Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st August 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

Saturday 22nd August 2020

Cadover Bridge

Cadover Bridge this morning, 2 Goosander, many Sandmartins, Grey Wagtails, Meadow Pipits,Stonechats, Mallards and a solitary Raven, Yesterday there were 6 on the river before the crowds arrived. 

Posted August 22nd at 12:02 am by Bob Barrow & in Bird News

Friday 21st August 2020

Berry Head seawatch 06.00 - 15.50

As disappointing as most of the south coast today, despite the strong winds, presumably due to too clear conditions: 31 Balearic, 163 Manx & 3 (probably more in distance) large Shearwater sp; Bonxie, 7 Arctic & 3 Skua sp; 13 Common, 4 Arctic, 4 Sandwich & 11 Commic Terns; 3 Storm Petrels; ad Mediterranean Gull; 4 Whimbrels; 8 Common Dolphins & 3 Harbour Porpoises.

Tawny Owl calling as I arrived.

Posted August 21st at 9:24 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for Lower Tamar Lake this morning.

3 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 34 Mallard, 5 Coot, 2m Tufted Duck, 25 Blue Tit, 7 Coal Tit, 4 Great Tit, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Robin, 1 Grey Heron,  4 Chaffinch.

Posted August 21st at 8:16 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Teignmouth sea front Friday 21st pm

Good views of a red throated diver just a few metres offshore.. At one stage almost washed onto beach by surf. It recovered and swam out and continued fishing and appeared to be ok.

Posted August 21st at 4:44 pm by Patrick Case in Bird News

Little Stint

20th Aug 2020, Little Stint at Blackhole Marsh. Please keep board walk hide as is. It is much more user friendly without the dividing panel, put windows back in when appropriate of course.

Staying together is the art of survival!!!!!
Staying together is the art of survival!!!!!
Relax once more
Relax once more

Posted August 21st at 2:56 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Thursday 20th August 2020

Dawlish Warren

Good views for sometime today of the melodious warbler, as you can see in the picture it has a damaged eye but still managing to feed, go to my blog for this and other stuff

Melodious Warbler
Melodious Warbler

Posted August 20th at 7:52 pm by simon Thurgood in Bird News

Seaton Wetlands & Colyford Common

The Little Stint still around in a flock of 40+ Dunlins; also Peregrine, Kingfisher & 3 Common Sandpipers. 

Posted August 20th at 7:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Mt Batten waders early eve

Lots of waders close up on high tide seaweed incl 5+ sanderling, 10+ dunlin, 10+ turnstone and 4+ ringed plover plus 3+ Med gulls and 50+ black-headed gulls. Lovely to see the beach being used by birds.

Posted August 20th at 7:36 pm by Richard Archer in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh 19th July

In the pouring rain: 2 Spoonbills, Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpiper & 3 Whimbrels among larger numbers of Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Dunlins & Curlews.

In the evening, 2 Swifts over Colyton.

Posted August 20th at 7:36 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East Prawle

Migrants at Moorwell Pond this morning were,8 Willow Warblers,9 Chiffchaffs. 1 Blackcap ,1 GardenWarbler. 1Sedge Warbler and 1 Reed Warbler.

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

Bowling Green Marsh & Riverside Country Park

Bowling Green Marsh today 2 Spoonbill, Green Sand, 2 Common Sand, 3 Knot, 650 Blackwit, 1 Barwit, 285 Curlew, 11 Whimbrel, 420 Redshank, 14 Greenshank, 150 Dunlin & 7 Swift. 

Riverside Country Park nothing of real note. 

Posted August 20th at 3:54 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Morning walk to Turf. 3 yellow wagtails, all juvs. in a field next to Station Road. An osprey caught a grey mullet off the Turf. Otherwise quiet.

Posted August 20th at 2:31 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


In the river at Velator on arrival 2 Grey Wagtails and a Kingfisher. In the reserve another KIngfisher, and 7 Moorhens with the 2 remaining young from the first brood helping with feeding the 3 young from the second brood.

On the way home along the Tarka Trail just North of Caen St School this Beautiful Demoiselle perched long enough to get a shot or two.

Beautiful Damselfly.
Beautiful Demoiselle.

Posted August 20th at 1:55 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

Spoonbill (2), Greenshank (13), Knot (I found 1 but reported to be 3), big numbers of Redshank, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit were the highlights for me this morning.

Please note,face coverings are to be worn in the hide now.

Posted August 20th at 1:45 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Gaya trust , Yelland

On the scrape from Gaya trust hide , Adult Spoonbill , 2 Little Egrets , 4 Shoveler , 3 Teal , 11 Black tailed Godwits , 4 Redshank.   Also a report of a Great Egret Seen yesterday on Saltpill pond , I checked but no sign.....

Posted August 20th at 12:54 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Avon Dam

Like most birds on migration, Sedge Warblers are scarcer inland than on the coast, or just harder to find, so I was pleased with two at Long-a-Traw, below the Avon Dam, two days ago and another there this morning. These are the first here since 2017, though I suspect annual as they occurred in  each of the three years before that. Scarce on Dartmoor, with no records in 2018 and only two in 2019 unless the ringers caught some. Also single brownhead Goosander roosting on the reservoir (out at 0620), two imm Cormorants on the dam parapet and a Pied Fly above Shipley.

Sedge Warbler, Avon Dam, 20 Aug 2020
Sedge Warbler, Avon Dam, 20 Aug 2020

Posted August 20th at 9:52 am by Peter Reay in Bird News

Marine Parade, Preston

Late entry for yesterday evening, now 15 Turnstones have arrived back.

Posted August 20th at 8:39 am by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Wednesday 19th August 2020

Braunton Burrows

Good year for Grass Snakes in N.Devon & this one a big one measuring over an estimated 4 feet in length.

Posted August 19th at 9:45 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Berry Head updated totals

Seawatching 06:00-18:00 day totals (many obs):

2 Great Shearwaters, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 78 Balearic Shearwaters, 688 Manx Shearwaters, imm Pomarine Skua, 12 Arctic Skuas, 1 Pom or Arctic Skua, 4 Bonxie, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, 5 Sandwich Terns,17 Common Scoter, c80 Kittiwake (many juvs), 2 juv Yellow-legged Gulls, Juv Mediterranean Gull, 14 Guillemots, Grey Seal, c10 Harbour Porpoise, c20 Common Dolphin.

Posted August 19th at 7:35 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


This afternoon, no sign of the Cattle Egret (the one in the photo - sorry about site info) the Cattle were too far away behind the marsh reed-beds.

On my way home met a friend who had just been at the scrape opposite Wrafton Pond where they had had very good views of the Spoonbill.

Posted August 19th at 4:34 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatching 6-10.30am- with ML, MD, DD
2 Great Shearwaters south, 1 at 735am and a closer one at 9am, 38 Balearic Shears, 3 Sandwich terns, Arctic Tern, Common Tern , 2 Bonxies , I juv Y L Gull, 65+ Kittiwakes, 11 Fulmar, 400 Manx Shearwaters, 17 Common Scoter , plus 6+ Common Dolphin, 6-8 Harbour Porpoise. 

Great Shearwater Bry Hd 190820 ML  Great Shearwater & Bonxie Bry Hd 190820 ML

       Awful pics but...  Great Shearwater                                    Great Shearwater and Great Skua

Posted August 19th at 12:20 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret seen late yesterday (about 7.45p.m) just South of the reserve.

Eds - please state location on posts.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Posted August 19th at 10:11 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Tuesday 18th August 2020

Dawlish Warren

A Melodious Warbler found by Will S at lunchtime and still showing well on and off behind visitor centre along back path between golf course and main pond mid evening

Posted August 18th at 6:49 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Boat Trip from Brixham

This mornings boat trip from Brixham out into Lyme Bay was very rewarding. Weather was not very kind with a heavy shower of rain but some good birds sighted. At last we had 2 Storm Petrels, 2 Great Skua, Yellow-legged Gull, 8 Fulmar on the water close to the boat, 30+ Manx Shearwater, 1 very dark looking Shearwater(checking ID),4 Common Tern, Kittiwake, Great black-backed gulls, Herring Gulls and a few Guillemots. Also had 50+ Common Dolphin, 1 Porpoise and 2 Grey seals. Next trip 20th September. If interested call Dave on 07970642354.

Posted August 18th at 4:47 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Wembury Bay

A modest sprinkling of migrants this morning: single Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel, Ringed Plover & Dunlin; 8 Wheatears, 6 Whitethroats, 8 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps & a pair of Sparrowhawks.

Posted August 18th at 1:31 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East Soar

A smattering of migrants inc.6 Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, Wheatear, 3 Willow Warbler & 2 Whitethroat.

Posted August 18th at 12:25 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


As I was passing a gap in the trees looking west, I saw a white bird fly up from Velator harbour and land in amongst the cows. Looking through the bins I could clearly see a Cattle Egret. Closer scrutiny revealed what I think it is a different bird from the one last week, which had a buff patch on it's breast. (see Martin Bond's photo a few days ago) This one is pure white.

Posted August 18th at 11:15 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Monday 17th August 2020

R.Tamar at Weir Quay

Failed in my attempt to find a reported little gull off Hole's Hole, but amongst the 100's of Black-headed Gulls scattered up and down the river was an adult with a yellow ring, "2PAT".

Posted August 17th at 10:40 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Little Stint - Blackhole Marsh Seaton

The Little Stint was still present at Blackhole Marsh this morning and showing well. Also present Wood Sandpiper, Ruff and plenty of Dunlin.

Photograph taken by Mark Dobinson

Great photo of the Little Stint taken by Mark Dobinson
Great photo of the Little Stint taken by Mark Dobinson

Posted August 17th at 9:59 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A rather brief look on tonight’s high tide produced: 3 ad Mediterranean Gulls, 5 Greenshanks, Dunlin, 3 juv Shelducks, 16 Little Egrets & a Mandarin Duck.

Posted August 17th at 8:10 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Dawlish Warren village Red Underwing moth

This stunning moth was sheltering in our summerhouse during heavy rain at lunchtime today. 

Red Underwing 
Red Underwing

Posted August 17th at 5:08 pm by Peter Leigh in Other Wildlife

Cattle Egret at Slapton Ley

Flew into tree at the back of Ireland Bay at 11am

Posted August 17th at 4:18 pm by Graham and Angela Webb in Bird News

Baggy Point

Still a lone Wheatear at the Point. 4 Fulmar around. A couple of Gannets way out, and eventually a loose pod of about 8 Dolphins. On the way back down the path we stopped and I had a brief view of about 7 Manx Shearwaters heading North towards the Point (which I couldn't see). What I was really hoping for was a glimpse of the Orcas seen off Stepper Point in Cornwall yesterday…. No such luck.

Posted August 17th at 1:56 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Hobby at Powderham

Hobby flew from estuary direction and over Powderham estate mid-morning. 3 + Greenshank on tideline.

Posted August 17th at 1:50 pm by Mark Brandon in Bird News


1m Common Scoter & 25 Shags most of them juveniles.


Posted August 17th at 12:41 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Sunday 16th August 2020

Holdstone down

A quiet walk around here today,with very little bird activity at all.there were no meadow pipit's or skylarks, a few stone chat and a few wrens. A single yellow hammer .

Yellow hammer.
Yellow hammer.

Posted August 16th at 6:14 pm by Philip worth in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Addition’s to Alan’s sightings below: juv Yellow-legged Gull, 2 ad Mediterranean Gulls, 4+ Sandwich Terns, Shag, 2 Dunlins, 2 juv Stonechats & a Green Woodpecker.

Posted August 16th at 6:13 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

This morning on the Tamar:  

32 Black tailed Godwit, some still in summer plumage, with 1 juvenile Knot amongst them. A flock of approx 30 House sparrow in the blackberry bushes, 40+ Goldfinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sparrowhawk, and 1 Common sandpiper on the mud.

Afternoon high tide, Plym estuary / Saltram:

146 Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 34 Curlew,19 Little Egret, 4 Ring necked Parakeet, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, and 8 Mandarin (7 Juv's, 1 ad) up river towards Sainsbury's. 

Posted August 16th at 5:24 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

East Soar

A quiet morning with 2 Swift, 55 Swallow, 2 Wheatear, 7 Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit, 2 Chiffchaff & 20 Stonechat.

Non-avian: Autumn Lady's Tresses - 124 flower spikes ( cattle moved out of field just in time).

Posted August 16th at 2:09 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Popped out this morning to Fremington Pill.  Not much around, c50 Redshank, three Dunlin, lots of BH gulls and a Little Egret.

Redshank      Three Dunlin     Little Egret
      Redshank                                                Three Dunlin                          Little Egret

Posted August 16th at 1:27 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Late Post Blackhole - Blackhole Marsh Sat 15th

From the Island Hide, the Little Stint, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and a Snipe along with numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Ringed Plover and Dunlin with a single Turnstone. Also there still a single Sedge Warbler.  At around 5:00pm a juv Water Rail emerged from along the northern reed fringe of the scrape. Swallows and Sand Martins hawked over the water.

Posted August 16th at 11:26 am by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Berry Head

Nice little fall of migrant birds today:  4 Whinchats, 12 Wheatears, 4 Willow Warblers, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap,  5 Chiffchaff, 2 Spotted flycatchers 3 Tree Pipits >W and 2 alba Wagtails.

Also at Broadsands: 1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Mediterranean Gulls 

    Spotted Flycatcher Berry Head 16 Aug 2020 ML   Whinchat

Posted August 16th at 11:25 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 15th August 2020

Berry Head

Misty conditions produced a few migrants: 1 juv Cuckoo in quarry, 8 Willow Warblers, 7 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 30+ House Martins, 2 Swifts.

At the seawatch point 2-3 Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Mediterranean Gulls 50+ Common Dolphins and 5-6 Harbour Porpoise. 

YLG BryHd150820 ML YLG 2 BryHd150820 ML YLG BryHd150820 ML

                                     Yellow-legged Gull juvenile 1                                            Yellow-legged Gull juvenile 2

Posted August 15th at 8:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

08:11 - 10:23

Little Stint (1), Ruff (1), Wood Sandpiper (1) along with many Black-tailed  Godwit, Redshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover as well as Common Sandpiper. 4 Shelduck present too.

Posted August 15th at 7:33 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake,

2 Kingfisher 1adult 1juv, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1m Tufted Duck, 2 Coot, 16 Blue Tit, 9 Coal Tit, 1 Black-headed Gull, 3 Willow Tit, 3 Wren, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Great Tit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 5 Chaffinch, 12 Jackdaw, 1 Canada Goose.

Posted August 15th at 7:26 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

2 Dunlins new in & Oystercatchers up to 9. Also: 5 Mediterranean Gulls (4 ad + 2nd-s), 3 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, 2 Stock Doves & a Green Woodpecker.

Posted August 15th at 7:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram Friday 14th August

Adult Mediterranean Gull (un-ringed) & an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull with ring “2AU9” which I will submit; both on Blaxton Meadow. Also, 153 Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks, 16 Little Egrets, Common Sandpiper & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted August 15th at 7:12 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Trewsweir Exeter

Pair of Redshanks flew down the Exe and settled briefly in shallows just below the weir at 0720. Then flew back up river. Much calling during flight. 

Posted August 15th at 7:31 am by Mike Booth in Bird News

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