Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th May 2021


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

Friday 7th May 2021

Late swift post

Two swift over Christow yesterday morning. This evening, 20 or so House Martin joined the swallows at Kennick reservoir; I’ve been seeing 50 or so swallow over the reservoir for several days. 

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 10:13 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News

Wrafton pond and Baunton Burrows

This afternoon I popped into Wrafton pond and then onto Braunton Burrows.  At the pond were Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, a Wren, two Swans with their eight cygnets and the usual suspects.  After moving on the Burrows were I spent a short time on the road just past the round barn, I managed to get a quick shot of a Swallow grabbing a drink.

Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 10:02 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


Just got back from a highly successful ringing session in the Velator reserve. Chris Dee and I ringed 101 Swallows and also had a control of a Swallow ringed elsewhere.

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 9:55 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


An evening walk down Deancombe produced my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year, a single Pied Flycatcher, Cuckoos 2, Blackcaps 3, Willow warblers 6, Redstarts 2, Stonechats 4, GWP 1, Ravens 2 and Swallows 5.

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 8:30 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News


Evening at Saltram after the day at Dawlish, mostly around the dell, did not go via the river path
Green woodpecker, buzzards, sparrowhawk, bull finch, chiff chaff, black cap, wren, robin (a lot with young), dunnock, mandarin ducks, stonechats, gold/green finch, song thrush, blackbird (with young) and an obliging pair of tree creepers, 

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 8:03 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Dawlish Point

First time ever visiting Dawlish for me and it was a good day

Lots of white throats, some very close encounters, stone chats, linnet, gold/green/bull/chaffinch,   long-tail/great/blue tit, robin (with young), blackbird (with young),  skylarks, goldcrest, mallard, little grebe (with young), Canada geese, 5 whimbrel, c.bunting, wheatears, g.b.b gull, buzzard, cormorant,  shelducks, lots of sand lizards and common lizards 

Was dissapointed as thought i heard a p.falcon, but it was the restaurant nearby playing calls of them and fake calls of gulls-i'm guessing to keep gulls away- i can tell you it didn't work. 

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 8:00 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Golden Dagger to Challacombe

Cuckoo, Skylarks, Whinchat, Stonechat, Bat, 3 Newts. Sparrow Hawk.  Challacombe, Swallows, Reed Warbler, Coal Tit, Marsh tit, Garden Warbler, Redstart. 

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 7:55 pm by Mave Goddard in Bird News

Redstart, Dawlish

Last weeks Redstart from garden in Oakland Park, Late afternoon till dusk, when flew North


Posted May 7th, 2021 at 6:53 pm by paul barker in Bird News

"continental" Coal Tit, Dawlish

Still present in garden, Oakland Park since 29th April.

Visiting 4-5 times, always very brief, hard to capture a picture especially through a window with  a compact camera.

Hard to see on photos, but it does have a small crest.

For me it shows all the key features, although I appreciate the timing is unusual, unless an overwintering individual.

Others thoughts would be  welcomed.

"continental" coal tit
"continental" coal tit
"continental" coal tit
"continental" coal tit

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 6:46 pm by paul barker in Bird News

West Soar to Soar Mill Valley

During Skylark surveys picked up male Whinchat - quite scarce here in spring. Also Sedge Warbler singing out of habitat at Higher Soar. Early indications of a bumper & record year for breeding Wheatear & Rock Pipit!

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 3:45 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wembury Bay

Butterflies this morning included Small Copper, Wall & Green-veined White. Also, Whimbrel, Sparrowhawk & 22 Whitethroats.

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 2:33 pm by Pete Aley in Other Wildlife

Slapton Yesterday 06/05

2 Great Northern Divers on a flat calm sea first thing, one Yellow wag over in the afternoon and 10+ Swift throughout the day. Also one teneral Damselfly, my first of the year.

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 9:53 am by Rich Billington in Bird News

Baggy Point

An early morning's walk around Baggy on this lovely day produced (amongst the numerous Swallow, Meadow Pipit and Linnet): 8 Whitethroat, 2 male Wheatear, Cormorant, Shag, Fulmar, 1 distant Gannet, Stonechat (1 Male, 1 female), 1 Whimbrel.

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 9:12 am by Jonny Pinn in Bird News


Yesterday at Deancombe: Jays, Chaffinches, Redstarts, Green Woodpecker, Snipe, W. Warblers, Cuckoos, M. Thrush, S. Thrush, GSWP, Pied Flycatchers, 

Challacombe Farm: Blackcaps, Treecreeper, Redstarts, W.Warblers,Cuckoos, Ravens, Chiffchaffs,Swallows, Buzzard.

Soussons: Bullfinches, W.Warblers, GWP, Stonechats, Whinchats, Coal Tits, Cuckoos, Swallows, Jay Heron

Pied Flycatchers
Pied Flycatchers

Posted May 7th, 2021 at 9:01 am by Bob Barrow & John Lloyd in Bird News

Thursday 6th May 2021

Peak Hill Sidmouth

Stonechats and Jackdaws this afternoon.


Posted May 6th, 2021 at 11:37 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Berry Head today

First thing 2 Yellow Wagtails > N , 1Willow Warbler also 2 pods of about 30 Common Dolphins and 1 Harbour Porpoise. later on a cruise around Torbay 2 Purple Sandpipers, 5 fly past Great Northern Divers all in full sum plum. several Kittiwakes on the cliffs with the Guillemots but none nesting. Hundreds of Guillemots feeding just off the first Swift of the year and two Small blue Butterflies out in the quarry.

Posted May 6th, 2021 at 9:37 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


Afternoon stroll through Plymbridge

1 comorant, 2 buzzards, 10 dippers, 4 kingfishers, 10 grey wagtails, 12 song thrush, some anvil activity with them as well,  coal/great/blue tit, robin, wren, no sign of P falcons at quarry, woodpigeon, goldcrest, mallard, mandarin, gs and green woodpecker heard, magpie, crow, raven, blackbird, plenty of fledglings of different species, blackcaps, and what my bird analysis says was garden warbler at the field

Posted May 6th, 2021 at 8:44 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Venford Reservoir

A surprise Osprey over the reservoir briefly, early pm. Bird headed off high to the north-east. 

Posted May 6th, 2021 at 8:35 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Plymouth Hoe

Purple Sandpiper on rocks by Tinside Lido today.

Posted May 6th, 2021 at 5:58 pm by Tony Chenery in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Still 1 Whimbrel with the lingering Bar-tailed Godwit & 2 Curlews on Blaxton Meadow this afternoon. Also, 2 Turnstones, Shag, Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker, 3 Swifts, Stonechat (m), Small Heath & 8+ Roe Deer

Posted May 6th, 2021 at 5:47 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


A Red Kite high overhead heading west this lunchtime in Tavistock, being mobbed by a noisy Herring Gull. 3 Swifts also overhead heading north.

Posted May 6th, 2021 at 5:39 pm by Stuart Green in Bird News

Wrafton etc.

In bright sunshine, the Glossy Ibis was looking very smart out on the scrape this morning, but it left just before 10a.m, heading South for the marsh. Viewed from the reserve, at last: an 'arrival' of Swifts over the marsh, so I headed down to get a closer look. Probably 40+ Swifts swirling about with a few other hirundines. I was also delighted to find 3 very smart male Yellow Wagtails. Too far for pics, and then they hid in the long grass!

Posted May 6th, 2021 at 1:23 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Wednesday 5th May 2021


South Brent this morning approx 10 Swallow sat on overhead wires, low flying Peregrine

Kestrel over Goodstone Cross, Sparrowhawk at Heathfield.

Trendlebere ~ my first Garden Warbler of the year, 3 Swift, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, displaying Buzzards and Raven.

Challacombe area ~ Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, male Redstart, Whinchat, Stonechat, Cuckoo and Wheatear



Posted May 5th, 2021 at 10:33 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Sherpa Marsh Braunton

Late walk around the marsh this evening. 2 Whimbrel on the Caen, Good numbers of Hirundines over the water plus one Swift, and a couple of Yellow Wagtails.

Posted May 5th, 2021 at 10:18 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


A  single swift seen between Crockernwell and Drewesteignton this evening at about 7pm as I walked the lanes. Also a brown hare and hedgehog in Dunsford when driving home. 

Posted May 5th, 2021 at 8:44 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News

Bradwell Wood (private woodland), North Devon

Cuckoo calling on my patch this evening 

Posted May 5th, 2021 at 7:48 pm by Jonny Pinn in Bird News

Simonsbath to Cow Castle.

Lovely walk today with Alan Craddock up the river to Cow Castle.

Highlights were, REDSTART male and a beautiful pair of WHINCHATS?

Also Green woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, willow warblers Stonechats plus Buzzards and Ravens. 23 species in all. 

Posted May 5th, 2021 at 7:40 pm by Andy Leat in Bird News

Arlington court

All of the usual suspects at the bird hide, G.S Woodpecker (male and female), Jay, Nuthatch, an array of tits, Blackcap... Then a pair (M&F) of Pied Flycatchers turn up!! Lifers for me!

Treecreepers and goldcrests spotted on the walk around the lake too.

Posted May 5th, 2021 at 6:41 pm by Sam Aston in Bird News

Widecombe in the Moor (S)

Truly bizarre sighting of a Chough (11:00) heading north (called once), just S of Widecombe in the Moor, it seems to be the first record for Dartmoor and totally unexpected! Perhaps the bird that was at Rame and SW Devon coast on the move?

Posted May 5th, 2021 at 4:39 pm by Mark Darlaston in Bird News

Sherpa Marsh

Best from the Tarka Trail (and later from the reserve this morning was an adult female (lightish - coloured) Marsh Harrier flying above the reed-beds at Sherpa, attracting the attentions of some of the local Crows.

Posted May 5th, 2021 at 2:21 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Widecombe in the Moor

Working near Widecombe in the Moor today and spotted a Wheatear and Whinchat, long distance shots of each. Also saw a Meadow pipit, a couple of Linnets, a Willow Warbler and a lovely Fox.


Posted May 5th, 2021 at 12:25 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Tuesday 4th May 2021


Cold evening walk around the marsh. More Swallows than Sand Martins for a change this evening. 1 Common Sandpiper and the Glossy Ibis, which flew North towards the scrape. A pair of Teal. Quick look at the scrape revealed 2 Shelduck, 1 Pied Wagtail and the Glossy Ibis. Lots of Swallows hawking insects low over the water.

Posted May 4th, 2021 at 8:20 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Scrape had a lot of mostly sub-adult Herring Gulls. Reserve had Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Blackcap. Sand and House Martins with some Swallows hawking insects in the lee of the reserve by the scrape. A Kingfisher paid an all-too-brief visit to one of the pond perches. By the Marsh road both Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. Dipper and Grey Wagtail seen in the river Caen.

Posted May 4th, 2021 at 2:04 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Monday 3rd May 2021

Exminster Marshes

A couple of grubby characters on the marsh this afternoon

Posted May 3rd, 2021 at 9:05 pm by Robin Pearson in Bird News

Berry Head seawatch 10.25-16.45

Highlights were a Roseate Tern (which showed twice mid afternoon) & 2 Puffins. Also, 165 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Sandwich Terns, 5 Swifts, Common Gull, 2 Harbour Porpoises & Grey Seal.

Posted May 3rd, 2021 at 7:57 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

River Exe- Sunday 2 May

Pics by Unai Marquez Pardo

Sand Martin- River Exe
Sand Martin- River Exe
Reed Warbler- Exminster
Reed Warbler- Exminster

Posted May 3rd, 2021 at 6:17 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Ring info on yesterday's Turnstone

Reply from my report to Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet:

Thank you for the report. Yes, it is Swedish and we can clear it out to an individual. It's ringed as a pull, summer 2015, on an island up in the Gulf of Botnia, northern Sweden. A complete recovery-report will be sent to you in an about a week. It will take a short while due to Corona restrictions. 

Best regards 

Tuomo Kolehmainen 
Bird Ringing Centre 
Museum of Natural History 

Posted May 3rd, 2021 at 10:54 am by John Foster in Bird News

Wrafton scrape

Glossy Ibis present again this morning - still cold and also very windy but no rain yet.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted May 3rd, 2021 at 10:43 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Ottery St Mary

First Swift of the year yesterday pm, among a group of Swallows, Sand and House Martins on the river at Fluxton

Posted May 3rd, 2021 at 7:52 am by Martin Littlemore in Bird News

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Whinchat - Headland Warren

One of about eight seen today.

Whinchat male
Whinchat male

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 11:10 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

River Exe , RV park and Exminster marshes

At the River Exe 2 great-crested grebes , 50+ sand martins , 30+ swallows , 6 cormorants , 1  great black-backed gull pair , 2 lesser black-backed gull pair , 2 black-headed gull , 1 little egret , 1 great-spotted woodpecker drumming , no sign of the female goosander by Mill on the Exe . At Riverside Valley park 1 jay 3 grey herons , 1 potential great reed warbler . At Exminster marshes 3 buzzards , 5 little egrets , 1 grey heron , 2 pairs of shelducks , 1 hobby , 7 swifts , 40+ sand martins , 20+ swallows , 3 reed warblers , 5+ chiffchaffs singing , 3+ Cetti's warblers singing , 2+ sedge warblers singing


Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 10:49 pm by Unai Marquez Pardo in Bird News

Bennett's X to Challacombe

A circular walk turned up at least eight Whinchats, six Cuckoos and 20+ Swallows along with the usual Stonechats, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks around the moorland.  Around Challacombe Farm a reeling Grasshopper Warbler was the highlight amidst several Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler, Pied Wagtail and a male Redstart. At Golden Dagger Tree Pipits, Kestrel, Buzzard, Raven and Reed Bunting. Around Vitifers a male Green Woodpecker looked out of place in the moorland setting. 

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 10:37 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Plym Estuary and Saltram

8am this morning, South end, Whimbrel on the Pontoon adjacent to Chelson Meadow, and (to my surprise) 5 Turnstone (one of them ringed, apparently in Stockholm which has been reported). Very confiding Greenfinch perched in one of the trees next to the shore and a single Mute swan flying south. Then I walked up to Blaxton Meadow (another Whimbrel on the E shore, en route), not much going on there - same as Mr Aley - 1 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank & the Bar-tailed Godwit. Also an LBBG and a pair of Swallows flying SW. 


Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 9:15 pm by John Foster in Bird News

Erme Pound above Ivybridge

Walk from Harford to Erme Pound included two cuckoo in full call, Meadow Pipits and Grey Wagtail on the river, numerous Skylarks. Standing above river was accidently able to see right into a Carrion Crow nest just 3m above river; wool lined nest with two fledglings and two eggs. Possible parent bird just up the valley so a swift exit.

Carrion Crow nest Erme Pound
Carrion Crow nest Erme Pound
Carrion Crow chicks and eggs
Carrion Crow chicks and eggs

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 8:57 pm by R Mogridge in Bird News


Ringing in the reserve today was again slow and all the action pretty much over by mid-morning.

Ringed 2 juvenile Robins, 1 Blackcap, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Bullfinch, 8 Reed Warblers and 2 Garden Warblers. Bird of the day though was another well-travelled Reed Warbler - S550766 which I ringed in the reserve on 3 June 2017 as an adult female, so she's been to Africa and back at least 6 times. That's pretty impressive. I did retrap her in the reserve in 2019, but that's the only other sighting. 2 Swifts over at 10.45.

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 7:26 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Dunlin in summer plumage new in on Blaxton Meadow at high tide, with 3 Greenshanks, 4 Whimbrels & the lingering Bar-tailed Godwit. Also 2 pairs of Swallows returned to their breeding site at the south end of the estuary & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 5:45 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


Cadover area: Goosander with three fledglings (two in pic). Garden Warbler, Cuckoo, Whitethroat, Redstart, 6 Wheatear, 11 Willow Warbler etc.

Crownhill Down: Green Sandpiper (on top pools), 3 Cuckoo, 4 Wheatear, Stoat, 21 Swallow all flying west.

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 4:26 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Weir Quay

Sunday 02/05/2021

 At 2pm today on mud flats 5 whimbrel

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 3:07 pm by carol bartlett in Bird News

Horsen Farm near Simonsbath

Cuckoo calling well 3 pm

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 2:56 pm by Val Horne in Bird News

Bench Tor and Venford

Early am. Heavy frost and fierce cold cold at first but warming up nicely. Great views of a Cuckoo, plus Redstarts, Tree Pipits and Pied Flycatchers all singing, a pair of Treecreepers, a couple of singing Yellowhammers and lots of Siskins and Willow Warblers.

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 2:38 pm by Andy Smith in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

Up here before 7am while the morning is good weather. 

Had 4 cuckoos, 3 males and 1 female, not at Emsworthy itself but up the tor areas, around i believe Holwell tor. One male was actively following the present female, as she was being hounded by the smaller birds. 

Male redstart still at farmstead, lots of other birds like wheaters, ravens, stonchats, willow warblers, chiff chaff, blue/great tit, woodpigeon, jackdaw, raven, rook, swallows, robin, wren, meadow pippits, buzzard. Gs woodpeckers heard drilling,  canada geese fly past. nuthatch heard. 

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 2:09 pm by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Common Redstart, Dawlish

Following on from the previous  weeks Common Whitethroat, On 29th April late afternoon a female Common Redstart, spent a few hours until dusk, bathing and frantically flycatching in our and adjacent garden overlooking Oakland Park.

Also of interest a "continental" Coal Tit, briefly 30th April in garden, lacking olive tones with a grey mantle 

Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 1:21 pm by paul barker in Bird News

Combemartin in the garden

A fine morning in the garden so far, goldcrest, goldfinch,dunnock, blackbirds, woodpidgeon, collard doves and sparrow's going about their business. Stars of the garden so far a pair of female siskin


Posted May 2nd, 2021 at 10:54 am by Philip worth in Bird News

Saturday 1st May 2021

Wrafton pond

This morning there was a lot of activity on and around Wrafton pond.  On the water were: a pair of Swans with their eight cygnets; two Little Grebes; a male and female Coot each with a single chick each; and two Moorhens. In the reeds around the pond were two or more Reed Warblers; at least two singing Sedge Warblers; two Cetti's; and a pair of Reed Buntings. On the scrape were; a Male Ruff; a single Black tailed Godwit, a Lesser Black back gull; a Grey Heron; male & female Teal; a Canada Goose; four Shelduck; and a number of Swallows. 

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 10:33 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News


Bit of a Ruff twitch this morning - well for North Devon! - 5 of us! 2 Black-tailed Godwits. Still there at lunchtime at least. On Wrafton Pond now 8 cygnets looking very lovely. Mum seemed to be keen to feed and spent much of her time upside down. The cygnets looked a bit bemused. This evening 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Whimbrel  (in the Pill between the toll house and the harbour) and lots of Swallows, Sand and House Martins over the marsh. Best were 3 Yellow Wagtails - difficult to see in among the Buttercups and Dandelions. Evening ringing in the reserve the last couple of evenings has produced over 50 Swallows and a couple of Sand Martins.

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 10:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Powderham & River Exe

12:40 - 14:40

Powderham: Hobby, Kestrel, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Blackcap.

River Exe: Osprey seen successfully fishing - too big a fish for it to take to a tree / perch and being mobbed by gulls, landed on a mudbank mid-river to consume its catch.

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 8:17 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

South Brent

My first Swift of the year seen over home at South Brent, also a trickle of Swallows passing over in small numbers.


Posted May 1st, 2021 at 4:39 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Preston, Paignton

Small movement of Swallows in groups of 2-3 going North.3 Swifts over garden this afternoon.

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 3:59 pm by Tony Sherwood in Bird News


Early morning between Norsworthy Bri. and Down Tor. At least 4 Cuckoos, Chaffinches , Goldfinches, several Redstarts, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, 3 Wheatears, Willow warblers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Ravens


Posted May 1st, 2021 at 3:58 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

East Ogwell house Martin’s are back

Seen first last evening but positive I.D. this afternoon. A few days earlier than last year the family of House Martin’s that nest in the area have returned once more. They have been hunting all around the estate and over the field on the edge of Canada hill. Let’s hope they manage to breed successfully again. They manage two broods last year.

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 3:54 pm by John Wilkes in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Little new this morning, but at least 4 Whimbrels, the Bar-tailed Godwit & 4 Greenshanks still around, 2 Swifts & just a dozen Swallows over, Shag, pair of Stonechats, & 5 Roe Deer. 

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 2:05 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Chambercombe Manor

Distant Pied Flycatcher this morning.

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 1:24 pm by Derek Stacey in Bird News

Blackdown Rings, Loddiswell

2 singing Tree Pipits - prob.the only breeding site in the South Hams at 198 asl; also 4 singing Willow Warblers & a pair of Stonechats - unusual location.

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 11:30 am by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Dawlish Warren

Lesser Whitethroat around the main pond this morning; singing but generally elusive and mobile. Also 3 Wheatear and several Whimbrel. 

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 11:19 am by Peter Leigh in Bird News

Teign Valley

From the Teign Valley Facebook page...Hoopoe near Hennock Thursday 29th  ,good video...

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 9:45 am by Neil Graham in Bird News

Exeter flood relief channel

Yesterday evening over River Exe and flood relief channel were 180+ Swallow, 15+ Sand Martin, 3+ House Martin and 6 Swift.

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 7:20 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

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