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


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

Saturday 7th August 2021

Swift migration

Having pitched our caravan at Velator for a couple of days we were treated to a view of the Swifts on migration....probably! For the duration of the morning, once it stopped raining, until late afternoon,  we watched a succession of passing swifts and guesstimate the total numbers to be in excess of 100. They were all forging a flightpath generally south-westerly, presumably heading down the peninsula before the sea leg of their journey south. We thought "God speed" :) 

Posted August 7th, 2021 at 6:47 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News


Quick visit to the reserve this afternoon - quite productive. Dipper in the river on the way in, and Stock Doves and Song Thrush by the barn. 2 Swifts over the reserve and a few House Martins over the scrape. South of the reserve about 10 or 12 Swifts. 2 Reed Warblers croaking in the reedbeds and a Grey Heron flew out. Finally a Grey Wagtail in the river as I left.

Posted August 7th, 2021 at 4:12 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Having been in  self-isolation for 10 days - Grandson contracted Covid - he's fine(!) I was pleased to finally see something - a garden tick this morning, when a Little Egret flew up the valley towards Knowle, and a few minutes later, flew back South.

Posted August 7th, 2021 at 10:29 am by Jon Turner in Bird News

Friday 6th August 2021

Exe Estuary

The highlights from Cockwood to Exeter were:

- from Cofton Steps, a juvenile Common Tern in with the Sandwiches;

- at Starcross, 40+ Turnstones, up from 25+ on Tuesday, all in bold Summer plumage and a joy to watch;

- around the Kenn outfall, 10+ Greenshanks, 80+ Redshanks and a Common Sandpiper;

- at Powderham Corner, a Wren gave its alarm call from within a Bramble/Ivy bush, and two seconds later a Sparrowhawk crash-landed on top, maybe 20 feet from me. After 5-10 seconds, the hawk shot off towards the Church, passing four feet at most above me. A few seconds later, the Wren popped up, danced a jig, and went about its own business;

- at the footbridge, 100+ Rooks plus a few Jackdaws joined the regular Carrion Crows on the mudflats, the first time I have noticed these two becoming estuary birds;

- over Exminster Marshes, a few late Swifts were with the three-spp. Hirundine flock, flying low as the showers passed;

- at Countesswear ponds, a Green Sandpiper;

- finally in Exeter, four brand-new ducklings were on the canal opposite the Secanim factory, and seven more were in the pan of the Trews Weir flood channel. A sign that the conditions have been good, or that predation is so high that they have to try again?

Posted August 6th, 2021 at 9:59 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Berry Head - yesterday morning

Seawatching 0545-1015hrs: 1 juv Arctic Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 17 'comic' Terns, 2 juv Yellow-legged Gulls, 18 Mediterranean Gulls (16 juvs), 48 Kittiwake (inc 4 juvs), 75+ Gannets, 17 Fulmar, 36 Balearic Shearwaters, 23 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Skua Sp (Arc/Pom), 1 Puffin, 18 Common Scoter, 7+ Harbour Porpoise & 25+ Common Dolphins (at one point 3 pods).

Posted August 6th, 2021 at 9:35 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Thursday 5th August 2021

Chudleigh Nightjar

I've just been sent this superb image of a Nightjar taken by Roger Auster at about 9 am yesterday - on the roof of an outhouse in Chudleigh!

Nightjar, Chudleigh (Roger Auster)
Nightjar, Chudleigh (Roger Auster)

Posted August 5th, 2021 at 2:09 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News

Wednesday 4th August 2021

Crownhill Down, Plympton - Nightjars

In a departure from our usual evening visits to Cann Wood, we instead took to Crownhill Down and Smallhanger waste. Where at :21:10 we heard a churring Nightjar this was followed by some flight calls and churring from two more spots. None were seen but there must be at least 5 or 6 in the area.

Posted August 4th, 2021 at 11:17 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News


Ad F Sparrow Hawk with 2 juveniles . Ad female with kill flew over head dropped kill and was caught by 1 of the juveniles .This is rarely seen in this species.

Posted August 4th, 2021 at 8:28 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On the rising tide at Blaxton Meadow, this afternoon, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (possibly different to the 25th July bird), 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Little Egrets, Whimbrel & 9 Oystercatchers. Also, around the site, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 4+ Stonechats, Whitethroat, 2 Bullfinches, Green Woodpecker, 3 Swifts, Roe Deer & 70+ Gatekeepers.

Posted August 4th, 2021 at 4:49 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East Soar

Best was 38 Med Gulls feeding off Fir Wood; good movements with 45 Whitethroat, 16 Willow Warbler, 8 Blackcap, Sand Martin, 80 Swallow, 50 House Martin, Wheatear, 3 Reed Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler & Great Spotted Woodpecker flying west over Bolt Head. Also: 80 Starling, 2 Bullfinch, Spotted Flycatcher breeding & 100 Linnet.

Non-avian: Silver-washed Fritillary, Purple Hairstreak, 2 Golden-ringed Dragonflies & Emperor male.

Posted August 4th, 2021 at 2:51 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery Ringed-neck Pheasant

Sorry put wrong size pics up on 1st attempt, 2 shots of a female Ringed-neck Pheasant.

Ringed-neck Pheasant (F)
Ringed-neck Pheasant (F)
Ringed-neck Pheasant (F)
Ringed-neck Pheasant (F)

Posted August 4th, 2021 at 11:33 am by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Ford Park Cemetery Ringed-neck Pheasant

Ringed-neck Pheasant (female) wandering around Ford Park Cemetery.

Posted August 4th, 2021 at 11:24 am by Greg Bradbury in Bird News


Over 100 swifts over Saunton golf club Tuesday between 4.15 and 6.00 pm taking advantage of the flying ants. Did anyone else see this. 

Posted August 4th, 2021 at 8:29 am by Kevin Lymer in Bird News

Tuesday 3rd August 2021

Crownhill Down

A quick walk round Crownhill Down this evening produced: Goldfinches 12, Linnets 15, Skylarks 12, Swallows 6, Buzzards 2, Ravens 3, Mistle Thrushes 15, Green Woodpecker 1 and a solitary Green Sandpiper on one of the pools...managed a distant ID pic.

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 10:28 pm by Bob Barrow in Bird News

Dunlin ID

 Rich Billington: many thanks for the info. I tried unsuccessfully to find any information so thanks again.

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 9:48 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Exmouth parakeets

An evening stroll in Exmouth produced around a dozen ring necked parakeets flying into a stand of trees at the eastern end of The Maer at around 8:30, presumably to roost.

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 9:25 pm by Alan Craddock in Bird News

Wrafton Scrape and Fremington Pill

The Black-winged Stilt was showing well this afternoon along with the Black-tailed Godwit. Little Grebe with two young on the pond

Along Fremington Pill there were 125 Redshank, 2 Greenshank a lot of Black-headed Gulls and a Little Egret with a deformed right knee that was causing it to limp. However it was feeding very successfully on the small fish in the shallow water.

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 5:54 pm by Martin Unwin and Irene Hahn in Bird News

South Hams

At Soar, this morning: Hobby, c40 Swifts, c50 House Martins, 3+ Sand Martins, 23 Whitethroats, 10 Willow Warblers, 2+ Sedge Warblers, Reed Warbler, Bullfinch, 3 Walls & 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.

Later, Slaton Ley produced: Red-throated Diver (sum-plum), Yellow-legged Gull (adult), 21 Mediterranean Gulls (various ages), 5 Sandwich Terns (1 juv), 4 Common Scoters (3 drakes), 2 Swifts & a Wheatear. 

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 5:54 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Bradwell Wood (private woodland)

Spotted Flycatcher feeding one of its young in a willow tree this afternoon. Another successful year for Spotted Flycatchers in Bradwell. 

Sadly, no Pied Flycatchers here for the second year running. 

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 2:05 pm by Jonny Pinn in Bird News

Cadover area

3 Green Woodpeckers including a juv, Redstart (f/juv) and 10+ Wheatear (6 juvs) the highlights.

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 10:33 am by Chris E in Bird News

Instow Dunlin

A quick trawl through the CR Birding website suggests that the Dunlin is from Spain. The ring address should be Aranzadi, San Sebastian (the Basque ringing scheme is now used all over Spain since their national scheme collapsed some years ago). Should be from the Villaviciosa Estuary in Asturias just east of Gijon on the coast of northern Spain:

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 9:39 am by Rich Billington in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Spotted Flycatcher at base of Crownhill Down first thing. 

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 8:57 am by Chris E in Bird News


Not in bigbury itself but on the road towards a farmers field was just swarming with activity. Hundreds of hundreds of swifts, shallows and Martins had gathered over two arable fields specifically. Must be good feeding there. It was quite a lovely sight 

Posted August 3rd, 2021 at 7:13 am by Annabel Sharpe in Bird News

Monday 2nd August 2021


On Sunday last, I got these images of a Dunlin with an unmarked yellow ring over an unmarked red flag above the left knee and a coded metal ring above the right knee. Just wondering where it was ringed and how far its traveled. TOP LINE: 0863, MIDDLE LINE: ANZA there may be other of  letters either side these and the BOTTOM LINE: IBASTO possibly?

Dunlin with ID
Dunlin with ID

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 9:43 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Slapton Sands

No terns tonight but 16 Med Gulls, 2 Kittiwakes and 3 Common Scoter offshore (2m1f).

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 8:09 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Yellow Crowned Bishop

Bird observed at Heddons Mouth, N.Devon on sunday 31st july 2021 but not by me. images forwarded to me today.

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 7:46 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

Fremington Pill to Home Farm Marsh

Parked at Pill Head and walked to the hide at Home Farm Marsh and back on a rising tide. 1st birds of note were 2 Greenshank. Further downstream were many hundreds of Black headed Gull and we lost count at 45 Redshank. A female Kingfisher was hunting form the railings of the outfall from the Fremington Local Nature Reserve. 2 Common Sandpiper were amongst the Redshank, 4 Dunlin and a lone Curlew. There were at least three pairs of Shelduck with ducklings seen and we spotted one feeding and one flying Whimbrel on theTaw. Passerines  were few, Dunnock, House Sparrow & Whitethroat, but the highlight was a Sedge Warbler (image) showing occasionally by Saltpill pond on which floated a pair of Mute Swans with one only, very pale looking, cygnet. We managed to pick out a few Mediterranean Gulls including one floating with the tide (image) and there were upwards of 20 Oystercatcher along the tide line on the Taw. A Great Blackbacked Gull was fishing to feed 2 large chick's and found them a flounder! On the wing over the water were numerous Housemartins and Swallows. A good walk! 

Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 7:12 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News

Goosemoor, Topsham

14:13 - 14:30

23 Greenshank; 1 Common Sandpiper

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 4:09 pm by Paul Bray in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake

2 Common Sandpiper on the weir, 2 Willow Tit at the hide, 2 Mute Swan, 21 Canada Geese, 3 Moorhen, 2 Coot, 26 Mallard, 4 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 2:48 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

East Soar

A bit more passage inc. 7 Tree Pipit, 13 Willow Warbler, 10 Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler plus 130 House Sparrow & 350 Linnet.

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 1:36 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Wembury Bay

A visit this morning produced: 8 Mediterranean Gulls (4 juvs, 3 adults & a 2nd cal year), Whimbrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker & 3 Painted Ladies.

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 1:00 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Soar and Slapton

This morning at East Soar some passage migrants : 2 Wheatear , Lesser Whitethroat, 25+ Whitethroat , Sedge Warbler, 30+ Willow Warbler

At Slapton Beach 15+ Mediterranean Gulls . Highlight of the day a male  Lesser Emperor dragonfly close to me along the ley path just south of the memorial car park at midday.

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 12:53 pm by David Cope in Bird News

Wrafton Stilt

The Black winged stilt was still showing well on the scrape in the sunshine at 07:45 this morning.

Posted August 2nd, 2021 at 9:10 am by Kim Beaver in Bird News

Sunday 1st August 2021

Exotic Biurd

The Exotic bird at Heddons Mouth posted by Peter Churcher appears to be a Yellow Crowned Bishop, not seen myself but photos appear to support the ID

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 11:00 pm by Robert Cudmore in Bird News

Lyme Bay Boat Trip

Quiet out in the Bay today due to lack of wind so not a lot of moving.  Adult Med Gull in winter plumage at the end of Brixham Breakwater and a 1st cy Med Gull at Berry Head.   Harbour Porpoise breaching.  9 Sandwich Terns flying S.  10 Manx and 3 Balearic Shearwaters. Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull amongst the usual gulls.  Guillemots and a single Razorbill.   

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 8:29 pm by G and L Carr in Bird News

Turtle dove

Driving through Doddiscombsleigh this evening my husband and I spotted a Turtle dove on a telegraph wire. No bins but we got a fair look  at it before it flew off. Wing patterns evident but not very dark or defined so assume a juvenile on migration. 

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 8:19 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News


Very strange bright yellow and black small bird at Heddons Mouth (6604966) this afternoon.  Not a native.  Any ideas? 

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 7:59 pm by Peter Churcher in Bird News

Black-winged stilt, Wrafton

Nice walk from Wrafton to Barnstaple today. Stilt showing well at velator at midday.  At least 95 med gulls  roosting about half way point of walk.  Excellent juvenile spotted flycatcher learning it's trade.

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 7:28 pm by Paul Buckley in Bird News


Today on the rocks near Instow Cricket ground were at least 10 Ringed Plover and a similar number of Dunlin. One Dunlin with an unmarked Yellow ring over unmarked Red Flag above the knee on left leg and a metal ring above the knee on right leg.

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 7:19 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Black winged stilt

The black winged stilt was still on the scrape at Vellator early this afternoon

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 5:00 pm by Brian Sims in Bird News

Slapton Sands.

1  f / 1st. Yr. Wheatear on the sea defence boulders.

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 4:29 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

During a relatively brief and very wet, visit to Blaxton Meadow: 2 Mediterranean Gulls (adults), Whimbrel, 2 Greenshanks & Little Egrets up to 11.

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 3:31 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Cockwood (Westwood valley) 31/7/21

16.30 hrs low over trees twisting and turning to evade pursuing resident buzzard RED KITE

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 10:50 am by Steve stone in Bird News


Five species of tern at Slapton, Little, Roseate, Common, Sandwich and Arctic 30/7/21- Little tern flying around last evening and Arctic on the beach. Summer plumage Red-throated diver off Torcross end of Beach.

Red-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver

Posted August 1st, 2021 at 7:01 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

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