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

Friday 21st August 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 2.30. Most surprising was 1 Avocet in amongst good numbers of the usual waders. Also 5 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Oystercatcher. 1 Tufted Duck and 3+ Gadwall.

Posted August 21st, 2015 at 3:14 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Prawle Point Seawatch

Shorter Seawatch today from 6.55 till 9.55 but in a better, kinder SSW wind force 4+ produced :

84 Balearic Shearwaters ; 1925 Manxies ; with highlights being a 1st year Little Gull at 7.37am ( with 1st yr and adult Kittiwakes close by for comparison ) and a 'Blue' Fulmar at 8.10am all west. Also a Bonxie passed at 8.45am. Also a pod of at least 25 Common Dolphins surfacing and breaching from 7.25 till 8am.Back to the car park and en route a Tree Pipit.

Then to South Huish where the Wood Sandpiper still present at 11am on LHS plus 3 Black Tailed Godwits, 3 Dunlin and a Snipe.

Posted August 21st, 2015 at 1:49 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatch 6.15-10.30, rather cloudy and drizzly with South South-West winds. 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 172 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Great Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua, 19 Common Scoters, 3 Mediterranean Gulls all juvs, 18 Sandwich Terns, 135+ kittiwakes, 100+ Gannets and also 8 Harbour Porpoises. 

Posted August 21st, 2015 at 12:55 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

River Caen toward the estuary

A 45min morning walk along the river bank in the drizzle but well worth it. Male Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Female Peregrine, Kingfisher, 5x Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Little Egrets, Med gulls, Dunlin, Grey Wags, Pied Wags, 200+ Canada Geese,plus all the usual regulars.

Posted August 21st, 2015 at 10:34 am by Rob Barnes in General Birding

Thursday 20th August 2015

Berry Head, 2.30-4.30

Pied Flycatcher (female) in quarry 2.30, with numerous Stonechats. Seawatching from nearby 2.45-4.30: numerous Manx Shearwaters, Gannets, one adult Razorbill with young, Storm Petrel following in wake of fishing boat.

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 5:49 pm by Steve Goddard in General Birding

South Efford Marsh & Avon Estuary

Murky conditions but good for waders highlighted by 2 Wood Sandpiper on the marsh and across the area 34 Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank, Snipe and 14 Common Sandpiper. Also: 360 Herring Gull, Kestrel pair & 31 Pied Wagtail.

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 4:58 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


38 med gulls,14 ads,1ss,2fs,21juv,peregrine,100 ringed plover,3 sanderling,100 dunlin,11:50.Swift over bowden green bideford 12:50.

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 1:41 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Nightjars - Kingsteignton

Interesting record of  1-2 nightjar feeding and calling in gardens in the centre of Kingsteignton just before midnight last night. - probably local birds dispersing

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 8:12 am by Jon Avon in General Birding

Wednesday 19th August 2015

Velator/River Caen

Walked down to Sherpa Marsh this afternoon: Common Sandpiper and Greenshank in the Caen, along with Little Egret. Common Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit around the Marsh. Only saw one Swallow. Lots of Canada Geese.

Of interest a Beautiful Damselfly in the reserve yesterday, and another by the bridge entry to the field.

Posted August 19th, 2015 at 5:54 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


It was misty with thick drizzle, and the tide right out mid-afternoon, but not a dog in sight! At that time of day it is unusual for anything to be around Greysands Pool because of disturbance,  but today there was a Juv Little Ringed Plover and 2 juv Little Stint.

Posted August 19th, 2015 at 3:59 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide until about 2.30.

Fairly quiet over a low tide. The highlight being a brief vist from a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. There were also 3 Ruff and 1 Common Sandpiper along with 2 Tufted Ducks.

Posted August 19th, 2015 at 3:03 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Lundy – RSPB/MARINElife survey

See here for a write-up of yesterday's survey results from Lundy waters. No Balearics – we just don't seem to get them up here on the north coast until later in the autumn – but huge numbers of Manx. Also Pied Flycatcher and a few other bits and pieces on land as we yomped to/from seawatching vantage points during our all-too-brief time ashore.

Posted August 19th, 2015 at 11:54 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Prawle Marathon Seawatch yesterday 18th August

Particpated in MARINELife/RSPB Balearic Survey yesterday with Tim Worfolk from 6.30am till close of play at 8pm.Conditions far from ideal ie glorious sunshine, blue skies etc and wind strength ranging from calm force 1 to 4+ towards the end and from WNW to WSW. Just before the seawatch at the point I saw my first Sedge Warbler and Goldcrest of the autumn (wonder what other passerines were around yesterday !) Also 50+ hirundines over the point (Swallows, Sand and House Martins)

Seawatching totals : 32 Balearic Shearwaters ( between 6.30 and 12.35); 1755 Manxies west and c 500 east ; 1 Bonxie west; 188 Gannets w,30 e ; 42 Kittiwakes w; 21 Fulmars w; 7 Sandwich terns w,1 e; 5 Commic Terns w; 5 Common Scoter w (all males); 11 waders e (either Curlew or Whimbrel); 2 smaller waders w (likely Knot) ; and 4 + Harbour Porpoises and 3 small cetaceans (likely Common Dolphins) 

Posted August 19th, 2015 at 10:52 am by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Tuesday 18th August 2015

Budleigh Salterton

As part of the joint RSPB Marinelife dedicated Balearic Shearwater count in the South West today a dedicated watch from Budleigh 06.30 - 13.00hrs produced 21 Balearic Shearwaters, 600+ Manx Shearwater, 1 Arctic Skua and 10 Common Scoter. All the shearwater activity was between 06.45 and 08.15hrs with all birds heading East except 5 of the Balearics which went West. Also two groups of Bottlenose Dolphins making 12+ minimum. Thanks in particular to Pebbles B&B for keeping us supplied with Coffee, Bacon Sandwiches and Cake! It will be interesting to see the other counts from across the region's other watchpoints. 

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 10:23 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


34 med gulls,8 ads,1ss,3fs22 juvs,500+ bhg's,1 barwit,4 whimbrel,20:00.

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 10:05 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Shipley, South Brent..

An afternoon walk from Shipley car park above South Brent towards the Avon Dam was seemingly going to be a hard days birding with nothing of any note being seen.

But once past the first bridge and as far as the old pump house the cover was alive with birds, a female Kestrel came right over the top of us and showed well for some time, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff in good numbers and a larger warbler species that eventually showed itself long enough to be identified as a Sedge Warbler.

Good numbers of Blackcap, all female other than the one male identified. We gave up counting Stonechats well over twenty in a fairly small area, Whinchat (the first time that I could tick one off the list) A Hobby showed really well reasonably high and feeding on the wing, Buzzard, Great, Blue & Coal Tit, Linnet and Meadow Pipit being some of the 20 species identified.

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 9:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

WW Black Tern on Sunday

Apologies for late post of this difficult to photograph bird whose agility made it challenging to follow.

WW Black Tern
WW Black Tern

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 8:36 pm by George and Les Carr in General Birding

Pelagic Trip from Brixham

Shearwaters seen on the pelagic trip from Brixham with Nigel.  Calm conditions enabled close views of Balearics and Manx sitting on the water. 

Balearic Shearwaters with Manx
Balearic Shearwaters with Manx

Balearic Shearwater
Balearic Shearwater

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 8:29 pm by George and Les Carr in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

Good morning at Seaton with good views of at least 4 Wood Sandpiper plus supporting cast of Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and several Ruff. Kingfisher put in an appearance. Black tailed Godwit in good numbers and various plumage. 

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 7:05 pm by Geoff Green in General Birding

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Better fare today; a Lesser Whitethroat was new for the site, 3 Whinchat, 3 Whitethroat, 6 Wheatear and the Little Owl again. 

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 7:00 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Clennon Valley

Yellow Wagtail Flew SW over valley calling midday today.

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 5:55 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

East Soar

First Spotted Flycatcher of the autumn plus first  Yellow Wagtails, 2 by the farm with 10 Pieds. Also 150 Swallow, 10 Stonechat, 2 Wheatear, 12 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 11 Willow Warbler, 42 Goldfinch & 28 Linnet

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 11:49 am by Rob Macklin in General Birding


76 med gulls in one flock off rocks,71 ads,1fs,4 juvs.On crow pt area another 26,7ads,1ss,6fs,12 juvs.Count made at 08:45.5000+ mainly medium sized gulls comprising mainly bhg's in frenzy over fish.

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 11:08 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Shearwaters off Budleigh

Popped by to see the RSPB seawatch, 8 Balearic Shearwaters off Budleigh beach this morning at 7.45am. 

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 10:19 am by Richard Allen in General Birding

Monday 17th August 2015

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Pretty much as you were with 5 Wheatears and the Little Owl (max count of Wheatear so far this autumn is just 9). A Ringed Plover heard calling over the airfield was the only other bird of interest.

Posted August 17th, 2015 at 6:15 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Teign Estuary

Adult Spotted Sandpiper present this morning. This bird was on private land that I have permission to survey during WeBS and at present the landowner is requesting that the location is not disclosed (sorry!). However there is a reasonable chance it will show at Passage House this evening on the rising tide as this is where most Common Sandpipers congregate at high tide.

Update (20:00): No sign so far this evening, but for anyone wishing to look for it tomorrow, the landowner at Flow Point is now willing to permit access. Parking is available at Michaels Field playing fields in Bishopsteignton (SX904733); from here, walk c300m east along the Newton Road then c250m south down Flow Lane, under the railway to view from SX909728. Please do not leave the track/path, and under no circumstances attempt to drive down Flow Lane or enter the saltmarsh at Flow Point.

Posted August 17th, 2015 at 1:55 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding


large numbers of gulls again feeding on flying ants..So many they seemed indiffferent to any bait fish.Mainly black headed but managed to pick out 44 meds in small sweep of immediate estuary.34 ads,1ss,1fs,8juvs.Many thousands beyond scope range&constant mvement so no doubt many more.18:20 evening

Posted August 17th, 2015 at 12:21 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Sunday 16th August 2015

Bowling green marsh

a second visit for the evening high tide watched from the hide 18:00 till 20:40

Exceptional numbers of curlew with 1034+ being my highest count for the marsh , 628+ black tailed godwits, 16+ bar tailed godwits, 11 knot, 6 dunlin , 325+ redshanks , 2 spotted  redshanks( adult , juv), 21 greenshank, 1 water rail, 11 lapwing, 53+ whimbrel, 2 tufted duck, 28+ teal, 2 wigeon.


Posted August 16th, 2015 at 11:02 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Berry Head

First autumn morning with a bit of a fall on the head: 1 Redstart, 12 Willow Warblers, 5 Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 4 Wheatear, 2 Chiffchaff and a high flying flock of 17 House Sparrows! At sea most birds a long way off-shore in clear conditions but 7 juv Mediterranean Gulls, 6+ Balearic Shearwaters, three rafts of about 400+ Manx Shearwaters, 1 Turnstone, and 8 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted August 16th, 2015 at 8:28 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


During a not very productive ringing session this morning, I trapped and ringed another Green Sandpiper! None in six years and now two in a week. Weird. Only other bird of note was an even later Swift briefly overhead.

Posted August 16th, 2015 at 5:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Around topsham

started at bowling green marsh from the hide 08:15 till 11:15

2 wood sandpipers flew over calling seemed to come from goosemoor and headed of towards exminster marsh, 2 spotted redshanks( 1 adult, 1 juv) , 35+ greenshanks, 250+ redshank, 560+ black tailed godwits, 15+ bar tailed godwits, 4 knot, 40+ whimbrel, 420+ curlew, 1 wheatear, 11+ little egrets, 2 common sandpiper, 12+ lapwing.

Then moved to the viewing platform and had another 4 common sandpiper

then from the goatwalk managed to watch the White Winged Black Tern Flying around exminster marsh.

Posted August 16th, 2015 at 3:45 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Brixham boat trip into Lyme Bay

Very calm morning for boat trip from Brixham into Lyme Bay. We had a good trip with over a 1,000 Shearwater in large groups. Within the groups 8+ Balearic,1 Sooty. 8 Kittiwake, 3 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, Gannets and many Herring Gull. Small groups of Harbour Porpoise in all numbering 9. much food out in Lyme Bay for the birds.  

Manx & 1 Balearic Shearwater Lyme Bay Boat trip 16th Aug 2015 NSMl

Manx and one Balearic Shearwater (middle back) off Mansands

Posted August 16th, 2015 at 3:17 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Exeter Canal, Turf

The White-winged Tern still showing well this morning between the viewing platform and Turf.  It periodically did a circuit of the canal frindges every half hour or so and possibly included the estuary in its route.  It passed within feet several times but not easy to photograph.  Beautiful little bird. (Incidentally, a group of walkers seemed intent on getting to Turf along the estuary side of the canal... didn't know it was passable!).

Posted August 16th, 2015 at 2:41 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

East Soar

Patch tick this morning - Lesser Whitethroat moving through the scrub. First Whinchat of the autumn, on the airfield. Also: 200 Swallow, 30 House Martin, 20 Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, 7 Whitethroat & 16 Willow Warbler.

Posted August 16th, 2015 at 12:26 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Saturday 15th August 2015

South Huish Marsh early evening

Wood sand (1), ruff (1), greenshank (1), dunlin (7), black-tailed godwit (1), snipe (1), small pied wag roost (25).

Posted August 15th, 2015 at 9:20 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

White-winged Black Tern

Several good views of the Tern flying up and down the Canal today, last seen feeding over the Lagoon

Posted August 15th, 2015 at 8:03 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Cadover Bridge

Around the Cadover Bridge area today, two Kestrels (male & female) reasonable numbers of Stonechats, one pair feeding a BTO rung youngster, a small number of Wheatears, Swallows and at least three Sand Martins, Meadow Pipits the expected Corvids and a few flying Herring Gulls.

Posted August 15th, 2015 at 4:58 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Around topsham

watched from 07:45 till 13:30

started at the hide at bowling green marsh , 1 adult curlew sandpiper, 3 spotted redshanks ( 2 adults, 1 juv), 1 juv ruff, 3 knot, 1 grey plover, 16+ bar tailed godwits, 560+ black tailed godwits, 460+ curlew, 40+ whimbrel, 2 common sandpiper, 1 green sandpiper, 250+ redshank, 20+ greenshanks, 12+ lapwing, 1 gadwall , 2 wigeon , 3 tufted duck, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 buzzard, 2 oystercatchers

from the viewing platform another curlew sandpiper towards exton plus the the 1 seen from the hide, and another knot, 1 sandwich tern

from the goatwalk brief views of the White Winged Black Tern flying up and down the canal on exminster marsh , 50+ dunlin and 2 sandwich terns . 

Posted August 15th, 2015 at 4:06 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Exeter Canal White-winged Black Tern

I took a few quick pictures as the juvenile passed quickly along the canal at the viewpoint this morning. It was feeding over surface pondweed, especially when canoes passed by - presumably taking advantage of the insects they disturbed. (Notable amongst the latter were Red-eyed and Small Red-eyed Damselflies). 

Posted August 15th, 2015 at 2:45 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding


10 little terns again feeding in the estuary,2 ad meds07:45.Instow rocks held 10 med gulls,6 ads,4 juvs 08:00.

Posted August 15th, 2015 at 9:58 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

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