General Birding

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. 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

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley 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

Thursday 28th February 2013

Bowling Green Marsh & River Clyst confluence.

09:30 to mid-day BG Hide  Calm but cold morning with plenty to see. American Widgeon showed in amongst our common Wigeon for all to see before heading off towards Dart farm!. 100+ Avocet, 100+ Black-Tailed & 100+ Bar-Tailed Godwits, Teal, Shelduck, Pochard, Curlew, Little Egret, Dunlin, Lapwing,Grey Heron, Coots, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Black Headed Gull, Common Gull, Meadow Pippits, Pied Wagtail, 3 Fox and a few Rabbit pushing their luck!! all see from the hide with a fly past by 50+ Brent Geese.

River Clyst Viewing Platform. Most birds left the marsh as the tide fell back and seen on the mudflats.

Added bonus seen from the platform a pair of Red Breasted Maganser, a pair of Goldeneye and a Great Crested Grebe in the Channel, 10+ Grey Plover, and to finish the morning a nice close view of a Greenshank.

Good company in a great setting. 


Posted February 28th, 2013 at 9:49 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Topsham Waxwings

Flock of 30 or so flew north over Ashford Road, Topsham at about 3.20pm.

Posted February 28th, 2013 at 4:04 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Wednesday 27th February 2013

Exe Estuary cruise

Highlights of this afternoon's Stuart Lines Cruise were 18 Great Crested Grebes - the most I've ever seen on the estuary. The Slavonian Grebe (Cockwood), female Long-tailed Duck (near Turf) and Spotted Redshank (Powderham) were still around, plus 7 Goldeneye, good numbers of Mergansers (50+), Grey Plover (200+) and Bar-tailed Godwit (200+), 80+ Shelduck, 25+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, c300 Common Gulls and most of the area's Brent Geese (1000+?) flying near Topsham at about 5 pm. The Harbour Seal was hauled out on Bull Hill sandbank.

Great Crested Grebe taking off
Great Crested Grebe taking off

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 10:54 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Sighting of 18 Waxwings

My Children and I were privileged to see 18 Waxwings this afternoon at 15:40 outside Chudleigh Knighton Primary School. They were perched on the overhead wires, every few minutes one would fly over to the berries to have a feast! what a lovely sight it was.

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 8:52 pm by Lynsey Hill in General Birding

Sightings from Prawle Point and Slapton Ley

A 2 hour seawatch from 8.15am in far from ideal conditions ( NE 2-3) produced 1 red-throated diver, 1 red-breasted merganser, and 2 common scoter , but the highlight was close views of a pod of at least 4 harbour porpoises feeding with gannets joining in the fun. Very few passerines present ( in cold murky conditions) and still searching for those elusive greenfinches !

At Slapton the pair of ring-necked ducks showed well from the memorial ar park toilet block with the female scaup associating with a group of tufties.To sea at least 65 common scoter and 1 red-throated diver. From the hide at Torcross there were 3 black-necked grebes, with 1 in almost full summer plumage.

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 8:37 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding


Late afternoon visit - not many people around but quite a few birds. North side of lake produced a pair of siskins, 1 marsh tit, 1 treecreeper and a jay. Bridge on west side of lake had seeds on it, and at least 1 nuthatch, several coal, blue and great tits, chaffinches, dunnocks and robins were feeding here. The nuthatches were particularly tame. Also a long tailed tit.

Not much on the feeder from the walkway except blue, great & coal tits, and the GS woodpecker. Squirrels were being quite noisy. 

Just 1 pair of tufted ducks and a great crested grebe on the lake. 

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Alfie Pugh in General Birding

Fremington Creek

Spotted Redshank and 2 Greenshank still present this morning. Looking across the estuary to Chivenor from the Quay there were 17 Grey Herons standing around looking cold.

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 6:01 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Around 100 Lapwings in the ploughed field by the Capton turn off on the Dartmouth to Dittisham road.

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 4:45 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Bramblings - Gatehouse Farm

Dave Haws has found a nice flock of Bramblings in a maize field nr Gatehouse Farm, viewable from Secmaton Lane/ Langdon Lane Dawlish.

Up to 26 birds in flock of couple hundred Chaffinches.

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 1:31 pm by Steve Ayres in General Birding

Baggy Point

The pair of Eiders still present + 6 Common Scoters.

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Tuesday 26th February

Late post due to internet problems but 136 Golden Plover feeding on the rough pasture past the stadium. 40 Redwing, 15 Fieldfare and 10 Skylark.

Posted February 27th, 2013 at 9:09 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Tuesday 26th February 2013

Slapton and Prawle

Black Necked Grebe showing well on Slapton Ley between the car park hide and the tank memorial, the driving easterly winds had brought the sheltering birds close into the reed margins.

On the outskirts of East Prawle found a small handful of Cirl Buntings feeding on corn spill at the entrance to a farm track.

Hen Sparrow Hawk hunting across the land running down to Prawle Point

Six Little Egret in the creek at Kingsbridge Quay, five of which were togwether and constantly bickering and posturing.

Posted February 26th, 2013 at 4:41 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Prawle Glaucous yesterday

Arriving yesterday midday could not find the Glaucous for about an hour, when it reappeared around the headland and perched on the rocks below car park, where it stayed most of the afternoon. At one stage it circled past close to me, giving good views of the barrel chested body shape.

Posted February 26th, 2013 at 2:39 pm in General Birding

Monday 25th February 2013

Topsham Waxwings

While I was watching the long tailed duck by the Passage House pub in Topsham I heard waxwings and in a tree to my right were 39 of them. I saw a similar size flock in Exeter last week, and these birds flew towards Exeter at 2.00 after watching them for 30 minutes. Same roaming flock?  

Posted February 25th, 2013 at 8:58 pm by Alan Keatley in General Birding


Bitterly cold today with the wind coming in across the sea, plenty of food had been left on the ground and on arrival around a dozen plus mixed species lifted into the hedge margins.

Slow to return, first back were a pair of Robins, then a female Cirl Bunting followed by a second hen and then a male.

Nice showing of a male Reed Bunting.

On the sea looking out from the sea wall "nothing" apart from a solitary gull in the shallows to be seen.

Walking back to the car a hen Sparrowhawk came in over the marsh scattering woodpigeon in her path.

Posted February 25th, 2013 at 4:52 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


From the footbridge over the river, there was a Common Sandpiper feeding under the bridge before flying off downstream at about 1.45 today.

Posted February 25th, 2013 at 2:15 pm by Nick in General Birding

Newton Abbot

A Firecrest showing well this morning, in scrub beside the cycle path on the NE side of the racecourse c.150m south of the Hackney Marshes car park.

Posted February 25th, 2013 at 11:05 am by Will Salmon in General Birding

Sunday 24th February 2013

Braunton Marsh/great Field.


Out near the Burrows Car Park, a field with Cows still has a huge flock of Chaffinches (600+ I guess) the only other bird I found with them was a Meadow Pipit. In an adjacent field 100+ Skylark.

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 10:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Despite the cold and frozen ground, 22 Golden Plover feeding on the rough pasture with another 70 flying over. In keeping with observations just over the border into Somerset, an increase in Redwings with around 50 present. 2 Fieldfare, 10 Blackbirds and 4 Stock Doves.

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 10:17 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding


The Glaucous Gull was still present this evening, on rocks to the east of the car-park. Going by recent reports, it favours this area, and is possibly staying around, attracted by a very rotten Dolphin carcass in the cove below the car-park. Last week I described it as a big brute of a thing. A bit unfair, because as it is obviously big, it's quite cute really!  I have some photos, but as it seems to be beyond my capabilities to upload them to this blog, they will appear on the gallery in due course.

Glaucous Gull Pat Mayer, Prawle 24.2.13

As if by magic

Glaucous Gull Pat Mayer, Prawle Feb 2013


Elsewhere, the 2 Water Pipits are still in Horseley Cove. Waders were represented (apart from the usuals) by 24 Lapwings and a Knot, and a total of 27 Song Thrushes suggested a small arrival.

Seawatching turned up 2 Great Northern and 6 Red-throated Divers, 5 Common Scoters and a small passage of 4 Lesser Black-backed and 12 Common Gulls.

Still awaiting my first patch Greenfinch of the year - are they really this scarce at the moment, or is it just me?

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 9:30 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Around topsham

Started at topsham rec looking through the gulls , 3 lesser black backed gulls, 13 common gulls, 1 grey plover, 2 red breasted mergansers. 

Moved onto topsham quay and found the female long tailed duck with 2 male red breasted mergansers and  watched from 11:45 till 12:50 in total 10 red breasted mergansers (7m,3f)

walked over to darts farm on the way over had the jack snipe in ditch by the clyst river briefly and a female Merlin flew over 

at darts farm the American wigeon was still showing well at times with 150+ wigeon 300+ Brent geese, 123+ lapwing , 54+ fieldfare( 100+ yesterday) 4 reed buntings, 1 sparrowhawk.

finished off at bowling green marsh, a spotted redshank joined 70+ redshank, 4 bar tailed godwit, 1 grey plover, 9 pochard, 2 gadwall, 2 tufted duck, 200+ wigeon,40+ lapwing,150+ black tailed godwits, 60+ dunlin. 

A very good afternoon 

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 8:55 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster and Topsham

Went down to Exminster to see the rose-coloured starling, it showed breifly at around 12:00.

After that went to Darts Farm; didn't go to the hide but walked on to the cycle bridge. From the bridge, in a tall poplar we were suprised to see a flock of 10+ waxwings, which shortly after their arrival, flew off. Other birds included a pair of teal and some pied wagtails. 

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 7:59 pm by Tim Stripp in General Birding


Lived here for 10 months and at last seen my first Dippers in the village. One on the River Thrushell yesterday and one on the River Lyd today. Both rivers also have Kingfishers showing well. Solitary Chiffchaff yesterday and there seems to be a lot of Nuthatches around this year.

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 5:22 pm by David Boddy in General Birding

Baggy Point

Digiscoped this Red throated Diver at Baggy in Jan 2013

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 2:57 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Baggy Point

A few more pics of the Eiders & Scoters at Baggy.

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 2:35 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Starling roost Okehampton Camp

Spectacular roost of starlings (impossible to count!) in conifers at Okehampton Camp yesterday.  Pre roost gatherings from 5.15pm in fields and beech trees around camp.  Also a peregrine getting an easy meal and a flock of 570 Jackdaws swirling around before roosting.

Posted February 24th, 2013 at 12:07 pm by John Walters in General Birding

Saturday 23rd February 2013

River Exe, 23rd February

A great day around the Exe!

At Starcross the spotted redshank showed well feeding along the shoreline near the River Kenn mouth at low tide. A surprise bonus was a firecrest feeding in a hedgerow by the roadside in Starcross.

At Exminster the rose coloured starling showed well in trees by the allotments near the church, looking a bit tatty as it moults in to adult plumage.

At Darts Farm the male American wigeon showed well amongst the wigeon flock with 20+ fieldfares in a naerby field and a pair of reed buntings on the feeders. Amongst the brent geese flock I found the white headed bird I saw last Winter on Exminster Marsh and a pale bellied bird.

On the walk back to Topsham from Darts Farm a Jack snipe and 2 water pipits were found on the Marsh near the new footbridge.

From the viewing platform overlooking the River Clyst I found the curlew sandpiper amongst the dunlins before they flew off towards Exminster Marshes.

Finally a look from the hide at Bowling green Marsh and a spotted redshank came in to roost with some redshanks.

Posted February 23rd, 2013 at 8:54 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Stonechat Braunton Marsh

Late post for yesterday - I spent a cold couple of hours along the toll-road not expecting to see much about but spotted well over 30 species. Loads of Lapwing, Curlew & Dunlin about & still a few Golden Plover. Great view of a Kingfisher sat on a post along the rhine - it flew off before I could get a pic but the Stonchat sat & posed.

Posted February 23rd, 2013 at 7:57 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Barn Owl - North Devon

Great to see these owls about in North Devon during the day time

Posted February 23rd, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Exeter Quay

At least 4 siskins in the 3 trees on the grassy area to the side of Haven Banks play area. Usual redshank further up in the flood relief channel.

Posted February 23rd, 2013 at 1:26 pm by Alfie Pugh in General Birding

Green Woodpecker

George Mudford photographed this beautiful Green Woodpecker

in the Bear Street Cemetery on Wednesday 20 February 2013.

Posted February 23rd, 2013 at 9:36 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Friday 22nd February 2013

Red Kite at Ashburton

An apparently untagged bird circling over Old A38 between Ashburton and Buckfastleigh at Pridhamsleigh 10.30-10.40. My eight year old son saw it first. I only had the small lens with me unfortunately.Untagged Red Kite Ashburton

Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 8:24 pm by Steve Young in General Birding

Roadford Lake

Couldn't resist the temptation of drake Smew! Found both birds from the DBPS hide (north east arm of lake) - showing somewhat distantly but on surface for long periods. On view around midday in the left hand bay from the hide. Otherwise, 7 Wigeons, 1 Water Rail, c25 Redwings and 5 Lesser Redpolls.

On the way home Blaxton Pool (Plym Estuary) produced just 39 Curlews; also 56 Redhanks, 42 Shelducks and a single Dunlin.   

Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 7:52 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exmouth, Hennock and Teign

Orcombe Point - 0800 - 86 lapwing, 3 golden plover, 4 snipe and c30/40+ skylark.

Hennock - female ring-necked duck still with 5 tufted duck on Tottiford Reservoir. 3 drake goosander plus 3 great crested grebe on Trenchford Reservoir.

Teign Estuary - 2nd winter yellow-legged gull, 1 greylag goose and the two presumed swan goose x greylag geese still. Also 1 little grebe and 4+ red-breasted merganser.

Many thanks Jeremy for the info on the Latvian black-headed gull.

2w yellow-legged gull
2w yellow-legged gull

presumed swan goose x greylag hybrids - present on the Teign for years now.
presumed swan goose x greylag hybrids - present on the Teign for years now.

Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 5:29 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Darts Farm

The male American Wigeon showing well from the hide today. A mobile flock of Black-tailed Godwits and Curlew. 3 Brent Geese, Teal and a Redshank on the wetlands.

Around the ponds and bird table a lone male Brambling, with Reed Buntings, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and a Blackbird.

Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 3:49 pm by Gareth Williams in General Birding

Dartmoor Merlin

Jammed upon this incredible Merlin whilst driving across Dartmoor this afternoon, between Princetown and Yelverton.

At first I thought the bird was injured or stunned as it was right beside the road and seemed reluctant to fly. But I think it was actually just sheltering from the wind, using the bank as cover. After a minute or so of views like this it flew off towards Princetown.

A little later, saw at least one Waxwing from the car on the A38 at Candy Tiles. There could well have been more there but I didn't stop and look.


Merlin head shot

Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 3:41 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Sth Efford Marsh:

Water Pipit 3,  Firecrest 2 (by 2nd gate r/h path)

per com. ENW

Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 2:32 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Baggy Point

While digiscoping the pair of Eiders & Common Scoters this morning a cracking male Black Redstart made an appearance but for only a few seconds so not enough time to photograph it through the telescope.

In one of the fields above Baggy a few Golden Plover were searching for food

Last time I visited a Goldcrest in the trees by the pond which I forgot to mention!

Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 2:12 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

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