General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records.

If anyone saw these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July

Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August

Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October

Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April

Great Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am 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


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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

Thursday 15th August 2013

Kingsbridge Estuary

Lincombe Bay

belated news from yesterday wed 14/8

38 Med Gull, 15 Sandwich Tern this evening.

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 12:06 am by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Wednesday 14th August 2013

BTO skua Id video

The BTO has produced a short online video to help with Skua identification - it's quite useful for those wishing to brush up on their id skills before the main skua passage starts..,1QRJH,39H4OC,67IUP,1

Posted August 14th, 2013 at 3:14 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Brixham yesterday am

Late morning a flock of 4-5 Crossbills flew high southwest over my garden ,near Southdown Hill at the back of Brixham.

Posted August 14th, 2013 at 10:40 am in General Birding

Tuesday 13th August 2013

Velator reserve

Nothing terribly exciting I'm afraid: a couple of small juvenile Moorhens have joined the 5 Mallard ducklings in helping me get rid of the duck weed on the pond.

Posted August 13th, 2013 at 6:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

East to Middle Soar

At least 2 Med gulls off Sharpitor and movements included 140 swallow, swift, 11 whitethroat & 17 willow warbler. Also 7 cirl bunting.

Highlight of the morning was a male ruddy darter on the path by Middle Soar House, a genuine migrant!

Posted August 13th, 2013 at 5:07 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Monday 12th August 2013

Bradiford reserve

Yes just replacing some broken fenceposts Maurice! Was accompanied by 2 Green Sandpipers and 2 Lapwing.

Posted August 12th, 2013 at 1:17 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Around the Axe

A bit more variety up Beer Head this morning with; 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 15 Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatear.

A little later there were singles of Wood Sandpiper and Greenshank on Colyford Marsh scrape and the Ruff with 40 Black-tailed Godwits on Black Hole Marsh.

Posted August 12th, 2013 at 12:45 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford.

09:45 - 10:15

Spoonbill still with Little Egrets and Grey Heron on Penhill Marsh. 1 Common Sandpiper flying downriver just off Pottington. 10:15 1 Green Sandpiper in the ditch next to Ashford Sewage Works but flew off downriver towards Ashford. Jon working in the reserve.

Posted August 12th, 2013 at 11:07 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Quiet on the migrant front - just 2 wheatears and 3 white wagtails with 20 pied.

Posted August 12th, 2013 at 10:07 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Sunday 11th August 2013

Brixham short range pelagic, 10th August

Some more pictures of the balearic and manx shearwaters from last night. Very successful trip.

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 9:58 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

The Otter Estuary

A quick visit to the estuary this evening produced:
10 Ringed Plover
4 Dunlin and best of all 2 moulting adult Sanderling
The latter is a very scarce bird here and the first I've seen on the Otter - Happy Days.

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 9:29 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


Several thousand (perhaps 10,000 or more) Gulls including a lot of Kittiwakes and 3 close Mediterranean Gulls, feeding in Torbay (watching from Berry Hd), scanning through the birds I soon found large rafts of Manx Shearwaters sat and actively feeding in the bay, counting around 800-1,000. Mixed in with them were 20+Balearic Shearwaters (I only had my binoculars - no telescope) and a Great Skua - if only the short pelagic trip was a day later who knows was out there with them!  

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 8:08 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Prawle this weekend

Yesterday (Sat 10/8); As at Soar, plenty of Warblers about. Final totals, in descending order; 95 Willow, 60 Whitethroat, 31 Sedge, 16 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 2 Garden, and 1 each of Grasshopper and Reed.  Some decent other birds too, including Hobby, Greenshank (over), 7 Wheatear, Whinchat, Pied Flycatcher, 6 White Wagtails, 200+ each of Swallow and House Martin, 14+ Sand Martin and 5 Swift.

Much quieter today, just 12 Willow Warblers, 11 Whitethroats and 1 Sedge Warbler, (only 50% area coverage today).  Waders remained consistent over the 2 days, peaking at 3 Whimbrel, 18 Ringed Plover, 4 Common Sandpipers and 3 Dunlin.

No seawatching today, but during a couple of quick scans from the coastpath, 2 Balearic Shearwaters passed, along with about 80 manx. Yesterday FDS saw 5 Balearics during a short seawatch.

Yesterday, totalled 14 species of Butterfly, including a single Clouded Yellow, and (for Steph Murphy), a fresh hatch of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, which is what your photo is of.

Late news from 7/8, a Wood Sandpiper flew over the village calling (unseen), and constitutes only the 3rd site record.

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 7:13 pm by Pat Mayer in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Watched on the falling tide. Two Whimbrels and an Oystercatcher had joined the (37) Curlews on the pool; also 12 Little Egrets roosting on the islands.

On the estuary - Greenshank (2), Common Sandpiper (2), Redshank (48) and a Mediterranean Gull (2nd-s). In the flooded wood, no sign of yesterday's Flycatchers but good views of a Stoat.

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 2:59 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

instow/torridge estuary

20 med gull,17 adult,2 ss,juv amongst 2000 bhg,09:15 -11:30.

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 1:21 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Nice genteel walk down to Charleton Marsh on the high tide this morning.Out in the bay 7 Med Gulls ( 5 ad., 1 2cy and a juv ) outnumbered only about 5:1 by Black-headed Gulls. No large gulls present. Also 9 Whimbrel and 8 Sandwich Terns. First 5 returning Teal on the marsh, maybe a tad early?

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 12:58 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Strand.


5 Common Sandpipers at Pottington.

2 adult Mediterranean Gulls at Ashford Strand.

21 Little Egret, 8 Grey Herons and 1 adult, unringed Spoonbill on or just off Penhill Marsh.

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 9:56 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Brixham short range pelagic

Heres a couple  of pics from the trip ;o)

Posted August 11th, 2013 at 12:40 am by simon thurgood in General Birding

Saturday 10th August 2013

Brixham short range pelagic

A very successful pelagic, with great views of the target species Balearic Shearwater (may be 8 seen). It was also very interesting to get a group of Manx coming into feed on mashed fish liver - they're not really meant to do that! One Balearic was a nice pale bird with the white on the underside going right down between the legs, this bird might be called something else as a distant well lit view off some headlands! A pic of this bird and hopefully other photographers on board will post some more shots from the trip. One Harbour Porpoise was also seen. While heading back yet another Balearic Shearwater was just off Brixham breakwater....and finally I was a little peeved to hear my usual fishing boat had a Great Shearwater feeding by it at very close range some 20+miles out!

pale Balearic ShearwaterManx ShearwaterManx and Balearic flight shape comparison

More trips are planned by Nigel and Chris Smallbones for 17th & 31st August and  7th & 14th September, leaving from Brixham harbour at 16:30 (with chum for attracting seabirds), contact on 07866 202576. Prices £18 per head, spaces limited to 12 people.

Posted August 10th, 2013 at 11:26 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

24 members of East Devon Branch of DB spent the morning with leader Ian Pullan.  A total of 33 species were found but numbers of waders were poor.  A single Red-Throated Diver present a mile out on a calm sea together with c100 Shag.  A single Bar-tailed Godwit on the estuary side plus singles of Turnstone, Whimbrel and Dunlin together with 3 Knot and 3 Common Tern.  Slavonian Grebe near railway line. 2 Wheatear and a Peregrine also present. 26 Sanderling on the seaward side of shoreline on our return walk.

NOTE: Please don't forget the link on this page to the site dedicated to Dawlish Warren sightings.

Posted August 10th, 2013 at 6:08 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On the pool at high tide - Curlew (37) and Little Egret (10). The estuary held 51 Redshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers and 2 Greenshanks; also 2 Sandwich Terns viewed earlier from my house.

Lots of passerines the flooded wood including a family party of 4 Spotted Flycatchers (2 ads and 2 juvs) and 2+ juvenile Bullfinches.

Posted August 10th, 2013 at 3:35 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


large gathering of gulls namely bhg in feeding frenzies over whitebait .Surprisingly few meds considering vast shoals of fish,only 5 noted.4 adult,2s.07:30-09:00.4 swifts over my house in bideford at 13:00.2 male peregrine over north end of dartmouth morning while working there 07:30

Posted August 10th, 2013 at 2:49 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding


The valleys at Soar lively with migrant warblers this morning: Phylloscs 70+ (Willow mainly), 60+ Whitethroat, 18 Sedge Warbler, Blackcap and 7 Wheatear. Good numbers of juv Stonechat - looks like a good breeding season for them.

Posted August 10th, 2013 at 12:55 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Friday 9th August 2013

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 18:20 till 20:15

a nice surprise was a female garganey showing well, the female ruff was still present for its second day, curlew numbers had increased again to 511+ with 47+ whimbrel, 3 ringed plover, 210+ dunlin including 45+ juv's, 370+ black tailed godwits, 1 bar tailed godwit, 35+ greenshanks, 250+ redshanks, 1 common sandpiper, 1 green sandpiper, 25+ teal, 3 wigeon, 2 shoveler. 350+ black headed gulls.


Posted August 9th, 2013 at 9:55 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Prawle Point

After leaving the Prawle Point car park we spotted a Kestrel, Peregrine, Buzzard, 3 Whimbrel down on the rocks, 3 Wheatear, juvenile Stonechats, 2 brown warblers which we decided were probably Reed Warblers(?) Butterflies: Red Admiral, Common Blue, Wall, a Fritillary (we think Pearl Bordered, can anyone help identifiy for us) Clouded Yellow, Small Copper, 6 Spot Burnet and a Silver Y moth. Fantastic day, going back on Saturday for more.

Is this a Pearl Bordered Fritillary? If it is...tick
Is this a Pearl Bordered Fritillary? If it is...tick (It's a Small Pearl-bordered Frit - SDW)

Clouded Yellow, up by the lookout tower. Another new one...tick
Clouded Yellow, up by the lookout tower. Another new one...tick

Small Copper
Small Copper

Posted August 9th, 2013 at 8:40 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding


Steve Mawby saw a Hobby over Braunton this morning.

Posted August 9th, 2013 at 8:12 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Velator reserve

Busy raking out pond weed this afternoon when a female Mallard swam into view with 5 about week-old ducklings - I've been in the reserve every day recently and never seen any! Never recorded them successfully breeding either!

Just outside the reserve the marsh and reed bed has become so dry this year that the cows have been ploughing it up endeavouring to eat it all.

Posted August 9th, 2013 at 4:24 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wembury 8/8

One brief juv YLG and 13 Sanderling on the beach were the best of it. Quite a few juv LBBG as well as one adult and some really worn and faded horrors of 1S Herring Gulls!

Posted August 9th, 2013 at 12:53 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

west Charlton marsh

2 whimbrel, common sandpipe, wood sandpiper, 2 med gulls

Posted August 9th, 2013 at 12:08 pm by l goonesekera in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A real feel of autumn this morning with a brisk north westerly. This and the overnight showers had combined to produce the first Wheatears of the autumn with 5 birds. Other species were also more in evidence today with 15 Pied Wagtails, 25 Swallows and 10 House Martins, a single Meadow Pipit and a male Sparrowhawk.

Just to make a mockery of my comment on gulls yesterday, an adult GBB gull and 2 adult LBB gulls present with around 40 Herring Gulls.

Posted August 9th, 2013 at 10:58 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Averton Gifford

Sth Efford Marsh a.m.

4 Green sand, 2 Wood Sand(juv) 5 Greenshank, 6 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 6 Whimbrel, Blk T Godwit, 6 Dunlin, 150 BH Gull


Posted August 9th, 2013 at 9:46 am by Alan Doidge in General Birding

Thursday 8th August 2013

Braunton Burrows

Not a bird i know, but thought you'd all like to see this from Braunton Burrows this evening.

Posted August 8th, 2013 at 10:47 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

watched from the hide 18:00 till 20:05

A nice female ruff showed well, 180+ dunlin included 40+ juv's, 37+ greenshanks, 200+ redshank, 2 bar tailed godwits, 350+ black tailed godwits, 400+ curlew, 35+ whimbrel, 18+ little egrets, 1 green sandpiper over, first snipe of autumn with 4 over south, 400+ black headed gulls, 1 adult Mediterranean gull, 3 wigeon.


Posted August 8th, 2013 at 9:44 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

At sea off South Devon

Again out on a fishing boat off South Devon. Absolute highlight was a Minke Whale 16nm ESE of Start Pt, although intially close, only surfaced in sight once more and not when camera was at hand! Also two Ocean Sunfish seen.

While fishing seabirds were again relatively poor for the time of year! 3 juv Yellow-legged Gulls, 20+ Common Terns, 2 Bonxies, just one European Storm-petrel, though numerous Fulmars and commoner gulls. Of note were 3 Shags crossing the channel (not usually this far out) and one Redshank heard (high up). Manx Shearwaters were thinly distributed to 30nm out (though 50+ in the Minke area), but the main concentration was about 1.5nm off Dartmouth, which included several Balearic Shearwaters (boat was going too fast to count) when heading home. I've also saved some fish liver, to bring along for Saturday's pelagic, yum!

Couple of pics of the Bonxies, one a worn adult in heavy moult the other a fresher looking bird (2cy).

Great Skua (adult)Great SkuaGreat Skua (adult)Great Skua

Posted August 8th, 2013 at 9:31 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

A few waders on the marsh & estuary: 12 oystercatcher, 2 ringed plover, 6 whimbrel, 21 curlew, 4 redshank, 2 greenshank, green sandpiper & 2 common sandpiper.

Also: 21 little egret, 2 kingfisher & 4 white wagtail with a few pieds.

Posted August 8th, 2013 at 2:53 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Around the Axe

Black Hole and Colyford Marsh at high tide today gave the following totals: 1 Wood Sandpiper (there were 2 last night), 1 Ruff, 2 Greenshank, 3 Little Ringed Plover (incl 2 over west), 10 Lapwing,12 Green Sands, 20 Ringed Plover, 42 Dunlin and the first 4 Wigeon of the autumn.

A Cuckoo was a nice surprise too, at the south end of Colyford Common (earlier seen by Black Hole Marsh).

Posted August 8th, 2013 at 12:43 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Little sign of any migration. 5 whitethroats (2 adults + 3 juvs), chiffchaff, 10 stock doves and the little owl in its usual place.

Oddity of the morning was a juvenile LBB Gull flying South West - 90-95% of gulls in the Blackdowns are Herring gulls and the few Lesser Black backed we see are generally adults in mid-winter.

Posted August 8th, 2013 at 9:42 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Froward area Dartmouth

Yesterday evening: 400+Manx and 2+ Balearic Shearwaters feeding about 1km off Ivy Cove with 70+ Kittiwake, 15 Gannets and 6-7 Harbour Porpoise. Also a Yellow Wagtail in sheep field between Coleton Camp car park and Ivy Cove.  

Posted August 8th, 2013 at 7:33 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

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