Devon Bird Sightings

Breeding birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posted April 10th at 4:50 pm by Mike Langman 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

Monday 18th June 2018


2 Black-tailed Godwits on the smaller scrape this evening.

Still 16 Juvenile Canada Geese around the area.

Posted yesterday at 9:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, late news

Some photos from yesterday morning's boat trip out of Brixham.

Manx Shearwater
Manx Shearwater


Diving Gannet
Diving Gannet

Posted yesterday at 4:27 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

North Devon

Nice surprise early this morning in North Devon, watched a Hobby take a House Martin. Several House Martins then mobbed the falcon before it flew off. 

Posted yesterday at 3:58 pm by Martin Bond in General Birding

Sunday 17th June 2018

Saltram Blaxton Meadow 17-06-18

Plenty of Large skipper flying around the meadow

Posted June 17th at 9:26 pm by GregBradbury in Other Wildlife

Lyme Bay Boat Trip.

Sightings on a boat trip from Brixham into Lyme Bay this morning were:- 1 Storm Petrel, 25+ Manx Shearwater, 10+ Kittiwake, 3 Fulmar, 1 Razorbill, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull , many Guillemots on the water and flying back and forth from the colony and gannets diving by the boat. Trips running every Sunday morning, if interested call 07866202576.

Posted June 17th at 2:06 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Saturday 16th June 2018

Lyme Bay 15th June 2015

Picture of breaching Thresher Shark

Posted June 16th at 9:27 pm by George and Lesley Carr in General Birding

Lyme Bay Thursday 15th

3 Storm Petrels, 2 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 35 Manx Shearwater, 2yr Med Gull amongst the Kittiwakes on the Guillemot nesting site at Berry Head, 4 Harbour Porpoise and a 300+ lb thresher shark that fully breached at least 5 times (pictures to follow). 

Posted June 16th at 7:55 pm by George and Lesley Carr in General Birding

R. Plym additional

In addition to the scruffy drake Mandarins spotted by Pete A. there was a female Mandarin with 8 well grown (1 week +) ducklings at the tramway bridge over the Plym at Longbridge.

Posted June 16th at 4:20 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram 15/6/18

On Blaxton Pool, a single Redshank with 3 remaining Curlews. Fourteen Shelducks included a pair with 2 ducklings, Swallow feeding 3 young in the nest, 23 eclipse drake Mandarins, female Red-crested Pochard, 3 Stock Doves and Moorhens with 4 small young.

Also 4 Bee and 3 Southern Marsh Orchids and my first Marbled White of the year. 

Posted June 16th at 2:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Friday 15th June 2018

Brendon Common

Pair of Whinchats,pair of Spotted Flycatchers,Redpoll,Cuckoo,Heron,Grey Wagtail,Willow Warblers,Stonechat family,goldfinches,meadow pipits and a green woodpecker. Good day.

Posted June 15th at 4:35 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Underwood, Plympton

Some less than routine sightings this morning. Two juvenile Siskins on the garden feeders, a Grey Heron on a neighbouring roof, soon seen off by the local Herring Gulls and a fly-by Ring-necked Parakeet.

Grey Heron  Siskin (juv.)
Grey Heron                                Siskin (juv.)

Posted June 15th at 7:57 am by Jason Smart in General Birding

Thursday 14th June 2018


Tuesday 12th June DWT Heathfield Reserve four Nightjar heard churring/calling and seen in flight.

Wednesday 13th June Stover Country Park, three birds heard calling and views of two in flight.

Posted June 14th at 7:06 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Re: Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (SPBF) Yesterday

Just for your info: Bill Coulson's photo of a probable SPBF is a defininately a SPBF, even without a view of the underwings. Looking at the outside edge of the forewings you can see all the orange spots fully enclosed in a black rough circle. Had this been a Pearl-bordered Fritillary the orange spots would have been "open," the inner black borders only appearing as black spots. 

Posted June 14th at 6:52 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Spotted flycatcher tracking project

Devon Birds/RSPB/BTO Spotted flycatcher tracking project

We need your help in locating spotted flycatcher nests in Devon to contribute to our ongoing project that you can read about in the current issue of Devon Birds.

Spotted flycatchers have seen declines of 83% since the 1960s. Reasons for this decline may include factors operating within UK breeding grounds, such as reduced availability of invertebrates, but the species may also be declining due to problems along their migratory journey to Africa and back. But we know little about their wintering grounds. We need this information to understand what part of the annual cycle causes problems for spotted flycatchers, and where we might need to focus future work to reverse declines. To do this we are continuing the work we started in 2016, tracking migrations and determine wintering areas using tiny tracking devises. These geolocators weigh only 0.36g - incredible!

But to be able to do this we need to catch and tag spotted flycatchers in places where they return each year, as we need to recapture tagged birds the year after to retrieve the tag and its data. The best places to do this are peoples gardens. Do you have Spotted flycatchers nesting at the moment in your garden or farm? And have you had them nesting the past few years? If you are happy to have your spotted flycatchers captured and tagged for this project, please could you email or

Thanks, James & Malcolm

Posted June 14th at 4:37 pm by Malcolm Burgess in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatching 0545-0815hrs: 1 Storm Petrel, 14 Puffin, 210 Guillemot, 27 Razorbills, 208 Manx Shearwater, 4 Sandwich Tern, 7 'Comic' Terns, 2 (1st S) Mediterranean Gulls, 24 Kittiwake, 38 Gannet, 12 Fulmar & 3 Harbour Porpoise.   

Posted June 14th at 2:48 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 13th June 2018

Yelland/RSPB Isley Marsh

Unseen warbler recorded singing this lunchtime turned out to be a Lesser Whitethroat.

Also thought it unusual to see a lone Whimbrel on Isley Marsh on evening of 12th June. Late north, early south or non breeding?

Posted June 13th at 11:13 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Brixham etc

Not much but a cheeky little Rock Pipit and Fulmar

Rock Pipit Fulmar
Rock Pipit                       Fulmar

Posted June 13th at 10:21 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Pearl-bordered Fritillary - East Soar

Lots of the usual birds showing well this morning at East Soar this morning plus this beautiful Pearl - bordered Fritillary. This may be a Small P-b Fritillary as these seem to be most often seen at East Soar but I couldn't get a look at the underwings.

Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Posted June 13th at 6:09 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding


1Red Kite drifting East at 2pm

Posted June 13th at 4:14 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Berry Head and west Torbay

45 Common Scoter in flock off Berry Head

1 imm Mediterranean Gull

3 Sandwich terns

1 adult Med Gull (or that's what it looked like: black hood and bright red beak), but with black tipped wings more like a Common Gull (Eds that'll be a 2nd summer Med Gull, highly variable wing tip pattern ) in mid Torbay. Flypast, good view but fleeting.

plus 6-7 Harbour Porpoise

Common Scoter  Med Gull  Sandwich Tern
Common Scoter                           Med Gull                                  Sandwich Tern

Posted June 13th at 2:52 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tamar Lakes

Hazy sun after early mist.

2 Garden Warblers singing, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Raven over plus other corvids, 1 Buzzard, 2 Meadow Pipits at the Upper Lake, 7+ Mallard, 4 Great Crested Grebes, several Wood Pigeons, Blue and Great Tits.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted June 13th at 2:20 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Tuesday 12th June 2018

Egyptian goose

Spotted one Egyptian Goose, quite close to my yacht up the bag at Salcombe, it was making quite a noise,it liked to be on either a floating pontoon,or sitting on a nearby dinghy.

Posted June 12th at 7:32 pm by David Read in General Birding


Great Crested Grebe on nest in Exeter (I last saw it May 15th when there was a Male and chicks) no sign of male or chicks today but female actively nest building. Also a smart Lesser Black -backed Gull nearby.

Great Crested Grebe Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Crested Grebe                               Lesser Black-backed Gull

Posted June 12th at 6:07 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Arlington Court

Pair of spotted flycatchers,male and female Redstarts feeding at least 3 fledglings' families of goldfinch, nuthatch gs woodpecker and chaffinches.Beautiful day.

Posted June 12th at 5:02 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Plymouth to Yelverton

Cycled from Plymouth to Yelverton & back. At Weighbridge Cottage, 3 female Mandarin Ducks with 4, 5 & 7 ducklings respectively and also an eclipse drake there. In Plymbridge Woods, 4 Marsh Tits, a pair of Grey Wagtails with 5 juvs and another with 1 juv, plus the 4 juv Peregrines at the nest (1 occupying a ledge just below the nest after falling out several weeks ago). Clearbrook produced Lesser Redpoll and Tree Pipit, and in Cann Woods, a singing Garden Warbler.

Posted June 12th at 4:39 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Risso's Dolphin

The Risso's Dolphin showed well from the Torpoint ferry quay from 14.20 to 14.50 but generally distantly. Initially it was around the boats at entrance to St Johns Lake before it moved upstream passing just a few meters in front of the Torpoint slipway. I eventually lost it north of the barges, well north of the dockyard. It doesn't seem to be a fan of boats that are moving and becomes elusive when a boat passes.

Posted June 12th at 4:12 pm by Rich Billington in Other Wildlife

Morte Point

Took this photo from a distance yesterday on northern side of the Point and thought I'd enlarge it to see what it might be before wiping it. Could it be a Basking Shark?


Posted June 12th at 3:55 pm by Derek Stacey in Other Wildlife


9 Swift in group, 10 House martin , 3 Swallow.

Posted June 12th at 2:04 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Red Kite Peter Tavy

A Red Kite flying over Peter Tavy at 11am this morning, headed off East before I could grab a shot. 

Posted June 12th at 11:22 am by Andy Brown in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 11th June 2018

Elburton Villa football club, Haye Road, plymouth

A pair of barnacle geese circling and then alighting on a football pitch at the football club.

Posted June 11th at 9:47 pm by Pat Gubb in General Birding

SpoonBill Averton Gifford

Little in the way of Waders on the marsh yesterday although there were lots of juvenile birds actively being fed by parents. One sight which caught my eye was the left wing of the Spoonbill present although distant from view. I am uncertain but it could possibly be a firearms injury? The bird was active and still flying several short hops unencumbered by the wound. Hopefully it will make a good recovery. If it has been shot then this is a real shame that someone has chosen to do so to such a beautiful creature.


Posted June 11th at 8:59 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Red Kite being mobbed by Carrion Crows halfway to the dam

Posted June 11th at 8:46 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding


A Risso’s Dolphin beside Devonport Dockyard today, intially showing very well at close range from the Torpoint Ferry. Still around this evening but much more distant having moved further up river from the ferry (still beside the Dockyard).

Posted June 11th at 7:09 pm by Pete Aley in Other Wildlife

East Soar

Few birds but 11 Swifts over Bolt Head ( in or out?) and 80 Linnet on oilseed rape.

16 species of butterflies inc.first Gatekeeper, Grayling & Silver-studded Blue. Also 63 Dark Green Fritillary. New moth for me : Chimney Sweeper. 

Mammals: Brown Hare

Posted June 11th at 5:38 pm by Rob Macklin in Other Wildlife


four swifts flying and screaming around the roof tops of exmouth library.

Posted June 11th at 3:49 pm by eric in General Birding

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