General Birding

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

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 - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. 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

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley 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

Saturday 4th July 2020

Preston seaf5

Another productive walk this afternoon with a juvenile Little Gull being both a surprise and star bird. The Mediterranean Gull was still present along with a Little Egret, 4 Oystercatchers, 3 Shags, a number of Black Headed Gulls, a couple of Great Black Back Gulls and at one point several hundred Herring Gulls. 

Posted yesterday at 5:56 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Velator/Sherpa Marsh

Persistent  Heron in by the reserve pond must be finding something there! Still a few singing Reed Warblers and the Grebes seem to be peaceful today. Around Sherpa Marsh good numbers of House Martins, several Swifts and a few Sand Martins. No Swallows. 19 Swans plus a female with three very recently hatched cygnets. a lone drake Tufted Duck the only Duck of note.  A lone Black-tailed Godwit just outside the reserve near the scrape. Back home an adult male Sparrowhawk in the garden unsuccessfully chased a Blackbird. Still a Blackcap singing on a daily basis.

Posted yesterday at 3:42 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 3rd July 2020

Cockwood, late news

The Exe estuary resident Slavonian grebe gave good views just off Cockwood harbour bridge early yesterday afternoon. Would have been a lot closer if it hadn't swum out to avoid a dinghy coming into the harbour!

Slavonian grebe
Slavonian grebe

Posted July 3rd at 5:12 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A low tide visit, so wader numbers lower than Martin's this morning, but in addition - Green Woodpecker, 2nd-summer Mediterranean Gull, & 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. 

Posted July 3rd at 4:49 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Little Grebes. A couple of weeks ago was the last time I saw an adult Little Grebe on the pond in the reserve. The 2 juveniles seem to be doing just fine feeding well and growing into pretty much full size now. Today when I arrived I thought heard a Grebe trilling and then saw 2 Grebes, one of which morphed into an adult when I got a better view. He (presumably) then started giving the juveniles a right run around chasing them everywhere. Does this mean another brood is imminent? Where's he been for 2 weeks? Shouldn't be down the pub - they're all closed!

A few weeks back I put up a long perch nailed to a tree trunk which reaches out about 15 feet over the pond. It's designed for Kingfishers. So a bit frustrating to have a juvenile Heron landing on it! Today, however a Kingfisher did land on it but the resulting photos weren't worth sharing. Will try harder next time.

Posted July 3rd at 2:13 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


A brief lunchtime visit produced a Great Crested Grebe and 18 Crossbill.

Posted July 3rd at 1:16 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Exmouth - Straight Point

Kittewake colony on Straight Point (Sandy Bay) is thriving.  Difficult to count the birds as they are both flying en masse and visiting the nests, but estimate at least 400+.    Between 180 & 200 nests with one or two fledglings on some and many still incubating.   This is as good as we've seen it over the last 8 years.   

Photos by Derek Carter

Part of the colony
Part of the colony

Posted July 3rd at 1:15 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Plym Estuary.

On this mornings high tide wader numbers have increased. 35 Curlew, 51 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 9 Common Sandpipers and a Kingfisher.

Posted July 3rd at 9:47 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Late entry for yesterday

Lower Tamar Lake.

9 Willow Tit, c25 Swifts, c20 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 2 Collared Doves, 2 Mute Swan, 17 Great Tit, 23 Blue Tit, 9 Coal Tit, 20 Chaffinch, 3 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted July 3rd at 8:48 am by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Thursday 2nd July 2020

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Curlews creeping up in number - now 24 on Blaxton Meadow. Also, Common Sandpiper, 2nd-s Mediterranean Gull, Mallard with at least 8 small ducklings & 6 Roe Deer.

Posted July 2nd at 7:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

14:56 - 16:58

Greenshank x5; Curlew x60+; Black-tailed Godwit x18; Shelduck pair with 2 chicks were the highlights.

Posted July 2nd at 5:50 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Stover 02-07-20

Long distance shot of a Cuckoo at Stover lake, taken from the hide to the opposite bank, not a good shot but a record shot, Kingfisher seen hovering, and 2 Great Crested Grebes making a nest

Posted July 2nd at 4:37 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

First large movement of outgoing Swifts with 240 moving SW across the farm this morning

Posted July 2nd at 2:26 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wednesday 1st July 2020


Several House Martins swooping low over the beach, good numbers of House Sparrows, a calling Greenfinch, about half a dozen Shags and a solitary Mediterranean Gull.

Posted July 1st at 10:47 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Kingfisher, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 1st-summers & a 2nd-summer), Shag, 16 Mandarin Ducks, Mallard with 10 tiny ducklings, Green Woodpecker & 6 Roe Deer. 

Posted July 1st at 10:14 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Robin Khan

I'm very sad to announce that Robin Khan died yesterday at the age of 86. Robin was a stalwart of DBWPS and will be greatly missed.

Robin Khan - 3rd May 2018

Posted July 1st at 10:10 am by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Tuesday 30th June 2020

Wrafton pond

More from my visit.

Little GrebeLittle Grebe

Little Grebe

Posted June 30th at 11:59 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Wrafton pond

A little showery at the pond this afternoon but between the showers there was some activity.  A number of Reed Warblers, A Coot sitting on eggs, the pair were nest building when I last visited Wrafton pond, a pair of Little Grebes were feeding two chicks and another one or two near the near the wooden pier. 

Reed WarblerCoot on it's nestLittle Grebes





Reed Warbler                                                         Coot on it's nest                                Little Grebes

Posted June 30th at 11:57 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Berry Head seawatch 06.40 to 15.00

158 Balearic & 206 Manx Shearwaters, Bonxie, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 10 Common Dolphins & 5 Harbour Porpoises.

Posted June 30th at 4:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Monday 29th June 2020

Stover lake

Kingfisher spotted hovering Whilst hunting above lake for a few Seconds at a time. Mid afternoon.

Posted June 29th at 10:37 pm by Verity Jepson in General Birding

central park plymouth

100 plus ringneck parakeet to roost

Posted June 29th at 8:56 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Unusual Swallow - Northam area

Seen by a friend a few days ago and taken on i-phone.

Swallow assumed leucistic
Swallow assumed leucistic

Swallow assumed leucistic
Swallow assumed leucistic

Posted June 29th at 8:24 pm by Andrew Lansdell in General Birding


saw a pair of redstarts feeding fledgling birds at Brisworthy plantation yesterday. 

Posted June 29th at 7:49 pm by Andrew Quest in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Peregrine, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, Kingfisher & 4 Roe Deer.

Posted June 29th at 5:23 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


A drake Eider was again off Broadsands beach yesterday evening it's been around Torbay for more than a month now. Here's another picture of it on 10 June at Thatcher's Rock Torquay (photo Rob Hughes - Devon sea safari). Even on 17th June in Brixham it was still looking like a good plumaged drake!

EiderDrakeBrdsnds280620ML EiderDrakeBrdsnds280620ML 2 EiderDrakethatchers Rock 10 June 2020 R Hughes

Posted June 29th at 9:10 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Sunday 28th June 2020



Greenshank x5 (cheers Steve W for the help).

Posted June 28th at 6:09 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

First returning Greenshank with 20 Redshanks, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (1st & 2nd summers), 2 juv Green Woodpeckers, Great Spotted Woodpecker & 2 Spotted Flycatchers. A bit windy for butterflies but did see 2 each of Small Skipper & Marbled White.

Posted June 28th at 2:07 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton.

6 Mediterranean Gulls on the rocks this morning, 2 adults and 4 second summer. The birds were amongst some adult Black-headed Gulls that have started to return to the Bay, post breeding, over the last few days.

Also a pair of Rock Pipits seen feeding fledged young.

Mediterranean Gull, second summer.
Mediterranean Gull, second summer.

Rock Pipit, adult.
Rock Pipit, adult.

Rock Pipit, fledgling.
Rock Pipit, fledgling.

Posted June 28th at 2:04 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Saturday 27th June 2020

Exminster Mediterranean Gulls

A flock of c400 gulls, 90%+ Black-headed, resting over the high tide among the cattle just North of Turf contained at least 8 adult Meds., very belatedly getting my year-list to 150. Not my favourite bird in this plumage: 

Earlier, off Cofton Steps, a frenzied flock of 500+ mixed gulls were feeding in mid-estuary, presumably on a hatch of fish (Flounder? Dabs? Mullet? Does anybody know what breeds in the estuary?). The Slavonian Grebe in his breeding fine to ry was only about 50m offshore in calm water, allowing a prolonged good view.

Haven't seen the Powderham Egyptian Geese pair for several weeks; at the end of May they had 7 nearly-full-grown young. Perhaps they have a communal moult site elsewhere like some other Anseriformes.

Posted June 27th at 5:37 pm by James Camden in General Birding

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