Devon Bird Sightings

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm 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 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 General Birding

Wednesday 12th August 2020

Nightjars at Stover

1 female seen intermittently 20.55 - 21.15. 

Posted yesterday at 9:52 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Lesser Emperor at Venford Reservoir Dartmoor

Lesser Emperor in south-west corner of Venford Reservoir this evening, viewed from bank where the red lifebuoy is. Flying over water then settled in a birch tree.

Posted yesterday at 9:08 pm by John Walters in Other Wildlife

Blackhole Marsh, Seaton

Seen between 1030 & 1145 , LITTLE STINT (juvenile) feeding amongst  small flock of Dunlin, plus a  Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper & Ruff 

Photos by Derek Carter

Posted yesterday at 4:52 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

4 each of Common Sandpipers & Greenshanks, 2 Mandarin Ducks, ad Mediterranean Gull (no rings), 4 Stonechats & 2 Whitethroats. 

Earlier, male & female Peregrines over my garden (Mount Gould, Plymouth).

Posted yesterday at 4:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Tuesday 11th August 2020


Osprey perched in Ilton Woods tonight ( distant across estuary from Charleton Bird Hide )

Posted August 11th at 8:52 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Kayak trip to Eddystone today.

1 juv Common Tern

Despite checking all the rafts of many hundreds of Manx Shearwaters, no Balearics today (surprisingly)

For a couple of hours, between three and six miles offshore, the sea was shredded by dozens of Bluefin Tuna feeding frenzies. Massive splashes and a huge roar of sound. I must have seen 50-100 fish. Astonishing.

Three Minke Whales, plus one more heard but not seen.

At least 85 Common Dolphins

14 Porpoise

2 Sunfish

1 Shark at surface, I suspect a Blue.

More pics: when my pulse rate returns to normal

Bluefin TunaCommon DolphinMinke Whale
Bluefin Tuna                        Common Dolphin                             Minke Whale

Posted August 11th at 8:14 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Other Wildlife

ernesettle creek

30 ringneck parakeet

Posted August 11th at 8:04 pm by barry in General Birding


Ten Mandarins, a family of Great Crested Grebes and multiple sightings of Kingfishers today were eclipsed (for me) by 2 separate male Lesser Emperors, 1 over the main lake and 1 (photograph) at one of the sedimentation ponds. The latter was found during a systematic survey of the no-go areas created last year.  There were also lots of Small Red-eyed Damselflies mating and egg-laying on the main lake, plus Long-winged Coneheads (a bush-cricket) near the hide, at least one Clouded Yellow, Brimstone and a few Silver-washed Fritillaries.

Lesser Emperor male Stover


Posted August 11th at 6:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A juv Peregrine buzzing the gulls & waders on Blaxton Meadow, ad Mediterranean Gull (yellow ring on left leg but I couldn't read number), 149 Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks, 5 Oystercatchers, 38 Curlews, 5 Stonechats (family party), Green Woodpecker, leucistic Goldfinch & 3 Roe Deer.

Yestersay in the Cattewater - Kingfisher & 2 Common Sandpipers. 

Posted August 11th at 4:41 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Berry Head clouded yellow

highlights of butterfly  survey for TCCT 1 Clouded yellow,1 wall brown and  31 common blues. On the rocks kingfisher and 3 common sandpipers.

Posted August 11th at 3:52 pm by Jeff Hacon in Other Wildlife

East Soar & Bolt Head

Migrants included Swift, 7 Tree Pipit on Bolt Head, 3 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat & Willow Warbler. Also: 450 Herring Gull, 130 Rook, Jay, 40 Jackdaw & 20 Stonechat.

Non-avian: First site record of 3 Small Red-eyed Damselflies on Starehole Ponds. Also 4 Emperors & Common Blue Damselfly. Clouded Yellow.

Posted August 11th at 12:25 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Mt Batten early morning

8 Med gulls incl 2 juvs, 1 Sandwich tern, first 2 common sands of the autumn, 2 redshank. 

Posted August 11th at 11:27 am by Richard Archer in General Birding

Monday 10th August 2020


Cattle Egret present this afternoon with the cows south of the reserve. Also present this evening until about 20.00.

Posted August 10th at 10:05 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Swifts at East Prawle

High numbers of migrating swifts over the camping fields on saturday 8 and sunday 9 August. Many groups of between 50 to 160 birds heading south, some incredibly high screaming parties, others feeding low over the fields. A single swift over Drewsteignton last night on our return, possibly an adult with late young in a nest we are unaware of.

Posted August 10th at 10:22 am by Nick Dixon in General Birding

Sunday 9th August 2020


Cattle Egret again this evening NW of the reserve with cattle! 19.00 hrs

Cattle EgretCattle EgretCattle Egret
Cattle Egret


Posted August 9th at 10:32 pm by Martin Bond in General Birding

Exe Estuary

Wheatear at the Turf, same location as last year,  over 200 Starlings, 8 - 10 Swallows,, House Martins at altitude, 12 - 15 Pied Wagtails,  5 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Rock Pipits. Oystercatchers, Curlew, 3 Mute Swans, several Shelduck, Rooks and a few hundred Black-headed Gulls on the estuary itself. 

Posted August 9th at 7:52 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip

The boat trip from Brixham out into Lyme Bay aboard Kelly's Hero was at first a bit slow and not many birds about. The second half of our journey was much more productive. Birds seen 40+ Manx and 2 Balearic Shearwater, a Sanderling, 22 Kittiwake, 90+ Guillemots in small groups, 4 Fulmar, 1 Bonxie, Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls. 3 Porpoise and some Common Dolphin in the distance.

Posted August 9th at 7:21 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Migrating Swifts

Yesterday afternoon and this afternoon had views of single Swifts passing over my house in Barnstaple on their way south and yesterday whilst at my field near Codden Hill a Hobby flew over also heading south.

Posted August 9th at 4:46 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding


2 Hobby circling over Coastguard cottages.. 6 Clouded Yellows in the Warren

Posted August 9th at 1:35 pm by Roger White in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Dunlin at the Pill this morning.

Posted August 9th at 1:26 pm by Dave Paterson in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A cracking morning on the patch with a juv Marsh Harrier which flew over low west then drifted higher towards Laira Bridge before disappearing. Probably the first record for the site. Then, 3 Green Sandpipers on Blaxton Meadow for a few minutes before flying off towards the narrow river: my first here for many years. Also, Kingfisher, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Greenshanks, adult Mediterranean Gull, 5 Stonechats & a Roe Deer.

Posted August 9th at 12:58 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

South Pool Creek - Kingsbridge Estuary

From the kayak - 14 Greenshank & Common Sandpiper.

Posted August 9th at 12:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


First noc-mig recording of the 'autumn' overnight Friday/Saturday. Recorded a Yellow Wagtail calling as it flew over at 05:22. 

Posted August 9th at 10:15 am by Chris E in General Birding

Saturday 8th August 2020


Thanks to Andy for posting my message re the Cattle Egret, which I didn't see again. I was there to catch Swallows, but none obliged tonight. At 20.52 all the Gulls in the surrounding field, which had been feeding happily, suddenly took off and  made a right din. I looked out at the scrape and the Spoonbill circled few times and then landed. Often wondered what sort of time it turned up.

Posted August 8th at 10:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Just rec'd message from John Turner, Cattle Egret south of reserve !9:40h.

Posted August 8th at 7:44 pm by Andrew Lansdell in General Birding

G.C.Grebes Stover Lake Newton Abott

Great Crested Grebe Feeding Two Of The Four Youngsters, On The Parents Back This Morning.

Posted August 8th at 3:28 pm by patrick hawkins in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A different juv Yellow-legged Gull to yesterday’s on Blaxton Meadow. Also, 2 juv Peregrines, Whinchat, 5 Stonechats, 16 Little Egrets, 2 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, Shag, 38 Curlews & 5+ Clouded Yellows.

Posted August 8th at 1:03 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


We have seen what we believe is a Prionus coriarius in our garden three evenings this week. Very impressive.  Never seen one before.

Eds. The Sawyer Beetle - feeds on dead wood and comes to light but they are also active on hot and sunny days and may occur kilometres away from suitable habitat. 

Please send any non bird records to the relevant County Recorder or direct to the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre 

Posted August 8th at 8:56 am by Robert O'Kelly in Other Wildlife

Every sighting counts.

Sorry for late post.Taking part in the Big butterfly Count yesterday in Marldon, Paignton my son and I saw my first common blue (picture not brilliant because of bright sunlight) but amazing photo of meadom browns mating.

Common blue
Common blue

Mating meadow brown
Mating meadow brown

Eds. Looks like Holly Blue. Ivy is one of their foodplants

Posted August 8th at 8:20 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Other Wildlife

Fremington Pill

Along Fremington Pill this evening (7 August) there were 30+ Redshank feeding on the water line.



Posted August 8th at 12:23 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Friday 7th August 2020

Collaton St Mary, Paignton

1 Cattle Egret in field on hillside just N of the Parkers Arms Pub, this evening.

Posted August 7th at 8:16 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar and Slapton

Soar area early morning - 30+ phylloscs, 30+ Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, Reed Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 2 Wheatears

Slapton - juv Yellow-legged Gull, Yellow Wagtail

Posted August 7th at 4:56 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

137 Redshanks (mainly on Blaxton Meadow) with 3 Greenshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers, juv Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Mediterranean Gulls (juv,1st-s & 2nd-s), Kingfisher, 15 Little Egrets & 3 Stock Doves.

Also: Swift, Green Woodpecker, 5 Stonechats, Whitethroat, Sparrowhawk, Roe Deer & 2 Clouded Yellows.

Posted August 7th at 4:24 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Torbay ~ Cuckoo

Not what you expect to find in a Torbay garden........ a young Cuckoo sunbathing and  feeding on flying ants.

Four Swifts overhead.

Posted August 7th at 4:02 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Prawle.

At Moorwell Pond  a B.T.O. ringed Sedge Warbler caught this morning. Hopefully a good distance recovery. Very few other migrants present,with 2 Willow Warblers. 2 Chiffchaffs ,1 Blackcap,1 Whitethroat and 1 Reed Warbler ( a fresh arrival ,with another ringed yesterday at the site )

Posted August 7th at 3:59 pm by Alan K.Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar & Bolt Head

50 Swift, 28 Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 270 Linnet.

Non-avian: 33 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 35 Common Blue, late Dark Green Fritillary & Marbled White.

Posted August 7th at 3:38 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bradiford, Barnstaple

Mint Moth, picture missing from yesterday’s post.....

Posted August 7th at 3:04 pm by Alan Denzey in Other Wildlife

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

08:27 - 11:28

Highlights - 1 Knot, many hundred Redshank, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Harrier, 160+ Curlew, Whimbrel, 12 Little Egret, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Common Sandpiper (Goosemoor). 

Posted August 7th at 1:04 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Wrafton Scrape

Just before 09.00 the Spoonbill was again asleep on the scrape. Just beyond was a lone Black-tailed Godwit.

Precious little around Sherpa Marsh - 2 Lapwing, 125 Canada Geese....

Posted August 7th at 12:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The highlights of today’s high tide were 116 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 37 Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Common Sandpiper & 1 Kingfisher.

Saltram produced 2 each of GSW & Green Woodpecker, 3 Stonechat, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Sparrowhawk & 7 Spotted Flycatcher all together!

Posted August 7th at 10:22 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Thursday 6th August 2020

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich tern on the Plym in front of TR2 resting on a boat late this evening.

Posted August 6th at 11:48 pm by Martin Lavelle in General Birding

Holdstone down

A dull evening walk around here tonight in patches of mizzle with Very little bird activity. Did come across this little beetle though. Nicrophorus vespilloides. 


Posted August 6th at 9:57 pm by Philip worth in Other Wildlife

Black Redstart on Dartmoor

Black Redstart sheltering appropriately at Black Tor (GR 566 894) on 05/08 and also 7 Red Grouse in flight at Okement Hill on 06/08.

Posted August 6th at 8:53 pm by Stuart Gray in General Birding

Bradiford, Barnstaple

Mint Moth....a small Moth with a wingspan of about may be small, but it is wonderfully coloured.

Posted August 6th at 7:52 pm by Alan Denzey in Other Wildlife

Lower Tamar Lake

Seen this morning while topping up the feeders

2 Willow Tit and 4 Long-tailed Tit foraging along the lakeside among the reeds.

Posted August 6th at 7:48 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Velator scrape

From the Tarka Trail at about 09.00 a single Spoonbill roosting out in the water of the scrape. Nearby a Black-tailed Godwit. By the time I had got round into and around to that side of the reserve, both had gone.

SKERN later (4-5pm): 1 Wheatear, and several Whimbrel over. Tide a long way out.

Posted August 6th at 6:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

12:44 - 14:13

Wood Sandpiper was very close to the walkway to the hide giving tremendous views. Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, many Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Shelduck all present too

Posted August 6th at 6:40 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Preston seafront

Early evening, Little Egret, 7 Turnstones, 5 Sandwich Terns (3 adults, 2 juvs) and numerous House Martins (probably enjoying the flying ant fest).

Posted August 6th at 6:38 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Migrating Swifts and Swallows

Whilst working at a house on the top of the cliffs overlooking Westward Ho! this morning, I counted about 30 Swifts and a similar number of Swallows migrating roughly southwards in about a ten minute period. Also seen at the same place very close views of a Green Woodpecker.

Posted August 6th at 3:36 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

Berry Head - Wednesday 5th

A combined seawatch from several observers from 0600-1930hrs produced (selected highlights): 42 Balearic Shearwaters, 908 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Pomarine Skua, 8 Arctic Skuas, 8 Great Skuas, 15 Common Tern, 26 Sandwich Terns,3 Arctic Terns, 1 Puffin, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, 45 Common Scoter. Also, 10 + Harbour Porpoise and several pods of Common Dolphins feeding undisturbed off the headland (no jet skiers today)

Posted August 6th at 8:21 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

The beauty of Devon bird sightings site.

My thanks to Alan Searle for putting me out of my misery and identifying my stranger in paradise. Thanks Alan. Another mystery solved. Cheers.

Posted August 6th at 5:46 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Other Wildlife

Wednesday 5th August 2020

Berry Head

At Berry head this morning six Cirl Bunting, one Whitethroat, Rock Pipit, Jay, small number of Swallow and three Swift.

From the headland, early passage of immature LBBG, 18 plus Gannet inc three immature birds, Fulmar, GBBG, one Kittiwake, light passage of Manx Shearwater, flock of sixteen Common Scoter.

Harbour Porpoise showing well and one Common Dolphin.


Posted August 5th at 9:15 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

c30 Sandwich & c15 Common Terns, c70 Ringed Plovers, c55 Dunlins, 29 Sanderlings, 20+ Whimbrels, 4 Common Scoters, 4 Mediterranean Gulls & a distant Pom/Arctic Skua.

The summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebe & 4 Bar-tailed Godwits off Cockwood.

Posted August 5th at 4:57 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Velator reserve

Late morning visit, and as I did the usual circuit, I thought I could hear a Curlew calling. A little further on and there it was just circling over and letting out that lovely whistle. Once again quite early here, usually an unusual winter visitor.

Posted August 5th at 1:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

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