Devon Bird Sightings

Footpath Closure Otter Estuary

Note the footpath is currently closed between Lime Kiln Car Park and White Bridge due to repair work. Currently this is preventing access to the bird hide on the east side of the estuary and viewing platforms.
It is likely to be for 3 weeks.

It seems excessive blocking access for the entire 500M stretch of path when the repairs are only for 50M at the very southern end. I have contacted DCC in the hope they will arrange out and back access to the hide from White Bridge.

Posted September 15th at 11:17 am by Chris Townend in General Birding

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


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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

Tuesday 18th September 2018


The weather forecast for Thursday is for more rain and continuing high winds, making bird watching v difficult with little prospect of seeing anything. So the planned walk for Thursday is cancelled. If you have friends who don't use this web site would you please pass on this message. Thanks. 

Posted 7:42 pm by Geoffrey Green in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 06.45 - 14.30: Balearic Shearwater 227 including a flock of c50, Manx Shearwater 3, Arctic Skua 28, Bonxie 16, Common Scoter 7, Sandwich Tern 9, Common Tern 2, "Commic" Tern 7, Kittiwake 320 in one raft, Harbour Porpoise 4+. Also Siskin over. 

Posted 5:48 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Birded 11.30 - 2.30 2 Ruff (1 juv, 1 moulting adult), 7+ Pintail,, Kingfisher hovered by the hide for a few seconds, Tufted Duck, Stock Dove and a late influx of Wigeon, 6 Greenshank. From the viewing platform some distant Dunlin, Oyks and a GBB Gull. Goosemoor had around half a dozen Dunlin and 46 Greenshank.

Ruff BGM
Ruff BGM

Ruff BGM
Ruff BGM

Greenshank Goosemoor
Greenshank Goosemoor

Posted 3:20 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Monday 17th September 2018

Occombe, Preston

Late morning visit produced 4 Swallows, Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Jay. Long-tailed Tit & 3 female Pheasants.

Posted yesterday at 9:16 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Berry Head

Sea watch with MD from 06.45 to 16.45 produced the following. Great Shearwater 6, Sooty Shearwater 2, Balearic Shearwater 205, Pomarine Skua 1, Arctic Skua 18, Bonxie 31. Also Black Tern 9, Common Tern 8, Sandwich Tern 10, Little Gull 2 and Med. Gull 3.  

Posted yesterday at 6:37 pm by Clive Mason in General Birding

South Huish

1 Juvenile Great Skua flew onto the marsh, it stayed for 5 minutes and then moved to the Chanel behind Bob's island out of view. Also 7 Yellow wagtails, 1 White wagtail and 2 Cattle Egrets.

Posted yesterday at 4:09 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Exe - Starcross

Osprey - seen from Mudbank, landed on exposed shingle and sandbank between Starcross and Cockwood with catch;  harassed by ever increasing number of Crows, and eventually flew off up-river;  lost over Powderham.

Posted yesterday at 3:21 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding


Exmouth Imperial rec. Ospray fishing on ebb tide bagged a mullet then flew off towards starcross chased by gulls and crows.

Posted yesterday at 3:12 pm by eric in General Birding

East Soar

Most interest on the high fields before the fog rolled in: Golden Plover, 8 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 600 Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 8 Pied Wagtail, 13 Alba/White Wagtail, Whinchat, 150 Linnet and the first autumn movement of 66 Skylark. Scrub migrants very poor just Whitethroat & 3 Blackcap.

Non-avian: Brown Hare & MF Roe Deer.

Posted yesterday at 2:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


1 over Gregory's lorry depot Cullompton heading s/east at 12.55

Posted yesterday at 1:09 pm by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 16th September 2018


Along the beach, late afternoon, 1 fw Little Gull again plus at  least 25 Mediterranean Gulls and c20 Sandwich Terns. On the ley, a minimum of 35 Great-crested Grebes.

Posted September 16th at 8:40 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

16/09/18 South Efford marsh

Counted 22 black tailed godwit and a bar tailed godwit outside the hide late afternoon also several greenshank.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwits
Black-tailed Godwits


Posted September 16th at 8:28 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding


Driving into Croyde from the Georgeham direction late this afternoon, a large - 50+ - flock of House Martins swirling over the east side of the village.

Posted September 16th at 7:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


The meeting point for this week's planned walk at ORCOMBE has been changed to the Foxholes Long Term car park, which is on the front and just left of the Lifeboat Station. Please note this change and let any "non web" friends know. Also, the weather forecast for Thursday looks stormy. If this firms up on Wednesday I'll send out another post on Wednesday. 

Posted September 16th at 7:16 pm by Geoffrey Green in General Birding

Slapton Ley Hobby

Hobby seen going after dragonflies from Ireland Hide top of ley

Posted September 16th at 6:48 pm by Ian Stone in General Birding


2 Hobbies flying rapidly south east over Swallow Way, Cullompton at 2.30pm.

Posted September 16th at 6:29 pm by Olly Mears in General Birding

elberry cove

a med. gull sitting on 1 of the buoys "dividing" elberry cove as I swam right alongside it ( on Thursday).  they have been appearing at elberry more frequently.

Posted September 16th at 9:15 am by graham folkerd in General Birding


I agree the raptor in Phil's correspondent's photo is a common buzzard. Also the bunting is a yellowhammer.

Posted September 16th at 1:54 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Saturday 15th September 2018


Phil - I think your raptor photograph is a Buzzard. The Bunting has a large tick on it's head. This is quite common, and they eventually fall off.

Posted September 15th at 10:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

A quiet week just got better

After the flurry on Black hole Marsh earlier in the week, things have quietened down till last night and today. Last night a new birder spotted this bird on a fence post some distance away. i couldn't tell from the photo whether it's the elusive Pallid Harrier or an osprey. Maybe someone with better eyesight can identify it?

Tonight at Seaton Marsh hide, nothing of note except this juvenile reed bunting on the pathway. The apparent growth on its head perhaps explains why it spent most of its time on the floor, allowing me to get within ten feet.

Posted September 15th at 9:05 pm by philip l. fairclough in General Birding


Lovely view of a Hobby this afternoon over Bableigh nr Landkey which then headed off south over the back of Codden Hill.

Posted September 15th at 8:46 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

Slapton Ley

15:00-18:00 ( mainly on beach )

6 unidentified Egrets picked up at distance behind Slapton Village later flew south across Ireland Bay and down to Torcross. Then went offshore, eventually appearing to go inland at North Hallsands at 16:35. Combination of looking into the sun and distance meant I could not nail them but if I had a free bet I would say Cattle Egrets. Also saw the Marsh Harrier and a distant marsh Tern, by default presumed Black Tern at Torcross late afternoon. Best of the Gulls were 18 Mediterranean and 2 adult Yellow-legged. Still good numbers of mostly adult Lesser Black-backs.

Posted September 15th at 8:37 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


1 Hobby, moving fast, a little inland of Thurlestone, early pm.

Posted September 15th at 7:37 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A few waders on the high tide including: Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers, 24 Turnstones, Ringed Plover, 8 Oystercatchers, 41 Curlews & 5 Greenshanks. Also 22 Little Egrets, 18 Grey Herons, 9 Ring-necked Parakeets & a Stock Dove. 

Posted September 15th at 6:31 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Working around the reserve today with Ben and Andy. Had a few nets open not in any great expectation of catching much. So Robin, Blackcap and Goldcrest (first this autumn) were about par. Three retraps including a male Bullfinch in heavy moult.

Nearly 40 species recorded in over or near the reserve, including one of the resident Buzzards, a Kestrel, and a flyover dark Marsh Harrier. A few Swallows over Sherpa Marsh. And, the first since 21st June - a Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape, morning only. Out there too were some Wigeon (5) and a couple of Shoveler.

In the river singing Dipper, a Kingfisher and a juv Grey Wagtail.

As we were packing up to leave a large Tit flock started moving about - mostly Blue and Long-tailed, but Great, and Coal also. In with them were some Chiffchaffs, a couple of Blackcaps, a Greenfinch, and a Willow Warbler. (Where were they when I had the nets open on Thursday!)  About 50 birds in all.

Posted September 15th at 6:13 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Solitary common Gull on the beach by the slipway.

Posted September 15th at 5:32 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Colaton Raleigh Common, East Devon

Visited the grenade range area between 8-9.30am this morning but no sightings of P. Harrier.  Two Kestrel in same area plus Stonechats, M. Pipits, Skylark and a numbers of Bullfinch at copse near car park.

Posted September 15th at 11:16 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Friday 14th September 2018

White Bridge Budleigh Salterton 14th Sept

Five dabchicks busy fishing viewed from the bridge.

Posted September 14th at 5:19 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Broadsands and South Brent

Two Mediterranean Gulls at Broadsands this morning, one second winter and an adult being the recently reported ringed bird RLN4 green ring and ringed in France that seems to be a regular around Torbay.


Ten Great Black Backs one being a juvenile, four Oyster Catcher, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch (on the beach) House Martins and Swallows overhead.

Back home at South Brent, last evening three Tawny owls, this morning the Hobby continues to visit (image from last evening) Jay, two Raven and the seasons first two Chiffchaff in the garden.

Posted September 14th at 4:53 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar

Spent the morning at East soar sat watching the hedgerows, nice to see a firecrest and the usual migrants, whitethrats and blackcaps.

Whitethroat Blackcap Firecrest
Whitethroat                         Blackcap                                      Firecrest

Posted September 14th at 4:45 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding


15 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit and 9 Mediterranean Gull (5 ad W, 3 1st W and 1 2nd W) along the beach at high tide near the sewage pipe this morning. Chiffchaffs calling in the bushes and 5 Swallow over heading west, also a Clouded Yellow butterfly.

Posted September 14th at 3:20 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 juv Curlew Sandpiper in with the Dunlin flock from the viewing platform this lunchtime.

Posted September 14th at 2:24 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Pallid Harrier - Colaton Raleigh Common

Juvenile Pallid Harrier was present on the edge of the grenade range on  Colaton Raleigh Common at 7am this morning. It flew low and fast SW and was not seen again by 08:30.

Posted September 14th at 9:22 am by Fraser C in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 13th September 2018


No sign of the Buff-breasted Sandpipers, but the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was still present. Details and photos at

Posted September 13th at 10:54 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Driving to my field this morning at the back end of Codden Hill, all of a sudden there were Swallows everywhere and another bird which dropped into the road in front of me. I had to stop in order not to run it over. it took off revealing a large whit patch at the base of it's tail and landed in a nearby tree. Not exactly where I would have expected to see a Wheatear, a country lane surrounded by farmland.

Posted September 13th at 8:40 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

Pallid Harrier

A juvenile Pallid Harrier this evening hunting the area around the grenade range on Colaton Raleigh Common. Seen up until 1910 at least and will presumably go to roost in the area. More details and photos on later.

Posted September 13th at 8:13 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Skern and around on the tide.

Dunlin, Turnstones, Whimbrel, 6 Wheatear, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, flocks of linnet, goldfinch, and Starlings, Stonechats, meadow pipits and a brown argos butterfly. Beautiful clear Autumn day. 

Posted September 13th at 8:09 pm by John elvin in General Birding

Labrador Bay

Visited early today and plenty of Cirl Buntings about, especially juv/1st winter birds. Looks like they had a good breeding season.

Cirl Bunting juv/1st winter
Cirl Bunting juv/1st winter

Posted September 13th at 8:06 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding


No sign of the Rose Coloured Starling this evening. There was a large flock of Starling feeding on the Blackberries. Perhaps the Rose Coloured Starling had been supper for the male Peregrine that was cruising around spooking all the other birds. He finally settled down on the salt marsh before disappearing up river looking for dessert! 20+ Pied Wagtails with a scattering of Ringed Plover feeding amongst the Samphire.

Posted September 13th at 7:53 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding


Pretty good numbers of some common migrants today: Spotted Flycatcher 11+, Wheatear 20, Whinchat 7, Blackcap 38, Chiffchaff 29, Willow Warbler 6, Swallow 35, Whitethroat 8 & House Martin 5. Also Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Nuthatch flying up Starehole!

Posted September 13th at 7:26 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

A good morning for the commoner migrants: 5 Ringed Plover, 32 Swallow, 50 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, 7 Wheatear, 40+ Blackcap, 7 Whitethroat, 25 Willow Warbler, 26 Chiffchaff, 7 Spotted Flycatcher and right at the death a Pied Flycatcher in scrub along the top fields by car park.

Posted September 13th at 2:11 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Shipley Bridge ~ Avon Dam

A walk up to the Avon Dam from Shipley Bridge Nr South Brent this morning gave 24 species, the highlight being an Osprey passing the front of the dam headed west.

Other species included two Dipper one ringed, (L ~ yellow ring over metal ring, R ~ red ring over green) Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, two Sparrow hawk, Stonechat, Heron, Kestrels showing well with four separate sightings, two Raven, Buzzard, Linnet and Goldfinch.

A reasonable crop of Rowan and Hawthorn berries bodes well for when the thrushes arrive.

Small number of butterflies.


Posted September 13th at 12:50 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wednesday 12th September 2018

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

Spotted Crake still present on the estuary this evening. Best viewed from the viewing platform south of the hide.

Posted September 12th at 8:55 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


The two Buff-breasted Sandpipers reported on Rare Bird Alert on Tuesday 11th were still present late morning today,  along with a Pectoral Sandpiper (Peter Slader et al.)! Further details to follow on the Lundy Birds blogspot (I don't yet have information on who first found the Buff-breasts on Tuesday.)

Posted September 12th at 3:28 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Generally quiet on the Skern this morning following a very high tide. Waders confined to Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Curlew of which there were c40 of each. However a small flock of Starling flew onto the saltmarsh to feed among which was a juv Rose-coloured Starling. 

Posted September 12th at 3:16 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Blackhole Marsh

Apologies for the delay.

Yesterday at Blackhole Marsh hide, Seaton, wood sandpiper , green sandpiper and ruff. At  Colyford Common hide, despite or because of a very high tide and flooded fields, many black tailed godwit, one ringed plover, one greenshank and the ruff reappeared. All in all a very sastisfactory morning.

WOOD SANDPIPER                                RUFF                                  GREEN SANDPIPER

Posted September 12th at 10:31 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 11th September 2018


Summer reminders today with a Chiffchaff in full song and a Blackcap in sub-song. Odd.

Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail in the river nearby. 2 Kestrels over. And the first Swallows for a  few days.

Posted September 11th at 7:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Sea Watch, 0:700 - 11:30 - 2 - 3 Gt Skua; 3 Arctic Skua (1 light, 1 dark & a very brown juv); 1 Sandwich Tern; c50 Balearic Shearwater; c20 Manx Shearwater; 1 Med Gull (1st w) steady stream of Kittiwake all am with one raft of 500 - 600 at 11:00.

At least 3 Harbour Porpoise close & 2 or 3 small groups of Common Dolphin far out.

3 Willow Warblers calling in scrub between water trough and car park.

Posted September 11th at 5:01 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A brief visit at lunch time was rewarded with 9 cattle egrets (possibly 10) with resting cows in field next to the Turf. The egrets flew onto Powderham Marshes at 13.35. Also imm marsh harrier.

Posted September 11th at 2:57 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Torbay/Berry Head yesterday

4+ Balearic Shearwaters. Many more suspected (inc small flock)but no binos.

100+ Manx Shearwaters

5 Sandwich terns

300+kittiwake in flock. 2 with colour rings (see pic)

plus: 20 Common Dolphins, 10 Harbour Porpoise

Kittiwakes Common Dolphins
Kittiwakes                                  Common Dolphins

Posted September 11th at 2:40 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Older Posts →