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

Thursday 17th September 2020

R.Caen Braunton Marshes

Cycled down to R.Caen on incoming tide with the scope.

No sign of the Osprey on the metal post but a Cormorant instead. Then a flock of Brent Geese flew in & landed near the flight gantry. Taking advantage of the strong currents associated with the spring tide they swam into Horsey Island, On the way home 7 Cattle Egrets on Braunton Marshes.

Posted September 17th at 9:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, 1 Redshank, 9 Turnstone, 2 Ringed Plover and 3 Curlew with Oystercatchers along the beach at Wembury Point this morning on the dropping tide. Around 30 Mediterranean Gulls (5 juveniles) amongst the roosting gulls out on the rocks.

4 Wheatear and a Whitethroat noted along with a Chiffchaff and a pair of Blackcap and around 100 Swallow moving east in a steady trickle over a 2 hour period and including 2 Sand Martin.

Plenty of Red Admiral feeding up on ivy Blossom, a Painted Lady (first sighting of one this year in Devon) and a Clouded Yellow also seen. 

Posted September 17th at 5:57 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Marldon - Red Kite

Red Kite seen drifting over the church in Marldon about 1.30pm today, closely pursued by a Buzzard. About 15 minutes later a Kestrel flew overhead. 

Posted September 17th at 4:34 pm by Stephen Huggins in Bird News

Velator/river Caen

Highlight of brief visit to the Reserve was a small Grass snake, racing to get away from me! The river this afternoon had 1 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover and 40 or so Dunlin some which were mingling with Black-headed Gull flock, and included a Curlew Sandpiper.

Posted September 17th at 4:30 pm by jon turner in Bird News

shaugh prior to cadover

a lovely circular walk up the vally over the rocks up to cadover and around back, during this walk seen g.swoodpecker, 20+nutchatch,  stonechats, linnets, swallows, house martins, ravens, a startled group of pheasants, pair of buzzards, kestrel, grey wagtails, dipper, meadow pips 

Posted September 17th at 4:10 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis showing well at Fremington Pill today

Posted September 17th at 3:36 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch

Berry Head 0730-1230, NE4-5 cloudy clearing: 28 Balearic Shearwaters ( group of 11), 11 Arctic Skuas, Great Skua, European Storm-petrel, 22 Common Scoter, juv Common Gull, 6 Sandwich Terns, c150 Kittiwakes, 30 Auks (mostly Razorbill), 2+ Harbour Porpoise, 20+ Common Dolphins (feeding under Gannets). Also a passage of 172 Swallows over the sea in 1st hour.
Common ScotersBalearic Shearwater Common Scoters                                                             Balearic Shearwater

Posted September 17th at 3:22 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Braunton Marshes

Flock of Starlings social distancing on top of Hawthorn Bush!

Adult & juvenile Cattle Egret.

Posted September 17th at 3:12 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On the early morning high tide: 180 Redshanks, 7 Greenshanks, 39 Curlews, 22 Little Egrets & a Kingfisher. Also, Whinchat, 3 Stonechats, 6+ Siskins over & 6 Roe Deer.

Posted September 17th at 9:20 am by Pete Aley in Bird News

Wednesday 16th September 2020

Velator Reserve/Caen river

Caught and ringed another Kingfisher this morning. A juvenile female again. Also of note 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Song Thrush and an adult female Bullfinch - the mother of the juveniles I have been catching lately?

Got a text from Andy Lansdell this evening which had me hurrying to meet him at the mouth of the Caen. I hope he will post a picture of the resulting Osprey later. Smart Wheatear too. Thanks for the heads up on the Curlew Sandpiper Dave - we saw one (a summer plumage bird no less!) in Somerset on 12th July.

Posted September 16th at 8:46 pm by jon turner in Bird News

Braunton Marsh

Quick look at the Cattle egrets and counted 8 (group of 7 and a single), then on to Horsey Island where Rob Jutsam and my wishes came true as we saw a very distant Osprey. Two ruff, 2 greenshank, 2 dunlin, 2 little owl, 2 Wheatear were the supporting cast.

Distant Osprey
Distant Osprey
Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Posted September 16th at 8:40 pm by Andy Lansdell in Bird News

Preston Beach, Paignton.

A total of 6 Dunlin were spread around the rocks this afternoon.


Posted September 16th at 5:37 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

East Soar

A good day's tally inc.Firecrest at Starehole Ponds along with 2 Reed Warbler & Sedge Warbler, 12 Blackcap, 16 Chiffchaff, 5 Whitethroat, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Grey Wagtail, 10 White Wagtail, 21 Wheatear, 180 Swallow, 230 House Martin, 60 Meadow Pipit, 60 Skylark, Sparrowhawk and migrant Buzzard gaining height and moving high to the north.

Non-avian highlights: Hornet Robber Fly, 174 Large White & Clouded Yellow.

Posted September 16th at 4:54 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Fremington Pill

This afternoon at the Pill , 1 Glossy Ibis , 1 Spotted Redshank , 2 Kingfishers , 7 Greenshanks , 2 Dunlins & one for Jon Turner a Curlew Sandpiper ( thanks Gordon ) 

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Posted September 16th at 4:37 pm by David Paterson in Bird News

Coastal footpath - Prawle car park to Pigs Nose Valley. 07:45 – 12:00.

Very little the reserve at Prawle however, roosting on the Coastguard Cottages roofs, on the power lines/ telephone lines and flying around was well over 500 Hirundinidaes. At least 350 House Martins and 150 Swallows. In the fields to the West of Lookout were 6 Wheatears. Pigs Nose Valley was full of warblers with many Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and at least 10 Whitethroats. The majority of the martins/swallows had departed by 12:00.

Posted September 16th at 3:53 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News

Egret Roosting Powderham Park Estate

Sorry for late post but thought worth posting. Powderham Park Exe Estuary has become quiet a haunt for Little Egret roost but at midday yesterday while scanning trees for a reported Osprey, 3 Cattle Egret were seen roosting in an Oak Tree there may have been more hidden from view.So if they’re not with the cattle around the Estuary check the trees in Powderham. Kingfisher seen fishing near Turf Lock prey Prawns for lunch.

Prawn Lunch
Prawn Lunch
3 Cattle Egret at Powderham Park
3 Cattle Egret at Powderham Park

Posted September 16th at 3:17 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Saltpill pond and Gaia trust.

From the Tarka trail this morning , 3 Cattle Egrets feeding around the Black Cattle. The Great Egret flew from Saltpill pond towards Isley.  The marshy area around Saltpill held several Snipe and a calling Water Rail. Glossy Ibis nearby on Fremington Pill.    On both journeys a roosting Male Peregrine on Torridge bridge.

Posted September 16th at 12:09 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Cattle Egrets, Braunton Marsh

Nice to see 6 cattle Egrets on the Marsh today, including at least one juvenile with dark beak.

Posted September 16th at 6:33 am by Andy Leat in Bird News

Tuesday 15th September 2020

Braunton Cattle Egrets

Nice to see adult and juveniles together this evening.

Posted September 15th at 11:01 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News


Highlight of an afternoon walk was a Yellow Wagtail heard and then seen in flight briefly from Old Way.

Posted September 15th at 8:53 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Labrador Bay

An evening visit in the hope of finding an Ortolan was largely thrawted by the largest field no longer being a stubble. Around 15 Cirl Bunting and a vocal Green Woodpecker were to be expected but a Short-eared Owl was definitely not. Presumably disturbed from its roost by mobbing Blackbirds and Magpies it flew south across the valley before perching up in a dead tree.

Some excellent arable plants in the southern most arable field with masses of Field Woundwort and Weasel's-Snout as well as Corn Spurrey and Sharp-leaved Fluellen. Also plenty of Small-flowered Catchfly from the clearly very succesful Back from the Brink reintroduction

Posted September 15th at 8:26 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News

Cattle egrets Braunton marsh

Six cattle egrets on Braunton marsh this evening. In the field near the Linhay.

Posted September 15th at 7:30 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News

Braunton Marshes

Now 6 Cattle Egrets on Braunton Marshes.

Posted September 15th at 6:46 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


2+ Curlew Sands, 9 Grey Plover and Osprey highlights from Bowling Green viewpoint 

Posted September 15th at 6:14 pm by Reuben Veal in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch

Seawatch 12:45-15:15. Little wind, 100% cloud cover so good for cetaceans in theory, where: c15 Harbour Porpoises and c80 Common Dolphins (in several groups with young, some hassled by 2 jet skis, others by a speed boat). Bird-wise quiet, but an Arctic Skua, 30 Common Scoter, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 distant unidentified mid-sized shearwaters, c40 Kittiwakes, 14 Cormorants (migrating south), but best of all a Black Tern feeding mid-range!

Posted September 15th at 5:55 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News


Highlights were an Ortolan Bunting which flew up Stare Hole valley at 10.00, calling (but I couldn’t relocate it) & my first Firecrest of the autumn (in East Soar willows). Also, 80 Siskins over (probably many more), Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, 3 Grey Wagtails, 18 Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler, 12 Blackcaps, 4 Whitethroats, c100 each of House Martins & Swallows, Sand Martin, Great Spotted Woodpecker & a Bullfinch.

Posted September 15th at 3:08 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake.

6 Tufted Duck, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 7 Canada Geese.

Posted September 15th at 2:41 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

East Prawle.

At Moorwell Pond this morning, 14 Chiffchaffs, 12 Blackcaps ,1 Willow  Warbler. 1 Spotted Flycatcher and the Cetti's Warbler. Nearby 2 Yellow Wagtails with the cattle and overhead a lone Swift heading South.

Willow Warbler.
Willow Warbler.

Posted September 15th at 12:47 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Monday 14th September 2020

Dawlish Warren

Male and female eider seen at 13.00hrs

ID shot of male eider
ID shot of male eider

Posted September 14th at 10:45 pm by Trevor Ridgers in Bird News

Braunton Marshes

Now 3 Cattle Egrets on Braunton Marshes

Posted September 14th at 9:34 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Powderham Marsh

Quiet late afternoon until a juv/1st winter Caspian Gull dropped in at 17:20 for just ten mins, all the right features for Caspian including very pale underwings seen well in the bright sunshine, flew off toward the estuary.

Posted September 14th at 7:53 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A relatively short visit this afternoon on the high tide produced: 2 Kingfishers performing well again, adult Mediterranean Gull & 5 Mandarin Ducks.

Also this morning, 4+ Siskins over Bovisand & 2 White Wagtails on the beach there.

Posted September 14th at 6:34 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Braunton Marshes

2 Cattle Egrets reported seen yesterday. 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Wheatear, 1m Kestrel & a flock of c30 Greenfinches at Crossbanks foraging on the estuarine strandline. 

Several pairs of Dragonflies mating in flight!

Posted September 14th at 5:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Velator reserve

Rather poor ringing session this morning - started really well with Song Thrush and Spotted Flycatcher, but then pretty much all locals - and not many of them. Grey Wagtail in the stream as I left.

Posted September 14th at 5:24 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wembury Beach

1 Yellow Wagtail in the second horse paddock along the coastal footpath this evening. 

Posted September 14th at 4:51 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

East Soar

A smattering of migrants inc.160 House Martin, 80 Swallow, 8 Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, 7 Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Chiffchaff, 3 Bullfinch & a Clouded Yellow.

Posted September 14th at 3:52 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis showing well in the Pill at low tide lunch time feeding in the main stream near the bungalows. 

Posted September 14th at 2:38 pm by Paul Bearman in Bird News

House martin

House Martin feeding chicks. Seems very late if they are going to migrate successfully?

One of 3 nests on our house this year. None last year. 6 in 2018.(Rattery)

Posted September 14th at 12:37 pm by Ian Samuel in Bird News

Late News Prawle Point - Sun 13 Sept

A seawatch from 07:45 to 11:00 in almost windless conditions brought 2 Great Skua, 3 Balearic and 38 Manx Shearwaters, 151 Gannets, 6 Kittiwakes, 2 Common Scoter and 2 auk sp.  Migrants over the watchpoint included 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 50+ Swallows, 1 House Martin and 7 LBJ's.  Non-avian were 3 Common Dolphin and a Tuna sp.  Also 100's Cabbage Whites in the cabbage (kale?) fields.

Posted September 14th at 9:35 am by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Sunday 13th September 2020

Pictures from Lyme Bay boat trip

As promised, pictures from morning boat trip

Arctic Skua - dark phase
Arctic Skua - dark phase
Arctic Skuas harassing Kittiwake
Arctic Skuas harassing Kittiwake

Posted September 13th at 8:29 pm by George and Les Carr in Bird News

Berry Head

1 Red-throated Diver flew south at noon. Very quiet for migrants but 100's of Large White butterflies heading out to sea. Female Sparrowhawk hunting along the cliffs.

Posted September 13th at 7:32 pm by Peter Leigh in Bird News

central park

around 150 ringneck parakeet all leaving roost sight this morning

Posted September 13th at 6:41 pm by barry in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

I share Annabel’s dismay at the disturbance today. In addition to those fishing in the No Entry area, kayaks were repeatedly flushing waders roosting on the wall; few areas they could find any peace today. Little to report in addition to Alan’s sightings, other than Green Woodpecker, Shag, Common Sandpiper & a Roe Deer.

The Mediterranean Gull in Alan’s photo is the Polish breeder which has returned here via Torbay - see posts 25 & 27 July.

Posted September 13th at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Adult Black-crowned Night Heron Photos

Hello all, to support the Black-crowned Night Heron sighting on the Yeo River on the 27th August please see photos taken on my neighbours phone on that morning. Please excuse the quality.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

Posted September 13th at 5:44 pm by Martin Bond in Bird News

South Brent& Torbay

6.10hrs this morning a Barn owl sat on a post in my house field and two Tawny owls calling.

A pair of swifts still present at a neighbours house rearing a single chick.

Redcliffe beach ~ Grey Wagtail and one GBBG in the gull roost.

Marine Parade ~ 15 plus Turnstone, 3 Oyster Catcher, 1 Little Egret, 2 Sandwich Tern..

Posted September 13th at 5:34 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


This morning at low tide: 

27 Mediterranean gull (24 ad, 3 juv), 1 Bar Tailed Godwit, several Turnstone, 3 Cirl Bunting, 1 Whitethroat,

Later, on the Plym estuary / Saltram:

122 Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 19 Grey Heron, 13 Little Egret, 1 Mediterranean gull in with a flock of Black Headed's, several with leg rings. Also, 2 Ring Necked Parakeet and 3 Buzzards soaring high on thermals.

Black-headed Gull
Black-headed Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Posted September 13th at 5:31 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Fremington Pill Saturday 12th Sept

Sorry for late post. Just wanted to post an image of the Spotted Redshank which has been previously reported as back in this location. May be the same as last winters bird? Glossy ibis present again too. Brief flash of blue as a  Kingfisher arrowed up from lower reach to the woods & reeds at the old quay area.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank showing eye stripe
Spotted Redshank showing eye stripe

Posted September 13th at 5:17 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Boat Trip into Lyme Bay

Morning boat trip on Kelly’s Hero with David Saunders delivered 2 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 8 + 2 Common Scoter, 200+ Guillemot, multiple flocks of Kittiwakes including one flock of 100+ birds, 3 Arctic Skua with one pair (1x light phase and 1x dark phase harassing a kittiwake). Usual Gannets and gulls including 4 adult and 1x 1st cy Med Gulls.  6 Harbour Porpoise.  Strangely, no Common Dolphins seen. Photos to follow.

Posted September 13th at 4:42 pm by George and Lesley Carr in Bird News

Bench Tor and Venford Reservoir

early pm: 1 ad Hobby circled low over the Tor before heading off SE down the valley. An impressive movement of House Martins too with one flock of c250 heading high SE and then an hour or so later an amazing 750 or so low over the Reservoir in a tight flock bathing and drinking for a few minutes before also gaining height and dispersing off southwards. 

Posted September 13th at 4:30 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Berry Head 07:30 - 09:30

An early morning visit to Berry Head in calm conditions produced some movement of birds. A single White Wagtail and Siskin flew over and 2 Coal Tits showing characteristics of the continental subspecies dropped in briefly behind the sea watching area and fed amongst the rocks before moving back further into the quarry and lost to view. Also amongst the bushes were 15 Chiffchaff.

Out to sea: 263 Kittiwake, 55 Gannet, 52 Manx Shearwater, 13 Guillemot, 2 Sandwich Tern and 3 Common Scoter.

Posted September 13th at 3:05 pm by David Flack in Bird News


midday visit to saltram, to my dismay at the meadows 3 people had jumped the gate to the site and had fishing gear and was set up at the meadows, which is a no public acess area. With them wandering around on top many birds at the edges were scared off. Informed Saltram at their visitor centre but doubt anything will happen as no rangers work weekends

Posted September 13th at 2:13 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Saturday 12th September 2020

wembury to wembury point

Short stroll with a rising tide. A few wheaters seen in the horse field along with ole ty of stonechats. Further along on the beach at thebold slipway were 20+oyster catchers, a curlew, 20+ turnstone and a little sandpiper sticking close with the group, along with 2 little egrets, and several gull species. Seen several lizards basking on the fence posts too 

Posted September 12th at 10:16 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News


9am to 1pm. Nice selection of common migrants including c25 Yellow Wagtails, 3 White Wagtails, 3 Whinchats, 10 Wheatears, 12+ Whitethroats, 15+ Blackcaps and 150+ Swallows.

Posted September 12th at 9:41 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake,

1f Greater Scaup, 4 Tufted Duck 3m 1f, 2 Willow Tit foraging, 2 Jay, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Common Sandpiper,  2 Grey Heron.

Posted September 12th at 3:35 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A bit more variety today including at least 20 Siskins flying over (west), my first Meadow Pipits (2) of the autumn here, Peregrine, 6 Stonechats, Green & 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, 7 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper & 3 Roe Deer.

Posted September 12th at 1:55 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Velator reserve and the river Caen.

From the bridge to the reserve field, both Kingfisher and Dipper flew off downstream. Walked the riverbank as far as the lighting gantry. 4/5 Wheatears, 60+ Dunlin, and just when I started giving them a good grilling they all (and all the BH Gulls) went up. Quickly found why: a female Peregrine flew menacingly off towards the main estuary. As I turned to follow in that direction, another Peregrine (male this time) took off from somewhere behind me and did a couple of circuits (of me!) before heading west towards Braunton Burrows. A  family(?) party of 5 Stonechats. 2 Redshank not far south of Marstage Farm. Still several hundred Canada Geese. In the reserve another - or the same - Kingfisher. South of the reserve 2 Cattle Egrets with the cows. One Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape.

Posted September 12th at 1:45 pm by jon turner in Bird News

Owl evening

20.30hrs last evening a Barn owl at Abbrook Park, Kingsteignton, just past the roundabout on the road to Chudleigh.

Back home at South Brent a Tawny owl in the garden and others calling over night.

Posted September 12th at 12:59 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

N . Hallsands.

At least 30 Blackcaps ( probably several more )around the site this morning. Also present 9 Chiffchaffs. 2 Spotted Flycatchers. 1 Reed Warbler and 3 singing Cetti's .

Posted September 12th at 12:19 pm by Alan K. Searle. 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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