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  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 - 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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Friday 14th June 2013


Seawatching 5-6pm showed one fully spooned pale phase Pomarine Skua south. Also 80 Manxies, 3 Fulmars and 11 Auk sp. south.

Posted June 14th, 2013 at 8:10 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

In amongst around 200 Black-headed Gulls from the hide at 1.45 today was a near adult Mediterranean Gull that still had some black in the wing tips.

Posted June 14th, 2013 at 2:36 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Exminster / Powderham Marsh

Two Lesser Whitethroat. Walked from the Swans Nest at 10.30am taking the path into Powderham Marsh and found the bird present in hedgerow near to the main road.  Then took the path from the RSPB car park at 11.30am and found the second beyond the third gateway.  Birds previously reported separately by others evidently still present.  The Powderham bird is much the easier to see.

Posted June 14th, 2013 at 1:19 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl seen 13/6/13 on outskirts of Thurlestone around 2pm. The bird spent 5 mins or so hunting before finally moving off escorted by a noisy gang of gulls and rooks!

Posted June 14th, 2013 at 10:08 am by Tim W in General Birding

Thursday 13th June 2013

Thurlestone Bay

A cloudy early morning gave way to sun and a clear horizon by 11.00. Seawatching from Warren Pt  from 08.00 - 12.00. Most of the activity up to 11.00 . Totals were -

328 Gannet,  522 Manx Shearwater, 28 Fulmar, 22 Kittiwake, 2 Puffin - E @ 08.10, 5 Arctic Skua ( 3 E , 2 on sea ). 3 Bonxie - W  , 3 Common Scoter -E , 2 Swift, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 1st s Common Gull.

Almost all the larger birds flying W- only 2 Manx S'water flew E.

On the beach 2 Whimbrel

Black Tailed Godwit on T'stone Marsh this pm .

Posted June 13th, 2013 at 5:56 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Berry Head

seawatching from 11.30>15.30.  4 Storm Petrol  south plus 3 feeding at 15.15, also 5 Sandwich Tern and 61 Manx Shearwater South.

Posted June 13th, 2013 at 5:19 pm by stan stanbury in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

I was surprised to find a Little Ringed Plover at lunchtime today (2pm). Also an Oystercatcher with a metal ring on its left leg and a very large yellow ring on its right leg, both below the knee. I couldn't get any detail on the yellow ring although it had a dark band near the bottom.

Posted June 13th, 2013 at 2:36 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wednesday 12th June 2013

Berry Hd

Seawatch 12.30 - 18.00hrs with Jake Wood: 251 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Storm Petrels,1 Puffin but very Little on the move. 1 Harbour Porpoise off the headland all afternoon. Earlier in the day DMN and JW saw a full spooned Pomarine Skua >S at about 11.30hrs. 

Posted June 12th, 2013 at 7:06 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


Hi Robert,

Have a look at

It`s a Dutch website but in english. Tells you all you want to know about Sanderlings.

Posted June 12th, 2013 at 6:38 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Saunton Sands

A flock of 40 to 60 Small Waders including Sanderling were still moving through from further south to refuel at Saunton Sands on Monday & Tuesday morning of this week on the falling tide. This morning none at all.

It would be interesting to know how long it takes a Sanderling to reach their breeding grounds. Does anyone know of any satellite tracking of this species?

Photo of Sanderling digiscoped at Saunton Sands in 2007.

Posted June 12th, 2013 at 1:14 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Tuesday 11th June 2013

Thurlestone Bay

Back on the patch this morning - thick mist and rain until 10.30 SW 4/5 wind ( had been S o/night ).

Between 11.15 and 12.30 a clear break in the weather produced a total of 10 Skuas and other birds off Warren Pt . 9 ARCTIC and an ad POMARINE ( with spoons ). The Arctic's were harrassing a feeding flock of Kittiwake -a total of 20 flew east. 140+ Gannet, 3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Sandwich Tern and 2 Fulmar

On Thurlestone Marsh  this pm - 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 f Teal, 2 Black Headed Gull.

Interestingly the Pom flew into the Bay and then up the valley

Posted June 11th, 2013 at 5:01 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Berry Hd

10th June evening seawatch: 1 (1st summer - intermediate grey bird) Long-tailed Skua flew in from north and joined, briefly, a small feeding frenzy of Kittiwakes, Guillemots and Gannets off the end of the head before flying south, 11 Common Scoter, 17 Manx Shearwaters, 50+ Kittiwakes, 60 + Gannets.

Today early seawatch 0530-0930hrs: 6 Puffin (including a small flock of 5), 1 Med Gull and 1 Common Gull (both 1st summers), 151 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Common Tern, 80 + Kittiwakes, approx 230 Guillemots and just 7 Razorbills. Also a pod of at least 6 Bottle-nosed Dolphins > north into Torbay at 0845am

Posted June 11th, 2013 at 10:38 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 10th June 2013


17 dunln,11 ringed plover around tip pool at 07:30.

Posted June 10th, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Sunday 9th June 2013

Powderham Marsh late afternoon

Lesser Whitethroat still singing at the back of the marsh, between the first and second turning of the path.

Posted June 9th, 2013 at 8:44 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding


super grey plover bp very late migrant or equally early return.Also mixed flock of dunlin/ringed plover around 20 mark flew over to the estuary mouth side.First returning bhg(2)19:00.

Posted June 9th, 2013 at 8:44 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

More Gulls on the Moors

I experienced a similar mass moor Gull sighting to Nik`s, this morning at 11:45 at Landacre Bridge on Exmoor, which is just over the Somerset border. I was coming home from Chetsworth Water near Exford and on the road to North Molton when In the distance could see a mass of gulls circling in the sky. There were 100s and after crossing Landacre Bridge saw them alighting on the ground just above the bridge. They were obviously feeding in rank grass but were too far away to see on what? In the time that I was watching, the nos. swelled to between 500 and 1000. Mostly Herring Gulls but with just a small no. of Lesser Black-backed. 

Posted June 9th, 2013 at 4:18 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding


Another Red Kite over the Foxhole estate with 3 Buzzards at 1.15pm. It headed off NW by itself flying toward the Paignton ring road and Marldon.

Posted June 9th, 2013 at 2:41 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


Belle Vue Road/Mudbank - an osprey fishing the river at1330. Early this morning there were 2 little tern, 1 turnstone, 5+ great crested grebe and 3+ sandwich tern off Mudbank. Yesterday a red kite headed north upriver at 0940, perhaps the individual seen later at the north end of the estuary? Also yesterday at least 4 mediterranean gulls (2 fs, 2s and ad s) and 210+ black-headed gulls.

Orcombe Point - 7/6 - a hobby hunting over Maer Lane sewage works in the afternoon and on 3/6 a late wheatear in the dung field seemed large enough (and late enough) for a 'Greenland' bird but it wasn't terribly colourful.

hobby - they never normally linger long at Orcombe
hobby - they never normally linger long at Orcombe

late wheatear
late wheatear

Posted June 9th, 2013 at 2:05 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Saturday 8th June 2013

Top of the Moors

The gull spectacle has started again on the moors with up to 1000 Herring Gull spread out over the hillsides around Challacombe, Hamel Down, over the hill to Shapley Common.  They were there all day foraging for invertebrates (I watch one taking beetles) and presumably chicks of ground nesting birds when they come across them. There were three Lesser Black Backed Gulls in amongst the flock and with a closer scan maybe there are more. The flock contanied a variety of ages mostly non breeding age classes but adults in there too.

It was quite surreal driving along the road with gulls flying off in front of the car, reminded me more of driving in coastal towns rather than on Dartmoor !!


Posted June 8th, 2013 at 6:28 pm by Nik Ward in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite soaring above Matford Reserve at 3.00 pm

Posted June 8th, 2013 at 3:59 pm by Tony Dudley-Clarke in General Birding

River Teign above Sampsons farm area

Pretty sure , Mandarin duck(f) with 8 ducklings. Very a skittish, so couldn't be 100% sure. Possibly could be wood duck(f). Also GS woodpecker,Buzzard , heard whitethroat, song thrush and Raven .Saw plenty of sandmartins and swallows handful of housemartins. unusually no signs of kingfishers.

Posted June 8th, 2013 at 1:01 pm by Graeme Davey in General Birding

Red Kite

At 10:20am today near Marsh Barton a Red Kite flew over towards Exminster at a great height.

Red Kite
Red Kite

Posted June 8th, 2013 at 12:06 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding

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