General Birding

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

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 - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. 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


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

Monday 10th August 2020


Cattle Egret present this afternoon with the cows south of the reserve. Also present this evening until about 20.00.

Posted yesterday at 10:05 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Swifts at East Prawle

High numbers of migrating swifts over the camping fields on saturday 8 and sunday 9 August. Many groups of between 50 to 160 birds heading south, some incredibly high screaming parties, others feeding low over the fields. A single swift over Drewsteignton last night on our return, possibly an adult with late young in a nest we are unaware of.

Posted yesterday at 10:22 am by Nick Dixon in General Birding

Sunday 9th August 2020


Cattle Egret again this evening NW of the reserve with cattle! 19.00 hrs

Cattle EgretCattle EgretCattle Egret
Cattle Egret


Posted August 9th at 10:32 pm by Martin Bond in General Birding

Exe Estuary

Wheatear at the Turf, same location as last year,  over 200 Starlings, 8 - 10 Swallows,, House Martins at altitude, 12 - 15 Pied Wagtails,  5 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Rock Pipits. Oystercatchers, Curlew, 3 Mute Swans, several Shelduck, Rooks and a few hundred Black-headed Gulls on the estuary itself. 

Posted August 9th at 7:52 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip

The boat trip from Brixham out into Lyme Bay aboard Kelly's Hero was at first a bit slow and not many birds about. The second half of our journey was much more productive. Birds seen 40+ Manx and 2 Balearic Shearwater, a Sanderling, 22 Kittiwake, 90+ Guillemots in small groups, 4 Fulmar, 1 Bonxie, Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls. 3 Porpoise and some Common Dolphin in the distance.

Posted August 9th at 7:21 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Migrating Swifts

Yesterday afternoon and this afternoon had views of single Swifts passing over my house in Barnstaple on their way south and yesterday whilst at my field near Codden Hill a Hobby flew over also heading south.

Posted August 9th at 4:46 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding


2 Hobby circling over Coastguard cottages.. 6 Clouded Yellows in the Warren

Posted August 9th at 1:35 pm by Roger White in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Dunlin at the Pill this morning.

Posted August 9th at 1:26 pm by Dave Paterson in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A cracking morning on the patch with a juv Marsh Harrier which flew over low west then drifted higher towards Laira Bridge before disappearing. Probably the first record for the site. Then, 3 Green Sandpipers on Blaxton Meadow for a few minutes before flying off towards the narrow river: my first here for many years. Also, Kingfisher, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Greenshanks, adult Mediterranean Gull, 5 Stonechats & a Roe Deer.

Posted August 9th at 12:58 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

South Pool Creek - Kingsbridge Estuary

From the kayak - 14 Greenshank & Common Sandpiper.

Posted August 9th at 12:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


First noc-mig recording of the 'autumn' overnight Friday/Saturday. Recorded a Yellow Wagtail calling as it flew over at 05:22. 

Posted August 9th at 10:15 am by Chris E in General Birding

Saturday 8th August 2020


Thanks to Andy for posting my message re the Cattle Egret, which I didn't see again. I was there to catch Swallows, but none obliged tonight. At 20.52 all the Gulls in the surrounding field, which had been feeding happily, suddenly took off and  made a right din. I looked out at the scrape and the Spoonbill circled few times and then landed. Often wondered what sort of time it turned up.

Posted August 8th at 10:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Just rec'd message from John Turner, Cattle Egret south of reserve !9:40h.

Posted August 8th at 7:44 pm by Andrew Lansdell in General Birding

G.C.Grebes Stover Lake Newton Abott

Great Crested Grebe Feeding Two Of The Four Youngsters, On The Parents Back This Morning.

Posted August 8th at 3:28 pm by patrick hawkins in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A different juv Yellow-legged Gull to yesterday’s on Blaxton Meadow. Also, 2 juv Peregrines, Whinchat, 5 Stonechats, 16 Little Egrets, 2 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, Shag, 38 Curlews & 5+ Clouded Yellows.

Posted August 8th at 1:03 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Along Fremington Pill this evening (7 August) there were 30+ Redshank feeding on the water line.



Posted August 8th at 12:23 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Friday 7th August 2020

Soar and Slapton

Soar area early morning - 30+ phylloscs, 30+ Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, Reed Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 2 Wheatears

Slapton - juv Yellow-legged Gull, Yellow Wagtail

Posted August 7th at 4:56 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

137 Redshanks (mainly on Blaxton Meadow) with 3 Greenshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers, juv Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Mediterranean Gulls (juv,1st-s & 2nd-s), Kingfisher, 15 Little Egrets & 3 Stock Doves.

Also: Swift, Green Woodpecker, 5 Stonechats, Whitethroat, Sparrowhawk, Roe Deer & 2 Clouded Yellows.

Posted August 7th at 4:24 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Torbay ~ Cuckoo

Not what you expect to find in a Torbay garden........ a young Cuckoo sunbathing and  feeding on flying ants.

Four Swifts overhead.

Posted August 7th at 4:02 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar & Bolt Head

50 Swift, 28 Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 270 Linnet.

Non-avian: 33 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 35 Common Blue, late Dark Green Fritillary & Marbled White.

Posted August 7th at 3:38 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

08:27 - 11:28

Highlights - 1 Knot, many hundred Redshank, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Harrier, 160+ Curlew, Whimbrel, 12 Little Egret, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Common Sandpiper (Goosemoor). 

Posted August 7th at 1:04 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Wrafton Scrape

Just before 09.00 the Spoonbill was again asleep on the scrape. Just beyond was a lone Black-tailed Godwit.

Precious little around Sherpa Marsh - 2 Lapwing, 125 Canada Geese....

Posted August 7th at 12:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The highlights of today’s high tide were 116 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 37 Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Common Sandpiper & 1 Kingfisher.

Saltram produced 2 each of GSW & Green Woodpecker, 3 Stonechat, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Sparrowhawk & 7 Spotted Flycatcher all together!

Posted August 7th at 10:22 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Thursday 6th August 2020

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich tern on the Plym in front of TR2 resting on a boat late this evening.

Posted August 6th at 11:48 pm by Martin Lavelle in General Birding

Black Redstart on Dartmoor

Black Redstart sheltering appropriately at Black Tor (GR 566 894) on 05/08 and also 7 Red Grouse in flight at Okement Hill on 06/08.

Posted August 6th at 8:53 pm by Stuart Gray in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Seen this morning while topping up the feeders

2 Willow Tit and 4 Long-tailed Tit foraging along the lakeside among the reeds.

Posted August 6th at 7:48 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Velator scrape

From the Tarka Trail at about 09.00 a single Spoonbill roosting out in the water of the scrape. Nearby a Black-tailed Godwit. By the time I had got round into and around to that side of the reserve, both had gone.

SKERN later (4-5pm): 1 Wheatear, and several Whimbrel over. Tide a long way out.

Posted August 6th at 6:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

12:44 - 14:13

Wood Sandpiper was very close to the walkway to the hide giving tremendous views. Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, many Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Shelduck all present too

Posted August 6th at 6:40 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Preston seafront

Early evening, Little Egret, 7 Turnstones, 5 Sandwich Terns (3 adults, 2 juvs) and numerous House Martins (probably enjoying the flying ant fest).

Posted August 6th at 6:38 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Migrating Swifts and Swallows

Whilst working at a house on the top of the cliffs overlooking Westward Ho! this morning, I counted about 30 Swifts and a similar number of Swallows migrating roughly southwards in about a ten minute period. Also seen at the same place very close views of a Green Woodpecker.

Posted August 6th at 3:36 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

Wednesday 5th August 2020

Berry Head

At Berry head this morning six Cirl Bunting, one Whitethroat, Rock Pipit, Jay, small number of Swallow and three Swift.

From the headland, early passage of immature LBBG, 18 plus Gannet inc three immature birds, Fulmar, GBBG, one Kittiwake, light passage of Manx Shearwater, flock of sixteen Common Scoter.

Harbour Porpoise showing well and one Common Dolphin.


Posted August 5th at 9:15 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

c30 Sandwich & c15 Common Terns, c70 Ringed Plovers, c55 Dunlins, 29 Sanderlings, 20+ Whimbrels, 4 Common Scoters, 4 Mediterranean Gulls & a distant Pom/Arctic Skua.

The summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebe & 4 Bar-tailed Godwits off Cockwood.

Posted August 5th at 4:57 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Velator reserve

Late morning visit, and as I did the usual circuit, I thought I could hear a Curlew calling. A little further on and there it was just circling over and letting out that lovely whistle. Once again quite early here, usually an unusual winter visitor.

Posted August 5th at 1:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 4th August 2020

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake.

1 Kingfisher, 4 Willow Tit ( three on one feeder), 3 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Coot, 2m Tufted Duck, c40 Mallard, 3 Magpie, 24 Blue Tit, 5 House Martins, 3 Swallow, 1 Moorhen, 3 Robin, 5 Chaffinch, 1 Nuthatch, 5 Coal Tit, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Jay, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail c200 Canada Geese.

Posted August 4th at 7:44 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


45 Swifts south, 2 Sand Martins, 5 Wheatears (1juv), 5 Willow Warblers,  11 Chiffchaffs, 9 Blackcaps, 27 Whitethroats, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, juv Bullfinch, 2 Roe Deer, Hare & a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

South Efford Marsh: 28 Curlews, 3 Greenshanks & 3 Common Sandpipers.

Posted August 4th at 3:15 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

East Soar

6 migrant Wheatears, 35 Swifts & Clouded Yellow.

Posted August 4th at 2:07 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

South Brent ~ "Italian" Sparrow

Just after 10 am this morning the "would be" Italian cock Sparrow "Passer Brentus" was back on the garden feeders, first time I have seen him since around the 10th June........

Single swift over this evening.

Posted August 4th at 10:18 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Late News Monday 3rd - Blaxton Meadow, Saltram

A big change on tonight's high tide from just a single on Sunday to 151 Redshank.  Also 35 Curlew and 3 Greenshank.  On the rip-rap at Crabtree bridge 3 Common Sandpipers.  Over 300 Black-headed Gulls, but no sign of recent Mediterranean or yellow-legged, or whimbrel.  2 Stock Doves are regular.

Posted August 4th at 7:57 am by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Monday 3rd August 2020

Lyme Bay Boat Trip Sunday

Pictures from the boat trip on Sunday to accompany the sightings Nigel Smallbones posted yesterday.  The Balearic Shearwaters are looking stunning with no moulting evident (?have they finished their moult already?). Looking at the pictures of the terns seen, they all appear to be Common Tern. Good, close views obtained of most species expected.

Balearic Shearwater  Manx Shearwater  Great Skua
Balearic Shearwater                      Manx Shearwater                                 Great Skua

Posted August 3rd at 11:28 pm by George and Les Carr in General Birding

Wrafton pond area

Popped out to Wrafton pond this evening.  On the pond I saw loads of Mallard and Black headed gulls, a couple of Coots and Moorhens and a juvenile Little Grebe. In the field opposite the pond were a couple of Herons and what looked like a common sand piper though I'm not totally sure.

Heron in flight                    Heron
Heron in flight                                                             Heron

Posted August 3rd at 10:05 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Corndon Tor, Dartmoor


Juvenile Whinchat, female and juvenile Wheatear. 

Nearby, a pair of Stonechats and a juvenile, 3 Ravens. Numerous Linnets, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. 

Posted August 3rd at 8:19 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Velator and Sherpa Marsh

Becoming very quiet around the reserve of late, but today the Moorhens were busy with a second brood of at least 4 tiny bundles of black fluff.  The two remaining juvs from the first brood are still around. I remain confused about the presence of one adult Little Grebe. 2 Kingfishers chasing about today. Yesterday a Common Sandpiper out on the scrape early on. Still getting intermittent visits from a juvenile (or 2) Herons. A returning Teal was in the reserve yesterday.

Around Sherpa an exciting doubling of the numbers of Lapwing, from one to.....

170+ Canada Geese, 15 Swans, 3 Teal. Water levels too high, no muddy margins. I think the farmer is keeping the water level up so that the cattle have somewhere to drink. A male Stonechat on the riverbank today.

Posted August 3rd at 7:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


All five pairs of Spotted Flycatchers in and around Arlington woodland have done well and raised families.All fit and feeding up now.Beautiful young Tawny Owl made our day.

Young Tawny Owl.
Young Tawny Owl.

Posted August 3rd at 5:30 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This morning (low tide): Shag, 5 Stonechats, 4 Whitethroats, Willow Warbler, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Kestrel, 75+ Gatekeepers, 10 Small Heaths, Clouded Yellow & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted August 3rd at 5:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Mutters Moor, Sidmouth.

August is a quite month for birds so I was not expecting much from a walk around the moor.  However a reasonable list ended with Bullfinch (1), Swift (3), House Martin (1), Stonechat (4), Whitethroat (2), Willow Warbler family group (5 ), Siskin (1), Kestrel (1), Buzzard (2), Raven (2).  

Posted August 3rd at 3:23 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Re Night Heron

Hi Jon

Birdguides saying Adult Night Heron on River Yeo on Friday 31st July

Posted August 3rd at 11:12 am by David Cope in General Birding


Unidentified Parakeet sp (not Ring-necked) over Forder Vally just now. 

Posted August 3rd at 9:33 am by Rich Billington in General Birding

Night Heron

The RBA map is showing a Night Heron in (or near?) Barnstaple this morning. Anyone any clues whereabouts?

Posted August 3rd at 9:22 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

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