Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 22nd–31st August 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

·        Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         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






·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         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


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels 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

Saturday 28th August 2021

Velator/Wrafton Pond

Kingfisher and Greenshank seen this evening at Velator. 

At Wrafton Pond, female Mandarin duck seen this evening at 7.30pm. 

Posted August 28th at 9:09 pm by Jonny Pinn in Bird News

Wrafton pond

Female mandarin duck seen today. Only visible for short while then vanished. Lucky to  see

Posted August 28th at 6:44 pm by Fozz Forsdike in Bird News

Dead tawny owl

Dead tawny owl on A379 next to Matford marshes , unfortunately it wasn't salvageable ; it was severely flattened . 

Posted August 28th at 6:43 pm by Unai Marquez Pardo in Bird News

Exminster Marsh


2 Spoonbill (1ad, 1 Juv) 1 Great White Egret, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Little Grebe, 8 Snipe, 7 Ringed Plover, Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Garganey, Black Tailed Godwit, Shoveler, all on the main lagoon.  3 Marsh Harrier (f) quartering the fields and flying up and down the waterways, 1 Hobby swooping and diving, 1 Kestrel watching from a pylon. Also, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Juv), 3 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, numerous Swallows and House Martins. 

Posted August 28th at 4:29 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Mid morning walk in search of Chris E's flycatchers. Only managed a distant shot of a Spotted Fly, no surprise really as this Sparrowhawk was perched in the adjacent tree. On the mine lagoon 52 small waders, mostly Dunlin & Ringed Plover, but may have included Sanderling & Little Stint.

On Portworthy Mica Dam 4 Greenshank & a Green Sandpiper.

Distant Spotted Flycatcher.
Distant Spotted Flycatcher.

Posted August 28th at 3:49 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News

Wembury Point

On a raising tide produced 12 Ringed Plover 5 Dunlin 8 Turnstone 2 Bar Tailed Godwit 4 Little Egret.2 Wheater 2 White Wagtail Also out to sea 25 Gannet 4 Fulmar. 

Posted August 28th at 1:18 pm by Roger Backway in Bird News

Wrafton pond

No sign of the Mandarin duck this morning, but the female Pintail showed well close to the Tarka Trail where the water is very close. At least 2 Grey Wagtails in the river, and 2 or 3 Kingfishers in the reserve.

Posted August 28th at 12:54 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A morning's visit produced: Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, 12 Turnstones, 2 Whinchats, 2 Tree Pipits, 3 Whitethroats, 4+ Stonechats, 2 Kestrels, & a Roe Deer.

Also, Polish-ringed Black-headed Gull "TR6M" seen again. 

Posted August 28th at 12:48 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Friday 27th August 2021

S Efford & W. Charleton Marshes

The Little Stint at S Efford showed very well with six Dunlin, but too distant to photo. Also three Greenshank, ten Curlew. Single Common Gull two or three Kingfishers and this young Fox looking for a meal. Highlights at W Charleton included two Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat & Blackcap..

Posted August 27th at 11:25 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

A very timid female Mandarin Duck on the Pond early this evening amongst all the Mallards. 

Posted August 27th at 10:22 pm by Janelle McCracken in Bird News

River Mole Valley

Busy cutting 5 hectares of bumblebird mix today ready for tilling the next mix.Numerous disturbed voles and field mice brought in 8 Buzzards and a Red Kite.Over 50 House Martins were feeding on the disturbed insects as well as the 35 resident Swallows.Best of all was a Hobby performing at height being pursued by 2 Swifts.Non avians included 3 Roe Deer and a very faded Silver Washed Fritillary along with numerous Peacocks.

Posted August 27th at 10:12 pm by Brian Nicholas in Bird News


Bearded vulture seen flying over reservoir. About 12.00 noon. Came from ENE direction over reservoir and circled over Fernworthy  forest before heading in a SSW direction towards Postbridge, Princetown, Plymouth. Geoff Stephens first alerted  and both agreed this enormous bird could be nothing else, long wedge shaped tail & short neck, straight wings and just effortless gliding . Sorry for poor description hope there was another siting elsewhere.

Posted August 27th at 7:33 pm by jennifer newland in Bird News

Crow Point Toll Road

Had a text from Andy Lansdell saying he was going to investigate the Caen River for Curlew Sandpipers, so off I went again! 1 Kingfisher, 4/5 Greenshank, a couple of Redshank, 2 Curlew (half way to the target!) Then at the entrance to the breach at Horsey, almost all the small Gulls were Mediterranean - we counted at least 49. The Little Owl showed again. On the way back, all the Gulls took to the air and Andy saw the splash as an Osprey took a fish and headed off east. First of the autumn up here we think.

Posted August 27th at 6:45 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


Another good day for migrants with c55 Yellow Wagtails (the vast majority in one a loose flock), c25 Wheatears, Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Spotted & 1 Pied Flycatchers, Tree Pipit, 2 Redstarts, 2 Whinchats, 2 White Wagtails, 7 Sand Martins, 5 Willow Warblers, 25 Whitethroats, Bullfinch, 3 Ringed Plovers & a Sparrowhawk.

Posted August 27th at 5:06 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Braunton area

Walked down the Toll Road as far as cross banks. 2 Kingfishers, 1 Mediterranean Gull on the salt marsh and 7 or so just inside the Horsey disaster area. Little Owl, a few Swallows, but with the high tide no Waders. Female Pintail again on the scrape along with a Little Egret.

Posted August 27th at 12:05 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Pied Flycatcher and 3 Spotted Flycatchers showing really well together at base. 31 Dunlin and 16 Ringed Plover (Drakelands Pit), Snipe, 29 Mistle Thrush and Green Woodpecker. More photos:

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher

Posted August 27th at 10:44 am by Chris E in Bird News

25/08/2021 South Efford Marsh

A Little Stint and 6 Dunlin @ South Efford Marsh on Wednesday evening

Little Stint
Little Stint
Little Stint & Dunlin
Little Stint & Dunlin

Posted August 27th at 6:03 am by Richie Moore in Bird News

Thursday 26th August 2021

Beer Head

Steady eastward movement of Swallows and House Martins 9.00-10.30. Spot count at 9.50 of c100 Martins in 2 min. Also 6 Wheatear.

Posted August 26th at 8:55 pm by Andy Rook in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This afternoon: 3+ Whinchats, Wheatear, 2 Tree Pipits, 6 Stonechats, 1+ Whitethroat & an adult Shelduck.

Posted August 26th at 6:56 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Hobby over Venn Ottery Common

Hobby flying high in circles over Venn Ottery Common this afternoon.

Posted August 26th at 6:53 pm by Andrew Hickson in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

With Andy Smith, newly arrived group of waders feeding close to the hide: 4 Dunlin and 1 juvenile Little Stint, believed to be a different individual to the adult bird present on 24 and 25 August (see low resolution postage stamp size photos below).  Also 3 juvenile Shelduck, 5 Greenshank, 2 Redshank and 2 Kingfishers.   Possible 1st-w Caspian Gull.

Eds - adult Little Stint appears to be a Dunlin. 

Adult Little Stint 24 August
Adult Little Stint 24 August
Juvenile Little Stint 26 August with Dunlin
Juvenile Little Stint 26 August with Dunlin

Posted August 26th at 6:23 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

4 Wigeon this afternoon.

Posted August 26th at 5:07 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Bowling Green Marsh

Spent an hour in the hide this morning. Waterfowl included 25 Wigeon, 3 Gadwall, 1 Shoveler, and 1 Pintail, all my first of the Autumn, and waders included 500+ Redshank, 500+ Black-tailed Godwits, 200+ Curlew, 25 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Knot and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits.

At Countesswear on the way home were single Green and Common Sandpipers.

Posted August 26th at 4:55 pm by James Camden in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Sightings of note during a early morning walk are Greenshank 6, Dunlin 3, Bar-Tailed Godwit 1, Whinchat 2, Tree Pipit 1, Little Grebe adult with immature, Green Woodpecker 2, a flock of 200+ Swallow & House Martin over the house drifting east and my first sighting of an Otter at the North end of the estuary just off Blaxton meadow.

Posted August 26th at 11:09 am by Martin Phillips in Bird News

Crownhill Down, Dartmoor

Great morning on patch. Five wader species seen -

Sanderling, Greenshank, 19 Dunlin and 13 Ringed Plover (all on Drakelands Pit, viewed from top of Crownhill Down with a scope).

Green Sandpiper (flew from Smallhanger Pool and then E).

Yellow Wagtail on the Down then flew S - only my second here in five years.

Posted August 26th at 10:55 am by Chris E in Bird News

Wheatears--Abbotsham Cliff--1830-25/8/21

One male, one female

Posted August 26th at 9:19 am by Abraham Cutajar in Bird News


Try again - Flycatchers in garden yesterday evening

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted August 26th at 9:02 am by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

Wednesday 25th August 2021


Pair of Spotted Flycatchers in the garden this evening.

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted August 25th at 11:18 pm by Geoff Mitchell in Bird News

East Soar

Great find by PA re Melodious Warbler; few additions Snipe, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Whinchat, prob 34 Wheatear. 30+ Yellow Wagtails, 120 Swallow, 500 Herring Gull.

Non-avian- first 2 Autumn Lady's Tresses

Posted August 25th at 8:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Migration on Braunton Burrows

Fistly: late post but worth mentioning,  Saturday 21st over Braunton Burrows 6 late Swifts heading generally southwest but swooping to top up on flying ants. Today on the Burrows was a Northern Wheatear which we assume to be topping off on invertebrates before its journey south. Image was at long range but included for the record 

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear

Posted August 25th at 7:09 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Bird News


A productive day around Soar with the highlight a Melodious Warbler by the gate below the willows below Bolberry (seen around 15.00 but then no further sign to 16.00). Also, 13 Tree Pipits (all east), 14+ Yellow & a Grey Wagtail, 28 Wheatears, 2 Spotted & 3 Pied Flycatchers, 22 Sand Martins (all east), Whinchat, Reed Warbler, 10 Whitethroats, 5 Willow Warblers, Great Spotted Woodpecker & 2 Bullfinches.

Posted August 25th at 5:58 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Juv Yellow-legged Gull Slapton

At least one (and I think possibly 2) in a big group of gulls feasting on flying ants above the field center this afternoon.

Posted August 25th at 5:44 pm by Rich Billington in Bird News

Taw Estuary

Dropped the car for service and cycled home. Started at Fremington Pill, where 2 Little Egrets were in the roost even though it was 08.45 and the tide was in. Along to Barnstaple and on the Fremington salt marsh 3 largish roosts of BH Gulls (maybe 150 in each) and 3 roosts of Curlews, with nearly 100 in each. In amongst were 3/4 Dunlin, 2/3 Redshank, 4/5 Greenshank, and a few Black-tailed Godwits. Loads more BH Gulls all along the estuary to Heanton Court. Along the North shore a group of 7 Black-tailed Godwits near the downstream bridge, and at least 17 Little Egrets on the Saltmarsh at Pottington, so at least 30 seen on the estuary. On Wrafton Scrape a lone Greenshank. A few Swallows south of the reserve.

Posted August 25th at 12:42 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Isley Marsh.

Spoonbill on high tide roost with 12 Little Egrets , 150+ Curlews Several 

Greenshank and masses of Black Headed Gulls with a few Meds amongst 


Posted August 25th at 11:41 am by Malcolm Shakespeare in Bird News

South Efford Marsh

South Efford Marsh on 24 August:  6+ Greenshank, 2+ Redshank,  1 Little Stint, Kingfisher, 20+ Curlew, 14 Teal, 3 juvenile Shelduck moulting to adult plumage. Today, 25 August, much the same with the Little Stint seen in flight plus Kingfisher right under the hide.

Posted August 25th at 11:03 am by Mkichael Woodman Smith in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Sanderling, 14 Dunlin, 9 Ringed Plover in Drakelands pit. No sign of yesterday's Little Stint. 

Posted August 25th at 8:56 am by Chris E in Bird News

River Teign, Hackney

Still 11 greenshank but only one common sandpiper seen yesterday, 2hrs before high tide.

Posted August 25th at 8:55 am by Pete Steven in Bird News

Tuesday 24th August 2021

Little Stint & Med Gull - Westward Ho!

Little Stint showing down to a few feet next to the Crazy Golf Course. Med Gull on the Beach

Posted August 24th at 10:26 pm by John Hansford in Bird News

Bradwell Wood (private woodland)

The 3 Spotted Flycatcher seen on Sunday were busy again this evening catching the numerous insects that we have here

Posted August 24th at 7:28 pm by Jonny Pinn in Bird News

Crownhill Down

Little Stint with 12 Dunlin and 9 Ringed Plover on Drakelands Pit at Crownhill Down. Viewed from top of down, feeding on nearest shore, scope needed.

Posted August 24th at 9:31 am by Chris E in Bird News

Monday 23rd August 2021

Exe estuary

Osprey over powderham yacht club early evening June 

Posted August 23rd at 9:18 pm by Gerry Hooper in Bird News


Yet again, Green Sandpiper out on the scrape this afternoon. Pintail there yesterday morning.

Posted August 23rd at 5:20 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

East Soar to Soar Mill Valley area

Amazing what a change in the wind direction can do: a six hour marathon turned up a site record 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Snipe, 110 Swallow, Sand Martin, 26 Wheatear, 35 Stonechat, 6 Tree Pipit, 10 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Sparrowhawk, Grasshopper Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 21 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 9 Willow Warbler, 11 Chiffchaff, 10 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Kestrel, 4 Buzzard, 140 Starling ,2 Bullfinch,120 Goldfinch & 120 Linnet. Raven already defending territory from Crows on Bolt Head ready for 2022! 

Non-avian: Great Green Bush-Cricket; 18 Emperor & 5 Golden-ringed Dragonflies, 4 Black-tailed Skimmers, male Keeled Skimmer, 2 Southern Hawker & 2 Small Red-eyed Damselflies, the latter at a new site. Dead Weasel on road.

Posted August 23rd at 4:09 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Sunday 22nd August 2021

Slapton Sands

Near the memorial car park, 14 Sandwich Terns on the shore this morning, at least 2 ad+3 juve Med gulls, half a dozen each LBBG+GBBG. 2 Gannets flying close to shore. Moving down towards Torcross, 2 Wheatear, 3 Rock Pipit, numerous Pied Wagtail. Also, 2 Grey seals close to shore before sunrise.

Finished off with a brief look around the Ley - a pair of Tufted duck, 2 GC Grebe, numerous Mute Swan dotted around and in groups, 1 Cetti's warbler.

Grey Seal
Grey Seal
Incoming Sarnie
Incoming Sarnie

Posted August 22nd at 6:09 pm by John Foster in Bird News

Lyme Bay boat trip

Going out from Brixham on Kelly’s Hero Charters with David Saunders: adult Med Gull on Breakwater and a Common Sandpiper.  
7+ Harbour Porpoise around Berry Head.  Out in the Bay we had 4 Sandwich Tern, Dunlin, several migratory Swallows, 60+ Guillemots, 30+ Common Dolphins, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 30+ Gannets, usual Gulls.  Several rafts of Kittiwakes.  Probable Risso’s Dolphin - slow moving, solitary animal with a very large fin seen surfacing briefly  three times.

Posted August 22nd at 4:47 pm by G and L Carr in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A cycle round this morning resulted in: Tree Pipit, 5 Stonechats, 3+ Whitethroats, 2 Ravens, Shag, 22 Mandarin Ducks, Kingfisher, my first Little Grebe of the autumn, and a Roe Deer.

Roe Deer
Roe Deer

Posted August 22nd at 4:39 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Yealm Estuary

3 Black-tailed Godwit, 39 Curlew, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Shelduck, 19 Little Egret, 1 Stock Dove  1 Chiffchaff, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Wagtail, 200 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Comma and 8 Small Tortoiseshell

Posted August 22nd at 3:54 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Wembury Point

A low tide rock scramble produced 2 Little Egret, 3 Bar-Tailed Godwit, 1 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 6 Turnstone, 2 Oystercatcher. Distant views of Whimbrel with calls confirming ID. 

GBBG feeding on a deceased dolphin on the strand line. 

Posted August 22nd at 3:43 pm by Matt Clark in Bird News

Bradwell Wood (private woodland)

3 Spotted Flycatcher eyeing up the butterfly-laden Buddleia

Posted August 22nd at 3:39 pm by Jonny Pinn in Bird News

East Soar

This morning 4 Ringed Plover, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, Wheatear, 14 Stonechat, 60 Swallow, 32 House Martin, 12 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 11 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff & 100 Linnet.

Non-avian: 3 Golden-ringed Dragonflies & male Emperor; 9 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, Small Heath, 2 Wall, Painted Lady.

Posted August 22nd at 12:13 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Older Posts in Bird News →

← Newer Posts in Bird News