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


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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

Sunday 27th May 2018


I still have 9 free grass-cutting Canada Geese in the reserve this evening, but only 2 juv Moorhens seen. Singing Cetti's, and Reed Warblers, plus Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

Agree with 11 Godwits but oddly a drake Teal has turned up there too. Very late.

Posted 8:26 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head: 8:00 - 11:30

Stayed on later so in addition to Mike's earlier post:

A further, c.450 Manx Shearwater; 2 Arctic Skua; 3 Puffin; 1 Gt N Diver.

At lest 13 Small Blue & 8 - 10 Common Blue Butterflies near the quarry and along the main path upwards.

Posted 7:53 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh

Cattle Egret present today.

Posted 7:25 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning.

1 Willow Tit, 4 Swift, 1 Grey Heron, 19 Mallard, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Blackcap, 8 House Martin.

Posted 6:57 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Meddon Green LNR

On a sunny morning at the reserve were 2 Willow Tit, 8 Goldfinch, 6 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Dunnock, 3 Blue Tit, 3 Chaffinch. Plus one Orange tip butterfly.

Also 3 Red-legged Partridge and 1 Pheasant (m) in my garden daily.

Posted 6:25 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Sharpa scrape & Taw Estuary

11 Black tailed Godwits still on the scrape this am.

This is the only pair of Shelduck I have seen so far on the Taw Estuary with juveniles. There were 10 juv's present, but by the time I removed the camera from the bag 7 of them walked over the top of the mud bank out of view!


Posted 2:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

South Brent ~ Tawny owlet

I have been hearing a young Tawny owl calling at night around the garden for the last couple of weeks this morning it showed its face.


Posted 1:52 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite flying east over Instow Quay at noon.

Posted 1:31 pm by Mike Glover in General Birding

Berry Head

A short seawatch this morning with Dave Holloway produced: 4 Puffin, 1 Great Skua, 8 Sandwich Tern, 38 Manx Shearwater, 2 Common Dolphin, 5-6 Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal.

Up on top of the headland: 1 singing Reed Warbler was the only sign of any passage birds. 

Posted 10:50 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 26th May 2018

Heathfield to Challacombe

Very little to see on the DWT reserve at Heathfield this morning a few Stonechat, Swift and Swallow.

Onto Yarner which produced three Spotted Flycatcher and a calling Wood Warbler the full leaf canopy is making woodland birding that much harder but Pied Flycatcher, Song Thrush, Redstart, Wren, GSWP, Jay all seen and a Cuckoo calling in the top of the wood towards the top car parks.

Beyond Hay Tor good views of a Cuckoo and Meadow Pipits that were trying to drive it away.

Around Challacombe male Whinchat, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, four Redstart, Pied and Grey Wagtail Dunnock, Wren, Reed Bunting, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Buzzard and Heron.



Posted yesterday at 6:49 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Haytor quarry

Several cuckoos about at first light today

Posted yesterday at 5:59 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Yarner woods

Male and female Pied Flycatchers today


Posted yesterday at 5:57 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Rillage Point to Watermouth

An amazing and very welcome late migration of House Martins this morning, with a phenomenal 762 (minimum!) flying ENE between 06.20 and 10.00. Tight flocks of mainly 15-30 birds, but in a few cases up to 50, were piling through at astonishing speed and almost silently, with unusually few calls. The urgency of delayed migration was palpable and an impressive spectacle to witness. Also an encouraging 54 Swifts, plus 49 Swallows and 6 Sand Martins. Other migrants included 2 Little Egrets, a Dunlin, 28 immature Lesser Black-backs (all E), and 8 Siskins (E in ones and twos – surprisingly late). There were large numbers of Manx Shearwaters streaming W (typical morning feeding movement out of the Bristol Channel) and though I didn't get a chance to do a proper count, being distracted elsewhere, a few samples suggested up to 1,000 per hour at peak.

Posted yesterday at 11:46 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Friday 25th May 2018

Skerries Bank off Slapton- Artic Skua

Late post from yesterday afternoon. An Artic Skua busy chasing gulls above and around my boat, fishing the Skerries Bank yesterday afternoon about 1500hrs. Should have been visible from Slapton.

Posted May 25th at 6:14 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Newton Abbot

Sorry to post this, but a large parrot (I couldn't see what species) was briefly circling high above my house on Wolborough Hill, Newton Abbot, before heading south. Just in case anyone has lost one, or knows of anyone else who has.

Posted May 25th at 5:43 pm by Laurie Allnatt in Other Wildlife

Emsworthy Mire 25-05-18, Red Kite & Cuckoo's

Mid morning at Emsworthy Mire, several Cuckoo's calling, also seen a Reed Bunting  and about mid-day a Red Kite flew over (distant) but light was horrible.


Posted May 25th at 4:41 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Haldon Butterfly Walk

Things hotting up on the Butterfly Walk with 9 species of Butterfly found, Fritillaries every where but best for me was this Dingy Skipper. Also plenty of Dragonflies, day time moths, Hoverflies and other insects, surprised to be the only human about!

Dingy Skipper
Dingy Skipper

Posted May 25th at 4:16 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Thursday 24th May 2018

Bennets Cross- Golden Dagger Mine (Soussons)

8 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the fieldtrip south of Bennetts Cross as far as the Golden Dagger mine.  Numerous Whinchat were present and other sightings included Gt Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker (heard), M'pipits, Grey Wagtail and a Red Kite over (flying east at around 12.00 hrs).

Challacombe farm was visited in the afternoon where Redstart, Treecreeper, Stonechat, Linnet and Marsh Tit were added to the list.  Another Cuckoo was heard further up the valley on Hamel Down.  

A quick visit to Stover Lake produced 2 male Mandarin Duck.

Posted May 24th at 6:07 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Clearbrook today

4 Siskins,6 Redpoles,,5 Reed Buntings,Meadow Pipits,Willow Warblers,7 Red Kites,3 Buzzards,4 Bullfinches,5 Greenfinches,1Cuckoo,1 Kestrel,5 Yellowhammers,Stonechates with young,Small heathes,Roe Deer.


Eds; Looks like a Fallow Deer..

Posted May 24th at 3:24 pm by chris Buckland in General Birding


7 Red Kites over very high up heading south at lunch time.

Posted May 24th at 2:31 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

The right place at the right time.

Who says  seagulls don't have their uses!! Hearing their alarm call from my back garden off Marldon Rd about 1.30 today, spotted a kite along with a buzzard being harried by the gulls. This follows a sighting of two kites two weeks ago also from my garden. Paignton seems to be developing a reputation as a birders El Dorado.

Posted May 24th at 2:12 pm by Philip L. Fairclough in General Birding

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

South Milton Ley

With South Huish being fairly quiet,6 Dunlin being the best, I went out of the sun to sit in the shade by the viewing screen we installed earlier in the year at South Milton Ley. Nice to get a couple of new species for me at this location! Firstly a pair of Blackcap and then for 30 mins or so a Spotted Flycatcher making its feeding attacks on the many flies. Around the Ley, quite a bit of activity from at least 8 Sedge Warblers carrying food. Reed Bunting and Reed Warblers also seen. Good to see some activity on the new ditch/pond! Still relatively raw from the excavation,but the vegetation is building up. A Grey Heron on the bank and a couple of species of dragonfly observed as well as hawking swallows. The cleared area makes it easier to pick out the birds. On the way home in the Avon Valley, near Knapp Mill saw another feeding Spotted Flycatcher. This one reported to Rod Bone for his study on the species with the RSPB in the area.

Posted May 23rd at 8:02 pm by David Pakes in General Birding


6.0 pm 23 May Spoonbill at S Efford marsh

Posted May 23rd at 6:37 pm by Roger White in General Birding

Marsh Green, East Devon

Red Kite over village drifting east at a hight at 1800, while I enjoyed a cool beer in the garden, bliss!

Posted May 23rd at 6:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

River Plym

A cycle ride in lovely sunshine from Plymouth to Clearbrook and back.

At the Cann Quarry Peregrine watch point, the pair feeding 4 young in the nest. Also in the Plym Valley, a pair of Spotted Flycatchers nest building, 5 Siskins, Marsh Tit and Green Woodpecker.

At Clearbrook, a Tree Pipit, 2 Lesser Redpolls and 2 pairs of Stonechats with young.

On the Plym Estuary, a female Mandarin Duck with 5 ducklings and also 3 drakes plus 6 Curlews.  

Posted May 23rd at 6:04 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Four RED KITE circling over Haggington Hill / Watermouth area of Berrynarbor at about 1:00 pm  -1:30 pm today.

Posted May 23rd at 5:14 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding


A Mandarin Duck has 3 young (Manderlings?) in the inlet channel, plus 3 drakes near the boardwalk. Also 2 Stock Doves (one interested in an open-fronted box on a tree) and Mistle Thrush young (doing a good White's Thrush impression!)

Dragonflies in fair abundance also, with c12 Hairy Dragonflies, c25 Red-eyed Damselflies, masses of Azure and Large Red Damselflies and smaller numbers of Beautiful Demoiselle, Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies, Broad-bodied and Four-spotted Chasers and Emperor, but no Downy Emeralds (although there were 5 at Little Bradley Ponds earlier). If anyone is interested in seeing them, join our BDS/Devonshire Association meeting at Stover this Sunday at 10am.

Mandarin family Stover  Stock Dove Stover Mistle Thrush juv Stover

Mandarin family                               Stock Dove                                     Mistle Thrush juv

Posted May 23rd at 4:41 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Morte Point

Sedge Warbler on the Point this morning. 

Posted May 23rd at 12:57 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Nr Broadhempston

Red Kite with missing secondaries on right wing, between Broadhempston and Ipplepen.

Posted May 23rd at 10:26 am by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Red Kite Uffculme

Four Red Kite drifted over with three Buzzards at 17:50 this afternoon

Posted May 22nd at 10:17 pm by Mike Tout in General Birding

Nr Broadhempston

Red Kite with missing secondaries on right wing, between Broadhempston and Ipplepen.

Posted May 22nd at 9:32 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

ringneck parakeet

25 ringneck parakeet central park

Posted May 22nd at 9:22 pm by barry in General Birding


Red Kite low over Tesco car park 1150 this morning and a Peregrine soaring at height at the same time.

Posted May 22nd at 7:09 pm by Charlie Imms in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Siskin on Roborough Down 21/09/2018

Late posting for yesterday. male Siskin spotted on Roborough Down near Clearbrook turning. Can't recall any previous sightings there.

Posted May 22nd at 4:59 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Woodland Honey Buzzard

Mobbed by 3 c.rows over lane east of Woodland village 13:30 Tues grid795 688

Emerged from Greper Copse a little later,soared and headed over Bickington.

Posted May 22nd at 4:26 pm by Denis Doy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Red Kite over Bolt Head heading east; also 3 late migrant Northern Wheatears and a male Stonechat showing characteristics of race "rubicola".

Posted May 22nd at 2:09 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


A Red Kite circling very low near the church. It Then climbed to join 3 circling Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk, before slowly drifting N.E.. Stunning views.

Posted May 22nd at 11:03 am by Alan K Searle in General Birding


Visited the Mire yesterday.  Sat at east end of track and located four Cuckoos continuously singing - two the other side of the mire.  Also heard female 'bubbling'.  Redstart near barn. A few Meadow Pipit and a Tree Pipit plus Stonechat and Skylark.  Bluebells in full and glorious bloom.  

Posted May 22nd at 9:41 am by Geoff Green in General Birding

Monday 21st May 2018

DWT Heathfield ~ Nightjars

Up to seven Nightjar, churring and flying around the far end of the reserve, with good views of one male displaying to and pursuing a female.

Good numbers of both Stonechat and Yellow Hammer as dusk was falling with a few Pipits and Pied Wagtails.


Posted May 21st at 10:40 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Ramshorn Down, nr Bickington

Honey Buzzard coasting high eastwards, 4 pm.

Posted May 21st at 8:57 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Roborough Down 21-05-18

Redpoles not showing so well today, the male seen a few times but not the female. A Reed bunting was showing very well and singing well


Posted May 21st at 3:58 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Roborough Down 21-05-18

Female Broad-bodied Chaser, watched as the male had it's way and she laid her eggs, a great sight to see 


Posted May 21st at 3:56 pm by Greg Bradbury in Other Wildlife

Lundy trip

Great trip yesterday to Lundy, Thanks to all organisers. Saw our first ever Dottrel. Also managed a Turtle Dove,which was with all the Collared Doves in the valley as we came up from the boat.

If the Gentleman who was sitting quietly as the Dottrel walked past him would like to contact me I have some great pictures of the two of them.

Turtle Dove
Turtle Dove

Posted May 21st at 10:13 am by kay and gary deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Two Med Gulls at lowish tide 09:00 hrs 

Posted May 21st at 10:01 am by Martin Bond in General Birding

Sunday 20th May 2018

Yelland/Isley Marsh RSPB

Just seen photos from Sue Ambler showing a Cuckoo was present afternoon and evening of 19th May.

Posted May 20th at 11:11 pm by Lowell Mills and Sue Ambler in General Birding

Lundy trip

About 150 of us took to the waters today and had a successful day to, from, around and on the island. First surprise was an adult Iceland Gull on the sea off the SW corner of the island. Good numbers of Puffins. On the island a few Spotted Flycatchers in Milcombe, and the Hawfinch was seen by a few too. Firecrest still singing at the head of the valley and a cracking male Redstart on wires by the field up there too. Best of all was the female Dotterel at SW point which showed really well and was very obliging for the snap happy photographers. Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Black Redstart, plenty of Ravens, Peregrine, and a large herd of 52 Sika Deer were seen. Other mammals were good numbers of Porpoise (some surfing the wake wave on the return journey!) Grey Seal, a possible Minke Whale, and a Fox seen along the estuary on the way out.

Posted May 20th at 10:48 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Dragonfly Broad-Bodied Chaser (Female)

Broad-Bodied Chaser (Female) Bicton Park, East Devon

Posted May 20th at 8:52 pm by Rob Jerrard in Other Wildlife

Yarner Wood

Yarner Wood this lunchtime:

8 Pied Flycatchers, (adult male feeding juveniles), 2 Bullfinch (m,f) 2 Redstart (m,f) 1 Marsh tit, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.

Trendlebere Down: 1 singing male Yellowhammer, 2 Swift, 3 Buzzards. 

Posted May 20th at 6:40 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding


A Honey-buzzard over Soar Mill Cove for a few minutes around 13.30 before gaining height rapidly and I lost view of it. Otherwise very little except 3 singing Sedge Warblers from here and East Soar.

Singing Garden Warbler at Averton Gifford.

Posted May 20th at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red legged partridge

Driving between Marldon and Ippelpen cross on the top road, just past the caravan where the Model club fly, a single red legged partridge was wandering around the entrance to a wheat field. I wasnt able to grab the camera from the boot to get any images but watched it from the car for a good couple of minutes. This is the second I have seen in two weeks the other was near to Harberton Ford.

Posted May 20th at 5:41 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Roborough Down 20-05-18

A single Broad-bodied Chaser (M) showing very well by a small pond near Clearbrook, also a lot of Tadpoles, as long as the pond doesn't dry out there could be many a frog for the predators. 


Posted May 20th at 4:39 pm by Greg Bradbury in Other Wildlife

Roborough Down 20-05-18

Redpolls, Yellowhammers, Linnet, Meadow pipits, Greenfinches all showing well at a small waterhole near Clearbrook


Posted May 20th at 4:34 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

East Devon ish

A visit to a private lake at South Brent at first light this morning produced three Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail.  Mallard and Moorhen with young.

Dart Bridge, Buckfastleigh a drake Mandarin.

Woodbury Common and Aylesbeare Common ~ Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Stonechat, Willow Warbler, Yellow Hammer, with Woodbury being the more productive location.

Around Exminster Marsh ~ Cetti, Sedge, Reed and Willow Warblers, brief view of a Hobby being mobbed by two Lapwing and a Carrion Crow, Swallow and Swift.



Posted May 20th at 3:45 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Red kite Ebford

Red kite east of Exe-  Ebford - flying north 19th May

Posted May 20th at 10:40 am by Ben murrell in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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