Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Breeding birds

It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.

If in doubt refer to the following: 

Any post not following the guidelines will be removed

Posted April 1st at 3:13 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 24th September 2017

South Huish Marsh

2:15-4:45PM Passage of migrants this afternoon including 2no Yellow Wagtail, 1no Curlew Sandpiper(juv) & 1 no Little Stint as well as 2no Wheatear, 20 Swallow, 30+ Meadow Pipit. Usual Snipe, Dunlin and Ringed Plover (overhead) as well as teal and 2no Buzzards.

Little Stint
Little Stint

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper

Posted yesterday at 7:02 pm by Graham Devine in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lyme Bay Boat Trip

Before the boat left: goldfinch, great tit, wood pigeon, blackbird, rock pipit, turnstone and house sparrow (after boat trip).

On the boat trip we saw: balearic shearwater, manx shearwater, cormorants/shags, black-headed gulls, kittiwakes, a guillemot, gannets and the chum bought in great and arctic skuas and lots of great black-backed gulls.

Posted yesterday at 3:03 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 22nd September 2017


20 brent geese off the imperial grounds exmouth this morning  and one gray seal.l.

Posted September 22nd at 10:24 am by eric in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 21st September 2017

Berry Head

Seawatch 06.45-10.15

Highlight was a juv Sabine's Gull which lingered for 25 minutes, most of the time sitting on the sea with a flock of Kittiwakes. Also: Sooty Shearwater, 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Pomarine Skuas, 17 Arctic Skuas, 19 Bonxies, 2 Skua sp, 14 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Terns, 9 "Commic" Terns, 325 Kittiwakes, 9 Common Scoters, 2 Storm Petrel sp and 5+ Harbour Porpoises.

A Wheatear on the rocks.

Posted September 21st at 6:23 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 20th September 2017

Bolwing Green Marsh/Goosemoor

Two juvenile Red-rumped Swallows watched from the Goosemoor viewpoint for about 10 minutes up to 1.00pm, but not seen since. They were feeding with a Sand Martin over the railway end of Bowling Green Marsh. Checked from the hide for about hour an hour afterwards and later back at Goosemoor, but only small numbers of Barn Swallow, Sand Martins and House Martins seen.

Black Tern still feeding over BGM when I left at 3.00pm. Several Water Rails heard and 2 Greenshank and 2 Snipe seen at Goosemoor.

Posted September 20th at 4:29 pm by Dave Smallsire in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 19th September 2017

Horsey & Braunton Marshes

Great White Egret showing well on Horsey late aft + photo of one of the 3 Cattle Egrets on Braunton Marshes (the other 2 keeping a very low profile & not visible until all 3 flew out over the R.Caen after 18.00.

Posted September 19th at 10:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Anchor bank, Barnstaple.

No sign of Grey Phalarope today, the 250 odd Dunlin flock held 2 Curlew sandpipers , 2 Little Stint and a single Sanderling.   Still good numbers of Black and Bar tailed Godwits present.

Posted September 19th at 1:24 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 18th September 2017

Grey Phalarope

Great day out today, started with Grey Phalarope and Ruff at Budleigh Salterton and a Bar-headed Goose with the Canada geese at the end of the beach. Other highlights here were 3 kingfisher and Cetti's warbler. On to Bowling Green Marsh, and with much needed help from the experts there,

found both the Curlew sandpiper and the Little Stints.Thanks to all.

Posted September 18th at 10:12 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bishop's Tawton

Two probable Cattle Egret sighted from train 18:05 in field below Bishop's Tawton in line with the quarry.

Posted September 18th at 8:39 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar and South Efford Marsh

Little vis mig except c45 Swallows going south at first light (100+ around in total). A Grasshopper Warbler in Starehole, Tree Pipit, 14 Ringed Plovers grounded and a Golden Plover over, 25 Blackcaps, 28 Chiffchaffs, 3 Whitethroats, 10 Goldcrests, 4 Wheatears, 300+ Meadow Pipits, Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Sparrowhawk.

At South Efford Marsh, 2 Cattle Egrets, Kingfisher, 4 Greenshanks, 5 Dunlins, 3+ White wagtails, 1 each of Bar and Blacl-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpiper and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted September 18th at 6:24 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Horsey Island

A good look at Horsey Island during the incoming tide before most of the waders were moved on by rising water levels (Spring tide 17.45 - 9.0m)

No sign of the Great White Egret but after close inspection of the waders & waterfowl - 1 Little Stint & 1 Curlew Sandpiper amongst 56 Dunlin,3 Grey Plover, 9 Ringed Plover, 5 Barwits, 6 Blackwits & a number of mobile Greenshank covering a wide area!

Waterfowl - 2 Pintail, 1 Wigeon & 1 Shoveler  & more sleeping duck behind the rushes a good distance away so difficult to be certain of ID.

Posted September 18th at 6:14 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Isley Marsh RSPB

At sunrise this morning my first sighting this autumn of the ringed Spoonbill [green/yellow flag/green, blue/metal/lime] (now 10 years old). On its own feeding at the mouth of the creek. Also a singing Cetti's Warbler nearer the Tarka Trail. 

Posted September 18th at 10:13 am by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 17th September 2017

Torbay and Bowling Green Marsh

Broadsands beach, Paignton this morning three Mediterranean Gulls one with a green plastic leg ring but unable to make out the details.


Berry Head gave a distant passing Shearwater which I am satisfied was a Sooty Shearwater but I could be wrong.

To BGM to catch the late afternoon high tide, lots of waders predominantly Black Tailed Godwit and Dunlin but in with them were Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Avocet, Sanderling and Ringed Plover.

Duck spices included Pintail, Gadwall, Shoveler, Mallard, Teal and Wigeon.

Three Little Grebe one still very much in summer plumage.

(A Knot can be seen in each of the wader images)

Posted September 17th at 9:09 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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