Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 8th–14th October 2022


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

Saturday 15th October 2022

Saltpill Duck Pond area

A late afternoon/early evening trip out to Saltpill Duck Pond where a male Kingfisher was snapped.  On the water there was a Grebe (long neck, black cap, light grey neck and grey sides - not able to see eye colour) that I and other observers initially believed to be a Black necked Grebe, but sadly after cropping a photo of the distant bird it's become clear that it was in fact a Little Grebe.

Male Kingfisher
Male Kingfisher
Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Posted October 15th at 12:37 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Friday 14th October 2022

Elfordleigh Wood, Plympton

The grunting of the rutting Fallow Deer failed to drown out the high-pitched calls of at least four Goldcrests and my first two Firecrests of the season.  

Posted October 14th at 9:48 pm by Janet Marcol in Bird News


Yet another bird I ringed in the reserve has been recovered. Sadly deceased - a Tawny Owl which was ringed on 9th October 2016 and found on 9th October this year nearby at Marwood.

Posted October 14th at 7:53 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Trowlesworthy, Dartmoor

Large flock of Golden Plover over north - c700 at 17:10. Flock then flew back and forth over Ringmoor Down, then continued north several minutes later.

Posted October 14th at 6:46 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Powderham Marsh RSPB

Osprey flew north over Powderham Marsh RSPB this lunch time. Also 7 Stonechat, 70+ Linnet, 25+ Greenfinch, 2+ Reed Bunting and 3+ Great Spot Woodpeckers amongst supporting cast 

Posted October 14th at 6:45 pm by Steve Cox in Bird News

Velator area

Again 90 (or so) Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape this morning, and hiding among them was a single Knot. Glad they have returned after the first day's shooting around the marsh yesterday. After a while, another wader flew in and the scope revealed it to be a Ruff. In the reserve a delightful charm of Goldfinches (ads and juvs) feeding on Alder cones were joined by a very smart female Siskin - the first in the reserve this year.

Posted October 14th at 4:41 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Harleston by Slapton

20 Swallows overhead just now plus 2 migrant Grey Wagtails on the roof and a Green Woodpecker. Earlier Wheatear on Bolt Head.

Posted October 14th at 4:20 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Lyme Bay Cruise

Good numbers of Kittiwake and Gannets 3 miles out from Berry Head. Also 3 - 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 8 Mediterranean Gulls and 2-3 pods of Common Dolphins. Despite attracting good numbers of Gulls to the boat no sign of any Skuas.

Posted October 14th at 3:57 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News


14 Mediterranean Gulls and two Red-throated Divers just off the beach (one in full summer plumage) - Thanks to Penny Wills for the call.

Posted October 14th at 3:55 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Great White Egret

Top of lower half of Tottiford Reservoir. Chased off by heron so size confirmed. Pale beak and dark legs. Pottering about.

Posted October 14th at 3:31 pm by Sue Goodfellow in Bird News

Thursday 13th October 2022


20+ Cattle Egret in sheep field between Fremington and Barnstaple. Viewable from the Tarka Trail. 2 Glossy Ibis by the Pill. Ceti's Warbler calling in the bushes by Salt Pill Duck Pond. 

Posted October 13th at 9:04 pm by Chris Baines in Bird News


Retrapped a Chiffchaff on Tuesday which wasn't one of mine. Details back today that it was ringed in Ireland earlier this year.

Also had details of another one of my Storm Petrels which was ringed at Hartland Point last year. This one turned up at Bardsey nearly a year later.

Posted October 13th at 8:55 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

East Soar

Afternoon visit turned up late Reed Warbler at Starehole Ponds plus 17 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 26 Long-tailed Tit (Soar site record), migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 12 Alba Wagtail & 150 Skylark. 30 Woodpigeon flying east may be the start of the autumn migration.

Posted October 13th at 6:28 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News


Five over RHS Rosemoor, Torrington. Also Chiffchaff in garden

Posted October 13th at 6:01 pm by Richard Coomber in Bird News

Saltram Park - Yesterday

Whilst walking through the park heard the unmistakable squeal of a Water Rail, not heard since March. Also a pair of Kingfishers near Laira Bridge.

Posted October 13th at 5:40 pm by Janet Marcol in Bird News

Old Torrington Road, Barnstaple

Throughout the morning there have been small groups of starlings passing over our house culminating with a flock of 50+ at about 1pm, all heading east to west

Posted October 13th at 3:41 pm by Robert Morgan in Bird News


Two Firecrest this morning. one at Labrador Bay the other on Shaldon Cliffs

Posted October 13th at 2:00 pm by Paul Carter in Bird News

Wednesday 12th October 2022


A single, rather lonely Swallow over Homeleigh this afternoon. At least it was heading South!

Posted October 12th at 3:35 pm by Simon Martin in Bird News

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh at first light this morning, approx 200 Canada goose, that flew out soon after daylight, 26 plus Bar Tailed Godwit and simply 100’s of Black tailed,150 plus Pintail duck, good numbers of Teal and a few Wigeon, 5 Shelduck, two Little Egret, one Heron, Redshank in  the 100’s, one Spotted Redshank, one Ruff, a single Avocet, two LBBG, Kingfisher, calling were Green Woodpecker, two Water Rail and a Cetti’s Warbler.  

A single Lapwing was joined by a flock of about thirty birds, some 250 Curlew six of which were new birds that I have not seen previously that had been ringed by the Exe & Axe Curlew project, the usual ringed birds including the three flagged birds that have been regulars were not to be seen on this visit.

On leaving two Stock dove flew over the lane.


Posted October 12th at 2:28 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Saltram - Late News 11 October

On Blaxton Meadow the first four Wigeon that I've seen this season and at least three Bar-tailed Godwits and eight Greenshank among the regulars. Several Goldcrests were on site, but I didn't find any firecrests. This regular Buzzard was looking too...

Buzzard hunting
Buzzard hunting

Posted October 12th at 1:17 pm by Chris Marcol in Bird News


Whimbrel feeding on rocks along with 7 Oystercatchers below Windy Corner Capstone

Posted October 12th at 12:30 pm by David Shadwell in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A bit of change today, with my first Reed Bunting of the year here, first Wigeon and Snipe of the autumn and a late Tree Pipit. Also, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 13 Greenshanks, 2 Common Sandpipers, Little Grebe, Teal, Kingfisher, Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Firecrests, Grey Wagtail, Stonechat & 2+ Siskins.

Posted October 12th at 11:58 am by Pete Aley in Bird News

Tuesday 11th October 2022


Main additions to Rob's sightings today: 3 Firecrests, 12 Blackcaps, Wheatear, Reed Bunting, 2 Great Spotted & a Green Woodpecker, Cetti's Warbler, 13 Teal, 6 Clouded Yellows & a Painted Lady.

Posted October 11th at 3:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

East Soar

A rather uneventful four hour stretch highlighted by hunting Merlin and migrant Dartford Warbler on Bolt Head. Movements of Stock Dove 3E, Skylark 14W 56E, Meadow Pipit 130 inc.20W, Alba Wagtail 14W 2E, Song Thrush 2N, Starling 8E, Chaffinch 7W, Goldfinch 8W & Siskin 6W. Also: Golden Plover, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 25 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 16 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest & 13 Cirl Bunting.

Posted October 11th at 3:13 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Tuesday October 11th Wembury Point 11:30

Juvenile Dartford Warbler seen in the gorse near the junction of the tarmac track up from the point and the top path from the car park.

Posted October 11th at 11:56 am by David Fieldsend in Bird News

Great White Egret

Further to the reporting of 3 great white egrets on the Exe estuary yesterday. One of the birds carried a red colour ring with white letters ABV. the RSPB have confirmed that this male bird was rung on 12th May 2022, in the nest, at RSPB Ham Wall on the Avalon marshes in Somerset. So far it’s been reported only from Cambridgeshire – long flights between different parts of the country are not unusual, but this is the first one for this bird. Please let me know if you saw this bird after 11.00am yesterday.

Posted October 11th at 8:52 am by John Waldon in Bird News

Monday 10th October 2022

Dart Estuary

Great White Egret, Osprey and Great Crested Grebe in the Galmpton to Sandridge section this morning, plus 45 Cormorants, 24 Little Egrets several hundred gulls (BH and HG, and one or two GB and LB). But no swans, geese or ducks, and 10 Oystercatchers were the only waders seen. 

Posted October 10th at 8:24 pm by Peter Reay in Bird News

Velator area

This morning the scrape had about 50 Godwits, but no sign of the other species noted by Rob yesterday. Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail in the reserve, with a large party of Long-tailed Tits with several Blue and a couple of Coal Tits. A few (5) Greenfinches marks the start of them arriving here for the winter, after a single female was ringed on Saturday.

Had another visit to the scrape this evening and found more Godwits (70+) but again nothing else, but after a while, the flock increased to 90 with a single Knot. No sign of the Spoonbill. But 2 female-type Marsh Harriers over Sherpa reed-bed. A flock of several hundred Golden Plover was seen over the estuary in the distance.

Posted October 10th at 7:48 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Down Tor Burrator

First winter Ring Ouzel (m) sighted on the north side of Down Tor.

Posted October 10th at 7:26 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Bird News

Totnes Sewage Treat. Wks Black Redstart

Walking across site a flash of rusty orange grabbed my attention. Only had a tablet camera on me. We watched each other no more than 7m apart, the visitor occasionally bobbing up and down. Sun light caught its tail feathers wonderfully as it took flight. Pencilled in either female or 1st winter male Black Redstart. Hope I'm right as will be first recording for the site.

Posted October 10th at 5:38 pm by Dan Kent in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Easterly movement of 21 Swallow, 20 House Martin, 3 Starling plus 6 Siskin west; 100+ Gannet offshore, 180 Meadow Pipit, 77 Goldfinch, Grey Wagtail, 11 Rock Pipit, 4 Song Thrush, 15 Cirl Bunting & 6 Chiffchaff.

Non-avian: 5 Roe Deer, Clouded Yellow, 16 Red Admiral & 4 Speckled Wood. 

Posted October 10th at 2:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning.

2 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 16 Wigeon, 3 Gadwall 2m 1f, 5 Cormorant, 6 Coot, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 21 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Shoveler 1m 1f. 2 Nuthatch.

Posted October 10th at 1:57 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Instow (Late post)

Saturday evening around Instow and Yelland Jetty. A small number of House Sparrows (8-10), more than 12 Pied Wagtails and a few Starlings. On the riverbank round the Yelland Jetty area were c100 Oystercatchers, three Bar-tailed Godwit, saw two Turnstone, two or three Grey Plover, a few Knots, four Wigeon, a small number of Black-tailed Godwit, a few Dunlin (less than 10 seen) two Wrens and two Little Egrets. 30+ Canada Geese flew over towards Braunton Burrows.

House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Grey Plover and Turnstone
Grey Plover and Turnstone

Posted October 10th at 12:41 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Turf, Exe Estuary

Late morning visit and tide still high. One common sandpiper near the jetty and one knot on the pontoon. Three great white egrets flew north past the Turf and landed on the mud to the NE. A juvenile peregrine attacked a black-tailed godwit but the godwit escaped although a great black-backed gull tried unsuccessfully to catch it.  A few chiffchaffs calling in the trees alongside the canal.

Posted October 10th at 12:27 pm by John Waldon in Bird News


Group of 12 Golden Plover (s?) on top meadow at Hartridge above Honiton yesterday.

Posted October 10th at 8:25 am by John Sherry in Bird News

Sunday 9th October 2022

Teign Estuary

Osprey flew north-east at 08:20 this morning.

Posted October 9th at 9:21 pm by Will Salmon in Bird News

Instow to Yelland

On Instow beach this morning  just past the Cricket pitch there was another dead gannet washed up on the tideline. Another Avian Flu casualty. On the concrete sea wall there were 2 Rock Pipits.
Lots of Oystercatchers and Curlew along the stretch from there to the Oil Jetty with smaller numbers of Redshank , 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Bar tailed Godwits and 7 Knot. Further along on the River in front of Isley Marsh one Spoonbill was standing on a small mudbank. Probably the one spotted later in the day on the north bank of the Taw.

Posted October 9th at 9:12 pm by Stan Coats in Bird News

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

Quick late aft/early evening visit to the scrape around high tide.

1 Spoonbill, 85 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Greenshank & 6 Knot.

Posted October 9th at 7:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News


A single spoonbill seen coming in to land on the scrape this evening - approx 17:45.

Posted October 9th at 6:08 pm by Miryam Saraceni in Bird News

Chough redeemed

Further to yesterdays post, whilst on the return leg of a walk from Gammon Head to the beach below Gara Rock, two chough seen flying round the headland in towards the Gara Rock hotel. No sign of the third. 

Posted October 9th at 3:52 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Greylag Goose on the upper estuary this morning (thanks Stuart); probably the first here since 1993! Also, 3 Firecrests together, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2+ Little Grebes, Teal, Kingfisher & Common Sandpiper.

Posted October 9th at 1:41 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

South Huish Reserve

The National Trust will be replacing the fence separating the South Milton Sands car park from South Huish Reserve. Preparatory work will start on Sunday 9 October and putting the new fence is due to start later in the week.

The scrapes are flooded as the outfall has still not been fixed and there are fewer birds on the wetlands than usual.  I am assured by the National Trust that once the contractor has completed some paperwork, the work will start.

Posted October 9th at 7:38 am by Nick Townsend in Bird News

Saturday 8th October 2022

Velator quay to cross flats (Braunton Marshes)

Walked from Velator Quay at low tide down to cross flats just the usual black headed gulls and and a couple of little egrets down to cross flats where I stayed for 2 hours with a spotting scope saw ,female kestrel, 2 buzzards, little grebe, curlew, then on the way back up, saw 2 redshank, also herd a couple of skylarks , nice to meet Jill and her husband from Surrey , and the seal counting dude, all Devon bird guide followers and contributors 

Posted October 8th at 8:46 pm by chris davy in Bird News

No show chough

Hoped to spot the three chough at Gammon Head today - just jackdaws. Has anyone seen them along the East Prawle coastline in the last few days- since the Bolt Head posting by Rob Macklin on the 6th?

Posted October 8th at 6:35 pm by Fiona Freshney in Bird News

Velator quay to cross flats (Braunton Marshes)

Walked from Velator Quay at low tide down to cross flats just the usual black headed gulls and and a couple of little egrets down to cross flats where I stayed for 2 hours with a spotting scope saw ,female kestrel, 2 buzzards, little grebe, curlew, then on the way back up, saw 2 redshank, also herd a couple of skylarks , nice to meet Jill and her husband from Surrey , and the seal counting dude, all Devon bird guide followers and contributors 

Posted October 8th at 5:29 pm by chris davy in Bird News

Drake's Island

1 Black Guillemot

10 Sandwich Terns

Black Guillemot
Black Guillemot
Sandwich Tern (juvenile)
Sandwich Tern (juvenile)

Posted October 8th at 5:02 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Bird News

Crownhill Down area

Green Sandpiper, Pintail, Lesser Redpoll, 2 Wigeon, 3 Reed Bunting and some impressive Fallow Deer stags first thing.

Green Sandpiper, Lesser Redpoll, Fallow Deer and Reed Bunting
Green Sandpiper, Lesser Redpoll, Fallow Deer and Reed Bunting

Posted October 8th at 1:03 pm by Chris E in Bird News


A nice early morning walk around patch between trews weir and Exeter st David’s a Great White Egret flew up river near mill on the exe just after 07:30 only my 4th record on patch supporting cast were 8 little grebes ( 6 on the flood relief channel at the st David’s end and 2 more on the river) also 4 Kingfishers, 2 Dippers, 6+ grey wagtail , 2 Jay , 6+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Little Egrets 

Posted October 8th at 10:44 am by Keith Birchall in Bird News

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