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

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·          Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·        Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


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 19th July 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

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

Tuesday 8th June 2021

Sand Martins

Around six in a sand bank on the River Yeo between Fordton and Uton.

Posted June 8th at 9:27 pm by Ian Muir in Bird News


Sulphur-Bellied Warbler still showing very well this evening on and off from 6-645pm feeding actively on the rock face in Millcombe Valley- apparently the Oldenburg is fully booked for 2 weeks due to the restrictions mentioned below -  so charter boats are the only option . Brilliant views of Puffins, Manxies and Dolphins en route 

Posted June 8th at 8:06 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite over Exeter road area Kingsteignton 17.45 

Posted June 8th at 6:18 pm by Graeme Davey in Bird News

Red Kite

Red Kite spotted circling overhead (Pyworthy) about 2pm for 5 minutes. Soaring high but occasionally dropping down. Headed off north east.

Posted June 8th at 4:40 pm by Diana Lee in Bird News


The singing male Sulphur-bellied Warbler (see post below) was originally found at Stoneycroft (near the Old Lighthouse) this morning by David Price. It subsequently relocated to Millcombe Valley and was still present there this afternoon. Originally thought to be a Dusky Warbler (which itself would have been a first for Lundy) a back-of-camera mobile phone shot of the bird from Lundy Warden Dean Jones drew comment and questions from birders familiar with Sulphur-bellied Warbler, a very similar Asian species that has only been recorded once previously in the Western Palearctic (on the Danish island of Christiansø on 30 May 2016). Following review of original images and recordings of the bird's song, the bird was confirmed as a Sulphur-bellied Warbler, a first for Britain! An amazing occurrence... The full story of the Lundy bird will doubtless be told by those who were there when it was discovered. In the meantime, here is a link to an account of the Danish bird, which includes some photos and a map of the species' usual range:


Posted June 8th at 4:38 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News

Swifts over Torrington

I am seeing a pair of swifts over Great Torrington daily, and 3 house martins over my estate today. Hummingbird hawkmoth was a surprise this afternoon, briefly!

Posted June 8th at 3:38 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

East Soar

Further to my earlier post ant news for the book to me at


Posted June 8th at 3:08 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


4 Swifts over Germansweek at 13:00 today 08/06/21. first time I have seen them this year.

Posted June 8th at 2:25 pm by Mark Palmer in Bird News

East Soar

Adult female Red-backed Shrike on Bolt Head - seen for 4 minutes from 1040; catching insects from perch and being scolded by Meadow Pipits, Linnets and a Stonechat. 7th record for Soar but the first spring record. Also Red Kite flying high east.

I'm preparing a "History of the Birds of Soar" for publication in 2022 if I can afford it. Any extra records welcome plus any anecdotes. Please remember to put all your sightings at Soar on the Devon Birds blog so they can be included.

Now how do I get to Lundy!!

Posted June 8th at 1:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


A Sulphur-bellied Warbler has been found on Lundy. First for Britain and 2nd for the Western Palearctic. If you thought the Mockingbird was a twitch, this could create pandemonium with the Oldenburg running on Covid restricted numbers.

Posted June 8th at 1:27 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

south molton community woodlans

2 garden warblers singing yesterday, not seen.

Posted June 8th at 8:52 am by art symons in Bird News

Monday 7th June 2021

Harleston by Slapton

Hobby overhead this morning - garden tick!

Posted June 7th at 2:52 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Osprey sighting

At about 10:40 today Monday 7th June 2021 at Teigngrace I saw an Osprey atop an electricity pylon. It then took to the air and gently flew off towards Kingsteignton.

Posted June 7th at 2:33 pm by Terry Hall in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

During a walk this morning: juvenile Green Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, 6+ Stock Doves, Kestrel, c10 Small Heaths & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted June 7th at 2:24 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Berry Head

Several brief watches of the sea produced: 1 Black-throated Diver in full Summer plumage, 115 Manx Shearwaters including a flock of 80, 25+ Common Dolphins, 3 Harbour Porpoise & 2 Grey Seals. A flock of Starlings passing over the headland sadly didn't have any pink in it!


Posted June 7th at 2:03 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Sunday 6th June 2021

Kestrel attack

This afternoon a very pale slim bodied raptor flew above me as I was packing up my cameras.  Not a Peregrine, possibly a Hobby.  The local breeding female Kestrel had just made a kill and was returning to her nest when she suddenly accelerated and attacked the other raptor overhead.  The second raptor had a strikingly white throat and breast, very thin moustacial stripes and boldly streaked under tail coverts (only visible in photos) as Hobby.  But I would have expected a Hobby to be vey much more agile in the air so maybe an escaped falconers' bird with jesses?  Any ideas?

Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon
Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon
Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon
Female Kestrel encounter with Falcon

Posted June 6th at 9:57 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

East Prawle

2 Rose-Coloured Starlings, both adults near East Prawle, c4pm in field with cows right of main road , 2 fields south of water tower, with c20 Starlings 

Posted June 6th at 6:03 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Saturday 5th June 2021

Emsworthy & Holwell

Great days out on the 1st and 26th May. Millions of bluebells adorn the fields and woodland with 5 cuckoos heard, and delightfully 3 seen in flight at once. Other birds include Redstart, Wheatear, Curlew, 2 Linnet, 4 Meadow pipit, 2 Skylark, Buzzard, Kestrel, Willow and Garden Warbler, 5 Stonechat, Wren, 3 Coaltit, Chiffchaff, GSW and Mistle Thrush. Add to that the ponies, sheep, cattle and roe deer and landscape what a tremendous venue this is!

All photos in the Gallery.

Posted June 5th at 7:25 am by Kenneth Bradley in Bird News

Friday 4th June 2021

Higher Piles / Erme Pound Copse

Walked up and back from Ivybridge. Cuckoos heard from 6/7 directions, but probably only 2/3 birds involved. Best view was of one being dive-bombed by a Tree Pipit, one of 3 seen or heard. Also present were 3/4 singing Redstarts, several Willow Warblers, a family of 5 Ravens and, incongruously, an LBB Gull flushed from among the trees along the riverbank (a hatch of fish?). Dipper and Grey Wagtail were in the river, a steady stream of those little green caterpillars were abseiling from the Oaks, and what I took to be a Brown Trout was leaping to catch flying insects. On the way back a Wheatear carrying food dived into a hole in the stone wall and I could hear several young calling.

Posted June 4th at 7:20 pm by James Camden in Bird News

R. Torridge , Westleigh ,

An out of season Dark bellied Brent Goose with a loose group of 

Shelduck on the bank of river at low tide.

Posted June 4th at 10:45 am by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

Adult sum plum laughing ( or Franklin’s) paignton!

 On Sunday 30th of may My annual family holiday to Paignton started with a shock! Walked on to paignton beach at c7am to do a sweep of the 2 beach’s, right next to the pier with c15 herring gulls was a striking adult laughing gull ( or Franklin’s) still in shock I quickly got out my phone to take a photo but instantly all the birds took off! The yank gull flew towards Preston sands but I sadly couldn’t relocate it!????? in maybe the two minutes I watched this bird and in obvious shock the features I did observe all suggest laughing gull but I can’t 100 per cent rule out Franklin’s. I alerted Mike langham of the bird immediately. Andy shaw.

Posted June 4th at 8:48 am by Andy Shaw in Bird News


working near Thornworthy when I first heard and then saw a cuckoo.  I managed to get this very distant shot of the bird before it flew off into some more distant trees.


Posted June 4th at 12:19 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Thursday 3rd June 2021

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This afternoon: Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Stonechat, Whitethroat, Green Woodpecker, 24 Mandarin Ducks (21 drakes) & 7 Roe Deer.

Posted June 3rd at 7:20 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

River Exe (Powderham bike / ped bridge area)

Little Tern at 15:30

Posted June 3rd at 3:59 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Great Torrington

A house martin and two swifts low over Great Torrington town centre this morning

Posted June 3rd at 3:22 pm by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News


At least four Nightjars at Heathfield last night, at one point three birds together on the wing, the wing clapping and churring was a bit sporadic.

Yellow hammers and Stonechats also noted.

Posted June 3rd at 10:25 am by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

Red Kite

1430 south of A380 by Ideford flying south solitary bird. 

Posted June 2nd at 11:50 pm by James Bullen in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Blaxton Meadow remains pretty quiet with 5 Curlews the only waders at high tide today. Elsewhere on site, 2 Green Woodpeckers, Whitethroat, pair of Stonechats, Shag & 3 Roe Deer. 

Posted June 2nd at 4:00 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Red Kite Ugborough

2 Red Kite circling over fields near Ugborough

Posted June 2nd at 11:11 am by Jeremy Spooner in Bird News

Red Kite, Tipple cross

Red Kite flying low over the A388, 500 metres Eaet of Netherbridge over the river Tamar. 11.30 Tuesday 1st June

Posted June 2nd at 10:39 am by Mark Palmer in Bird News

Red Kite

Red kite flying low over Cator area of Dartmoor around noon on 1 June

Posted June 2nd at 9:09 am by Roger Downing in Bird News

Cann woods

A late evening trip to Cann woods, the winds picked up as the sun set, but Nightjars did start up, not too many flying about, possibly because the winds kept their food supply down low.  But heard around 6-7 different birds. 

Also lots of tawny owl calling, young and adults

Posted June 2nd at 8:20 am by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Tuesday 1st June 2021

Bridgetown, Totnes

5.30pm today, a single Red Kite seen flying from SW to NE over our home in Higher Westonfields.

Posted June 1st at 8:59 pm by Charlotte Crow in Bird News

Yarner Wood & Emsworthy Bog

At Yarner several Pied Flycatchers, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3+ Redstarts, Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Willow Warblers, Garden Warbler; also 3 Brimstones.

Emsworthy Bog:  5+Cuckoos, singing male Redstart; 1st Painted Lady of the year; amazing bluebells.

Posted June 1st at 6:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Red Kites over Newton Popp!

Just before 5pm, sat down in garden and saw high up a Red Kite moning North to South and dropping, came low past next door.

Then another a few mins later, heading south again and dropping into trees behind.

What a treat!

Posted June 1st at 5:09 pm by Quinton Cumbes in Bird News


A return walk from Warren House Inn via Soussons, Challacombe & Headland Warren in the sunshine produced: 8+ Whinchats, 9+ Cuckoos, Crossbill, 2 Redstarts, 3+ Siskins, 2 Green Woodpeckers & just 1 Wheatear. Next-to-no butteflies about.

Posted June 1st at 5:05 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

31st May

Out at Powler's piece yesterday late evening. 2 or possibly 3 Nightjars seen, one 'churring' but not until nearly 10p.m.!

Posted June 1st at 2:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Cadover and Brisworthy area

2+ Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whinchat, Redstart, Garden Warbler, Cuckoo, 2 Whitethroat, juv Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dipper, Green Woodpecker and Goosander (f) the highlights this morning.

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted June 1st at 12:58 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Warren House

Yesterday around the Vitifer workings: Whinchats 4, Wheatears 3, Ravens 2, Buzzard 1, Willow Warblers 5, Skylarks12, Meadow Pipits 8, and a solitary Nightjar disturbed in the heather and bilberry scrub,

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Posted June 1st at 12:44 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Blackcap in Torrington

Still not much sign of migrants around me in Great Torrington, but a blackcap has been resident in Caddywell Lane and it may be him that visited my next door neighbour's garden yesterday. A single swift, but no martins or swalllows despite keeping an eye out

Posted June 1st at 6:16 am by Aubrey McKenzie in Bird News

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