General Birding

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It's the breeding season again, please do not publish news or photographs of scarce or rare birds that may be breeding - you could be putting them at risk.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

Thursday 20th July 2017


A Whimbrel was feeding on the beach this morning. Also a female Redstart was around the coastguard cottages and a Willow Warbler was by the hide. There are still plenty of Reed Warblers about and the Cetti's is still singing. On the marsh, just afew Mallards and Moorhens and 7 Gadwalls. 

Posted 2:21 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Wednesday 19th July 2017

Siskin in Exwick

A male Siskin appeared in the garden (Exwick) for around five minutes feeding on the Niger seed. A first for the garden, usually swarmed by Golfdinches and House Sparrows. Have read that Siskins are more likely to be seen in gardens following wet weather perhaps explaining this new visitor.

Posted yesterday at 10:13 pm by Lucy Forsey in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A good showing of gulls today with a juv Yellow-legged Gull (scarce here - record shots attached) and 5 Mediterranean Gulls (ad-s, 2nd-s, 1st-s and 2 juvs). Also - Shag, 3 Whimbrels, 2 Dunlins, 30 Curlews, Stock Dove, Grey Wagtail and 5 Little Egrets.

Yellow-legged Gull, juv
Yellow-legged Gull, juv

Yellow-legged Gull, juv
Yellow-legged Gull, juv

Yellow-legged Gull, juv
Yellow-legged Gull, juv

Posted yesterday at 5:20 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Goodrington & Broadsands

2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on the beach at Goodrington. (bird on right - note small white notches on tertial feathers, just above the wing tips, not a common feature on juv Y-lG)

juv Yellow-legged Gull Goodrington 19 July 2017 ML   juv Yellow-legged Gull 2 Goodrington 19 July 2017 ML


3 Mediterranean Gulls on beach (2 ad s & 1 juv), off the beach two groups of Common Scoter totaling 35.


Posted yesterday at 9:40 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tuesday 18th July 2017

Swifts over Brixham

Sitting in my garden in Brixham last night about 9.20 to 9.40 I was treated to a formation flying display by 17 Swifts and it was spectacular. They flew in close formation, even better than the red arrows, then in the end flew very high and vanished into the clouds. Sorry no pictures was busy watching them!!!

Posted July 18th at 10:27 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Monday 17th July 2017

Velator and the Toll Road, Braunton.

Ringing in the reserve this morning was productive, especially if you (like me) like Blackcaps!. We ringed 18, all but one were juveniles, plus a retrap and two singing males present still. Also ringed: 3 Treecreepers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 7 Goldcrests, 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Reed Warblers, and a very recently fledged Song Thrush - this may be from a third brood - they've been singing for months now and the male was still singing today!

This evening I cycled down the Toll Road to the flood, entertainment was provided by some plonker who had managed to get his 4WD stuck in the mud by the scrape! A tractor duly arrived and hauled it out. Sadly this disturbed most of the birds, but present were 9 Little Egrets, 18 Redshank, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank, 15 or so Dunlin, 5 Curlew, and a Ruff.

Posted July 17th at 9:02 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


At the Plym Estuary & Saltram this morning: 2 Mediterranean Gulls (adults), Kingfisher, Whimbrel, 26 Curlews, 9 juv Black-headed Gulls, 7 Little Egrets and 50+ Swifts. Also lots of Gatekeepers and a Roe Deer (doe).

This afternoon, 4+ White-letter Hairstreaks in Central Park (record shot below). Also a selection of other butterflys including Holly Blues and Commas and a Peregrine over.

Yesterday, a Mediterranean Gull amongst the Black-headeds after flying ants over my house (Mount Gould).

White-letter Hairstreak
White-letter Hairstreak

Posted July 17th at 8:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

fremington, home farm.

6 young Herons on the scrape,near the hide plus 4 little egrets,4 young sedge warblers,little flock of common sandpipers on beach area on the tide,got pics but not good.Goldcrest,greenfinch,linnets, stonechat and a seal feeding on the entrance to the river. Butterflies,red admiral, peacock,comma,burnet,small skipper,gatekeepers and emperor dragonflies.

Posted July 17th at 5:41 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Goosanders it is!

Thanks to Jonathan for photo of one of the Otter "redheads". The pic looks just like our two birds and I'm happy to accept his identification as Goosanders. 

Posted July 17th at 2:00 pm by Timothy Joy in General Birding

Sunday 16th July 2017

Lyme away boat trip

A few more pics from this mornings trip. You never appreciate how small Storm Petrels are till you see them next to other sea birds. Another great trip.

Storm Petrel between Fulmars
Storm Petrel between Fulmars

Posted July 16th at 10:49 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Brixham Harbour hirundines

The swallows have fledged a brood from a nest behind a ladder on the harbour wall, on the north side of the Fish Market. The nest is only about a metre above high water mark - the second year they have successfully nested here. Nearby, a brood of house martins look about ready to leave a nest under the eaves of the yacht club (close to the flagstaff) - view from the path behind the fish market..

Swallow family party (2nd juv. was on fence above)  House Martin nest
Swallow family party (2nd juv. was on fence above)            House Martin nest

Posted July 16th at 8:15 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip

Some of the birds from this morning's trip out of Brixham. For a while we had 2 bonxies both mobbing the gulls.

Bonxie (Great Skua) Manx Shearwater Storm Petrel
Bonxie (Great Skua)                              Manx Shearwater                         Storm Petrel

Posted July 16th at 7:56 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Boat Trip

Heres some pics from the trip out with Nigel, Iam sure there will be more from others to follow?

Great Skua Fulmar
Great Skua                           Fulmar

Posted July 16th at 7:40 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

central park about 20 ringneck parakeet pic of a couple


Posted July 16th at 4:28 pm by barry in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip

This mornings trip out of Brixham, sea state was a bit lumpy, We traveled 8 miles out and had some good birds. 1 Med Gull, 50+ Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Storm Petrel, Kittiwake, many Gulls and 2 Bonxies(Great Skua), these passed over the boat and one spent a long time at the rear of the boat chasing Herring Gulls.

I hope somebody will post some pictures for you to see. I missed taking any shots as I had my head down with the chum!!!! Still got some places next week, if interested call 07866202576.  




Posted July 16th at 2:06 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding


 Red Throated Diver (juv) off groyne in front of Dawlish station.

Posted July 16th at 1:58 pm by Nick Workman in General Birding

Saturday 15th July 2017

Otter Estuary

I was interested to read Tim's note of Friday 14th regarding two birds (Goosander or Merganser?) on the Otter. 

The previous day I saw what I believed to be 2 juvenile Goosanders fishing opposite the west bank hide.  I believe Red-breasted Merganser would have been out of season although Tyler (Birds of Devon) does say that non-breeding birds do stay beyond April and sometimes into the summer.  I will record mine as juv. Goosander but am open to correction.  The above is the best picture I could get with a bridge camera at 200 yards.

Posted July 15th at 8:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Goodrington Beach Torbay

Two juvenile  Yellow-legged Gulls on the exposed rocks in the middle of the beach, one was huge (facing right) the other (facing left and in flight) just a little bigger than the surrounding Herring Gulls


Posted July 15th at 6:55 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Friday 14th July 2017

Interesting obervations - 14 July

At Bowling Green Marsh around 9.00 two female Goosanders. Flew off north after ten minutes.

At Dawlish Warren, from the railway overbridge, two basking sharks at around 11.15.

Posted July 14th at 7:43 pm by Francis Welland in General Birding

Cockwood Harbour

Tuesday 11 July. 3 Sandwich Terns calling and flying up river just outside the harbour in pouring rain

Posted July 14th at 7:04 pm by Timothy Joy in General Birding

Otter Estuary

2 hour stint in the lower hide, accompanied by Tony Warren, Wednesday evening on the rising tide. Really bright viewing conditions. Total of 9 Little Egrets, 2 Common Sandpiper, and 2 merganser "redheads". The chestnut breast seemed to be sharply defined and made us wonder if they were Goosanders rather than R-b Merganser although we would have thought R-b M probably more likely.Regret no photos this time. 

Posted July 14th at 7:02 pm by Timothy Joy in General Birding

Black hole Marsh

A Great Egret seen on the river from Tower Hide at 12.15 today. Also 3 Common Sandpiper.

Posted July 14th at 6:09 pm by Ray Hamilton in General Birding


170 Swifts feeding low over oilseed rape by Southdown Farm. Also post-breeding flock of 100 Linnets. 2 Wall Browns first of new generation.

Posted July 14th at 12:16 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 13th July 2017

Venford Reservoir

c12 Lesser Redpolls, 10+ Siskins, Common Sandpiper, Little Grebe, 2 Tree Pipits and Green Woodpecker.

Posted July 13th at 8:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spotted Redshank was from the view platform this lunchtime. No longer in its summer plumage, it is now quite a grey bird.

Posted July 13th at 3:32 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

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