Devon Bird Sightings

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

Sunday 19th May 2019

Cann Woods - Nightjar Update

Nightjar activity at Cann Woods is showing an increase with churring from six separate sites, from 9:25 onwards.  Had good close encounters with two birds, a female and male before it got too dark.

Posted yesterday at 10:53 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in General Birding

Re Martin Rooney's Butterfly (19.5.19)

FYI Martin, looks like a Pearl-bordered Fritillary -  a little tatty, worn and faded, probably been out for several days, to a week. Looking at the outer/trailing edge of the wings, the orange spots are "open," with incomplete black borders. Sm Pearl-borderd has definite orange spots in fully closed borders. (Hope this makes sense & helps)

Posted yesterday at 8:39 pm by Dave Holloway in Other Wildlife

Exminster Marsh saturday

Walk around the Marsh, Usual species Lots of Tits Blue great Long Tailed, Goldfinches, ChiffChaff and a very vocal ringed Warbler? Two High flying Sparrowhawks was the highlight suddenly dived and were chasing another bird across the Marsh. Didnt see the outcome..

Posted yesterday at 5:11 pm by Darrell Pattie in General Birding

Fingle bridge -Hunter's Path

Of note Pied Flycatcher, Goosander (f), Yellowhammer and common Whitethroat. No good photos sadly. Also lots of Brimstone and large and small white plus the unidentified (by me) butterfly in the last picture. Any ID appreciated.




Posted yesterday at 3:57 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Saturday 18th May 2019


3 Spotted Flycatchers at Southdown Farm pm

Posted May 18th at 9:26 pm by Roger White in General Birding


Watched from 07:30 till 11:30

started at Bowling green marsh but as usual these days very quiet with only 2 greenshank , 1 whimbrel , 1 common sandpiper, 1 black tailed godwits, 2 common gull, 5 little egret,  Lots of house Martin and swifts moving through

Moved onto the goatwalk quickly became apparent that there were large numbers of house Martin and swifts moving through from powderham heading north over exminster and on a broad  front all the way up towards Haldon following them were at least  4 Hobby’s, but the best birds of the day were 3 Red Kites  the first At 09:25, the 2nd At 09:37 and the 3rd At 10:40 all heading south west towards Haldon, as the tide dropped 12+ grey plover, 3 knot, 20+ Dunlin, 12+ whimbrel.

Posted May 18th at 7:58 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Yarmer and Leasefoot Beaches early morning

At least 10 whimbrel and some Bar-Tailed Godwits on the two beaches, 8 small waders which I think consisted of 7 Dunlin and 1 Sanderling although it could well have been 6 & 2. Went back later with Steph & Rob Murphy and got cracking views of 4 Bar-Tailed Godwits on Yarmer beach one in summer plumage. The Barwits appeared to be feeding on sand hoppers, you can just about make it out in one of the photos

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit


Posted May 18th at 4:53 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Velator reserve

In among a few birds ringed this morning was the year's second Grasshopper Warbler.

Posted May 18th at 1:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

brent geese

Friday 0815 am 9 dark bellied brent geese in the duckpond at Exmouth.

Posted May 18th at 7:12 am by eric in General Birding

Friday 17th May 2019

Slapton area

Dank murky conditions around 6pm pushed three groups of manx shearwater into Start bay totalling 66 along with 2 and kittiwake and a first summer, plus five sandwich ten.  At 9pm a large group of around 300 Swift screamed higher and higher as they disappeared into the low cloud. 

Posted May 17th at 9:17 pm by Nik ward in General Birding

Walking around Saltram, Plymouth

Today whilst out walking with the dog, I was delighted to see Little Egret, Shelduck and Canada geese on the waterfront and in and around the woodlands: bluetits, great tits, Robins, goldfinches, bullfinch, long tailed tits, Jay and most surpringly of all a pair of ring-necked parakeets. 

Posted May 17th at 8:38 pm by P Flowers in General Birding

Toll road- Braunton

7am this morning, a flock of about 15 Little Egrets , just 2 swifts, and several swallows 

Posted May 17th at 7:56 pm by Beth Woollam in General Birding

Wembury Bay

Three or 4 Red Kites circling over the lower fields and then 3 gliding off NW (c9 - 9.30am). Also, on the beach, 2 partial sum-plum Grey Plovers, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits (2 in partial sum-plum), Whimbrel, Curlew & Dunlin.

Posted May 17th at 4:33 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite

Single Red Kite outskirts of Abbotskerswell 2pm today

Posted May 17th at 3:38 pm by Jon Pring in General Birding

Bolberry Down

Red Kite over going east; also swift & 3 Fulmar.

Posted May 17th at 2:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

More Swifts this morning, (about 15). More House Martins too (about 50). Looking around for Swallows I was surprised to find them (about a dozen) perched on the reed-bed. 1 Little Egret, 3 Grey Herons, and an odd male Tufted Duck.

Posted May 17th at 12:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 16th May 2019

South Huish marsh late afternoon

Nice yellow wagtail on the marsh and 3 whimbrel, a male shoveler and 2 females.

Yellow WagtailWhimbrelLittle Egret
Yellow Wagtail                                                   Whimbrel                            Little Egret

Posted May 16th at 9:27 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

Afternoon hunt for Yellow Wagtails continues! Instead of which I found this tired looking Wood Sandpiper and then a view of a female Marsh Harrier. 7 Pied Wagtails. (1 White among them). up to 7 Swifts.

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Posted May 16th at 5:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Great views of a closish red kite 30/40' above the A39 heading north just before the milky way theme park North Devon at 08:24.

Posted May 16th at 5:15 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

Cattle Egret on scrape behind canal car park

Posted May 16th at 1:16 pm by Nick Workman in General Birding

Red Kite

Pair of Red Kite seen over Drayford, Mid Devon. One flew north, one flew south.

Posted May 16th at 1:03 pm by C Boyles in General Birding

Wednesday 15th May 2019

Slapton village

As I dropped into the village I saw a Nightjar floating above the rooftops disappearing behind a house only to reappear as I got further down the lane towards the church. Only my second for Slapton....the other being an autumn bird. 

Posted May 15th at 10:38 pm by Nik ward in General Birding

Waders South Milton beach and S, Huish marsh

A few waders on the rocks at South Huish, at least 5 Grey plover, some sanderling, oystercatchers, a Kentish plover and on the marsh 7 Dunlin and a whimbrel

Grey PloverKentish PloverSanderling
Grey Plover                           Kentish Plover                                    Sanderling

Posted May 15th at 10:03 pm by Richie Moore in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

15-05-19 Female Redpoll

Redpoles showing well on Roborough Down


Posted May 15th at 9:38 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Late news Monday 13th

Single Red Kite seen by my father and I flying west over road to Challacombe viewed from near Headland Warren Farm late afternoon.

Posted May 15th at 9:31 pm by Perry J Smale in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Blaxton Meadow attracted a few waders at high tide - Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Whimbrels & Curlew. Also Great Spotted Woodpecker, Stock Dove, 8 Mandarin Ducks & female Red-crested Pochard.

Posted May 15th at 9:05 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Easdon Down (North Bovey ) 14 May

Good numbers of Meadow Pipits around the hill, plus Skylarks, Stonechat, Tree Pipits and Linnets. Three cuckoos calling from separate areas.

Posted May 15th at 7:52 pm by Nick Walter in General Birding

Red Kite - Kingsteignton

A single bird drifting north towards Chudleigh Knighto n / Chudleighat 15.40hrs

Posted May 15th at 6:25 pm by JDA in General Birding

15-05-19 2 Cuckoo's over Cadover Bridge Area

Two Cuckoo's (Males) over the filled up China Clay pit near Cadover Bridge, gave a good display at chasing each other

Cuckoo No 1 Tail feathers missing2nd Cuckoo, full tail feathers
Cuckoo No 1 Tail feathers missing               2nd Cuckoo, full tail feathers

Posted May 15th at 4:03 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Red Kite

14 May 13.00: Red Kite drifted low over Peverell, Plymouth and heading East. All the nearby Herring Gulls up and calling in alarm.  

Posted May 15th at 3:46 pm by R Hurrell in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite Laira

Two Red Kites high over the garden at 1500hrs heading towards Marsh Mills & Plympton.

Posted May 15th at 3:05 pm by Martin Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


One Red Kite east over the Exe estuary and the Riverfront, Exton at 1320hrs. 

Posted May 15th at 2:11 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite seen over Western Beacon Dartmoor today 

Wednesday 15th  May at 11.00am. Single bird 

took off from the lower slopes of the beacon

heading towards Moorhaven.

Posted May 15th at 11:49 am by Rob Dudley in General Birding

Roborough Down

Red Kite circling over Roborough Down this morning around 10.30 this morning.  

Posted May 15th at 10:35 am by Andy Brown in General Birding

north devon

two red kites sighted flying over house near South Molton.

Posted May 15th at 10:26 am by Mary Anne in General Birding

Tuesday 14th May 2019

Berry Head 14th May

Pleasant half hour from 5pm sat on Berry Head looking out to sea towards the Mew Stone. Lots of activity over the water besides numerous common gulls there were 5 black back gulls, 2 gannets, 20 crows and 40+ plus guillemots.

Posted May 14th at 9:52 pm by David Roper in General Birding

Red Kites

Two red kites spotted above Teignmouth on the north side of the estuary moving west to east at 08.15 14th May. 

Posted May 14th at 7:26 pm by Bryan Smith in General Birding


Finally seeing swifts. First one last Saturday (11th May) over Rumsam area of Barnstaple and two today over Yelland.

Posted May 14th at 7:03 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

exminster marsh

taking a early walk from the rsbp carpark by the railway line, there were sand martins, house martins, swallows and two hobbys hunting over the marsh, and on the way back to the carpark i had good views of the lesser whitethroat.

Posted May 14th at 6:41 pm by roger jewell in General Birding


3 Swifts, my first this year,. Yellowhammer on Yennadon Down. 

Posted May 14th at 3:32 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

14-05-19 Cuckoo at Cadover Area

A cuckoo showing very well near Cadover Bridge Area by the old filled in clay pit, constantly getting attacked by Meadow Pipits, managed some fairly good shots



Posted May 14th at 2:53 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


Red Kite heading East over Coombe Valley 11.20 am....

Posted May 14th at 11:29 am by Neil Graham in General Birding

Monday 13th May 2019

Nightjars at Cann Wood, Plympton

Heard one Nightjar churring at 9:20, and another later on 'Kwicking' at opposite sides of the wood, but didn't see either.

Posted May 13th at 11:28 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in General Birding

Red Kite over East Devon

I saw my first Red Kite over east Devon today at around 2pm. It was circling from the north east to the south west over the Ottery St Mary area.

Posted May 13th at 10:46 pm by Maurice T Rapley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Nightjars at Haldon

Single Nightjar churring and flying in the Harcombe area of Greater Haldon at 21:10 this evening.

Posted May 13th at 10:19 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

River Caen

Walked to the estuary late afternoon.

Several Whitethroat, Stonechat and Meadow Pipit, and a few passage waders: 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Oystercatcher (probable resident) 3 Ringed Plover,1 Dunlin and a few Curlew. No sign of Osprey. 

Posted May 13th at 9:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Red kite

Saw a single red kite flying over newton abbot this evening. First time I've see one in Devon 

Posted May 13th at 8:58 pm by Emma Blake in General Birding

Whitleigh Garden

First swifts of the year over garden three in number.

Posted May 13th at 7:38 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Whitleigh Garden

Two red kites over 16.00 hrs.

Posted May 13th at 7:34 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram Sunday 12th May

Two Wheatears (male & female), Grey Wagtail, 2 Stock Doves, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, the lingering Curlew & 7 Roe Deer (2 bucks).

Posted May 13th at 3:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Soar & South Efford Marsh

Pretty quiet at Soar again this morning: Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 singing Sedge Warblers, Bullfinch, Sparrowhawk & 3 House Martins.

Not one wader, later, on South Efford Marsh at high tide, but 2 Swifts, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 singing Reed Warblers & a Stock Dove.

Posted May 13th at 3:49 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Red Kite just (12.05p.m) flew south over my house in Braunton.

Posted May 13th at 12:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Beaches around Thurlestone 12/05/19 early morn

At least 12 whimbrel on the beaches plus two Bar-tailed godwits, 3 whitethroats and a skylark on the corner of the golf course.

Bar-tailed GodwitWhitethroatWhimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit                             Whitethroat                                        Whimbrel

Posted May 13th at 6:24 am by Richie moore in General Birding

Sunday 12th May 2019

Swifts Plymouth

Our first swifts of the year over the garden this afternoon around 16:00 group of three calling high over.

Posted May 12th at 10:39 pm by Graham Devine in General Birding

Thornbury Plymouth

Sighted over Thornbury Plymouth, Red Kite being harassed by 3 Buzzards at 10:50

Posted May 12th at 9:42 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Small Pearl bordered fritillaries Bolt Head

Must have been a hatch because we saw at least three together and others in singles plus the colours were so vibrant! Observed near Starehole Bay.

Posted May 12th at 8:37 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Other Wildlife

Combe Martin Swifts

First swifts of 2019 in Combe Martin: 2 silent at 11.50, followed by 3 screamers at 18.00.

Posted May 12th at 8:05 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

mear valley exmouth

2 ringneck parakeet

Posted May 12th at 7:41 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Osprey over Kingsbridge Estuary

Sues sharp eyes produced a call of "Osprey" and we watched it flying west to east towards Frogmore Creek last seen being mobbed by gulls. I've included an extremely distant image purely for the record. 

Posted May 12th at 7:06 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

West Charleton Marsh

Dark, female type Marsh Harrier flew straight through east over the marsh at 17:10. Presumably next stop Slapton Ley.

Posted May 12th at 6:28 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Gallaven Brook Dartmoor

On a glorious day Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. A number of Stonechats between Scorhill and Hound Tor harassing the Ten Tors walkers. Kestrel seen hunting and Cuckoo heard calling along the brook.

Posted May 12th at 5:38 pm by Chris Godfrey in General Birding

River Exe, Stoke Woods

2 possible Cattle Egret seen this evening from the train whilst going past Stoke Woods, glimpse was fleeting but looked promising if anyone wants to go and check if they’re the real thing. 

Posted May 12th at 5:25 pm by Toby Mylett in General Birding

Trendlebeare Down

Plenty of stonechat and linnet plus several yellowhammer.

Posted May 12th at 11:17 am by Ian Muir in General Birding

Home Farm Marsh

8.30 a.m. River Taw- Osprey still present-being harassed by two gulls, an Oystercatcher and a Curlew. Cettis Warbler seen and heard on Tarka Trail near Instow.

Posted May 12th at 11:05 am by Seamus Ivers in General Birding

Red Kite

Just seen one from my garden on clovelly rd Bideford drifting see probably over littleham area.3 swifts here chasing as well ????.

Posted May 12th at 10:11 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

South Huish early morning

Grasshopper warbler - 1 reeling, dunlin 1 sp, whimbrel 1

Posted May 12th at 10:06 am by Richard Archer in General Birding

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