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

Friday 7th March 2014

South Brent

After a morning visit to Stover had a look round my own grounds, 2 Meadow Pipit, Song Thrush, Bull Finch, good numbers of both Gold and Green Finch, Pied Wagtails, Dunnock, Pair of Siskin a very aggresive Robin driving everything away from my new feeding station, sighting of rung Blue Tit and hen Chaffinch which I suspect are from the netting and ringing session in the garden earlier in the week. Pair of Buzzard soaring at height, Raven and a pair of Nuthatch, a small number of Starling came over at the end of the day and as it got dark 2 Tawny owls heard calling. Apparent pairings of Blue & Great Tit, House Sparrow, Siskin, Blackbird and Buzzard observed during the day.

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 9:18 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stover Country Park

Early visit to Stover this morning gave a count of nine Goosander, 8 on the lake and one in the marginal lagoons, three males on the lake, Four Great Crested Grebe 2 in full coutship display mode and nest building, Little Grebe in full summer plumage showing really well, lots of Jays scolding and screaming at one point, Bullfinch, Long tailed Tits, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatch Pochard and Tufted Duck all showing well, good number of Cormorant, no sign of any Snipe in the margins.

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 9:10 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head

Despite early morning visits this week no real sign of Spring migration, with only two fly over alba Wagtails. A visit this evening created some excitement with three returning day trawlers creating an impressive gull frenzy, only 'white winger' proved to be an unexpected adult Mediterranean Gull trailing behind 4 Black heads flying North across the bay with no interest in the trawlers.

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 7:13 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Broadsands to Elberry Cove

Seven Great Northern Divers and one Black-throated in view this morning. Also strangely a single Canada Goose on sea out in the middle of the bay. A visitor reports a Red-necked Grebe in summer plumage was offshore Wednesday, but no sign today.

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 5:42 pm in General Birding

DWT Meeth Quarry Reserve

Amongst the dozen or so Canada Geese on the main lake was a slightly smaller, different coloured goose. Not sure what it is though.

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 5:03 pm by Mike Jones in General Birding

Slapton Ley

08:20-13:00. Drizzly with a moderate NW wind at first, beautiful spring like day by mid morning.

13 Great Crested Grebe ( inc. couple displaying pairs ), 2 Little Grebe, 4 Black-necked Grebe ( inc. 3 almost full summer plumage, view from tank in Torcross car park ), 21 Gadwall, 3 Pochard, 203 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup ( m, f  Torcross ), 3 Pochard, 2 Goldeneye ( m,f ), 60 Coot and Peregrine. Little on the sea apart from a couple Great Northern Divers and a Great Crested Grebe.

Massive clearout of wintering birds from the ley since my last visit in early February. Been great at Slapton this winter, shedloads of wildfowl like in its glory days, the water quality must have improved greatly as the numbers obviously could not be put down to a hard winter. Still lacking big nos of gulls though and Start Bay very quiet these days.

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 2:23 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

R.Taw - Pottington to Ashford Sweage Works. 12:00 - 13:15

1 Barnacle Goose with c23 Canada Geese on Bradiford Reserve. 2 Little Grebe; a pair of Goosander; 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Little Egret on foreshore.

65 Wigeon and c83 Shelduck on Penhill Marsh.

Posted March 7th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Thursday 6th March 2014

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake  09:00


1 Willow Tit. 6 Goosander 3m 3f, 3 Cormorant, 1 G.S. Woodpecker, 4 Redwing, 3 Tufted Duck. 3 G.C. Grebe.

 Goosander moveing between the  Upper and Lower Lake.

Posted March 6th, 2014 at 7:25 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


A quick tour of Berry Head failed to locate any early Wheatears and a couple of Chiffchaff may have been winterers. Only real movement was six Brent Geese south . Between  Berry Head and the Breakwater, nine Great Northern Divers . Three Black-throated from the Breakwater , one the pale first year bird again. Seven Purple Sandpipers roosting on the old oil jetty base.

Posted March 6th, 2014 at 12:42 pm in General Birding

Wednesday 5th March 2014

Egrets on the Axe

31 Little Egrets in the roost at Axmouth this evening.

Posted March 5th, 2014 at 8:31 pm by Jim Tirrell in General Birding

Dunsford Wood

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Deep Joy! Watched it feeding high in the trees for ages. My first for two years.

Posted March 5th, 2014 at 5:56 pm by David Turrell in General Birding


The Yellow-browed Warbler was in gardens near the Recreation Ground this afternoon. (The Black Redstart was also seen nearby and three Bearded Tits in the reedbed near the M5, from Exeter Canal.)

At Goosemoor this morning, flooded by the high tide, a Jack Snipe was scoped as it 'floated' on sparse vegetation, swimming to find somewhere more solid and then flying off - amazing! Also a Snipe there, but on more solid ground, and 2 Greenshank.

Posted March 5th, 2014 at 5:19 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding


Cracking male ring ouzel at West Soar this morning, in scrub above hotel. Watched in full view for a few  minutes before "chacking" and flying into cover.

Is this the earliest true migrant for Devon?

Posted March 5th, 2014 at 1:55 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Reed Bunting ~ South Brent

This male Reed Bunting is visiting a private garden in South Brent reasonably close to the village centre, where it is taking peanuts from the lawn.


Posted March 5th, 2014 at 12:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 4th March 2014

South Brent

The BTO rung Greenfinch has been on the garden feeders everyday since first being seen about 10 days ago, following email recieved from the BTO as follows "Thanks Steve and I agree that this is _T7218_ but we know Greenfinches begin with T, so this will be TT7218_ which is fine. There are just 10 possibilities, four of which are males, all ringed near you in winter 2012/13. So we'll process it with these details and send you a proper report in the next 4-6 weeks."

As the bird is a definate male it would seem to be one of four possiblities, had a friend come with his netting and ringing kit today but the Greenfich while present did not fall into the net, but netted, rung and took records of 15 Blue Tits, 1 male Blackbird, 1 hen Chaffinch and one male House Sparrow, Siskin heard calling as were Green Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker seen and heard woodpeckers drumming for the first time this year, flight of 5 Canadian geese passed over, constant passage of Raven's, single birds and a trio, a trio of Bullfinch came in second day in a row, 2 males 1 hen, Nuthatch which evaded the ringers net !! Wren, Couple of Redwings in the field, Long Tailed Tit once the nets had been packed away, small murmuration of Starlings around 5.30pm smaller number than seen last evening, just need to finish off by listening for any Tawny owls calling, have been up to five over the last few nights.

Posted March 4th, 2014 at 10:03 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stover CP

Had an excellent day at Stover today. 39 species in total including Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch (2x male, 1x female), lots of Siskins showing well, several Marsh Tits, Treecreeper, Water Rail, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goosander (4 male, 4 female), 2x pair Great Crested Grebe displaying and nest building, Moorhen mating right in front of the hide and best of all, a Little Grebe showing very well in front of the hide - lovely breeding plumage and it even came out onto land, something I had not seen before and which I gather is somewhat unusual!

Little Grebe comes ashore!
Little Grebe comes ashore!

Posted March 4th, 2014 at 10:00 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Brixham and Berry Head

6 Great Northern Divers showing very well and a distant Black-throated Diver off the end of the breakwaters.  Another Great Northern at Berry Head and a Black Redstart on the cliffs near the auk colony.

Posted March 4th, 2014 at 4:56 pm by John Walters in General Birding

R.Taw (Pottington Ind Est to Ashford Sewage Works.) 12:10

285 Dark-bellied Brent geese mainly on Penhill Marsh side; 1 adult Great Crested Grebe; 1 female Goldeneye still; 3 Goosanders (2M,1F); 2 Spoonbills on Penhill side (these appear to be juvenile birds as their beaks are light in colour); 6 Grey Heron and 6 Little Egrets; 58 Shelduck; 6 Wigeon and 4 Little Grebe. Just 2 Teal in the ditch by the sewage works and just 11 Canada Geese in Bradiford Reserve.

Posted March 4th, 2014 at 3:35 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Monday 3rd March 2014

Wembury Point

On the very clean [no seaweed or rubbish] and reshaped beach at the Point this afternoon at low tide was an adult Glaucous Gull; quite possibly the one from Plymouth Barbican.  Otherwise a complete dearth of birds.

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Posted March 3rd, 2014 at 9:50 pm by Graham Watson in General Birding


A quick walk along Plymouth Hoe this afternoon while dodging the showers and 2 great northern divers were showing well close in to shore - 1 off Duttons cafe and 1 near Tinside Pool.

At Sutton Harbour 3 turnstones were feeding along the beach by The China House with a summer plumaged little grebe diving nearby.

Around the fish quay there were 2 adult winter plumaged kittiwakes amongst the gulls, 1 unfortunately with oiling on its upper and lower right wing and vent area. No sign of the glaucous gull but it was low tide.

Posted March 3rd, 2014 at 7:33 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Sunday 2nd March 2014


12 med gulls,9 adult of which five full bp,2sw,1fw,1500 bhg,60 common,20 bar tailed godwits,17:15-17:50.

Posted March 2nd, 2014 at 10:55 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Plym Estuary

On the Plym this afternoon, 3 Goosanders, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Greenshank, 2 Dunlin, 1 Wigeon (m), 1 Mediterranean Gull (1W) and c15 Lesser Black-backed Gull.


Posted March 2nd, 2014 at 8:11 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

A quick check  towards midday, tide down . From the breakwater nine Great Northern and three Blackthroated Divers still present some way out. 

Posted March 2nd, 2014 at 7:55 pm in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

Both Yellow-browed Warbler (gardens by the path) and Water Pipit (often best seen on shingle island at low tide) still present. Several Redpolls calling overhead and 2 Med Gulls feeding on the field.

Mediterranean Gull 1W - Topsham 2/3/2014
Mediterranean Gull 1W - Topsham 2/3/2014

Mediterranean Gull 3W - Topsham 2/3/2014
Mediterranean Gull 3W - Topsham 2/3/2014

Posted March 2nd, 2014 at 2:01 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Prawle Sightings Yesterday

In glorious 'spring' weather John Lambert saw a Red Throated and Great Nothern Diver on a seawatch. We saw the  Black Redstart (presumed female) at Sharpiter's Head but no sign of any wintering Firecrest.  2 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls  ( Graellsii and Intermedius -next to each other for nice comparison) on rocks near Langesrstone and 74 Shags offshore. Also our first Comma of the year along coastal footpath..

Posted March 2nd, 2014 at 12:01 am by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Saturday 1st March 2014

Exminster Marshes

Black-necked Grebe on the central pond. Two Siberian Chiffchaffs in the hedge along the canal about 100m south of the car park, at a place where the canal embankment has recently been scraped and de-vegetated. The birds' calls were slightly flatter and less melodic than a 'collybita' Chiffchaff, of which there were about six others scattered along the hedges and lanes for comparison. 

Posted March 1st, 2014 at 8:09 pm by Peter Hopkin in General Birding

Marsh Harrier & Short eared owl - Chivenor

Between 1pm and 4pm I watched a single Marsh Harrier and a Short Eared Owl hunting over Chivenor and in the marsh behind the Velator Reserve, at times they were also joined by a Buzzard.

Posted March 1st, 2014 at 7:22 pm by Chris Triggs in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Beautiful spring-like day for a change.

A pair of Goosanders showing well again on the narrow river and later 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (drake and 2 redheads) on the estuary as the tide rose. Also - Little Grebe (3), Greenshank, Treecreeper (2), Skylark (7), Meadow Pipit (45+), Jack Snipe (2), Snipe (5), and a Green Woodpecker. 

Posted March 1st, 2014 at 4:20 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Skylark Newton Race Course 1st March

Skylark singing over Newton Race Course.  9.00am

Must be Spring !

Posted March 1st, 2014 at 11:01 am by Patrick Case in General Birding

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