Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th 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

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         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

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford

·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary



·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Honey-buzzard 16-Jul Shoalstone

·         Leach's Petrel 25- Aug Otterton Ledge

·         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

·         Tree Sparrow 12-Mar Instow

Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


In the light of the continuing Covid19 restrictions on the number of people gathering together, and the need for social distancing, it has been agreed that there will be no Devon Birds meetings or events organised until 21st June 2021, when Government restrictions are planned to be lifted. If there is any Government announcement that necessitates a change to this date an update will be posted.

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

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman 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 14th August 2020

Slapton Ley

A Cattle Egret was perched on a post on the western shore this evening, before flying off towards the Higher Ley.

Posted August 14th, 2020 at 10:23 pm by Paul Roberts in Bird News

Goodrington Beach

After searching the Torbay beaches this evening for Yellow-legged Gulls, a last ditch stop at Goodrington at dusk  produced this huge juvenile Caspian Gull. A pleasure to share the briefish views with Pete Dennis before the gull  flew off showing off its silky white underwing coverts.

Caspian Gull Juvenile Goodrington Beach 140820 ML Caspian Gull Juvenile Goodrington Beach 140820 ML Caspian Gull Juvenile Goodrington Beach 140820 ML Caspian Gull Juvenile Goodrington Beach 140820 ML

Posted August 14th, 2020 at 9:28 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Blackhole Marsh

Early evening from Island Hide - Little Stint , Wood Sand, Ruff, Greenshank , 4 Common Sands,  6 Ringed Plover and 37 Dunlin

Posted August 14th, 2020 at 6:42 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Preston Beach,Paignton.

Following on from Mike's earlier Torbay post, a Ringed Plover and a Dunlin were with the Turnstones today on the rocks in front of Marine Parade.

Ringed PloverDunlin
                           Ringed Plover                                                                                Dunlin

Posted August 14th, 2020 at 5:27 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Wembury Point

Ringed Plover 13, and oystercatcher 70-80 roosting over tide. Plus whimbrel, common sandpiper, and 2 wheatear.

Posted August 14th, 2020 at 3:58 pm by Robert Massey in Bird News

House Martins gathering

60+ House Martins gathering on telephone wires outside my window in Colaton Raleigh this morning. Good numbers of juveniles amongst the flock. First gathering of Martins this Autumn for me.  

Some of the 60+ House MartinsTwo Swallows with the Martin flock
Some of the 60+ House Martins                                   Two Swallows with the Martin flock

Posted August 14th, 2020 at 2:14 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News


A sweep of the southern beaches on this mornings low tide produced:

Broadsands Beach: 4 Ringed Plovers & 1 ad Mediterranean Gull

Paignton: 1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Wheatear and 220 Starlings

Yesterday evening at Goodrington Beach 1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull 

Posted August 14th, 2020 at 9:07 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 13th August 2020


High tide at Langdon Beach. Small flock of around 20 Dunlin. Also of note were a group of 4 Ringed Plover near the pipe, don’t think I’ve seen them there before.  

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 9:14 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Venn Ottery, East Devon

Venn Ottery Common produced little of interest other than families of Stonechat and Willow Warblers and a Gt spotted Woodpecker but further afield the countryside was more productive. 1 Green Sandpiper (below), 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Treecreeper, 1 Siskin, 2 Nuthatch and others were present in an area that is not open to the public.  A bat was flying in a shady woodland glade. 

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 8:04 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Velator reserve

Always encouraging to hear a Tawny Owl, as I did when trying (and actually catching 2) to catch Swallows the other evening. Even better to see one in daylight as I did this morning, it flew off at my approach but a short while later flew out and over the pond then up over the Willow trees, which must be 40 feet high by now. Being chased off by a couple of small birds - not sure if it had caught one as it was a pretty short sighting. A large foraging party of Tits roving around - mostly juvenile Blue Tits. Also saw the first Squirrel for a very long time....

News of foreign recovery.

Reed Warbler S201706 ringed as a 3J (so hatched that year) at Velator in July 2016 and retrapped in Cordoba Spain in July 2019. I've been to Cordoba in August - it gets really hot there in the summer. Reed Warbler numbers have been falling over the years - perhaps they all prefer a hotter climate.

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 5:21 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sea birds from Baggy Point

Baggy point today unusually produced no cetacean sightings for us but there was a regular passage South to North of Gannet including a few juveniles.  Also seen at extreme distance going the same way were three Shearwater though what species I couldn't say. At least two pairs of Fulmar seen soaring about, 2 GBB gull, 17 Cormorant and various other usual gulls. Passerines were all the usual culprits: Stonechat, Linnet, Goldfinch, Wren, Meadow Pippet and Whitethroat. 

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 5:00 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Berry Head

Misty conditions probably failed to produce an expected arrival of migrants: 1 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Dunlin overhead. Other wildlife included 20-30 Common Dolphin, 5 Harbour Porpoise and 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 4:41 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Dawlish Warren NNR

11:21 - 13:42

A curtailed visit due to the heat.

Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Sandwich Tern, Turnstone (2) were  the highlights. 

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 4:20 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News


A few birds appeared after the mist eventually cleared: Pied Flycatcher, 2 Sedge, 2 Reed & 3 Willow Warblers, 7 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears & 8 Whitethroats. Also a few Clouded Yellows about.

South Efford Marsh: Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlins, 3 Greenshanks & 2 Common Sandpipers.

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 3:49 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Overhead from the B3236 Buckleigh Road near Westward Ho!

A Red Kite flew over the road heading SW.

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 3:20 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News


High tide at Langdon Beach. Small flock of around 20 Dunlin. Also of note were a group of 4 Ringed Plover near the pipe, don’t think I’ve seen them there before.  

Posted August 13th, 2020 at 2:58 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Ringed Herring Gull

Herring Gull presently at Greendale farm shop near Exeter with the gull flock in the animal pens bearing a white ring marked S=Y.

Back home at South Brent the would be Italian Sparrow back on the feeders at lunch time and relaxed enough to allow me to catch it on camera for the first time since it has been coming back into feed.


Posted August 13th, 2020 at 1:32 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wednesday 12th August 2020

Nightjars at Stover

1 female seen intermittently 20.55 - 21.15. 

Posted August 12th, 2020 at 9:52 pm by John Walton in Bird News

Lesser Emperor at Venford Reservoir Dartmoor

Lesser Emperor in south-west corner of Venford Reservoir this evening, viewed from bank where the red lifebuoy is. Flying over water then settled in a birch tree.

Posted August 12th, 2020 at 9:08 pm by John Walters in Other Wildlife

Blackhole Marsh, Seaton

Seen between 1030 & 1145 , LITTLE STINT (juvenile) feeding amongst  small flock of Dunlin, plus a  Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper & Ruff 

Photos by Derek Carter

Posted August 12th, 2020 at 4:52 pm by Rupert Ormerod in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

4 each of Common Sandpipers & Greenshanks, 2 Mandarin Ducks, ad Mediterranean Gull (no rings), 4 Stonechats & 2 Whitethroats. 

Earlier, male & female Peregrines over my garden (Mount Gould, Plymouth).

Posted August 12th, 2020 at 4:00 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Tuesday 11th August 2020


Osprey perched in Ilton Woods tonight ( distant across estuary from Charleton Bird Hide )

Posted August 11th, 2020 at 8:52 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News


Kayak trip to Eddystone today.

1 juv Common Tern

Despite checking all the rafts of many hundreds of Manx Shearwaters, no Balearics today (surprisingly)

For a couple of hours, between three and six miles offshore, the sea was shredded by dozens of Bluefin Tuna feeding frenzies. Massive splashes and a huge roar of sound. I must have seen 50-100 fish. Astonishing.

Three Minke Whales, plus one more heard but not seen.

At least 85 Common Dolphins

14 Porpoise

2 Sunfish

1 Shark at surface, I suspect a Blue.

More pics: when my pulse rate returns to normal

Bluefin TunaCommon DolphinMinke Whale
Bluefin Tuna                        Common Dolphin                             Minke Whale

Posted August 11th, 2020 at 8:14 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Other Wildlife

ernesettle creek

30 ringneck parakeet

Posted August 11th, 2020 at 8:04 pm by barry in Bird News


Ten Mandarins, a family of Great Crested Grebes and multiple sightings of Kingfishers today were eclipsed (for me) by 2 separate male Lesser Emperors, 1 over the main lake and 1 (photograph) at one of the sedimentation ponds. The latter was found during a systematic survey of the no-go areas created last year.  There were also lots of Small Red-eyed Damselflies mating and egg-laying on the main lake, plus Long-winged Coneheads (a bush-cricket) near the hide, at least one Clouded Yellow, Brimstone and a few Silver-washed Fritillaries.

Lesser Emperor male Stover


Posted August 11th, 2020 at 6:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A juv Peregrine buzzing the gulls & waders on Blaxton Meadow, ad Mediterranean Gull (yellow ring on left leg but I couldn't read number), 149 Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks, 5 Oystercatchers, 38 Curlews, 5 Stonechats (family party), Green Woodpecker, leucistic Goldfinch & 3 Roe Deer.

Yestersay in the Cattewater - Kingfisher & 2 Common Sandpipers. 

Posted August 11th, 2020 at 4:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Head clouded yellow

highlights of butterfly  survey for TCCT 1 Clouded yellow,1 wall brown and  31 common blues. On the rocks kingfisher and 3 common sandpipers.

Posted August 11th, 2020 at 3:52 pm by Jeff Hacon in Other Wildlife

East Soar & Bolt Head

Migrants included Swift, 7 Tree Pipit on Bolt Head, 3 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat & Willow Warbler. Also: 450 Herring Gull, 130 Rook, Jay, 40 Jackdaw & 20 Stonechat.

Non-avian: First site record of 3 Small Red-eyed Damselflies on Starehole Ponds. Also 4 Emperors & Common Blue Damselfly. Clouded Yellow.

Posted August 11th, 2020 at 12:25 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Mt Batten early morning

8 Med gulls incl 2 juvs, 1 Sandwich tern, first 2 common sands of the autumn, 2 redshank. 

Posted August 11th, 2020 at 11:27 am by Richard Archer in Bird News

Monday 10th August 2020


Cattle Egret present this afternoon with the cows south of the reserve. Also present this evening until about 20.00.

Posted August 10th, 2020 at 10:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Swifts at East Prawle

High numbers of migrating swifts over the camping fields on saturday 8 and sunday 9 August. Many groups of between 50 to 160 birds heading south, some incredibly high screaming parties, others feeding low over the fields. A single swift over Drewsteignton last night on our return, possibly an adult with late young in a nest we are unaware of.

Posted August 10th, 2020 at 10:22 am by Nick Dixon in Bird News

Sunday 9th August 2020


Cattle Egret again this evening NW of the reserve with cattle! 19.00 hrs

Cattle EgretCattle EgretCattle Egret
Cattle Egret


Posted August 9th, 2020 at 10:32 pm by Martin Bond in Bird News

Exe Estuary

Wheatear at the Turf, same location as last year,  over 200 Starlings, 8 - 10 Swallows,, House Martins at altitude, 12 - 15 Pied Wagtails,  5 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Rock Pipits. Oystercatchers, Curlew, 3 Mute Swans, several Shelduck, Rooks and a few hundred Black-headed Gulls on the estuary itself. 

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 7:52 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip

The boat trip from Brixham out into Lyme Bay aboard Kelly's Hero was at first a bit slow and not many birds about. The second half of our journey was much more productive. Birds seen 40+ Manx and 2 Balearic Shearwater, a Sanderling, 22 Kittiwake, 90+ Guillemots in small groups, 4 Fulmar, 1 Bonxie, Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls. 3 Porpoise and some Common Dolphin in the distance.

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 7:21 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Migrating Swifts

Yesterday afternoon and this afternoon had views of single Swifts passing over my house in Barnstaple on their way south and yesterday whilst at my field near Codden Hill a Hobby flew over also heading south.

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 4:46 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News


2 Hobby circling over Coastguard cottages.. 6 Clouded Yellows in the Warren

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 1:35 pm by Roger White in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Dunlin at the Pill this morning.

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 1:26 pm by Dave Paterson in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A cracking morning on the patch with a juv Marsh Harrier which flew over low west then drifted higher towards Laira Bridge before disappearing. Probably the first record for the site. Then, 3 Green Sandpipers on Blaxton Meadow for a few minutes before flying off towards the narrow river: my first here for many years. Also, Kingfisher, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Greenshanks, adult Mediterranean Gull, 5 Stonechats & a Roe Deer.

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 12:58 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

South Pool Creek - Kingsbridge Estuary

From the kayak - 14 Greenshank & Common Sandpiper.

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 12:28 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


First noc-mig recording of the 'autumn' overnight Friday/Saturday. Recorded a Yellow Wagtail calling as it flew over at 05:22. 

Posted August 9th, 2020 at 10:15 am by Chris E in Bird News

Saturday 8th August 2020


Thanks to Andy for posting my message re the Cattle Egret, which I didn't see again. I was there to catch Swallows, but none obliged tonight. At 20.52 all the Gulls in the surrounding field, which had been feeding happily, suddenly took off and  made a right din. I looked out at the scrape and the Spoonbill circled few times and then landed. Often wondered what sort of time it turned up.

Posted August 8th, 2020 at 10:20 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Just rec'd message from John Turner, Cattle Egret south of reserve !9:40h.

Posted August 8th, 2020 at 7:44 pm by Andrew Lansdell in Bird News

G.C.Grebes Stover Lake Newton Abott

Great Crested Grebe Feeding Two Of The Four Youngsters, On The Parents Back This Morning.

Posted August 8th, 2020 at 3:28 pm by patrick hawkins in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A different juv Yellow-legged Gull to yesterday’s on Blaxton Meadow. Also, 2 juv Peregrines, Whinchat, 5 Stonechats, 16 Little Egrets, 2 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, Shag, 38 Curlews & 5+ Clouded Yellows.

Posted August 8th, 2020 at 1:03 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


We have seen what we believe is a Prionus coriarius in our garden three evenings this week. Very impressive.  Never seen one before.

Eds. The Sawyer Beetle - feeds on dead wood and comes to light but they are also active on hot and sunny days and may occur kilometres away from suitable habitat. 

Please send any non bird records to the relevant County Recorder or direct to the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre 

Posted August 8th, 2020 at 8:56 am by Robert O'Kelly in Other Wildlife

Every sighting counts.

Sorry for late post.Taking part in the Big butterfly Count yesterday in Marldon, Paignton my son and I saw my first common blue (picture not brilliant because of bright sunlight) but amazing photo of meadom browns mating.

Common blue
Common blue

Mating meadow brown
Mating meadow brown

Eds. Looks like Holly Blue. Ivy is one of their foodplants

Posted August 8th, 2020 at 8:20 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Other Wildlife

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