Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–31st 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

Friday 28th August 2020

Late Swift

Observed a Swift at 9am this morning flying north over the house in Teignmouth. Surprised it was so late in the month and that it appeared to be flying the wrong direction!

Posted August 28th, 2020 at 9:21 pm by Nick D'Agorne in Bird News

Berry Head 28th August

Disappointing sea watch between 7.30 and 8.30 am with not too much activity.. 30 to 40 gannets spotted along way out to the south. A redstart showed well on the cliff top but not well enough to take a decent photo

Posted August 28th, 2020 at 5:43 pm by David Roper in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Dodged some very heavy showers at Blaxton Meadow to see: Kingfisher, ad Mediterranean Gull, 5 Greenshanks, 9 Oystercatchers & 2 Dunlins. Also a juv Turnstone in the lower estuary.

Posted August 28th, 2020 at 4:49 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Head

2 Spoonbill drifted south over Berry Head early afternoon one showing obvious black tips to the primaries (imm) the other perhaps showing just a little black but the primaries looked all white in reality - so I guess the Exe Estuary birds..

Posted August 28th, 2020 at 2:33 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Braunton Burrows passage migrant sighting

A walk on the Braunton Burrows produced a first for us in the UK. Approaching one of the larger of the ponds to the north of J lane we inadvertently flushed a Green Sandpiper from cover near the waters edge. It called as it jinked and climbed with a sort of pweeit repeated often and disappeared to the north. About twenty minutes later we flushed the unfortunate bird (or another?) again, this time at the margins of nothing more than a large puddle. Nothing more than a grainy image, which I won't bother uploading, as it flew off but the white rump & dark tail edge are clearly visible. As per Collins...first impression was of a large house martin.

Posted August 28th, 2020 at 1:33 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

East Soar

A brief early morning fruitless search for Dotterel around the airfield but did turn up 2 Green Sandpipers, the first sightings since 2016. Also 250 Herring Gull, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Stock Dove, 2 Wheatear & 500 Linnet.

Posted August 28th, 2020 at 12:26 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Belle Isle Park, Exeter

Spotted Flycatcher briefly feeding in Park at 7pm Wednesday 26th. Flew off towards allotments over the river. Apology for late post and poor cropped photo. 

Posted August 28th, 2020 at 5:11 am by Mike Booth in Bird News

Thursday 27th August 2020

Preston seafront

Early evening walk along the seafront was a real treat with 6 Oystercatchers, 15 Turnstones (not so easy to count as they were well spread out), a Little Egret, a Shag, Great Black Gull, many Black Headed Gulls, a pair of Sandwich Terns (adult with juvenile) and a feeding frenzy of 4 or 5 Gannets continually diving not far offshore. 

Posted August 27th, 2020 at 8:16 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

14:08 - 17:00

Spoonbill (2) (flew west at 16:10); Scaup (2); Wigeon; Teal; Mallard; Gadwall; Shoveler; Curlew; Dunlin (50+); Knot (3); Common Sandpiper; Swallow; Sand Martin; House Martin; Buzzard; Redshank; Jackdaw; Moorhen; Grey Heron; Little Egret; Black-headed Gull; Cormorant; Lapwing; Magpie; 

Posted August 27th, 2020 at 6:23 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Berry Head

Seawatch 12:00-14:30 before brief violent storm (wind switching through SE 40mph to N 70 mph briefly) came through when watching impossible for a while! Left 15:30 as wind N and sunny but still many birds tracking N into the wind into Lyme Bay, normal passage direction is S.

2 Sooty Shearwaters (12:15 & 13:34), 3 Balearic Shearwaters (only! This is the time of peak in a normal year, but we seem to have had that in early July!), 829 Manx Shearwaters (many very close, including unidentified bird that got pulse racing), Bonxie, 6 Arctic Terns, 12 Common Terns, 20+ 'commic' Terns, 4 Sandwich Terns, 5 European Storm-petrels, 90+ Kittiwakes (good no's of juvs), also good passage of Gannets and Fulmars.

Posted August 27th, 2020 at 6:11 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


Great Egret just to the west of Fremington in fields just by the estuary path. Snow Goose amongst big flock of Canada Geese in fields near Tarka Trail, along the estuary path. 

Posted August 27th, 2020 at 5:23 pm by Chris Baines in Bird News

Adult Black-crowned Night Heron

Barnstaple on Yeo River this morning down towards the Cricket Club!

Posted August 27th, 2020 at 3:08 pm by Martin Bond in Bird News

snow goose

Seen wednesday 26/8/20 at turf lock exminster marshes

Snow Goose
Snow Goose

Posted August 27th, 2020 at 2:04 pm by Bob Kent in Bird News

Wednesday 26th August 2020

Home Farm Marsh

A Spoonbill, some Mallard and a few Geese.


Posted August 26th, 2020 at 11:25 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

Black Hole Marsh, Little Egret 3, Black Tailed Godwit 20+, redshank 20+, Oyster Catcher 10+, Ringed Plover 11, Dunlin 21, Green Sandpiper 2, Ruff 1, Shellduck 4 juveniles.

A Peregrine came in low over the water and tried to take one of the Green Sandpipers, I have never seen this type of hunting behaviour before, the falcon barely inches above the water, the Sandpiper dived under the water and the peregrine flew through the resultant splash.

Posted August 26th, 2020 at 8:44 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

North Devon , Saltpill Duck Pond.

My 3rd attempt to post this shot of a Great White Egret

Eds: photos must be reduced in size to be posted there are detailed instructions given when you post.

Any picture file over 1mb  will fail to upload.

Posted August 26th, 2020 at 7:55 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

North Devon

Saltpill Duck Pond , Great White Egret.

Posted August 26th, 2020 at 7:43 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

15:15 - 17:46

Two Spoonbill and a Scaup were the highlights.

Posted August 26th, 2020 at 7:28 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

BGM and Goosmoor

Only one Spoonbill showing this morning at BGM and three Greenshank at Goosemoor


Posted August 26th, 2020 at 6:12 pm by Colin Scott in Bird News

Exe estuary

Highlights of a trip to the Exe today included a single cattle egret at Cockwood (in field opposite the Cockwood steps), a common scoter in the estuary off the Warren, an osprey fishing near Cockwood, 5 wheatears on the Warren with another at Cockwood.

Posted August 26th, 2020 at 6:07 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


4Wheatear,numerous Linnets,Goldfinch and a few meadow Pipits.Large amounts of waders including Knot,Ringed Plover,Curlew,Dunlin.Turnstones,and 4 young Sandwich Terns.


Posted August 26th, 2020 at 5:32 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Spotted Redshank

Posted August 26th, 2020 at 11:31 am by David Paterson in Bird News

Fremington Pill & Home Farm Marsh

Spoonbill at Home Farm Marsh . Great White Egret at Saltpill Duck Pond & a Spotted Redshank in Fremington Pill 

Heavy crop
Heavy crop

Posted August 26th, 2020 at 11:30 am by David Paterson in Bird News

Tuesday 25th August 2020

Dawlish Warren - Exeter

A multi-stop day (with bins. only) produced:

- from the sea-wall, 2 Manx Shearwaters and a steady stream of Gannets, Kittewakes and Sandwich Terns;

- from Starcross, a Med. Gull and the first G-C Grebe of the Autumn in the estuary, 200+ Turnstones roosting on the breakwater, and many more Sandwich Terns, making probably 100+ for the day;

- no Cattle Egrets at Matford/Countesswear, but instead a Yellow Wagtail with the sheep in the Alphinbrook flood channel.

Going back a few days, there was a fresh brood of 5 Mallard ducklings in the Trews Weir flood channel. I thought they would stand little chance, and next day, for the first time, counted the gulls loafing around: total 1100+, 39:1 Herring to LBB, and, unsurprisingly, no ducklings. With others in the city, 1500+ reported from the lower estuary and usually 500+ at Budleigh, is the East Devon Herring Gull meta-population of national importance? New conservation designation needed?

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 10:33 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Sidmouth Esplanade

7 Turnstones on seafront in late afternoon.

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 8:44 pm by Malcolm Steward in Bird News

Otterton Sewage Works

Sea watching from the cliff coastal path near the Sewage works this afternoon (1.45pm - 3.45pm). 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Great Shearwater, 3 European Storm Petrel, 5 Common Scoter, 1 Arctic Skua, but best of all a Leach's Storm Petrel Supporting cast of Fulmar, Gannet and Kittiwake. Strangely, no other Shearwater species.

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 8:42 pm by Spencer Dicks in Bird News

25/08/2020 Prawle Point Seawatch 08:30 - 12:30

A lone seawatch from the headland so I will have missed many birds.  Counted 397 Manx shearwater, 4 Balearic shearwater, 28 sooty shearwater all but one early bird in a brief passage between around 10:0 to 10:30 ish, 3 storm petrel, 38 northern fulmar and 198 gannet.  All moving South.  In addition a small flock of c40 dunlin passed south.

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 8:14 pm by Pete Stevens in Bird News


Berryhead 6.00-15.30   Many Observers

Fea's/Desertas Petrel  8.30-8.35  ,Great Shearwater 2, Sooty Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater 7, Manx 500+, Storm Petrel 11+ many lingering, Arctic Skua 5, Common Tern 20. Arctic tern 4, Sandwich 12, Whimbrel 4. Tuna fish leaping ,Ocean Sunfish and 15+ Common Dolphin

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 7:53 pm by Dave Dawe in Bird News

Dawlish Storm Petrel's

2 Storm Petrel's off Boat Cove at 6.30pm

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 7:45 pm by paul barker in Bird News

Berry Head

Didn't stay for the whole morning or day so have not post the bird species totals but did see this fantastic Fea's/Desertas Petrel drift by. 

   Fea's/Desertas Petrel Berry Head 25 Aug 2020
                 Fea's/Desertas Petrel Berry Head 25 Aug 2020
Fea's/Desertas Petrel Berry Head 25 Aug 2020

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 7:26 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

Highlights around Budleigh today were at least 3 Storm Petrels off the seafront (2+ am and 1 this afternoon). Also a juvenile Wood Sandpiper on the main scrape N of Lime Kiln car park early evening.

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 7:03 pm by Chris Townend in Bird News

Little Egret

A Little Egret in our small garden pond this afternoon. Possibly disorientated by the strong winds here at Dunkeswell.

Posted August 25th, 2020 at 5:59 pm by Peter Lamb in Bird News


Juvenile Caspian Gull off Mudbank today. Also Osprey off there at 1410 and again later on. A Great Skua rested briefly on Maer Rocks early am. Photos and further sightings on my blog -


Posted August 25th, 2020 at 5:34 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News

Monday 24th August 2020

Mixture of birds along the tidal Caen to Horsey "Island" today..

Starting at Velator Quay we walked along the bank to Horsey and back. Views of Sherpa Marsh produced Canada Geese X <40 and 5 Black Tailed Godwit.  Apart from all the BHG's and many Little Egret, of interest were a pair of Peregrine falcon harassing <20 Dunlin a 3 x Ringed Plover We also saw either two, or one twice, Kingfisher (male) fishing successfully in the now tidal stretch of the old Caen River bed. We also saw 4 Oystercatcher and 3 Curlew. The unexpected sight of three migrating Swift was a treat. Many juve & adult Barn Swallow were feeding over the fields. A good productive walk.

One of three Common Swift
One of three Common Swift

Posted August 24th, 2020 at 6:49 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Berry Head

Sea watch between 08.00 and 15.00 hours today produced 612 Manx Shearwaters with only 4 Balearic Shearwaters amongst them. 2 Skuas - probably Arctic, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Swift, 4 Common Scoter, c 60 Kittiwake, c 6 Harbour Porpoise and c 20 Common Dolphins.   

Posted August 24th, 2020 at 4:44 pm by Clive Mason in Bird News

Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton.

The Dutch ringed Turnstone, Z010032, was back this afternoon. This bird was originally reported at this location in a post by Steve Hopper in December 2014 and it has wintered there every year since.

The bird was ringed in The Netherlands in August 2013 and identified by the ringer as a juvenile.

Posted August 24th, 2020 at 4:42 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News


Another good number of species this morning over high tide. Of interest 16 Knot, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling c750 mixed flock Dunlin/Ringed Plover, 1 Little Tern and 6 Sandwich Tern

Posted August 24th, 2020 at 11:41 am by Roger Doble in Bird News

Sunday 23rd August 2020

6 Cattle Egrets

Viewed close to the canal towpath just on Countess Weir side of M5 road over bridge. Birds very close to grazing cattle livestock initially thought a mixed group with Little Egrets (2 of which had been seen earlier close to the A379 road and 4 more later found in Exminster Marsh fields on the village side of M5) but legs on the 6 were yellow aswell as beak and a short neck and in flight were pure white as short flying was seen. Time 1900ish. Weather sun with wind.

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 11:42 pm by Richard Giles / Fiona Neate in Bird News

Fremington Saltpill

A record shot of the Great Egret on Fremington Saltpill at 07:30 this morning.

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 11:03 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in Bird News

Red Kite & Osprey Lopwell - Maristow

A trip to the area to see if I could capture a glimpse of an osprey for the first time in three years.  A kingfisher darting up and over us drew our attention to the sky and there drifting over us was a red kite only my second encounter with one.  A few hours later an osprey came flying down the Tavy towards the Tamar.  The previous night in the same area, we had watched a hobby hunting insects.  

Red Kite
Red Kite

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 10:17 pm by Shane Willson in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

The Melodious Warbler showed extremely well in the brambles, just north of the new flood defence, adjacent to the golf course, between 15.10-15.25.

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 7:03 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News


This morning:

9 Turnstone, 13 Mediterranean gull (11 ad, 2 1st winter) 2 Sandwich tern, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Shag, 1 Fulmar on a flypast, several Gannet off Wembury point, 12+ Rock pipit on seaweed, 11 Swallow, 4 Whitethroat, and 2 Cirl bunting.

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 4:05 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Melodious Warbler still showing this morning in same area in thicket behind main pond.  Can't attach picture under new guidelines!

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 3:34 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

River Exe- Powderham

An Osprey on the River Exe viewed from the steps at the River Kenn at 1.56pm, on the dropping tide, caught a fish north of Mudbank Lane and gave a superb flyover back into Powderham Park until lost from view at 2.03pm

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 3:21 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Yesterday’s drake Gadwall still on Blaxton Meadow with plenty of waders (over 200 birds including 7 species). A Black-tailed Godwit dropped in after high tide & a flock of 7 Common Sandpipers was lingering on the lower estuary. Also: 6 Greenshanks, 3 Dunlins, 2 Shags, Kingfisher & adult Mediterranean Gull.

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 2:17 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Erme waster meadow

Ad Osprey on dead tree. 2 Green Sandpipers on water meadow.

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 1:02 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News


Good WeBS count on the Skern this morning including 5 Knot, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Sanderling, 2 Turnstone, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern, 3 Common Tern and a Peregrine.

Posted August 23rd, 2020 at 12:06 pm by Roger Doble in Bird News

Saturday 22nd August 2020

Cadover Bridge, Shaugh Lakes.

Osprey sighted in the Shaugh Lakes area being harrased by Ravens at 10:00, flew north towards Burrator. Other birds same area, Kestrels (2), Buzzards, Wheatears (4), Green Woodpecker, Stonechats, Sand Martins, Swallows, Meadow Pipets.

Posted August 22nd, 2020 at 5:27 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Great White Egret near Braunton Great Field

Driving home today around the Braunton Great Field we were surprised to see this Great White Egret fishing in the dike just along from the thatched Linnay.  Saw it catch two fish before it was disturbed by a long line of cars on the unofficial Braunton bypass.  

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Posted August 22nd, 2020 at 3:23 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Back on the patch after a few day’s elsewhere & surprised to see a drake Gadwall (on Blaxton Meadow), a rare bird here & usually associated with freezing conditions. Also, 6 Turnstones (5 ad-s & juv), 6 Greenshanks, Dunlin, 7 Oystercatchers, 2+ Common Sandpipers & 2 Shags.

Posted August 22nd, 2020 at 12:16 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Gaya trust , Yelland.

Imm. Marsh Harrier quartering reserve , Kestrel sheltering in Barn Owl box , 

on the scrape , Ad. Spoonbill , 12 Little Egrets , 9 Greenshank , 20+ Redshank, 11 Black tailed Godwits and 60+ Curlews.   On return cycle 6 Turnstones at Instow.

Posted August 22nd, 2020 at 11:54 am by Malcolm Shakespeare. in Bird News

images for Saturday 22nd Aug. report from Cadover Bridge

Goosanders at Cadover Bridge


Posted August 22nd, 2020 at 9:57 am by Bob Barrow & in Bird News

Thornhillhead, North Devon

The male sparrowhawk that regularly visits our garden around the feeders has become aware of a second brood of swallows in the garage roof space. It has now taken to sitting inside the garage presumably waiting for an incoming parent rather than directly predating the nest which is tucked away high up? Its virtually invisible when in there and although I have disturbed it a number of times, the frequency of visit appears to be increasing and I think it can only be a matter of time before a successful strike!

Posted August 22nd, 2020 at 9:24 am by Mark West in Bird News

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