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

Monday 18th November 2019

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm.

Some good numbers this morning with 1800 woodpigeons moving east, 29 stock doves, 680 herring gulls, 800 skylarks, 130 starlings & 160 carrion crows. Also: 11 long-tailed tits moving through, 12 meadow pipits, redwing, 65 house sparrows, 17 blackbirds, 26 cirl buntings, 2 snipe, lapwing, 16 yellowhammers, 12 song thrushes & 40 linnets.

Non-avian: 4 red admirals.

Posted 4:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

The Long-billed Dowitcher showed well for a while this morning. Also, the Long-tailed Duck and female Goldeneye. Earlier, a brief view of a Firecrest by the railway bridge at the top of the lane.

Posted 1:09 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Sunday 17th November 2019

Wrafton Pond, Taw Estuary

On my WeBS sector today, found that the female Goldeneye and two Scaup are still on Wrafton Pond, except the number of Scaup had (remarkably) risen to four, feeding at first light alongside a Pochard. Also four Gadwall and a Shoveler (both quite scarce at this site). On the estuary itself, a Great Northern Diver and a Slavonian Grebe (the latter presumably the same individual as I saw in the same area on my Oct count) off Chivenor foreshore and four Spoonbills on Chivenor Ridge.

Posted yesterday at 10:16 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Re dunnock

I first thought dunnock,  but what threw me was how much further around the brown and black feathers came around the abdomen and eye stripes compared to dunnocks in the garden. 


Posted yesterday at 7:14 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Exmouth parakeets

7 in one group today!!

Posted yesterday at 6:51 pm by john deakins in General Birding


A drake Surf Scoter (probably 2nd winter) was with up to 16 Common Scoter off the headland at Broadsands today, also 1 Red-throated Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Surf Scoter Drake Broadsands 17 Nov 2019

Posted yesterday at 6:22 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Challacombe Moor.

Managed to get out over Challacombe Moor/ kingsford hill late this afternoon to see small flocks of golden plover, starlings, long-tailed tits, kestral and a very obliging snowbunting who did a nice 360 turn.

Snow Bunting left  Snow Bunting right  Snow Bunting front.
Snow Bunting left                      Snow Bunting right               Snow Bunting front.

Posted yesterday at 5:57 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Ore Stone

Ore stone, Hope's Nose

1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Knot

Purple Sandpiper  Knot
Purple Sandpiper                          Knot

Posted yesterday at 5:19 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saunton Sands

During a WeBS count this morning on Saunton Sands managed to get a couple of photos (from behind a sand dune) of a single Merlin which was feeding on a prey item on the strandline.


Posted yesterday at 3:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

EAST Devon Branch- Notice

Correction to Fieldtrip Programme.  In case members missed my previous notice-  please note that the fieldtrip to Ham Wall, Somerset will take place on TUESDAY 19 November and NOT as given in the Programme on this website, which suggested it would be the 18th.  Sorry for the error. 

Could I also point out that in the event of a fieldtrip being cancelled due to bad weather, a notice is usually place on this website 24 hours in advance and an email sent to members in East Devon (where we have their email address).  A regular question asked by new members is- do I have to book to attend a fieldtrip?  The answer is no, not if attending an East Devon fieldtrip, please just turn up on the day.  Thank you for this space.  

Posted yesterday at 2:10 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Saturday 16th November 2019

Holdstone down

A morning walk around Holdstone down today armed with a repaired lens, saw a pair of sandpiper,  snipe plenty of wrens, blackbirds and Robin lastly a single female reed bunting.

Reed Bunting  Female reed bunting
Reed Bunting         Female reed bunting

Eds: its actually a Dunnock - note the rather fine spiky bill

Posted November 16th at 11:10 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Fremington Pill

On a walk along Fremington Pill down to Fremington Quay there was one female Kingfisher perched on the railings above the sluice gate. The Spotted Redshank was feeding in the channel and there were 72 Common Redshank scattered throughout the Pill. The Glossy Ibis was there with a Little Egret that appeared to be shadowing it! Looking out from Fremington Quay there were huge numbers of Lapwing. A conservative estimate would be 650 birds. I counted at least 500 but then something spooked them and they took off.

Posted November 16th at 10:24 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding


On my way to Slapton just past Gara bridge a woodcock flew up from the side of the road and glanced the top of my windscreen. I stopped and had a good look around but couldn't find it so hopefully it was OK. At Slapton good views of a Black necked grebe, distant Scaup and ring billed duck. Near the quarry 2 firecrest and lots of goldcrests. Heard a few cettis warblers and got good views of one and lots of water rails calling. From the bridge got 2 glimpses of an otter, it only surfaced briefly so was unable to get a photo.

Black-necked Grebe Goldcrest Firecrest
Black-necked Grebe                      Goldcrest                                       Firecrest

Posted November 16th at 8:14 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Common scoter Baggy Point

Having moved from the point with just one probable 1st winter male Common Scoter seen we had to return quickly as a flight of 18 ducks flew in from the east. When we got the bins & camera on them we confirmed they were all Common Scoter & probably all juv or females. Range was probably 800 to 900 metres so photo is grainy but a record shot at least.

17 of the flock of 18 Common Scoter
17 of the flock of 18 Common Scoter

Posted November 16th at 7:35 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in General Birding

Exmouth parakeets

Juveniles being fed in Exmouth tescos this evening

Posted November 16th at 7:08 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Exmouth parakeets

5 parakeets in Tescos car park in Exmouth today. One feeding a juvenile

Posted November 16th at 6:57 pm by John Deakins in General Birding


Mid-pm. Blue-winged Teal still present and showing well briefly but pretty elusive.

Posted November 16th at 6:41 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

plymouth railway station

around 70 ringneck parakeet

Posted November 16th at 6:38 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Venford Reservoir and Whites Wood

Early am. 12 Goosander roosting on the reservoir at dawn, a Woodcock in the woods and 5 Crossbills overhead.

Posted November 16th at 6:29 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Highlight today was the return of presumably the same Ring-necked Duck present last winter, ( last year it returned on 28th October ). It was in Stokeley Bay. Also present 2 Scaups ( male and fcy male ), Black-necked Grebe ( right of Stokeley hide ), 12 Pochards, 110 Tufted Ducks, 3 Goldeneyes, 11 Gadwalls and a Teal. Offshore quiet, single Great Northern Diver and Grey Seal.

Posted November 16th at 5:50 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Woodbury Common

Male Stonechat

Posted November 16th at 5:39 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A few additions to Alan's post: 13 Redwings, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 8 Snipe, Teal, 4 Little Grebes, Chiffchaff & 4 Roe Deer.

Posted November 16th at 5:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Hen Harrier

Ringtail Hen Harrier in off sea being harassed by gulls yesterday  at 1pm from house on Oakland park, Dawlish,overlooking sea off Lea Mount, then lost to view around headland moving towards Teignmouth.

Also Firecrest last week at Lea Mount

Posted November 16th at 4:20 pm by paul barker in General Birding

N Hallsands.

Very few migrants this morning . 4 Firecrests. 3 caught, all 1st. Yr. f's ,one of which was a retrapped bird from the 27 th. Oct. ( Between 1 and 4 regularily overwinter at this site ) Also present 3 Goldcrests and 1 Chiffchaff. No apparent overhead movement.

1st. Yr. f.
1st. Yr. f.

Posted November 16th at 1:04 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plym estuary / Saltram

This morning's high tide roost:

168 Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 98 Dunlin, 52 Curlew, 32 Turnstone, 23 Shelduck, 7 Little Egret, 4 Wigeon, 3 Snipe, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Goosander (m), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Ring necked Parakeet, 1 Firecrest.

Posted November 16th at 12:40 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Friday 15th November 2019

Mansands and Brixham Harbour

Blue Winged Teal, Black Redstart (f), Gadwall and Kestrel at Mansands. 6 Purple Sandpiper on the old fuel jetty at Brixham Breakwater. Also 17 seals (the most I've seen there).

Posted November 15th at 8:05 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Horsey Island

Golden Plover on the new Devon Wildlife Trust  intertidal Nature Reserve, Braunton, N.Devon.

Posted November 15th at 6:32 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


In garden at home

Posted November 15th at 5:09 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding


Rather quiet this morning bird-wise, with 6 Redwings, 4 Goldcrests, Snipe, 20 Stock Doves & a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Mammals provided a bit more interest: Hare, Weasel, Roe Deer & 4 Sika Deer.

Later Hallsands produced: Firecrest, Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs & a Blackcap.

Posted November 15th at 3:36 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Melbury forest

8 Crossbill feeding on spruce late morning in trees opposite pull-in to the forest.

Posted November 15th at 2:59 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Goosander counts

The first of the winter's synchronised Goosander roost counts will take place around dawn tomorrow (16th). All Dartmoor reservoirs, Portworthy, Dartington, Stover, Tamar Lakes, Clovelly and Meeth should be covered, but if anyone is prepared to visit other sites around 07:00 to 07:30  to check for Goosanders either tomorrow or over next few days, I'd be happy to receive results, including negative.. Of particular interest are Plym and Taw estuaries where birds reported recently. But do they roost there or fly in from elsewhere? Peter Reay,

Posted November 15th at 2:01 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

FPC 15-11-19

Plenty of Redwing around showing very well, still no sign of the Black Redstart


Posted November 15th at 1:25 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Thursday 14th November 2019

Swallow at Turf Lock, Exminster

A solitary very late Swallow searching for insects in the lock at Turf this afternoon  - where the temperature didn't get above 4 degrees. Good luck little bird, I'm guessing you're going to need it !

Posted November 14th at 5:52 pm by Paul Norris in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Back on the patch after 10 days in Portugal but very quiet; best were 320 woodpigeon moving through, 12 stock dove, 4 bullfinch, 4 alba wagtail, 2 reed bunting, 20 cirl bunting & 10 greenfinch.

Posted November 14th at 4:46 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Woodbury castle

At least 6 brambling with a large number of chaffinches feeding on beech mast about 12.30.

Posted November 14th at 2:20 pm by roger jewell &mike Gibson in General Birding


Female red crested Pochard showing well at 10am.

Posted November 14th at 2:13 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding


3 Velvet Scoter this morning with at least 25 Common Scoter, the Velvet Scoter flew off toward Preston but were not located later. Also 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Diver.

2 Firecrest in scrub just before the headland and 1 Chiffchaff in the marsh area with 3 Goldcrests.

Posted November 14th at 11:38 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


We live in an exposed spot in Newton Ferrers.  On 1st November there was a severe gale with winds up to 80 mph recorded.  Previous to this we had up to 10 goldfinches, 6-8 blue tits, 4 coal tits, 2great tits, 4dunnocks, 2robins and a number of other occasionals, visiting our feeders regularly. For 3days we saw no birds at all.  Now we are seeing 2 goldfinches, 2 blue tits, 2 coal tits, 1 great tit, 2 dunnocks, 1 robin.   
Has anyone else experienced such a loss?  

Posted November 14th at 7:59 am by Duncan & Angela Macpherson in General Birding

Wednesday 13th November 2019

Exe Estuary cruise

This afternoon's Stuart Lines cruise yielded impressive flocks of wildfowl off Dawlish Warren and Exmouth-Lympstone, mostly Brent Geese and Wigeon, but off Lympstone including 11 Pale-bellied Brents, 2 Black Swans and some 230 Pintail. Best was perhaps the female Common Scoter off Powderham. The Slavonian Grebe again had a Little Grebe companion off Cockwood, and a female Goldeneye was nearby. Equally impressive were the waders feeding around Turf-Topsham (as on Saturday), with some 300 Avocets, several hundred Lapwings and well over 500 Golden Plover roosting near Turf; Black-tailed Godwits could well have been into four figures. I had five sightings of seals, two seen well being Grey Seals (one on a pontoon off Dawlish Warren).

Posted November 13th at 10:03 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford sewage works. 1230-1345

Apart from the usual there were 5 dark-bellied Brent geese off Penhill Marsh and 15 Goosander (10M & 5 redheads) in the channel off Pottington Ind.est plus just 1 Grey Plover.

Posted November 13th at 5:18 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding


After a few days away, took a quick tour of the reserve this afternoon. Nothing in the feeders, so not much to see. Male Blackcap, Song Thrush and a few Redwings, plus a Water Rail.

Also of interest was the big mechanical cutter dealing with all the vegetation on the embankment from the bridge right down to opposite Marstage Farm. Looked like the same vehicle that was dealing with the hedge near the big black barn. So, I went along to ask. Yes he said they've been asked to keep it clear so that the Environment Agency can get at the embankment if it needs repairs. Good news I thought.

I also asked if the balloons from last week were anything to do with the project and he said 'No' so I apologise if I have inadvertently misled anyone.

Posted November 13th at 4:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Instow Beach - low tide

35 Brent Geese and three pairs of Wigeon

Posted November 13th at 4:13 pm by Steve Wheale in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh this morning

Quite a few Goldcrests down the lane to the hide. Of note were a female Goldeneye and the first winter Long Billed Dowitcher on the end of the central peninsula, better views than last time.Forty species in all.

Posted November 13th at 3:12 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Lee Moor 13-11-19 - Red Crested Pochard

Red Crested Pochard still at the first mica dam just outside Lee Moor

Posted November 13th at 1:48 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Melbury forest n.devon

At least 5 Crossbills.2 seen feeding & 3 flyovers.Larger flock over but unable to gain numbers because of tree cover.Also 2 Brambling,m&f with 30 chaffinches.There have been over 100 recently at my. feeding station.10siskin&50 goldfinch seen.

Posted November 13th at 1:36 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Plymouth Estuary/Saltram

Seen on this morning's high tide.

40 Curlew, 2 Blk T Godwit, 100+ Dunlin, 132 Redshank, 17 Snipe, 28 Turnstone, 7 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Goosander (f) and 38 Fieldfare.

Posted November 13th at 1:29 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Tuesday 12th November 2019

Cattle Egrets...Fremington Pill.

4pm...... Three cattle egrets in high tide roost near top of Pill. Joined by Glossy Ibis and the little egrets later on. Good views of Spotted Redshank feeding quite close to road. 

Posted November 12th at 11:10 pm by Sue Ambler in General Birding


Paignton: 1 Black-necked Grebe plus 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Broadsands: 1 Great Northern Diver, 13 Common Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebes

Posted November 12th at 10:08 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Budleigh Salterton and Woodbury Common

Two Ring-necked Parakeets flying over the Green today were the first I have seen in Budleigh town.

Posted November 12th at 8:48 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

16.00 > The single Goldeneye & the 2 Scaup still on Wrafton Pond.

Single Kestrel searching for prey between the Pond & Velator Reserve.

Posted November 12th at 5:29 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Grand Western Canal

Water Rail this morning

Water Rail
Water Rail

Posted November 12th at 4:55 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ernesettle , river Tamar.

I saw this today , swimming with a 6 Mallard. Any idea what it may be?

Eds: Its a feral Mallard perhaps crossed with some other duck

Posted November 12th at 4:10 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Lee Moor

The Female Red Crested Pochard on the first mica pond on the left leaving Lee Moor on B3417

Posted November 12th at 4:07 pm by Tony Hooper in General Birding

12-11-19 Ford Park Cemetery

Plenty of Redwings at FCP this morning, this one was very compliant and seemed to like it's photo taken 


Posted November 12th at 1:46 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Teign Estuary- Leucistic Oystercatcher

This bird was on the foreshore, close to the bridge ,this morning.

Posted November 12th at 12:06 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Monday 11th November 2019

Scaup, Goldeneye & Juv Wigeon Wrafton pond

Thanks to Jon Turner & Rob Jutsum who posted these wildfowl earlier we found all three present today along with <50 BHG's , <20 Mallard, 6 male & 4 female Gadwall seen. 2 X little grebe, <12 coot, <8 moorhen. Heard but not seen, 2 X Cettis. 

Scaup (Thanks Mike Langman)
Scaup (Thanks Mike Langman)

Female Goldeneye
Female Goldeneye

Wigeon juvenile
Wigeon juvenile

Posted November 11th at 6:26 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N and S Hallsands. 10/11/2019 and 11/11/2019

Yesterday at N Hallsands in a biting North Easterly wind ,only a few migrants in the willows.5Goldcrests ( 2 ringed ) 1Firecrest (ringed /1st. Yr. f. ) ,5 Chiffchaffs ( 2 ringed ). In the marsh a squealing WaterRail was the first of this winter. 1Woodcock  ( flushed ),again a regular winter visitor here.

This morning at S. Hallsands 4 Goldcrests ( 2 ringed, both ' Continental ' birds, ) 2 Firecrests ( ringed ) a 1st. Yr. m and 1st. Yr. f. 1 Chiffchaff and overhead several flocks of Wood Pigeons moving West.

1st. Yr. male.
1st. Yr. male.

' continental ' Goldcrest 1st. Yr. female
' continental ' Goldcrest 1st. Yr. female

Posted November 11th at 4:01 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Spotted Redshank Fremington Pill

Sorry for late posting, no excuse, Spotted Redshank showing well yesterday feeding in the Pill opposite the outfall from the wildlife area on the army camp side. Glossy Ibis also present. 

Posted November 11th at 12:59 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Between Instow and the Torridge Bridge

Four Spoonbill feeding on both sides of the Torridge between 8.45 and 9.15. All flew down towards Zeta Berth on the eastern bank. None appeared to be ringed.

Posted November 11th at 9:18 am by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Sunday 10th November 2019

Plym Estuary

On Blaxton Meadow late afternoon: Kingfisher, 13 Oystercatchers, 29 Curlews, 3 Greenshanks, 119 Redshanks, 85 Dunlin & 21 Shelducks.

Posted November 10th at 5:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exeter Hawfinches (probably)

A flock of 8-10 large-finch-sized birds flew across the river as I was walking home at around 1430, but disappeared into the trees around Larkbeare House before I could get the bins on them. The flight call matches some of those from Belgium and elsewhere on xeno-canto, so I am pretty sure.

Will look for them in the morning; probably best to watch from the West bank, or maybe Colleton Hill.

Posted November 10th at 4:37 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Torquay Harbour


9 Purple Sandpipers and 8 Turnstones at Haldon Pier. 

Posted November 10th at 3:39 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Occombe, Paignton

For the second time in the last couple of weeks a solitary Redwing, where are all the others? Good sightings of a pair of Buzzards, a small flock of about 20 Goldfinch. Green Woodpecker and a Jay in the orchard. Around the feeders in front of the hide were numerous Great Tits, several Blue Tits, plus Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock and a Nuthatch.

Posted November 10th at 12:55 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

central park plymouth

Around 70 ringneck parakeet 

Posted November 10th at 9:10 am by barry insull in General Birding

Older Posts →