General Birding

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm 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


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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

Saturday 14th June 2014

Red Kite, Bovey Tracey

Another (?) Red Kite to add - high over Bovey Tracey at around 9.30, mobbed by the local Herring Gulls. Fairly tatty bird moulting primaries and central tail feathers.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 9:40 pm by Jeremy Barker in General Birding


Having thought I had missed out on the kite action today, I finally saw one Red Kite at 17:05 flying east across the Exe near the M5

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 9:12 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Great White Egret- Teignmouth

A Great White Egret flew up the Teign Estuary and over my house in East Teignmouth at 6.50pm today,(Saturday 14-06). Then flew north towards the Exe Estuary. Took a couple of 'very poor' photos as record shots.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 7:13 pm by Nick D'Agorne in General Birding

Another Red Kite

With the high pressure now set in, another influx of Red Kites. One west over Buckfastleigh at 10:20 to add to today's total.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 3:40 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding

Red kite

1205 hrs   Red kite over Ilfracombe being mobbed by gulls and driven south across the town.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by John Hunt in General Birding


A Red Kite drifted west at 10:05.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 12:21 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding


7 Red kites over the house at 8.40 this morning, they drifted SW gaining height.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 11:29 am by John Waldon in General Birding

Late news: Holcombe, Thursday 12th June

Working on the railway at Holcombe in the late afternoon on Thursday I was surprised to hear a Chough calling as it flew north along the coast towards Dawlish. It must have been the same bird recorded by Paul Barker.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 10:52 am by Peter Hopkin in General Birding

Red Kite

A Red Kite over St Micheals Church Mount Dinham Exeter at 0935 .Both Peregrines had  2 stoops at it. Kite ok went off North.

Posted June 14th, 2014 at 9:52 am by Paul Stone in General Birding

Friday 13th June 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

As per Keith's post. 6+ Sandwich Terns + 2 Oystercathers + 50+ Curlew + 1 Whinbrel. All still present when i left at 2100pm.

2nd Summer Mediterranean Gull
2nd Summer Mediterranean Gull

1st Summer Bonaparte's Gull
1st Summer Bonaparte's Gull

1st Summer Bonaparte's Gull
1st Summer Bonaparte's Gull

Posted June 13th, 2014 at 10:52 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Watched from the hide 18:00 till 20:20

Well just when you think things cant get better another Bonaparte's gull 1st summer turns up making 2 on the marsh both showing well and the marshes 3rd in the last month wow , with the 1st summer Ross's Gull still showing well and the 1st summer little gull its gull heaven at the mo. 

Also 5+ mediterranean gulls (4 1st summers and a splended 2nd summer ) 3 common gull , 1 lesser black backed gull in with 800+ black headed gulls. 

The female pochard is still around with increases in redshank to 24+, 1 greenshank, with 80+ black tailed godwits and some bar tailed godwits, 3 wigeon.



Posted June 13th, 2014 at 9:53 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Dartmoor Bellever

Sighting of Red Kite flying west from Laughter Tor Farm area towards Two Bridges at around 11:20 this morning.

Posted June 13th, 2014 at 9:05 pm by Colin Hannaford in General Birding

A30 Red Kite

Red Kite flying over the A30 at Liftondown this morning. Just inside the border!

Posted June 13th, 2014 at 5:15 pm by David Boddy in General Birding

Yesterday at Aylesbeare RSPB

I was picking up my Mother from the airport in the evening, so went to the Common in the afternoon and saw this Red Kite drifting south west at about 3pm.

Posted June 13th, 2014 at 12:43 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Nasal saddled Pochard

No light-green nasal-saddle project is listed on cr-birding, but a sky blue colour is listed there (within the French ringing scheme) - they do use a first letter F and I can imagine sky blue fading to green, especially since this project is in its 10th year. I'm sure it will be worth emailing the address found on this page for the project to check whether it's theirs:

Posted June 13th, 2014 at 11:03 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Hoopoe at Soar

7.40 this morning a Hoopoe was heard calling at Soar. It was in the garden of the Bungalow at Coastguard Cottages. After a few minutes it flew east towards the farm buildings at the airfield.

Posted June 13th, 2014 at 8:08 am by Roger White in General Birding

Thursday 12th June 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Watched from the hide 17:00 till 19:30

As per daves post but 6 Mediterranean gulls and 1 greenshank, 9+ little egrets 

Ross's gull
Ross's gull

Ross's gull
Ross's gull

Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull

Posted June 12th, 2014 at 11:02 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling green Marsh

As per Nick Potter ealier post. The Female Pochard was again on the main pond in the hide tonight and these are the best digiscope photos i could get. Looks like Light Green 2+F. Maybe someone can help identify.

Ross's + Little + Bonaparte's + c600 Black Headed Gulls + 11 Redshank + c21 Oystercatchers + 8 Sandwich Terns (flew in and out again) + c80 Black Tailed + c20 Bar tailed Godwits + 1 Whimbrel + c5 Med Gulls + Female Pochard 

Female Pochard Nasal Saddle
Female Pochard Nasal Saddle

Female Pochard Nasal Saddle
Female Pochard Nasal Saddle

Female Pochard Nasal Saddle
Female Pochard Nasal Saddle

Posted June 12th, 2014 at 10:18 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Greenway, River Dart

I was standing near the visitor reception at 1310  when a very dark looking kite sp. flew north overhead, giving just a few seconds view  between treetops ,mostly rear on as it glided over. Size, wingspan, colour and tail shape  all looked good for Black Kite  but  not really provable . Last seen flying actively up the valley towards Totnes at considerable height.

A Red-legged Partridge was on the rough track towards Maypool on the south side of the estate.

Posted June 12th, 2014 at 7:23 pm in General Birding

Chough at Labrador bay

Chough seen briefly flying along cliff face going East towards Shaldon at  4.40pm.

despite brief view through binoculars, red bill and "fingered" primaries obvious

Posted June 12th, 2014 at 5:26 pm by Paul Barker in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 1.40. Fairly quiet over the low tide. Surprised to see a female Pochard, which has a green ring / nasal saddle on its bill so is presumably the returning bird from the winter. Still unable to read the markings on it as the views were fairly distant and it kept diving! Maybe someone can get a photo of the bird so we can read the markings and find out where it is from. One Lapwing in with the Black-tailed Godwits. 1 Sand Martin also along with 1 House Martin and a couple of Swallows feeding over the water.

Posted June 12th, 2014 at 2:17 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wednesday 11th June 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 15:40 till 19:00

another great day on the marsh 1st summer Ross's gull, 1st summer bonaparte's gull and 1st summer little gull all still present with 5 Mediterranean gulls , 3 common gulls and 600+ black headed gulls , 9+ little egrets, 11+ bar tailed godwits, 82+ black tailed godwits, 19 oystercatchers, 4 redshanks , 2 teal, 4 wigeon, 50+ curlew and 1 whimbrel. 

Posted June 11th, 2014 at 10:46 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Crow Point

At least 7 Sandwich Terns on the sandbar at Crow Point as the tide rose this afternoon.

Posted June 11th, 2014 at 10:09 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Otter Estuary

This is the other side of nature!  I was just enjoying the sight of a young Shelduck, indicating that they have successfully bred on the Otter... when it was seized by a crow.  I will spare you the details... but the young bird did not survive. The Crow flew off with a morsel while the other looked on uninterested.


Posted June 11th, 2014 at 8:59 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Tuesday 10th June 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

Watched from the hide from 15:35 till 18:30

The long staying trio of 1st summer Ross's gull, 1st summer Bonaparte's Gull and 1st summer Little Gull all showed well and were still present when i left the hide.

My second Little tern of the year on the marsh did a few circuits of the marsh before heading back to the estuary.

The back up cast incuded 6+ 1st summer Mediterranean Gulls, 3 common gulls among 400+ Black headed gulls, 10+ little egrets, 7 bar tailed godwits , 80+ black tailed godwits, 2 redshank including 1 juv, 1 juv little grebe, 70+ curlew, 1 oystercatcher, 1 buzzard, 4 teal (3m,1f)

Another good day on the marsh 

Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull

Posted June 10th, 2014 at 11:15 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Even quieter this lunchtime until about 1.50. Only about 20 gulls present although they included 1 Mediterranean Gull and 1 Common Gull. Also one of the Black-headed Gulls had some kind of shellfish clamped to its right foot which was clearly annoying it while attracting hungry looks from the Common Gull! 2 male Teal as well.

Posted June 10th, 2014 at 3:19 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding


Mudbank - the fs ross's gull flew in from up river @ 0625 and is still present at the time of writing, viewable from the back garden, @ 0710. Also this morning the fs bonaparte's gull, 14 sandwich tern and a summer-plumaged great northern diver

Posted June 10th, 2014 at 7:14 am by Matt Knott in General Birding

Monday 9th June 2014

Bowling Green marsh

Watched from the hide 14:55 till 17:45

As per Steve Cox earlier report some more photo's from last few days, also some signs of returning birds with 3 teal back on the mars. Also  4 1st summer Mediterranean guls and 2 common gulls along with 300+ black headed gulls, 9+ Little Egrets and plenty of Blackcaps in full song always great to hear. 

Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull

Ross's Gull And Little Gull
Ross's Gull And Little Gull

Little Gull
Little Gull

Posted June 9th, 2014 at 11:46 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

A successful afternoon visit, seeing 1st winter Little, Ross's and Bonaparte's Gulls. Ross's was present from 2.30 to at least 5.30 when I left. Bonaparte's came in later but was again there to 5.30. Little Gull came and went a couple of times. 

Also 72 Black-tailed Godwits and 6 Lapwing, including a Juv. 

Posted June 9th, 2014 at 10:01 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Straight Point, Exmouth

Dick Andrews and I did  a nest count of the Kittiwakes on Straight Point this morning - pleased to find c.135 occupied nests on the cliff face.    We had a minimum bird count of 215 but there was a lot of birds actively flying to and from the rocks, fishing off Exmouth sea front.      This is back to roughly normal numbers after a very bad year in 2013.

(Anyone wishing to visit - access thro' Sandy Bay holiday park to the beach carpark, but make sure it is low tide.   Also hourly 95 bus from Exmouth station goes to the beach car park.)

Posted June 9th, 2014 at 6:12 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

A bit quieter this lunchtime with fewer gulls due to the tide being low. There were at least 2 Mediterranean Gulls though along with 1 Common Gull and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Posted June 9th, 2014 at 2:12 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Soar Mill Cove area

1st Clouded Yellow of the year.

Posted June 9th, 2014 at 1:52 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sunday 8th June 2014

Red-backed Shrike, Powderham Marsh.

Walk south from Swan's nest pub and view east through gap in the hedge, by large oak tree in 2nd ploughed field.

Great bird and showing very well from 5 to 6.25pm.

Red-backed Shrike. Tom Gale
Red-backed Shrike. Tom Gale

Red-backed Shrike. Tom Gale
Red-backed Shrike. Tom Gale

Posted June 8th, 2014 at 8:55 pm by John and Tom Gale in General Birding

Clennon Valley

Siskin are a less than annual winter visitor to my garden so odd to find one on the feeder today. Also  a moulting into eclipse Shoveler on ponds.

  siskin Clennon Valley 08 Jun 14 ML     Shoveler Clennon Valley 08 June 14 ML

Posted June 8th, 2014 at 8:24 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Powderham Marshes Exminster

From John and Tom Gale: found a female Red-backed Shrike at Powderham Marshes - 2nd field east near large Oak tree.

Posted June 8th, 2014 at 6:32 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Goosemoor - Bowling Green Marsh

The Bonaparte's Gull, Ross's Gull, Little Gull and c4 Med Gulls all still present on Bowling Green Marsh early afternoon prior to high tide on the near grass in front of the hide. The Ross's Gull was showing well throughout, often the closest bird but the Bonaparte's Gull dissapeared after c2.30pm. On the walk back from the hide, a quick look into Goosemoor revealed the Bonaparte's Gull on the grassy bank on the far side of the pool with Black-Headed Gulls from the first viewpoint. 

Posted June 8th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Bideford & Barnstaple Bay

Digiscoped this small flock of 8 Common Scoters early this morning before breakfast!

Posted June 8th, 2014 at 9:11 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

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