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

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Tamar ( saltash side)

30+ swifts flying from the sea! inland heading west

Ed. If they're going W its Cornwall and so is Saltash!

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 8:07 pm by Trystan Bryant in General Birding

Around the Axe

Female Marsh Harrier over Colyford Marsh this morning, one with a 'stumpy' tail. It wasn't tail-less, but certainly didn't have a complete tail.

Also a Lesser Whitethroat singing along the Estuary just north of Axmouth, three Bar-tailed Godwits on the Estuary and a couple of Swifts over Black Hole Marsh this pm.

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 2:29 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works.


Shelduck 20; Bar-tailed Godwit 1; Whimbrel 18; Curlew 4 and Ringed Plover 1.

Penhill Marsh - 96 Shelduck; 3 Whimbrel and 3 Curlew.

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 2:15 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

A quick look in at the pond earlier this morning produced a pair of Tufted Duck (male plumage magnificent)  & 5 Swifts which flew over the pond screaming then onto Sharpa Marshes.

On theTaw Estuary from the Tarka trail to Barnstaple at least 10 Whimbrel, 4 Lesser Black backed Gulls, 3 BH Gulls & 6 Curlew & a good number of Shelduck.

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 12:01 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Hd Monday 5th May

Evening seawatch 17.30-19.30hrs: 1 Arctic Skua, 115 Manx Shearwaters, 12 Gannet 8 Razorbills amongst the local Guillemots), 8 Kittiwake, 4 Black-headed Gulls & 3-4 Harbour Porpoise. Some movement overhead 37 Swallows, 8 House Martins and 7 Swift all in off the sea > NW 

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 8:16 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 5th May 2014


My husband managed to spot a SLAVONIAN GREBE from a moving train today! Fortunately it was right next to Starcross station where the train made a stop, so we had plenty of time to look at it and check it really was one before the train moved off!! In full summer plumage, so the yellow plumes were really striking :) This was high tide, about 12:15 midday.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 9:53 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Prawle Pt late pm

Seawatch 16:00-18:45 as rain front started arrive, most birds heading east: 876 Manx Shearwater, 4 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Bonxie, 8 Black Terns (bp), 16 Common Terns, 36 'commic' Terns, 6 Sandwich Terns, Great Northern Diver (on sea), 36 Kittiwakes. Also Harbour Porpoise.

6 Swift over Totnes on route.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 8:47 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding


Red Kite at midday flying over fields towards the top of Knighton Hill and Wembury Wood.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 8:37 pm by Matt Clark in General Birding

Trendlebere Down and Yarner Wood


On the Down 2 Yellowhammers, 2 Bullfinches, 4 Tree Pipits, 6 Stonechats, 4 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk, 3 Linnets, 1 Redpoll, 3 Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Siskin, 3 Swifts, 2 Jays and a Cuckoo calling in the distance.

In the Wood 6+ Pied Flycatchers, 5 Wood Warblers, male Redstart (showing well in the canopy and in full song close to the Field Museum), Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Song Thrushes and Goldcrest.  Feeders in front of the Pond Hide yielded mixed tit flock including 2+ Marsh Tits.  Also three male Mandarins, more Siskins, male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker and a gaudy Grey Wagtail.   Green Woodpecker and Raven calling elsewhere in the Wood.

Not bad considering that I had a three year old for company!   

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 7:21 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Soar and South Huish

Very little at Soar this morning - singles of Sedge Warbler, Wheatear and Willow Warbler, plus 4 Chiffchaffs and a Water Rail heard.

Later at South Huish, some overlap with Perry's earlier sightings - 46 Whimbrels, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits (2 summer plumage), 2 Sandwich Terns, 8 Common Scoter (1 female and 7 males), Sedge Warbler, 6 Sand Martins, 8+ House Martins, c15 Swallows and 4 Dunlins (all summer plumage).  

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 7:04 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 09:45 till 11:30

26 bar tailed godwit included my first with coloured rings will send off the details, 15+ whimbrel, 1 sandwich tern, 1 1st summer Mediterranean gull, 6 dunlin, 10 little egrets, 19+ common gulls, 130+ black tailed godwits, 45+ curlew, 2 gadwall, 1 tufted duck, , 4 greenshanks, 1 redshank, 4+ reed warbler, 2 sedge warblers, 1 reed bunting. 

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 5:40 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster marshes

Heavy moult immature marsh harrier still over marsh at 15:45 . Strange looking beast!

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 5:40 pm by Alan Keatley in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

A bit of excitement when I got out of the car at the RSPB car park this morning at 10.10. A raptor was circling around in the centre of the marsh putting up all the birds. It took me a while to work out what it was until I managed to get it up against the land and also someone else turned up with a scope. It was an immature female Marsh Harrier without tail feathers which looked very strange almost like a small vulture or something! Watched after that for ten minutes before it moved off high NE.

Also hundreds of Common Swift and Hirundines, 4 Whimbrel.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Kevin Bainbridge in General Birding

South Huish / Thurlestone Bay

06:00-10:15, moderate S-SE wind strenghthening.

Had a look on Huish marsh to start with. No sign of the Garganey Alan found last night. Best birds were Teal, 43 Whimbrel, 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Dunlin, Common Gull and 2cy Mediterranean Gull. Single Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone and 7 Sanderling on the rocks/beach. Did a seawatch from 08:00-10:15, passing ( all east ) were 80 Manx Shearwater, 21 Common Scoter, 33 Kitttiwake and a distant flock of 14 unidentified Terns ( Common / Arctic ). A dark phase Arctic Skua watched coming in off the sea and heading off inland. Highlight of the morning was a flock of 6 light phase Pomarine Skuas east at 08:15.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 12:31 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Runnage Farm, Postbridge 3rd,4th and 5th May.

While camping at Runnage Farm outside Postbridge there were two cuckoos calling practically all day long at regular intervals. At two bridges there was another cuckoo calling as well as lots of stonechats and meadow pipits.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 11:40 am by Tom Michie in General Birding

Red Kite over Hestow Rd nr Kingsteignton

Saturday May 3rd 3:45pm - A red kite circled low over Hestow Road with two common buzzards before drifting south-west towards Kingsteignton.

Posted May 5th, 2014 at 8:32 am by Damian Offer in General Birding

Sunday 4th May 2014

4th May - Nat' Trust Arlington Ct

Early morning walk around around the Park before the mass of visitors arrived was very rewarding - variety of species spotted - here are three pics of the most interesting:

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker
Male Great Spotted Woodpecker

Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit

Female Redstart
Female Redstart

Posted May 4th, 2014 at 5:59 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Bowling green marsh & exminster marsh

Bowling green marsh 09:35 till 11:45 from the hide 

Best bird was a little ringed plover which dropped in with 2 sanderling but was very elusive, 3 common sandpiper, 3 sandwich terns briefly flew over, 14+ whimbrel, 139+ black tailed godwits, 2 tufted duck , 1 gadwall, 9+ little egrets, 26+ shelduck, 13+ common gull, 8 wigeon, 4+ reed warblers, 2 sedge warblers, 1 reed bunting, 2 little grebes.

exminster marsh 12:45 till 14:00

fairley quiet but 1 hobby was hunting over the lagoon and close to the railway line with small numbers of swifts, swallows, sand martins and house martins, 7+ sedge warblers along the canal path, 3 whitethroats. 

Posted May 4th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Taw torridge estuary

A flock of 103 Whimbrel with the odd Curlew and 2 Bar tailed godwits on field at Yelland between Tarka trail and river Taw.

Lesser Whitethroat singing near Isley marsh.

Posted May 4th, 2014 at 2:49 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Saturday 3rd May 2014

Prawle Point 3rd May

Morning walk along the coastal path with Rob & Stephen Murphy. Whitethroat, Kestrel, Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Buzzard, Oystercatcher & Gannet. Highlights were, 2 Whimbrel & 6 wheatear together on a pile of rocks. Never been before - will def go back.

6 Wheatears
6 Wheatears


Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 10:57 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Challacombe/Soussons circular walk

 Redstarts 1m, 1f, at the farm. 6 Cuckoo on the circuit including 3 flying together, a single pair only of Whinchat below Warren House Inn and a Hobby. The 3 Cuckoo seemed none too pleased with each other, they seemed to be having words.

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Sam Forest in General Birding

Bench Tor and Venford

A walk around the resevoir gave a common Sandpiper at the far end together with a cuckoo calling, Moving on to Bench Tor gave a male Redstart,,2 Tree Pipits and another Cuckoo across the valley under Sharp Tor

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 6:01 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding


Siskin are a regular winter and an occasional summer visitor to my bird feeder. Throughout April there have been 3 males, but today there have also been at least 3 juveniles and as they arrived by 0530 it would appear that they nested locally. Adjacent woodland is deciduous. It is possible that they are travelling from coniferous woodlands on the commons, but it does make me wonder whether the use of garden feeders has resulted in a change of habitat for this finch.

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 8:18 am by Dick Andrews in General Birding

Swifts-River Exe

20 + Swifts along the river Exe near Briidge Road at 8.00 am

Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 8:05 am by Tony Dudley-Clarke in General Birding

Friday 2nd May 2014

nr. Slapton

Had a text from a friend who lives at Start nr. Slapton ( not to be confused with Start Point ) to say she heard a cuckoo this evening. It's many years since i last heard one locally.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 11:03 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

South Hams

South Efford Marsh

2 Swift, numerous Swallow and House Martin, 1 Common Sandpiper, Male Kingfisher, 3 Whimbrel, Chiffchaff, Stock Dove, Peacock and 2 Orange Tip butterfly.

South Huish Marsh

28 Whimbrel on field with sheep ,1 Whimbrel on beach

1 Whimbrel and 4 Bar Tailed Godwits in off sea,

2 Dunlin,Stonechat Pair, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whitethroat,

2 Lesser Black Backed Gulls

3 Black Headed Gulls

1st Summer Glaucous Gull

House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow

Drake Teal

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 9:17 pm by charlie imms and Russ Eynon in General Birding

Dawlish warren

A quick look this afternoon after work from 16:30 till 19:30 

the female Kentish plover was between groyne 12 and the last groyne with the 2 sanderling from 17:15 till 18:00 when it headed towards warren point , also at least 2 little tern , 11+ wheatear , 1 lesser whitethroat and 7+ whitethroat, 4 stonechat, 3 groups of whimbrel in of the sea heading straight up the estuary 18 in total , 8 ringed plover, 12+ dunlin, 10 turnstone, 2 bar tailed godwits. 

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 9:09 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

This evening there were 2 hobbies sitting on gate posts, one flew north as I left after a scrap with a peregrine. Another peregrine caught a moorhen. Lots of swifts continually moving through. Also 5 wheatears NE of the railway bridge. 5 gadwall included 3 males, the most I have seen for some time. No sign of the garganey that were present late yesterday evening and reported early today.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 8:24 pm by John Waldon in General Birding


Lesser Whitethroat still in the Southdown lane 100yds from beach. Only 1 tufted duck visible during my visit

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 5:29 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Fancied a change of scenery and spent a few hours at the Warren this morning - glad I did. Here's a couple of shots of a smart female Kentish Plover found by Lee Collins this morning.

Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014
Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014

Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014
Kentish Plover female - Dawlish Warren 2/5/2014

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 4:51 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Exminster and Powderham Marsh

At least 50-100 Swifts today all around both marshes. On Exminster Marsh, 3 Lesser Whitethroat singing well early afternoon along path by railway line with 2 showing well. A Hobby showed well by the RSPB car park. Both Reed Warbler and Sedge Warblers showing today.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 4:50 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Northam Burrows

A Blue-headed Wagtail this morning among 9 White Wagtails around the perimeter of Greysands Pool. A few Wheatear still around, and many Sedge Warblers and Whitethroat in the scrub. The Collared Pratincole had not been seen when I left at around 10.10.

On the Skern 2 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel and a Grey Plover.

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 11:33 am by Roger Doble in General Birding

Thursday 1st May 2014

Cann Woods

Solitary Cuckoo amd 2 Nightjar tonight

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 11:23 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding


Look around Exminster marshes from the RSPB car park. Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Little Egret. Best a Lesser Whitetroat just at the end of the lane next to the rail track.

Lesser Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 10:45 pm by Paul treen in General Birding


Looking from Roundham Head this evening there were: 3 Great Northern Divers (all winter/1st s plumage) 1 Red-throated Diver, 7 Common Scoter, 2 Sandwich Terns.

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 8:30 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


Plenty of Swallows and House Martins feeding over the marsh this morning. The Lesser Whitethroat still quite vocal around hedges by Southdown, and a female Wheatear was in the Coastguard gardens. Pairs of Tufted Ducks were still on the main pool, also two Gadwalls on the pool below the hide. Two Dunlin flew from the vegetation on the marsh onto the beach.

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 3:22 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A short visit from 9.00 to 10.00 this morning in the rain. but it was mild and birds were singing everywhere. 25 whimbrel flew over followed by 2 curlew. Four small waders rose from the centre of the marsh, probably dunlin. Lots of sand martins and swallows feeding low over the various scrapes. Higher up a flock of house martins with c10 swifts. It's amazing to think that less than 5 days ago these swifts might have been south of the Sahara in west Africa, (I know this thanks to Malcolm Burgess's fascinating talk last evening).

Elsewhere c70 shelduck, 3 teal and 2 garganey.

Posted May 1st, 2014 at 1:28 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

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