General Birding

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm 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 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 in General Birding

Thursday 14th August 2014

Lundy day trip

An Osprey flew south along the East Side at 14.05, disappearing from view towards Hartland Point. A scattering of other migrants included an adult Common Tern in the Landing Bay. For further details see

Posted August 14th, 2014 at 10:30 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Lesser Whitethroat, Yalberton

Was quite surprised to find an immature looking Lesser Whitethroat feeding on elderberries in our garden this evening. 

Posted August 14th, 2014 at 8:03 pm by Jacob Wood in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

The heavy rain showers brought in 3 Wheatears, 100+ Swallows, a single House Martin but precious little else.

Posted August 14th, 2014 at 6:59 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the marsh - delighted to find that the Spotted Crake is still around (assuming it is the same bird). Showing really well at times on the mud at the back of the marsh to the left hand side of the reeds. Much easier to see once the Redshanks and Black-headed Gulls cleared off. Worth getting wet for!

Otherwise, 1 Snipe, 2 Spotted Redshanks and 3 Dunlin.

Posted August 14th, 2014 at 1:39 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Bowling green marsh Wednesday 13th

late post for Wednesday 13th watched from 18:00 till 20:30

3 spotted redshanks among 895+ curlew , 57+ whimbrel, 17+ greenshanks, 1 dunlin, 1 green sandpiper, 1 common sandpiper, 9+ bar tailed godwits, good numbers of black tailed godwits included 21+ juveniles, 1 green woodpecker.

Posted August 14th, 2014 at 8:57 am by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Wednesday 13th August 2014

Braunton Marsh and River Caen

A good afternoon's walk along the Caen Estuary and around the marsh produced 5 Wimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Med Gulls, 1 Green Shank, 5 Grey Heron, 10 Little Egrets, 1 Kingfisher, a passing Peregrine, 2 Buzzards, 1 Kestrel, 1 Swift passing over, plenty of Swallows, and to finish off the walk a Marsh Harrier was the highlight of the afternoon. 

Posted August 13th, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Had a productive 2 hours this morning.  Close up views of a feeding kingfisher on river (by water outlet at side of river hide), then an osprey flew slowly down the valley to the sea.  On the marsh a few Common Sandpiper, couple of Green Sandpiper and a single Dunlin and Ringed Plover plus the usual Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatchers and Redshank.  

Posted August 13th, 2014 at 6:38 pm by Geoff Green in General Birding


3 Med Gulls over the bar in harbour. Also 2 swift.

Posted August 13th, 2014 at 1:20 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Tuesday 12th August 2014

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 18:30 till 20:15

3 spotted redshanks still, 793+ curlew with 63+ whimbrel, 1 common sandpiper , 1 juv dunlin, 480+ black tailed godwits included 11+ juveniles, 4+ bar tailed godwits, 22+ greenshanks, 3 sedge warblers, 5+ reed warblers, 30+ teal, 3 wigeon.

Posted August 12th, 2014 at 9:44 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Prawle Point

Seawatch from 7am till 12 in west going WSW, force 3-4 going 5 but clear to the horizon produced :

19 Balearic and 305 Manx Shearwaters ;1 Storm Petrel ;Gannets at c 55 per hour; 28 Fulmars ; 7 Common Scoter ; and 13 Med Gulls  ( 1 second winter, the rest juv/1st winter ) and again 1 Whimbrel , all west.

2 Harbour porpoises and a Grey Seal .

Posted August 12th, 2014 at 8:11 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding


A quick look today in very heavy showers.

1 Bullfinch, 13 Great Crested Grebe 3 juv.9 Swallow, c10 House Martin, 1 Wren, 1 Sedge Warbler

Posted August 12th, 2014 at 7:43 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Pizwell Farm Dartmoor 12-08-14

Juv Cuckoo seen Nr Pizwell Farm at grid ref SX 666 782 today. Also 2 x juv Common Redstart

Posted August 12th, 2014 at 7:29 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Around the Axe

Nice juv/1w Yellow-legged Gull, several juv Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 8+ Wigeon on the Estuary early this afternoon.

Earlier today a few Wheatear about with three each at Beer Head and Seaton Marshes.

Posted August 12th, 2014 at 2:31 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Nothing much to report from the marsh this lunchtime - just 1 Common Sandpiper on the marsh and another (or the same?) from the viewing platform. Otherwise a Green Woodpecker was heard calling on a couple of occasions.

Posted August 12th, 2014 at 2:04 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Monday 11th August 2014

Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth

After some heavy showers the Budleigh scrapes adjacent to the Otter Estuary looked a bit more promising and this afternoon the scrape had a Wood Sandpiper. Managed a quick record short before it flew off! Wood Sandpiper, Budleigh Scrapes

Other local sightings of interest in the last few days have included:

An eclipse drake Eider off West Budleigh Cliffs since 4th August
A moulting adult Sanderling off Otter Head rocks on 9th August - unusual here

Common Eider, Budleigh 4th August 2014

Kittiwakes Straight Point

Nearby at Straight Point, Exmouth the Kittiwake colony has produced at least 4 colour-ringed birds in recent days that have come from Finistere in Brittany. Interestingly, these included a couple of juvenile birds that within 10-12 days of fledging arrived in the Exmouth colony. This is the most important colony in Devon with over 160 nests. Productivity has been good this year with 0.67 fledged chicks per pair which is pretty good for Kittiwakes!
If you do see any colour-ringed birds, please email the details to

Colour-ringed Kittiwake Straight Point, Exmouth 4th August


Posted August 11th, 2014 at 7:35 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Sunday 10th August 2014

Berry head & bowling green marsh

With the forecast of stormy weather headed of to Berry head for a seawatch 06:10 till 11:15

As per Mike Langman post with continued movement of Manx shearwaters and gannets after he left.

After a short break at home it was back to local patch birding and watched around bowling green marsh from 16:00 till 18:40.

The highlight was finding a Spotted crake on the far side in front of the reeds on left hand side, Dave stone managed to get down and see it before it flew to the far right hand corner of the marsh and was eventually picked up again briefley before I had to leave. Also still 3 spotted redshanks showed well among 40+ greenshanks, 450+ black tailed godwits with now 7 juveniles, 1 dunlin, 350+ redshanks, 1 green sandpiper, 2 bar tailed godwits, 51+ whimbrel, c400+ curlew , 1 common sandpiper , 1 buzzard, 1 green woodpecker.


Posted August 10th, 2014 at 9:03 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Hartland Point

Seawatch with Tim Davis from 09.45 (just after the main rainband cleared through) to 14.15. Blustery WNW wind picked up during the morning, steady F5-6, gusting 7, but perhaps not as strong as originally forecast. Plenty of seabirds, with an almost continuous stream of Manx Shearwaters, many of which were very close in until c.13.00. Total of 1,090 logged. Only one Balearic Shearwater though, at 11.20. Feeding frenzies of Gannets (with Harbour Porpoises beneath them) constantly dispersing and regrouping. Total of 400 estimated. Also one Bonxie at 13.20, small numbers of Kittiwakes, but not a single auk. One Ocean Sunfish close-in to the Point and several Grey Seals. Butterflies (yes, really!) included Wall and Common Blue. A brief look at Bucks Mills on the way home revealed four Med Gulls (three ads and a juv) sitting on the sea, close inshore, apparently hunkering down and riding out the storm.

Posted August 10th, 2014 at 7:22 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Berry Hd

seawatch 0600hrs-0930hrs: 1 Great Shearwater at about 0910hrs, 2 distant Large Shearwaters just after the Great looked okay for Greats but too far out to be sure, 550+ Manx Shearwaters, 12 Balearic Shearwaters, 18 Fulmar, 150+ Gannets, 7 Great Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua, 3 + juv Med Gulls,7 Common Scoter 2 'Commic' Terns, 1 Grey Plover, 6+ Harbour Porpoise.

Posted August 10th, 2014 at 7:06 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Hopes Nose

A Great Shearwater south this morning at c9am and watched heading across Torbay. 2 more large  Shearwaters( presumed Greats) south further out at 8.45am. Also 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 130 Manxies and 5 Common Scoter north. 

Posted August 10th, 2014 at 5:56 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding


Orcombe Point - 0730 - 0850 - 3+ arctic skua, c60+ manx shearwater, 1 great skua, 3 fulmar, 2 great shearwater and 25 common scoter. The great shearwaters went through west @0804 and 0816. Also several gannets and a few kittiwake.

Posted August 10th, 2014 at 2:35 pm by Matt Knott in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

Seawatch from 6.30 to 10.00 in the company of Doug, Brian and Ray. 66 Manx shearwaters, 5 Balaerics, 3 Arctic skua, 1 Great skua, 2 Common scoter and 1 razorbill. Alas no large shearwaters and, aprt from gannets and Kittiwakes, everything stopped around 9.15 when the wind veered west.

Posted August 10th, 2014 at 12:20 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Saturday 9th August 2014

Piles Copse

Hobby flying south down the valley at Piles Copse. A family of Wheatear at the end of the track -2 young. In the Erme itself 2 Dipper and  3 grey wagtails. Plenty of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff young in the Rowan trees beside the track

Posted August 9th, 2014 at 11:59 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Prawle Point

Shortish seawatch this morning from 6.55 till 8.55am in a breezy westerly force 3 going 4 till passage paused in advance of the approaching storm (unable to venture forth tomorrow)

Flying west ( with a few of each species east) 316 Gannets , 89 Manxies and 1 Balearic Shearwater. Also 1 Bonxie and 1 Whimbrel both west and 2 Common Scoter east. But highlight was the (at least) 10 Med Gulls loafing and feeding with similar numbered Black-Headed Gulls : 7 juv/1st years ; 1 second winter and 2 Adult winter.

2 Wheatears at the point but only a thin spread of usual warblers around the car park and towards Gammon Head. At least 6  Red Admirals and 2 Clouded Yellows in the area.and I saw my first Holly Blue for a few months plus an Emperor Dragonfly..

Posted August 9th, 2014 at 11:09 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched 15:00 till 18:00

3 spotted redshanks, among 46+ greenshanks, 1 summer plumage grey plover , 44+ whimbrel, 3 dunlin, 400+ black tailed godwits, 450+ curlew, 2 common sandpipers, 1 green sandpiper, 2 bar tailed godwits, 300+ redshanks, 30+ teal, 2 wigeon 

A quick look in goosemoor produced 3 green sandpipers and 7+ common sandpipepers which were flushed into the open by a male peregrine, 7 lapwing , 8+ little egrets.

Posted August 9th, 2014 at 10:58 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


Had a tweet from a Paul Roberts yesterday informing me of at least six Yellow-legged and a juv Med Gull in the gull roost at Slapton Sands last night.

Pic of one of the Yellow-legs here:

Posted August 9th, 2014 at 10:28 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

East Soar

A morning at East Soar produced very little, best being 5 Wheatears. 15 Chiffchaff and 11 Whitethroat were probably local birds. 30 Swallows and 15 House Martin's were probabaly local birds as well.

Butterflies were better again with 6 Cluded Yellow, incl one 'helic'. 13 Wall Brown, a Painted Lady, 4 Small Pearl-bordederd Fritillary, 30+ Common Blue, 10+ Small Copper were probabaly the best of it.

Posted August 9th, 2014 at 6:26 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Burrator Rough Tor, Deancombe Valley

Report for 08-08-2014. Sorry for being late.

Mistle Thrush 13, Spotted Flycatchers 4, Stonechats 3, Common Redstart.

Posted August 9th, 2014 at 8:06 am by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Friday 8th August 2014

Bowling green marsh

watched from 15:00 till 17:20

3 spotted redshanks among 320+ redshanks , 37+ whimbrel among 446+ curlew, 2 Green sandpipers , 2 common sandpipers , 17+ greenshanks, 30+ dunlin , c400+ black tailed godwits included 4 juveniles, 7+ lapwing. 

Lots of disturbance this afternoon caused by a male peregrine making repeated attacks on the waders and it managed to make one kill when it plucked a juvenile dunlin from waters edge. Also a female sparrowhawk and 2 buzzards, great spotted woodpecker and green waoodpecker , 4 chiffchaffs and 3 sedge warblers, 2 reed warblers.

Posted August 8th, 2014 at 10:45 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Berry Head

Overcast conditions late afternoon and calm, perfect for cetacean watching.  c10 Harbour Porpoise feeding off the headland and much further out c60 Common Dolphins.

There's alot of seabirds feeding further out in Lyme Bay, with several mixed gull and shearwater concentrations into the 1000's. Mostly Manx but did  pick out a couple of Balearics in a closer group and one Bonxie.  Off the head the water was boiling with Mackerel chasing whitebait on the surface!

Posted August 8th, 2014 at 7:24 pm by Mark Darlaston in General Birding


Hobby east over at 10:30.

Posted August 8th, 2014 at 5:22 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exminster Marsh area - Thurs 7th

3 bits from yesterday :)

We were alerted to a hobby going over Exminster Marsh reserve near the railway line by a commotion amongst the swallows and house martins.

Lots of great butterflies at Powderham Marsh, including abundant common blues and small coppers, and a clouded yellow.

This evening we saw a small starling murmuration (~200 birds) over the marsh from the Turf.

Posted August 8th, 2014 at 5:15 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Fairly quiet this lunchtime until about 1.55. The only highlights being 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper on the marsh.

Posted August 8th, 2014 at 2:16 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

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