adults, 2 juvs) and numerous House Martins (probably enjoying the flying ant fest).

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 6:38 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Migrating Swifts and Swallows

Whilst working at a house on the top of the cliffs overlooking Westward Ho! this morning, I counted about 30 Swifts and a similar number of Swallows migrating roughly southwards in about a ten minute period. Also seen at the same place very close views of a Green Woodpecker.

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 3:36 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News

Berry Head - Wednesday 5th

A combined seawatch from several observers from 0600-1930hrs produced (selected highlights): 42 Balearic Shearwaters, 908 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Pomarine Skua, 8 Arctic Skuas, 8 Great Skuas, 15 Common Tern, 26 Sandwich Terns,3 Arctic Terns, 1 Puffin, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, 45 Common Scoter. Also, 10 + Harbour Porpoise and several pods of Common Dolphins feeding undisturbed off the headland (no jet skiers today)

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 8:21 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

The beauty of Devon bird sightings site.

My thanks to Alan Searle for putting me out of my misery and identifying my stranger in paradise. Thanks Alan. Another mystery solved. Cheers.

Posted August 6th, 2020 at 5:46 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Other Wildlife

Wednesday 5th August 2020

Berry Head

At Berry head this morning six Cirl Bunting, one Whitethroat, Rock Pipit, Jay, small number of Swallow and three Swift.

From the headland, early passage of immature LBBG, 18 plus Gannet inc three immature birds, Fulmar, GBBG, one Kittiwake, light passage of Manx Shearwater, flock of sixteen Common Scoter.

Harbour Porpoise showing well and one Common Dolphin.


Posted August 5th, 2020 at 9:15 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

c30 Sandwich & c15 Common Terns, c70 Ringed Plovers, c55 Dunlins, 29 Sanderlings, 20+ Whimbrels, 4 Common Scoters, 4 Mediterranean Gulls & a distant Pom/Arctic Skua.

The summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebe & 4 Bar-tailed Godwits off Cockwood.

Posted August 5th, 2020 at 4:57 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Velator reserve

Late morning visit, and as I did the usual circuit, I thought I could hear a Curlew calling. A little further on and there it was just circling over and letting out that lovely whistle. Once again quite early here, usually an unusual winter visitor.

Posted August 5th, 2020 at 1:19 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 4th August 2020

Swifts on the move

Overhead Braunton Great Field & Marsh this morning at about 10:30 was a steady passage of Swift all heading generally south. Counted 17 before we had to continue our journey. Also seen 7 House Martin's feeding. 

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 9:04 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake.

1 Kingfisher, 4 Willow Tit ( three on one feeder), 3 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Coot, 2m Tufted Duck, c40 Mallard, 3 Magpie, 24 Blue Tit, 5 House Martins, 3 Swallow, 1 Moorhen, 3 Robin, 5 Chaffinch, 1 Nuthatch, 5 Coal Tit, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Jay, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail c200 Canada Geese.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 7:44 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News


45 Swifts south, 2 Sand Martins, 5 Wheatears (1juv), 5 Willow Warblers,  11 Chiffchaffs, 9 Blackcaps, 27 Whitethroats, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, juv Bullfinch, 2 Roe Deer, Hare & a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

South Efford Marsh: 28 Curlews, 3 Greenshanks & 3 Common Sandpipers.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 3:15 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East Soar

6 migrant Wheatears, 35 Swifts & Clouded Yellow.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 2:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

East Prawle Yesterday Monday 3rd August

Apologies for late news. An Icterine Warbler was found in PIg's Nose Valley by Pat M. on Sunday (reported on Birdguides). I saw the same bird yesterday Monday 3rd 100 yards below the entrance gate, in gorse on the west side of the valley from 8.40am till 9.05am. Long primary projection, slim build, steely blue legs and silvery wing panel all good for this species.

Earlier at Moorwell Pond (the village pond) at least 3 Sedge Warblers, 1 Reed Warbler ,Willow warblers, Blackcap, Whitethroat, and Cetti's Warbler plus 20 plus Swifts flying over the village. More Willow Warblers and another Sedge Warbler in Pig's Nose Valley.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 11:25 am in Bird News

Ref. 'A Sranger in Paradise'

Hi.Philip. It is a Purple And Gold Pyralid Moth.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 10:59 am by Alan K. Searle in Other Wildlife

South Brent ~ "Italian" Sparrow

Just after 10 am this morning the "would be" Italian cock Sparrow "Passer Brentus" was back on the garden feeders, first time I have seen him since around the 10th June........

Single swift over this evening.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 10:18 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

A stranger in paradise

I wonder if someone could please identify this extremely small butterfly which I found this morning. I have had several over the years but my book doesn't seem to include it.

Uknown butterfly
Uknown butterfly

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 9:18 am by philip fairclough in Other Wildlife

Late News Monday 3rd - Blaxton Meadow, Saltram

A big change on tonight's high tide from just a single on Sunday to 151 Redshank.  Also 35 Curlew and 3 Greenshank.  On the rip-rap at Crabtree bridge 3 Common Sandpipers.  Over 300 Black-headed Gulls, but no sign of recent Mediterranean or yellow-legged, or whimbrel.  2 Stock Doves are regular.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 7:57 am by Chris Marcol in Bird News

West Charleton

2 Great White Egrets seen from my garden 07:20. Appeared to drop down onto West Charleton Marsh.

Posted August 4th, 2020 at 7:55 am by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Monday 3rd August 2020

Dawlish Warren Moths August 3rd

A really good year for Pale Prominents with individuals in the garden in each of the last 5 months' a first Silver Y of the year and a new micro for me in the garden, the tiny, 6mm, Cochylis hybridella

Pale ProminentSilver YCochylis hybridella
Pale Prominent                                Silver Y                           Cochylis hybridella

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 11:44 pm by Peter Leigh in Other Wildlife

Lyme Bay Boat Trip Sunday

Pictures from the boat trip on Sunday to accompany the sightings Nigel Smallbones posted yesterday.  The Balearic Shearwaters are looking stunning with no moulting evident (?have they finished their moult already?). Looking at the pictures of the terns seen, they all appear to be Common Tern. Good, close views obtained of most species expected.

Balearic Shearwater  Manx Shearwater  Great Skua
Balearic Shearwater                      Manx Shearwater                                 Great Skua

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 11:28 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News

Wrafton pond area

Popped out to Wrafton pond this evening.  On the pond I saw loads of Mallard and Black headed gulls, a couple of Coots and Moorhens and a juvenile Little Grebe. In the field opposite the pond were a couple of Herons and what looked like a common sand piper though I'm not totally sure.

Heron in flight                    Heron
Heron in flight                                                             Heron

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 10:05 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Corndon Tor, Dartmoor


Juvenile Whinchat, female and juvenile Wheatear. 

Nearby, a pair of Stonechats and a juvenile, 3 Ravens. Numerous Linnets, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. 

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 8:19 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

Velator and Sherpa Marsh

Becoming very quiet around the reserve of late, but today the Moorhens were busy with a second brood of at least 4 tiny bundles of black fluff.  The two remaining juvs from the first brood are still around. I remain confused about the presence of one adult Little Grebe. 2 Kingfishers chasing about today. Yesterday a Common Sandpiper out on the scrape early on. Still getting intermittent visits from a juvenile (or 2) Herons. A returning Teal was in the reserve yesterday.

Around Sherpa an exciting doubling of the numbers of Lapwing, from one to.....

170+ Canada Geese, 15 Swans, 3 Teal. Water levels too high, no muddy margins. I think the farmer is keeping the water level up so that the cattle have somewhere to drink. A male Stonechat on the riverbank today.

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 7:30 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Head kayak trip

kayak trip around Marella Explorer moored off Berry Head.

200 Manx Shearwater resting in a scattered raft.

1 Balearic Shearwater in amongst them

plus 100+ Common Dolphin

6 Harbour Porpoise

Manx ShearwatersBalearic ShearwaterCommon Dolphins
Manx Shearwaters                  Balearic Shearwater                              Common Dolphins

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 6:53 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News


All five pairs of Spotted Flycatchers in and around Arlington woodland have done well and raised families.All fit and feeding up now.Beautiful young Tawny Owl made our day.

Young Tawny Owl.
Young Tawny Owl.

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 5:30 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

East Prawle

Migrants at Moorwell Pond this morning were 12 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs ( 1 Juv. ), 4 Sedge Warblers,1 Reed Warbler and 1 Cetti's Warbler.

1st. Yr. Sedge Warbler.
1st. Yr. Sedge Warbler.

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 5:20 pm by Alan K. Searle in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This morning (low tide): Shag, 5 Stonechats, 4 Whitethroats, Willow Warbler, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Kestrel, 75+ Gatekeepers, 10 Small Heaths, Clouded Yellow & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 5:00 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Mutters Moor, Sidmouth.

August is a quite month for birds so I was not expecting much from a walk around the moor.  However a reasonable list ended with Bullfinch (1), Swift (3), House Martin (1), Stonechat (4), Whitethroat (2), Willow Warbler family group (5 ), Siskin (1), Kestrel (1), Buzzard (2), Raven (2).  

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 3:23 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

West Soar

A very encouraging 44 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries - second brood. Also 3 Clouded Yellows, 30 Common Blues & 3 Small Skippers.

Also: 2 male Keeled Skimmers, both holding territory over an acid bog. One Golden-ringed Dragonfly and first Migrant Hawker in Soar Mill Valley.

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 2:06 pm by Rob Macklin in Other Wildlife

Re Night Heron

Hi Jon

Birdguides saying Adult Night Heron on River Yeo on Friday 31st July

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 11:12 am by David Cope in Bird News


Unidentified Parakeet sp (not Ring-necked) over Forder Vally just now. 

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 9:33 am by Rich Billington in Bird News

Night Heron

The RBA map is showing a Night Heron in (or near?) Barnstaple this morning. Anyone any clues whereabouts?

Posted August 3rd, 2020 at 9:22 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sunday 2nd August 2020

Dawlish Warren NNR

16:17 - 20:11

Highlights: 50+ Ringed Plover; 50+ Sandwich Tern; 3 Common Tern; pr Blackcap; Sanderling, Dunlin, 1 juv Shelduck; 2 Wheatear; Whimbrel; 3 Mediterranean Gull (1 ringed on left leg PPJ1); 20ish Common Scoter and 1 singing male Cirl Bunting by the reserve exit.

Posted August 2nd, 2020 at 10:02 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Adult & 2nd-s Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Greenshanks, Whimbrel, 7 Mandarin Ducks & a Stock Dove.

Posted August 2nd, 2020 at 6:02 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Slapton Ley

Fem / imm Marsh Harrier briefly in Ireland Bay this morning. Along the beach 2 Whimbrels, 8 Sandwich Terns, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Wheatears. Just a single Med Gull ( juv )

Posted August 2nd, 2020 at 3:53 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip

A social distancing boat trip out of Brixham into Lyme Bay this morning, only 6 on board. A great trip seeing 300+ Common Dolphin on the edge of Torbay, once further out a continuous movement of Manx Shearwater, 400+ and 40+ Balearic Shearwater. Other birds sighted 20+ Comic Tern, 50 Kittiwake, Fulmar, Gannet, Lesser Black-Backed, Great Black-backed Gull, many Herring Gull, 3 Waders flying past the boat and 2 Great Skua. 5 Grey Seals on the rocks as we came back in. A good trip. Further trips running on 9th August and 13 September. Boat called Kelly's Hero,  call Dave if interested on 07970642354. hope to post some pictures later!!

Manx Shearwater N Smallbone Common Dolphins N Smallbones Balearic Shearwater N Smallbones

     Manx shearwater                             Common Dolphins                                            Balearic Shearwater

Posted August 2nd, 2020 at 2:52 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Dawlish Warren village

Jersey Tiger in our garden just now.

Jersey Tiger
Jersey Tiger

Posted August 2nd, 2020 at 12:46 pm by Peter Leigh in Other Wildlife

Saturday 1st August 2020


I was really pleased to bump into my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year in the woods above Chudleigh this afternoon especially as it was feeding a youngster. Good to know they are breeding here. 

Posted August 1st, 2020 at 10:42 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

South Efford

1st August. 50Canada Geese,12Curlews, 2 Herons 3BlackGodwits,   2 Green enshanks,5 Shovellers

Posted August 1st, 2020 at 9:41 pm by Peter Holt in Bird News

Razorbills - Torquay

Still two Razorbills just outside the mouth of Torquay Harbour, 11.00 today, plus at least four Turnstone on the rocks off Haldon Pier

Posted August 1st, 2020 at 9:03 pm by Cliff Parrott in Bird News

Exminster marsh

A walk out from Exeter along the canal  to exminster marsh this afternoon was generally quiet but a gathering of black headed gulls near the fisherman’s car park included 14 Mediterranean gulls ( 6 juvs, 1 1st summer, , 5 2nd summer and 2 adults) 

Posted August 1st, 2020 at 8:17 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on Broadsands beach last night + 1 Juvenile Mediterranean Gull.

Yellow Legged 2 Gull Broadsands 31 Jul 2020 ML Yellow Legged Gull 1 Broadsands 31 Jul 2020 ML  

The 2 Yellow-legged Gull juveniles


Yellow Legged & Herring Gull Broadsands 31 Jul 2020 ML Great Black-backed Gull Broadsands 31 Jul 2020 ML   juvenile Herring and Yellow legged Gull  (foreground)                            juvenile  Great Black-backed Gull

Posted August 1st, 2020 at 7:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Lopwell Dam/Maristow 1.8.2020

About 30 House Martins in the area, with many juveniles but also young still being fed in the nest.  One Kingfisher the first seen here for many months, and a family party of three Ravens.  At least five Common Sandpipers near the dam, one Stock Dove calling, and one Jersey Tiger moth in vegetation near the dam.

Posted August 1st, 2020 at 3:21 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Riverside Country Park, Exeter

11+ Green Sandpipers together, on muddy pool at about 7am, above Countess Weir. Possibly more as saw another 6 which I have to assume overlapped with the 11. Otherwise 2 Reed Warbler and a Kingfisher we’re the best of the rest. 

Posted August 1st, 2020 at 9:15 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

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