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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Sunday 14th July 2013

Garganey at South Huish

One-legged eclipse drake (?) garganey at South Huish 6pm with 3 teal. 2 Sandwich terns in the bay.

Posted July 14th, 2013 at 9:48 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Six species of wader on the Plym today - 2 Black-tailed Godwits (adults) and a solitary Whimbrel amongst the 28 Curlews on the pool; also 3 Common Sandpipers, 32 Redshanks and 1 Greenshank on the estuary wall.

Eight juvs amongst the c400 Black-headed Gulls and a young Blackcap being fed by an adult female. Canada Geese up to 23 and 2 Shelducks with 4 ducklings.

Later in the day a walk from Horrabridge to Grenofen and back but only butterflies of any note were c6 Silver-washed Fritillaries. 

Posted July 14th, 2013 at 7:38 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 09:40 till 11:30

1 juv little ringed plover was a nice find, 3 summer plumage knot, an increase in dunlin numbers to 27+, 55+ little egrets was my highest count this year, 3 common sandpipers and 1 green sandpiper, 7+ whimbrel, 9+ greenshanks, 200+ black tailed godwits, 2 bar tailed godwits, 7+ lapwings 300+ black headed gulls, 2 Mediterranean gulls ( 1 adult, 1 1s) 1 common gull, 4+ wigeon. 

Posted July 14th, 2013 at 6:58 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


16 meds,12 ads,2 ss,2 fs with 200 black headed,12 ringed plover on the rocks,07:30-10:00.

Posted July 14th, 2013 at 12:05 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Saturday 13th July 2013

East Soar (Fri eve)

30+ Sand Martins and 30+ Swallows feeding over fields at 1700 before flying off. 

Also 35 Dark Green Fritillary, 18 Grayling, 6 Silver-studded Blues and first few Gatekeeper

Posted July 13th, 2013 at 9:42 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

at sea between the Exe and Brixham

Today a flock of c200 common scoter on the sea off Dawlish about 2 miles off shore another flock of 15 in Torbay. Also 1 little gull near the mouth of the Exe. Elswhere a few fulmar, guillemot, razorbill and shags.

Yesterday c20 common scoter, 5 manx shearwaters and 8 sandwich terns.


Posted July 13th, 2013 at 7:19 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

R.Caen, Horsey Island

Unusual to see a male Common Scoter on the R.Caen

at high tide this morning. 103 Black headed Gulls (not ringed)

+ 4 Med Gulls (not ringed) & 2 Common Sandpipers.

On Horsey Island 6 Redshank + 8 Greenshank & 2

Common Sandpipers.

Posted July 13th, 2013 at 10:46 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Friday 12th July 2013


Seafront - 0600 - 1 balearic shearwater lingering not too far off the lifeboat station. Also c30+ sandwich tern, 1 common gull and c15+ common scoter.

Orcombe Point - 1830 - 2 mediterranean gull, c15+ common scoter, 1 common tern, 1 prob roseate tern, c20+ sandwich tern and 6 manx shearwater south.

Shelly Beach - 1 mediterranean gull, c60+ sandwich tern, c35+ turnstone, 12+ whimbrel and 1 ringed plover.

Posted July 12th, 2013 at 8:48 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Salcombe Est

Med Gull 12 castle Pt/Sunny Cliff Hotel (2S to adS) 1100hrs.  peregrine juv. Lincombe Bay. 

Posted July 12th, 2013 at 3:16 pm by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Axe Estuary

Single Crossbill flew west over Seaton at 9am.

Black Hole Marsh mid morning gave; 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 3 Lapwing, 6 Common Sands, 12 Redshank, 1 Med Gull and 380 Black-headed Gull.

Posted July 12th, 2013 at 2:30 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Quick visit over lunchtime - 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls in amongst the Black-headeds. 22+ Greenshanks and 35+ Little Egrets. Also 2 Wigeon and 2 Lapwing.

Posted July 12th, 2013 at 1:30 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Nightjars, East Devon

Spotted a very active pair of nightjars this evening: lovely to see and even better to hear!

Posted July 12th, 2013 at 12:05 am by Sarah Butcher in General Birding

Thursday 11th July 2013

Mutters Moor, Sidmouth

A great evening (Wed 10 July) on the heath above Sidmouth with 19 persons present for the publicised 'Nightjar evening'.  First 'churring' heard at 9.38pm with five birds present and several good sightings.  Thanks to David Jannaway for leading us and for his informative introductory talk and commentary.

Posted July 11th, 2013 at 8:44 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Ruff (scruffy looking moulting male) and two Little Ringed Plovers present yesterday (IMc/TW). Osprey seen over Colyford Marsh on evening of 9th (TW). Numerous Common Sands about with odd Green Sand and Greenshank.

This morning; 11 Teal, 1 Shoveler and an adult Med Gull. 

It seems to have been a good breeding year for Black-headed Gulls with good numbers of young around already.

Posted July 11th, 2013 at 8:23 am by Steve Waite in General Birding


Seafront - 0500 - 6+ mediterranean gull, c100+ kittiwake, c50+ sandwich tern, fs little gull, 4+ common tern, c40+ common scoter and 1 ringed plover.

Mudbank - 18+ turnstone, 1+ whimbrel and 2 mediterranean gull. The fs little gull was off there early yesterday morning and on 9/7 there was 1 black-tailed godwit and 5 bar-tailed godwit.

Posted July 11th, 2013 at 7:21 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Wednesday 10th July 2013

Bowling green marsh

From the viewing platform 18:15 till 19:10

An adult yellow legged gull dropped in opposite the viewing platform for a few minutes just before 19:00 showing well before flying around towards the goatwalk a nice find also 6+ common sandpipers, 27+ greenshanks, 18+ little egrets, 15 black tailed godwits. 

From the hide 19:20 till 20:35

4 green sandpipers, 190+ black tailed godwits, 4 bar tailed godwits, 34+ greenshanks, 1 juv grey plover, 300+ curlew, 15+ whimbrel, 1 adult Mediterranean gull, 300+ black headed gulls, 4 sandwich terns, 1 oystercatcher, 5 wigeon, 3 reed warblers, 100+ redshanks. 

Another good evening on the marsh. 


Posted July 10th, 2013 at 10:49 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


Yesterday evening 4 Med Gulls were roosting off shore (high Tide) among 18 Black-headed Gulls.

Today at Berry Head  one 2nd summer Med Gull flew out of Torbay > E

Posted July 10th, 2013 at 2:07 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tuesday 9th July 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 17:40 till 20:40

more evidence of return passage with 3 little ringed plover, 2 avocet, 1 grey plover, 16+ sandwich terns, 12+ whimbrel, 371+ curlew, 2 bar tailed godwit, 190+ black tailed godwit, 27+ greenshanks, 130+ redshank, 3 Mediterranean gulls( 2 2s, 1 1s) 400+ black headed gulls, 1 common gull, 5 wigeon, 16+ little egrets , 8 grey heron, 1 lapwing, 5 dunlin 


Posted July 9th, 2013 at 10:06 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Fairly quiet over a low tide this lunchtime. Good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits. 3 Dunlin in summer plumage were new in. c15 Greenshank from the viewing platform.

Posted July 9th, 2013 at 2:07 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Monday 8th July 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 17:35 till 20:10

again evidence of increased movement with black tailed godwits upto 184+, 16+ greenshanks, 2 common sandpipers, 80+ redshanks, 4+ whimbrel, 150+ curlew, 5 wigeon, 2 bar tailed godwits, 1 oystercatcher, 29+ little egrets. 

The black headed gull roost increased to 900+ and included 7+ Mediterranean gulls(1 adult, 3 2s, 3 1s), 3 common gulls, 3 common terns put in a brief appearance before flying towards darts farm, 12+ sandwich terns

Posted July 8th, 2013 at 11:12 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


3 meds,2ad,ss,76 bhg with 7 juvs,2 common gull,ad,fs plus up to 100 bh gulls feeding off crow pt which included at least 2 adult meds..First returning dunlin,9.Also young weasel next to me in small bramble bush only 4 ft away,!.18:00-18:45.

Posted July 8th, 2013 at 9:08 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Sherpa, Great field

A walk around the marsh this evening showed good numbers of Swallows and unusual for this time of year, Sand Martins hawking insects over the reeds, water and surrounding area. At least 2 Mediterranean Gulls with about 100 B-h Gulls on the Caen. Around the marsh 22 Swans, 8 Redshank and a Tufted Duck then 5 Little Egrets. Sue Bruce watched a Marsh Harrier over Sherpa reed-bed last Friday afternoon. Out on the Braunton Marsh 3 cygnets.

Posted July 8th, 2013 at 8:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Skern, Northam Burrows

06:30 - 07:30

7 Mediterranean Gulls (5A, 2 2ndS), 14 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, c200 Black-headed Gulls of which c10% were juveniles, 1 Little Egret plus c50 Oystercatchers, 1 Lesser black-backed Gull, 6 Greater black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

Posted July 8th, 2013 at 10:31 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

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