Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th September 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

Friday 11th September 2020

Berry Head

Balearic Shearwater, 5 Arctic Skuas, 1 Great Skua and 1 Med Gull this afternoon (3:30-5 pm), with hundreds of Gannets and Kittiwakes offshore, but the highlight was a big Bluefin Tuna breaching.

Posted September 11th at 9:28 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Stover Country Park

A brief visit this afternoon yielded 3 (1m+2f) Mandarin Duck, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Coot and Moorhen on the water.

Posted September 11th at 6:50 pm by CL North in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Pretty quiet during an early afternoon visit, but sightings included: 6 Greenshanks, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, 11 Oystercatchers, Shag, 9 Mandarin Ducks, 3 Stonechats, Shag & 5 Roe Deer.

Posted September 11th at 4:33 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


A return visit to Wembury this morning for the high tide roost and 34 Oystercatchers,18 Turnstone, 11 Ringed Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Dunlin seen.

Offshore a feeding melee of 100+Gannet just past The Mewstone.

66 Mediterranean Gulls (11 juveniles) roosting on the rocks and in the stubble field but very flighty and mobile and including a French ringed adult bird. Also a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull amongst the Herring, GBB, LBB and Black-headed Gulls along the beach.

5 Chiffchaff, 1 female Blackcap, 23 Canada Geese and a Fulmar also noted.

Posted September 11th at 3:52 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

East Prawle.

Migrants at Moorwell Pond this morning were 20+ Chiffchafffs. 5 Blackcaps. 1 Spotted Flyycatcher and 1 Whitethroat. Also on site a Juv. Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Juv. Great Spotted Woodpecker .
Juv. Great Spotted Woodpecker .

Posted September 11th at 12:14 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Fieldfares, Monkleigh.

Approx. 15 fieldfares over the A388 at Monkleigh this morning. Initially perched on telegraph wires but as I approached and slowed the car they flew off east.

Posted September 11th at 11:37 am by alan craddock in Bird News

Thursday 10th September 2020

Otter Valley

Walked Ottery to Newton Poppleford this morning. Cetti's Warbler singing just South of Ottery and at Tipton, first encounters with this sp. at these locations. Perhaps Budleigh bred birds investigating the valley? Also on the river, 2/3 Kingfishers, Grey Wagtail and, always a joy to hear, a singing Dipper. Also at Tipton, 750+ Herring Gull following a slurry spreader. How do they find food so quickly?

Posted September 10th at 9:02 pm by James Camden in Bird News

West Charleton Marsh

8 Cattle Egrets present this evening

Posted September 10th at 8:52 pm by Perry Sanders in Bird News

Dawlish Warren NNR

09:12 - 14:07

A neap tide but still 400+ Oystercatcher in front of the hide area. They had a tough time - a female Sparrowhawk buzzed them more than once and then a Red Fox running along the sand upset them again!

4 Knot, Ringed Plover, Rock and Meadow Pipit, Dunlin in the same area along with GBBG and LBBG.

Slightly further out an Atlantic Grey Seal, and away up the Exe 12 Brent Goose.

2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Turnstone and 11 Sanderling on the beach between Groynes 13 and 14.

Posted September 10th at 7:48 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Wembury Point area

Addition to my further report from Wembury 100+ House Martins and a pair of Ravens.

Posted September 10th at 7:46 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News


A morning walk at the lake we saw 1 Common Sandpiper, 5 Little Grebe, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Buzzard, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Common Lizard.


this is in Somerset so not showing post - MB

Posted September 10th at 7:33 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Wembury Point area

Parking in the NT carpark on Spring Rd near Wembury Point 09:30 – 12:00 and walking ½ way to Wenbury and back. 13 Mediterranean Gulls, 4 GBBGulls, 1 LBBGull, 1 Common Gull, many Herring Gulls, 3 Curlew, 50+ Pied Wagtails, 6 Oystercatcher, 21 Turnstone, 15 Rock Pipits. From the carpark to coastal footpath – 7 Cirl Buntings, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Green Finch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted September 10th at 5:50 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News


3 Wheatear on coast path between Scabbacombe and Mansands. 3 Buzzard overhead.

Posted September 10th at 5:44 pm by Neil Thompson in Bird News

River Dart (Dartington to Totnes)

Along this stretch of the river this afternoon were 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Mute Swan, 40 Mallard, 1 Tufted Duck, 8 Moorhen, 2 Cormorant and 1 Grey Wagtail. At a point of exposed shingle close to the weir was a large congregation of gulls- c. 140 Herring Gull, 1 Great Black-Backed Gull and 18 Black-Headed Gull.

Posted September 10th at 5:29 pm by CL North in Bird News


A reasonable spread of commoner migrants in lovely conditions, including: 26 Wheatears, 40 Yellow Wagtails, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Willow Warbler, 3 Tree Pipits, 8 Chiffchaffs, 8 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 28+ Siskins over, a gathering of 300+ House Martins & a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted September 10th at 3:35 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East to Middle Soar

Quiet birdwise with 200 Swallow, Sparrowhawk, 230 Linnet, 100 Meadow Pipit, 47 Stonechat, 7 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker west up Starehole Valley & 4 Wheatear.

Non-avian; Large movement of white butterflies with minimum counts of 400 Large Whites & 264 Small Whites plus Clouded Yellow. Dragonflies: male Emperor, 5 Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker & 9 Common Darter. Also: Brown Hare & Common Lizard without a tail!

Posted September 10th at 2:56 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Stock Doves near Powderham

09 September. Large flock of stock doves; in excess of 110 birds near Powderham late morning.

Posted September 10th at 2:19 pm by Pete Stevens in Bird News


1 Brent, 6 Ringed Plover, curlews and oystercatchers 4 Wheatear 6meadow pipits and1 med gull amongst the others 

Posted September 10th at 1:37 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Peverell, Plymouth

10/09/20: Osprey over midday at about 1000ft, then heading WNW, a buzzard soaring with it. LHurrell and RHurrell

Posted September 10th at 1:27 pm by Robert Hurrell in Bird News

North Devon .

Along the River Caen this morning  1 Marsh Harrier , 1 Peregrine , 3 Kingfishers , 2 Wheatears , 7 Brent Geese . 

Posted September 10th at 1:13 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Breakfastime visitor

This young male Sparrowhawk spent 90 minutes at the bottom of my Chudleigh garden this morning. It was so engaging, I didn't get to finish the cryptic crossword!

Juvenile male Sparrowhawk
Juvenile male Sparrowhawk
Juvenile male Sparrowhawk
Juvenile male Sparrowhawk

Posted September 10th at 12:04 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Stover Country Park

It was dry and sunny yesterday at Stover Country Park where these images were taken.  About six Tufted Duck, One adult and one Juvenile Great Crested Grebe, one Grey Heron, a few Mandarin M & F,  a number of Moorhen and Coots and a few Mallard and Gulls.

Female Tufted Duck
Female Tufted Duck
Male Tufted Duck
Male Tufted Duck

Posted September 10th at 8:06 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wednesday 9th September 2020


Further to earlier posts I noted 42 Mediterranean Gulls (9 Juveniles), an adult LBBGull plus a few juvenile birds, a ringed juvenile GBBGull and 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls amongst the Herring, GBB and Black-headed Gulls along the beach on the high tide at Wembury this morning. 

14 Turnstone, 6 Ringed Plover, only 6 Oystercatcher, 3 Dunlin and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit also seen along with 3 Little Egrets. 

2 Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear and a hunting male Sparrowhawk spooking 5 Meadow Pipit feeding in a grassy field also of note. 

Very little beach disturbance on the high tide today (due to cloudy weather and the return of children to school?) but previous reports from Wembury today show the fluidity of birds and their movements along the beach. 

Posted September 9th at 8:55 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Affaland Moor, near Holsworthy

Two Hobbies catching craneflies today pm

Posted September 9th at 7:18 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Exe Estuary

A cycle along the Exe estuary from Topsham to Exmouth today catching the high tide.

On Goosemoor 9 Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper.

Along the Exe 92 Mute Swan and 2 Black Swan, 26 Little Egret in a cattle field at Lympstone, 11 Great Crested Grebe, a distant Osprey flying out over Star Cross towards Haldon.

Large flock of 80 plus Linnet again near Lympstone.

On the approach to Exmouth 15 Pale Bellied Brent Geese

Posted September 9th at 6:58 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

River Caen

Several hundred Canada Geese by the pond at Sherpa. 2 Black-tailed Godwits on the river just after the Toll House. About 15 Dunlin (mostly juvs) further on. By the old lighting gantry a single Wheatear. Nothing of note - like an Osprey - on the main estuary. On the way back north, a flock of 18 Black-tailed Godwits flew round and landed in amongst the Geese. One Buzzard and 2 Kestrels.

Posted September 9th at 5:27 pm by jon turner in Bird News

East Soar

Quiet today: 10 Siskin - east, Grey Wagtail, 10 Whitethroat, 10 Chiffchaff, 3 Wheatear, Sparrowhawk, 3 Blackcap, 200 Linnet.

Posted September 9th at 3:37 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Moorhen,Coot,Mallard,Great Crested Grebe with young,Grey Heron,Manderun Duck,Dunnock,Great Tit,Robin,Coal Tit,Wren,Mute Swan,Buzzard,Nuthatch,,Blue Tit and Chaffinch.

Posted September 9th at 2:25 pm by Len Norrish in Bird News

Green Woodpecker

Two on Stoodley Knoll field TQ1

Posted September 9th at 2:02 pm by Mick Currn in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Little new of note this morning but managed an adult Mediterranean Gull in with the Black-headeds, a Kingfisher showing well, 141 Redshanks, 6 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, 5 Shags & a Fox.

Also, a Whitethroat in my garden (Mount Gould).

Posted September 9th at 1:52 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Haldon Forest

Osprey heading SW over Haldon Forest at 9.30am in rough direction of River Teign. 

Posted September 9th at 11:34 am by Matt Collis in Bird News


Three Bar-tailed Godwits, 38 Med Gull (37 adults, 1 juv), 1 Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Wheatear, 18 Turnstone among the usuals first thing. Link to photos as too big to submit:

Posted September 9th at 10:43 am by Chris E in Bird News

Hope's Nose

7.15-8.50am- 12 Brent Goose flew up from the south at 8.05am and continued north close to the coastline, presumably heading for the Exe. Manx Shearwater and auks passing southwards offshore. 3 Wheatear were on the rocks around the headland.

Posted September 9th at 9:54 am by CL North in Bird News

Wembury Point

Between Wembury and Wembury Point before high tide, 10 turnstone, 2 ringed plover, plus kingfisher and 2 wheatear. Many gulls feeding on heaps of seaweed.

Posted September 9th at 9:41 am by Robert Massey in Bird News

Tuesday 8th September 2020


Spotted Flycatchers teaching in the garden tonight.

Posted September 8th at 8:26 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Around the Exe

Exeter "Skypark 7 plus Stonechat, 2 female Reed Bunting, 3 Wheatear, Kestrel, Skylark, flock of Starling and steady passage of Swallows for most of the visit.

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh, solitary Snow Goose in with 100's of Canada Geese, Curlew Sandpiper in with the gathered Dunlin, numerous Redshank, small numbers of Curlew and Lapwing, several Pintail duck, Heron and a small gathering of Little Egret.

Off of the Goat walk 364 Curlew, one Sandwich Tern and a Sparrow hawk.

Back home at South Brent four Buzzard

Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper
Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper

Posted September 8th at 6:58 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Gull ID ~ Greendale Farm, Farringdon, Exeter

This unusual gull has been at Greendale Farm,Farringdon, Exeter for the last two mornings, I am guessing a Herring Gull X Lesser Black Back, slightly bigger than the gathered Herring Gulls, The grey plumage is darker than that of a HG, pale yellow legs, the beak is distinctively large with the shown black markings, larger rounder whiter head than the HG's...

Posted September 8th at 6:47 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Cox Tor 8th Sept 2020

Whilst throwing pasty crusts to the ever-present Rooks in Cox Tor car-park about 1300 a female Merlin flew out of the dense fog.  Flying low it 'buzzed' the Rooks briefly then passed on to the west.

Posted September 8th at 5:39 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Exe Estuary

Powderham to Turf Lock- 2 Black Swan, 2 juvenile Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Black-Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank and a pair of Stonechat.

Posted September 8th at 4:47 pm by CL North in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The 7 pale-bellied Brent Geese which arrived yesterday, flew down the estuary at 9.15 & then away west, over Mount Gould. Otherwise, 11 Oystercatchers, 17 Turnstones, 6 Greenshanks, 139 Redshanks, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Shag, 17 Stock Doves, 5 Stonechats & 10 Roe Deer.

Posted September 8th at 1:34 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

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