Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–28th February 2021


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

Lockdown relaxations

Devon Birds would like to thank the many members and other birdwatchers who complied with the restrictions during the recent Lockdown and stayed in their local area (village, town or part of city) to birdwatch while exercising (and later) taking recreation. We hope that, despite the obvious frustrations, you found some respite in watching wildlife in your local area and perhaps discovered some birds close to home, that you might otherwise not have seen! As always, please submit sightings to the County recorder and / or BirdTrack. 
Please continue to follow the Covid related requirements (currently "rule of six outside, social distancing etc) while enjoying the new freedoms to extend your birdwatching. Some hides will remain closed for the time being and where you find one open, please follow Government guidelines on keeping yourself & others safe:
Thank you from
Devon Birds News site editors & members of the Records Committee

Posted April 2nd at 4:28 pm by Pete Aley 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

Thursday 25th February 2021

Crownhill Down

A Sparrowhawk performed a spectacular 700m long dive across the north end of the Down into a tree full of Redwings scattering them wildly.  A single  flock of c.40 Meadow Pipits was notable along with double figures of Stonechat and Skylark.  Four Buzzards, a pair of Ravens and a pair of Yellowhammers also present.

Posted February 25th at 10:58 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Red-crested Pochard

Female Red-crested Pochard on the River ply today just South of the old sewage discharge pipe station with 6 mallards. 

Posted February 25th at 10:54 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Pretty quiet this afternoon but managed: 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Goosanders, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Stonechat & 10 Roe Deer.

Posted February 25th at 7:44 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Shipley Bridge

1200 24/02/21  pair of Dippers on the Avon above Shipley Bridge. Never seen 2 together before but followed this pair up the river for 200m before they ducked into small cave..

Posted February 25th at 6:15 pm by R Mogridge in Bird News

Northam Burrows and Skern

1 adult winter Little Gull seen for approximately five minutes with the mixed gull roost on the Skern. It then flew across Northam Burrows, dropped in at Sandymere and then appeared to head out to sea. The bird couldn't be relocated. Also at the Skern high tide roost were two adult Mediterranean Gulls approximately 400 Oystercatcher, 100 Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover and 38 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Posted February 25th at 6:14 pm by Martin Unwin in Bird News

Trews Weir, Exeter

Female long-tailed duck still there above Weir this morning.

Posted February 25th at 3:48 pm by Alan Keatley in Bird News

Wrafton etc

Spring moving right along, but some bits remain the same: 2 Spoonbills out on the scrape this morning, only one Pochard on Wrafton Pond. Shoveler and Wigeon present but the only Gadwall I saw were 2 in the reserve. Also there singing Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler, Goldcrest, and a Collared Dove was notable. As I left a Grey Wagtail in the river and then 2 Kingfishers zoomed off upstream together - a pair?

Posted February 25th at 2:12 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

White-tailed Eagles

Devon Birds has received some information from the Isle of Wight White-tailed Eagle release project, about some birds' visits to Devon.

On 8/2/21, G461 (blue on map) travelled along the Devon coast – at 0901, he was just outside Bridport, Dorset, heading west and by 1001, was 7km north of Sidmouth, moving at 61km/h, 307m above sea-level; a mere speck in the sky! At 1101, he had crossed the Exe and was 763m above sea-level over Exeter Racecourse. By 1202 he was just east of Salcombe and only 59m above sea-level. This incredible journey spanned some 120km in just under 6hrs!

G471 (yellow on map) left the Isle of Wight on 11/10/20, making an incredible flight to Lundy – documented on the Lundy blogspot 

White-tailed Eagle 461 map
White-tailed Eagle 461 map
White-tailed Eagle 471 map
White-tailed Eagle 471 map

Posted February 25th at 10:10 am by Pete Aley in Bird News

Wednesday 24th February 2021

Exminster Marshes

Very large group (hundreds) of Dark-bellied Brent Geese with possibly a stray Pale-bellied amongst them. Can someone confirm this please?

Pale-bellied Brent Goose?
Pale-bellied Brent Goose?

Posted February 24th at 6:22 pm by Peter Newman in Bird News

Hollicombe Head, Preston, Paignton

The Leucistic Blackbird, which has been been reported at the headland a number of times, was showing well this morning.

Leucistic Blackbird
Leucistic Blackbird
Leucistic Blackbird
Leucistic Blackbird

Posted February 24th at 2:19 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in Bird News

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

Taw/Torridge Estuary

Up to twenty Pintail on the Skern as the tide retreated late afternoon. Seen not far from the bridge. Thanks to ?? who gave me the tip off yesterday. 

Posted February 23rd at 11:11 pm by Sue Ambler in Bird News

Budleigh Salterton

Further to yesterday's post went back on beach this morning and took more photos as Mike Langman is sure the bird is an Auk.

Eds - Yes, a Guillemot

Posted February 23rd at 6:21 pm by Nicola Delves in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Four Mediterranean Gulls on this afternoon's high tide (3 ads + 2nd-w); also, 4 Little Grenes, 3 Goosanders (1 drake), 31 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 52 Curlews, 56 Shelducks (including Axe-ringed A06), Shag & 9 Stock Doves.

Posted February 23rd at 5:08 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Exminster and Powderham

Walked from Countesswear to Powderham Park and back this morning. Highlight was the GW-f Goose family close to the canal between Swan's Nest Road and Topsham lock.

Of lesser note were two singing Treecreepers, my first of the year, opposite the sewage works. Also:

- on the storage lagoon, 4 Pochards, a good number nowadays, and 3 Tufteds;

- in the estuary, 800+ Blackwits in a single flock, with 25+ Barwits in smaller groups nearby, 50+ Grey Plovers scattered around and the usual Golden flock huddled together;

- near Turf, a Cirl Bunting in one of their less regular spots;

- West of the railway below Turf, the Snow Goose was still with the Canadas. There is so much dead ground when one looks from the seawall that the Barnacles could still be there too;

- in the Park, 30+ Stock Doves, the most there yet;

- in the Park and around the Kenn outfall, 10+ Greenshanks.

Missing today were Pintail and the Egyptian Geese.

Posted February 23rd at 4:57 pm by James Camden in Bird News


A 1st winter Glaucous Gull resting alone on the rocks along the beach at Wembury this morning before being disturbed by dog walkers and flying off towards Plymouth.

Eds - pale eye, pale bill-tip & generally (appears to have) very pale plumage; so perhaps 2nd or 3rd-winter?

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted February 23rd at 4:46 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News


Well after a bonanza of birds in the warm calm sunshine yesterday, it was back to earth with a bump today: not much at all in the reserve, but now 2 drake Pochard on Wrafton Pond. Little Egret out on the scrape.

Posted February 23rd at 2:28 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Cattle egrets in Tamerton Foliot

Spotted yesterday (22/2/21). Small number of cattle egrets at the top of the village.

cattle egrets
cattle egrets

Posted February 23rd at 11:51 am by Robert Price in Bird News


A female Brambling joined the Cirl Bunting flock (22 today) on seed in the 2nd car park, also a single male Yellowhammer, its odd they are not more regular at the site although the winter of 2019/20 saw up to 7 coming to the seed here. In the marsh behind the beach 1 Siberian Chiffchaff and a single collybita chiffchaff.

 Yellowhammer Broadsands 23 Feb 2021 ML Yellowhammer Broadsands 23 Feb 2021 ML


Posted February 23rd at 11:38 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sparrowhawk in Exeter

Doing her bit to control the local Feral Pigeon infestation!

Posted February 23rd at 10:34 am by Martin Overy in Bird News

Monday 22nd February 2021

Plympton, Crownhill Down to Lee Moor

Afternoon mtb ride gave a Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the Tory Brook. On the remnant of Crownhill Down three Yellowhammers, my first this year, with three Meadow Pipit in a hawthorn. Ten Stonechats were notable. A Sparrowhawk. Over Whitehill china clay tip four Buzzards caused a stir among the Skylarks.

Posted February 22nd at 8:59 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Mount batten

In clovelly bay this pm 1GNDiver and  the LT Duck was still present.

Posted February 22nd at 8:42 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

South Brent

Six stonechats (three pairs) on Brent Hill, and four (first winter?) loosely together on farmland below, represents an increase on the two-three wintering birds. Perhaps an arrival of migrants en route to breeding areas on the moor or beyond?

Also today, 11 roosting goosanders at the Avon Dam (one pair mated) and six teal including two displaying males.

Stonechat (first winter?)
Stonechat (first winter?)

Posted February 22nd at 8:19 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News


Old churchyard mid-pm, a male Firecrest, crown blazing, chasing a Goldcrest. Inter-specific aggression or courtship?

Posted February 22nd at 7:25 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News


Afternoon walk from Plympton to Hemerdon and Crownhill Down produced my first Wheatear of the year in fact it's the earliest I've ever seen one. Lots of Skylarks Pipits and Stonechats. Several Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Sparrow Hawk .In Furzeacre Wood a GSW 8 Greenfinches, a solitary Fieldfare with a flock of Redwing and a singing Dipper on the Tory Brook.


Posted February 22nd at 7:11 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Great Northern Diver?

Soryy that my first post is of a dead bird on Budleigh Salterton beach tthsi morning. I am almost certain it is a  GND.

Posted February 22nd at 6:42 pm by Nicola Delves in Bird News


Check around the Torbay beaches today: 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 14 Great Norther Divers, 46 Great Crested Grebes. 

Posted February 22nd at 5:43 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

In glorious sunshine, a female/imm Tufted Duck on the narrow river, 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 5 Goosanders (3 drakes), 2 Red-breasted Mergansers (1 drake), 4 Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, 2 Stonechats, 5+ Stock Doves & 8 Roe Deer, 

Posted February 22nd at 4:56 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Plym Estuary and Saltram

Three adult Mediterranean Gulls (all s/p = one with full black head, two with partial black heads).  Seven Goosanders (3 males), two Bar=tailed Godwits, two Common Sandpipers, one Common Gull.

Posted February 22nd at 3:00 pm by roger smaldon in Bird News

Tarka trail , North Devon.

Saltpill pond , 4 Glossy Ibis , a pair of Shoveler and singing Cetti’s warbler.

2 Spoonbill at Isley and 1 at Fremington quay.    The rough fields across 

the trail from Penhill point towards Anchor Bank held 8 Cattle Egrets.

adult Male Peregrine on Torridge bridge.

Posted February 22nd at 12:12 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

South Molton

Robins displaying

Posted February 22nd at 12:08 pm by art symons in Bird News

South Molton Community woodland

Pair Great Sp Woodecker mating. Nuthatch, Redwings.

Posted February 22nd at 11:22 am by art symons in Bird News

Red kite over Cullompton

Single Red kite flying over Cullompton town centre, heading north-east at 09.37 this morning. 

Posted February 22nd at 10:15 am by Nick Dixon in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News