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. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and 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, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am 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 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

Sunday 26th May 2019

The Cuckoo

Have heard and seen the male cuckoo today on the moorland just above Goodameavy today.  Heard one or two or three around Trolesworthy Farm at Cadover this week.  No callings on Saturday as there were crowds of people & barking dogs.  Also one at Plymbridge on Wednesday 

Posted 7:18 pm by Christina Haythorn in General Birding

Cuckoos southern Dartmoor/plymbridge woods


Posted 7:06 pm by Christina Haythorn in General Birding

Taw Estuary - Barnstaple

A flock of c30 Starlings consisting mainly of fully fledged juveniles foraging on the mud & alighting on the ropes & deck of a boat. 1 or 2 adults in attendance still feeding juv's.

Posted 6:51 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

41 species seen this morning. Highlights include - Red Kite flying over Haytor at around 10am, Snipe flushed from the scrub, at least 2 cuckoos heard and on leaving at around 1pm a Wheatear with young and the distant call of a Curlew.

Female broad bodied chaser also seen near the pond area.

Posted 6:06 pm by Carole Wren in General Birding

Heavitree, Exeter 13:10

Red Kite heading South

Posted 1:15 pm by Diane Brooker in General Birding


Red Kite north-west over Cedar Close, Exmouth at 1115hrs this morning.

Posted 11:21 am by Terry Smith in General Birding

Saturday 25th May 2019

mear valley exmouth

7 ringneck parakeet

Posted yesterday at 7:25 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Venford, Bench Tor and Whites Wood

Lovely late afternoon session with 4 or 5 Cuckoos, 1 Green Woodpecker, a couple of male Redstarts, a pair of Tree Pipits, singing Yellowhammers and a few Redpolls.

Posted yesterday at 7:16 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Two Red Kite over Saltram House National Trust.

Soaring above the house then headed N.E

Posted yesterday at 4:46 pm by Stephen J Turner in General Birding

Barnstaple Red Kite

Red Kite over Roundswell at 16.15 .

Posted yesterday at 4:19 pm by Dave Paterson in General Birding

Harleston by Slapton

Hobby over early pm.

Posted yesterday at 3:37 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Down tor

On the southern slopes of Down tor this morning:

1 Tree pipit, 2 Great Spotted woodpeckers, 1 singing male Pied flycatcher, 1 Spotted flycatcher, 1 singing Blackcap, 2 Cuckoo, several fledgling Dunnocks, 2 Buzzard overhead and Green woodpeckers heard.

Posted yesterday at 3:26 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding


5 Red Kites high over Cairn, been seeing odd ones and twos for Wks, highest count so far this year. 

Fulmar Capstone Parade
Fulmar Capstone Parade

Posted yesterday at 1:48 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Friday 24th May 2019

Barn Owl - Velator

Beautiful evening view of a Barn Owl hunting in the area for quite sometime.

Posted May 24th at 9:55 pm by Beth woollam in General Birding

Berry Head kayak trip

One pack of 15 Manx Shearwaters.

Pleasant mugshot of very inquisitive Guillemot.

plus: 6 Harbour porpoise, 2 Barrel Jellyfish


Posted May 24th at 8:03 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding

Red KIte

1 Red Kite over St. Giles on the Heath this afternoon.

Posted May 24th at 5:56 pm by Adrian Davey in General Birding

Yarner Wood

Highlights of a pre-breakfast visit this morning were 10 Pied Flycatchers (3 females & 7 males, including 2 pairs feeding young in nest boxes) and 3 Redstarts (2 females & a male). Also: 1 or 2 Spotted Flycatchers, Siskin, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpecker, 3 Marsh Tits & a pair of Grey Wagtails.  

Posted May 24th at 5:51 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Fernworthy Res, mid devon field meeting

the weather was good for birding, 34 birds seen in total,  the best  sightings were of spotted flycatcher, pied flycatcher,  black cap, redstart and  a tree pipit, plus a garden warbler and whitethroat when i first arrived.  in front the fishermans hut we also had a female gadwall with three youngsters diving for food.  a good day out.

Posted May 24th at 3:44 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Purple Sandpiper - Torquay

Still a solitary Purple Sandpiper on Haldon Pier, TQ Harbour this morning, plus 6 Turnstone. Looks as if this one is planning a summer on the Riviera.

Posted May 24th at 12:25 pm by CLIFF PARROTT in General Birding

Taw Osprey

Thursday from 5 pm to 6.30. Scottish Osprey feeding first on sandbank between Chivenor and Isley/Marsh Farm then moved to field on farm. Seen 3 times since May 11th in same area. Trying to get clear shot of ring!! 

Osprey Home Marsh Farm
Osprey Home Marsh Farm

Eds: don't say this very often - but what a great photo!

Posted May 24th at 11:51 am by Sue Ambler in General Birding

Late Post - Wrafton Pond & around & about!

3 juvenile Moorhens with adult birds close at hand collecting food items.

While sitting on a bench this skylark approached only a few metres away.


Posted May 24th at 11:31 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Prawle Point

05:45-07:00: Very quiet but wasn't expecting much! Single Great Nothern Diver, 3 Manx Shearwater and 6 Canada Goose west, 8 Common Scoter east.  Lots of auks, mostly Guillemot, and Gannet mainly flying west too.

Good selection of warblers, tits, finches and buntings singing in the bushes, and several Swallow hanging around.  Single male Stonechat also.

Posted May 24th at 10:40 am by Nigel Sluman in General Birding

Cuckoo ~ South Brent

A Cuckoo calling on the village side of Brent Hill, South Brent, in the 30 plus years that I have lived here I have never known or heard of one at this location.

Posted May 24th at 9:30 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thursday 23rd May 2019

Red Kite

At Bowling Green Marsh this lunchtime around 13:00 a single Red Kite drifted over Exton area heading east.  May have been the same one posted at Paignton and then Starcross.

Posted May 23rd at 9:28 pm by chris marcol in General Birding

Plymbridge Wood

Fledgling Great Tit , Great Spotted Woodpecker and female Mandarin Duck with ducklings.

Fledgling Great TitGreat Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Mandarin Duck and ducklings
Fledgling Great Tit               Great Spotted Woodpecker             Female Mandarin Duck and ducklings

Posted May 23rd at 7:28 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Post Bridge/ Challacombe Farm. Dartmoor

11 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the all day fieldtrip to central Dartmoor. A distant Cuckoo was seen at Archerton and a Redstart present in trees along the path north.  Several Stonechat held territories but their presence was noted by Magpies and one nest site was probably predated.  A Green Woodpecker was heard to the east.  A brief view of Grey Wagtail was had and three Buzzard passed overhead with Meadow Pipits, Willow Warblers, House Martins and Wheatear adding to a small list of species.  Two members lunched at the Clapper Bridge and were rewarded with Dipper.

Challacombe Farm produced good sightings of breeding Redstart plus Marsh Tit, House Martins.  Garden Warbler and Pied Flycatcher were heard plus a Cuckoo south of the farm and Lesser Redpoll was seen higher up the valley towards Headland Warren.  From the road near the latter several more Wheatear were present.

Posted May 23rd at 6:57 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


A Red Kite drifted north over Roundham Head, Paignton at 12.30pm being mobbed by Herring Gulls.


Posted May 23rd at 3:46 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

River Plym

Cycle ride this morning from Plymouth to Clearbrook return.

Plymbridge Woods: the pair of Pergrines at the watch point feeding young in the nest, Dipper, 20 Mandarin Ducks (19 drakes), 2 Grey wagtails, 4 Siskins, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers &, Marsh Tit. 

Clearbrook: 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Lesser redpolls, & a pair of Stonechats with 2 newly-fledged young.

Posted May 23rd at 2:35 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Red kite this morning 

Posted May 23rd at 12:42 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Hobby at Fremington

A hobby just shot through, east to west, the new housing estate at the old Fremington army camp adjacent to the trees lining the south bank of Fremington Pill.

Posted May 23rd at 12:20 pm by Phil Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Braunton Toll Road

Late afternoon visit to the River Caen. Lots of alarming Gulls and Shelduck meant something big in the air, but it took quite  awhile to find the culprit - an Osprey which started to gain height over RMB Chivenor, after a while it was still there gaining height and I can't be certain that there wasn't another one even higher up!

No sign of any Little Owls, but a smart Barn Owl hunting around the marsh road later on.

The three small Waders on the flood just inside the breach were: a Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and um something else! Same size as the other two (poss a tad larger) but no black belly, slight impression of more scalloped plumage but otherwise no particular features to help I/d....

Posted May 22nd at 8:46 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Whitethroat, 2 Green Woodpeckers, Grey Wagtail, 15 drake Mandarin Ducks, Whimbrel, Curlew & 2 Oystercatchers. 

Posted May 22nd at 8:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Roborough Down 22-05-19

Plenty of Redpolls on the down this am, along with Yellowhammers, Willow Warblers, Linnets, Stonechats, a Cuckoo heard but not seen

Repoll (F)Redpoll (M)Skylark
Repoll (F)                               Redpoll (M)                          Skylark

Posted May 22nd at 2:44 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

East Soar

Whimbrel in off the sea, 3 pairs Reed Warbler at Starehole Ponds.

1st Dark Green Fritillary & Large Skipper.

Posted May 22nd at 1:50 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


A 6am start proved worthwhile at Broadsands today. Two whimbrel. one of which landed, the other flew on inland. Behind the beach huts, a whitethroat had picked out his singing perch and was in good voice and the reed warbler was singing his heart out too, It became a competition which could sing the loudest. Plenty of photos and footage of behavior and song. Brilliant.  An occasion for appreciating God's handiwork.

Posted May 22nd at 11:34 am by PHILIP L. FAIRCLOUGH in General Birding

Tuesday 21st May 2019

Nightjars at Bovey Heathfield

Two birds churring, very intermittently, 21.35-22.15. Male and female, flying together, drifted over just above head-height.

Posted May 21st at 10:34 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Red Kite and Swifts over East Devon

There was a group of three Swifts flying over the main car park in Honiton this morning. This afternoon around 5.30pm a single Red Kite was seen circling from east to west over Taleford near Ottery St Mary.

Posted May 21st at 9:24 pm by Maurice Rapley in General Birding

Exmoor,the Devon side.

Redstart,Pied Flycatcher,Willow Warbler ,Bullfinch GS Woodpecker,Tree Creeper,Nuthatch, Black Cap,Cuckoo,Dipper,Pied and Grey Wagtail, and Whinchat. More Swallows this week and Martins.Didnt see Spotted Flycatcher, hopefully next time.

Treecreeper                           Whinchat                                     Blackcap

Posted May 21st at 7:26 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Dawlish gathering of the gulls

Around 8pm last night there was a very large mixed gull flock in a narrow band just off Dawlish breakwater in a feeding frenzy apparently on whitebait. Apparently been a regular thing at high tide for a few days. Largest numbers I have seen in years. No bins with me so couldn't check for any oddities.

Posted May 21st at 4:08 pm by JOHN PHILLIPS in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

See this morning: Curlew 1,Oystercatcher 3, Whimbrel 1, GSW 3 and the best of the bunch were 3 Spotted Flycatcher.

Posted May 21st at 11:37 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Monday 20th May 2019

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two Whitethroats newly arrived, Whimbrel, Curlew, Stock Dove, 3 drake Mandarin Ducks, Shag & 4 Roe deer (1 buck).

Posted May 20th at 10:33 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Isley/Home Farm

Walked along the Tarka Trail to home farm this evening, no sign of the Osprey, but closer scrutiny of the shoreline at Isley showed that it was there, on the edge of the saltmarsh (about 6.35p.m.) It then flew west. Thanks to Dave P for posting about it's presence once again.

I headed over to the Skern, where, well not a lot really, max 16 Herring Gulls, 6 Oystercatchers, 13 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover 1 Shelduck, and 1 Whimbrel. A pair of Wheatears, a Skylark, a Pied Wagtail and 3 Swallows.

Posted May 20th at 9:53 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Start Point

3 Shelduck chicks (plus 2 adults) on sea half a mile west of Start Point. Not more than a day or two old.

Shelduck chicks
Shelduck chicks

Posted May 20th at 8:38 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding


The only birds of note in the reserve today were a clutch (6) of Mallards - hatched today, as not there yesterday. On the main pond at Sherpa were a pair of Shoveler and a surprise pair of Garganey.

Posted May 20th at 4:53 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Just found three White Winged Black Terns feeding with BH Gulls. Viewed from railway path feeding in the middle of the marsh. Probably better viewed on the road towards Turf. 

Posted May 20th at 10:57 am by Chris E in General Birding

River Taw Osprey

Osprey being mobbed by gulls flew into Home farm marsh 08.30 this morning.  

Posted May 20th at 10:38 am by David Paterson in General Birding

Sunday 19th May 2019

Cann Woods - Nightjar Update

Nightjar activity at Cann Woods is showing an increase with churring from six separate sites, from 9:25 onwards.  Had good close encounters with two birds, a female and male before it got too dark.

Posted May 19th at 10:53 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in General Birding

Re Martin Rooney's Butterfly (19.5.19)

FYI Martin, looks like a Pearl-bordered Fritillary -  a little tatty, worn and faded, probably been out for several days, to a week. Looking at the outer/trailing edge of the wings, the orange spots are "open," with incomplete black borders. Sm Pearl-borderd has definite orange spots in fully closed borders. (Hope this makes sense & helps)

Posted May 19th at 8:39 pm by Dave Holloway in Other Wildlife

Fingle bridge - Hunters Path

Further to the post by Martin Rooney. The butterfly is either a Small Pearl -bordered Fritillary or a Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Hope that helps

Posted May 19th at 8:36 pm by Michael Spencer in Other Wildlife

Exminster Marsh saturday

Walk around the Marsh, Usual species Lots of Tits Blue great Long Tailed, Goldfinches, ChiffChaff and a very vocal ringed Warbler? Two High flying Sparrowhawks was the highlight suddenly dived and were chasing another bird across the Marsh. Didnt see the outcome..

Posted May 19th at 5:11 pm by Darrell Pattie in General Birding

Fingle bridge -Hunter's Path

Of note Pied Flycatcher, Goosander (f), Yellowhammer and common Whitethroat. No good photos sadly. Also lots of Brimstone and large and small white plus the unidentified (by me) butterfly in the last picture. Any ID appreciated.

Goosander                 Whitethroat                      Butterfly?

Posted May 19th at 3:57 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

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