Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th October 2021

Request 2021 records requiring further information

If you were fortunate enough to see any of the birds below please can you submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they are included in the 2021 Devon Bird Report.

Black Kite


07 Jun



09 Oct

Caspian Gull


01 Dec



13 Oct


Noss Mayo

09 Feb

Little Bunting

Huxton Cross

18 Oct


Chudleigh Knighton

24 Sep

Long-tailed Skua


12 May

Common Rosefinch


10 Jun

Ortolan Bunting


17 Jun

Corn Bunting [2]


22 Jun

Pectoral Sandpiper

Bowling Green

27 Oct

Cory's Shearwater


07 Sep

Purple Heron

Slapton Ley

17 Apr

Glossy Ibis


21 Dec

RC Starling


01 Jul

Glossy Ibis

Otter Estuary

28 Dec

RC Starling

South Huish

09 Sep

Golden Oriole

Combe Valley

09 Jun

Ruddy Duck

Exe Estuary

04 Apr



26 May



21 Aug



30 May

Tree Sparrow


22 Jan

Hooded Crow


03 Jun

Tree Sparrow


14 Nov

Posted June 30th at 11:34 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Thursday 7th October 2021

Berry Head

Overhead migration: 1 Grey Plover, 2 Siskin,  300+ House Martins, 80+ Swallows, 1 Sand Martin, just 1 jay today.

At sea: 1 Balearic Shearwater, 3 White-beaked Dolphins and 5+ Common Dolphins 10+ Harbour Porpoise. Many Gannets >S and still hundreds of Kittiwakes.

Around the headland: 14 Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat, 1 Blackcap. 

      White-beaked Dolphins Berry Head 7 Oct 2021 ML   White-beaked Dolphins Berry Head 7 Oct 2021 ML

  White-beaked Dolphins, keeping my fingers crossed we see them on my cruise in Lyme Bay tomorrow!

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 8:15 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling at top of Kingsash Hill. Found by Andy Plumb as he drove to work this morning. It regularly sits with Starlings above the main road! 

   Rose-coloured Starling Paignton 7 Oct 2021 ML   Rose-coloured Starling Paignton 7 Oct 2021 ML

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 8:08 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Avon Dam and East Soar

This morning at Avon Dam: Blackbirds 15, Song thrushes 3, Mistle thrushes 3, Ring Ousels 2, Jays 9, Magpies 3, Swallows 12, Goldfinches 12, Linnets 15, Dipper 1, Goosander overfly 6, Stonechats 20, Buzzard 1, Kestrels 2.

Afternoon at East Soar: A Red Eyed Vireo down Starehole Valley. Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Green Woodpecker 1, Kestrel 1, Ravens 2, Yellowhammers 2, Cirl Buntings 1, Goldfinches 20+, Linnets 20+, Skylarks 15, Pied Wagtails 20+, Chiffchaffs 18.

Red-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 8:04 pm by Bob Barrow & John Lloyd in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning,

11 Black-headed Gull, 3 Moorhen, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Goldfinch, 2 Coot, 6 Mallard, 4 Blue Tit, 2 Willow Tit, 4 Coal Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Heron.

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 7:37 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Seaton Wetlands, East Devon.

12 members of DB attended this mornings field walk (East Devon Branch).  52 species were counted by Chris Hodgson with the group being led by Colin Randall.  Water levels at Blackhole Marsh were high with little mud exposed but contained small numbers of waders including a Ruff, Greenshank, 3-4 Common Sandpiper, a Snipe and others.  A flock of c10 Sand Martins flew south while a Kingfisher put in a brief appearance at the Tower Hide. A Kestrel was the only bird of prey seen. Other birds of interest were Green and Gt S. Woodpecker and a female Blackcap.  At Colyford Common water levels were again high but a Greenshank was seen close to the hide.

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 6:53 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

Wrafton etc

2 Godwits as I headed out towards the reserve where a GSW, a Kingfisher and a Jay were once again present. Down the Pill to the pill-box where 10 Redshank were at the water's edge. Back at the scrape 94 (or 95?) Black-tailed Godwits. Where do they go? 

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 4:26 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Surprise, surprise

Late yesterday afternoon, over the pool at Stoke Gabriel, a few last minute  swallows and house martins heading downriver. Today about ten thirty heard several meadow pipits flying over and a skylark's brief song. Possible migrants but don't know it they were coming or going but a welcome sound nonetheless, especially in suburban Paignton

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 2:12 pm by Philip L. Fairclough in Bird News

Stoke, Plymouth

A Grey Wagtail - an Unexpected visitor to urban garden

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 1:49 pm by Tim Buckley in Bird News

Mediterranean Gulls and Redwing

South Brent this morning a small flock of fourteen Redwing seen flying over home.

Broadsands yesterday (6th Oct) three first winter Mediterranean Gulls at the gull roost on the dropping tide.

At Marine Parade fourteen Mediterranean Gulls, a mix of first winter birds to adults and two Sandwich Tern.

Peregrine high over Torquay.

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 10:11 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Cadover Bridge

Yesterday at Cadover and Brisworthy Burrows. Up to 30 Swallows and House Martins, Mistle Thrushes 9, Song Thrushes 2, Blackbirds 12, Jays 7, 4 of them flying south over the moor. Magppies 8, Bullfinches 4, Chaffinches 6, Great/Blue and Coal Tits. Green Woodpevker 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 2, Buzzard i.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Posted October 7th, 2021 at 6:26 am by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Wednesday 6th October 2021

Velator Weir to Horsey Island Morning Walk

Morning walk from Velator Weir to Horsey Island produced 38 species of birds. Highlights were, 2 Kestrel, 28 Redshank, 142 Canada Geese, 3 Skylark, 12 Swallow, 4 Stonechat, 2 Kingfisher, 2 Curlew, 5 Little Egret, 1 Raven, 2 Buzzard, 1 Lapwing, 50+ Ring Plover, 50+ Dunlin, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Rock Pipit, 6 House Martin, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 200+ Golden Plover and a Marsh Harrier. Record photo would not load!

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 8:58 pm by Steve McAusland in Bird News

Wrafton scrape

Went back for a second look to check the numbers of Godwits. Now at least 140!. Also, on a very low bit of willow scrub in the reed-bed at Sherpa Marsh, the dark, female Marsh Harrier sat looking around before taking flight and then dropping into the reeds.

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 7:04 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Head 6th October

Glaucous gull resting very close to shore. 5 Oyster Catchers could be seen,and heard, from the coastal path towards St Mary's Bay. Overhead about 25 House Martin's.

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 6:15 pm by David Roper in Bird News

Velator reserve.

Arrived at about 08.30 for another ringing session. As I walked around opening nets I noticed a large flock of Godwits fly off the scrape. I kept looking to see if they had returned and there they were at about 12.45. After I had finished I walked up to count them. I made it 114. Most I've seen here. Saw a Kingfisher, heard 2 Cetti's Warblers, ringed 5 Chaffinch 2 Blue Tits, 3 Dunnocks, 2 Bullfinch, a Song Thrush a Robin a Great Tit and a male Blackcap. Sparrowhawk, Buzzard both nearby, a Water Rail called just outside, and still one Jay; Probably guilty of pecking holes in the Apples! Most interesting sighting was a Black-headed Gull flying low over the pond looking for something to eat. Never seen one do that before!

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 4:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Dawlish Warren, Cockwood & Exminster Marsh

A visit to Dawlish Warren post high tide this morning. 13 Grey Plover, 30+ Barwits, 9 Sanderling, 57 Brent Geese (2 pale-bellied), 2 Wheatear, 18 Skylark, 30 Meadow Pipit & 120+ Linnet the best of it. Also 40+ Cattle Egret in Cockwood Valley (from Warren).

A visit to Exminister & Turf this pm. Juv Hobby, Juv Marsh Harrier, 400+ Teal, 12 Avocet (from Turf), Juv Peregrine, Wheatear, 7 Stonechat, 10 Little Grebe & Kingfisher best of it. Also 30+ Migrant Hawkers 

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 4:08 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

East Soar

Good vis mig this morning, largely over by 0930 and all moving west: 35 Jay, 10 Golden Plover, Mistle Thrush, 7 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 23 Siskin, 430 Meadow Pipit (some grounded), 12 Chaffinch, 42 Goldfinch, 24 Swallow, 220 Skylark (130 grounded), 32 Linnet, 19 Alba Wagtail.

Grounded: 100 Rook, Song Thrush, 20 Robin, 21 Stonechat, 3 Wheatear, 24 White Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Chiffchaff.

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 2:58 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Berry Head

Overhead migration: 74 Jays (biggest flock32!), 1 Hawfinch, 12 Skylark, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 9 Siskin, 45 House Martin, 18 Swallow, 29 Swallow and 2 Redshank - over the top of the headland calling on their way!

Around the headland: 26 Chiffhcaff, 1 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 6 Blackcaps, 5 Stonechat. 400+ Guillemots back on the cliffs (first I noted this year was 74 on 4th Oct).

At sea: 4 pods of Common Dolphin total of approx 55, 8 Harbour Porpoise, 1 skua sp - Arc/Pom too far out to be sure, hundreds of Kittiwake and 70+ Gannets.

Jays Berry Head 061021 ML firecrest Berry Head 061021 ML

 Flock (part of) of Jays                                                          Firecrest

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 2:20 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Torquay ~ Peregrine

Just after 1pm flock of gulls seen milling around clearly alarmed, looking above them, a high flying Peregrine, bird in view for a short time as it moved out towards Plainmoor.

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 1:24 pm by Michelle Reeves in Bird News

Shipley Bridge - Avon Dam

Early am- 2 Ring Ouzels (male and juv/fw) in area to the left of tarmac track 300 yards before dam but generally elusive and last seen flying out into bracken on hillside - also a flock of 6 Jay, 8 Blackbirds, Bullfinch

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 11:21 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

South Huish Marsh 05/10/2021

Spent an hour after work watching South Huish Marsh, 3 Snipe flew up, Sparrowhawk, several  Juvenile Lesser Black Backed Gulls and Herring Gulls

Lesser Black-backed Gull & Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull & Herring Gull

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 5:55 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

Start Point

Walking from the car park at Start Point to the Lighthouse I saw a lots of Swallows, pipits meadow and Rock, a few stonechats.

Bird of prey around Start Point lighthouse.
Bird of prey around Start Point lighthouse.

Posted October 6th, 2021 at 12:03 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Tuesday 5th October 2021


A lone unwell? Black-tailed Godwit by the scrape this morning. In the reserve Jay, Kingfisher, Cetti's Warbler, Sparrowhawk over. But star prize was finally seeing the main predator this yea - an Otter diving in and out of the duckweed.

Posted October 5th, 2021 at 5:56 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Head

Still thousands of seabirds off in Lyme Bay feeding at the moment this morning a brief seawatch produced: 2 Great Skuas, 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 skua sp. Arctic/Pomarine, 1 1st w Little Gull, many Kittiwakes, Gannets and Gulls a pod of Common Dolphins, and several Harbour porpoises.

Around the headland: 23 Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackcap. Overhead 2 Siskins, 30+ Swallow, 8 House Martin, 1 Sand Martin, 19 Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtail and 4 'alba' wagtails.

Posted October 5th, 2021 at 12:15 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Monday 4th October 2021

Berry Head seawatch

Seawatching 13:00-17:00, building SSW/SW wind with showers: on arrival their were a huge amount of feeding seabirds in Lyme Bay, off the headland c500 Kittiwakes on the sea with c1500 in flight. Skuas attracted to the feeding and passing through included c42 Arctic,11 Bonxies and a juv Pomarine. Other birds seen: c25 Balearic Shearwaters, Little Gull (1w), 2 Common Terns (ad & juv), 2 Mediterranean Gulls (1w) and 3 Common Gulls (1w). Cetaceans under the feeding birds included Harbour Porpoise and at least 2 pods of Common Dolphins. Wheatear in the quarry.

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 9:58 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Cockwood - Exminster

From Cofton Steps were 4 G-c Grebes and a Sandwich Tern in the estuary, plus a single Cattle Egret with the herd in the fields to the South.

From Starcross Station were 50+ Turnstones feeding along the weedy pipe running into the estuary, and 40+ Brent Geese, my first of the Winter, distantly on the Exmouth side.

Off the Kenn outfall were 10+ each of Barwit and Greenshank.

In the Powderham Park, the Great Egret was in the river, but for the second week running, no ducks were visible on the lake. Two weeks ago Tufted and newly-returned Shelduck were there, plus Mallard etc., so something funny going on.

At Powderham corner, a Treecreeper was singing from the churchyard and a R-l Partridge from the stubble field adjacent.

Along the seawall, three Wheatears were finding plenty to feed on, and six or so Swallows were heading SW.

On Exminster Marsh, a Marsh Harrier was initially being harried by a Crow, but shortly afterwards was hunting calmly. Many Teal, but few of any other ducks. Wigeon seem to be especially late this year.

Back in Exeter, 10+ House Martins were feeding over the Trews Weir flood channel.

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 7:45 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Anchor wood to Fremington

This afternoon at Fremington Pill a Spotted Redshank had a close encounter with a flying Redshank. Along the Tarka path just off Anchor Wood a Stonechat popped out of some bushes and landed on a nearby fence.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 5:48 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Marsh Mills

This morning on the River Plym by the Sainsburys underpass. Goosanders 6, Common Sandpipers 2, Jay 1, Crows 4, Grey Wagtails 2, Mallards 5.

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 5:38 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News


Nought of note on the scrape, but in the reserve a calling Cetti's Warbler, GSW, Jay, Kingfisher, 3 Mallard (unusual) Squirrel (pest|) no Butterflies (rain) 5 Long-tailed Tits. Best was over the marsh south of the reserve - a smart female Marsh Harrier quartering the reed-bed.

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 1:46 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Exminster Marshes

Quick visit mid morning. Tide low so few waders on the marsh; 5 black-tailed godwits were all I saw. Duck numbers continue to build, with over 200 mallard and even more teal. Also a few pintail, shoveller and gadwall. The snow goose was with the Canada geese. A late hobby flew between the lagoon and canal. Other birds of prey included sparrow hawk (juv male), buzzard and one marsh harrier.

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 12:34 pm by John Waldon in Bird News

South Brent ~ Ring Ouzels and Whinchat

Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam this morning, Grey Wag tail, flock of 18 plus Meadow Pipit (large numbers up towards the dam) Jay, Heron, Stonechat, Raven, Kestrel, Jay, GSWP, Goldcrest, Dipper, Raven, Dunnock, Wren.

In the Rowans below the dam to the left of the valley heading up, three Ring Ouzel (one adult female two juveniles) four Song Thrush and well into double figures of Blackbird, the Blackbirds were constantly chasing off the Ring Ouzels and Song Thrush, the tree they are feeding in was a little distant so a spotting scope would be useful. 

Below the dam a female Whinchat.

Not at great berry year so not sure how long the area will hold the Ouzels this year.

Ring Ouzel (Record shot only)
Ring Ouzel (Record shot only)
Whinchat female (record shot only)
Whinchat female (record shot only)

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 11:20 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

South Huish marsh

Little gull still @ South Huish Marsh 6pm 03/10/2021 and a few Med gulls

Little Gull
Little Gull

Posted October 4th, 2021 at 6:10 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

Sunday 3rd October 2021

Bundle Head, Shaldon

780 Meadow Pipits, 165 Linnets, 112 Goldfinches, 94 Swallows/hirundine species, 12 alba Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail south between 07:10 - 08:10.

Posted October 3rd, 2021 at 10:36 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Plym Saltram

Testing conditions at the Plym today, but there were 7 Mergansers just outside the meadow.

Posted October 3rd, 2021 at 8:09 pm by David Grant in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

Two Juv/1st wint Marsh Harriers on Exminster during brief lunchtime visit. One Ruff, 40+ Hirundines, Peregrine & Kestrel best of the rest

Posted October 3rd, 2021 at 7:31 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Wrafton scrape

Went there at 4.15 this afternoon and just as I said to my wife 'hrrrumph nothing here today' 90+ black Tailed godwits flew in.  Good timing!

Posted October 3rd, 2021 at 6:13 pm by Fozz Forsdike in Bird News


Berry Head ~ In the cover towards the headland at least five Chiffchaff, a flock of 25 plus Goldfinch, small numbers of Swallow constantly over the headland and Meadow Pipits in good numbers.

Over the sea, a Skua sp harassing a flock of Kittiwake, several Gannet over a pod of Porpoise.

Broadsands ~ A Tristis type Chiffchaff in the back car park, a flock of 100 plus Goldfinch and good numbers of Greenfinch. A Sparrowhawk interacting with a pair of soaring Buzzards and a Heron on the rocks.

Hopes Nose ~Buzzard, Chiffchaff, steady passage of small numbers of Swallow, a large mixed flock of Gulls and Gannet following a trawler off of Anstey’s Cove, a count of 60 plus Great Black Backed Gulls.

Back home at South Brent a trickle of Swallow and a single House Martin, Sparrowhawk and Jay.

House Martin
House Martin
House Martin
House Martin

Posted October 3rd, 2021 at 5:01 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News


A windy morning at Soar. Highlights a Merlin, 2 Whinchat, 3 Wheatears, 200+ Meadow Pipits, a trickle of Swallows, 6 Siskin and, best of all, a Quail, flushed from a field margin just east of Middle Soar Farm at 11.40 am. Disappeared over the hedge-bank into the next field. New one for me in Devon!

Posted October 3rd, 2021 at 2:22 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Avon Dam

At least four Ring Ouzel seen. A group of three and then a lone male perched in Rowan for prolonged period. Otherwise quite active with  short views between downpours. 

Posted October 3rd, 2021 at 2:18 pm by Matt Collis in Bird News

Saturday 2nd October 2021


Seawatch 07:15 - 08:45: 1050 Kittiwakes, eight Arctic Skuas, five Common Scoters, two Common Terns, Balearic Shearwater and Mediterranean Gull (all south). 

Posted October 2nd, 2021 at 9:36 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch

Berry Head 07:00-17:45 (with Dave Dawe all day). Afternoon proved better than morning once the heavy rain and wind moved through, heading south:

3 Sooty Shearwaters, 108 Balearic Shearwaters & single Manx Shearwater: 4 Pomarine (juv & 3 ads) Skuas, 88 Arctic Skuas, 7 Bonxies & 3 Skua sp. (2 of which most likely Long-tailed but ID not clinched); 5 European Storm-petrels; 2 Little Gulls (both 1w), 6 Mediterranean Gulls (4 ad, 2 1w), 1500+  Kittiwakes; 4 Fulmars; 2 Common Terns (both juvs), 2 Sandwich Terns, 592 Auks (mostly Razorbills), 15 Common Scoter, 100+ hirundines (mix) and c15 Common Dolphins.

Posted October 2nd, 2021 at 7:56 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Brent Hill

Stonechats maintain their year-round presence on farmland hedges below Brent Hill. Yesterday (1 October) there were at least eight in a loose flock on one hedge, and seven of them (two in flight) appear in the photo. They typically fly out into the field to snatch prey items. Also two snipe (migrants?) in the field.

Seven stonechats on farmland hedge
Seven stonechats on farmland hedge

Posted October 2nd, 2021 at 4:55 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

Cockwood & Powderham Estate

43 Cattle Egret in Cockwood Valley, northern slope, this afternoon. 15+ Swallow too. 30+ Swallow, 5 House Martin & Sand Martin over Powderham Estate lake too

Posted October 2nd, 2021 at 4:22 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Swallows Mid Devon

100+ gathered on wires Kennerleigh 11.30 a.m. In the rain.

Posted October 2nd, 2021 at 1:04 pm by Richard Burston in Bird News

Berry Head

Berry Head- sea watching 7am-1045am- highlight a Storm Petrel very close in at 10am- also 44 Balearic Shears,25 Arctic Skuas plus Sandwich Tern,Med Gull, c75 House Martins, 25 Swallows 

Posted October 2nd, 2021 at 11:54 am by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Friday 1st October 2021

Dart Estuary

2 Ospreys an ad near to Dittisham and a juvenile at Duncannon, 41 Curlew roosting north of Blackness slip. 3 Harbour Seals and 4 Grey Seals along the river.

Posted October 1st, 2021 at 9:29 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

River otter

A stroll down the river otter by otterton, plenty of beaver signs for sure including a few felled trees. Bird wise, 3 dippers, 10 grey wagtails, 3 kingfishers, little egret, morehen, gs and green woodpecker, buzzards being mobbed by the rooks and crows. Grey heron, teal, mallards, pheasants, little grebe, nuthatch, long tail/great/blue tit, robin, wren, dunnock, pied wagtail,

Posted October 1st, 2021 at 9:25 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Wryneck in the River Mole Valley

27 Pied Wagtails feeding with the cattle,a flock of Goldfinch feeding on rose hips,7 Greenfinch in the orchard and a Kingfisher and Old Nog by the river.Best of all was a Wryneck….on the neighbours lawn.Non avian included 2 Commas…..not common this year……also 3 Roe Deer.

Posted October 1st, 2021 at 8:34 pm by Brian Nicholas in Bird News

Pomarine Skua, Dawlish

Juv Pomarine Skua, Harassing  Common Gulls offshore at Coryton Cove, at 6.20pm

Posted October 1st, 2021 at 8:22 pm by Paul Barker in Bird News

House Martins over Totnes

Wednesday and Thursday early evening perhaps 100 birds hawking over south central Totnes.  A fine sight.

Posted October 1st, 2021 at 8:43 am by Philip Strange in Bird News

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