Devon Bird Sightings

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, 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.

If anyone saw 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.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

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 Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

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


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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

Sunday 20th October 2019

Haytor, Dartmoor

Late report for Saturday 19 October. c60 Golden Plover near Haytor, Dartmoor at 11.30am

Posted yesterday at 6:03 pm by Roger Duggleby in General Birding

Avon Dam

22 Fieldfares, 4 Ring Ouzels 6 Redwings.

Posted yesterday at 4:51 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

Dartmoor above South Brent & South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford.

A morning trip on Dartmoor above South Brent gave a bird of prey bonanza, initially a juvenile Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a crow, followed by two juvenile Peregrines playing tag with another crow, a Buzzard in the distance followed by a Goshawk flying down the valley with two crows trailing behind it.

Meadow Pipit and Gold Crests in good numbers, six sightings of Ring Ouzel, one single female followed by five together flying into a Rowan tree to feed, two Mistle Thrush and a couple of Raven.

South Efford Marsh at Aveton Gifford not a great deal to see, five Greenshank, two Redshank, eight plus Little Egret, Heron, a couple of Curlew, Canada geese providing a spectacle as they were arriving in flocks throughout the visit and on leaving just over 200 birds present including a large domestic goose that flew in with them. Brief view of a Kingfisher on leaving and a female Kestrel overhead.

Posted yesterday at 3:46 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Up to 15 mobile Ring Ouzels early this morning N end,

Posted yesterday at 1:45 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding


Great white egret at turf Saturday afternoon 

Posted yesterday at 8:46 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Saturday 19th October 2019

Seaton wetlands

Nice to see a good sized flock of Lapwing at the Seaton wetlands today, just the usual birds nothing to get excited about but a good day all the same, small bird sp inc Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pips, Wren, Chiffchaff.
Good sized gull roost on the dropping tide on the Axe lots of Black Head and Herring Gull with a handful of GBBG and at least two Common Gull.
Greenshank, Redshank, Curlew, Oyster catcher, Shellduck (two from the local ringing project) Little Egret, Heron, Black Tailed Godwit (one colour ringed bird), Teal and a Common Sandpiper, four Little Grebe, Peregrine.

Posted October 19th at 8:59 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle

This afternoon:

8 Little egret, 20 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 1 Great crested grebe, 1 Common sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Firecrest.

Posted October 19th at 7:07 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Shipley Bridge and Emsworthy Mire

09.30-12.30 - Shipley Bridge 

3 Ring Ouzels seen separately beyond the first bridge perched in trees or bushes. A group also seen briefly in flight passing over. Four species of raptors, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Blackbirds, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Ravens and numerous Robins. 

14.00-15.00 - Emsworthy Mire 

At least 10 mobile Ring Ouzels showing well in bushes beyond the northern boundary of the reserve. Mainly juvs but also some females and a smart male. Kestrel, GSW, Ravens and several Mistle Thrushes present too. 

Posted October 19th at 6:34 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Wembury Point

Highlights this morning, 3 Cirl Buntings and 2 Goldcrest. Large numbers of Finches and Blackbirds around the pines, as well as a female Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.

Posted October 19th at 3:55 pm by Matt C in General Birding

Lapland bunting

As well showing very well by wooden country side post in line with green shipping marker buoy northam burrows

Posted October 19th at 2:30 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

A lovely sunny morning at Dawlish Warren produced flocks of Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Linnet. A lone Blackcap, plenty of Stonechat, a well camouflaged Cirl Bunting and I believe a Cetti's Warbler 50m from gate to dunes. Rusty brown but sadly a poor photgraph . Ed’s - this looks like a Wren.

Cirl Bunting
Cirl Bunting

Chetti's Warbler
Chetti's Warbler

Posted October 19th at 2:22 pm by Ian Muir in General Birding


Whilst watching a mistle thrush, 12 ring ouzels gathered around stayed together for several minutes, approx 11am today.

Posted October 19th at 2:21 pm by Gary Bolton in General Birding

Snow bunting

2 still showing well now at North end of northam burrows

Posted October 19th at 2:11 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Glossy Ibis at Fremington

Just visiting from Sussex, so this is probably well-known, but there was a Glossy Ibis at Fremington Pill yesterday afternoon.

Posted October 19th at 10:01 am by Val Bentley in General Birding

Friday 18th October 2019

Berry Head sea watch 07.25 - 16.40

Pretty much as Dave’s tweet, but for the record....

15 Pomarine Skuas (all juvs), 57 Arctic Skuas (various ages), 10 Pom/Arctic Skuas, 13 Bonxies, Grey Phalarope, 6 Balearic & 1 Manx Shearwaters, Arctic & 4 “Commic” Terns, drake Common Scoter, Curlew, 250+ Kittiwakes (mainly adults), ringtail Hen Harrier (south over the sea), 3 Siskins “in off” & at least 6 Harbour Porpoises showing well throughout the day.

Posted October 18th at 10:52 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Fremongton Pill

Among the many Redshank lining the Pill, 1 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank and surprisingly a male Ruff

Posted October 18th at 2:04 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Skern/Northam Burrows

2 Snow Buntings this morning at the north end of the golf course on the sea defences. Also of interest 50 Brent Geese of which 2 Pale-bellied, 8 Wigeon, a late Arctic Tern, c350 Golden Plover and a Raven.

Posted October 18th at 2:02 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Northam Burrows. Lapland and Snow Buntings

Lapland Bunting. One seen late afternoon Oct.16th and 17th in same spot on coast path around the estuary...opposite green navigation buoy in river and close to coast path sign. Park at Skern. 

Snow Buntings. Oct.17th...Two adults and two juveniles feeding between  8th green and makeshift sea wall. No camera!

Posted October 18th at 11:57 am by Sue Ambler in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Shipley ~ Ring Ouzels

They took their time in showing up this morning, and only one in any way ventured close to us, but eventually the first of eleven Ring Ouzels seen today up at Shipley showed up.

Until they arrived entertained by numerous Blackbirds and a small number of Mistle Thrush.

Three Raven over, M&F Kestrels, slow but steady movement of Chaffinch down the valley and a very active flock of 15 plus Long Tailed Tits.


Posted October 18th at 11:35 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Shipley Bridge (16th Oct) Ring Ouzels

Nine Ring Ouzel seen in the area  of the first bridge on the road from Shipley bridge to the Avon dam, mostly singles, three in flight at one point circled and went over Black Torr.

Raven and Kestrel, no sign of the numerous smaller species seen earlier in the week.

Posted October 18th at 6:57 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thursday 17th October 2019


late afternoon: c250 Golden Plover (one flock) overhead, heading SSW.

Posted October 17th at 8:52 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Prawle Point

Seawatch today 8am till 12 in SSW 4-5 with little rain tho forecast. 

Skuas : 1 Immature Pom, 2 Arctic ( pale and dark phase) and 1 Bonxie.

4 Balearic Shearwaters; 6 Puffins; 1 Merlin ( chasing the 100+Meadow Pipits flying west) . 12 Common Scoter west, 1 East. 2 Med Gulls adult winter plumage.2 Sandwich Terns.2 Great Northern Divers ( Adult summer plumages and a 1st year).

constant stream of 898 Kittiwakes; 1295 Gannets and 533 Auks all west. And a breaching cetacean.

Yesterday Pat saw and photographed a Wryneck behind the car park. And today he saw a Yellow- Browed Warbler on private farmland and a Whinchat. So, still passer ones out there to find.

Posted October 17th at 8:30 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wembury Reeve’s Pheasants

We have had frequent sightings of Reeve’s Pheasants over the past couple of weeks and including today, around the Langdon Court area and north of the village. Presumably these are all released birds.  

Posted October 17th at 7:27 pm by Matt C in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake.

8 Willow Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 17 Coal Tit, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Nuthatch, 1f Tufted Duck, 3 Mute Swan, 2 Wren, 12 Blue Tit, 2 Grey Wagtail.

Posted October 17th at 7:17 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Lannacombe Valley.

Despite the wind, in a few sheltered spots were 2 Firecrests ( caught and ringed ) 13 Goldcrests ( 7  caught and ringed ) At the beach 2 Woodlarks   low overhead moving west into the wind.

Posted October 17th at 5:39 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Emsworthy Reserve, Widecombe.

10 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the morning fieldtrip before the weather deteriorated at 11.30.  Target birds present including: Ring Ouzel (3), Mistle Thrush (c20), Redwing (c50), Golden Plover (20), Raven(1), Kestrel (1), Willow Warbler (1), Meadow Pipit(s), Skylark (heard over), and did someone say Fieldfare?  Most birds seen at a distance feeding on Rowan trees or passing south up the valley.

Posted October 17th at 2:12 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


A report of a Hoopoe at Staddon Green, Plymstock this morning on a site called Nextdoor Lipson & Lara, apparently was seen yesterday on or near this road. Details at scanty.

Posted October 17th at 12:13 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Wednesday 16th October 2019

Wembury Point , today

Cirl Bunting and Rock Pipit

Posted October 16th at 7:20 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Avon Dam

15 Ring Ouzel,  very skittish and mobile, seen after the bridge.

Posted October 16th at 7:12 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Avon Dam

15 Ring Ouzel , very skittish and mobile, seen further on from the bridge.

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel

Posted October 16th at 5:05 pm by Mave in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

This afternoon there was a large movement of Thrushes on Emsworthy Mire, I counted 8 Ring Ouzels and there could have been more judging by the amount of calling,approximately 100 Redwing and about 20 Mistle Thrush.
The flock was very mobile and moving along the valley, curiously accompanied by a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Male Bullfinch!

Posted October 16th at 5:03 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Five raptor species included a Merlin while another highlight was a late Whitethroat. Noticeable influx of 43 Robin (41 at East Soar yesterday). Also: 250 Skylark, 7 Alba Wagtail, 14 Stonechat, 24 Blackbird, 8 Chiffchaff, 100 Carrion Crow, 47 Goldfinch, Reed Bunting & 4 singing male Cirl Bunting.

Posted October 16th at 3:33 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Prawle.

At Moorwell Pond this morning, a Firecrest. 6 Goldcrests. 4 Chiffchaffs ,2 Blackcaps and 8 Robins ( a high count for this species here. A male Blackcap ringed at this site on the 7th. Sept.2018 was recovered ( caught by a ringer ) near Seville in southern Spain on the 12th. Oct.2018. More British ringed Blackcaps are recovered in Spain than any other location abroad ,closely followed by France and then Morocco.

Posted October 16th at 3:20 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

This morning: 1 Merlin in protracted chase after a Skylark over the stubble fields by the airfield; 8 or 9 Ring Ouzels in Stair Hole and the Yellow-browed Warbler still in the willows (early pm) but elusive.

Posted October 16th at 3:19 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Ring Ouzel - Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Walked Shipley Bridge - Avon Dam 11.15 -13.15 today, but only got as far as just past the 1st bridge. Numerous Ring Ouzel moving down valley and feeding on rowan trees to right of bridge. I sat up amongst the trees and at one time saw 24 Ouzel flying over to the pine trees by the ruined hotel, with more left feeding on the rowan. Constant movement and I would estimate there were at least 30+ Ouzel present. Mostly female/juvenile birds and have yet to check my record photos for any sign of ringing. Most I have seen in the area during the past 6 years!

Posted October 16th at 2:22 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding

East Soar

Late post for yesterday thanks to internet failure: Yellow-browed Warbler (found by PA), 2 Ring Ouzel, Ringed Plover, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker (migrants), 19 Swallow, 10 Alba Wagtail, Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 2m Bullfinch and first Reed Bunting of the autumn.

Posted October 16th at 1:57 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two redhead Goosanders were new in on Blaxton. Also: Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Greenshanks, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Grey Wagtails, a pair of Stonechats, Great Spotted Woodpecker & Sparrowhawk. 

Just outside the patch, a Yellow-browed Warbler in Tothill Park (in sycamores near the tunnel under the railway).

Posted October 16th at 12:32 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

2 male and 2 female Ring Ouzels this morning at around 10.30. At least 1 Redwing with around 20 Mistle Thrushes.

Posted October 16th at 12:04 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tuesday 15th October 2019

Caen Estuary - Green Sandpiper & Common Sandpiper

Nice comparison to have both Green and Common Sandpiper feeding together on the Caen Estuary this afternoon. Green Sandpiper not so common as the Common on this stretch so nice to see.  

Green Sandpiper   Green Sandpiper Tail   Common Sandpiper  Tail
Green Sandpiper                             Green Sandpiper Tail                       Common Sandpiper Tail

Posted October 15th at 7:10 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding


A Yellow-browed Warbler first thing in East Soar willows, 3 Ring Ouzels & a Firecrest in Starehole. Also in the area: Redpoll (presumed Lesser) over, 8 Siskins, Wheatear, White Wagtail, 15 Goldcrests, 9 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 8 Song Thrushes, Water Rail, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 12 Swallows & a Jay.

Posted October 15th at 6:06 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ring Ouzel

Pictures of Ring ouzel at Starehole valley, East Soar yesterday

Posted October 15th at 8:26 am by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 14th October 2019

Ring Ouzel

  A lovely count of 9 Ring Ouzel , at East Soar in Starehole Bottom valley,at around 2pm today, even in all that rain.

Posted October 14th at 11:35 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley

In addition to Rob's sightings there was another Scaup, first calender year female just off the Duckery in Torcross. A female Teal was sat with Mallards in the duckery, it had a ring on it so maybe from a collection. Also 2 Wigeons in Ireland Bay, 10 Teals Strete Gate, 5 Little Grebes Stokeley Bay,one Redwing heard, flock of c50 each of Goldfinch and Greenfinch along the line, Kingfisher below the bridge and offshore 6 Common Scoter and a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver off the Monument. 160 Starlings came into roost in the Higher Ley.

Posted October 14th at 8:07 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exeter - Starcross

In Belle Isle Park the lone Ring-necked Parakeet chattered into its fifth week of residence, and a Treecreeper was singing, unusually from the Scots Pines.

At the rapidly-enlarging Matford ponds were two Little Grebes and nearly four hundred ducks, well up on last week, but alas of only four species.

In the estuary were several Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes, newly-arrived, and the Golden Plover flock was up to ninety. No Avocet, but twelve other wader spp. seen.

The surprises of the day were a bedraggled Wheatear on the embankment near Turf, and a flock of sixty Swallows near Powderham Church, basically heading South but also attempting to feed in the lee of the trees.

Of the seventy+ spp. encountered, probably twenty+ had acquired some Kelly genes and were singing in the rain.

Posted October 14th at 6:26 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Slapton Ley

A good afternoon round the ley turned up male Scaup, Black-necked Grebe, 100+ Kittiwake offshore, 28 Swallow, 6 Firecrest, 2 Blackcap, Grey Wagtail & 2 Marsh Tit.

Non-avian: 6+ Migrant Hawker.

Posted October 14th at 5:21 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Snow Bunting - Northam Burrows

at 1130 am. at the northern end between golf course and sea wall among rain-pools.  Tame: approached within 20 feet.  Busy feeding.

Posted October 14th at 2:08 pm by Abraham Cutajar in General Birding

N. Hallsands.

A YELLOW BROWED WARBLER ringed this  morning. Also on site 2 Firecrests ( ringed) 20+ Chiffchaffs (11 ringed ) 18 Goldcrests ( 7 ringed),a Willow warbler ( ringed ) and 5 Blackcaps (3 ringed).

Y. B. Warbler.    1st..Yr. m. Firecrest.
Y. B. Warbler.                                        1st..Yr. m. Firecrest.

Posted October 14th at 12:18 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Shipley Bridge / Avon dam ~ South Brent

Low cloud giving murky dull conditions with poor visibility ~ An abundance of Goldcrest along with good numbers of Chiffchaff, several mixed tit flocks Long Tailed and  Blue Tit well represented with a few Great Tit. Numerous Magpie, Three Stonechat just below the dam, Heron, Buzzard, three Kestrel sightings, six Mistle Thrush and a single Ring Ouzel in flight, Jay,  good numbers of both Robin and Blackbird, a few Wren and a small number of Chaffinch.

Posted October 14th at 10:53 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

Late post for Sunday: Female Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Firecrest, 7 Swallow, Green Woodpecker - migrant, 2 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff & 6 Goldcrest.

Posted October 14th at 10:33 am by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 13th October 2019

Berry Head

Some overhead migration this morning included: 4 Redwing, 5 Song Thrush, 32 Swallows, 1 Sand Martin, 6 Skylark, 2 Siskin, 11 'alba' Wagtails, 8 Meadow Pipits.

There had been a moderate fall of migrants too: 17 Goldcrest, 23 Chiffchaff, 11 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat.  

Posted October 13th at 7:53 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Female Goldeneye diving most of the afternoon. Also Pochard (2), Gadwall and Sparrowhawk. 

Posted October 13th at 5:36 pm by Tim Smith in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Black-necked Grebe and Scaup on the Lower Ley about 600 metres north of the Tank Car Park.

Posted October 13th at 5:30 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Yellow-browed Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher on Orcombe Point today.

Posted October 13th at 4:24 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wembury Point

Headed out at 13:00 from the car park. 5 Swallows overhead as well as 2 Skylark and some Pied Wagtails. By the sewage outflow pipe on Langdon Beach, 20+Rock/Meadow Pipit. On the rocks, 10+ Oystercatcher and 3 Little Egret. On our return through the pines at the bottom of the hill, 5 Goldcrest, 5+Linnet. The highlight of the walk though was our first male Firecrest in striking plumage. It was low in the sycamores just to the side of the path that tracks up behind the pines at the bottom of the hill. 

Posted October 13th at 3:30 pm by Matt C in General Birding

Isley Marsh and Fremington Pill.

Two Spoonbills roosting on Isley at high tide.   Glossy Ibis showing well on Fremington Pill but no sign of Spot Red.  3 Greenshank feeding with 50+Redshank.

Posted October 13th at 12:21 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Older Posts →