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


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

Thursday 7th August 2014

R. Taw nr. Chapelton

Sand Martins feeding second broods in the riverbank. A Kingfisher, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Swallow, a Robin, Cormorant over. Also 1 Clouded Yellow butterfly. [1700-1745]

Posted August 7th, 2014 at 11:14 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:20 till 18:00

423+ black tailed godwits included 2 juveniles the first of the year, 3 bar tailed godwits, 54+ whimbrel among c300+ curlew, 2 spotted redshanks among good numbers of redshank, 23+ greenshanks, 60+ dunlin a peregrine caused havoc with 3 failed attacks, 29+ little egrets, 1 common sandpiper, 600+ black headed gulls, 1 adult Mediterranean gull , 5+ lapwing, 2 sedge warblers, 1 buzzard.

from the viewing platform.

3 ringed plover( 2 adults, 1 juvenile ) 1 common sandpiper, 40+ dunlin ( 18 were  juvenile) 1 water rail , 3 sedge warblers. 

Posted August 7th, 2014 at 9:47 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

River Caen.

1115--1430 hrs   4 Med gull 3 Common sandpiper 3 Dunlin 4 Whimbrel and a Kingfisher.Sherpa marsh held a Little ringed plover and 3 Little grebe.

Posted August 7th, 2014 at 3:20 pm by John Hunt in General Birding

East to Middle Soar

A mid-morning visit missed the host of migrants but still turned up 6 wheatear, 4 yellow wagtail, 5 alba wagtails, 22 meadow pipits & 8 willow warblers. Female sparrowhawk soaring low with apparent juv indicating probable successful breeding in areas woods.

Butterflies included small pearl-bordered fritillary, grayling, lots of walls and painted lady plus 11 clouded yellows inc.two "helice".

I've noticed an apparent small westward migration of male emperor dragonflies over the past couple of weeks inc. 3 more today. Where they are going - who knows!

Posted August 7th, 2014 at 2:08 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

East Soar

Early morning walk, 6-8am before work worthwhile around East Soar Farm and Starehole. After a clear night lots of migrants in the bushes: 60 Willow Warblers, 20 Chiff-Chaff, 40 Whitethroat, 12 Sedge Warbler, 4 Tree Pipits, 6 Wheatear, Garden Warbler and a Whinchat. No time to cover East Soar Cove area so totals would be higher. A good drop-in of migrants on Portland today also. Shows that we dont need morning rain or mist to get good numbers this time of year, but they do disperse quickly in the warm sunny weather.

Posted August 7th, 2014 at 11:10 am by David Cope in General Birding

R.Taw. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 09:10 - 10:00

After over a week of nothing to report apart from Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Oystercatcher, Curlew & the like at last something of note.

1 Adult Mediterranean Gull just off the sewage works; 12 Little Egret; 13 Grey Heron and 18 juvenile Shelduck.

Highlight of the hour was 1 Green Sandpiper in the usual ditch next to the sewage works but even that didn`t stay for longer than a minute.

Posted August 7th, 2014 at 10:19 am by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wednesday 6th August 2014

Berry Head

Should have been here yesterday was also mentioned by those at Berry Head this morning ! Conditions here were the same as Prawle.

Totals between 06.15 and 10.15 hours. Manx Shearwater 51 plus 2 Balearic and one large Shearwater sp all heading south. Only two Manx heading north and 2 Juv. Med Gulls. 

Three Harbour Porpoise and two small pods of Common Dolphins.    

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 11:29 pm by Clive Mason in General Birding

Berry Hd

A brief look off the top of the headland this evening produced 7 juv Mediterranean Gulls > S.

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Prawle Point

"Should have been here yesterday" is one of the phrases that came to mind as John L and myself watched from 6 to 11am in a westerly breeze with sunshine increasing. 

Totals seen : 12 Balearic and 204 Manx Shearwaters west ;1 Arctic Skua briefly ; 2 juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls, 4 similar aged Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Common Scoter, 1 Razorbill plus a 'steady passage' of Gannets.

Highlight ? A pod of at least 50 Common Dolphins accompanied by about 100 Gannets diving into the sea as the dolphins moved steadly westward over the course of half an hour or so (from 9.30am). Later a smaller pod of about 8 at 10.30am.

Also seen 3 Swifts, 1 Clouded Yellow.and a Grey Seal close to shore.

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 9:30 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:20 till 17:00

2 spotted redshanks among 21+ greenshanks, 146+ dunlin included 53 juveniles, 2 common sandpipers, good numbers of redshank and black tailed godwits, 3 lapwing and 18+ little egrets.

from the viewing platform 32+ whimbrel , 4 common sandpipers

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 9:14 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

Evening stroll around produced 3 Kingfishers, 16 Swans plus a family group including at least 4 cygnets, 2 Little Egrets. At least 15 Teal, a female/immature Garganey still, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebe, 3 Grey Heron, a few Swallows and a very few Sand Martins, plus one Green Sandpiper and unusual at this time of year: a Little Ringed Plover.

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 7:15 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

The Ross's Gull again notable only by it's absence - last seen on Saturday I believe. Some small compensation to be found in this juv Yellow-legged Gull (although as it's already showing one or two 2nd generation scapulars, perhaps more accurate to call it a juvenile moulting to 1st winter).

Yellow-legged Gull juv/1W 6/8/2014 Topsham Rec
Yellow-legged Gull juv/1W 6/8/2014 Topsham Rec

Yellow-legged Gull juv/1W 6/8/2014 Topsham Rec
Yellow-legged Gull juv/1W 6/8/2014 Topsham Rec

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 4:26 pm by Tim Worfolk in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit until about 1.50.

2 Spotted Redshanks were at the back of the marsh amongst the Redshanks & Greenshanks.

From the platform, 1 Common Sandpiper.

Quick look at Goosemoor - 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Whimbrel.

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 2:11 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tuesday 5th August 2014


 the caspian tern was viewable from the imperial recreation ground at exmouth roosting on a  sandbar  with a group of greater black backed gulls just after 16:30 intail views it was asleep but eventually it stood up and showed well before flying around 16:45 myself and Chris Townend tried to relocate but no sign by 17:40 

Posted August 5th, 2014 at 6:30 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Quick lunchtime visit : female/imm Garganey, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper

Posted August 5th, 2014 at 5:43 pm by David Cope in General Birding


Mudbank - ad Caspian Tern off Mudbank on sandbar from around 1240 - 1315'ish when it headed upriver. It was seen briefly off the Lifeboat Station initially this morning around 0700 but I'd almost talked myself out of it. It is still on the river and may appear again off Mudbank as the tide receeds or possibly the Warren? Sketches (and possibly photos later?) on my blog.

Posted August 5th, 2014 at 2:24 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatching 05.45 - 11.30am with JW and later DMN

8 Great Shearwater (06.55, 2@07.15, 2@10,00, 1010, & 2@11.00), one probable Cory's Shearwater (08.45) and two distant unidentified large Shearwater (07.30).

16 Balearic Shearwater, 690 Manx Shearwater, 4 Puffin, 9 juv Med Gulls, Sandwich Tern, Bonxie, 6 Dunlin and 38 Common Scoter.

Small pod of distant Dolphin, 4/5 Harbour Porpoise. On the walk back up from the quarry 4 Clouded Yellow and another of the pale form helice in the meadow.


Posted August 5th, 2014 at 1:21 pm by Bill Macdonald in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

Had a walk around yesterday evening, no Waders at all! 2 Tufted Duck, and a female Garganey. a good count of 7 Grey Herons - only one adult amongst them. In the Caen and around the marsh probably 4 Kingfishers, although it might have been the same one buzzing around!!

Posted August 5th, 2014 at 11:25 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Hd

BMc just phoned to say 3 Great Shearwaters past Berry Hd this morning and 2 large unident Shears - hopefully the Caspian Tern at Exmouth might pass that way too!

Posted August 5th, 2014 at 8:24 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh, Wood Sandpiper (4th Aug)

Here's a pic of the Wood Sandpiper which has been on Black Hole Marsh as mentioned on Steve Waite's earlier post. It has been show fantastically well at times.

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Posted August 5th, 2014 at 2:19 am by Tim White in General Birding

Monday 4th August 2014

Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton

A boat trip along the Jurassic Coast today was interesting with highlights being good numbers of young Kittiwakes off Straight Point including at least 3 colour ringed birds that seem to be from the Brittany population and an eclipse drake Eider west of Budleigh Beach.

This evening on the Otter Estuary at least 8 Common Sandpiper (up to 11 in recent days) plus 1 Dunlin and 1 Whimbrel.

Posted August 4th, 2014 at 9:57 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

Present this evening 2 Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear.

Posted August 4th, 2014 at 9:30 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Chapel Wood

Lovely day but very quiet there were plenty of Woodpigeons, Wrens and Robins and an abundance of House Martins and Swallows also 3 Buzzards. The highlights were a Greater-spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper.

Posted August 4th, 2014 at 6:03 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding

Around the Axe

A lovely summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper on Black Hole Marsh over high tide today (at least). Also 1 Wood Sand, 1 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, 1 Med Gull and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull over. The YLG landed in a field full of gulls following a plough just west of the marsh.

Earlier today there were 30+ Willow Warblers and 5+ Whitethroats on Beer Head (with five of the former and one of the latter trapped and ringed).

Posted August 4th, 2014 at 3:59 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

First signs of autumn migration today with 2 Wheatears and a single Willow Warbler. 2 Whitethroats and a Chiffchaff were probably local breeders. Other birds of note were a juv Green Woodpecker (quite scarce on the very top of the Blackdowns), 2 Meadow Pipits, 60+ Herring Gull and 1 LBB Gull 

Posted August 4th, 2014 at 8:40 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Sunday 3rd August 2014


In case I am not the only person who didn't know, the RSPB Bowling green marsh hide is being demolished. I understand a new one will be built during August and should be ready by the end of the month.

Meanwhile the adjacent Goosemoor cycle track is now open and affords good views over Goosemoor where I saw Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpipers this morning. There was also an immaculate and cooperative Green Sandpiper at Dart's Farm at high tide.

Posted August 3rd, 2014 at 7:38 pm by Rob Hubble in General Birding

East Soar

A beautiful day at East Soar, but only two migrants noted for sure. A Swift and a juv Willow Warbler, both at the NT car park. In the field next to it were 10 Whitethroats, 120+ Linnet and 60+ Swallows. Otherwise just a total of 10 Chiffchaffs which are probabaly local birds made up of adults and young. And two Imm Kestrels towards Bolt Head.

Butterflies were more interesting with 16 Spp. 6 Small Pearl-bordered Frit; 2 Painted Lady; 33 Wall Brown; 40 Gatekeeper; 220+ Meadow Brown; 2 Red Admirals; 5 Speckled Wood; 17 Small Tshell; 11 Small Copper; 3 Clouded Yellow; 40 Common Blue; 3 Peacock and good numbers of the three spp of Whites.

And 8 Golden-ringed DF & 2 Emperor DF.

Posted August 3rd, 2014 at 3:07 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Saturday 2nd August 2014


The Ross's gull was very close to the footpath near the M5 late afternoon. Photographs taken with 250mm lens. New feathers comimg through nicely. Also 23 Common sandpipers. 2 Med gulls at Bowling Green Marsh this morning.

Posted August 2nd, 2014 at 9:53 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

After a fine summers day, they said rain all day.

The first bird was a splendid Wood Sandpiper from the Island hide. Also Common Sandpiper 6, Greenshank 1, Black-tailed Godwit 12+, Dunlin also 12+.

hirundines all day feeding & passing through with a Kestrel feeding from the wires over the marsh.

plus much more

SJ & AM Turner

Wood Sandpiper

Posted August 2nd, 2014 at 8:15 pm by Stephen J Turner in General Birding

Prawle Point

A shorter seawatch today from 7 to 9am. Conditions similar to yesterday at first ( ie heavy rain ) but soon brightening .In that time I saw : 4 Balearic and 167 Manx Shearwaters all west and 23 Manx east ; 1 Puffin, 77 Common Scoter west and a 1st year Med. Gull. Around the NT car park a few warblers : 1st year female Blackcaps (pretending to be Garden Warblers) , Whitethroats and 2 yellowy Willow Warblers . Also a Chiffchaff which started to sing in the sunshine.

Butterfly-wise several Wall Browns as well as Gatekeeper, Meadow Browns and male Common Blues, with Large Whites more numerous than smaller species.

Posted August 2nd, 2014 at 5:23 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

The two Wood Sandpipers remain at this location along with a single Green Sandpiper .

Posted August 2nd, 2014 at 2:32 pm by Neal Moss in General Birding

Berry Head

Stayed on for another 45 mins after Mike left, with a further 20 Manx Shearwaters trickling past to the south and 2 more Porpoise appearing.

Also, a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and a Painted Lady on the way out of the quarry.

Posted August 2nd, 2014 at 12:08 pm by George Wall in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatching 0550 - 0850hrs birds of note: 16 Mediterranean Gulls - all juvs! 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 45 Manx Shearwater, 1 Little Egret >N, 47 Common Scoter, first 2 juv Kittiwakes of autumn, 2 Sandwich Terns also 2 Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal. 2 juv Willow Warblers on way back up hill and a Clouded Yellow butterfly.

Posted August 2nd, 2014 at 10:50 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Friday 1st August 2014

Prawle Point addendum

Ah!  Omission , also saw a juvenile Yellow-Legged Gull circling the point.

Posted August 1st, 2014 at 9:18 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Prawle Point Seawatch

First long seawatch of the 'autumn' .Bucketing down on arrival so started at 7am and leaving at 4pm in a break. Misty,murky and humid with occasional bright spells amidst torrential rain 'showers'; winds from the west up to force 5 (where is the village weather vane ?) .

1 Sooty Shearwater (at 12.30) , 16 Balearics and 462 Manxies all west plus some unidentified smallish shearwaters (about 20) seen in misty conditions. 3 close Puffins were nice showing their colourful bills; 30-40 Common Scoter flying /coming and going both west and east. I Dunlin and I small unidentified wader (not Dunlin,Turnstone or Sanderling ) Steady passage of Gannets and Fulmars. Alas no Greats or Cory's.


Posted August 1st, 2014 at 9:05 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Strete Ralegh (Whimple) East Devon

LIght rain in East Devon and best birding was from my window.  These two Spotted Flycatchers turned up in the garden, the first I have seen here this year.  Glad to see the juvenile (on the right).  A Tree Creeper also present and a Hobby came through chased by Swallows last evening, the third time in a month.

Posted August 1st, 2014 at 6:34 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


52 Mediterranean Gulls on the R. Caen this morning including 17 juv's.

169 BH Gulls inc 13 juv's.

2 Common Gulls (1 adult & 1 imm)

Posted August 1st, 2014 at 4:10 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Older Posts in General Birding →

← Newer Posts in General Birding