Devon Bird Sightings

Breeding birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posted April 10th at 4:50 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

Friday 22nd June 2018

Turf Locks

Surprised to see a Short eared Owl at Turf this evening. 

Also a Red Kite over Starcross yesterday afternoon 

Posted 10:31 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Re Unidentified Wasp

Rob Jutsum's unidentified wasp looks like a Lunar Hornet Moth.

Posted 6:57 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding


Walked Warren House to Challacombe and back via Headland Warren. A great count of 19+ Whinchats including 3 pairs with juvs, 2 Crossbills, 4 Tree Pipits, 3 Lesser Redpolls, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Willow Warblers, 4 Wheatears, 4 Siskins, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Greens & a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Reed Buntings, 6 Small Pearl-bordered & a Silver-washed Fritillary.

Posted 6:20 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Unidentified Wasp

Rob Jutsum - it is a Lunar Hornet Moth. Great spot!

Posted 6:09 pm by C Boyles in Other Wildlife

Rob Jutsum's unidentified wasp

Rob , try looking up Lunar Hornet Moth (Sesia bembeciformis) as a possible ID for your 'wasp', their food-plant includes willow. Any other photo's that may help with ID? 

Posted 6:00 pm by Kevin Johns in Other Wildlife


Red Kite seen circling over the village this afternoon, at about 3:30pm

Posted 5:46 pm by Chris Baines in General Birding

Unidentified Wasp - Garden

In the garden on the weeping willow leaves.

Looking in my insect pocket guide I cannot find an exact match.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Posted 5:25 pm by Rob Jutsum in Other Wildlife

Aish Torr

Saw 20+ Fritillaries, 3 positive id High Browns, 2 positive id Dark Greens. The rest flying around and wouldn't settle so couldn't id. Pictures showing the underwing showing the difference between them, both pics taken today at Aish Torr

High Brown Fritillary
High Brown Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary
Dark Green Fritillary

Posted 5:09 pm by simon thurgood in Other Wildlife

Cream spot tiger moth

Thursday afternoon at Mattiscombe sands, Start Point

Posted 2:27 pm by Adam Davison in Other Wildlife


Late news from Wednesday 20th.  A recce at Cann Wood turned up at least 12 Nightjars, with great flight views of chasing pairs before it got too dark. Three pairs of Roe Deer also.  This bodes well for anyone wishing to join me for the guided walk on Monday 25th. (See "News" for details)

Posted 12:49 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Morte Point

2 Lesser Whitethroat on the Point this morning

Posted 11:45 am by Derek Stacey in General Birding


Meant to post this yesterday. This Barn Owl posed very nicely for me as I took several photos, didn't seemed bothered about my presents.

Posted 10:35 am by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Thursday 21st June 2018

Velator reserve

Little Grebes finally seen with young this week. Only a few days before last year's first (and only) brood. In 2016 there was an early brood in May and then another in June.

Juvenile Little Grebes.
Juvenile Little Grebes.

Posted yesterday at 10:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Velator reserve

Little Grebes finally seen with young this week. Only a few days before last year's first (and only) brood. In 2016 there was an early brood in May and then another in June.

Juvenile Little Grebes.
Juvenile Little Grebes.

Posted yesterday at 10:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


1 hawking dragonflies over Doccombe Valley heading towards mortenhampstead at 11:30.

Posted yesterday at 9:53 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Beesands - 21-06-18

Again at Beesands a Buzzard being mobbed by Magpies 

Posted yesterday at 7:21 pm by GregBradbury in General Birding

Beesands - 21-06-18

At Beesands today, Reed Warblers were showing very well along with Whitethroats, and a Juv being very photogenic, plenty of Cetti's Warblers heard and seen

Posted yesterday at 7:20 pm by GregBradbury in General Birding

Bicton Common (East Devon)

22 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended this mornings fieldtrip starting at Four Firs car park and taking in a 2 mile circular walk to Blackhill Quarry.  A brief glimpse of a single Dartford Warbler confirmed the presence of this species and the most common bird was Linnet which were present in small numbers.  A total of 24 species was counted during the morning and these included small numbers of Swift moving through, several Stonechat, Green Woodpecker and Siskin.  The quarry lakes produced Sand Martin, Tufted Duck, Herring Gull, Gt Black backed Gull, Moorhen, Mallard and a family group of Canada Geese.  The normally present Little Grebes were not seen, probably due to disturbance from vehicles working around the lakeside. Other species including Greenfinch, Yellow Hammer, Gt spotted Woodpecker, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Bullfinch and Blackcap were seen or heard at a distance.

Posted yesterday at 5:01 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Juvenile Spoonbill

Following reports that the Spoonbill might have been injured by shooters, I paid a visit to the marsh yesterday.

I can report that the juvenile Spoonbill is in fine health, actively feeding, preening and flying.  The bird seems to be moulting primaries and secondaries.  Efford Marsh would seem to be just the right habitat for this species now that the flood gates have been adjusted (at last): it is now similar to flooded water meadows in SW France where the species is quite common.

Juvenile Spoonbill feeding off hide
Juvenile Spoonbill feeding off hide

Spoonbill shortly after take off, heading into wind
Spoonbill shortly after take off, heading into wind

Spoonbill landing back into wind
Spoonbill landing back into wind

Posted June 20th at 8:40 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Possable Orca Sighting

Possible Orca about a mile off Hopes Nose this morning at 9am Fully breached once then not seen again.

Robert Hughes 

Posted June 20th at 3:49 pm by Robert Hughes in Other Wildlife

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Kingfisher back early on Blaxton Pool, 3 Stock Doves, 17 eclipse drake Mandarin Ducks, juv Great Spotted Woodpecker and young Swallows in the nest and on the wing. 

Posted June 19th at 10:48 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Mid Devon Branch Field Meet at Witheridge Moor

Tree and Meadow Pipits, Redstarts, Wood Warblers, Spotted Flycatchers, Siskins, Song and Mistle Thrushes  were some of the birds seen by the group on this morning's walk through the culm and adjacent woodland. 

Posted June 19th at 10:10 pm by Nick Armstrong in General Birding

Monday 18th June 2018


2 Black-tailed Godwits on the smaller scrape this evening.

Still 16 Juvenile Canada Geese around the area.

Posted June 18th at 9:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, late news

Some photos from yesterday morning's boat trip out of Brixham.

Manx Shearwater
Manx Shearwater


Diving Gannet
Diving Gannet

Posted June 18th at 4:27 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

North Devon

Nice surprise early this morning in North Devon, watched a Hobby take a House Martin. Several House Martins then mobbed the falcon before it flew off. 

Posted June 18th at 3:58 pm by Martin Bond in General Birding

Sunday 17th June 2018

Saltram Blaxton Meadow 17-06-18

Plenty of Large skipper flying around the meadow

Posted June 17th at 9:26 pm by GregBradbury in Other Wildlife

Lyme Bay Boat Trip.

Sightings on a boat trip from Brixham into Lyme Bay this morning were:- 1 Storm Petrel, 25+ Manx Shearwater, 10+ Kittiwake, 3 Fulmar, 1 Razorbill, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull , many Guillemots on the water and flying back and forth from the colony and gannets diving by the boat. Trips running every Sunday morning, if interested call 07866202576.

Posted June 17th at 2:06 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Saturday 16th June 2018

Lyme Bay 15th June 2015

Picture of breaching Thresher Shark

Posted June 16th at 9:27 pm by George and Lesley Carr in General Birding

Lyme Bay Thursday 15th

3 Storm Petrels, 2 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 35 Manx Shearwater, 2yr Med Gull amongst the Kittiwakes on the Guillemot nesting site at Berry Head, 4 Harbour Porpoise and a 300+ lb thresher shark that fully breached at least 5 times (pictures to follow). 

Posted June 16th at 7:55 pm by George and Lesley Carr in General Birding

R. Plym additional

In addition to the scruffy drake Mandarins spotted by Pete A. there was a female Mandarin with 8 well grown (1 week +) ducklings at the tramway bridge over the Plym at Longbridge.

Posted June 16th at 4:20 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram 15/6/18

On Blaxton Pool, a single Redshank with 3 remaining Curlews. Fourteen Shelducks included a pair with 2 ducklings, Swallow feeding 3 young in the nest, 23 eclipse drake Mandarins, female Red-crested Pochard, 3 Stock Doves and Moorhens with 4 small young.

Also 4 Bee and 3 Southern Marsh Orchids and my first Marbled White of the year. 

Posted June 16th at 2:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Friday 15th June 2018

Brendon Common

Pair of Whinchats,pair of Spotted Flycatchers,Redpoll,Cuckoo,Heron,Grey Wagtail,Willow Warblers,Stonechat family,goldfinches,meadow pipits and a green woodpecker. Good day.

Posted June 15th at 4:35 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Underwood, Plympton

Some less than routine sightings this morning. Two juvenile Siskins on the garden feeders, a Grey Heron on a neighbouring roof, soon seen off by the local Herring Gulls and a fly-by Ring-necked Parakeet.

Grey Heron  Siskin (juv.)
Grey Heron                                Siskin (juv.)

Posted June 15th at 7:57 am by Jason Smart in General Birding

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