Devon Bird Sightings

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July
Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August
Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October
Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April
Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 6th December 2019

Exminster Marshes

Late afternoon - 3 Barnacle Geese amongst large flock of Canadas seen from the railway footpath at the last gate of 'Agricultural Access'.   Marsh Harrier active, putting up large flocks of Wigeon and Lapwing

Posted yesterday at 6:22 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

South Brent

A series of Goosander counts at a small private fishing lake near South Brent started with seven seen by Mike Goss on 1 Dec. This morning at 08:00 there were 14 (5 m) busily fishing, but only three on the previous two days. Birds have been seen coming in at dawn and leaving at dusk, and are presumed to be some of the Avon Dam roosters. Departure times have varied from 16:12 to 16:55.

Posted yesterday at 10:52 am by Peter Reay in General Birding

Red Kite at Burrator Reservoir on December 4th

I had a Red Kite overhead at 1600 on Wednesday December 4th, flying over Burrator Reservoir towards Sheepstor. This is the first I’ve ever seen here on my local patch. Judging from its direction of travel, it probably had flown over my house and would have been a garden tick....had I been at home!

Posted yesterday at 12:07 am by Howard Ackford in General Birding

Thursday 5th December 2019

Stover Lake

Stover Lake was partially frozen and foggy this morning. Highlights were 1 drake Goosander and 3 Pochard.

Posted December 5th at 9:39 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake,

1 Green Sandpiper, 9 Goosander 5m 4f, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 6 Wigeon, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 9 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1m Gadwall, 2 Nuthatch, 1m Reed Bunting, 2 Tufted Duck 1m 1f, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Jay.

Posted December 5th at 7:34 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


In Kiln Lane this morning. 5 Firecrests feeding in Laurels. InVicarage Lane ,8 Goldcrests among the tit flock.

Posted December 5th at 5:29 pm by Alan K. Searle . in General Birding


Scanned the bay for 45 minutes this morning in almost perfect conditions as the mist cleared. Results: 3 Great Northern, 1 Black-throated and 6 Red-throated Divers, 1 Black-necked and 4-5 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Guillemot, 1 Velvet and perhaps 10 Common (all female) Scoters. The Velvet spent part of the time apparently displaying to two of the Commons, and a third Common was struggling with what looked like a 3 inch diameter scallop or similar. 

As a bonus, one of the Cirl Buntings was singing near the railway viaduct.

Posted December 5th at 3:52 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Velator reserve

A productive visit this morning: 2 Water Rails seen, 30+ Goldfinch mainly feeding on Alder cones, a Treecreeper, and out on the scrape a Black-tailed Godwit briefly, a Lapwing, 2 Pied Wagtails and 3 Redshank. Also a Grey Heron which took a quick look around inside the reserve. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew off one of the feeders.

Posted December 5th at 1:55 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Clennon valley lakes

1 chiffchaff 2 firecrest this morning 

Posted December 5th at 10:24 am by Hamish Johnson in General Birding

Wednesday 4th December 2019

Starcross this evening

At the field by the EA Lab, at 1600 a Great White Egret flew SW. at 1628, 24/5 Cattle Egrets flew low over the site, flying N to roost. Also 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew in and a Green Woodpecker. 37 Teal on the wet field.

Posted December 4th at 6:00 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Broadsands - Paignton

Very light breeze and gentle swell.  BLACK-NECKED GREBE, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Red-throated Divers,  3 (possibly up to 6) Great Northern Divers but rather mobile around the bay, VELVET SCOTER, & 7 Common Scoter

Posted December 4th at 4:17 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Chillington S.T.W.

 4 Firecrests  , 5 Goldcrests , including 2 ' continental' birds and 8 Chiffchaffs this morning, Nearby 15 Redwings in the tops of the Alders.

1st. Yr. m.A particularly smart ' continental' Goldcrest.Note the extent that the pale grey side crown and nape extend on to the mantle. A diagnostic feature of  'continental' birds.
1. 1st. Yr. m.    

2. A particularly smart ' continental' Goldcrest.    

3. Note the extent that the pale grey side crown and nape extend on to the mantle. A diagnostic feature of 'continental' birds.

Posted December 4th at 2:38 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

Among the Canada Geese this morning were 3 Barnacle Geese. Also, 1 Egyptian Goose, 1 Greylag and the Snow Goose is back.

Posted December 4th at 1:09 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Upper Tamar Lake

A good sighting of the Ring-necked Ducks 3m (one first winter) 1f.

Posted December 3rd at 7:26 pm by Rod Mudge Adam Roberts in General Birding

Colebrook Garden Birds

This woodpecker, one of a pair, is a regular visitor to our back garden feeders.  Yesterday he landed on the bottom pole, which is rusty and he can climb up, but instead he remained absolutely frozen for between 15 and 20 minutes as if there was a predator around. None of the other birds, including this robin, seemed at all concerned.  What was he doing? Not so obliging was a Firecrest that stayed for about 30 seconds and didn't stay for a photo.

Posted December 3rd at 7:13 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Wrafton Pond & Baggy Point

No sign of the 5 Scaup on the pond yesterday aft but the Goldeneye still present. 1 Siberian Chiffchaff 'tristis' in the vegetation close to the boardwalk, very close views.

At Baggy Point on Sunday last c90 Common Scoters including 3 males. (not all visible in the photo, several diving)

Also 1 female Black Redstart near the NT car park

The Common Scoters are finding food at Baggy point (blue mussels) which is why they have remained at this location & not Downend so far this winter.

Posted December 3rd at 6:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Near Two Bridges

Cracking male Hen Harrier flying across the road ahead of me near Two Bridges this afternoon.

Posted December 3rd at 6:08 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Venford Resservoir

Late post from yesterday. 1 Woodcock and 5 Goosanders.

Posted December 3rd at 6:05 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Lopwell Dam

Little Egret 1, Kingfisher 1, Common Sandpiper 4, Little Grebe 4, Moorhen 12+, Mallard 19, Mute Swan 4, Canada Goose 9, Buzzard 4, Raven 2, Grey Wagtail 1, Redwing 13, Goldcrest 2. Scores of Pheasants  in the area including one group of 12 at the junction with the driveway to Maristow House.

Posted December 3rd at 5:59 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

2 Jack Snipe, 19 Snipe, 39 Turnstones, Ringed Plover, 199 Dunlins, 2 Common Sandpipers, Dipper, 10 Little Grebes, Great Crested Grebe, 3 Goosanders (1 drake), 7 Wigeon, 2 Kingfishers, 12 Mandarin Ducks, Mediterranean Gull (Polish-ringed adult), 2 Shags, 2 Great Spotted & 1 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Bullfinches, Grey Wagtail & 6 Roe Deer.

Posted December 3rd at 5:55 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Further to the previous post by Peter, I'm prompted to report the sighting of a single Red Grouse about half a mile south of Ryders hill. Not far from where I flushed five birds some five or six years ago. Also just five Golden Plover.

Posted December 3rd at 5:16 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Velator reserve

2 more Chiffchaffs ringed this morning plus another Cetti's Warbler. Most of the rest were Green, Gold, and Chaffinches.

Out on the scrape a Lapwing and a Redshank, following 2 there a couple of days ago.

Posted December 3rd at 5:15 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

Four Great Northern Divers around the Harbour this afternoon, three close in off Breakwater Beach and the bird in the pictures that was feeding on crabs close to the wall between the Marina and the Inner-Harbour.

Posted December 3rd at 4:57 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Ilfracombe Swallows

An adult pair and a juvenile seen flying around the Tunnel Beaches and then perched for 10 mins on our telephone wire. Looking cold. Light too bad to get a good shot with a compact.

Posted December 3rd at 4:29 pm by Nigel Vince in General Birding


Blue winged teal showed at 12.45 and stayed feeding around the reeds for about 1hour before going to sleep on top of a clump of reeds in the sun,. 

Posted December 3rd at 3:58 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

Monday 2nd December 2019


A Chiffchaff in a hedge below Brent Hill this morning was not particularly unusual, but it was on Dartmoor, and in December 2018 only one Dartmoor Chiffchaff record was submitted - according to the Dartmoor Bird Report 2018. In the apparent absence of any other announcement, some readers may be interested to know that the report is available on this website, tucked away under Birdwatching/Articles/Dartmoor Bird Reports. Hopefully it will stimulate submission of more Dartmoor records for 2019.

Posted December 2nd at 10:11 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Firecrests Paignton Zoo

There were 5 Firecrests scattered around the Zoo grounds this afternoon - 3 singles and a duo. One of the photos shows a typically minute prey item gleaned from a Yew twig; it looks like an insect egg of some sort.

Firecrest Paignton Zoo Firecrest Paignton Zoo Firecrest with food item

Firecrest at Paignton Zoo: note the tiny prey item on the right - an insect egg?

Posted December 2nd at 7:53 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

N. Hallsands.

A snipe in one of my mist nets this morning was a suprise. A lovely bird in the hand with its intricate camouflage ,and incredibly docile. No sighn of yesterday's Yellow Browed Warbler , and the Chiffchaffs had also moved on , with only 2 present today. Very few other migrants ; just 5 Goldcrests.


Posted December 2nd at 5:57 pm by Alan K. Searle. in General Birding

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

A very early look at the lakes this morning.

Upper Lake.

5 Ring-necked Duck 3m 2f, 6 Tufted Duck.

Lower Lake.

1 Green Sandpiper on the weir, 1m Shoveler, 7 Goosander 4m 3f.


The Ring_necked were diving with the Tufted which made sexing them very difficult, they all flew south but not the the Lower Lake.

Posted December 2nd at 4:23 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm.

A lively morning in superb conditions brought Black Redstart, a significant influx of thrushes, 58 Blackbird & 27 Song Thrush, an increase in bunting numbers to 71 Yellowhammer, 42 Cirl Bunting & 3 Reed Bunting, 700 Herring Gull, 27 Stock Dove, 370 Woodpigeon, 170 Carrion Crow, 74 Jackdaw, a winter's peak of 1050 Skylark, 125 Starling, 7 Buzzard, 25 Greenfinch - species showing signs of recovery, 90 Canada Goose & 100 Linnet.

Late Red Admiral.

Posted December 2nd at 3:32 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This morning (high tide) produced: 3 Goosanders (2 drakes + redhead), Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Grebes, 25 Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, 6 Wigeon (3 pairs), 2 Kingfishers & a Great Spotted Woodpecker..

Posted December 2nd at 1:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


A lone Whimbrel in amongst a small flock of Oystercatchers and Curlew just off Cockwood steps. No sign of Slavonian Grebe. 

Posted December 2nd at 12:18 pm by Matt Collis in General Birding

Sunday 1st December 2019

Snow Bunting

Seen a snow Bunting in the same spot today as I did 2 weeks ago in Woolacombe 

Posted December 1st at 9:08 pm by Stephen Adams in General Birding

Great Northern Diver, Dunnock and Curlew

Long distance shot of a Great Northern Diver, Curlew and Dunnock at Instow this morning.

Long distance shot of a Great Northern Diver.
Long distance shot of a Great Northern Diver.

Curlew three of ten.
Curlew three of ten.


Posted December 1st at 7:37 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Ringed female Kingfisher

Driving home we saw today this female kingfisher was perched on barbed wire overlooking the dike around the Great Field. Having driven by without disturbance we were able to park up some 20 metres further on & watch and photograph her successfully catch this fish. John Turner please note....she was sporting a ring on her right leg but unable to read the number. One of yours no doubt.

Posted December 1st at 7:02 pm by Sue & Phil Naylor in General Birding

Preston Sands, Paignton

Two adult Mediterranean gulls on the rocks at the north end this afternoon. One was colour ringed green RLN4, ringed as a chick in Jablines, Seine-et-Marne, France in 2015. This is now its 3rd winter in Torbay. The other bird was unringed. Well over 20 turnstones, also 1 rock pipit.

French ringed Mediterranean Gull, green RLN4
French ringed Mediterranean Gull, green RLN4

Posted December 1st at 5:54 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding


Solo Female Black Redstart present in Coombe Vale garden all morning...

Posted December 1st at 4:53 pm by Neil Graham in General Birding


A YELLOW BROWED warbler this morning  ( not caught ) 11 Chiffchaffs. a big increase on the2/3 of the last week ; 3 Firecrests , 4 Goldcrests , including a ' continental ' bird and a female blackcap.

' continental ' Goldcrest. 1st. Yr.f.
' continental ' Goldcrest. 1st. Yr.f.

Posted December 1st at 1:45 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

01-12-19 Redwings FPC

Plenty of redwings still at FPC, but no signs yet of the Black Redstarts


Posted December 1st at 12:37 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

plymouth railway station

Around 70 ringneck parakeet this morning

Posted December 1st at 10:13 am by barry insull in General Birding

Saturday 30th November 2019

Berryhead Seawatch

Berryhead    8.30-14.30

Pom Skua  juv


Mannx Shearwater

GN Diver 8  , RT Diver 8

Med Gull 6

Com Scoter 14

RB Merganser

Fulmar c150+

Kittiwake and Auks also in good numbers

Com Dolphin 25 with a huge number of Gannets following them

Harbour Porpoise 5 and a Grey Seal 

Posted November 30th at 7:01 pm by Dave Dawe in General Birding


2 Female Black Redstarts in garden 11am today...

Posted November 30th at 5:20 pm by Neil Graham in General Birding

Velator reserve

Tristis-type Chiffchaff again this morning. Every time I point a camera at it, it flies up to the tree-tops!

Posted November 30th at 4:21 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Water Rail, Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, Great Northern Diver, 3 Goosanders (drake + 2 redheads), 8 Wigeon, 4 Mandarin Ducks, Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Grebes, 22 Fieldfares, 6 Redwings, 6 Greenshanks, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers & 5 Roe Deer. 

Posted November 30th at 1:51 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake,

5 Ring-necked Duck (2m 3f), 9 Tufted Duck, 4 Goosander 2m 2f, 3 Willow Tit.



Posted November 30th at 1:05 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Hill Close, Plympton

Black Redstart (fem/1w) briefly.

Posted November 30th at 11:18 am by Jason Smart in General Birding

Friday 29th November 2019

Red Kite

Got this unexpected shot of a Red Kite over fields near South Molton. There were two of them flying around the area.

Red Kite
Red Kite

Posted November 29th at 8:06 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Powderham Marsh below Turf Hotel

A first thing look for Bluethroat, resulted in no sighting. However a fly over Great White Egret at 0855 was some compensation, along with 16 Pintail, 320+ Avocets on the river, 600+ Golden Plover in flight, 3 Cirl Bunting and numerous other birds. 

Posted November 29th at 6:43 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding


The Blue-winged teal showed briefly at 1pm (for less than 45 seconds from camera clock timings!) at the bottom end of the marsh, viewed from the beach. Also present, 9 mallard, 3 tufted duck, teal (heard but not seen), moorhen, coot, kestrel, buzzard.

Blue-winged teal
Blue-winged teal

Posted November 29th at 5:32 pm by Chris Proctor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Molland Common

Andy Lansdell and I spent a couple of hours up at high altitude this morning searching for a Great Grey Shrike reported to me by a friend earlier this week. Sadly we couldn't find it but a female Merlin was a bonus.

Lots of Fieldfares up there too. No Short-eared Owls either.

Red Kite on the way home north of South Molton.

Posted November 29th at 5:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Female Merlin tackling a Skylark in the air, great battle but Skylark fairly easily out manoeuvring the falcon which did not give up until I lost them.

Mistle Thrush singing at Harleston near Slapton yesterday.

Posted November 29th at 4:24 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Black Redstart-East Charleton

One female Black Redstart at Home Farm, East Charleton at 13:45

Posted November 29th at 1:49 pm by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

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